WWE SummerSlam 2013 from Los Angeles, CA || PPV Review
Wow, I actually got the chance to see an entire PPV before RAW! I haven't done that since WrestleMania. My son really wanted to see it and I had the opportunity for a day off of work, so I got to watch the show!
Kickoff Match, US Championship: RVD def. Dean Ambrose via DQ
This was a hot way to start off the show. Two guys the crowd really likes to watch in a match that was above average. It was essentially one of the usual long RAW matches that we get most weeks, just on a bigger stage. It didn't end up leading to a 6-man tag or a Tag Title match on the actual PPV, which was expected/reported, but that ended up being for the best. We can get a US Title rematch at Night of Champions on the actual PPV and the Tag Title match can happen there as well. I'm also glad that he initial interference of the other four men didn't lead to the end of the match, because the rest of the match afterward was good stuff and Roman Reigns' spear is always awesome.
Ring of Fire: Bray Wyatt def. Kane
Nobody was expecting anything spectacular, so I wasn't at all disappointed by this like many people online seem to have been. The visual of the fire is one of my favourites in pro wrestling, and while there weren't any amazing spots based around the fire, the bigger bumps with it shooting up were fun to watch. People complained about the stipulation happening to keep Rowan and Harper out of the match (thus rendering stipulations like it worthless) but it wasn't really the main story. Yeah, they interfere and wreak havoc using the power of numbers, but the story leading to the match was about Kane making Wyatt enter his world and putting his money where his mouth is to prove that HE is the devil's worker. Keeping The Family out of the ring was the secondary story (even though Cole trumped it up like crazy during the match) and their use of the fire blanket to get into the ring was a great idea. I call the opening of the show a success, as the match was a decent spectacle and it is furthering the storyline. They should have had a better spotlight on The Family leading Kane away because I don't know if the crowd could fully tell that's what they were doing (and maybe a followup of some kind later on in the night) but I love that they took him. I assume it's leading to some time off for the See No Evil sequel and I am hoping he returns as an evil minion of Bray instead of the same old angry Kane looking for revenge. He can eventually do that, but Kane as a Wyatt follower would be different and likely quite good.
Cody Rhodes def. Damien Sandow
It was what we expected, essentially a RAW match on PPV. The tradition of MITB winners losing while holding the briefcase continues, but I don't expect it to do any damage to Sandow. He's already more over than Cody, and the hope here is that Rhodes gets built up a bit from this point. No clue what they intend to do with Sandow (likely nothing if history is any indication of a Mr. MITB run) and I like clean-shaven face Cody, but what's the follow up? Feud with Axel and Heyman maybe? He can help Punk and battle those two and hopefully get over by being associated with Punk. The match itself was fine for being less than 7 minutes long.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio def. Christian
Maybe it's just because I'm still tired of Del Rio (and I really don't have any idea what would save him for me), but I was really expecting a Christian victory here. Other than the mild disappointment from seeing him tap out, the match itself was great. ADR still brings it in the ring when he has the right opponent and Christian is essentially the right opponent for anybody and everybody, as he's one of the most versatile guys IN THIS BUSINESS. Somehow that's probably part of the reason he's never had a real run on top; he's just too good at making other guys look good (a trap Ziggler still may end up falling into). This is another pair of guys who have absolutely zero clear direction, though, so there's nothing to look forward to because it's just completely up in the air. Nonetheless it was a perfectly solid PPV title match and good to have on this card.
- I was putting my son to bed during the Nattie/Brie match. From what I saw, the women looked good and nobody held the ref's hand, so I can only give this 50% effectivenes.
No Disqualification: Brock Lesnar def. CM Punk
Just like Brock's match with Cena (and exactly the opposite of his matches with Triple H), Lesnar and Punk went out and did something completely different. It wasn't just a wrestling match. It wasn't a poorly feigned attempt at MMA. It was just a really, really, really good fight with two guys using strikes, wrestling moves, submissions and counters with incredible intensity. I loved this match. My instinct is to get upset when the face gets distracted by the heel manager, especially when it happens multiple times in a match and he out-and-out turns his attention away from his opponent, but it did at least make sense for Punk to do it because in this situation the matter is extremely personal. The right guy won, and they did it the right way. Neither man ended up looking even the slightest bit weak with the outcome, as Brock is a beast that withstood a hell of a lot from a man on a crusade and Punk was only defeated thanks to a lot of interference and an F-5 onto a chair. Did you notice the difference in post-match crowd reaction between the loser of the Lesnar match at this year's SummerSlam as opposed to last year's?
Mixed Tag Match: Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn def. AJ Lee & Big E. Langston
This was the cooldown match with the added bonus of everybody being over enough (and having a great crowd) that they actually still got a more than respectable reaction for the short contest. Ziggler racks up another win, which was certainly necessary as there's no reason Big E (nor AJ) needed the victory here, and it was a Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling match. Sadly, however, it's another one featuring competitors with absolutely zero discernible direction moving forward. Hopefully this is remedied on RAW (FIND OUT LATER ON IN THIS VERY COLUMN!)
WWE Championship: Daniel Bryan def. John Cena
The second main event of the evening also delivered in a big way. I love it when they have Cena in there with a guy who does a lot of submission and counter wrestling, because he shows that even though he's huge and somewhat clunky, he can maneuver his way though some pretty intricate sequences when he wants to. It's just not his normal style, and there's no reason it has to be. Both wrestlers did a number of things that they don't usually do in this match, and all of it worked out well. Bryan's hanging superplex was AWESOME and something I've never seen before. It's fairly common when done as a German suplex, but not as a vertical. His big hulk-up moment was spectacular there, and the match just kept getting better and better. The slap sequence was a really good callback to their promo from RAW and also just a really, really good bit of professional wrestling. As always, Cena came through big time when he's expected to and Bryan looked like a star. The BUSAIKU KNEE out of nowhere being the finish was certainly great, but it was so unexpected that I thought it was just going to be a nearfall, so I didn't pop for it right away. Just amazing work by both men and Triple H did exactly the right thing as the referee. I essentially forgot that he was even the ref. Great job by him as well.
MITB Cash-In, WWE Championship: Randy Orton def. Daniel Bryan
They did a very good job of making it seem like the show really was going to close with Daniel Bryan as the conquering feel-good winner who was able to win the big one in his first shot with Cena as the champ. I don't think most people truly bought it, though. I was beginning to think they might not do it when the celebration kept going, but then the celebration KEPT GOING and it was confirmed that the fix was in. What I did not expect was Triple H turning on Bryan and hitting him with the Pedigree to give Orton the win. I'm not sure where they are going with this, but I am very interested in finding out. I'm somewhat deflated that this is probably leading to Triple H being the heel in the fight against Vince for the company (which doesn't make any sense, but whatever) but for the time being this is likely leading to Bryan chasing the belt against MEGA HEELS and hopefully getting a real reign out of it (for 3-4 months at least, like his World Title run). I am interested to find out what's going to happen next and I'm not initially upset about anything that happened (no, not even a single Pedigree being the killshot) so this ending was just fine in my book.
Overall SummerSlam Thoughts: I realized the lack of direction for a ton of guys on the roster while writing this review, so that kinda sucks, but all of the action on the show from the Kickoff to the end of the main event was high quality. The in-ring action of the Wyatt/Kane match was incredibly unspectacular but that was all about seeing cool fire and the angle that's going to come from it. The title matches were good-to-great, Punk and Brock rocked the shit out of it and I come out of this one thoroughly optomistic, even with the lack of mid-card direction (I guess we're all used to that, though).
WWE Monday Night RAW from Anaheim, CA || TV Review
John Cena's Elbow Kicks Us Off!
- Cena puts over Bryan in a good serious promo as the better man.
- The crowd cheers when he says he can't put off his surgery any longer. The look on his face was perfect.
- Wow, 4-6 months. I was only kidding last week when I said it would be that long.
- He brings out Daniel Bryan to a MASSIVE reaction, but before he can say a word, fuckin' Stephanie McMahon interrupts.
- At least she gets soundly booed.
- Her excuse is that last night was what is "best for business". Crowd don't like that buuuuuullsheeeeit.
- Wow! Bryan! "When you lie with trash, sooner or later you begin to stink."
- God, Stephanie is being the perfect corporate bitch. This whole thing is great.
- "You might not be an A, but you are a B PLUS. A SOLID B Plus." What a great line!
- Bryan is getting the early Austin versus McMahon treatment. I fucking LOVE it!
SummerSlam Rematch: Cody Rhodes v. Damien Sandow
- NICE springboard missile dropkick from Cody.
- We come back from the break with the crowd chanting for the announcers. Fuck the post-WM crowd for that shit.
- I think Sandow flipped the bird before the ELBOW OF DISDAIN!
- SWEET moonsault press! Crowd is getting behind Cody!
- Cody wins again! Very slick finish with the rollup out of the corner. Much better than the PPV match, which is fine since it was essentially filler at SummerSlam and they get more exposure on RAW. Bravo for this show thus far.
- Brad Maddox relates an anti-Triple H comment Dolph Ziggler made after SummerSlam. Because of it, he's got a 3-on-1 match against The Shield tonight. Woops.
Paul Heyman Visits Us with Another Promo from an Injured Man!
- Aww, Heyman forgives Punk for leaving the nest. He's a sweet guy deep down.
- He still loves Punk and wants to lead him to WrestleMania. This was oddly short, but it did exactly what it needed to.
The Funkadactyls v. AJ Lee and Layla
- AJ hits a great spin-kick. X-Pac should take notes.
- Cameron hits a nice standing enzugiri. She would make for a decent AJ feud.
- Naomi rolls up Layla immediately off the hot tag! They screwed up that finish too!
Handicap Match: Dolph Ziggler v. The Shield
- Ziggler versus Rollins would be a pretty sweet singles match.
- I love how nonchalant Roman Reigns is sometimes. This time, though, it gets him a dropkick in the face.
- Ziggler almost pins him with DDT! Suplex to Rollins out of the ring! Stinger Splash countered with a SPEAR! Nice.
- Ziggler gets the triple powerbomb treatment. Very good handicap match and Ziggler looked great.
Non-title: Alberto Del Rio v. Sin Cara
- Hey, no shitty lighting!
- Sin Cara gets an armdrag and follows right out with suicide dive! And hurts himself! Geez.
- Match stopped due to injury and Del Rio played it off well.
- Not quite sure what he said after the match. I was busy looking at the "Cena [hearts] Scat" sign.
- Ricardo Rodriguez interrupts and cuts a good promo about being happy to be out of ADR's servitude and then brings out... RVD? That's random, but I can dig it. He should steal Titus O'Neil's whistle and use it at ringside.
The Real Americans v. The Prime Time Players
- Speaking of that whistle...
- Darren Young got a couple of hiptosses on Cesaro. See? Coming out did get him a push.
- Blind tag off the Swagger Bomb followed by a leapfrog into the doublestomp! These two have fantastic tag team maneuvers.
- Young gets the hot tag and the crowd's behind him! I'll leave the gay jokes to you!
- Holy shit the PTP win! They did? Holy crap! Pretty good match with a surprising but very welcome outcome.
- Renee Young interviews Big Show, but apparently he said bad things about Triple H too so Brad Maddox shoos her away (literally saying it) and books a 3-on-1 handicap match against The Shield, but this time all three guys are in the ring at the same time. Fun!
- Fandango interrupts a Footlocker guy trying to hawk his wares to Zack Ryder and Justin Gabriel and it's actually pretty funny.
- I think Ryback is going to rape this guy. With this recent bullying, they should rename him O'Ryback.
Handicap Match: The Big Show v. The Shield
- This isn't fair! The Shield already had to wrestle tonight!
- Big Show just stole Reigns' move! Jerk!
- The top rope knee strike from Rollins was perfect.
- Show is holding his own in the second entertaining handicap match of the night!
- Spear from Reigns! Not as amazing as I was hoping.
- Triple powerbomb gets him. Good stuff.
CM Punk Responds to Paul Heyman!
- Punk goes after a fan at ringside who was booing. It sounded like he was booing Heyman, but it was still awesome.
- He calls out Heyman for an apology and Paul brings Curtis Axel with him as if he poses some sort of threat as a bodyguard. That's cute.
- Then he tells Axel to tape up his hands for a fight. Seriously it's SO cute that Heyman thinks he stands a chance.
- Punk is a fuckin' liar. He's wearing his trunks underneath his pants!
- He hit him with an XBox or something! AND the ring bell!
- What the hell? Axel wins the fight? What is this world we're living in!
- He's gonna Pillmanize him!
- Punk moves! It's not over! GTS onto the stairs! Punk wins! All is right in the world!
- Good brawl. I hope Heyman brings somebody else in to take Punk on next, though. Axel is better used elsewhere.
Bray Wyatt v. R-Truth
- Simple squash. Wyatt dances with Truth before putting him down with Sister Abigail.
- He almost forgot to get the pin while looking at the hard camera.
- Kinda disappointed they didn't do any followup at all for the Kane angle.
- LOS MATADORES ARE COMING SOON! I hope Justin Credible sues for gimmick infringement.
The Usos v. 3MB
- It's Slater and Mahal as the band's pairing.
- I'm enjoying the tag teams actually getting some competitive wins over each other instead of just one team being specifically built for the next shot. Don't know how long it will last, but I'll enjoy it while it does.
- Nice spinning enzugiri by the one Uso guy!
- The Usos made the tag while one of them was doing a dive! That was freakin' awesome!
- Another solid match tonight.
The Miz v. Wade Barrett
- This has been a pretty good show, but good lord it doesn't seem like it'll ever end.
- Just a generic match until Fandango interferes and stops Miz' figure four with his top rope leg drop.
- Glad that all happened.
- Brad Maddox tells Stephanie McMahon that Daniel Bryan is back in the building! YES!
Randy Orton's Official Championship Coronation!
- Triple H buries Daniel Bryan while not burying Daniel Bryan. It really was a great promo, honestly. It's pretty atypical for a heel authority figure, so I'm more than willing to wait and see how it plays out before judging.
- I'm glad the McMahon family has forgiven Orton for all he's done to them. Especially for the home invasion and the really bad WrestleMania 25 match.
- Triple H invites Bryan out and calls the Shield off, as they were guarding the ring. Bryan comes out and THE SHIELD ATTACKS!
- Bryan's holding his own! He's taking them all out! He's getting into the ring! OH SHIT SPEAR FROM REIGNS!
- Triple H stops the big powerbomb, however, and invites him in for real.
- But then he takes an RKO immediately, before he can even get into the ring. Damn.
Overall RAW Thoughts: The show was fine. It felt long (as usual) and there was a bit too much filler but for the most part the show was pretty entertaining. There were no good, long matches, but the Shield handicap matches were good, as was Rhodes v. Sandow. I will continue to cautiously enjoy the rebuilding of the tag division as well. The two main angles of the show were both good and I am very interested in seeing where it all goes. The deck is stacked like crazy against Daniel Bryan, and I am REALLY excited to see how he overcomes it all. Good lord in heaven I hope he does. My wife is already on the way toward rioting if he continues to get fucked over.
- Mick Foley claimed in a recent interview that he's never going to wrestle again, whether he wants to or not. I wish they would have done a Punk v. Foley match at Survivor Series a couple years ago, but oh well. Foley and his family are far better off with him doing his comedy, books and charity. Daddy killed himself for his family and they're all young enough for him to enjoy semi-retirement and live a darn good suburban Long Island life. I couldn't be happier for the dude, to be completely honest. Mick's one of my absolute favourites and in my eyes he didn't do enough to really tarnish what he did in his prime. For a while there he certainly was trying, though.
- The WWE lockerroom is reportedly torn between being cautiously optimistic about the end result of the WWE Title situation at SummerSlam and being all "FUCK THAT TRIPLE H IT'S LIKE 2002 IN HERE!"
- Ric Flair had a bit too much to drink before (and during, I believe) the WWE2K video game panel on Sunday. Apparently 2K Sports isn't upset about it, but WWE was quite pissed off. A deal was being made for Flair to be a promotional ambassador for WWE, but who knows if that's going to happen now. He was also apparently going to make a surprise appearance at SummerSlam, but that was nixed due to his behaviour. Jim Ross hilariously replied to a fan on Twitter who was questioning if he and Flair were drunk, responding that he (Ross) was certainly not drunk. Point goes to Good Ol' JR!
- Alberto Del Rio and Drew McIntyre were attacked by a pack of Marines at a bar before SummerSlam.
- Brooke Hogan was released from TNA last week due to not being worth the shit tons of money they were paying her. That's actually the legitimate reason, too. I haven't been fully paying attention to TNA recently. Has her storyline been wrapped up or are they just going to drop that part of the angle? Not that it matters. I'm just asking.
- Cameron (I think that's the one who said Alicia Fox was in her favourite match) had a Twitter fight with Sid Vicious on Twitter. That is easily one of the most random things that has ever happened.
- SmackDown may be changed to a 3-hour show in the future. The reports say that WWE wants to make it a more important show, close to the level of RAW. They could do that by, ya know, just doing important stuff on there and then not repeating the exact same thing 3 days later on RAW. That would probably resolve all of the problems right there.