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

Mike Killam

ZIGGLER & KAITLYN VS. LANGSTON & AJ LEE
Winners: Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn via pinfall
Rating: **1/2

You have to feel bad for anybody having to follow CM Punk, and who has to set up John Cena and Daniel Bryan. That's a rough role to play, because nobody is going to remember your match, but you still have to keep the crowd interested and lead in with a positive note. Dolph Ziggler is probably the #1 guy I would have thrown in that position – dependable, exciting and consistently a phenomenal worker. I know, Ziggler fans, it sucks that he wasn't in a more high profile match.. But not every match can be a main event; Eddie Guerrero and Edge have both wrestled mixed tag matches at SummerSlam. Then again, so have Santino and Kofi Kingston. 

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner: Daniel Bryan via pinfall
Rating: ****3/4

It always impresses me when guys John Cena or Daniel Bryan can go out after a perfect match and still tell a completely different story that is equally as good. Where Punk and Lesnar had a more brutal no disqualification match, these two fought a more mat-based ground game. I don't think either was more or less personal than the other, but for my $60 I liked the "Best vs Beast" match more, but the WWE Championship story was superior. Not that it matters; both were damn near flawless. 

At the end of the match, Cena told Bryan "it's in the books" – that was extremely relevant, as both knew what was coming. So here's the million dollar question: does Triple H and Randy Orton turning heel and leaving with the WWE Championship take away from Daniel Bryan's moment? 

I say no. I say they accomplished everything they needed to and told some great stories, leaving open some interesting questions going forward. Like who does Bryan go after, Orton or Triple H? Is Triple H in league with Vince McMahon? Will Vince McMahon remain an on-screen character now that The Game is back in full heel mode and in charge of the day-to-day operations of the WWE? When John Cena comes back from injury, what will his role be? 

Daniel Bryan is now in the record books as a former WWE Champion. He had his moment, his pyro, his streamers and confetti; that was all real, and the fans loved it. When Sheamus kicked him in the face in 2012 and took the World Title in 18 seconds, it was the best thing WWE could have ever done for Bryan's career. Imagine how over he's going to be that they took the biggest prize in wrestling away from him, after an all-out war in which he got an extremely rare clean victory over John Cena? 

Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are still top tier superstars. Their losses at SummerSlam do no negate the fact that they stole the show. 

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