Join us here on Ring-Rap.com for tonight's live coverage of SummerSlam, from Los Angeles, CA. This is the third of four big events for the WWE calendar. On paper, looks like it will be a strong event and the card is as follows:
- Pre-Show: Santino Marella (c) vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana); WWE US Championship
- Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c) vs. Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neil); WWE Tag Team Championship
- The Miz (c) vs. Rey Mysterio; WWE Intercontinental Championship
- Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guererro) vs. Chris Jericho
- Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodruigez); WWE World Heavyweight Championship
- Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
- CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena vs. Big Show; WWE Championship, fought under triple threat rules
- Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
Coverage kicks off with the pre-show, starting in minutes. Check back for updates throughout the night.
Scott Standford and Matt Stryker are our announcers for the pre-show and they introduce us as a camera gives a nice shot entering the arena bowl. They sell the rest of the pay per view event and tell us the US Championship will be decided soon. Stanford and Stryker run through the pay per view card.
They go to video package that highlights the CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show match coming up tonight.
Josh Matthews interviews Big Show. Show says he will crush John Cena and CM Punk to become the new WWE Champion.
Match #1 - Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana); WWE US Championship
Before we get started, Cesaro says "greatness" in several different languages and kisses Aksana. Stanford points out that Marella is all business prior to this one.
Striker talks about how loaded the SummerSlam card is and that it pushed the US Championship to free preview. Santino does a lot of selling for Cesaro's offense in the early going. Marella tries to get to the corner and get the Cobra, but Cesaro cuts him off.
Cesaro destroys the Cobra sock, which infuriates Marella. He goes on offense, then pulls a second Cobra from his singlet. Aksana runs a distraction and flirts with Marella, giving Cesaro the opening to hit the Neutralizer to get the win.
Winner - Antonio Cesaro to become the new WWE US Champion
A nice start to the show. Thankfully they got the belt off of Marella - his run has been totally unnecessary as he doesn't need the US championship to be over.
Triple H is with official Scott Armstrong. Trips says this is the biggest match Scott has ever officiated. Trips tells him there will not be DQ's or count-outs, and that this ends when someone gets pinned or taps out. He asks Armstrong if he understands, and Scott nods. Trips calls the match a "fight to the finish" and says "let's fight."
Good segment that really needed to happen on Raw. The promise of a pin/submission finish over a flukey DQ or countout might have sold some pay per views.
The announcers check back in and run through the card. They show some fan touts about the Triple H/Lesnar match then recap that feud in video to close out the pre-show.
25th Anniversary of WWE Summerslam
They open with a video package focused on Brock vs. Triple H, calling it "The perfect Storm". A narrator welcomes us to the 25th anniversary of SummerSlam.
Cole introduces the show and hypes up the attendance figure of about 17,480. Lawler checks in on commentary and the two talk about the beginning of SummerSlam, which featured The Mega Powers vs. The Mega Bucks.
Vickie Guererro cuts them off and does her "Excuse me" thing, and introduces Dolph Ziggler for the first match of the night.
Match #1 - Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guererro) vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho's ribs are taped. They show footage of Dolph's attack on Jericho during Smackdown. Jericho sells the rib injuries early. Ziggler has a neat show-off moment where he puts his foot on a downed Jericho, flexes and yells "Come on babayy!" just like Jericho would.
Ziggler hits the Fameasser for a two count. The fans are split, with Y2J chants having a slight edge. Ziggler keeps up the offense and locks on a sleeper hold. Jericho hits a hurricanrana from the top rope, but eats a big DDT from Ziggler a bit later.
We get a tease finish when Vickie gets involved about 13 minutes in. Her sticking her nose int he match lets Ziggler catch Jericho with an inside cradle. Jericho comes right back and locks the Liontamer on Ziggler to get the submission win.
Winner - Chris Jericho
The announcers blew the finish call by calling Jericho's hold the Walls, but if you've followed his career you know that hold was the Liontamer instead. Guessing now that Ziggler cashes in on Sheamus and gets a measure of revenge on Jericho somehow by the time Raw is over tomorrow night.
The announcers recap what happened between Brock Lesnar and Shawn Michaels last Monday on Raw. They say HBK will not be at SummerSlam. They show a tweet from Michaels saying that he knows Trips' pre-match routine and he won't have a problem getting psyched up.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are interviewed. Heyman tells us he has two words for Hunter - Tap. Out.
Match #2 - Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
The two men work some decent back and forth action. Bryan goes up top and tries for a top rope headbutt. Kane is able to grab him by the throat ont he way down. Kane stands up and hits a choke slam, then tries the Tombstone piledriver. Bryan is able to slip out and roll Kane up in a small package to get the win.
Winner - Daniel Bryan
That was alright. Bryan gets the win, Kane doesn't lose much in losing because he's Kane.
Bryan runs away to the backstage area and Kane is furious. He throws a hissy fit backstage and Josh Matthews appears to interview him, or at least try. Kane grabs him by the throat and demands to know where Bryan is. Matthews says he left. Kane throws Matthews aside and goes on with his fit.
Match #3 - The Miz (c) vs. Rey Mysterio; WWE Intercontinental Championship
Lawler points out Cole's fanboy feelings for Miz. Cole flatly responds "I enjoy The Miz". Seems he's toning things down a bit.
Miz gets the better of the early going, and plays to the fans for heat. Mysterio gets a brief comeback in, but Miz hits a cool-looking Slingshot Powerbomb to stop that. Cole points out that Miz learned some new moves while he was away filming his movie.
Mysterio battles back and hits the 619. He tries to follow with a springboard splash but Miz moves out of the way. Miz tries a go behind that Mysterio counters with roll-up for a nice near fall. Miz comes back with the Skull Crushing Finale to pick up the win.
Winner - The Miz to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship
A good mid-card title match that the fans got into as it progressed. They were quiet in the early going.
Teddy Long and Eve are standing outside of AJ's office. Long tells Eve that the Raw wrestlers love her, and Eve agrees. CM Punk shows up and that pair leaves.
Punk goes into AJ's office and complains about the triple threat match. He says he doesn't want to be in a match where he could lose the title without being pinned. AJ just ignores him and looks straight ahead. Punk tells her she's disrespecting him, but she will be forced to respect him when he retains the title later tonight.
They set up the Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus match with a video package.
Match #4 - Sheamus (c) vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodruigez); WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Del Rio does his car entrance with a Ferrari. The announcers tell us Sheamus isn't 100 percent after the beating he got from the "police" on Smackdown this past Friday. The match is tough early on and Cole sells it as "we told you this was going to be physical."
Del Rio uses the cross arm breaker, which got a rise out of the fans. Sheamus drives himself up to his feet and slams Del Rio to the mat, which gets a pop. Sheamus comes back with White Noise to get a two count, then traps Del Rio in the ropes and does the ten shots to the chest while the fans count along.
Del Rio hits his running ensugiri to get a good near fall. Ricardo interjects, trying to throw his shoe to Del Rio. Sheamus picks off the pass though and hits Del Rio with it instead. Sheamus follows with the Irish Curse backbreaker and covers. Del Rio puts his foot on the rope, but the official counted three anyhow to end it.
Winner - Sheamus to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
Del Rio throws a fit in the ring as Sheamus leaves. Cole admits Del Rio has a beef while King says bad things happen to bad people. Cole keeps complaining about the finish as Sheamus plays to the fans from the stage.
Just...wow. That was a lousy, screwed up finish. Surprising we didn't see Dolph try to cash in given the way that ended. Bad ending to an otherwise decent match.
Cole points out an ongoing Twitter war between Mike Tyson and CNN broadcaster Piers Morgan over who would win between Triple H and Brock Lesnar. They recap footage of Trips' talk with offical Scott Armstrong earlier, and Cole shares a tweet from Shawn Michaels, saying he hopes bad things happen to bad people.
Match #5 - Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c) vs. Prime Time Players; WWE Tag Team Championship
We get a "Kobe Bryant" chant going. Funny. Truth hits some offense on Darren Young and shakes his junk at him. Titus and Kingston get the tags, and Titus hits Kofi "down low" inadvertently. Kingston bounces back and hits a big dive from the top rope on him.
In the end, Truth hits his finisher on Darren Young for the clean win.
Winners - Kofi and R-Truth to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
I like Kingston and Truth and think they work the crowd well. But this match was terrible and could have just as easily been on a B-show like Superstars. I really want them to move the straps onto someone else, mainly to move Kofi on to bigger things, but if they're going to stay with this arrangement, Kingston and Truth need better opposition.
SummerSlam Pre-Event Video:
They show various WWE talent appearing at a LA children's hospital, then shift to a pre-party event showing celebrities along with Steve Austin, Joe Buck, Pauly D, Piers Morgan, and others mingling with WWE talent. They also cover a BA Star event and the Fan Axxess programs.
They shift gears to a video package to set up the WWE Championship match.
Match #6 - CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena vs. Big Show; WWE Championship fought under triple threat rules
Cole tells us the last time Punk main evented a pay per view was December, 2011 despite the fact he is WWE Champion. Punk is in pink tonight. Show controls the offense in the early going, teasing the WMD Punch on Punk. Cena cuts him off but gets speared for his troubles. Show picks up a two count.
A bit later, Cena sets up the Five Knuckle, but Punk cuts him off. Punk mocks the "you can't see me" hand wave and follows with a top rope elbow drop. The fans that are solidly behind Punk are louder than the pro-Cena fans. Cena locks on the STF about 10 minutes in, but Show stands up to break it.
Later, Punk hits three running knees in the corner then tries to follow with the bulldog but Show is just too strong still. Cena hits his top rope leg drop on Show's head, and Punk locks his submission hold on Show. Cena locks on the STF also. Show taps and the bell rings. The official doesn't declare a winner though, which angers Cena and Punk and they argue. Cue AJ's music.
AJ listens to both men make their case, but she directs the match be restarted. Both Cena and Punk don't like this but the bell rings.
Show hits them both with a double chokeslam and covers both men in sequence, getting two counts each time. Show calls for the WMD, but misses when Cena ducks. Cena hits the AA, but Punk throws Cena to the floor and covers Show for the win.
Winner - CM Punk to retain the WWE Championship
The right guy won here, and the match told a logical story. They kept Cena and Punk apart for the most part so I presume Night of Champions will be their next, and direct, encounter. This isn't something people will be talking about in a week though.
They show celebrities in the crowd at the event, like Rick Rubin, David Arquette (who is holding a World Heavyweight Championship - irony?) Maria Menounos, Piers Morgan, and Fred Durst, who salutes the camera with 'the finger'. They show a trailer for the WWE Studios film "The Day".
Lilian Garcia introduces Kevin Rudolph, who gets zero reaction. He does his thing on the stage and cameras show people dancing or showing any sort of enthusiasm - including Lilian and Justin Roberts. The Divas join this, and Michael Cole does a goofy dance at ringside. Even the Spanish announce team hams it up.
Just...wow. Screw that segment. The fans didn't like it, I know I hated it. Hunter vs. Lesnar better be one hell of a match to clear that bad taste from my mouth. One of the rare times I wished for a random Ryback squash.
They go back to ringside and Cole tells us there's a tornado warning courtesy of Lesnar's F5. They roll another video package to set up the main event.
Match #7 - Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Triple H
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come to the ring. Lawler notes Lesnar doesn't seem to have the same intensity he normally does. Lesnar dons the MMA gear again. Triple H's music hits and he gets a huge pop. Cole reads some more tweets from Shawn Michaels about the main event. They turn the lights off and Justin Roberts handles the ring intros. Spotlights focus on the ring.
A very different, and cool look for the ring intros. I liked it. Are they setting up Brock for his loss by saying he "lacked intensity" as Lawler pointed out? I am guessing they want that big "feel-good" moment or some other sort of big angle for the fans to go home happy. This show has been somewhat lackluster despite the strength of the card.
Brock targets Trips' arm right away and tries to end it fast with the Kimura. H fights it off and sends Lesnar to ringside. Heyman looks concerned. Brock storms back into the ring and goes right at Trips, who hits a high knee.
Lesnar controls the next few minutes, working the arm. He wrenches on it then throws H to the corner. Brock picks H up with ease, but Trips slips away. Brock hits a German suplex. He smiles as he bleeds a little from the nose and looks at his handiwork.
Triple H comes back with some hands and a DDT which doesn't get a big crowd reaction. Heyman can be heard yelling "this is your house" at Brock, which gets a few boos.
They battle to ringside and H eats the steps. Trips' arm takes the blow as Cole points out that Brock is targeting the broken arm. Brock drives Trips into the Spanish announce table, then tips it over and climbs up on it. He drops a forearm down on Hunter's neck.
Cole calls Lesnar a butt kicker as the action moves back to the ring. Brock hits a clothesline. At this point the crowd is so quiet you can hear a couple guys try to get a "boring" chant going. Brock flashed the camera a look at his mouthguard, sponsored by Jimmy John's. Trips hits a suplex that gets a mild reaction.
Trips tries the Pedigree a bit later but Brock counters, throwing Hunter to the corner. H takes a bump and tumbles to the floor. Brock follows, but H shoves Lesnar into the corner of the table. Heyman is concerned and asks if Lesnar is hurt. Lesnar can be heard saying "oh, my stomach" as he winces in pain.
Cole brings up Lesnar's history of stomach problems (not specifiying diverticulitis) and the surgery he had. H goes on offense in the ring, targeting the midsection. H hits some knees, and Lesnar drops down. When he stands up, Hunter hits the AA Spinebuster.
Trips tries the Pedigree again but Lesnar counters and teases the F5. H counters and hits the Pedigree instead and covers. Not a very dramatic near fall though. Lesnar nails a low blow and smirks. The official thinks about calling it, but doesn't and the announcers remind us of that locker room conversation early on.
Brock hits the F5 and goes for the cover but Trips kicks out. Heyman asks "what does it take?" and Lesnar grabs Trips' arm and tries to get the Kimura. H hits Lesnar in the side and tries to avoid it but Brock locks it in. Hunter gets to the ropes to break it after punching Lesnar a time or two.
Both get to their feet and H hits the Pedigree. H shoots the half nelson to roll Brock over, but Brock uses that opening to lock on the Kimura. Trips taps out. Cole says "Jesus what a fight..."
Winner - Brock Lesnar
Afterward, medical staff come to tend on Trips. Lesnar smiles as he walks away and Heyman reminds Lesnar that Trips just tapped out. H shoves the trainer away and struggles to his feet while a "Triple H" chant gets going. Eventually "You tapped out" chants get louder.
H apologizes as the "Triple H' chants get going again. He slaps hands with some fans at ringside and makes his way up to the stage. He waves to the crowd as Cole asks if this will be the last we see of Triple H. Lawler says "I think he just said goodbye" as the show ends.
The crowd was dead for this until the final offensive flurry. They got into the Pedigree spot then Brock locking on the Kimura. The match wasn't like Lesnar/Cena at all - no spark, the fans were just flat and dead. Probably didn't help much that all the lead-up into this match just wasn't that good anyhow.
Brock and Trips seemed to have some blockbuster match laid out, then after H lost he got "you tapped out" rather than a standing ovation he expected. He really had to milk the moment to even get the polite applause he got.
On paper, SummerSlam looked epic. In reality, it flopped in this viewer's eyes. For a 25th anniversary show, I expected something much more memorable I guess. Maybe my expectations were too high. The post-match bit for Triple H fell on its face. This wasn't the night for something like this though it could have been intriguing on any other night.
Join us tomorrow night for all the fallout on Monday Night Raw as we bring you coverage, starting at 8PM EST right here on Ring-Rap.com.