WWE Summerslam 2011 WWE SummerSlam 2011 – Pay-Per-View Review
By Phil Allely
In these days of monthly PPV events (in both the WWE and TNA) it’s hard to imagine that at one time not that long ago (early 1990s) there were only four big events of that type in the WWE. They were The Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam and The Survivor Series, all of which built on TV storylines and usually housed big title matches and those all important title changes. Now of course we can see a belt change hands on a TV show or even a touring house show, but do those four PPV’s still deliver the goods when up against a cornucopia of similar themed events throughout the year? This year WrestleMania proved to be just able to stand out as event it should be, but the celebrity heavy guest list and host The Rock didn’t really shake things up like the WWE hoped. Thankfully SummerSlam proved a far better effort and one that even offered up a few surprises too.
2011’s show was hyped up well and of course was guaranteeing a undisputed WWE Champion, the John Cena versus CM Punk match had great potential, as did the rest of the card.
Things kicked off reasonably well with a bonus six man bout, this unadvertised scrap featured the team of The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and R Truth taking of the trio of Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston and John Morrison. This worked pretty well and allowed an injured Mysterio the chance to take it easy whilst performing the odd high spot. He even nailed the pin on Truth for the popular win for his team.
Next up Sheamus battled the often mocked Mark Henry in a decent big man outing. There was an amount of action and even some unusually violent moves (considering the PG rating WWE seek these days), however the bout really was set up to promote Henry and not the more worthy Irishman, Henry winning by count out.
The obligatory Divas match saw champion Kelly Kelly battle the much larger and powerful Beth Phoenix for the strap. Kelly somehow was able to overcome the might of Phoenix and retain her title.
Daniel Bryan versus Wade Barrett had a pretty good vibe going throughout its duration, both working hard to maintain a good pace and tell a story too. After attempting their signature moves and teasing the odd close pin it became Barrett’s night as he rose to the occasion and put down Bryan.
The No Holds Barred match for Christian’s World Heavyweight Title started with a guest appearance by the recently retired Edge. Who showed his annoyance at his best friend Christian’s recent attitude adjustment. This proved to be a hard-hitting, weapons based match-of-the-night winner, both men putting their bodies on the line once again to thrill the live audience and those at home. Orton’s win to reclaim the belt may not have been shocking, but it did come out of nowhere.
The main event then had an awful lot to live up to. The recent storyline of CM Punk leaving the WWE WWE Title in hand had of course led to a tournament for the vacant belt and then as Cena raised that new one Punk reappeared to challenge him.
Having new Chief Operations Officer Triple H as special referee added to the atmosphere nicely as well. Taking the fight to each other the pair worked hard, Cena proving he can actually wrestler when he wants to. After some back and forth action the end came as a Punk GTS proved too much for the usually superhuman Cena. The result was a tad controversial though as Cena’s foot was under the rope (Triple H was unaware of this).
As he celebrated his win Punk was shockingly attacked by the returning Kevin ‘Diesel’ Nash, his jacknife powerbomb leaving Punk prone to a Money In The Bank case cashing Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio easily put away the injured and exhausted Punk and became the undisputed champ (as many predicted he would have at Wrestlemania).
SummerSlam certainly many if not all of the boxes, we saw feuds end, new ones begin, two new world champions and the return of an old favourite in Kevin Nash. This was perhaps one of the best events of 2011 so far for the company.