It may be a bit of a late reaction this week but, better late than never. This week we’ll be looking at Damien Sandow, John Cena, the predictable nature of the Punk/Heyman “match”, the greatness that is Dean Ambrose, the botched mixed tag finish, and so much more!
Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan
WWE seems to love making what should have been a one-off into a series of matches as Bryan faces Barrett for the third time in a week with Brad Maddox as the special guest referee. Bryan getting the loss after a fast-count from Maddox and Bryan. Easy way for WWE to get the crowd even more behind him which seems to be the focal point right now. It wasn’t much of a necessity to do this again and I honestly didn’t pay much attention to it this time after already seen the match twice before.
Damien Sandow vs. Randy Orton
Sandow loses here after Cody Rhodes (on commentary) tried to pull his Money in the Bank briefcase off the ring post distracting Sandow into an RKO. I like that they’re starting to get Damien into some matches with some of the bigger names in the company as he’s on his way to a potential World Championship run. He’s definitely shown he can hold his own with pretty much anybody and it’s time we get to see how well he can do against some of the better opponents in WWE. As for Cody being on commentary, it was a good way to further the feud by getting him involved while not going too over the top with it.
The Shield Backstage Interview
This group is great, let’s just get that out there. There is one standout though and that standout is Dean Ambrose. This guy can do it all and I really loved this backstage promo particularly for his confidence. He said that CM Punk is a catchphrase and that he is truly the best in the world and that if Andre The Giant’s ghost isn’t in the Battle Royal, he isn’t losing at SummerSlam. Now anybody can say that but, the difference is that with him, it’s actually convincing. There aren’t many believable people in wrestling anymore, it’s a rare breed so it’s always great to see someone who can act the part. The great thing is that it wears off on the rest of The Shield and they all sound like they really believe every word they’re saying. Hopefully this can translate when they all eventually have singles careers.
CM Punk Backstage Interview
Punk had a decent quick interview basically eluding to the fact that he’d be ready for any set up that Paul Heyman might have in store. Great interview not exactly showing his cards but, keeping the audience invested in what might happen later in the night. Punk’s always been great for keeping the audience hooked.
AJ/Big E Langston vs. The Great Khali/Natalya w/ Hornswoggle
Where to start here? Well, why is Natalya constantly stuck with terrible things to do? Natalya is the most talented wrestler on the roster and yet she’s consistently relegated to the bottom of the pack. Now, as for the match, what a disaster. The match was supposed to end with AJ tapping to Nattie’s sharpshooter and yet the referee didn’t call for the bell. Nattie thought she won and went over to the ref to raise her hand, which he couldn’t. She then reapplied the Sharpshooter and won. Of course, everyone was so confused that it came off terribly on TV. After the match, Khali gets attacked by Big E but, ends up getting the upper hand. Pointless TV, no reason for that debacle at all.
McMahon/Maddox/Triple H Segment
Here’s another shameless Vince McMahon segment poking fun at Daniel Bryan and trying to do the heel thing by appointing Maddox the ref at SummerSlam for the WWE Championship match until Triple H comes out and pedigrees Maddox while appointing himself the referee. We should see a major angle at SummerSlam with this one, I really don’t see any other reason for the special referee.
Kane vs. Titus O’Neil
Quick victory for Kane here to set up The Wyatt Family to come to the ring. Harper and Rowan try to attack Kane in the ring but, Kane is gone. Kane’s on the ramp and sets the pyro off as Bray smiles maniacally back at him. Good set up for the PPV here showing that Kane has ways of dealing with the Wyatts.
The Bellas are talking about having complete control of the Divas locker room, even with their terrible acting. They honestly sound like they’re reading off a script right in front of them. Natalya walks up to set up a singles match a SummerSlam with Brie. Match is on as Brie slaps Nattie. Please, please, give the Divas a little more freedom or something. These segments are painful to watch, it’s like they are reading line for line from a script which they probably are and it comes off so badly.
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Non-title match in this one. It was great to see Kofi in the ring on Raw and he definitely had a very good match with Del Rio despite ADR’s style being a bit boring. I think the Del Rio’s title reign could be coming to an end at the PPV. He just hasn’t had much of a good run with it and I really feel as though fans just don’t buy into his character as a heel for whatever reason. I was actually surprised at how well he was accepted as a face. Maybe that’ s where the real money in ADR is.
Christian Backstage Interview
Christian had a basic interview backstage but, ADR came in and basically stole the show from him which I thought was kind of weird going into the PPV. Maybe we’ll see Christian have the last laugh on Smackdown. Regardless, these two should have a decent match on Sunday.
The Usos vs. Swagger/Cesaro
It’s about time that The Usos are getting a good chance to show what they can do consistently. I like the fact that they’re also getting chances to go over established teams/superstars as they have with Cesaro and Swagger here. I’d really like to see The Usos get a chance to challenge The Shield for the tag titles somewhere down the line. The tag division needs more teams to take that next step and it really looks like The Usos are ready to do just that. As for Cesaro and Swagger, I just don’t see this tag-team going anywhere. It’s just not the vehicle to bigger and better things that both these guys should be striving for. I liked Swagger’s new character at first but, it’s much better for a singles wrestler than a group. Cesaro just looks out of place to me.
Tired and old. That’s what I think when I see the Cena routine. He says the same things and does the same things every time. It’s great that the guy shows the emotion but, when you’re saying the same things over and over again, how can you expect to keep an audience. It’s been 10 years and for the last 7, it’s been the exact same Cena, no edge at all to the character. This was ok in 2006, 2007, 2008. eve 2009 but, how long can you go like that? That’s the reason the crowd is so split on him, it gets boring to see the same old. Daniel Bryan going over at SummerSlam would be great on a number of levels but, if it isn’t a clean victory, which it probably won’t be, then it will have been all for nothing. This segment did nothing more than prove how stale and over-emotional Cena’s character has become.
Fandango vs. R-Truth
Awesome intermission here with a dance-off that ended with an attack and exit by Fandango. Sure, dance-offs are dumb but, hey, it was unexpected and I find Fandango absolutely hilarious.
Battle Royale for a shot at the US Championship on the SummerSlam Pre-Show
Rob Van Dam wins this one pulling down the ropes and eliminating Mark Henry. Van Dam was the obvious favourite heading into the match and after holding off The Shield with Henry and Show after the match, you have to wonder if RVD will be doing something more with The Shield. If anything, this match should be a stellar one Sunday and I really wish it was on the main show. RVD has shown that he once again has the motivation to be an asset and Ambrose will be looking to prove he can have a great match with one of the great verterans in WWE.
CM Punk vs. Paul Heyman
Obviously, this was never a match. It was a trap and a trap that CM Punk foiled. Punk stands tall over Lesnar and Axel as Heyman looks on in disbelief. I’m sure everyone saw this one coming and I’m really very surprised that they didn’t try something better here. It was almost too predictable that you were looking for a twist that you were never going to find. It put Punk over strong before a big PPV match after having his ass kicked multiple times so, it had the desired effect but, it could have been so much better.
This week’s show was rather predictable and with only a Smackdown to go before SummerSlam, I’m curious to see if they can do anything more to make this show seem like a must-buy. Only two matches on the card seem like money matches in my mind but, that’s not much different from any other PPV.