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Mr. Tito's PHAT WWE SummerSlam 2013 Review - Full Match Thoughts, Ratings, and Historical Analysis
By Mr. Tito
Aug 19, 2013 - 12:21:16 AM
The almost daily week continues as I, Mr. Tito, am back for my SummerSlam 2013 Review. The nice thing about buying the shows off of Comcast is that they give you a replay of the show immediately afterward so my thoughts on the Pay Per View could be revised as I write this post-show column.
My expectations of this show heading in were for Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk to deliver, Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena to hopefully deliver, but feeling "whatever" about the midcard. What I got was Lesnar vs. CM Punk delivering 2013's MATCH OF THE YEAR, Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena being in the top 5 for Match of the Year and Bryan got a clean win over Cena (finish with Randy Orton was interesting), and several midcard matches panning out. I mean damn, Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian was really good... We are seriously talking about an ALL TIME GREAT SummerSlam here and I need more viewings of this show to consider its place in history. Maybe next year, I could rank the Top 25 SummerSlams, although my memory of this isn't as strong as it is for Wrestlemania.
Anyway - enough introduction fluff, as I have to work in the morning... Onto the review!
SUMMERSLAM 2013 is TITO
I enjoyed the Pre-Game show with the roundtable of Josh Matthews, Vickie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, and Booker T. WWE is heading in the right direction with this to resemble a real sporting event, although they lack anyone controversial on that panel to make it really interesting. Good to have Shawn Michaels there.
Pre-SummerSlam Match: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
This match had very contrasting styles not just from in-ring abilities, but from generations of wrestlers as well. RVD has been around forever now, you know, back when ECW still existed... Dean debuted in 2004. I enjoyed the match, as they worked well together and Ambrose played the heel especially well. I'd argue that this was his best effort yet as United States Champion. The Shield tried to interfere but Big Show and Mark Henry also came down. Just when you thought RVD would become US Champion, Roman Reigns slipped into the ring for the nWo run-in finish for a DQ. Considering this was not supposed to be a Pay Per View match, it did more than its job. I enjoyed it.
Winner: Rob Van Dam via Disqualification. RATING: ***
The Miz was the host of the show and he pretty much did nothing. My brother-in-law had the best line of the night... "I really don't mind when Miz does things like this... That means he's not wrestling on the show". OUCH. To ensure that backstage favorite Fandango gets a cut of the SummerSlam payoff, he comes out and dances for no apparent reason. Miz and Fandango would have another segment later... Whatever, just get on to the show.
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt in a Ring of Fire Match
During the pre-game, the WWE crews were setting up the "Ring of Fire" around the ring... I made the pun on Twitter that this would be the "hot" opener... Well, it wasn't. The Wyatt Family is all entrance and no substance in the ring. Cool entrance with the music and the lights out, but this is still a pro wrestling company. If you can't fascinate fans in the crowd, you won't succeed. Their matches so far have bored fans and Bray Wyatt's debut was a flop. He looked very green inside that ring with Kane. Not only that, he didn't look like an actual wrestler. He wore white pants and his own WWE licensed Bray Wyatt shirt with cutoff sleeves. His gut was bouncing up and down in that shirt throughout the match. The actual "Ring of Fire" gimmick was actually cool and was the only thing that kept my interest in the match. When the wrestlers would slam to the canvas, the fire would shoot up. The followers had to use, according to Jerry Lawler (LOL), the "Asbestos Blanket" to cover part of the fire and enter the ring to attack Kane and help Bray Wyatt win.
Winner: Bray Wyatt. RATING: 1/2*
Afterward, the Wyatt Family tried to smash Kane's head with the steel steps but the opening in the stairs were clearly not going to cause Kane harm. Certainly, it's early to call this, but I'm already seeing utter trends of failure not only with the Wyatt family gimmick, but possibly the wrestler as well. Didn't impress me with his in-ring work as as Husky and he didn't impress me with a veteran who has made many wrestlers look good in Kane tonight. What on earth where some of you watching on NXT???
Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes
I thought this match delivered and will serve to help Damien Sandow more than it will Rhodes. Sandow had heat with his opening comments but he seemed to have an edge to him tonight in terms of his aggressiveness against Rhodes. Rhodes hit some nice spots but the psychology wasn't there for him. It was there for Sandow in what I'm calling his most complete match yet. Rhodes won with his Cross Rhodes finisher, which was also the finish to the Kane/Wyatt match just moments earlier. I like that Rhodes won the match because Sandow can keep chasing his former partner in what can now be a more credible feud with a good match under its belt. After the match, as Cody celebrated, Sandow grasped his Money in the Bank briefcase. Next step is for Sandow to get desperate for a rematch and boldly offer that briefcase as collateral.
Winner: Cody Rhodes. RATING: ***
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Christian for the World Heavyweight Championship
This was the surprise match of the night, as it was expected to be decent but it was quite incredible. I personally thought that Alberto Del Rio proved WHY the McMahons, particularly Vince, loves him. He's a beast inside that ring. There is rarely a Del Rio match that bores me. He has a capable moveset and does have psychology, like working on Christian's shoulder tonight to set up the finish, but the problem remains with how the WWE Creative team overpushes the guy instead of being patient. Too many character changes and wrong timing on delivering a World Title to him. Del Rio was super aggressive towards Christian tonight and Christian took that offense like a man. Del Rio, himself, was banged up heading into the match and added more bruising and a bloody nose tonight. Just listen to the fans... Both Christian and Del Rio made the World Heavyweight Title seem very credible tonight. Congrats to both.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio. RATING: ****
I wonder what Alberto Del Rio's speech afterward was about? Is Del Rio attempting a Bret Hart 1997 gimmick where he's loyal to his home country and people while hating Americans? Bret Hart did have a backstage segment with Del Rio a while ago...
Natalya vs. Brie Bella
I can now tell the Bellas apart and you can easily by watching this match. The "enhanced" Bella is Nikki, while the non-thumb spraining Bella was the one wrestling in this match, Brie. That's why Bryan locks in the YES! Lock so tight... His thumbs aren't getting sprained. Enough terrible Wierd Science references about breasts... This match sucked ass and I'm glad to have the Bellas have smokin' hot outfits to watch just to get me through it. What the hell was Brie Bella doing by trying that submission hold not once, not twice, but three times??? To my disappointment, no "Twin Magic", as Natalya actually gets the clean Pay Per View win by making Brie tap out to the Sharpshooter.
Winner: Natalya. RATING: *
The Ryback backstage segment with the catering table was stupid. WWE has completely killed that character and that wrestler's future. Ohhhh, he's bullying someone with food backstage. That hasn't been done before!
Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk - No Disqualification Match
Let me call it right now... MATCH OF THE YEAR for 2013. Holy mother of God. I was expecting a great match, given that both are capable of something special and they are probably communicating this match well together with input from Paul Heyman. But to have my mind blown... I particularly liked the psychology of CM Punk of using striking moves to attack Lesnar, as it would take some kind of offense like that to fend off a grappler as dangerous as Lesnar. Brutal chairshots in this match. No doubt in my mind that CM Punk will be especially sore with the way Lesnar tossed him around, but also for the devastating use of the foreign objects. Loved the use of Paul Heyman in this match, trying to interfere for Lesnar. It worked just enough it will add to the psychology of a rematch (like going oldschool and putting Heyman in a cage above the match!). Deadly F5 on the chair to end the match. Officially becomes my 2013 Match of the Year frontrunner and I might even consider it to be the BEST SummerSlam Match of ALL TIME. It was an honor to watch that match!
Winner: Brock Lesnar. RATING: *****
Bathroom Break Match: Dolph Ziggler/Kaitlyn vs. AJ Lee/Big E Langston
Honestly, I have nothing to say about this match... For one, I'm in awe of the previous match and can't comprehend caring about this match. From what I remember, it was Dolph Ziggler outworking Big E Langston when he was in and Los Angeles fans chanting "get the tables" and other random things because they were crazy bored. This was a fine RAW match, but a waste of time for Pay Per View. But then again, you knew that this match would be filler ahead of time because bathroom breaks are needed on these 3 hour marathon shows. Surprised that given Ziggler's recent comments on Cena that he was allowed to get the pin.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler/Kaitlyn. RATING: 1/2*
John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Title
Main Event match... This match was great and it delivered, and thankfully for us, the finish against Cena was 100% clean. Daniel Bryan's motor was cranked up and was aggressively going after John Cena without pause. To Cena's benefit, he sold Bryan's offense effectively... CM Punk and Brock Lesnar have looked great against Cena because he let his guard down and sold their offense like a champ. Bryan was motivated to have a great match and he knew that this was his moment. To my surprise, he defeated John Cena cleanly with a vicious flying knee to the face. The multiple counters to the Attitude Adjustment attempts were awesome leading up to the finish. Bryan won 100% clean without any referee or outside interference. Thank God... This clean finish helps ease the pain of the finish of SummerSlam 2013...
Winner: Daniel Bryan, new WWE Champion! RATING: ****3/4
Long celebration that follows... John Cena saluted Daniel Bryan, as did guest referee Triple H. Confetti everywhere... Just when you thought that the show was ending, I HEAR VOICES IN MY HEAD... Randy Orton comes out with the WWE Title Money in the Bank briefcase. At first, however, he reconsiders and walks back. Then, he turns around and BAM, Triple H delivers a Pedigree to Daniel Bryan! Actually, that was totally unexpected... Randy Orton then proudly hands Triple H the briefcase to have a match...
Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title
Randy Orton pins a knocked out Daniel Bryan faster than you can say "Wrestlemania 28 Sheamus". Ouch.
Winner: Randy Orton RATING: 0 stars
Afterward, Triple H & Randy Orton celebrate...
LAST WORD: I'll be honest with the Triple H and Randy Orton finish... I'm going to let it play out... It was an unexpected finish to me and I've wanted Randy Orton to turn heel for a long time now. There IS potential for this Triple H/Randy Orton connection to be quite good. For the months to come, it could be good for Daniel Bryan or any other babyface wrestler (CM Punk) to attempt to overcome the Triple H/Randy Orton connection. If the WWE brings in Batista tomorrow night to reform Evolution, I'll mark out... In all honesty, I have no real criticisms for the finish other than the obvious disappointment that Daniel Bryan can't have a worthy WWE Title reign. But if you're going to take the title from him on the same night he won it, this finish to the show was at least interesting.
This show, overall, was awesome. Take out Bray Wyatt vs. Kane, Brie Bella vs. Natalya, and the mixed tag match, this show was incredible. Both World Title matches delivered and the super match between Lesnar and CM Punk became a real Match of the Year contender. The king of the SummerSlam mountain was SummerSlam 2002 with a strong double main event (Rock vs. Brock, Triple H vs. HBK) and a strong midcard. I think this show with the strong trio of matches with Christian vs. Del Rio, Cena vs. Bryan, and Punk vs. Lesnar now top that show. SummerSlam 2013 is the best SummerSlam of ALL TIME.
Comments and debates are welcome on Twitter. Bring it on. @titowrestling
SO JUST CHILL TILL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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