WWE SummerSlam Recap and Review

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The “biggest event of the summer” may not have felt like that tagline would suggest but it was a pretty good show that featured good wrestling and a surprise ending. I already gave you my thoughts on that, so this post will focus on the remainder of the show from last night.

In some ways the pay-per-view felt more like an extended episode of Raw, especially with the commercials from sponsors and backstage skits. It was all kept to a minimum, though, and they were necessary since SummerSlam only had five advertised matches. Furthering the Raw feeling was the opening match of the night, a hastily thrown together six man tag team match that began with mic time from The Miz and R-Truth.

The match itself – which featured Miz, Truth and Alberto Del Rio against John Morrison, Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston – was very good and got the crowd going. Mysterio scoring the winning pinfall was necessary for him to have some build heading into his WWE Championship match on Raw.

The Sheamus v. Mark Henry matchup was better than I had expected and Henry is really thriving in his role as a monstrous big man. I thought they would go with a double countout ending, but Sheamus losing by countout still allows this feud to continue.

You know a PPV is good when even the Divas Championship match is passable. As much as I think Beth Phoenix should be the champ and the focus needs to be on women who can wrestle, I think Kelly Kelly retaining the title with a rollup pin was the smart call. It allows the program to continue and Phoenix looked very strong throughout the match. K2 showed she can have a decent match when put in the ring with a good worker.

The Wade Barrett v. Daniel Bryan match was my pick for Snoozer of the Night. I don’t mean that to seem as bad as it sounds, because the match was still good enough, it just lost the crowd. And I’ll probably catch hell for saying this on the internet, but Daniel Bryan just doesn’t seem as entertaining as I remember him in ROH and the other independents. His matches lately seem to be all kicks and a few moves and then a submission. Him losing doesn’t hurt too much and Barrett needed a good win to get some momentum back following what has been an awful year for him.

Randy Orton and Christian had the match of the night. Edge got a huge reaction when he was introduced before the match and WWE made the right call by not having him stay at ringside to support Christian. I thought it was a little too soon to take the belt off Christian and they instead should have had him score a decisive win, but the match was great. The crowd was hot for all of it and these two guys have great chemistry in the ring. Sadly, I think it’s the end of Christian’s time at the top of the card for the moment.

John Cena v. CM Punk wasn’t close to their Money in the Bank contest but that surely was not to be expected. I didn’t like the finish of CM Punk winning with Cena’s leg on the rope but the aftermath of Nash attacking and ADR cashing in made it make a little more sense. We’ll see how it all plays out on Raw.

Video: WWE 12 Gameplay, John Cena v. CM Punk

In case you didn’t catch it, THQ has released a video of a full match between John Cena and CM Punk, featuring commentary from the developers showcasing some of the new stuff.

Looks very promising. The graphics look smoother and the gameplay looks less robotic. The controls are switching from being dominated by the analog stick back to buttons, which will be a welcomed change for many.

Thoughts on the SummerSlam ending

I don’t love or hate the way WWE SummerSlam ended. I’m willing to let it play out a little further before I pass too much judgment.

On one hand, I’m not sure I want to see another retread of the same old “McMahon family drama” storyline, even though it seems we’re headed that way. Kevin Nash’s appearance at the end of the show, powerbombing newly crowned undisputed WWE Champion CM Punk, and then Alberto Del Rio cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase leaves open a lot of possibilities.

Was Kevin Nash instructed to take out the champ by Triple H, his longtime friend and former Kliq companion? Or did Stephanie McMahon, who appeared on the show several times, have a hand in the matter? Perhaps Alberto Del Rio paid off Big Sexy to do the hit?

The likely scenario is that Stephanie and the old regime do not want CM Punk to have the title and are behind the whole thing. If it’s done right, the story could be very interesting and continue to build CM Punk as a huge star in the eyes of the casual fans.

If not done right, and we know how WWE can drop the ball with a good story, it could lead us right back to the same old status quo.

But I’m willing to see how it plays out and I’m certainly interested to see what happens on tonight’s Raw. Building a continued investment in the storyline and the product, after all, is the point.