Will SummerSlam live up to the hype?

summerslamNice salesmanship on the Brock Lesnar-Undertaker match headlining this weekend’s SummerSlam: “Too big for WrestleMania.”

Jon Stewart – yes, that Jon Stewart – is the host for the megaevent.

Stephen Arnell, who we are told is a TV star, and probably is, depending on your definition of TV star, will wrestle in a match.

ESPN is covering the event (with emphasis on the E in ESPN, no doubt).

WWE is, if not pulling out all the stops, you know, yeah, they’re doing a lot.

But will the 2015 version of SummerSlam live up to the hype?

It’s nice to see the buzz around the event. Normally WWE only goes this route with WrestleMania, but obviously having Jon Stewart, Stephen Arnell and ESPN in the house is an effort to appeal as much as possible to the mainstream.

Too often in the past when WWE tried to go mainstream, it meant adding elements to its shows that didn’t go over with its core consumers.

The card for the show would seem to foretell that we won’t see that happen this time around.

The top two matches on the card will promise plenty of old-school intrigue. Starting with the semi-main event, WWE champ Seth Rollins vs. United States champ John Cena, how this one ends up is anybody’s question. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that WWE merges the two titles around one of the two champs, though it would seem more likely that we’ll end up with some sort of schmozz ending involving a run-in or two that sets up the next feuds for each of the participants.

Then to the match that sells the show. I really have no clue on what WWE will consider what’s best for business with regard to the finish for Lesnar-Taker. An Undertaker win evens their series at a match each, and gives us the prospect of a rubber match down the line (WrestleMania 32?) to settle the score, while a Lesnar win perhaps puts him back into the WWE title picture.

The fun thing about both is that there is really no conventional wisdom on the finish for either of the big two. And down the card, you get Randy Orton-Sheamus, a tag match pitting the remnants of The Shield and The Wyatt Family, and a Kevin Owens-Cesaro match that will probably be the match of the show.

There really isn’t a bad match on the card – even the bout with Stephen Arnell has Neville, Stardust and King Barrett, all of whom are woefully underutilized by WWE, and we can hope will benefit from the exposure of having a TV actor in their match.

So to answer the question in the headline: SummerSlam should live up to the hype, and it’s good to see the show getting WrestleMania-level hype for the first time in a long time.

– Column by Chris Graham



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.