Summer Slam 2013
Los Angeles, CA
Theme Songs: “Reach For the Stars” –Major Lazer (ft. Wyclef Jean) & “Gold Rush” –Clinton Sparks (ft. 2 Chainz, Macklemore, & D.A.)
For as long as I can remember, one of the final events of the summer has been Summer Slam. The history of this storied event is really a hodge-podge of everything & anything that can happen in wrestling. From a wedding to a movie character brought to life, a match featuring a superstar fending off his impostor to the “Highway to Hell,” and so many more moments. The event featured the debut of the TLC match, the crowning of Brock Lesnar as youngest WWE Champion, the crowning of Randy Orton as the Youngest Champion 2 years later (Who did he beat for that championship? I don’t remember. Seems like it’s been erased from existence.) Summer Slam, for better or worse, has always delivered memorable moments. This year’s card, while a little weak on the undercard, is solid in its double main event. But before we get to that, let’s rewind to last month’s scoreboard to see how we did.
Paul- 6 for 8-- @PaulHcle
Victor- 4 for 8-- @weenusenvy
United States Championship Kick-Off Match:
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Rob Van Dam
This is a great match to kick off the event and it really is a shame it’s being relegated to various mobile devices while we get 2 divas matches on the main card. Whoever thought that was a good idea needs a job evaluation, pronto. This match, while for a championship, is a serious step back for RVD who returned in last month’s Money in the Bank “All Stars” match for a WWE Championship contract. Now he’s fighting for a mid-card title on the non-PPV match. Hope he’s being paid well. For Ambrose this a huge opportunity to get a win over a former WWE Champion as The Shield continues to put their perceived “washed-up opponents” out to pasture. A win for RVD is a wash. He doesn’t need the Title to stay over with the fans.
On a side note, I have to give WWE a hand for airing the Kick-Off show in place of the old Countdown show on the PPV network last month for MITB. It was nice to watch on my HDTV instead of my 5” smartphone. Smart move and I hope it continues.
Our Pick- Dean Ambrose retains.
Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow
Remember last month when we said someone would turn face during the World Title MITB match? Anybody pick Cody to be that guy? Anybody? But it’s turned out surprisingly well. Another pick we didn’t get correct is Sandow winning the briefcase. But then again, we never much cared for Dolphins.
This whole thing has revolved around the MITB briefcase, which Sandow tossed Cody off a ladder to get. To get back at Sandow, Cody Rhodes stole the MITB briefcase from ringside and hurled it into the Gulf of Mexico. That will definitely end a friendship. In fact if Victor reads this I’d just like to let him know that if he ever, and I mean EVER, tosses me off a ladder our friendship is over! And I will hurl your most prized possession into the Gulf of Mexico! Well, maybe I’ll just settle for Lake Erie, but one way or another your crap will end up sinking! My point is this battle of former friends, which will likely open the PPV has a good chance to establish both superstars as World Championship contenders. As of now I don’t buy either one as a future World Heavyweight Champion. Keep an eye on this one as the show-stealer.
Our Pick- Damien Sandow wins.
Natalya vs. Brie Bella
Ok. I’ll admit it. I’m one of the idiots watching “Total Divas” on E. But since everything in WWE is scripted, watching a reality show about WWE divas is just par for the course. It’s nice to see WWE trying to increase focus on a struggling division. But the divas division is not the one to spotlight. The tag team division is in dire need of a shot in the arm. But we get this. The Bella Twins are clearly the stars of “Total Divas” so there’s no reason to expect Brie Bella to lose here.
Our Pick- Brie Bella wins.
Mixed Tag Team Match:
Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston & AJ
So being Host of Summer Slam allows you to book a match? If that’s the case, wouldn’t you book yourself in a high profile match? Then what logic is there in The Miz booking this Mixed Tag? I’ve never been a fan of Mixed Tag matches, especially when there’s no chemistry on one of the teams. Have Dolph & Kaitlyn even appeared on TV together before last week? Dolph Ziggler is facing a serious fall, going from Money in the Bank winner to World Champion to mid-card fodder at the #2 PPV of the year. Not sure how but this one will come down to AJ laying out her former boyfriend, Dolph, allowing Langston to secure the pinfall via the Big Ending.
My Pick- Big E Langston & AJ win.
Victor’s Pick- Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn win.
Ring of Fire:
Kane vs. Bray Wyatt
We can’t even have an Inferno match in WWE PG? Fine. The Wyatt Family has impressed since their impactful debut a month ago, which kept Kane from competing in the Money in the Bank “All Stars” match. The Big Red Monster responded by vowing vengeance against Bray & his “family.” My guess is the fire will act as a barrier to keep the Wyatt Family out of the match and allow Kane to exact revenge. But Bray has proven to be a crafty planner. Will the Wyatt Family sacrifice themselves to save their leader? And will anyone be set on fire?
My Pick- Kane wins.
Victor’s Pick- Bray Wyatt (Eater of Worlds) wins (and eats a world. Ok, seriously, what the hell does that even mean? Eater of Worlds? Hell even Darth Vader used a freaking laser beam!)
World Heavyweight Championship:
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Christian
Christian’s one more match gimmick returns for just that. His sudden victory over Randy Orton in a Triple Threat #1 Contender’s match on Smackdown and his victories over Del Rio have built momentum for Captain Charisma heading into the match. Del Rio, however, has developed a vicious streak. His attack on his personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez culminated in the dreaded steel steps/ ringpost sandwich, which always looks nasty. My expectation is Rodriguez returns during the match to help Christian. But his interference backfires and Del Rio picks up the win.
My Pick- Alberto Del Rio retains.
Victor’s Pick- Christian wins.
The Best vs. The Beast:
CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
When Heyman turned on Punk during the MITB “All Stars” match, the writing was on the wall for this match. The brawls Punk & Lesnar have engaged in have shown Punk to be weaker than Lesnar physically, but stronger intellectually. The promo work by all 3, yes even Lesnar, has been great. Punk’s fans can easily get behind him because of how slimy Heyman is and how ruthless Lesnar is. Punk finally got the upperhand on Raw this past Monday, as Heyman proclaimed “It’s a Trap!” regarding his challenge to Punk. (How did I make 2 Star Wars references without seeing any of the movies?)
This match will be very physical and Heyman involvement is not only expected but necessary. A Punk win puts Brock in the unfamiliar position of losing the 1st match to an opponent, but sets him up to demand a rematch to even the score and gain back some of his monster aura. A Lesnar win gives Heyman the ammunition to claim all of Punk’s successes as the mind behind Punk. Hopefully this match is given plenty of time to tell a physical story and write another chapter in the Punk/Heyman book.
My Pick- CM Punk “The Best” wins.
Victor’s Pick- Brock Lesnar “The Beast” wins.
John Cena (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Special Guest Referee- Triple H
Daniel Bryan is about as over as a star can be in this era. His “Yes!” chants are massive in the crowd and have taken the place of “What?” (Thank god.) His in-ring skills are unquestioned, and his Tag Team Championship run with Kane seems to have refreshed him for his current singles run. Simply put, there is no one on the active roster right now who is more deserving of the Title than Daniel Bryan.
Meanwhile, John Cena is on a Title run that started with his victory over The Rock at WrestleMania. His matches with Ryback & Mark Henry really were not great and while many will deny it, the boos which were once split 50/50 are increasing. After 10 years it seems many have “Cena nuff.” Particularly surprising were the “Boring” chants directed at The Champ while Raw was live in Green Bay, WI (great work, cheeseheads!). Not to mention Cena appears to have an elbow injury, which was taped up after he revealed a grapefruit-size lump on the elbow.
It’s worth mentioning this is the same event where Daniel Bryan returned to WWE after being fired during the initial Nexus angle. He returned on Cena’s Team WWE and was a big factor in Team WWE winning that match. This main event brings Daniel Bryan’s WWE run full circle.
But as great as this match could be, problems arose Monday on Raw when Triple H was eventually installed as Special Guest Referee. As I tweeted during Raw, “For those new to WWE, ‘Special Guest Referee’ means someone’s getting screwed.” But who? If Triple H screws Daniel Bryan, it will be a massive heel turn coming out of left field. It won’t make any sense based on Triple H’s desire to stop Mr. McMahon from screwing Bryan himself. If Triple H screws Cena, Triple H can play off Cena’s injury as much more serious than Cena let on. In this scenario, Triple H is trying to protect WWE’s biggest asset from even further injury.
Randy Orton will likely have some involvement as well. As the MITB contract holder, Orton has asserted he is the next WWE Champion as his regular appearances whenever Cena or Bryan promo Summer Slam strongly suggest he may try to cash in the MITB contract. It’s possible Triple H has to count the pinfall for Orton’s MITB cash in after counting the deciding pinfall in this championship match.
Our Pick- Daniel Bryan wins.
Summer Slam is one of the biggest events in WWE, and while this year’s event seems a little weak, a strong ending could make this one of the most memorable events in recent history. While it is disappointing to see WWE continue hold Summer Slam in Los Angeles, the hope for a new WWE Champion, the possibility of a new World Heavyweight Champion and RVD’s return to Summer Slam leave me optimistic about this event. Thanks for reading. We’ll slam back at it next month.
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