Last night’s 25th Anniversary edition of WWE’s SummerSlam event was a decent entry in the history of the pay-per-view though there have certainly been stronger offerings. While last night did provide less comedy skits than we’ve become accustomed to with WWE’s recent PPV offerings, it felt like the show was lacking some spark (and the Kevin Rudolf musical performance didn’t help). Despite that, a strong focus on in-ring action is hopefully a sign of good things to come every week on Raw as the three hour format opens things up for more wrestling.
THE JASON: Whether it was the main event coming off a bit flat regardless of the right person winning, or just not enough build for the other matches, something was off.
PTB: Well they certainly had the air time to build up everything. I didn’t even get through all of last Monday’s Raw before SummerSlam started on Sunday night. Three hours every week is killer but I was sold Sunday’s show well before that. This being the 25th Anniversary of SummerSlam helped as I have very fond memories of going to friend ‘s house in the suburbs to watch the first one.
THE JASON: I’m not sure if I caught the first one live. PPV wasn’t quite as easily accesible back in the 80′s. I remember having to convince a friend who had a satellite dish to watch Wrestlemania 3 and 4. What was the main of the first SummerSlam? I think it was the Megapowers vs. The Megabucks, right?
PTB: Absolutely, and while I liked this year’s show I can’t help but ask where was a match that could compare with that on any level? It built up for months with Ted DiBiase’s attempt to buy the WWF Championship from Andre the Giant, the tournament at WrestleMania IV, and Macho Man Savage getting a shot after four years of Hulk Hogan as champion. It seemed like 25 years later a perfect main event might have been a tag match with C.M. Punk, John Cena, Big Show and the Rock (or even Daniel Bryan as we say last Monday).
Regardless, SummerSlam had a solid focus on the ring as it should. All of the matches were decent and it gave me a lot of hope as to what the three hour format could mean for Raw.
THE JASON: I think they need to harness the idea of what they want to do with the 3 hour format, and I’ll be happy if the result is more ring-time, or additional exposure for some new talent. As of right now, I’m having trouble remembering much of what occured on last week’s show. There was the Brock Lesnar/HHH/Shawn Michaels angle and Jericho on Piper’s Pit and a subsequent 3-way with Chris Jericho, Miz and Dolph Ziggler. That three-way led to the match last night.
PTB: Jericho was really impressive in that triple threat match last Monday and it carried through to last night. Jericho versus Ziggler was the highlight in the ring at SummerSlam. A big part of what made it great was not having any idea who was going to come out the winner. Maybe all the back and forth of Ziggler’s push has been a good thing.
THE JASON: I’m surprised with the result. I don’t think it would have hurt Jericho to lose last night. I thought with Jericho’s impending Fozzy-influenced sabbatical that Ziggler winning would have been the better option.
PTB: The triple threat match with Show, Cena and Punk came a close second for me because it really left everyone looking great. Show was dominant, Cena was resilient, and Punk was brilliant. I’m not sure where the feud is headed, but you really couldn’t have asked for much more.
THE JASON: Show really looked like a monster. I enjoyed that aspect of the match. I liked how it took a huge amount of offense from both Cena and Punk in order to ground him. I liked the double submission spot, but I wasn’t thrilled with the false finish and restart of the match.
PTB: My only complaint was that after Big Show ended the match by tapping out I would have rather seen the match continue with just Punk and Cena. In fact, I would have preferred an elimination match from the outset, but what do I know? The end to the match we got was great.
THE JASON: I thought that the dispute over the double submission could have led to Cena vs. Punk next month, which I still feel would have been the better decision for SummerSlam. All in all, it was a good match, but what happened to Punk’s Anaconda Vice? I think I heard Michael Cole calling Punk’s new submission move the Anaconda Vice, even though that was definitively something different.
PTB: What he was throwing on Show was not what we’ve seen as the Anaconda Vice in the past. WWE.com cited it as the “Koji Clutch.”
The low point in the ring last night was probably Sheamus/Alberto DelRio. This one had no traction for me at all and I would have loved to see Ziggler cash in his Money in the Bank contract just to give it something to make it worth the time. It’s a shame because I genuinely like Del Rio and Sheamus is much improved, but together they’re a flop.
THE JASON: I did like Del Rio. Past tense. He was a much more interesting character when he debuted. He’s lost most of the aspects that made him fun. What happened to the wink? He’s so serious now, and incredibly stale.
PTB: How many moves with names does Sheamus have. The Irish Curse, White Noise, Brogue Kick, it’s like every two minutes he’s hitting a finisher.
THE JASON: Don’t leave out the Celtic Cross, or High Cross or the Sauce Boss Cross, whatever they are calling his super-finishing Razor’s Edge. Most of those names suck. Why would anyone Irish want to draw attention to the “Irish Curse?” What does that even mean from a logical standpoint? When I hit you with this backbreaker, you will suffer not only a back injury but also find yourself with an embarassingly small penis? Let’s not even get into the Brogue Kick. I have a brogue and so does my kick! The promotional machine is hard at work for the Great White. As far as Sheamus’s win goes, I appreciate the long title reign but I think it is time they switch the title back to Daniel Bryan. The match with Kane was OK, but I find it far more preferential to see him involved with the top guys as he was on last week’s Raw rather than being stuck with Kane.
PTB: I agree, and the only long title reign I care about at this point is Punk’s. He’s about to pass three reigns of 280 days and I’d love to see him break into the top ten if he can get to 300.
I was really happy to see a Tag Team Championship match on the card at SummerSlam. It was a tag title match that had me doing everything in my early teenage power to watch the first SummerSlam in 1988 as the Hart Foundation took on Demolition. Granted the Mega Powers took on the Mega Bucks in the main event and that had my attention too.
THE JASON: I was happy to see the tag champs and the Prime Time Players get some match time. Again, I was surprised that they didn’t use the opportunity to switch the belts. I know that the PTP may not really be ready, but isn’t that part of their gimmick?
PTB: Their gimmick is getting retooled a bit as Abraham Washington is gone after getting in trouble with his mouth a few weeks ago. Word on the streets are his tweets in response to being fired may actually help his chances of having a future with the company one day.
THE JASON: I have a feeling he’s done. Well-done like Kobe. Kobe beef, of course.
PTB: Lots of celebrities were in attendance for last night’s SummerSlam as the show emanated from LA’s Staples Center for the fourth straight year. It was like they were programing just for our friend Homer with Maria Menounous in a Bob Backlund t-shirt.
THE JASON: I don’t think Homes was watching. And if he was, I guarantee he wouldn’t have realized that Backlund was on Maria’s shirt. He couldn’t even tell that he WrestleMania outfit was a Greek Flag! It does make me think that Maria Menounous is a life-long fan, because that looked like a home-made number that she was wearing.
Do you think David Arquette had his own name on the WCW title he was carrying?
PTB: He’d better.
THE JASON: I’m still torn on the headline match. HHH/Brock was no Cena/Brock. I thought there was a great deal of drama in the match, I wasn’t sure who would really win this one. I do have to wonder why they decided to use Brock’s real-life issues with diverticulitis as part of the match. It’s never been mentioned on WWE TV, and I think it takes away something from Brock’s mystique as a beast if the audience is being reminded that the guy had some debilitating intestinal issues. I liked the match, but I think there was a bit too much of Brock going for that Kimura lock. In the end though, the right guy won.
I don’t think HHH expected to be greeted with “You Tapped Out” chants.
PTB: I was kind of surprised to see Triple H in a match again after his final battle with the Undertaker at WrestleMania this year. This one certainly wasn’t Triple H/Undertaker. It wasn’t even Cena/Lesnar. It didn’t have enough Paul Heyman and it just wasn’t for me, but they sure dedicated a lot of time to it.
THE JASON: I’m interested where they go tonight, but I can’t see Brock having another match until WrestleMania. They must have burned through most of his contracted appearances already. I wonder if now that Brock and HHH had their match all of the legal wrangling in the storyline will be dropped. Personally, I’m already tired of AJ as GM, so I’d love to see Paul Heyman as the new GM of Raw as a “out-of-court settlement for dropping the lawsuit.” At the very least, I’d like for Heyman to get the chance to gloat and make some sense out of the bizarre angle from the 1000th episode of Raw which turned the Brock/HHH storyline into the Paul/Stephanie angle.
In the event that doesn’t happen – which I’m pretty sure it won’t – I’d like to see them set something up long-term, maybe hint that Brock is coming for the title at Royal Rumble, or Undertaker at WrestleMania.
PTB: Unfortunately, that title match is reserved for the Rock, but I’d tweet-vote or whatever it would take to get Heyman as GM.
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