Interesting match to kick things off with, and there was certainly some nice psychology throughout with the use of the focus of Hassan on Benjamin's foot. While you mentioned it a few times, I'd like to have seen a bit more emphasis on the fact that injury robbed Shelton of his usual athleticism. You did the injury leading to a slow cover a few times, but I'd have used more of a Benjamin going for a big move but being unable to connect approach more, I think that would have added a real sense of drama, especially if you used it at the end. We also could have done with a submission spot before the ankle lock from Hassan, something where he tried a hold to wear Benjamin down, which would have added a bit more drama to the ankle lock that lead into Shelton's comeback. I thought the use of Khali and Haas was pretty good though, especially where Hassan dared Haas to hit him, that was a nice touch, a very typical heel champion move that was used effectively. Finish was pretty creative, especially that t-bone spot where Hassan landed on his feet, that sound very impressive. The involvement of Haas and the turnbuckle suggests another rematch between the two, and if that's the route you go, make it something really definitive to give us a clear cut ending. But yeah, this match was fine for what it was, had an interesting story that has left a few possibilities open for the future. And don't think I didn't notice your description of Haas during the celebration.
Nice little bit of hype for Batista/Kane right here, with Bischoff being written very well. The mind games revolving around Michaels in this feud has certainly added a real sense of intrigue to it all, and this just furthered that, especially the use of Michaels' family. Good job here.
This was never going to be the most exciting of matches, even though we're only about six months removed from JBL as WWE Champion, but there was always gonna be one winner in this one, with Lashley clearly on the rise in your thread. Again, much of the story of the match made sense, with JBL wanting very little to do with Lashley's early offence. Certainly Lashley looked impressive early on, but there didn't seem to be a whole lot of offence from JBL. His period of control in the match was very short imo, it didn't really lend itself to Lashley's comeback, although the sleeper and subsequent breaking of it was certainly impressive. And again, another creative finish with the in and out of the finishers, but for me, the match felt a little rushed. Certainly the right outcome, and Lashley now has an impressive victory under his belt, but it all felt a little fast.
Much better interview from Christian here, another character on the rise. Everything was pretty much spot on, although the bit about role models was kinda hard to read. But everything was really solid, a real strong heel promo to add fire to the match later.
Wow, chaotic isn't the word to describe the tag team match. While it was almost inevitable from the stipulation that the teams would turn on each other, you certainly took it and made it entertaining. Not really a whole lot to say about this, it was a perfectly fine midcard match, everything made sense with regards to using a stipulation to the best of it's ability, and the outcome means we've got the next tag title feud ready to go. No problem with this whatsoever.
Pretty standard promo from Cena with regards to his words and the intensity with which he said them. I found the opening question a confusing, as it started by asking about mind games then focused more on sneak attacks. That didn't really work for me. But yeah, apart from that it was all good. As for the Rey/RVD bit, a tad surprising to see that this made it onto pay per view, but then again, it shows how stacked the card is that this situation hasn't made it onto the show. Also works as a nice little bit of hype for this week's SmackDown, so this made a whole world of sense. Intrigued to see where it leads, and although I doubt we'll be getting any answers this week from Melina, I'm sure you've got something very interesting in mind for the reveal.
Best match of the show so far right here, and the drama with that walls of Jericho escape from Edge was kinda the idea I was alluding to earlier for the Hassan/Benjamin match. You did a much better job of adding the drama to the middle of the match here, a definite step up from earlier. You also portrayed that sense of desperateness from both men well, with the quick covers from Edge, the “What do I have to do?” line from Jericho, and of course Edge's treatment of the referees, all really nice touches that added to the drama of the match. Overall, I really enjoyed this match, defo match of the night thus far. Two talented guys with such interesting characters, and you used both very well to deliver a dramatic outcome that had the right winner. Obviously it's onwards and upwards for Edge, with the potential of him cashing in on Batista, but I'm not sure where you'll go with Jericho. Maybe he takes a step back, or maybe we get a rematch at Unforgiven where Edge puts him on the shelf for a while. Who knows, but will be interesting to see where you go with it.
Nice little interatction between Angle and Michaels, with the fact that Michaels didn't offer one single word in response saying plenty about his mind set heading into the match up. Also keeps Angle looking pretty strong, and I guess this adds to the mind games that Cena spoke of earlier. Pretty good job with this one.
While I enjoyed the action in the Lito/Hardy match, I gotta be honest and say I felt it was a bit much to have both men kick out of the other's finisher. It just didn't fit in given the huge matches still to come tonight. Take the previous match where Jericho kicked out of the spear, it worked so well due to the ref bump, but here, it doesn't work as well. I'd have gone for high impact moves in both those spots to give the long nearfalls, and then stuck with your ending, as that worked for me. Plenty of good stuff, some of it very creative, such as the twist of fate counter into the backstabber, but it just really felt out of place for these two to have a match like this at SummerSlam, especially when we'd just seen a pretty dramatic ending to the previous match. Good match, an enjoyable read, right winner, but just too much in this instance. Less would have been more here.
Once again, credit to you for giving a spot on the show to a title feud that didn't make it onto the card. Just serves as another reminder as to how much is going on in the thread right now.
I liked the sense of doubt, almost worry from Batista with regards to Michaels' involvement. Certainly there was defiance and a sense of winning at all costs, but the intrigue was in those words where Batista said he didn't know what kind of impact Michaels would have. Another bit of suspense added to the main event, so this interview certainly served it's purpose.
I wasn't sure about the No Holds Barred stipulation heading into this, and having read the match, I'm still not convinced it was actually needed. Apart from the spot with the DDT onto the chair and Regal going through the table, it really wasn't a No Holds Barred match for me. You could've just gone with a regular match and had Regal slide a chair into the ring for the DDT, or maybe even had Show get pissed off with Regal interfering behind the ref's back and just have him chokeslam Regal through an announce desk. While I liked the fact that Jindrak won, pushing him up the card in a big way, the stipulation really didn't fit the action, especially not for a seven minute match. Jindrak moving forward looks good though, could certainly be a viable challenger to the Intercontinental Title at some point, or maybe even he jumps straight into a feud with Batista.
Great effort with the Flair promo. Probably one of the best promos I've read from you, had everything down to a tee, the passion and the seriousness of the situation, it all came across perfectly. Much, much better stuff right here.
Orton/Taker raised the bar once again, a new match of the night thus far right here. Some really good spots throughout, especially liked the one where Orton escaped the goozle, dropped outside, only to be taken out with the suicide dive. I wasn't sure about that sleeper hold being used so early on, felt a bit early for that spot, especially since we saw it earlier in the night from JBL and Lashley. Orton certainly looked strong early on, which worked nicely with the comeback from Taker. Not so sure about that spot leading into the rope hung DDT, can't ever remember Undertaker taking a back body drop over the top rope and landing on the apron. That just felt really odd to read. Now see, the kicking out of the finishers worked perfectly here, but like I said, in comparison to the Hardy/Carlito match, it didn't work then. But here, perfect use of it. As for the finish, it certainly sounded very creative, if not a bit hard to imagine. I could've done with a bit more description of the how the chokeslam was countered into the RKO, more with regards to how Orton twisted and turned his body into position. But yeah, a great match, a real step up in comparison with the rest of the show so far. A clean win for Orton, one which suggests he could be next in line for a crack at Cena?
Ah well then, I guess there's no doubts about whether or not we'll have a Hardy/Lito rematch. One thing I would say though, there was no reaction from the commentators whatsoever for the attack. I know we went back to the Raw team and JR in specific, but there should have been some form of comment from he and Coach for Carlito's actions.
Fantastic video for the Flair/Christian match to follow. I also like it when other wrestlers give their opinions on a feud, and the way you had even the heels show Flair respect gives a real sense of what's at stake right here. Nice work with that.
As for the match, i gotta admit, I'm stunned at the outcome. Flair at this point still has so much to offer imo, and while Christian can certainly base every promo for the rest of his career on the fact that he was the man to end Ric Flair's career, it's just so amazing to see it happen like this. I for one would have Flair's career end at WrestleMania, it doesn't feel like a SummerSlam moment to me. But anyway, as far as the actual match goes, it all seemed fine early on, very much as expected with Christian taking control, while all the usual Flair spots where in there. The ending was interesting, one thing I would have added was that when Tomko jumped up onto the apron, I would have had Christian tapping in the background unbeknown to the referee. Would have really upped the drama for the inside cradle that followed, which was a very nice spot to go with. And again, with Flair being the dirtiest player in the game and all, perhaps a handful of tights from him on that rollup he went for just afterwards. Just a little touch that would have added a little extra spice to things. Loved the figure four from Christian, I’m sure from you reading my Flair/Kennedy match you’ve gathered I’m a fan of that spot. And another clean victory from a heel. Surprising to say the least, as for some reason I just can’t see it working with the kinda weasel character Christian is, added to the fact that I just didn’t see it happening. Certainly a bold move on your part to end Flair’s career like this... but I surely he’ll be back somehow, right?
Decent enough promo from Kennedy. Could certainly feature as a major player on Raw, although perhaps bringing him in at the main event would be a step too far right now. Christian seems destined to be the next big heel on Raw after that victory.
While Batista/Kane might have the better storyline, this one for me was always going to be the better match to read, and it proved so as I very much enjoyed this one. Again, some nice psychology with Angle targeting the lower back, and I always loved seeing an Angle moonsault. He did them so rarely, any time you seen them it always felt like a monumental moment. Ah, the debut of the STFU, that's pretty cool, and makes sense given Angle's tenancies to use leg submissions that Cena would fire back with one of his own. Again, the use of the kick outs from the finishers worked well here, but I would say you've used the inside cradle an awful lot tonight. Bit more variety next time imo. Holy crap, a top rope FU? That's nuts, but a very momentous way to finish a match... but then, you've gone with the whole Angle having a foot on the bottom rope. Those two really don't work together for me. That was such an impactful move, such a strong way to end things between Angle and Cena, but yet we've still got controversy to give Angle an excuse to keep things going. It just... it just didn't match with a finisher of such magnitude. I really liked the match, but that little post match bit, it's kinda thrown me off a little.
And then add to it the interview from Orton. You're so right to do it, it makes so much sense to have Orton say that given how strong his win was, of course he deserves to be the next challenger. But... we've still the Angle situation to resolve. It just didn't work for me, I'd rather have seen Cena win strongly, and then your next title feud is set up with this interview. Right now, triple threat seems to be the way you're gonna go, but who knows right now?
Main event time, and I loved that opening paragraph. Everything was so well described, it really set the scene for what should be a very intriguing match. Some pretty solid big man back and forth, although the use of the outside and the steel steps in particular worked well here. Nice spot with Batista almost running into Michaels, only to then be caught by Kane. The build and the story leading into the match is certainly coming to the fore thus far in the action. A period of dominance from Kane, made sense, but the way you ended with that spinning spinebuster was really good. Can't say I've seen anyone ever catch Kane off that flying clothesline before, so major props for coming out with something as creative as that. And here comes Bischoff, would be a real sense of poetic justice if he stuck his nose in and wound up screwing his own master plan. You did a few times, but I'd like to have seen more with regards to Bischoff's response to Batista going for covers, hitting impactful moves, etc. The ending was really well done, loved that pinfall where Bischoff ordered the count to stop. The anguish from Michaels was captured very nicely, as was the reaction from Batista, and your use of Bischoff was much better here. Whoa, sweet chin music to Tista... and a kickout!? Crazy stuff. That’ll be a very interesting point of discussion tomorrow night on Raw, although I guess the shove gives Michaels an excuse. Again, ending was perfect with the sweet chin music into the Batista bomb, the last few minutes of the match were so well written, big time credit for that. It perhaps wasn’t the result I was expecting, I thought we’d get Michaels reluctantly doing what Bischoff wanted by handing the title to Kane, but this worked so well and made so much sense.
Overall, a really good show, easily the best you’ve written. As always when I look back on my review, perhaps I’ve been a bit critical, but I gotta stress I really enjoyed ready this. A lot of drama, a lot of sound booking, and a lot of intrigue and suspense going forward. Raw should be a cracker given how SummerSlam went down, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing where you take Christian from here. Keep up the good work buddy.