If there was a word to describe Summer Slam, “Polarizing” might be a good one. A whole lot of people had a WHOLE LOT of strong opinions on the show. So much so, in fact, that I found myself so busy thinking about the opinions of others that it was hard for me to remember my own - The show got lost in the reaction.
So, to remedy that, I sat down with a pen and a notebook and decided to actually watch the show, jotting down my thoughts along the way. As tends to happen when I do something like that, the theme came along as I went, and since this is the Twitter-world, I gave it a hashtag.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Mick Foley looks a lot like Luke Harper’s homeless uncle.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that a Brock Lesnar vs. Cactus Jack match would have been AMAZING. I suppose I didn’t need Summer Slam to teach me that, but I had never considered the matchup until that opening segment.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Jon Stewart respects what wrestlers do SO MUCH. He said it enough times, in fact, that I’m guessing it’ll be part of the rationale behind him turning on Cena. Don’t know exactly how, but we’l figure it out, I suppose.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that WWE has weird ideas of what makes a good opening match. Orton and Sheamus was good, as we’ll get to, but was that really the ideal match to pop the crowd? I can think of 2-3 others that would have made more sense in that spot.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that wrestlers are learning to address the crowd and its chanting, which is an awesome thing. Wrestling is great, among a multitude of other reasons, because it is interactive, and that’s a prime example of that. While I’m on the subject. . .
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that I. . . .HATE. . . CHANTING!!! More specifically, I hate the handful of “cool kids” who think they should just start any chant they want for any reason that they want. I get that Orton and Sheamus dragged in the middle, but was there any reason at all for a Sami Zayn chant? No, no there wasn’t.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Sheamus could. . . COULD. . . make an interesting World Champion, especially with this new attitude. Just don’t say “Respect The Hawk” ever again, please.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that a lot of wrestlers are expanding their repertoires. Specifically, many talents are adding aerial maneuvers and suplex variations. We saw Sheamus’ diving knee, to go along with Ryback’s splash and Big Show’s. . . Whatever in the world that was. . . and Orton, Reigns and Becky Lynch all have some sort of T-Bone Exploder Saito Suplex. As a fan of the wrestling itself, I dig this a lot.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Michael Cole still needs some lessons on leg-locks. That is an Edge-cution, Michael, not a Cloverleaf. Ask Dean Malenko to tutor you. In fact, ask him to demonstrate.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that apparently you can bleed from hitting the turnbuckles. I’m guessing that he hit the metal part, since that obviously wasn’t a ‘blade job’, but I’d never seen that before.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Orton and Sheamus, despite the feeling that they’ve wrestled 987 times, still can pull out some new moves to surprise us. Sheamus rolling up onto the turnbuckles into an Orton DDT and the Slingshot-to-RKO were both very fluid and fun to watch.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Orton, despite my own personal feelings, can still be a top quality professional wrestler. Until I hear an explanation, I can only assume Randy is a prick, based off of his stupid comments to Owens some weeks back, but he was quite into the match. Passion translates, and while this isn’t on the level of Randy’s feud with Rollins, he’s still bought in, and I can appreciate that.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that a Double Brogue Kick is a pretty cool finishing sequence.
Most importantly, #SummerSlamTaughtMe to try to avoid presuppositions when it comes to wrestling matches. I expected this match to stink, so I didn’t try very hard to watch it. In fact, I basically skipped it the first time around. Both participants put on an excellent match, and while I still don’t think it was the right choice for an opener, it was really entertaining.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that you never. . . EEEEVVVVEEEERRRR. . . take the camera off of New Day during their entrance. In fact, whenever New Day is talking, walking or really, breathing, all eyes should be on them. I’m not sure where they rank on the “wrestle joy” scale, all-time, but it has to be up there.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Sin Cara’s flip into the ring, where his hood landed perfectly on his head, was the best contribution he made to that entire match.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that New Day tried something . . . Well, new . . . in trying to pin each other, and what made it good. . . No, this needs to be bigger. . .
Cole and JBL talked about how, while unorthodox, that was within the rules of the Fatal Four Way matchup, and therefore smart strategy! THIS IS WHAT COMMENTARY IS SUPPOSED TO BE FOR. . . To add to the match, explain things, and help fans understand what’s happening.
We’ll come back to that. . . multiple times. . . throughout this series.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that when Big E kicks out of a pin attempt by Kalisto in Brooklyn, Kalisto should land somewhere in Queens.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Sin Cara wears a mask so that you don’t see him apologizing all the time for all of his mistakes.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Kalisto could be. . . should be. . .and with all luck, WILL BE. . .a mid-card star in WWE. He was one of the highlights of the night, not just this match, and fans are going to want to see more of him.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that Titus O’Neil, Kalisto and Big E all deserve to get a singles push of some kind in the near future. These three were the stars of the tag title match, and if you put them in a competitive division for the Intercontinental or US titles, fans would be in for a treat.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that I don’t ever want to be splashed by Big E Langston. Ouch.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe, though I knew this long ago, that Xavier Woods needs to be mic’d at ringside.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that El Torito > Sin Cara.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that despite my anger at the fans for chanting stupid stuff, they can make a match more meaningful with their participation. The collective noise for the Tower Of Doom sequence was awesome.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that WWE has a great knack for creative endings. . . WHEN THE ANNOUNCERS HELP TO EXPLAIN IT! I saw Kofi make the blind tag, and THANKFULLY, I saw the referee acknowledge that he had seen the blind tag, but the commentary team was, quite frankly, bumfuzzled about it until after it happened.
Random Aside: Jim Ross was a great commentator because he was the smartest fan in the room. So was Gordon Solie, and so, in his own way, was Bobby Heenan. They knew what was happening and they explained it. . .They taught you how to be a smart fan.
Michael Cole, for all his positives, doesn’t do that. That’s the problem.
“Everyone was confused as to who was legal.” NO, if you were paying attention, you saw what happened. You saw the referee see what happened. Watch the match and call the match.
End of rant.
#SummerSlamTaughtMe that nobody celebrates like New Day. . . Nobody.
We’ll break this up into parts, since I understand the attention span of my readers. Plus, that’s a lot of lessons from the first 45-50 minutes of the show.
What do YOU think? What did you take away from the first hour or so of Summer Slam? Be Heard.