Recapping for Summerslam – 2011


As with the recap for 2010, let’s start with the poster, since we all know that 2011 was at Staples Center just like it was the year before and the years after until 2015 when the summer show moved to Brooklyn for some f***ing reason.

Only 1/2 of both heavyweight championship matches are pictured in the promotional poster.  Seriously?  Where in the hell is CM Punk on this poster.  What about Christian?  And yes, this is old enough that 1/2 of the team that totally reeks of awesomeness was in a match.  Additionally, all three members of the heel team of the opening 6 man tag match are featured, but only Rey Mysterio from team face.

And as has become customary, WWE selected a theme song for the PPV event which you would hear every 10-15 minutes during the 3 hour broadcast.  And unfortunately 2011’s Summerslam theme was the Cee-Lo Green song “Bright Lights, Bigger City”.  I know, I’m sorry.  I don’t get to pick the music.  At least “Welcome to My House” was so infectiously catchy that you didn’t even necessarily mind that you heard it 900 times leading up to, during and following Wrestlemania.  We even heard it twice in the elevator of our AirBnB in Dallas over the course of the weekend and once in the sushi place that PLEASE DON’T EAT SUSHI ANYWHERE THAT STAYS OPEN UNTIL AFTER 1AM AND HANDS YOU A DRINK MENU ALMOST TWENTY MINUTES BEFORE THEY ASK IF YOU ARE HUNGRY.

Our opening contest is scheduled for one fall and it is a 6-man tag match:

As briefly touched on above, the heel team was made up of Alberto Del Rio, The Miz and Conspiracy Theory R-Truth who came to the ring giving a lesson in the alphabet.  Was odd.  I don’t know what the hell the deal with that was but I guess it made sense to the crowd at the time based on whatever the gimmick was doing back then.  Now he just raps while Golddust’s head bobs along the bottom of the screen.  At the time, Alberto Del Rio was also the Money in the Bank holder for the Raw Brand.

The face team was Rey Mysterio Jr., who was to get a WWE Championship match the following night on Raw in San Diego against the winner of the Cena-CM Punk match per a championship opportunity tournament victory, as well as John Morrison (who has a kick ass slow motion action star entrance) and Kofi Kingston, who in spite of being announced as being from Ghana, Africa was still basically presented as Jamaican.  I think it’s cool that he’s from Ghana.  He’s also highly intelligent, watch the Table for Three with the members of New Day, just good stuff.

With a Mysterio title match the following night, you sort of knew how this one had to go:


The World’s Strongest Man against the World’s Palest Ginger


I’m going to touch on two things here before I get into this match.

World’s Strongest Man: So I’ve never asked questions regarding the claim, so I felt like now was a good time to look it up.  Mark Henry has never actually competed in the World’s Strongest Man competition that I can find any record of.  The Mountain from Game of Thrones has of late, though.  In 2002, Henry won the first annual Arnold Strongman Competition.  He was the United States Weightlifting Champion in 1993, 1994 and 1996, he won a gold, silver and bronze in the 1995 Pan American Games, and was on the Olympic weightlifting team in both 1992 and 1996 (in Atlanta).  Another cool thing I found, “He is credited for the biggest raw squat and raw powerlifting total ever performed by a drug tested athlete, regardless of weight class, as well as the greatest raw deadlift by an American citizen” (Wikipedia).

Sheamus: This match was fairly spotty, but even in 2011, Henry was getting a little aged for a big man, so it happens from time to time.  What it did highlight was Sheamus’ abilities in the ring.  I already knew he was talented, as he even made the Randy Orton phoned in matches in the months prior to his injury enjoyable, was one of the better parts of the League of Nations, and has just always brought it.  When I didn’t watch, I used to see the Sheamus Brawlin’ Buddy and other Sheamus stuff at Wal-Mart and it seemed weird that they’d have made a pasty Irish guy such a big deal, but then I saw him perform and it made sense.

Leading into this match, Henry had made a heel turn.  He had brutally attacked Big Show and Kane, breaking both their ankles with steel chairs.  Sheamus wasn’t scared, and didn’t back down from the opportunity to play the hero and take the fight to Henry.

This match furthered the brutality that Henry had displayed in the weeks that led to this match, putting Sheamus through the security barricade and rolling back into the ring in time to pick up the victory via count out.

I kept thinking that maybe I had a tumor


But yes, after Googling, her wrestling name, for whatever reason, is Kelly Kelly.  Her actual name of Barbara Jean Blank could have been a bad ass wrestling name.  Imagine all the finisher names you could come up with if you went by Blank.  I mean, not to expose myself a Swiftie, but the Blank Space could be any number of moves, but at the time in women’s “wrestling” it would have been some sort of Bronco Buster type maneuver instead of a jackknife powerbomb like it should be.  I bet Charlotte could hit a mean ass Jackknife Powerbomb, especially on a tiny woman like Sasha Banks.  And seriously, Beth Phoenix’s finisher was called the Glam Slam.  Let me find a gif.

So no, that isn’t the Glam Slam, but when I searched for Glam Slam in the Giphy tool I got distracted.  Look how cute that is.  Also, something about the puppy bowl being sponsored by Subaru makes so much sense.  Subaru, the car driven by people who want you to outright know they have no interest in the Super Bowl.

Beth Phoenix went for the Glam Slam only to have it reversed into a roll up with Kelly Kelly gaining the pin fall and retaining the butterfly vagina…..I mean Diva’s Title.

Yes! Ye…No! No! No! No!  I’ve got some bad news for you

So the wrestling world still had a ways to go before Daniel Bryan would have his infamous night at Wrestlemania 30.  In 2011, the leader of the Yes! movement would have to face the King of Bad News, who wouldn’t become that for another few years either.  So at this point, it was just two incredibly talented in ring performers putting on a show before the main event matches started.

Bryan would hit a lot of fast attacks and high flying moves.  Barrett dominated through his brute strength.  Barrett would hit a flying clothesline and then land the Wasteland before picking up the pin fall victory.  The Wasteland is sort of like a half hearted AA or F5 in that he hoists the opponent up as if he’s going to do one of those bigger moves, then just sort of tosses them back down like he didn’t actually want to pick them up to begin with.  I don’t know, I really liked Barrett and its a shame the company squandered his talent post Nexus.

Before we get into the dueling main event matches:

Has anyone else noticed that there’s only been one title defense at Summerslam in 2011?  We’re moving into defenses of both the WWE Championship and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but the Diva’s Title is the only one that was put on the line of the undercard belts.  A quick search for the 2011 Night of Champions PPV reveals that the company had pretty much the exact same belts as they do currently (save the WWE Universal Champion) and this entire event occurred, “the biggest event of the Summer”, without a defense of the United States, Intercontinental or Tag Team Championships.  All belts should be on the line at every PPV, not just Night of Champions and Wrestlemania.

Christian (C) vs Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship


For those that didn’t watch, there was a time when Edge and Christian weren’t Edge and Christian, and they had split ways and made way for both to be singles champions.  Yes, Christian was a singles champion, in spite of seemingly always needing to hit the hot tag to Edge in their tag matches to get wins.

Randy Orton was the good Randy Orton for this one, as opposed to the checked out “I’m Better Than This S***” Randy Orton that is so notoriously touted.

This was a no holds barred match that had so many huge spots it wasn’t even funny, with Christian taking the lion’s share of the punishment.  RKO through the announcers table.  Superplex onto an unopened table laying in the ring.  Chair shots, kendo sticks, TV Monitors.  This match is essentially exactly what we  should have gotten from Lesnar-Ambrose at Mania 32, you know, if Lesnar wasn’t so “lazy”.

Finally, after both competitors kicked out at two numerous times, Randy would lay out Christian with a vicious RKO on the steel steps and gain the pinfall and his third reign as World Heavyweight Champion (9th overall Championship) would begin.  I hope that either they cut Orton loose this year and make the Lesnar match memorable, or one of them really hits the other (Lesnar would probably really hit Orton) and they actually fight each other.  Either way, its got to be better than that lame ass Wrestlemania match.

John Cena (C) vs CM Punk (C) for the undisputed WWE Championship with Triple H as special guest referee


So essentially I missed all of CM Punk in his WWE career.  I’d say it’s disappointing but honestly I don’t see that he’s anything special.  He’s sort of a jackass, his voice is obnoxious as all hell, and having seen his interviews for his never actually going to happen UFC career I really just don’t like the guy.

CM Punk had won the belt at Money in the Bank, then just sort of disappeared into the crowd and didn’t appear to be coming back.  Then they needed a champion, so through whatever means it ended up on Cena.  Then CM Punk came back, two champions.  Half ass creative at it again.

This match is essentially every Punk or Cena PPV match you’ve ever seen, with two count kick outs on numerous finishing moves.  Those worried Triple H would not be impartial and would try to screw CM Punk in this match were mistaken, as at one point the two were both DQ’ed on a count out but he refused to end the match without a definitive winner.  Eventually, Punk got the upper hand and hit a second GTS to gain the pinfall, however controversial with Cena’s feet on the ropes, and Punk became the undisputed champion…..

But wait, there’s more

Cena and Triple H would leave during Punk’s victory celebration, but Kevin Nash of all people shows up and hits a Jackknife Powerbomb (wow, it’s almost like I foreshadowed this earlier by wishing for a Jackknife Powerbomb) on Punk, leaving him laid out in the ring.  I’m also glad that I pointed out that ADR was carrying the Raw MITB Briefcase, as he ran down in Punk’s weakened state to hit a Shining Wizard and cash in to close out the evening as the Undisputed WWE Champion.  Del Rio would successfully defend against Rey Mysterio Jr. the following night on Raw in San Diego.