5 Takeaways from SummerSlam
SummerSlam 2012 is in the books. Every champion stayed intact, with the exception of new US champion Antonio Cesaro. Brock Lesnar defeated Triple H, Chris Jericho toppled Dolph Ziggler after a terrific opener on pay-per-view, and Daniel Bryan got a “slip on a banana peel” win over Kane.
This pay-per-view, if not spectacular, was hard-hitting. It certainly had its moments and takeaways.
CM Punk Is Still Ambiguous
Gaye Gerard/Getty Images
I mean this as a heel or babyface. The WWE champion is still not confined by black and white, instead donning a shade of grey that often fluctuates. At SummerSlam, Punk paid respect to Bret Hart with his newly colored attire, which certainly a heel wouldn't do.
On Raw, he clapped when Rey Mysterio was chosen by the WWE Universe as his opponent, which certainly a heel wouldn't do. On RAW 1000, he attacked The Rock, which certainly a babyface wouldn't do—if you count The Rock as a babyface.
Will we see Punk fully align to one side? Maybe. There are often comparisons to Steve Austin blurring the lines during the Attitude Era. But I feel that Punk is exhibiting acts of villainy and heroism as opposed to Austin, who was one character and people loved him for it.
Triple H vs Brock Lesnar Ended in the Best Possible Way
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
In my opinion it did anyway—Triple H fans may differ. Hindsight being 20/20 I can understand why John Cena beat Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules being a full-time regular performer. Triple H is not—in fact, this could be Triple H's last match for a long time, and that's OK.
Brock Lesnar will return at some point for another match, and a win here against a non-regular performer is logical. Triple H being left helpless and broken after the match further cemented Brock as a “monster,” and sold the fact that Brock's "Kimura Lock" is a devastating finishing hold.
I look forward to Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania... “you wanna do it?”
Antonio Cesaro Is Your New (Very) European Champion
Yes, you read that right—if this doesn't happen I'll be quietly disappointed. Not really though, because I'm so happy to see this King of Wrestling get an opportunity to shine as a champion. The key for me is in the amount of title defences—the more the better.
If Cesaro stays active, constantly finding ways to defeat challengers to his title, we will believe that: a) the title is important because so many people want it; and b) Cesaro is important because he keeps somehow winning and also putting on great matches.
Cesaro vs Santino Marella on the SummerSlam pre-show was entertaining and told a good story.
Rey Mysterio Has a Job for Life
So long as he wants one and he keeps his nose clean (though that's a valid statement for any WWE Superstar). The reason I say this is because in watching SummerSlam live from the Staples Center, I was sitting with a lot of casual WWE fans who don't consume WWE programming at the rate you and I do.
Their MVP of SummerSlam? Rey Mysterio. Not because his match with The Miz was the best, but because Rey is exciting to that large audience. You might be thinking, “I know a ton of wrestlers who are way more exciting,” but Rey is also carefully exciting. Big difference.
Dolph Ziggler Will Get His Revenge
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Chris Jericho beat the Money in the Bank briefcase holder at SummerSlam, but when it's all said and done, Dolph Ziggler will have his hand raised in a match with Y2J, likely before the “Ayatollah of Rock and Roll-ah” departs for an extended tour with Fozzy.
I'm personally happy that Ziggler didn't cash in the briefcase at SummerSlam, particularly with the finish to Del Rio vs Sheamus, which would imply a “to be continued...” scenario. Ziggler is in no hurry to cash in, enjoying spotlight singles matches with top stars, and we should also be patient (something wrestling fans sometimes admittedly find tough to do).
Follow me on Twitter
Watch my interviews with WWE Superstars past and present.