On Sunday, the WWE will present SummerSlam on pay-per-view, live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. SummerSlam is arguably the second-biggest professional wrestling event of the year, behind WrestleMania. (A strong argument could be made for Royal Rumble as the No. 2 show.)
If you've been watching wrestling this summer following WrestleMania, then you know that it's been largely horrible. If you haven't been watching wrestling this summer, then I applaud you and invite you to read no further, for fear you will begin to bleed out of the tear ducts and have your soul sucked into the abyss (not the wrestler Abyss; don't be gross).
Still here? Yikes. Okay. Well, we here are SB Nation will be doing a liveblog of the event on Sunday night as it takes place, but before that happens, let's run down the card by telling you what you can expect from SummerSlam.
Brock Lesnar Vs. Triple H Will Be Brought To You By Jack Links Jerky
Yep, Brock Lesnar. Good ol' Bork Laser. Good ol' Bort Lautner. Crazy ol' Bert Listerine. Whatever you want to call him, he retired from MMA after his guts fell out, so now he's back in the WWE and pretending to break people's arms. Because he's an MMA guy and that's what they do. Or whatever.
Earlier this summer, Lesnar "broke" the "arm" of "Triple H," which has now led to this fight, which is supposedly the main event of SummerSlam. The build-up to this match has taken three months, has had about 45 minutes dedicated to hyping it each week and has included a whopping three appearances by Bret Lasington himself. In his last appearance on RAW prior to SummerSlam, Lesnar "broke" the "arm" of "Shawn Michaels," so you know he means business.
Big business! When Brock returned to the WWE, he wrestled his first match back (and so far, his only match back) wearing his old MMA-style board shorts and looking like "MMA guy Brock Lesnar" rather than "wrestleguy Brock Lesnar." The most amazing thing about all of this is that, true to MMA form, Brock has a non-WWE sponsor on his shorts. That sponsor? Jack Links Jerky. Because when you get diverticulitis due to your awful diet, you should cram as much jerky as possible down deep into your colon.
Anyway, we'll all be giggling at the big JACK LINKS JERKY ad on Brock Lesnar's butt or crotch or wherever and hope that gets us through what is likely to be an awful, awful match. This is your main event!
People Refer To John Cena As 'A First-Ballot Hall Of Famer'
The biggest title fight on the card will have WWE Champion CM Punk taking on John Cena and the Big Show in a Triple Threat Match, which means that the first person to write, act AND direct wins the title!
Oh wait, sorry, no.
CM Punk is a bad guy now, maybe. The Big Show is also a bad guy now. That means John Cena is Alone Against The Odds! Oh no!
Everyone knows that John Cena always beats the odds. Always. He has been in matches before where it's him against eight guys that are allowed to use bats and chairs and knives and stuff. He gets whaled on for like 10 minutes, then he'll haul his big fleshy body up and jump into someone jorts-first and then win the match. It's dumb. It's played out. Everyone hates it. Stop it.
But this match isn't really worth talking about. It's just kind of there. One of these three guys will win. Big whoop. What I'm more intrigued by is that the WWE.com preview of this match refers to both John Cena and Big Show as "first-ballot Hall of Famers."
There's -- there's no "ballot" to the WWE Hall of Fame. Every year, Vince McMahon decides who is getting in based on
- who lives close to where WrestleMania is that year
- who he doesn't currently have a blood-feud with over cocaine money or jumping ship to a rival company in the 1980s
- whether a person has achieved a modicum of success in the WWF or WWE AND
- isn't dead
That's it. The extent of the criteria is "whose name Vince screams out at the Hall of Fame meeting while blasting his pecs via butterfly presses." There's never even been a storyline-mention of a "ballot." In the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, they just say, "here's who's getting into the Hall of Fame this year!" and the viewers are like, oh hey, I do remember Faarooq!
True story: Pete Rose is in the WWE Hall of Fame. (It's not a real place.)
Spoiler: Burritos Might Make You Go To The Bathroom!
This item literally contains a SPOILER from Tuesday's taping of Friday night's episode of SmackDown!, so read on with care. World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus will fight Alberto Del Rio for the title in a match that is the culmination of about a month of casual racism on the part of good guy Sheamus, who took great pains to point out that Del Rio is from Mexico where they eat Mexican food and OH MAN POOPS.
Sheamus stole Del Rio's car and ate a burrito and possibly pooped on Alberto Del Rio's car and yep let's just move on and hope this match ends quickly and I never have to say anything else about this feud ever again.
Chris Jericho Vs. Dolph Ziggler Might Be The Only Good Match
I don't even know what's going on here or why exactly these guys are fighting, but Dolph Ziggler is pretty much exactly who Chris Jericho was in 1999. He's the Internet darling who is insanely good at his job and makes people boo him because he pretends to be cocky. This will be a good match between two good wrestlers. Maybe that's not "amusing" or whatever, but this is the only match on the show that I can't objectively look and say, "This might turn out terrible!"
Which means that this will probably turn out terrible. But Dolph Ziggler wears pink and wiggles his butt a lot so at least there's that.
There Will Be So Much Padding During This Show
There are only eight matches on this show. One of those eight matches takes place before the actual pay-per-view, on YouTube and Facebook. Which means that we're either:
a) going to get treated to a lot of on-the-fly matches like a Divas battle royale, or a match where Ryback comes out and wrestles four guys at once (Who's "Ryback," you ask? He's the latest guy that they're trying to make into an unstoppable monster. He's a mash-up of Goldberg's physique and Rob Van Dam's tights.)
b) going to get treated to a lot of insanely insufferable backstage "antics." Some examples of things that entire backstage segments have been devoted to this year:
- a lady who can't stop farting
- a fake Italian searching for the fake Three Stooges
- a racist leprechaun
- a burn victim secretly watching people in the bathroom
... Okay, out of context, that all sounds awesome, but trust me, it was all terrible.
Yep, Kane Is Still Wrestling
Kane is going to wrestle against Daniel Bryan, who is great. Bryan was stood up at the altar by A.J., who was also pretending to be infatuated with Kane at the time. Now she's the general manager of Raw and SmackDown!, but I guess these two guys still need to fight.
Kane is probably the most-beloved wrestler who has never been particularly good or compelling and has never won anything of significance or held the top title for any notable length of time. People friggin' love Kane. He's the Jake Locker of pro wrestling. You either get one half of that joke or the other, so best of luck with that.
You Shouldn't Announce That You Think Rey Mysterio Is Cool Until You See How He's Dressed
If you're going to be watching SummerSlam with your friends, and they announce that the Intercontinental Championship match between The Miz and Rey Mysterio is coming up, you may have the overwhelming urge to say something like:
"Oh man! Rey Mysterio! That guy is awesome!"
Now, you will technically be correct in thinking this, but you're going to want to hold onto that impulse as hard as you can until Rey-Rey actually comes out to the ring. Because while Mysterio is very cool, he often makes costuming decisions that make him look like the BIGGEST, DUMBEST, LAMEWAD that has ever lamed a lame. You confessing your undying devotion to the dude is going to make you look like a massive doofus (even to wrestling fans) if Mysterio comes out to the ring dressed like a hedgehog riding a tricycle, or like Mary Poppins fighting Voldemort, or -- and this is probably the overwhelming favorite here -- like Bane from The Dark Knight Rises.
Mysterio has dressed like a wide range of stupid things over the years, from an approximation of Heath Ledger's Joker to a conquistador or whatever to a giant, squawking condor. Don't hitch your wagon to this guy prematurely, because when he rolls up to the ring dressed like a unicorn, you don't want to catch that kind of razzing.
During The Tag Title Match, You Will Realize You Don't Know Who Any Of These People Are
Okay, you might know who R-Truth is. MAYBE you'll be familiar with Kofi Kingston. Those two guys are the tag champs. But you have no idea who the Prime Time Players are. Titus O'Neil and Darren Young are entertaining, but you don't care. If this match goes longer than five minutes, I'll eat my hat. By which I mean my H.A.T.: Ham, Avocado and Tomato sandwich. Delicious. I care way, WAY more about that sandwich than I do about this match and you should, too.
You Might Get To See A Stupidly Strong Guy Do Strong Things While Fighting A Guy With A Sock On His Arm
No, I'm not talking about Mark Henry. Antonio Cesaro is a guy who formerly wrestled on the indies as Claudio Castagoli and he's kind of a freak of nature. (Ahem, wink, nudge, cough.) He is at his best when he's manhandling smaller guys. What luck! He's wrestling comedic-relief wrestler and United States champion Santino Marella on the pre-show. Marella's finishing move is putting a green sock on his arm and pretending his arm has literally become a snake. Why the hell do you watch wrestling, you weirdo?
Sunday's pre-show starts at 7:30 p.m. ET on YouTube.com/WWE and on Facebook. The pay-per-view begins at 8 p.m. ET. Come on back to SB Nation on Sunday night beginning with the pre-show, where myself and Spencer Hall and Jason Kirk will be live-blogging the event and suffering along with all the rest of you. It'll be a party!
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