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My Two Centsss - SummerSlam Thoughts: Sheamus & Del Rio Steal The Show
By Super Chrisss
Aug 20, 2012 - 4:56:23 PM
1. Day 1 - RAW Was So Bad It's Not Even Funny
2. Day 2 - SummerSlam Predictions (featuring Skitz)
3. Day 3 - SummerSlam Thoughts: Sheamus & Del Rio Steal The Show
Remember last week, when I did a column praising WWE's decision for making RAW a three-hour show? After this week's show, I'm regretting every single word I said. Simply put, Monday's RAW was TERRIBLE. It was a complete abomination from start to finish. Instead of being Mr. Positive and looking on the bright side of things (no mizfan), I'm going to take this time to rant about Monday's show. For the three of you out there who enjoyed RAW, you probably won't like me very much in about five minutes, I'm telling you now.
For starters, can WWE make CM Punk look any weaker? I understand the whole idea behind his heel/tweener turn is so he can complain about never being in the spotlight, despite holding the top belt in the number one wrestling company in the world. But as Michael Cole will tell you at least once every broadcast, CM Punk is enjoying the fourteenth longest WWE title reign in history. That's all fine and dandy, but by not being in the main-event of any PPV of 2012, and RARELY closing out RAW every week has cost Punk (and the title) some of it's credibility. So much, that come SummerSlam this Sunday, Punk's title defense feels secondary to a non-WWE Championship feud in Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H. What's worse, there is a good chance Punk's reign comes to a close on Sunday, and what a slap in the face it would be for Punk to lose the title to his arch-nemesis, John Cena.
On Monday's RAW, it probably shocked no one that CM Punk was the show's curtain-jerker and didn't even get to main-event the show. Nope, that honour went to the feud people once cared about (I think) in Lesnar vs. HHH. Rather than the tag team match between Punk/Cena & Show/Bryan closing out the show, or hearing Punk possibly drop his last pipebomb as WWE Champion, we were 'treated' to twenty-five minutes of Lesnar, HHH, and Shawn Michaels trying to sell SummerSlam. **** that shit. I know WWE has a hard-on for HHH and Lesnar, but to devote that much TV time to a couple of part-timers who aren't in a title match? Hell no. Not even Undertaker's confrontations with HHH and/or HBK pre-Wrestlemania 26, 27, and 28 took up that much time. I'll take John Cena in the main-event over Triple H any day of the week.
Then again, there's a good chance that most of you didn't even make it to the final hour of RAW. And if you didn't, I don't blame you. I usually grade shows from start to finish, but if I could grade the first hour of RAW all by itself, I would give it a big fat F. Just look at the line-up: CM Punk vs. The Big Show, JTG vs. Ryback, Heath Slater vs. R-Truth, and Tensai vs. Sin Cara. Who wants to see Big Show wrestle? When was the last time JTG was on television? Slater and Truth are a million times more entertaining on the mic than in the ring. And how can Sin Cara and Tyson Kidd defeat Tensai in less than two minutes, while John Cena and CM Punk have both fallen to the big man in the past. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!
Things started to get better the second hour, when Chris Jericho, The Miz, and Dolph Ziggler rebounded from an awkward Piper's Pit to have easily the best match of the night. But that was when the show peaked, as everything went downhill from there. And you know what put the final nails in the coffin? WWE taking two steps backward by whoring the shit out of Tout and Twitter. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Tout is GARBAGE. Nobody cares about strangers giving their irrelevant opinions on the product. 95% of these Touters are ugly, 95% of their videos are inaudible, and they add nothing to the show. WWE could at least use some actors (good ones, not the Claire Lynch type) to try and get Tout over. Either way, Tout is NOT the next Facebook or Twitter, and therefore, I don't give a shit about it.
Another reason why the episode dragged? Another reason why the episode dragged? The replays. The replays. Apparently, WWE are not shy about exposing their fans on national television, but they can't trust them to remember something that happened fifteen minutes ago, so they keep using recaps from start to finish. Did you know that Daniel Bryan interfered in the Show vs. Punk match, leading to a tag team match later in the show? Did you know that Daniel Bryan interfered in the Show vs. Punk match, leading to a tag team match later in the show? Shit, it gets annoying hearing the same thing over and over, doesn't it? Shit, it gets annoying hearing the same thing over and over, doesn't it? Get a clue, WWE, and get it fast.
Finally, for a SummerSlam go-home show, RAW was all about one thing: promoting half of the card. If I was a casual, non-IWC member who was relying on WWE to pimp out SummerSlam, I would have been under the impression there were only two or three matches taking place on Sunday, that being HHH vs. Lesnar, Jericho vs. Ziggler, and Punk vs. Show vs. Cena. What awful timing for the SmackDown roster to tour overseas, as there was basically no hype whatsoever for Miz vs. Mysterio, the tag team title match, or Daniel Bryan vs. Kane. Hell, they CANCELLED THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH!!! They didn't even re-announce it until this week's SmackDown!! (minor spoiler) That is so stupid it's not even funny. They could have at least hyped Sheamus vs. a mystery opponent, rather than have nothing at all. It's a bit like not booking John Cena for TLC last year. If he's healthy, you use John Cena. Therefore, if the world champion is healthy, he either competes at SummerSlam or he's stripped of the title. It's not rocket science.
In case you haven't heard, last Monday's RAW got the worst three-hour rating since RAW 1000. Considering the show was a go-home edition for the "second biggest PPV of the year", that's scary news for WWE. I for one am happy. Hopefully this makes the company realize they're doing something wrong and they make some changes. However, I hope one of the changes don't involve taking the WWE Championship off CM Punk. Tout has to go. The replays have to go. We need more matches like the Jericho/Ziggler/Miz match or Sheamus vs. Bryan from a few weeks back. You know, lengthy matches that tell a story and are fun to watch? It's really not bad.
I'm looking forward to SummerSlam, as WWE has the chance to prove they can still deliver on the big stage and their creative team can prove they have some unique ideas left. Quite frankly, it doesn't get much worse than last Monday's RAW.
I would love to say this is the moment for TNA to strike, but that's a column for another day...
Skitz: Biggest Party of the Summer. Do you actually agree with that sentiment, homie?
Chrisss: If you mean Party For Two, then yes, I agree with you. I don't know about you, but Sunday's PPV feels like a one-match show, that being Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar. Everything else feels like it's part of the undercard, including the two world title matches. For the second year in a row, I think WWE has done a much better job hyping Money in the Bank than SummerSlam.
Skitz: Fair point. I'm well aware that you aren't exactly thrilled with WWE's current product. However you've gotta admit one thing... the company has put together a solid card this year from top to bottom. When I can scan the matches on paper and not cringe at anything (whilst blatantly ignoring the loathsome Kevin Rudolph concert), SkitZ is pleased as punch.
Chrisss: To be honest, the undercard is more appealing than the actual main-events. Mysterio vs. Miz should be awesome, Bryan vs. Kane could be interesting, and Jericho vs. Ziggler will almost likely steal the show. But as always, let's kick things off by talking about the pre-party festivities:
United States Championship: Santino (c.) vs. Antonio Cesaro (Pre-Show Match)
Skitz: The end result here is a foregone conclusion in my mind thanks to some genius reporting on Marky Mark's behalf. According to sources, Marella worked commentary during a match taped for WWE's new Saturday morning program scheduled to air on the 25th of this month. Santino appeared with the United States Championship which he's unfathomably bogarted for five and a half ****ing months now. Regardless of the scenario, I'd prefer to believe management would save Cesaro capturing gold for pay per view (or SmackDown at least). I'm assuming WWE will hope to fire the L.A. crowd up early with an eventful babyface victory.
Shit.... should there have been an obnoxious **SPOILERZ ALERT!!!** in there somewhere? If so, my bad.
Chrisss: Spoiler? Nah. No one really expects Antonio to win Sunday, do they? I like Antonio, and I agree Santino needs to drop the title before it goes the way of the old Cruiserweight Championship, but I can't see Cesaro winning this Sunday. He's not ready for the title, and neither are the fans. Having him go over Santino in two non-title matches? Good move. Failing to continue the feud with promos or build-up? Terrible move. I see Antonio eventually winning a midcard title, but not on Sunday.
Skitz: Oh I believe Castagnoli will ultimately be the individual who removes the belt from Santino's waist; either in a few weeks time or come Night of Champions. This Sunday however isn't the right moment. I've quickly become a fan of Cesaro's in-ring work and style. The gimmick not so much but that's interchangeable and can be tweaked when it's necessary. Let the Swiss man chase gold for a little longer I say. Betting odds: Antonio dominates the contest before Marella steals a cheap win with his usual shenanigans.
Chrisss: Yep, can't see things happening any other way. Antonio gets his heat by beating up the beloved Santino and impresses with his unique personal (I love that European Uppercut he does) before losing to a surprise Cobra or something. Whatever. Bring on the main card!
Chrisss' pick: Santino retains the title
Skitz' pick: Santino retains the title
WWE Tag Team Championship: R-Truth & Kofi Kingston (c.) vs. PrimeTime Players
Quick question for you, Skitz. Would you be more interested in this match if:
a) A.W. hadn't been released
b) It was a three-way featuring Epico & Primo or
c) This bout gets at least ten minutes?
Skitz: Whatever happened to the "All of the Above" option? For starters, I thought we were heading towards a Triple Threat type situation in the first place given how involved the Colons have been since the PTP began gaining steam. As for the incident leading to Washington's firing, the guy offers a valid argument. The WWE hierarchy pushes it's roster to stand out and seize opportunities yet punishes any poor soul who accidentally crosses the line. I mean what is this? Prison camp?
But at the same time, A.W. is going about his termination all wrong. Did Daniel Bryan throw bitch fits on Twitter and demean Linda at every possible turn until the company brought him back? Hell no. Abe has freedom of speech like everybody else but the negro isn't helping his cause, that's for sure.
Washington should ****ing calm down for a second, breathe and allow the fans to voice their opinions. That's about his only chance of being rehired at this juncture.
Chrisss: I agree. Firing AW was a huge mistake, but the guy is reacting in the worst way possible. It's one thing to speak out and keep your name in the spotlight, but to burn every single bridge imaginable in the process? Not a great idea.
As for the actual match, I think O'Neil and Young are due a win, with or without AW. They've done a decent job of building other teams like The Colons and The Usos as future challengers for the PTP, and it's best they strike while the iron is hot. That being said, I wouldn't rule out a possible, faint "We Want AW" chant on Sunday.
Skitz: Me neither. With or without a mouthpiece constantly at ringside, O'Neil & Young have made some noise within the desolate tag team division and it'd be interesting to see how the duo does with the straps. It would definitely be an improvement from Kofi & Truth's bland ass, injury plagued run. Plus, Titus has some personality and can easily generate heat on the mic. I have no doubt that the Prime Time Players will fare just fine without A.W. (at least in the short-term). People need to keep in mind that Vince never ties managers to their clients for very long nowadays and thus Abe would've probably separated from the tandem sometime next year anyway.
Chrisss: That's an excellent point, which makes me even less hopeful AW will be brought back in the future, Daniel Bryan style. But right now, the focus is on the actual tag team and seeing if they can take the ball and run with it. I guess we should be happy that the titles are actually being defended on the card, something that SummerSlam hasn't been notorious of doing in recent years.
Anyways, I'm also going with The PTP taking the win here. Let's just hope they don't fall into obscurity come Night of Champions...
Skitz: For reals. Addressing your previous comment though, don't forget that S/Slam has produced some pretty worthwhile tag team contests even in recent years when given the opportunity. I wouldn't sleep on this year's version either as far as maintaining that same standard. Place the straps on the relative newcomers and give Kingston a meaningful ****ing storyline for once. Please?
Chrisss: Oh, there's no doubting the quality of tag team matches in SummerSlam's past. It's just getting the matches on the actual PPV that WWE don't know how to do. And yes, PLEASE PUSH KOFI. I would love to see it happen as a heel, but I'll take what I can get.
Chrisss' pick: PrimeTime Players win the titles
Skitz' pick: PrimeTime Players win the titles
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Skitz: Yo, Hustle speaks the truth. Is there any other character on WWE television who's been killing it on a nightly basis like D-Bry? The crowds go absolutely bat shit crazy for the guy every time he walks down the ramp. No matter what management has handed the YES Man in 2012, he's gone far above expectations while also sending various audiences around the country into chanting frenzies. It's really translated into some compelling TV.
So then how is it that Bryan hasn't snagged a 'W' on PPV since February? Such a statistic boggles my mind. In fact, can you recall the last instance where Goatface won an important match? I guess D-Bry and Jericho find themselves in similar situations this Sunday. The American Bandwagon is hurting for a victory... Will S/Slam mark the night where Bryan finally changes his luck? Or does the downward spiral and psychotic tendencies continue?
Chrisss: Daniel Bryan is LONG overdue a big victory, in my opinion. I think it would have better if Bryan won the title at MitB, and Punk and Cena go at it one-on-one at SummerSlam (**** Big Show). Still, a match with Kane is still considered a big match, so I hope they let Goatface go over. Partly because Kane doesn't need the win, and partly because a clean victory over The Big Red Monster would make Bryan look way more credible and get him back in the title hunt even faster.
Skitz: Can we talk about how non-existent this entire "feud" has been since A.J. was named the General Manager of RAW? Honestly, Bryan/Kane 1-on-1 would've made much more sense two months ago. Could it be any more obvious that WWE had no major plans for either dude heading into arguably the second biggest annual pay per view? The Big Red Machine is certainly Mr. Reliable and you've gotta admire Jacobs for always doing business no matter the circumstance. While their beef was never truly resolved, I just feel as if management are attempting to let this rivalry linger for no beneficial purpose. Did Kane even show up on RAW or SmackDown this week? You know... the go-home episodes right before SummerSlam. Talk about thrown-to-****ing-gether.
Chrisss: Meh, it's better than leaving both men off the card altogether. I did like the therapy sessions with the doctor and Bryan and Kane coming in and attacking Bryan was well-done, in my opinion. Unfortunately, like you said, the rivalry has been practically non-existent since then. It's too bad, as Kane could have used the promo time to get fans more into his recently turned face character.
As for the winner, I just can't see Bryan losing, especially with his PPV losing streak since Wrestlemania. Something's got to give, and that happens on Sunday.
Skitz: For the sake of competitiveness, I'm siding with the Big Red Machine here. To echo most of the IWC, the American Bandwagon needs a finishing maneuver besides the YES lock dammit and the diving headbutt ain't it. My money's on Kane to win and send Bryan into further delirium. I'm loving the direction this sheer madness is leaning in terms of D-Bry's evolving persona. The whole thing could manifest into something epic within a few months' time.
Likelihood that WWE goes forward with the Charlie Sheen angle and he somehow costs Bryan his match?
Chrisss: God, I hope not. Charlie Sheen has NO business being a part of one of WWE's biggest PPVs of the year, especially without any hype beforehand. It's bad enough we have to sit through a Kevin Rudolf performance, why must we endure Sheen's presence as well? Anyways, my money's on Bryan, but your scenario makes sense too. Damnit.
Chrisss' pick: Bryan wins
Skitz' pick: Kane wins
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c.) vs. Rey Mysterio
Ahhh, a match I am really looking forward to come Sunday. I remember these two kind of feuding prior to last year's SummerSlam, and they worked really well together. Although this feud is another match on the card with very limited build-up, I think these two could put on a very strong match.
Skitz: Funny how a guy returns from filming a movie with a new hairdo and some facial hair and fans are suddenly all over the dude's nuts. Like Gianna Michaels type shit. Oddly enough, these are the same sketchy bastards who were tirelessly complaining about him beforehand. Not all hope is lost in Mike Mizanin's case however because he's shown virtually no rust from being away. The last-minute inclusion into RAW's Money in the Bank ladder bout last month was a welcomed sight as is booking Miz as Intercontinental Champion. It's a smart move all around and ensures that Sir Awesome doesn't fall into the same trap which he did prior to WM28.
As for Rey Rey challenging for the belt, whatever sells a couple more tickets and replica masks. Mysterio scores a single non-title victory over the reigning champ and we're suddenly ready for a PPV showdown? Uh sure.
Chrisss: My thoughts exactly. While some people have been hard on the guy lately (cough*HUSTLE*cough) I'm really digging The 'New' Miz. Some people say a change in wardrobe and/or appearance can be the key to success. I feel Miz has done just that. I think he's a better fir for IC Champion than Christian was, as Miz makes the title feel more important somehow. I wish Miz returned as a face, but there's always time for that down the road...
Skitz: Exactly. I don't expect the former MTV star's program with the Mexican Jumping Bean to meander on for very long (i.e. Night of Champions tops) but it'll suffice for the time being and add legitimacy to Miz's title stint by beating a former World Champion. Even if we're referring to someone the size of a stubby 14-year old. Mizanin deserves major props without question. Did you watch that Tout (you're favorite I know) Sir Awesome sent out a couple days ago? I almost forgot how insanely hot Maryse is. What a lucky bastard. Part of me loves The Miz for it... but a much larger part grows increasingly envious of him.
Chrisss: Nope, I don't waste my time with that Tout shit. Don't use it, don't watch it, don't care. How dare you bring up that word in my column, you fruity bastard! I'm so pissed, I don't even feel like Googling Maryse (just kidding, duh).
But, um, yeah, getting back to business. Miz has got to retain his title successfully, right? Right?
Skitz: Of course. If we're being specific, Mizanin will indeed leave Los Angeles with the gold. But not cleanly in my opinion. You've gotta figure that we're due for a one non-finish minimum this Sunday and I'm picking this bad boy as the top candidate. If this feud is going to progress past S/Slam, Sir Awesome shouldn't pin Mysterio in the middle of the ring fairly. My guess is Miz grows frustrated after several close nearfalls and gets himself disqualified by using the title belt, a low blow, etc.
Chrisss: Your logic makes sense, but that would make two matches in a row where Miz can't put away Mysterio properly. Not exactly beneficial for the champion, is it now? Then again, Miz leaving with the title is what really matters (I guess).
Chrisss' pick: Miz retains the title
Skitz' pick: Miz retains the title
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho
Skitz: Perhaps the most intriguing contest on the card when you really study it. For the sake of building his credibility and convincing fans that he's a perennial main eventer for years to come, Ziggler desperately needs to secure a 'W' over Y2J. But judging by the ensuing storyline and booking leading into this Sunday's event, couldn't one claim that Jericho is just as overdue for the win? The culmination of this rivalry basically suggests that Y2J should vanquish his ongoing demons since returning in January; compounded with the fact Dolph pinned the Canuck on last Monday's RAW.
Smarks will stress the importance of Jericho putting Ziggler over before leaving again to tour with Fozzy but that doesn't mean Y2J winning is merely an afterthought. Where's the logic in highlighting Jericho's multiple pay per view failures in '12 if he falls short yet again at S/Slam?
Chrisss: I wasn't thinking about any of that. I was going to argue Jericho has a legit shot at winning because I have a feeling we could be in a for a night dominated by heel victories on Sunday. That being said, I like your points. Who's the real winner here? The fans, obviously. Since his return, Jericho has wrestled a series of dream matches against CM Punk and now gets a chance to tangle with Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam. It doesn't get much better than that. I would love to see Ziggler get the win, take out Jericho post-match, only for Jericho to return sometime before Wrestlemania 29 and challenge Ziggler for the world title in April. THAT would be cool.
Skitz: Completely agree. Unfortunately, I believe Fozzy will be touring through WMXXIX with the recent release of their new album. But yes... I could watch these two wrestle twenty times before ever growing the least bit bored with it. Some folks set their standards ridiculously high but I've really enjoyed Jericho's work over the last eight months. It'll definitely suck to see him disappear again but hey that's simply the nature of the beast. Returning the focus back to S/Slam however, we could witness Y2J defeat Dolph which triggers Ziggler to lose his shit and maim Jericho
after the bell. Therefore, the Blonde Perm's momentum doesn't falter. Either way, I'm choosing the Ayatollah of Rock n' Rolla to emerge victorious.
If my memory serves me correctly, Daniel Bryan (who was pretty much in the same situation as Ziggler this time last year) jobbed to Wade Barrett at SummerSlam '11... And things turned out alright for him, didn't they?
Chrisss: Indeed they did. I don't feel confident with this pick whatsoever, but I'm going with Ziggler getting the win. The way I see it, Ziggler could score the victory and still take Y2J out of commission afterwards, thus adding to his mean streak. Jericho may need the win as much as Mr. Ziggles, but if Jericho is indeed halfway out the door, I see no reason to not put the MitB briefcase holder before. Again, I may be completely wrong, but I think Jericho will put up a great effort before falling victim to a Vickie distraction and a ZigZag. It will be one hell of a match, though.
Chrisss' pick: Ziggler wins
Skitz' pick: Jericho wins
World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c.) vs. Alberto Del Rio
Hey, the first match I don't care about just happens to feature The Black Hole of Charisma (thank you Al) and it's a world title match. Something doesn't quite add up...
I for one was really disappointed with their match at MitB last month. I'm okay with their feud being lackluster as long as their matches make up for it, but if it's a repeat from July, then I have even less to be excited about come Sunday.
Skitz: In their defense, the MITB bout suffered from a lackluster crowd but Sheamus & Del Rio did manage to get the ball rolling in the later stages. As far as the rematch is concerned, I'm more disappointed with Booker T's ruling after cancelling the World Title contest last week. What the **** reason is there to drop a match from SummerSlam is you're just going to reinstate it a week later? WWE opened the door for plenty of different options with that angle. Credible threats could've been added (Orton, Rhodes, etc.) or a stipulation. Fans would be more tolerable if we were talking about a Belfast Brawl or something. A little imagination wouldn't hurt!
Chrisss: Bingo! Sheamus vs. Orton or Sheamus vs. Rhodes sounds 1000x more appealing than Sheamus vs. Del Rio in a regular, singles match. Honestly, a Street Fight or something would have made sense, what with all the outside-the-ring brawling and such, but no, WWE couldn't have taken the extra step, could they? I just want to see Sheamus win cleanly (again) and end this feud once and for all!
Skitz: You probably just jinxed us, foreigner. Now we'll be saddled with Sheamus/ADR until HIAC because of your radiating negativity. I strangely find myself liking Dorito more and more as the throng of haters expands; although Ricardo easily raises Del Rio's stock a few hundred points. The issue is that WWE is using the same exact blueprint for the Great White's title reign that the company did for Batista during 2005. Everybody realizes the ginger isn't dropping the belt anytime soon... especially to a shmuck like ADR. There's zero unpredictability factor which alone ruins the feud for most marks.
Chrisss: That I can agree with. So can we just pick Sheamus as the undisputed winner and move on to bigger (and possibly better) things?
Skitz: Bingo. I realistically cannot picture the ginger losing the World Heavyweight Championship until November or December at the earliest. **** at this rate... 'Mania isn't out of the question. Whenever this conversation comes up over the following 16 or so weeks, just go ahead and assume my answer will always be Sheamus.
Chrisss: Preach it, brother!
Chrisss' pick: Sheamus retains the title
Skitz' pick: Sheamus retains the title
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
Well, theres not much to say about this feud, is there? The hype has pretty much consisted of replay after replay after freaking replay. Dream match or not, I can't wait for this feud to end after SummerSlam.
Skitz: Mmmmmmm yeah underwhelming doesn't even begin to describe it. Wrestling fans generally like to believe that with a dream match often comes the potential for awesome promos and memorable moments throughout the build-up. And rightfully so... but it rarely happens. Whether it be Vince doing everything in his power to limit the physicality between both men in hopes of avoiding an injury, Brock's low number of scheduled appearances or Hunter's ego, this feud has sucked somethin' fierce. It started off promising enough with Lesnar "breaking" The Game's arm the night after Extreme Rules but the booking plummeted from there and frankly never recovered. Lol & management trying to salvage everything on RAW with the HBK beatdown.
Chrisss: Personally, I'd say it all went downhill when they showed HHH getting his arm "broken" more times than your kindergarten teacher made you recite the alphabet as a child. I know for some people this is a dream match become reality, but I still think Lesnar vs. Orton or even Lesnar vs. Jericho is the true dream match waiting to happen. But it is what is, if the match on Sunday is half of what Cena vs. Brock was, we're in for a real treat.
Skitz: You forgot to throw Lesnar versus Punk into the conversation as well. A big part of me was foolishly hoping that said match would occur at S/Slam a couple months back. Another problem with the H/Brock segment is how WWE is handling the former UFC Heavyweight Champion. We as fans would much rather see Lesnar circa 2002 where he tore through every obstacle. Trips & Vince however are so worried about crowds cheering for Brock that they've done away with the unstoppable monster and booked Lesnar as uninteresting as humanly possible. Naturally, Hunter's gotta look like the big flag-bearing hero who Brock cowers to each time they're in the same building.
Chrisss: Yup, that's WWE logic 101 for you. Don't you dare do something that will get you cheered if you're a heel because that's bad for business. Get the **** outta here with that shit.
I think it's pretty obvious who gets the 'W' this Sunday. Unless they plan on having a rematch at HIAC (one can only pray for the best) Lesnar is going over this Sunday. He shouldn't have lost to Cena at Extreme Rules. HHH beating Lesnar would send the IWC into a frenzy.
Skitz: Ah we're on the same page then. Cena upending Lesnar at Extreme Rules was whack and, in my mind, a lame booking decision to rebound WWE's Poster Boy after laying down for Rocky at 'Mania. Therefore, Brock beating Hunter at S/Slam is a necessity. If Lesnar's penciled in to fight at two or three more pay per views, back-to-back losses aren't feasible. The suits must re-establish Brock moving forward if they want his appearances to draw impressively. Being a company man and all, I have no doubt that H is willing to put Lesnar over in a big match environment. I'm expecting a No DQ announcement earlier in the show or before the opening bell. There's not a chance in hell this shit stays between the ropes for its' duration.
Chrisss: Good point. Unless they don't want the bout to be too similar to Cena vs. Lesnar? Bope.
Chrisss' pick: Lesnar wins
Skitz' pick: Lesnar wins
WWE Championship: CM Punk (c.) vs. Big Show vs. John Cena
Well, we've made it to the main event that probably won't close the show since Punk is in the match, storyline or not. With so many heels slated to win on Sunday (at least in my opinion) and with Cena's history of winning titles in triple threats, could we be in for a title change, Skitz ol' boy?
Skitz: As long as Big Slow doesn't waltz out with the title raised above his head, I'll manage. Thankfully, there's hope for this three-way as TBS works much better in multi-man matches where his flaws and immobility aren't as noticeable. The Straightedge Superstar has pieced together a marathon reign in this day and age but dropping the belt now wouldn't jive. Amidst another alteration to his on-screen character, why strip Punk of the hardware? Neither Cena or Show need the strap to advance their careers so why disrupt the current flow? I've always felt that Mr. Sobriety works best as a tweener which is something Punk's been tinkering with since RAW 1000. S/Slam should not play host to Cookie Monster's title defeat... at least save that for NOC.
Chrisss: Normally I would agree with you but after Monday's terrible rating for RAW, there's a good chance the company might freak out and hot-shot the title to Cena, at least for a few months. Don't get me wrong, I'll be rooting for The Best In The World come Sunday, but I have to listen to my head and pick Cena, like it or not.
Skitz: A noble idea. I believe alot of it depends on whether Punk goes full blown heel in the near future. If so, I'd have Cookie Monster hang onto the gold until HIAC. That would set up the heavily rumored Cena/Rock rematch for the Rumble and ideally Punk versus Dwayne at WM29. Too much fantasy booking on my part?
I may be getting slightly carried away... sleep deprivation will do that to you.
Chrisss: Nah, just a bit. Well, if we MUST sit through Cena vs. Dwayne again, I'd rather see it at the Rumble then at Wrestlemania. I would love to see Punk in the main-event of Mania, and Rocky putting him over on the grandest stage of them all would be the icing on the cake.
Skitz: Ha. Lets be serious now... Punk could face Rocky at next year's 'Mania and STILL not main event. That honor would probably go to Cena/Taker which is the never-****in'-ending status quo I'm afraid. As for this Sunday, I'm banking on Mr. Sobriety to escape relatively unscathed; solely so we can hear Cole mention how many other title reigns Punk has surpassed in WWE history.
Chrisss: Bold (but not unwise) prediction, Candyman. I'm sticking with Cena just because he had to give up being the first person to cash in MitB and lose for something in return. Yup, I'm preparing myself for Cena tying HHH with 13 title reigns come Sunday.
Phew, that was quite the doozy. Remind me again why I complain about WWE getting lazy and not announcing a full card in advance? It gives us so much more work to do.
Skitz: No doubt. Just keep your fingers crossed that management fits Clay/Sandow onto the card rather than Ryback's 58th squash since April.
Chrisss: And well placed, too. Going after Jericho vs. Ziggler or Bryan vs. Kane won't do them any favours.
Skitz: Stop talking. I've dealt with you enough for one evening.
You read that correctly. Ziggler and Jericho did not steal the show at SummerSlam. Lesnar and HHH did not have the dream match many thought they would (although it was a decent fight). Hell, not even my darkhorse prediction of Miz vs. Mysterio gets top points. Instead, I was more impressed with the world heavyweight championship match more than anything else on the card. But I'll get to that.
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler was an excellent choice to kick off the Pay-Per-View. If you've been following my colleague The Doc's SummerSlam Series on LOP, you may have noticed he often credits the curtain-jerker for playing a crucial part of any wrestling PPV, as the opening match almost always sets the tone for the rest of the show. Well, Ziggler vs. Jericho was the first of several great matches. In my opinion, they didn't exceed expectations, but to be fair, they probably knew the world was looking forward to their match and did their best to entertain the fans. Mission accomplished, that's for sure. The only thing that slowed this contest down was Jericho's taped ribs, but the several near-falls at the end more than made up for it. I was shocked Jericho got a fairly clean win, and didn't get taken out afterwards. You have to wonder what's next for both Jericho and Ziggler.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Next up was Daniel Bryan vs. Kane in what turned out to be another fast-paced, exciting match. Much like Kane's match with Randy Orton at Wrestlemania, not many people were feeling the build-up to Kane vs. Bryan, but history repeated itself, as the two had a solid match. Kane continues to prove why is he one of the greatest big men of all time by keeping up with Bryan's pace and showing one flash of athleticism after another. Anyways, I was entertained by these two from start to finish, and it was a finish I did not see coming. I had predicted Bryan to defeat Kane, but I started to have my doubts as the match went on, since it seemed Bryan would not be able to trap Kane in the No! Lock. Fortunately, my fears were for naught, as Bryan pulled off an impressive roll-up and the right man won. This was followed up by Kane losing his mind and taking out his frustrations on a poor Josh Mathews backstage, with Aj promising to deal with The Big Red Monster on RAW tonight. A good match with an interesting storyline twist.
Rating: 3 stars
The first title defense of the evening (not counting the Pre-Show, which is unfair to those of us who watch WWE PPVs at movie theaters, by the way) was The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio, and it was a contest I was really looking forward to, despite it's mediocre build-up. Like I predicted, these two had a really good match, but it was about five minutes too short to be considered awesome (no pun intended). Nevertheless, both men used their time wisely, as the last three minutes contained some of the most dramatic moments of the evening. Just when it looked like Mysterio was down and out, he survived. After Mysterio set up the Top-Rope splash, I thought Miz was done, but he managed to escape. Me and my friend were jumping out of our seats at every near-fall, as both guys put on a great match. Miz winning was a no-brainer, and hopefully the clean finish will allow Miz to start feuding with someone at least ten younger than Rey Rey.
Rating: 3.5 stars
I cannot believe I'm about to say this, but bear with me. You don't have to like Alberto Del Rio. You don't have to be a fan of Sheamus. Hell, you don't even have to enjoy this feud, which is not very difficult to do. But man, Sheamus vs. Del Rio went out there and had, in my opinion, the match of the night at SummerSlam. Del Rio actually got a reaction from the crowd, and that helped things, as the fans were into the action, unlike the Phoenix crowd at Money in the Bank. This time around, everything seemed to click. Del Rio changing up some of his offense to work on Sheamus' injured left arm made sense, and at no point did the match ever seem to drag. One spot I really enjoyed was when Del Rio looked to have the submission victory by trapping Sheamus in the Cross Arm Breaker, only for Sheamus to show an amazing feat of strength by countering the hold into an inverted sideslam. The spot was so cool, a loud "Sheamus" chant broke out. I know a lot of people were confused with the ending and felt it hurt the match, but watching it back, the "sneaky" finish made sense and was innovative. As my friend put it, it was karma catching up with Del Rio, as sometimes bad things do happen to bad people. Either way, Sheamus (and Del Rio) add another great match to their resume. Kudos to both men, whether you like them or not.
Rating: 4.25 stars
Unfortunately, this is the part of the show where SummerSlam started to go downhill. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. The Prime Time Players was easily the worst match of the night. Maybe it's because of no A.W. (LOL @ the "Kobe Bryant" chant, by the way), or because the crowd was worn out by all the great matches the first half of the show, but everything about this tag team title bout fell flat. Young & O'Neil seemed off their game - possibly nerves getting the best of them? - while Truth & Kofi did very little of note, not counting Kofi's top-rope springboard to O'Neil on the outside. I might have been happier with the match if new champs were crowned, but seeing Truth and Kofi retain rather easily didn't do the bout any favours. Next challengers, please.
Rating: 1.75 stars
CM Punk has been the WWE Champion for over nine months, and last night, he probably competed in his worst match since Survivor Series. CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. The Big Show was a major let-down and you know who I blame? Big Show. Whoever decided it would be a good idea for the fatass to dominate 95% of the match needs to climb Mount Everest with JBL and get pushed smooth off the edge. I don't know why WWE didn't want Cena and Punk to have a one-on-one SummerSlam rematch because not only has Big Show's presence dragged down this feud, but he also ruined the match. The only exciting spot was when he went for a double middle-rope splash, only for Punk to roll out of the way and dropkick Show in the face. The double submission was anything but original, and the restart, as well as Punk taking advantage of an AA on Big Show, was just a mess. On the bright side, the right man won, and Big Show should now be out of the title picture for a LONNNNG time. On the downside, this was the worst match both Punk and Cena have been a part of in quite some time.
Rating: 2 stars
To add insult to injury, WWE thought it would be a good idea to let Kevin Rudolf perform a live mini-concert immediately afterwards. If you thought Flo Rida and MGK's performances at Wrestlemania were bad, you probably wanted to commit suicide after watching Rudolf "rock out". Seeing all the WWE Divas dancing on-stage proved why the division will never be taken seriously by any one. Could you imagine the likes of Tara, Brooke Tessmacher, Gail Kim, and Madison Rayne dancing together like best friends on the stage of Bound For Glory? Hell no. COMPLETE waste of time.
Closing out SummerSlam was none other than Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H, but not before recapping their amazing rivalry fifteen or twenty times throughout the show. You know, just in case someone out there forgot how Lesnar broke HHH's arm and how much Paul Heyman hates children. As for the match itself, I think it got way too much hate from the IWC. Although they got off to a slow start, both men did their best to wrestle a different match, a mix of UFC and wrestling. HHH did a good job of selling his arm, and Lesnar's collision with the edge of the announce table looked brutal. I hated how Lesnar basically no-sold The Pedigree and locked in the Kimora Lock for the win, but at least the right man won, once again. It's a shame WWE HAD to go with the go-home-happy ending by having HHH take the last ten minutes of the show for himself, but some things will never change, will they?
Rating: 3.25 stars
All in all, SummerSlam was a pretty good PPV. Not as good as last year's show, but props go out to the midcard for stepping up. Many fans remember SummerSlam 2011 for the main-events in Christian vs. Orton and Punk vs. Cena. This year, I think many fans will have fond memories of Ziggler vs. Jericho, Mysterio vs. Miz, and Sheamus vs. Del Rio (WWE will FORCE us to remember Lesnar vs. HHH, that's for sure). I was entertained by the show, although a title change would have been nice on the second biggest-PPV of the year. B+ seems about right.
What about you? Loved SummerSlam? Hated it? Didn't watch? Let me know!
Did You Know?
SummerSlam may very well be CM Punk's "show". Since 2008, Punk has competed in a WWE or World title match every year at SummerSlam, except in 2010 (Punk, Luke Gallows, and Joey Mercury lost to The Big Show).
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Quick shout-outs go out to TeamFarell for making the sig and @WWEFunFacts for providing the "Did You Know?" facts.
Until next time, ciao!