The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up #17

SummerSlam happened, and we got to see the fallout, TNA gave us the planned┬áHardcore Justice main event, sans steel cage, and Ring of Honor took a week off to take a look back. Want to know more? Look no further than…


As usual, the Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up is a report about what broadcasts on the wrestling-oriented shows of companies that air nationally in the United States. If they are aired nationally but offer a webcast to areas that do not have the ability to view the show, it will be indicated. Due to where the author is located, Ring of Honor reports always use the internet broadcast.


NOTE: This part of the wrap-up was written the morning after SummerSlam broadcast, viewing the show while writing it. The author viewed SummerSlam the first time when it broadcast live by paying for it and watching it on an Xbox 360. The option to view the webcast on TV was also available on Samsung Smart TVs and PlayStation 3. No other recaps or analysis were used as a second source for this section of the article. There were no edits or adjustments made after RAW, Main Event, or SmackDown.

Match Results
RING OF FIRE MATCH: Bray Wyatt def. Kane via pin fall after the Kiss Good Night
Cody Rhodes def. Damien Sandow via pin fall with Cross Rhodes
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Alberto Del Rio def. Christian via submission with the Cross Arm Breaker to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Natalya (w/ The Funkadactyls) def. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella & Eva Marie) via submission with the Sharpshooter
THE BEST VERSUS THE BEAST – NO DISQUALIFICATIONS: Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) def. CM Punk via pin fall with an F5 on to a chair
MIXED TAG MATCH: Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn def. Big E Langston & AJ Lee via pin fall when Dolph Ziggler hit Big E Langston with a Zig Zag
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: Daniel Bryan def. John Cena {C} via pin fall with a running knee to the face to become the NEW WWE CHAMPION
Randy Orton cashed in his Money in the Bank title shot after Triple H gave Daniel Bryan the Pedigree to become the NEW WWE CHAMPION

Ring Of Fire Match: Wyatt vs. Kane: The whole match was a little odd, mostly because it was an inferno match variation that truly was different than what many people expected. The ring apron, not the exterior barrier, had flames on it. The flames burst up about every three seconds, as well as when somebody was slammed to the mat hard enough. The way that Rowan and Harper used the safety gear was innovative, but it sort of defeated the purpose of the match gimmick. The aftermath was both scary and stupid, unless the plan was simply to mimic a guillotine. However, the abduction at the end worked. As a side note, Wyatt looks far more in shape than when he was Husky Harris, and the fans’ chants actually served to emphasize it. Regular readers of this column will already know that I find match ring lighting stupid. Also, Fandango did Bray’s Kiss Good Night better the few times that he busted out the dip-and-whip STO.

Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes: Damien Sandow is pure gold on the microphone. Given the number of comic book fans that are also WWE fans (yours truly included), calling Batman and Robin “dumbing things down” was classic arrogant heel. It made me want to see him lose, booking logic or not. Not bothering to explain why Cody Rhodes shaved his face in order to promote a YouTube show was all kinds of stupid, especially on a pay-per-view. When Cody pulled out the Muscle Buster, that was a thing of beauty (the bump landed completely on Sandow’s back, with Cody hitting the mat after the main impact), but I’m beginning to think that the WWE roster is encouraged to troll TNA every so often. The crowd really got in to the match at the end, and I loved seeing Cody get the win, so mission accomplished.

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Alberto Del Rio {C} vs. Christian: Alberto Del Rio insisting that he be introduced in Spanish was a nice detail. The fact that Lillian Garcia did it without missing a beat was even better. The psychology of the match was smart, both because Del Rio targeted a weak point that was a previous injury, and because it fed directly in to the submission finish. Blaming the black eye that Del Rio received on a Kill Switch instead of an altercation backstage gave Christian a lot of credibility in the match. Honestly, this was the first truly good match on the show. Christian and Del Rio only didn’t get the match of the night because the two main events were so high caliber. I don’t know that Del Rio is the best man to hold the belt, but for the moment, he is the right one.

Natalya (w/ The Funkadactyls) vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella & Eva Marie): The preface for the match had Natalya and Maria Menounos (from a couple WrestleManias back) wrestling in tag team action and emerging victorious at Axxess. Other than that, the Bellas and Eva Marie were dressed like 1960’s calendar girls. The fans really didn’t care about this match, even though it was actually a decent contest. They cheered for the announcers, they cheered for tables, they cheered for Zack Ryder, and Brie and Natalya were actually consummate professionals. Seriously, was SummerSlam in LA or Philadelphia? We got the right call with Natalya as the winner, at least.

The Best versus The Beast: CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar: Paul Heyman gave a speech where he committed blasphemy by saying that David and Goliath really ended with Goliath beating the bejeesus out of David, and adding that that was what would happen between CM Punk and Brock Lesnar. However, since the analogy he drew was about war, the match between the two men was now being contested with No Disqualifications. Later, they once again showed a video that fans already saw on Main Event and SmackDown. I know the “clobberin’ time” line is because, let’s face it, everybody knows CM Punk is in to comics, but at some point, part of me worries (and hopes, maybe) that Punk will come out wearing The Thing hands. I enjoyed that they went in with a straight-up fight to start, and only brought in the no DQ rules when it was logical, as opposed to tossing them in from the get-go. Paul Heyman’s constant involvement undoubtedly added to the match, even his verbal off-screen responses. Best moments of the match for me were the fallaway slam from Lesnar (mostly because you rarely see it done so crisply and with such authority), Lesnar blocking the Go To Sleep with the kimura leading to an exchange of submissions and ending with Lesnar repeatedly power bombing Punk, Lesnar pulling out the Three Amigos in the most random tribute ever, and Punk FINALLY nailing the Go To Sleep, and Heyman being locked in the Anaconda Vice. If I kept listing parts of the match that were great, I’d basically be writing a recap. Buy the DVD or Blu-ray, it’s worth it just for this match. As far as the aftermath, for CM Punk, I have to believe that the phrase is, “Anything away from which you can walk is not the worst-case scenario.”

Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston & AJ Lee: Everybody knew that there was no way that anybody could follow that, so they went with a match that, while getting plenty of screen time, was never going to be an incredible contest. It was either this or the regular Diva’s match, and WWE is really trying to push Total Divas (although they ironically broadcast Total Divas at the exact same time as SummerSlam). That means that this match was the wind-down so the crowd doesn’t completely burn out. AJ continually getting speared is eventually going to get old, but Ziggler countering the Big Ending was a nice end.

WWE cHAMPIONSHIP: John Cena {C} vs Daniel Bryan (w/ Triple H as special guest referee): Most people will argue that a rivalry with John Cena usually does nothing except to get the crowd to react to John Cena. The “Daniel Bryan!” chants alternating with, “Let’s Go Cena!” chants prove that no matter what, Daniel Bryan has won over the crowd. Cena hesitating on the Five Knuckle Shuffle because he realized that he’s doing exactly what Bryan accused him of doing was a nice little moment. However, the most awesome move in the entire match had to be when Daniel Bryan gave Cena a superplex and protected himeself by hooking his ankles under the middle rope. Everything after that was just straight-up entertaining, and a great wrestling match, even the pseudo-botch on the second rope piledriver. However, besides Bryan winning, the most memorable moment had to be when the two men exchanged slaps to the face. It was the craziest show of mutual respect I have ever seen, and it was just … perfect. The handshake after the match put the exclamation point on it. Those two things put Bryan solidly in the main event. Others might rate this lower because of what happened afterward, but barring something that will be remembered twnenty-five years from now, this was the match of the year.

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: Daniel Bryan {C} vs. Randy Orton: However, this sort of thing is why I hate that the McMahon family drama has returned. Triple H, regardless of how irrelevant he has become, feels the need to insert himself into some of the biggest stories the company has, and at this point, it’s getting really irritating. The only reason that this might work is if Triple H pulls a double turn, and gave Orton the win only to help Bryan win back the belt, guaranteeing that the shadow of Randy Orton’s Money in the Bank contract won’t be looming over Bryan’s second reign. Otherwise, Triple H has become as much of a channel changer as the Bellas for me.

Other Thoughts: Fandango constantly interrupting The Miz as the host of SummerSlam was actually fairly entertaining. Miz clocking Fandango was a fitting end to that thread, and I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a Miz/Fandango rivalry evolve. The National Guard bit was nice, just because there was no down side to it. The WWE had advertisements on a freaking Pay-Per-View, which was just stupid. Ryback destroyed some perfectly good gazpacho because he had no idea there was such a thing as cold soup and bullied one of the caterers, probably chosen because he looks similar to the production team member he bullied on SmackDown. However, the line, “Feed me, moron,” and Lawler noting that Ryback is not an ambassador for WWE’s B.A. STAR program were actually decent. The number of spots that involved the ring steps makes me wonder what they would have done if the steps became structurally unsound due to damage. The emphasis on the effectiveness of knee strikes in both the Punk/Lesnar match and the Cena/Bryan match was kind of strange. A fan allowed Mark Henry to crush him with a splash for free SummerSlam tickets at the price of a WWE Live Event. The repeated advertisements for WWE 2K14 actually make me less likely to buy this game. However, to finish on a positive note, the SummerSlam set was incredible.

Overall: I watched WrestleMania live the same way that I watched SummerSlam – Xbox 360 via buying the webcast – and I have to say that this is the show that WWE should have delivered at WrestleMania 29. There were absolutely no straight-up bad matches, even the contest that the crowd hated was decent, they built the show to a conclusion that, while aggravating, was meant to aggravate the fans, and in the mean time we saw two of the best matches WWE has had this year, and one of the best matches that John Cena has had in his career. This show may only get two-fifths to half of the buy rates that WrestleMania does, simply by merit of not being billed as a larger show, but unlike WrestleMania, every single person that watched this show and paid to do so got their money’s worth. It’s just that simple.


Nicholas Villarreal

Game Review/News Editor at iGame Responsibly
Nicholas Villarreal is a seasoned writer on the staff of iGame Responsibly, covering breaking news, as well as game reviews.

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