Thursday, August 16, 2012
Head 2 Head: SummerSlam 2012
So this year is supposedly the 25th anniversary of Summerslam. Much like the 25th Anniversary of Wrestlemania, they are wrong. It’s the 25th edition of Summerslam, but the “1st Anniversary of Summerslam” wouldn’t have been Summerslam 1988, but rather the 2nd installment in ’89. Oh well, semantics out of the way, let’s take a look at the card WWE is presenting us this year! (FAIR WARNING: Smackdown Spoilers included below!)
Pre-Show Match: US Title Match
Santino Marella (C) vs. Antonio Cesaro
JIM: It’s time for the Marella US Title reign to end, and maybe get that title some prestige back. Cesaro has pinned Marella twice, which makes me fear that they are going to have Marella get his revenge here and pin Cesaro. I hate saying it, but I think Marella wins here (and maybe Cesaro gets the belt on Monday…but not here).
TOM: Marella seems to be WWE’s “Mr. Reliable” because they call on him to deliver in a number of roles time and time again. They are doing it here, hoping he draws the audience to the YouTube pre-show. As Jim mentions, the build points to Antonio Cesaro getting the win, but WWE doesn’t make booking decisions on logic, do they? Santino retains here.
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
JIM: Two guys who have worked hard lately (as much as I hated most of what they did with Kane for the last few months, I don’t question his effort in it all). This will likely be a pretty good match. Kane winning only makes sense if Charlie Sheen does show up and interfere, but they haven’t breathed a word of his name lately, so I kind of doubt anything is going down with that. So, I think Bryan gets the “No Lock” locked on, and gets the win.
TOM: I gotta say, I am still unsure how Kane turned babyface. Perhaps I missed it, but I’ve watched more WWE TV since the last PPV than I have all year long and the switch just didn’t seem fluid. Regardless of this, the booking of the match by RAW General Manager AJ is clearly an extension of her issue with Daniel Bryan. How much more mileage does that storyline have after AJ walked away from her marriage to become GM and thus spurn Bryan? I am not sure, but it carries on here. With that said, I don’t think it ends the run here as well and Kane will get the win.
Intercontinental Title Match
The Miz (C) vs. Rey Mysterio
JIM: This has the potential to be very good. The Miz just won the title a few weeks back, and Mysterio has 2 strikes on the Wellness Policy. Mysterio will put up a good fight, but no chance in hell he wins here. The Miz gets the win, and hopefully looks strong in doing so, he deserves so much better than the way he’s been treated over the last year.
TOM: Unless WWE wanted to use Miz as a transitory champion from Christian to Mysterio, then I cannot see a title change here. Nothing at all against Rey, but Miz has more upside and probably does more as champion at this point than Rey does. Would I be surprised with a title switch – not really, but for this purpose I lean stronger to Miz.
WWE Tag Team Title Match
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston (C) vs. Darren Young & Titus O’Neil
JIM: Well, Young & O’Neil are out on their own now that AW went and got himself fired from WWE. In the end, I think that’s going to work out just fine for them, and I fully expect that this is the point where they win the Tag Team Titles from Truth and Kingston. Truth and Kingston should both be in singles action, and I’d love to see Kingston go after either the IC or US Title again, and maybe have a shot down the line at going for one of the big belts. So, the Prime Time Playas start making “millions of dollars” as the tag champs on Sunday night!
TOM: Despite the “Playas” losing their manager, they’ve been really booked rather poorly leading to this match. I feel like Primo & Epico are more deserving of this show based on W/L records on TV alone. While it is had to not agree to an extent with Jim’s point on Kofi & Truth in singles roles (Kofi more than truth, IMO)…I don’t think that they lose the belts here. Kofi & Truth retain.
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler
JIM: Lots of talk that Jericho is headed out of WWE after this match this weekend, so knowing Jericho there is only one way he’s going to go out, and that’s looking at the lights, and hopefully elevating Ziggler along the way. I have a bit of a feeling that Ziggler may get involved in the World Title Match, maybe even walking out as champ on Sunday night…but in this match here, Ziggler gets the win, and will look great in the process! Should be the match of the night!
TOM: When the seeds for this match were planted over the last month, I was as giddy as a school girl in a pretty dress on the first day of school! Uh oh…bad analogy, but you get the idea. This is the bout I am most looking towards in terms of total in-ring presentation. Dolph has been rising and I have been enjoying it greatly. I wasn’t aware on the info on Jericho being out of WWE post-match here (possibly), but it would not have swayed my choice. Ziggler is my STONE COLD lock!
WWE Title – Triple Threat Match
CM Punk (C) vs. The Big Show vs. John Cena
JIM: The only thing that makes sense in this story right now is Punk retaining the title. If he loses, it just looks like he isn’t what he says he is. I have some slight fears of a Cena title win, because it’s been so long, but I really hope they realize the money is in Punk staying as champion and “fighting for respect” all along. Punk goes over, probably by some shenanigans that he pulls to save his title!
TOM: After RAW 1000 and the interaction and angle between CM Punk and The Rock, I do not know how WWE doesn’t build and end up with that match at Royal Rumble 2013. With that said, he’s obviously got to retain here to make it to January and I would love to see Punk go to any lengths necessary to keep his title and continue to turn the fans against him (whether they love or hate him now). Punk over Show here, keeping the door open for a Punk-Cena singles title bout on a future PPV.
World Heavyweight Title Match
Sheamus (C) vs. Alberto Del Rio
JIM: As soon as they announced that this match was off last week, I knew we’d have the “Sheamus demands revenge, and Del Rio gets his match back” bit that will air on Smackdown this week, so no shock here. They’ve done a great job of making Del Rio into a vicious heel lately, and one who is obsessed with the World Heavyweight Title. I think Sheamus retains here, but could see Del Rio attacking viciously after the bell, leading to Ziggler cashing in here and winning the title. But, for the match at hand, I expect Sheamus to keep the World Title, at least for a short while!
TOM: I think I am jaded slightly by old WWE booking habits of old because I am really surprised that Del Rio has not won the title yet and isn’t assured to win on Sunday. Perhaps this feud has not been going on as long in reality as it has in my mind, but boy it doesn’t feel that way. I have no qualms with Sheamus as champion and with the recent return of Wade Barrett, I could see a future program between those two over the title if WWE chooses to go that way. I want to pick Del Rio here because I think he deserves the title and a nice, solid run…but I’ve gone in a different direction than Jim on a couple of picks before this and really don’t want to lose ground in our competition! Sheamus retains.
Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar
JIM: This should be 3rd from the top, but it’s going to main event, no question about it. They brought Lesnar in, and he did the job to Cena. I can’t see you having him lose twice in a row, and especially to a very part time worker in Triple H. I’m sure this will be a battle much like the Cena/Lesnar match where Lesnar beats the hell out of Triple H, only to have Triple H fight back valiantly. I’m going with Lesnar to win, and I think it will take him 3 F-5’s to get the job done!
TOM: This match is a “dream match” that has yet to occur in all of wrestling. That is a rare thing to say in this day and age. For some reason, Lesnar seems uncomfortable in his role in WWE to a greater extent since his return. Not sure if that is true or if I can put my finger on the pulse of it exactly, but that is a feeling I have. Paul Heyman has been tremendous in “promoting” Brock and assisting with the build for this match. If fans don’t have attention spans conditioned to be short, they’d likely watch this match and correlate it to the battle from WrestleMania between Undertaker and Triple H, where it is a battle of survival to an extent. I think both men will be incredibly motivated and Triple H (for his faults) will take pride in this match closing the show (right or wrong) and ensure he does all he can with Brock to ensure it is memorable. Lesnar wins and puts Triple H out with an extended injury.
There it is - the competition roles on with Head 2 Head. Can Jim extend his league, will Tom pull closer or can he even take the lead? Check back next week for our REACT article on the show as well as a live review from CHIKARA in Milwaukee, where Jim and Tom will both attend live on Friday night!
Enjoy the shows this weekend!