It has been revealed that The Lunatic Fringe has named the stipulation for his and Seth Rollins bout at Summerslam as a Lumberjack match. A lumberjack match dictates that there will be a group of flannel clad members of the roster, normally a mixture of heels and faces, that prevent either competitor in the match from running away; in this case, into the arms of his Daddy, Triple H. Although this prevents WWE’s darling boy, Mr Money in the sticky briefcase, Seth Rollins, from being able to escape Dean Ambrose’s clutches once again, normal rules apply in a lumberjack match and I imagine some to feel this quite the anti-climax after five days (for those who can resist spoilers) of imagining Seth and Dean throwing each other through tables, at the top of a ladder with the contract in one of their grasps or having satan’s structure lowered over them.
I personally have a more positive outlook on this result. Since THAT moment on RAW, which I can’t describe too indepthly for fear I will go misty eyed – but you know the one, with the chair – it has seemed like we have been waiting a lifetime for this clash, for Seth Rollins to get what is coming to him at the hands of our favourite alley cat. And then there was THAT moment at Battleground where we realised – holy moley, Dean really isn’t coming back – where we couldn’t have been blamed for thinking that they were whetting our appetite for a truly spectacular first meeting. Not that I don’t think that these two superstars can provide an amazing match up whatever the circumstances, considering their ability, chemistry and their previous matches at FCW, but it’s not quite the stipulation some were hoping for.
What you have to consider though is this. Think back to your favourite rivalries; Rock and Stone Cold, HHH and the Rock, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair. What did they all have in common? They all captivated audiences for years and resulted in many matches over a prolonged period of time. Take the Rock and Stone cold, their rivalry lasted over four years and three incredible Wrestlemania main events.
Because the raw feeling of sadness since The Shield’s split has alleviated slightly you might think it has been many moons since Seth Rollins’ shocking heel turn, but it hasn’t – it was little over two months ago, in the grand scheme of real sports entertainment rivalry, no time at all.
This stipulation, although limiting in its possibilities for the extreme violence at Summerslam we are all craving, is expansive in possibilities for the future. Like Seth Rollins said with regards to The Shield’s clean sweep over Evolution at Payback, once you are at the top, there’s nowhere else to go. If this feud began with a Hell in a Cell match, for example, where do you go from there?
Maybe they don’t need to go anywhere, you might say, maybe this could be their first and only clash, one big blow out to settle the score? It could be, but that would go completely against a character in Dean Ambrose that WWE have gone to lengths to preserve and promote. Although his quirky, eccentric personality is definitely organic, it is one that, if they had wished to, the brains in creative could have quashed very quickly – but they didn’t. And it would go against everything we know about Dean Ambrose to have us imagine that his insatiable thirst for revenge could be quenched after just one match.
So here we are, facing an underwhelming stipulation for a highly anticipated match at Summerslam, a seemingly wasted opportunity by Ambrose to get his hands on Seth Rollins’ most prized possession, but I beg you to not be disheartened and look beyond and see this as a beginning rather than an unsatisfactory ending. A beginning of years of endless possibilities for two exciting young superstars, future Hall of Famers, as they scramble over one another for ascent to immortalisation and that, is very exciting indeed.