Between the drama of Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee, developing angles involving The Shield and Mark Henry, as well as CM Punk and Paul Heyman and another chilling appearance from the Wyatt Family, WWE’s flagship show fired on all cylinders in its Brooklyn debut.
It also helped that the in-ring work was some of the best so far this year.
The week’s show, was also the first in the Brad Maddox era as general manager. It started off with a bang as Maddox allowed WWE Heavyweight Champion John Cena to pick his own opponent for Summerslam.
Money in the Bank winner Randy Orton figured that was the perfect time to tell Cena to watch his back. But just when things started to heat up, Fandango hit the ring with Summer Rae. Orton and Fandango soon got physical and viewers were forced to wait until the end of the show for Cena’s decision.
After a long, annoying delay in the show’s last segment, Cena finally gave the fans what they wanted and selected Daniel Bryan as his opponent for the WWE’s summer pay per view extravaganza.
Randy Orton vs. Fandango w/Summer Rae: Fandango was tougher than Orton expected, using kicks and the ringside steps to get an advantage. Fandango’s ability to counter Orton’s signature offense kept him in control for a while as well. A T-Bone Suplex from Orton evened things up quickly and after a massive Superplex, Orton was ready to finish things up. A few clotheslines and a Powerslam later from Orton, Fandango hit a well placed kick, but Orton countered and hit a wonderful second rope Turnbuckle DDT before the RKO and the win.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler: Another excellent match with a ton of back and forth moments. After Ziggler hit a second rope Fame-Asser, it appeared Ziggler would win the World Title, but AJ Lee distracted Ziggler by ringing the bell before the three-count. With Ziggler staring at Lee, Del Rio hit the Monster Kick for the win. After the match, Lee assaulted Ziggler and Big E. Langston finished him off with the Drive By.
Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro w/Zeb Colter vs. Jimmy and Jey Uso: In spite of lacking in size and skill to Swagger and Cesaro, the Usos won with a quick rollup counter.
Christian vs. Damien Sandow: Captain Charisma appeared in control for the majority of the match and when Sandown hit the Russian Leg Sweep and then went for his signature Elbow, Christian rolled him up for the win. After the bell, Cody Rhodes beat on his former tag team partner for a bit.
Brie Bella w/Nikki Bella vs. Naomi w/Cameron: Naomi has a ton of potential. She can kick; she can flip and she’s beautiful. Bella played the angry heel well and allowed the crowd to feel for Naomi. Although Bella got her licks in, Naomi was always a step ahead and eventually won with a beautiful Cross-Body from the top rope.
Chris Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam: A quality match between two living legends. Jericho was the aggressor most of the match and actually looked like a heel, using the ring ropes to gain an advantage. RVD nearly won with a nasty Super Kick and followed it up with a body scissors submission maneuver, but Jericho countered it into a Powerbomb. Soon enough, the fans were chanting “This is awesome.” They weren’t half wrong. RVD later nearly won with the Rolling Thunder, but Jericho countered with textbook DDT. Jericho then went for The Walls of Jericho again, but RVD got out of it and nailed a Lionsault after RVD missed the Split-Legged Moonsault. Back and forth was an understatement here. RVD then went for the Five-Star Frog Splash, but Jericho countered him on the top rope. RVD fought back and hit a battering-ram type Senton to get the advantage. But Jericho wasn’t done yet as he got RVD in the Walls again. However, RVD wasn’t done yet either. After his signature Spinning Heel Kick, RVD nailed the Five-Star for the win.