Tuesday, 21 August 2012

WWE Summerslam on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It was billed as the hottest event of the summer, and C.M. Punk still couldn’t get to the top of the card as Brock Lesnar faced Triple H in the main event of Summerslam, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Box Office here in Britain.

The show began with Dolph Ziggler, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, taking on Chris Jericho.

Now this was good. Jericho came into this one with his ribs taped up, and as we all know that’s as good as putting a bullseye target onto a body part.

Ziggler targeted the ribs time and time again, but no matter what he did he couldn’t put Jericho away. Old Y2J kept coming back, and pulled off some big moves in the process, particularly his top rope hurricanrana.

With Mrs. Guerrero screaming at her man from ringside Ziggler came close to getting the three count so many times, but when he took his man down with his Zig Zag finisher he still couldn’t get the job done.

Moments later Jericho took Ziggler down with his Code Breaker. Ziggler rolled out of the ring though, so Jericho had to go out and get him. It was then that Vickie grabbed Jericho’s leg and stopped him from getting back in, giving Ziggler the chance to score with a roll-up. Still no pin though.

It wasn’t long before Jericho fought back, and after Ziggler rammed his own shoulder into the ring post Y2J turned back the years and applied the Walls of Jericho, with Ziggler quickly tapping out to give him the submission win.

The man versus monster battle of the evening saw Daniel Bryan going up against Kane.

This may not have lasted that long but what we saw certainly delivered.

The Big Red Machine dominated large portions of this bout, using his size and strength advantage to good effect. Bryan got in some good shots as well, taking Kane down with his stiff kicks while belting out his new catchphrase.

Bryan almost got Kane disqualified at one point after slapping him. This strike enraged the monster as he attacked Bryan in the corner, with the masked man refusing to break off his attack until the referee threatened to thrown him out of the match. Maybe Kane should have reminded him that he had until five to break off his attack.

Bryan quickly made his comeback, but when he came off the top rope for a flying head butt the probe Kane grabbed him around the throat, got to his feet and took him down with a choke slam.

Kane then signalled for the Tombstone, but as he lifted him up Bryan began to squirm before countering with a roll-up for the winning pin.

Kane was none too happy with the result and went on a bit of a rampage backstage, even throwing around Josh Matthews when he tried to interview him.

The title match action began with Rey Mysterio challenging the Miz for the Intercontinental title.

This proved to be another good encounter. Mysterio looked like he was back to his best after his lengthy lay-off, while Miz’s own time away seems to have reinvigorated him.

We saw some great sequences throughout, with Rey pulling off some nice high flying moves, and Miz putting in his usual solid performance.

Both guys came close to getting the win, and it looked like we were going to get a title change when Mysterio connected with the 619. But like Daniel Bryan before him he missed the top rope attack, although he had another chance seconds later with a roll-up.

But in the end the tick in the win column went to the champion. After throwing Mysterio over him with the high flyer hitting his head on the top turnbuckle Miz took the winning pin after taking his challenger down with the Skull Crushing Finale.

The Smackdown main event saw Alberto Del Rio, accompanied by Ricardo Rodriguez, challenging Sheamus for the World title.

This mainly brawling affair is another of those encounters that goes into the highly entertaining section. In between the occasional wrestling holds these two did a good job of punching, kicking and stomping each other.

Del Rio eventually targeted the big Irishman’s arm in preparation for his cross arm breaker, but when he applied the hold Sheamus showed just how strong he was by lifting Del Rio and slamming his way out.

Del Rio was soon back on the attack though, and after dropping Sheamus head first onto an exposed turnbuckle he connected with his always awesome looking head kick. It still wasn’t enough to put Sheamus away, and the Mexican began to take it out on his buddy at ringside as he dragged Rodriguez into the ring.

But as the referee was trying to usher him away he tossed one of his shoes into the air. After Del Rio failed to catch it it landed in the hands of Sheamus, who used it to clobber his challenger. An Irish Curse backbreaker later and Sheamus took the winning pin.

One slight problem though. As the referee made his count Del Rio put his foot on the bottom rope. The referee refused to listen to the protests, and his decision stood, leaving the challenger rather annoyed to say the least.

The only tag team match of the show saw the Prime Time Players, Titus O’Neil and Darren Young, challenging R-Truth and Kofi Kingston for the Tag Team titles.

It seems like an age since we’ve seen these titles defended on pay per view, and this was a pretty sweet encounter. The PTPs put on a good showing here, doubling up to good effect as they used Kingston as their own personal crash test dummy.

We soon saw the inevitable four way action, with Kingston showing what a great high flyer he is with his dive onto O’Neil on the outside before Truth took the win for his team with his face plant move on Young for the pin.

The Raw main event saw John Cena and the Big Show challenging C.M. Punk for the WWE title in a triple threat match.

This pretty much turned out how I thought it would. Big Show dominated the majority of the match with his power, throwing Punk and Cena around the ring as if they were cuddly toys.

It was a good performance from the big man as the champion and the other challenger tried everything to take him down, failing miserably the majority of the time. Their brief moments of offence looked good, but they didn’t keep Show down for long.

But when Punk began to connect with a series of running knee strikes Show finally began to tumble. It gave the champion the chance to apply his vice-like hold in the hope that he’d be able to put him away at the second time of asking.

Cena then joined in, seeing his chance to take the gold by applying the STF at the same time. Show had no choice but to tap out, bringing an end to the match, or so we thought.

As Both Cena and Punk argued their case for the winner’s spot our esteemed general manager A.J. Lee came skipping down to the ring, and after much deliberation she ordered a re-start.

Show quickly took control again, taking both Punk and Cena out with a double choke slam, but moments later Cena took the big man down with the Attitude Adjuster. Punk saw his chance and threw Cena out of the ring so he could capitalize on Cena’s work by taking the pin himself, retaining the title as a dejected Cena went back up the ramp.

The main event saw Brock Lesnar, accompanied by Paul Heyman, going up against Triple H.

Earlier in the evening Triple H told the referee that he didn’t want this match to end with a count out or disqualification. He wanted this one to be a fight.

Well, a fight was what he wanted, and a fight was what he got. And it was a damn good one at that.

Lesnar dominated from the start, bullying Triple H around the ring, looking for the kimura that he knew could end the match at any time. The Game tried to fight back, but Lesnar kept on coming forward time and time again.

It may not have been pretty but it made for compelling viewing. Lesnar looked absolutely brutal as he tried to take his boss apart, always attacking the Game’s arm, looking for the moment when he could snap it like a twig.

Triple H was having none of it though, and with the fight spilling to the outside on more than one occasion he eventually found a weak point on his opponent after ramming Lesnar stomach-first onto the corner of the announcer’s table.

Like an animal with the scent for blood Triple H began to attack Lesnar’s mid-section, delivering knee and after knee after knee, but when he took him down with the Pedigree Lesnar kicked out of the pin.

It wasn’t long before Lesnar finally managed to apply the kimura as Triple H fought it for as long as he could before finally breaking free. The big man soon went on to take his foe down with his F5 finisher, only for the Game to kick out of the pin.

Eventually Triple H took Lesnar down with another Pedigree, but from out of nowhere the Pain applied another kimura. It felt like Lesnar had the hold synched in for an eternity before Triple H succumbed to the inevitable as he frantically tapped out when his arm appeared to break.

As Lesnar celebrated his win the fallen Triple H refused the medical attention that was offered as he eventually made his way back up the ramp to the cheers of the crowd, with some wondering if this was the last call for the Game.

In conclusion - they’ve certainly done it again, haven’t they?

This year’s Summerslam was a tremendous show. From top to bottom the action delivered big time, and then some as everyone involved put in stellar performances.

It was great to see all the talent pulling together to put on a show as good as this, my only disappointment was that we didn’t see Antonio Cesaro taking the United States title from the ever-annoying Santino Marella on the main show.

As for my match of the night, well, there could only be one choice really. The Brock Lesnar/Triple H battle, and it was a battle, was a great piece of storytelling. I remember thinking that it would have been good to see this match 10 years ago, but I don’t think it would have been anywhere near as good as this.

So with that being said it’s time to end this thing in the usual manner by giving Summerslam the big thumbs up.

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