Event: SummerSlam 2011
Date: August 14, 2011
Place: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
As we continue our journey through SummerSlam, we arrive at the 2011 edition which, believe it or not, was one of the most important editions in years. This SummerSlam took place during the Summer of Punk, which was a direct result of CM Punk's famous Pipebomb promo. As a result of that promo, many older fans were drawn back to WWE and were willing to give it another chance.
As for this SummerSlam, it was definitely a tale of two shows. The first half of this show was quite below average, but the second half was completely awesome. The final three matches were all excellent, but the aftermath of the main event would stir some controversy. Also, this show had some of the worst commentary you will ever hear.
Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, and Rey Mysterio defeat Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth) and Alberto Del Rio
This was a pretty fun and fast-paced tag match. However, what killed it (and most of the show) for me was Michael Cole's atrocious heel commentary, which was made worse by the three-man booth of Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T. I really wanted to mute the TV before this match ended.
Mark Henry defeats Sheamus
This was a definite hoss fight, but not a very good one. It was quite boring, with the only notable moment is the ending when Henry drove Sheamus through one of the ringside barriers.
Kelly Kelly (with Eve Torres) defeats Beth Phoenix (with Natalya) to retain the WWE Divas Championship
I ALMOST skipped this match, but I hesitantly came back to it. I honestly wish I didn't come back to it because it was god-awful.This match also has one of the worst Canadian Backbreaker holds that you will ever see.
Wade Barrett defeats Daniel Bryan
This match served as the turning point of this SummerSlam. Despite the dead crowd, this was an awesome back-and-forth match that ended in a somewhat surprising fashion when Bryan was pinned by Barrett. I honestly expected Bryan to win.
Randy Orton defeats Christian in a No-Holds-Barred match to gain the World Heavyweight Championship
This was an absolutely excellent match that got pretty intense at times. There were some pretty crazy spots that culminated in Randy Orton hitting Christian with an RKO as he was diving over the steel ring steps. This is a no-holds-barred match that is definitely worth watching if you haven't seen it already. Although it is nearly 25 minutes long, it kept my attention for the entire time.
CM Punk defeats John Cena to gain the Undisputed WWE Championship
This was the rematch between two men who had a legitimate five-star match at the preceding Money in the Bank PPV. This match, thankfully, was every bit as excellent as the match at Money in the Bank. We got some excellent back-and-forth action, and we even got a look into the deep movesets that Cena and Punk both possess. The end of the match was controversial when Triple H, the guest referee, counted the pinfall despite Cena's foot clearly being on the rope.
However, the controversial ending was just the beginning. After Cena and Triple H left the ring, Punk was attacked by a returning Kevin Nash, who delivered a Jackknife to Punk. As Triple H looked on, Alberto Del Rio came out to successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract on CM Punk to become the WWE Champion. This ending was controversial, and it served as the beginning of the end of the Summer of Punk. However, the Summer of Punk would REALLY end when Triple H beat CM Punk at Night of Champions in a highly controversial decision.
SummerSlam 2011 was definitely a tale of two shows. However, the second half of the show really defined this SummerSlam. Although the ending was questionable, the second half was excellent, and made for one of the best second halves to a SummerSlam ever. However, the sub par first half really dragged this show down a bit, but not too much.
Tune in tomorrow for SummerSlam 2012!