So WWE had their annual summer pay per view last night in LA. I watched the show from my local Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockaway. I did have to work last night, so it was after 8:30 by the time I got to BWW. Unfortunately, I missed the Bray Wyatt vs. Kane Inferno Match…from what I read, it sounded like it went prettymuch how I expected it to. Rowan & Harper finally made their way into the ring once they figured a way around the flames. And apparently they dragged a beaten Kane off to apparently be brainwashed to join the Wyatt Family.
I’m not gonna give a match by match recap or even thoughts on every match, rather just comment on what I really want to comment on. So with that in mind…
I came in after the Cody Rhodes / Damien Sandow match started & apparently Cody has now shaved the mustache off so he doesn’t look so ridiculous. The match itself was quite good & ended with Cody getting the win. I think that while this was a great match, Damien has really been made to look just feeble in the ring. I like how they made Sandow’s briefcase look like an attache case, but after the match Damien crawls back to his corner where he has the briefcase handcuffed to the turnbuckle so nobody can steal it & clinches it to make himself feel better after the loss. At this point, I really can’t see this guy winning the Intercontinental Championship let alone the World Championship regardless of the shape the World Champ is in after a long & grueling match.
The rest of the under card was good for what it was. Christian & Alberto Del Rio had a great World Title match with a lot of near falls & while I kinda figured ADR would walk out with the title, they didn’t make Christian look bad in losing. Nothing else really to write home about, but everyone worked hard & did their part to put on a good show. Hell, I’d go so far to say that the announcing was better than normal as well. I had kind of learned to tune out the idiots at ringside, but King, Cole & JBL did a good job tonight selling the matches & the severity of the moves being performed.
Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk was just an INSANE match with such amazing drama being built throughout. Early on, Punk had trouble getting the upper hand on Lesnar. And I’ve gotta say, Brock Lesnar is a genetic masterpiece. I know he’s worked out tremendously over the years to be as built up as he is today, but man…you want to talk about a monster of a man who can make everything just look so real & legit? Brock is just amazing & brings such legitimacy to his matches. I’m not sure if maybe his UFC experience adds something to that, but man…when he sells a submission & is biting his tongue trying to muscle it out & not tap, it’s just so much more real looking than when just about anyone else does it.
So as the match progresses, Punk is starting to make some leeway against Brock & everything that Punk is hitting Brock with is starting to take a toll on Brock. Also since this match has been made a no disqualifications match, it opened the door for all kinds of extra curriculars like steel chairs, low blows & interference from Paul Heyman. At one point, Punk picks up Lesnar for the Go To Sleep and Brock counters it into the kimura, to which Punk fights out of & turns it into a triangle choke. Hell, Lesnar even hit the three amigos triple vertical suplex ala Eddie Guererro! Later on, Punk has Heyman by the tie and Brock comes to the rescue & picks up Punk for an F5, but Punk gets Heyman by the tie again while he’s standing on the ring apron & Punk gets out of the F5 and then hits Lesnar with the Go To Sleep. After he gets a two count from that, he then slaps on the Anaconda Vice which it looks like Brock is two seconds away from tapping to when Heyman makes the save to break up the hold. So a lot of terrific stuff like this finally culminates in Punk having the Anaconda Vice locked in on Heyman & Brock breaks it up, beats Punk down with the chair & then F5s Punk onto the chair for the win. Both men walked away from this match in better spots than when they started. Punk took all that Brock had to hand out & STILL almost beat him while Brock had to go to extreme circumstances to take out Punk. Brock won — which he kinda needed since he has lost quite a bit since coming back to WWE — but Punk looked amazing in losing to a guy who he shouldn’t even be in the ring with had this been a real fight. Terrific storytelling all around!
Next up was the Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E. Langston & AJ Lee match. I was kinda let down that this was put on as the cool down match between the two big main event matches as Ziggler deserves more than that, but for what this match was, it was still quite good! Way better than putting a divas match on between the two big matches. The finish came when Ziggler got out of the Big Ending and hit his Zig Zag on Langston. Everyone worked hard & put together the best match they could conceivably have. Still a thumbs up.
And to close out the show was the Daniel Bryan / John Cena match for the WWE Championship with Triple H as the special guest referee. This match started out so surprisingly different than every other John Cena match I can ever remember. The two started chain wrestling from the start with reversals galore. It was quite cool to see them lock hands, have Cena power Bryan down to a bridge, have Cena hop on top while Bryan kept the bridge, then there was the series of the go behind reversal to the back slide pin. Cena even took the dragon screw leg whip & knew how to take it, which is something that even Chris Jericho screwed up on his first match with Bryan on the first episode of NXT. Really a great technical start to the match. Later on, it gets sped up Bryan is hitting the diving headbutt from the top rope, the running back flip over Cena in the corner, some sickening running drop kicks in the corner. This dude’s cardio is incredible! So after all of this awesome wrestling where Bryan hits all sorts of cool moves including a superplex where he locked his legs in to the ropes, suplexed Cena and then bent himself back up and was on the top turnbuckle, he hits the diving headbutt. This guy even has me popping for the small package because he’s the only guy I ever see actually win with it! While all this awesome wrestling is happening, I’m thinking back to the fact that Triple H is the special guest referee & he’s largely just been in the background & not a part of this match at all aside from counting the pins & asking for submissions, so the whole guest referee stip is kinda being a non-factor so far in this match. Bryan also got out of the STF, turned it into his Yes Lock, and even kicked out after an Attitude Adjustment. The finish comes when Bryan hits a running, flying knee to Cena in the face & knocks him out. We get the three count & Daniel Bryan is your new WWE Champion! Cena shakes his hand afterwards, as does Triple H & the streamers rain down and the confetti is flying, the pyro is going off on the stage, then it’s time for Randy Orton to show up to remind Bryan that he has the Money In The Bank Briefcase.
Bryan invites Orton into the ring for a match, but Orton turns & starts to walk back up the ramp, then turns to look back at the ring. Just then, Triple H turns Daniel Bryan around, kicks him in the gut & pedigrees him. Orton gets in the ring, hands Triple H the briefcase, Triple H goes over to the corner, hands the briefcase to the timekeeper & tells him to ring the bell because Randy’s cashing in. All the while, Daniel Bryan is lying face down on the mat. Orton rolls him over & Triple H counts the 3. No RKO, no match, no nothing. Bryan sells the pedigree like he just got hit by a Mack truck. He layed there for fucking 35 seconds waiting to be pinned!!
WWE had such a great feel good moment with Bryan winning the title. I just don’t get why they can’t just leave well enough alone. They did the same thing to Punk with Del Rio’s cash in after Punk beat Cena for the WWE Title two years ago with Kevin Nash laying out Punk afterwards. And they did it IN THE SAME BUILDING!?! CM Punk was never the same after that & I’m not sure Daniel Bryan will be the same after this. From the reports that I read, the crowd was going nuts for Bryan’s ascension just to have the wind sucked out of their sails by Triple H’s turn & Orton’s cash in. So we’re back to a united McMahon heel family & a guy who has held the title 7 times, not including the 3 times he’s held the World Title as the champion with Bryan chasing once again. He just got done chasing, people aren’t gonna get behind him like they had just been because there’s always gonna be the feeling that WWE just doesn’t want him there. Even if they give him the belt back, it’s not like they’re gonna let him hold on to it for 434 days like they did Punk. Those kinds of reigns are so – few & far between isn’t even the phrase for it – they NEVER happen anymore. Punk was extremely fortunate to be put in that position for the amount of time he was & I’m sure he knows that. Now, when they list longest reigns, his name is forever up there along with names such as Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, Pedro Morales & Hulk Hogan.
So I don’t know…it was a really great show with a really crappy final 2 minutes. I walked out of Buffalo Wild Wings angry with what I just saw. Now I’m not opposed to not sending the fans home happy occasionally, but this one just stings more because of how they’ve built him up just to have his legs taken out from underneath him. I’m also a big Daniel Bryan fan as well as a CM Punk fan, so the fact that both of my guys were in prominent spots on this card made the night that much more for me. I saw a couple fans outside BWW on my way out who had some CM Punk shirts on who told me they liked my Bryan Danielson shirt I was wearing where it has his face in an Obamaicon with the caption underneath of Violent. You can see this shirt in the following picture…I just walked past them & said that finish was bullshit and went to my car to drive home.