Monday, July 22, 2024

The History of WWE SummerSlam (2010)

WWE catches lightning in a bottle, and then throws it away....

SummerSlam '10 - Staples Center - 8/15/10

This here is what you call a one-match card.  The summer of 2010 belonged to the WWE-Nexus feud, and it culminated in a huge elimination tag match at SummerSlam (this probably should've happened at Survivor Series, but whatever).  The match was so big there was little room left on the card for an undercard.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston opened the show, and these two worked well as always.  Unfortunately the Nexus interfered seven minutes in and the match was thrown out.  So pretty pointless.

Melina vs. Alicia Fox had the obligatory forgettable Divas Title match.  The Divas division was still full of interchangeable model types who swapped the belt back and forth like a tube of sunblock.

CM Punk went from new headliner in 2009 to fodder for The Big Show in 2010.  Show beat Punk's entire Straight Edge Society (a fantastic gimmick that never got the respect it deserved) in a 3-on-1 handicap match.  Always a great idea to have three people lose to one.  Does wonders for the three.

A forgettable WWE Title match was next as Randy Orton challenged Sheamus.  These two had worked together before and they would again.  Only one of their matches really clicked for me and this wasn't it (Hell in a Cell 2010 - check it out).  This was the second Championship match on the card to end with a DQ of some kind, which further made the undercard feel phoned in.

Look how spiky Sheamus's hair was.  Kinda looks like Sonic.

Kane vs. Rey Mysterio was next, in a huge mismatch of styles.  Rey had a nice little match with Taker earlier in the year, but this failed to live up to that one.  Yet another Kane-Taker feud followed this show and made millions drowsy.

The main event managed to save this PPV from being a complete waste, as Team WWE assembled a helluva cast of characters.  John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho, Bret Hart, John Morrison, R-Truth, and surprise partner Daniel Bryan (fresh off his token firing for choking Justin Roberts with his tie) took on Wade Barrett's Nexus team (or the cast of NXT season 1) in an epic elimination match.  I've always been a sucker for this type of match (as you'll see in November when I roll out The History of Survivor Series), so this main event was a lot of fun.  It was amazing to see a) Daniel Bryan's fan reaction when he came back, and b) that he eliminated two Nexus guys.  The match of course boiled down to Cena vs. two Nexus members, and SuperCena beat them both.  This was absolutely the wrong ending given its place in the ongoing angle.  If Cena was going to overcome the odds to defeat the Nexus, this match should've happened in November.  Booking 101 states that a new heel faction that lays siege to the entire company can't lose in its first outing.  The Nexus was pretty much damaged goods after this, and despite Barrett being pushed as a top WWE contender he was never seen as that big a threat, nor was he quite ready to headline PPVs as a singles star.  The "John Cena must join The Nexus" angle followed this and was quite idiotic.  Even worse was the "John Cena gets fired" angle, where as I recall he was off TV for exactly zero weeks.

Oh it is ON!

Had Team Nexus won here the feud could've continued as a larger team-based angle and would've been infinitely better than what we got.  But at least Daniel Bryan was back and poised for some pretty good things.

In case I haven't made it clear, SummerSlam 2010 is notable only for its main event.  The undercard is basically RAW-quality and can be skipped entirely.

2010 seemed to be a year where WWE was stubbornly clinging to its own formula of what makes a new superstar.  On NXT Daniel Bryan was the clear favorite to win but instead they jobbed him out for months and gave the 6'5" Wade Barrett the big push (so ironic to see where the two of them are on the card now).  Sheamus, like Barrett, was more or less forced down everyone's throats with similarly lackluster results.  CM Punk spent most of 2010 on the losing end of several low-profile feuds while Cena and Orton continued to headline, and Kane was inexplicably given a new Title run.  The company needed to start listening to its audience, but they wouldn't realize it until the following year.

Best Match: Team WWE vs. Team Nexus
Worst Match: Melina vs. Alicia Fox
What I'd Change: Obviously The Nexus should've gone over here.  Also why would you ruin a good I-C Title match?  Also, why couldn't Orton vs. Sheamus have had a real finish?
Most Disappointing Match: Ziggler vs. Kingston
Most Pleasant Surprise: The return of Daniel Bryan
Overall Rating: 3/10
Better than WrestleMania XXVI? - Not by a longshot.


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