No intro needed, let's get right into it.
Opening Contest, IC: Dolph Ziggler © vs. Kofi Kingston
Finish: No Contest due to Nexus interference (7:00)
Thoughts: I understand they wanted to make Nexus look like a bigger threat, but it didn’t feel right to do it here. Summerslam is supposed to be the “biggest show of the summer”, making it a shoe in for WWE’s third biggest PPV.
Non-finishes are annoying for a paying fan for an "A" PPV; and yet they wonder why their buy-rates are reducing. * ½
Diva’s Championship: Alicia Fox © vs. Melina
Finish: Melina pins Alicia Fox to win the Diva’s title. (5:25)
Post-match: Laycool beat down Melina while she’s doing an interview.
Thoughts: Sloppy match, but the main story is the post-match. I wonder if this means some unification of the belts. ¾*
Three on One Handicap Match: Big Show vs. Straight Edge Society
Finish: Big Show pins Joey Mercury and Luke Gallows while Punk runs off to live and fight another day (6:50)
Thoughts: At least there wasn’t anything hokey or stupid since it was basic booking 101, but that didn’t make the match anymore exciting. A very slow, plodding, heatless match, that struggled to shift into second gear.
CM Punk could be way more helpful to the Smackdown show than this feud, which seems to be going nowhere in a hurry. Blah. 1/2*
WWE Championship: Sheamus © vs. Randy Orton
Finish: Sheamus brought in a chair, causing the the DQ (18:35)
Thoughts: Very slow start, but it picked up in the second half of the match with good back-and-forth sequences. The crowd was really getting into the match, especially when they were teasing the spots where the match *should* end but doesn’t. The finish was understandable to the plot, but killed the momentum of the match to a screaming halt.
The referee no selling the bump was wrestlecrap at its finest. With a better start and a better ending, this match could’ve been borderline 4-stars, but instead it’s ** ½.
World Heavyweight Title: Kane © vs. Rey Mysterio.
Finish: Kane beat Rey Mysterio via chokeslam (13:30)
Post-match: Undertaker attacks Kane eventually, but Kane Tombstone Piledrives him.
Thoughts: Nothing clicked together in the match and the crowd wasn’t into it either, which seems strange since the crowd typically gets into a Rey Mysterio match, but it’s hard to get anything good out of Kane these days.
His character has been killed by WWE’s creative control to point where it’s hard to take him seriously these days. Plus, it’s not as if Kane can get a crowd into a match with his work-ethnic these days either.
Thus, this is the best you’re going to get out of Kane these days, and it’s only going to get worse when he faces Undertaker, a wrestler who he’s never had any chemistry together due to their dynamics or some other malfunction.
The post-match screamed Vince Russo/Attitude Era because instead of applying realism into the matter, they made it unrealistic and confusing by trying to swerve the audience. If Undertaker knew it was Kane, and judging by Kane’s reactions, he looked guilty, then why wouldn’t Undertaker go right after Kane? Russo left eleven years ago (not counting his short run in 2002);can his writing please leave also? * ¾
Main Event: Team WWE vs. Team Nexus
Finish: Cena made Wade Barrett tap to the STFU (30:00)
Thoughts: The match was fun, dumb booking aside, i.e. Bret using a chair and trying to plead his case, making him look more stupid than simply jobbing him out rather than trying to use a face-saving booking method, or Cena’s no-selling, which was obviously scripted due to being near the finish, so don’t blame Cena for his lack of selling here like so many “smart marks” like to do. Regardless of that, like I said, this was lots of fun and very energetic.
The scheme was well planed and executed, as everything felt like a building block to enhance the match beginning to end. The MVP of the match was clearly the returning Bryan Danielson aka Bryan Daniel, who showcased why he’s the most loved internet wrestler today with his quickness, speed, charisma - and what seems to be lacking in wrestling matches these days - intensity.
It seems a bit odd to job out Nexus here since this felt as if it was do or die for them, but maybe the booking team can make them feel like a serious threat if they want to continue this war. Either way, it's a good match regardless who went over. *** ½ or *** ¾.
Final Thoughts: Don’t let that last match fool you. This was a bad PPV, borderline Hardcore Justice bad.
The final match saved this from being a shoe in for worst PPV of the year, but still wasn’t enough to give this PPV a thumbs in the middle. The card in it’s entirely consisted of a no-decision, a DQ, two matches where the post-match overshadowed the match, and two clean finishes, but one that's setting something else.
Biggest show of the year, or biggest ‘set up feuds for the fall’ show of the year. You decide.