Mt. Killamanjaro: WWE SummerSlam Review – “Vintage Orton”

Mike Killam

DAMIEN SANDOW VS. CODY RHODES
Winner: Cody Rhodes 
Rating: ***

There's nothing quite like signifying a babyface turn like shaving off one's mustache. 

I'm a big fan of Cody Rhodes, so I'll take a good seven minute match with a solid victory by the brand new babyface. He still has a long way to go, because the fans just aren't connecting the way I'd like them to, but he's got to give them a reason to care again. Cody was over as a heel during one of the longest Intercontinental Championship reigns ever – they need to figure out what, as a face, they can do to recapture that energy. Rhodes has been a midcard jobber-to-the-stars heel for five years; it's going to take time to turn that ship around. 

I don't think this rivalry is over. Cody picked up the big win here, but I could see them continuing to go at it on Smackdown over the next few weeks. If you want to make good faces, you have to build good heels for them to go over. Rhodes dominated the last month, throwing Sandow's briefcase into the Gulf of Mexico and getting the upper hand week after week. The next month should be about Damien. I wanted them to do a "briefcase vs. mustache" match next month, but I guess that's now out of the question…

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Winner: Alberto del Rio via Cross Arm Breaker submission
Rating: ***1/2

Seems like I didn't get into this match as much as a lot of people I saw on Twitter but I'll paraphrase Justin LaBar: two guys that often aren't terribly exciting overall, but they put on a good match. I personally loved the sequence at the end with del Rio's cross arm breaker, which is still the best submission hold in the business today, for my money. 

My opinion on these two guys seem to be flip-flopped from what everyone else thinks – I love Alberto del Rio, and I don't understand the love for Christian. He's a solid in-ring talent and is consistently good, but I just never see him as a credible world championship threat. Randy Orton made him look like a star during their program; Edge's retirement gave them a lot of momentum to work with. No disrespect meant, because I've always enjoyed Christian's work, I'm just not his biggest fan. 

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