After the fireworks kick off the show, we get JoJo from TOTAL DIVAS singing the Star Spangled Banner. Very fine job, and I’m just wondering how she’s going to potentially use this talent going forward. They didn’t have Lilian Garcia do much singing along the way, and I’m guessing that JoJo isn’t going to just be an announcer.

No count outs, no disqualifications… things are about to get hot with the opening match!

Ring Of Fire Match
Kane vs Bray Wyatt

No special ring attire for Kane, so I’m betting he doesn’t get lit on fire during the contest. If anything, maybe his legs would be.

It’s a shame they decided to have Kane make the first entrance for the match. How cool would it have been for him to do his signature arm-dropping and have THAT trigger the start of the fire?

Okay, so my initial thought is that the flames don’t look all that great, but then the production staff did a flare-up for it, and that’s when the flames got awesome. The first time was when Wyatt got slammed to the mat for the first time, and the second was when it looked like the other members of the Wyatt Family wanted to interfere. The flames got probably two feet high at that point, certainly something that adds to the atmosphere. The red house lights they’re using during this match (similar to, though more understated than, what they used to have for Sin Cara).

Some interesting noises from Bray Wyatt during the match. I thought perhaps the audio wasn’t great, but some good work by the announcers to mention the unintelligible ramblings.

Great spot where Harper tried to pass a Kendo stick into the ring for Bray Wyatt, only for it to catch on fire. A fireman shows up, extinguishes the weapon, and then the Wyatt Family member takes the extinguisher and uses it to put out the fire around that side of the ring. No such luck, because the fire is only out for a moment, and then it flares back up.

The duo then find some sort of fire retardant cloth and use it to cover up part of the flames after they see Kane chokeslam Bray Wyatt. They start taking it to Kane while chants of “UNDER-TAKER!” roll in from all parts of the arena.

The Wyatt Family get their leader back into the game and hold Kane prone and leads to an easy finish.

Winner: Bray Wyatt with the pinfall victory.


In post-match shenanigans, the Wyatt family set Kane up on the steel steps as Bray Wyatt sat down in his rocking chair, then picked up the other half of the steps and drove it into Kane’s head. Holding him up, they dragged Kane away from ringside… and this is far from over. I’m betting we’re going to get a lot more of those crazy on-the-farm video packages.


High above the Staples Center, Josh Matthews is hosting along with Booker T, Vickie Guerrero, and Shawn Michaels – who looks like he could be a member of the Wyatt Family himself with his beard and outfit.

Damien Sandow vs Cody Rhodes

Nice mic time from Sandow as he makes his entrance, talking about sidekicks and likening Cody Rhodes to Robin and Dr Watson, and then calling the pairing of Cody Rhodes and his father “Dumb and Dumber”.

Unfortunately, I have to announce that Cody Rhodes has shaved his mustache. Why did he do that? They say I have to go to WWE’s YouTube channel to find out… and I’m not going to be bothered with that.

I’m not going to go move-for-move or spot-for-spot like I’ve done in other recaps, but I will say that Cody Rhodes mostly dominated the match, winning after hitting his springboard kick to the head and then Cross Rhodes.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

The announcers talked up Cody and the potential for he and Dusty Rhodes to be the first “father / son pairing to have both won the World Heavyweight Championship”. You have to think they’re planting the seeds. Will it happen in 2013? I’d put my money on 2014… Regardless of Damien Sandow being the one with the briefcase… which he might want to hold onto for now.


I doubt he’s going to be cashing it in tonight…

World Heavyweight Championship
Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Christian

One more match? We’ve got a long card still ahead of us.

This is a much more balanced match, with Christian getting plenty of offense. I still don’t think he’s going to win, but unlike the Sandow / Rhodes match, there are at least spots where it seems like Christian might.

Very nice spot where Christian runs to the corner, Del Rio is following him, Christian hops onto the second rope… and ADR hops on his back and hits the back-cracker / lung-blower. Two-count only.

Nice mention from the announcers that Christian really made his name at SummerSlam in a TLC match. Definitely ranked high in our article featuring the Top 20 SummerSlam matches of all time.

The build-up to this match is starting to look like one of the only things keeping Del Rio vs Christian from being in the Top 25 SummerSlam matches. Some great near-falls in this one.

Christian looking for a Spear, and Del Rio shoots his legs forward and connects right to the face… two count only. A minute later, Christian coming back into the ring, he gets booted in the face… two count only!

Del Rio goes for the Cross Arm Breaker, Christian fights like hell to get out of it, really adding to the intensity of the match. Ultimately Christian is unable to fully break the hold and that’s where it ends.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio by submission

After the match, Alberto Del Rio talks about how he represents the Latinos, and I was expecting that REY MYSTERIO or would show up with something to say about that… but no such luck.

I’m not even going to bother recapping the stuff with Maria Menunous before the Diva’s match.

Nattie Neidhart vs Brie Bella

Nice entrances by both Divas. Nattie shows up with the Funkadactyls, and the Bella Twins show up with the crimson-haired hottie, Eva Marie.

I’ve been trying to figure out which Bella Twin this is, so I don’t have to keep saying “the uninjured Bella Twin”, but the announcers are distancing themselves enough from the action that they barely ever mention her name. A few minutes into the match, I’m finally reminded that it’s Brie in the ring.

Ultimately it’s the Sharpshooter that helps get the win for the second generation competitor.

Winner: Nattie by submission

Two matches in a row that end by submission. If Daniel Bryan loses tonight, I’m doubting that any other matches will end that way this evening.

Backstage, Ryback intimidating peoiple in catering again. Notice he intimidated some guy in an apron and not Yoshi Tatsu?

The big guy doesn’t like cold soup… unless he’s pouring it down some guy’s shirt.

Much better backstage promo for The Ryback than the times he physically assaults some guy who obviously can’t / won’t fight back.

I still think he should’ve tried his luck with Yoshi Tatsu.


No DQ Match
“The Beast” Brock Lesnar vs “The Best” CM Punk

The match not even a minute old at this point, and already Brock Lesnar is bringing a brutal attack at Punk. None of the moves are technical in the slightest, but it’s a good FIGHT thus far.

Punk gets on the offense, and it looks like he wasn’t just taking MMA classes, it looks like he got schooled in some serious Muay Thai, with some elbows and leaping knees.

Outside the ring, Punk decided to use the steel steps, and it’s Lesnar’s time in the NFL that helped him here, driving a shoulder into the steps and knocking Punk back like a rookie Right Tackle. Just like the rest of the spots in the match thus far, the offensive doesn’t last too long, which makes sense because if you give Lesnar too MUCH offense, he’s going to destroy his opponent.

During Punk’s offensive, with Lesnar down, Heyman becomes the target, and that doesn’t work out well for Punk, as he gets blindsided by Brock and then destroyed with the help of the announce tables.

True to form with the earlier half of this match, Punk gets right back up after being thrown into the ring. His offensive doesn’t last too long, however, and now Brock is back to the slower, intense offense of the beginning of the match (shoulders in the corner and a bearhug being the highlights).

Some definite ring psychology comes into play in this one, as Lesnar keeps working over Punk’s ribs… and it would seem that there’s a method to the offense after all.

Great spots late in the match. Punk goes for the GTS, but Lesnar puts him into the Kimura lock… and Punk tries for an armbar submission, but Lesnar blocks it… and CM Punk locks in a Triangle Choke that he holds Lesnar in for over two minutes.


Lesnar breaks the hold with sheer strength, lifting him up twice and eventually hitting a huge running powerbomb where I was legitimately worried that Lesnar was going to throw him into the corner turnbuckle.

A steel chair played a big role as the match neared its conclusion, with both Lesnar and Punk using it, but Punk to greater effect. Paul Heyman also came into play, as his tie was the reason why Lesnar wasn’t able to hit Punk with an F-5 prior to Punk hitting a GTS. After chasing Heyman around the ring, Punk reentered the ring and was nearly hit with a F-5… only to reverse it into a DDT, followed by the Anaconda Vice. Before Brock could tap, Heyman came BACK into the ring, tried to use a chair, Punk blocked it, totally ignoring Lesnar, and put Heyman in the Anaconda Vice. At this point I’m seeing NO WAY that Punk is going to win, because he obviously doesn’t care enough about beating Lesnar.

While Punk has Heyman in the Anaconda Vice, Lesnar goes to town on him with a steel chair, hits an F-5 that he probably didn’t need to hit, and then gets the easiest pinfall count of the night.

Winner: Brock Lesnar by pinfall

The question at this point is whether or not CM Punk has satisfied himself with the amount of damage he has done to Paul Heyman. For his sake, I’m hoping so, because I’d like to see him involved in something different starting Monday… or after taking a couple weeks off from competition to provide a buffer. Perfect scenario?

Punk returns after a couple weeks, talks about how he needs some backup in his corner to keep things like this from happening… and has Colt Cabana at his side. To show how well the Second City Saints work together… they team up and take the tag titles, showing they can dominate that division.

Once the highlight of the night, is it sad that I’m having trouble caring about this Dolph Ziggler match?

Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn (Zigglyn?) vs Big E and AJ Lee (BigAJ?)

After that previous match, I’m not going to have much write-up about this match.

Huge spot in the match that I need to mention. Kaitlyn destroys AJ outside the ring, and while Dolph is distracted, it looked like maybe Big E was going to pick up the win after destroying Ziggler. Not so much, ’cause Dolph escapes Big E’s finish and hits the Zig-Zag.

Winner: Zigglyn… Dolph by pinfall

This should be enough to keep Ziggler as the number one contender.

WWE Title Match – Special Guest Referee Triple H
John Cena (c) vs Daniel Bryan

Huge booing reception for John Cena, and yet every year the WWE comes back to Los Angeles… which I guess is because it’s one of the biggest markets in the world.

Before the match, Shawn Michaels predicted a Daniel Bryan victory, said Bryan was “his guy”. Actually, Triple H is Shawn’s “guy”… and Triple H is refereeing the match. How does that play into anything? Probably not at all.

They’ve potentially got 30 minutes for this match, so I won’t be writing up the spot-by-spot for this match.

And with all the rest holds so far in the first 7 minutes of the match, I’m glad I didn’t do a spot-by-spot.

Somewhere backstage, the Bella Twins are talking about how lucky they are.

Highlight of the match so far is Daniel Bryan being the aggressor at this point. Kicks, a submission hold, these German suplexes, and then the submission hold which I could mention but most people wouldn’t care, since it’s a long drawn-out Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu name. Either way, the spots really put him into a good light.


Another great spot in the match came very shortly after this: John Cena hops right up like nothing happened, hit the Attitude Adjustment, and then Daniel Bryan kicks out, leaving John Cena extremely confused by what just happened.

Nice moment on the top rope, where Cena gets Bryan on his shoulder, Bryan nails some “YES!” elbows, then tries for a Hurricanrana, but Cena blocks it, essentially drops Bryan on his head… and then instead of just locking Bryan in a Boston Crab, Cena shows that he probably doesn’t KNOW the Boston Crab, as he instead clumsily turns it into the STFU. If that was going to lead to the finish, that would matter, but it didn’t, so it should’ve been the Boston Crab.

If Cena is from Boston, wouldn’t it make sense for him to use the Boston Crab?

The comment before, about Cena not KNOWING the Boston Crab… obviously that was a joke.

We’re down to the final moments of the match, and they’re standing toe to toe, smacking each other in the face, referencing what Bryan said on RAW. Cena gets the advantage, TRIES for the Attitude Adjustment, but Bryan turns it into a modified DDT, similar to what we saw earlier in Punk v Lesnar.

Bryan to the top rope… never advisable unless you’re Randy Savage… and Cena catches him, tells us it’s over, hoists him up… took too long, and Daniel Bryan locked in a small package… TWO COUNT!

Crowd firmly behind Bryan… readers firmly behind my recapping… Cena on his knees… Daniel Bryan with a running knee shot to the head…


New WWE Champion – Daniel Bryan by pinfall!

After a couple minutes of celebration, John Cena having left the ring, Randy Orton comes to ringside with the briefcase… and Daniel Bryan looks ready to go. Randy Orton clearly thinks better of it… and he starts to leave.


Triple H takes the cue… and hits Daniel Bryan with the Pedigree! Bryan’s out!

Randy Orton back into the ring… and he’s not going to even TRY to hit a move, he just goes right for the pinfall… and a fast count isn’t even necessary!

Another new WWE Champion, with Randy Orton cashing in and getting the belt!

There will be plenty to discuss on the podcast Tuesday night, and I’ll be looking forward to hearing Jon’s perspective on the event, as well as the reactions from our listeners!