More SummerSlam and UFC on Versus feedback

Thumbs WAY Up

Best Match: Orton vs. Christian
Worst Match: There really wasn't a single bad match on the show, but I guess Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

This was the first WWE PPV I've ordered on my own since last year's WrestleMania (I caught some of this year's at a bar) and I actually went back-and-forth on it up until maybe 5 minutes before the show was going to start. Even though the Punk angle has gotten me back watching WWE TV regularly for the first time in years, $55 is still pretty damn expensive. But I was very happy with my last-minute decision, because I think this was a fantastic show from top-to-bottom.

Maybe when you haven't been watching the product regularly for a while everything feels fresher, but I really like the direction they're going in right now. It seems like they're much more willing to let guys do their own thing in the ring- the matches no longer feel like total cookie-cutters of each other, and there's actually some real good wrestling on display. Like I said, I don't know if this is a recent development or not, but I really felt like I got my money's worth with a lot of great action, and that's all I can really ask for. On an aside, it's kind of strange that the mainstream promotion is the one putting on all these great matches with great workers, really letting guys like Punk & Daniel Bryan shine and featuring guys who legitimately get huge reactions from the audience, while the so-called "alternative" at TNA is pushing a Hogan-Sting "match" and having to pipe in tons of fake noise because no one gives a shit about anything they do anymore. It's amazing when you think about it.

Anyway here's some quick match-by-match thoughts:

Opening six-man tag: Really fun opener. Six-man tags are pretty hard to screw up in general, but everyone seemed energetic and they put together a very good performance to kick the show off on the right foot.

Sheamus-Henry: I put it as worst match, but honestly I enjoyed it for what it was. There were some awkward spots, sure, but it was a pretty good power battle. The finish was a really cool spot and some of the reactions of the fans when they went crashing through that barricade were priceless.

Divas Title: As you said Dave, one of the best women's matches in a while. What was interesting to me was how parts of the crowd seemed to be into Beth as a babyface even after this latest heel turn. It seems like heel turns in general don't exactly take with as much of the audience anymore (see: Christian, who still has his loyal supporters), which I think is actually a positive development since those divided reactions actually make for great television. Both girls really seemed to treat this like a real big stage and went all-out in pursuit of a good match, and I think they got it. Kelly's facials when Beth had her up for the Glam Slam were pretty damn awesome, and really added to the finish.

Bryan-Barrett: Another damn good match. As someone who used to be an ROH die-hard back in the day, I never thought I'd live to see the day when Bryan Danielson was getting significant time in a singles match on the third-biggest WWE show of the year, but there you have it, and he certainly took advantage. They struggled with the crowd at times but really seemed to win some of them over by the end, always the hallmark of a good match.

Christian-Orton: Holy shit, this match was fantastic. I'd put it only a slight level below Taker-HHH, which was a similar kind of all-out brawl. The crowd was way more into it than I expected them to be for a semi-main, and both guys really put their bodies on the line to have a memorable, classic encounter. I was a little disappointed to see Christian's title reign end so quickly, because I had started watching Smackdown again a couple weeks ago and I was really enjoying his schtick as the whiny, totally undeserving champion (which used to be a cliche but honestly it feels like they haven't done it to this degree in a while) and he's awesome in that role (see: his facials while Edge was turning on him). Oh well. Still an awesome, awesome match that legitimately had me on the edge of my seat for most of it. And what a finish.

Cena-Punk: I thought they might have trouble following that last match when it seemed like the crowd didn't react as loudly to Hunter & Punk's entrances as you would have expected, but boy did the crowd get into this one in a hurry. A totally different type of match than Christian-Orton, but still a really great main event. The finish felt a little anti-climactic but actually made total sense from a storyline perspective, and the announcers actually did a great job explaining the finish (HHH takes up special referee gig and just blew the call due to inexperience), so that was good. Of course, the ending came out of nowhere with Nash's return but it will probably play into the storylines, as I imagine Punk will accuse HHH of being behind it since everyone knows the two of them are buddies (and Hunter's facials in the aisle while all this was going on were great). LA was a great place to have Del Rio finally get the gold, since the crowd was really into him in the opener and gave a big pop for his title win.

Overall just wanted to stress that this show was fantastic and I can't wait for RAW. Really liking the direction of the company in general right now and they may just get me to drop another $55 again next month if they can keep this up.

John Carroll
Colonia, NJ

UFC on Versus

Thumbs Way Way Up

Best Fight:  Lytle V Hardy

Worst Fight:  

Karlos Vemola vs. Ronny Markes

Note to WWE: Observe how the winning fighter always put over their defeated opponent.  It makes their win more meaningful!!

David Kaplan

WWE Summerslam Feedback
Thumbs Up
Best match: Christian vs Randy Orton
Worst match: Beth Phoenix v Kelly Kelly
I really enjoyerd the show tonight. I thought the six-man tag to start was really solid and something like this should be on every ppv to showcase guys and try out chemistry between different performers and just add something different to the show.
I thought Beth Phoneix was ok in the women`s match and I like her and Natalya together but Kelly was not very good.
The Sheamus vs Mark Henry match started out really well, it dragged in the last half of the match but the finish was pretty cool. If Henry is challenging Orton, hopefully Sheamus does get paired up with Christian.
The Daniel Bryan vs Wade Barrett match was really good and a great addition to the show. I even liked Barrett going over as the match was good enough that both guys seemed strong. Cole`s commentary against Bryan is beyond annoying though, and his criticism of Bryan`s physique is actually irresponsible. When you consider that Bryan is in very good physical condition and people (including kids) watching this are hearing a commentator criticise his physique and saying that he needs a meal, you are not doing a lot to endear yourselves to those who want to believe the wellness program is taken seriously.
Christian vs Randy Orton was a phenomenal match, it is really incredible how good Christian is at this point. Orton vs Henry is a logical main event feud right now so his losing the title makes enough sense, and most importantly he seems to come off as a serious main eventer and has five straight months now of main event )or semi-main) ppv pay which he deserves.
Punk vs Cena was great, I actually didn`t find HHH as ref to be as distracting as I would have thought. The match was a lot of fun and had the people in the theater I went to for the show very excited. The interference by Nash and then Del Rio cashing in MITB was fun and interesting and I look forward to seeing who will challenge against Del Rio at Night Of Champions.
Dave Musgrave
Markham, Ontario

PPV rating: Two thumbs up, 4 stars overall
Best Match: Cena/Punk
Worst Match: Phoenix/Kelly Kelly
The hot topic of the PPV is of course the finish but we'll start from the beginning.
Mysterio/Morrison/Kofi vs. Miz/Truth/ADR - 3 1/2 stars: Match was ok as a filler match. It appears Rey is still hurt considering he didn't work til the end of the match. Morrison's injury story continues to puzzle me considering all the high spots he's doing despite "not being 100%". Everyone else worked fine so this match wasn't a total loss.
Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly - 2 stars: Poor Beth. She did everything she could in this match to work with Kelly but it just gets more and more obvious with each match she wrestles that Kelly Kelly just cannot wrestle. She "hits" the ropes like she's terrified of them. She's way too slow to set up spots. After all these years it should be very apparent that models just don't wrestle. The real woman obviously didn't win this match so it's a huge loss on this storyline. I don't think anyone could be interested as long as Kelly Kelly is champion.
Bryan Danielson a.k.a. Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett - 3 1/2 stars: Despite the relatively dead crowd this was well worked match. The finish just left me puzzled as to where WWE is possibly going with the "Bryan cashing in at Mania" storyline. If you're going to build him into a WrestleMania main eventer then why are you having him job clean to someone who is nowhere near over with the crowds?  This same guy tapped out to Bryan on national TV a short time ago and just like that he beats him clean. Amazing.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry - 2 3/4 stars: Crowd was definitely trying to get behind Sheamus in this one. Despite Henry's slow pace it was still somewhat ok. That is, until the count out finish. I'm sure 300,000-350,000 people didn't buy this PPV to see a count out finish. Henry losing via DQ would have been fine as long as he didn't get pinned or submitted. This could have been a lot better if given more thought.
Christian(c) vs. Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship - 3 stars: Edge's pre-match promo was great. Match itself was fine. Some good spots in this one. Poor Christian had to take a LOT of hard spots, especially table spots. Orton? I sit here thinking, "Did Randy take any rough spots?" I remember Christian turning around with the cane shot but that's all I can think of. Christian took some hard punishment in this match but unfortunately didn't get the win to show for it. I guess this will probably lead into Henry feuding with Orton for the title (YAY said no one).
And, of course, the match everyone was waiting for.
John Cena(c) vs. CM Punk(c) for the Undisputed WWE Championship - 4 3/4 stars: This one loses the quarter due to the finish. Otherwise this match was EXCELLENT. Cena may not be so good a worker but he still has his moments. The Cena dropkick to Punk's face was a fantastic spot. I loved the dueling submissions (with Booker humorously calling the Anaconda Vice a keylock). My favortite spot of the match was Punk hitting the elbow drop and the fans immediately chanting RANDY SAVAGE. I absolutely LOVED that spot. Just shows that at least some crowds still remember. So of course there's the finish with Punk getting the pin despite Cena's foot on the rope. I was literally praying they wasn't going to restart the match and thankfully they didn't so Cena doesn't walk out as champion which is the biggest plus of the night.
And now the PPV close. I was astonished at Kevin Nash (not Diesel this time) coming out of nowhere and demolishing Punk. The crowd ate it up and so did I so this was an excellent segment. And since this was technically a match I might as well review it.
CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio for the Undisputed WWE Championship - ONE STAR: Help me out here. Has there EVER been a Money in the Bank cash-in where the referee DID NOT allow the champion to get to his feet before he rang the bell to start the match? I remember when Swagger cashed in his briefcase on Jericho last year and on the following B&V show with Lance Storm it was pointed out that the match didn't start until the champion was on his feet (Lance was keen to point that out). But it's exactly as it says; Punk is on his knees when the ref rings the bell and Alberto hits the Shining Wizard for the pin and the title. Due to the obviously small time and the minor but crucial detail the match indeed gets ONE STAR (though I'm probably being to generous).
The reason I took a star off the PPV was the Divas match, Bryan losing clean, and the cash-in. Other than that it was worth the money so thumbs up.

Trey Louthan

Thumbs Up
Best Match: Orton/Christian
The undercard was solid (and the Sheamus/Henry finish was definitely inspired) but the show really didn't pick up until the world title bouts started. Cee-Lo Green was obviously there to kill time, and I doubt they'll invite him back considering the gesture he made at the end of his performance (and no one will care, but I was perplexed that his four back-up dancing divas are all heels). Orton/Christian have been overshadowd this summer by the Punk/Cena feud and probably haven't sold a show by themselves, but I think they've been consistently working their asses off trying to steal the show, and tonight was no exception. Their match tonight pulled out all the stops and, last month's main event notwithstanding, was one of the better PPV matches since Mania. Orton as the champion again is nothing new, but hopefully both men can find their way into entertaining feuds as we head into fall.
Stephanie on TV again could actually be interesting if it's not overkill. I liked Cena/Punk working a more technical match and not trying to re-duplicate the magic that was MiTB. I'm not excited about a C.M. Punk/Kevin Nash feud, but I can accept it as a creative way to get the title from Punk to Del Rio. The show ended with Triple H appearing to be in over his head with his new job, and that's a good thing from a storyline standpoint.
Jakey Emmert

Thumbs up.
Best match:  Orton-Christian
Worst match:  none
Excellent show that delivered.  Orton-Christian was terrific. Punk-Cena also
delivered, and HHH didn't detract in the referee role.  Also glad to see Del Rio
leave with the belt.
Barrett-Bryan was a very interesting battle, and the unannounced 6 man tag
opener more than acceptable.  This was how to do a PPV.
  --  Mike Omansky

Kevin Nash? That's horrible. It's one thing to bring him back in a midcard role, but really. I watched UFC tonight and really enjoyed it. I didn't know much about Lytle going into this weekend, and tonight they managed to tell his story, suck me in and I really enjoyed his fight. I also liked the Henderson one. I'm actually watching the post show now to see if Lytle gets any of the post match bonuses and gets the record.

Name withheld by request

WWE SummerSlam

Thumbs Up

Best Match: Orton v Christian

Worst Match: Mark Henry v Sheamus

Three new champions in one night, thanks to the magic of Money in the Bank. And the return of a 50something main eventer instead of pushing a younger talent (Ezekiel Jackson?) into the slot.

The Divas did not win worst match, mostly because I gave the match 1/4 of a star for cleavage. Until someone pointed out that Mark Henry had more cleavage than both of the women, combined.

Jeff Cohen
Flushing, NY

I give UFC Live 5 a thumbs up.
Best match:  Henderson vs. Miller.  Great match. The main even was great too and I'm glad that Lytle finished it because that was a hard one to score.  I could see Hardy getting one more fight before UFC lets him go.
Benavidez vs. Wineland was a really good match.  It would have been even better if Wineland hadn't broken his nose early on because he seemed apprehensive after that. Dollaway vs. Hamann was very good as well.  These were two fights you would want on a free tv prelim show if this were a ppv.  Herman and Markes were both impressive with their wins.  Vemola seemed to have a lot of hype behind him but didn't seem to do much except make Markes look good.   I also enjoyed the many darce chokes in the Volkman/Castillo fight.  Good win by Cerrone.  He's going to keep winning and be one of the top lightweights again very quickly.  They should have let Lytle have the mic a little longer at the end of the show but I guess they had time constraints.  The news about Shawn Tompkins was the worst part of the show.  

Jason McNeil

Hello everyone,
Condolences to the friends & family of Shawn Tompkins. Team Tompkins did a lot for MMA in Ontario and he had trained a lot of top notch fighters in London like "Hands of Stone" Sam Stout, Mark "The Machine" Hominick and Chris "The Polish Hammer" Horodecki that cut their teeth in the UCC/TKO promotion in Montreal. The sport has lost a great pioneer of the sport in Canada.
I would give tonight's UFC card a solid thumbs up and cannot see how anyone could rate it anything but.
From the sounds of Mike Coughlin's coverage, wish we could have seen some of those undercard fights as well. Milwaukee got a hell of a night of action. This was the perfect card for UFC to have on free TV, not as many "big" names to casual fans but I am sure this card is turning some free viewers into buyers for future PPV's.
Best fight: Lytle vs Hardy followed closely be Henderson vs Miller
Worst Fight: none
KO: Donna Cerrone
Submission: Chris Lytle but from the sounds of the undercard Ed Herman may take this one
Duane Ludwig vs. Amir Sadollah - What an awesome fight to start the card off. Ludwig's striking was so superior and he had Amir hurt a number of times. Hats off to Amir for standing with him and absorbing all of those shots. Those step in elbows Ludwig was throwing were inches from connecting in the first round. Bang slowed down a bit in the third but he definitely deserved a unanimous decision here.
Donald Cerrone vs. Charles Oliveira - Giddyup!! I thought Oliveira would give the Cowboy a bit longer fight but that was a nice body shot that took him down and a great finish. A big performance by Cerrone to a large audience on TV. This fight certainly will up his stock tremendously as Oliveira is no push over.
Ben Henderson vs. Jim Miller - This was another amazing fight. Miller was just an animal in consistently trying for a variety of submissions and Henderson continues to be the Houdini or Gumby of getting out of trouble. Henderson looked amazing and Miller is one tough SOB for absorbing all of those punches and elbows. I would love to see these two go again.
Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle - these guys delivered exactly what they promised, a nice stand up war. A great back and forth fight.  What a perfect way for Lytle to end his career, thanks for all those entertaining fights. What is next for Dan Hardy? A few losses in a row now but he has not been in a lot of bad fights. It wouldn't surprise me to see him being released after another loss but he is an entertaining fighter who helps on the European cards and would like to see them keep him around as he gives his all out there.

 **Check out my Wrestling, UFC, beer and more ebay auctions. seller name is grantsindex. Over 500 listings right now ending Monday night including vintage pre-Observer Meltzer work. Some great stuff for your collection!
Have a great night all
Grant Zwarych

Official Index of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Kevin Nash?!?!?!? Are they serious?!?!? I can't believe I passed on a free UFC show for that shitty finish. Complete bullshit. Fucking Kevin Nash...
Justin Appleberry

Thumbs up
Best match: Christian vs Orton
Worst Match: The women
This show was good but not as good as MITB.  I just really wish they could have stretched this out a little further as there wasnt the same impact/anticipation in Cena-Punk.  If they could have kept them apart til at least Survivor Series it would have been huge.  I think a Summerslam with Miz vs Cena vs Rey in some type of combination would ahve been just as good of a draw, perhaps Miz vs Rey and Cena vs Del Rio and Del Rio still cashes in.  Enough armchair booking though.  I almost didnt order, glad I did but not as thrilled as the MITB PPV.  I really liked the Sheamus vs Henry match, though I'm sure its not exactly match of the night, just a pleasantly entertaining bout though.  I am not sick of these Christian -Orton matches though I would imagine they have to break it up eventually.  Not have 100 hardcore matches constantly on this big scale really made this one and a lot of the spots stand out.  Glad for Vince that the table broke so he didnt lose his mind on the headset.  The RKO on the steps was beautiful.  Cena - Punk was good but just didnt have the same vibe, and yes no Chicago crowd is going to change it but it wasnt just that.  A lot of threads to carry forward, just hope nothing is rushed.  Hope to hear Nash saying he did it to stick up for his buddy since he has no conflict, Cena's issues with HHH, where Punk goes from here, and Del Rio FINALLY getting the title.
Michael O'Brien
Brockton, MA


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