Tuesday, August 16, 2011
So SummerSlam has gone and without an Undisputed, without question WWE Champion the wrestling world is left with more questions than even before the event began. As the show progressed, each match I must say fair at the very least to good there was a feeling that something different was going to happen. As the matches went to Daniel Bryan against Wade Barrett, the pace was set and from that point on it was a 120 miles-per-hour to the end. For that I commend WWE, they have gotten into a great groove in terms of card flow these days. Last month’s Money In The Bank Pay-per-view was very intricate in it’s match placement obviously to set a tone and it paid off. SummerSlam was the same and even the opening bout was a six man tag with all of RAW’s top young talent with the team of Del Rio, R-Truth and Miz against John Morrison, Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio. Really however, Bryan and Barrett stole the show in the early going and took the card on their own ride. The physicality and storytelling on hand was very impressive by the two and the finish was surprising. As much as I personally feel you should have your Money In The Bank winner winning at all times, Barrett is a fun opponent for Bryan to have for the time being. From there was the pace that opened up in my mind the best match in the series of Christian against Randy Orton. No Holds Barred and the early appearance of Edge added intrigue to an already interesting match for me. The story was simple, Christian wanted to avoid Orton as much as possible while Orton wanted to tear Christian’s throat out and step on it. The way that they worked spots to further tell that story was amazing and the finishing sequence was top notch, a great way to utilize the rules yet still follow PG guidelines.
Then of course the big one. Punk against Cena for the “Undisputed” WWE Title. I hated that they harped on it being the undisputed title simple because for one; everyone knew something was going to happen after Triple H became referee. The age old wrestling fan assumption is and will always be that when you add a wrestler as a ref to a match, said wrestler is going to fuck someone out of the win. It is as timeless as 2+2=4, or if you’re TNA 2+2= Hogan. Regardless, I believe it was a bit of an oversell going into this match but aside from that the angle going into this was absolute genius. The greying of the lines between good and bad led to a truly split crowd and hot as an Arizona wildfire. Anything Punk or Cena did garnered response and the match followed the same pace that had been set earlier, hard and fast paced. Punk poured it on and tried to show his resiliency while Cena sold that he was extra focused. The story was well told and right when things started to get really interesting Punk nailed Cena with the Go to Sleep near the ropes and pinned him for three. The issue wasn’t any doing of Triple H fuckery or even Punk’s dastardly intentions. Cena’s foot simply lay over the bottom rope and Triple H did not see, Punk won and began to parade around the ring as champion. The fears of many internet marks were quelled and the collective ovation of many began...and ended moments later. Enter Kevin Nash.
Now I could just skim over the fact that Kevin Nash leveled Punk with a Jacknife Powerbomb in the middle of the ring like most of the people that surely have and will write on this event. To me though, there needs to be some thought put behind it. Punk had just done what no one figured he’d do, beat Cena twice. Albeit, Cena DID have a foot on the rope so there WAS a loophole but as wrestling is, the disbelief was suspended and Punk was champion. It was a zenith for the wrestling fans around the world that had grown sick of John Cena WWE. For them it was true investing in Punk and so the rug being jerked from beneath them by of all people Kevin Nash, the famous “Fingerpoke of Doom” recipient, the man given blame for ending the money making winning streak of Goldberg way back in 1998, to end Punk’s glory is too ironic and golden. Many fans are angry and bitter at WWE yet again, claiming it’s yet again WWE fucking with their fans and yes it could be that. It’s not out of the realm of possibility to think it was a big swerve just to make some money and move on doing what they’ve always done. That’d be really easy to say but, to me this is just classic pro wrestling. You give the people what they think they want and you take it from them and present them something new they want. By Nash flooring Punk, setting him up for his championship demise is simply a way of pulling them in without them knowing it. In anger, these fans may have sworn off RAW Monday night, but believe me the bug will itch again. They’ll wonder if Punk beats the shit out of Nash or not and eventually they’ll tune in. Once they do, it leaves WWE to keep the angle interesting and the hook’s back in the gullet. I am excited about the possibilities of this angle and it’s a great way for Punk to show variety against the big Nash.
WWE Champion! Del Rio hugged and flashed the belt to the crowd as the fans worldwide watched shocked and confused as to what they saw. In the span of thirty minutes, WWE’s image looked completely different. No longer are there two WWE Champions, this is true but now the questions we are left in aftermath is greater than the situation before August 14th.