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WWE SummerSlam 2012 starts and ends in impressive fashion

By Arda Ocal

7:26 AM EDT, August 20, 2012

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Th 25th edition of SummerSlam ended with Brock Lesnar standing tall, having defeated Triple H by tap out with the Kimura Lock.

Though their match certainly had some slow points, it was a simple, effective, and (in my opinion) necessary conclusion to this match. With Lesnar winning in clean fashion, he remains a "killer," Triple H doesn't lose anything in defeat, and the Kimura continues to be seen as a devastating finishing maneuver.

Lesnar has been announced to appear in the opening segment on Raw on Monday night. Earlier in the evening, Triple H was seen speaking with referee Scott Armstrong, who urged him to "let them fight," which begged the question why the referee would then enforce any rules, including breaks. But that's a minor question.

** SummerSlam began (on PPV) with a terrific back-and-forth matchup between Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler, who arguably had the best match of the night. Both men seemed to really lay in their offense, which provided more intensity to the tilt. Jericho eventually got the duke with the (Lion Tamer) Walls of Jericho. Something tells me before Jericho is finally removed from WWE and on tour with Fozzy, Ziggler will get his revenge. Dolph also remained Money in the Bank briefcase holder, not cashing in the contact at SummerSlam.

** WWE champion CM Punk retained his gold against John Cena and Big Show. The "World's Largest Athlete" looked very strong early on and generated a lot of the offense. At one point, CM Punk locked in a Koji clutch at the same time as Cena's STF on Show, who tapped. Both Cena and Punk celebrated until GM AJ Lee restarted the match. Cena dellivered the AA to Show, Punk threw Cena out of the ring to grab the pinfall victory.

** Sheamus successfully defended his World Heavywweight title against Alberto Del Rio. This one was also physical and anything but definitive. The end saw Del Rio's leg on the ropes overlooked as the ref counted to three. This rivalry will likely continue with at least one rematch.

** Daniel Bryan defeated Kane wth a rollup in response to a tombstone attempt frm the Big Red Monster. Bryan seems to be the biggest beneficiary of Raw moving to three hours, as he seems to be afforded more time to breathe during matches, which is paying dividends. This was a shorter match for Bryan, but still effective, with a plethora of YES! (No) kicks from the man CM Punk calls "Goat Face."

** The Miz successfully defended his Intercontinental title against another former world champion in Rey Mysterio, whose wardrobe was Dark Knight Batman inspired. Miz won with a Skull Crushing finale after some typically exciting offense on Mysterio. Matches like these involving former world champions do wonders to rebuild the reputation of the IC title and once again bring it to a level of prominence it once had. Miz is also the best candidate for that job.

** R Truth and Kofi Kingston defeated the Prime Time Players. One has to wonder if the outcome would have been different with recently released manager AW by the PTPs side. For the sake of the tag division, I hope this rivalry continues and the PTPs somehow grab the gold in the near future and don't lose steam. I would also like to see different teams -- that look, act and feel like a team -- join the mix.

** Kevin Rudolf performed the SummerSlam theme "Don't Give Up," which was correctly positioned between the WWE championship match and Brock vs. Triple H in the main event. I can only assume this took the typical place of the Divas match, of which there was none on this show.

** On the pre-show, Antonio Cesaro became the new U.S. champion by pinning Santino Marella in a highly entertaining match. My guess is that he will revive the European championship on Friday's Smackdown.

** Overall, the storytelling was simple yet effective, nothing seemed complicated, and there were logical progressions in pretty much every rivalry. Raw will be interesting tonight for many reasons. Not every match was a home run, but there were certainly diamonds in the rough, particularly on the first half of the card.

Subscribe to Arda's YouTube playlist for interviews wwith several WWE Superstars and celebrities during Summerslam weekend in Los Angeles.