Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Heel Turns: Lesnar changes landscape

Posted by Achilles Heel On August 24

SummerSlam’s main event was different than any main event in recent memory. Brock Lesnar simply beat the crap out of John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Lesnar dominated the match. With the exception of a few flurries, during which Cena hit an attitude adjustment and applied the STF, the match was a glorified squash.

Cena absorbed a brutal beating. According to WWE, Lesnar suplexed Cena 16 times. Lesnar hit two F-5’s, one about 30 seconds into the match and one to finish off Cena at the end.

Lesnar lived up to his reputation as a monster. Now, the question is what that means for WWE.

Lesnar ended the Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak in April. At SummerSlam, he dominated Cena as he’s never been dominated before in WWE. In fact, the Greek god of wrestling can’t recall such a one-sided main event or world championship match.

As I pointed out last week, Lesnar’s victory, particularly in this manner, reinforces his reputation as a virtually indestructible force. The question is who can beat The Beast.

It’s doubtful that Seth Rollins would try to cash in his Money in the Bank opportunity against Lesnar. Challengers could include large men such as Big Show and Mark Henry. Jack Swagger, if he hadn’t been buried so badly before being resurrected for his feud with Rusev, could have been a credible opponent for Lesnar because of his size and wrestling background. Randy Orton still never received his rematch after losing in a triple threat match at WrestleMania XXX, but it doesn’t make sense to put the devious Orton in a situation in which he would generate sympathy.

Although Lesnar adds to the credibility of the championship, there is a problem in having a part-time wrestler as champion. Unless Lesnar changes his limited schedule, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship would rarely be defended at house shows. Lesnar would defend the title at pay-per-views and, on a rare occasion, on RAW.

The benefit is that whoever beats Lesnar will receive a huge boost in stature. If Cena – who deserves a lot of credit for his willingness to take a lopsided beatdown at SummerSlam – comes back right away and defeats Lesnar at Night of Champions (Sept. 21), that would defeat the purpose of having Lesnar win at SummerSlam. It seems more likely that Lesnar is going to have an extended run as champion, possibly until WrestleMania.

Daniel Bryan could be facing additional surgery, but a win over Lesnar would enable him to recapture his magic. If Roman Reigns can retain his momentum, it’s possible he could be the one to vanquish Lesnar, which certainly would elevate him to the upper echelon. And don’t count out Undertaker returning to defeat Lesnar at WrestleMania in what could possibly be the Dead Man’s farewell.

It certainly will be interesting to see what happens with Brock Lesnar as champion. And isn’t creating interest the whole idea?


SUMMERSLAM SIZZLES: Brock Lesnar’s victory over John Cena wasn’t the only SummerSlam match that had people talking. As I wrote in while previewing SummerSlam in last week’s Heel Turns, this was not a one-match show. There were two other title changes, and there wasn’t a bad match on the card.

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose had one of the most creative lumberjack matches I can remember. The story in this match was that the lumberjacks couldn’t contain the intensity and hatred between the former Shield teammates. Rollins and Ambrose attacked the lumberjacks and brawled into the stands. In the end, Rollins took advantage of the distraction caused by a brawl involving all the lumberjacks and director of operations Kane to hit Ambrose with his Money in the Bank briefcase and win the match. Rollins smashed Ambrose’s head into cinderblocks the next night on RAW, giving Ambrose a few weeks off, but this feud is far from over.

Roman Reigns, the third former Shield member, prevailed in a terrific match with Randy Orton. A lot of the credit for this match should go to Orton, who was his customary flawless self in executing moves and building the match. The power slam and RKO Orton delivered to counter spear attempts by Reigns were things of beauty. Orton’s job was to make Reigns’ victory seem important. They both accomplished that goal.

Stephanie McMahon prevailed over Brie Bella when Nikki Bella turned on her twin sister. Everyone played their roles well, and Stephanie deserves extra credit for her performance after not having competed in the ring in a decade.

In another Divas match, Paige regained the Divas Championship from A.J. Lee. That title change followed the opening match, in which the Intercontinental title changed hands as Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz. Achilles heel wishes the title matches lasted a little longer, but they were both solid. Rusev beat Jack Swagger in an entertaining match, and then kicked Zeb Colter for good measure. The only match that didn’t live up to expectations was Bray Wyatt’s victory over Chris Jericho, but that wasn’t enough to ruin a very good SummerSlam.


GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS: We’ll start with the good news. In what has to be considered good news for TNA, it has reached agreement with Spike TV for Impact Wrestling to remain on the network through the end of the year. If Spike didn’t have any desire to keep TNA, there would be no reason to extend Impact through the end of the year, so there is some renewed hope for TNA to remain on Spike. Remember, Impact has moved to Wednesday night.

In related news, TNA has announced it will taping Impact episodes in Bethlehem (Pa., not Israel, you morons) from Sept. 16-19 at the Sands Bethlehem Events Center. Achilles Heel doesn’t think there is enough demand for four straight nights in the same city – ticket sales fell off for the third night during the recent tapings in New York – and there still aren’t live events in the United States beyond mid-September, but I’ll save the bad news for the next item.


GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS II: Now for the bad news. TNA continues to lose key personnel. Davey Richards, one half of the tag team champions, broke his tibia during a recent house show in Indiana, Pa. With the next few weeks of Impact already taped, TNA has some time to make a decision on whether to strip Richards and Eddie Edwards of the tag team titles.

The other potential personnel loss is Bully Ray. His contract is expiring, and there are signs that Bully Ray may not be back. Bully Ray has, arguably, been TNA’s most valuable performer that past year or two. Nobody in TNA is better at revving up the crowd than Bully Ray. For TNA’s sake, let’s hope Bully Ray’s days there are not over.


CHIKARA HAS SPIRIT: Wrestling fans in the Lehigh Valley will have the opportunity to witness plenty of action in September. TNA’s four-night stand in Bethlehem overlaps with CHIKARA’s King of Trios, which takes place Sept. 19-21 at the Palmer Center in Easton.

King of Trios is a three-night tournament to determine the best three-man team in CHIKARA. The first three teams announced for this year’s event include the defending champions: Frightmare, Hallowicked and UltraMantis Black (King of Trios wasn’t held in 2013 while CHIKARA was on hiatus). The Spirit Squad’s Kenny (Ken Doane), Mikey (Mike Mondo) and Johnny (Johnny Jeters) are reuniting for the event. The third team announced is Team U.K., which consists of Damian Dunne, Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews.


TRIVIA TIME: Which member of the Spirit Squad is still active in WWE?


BUSICK KEEPS TITLE: Biff Busick successfully retained the Combat Zone Wrestling World Championship on Saturday with a victory over surprise opponent Jake Crist at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J.


RING OF HONOR IN PHILLY: Ring of Honor will return to Philadelphia’s National Guard Armory on Jan. 24. No matches have been announced, but tickets are on sale now.

Ring of Honor has featured some terrific tag team matchups this month involving The Young Bucks, the Briscoes, tag team champions Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly and thea team of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.


WRONG RESULT: The Greek God of Wrestling usually shakes his head and laughs at misguided fans who complain that the “wrong” guy won a match. But WWE recently had an egregious example of the wrong side winning. On Superstars, the team of Heath Slater and Titus O’Neil lost to the team of Hornswoggle and El Torito. To make matters worse, Hornswoggle was dressed as a cow.

It was bad enough earlier this year when members of 3MB, including Slater, were jobbed out to El Torito as part of a feud between El Torito and Hornswoggle. But having Slater and O’Neil lose this match on Superstars, which isn’t even part of a feud, makes even less sense – if that’s possible.


TRIVIA ANSWER: The only member of the Spirit Squad still active in WWE is new Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler, who was Nicky in the Spirit Squad.


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