Kimuras ... how do they work?
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) was back on pay-per-view (PPV) last night (Aug. 19, 2012) with the SummerSlam event that took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Surprisingly enough, Triple H tapped out to Brock Lesnar in the main event of the evening. He did the job and the right thing for business.
CM Punk successfully defended his WWE championship once again, this time vanquishing both John Cena and Big Show. It certainly appears as though he'll be the guy awaiting The Rock at Royal Rumble next year.
Other action on the card saw Sheamus defeat Alberto Del Rio through less than honest means, The Miz retain his Intercontinental strap with a clean win over Rey Mysterio, and Chris Jericho "win the big one."
Enough with the results, though. If you want them in full, click here for the running live blog. You can also listen to Sergio Hernandez and me on the Cageside Live podcast gabbing after the show right here. Time to get to reactions, posted after the jump.
- There was a time, not that long ago, that Triple H would have refused to do the job. He would have done whatever it took to make sure he was the guy who went over. The tales of his backstage political playing during his time at the top are legendary but a lot has changed since then and there was really no reason for him to go over Brock Lesnar in last night's main event. Still, this story felt too much like Vince McMahon exacting revenge for the hell Brock put him through years ago when he decided to leave and drag WWE through the courts. He won, too, something that surely chapped McMahon's ass. But "The Game" didn't play it this time and actually tapped out. He did the right thing for business and the right thing for the story.
- I also disagree with my partner Sergio's stance that Triple H's act after the match was self-serving. Sure, there was probably some ego involved in how long he played up being injured and turning himself into the sympathetic figure but if the idea was to have him apologize to the fans for coming up short before taking a long -- and it needs to be really long -- absence from the ring, then it was beautifully done. It worked out well for everyone and that's something that rarely happens in situations like these.
- I'm going to be really, really sad when Paul Heyman is no longer on my television, entertaining the hell out of me on Monday (and the occasional Sunday) nights. The man is a genius who understands that it's the small things that can push a guy over the top. Had Lesnar come back completely on his own, he would have drowned. Heyman is his lifeline who has shown he deserves a spot even when Brock inevitably goes away.
- I'm a fan of Big Show's abilities as a performer but I maintain he never should have been involved in a triple threat match against John Cena and CM Punk for the WWE championship. Show is good at what he does but he's a heat killer. It was harder to care about this match for no other reason than his involvement in it. That's too bad, really, but it's also the truth. Being good or being nice doesn't make you a draw.
- That said -- the triple threat match was done extremely well. It featured all the right psychology with a fake double finish that led to a natural progression of near falls on each guy and ultimately, a sneaky victory by the heel champion.
- It's looking more and more like Punk will be the guy to lose the title to The Rock at Royal Rumble and the thought of as much feels disappointing. I'm not a Punk fan, don't get me wrong, but I've seen Rock vs. Cena at WrestleMania and frankly, I wasn't that impressed. I haven't seen Rock vs. Punk at 'Mania and I want to.
- Let's hope Sheamus winning using heel tactics was written in as a way to start a slow turn for the world heavyweight champion. It's blatantly obvious by now that there are too many top officials within the company who want Sheamus on top solely for him to be working the mid-card. But the facts are what they are -- he's not drawing much more than dimes at present time. Typically, if the powers that be feel invested enough, that means a character tweak. If that's what we're about to get, I welcome it with open arms.
- If The Miz never talks and just has good matches with whomever he's working with, I'll jump on board. His match last night against Rey "The Short Knight Rises" Mysterio* was great. The beard isn't happening though, so let's end that charade as quick as humanly possible.
- The good news is the Prime Time Players are just as entertaining without A.W., perhaps even more so. The bad news is the tag team division just doesn't hold the same appeal it used to. That tends to happen when a company ignores it for the longest time and never services it with any legitimate teams.
- There wasn't really anything all that memorable about Daniel Bryan vs. Kane. The only thing that stood out is Bryan is ridiculously over no matter where he goes -- that's awesome.
- Although it's been hours since the end of SummerSlam while I write this column, it's still utterly hilarious that Michael Cole was actually told to say "Chris Jericho has won the big one." Or maybe it was Jerry Lawler who said it. It doesn't really matter. Jericho going over clean on Dolph Ziggler in the opening match at SummerSlam is not "winning the big one," especially not when you're talking about a guy who has been in the main event at WrestleMania.
- The dumb line doesn't take away from the match itself. It was a damn good match and while Jericho is leaving to tour with his band Fozzy, Ziggler will be just fine. It's not like he got to the point he's at now by winning. The dude hasn't been much more than a glorified jobber to the stars. Besides, he's the Money in the Bank briefcase holder. That means he can lose every match from now until whenever he cashes in and still get the rub of being world champion. So this works out just fine.
- I really hope Antonio Cesaro makes the U.S. title the European title. Because, cool.
This was a pretty good show, all things considered. It was logical, well booked, and featured quite a few highly entertaining matches. It may not have had that truly major event feel but I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.
I would give it a solid B+ and recommend it to you and your friends.
But that's me. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts and grades on SummerSlam.