Time to dust off an old feature. My money’s on don’t get used to it, but this should be fun for what it is. I’ll let Matt do the explaining, glorious spelling and all.
The year was 2000-and-something and I was likely drunk when Steve and I agreed we should attempt to write some sort of cliche’ed roundtable for an upcoming wrestling event. The problem being 2 people hardly requires a roundtable, though Steve’s meals usually require one. I, with no sense of comedic value or any real self-respect, suggested the name “Table for Two” and further cemented my legacy of “Oh that guy? Ya he’s not clever.”
Wrestling has since become something I occasionally turn on, as a former huge fan, in the hopes of being pulled back in and re-interested. Alas, semi-regular Monday after semi-regular Monday, I am disappointed. (I don’t watch Friday. Does anyone?) I was pumped to see them bring in Lesnar as a monster to destroy all their top guys and then job to one guy, making this lucky up and comer a star, but alas they pissed millions of dollars (and my interest) away by jobbing Brock out in his first match back to a guy who didn’t need it. Well played. Who needs viewers anyway? So, from my end, this will be a completely uneducated and uninformed commentary on what I see happening with little-to-no knowledge of current storyline.
A few quick SummerSlam notes for me. This is the first one I’ll have watched since whatever year Hogan fought Shawn. Does anyone remember what else was even on that card…? I attended the show in Toronto in 04 when Orton took the strap from Benoit and the Undertaker and JBL bored the fans at the ACC so relentlessly it resulted in various “Go Leafs Go” chants and numerous appearances of “The Wave”. Perhaps not what you’re looking for in a championship match. My favourite match from SummerSlam, and really the last time I got real excited for a match, was Shawn vs Hunter in Shawn’s return from back surger in 2002.
Lastly, before we get down to this trainwreck, Wikiepedia tells me this is the 4th straight year this PPV will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. There’s no way that can be true, can it?
Steve: Yes, it’s true. They do it there every year now because they think people in Hollywood give a fuck and because they get to pretend they’re real entertainment stars for a few days.
Matt: Let’s start at the bottom of the card, shall we?
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: SHEAMUS (C) V ALBERTO DEL RIO
Ha! See what I did there? Bottom of the card? When looking up the card to find out what the final few matches I didn’t know about were, the list put this at the bottom with Hunter/Brock at the top and the WWE Title second. Shows you what people really think about this title, I’d say.
I’ve got Sheamus retaining here. From what I’ve seen, ADR has done nothing since his return from injury, and even before that had stagnated. He’s been the same character since he arrived. One that people HATED to hear talk and LOVED to see lose. He has had zero character arch since then and people no longer care. This is merely a match to keep Sheamus and the belt on the card and for him to go over strong in before ADR is punted to the mid-card.
My only fear, WWE sees this as a chance to make ADR relevant again by putting a belt that no one cares about on him and further devaluing the title in the process. Sheamus has a good little run going here and appears to be pretty over. Let him keep it going.
Winner: Sheamus with his bad pump kick finisher.
I agree, Sheamus wins. He wins because for some reason, even though they seem to love the guy, they can’t bring themselves to not fuck Del Rio over. They jobbed him out like a total geek in his title match at Wrestlemania a couple years ago, and when they’ve put the title on him since, it hasn’t lasted more than a couple of weeks.
Oh, and my only problem with Del Rio’s character is that WWE can’t write characters or storylines anymore. the idea behind the gimmick is fine. He’s a Mexican JBL/Million Dollar Man with his own ring announcer. Solid heel stuff there. But after that it’s up to whoever’s making the matches and booking the angles to go somewhere with it, and they aren’t. ADR is doing the best he can with what he’s given, but when somebody serves you up a shit sandwich there’s only so much you can do to make it taste like peanut butter.
TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP: R-TRUTH/KOFI KINGSTON (C) V. PRIMETIME PLAYERS
Seriously eh? Kingston keeps finding himself ways to have a belt? Good for you, big guy!
Admittedly, I’ve only seen PTP a couple of times, but I really dig their shtick. It’s not a new one. Vince has tried this before with various people of colour. I’m reminded first of MVP in, at least a similar, type of character. I’m not sure why he believes that this is the best way to portray every African-American that comes in to the company, but he’s the billionaire and I’m the schlub that stopped watching his show.
That said, with little knowledge of the story here and even less interest in R Truth and Kofi, I’m saying they’ll put the belts on PTP to attempt to keep building this team to be even stronger. They’re getting over, so give them a little boost and see if they can run with it.
Winner: PTP with something racially insensitive.
I really don’t have any thoughts on this match. If WWE doesn’t put any time into the tag division, why should I care? Oh, and fuck Little Jimmy. that whole concept should have died when Truth turned face again. It went from being a way to semi-cleverly insult kids in the audience to him having an imaginary friend like a complete retard. And you wonder why wrestling is in the shape it’s in.
Winner: Primetime Players because hey…why not?
I-C CHAMPIONSHIP: THE MIZ (C) V. REY MYSTERIO
The last time I watched RAW, Jerry Lawler referred to Rey-Rey as a “young man” twice. Rey has been around for as long as I can remember now. He HAS to be 40 years old by now. Just because he’s small does not mean he’s young. Please. Stop this.
I did happen to be watching when the Miz returned and won the IC strap. I actually thought it was a solid call. This is a guy who they’re counting on to remain a star and he BADLY, like ADR, needed a character change-up. Not a full new gimmick, but something to freshen him up. He, being a former WWE champion, gives the IC belt some credibility while him holding it keeps him out of the main event picture for a while so he can get his shit together. As a worker I’ve never really thought he was anything special, as a character he was hit and miss. He’s gotta get one of these two going.
I feel like this should be a solid match by two guys who are usually good-to-go as far as effort. The styles should mesh pretty well. Rey, when he’s interested, is always fun to watch! I see no reason to take the strap off of Miz (so they probably will) and no reason why giving it to Rey helps him. Let Miz carry this for a while and see if he can make the belt matter again.
Winner: The Miz. Some sort of underhanded tactic like a handful of trunks/foot on the roop/led pipe to the skull/shotgun blast to the spinal column. Writer’s choice.
The young man thing struck me as stupid, too. Yes, he’s a dynamic young man…who’s been out for the better part of the last 3 years because his knees are about to fall off. I’m not saying that to insult Rey, I’m saying it to be honest. Maybe he’s not that old based on his birth certificate, but I believe he started wrestling at the age of 15, and that was a long time ago. And the Rey Mysterio you see now, though stil pretty fun and exciting, isn’t nearly the same guy from the 1990’s. that guy was nuts. And that’s why, in wrestling terms at least, he’s not young. Your grandpa’s hunched over 80-year-old body is in some ways younger than that of Rey Mysterio.
Oh yeah, there’s a match to predict. This is the one pick I didn’t like when I made it yesterday in the fun pool with my cousins who aren’t old enough to hate this shit yet. but I have a rule. If you make a pick, stick to it. When I change them, I’m usually right the first time. I picked Rey because Miz losing is about as reliable as the sun coming up in the morning. But on the other hand, he’s lost a couple of matches while holding a title, which is apparently how you push a guy and make him strong in 2012. What to do, what to do? I could hedge my bets and pick Miz here so I look smart somewhere, but I’m going to stick with Rey because seriously, it’s the Miz.
DOLPH ZIGGLER V. CHRIS JERICHO
I’ve heard lots about Dolph, and I’ve seen him on TV enough. And everything I read is that he’s someone that they may have high hopes for, or that the internet wants to see elevated. To be honest, I can’t buy in to him at all simply because of his name. Stupid reason? Sure. But there it is. He sounds like a goof and I’ll never take himseriously.
I do however feel like this match has a solid chance to be the best match on the card. I’ve enjoyed the build up until now and am actually interested in seeing it paid off.
I do feel like they may have booked themselves in to a corner here. This is a fairly high profile feud for Dolph with a guy that people would take notice of if he beat. Jericho’s been around. Conversely though, do you allow Jericho to get booked to be told over and over by this guy he can’t win the big one… and then he doesn’t? I smell a bullshit finish here that buys them another month to take the feud in a new direction away from this “You can’t do it anymore” thing and get Dolph the win then.
Winner: Jericho by irritating this just cost me $40 to order DQ.
Yes. That name has got to go. Dolph Ziggler isn’t a champion, he’s the guy who washes the ring canvases if he’s lucky. I say if he’s lucky because he has to fight Michael McGillicutty for them. Seriously, these fucking names! and the showoff thing, I hate that, too. If you want to show off, show off. The thing about showoffs is that they don’t admit they’re showing off. It’s something other people call them, not a name they give themselves. We’ll figure out the guy is a showoff without you telling us, WWE. We’re not all as durpa durpa doo as the guy who walks around with an invisible kid.
I have to disagree with Matt and say that Ziggler gets the win. The smart thing is never the sure thing, but Ziggler needs it more than Jericho does and I have a feeling it’s almost time for Jericho to go off and tour with the band again. If Dolph pins him, it’ll put doubts in Jericho’s head about whether or not he realy does still have it. He goes off to find himself for a few months, then comes back and the feud can pick up.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler, no thanks to that godawful name.
KANE V. D-BRY!
Full disclosure, I think Danielson is just awesome. And I dug all the stuff he did with Punk and AJ recently. I guess I kind of lost track of him because I know AJ was making his life hell and he was kind of losing it. But where does Kane re-enter the picture? I guess I missed that. It seems like this is just to keep the two of them busy.
Do we not all already know how this ends? Bryan gets screwed in the end by…. CHARLIE SHEEN! We all saw the weird Sheen comments on RAW 1000 about Sheen wanting to punch Bryan in the face, or whatever it was. Now we’re in LA for the show. Kane get a win that does nothing good or bad for him, Bryan gets his momentum squashed and WWE gets to pretend they’re relevant in pop culture because Sheen is there – despite his shtich having gotten old 15 months ago.
Winner: Kane via Epic Winning Bomb and Tiger Blood Lock.
Fuck. I totally forgot about Charlie Sheen. Not only are those words I wish everybody would say, but they’re also my thoughts as I read Matt’s pick. He’s right, there’s probably going to be some Sheen involvement, and Bryan is going to be on the wrong end of it. It makes sense, I guess. But here we come back to my rule. I had a hunch on Bryan, so I went with him. Maybe they couldn’t get Sheen to show up. They haven’t mentioned him in a couple of weeks, so there’s a chance…right? I mean they’d surely want to plug the shit out of Charlie Sheen making an appearance to sell shows because paying him way too much to surprise people is stupid…never mind, this is WWE. they’re clueless now. forget it. I’m screwed.
Winner: Daniel Bryan because I’m not going back on what I said. Being wrong scares me.
WWE TITLE: CM PUNK (C) V. BIG SHOW V. JOHN CENA
The only prediction I feel super comfortable in making is that this match is second from the top in favour of Brock/Hunter.
Has Show not warn out his usefulness on the main event side again for the next couple years? Does anyone buy that they’re going to ever put the strap on him again? No? Then get rid of him and just throw Punk/Cena out there again because they’ve brought it a few times 1-on-1. You don’t need this guy slowing it down.
I feel like this has 2 equally viable results. Put Punk over again and allow him to keep making the belt mean something by holding it even longer and not waste him losing it on a triple threat match or put it on Cena now and start your build for Rock/Cena II now. I’m going to make a major leap of faith that they do the smart thing and keep it on Punk.
In the meantime, they’ll do nothing to make Punk look good or let him get over in the process.
Winner: CM Punk via Big Show screwing over Cena one more time before returning to the mid-card to tag with Hornswoggle to feud with the Prime Time Players in an epic money feud.
I’ve already sort of covered this one, so I’m not doing it again. I’m going with the smart thing even though it might bite me in the ass and saying Punk wins to build him up to Rock at the Rumble.
Winner: Punk. I’d better be writing that a bunch of times until January.
BROCK LESNAR V. TRIPLE H
As I mentioned off the top, everyone knew the smart thing to do when Brock came in was allow him to rip people apart, take the title and dominate with it for a while before a) allowing someone new to make themselves in 1 night by beating Brock at Mania or b) creating a HUGE money match for WrestlemMania by bringing in Rock to slay the dragon and make good on his promise to win the title. And instead, they jobbed him out on night 1 killing their own investment. Awesome!
I hope to sweet baby Jebus that I’m wrong, but Hunter is going over here. They’re pissy about Brock’s attitude despite knowing it before he came in, he only sold the “broken” arm for like a week and a half (which is why no one cares that HBK’s is now “broken”) and he’s going to do this for his own weird sense of morality where he saves the company. Where as in reality, if he cared about the company, he’d know his own day was done, let Brock pummel the merciful shit out of him to make it mean more when someone else gets the win later.
Even by WWE logic though, I’m confused by the storyline. Brock says no 30 times. Heyman comes out AGAIN to say “No” for him as his legal representation and because Stephanie McMahon slaps him in the face he then speaks for Brock to make the match. Heyman is his lawyer, not his like handler or boss. But he gets embarassed and in 3 seconds decided Brock would have changed his mind to fight of his lawyer’s honour. Ok. Got it.
To me I see this match going down similarly to the Cena match. Brock pummels him, maybe re-breaks that pesky arm and the mighty Hunter will rise anyway showing his TREMENDOUS HEART and defeat the monster.
Winner: HHH via hand of GOD himself!
Good god, I hope you’re wrong. I can’t imagine WWE being dumb enough to have Lesnar lose 2 straight matches. Hell of an investment that would be. Ok ok, I can imagine it. they do all kinds of monsterously stupid shit, which is why this whole thing is written the way it is. But still…they just can’t do this…they just can’t! If they hope to make this Brock experiment anywhere near worthwhile, he has to win. He can win big or he can win in an intense back and forth, but he has to win. If he loses, that’s it. It’s over.
Winner: Brock, because not even WWE could do something so dumb and money losing twice…could they?
Steve ends things:
And that’s it. It was even a little bit fun. Maybe we’ll do it again, maybe not. If Matt’s up for it, I’m game.
We hope that in spite of WWE’s best efforts, you all enjoy SummerSlam. See you soon. It’s time for some outside food, baseball and maybe a beer now. That way I won’t have to think about wrestling for a while.