WWE SummerSlam 2013 is officially in the books, and it certainly lived up to its billing. Titles changed hands, superstars made new legacies and WWE offered as many twists as we could've asked for.
The question is, which wrestlers who faced defeat still manage to impress?
Certain stars are all but certain to blow our minds having earned their place among the best in-ring performers in the world. Others were pleasant surprises, improving upon their reputation by performing at a high-quality level in the ring.
One way or another, the following wrestlers stood out from the rest.
Big E Langston
Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn defeated Big E Langston and Divas champion AJ Lee at SummerSlam. In a competitive match, Ziggler ended up using the Zig Zag to pin Langston and exact a measure of revenge on his former colleague and girlfriend.
Admittedly, Langston was unable to put on the type of performance that others on the card were given the opportunity to. After all, he was in a mixed tag team match that was of less time than the average contest on the SummerSlam card.
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With that being said, in his limited time, Langston was quite impressive.
Athletically, Langston was a revelation, complementing his massive frame with the ability to pull off basic moves with extraordinary flare. That was never more evident than when he ran the ropes, picked up a full head of steam and found extreme elevation on a running body splash.
Paired with stiff clotheslines, impressive strength and a skill set of power moves, Langston showed that his upside is undeniable.
In order to become a top superstar, Langston will need to further develop his ability with the microphone and prove capable of working longer matches. That will come in time, but for now, the 27-year-old has the look of a potential high-profile superstar.
SummerSlam may have ended with a loss, but Langston was strong nonetheless.
Christian entered the World Heavyweight Championship match with the billing of a legendary superstar looking to cash in on "one more match." In the end, it was Alberto Del Rio who won a bout filled with near-falls and deep submissions.
A disappointing ending, but a superb effort.
Christian is one of the most respected in-ring performers in the history of the professional wrestling industry. Before cutting his teeth in the singles ranks, he was a decorated tag team competitor, winning seven world tag team titles with Edge and owning one reign with both Chris Jericho and Lance Storm.
Christian is also a two-time world heavyweight champion, two-time ECW champion, four-time intercontinental champion and one-time european, hardcore and light heavyweight title-holder. In other words, Captain Charisma is successful.
Even as he failed to cash in at SummerSlam, Christian showed that he still has it.
Now 39, Christian did an excellent job of selling injuries to his arm and taking control against the methodical Del Rio. Whether or not he gets another world title shot is debatable, but one thing is perfectly clear.
Christian still has a lot left in the tank.
How could we leave CM Punk off of this list after the performance he put on at SummerSlam?
Brock Lesnar defeated Punk via pin fall after hitting a brutal F-5 onto a steel a chair. This comes after the two battled in one of the most physical matches of the year, using everything from deep submission holds to steel chairs to achieve victory.
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Even in defeat, Punk was a star of the show.
Punk nearly made Lesnar tap out on two separate occasions, targeting his arm and bringing the crowd to their feet with the Anaconda Vise. Punk also connected with the Go To Sleep, hit multiple high-risk moves and even got his hands on Paul Heyman.
In the end, victory just wasn't meant to be.
Even still, Punk showed the world that he can hold his own in the ring with even the most powerful wrestlers. Not only did he make it plausible that he could hurt a man of Lesnar's size, but he wore him down methodically and used a technical approach to achieving success.
Now, Punk can move forward and look strong entering any feud. If WWE continues to place Punk against Lesnar and Heyman, he also has the appearance of a wrestler who can hold his own against "The Beast."
An excellent outing by the self-proclaimed "Best in the World."
Love him, hate him, idolize him or crucify him, John Cena is one of the best all-around performers in the world today. At every turn, we hear how he possesses limited in-ring ability, doesn't deserve to be champion and has run stale as a character.
Those same fans seem to disappear at every Pay-Per-View, as Cena consistently puts on classic matches—and no one can be ignorant enough to put that on the quality of his opponent alone.
Cena was spectacular against Daniel Bryan, using a wide variety of moves and selling his opponent's submission holds to perfection—a critical fact due to the clear and obvious size difference. Albeit botched, Cena also saved Bryan's career by correcting a top rope Piledriver attempt that nearly went wrong. Fans may not value that, but Bryan was most certainly thankful.
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Fortunately, that wasn't even close to the highlight of the match.
Cena made incredible reversals, using his power and even beginning to wrestle the match with a heel's mentality. Rather than playing the good guy role while taunting towards the boos, Cena looked menacing and maintained that image throughout the duration of the event.
That is, until he shook hands with Bryan in the culmination of the King of the Indies versus the King of the WWE match that the world has been waiting for.
There's no question that Bryan, Randy Orton and Triple H walked away from SummerSlam as the most talked about competitors, but Cena was outstanding. He wrapped up his ugly elbow and fought as Bryan targeted it throughout the match.
For those who haven't seen Cena's elbow, click here at your own risk.
That resiliency was a testament to everything Cena has done during his illustrious WWE career. From taking incredible spots to outclassing his reputation during Pay-Per-View matches, Cena rarely actually falls short of expectations.
According to F4WOnline.com, Cena underwent elbow surgery after SummerSlam and will now train to return to the ring as good as new. After his performance against Daniel Bryan, we can hardly wait.