If I'm being honest, I never really bought SummerSlam as the second biggest PPV of the year. Last year's was a huge disappointment, only saved by the main event which also wasn't that hot. I think only 2008's show would be worthy of calling itself the second biggest show of the year but last night's definitely surprised me in all the right ways.
1 - Alberto Del Rio, R-Truth & The Miz vs John Morrison, Kofi Kingston & Rey Mysterio:
Well I was expecting these guys to get on the card anyway but not for all of them to be thrown into the same match. It's a new idea though of course it's something we would normally expect from Raw anyway. I just wish they could have added Evan Bourne and maybe Swagger to make it an 8-man since it had plenty of time. I'll admit, R-Truth's promo made me laugh. The match was pretty plodding when Morrison was inside and I never thought I'd say that, though I wouldn't mind seeing a Morrison/Del Rio match some time in the future (hint hint, creative). Once again Kofi shows why he needs a push by bringing the match alive as things definitely picked up when he got tagged in. I was sure he had injured himself at one point but then he threw that illusion away with that high spot. The Truth/Mysterio interaction was fun and the match breakdown had me excited, so naturally Rey gains momentum heading into his title shot. 7/10
2 - Sheamus vs Mark Henry:
Wow, I can't believe I'm going to say this but a Mark Henry match actually kept me interested. I admit I did use it to go for a piss and get some food but it was only starting by the time I got back. We did see some good spots, especially the whole ropes thing and where he threw Sheamus back into the ring from the middle rope. That was probably as good as we're going to get with Mark Henry but the match was really going too slow. It really could have done to have a couple of minutes shaved off it. Sheamus's comeback on the other hand could have done to have a bit more oomph instead of a couple of flying forearms and a bicycle kick, and then it's over. The spot with the security wall made up for the match's flaws and that's probably the best way to end a match on a count-out without making us feel too cheated. Sadly it seems Mark Henry's "reign of terror" ain't over yet. 6/10
The Cee-Lo Green performance was thankfully not a repeat of Kid Rock from WrestleMania 25 though for some reason I was expecting Beth Phoenix to come out and destroy the divas dancing onstage. Why the hell was Alicia wearing a sailor hat though? Couldn't they have just thrown Maryse out there instead of Alicia because that is kind of demeaning for her to be lumped in with the models. I'm also wondering why the hell the movie trailer was shown? Jason Statham seems to have only two expressions in his acting range: frowning and looking badass, and frowning and looking badass with his shirt off.
3 - Kelly Kelly* vs Beth Phoenix (Divas' Championship):
I'm no girl but did Beth get dressed in the dark or something? When your character wants to rid WWE of models and eye candy it's a little counter productive to come out dressed in what looks like a cheap nurse's outfit. Kelly got the crowd into it early on and I think that really helped. Her two spots on the outside really impressed me and I feel that this is the best match she's had since she won the title, probably because it got enough time. Beth on the other hand looked a little shaky, maybe she hit her head and was dizzy or maybe she just wasn't used to working PPVs since she hasn't been on one since December. She tightened up towards the end, which was a nice decisive finish that puts Kelly over as a fighting champion and hopefully means this feud can continue. Night of Champions just happens to be in Beth's hometown. Coincidence? I think not. 7/10
I could see the Little Jimmy joke coming a mile away when Jimmy Hart appeared backstage. I always liked the Mouth of the South and it was good to see him back for one night. R-Truth is hilarious.
4 - Wade Barrett vs Daniel Bryan:
I called it in my predictions. I knew this was going to be the sleeper match of the night. I was hooked from the moment the bell rang and this is going straight onto my 15 Greats of 2011 video. I feel like this was a seminal moment for both of these guys (yes, I learned a new word and can't wait to use it) since Bryan hasn't been used that much in months and Wade has been stuck in an unlikeable and uninteresting storyline with The Corre. It turns out breaking those guys up was the best thing that could have happened to Wade since he finally got to have a match that didn't rely on outside interference or dirty tactics. My favourite spot was the flying knee off the apron as well as that clothesline off the top rope. And that surfboard...thingy was lol worthy and cringeworthy (in a good way). The ending was just a great sequence and finally Wade gets a good strong clean win, though I was expecting Bryan to pull the victory off. 8/10
5 - Christian* vs Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship; No Holds Barred):
First of all, who is writing Christian's promos? No Christian you are not "Hairy Potter" and please stop trying to sound relevant. Edge has a new haircut, it makes him look a bit younger anyway. I think the majority of fans were just glad that this feud seems to be over at last, considering this is the fifth title match between them we've gotten. I'll hand it to the guys since we did see some great action and those poor Spanish announcers. They should have known the moment they were introduced that their table would be taking a hit. Things really picked up when Christian grabbed the kendo stick from under the ring and I was really hooked with all those spots. I was also relieved that they seem to have dropped the whole stopping the match for blood policy. The other spots with the weapons were all cool to watch and this feud definitely ended with a bang. I'm wondering what they're going to do now that Randy Orton is champion again? Please don't put Mark Henry in the title scene and please to God turn Christian face again. He is such a lame heel. 8/10
6 - John Cena vs CM Punk (WWE Championship Unification Match):
I actually went to the toilet and got more food during the promo for this match and I did take my time, and it wasn't even started by the time I got back which still goes to show that the main events these days are getting way too much time. Unlike their match at Money In The Bank, this had a lot of filler and padding but it was still good to watch. Cena has definitely upped his A-game in recent months and put on solid matches with both Punk and Rey Mysterio so hopefully this means the end of him just phoning it in. I'm surprised at how athletic Punk was being considering WWE's strict policy on how faces wrestle. The action was solid and almost on par with their other match but it didn't really have the same oomph factor as that. The ending was a bit of a copout though. But that's not all...7/10
7 - Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk* (WWE Championship):
I knew it was Kevin Nash straight away and I was actually worried this would mean a full time return and another godawful match with Triple H (think Judgment Day 2003) in all of those few seconds but what a swerve. I hope Del Rio gets a decent title reign because they do tend to drop the ball with MITB winners. I think Miz is the only one to get a good title reign. N/A