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The Aftermath – 2011 WWE SummerSlam

After such a great Money In The Bank show, I think we all figured this one wouldn’t quite match up and we were right. However, in its own right, it was a pretty darn good show. Check out what the FGB crew has to say about the 2011 version of SummerSlam.

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Best Match: John Cena vs. CM Punk
Worst Match: Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly (but it wasn’t bad)

A good show hindered by one major problem – the announcing. Unlike one terrible match which is over when it’s over and you can forget about it, the announcing lasts from beginning to end. It was unbearable on this show (and even worse on Raw) and is really ruining the product.

If you were lucky enough to be watching the Spanish version then you probably loved this show. The main event rocked and was better than Chicago up until the weak finish. Orton vs. Christian was a very good plunder match (although I’m not the biggest fan of those matches). The 6-man opener was a great way to kick off the show too.

Oh and highlight of the show was unquestionably Joey Ryan’s sell when Sheamus and Mark Henry went through the barricade.

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Best Match: Randy Orton vs. Christian
Worst Match: Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly

A little below last month’s show, but still a ‘better than most’ WWE PPV. Once again there can be little to complain about in terms of wrestling. Decent opener, Sheamus / Henry was a solid big man brawl, Divas were better than usual (aside from the idiotic finishing sequence), and D Bryan got a career best performance out of Barrett. Punk vs. Cena was good but nothing to write home about – a decent WWE main event with a flat finish. It did however pose some questions, and the right sort of questions. It gave a reason to tune in to Raw and that’s all that was required from it.

I’m concerned by the timing of Del Rio’s title win. I have never liked the Money in the Bank cash in gimmick anyway. All it does is create a paper champion. Alberto was ready for the belt at Mania, but they blew it and he has dropped off a lot since then. A cheapened title reign will do little to rehabilitate him. I’m willing to wait and see where they’re going with this, but they have a lot of work to do.

Now, there’s a lot of people who like to sound off about Christian and Orton wrestling on every show. Well… Thank goodness they do. What else is there to look forward to on Smackdown? These two guys stole the show again. It was a brilliant, brilliant match. They can fight on every card for the rest of the year for all I care.

This wasn’t quite the smash hit we had last time out, but you just can’t have shows like that all the time – still a value for money PPV.

Cadillac Don
Thumbs Up (at 90%)
Best Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
Worst Match: None, really

The biggest problem with SummerSlam (last year known as SummerFest) was that it came after Money in the Bank. If there was no Money in the Bank this would be a great Pay Per View. Otherwise, it just seemed like a good show with a weak finish.

I didn’t hear much of the announcing, but I believe I heard Booker say “OH MY GOODNESS” a few times, which gave me warm fuzzies. Seeing as this even featured “THE MOST IMPORTANT TITLE MATCH IN WWE HISTORY” you’d think Jim Ross would at least call the main event to make it feel special. Nope. Then again, I’d want Howard Finkel introducing the two champions as well.

The six man at the beginning was as good as most six-men matches, but seemed like a RAW main event. Nothing special about it. Kofi did a huge leap and Rey almost hit a double 619… something we’ve seen many times before.

Mark Henry vs. Sheamus was a fun match that put over both men. Sheamus looked strong by fighting to get to the ring while being counted out. Henry threw him around like a carrot-themed cabbage patch kid, and the crowd was in Sheamus’ corner. I remember seeing him give a great face promo in Ireland during his first RAW run, and the crowd ate it up. This guy would be a hero.

In the Divas match, Beth Phoenix carried Kelly x 2 to a passable match. Probably the best women’s match since Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong in TNA. Perhaps I’m thinking too much about this, but they’re giving Kelly 2 a storyline in which she’s facing up to her fears. Earlier this year she was petrified at the sight of Kharma coming into the ring after her, and now she’s progressed to standing up to, and defeating Phoenix.

Barrett vs. Bryan was my kind of match. It would have gone either way, and Barrett needed the win much moreso than Bryan. He’d been toiling in obscurity for awhile now. I only wish they’d talked more about their history in NXT and Nexus. But this was a solid oldschool match in which we saw Bryan’s elbows, and working different holds into submissions.

Orton vs. Christian was one of those matches where I thought “Ugh… again” at the beginning, but it turned into a decent match. The Edge angle at the beginning followed by Christian’s reaction was great. He went through a few different feelings, showing his acting range. From not believing what he just saw, to remorse for what he did to win the title, to determination to prove Edge wrong was pretty awesome. Not much psychology in the match, and the spit angle at the end just proved why this match was no holds barred.

The main event was a good match. It didn’t seem as great as their Chicago match due to not as much heat. I’d have to watch the Chicago match again to see which one was better, but it seemed this one had fewer missed spots… up until the end. With the miss of the GTS (then again, maybe he was trying for a modified heart punch with his knee) and Cena’s foot obviously on the bottom rope, it was quite the groaner of a finish. Nash was a big surprise, as I thought he’d been relegated to Hacksaw Jim Duggan status with his surprise appearance at the Rumble. Del Rio winning the title wasn’t much of a surprise, but I am surprised the referee didn’t wait until Punk made it to his feet before ringing the bell. But I digress.

Overall, this is a show I would watch again. Not one bad match.

My personal highlight was seeing Jimmy Hart with R-Truth, and feeling giddy about seeing the punchline coming a mile away. “Thank you, Little Jimmy… WAIT A MINUTE!”

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Best Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
Worst Match: Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly

I know that I was supposed to enjoy Randy Orton vs. Christian the most. But there was one fatal flaw in that match that bugged me. At the last PPV, it made sense that Christian spat in Orton’s face. He wanted Orton to get DQd. But in this match, it didn’t make sense at all since all it did was lead to the finish in a no DQ match and lead to Christian’s downfall. That bothered me tremendously. Also, like Alan, I’m not a fan of the plunder matches, no matter how good it was. And it does bother me that Christian lost the title so quickly again. That hurt my enjoyment. I don’t have much more to say about the show that the guys didn’t say already. There was tons of intrigue with this show as we had more people at the house than we had for WrestleMania. It was a good show, not great, but worth the purchase.

Big D
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Best Match: Randy Orton vs. Christian + Alberto Del Rio’s Destino
Worst Match: Beth Phoenix vs. Kelly Kelly

Summerslam 2011 was a really fun show, while not on the level of quality top to bottom like the last show was, was still a phenomenal show with a handful of really great matches and two amazing main events, capped off by destiny being fulfilled. Bell to bell though, the Orton vs. Christian was undoubtedly the best match of the night and one of Randy’s top 5 career matches. Anybody who knows me knows I love Alberto Del Rio more than anything (and I like Nash too), and when he finally won, i had a mark out larger than any in the history of my life. I legitimately screamed “Destino” at the sports bar 100 times and threw my hat and jumped up and down and hugged males. Twas a wonderful night. So yeah… I won’t forget this.

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