Date: August 19, 2012
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
It’s that time of the year again and I can’t say I particularly care about most of the show. The main events here are HHH vs. Lesnar in a match that has taken WAY too long to get to, Sheamus defending against Del Rio in a match we saw last month with Sheamus winning, and Cena vs. Punk vs. Big Show in a match that Show flat out does not need to be in. I’m not that fired up about this show again but hopefully they pull something off. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: US Title: Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro
Antonio is challenging and has beaten Santino twice I believe in the past few weeks. Santino takes him to the mat to start and works over the arm with an armbar. Cesaro misses a charge and it’s Cobra time but Antonio knocks Santino down and kicks the Cobra to the corner. We hit the chinlock for awhile and the idea is now that the Cobra is in the corner and Santino needs to get to it. This isn’t exactly Jake Roberts but they’re trying at least. Cesaro rips the Cobra up and Santino gets all fired up. He fires off his usual stuff but misses the headbutt. The Neutralizer is countered and Santino has another Cobra. He loads it up but Aksana’s distraction allows Cesaro to hit him in the ribs and the Neutralizer gives Cesaro the title at 5:05.
Rating: D+. This was about what it should have been, stupid sock thing aside. There was only so much you could do at this point with Santino as champion so having him lose to Cesaro here was the right move. With all these new stars they’re pushing, they have to actually give a title to someone and Cesaro is as good as anyone else. Decent opener, but it kind of deflates the crowd before a show.
The opening video is about the 25 years of this show (even though there have only been 24 editions of it and WWE still can’t count) and the main events, mainly focusing on Lesnar vs. HHH of course.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho
Ziggler has pink sunglasses to go with the shirt now. Jericho is injured coming in and word on the street is that this is his last night or next to last night so that’ll likely come into play. The idea is that Jericho can’t win the big one anymore which is an interesting way to go. Ziggler runs to start but the old man chases him down and speeds thing up. Jericho slips on what I think was supposed to be a spinning crossbody coming out of the corner but it only gets two.
Ziggler gets knocked down again but he reverses a suplex and goes for the bad legs. Dolph tries to speed things up but gets backdropped to the floor for his efforts. Jericho loads up the springboard dropkick but Ziggler moves, sending Jericho crashing into the floor. Back in and Ziggler works on the ribs as you would expect him to do. After knocking Jericho down again he uses Jericho’s arrogant cover for two. That’s awesome stuff there.
A corner splash misses and Jericho dropkicks Ziggler to the floor. Back in and Ziggler charges into a boot followed by a double ax from the middle rope from Jericho for two. The Fameasser out of nowhere gets the same for Dolph and Vickie is freaking out. The Walls are countered but Jericho hits an enziguri for two. Jericho doesn’t seem like he’s selling the ribs at all here. The sleeper goes on out of nowhere but the Canadian escapes and puts Ziggler on the top.
In a cool spot, Jericho punches him in the head ten times while standing on the top rope before snapping off a top rope rana for a very delayed two. A jumping DDT out of nowhere gets two for Ziggler and now it’s Jericho in trouble. Jericho bulldogs Ziggler down but the Lionsault hits knees. Zig Zag gets two and the fans are getting into this. Ziggler goes to pick him up but walks into a Codebreaker, sending him to the floor. Vickie grabs Jericho’s foot as he throws Ziggler back in, giving Ziggler a small package for two. There are the Walls and Ziggler taps at 13:08.
Rating: B-. The selling in this was really getting on my nerves as Jericho didn’t seem like he wanted to sell at all. Based on this, I really hope Ziggler doesn’t cash in later to erase this match because it’s happened already. The match got better near the end but it wasn’t a masterpiece or anything. If the rumors of Jericho leaving soon are true, I don’t really get the idea of him beating Ziggler clean at all.
Time for a recap of Lesnar vs. HHH, this time being from Monday with Shawn getting his arm broken.
Heyman and Lesnar are in the back and Heyman says that tonight, it’s a fight to the finish, meaning the referee shouldn’t stop the match for anything. No word on if that’s the official rule or not.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
This is based off Bryan, Kane and Punk vying for AJ’s affections a few months ago. There was a month or so off in between there so the story didn’t quite follow up that well. Bryan tries to run from the monster to start but after the moonsault out of the corner, Kane slams him down and hits the low dropkick for two. There’s a big Daniel Bryan chant just before he gets his head kicked off for two. Bryan goes after the knee and kicks Kane to the floor where he hits the suicide shove, but Bryan might have hurt his shoulder. It seems to be ok though as Bryan hits a missile dropkick for one as he comes back in.
Kane starts his comeback with some corner clotheslines and a side slam for two before going up. Bryan escapes the chokeslam but gets uppercutted right down. For no apparent reason, Bryan punches Kane in the face and gets beaten down in the corner. It’s almost a DQ but Kane lets off because he’s mellow now. A kick to the arm looks to set up the NO Lock but Kane is too big and fried and freaky. The fans start driving Bryan crazy so his top rope headbutt is caught in the chokeslam for no cover. The tombstone is countered into a small package for the pin at 8:03 despite Kane’s arm clearly being off the mat.
Rating: C-. The match was ok but when you push the idea of this being a big deal of Bryan beating Kane, it might be better if they had had move than FOUR total matches (that’s ever, including a match on Raw like 3 months ago that Bryan won. This could have been the first hour main event on any given Smackdown.
Kane chases Bryan into the back and destroys Josh Matthews for talking to him.
Intercontinental Title: The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
Miz is defending because Rey beat him once on Smackdown ten days ago, which is all you need for an IC Title match at Summerslam. Rey is dressed as Batman for some reason. The blowup AWESOME balloons are back on the stage. Mysterio immediately grabs a rollup for two so Miz bails to the floor. AJ has tweeted that she’ll deal with Kane tomorrow night. Rey gets sent to the floor but he rolls through it to land safely. That was kind of cool.
An attempt at the sitout bulldog on the floor is countered by Miz throwing Rey into the barricade. Back in and Rey escapes a belly to back suplex into a cross body for two. Miz hits a kind of Abyss Shock Treatment for two which was a good looking move for him. Off to a cravate from the champion followed by the corner clothesline. Miz loads up his top rope ax handle but Mysterio crotches him to get a breather.
Rey heads up and hits the seated senton, only to get caught in a sitout powerbomb when he tries a rana. Rey kicks him in the head for two before countering a slam into a spinning DDT for the same. Rey ranas him off the top into the 619 but the top rope splash misses. The Finale is countered into a rollup for a very close two. And never mind as the Skull Crushing Finale retains the title for Miz at 9:13.
Rating: C. This was another decent match but it’s nothing that jumps off the page at you. Mysterio didn’t need to win the title here and Miz winning another match over a big name is certainly a good thing, but sweet goodness I did not care at all. The match came and went and most people didn’t care because there was almost no build at all. Nothing to see here although it wasn’t bad.
We’re roughly an hour into this and there’s nothing of note at all so far. It’s been the epitome of a meh show.
Eve and Teddy say nothing of note outside AJ’s office so Punk heads in to see AJ. After some exposition, Punk gets annoyed that AJ won’t respond to anything he says. He says he’ll retain the title tonight and AJ says nothing at all, nor does she move at all.
We recap Sheamus vs. Del Rio. Del Rio injured Sheamus’ arm before their match last month which Sheamus won clean. This month, Del Rio injured Sheamus’ arm before their match and then Sheamus stole his car. There’s nothing to this feud and no one seems interested at all in seeing it.
Smackdown World Title: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Feeling out process to start with both guys going for finishers early on. Sheamus misses the Brogue Kick, allowing Del Rio to kick Sheamus to the floor. Oh and Sheamus is defending. Del Rio sends him into the steps and it’s back inside for a chinlock. A neckbreaker is countered by Alberto into some kicks to the face for two. We’re only a few minutes into this and it’s already dull.
Del Rio pounds his own chest and shouts BROGUE but charges into a double ax from the champ. A charge into the corner hits post though and Del Rio takes over for all of a second. The shoulder missile from Sheamus is broken up and a Codebreaker to the arm from the top gets two. The armbreaker goes on out of nowhere but Sheamus powers out of it into a kind of powerbomb. White Noise gets two and it’s Brogue Kick time, but Del Rio hides in the corner.
That’s fine for Sheamus as he hits the ten forearms to the chest followed by some punches in the corner. Del Rio drops Sheamus face first into the buckle and the running enziguri gets two. Ricardo comes in for no apparent reason and loses a shoe as Alberto yells at him. Sheamus blasts him with it and hits an Irish Curse for the pin at 11:21 but Alberto had his foot on the ropes. Geez we have to sit through this AGAIN next month?
Rating: D. STOP PUSHING DEL RIO BECAUSE NO ONE FREAKING CARES ABOUT HIM! I like Sheamus but my goodness no one cares about this feud and now it’s going to go on ANOTHER month because WE WILL CARE ABOUT ALBERTO WHETHER WE WANT TO OR NOT. I’m so bored of seeing these two fight when it’ll be another arm injury for Sheamus before Del Rio finally gets the title you know he has to get. The wrestling was fine and the rating is probably low but dang man, give Sheamus ANYONE else to feud with.
Some soldiers are here.
HHH told the referee earlier to only end it on a pin or submission. Let them fight apparently.
We’re looking at Tweets from Shawn throughout the night.
Tag Titles: Prime Time Players vs. Kofi Kingston/R-Truth
The Players are challenging despite losing clean to the champs on TV a few weeks ago. Truth is also injured coming in because that’s a running theme tonight. Truth and Young start things off and I guess Truth is ok after the emphasis they gave to him getting beaten down on Raw. Off to Titus who has a bit better luck, slamming Truth down and putting him in a front facelock. There’s the tag to Kofi and NO ONE reacts when he springboards in to attack O’Neal. Boom Drop hits but Young’s distraction breaks up Trouble in Paradise.
The challengers make Kofi chase them around the ring, which lets Titus clothesline Kofi down to take over. Darren puts on a chinlock followed by a powerslam for two. Titus hooks a quickly broken abdominal stretch but as he tries a spinning Rock Bottom, Kofi counters into a DDT. Off to Young vs. Truth and the fans don’t react again. Everything breaks down and Kofi dives onto Titus on the floor. Young gets two on a rollup on Truth before the Little Jimmy retains the titles at 7:07.
Rating: C. Why? Why in the world would you keep the titles on Kofi and Truth, who haven’t done jack with the belts in months. My only guess is because of AW, because clearly the Prime Time Players, a decent team in their own right, need to be punished for something their manager said. This show is getting worse and worse as it goes on and that’s not good.
We recap the events in LA before the PPV. Basically, BE A STAR!
HHH vs. Lesnar is main eventing. Is anyone really surprised by that?
We recap the triple threat match which is Cena vs. Punk vs. Show. Cena is there because Punk is tired of being overshaddowed by him and Show is there because we can’t just have Cena vs. Punk which is an interesting match and because we potentially need a fall guy for Cena to win the title without beating Punk.
Raw World Title: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
Cole gives the dreaded stats of Punk’s title reign, which are usually the kiss of death. Punk has pink trunks tonight which is a different look for him. Cole points out that Punk hasn’t main evented a PPV since December. Way to push your champion as a big deal there Cole/Vince. Then again that’s the idea of the angle but it doesn’t help much. Show takes them both down to start with his big man power offense and does the SHH chops.
Punk and Cena team up to beat on Show but he runs them over. Cole calls Punk and Cena an unlikely alliance. You know, because two guys against Big Show NEVER team up on him. The small guys finally put Show down but Punk can’t GTS him. Cena tries an AA but Punk breaks it up. Show takes over again and as you would guess, things slow back down. Cena gets knocked to the floor but Show misses a splash on Punk. The springboard clothesline is caught by Show and a slam gets no cover.
Show loads up the WMD but Cena goes after Show to break it up. Show spears Cena down for two and the small guys are down again. The Vader Bomb aimed at both only hits Cena but Punk saves the pin. Show and Cena go to the floor and the Big Bald catches Punk in mid suicide dive. He throws Punk into the ropes and heads back inside. Cena loads up his finishing sequence on Show to huge boos, only to get taken down by Punk.
Punk drops the elbow on Show for two. A kick to the head puts Show down and Punk throws on a Kofi Clutch but Show powers out again. Cena puts Show in the STF but more power escapes it for Big show. Cena’s middle rope cross body doesn’t work but the springboard clothesline from Punk puts him down. The running knee in the corner staggers Show but the bulldog is countered. Top rope Fameasser puts Show down and it’s a Koji Clutch and the STF at the same time for the tap.
Cue AJ who says restart the match. Show chokeslams both guys and gets two on both. Cena pops up and hits the AA on Show, but Punk throws him to the floor and pins Show to retain at 12:38 total.
Rating: C-. Nothing to see here for the most part, but I’m glad Punk retained….I think. One thing: what in the world was the point in the restart? If you want to go with Punk stealing the pin then that’s fine, but why in the world do the whole AJ thing? Anyway, this probably leads to Cena vs. Punk in Boston at Night of Champions, which is what this show should have been. Still though, the match was just ok at best, just like every other match tonight other than the opener.
Fred Durst, Piers Morgan, Rick Rubin (music producer), David Arquette and Maria Menounos are here.
There was a WWE Film premiere last night. It’s called The Day, which is another in the long line of great titles from WWE Films.
We recap the pre-show match.
Time for the annual Summerslam concert as Kevin Rudolph performs Be A Star. I have never heard so much silence when a musician takes the stage Some Divas come out and dance with him. The announcers dance too. This just came and went.
Time for the BIG recap of Lesnar vs. HHH.
HHH vs. Brock Lesnar
Brock charges to start ala vs. Cena but HHH punches his way out of the arm. Brock gets the arm hold on and even jumps onto a standing HHH with it but HHH punches out of it again. A clothesline puts Lesnar on the floor and a jumping knee puts Lesnar down again. Lesnar gets sent to the floor for the second time and this has been almost all HHH in the first two minutes.
Lesnar gets back in and takes his gloves off. He takes HHH down with ease and blasts him in the back of the head, which is illegal in UFC. Out to the floor and Lesnar hits a hammerlock slam on the table. Back in and another hammerlock slam hurts the arm even more. Lesnar wraps the arm around the ropes as this is basically a regular match so far. The F5 is countered but Lesnar hits a big German suplex to take him down again. HHH grabs a DDT to slow Lesnar down but it’s right back to the arm hold.
That doesn’t last so it’s hammerlock slam #3 followed by HHH being sent into the steps arm first. They head to the announce table and Brock jumps off of it with a forearm to the back of the head/neck. Back in and Brock uses a freaking small package of all things for two. Lesnar clotheslines him down and the match slows down again. The Game grabs a suplex to finally get himself a breather and both guys are down.
The Pedigree is countered and HHH gets to do his fly over the corner bump. Out to the floor again and HHH sends Lesnar into the table to slow him down. Lesnar looks hurt, like legit hurt. It looks like his groin or ribs. Lesnar shouts about his stomach and things slow WAY down. Oh never mind he was apparently playing possum. If so that’s the best selling Brock has ever done.
HHH knees him in the ribs to escape the arm lock and does it again a few times for good measure. Spinebuster puts Lesnar down but the Pedigree is countered into an also countered F5. Pedigree hits on the second attempt but it only gets two. Lesnar hits HHH low but Armstrong (referee) won’t call the DQ as per HHH’s orders.
The F5 hits but only gets two, which only shocks about half the audience. The kimura (arm lock) finally goes on in full but HHH makes the rope….which means nothing here. HHH pounds out of the hold because that’s how tough he is or something. Out of nowhere HHH hits a second Pedigree but Lesnar no sells into the kimura. Lesnar cranks on it and HHH taps at 18:45.
Rating: B. Well, it’s safe to say they’ve lost the point of Lesnar already. This was a standard WWE main event style match with HHH getting in more offense in about 80 seconds than Cena got in through his entire 20+ minute match with Lesnar. Brock trying the arm hold about 10 times before getting it in good doesn’t make him look awesome or anything. It makes him look like someone with one move and no game plan at all aside from that. The match was good but when you go from Cena and Lesnar having a potential match of the year to this, it’s a pretty big letdown.
HHH gets to do the big “I don’t need medical help” stand up and walk out but the fans tell him he tapped out. They play it up like it’s his last match. Right.
Overall Rating: D+. This show wasn’t bad. It was the thing that’s far worse than bad: it was dull. The matches were all fine, but at the end of the day, pretty much nothing happened here. The only title change was on the preshow and it looks like we’re gearing up for more Sheamus vs. Del Rio next month, which is boring me to tears. Cena vs. Punk will be awesome but it could have been awesome here. The show wasn’t bad, but it was underwhelming. It’s a weak ending to a pretty good summer for WWE.
Chris Jericho b. Dolph Ziggler – Walls of Jericho
Daniel Bryan b. Kane – Small Package
The Miz b. Rey Mysterio – Skull Crushing Finale
Sheamus b. Alberto Del Rio – Irish Curse
Kofi Kingston/R-Truth b. Prime Time Players – Little Jimmy to Young
CM Punk b. John Cena and Big Show – Pinned Show after an AA from Cena
Brock Lesnar b. HHH – Kimura
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