What I should have titled this post is “SummerSlam Reactions (kind of),” because, well, I didn’t see the whole show. In fact, I only saw the main event. And that’s pretty much what I’m going to discuss here. Sure, the World Heavyweight Title changed hands, and yes, I do think the outcome of the Divas Title match deserves some discussion, but SummerSlam’s closing ten minutes were absolutely insane, and a post devoted to dissecting the events that transpired therein is in order. Beyond the jump you’ll find a paragraph or two recapping the rest of the evening, my lengthier reaction to the wildness that wrapped up the biggest party of the summer, and why I can’t wait for tonight’s Raw.
With only five matches announced heading into the show, we all knew there’d be a match or two added to the final card. The bonus bout ended up being a six-man tag team match between the teams of R-Truth, The Miz, & Alberto Del Rio and John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, & Kofi Kingston. The latter team won, and from what I understand Kofi Kingston put on a pretty impressive show. I did see some pictures from the contest, featuring Rey Mysterio’s hideous half-Dodgers half-Padres pants. I was so much happier when I thought he was injured. Speaking of R-Truth, this…
Love it. Mark Henry earned a victory over the freshly-face-turned Sheamus when the Celtic Warrior was unable to beat the 10-count into the ring after Henry slammed him through the ringside barricade. I’m absolutely fine with this sort of ending, assuming that the feud will continue on. Sheamus as a good guy is intriguing, and I hope given proper time and build, he can become the main event player he was expected to be a couple of years ago. Meanwhile, Henry’s monster character is breathing new life into a wrestler who’s been wading in mediocrity for a decade. Wade Barrett went over Daniel Bryan in a match that I’m excited to check out. I’m a little disappointed to hear that Bryan jobbed, but there are seven long months to build him up before WrestleMania. Barrett, like Sheamus, was thrust into the main event scene too early, and it would be nice to see him reclaim a position near the top after some actual character development.
As for the undercard title matches, Kelly Kelly retained the Divas Championship against Beth Phoenix, who debuted some new “roller derby” ring gear. I, for one, am pretty heart-broken over the outcome of this one. Beth is the best female wrestler in the company, and the Glam Slam is one of my favorite finishers today. Kelly Kelly stinks. This was a travesty. Hopefully the error is righted soon, even as early as tonight, by putting the belt around the Glamazon’s waist. In the World Heavyweight Title match, Randy Orton defeated Christian after an RKO on the ring steps, thus earning his 9th World Title. Ugh. I don’t think the WWE realizes how shallow their pool of main event talent on Smackdown is. I’ve heard the match was fantastic, and I don’t doubt it, but there are only so many times that you can job Christian to Orton before it becomes a burial. Prior to the match, Edge came out and chumped Christian on the microphone, further shoveling dirt into the grave of Christian’s once-promising push.
And then there was the main event. Where things got weird. Real weird.
After Triple H officiated a shockingly fairly contested match, CM Punk was able to pin John Cena, albeit in controversial fashion. Cena had his foot on the ropes following a GTS, but the Game didn’t see it, and CM Punk was declared the winner. There was a shade of disappointment within me that they didn’t put Punk over cleanly, but the feeling was fleeting, since CM Punk won after all. He was still the champ. He didn’t get pedigreed. Rejoice and be glad. Right?
Nope. As Punk was celebrating, he was blindsided by Kevin Nash, who dropped the new Undisputed Champion with a Jackknife Powerbomb. Umm…what? I was so floored by the reappearance of Big Daddy Cool that the fact there were a couple of Money in the Bank briefcases in play completely eluded me. Alberto Del Rio’s music hit, and my stomach churned. Out came Senor Dinero en el Banco. The briefcase was cashed in. An enziguri was landed. A new champion was crowned. Alberto Del Rio’s destiny was fulfilled.
This was unquestionably one of the more eventful pay-per-view endings in recent memory. There’s so much to process here, it’s almost impossible to get a grasp on where things are headed. And that’s a beautiful thing. Part of what has made the past few months such a good time to be a wrestling fan has been the unpredictability. After years of every little twist and turn being easy to forecast months in advance, the WWE has succeeded in turning everything we know upside down. None of us saw Punk’s infamous shoot coming. No matter what we were hoping for, none of us were quite sure how the title match at Money in the Bank was going to play out, and when CM Punk left Chicago as Champion, none of us knew what the WWE would be like without it top prize. This unpredictability is so rare in the internet age in which we live, and I tip my hat to the WWE for managing to keep us on our toes as of late. Going into Raw tonight, I honestly don’t know what to expect. Like, at all. And a lot of it has to do with this guy…
The internet wrestling community, as a rule, likes to crap all over Nash. His backstage politicking and his long-standing perpetuation of the glass ceiling have earned him the ire of many a smark. But I am beyond excited to see him back, and I’ll tell you why. Most of CM Punk’s recent popularity has centered around him ripping apart those in power. Whether it be Vince McMahon, John Cena, Triple H, or Johnny Ace, he’s raging against the machine and taking no prisoners. Along the way, he’s been accessible to everyone watching the WWE’s weekly programming, but he’s unquestionably catered to the internet fans with some of the references he’s made and opinions he’s stated. So, who better to stand in as Punk’s next rival than Diesel, the internet’s favorite villain? Don’t get me wrong; if this leads to Nash in the title picture, or squashing younger talent, or being given even a taste of creative control backstage, my opinion might change. But as far as I’m concerned, this looks like it’s going to be the perfect opportunity for Punk to pander to us smarks in a big way. You better believe that I want to hear him call Nash out on running WCW into the ground, holding talent down, and hogging the spotlight well into his forties. To anyone who is upset about Nash’s return, just remember that without the unjust, there is no one for Punk to verbally bitch slap with his righteous tongue.
I’m also interested to see where Nash’s motives lie. There was some foundation laid for this feud on Twitter last month, as Nash extended an offer to be CM Punk’s bodyguard, which was met with less than a warm response from Punk. Is Nash’s involvement of the personal nature? Or was he working for someone else? Carrying out the will of Triple H? Perhaps contracted by Stephanie, with or without Hunter’s consent? Is he in the employ of Alberto Del Rio? We’ll probably find out tonight. I’m inclined to believe the last possibility as the most likely, but I’ve been wrong about a lot of stuff this summer.
As for Del Rio, he’s finally captured the gold he’s been eying for the better part of 2011. I dislike how short Punk’s reign was, and how brief I imagine Del Rio’s will be, as I feel like there needs to be a lengthy reign every now and again to keep the belt’s prestige alive. That being said, in light of recent events, I’m not about to criticize the WWE for an angle before I see how it plays out. With Del Rio champ, Punk & Cena both having a claim that they should still be carrying the title, Diesel in the picture, and the inevitable involvement of Triple H, there are a number of directions this can take. I’m really excited to enjoy the ride.
But seriously, screw Randy Orton. Christian should’ve won.