August 18, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
The current WWE champs are as follows:
WWE Champion: John Cena (4/7/2013)
World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio (6/16/2013)
WWE Intercontinental Champion: Curtis Axel (6/16/2013)
WWE U.S. Champion: Dean Ambrose (5/19/2013)
WWE Tag Team Champions: The Shield (5/19/2013)
WWE Divas Champion: AJ Lee (6/16/2013)
The Miz comes out and welcomes us to SummerSlam. After he tells us what the two main events are (like we didn’t know), Fandango and Summer Rae interrupt him with a dance.
Now we get a video package hyping the two main events.
JoJo from ‘Total Divas’ comes out to sing the national anthem.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL.
- Ring of Fire: Kane vs. Bray Wyatt (w/Luke Harper and Erick Rowan)
So you don’t actually have to light your opponent on fire. It’s basically a cage match with fire instead of steel. The bell rings and the flames start to appear. Like any of the inferno matches before, the flames get higher when there’s an impact move in the middle of the ring. Some people are making the argument that this is stupid booking because you wouldn’t have your first match in a feud be a gimmick match, basically saying where do you go from here? But I think it gives Bray Wyatt’s first match a uniqueness and stands out. There’s a couple firemen around ringside to sell what could be horrific about this match. Harper finds a kendo stick and lights it on fire, but he drops it like it’s hot. Bray – “NO, YOU FOOL!” A fireman puts out the fire while Bray turns around into a Chokeslam. Rowan grabs the fire extinguisher trying to put out the flames on one side of the ring, but that won’t work either. Two more Chokeslams and Kane is calling for the Tombstone. Before that can happen, Harper and Rowan smother the flames with some long piece of cloth so they can ambush Kane. He can only fight them off for so long. SISTER ABIGAIL is enough to put him away. (8:49) After the match, Harper and Rowan create a guillotine effect with the steps on Kane in front of Wyatt who sits in his rocking chair. The Wyatt family take Kane with them to the back. What are they going to do with him? Is there a ‘See No Evil 2′ coming or what? Not a great match, but certainly some cool visuals. *½
WWE 2K14 ad. It’s released on October 29! Hey guys, how about that WrestleMania Symposium? It was brought to us by Grey Goose!
We go to the Expert Superstar Panel of Josh Mathews, Booker T, Shawn Michaels, and Vickie Guerrero. More like Shawn Robertson with that beard. Apparently, we’ve turned into ESPN now.
They replay a promo cut by Paul Heyman during the SummerSlam Kickoff. He tells us that David did not in fact kill Goliath. Heyman says that Goliath took David’s best shot and then put a beating on David the likes of which *nobody* ever got to see David again. Yeah, I guess the Bible got it wrong? In Heyman’s mind, this is how Barack Lesnar vs. CM Punk will go. He also announces to us that this match will now be contested under no-disqualification rules, which means NO rules. The only thing biblical about the beating Punk will receive is that Punk will become a martyr at the hands of Barack Lesnar.
- Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
Again, Sandow handcuffs his chocolate MITB briefcase to the ringpost. That must and should be a thing now. Some brawling to start. This is a feud after all. Sandow dumps Rhodes on the apron and trips him up with a spinning legsweep. Back inside, Sandow works the back. He buries a knee into the shoulders and pulls back on Cody’s arms. Rhodes almost catches Sandow with the Cross Rhodes, but Sandow escapes and delivers the Russian Legsweep to set up the Elbow of Disdain for two. Holy crap, Sandow busts out the Edgecator! Sandow heads up top, but Cody is there to stop him to deliver a Muscle Buster for a nearfall. What happened to the last three minutes of back work? Rhodes fires back with the sliding uppercut. He even tries a Bionic Elbow, but the man just doesn’t have the charisma to pull that one off. He does something Dusty would never dream of doing and that’s a springboard dropkick. While Sandow is holding onto the ropes, Rhodes picks up his legs and kicks him in the gut ala Hardcore Holly. Beautiful Disaster fails once, but not a second time. Cover, 1-2-NO! Sandow avoids a corner charge and Rhodes runs into the ringpost, but it’s not enough as Cody delivers CROSS RHODES for the win. (6:39) And Sandow’s losing streak continues. Way too short. It’s just a first match though so hopefully they’ll get a longer rematch to tell a better story at some point in the near future. **¼
Clinton Sparks feat. 2 Chainz, Macklemore & D.A. bring us “Gold Rush” as the official theme song for SummerSlam.
- World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian
Michael Cole kayfabes the Del Rio-McIntyre hotel fight by saying Christian’s Killswitch on Smackdown gave him a black eye. ADR makes Lillian Garcia introduce him in Spanish for all the Latinos out there. After a headlock, Christian takes it to the floor. Del Rio runs away from a baseball slide and heads back in, but Christian is there to snap him on the top rope. Inside the ring, ADR avoids a top rope headscissors and enziguri kicks Christian into the tree of woe for some more abuse. Del Rio begins to work the arm for a while. Christian ducks away from a Bossman straddle and ADR flying through the ropes for a hard bump on the floor. Christian dives off the top onto Del Rio. Back in, Christian lands a missile dropkick and then a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Killswitch is pushed away into the corner where Christian tries a crossbody, but ADR blocks with a backcracker! Cover 1-2-NO! Del Rio misses a flying senton and a flying back elbow smash from Christian connects. Del Rio stops another shot at the Killswitch and backs Christian into the corner. Superplex fails, but so does the sunset flip powerbomb from Christian as Del Rio punches him in the face. Christian finally gets the top-rope headscissors and hops on top of Del Rio for 1-2-NO! He looks for the Spear, but Del Rio blocks with a dropkick for a nearfall. Del Rio drops the knee pad and goes for what I believe was a running knee strike, but Christian ducks and rolls up ADR for 1-2-NO! SPEAR! Oh, but the arm is too sore to cover him. Del Rio slaps on the CROSS ARMBREAKER, but Christian has his hands clasped. He puts Del Rio’s shoulders to the mat while in the hold, but the ref won’t count, possibly giving Christian an out here. Del Rio manages to power him back down and unlocks the hands to hyperextend the elbow to get the tap out. (12:30) Really good match. I don’t know if it was the hotter crowd or what, but I was digging this way more than their matches on Smackdown. Afterwards, Renee meets ADR in the ring. He gives a shoutout to his Latinos and says he’ll be that hero that the Mexican people need. ***½
Video package showing off WWE’s work with the National Guard.
Earlier today at SummerSlam Axxess: Maria Menounos appeared and teamed up with Natalya to face Brie Bella and Eva Marie. She’s hot – I get it – but she’s a worse wrestler than your average WWE diva.
Backstage, the Miz introduces Maria Menounos. They start to talk about her Twitter feud with the Bella twins when again Fandango and Summer Rae interrupt. Just to show them up, Miz and Menounos engage in a quick dance. As they dance away off-camera, Fandango and Summer Rae look concerned.
Ad airs for ‘Total Divas’. If you’re interested, you can find recaps for ‘Total Divas’ and much more over at the ‘Place To Be Nation‘!
- Natalya (w/the Funkadactyls) vs. Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella & Eva Marie)
I gotta say, I *dig* the 1940s swimsuit look of the Bellas here. Brie and Natalya exchange slaps. She goes for the Sharpshooter, but Brie escapes to the floor. When Natalya goes to toss her back inside, Eva Marie and Nikki trip her up in the apron. Crowd could not care less about this match though. They cheer for Cole, Lawler, JBL, tables, anything but for the Divas. SHARPSHOOTER is applied, but Brie rolls through and sends Natalya into the turnbuckles. The Funkadactyls get into a scuffle with the other two chicks. Brie takes over with a crossface type submission, but Natalya powers her up onto her shoulders. Sunset flip by Brie gets two. She runs at Natalya with a knee strike. Natalya fires back with an Alabama Slam and the SHARPSHOOTER gets the tapout. (5:19) Not too bad for a WWE Divas match. I really thought with the whole ‘Total Divas’ show that Brie might pull off a cheap upset win here though. *
Earlier Today at the catering area: Is Yoshi Tatsu relegated to just making cameos now? Anyways, Ryback complains to the help that his soup is cold even though it’s the kind of soup that’s supposed to be cold. Why are you eating soup in August? He pours his bowl of soup down the guy’s shirt and then pours the whole pot of soup on his head. O’DOUL RULES! I mean, RYBACK RULES! Feed me, moron.
Video package for Punk-Lesnar airs.
- No-DQ Match: CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
Lesnar looks as good now as he ever did in UFC. He corners Punk and drives a shoulder into his ribs, throws him from corner to corner, and puts the boots to him. When he lets up on Punk for a few seconds, Punk fires back on him with a knee strike that rocks Lesnar. Another running knee strike sends him to the floor! Suicide dive by Punk, but it’s not enough to keep Lesnar reeling. Punk picks up half of the steps, but Lesnar just bowls him over. Lesnar gets sent into the ringpost though and when he has him staggered, Punk flies down on top of him with a double sledge ala Randy Savage. Over to the announce table, Punk drills Lesnar with a clothesline. Now he goes after Heyman who trips and falls down like he’s in a slasher flick. As Punk stalks him, Lesnar ambushes Punk and then heaves him over the Spanish announce table! But that’s not all. He slings Punk over our other announcers table as well. Brock lays the logo cover off one of the tables and double stomps the cover breaking it in half over Punk’s back. Brutal belly to belly throw on the floor. Back inside, Brock stops a flurry of kicks with a hard clothesline. Lesnar grabs a bearhug working the back and ribs. Punk punches out, but runs right into a knee, doing further damage to the ribs. Back to the bearhug. Punk fights out again and gets in a couple kicks. He comes off the top, but he’s caught in mid-air and driven to the mat with a fallaway slam. Eat your heart out, Razor Ramon. Backbreaker on the knee and a quick powerslam gets two. Punk bites on Lesnar’s cauliflower ear to escape a chinlock. Lawler shouts out, “Tyson!” Punk delivers a series of kicks and elbows until Lesnar is punch-drunk. Flying knee strike sends Lesnar back into a corner! Punk hits one running knee strike, two running knee strikes, but Brock catches him on the third one. Punk slips off Lesnar’s shoulders and Muay Thai kicks him down! Macho Elbow connects for two.
Finisher attempts are traded, but it’s Punk who scores with another Muay Thai kick! GTS time, but Brock counters to a KIMURA! They work this one real well until Punk counters to a Cross Armbreaker. Brock somewhat escapes, but Punk changes over to a triangle choke! He doesn’t have his ankle underneath his knee though to make this work. Brock powers him up into a powerbomb, but Punk holds onto the hold! Again Lesnar powers him up and delivers a running powerbomb! Well, that broke the hold. Cover, 1-2-NO! Three Amigos by Lesnar gets two. Lesnar heads out to the floor to find a chair. When he turns around, he has to block a dive from Punk using the chair, which apparently did more damage to Lesnar himself. Punk grabs the chair and beats him back into the ring. Back in, Punk is still armed with the chair, but Lesnar stops the next chairshot and kicks away Punk. As he reaches back to swing, Punk goes low. WOO! He comes off the top and splashes Lesnar with the chair! Cover, 1-2-NO! Punk starts unloading a couple chairshots across Lesnar’s back. When he goes for the third, Heyman gets on the apron and takes the chair away. Punk grabs Heyman by the tie, but here comes Lesnar to pick him up for the F-5. Heyman and Lesnar are screaming at each other for somebody to let go. Instead of destroying his agent, Lesnar gets elbowed by Punk and puts him down. GTS! Cover, 1-2-NO! Heyman jumps on the pin. Punk chases after Heyman and runs right into the F-5, but he counters with a DDT! Eddie Guerrero is all over this match. Punk has to turn Lesnar over and thus only gets two! ANACONDA VICE! Heyman hops back in the ring with a chair, so Punk has to release the hold to take care of Heyman. Punk picks him up, fish hooks his mouth, and gives him a right hand on the nose. ANACONDA VICE to Heyman! Lesnar saves his agent once more with a brutal chairshot to the back. One more chairshot to Punk’s back! F-5 on the chair! That gets Lesnar the 1-2-3. (25:17) This match lived up to the name (Best vs. Beast) and then some. Punk gave us all he had and Brock was just a completely depraved animal in this one with nothing but evil intentions. Everything was just so well done and they took me on an incredible ride. One big thing that I noticed that was different from a match like Cena-Punk at MITB ’11 is that they put over the finishers much better here by proving them to be the end and they maintain credibility that way. Unlike the Cena-Punk match at MITB ’11 where they hit a ton of finishers with no ending, Punk only hit the GTS once and the count only stopped because of Heyman. Brock only hit the F-5 once and scored the pinfall. With no argument from me, this was the greatest match to date from either man in WWE and my number one pick for the 2013 match of the year. *****
- Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston & AJ Lee
And now something to cool you down. I’m a little disappointed that there’s no Layla. Huge belly-to-belly suplex from Big E to start. He punishes Dolph with an abdominal stretch and lets AJ slap him around. Time for the Divas. Spinning heel kick from AJ gets two. She grabs a cravat for a quick minute. Neckbreaker after neckbreaker by AJ. She skips around the ring and then jumps on Kaitlyn’s back for a sleeperhold. Kaitlyn backs her into the corner, but takes a dropkick to the back. Hot tag to Ziggler, ten elbow drops later scores a nearfall. Big E sidesteps the Famouser and drops Dolph with a nasty backbreaker on the knee for two. Kaitlyn makes the save, but then eats a Shining Wizard from AJ! After Big E misses a corner charge, AJ grabs Ziggler by the ankle on the floor. While Kaitlyn takes her out with a SPEAR, Langston drills Ziggler with a clothesline for 1-2-NO! He drops the straps and goes for The End, but Ziggler shrugs him off and hits the ZIG ZAG for the win. (6:45) They sure made Kaitlyn look rather weak here. Makes me wonder if they won’t be moving AJ onto other things pretty soon. *½
We get another video package for Cena vs. Bryan. Still plenty of time left.
- Special Referee – Triple H: WWE Champion John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan
They have a pretty great feeling out sequence here. Bryan finally armdrags Cena out of a headlock. They go to a test of strength where Bryan does his signature bridge that not even Cena who outweighs him quite a bit can break. Bryan monkey flips him away and goes for the YES Lock, but Cena escapes to the floor. He says something to a ringside trainer about his bad elbow. Back inside, Bryan does a bridge and backslide reversal for two. Now Bryan leg whips Cena for the Romero Special, but Bryan’s way too small to make that happen. Cena powers out and sends Bryan to the apron so he can knock him off onto the announce table. Crowd doesn’t care for that one. On the floor, Cena takes a ride into the steps. Suplex off the steps is countered by Cena. The crowd still thinks he sucks. Back inside, Cena starts boxing Bryan and whips him hard into the corner. Batista Bomb gets two. Bryan fights off a chinlock and delivers a series of kicks in the corner. Cena whips Bryan into a corner, but Bryan moonsaults away and lands the jumping clothesline. With Cena on his knees, Bryan unloads with more kicks. Cena ducks the Buzzsaw Kick and starts up the shoulder tackles and the Protobomb, but Bryan takes a page out of Punk’s book and kicks away the Five Knuckle Shuffle. They trade submission finisher attempts, but Cena winds up landing the Protobomb out of that and nails the 5KS anyway. Bryan flips out of the AA and delivers the Missile Dropkick for two. More kicks. Bryan snaps Cena’s bad elbow over his shoulder. More kicks to the elbow. Cena tries the STF, but Bryan rolls through and locks in an STF of his own. Bryan pulls Cena back by a leg when he tries to reach the ropes and folds his leg up so he can’t move before nailing a couple German suplexes.
Cena blocks a third and lifts him up for the AA, but Bryan counters to the YES LOCK on the bad arm. Cena escapes, but Bryan manages to grab a body guillotine. Cena tries to ram Bryan in the corner to get out of this hold, but has to flip Bryan off him into the corner to break free. Quick AA gets 1-2-NO! Cena heads up top and fights off Bryan several times, but Bryan refuses to quit and brings him down with a superplex. When he executes the move, he hooked his legs in the ropes and psyches himself up while he’s upside down. He sits back up and leaps from the top turnbuckle for the Swandive Headbutt. Cover, 1-2-NO! Cena rolls out to the floor and baits Bryan into a suicide dive to nail him with an elbow smash. Flying Famouser gets two. He wants a SUPER AA, but Bryan elbows him to prevent that from happening. Bryan looks for a super headscissors, but Cena counters and hangs tough. As he drops down to the mat, it looked like he nearly broke Bryan’s neck. Luckily, that’s not the case. STF! When all looks lost, Bryan gets a sudden burst of energy and escapes so he can apply the YES LOCK. Oh, but Cena makes the ropes. Pair of running dropkicks in the corner connect, but then Cena jumps up and absolutely drills Bryan with a clothesline to block the third. BOO-YAY exchange in the center of the ring. It ends in a double-KO. They use each other to stand back up, which leads to a slapfest. Bryan wins, but gets whipped into a corner. He tries the moonsault escape and was supposed to get caught into an AA. They settle for some spinebuster DDT counter. Flying bodypress by Bryan, but he’s caught. AA gets countered to an inside cradle for 1-2-NO! Buzzsaw Kick connects! Running knee strike does as well! Cover by Bryan, 1-2-3! (26:54) Except for that one Cena fan in the front row wearing the white suit jacket who seems to be at every big time John Cena main event, this crowd was 100% behind Daniel Bryan. Hard-hitting match with tons of wrestling counters and submissions. Bryan’s offense was very easy to get behind as you really felt he was doing everything he could to beat Cena. Just a great match with a completely different tone than what we saw in the other main event. ****¼
Triple H did a great job of being the invisible ref, too. Of course, that is soon to change. After Bryan has his ticker tape parade of a WWE title win celebration, Randy Orton appears in his wrestling gear. He stops at ringside and seems to ponder whether or not he wants to cash in his briefcase right now. Bryan daring him to get in the ring. Orton holds up the briefcase and turns back around to head up the aisle. He stops about halfway while behind him, Bryan is doing the YES chant. When Orton turns back around to look at Bryan, Triple H drops him with a Pedigree! You knew it was weird for him to still be in the ring when the celebration was going on. Orton slides into the ring and cashes in his briefcase. All it takes is nine seconds as he covers Bryan for the easy 1-2-3. Two new heels, and one of them is *your* WWE champion. I’m fine with that. Daniel Bryan is a better chaser than a champion anyways in this environment. HHH applauds Randy Orton. Is Randy Orton the new Corporate Champion?
Final Thoughts: With a five-star match, this is an easy recommendation. The show had a great pace and everything was placed well. Also, anything that wasn’t awesome was kept under ten minutes. What more can you ask for? Thumbs up for SummerSlam 2013.