Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena headlines WWE's annual summer spectacular!
Los Angeles, California 8/18/13
1.) WWE United States Title - Dean Ambrose (with Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) vs. Rob Van Dam (with The Big Show & Mark Henry): **3/4
This is actually a really unique matchup. One of the positives to RVD's recent return to WWE. The match was fine for what it was. It filled it's roll fine with RVD getting to hit his signature offense and Ambrose being the great heel that he was. The match ends in a DQ when Roman Reigns spears RVD and a brawl erupts between the Six-Man.
The Miz, who is the host of SummerSlam, comes out to start things. He runs down the card but Fandango & Summer Rae interrupt to do some dancing, and Miz tells the "monkeys in the truck" to roll the opening video
I believe JoJo from Total Divas does the National Anthem as well.
1.) Ring of Fire Match - Kane vs. Bray Wyatt (with Luke Harper & Erick Rowan): **
Basically WWE kind of PG'd this match where it's no longer about setting someone on fire to win, and its pinfall and submissions only. The Ring of Fire is being used, in theory, like a Cage Match, meant to keep the rest of The Wyatt Family interfering. The match itself was ok. Not much else to say about it. Harper & Rowan try several times to get through the flames until they finally used a fire proof sheet of some kind to enter the ring and beat up Kane, leading to a Bray Wyatt victory.
After the match, Harper & Rowan smashes Kane's head in the steel steps (which looked really bad) at the feet of Wyatt. They then take Kane with them as they depart.
2.) Cody Rhodes vs. Damien Sandow: ***
Team Rhodes Scholars split up after Sandow "stole" the Money in the Bank from Cody Rhodes in the closing moments of their Money in the Bank Ladder Match at the last PPV. After Rhodes threw Sandow's original briefcase in the Gulf of Mexico, Sandow now has a new & improved bronze looking briefcase that he handcuffs to the turnbuckle. This was actually a good match. Cody Rhodes has always been a talented wrestler and I feel Sandow is overlooked sometimes but he's actually quite good in the ring. Rhodes gets the win and they play up that Cody has a future title shot since Sandow, being Mr. Money in the Bank, is the "de facto" #1 Contender.
3.) World Heavyweight Title - Alberto del Rio vs. Christian: ***1/2
Both of these two are very good wrestlers so it was no surprise that this was a really good World Title Match. I know a lot of people don't like ADR but you can't take away that he can pull out great performances. Very good back and forth match that sees ADR get the win with the Cross Armbreaker to retain his title.
4.) Brie Bella (with Nikki Bella & Eva Marie) vs. Natalya (The Funkadactyls): *3/4
This is a battle of Total Divas! Not much to say here. Pretty fine for a Divas Match. Natalya always puts on good matches. Things break down on the outside and this leads to Natalya making Brie tap out to the Sharpshooter.
5.) No DQ Match - Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) vs. CM Punk: ****1/2
Heyman screwed Punk out of winning Money in the Bank, which led to their separation and this match with another Paul Heyman guy in Brock Lesnar. This was definitely one of the best matches of 2013 not just in WWE, but in all of pro-wrestling. Definitely Brock Lesnar's best match since his return and quite possibly the best match in his entire wrestling career. That just shows how great CM Punk really is. The story of the match (Punk fighting as the underdog against Lesnar while trying to get his hands on Heyman) worked really well, and even played into the finish of the match. Probably one of the best examples of a big man vs. little match fight that WWE has ever put on. Just awesome, awesome stuff.
6.) Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn vs. Big E Langston & WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee: **1/2
This match came about after Ziggler broke up with his (storyline) girlfriend in AJ Lee and also served as the continuation of the Kaitlyn/AJ feud (which I actually really enjoyed). A fine match here. Nothing really spectacular, but I think it was perfect for where it was placed in the card (between the two main matches). It provided a breather but still proved to be entertaining. Ziggler & Kaitlyn pick up the win.
7.) WWE Championship - Special Referee: Triple H - John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan: ****1/2
Cena was given the opportunity to pick his opponent, and he chose Daniel Bryan. Vince McMahon had been trying to mold Bryan into a more "corporate" image while Cena and Bryan were sparring back & forth as "Entertainer" vs. "Pro-Wrestler". Cena has his left arm heavily wrapped up due to a bicep injury. This was a fantastic match. I felt like Cena and Bryan worked really well together and the match just had that great atmosphere that put it over the top. Lots of really cool stuff in this match. Bryan ended up hitting Cena with a running kick (similar to the kick his longtime foe KENTA would use) to beat Cena and win the WWE Title. Definitely one of the best matches of 2013!!
Afterwords, all looks well for Daniel Bryan. Cena shakes his hand, he gets a shower of confetti, the crowd is chanting "YES!"....until Randy Orton comes out. He teases that he's going to cash in his Money in the Bank Briefcase, but slowly walks back up the entrance way. Bryan starts another "YES!" chant, perhaps as to say that he'll defend it now, but Triple H turns him around and hits him with the Pedigree!! Orton comes to the ring, cashes in the briefcase, and pins Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Title. Orton & Triple H celebrate with the title as the show comes to an end.
This was a really great show from WWE, and definitely one of the best SummerSlam shows in recent memory. Lesnar/Punk and Cena/Bryan were definitely the two best matches on the show, and definitely were two of the best wrestling matches in all of 2013. Bryan winning the title and the ending segment is probably one of the biggest moments of 2013 as well. We also had a few undercard matches that were pretty solid (ADR/Christian, Rhodes/Sandow) and it overall made for a pretty awesome event.