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HarmonicGenerator

A Summerslam match a day

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I think you're on to something there. You can tell a great story with a classic tag match, which a viewer can easily get hooked into whether they know the history behind the teams or are watching out of context. They're probably one of my favourite kinds of match when done well.

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You just reminded me how excited I was for babyface Hakushi as a kid, and how disappointed I was when he was gone so soon afterwards...

 

Yeah, he was gone after being completely jobbed out and teaming with actual jobbers (not Horowitz). It was very sad. Had too much talent to end up like that.

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Onto Summerslam 2010, where I'm taking on one of the most illustrious, storied and most of all, prolific, rivalries that WWE has ever seen. It's the perennial UKFF/King Pitcos favourite…. it's Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston.

 

 

The match:

 

Okay, so, before I watched the match I went onto Online World Of Wrestling (formerly Obsessed With Wrestling, for which I actually wrote some columns many years ago, and remain quite proud of the bio articles I did on Antonino Rocca, The Crusher, and Finlay) and thought I would see just how many times Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston have faced each other in matches.

 

I included singles, tags, and multi-man matches like Money In The Bank, but not battle royals or Royal Rumbles. I have only included matches that were on WWE TV or PPV.

 

FIFTY THREE TIMES.

THEY HAVE HAD 53 MATCHES AGAINST EACH OTHER.

 

By my count, to date, Dolph is leading the series 24-22, with six matches where neither man came out on top (MITBs and Elimination Chambers, etc) and just 1 No Contest, and that's this match here.

 

(Spoilers, sorry.)

 

I'll include a full list of their matches against each other at the bottom of this post. If someone gets Pitcos in Secret Santa this year, a compilation of all 53 is bound to go down well.

 

Anyway, the build up for this Summerslam match between the two (Ziggler-Kingston 12) is that they already had three matches against each other on three consecutive weeks on SmackDown. Dolph won them all, two decisively and one by DQ.

 

Following the Summerslam rematch to the rematch to the rematch to the match, they had a further two rematches, which Kofi won by count out and DQ respectively, then had a break for a couple of weeks before a tag match which Kofi won and then Ziggler-Kingston 16 at Night Of Champions, which Ziggler won, bringing us right back to where we'd been seven matches previously.

 

I'm so tempted to track them all down and rank them. The UKFF Top 50 Dolph vs. Kofi matches.

 

 

But enough talk of the most illustrious feud in sports entertainment history, let's actually watch one of the matches.

 

 

(I'll also mention, watching the opening video for the show, how good was that WWE vs. Nexus stand-off on RAW? One of the best moments of the decade, for sure.)

 

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Matt Striker are our commentators, and this match is for the Intercontinental Title.

 

Dolph comes to the ring with Vickie Guerrero, looking very much the same as he does now but with slightly tidier hair. Vickie does her "EXCUSE ME!" routine. It gets a reaction, that's for sure, but she gets interrupted on the fourth request by BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! the Kofi pyro. This is the time in his career where he was announced as being from Ghana. He's got a nice red get-up tonight. Baron Mikel Scicluna gets a namedrop from Striker when they mention this is the first PPV ever to be shown in Malta.

 

Kofi gets right into it, throwing Dolph out of the ring, diving through the ropes, but Dolph is pulled out of the ring and Kofi crashes and burns. OUCH. That looked like it hurt, and Dolph gets into the ring to wait for a count out. Kofi manages to roll back into the ring and Ziggler immediately pins him for 2. That was nice.

 

Kofi is trapped in a chinlock, gets out of it, but gets choked with the ropes. Striker mentions that at this very event a year prior, Ziggler was competing for the IC Championship, but now he's the Champion. He tries to spin it as being progression, but that sounds more like stagnation to me. Kofi's flipped right over with a snapmare, and Ziggler does the Mr Perfect flip face-take-down-thing and then locks on a rear chinlock. Kofi's getting frequent chants, the fans are on his side.

 

Dolph hits his big jumpy elbow drop and gets 2, then it's back to the rear chinlock. Vickie's wearing a necklace that says 'Cougar'. Cole just used the word 'bonkers'. Kofi starts to fight back, hitting a nice dropkick and then a Thesz Press. He hypes up the crowd and BOOM BOOM BOOM DROP. He signals for Trouble in Paradise, or actually a Monkey Flip, but catches himself, hits a cross body, they exchange two counts, Dolph hits the Fame-Asser, which they weren't calling that at the time (though Striker sneaks in a sly reference to it), but doesn't get it. Kofi flies off the top rope and hits Ziggler, attempts Trouble In Paradise but Dolph misses and locks in the Sleeper Hold BUT OH FUCK OH FUCK THE NEXUS JUST RAN IN THEY JUST RAN IN AND THEY'RE DESTROYING BOTH OF THEM FUCKING HELL IT'S THE NEXUS!

 

They're got Kofi surrounded. Ryback looks mental, though much smaller than he is now.

 

Kofi gets to his feet AND THEY ARE ANNIHILATING HIM THERE IS NO ESCAPE KOFI, NO ESCAPE. Darren Young hits his finisher. Michael Tarver looks like a killer. Wade Barrett gets Kofi up, and hits Wasteland. FUCK. They stand over his body and Barrett gets on the mic and lets everyone know that that was just a taster for what they've got in store for Team WWE tonight. Imagine if they'd interrupted every match on the show like that? I am firmly in the 'Nexus could have been something truly great' camp. I'm buying David Otunga as a genuine threat here. DAVID OTUNGA.

 

Kind of want to watch the main event now… I've never actually seen it all. Very tempting...

 

My thoughts:

 

So that's why this one was a No Contest. I did NOT expect that Nexus run-in. That was GREAT. Best part of the match, which up until that point had been decent but standard fare. I understand it was after this main event when the Nexus aura began to fade/was completely ruined, but I was really buying into them in the weeks leading up to this so it was great to see them at their best here.

 

And now, as promised...

 

 

 

DOLPH ZIGGLER VS. KOFI KINGSTON: THE COMPLETE SAGA

(according to Online World Of Wrestling)

 

1. October 2, 2009 – A Decade of SmackDown: Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston and John Morrison.

2. November 23, 2009 – RAW: Kofi Kingston (RAW) defeated Dolph Ziggler (SmackDown) in a Breakthrough Battle Royal Qualifier

3. March 26, 2010 – WWE SmackDown: SmackDown w/ Dolph defeated RAW w/ Kofi in a Money in the Bank Preview 10-Man Tag Team Match

4. March 28, 2010 – WrestleMania 26: Jack Swagger won the 10-Man Money in the Bank Ladder match to earn a title shot any time

5. May 7, 2010 – SmackDown: Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler in an Intercontinental Title Tournament Semi-Final Match.

6. June 25, 2010 – SmackDown: Christian and MVP and Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler and Vance Archer and Curt Hawkins.

7. July 2, 2010 – SmackDown: WWE Intercontinental champion Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero.

8. July 18, 2010 – Money in the Bank: Kane won the SD! Money in the Bank Ladder match to earn a World Heavyweight title match.

9. July 23, 2010 – SmackDown: Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero defeated WWE Intercontinental champion Kofi Kingston in a Non-title match

10. July 30, 2010 – SmackDown: Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero defeated WWE Intercontinental champion Kofi Kingston by disqualification

11. August 6, 2010 – SmackDown: Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero defeated Kofi Kingston to win the WWE Intercontinental title

12. August 15, 2010 – SummerSlam: WWE Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero vs. Kofi Kingston ended in a No Contest

13. August 20, 2010 – SmackDown: Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler by disqualification when Vickie Guerrero pushed Kofi off the top rope

14. August 27, 2010 – SmackDown: Kofi Kingston defeated WWE Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero by countout

15. September 10, 2010 – SmackDown: Kofi Kingston and Chris Masters defeated Dolph Ziggler and Chavo Guerrero (w/Vickie and Kaitlyn)

16. September 19, 2010 – Night of Champions: Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero and Kaitlyn) defeated Kori Kingston to retain the WWE Intercontinental title

17. December 13, 2010 – The Slammy Awards: Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan defeated Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie) and Ted DiBiase (w/Maryse)

18. December 10, 2010 – SmackDown: Kofi Kingston defeated WWE Intercontinental champion Dolph Ziggler by disqualification after interference by Jack Swagger

19. December 17, 2010 – SmackDown: Kofi Kingston and Kaval defeated Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero

20. December 18, 2010 – WWE Tribute to the Troops: Kofi Kingston and The Big Show defeated Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler

21. December 19, 2010 – TLC PPV: Dolph Ziggler beat Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger in a 3-WAY Ladder Match to retain the WWE Intercontinental title

22. December 31, 2010 – SmackDown: Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero beat Kofi Kingston and Jack Swagger in a 3-WAY to retain the Intercontinental title

23. January 7, 2011 – SmackDown: Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero to win the WWE Intercontinental title

24. Vickie Guerrero booked an immediate rematch; Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Intercontinental title

25. May 30, 2011 – RAW: Dolph Ziggler defeated U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston in a non-title match

26. June 13, 2011 – RAW: U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne defeated Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger

27. June 19, 2011 – WWE Capitol Punishment: Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston by submission to win the United States title

28. June 20, 2011 – RAW: Kofi Kingston defeated WWE United States champion Dolph Ziggler by disqualification in a 2/3 Falls Match

29. June 27, 2011 – RAW: Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler in a Non-title Players Choice Match with Vickie banned

30. October 3, 2011 – RAW: John Cena, CM Punk, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Mason Ryan and Evan Bourne defeated Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Christian and David Otunga.

31. October 7, 2011 – SmackDown: U.S. Champion Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger defeated WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne in a non-title match

32. October 10, 2011 – RAW: Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne and Mason Ryan defeated David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger

33. October 14, 2011 – SmackDown: Kofi Kingston and Zack Ryder defeated U.S. Champion Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger

34. February 6, 2012 – RAW: Chris Jericho defeated WWE Champion CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston in a 6 pack non-title match

35. February 19, 2012 – Elimination Chamber: WWE Champion CM Punk defeated Dolph Ziggler, Chris Jericho, The Miz, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston in the elimination chamber match to retain the title.

36. February 21, 2012 – SmackDown: Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger defeated Kofi Kingston and R-Truth

37. February 27, 2012 – RAW: WWE Tag Team Champions Epico and Primo Colon defeated Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger and Kofi Kingston and R-Truth in a 3-way tag team match to retain the titles

38. March 19, 2012 – RAW: Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger defeated R-Truth and Kofi Kingston

39. April 1, 2012 – Wrestlemania 28: Team Johnny (Mark Henry, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, Christian, The Miz, and Jack Swagger) defeated Team Teddy (Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston, R-Tuth, Zack Ryder, Great Khali, and Booker T) to give John Laurinaitis full control of WWE television

40. May 7, 2012 – RAW: Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston.

41. May 14, 2012 – RAW: WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth and Kofi Kingston and Brodus Clay defeated The Miz, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger

42. May 20, 2012 – Over The Limit: WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeated Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger to retain the titles

43. May 28, 2012 – RAW: WTC Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeated Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler to retain

44. September 24, 2012 – RAW: Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston by pin fall. Before the match both R-Truth and Vickie Guerrero were sent to the back

45. November 12, 2012 – RAW: Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler defeated I.C. Champion Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton

46. November 18, 2012 – Survivor Series: Alberto Del Rio, Damien Sandow, David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, and Wade Barrett defeated Kane, Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, and Randy Orton in the traditional Survivor Series match. Dolph Ziggler was the sole survivor.

47. February 17, 2013 – Elimination Chamber: Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston

48. March 18, 2013 – RAW: Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston.

49. March 22, 2013 – SmackDown: Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston

50. April 29, 2013 – RAW: WWE world heavyweight champion Dolph Ziggler defeated WWE United States champion Kofi Kingston in a non-title match

51. June 29, 2014 – Money in the Bank: Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger, Rob Van Dam, Kofi Kingston, and Dolph Ziggler in a “Money in the Bank” ladder match to win the championship contract

52. June 1, 2015 – RAW: Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston.

53. June 14, 2015 – Money in the Bank: Sheamus defeated Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Neville, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, and Kofi Kingston in a “Money in a Bank” ladder match.

Edited by HarmonicGenerator

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Another double tonight I think. I'm away to the Fringe for a couple of days tomorrow, and then at a wedding over the weekend, so will do 2013 and 2014 on Friday, and that's it done.

 

I'm going back to the John Cena well for Summerslam 2011, for a match with an opponent I'd rank up there with Edge as one of John's definitive opponents - and I'd argue for John being his definitive WWE opponent as well. It's John Cena vs. CM Punk!

 

 

The match:

 

This match is for the 'Undisputed' WWE Championship, because both men are WWE Champion. The pre-match video has a voiceover, so this must be complicated - but as I understand it, Punk beat Cena for the title at Money In The Bank, then buggered off. So they crowned a new WWE Champion - hey, that was Ace Steel in the front row at MITB - and that title ended up with Cena. But then Punk came back, and so there were two champions.

 

Triple H is the guest referee for this match, as well, because he relieved Vince of his duties and took over as boss. Has Vince been on TV as the boss since 2011? Surely he has. Yes, he was at Survivor Series last year, wasn't he?

 

I'm very excited to watch this match, because as mentioned above, I would consider Punk and Cena each others' definitive opponents, who got the very best out of each other in every match they had, and I loved how their matches tended to play upon their previous encounters. I'd have really liked to see them have a match at a WrestleMania. In the main event to keep Punk happy.

 

Biggest match in WWE history, this, says Michael Cole (on commentary with Lawler and… Booker T!)

 

We've got the present day arena set-up here, more or less, as CM Punk comes to the ring to 'Cult of Personality', which hasn't been dubbed over like some other 'proper' songs that have been used for entrance music. Why's that, then?

 

There are some great crane shots of the arena as Punk makes his entrance, it looks packed. Triple H is giving Punk a bit of a glare behind his back (also he's still got his ponytail. He should have done a Hair vs. Hair match when he got it cut.) Punk sits down in the middle of the ring like it's school assembly and looks at his own face on the big screen. A little smirk comes across his face as John Cena's music hits and he comes out to the standard mixed reaction.

 

Okay, it's mostly boos, despite Booker trying to convince me otherwise.

 

He tells the cameraman he started out at the Staples Center walking the corridors 'in gimmick' (I think that's what he said). He used to be in that UPW indy with Nova, Kazarian and Samoa Joe before WWE signed him, didn't he?

 

Fucking hell, Justin Roberts' pronunciation of Cena's name may be among the worst things I've ever heard. JJJJJJJJJJJEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAA he sounds like a kid pretending to be a Formula 1 Car. I'm shocked Triple H didn't give him a slap and send him home right then and there.

 

Both competitors participate in a mutual bit of shirt removal and the bell rings, as Cole builds up the credentials of each. Punk is a four-time Champion at this point, Cena 11-time. Cole also feels the need to point out which one is which through what they're wearing. It's not really necessary but it kind of makes the match feel even more big time.

 

Punk gets Cena in a headlock in the early going, hits a shoulder block and slides immediately into a pin. Cena takes him down in an armlock and they stand off in a stalemate. The duelling chants get louder and louder from the WWE Universe (that term must have come in between last Summerslam and this one) as they lock up - once again, this feels big time. This is the epitome of main event level stuff.

 

Another pause in the action allows them each to soak in the crowd reaction. Punk's got a cocky grin, Cena's half-concerned, half-not-that-bothered-really. There's a 'you can't wrestle' chant as Cena does some really nice wrestling, because these people are idiots. Punk hits a leg lariat, and then a chinlock (there are a lot of these in WWE matches, I have noticed). They're taking it slow, but I quite like it unfolding at this pace - I don't doubt it'll pick up as the match continues.

 

Cena's got Punk in a chinlock now, as the 'you can't wrestle' chant picks up again and he looks around as if to ask 'what the FUCK do you think I'm FUCKING doing RIGHT FUCKING NOW YOU CRETINS', but he's a polite, decent sort of guy so he doesn't say any of it out loud. Both Cole and Lawler have picked Cena to win, so by the lore of wrestling he's probably not going to.

 

Punk's back in control with repeated falling headbutts - the strategy here, which Cole points out (quite accurately, I think) but which results in Lawler having an stubborn-old-man argument with him about, is that Punk is trying to wear Cena down. Cena's knocked to the outside with a Jerichoesque springboard dropkick and I'd expect a dive around now, but Punk waited Cena out instead and tried to pin him the second he rolled back into the ring. Triple H hasn't shown allegiance one way or the other yet, which of course ties in with his motivation of wanting to call things right down the middle.

 

Cena just powered out of a Punk hold - massively impressive show of strength - and hit a tilt-a-whirl sideslam which I think someone in TNA used to call the Catatonic (it was either Chris Sabin or Chris Harris, but I think Sabin's went into a backbreaker). There's a nice visual of them in opposite corners before the pace starts to pick up, Punk misses the knee into the turnbuckle, Cena hits his shoulder tackles but Punk cuts him off with a knee to the head, but Cena gets the advantage to try for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, which Punk gets out of, Cena tries for the STF but then Punk locks him in a submission! Is that the Koji Clutch? I think I've seen Chris Daniels use that before, and I think they called it that. Cena counters into the STF! But then Punk counters into the Anaconda Vice! Which they're not calling it, but that's what it is. Triple H is right in there, counting as soon as Cena's shoulders touch the ground, and Cena counters into the Crossface! Punk gets the ropes, and that was a superb exchange of submission moves. 'You can't wrestle'? Total, utter bollocks.

 

Cena's on the outside and THERE'S the Punk dive. They're both out and knackered as Triple H reaches a 9-count, but then stops and rolls BOTH men back into the ring! That's brilliant! He gets a well-deserved chant for that.

 

Both men get to their feet and they do the exchanging strikes routine, Cena tries for the AA, doesn't get it but hits a LOVELY dropkick, and follows it up with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. That was another fantastic exchange.

 

Another AA attempt is reversed into a Punk pin, some more reversals, Punk kicks Cena in the head, Cole finds thirty-six different ways to suggest Punk is winning which means Cena kicks out easily at 2. He gets back in control with a Stinger Splash and then a cool-looking slam that looked a bit like a powerslam into an inverted DDT but probably wasn't, but Punk gets the advantage again with a knee to the head and hits his top rope bulldog. I wish Cole would stop saying variations of 'it's Punk's time', because it blatantly telegraphs that it's not.

 

Cena avoids Punk flying in from his springboard clothesline attempt and locks in the STF, but Punk makes the ropes. This might not have been the best match of their series, but if you have a match this good and it isn't even the best one you have with each other… well, you're pretty fucking good, because this is a good match.

 

Cena hits the AA, Punk kicks out! Weird how after the US Open Challenges, I didn't even remotely expect that'd be the finish. It's like when you see an Angle Slam, you just know you're only getting 2. Punk hits the GTS! Now that I thought might be it, but Cena kicks out at the very last moment. There's a nice mirroring of Cena's near-fall here when Triple H indicates it was two and Punk looks at him in disbelief - just like Cena - but his expression telling a very different emotional story - none of the reserved 'okay then, I'll keep going' of Cena, a hint more of 'oh come on, that should have won it'.

 

Macho elbow! Kick out! Now Punk's annoyed. 'Come on Triple H, that was fucking 3'. There's some really interesting interaction between Punk and HHH which the crowd completely misses because they're busy chanting for Randy Savage, which on the one hand is very nice of them, but on the other is totally distracting. 

 

Strikes all over the place! GTS! THREE COUNT! BUT CENA'S FOOT WAS ON THE ROPE! Cole's yelling at Triple H that Cena's foot was on the rope but Triple H can't hear him and it looks like that's an official win, Punk is the Undisputed WWE Champion!

 

I am sensing something more's going to happen here...

 

Cena is frustratedly trying to explain the situation - his head is hung downward as he does it, which is great body language - but to no avail by the looks of it, as Punk does a lap of honour around the ring. Triple H hasn't left the ring yet, something's definitely about to happen, but John seems to have left. What are you playing at, Triple H? You of all people should know to check for a foot on the ropes! I'm a little bit disappointed that that was the finish… I'd have liked a clean win one way or the other - even if there was a restart KEVIN NASH?!?!?!?!?!!? KEVIN FUCKING NASH KEVIN NASH WHAT WHAAAT WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! WHAT?! JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB!!!!! KEVIN NASH! WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUUUUCK ALBERTO DEL RIO NOW?!!? HE'S CASHING IN! 1 2 3 WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!? Triple H is aghast - after all that chaos of having two Champions, all this 'biggest match in history' stuff all feels a bit futile now, that cash-in was a shock but I don't think I like it. It's kind of negated the big match feel of Punk and Cena. And we never even got that Punk vs. Nash match, did we?

 

My thoughts:

 

Brilliant match. Really, really good, as I expected it would be with those two against each other. It felt high-stakes, it felt important, it felt like it mattered - it felt like a big time main event, basically, and they really delivered. A few quibbles about the ending and post-match aside (I'd have preferred a restart after the foot on the ropes followed by a decisive win, I loved the Nash run-in (even knowing now it ultimately led to nothing) but was not keen at all on the MITB cash-in, which, like I said above, deflated the whole feel of the match's importance for the sake of a surprise ending), that was a very enjoyable watch. And again, as mentioned above, that wasn't even their best match against each other, which just goes to show how good they were as opponents. 

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It feels like I've watched loads of one-on-one matches over the course of this project, so I'm picking the tag match from Summerslam 2012, Primetime Players vs. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston, solely because it's a tag match. 

 

It had better be decent, because Daniel Bryan vs. Kane was calling to me while I was deciding...

 

 

The match:

 

No skippability on this show on the Network.

 

This match is for the Tag Team titles, currently held by Truth and Kofi. It took the Primetime Players ages to get the titles, didn't it? I know they split up for a while in the middle, but this was three years ago and they've only just had their first title reign, unless they had one before that I don't remember.

 

The PTP, who were number 1 contenders,  attacked Truth while Kofi was on a tour of China, which I just mistakenly wrote as Chyna, which is a whole other kind of tour. 

 

Shudder.

 

Anyway, they then put a video on Tout (remember that?) saying 'see you at Summerslam'. Truth is sharing Kofi's entrance and music here, which is fine because 'SOS', BOOM BOOM BOOM, is much better than 'WHAT'S UPWHAT'S UPWHAT'S UPWHAT'S UP'.

 

Truth and Young starting things off with a lovely fast-paced exchange.Truth is wearing some nice blue trousers to match with Kingston's blue trunks, which I would quite like him to bring back. It's weird to think how much of a veteran R-Truth is. He was in WWE fifteen years ago, which is mad to think about. He's been around ages.

 

Titus is tagged in, and tries to use his power but is cut off by Truth, who gets the tag to Kofi, who comes flying off the top rope straight away and is leaping all over the place, BOOM BOOM BOOM, BOOM DROP, ready for Trouble In Paradise already! But Young distracts him, good teamwork. Kofi gets cornered by them on the outside and clotheslined onto the floor by Titus. Again, good teamwork.

 

I'm still getting over the fact that Kofi's fought Dolph Ziggler 53 times on TV and PPV. 53.

 

Darren Young back in, and Titus picks him up and drops him down to splash Kofi's back. Darren locks in a hold - the PTPs are wearing a distractingly bright shade of pink - but Kingston reverses, however it's only temporary as Young drags him back to Primetime corner. Cole and Lawler are discussing Little Jimmy, was that 2012? I have only a very loose grip on chronology of the last few years in WWE.

 

Just realised, all but one of these guys will be in the Tag Team title match at Summerslam this year, as well. I'm quite glad I picked this match now, it's good preparation.

 

Truth gets the crowd riled up, Kofi makes the tag, and he is sorting out Darren Young. Titus comes in, Kofi chucks him out and hits a splendid dive, leaving Truth and Young to fight it out alone. Truth hits a … move of some sort … and gets the 3! The Champions retain!

 

My thoughts:

 

I liked that. As a nice little mid-card tag match, it did its job. Entertaining, plenty of action, teamwork, some standard tag team tropes… yeah, good fun. If you've got a spare 10 minutes, you could do worse.

 

 

Back on Friday!

Edited by HarmonicGenerator

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You've got every match from every SummerSlam to choose from, and your list ends up with two Kofi matches on it?

 

You're dead to me.

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Time for Summerslam 2013! For this one I was thinking about watching Bray Wyatt vs. Kane in the Ring of Fire match, mainly to see if it was as bad as I remember it being, but seeing Edge incinerated for a feel-good ending in 2008 has put me off watching any match involving fire. So instead I've gone for Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow.

 

This is because, in a rarity for a mid card match these days, I remember there being a story behind this, and I remember looking forward to the match because of it. Rhodes and Sandow were partners (or maybe they weren't at this point but they were friendly with each other) who were both in the Money in the Bank match. Cody had a stormer of a match and had the crowd behind him, he was a shoo-in to win. But Sandow stole the match from under his dashing nose. They fall out, and they settle it at Summerslam.

 

I also remember that, while not expecting it to be a classic, to at least be a decent mid-card grudge match like Back In The Day, but being disappointed because it was a bit brief and tepid. I'm wondering if that opinion has changed … let's find out.

 

 

The match:

 

'The Self Proclaimed Intellectual Saviour Of The Masses' is a very bad long nickname. Damien comes down to the ring - I liked the way he would hold his microphone - talking about how there aren't really partners, there are leaders and sidekicks. Cody was his sidekick and tonight he's going to send Cody back to his 'dumb and dumber' family. I wonder what's next for Sandow, they really fucked him over in the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, I don't think he's ever recovered.

 

Cody comes out, and Michael Cole points out he doesn't have a moustache anymore, but that you have to watch the JBL & Cole Show on YouTube to find out why. Which is stupid.

 

The bell rings and they charged right into an intense lockup before exchanging strikes in the corner and Cody hits Sandow with a back body drop and a reverse suplex. Sandow has a 'Sandowised' briefcase because Rhodes had thrown the one he'd won/stolen from him in a river. You can't beat a 'throw the other guy's property into a river' angle. Belts, gold medals, briefcases, it's all good.

 

Cole (on commentary with Lawler and JBL) cryptically hints at a MITB cash-in as Sandow takes advantage and locks Cody in a hold - was that a veiled hint at the Orton cash in from the end of this show?

 

They trade reversals, Rhodes tries for Cross Rhodes, but Sandow gets back into control and hits the Elbow of Disdain for 2. Sandow locks in something not too dissimilar to the Lasso From El Paso, or the Edgecator, but Cody's able to get out of it. Damien then rubs Cody's face into the mat.

 

He climbs up to the top rope, Cody gets up and hits… a MUSCLE BUSTER! Nice. Doesn't get the win, but it does mean Cody can make a comeback, including the Goldust-style drop down uppercut. Springboard missile dropkick, Hardcore Holly-style kick to the gut from the ropes, but Sandow manages to get back in control again.

 

This is LOADS better than I remember it being.

 

It really is. I take back my former opinion of this match, I take it back!

 

Disaster Kick! But Sandow kicks out! Sandow tries a rollup near the ropes, and misses the opportunity for a sneaky feet-on-the-bottom-rope situation, but it doesn't matter in the end because Cody hits Cross Rhodes and gets the 3 count for a big cheer as Sandow retreats to his briefcase.

 

My thoughts:

 

I'm happy to be wrong about that match - as I said above, that was loads better than I remember. The feud between the two was evident not just from the commentary but the way they attacked each other. The crowd was into it. The right man won. And it lasted longer than I remember. That was definitely a 'decent mid-card grudge match'.

 

However… it didn't do much for Sandow as the MITB holder, really. His whole time as MITB holder was a bit pointless, in fact, unless it was to prove that the casher-in doesn't always win. Even so, virtually everyone who's cashed in since has also run, so even that didn't do anything. If he won MITB in order to set up this feud with Cody Rhodes, then why not put the briefcase/title opportunity on the line in this match? Cody could have got revenge, won the briefcase, settled the score… it would have added some extra stakes to the match, and that could have pushed it from 'good' to 'very good'. Oh well.

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And finally… last year's event, Summerslam 2014. I'm going to watch the main event: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar.

 

There are several reasons for this:

 

1) It's good preparation for this Sunday, because if the Brock we see then is like the Brock of this match, Undertaker really is a dead man.

 

2) It'll be interesting to compare 2014 Lesnar to 2002 Lesnar.

 

3) I'd consider Brock to be John Cena's third and final 'definitive' opponent. It's very handy for this project that he's faced all three of them in Summerslam main events.

 

4) It was an astonishing match to watch at the time. The build up made it seem like an enormously big deal. It was going to be an epic fight. And then it kicks off, and John Cena was destroyed, like we'd never seen before. It was the most gripped I'd been watching a match for a long time.

 

5) Despite the fact that

You're dead to me.

I thought air_raid made an intriguing point in the Summerslam 2015 thread, about the rewatchability of this match. Does knowing what happens take away some of its specialness? I'm about to find out...

 

 

The match:

 

I'll be watching the pre-match video first. I've tuned in just at the very end of Roman Reigns vs. Randy Orton. Reigns looked so, so much better without the contact lenses.

 

It's less than a minute in and I'm already completely drawn in. Paul Heyman runs through what Brock has done since he last faced Cena. It's fucking intimidating. They talk about the Streak ending. I'm still not over that, Brock, you bastard.

 

Cena won the title at Money In The Bank. They're alternating between footage and sit-down interviews. Cena looks incredibly serious when he says Lesnar doesn't deserve to win, or the title. Lesnar just calmly promises to rip Cena to pieces. Heyman talks up the match, Cena says Lesnar is going to have to beat EVERYTHING out of him, and he is going to conquer the conqueror.

 

Brock: "I'm going to rip John Cena apart at Summerslam. I'm going to leave him in a pile of blood, and urine, and vomit." I believe him.

 

That was an excellent video. I've seen the match and I still watched that and thought, "I can't wait to see what happens, who's going to win?!"

 

Lesnar walks down to the ring looking utterly fearsome. BOOM! Pyro. JBL puts over the brute force of Lesnar in the ring. Paul Heyman looks smug. I hated Lesnar this time last year. He ended the fucking Streak, the bastard. And yet, I don't know how to feel about this Sunday… after watching this match, there's no way Undertaker should be able to beat Brock in a match. But we'll see.

 

Out comes Cena with the double belts - when did they switch back to one belt? I should remember that, it was obviously less than a year ago - and when he gets to the ring. He lifts them up and gets mostly boos. This is interesting. I couldn't fathom anyone cheering the Ender of the Streak.

 

Justin Roberts does the ring introductions, please don't ruin Cena's name, please don't ruin Cena's name, please don't ruin Cena's name, YES! WELL DONE JUSTIN ROBERTS. YOU PRONOUNCED 'JOHN' CORRECTLY! MUCH better. He can be un-fired.

 

Cole, JBL and Lawler are hyping this up very well.

 

The bell rings, Cena charges straight in, they wrestle over and over, Brock gets the strikes in, Cena fights back, F5! F5! HE FUCKING HIT THE FUCKING F5 CENA KICKED OUT FUCKING HELL!!!!!!!!! Brock and Heyman just grin. That was stunning. Super intense brawling and straight into the F5, the crowd are extremely loud and Cena is down. "I'LL KILL YOU!" Brock screams at Cena, who's getting the duelling chants even louder than usual.

 

1ST GERMAN SUPLEX. Cena's done. The pace of this match has shifted completely, from the hi-octane opening thirty seconds 2ND GERMAN SUPLEX to this casual destruction. Those Germans looks devastating. Cole dares to say it's looked easy for Lesnar so far. It's true. This is the most dominant performance I'd seen in ages and ages, if not ever, at this level of the card, and I wouldn't change my mind from that this year.

 

SUPLEX. Brock's gone red and the crowd are actually chanting for Cena now, he gets Brock back in the corner and start pummelling him - how quickly the crowd turn on him, apart from horribly, horribly, HORRIBLY annoying child who keeps shouting "Let's go Ceeeena", couldn't they edit that kid out? - but Brock pushes him away and knees him viciously.

 

Can't that child's parents tell it to shut up? HOW LOUD IS THIS KID? It's actually taking me out of the match it's so annoying.

 

Brock knees a grounded Cena again and he's gasping for air, JBL sounds worried, Cena mounts another comeback and just gets kneed again. "We know John Cena won't quit, but I don't think that's enough", says JBL, or words to that effect.

 

"Here comes the pain!" shouts Heyman, almost Paul Bearer-esque, as German Suplexes 3, 4 and 5 come in quick succession. He marches back to Cena's body and just picks him up for number 6. FUCK THIS MAN IS SCARY.

 

I'm mentally blocking out the Let's Go Ceeeeena Kid now.

 

Lawler tries to instil hope by saying that it's a Championship match and Cena is the champion, but as Lesnar covers him, JBL makes the point that he's covering so lightly because he's almost giving Cena a chance to stay down.

 

7TH GERMAN SUPLEX. It's amazing how Lesnar is able to just take as much time as he wants - he is that much in control, this has been that one-sided, he doesn't even have to worry a tiny bit, and this is JOHN CENA he's against - 8TH GERMAN SUPLEX. Commentators have switched to Serious Voices. But Cena's climbing up, wonderful character work, and he comes back, the crowd come alive, he charges with repeated clotheslines, LESNAR GOES FOR THE F5 THE CROWD STAND UP HE COUNTERS AA 1 2 KICK OUT!

 

That was it for Cena. That was his chance. And it's beautifully played because normally when Cena launches the comeback out of nowhere he wins, but this time he didn't. I was about to say they're both down now, but Lesnar sits up doing his TERRIFYING tongue-out-laugh-grin and it's like nothing ever happened to him. Cena looks like he's about to cry. I don't blame him.

 

Lesnar's hopping up and down laughing, beckoning Cena on. Never one to back down, Cena charges right in and just gets punched in the head 80,000 times. STOP SHOUTING 'LET'S GO CEEEEENA' YOU EVIL DEVIL CHILD.

 

They show a replay of the sit-up and Cole points out that it was a blatant mockery of Undertaker. It would have been so, so much better if that Wyatt match at Mania had never happened and this had been the first time we'd seen Taker again.

 

FOUR MORE GERMAN SUPLEXES. The crowd don't quite know how to react to this. "DIE!" screams Lesnar. Charles Robinson looks like he'd rather be anywhere else. And still Lesnar just takes his time. FUCK, ANOTHER GERMAN, AND ANOTHER, AND ANOTHER, FUCKING HELLLLLLL… I remembered this being destruction, and I remembered correctly. Charles asks Cena if he quits, JBL points out it's a waste of time (Cena never quits), is some TWAT in the crowd shouting 'boring'? What a twat.

 

Cena's locked in the STF! Lesnar can't reach the ropes, so just rolls over and punches Cena a load more times, then hits another F5 AND WINS THE TITLE. SHITTING HELL NO FUCKER WILL EVER BE ABLE TO STOP HIM AFTER THAT. Or so I thought at the time...

 

They're showing crowd shots of people just open-mouthed at what they just saw.

 

"It wasn't even close", says Cole. Damn right.

 

The contrast between the Lesnar who won his first title against The Rock and the Lesnar are huge. He certainly didn't need Heyman's help this time. No-one's had an aura around them quite like this version of Lesnar.

 

The slow-motion replay of Lesnar lifting up the belts is ruined slightly by two idiots taking a selfie in the crowd.

 

WHERE'S YOUR "LET'S GO CEEENA" NOW, YOU LITTLE TWAT?

 

My thoughts:

 

To answer my points at the start of the post in reverse order:

 

5) Nope, that lost none of its specialness on rewatch. It's just as shocking when you see it a second time - especially a year removed. It's unbelievable how one-sided it was, and it's so memorable for it. Both Cena and Lesnar were at the top of their game throughout. A main event unlike any other.

 

4) I was still gripped throughout. It draws you in, this match, it really does. Every time you blink you miss a German Suplex.

 

3) Yeah, Cena and Lesnar were almost made for each other. It's markedly different from a Cena vs. Edge or a Cena vs. Punk, but I'd absolutely put Cena vs. Lesnar in with those two as the places to see John Cena at his best. Sorry Randy.

 

2) 2014 Brock would kill, eat and shit out 2002 Brock without any hassle whatsoever.

 

1) I don't know how they're going to do the Undertaker match this weekend (and again, I wish they hadn't brought him in for that pointless Wyatt match this year and kept him off-screen until Battleground or whatever the last PPV was). If Brock is anything like he is here, Taker does not stand a hope in hell unless he decides to just flat out end Brock's life with fire like he did to Edge in 2008 (still not over it). It's either going to be a mauling or they're going to have to get creative, because, much as I like Undertaker, if John Cena couldn't get a look-in here, there's no way Taker should. We'll see what happens...

 

 

-

 

 

So there we have it! A Summerslam match a day, ish, more or less, and I'm up to date!

 

Objective-wise...

 

Has it got my money's worth out of the Network this month? Yes, yes it has.

 

Has it got me hyped for this year's show? Weeeell… kind of. I'm not sure I'm particularly hyped for this year's Summerslam in and of itself but it's been brilliant reliving it (or living it for the first time) from the start. It's given me a feel of what to expect from this year, and I suppose I am looking forward to it after watching some of the great matches that I've watched here. It's still one of my favourite annual events.

 

Yeah, bring on Summerslam 2015.

 

Did I watch a good variety of matches? I tried to. I watched opening matches, mini-mid-card matches, Divas matches (albeit only one), main events. I watched singles, tags, a four way, a six man, a Cage match, a Ladder match… I tried to mix it up a bit. Over the course of the thing I watched 67 different wrestlers, most once, some twice, only Bulldog and Cena three times, which is reasonable.

 

And overall, I've found that generally speaking, you're going to see decent matches at Summerslam no matter where you are on the card. Naturally the lower down you are the shorter your match, but I don't think I saw an actively bad match during this whole thing. What you might get, however, are occasional matches that start off really great, but due to a rubbish, or non-, ending, never quite reach their full potential. You may not also get clean finishes, even if you're the main event, or you might well get some post-match action. That happened quite a lot. But the matches themselves… it's hard to go wrong at Summerslam.

 

Overall feel of the shows? That 2000-2003 run of four shows still rank among my favourite ever PPVs. Watching bits of those again just took me right back. It's very hard not to get nostalgic when you watch the 80s and early 90s events, and similarly so in the Attitude Era. The shows lose their individuality a little bit as you get closer to the modern era, but the effort put into the top part of the card means you don't really notice it unless you're watching the undercard, which is largely interchangeable - but still decent, at least.

 

Favourite matches?

 

1) Bret vs. Owen in the Cage. Loved it.

2) Brock vs. Cena. Compelling stuff.

3) Bulldogs vs. Rougeaus. For Matilda.

4) DX vs. Legacy. Classic tag.

5) … you know what, probably Chris Jericho vs. Rhyno. My era.

 

Least favourite matches?

 

I didn't really have any! There's the aforementioned ones that could have been something really good if they hadn't cut off sooner (Savage vs. Dusty, Taker vs. Kane), there's ones with elements I hated but that were otherwise good (Rey vs. Eddie, Taker vs. Edge) but by and large, whether through ringwork or through the characters, nostalgia, surprise appearances by the likes of Andre, Piper, Nash and so on I thought everything was decent or better.

 

 

Final thought? If they open up an Animal Wing of the Hall Of Fame, this lady should be the first inductee:

 

4.1.gif

 

 

-

 

 

Thank you to anyone who read this at any stage, especially if you posted too, and especially especially if you recommended me a match to watch. It's been great watching a match from every Summerslam. I've relived some favourites, I've revisited plenty of memories, and I've discovered stuff I'd never seen but loved. Cheers folks!

Edited by HarmonicGenerator

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Thanks for the writeups HG, really looked forward to each one. You made me rewatch 2000 because I didn't remember a bit of it. Cheers.

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Thanks everyone :)

 

Thanks for the writeups HG, really looked forward to each one. You made me rewatch 2000 because I didn't remember a bit of it. Cheers.

I'm still very tempted to rewatch 2000 in full, just the bits I saw brought back such strong memories. The last PPV of a truly great run before Austin came back and (in my view) it went downhill a bit, too.

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