The debate about how WWE chose to end SummerSlam 2015 and prolong the feud between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker will probably go on for a long time - or at least until Raw tonight when they give us something else to rage/mark out over.
One of the Fallout videos from the August 23 show in Brooklyn features an interview with referee Charles Robinson, now central to this story due to his decision to
restart continue the match following Taker submitting because he didn't see the tap out.
Right now, it doesn't look like Creative will write in any conspiracy angle or additional controversy about The Dead Man being in cahoots with Robinson (those types of twists will likely be saved for the evening's other muddy ending, Jon Stewart intervening to help his nemesis Seth Rollins defeat John Cena - a story on which we've had silence since those three men left the ring last night).
This interview with long-time official - who is no stranger to getting involved in storylines dating back to his WCW run as heel referee and Four Horseman ally Lil Naitch - plays it about as straight as a big work like this can be played:
We're in the middle of the match, Brock...his shoulders go down, I go down for the count, I get a one...all of a sudden the bell rings. So apparently the timekeeper took it upon himself to ring the bell.
You know, first off, it's not his job to do that. I call for the bell - for when the match starts, and when it ends.
But I have to admit, after reviewing the footage, The Undertaker did tap out. But the match should have continued because I did not see that.
With the tap out, if would have seen it, that [a victory for Lesnar] is the way it would have been. But I didn't see it, and he [Paul Heyman]'s yelling, the crowd saw it, the crowd saw it...it doesn't matter what the crowd saw. It matters what I see. So there's nothing I can do about it now, that's the way the match ended.
It's an unique enough way to protect Lesnar and continue the story, I suppose, and the focus on "rules" doesn't bother me because WWE rewrites those as needed all the time (e.g. couldn't they change the decision based on replay a la Mike Chioda at Extreme Rules in 2013?).
No, my major gripe is that the second biggest show of the year ended with the announce team arguing about the timekeeper's job description.
Regardless, it's what they went with, and we're on to the next beat in the neverending story that is WWE. Here's hoping that, as when many of us were conflicted about the result of a previous Taker/Lesnar battle at WrestleMania 30, Paul Heyman can make the whole thing work tonight on Raw.
. @TheUncleScoopy You, My Good Sir, are the master of the overstatement of the obvious. Not happy one bit. Plan on venting a bit tonight.— Paul Heyman (@HeymanHustle) August 24, 2015
Any of this change your mind on the finish, Cagesiders - for better or worse? What do you hope Heyman says tonight?