It was a hot night in LA for the annual SummerSlam event and everyone was there! (Unless you're Mike Adamle, cause then you're hanging out at SummerFest watching Jeff Harvey wrestle.) But after a white-hot presentation at Money in the Bank, the "E" had no small task of following that up and even surpassing it. Here's how I think they did, match by match:
6-man tag (Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, John Morrison vs. R-Truth, The Miz, Alberto Del Rio)
Although it was a surprise match on the card, it gave some of the company's best workers a chance to shine. A very fast-paced match with some nice spots and decent crowd response. Everyone got a chance to throw in a little offense. My only complaint is the emergence of "Super Rey," which is usually "par for the course." But overall, good match to kick off the show.
Seamus vs. Mark Henry
Going in, I wasn't expecting much. Mainly because I thought Seamus was going to light up Henry. With Henry's massive frame, he's not the most mobile guy out there. But that's where I was wrong. This was a pretty good match between two big guys! Henry moved around like a guy half of his size and was able to tell a pretty good story.
The bump through the ring rail and the subsequent Seamus count-out was a different outcome... but not a bad one. It makes sense that a man can't run back into the ring after getting crushed into the guardrail. It makes me want to see them go at it again.
Kelly Kelly vs. Beth
OK, this is usually the part of the PPV where I stop looking at the wrestling and just look at the Divas, because as of late, there hasn't been much good wrestling to watch. Overall, the match was sloppier than I would have hoped. Kelly Kelly is athletic, but much like a "green" Trish Stratus, she's still learning how to make that work with wrestling.
Beth did a good job trying to make Kelly look better than she actually was. It was a small step forward for the Divas division and it looks like they will try to make KK the next Trish.
Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan
Easily the most boring match of the night. Not because it wasn't good, but because it was longer than necessary and not filled with many spots. It told a decent story and set up more matches for these two in the future. This match definitely was not going to steal the show from anyone, but it didn't sink the ship, either.
Christian vs. Randy Orton
How do you finish off a storyline that has begun to get stale? By ripping the damn roof off with your SummerSlam match. That's what these guys did. They put on an absolute clinic. Several false finishes, bringing in chairs and kendo sticks and hard work really stole the show. You could see that even though the hype was on Cena-Punk, these guys knew they had the better chance of being the best match on the card. The crem de la crem came with that SICK RKO off the ropes onto the steel steps. I jumped out of my seat on that one! Christian delivered as usual, and Orton showed why he's a major star in this company!
John Cena vs. CM Punk
Sometimes the hype can bury a match like this one. Plus, with what they did at MITB, they are fighting a tough battle to hold serve or top it. But these two pros stepped up and matched the intensity of their previous outing. It was a well-done match. Not too many spots but pure clean wrestling. There wasn't really a massive "Super Cena" sighting, which was a relief. The crowd was so hot that it made me chant along at home. Triple H kept his nose out of the match. Then the "clean" finish that saw Punk become undisputed champ was great.
Even better was the unexpected arrival of Kevin Nash! No one...I mean no one saw that one coming! It was great and left us all asking why? Then it finished perfectly as Del Rio took advantage like any smart guy with the MITB briefcase would. He's now the champ and the PPV was definitely one of WWE's best outputs in a while.
Overall grade: A+