This SummerSlam 2011 brings John Cena facing off against “The Summer of Punk” in a Unification match for the Championship. Randy Orton and Christian go one-on-one for the World Heavyweight Title. All this and so much more in this edition of Chairshot Classics.
The date is August 14 and we are welcomed back to the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California for the third year in a row. The attendance is similar to last years, (More on that here) with 17,404. The PPV buys are down from 350K, with only 296K. This would be a 14 year low for SummerSlam in terms of buyrate. The top sponsor is once again 7-Eleven and the theme song is Cee Lo Green’s “Bright lights, Bigger city”. Lets head to the arena and see what “The Biggest Party of the Summer” has to offer us!
We enter the arena and don’t start with a video package. Instead we get something that I forgot about or just slipped my mind. The guitarist for a band that I am a giant fan of plays The National Anthem. It is Adam Jones from one of the greatest bands of my lifetime, TOOL. He shreds the guitar as it cuts from him to some other great pieces of American history and landscapes. And of course, Bald Eagles. The crowd explodes as Jones wraps the song up and we cut to the opening video package.
We start by flying in over the LA Skyline with the narrator hyping up the “City of Angels” and all the dreams the city has to offer. It is all about Hollywood and star power to kick this off. There are clips of CM Punk’s “Pipe Bomb” and his threats to leave with the WWE Championship after winning Money in the Bank. MITB 2011 is considered to be one of the greatest PPVs of the modern era. The video is heavy on CM Punk and he is a pivotal part of the WWE at this time. After all it is “The Summer of Punk”. The video does a great job painting the picture of John Cena the all American hero savior of the WWE and CM Punk the rebellious sXe outlaw who wants to take their Title and ride of into the sunset. Triple H, after forcing Vince to retire, makes the match to unify the two Titles. This is a well done piece here and I hope the card can live up to the opening product.
After the neon graphics that are the SummerSlam logo leave the screen, we are welcomed in by the announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Booker T. Booker was a late addition after Jim Ross was scrapped right before production began. He was told that it was because Booker was from SmackDown and they wanted the brand to have more of a presence in the announce booth. JR was upset over this because he had done all the preparation for the show as if he was going to call it. My guess would be it was to keep him and Cole separate as they were having an onscreen feud at the time full of crazy gimmick matches. Cole is quick to announce the entrant for the first match and The Miz enters and has to shove his way through inflated bubble letters, on the stage, that read “AWESOME”. Michael Cole is very exited to see The Miz enter and is losing his mind on the mic. Lawler and Booker grind Cole up for this as The Miz makes his way into the ring, mic in hand. The Miz starts with Rock-like microphone work. saying something like “Finally, The Miz has returned to SummerSlam.” The crowd of course hates him as he continues on about how under appreciated he is. Miz is then interrupted by “The Truth Will Set You Free” and R-Truth makes his way out. Truth talks a bunch of nonsense about conspiracies and the crowd replies to his every sentence with “What” chants. Once he is in the ring we hear the music of one of the Money in the Bank briefcases, Alberto Del Rio. He enters driving his Ferrari and carrying the aforementioned briefcase. He is also joined by his personal announcer Ricardo Rodriguez. The crowd responds well for Del Rio and even starts to chant his name. These first three entrants will face off in a six-man tag match against Kofi Kingston, John Morrison and Rey Mysterio. Who enter in that order and receive descent pops from the fans for this last minute match. The biggest pop of the six men is definitely Mysterio. If you look closely at him when he enters you can notice a limp. This is because Rey was working with a torn ACL at this time. He would leave after the next nights RAW to have surgery and wouldn’t return until July.
The main feud in this match is Mysterio and Miz. This is a feud that was started the previous week before the two were set to have a squash match. Miz didn’t even let it get started and ambushed Rey on his way to the ring. This was done probably because of the injury Mysterio was dealing with at the time. Kofi starts for one team and Miz the other. The collar and elbow kick us off and Miz quickly transitions to a side headlock. This doesn’t last long and Kofi soon has the advantage with a wristlock that soon becomes a headlock for Kingston. They hit the ropes and, after a dropkick from Kofi, he hits a monkey flip. Morrison is then tagged in and Kofi helps him to hit Miz with a double facebuster that they both nip-up from. This of course gets a nice pop from the crowd. Morrison then hits a break dancing elbow drop and tries for an early cover that Miz easily kicks out of. Miz is able to reverse an Irish whip and make the tag with R-Truth. Morrison is able to gain an advantage on Truth by bouncing his face of a few top turnbuckles. Morrison then springboards off the second rope to nail Truth with an enziguri. The cover is made but R-Truth is able kick-out with ease. When they return to their feet Truth strikes first with a midsection knee. This helps him to take Morrison off his feet and stomp him into the corner. Morrison lands a big boot on Truth and takes to the top rope. Del Rio enters the ring here to draw attention from the ref and Miz takes the opportunity to shove Morrison off the top rope to the floor outside. R-Truth returns Morrison to the ring and after a snapmare, he applies a chinlock. Morrison is able to stand up but Truth keeps it locked in as he tags in The Miz. He stomps Morrison and after a quick pin attempt, The Miz applies a headlock. Mysterio, from the apron, gets the fans clapping and Morrison is able to make it to his feet. He rallies behind some elbows to the midsection but Miz slams him to the mat by his hair. On his way to the canvas, Morrison is able to Pele Kick Miz in the back of the head. This leaves both men on the canvas with the crowd popping for a hot tag.
Morrison makes the fans wish a reality and tags in Kofi Kingston. Kingston enters via a top rope springboard and nails Morrison with a forearm. Kingston then hits the opponents corner and bangs Del Rio’s face off the turnbuckle. Kofi and Miz have a quick back and forth, while hitting the ropes, and Kingston comes out ahead after he springboards off the top turnbuckle for a crossbody moonsault. Kingston then knocks Truth from the apron and hits his signature high leaping leg drop. The crowd is buzzing as Kofi waits for Miz to rise. When he does, Kingston tries for Trouble in Paradise but Miz is able to duck it. This backfires and Miz gets the S.O.S. instead. Kofi holds in for the pin and the only thing that saves Miz is a dropkick into Kingston’s back from Del Rio. Del Rio then superkicks Mysterio off the apron and the crowd is hot. Kofi then dropkicks Del Rio from the ring, who is quickly clotheslined by Morrison on the outside. Miz hits Kofi with a stunner-like DDT and hooks the leg, but Kofi is still able to kick-out. Miz tags Truth in and he is fast with the stomps on Kingston. Kingston now takes a falcon arrow but is still able to kick out. Del Rio now tags in and after a back drop, he hooks Kingston’s leg for the pin. But once again Kingston kicks out.
From the mat, Kofi tries to rally behind some kicks but right before he tags out, Miz tags in and stops him. A suplex from Miz leads to another cover but Kofi still gets a shoulder up. Miz applies the chinlock and this is when Mysterio gets the crowd fired up again. Kofi slowly makes it to his feet and uses an arm toss to escape. He tries to make it to his corner but Miz is able to pick him up and prevent the tag. Kofi the escapes with a backslide/sunset combo and instead of keeping the pin, he double stomps the chest of The Miz. This leaves both men on the mat for a moment but are both able to make a tag. Truth comes in first, but Mysterio enters for the first time fresh and hits a seated senton off the top rope. They both hop to their feet and Mysterio again strikes first by hitting a springboard moonsault off from the second rope. He tries for a pin but R-Truth is able to toss him off at the count of two. Truth hits a quick sunset flip, but Mysterio is able to roll through it and as Cole says “Hits a vintage kick” to the side of Truth’s head. Mysterio hooks the leg, but Truth is able to kick-out. Rey nails the hurricanrana and leaves R-Truth in prime 619 position. Miz tries to enter and stop it, but Mysterio kicks his legs out, leaving him right next to R-Truth. He then chases Del Rio off the apron and hits the ropes. From the outside, Del Rio grabs the foot of Mysterio. This leads to Morrison leaping over the ropes for a spinning crossbody to the outside onto Del Rio. Mysterio is still able to hit the double 619. Mysterio then frogsplashes Truth and hooks the leg for the three count. The crowd explodes when the bell rings and Team Mysterio are the winners. For having a torn ACL here, what little work Mysterio did was great. Actually, the whole thing was good for being cobbled together last minute. Check it out. Match Time-9:36