It’s the go home show for the 2nd biggest PPV of the year and of course there are still lingering questions. Will more matches be added to the PPV card? Can Punk and Heyman/Lesnar bring even more hype to their hotly anticipated match? Will we find out if Kane’s Ring of Fire match is another name for an Inferno match or something different? Will Bryan show up still sporting his Corporate Makeover Ponytail? Does anyone still believe in The Shield?
Orton: Last week was some of the strongest evidence yet that Randall is finally turning heel. He was back to his old self, RKOing everyone in sight, which was awesome by the way, and to top it off left Bryan in the ring to get decimated by The Shield. He got a tune up in a solid match against Damien Sandow, though you’d think anytime its MITB v MITB holders, it’d be promoted more. In the end, it may not matter who wins the Bryan-Cena match at Summerslam, because The Viper is sure to be lurking somewhere.
The Card: It’s six days before the PPV and there were six matches on the card before RAW started and now it’s more or less filled out. There are two main events in Bryan-Cena and Punk-Lesnar that are capable of going on last as well as a few supporting matches in Del Rio-Christian, Rhodes-Sandow and Kane-Wyatt that add plenty of intrigue. Summerslam is the second biggest show of the year and WWE clearly understands this as they’ve built what is shaping up to be a memorable show.
#1 Contender: So it’s the week of the PPV and The Shield needs opponents. To solve who will challenge the United States of Ambrose, they had a Battle Royal which is a great idea. Instead of just putting in someone or having a standard match they packed the Royal with top guys such as Henry, Ryback, RVD and of course the usual assortment of jobbers. Having so many guys fight over the opportunity for a title shot lends legitimacy, even if the match will take place on the Pre Show. Plus we got the return of Big Show as The Shield was about to beat down Henry and RVD. That’s pretty much the WWE’s way of making a match official nowadays with Henry-Show vs Double R for the Tag Titles ‘added’ to the card.
Too Much?: Bryan has been booked as the underdog in a classic way so people will be even more invested in watching him overcome the odds against Cena. However, the way in which its been presented, with the meddling of Vince and Brad Maddox, seems so…second-rate. Having Maddox make a fast count as the ref so Bryan loses to Barrett is an example of that.
Too Much II?: You’d think that a match between Cena and Bryan for the WWE Title would be enough to headline Summerslam, especially given how over Bryan is and the build they’ve already done. The company can’t leave well enough alone it seems, as HHH is now special guest referee. Yeah he was more or less fair when he officiated the Punk-Cena title match at Summerslam 2 years ago, but this is just another facet of the Vince-Hunter ‘feud’ that has been brewing. It does raise even more possible twists to the match, but it just seems a bit too much. Are they telegraphing that someone will get screwed or have some underwhelming ending? Shouldn’t the two guys in the match be enough?
Revenge: So you know that the heel duo of AJ and Langston are are going to get their due eventually after messing with Ziggler and Kaitlyn for months. The heels’ match against Natalya and Khali looked like a squash win to get them ready. Instead AJ taps out to a Natalya sharpshooter? How does that even make sense instead of it coming at the hands of the two who have been screwed over for the past few months? It’s questionable booking at best, to say nothing of how the ref…botched the finish. Is that the right way to describe what happened at the end?