by Craig Higham - August 15, 2013
Summer Slam is always built as one of the big four pay per views (PPV) of the WWE calendar, and usually is the number 2 in the pay per view pecking order. But since the 2009 Summer Slam, I feel it is has slipped down the order to sit 3rd behind Wrestlemania and The Royal Rumble, with Money In The Bank closing in on that 3rd position. The reason? 2009 Summer Slam had a packed and exciting card that included DX vs. Legacy, Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship), John Cena vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship), Jeri-Show vs. Cryme Tyme (Tag Team Championship), Christian vs. William Regal (ECW title) and Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler. The only low light a Khali vs. Kane which many used as their toilet break. But since that Summer Slam, 2010, 2011 and 2012, whilst giving some great main events, have lacked quality matches, feuds and build up in the undercard which has resulted in poorer buy rates and Summer Slam losing some of its prestige and importance.
2010 Summer Slam had nearly 20 000 less buys than 2009, and was built up around the 7 man elimination tag team match of the NEXUS vs. WWE, (and as we all know with “Super Cena” winning the tag team match, it destroyed all the good work done with the NEXUS story line). Every other match on the 2010 Summer Slam card seemed like an afterthought including the World Heavyweight Championship match between Kane and Rey Mysterio and the WWE Championship match between Randy Orton and Sheamus.
2011 Summer Slam had less than 300 000 PPV buys from 2010, down over 70 000 from the 2009 Summer Slam PPV. While it had 2 great main event matches in the WWE Championship match between CM Punk vs. John Cena (which many had as the match of the year) and the World Heavyweight Championship match between Randy Orton and Christian (which many fans had as their feud of the year), it was the poor undercard which resulted in the lower buy rates. Even Alberto Del Rio cashing in his MITB contract couldn’t save this Summer Slam.
2012 Summer Slam increased its buys to 350 000 (still down on 2009) which had a lot to do with the Brock Lesner factor. The 2 main event feuds headlined this Summer Slam were Triple H and Brock Lesner, which many fans felt was wasting Brock Lesner’s limited appearances, and a triple threat WWE Championship match between CM Punk, John Cena and the Big Show, which we have seen before. The undercard included the lack lustre feud (that seemed to never end) between Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship, and a tag team title match between the Prime Time players and Kofi Kingston and R-Truth and you can see why it was not a strong card. Matches between Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho, The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio and Kane vs. Daniel Bryan at least made it a better card than 2011.
Which brings us back to this year’s card:
Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena for the WWE title, with Daniel Bryan riding a huge popularity wave at the moment and delivering some great performances on the mic and in the ring, up against the always reliable draw in John Cena.
We have the much anticipated match-up between CM Punk and Brock Lesner, which many fans have had on their ‘fantasy match-up lists’ for a long time, and a chance for Brock to be in the ring against a wrestler and not a brawler.
Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio while some may class this as the weakest of the main event matches, you can be guaranteed a great technical match especially if it is just as good as the match on Smackdown last week, and I make no secret that Christian is a favourite of mine so I am thrilled about this match.
The battle between ex friends Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow which, as I said last week, has the potential to steal the show.
A Ring of Fire match between Kane and Bray Wyatt, we finally get to see what Bray Wyatt can do in the ring after his great build up, and with the Ring of Fire match being one of those speciality matches not used a lot by the WWE, it still has a unique feel about it. (So let’s hope we do not see a Ring of Fire pay per view in the near future!!)
The mixed Tag Team match lets Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston hide the lack of wrestling skills currently in the WWE Diva division while still enhancing the feud between Kaitlyn and AJ Lee.
The Divas match between Natalya and Brie Bella, which we all know is only on there to help promote the new Totally Diva’s show, will at least give Natalya a chance to show her in ring ability to a wide audience.
A great pre-show match featuring RVD and Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship, which will showcase a wrestling veteran who over the past couple of weeks has shown he still has it up against the future of the WWE.
.…….and you have the constant threat of 2 MITB cash-ins and a possible Shield vs. Big Show and Mark Henry tag team title match, and we have a full, action packed card.
I am ready for Summer Slam!!
Hooroo and see ya next week
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