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WWE SummerSlam 2013 PPV Review
By Jared Silberkleit – Simply put, SummerSlam 2013 was an excellent PPV, the best WWE has produced all year long. Hype and buzz for the company has heated up throughout the summer and SummerSlam ended up being worthy of its strong build. The PPV was marketed as a two-match show, with both matches delivering in spades and turning out to be possible Match of the Year contenders. The Del Rio/Christian match was really good as well and the rest of the undercard was fine except for the opener. All in all this was an excellent show with great wrestling and memorable moments. Highly recommended.
Show opened with Miz coming out for a promo to introduce the show only to be interrupted by Fandango. This would lead to a series of random skits between the two backstage. After this, JoJo Offerman from Total Divas sang an outstanding rendition of American the Beautiful.
- Ring of Fire Match: Kane vs. Bray Wyatt
The show did get off to a very rough start with this trainwreck of a match. This was an inferno match where you win by pin/submission instead of setting your opponent on fire. Absolutely horrible match with both guys botching left and right and being totally out of sync with each other. The fire gimmick seemed to really hamper their ability to work effectively with each other. Flames shot up in the air whenever anyone hit a big move. Goofy spot where Rowan/Harper tried to light a kendo stick on fire and toss it into the ring but then a fireman at ringside extinguished it. Harper gets the extinguisher and tries to put out the flames but that doesn’t work. Rowan/Harper got a big cloth to put on top of the flames so they could get in the ring and beat up Kane, allowing Wyatt to hit his spinning reverse STO finisher for the win. After the match the Wyatts beat down Kane and apparently abducted him. Gimmick was rendered pointless and it killed the match. Match Time: 7:49 Star Rating: -*1/2 (Yes that’s NEGATIVE *1/2)
- Damien Sandow vs. Cody Rhodes
Pretty good match right here but they didn’t get nearly enough time. They kept the heat short and went to the back and forth pretty quickly. Cody hit a muscle buster for a near fall and a springboard missile dropkick. Sandow ducked the Disaster kick and hit a neckbreaker for 2 but Cody came back with the Disaster kick for 2. A little more back and forth before Cody gets the win with the Cross Rhodes. Decent match even though it was way too short. Match Time: 6:39 Star Rating: **1/2
- World Heavyweight Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio(c) vs. Christian
This went on a little earlier than expected. First strong match of the night with both guys working very aggressively. Del Rio targeted Christian’s arm early on and worked it over during the heat. He sent Christian shoulder-first into the barricade and assault the arm with kicks. Del Rio went for the body guillotine but Christian moved and he tumbled to the floor. Christian then hit a double sledge off the top to the floor. They went back and forth with tons of near falls, with Christian hitting a high cross and Del Rio using a back stabber. Christian with a super hurricanrana for 2 but Del Rio hit a big dropkick and went for the cross-armbreaker. Christian countered out but Del Rio hit a big superkick for 2. Christian finally hit a spear but sold the injured shoulder and Del Rio cinched in the cross-armbreaker. After a very lengthy, dramatic struggle, Christian finally tapped. Hell of a match right here, both guys worked super hard and kept the action moving all the way through. Great storytelling with an awesome finish. Really good match. Match Time: 12:30 Star Rating: ***1/2
- Natalya vs. Brie Bella
This was fine but the crowd didn’t give them a chance, chanting stuff like “JBL”, “Jerry”, and “We Want Tables”. Wrestling-wise this was a typical Divas match, no better no worse. Natalya got the win with the Sharpshooter after a brawl on the floor between the Funkadactyls and Nikki/Eva Marie. Just a commercial for the Total Divas show. Match Time: 5:20 Star Rating: *3/4
- No Disqualification Match: CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar
This was an absolute war. Both guys beat the holy hell out of each other and had a super-intense match with tons of drama. Punk flew around early on, jumping off everything in sight to take the attack to Brock through the air. Brock eventually overpowers him, tossing him over the Spanish announce table and breaking the announce table cover by stomping it over Punk’s back. Brock hit a huge belly-to-belly suplex on the floor before getting the heat on Punk in the ring. Punk starts his comeback after biting Brock’s ear to fight out of a chin lock and hitting a flying knee off the top. Punk hits a roundhouse kick and the Savage elbow. Great counter sequence with both guys teasing their finishers leading to Brock locking in the Kimura with a body scissors. Punk counters out and locks in a triangle choke. Brock lifts Punk up and powerbombs him but Punk keeps the hold intact! Brock lifts him up again and murders him with a huge running powerbomb. Punk dives at Brock on the outside but Brock holds up a chair as a shied. Punk scores with a low blow in the ring and hits a chair-assisted Savage elbow for 2.
Heyman pops up on the apron to take the chair away from Punk and Brock goes for the F5, but Punk grabs onto Heyman’s tie to block it. Punk hits the Go to Sleep but Heyman breaks the pin. Brock goes for the F5 but Punk counters into a DDT and follows with the Anaconda Vise. Heyman gets in the ring with the chair and Punk breaks the hold. Punk stands on the chair before punching Heyman right in the face and putting him in the Anaconda Vise. Brock breaks that up by whacking Punk in the back with the chair. Brock brutalizes Punk with more chair shots before finishing him with an F5 that plants him face-first on the chair. After Brock left Punk received a standing ovation. Wow. Both men deserve tons of credit for telling a terrific story and incorporating brawling and MMA elements to create a really intense grudge match. You could feel the tension between the two and the match had you on the edge of your seat for almost the entire duration. Punk’s strategizing made his comebacks believable and Brock looked like a beast when he was on offense. The Heyman interference near the end had to happen with the storyline and didn’t take away from the match at all. This was Brock’s best match since his return to WWE and a million times better than his matches with Triple H. Absolutely incredible match. Match Time: 25:17 Star Rating: ****1/2
- Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston and AJ
This was just used as a buffer match between the double main event. About the length and quality of a Raw match. Big E beat on Dolph early and held him up for AJ to slap him in the face. Girls worked for a while before Dolph came back with the 10 elbow drops. Kaitlyn spears AJ on the floor and Dolph escapes Big E’s finisher before hitting the Zig Zag for the win. This was fine for what it was designed to be. Match Time: 6:45 Star Rating: **
- WWE Championship Match with Triple H as Special Guest Referee: John Cena(c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Punk/Lesnar set the bar high, but this was another incredible match. Crowd was almost 100% in support of Bryan. They started off with some chain wrestling early on before Cena took control after suplexing Bryan off the steel steps on the outside to the floor. Cena busted out a Liger Bomb and applied a chin lock before Bryan came back with the kicks in the corner. Cena went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Bryan kicked him in the face. Bryan escaped the AA and hit a missile dropkick for 2. Close-up shot showed that Cena had a nasty bruise underneath his eye. Bryan targeted Cena’s injured elbow with kicks. Cena went for the STF but Bryan countered into an STF of his own. Bryan hit two rolling Germans with bridges for near falls before catching Cena in the Yes Lock. Cena escaped but Bryan came back with a guillotine. Cena struggled but eventually broke the hold by flipping Bryan into the corner. Cena with an AA for 2. Cena climbed up top but Bryan hit a crazy running dropkick. Bryan hit a spider superplex, trapping his legs in the corner as he took Cena over, and hit a flying head butt for 2.
Cena with a diving famouser for 2. Cena took Bryan up top but Bryan fought back with the MMA ELBOWS OF DEATH. Bryan went for a super rana but Cena held on. Cena held Bryan in place and they screwed up the spot with Cena practically dropping Bryan on his head before transitioning into the STF. Bryan struggled and eventually countered into the Yes Lock. Bryan hit a pair of running corner dropkicks but went for a third and Cena hit a MASSIVE LARIAT. A punch/kick duel led to a mid-air collision. They then had a CRAZY slap battle reminiscent of Japanese matches. Cena hurked Bryan up but Bryan DDT’d him. Cena went for an AA but Bryan countered with a small package for 2. Bryan then hit a big kick to the side of the head followed by a running knee strike for the win. Cena spun Bryan around after the match and shook his hand after a few words. They played this up huge afterwards with a massive confetti and pyro celebration. Absolutely amazing main event. The storytelling was incredible with Bryan outwrestling Cena and forcing him to innovate. Both men played off the build perfectly by challenging each other and doing everything possible to win. Tons of drama with the fans desperately wanting to see Bryan win the belt. Punk/Brock may have beaten it in terms of intensity but the emotion makes this just as good. Match Time: 26:54 Star Rating: ****1/2
After the confetti and pyro went off, Randy Orton’s music hit. At first Orton just held up the briefcase to tease it and started to walk away. But Triple H, who never left the ring, spun Bryan around and Pedigree’d him. Orton then came back into the ring and cashed in the briefcase.
- WWE Championship Match: Daniel Bryan(c) vs. Randy Orton
Orton covered Bryan immediately for the win. Well, this certainly sets up a hell of a storyline going forward, but it’s bittersweet as Bryan is red-hot right now and his title win was an incredible moment. Granted that was the idea in order to get massive heat on Orton and Triple H, but this was the payoff to a lengthy buildup for Bryan and he’s already over like a top guy. You could argue for or against this. Either way it was definitely a hell of an angle. Match Time: 0:08 Star Rating: N/A
Overall PPV Rating: 8.5/10