Hello folks! Welcome to a review of what I believe to have been the second-best pay-per-view of 2011 behind Money in the Bank. The IWC are already buzzing over what appears to be the return of Kevin Nash, and fuming that Alberto Del Rio beat CM Punk for the WWE title.
The show started off with the American national anthem. It means next to nothing to me what with me being English but even I couldn’t help but cringe at Adam Jones’ rendition. It sounded like he was killing that guitar and I don’t see how it was in any way entertaining. My ears nearly committed suicide. Like I say, I have nothing against the American anthem, just Adam Jones’ rendition of it.
The stage set up also left a lot to be desired. I probably over-analyzed it in an attempt to distract myself from the blatant torture of a guitar. But the fact that the entrance consisted of what looked like the Raw and SmackDown set (let’s call it the “default” set), and a SummerSlam logo from years past—it wasn’t even the right colour!
Luckily the action that succeeded this disappointing opening did a more than adequate job of diffusing my irritation at these minor flaws.
SummerSlam always seems like a lot of fun—even with the seriousness of the night’s matches, I am always most at ease when this pay-per-view comes rolling round.
The Miz started off SummerSlam in a similar fashion to the way The Rock would. I predicted it from the start—read my reviews from months ago; I said he’d become the next Rock, and slowly but surely, the transformation is occurring.
The six-man tag match that started things off (Alberto Del Rio, R-Truth and The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston, John Morrison and Rey Mysterio) consisted of your average six-man tag team formula until the end. The high flying finale to the match was astounding—everything flowed and grabbed my attention from what I thought had been a fairly mundane match, barring the double kip-up form John Morrison and Kofi Kingston.
Following a sarcastic apology to John Laryngitis from CM Punk, Stephanie McMahon showed up to wish Punk luck in his match.
Sheamus then faced Mark Henry in the culmination of a short feud from SmackDown. The result was more than disappointing, with Sheamus being counted out after an impressive bump through the crowd barricade.
There was a time when the referee would have let this sort of thing go—used his initiative, allowing the match to continue until there was a clear winner.
Nevertheless the referee’s decision was final and the Divas match followed.
In what was possibly the hottest Divas match in recent memory, Kelly Kelly rolled through the GlamSlam to retain her title.
Wade Barrett then took on Daniel Bryan in an excellent match featuring many twists and turns. When Barrett was placed in the LeBell lock after a failed Wasteland, I thought that the match was over for certain, but the Englishman managed to stretch his way to the ropes.
After regaining the advantage by pushing Daniel Bryan's crotch into the ropes, he hit the Wasteland to pick up the victory over the American Dragon.
This match did a perfect job of getting me hyped up for the first of two main events. It was allowed to mature due to the amount of time the two men were given to compete in, and I felt it was the highlight of the show up until that point—apart from seeing the Glamazon in action of course...
Christian revealed the secret weapon in his campaign to embarrass Orton—his best friend Edge. However, Edge made his feelings clear towards his new heelerific best buddy, that he did not realize he would turn out to be a “whining little b*tch.”
The match was rather violent for a SummerSlam pay-per-view—it could have been shown at Extreme Rules and I’d have been a happy man. The World Heavyweight Championship being on the line made the contest all that more exciting.
Christian ravished Orton with a Kendo stick, causing welts to show through his seventh layer of tanning lotion.
A monitor to the head and Orton flying headfirst into some steps made certain that the audience believed the anger of the two men was bursting through. It made the suspension of disbelief a whole lot easier.
Christian was put through both tables that had been set up—he was actually powerslammed through one by Orton. This marked the beginning of the end as this was followed by a vicious DDT on a trash can and an RKO on the steel steps. Randy picked up the win and became World Heavyweight Champion for the umpteenth time.
I had predicted this result due to Orton being the poster child for SmackDown—it was fairly obvious that Christian wouldn’t hold onto the belt for long, although I do think he was doing an excellent job of portraying a heel.
It was a brutal match which furthered my belief that the PG era may be coming to an end.
It was then time for the much anticipated main event to decide the undisputed WWE Champion.
The start of the match had me excited straight away as Punk and Cena went back and forth in a submission battle that had me gripped throughout. On a side note, this also proves that Cena can actually wrestle, and not just rely on his “five moves of doom” as he himself proclaimed.
Triple H showed the initiative that the referee in the Sheamus/Henry match lacked, and threw both men back into the ring at the count of nine.
Punk kicked out of Cena’s Attitude Adjustment for the second month in a row. Punk then managed to execute the GTS and I was on the edge of my seat as the count came. Cena kicked out! I couldn’t believe my eyes.
The tension and excitement these two men generated inside the ring was unfathomable—I would have been happy if it had been the only match on the card.
Another GTS was performed and Punk actually won. It will go down in the history books that Punk was the first man to unify two WWE titles.
Two things surprised me however. The first was that the match didn’t restart when the referee (Triple H) became aware that Cena’s foot had been on the ropes when the count was made. The second was that Triple H called it right down the middle! I can’t believe he didn’t get involved, but I’m glad he didn’t as it would have taken away from an absolutely brilliant main event.
The show was not over though folks, not by a long shot.
Kevin Nash made a surprise appearance, demolishing Punk with a Jacknife Powerbomb, leaving him layed out in the middle of the ring.
Alberto Del Rio then fulfilled his destiny.
He cashed in Money in the Bank, won the WWE Undisputed Championship and ended the broadcast on top, having taken away from the best main event in recent memory.
Though I think the WWE made a mistake in making Del Rio champion, after watching Raw I can see now that it makes perfect sense.
Upon reflection, SummerSlam as a whole was the best pay-per-view of this year—even better than Money in the Bank, and that’s saying something.
WWE outdid themselves once again and it's because they are finally starting to utilize their talent properly, and they ordered the card correctly. Everything flowed and the matches were outstanding. There is nothing bad to say about this pay-per-view, and I don’t think I could if I tried—well, barring C-Lo Green’s singing attempt, attempt being the key word.
The biggest event of the summer, may have earned the moniker best event of 2011.
What do you think? Were you happy with SummerSlam or disappointed?
Were the matches up to scratch? Was the event a success in your eyes? Please let me know in the comments section below. I do my best to reply to everyone who comments.
Please check back in a couple of hours for the return of my weekly Raw review!
Thanks for reading!
I’m a Dapper Dan man