The 25th edition of SummerSlam took place in 2012. It was during the really long WWE Title reign of CM Punk where he held the title for 434 days. This was about one month after Punk turned heel when he attacked the Rock on Raw 1000 in July 2012.
This was also during the period where Brock Lesnar made his return to WWE on the Raw after WrestleMania. Lesnar went on to lose his first match back against John Cena, which was a decision I didn’t agree with at all. SummerSlam would be Lesnar’s second match back in a WWE ring, this time against Triple H.
I wrote a live review of the show, which I’ll include below along with my additional 2018 comments in red font.
As a reminder, you can check out all of my SummerSlam reviews here in case you want to know what I think about a particular match whenever you feel like re-watching the shows.
Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
August 19, 2012
There was a nice video package about the 25 years of SummerSlam. Then it turned into a video focused on the Triple H/Lesnar match.
The announcers for the show are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. They made a storm analogy because the Triple H/Lesnar match is billed as the “perfect storm.”
Vickie Guerrero appeared on the stage. She introduced Dolph Ziggler. Chris Jericho made his entrance second. They both got good reactions. Jericho’s pop was very loud of course. Jericho walked out with taped ribs to sell an injury he suffered on Smackdown when Ziggler attacked him backstage.
Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Chris Jericho
Pre-match notes: Ziggler was a heel that was a Money in the Bank contract holder. Jericho was the face.
They worked a fast pace early. Cole noted that Jericho hasn’t won a PPV match since he came back in January. Ziggler was able to slow it down after giving Jericho a reverse backbreaker so that his stomach hit the knee of Ziggler. There was a mixed chant of “Let’s Go Ziggler – Y2J” that was audible. Jericho recovered to give Ziggler a backdrop over the top to the floor. Jericho missed a springboard attack to the floor as Ziggler rolled back into the ring. Ziggler hit a corner splash for two. Ziggler hit a neckbreaker. Ziggler did the cocky “come on baby” pin that Jericho always used to do. Cole didn’t pick up on it of course. I miss JR. Ziggler missed another corner splash, so Jericho gave him a dropkick to the head. Jericho came back with a double axehandle off the middle rope. That’s an old school move. Jericho went for a move, Ziggler dodged him, Jericho hit his head and Ziggler hit the Fameasser (that needs a Ziggler related name) for two. Another one of those “Let’s Go Ziggler – Y2J” chants started up. Jericho came back with an enziguri to the back of the head. Jericho made a corner charge, Ziggler moved and Ziggler slapped on the sleeper hold, which is a move he’s used many times over the years. The crowd was clapping in support of Jericho as he tried to fight it. Jericho drove Ziggler to the turnbuckle to break the hold.
Jericho hit a hurricanrana off the top. That’s some old school WCW Lionheart Jericho right there. Ziggler came back with a nice looking DDT for two. They are going move for move here with neither guy in full control. Another dueling chant the announcers didn’t acknowledge of course. Jericho came back with a bulldog. The Lionsault missed because Ziggler got his knees up. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag. Jericho kicked out at two. Great nearfall. Jericho hit a Codebreaker out of nowhere. Ziggler rolled out of the ring after it. Jericho rolled him back in. Vickie grabbed Jericho’s leg and Ziggler got a cradle for two. Ziggler charged the corner, Jericho moved and Jericho put him in the Walls of Jericho. He put the move on Liontamer style where Ziggler’s back was bent backwards. The match went 13:07.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Jericho
Analysis: ***3/4 Very good choice for the opener. Jericho did an amazing job of going move for move with Ziggler. Neither guy had the advantage for very long. It was about trading moves the whole way until Ziggler made a mistake and Jericho capitalized for the win. I assume Jericho is still leaving after tomorrow night’s Raw due to Fozzy tour dates he has upcoming, but it will be interesting to see where things go from here. How soon does Ziggler cash in the briefcase to become World Champion? I’m not sure what will happen. I thought Ziggler would win here, so I’m intrigued by where they may be going with this.
(The reason I thought Jericho would win is because Ziggler had the Money in the Bank briefcase. That’s how us normal people would think, but in WWE they book Money in the Bank briefcase holders to lose often. I guess Jericho went over because he hadn’t won a PPV match earlier in the year.)
They aired a video about the Triple H/Brock Lesnar angle from Monday when Lesnar “broke the arm” of Shawn Michaels. They read a tweet from Michaels supporting Triple H.
Backstage, Matt Striker talked to Brock Lesnar who was also joined by Paul Heyman. Heyman re-iterated what Triple H said later. “This is a fight. A fight to the finish.” Lesnar said: “Triple H – this is a fight you cannot win.” Heyman said: “If you’re not down with that we have two words for you – tap out.”
Analysis: Lesnar barely said anything. That’s how you do a promo where there’s a manager involved. It makes his words more poignant.
(Lesnar said a few words there. As the years went by, he didn’t talk much at all.)
Daniel Bryan made his entrance. The Spanish announcers were shown at ringside.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
Pre-match notes: Bryan was a heel that would yell “no” at the fans that were chanting “yes” to mock Bryan. Kane was a face that was wearing the mask at this point.
Bryan used his speed early, but Kane gave him a boot to the face to knock him down. As Bryan kicked Kane in the leagues, the crowd chanted “yes” to piss off Bryan. Kane threw Bryan outside the ring, so Bryan went into the ring. Bryan hit a dive between the top and middle rope that knocked both guys down. Bryan hit a missile dropkick in the center of the ring for a count of just one. Bryan hit Kane with a lot of kicks in the chest, but the head kick missed and Kane was able to deck Kane with a hard clothesline. Kane hit him with a couple of clotheslines in the corner followed by the side slam for two. Bryan hit a punch to the jaw shortly after, so Kane attacked Bryan with punches in the corner. Kane was nearly disqualified, but he stopped just before the count of five. Bryan did the spot where he kicked the rope as Kane had his head against the rope. Bryan went for the newly renamed No Lock, but Kane fought out of it so Bryan ended up hitting a hard kick to the face while Kane was on his knees. Bryan yelled “no” and he went for a headbutt off the top rope. Instead, Kane caught him. Chokeslam by Kane in the center of the ring. Kane went for a Tombstone Piledriver. Bryan countered it with an inside cradle for the pinfall victory at 8:02.
Winner by pinfall: Daniel Bryan
Analysis: ** It was like a TV match. It didn’t get enough time to get to that next level, but they’ve obviously built up some great chemistry together over the past few months. Bryan won clean here, which is what I had predicted. I’m not sure if the feud is over at this point, though. I liked that they didn’t say it was a major upset or anything like that. Obviously, they could have gone that route. Instead it was more about Bryan getting the upper hand and being able to win the match by using a smart counter hold.
(The Bryan/Kane relationship had a lot of ups and downs. Eventually, they became Team Hell No at the SummerSlam that took place one year later, Bryan was the most popular guy on the show.)
Post match, they showed Kane backstage. He was throwing things around backstage because he was so mad. Josh Mathews tried to talk to Kane. Kane just grabbed him and asked, “where is Danny?” Josh said he left, so Kane threw him to the side although we never saw where Josh landed. Kane left angrily.
Analysis: That segment was unintentionally funny. I would assume that the Bryan/Kane feud continues.
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
Pre-match notes: The Miz was in his usual heel role as the champion and Mysterio was the face that beat Miz non-title to earn the title shot.
Mysterio had a Batman-like outfit. Miz overpowered Mysterio early, or at least he tried to. Miz grabbed Mysterio outside the ring and dropped him stomach first onto the top of the security wall. He rolled him back in for a two count. Mysterio countered a back suplex into a cover for two. They did this really cool spot where Miz caught Mysterio on his shoulders and hit a backbreaker variation for a count of two. Miz hit a running boot to the face for two. Miz thwarted a Mysterio comeback with a clothesline to the face. Miz took a long time to climb to the top rope, so Mysterio kicked the ropes and down Miz went. Mysterio hit a seated senton off the top. Mysterio went for a hurricanrana, but Miz countered it into a powerbomb. Cole said that Miz came back with a bunch of new moves. He only has new moves in this match because he’s against somebody smaller like Mysterio, but it was nice of Cole to try to put something over like that. Mysterio came back with a hard kick to the face of Miz for two. The crowd is pretty quiet at this point surprisingly. Mysterio hit a spinning DDT for two. Mysterio went to the top. He leaped off and hit a headscissors that sent Miz to the ropes. That led to the 619 for Mysterio. Mysterio tried to Drop the Dime off the top. Miz moved. Mysterio countered the Skull Crushing Finale attempt into an awesome roll through that earned him two. That was a really good spot. Mysterio charged, Miz moved, Mysterio hit the turnbuckle and Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the win at 9:09.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: **1/2 They told a nice story in the ten minutes they were given. It was a typical Mysterio match in that he hit a lot of his high flying offense and his opponent was able to hit some big moves on him because he’s so small. The win for Miz was obvious because Mysterio doesn’t need a title while Miz is being built back up.
(It was about giving Miz a big win over a credible name at a major show. They did a good job with some nearfalls later in the match.)
A plug for the new WWE App on iPhone and Android. It took them long enough, huh?
Backstage, Teddy Long and Eve left the locker room of Raw General Manager, AJ Lee. Teddy said Raw superstars liked AJ as the GM. Eve just said “sure” and they left. She’s back to wearing the glasses since she is Booker’s assistant now.
(Eve looked even better than usual with her “office” look.)
CM Punk walked in AJ’s GM office. All of a sudden, they switched to a camera inside the room. Punk said being in a three way match is unfair and the reason she is doing this to him is because he said no to her marriage proposal. Actually, it’s because the creative team forgot that they did a triple threat two PPVs ago and they are not good at coming up with new ideas. AJ said nothing as he kept talking about he wants to be shown respect. He just left frustrated because she looked on without saying a damn thing.
Analysis: I think the point of this was to get over the fact that AJ has lost her interest in CM Punk because he’s a whiner these days as opposed to last month when she was enamored with him.
(Two years later, Punk and AJ were married. Punk hates WWE now, but he should probably thank them for booking him to work with his future wife as often as they did.)
There was a video package for the Sheamus match against Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Title.
Del Rio made his entrance first with Ricardo Rodriguez doing the introductions. Del Rio entered in a 2010 Ferrari worth $250,000 apparently. Sheamus made his entrance to a nice ovation. “Fellaaaaaaaaaaa!” He didn’t steal this car. He just looked at this one.
World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Pre-match notes: Sheamus was the face World Heavyweight Champion while Del Rio was the heel challenger.
This is a rematch from Money in the Bank where Sheamus also won, but as I’ve said for weeks they have conveniently left out that fact. It was physical early on with some brawling out on the floor. Sheamus won that battle, but as he made his way back into the ring Del Rio gave Sheamus a kick to the head. Del Rio hit a kick to the head. Sheamus came back with a rolling senton for two. Cole made up some story about how Del Rio almost made the Olympics in wrestling, which must be a new fake story this year since the Olympics ended. Del Rio hit a dropkick to the knees of Sheamus to knock the World Champion to the floor. Back in the ring, Del Rio grabbed a chinlock. Sheamus went for a neckbreaker, but Del Rio fought out and he got a hard kick to the face. A lot of wrestlers do the hard kick to the face on an opponent that’s on their knees. Sheamus fought out of a chinlock with some headbutts. Del Rio countered a charge with a knee to the ribs followed by a running knee to the back of the head. Del Rio apparently went for a Brogue Kick, but Sheamus decked him with his running forearms to the face. Sheamus missed a corner charge. He went to the top. Del Rio kicked his foot to trip him up. Del Rio hit an armbreaker off the top rope. That was a really cool looking spot with his knees going up against the left arm of Sheamus. Del Rio hit the Cross Armbreaker. The crowd was cheering for Sheamus to get out of it. Sheamus got back to his feet and slammed Del Rio down. Sheamus hit the White Noise for two. The crowd bought that as a nearfall even though it’s rare for Sheamus to win with that move. Sheamus hit his ten clubbing forearms into the chest of Del Rio as he was up against the ropes. Sheamus went for ten punches in the head in the corner where the turnbuckle was exposed. Del Rio hit a running enziguiri for two. That was the best nearfall of the match. Del Rio was so mad that he hit Rodriguez. I think that’s Tensai’s gimmick. Rodriguez threw his shoe to Del Rio, but it missed. Sheamus hit Del Rio with a shoe. Sheamus hit the Irish Curse Backbreaker. He covered. Del Rio put his leg on the ropes. Sheamus knocked the leg off the ropes and the ref counted the pinfall. The match went 11:22.
Winner by pinfall: Sheamus
Analysis: **1/2 They worked a slow pace early with Del Rio controlling the action. The fans weren’t really into it until Sheamus made his comeback. The finish was flat. I was hoping this feud would be over here, but it looks like it’s going to continue since Del Rio has a legit case against referee Mike Chioda that missed his foot on the ropes. I think with a better finish and more time they could have had a good match. Instead, it felt like it was cut short. I expected Sheamus to retain, but I thought it would be cleaner than that.
Post match, Del Rio and Rodriguez complained to the ref about how Del Rio’s foot was on the ropes. The ref Mike Chioda just left. Cole was complaining about it too.
(I don’t remember this feud very well at all. Weak ending to the match. Those guys were capable of a better match, but this one just seemed off a bit.)
There was a video about WWE’s involvement with National Guard. They showed some members of the California National Guard at ringside.
The Night of Champions PPV is September 16 in Boston. That is John Cena’s home town, or at least very close to it.
They aired the video from earlier where Triple H told referee Scott Armstrong that his match won’t end via DQ or countout. Either somebody taps out or somebody gets pinned. The announcers also read a tweet from Shawn Michaels talking about how bad things would happen to Brock Lesnar.
Tag Team Championships: R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. The Primetime Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil)
The champs won the titles on April 30th as Cole informed us. There was a “Kobe Bryant” chant early. I’m sure the now unemployed AW was proud of that chant. R-Truth made the hot tag to Kingston. Kingston hit his fast paced offense on O’Neil including the Boom Drop. He went for the Trouble in Paradise, but Young distracted him and eventually, O’Neil was there to deck Kingston with a hard clothesline to knock him down. Now it’s the time of the match where the challengers will slow it down by working on Kingston. O’Neil gave a front suplex to Young so that he ended up giving a splash to Kingston. Lawler mentioned the brief “Little Jimmy” chant. It’s called selective hearing since they didn’t mention the earlier chant. O’Neil gave Kingston an abdominal strength. The announcers kept talking about how good O’Neil can be. He’s pretty boring actually. Kingston countered a power move with a DDT. That led to the hot tag of Truth, who worked against Young. Truth hit his flying forearm followed by a front suplex for two because O’Neil saved his partner. O’Neil missed a charge on Kingston, he went to the floor and then Kingston hit a top rope crossbody on O’Neil on the floor. Young got a rollup for two. He went for his finish, but Truth fought out of it and hit his Little Jimmy finisher for the win at 7:06
Winners by pinfall: R-Truth & Kofi Kingston
Analysis: *1/2 I was hoping for a title change. I think the champs are average in a lot of ways. It would have meant something for the challengers to win the belts here. It’s not like there are a lot of other heel tag teams for Truth/Kingston to feud with although perhaps the Hawkins/Reks team will get a push to that level. It was a basic match with the heels dominating the action and then Truth was able to finish off Young rather easily. Would this have been the finish if AW was still there? I’m not sure we’ll ever know.
(This was not a strong period for the tag team division. It’s bad when I was thinking of a team like Hawkins/Reks becoming title contenders. They never got close to that level. As for the Prime Time Players, they did eventually become Tag Team Champions, but I thought they should have won the gold here.)
There was a video showing the activities that WWE superstars did during Summerslam week like Axxess, superstars visiting a hospital, a party about the Be A Star campaign and of course plugging all of the press they’re getting. Summerslam is in LA every year in large part because of the press they get in Los Angeles.
The video package for the CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show WWE Title match aired. Punk was the WWE Champion, Cena tried to cash in Money in the Bank on him, Show caused a DQ in that match and it set up this triple threat. Punk didn’t want to be disrespected any more.
Here’s my “Did You Know” fact: This is the eighth PPV of the year and the eighth time CM Punk has not wrestled in the last match as WWE Champion.
John Cena entered first. Justin Roberts announced him as he ran down to the ring. They don’t get the in-ring championship style intros with all three guys in the ring? That’s a shame. It sounded like Cena received more boos than cheers. Big Show entered second. Cole said “for many Big Show is the favorite.” No he’s not. Michael Cole noted it was the 274th day of CM Punk’s WWE Title reign. Punk got a nice ovation. Maybe not as loud as when he was purely a babyface, but it was a good reaction for him.
(Punk’s WWE Title reign lasted 434 days as I mentioned earlier.)
WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: Punk was the WWE Champion that was a face with a slow heel turn, Cena was a face and Show was a heel.
CM Punk is rocking some pink, black and white attire. Is that in tribute to Bret Hart, who has some of the best SummerSlam matches ever? Yes it is. Show hit his hard chops to the chest on each guy. Show hit a suplex on both guys at the same time. Show squashed Cena in the corner, so Cena collapsed to the floor. Punk hit a dropkick to the knee of Show. Credit Big Show for taking a nice bump there by doing a flip over to his back. That can’t be easy for a guy his size. Punk went for the GTS on Show, but he couldn’t do it. Cena put Show on his shoulders and Punk knocked them both down. Punk tried to come back, he jumped off the top, Show caught him and Show dropped him with an elbow. Cena came back. Show gave Cena a Spear for two. The first six minutes of the match was all about Big Show dominating the action while the other two had to oversell all of his offense. Then Show went to the second rope for his splash on both guys. Punk moved, so Show squashed Cena with the move. That move looks too fake because Show lands on his knees instead of spread his legs out. When Vader used to do that move it looked a lot better. Punk tried some offense, but Show shoved him out of the ring. Cena rolled into the ring. Show grabbed Punk, threw him against the ropes neck first and Punk bounced back onto the floor. Show hit a side slam on Cena. Cena recovered quickly with his side suplex. Punk clotheslined Cena before he could do the Five Knuckle Shuffle. It was similar to when Punk hit that clothesline on Rock at Raw 1000 on July 23. Punk hit a top rope elbow on Show, which Show was able to power out of. Punk hit a kick to Show’s head while he was on his knee. It’s a common move in WWE these days. Punk tried a submission, but Show powered out as we’ve hit the ten minute mark.
John Cena went after Big Show with a shoulderblock followed by the STF. Show powered out of it. Punk hit a springboard clothesline on Show. He hit the running knee into the head of Show three times. Punk couldn’t hit his bulldog out of the corner, so Cena went to the top and hit his leg drop to the back of the head of Show. Punk put Show in the Koji Clutch. Cena put Show in the STF. Show tapped the mat. The bell rang. Both Punk and Cena thought they won. Ref Chad Patton tried to explain it to them. The music of AJ Lee started up. The match went 13 minutes as she made her way out there.
AJ Lee grabbed a microphone. She said “restart the match.” Cena and Punk were shocked. I think it was pretty obvious. They turned around. Show hit a Chokeslam on Punk and Cena at the same time. Each guy kicked out. Shortly after that, Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Show. Punk shoved Cena out of the ring. Punk pinned Show for the win. Match went 12:34.
Winner by pinfall: CM Punk
Post match, Punk celebrated his win. He kept saying “gotta respect that.” He’s said the word “respect” many times during his title reign.
Analysis: *** It was all about Big Show dominating the match for the first ten minutes. I understood why they did all of the overbooking at the end there because that way Cena was an out to get himself a rematch. The finish was exactly as I had predicted in the preview with Cena hitting the AA on Show, Punk throwing him out and Punk retaining his title. I realize it wasn’t difficult to predict that since they’ve done those kind of finishes many times. Punk wasn’t much of a heel here. He’s still in tweener mode. I keep waiting for him to do something that is really evil, but it didn’t happen here.
(Punk winning was the obvious decision and Show taking the pin was even more obvious. It was just WWE wanting to delay another Cena vs. Punk match. The finish was the same thing they do all the time with one guy hitting a finisher, the third wrestler tosses him out of the ring and the third guy covers the dude that’s out in the ring. The match was not nearly as good as most of the Punk vs. Cena matches.)
They showed some people walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame and conveniently the camera showed us Vince McMahon’s star there.
Stars in the building: Piers Morgan, Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit who gave the middle finger to the camera. Music producer Rick Rubin is also there. Former WCW Champion David Arquette was there with a replica World Championship title. Maria Menounos was also there.
(The middle finger by Durst was not shown on the WWE Network version. They cut away on this version.)
We got a video about the WWE Films movie called “The Day.” It’s in theaters August 29th. They showed the cast of the movie. Cole and Lawler thinks it looks like an awesome movie. Of course they do.
(Never saw it. I don’t remember it.)
They showed a clip from the pre-show when Antonio Cesaro won the United States Title from Santino.
Lilian Garcia introduced Kevin Rudolf to sing the SummerSlam theme song “Don’t Give Up.” The divas joined him on the stage. They danced. Michael Cole also danced at ringside. That was awful. Natalya is definitely my favorite of the bunch. Eve was looking nice too. It’s nice to see Rosa back too. They played some fireworks at the end to wake the crowd up. I don’t think they cared too much for the song.
At ringside, Michael Cole read a Mike Tyson tweet saying he would be supporting Triple H. That led us to the Triple H/Brock Lesnar video package that I think we’ve seen 463 times since April.
(The short version of the story is that Lesnar “broke” Triple H’s left arm. They were both part-timers. Triple H returned from the injury to set up SummerSlam. Shawn Michaels said he would be in Triple H’s corner, but Lesnar broke Shawn’s arm as well and that meant no Michaels at SummerSlam.)
Brock Lesnar made his entrance along with Paul Heyman. He got a mixed reaction. Lesnar’s wearing the same attire he wore at Extreme Rules with the black gloves on his hands and his red and black tights that have the logos of his sponsors on them. The referee in the match is Scott Armstrong as we already know. Triple H got his big entrance. He was wearing his usual wrestling gear. Justin Roberts gave them the main event entrance when they were in the ring face to face by saying their names as they were staring at eachother. They even turned the lights down low for some mood lighting. It’s 10:24pmET as the match is about to start so they will get a lot of time.
Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Triple H
Pre-match notes: Lesnar was the heel and Triple H was the face.
As we know there’s no disqualification and no countout so it’s basically Street Fight rules. They brawled early on. Hunter got control with a clothesline over the top rope. Lesnar went back into the ring. Hunter clotheslined Lesnar over the top once more. Lesnar took off his black gloves. Lesnar took Hunter down and then he punched him in the back of the head while Cole pointed out that in UFC that’s illegal. Please don’t insert UFC rules into this because it exposes the differences between the two. Lesnar slammed Hunter onto the announce table with his left hand hitting against the table. That’s the left arm that Lesnar “broke” four months ago. Back in the ring, Lesnar gave Hunter a slam onto the left arm. Lesnar continued to work on the left arm. Lesnar hit a German Suplex on Hunter. Lesnar was bleeding from the nose likely due to some fists that Hunter hit him with. Lesnar continued to go after the arm, but Hunter was able to drop him with a DDT using his left arm. I guess it’s not hurt that bad huh? Lesnar gave Hunter a body slam on the arm. They went to the floor where Lesnar continued to dominate by throwing Hunter’s left arm into the steel steps. They fought by the Spanish announce table where Lesnar flipped it over and jumped off it so he could hit Hunter with a punch to the head. The Spanish table did not break as we reach ten minutes into the match.
Lesnar got an inside cradle for two. That was odd to see. Lesnar decked him with a clothesline. Hunter countered a suplex into one of his own. Hunter wanted a Pedigree, but Lesnar powered out of it, whipped him into the corner and Hunter did his bump where he tumbles over the top rope to the floor. Out on the floor, Hunter shoved Lesnar stomach first into the English announce table. Hunter punched Lesnar in the stomach as Lesnar was complaining about how his stomach was hurting. Lesnar had a major stomach illness a few years back as Cole pointed out. Back in the ring, Hunter buried his knee into the stomach of Lesnar multiple times. He continued to hit him with the knee to the gut. Hunter hit a spinebuster. He went for the Pedigree. Lesnar powered out and he went for the F5. Hunter countered that into the Pedigree. Lesnar kicked out at two. Lesnar regained control after a blatant low blow. Ref Scott Armstrong just looked on. He was told to let them fight, so that’s what he is doing. Lesnar hit the F5 to a big reaction. That got two. Lesnar snapped on the Kimura Lock on the left arm of Triple H. Hunter got to the ropes, but that doesn’t matter without disqualifications. Hunter fought out of with punches to the ribs of Lesnar. Hunter hit another Pedigree. He took a few seconds to cover and he never actually made a cover because Lesnar slapped on the Kimura Lock once again. Hunter tried to fight it, but he couldn’t because Lesnar wrapped his legs around the legs of Hunter. Hunter tapped out at 18:45 to give Brock Lesnar the submission victory.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Analysis: ***1/2 It wasn’t at the level of the Cena/Lesnar match at Extreme Rules, but I liked how they did the finish of this one a lot more. Lesnar was booked like an absolute monster that kicked out of a Pedigree and instead of being pinned after the second Pedigree he was able to win the match with the Kimura Lock. It was the right finish. The right guy won in a manner that fit his character perfectly. I think the pacing of the first 13 minutes or so was too slow. Obviously they wanted to tell the story of Lesnar working on Hunter’s arm while Hunter worked on Lesnar’s stomach as an old school way to tell a story of each guy taking punishment. However, it led to a dead crowd. I was hoping it would have been more of a faster paced brawl that kept the crowd into it for the whole thing. Instead, you could tell they lost the crowd a bit at times. They got them back for the finish though, so that was nice to see. It was not great or particularly memorable, but I enjoyed the last five minutes of it quite a bit.
(My initial rating was right at three stars, but I decided to boost it up a bit because I liked it more this time around. The drama surrounding the finish was good with Triple H hitting a Pedigree, but Lesnar slapped on a Kimura Lock and that was enough for the win. Like I noted in the live review, this was not as good as the Cena/Lesnar match at Extreme Rules a few months earlier.)
Post match, Lesnar walked away with Heyman. On the replay, the announcers immediately diagnosed Hunter with a broken arm once again. It’s like these guys are doctors or something. Lesnar went to the back as Hunter refused medical treatment.
Hunter was alone in the ring as the crowd chanted “Triple H” at him. The doctor went into the ring to check his arm. Hunter shoved him down. He told him to “get out” and the doctor left. There was a “you tapped out” chant. The fans were giving him a big ovation. Hunter mouthed the words “I’m sorry.” The announcers didn’t say a thing as Hunter left the ring. They are playing this up as if it’s his last match or something like that. It’s rare that you will see
Cole said: “You have to wonder if this is the end of Triple H.” Hunter waved at the fans as he reached the top of the ramp. Lawler said “I think he was just saying goodbye.” Then Hunter walked to the backstage area. The PPV ended like that at 10:50pmET.
(The retirement tease was silly looking back on it, but WWE tried to tell the story that maybe Triple H was done. They ended up doing Triple H vs. Lesnar at WrestleMania 29 with Hunter going over, which I didn’t agree with. Lesnar won the last match in their series at Extreme Rules 2013 in a Steel Cage.)
This event had a run time of 2:47:40 on WWE Network.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– There was nothing that happened at SummerSlam that particularly bothered me in any way, shape or form. It was just a case of it being a slightly above average show that had some good matches featuring performers I like to watch. There was nothing on this show that was a match of the year contender or a big happening that will make me remember it that fondly. That’s why it was a 6/10 type of show.
– I thought the best match of the night was the Jericho/Ziggler match that opened the show. They stole the show in the sense that nothing else really followed it in terms of giving us better in-ring action.
– The WWE Title match was underwhelming. I would have preferred Punk vs. Cena in a singles match again. Big Show was there to get beat. We all knew it. The finish was something we’ve seen many times before too.
– The booking of the Sheamus/Del Rio has me scratching my head more than anything. I thought the feud would be over here. Instead, they did a finish leading to another PPV match at Night of Champions, which was their third straight PPV match.
– If predictions matter (they really don’t) I went 6-2 here with my only wrong predictions being the wins by Jericho and Truth/Kingston. At Money in the Bank I went perfect. I don’t like it when things are so predictable. I want to be surprised in a good way.
(Most of that is from 2012. I didn’t feel the need to really change much as my opinions are mostly the same.)
Show rating (out of 10): 6
Best Match: Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler (***3/4 out of 5)
Worst Match: R-Truth and Kofi Kingston vs. Prime Time Players (*1/2 out of 5)
Most Memorable Moment: Lesnar making Triple H tap out in the main event. There was nothing on the show that was really that memorable.
Five Stars of the Show
- Chris Jericho
- Dolph Ziggler
- CM Punk
- Brock Lesnar
- Triple H – I doubt he expected those “you tapped out” chants huh?
Matches With Ratings ****+ (out of 5*) and higher:
British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart @ SummerSlam 1992 (*****)
Steel Cage: Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart @ SummerSlam 1994 (*****)
Ladder Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon @ SummerSlam 1995 (*****)
Kurt Angle vs. Steve Austin @ SummerSlam 2001 (****3/4)
TLC: Edge & Christian vs. Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz @ SummerSlam 2000 (****3/4)
Unsanctioned Street Fight: Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H @ SummerSlam 2002 (****1/2)
Hell in a Cell: The Undertaker vs. Edge @ SummerSlam 2008 (****1/2)
TLC Match: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy @ SummerSlam 2009 (****1/2)
Ladder Match: Triple H vs. The Rock @ SummerSlam 1998 (****1/2)
CM Punk vs. John Cena @ SummerSlam 2011 (****1/2)
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect @ SummerSlam 1991 (****1/4)
Street Fight: Randy Orton vs. Christian (****1/4)
Kurt Angle vs. Brock Lesnar @ SummerSlam 2003 (****1/4)
Shawn Michaels vs. Vader @ SummerSlam 1996 (***1/4)
The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Kurt Angle @ SummerSlam 2000 (****)
Ladder Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Jeff Hardy @ SummerSlam 2001 (****)
Batista vs. John Cena @ SummerSlam 2008 (****)
John Cena vs. Randy Orton @ SummerSlam 2007 (****)
Ranking SummerSlam Reviews (on 1-10 scale)
SummerSlam 2002 (Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock, Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H) – 9
SummerSlam 2008 (The Undertaker vs. Edge HIAC, Batista vs. Cena) – 8
SummerSlam 2001 (The Rock vs. Booker T, Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle) – 8
SummerSlam 2011 (CM Punk vs. John Cena) – 8
SummerSlam 1998 (Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker) – 8
SummerSlam 2009 (CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy TLC) – 7.5
SummerSlam 2000 (The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Kurt Angle) – 7.5
SummerSlam 1992 (British Bulldog vs. Bret Hart) – 7
SummerSlam 2005 (Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels) – 7
SummerSlam 2004 (Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit) – 6
SummerSlam 2012 (Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H) – 6
SummerSlam 2006 (Edge vs. John Cena) – 6
SummerSlam 1997 (Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker) – 5.5
SummerSlam 1996 (Shawn Michaels vs. Vader) – 5.5
SummerSlam 1989 (Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus) – 5.5
SummerSlam 2003 (Elimination Chamber) – 5.5
SummerSlam 2007 (John Cena vs. Randy Orton) – 5
SummerSlam 1994 (Undertaker vs. Underfaker, Bret vs. Owen) – 5
SummerSlam 2010 (Team WWE vs. Team Nexus) – 5
SummerSlam 1999 (Mankind vs. Steve Austin vs. Triple H) – 5
SummerSlam 1988 (Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks) – 5
SummerSlam 1991 (Match Made In Heaven & Hell) – 4.5
SummerSlam 1995 (Diesel vs. Mabel, Michaels vs. Ramon) – 4
SummerSlam 1993 (Lex Luger vs. Yokozuna) – 4
SummerSlam 1990 (Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude) – 3.5
Next up: SummerSlam 2013. That’s a great one.
Check out the SummerSlam Reviews archive.
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