Sunday, August 14, 2011

8/14/11 SummerSlam

The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, & R-Truth vs. Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, & John Morrison: One of those "impromptu" matches that was only announced a few hours prior to the PPV. Couldn't watch most of the match (including the ending) due to the stream cutting off. From what I read in the recaps, it sounded like a good match that woulda rated around the **1/2 range. N/A

Mark Henry vs. Sheamus: Definitely interested in seeing how a face Sheamus is booked. Good start here feuding with Mark Henry. Crowd really was into this one...Sheamus is over pretty nicely as a face. I especially loved that spot with the barricade breaking. Loved seeing the security guard run for his life before the barricade broke. A bit lame with the countout finish. **

Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix (Divas Title): Eve also out to watch Kelly's back, while Natalya accompanies Beth. Beth with new ring attire tonight. Stream was acting funny during this match as well. Despite that, I saw the finish...very well done there. Crowd was pretty hot for this one, and probably Kelly's best match. Pretty good divas match, actually. **

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan: How about this? A reunion of two NXT Season 1 contestants (and original Nexus members). Easily the top two from the first season. DB cut his hair real short, maybe he's channeling the old Bryan Danielson from his early ROH days! Stream hated me a bit during this one, but was able to catch most of the match. Cole was really off his game on this one, mixing up the names and everything. Bryan's missile dropkick is always impressive to me. But holy crap, I cringed with all those kicks Barrett took -- especially the KO shot to the head. Great stuff in this one, best match I managed to see so far. I thought the guillotine choke into the LeBell Lock was very good. I liked Barrett winning here. Both guys looked strong, but since DB has the MITB briefcase, it's best to get Barrett some more momentum at this time. ***1/4

Randy Orton vs. Christian (No Holds Barred): Another match I was looking forward to because these two have had some excellent matches over the last couple months. I was happily surprised to see Edge...and man did he ever call Christian out. Loved that segment, and the match didn't even start yet! Loved that they went into the crowd. Crowd very much into this one. Kendo stick appearance! I think the best part about this match: it was still mainly a wrestling match, with weapons playing second fiddle. A superplex onto a table that was lying flat (legs still folded) in the ring. Interesting spot. Christian pulled a Mick Foley and went knees first into the steps on the Irish Whip. Spanish announce table spots! First the monitor shot to Orton. Christian tried the RKO, but Orton hit the RKO on Christian on the Spanish table! Yes!

"This is awesome" chants starting up. Both guys are spent. Looks like a car crash on the interstate. Killswitch out of nowhere...but ONLY TWO?! Christian can't believe it...stumbles outside like a drunk man to get two Conchairto?! Christian spits in Orton's face. Uh oh. Orton goes bonkers with the chair. Chair shot sends Christian through the table on the outside! Orton filling the ring with garbage cans and kendo sticks. Good grief. Orton powerslams Christian through the table propped in the corner! Kendo stick to Christian...stick is now busted. Orton hangman's DDT on Christian through the garbage can...noticed Christian actually moving the can and holding it in place so he'd go through it. Oh man! Christian goes for the sunset flip, but damn, RKO on the steps! Orton hit his head on the steps there. What a match. ****1/2

CM Punk vs. John Cena (WWE Title): And here we go with one of the most anticipated rematches in recent WWE memory. They got about 30-some minutes for this one, I'd say. Meltzer had given their matchup at MITB five stars, so would this match live up to that? The crowd, as expected, was going BONKERS for this one. Major split chants here. Nice chain wrestling to start, which almost always means a long match will result in all this.

Cena pulling out a lot of suplexes and takedowns early. I saw a fan with a "Get Lost Cena, You Suck" sign. Ha. Punk with good offense as well, but Cena is impressing me with a tilt-a-whirl side slam (thank you Punk for making that happen). Counters on Cena's shoulder blocks and Punk's knees. Koji Clutch on Cena! Countered into the STF on Punk -- but not cinched in well. Anaconda Vice on Cena! Cena into the STF again, but Punk got out. Punk suicide dive on Cena! Loved that HHH stopped his own count and put both guys back in. We must have a winner! Classic spot.

Trading blows! Cena dropkick and Five-Knuckle Shuffle ends the segment, damn. Jackknife pin by Cena?! Bridge out by Punk, wow! This is another incredible showing. Cena splashes Punk in the corner?! Powerslam by Cena for two! Punk hits the knee in the corner! Second-rope bulldog for two. Split chants start up again! Punk caught on the springboard attempt! STF by Cena! Great facial expressions by Punk...and he barely gets to the ropes!

Cena tries for AA, Punk tries GTS, Cena then hits the AA...for two?! Cena can't believe it. Cena misses the top-rope legdrop! Punk with the GTS...ONLY TWO! HHH calling this down the middle all match long. Again, split chants from the Staples Center crowd. Punk to the top...Randy Savage elbow drop! ONLY TWO?! "Randy Savage" chants! Back-and-forth shots. Punk hits the GTS! Cena's foot on the ropes, but HHH misses it and counts three! ****1/2

Punk doesn't shake HHH's hand, but HHH raises Punk's hand in victory anyway and leaves the ring.

WTF! KEVIN NASH?! JACKKNIFE ON PUNK! And right on cue, here comes Alberto Del Rio!

Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk (WWE Title): Punk cashes in the MITB briefcase! Flying knee to Punk's head! Three-count! ADR wins the title! N/A

Final Thoughts:
A rock anthem of the Star-Spangled Banner? Pretty well done, I must say.

Jim Ross tweeted that it was a game-time decision to use Booker as Smackdown's representative in calling the action tonight.

Stephanie made an appearance! Awesome! "I would...but I know where that hand's been." ROFL. Wow. Punk is incredible with his words. Jimmy Hart even made an appearance! Doubly awesome with the R-Truth segment (think...Little Jimmy!)! Ron Artest at the end of that Jimmy Hart/R-Truth segment, woohoo! My friend (who's a Laker fan) would have really appreciated that one.

Cole was annoying as usual, but I took pleasure in him being way off his game during the Bryan/Barrett match. Speaking of which, Wade and Daniel really did NXT proud. The two big season 1 competitors really put on a nice show tonight.

The Los Angeles crowd was hot all night long and  really contributed to a great PPV experience. Only six matches here. I wish the Cee Lo Green segment was shorter so they could get more wrestling action in the show.

Punk and Cena pulled off another excellent match, but I liked their match at MITB better.

But damn, I could never have predicted what happened after the match ended. It was cloudy enough for HHH with the controversy of Cena's foot being on the ropes. But then Kevin Nash, of all people, comes down and nukes Punk, allowing Alberto to cash in his MITB title shot and win. Talk about a big mess for HHH now. And why was Nash out there? Is he working for HHH? For Alberto? Who knows at this point.

I'm speculating that this will lead to a triple threat match between Del Rio, Cena, and Punk. Punk will lose to Alberto (probably via submission and perhaps more Nash or HHH involvement). Punk will go on to feud with HHH and Nash. Meanwhile, Cena will feud with Del Rio for the belt through the fall, with Alberto having (hopefully) a good WWE title run

Four stars tonight. Punk, Cena, Orton, and Christian. No particular order. They all delivered huge.

This was another excellent PPV. WWE is on a major roll here. I'm sure that a lot of Punk marks will riot with the outcome, but this controversy is exactly what I wanted to see. It's all about planting seeds for the future storylines. HHH will have a big mess on his hands over the coming days and weeks, and it will keep fans tuning in to see what transpires. ****

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