SummerSlam 2013 features Daniel Bryan versus John Cena for the WWE Championship. Christian and Alberto Del Rio face off for the World Heavyweight Title. The undercard is also jam packed and has Lesnar/Punk in a No DQ affair. All this and so much more in this edition of the Chairshot Classic.
The date is August 18th, and for the fifth year straight we are in the Staples Center in Los Angeles California. They managed to fit a few more people in this time, with 17,739 in attendance. The PPV buys are down almost a 100K. This year is 269,909 opposed to last years 359K. Doritos Jacked is the sponsor for this 26th edition of the summer spectacular that has a pair of theme songs. “Reach For The Stars” by Major Lazer Feat. Wyclef Jean and “Gold Rush” by Clinton Sparks Feat. 2Chainz, D.A. and Macklemore. This is the SummerSlam where the Jim Ross 2K incident occurred the night before which lead to is eventual firing. It was more of a Ric Flair incident were he took over the mic and rambled on about various taboo WWE subjects. Including TNA and John Cena’s drinking escapades. JR would be let go for not controlling the situation better, and Flair would have a contract offer revoked. Enough of that lets head into the arena!
The Miz kicks the show off as he is the “Host” for this evenings show. He runs us through the matches that are on the card before being interrupted. Fandango‘s theme begins to play and he comes dancing onto the stage with Summer Rae. The crowd has a nice pop for this, but Miz doesn’t appear too enthused as he welcomes us to SummerSlam. This leads us into the opening package of the evening. This package builds the card, but is done in a very choppy, noir-like style that I really liked. The narration is great as well and I would highly recommend checking out this open for “The Greatest Party of the Summer”.
Michael Cole welcomes into the sold-out house and introduces us to JoJo, who will be singing the National Anthem. JoJo was a star on the WWE Diva’s show. She does a great job and the crowd pops for all the high spots of the song. Cole then rejoins us and introduces his team for the night. They are Jerry “The King” Lawler and John “Bradshaw” Layfield. Justin Roberts announces the stipulations for the first bout and that it is a “Ring of Fire” match.. Of course Kane is the first out for this match that is right up “The Devil’s Favorite Demon’s” alley. After Kane enters the ring, the lights go dim and the Wyatt Family enters, lantern in hand. Bray Wyatt is joined by Luke Harper and Erik Rowan. Bray blows the lantern out and “The Fireflies” are not out, as this is the debut match of Bray Wyatt. Up until this point he only did those really cool vignettes. I am a huge fan of the entrances of Bray Wyatt as it has a touch of old-school WWF to it. The Wyatt’s stop on the ramp and do the rocking chair spot when the lights come back on. Once Bray is in the ring the ref signals for the bell and the ring apron becomes lit with flames. Small as they are, they are flames nonetheless. Kane quickly tosses Wyatt into the corner and unloads punches on him. We can see the firefighters outside the ring here, some of which aren’t even real firefighters. They are Indy wrestlers from the local Championship Wrestling of Hollywood. One of which is Scorpio Sky who is now in Ring of Honor and part of So Cal Uncensored. “SCU,SCU,SCU.” Couldn’t resist myself there folks.
After the punches in the corner, Kane flattens Wyatt with a clothesline and when he hits the mat the flames grow higher for a moment. When the flames subside, Luke and Rowan approach the ring, but the flames then come back to life. Wyatt manages to go on the offensive after a kick to the midsection. But it is short lived and his suplex is reversed by Kane. Once again when Wyatt hits the mat the flames shoot-up. The crowd is of course popping for every one of these spots, and rightfully so. They maybe gimmicky, but they are still cool. Wyatt is able to dodge a dropkick from Kane but when he tries for a big boot on the kneeling Kane this, too, is avoided. This leads to Wyatt’s head going through the ropes and coming dangerously close to the fire. After Wyatt is able to avoid a splash from Kane he hits him with a running splash of his own in the corner. They take a moment to rest there and are covered in sweat. This makes sense as the ring is literally surrounded in flames. Wyatt hits the ropes, and when he lands the crossbody the flames grow again. He continues to stomp on Kane as he screams things that I wasn’t able to make out. Kane comes to life and grabs Bray by the throat. Wyatt uses some punches to fight free but when he hits the ropes, he is met with the big boot of Kane. After a pair of corner clotheslines from Kane, a sidewalk slam again makes the flames rise. After Wyatt slows Kane with a back elbow, Rowan attempts to hand a kendo stick into the ring but the flames prevent him from doing so. As Wyatt is yelling at Rowan, Kane rises to his feet behind him and waits in anticipation. The chokeslam from Kane is a success and Rowan tries to use a fire extinguisher to put the flames around the ring out. This only makes them grow higher and is pretty ineffective. Instead of going for a cover, Kane gives Bray two more chokeslams and the fire jumps up with each one. When Kane slits his own throat to signal the Tombstone Piledriver we see Erik and Luke place a black sheet over the flames. They enter the ring this way and begin to brawl with Kane. Kane holds his own for a moment but is soon overpowered by the two. After they have their way with Kane, Bray Wyatt hits what would become Sister Abigail and make the cover. The ref counts the three and the fans are giving as much heat as there is in the ring. Wyatt returns to his rocking chair and the other two use the ring steps to set Kane up like he’s on a chopping block at Bray’s feet. They use the other half of the steps to act as if they are trying to decapitate Kane. The lantern is relit as the lights go dark and they carry Kane from the arena. For the gimmick that it was, this is still a pretty decent debut for Bray Wyatt in the ring. From the reaction of the fans throughout you can tell they enjoyed this spectacle as well. Match Time-7:49
We see a sneak peek of WWE2K 14 before we are joined by Josh Matthews, Booker T, Shawn Michaels and Vickie Guerrero. This is the panel from the kick-off show, The four just chit-chat and I’m sure this is just a stall tactic done to clean the fire rigging gear off the ring. It’s not long before we are rejoined by the announce team for our next bout, which is a squash match. Before it starts we get a clip of the advocate for Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman. Paul uses the David (CM Punk) and Goliath (Lesnar) analogy to paint a picture of his clients match. Except this story is going to have a different ending, the giant will not lose. This is also were Heyman tells us that the rules have been changed for this match and in now a No DQ affair.
Once back in the arena, “The Self-Professed Savior of the Masses” and the Red Brand’s Money in the Bank contract holder, Damien Sandow enters the arena. Sandow is on the mic and insults the crowd’s intelligence to draw some heat, as that is his shtick. He says like all great pairings, Sherlock Holmes and Watson or Batman and Robin he uses for examples, there must be a sidekick. And Cody Rhodes was his. The crowd responds with the “What?” chant every time that he pauses. Sandow finishes with “..tonight I send Cody back to the pairing he was destined for, with his father, Dumb and Dumber.” Good piece of heat seeking here by Damien. The crowd has a nice pop for Cody when he enters and makes his way to the ring. This is when we get a glimpse of Sandow handcuffing the briefcase to the ring post. The two men charge each other and lock into a hard collar and elbow. Sandow drives Rhodes into the corner and the ref separates them. Rhodes tosses Sandow back into the corner and unloads some punches on him. After they trade some punches, Sandow is whipped to the opposite corner and when he bounces out is met with a back body drop from Rhodes. After a front facing suplex, Rhodes hooks the leg and tries for a cover. Sandow kicks right out and they return to their feet. After Rhodes is tossed to the apron, Sandow sweeps the leg and knocks Rhodes to the floor.
After Rhodes back is rammed into the apron Sandow returns him to the ring, He then puts Rhodes face first into the corner and pounds on Cody’s lower back with forearms. A snap suplex is next from Damien and he hooks the leg but Rhodes quick kicks out. Sandow uses an abdominal stretch and when the crowd starts to clap, Rhodes starts to rally. He drives Sandow into the corner to break the hold and is able to duck Sandow’s clothesline. Rhodes tries for a Crossroads but Sandow is able to take the right turn and avoid the finish. Damien drives about seven knees into Cody’s midsection before he slams him to the mat with a side Russian leg sweep. An Elbow of Disdain follows and Sandow hooks the leg, but Rhodes is able to kick-out. After a he works the lower back some more, Sandow uses a variant of a three-leaf clover on Rhodes. Cody rolls it over and is able to kick Sandow off of him. Sandow maintains the advantage and clobbers Cody with a clothesline to the back of the head. After some stomps, Sandow raises his hands high and gets some heat from the fans. When Sandow tries to take to the top rope Rhodes is able to meet him there with a punch to the midsection. Rhodes then climbs up with him and delivers a small package driver from the second turnbuckle. Cody makes a cover but Sandown gets a shoulder up.
There is a little back and forth with Rhodes maintaining momentum throughout. When Cody finds himself on the apron, he channels his father and hits Sandow with a Bionic Elbow. He then springboards back into the ring to flatten Sandow with a missile dropkick. Rhoades then tries for a Disaster Kick but Sandow avoids it and drop toe holds Rhodes onto the ropes. A swinging neckbreaker from Sandow leads to a cover, but Rhodes gets the shoulder up. Cody reverses the Irish whip, but Sandow tries for a sunset flip. Rhodes doesn’t go over and matchbook pins Sandow. It is close but Damien Sandow is able to escape the three count. The Disaster Kick lands squarely this time and the crowd has a huge pop for it. Rhodes hooks the leg, but Sandow still has some fight left. The Crossroads is right around the corner for Sandow and this finisher leads to a successful three count. This is a great match between two young talents. I am a mark for Cody, but regardless, for a squash match this is still great. Match Time-6:40