Tuesday, 16 August 2011

WWE Summerslam on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It was touted as the hottest event of the summer, but did it deliver? That was what I was hoping to watch out by watching WWE’s latest Summerslam, shown live on Sky Box Office in the early hours of this past Monday morning here in Britain.

The show began with six man tag team action as the Miz, R-Truth and Alberto Del Rio faced Kofi Kingston, John Morrison and Rey Mysterio.

This was a pretty entertaining encounter, and a great way to open the show. All six men put in good performances in a match that didn’t really have any stand out performances, although it didn’t really need any.

We had the usual high flying moves from Morrison and Kingston towards the end as they took out Del Rio and Miz before Mysterio took Truth down with the 619 before sealing the deal with the top rope splash. Nice stuff.

Next up we saw Mark Henry taking on Sheamus. Wait a minute? Is the Irishman a beloved baby face now?

No technical classic here. This was basically two big guys beating the hell out of each other. Sheamus did okay to begin with but it wasn’t long before Henry took control, throwing the Irishman around the ring like the proverbial rag doll.

Sheamus eventually came back into the match and took him out with a big kick that sent Henry through the ropes. He then made the mistake of going outside and trying to get Henry back into the ring.

But the strongman had recovered, and after picking Sheamus up and slamming him into the corner post he then slammed him through the ringside barricade. Henry then returned to the ring to take the count out victory. Not bad I suppose.

The first title match of the evening saw Kelly Kelly, accompanied by Eve Torres, defend the Divas title against Beth Phoenix, accompanied by Natalya.

It was nice to see the Divas get more time this month. Kelly looked a little sloppy at the beginning but once Phoenix took control she impressed the hell out of me with her power moves.

The plucky underdog kept fighting back though, and it was this that took her to the title retaining win. As Phoenix went for the glam slam Kelly countered with a roll through to get the winning pin.

Then came the match I really wanted to see, the battle of former Nexus buddies between Wade Barratt and Daniel Bryan.

This was one of those hard fought no nonsense kind of battles you just couldn’t take your eyes off. Barratt and Bryan put on a great match, and in many ways it seemed more like an ROH than a WWE kind of match.

I really can’t speak too highly of this match, it was that good, and after many a hard fought minute Barratt finally put his man away with his wastelands finisher for the winning pin. Great stuff.

The Smackdown main event saw Randy Orton challenging Christian for the World title in a no holds barred match.

After he made his entrance Christian made his big announcement, that none other than Edge would be in his corner for the match. However, Edge had other plans, telling his best friend that he’d become nothing more than a whining bitch. He then left the champion alone in the ring to face his challenger.

Out of all the matches these two have had this may be the best. It was played out perfectly, with Christian thrown off his game at first after Edge’s defection before he came back into the match, frustrated at his inability to put his challenger away.

As for Orton, the viper had a great night, and was at his best towards the end of the match when he brought a ton of toys into the equation, putting Christian through three tables, a DDT onto a rubbish bin, and a DDT onto the ring steps as he came off the top rope for the title winning three count. Two great performances by two great wrestlers.

The Raw main event saw the battle of the WWE Champions as John Cena went up against C.M. Punk, with Triple H as the special referee.

Last month these two delivered one of the matches of the year, and I doubted if they would be able to live up to that encounter. They just about did it.

From start to finish Cena and Punk gave us one of the best matches of the year, a match full of high drama, great tension, and tremendous wrestling action.

As the special referee stood by and with the rabid crowd roaring them on the great sequences came thick and fast, especially the moments where they exchanged various submission holds. Who would have thought that Cena was capable of wrestling like this?

But as the match progressed the action grew ever more intense as the protagonists pulled out all their major moves, the STF, the attitude adjuster, the running knee into the corner, and the GTS, and they still couldn’t put each other away, and when it looked like we could get a double count out Triple H went outside and threw Punk and Cena back into the ring.

With fatigue setting in Punk went for a second GTS, but when he went for the cover Cena put his foot on the bottom rope. However, Triple H failed to see this as he made the three count, giving Punk the win and the title of undisputed WWE Champion.

Cena’s protestations fell on deaf ears before he left the champion in the ring to celebrate, and after Punk’s refused Triple H’s handshake the special referee raised his hand in victory.

The drama wasn’t over there though. As Triple H walked up the aisle and Punk continued his celebrations in the ring none other than Kevin Nash appeared from out of nowhere and power bombed Punk before making his escape through the crowd.

As Triple H returned to ringside to see what was happening it was then that Alberto Del Rio, Money in the Bank briefcase in hand and referee in tow, came down to the ring to cash in his title shot. As Punk struggled to get to his knees Del Rio took him out with an enziguri, and a three count later we had a third WWE Champion in one night, the show closing in the most dramatic of circumstances.

In conclusion - the second biggest show on WWE’s calendar certainly turned out to be one of the most dramatic.

The show started out well and built up nicely towards the main events, and while Orton and Christian delivered big time Punk and Cena went one better as they picked up where they’d left off four weeks ago, with the appearance of Kevin Nash and Del Rio cashing in his title shot cranking up the drama content even further.

So in all this year’s edition of Summerslam gets the big thumbs up from me. While TNA continue to give us rather tepid pay per view offerings WWE are getting everything just right at the moment.