Monday, August 15, 2011

WWE SummerSlam Review

Hello everyone. Another great show from the WWE. When was the last time the WWE pulled off two good shows in a row?

Let me start by saying I watched most of the show with no volume. I was at a friend's house doing a fantasy football draft at the time. I only turned the volume up when there was somebody other than the announcers talking. I also occasionally turned it up to hear the crowd reactions. And from what I've read, it's a good thing I did this because apparently Cole & Booker T were just as unbearable as ever.

Anyway, on to the review!

Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, and Kofi Kingston defeated Miz, R-Truth, and Alberto del Rio: **
-One of the two matches I called in my preview. They really needed to get all 6 of these guys on the card somehow, and it was the best way possible to do it. I thought for sure John Morrison was going to take the fall here and continue his losing streak, but it was nice to see him come out on the winning end here. Rey Mysterio didn't do a lot of work here. With his knee still a bit banged up, they wanted to save him as much as possible for his WWE Championship match tomorrow night. Kofi Kingston looked good here again. He's been on his game the last few weeks. I really love that flying crossbody he does from the top rope. He gets some good air on it. Miz lacked the same intensity he had on RAW. R-Truth was just as crazy as ever. The finish came after Mysterio got the hot tag. He went for a double 619 on Miz & Truth but Del Rio blocked it. Kofi and Morrison then hit flying moves to the outside on Miz and Del Rio, then Rey hit the splash on Truth in the ring for the win. It was a fun match that served its purpose of getting the crowd into the show.

Backstage, C.M. Punk was with John Laurinaitis. Johnny wanted an apology from Punk, so Punk gave him a mock apology before he walked off. He turned around to see Stephanie McMahon. Steph wished him luck. Punk told her to run along and talk to her husband, and say hi to her dad too. Steph said she spoke to both of them. Steph said but she's just an idiot right? Punk said she said that, he just called her clueless. Stephanie extended her hand, but Punk told her to take it back because he knows where that hand has been. BURN.

Mark Henry defeated Sheamus via countout: **
Even though I thought Sheamus could have used the win here, this was one of the best possible finishes they could come up with. Both men looked strong early in the match. Sheamus hit a nice shoulder tackle from the ropes for a two. Sheamus missed his Brogue Kick, but reset and hit it the second time, knocking Henry to the floor. Henry regained control on the outside. He picked up Sheamus then smashed him into the ring post, and through the barricade at ringside. Henry went back into the ring as Sheamus crawled, trying to make it back before the ten count. He was unable to, which gave Henry the countout win.

Like I said, this ending worked for both men. From what I could tell, it looked like the crowd was into Sheamus the whole time. It gives Sheamus some sympathy babyface heat because he looked strong in defeat. Henry continues to look dominant and appears to possibly be next in line for a World Title shot. These two worked their asses off to put on a good match and they delivered a respectable one. Couldn't have asked for anything else.

Ce-Lo Green performed. Bathroom break time for me.

Kelly Kelly defeated Beth Phoenix to retain the Divas Championship: *1/2
This was actually a very respectable Divas match. Kelly did her part here of bumping around for Beth. Beth dominated the match for the most part. Beth went for the Grand Slam to finish the match, but Kelly rolled her up to pick up the win in an upset. Beth sold frustration in the ring as Natalya tried to calm her down. Kelly left with the title and Eve. Like I said, not bad at all. Plus, now Beth can win the Divas Title when she comes back here to Buffalo for Night of Champions in September!

Backstage, R-Truth was talking to Jimmy Hart about conspiracies. Hart tried to convince Truth to let him be his manager. Truth said Jimmy could take him to the top. Then he flipped out about Jimmy and Little Jimmys. Truth turned to his opposite side and said "What are you looking at?" The camera revealed Ron Artest, or Meta World Peace.

Wade Barrett defeated Daniel Bryan: **3/4
This was probably Wade Barrett's best match since his bout with John Cena at last year's Hell in A Cell. Just great action from these two who certainly work well together. It really looked like a lot of Bryan's kicks came off stiff during the match. But Barrett was a bare knuckle brawler, so he can take it. Bryan hit a nice running knee to the jaw on the floor. Back in the ring, Bryan made a nice counter into the LaBell Lock, but Barrett made it to the ropes in time. Barrett crotched Bryan on the top rope, then hit a flying clothesline. He hit Wasteland in the ring for the win. Barrett picks up a big win on PPV, which will help to start to build his stock back up. Bryan could have used the win here, but they still have plenty of time to build him up to the main event level before Wrestlemania. I really hope these two go at it again. It'd be interesting to see what they could do if given another 5 minutes or so.

Before the World Title match, Christian introduced his surprise: Edge. Edge said when he left, he cracked the door open for Christian and Christian broke through. But even though it was unfair Christian had to defend the title five days after he won it, he started whining and continued to whine. Edge said while he did some bad things, he didn't whine and hide behind some lawyers. Edge said he didn't think his friend would become a whining, crying little bitch. He put the mic down and left. Christian sold shock and disappointment. Kind of weird to see Christian buried like that by Edge, and that Edge would agree to that.

Randy Orton defeated Christian in a No Holds Barred Match to win the World Title: ****1/2
Orton went for the RKO on the table early, but Christian got away and tried to escape through the crowd with the World Title. Orton caught him and they brawled a bit. Christian regained control and introduced a kendo stick into the match and used it on Orton. Orton hit a mid-air dropkick on Christian. Outside, Orton dropped Christian on the ring steps. Orton brought two tables out from underneath the ring and put one in the ring. Orton suplexed Christian onto the flat table in the ring for only a 2 count. Both men countered out of each other's finishers before going outside where Orton threw Christian into the steps. Then, on the Spanish announce table, Christian mocked Orton before going for the RKO. Orton, blocked it and hit the RKO himself, FINALLY breaking the table.

After a few minutes of selling, both men crawled into the ring. Christian hit the Unprettier but only scored a two count. Christian got two chairs and set up Orton for a Conchairto. Christian spit in Orton's face, but Orton moved out of the way of the chair shot. Christian went to the apron, but Orton jabbed him with the chair and he fell to the outside through a table set up there. Orton through the steps and other weapons into the ring. He powerslammed Christian through a table set up in the corner. Orton then gave his middle rope DDT to Christian on a trash can. Orton set-up for the RKO, bit Christian hit him with the kendo stick. Christian went for a Sunset flip from the middle ropes, but Orton RKO'd him on the steps to pick up the win. Similar finish to their first match but without the steps. Orton celebrated as Christian was carried off by officials.

I REALLY liked this match. On one viewing a piece, I liked this match better than Cena/Punk. Orton and Christian have a great chemistry together. It appeared that this may have been the last match in the series, and it's a shame because these two work well together. It also means that Christian's main event run has more than likely come to an end. Now I have nothing to back this up, but that's just the felling I got. Both of these men worked their asses off the last four months to keep this feud interesting. Christian got the best out of Orton just when it looked like Orton was back to his boring, stale old self. I do question the booking of this, however. I would have liked to see Christian retain here and carry the belt to Hell in A Cell, where these two would have the blow off. Plus, it's more fun and there's more money involved with faces chasing the heel for the title. Seeing Orton with the World Title again does nothing at this point. But it was a great match, in my opinion the best of the series.

Backstage a camera caught Stephanie McMahon and HHH having a conversation. HHH didn't like what he heard and walked away displeased.

They did a NFL Films type video package to recap the Cena/Punk/HHH/Vince McMahon angle. Awesome video package as usual from the WWE.

C.M. Punk defeated John Cena to become the Undisputed WWE Champion: ****
Punk came out first to a good set of cheers from the male audience. Cena got his usual mixed response, although I thought I heard more booing than cheering. I turned up the volume here to see what the responses for both men would be like. The two did some basic mat work only on. Cena went for his traditional shoulder tackles but Punk countered with a knee to the gut. Cena went for his sit down powerbomb but Punk countered with a knee to the head then another on the ropes. Punk went for a neck submission, but Cena countered into an STF attempt. Punk countered into the Anaconda Vice. Cena countered into an STF. Punk countered into an Anconda Vice. Cena countered into the STF, but Punk got to the ropes and to the outside. GREAT sequence. Punk dumped Cena to the outside, then Punk hit a suicide dive. Triple H got to 9, but stopped counting and threw both men back into the ring.

Both men got back to their feet and exchanged punches and kicks. Cena hit a nice dropkick then the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Punk. He went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Punk countered into a roll up for 2. A couple of pin counters before Punk kicked Cena in the head for 2. Punk went for the GTS but Cena countered into a powerslam. Cena went to the top but Punk kneed him in the face. Punk hit a top rope bulldog for only a 2 count. Punk launced himself from the top but Cena locked in the STF. Punk got to the ropes. Cena went for the AA, Punk countered to a GTS attempt, then Cena countered to an AA and hit it, but only got a 2 again. Cena went for his top rope leg drop and missed, allowing Punk to hit the GTS but only for a 2. Punk then went to the top rope and hit a Macho Man elbow drop for a 2 count. Punk questioned HHH's count. Cena rolled up Punk for a 2. He hit Punk with punches. Punk eventually countered with a knee then a GTS for the 3, even though Cena's foot was clearly on the ropes after 1. Cena argued his case to Hunter who said he didn't see it. Punk celebrated on the announce table as Cena left in disgust. Punk worked his way back into the ring. HHH went to shake Punk's hand but he ignored it, so he raised Punk's hand instead.

Suddenly from out of nowhere, Kevin Nash was in the ring. He clotheslined Punk then hit his signature powerbomb before leaving. HHH failed to catch up to him. Alberto del Rio came out with a referee. He hit an enzuguria kick on Punk to score the 3 and leave WWE Champion as the PPV signed off with the announcers selling the chaos of what just happened.

Talk about chaos. Who would have thought Kevin Nash of all people would appear at the end of this show. Again, no idea where this angle is going. Both Cena and Punk have legitimate claims to rematches to the WWE Title. It probably leads to a triple threat, possibly a Fatal 4 Way with Rey Mysterio at Night of Champions. It delayed the inevitable HHH heel turn, which is a good thing because I now agree that doing that too early would kill this angle. It's building to a HHH/Punk match down the line, but that should be saved for a Wrestlemania type match. Of course what Kevin Nash's involvement is also remains to be seen. Did Del Rio hire him? Was it a plan  thought of by Stephanie McMahon and/or Vince? Did HHH really not know about it. So many questions remain.

Alberto del Rio leaving WWE Champ adds another piece to the puzzle. It follows the typical WWE tradition of having a mid-card heel who won MITB being thrust into the top spot rather than being built up: Miz, Jack Swagger, and Edge are all previous examples. Del Rio needs to make his case now to show he warrants the top spot. He's shown he can do it before, but he needs to get back to that point.

This was another great show as I said in the beginning. Two ****+ matches as your main events are good things. Both Christian/Orton and Punk/Cena have great chemistry together. The undercard was solid as well. I really enjoyed Bryan/Barrett and the story in the Mark Henry/Sheamus match. The opener got the crowd into the show, and hell, even the Divas Match was watchable. I could have done without the Ce-Lo Green performance and the commercials, but those are just minor complaints. I'm giving the show a solid 8.

SummerSlam falls at #2 on the PPV list of 2011.
1. Money in the Bank
2. SummerSlam
3. Elimination Chamber
4. Extreme Rules
5. Wrestlemania 27
6. Royal Rumble
7. Capitol Punishment
8. Over the Limit

Where Do We Go From Here?
Nobody should be bitching about Punk losing here. It was the best possible way for Punk to lose without losing any momentum. Punk will remain in the main event scene for some time and has a whole new can of worms to open up on Kevin Nash and Stephanie McMahon. And of course John Cena will be around the WWE Title scene too. The extent of Rey Mysterio's injury will determine if he is in the WWE Title picture.

On Smackdown, I would think this was the end of Orton/Christian. While I've also been liking Mark Henry's push, I'm kind of dreading a Henry/Orton match. But I don't think that happens yet. Night of Champions is usually all Title matches, so I expect a couple of multi-man matches there.

I guess this would be my predicted card:
WWE Title: Alberto del Rio vs C.M. Punk vs John Cena
World Title: Randy Orton vs Christian vs Sheamus vs Mark Henry
Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes vs Justin Gabriel
Smackdown MITB Briefcase on the Line: Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett
United States Title: Dolph Ziggler vs Alex Riley
Tag Team Title: McGillicutty & Otunga vs Miz & R-Truth vs Kofi & John Morrison vs Great Khali & Jinder Mahal
Divas Title: Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix

I left Rey Mysterio off the card because I feel like they will do an injury angle with him to save him for the Mexico tour in October.

Again, I thought this was a great show that just like MITB left a lot of questions unanswered.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow me on Twitter @JCWonka

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