Monday, August 3, 2015

WWE Summerslam 2011

NOTE: I figured since it's August and Summerslam is the big PPV, I might as well toss in a couple Summerslam musings along the way. Consider these "bonus" additions, for lack of a better term.

Summerslam 2011 should have been a sign that things weren't going to be rosy.

Get this; you have a super hot commodity whose contract is known to be expiring and fresh off an intense promo that should have been the catalyst of a new era of relevancy for a promotion that has been lacking it for years. He main events a PPV event in front of his hometown homies, beats the franchise player, and then rides off into the sunset with WWE championship in tow. What should have followed was a massive push of this new main event who has been attracting outside press and would hopefully lead to a new star being made and less of a load on a top guy who has been getting stale and boring.

But as most know by now, that wasn't the case. The hot commodity known as CM Punk was subsequently curtailed due to petty egos and moronic creative teams and instead of ushering a new era of relevancy in WWE, he's currently bringing attention to his eventual debut fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

There are many things to point to and many people to blame as to why this run didn't pan out the way it should have... well, aside from the fact that it's WWE and they have a tendency to screw up the surest things. But, for me, the wheels were off the wagon at this show... and this is the first time I'm watching this show, so here we go.

Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, and Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz, Alberto Del Rio, and R-Truth when Rey hit Truth with a splash. Del Rio, by the way, was your Money In The Bank winner for that year; keep this in mind. Pretty standard fare featuring six guys who can put on a good match and engage the crowd. That's the most you can ask of any opening match, quite honestly. Good stuff.

Mark Henry defeated Sheamus via countout. Typical match with two big guys. For what it is, this didn't put me to sleep. In fact, I could go so far to say that this was actually alright. Go figure.

Divas Champion Kelly Kelly defeated Beth Phoenix to retain the title. For anyone wondering, Beth Phoenix is more of a "wrestler" type (someone who looks like they know what they're doing) while Kelly Kelly is the typical model type (someone who looks like a model pretending to wrestle and it's quite obvious.) So of course, the model type beats the wrestler type because it's WWE, why are you so shocked? As expected, the low point of the show, but Beth certainly tried and Kelly is easy on the eyes, at least.

Wade Barrett defeated Daniel Bryan Danielson. Not much to say here than... good match. That's about it, really.

Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion Christian to win the title. If I recall correctly, this was the blow off to a feud that began back in April, where Christian first won the title in a ladder match at a PPV and then dropped it to RKO a couple days later on Smackdown. While this pissed off a few folks at the time, we did get a series of great matches between the two and this is just another one in a long line of them. I definitely need to track some 2011 PPVs to see if this series was as good as I remember.

Real WWE Champion CM Punk defeated Fake WWE Champion John Cena to "unify" both titles, with McSon-In-Law as special referee, for reasons that only make sense to McSon-In-Law and friends. See, when CM Punk won the title and fucked off to defend the title against Piston Honda, there was a tournament to crown a new champion. Winner of said tournament was Rey Mysterio, who then gave a title shot to John Cena on the same night. End result; John Cena won the title... and then CM Punk shows up in one of the loudest and passionate crowd reactions in recent memory. And that's why we got this match.

The good news is that this was a very good match. CM Punk and John Cena have this chemistry together that they can work magic with. However, as good as this match was, it can never match the intensity and atmosphere of their MiTB match a month prior. It just wasn't going to happen.

So, CM Punks win the match... then Kevin Nash shows up and hits him with the jackknife. And then Del Rio shows up to cash in his MiTB briefcase and one knee later, we got a new champion.

The deal with Del Rio cashing in is not a big one; if anything, it makes sense considering he tried to cash in a month prior. And in some fairness, Punk would regain the title a couple months later and would hold on to it for all of 2012 before dropping the title to Dwayne. So, the Del Rio thing isn't a bother. It could've been the next logical step in the story of CM Punk as the hot commodity.

But instead, CM Punk - the hot commodity getting WWE all this attention - was stuck "feuding" with Kevin Nash over text messages and Twitter followers or some other stupid bullshit. And then he was stuck in a match with McSon-In-Law, to whom he later lost. Instead of ushering in a new era of relevancy for WWE and taking them to that next level that they so desperate want to reach, he ended up in a long WWE title reign playing second fiddle to whatever bullshit John Cena was put in. And then people wonder why Phil Brooks was pissed all the time.

People like to use the excuse that it isn't easy to make new stars. And you know what? You're right; it's not easy to make new stars. Audience tastes are very fickle and what might seem like a sure thing ends up being not so much. However, when someone catches fire with the crowd and start making waves, shouldn't you try and take advantage of that by pushing that guy to the moon in hopes that maybe you can get more eyeballs on the product? But, because it's a guy that they didn't create, they couldn't do that.

And it's such a shame because Summerslam 2011 was a truly phenomenal show that showcased WWE at its absolute finest with some top-notch matches from top-notch talents and an engrossing storyline on top that could have been gangbusters. If there was a time to attract attention to WWE, this would've been it. But as usual, they fucked up an easy thing and that's why we're getting main eventers with part-timers and old guys. The kind of shit we used to mock WCW for back in the 90s.

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