Summerslam 2013: A Star Is Born

Summerslam 2013
Date: August 18, 2013
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

We’re finally at Summerslam and the show looks great. It’s a two match show but those two matches have the potential to be masterpieces. Tonight’s main events are John Cena defending the Raw Title against Daniel Bryan and the Best vs. the Beast in CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar. The rest of the card is hit or miss but Bray Wyatt vs. Kane in a Ring of Fire match has potential. Let’s get to it.

Pre-Show: US Title: Dean Ambrose vs. Rob Van Dam

Dean is defending and Rob won the title shot in a battle royal on Raw. Feeling out process to start with Dean running Rob down. Ambrose does the finger point while shouting US Champion in a cute bit before taking Rob down with a hammerlock. Back up and Rob hits a quick spin kick to put Dean down and there’s the real finger point. Ambrose comes back with chops and punches in the corner as the slow start continues. Dean cranks on the neck and the fans are split down the middle.

A running dropkick against the ropes gets two on Van Dam and it’s off to the chinlock. They get back up and Dean avoids a charge in the corner but Rob comes back with a spinning cross body out of the corner for two. A kick look to set up the Five Star but here are Rollins and Reigns for a distraction but not a DQ. This brings out Big Show and Henry for backup as we take a break.

Back with Ambrose still in control with shots to the chest and a cross face chicken wing. An ECW chant starts up as Ambrose transitions into a sleeper. Rob is sent to the floor but the giants block Shield from interfering. Dean goes out to stare as well but gets kicked down by Van Dam, allowing Rob to put him on the barricade for the spin kick from the apron.

Back in and Rob hits a top rope front flip attack for a close two. Reigns trips Rob to break up Rolling Thunder but Rob still gets two off a cradle. A spinebuster gets two for Dean but a top rope backsplash misses. Rob loads up the Five Star but has to jump at Rollins instead. Dean get a very close two off a rollup but Rob comes back with a kick to the face. Now Rolling Thunder connects and there’s the Five Star but Reigns comes in for the DQ at 14:08. So what did Show and Henry do here exactly?

Rating: B-. This was getting very good until the ending. Again what was the point in Henry and Big Show being out there if they were just going to stand around and do nothing? Dean got to hang in there against Rob but it doesn’t look as good without the win. Good opener though and the fans were WAY into it.

The opening video focuses on the main events and not much more.

JoJo from Total Divas sings the national anthem. She’s not bad.

Kane vs. Bray Wyatt

Wyatt and his Family debuted a few weeks ago and attacked Kane. Tonight the ring is surrounded by fire to prevent interference but you win by pin/submission. This is Bray’s in ring debut. Kane pounds him into the corner to start and clotheslines him down, sending the flames shooting into the air. The Family tries to get closer to the ring and there goes the fire again. Nice touch. Bray charges right at Kane and pounds away but can’t hit a suplex.

Kane suplexes him down instead, sending the fire up again. Bray avoids the low dropkick but misses a charge, sending himself into the ropes and near the flames. Wyatt crushes him in the corner with a splash and mostly misses a cross body. They’re lucky that the flames are covering up a lot of these misses. Bray slugs his way out of a chokeslam but Kane “hits” a big boot. Are the flames really messing them up that badly? That’s like three moves that have mostly missed. Kane side slams him down for no cover but Bray gets in a shot to take Kane down.

Wyatt asks for a weapon but as Harper loads up a kendo stick the flames go up, catching the stick on fire. Firemen put it out so Rowan steals the extinguisher, but it has no effect. There’s the chokeslam to Wyatt but Kane hits a second one for revenge. He calls for the tombstone but the Family puts a blanket over the flames, allowing the monsters to come in and beat Kane down. There’s no DQ though so this is all legal. Kane is destroyed and Sister Abigail is good for the pin at 7:49.

Rating: D+. This was disappointing. The visuals were cool but just putting a blanket over the flames was a pretty lame way to have the monsters get inside. I was expecting something a bit more supernatural instead of fire safety tips with the Wyatt Family. Also what was up with those botches?

Post match Bray sits in his chair with his hat on as the Family lays Kane’s head on the steps. They crush his head with the top part as Bray lights the lantern to a HUGE pop. The Wyatts take Kane with them.

The expert panel of Booker T, Shawn Michaels and Vickie Guerrero talk about the match a bit.

We get part of a Heyman promo from the pre show as the fire stuff is removed. Punk vs. Lesnar is now No DQ.

Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes

They used to be partners but Sandow cheated Cody out of the MITB case last month, causing Cody to throw the case in the Gulf of Mexico. Sandow talks about great literary pairs throughout history and says there was always a leader and a follower. Cody was the sidekick of the Rhodes Scholars and tonight he’s being sent back to the carnival his family came from. Cody has shaved his mustache and you can find out why on Friday on the Youtube channel. SERIOUSLY? They think people are going to check that out?

They start fast with Cody in control until Sandow takes him out to the floor. Cody is rammed back first into the apron and Sandow fires off forearms to the spine. A quick suplex gets two and it’s off to a knee in Cody’s back. Cross Rhodes is quickly countered but the legsweep and Wind-Up elbow get two for Sandow. Damien busts out Edge’s old Edgecator submission (it’s like a Sharpshooter but Damien leans forward on the legs instead of turning over and pulling) but it’s quickly broken up.

Back up and Cody catches him on the top rope in a Muscle Buster of all things for two. Damien backdrops him to the apron but Cody comes back in with a nice springboard missile dropkick. The Disaster Kick misses and Sandow hits his flip neckbreaker for two. Cody falls down on Sandow’s sunset flip for two before hitting the Disaster Kick for another near fall. Damien avoids a charge into the post for two more but Cody grabs Cross Rhodes out of nowhere for the pin at 6:37.

Rating: C. This was better than I was expecting and I like that they’re pushing Cody stronger. He had so much potential when he was Intercontinental Champion but it just fell apart since them. At the same time though, Sandow continues his downward spiral into nothingness, meaning he’ll be world champion in a few months more than likely. Maybe we’ll get a rematch for the case next month.

Video recap of Christian’s career which is pretty cool stuff.

Smackdown World Title: Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio

Christian won a three way to get the shot and has pinned Del Rio twice in the last few weeks. Alberto makes Lillian do his intro in Spanish in a nice touch. Christian quickly sends Del Rio out to the floor but misses a baseball slide. Back in and Del Rio escapes a top rope rana attempt and hits an enziguri to send Christian into the Tree of Woe. Alberto fires off kicks to the chest and a running one somewhere near the shoulder.

Del Rio sends the shoulder into the barricade, meaning he has his psychology boots on tonight. Alberto sends Christian crashing down to the mat and hits a dropkick to the shoulder. King: “That’ll shake your maracas.” A top rope stomp to the shoulder gets two but Christian avoids a running crotch attack in the ropes to send the champion to the floor. Christian hits a BIG dive off the top to take Del Rio down again and Christian pounds away back inside.

Del Rio misses a top rope enziguri and takes a high cross body for two. Alberto begs for a breather but suckers Christian in for a headbutt to the ribs. Christian flips out of a belly to back but can’t hit the Killswitch. The sunset flip out of the corner is countered into the Backstabber (the knees clearly slid off to the side and never hit the back) for two. A rollup gets two for Christian but he gets caught by the corner enziguri for another near fall. This is MUCH better than I was expecting coming in.

The sunset flip out of the corner is blocked by Alberto but Christian hits a running enziguri of his own. A top rope hurricanrana gets a VERY close two for the challenger as the fans are way into these near falls. The spear is countered by a fast dropkick for two for the champion and the low superkick gets the same. Del Rio lowers his knee pad but another shot to the head is countered into a rollup for two. There’s the spear but Christian’s arm gives out (THANK YOU! Edge did the same spot in 2001 but pinned Lance Storm like it was nothing). Del Rio grabs the armbreaker out of nowhere and Christian TAPS at 12:34.

Rating: B+. I REALLY liked this match but the 50/50 booking is so stupid. Christian beat Del Rio twice clean in a few weeks but now Del Rio gets a win so we’re supposed to be impressed? It doesn’t work that way no matter what WWE thinks. Enough of the bad stuff though as this was a great match with both guys looking awesome out there. The crowd was totally into it and the ending was a surprise. Really good stuff here.

Post match Del Rio says he represents the Latinos and that he’s the world champion. This was a tease of a cash in but nothing happened.

Axxess stuff, including Maria Menunos in a Divas tag match.

Miz (the host of this show, in his first appearance here tonight an hour in) is in the back with Menunos. Not much is said until Fandango and Summer Rae pop in. A dance off begins and that’s about it.

Brie Bella vs. Natalya

This is the Total Divas match with Nikki, Eva Marie and the Funkadactyls in the corner. Feeling out process until we get to the catfight stuff, culminating in Brie having to bail from a Sharpshooter attempt. Eva and Nikki pull the ring skirt down to send Natalya to the floor, allowing Brie to take over. The fans chant for JBL and then Lawler as they completely turn on the match. Brie cranks on Nattie’s arm as the fans want tables.

After a faceplant it’s right back to the hold as this match is dragging three minutes in. Natalya makes a quick comeback and puts on the Sharpshooter but Brie kicks away and no sells the pain. The girls get in a brawl on the floor and we’re in the third use of the SAME hold. Someone get Fit Finlay back in this company immediately. The fans are chanting for Ryder as Natayla hits an Alabama Slam and the Sharpshooter gets the tap out from Brie at 5:20.

Rating: F. This was HORRIBLE with both girls looking bad. The Divas are horrid right now other than AJ and occasionally Layla but these reality “stars” are getting TV time because people like to see them argue and be insecure. Natalya is good in the ring but she can’t work a miracle with a model out there. Horrid match and they need to win the crowd back immediately.

Ryback torments a guy at catering over a bowl of soup. I’m sure the leather vest isn’t inspired by Bully Ray whatsoever. “Feed me moron.”

We recap Punk vs. Lesnar which is really about Punk vs. Heyman. Punk turned face around Payback and asked Heyman not to accompany him to ringside anymore. Soon after that Lesnar returned and attacked Punk. Heyman swore that he had nothing to do with it but he turned on Punk at MITB, costing Punk the briefcase. Punk swore revenge on both of them, starting with Lesnar tonight. This is a money feud for multiple reasons, but the biggest being that’s based on HATRED. Punk is furious at Heyman and wants his revenge. His method of getting it? In a professional wrestling match of course. So simple yet so effective.

CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar

The tagline for this match is perfect: the Best vs. the Beast. It’s also No DQ. I always forget how scary of a man Brock Lesnar is until he comes to the ring. Lesnar immediately drives him into the corner and no sells forearms to the head. Brock LAUNCHES him into the other corner and stomps Punk down before no selling knees to the ribs. Punk is thrown around again and rammed into another corner with raw power.

Lesnar brags a bit too much and Punk gets in a kick to the head and a pair of knees to the face to send Brock to the floor. The suicide dive takes Lesnar down and the fans go NUTS. Punk loads up the steps but Brock rams into them to knock Punk down. Brock fires off knees to the ribs but Punk posts him for a breather. A top rope dive puts Brock down again as Punk is giving this all he has. Punk dives off the announce table with a clothesline and Brock is in trouble.

CM makes the mistake of going after Heyman though and Brock gets in a shot to take over. Brock tosses Punk over the announce table in an amazing throw for an even better crash. Since he threw Punk over the table once, Lesnar has to throw him over the other side for good measure. An over head belly to belly sends Punk down onto the concrete and Punk is barely moving. Back in and Brock drives Punk into the corner with shoulders and puts on a bearhug.

Punk gets in some forearms to escape but a knee to the ribs puts him right back down. Back to the bearhug and we get a shot of the evil look on Heyman’s face. Punk comes back again with shots to the head but his high cross body is caught in a fallaway slam. A backbreaker sets up a suplex for three straight near falls. Off to a chinlock but Punk BITES THE EAR to get some separation. More shots to the head stagger Brock and a top rope knee to the chest knocks him into the corner.

Two more running knees to the corner have Brock reeling but Brock catches the third in a fireman’s carry. Punk drops behind Lesnar and hits a high kick, setting up the Macho Elbow (didn’t look good) for two. The GTS and F5 are countered into another high kick but the GTS is countered into the kimura. Punk spins out and hooks a cross armbreaker (GIMMICK INFRINGEMENT) and then a triangle choke of all things.

Brock raises his hand but powerbombs Punk down….but the hold isn’t broken! The hand is still in the air but Brock lifts Punk into the air. Punk fires off elbows to the head, only to be caught in a running powerbomb to kill Punk dead. Lesnar can’t follow up though and both guys are down. A delayed cover gets two on Punk as Heyman is having a heart attack. Lesnar hits Three Amigos of all things for two before very slowly grabbing a chair. Punk gets up and dives onto Lesnar but he mostly hit chair.

Now it’s Punk with the chair and a few shots send Brock back inside. Lesnar gets the chair away but Punk goes low to stop Brock’s chair shot. Punk takes the chair up top and drops an elbow (kind of) onto Brock for a closer two. More chair shots to the back have Lesnar screaming in pain but Heyman takes the chair from Punk’s hands. Lesnar is up AGAIN but Punk grabs Heyman’s tie to escape the F5.

The GTS connects but Heyman comes in to break up the pin. Punk gets a big smile on his face as there’s no Brock to save Heyman, but the case winds up in the F5, which Punk counters into a faceplant for a VERY close two. The Anaconda Vice goes on but Heyman tries to come in with a chair, only to have Punk stand on the chair to block it.

Heyman slaps at Punk’s leg in a funny bit but gets caught by the neck. A right hand puts Heyman down and now he’s in the Vice but Lesnar is back up. He crushes Punk with the chair and hits him even harder the second time. A third shot knocks Punk silly and the F5 onto the chair ends this at 25:20.

Rating: A+. The storytelling and psychology alone made this a great match. I loved the idea that Punk kept taking the weapons away from Lesnar but once Brock got in the first chair shot the match was over. Punk showed he was smarter leading up to the match but his hatred for Heyman cost him in the end when he went on emotion instead of intelligence.

The action in this was incredible as well as it felt like a fight instead of a match, which is the right idea. If nothing else, this shows how bad of an idea the HHH feud was. Punk and Cena have both blown away all of the HHH matches with Lesnar by miles and miles, but we got a year of HHH and a month each of the other guys so far. Such is life in the WWE. Outstanding match here though.

We get a clip from Axxess where a fan took a splash from Mark Henry for three tickets to Summerslam.

Kaitlyn/Dolph Ziggler vs. AJ Lee/Big E. Langston

This is just a combination of two feuds which is a fine way to get both of them on the card. The guys start with Ziggler getting caught in a belly to belly suplex and a spinning splash of all things from Langston. Off to an abdominal stretch before AJ gets in a slap to Langston. Dolph comes back with a quick dropkick and it’s off to the girls. Kaitlyn throws AJ around with ease but gets caught with a wicked spinwheel kick to the face. A few neckbreakers put Kaitlyn down and AJ skips around.

Off to a sleeper which doesn’t last long as it’s back to the guys. Ziggler speeds things up and splashes Big E. in the corner. Ten straight elbow drops to set up the jumping elbow get a two count. Langston makes a quick comeback but gets sent shoulder first into the post. AJ grabs Dolph’s leg but Kaitlyn spears her down as Langston runs Dolph over for two. The Big Ending is escaped into the Zig Zag for the pin at 6:48.

Rating: C-. This was fine but it was in the death spot on the card between the two main events. It came off well enough though and the crowd was into it at times. It was a WAY better idea than putting the Total Divas match here which I thought they were going to do. Nothing great but it did its job just fine.

Fandango and Summer Rae cut off Miz again so he lays Fandango out.

Some low level celebrities are here.

The expert panel make their predictions on the main event. Bryan is the favorite.

We recap the main event. Daniel Bryan is on the roll of a lifetime and Cena selected him for the title shot tonight. The idea is simple: Bryan says Cena isn’t a wrestler, Cena says he’s proven everyone that has said that wrong. However there’s a wildcard in all this: HHH, who is the guest referee and will likely be joining Vince to hijack the match because their storyline is SO much more important than anything else.

Raw World Title: Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena

The fans are almost unanimously behind Bryan here. Cena has a very bad elbow injury coming in and has been out of action for a few weeks. Feeling out process to start with Cena taking him to the mat via a headlock. Bryan easily gets back to his feet and tries a test of strength of all things with Cena taking him down to the mat. He can’t break Bryan’s bridge though and Bryan monkey flips him down. The YES Lock doesn’t work as Cena bails to the floor.

Back in and Cena tries a left arm (the bad arm) headlock but Bryan takes him down again. The double knee stomp surfboard doesn’t work as Cena kicks Bryan away. Daniel goes to the apron and is knocked HARD into the announce table. Cena follows him to the floor but gets whipped into the steps. Bryan tries a suplex off the steps in a spot I’ve never seen before but Cena counters into one of his own to put both guys down. Fans: “YOU STILL SUCK!”

Cena wisely turns it into a brawl and punches Bryan down before hitting a Batista Bomb of all things. We hit the chinlock and HHH hasn’t been a factor yet. Bryan comes back with forearms to the head and kicks to the chest in the corner but HHH yells at him. Lawler: “Don’t gloat goat!” Bryan hits the running clothesline but misses the hard kick to the head. Cena tries his finishing sequence but Bryan kicks him in the head to block the Shuffle. Bryan can’t hook a submission hold and gets caught in the ProtoBomb followed by the Shuffle for no cover.

Bryan flips out of the AA and catches a charging Cena in the chin with a boot. The missile dropkick connects for two and Bryan fires off the kicks to the chest. Now Bryan goes after the bad arm before slapping on the STF of all things. Cena is about to get to the ropes so Bryan pulls him back and hits two German suplexes for two each. Bryan counters the AA into the YES Lock and Cena is in big trouble. Cena counters by getting his head free (wrestling you say?) but gets pulled down into a guillotine choke.

John FINALLY powers out of it but can barely follow up. Bryan charges right at Cena but gets caught in the AA for a close two. That came out of nowhere and had the fans inhaling in unison. Cena goes up but has to knock Bryan down twice before getting caught by a running dropkick. Now Bryan gets up top and superplexes Cena down but stays on top in a cool power move. He sits up onto the top for the Swan Dive but Cena is up at two. John rolls to the floor and blocks the FLYING GOAT with a forearm to the head.

This time the top rope Fameasser connects for two and Cena is getting frustrated. Cena tries the middle rope AA but Bryan fires off about 25 elbows to the head to break it up. Bryan can’t hit a top rope rana so Cena loads up what looks like a Styles Clash but jumps down and drops Bryan o his head in a SCARY looking botch. Bryan looks ok though and Cena rolls into the STF. Bryan rolls over to his side but the hold is still on, basically making it a chinlock with a body scissors.

Daniel rolls out and hooks the YES Lock in the middle of the ring. Cena crawls over (with his arm slapping the mat in what could have been a tap if you stretched a bit) and FINALLY makes a rope. Bryan hits the running dropkick in the corner and makes it a pair for good measure. Cena comes back with a MASSIVE clothesline but he can’t follow up. They slug it out and both hit shoulders at the same time for another double layout.

Now they slap each other out in the middle of the ring and it’s Bryan taking over and moonsaulting out of the corner, but Cena nearly catches him in mid air. He tries a spinebuster but Bryan counters into a DDT and a lot of checking on each other. Bryan tries a high cross (popular move tonight) but Cena catches him in mid air. Bryan counters into the small package they’ve been building up for weeks but it’s only good for two in a GREAT false finish. The big kick to Cena’s head puts the champion down again and a Shining Freaking Wizard GETS THE PIN AND THE TITLE AT 26:58!

Rating: A+. WHAT A BRILLIANT FINISH! They totally fooled us all by having the standard WWE formula playing out but Bryan wins it out of nowhere with a knee to the head. Brilliant move there after a great match to boot. What more can you ask for in the main event of the second biggest show of the year? Excellent stuff and HHH did absolutely nothing at all.

Post match Cena grabs Bryan and turns him around but they shake hands. Cena leaves with no incident and Bryan celebrates but HERE’S ORTON! Bryan is looking at him though and says bring it on. Orton is standing at ringside and turns around. Bryan celebrates and HHH spins him around and Pedigrees him. Orton comes in and hands HHH the case. You know what’s coming.

Raw World Title: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

Seven seconds and Orton wins.

Everyone is shocked to end the show.

Overall Rating: A-. There are definitely some bad spots on here but the main events more than make this a great show. The WWE has been on fire for the last few months and this was no exception with some great matches on top of the card and the midcard having some nice surprises with the Smackdown Title match being much better than I was expecting. The ending was what a lot of people were expecting, because screw making a new star since it’s all about the McMahons. Excellent show though and well worth checking out.

Results

Bray Wyatt b. Kane – Sister Abigail

Cody Rhodes b. Damien Sandow – Cross Rhodes

Alberto Del Rio b. Christian – Cross Armbreaker

Natalya b. Brie Bella – Sharpshooter

Brock Lesnar b. CM Punk – F5 onto a chair

Dolph Ziggler/Kaitlyn b. AJ Lee/Big E. Langston – Zig Zag to Langston

Daniel Bryan b. John Cena – Shining Wizard

Randy Orton b. Daniel Bryan – Pin after a Pedigree from HHH

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 2001 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $4 at:

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15 comments

  1. Conor says:

    A two match show where both matches were classics. Add in a big swerve and there’s not much more you can ask for. Can’t wait for Raw now.

  2. aj rodz says:

    Daniel Bryan won and i shut off the tv nothing else happened

  3. Mystery Man says:

    Good review of a good show. I’m glad HHH did what he did.

  4. chris says:

    Great show. Everyone worked hard and delivered.

    About the ending. So Triple H The guy who spent a decade being evil, Is still evil. Shocking I say.

  5. Macios says:

    Great show all around. KB did the forums just crash?

  6. KB – Miz opened the show when Fandango cut him off on the entrance ramp – not an hour into the show…just an fyi.

    otherwise great review – to follow an incredible PPV

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Ah makes sense. I missed the first few minutes of the show. Thanks.

  7. M.R. says:

    Had to miss the show tonight, look forward to catching the encore. Glad to hear how great the main events were. Did Punk feel inferior to Brock ala Cena throughout the match or more on the same level like ego H did?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    No but Brock did seem superior. The idea was that Punk was slugging it out with Brock but kept preventing Brock from hitting anything big. Brock definitely did not dominate him though, at least not on the level of Cena.

  8. LSN says:

    Yes, on overload.

    As for the finish, I think there’s more money to be made by having Bryan jump through all the hoops until he’s overcome Cena(done) and then the McMahon’s. Fans will get behind him even more after getting screwed, and when he eventually beats Orton and HHH in some order, he’ll be an even bigger star.

    I didn’t see this as being about the McMahon’s, tbh, rather, about long-term building into making Bryan a top face on par with Cena.

  9. Jay H says:

    Great Summerslam,both Main Events lived up and surpassed the hype. The undercard delivered as well and RAW tomorrow night should be a good one.

  10. M.R. says:

    KB, do you remember off hand the last show to feature two A+ matches?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Wrestlemania 28.

  11. Selfish Generation says:

    Fantastic! I eagerly await Triple H going over Daniel Bryan on PPV in the very near future.

  12. Rocko says:

    I went to this and holy crap it was awesome.

    The pop for Bray Wyatt lighting the laturn was because we thought Taker was coming out (the lights went out which is why we thought that).

    This show was fantastic and the ending left us in shock. The WWE played it perfectly with the confetti and Orton leaving. Crowd was hot all night. Bryan beating Cena by pinfall caught us off guard.