Best Match - Orton vs. Christian
Worst Match - Phoenix vs. Kelly
Thank goodness I didn't pay for this. I say that not because the matches were bad, they weren't. In fact, the Orton/Christian match was excellent. However, two things really ruined this show for me.
The first being the announcing. I mean why even bring back Jim Ross if his talents are not going to be used when they are needed the most? Since in theory, PPV's are supposed to have many of the most important matches since the last PPV, and are often the culmination of several month long programs, wouldn't you want the most talented announcer in the company (really the ONLY one) calling at least some of those matches? But one of reasons I can't give this PPV a thumbs up wasn't the absence of Ross as much as it was the prevalence of Michael Cole. For me, Cole has become so distractingly bad that it is just impossible to enjoy whatever he is calling.
The other reason I ended up disliking this show was the return of Kevin Nash to a main event program. The company finally shelves the Vince character and seems to be finally pushing some different faces like Danielson, Christian, Punk and Del Rio, comes out of nowhere and inserts Kevin Fucking Nash (dyed hair and all) into a top program. Ridiculous.
So Summerslam is a Thumbs Down for me. Which is a shame because the majority of the show (muted of course) was very well done.
2 Thumbs 3/4 of the way Up
Best Match: Orton/Christian
Worst Match: Divas (though it wasn't bad by any means)
Overall a good show. It wasn't as good as MITB, but that really shouldn't surprise anybody.
I didn't catch the beginning, so I missed most of the six-man tag. It looked pretty useless anyway, with the 6 men involved floundering around the mid-card with nothing really to do. They put over Rey for Raw tonight, but does anyone really expect him to win? Maybe they'll swerve us and set up a four-way at Night of Champions, but I doubt it.
Sheamus/Henry was good for what it was: a slow-paced, physical, big man brawl. If you're expecting a clinic in a Mark Henry match, then you probably have bigger things to be angry over. This feud is like the anti-Orton/Christian, since the buildup to the matches will probably continue to be wonderful, but the matches themselves will just be okay, unless they eventually decide to throw in some gimmick matches down the road. They've hinted on WWE.com (yes I checked it) that this feud isn't over, and it really shouldn't be. Both men looked strong, but it was the right call to put Henry over here, since he's in the midst of the best work of his career. Sheamus will get his revenge eventually, and in the process will hopefully continue to get over as a face. Still, I'm dreading the potential Orton/Henry feud this could set up....Yikes.
Divas match was the Divas match. Phoenix did a good job carrying the champ, and to her credit, Kelly did seem to really give her best out there. Unfortunately, that's not that much. I'm surprised they put Kelly over, but I guess I shouldn't be. I have no idea when Kharma's coming back, but if she joined up with Phoenix and Natalya, that would be nuts. Well, as "nuts" as a Divas feud could get today. Where they go from here is anybody's guess, but I know one thing....nobody will really care.
Don't bring back Cee Lo Green on my television screen ever again, Vince. It did add a "big-time" feel....kinda...but really it was just annoying. I paid for wrasslin' and hopefully Funk Man getting his head kicked off again, not bored Divas dancing and Twix commercials. As an aside, Punk's zinger to Steph earlier in the show made me lol.
Bryan/Barrett was a good match, but again, being surprised that a Danielson match was good is like being surprised that Triple H would stomp a hot main event angle. I would've liked to see Bryan win, but there's still plenty of time for him to get over until WM (I still don't think they'll go through with that, though), and Barrett really needed a good win if you look at it, since he's had nothing to do either. I hope this feud gets drawn out for a little while longer, there's lots of back-story to delve into, and the matches will continue to be great. Maybe have Barrett challenge for the briefcase? I'm glad WWE is giving Bryan plenty of time to work (like his recent match with Kidd), hopefully the fans will catch on and actually give a reaction to a guy who always puts on a show.
Orton/Christian was great, well paced, well worked, and plenty of high spots to go around. Does it bother me that Christian went through 3 tables, got Hangman'd onto a trash can, and got Super RKO'ed onto the ring steps, while Orton tried to look like the tough guy because of his little boo-boo on his thumb? Yes. But, the match was good, like every other match in this long, long feud. They've acted like this was the blow-off match, but really, where do these two go from here? Does Christian stop being the "bitch" Edge said he was (good moment btw) and go on a rampage? Who does Orton feud with next? The Great JINDER MAHAL?! Because that's MONEY if you ask me.
And then we get to Punk/Cena Part Deux. Match was great, as expected. Tons of fast-paced reversal sequences, a couple of awesome near-falls near the end, and an actually alive LA crowd that gave the match another "this is a big deal" feeling to it, like last month. I think the "You can't wrestle" chants need to finally stop after the last couple months, by the way; Cena's been every bit as good as Punk in these matches. They can chant "You don't actually try to wrestle unless it's a Pay-Per-View," but that probably won't catch on. I didn't expect Hunter to turn yet, it's too early for that if you ask me, and the crowds are still into his face authority figure for the moment. It'll come though. Then there was the finish. I understand it, but I don't like it. Everyone knows Cena has to be in every main event, even if the storyline doesn't really call for him being there any longer. He'll come out tomorrow and act like it wasn't a big deal he lost while his foot was on the rope, probably not even selling anger at the fact that he just lost the title to the guy who's been shit-talking him for 2 months, but then he'll get his place in the triple threat match at the next PPV against Punk and Del Rio. Punk, obviously, was great in everything here. And the ship sails on.
Then Kevin Nash came out. I was legitimately surprised at this one. That Jackknife looked good, but I pray he's just back as Steph or Vince's "hired gun," to screw Hunter over (again, stomping on a good Punk/Cena angle with more McMahon Family Moments bullshit), and not as an actual wrestler. At least we'll get to see more hair-flipping from him, that stuff equals buys. It irks me how Nash/Hunter are still at the forefront of a top wrestling angle in 2011, but I'm very curious to see where this leads, so I'll be watching Raw tonight. I suppose that's what matters in the end. Del Rio cashing in was predictable, but I think it'll be the right thing to do in the end. This angle is now LOADED with all the people involved, so hopefully ADR will be booked properly while getting the rub from being in the main events over the next few months. My guess is, when the dust clears, we'll see a Cena/Del Rio title feud, and a Punk vs. McMahons/Nash feud, and hopefully there'll be no trainwrecks along the way. So yeah, overall good show.
Best Match: Orton vs. Christian
Worst Match: Beth vs Kelly
Another solid PPV outing by WWE. There was group of three of us that watched this show, and we all loved it. Personally, I thought the Orton vs. Christian match was the best on the show, and Orton's hard-way blood added just a little bit to it. If we're not going to get a lot of color in WWE, then the little bit makes a big difference. I didn't think the main event was as good as MITB (of course it couldn't be), but it was still a fine match. I liked the spot with all the submission reversals. I marked out huge when I caught Kevin Nash coming through the crowd. I don't have a clue where they're going next, but that's what makes it so great. I can not wait until Alberto del Rio's title celebration. Hopefully, we get it tomorrow night.
Charles M. Humphreys.
I love being one of those people who can appreciate pro wrestling and mixed martial arts. Both shows were very fun.
Firstly with WWE. My friends are guys who are left over from the boom period. They're content on the one PPV a month and have no desire to watch RAW. Between MITB and tonight that all changed. Everyone knew every story, and were watching for Punk. So while some of us might be mad this wasn't done in two months, it's brought a few people back for the time being. I hadn't seen them this up to date on stories since probably 2005.
SummerSlam was a lot of fun. There wasn't anything bad on the show. Henry/Sheamus was even fun due to the awesome barricade spot (and props to the fans who weren't too cool to go nuts for it on camera). Orton and Christian was the best match, the women the worst (but by their standards fine).
I was happy to see Punk win even by a mistake. With it only being title matches next month you need an excuse for a three way to get both these guys on. I'm over the MITB cash in. It's just played out and seems like the default way for a first time champ at this point. I'd much rather a solid build, Rumble win and a clean Mania main event victory.
Del Rio should have gotten it six months ago. So the specialness of him as a performer has kinda fell off. And he took it from the best act in the company. But I'm sure he'll do great. Very mad there was no Ricardo there for his win.
And finally, Nash. Much like the title win, felt too late. He was super over at the Rumble, now you bring him in 8 months later? I'm open to see where it goes, but they should have given him a short term bodyguard/tag partner spot for Mania.
All in all a huge step up from some of the post Mania shows like Capital Punishment and Over the Limit.
Then there was UFC. We only saw the Versus card, and luckily on DVR delay to skip the 15 commercial breaks before the opening match.
Nice to see the WEC guys look so good. Cerrone and Henderson putting on awesome performances and further muddling up the 155lbs title scene. The main event sealed this show though. Great Hollywood style ending for Lytle going out in a very fun fight and adding two more bonuses on his way out the door. I can't help but feel for Dan Hardy though. I'm a fan of the guy, but can't imagine how they could justify keeping him after this.
Both shows were a big thumbs up and people should go out of their way to see them both.
Thumbs up. Super entertaining card, plenty of upsets and surprises.
Best fight: The Kid-Bruce Leroy, Hammon-Dollaway, and Bendo-Miller were all great. WAY better than Lytle-Hardy, which wasn't even competitive.
Worst fight: Markes-Vemola was hard to watch, but I would say Figueroa-Reinhardt for the pathetic performance by Reinhardt---how does he have a job?
Sub: I would split it between Herman, Cole M, and Lytle
There should be a bonus for best overall performance, and Bendo should get it.
Like I said, Reinhardt is some sort of clown or jackass, and his performeance was embarrassing. Felt bad for Figueroa, who looked pretty good getting rid of him.
Volkmann just had Castillo's number all night, and Castillo did himself no favors by insisting on trying to wrestle, when he was winning the standup. Volkmann on his part while dominating was way too fixated on the D'Arce choke and it made the fight repetitive and boring.
Cole Miller looked bad vs. O'Brien, very confused at being faced with a physical and stylistic clone of himself, but when he got the opening he made very sure to put an end to the problem.
Alex, or Bruce Leroy, and the kid, Hettes, put on the kind of entertaining, fast paced grappling-intensive exhibition that reminds us why we watch MMA instead of boxing or grappling. Great fight.
Ronny Markes stunned by easily manhandling the up-till-now monster Karlos Vemola, but it was a slow paced grind and excrutiating to watch. They are LHs who are slower than heavyweights.
Ed Herman looking like a different fighter lately with some of the most aggressive Jiu Jitsu around. Noke was fighting well but just couldn't keep up with all the angles of attack Herman was using.
Benavidez just had Wineland taped from the first bell and he could never adjust. Very onesided win and unexpected for little short Benavidez to win it striking.
Hamman-Dollaway was just an outstanding, back and forth, high energy high tech battle till Hardonk told Hamman to just box, at which point CB just had no way to deal with his punching accuracy. Hamman looking like a brand new fighter at the lower weight. Great performance and great fight. Overall better than average undercard even with the couple of dud fights..
One the main card, Bang turned back the clock and took Amir to Muay Thai school in a stunning upset performance. Never hook with a hooker (boxing definitions... )
Cerrone just had way too many and too big guns for Oliveira, who really needs to drop down a weight division, in another upset.
Bendo quite simply stole the show in upsetting the top contender Jim Miller, and in such a dominant fashion. His unsubbability gave him an edge that Miller couldn't make up for, but he also dominated every aspect of the fight and nearly finished Miller, and the one judge had it exactly right at 30-26. This was the real main and everybody knew it. Miller might have subbed anybody else with almost all of those holds.
Nice emo way for Lytle to go out, but the fight frankly wasn't much, as Hardy looked like Molly Putz and played into Lytle's strengths all night, getting hammered pretty much at will and then capping off his amazingly stupid fight plan by taking the sub expert (which nobody ever remembers but look at the record) down and promptly getting Guillotined and tapped (funny how Lytle did that and The Great Gee Ess Pee couldn't). Didn't deserve FotN bonus. Props to Lytle for going out soon enough and on his own terms and having made a lot of money and still being able to count it.
Best Match: Christian vs. Randy Orton
Worst Match: None
I really liked the show! As a top to bottom card, there was a lot to enjoy. The opening six man had little in the way of importance, but it was a fun match that saw the criminally underrated Kofi Kingston shine on a big stage. I liked the Sheamus/Henry match for what it was as well. Much better than Henry's bout with Big Show last month at MITB. By no means was it a traditional wrestling match, but I think Sheamus has been Henry's best opponent since his "reign of terror" began. Kelly Kelly/Beth was fine. As you said, it was the best woman's match WWE has put on PPV in forever. Bryan/Wade was a nice midcard match as well. I would have liked to see Bryan go over, but both guys managed to have a good outing.
Then came Christian/Orton. Wow. For me, it's right behind Punk/Cena from last month and HHH/Taker at Mania as WWE match of the year. Just a great No Holds Barred match. It seems a little crazy that Christian should take 4 table spots, an RKO on the steel steps, a middle rope DDT onto a trash can as well as countless kendo stick shots, chair shots etc and still have to do the job, but that's WWE. Christian was the MVP of this show by a long shot.
I don't think Punk/Cena was a disappointment either. There was no way it could have lived up to MITB, but it was a solid outing. Cena is so clumsy sometimes -there were multiple spots where he was out of position making it that much harder for Punk- that it distracts from the match, but all-in-all I enjoyed it. I wasn't crazy about the finish of the match itself, but the whole bit with Nash is pretty cool and at least it's intriguing. Less intriguing is Nash's horribly dyed goatee, but what can you do?