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SummerSlam 2015: The Aftermath of Seth Rollins and John Cena

Pay-per-view events have a way of defining wrestling careers. Shawn Michaels in the Ladder Match with Razor Ramon for the intercontinental Title. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Brett Hart where he passed out in the Sharp Shooter. Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III.

Jon Stewart cost Cena his title match at Summerslam

This is why celebrities should never get involved in wrestling matches. Should we really be surprised that Jon Stewart, riding the wave of popularity since retiring from The Daily Show, turned heel and cost Jon Cena the match against Seth Rollins at SummerSlam?

The WWE has become a comedy of errors of sorts in writing endings to matches that mean something. Sunday night further proved at. After watching the chair shot to the gut by Stewart on the 15-time world champion, as I watched in disbelief, I immediately wondered if Vince Russo or Eric Bischoff were in the building of the Barclays Center.

This was a match that needed no help. This was the match – on a night filled with mediocrity except for the final three matches, which could easily have been the best of the lot offered to the fans in attendance and in their homes watching on the small screen.

Once again, the WWE had to ruin a good thing.

Seth Rollins, despite the ending and the awkward performance of Stewart, proved he is the best of the current lot of WWE superstars. He proved he did not need The Authority, or his security detail or Kane coming out of the back to make the save. Rollins saved some of his best work to date for SummerSlam, the four-hour extravaganza that had to deliver.

The current WWE World Champion – and now the United States Champion – did just that. Rollins delivered an A+ performance.

Pay-per-view events have a way of defining wrestling careers. Shawn Michaels in the Ladder Match with Razor Ramon for the intercontinental Title. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Brett Hart where he passed out in the Sharp Shooter. Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III.

Cena is still 1 short of Flair’s reign

Take it a step further, and Sting answered the bell in 1988 at Clash of the Champions versus Ric Flair. They were all moments of greatness. This might not have been Rollins’ best match, but it was the most memorable because he took the WWE’s leader to the limit and showed Cena and the rest of the wrestling world he was an equal in the ring. Not many can say that about being in a match with Cena. Edge, Randy Orton, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan come to mind. There are others, but add Rollins to that short list. I would go further and say on Sunday night, Rollins – who has been a work in progress as a “single” champion – was better than the man the company has relied on for more than a decade to bring in money and sell merchandise.

Now that there is controversy regarding how Rollins held on to his strap and took the strap that meant the world to Cena, there are 26 days to figure out how the WWE wants Night of Champions to play out.

I doubt seriously there will be a finish like the one we saw two nights ago.

Does this also mean that Rollins will further distance himself from Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, or does the power couple get involved in this feud – the one Cena tried to make personal?

Given the fact Cena has been working longer matches of late and longer programs with other WWE superstars (Rusev, Bray Wyatt), the chances are Rollins could be even better in the upcoming pay-per-view events.

This is a benefit for the company and the fans who hope there is as much drama in Houston next month. And if the plan for an extended program goes as expected, Cena may be reaching for both straps without being able to grab them.

At least Ric Flair’s record is safe for now.

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