I haven’t watched wrestling regularly in 3 years (by choice), although I’ve been a fan for over 30 years & still follow it occasionally online. Every once in a while I read about an upcoming PPV & decide to see it. This was one I wanted to see. Rather than review every match, I’d like to explain what I liked & didn’t like & how it relates to me ending my love affair with modern wrestling 3 years ago.
Josh Matthews, bless his little soul for saying what Vince whispered into his all-too-willing ears, says “DX has never tapped.” I hope I was just distracted, and that he actually started that statement with “As a team” because John Cena made them each tap at back-to-back WrestleManias. If he didn’t & just flat-out claimed they’ve never tapped, well then the constant re-writing of wrestling history is inexcusable to me, since I’ve literally observed it for over 30 years. As for the match itself, I’m glad Legacy won. It was the right thing to do in order to keep getting these younger guys even more over than they’ve already gotten. Legacy is working for Rhodes & DiBiase, and having them go over clean on a legend like HBK was good.
Andre the Giant, Haystacks Calhoun, Big Show, Kevin Nash…these were/are big men who still manage(d) to get over & draw because they were able to rely on something more than their limited in-ring ability. Great Khali has nothing but an honest-to-goodness “I could kill you with my bare hands” look. But that’s it. We’ve heard him talk, and it was so bad that they had to give him an interpreter. We’ve seen him go over Undertaker clean very shortly after his debut, and still no one took his in-ring work seriously. His credibility is completely shot, even after trying to work him into a comedy role & a babyface role. Everything that could be tried in order to find something salvageable with him, has been tried & failed. Why is he still here? Better question…why was his match kept on the show, and Morrison/Ziggler taken off when Morrison tore the house down with Rey so recently??
Christian vs Regal, good solid WRESTLING match. After Vince’s every attempt to make ECW a C-grade show (and now with Superstars, maybe even a D-grade show), two solid in-ring performers stole the show for me.
Orton vs Cena. As good as the storytelling was for the match regarding the use of handcuffs, I am sick to death of seeing John Cena take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. Its Hulk Hogan all over again…take a guy with limited in-ring ability, have him take the best that “the bad guy” can dish out (in order to carry the match for “our hero” who can’t work), and then make a comeback for the win. Seen it, sick of it.
Punk vs Taker. You couldn’t find a bigger Undertaker fan than me up until a few years ago. He was constantly evolving through the years…visually, verbally, and in the ring as well. He found ways to keep his overall character fresh, which is why he’s lasted for nearly 20 years without the fans turning on him like they did with Hogan & Cena. You simply never had a pocket of fans who hated him as the years went on because “He hasn’t changed his act, he still does the same exact thing, its boring now.” But even I am tired of him. He’s done all he can, and I started resenting him soon after he returned to his (literal) Dead Man gimmick. Hardly anything new has been added since then, its been nearly all recycled material. So when I read (because I didn’t watch it) that at SummerSlam, after taking months off post-WrestleMania, he just shows up at the end of the PPV & choke-slams Punk, and gets immediately put into a title match with Punk at the very next PPV…and that until the last few days leading up to it, he was scheduled to WIN the title…I make no apologies, I’m glad he got “screwed” out of the win. Montreal rehash? Its been rehashed before & I thought it was stupid, but this time I honestly don’t care. I’m just glad he didn’t win the title. If he’d won, it would’ve been Hogan & Cena all over again…and Undertaker has shown far too much talent & ability in the past to have to be lumped in with those two in my book. But, because of the booking of recent years, I’m sad to say that a longtime favorite of mine has been reduced to just that. As for Punk, he’s the freshest top heel WWE has had since Edge, why ruin a good thing?
–Dave Barton, Seaside Heights NJ