Thursday, 19 August 2010

WWE Summerslam on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It was billed as the biggest show of the summer, but was it actually any good? That’s what I’m attempting to find out as I take a look at WWE’s Summerslam, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Box Office here in Britain.

Championship action began the show as Kofi Kingston challenged Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental title. Ziggler had his new girlfriend Vickie Guerrero along for company on this one.

This was a very entertaining opener, a good way of getting the show started. Both guys were able to pull out off of their big moves, with Ziggler looking like he was going to get the win with a sleeper hold until Nexus stormed the ring and attacked both men.

Two questions. Was this attack really needed? And why has Ziggler’s taste in women gone so downhill? From Maria Kanellis to Vickie Guerrero?

The championship action continued as the returning Melina challenged Alicia Fox for the Divas title.

These girls certainly weren’t used as filler material this month. Another quick match saw plenty of action, with both Divas giving a good account for themselves until Melina took the title after what can only be described as a snap mare/face buster combo.

Melina’s special moment was spoiled however when LayCool came down to the ring for an impromptu attack. Looks like they could be unifying these titles next then.

Then it was on to 3-on-1 action as the Straight Edge Society took on the Big Show.

A very interesting match here, with Punk once again playing the part of the cowardly cult leader to perfection, sending his troops into battle as he watched from the ring apron.

Punk eventually went into action as all three SES members teamed-up to take the Big Show down, before the big guy fought back, with Punk abandoning his men as Show choke slammed Joey Mercury onto Luke Gallows to claim the win. Me thinks that this feud is far from over.

The main event action began with Randy Orton challenging Sheamus for the WWE title.

The slow methodical approach was the order of the day in this match as these two old rivals knocked seven bells out of each other, with the Irishman growing more and more frustrated as the match went on, frustrated at his inability to put the Viper away.

Eventually those frustrations got the better of him. Sheamus took a steel chair into the ring, and the ensuing struggle with the referee over the weapon earned him the disqualification.

Of course, Orton didn’t win the title because of the DQ, and he ended up taking Sheamus down with the RKO on the announcers table. An entertaining encounter, and certainly better than Orton’s previous title encounters against John Cena a while back.

Then it was on to the David versus Goliath battle as Rey Mysterio challenged Kane for the World title, with the Big Red Machine pushing a coffin as he made his way to the ring.

I really didn’t hold out much hope for this match, but these two proved to be good foils for each other as one again Mysterio played the part of the plucky underdog to perfection as he constantly frustrated Kane with his fast-paced offence.

But eventually the power of the champion was too much for the challenger, who took the win after a choke slam.

Kane then promised to make Mysterio pay for his supposed attack on his brother, taking him down with two more choke slams and a tombstone pile driver. But then as he was about to put Mysterio into the coffin none other than the Undertaker emerged from the mysterious symbol of death.

The Dead Man questioned Mysterio as he slumped in the corner, before the mystery was finally solved when the Undertaker tried to attack Kane, only to find himself on the end of another tombstone. Well, we never saw that one coming, did we kiddies?

Finally there was the big seven-a-side elimination match, with the Nexus taking on Team WWE.

And right at the beginning came the big surprise. It wasn’t the Miz who replaced the Great Khali on John Cena’s team. It was none other than the Dragon from America, Daniel Bryan.

This was certainly the most dramatic encounter of the evening, evoking memories of the big elimination matches during the Invasion angle of 2001.

The inclusion of Bryan certainly added a great deal to this match, especially when he took out Darren Young with the cross face in under a minute.

From there the action came thick and fast. The Nexus rookies were allowed to look like equals against their more illustrious counterparts, and that was another factor that made this match enjoyable.

As for Team WWE, they played their part well. Bret Hart looked as good as anyone, even though he couldn’t take a bump for obvious reasons, and the dissention caused by Edge and Chris Jericho was played out well, as was the Miz’s interference.

But in the end Team WWE emerged victorious, as last man John Cena pinned Justin Gabriel after he missed his 450 splash, before taking out Wade Barrett with the STF.

In conclusion - once again I’m going to go against the grain.

Although some of the non-wrestling stuff wasn’t exactly to my liking, overall I enjoyed Summerslam. The in-ring action was solid and, at times, very dramatic, and the return of Daniel Bryan was a nice touch, although we’ll have to put up for years with people complaining about how the WWE apparently worked us when he was fired. To that I would say this - who cares! It’s great to see Bryan on the big stage, and he deserves to be there.

So with that, Summerslam gets my thumbs up, for being as enjoyable as most of the other big shows that WWE have put on this year.

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