This is just my own personal review of the show, do not take my personal opinions to heart (as hard as that can be for some). If you fancy it you can also follow me on Twitter, my handle is @a_wrestling_fan. Enjoy!
Wade Barrett pinned Daniel Bryan in a pretty enjoyable opener. Bryan was on good form while Barrett did well enough. It was fun for the most part but there were a few slightly sloppy moments (Wade didn't receive some of Bryan's moves so well). Barrett gained the one-two-three with a schoolboy as special referee Brad Maddox made a dubiously fast count. Bryan was about to exact some revenge after but the Raw GM managed to escape the ring first.
Randy Orton beat Damien Sandow in a fair outing. The first half was fairly drab to be honest, but things picked up towards the end and it became a decent watch. Orton RKO'd his fellow Money in the Bank holder for the win after Cody Rhodes (who'd provided guest commentary) distracted Sandow at ringside by trying to take his briefcase which was handcuffed to a ring post.
Natalya and The Great Khali bested AJ Lee and Big E Langston in a strange mixed tag bout. The wrestling itself wasn't anything remarkable, and we only got to see AJ and Natalya tangle during the actual mach up. Natalya scored the win by forcing AJ to tap to the sharpshooter not once, but twice. The first time apparently didn't count so they carried on and Natalya just applied the submission hold again.
Afterwards Big E attempted to attack Khali but failed miserably and was instead chopped down by the giant. Why have the two wrestlers going into the bigger match at SummerSlam treated in this fashion? I've always been indifferent to the Total Divas show, but when it starts to affect the product as negatively as it has then it begins to get on my nerves (Natalya later challenged Brie Bella to a bout this Sunday as a continuation of their feud from the 'reality' show).
Vince McMahon brought out Brad Maddox and questioned him over his fast count in the earlier Bryan versus Barrett match. Maddox claimed that he was maybe a little overexcited and admitted to making a mistake.
The GM then requested that he make amends by refereeing the WWE Title match at SummerSlam, so as McMahon was about to officially announce this his son in law Triple H joined them and agreed that they should allocate a special referee to take order this Sunday, but that it should be him instead. To really make Vince livid 'The Game' then pedigreed Maddox.
Kane pinned Titus O'Neil in a short squash match. Bray Wyatt and his 'family' Luke Harper and Erick Rowan then attempted to perform their trademark attack after turning out the lights, but Kane had the upper hand this time as he'd already made his way down the ramp.
Alberto Del Rio forced Kofi Kingston to submit in a passable encounter. There were some solid parts and effective near falls, but on the whole it wasn't a very memorable bout. Kofi's return has been quite disappointing too, they could've really freshened his persona up a bit or even turn him heel with his latest comeback. It's a shame really.
The Usos defeated The Ream Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger) in a decent tag match. It wasn't anything amazing but still lively for the most part so you were never bored.
The Miz introduced his guests for the latest instalment of 'Miz TV' John Cena and Daniel Bryan, who both agreed with Triple H as the referee for their title clash. As things got a bit more heated Bryan stated that it was because of people like Cena, who are more "style than substance" and just in it for the fame that he doesn't watch TV.
Cena retorted by claiming that he doesn't wrestle to impress him, but for the fans that remain loyal to him. That included a young child from Make a Wish that he visited that afternoon, which rightfully received a standing ovation form the fans. He also spoke about receiving the same criticisms for years, and that he hopes Bryan underestimates and treats him as a parody come Sunday. It was strong promo from the champ, one of the strongest he's ever delivered for me.
Bryan then explained a Japanese custom where a wrestler would slap another wrestler to get them fired up, but he didn't believe that Cena deserved it as he wasn't a real wrestler. An aggravated champ slapped his future challenger in the face, but Bryan failed to take the bait and refused to slap him back. Triple H then hurried out and managed to settle things just before Orton also walked out calmly and held up his MITB briefcase as a clear message to champion and challenger. It was a great segment, in fact the best since their feud begun, with terrific mic work from both men.
Fandango and R-Truth had a brief dance off, although that may be the wrong word for what they did. Things soon turned uglier however as Fandango clobbered Truth from behind, only to have him turn things around quickly and send the ballroom dancer out of the ring. It was a nothing segment.
Rob Van Dam won a Battle Royal to earn a United States Championship shot at SummerSlam. Once the match dwindled down it became an entertaining watch, with Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry and RVD being my standout performers. Speaking of the last two, they delivered an exciting end to the contest as the final two men.
Henry congratulated the victor after, and then stood by him as The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) made their way out. As the trio were about to enter the ring, Big Show made his return and helped scare them off. I was starting to wonder if they were going to save Show's comeback for after SummerSlam. So it would seem that him and Henry will team up to face Rollins and Reigns for the tag title, which could be interesting.
Before their match up Paul Heyman claimed that Punk's need for the fans adoration instead of his since their split was going to be his downfall, and that he planned to take that away from him with a trap he'd set up with the man he next introduced, Brock Lesnar. The trap was simple, either Punk comes out as the hero and faces both Heyman and Lesnar, or he leaves the arena and lets all the fans down.
But CM Punk had a plan of his own and snuck in from behind and cracked Brock a few times with a camera he stole from a cameraman at ringside and hit a suicide dive. He then gave chase to Heyman, but Curtis Axel slowed him down enough for him to escape. Punk took Axel down with a few chair shots and applied a GTS to end the show, and a solid way it was to end it too.
Overall it was an entertaining show for the most part, with only a few unmemorable or mediocre bouts and a dance off letting it down. My highlights were the final segment, the Battle Royal, Bryan versus Barrett and the tremendous 'Miz TV' segment. It was a strong way to go into SummerSlam I felt, with stellar build ups for the high profile match ups, just the way it should be.
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