WWE SummerSlam 2013 recap: Evolution 2.0?

In case you missed it, WWE SummerSlam was Live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California last night. This show had a lot of hype coming into the event last night, I swear it felt like it was WrestleMania all over again. Last night everything was clicking, the ball was rolling, all the wheels were in motion and stayed in motion. Everybody on this card from the YouTube match to the Main Event worked perfectly together. I honestly think this pay per view was better than WrestleMania this year and possibly last years. It’s about time the creative team that is employed by this company pull things together and give everybody a show that they won’t stop talking about. Now, let’s get down to business starting off with the pre-show match up.

United States Champion Dean Ambrose vs Rob Van Dam - Professional wrestling veteran Rob Van Dam won a Battle Royal last Monday on RAW which gave him a United State championship match against The Shield’s own Dean Ambrose. I still think this match should have been on the main card, if it happened to be on the main card this pay per view would have been even better although it was already amazing. I knew that Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins would try to get involved when Rob Van Dam was about to finish off Ambrose, so it was almost expected to have Mark Henry and Big Show come out and stop them before they could get involved. But Roman Reigns eventually got involved and speared RVD giving him the win. This was Rob Van Dam’s first attempt to win a WWE championship since returning to the WWE back at Money in the Bank. He was gone from the company for awhile but kept himself fresh by joining TNA. His in ring ability has slowed down a bit only because age is catching up too him. But the way he performed in this match last night, should show this creative team that he needs to get involved in bigger story-lines. The way it ended tells us about two possible match ups that will happen between WWE RAW and Night of Champions which is the next pay per view. We should see The Shield (Reigns and Rollins) putting their WWE Tag Team Championships up against The Big Show and “The Worlds Strongest Man” Mark Henry and Dean Ambrose putting the United States Championship up against Rob Van Dam once again.

Winner: Rob Van Dam (disqualification) 

Kane vs Bray Wyatt (Inferno Match) - I don’t care what anybody says, this was an Inferno Match. I grew up watching the WWE back when it was the World Wrestling Federation, which Kane was involved in the first with The Undertaker on April 26th, 1998 at Unforgiven. It was their “Father” Paul Bearer’s (William Moody, R.I.P.) idea while the siblings were involved in one of the biggest rivalries the company had at the time. I’ve said this before in my Summer Slam prediction from a couple weeks ago and I’ll say it again. I love The Wyatt Family. When we seen The Shield, we were all pumped up to see these guys who were tearing up NXT, finally in the big leagues causing havoc with guys like John Cena and Ryback. The whole Injustice thing is still great, but the WWE needed something fresh and different and boy did they deliver. When Bray Wyatt was in the WWE with Nexus, he was known as Husky Harris. That character didn’t really work for me, apparently it didn’t work for the company as he was sent down. When their video packages debuted for the first time a few months ago, the hair on my arms literally stood up. Wyatt in my opinion has the best mic skills when it comes to the up and coming Superstars. The whole “Follow the Buzzards” thing was amazing and I had a feeling this would end being a match that would fit the whole story-line between Bray and Kane. The Ring of Fire aka Inferno Match bit sorta took me by surprise, in the older days of the WWE, wrestlers were trying to “intentionally” burn their opponent. So I was curious to see how this would play out as a lot of things changed in the company. I didn’t really expect this match to kick off the show, I thought it would maybe be Sandow and Rhodes but it was an acceptable opener. It was entertaining to see Luke Harper and Erick Rowan trying to find their way into the ring as Kane picked apart their leader Bray for a good portion of the match. You had Luke trying to hand Bray a kendo stick through the fire, which ended up setting the handle itself on fire. It sorta looked like Bray’s in ring work needed to be tweaked a little bit, like he was nervous to be in a match like this. More than halfway through the match, Luke and Erick finally found their way inside the ring as they grabbed a fire blanket from a fire fighter who was ringside and tossed it on one side of the fire. Both Luke and Erick came to their leaders aide after it looked like Kane was going to pick up the victory after hitting Bray with a chokeslam. The numbers game was too much for Kane as he grabbed Erick by the throat looking for a possible chokeslam until Luke hit him with a big boot. This set up Bray hitting his finisher the “Sister Abigail” which gave him the victory. After the match, both Luke and Erick dragged Kane near the ramp where the base of the steel stairs were sitting in front of Bray’s signature rocking chair. Kane was placed face down on the steel steps in front of Bray which lead to Luke and Erick slamming the steel steps on Kane’s head. This was an entertaining opening match which could possibly be building up to a match at Survivor Series later on in the year between The Wyatt Family and The Brothers of Destruction (Kane and The Undertaker) which would be amazing. Curious to see who will become the Wyatt Family’s next victim, could possibly find out tonight on RAW.

Winner: Bray Wyatt 

Cody Rhodes vs Damien Sandow - Of course Sandow had to start things off by cutting a promo during his entrance. Talking about Rhodes family whose father is “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and his older brother is Dustin Rhodes aka Goldust and referred to them as “clowns” and Cody his sidekick. This match was pretty fast paced and was a good follow up to the pay per view opener. Sandow controlled the match early on but Rhodes picked up steam and opened up his offense on Sandow. Damien is slowly becoming one of the top heels in the company and this feud with Rhodes should boost that image he’s trying to pass to the audience. Rhodes hits Sandow with his “Disaster Kick” but the Money in the Bank holder for the World Heavyweight Championship was able to get his shoulder off the mat before the three count. Damien hit a beautiful neck-breaker to stop the momentum of Rhodes but that couldn’t get the job done as Rhodes kicked out. Sandow looked as if he was going to be moments away from winning the match as he grabbed a hold of Rhodes, who slipped away and ended up hitting his finisher “Cross Rhodes” for the victory. This left Damien Sandow laying in the opposite corner of the celebrating Cody Rhodes, hugging onto his Money in the Bank briefcase tightly. I think this could end up becoming a match that will involve the Money in the Bank contract being up for grabs at Night of Champions in September. I love this feud, I love both characters, especially Sandow and I expect this to continue on either tomorrow on WWE RAW or SmackDown.

Winner: Cody Rhodes 

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs Christian - This of course was for the World Heavyweight Championship. They cut the whole “one more match” promo with Christian, which made it seem like this was actually Christian’s last night. The highlight video showed the biggest moments of Christian’s career which would lead to Christian’s entrance for the match up. When Del Rio’s theme up and he walked out, his face was completely messed up. Michael Cole said that the bruising on Del Rio’s face (which happened to be both eye’s) was due to a Killswitch that Christian delivered to the World Heavyweight Champion on SmackDown last week. Wrong, it turns out that Del Rio and Drew McIntyre got into a heated altercation which lead to physical contact that resulted in Del Rio getting bruised up. The match up was pretty predictable for Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio targeted Christian’s left arm with submission moves and different strikes to weaken it as expected. The match was better than I thought it was going to be, considering it was pretty low on the card. At one point in the match Christian went to go climb the top rope looking to hit an aerial move of his own with his back to Del Rio, which allowed the World Heavyweight Champion to hit his signature move “The Backstabber” from the middle turnbuckle. Near the end of the match, Christian hit a big spear on Del Rio which made it look like we were going to have a new champion. Christian couldn’t capitalize as he sold the injured arm allowing the World Heavyweight Champion to pull himself together and lock on his cross arm breaker for the win. After the match, Alberto Del Rio cut a promo on how the WWE needs a Mexican hero like himself. Now this promo was unexpected and it seemed like it was going to open up a return to Rey Mysterio. With the fall out of Ricardo Rodriguez, I’m thinking that could very well happen. I could see Rey Mysterio with Ricardo Rodriguez in his corner going up against Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio (Submission)

Natalya vs Brie Bella - This match was pretty much a show case for two stars of the TV show on E! called “Total Divas”. I’m a professional wrestling fan and I haven’t even watched an episode, don’t really plan on watching it anytime soon either. I was expecting the Bella Twins to pull off their “Twin Magic” but ever since someones recent surgery, it’s pretty obvious on who is who now. Anyways, this match up looked as if it was going to end when Natalya locked in a sharpshooter on Brie (who got loose on a previous attempt) and the match ended with Natalya getting the win over one of the cocky and conceited Bella twin. No idea what this could possibly lead up too in regards of a feud, but I think we will see a Six Diva tag team match tonight on RAW with Cameron, Naomi and Natalya going up against The Bella Twins and Eva Marie.

Winner: Natalya (Submission) 

CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar - The Best vs The Beast. Wolverine vs The Hulk. David vs Goliath. I have been so hyped up about this match ever since Heyman’s turn on CM Punk at Money in the Bank not too long ago. The build up to this match was brilliant. You had the former UFC Heavyweight Champion up against a guy who was pretty much half his size. This to me was the match of the night, wait, this to me was probably the best match of the ENTIRE YEAR! In my opinion this match was better than Triple H vs Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. You had those epic battles between Brock Lesnar and CM Punk during Monday Night RAW leading up to SummerSlam where Lesnar would dominate Punk. Then Punk started to pick up momentum the more trash Heyman started talking, eventually leading to Punk picking apart Brock with a series of kicks and punches, using his speed to his advantage. The battles those two got into during RAW were my favorite segments in the past couple weeks of the show. I always enjoy a good Paul Heyman or CM Punk promo and knowing that these two were on opposite sides of the fence for the first time was really exciting for me as a huge fan of both men. I’m pretty positive the creative team gave all the creative power to Heyman, Punk and Lesnar and it turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL match. First you had The Beast Brock Lesnar head out to the ring, wearing his MMA ring gear with Paul Heyman praising him while they made their way to the ring. Then that familiar theme song hit and the roof of the Staples Center blew off. Out walked The Best in the World, CM Punk. Wearing his hoodie, dropping down to one knee writing something into the ramp, eventually leading to him shouting out his signature phrase “It’s Clobbering Time!!” while the fans joined in. This match was everything I expected and more. The fact that it was a No Disqualification match and Paul Heyman was ringside made it even better. These two men really went to war and put every inch of their body on the line. This entire match up was brutal. Brock had his moments where he straight manhandled CM Punk. There was one point in the match where Lesnar threw Punk across the commentators table, causing Punk to land on the corner which left a nasty bruise on Punk’s back. Both men gave it their all in this match up, hitting each other with everything they had. From chair shots, to power house moves from Lesnar to Punk, everything this match was supposed to be, was spot on. From the time the promo aired, I was on the edge of my seat. I sat on the edge of my seat the entire match up. There were a couple handfuls of near falls in this match. Both men locked in their signature submissions, Brock Lesnar’s being the Kimura and Punk’s being the Anaconda Vise.  Punk even slapped on an arm breaker on Lesnar that turned into a triangle choke. Lesnar picked up Punk during the first attempt and slammed him down, only to have Punk lock it on even tighter. Lesnar looked like he was about to fade out and give Punk the win until he picked Punk up once again and delivered a running powerbomb, leaving Punk no choice but to let go. Punk would then deliver a flying elbow drop off the top rope with a chair in hand, connecting to Brock Lesnar’s face. Right after that, Heyman got involved on the ring apron and got Punk’s attention. This gave Lesnar enough time to pull himself together and scoop the underdog up above his shoulders setting him up for an F-5. Punk grabbed ahold of Heyman’s tie and held on for dear life. Lesnar was shouting “Let Go!” as he tried to pull him free from Paul’s tie, only to allow Punk to drop off his shoulders and deliver a Go To Sleep. Punk then covered Lesnar and only picked up a two count as Heyman jumped in the ring and broke up the pin, trying to pummel on Punk. This would lead to a chase around the ring between Punk and Heyman with Paul sliding back into the ring and CM Punk ending up on Lesnar’s shoulders once again. It looked like things were going to swing The Beasts way until he swung Punk over his shoulders looking to connect with an F-5, only to have it reversed into a DDT. Punk would cover Lesnar once again, but only get a two count then immediately locked in the Anaconda Vise. Heyman tried getting into the ring with the same chair Punk used on Lesnar earlier in the match only to get Punk’s attention. Punk finally got his hands on the man who he thought was his best friend. He delivered a right hand to Heyman then locked in the Anaconda Vise seconds later on Lesnar’s manager. This gave Lesnar time to recover once again as he picked up the steel chair and violently beat CM Punk with it until he laid in the middle of the ring limp. They were some pretty brutal chair shots. Lesnar pulled Punk onto his shoulders and delivered the F-5 for the win. I really really hope this feud is far from over. They need to continue to build this and hopefully we will see more of these two men between Night of Champions and Survivor Series.

Winner: Brock Lesnar 

Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn vs Big E. Langston and Divas Champion A.J. Lee - The inter-gender tag team match that featured former World Heavyweight and Divas Champion Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn up against Big E. and A.J. was pretty entertaining. Any match that Ziggler is involved is always entertaining, the man can sell any move from any wrestler on this roster. This stable was doomed as soon as Ziggler started to pick up baby face praises from the WWE Universe. Then it was surely finished when Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank on Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship. You could tell the creative team tried to keep Ziggler on track to become a heel, but the WWE faithful had other plans that forced the writers to allow Ziggler to become baby face. I have to say after watching this pay per view match up, Big E. Langston is one athletic man. The match up started with Big E. and Dolph Ziggler going head to head and they wasted no time getting after each other. With Big E. being the power house, he eventually took over and opened up his offense on Ziggler. A.J. plays a perfect role in this whole match up, shouting at Ziggler and Kaitlyn who eventually asked her former best friend if “She liked having her sloppy seconds” or something along those lines. Either way that part of the match was pretty hilarious. A.J. did her typical skipping around the ring, hitting Kaitlyn with some offensive moves to weaken her. Ziggler and Langston would re-enter the match up following a “hot tag” and the match would instantly pick up speed. Later on in the match, Kaitlyn delivered a vicious spear to the WWE Divas Championship that nearly broke her in half. Meanwhile in the ring, Big E. went to hit Ziggler with his finisher only to have him wiggle free and drop behind him allowing Ziggler to hit the Zig Zag for the victory. This could be a build up for Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio again if Rey Mysterio isn’t involved anytime soon and could lead up to a A.J. Lee and Kaitlyn match at Night of Champions for the WWE Divas Championship.

Winner: Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn 

WWE Champion John Cena vs Daniel Bryan - This match totally took me by surprise. If you didn’t know, John Cena has been wrestling hurt (when isn’t he?) and was rumored to be taking some time off after SummerSlam. I think this is why the WWE pushed the whole Randy Orton and Money in the Bank angle into this feud. You know, after Cena and Bryan would have a stare down, Orton’s music would hit and he would just come out and raise the briefcase above his head, that whole deal. Anyways, Daniel Bryan kicked off the main event by heading to the ring first. The entire crowd in the Staples Center were on their feet, throwing their fingers in the air chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” with the bearded underdog Daniel Bryan. As soon as John Cena’s music hit, the crowds reaction switched from cheering for Bryan, to a mix of boo’s and cheers. Cena walks out and has a big elbow sleeve over his left elbow, if you haven’t seen a picture of his elbow you should definitely check it out. It was like John Cena had a softball as an elbow, it was pretty nasty when I seen it and I have to say I respect the man a lot more for wrestling with that problem for as long as he has. I thought this match up was going to be a typical Cena match. Cena gets beat down the entire match, only to come out of nowhere and hit his opponent with the Attitude Adjustment or lock in the STFU. This match actually went back and forth as both men continued to change momentum throughout the main event. Bryan would hit his signature kicks, Cena would hit his signature five moves and the entire crowd was into the match up. You figured they would have been drained after the CM Punk and Brock Lesnar match but this crowd had a lot of energy tonight. Bryan targeted Cena’s elbow, delivering kicks and other strikes trying to make the injury worse. Bryan even locked Cena in his own submission hold. Bryan would hit his signature of rush attacks and even kick out of the Attitude Adjustment near the end of the match. Cena set Daniel Bryan up on the top rope, which looked like he was going for a Super Attitude Adjustment. Bryan delivered a series of elbows to the side of John Cena’s head, standing on the top rope in front of him looking to deliver a Frankensteiner or Hurricanrana if you will. Cena caught Bryan’s legs on his way down and eventually jumped off the middle turnbuckle. Cena would lay Bryan down in what looked like was a Boston Crab attempt, but slapped on his STFU submission instead. The champion looked like he was prepared to break the young challenger in half with this hold. Bryan would eventually slip out and later on hit a clean running knee to the WWE Champions face to pick up the victory. The crowd erupted with cheers as Triple H called for the bell and Lillian Garcia announced Daniel Bryan as the new WWE Champion. Bryan held the title high and even squatted in the corner mentioning his Mom and Dad to the camera and thanking them for being there for him. It was an entertaining match and a possible Match of the Year candidate along with CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar’s.

Winner: New WWE Champion Daniel Bryan 

WWE Champion Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton – And then it happened. Daniel was celebrating with at least 10 minutes left in the pay per view and Randy Orton’s music hit. The crowd switched their attention from Daniel Bryan’s celebration to the the Apex Predator Randy Orton. Orton made his typical slow stroll out to the ring, eyeballing the new WWE Champion as he reached the edge of the ramp. Bryan would put down his newly won WWE championship and tried to get Orton to come into the ring, wanting him to attempt to cash in the briefcase. Orton would raise the briefcase and turn his back looking to make his way to the locker room to a crowd full of boos. When Orton turned around and looked back at Bryan again, Triple H turned the champion around, planted a kick to his midsection, hooked up his arms and planted him face first into the mat with a Pedigree. The Money in the Bank holder for the WWE Championship would slide into the ring, lock eyes with the C.O.O. and hand him the briefcase. Triple H would rush to the corner, hand it to the time keeper and tell him to ring the bell. Orton would slither his way to the beaten Daniel Bryan and pin him to successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract and become the NEW WWE Champion. 

Winner: WWE Champion Randy Orton 

It seemed as if the breath was taken away from the crowd. This was definitely an unexpected turn of events. First off nobody expected Bryan to beat Cena cleanly, I mean I did but that’s just me. But when it came to Triple H, a guy who backed up Daniel Bryan in the previous weeks against Vince McMahon and who has been a face for this company over the past two years or so, turning on Daniel Bryan like that was shocking. Now if you don’t remember, Triple H and Randy Orton were apart of the stable “Evolution”. Evolution involved Dave Batista as the Muscle, Ric Flair as the legendary mentor, Triple H as the man of the company at the time and Randy Orton as the future of the business. Evolution was an awesome stable and I enjoyed their run with the company. It slowly started to fall apart as soon as Randy Orton became World Heavyweight Championship, a championship in which Triple H lost to Chris Benoit. Now the way this ended, reminded me of The Rock vs Mankind for the vacant WWE Championship at Survivor Series of 1998. Vince McMahon had Mankind as his “guy” if you will and ended up screwing him out of the WWE Championship for The Rock. So now are we looking at Evolution 2.0? or the new Corporation? Either way, Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton should be set to go head to head at Night of Champions for the WWE Championship.

It will be interesting to see how this will play out during RAW tonight. It appears that both Triple H and Randy Orton have turned heel and could be set to set up another strong stable. If this does happen, who becomes a part of the new stable? They could have Big. E Langston as the muscle instead of Batista and maybe a guy like Dean Ambrose as the future of the company like Randy Orton. Either way this pay per view was the best they have had so far this year. A pay per view that has two Match of the Year candidates and an unexpected twist at the end deserves high praises.

Overall I give this Pay Per View a 5/5. 

WWE Monday Night RAW should be interesting tonight.


Tags: Brock Lesnar CM Punk John Cena Randy Orton Triple H WWE

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