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August 16, 2010

SummerSlam thoughts

WWE Hall of Fame announcer Jim Ross wrote on his blog Sunday morning that the SummerSlam pay-per-view taking place later that evening was “essentially a three-match show.”

As it turned out, it was actually a one-match show. Fortunately, that match – the seven-on-seven elimination main event between Team WWE and The Nexus – delivered in a big way and saved the pay-per-view from being a major disappointment.

Even with the well-booked, exciting main event, SummerSlam was a mediocre show and did not live up to its standing as WWE’s second-biggest event of the year.

The big news is that the seventh man on Team WWE turned out to be Daniel Bryan. It had appeared that it was going to be The Miz, who had said earlier in the show that he would join the team, but captain John Cena told him that he waited too long to make up his mind and they had to get someone else.

Bryan joining Team WWE makes perfect sense in the story line and the crowd popped when he was revealed as the final piece to the puzzle. I was all set to give WWE credit for booking a nice surprise, but then I read that actually spoiled the angle by announcing before SummerSlam went on the air that Bryan had returned to the company. Once that post went up, the news quickly spread on Twitter.

I’m not sure if that was a blunder on WWE’s part or a deliberate attempt to gain some last-minute buys. Luckily, I wasn’t on Twitter at that point, because as someone who likes to be surprised and avoids spoilers, I wouldn’t have been too pleased about WWE letting that get out.

(CLARIFICATION FROM KE: I was incorrect about posting the story on Bryan returning before the show went on the air; it was actually posted during the show prior to Bryan being revealed as the seventh man. So it looks to have been a mistake of someone hitting the button a little too early but obviously was not done to create a buzz and spark last-minute buys).

The result in the main event was a bit of a shock, as I think most people expected The Nexus to win, but Cena ended up being the sole survivor. The rest of the show was pretty predictable, including The Undertaker appearing at the end of the Kane-Rey Mysterio match and revealing that it was Kane who had attacked him, and Sheamus retaining the WWE title by disqualification over Randy Orton.

Here is a match-by-match look at the show:

Team WWE (John Cena, Bret Hart, Edge, Chris Jericho, John Morrison, R-Truth and Daniel Bryan) defeated The Nexus (Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Skip Sheffield, Darren Young and Michael Tarver) (35:18): The Miz cut a great promo earlier in the show in which he declared that he would be the seventh man on Team WWE. When Miz’s music hit during the entrances and he made his way to the stage, however, Cena interrupted and said that they already had their seventh man – Bryan. Michael Cole – who was very entertaining throughout this match insulting Bryan and putting over The Miz – went nuts. Bryan made an immediate impact, as he locked the crossface on Young and forced him to tap out just 42 seconds into the match. Three minutes later, Morrison hit Starship Pain on Tarver and pinned him. It was noted in commentary that this was the first time Nexus has ever been at a numbers disadvantage. Sheffield evened things up by using wicked clotheslines to pin Morrison (at 7:32) and R-Truth (7:59). Hart entered the match at the 10:30 mark and began wailing away on Slater. Hart, wearing jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers, looked old and out of shape and seemed to get winded pretty quickly. He was disqualified for hitting Sheffield with a chair at 12:08, giving Nexus its first advantage at 5-4. It’s painfully obvious that Hart just shouldn’t be in the ring anymore.

After Jericho hit the Codebreaker on Sheffield, Edge speared the big man and pinned him at 13:13. It would be six minutes before the next elimination, which saw Jericho make Otunga tap out to the Walls of Jericho. Team WWE had a 4-3 advantage at that point, but then things started to fall apart for them. After Jericho and Cena collided accidentally, Slater pinned Jericho at 20:05. Edge and Cena began to argue, and Slater knocked Edge into Cena and pinned Edge at 20:38 to give Nexus a 3-2 advantage. Edge speared Cena off the apron onto the floor, where Jericho kicked and slapped him and yelled, “You’re a stupid man!” before he and Edge left together. Cena took a beating in the ring for a while before making the hot tag to Bryan, who turned Slater’s roll-up attempt into a crossface, and Slater tapped at 29:02. With the referee distracted, The Miz then entered the ring and clobbered Bryan with the briefcase. That allowed Barrett to pin Bryan at 29:32 and it was down to Barrett and Gabriel against Cena. Barrett took Cena outside the ring, moved the mat away and landed a DDT on the floor. He then threw Cena back in the ring and tagged Gabriel, who attempted to finish off Cena with the 450 Splash. Cena moved out of the way, however, and pinned Gabriel at 34:50.

That left the two team captains – Cena and Barrett. Cena quickly caught Barrett in the STF, and Barrett tapped out at 35:18 to give the match to Team WWE. I was surprised that Nexus didn’t win, but I really liked how the match was laid out. I’m sure the Cena detractors will be upset that he once again overcame the odds, but that’s what his character is all about. Plus, Nexus has been getting the better of him for the past two months; it was probably time for Cena to win one of the battles. My guess is that Nexus does something on Raw tonight to get its heat back. I also liked the angle to bring Bryan back and I’m really looking forward to a program between him and Miz. I also have to give WWE credit for being able to take eight mostly green guys who were wrestling in obscurity in Florida Championship Wrestling six months ago and get them over as legitimate threats in the main event of a major pay-pay-per-view. Think about that.

Randy Orton defeated WWE champion Sheamus by disqualification (18:55): The stipulations were that if anyone interferes on Sheamus’ behalf, they will be indefinitely suspended, and if Orton loses, he does not get a rematch and goes to the back of the line. The match had a slow pace most of the way but the last five minutes or so were good. There were some nice near falls, including one sequence that saw Orton slip out of the High Cross and go for an RKO, but Sheamus escaped it and then connected with the Brogue Kick for a two-and-a-half count. Sheamus was stunned that Orton kicked out. The champion grabbed a chair and brought it into the ring, but the referee tried to take it away from him. Sheamus won the tug of war and sent the referee tumbling to the floor. The referee called for the bell and disqualified Sheamus, who smiled. After the match, Orton ducked a chair shot and landed a low blow. He then hit an RKO on Sheamus on the announce table (which did not break). With Sheamus laid out on the floor, I was half-expecting The Miz to show up and cash in his Money in the Bank contract, but it didn’t happen. Jerry Lawler said, “That was about as good a match as you’re ever going to see.” Come on now, King.

World heavyweight champion Kane defeated Rey Mysterio (13:31): The crowd was pretty quiet for most of the match. With a casket sitting ringside that Kane had brought with him, I think everyone was just waiting for the spot when The Undertaker was going to pop up out of it. The match was not as good as the Kane-Mysterio pay-per-view matches from a couple years ago, but it was serviceable. Kane won clean after a big boot to the face and a chokeslam. After the match, Kane continued to assault Mysterio and then attempted to put him in the casket. When Kane opened the lid – surprise! – The Undertaker was inside. The Undertaker was wearing makeup that made him look haggard to sell the effects of being in a “vegetative state” the past few months (well, either that or Michelle McCool must have been a wild woman on the honeymoon). Undertaker confronted Mysterio about being his attacker, but he concluded that Mysterio was innocent. He then turned his attention to Kane and grabbed him by the throat. Kane, however, also grabbed Undertaker by the throat and was able to overpower him and deliver a Tombstone Piledriver. So the new wrinkle in a feud that has – pardon the pun – been done to death – is that The Undertaker is not as powerful as he once was, thus making him vulnerable against his “brother.”

Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston wrestled to a no-contest (7:05): Kingston’s aggressiveness cost him early, as he knocked Ziggler outside the ring and attempted a dive, but Vickie Guerrero moved Ziggler out of the way and Kingston crashed. Ziggler dominated the next four minutes or so before Kingston mounted a comeback. After exchanging near falls, Ziggler locked on the sleeperhold. A few seconds later, The Nexus hit the ring and attacked both men, causing the match to be thrown out. The Nexus tossed Ziggler out of the ring and proceeded to beat down Kingston. I hate to see any match that I’m interested in – much less one on a pay-per-view – end like that, but I understand what WWE was trying to do. This was the opening match and WWE wanted to establish The Nexus as a dangerous threat right from the start.

The Big Show defeated CM Punk, Luke Gallows and Joseph Mercury in a handicap match (6:45): Before the match started, The Big Show removed the tape from his “broken” hand to reveal that it was fine. The big guy sure is a fast healer. The action was OK, as the Straight Edge Society tried to make the most of its numbers advantage and Big Show kept thwarting them. It was kind of funny that the announcers weren’t even sure about the rules as far as whether the SES would have to tag in and out or not (they didn’t). Punk eventually decided to bail with Serena, leaving the overmatched Gallows and Mercury alone with Big Show. Big Show choke-slammed Mercury on top of Gallows and pinned them both. I’m not crazy about the finish, since the SES now has zero credibility, but it does reinforce Punk as a self-serving leader and sets up a singles match between him and Big Show.

Melina defeated WWE Divas champion Alicia Fox to win the title (5:20): Melina looked as if she had raided Cher’s closet, as she came out wearing this ridiculous-looking outfit with feathers and a headdress. I haven’t seen a wrestler look that silly since Triple H dressed up like Conan The Barbarian at WrestleMania 22. I thought these two would have a decent match, but it was nowhere close. Melina appeared at one point to injure her left knee, but Fox for some reason then started working over her arm and shoulder. The match just never got going and then the finish came out of nowhere, as Melina got the pin with a variation of The Stroke and The Skull-Crushing Finale. A flat finish to a flat match. After it was over, Melina, who is now a five-time champion, had a “Tommy Dreamer moment” as she was about to be interviewed in the ring by Josh Matthews. Before Melina could say a word, however, self-professed co-WWE women’s champions Lay-Cool came out and attacked her. When Fox tried to get in a cheap shot on Melina, Lay-Cool took her out as well. It appears that WWE may be doing a women’s title-unification match at next month’s Night of Champions pay-per-view.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 5:16 AM | | Comments (54)


Ok you realize HBK is gone and you no longer have to stick up for WWE anymore no matter what right? The only surprise of the whole evening was that Vince decided to kill the Nexus push by having "Super Cena" take a big bump then "hulk up" and destroy the rest of Nexus by himself. Aren't we all tired of the same boring booking every PPV by the WWE? This whole year has been a down one for WWE PPVs.

RESPONSE FROM KE: The "rest of Nexus" was only two guys at that point not five. The way he won -- moving out of the way of Gabriel's splash and pinning him and then catching Barrett in the STF didn't seem all that superhuman. Plus, Cena is the top babyface -- he's supposed to be special.

The whole Summer Slam was a very slow moving program. I was actually getting food during the show... It was just a very snail like pace. Very unimpressed. Goina think twice about buying anymore PPV's.

The Nexus should have won. The ending made no sense. Now they may have to kill someone on Raw in order to be seen as a serious threat.

Just the whole card left me with a disappointing feeling. Certainly didn't feel like the 2nd biggest PPV of the year.

On the whole I thought the program was below SummerSlam standards. There's not much that you can say about the handicap match, the IC match or the World title match other than they were boring. I also thought that makeup or not the Undertaker looked horrible in his return. Someone (Michelle?) needs to talk some sense into him before the "ruining his legacy" talk begins.

As for the main event ... I think it was spot on. Tons of back and forth action and lots of big spots hit by several wrestlers (including a run by Chris Jericho that almost brought a tear to my eye). I wouldn't be suprised if this was Hart's last hurrah and in IMHO it was fitting. Mixed in with the sluggish performance were glimpses of the excellence of execution.

For me the ending is what it should be. Cena's been getting his rear end kicked for several months and at the second biggest show of the year it was his time to get revenge. Cena haters also need to accept the fact that the money man has to shine during one of the company's biggest moments. Last night's main event was simply another one of those moments.

Biggest dissappointment ... In one night the Miz went from being the heir apparent top star to (presumably) a feud with Daniel Bryan. Not to take anything away from the American Dragon but this is a major step backwards for the Miz.

The main event saved the PPV. It was well laid out. The rest of the PPV sucked. Another 44 dollars and change down the drain. Daniel Bryan did a nice job and getting the first pin fall gave him instant credibility.

Eck, first off I really enjpy the blog, and your coverage. I thought the PPV was okay, Was it me or did Orton wince (tense his back up as a reaction) after he hit the RKO on the announcers table on Sheamus??

I thought it would have been cool if when it down to Cena, the WWE would have had some of the past wrestlers come out and really outnumber and put a beat down on Nexxus. Like Steve Austin, The Rock, even the Undertaker, Sending a message the young guys would have to learn a lesson or two.

The Miz's promo was amazing! Honestly, I think it's up there with the best I've ever seen...I'm suprised the commentators didn't make much of Miz taking out Bryan and therefore leaving WWE against the odds.

Bryan coming back was a huge shock to me too, but apart from that I though Summerslam was solid - no complaints but it was all about the main event.

Dumbest part of the whole show was after Kane beat Mysterio and started his beatdown he inexplicably reached over and shut the casket in the middle of it. Biggest giveaway ever and poorly thought out. Why would he shut the empty casket if he was going to send Rey to hell? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Nexus match was good but the rest was garbage. We have DQ's and Nexus run in's during title matches at PPV's now? This is SUMMER SLAM. One of the Big Three. This PPV is for clean endings and new beginnings. I can see screw job endings every week on TV. Money poorly spent on my part. Spending $60 to see Daniel Danielson wrestle for three minutes doesn't cut it.

I'm just glad that they brought Bryan Danielson back. Kevin, do you think the whole thing was a work all along?

RESPONSE FROM KE: If so, it was brilliant.

It's rather unfortunate that WWE didn't try anything new here with so much potential to do so.

Rey COULD have been the one who took out the Undertaker. Don't forget he's the one who injured him in the first place. He's the one who took his spot in the Fatal Four Way. He's the one who won at the Fatal Four Way. The pieces were there for something new, but WWE is going the overused path of Undertaker/Kane.

Cena could have lost and still looked strong (come on, he's Cena... he'll always be popular with the kids). A disgraced Cena frustrated beyond belief takes his rage out on everyone and we don't see him again for maybe only a month. This would allow for Cena to get a little rest, freshen him up a little bit (even though he'd only be gone for a little while), keeps Nexus looking strong for a little longer (let's admit they don't have that much time left on this), and the members of Nexus could possibly start singles feuds with other members of the roster.

Obviously, I'm only playing armchair booker here, but just something different would be nice. Who knows. They could always throw us a curveball at the tapings the next couple of days.

Bryan Danielson is back in the WWE! I completely marked out when he entered the arena and started making people tap out. That made the whole PPV for me.

I get what they have to do with cena, especially since they are pretty much going to be catering to 10 yr old boys as long as Linda is in politics, but at the very least they could book finishes better. There wasn't even a "Hulk Up" moment, Cena literally just got destroyed for about 5 minutes and then moved away from a top rope splash and pinned a guy & got a submission in like 12 seconds. That didn't make me happy after what was already a bad PPV.

If WWE had any integrity or ethics they'd offer a $20 rebate to anyone that paid for that "Big 4" PPV last night. That wasn't even comparable to a really good Raw.

didn't buy Summer Slam for the first time and, apparantly, made the right choice. I hate everything about the PG WWE but what I hate most is turning Cena into a comic book super hero, ala Superman, just to keep the kids happy. For a long time, and I mean LONG TIME, wrestling fan, I find this condescending and selfish. If Vince and Linda are so concerned with keeping the kids entertained they should have replaced ECW with a PG show and a roster of its own. Most of us miss what wrestling used to be.

Way to make the SES look like absolute chumps. Punk is godly on the mic, but there's no substitute for good booking. Ever since Hardy left, he's been made to look like a total chump.

Here is what I wrote on August 2010 concerning the Team WWE vs. Nexus match up at Summerslam:

There's no way The Miz is joining Team WWE this Sunday.

So who will the seventh member of Team WWE be? I am willing to bet that it will be....Bryan Danielson. Given his history with both The Miz and with Nexus why not? Anybody else would be anti-climatic.

Well lo and behold. Call me The Oracle.


The problem with Cena isn't that he overcomes the odds to win, it's that his PSYCHOLOGY ALWAYS SUCKS. In this match, he'd just taken a big beating, including a DDT to the bare concrete, yet he's able to roll out of the way of Gabriel's 450 the instant he leaves his feet, pop up and eliminate Gabriel and Barrett in about a minute. He'll take a vicious beating, then simply no-sell it in making a comeback. It makes all of his matches seem very, very fake.

Other then that, I don't really have a problem with the ending. I would have liked to seen Barrett be harder to defeat, because I think the point should have been to build up to a Cena/Barrett match, which looses some luster now that we know Cena can beat him so easily. But using Bryan Danielson, and making him look like a star, makes up for everything. I'm sure he'll take the US title at NOC, setting up the Miz for the main event, and hopefully setting Danielson up for a lengthy title reign.

And I have to agree with you that Cole was pretty entertaining in the main event. His whole idolatry of the Miz/ disdain for Daniel Bryan has finally given him an edge. On the other hand, the King was just awful. He sounds like he's not even interested any more.

My only other thought on the show is that I'm very disappointed that the SES lost. Punk has lost a ton of momentum since Mysterio shaved his head. He was the hottest thing in the industry- by far- not that long ago. WWE needs to rebuild him, and fast.

Kev - You are NEVER going to get a logical argument from CENA-haters. They will crap on Cena for being "Super Cena" then praise HHH , the king of kings of no-selling.

But as for the show, Where does Cena go from here. The next PPV is Night of Champions, and I don't see Cena in any title hunt?

Don't you mean 7 "mostly green guys" and Bryan Danialson?

While I get your point about Bret being in the ring, I actually thought that was the best he looked in-ring-wise since his return. Clearly he went all-out physically for that minute he was in there. Slater made him look good, too.

The way Super Cena won was disgusting.

Seriously??? Really??? Word???

How in the world are you going to get beat down by Edge and Jericho...stomped out by Wade and Gabriel...DDT'D ON THE CONCRETE...and still figure out a way to power up and not only pin a person, but then have the strength to submit another!!!

All in less than 5 mins too....

Come on! The crowd went the potential of Cena losing. It would have been HISTORIC. And yet, WWE blew it again.

Now look at the Nexus. They have nothing, they never had anything, and I'm sure everyone has forgotten about the title shot Wade is guaranteed. It's a moot storyline now.

Vince and crew need to fire themselves and come back in 90 days...

As a Cena apologist, the show p***ed me off. I love Chris Jericho too and what excited me was that i was finally going to see the fun Jericho I loved. The place was going to explode last Monday night at Raw because Jericho and Edge were in the ring and I thought they should have showed some tension but then let Jericho and Edge and all the other guys who wrestled great bask in their victory. They should have had the defeated Nexus come back looking like they were going to attack Cena and then let the WWE guys come back out and kick them out and THEN SHARE IN THE VICTORY. Whole thing made me mad.

I read the post about Bryan being back on the roster, but I thought that they were trying to swerve the WWE Universe. I thought, up until Bryan was announced, that Triple H was going to be the seventh man. I was thrilled that it was anyone other than Triple H.

I know you ragged on TNA's Hardcore Justice PPV even though you didn't see it but that was better than this Summerslam PPV and by a wide margin. Maybe it's time you started opening your mind a little more to WWE alternatives? And I'm starting to look at Nexus as a slightly larger version of the spirit squad. And at least some of the guys from the spirit squad could actually wrestle.

Cena takes a DDT right on the concrete floor and just a minute later he goes all Super Cena on us and wins. Now any credibility Nexus had, which wasn't much, is gone and they should just can the whole angle. They don't seem like very intimidating "invaders" when they can't even beat a team where one guy got himself DQ'd, and two others didn't really want to be there anyway.

Great job, WWE!

If this had been a TNA PPV the internet would rake it over the coals for how bad it was. This was truly terrible.

great show orton sheamus match stop
complannig about wwe its no longer 90s
im an old fan and i still watch iven
seen hbk mankind taker hbk
hell in a cell bulldog bret the bussness
may not be hot like it was back than
but you dont need blood guts to have
good matchs if you dont like it dont wach

A very boring and predictable PPV. The main event wasn't enough to make the show a success. I give Botch-lina credit for being a hard worker but her matches are awful. I don't see why they continue to put the belt on her. I can't believe we got another "Taker in the Casket" moment. I'm sure the folks that paid for "Mind Games" back in the late 90's were glad to see that bit again.

If randy orton did not "win the match" he would have go to end of line. Thats what was said by the "GM" on raw, notice did not say "Win Title". Orton won the match by DQ and will not be going to the end of the line tonight i think.

Couldn't they have had Cena win some other way other than making Barrett tap out? Ugh. I wish I was surprised though. So tired of Cena.

Rebuilding NXT at this point is a bad idea. The angle has run its course, now is a good time to try to get those eight individuals over as individuals. Seriously, how many viewers knew all seven members of Nexus by name? I watch at a Blast Area where people come to watch pay-per-view events without necessarily watching the weekly programming, and all the guys were the same. I think people knew Wade Barrett, but the other six guys were just his partners.

David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, and maybe even Heath Slater have more to offer than this NXT angle can permit them, so I would like to see NXT split sooner than later. Wade Barrett was the only one benefitting from this angle, which is fine because he is by far the most capable Superstar of the group right now (including Daniel Bryan) but WWE would be running a dangerous angle by keeping Nexus together after this setback. I think the loss will nullify most of their heat, if not all, so it would be almost like starting over.

The bottom NXT guys should start working the undercard and the aforementioned guys can work the lower and upper midcard.

Not getting the continuity here. Tell me again how Daniel Bryan hates Nexus as much as Cena. Wasn't it just 6 weeks or so ago that Bryan was kicking Cena in the face and spitting on him? Or does the WWE expect me to have forgotten about that by now?

What drug are you ON? I was marking out big time for Bret Hart. He looked incredible. Actually throwing in some of the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM that he can still pull off without risking himself serious trauma.

Every single review I've read besides this one said Bret looked great and I was thinking the same thing while watching. When him and Slater were going at it the match was more fast paced than when Cena was going at it with Barrett. So I mean c'mon. He doesn't compare to those guys anymore and he still caused some electric moments. He served his purpose and got out of the there in a smart way.

I loved it. Lose the bias. You're alone in your own world with this critique. The only thing I do agree with is he shouldn't be in the ring, but that was about 500x better than WrestleMania. Cut the guy some slack. Its not like he was blocking someone from having a big spot in a main event. By the way Morrison and R-Truth were booked, mostly R-Truth, I would say he did Evan Bourne a favor by taking his spot.

Loved the final match, but I was getting really frustrated with the commentators referring to the orton sheamus match as the main event. It was barely mid card, and it wasn't even raw's main event match, just a personal peeve. The SES has once again failed to impress me, especially when you compare them to the Nexus. How are we supposed to take SES seriously if they seem to so disfunctional, and the 3 of them fail to defeat one man (giant or not) in a handicap match. I'm so over SES. Let Punk just return to being a single's heel, the others are just lead weights.

I feel that I should correct something you said. The news that Bryan was back was not posted until just before the final match. The information wasn't run on the front page. Apparently, somebody did some digging and found the information on the site. They've taken most of it down, though.

It looks like I saved $60.00 Last Night. I hope I have a friend that taped it? My question is-- is It Worth The 3 Hours of my life I'll have to give up to Watch It?

Thanks and keep up the good work,

Most of the show was really subpar. The opening match was a complete disappointment, I was looking forward to an incensed Kingston putting a serious beatdown on Dolph. i expected him to lose the match but come off really strong in the loss.

The womens title was predictable in it's outcome. The WWE needs to invest some time in developing these women into solid in-ring performers. TNA has a much stronger womens division in promos and in-ring ability.

The title matches were both disappointing. They both played out as expected with no pop. As far as the Undertaker/Kane feud. I believe the WWE creative team really missed an opportunity here. They made the Swagger alibi completely unrealistic yet didn't allow him to be the culprit. A Swagger/Undertaker feud would be much more entertaining to watch. This would also give Swagger some much needed heat after the fall off the last month.

The main event was awesome, I have not been on the edge of my seat for a match in a very long time. Danial Bryan being the 7th member of team WWE was the first good decision WWE creative has made in months. Well beside the solid storyline of the Nexus. Skip Shefield really showed his potential. I was so very impressed with his work in the ring for such a young performer. Danial Bryan also put on a strong performance in his return to WWE (I am sure Cena and Hart worked really hard to get him back in the WWE). I have never really liked Micheal Cole,Jesse Ventura would call him a pencil necked geek and run him down at every opportunity (I would love to see that actually). I think the only bad thing in the main event was the finish. I believe Barrett and Cena should have worked for at least a few minutes before Cena finished him off. John Cena is a solid performer no matter what anyone thinks, He is either completely loved or completely hated which makes him the WWE's greatest draw.

I really hope the WWE can expand into more interesting story lines. It is sad that the best wrestling promotion out right now has stagnated creatively. They have a strong young roster with solid veterans. Even with the new PG direction the company has gone in, they have the talent to put on some very entertaining shows. maybe it is time to bring in some new blood on their creative team.

Love your blog Kevin, keep up the good work.

I agree Hart should not be wrestling, but at least he resembled a wrestler in the match this time instead of just punching people.

@Evan, fantastic observation here: "I'm starting to look at Nexus as a slightly larger version of the Spirit Squad. And at least some of the guys from the spirit squad could actually wrestle."

The problem with the Spirit Squad is that you had five guys in one gimmick. The problem with NXT is the same thing, you have Wade Barrett and six other guys in one gimmick. That's a shame for the guys who have their individual characters.

Kevin,When oh when are you people going to wise up.The WE,s ppveiws are a rip off and have been for some time now.They need to go back and do 4-5 a year.Even the people in the arenas are falling asleep.

Why are you always so biased against Bret Hart? Seriously, did he f*** your wife or something?

RESPONSE FROM KE: I just expressed my opinion. Why do people such as you never leave a comment when I write something favorably about Hart? And don't say it's because I never have, because that's not true.

What's the point in exposing the concrete for a bump if you're not going to sell it? It was a complete waste, and it detracts from the product. I don't care that Cena won but I don't understand how someone is supposed to get storyline-injured nowadays, especially without blood. I think they did a great job with Big Show putting Cena through the spotlight last year and it would have made sense to do something similar again. The Nexus storyline writes itself at that point. They could basically run Raw for the next month while Cena recovers. With last night's results I can't see the next 4 RAW's being much different from the last 8.

My other complaint is the Kofi/Dolph match. Nexus could have crashed the ring after it was over to the same effect, but instead we -- as fans paying $65 -- got screwed out of seeing two of the better in-ring performers on the show. Its very disappointing and shows how little regard they have for the guys lower on the card.

I was happy that Bryan is back and put on an intense performance. He seems like a genuinely great guy.

We have DQ's and Nexus run in's during title matches at PPV's now? This is SUMMER SLAM. One of the Big Three. This PPV is for clean endings and new beginnings. I can see screw job endings every week on TV.

I agree with this completely.

"Other then that, I don't really have a problem with the ending. I would have liked to seen Barrett be harder to defeat, because I think the point should have been to build up to a Cena/Barrett match, which looses some luster now that we know Cena can beat him so easily."

Not necessarily. Barrett is a huge guy and a tremendous talent. I think if the WWE plays its cards right, this could happen and could be a good storyline - Barrett was distracted by his team being picked off one by one; or Barrett could have taken down Cena by himself had he not had these "losers" on his side. It could work and if the WWE ends up going that route, I think it would be a great match to see at the next pay-per-view.

I, like the majority, didn't order SummerSlam because I didn't think it was going to be a great show. I'm glad I was right. I dug the Nexus storyline and I'm sad that it may fall and be long forgotten. But what can you do?

If McMahon and Co. want to make things interesting outside of the "single match" format they've been focusing on lately, they need to really build up their Women's AND tag team divisions. I dug the pairing of the Miz and Morrison when they were together, hell, even ShoMiz. We need a good tag team again, and hopefully the WWE will get on that soon. Besides, who are the tag champions now?

Wow, the results of this card really reflect the "play it safe" attitude the product is all about taking nowadays.

Kev, I think you predicted the whole card before it aired, those this represent a product where "anything can happen?"

Also who in the blue hell is Byran Danilason and who gives a rats a**?

Is that the epic surprise we were lead 2 believe was coming?

Does this individual justify the epic association?

The Rock returning, hell ya, thats epic.

Michaels (not that I would want to see him lower himself by returning in the angle) that would be epic

Austin, epic

and Im sure we could think of a small few more who really justify the EPIC association but Danny Brown, na, not 4 me anyways?

Im ranting but it just annoys me to see something I invested such a big part of my child/ adulthood turn to rubbish.

I already expressed my views on how poor todays product compares the WWEs golden era 1997-2000 but I suppose its hard to let go.

Cena is the face of the company and embodies all of what WWE is currently about, appealing to 8-12 year old boys in a big way and thats fine but can WWE not find anyone for the clued up fan.

These current crop of 2D superstars fail to generate the same investment and reactions from the fans as yesteryears superstars did.

Whats the solution? Tune out or pray the next HBK/ Austin/ Rock/ HHH turns up sooner rather then later.


You started off your review of Hardcore Justice (which was mediocre by any objective measure) by saying that you had no regrets on skipping it. I have expecting you to come out and say that you wished you had made the same decision for SummerSlam. Again, by any objective measure, the show was mediocre, even more so when you grade it on the scale of being the second biggest show of the year. Even the main event, exciting as it was, featured very little actual wrestling. Cena doing what Cena does (getting beat down mercilessly then hulk up for the victory) was disappointing, and unless this will signal the end of the Nexus angle (which has only benefited Barrett, who of course is the only one ready for an actual push) or they have something major up their sleeves (highly unlikely), the finish made no sense whatsoever after spending weeks attempting to build Nexus as some unstoppable force that could change wrestling as we know it. Another wash, rinse, repeat Nexus beatdown isn't going to cut it this time. The group had little credibility to begin with besides gang warfare, and now they've lost their actual first real test. Sometimes, the obvious choice is the right choice. One exciting match, one great Miz promo, and one surprise return wasn't enough to save a terrible PPV.

As for the rest of the PPV, nothing of note happened. Orton/Sheamus had a cheap DQ finish, and the Kane/Rey match was decent but was clearly just there to set up the predictable Kane/UT feud. The opener had promise but was ended by a needless and repetitive Nexus attack. Even worse, it was booked where Nexus broke up a certain Ziggler victory instead of costing the babyface the title. SES/Show wasn't even Smackdown main event worthy (and Punk deserves so much better), and the Divas match and aftermath reinforced every negative notion people have about the women's division (especially the constant pushing of Michelle McCool even though she can't even generate X-Pac heat).

I'm curious if you had any thoughts on this Kev:

When "Daniel Bryan" was eliminated in season 1, and gave his little farewell speech, he said "Daniel Bryan is a loser, but Bryan Daniellson is a star" (or something, I'm paraphrasing from memory)

Then when Cena announced him he was "Daniel Bryan" again, and then I think it was Lawler referred to him as "Bryan Daniellson" during the match.

It seemed as though they were going to have him switch back to his own name but now they're calling him Daniel Bryan again. Do you think he'll get to use his own name at some point?

RESPONSE FROM KE: It looks to me like they're going to stick with Daniel Bryan.

Do you ever get the feeling like you've watched wrestling for so long you've seen all the angles? Another invasion, another Kane/Taker Feud, inevitably another Triple H championship.

I would have liked to see Triple H as the guy who took out the Undertaker in response to Taker retiring Shawn Michaels, but instead i get something else I've seen before.

If there aren't any more new ideas then the solution must simply be better, more intense, more fast-paced, more technically sound matches.

I recently watched an old ECW PPV with a bunch of luchadors and it was an amazing match! No angles no back story no real gimmicks.

At some point the WWE has to get back to its core competency and have a better caliber of matches and let these storylines become secondary instead of vice versa..

For anyone who is upset with the rated PG WWE, consider this...

Corporate WWE understands that it's diehard fans (some of which may prefer an edgier product) will continue to tune in weekly and will continue to buy PPVs and will continue to purchase the merchandise, regardless of whether the shows are PG or TV-14.

So the point is, I hear a lot of people complaining about the product and complaining about the rated PG and complaining about the 60 dollars they spent.

I have, like many of you, been watching wrestling since the 80s. We've seen a lot of changes over the past 25 years, and I'm sure the product will continue to evolve. I don't purchase these PPVs anymore, and at most I'll watch one show weekly (usually RAW).

If change is what we really want, show the men and women behind the scenes that we are not addicts who will continue to purchase their product just because it's there.

I am not someone who longs for the blood and gore or even the T&A. That's not what wrestlings about. But as another comment mentioned, WWE used to be where "anything can happen." That's what made you tune in every time.

I for one will not be giving up my hard earned money so easily anymore. Will you join me?

In a moment of split personalities, I'll have to agree with James.

I wasn't so much of an ECW fan, but WCW put on some amazing matches in their day. For as much as 3 Count couldn't dance, they could put on some sick matches. While the main events jumped the shark, the cruiserweights were the matches that stood out.

Remember too when TNA used to have an X-Division? One that used to have pretty innovative and entertaining matches just like the Cruiserweights? They had this 6-sided ring that was unique and....well, they bailed on all of it for the "bring an old unemployed friend to work" special on Spkie. Rhyno should go ahead and grab that belt, put it in the trashcan with the ECW Title and set it on fire. TNA creative wouldn't care enough to p*ss on the fire to put it out, which is ironic since they p*ss on the X-Division itself every week.


The whole nxt storyline is ridiculous and unbelieveable. No matter how much the brainless idiots at wwe try, I’ll never believe that beginners, newbies, amateurs, newcomers, rookies or inexperienced nobodies can easily defeat experienced wrestlers. Only the dumbest most naive gullible fool would believe that. It’s totally unrealistic and not believeable. Pretty soon they’ll have you believing that Mr McMoron got blown up (….oops they already tried that and it didn’t work either!!). What next? Change NXT to Nexus? Wow – very imaginative and original. Anyway, as long as there are suckers who will pay for an inferior product they will keep doing it. Heck they’d even sell you dog poop if you’d buy it. Rookies VS lots of experience is just plain dumb. It’s too bad that wrestling has become so stupid. Both WWE and TNA do retarded things because they keep copying off each other instead of trying to be original. Some parts of the wrestling are good still. That’s why I tape it and speed up commercials, replays, more replays and still more commercials, advertisements and replays. This takes a 2 hour wrestling show and brings it down to about 45 minutes. I really miss the old days when wrestling was realistic and 10 times more exciting. Now it’s so predictable that me and my brother can tell you about 90% of what’s going to happen before it actually happens. They’ll do ANYTHING (no matter how illogical) just to get ratings and sell a silly PPV where outcomes make no sense whatsoever. They also do it because many people actually believe it! I guess the money they make comes from the 10 year old kids. Anyone reading want to buy some horse crap? How about the Brooklyn Bridge which is on sale?

Lastly what was dumb about summerslam was to show Cena hit on the cement floor and virtually unconscious for about 5 minutes. Then he miraculously comes back to life. They could have at least made it more realistic.

Nathan (the truth teller)

Undertaker vs Kane . . . Now I know a lot of fans are disappointed about another feud between the two (an on/off storyline for 13 years), but I think the storyline could actually be good for the WWE. There are actually 3 brand new aspects to this storyline.

1. Kev, you're right about WWE using a twist on the storyline with Taker not being as powerful, and this vulnerability issue could be used by Kane to say Taker's time is over combining it with the fact that we're fast approaching the 20th Anniversary since Taker's debut and WWE could genuinely make viewers think this is the end of Taker.

2. I can't ever remember an Undertaker vs Kane title match, so this is another interesting factor. I know the WWE should be looking to the future but this could be a nice short-term storyline (which bring me to my final point).

3. The story could end perfectly with the first ever Undertaker-Kane Hell In A Cell match in early October.

If not done like this, I could see even die hard Taker fans like me being bored to 'death'.

I really don't understand why so many people complain about the Nexus about a year ago everyone was complaining the WWE does not push anyone new just the same old same old so they decided to listen to everyone and now you got them along with Nexus so everyone should be happy you can't have it both ways. Secondly i don't know why everyone keeps knocking hulkamania part 2 aka cena it made vince money in the 80's and 25 years later still going strong I just wish they could be more original then a rookie version of the NWO.

Not to rehash this but even Good Ol JR is in disbelief of Super Cena. He said in his blog " I’m still trying to figure out how John Cena takes a DDT to the concrete floor and still is able to recover well enough to beat two men. Cena should have had a bigger headache than Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harven who has debilitated with migraine headaches."

The problem with Nexus (aka ROOKIES) is that when you push them too quickly it creates unrealistic expectations. For a fan to enjoy wrestling it has to be believeable. When it comes off as exaggerated or unbelieveable it ruins the whole storyline rendering it as just plain stupid. The same is true of exaggerated movies. To get into a story you have to do two things:

1.) Try to make it logical and believeable so that people can get into the story

2.) Create balenced matches that make you wonder who's going to win. Definitely DO NOT PUT 7 OR 30 AGAINST ONE! That's the mistake WCW made with NWO back in the 90s. At first it was entertaining. After awhile, however, everyone knew that NWO would always prevail since it was usually 6 against 1 or 2.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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