According to an Aug. 16 report from Tireball Sports, a match between Cesaro and Rob Van Dam has been added to the WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show, which airs at 7:30 p.m. on the WWE Network. Originally, the plan was to feature a tag team match on the WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show, but the WWE decided to go with a bout pitting Cesaro against Van Dam.
After plans for a tag team match fell through for the WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show, it seemed like the promotion would be content to simply fill the half-hour with commentary and analysis from current and former WWE superstars. As recent as last week, the WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show did not have any matches set for it. Plans changed in a hurry, with the addition of Cesaro vs. Van Dam.
Will the bout live up to the hype and get WWE SummerSlam 2014 off to a rollicking start? Seems likely. Van Dam and Cesaro are both fan favorites. With high-level superstars such as Sheamus and The Usos not booked for WWE SummerSlam 2014, the WWE had plenty of top talent to choose from when deciding who to feature on the kickoff show.
Going with Van Dam vs. Cesaro will likely turn out to be the best possible choice, because both men always come to fight. Rarely, if ever, does Van Dam or Cesaro turn in a weak performance. The bout between Cesaro and Van Dam makes sense because there's a real feud there.
Both Cesaro and Van Dam were part of the Intercontinental championship battle royal at Battleground, and also the WWE World Heavyweight Championship ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view spectacular. Cesaro and Van Dam are both perennial title contenders for the Intercontinenal championship strap, so a nice performance at SummerSlam could put them both back in the title picture.
This should be an interesting match. It seemed like Cesaro was destined for greatness when he split from the We the People tag team, and aligned himself with Paul Heyman. However, Cesaro's popularity never took off as the WWE hoped. His bout against Van Dam is the first chance for him to get some of that initial buzz back. WWE SummerSlam 2014 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on the WWE Network, and Cesaro battles Van Dam in the first bout of the evening.