During a recent episode of the ARN Podcast, Arn Anderson covered SummerSlam 2015. Throughout the show, he talked about Jon Stewart interfering in the Winner Takes All Match between John Cena and Seth Rollins, and he also talked about Roman Reigns being booed by the fans during his match. Anderson also mentioned how Dolph Ziggler is viewed as more of a “Star maker” than a “Star” for the company.
“Well I don’t think they would admit that, but in the back of their mind, they probably believe that. He has fallen into that terrible, terrible void of, ‘man, he’s a hell of a hand’, ” Anderson said. “Which in our business, is a compliment to the boys. When the office says it, it’s the kiss of death, which means your job is a star maker, you’re not a star.
“Dolph Ziggler could have a job for the next 15 years probably, if he wanted it, because he is that good, and he knows his job, and he can go out have a great match with anybody. But the fact of the matter is, it was up until the time he won the world title and after that. Now, if you really are a hell of a hand, you’ll be there as long as you want to be, but that’s what that is, and that’s where Dolph is positioned. It’s a d–n shame, because, man, he’s really, really good.”
Prior to the main event match of Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker, Kevin Owens faced Cesaro in a match where Owens won after 14 minutes. Anderson talks about being a fan of Cesaro, and how he hates how he’s treated in WWE. He also talked about Owens losing two of the three matches to John Cena throughout their feud in 2015.
“Well, you know, I’m a fan of Cesaro but I think everybody in that arena knew he was there to do the favor [to Owens],” Anderson said. “It’s just a shame that Cesaro hadn’t been treated better because he is a spectacular performer. Kevin, again, I think if you go back to the trilogy of Kevin with John Cena, Kevin should have probably won all three of those matches.
“After seeing what I saw the first match, which was him doing some really dominant stuff and going over, I think if I checked my record books, he lost the next two, which hurt him. They cheered the guy like an enormous babyface, and maybe that was partially because he was with John, but you should have taken what you saw and just put the hammer down on it and go with the guy.”
Anderson also talked about the positioning of this match on the card being the match before the main event. He said this match suffered from the fans excitement for the main event, and them having sat here for over 3 hours waiting for it.
“I got a feeling at this point in the night, they are so late, so deep into that 4-hour show, people were just getting tired and they wanted to see Taker and Lesnar,” Anderson said. “I think those guys just fell victim of that. If there was a bit of a lull or just a little bit of the people looking at their watches, and they’re just going down, ‘We’ve been here for a long time’. Because you’ve got to remember, they all got there at a minimum of probably an hour before the show. So, now we’re going into the 5th hour, and if you got there earlier than that, it’s even more time.
“Audiences get tired, and sometimes, the reaction you get on a match is based on how tired the crowd is. I think that might have had an effect on this particular match, but I’m sure for guys like you and I, Conrad, that are just sitting there watching the quality instead of listening to the pops, we would have loved it.”
Anderson continued to talk about Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar in the main event. He talked about Taker constantly over analyzing his performances throughout each of his matches, and talks about how rare some one like Brock Lesnar is for wrestling.
“I think that Undertaker, more than anybody in the industry, looks at his performance every single night, and no matter how good it is, even if it’s perfect and sees it, that it could have been a little bit better,” Anderson said. “He’s one of those guys. The reason he’s so respected is he self-analyzes every performance, he works as hard as any man alive to get ready for a match on his own time, he puts thought into what the history of the match is, what has happened before that match, so he can somehow tie that into a story.
“I think Lesnar is one of those rare beats that only come along every 15-20 years, even if that and he’s just an animal. And for those guys to go out and give up their body as they do for a match like this is to be commended for everybody involved, to be respected by every piece of talent that’s sitting there watching it… It’s as real as anything can possibly be, short of a knife fight in a bar fight setting, being completely legitimate.”
Anderson continued to mention how rough this match really was between the two future WWE Hall of Famers. Arn says the match felt real and legitimate, which is something that’s truly hard to do.
“I mean, these guys pounded each other, beat each other, bump each other, slug each other. Everything is so close to the vest that it’s one of those rare opportunities that you see in this business that is as close to being 100% real as it could possibly be. So, my hat’s off to both of them. What an effort. The fans are the recipients, and just an incredible performance and a hell of a way to cap off the night.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit ARN Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.