WWE SummerSlam match card preview: Rob Van Dam vs. Dean Ambrose

WWE.com

The singles title holder of The Shield looks to retain his belt against the returning hardcore legend in the Kickoff match airing live and free via the internet.

United States Championship

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. RVD

It came together at the last second, and since it's not "Andre the Giant's ghost", the United States Champion probably thinks he's a lock to keep his strap. But Mr. Monday Night didn't come back to WWE and wade through 19 other men to go down without a fight now.

The Road to SummerSlam

Rob Van Dam has been turning heads since his return to WWE last month at Money in the Bank. Not necessarily with victories - he didn't emerge from the main event at the last pay-per-view (PPV) with the red briefcase, and likewise came up short in a triple threat match to determine the #1 contender on Smackdown. But his match quality has been outstanding and he's worked strong matches with competitors from Chris Jericho to Randy Orton, Wade Barrett to Fandango.

In his role with the red, white and blue belt, Dean Ambrose has done...well, not much. Since winning the strap from Kofi Kingston at Extreme Rules, he has only defended it against Kingston and Kane on the main roster (he also wrestled Adrian Neville on NXT with the title at stake). He's continued to perform with his allies Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, in matches that end in losses as often as they end in wins, but the Hounds of Justice usually stand tall with their fists locked regardless.

The Whole F'n Show has momentum on his side, having just won a 20 man battle royal on Raw to earn this spot and then defeating Ambrose and company last night on Smackdown, along with Mark Henry and Big Show. All that Dean has on his side is some rumored backstage heat, and, of course, his boys in The Shield...

What's at stake?

The US title. A hot opener, sending a message that RVD's comeback is for real and that it's not worth squandering Ambrose's potential on either lack of creative direction or maintaining locker room power structures.

A PPV payday may also be on the line for the tag team champions and Van Dam's partners from Friday night, Henry and Show. The extended time slot for the Kickoff show might leave room for a second match to be made should the first one end due to Shield-terference. Teddy Long might not be in power, but maybe the host of SummerSlam has always wanted to say "playa"?

Should be a good match and the price is right - be sure to watch the Kickoff show right here at Cageside Seats as RVD and Dean Ambrose get The Biggest Party of the Summer started!

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