If you’re a first timer here at VoicesofWrestling.com, welcome, allow me to explain how we do WWE PPVs reviews here. Unlike most sites, where you’ll get one review with a breakdown of the moves within a match, we instead have a few members of our writing staff and a special guest give their thoughts about the match, then a star rating. If you’re looking for a move-by-move breakdown of the match, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. If you want to hear the opinions of a few members our writing staff, you’re in the right place. Before we get to the reviews, let’s meet our esteemed panel.

  1. Rich Kraetsch (@richkraetsch): Editor-in-chief at Voices of Wrestling, you know all about me.
  2. Matthew Stewart (@hustledouble): One of the newest members of the Voices of Wrestling writing team.  Matt is freelance writer and sports bettor currently living in Central Texas. He runs HustleDouble.com, a sports betting betting journal.
  3. Larry: The enigma Larry, our resident PWG reviewer and co-Saturday Night’s Main Event reviewer.
  4. Rob McCarron (@LetsSayThings): Rob is our WWE Main Event reviewer as well as the co-host of the newest member of the Voices of Wrestling podcast family, Shake Them Ropes.
  5. John Sparkz (@Johnsparkz)22-year-old hip hop mixing engineer and producer Harry Fraud’s engineer. Credits include Action Bronson, French Montana, Smoke Dza and more. Also working on a joint EP with Sirius XM’s Emilio Sparks (The Sparks Foundation) which consists of wrestlers themes made into songs

WWE Intercontinental Championship
Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz (c)

Rich Kraetsch: I like this new Miz character a lot, more than I probably should but I was glad to see Dolph get the win here. The crowd is so into this guy, Vince, just push him, why not? This match was a lot of fun and it wasn’t quite “good” but it was a decent opener, had some good action and some nice back and forth. The action didn’t stall at any point too much so it was the perfect way to start the show. **3/4

Matthew Stewart: I love Ziggler, and Miz does a lot with some bad situations. But this match had all the heat of a wet fart until the two started trading finishers. Give Ziggler the push he deserves, and maybe it starts here. But the IC title is usually a curse. We’ll see. **

Larry: What in the fuck was The Miz wearing to the ring?  Its like he put his head throught he arm-hole of an Ku Klux Klan glory suit.  Anyway…they really need to make the IC title a workhorse title.  Give it to the workhorses and let’em have good matches.  Give these guys time on live Main Events and shit.  Miz’s gimmick is whatever to me…so I am glad they put the belt on Dolph who has been working his ass off in recent months.  This ends up being pretty decent.  I really liked the finishing sequence to give Ziggler the win.  **3/4

Rob McCarron: This was a very solid opener, complete with Miz no selling finishers! The best spot in the match came when Ziggler hit his Fameasser, which Miz got right up from to nail Ziggler with the Skullcrushing Finale. A good start to the show, and a big win for Ziggler (or is it?) in front of his hometown crowd. ***

John Sparkz (Guest): From the moment I hear the Miz’s music hit I usually go grab a beer or smoke a cigarette. BUT!, Dolph Ziggler is the man so I was very pumped for the match. Ziggler is one of the most entertaining superstars on the roster at the moment.  The match was super clean and Ziggler’s super kick was amazing. Usually when the Miz locks in the figure four its match over but Ziggler ropebreaking turned the match around. I’m just glad it wasn’t a dead match from the moves to the crowd reactions. With the Miz’s new look and over selling of the Marine movie franchise it was all pointing to a title retain but I’m genuinely happy about the outcome. ***

WWE Divas Championship
Paige def. AJ Lee (c)

Rich Kraetsch: Woah, this was shorter than I thought it would be but it was leaps and bounds better than their previous match. These ladies beat the livin hell out of one another and took some huge risks. I enjoyed this one a lot, it may not have been a technical marvel but it was hard-hitting and they laid it all out on the line. ***

Matthew Stewart: The “Ram-Paige”? Okay. Paige is pretty green, and so her most redeeming qualities are with her potential. I never really got into this feud. I’m pretty sure the pre-match recap of the feud was longer than the match. Some big spots in the match kept my interest, which is more than I can say for most women’s matches. ***

Rob McCarron: This match was complete whatever, but I loved it. Paige is the best. AJ Lee is the best. AJ Lee should stop trying to win with the Black Widow, because it is evident that Paige has her number on that. Paige’s gimmick of having a new finisher every week is buys. I loved all five or however many minutes this went. I want to give it fifteen billion stars. But I won’t. Because that would be crazy. LIKE PAIGE! ***

John Sparkz (Guest): The start of the match with CM Punk chants and Paige screaming really reminded me of just another match on RAW. Then whatever move that AJ did to Paige on the ropes really reminded me of a botched move RAW match.  AJ going off the top rope  I think was the most entertaining part. My network feed cut out right after she landed off the ropes and came back in during the black widow submission so I’m not sure what I missed, or how much I missed but overall I kind of like Paige holding the belt because it shows that other diva’s in the locker room can hold the title. **

Flag Match
Rusev def. Jack Swagger

Rich Kraetsch: Dude, this match here. These guys didn’t do much but it was basic pro wrestling storytelling at it’s finest. Rusev had a body part exposed early and had to work around it while Swagger continued to go after it. Rusev just knows how to get the crowd to react to what he does, as long as WWE doesn’t go out of their way to ruin him, he’s going to be a star. The finish kept Swagger strong and the ending, despite the confusing stipulation definitely worked. ****

Matthew Stewart: Wasn’t this supposed to be a flag match? And that just means some sort of post-match flag-type celebration thing? Well color me confused. I’m glad they haven’t wasted Rusev with losing to Swagger, at least yet. **1/2

Larry:  WE THE PEOPLE, MOTHERFUCKERS!  Fuck the Russian Federation as a staff, as a record label, and as a motheruckin’ crew.  BIGG HOSS is here to bring justice to the fallen passengers of Malaysian Airlines MH17.  Unfortunately, he passes out before he is able to.  But this match was good in the meantime.  Rusev is putting together quite the resume of nice mid-card Hoss Division matches.  Swagger has never been more over than he has been in this feud.  The people are eating this shit up and so am I.  Rusev’s facial expressions when he pulls back on the Accolade are nothing short of great.  Rusev is exactly what Paul Heyman envisioned when he was booking OVW when he was going to give the future Santino Marella (then, Boris Alexiev) a Fedor Emelianenko-like gimmick and pushed as the unbeatable Sambo bad ass.  They eventually gave the gimmick to Vladimir Kozlov and it flopped.  Rusev has taken this gimmick and turned me into a believer.  He’s been fuckin great and this was fun despite the vague rules to the FLAG MATCH gimmick.  ***1/2

Rob McCarron: Best match on the show up to this point. Rusev is… just surreal great for this stage. He’s Kurt Angle. Rusev has been a star this year, and seems like a guy who’s only going to get better. His sell job here on the ankle pain was ***** level. As he applies the Accolade the first time, he can’t support it with his left ankle. When he finishes Swagger with it, he bares with the pain, in tears, to lock it in with full force. Just an outstanding job from Rusev, and Swagger wasn’t bad either. ***3/4

John Sparkz (Guest): I personally think the whole Russia vs USA angle is a bit overplayed but anything to give Jack Swagger more spotlight matches by all means go for it. The split from the “Real Americans” (with a Swiss guy) really was a good move for Swagger. I really was curious about the whole “flag match” too. I was under the impression that flag’s were going to be used as weapons of some sort. I feel like the match started a little slow placed and the use of the patriot lock and and swagger bomb right in the beginning took a little bit away from the excitement later. Swagger’s later patriot lock was exciting enough for me to think Rusev was going to tap but then Rusev with a bum leg/ankle or whatever somehow locks in a clean accolade submission Overall I’m not mad at the outcome Rusev is a machine and it’s cool to have that “unbeatable wrestler” again. ****

Seth Rollins def. Dean Ambrose

Rich Kraetsch: I don’t even know how to properly rate this. I hated the lumberjack stip, I hated seeing them out there and they detracted a lot from Ambrose and Rollins. If I ignore those lumberjacks, this was a hell of a lot of fun and both guys got the crowd super behind them. Ambrose is a charisma magnet and a star in the making. Rollins looked good here but he’s very much outshined by Ambrose. More than anything, I’m ready to see this rematch and know if given the time and the spot, these guys can have a MOTY contender. ***

Matthew Stewart: Like Rich I wasn’t a big fan of the Lumberjack match stipulation, but they were able to use it in such a way that it meant something to the story. For a Lumberjack match especially, that’s kind of rare. Ambrose is a way better character than he is a technical wrestler, but that fits him well. I liked it. ***1/2

Larry:  I’ve been waiting for this match since The Shield broke up…and for fucks sake, its a damn LUMBER JACK MATCH?  Welcome to 1984.  Put these fuckers in a steel cage if you want to emphasize Rollins running from Ambrose.  As is, this is just another gimmick to give anyone begging for a payoff to this feud blue balls.  They made decent work out of the shitty match stip with Ambrose jumping on anyone that moved early on.  Once the two got in the ring Ambrose doing a Nigel to destroy Rollins after missing Dirty Deeds, then giving Rollins a Curb Stomp before the shenanigans officially begin was fucking great, but then Kane gets involved and…ugh, just fuckin retire already, bro.  It got real hot before the shit finish.  These guys should be thrown in a cage and given 15+ minutes.  Let’em get a little bloody, too.   This was more of a RAW segment and storyline pusher than a match.  I did dig the meat of the match despite hating the stip and the terrible finish.  **1/2, I guess?

Rob McCarron: WWE did it. They turned what I feared would be a huge disappointment of a match, because of the Lumberjack Match stipulation, into an incredible spectacle that had the crowd going crazy throughout. Sure, half the match was shenanigans with the lumberjacks, but the half that featured Rollins-Ambrose in earnest was quite good. The use of the lumberjacks to keep Rollins from escaping, and to provide a landing pad for Ambrose chaos, was just done so well. Rollins wins as chaos reigns, but Ambrose came across as a star and this didn’t hurt him. Can they hold these two off until Hell in a Cell? If they do, it’ll be incredible. ***1/4

John Sparkz (Guest): This match I was most excited for, being 22 I don’t even remember watching a lumberjack match.  Dean Ambrose has the potential to be the next big attitude filled “hero” type guy and the crowd completely backs him. This match was the most exciting one so far I’m always a huge fan of in crowd wrestling. I got really gassed when they were scuffling above the entrance tunnel, but then was satisfied with the Ambrose jumped off the top rope.  The close line he landed and the sell from Rollins was grade A.  The complete brawl out was really awesome to see and opens up a bigger can of worms with Ambrose and Kane. Overall very pleased. ****

Bray Wyatt def. Chris Jericho

Rich Kraetsch: This was painfully mediocre, painfully. Jericho isn’t the type of worker that can carry someone like Wyatt to a solid match anymore. Wyatt, just doesn’t connect with the crowd in-ring, works a boring, non sensible style and the fans continue to have no idea what his motivation is or what he’s really trying to accomplish. At one point during this match he yelled “You cannot kill me because I am already dead!” What? Confirmation that he’s just saying shit to say it. I didn’t like this match at all, the crowd didn’t care and I think everyone’s catching up to Bray being a bore. *

Matthew Stewart: Yay. Yay!! I missed most of this match with my first $9.99 streaming issues of the night, but fortunately had a good look at the finish. The match lacked a little something — maybe from having to follow Ambrose/Rollins — but I’m glad they put over Wyatt. The question now becomes, if this is a 3-match program, will they do the right thing in September, too? ***

Larry:  These guys had a better match on NXT over a year ago.  This match starts off boring, then gets corny with Bray Wyatt yelling nonsense mid-match again after doing that stupid spider walk deal.  Fuck off with that.  *1/2

VoicesofWrestling.com - WWE SummerSlam 2014Rob McCarron: I’ve been a Bray defender for a while. When he debuted, he was the cool thing. Soon after, people cooled on him. I can see why, and see it more clearly now. After the surprise that was Rusev vs Swagger earlier, you can tell which monster heel really does connect with the crowd. It’s Rusev. Wyatt’s entrance is cool, but an entrance can only get you so far. Right, Mordecai? Maybe it is time to let Harper & Rowan break off on there own, so we can truly see how far Harper can go. In two years, I feel Harper can be the bigger deal. Also, Wyatt’s spider walk is too goofy at this point. Really, when will someone just kick him in the gut when he does that stupid thing and end him for good? As for the match, it was fine, but easily the least cared for match on the show so far. Just below average. **


John Sparkz (Guest): Y2J vs Wyatt, I think the company isn’t doing the best job with Wyatt as of now. It’s the same story, same stipulation it seems every PPV. I don’t dislike Wyatt but I think he could be a huge villain. I’m really happy to see Jericho back because he is guaranteed a non disappointment most of the time, this time i was proven wrong.. The match pace seemed good until my Network again kicked out for a huge majority of the match. I don’t think i’m mad at that thought because when it turned back it It seemed pretty painful to watch. Wyatt needs to stop singing and focus more on cementing his place and legacy with the company. *

Stephanie McMahon def. Brie Bella

Rich Kraetsch: Hmm, this was more of a match than I thought it was going to be but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I actually enjoyed this a lot and Stephanie may be my Observer Awards Best Heel, she’s so great. Brie showed some nice fire but she was a total non-factor here, this was all Stephanie. The Nikki turn was predictable but still done well. I’m not sure how the hell they’ll explain it and it may end up being a Russo-esque “turn just to turn” but I’m willing to give it a try. **1/2

Matthew Stewart: Very Russo, much pyro, so ballyhoo. They did a lot with a little here. I am routinely puzzled by how/why WWE insists on making Stephanie a “main eventer”, until I remind myself that these decisions go through her office. But it was pretty good with very little wrestling. I knew the heel turn was coming for Nikki, but what can you do? A perfectly acceptable little match. ***

Larry: Listen, Stephanie McMahon has been nothing short of awesome for the entirety of 2014.  She’s so smug and hammy.  Whether its white girl dancing and mouthing the lyrics to John Cena’s entrance music during the WWE2K15 cover reveal to everything during the Daniel Bryan v. The Authority angle to the getting arrested segment a few weeks ago…she’s been better than she’s ever been.  This program has been great, too.  All of the segments leading up to it, Steph has put Brie Bella on her back and carried this shit to some of the best segments over the past few weeks.  But, who wants to see these two in a match?  Not me.  Not you.  Not anybody.  And it doesn’t help that Stephanie comes to the ring in Chyna’s old ring gear.  Watching Stephanie’s transformation from cute, to pretty damn hot, to a little too leathery and oddly fit speaks to H’s taste in women.  Lets just say I really don’t want to look at his porn search history on his browser.  Anyway…this match was terrible and boring until the NIKKI BELLA HEEL TURN.  THAT HELLBOW *1/2

Rob McCarron: Best part of the match: The awesome forearm Nikki gave Brie. The worst part of the match: The fact it ended and Stephanie went off my TV screen. The build to this match had been excellent, and the match did not disappoint. From the first moment of Stephanie’s entrance, to the pedigree on Brie, to the McMahon celebration… they had the crowd 100%. Nikki turning was not a surprise, we just wondered if it would actually happen. It did. Brie walked out on her sister months ago, and now Nikki gave her the receipt. I’m not exactly excited for Nikki vs Brie matches, but we can think about that later. This match was great. ***

John Sparkz (Guest): Stephanie coming out in that leather outfit was good enough for me. I compare each of the Bella twins (still can’t remember which one is who) wrestling talent to a fish out of water.  The match was too much grappling and grunts but then again really, what do you expect from the two. Though Bri Bella attempting to dive through the ropes was kind of entertaining.  As the match progressed it did seem to get pretty good and my attention was back towards the wrestling and not Steph’s physical appearance. I feel like it was kind of too long though. Triple H coming out was kind of a surprise I guess, but the twins turning on each other was able to be seen a mile away. I’m only rating this a 3 because of Stephanie’s attire. ***

Roman Reigns def. Randy Orton

Rich Kraetsch: Look, I wasn’t going to like this match one way or another. I’m not into either guy, hate their offense, don’t understand the point of this feud, etc, etc. This was still not too bad and I liked the end but it was a standard Randy Orton match, few chin locks, Roman did his shit and it was over. The crowd was into the ending but the bulk of the match was a bit of a bore. Orton actually stepped up huge here and did his best to get a solid match out of Reigns. Nobody has been able to do it, Randy, don’t worry. Anyway, this was inoffensive and okay. **

Matthew Stewart: Roman Reigns doesn’t know how to pace a match yet. He doesn’t know how to sell like a babyface. He really doesn’t know how to tell a story. And those are all limitations they’re hoping don’t stop him from being the next “the guy”. It’s a hell of a gamble, and many before him failed with as much an opportunity. It took a hell of an effort out of Randy Orton tonight to get this match going, but by goodness he did it. I don’t think Reigns necessarily brought this match down so much as he didn’t do anything for me. But Orton’s ability to keep the match together — especially near the end — did the trick. I know that Orton is often criticized for being repetitive, but I think when called upon he usually delivers. And, quite frankly, I think he’s frequently involved in some of the better finishes in the WWE, even if it is a bit of a chore to get there. *** 1/2

Larry:  I walked in knowing this match was going to suck, and they didn’t disappoint.  The last guy I’d want Roman Reigns in the ring with at this stage in his development is Randy Orton.  I’d want nothing of Orton rubbing off on the next golden boy if he is supposed to be future top guy.  The next thing you’ll know, Reigns will go back to his ‘Thoroughbred’ gimmick and he’ll have horse like mannerisms, like gaiting, kipping, and shaking his head like flies are bothering him.  There were a few cool spots in this match, but it was another boring Orton match.  Roman Reigns should be the WWE’s Mr. Get My Shit In (sorry, Brian Cage), because that is all he really does at this point.  I act surprised.  **

Rob McCarron: This match began as most Roman matches begin. This match also began as most Orton matches begin. So, with these two, it wasn’t a surprise. We had a slow start. Like most Orton matches, and most Roman matches, we had a very exciting final few minutes. Enough so to make me forget about the blah that was the first 10. I fully bought the Orton RKO out of the Superman Punch counter as a finish. So, WWE got me there. Good work all around, and the crowd was hyped for the Reigns win. Reigns does need to cut his hair shorter, though. Yeah, that’s my critique. Slightly above average match. **3/4

John Sparkz (Guest): Roman Reigns is trying to make his climb up the latter to the belts. If the belts were split up he would probably be Heavyweight Champion.  The belt unification is working against him, but he is really doing well with the pushes and matches he is getting now. But he has to secure his face role with the crowd. Orton is a polished veteran so the feud with him is really good for experience and pushing (not that Reigns really needs pushing at this point). I don’t know if my 9.99 a month audio was cutting in and out during the match but the crowd (and commentating) seemed to lose some interest at times which seems to be a regular affair these days.  Orton seems to always be losing the battle with breaking tables but the top rope maneuvers from both really made things more interesting.  The ending spear was great for a must win for Reigns. ***

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Brock Lesnar def. John Cena (c)

Rich Kraetsch: All the stars, all of them, I don’t want them anymore, I don’t need them anymore. This was perhaps the finest booking WWE has ever done because it was simple and when it was done you knew EXACTLY what the point was. This was a work of art, professional wrestling at its simplest and its finest. Brock completely decimated Cena and looked like an unstoppable killer. Cena looked vulnerable and couldn’t hang. All you did here was make Brock Lesnar into a bigger star without sacrificing a thing. God this was perfect, bravo WWE for not trying to outsmart yourselves. This was so, so, sooooo good I’m going to watch it again. The perfect way to cap off what may be the best SummerSlam of all-time. *****

Matthew Stewart: This is unlike anything the WWE has done in 3 or 4 years. And it was beautiful. ****1/2

Larry: When John Cena finishes his career, his match with Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules 2012 will go down as one of Cena’s finest examples of how good of a wrestler he was.  Cena has had quite a few legitimately great matches in his portfolio, but his best were against the likes of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.  But when you see Cena put on a legitimate ****1/2+ match with Brock Lesnar, who was out of wrestling for years, that is a statement match.  Leading up to this one, Heyman sold the match like only Heyman can.  He even referenced back to the match at Extreme Rules and justified the loss by saying Lesnar still was battling diverticulitis.  Little shit like that sells guys like me.  They also had a fantastic little mockumentary like deal on the WWE Network earlier in the week building the match.  Needless to say, I was Mojo Rawley hype for this match.  They open up HOT HOT HOT, and 30 seconds in, Lesnar hits the F5.  If I were fantasy booking this thing, I would have finished this match right there.  The crowd went bonkers.  That shit would have sold the Network.  You ain’t seein Lesnar anywhere else but these big events, and there would definitely be an aura around the guy.  After that moment, it gets ‘methodical’.  Cena eats Lesnar’s stiff offense, including two dozen belly-to-back suplexes like a champ.  Despite a few flurries by Cena, Lesnar destroys him for 15 minutes.  Straight squash.  It was morbidly entertaining to me.  Plenty of unintentional comedy, to boot.  This is how you build a guy up to be SPECIAL EVENT ONLY.  You want to see Lesnar lose to somebody?  PAY.  ****1/2

VoicesofWrestling.com - WWE SummerSlam 2014Rob McCarron: It is not hyperbole to say this was the greatest, and maybe most meaningful, squash match in the history of WWE. Brock Lesnar came in, destroyed the champion, and proved this year fully that he is the toughest man in WWE. They’ve set themselves up perfectly to make the next big star when somebody defeats him. I would have given this match 5 stars if Brock won with the first F-5 within a minute. It didn’t go downhill from there. Brock Lesnar, 16 german suplexes later, wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the best match of a great event. The only thing keeping me from rating this a perfect match, is the back and forth. Back and forth, however, would have made this particular match not quite as good. Tough match to rate in that regard. For now, I’ll give a super high, but not perfect, rating. Phenomenal match, though, and awesome show.  ****1/2

John Sparkz (Guest): I still don’t fully hate Cena yet, but I like Brock more.  Cena’s usual entrance with his towel and super serious facial expressions almost put me to sleep. I still can’t decide who I think is going to win and match is just starting. I’m hoping for a Cena win/Rollins cash in. Wow! F5 right off the starting bell that is what these matches need, less predictable more action.  I like the Brock sided start of the match, it kind of takes away from the “Super Cena” outlook that’s been going on.  But let’s note my 9.99 a month kicked out again, but when it came back on Brock was still kicking ass which was great to see!  But of course Cena has to come out of nowhere with a STF which I thought was going to end in a 5 moves of doom to pin victory, but I’m actually very very happy Lesnar won by total domination. *****