WWE: SummerSlam 2013 – DVD/BluRay Review

Emanating from the Staples Centre in Los Angeles for the fifth consecutive year, the WWE’s biggest card of the summer had a real feel good factor heading into it, with Daniel Bryan getting a headline shot against John Cena for the WWE Championship and Brock Lesnar making one of his periodic returns to the company to face CM Punk.

But could the event live up to the promise?

To a large extent it could, especially if you focus on the three biggest matches on the card.

The World Heavyweight Championship match between Alberto Del Rio and Christian may not have had the hype nor the expectation of the two main events but it always promised to be something good given the two talents in the ring.

A mini-masterpiece of great psychology, hard hitting blows and ingenuous reversals this had the crowd on their feet for the duration and was one in the eye for those who reckon Del Rio is boring or those in power who simply don’t think Christian doesn’t have it at World Title level. Fantastic match that might have stolen the whole show if given a few more minutes.

However the match that did steal the whole show for me was the clash between CM Punk and Brock Lesnar, which I would go as far as saying was the best match in the WWE so far this year. For a start it had a better build up that anything else we’ve seen all year and the match surpassed even that. It was totally believable that the comparatively slender Punk was able to go toe-to-toe with his much larger foe given the way the match was set out and the way the two executed everything.

Of course the majority of the credit will undoubtedly be placed at Punk’s feet given he’s “the best in the world” (APPARENTLY) but Lesnar was superb here too. There wasn’t a step out of place in the match and even Paul Heyman’s interference added something to it all, rather than draining any momentum. Although it’s plainly not going to happen given his contract, you can’t help but wish there was some way Lesnar could be utilised all year round.

The main event between John Cena and Daniel Bryan couldn’t quite live up to the lofty standards set by Punk/Lesnar but it was very, very close. The storytelling was immense and the match took it’s time to build to a crescendo, picking up steam as it went on before delivering the clean finish that most hoped for but few truly expected. Bryan’s moment of glory truly was one of those times in wrestling I will genuinely treasure, like Eddy Guerrero winning the title in 2004.

Of course his moment of glory was indeed that…a moment. Randy Orton did his much expected Money In The Bank cash-in on Bryan, courtesy of a Triple H heel turn, to end the show. I understand the reasons for it, and even agree with the storyline twist, but it was a bit of a dampener.

The undercard was a mix of the relatively entertaining and the dull. The “Ring of Fire” match opener between Kane and Bray Wyatt was a good effort from both men considering the limitations of wresting a match in a ring surrounded by fire but you’d be hard pressed to say it was better than average. Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes had an entertaining match that was over in about half the time it should have been allotted (seriously, would anyone have complained if we’d cut The Miz’s interminable “host” slots, or not had JoJo singing Star Spangled Banner and given that time to these two) and was another nail in Sandow’s coffin given his quick loss.

The Diva’s match between Natalya and Brie Bella wasn’t bad as you might have expected but was still nothing special and again whilst there was some entertainment value in the Mixed Tag Match pitting Big E. and AJ against Kaitlyn and Dolph Ziggler, we’d have had better value for money in a straight singles match between the men.

All in all you simply cannot complain about a card that had two genuine Match Of The Year candidates in Punk/Lesnar and Cena/Bryan and another superb Del Rio/Christian clash. If a pay-per-view lives and dies on it’s “main events” this must be one of the best SummerSlam’s ever.

The undercard was less successful but it would be fair to say that in the ring things were never less than watchable. I really could have done without the segments with The Miz though. They just took up valuable air time that could have been used to better effect.

SummerSlam 2013 was yet another fantastic effort by WWE in a long run of excellent PPV shows. Highly recommended.

The DVD extra’s are limited to the pre-show match pitting Dean Ambrose against Rob Van Dam. It was decent enough but was one of those matches that for me never quite got going into top gear. The blu-ray adds highlights from the Raw and Smackdown shows immediately preceding the PPV.

– By Matthew Roberts

Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk for providing our copy of SummerSlam 2013. SummerSlam 2013 available on DVD and Blu-Ray from 28th October. You can pre-order your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here.

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