Wednesday, August 18, 2010

SummerSlam 2010 Review/Thoughts (SPOILER)

EDIT:  Removed a note I made to myself when writing this up.

Background:  Just to let everyone know, I've had limited exposure to WWE programming due to time constraints.  The following are my opinions on the SummerSlam 2010 PPV on its own, not on its build-up, which my awareness of which arrives from the PPV pre-show, discussions with friends, the Raw Viewer's Choice show and bumping into news items while googling).

IC Title match:  Solid, but forgettable.  Kofi really had the crowd behind him, but he could really use some more direction.  Has he done anything since the Orton feud?  The Vicky G. + Ziggler pair was quite new to me; I thought WWE had given up pushing Ziggy.  Since the IC title wasn't booked very well when I was last watching anyway, I guess the run-in was a fairly wise sacrifice considering how it put over the Nexus and main event.

Miz, Jericho and Edge had a funny segment as the latter two attempted to convince the former into joining Team WWE.  The Canadian stars both displayed elements of their old personas, which was a great touch.

Divas Title match:  Blah.  Melina's new attire made the win a little predictable.  I missed the Lay-Cool segment (and possibly the match finish, cuz I don't remember seeing it) to pick up some food.  No disrespect to Melina, who has been a great worker who's been hindered by a weak division and a series injuries, but if you want to see real women's wrestling I recommend you check out Kong vs. Martinez at Evolve Wrestling on 9/11 (expect to see more plugs like this, I'm a big fan of the promotion).

Big Show vs. SEE:  Standard big-man-dominates-everyone-WWE-ness.

The Miz cut a mind-blowing promo about his participation in Team WWE.  It put over the main event in a big way, and reminded me of Homicide in the Ring of Honor vs. CZW feud in ROH.  If you see anything on this show make sure it's this.  I'll even go as far as to call Miz's performance Rock-like.

WWE Title match:  Was going pretty well until the lousy DQ finish.  I really liked Orton's Garvin stomps to Sheamus on the ropes and the missed Brogue Kick spot.  I'd like to know the name of that ref; he took a throw to the outside and called the DQ when others would pass out after a hit from an irish-whipped participant.  Sheamus was surprisingly watchable, but emphasizes too much about his being Irish.  Guess that's how they intend to get him heat.  I also think that Orton works a bit too hard on his mannerisms as a face, he should just keep doing things the same way that got him face pops in the first place; was nice to see him over anyway.  It's been awhile since SummerSlam had a memorable title change, and this could've been it.

World Title match:  This was my first time seeing Kane as champion.  I always thought he'd remain right in the middle of WWE's totem pole for the rest of his career, squashing all but the most promising mid-carders while being dominated by whoever is in a world title picture.  The timing for this reign was kind of odd and there are better workers with higher ROI due the youth factor (especially for Money in the Bank, but that's for another post), and no one really thought the way he was booked to be powerful at the last Wrestlemania MitB would really lead to anything, but I can't say Glenn Jacobs doesn't deserve it as this is his first to go past a single day and considering the good rep he has backstage according to many shoot interviews.  Can't say I remember much from the match but Rey-Rey's Lucha rolls when thrown to the outside and crazy flying headbutt to gut.  The segment afterwards was a poorly-executed swerve-attempt, but seeing Kane destroy Taker on his return (since when has that ever happened?) all the more solidified 2010 as The Big Red Machine's best year ever.

…and now, for the shock of the night.  When Team WWE announced a replacement for Miz, I was so certain that we'd see HHH have a turn with the Royal Rumble '08 miracle and single-handedly squash the Nexus (and if he was in a good mood he would've "needed" the sledgehammer instead of his bear hands).  Though I knew for sure it would eventually happen, seeing Bryan Danielson's/Daniel Bryan's early return was inspiring and brought everything full circle since the last time I saw WWE TV was on the fateful Viewer's Choice Raw.  Hearing Michael Cole have a personality for a change (this was the first I've seen of the lauded Bryan/Cole feud; heel Cole was my idea!) was also a nice treat.  It's just hilarious hearing his remarks that could only come from a moron that's never heard of an indy promotion!

Team WWE vs. The Nexus:  While it won't be remembered as a technical clinic, it felt important, had good storytelling and accomplished a couple of big things: namely getting Daniel Bryan over (which is always a big plus) as well as continuing his feud with Miz.

A big gripe I have is how John Cena took out two Nexus members on his own after taking a DDT to the concrete.  I thought this was match was supposed to be about talent like Daniel Bryan and the faction from which he dissented from, but I didn't come out of the SummerSlam thinking that anyone was evenly matched with the current company posterboy.  If it really wants to give the ball to new stars WWE has to stop making them tap out to the first STF Cena applies to them.  Barrett/Cena was supposed to be the big showdown!

All in all from what I've seen, the Nexus angle has been great aside from a couple hiccups like what was mentioned above.  Barrett serves as a great mouthpiece and ruthless general for the group, and I like the "You're either Nexus, or against us!" catch phrase.  The guy was really over with everyone I watched the show with, and I can see why.  Looks like WWE finally found a British star who fits their arbitrary formula well enough for them to get behind and push to the top.  I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict that he (if anyone) may have a shot at ending Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak.

While my friends and I agreed there wasn't anything special match-wise, I took the show for what it was and enjoyed it.  Miz's promo stole the show and Daniel Bryan's return was a sight to behold, the crowd was pretty hot throughout the night, and even Sheamus and Cole were tolerable.  The main event had a feeling of importance that you rarely get from big tag matches in WWE these days.  However, anyone looking for a serious in-ring product should take a look at the promotion that Daniel Bryan helped to conceive: Evolve Wrestling, where he'll face Japanese talent Munenori Sawa in a card that will also feature Amazing (formerly known as Awesome) Kong on 9/11 in Rahway, NJ.

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