-So SummerSlam was eh: nothing bad, nothing great, something nice to sit through for three hours without getting bored. By that token, you could lump it in there with the likes of 1989, 1993, 1995, 2005, among others in terms of presentation and quality. I’m happy that Triple H did the big job via submission to Lesnar, and I have a feeling that Punk’s going to chastise him for taking the main event slot for himself. If it leads to Punk making Hunter tap at Survivor Series, then more power to them.
-I’m missing my Eagles’ biggest preseason game tonight to cover Raw, but I’ll be following the stattracker and/or trying to make accurate guesses while winging the Raw rant and simultaneously watching the game. Eric wouldn’t blame me But to get a cheap plug in, here’s my look at what I feel is the biggest Eagles home game of the season, per my work at Football Nation. http://www.footballnation.com/content/philadelphia-eagles-biggest-home-game-the-year/16059/
-WWE Monday Night RAW is live from Fresno, which is Spanish for “suburb”
As much as I love the velociraptor wail in Brock’s theme, can’t WWE just license “Enter Sandman” like UFC does for him? According to Michael Cole, Lesnar “broke the spirit of WWE.” HHH is an apparition? Heyman calls the match last night, “uncomfortable to watch.” Well, he’s not lying for a change. He also throws in a passing dig about his commentating superiority over Lawler and Cole. I abide. Anywho, Heyman says that while a torn quad couldn’t stop Hunter, a broken arm could, and Lesnar made HHH quit on everything he holds dear. When you need someone to absolutely, positively emphasize a point until everyone gets it, call Paul E. Heyman doesn’t feel sorry for Triple H, because he wanted a no-DQ, all-out battle, and he got it. Can’t argue with that. Heyman brings Scott Armstrong out, presumably for a WCW Saturday Night ’92 reunion with he, Tommy Gunn and Arachnaman. Can’t Armstrong get his brother’s entrance theme for a night? OH YOU DIDN’T KNOOOW? Apparently, Armstrong agreeing to let the rules be broken is an issue….but Brock thanks him for it. Lesnar is now the new “King of Kings”, says Heyman, and the conqueror of the WWE Universe. Works for me.
Segment Rating: 7/10. Good talk for a change; makes Brock look even stronger without corny comedy or anything to undercut his win. When he comes back for his next battle, it’ll be with more momentum than he had after the Cena match.
-CM Punk wants to pick his opponent tonight.
Match 1: Ghana Get Botch vs. Prime Time Dashing
The Tag Team Champs throw merchandise into the crowd, which you’ll remember Demolition used to do as well. Kofi and Young kick it off, which Kofi gets the best of with an elbow to the jaw for 2. Faces take over with a flurry of uninterrupted offense, and Rhodes runs from a Sin Cara dive attempt as we go to commercial. We return to the hot tag, with Truth axing Young for 2. Apparently, Khloe Kardashian is live-tweeting Raw. Either it’s Khloe, or Brodus hasn’t shaved in a week. Rhodes comes in and takes down Truth, while trying to start his own “CODY” chant. Doesn’t take, sadly. O’Neil’s in next, and he overpowers Truth with impunity. PTP get a front suplex on Truth for 2. This is quite a long heat segment; WWE must be low on video packages tonight. Titus slugs Kofi off the apron, but takes a leg lariat from Truth to turn the tide. Cara and Rhodes get the tags, and Sin Cara goes all luchatastic, finishing with a crossbody that Young breaks up. Kofi’s backdropped onto the Players at ringside, and Rhodes goes for Cara’s mask, but gets jackknife cradled and pinned.
WINNERS: Ghana Get Botch via jackknife cradle
Rating: 4/10. Decent formula match, advancing two B-level feuds. But at least the midcarders have angles: one over gold, the other over a mask. It’s like a territory, practically!
-AJ Lee is confronted by the returning David Otunga. He says ‘crazy’, and that earns him a match.
Match 2: Ryback vs. Mike Spitter/Andy Tavares
The usual happens. Was watching the Eagles. Enjoy your fine, Jermane Cunningham.
WINNER: Ryback via the usual
Rating: 2/10. Damn it, Fletcher Cox, you can’t tackle him after he’s thrown it!
-I tune in to Jinder Mahal beating up Ryback, who comes back with the backpack stunner. Main event, anywhere the country. Monsoon approves.
-Ziggler wants a rematch with Jericho, and AJ skips in to make one. Jericho’s contract vs. Dolph’s briefcase. Gee, I wonder how this is going to turn out. Actually, Jericho should lose for that stupid hand tattoo. What the hell, Chris? Money just laying around?
-Del Rio isn’t happy about the officiating last night, and he wants a rematch with Sheamus right now. This brings out the rapidly overexposed AJ, who books a match that ADR doesn’t want.
Match 3: Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton
Before the match can even begin, Sheamus makes his way out, because he’s SO HEROIC. Car thief, accepts tainted victories with a smile, etc. I’d sure want my kids to follow his lead. Sheamus joins the commentary table, and Del Rio gets dumped early. Orton does the Garvin Stomp and lands a knee for 2, as Sheamus admits that he exploited a bad decision. HERO. Del Rio comes back with a kick to the head for 2, followed by the MOTHER OF ALL STOMPS, followed by a chinlock. Damn, stealing Orton’s move! Lawler interrupts Cole to make light of the car theft, as I suddenly wish JBL was on Raw. Del Rio mocks Orton with the RKO taunt, but chooses to stomp him instead. Swerved us all. Orton gets his dad’s superplex for 2. Lawler’s stupidity is actually making me hate a show that was looking good. Del Rio wins a slugfest, but Orton comes back with a snap slam. Del Rio avoids the hanging DDT, and lands a kick to the back of head for 2. Orton comes back with the O-Zone backbreaker, but Del Rio comes back with kicks. Cross armbreaker is countered into a neckbreaker for 2. Orton gets the hanging DDT out of the corner, and goes into his unhappy place. Ricardo provides a distraction, and Sheamus accidentally distracts Orton. Backbreaker hits and Sheamus points out to the ref that Orton has his foot on the ropes. An incensed ADR is hit with the RKO, of course. Lawler’s happy, because he doesn’t know that all of us want him to get a serious illness.
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO
Rating: 5/10. Decent match tempered by the horrid booking of Sheamus, and Lawler’s general annoyingness.
-Punk demands respect. He’s already got it here.
Match 4: Brodus Clay vs. Damien Sandow
Sandow goes for the leg, but Clay hammers him down. That doesn’t last, as Sandow manages to corner him and hurt the leg, but Clay comes back with strikes and a backdrop. Clay continues the assault with a belly to belly and an elbow drop, as Clay goes back to the old trash talk I missed. Sandow tries to fight back, but Clay gets mad, and avalanches him. Some butt bumps in the corner are followed with a running headbutt, but a second charge misses, and Sandow wins with an underhanded roll-up. Sandow cartwheels afterward, and is subjected to the SHEEEE Plex and the Funk It. What a poor sport.
WINNER: Damien Sandow via roll-up
Rating: 4/10. Hey, a fun little extended match with two actual personalities.
Via Satellite: Shawn Michaels
Long story short: Shawn thinks he set Triple H up for failure by getting in the way, but he loves Hunter and is proud of him. Sounded like a eulogy.
Match 5: David Otunga vs. Big Show
Weren’t these two allies with Laurinaitis? IN JUNE?!?! Otunga gets killed in a completely one-sided squash, with the Final Cut leading to the WMD.
WINNER: Big Show via WMD
Rating: 1/10. Zucchini squash.
Match 6: Kane/Zack Ryder vs. The Miz/Daniel Bryan
The real land of the misfit toys, this one. Bryan angrily no’ing that fan is pretty funny. Ryder gets some nifty offense in with a corner knee and a missile dropkick, but Miz soon finds himself on the offensive. Low mafia kick gets 2, and the tag is made to Bryan, who lands some, uh, no knees. Bryan lands a series of vicious kicks for 2. Tag is made to Miz, who expertly double teams with Bryan. Hey, why not make these two a super team for a bit? You can call em “Really, No.” Just as I type that, Bryan accidentally takes Miz out, and Ryder tags Kane, as Miz jumps off the apron, leaving Bryan alone. Bryan bails through the crowd, so Kane kills Ryder in a fit of rage. A production assistant is also assaulted in the fracas.
WINNERS: No decision rendered
Rating: 3/10. Kinda pointless, really, except for Kane’s push of destruction.
-CM Punk chooses his next contender: John Cena. But there’s a caveat, which Punk will reveal later.
Match 7: Divas Battle Royal for #1 Contendership.
Biggest positive: Layla at ringside in high boots, or Kaitlyn in booty shorts? Aksana and Rosa roll out in an awkward cat fight. Eve’s laying off to the side, so she’s going to steal the win somehow. Call it a hunch. Nice spot as Tamina and Natalya try to suplex Alicia over the top, to no avail. Natalya eliminates herself by accident, followed by Alicia, then Tamina, as it’s down to Eve and Kaitlyn. Well, I’ll be damned, Kaitlyn clotheslines Eve out. Battle of dat a$#!
Rating: 1/10. Fully-erect zucchini squash.
-Brock has apparently quit via the evil video service.
-Ziggler and Vickie have a minor spat.
Match 8: Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler (Contract Match)
I like that AJ puts Jericho’s job on the line for no discernible reason. Then again, what really makes sense in this writing-on-a-cocktail napkin company anymore? Jericho gets a rollup in the opening exchange for 2, and Dolph bails. Jericho with a cradle when Ziggler runs in for 2, and then hard chops follow up. Ziggler takes advantage of a distraction with a right hand, but Jericho manages to backdrop him out, and hits the cross-corner dropkick as we hit break. We return to Ziggler working a chinlock, but Jericho soon escapes and mounts the comeback with a clothesline, followed by a Savage axe handle. Bulldog misses, but Jericho manages to set Dolph up top, and gets 10 punches followed by a Frankenjericho (under arm version) for 2. Ziggler gets a 2 of his own off a DDT. Jericho tries for the Walls, but Dolph spins off, and cradles Jericho for 2. Jericho avoids the Zig Zag and gets the bulldog. Lionsault hits the knees, and the Zig Zag connects to end it.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zig Zag
Rating: 6/10. Spirited, shortened version of their match at Summerslam. Have fun with the Fozzy tour, Jericho.
-Afterward, Jericho snatches Dolph’s briefcase and beats Ziggler with it, drawing noticeable boos. Codebreaker follows that up. And uh…..that’s that.
Main Event Interview: CM Punk and John Cena
Punk addresses Lawler, takes exception to the “turned on the WWE Universe” line, and wants an apology. Before Lawler can be held accountable, Cena makes his way out. Punk is tired of taking a backseat to non-champions and we get a vociferous “CENA SUCKS” chant. Punk has to beat Cena for respect, but he knows that beating him might not matter. So the shot is Cena’s….if he admits that Punk is the best in the world. Cena says his relationship with the fans is built on respect, and panders to the local college team to make his point. Cena refuses to bow to Punk’s request, because he has to believe that he’s the best. Cena tries to turn Punk walking out at MITB 2011 as the reason “no one respects him”, and he won’t stroke Punk’s ego. But he offers Punk a chance to beat him in his backyard at Night of Champions, but Cena says he can pick any opponent besides him. Cena walks out, leaving Punk speechless. Then he turns to Lawler and demands that apology he wanted before. Lawler gives a forced apology and goes to leave, but now Punk wants Lawler to admit he’s the best. Lawler refuses, and Punk roundhouses him.
Segment Rating: 8/10. Good closing segment with strong speeches from both Punk and Cena. I’m actually more pumped for Night of Champions than I was Summerslam.
Overall: the interminable length of this show is wearing thin on me, as I spent half the last hour arguing with a dude about Vickie Guerrero on Twitter (my take: she needs to go). The closing segment was great, and Heyman’s espousing of Brock was good. The rest was either “standard” or “dull”, which seems to be par for the course these days.
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for Wrestlechat.net and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.