Aside from two great main event matches, the best part about SummerSlam was that WWE made you want to see what was going to happen next. They prompted their audience to ask:
How will John Cena and C.M. Punk react to being screwed?
Why did Kevin Nash interfere?
Did it have to do with his friendship with Triple H?
Did Andrew Gray correctly predict that Nash would align with Triple H as the Anonymous G.M.?
And aside from the great main event on "Raw," the best thing about Monday night's show was that WWE didn't answer all of the questions in one night.
We saw how Punk and Cena reacted to being screwed, but most importantly, we still don't know the true story of Nash's involvement at SummerSlam.
"Raw" started with Triple H taking the blame for Cena's loss, and the C.O.O. said he was going to apologize to Cena later. Next, Triple H said that although he invited Nash to SummerSlam, he had no idea that Nash would get involved in the main event. He invited Nash to "Raw" in order to tell the truth about what happened at the PPV.
When Nash came out later in the show, his promo didn't click. He was trying to remember his lines, and the "What" chants from the crowd weren't helping him out.
His explanation for powerbombing Punk was that Triple H sent him a text, asking him to take out whoever won the main event.
The exchange with Punk was entertaining though. Punk came out and clearly bested Nash in their promo battle (which he should have). Nash really only started clicking when he mentioned that Punk is benefitting from the work that he and Scott Hall put in back in 1996.
Nash also called Punk "indy-riffic," and called him out on his size a couple of times.
Obviously, if Nash was going to be given time to 'shoot' with Punk, you knew he'd mention something about Punk's size. It's his M.O.
But it was still dumb. As good as Punk has been over the last month or so, Punk is not yet firmly established as an elite-level star, and Nash's comments hurt Punk's credibility.
If you remember, Punk's first work-shoot promo on the June 27 "Raw" came out of nowhere. Punk was not being pushed at the time.
Moreover, both of Punk's recent PPV victories have been tainted ones. At Money in the Bank, he was inadvertently aided by Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis distracting Cena. And at SummerSlam, Triple H counted to 3, even though Cena's foot was on the ropes.
That criticism aside, overall, the continuation of the Punk-Triple H-Nash story was well done, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing how the story develops. I also think that over time, if given the opportunity, Punk's in-ring work and mic skills will firmly entrench him as an elite-level star.
Other thoughts on the show ...
- Alberto Del Rio cut one hell of a promo to start "Raw," his first as the Undisputed WWE Champion. He generated great heat from the pro-Rey Mysterio crowd in San Diego, calling himself the champion of the people.
As I said earlier, the main event was great, and the false finishes had the crowd at the edge of their seats. It's obvious that Rey Mysterio and Del Rio have developed a good chemistry together since Del Rio joined the main roster.
The WWE Champion has improved by leaps and bounds as well. I wouldn't be surprised if these two headline the shows at the upcoming tour of Mexico in October.
Hopefully, Del Rio is still WWE Champ by the time they go to Mexico, and he has a long reign with the title. But WWE doesn't like having the title off Cena for too long.
Another thing on Del Rio and Rey: I really liked how WWE helped build toward the main event by showing highlights of Rey's previous title victories. It heightened the significance of the main event.
- This is nitpicking, I know, but I could have gone without Cena delivering the promo at the end of the show. I think it would have been great just to have him save Rey, and then deliver the promo next week, building anticipation for what he would say to the new Champion.
Not to mention, the crowd wasn't really on Cena's side when he was talking down Del Rio. They were still pissed that Rey didn't win the title, and was laid out on the outside of the ring. Cena wasn't put in a great spot there.
- Shouldn't Cena have been more pissed off at Triple H for screwing him out of the title, than at Del Rio, who simply used his rightfully-earned the Money in the Bank briefcase? Del Rio didn't even pin Cena!
Cena's twisted logic didn't help getting his promo over with the crowd either.
- John Morrison and R-Truth had an entertaining and stiff brawl in their Falls Count Anywhere match. The highlight may have been a sick-looking front bump that Morrison took on the outside of the ring, leading into the commercial break.
The final spot was silly -- why did Morrison need to awkwardly suplex R-Truth into the chair when he could have just sat him there? But otherwise, the match elevated both guys.
- Another rib on J.R.? How is Vince still entertained by that shit?
- You know, if Vince actually got behind tag teams, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne would make a great team.
- Speaking of shitting on the tag team division, how about Jerry Lawler calling David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty the "bland leading the bland." Ladies and Gentlemen ... Your tag team champions!
- Cole, too, did his part to put-under a talent. He ripped on Swagger for his botched gutwrench suplex attempts on Alex Riley. He could have tried to explain that Riley was working hard to block the move, or something along those lines.
I thought announcers were there to put over the wrestlers.
- Oooohhh shit! Michael McGillicutty wears a do-rag now!!!!!
- Could we be seeing a new managerial stable being formed on "Raw"? Or is Jack Swagger just trying to steal Vickie Guerrero away from Dolph Ziggler?