WWE SummerSlam Hitlist: John Cena overcomes the odds...again, Daniel Bryan returns, Sheamus vs. Randy Orton, Undertaker is old, Kane vs. Rey Mysterio, Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston

Posted in: Powell Editorials
Aug 16, 2010 - 11:45 AM

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WWE SummerSlam Hitlist

Daniel Bryan returns: I realize this looks so stereotypical for a net guy to praise Bryan Danielson's return and not much else, but the finishes to several matches left a bad taste in my mouth and led me to giving misses to matches that would have been hits with better finishes.

I don't think Bryan's went over as well with the casual fans as it did for the net fans, but I don't blame WWE for that. They didn't go overboard with the hype for the mystery of the seventh member of Team WWE. Rather, the hype was sufficient considering that most casual fans would have felt let down by Bryan if WWE had made the mystery the major selling point of the show.

Bryan impressed me with his intensity last night even while standing on the ring apron and waiting for the hot tag. I thought he would turn on Cena and rejoin Nexus when Cena went for that tag. Bryan will do fine as a singles wrestler, but I thought the need for a strong worker in Nexus would win out.

WWE SummerSlam Misses

Overall show: There was some good action throughout the show. I was never bored during matches I expected to be entertaining, and I felt like the show could have been saved by the main event going into the match, but the finish of that match really took the wind out of my sails.

I gave the show a 6.0 rating during audio last night and then started bumping it down the more I talked about the show. Having slept on it for a night, I'm even more down on SummerSlam, particularly since WWE touts this as their biggest even of the summer. The show wasn't as dreadful as the "Hit" to "Miss" ratio may seem to suggest, but questionable booking really hurt the show and I'm concerned about where they go from here in several cases.

Nexus vs. Team Raw finish: Dreadful. The match would have been a "Hit" if the finish had been different. I'm sure WWE will have a big angle to give Nexus their heat back tonight on Raw. It better be something spectacular because another Nexus beatdown on John Cena won't be enough. The live crowd reacted favorably to Cena going over, but how much longer will Cena fans enjoy the act when there's no one left for him to face that he hasn't defeated.

The great thing about the Nexus angle was that it finally seemed like the deck was stacked against Cena. We hear Michael Cole talk about Cena overcoming the odds, but it never really felt that way until Nexus arrived. We all assumed that Cena would eventually win the war, but it feels like WWE skipped to the end of the story by having Cena go over.

As if the decision to have Super Cena win wasn't disappointing enough, the way he won was especially frustrating. He took a DDT on the floor moments before he pinned Justin Gabriel and forced Wade Barrett to tap. Is there anything this guy can't overcome? I'm not a Cena hater. Rather, I think WWE did him a disservice on Sunday night by having him win in such a convincing manner over Nexus.

We should be talking about how great it was that WWE put over Nexus in such a big way and how Cena and company will regroup, not hoping that the company delivers a big angle that gets the feud back on track. At the very least, we should be talking about how strong Wade Barrett looked since he's the leader of Nexus. He was the last man eliminated, but it's not like they showcased him in any way. In fact, generic Heath Slater looked better in defeat by getting a couple of notable pins for his team.

Sheamus vs. Randy Orton finish: Another match that was well on it's way to earning a "Hit" before the lousy finish. I can live with the occasional cheap finish on pay-per-view, but not after WWE added stipulations to make it seem like the match was more important because it was Orton's last chance to win the title.

They basically implied that there would not be a rematch, but all signs point to the feud continuing. These two worked well together and I would normally welcome additional matches, but how can WWE expect anyone to take similar stipulations seriously the next time they use them?

Kane vs. Rey Mysterio: This match didn't do anything for me on paper. It was all about Undertaker's return. I enjoyed the coffin teases by having them open it repeatedly throughout the match, and the groans from the portion of the crowd that knew he'd be in there sooner or later were great. This wasn't a horrible match, but we've seen them work together so many times that I'm numb to it.

No one thought there was a chance that Mysterio attacked Undertaker. For that matter, no one seemed to care whether Mysterio regained the title he just lost. It also didn't help their cause to work the match after the crowd-killing finish of the Sheamus vs. Orton match. I think everyone who was happy about Kane winning the belt at Money in the Bank forgot that they'd actually have to watch him defend the title in mediocre pay-per-view matches.

As for Taker's return, it was interesting to see him looking older and being portrayed as being weaker than usual, but the angle didn't exactly get me excited about seeing what's next for Taker. In fact, they just reminded viewers that Taker is getting old, which isn't exactly a great sales pitch. I just pray that Taker's quest to regain his mojo has nothing to do with an urn.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston finish: Another entertaining match with a lousy finish. I was fine with WWE putting some early heat on Nexus, but not at the expense of this particular match. I was also baffled by the move of having it seem like Ziggler was on the verge of going over before Nexus interfered. Wouldn't there be more heat on Nexus if it looked like they cost Kofi the Intercontinental Title?

If WWE doesn't have a definitive finish in mind for pay-per-view matches, then go with different matches. Where do they go from here? Do Kofi and Dolph just continue their feud rather than set out for revenge against Nexus? Again, I don't mind the occasional cheap finish, but two cheap finishes in three of the only matches on the show they made me care about really hurt the show.

Big Show vs. Straight Edge Society: I mistakenly thought Show would have to pin all three members of SES, so I thought C.M. Punk would be put over in fluky fashion after Show destroyed the other two members. Luke Gallows and Joey Mercury have never meant less, and I'm not excited about the inevitable Big Show vs. Punk match. Punk is good enough on the mic that he can make people pay with hope of seeing Big Show shut him up, but I can't wait until Punk moves on to something else. I wish WWE would give Show a break from TV. They can still use him at the house shows, but his happy go lucky character doesn't contribute much and his in-ring dominance makes too many heels look bad.

LayCool: The Melina vs. Fox match was just kind of there even by modern day Divas standards, but the post-match angle was terrible. They just keep shoving Michelle McCool's act down our throats even though there's no sign of it being over. I guess this sets up something at Night of Champions. I hope they're not going with champion vs. champion matches across the board, as I'd much rather see all titles defended on the show than a bunch of cheap finishes because the company is afraid to make one champion look strong at the expense of another champion.

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