The Match Up:
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose will face arch rivals Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper in a traditional tag team match at the 2015 SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV), which will be held in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Sunday, August 23, 2015. In a match billed as "Family versus Family", Reigns and Ambrose look to stop Bray Wyatt on his mission of destroying Reigns and everyone he loves.
The Road to SummerSlam:
If this were a preview for the WWE, the build would go back only a few short months to June's Money In the Bank pay-per-view, where Bray Wyatt cost Roman Reigns the Money in the Bank briefcase. Yes, this is when the CURRENT chain of events that lead to this match started. However, since this match also involves Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper, one has to go a little farther back to get the full history of these four men. How far back, you ask?
This was the aftermath of the Shield's match against CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in November of 2013, in which the Wyatts had interfered and the match was ruled a no contest. This is the first time Ambrose and Reigns came to blows with Harper and Wyatt. Sure, the tension blew over for a while. But, two months later, in January, the Wyatts interfered in yet another Shield match, costing the Shield three spots in an Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
Bray Wyatt took a little detour in being OWNED by John Cena and the Cenation to fight it out with the Shield in a feud that could be considered the feud of 2014, especially the earlier part of the year. The two stables had an epic battle at Elimination Chamber. That match was followed by two equally impressive bouts, one on RAW and another on Main Event.
Fast forward a few months and Seth Rollins goes all Traitorface on his brothers to side with the Authority. Ambrose and Reigns swear revenge. Reigns gets sidelined with a hernia. Ambrose gets taken out by Rollins, bringing their rivalry to a fever pitch. At Hell in a Cell, Ambrose gets exactly what he wants: Rollins locked in a Cell with no help from the Authority. Just as he is about to beat Rollins and put the nail in the coffin of his revenge story, guess what happens:
That is the image Ambrose saw just before Wyatt interfered in the match and cost Ambrose his revenge. Because he's a lunatic (at least that's how I explained it to myself), Ambrose quickly forgot his hatred for Seth and spent the rest of the year
feuding with losing to Wyatt, which culminated in an Ambulance match on RAW. Wyatt solidly won nearly every match against Ambrose without his followers, Harper and Erick Rowan, by his side as he just decided to "set them free".
Around this time, Reigns returned from his injury and was focused on winning the Rumble. He did, in fact, win, and go on to face Brock Lesnar for the WWE WHC at WrestleMania 31. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on who you ask), Reigns did not win as Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase during the match. He pinned Reigns and won the title and is the current champion. Ambrose was also at the event in a seven man Ladder match for the Intercontinental title but, it didn't go so well. He was out after Harper powerbombed him through a ladder.
This led to Harper versus Ambrose at Extreme Rules in a Chicago Street fight, which saw the two brawling to the back, into an SUV out of the arena, and then back to the arena in the same SUV to finish the match. Ambrose got his first pay-per-view win in a single's match against Harper, who quickly faded into the background. Ambrose would go on to seek the World Championship, now held by his nemesis Rollins. You might even say he won the title but was cheated out of it. And guess who was right by his side for all of that?
Reigns was by Ambrose's side when he attempted, and failed, to become WWE WHC, being completely selfless the entire time. Since Wyatt's attack on Roman at MITB, he was been harassing Reigns nonstop to the point where Reigns has just recently started winning matches again. In the beginning of the Reigns/Wyatt feud, Wyatt went for the shock value of introducing Roman's daughter as a potential target. That has since stopped and Wyatt has targeted Ambrose, who has been completely selfless in this situation, to get to Reigns.
When Reigns and Wyatt finally faced off at Battleground, last month, Harper appeared from out of nowhere to help his leader/master win the match, effectively reuniting the Wyatt Family. Since then, the four have gone at it on damn near every show. Wyatt still seeks to fulfill his "Anyone but you, Roman" motto of destroying everything Reigns has worked for. Roman and Dean just want to kick some backwoods ass, because they are pretty good at it. There was also something said about Harper being used by Wyatt and that bond will never be as strong as the "best friends for life" brothers.
These four are no strangers to each other. They have been battling back and forth since the fall of 2013 off and on in some form or another. Wyatt seems almost obsessed with Ambrose and Wyatt in a way, which he never really fully explains. And Harper just does whatever the hell Wyatt wants, because he feels like he needs Wyatt.
Not even going to pretty this one up. There are no stakes. It is just a match on the card that gives these four performers something to do. No matter who wins here, it is most likely that this feud will continue. There have been rumors of either Dean or Roman turning on each other, since their friendship is being played up so much, but those rumors have persisted for months now so I'm not buying them. If it does happen, I will pour out a little liquor for the death of Ambreigns, for my faith in any and all wrestling partnerships will die alongside it.
My word; it will be like finding out Santa Claus isn't real all over again.
What do you think, Cagesiders? Are you looking forward to Family versus Family, or at least a possible heel turn from either Ambrose or Reigns?
Also, this is MY main event for SummerSlam, thus the lengthy preview.
WWE SummerSlam airs on the WWE Network on Sunday, August 23, 2015 with a special start time of 6 pm central time. Join us here at Cageside Seats in the live blog.