Summerslam Count-Up – 2013 (2017 Redo): I’m Still Right

Summerslam 2013
Date: August 18, 2013
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 14,166
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield

This is the show that was voted on for the annual redo and I can’t say I’m complaining. The show was instantly revered and it held up when I watched it the second time. We’ve got a double main event with Daniel Bryan challenging John Cena for the World Title and CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar in the Best vs. the Beast. Let’s get to it.

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

Dean is defending and we still have the full Shield entrance (no Reigns/Rollins here) through the crowd, which is still just cool. A shoulder drops Rob to start and Dean grabs a hammerlock as it’s a slow pace early on. Rob clotheslines him into a headlock but charges into a boot to the face for two. A neckbreaker gives Dean the same and we hit the neck crank as we’re somehow four minutes into this.

Ambrose gets in a running dropkick and grabs a quickly broken chinlock. Rob kicks him down to set up the Five Star but Rollins and Reigns come through the crowd, rendering him completely incapable of jumping. Big Show and Mark Henry show up as well though, putting us all even as we as we take a break.

Back with Dean grabbing a chinlock and sending Rob outside. That means a staredown on the floor as Henry and Show earn those paychecks and DVD royalties. Rob drops Dean on the barricade and hits the spinning kick to the back. A rollup gives Rob two back inside but he walks into a good looking spinebuster for two. Dean misses a top rope elbow but Rob has to go after Rollins instead of Five Starring. Rolling Thunder crushes Dean and it’s Five Star time, only to have Reigns spear Rob down for the DQ at 13:38.

Rating: D+. This was a pretty sad way to start the show as you would expect a lot more from these two. Ambrose was a very natural arrogant heel but Rob was just going through the motions. It didn’t help that the big plot point, Show and Henry, did NOTHING here and Reigns interfered anyway. It’s never a good sign when you can completely take people out of a match and it changes nothing but that was the case here. Really disappointing outing.

And now on to the mai…..IT’S LESS THAN THREE HOURS!!! Oh sweet goodness happy days are here again!

Here’s the Miz, your host for the evening and still a face here, to open things up. He explains the two main events, just in case people stumbled in here expecting a free car wash. Fandango and Summer Rae (dang) cut him off and dance around him. Miz: “Really? Really?” Anyway, welcome to Summerslam.

The opening video talks about how the stars are out tonight and has a bit of a grainy look to it for a unique visual. As you might expect, the two main events receive most of the attention. Of note: the instrumental background music would become Akira Tozawa’s theme.

JoJo sings the National Anthem, which was a plot point on Total Divas because Total Divas is creatively bankrupt.

Kane vs. Bray Wyatt

This is a Ring of Fire match, meaning the ring is surrounded by fire like an inferno match but you win by regular means. It’s also Wyatt’s in-ring debut, which is kind of gobsmacking. Kane unloads on him in the corner to start as the arena is much darker than usual to show off the flames. A clothesline drops Wyatt and the flames go over the top rope.

Kane gets in a suplex for the same result as Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are panicking on the floor. The fact that they’re there more or less guarantees they find a way to interfere, thereby making the gimmick worthless. Wyatt hits a running splash in the corner and hammers away on the mat. A big boot to the…..arm maybe drops Wyatt and there’s the sidewalk slam for no cover.

Harper tries to grab a kendo stick but it gets caught on fire, sending an overzealous fireman to put it out. Rowan takes his extinguisher but can’t get rid of the flames. The chokeslam plants Wyatt for no cover as Kane would rather do it again, likely so Harper and Rowan can figure out a way inside. They find a fireproof….something and get inside for the big beatdown. Rowan splashes Kane and Sister Abigail gives Bray the pin at 7:48.

Rating: F+. This was WAY worse than I remember as it was literally just killing time until the ending. The ending was as telegraphed as it could have been and there was never any drama. Instead of actually having a match, this was a mental exercise for the Family and that’s REALLY not how you want to debut someone with the kind of potential Wyatt has.

Post match the Wyatts crush Kane with the steps and carry him off to film See No Evil 2.

The Kickoff Show panel wastes a minute of our time.

We see a Paul Heyman promo on the Kickoff Show, talking about how in reality, David would have thrown a stone at Goliath and then taken the beating of a lifetime. As a bonus, tonight’s match is No DQ.

Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes

They used to be partners until Sandow won the Money in the Bank briefcase (it’s still the brown one which looks like a Hershey bar) in the surprise for the sake of swerving the fans who KNEW Cody was going to win (which he was). Before the match, Sandow says he was the leader of the Rhodes Scholars and tonight, he’s sending Cody back to the Rhodes Family so they can be dumb and dumber. Cole’s big plug for the entrances: watch the JBL and Cole Show to find out why Cody shaved his mustache!

They start fast with Sandow shoving him into the corner but getting backdropped. The gordbuster gives Cody two but a legsweep sends him outside. Back in and some knees to the back set up a bow and arrow hold. Sandow has to fight out of an early Cross Rhodes attempt and drops the Wind Up Elbow for two. I know Sandow has the charisma but dang it’s not working in the ring.

Sandow puts on a standing leglock for a few moment before switching to just rubbing Cody’s face in the mat. Cody catches him on the top though and it’s something like a Muscle Buster for two. A springboard missile dropkick gets two on Sandow but he comes right back with a running flip neckbreaker for the same. Cody nails the Disaster Kick for the near fall, followed by Cross Rhodes for the pin at 6:39.

Rating: C+. They were working hard out there and had a good match but it’s very clear that Sandow is in WAY over his head with the briefcase. I don’t think anyone really bought him as a main eventer at this point and his pretty worthless TNA run doesn’t exactly change the theory that it was the stunt double gimmick that was so good and not him.

Video on Christian, who is back for one more run at the World Title.

Smackdown World Title: Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian

Christian is challenging. Del Rio has Lillian Garcia introduce him in Spanish, which isn’t quite a heel move in a major Hispanic market. Alberto grabs a headlock but gets slapped for his efforts, followed by the back of the neck snap across the top rope. That’s fine with him though as he puts Christian on the top for a heck of a running enziguri to put Christian in the Tree of Woe.

Del Rio starts in on the arm by sending it into the barricade and it’s off to an early armbar. A top rope double stomp to the shoulder makes it even worse, but not as bad as it would be with the top rope double stomp out of the Tree of Woe. The champ misses a charge though and crashes out to the floor to give Christian a breather. Back in and Del Rio dives into a raised boot, followed by a middle rope missile dropkick for no cover. The high crossbody gets two but Christian is holding the arm.

It’s too early for the Killswitch so Christian goes up, only to get pulled off the middle rope with a Backstabber in a cool spot. A middle rope backsplash doesn’t work for the champ but he’s still able to block the spear (which Christian should NEVER use) with a dropkick. Del Rio takes down his kneepad but gets rolled up for two more. Now the spear connects, only to have the shoulder give out. That means a cross armbreaker and Christian taps (rather surprising) at 12:30.

Rating: B. I had a lot more fun with this than I was expecting, which I think is what I said when I watched this the first time around too. Christian was a great choice for a challenger at this level as he’s going to have a good match no matter what. Unfortunately this was about it for him as he would only wrestle a few more matches in 2013, then come back for another short run to start the new year, ending with a concussion that caused his retirement. It’s a shame, but probably for the best as you don’t want to mess with that area.

Post match Del Rio says the Mexican people need an idol and his name is Alberto Del Rio.

Clips from Summerslam Axxess, which has never come close to matching the Wrestlemania version.

Miz (oh yeah he’s here) talks to Maria Menunos, who won in a tag match at Axxess. Fandango and Summer Rae dance in again but this time Miz and Maria show them up with some dancing of their own. Did you know Maria Menunos of some entertainment show is here? If you don’t, you will when this is all over that show.

Natalya vs. Brie Bella

No story of note here, but Cole introduces the two of them as “some of the stars of Total Divas”. Just in case you thought Summerslam was the point here. Naturally more cast members are at ringside and sweet goodness I forgot how annoying this era was for the women. Feeling out process to start as Natalya tries to do any kind of wrestling with Brie. They finally go with the slapping until Natalya sends her outside for a baseball slide. The JBL and MICHAEL COLE chants start up and there’s the JERRY chant to complete the trio.

Brie grabs a chinlock and the fans want tables. A jawbreaker gets Natalya out of trouble and she grabs the Sharpshooter until Brie slips out and sends her hard into the corner. We get the required catfight on the floor and it’s time for a Zack Ryder chant. The yet to be named BRIE MODE knee seems to wake Natalya up as it’s the Sharpshooter to make Brie tap at 5:18.

Rating: D-. The match could have been so much worse but the story, or lack thereof, had this thing doomed from the start. This was back at the start of the Total Divas era and fans hadn’t gotten sick of the show yet. They don’t get along on Total Divas for whatever nonsense reason the writers have come up with so here’s a short match between them. Not horrible but sweet goodness could we please get the tiniest bit of effort?

Earlier today, Ryback poured soup on a catering worker.

We recap CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar and I begin to smile. This is mainly about Punk vs. Paul Heyman, who had been Punk’s supporter for years. Then Punk started to change his attitude and told Heyman that he wanted to do this by himself. That wasn’t cool with Heyman, who cost him the Money in the Bank ladder match. Punk went after Heyman so Brock Lesnar returned to be Heyman’s muscle. The match was set with the great tagline “The Best vs. The Beast.” Do you need much more than that?

CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar

No DQ. I know I say this a lot but Brock Lesnar coming down the aisle is one of the scariest sights in wrestling. Punk charges right at him and gets driven into the corner for some shoulders. A hard whip sends Punk into a different corner as the fans are trying to stay behind him. Punk’s strikes have almost no effect (Punk not being able to strike with an MMA guy? I’m sure that won’t be an even bigger joke three years later.) and Brock easily stomps him down in the corner.

Punk gets in a kick to the jaw and a pair of running knees knock Lesnar outside for a suicide dive. That’s exactly the kind of hope spot that the fans needed to get back into this but Lesnar cuts them off by slamming the steps, which are in Punk’s hands, straight into Punk’s face. Punk posts him though and scores with the clothesline off the barricade, only to make the mistake of going after Heyman.

One heck of a toss sends Punk over the announcers’ table as there’s not much of a way around that kind of power. That’s not good enough though as Brock throws him over the other table, just so it won’t feel left out. Lesnar jumps into a stomp onto a piece of the table onto Punk before sending him flying off a belly to belly (leaving a big sweat stain on the floor).

Back in and Lesnar fires off more shoulders to the ribs and we hit the bearhug. An elbow to the nose staggers Brock for a bit but he knees Punk hard in the ribs to put him down again. It’s back to the bearhug as they’re doing a good job with cutting off the hope spots. Punk kicks away but dives right into a fall away slam to cut him off again. A chinlock lasts for a little while until Punk fights up and bites the ear to escape.

Punk FINALLY drops him with a series of kicks and the running knee in the corner makes it even worse. Lesnar catches a running knee but Punk escapes and high kicks him down, setting up the Macho Elbow (looked awful, almost more like a sideways splash) for a pretty hot two. Neither finisher can connect so Punk kicks him in the head again and Brock goes down from a single shot. You don’t see that every day.

The GTS is countered into the Kimura but that’s reversed into a cross armbreaker and then a triangle choke. A powerbomb doesn’t break the hold so Brock lifts him up again, shrugs off the elbows to the head and PLANTS Punk with a running powerbomb. The fans are INSANE for Punk but Brock cuts them off with the most vicious Three Amigos you’ll ever see. Brock very slowly heads outside to grab a chair so Punk dives onto him, only to land on the chair, which lands on Lesnar to put both of them down.

It’s Punk up first with the chair though and he wears Brock out….until Lesnar just takes it away from him. That’s fine with Punk as a low blow gets him out of trouble (Punk: “WHERE’S YOUR CUP NOW UFC BOY???”) and freaks Heyman out all over again. Punk takes the chair up top and drops something like a Macho Elbow for two more. A few more chair shots have Lesnar in trouble until Heyman takes it away.

Punk grabs Heyman’s tie to block the F5 (smart) and it’s the GTS but Heyman makes the save for the false finish of the year. Reality sets in on Heyman (as only it can) and he realizes there’s no Brock to save him. Punk gives chase but runs into the F5, which he counters into a tornado DDT for two more. The Anaconda Vice goes on but Punk lets it go to cut Heyman off. A big right hand drops Paul, only to have Lesnar BLAST Punk with the chair. The F5 onto the chair finally ends Punk at 25:18.

Rating: A+. I gave this Match of the Year and I’m certainly not changing that now. This was a total war with Punk shocking the heck out of me by taking Lesnar to the limit. If nothing else, this is the textbook example of how to book Lesnar vs. a smaller guy. You even have Punk saving some face by having Heyman interfere so often. It’s an outstanding match and easily holds up four years later.

As I mentioned a few times, Punk was giving the fans just enough hope spots to keep things going. No one was going to buy Punk hanging in a fist fight with him (nor should they have bought it with HHH but that’s a long issue for another time) but they could buy him getting in a few shots here and there and giving it all he had. That’s wrestling storytelling in a nutshell and it was as entertaining as it could have been. If not for Punk vs. Cena in 2011, this would be Punk’s WWE masterpiece.

Punk pulls himself up and gets the hero’s ovation. It’s a shame that he would be gone in four months.

A fan agreed to trade tickets to a house show for three tickets to Summerslam and Summerslam Axxess if he took a splash from Mark Henry. Oh and he gets to sit ringside (meaning in front of the announcers’ tables for the next match). Well gee I wonder if that’s a hard decision.

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

Former partners/couple who split up and absolutely no one is interested here. The guys start things off and it’s an early belly to belly to drop Ziggler. We hit an early abdominal stretch with a stomach claw thrown in as a bonus. Ziggler comes back with a dropkick and the too early to be a hot tag brings in the women. AJ spin kicks Kaitlyn down for two and it’s off to a cravate.

Back to back neckbreakers give AJ….an opportunity to dance around the ring, allowing Kaitlyn to kick her away. The hot tag brings in Dolph for another dropkick and his jumping elbows. Big E. is right back up with a powerbomb backbreaker for two with Kaitlyn making a save. A charge hits post though and Kaitlyn spears AJ in half on the floor. The Big Ending is countered and the Zig Zag gives Dolph the pin at 6:42.

Rating: D+. They didn’t have time to do much here and were in the death spot, which doesn’t work very well when they’re doing a TV match. It’s not terrible or anything and Kaitlyn spearing AJ is always entertaining. They were still getting ready to launch the Women’s Revolution down in NXT so this was about as good as you were going to get from the women at this point. Big E. vs. Ziggler kept going for a good while but never went anywhere, which is why New Day was the best thing that could have happened to Langston.

Fandango interrupts Miz again and finally gets punched out.

The Kickoff Show panel goes over their main event picks and talk about some of the show.

We recap John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan. Daniel had been on the roll of a lifetime and Cena was allowed to pick his challenger for Summerslam. Cena selected Daniel Bryan but Vince McMahon was suddenly against Bryan as the top star. It was clearly Bryan vs. the establishment and as a bonus, HHH will be guest referee for the title match. I’m sure nothing will come of it.

Bryan vs. Cena was built up as a big fight as well with Bryan calling Cena a phony who wasn’t here for the wrestling. Cena said he’s had his share of great matches but he’s had them while holding the WWE World Title. Bryan is the best competition around but the best isn’t going to be good enough.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan

Bryan is challenging, Cena has a baseball sized amount of fluid in his elbow which is going to force him to leave almost immediately after this show, and HHH is guest referee. Cena headlocks him to the mat to start but Bryan armdrags him off. The test of strength drives Bryan down again but Cena can’t break his bridge in an impressive (and surprising) power display. The threat of a YES Lock sends Cena bailing out to the floor and we take a breather.

Back in and Bryan easily takes him down for a surfboard, only to have Cena kick him away without much effort. Cena kicks him into the steps and suplexes him off the steps for good measure. If quiets the YOU CAN’T WRESTLE chants for a few seconds but they’re quickly replaced by the YOU STILL SUCK chants. At least they’re consistent in their hatred. Back in and Cena powers him away again before countering a hurricanrana attempt with a sitout powerbomb.

We hit the chinlock for a bit until Cena powers up and fires off some kicks in the corner. Cena fights up again and tries the finishing sequence, only to have the Shuffle broken up with a kick to the face. The second attempt works a bit better though and is good for two but Bryan kicks him in the eye again. Cena is starting to sport a black eye but Bryan wisely starts going after the arm. A quick STF attempt is countered into an STF from Bryan but Cena makes the ropes.

The AA is countered straight into the YES Lock and Cena is in trouble. He powers out again so Bryan slaps on a guillotine as Cena just can’t shake him off for good. The hold is finally broken and Bryan is a bit surprised, allowing Cena to grab a quick AA for two. Cena heads up but Bryan is right there again with a superplex. Bryan hangs on and pulls himself back up for the Swan Dive and a very near fall.

The suicide dive is blocked with a hard forearm and now the top rope Fameasser is good for two. With a one and one record up top, Cena tries it again, this time loading Bryan up for a super AA. Bryan tries a super hurricanrana to counter but Cena counters into what looked like an attempt at a Styles Clash, only to drop Bryan SQUARE ON HIS HEAD with a scary sounding thud.

The STF goes on but breaks down a bit with Cena winding up on his side, allowing Bryan to flip over into the YES Lock. Cena makes the rope again so Bryan goes back to the strikes with the running corner dropkicks. That’s fine with Cena, who turns Bryan inside out with the hard clothesline. NOW the fans are into both guys and there’s no reason for them to not be.

They slug it out until a double clothesline puts both guys down for another breather. Cena slaps Bryan hard in the face so Bryan does the same right back but Cena powers him up for the AA. That’s countered into a hard DDT though and Cena is in trouble again. One heck of a kick to the head drops Cena and Bryan debuts the running knee for the pin and the title in a shocking finish at 26:55.

Rating: A+. Yeah this worked too. The fact that Bryan pinned him clean was the completely correct call as the win is what matters, not the title itself. Bryan looks like the biggest star in the world now and this is confirmation that WWE sees him as a top name. The fact that it was an outstanding match helps things even better, but that ending is still perfect. Bryan beat Cena down and then hit a finisher to pin him. What else could he possibly ask for? Well, save for what came at Wrestlemania of course but sweet goodness this was outstanding stuff.

Cena stares Bryan down but shakes his hand. Pyro and confetti go off….and here’s Mr. Money in the Bank Randy Orton. Randy holds up the case at ringside so Bryan says bring it. Orton turns around and walks away, leaving HHH (who called the match right down the line and was a complete non-factor) to turn on Bryan and lay him out with the Pedigree.

Raw World Title: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

Faster than I can type Orton is challenging (ok not really), he wins the title at 8 seconds.

The crowd is eerily quiet as HHH hands Orton the title to end the show.

Overall Rating: A-. Everything that needed to be great was WAY beyond great and everything else was as forgettable (and thankfully short) as it needed to be. The whole thing that matters here are two matches combining for over fifty minutes (remember that it’s less than three hours long) and they’re both instant Match of the Year candidates. This show is an absolute classic and well worth checking out for the last great pre-Network shows.

Ratings Comparison

Rob Van Dam vs. Dean Ambrose

Original: B-

2014 Redo: B-

2017 Redo: D+

Bray Wyatt vs. Kane

Original: D+

2014 Redo: D

2017 Redo: F+

Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes

Original: C

2014 Redo: D+

2017 Redo: C+

Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian

Original: B+

2014 Redo: B

2017 Redo: B

Brie Bella vs. Natalya

Original: F

2014 Redo: D-

2017 Redo: D-

Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk

Original: A+

2014 Redo: A+

2017 Redo: A+

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

Original: C-

2014 Redo: D+

2017 Redo: D+

Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena

Original: A+

2014 Redo: A+

2017 Redo: A+

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan

Original: N/A

2014 Redo: N/A

2017 Redo: N/A

Overall Rating

Original: A-

2014 Redo: A

2017 Redo: A-

What is up with that opener? I really liked it that much earlier on?

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

And the 2014 Redo:

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