Summerslam 2012 is in the book, but did it pass or fail? Find out; class is in session.
I’m adding A+s and D-’s to this list, too. A match that gets an A+’s virtually perfect, which makes them extremely rare (i.e. Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair 2/3 Falls). A D- is something awful, but yet has some redeeming value that doesn’t make it a complete failure.
The Build Heading In: *For your information, I wrote this before the PPV aired*.
Well, nothing on this card was magnificently built. In fact, the build was so lackluster that it doesn’t even feel like the second biggest PPV of the year. There were several mid-card matches that were built well, but the same cannot be said for the main event matches, particularly the WWE Championship match. After all, Punk’s heel turn has been one of the biggest disappointments this year far. He used to be a cunning heel, one that didn’t fall for babyface ploys or tactics, along with having intelligent things to vocalize, but now falls for simple babyface tactics as well as talks and carries himself parallel to a conventional heel.
That said, Summerslam creates intrigue just because of its memories and longevity, the matches look good on paper, and the most interesting wrestler on the roster, Brock Lesnar is said to be main eventing. So, even though the build was duller than a dishwater, there are enough components that add eagerness to give the build an average rating. It also helps I’m nicer around this year.
The Build’s Grade: C
Pre-Show Match: Antonio Cesaro defeated Santino Marella to win the US title championship
I didn’t see this match because I was at a bar. I am happy they put the title on Cesaro. Apparently there are mixed feelings about him backstage. The haters think he hasn’t proved himself yet, which is ridiculous because his gimmick isn’t close to the one that got him over in the indies and he hasn’t been able to wrestle in long matches. If you’re someone who watched him in the indies, you know he’s a great all-around and arguably a top 5 worker in the WWE. Hopefully this leads to longer matches and time to developed himself, so he can showcase how talented he is both in and outside the ring.
Opener: Chris Jericho defeated Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero
This was a hot opener that got the crowd into the show from the get go. It wasn’t what these two are capable of, but an opening match doesn’t what to drain the audience right away. It just wants to set the tone for the show. With that being said, I don’t know why this match opened the show. I believe Miz vs. Mysterio could have opened the show with their type of match. This had more build behind it and should have been the fourth marquee match on the card.
What also was questionable was Jericho winning, especially if he truly is leaving tomorrow. I just don’t understand why they don’t build up a MITB winner. Both CM Punk (2nd time) and Edge (first time) were build up right, and they became top heels of the company. If they don’t have confidence in a MITB winner, they should have picked someone else. We don’t want more Jack Swaggers.
Second Match: Daniel Bryan defeated Kane
I think WWE outsmarted us “smart fans”. Many of us believed they should turn Daniel Bryan babyface due to how massively over he became via the YES chants. However, (1) Bryan is more effective as a heel and (2) people who hate him are going to buy the YES shirts to try to piss him off, while his fans already bought the shirts. Now, they have is a NO shirt, making it a perfect business scheme.
The match itself was just okay. It takes a lot to get a good match out of Kane, especially with just 8 minutes. Not even the best wrestler in the world could do it, which means Kane should not be wrestling on PPV that much anymore.
Third Match: Miz retained the IC championship by defeating Rey Mysterio
This seemed like a last-minute buffer match, but wound up being pretty good. It was a solid back and forth match with a lot of near-falls that got the crowd on the edge of their seats. Miz needed a big win and the always reliable Mysterio made him look like a million bucks.
Forth Match: Sheamus retained the WHW Champion by defeating Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez
This was another match that exceeded my expectations. The start was almost too slow, but it all built nicely to the crescendo. Both wrestlers showed a great sense of urgency down the stretch. This was one of Rio’s best performances in awhile, mainly because of his well-timed facial expressions and mannerisms. Nevertheless, this isn’t the kind of WHW championship match anyone would like to see. It should be better than this, especially considering this is Summerslam. Chances are the weak finish is going to set up a rematch at the next PPV, too.
Fifth Match: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth retained the tag titles by defeating the Prime Time Players
It makes sense having Kingston and Truth keep the titles since the PTP lost the most important piece to their team. This was the first match that didn’t keep me interested. I drifted off and barely paid attention. It was essentially a buffer match.
Sixth Match: CM Punk retained the title by defeating the Big Show and John Cena
This was a weak ass WWE title match. There’s just no excuse in the book to why this was this weak. The match wasn’t laid out well at all. Anyone with brain in their head should have realized Punk and Cena should have wrestled the brunt of the match. Show wound up slowing this down big time. I complained about Kane earlier, but at least he was in mid-card match. There’s no reason why Show should be in title matches in 2012.
The finish was something you saw a mile away. In fact, I called it before the match even started. The match was also proof that the WWE does not care about their rule book. It’s evident that they make new rules up so they can tell the story they want, and it doesn’t get more lazy than that. Big Show should have been eliminated from the match. It’s just mind-boggling that he had a shot of winning after tapping out. Terrible booking.
Intermission: Kevin Rudolf sang homoerotic music
Please, Kevin Rulolf give up and go away. People who watch Summerslam want wrestling, not a concert. There was no purpose for this. Plus, I was looking forward to Clay vs. Sandow, which they scrapped for this. Bullshit.
Main Event: Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman defeated Triple H
I was expecting something like Lesnar and Cena’s match, a mixture of wrestling and faux combat fighting. Even though this wasn’t what I was expecting, it was a smartly wrestled 70s style match. The problem was it was an out-dated style that didn’t digest well with modern fans, so the crowd wasn’t that animated.
Triple H at first tried to beat Lesnar in a slug fest, but couldn’t beat him at his own game. The cerebral assassin later on attacked Lesnar’s surgically repaired midsection, which was how Alistair Overeem defeated Lesnar. It was creative to come up with that. I’m guessing it was Heyman or Lesnar’s idea. The brilliant sell job by Lesnar made it seem as if he was in peril and therefore made me believe Triple H was going to win; however, Lesnar recovered just enough to clinch in the Kimura and make Triple H submit probably due to a ”broken” arm. Lesnar’s basic 101 psychology tactic – working H’s arm to set up his finisher - effectively worked in both ways.
Overall, this was way too subtle for the modern-day fans, but was something refreshing for older fans who prefer strategies, long-term sell jobs, and psychology over the traditional “more sizzle, less steak” WWE style. In addition, the right wrestler went over in the best possible way, and it was another “fuck you” to Triple H haters who believe he puts nobody over. But see, “the you tapped out chants”, similar to the ones John Cena received when Kurt Angle made him tap, is the reason WWE doesn’t have babyfaces tap out anymore. It’s because of us dammit!
Production Values: WWE’s known for their up-to-date production values. Everything was well lit and shot. No complaints there.
Card Placement: The show went by quickly and never dragged, but there were some things that were out-of-place and needed more time. Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho’s match was held down by both. The match should have received 20 minutes and should have been higher up on the card. CM Punk-Big Show-Cena suffered from lack of time and should have received 20 minutes, too.
Booking/ Match Lay-Outs: I found the booking as well as the match lay-outs weak tonight. Aside from the Brock Lesnar match, nothing was that creatively put together. The majority of the matches were above-average Raw or Smackdown matches. They were solid, but there was not anything that creative about them. The booking was sub-par as at least two matches outcomes were questionable. There were too many unsatisfying cop-out finishes that protected the losers. And the WWE title match had several ‘what they hell were they thinking?’ moments and an extremely predictable finish.
Final Grade: This could not have been a more mediocre show if they tried. In fact, there should be a picture of the poster for Summerslam 2012 under the word mediocre in the dictionary. There was nothing offensive about it, and there was only one match that I would say was bad, but there weren’t many Summerslam moments. It was actually more like a transition PPV that’s main purpose was to set up better angles and matches leading into the next PPV. This PPV gets a middle-of-the-road grade from me.
Final Grade: C
Tags: Brock Lesnar Summerslam, Chris Jericho versus Dolph Ziggler, cm punk, john cena, John Cena versus Big Show versus CM Punk, Sheamus verus Del Rio, SummerSlam 2012, Summerslam Recap, Summerslam Review, Triple H versus Brock Lesnar, Wrestling Backfire, WWE Pay Per View