WWE delivered a really strong pay-per-view, perhaps the company’s best effort this year, in SummerSlam. The newsworthy item is Randy Orton cashing in, with the assistance of Triple H, and defeating Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship after the bearded one had just won the belt from John Cena. Dean Ambrose and Alberto Del Rio both retained their championships, and Brock Lesnar defeated CM Punk in a great, hard-hitting contest.
Some quick thoughts on the card:
• Randy Orton cash-in not withstanding, Daniel Bryan and John Cena put on an excellent main event WWE Championship match. We all know Cena can put on a great match when he’s in the ring with the right guy, but let’s not discredit Cena either. He was on top of his game last night.
Daniel Bryan was also at another level. Even though he is usually the smaller man in the ring, Bryan’s offense is so believable because of the aggression he portrays. That was the case again last night. The crowd was in a frenzy and thoroughly behind Bryan, which made the Orton/Triple H heel turn even more bittersweet.
• Speaking of believable offense, no one looks the part more than Brock Lesnar. His match with CM Punk was full of stiff action, chair shots and excellent storytelling. It was expected that Lesnar would go over and we’ll likely get some continuation to this program. I’d give this match the nod for Match of the Night, since it went about 30 minutes and the near-falls were tremendous.
• Alberto Del Rio and Christian put on a really good match and Del Rio winning makes sense since Christian almost came out of nowhere to challenge him. Del Rio’s post-match program about being the role model the Latino people need had me thinking Rey Mysterio would run-in, but maybe we’ll get that tonight on Raw. I’m curious to see who Del Rio will work a program with next, especially after that promo.
• The opening Ring of Fire match was fine. It would have been unfair to expect a five star wrestling exhibition out of Bray Wyatt and Kane, but the story behind it makes a lot of sense and the post-match attack on Kane fits right in. The Wyatt Family continues to look strong and, as with Del Rio, I’m interested to see where this takes them.
• Dean Ambrose and Rob Van Dam were having a very entertaining match, then The Shield, Mark Henry and Big Show showed up. It didn’t really hurt the match, but it felt like we were getting set up for a tag team match later in the show, which never happened. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something come from this on tonight’s Raw.
• As for my predictions, I was correct with seven of nine picks. I had Ambrose retaining the title, but not by disqualification. My other incorrect pick was Bryan to defeat a cashing-in Orton, which obviously was not the case.