-Well, it’s the twenty-fifth annual Summerslam (not the twenty-fifth anniversary; eat death, Cole), and it’s funny: no one’s wrestling tonight that’s under the age of 31. So much for a youth movement. The greatest Summerslam ever, the 2002 show, had five participants in their twenties (4 of which that have wrestled in the past year and a half: Brock, Rey, Edge, and Christian; the fifth is Test), whereas tonight has five in their forties. Kind of horrifying when you really think about it.
-Quick plug: wrote this little mock-up on Tim Tebow, ESPN, and the birthday fiasco last week. If you’re sick of what ESPN has become, you may enjoy this http://www.footballnation.com/content/an-open-letter-to-tim-tebow/15989/
-WWE SummerSlam 2012 is live from Hollyweird
[adinserter block=”2″]Pre-Show: Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro (United States Championship)
It’s so tragic. Santino and Aksana used to do the exuberant trombone dance together, and now they’re on opposite sides of this C-level house show feud. Tragic I says. Aksana is looking her loveliest tonight, I will say. Santino gets the best of a mat exhibition, and scores a 2 on a headlock roll. Cesaro takes over with corner strikes, but misses a cross corner charge. Out comes the Cobra, but Cesaro strikes before he can slide the sock on. Trapping headbutts connect, followed by a step-in headbutt for 2. Marella tries to get the Cobra, and the drama plays into that, but Cesaro is preventive. Cesaro then DESTROYS THE COBRA, and Santino snaps, going into his finish sequence, but misses the saluting headbutt. Marella avoids being Neutralized, and pulls out the backup Cobra, but an Aksana distraction leads to the Neutralizer and a new champ.
WINNER: Antonio Cesaro via Neutralizer (New WWE United States Champion)
Rating: **. Fun opener to work the crowd. Cesaro got lots of cheers near the end, which either means the fans want somebody new, or Marella’s worn his welcome out. Or both?
Match 1: Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler
Jericho opening? That’s just cold. Ziggler gets an insane pop upon his intro. I do like that Jericho has the DDP rib-tape going. Must be part of the Yoga program. Ziggler bails to start, but Jericho manages to get him with a back elbow after Dolph re-enters. Awkward springboard punch from Jericho, and Jericho keeps control until Ziggler escapes a suplex and attacks the ribs. Ziggler takes an insane bump (what else is new?) on a backdrop to the floor, and Jericho follows with a bad bump to the ribs outside. Ziggler brings him in for 2, and then another 2 off a low dropkick to the ribs. Ziggler applies a seated abdominal stretch, and then gets 2 off a Stinger Splash, which could use a new name. Ziggler gets a Rude Awakening, and uses the arrogant cover to get 2. Jericho tries to fight back with chops, and gets the sideways running roll-up for 2, but Dolph grounds him again. Ziggler misses another Stinger, and Jericho low dropkicks him. The rampage ends with another rib shot by Ziggler, but Jericho comes back with a double axe handle. That doesn’t last, as Ziggler hits a Zigg-asser for 2. Oooh, dueling chants. Let’s see if Sheamus and Del Rio get those. Ziggler counters the Walls, but Jericho gets the enzuigiri for 2. It’s funny to hear Lawler cheering Jericho after he made those drunk remarks about Punk’s family in the spring. Ziggler gets a sleeper, but Jericho escapes, and Dolph is stuck up top. An old-timey Frankenjericho connects off the top (with no Gedo botch), for 2. Ziggler then gets 2 off a move I missed when the phone rang. Grrrr. Jericho comes back with the running bulldog, but Ziggler gets the knees on the Lionsault, and Jericho kicks out of the Zig Zag. Codebreaker hits out of nowhere, and Ziggler rolls to the floor. Jericho brings him in, and Vickie interjects herself into Jericho getting cradled for 2. Jericho gets the Walls after Ziggler hits the post, and Ziggler taps.
WINNER: Chris Jericho via Walls of Jericho
Rating: ***3/4. Good back and forth match, which will probably lead to Jericho leaving, then Ziggler getting the title, followed by Jericho coming back, challenging, and losing. Looks like I’ll be editing my top fifty list soon.
Match 2: Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Shall we have a continued moment of silence for D-Bry’s dignity? WWE is now sponsored by an anti-drunk driving advocacy group, which would have been far more hilarious if Austin was still champion. Or one of the Hardys. Bryan tries to play cat-and-mouse, but Kane slams him and hits a low kick for 2. Crowd chants for Bryan, in spite of WWE’s attempts to kill our spirits. Lawler and Cole seem to have a loss of words. Bryan works the leg, and kicks at it, and Kane chucks him over the top to express displeasure. Cole chastises the fans for yesing, trying to twist the fans’ intent around. Of course. Bryan mounts a comeback, hitting a missle dropkick for 1. Yep, 1. Bryan kicks at Kane, but misses the last one and gets clotheslined (doing the Jannetty sell). Side slam gets 2. Kane connects on the top rope clothesline, but Bryan avoids the chokeslam. Kane slugs Bryan, and Bryan slugs back, annoying Kane greatly. Kane loses his temper, and Bryan manages to drop him, hitting the rope kick. Bryan can’t get the Lebell Lock, but lands a sick buzzsaw kick. Bryan tries a diving headbutt, but Kane clasps the throat and chokeslams him. Kane wants more, and tries a tombstone, but Bryan cradles him and wins!
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via inside cradle
Rating: **1/4. Decent match. I love that, according to WWE, the fans cheering Bryan may be costing him matches. They’re the only company that teaches fans not to be happy.
-Kane goes on a backstage rampage, and Josh Mathews is mauled for daring question him.
Match 3: The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio (WWE Intercontinental)
Rey missed WrestleMania, so he’s Batman tonight. Miz drops him with a shoulder block, but Rey comes back with a unique pin attempt for 2. Miz shoots Rey to the floor under the ropes, but Rey impressively rolls through to his feet. Rey tries the front cradle bulldog on the outside, but Miz drops him on the rail instead. Miz locks on a chinlock snare inside, as I fear we may be pressed for time. Miz tries a back suplex, but Rey lands on top for 2, and Miz comes back with a reverse torture rack compactor for 2. Finally, a new move from Miz! Rey is floored by a clothesline that Miz hits from his knees (insert height joke) for 2, and follows with the corner clothesline. Rey crotches Miz up top, dropping him to the mat, and Rey gets a top rope seated senton. Miz fights back with a slingshot powerbomb for 2. Miz stalls a bit, misses the running back, and is rolled up for 2. Rey then follows with a hard kick for 2. Miz catches Rey, but Rey spins out with a twisting DDT for 2. Miz crotches Rey up top, but Rey headbutts him down, and ranas him into the ropes. 619 hits, but misses the dime. Skull Crush is countered into a front cradle for 2. Rey misses a corner leap, and Miz crushes his skull to retain.
WINNER: The Miz via Skull Crushing Finale (Still WWE Intercontinental Champion)
Rating: ***. Slow in spots, exciting in others. I like that Miz is changing his moveset up to avoid being as one-dimensional as he’d become. Rey can sleepwalk through great matches these days.
-CM Punk has a powwow with AJ, who tunes out when Punk goes into his respect speech. I wonder where the whole unhinged act will go, actually.
Match 4: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight)
As Scott Keith would say, “Be a Star, Steal a Car.” Collar and elbow struggle leads to both men tumbling over the top to start. ADR kicks Sheamus in the head as he reenters the ring. Cole notes that Del Rio calls Sheamus a “peasant.” I thought he was saying “pissant?” Sheamus gets a rolling senton for 2, as the crowd seems to be cooling off. The turnbuckle pad is loosened during a skirmish, and Sheamus crotches himself after a missed Brogue Kick, and ADR knees him off the apron. Sheamus is shoved into the steel steps during the brawl, and Del Rio lands a top rope strike for 2. Ricardo works the crowd during a chinlock, actually adding heat to the match. Del Rio drops Sheamus with a mafia kick for 2, and adds the STOMP TO END ALL STOMPS. Sheamus lands a few headbutts, but Del Rio knees him in the gut, begins doing the “Brogue” taunt. Sheamus sledges him on the kick attempt, but misses a corner charge, hitting the shoulder. Del Rio gets his armbreaker drop off the top for 2. Del Rio gets the Cross Armbreaker after a series of counters, to a mixed reaction, and Sheamus breaks it with an impressive dead lift powerbomb. Sheamus hits White Noise, but only for 2. Sheamus can’t get the Brogue Kick, but does manage to weaken ADR with the Dublin Clubs. Sheamus hammers him in the corner, but Del Rio drops him on the exposed buckle, and lands a hard kick for 2. Del Rio takes his anger out on Ricardo, and Sheamus bashes him with his shoe during the confusion. Irish Curse connects, and Sheamus wins, despite Del Rio’s foot being on the rope. Crowd boos the HELL out of that finish.
WINNER: Sheamus via Irish Curse (Still World Heavyweight Champion)
Rating: **. Sheamus is the worst hero since Jack Shepard. Period.
Check out my collection of NFL game reviews, opinions, and lists here. http://www.footballnation.com/author/justin-henry/
Match 5: Ghana Get Got vs. Prime Time Players (WWE Tag Team)
AW’s accusations of racism over the last few days have me no longer in his corner. I know he’s rightfully frustrated, but he’s weak if that’s his argument. Truth ain’t flunking around, beating the crap out of Young at the bell. These two main evented Summerslam 2010, you know. The “Kobe Bryant” chant makes me smile. Titus mauls Truth, and barks like Patrice O’Neal on Chappelle Show. Truth drops O’Neil with a high kick, and Kofi gets the tag, and goes all CONTROLLED FRENZY on Titus with the Boom Drop. Young distracts on Trouble, and Titus manages to escape the ring. Kofi is clotheslined outside during the fracas. O’Neil gets the unconventional drop powerslam for 2. Since 2004, this is only the second tag team title match at Summerslam, which makes me sad. Kofi reverses a Young back suplex into a crossbody for 2. O’Neil gets the tag, and he hooks Kofi in the IRS Memorial Abdominal Stretch. Hook the ropes for balance, Titus! Kofi manages to faceplant Titus on a Gun Slinger attempt, and Young and Truth get the tags. Truth lays him out with the Lie Detector, followed by the Hat Rack Crack for 2, broken up by Titus. Titus is lowbridged to the floor, and Kofi lands a leaping cross body. Young rolls Truth up for 2, and Truth counters with Little Jimmy to retain.
WINNERS: Ghana Get Got via Little Jimmy (Still WWE Tag Team Champions)
Rating: **1/4. Enjoyable little match. Just keep the stream of teams coming; even if GGG keeps retaining, someone’s bound to stick on as a legit team.
Match 6: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show (WWE Championship)
Of course Punk’s not on last; what else is new? I have a feeling this will become part of the angle. Crowd’s pretty pro-Punk methinks. Show is unable to be chopped down early, overpowering both Cena and Punk. Extra loud slap off Cena’s chest was worth the silence. A few more for both men gives the crowd a chance to wooo a bit. The two smaller fighters try to double team, but Show suplexes both of them. Always a fun spot. Cena’s dumped, and Punk dropkicks Show’s knee out to turn the tide. Punk tries to GTS Show, and gets him up, but Show fights out. Cena tries the AA, and the pile collapses. Show’s back to being the aggressor, doing the Andre stand on Punk’s back. Cena’s dropped to the floor, and Show has Punk 1 on 1. Show misses an avalanche, but catches Punk’s springboard, hitting a Final Cut. Cena prevents the WMD, but Show spears him for 2. Show gets a pump splash on Cena, which Punk avoided, and it’s he who breaks the pin. The fight spills outside, where Punk is trampolined off the ropes and back to the floor. Cena and Show fight back inside, and Show lands a side suplex for 2. Punk throats Show on the ropes, and Cena lands a back suplex. Cena goes for the 5KS, and Punk lands a flying clothesline. Punk snaps into a flying elbow for 2, with Show throwing him off. Punk locks Show in a Koji Clutch, but Show escapes. Cena goes all shoulder blocky on Show, and applies an STF. Show piggybacks his way out, and Punk lands a flying clothesline on him. 3 corner knees hit Show, but Show avoids the bulldog. Cena lands the flying leg, and both men apply the STF and Kofi Clutch. Show taps, but we have no winner. AJ skips her way out, and Punk wants the fans to decide, because he’s smart. So the match is restarted. Show chokeslams both men, and covers Cena for 2, then Punk for 2. Cena AA’s Show, Punk tosses him, and covers Show to retain!
WINNER: CM Punk via John Cena’s AA (Still WWE Champion)
Rating: ***1/4. Some nice triple threat-friendly spots, and it made for an entertaining, if not classic, match. Of course, this gives Cena an out for a rematch, but still. Punk wins!
[adinserter block=”1″]-Kevin Rudolf sings to waste time
Main Event: Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
Can HHH/Lesnar outdraw Mir/Lesnar? Somehow, I have my doubts. Special dimmed light intros for both men (couldn’t they get Bruce Buffer for a night?). Lesnar gets the best of the opening struggle, and tries for a kimura, but Hunter’s so manly that he won’t tap. HHH comes back and clotheslines Lesnar to the outside, but Brock comes back for more. Hunter lands a high knee, and clotheslines Brock out the other side. Lesnar regroups, and removes the four-ounce gloves. S—t’s real, son. Lesnar drops Hunter and gets a rabbit punch. Cole actually knew that it’s a point off in UFC. Lesnar drops Hunter on the table arm first. Back into the ring, where Lesnar continues the onslaught on the arm. This goes on for a bit, as I not so secretly wish this was real. HHH is sent into the post arm first, as Brock keeps teasing the kimura. HHH avoids the F5, but not the ensuing German suplex throw. Hunter lands a DDT with the bad arm after a brawl, ignored by everyone. Lesnar tries again for the kimura, which the crowd begins to show restlessness, and slams him on the arm again. Cena-Lesnar this ain’t. To the floor where Hunter is sent hard into the stairs. Lesnar tips the Spanish table over, and lands a leaping clubbing blow off of it. Back inside, Hunter tries to fight back, but Brock lays him out with a clothesline after an irish whip. Crowd is dying. Hunter blocks a suplex, and comes back with one of his own. Brock blocks the Pedigree, and Lesnar sends him over the post. Brock clutches his gut in an awkward spot, as I’m hoping the diverticulitis isn’t involved. He actually says, “Oh my stomach.” Seems to be a part of the match, as Cole and Lawler bring up his stomach issues casually. Hunter works the gut in the ring with knees, about 20 of them, and Brock collapses. HHH lands the spinebuster, and then the Pedigree for 2. Lesnar FINALLY gets the kimura locked in, and Hunter hangs in there, getting to the ropes. Pedigree connects again, but Brock springs to life and applies the kimura. Lesnar snaps the arm, and Hunter taps!
WINNER: Brock Lesnar via Kimura
Rating: **3/4. Pretty dull match, although hard hitting. Nowhere near the level of excitement of the Cena match, but at least WWE put Lesnar over. I wonder who they’re saving him for?
-Hunter gets the walk-off moment, as he refuses medical treatment. The crowd chants “YOU TAPPED OUT” at him. Screw it, now it’s ***1/2, just because the crowd made me proud. Hunter gets a very mixed reaction when he stands up and walks out. Cole intimates that this is HHH’s last match, as Hunter waves to the crowd as he leaves.
OVERALL: Nothing terrible, and lots of fun matches (particularly Dolph/Jericho), but nothing blowaway. Still, it’s something I could watch again without getting bored. I’m just glad, in the end, that Hunter did the right thing and swallowed his pride, especially if he insisted on going on last.
It’s a slight thumbs up.
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.
[amazon_link id=”B0089BSN3I” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: SummerSlam 2012 DVD[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B0089BSMTI” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: SummerSlam 2012 [Blu-ray][/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B008IG0ESG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: CM Punk Best in the World DVD[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B0082SIK9A” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ] WWE: Superstar Collection – Daniel Bryan DVD[/amazon_link]