Summerslam Count-Up – 2011: A Screwy Ending Isn’t A Bad Thing

Summerslam 2011
Date: August 14, 2011
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 17.404
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Booker T

This year has been all about the rise of CM Punk. In June he sat on the stage and ripped into John Cena and the WWE in general, leading up to the world title match at Money in the Bank in Chicago. Punk won the title in a masterpiece and then left the company as champion. Cena won the title from Rey Mysterio on Raw, but Punk came back with his title. Tonight it’s champion vs. champion for the undisputed title. Oh and Christian vs. Orton in the blowoff to the underrated feud of the year. Let’s get to it.

Adam Jones, some guitarist from Tool, plays the Star Spangled Banner. WE WANT MAN MOUNTAIN ROCK!

The opening video is about how Summerslam being where dreams are made. We shift to a shot of dominoes falling over. Punk talks about being the first domino being knocked over and starting a revolution. HHH is guest referee tonight because what would a major match be without him?

The theme song this year is Bright Lights Bigger City by Cee Lo Green. I usually don’t care for him but it fits the show well.

The Miz/Alberto Del Rio/R-Truth vs. Kofi Kingston/John Morrison/Rey Mysterio

Cole IMMEDIATELY freaks out over Miz being on Summerslam. Miz keeps talking about how awesome he is until Truth cuts him off. This was when Truth was insane so he complains about things that start with the letter S, like spiders, Summerslam, Cee Loo Green and Conspiracy. Del Rio is the Raw MITB winner. The fans are WAY into Del Rio here for some reason. Mysterio gets a title shot at Punk or Cena tomorrow on Raw. Miz and Kofi get things going and the fans are actually behind Miz as well. Kofi hits a nice monkey flip followed by a dropkick before bringing in Morrison.

A double clothesline puts Miz down and the good guys do stereo nipups in a nice visual. Off to Truth who is tackled by Morrison but comes back with right hands to the face. Truth sends Morrison to the floor as the announcers talk about wigs. Thankfully Booker is there to get us back to the action by shouting BACK TO THE ACTION! Miz comes in with a kick to the head and puts on a chinlock, only to have Morrison kick him in the head to escape.

Kofi comes flying in off the hot tag and cleans house with his barrage of high flying offense including a cross body to Miz for two. The Boom Drop gets two and everything breaks down. Kofi gets two off the SOS but Del Rio breaks up the pin. Miz hits a kind of Diamond Cutter face plant for two and it’s Kofi in trouble from the boots of R-Truth. Del Rio comes in with a belly to back suplex and mocks Kofi’s Trouble in Paradise hand slap.

Kofi kicks him away but Miz breaks up a hot tag bid. Cole lists off Miz’s high school accomplishments as Kofi flips out of a sunset flip and stomps on Miz’s ribs to put him down. Hot tag brings in Rey to face Truth who does his usual backflip/splits sequence, only to have Rey kick him in the head. Del Rio breaks up a double 619 so only Truth takes the kick. Kofi dives on Miz and Rey hits a top rope splash on Truth for the pin.

Rating: B-. Take six guys, give them ten minutes and let them have fun. It’s an idea as old as time and it’s still used to this day because it still works. The good guys can fire up any crowd with their high spots and the fans were into the match as a result. As mentioned earlier, Summerslam is great at having good openers and this was no exception.

Johnny Ace wants an apology from Punk over a kick to the head on Monday. Punk gives an over the top apology and Ace walks away. Punk turns around to see Stephanie who wishes him good luck. He makes fun of Vince and she wishes both Cena and Punk good luck. “But I’m just Vince’s clueless daughter right?” Punk: “Yeah pretty much.” She offers him a handshake but he knows where it’s been.

We recap Sheamus vs. Mark Henry. Henry is just starting the Hall of Pain run and has been destroying everyone in sight and breaking a lot of limbs. He stood tall in the ring until Sheamus came out and said three simple words: I’ll fight him. It turned Sheamus face and made him very popular due to the simple idea of standing up to a bully. THIS is how you book Sheamus: have him in there against some monster and taking a good fight to him, not slumming it with Damien Sandow and winning each match with ease.

Mark Henry vs. Sheamus

Henry takes him down with a clothesline to start but Sheamus comes right back with right hands. The pale one pounds away and actually knocks Henry down to his knees, only to be thrown to the floor. Henry EASILY throws Sheamus through the ropes and hits a splash for two. A running crotch attack crushes Sheamus’ neck but he’s in the ropes before the count starts.

A backbreaker puts Sheamus down and it’s off to an Argentinean backbreaker to complete the set. Sheamus powers out, only to be sent chest first into the corner. Henry misses a Vader Bomb though and Sheamus has a breather. A series of ax handles to the chest and head put Henry down followed by the forearms in the ropes. They clothesline each other down and we get a breather.

Back up and Mark runs into a boot in the corner, allowing Sheamus to go up for the top rope shoulder, good for two. The Brogue Kick misses though and a clothesline puts Sheamus down. Sheamus slips out of the World’s Strongest Slam and there’s the Brogue Kick to knock Henry to the outside. Sheamus follows him to the floor but Henry drives him into the post and through the barricade in a great crash, allowing Mark to beat the count for a countout win.

Rating: C+. This was another simple formula: take two big power brawlers and let them beat the tar out of each other for nearly the minutes. It’s also a smart ending as Sheamus gets to stay strong but Henry gets another win. Sheamus would get a countout win I believe at the next PPV so it evened out. Good, fun brawl here.

World Heavyweight Champion Christian says his match with Orton will be an epic summer blockbuster. He’ll be like Harry Potter, making magic at every turn. Orton will be like Cowboys and Aliens: a flashy flop. That movie was good though.

Trailer for Killer Elite which is probably sponsoring the show or something.

Here’s Cee Lo Green for the mini concert. He looks like he’s in big sparkly pajamas but the song isn’t bad so I’m not complaining much. The fans aren’t moving at all for this but the vocals are pretty bad so I can barely hear a word he’s saying. Now he throws in his bigger hit Forget You, complete with Divas in red dancing behind him.

Now here’s a Slim Jim ad. I’m sure the fans are LOVING this stuff.

Now a 7-11 commercial. My goodness get to something else.

Divas Title: Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix

I could go for a Slurpee. Back to 7-11 it is! Kelly is defending. Beth and Natalya are the Divas of Doom here and don’t like the Barbies like Eve and Kelly. Kelly and those AWESOME little shorts of hers go after Beth and we get the screaming headscissors. Beth is knocked off the apron and Kelly dives off the middle rope to knock her to the floor. Back in and Kelly flips out of the corner and Beth clotheslines her down.

Kelly gets dropped throat first on the top rope for two Eve plays cheerleader. This is a lot of standing around with Beth glaring down at Kelly before hitting a running Umaga shot in the corner. We hit the chinlock followed by the second over the shoulder backbreaker of the night. Kelly finally slips out and hits a quick neckbreaker to put both of them down.

Beth sends her into the Tree of Woe for no follow up before getting two off a side slam. Kelly gets in a knee to the face and goes nuts on Beth, only to have the handspring elbow countered. The Glam Slam is countered into a victory roll for the pin, just like every time Kelly beat Phoenix.

Rating: D+. All things considered, this was something resembling a miracle. The match was nothing of note but Kelly actually didn’t embarrass herself out there. She got WAY better over the years, but at the end of the day she was out there because of how good she looked in those tiny shorts. It also says a lot that less than two years later only Natalya is left from this match.

Stephanie leaves Cena’s locker room for some reason.

Truth and….Jimmy Hart of all people talk about a c-o-n-spiarcy. Jimmy offers to manage him and Truth seems interested before he realizes that Hart is…..LITTLE JIMMY! Truth looks over to see Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) and his daughter in a worthless cameo.


Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan

I like Barret’s End of Days theme a lot better than the God Save the Queen one now. This is MITB fallout as Bryan knocked Barrett off to win the case. Bryan has some slow music which isn’t all that bad, but soon he would go to Flight of the Valkyries which works far better for him. Bryan is rocking the white trunks with red trim here which are pretty awesome. Feeling out process to start with Barrett punching Bryan down to stop the wrestling part of the match.

Daniel takes it to the mat and spins out of a wristlock before dropkicking Wade down. Cole says Barrett is a submission master as Bryan does the AJ Styles drop down into a dropkick, right down to the same overblown drop down. Back up and Bryan hooks a dragon screw leg whip and a running dropkick in the corner for two. Another kick to the chest gets two and Bryan backflips over Barrett, only to charge into the Winds of Change for two. A slingshot belly to back backbreaker gets two for Wade and we hit a reverse chinlock.

Back up and Bryan hits a running clothesline but Wade comes back with a big running forearm to the face. Wade puts Bryan in the ropes and kicks him out to the floor before hooking a chinlock. The hold doesn’t last long again but Bryan ducks a boot and crotches Barrett on the top. A dropkick puts him on the floor and there’s the flying knee off the apron. Back in again and the missile dropkick gets a close two for the American.

Bryan escapes a pumphandle slam and fires off more kicks to the chest for two. Wade ducks a clothesline and hits a big boot to the face for two but Wasteland is countered into the guillotine choke. Barrett goes down and there’s the LeBell Lock but Wade gets into the ropes for the break. Daniel loads up a superplex but Barrett crotches him on the top rope. A middle rope clothesline takes Bryan off the ropes and Wasteland is good for the 100% clean pin.

Rating: B+. I REALLY liked this for one reason: it was a good wrestling match. It’s a basic story of one guy wanting revenge for a loss in a big match, it had a good story in the ring with a striker against a technical guy and the action was good. Wade Barrett is a guy who can go in the ring but he’s the ultimate jobber to the stars and I have no idea why when he can do this.

We recap Randy Orton vs. Christian. Christian won the title at Extreme Rules but Orton came over to Smackdown to replace Edge as the top guy. Orton won the title on his first night on the show, ending Christian’s title reign in less than a week. Christian wanted one more match, turning heel in the process.

Orton beat him again, but Christian some how got one more match and if Orton got disqualified, he would lose the title. For once, that actually worked and Christian won the title. Tonight, it’s the final match with no holds barred. These matches kept getting better and better and if Punk vs. Cena hadn’t happened it would have run away with feud of the year.

Smackdown World Title: Christian vs. Randy Orton

Before the match, Christian brings out Edge to be in his corner to a HUGE ovation. After a full entrance, Edge says that he’ll never be cleared to wrestle again. When he first left, that made him happy because he was able to pass the torch to Christian. Edge didn’t think it was fair that Christian had to defend the title five days after a ladder match and Christian complained too.

Then he complained more and more and more and more. Then he wanted rematch after rematch and FINALLY he won the title back…..but he did it by disqualification. Yeah Edge did some bad things, but he did it with style. He didn’t hide behind lawyers and clipboards. Somewhere along the line Christian became a parody of himself. Edge didn’t know Christian would ever be like this, and that’s not good. Edge drops the mic, walks out, Christian freaks, and here’s Randy.

Remember this is no holds barred. Orton takes him into the corner and stomps him down before hitting a quick clothesline. Christian rakes the eyes and gets a quick one count off a middle rope elbow to the face. A backdrop puts Christian down and Randy stomps away but the champion chokes away on the ropes. Orton loads up the Elevated DDT but gets backdropped to the floor. Really back and forth so far.

Orton sends him head first into the barricade and loads up the announce table. The RKO is blocked and Christian grabs the belt before sprinting into the crowd. Randy catches up with him and stomps Christian down onto the concrete before heading back to ringside. Back in and Orton rains down right hands in the corner. Christian avoids a charge and sends Orton’s famously bad shoulder into the post to take over. The champion brings in a kendo stick to choke away before getting two off a back elbow.

Christian busts out a spinebuster for two and goes to the middle rope, only to be dropkicked out of the air. The powerslam puts Christian down again and now Randy gets the kendo stick. Instead of swinging though he catches Christian’s dropkick into a jackknife cover for two followed by the Thesz Press. Christian escapes the Elevated DDT into a Killswitch attempt but Orton counters into the backbreaker for two. The idea of this feud was that they knew each other so well and they would add another move to the string of counters every match. It was awesome.

Orton can’t hit the Punt but has to send Christian face first into the post to avoid getting crotched against the steel. Randy pulls out a pair of tables and slides one into the ring, only to have Christian drive him into the apron. Christian sets up the other table on the floor and they head inside where Orton superplexes him onto (not through as the table hasn’t been set up yet) the table for two. The table is set up in the corner but Christian counters the whip into the reverse DDT for no cover. Instead he loads up the spear but Orton jumps over and tries the RKO, only to be sent over the top and out to the floor.

Christian goes after him but is sent knees first into the steps to put him down again. Orton takes forever to set up the steps but gets sent face first into the steel again. Christian loads up the other announce table and blasts Orton in the head with the announce table. The champion tries an RKO through the table but gets caught in the real thing to destroy the table instead. Back in and Christian hits a quick Killswitch for two and Christian is furious.

The champion brings in a pair of chairs for the Conchairto but spits on Orton, causing Randy to move away. Now it’s Randy with the chair, cracking it over Christian’s back and knocking him off the apron through the table. Orton throws in some steps and trashcans before catching a charging Christian in a powerslam through the table in the corner.

Some HARD kendo stick shots to the back have Christian in even more trouble and the Elevated DDT crushes a trashcan. Christian tries one more rush but his sunset flip out of the corner is countered into the RKO (same move that gave Orton the title in the first place) onto the steps for the pin and the title.

Rating: A-. Much like the Undertaker vs. Edge Cell match a few years earlier, this was the perfect way to blow off a feud with Orton being the definitive winner. This feud did a great job of building upon itself with the extended sequences carrying over from match to match and building a deep psychology. Great match here and the whole feud is worth checking out.

Video on Axxess.

We recap Punk vs. Cena. As mentioned, Punk left with the title at Money in the Bank so there was a tournament held to crown a new champion. Mysterio won but lost the title to Cena the same night. Punk came out and held up his own belt, meaning we had two champions. This all happened in two weeks when it could have went on for months. The entire match is summed up with one idea: Cena doesn’t know if he can beat Punk. HHH is the new boss and is the guest referee tonight for no reason anyone not named HHH can figure out.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. CM Punk

Punk has more or less been turned face by the will of the crowd alone. Feeling out process to start with Punk grabbing a headlock and SHOUTING spots into Cena’s ear. Cena easily takes him down to the mat and slaps on a headlock. That gets him nowhere so Punk gets up and we have a quick staredown. Cena grabs a single leg and slaps on an armbar followed by a chinlock. Back up and Punk hits a quick leg lariat before hooking a chinlock of his own with a bodyscissors.

Cena powers out and hooks a quick fisherman’s suplex before hooking another chinlock. The fans chant Fruity Pebbles and WE WANT ICE CREAM as Punk gets up a quick big boot to the jaw. HHH hasn’t been a factor so far. A few knees to the ribs and a headbutt to the shoulder set up another bodyscissors from Punk as we’re barely in second gear nearly eight minutes into the match. Cena escapes again and they fight over a suplex off the apron. Neither guy can go anywhere so Punk kicks Cena in the head to knock him outside.

Back in again and Punk cranks on a neck lock but Cena stands up and suplexes out of it. Cena tries to speed things up but the shoulder block is caught by a knee to the head for two. The running knee in the corner misses and now Cena can initiate the finishing sequence, only to have Punk hit a knee to break up the Shuffle. CM tries a kick but gets caught in the STF, only to get to the ropes and counter the ProtoBomb into a downward spiral and a Koji Clutch.

Cena rolls out and puts on the STF but Punk slips in an arm to block most of the pressure before countering into the Anaconda Vice. Cena rolls out of THAT and tries the STF again but Punk crawls out before it goes on full. AWESOME sequence there as the gear has shifted hard. Punk backdrops him to the floor and hits the suicide dive but he bumps his own head in the process. HHH starts counting and gets to nine before going to the floor and throwing both guys back inside.

They slug it out back in the ring but Cena can’t hit the AA. Instead he busts out a GREAT dropkick and hits the Shuffle. The AA is countered again into a sunset flip for two followed by the high kick for two more. Cena escapes the GTS and hits a corner splash (?!?) and a sitout powerslam (that’s more like it) for two. The top rope Fameasser doesn’t get to launch as Punk hits the running knee to the head and the bulldog off the top for two.

Punk loads up another springboard but gets caught in the STF to put him in real trouble. He finally gets to the rope and pops up for a GTS attempt, only to be countered into the AA for a close two. The top rope Fameasser misses again and Punk grabs a quick GTS for two more. HHH still hasn’t been a major factor other than throwing both guys in. The Macho Elbow gets two and Cena goes into straight brawling mode but gets caught by another knee to the chin. GTS #2 connects and the three goes down but Cena’s foot was on the ropes before two.

Rating: B+. The match is good with that sequence in the middle being a big highlight but there’s one major problem for this match: it’s the sequel to Money in the Bank. That’s doomed so many matches over the years and while it didn’t sink this one, it certainly slowed it down a lot. Still though, good stuff here and definitely worthy of a major PPV main event.

Punk takes a victory lap around the ring but won’t shake HHH’s hand. The Game doesn’t seem too mad about it and raises Punk’s hand as the winner. HHH leaves, CM Punk poses, and KEVIN NASH comes in through the crowd and lays out Punk with a Jackknife. Cue Alberto Del Rio, briefcase in hand.

Raw World Title: Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk

Kick to the head, Del Rio wins the title to end the show. This would turn into one of the stupidest and most ridiculous stories ever with Nash showing a text asking him to lay out Punk but it turned out he sent it to himself for one more moment in the limelight after a big fan reaction at the Royal Rumble. The end result of all this: HHH beating Nash and Punk.

Overall Rating: A. This is a GREAT show with some awesome matches and some great drama at the end. Now to be fair no one knew what the drama would lead to, but it blew my mind when I watched it at first. The rest of the show is awesome though with the worst match being the Divas. If the biggest torture I have to go through all night is looking at Kelly in those shorts and Eve looking gorgeous all dressed up, so be it. Great show here and well worth seeing.

Ratings Comparison

Kofi Kingston/John Morrison/Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio/The Miz/R-Truth

Original: B-

Redo: B-

Sheamus vs. Mark Henry

Original: C

Redo: C+

Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly

Original: C+

Redo: D+

Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan

Original: B

Redo: B+

Randy Orton vs. Christian

Original: B+

Redo: A-

CM Punk vs. John Cena

Original: A+

Redo: B+

CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio

Original: N/A

Redo: N/A

Overall Rating

Original: A+

Redo: A

Ok the main event isn’t THAT good. I think we’re firmly at the point where my ratings are about the same for most matches.

Here’s the original review if you’re interested:

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  1. M.R. says:

    I’m sorry, but you don’t like Cee Lo Green? Gnarls Barkley??

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I don’t dislike him. Just not my style.

  2. M.R. says:

    Alright, I got ya. He’s really not a favorite of mine either but both Crazy and Fuck You are fantastic songs.