WWE Summerslam. One of the big 4 of WWE Pay Per Views. Second only to Wrestlemania (if you ask me that honour goes to the Royal Rumble, but that’s a different article for a different time). You’d think that with this being a “big” PPV we’d have more than 5 matches announced, but hey ho, let’s have a look through the card and see what’s what.
Diva’s Championship Match;
Kelly Kelly (c) vs. Beth Phoenix
I am so stoked that Beth’s heel again, and she’s using the whole “screw all you Barbies for giving real women a bad name” standpoint. Sweet. And who better for her to make her point against than the WWE’s very own Barbie, Kelly Kelly.
Now I’m not really sure what to think of this. On the one hand, I’m one of those guys who are prone to using the women’s match to go to the loo, grab a beer, and just generally not pay it much attention at all. In fact, apart from when Kong was stomping around for a couple of weeks, most women’s matches get the old “skip to the end” treatment in the dsr household.
What makes this match different is…well…BETH IS A HEEL AGAIN for starters, but I’m interested in seeing how Kelly does during this match. Sure young Ms. Blank isn’t gonna set the world alight with a wrestling clinic, but she’s already come on leaps and bounds from when she first came in, and the fact that she attacked Beth on Raw this past week makes me think that the champ may be taking the fight to the Glamazon more than we may expect? On the other hand they could just have Beth come out and completely destroy poor little fragile blonde Kelly Kelly, but for some reason I don’t think that’s going to happen
So, who’s going to win? In fact let’s split this up a little and I’m going to say who I want to win, and who I think will win.
Who I want to win: Beth Phoenix, just to compound the heel turn. Then off the back of that you could have a beautiful little Rocky-esque storyline of Kelly having to train hard to improve (maybe recruit one of the guys from the roster as her trainer) ready for her inevitable rematch.
Who I think will win: Hmm…Kelly Kelly? Yeah, I’m gonna say that I actually think Kelly will win, and then Beth’s gonna make her life hell for the next few weeks on some kind of brutal rampage.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
I haven’t heard D Bryan’s new entrance music, but I’m gonna be sad to no longer be able to sit on the sofa, listening to Wagner and singing “DANIEL BRY-AN DANIEL BRY-AN” in time to the music. 🙁
Now I’m not too up on Smackdown happenings (I’ve been watching sporadically), so I’m not really sure on what’s been happening with Wade Barrett. I know he’s made his speech about being in the WWE to win titles, because titles = CA$H!! but I can’t help but feel that Barrett’s been a bit lost in the midcard, which isn’t really surprising considering they blew the whole Nexus angle spectacularly. I know he’s been gunning for Bryan recently from the spoilers and the one episode I caught last week, and I was kinda expecting it to end in Barrett challenging Bryan for the briefcase. In fact it may still go in that direction, but right now, on this PPV, I can’t see anything other than a clean Daniel Bryan submission win.
Who I want to win: Daniel Bryan by clean submission (probably the LaBell Lock)
Who I think will win: My boy D Bryan, dawg!!
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
You may have seen on the forums over on TWO that I’m kinda hyped about this match. This match is way more anticipated (for me at least) than any match between Sheamus and Mark Henry has any right to be. So what makes this a lot more interesting than it looks on paper?
Well, Mark Henry (as much as it pains me to say this) has been superb for the last couple of months. I know we always rag on Mark for being a great big useless waste of space, and he’s never really done anything to make me sit up and take notice (well, maybe his ECW Title run…maybe), but this last couple of months he’s been brilliant in the monster role. Sure he’s done the same thing before, but for some reason this time it seems to have just clicked. Maybe I’ve just been suckered in by WWE constantly referencing the destruction Mark has left in his wake recently. Maybe it’s the sheer genius of Henry’s smack talk?
Or maybe, just maybe I’ve been secretly suckered into this match by a sly smiling, pale, ginger Irishman, who has a tendency to call people “fella” with a cheeky smirk. I don’t know why this Sheamus face turn works, it just does. Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t seem like a full “babyface” turn at the moment? All that we’ve had really is Teddy Long saying they can’t find competition for Mark because he’s too dangerous, then out comes Sheamus and with a simple “I’ll fight ya, fella” I was sold on the idea of wanting to see this guy kick Mark Henry’s a*s, Irish Style.
Either way, both these guys have come together and the whole segment clicked. Something just felt right, and I want to see this match happen. It’s the old “Irresistible Force vs. Immovable Object” match that would’ve had Gorilla Monsoon busting out the old catchphrases left right and centre. It’s an old school big man match, and I couldn’t be more excited…aside from CM Punk obviously.
Who I want to win: Sheamus. Just because I want to see him get a face push after the cr*ppy year he’s just been through.
Who I think will win: Mark Henry. Henry has to win really, because I’m pretty sure he’s gonna have to step up to contend for the World Heavyweight Championship after Summerslam.
World Heavyweight Championship Match
No Holds Barred
Christian (c) vs. Randy Orton
Is it wrong to say I’m just not bothered about this match? Is that bad? Or is that a reflection on how this feud has progressed? To be honest they lost me at Christian’s heel turn. We could all see it coming a mile off, but that didn’t make it any easier to stomach. And the worst thing is that this isn’t even Christian being a good heel! I can think of plenty of other Christian heel runs that seemed so much better than this one, and he’s holding the title right now! Maybe it’s just me being a bit jaded about this as I’m just burnt out on watching this feud.
I’m burnt out on screwy finishes, and contract clauses, and weird stipulations, so I’m glad that this looks like it’s going to be the closing chapter on the whole thing. That’s about the best thing they can do right now. Most likely with an Orton win. Only problem there is who gets the next crack at the champ? Now do see why I was saying Mark Henry pretty much has to beat Sheamus.
I haven’t got much else to say about this, other than echoing others sentiments that I hope to high hell that they don’t do some kind of screwy finish and continue this feud. Please don’t let them do that.
Who I want to win: Orton. Cleanly.
Who I think will win: Orton. Cleanly (I hope).
WWE Undisputed Championship Match
CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena (c) (special guest referee WWE COO HHH)
Ha! How funny is it looking at WWE COO HHH actually written down like that?
Right so this is the big one, the whole enchilada, the hot tamale, the match of the night that I am most likely to be a completely biased CM Punk mark about (I know I’m a Punk mark, and I’m fine with that).
So this angle went off on a tangent I didn’t expect it to go down. According to my initial prediction, CM Punk should still be sat in Chicago now, a pepsi in his hand, and a WWE Title Belt in his fridge, but nope here he is, rights paid Living Colour entrance music and all. Does it feel rushed? Sure, but I’m actually really glad to have him back on TV. If he wasn’t on TV then we wouldn’t have had such awesomeness as the contract signing this past Monday night (and pretty much every Punk segment for the past 3 weeks). You can just tell the guy’s having a whale of a time right now, and I’m loving how he’s got an answer for absolutely everything in a live promo situation. I’d like to bet Trippers never tries to tease Punk about movies again.
But by just pontificating about how awesome Punk is, I’m ignoring a vital part of this whole situation. John Cena. Love him or hate him, you can’t fault the guy’s performance during the run up to MitB and during this Summerslam build. John Cena knows exactly what he’s doing, and to be honest his whole speech on Monday about how he’s never gonna win over the smarks, his five moves of doom, and knowing what the fans think of him, actually won me over a little. Reverse Psychology? Touché Mr. Cena, touché.
On top of that, when you think about it John Cena dropped a harsh truth on Punk on Monday. Punk does have to win this match, in storyline terms, and in actual WWE career terms. To be considered legitimately the Best in the World, Punk has to win this match otherwise it’s just another guy talking a bunch of trash and not backing it up. If Cena loses (as he rightly pointed out, God I love this new “reality” direction the shows are taking) he still has the main event at Mania to work towards. If Punk loses he could be busted right back down the card and end up as the proverbial “one hit wonder”. But when was the last time Cena was beaten on back-to-back PPV? Seriously, I’m wracking my brain and I can’t think of the last time Cena lost on two PPVs in a row, let alone to the same person.
But what about the wild cards in this match? Could Triple H pull something screwy and cost one of them the match? If that were to happen, then I guess the sensible thing would be Trippers screwing Punk, leading to the obvious rebel vs. giant corporation angle. I can’t see any benefit from HHH screwing Cena during the match, because no-one really wants to see Cena trying to stand up against the big corporate machine he was the poster boy for. Do they?
Then there’s ADR. Could we see the briefcase cashed in that night? Could we see neither Punk nor Cena leave as Undisputed WWE Champion? I’m not a betting man, but it’s the kind of thing I’d have an outside wager on. As several people have already mentioned over on the forums WWE are heading to Mexico shortly, and surely if they wanted to pull the trigger on Del Rio, sending him into Mexico as champ has to be an enticing prospect? Either that or perhaps they’ll hold off on Alberto’s cash in until they’re actually in Mexico? Who knows?
I don’t want to retread through what Jimmy Redman has already said in the RRR (Raw Redman Report. I’m initialising it, I hope it catches on. :D) but this is a match where literally anything could happen. It’s polarised the fans so that this isn’t just about Cena and Punk, this is about Pro Wrestling vs. Sports Entertainment. This match is about seeing what the WWE are willing to do, are they willing to forsake the Golden Boy Cena in the hopes of bringing back in the older viewers? Are they willing to shake up the status quo that has been in place for what seems like oh so many years? Are they willing to try something different, something unknown, and persevere through with it until the end instead of dropping it after two weeks?
The simple answer is I don’t know, but I’m hopeful they are willing to try something different, and the last couple of weeks seem to have demonstrated that to a certain degree. Let’s get to the point and make some predictions shall we?
Who I want to win: There is only ever one answer to this question when CM Punk is involved. CM PUNK!! CM PUNK!! CM PUNK!!
Who I think will win: Good Lord, your guess is as good as mine. This is literally going to be edge of the seat viewing as far as I can see, and I honestly can’t pick anything between them. I still have a gut feeling that Del Rio could well cash in to end the show, but as to the winner of the match? I want to say Cena after some kind of screwy business between Punk and HHH, but I’d so love it to be Punk.
So that’s my round up. There’s still a distinctly R-Truth shaped hole in that card (come on, the guy’s been freaking gold for the last couple of months and you can’t throw him something to do?), and The Miz for that matter? Maybe their little tag team venture from a couple of weeks ago could make a one night return? I’m expecting at least one more match to be added, and the Cee-Lo performance could be quite cool, as long as he wears his Legion of Doom spikes. All in all I’m looking forward to it. There may not be many matches, but at least 4 out of the 5 have my pretty much full attention. It’ll be quite interesting to see how this PPV goes down after the frankly spectacular Money in the Bank, but I’ve got hope in WWE continuing to build on the good work started at the last PPV, so let’s just pray that hope isn’t misplaced?