Another year has gone by and with it, WWE’s second largest show on the wrestling calendar – Summerslam. This year’s event emanated from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California in front of a sold out crowd. The arena was packed with over 17,000 excited and boisterous fans, anxiously awaited an evening of fun and merriment. The spectators were also treated to a night of returns and a tremendous 14-man elimination tag match, which had everyone in frenzy throughout its duration.

One of the big matches featured Sheamus defending the WWE Championship against Randy Orton. Unfortunately, the result did not please the crowd. The two had a great match, albeit slow at times. Late in the match, the champ nailed his opponent a hard kick to the face, and Orton barely kicked out. Sheamus expressed his frustration, and grabbed a chair from outside the ring and slid it inside. The referee quickly intervened and attempted to take the chair away. The crowd voiced their approval to the referee. Then, the spectators grew angry, as the official was pushed to the mat by the champion. The referee did not have a choice but to disqualify Sheamus. Orton won the match, but he was an unhappy camper because he did not win the championship, since a title can not change hands on a disqualification.

Both wrestlers continued fighting outside the ring. Sheamus knocked Orton down with a kick, and was going to inflict more pain on his opponent with a steel chair. The champion started to race towards Randy, but missed. Orton then kicked the champion in the groin, and use the chair on Sheamus, but instead, the challenger tossed the chair and his adversary to the floor. Orton began clearing the announcer’s table and threw the champ on it. He then smiled wickedly before administering his RKO finisher on his opponent. The crowd loved the post-match aftermath. It was done to add some more build for a potential re-match. I wanted Sheamus to win. I think he is improving as a champion, and it’s too early, in my mind to take the belt away from him. I also thought he would have cheated to win, and escape a post match attack, but I was wrong.

The World Championship was on the line as Kane defended the belt against Rey Mysterio. Wrestling fans know that Rey is a talented, quick, agile and gifted wrestler, who takes each match seriously. As the champion entered the ring for the match, he wheeled a casket to ringside to ‘scare’ the challenger. Rey expected Kane to bring the casket to the ring, so he was not too afraid. There were a couple of occasions in the match where Kane tried to place his opponent inside the casket, but Rey used his speed and quick thinking to escape. In the last few minutes of the match, Rey connected with a dropkick on his bigger opponent, who fell to the second rope. Mysterio, seeing this, went for his 6-1-9 move, but he was caught in the grasp of the “Big Red Machine.” Kane whipped Rey into the ropes, and connected with a big kick to the face. He then nailed his chokeslam finisher for the three count to retain the World title. But, the bigger story occurred after the match.

Kane continued to attack Rey after the match, and opened the casket to place his victim inside. As the casket opened, the Undertaker (who, according to the storyline, was in a “vegetative state”) popped up and climbed into the ring. He wanted to find out who the culprit was. The champion and challenger froze, awaiting “The Dead Man’s” next move. He grabbed Rey by the throat, and looked him in the eye. Mysterio kept saying “I didn’t do it,” to which ‘Taker replied, “I believe you.” In an instant, he turned and attacked Kane, who fought back, and utilized a “Tombstone” reverse piledriver to leave the Undertaker lying motionless in the ring. The match result shouldn’t surprise anyone, and the culprit’s revelation was not surprising, as I am sure a lot of people thought it was Kane who was responsible for the Undertaker’s “vegetative state”. This sets up a ‘Taker/Kane feud for the World Championship. While the matches themselves may not be classics, the in-ring promos, interview segments, and the video packages the WWE will put together to help build the rivalry, will be what makes this feud entertaining and full of action.

The main event of the evening was a seven on seven elimination tag match between “Team WWE” (which featured the surprise return of former Nexus member, Daniel Bryan) and the seven members of Nexus. The match itself was hard fought and gritty. All fourteen competitors started brawling in the ring to begin things. This got the crowd all riled up and extremely noisy. Once things calmed down, Daniel Bryan and Darren Young wrestled while the fans watched intensely. Bryan swiftly eliminated his former Nexus ally with a crossface submission.

The final four were John Cena and Daniel Bryan (representing “Team WWE”) against Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel (representing Nexus). After Bryan eliminated Slater, the Miz (who thought he was going to be the seventh member of “Team WWE” instead of Daniel Bryan), used his “Money in the Bank” briefcase and hit him hard on his back. Barrett then covered Bryan for the elimination.

During Daniel Bryan’s elimination, Cena was on the arena floor. Wade Barrett went out and tossed him in and tagged Gabriel. After some quick tags and double team moves, Cena was thrown to the floor and the two Nexus members removed the protective mats to expose the concrete. Barrett DDT’d John on the floor, rolled him back in, and placed him near a corner, flat on his back. He tagged in Gabriel, who climbed to the top rope, to utilize his “450 splash” and missed. Cena pinned him for the three count, and the elimination. The crowd was ecstatic and the approval echoed in the arena.

It was now one on one: John Cena vs. Wade Barrett. The final battle did not last long. As Cena eliminated Gabriel, Barrett tried to attack him, but was tripped. He then applied his “STF” submission hold. Barrett tapped out giving John Cena and “Team WWE” the victory. The spectators were thrilled. But, I was actually expecting the Nexus to win, just based on all the dissention “Team WWE” showed in the weeks leading up to Summerslam. However, I was happy that the rookie group known as Nexus performed extremely well in the match against the relatively experienced wrestlers of “Team WWE” – John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, John Morrison, R-Truth and the least known wrestler of the group, Daniel Bryan.

The 2010 version of Summerslam had its special moments. The hype and build up for the elimination match had fans wondering what the WWE would stage for the event, and it more than delivered. But, I think, for the company’s second biggest pay-per-view of the year, this year’s event, while entertaining, it lacked excitement in some of the matches.

Too much emphasis was placed on the main event. I believe that if the WWE marketing department concentrates a little more on the other matches, and create some drama and excitement around those, then fans will become more involved in the events. While I agree that the main event should always be the most important match, there should be some kind of balance. It is my hope that next year’s event will promise to be more exciting.

By: Azeem Kayum

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