According to an Aug. 17 report from Cageside Seats, the results are in from the preliminary card matches that went down on the WWE SummerSlam 2014 pay-per-view card at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. The event, which features a headliner of Brock Lesnar against John Cena, opened with a tilt between Cesaro and Rob Van Dam on the official WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show on the WWE Network. Van Dam defeated Cesaro on the kickoff show, after landing his signature Five Star Frog Splash.
The original plan was to feature a tag team bout on the WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show, but that idea was scrapped for reasons that weren't revealed to the public. Just days after the tag team match plan was taken off the table, a second idea sprouted up to have a WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show with no matches at all, just commentary and analysis from current and former WWE superstars.
Renee Young, Booker T, and Alex Riley were going to provide 30 minutes of analysis, in advance of the WWE SummerSlam 2014 main card. However, there was a change of plans at the last minute, and Cesaro vs. Van Dam was added to the bill for the kickoff show. Former WWE standout, Ric Flair, also provided commentary work during the WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show.
With high-level superstars such as Sheamus and Fandango not on the WWE SummerSlam 2014 main card, the promotion had plenty of options when it came time to booking a match for the kickoff show. When Cesaro and Van Dam took their spots inside the ring, it was clear the WWE made the right decision to pit them against each other on the WWE SummerSlam 2014 kickoff show.
Cesaro's match with Van Dam got the evening off to a rollicking start, as the Staples Center was shaking by the time the match had ended. Cesaro and Van Dam have a juicy feud going, as both were featured in the Intercontinental championship battle royal at Battleground. Both were also part of the Money in the Bank ladder match. With Cesaro and Van Dam both battling to climb the ladder for an eventual title shot, a crisp match was needed. That's exactly what WWE Universe received.
Cesaro and Van Dam both got in the ring at 7:40 p.m. in the east. They engaged in a match that lasted approximately 15 minutes, and excitement was in the air for the duration of the bout. The match opened with Cesaro jumping out of the ring, and Van Dam landing a boot to the face of his opponent. With 17 minutes to go before SummerSlam, the momentum swung back to the side of Cesaro.
Cesaro tried for the first pin attempt with little over 16 minutes to go before the SummerSlam pay-per-view, and he tried again for a pin just seconds later. Van Dam bounced back by trying for a Five Star Frog Slash just minutes before the pay-per-view card was to begin, but Cesaro caught him with an uppercut. Van Dam ultimately landed a Five Star Frog Splash and pinned Cesaro for the win.
Elsewhere on the WWE SummerSlam 2014 bill, Cena puts his heavyweight title on the line against Lesnar, what could be the greatest fight of the summer. Cena is expected to drop the belt to Lesnar, to set up a bout between Reigns and the Beast Incarnate at Wrestlemania 31. However, another projection features Cena winning, and then having Sting show up to challenge him to a match at next year's Wrestlemania.
Until the match actually happens, no one knows how the Cena vs. Lesnar match will play out. Here's what we do know: Cena and Lesnar know each other very well. They have wrestled each other a handful of times before, with each man reigning supreme on more than one occasion. Cena beat Lesnar at an Extreme Rules event in 2012, but lost to him several times prior to that. WWE SummerSlam 2014, which went down on Aug. 17, emanated from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was the 27th annual SummerSlam event put on by the WWE.