Monday, August 20, 2012

SummerSlam: Live Thoughts

CM Punk vs. Big Show vs. John Cena
SummerSlam 2012
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents (Chad Smart)
By Chad Smart
@chadsmart & @my123cents on Twitter

SummerSlam has been held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the last four years. Even though I’ve lived in LA for the last five years, I had never gone and watched SummerSlam in person. Honestly, none of the last four line ups had been that impressive in my opinion, and had it not been for the fact I had friends coming into town from Australia who wanted to go, I probably would have skipped this year’s show as well.

On paper none of the top three matches interested me. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio is a match I’d hoped to never see again. CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show is a mash up of CM Punk’s last two SummerSlams and I don’t care to see John Cena in the title hunt while Big Show keeps claiming to be indestructible while constantly getting beat. Then you had Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in the battle of the part-timers. Not a fan of either guy so that match held little interest. However, since I’d never been to a SummerSlam, I went in hoping my low expectations would make for an enjoyable show.

Brock stalks Triple H
SummerSlam 2012
Photo by My1-2-3 Cents (Chad Smart)
Since I didn’t expect much from the show, I think the show exceeded my expectations. Maybe it helped that I was busy trying to keep up with live Tweeting, responding to text messages and taking photos. Being preoccupied helped me to not concentrate that deeply on what was actually happening. Outside of the HHH/Lesnar match, there wasn’t any match I was bored watching. Though, when the main event is the worst match on the show, that doesn’t help in sending the crowd home happy.

There really wasn’t a bad match on the show and I think a lot of the younger/newer talent shows potential. What’s holding WWE back right now is the booking of the talent and seemingly refusal to try something new. That and the continual use of putting a non-title match in the main event slot of the show.

Double submission
SummerSlam 2012
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents (Chad Smart)
Coming out of SummerSlam, it looks like we’re going to see a lot of continued storylines. Kane was seeking Daniel Bryan in the backstage area after being defeated so that feud will most likely continue. Alberto Del Rio’s foot was on the rope when he was pinned by Sheamus which means Del Rio has a legitimate reason for demanding a rematch. CM Punk and John Cena both had submission moves locked on Big Show when he tapped, then Cena gave Show the Attitude Adjustment after the match had been restarted. CM Punk tossed Cena out of the ring and stole the pin to retain the WWE title. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Cena will come out on Raw and claim he should be champ and a one on one match will be scheduled for Night of Champions between Punk and Cena. The one saving grace is that since the next PPV features all the championships on the line, there’s a 99% chance either the WWE or World Title match will finally be in the main event on a 2012 Pay Per View.

Triple H had his arm re-injured. This should lead to him taking time off while Brock Lesnar goes back on hiatus. If this is the case, then nothing like having the two guys who were in the main event of your biggest show of the summer being off television for the next few months. That would beg the question why they were in the main event if there isn’t going to be any follow up. Though I may be getting ahead of myself.

Dolph taps...
SummerSlam 2012
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents (Chad Smart)
Dolph Ziggler holds a Money In the Bank briefcase. Instead of building him up as a potential threat to the World Champion, he seems to be on the Daniel Bryan MITB track of losing before cashing in the briefcase. How this is supposed to make him a possible credible title contender, I have no idea.

Will WWE ever realize fans go to the show to see wrestling? Fans don’t want to see a mini-concert. Especially if the artist is someone that isn’t popular the fans aren’t going to be receptive. The Kevin Rudolf performance killed what little energy the fans had generated. Sure it was a simple way to get all the Divas on the show but a Lumberjill match would have accomplished the same and gotten a little bit of a better reaction.

New U.S. champion Antonio Cesaro
SummerSlam 2012
Photo by My 1-2-3 Cents (Chad Smart)
Overall, I’m glad I attended SummerSlam even if I didn’t walk out overly optimistic about the future of WWE programming. It also probably says a lot when the personal highlight was seeing David Arquette in the audience.

What did you think of SummerSlam and the possible direction WWE is heading? Share your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

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