The SmarK Rant for Summerslam 2012 – 08.19.12
So this is the final Summerslam I’ve never reviewed. I don’t know why that happened because I was definitely (mostly) watching at that point.
Live from Los Angeles, CA, drawing 14000, or 17000 in WWE numbers.
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler, who still don’t understand the concept of a “25th anniversary”, given that it was 24 years before this show that Summerslam debuted.
Dolph Ziggler v. Chris Jericho
Dolph had just won the MITB briefcase, and I believe went on to be one of the longest reigning holders of the case. This was apparently set up by a random backstage attack on Smackdown two days before, resulting in Jericho having DDP style taped ribs. Jericho wins a chase and beats on Ziggler in the corner, then chops him down and goes for a suplex. Ziggler kicks him in the ribs to escape and hits a gutbuster for two. Jericho dumps him and follows with the springboard dropkick, but that misses and he splats on the floor. Back in, Dolph chokes him out and dropkicks the ribs for two. Dolph goes to a wacky chinlock and hits a corner splash for two. Dolph with a neckbreaker for two, but Jericho makes a comeback and rolls him up for two. Ziggler clotheslines him down again, but misses a blind charge and Jericho tries a comeback, but Dolph kind of brushes the ribs and Jericho goes down awkwardly. Ziggler with the fameasser for two. Dolph beats on the ribs some more, but Jericho takes him down for the Walls. Dolph flips out of that, so Jericho gets an enzuigiri for two. Jericho misses a charge and Dolph gets his “patented” sleeper, that has apparently put many WWE superstars away. Name one? Thought so. Jericho fights out of that and they fight to the top rope, where Jericho brings him down with a rana, hurting his own ribs in the process. That gets two. Dolph pops up with a DDT for two. They slug It out and Jericho bulldogs him to set up the Lionsault, but that misses and the Zig Zag gets two. Jericho pops up with the codebreaker and Dolph bails to the floor to escape, but Jericho follows and Vickie trips him up, allowing Dolph to get a cradle for two. Dolph charges and Jericho sends him into the post and gets the Walls, and Dolph taps at 13:00. Started slow but it turned into one of Dolph’s best PPV matches. ****
Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar breaks Shawn’s arm, setting up his grudge match with HHH tonight, as poor Shawn is now Hunter’s damsel in distress.
Daniel Bryan v. Kane
Bryan was in the weird period between dropping the title to Sheamus and becoming a giant main event star, where he somehow fell ass-backwards into one of the best storyline twists they ever pulled off. Bryan hits him with kicks while yelling “No”, as the crowd chants “Yes” at him. Like this “Yes/No” stuff will ever get over. Kane stomps him down in the corner and puts him down with a big boot for two. Bryan fights back in the corner and Kane tosses him out, so Bryan slips back in and hits Kane with a tope suicida. Back in, Bryan with a missile dropkick for one and he throws the very angry No Kicks, but Kane puts him down with a clothesline and follows with a corner clothesline. Sideslam gets two. Kane goes up with the flying clothesline, but Bryan slips away from the chokeslam and necks Kane on the top rope. But that only makes Kane mad, as there’s a lot of anger issues between these two, and Kane beats him down in the corner. Maybe someone should send these guys to anger management. Bryan kicks him down again and tries for the No Lock, but Kane fights out of that. So Bryan goes up with a flying headbutt, and lands right in Kane’s chokeslam. Kane sets up him for the finish, but Bryan reverses the tombstone into a cradle for the pin at 8:00. Not great, but the fans were going crazy for Bryan the entire time and it stayed pretty entertaining. **1/2
Meanwhile, Kane beats up the backstage interview geek and goes to find Daniel Bryan.
Intercontinental title: The Miz v. Rey Mysterio
Rey’s cosplay this time is some kind of bat costume, like a man who dressed like a bat, if that makes sense. Like Man-Bat. Lawler notes that Miz is “Touting” all about his new movie. Man, they really missed the boat on THAT trend, but to be fair they were a decade too early anyway. Plus Vince isn’t owned by a Chinese spy network as far as we’re aware. Miz slugs Rey down and puts the boots to him, but Rey fights back with a flying headscissors, so Miz tosses him out to the floor. Back in the ring, that gets two. Meanwhile Cole keeps reminding us of the time that Miz was WWE champion one time. Yeah like that’ll ever happen again. Miz goes for a suplex and Rey reverses for two, so Miz gets a backbreaker for two. Miz with the CRAVAT and he puts Rey down with a clothesline for two as the crowd is dead silent for this. Miz goes up and Rey brings him down and follows with the senton, but Miz cuts off the comeback with a singshot powerbomb for two. Rey reverses a slam into a DDT for two. Rey goes to the top and Miz cuts him off, so Rey hits the 619 instead. He Drops the Dime, but that misses and Miz rolls him up, which Rey reverses for two. But then the Skull Crushing Finale gets the clean pin for Miz at 9:00. Much like most of Miz’s pushes, this one didn’t really go anywhere either. **1/4
Meanwhile, Teddy Long and Eve stop by AJ Lee’s office and put her managerial skills over, which is hilarious considering that AJ is generally considered one of the dirt worst of any of the RAW GM figures. So then CM Punk stops by and tries to make nice while complaining about getting disrespected yet again.
World heavyweight title: Sheamus v. Alberto Del Rio
Sheamus grabs a headlock and they tumble to the floor off that and brawl out there. Back in the ring, Del Rio puts the boots to him in the corner while Cole tells the story of Sheamus getting bullied as a child due to the color of his hair. Really it’s his own fault for being a ginger. Some kids just deserve to be beat up, you know? They fight to the top and Sheamus brings him down for an electric chair, but ADR pulls off the turnbuckle to block and dropkicks Sheamus to the floor. I imagine that missing turnbuckle will factor into the match later, if I know my pro wrestling! Back in the ring, Del Rio hits a shoulderblock off the top for two and goes to a chinlock. Del Rio puts him down with a chest kick and chokes him out on the ropes, then goes back to the chinlock again. Sheamus fights out of that, so Del Rio curb stomps him for two. Del Rio tries his own Brogue Kick, but Sheamus slugs him down to block. Del Rio runs him into the turnbuckles and they head to the top, where ADR brings him down with an armbar takedown for two. This sets up the cross armbreaker, but Sheamus powers out of that and slams him. White Noise gets two. Brogue Kick misses as ADR hides in the ropes, but Sheamus gives him the forearms on the apron instead and slugs away in the corner. But then ADR drops him on the exposed steel from earlier and follows with the enzuigiri for two. Alberto beats up his own ring announcer in frustration and the ref escorts him out, but it’s just a ruse as Roberto throws his shoe to Del Rio. But Sheamus grabs it and hits ADR and pins him to retain at 11:24, despite Alberto’s foot being on the ropes. And the crowd boos that finish out of the building after cheering Sheamus for the whole match. I remember them having way more chemistry together than this dull slog. Finish was way overbooked too, with the exposed turnbuckle being all that would have been needed. **
WWE tag team titles: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth v. The Prime Time Players
Truth and Kofi were a weirdly mismatched team to say the least. Truth hits Young with a hiptoss to start and drops a leg on him for two. Titus comes in and boots Truth down for two before going to a facelock. Over to Kofi and he runs wild on Titus for a bit, but chases Darren Young on the floor and gets jumped. Back in, PTP with the double-team suplex on Kofi and Young gets two. Powerslam gets two and Titus comes in with an abdominal stretch. Truth gets a hot tag and finishes Young with the Little Jimmy at 7:00. Well that was a lot of nothing. *1/2
WWE title: CM Punk v. Big Show v. John Cena
Punk had just turned heel but wasn’t quite a Paul Heyman Guy yet. Michael Cole actually points out that Punk hasn’t been in the main event of a PPV since December, which doesn’t exactly make WWE look very good. Show throws both guys around to start and gets the chops to put them both down, so Punk and Cena team up, and Show suplexes them both as a result. Show hits them with running butt splashes in the corner and Cena bails, but Punk kicks Show down and tries the GTS. Show blocks that and Cena sneaks in and tries the AA on Show, but Punk pushes them off and gets two on Cena. Show chops Punk down again and gets rid of Cena, then powerslams Punk. Cena comes back in again and Show spears him for two. Show puts them both in the corner and hits Cena with a pump splash for two, but Punk saves. They head to the floor and Show throws them both around out there, and then hits Cena with a sideslam in the ring. Punk fights back on Show with kicks and puts him in a Koji Klutch, but then Cena breaks that up and tries an STF on Show. Show powers out of that and slams him, but Punk hits Show with a flying clothesline and running knees in the corner. He goes for the bulldog, but Show blocks that, so Cena legdrops Show instead. Punk and Cena both put Show in submission moves at the same time and Show taps at 11:38, which is apparently the end of the match but we don’t know who the winner is. This brings out AJ Lee, who restarts the match. Well that’s a stupid idea. Why should Show continue to get another chance? HE TAPPED OUT! Show chokeslams both guys for two, but Cena hits the AA and Punk steals the pin at 12:34. Cena and Punk always have good chemistry but this was all Show lumbering around the ring and the other two bouncing off him. **1/2
Amazingly, the Network version retains Kevin Rudolf lip-synching “Don’t Give Up” in a “live” performance. “Let It Rock” is 100% my jam but this guy had zero followup to that. He’s so obscure these days that he might as well be Bad Bunny.
Brock Lesnar v. HHH
Brock immediately goes for the kimura and HHH counters out of that and then clotheslines Brock out of the ring. Back in, HHH with a high knee and he clotheslines Brock to the floor again. The buildup to the match was so weirdly disjointed, with HHH booking himself as the most awesomest fighter outside of the UFC, trying to teach Big Bad Brock a lesson about what being a WWE superstar means, but at the same time he was supposed to be a sympathetic underdog figure. It was literally all a waste of a year of Brock Lesnar’s WWE career and nearly killed him off as a top draw when all was said and done. Like he was RED HOT after the awesome Cena match where he returned and this dour, boring feud with self-important HHH destroyed him. Brock runs HHH into the table and goes to work on the arm back in the ring. Brock with a german suplex, which the crowd likes. Maybe he should do that more? Like, say what you will about the repetitive Brock matches, but once they figured out SUPLEX CITY, it transformed the business and created a whole new type of main event match. This is decidedly not that type of main event match. They slug it out and HHH comes back with a DDT, but Brock takes him to the floor and slams him on the table again. Cole notes that Brock “doesn’t care about entertaining, he cares about domination”, which is exactly the character note that they needed to focus on in order to make him into a top draw, but somehow they didn’t even realize what they had. Back in the ring, Brock with a clothesline as the crowd gets more bored, but HHH comes back with a suplex. He goes for the Pedigree, but Brock tosses him to the floor again and they slowly fight out there. So then HHH hits him in the gut and Brock sells DIVERTICULITIS, which I will grant you is not psychology you see every day. Back in, Brock goes for another kimura, but HHH kicks him right in the diverticulitis to break. Vince must have been screaming RIGHT IN THE BREAD BASKET in the gorilla position. HHH with the spinebuster and it’s KICK DIVERTICULITIS PEDIGREE, but that only gets two. Brock hits him right in the babymaker while Heyman points out that HHH asked for the fight not to be stopped for any reason, so the ref lets it go. F5 gets two. Brock with the kimura again, but HHH hits him right in the diverticulitis to break that. Pedigree #2, but Brock counters into another kimura and HHH taps at 18:50. This was a DISASTER. Meltzer gave it a good rating but I don’t know why, it was boring junk most of the way and I don’t think anyone is defending this feud these days. ** And then for the glorious followup, HHH lays around waiting for the sympathetic hero’s reaction from the crowd, who instead turn on him and chant “You tapped out” at him. You knew that Hunter wasn’t gonna let THAT go and Brock should have known he was jobbing at Wrestlemania.
Did not care for this show at all. But at least now we’re caught up again!