WWE’s SummerSlam at Los Angeles’ Staples Center was less than desirable. With matches that either ended in no-contest, disqualification, or simply trivial, the 23rd annual pay-per-view fell far from the bar that last year’s set.
WWE Intercontinental title match
While Dolph Ziggler had one of the best matches of his career against Rey Mysterio Jr. last year–this year’s contender for the WWE World championship–his first title defense as Intercontinental champion was mired by the interference of The Nexus.
Despite having Vickie Guerrero securing his longevity as champion, Kofi Kingston proves to be a major threat to Ziggler’s title reign because of his new-found aggression.
WWE Divas title match
Melina Perez finally returned back to RAW to make a statement–defeat the Divas champion in a non-title match–and earn a title shot all in a span of 2 weeks. Usually when Melina makes a return–or a surprise draft pick–it usually means that she is there to take over as champion. Which is exactly what happened at SummerSlam when she defeated Alicia Fox to earn her fifth women’s title.
For the past two months, Alicia had tried to prove that her title reign was not a fluke by defeating the former champion Eve Torres on two occasions, and pinning Natalya Neidhart during a six-woman tag team match. But when it comes to experience as a wrestler and a champion, she cannot compare to Melina.
3-on-1 Handicap match
How did C.M. Punk go from “guaranteed match of the year candidate” to “C.M. Punk had a match this year?” Does anyone even recall why C.M. Punk and the S.E.S. are feuding with Big Show? It was because Show was rude and interrupted Punk and followers during a promo. Then Show followed up by de-masking C.M. and Joey Mercury. How lazy are the writers? That’s the best they could come up with?
As for this match, who cares? Show double-pinned Mercury and Luke Gallows to win the match. Can C.M. Punk have an actual feud now, please?
WWE Heavyweight title match
A rematch from Royal Rumble, Randy Orton dominated the majority of the match as Sheamus powered out of any RKO attempts. The whole premise of the match was for Sheamus to prove that he was not afraid of Orton. Well… he failed to do that as he disqualified himself by shoving the referee–as he wrestled away a steel chair to use on Orton.
For someone who is 6’6-272 lbs, claims to have ended the careers of Jamie Noble (James Gibson) and Triple-H, Sheamus’ actions are cowardice. Can we see a title match where Sheamus does not retain by disqualification?
As for Orton, karma is a torn because Orton retained his WWE Heavyweight title last year through multiple forms of DQs and outside interferences. Orton tried to add an exclamation point for his failed attempt by crashing Sheamus on the announce table with an RKO. The same move that allegedly tore Cena’s pectoral muscle in 2007, except the table didn’t break leaving Sheamus whole.
WWE World title match
Does anyone recall the series of matches between Kane and Rey Mysterio Jr. on RAW in 2008? Don’t worry, neither does Wikipedia. Kane had claimed to have ended Mysterio’s career, but their series of matches always ended with a victory for Rey. So a world title match–on a major pay-per-view–between these two can only spell catastrophe.
Kane can cut a promo better than half the wrestlers on the WWE roster, but his matches consist of a few power moves–lariats, big boots, low drop kicks, uppercuts, and powerslams–followed by his choke slam finisher. Rey, on the other hand, has had a lot of great title matches against The Undertaker, 6-man Elimination Chamber, and Jack Swagger. But this match was hard to watch.
As for this feud, if Rey ever wishes to earn a third world title, he will have to come up with another finisher because Kane–even if it connects–can power out of the 619.
Seven-on-seven Elimination tag team match
Daniel Bryan‘s return and the high-quality main-event proved to be the saving grace of SummerSlam. For months, The Nexus had terrorized RAW with guerrilla-style attacks, and interfering in high stake matches. Yet, they had not planned on John Cena forming a team to take them on.
In no way imaginable was this match supposed to solve anything. If Nexus lost, who’s to say that they would quietly disperse? If anything, Nexus would retaliate in heavier doses to affirm dominance.
The Miz–God bless him–cut a promo longer than the women’s match on how Cena, Bret Hart, Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, and R-Truth all begged him to join Team WWE. And while he agreed to join, Cena and Co. had picked another candidate–Miz’s Season One NXT Rookie Daniel Bryan.
Released from the company on June 11, Bryan Danielson returned in time to help Team WWE by eliminating Darren Young and Heath Slater with Arm trap crossfaces.
Skip Sheffield and Heath Slater proved to be the difference makers on Nexus with Sheffield eliminating John Morrison and R-Truth, and Slater quickly doing away with Chris Jericho and Edge. It actually took three people from WWE to take out Sheffield.
Michael Tarver and David Otunga were soundly eliminated by Morrison’s Starship Pain and Jericho’s Walls of Jericho respectively.
Things got ugly in the end as Jericho and Edge started arguing with Cena, and then beat him up after they were eliminated by Heath Slater. And The Miz smashed Daniel Bryan’s head with his MITB briefcase, allowing Wade Barrett to easily pick up an elimination.
Justin Gabriel went for the Nexus finisher-the devastating 450 Splash-to end the match. Except for one thing, John Cena is the most resilient man in WWE history. So, even though everyone thought that it was the end for WWE, Cena easily eliminated Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett. Thus, Team WWE wins.
Author’s notes: The reason why WWE SummerSlam was such a bust is because the whole night was surrounded and built around The Nexus versus Team WWE RAW. Sure, Undertaker made his return from his “vegetative” state but Kane struck him with a Tombstone piledriver making his return not such a big deal. As for Daniel Bryan, his return will definitely place him in a prominent feud with The Miz, and possibly go after his WWE United States title.