Hello Bleacher Report Readers, my name's Andre Harrison, and this is my debut column here. For my very first column, I'm going to take a look and review WWE's Summerslam, that just passed this last Sunday (as I'm writing this).
Socially, I've heard very missed reviews about this years Summerslam, some saying it delivered, others saying it was the worst of all time. Let's have a look at what I thought of all the matches, the booking, and the overall show itself. So, let's take a look at Harrison's Analysis, of the 'hottest' show of the summer, Summerslam!
Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston (Intercontinental Championship)
Match Result: No contest due to Nexus Interference
Match Length: Around 7:00 (The bell never rang to finish the match)
I have to say, I was disappointed by this one. Mainly because most people would tell you that Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston are very strong workers (as is most of Smackdown's midcard as a matter of fact), but when this Pay-Per-View came along, these two were unable to raise their match standard any higher than when these two faced each other twice before on free TV. There was a nice fameasser (I think that's what its called, don't quote me on that), but besides that, there wasn't really anything I'd hadn't seen before. Which is a shame, because going in, I was thinking that this could be the breakout match of the night, especially as this was opening the show. Remember when Mysterio and Ziggler had that awesome opener at last year's show? Exactly.
Also, The Nexus interference keeping the match short really didn't help. Infact, the entire Nexus involvement here was a tad pointless, because you could tell that the WWE couldn't book them to look strong for the main event in the previous month of TV programming. At least Wade Barrett cut a very solid promo.
Harrison Match Rating: 2 Stars out of 5
Alicia Fox vs Melina (Divas Championship Match)
Match Result: Melina wins the Divas Championship with a Modified Facecrusher
Match Length: 5:25
Firstly, Melina’s outfit was crazy. Lady Gaga levels of crazy. I never knew that Melina was the illegitimate daughter of The Ultimate Warrior. Amazing. Wish I could say that about the match though.
This match had SERIOUS psychology and story issues. And this is mainly Alicia’s fault. Firstly, if the story is that Melina is returning from a leg injury, and she sells it in the match…ATTACK THE LEG! Not the shoulder. That ended up with Melina looking stupid for having to sell the wrong injury (her shoulder, rather than her leg). It made Alicia look like an absolute tool as she got beaten twice in a row, by a woman who’s recovering from an injury, with ring rust. This match was slow, it plodded along, and Alicia’s offence was bland. I’m glad that nothing was botched but there was just nothing really noteworthy about it either.
As for the Laycool post match angle, It was okay. I don’t dig the Dual-Champions schtick, but there’s a possibility that they could unify the Women’s Divisions and Championships, which is a good thing. It can lead to feuds with better workers, and in terms of ability and work-rate, Michelle McCool is a much better bet than Alicia Fox. Make it happen creative.
Harrison Match Rating: 1.5 Stars out of 5
The Big Show vs The Straight Edge Society
Match Result: The Big Show wins by Choke-slamming Luke Gallows on top of Joseph Mercury
Match Length: 6:49
I still can’t think of why this match was even on here, besides, getting the names on the show. The WWE had sort of booked themselves into a lose / lose situation with this match for the Straight Edge Society. If they had won, it doesn’t elevate them at all, as it has taken 3 of them to beat 1 man. Lose (which they did), and they all look like chumps. I think it’s the end of the SES, especially now that CM Punk abandoned Gallows and Mercury at the end. I’m in two minds with a SES break up. In one hand, it would allow CM Punk to move up the card (which he should), and onto to bigger things, but if there’s a SES implosion, I don’t think Joey Mercury or Luke Gallows are ready for a full-on face turn.
As for the match itself, it was nothing special. They did the best they could, and I like that now they’re booking The Big Show like a giant at this stage in his career. Again, nothing was botched and there was some good offence by Punk and Mercury but with a 3-on-1 handicap match, with tornado rules, it’s going to feel like a bit of a mess. As I said, they booked themselves into a corner on this one, because booking a coherent handicap match that’s 3 on 1 is always difficult.
Harrison Match Rating: 2 Stars out of 5
Sheamus vs Randy Orton (WWE Championship)
Match Result: Sheamus retains the championship via DQ, after throwing the referee out of the ring to pick up a chair
Match Length: 19:02
Probably Sheamus’ best WWE singles match to date. This was really more like a tale of two matches. For the first 15 minutes, it was…okay. Nothing special, but it told an okay story of Sheamus cutting Orton off every time he tried to get some offence in. However, it just felt, boring. The thing is, I love Randy Orton;s style of wrestling. He has the best in-ring psychology in Wrestling today. However, him and Sheamus’ pacing are very similar, so that can lead to a very slow, and uninteresting match. And since Sheamus doesn’t have much power-based offence to begin with…you get the idea, lack of chemistry 101.
However, in the last 4-5 minutes, they did step it up. There was a nice sequence of the two dodging and hitting their signature moves, as well as a couple of nice near falls. If the match had ended with a Celtic Cross or an RKO, I would have had no major complaints and approved this match. However, ONCE AGAIN, Sheamus can’t beat a Main Eventer clean. It’s making him look like a very weak champion (again), and I can’t help but feel that the WWE are not fully pushing him by not giving him a credible win as Champion. The DQ finish was very weak, and the RKO Announce Table spot has been done before. Also it’s kind of obvious that we’re going to get at least another month of this. In the end, it’s all a little bit meh and predictable. Good match, with a very weak ending.
Harrison Match Rating: 2.75 Stars out of 5
Kane vs Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship)
Match Result: Kane retains with a Chokeslam
Match Length: 13:34
Hmmm, good match. Rey Mysterio’s always had a knack for adapting his style according to his opponent, and Kane’s always been a competent worker, so I have no major complaints here. There were some cool spots here, such as Rey’s top rope flying headbutt, and Kane’s jumping Sidewalk Slam as well. This match was far from a classic, or anything revolutionary, but it was very solid. I’m very happy that Kane won CLEAN here. The right man definitely won.
Yes, everyone and their mother predicted that The Undertaker would show up, and he did, but what I DIDN’T expect was for Kane to look super strong and actually Tombstone Taker here. Surprisingly, a good booking move here. So it seems like The Brothers of Destruction will be feuding for the top Smackdown title for at least another month, so I wonder what will happen to Rey? I’m predicting that Drew McIntyre will be pushed up to feud with him. After all, Rey can wrestle very well with big men better than just about anyone. Not much else to add. Good stuff all round.
Harrison Match Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
The WWE vs The Nexus (Elimination Tag Team Match)
Match Result: John Cena lastly eliminates Wade Barrett with the STF.
Match Length: 35:19
Firstly, DANIEL FRIGGING BRYAN! That is all.
Oh the match? It was great, on the whole, it delivered. The Pros? Daniel Bryan looked outstanding, and was booking fantastically well, and some of The Nexus looked really good (Skip Sheffield and Justin Gabriel in particular), and the Eliminations made sense, with multiple guys getting double eliminations (John Cena, Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield and Daniel Bryan).The cons The WWE dropped the ball huge by not letting The Nexus win, or at least giving Daniel Bryan the moment of glory, rather than setting up a Miz feud for the US Title and putting John Cena over. Now look, I’m a big Cena fan, but they need to stop booking him like Superman. Frigging creative. He pretty much no-selled a concrete DDT to win. Not good, and if you’re not a Cena fan, you were probably fuming over that finish.
On the whole, a very enjoyable match, I’m glad Nexus got a chance to shine in a Pay-Per-View Main Event, they did look good (besides Darren Young, who lasted about 40 Seconds) and like legimate threats, against Cena, Jericho and Edge, who are arguably the three top guys in the company. Hence why I didn’t mind the finish, but it could have been so much more significant. But on the plus side, Daniel Bryan’s return was outstanding, and for the first time in a VERY LONG time as a Wrestling fan, I was genuinely surprised by his return. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the Internet Wrestling Community’s mark-out moment of the year. On the whole, great stuff, with some minor reservations.
Harrison Match Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
On the whole, this was the definition of a one match show. Thankfully, that one match delivered, but the rest of the show was very underwhelming. Six Matches is just not enough for a Summerslam, even if one of them is around 40 Minutes long (including entrances). Secondly, and I think the most glaringly obvious problem with the booking of almost the entire show. I have a pet peeve with DQ finishes on Pay-Per-View, and we got 2 of them here. The Nexus run-in at the start was dis-satisfying because I was lookign forward to the Ziggler / Kingston match, and the WWE Championship Match ending in such a weak way left a bitter taste in my mouth.
However, the Main Event was awesome, and the World Heavyweight Championship match went well, so it's not totally bad, but the first hour was pointless and dragged on (Including the Sheamus / Kane promo, and The Miz Segments), and the second hour was mediocre and could have been so much better. Avoid it, this Pay-Per-View was average in my opinion.
I've been Harrison and that was your analysis. Please comment and let me know what you thought of my first slideshow, some feedback at this early stage would be awesome. Thanks for reading and see you next time!
+ The Nexus vs Team WWE (and Daniel Bryan's return), The World Heavyweight Championship Match
- The Divas Championship Match, The Orton/Sheamus DQ finish, the Time Filling and bad booking of most of the show.
Harrison's Overall WWE Summerslam Rating: 5.0 out of 10