With SummerSlam only a few hours away, TBLWrestling.com’s Joe, Eddie, and Joseph Davis sit down to discuss the event!
SUMMERSLAM 2011 Roundtable
1. WWE Champion vs. WWE Champion Match – John Cena (c) vs. CM Punk (c) with Triple H as Special Guest Referee
Joe’s Thoughts: This is one of the most anticipated matches in recent memory for WWE. I have to imagine that CM Punk gets the victory if not for any other reason than for the continuing “swerve” factor (or something like that).
Joe’s Prediction: CM Punk
Joseph’s Thoughts: I think the WWE doesn’t have the guts to pull the trigger on CM Punk. They are keen to drive all of us men who HATE Cena and his whole act nuts. Super Cena will always prevail. Now it’s just a matter of are they going to have Triple H call it down the middle or is he going to screw one of them over to annoit the other as the Corporate Champion. Only John Cena can be the corporate champion because I wouldn’t buy for a minute that he is fighting the machine because he is the machine.
Joseph’s Prediction: Sadly John Cena becomes Undisputed Champion after Triple H screw job. As an added bonus, Del Rio comes out and cashes in and wins the title.
Eddie’s Thoughts: This storyline certainly has freshened the WWE product – a change that was much needed. It was surprising to see WWE go as far as they did with Punk, and at the end of the night the important fact remains that he became a megastar out of this that can draw. Leading into their first match in Money in the Bank, everyone played their role greatly as Punk, Cena, and McMahon were tremendous. The follow-up wasn’t the best, and not what people wanted, but certainly still interesting. This should be a good match!
Eddie’s Prediction: The planned finish originally was for Del Rio to pin the winner. Now with Triple H involved, it seems like a Triple H screws Punk finish is in the books and who knows what Del Rio’s involvement is. I’m going with Cena.
2. World Heavyweight Championship “No Holds Barred” Match – Christian (c) vs. Randy Orton
Joe’s Thoughts: I’ve always been a fan of Christian and the lumberjack version of Randy Orton just weirds me out a little bit. So I’m going with Captain Charisma.
Joe’s Prediction: Christian
Joseph’s Thoughts: Don’t really care about this match because all things Randy Orton bore the hell out of me. I hope Christian retains in some cheap fashion just to continue him being the great heel that he is.
Joseph’s Prediction: Christian retains the title and Orton throws a hissy fit afterwards.
Eddie’s Thoughts: The fact that we are seeing this match for the sixth time is a bit scary. It also shows how problematic the SmackDown! side is with superstars. WWE really dropped the ball on Christian. Hopefully this is the last time these two do a singles match for a long time. If that is the case, they’ll probably want the belt on Orton.
Eddie’s Prediction: Randy Orton
3. Divas Championship Match – Kelly Kelly (c) vs. Beth Phoenix
Joe’s Thoughts: Kelly Kelly is hot and all, but can she really compare to Beth Phoenix in terms of in-ring skill? I don’t think so.
Joe’s Prediction: Beth Phoenix
Joseph’s Thoughts: I like Kellly. She really tries while she’s out there. But this is Beth’s time to shine. We want to see women who can do that wrestling stuff and not look like they are counting the steps in their head in the process.
Joseph’s Prediction: Beth Phoenix destroys Kelly Kelly to win the Glitter Title.
Eddie’s Thoughts: This will be kept short. It seems like they’re going in a different direction with the women and they’ve been wanting Beth as champion for a while.
Eddie’s Prediction: Beth Phoenix
4. Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
Joe’s Thoughts: Ummm… I have no idea what to say about this match. Sorry (hey, I’m a fan of iMPACT Wrestling and I don’t really watch WWE – what can I say?).
Joe’s Prediction: Sheamus
Joseph’s Thoughts: I’m actually looking forward to this. Sheamus is the kind of guy you can root for. I like his whole I’LL FIGHT THE FELLA gimmick. This is going to be a good old fashion clubbering match.
Joseph’s Prediction: Sheamus takes Mizark’s head off and sends it into the 3rd row with the Brough Kick.
Eddie’s Thoughts: They’ve done a decent job of turning Sheamus face and he feels like more of a fresh face than ever before. The logical next step would be to do Henry vs. Orton for the belt and perhaps Sheamus vs. Christian underneath them. If that’s the case they will want to put over Henry.
Eddie’s Prediction: Mark Henry
5. Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett
Joe’s Thoughts: If I had to choose one person from the crop of independent wrestlers that now perform on WWE programming that I was actually a fan of it would be Daniel Bryan. I don’t understand why they don’t just call him Bryan Danielson, but that’s neither here nor there.
Joe’s Prediction: Daniel Bryan
Eddie’s Thoughts: I’m glad they moved Daniel Bryan to SmackDown! and repackaged his character. He’s a great wrestler who needs the spotlight and he’s getting better treatment on Friday nights. I would venture to say this is clearly his to win!
Eddie’s Prediction: Daniel Bryan
6. The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
Joe’s Thoughts: There was a time (when he was in WCW) where I thought that Rey Mysterio was just an amazing performer. He would do things in the ring that I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing – and he did it with ease! He was entertaining, new, fresh, and fun to watch. Aside from doing things that I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing, I get the same type of “this guy is great!” feeling when I watch The Miz perform. So I’m going with The Miz.
Joe’s Prediction: The Miz
Eddie’s Thoughts: This probably won’t last long due to Mysterio’s knee injury and the fact that he’s booked in the main event on Monday’s show in San Diego, facing whoever wins the main event.
Eddie’s Prediction: The Miz
1. What was your favorite SummerSlam event and why?
Joe’s Answer: I attended SummerSlam in 2002 so naturally that is my favorite event. My favorite part of the event was after the main event ended and the entire arena completely destroyed The Rock as he tried to do his sing-a-long catchphrases. I’ve never heard anyone boo’ed that hard before or since.
Joseph’s Answer: Summerslam 91. Bret winning the IC Title, The Road Warriors mauling The Nasty Boys, Piper going apeshit to root Virgil on to win the title. Just about a perfect card from top to bottom.
Eddie’s Answer: I think SummerSlam 2002 is my personal favorite event, although there has been a lot of great shows in the past. This marked the return of Shawn Michaels to professional wrestling as he faced Triple H in an unsanctioned Street Fight. The event also featured an amazing IC title match with RVD and Chris Benoit battling it out. Meanwhile, Brock Lesnar became a legitimate global superstar by defeating The Rock in the main event. I also think the vignettes WWE produced to build up the Brock vs. The Rock match were among some of their best promotion, treating the bout as an athletic contest and showing how both men physically prepare for the match. Brock’s Training video is here while Rock’s Training video is here. These videos featured Brock’s infamous ice bath, and log routine which turned him into a legit bad-ass and eventually actually made him the favorite in the match with fans booing The Rock.
2. What was your favorite SummerSlam match of all time?
Joe’s Answer: Hands down it has to be the British Bulldog winning the Intercontinental Championship from Bret Hart at SummerSlam 1992. That wasn’t just a great match, it was a major event in the history of WWE and the history of professional wrestling (a British star defeating a major North American star at an event with 80,000+ fans in attendance on his home turf).
Joseph’s Answer: This is hard to narrow down. I’ll go with an obscure one. Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Benoit (he seems to have dissapeared off the face of the earth). It was a great match for the IC Title and it’s a nice hidden gem on the SS 2002 card.
Eddie’s Answer: It really is hard to narrow this down with so many great matches! There is no doubt that the match everyone will remember forever is the Bret Hart/British Bulldog clash from 1992! However, my personal favorite had to be Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H in 2002 thanks to HBK’s amazing heroics, and all the emotion in the bout.
3. How does SummerSlam 2011 and the state of WWE right now compare to previous years?
Joe’s Answer: While I can’t provide an informed comment on the state of WWE right now because I haven’t regularly watched any of their programming for the better part of the last decade, that reality may be a good enough observation on my view of how WWE is doing right now. I just prefer to watch iMPACT Wrestling, which I’m sure makes the WWE smarks out there want to run and bury their heads in the sand or utter some ignorant comment about my viewing preferences. I just can’t stomach most of what WWE puts out there these days, period. That said, I own a whole lot of WWE stock so I hope that the show does well! As for SummerSlam this year versus previous years – I think there was more of a “big event” feel at previous SummerSlams. But I’m confident that the performers will, as always, give it their all and make sure that the fans in attendance and watching around the world are entertained.
Joseph’s Answer: Aside from Punk/Cena it’s a very generic card. You could switch this card with the card of any PPV not named Wrestlemania and you wouldn’t notice the difference. I really want to say the WWE is turning a corner with Punk, but as long as they continue to push SuperCena because of all the damn women and kids we’re going to be stuck in this holding patter for another couple of years.
Eddie’s Answer: SummerSlam – WWE’s second biggest PPV of the year – has created for some great memories and matches! It’s hard to pick a good one. Going back in time, the 1991 event certainly stood out with Bret Hart’s infamous win of the Intercontinental Championship while Hogan and Warrior teamed up in the main event. As good as that way, in 1992 Bret faced The British Bulldog at Wembley Stadium in what is one of the most unforgettable WWE matches of all time. However, the editions of SummerSlam in recent history have also presented some great moment. 2001 marked the return of The Rock as he defeated Booker T for the WCW Championship although this event had the InVasion stink all over it. 2003 saw the first-ever Elimination Chamber match which was also the day WWE dropped the ball on Goldberg. 2004 will be remembered with Randy Orton’s first World Championship win over Chris Benoit which was a great story to tell. 2005 was great because of the brief Shawn Michaels heel turn when he faced Hulk Hogan. Since then things do seem to have gone downhill for the most part. This year’s event is quite honestly an embarrassment for the company with only four matches announced six days before the show, only one from which actually matters. While the John Cena/CM Punk storyline was strong enough to carry this show, it really shows how thin the WWE has made its roster, and considering how much talent they have in their hands, that’s a scary fact. Things have been going south for WWE for a while, but it seems that they are starting to recognize that fact and looking for change. Let’s hope they find it.