Monday, August 15, 2011

Summerslam! ... and some Wellness Policy-related suspensions

So - it was the hottest night of the WWE's summer last night, as LA played host to their 24th annual Summerslam event. While the undercard was passable, there was little to really push it over the top into truly memorable territory until the last few matches - especially starting with their last minute decision, according to Jim Ross's Twitter, to substitute Booker T in for him. Sigh ... I hope the poor fans who paid $15 apiece for WWE's new promotion of commentary headsets, were able to get a refund with that fiasco. But I digress. Let's go with the rundown. And if I get some of the order incorrect, in terms of promos or what have you, my apologies.

Show opener was Alberto del Rio, R Truth and the Miz vs. Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio and John Morrison. I was surprised and disappointed they didn't hype this match beforehand as it had the potential to be great - it WAS good, and a nice way to open the show. Rey Mysterio getting the win was fair given he's in the WWE title picture, and I enjoyed this match, even if it wasn't given the hype it deserved - nor did it QUITE live up to the hype it should have had. Still, these guys are incapable of a bad match.

We then move right along to the Mark Henry-Sheamus match, which was also a Big Man-style clinic. The live crowd was pretty peeved at the countout win, but we predicted on this past week's ITVR that it wouldn't be a clear-cut win by any means and frankly I'm pleasantly surprised it wasn't an out and out double-disqualification/double-countout/no contest. Good showing from both men, who are making the big guy ground-and-pound style interesting again.

Here's where I'll deal with both sort of celebrity/cameo type parts of the show. Cee Lo Green is someone I enjoy very much, but I'm not necessarily sure, much like Kid Rock a couple Wrestlemanias ago, that he enhanced the show much. Still - kudos for a fairly big celebrity get in that sense to the WWE. I also very much enjoyed the Jimmy Hart cameo with R Truth - the Little Jimmy jokes wrote themselves. Ron Artest's cameo at the end was cool, although I didn't entirely get it ... not being a basketball fan?

I also want to comment on some of the other backstage interactions throughout the night here; Stephanie McMahon made a return appearance, interacting distrustfully (though well) with CM Punk, and being seen leaving John Cena's locker room later in the night. She was also seen giving her husband Triple H what appeared to be a good luck kiss just before the main event.

The Divas match between Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix was good, and I'll even give surprise at the ending - although I don't entirely mind. As Jason Powell over at pointed out, since Beth Phoenix's eventual title win, and work with the likes of Natalya, and eventually Kharma, is all but given, stretching this out as far as they can until they can get a credible 'good girl' Diva or two in there (she's already beaten Kelly Kelly and Eve, the only two faces left in the division I believe) isn't a bad idea.

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan was good and my prediction was right - Barrett gets the win, because while neither guy really has a whole lot of room for error here, Daniel Bryan does still have the briefcase with the title shot contract, and so a bit more wiggle room. I suspect this might open up the potential for a feud over said Money in the Bank briefcase, which wouldn't be bad either as both guys could make a claim to being at that glass ceiling, and I think could run with the ball if given to them. And a feud between these two, I don't mind. two very technically savvy, hold-based wrestlers having a feud is very un-WWE - but a nice change that I don't mind now and then, favouring that style a little bit myself.

Christian vs. Randy Orton - Edge's cameo was beautiful (hee hee ...) I enjoyed seeing him, although I also respect the WWE handling him quickly, since his actually being in Christian's corner, or really supporting him in any way, would make him too 'face' too quickly. These two - Christian and Orton - can go, and they did. Orton's title win should be the blowoff to this feud, having won in an anything-goes scenario, although with most credible potential opponents still having some work to do before getting there, I anticipate a bit more mileage out of this bad boy.

So all of the above was good, with some memorable moments (especially Edge's return and a good match between Christian-Orton). But this brings us to the true "WTF?" match of the night. Well - more accurately, match ending. CM Punk and John Cena have an incredible rematch, the crowd electric right from the start, edge-of-their-seats with the duelling chants ("Let's go Cena!"/"Cena sucks!") and everything. CM Punk eventually pulls it out in the stretch, although, after basically playing it straight all night, Triple H didn't heed that John Cena's foot was on the rope during the final three-count (accident? open question ...)

CM Punk didn't have a whole lot of time to savour his victory, however, before being jacknife powerbombed by ... well, who the hell does a jacknife powerbomb, but Kevin Nash? Yes, the big man, Diesel himself! No sooner do the fans register that moment than he exits through the crowd, while Raw Money in the Bank-holder Alberto del Rio enters with a referee. One, two, three, on the weakened CM Punk, and we have our third WWE champion of the night, and some definite 'splainin' to do on Raw this evening! If ever the last 5 minutes saved a show ... and the show didn't even suck! Absolutely dumbstriking.

Also dumbstriking, before I go - two Wellness Policy violation-related suspensions (read: drugs) today from the WWE. First, referee Mike Chioda, I believe the first zebra to be suspended under the policy. Secondly, Tough Enough champ from this season, Andy Leavine, in an auspicious start to an already-rocky WWE career. Sigh ...

Either way, keep tuning in over the next few days as Raw plays out and whatnot. Business, as Jim Ross would say, is about to pick up! See you at the matches.


blog analyzer
HammerMill Copy Paper