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

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