Like many of the WWE's pay-per-views, Sunday's SummerSlam event was fairly hit-and-miss. About half the card contained good, entertaining matches, while the other half ranged from boring to a complete and utter mess.
I'll be focusing on the latter group of matches, as I can't help but think that some better booking would have gone a long way toward making SummerSlam a much more enjoyable show. I'm not saying that it was absolutely terrible, but it was an average pay-per-view that should have been extraordinary based on its standing as the company's No. 2 event of the year.
It certainly didn't live up to the hype, but a few riskier and more imaginative booking decisions might have made SummerSlam significantly better. We obviously can't go back in time and change any of Sunday's outcomes, but here are three SummerSlam matches that should have been booked differently in retrospect.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
I'll preface my argument by saying that I was perfectly fine with Sheamus retaining the WWE title since Alberto Del Rio has yet to prove that he is main-event material, but the ending completely ruined this match for me.
Nobody has bought into the Sheamus vs. Del Rio feud, and it's fair to say that it may be one of the most boring world title feuds in recent memory. With that in mind, it seemed obvious that Sunday would mark the ending of this stale angle, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Rather than having Sheamus go over cleanly and end this thing once and for all, Del Rio had his foot on the rope as the count was made, but the referee didn't see it. Now it would seem that Sheamus and Del Rio are going to have at least one more match since the finish was far from decisive. Keeping the match the same for SummerSlam was enough to make any fan groan, but prolonging things even more is inexcusable.
Things could have been saved by having a returning Wade Barrett attack Sheamus and then subsequently having Dolph Ziggler successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract. That was my prediction, but it obviously didn't come to fruition. What we got instead was a result that makes things even murkier and is likely to lead to yet another Sheamus vs. Del Rio match.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho
I was initially fine with the way things went in the Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho match on Sunday, but as other things unfolded throughout the night, my opinion quickly changed. Based on how things had been going during the lead-up to SummerSlam, I had a feeling that Y2J might come out on top. Not only did Ziggler beat Jericho in a triple-threat match, but he attacked Jericho on the go-home edition of SmackDown and stood tall for the most part throughout the feud.
Jericho did ultimately win a back-and-forth affair, and even though he is set to tour with his band, I didn't mind the result since Jericho's fans decided to see him win a big match after about five or six big losses previously.
My feelings on the match were contingent upon Ziggler successfully cashing in his Money in the Bank contract later in the night, though, but that didn't happen, as the Sheamus vs. Del Rio match came and went without any mention of it.
Had Ziggler cashed in, the loss to Jericho would have been totally forgotten—but now it suddenly looms large. I have a big issue with the way that the WWE builds Money in the Bank winners, as they should almost exclusively be going over in order to look like credible threats when the time finally comes to cash in. Now the writers are basically back to square one with Ziggler and have to work even harder to legitimize him.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Prime Time Players
I fully understand that the WWE doesn't put any time into the tag-team division, but the way things transpired in the match between Kofi Kingston and R-Truth and the Prime Time Players was absolutely stupid. Kofi and Truth have held the tag-team championships for the past few months, but they seemed like little more than transitional champs. Apparently that isn't case, though, as they retained yet again.
I'm not a fan of Darren Young and Titus O'Neil by any means, and they are definitely less entertaining without A.W., but they couldn't have possibly been worse champs than Kofi and Truth. The incumbent titleholders are about as boring as can be and haven't done anything to further the stagnant tag scene. Even if the Prime Time Players aren't much better, at least it would have been a departure from the staleness we have experienced as of late.
My hope was that the Prime Time Players would win and then either drop the titles back to an actual entertaining team like Primo and Epico, or perhaps even lose them to a team like Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio. I have been pushing for a Sin Cara and Mysterio team for quite some time, but with Kofi and Truth retaining once again, I doubt we'll see such a partnership anytime soon.