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CALDWELL'S WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV REPORT 8/19: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Lesnar vs. Triple H, Punk vs. Cena vs. Show

Aug 19, 2012 - 9:49:32 PM

WWE Summerslam PPV Results
August 19, 2012
Live from Los Angeles, Calif.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

PPV Livecast Tonight! Join PWTorch assistant editor James Caldwell & PWTorch columnist Greg Parks (@GregMParks) for a post-PPV PWTorch Livecast at 11:30 p.m. EST on taking your phone calls on the event.


PPV Pre-Show

On the YouTube PPV pre-show, Scott Stanford and Matt Striker introduced the show as people filed into the Staples Center in the background. The announcers then introduced a video package on the WWE Title feud involving WWE champion C.M. Punk, John Cena, and Big Show going back to Punk's title victory at Survivor Series in November 2011.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Big Show for a title match interview. Show said he is a living, breathing giant, not a made-up Hollywood giant. He vowed to obliterate Punk and Cena to become WWE champion.

A -- U.S. champion SANTINO vs. ANTONIO CESARO (w/Aksana) -- U.S. Title match

Cesaro's pre-match Word of the Day was "greatness" in five languages. Santino was out next to face Cesaro and he was not in a joking mood. As the two wrestlers started things off, Striker rhetorically asked what it says about the PPV line-up if a U.S. Title match is being gifted to the audience for free. Well, Matt, it says the U.S. Title's value has been reduced to virtually nothing. Santino wanted an early Cobra strike, but Cesaro knocked the Cobra away to the corner.

The match turned into Santino crawling toward his Cobra, but Cesaro continually cutting him off. Cesaro then ripped the sock apart, drawing a smattering of applause. This angered Santino, who Hulked Up, but missed with a Sailor's Salute drop. Santino then found a back-up Cobra out of his rear, took a whiff, and went for a Strike, but Aksana was on the apron to provide a distraction. Santino then turned around into a gut smash followed by Cesaro's inside-grib flapjack finisher for the pin and the win. Cue up a post-match celebration.

WINNER: Cesaro at 5:08. The comedy caught up to Santino and Step One is complete on WWE potentially re-branding the U.S. Title as a European Title.

Locker room: Triple H was shown preparing for his match against Brock Lesnar before addressing referee Scott Armstrong. Hunter did the "it's about the WWE" ra-ra speech to Armstrong, saying this is bigger than the Armstrong family. Hunter told him to bend the rules a little because this match will not end on a DQ or count-out. He said this will end on a tap-out or pinfall. Scott quietly thought things over, then nodded. Hunter said this will be a fight to a finish. He asked Scott to let them fight.

Video packages: Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio World Title feud and Touts on the Lesnar-Hunter match. Back on commentary, Striker mentioned Mike Tyson tweeting about the match. Stanford then read a tweet from Shawn Michaels telling referee Scott Armstrong to let Hunter and Lesnar fight. This led to a video on Hunter vs. Lesnar to conclude the YouTube PPV pre-show.

Live PPV Results

As tweeted by Chris Jericho before the start of Summerslam, Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler is starting the PPV.

The PPV started with a video package on 25 years of Summerslam documenting historic moments, including Bret and Bulldog in Wembley Stadium, Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in the ladder match, Randy Savage & Liz wedding, Taker vs. Taker, and youngest WWE champions in history (Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar). The video slowed down for a look at Brock Lesnar destroying folks current and past. Included were UFC clips. The video documented the recent Brock-Hunter/Shawn Michaels situation, including Lesnar "breaking" Michaels's arm on Raw before Summerslam. Interesting they did not focus on the WWE Title match in the opening video, focusing on Lesnar-Hunter.

Live from the Staples Center, Michael Cole introduced the show and claimed attendance of 17,482. Cole was joined by Jerry Lawler for commentary. So, no third man in the booth to replace new Smackdown GM Booker T. It appeared that Piers Morgan was on the front row behind Lawler. Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero's voice interrupted to bring out Dolph Ziggler with MITB briefcase in-hand. The announcers recapped how Ziggler acquired the World Title MITB briefcase before the lights went out to bring out Chris Jericho for his PPV farewell-for-now match. Jericho, sporting taped ribs, marched out to the ring to a strong reaction while eyeing Ziggler. They replayed Ziggler's attack on Jericho on Friday's Smackdown before the match started.

1 -- CHRIS JERICHO vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

The bell sounded and Ziggler bailed to the outside as Cole noted Jericho has yet to win a PPV match since returning to WWE in January. After a game of cat-and-mouse, Jericho decked Ziggler with an elbow to the face, then landed right hand blows. Jericho knocked down Ziggler again, then smiled to the crowd before Ziggler cut him off and began targeting the injured ribs. "Y2J" chant before Jericho dumped Ziggler clear over the top rope to the outside. Jericho then cupped his ear and measured Ziggler for a flying attack on the apron, but Ziggler ducked and Jericho crashed to the outside.

Back in the ring, Ziggler covered Jericho for a two count before going on the attack while taunting Jericho that he can't hang with him. Ziggler continued to score nearfalls, drawing screams and shrieks from Vickie ringside. Ziggler cockily placed a boot on Jericho's chest for a pin, drawing a two count. Jericho then came back with Ric Flair chops, but Ziggler cut him off with another blow to the ribs. Cole plugged Jericho's new Fozzy album before Jericho came back with a dropkick and shoulder blocks. Jericho followed with a double axehandle before firing up the crowd. That momentary distraction allowed Ziggler to kick Jericho in the gut again before delivering a Fameasser for a two count.

A "Let's Go Ziggler / Y-2-J" dueling chant picked up at 7:30 as the two men traded control. "Focus!" Vickie shouted at Ziggler. Ziggler then hopped onto Jericho's shoulders to apply a sleeperhold mid-ring. "Finish him!" Vickie shouted. Jericho teased fading out, but got a burst of energy to break free in the corner. Jericho followed with a hard chop, drawing a loud Woooo! from the crowd. They took the fight up top, where Jericho landed Ten Punches before snapping off a huracanrana. This drew applause from the crowd before Jericho slowly, slowly tried a pin, but Ziggler kicked out before three.

At 10:00, the two men reset. Jericho then walked right into Ziggler, who dropped him with a facebuster for a two count. "Y2J" chant from the crowd. Ziggler then blocked a Lionsault with knees to the injured ribs before nailing the Zig-Zag. Cole did the dramatic "it's over" call, which meant Jericho was going to kick out, which happened to a big reaction for the nearfall. Ziggler, beside himself, then walked right into a Codebreaker. Ziggler rolled out of the ring, though, so Jericho couldn't make a pin attempt.

Jericho tried to follow up on the outside, but Vickie held his feet, nearly allowing Ziggler to pin him, but Jericho kicked out just in time. When that didn't work for Ziggler, Jericho followed up moments later with the Walls of Jericho center-ring. Jericho nearly bent Ziggler in-half with the submission and Ziggler was forced to tap out. Vickie was near-tears at her client's loss. Cole and Lawler excitedly said Jericho has indeed won the big one.

WINNER: Jericho via submission at 13:05. Very good PPV opening match with a hot crowd into the action and nearfalls. It gives Jericho a nice PPV send-off before a likely write-off on tomorrow night's Raw. (***)

Announcers: After a Slim Jim commercial aired, Cole and Lawler (with Piers Morgan over their shoulders) were shown on commentary to reset the PPV following the opening match. WWE rolled footage of Brock Lesnar "breaking" Shawn Michaels's arm on Monday's Raw to set the stage for Lesnar vs. Triple H tonight. Cole noted Michaels is not here at Summerslam, but he's watching at home.

Backstage: Brock Lesnar was shown standing by before Matt Striker introduced Lesnar. Paul Heyman was then shown introducing Lesnar. Heyman noted Triple H used his influence earlier tonight to convince a referee to "use his discrection" in their match tonight. Heyman said Lesnar will break Triple H and WWE's spirit tonight. Lesnar pulled the mic to his mouth and said this is a fight Hunter cannot win. Lesnar added two words for Hunter tonight: Tap Out.

In-ring: Back in the arena, Daniel Bryan's music played to start up the "Yes!" chants in Bryan's face. Huge reaction for Bryan's Yes/No gimmick. Bryan got in the face of some ringside fans to engage in a Yes! / No! battle before entering the ring to shout, "No!" at the crowd. Suddenly, Kane's pyro shot off to freak out Bryan mid-rant.


As the bell sounded, Cole recapped the "strange situation" Bryan and Kane have found themselves in with new Raw GM A.J. Lee. Bryan tried to dance around Kane early on before landing "No!" kicks to the leg. Kane then took control of the match as the vocal males started a "Daniel Bryan" chant. Kane suddenly big-booted Bryan in the face for a two count. Bryan replied with a missile dropkick from the top rope, but it was only good for a two count. Bryan then began shaking his head "no" as Cole took a Tiger Woods approach to claiming the crowd is distracting Bryan during his matches.

Bryan landed a series of "No!" kicks, but Kane came back with two big corner clotheslines. Lawler noted A.J. is intently watching this match somewhere before Kane teased a chokeslam, but Bryan escaped and slid under the ropes to slingshot Kane across the top rope. Bryan followed with a slap across the face, which angered Kane. Kane then pounded Bryan down to the corner before washing Bryan's face with his boot. Ref Charles Robinson vowed to DQ Kane, which only angered Kane. Bryan then smashed Kane into the middle turnbuckle before landing a No! kick.

Bryan tried to follow with the No! Lock, but Kane fought it off. So, Bryan kicked him in the head. Bryan shook his head from side to side, drawing "Yes!" chants from the crowd. Bryan freaked out, then climbed up top and tried a flying headbutt, but Kane grabbed him around the throat on the way down. Kane then dropped Bryan with a chokeslam center-ring. But, he didn't make an immediate cover.

Kane stood up and angrily demanded Bryan get up before doing the throat-slash gesture. Kane wanted the Tombstone, but Bryan countered with a small package for the pin and the win. And, Kane's anger got the best of him. Just as quickly as Bryan won, he high-tailed it out of the ring and disappeared to the back. Kane then charged after him as Bryan's music continued to play.

WINNER: Bryan at 8:02. Fine PPV singles match with Bryan involving the crowd throughout before getting a needed singles victory, even if it was via small package. (**1/4)

Announcers: Cole and Lawler reset things and started to transition to Hunter-Lesnar discussion, but WWE cut backstage to show Kane flipping out and sending random people scurrying. Josh Mathews then made the mistake of walking up to Kane for a question, but Kane grabbed Mathews and chucked him over a traveling case. Kane continued to knock over objects in his search of Daniel Bryan before WWE faded to a drunk-driving P.S.A.

In-ring: Rey Mysterio made his entrance first for the Intercontinental Title match. Rey was dressed in an all-black Batman outfit with 619 written down the side of his black pants. As Cole noted Rey is near his hometown of San Diego, Rey saluted all of the kids wearing Mysterio masks ringside before removing his cape in the ring. Cole and Lawler debated Rey's Batman-inspired outfit before The Miz's music played to bring out the IC champ. And, the blow-up "AWESOME" bubble letters are back. No pre-match promo from Miz, who marched to the ring as the announcers talked about Miz's movie role in Marine 3.

3 -- IC champ THE MIZ vs. REY MYSTERIO -- Intercontinental Title match

"Flustered" was Jerry Lawler's Word of the Day to describe Miz's early demeanor in the match. Cole then read a tweet from A.J. Lee that she will deal with Kane placing his hands on a WWE announcer on Raw tomorrow night. Mysterio continued to fluster Miz with his quickness in and out of the ring, but Miz came back with a wheelbarrow slam into the ringside barrier. Back in the ring, Miz made a cover for a nearfall.

Miz continued the attack as Cole noted all WWE people interviewed by Miz for a YouTube video picked Rey to win this match. Miz followed with a corner attack before cockily posing for the crowd. The delay allowed Rey to crotch Miz as Miz tried to climb to the top turnbuckle. Rey then slowly climbed up top and landed a seated splash. He tried to follow by climbing up Miz's upper body into a head scissors, but Miz bounced Rey off the ropes into a seated powerbomb for a two count. Nice sequence, but Miz only scored a two count. Rey came back with a swift kick to the shoulder for a two count.

At 7:00, Rey spun Miz around like a top into a DDT for a two count. Rey slowly climbed to the top turnbuckle to follow up, but Miz cut him off. Rey and Miz battled before Rey headbutted Miz to the mat and landed a head scissors that sent Miz flying to the middle rope for a 619. Rey tried to follow with a top-rope splash, but Miz did a sit-up to avoid. Miz then followed with a Skullcrushing attempt, but Rey countered with a quick pin for a close two count that popped the crowd.

At 9:00, Miz and Rey slowly reached their feet and Miz sent Rey flying into the top turnbuckle. Rey then rebounded right into Miz, who dropped him with the Skullcrushing Finale. Miz with the pin for the win to retain the IC Title. Cole said Miz just knocked off one of the all-time greats, leading to Lawler giving Miz his due for the clean victory.

WINNER: Miz at 9:09 to retain the IC Title. Nice singles match; the duo has very good in-ring chemistry. Miz needed a nice, clean PPV spotlight victory on his Comeback Tour and this was the right setting and opponent. (**1/2)

Backstage: Teddy Long was shown talking to Eve outside of Raw GM A.J. Lee's office. They walked off, then C.M. Punk walked up to the door and walked inside. A.J. was waiting for Punk with a big smile on her face. Punk claimed he was in an unfair situation having to defend the WWE Title against two opponents tonight, then accused A.J. of booking him in this match because he humiliated her on Raw a few weeks ago. A.J. then entered Crazy Mode, ignoring Punk. Punk said he doesn't appreciate being disrespected. He said he will prove he is the best in the world tonight. Then, tomorrow night on Raw, everyone will be forced to show him respect. A.J. continued to gaze off into la-la land, so Punk frustratingly walked off. She maintained her look after Punk left.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler set the stage for Sheamus vs. Del Rio for the World Title up next.


In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez provided a formal ring introduction for Alberto Del Rio, who drove up to ringside in a new Ferrari. Cole noted it's not the same one Sheamus took on a joy-ride around San Antonio two weeks ago. Cole recapped Del Rio winning his first WWE Title at Summerslam last year and said Del Rio hopes to win his first World Title tonight. As Del Rio entered the ring, Cole noted this title match nearly did not happen due to Del Rio's actions two weeks ago, but Sheamus demanded the match be re-instated. Lawler said he hopes Sheamus doesn't live to regret that. After a pause, Sheamus's music played to bring out the World champ. Sheamus was sporting a red cast over his right arm to sell the effects of Del Rio's attacks on TV before the PPV.

4 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- World Title match

Aggressive start to the match, then Sheamus and Del Rio simultaneously spilled over the top rope to the outside. Sheamus punched Del Rio in the shoulder, then stomach, then face before rolling Del Rio back into the ring. Sheamus was slow re-entering, so Del Rio popped him in the face with a kick. The battle moved to the top turnbuckle, where Del Rio ripped off the turnbuckle padding trying to avoid a powerbomb. Del Rio then dropkicked Sheamus off the ring apron to the floor.

On the outside, Del Rio rammed Sheamus into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Del Rio came off the top rope with a flying double-slap to the face. Del Rio slowed things down as Ricardo yelled at fans ringside, then Sheamus came back with headbutts, but Del Rio kneed Sheamus in the gut. Del Rio began mocking Sheamus by pounding his chest and shouting, "Brogue!" before measuring Sheamus for some sort of move, but Sheamus easily cut him off. However, Del Rio sent Sheamus shoulder-first into the ringpost to recover. Del Rio then nailed a fallaway armbreaker from the second rope, targeting Sheamus's injury, for a two count.

At 8:00, Del Rio abruptly nailed a rolling cross arm-breaker center-ring. The crowd popped for a teased finish as Del Rio yanked on his submission finisher, but Sheamus offered a Feat of Strength using one good arm and two legs to power to his feet and lift Del Rio into the air for a bodyslam. Sheamus followed with White Noise, but Del Rio kicked out in-time. With the crowd fully invested now, Sheamus set up for the Brogue Kick center-ring, but Del Rio ran away. So, Sheamus grabbed Del Rio in the ropes and landed ten big forearm strikes to the chest. Sheamus tried Ten Punches, but Del Rio ducked underneath and dropped Sheamus on the top turnbuckle. Del Rio then hit an enziguiri in the corner, but Sheamus kicked out in-time. Ricardo sold the nearfall by freaking out on the ring apron. Del Rio, angry, yanked Ricardo into the ring and pulled a Tensai on Sakamoto.

Suddenly, Ricardo tried to throw his shoe toward Del Rio, but it was an errant toss and Sheamus caught the shoe to smash Del Rio in the face with it. Sheamus followed with the Irish Curse backbreaker and pinned Del Rio as Del Rio appeared to put his foot on the bottom rope. There was confusion over the finish, as Sheamus's music didn't play and the crowd booed. Lilian Garcia then announced Sheamus as the winner and Sheamus took his title belt and left. Afterward, they replayed the finish, which showed Sheamus pinning Del Rio for two, Del Rio putting his foot on the bottom rope before three, and Sheamus knocking Del Rio's foot off the bottom rope after the pinfall. Back live, Sheamus headed to the back before Del Rio angrily left the ring after arguing with the ref.

WINNER: Sheamus at 11:22 to retain the World Title. Slow start, then a sudden burst of greatness, then an awkward finish. This was better than previous Sheamus-Del Rio installments, but there does not need to be another installment. (**1/2)

Announcers: Cole and Lawler promoted Night of Champions next time WWE is on PPV, then Cole referenced Piers Morgan sitting behind them and Piers having a war-of-words with Mike Tyson over who will win Hunter vs. Brock tonight. Cole then went to Hunter's PPV pre-show exchange with ref Scott Armstrong about the match ending via pinfall or submission only tonight. Back live at the announce table, Cole read another tweet from Shawn Michaels about Lesnar-Hunter tonight.

In-ring: Prime Time Players came out next for the Tag Title match. No mention of their former manager, A.W., before WWE replayed events from Monday's Raw when the PTPers took out WWE tag champion R-Truth while Kofi Kingston was returning from WWE's Asia tour. Back live, Truth and Kofi came out selling intensity and readiness for their Tag Title defense.


In the opening minutes, some of the Lakers fans chanted, "Kobe Bryant," apparently referring to A.W. getting himself in hot water that contributed to his firing. The PTP'ers used the tag champs's over-aggressiveness against them early on. Titus and Young then isolated Kofi, prompting a "Kofi, Kofi" chant from the crowd. Cole said it's only a matter of time until the Players put this one way, which gave away that they wouldn't. A loud "Let's Go Kofi" chant was quieted by Titus, who slowed down Kofi and taunted the crowd.

A slow clap finally got Kofi free from Titus, then Truth took a hot tag. Truth smacked Young, who also tagged in. The action broke down moments later before Kofi skinned the cat back into the ring to send Titus to the floor. Kofi followed with a big cross-body splash to the outside. Back in the ring, Young wanted his finisher on Truth, but Truth slipped out, then hit Little Jimmy for the pin and the win. Afterward, Kofi and Truth celebrated as the PTP'ers regrouped on the floor.

WINNERS: Kofi & Truth at 7:07 to retain the WWE Tag Titles. Basic, mid-PPV match to bridge the gap from the big matches in the first-half of the card to the Main Events in the second-half. (*1/2)

Summerslam video: WWE documented Summerslam Weekend in Los Angeles and various mainstream media coverage of the event.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler reset the show, then promoted the WWE Title match up next. Even with top star John Cena in the title match, it's not the main event. This led to a lengthy video package on the Cena-Punk-Big Show issues leading to the PPV. The video ended with Punk's words on not being disrespected.

In-ring: John Cena's music played first to a loud mixed reaction. Cena, still in his Celtics green color scheme, bounced up and down on-stage before charging the ring to a loud mix of boos and cheers. Once his music stopped in the ring, the boos were heard more than the cheers. Cena smiled at the crowd, then Big Show's music played to bring out the other challenger. As Cena and Show waited in the ring, Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk dressed in dark pink tights and pink boots. Cole said if Punk's title reign lasts another week, he'll pass Cena, JBL, and Yokozuna. The crowd was hot for Punk as Lawler noted the crowd doesn't lack respect for Punk.

6 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. JOHN CENA vs. BIG SHOW -- WWE Title three-way match

As the bell sounded, Cole said he thinks Punk has a case for feeling disrespected because the last time he main-evented a PPV was in December 2011. Show quickly took control of the match, using his size advantage. The crowd picked up a dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" as Lawler said perhaps that's why Punk was trying to talk to A.J. earlier in the night to get a main event slot. Of course, that brings up the question of whether Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar is in the bounds of the General Managers or subject to the Invisible WWE Hand. In the ring, Punk and Cena each tried their hand at chopping down Show, but Show delivered an emphatic double suplex. Cena then rolled out of the ring and Show tried to bounce the ropes to deck Punk, but Punk intercepted with a dropkick to the knees to take Show off his feet.

Punk fired off a round of kicks and warmed up the crowd for the GTS, but Show slipped off Punk's back and slapped Punk aside. Cena suddenly re-entered and had Show up for the AA, but Punk kicked Cena in the back to break it up. Punk, selling the effects of trying to lift Show on his back, was quickly knocked to the floor by Show. Show then stood on Punk's back before landing a punch to the gut, followed by a giant hand-chop to the chest. Show teased the KO Punch on Punk, but Cena cut off Show, only to run into a giant spear for a two count.

At 6:00, Show stacked up Cena and Punk in the corner. Show slowly climbed to the second rope for a giant Vader Bomb, but Punk moved and Cena ate the splash. Show covered Cena, but Punk springboard smashed Show to break up the pin. Show, unfazed, ran Punk clear over the top rope to the floor before re-targeting Cena on the other side of the floor. However, Show got caught in the numbers game and found himself at Cena's mercy back in the ring. Cena wanted the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Punk cut him off. Punk then climbed to the top turnbuckle and came off the top with a flying elbow to Show for a two count when Show press-slammed Punk across the ring. Punk tried to follow with a vice submission on Show, but Show uncoiled Punk and punched him away.

At 10:00, Cena re-entered the ring and delivered a shoulder block to Show before trying to apply the STF. However, Show powered to his feet with Cena on his back and ran Cena into the corner. Cena then ate a bodyslam as Cole noted Show remains dominant. Show turned around and suddenly ate a springboard clothesline from Punk. Punk followed with a corner knee, then another, and a third. A running bulldog didn't work, so Cena came off the top with a guillotine to Show. However, Punk tried to take advantage with a Vice. Suddenly, Cena applied an STF on Show. Punk and Cena had simultaneous submissions on Show and Show tapped out, surprising the crowd.

WINNER: ? at 11:24.

After the bell sounded, Cena and Punk both celebrated the victory as the crowd waited for a decision. The ref tried to figure out what to do, then A.J.'s music played. A.J. skipped out to the ring, grabbed a mic, and interrupted the argument between Punk and Cena. A.J. smiled as Punk told her to do the right thing. A.J. milked the situation and didn't speak. Punk told A.J. to listen to the crowd, then she suddenly said, "Restart the match."

After the restart, Punk and Cena frustratingly kicked the ropes, then turned around and ate a double chokeslam from Show. Show covered Cena, but Cena kicked out. Show then covered Punk, but Punk kicked out. After a reset, Show teased the KO Punch, but Cena ducked and nailed the AA. Suddenly, Punk threw Cena out of the ring and covered Show for the house show three-way match pin to win and retain the title.

Post-match: Cena sold disbelief ringside as Punk celebrated in the ring. Cole said Cena did all the work and Punk still won the match. Lawler said he doesn't think Punk earn Cena's respect tonight. Cena started to walk away as they replayed the double pin before the eventual finish with Punk surviving under triple threat rules. Back live, Punk was on the top rope shouting down at Cena that he's still the champ while Cena sold frustration ringside. Cena just shook his head as Punk did Cena's hand wave. Punk then cockily posed in the ring as WWE went back to a shot of Cena selling frustration ringside. Cena shook his head as Punk continued to gloat in the ring, then ringside.

WINNER: Punk at 12:34 to retain the WWE Title. Short for a PPV WWE Title match and it seems like there have been better and longer matches featuring these three on free TV as of late. The finish sets up Cena-Punk at Night of Champions next month in Cena's hometown and Punk's post-match celebration added fuel to the fire for the Cena Fans portion of WWE's audience who don't like Punk. (**1/2)

Walk of Fame: WWE showed a clip of three young people walking up to Vince McMahon's star on the Walk of Fame. Back in the arena, WWE showed Piers Morgan ringside, then Fred Durst, who flipped off the camera, and Rick Rubin, sporting a giant beard. Next was David Arquette with his WCW Title belt, then Maria Menounos, who was sporting a Bob Backlund, t-shirt. Cole then fed to a video trailer for WWE Studios's "The Day" movie. Back live, WWE pointed out cast members from The Day ringside. Cole then narrated a video package on Antonio Cesaro capturing the U.S. Title from Santino on the PPV pre-show.

On-stage: Kevin Rudolf was introduced to perform the official Summerslam theme song. WWE tried to find select fans in the crowd singing along. Justin Roberts was shown ringside doing the Macarena with Lilian Garcia. The WWE Divas then got their PPV appearance coming out on-stage to dance. Included was Rosa Mendes returning to TV following her domestic dispute situation two weeks ago. Cole was then shown acting like an idiot dancing on Lawler's shoulder.

Announcers: After Rudolf wrapped things up, Cole continued his produced ridiculousness saying there is a "tornado warning" in Los Angeles...because Brock Lesnar is here tonight. Cole and Lawler then fed to a lengthy video package documenting the build-up to Lesnar vs. Hunter tonight, going back to when Lesnar made "ridiculous demands" trying to "hold WWE hostage."

Back live, Brock Lesnar's music played to bring out Lesnar to a mixed reaction of cheers, awe, and boos. Lesnar emerged on-stage sporting his UFC red and black trunks, UFC gloves, and black boots while Paul Heyman followed behind. Cole noted Lesnar's history that led him back to WWE, including a UFC reference. Lawler said he likes to watch body language and facial expressions when a guy comes out for a fight and Lesnar doesn't appear to be as sure as he usually appears to be. Meanwhile, Heyman stood by smiling as he watched his client pace around the ring.

After a pause, Triple H's music played and Lesnar continued to pace around the ring. Hunter walked out on-stage with his upper body hunched up to match Lesnar's upper body. Hunter made his way to ringside as Lesnar glared at him standing near the ropes. Hunter then cautiously stood on the ring apron and did his water-spew entrance as Lesnar stood in the background. Hunter completed his entrance, then locked eyes with Lesnar, who continued to pump his feet in the corner. The lights were lowered like a Lakers game/boxing fight for formal ring introductions from Justin Roberts, then WWE returned to normal lighting before the bell sounded.

7 -- BROCK LESNAR (w/Paul Heyman) vs. TRIPLE H -- No DQ, No Count-out match

Once the bell sounded, Lesnar charged Hunter and drove him to the corner, where Hunter fought back with right hands. Lesnar teased the kimura lock early, but Hunter fought it off. Hunter then knocked Lesnar to the outside and Lesnar angrily glared up at Hunter. Lesnar returned to the ring and Hunter again clotheslined Lesnar to the floor. "This is WWE, not UFC!" Hunter shouted down at Lesnar, continuing WWE's and Hunter's fantasy trying to prove he's a tougher fighter than any UFC fighter. After Lesnar paced ringside, he re-entered the ring and slowly removed his UFC gloves to reveal his bare hands. Lesnar then smashed Hunter across the back of the head, sending Hunter reeling to the floor. On the floor, Lesnar lifted up Hunter and dropped Hunter across the announce table, targeting the left arm that he "injured" months ago. Back in the ring, Lesnar bounced up and down and called out to Hunter to get back in the ring.

Hunter slowly re-entered the ring, where Lesnar teased the kimura lock, but Hunter reached the ropes to avoid. Lesnar continued the assault, though, and Hunter sold pain as he recovered in the corner. Lesnar teased an F5, but Hunter slipped off Lesnar's back, only to take a German Suplex from Lesnar. The camera zoomed in on a trickle of blood coming down from Lesnar's nose as Lesnar smiled. Lesnar then stomped on Hunter's injured left arm before bodyslamming Hunter on his injured arm. "This is your house!" Heyman shouted at Lesnar from ringside.

At 8:00, Hunter slipped out of the ring to recover, but Lesnar followed out and whipped Hunter into the ring steps. Lesnar then showed off his athleticism leaping off the ring steps with a flying smash to Hunter's back. Back in the ring, Lesnar tried a roll-up of all things for a two count. The crowd, which was quiet here, booed lightly. Lesnar then clubbed Hunter with a big clothesline before smiling for the hard camera. Lawler said it feels like Lesnar could end this match at any time, then Hunter countered a suplex with a suplex of his own. Hunter tried to get the crowd back with a Pedigree tease, but Lesnar countered and sent Hunter flying to the outside.

On the outside, Hunter grabbed Lesnar by shorts and sent Lesnar gut-first into the edge of the announce table. Lesnar sold pain from the impact of the blow to his mid-section, then Hunter punched him in the gut again. Lesnar cried out that it's stomach, which led to Cole referencing Lesnar's history of serious stomach issues. Cole said perhaps Hunter has found a weakness in Lesnar, who very slowly rolled back into the ring. Hunter then followed up with knees to the gut as Heyman sold concern ringside. As Lesnar sold doubled-over in pain, Hunter grappled him for a spinebuster. Hunter wanted the Pedigree, but Lesnar countered with an F5 tease. Hunter blocked, though, and nailed the Pedigree center-ring. Hunter covered, but Lesnar kicked out of the Pedigree.

Lesnar remained doubled-over in pain as Hunter teased another Pedigree, but Lesnar low-blowed Hunter. Heyman shouted at ref Armstrong that this is the fight Hunter wanted, so Armstrong did not call for the bell on a DQ. Lesnar then scooped up Hunter and delivered an F5 center-ring. Lesnar covered Hunter, but Triple H returned the favor by kicking out of Lesnar's finisher. Of note, the pops for the kick-outs from the finishers were not as strong as you would expect from the crowd. For his next move, Lesnar applied the kimura lock, but Hunter reached the ropes for leverage to break the hold using right hand strikes.

Lesnar and Hunter reset at 18:00, then Hunter measured Lesnar and nailed a Pedigree. Heyman screamed at Lesnar to wake up, then Lesnar suddenly snapped onto Hunter with a kimura lock as Hunter went for a pin. This one got a reaction from the crowd as Lesnar locked the hold in tighter. Heyman jumped up and down ringside as Hunter fought the hold, but had to tap out, giving Lesnar the win.

Post-match: Lesnar slowly rolled out of the ring, then slowly walked around ringside favoring his arm. As medics tended to Triple H in the ring, they replayed Lesnar forcing Hunter to tap out. Back live, Lesnar was shown on top of the stage smiling as Hunter continued to be tended to in the ring. After Lesnar's music stopped, they showed Hunter still selling the effects in the ring. He was left alone in the ring as the crowd sat stunned. The ringside doctor tried to help Hunter again, but Hunter shoved him away. "You tapped out" chant from the vocal males as Hunter slowly stood up and spit down at the mat. Hunter shook his head, then the mainstream crowd applauded him as Hunter got the post-match sympathy. "I'm sorry," Hunter mouthed before the mainstream crowd chanted, "Triple H." Hunter then slowly left the ring and stopped at a small child to tell him he's sorry.

In the middle of the stage, Hunter turned around and lowered his head to say he's sorry. Hunter sold tears as Cole wondered aloud if this is the end of Triple H. Hunter, with his arm by his side, slowly made his way to the top of the stage as credits flashed on the screen. Lawler quietly said, "I think...I think he just said good-bye," as the PPV ended at 9:49.

WINNER: Lesnar via submission at 18:45. This was different than the Lesnar-Cena spectacle fight in April when Cena was a human punching bag before Lesnar succumbed to Cena in the end. This felt more like a wrestling match masquerading as a fight and the crowd didn't know how to accept it, so they didn't hit the highs they may have been able to hit if this were positioned in the middle of the PPV when the crowd wasn't worn out. At the end of the day, WWE went with Option B on the finish, with Lesnar scoring the win to avoid becoming the highest-paid PPV jobber in wrestling history, but Hunter getting the sympathy after the match. WWE went a step further with a retirement tease for Hunter, which seems to set up the Next Chapter for a potential Hunter-Lesnar re-match or some sort of angle leading to a "WrestleMania redemption" match for Hunter following his two losses to Undertaker on the past two WrestleManias. (**1/2)


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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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