Sunday's SummerSlam event was far from perfect, but there were certainly a few superstars who rose above the rest and should be in great shape moving forward. Perhaps we didn't witness as many big-time moments as originally hoped, but SummerSlam may have gone a long way in setting up several guys for success down the line.
I'm not sure that SummerSlam lived up to its lofty billing as the WWE's No. 2 pay-per-view, but there were definitely some positives, so I would call the show a failure by any means. As is the case with pretty much every WWE event, there were some things that could have been done differently, but there were some good decisions as well.
Here are three superstars who were booked very well on Sunday and should truly benefit from what happened at SummerSlam moving forward.
As much as Brock Lesnar's loss to John Cena at Extreme Rules might have damaged his credibility, it was totally rebuilt after his victory over Triple H at SummerSlam. Many of the more pessimistic fans were worried that Triple H's supposedly big ego would get in the way of a proper finish, but I feel like the main event was one of the best-booked matches of the night.
Not only did Lesnar win, but he thoroughly dominated the contest. The only time Triple H was allowed to get any offense in was when Lesnar played up his past issues with diverticulitis. Not only did Lesnar kick out of one Pedigree, but he ate another and immediately turned it into a Kimura Lock, which resulted in Triple H tapping out.
Triple H possibly retiring was alluded to after the match. While neither I nor the wrestling public at large expect that to be the case, pushing Triple H to the brink of retirement made Lesnar look very good. Not many guys have made Triple H tap out over the years. But Lesnar did, and that should adequately prepare him for a feud with The Undertaker or The Rock down the line.
Many, myself included, were expecting WWE Champion CM Punk to cement his heel turn on Sunday night. Although that didn't happen, I believe things played out very well from his perspective. Punk still didn't get the respect he believes that he deserves, as his match wasn't the main event, but I really liked the way that he one-upped Cena by tossing him out of the ring after an Attitude Adjustment to Big Show and stealing the victory.
While Punk hasn't come out and said it yet, his main issue is that Cena gets more respect than he does, despite the fact that he has held the WWE Championship since November. Punk has beaten Cena at last year's Money in the Bank and SummerSlam, and now this year's SummerSlam, so it's fair to say that he has Cena's number.
The way Big Show was forced to tap out to simultaneous submissions and was then subsequently pinned leads me to believe that we will now see a one-on-one feud between Punk and Cena, which is what everyone wanted to begin with.
I would have liked to have seen Punk make his full heel turn, but it seems like there are plans to make it happen at some point in the future. So I'm certainly a fan of the way Punk was booked on Sunday.
When The Miz returned from filming The Marine 3, he had a new look, a new attitude and just seemed to be a better overall package than he was when he left. The WWE took notice, as he defeated Christian for the Intercontinental Championship at Raw 1000.
But Miz also lost non-title matches to Kane and Rey Mysterio, as well as a Triple Threat match against Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho, over the ensuing weeks.
The WWE has had a problem with properly booking mid-card champions for quite some time now, so it wasn't surprising to see Miz buried so quickly. Luckily, the right decision was made on Sunday, however, as Miz beat Mysterio cleanly to retain the strap.
Miz is a main-event talent who can make the mid-card relevant again, so I'm glad that the writers realized that it would behoove them to give him a significant win.
Considering that fact that Punk isn't even a full-fledged heel at this point, Miz may very well be the best heel in the company right now. His mic skills are as good as ever, his look has improved and his in-ring skills have improved a great deal over the past few years.
From a pure wrestling perspective, I feel like Miz vs. Mysterio was the most entertaining match of the night. The win should do wonders for Miz moving forward.