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

Mike Killam

NATALYA VS. BRIE BELLA
Winner: Natalya via Sharpshooter submission
Rating: **1/2

The crowd actually ruined a decent Divas match. Putting aside Brie Bella's high-rise shorts (the '80s called), her and Natalya are two of the better female workers going today. They were plugging along at a pretty good rate until the fans started chanting for JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler. Sometimes mark crowds are great – big matches often benefit – but when the girls are in the ring they can ruin a whole match. 

Side note: If they were chanting "we want tables"…why? If they were chanting "we want Sable"…why? And if they were chanting "we want nipples"…good work. 

To their credit, some of the crowd did actually get involved when it mattered. The match was an excuse to get most of the Total Divas cast involved, and they did, but it didn't really disrupt the flow or lead to one of those typical cringe-worthy cat fights. The Thesz Press is still the worst thing Trish Stratus ever popularized for women in wrestling. 

THE BEST VS. THE BEAST
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Rating: *****

This match, along with being incredible, gets my Sign of the Night award: 

Punk and Lesnar put on a war that was believable, brutal and emotional. They sold the "David vs. Goliath" story perfectly, only with a twist end – the bigger man won. Lesnar has a damn good record at SummerSlam.

Many are questioning whether or not CM Punk will be known as the world class star who couldn't beat the best, having lost matches to Brock Lesnar, The Rock, John Cena and The Undertaker this year. I don't think so. History is defined by moments and the effect they have on the landscape, not necessarily the winner or the loser. In sports that's not always true, but Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have all lost plenty of matches, and are still looked at as the best ever. How many matches did Ric Flair lose? 

Since his return, Brock Lesnar has wrestled a lot of hardcore-type matches. He has wrestled, but people remember his bumps more than his throws. Lesnar has my favorite suplexes in the business; Kurt Angle is a very close second. His size and execution make a perfect storm. For what people will say about Lesnar being a part-timer who's only in it for the money, he's still a great wrestler, and he's still had a lot of quality matches. As for Punk… "Best in the world!" 

The perfect match, and the perfect story. Punk's thirst for vengeance on Paul Heyman gets the better of him; Heyman gets his arm broken in half, but Punk pays the price. 

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