“-It’s the twenty-fourth annual WWE Summerslam, the end of summer rite of passage for wrestling fans, and here we have a show with…..five matches. Yes, five matches booked as of showtime Sunday night. What is this, ECW? Is Sheamus going to beat Mark Henry and then segue into an impromptu challenge with New Jack somehow? How can you not book The Miz, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, R-Truth, Alberto Del Rio, etc, in advance, leaving some for surprise matches? I know a few of the mentioned names will pop up in such surprises, but still, you can do better for the “biggest party of summer”, can’t you?
-If CM Punk loses, I riot. Not really. I’ll just express anti-mirth and go back to reading about NFL injury updates. But you can riot if you wish. Steal me something nice.
-Adam Jones from Tool is playing our National Anthem. I’m having Chris Warren flashbacks. Also, I’d like to hear Booker T say “Hooker with a Pen*s”, just one time.
-Live from Los Angeles, CA. The crowd should be here in the third inning and they’ll leave—oh, wait, the Dodgers aren’t playing
-Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T call the action. Just having Jim Ross’ voice in these opening hype videos adds gravitas and makes the matches seem important. But you can see how Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn would find him too Southern and ancient.
-So it’s The Miz, R-Truth, and Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, and Rey Mysterio, and I feel justified in going six for six in the “Where the hell are they?” guessing game. And Ricardo is here! I’m feeling better. Are you feeling better? I’m feeling better.
-I just realized it’s black/white/hispanic vs. black/white/hispanic. Winning team gets to demonstrate racial harmony at the next “WWE is great!” circle j*rk rally. I’m saddened that they couldn’t shoehorn Great Khali and Jinder Mahal on opposite teams.
-Watching Miz and Morrison go at it is a harsh reminder of how Miz has flourished since the end of the team while Morrison has been pretty uneven, making him the ceremonial “Marty Jannetty” of the tandem. Who would have guessed that the Tough Enough winning, toned-and-pretty, long haired half would end up worse off than the guy who botched promos and used to have a slight beer gut? I’d have never bet on that happening.
-Booker fact: he likes Miz’s “Lawds of da reeengs” jacket. Thanks, Book!
-Kingston gets the early hot tag, and gets that underappreciated double-spring spinning cross body. It’s a shame WWE can’t find anything more for him to do than to be an overly-happy good guy, because every internet fan thinks they’re too good to cheer for such wrestlers.
-Del Rio is getting a hero’s welcome, which is likely due to LA being a community rich in Latino peoples, but WWE will interpret it differently, turn him face, and have him delivering anti-bullying messages in a week. But you already knew that.
-Spirited final sequence with many planchas and flying bodies ends with Mysterio pinning R-Truth with the 619 and falling splash for the win. Fun opener, and it got all six guys on the show that I felt were robbed (next to Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, and a few others), so huzzah.
-Meanwhile, John Laurinaitis wants a public apology from CM Punk, and gets a sarcastic rebuke. Then Punk runs into Stephanie McJuggs. Cute handjob joke in there (which is not awesome I get to use that line).
-Sheamus and Mark Henry is next, and Sheamus really needs an over-the-top personality, as opposed to being just a big friendly babyface like he was on Friday night. Sheesh, give him some face paint and let him scream gutturally, for his sake.
-Sheamus could also use a new theme. Irish folk metal suits him, but I don’t think for what they’re going for. Can The Corrs or U2 remix Ultimate Warrior’s theme?
-Cole, Lawler, and Booker argue over what a “bully” is, as their dissent once again detracts from a match, and not in a funny “Monsoon/Heenan” way. As much as I like Michael Cole’s heel persona, they need to cut this back a bit. It’s getting to the point where they can’t do a show without reverting to this act, and it’s grating.
-Speaking of painful, Mark Henry just did the straddle sitdown splash on Sheamus on the middle rope. Noticeable “OOOOOH” from the crowd. I’m enjoying myself.
-Reading some forums for a spell, I see I totally missed Mysterio pinning R-Truth in a fellation-style cover. There’s another phrase that “Booyaka” applies well too.
-Sheamus getting a scary face pop after clubbing Henry, and I’m wondering where WWE imported these fans from, because Los Angeles fans are dead. Did they bus them in from Chicago?
-Sheamus with a nice top rope shoulderblock for 2. No promotion does hoss fights like WWE does. Is that the main reason they’re #1? I wouldn’t bet against it at this point. Crowd pops big for the Brogue Kick that knocks Henry to the floor as well.
-Yikes, Henry slammed Sheamus into the ring post and then into the rail, which gave way. Henry beats the count into the ring, giving Sheamus a non-pinfall loss. Good match until then, keeps Sheamus’ heat, and makes Henry into an animal even further. Wow, that was a shockingly good match! I actually want to see where this goes…..
-…..and that never happens with Mark Henry matches.
-Josh Mathews (and his returning perma-gel hair) interview Christian. Christian guarantees the match will have a summer blockbuster feel to it, which is wrong in 2 ways: it’ll be exciting, but won’t make a lot of money.
-Killer Elite trailer. Will Robert De Niro ever make a good movie again? Fingers, they are crossed, Bobby Milk.
-And Cee Lo Green is here to sing. I already like him better than Kid Rock, mostly because he isn’t wearing poseurish hipster glasses in his late 30’s. Although Cee Lo’s robe makes him look like “Honey, I Shrunk Viscera”
-Cee Lo could wipe Kid Rock off the map for good if he segued into “Bawitaba”, but sadly it didn’t happen. Good enough performance.
-Slim Jim ad makes me miss Randy Savage more. *sigh*
-Divas Title match is next, and Kelly Kelly is accompanied by her platonic friend Eve. The rule of lukewarmly-received babyfaces is that whoever aligns themselves with them becomes progressively less cool. Eve is about 40 degrees off cool as we speak.
-Beth Phoenix brought Natalya, who is in a pair of tight blue jeans, which makes me happy. I’m thoroughly enjoying myself!
-Hey, Kelly goes all lucha with a second rope dive to the floor. It’s like she’s trying to atone for past sins of suckitude.
-Beth clothesline turns Kelly inside out and the crowd erupts. Yep, bussed in from Chicago, they were. Then Beth forces Kelly to eat her ass, which isn’t as hot as it sounds.
-I have to say, I really enjoy the crowds that get super excited when the babyface gets mauled during the heat segment. You can almost sense a bit of forlorn that they’re unable to act upon masturbatory urges in a public place like the Staples Center. If it brings them any consolation, those kinds of standards never stopped PeeWee Herman.
-Kelly screams in lieu of expressing aggression. Also, I need gauze for my ears.
-Kelly Kelly counters the Glam Slam into a front cradle to retain the title, because apparently I said something that upset Triple H this week. I’m not sure what it was, but I’ll figure it out. Also, the crowd is nearly silent. You know who the crowd wasn’t silent for? Trish Stratus, Lita, Mickie James, Stacy Keibler…..
-Stephanie comes out of John Cena’s locker room. Plot thickens.
-Jimmy Hart offers his managerial services to R-Truth. I’m VERY down with that! Managers with stables again would be A-OK with me. Then R-Truth realizes that Jimmy is “Little Jimmy”, and there goes any hope of “The Mouth of the South” returning. And Ron Artest makes a cameo, which sadly doesn’t involve attacking random fans.
-Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan are next, and I don’t foresee this one lasting long. Also, a shout out to Wade Barrett’s biggest fan, my friend Theresa, who asked for a shout out. Congrats, Theresa, you got mentioned on a sports blog run by an ex-indy announcer. Banner day 🙂
-Cole brings up the fact that Barrett and Bryan were on opposite sides of last year’s Summerslam main event, and Booker and Lawler chastise him with “and your point is?”. Meanwhile, if JR brought that up, he’d be lauded for knowing his history. WWE is a weird.
-Bryan applies a complex hammerlock arm-lever submission into a pin that can’t not be painful. I should note that the crowd is my favorite LA crowd in years, enjoying the action, and they weren’t even killed by the mid-show concert. Way to be amped, guys.
-There’s a new one: Bryan applies a double leg surfboard, and can’t get the arms, so he just double stomps the knees. Then Barrett counters with a sick side slam moments later. I’m glad to see such a variety of talents standing out on the second or third biggest show of the year. When do we anoint Triple H and his new direction for Sainthood?
-I have to say, Barrett’s looked better in this match than he did in his Cena/Orton series, mostly because people have no reservations about booing him against a stale opponent. Ever think you’d see the day that Daniel Bryan would be accepted as fresher by a majority of fans than Cena and Orton? It’s positively shocking, I think.
-Bryan’s flying knee off the apron to Barrett on the floor just looked painful. I like it. Then Barrett takes a hell of a kick sequence. Was he promised a huge push if he took a sick beating tonight? I’m beginning to think so. That’s still better than what Tommy Rich had to do….
-Bryan turns Wasteland into a dragon choke into a Lebell Lock, but Barrett makes the ropes. Man, the crowd was totally buying that. Barrett manages to crotch Bryan up top and then gets a Wasteland out of nowhere. That was just a great match from bell to bell, and I hope both men aren’t lost in the shuffle.
-Of course, knowing this company…..
-Shout out to the National Guard in attendance. Great people, brave souls, but can WWE make their DVD commercials capable of scanning through? I’m a petty civilian.
-Hype for the terminally-long feud between Christian and Randy Orton. Maybe people would buy the PPVs if the match listings on each had variety from month to month. That said, this should be an enjoyable match, at least.
-Can Christian go back to his Bohemian Rhapsody knockoff for one night? Or at least get rid of the damn yellow-on-azure t-shirt he’s forced to wear? It just doesn’t seem right.
-Christian brings out Edge as his back-up, and Edge certainly looks different with short hair. I’m laying 2 to 1 odds on “Edge somehow screws Christian”, all without the benefit of a future match between the two. Lemme start sighing in advance.
-Sure enough, Edge gets on Christian’s case for his constant whining and hiding behind lawyers, even calling him a “whining little b*tch”. Well he is “Rated R”, after all. Edge leaves, which leaves Orton the opportunity to maul Christian and make Kevin Dunn happy.
-ODD NOTE: Six years ago, Christian was under ninety days away from splitting from WWE after Vince McMahon told him he didn’t see him as a main eventer, and heading to TNA. Seems downright ancient these days, doesn’t it?
-No holds barred! Anything goes! No rules! ORTON WITH THE GARVIN STOMP! EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEMEEE~~!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!~!!!!!
-Orton holds his shoulder after taking a backdrop on the floor, and not in an “I’m selling” way, but rather a “Not again, what’s that, 14 times?” way. I have no idea why someone with disproportionately muscular features would have so many arm and shoulder injuries. Really, I don’t.
-Christian pulls a Honky 2.0 and goes running through the crowd with the belt, but Orton catches him. I like seeing a heel at Christian’s level be so cowardly. It’s better than the New World Order, who were cool just because people in the group had total control of the company.
-“LET’S GO CHRISTIAN!” chant. Just wanted to note that, as he gets a Singapore cane. How do those end up under the ring, anyway? Is Sandman part of the ring crew and he just leaves them behind? Christian proceeds to beat Orton nearly senseless with it, to the crowd’s joy.
-Orton dropkicks Christian on the way down from a diving cane shot, and the crowd is lukewarm. Ahh, overpushed for too long, how it comes back to bite.
-I HATE Orton’s Thesz Press. Looks like he’s mounting someone on a waterbed.
-Orton pulls out a pair of tables, so something extreme and/or hardcore may happen. I think someone needs to come up with a new, creative weapon spot, since the Dudleyz drove tables into the ground ten years ago. I’m leaving this task to Kofi and JoMo. Get on it.
-There’s a new one: Orton superplexes Christian on a supine table. Still painful, even if there’s no broken wood. On Christian or the table, for that matter.
-Now we’re into the Orton/Christian specialty: reversing moves seven at a time. That’ll up the match rating a star or two.
-Shot into the ringsteps on Orton allows Cole to say “Skull”. I always wondered if Cole tried to solicit “skull” from the class flirt in school in lieu of “head”.
-Christian gets cute and tries to RKO Orton through the Spanish table, but Orton counters with his own, and, unlike Money in the Bank, the table breaks. This match could go either way now. I’m the world’s biggest Christian mark, and I’ll be satisfied if Orton wins. That’s just how good this is.
-In the ring, Killswitch out of nowhere for 2. Oh man, I woulda bet on that as the surprise finish. Great stuff.
-Christian comes armed with 2 steel chairs, maybe to bring back the one man concierto (which Booker has “seen before”). Christian hocks some loogies on Orton, but misses with the chair. Orton goes berserk with the chair, and knocks Christian off the apron through the ringside table. Like every dumb babyface, however, Orton chooses to throw the ringsteps into the ring, as well as a litany of weapons, instead of just pinning Christian. Ahh, old wrestling clichés, how I love you.
-Orton gets his snap powerslam through the corner table in a sick spot. Still have no idea who’s winning. Orton rope DDT on a trash can. Could it be a massive beatdown ending to give Orton the decisive win?
-Christian’s last ditch cane shot is countered by an RKO on the ringsteps to give Orton the title back. The ending will disappoint hardcore smarks, but it was a great match. As long as the next match’s ending doesn’t result in the world blowing up, it’s a thumbs up show, especially for the last two matches.
-WWE Fan Axxess footage. I have to say, it kind of ruins CM Punk’s appeal as a cool firebrand when he’s highfiving kids and giving out autographs.
-Jennifer Love Hewitt sighting! Throw in Shannen Doherty and my childhood crush duo is complete!
-I do like that John Morrison seems so happy at these things, as I wonder if Melina is watching from a hotel window with a telescope with a crazed look in her eyes.
-Stephanie and Triple H colluding. That’s so ancient, I wondered if they were following that segment with a Steve Blackman Hardcore Title match.
-Punk/Cena hype. I think you know the story by now.
-Triple H is out first. Admit it, you missed his theme for main event matches. Yeah, I did too. And wow, did his arms get small! I guess you don’t have to inject—er, lift weights when you’re only semi active.
-Punk is out second, to the expected monster reaction. We may actually see a riot if he loses. I hope they film it as a DVD extra. Forget interviews with random midcarders.
-“BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” – the fans during John Cena’s entrance. As if you couldn’t guess.
-Justin Roberts does formal intros. I miss Howard Finkel. I do like that Triple H checks both for weapons. He did say something to Cena very subtly there, so lookout for the screwjob.
-Early wrestling sequence to settle the crowd into the story. Those that say John Cena cannot wrestle, a) you’re perpetuating a cliché, and b) Cena can wrestler better than 98% of indy workers. Wrestling isn’t about flashy moves, it’s about physically carrying a story. I like Punk better, but it’s time to stop dumping on Cena for not being a spot clown.
-The commentators unanimously pick Cena to win. Geez, they can’t even make Cena look weak in hypothesis! No wonder fans are tired of Cena….
-More slow build, with Punk slowly wearing Cena down, capping off his onslaught with a springboard dropkick that knocked Cena to the outside, and the commentators are busy prattling on about Cena’s cardio. Ugh, where’s JR? Can we be hearing JR right now?
-Cena with a Bossman Slam. Maybe Punk will spend the night in jail and get fingerprinted in hilarious fashion? Shoutouts to old Summerslams rule.
-Ouch, high knee lift during Cena’s shoulderblock. It’s knee to the head night, sponsored by Christopher Nowitzki’s watchful eye.
-Crazy fast sequence of moves leads to Punk applying a Koji Clutch, which Cena reverses into an STF. Crowd is buzzing, as Mark Yeaton is now the most watched man in the building. That bell hammer will be famous! Punk turns the STF into the Anaconda Vice, and Cena turns THAT into the Crippler Crossface. Hard to believe some fans still respect Benoit more than Cena. Jerks.
-Punk suicide dive to the outside lays Cena out. Crowd’s not as giddy as MITB last month, but it’s still feeling pretty tense.
-Triple H nearly counts both men out, but opts to go to the floor to manually get both men back inside, wanting a clear winner. Dusty Rhodes would’ve counted to ten and taken 40% of the gate home with him. Good for you, Hunter.
-YEA! BOO! YEA! BOO! Sounds like a Cena match strike sequence to me! And Cena hits a beautiful dropkick, followed by the Five Knuckle Shuffle. AA countered into a fast pin sequence, complete with jackknife bridge-up. Whew, I’m sweating as much as they are.
-Punk knees Cena on the top rope, and gets a middle rope bulldog for 2. Crowd’s just waiting for the next “WHAT THE” moment. Punk misses a dive, and Cena gets the STF in the center of the ring. Punk manages to drag Cena to the ropes, which no heel would ever be allowed to do. I think it’s time for a double turn, now more than ever.
-Cena hits the AA, but gets only 2. Crowd seems relieved, as if they’re not being made to stay for the 8th and 9th at a Dodgers game. Enthralling!
-Cena misses the flying fame asser, and Punk gets the GTS for 2. Well, next big move wins now.
-Both Punk and Cena have their legs injured over the last sequence, which means we may have a submission ending. That will be crazy, regardless of who wins.
-Strike sequence ensues and Punk gets a second GTS and Cena has his foot on the ropes, which Triple H ignores and declares Punk the winner! Cena bitches to Triple H as Punk celebrates as champion. Fans seem to be anticipating the rug being pulled out from under them. I’m sensing Alberto.
-Triple H offers a handshake, and instead raises Punk’s hand, as the champ remains skeptical. Triple H leaves without further incident, clapping somewhat uncharacteristically up the aisle….
-Diesel! Kevin Nash! OZ!
-Big Kev hits the ring and Jackknifes Punk, and HHH seems confused and upset by the turn of events.
-And herrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeee’s Alberto!
-One hard kick later and Del Rio is the new Undisputed Champion, just like that! And this will make for a VERY interesting Raw tomorrow night.
-OVERALL: Great show wrestling wise (almost on par with Summerslam 2000 and 2002, the gold standards), and the story points have made WWE just that much more interesting. Where will it all lead? What will happen next?
That’s wrestling at its finest, folks.
Full WWE SummerSlam 2011 results…
Alberto Del Rio defeated CM Punk to win the WWE championship
CM Punk defeated John Cena for the WWE championship vs. WWE championship
Randy Orton defeated Christian in a No Holds Barred Match to regain the WWE world heavyweight championship
Wade Barrett defeated Daniel Bryan
Kelly Kelly defeated Beth Phoenix
Mark Henry defeated Sheamus via count out
Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, and Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, and R-Truth
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 WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.