We see an inside look at what is a yearly event, SummerSlam Axxess. It has all the players at it and they are doing kind of a press day type thing, interviewing all the guys and gals on the roster. We also see some more of the WWE anti-bulling campaign, Be A Star. Cool stuff but it is time for our Co-Main Event.
We see the Special Guest referee, Triple H, in the back and is talking to his wife. He gives her a kiss before he starts to head towards the arena entrance. The recap package starts with CM Punk and the electric crowd in his town at the 2011 Money in the Bank from the previous month. It shows John Cena enter that same arena and receive some of the best heat one could ask for. This is the famous match where Punk’s contract was close to up and he was threating to leave the company with the strap. Vince would try to replicate the Montreal Screwjob by having Johnny Ace ring the bell when Cena applied the STF. The noble, jorted, John Cena would not let the “Chicago Screwjob” take place and is rewarded with a GTS from Punk along with the loss of his Title. Punk would leave the WWE with the Championship and Triple H would force Vince to step down. Triple H then takes over his duties and is forced to crown a new Champion. Of course it would be John Cena beating Rey Mysterio to gain the new Strap. This is when CM Punk returns as the true Champion. Triple H is then forced to have a unification match at SummerSlam. This really was the “Summer of Punk”. A lot of iconic moments come from this period of time, including his most infamous promo, “The Pipe Bomb”.
It’s “Time to Play the Game” and the special guest referee is first to enter for this Co-Main Event to unify the WWE Championships. Even though we all know it is Punk’s Title. The zebra shirt clad Chief Operating Officer of the WWE, Triple H, makes his way to the ring with a decent reaction and doesn’t even spit out any water. Shocking, I know. The “Cult of Personality”, CM Punk, is out next and he gets tons of pop as he makes his way to the ring with the one true Strap around his waist. After Punk finishes hitting the turnbuckles he has a seat in the middle of the ring. Before John Cena’s music even starts, the boos begin. We see Punk’s crazed eyes on the TitanTron right before Cena enters and the boos are quickly overshadowed by positive pop. The ring announcer goes through his deal and Punk is first with an explosive reaction from the fans. The positive reaction to Cena’s entrance must have just came natural to the fans, because he is most certainly booed here. Punk is great here, applauding Cena as the crowd reacts negatively. The ladies in the crowd erupt when both men remove their shirts and toss them into the crowd. After Triple H is finished checking the two over the match is ready to begin!
The collar and elbow starts it off and Punk is able to push Cena into the corner. The move stalls, and instead of the normal ref separation Punk releases on his own free will. Before they reset, Cena looks at Hunter and the look on his face says “So this is how it’s going to be, huh?” Cole mentions the crowd is split here with “Lets Go Punk” and “Lets Go Cena” chants but it certainly is not as the Punk chants are much louder. They tie-up again and Punk comes out ahead with a side headlock. Cena shoves Punk into the ropes, but he is able to take Cena down with a shoulder block. Punk makes a quick cover and Cena is able to throw him off before the count of one. They hop to their feet and return to a stand-off. They collar and elbow once again but Cena shoves Punk to the mat and once again we are at a stand-off. The two have a stare down and this time the “Lets Go__” chants are much more equal. Punk applies a waistlock, but Cena is easily able to take Punk down with a side headlock. He keeps it locked in until Punk makes it to his feet and shoves him into the ropes. A quick return by Cena, who takes Punk to the mat with a shoulder block. A cover by Cena and a kick-out by Punk. After an armbar, Cena takes Punk to the mat with a snapmare and is fast to apply a headlock this time. Punk makes to his feet and after he shoves Cena into the ropes he takes him down with a dropkick. Punk covers, but it is another quick kick-out by Cena. Punk locks in a rear naked choke next and Cena slowly starts to waver. Cena first frees himself from the grasp of Punk’s legs, then stands it up. After a few quick punches, Cena is able to hit a tilt-a-whirl slam. He goes for a cover but Punk Easily kicks out.
A fishermen’s suplex is next from Cena followed by a cover attempt. When Punk kicks right out, Cena is fast to apply another headlock. Punk manages to get to his feet and Cena slams him right back to the mat and drops an elbow. Cena covers again and Punk kicks out right away. Another headlock from Cena and this time Punk escapes with an arm drag. The two charge each other, and Punk is able to catch Cena with a big boot. They both return right to their feet and hit the ropes. Punk again comes out ahead this time with a gutbusting knee. Punk hooks the leg but only gets a two. He then uses some leg scissors to wrench on the waist of John Cena. When Cena escapes he almost gets Punk in the STF but Punk manages to kick him off. Cena rolls to the apron and Punk tries to suplex him back into the ring. Punk is unable to get Cena over so he hotshots Cena’s throat instead. Cena stays on the apron so Punk springboards off the top turnbuckle and dropkicks Cena to the floor. Triple H makes it to a five count before Cena slides back into the ring only to be covered by Punk. Cena tosses Punk off of him before the count of one. Punk punts Cena in the ribs before dropping a leg and making a cover. Once again, Cena easily tosses Punk off of him. Punk goes for a seated abdominal stretch, but Cena is able to muscle his way to his feet and nail a spinning sidewalk slam. It takes a second for both men to recover, but when they do, they both hit the ropes. Cena ducks a clothesline allowing him to hit his signature shoulder block. He leaps for a second one but is met with another gutbusting knee from Punk. A cover from Punk and this time it is a near fall.
Cena uses the corner to regain his footing and Punk charges for his patented knee strike. Cena avoids it and the knee hits the turnbuckle. Cena’s double shoulder blocks are a success this time, and when he goes for the fall-away slam that usually follows these, Punk is able to roll through it. This leaves Cena against the ropes and allows the knee strike from Punk to be successful. Punk goes for the headlock bulldog but Cena is able to lift him for a successful fall-away slam. The crowds reaction is huge, be it mixed, when John Cena raises the hand high for the “You Can’t See Me” gesture. Punk stops this by trying for a head kick. Cena catches the foot, and just when it looks like the STF is coming, Punk rolls Cena over for an interesting take on the head scissors. Cena escapes this and the crowd boos when he locks in the STF. Punk escapes this and put Cena into a keylock. This is then escaped and when Cena applies the cross face, Punk is able to find the rope with his boot. Both men are slow to return to their feet after that grueling submission back and forth. Cena charges to strike first but Punk is able back drop the running Cena over the top rope. Punk hits the ropes and when he hits Cena with the suicide dive, the crowd explodes. Triple H makes it to a nine count before he stops and exits the ring. He throws both the men back into the ring and is forcing the fight to continue.
They slowly make it to their feet and start to trade blows in the center of the ring. The crowd cheers whenever Punk lands one and boos for Cena’s strikes. Cena tries for an AA after ducking a spinning kick from Punk. CM Punk manages to use some elbows to escape and hit the ropes. This is where Cena hits Punk with one of the most explosive dropkicks I have ever seen from someone of Cena’s stature. Cena raises the hand and does the motion, nailing Punk with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. The Attitude Adjustment is next but Punk is able to escape via a backslide and roll Cena up for a pin. Cena kicks it out, though, and quickly Jackknife covers Punk. Punk bridges out of it and hits Cena with a brutal kick to the back of the head. Punk falls onto Cena and hooks the leg as the crowd counts along. The are forced to stop at two when Cena gets the shoulder up. CM Punk is first to his feet and is accompanied by chants that bear his name. Punk then lifts Cena for the Go To Sleep but Cena is able to escape, whipping Punk to the corner. Cena hits a big splash next and a powerslam follows. Cena hooks the leg and the crowd erupts when Punk kicks out. Cena takes to the top turnbuckle, but as soon as he reaches the top, he is met by Punk’s signature knee strike. Cena falls from the turnbuckle and it is Punk who is now up top. He leaps from the second rope catching Cena with a bulldog. Punk hooks both legs for a seated pin but Cena still kicks out. The crowd is at war with what are now even chants of “Lets Go Cena” and “CM Punk”. Punk springboards from the apron, but Cena is able to catch him and land in the STF. Punk is screaming and struggling to escape. He eventually does so by finding a rope. Punk is then lifted for an AA but escapes and lifts Cena for a GTS. This is also escaped, and when Cena lifts Punk this time the AA goes off unhitched. Cena hooks the leg and his look of disbelief when Punk kicks out is great. Cena argues with Triple H over the count a bit before he again takes to the top rope. The crowd is booing when Cena leaps of the top rope for a Fame-Asser. Their emotions quickly change when Punk is able to avoid it. He then lifts Cena and successfully hits a GTS. The place is shaking when Punk hooks the leg to become unified Champion but Cena lets them all down by kicking out. It is Punk who is now questioning Triple H’s count. The Crowd is chanting for both again as Punk takes to the top rope. Punk leaps off, drilling the elbow into the heart of Cena, and makes the cover. He really starts to question Triple H’s abilities when he gets another near fall here. Out of nowhere, Cena grabs Punk for a small package and gets a near three count with it. The two pop to their feet and start to trade blows in the center of the ring. Cena starts to gain momentum and lets out a scream. This is when Punk lands a spin kick to the midsection that leaves Cena on the ropes. His knee strike is next and a Go To Sleep follows. Punk hooks the leg and even though Cena’s foot is on the ropes, Triple H counts the three. And CM Punk is the Unified WWE Champion. John Cena argues about the count but concedes to Hunter and leaves the ring. Punk grabs the Strap and circles the ring in celebration. What an amazing match we have here. I am hard pressed to believe that some of Cena’s best matches aren’t against CM Punk, including this one. Match Time-24:07
Hold on to your hats because we aren’t done yet and it is time for a SummerSlam first. CM Punk re-enters the ring as Triple H applauds him and extends his hand. The two shake and Triple H raises Punk’s hand high. Triple H heads up the ramp as Punk celebrates in the ring. This is when “Big Sexy” enters from nowhere and flattens Punk with a clothesline. Kevin Nash is in civilian clothes and delivers the Jackknife Powerbomb before exiting. Triple H comes back to ringside as Nash exits through the crowd. This is when Alberto Del Rio enters to cash in his Money in the Bank contract for the first time in SummerSlam history. Del Rio hits a step-up enziguri and covers Punk. The ref counts the three and for only the third time in SummerSlam history the WWE Title changes hands. The other two being Bret Hart in 1997 and Mick Foley in 1999. (More on those here and here.) Match Time-:11
If I had to give a quick ranking on this SummerSlam, it would probably fall eighth or ninth overall. The opening half was decent but the last three matches were all amazing. If you are pressed for time you could just fast forward to the start of the Wade Barrett/Daniel Bryan match. As always, lets see what Dave Meltzer had to say about the event. These star ratings are acquired via www.profightdb.com The No-Holds Barred match between Orton and Christian received the highest rating, a 4. Next up was Cena/Punk with 3.5 and Bryan/Barrett with a 3.25. Dave gave the lowest rating Henry/Sheamus with a 1.5. Overall I would say this SummerSlam 2011 was a success and worth a watch.
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