Powell's WWE SummerSlam Hitlist: Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H, C.M. Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show for the WWE Championship, Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio for the World Title, Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to the 86-minute audio review of WWE SummerSlam that Chris Shore and I recorded last night, a 27-minute interview with ROH Champion Kevin Steen that Chris conducted over the weekend, and Will Pruett's Quick Hits review of SummerSlam with his in-person perspective. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
WWE SummerSlam Hits
Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella: The show started off on a positive note with the talented Cesaro winning the U.S. Title. I bought into the tease that Santino's second Cobra glove would lead to him going over, so I was pleasantly surprised when Cesaro picked up the win with help from Aksana's distraction. I have high hopes for the Cesaro and Aksana pairing. Santino is a likable comedy figure who just didn't need the U.S. Title. Here's hoping they follow up Cesaro's recent loss to Christian with a real program between the two.
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler: A good pay-per-view opener with a finish that surprised me. I was really hopeful that it was Dolph's night and even if he lost this match he would successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract. With Jericho expected to go on hiatus due to Fozzy playing the Uproar Festival, one can only assume that Ziggler will get his heat back tonight.
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio: A good match with a somewhat surprising finish. Granted, I expected Miz to retain the Intercontinental Title, but I did not expect to see him win clean. I believe this win gives him one more clean pinfall that he scored over a meaningful opponent during his entire WWE Championship reign.
Kane vs. Daniel Bryan: Kane matches are slow when he's performing offensive moves other than his crowd pleasing signature spots. This match was no exception. However, the match met my expectations and it was nice to see Bryan go over. The post-match fit was odd and now A.J. is teasing that there will be repercussions for Kane tossing Josh "The Stalker" Mathews around. Personally, I feel that's grounds for a parade in Kane's honor, but I have a feeling A.J. won't feel the same way.
WWE SummerSlam Misses
Overall show: Most of these matches felt like something we could see on Raw or Smackdown, and the big main event match simply didn't deliver enough to make this feel like a major event. This show would have been considered average if it had been Over The Limit. Given the SummerSlam title, fans rightfully expected more from WWE. WWE is giving so much away on television these days that most of these matches felt like they could have taken place on Raw or Smackdown (or even Superstars in the case of the tag title match). Most of the finishes felt like setups for future matches rather than feud ending finishes. I expect more from one of WWE's biggest annual shows.
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H: The match wasn't as good or physically intense as the Lesnar vs. John Cena match at Extreme Rules. They managed to deliver a good go-home angle on Raw last week, yet that was the only time the match really felt important. The live crowd was flat from the beginning and it didn't help matters that it didn't feel like anything was truly at stake. Brock's style at Extreme Rules was awesome, but there are only so many guys he can work that style with. Triple H just isn't one of them. The post-match angle was embarrassing. Triple H remaining on the mat while attempting to coax the polite applause for his valiant effort resulted in "You tapped out" chants once he finally got to his feet. I can't even label the fans disrespectful. Rather, I blame WWE for not nipping that chant in the bud when it started years ago by telling viewers that there's no shame in tapping out. Rather, WWE basically encouraged that mindset and it came back to haunt them here. The show closing with teases that Triple H's in-ring career could be over couldn't have come at a worse time. Fortunately, the production team is top notch and they can make this match and that angle work on Raw tonight for the millions of viewers who didn't watch the disappointing match live.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio: A repeat match that ended with a cheap finish. That was a pay-per-view setup finish that I would expect to see on Smackdown setting up a SummerSlam rematch, not on the actual SummerSlam pay-per-view.
C.M. Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show: The in-ring work was solid, yet it's nothing anyone will be talking about by this time next week. I really expected them to whet our appetites for Punk vs. Cena. A.J. skipping out and taking her sweet time to restart the match was really flat. I think they expected the crowd to be on the edge of their seats waiting for her to make her ruling. Instead, they sat there silently while waiting for her to deliver the predictable restart announcement. I'm not sure why Big Show would be able to continue wrestling after he tapped out, but I can write that off in my head as a case of A.J. being crazy and new to the job. The finish wasn't all that clever. We've seen countless Triple Threat matches end with one guy hitting his finisher and the other guy swooping in to reap the rewards. Even this felt like something we could have seen on Raw, and it shouldn't feel that way when Punk and Cena are working against one another.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. The Prime Time Players: The tag team division continues to feel like it belongs on WWE Superstars. It just shouldn't be this hard to reestablish a tag team division.
Kevin Rudolf performance: Who in the hell thought it would be cute and clever to have WWE personnel carrying on like jackasses while this misplaced performance was taking place? It would have been fitting if the performance had ended with the unveiling of a giant banner that read, "WWE: We Are Nerds."
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