From the Bowery: WWE SummerSlam 2013
-Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
-Aug 18, 2013
-The Miz kicks off the show as he is the host of SummerSlam which is kind of stupid, but whatever. They should have blamed Miz for lower buyrate then as when The Rock was host of Mania the buyrate jumped. The Miz gets interrupted by Fandango and that gives the crowd a chance to Fandango. I guess this is one way to get the crowd hot for the show.
-JoJo (Total Divas) does a pretty strong job with the National Anthem. The WWE is sure treating this as a big time PPV which is appreciated.
Ring of Fire Match: Bray Wyatt vs. Kane
-No need to catch anyone on fire in this one, as the fire is just there to keep the rest of the Wyatt Family from interfering in the match. The Wyatt entrance is pretty awesome and I am kind of looking forward to seeing it live when The Rumble hits Pittsburgh in January. History has shown that these kind of matches haven’t been all that great, but the visual is still pretty kick ass. Kane dominates early and with each power move hit the flames shoot higher as has been done in the past. Wyatt goes on offense, but a suplex is countered as Kane ends up delivering the move. Wyatt teases going into the flames, and then avoids a charge in the corner. He smashes Kane with a splash in the corner and then a cross body follows. The crowd is kind of digging Wyatt as he is getting a decent reaction considering he is in there with Kane. Wyatt talks some kind of crazy non-sense as he repeatedly kicks Kane in the face, but a goozle stops that noise. The chokeslam is blocked, but a big boot sends Wyatt to the mat. Now Kane hits the corner splash and follows with a side slam as the flames fire towards the ceiling. Wyatt hits a back elbow and begs his Family for help, but the flames are apparently pro Kane as they shoot up each time a Wyatt tries to hand Bray a weapon. A nearby fireman uses an extinguisher to put out a kendo stick that caught on fire as the match has come to a halt in the ring. The Wyatts get smart and try to use the extinguisher, but that does no good considering this thing is controlled by gas. Kane recovers in the ring and hits the chokeslam, but instead of covering he drills Bray with a second chokeslam. Kane calls for a Tombstone, but the Wyatts use an asbestos blanket to smother the flames and break up things inside the ring. The crowd chants for Undertaker, but too early for his return so Kane is screwed. With the added help, Bray easily finishes with Sister Abigail at 7:49. After the match Bray watches in his rocking chair as Rowan and Harper use the stairs to smash Kane’s head. They carry Kane out after the match as theories about Kane joining the group were argued about for weeks before his actual return.
Winner: Bray Wyatt via pin at 7:49
-Not much to the match outside a few power moves, but this was more about the spectacle than anything I guess. Wyatt still needs that one star making match and obviously the WWE knows that as well since they have put the family in a feud with Punk and Bryan. *
-To kill more time we go to the SummerSlam panel with Matthews hosting Booker T, Shawn, and Vicki Guerrero. They discuss what we just saw from the Wyatts and Shawn’s beard would fit in well with the Wyatts actually.
-Now we go to the announce table as they are obviously killing time to tear down the gas lines that controlled the flames. They throw to a pre-recorded interview of Heyman as he tells us the real truth behind David and Goliath that the Bible didn’t want us to know. Heyman announces that both parties have agreed to a No DQ match and Heyman promises Punk ends up as a martyr.
Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes
-Sandow is carrying around the briefcase and I am sure that will work out well for him in the end. I mean, they wouldn’t mess up a heel holding the Money in the Bank contract. These two were former tag partner, but shit got real between the two when Sandow turned on Cody to win the Money in the Bank Contract. Sandow tries to toss Cody, who lands on the apron, but a basement dropkick sends him to the floor. Sandow is showing a lot of aggression here which is cool to see. He goes to work on the back and hits a nice snap suplex. Cody tries to hit the Cross Rhodes, but Sandow escapes and ends up hitting the Elbow of Disdain for two. JBL jokes that a guy in polka dots used to deliver elbows like that in the WWE. Sandow smartly stays on the back and then rubs Cody’s face in the mat. Sandow heads up top, but Cody catches him and shows some power before dropping Sandow with a Muscle Buster. Now Cody fires back with right hands and elbows. A springboard drop kick is next and then a kick to the balls, but the Disaster Kick misses. Sandow hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. A sunset slip is countered into a pinning attempt by Cody for two and then he hits The Disaster Kick out of nowhere for a good near fall. Sandow gets a roll up for two and the frustration is showing. Cody slides out of a slam attempt and hits Cross Rhodes to get the win at 11:09.
Winner: Cody Rhodes via pin at 11:09
-Solid match between these two as they showed some good aggression and fire. Obviously things didn’t work out for Sandow with the Money in the Bank but it will be interesting to see what happens with him in the future. Cody seemed liked a man lost in the mid card at the time of this match, but is doing quite well in the tag ranks with a rejuvenated Goldust and should lead to the Mania Match between the two that they have been wanting. **1/2
-A video package for Christian to put him over as a threat to Del Rio which shouldn’t be an issue considering he beat Del Rio for the World Title 2 years ago, but it’s still a good video package on one of most consistently over guys on the roster. It just makes me realize I am getting old watching this package considering Edge and Christian were both young guys working up the tag ranks when they made their in ring Mania debut in 2000 and here we are 13 years later.
-These two usually have solid chemistry so I have some higher hopes for this match. Though to be fair it seems a lot of people have good chemistry with Christian. That’s why dude will always have a place as he is always over with the crowd and can have a good to great match with just about anyone. In a nice heel move Del Rio insists on Lillian introducing him in Spanish, but that gets a few cheers considering we are in LA. Del Rio gets a leg kick early as the chants for Christian are pretty fucking loud which apparently means nothing to those in charge in the WWE. Christian sends Del Rio to the floor, but Del Rio bails before anything else can follow on the floor. They head back in the ring and fight on the top rope. Del Rio hits a springing kick to the head from the middle ropes that leaves Christian upside down in the Tree of Woe. They head back to the floor and Del Rio goes to work on the surgically repaired shoulder of Christian. The work on the shoulder continues as they announcers put over Del Rio’s wrestling and MMA skills. JBL mentions he would have been an Olympian in Australia had Mexico had money to send him. That kind of sucks for him if true, but for the Del Rio character that kind of kills the idea that he is a Mexican Millionaire. Del Rio misses a charge and ends up on the floor as Christian regroups in the ring. He heads up top and comes off with a spectacular cross body over the post and to the floor. Nice! They head back in the ring and start exchanging right hands, but Del Rio again goes after the bad shoulder to regain the advantage. Del Rio heads to the middle rope, but Christian gets up his feet to block and then comes off the middle rope himself with a missile dropkick. Christian heads up again and this time Del Rio misses the springing kick off the middle ropes. Christian comes off with a cross body for two. The Kill Switch is countered, but Christian gets murdered with a Back Stabber as he tried to come off the middle ropes. Del Rio has a nose bleed now to go along with a previous black eye. He gets caught with a roll-up for two, but then gets his own two count following a kick to the side of the head. Del Rio heads back to the middle rope and again misses which gives Christian a chance to come off with a back elbow. They fight on the top rope in the corner again and Christian tries a sunset powerbomb, but Del Rio hangs on and delivers a right hand. Christian is relentless though and comes back with a top rope rana for two. Christian tries the spear, but a dropkick to the face proves to be more than effective to counter that one. Damn! Del Rio calls for the cross arm breaker, but Christian counters and that ends up getting countered by Del Rio into another head kick. The crowd starts a “This is Awesome” chant and I tend to agree with them. Christian gets another roll-up for two and then hits a spear, but his shoulder is fucked as he can’t make the cover. That moment of delay gives Del Rio a chance to get the cross arm breaker and after a brief struggle he has no choice but to tap at 15:21. Del Rio cuts a promo in Spanish after the match, which again, gets a decent response from part of the LA crowd.
Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio via submission at 15:21
-Hell of a match between these two as they built off previous matches and countered things that were successful in previous matches. That ending was good stuff as well as the crowd was buying Christian having a shot before the submission came. ***1/2
-The Miz interviews Maria Menounos, who won a tag match earlier in the morning with Natalya, and they are interrupted by Fandango. The Miz and Maria dance to end the segment.
Natalya (w/ The Funkadactyls) vs. Brie Bella (w/ Eva Marie and Nikki Bella)
-They lockup to start and Natalya easily wins the power game in this one. Brie hits a knee to the stomach and then they start slapping the piss out of each other which actually draws a good response from the crowd. Nikki and Eva pull the ring apron to cause Natalya to slip to the floor and the crowd is so impressed they chant for JBL, then Cole, and finally Lawler. Nice! Brie drives a shoulder into Natalya in the corner as now the fans chant for tables. That would certainly make things interesting. Natalya fights back with a clothesline and locks in the Sharpshooter, but Brie uses her flexibility to escape and then all the ladies on the floor start to brawl. Back inside the ring Brie locks in a submission hold, but Natty overpowers her to escape. Brie counters that into a roll-up for two and a “We Want Ryder” chant starts from the crowd. Natalya gets a slam and the Sharpshooter again and this time Brie taps in the middle of the ring at 4:19.
Winner: Natalya via submission at 4:19
-It was short and they worked hard, so I have no problems with this. *1/4
-Ryback bullies some poor soul in catering and Lawler makes sure to mention that Ryback isn’t an ambassador for WWE’s Be a Star Campaign.
-Time to get real now as they show the video package for Punk/Lesnar. Fantastic job here as they take pieces from Punk’s DVD to put over the relationship he had with Heyman. Just fantastic stuff here as the story is simple: Punk hates Heyman for turning on him and Heyman hates Punk so he gets his muscle to fight his battle. Wrestling is so much better when it is kept simple: I hate you and you hate me, so let’s beat the piss out of each other in the middle of the ring.
No DQ: CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman)
-The crowd is fucking jacked for this one and I know dude only wrestles 2-3 times a year, but Brock has such a presence about him that I think it would get watered down if he was there each PPV. What hurt is that they used 3 of his 5 matches on HHH which was easily 1 too many if not 2 too many. The bell rings and they charge each other as the shit is on as they say. A massive CM Punk chant starts as Brock beats the hell out of him. Punk fights back with right hands, knees, headbutts, and anything else he can use on his body, but it has little effect as Brock is a fucking animal right now. Brock talks trash in the corner and dude just makes you believe he could rip Punk’s head off if he wanted. Punk finally makes a dent with a knee to the head and a second one sends Brock to the floor. Punk follows out through the middle ropes with a dive and goes for the steps, but Brock just casually delivers a shoulder into them to send Punk flying backwards. Brock gets posted and Punk comes off the top with a double axe to the floor. Nice! Sure wasn’t as graceful as Macho, but honestly who is? Punk heads on the announce table and waits for Brock to get to his feet and then comes off with a clothesline. Now he focuses his attention on Heyman which seems kind of stupid considering he is in a fight with Brock Lesnar. Sure enough Brock decks him from behind and then tosses Punk with scary ease from one announce table to the other. He rips off the announce table cover and drapes it over Punk before stomping on it to break it over his back. Nasty! An overhead release belly to belly suplex kills Punk as I think I hear some in the crowd chant “please don’t die.” Tremendous! Punk lands some kicks, but Brock casually clubs him in the head to send him back to the mat. Brock goes to the Hogan Killer 2002 bearhug, but Punk fights back with elbows to the bridge of the nose. That causes a break, but a knee wrecks Punk’s world. Seeing Brock just beat the shit out of someone is quite awesome and we need more if it. I don’t want any more heroic 50/50 battles with HHH. I want more if this! Punk once again fights back and tries coming off the top, but he gets caught by Brock and tossed with a fall away slam. He picks up Punk again and hits a backbreaker for a two count. He continues to go for the count, but Punk is out each time. Brock goes to a chinlock and the crowd again tries to rally Punk back into the match. Finally, Punk gets dirty as he bites the ear to break and fires off leg and body kicks. Now he goes to work with right hands as Brock is wobbly for the first time. Punk heads up top and hits a knee to the face. That sends Brock to corner and Punk hits the running high knee. A second one follows, but Brock catches a third one and tries for the F5, but Punk escapes and hits a head kick. He heads up top and the Macho elbow connects, but Brock is out at two. The crowd starts a Randy Savage chant as Punk calls for the GTS. He lifts Brock, but he escapes easy and tries again for the F5. That is escaped by Punk and he hits another head kick. He goes back for another GTS, but Brock counters to the kimura. Punk fights that off for a few seconds and reverses to an armbar and then into a triangle choke. In one of the greatest sequences ever, Brock powers Punk off the ground and hits a powerbomb, but Punk refuses to break the hold. Brock powers up once again and after Punk hits a few elbows, Brock basically says “fuck you” and hits a running powerbomb that nearly breaks Punk in half. Damn! That deserves every “this is awesome” chant from now until the end of time. Since we are in LA and Eddie country, Brock shows his dick heel side by hitting the Three Amigos as a call back to his feud with him. Apparently his bare hands aren’t enough as Lesnar goes out to grab a chair, but he takes too long as Punk is perched on top waiting for him. He comes off, but Lesnar gets up the chair to just get a piece of Punk though Brock still takes a good deal of damage as well. Punk gets to his feet first and puts the chair to good use, but Brock blocks another shot to get hold of the chair. Punk counters though with a shot to the balls and clearly who can blame the guy. I’m shocked Punk didn’t break his hand considering Brock probably has brass balls. Punk heads up top with the chair and hits a chair assisted Macho Elbow to a massive reaction for two. Damn! Punk goes to work with the chair as Brock gets beaten into a massive pile of goo, but Heyman saves by grabbing the chair. Brock gets Punk up for the F5, but Punk grabs Paul’s tie to block and Brock has to release the hold. Punk ends up hitting the GTS, but Heyman breaks the count to save Brock once again. Punk gives chase and he walks right into a F5, but Punk counters that into a DDT for two. He hooks in the Anaconda Vice, but Punk releases when Heyman comes in to get the chair. Punk stands on it to block and finally gets his hands on Paul to deliver a punch to the face and then locks him in the Anaconda Vice. Brock murders Punk with several chair shots and the F5 on the chair finally ends this war at 30:21. Punk gets a standing ovation after the match as he leaves disappointed, but standing.
Winner: Brock Lesnar via pin at 30:21
-Well, I had Punk vs. Taker as my match of year, but that has changed now. This was a fight that played to the strengths of both men. Brock comes out looking like a bad ass killer as he always should and Punk leaves as the tougher than nails hero that got screwed by his former best friend. Taker vs. Punk had a much grander stage with more memorable moments (heel Punk was awesome in that match), but this was just an all out war between two of the best in the world. *****
Mixed Tag Match: AJ and Big E Langston vs. Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn
-Dolph and Big E start and Dolph immediately hits a standing dropkick for a one count. Big E kills Dolph with a belly to belly suplex and then a splash for a two count. He goes to an abdominal stretch and at least pounds away on the ribs while pulling back on the hold for some added damage. He drags Dolph to the corner and AJ licks her hand before delivering a slap. Every AJ fan boy would have gladly taken that one for Dolph (and I include myself in that group). Big E is slow to follow up and eats another dropkick. AJ tags herself in and that means Dolph has to tag Kaitlyn. The former champ dominates with her power, but AJ escapes a slam and gets a spinning kick to the face for two. The crowd is dead quiet which isn’t shocking considering the position there 4 were placed in by having to follow Lesnar/Punk, but someone has to do it. AJ hits a few neck breakers and then skips around the ring to celebrate. She goes to a headlock as the camera focuses on the Doritos Contest winning fans who are sitting in front of the announce table. The commentary is also mainly about AJ as I guess that proves who the star of this match is. The men finally get the tag back in and Dolph drops many elbows (10 total) on Big E for a two count. Big E ducks a fameasser and hits a slam, but Kaitlyn makes the save. AJ enters and takes her out with a knee to the face. They hit the floor and continue their fight as the men settle things in the ring. Big E misses a charge in the corner and hits shoulder first in the post. Dolph preps for the Zig Zag, but AJ holds his leg and then gets speared by Kailtyn for her trouble. Big E levels Dolph with the E-Train and sets up for the Big Ending, but Dolph slides out and hits the Zig Zag for the win at 6:45.
Winners: Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn via Dolph pin on Big E at 6:45
-A one on one match between Langston and Ziggler probably would have served better, but I can see why they did the mix tag instead of 2 separate matches. **
-Miz is interrupted by Fandango again in the back and this time Miz just decks him with a right end to kill this running gag.
-Back to the roundtable and everyone picks Daniel Bryan. Shawn makes sure to point out how awesome Punk/Lesnar was and Booker puts over Del Rio/Christian.
-Bryan is scary over with the crowd here as the “Yes” signs are all over the building, and as for Cena he gets booed out of the building even before his music starts playing. Damn! Super special ring introductions and this match definitely has that big fight feel to it. Crazy to think that just 3 years ago, Bryan returned to the WWE at SummerSlam after the tie incident and nobody would have guessed he would be the most over guy in the company and headlining a PPV with Cena. Cole mentions that this is the arena where Cena first won the WWE Title at Mania 21 against JBL. Cena controls early with a side headlock, but Bryan escapes rather easily as almost if to say “bitch, please.” The crowd lets Cena know that he can’t wrestle and I am sure he will try to prove them wrong. I will stand on my soapbox here for a second because that chant has always irritated me. Cena’s character is quite possibly beyond stale, but the man has a laundry list of great matches in his career and he wasn’t being carried in all of those matches. Hell, he had one of the best matches of the year in 2008 against Umaga of all people. Again, I can understand the hate for the stale character, but the man gives me great PPV matches on a consistent basis and that’s good enough for me. Anyway back to the match as Cena rolls to the floor to break and whispers something in the ring physician’s ear. Lawler asks the good doc and we are informed that Cena told him that his elbow is 100%. With that cleared up, Cena goes back to work with the side headlock and then we get a reversal sequence that ends with Bryan getting a bridge into a backslide for two. Bryan tries for a surfboard, but Cena powers out and tries for the AA. Bryan escapes onto the ring apron so Cena knocks him off and into the announce table. The crowd is quite pissed with Cena for that one. Cena gives chase on the floor and Bryan reverses a whip sending Cena into the stairs. Bryan tries a suplex off the steps, but Cena blocks and hits a suplex of his own off the stairs and to the floor. Nice! The crowd lets Cena know that he still sucks. Ok that was funny! They head back in the ring and Cena starts to unload with right hands which send Bryan back into the corner. Cena whips him into the opposite corner and then sticks him with a sit-out powerbomb. I guess since Batista has been gone for over 3 years now that move is ripe for the picking. Bryan fights out of another side headlock and then unloads in the corner with heavy hands as the crowd lets loose with “yes” chants. A clothesline drops Cena as Bryan starts to pick up the pace. Cena is left on his knees and Bryan goes crazy with kicks to the chest, but the head kick is ducked. Cena runs through some of the 5 Moves of Doom, but the 5 Knuckle Shuffle is countered with a kick to the head. Effective! Bryan tries for the Yes Lock, but Cena rolls through and gets another suplex which leads to the Five Knuckle Shuffle connecting. The AA looks to finish, but Bryan lands on his feet and catches a charging Cena with a boot to the face. Bryan heads up top and hits a dropkick that nets him a two count. A close-up of Cena shows that he has a nice bump below the eye off of either the dropkick or the boot to the face. Bryan starts screaming at Cena to get up and each team he kicks him in the damaged elbow. It has taken him all this time to finally target the elbow and he is doing so now in impressive fashion with some heavy kicks. Cena tries to counter to the STF, but Bryan counters to his own STF just to show the man how to properly apply the thing. Cena starts to get to the ropes, but Bryan drags him back to the middle of the ring and then connects with a release German suplex for two. A bridging German suplex gets another two count, but second blocks another one with an attempted AA. Bryan escapes that however and hooks in the Yes Lock, but Cena powers out of that. Bryan stays one step ahead and gets a Guillotine as the fans start a dueling chant. Again Cena uses his power and breaks by ramming Bryan into the corner. That worked for Hogan with the Camel Clutch nearly 30 years ago so why not. Sure enough it works for Cena and out of nowhere he catches a charging Bryan with the AA for two. The crowd is so happy about that kick-out, but Cena’s world is crushed. Cena seems a little flustered as he takes his time climbing to the top rope and because of that Bryan catches him with a dropkick after a few attempts to bring Cena down. They fight on the top rope and Bryan hits a superplex, but hooks his legs to avoid taking the fall himself. Awesome! The flying head butt follows, but Cena kicks out at two before rolling to the floor. Bryan tries for the flying dive between the ropes, but Cena blocks with an elbow and then hits the top rope legdrop once back inside the ring for two. The crowd reaction is building with each passing second now as they battle on the top rope again. Cena apparently wants an AA from up there, but Bryan elbows out and tries a rana that Cena catches and turns into the STF (though Bryan nearly killed himself). Bryan rolls to his back and Cena turns it into a rear naked choke, but Bryan escapes that and counters to the Yes Lock. Cena gets to the ropes and the crowd is all over him for taking the coward’s way out. HHH checks on Cena but he assures him that he is ok. Bryan apparently wants to change that as he hits several dropkicks in the corner, but a third one gets blocked with a vicious clothesline that nearly takes Bryan’s head off. Nasty! Another dueling chant breaks out and they start trading blows in the center of the ring and naturally the crowd is way into that with Yes and No chants. They each try a diving forearm and end up crashing and burning into each other. The crowd lets us all know that they think this is awesome. Both men get to their feet and they take turns slipping the piss out of each other’s face. That fires up both men and Cena uses his power to get Bryan up for another AA, but Bryan counters to a DDT. Bryan heads up, but again more power from Cena as he catches him rather easily and tosses him on his shoulders for another AA. Once again Bryan is a step ahead of that move and gets the small package for two. Crowd was totally buying that one. Bryan ties a head kick that is ducked, but a second try connects and Cena is fucked. A running knee to the skull murders Cena and that is enough for the clean as a sheet pin and WWE Title at 25:16.
Winner and New WWE Champion: Daniel Bryan via pin at 25:16
-Fantastic match that delivered in every way possible. Massive amounts of respect for Cena busting his ass like that considered the condition of his elbow. Again, the man may be stale from a character stand point, but he always delivers in the ring whether injured or healthy. The story was great with Cena using his strength to counter everything Bryan was throwing at him, but Bryan always seemed one step ahead of the AA. The finish did seem out of nowhere, but made sense as Bryan targeted the head a few times and a running knee to the face seems more epic way to win a match over a small package (which was built up great heading into the match). ****1/2
The crowd celebrates with Bryan in spectacular fashion and it truly seems like the start of a new era as Cena shakes Bryan’s hand before leaving. Poor guy even gets booed for showing sportsmanship. The celebration continues as HHH kind of just keeps hanging out and congratulating Bryan. Confetti and pyro gets fired off and in a cool moment Bryan talks to the camera and thanks his mom and dad. Any time now fans were probably hoping to see the show end, but nope, Orton’s music hits and the crowd is already dreading what may happen. He teases the cash in, but changes his mind as he sees Bryan is more than ready for him. He turns to walk, but takes a glance back and that’s when HHH crushes the soul of everyone in attendance by hitting Bryan with a Pedigree.
-With Bryan out cold the bell rings and Orton gets the three count and WWE Title at 0:08.
Winner and New WWE Champion: Randy Orton via pin at 0:08
-At the time this seemed 100% like the idea booking as everyone expected that in the end Bryan would come out getting his revenge and the WWE Title, but we all know how that ended. With that said at the time things made perfect sense and HHH was way past due for a heel turn. Not going to rate an 8 second match though where the champion is knocked out before the bell.
The 411: This is easily the WWE PPV of the year thanks to the 2 Match of the Year Contenders and the very good World Title Match. Everything else was ok at best, but nothing was outright horrible so that's a plus. Even the opener at least provided for a decent spectacle.