Sunday, August 15, 2010

WWE SummerSlam 2010 Review

It had a noticeably thin card, but did WWE manage to make SummerSlam feel like the second biggest show of the year?

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship was your opening contest for the evening. Match started off hot, but slowed down considerably when Kofi missed a suicide dive to the outside. Very rough spill for Kofi, which gave Ziggler the advantage with his methodic style. Just as the tide was turning and the match was getting really fun, The Nexus ran-in and caused a no-contest. LAME! It was good heel heat and the crowd was all over Nexus for it, but it killed a potentially great opening contest. This could've been done differently, they could've attacked someone in the ring but not in a match, they didn't have to ruin the Intercontinental Title match.
Predictions: 0 for 1 (total technicality!)

Melina vs. Alicia Fox for the Divas Championship wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It wasn't good, not by a long shot, but with the mixture of an injury-prone Melina and an incredibly sloppy Alicia Fox, I was just impressed everyone maintained the ability to walk when it was over. Melina got the win and the Championship, sparing us from more Alicia Fox matches on PPV, but things went from bad to worse when LayCool showed up to taunt Melina. Melina tried a preemptive strike, but she was no match for the Slumber Sisters. As much as McCool annoys me, there could be potential in both ladies holding the Womens and Divas Titles.
Predictions: 1 for 2

The Big Show vs. The Straight Edge Society obviously wasn't going to be a technical masterpiece, but for an amusing little match with a dash of comic relief, I had fun watching it. I hate handicap matches, but Luke Gallows and Joseph Mercury played their roles perfectly, and CM Punk abandoning them when they couldn't get the job done was the perfect way to tell this story. I don't know where this feud goes from here (if anywhere), but the drama within The SES has only just begun. Big LOL to Lawler calling Mercury "Joseph Gallows" at the end, but after that Chokeslam onto Luke, I think Joey is a part of him now.
Predictions: 2 for 3

The Miz was out next to announce that he would in fact join Team WWE against The Nexus in the main event, but that was after he delivered the greatest promo of his career and the greatest promo in all of wrestling in 2010. My friends, The Miz has arrived, and he will be WWE Champion by WrestleMania 27, the only question now is will it be sooner or later? I'm not a fan of promos on PPVs, I expect a card loaded with wrestling for the $50 price tag, but The Miz was worth spending money on here. If I could come up with one word to describe him here, it would be, you guessed it, AWESOME!

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title was oddly placed on the card, so my shenanigans sense began tingling. These two actually had one hell of a match, the crowd was into it, and it was vastly superior to their match at the Royal Rumble, which I actually enjoyed. I loved the story here, Sheamus couldn't put Orton away, but The Viper couldn't hit his signature moves on the Celtic Warrior, neither side would budge! Unfortunately, instead of a side eventually budging, Sheamus grabbed a chair and got himself disqualified to retain the title. Now, I wouldn't have had as much of a problem with this had the opening contest not ended in a total screwjob as well. I get it, we want to continue the feud, but this is SummerSlam and people don't pay $50 for a DQ finish in the WWE Title match, especially when you already did it in the IC Title match. Infuriating ending aside, the match itself was enjoyable. And in my predictions, my exact wording was that Sheamus would retain, I didn't say how! So after the screwy finish to the opening contest, I'm giving myself the point! It's my blog, dammit!
Predictions: 3 for 4

Kane vs. Rey Mysterio for the World Heavyweight Championship was up next, and as soon as you saw Kane wheel that casket down to ringside, you knew someone would be in it. We'll get to that someone in a minute, but first let's talk about the match. I liked this one, I'm still not over Kane and Rey Rey's never-ending feud from 2008, but I thought they worked well together and for a minute there, I thought Rey had a shot. Kane picked up the win with the Chokeslam, but wasn't finished there. One NASTY! Tombstone later (seriously, Rey folded up like an accordion), Kane opened the casket, only to find THE UNDERTAKER! The Phenom looked weak, still reeling from the effects of being in a vegetative state for almost three months, but turned his sights on Rey Mysterio. Rey pleaded with Taker, insisting he didn't do it, and The Dead Man believed him, quickly turning his attention to the World Heavyweight Champion. No surprise that Kane turned out to be the culprit, but what was surprising was that Undertaker didn't kick his ass. No, WWE didn't want to actually make anyone happy and give us a feel good Undertaker return, instead he got a Tombstone from Kane too. Really?! At this point, WWE had pretty much sucked all of the fun out of the room, leaving us with just the main event to save the day.
Predictions: 4 for 5

Main Event time! Team WWE vs. The Nexus, but when The Miz tried to make his entrance, John Cena told him he was too late, because his spot already belonged to DANIEL BRYAN!!! We all heard the rumors and speculation, but I refused to believe it until I saw it... then I saw it and still didn't believe it. Before I talk about this match, I need to bring up something mentioned by my good buddy Sousa over at EWB - imagine if someone told you in August of 2009 that the 2010 SummerSlam would be headlined by a tag team consisting of John Cena, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart and Bryan Danielson and they'd be taking on seven guys you've never heard of. Just let the fact that THAT HAPPENED sink into your mind grapes for a minute.

Okay, the actual match, after an absolutely fun-killing show leading up to it, I think WWE really delivered here. It was hyped to high hell, and the Nexus guys are untested rookies that have never even competed on PPV, but somehow everything came together for an incredibly enjoyable main event that felt like a big damn deal. Daniel Bryan came and made Darren Young tap out in under a minute, very reminiscent of CM Punk's tremendous showing at the 2006 Survivor Series, and just like that, a Superstar was born. WWE had an early lead, taking out Michael Tarver (unfortunately in human form) rather quickly, but Nexus bounced back thanks to the BEAST that is Skip Sheffield, who took out both Morrison and R-Truth.

A few other stand-out performances I want to mention before I move on, Bret Hart once again proved why he is Mr. SummerSlam. He had six appearances on my Top 23 SummerSlam Matches list, and tonight, despite being a 53-year-old stroke victim that hasn't wrestled regularly since the 90s, he was amazing out there. I'm gonna sound like a total dork, but it's just really nice to see Bret out there having fun, even if he can't do much, I'd love to see him in this kind of role a few more times.

I also have to give big props to Chris Jericho, who was totally killing it in a face role tonight. The crowd was chanting "Y2J!" and even if it was for less than five minutes, we did have a brief return of the Ayatollah of Rock & Rollah! I know Jericho doesn't want to turn, and he's such a damn good heel, but I'd love one more Y2J run, just for old time's sake.

Back to the match, it was an excellent, well-balanced contest, and though I wasn't a fan of Heath Slater hanging in so long, and eliminating both Jericho and Edge, Nexus really looked like they could hang with seven of WWE's best. Now, what really hurt it for me (aside from Heath Slater being in so long and Michael Tarver being eliminated so quickly), was Michael Cole's abysmal commentary. Daniel Bryan was tearing it up in there, it actually came down to him and John Cena on Team WWE (let that sink in) and he eliminated the menace that was Heath Slater, but Cole's on commentary burying the guy. I understood it during NXT, but the guy is fighting for Team WWE now and it totally just sucked the life out of the match and did nothing except Michael Cole sound like more of a whiny bitch than usual. I suppose it makes some sense, considering Cole's mancrush on The Miz, who attacked Bryan while the ref was distracted and caused the Dragon's elimination, and that'll set up a US Title match nicely (I hope), but seriously Michael Cole, STFU.

So it came down to John Cena against Wade Barrett & Justin Gabriel. They DDT'd Cena on the concrete floor, but Gabriel missed the 450 and it was a one-on-one match with just minutes left to go on the PPV. Cena managed to wrap Barrett up in the STF and caused the IWC's collective head to explode when Barrett tapped out. Team WWE won! Which seems really freaking weird!
Predictions: 4 for 6

Okay, let's talk about the finish, because I know all the smarks are crying blood and slitting their wrists as we speak because "SUPER CENA IS TEH SUXX0RZ" and "NEXUS IS DEAD!!!!!!!!1111ON!!!!", but c'mon kiddos, if you think this is the end of Nexus, then you're delusional. Yeah, WWE's going to let these guys take out Chris Jericho, Edge, Bret Hart, John Morrison, R-Truth, Daniel Bryan and take Cena to the absolute limit, and then kill the angle dead. Don't get me wrong, it was totally WWE play-it-safe-booking 101, and Nexus should have won, but put on your logic hats instead of your SMARK SMASH blinders, k? This is not the end of the storyline, my guess is we've barely scratched the surface and WWE's merely won the first battle. We still have to find out what the "bigger picture" and "common purpose" of Nexus is, we still need to find out if The G?M is involved, and again, these guys aren't just going to disappear after taking out six of Raw's top guys in a huge main event.

So while the main event was probably my favorite WWE multi-man tag match since 1997's Canadian Stampede, and it saved this show from being a complete disaster, it didn't keep SummerSlam from being a one-match card. Plenty of great wrestling marred by terrible finishes and WWE's desire to get us all bummed out up until the finish really hurt this show. But still, the main event was pretty awesome and Daniel Bryan is back, so I have to put this show in the "Watch it!" category. Certainly wasn't worth $50, but a one-match card is a hell of a lot better than a no match card.

Ring of Honor: Stars of HonorWWE: Summerslam 2009Breaking The Code: Behind The Walls of Chris JerichoA Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex

2 comments:

  1. I enjoyed SSlam, pretty much. I liked the matches, but I'm still *facepalm* about all the shitty endings to matches. Like, seriously, now, I want a legit match ending please. Is it too much to ask? (Graaaaaawr.)
    I'm really hoping they go places with the Undertaker-Kane thing. I want to purge my eyes of Rey for about five months, while I wait for the Punk to grow his hair back. But that's just me.
    Aaaand, I'm still not believing that Bryan is back. It's been approximately five hours now, and it STILL hasn't sunken in. I watched the match online (illegally, of course) and I still cannot believe it.
    LOL too at your comments on the smarks. I know a couple of them and its just really entertaining to see them explode when they find that Bryan gets eliminated. Shit f'n flew.
    Great review, I wanna see how this all pans out on RAW. Hopefully they don't shit on everything.:)

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  2. I predicted the results of every one of these matches on this PPV before it happend and I was correct this was a watchable Pay Per View in my opinion!

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