Written by: Samoa Rowe
-From Los Angeles, CA. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho’s ribs are bandaged from a previous attack. Ziggler plays chicken, forcing Jericho to chase him. Despite Jericho’s injury, Ziggler is hapless against the veteran. Ziggler rebounds by targeting the injured ribs. Jericho absorbs some punishment and back drops Ziggler over the ropes. Jericho misses his signature drop-kick to the apron, allowing Ziggler to retake control. Ziggler gets a bit overzealous, and Jericho comes back with some basic offense. Dolph plants Jericho for a 2 count. Enziguri by Jericho also gets a 2 count. Ziggler locks on a sleeper and Jericho struggles to counter. Jericho pummels Dolph on the ropes and delivers a hurricanrana! Jericho is slow to cover and only gets a near fall. Ziggler explodes into a DDT for another 2 count. Running bulldog by Jericho but the Lionsault is blocked. Jericho kicks out after a Zig Zag! Codebreaker, but Ziggler rolls out of the ring. Vickie grabs Jericho’s leg, allowing Ziggler to gain a roll-up for a painfully close near fall. Jericho bounces Ziggler into the turnbuckles and applies the Walls! Ziggler taps at 13:01. This was a great way to start the show, ***½.
Winner: Chris Jericho
-Matt Striker interviews Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar backstage. Heyman is upset that Triple H used his influence to get the referee for their match to agree to make it no DQ’s. He might have a point. Lesnar says this is a fight that Triple H cannot win. Heyman has two words for Triple H: tap out. We end this with Brock smiling as only Brock can.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
There is bad blood here stemming from when both men were smitten by AJ. Bryan lets himself get distracted by all the “Yes” chants, which could cost him here. Bryan is quick but still gets caught in a power slam. Bryan counters but runs into a big boot. Bryan drop-kicks Kane’s shin and delivers a series of shots. Bryan rolls with a suicide dive. Missile drop-kick by Bryan but Kane kicks out right away. Kane absorbs some kicks and comes back with his bag of tricks. Daniel blocks a choke slam but runs into an uppercut. Bryan resorts to slapping the face, which only angers the Big Red Machine. Kane blocks the No Lock and Bryan’s anger threatens to cost him the match. Kane counters the flying head butt with a choke slam! Bryan counters a Tombstone with a roll-up for the win at 7:59! Highly entertaining match here, but it ended right as it was really starting to roll, **½.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
-Kane throws a temper tantrum backstage. Josh Mathews thinks now is a good time for an interview and gets thrown onto equipment for his trouble.
The Miz © vs. Rey Mysterio
Mysterio has just returned from a year on the shelf and is reestablishing himself. Miz is also trying to recover from being jobbed out pretty horribly earlier in the year. It’s almost all Miz on offense early in the match. Rey tries to outsmart Miz and gets dropped on the barricade in nasty fashion. Cue the chinlock! Rey reverses and nails some kicks. Miz comes back with a backbreaker and continues to exploit the injury. Miz celebrates his own awesomeness and still manages to connect with a clothesline. Miz gets knocked off the ropes, allowing Mysterio to tease a comeback. Miz cuts it off, power bombing Mysterio off the ropes. Rey comes back with a hard kick to the head for a 2 count. Tornado DDT by Rey is good for another near fall. Mysterio nails a hurricanrana to set up 619! Rey’s splash misses but he counters with a pinning predicament for an extremely close near fall. The Skull Crushing Finale ends it at 9:05. Perfectly good mid-card outing here that made Miz look credible (for once) **½.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
-Eve and Teddy Long leave AJ’s office. Long gushes over how great AJ is and Eve pretends to agree. They leave and CM Punk shows up. AJ is all smiles, which seems to catch Punk off guard. Punk complains that it’s unfair that he’s in a match where he could lose his title without being beaten. AJ cocks her head and gives him the silent treatment. Punk accuses AJ of disrespecting him, just like everyone else, so he’s going to force her to show some respect by winning his match. AJ is still funny.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Sheamus © vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
This Sheamus/Del Rio feud is becoming the 2012 version of the Smackdown title feud that just won’t die (see Orton/Christian in 2011, Undertaker/Batista in 2007, etc). Sheamus controls the early going and they brawl to the ringside area. Del Rio catches Sheamus on his way back to the ring but eats a neck breaker. Rolling Senton by Sheamus gets 2. Del Rio blocks the Celtic Cross and an Electric Chair. Sheamus blocks the Armbreaker but gets hung up on the ropes with a missed Brogue Kick. Del Rio drop-kicks the knees and takes control. Del Rio spends too much time mocking Sheamus and allows a brief comeback. Del Rio trips Sheamus on the ropes and delivers hard knees to the injured arm. Del Rio applies the Cross Armbreaker and it takes everything in Sheamus to counter. White Noise by Sheamus gets only 2. Sheamus clubs the chest but Del Rio counters on the turnbuckle. Enziguri by Del Rio gets a close 2 count! Rodriguez throws a shoe to Del Rio, but Sheamus catches and uses it. Brogue Kick and Sheamus makes the cover for the win at 11:15. Del Rio’s foot was under the ropes, but the ref missed it, thus guaranteeing that these two will meet again. Another month, another Del Rio/Sheamus match, but this one was lively and heated, ***.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: Sheamus
-Del Rio argues with the referee but the decision stands.
WWE Tag Team Championship:
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth © vs. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young
Truth and Young start things off and Truth quickly gains control. Young backs Truth in a turnbuckle and O’Neil tags. O’Neil barks as he dominates Truth. Kofi enters with a springboard and overwhelms O’Neil with his controlled chaos. Young distracts, allowing O’Neil to deliver a hard clothesline. The Primetime Players isolate Kingston for an extended beating. Truth gets the hot tag and cleans house. O’Neil prevents a cover so Kofi dispatches him with a flying cross body to ringside. Young rolls Truth up for a close 2 count. Truth plants Young for the win at 7:04. This was tag team wrestling 101, **.
Winners and still WWE Tag Team Champions: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth
CM Punk © vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
Michael Cole is suddenly obsessed with statistics regarding the history of the WWE title, pointing out how long Punk’s reign has been. I welcome this change. Big Show immediately starts dominating as the bell rings. Cena and Punk are forced to work together but Show counters a double suplex. Punk has better luck with a drop-kick to Show’s knee. Punk is unable to lift Show for the GTS but Cena succeeds in setting up an Attitude Adjustment, but Punk prevents the move. Show resumes his dominance for a while. Punk dodges a Vader Bomb, but Cena takes the punishment. Show clears the ring and goes after Cena. Punk’s suicide dive is countered with a choke slam into the apron. Cena and Show battle it out in the ring, with Show retaining control. Punk hangs Show on the ropes, allowing a side suplex from Cena. Punk prevents a Five Knuckle Shuffle and nails a flying elbow on Big Show. Show is vulnerable after escaping a Punk submission and gets caught in Cena’s STF. Show counters and plants Cena with a power slam. Punk connects with some high impact attacks on Show, but the bulldog is blocked. Flying leg drop by Cena puts Show down. Punk and Cena both applies submission holds and Show submits at 11:25! AJ shows up and orders the match to continue (with Big Show, for some reason). Big Show nails a double choke slam but can’t pin either man. Cena nails the Attitude Adjustment on Show, but Punk steals the pinfall at 14:24. I’ll give this points for breaking from the usual triple threat formula, but the action was pretty par for the course, **½.
Winner and still WWE Champion: CM Punk
-We’re treated to footage from the Youtube pre-show, that featured Antonio Cesaro winning the U.S. title from Santino Marella. Once again, I must complain that the Youtube match wasn’t included as a DVD extra.
-Kevin Rudolf plays the Summerslam theme song. I would have preferred a U.S. title match. NEXT!
Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) vs. Triple H
Lesnar immediately scoops Triple H and thrusts him into the turnbuckles. Triple H blocks the Kimura but can’t get out of the corner. HHH struggles, but dumps Lesnar to ringside. Lesnar storms back in and takes a high knee. Triple H clotheslines Lesnar over the ropes yet again. Lesnar takes off his gloves and delivers a hard blow to the back of the head. Lesnar twists HHH’s arm around his back and slams him on the announce table. Triple H struggles to the ring, where Lesnar continues to target the previously broken arm. Triple H comes back with a DDT but Lesnar goes right back after the arm. Lesnar tips the announce table and jumps off it with a clubbing shot to the head. Back to the ring, Triple H desperately counters a suplex. The Pedigree is blocked and Triple H is sent crashing to ringside. HHH pushes Lesnar gut-first into the announce table, and Lesnar sells the hell out of it (due to his history of stomach problems). Triple H continues targeting the midsection and finally mounts some offense. Triple H fights his way into hitting a Pedigree for a near fall. Lesnar responds with a low blow, knowing he can’t be disqualified. F-5 by Lesnar, but Triple H kicks out. Another Pedigree by Triple H but Lesnar counters the cover with the Kimura Lock. Triple H taps out 18:41. This started hot, became really meandering and dull, and ended hot after some nice false finishes. It evens out to a *** match, which has to be considered a disappointment due to the massive expectations.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
-Triple H remains in the ring to fish for a standing ovation. Instead, he gets a “You tapped out” chant. He gets a nice applause but you can definitely hear some jeers among the fans.
Final Thoughts: There were no bad matches, but there weren’t any great ones either. I doubt too many pay-per-view buyers were happy to have spent $55 for this in HD, but this is worth the $15 to see it on DVD. I’ll go with a mild thumb’s up.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.