4 underwhelming finishes to personal WWE feuds
When it comes to WWE feuds, one of the most important aspects is the conclusion. The end of a rivalry can be what makes or breaks it.
Whether it’s a satisfying ending that is really the peak of a superb story, or a disappointing climax that risks deflating the entire rivalry, nailing the ending is absolutely vital.
There have been numerous examples of WWE feuds that really had fans on the edges of their seats but fell at the final hurdle. The personal animosity between the competitors was electric, and the company did everything right until it came down to finishing the story.
On that note, here are four personal feuds that had underwhelming endings.
#4. CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman suffered without Brock Lesnar
Truth time: cm punk vs brock Lesnar at summerslam is top 10 greatest matches in summerslam history. Especially with the storytelling involved paul heyman. Him managing both guys taking careers to next level. #cmpunk #brocklesnar pic.twitter.com/r8MrGsmi9v
— Wrestling_i240 (@WrestlingI240) March 27, 2022
After 11 months together, Paul Heyman turned on CM Punk at Money in the Bank 2013. The manager prevented his client from winning the match and left the Best in the World in a heap.
From there, the rivalry was electric and Punk’s encounters with Brock Lesnar really had fans eagerly anticipating their meeting. Lesnar was an excellent addition and helped make Heyman feel like a real threat to the Voice of the Voiceless.
The match between Punk and Lesnar at Summerslam 2013 was an absolute riot. It is one of the best in the event’s history and elevated the feud to another level. Lesnar won on the night, but was then nowhere to be seen as he took a hiatus from WWE.
The rivalry suffered from that point onwards, and the Beast’s replacements in the story – Curtis Axel and Ryback – were nowhere near as impressive. Punk regularly got the better of the stooges, and by the time the feud was brought to an end at Hell in a Cell 2013, the rivalry had really fallen out of favor with audiences.
The first few months of the feud was so entertaining, but it petered out by its conclusion. The Hell in a Cell match between Punk and Heyman wasn’t even enough to redeem it.
#3. Daniel Bryan’s feud with The Miz deserved a better conclusion
In a rivalry that spanned almost eight years, WWE did an excellent job building up Daniel Bryan’s animosity with The Miz. Fans were eager to see the two finally collide.
From their original rivalry back in 2010 when The Miz was Bryan’s NXT coach, the company built a long history highlighting their dislike for each other. Their hatred for one another even led to the best promo of The Miz’s career on Talking Smack.
When Bryan first returned from injury, a match with the former WWE Champion was inevitable, but for all the hard work the company did building the story, they failed when it came to the in-ring product.
From their underwhelming Summerslam match that The Miz won to the very poor meeting at Super Showdown where Bryan emerged victorious with a roll-up. The rivalry was so entertaining, but by the time it ended in Saudi Arabia, it left fans majorly disappointed.
#2. Edge vs. Matt Hardy was incredibly personal but had a lackluster ending
One of the most personal WWE rivalries of all time, Matt Hardy vs. Edge deserved a much stronger ending.
The pair were firmly embroiled in a bitter feud in 2005 after the real-life news that Edge was having an affair with Hardy’s girlfriend Lita transferred to the screen. Fans were behind Hardy every step of the way, and it was the overwhelming crowd support that led to him being brought back into the company after he was initially released.
The audience reactions to the feud were electric and WWE had something really special on their hands with this story, but failed to truly see it through. The pair’s first match at Summerslam, which Edge won, was not great.
From there, they had a further three meetings, with a Street Fight ending in a no contest and Hardy getting his only victory in a stellar Steel Cage match.
The final match of the rivalry was disappointing, though, with the Rated R Superstar once again coming out on top in a Loser Leaves Raw Ladder match. The feud suffered a disappointing conclusion as Hardy never got his vengeance.
#1. Dean Ambrose’s Hell in a Cell match with Seth Rollins was typical WWE
Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose in Hell in a Cell 2014 could have been a real slobber knocker as JR would put it. But half of it was spent on stretchers and the ending when Wyatt popped out was just…nope
— TheRantingMark (@TheRantingMark) May 22, 2020
Following the breakup of The Shield, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose embarked on one of the most electric WWE feuds in quite some time.
Every interaction between the pair was intense and fans were eating up everything they did on screen. For the most part, their matches delivered as well. The Lumberjack bout at Summerslam 2014 was incredible and exceeded most expectations.
Setting up their conclusion in a Hell in a Cell match should have brought about a very satisfying end to the story, but it just didn’t deliver. The match was fine for what it was, but Bray Wyatt’s eventual reveal, with his hokey hologram costing Ambrose the bout, fell flat with fans.
For a story that felt so gritty and real, having Wyatt’s outlandish antics play a part in the finale wasn’t the best way to close it out.