Last night I had a bunch of people over to watch the Summerslam PPV. Everyone chipped in for the purchase price and since so many people turned up, it was very cheap for all involved. We grilled up a bunch of food and had a good feast during the show, part of which I missed from grilling duties but its still on my Tivo so I can go back and watch the parts I missed tomorrow.
The first match was Chris Benoit vs. Orlando Jordan. This match has pretty much zero build up prior to this PPV, they just slapped it together at the last minute. I kid you not when I say that the entrances for the two wrestlers was twice as long as the match itself. Benoit made OJ tap out to the crossface is about 2 minutes, if that! I guess the match was longer than the foresight put into booking it though so in a way it made sense for it to be such a throwaway. Its nice to see Benoit get a title of some sort, but lets see if they do anything compelling with that title to make it mean something. My guess is they won’t.
Speaking of titles, neither brand’s tag team titles were represented at this PPV. Why do they even have a tag division with titles at this point, they do nothing with it!
Edge vs. Matt Hardy was next. This had all the makings to be something really special. There was very little actual wrestling, it was more of a brawl with plenty of stiff looking shots from both parties. Matt got busted open and was bleeding all over while Edge was relentless in kicking him in the head and the referee stopped the match due to it at about the 10 minute mark. While everyone was pissed at that, it does make good sense as they can milk this thing until Survivor Series for sure. Having a victor on either end would have gave the feud weaker legs to tread with. I was half expecting Trish to come back and fuck with Lita during the match and help Matt get the win, but ending that feud so soon would have not made any business sense.
Eddie vs. Rey in a ladder match was next and despite the incredibly ridiculous story going into this match, it was pretty stellar. Plenty of sick looking bumps and those guys worked their asses off and probably are going to be quite sore for the next week or two. I could have done without all the family interference, as it would remind you just how stupid that whole story was, but aside from that, it was easily the match of the night. It was also the longest one, and not a boring minute in the whole thing. It easily lived up to my expectations.
Kurt Angle vs Eugene was next and I was preparing some food and missed nearly the entire thing. It was pretty short and Kurt made Eugene tap out. After the match, Kurt got back his medal and made an impromptu medal ceremony by making a podium out of a chair. It was pretty funny, and was a total dick thing to do, which Kurt excels at and is one of the reasons why he is so damn entertaining.
Undertaker vs. Randy Orton. Snooze fest would be a fairly accurate description. Again I just didn’t care at all for the match, they didn’t do a good job trying to make me care leading up to it and while overall young Randall has been getting better in the ring, his mic work is still the shits, as was the build up for this feud. The finish was pretty retarded and sloppy too, with Cowboy Bob Orton interfering, dressed up as a fan who hopped the rail to interfere. It was really poorly executed.
JBL vs. Batista didn’t hold my interest at all except for the sick powerbomb Batista delivered to JBL on the steel steps. Ouch! The match didn’t suck, but it just didn’t mean anything to me.
Cena vs. Jericho was pretty good. I in no way thought Jericho was getting that belt and of course I was right. He did look pretty good in that match and the finish was pretty good with Cena reversing something Jericho was doing to put him in the FU. He’s been doing a lot of that lately which has been pretty good.
Hogan vs Shawn Michaels was last and this was the one match on the card that they did a really nice build up for. I went into this show interested in this match almost exclusively (and the ladder match but not because of compelling story telling, but because of the two guys who were in it and what they were capable of). Lets face it, Hogan is old and broken down and one could make a sane argument that he has almost no business in that ring. HBK got about as good a match as you are going to get from the Hulkster at this point. Hogan, though on the receiving end of a beating for most of the match, took very few bumps, but juiced and sold pretty well for a guy who didn’t go down much.
In the beginning babyface shine, HBK over-sold everything to the point of it being rather comical. When it came time for the heel heat portion of the match, HBK was pretty relentless in pounding on Hogan’s head until he “busted him open”. Hogan got tossed into the ring post a couple times outside and various stuff but we all noticed a distinct lack of any back bumps on his part. Eventually he Hulked up, delivered the boot and leg drop of doom and got the win,but not before two referees were knocked out and Shawn tried to cheat to win. I figured Hulk would win, but I think that Shawn should have kicked out of that first leg drop and Hulk would have to had work a little harder to get his victory. It just felt like every other Hogan finish in his heyday, that in the end, that last half hour meant nothing because the guy was doing the job after his lame finish was delivered just once, even though Hogan was able to kick out of someone’s far more devastating looking moves. Still, not a bad match overall aside from the predictable finish. HBK isn’t going to lose anything by jobbing to Hogan in this match, and I guess it makes sense to have Hogan go over since he’s not going to keep going into the next show, and he has his VH1 show to promote, and what better way than with going out on top?
Overall, aside from some weird finishes, it was a pretty fun show and I give it a thumbs up. I think the show suffered most from the poor story telling going into it as the matches themselves for the most part were well executed and even the low points were tolerable.