WWE will hold its 26th annual SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV) on Sun., Aug. 18, 2013, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, the fifth consecutive year the company has run that particular venue for what it calls "the biggest party of the summer."
We're officially two weeks out from showtime, and the current match card looks like this:
- John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE championship)
It's finally happening: Bryan is getting his shot to headline a major PPV with the biggest wrestling promotion in the world against its biggest star. They got there by having newly named Monday Night Raw General Manager Brad Maddox tell Cena he could choose the man he wanted to defend his title against next. So the champion took to asking the WWE Universe who they wanted to see him opposite and support for Bryan was overwhelming. The choice was clear and it was made without hesitation, a plan that has reportedly been in place for months now. So far, the build has centered around Cena putting Bryan over as a legitimate top star and WWE trying to make sure everyone is on board with that thought process. As of late, dissension has been teased but tension isn't very high just yet.
- CM Punk vs. Brock Lensar
Combine this match with the aforementioned Cena vs. Bryan WWE title bout and it makes SummerSlam this year a must buy event. Paul Heyman has been used to create tension between the two. Heyman turned on his best friend, siding with his personal pet beast who he can control -- mostly -- in lieu of the renegade he cannot. In response to his betrayal, Punk essentially turned into The Punisher and is out to destroy anyone and everyone who played any part in his business recently. The program is heating up in a big way and the story has already produced one of the best Raw segments in recent memory. Hopefully the best is yet to come.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian (World heavyweight championship)
This match was made official after last night's (Aug. 2) episode of SmackDown. That show featureed Christian defeating Rob Van Dam and Randy Orton in a triple threat match for number one contender status. That came on the heels of his defeating Del Rio in a non-title match on Raw. It's not exactly the hottest program WWE could go with here, but there aren't a ton of options available at this point.
- Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes*
Although it hasn't been made official just yet, it is the direction the promotion is headed. It all started when Sandow turned on Rhodes to win the Money in the Bank world heavyweight title contract last month. Since then, Rhodes has been out for blood, first attacking his former friend and tag partner outright before stealing his briefcase and chucking it into the Gulf of Mexico. Now it's Sandow who is teetering on the brink. Much more to come.
That's the card so far, Cagesiders.
*Rumored but not official