KB’s History of WWE’s Big Four Pay Per Views Now Available in Paperback

You’re all familiar with the Big Four WWE pay per views. Well now you can be even more familiar with them by picking up my collections of reviews, which are now available in PAPERBACK. After years of only having these as e-books I’ve gone through all of them, polished them up, and turned them into actual, physical books. 

They are available worldwide (only in English) from any country’s Amazon page but the US and UK links are available below:

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Summerslam 2002

Summerslam 2002
Date: August 25, 2002
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial, Uniondale, New York
Attendance: 14,797
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Tazz, Jim Ross

It’s very rare that a Summerslam is the biggest show of the year but that might be the case in 2002. Wrestlemania XVIII was in a much bigger venue and had a much bigger top match but as far as a whole card goes from top to bottom, this might have it beaten. The big matches here are Brock Lesnar challenging the Rock for the Undisputed Title and HHH vs. Shawn Michaels in a grudge match with Shawn making his first in-ring appearance since 1998. Let’s get to it.

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Undertaker-Sting at SummerSlam

Scott,


What do you think is the most likely scenario for the Undertaker and Sting at SummerSlam? Both are apparently going to be wrestling at the show. I’m thinking Undertaker and Sting will be in a tag match, say, against Rollins and Triple H. That’s probably the smartest thing to do if both are actually working the show. Of course, I can be way off base and, as you said in an earlier post, Undertaker will suddenly want revenge on Brock and Sting will go after…Bo Dallas? Anyway, would like your thoughts on how you think both men will be used. Thanks!

​Given the ratings disaster and desperation involved, I think Vince is just gonna swing for the fences and go with Undertaker v. Brock and Sting v. Rollins. Or maybe Undertaker & Kane v. Brock & Cena, I dunno. I just don’t see them building to Undertaker v. Sting, though.

August Classics: CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar – SummerSlam 2013

OK, so it happened a year ago, therefore it’s not a “classic” by the common definition. However, this is a ***** match that will easily be considered one of the best SummerSlam matches ever. The Best vs. The Beast. Due to health and behind the scenes drama, this may possibly be Punk’s last great match.


CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar – SummerSlam 2013 by AndresGuilherme

August Classics: Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H – SummerSlam ’02

HBK’s comeback match in 2002. At the time, there were certain circles that questioned the purpose of the match, and who it helped. My stance was and is the match kicked ass many times over and who cares. When a ***** match is on display, shut up and enjoy it.


SummerSlam 2002 – Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels… by Maxi_AguayoCopeland

Summerslam 2014 Hits a Homerun

The build heading towards this show was dubious at best.
Aside from Lesnar-Cena’s paraphernalia, it was not that well built up for a “must-see” PPV. But like most of WWE’s PPVs this year, the show delivered in spite of lack of
good build. While it comes to no surprise that the wrestlers and road agents
had a good night, it was a big surprise how well booked this show was. Let us
get into it.


The Miz made the best out of his short-lived reign as
champion, portraying an egotistical persona by outrageously believing that he
is some Hollywood star. Due to creative’s shortsighted mindset – and not
wanting to invest into something long-term – his “don’t touch the face” gimmick
was not maximized to its fullest potential, though. Due to him being hit in the
face plenty of times, it lost its merit. I mean, look at how much heat it gets despite
that fact. Now, imagine the heat he would get if nobody had hit it yet. If he
kept finding ways to protect his moneymaker, people would want to see it happen
even more. If they kept building it up and foreshadowing and teasing it: (1) he
would get a lot of heat for it, (2) it would create a lot of anticipation for
his comeuppance (3) the time he finally gets drilled in the face would be worth
the wait (4) and it might have been something people would pay to see.

Nevertheless, Dolph Ziggler won the title in what was a gratifyingly
action-packed contest. It gave the fans, who were upset over him being screwed
out of the title last month, a feel-good moment. As usual, Ziggler bumped hard and
sold his ass off. He is a smart psychologist and he constantly gives it his all, so
it was nice to see him rewarded for his hard work. Hopefully, he is booked differently
from the typical IC champion (who loses on TV to set up their PPV match) and
instead is booked strongly as champion. Due to how good his matches can be, he could
rejuvenate the belt’s credibility, given the opportunity.
There is not much to say about the Paige and AJ bout other
than that they had a perfectly wrestled 5-minute match. It will be interesting
to see what they can do with more time in the future.
When Rusev debuted, the character did not look like it was
going to work out. He played an antiquated foreign heel gimmick that was cutting-edge
perhaps thirty years ago. The reason it worked then was because Americans had a
ton of pride for their country. Americans now lack the pride they used to have. But in spite of that, Lana is bringing out that American pride out of the fans as a
result of her awesomely insulting manifestos. She has additionally promoted her
monster well. And for those two reasons, the gimmick is actually getting over. Speaking of getting over, this is the most over Swagger has ever been in his career. The fans
have become emotionally invested into his gimmick, due to him being a perfect foil for
the Mad Russian and having a great mouthpiece named Zeb Colter.
They narrated a traditional plucky babyface vs. monster heel
story. Swagger did things beyond his reasonable capabilities in order to try to
put the monster down. He also targeted the already damaged ankle, to take the
monster off his feet. But by use of his natural power, Rusev overcame the
wounded ankle. Swagger, fueled with pride and fortitude, refused to submit to
the Camel Clutch and instead passed out, though. After the match, Rusev kicked Zeb Colter – a
defenseless old man – in the face to add insult to injury. Ultimately, both wrestlers
did a good job of making the crowd feel like they were involved. At the end of
the day, this protected Swagger and yet still made Rusev look strong.  All of Rusev and Lana’s tactics were insulting
and a huge slap in the face – and thus garnered a lot of heat. This was just extremely
well booked.
Leading up to their match, the Ambrose and Rollins angle was a
mixed bag. In fact, some people claimed that they completely killed this feud when
Ambrose made this a Lumberjack match. However, it actually ended up making complete
sense, due to the way it was designed and delivered.  Because the Shield members were hated by most
of the roster, Ambrose decided to surround the ring with a group of piranhas. It was
fitting to his reckless character. He was willing to take the abuse, because he
knew Rollins would receive abuse from them as well. In essence, that has been
what this entire story has been all about: Ambrose willing to hurt himself just
to be able to hurt Rollins as well.
Calling this the best booked and performed Lumberjack match
ever would be an understatement. Ambrose came out looking like a courageous
manic and Rollins came out looking like a very fortunate coward, setting up their next match  Frankly, this was one of the most
unpredictable, “nobody-knows-what-is-going-to-happen-next” matches in quite
some time – as it had a twist at every turn.
Ambrose is one of the most unique characters in
wrestling history, and that is saying something in year 2014. He is a crazy, loose
cannon that has no repentance for his actions and is willing to do anything to
achieve his goals. WWE has something special on their hands, so it would be a
crying shame if they screwed it up.
Jericho has unfortunately overstayed his welcome. It is admirable that he wants to put
wrestlers over, but it no longer means anything. He wrestles a small portion of
the year and cannot regain credibility because there is little time to
reestablish himself. In addition to that, the other reason this feud with Wyatt is
doing poorly is that the conflict is weak. It is a poor-man’s rehash of Wyatt’s
feud with Cena. This match was fine from a typical WWE style standpoint. Aside
from a few mishaps, it was fast-paced and had neat counters. However,
it lacked heat and a feeling of animosity. This feud has already run its course
– and it has not gotten Wyatt anymore over.
Surprisingly, there were not many bags-of-tricks or
smoke-and-mirrors for Stephanie and Brie’s match, as they actually wrestled a straight
up match. Perhaps a little too straight up, though, considering it was a heated
feud that began with a lock up and a clean break. That being said, they
surpassed everyone’s expectations. People thought this would be an abortion, yet it ended up being perfectly acceptable – although that was mostly because of
Stephanie’s mannerisms and the way she carried herself.
Reigns going 16 minutes with Orton was not a good idea. Orton posed no threat to Reigns;
therefore, he should have just squashed him.  Reigns is not connecting with the fans in the
midst of his matches. The fans sitting on their hands, awaiting his trademark spots.
The main reason is because his selling is not that good, and thus he is never
seemingly in any kind of peril. If he is going to wrestle these competitive
matches, he is going to have to learn how to sell effectively. Because of the way they are
booking him, he needs to learn how to garner some sympathy. Right now, he is
being exposed as a one-dimensional wrestler – which is why he probably would be better
off being booked like Goldberg was: a dominant force that allows his actions
to speak for themselves.

The WWE is frequently criticized its even-steven and
face-saving booking. So, people instinctively speculated that this match would
protect Cena in defeat. No one expected what did happen to happen, though,
causing this to be an unexpected delight. Lesnar threw him around like a
ragdoll, and Cena viciously bumped all around the ring. Lesnar was booked as a
freak of nature, who even laughed off Cena’s short-lived comebacks. Similar to a MMA fight,
Lesnar hit him with a big blow early on that disallowed Cena to recuperate. What made this so good was how shocking and refreshingly different it was.

It also impeccably played off what Heyman said would happen.
Lesnar did not want Cena just to lay down the title in front of him. He wanted
to take it, as well as victimize him and send a message that he is the most
dangerous man to ever step inside a ring. He took some of Cena’s dignity and
integrity away from him. He conquered the figurehead of the company in a
dominant fashion, forcing him to become a victim of his playground.

The WWE pushed in all of their chips on making Lesnar into
an unconquerable and insurmountable juggernaut. There is now an ambiance of danger in
WWE, and it has not been like this since the Summer of Punk. Punk’s danger was simply
based off leverage. More intimidatingly, Lesnar’s danger is based off his freakish natural
fortitude. In recent times, the only thing that comes close to this dominant implementation was when Mark Henry manhandled Randy Orton at Night of Champions 2011. Still, that pales in the comparison to this, though.

In spite of its dubious build, Summerslam delivered a homerun. It was one because they produced something that was unconventional, which was refreshing considering how formulaic the company can be. They simply went against the grain by doing something that was out of their comfort zone. And even though this show had a handful of good matches, the most important thing was
that wrestlers (especially Ambrose and Lesnar) came out looking strong and like stars. In other words, they did
not play it safe by doing mind-numbing 50/50 booking.

This created a
lot of excitement moving forward. There are a ton of directions they can take
these stories, and that is what makes them so intriguing. This show built some
momentum going forward, and let’s hope that they can take advantage of it heading towards their weakest season of the year. The Ambrose and Rollins feud
has been rejuvenated, and it foreshadowed better things to come. Above all, Lesnar
has become one of the most dynamic characters in WWE history. Because of his
limited dates, it shall be interesting to see what they will do with him.
At any rate, whoever conquers the unconquerable is going to be the next John Wayne. Although unless Reigns improves, he should not be the frontrunner to do so. There are wrestlers
– like Dean Ambrose – who are more over and much more entertaining than he is, and deserve to be made into star by getting a monumental win over Lesnar.


 I said in my previous
column that they failed to make Summerslam a can’t miss show. Now, I am saying
that Summerslam made the next episode of Raw a must-see show.

The SmarK Rant for WWE Summerslam 2014

The SmarK Rant for WWE Summerslam 2014 Live for only $9.99, from Los Angeles, CA. Shouldn’t the WWE logo in the corner be changed? They already unveiled the new one in Variety and everything! Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL Oddly, I tried to watch on a delay on the Xbox One, but it wouldn’t start from the beginning on the live stream and instead plopped me into the middle of the Reigns-Orton match. So I had to switch to the Roku instead. Quite weird. Disappointing, because I find the interface and video quality much better on the XBone version, probably because it has 16 million times the processing power of the Roku. That’s just an estimate, though. Hulk Hogan is out to pimp the WWE Network, which is only $9.99! Unless you live in Canada, in which case it’s $11.99. Isn’t that kind of a class action lawsuit waiting to happen at some point given how heavily they advertise the $10 price point? We get a weird, cheesy grindhouse-style video package to start, which doesn’t fit with the UFC atmosphere of the main event at all. But it’s still pretty cool otherwise. Intercontinental title: The Miz v. Dolph Ziggler Speaking of wrestlers in the movies, I finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend and it was pretty amazing. Might have been one of my favorite of the Marvel movies, even with a property that I had no real experience with beforehand. It’s a tossup whether it or Captain America was the best superhero movie of the year. And yeah, Batista was wooden, but that’s to be expected in his role as the tree. Oh, wait, he wasn’t the tree? I just assumed. Never mind. On another note, is anyone else wondering if Marcelo Rodriguez of the Spanish announce team is getting worried about his job given the track record of people with his last name lately? Miz runs away to start, because of the moneymaker you see, and Dolph chases him to the floor and back in for a rollup that gets two. Miz reverses him into the turnbuckles, thus CREATING SEPARATION, and Miz stomps him down for two. We hit the chinlock and Miz boots him down while the crowd informs him that he can’t wrestle. Miz to the top and he misses, so I guess that the crowd was correct. Dolph comes back with a neckbreaker out of the corner for two, but Miz tosses him and Dolph slips back in with a rollup for two. Dolph hits him in the moneymaker and follows with a superkick for two. Miz decides to take a walk, but catches Ziggler with the figure-four on the way back in. Ziggler escapes and goes for the fameasser, but Miz reverses to the Skull Crushing Finale for two. Zig Zag gives Dolph the title at 7:55. DOLPH WINS A MATCH!? Short and fun, but more of a TV match than a PPV match. **3/4 Meanwhile, Brie Bella has been doing a lot of thinking while in jail. Divas title: AJ Lee v. Paige The crowd jumps right into the CM Punk chant, but the girls cut it off with a hairpulling war that ends badly for Paige. To the floor and Paige drops her on the barricade to take over. Paige gets nasty with headbutts and it’s chinlock time before they head to the apron for some vicious knees from Paige. Bitches be crazy, am I right? Paige bails to the floor and AJ follows with a clothesline from the top, and back in for the Shining Wizard for two. Paige superkicks her, but AJ reverses the Paige-turner into the Black Widow, and Paige turns that into the DDT for the pin and the title at 5:00. That was quite the finish. Another short but energetic match. **1/2 Flag Match: Rusev v. Jack Swagger So the rules have changed AGAIN, as now it’s just regular match and the winner gets their flag hung over the ring. Where’s Corporal Kirschner when you need him? That dude was a MACHINE when US pride was on the line! Speaking of which, Swagger gets a military honor guard to escort him out, so maybe they’ll, like, shoot Rusev or something so that he can lose and still stay strong. You know, shoot him in the leg, not KILL him. That would just be excessive. Rusev interrupts Swagger’s flag waving with an attack, so Swagger anklelocks him and the ref freaks out because the match hasn’t officially started yet or something. So when we actually begin, Swagger goes after the leg and Rusev runs away to escape. Swagger’s new gear is pretty badass, actually. Back in, Rusev counters the Swaggerbomb to take over and throws knees in the corner as Michael Cole ponders how Vladimir Putin will deal with someone losing a match dedicated to him. I’m gonna go with “He’s not gonna give a shit”, but that’s just a guess. Rusev with the bearhug and some Russian trash-talking (Translation: “You see that out there? I’m tapping that ass! No, not Zeb Colter!”) but Swagger is enraged by this and comes back with the big boot. Swaggerbomb gets two this time, but he hurts the ribs further. Swagger tries the anklelock, then turns it into a spinebuster instead for two. Rusev kicks him in the ribs again to put him down and RUSEV CRUSH, but his ankle won’t let him crush. So he half-crushes instead and Swagger reverses into the anklelock, forcing Rusev to fight out of it. Leg lariat puts Swagger down again and RUSEV CRUSH at 8:55. YO PUTIN! HE DID IT! Poor Zeb gets kicked down as well and this would seem to be the perfect time for another Real American patriot to make the save. But no, they just play the anthem and raise the flag as the Rusev push continues. Maybe they’re setting him up for John Cena? Match was nothing special, but had some good drama at the end. ** Again, though, Rusev is selling WAY too much if they’re setting him up for a top level run. At this point, who the hell knows what they want for anyone? Lumberjack Match: Seth Rollins v. Dean Ambrose It’s an epic collection of midcard geeks out there tonight, which sadly now includes Cesaro. I have to wonder if Dean Ambrose is the most egregious case of someone having a better real name than wrestling name, as “Jonathan Good” lends itself way better to wrestling than any of his gimmick names thus far. Quick slugfest to start and Rollins tries to run, but the lumberjacks send him back in for more punishment. Rollins dropkicks him to the heel side and they get some abuse in, allowing Rollins to take over. Blind charge misses and Dean goes up, but Rollins brings him down and stomps away in the corner before going to a chinlock. Ambrose comes back and misses a bodypress, but suplexes Rollins onto the lumberjacks anyway. They try to brawl into the crowd and thus give everyone what they want, but the lumberjack buzzkills keep trying to bring them back in. Finally they fight through the job squad and BRAWL INTO THE CROWD. Hells yeah. The lumberjacks thankfully give up the chase and they go fighting up the stairs while Kane the Libertarian comes out to restore order. HE EVEN RUINS MATCHES HE’S NOT WRESTLING IN! #KaneRuinsEverything. Rollins takes a walk, but the babyface geeks drag him back to the ring, and Ambrose hits them all with a dive in an awesome spot. Back in, a rebound lariat gets two and the crowd is going nuts. Ambrose pulls out a curb stomp on him and gets two, but now Kane comes in to wreck things as usual. And it’s CHAOS with a giant lumberjack brawl, but Rollins nails Ambrose with the briefcase for the pin at 10:54. Sucks that they ended it just as it was finally getting somewhere. *** Disappointing given what we wanted out of the match, but they covered it up with enough ga-ga to make it entertaining. I still don’t get why they booked a lumberjack match in the first place, though, especially if you have the babyface pick the stips and then lose the match. Chris Jericho v. Bray Wyatt Slugfest to start and Jericho elbows him down, then goes up with a bodypress for two. They head to the floor and Wyatt takes over out there with a knee to the head on the stairs, and back in for some singing. We hit the chinlock as the crowd is actually kind of torn on who to cheer for. Bray with the running forearm for two, but a blind charge hits boot and Jericho gets two. Bray with the uranage for two. Jericho counters Sister Abby with the Walls, but Bray quickly makes the ropes. Kind of hard to get a submission like that on a guy who can CRAB WALK. Bray rams Jericho’s head into the apron for two as this thing is just dragging something fierce. Back in, Wyatt goes up and misses whatever, and Jericho gets two. You can tell the crowd really wants to like this match but there’s just nothing here for them. Jericho comes back and tries the Lionsault, but Bray freaks him out with the crab-walk. So Jericho hits the codebreaker instead and gets two. I’m thinking that Bray’s mistake there was cutting a promo while Jericho was stunned. They head to the floor again and Bray Abagails him into the barricade, then back in for another one to finish at 12:55. Way long, and Jericho is looking OLD out there. ** Stephanie McMahon v. Brie Bella Well this should pick up the pace a bit. Cough. Stephanie is a leather-clad super-MILF tonight, totally outclassing Brie on the hotness scale tonight. I have to say I’m shocked how well she’s held up after 10 years and 3 kids. Or maybe it’s because I’m getting old myself, I dunno. Brie gets a pair of armdrags, but Steph stomps her down in the corner and mocks Daniel Bryan. This prompts Brie to take her down, but Steph escapes the ring and then suckers Brie into trying a dive, at which point she clobbers her into the apron. Brie is kind of an idiot. Back in, DDT gets two. Necksnap gets two. What exactly is “Brie Mode”, as displayed on Bree’s boobs? Does it involve being a wrestler for 5 years without learning how to work a match? Brie comes back with a Thesz press and Stephanie is so awesome here that the crowd TURNS ON BRIE! Seriously, Steph’s facials and timing are amazing for a junky match like this. Brie comes back and pounds away in the corner and her timing is all wrong. Missile dropkick gets two. Brie throws “punches” on the mat that are some of the worst ever, and HHH and Nikki join us while Brie gets the Yes-Lock, in a manner of speaking. HHH punks out the referee to save, so Brie goes after him while Nikki chases Steph…and then turns on Brie. CALLED IT. Because obviously that was the worst possible finish so they’d naturally have to go with it. Pedigree finishes at 11:05. This was a magnificent performance from Stephanie, but as a match it was shit. *1/2 And yeah, all those weeks of buildup and the Authority wins…again. And then for some reason we get 5 minutes of bullshit with some kid who “won” a contest sponsored by chips or something. Whatever it is, we don’t have it here in Canada, so it can fuck right off. Plus a commercial for Sin City. Oh, and a commercial for ANOTHER type of chips. Well, they gotta make up that Network revenue somehow. I recouped my $60 worth out of this network 3 PPVs ago so I can hardly complain about a few commercials. Roman Reigns v. Randy Orton Slugfest to start and Orton backs off, but they brawl on the floor, and Reigns clotheslines him to the floor again after that. Orton sends him into the stairs, and back in for the chinlock. I should note for those playing at home, my wife watched the entrances and feels like Reigns has disgusting hair that looks like cassette tape and Orton is something of a greek god. So Roman might have that going against his big push. They fight to the top and Orton brings him down with a superplex for two. Reigns fights back with a sleeper, but Orton slams out of it and Reigns goes back to it again. Orton suplexes out this time for two. And it’s another chinlock! The Randy Orton Summerslam tradition continues. Reigns fights out for the slugfest and the boos and yays are not so clear cut. Reigns with the apron dropkick as former WCW World champion David Arquette cheers him on at ringside, but Orton sends him into the post for two. Back in, they fight to the top again and Roman brings him down with a samoan drop and follows with the superman punch. Spear is countered into the powerslam for two, however. Perhaps if he didn’t take 10 minutes to set it up, it would be more effective. But then it’s not like Orton is one to talk. Draping DDT and RKO gets two. Crowd was ready to buy that as the finish. Orton decides that it’s time for the nuclear option with the punt, but Reigns ducks it and finishes with the spear at 16:12. I dunno about this Reigns push, dude. This was a really slow-paced match and the fans were more into Orton’s comeback. I was certainly not particularly invested in the finish or anything. This was certainly not the star-making performance they were probably looking for. **1/2 Next year, Summerslam comes to “the New York-New Jersey area”. Why do they do that shit? Why not just say “New Jersey”? No wonder the entire state has an inferiority complex. WWE World title: John Cena v. Brock Lesnar If we don’t get BLOOD, URINE AND VOMIT, we riot. Of course, nothing is said about John’s fiancée turning to the dark side earlier in the show, because that relationship only exists on Total Divas. And we’re all idiots. You’d think it would be easy storyline for the announcers to be like “Oh man, his future wife is aligned with his enemies! That’s gotta fuck with his head, MAGGLE! $9.99!” Slugfest to start and Brock immediately hits the F5 for two. Well, he definitely doesn’t work by the hour. And the crowd is CRAZY behind Brock. Release german and Cena is down and out on the mat, so Brock hammers his ribs with a knee and follows with a suplex, but Cena fights back in the corner until Brock casually swats him down again like a bug. You OFFEND our Viking Space Lord, John Cena! Brock pounds him with knees and stands on his hand to keep him down, which is a nice touch. Another german suplex drops Cena on his head, and Brock does it three more times to prove a point. That gets two. Cena gets up, so Brock suplexes him again and Cena is nearly out, so Brock does it again. But Cena never gives up because that’s his whole brand, and he fights back with clotheslines and the FU for two. Brock does the ZOMBIE SITUP, however, and he wants more, but John does not. Brock goes ground and pound on him and fires away as Michael and JBL talk UFC history in a weird bit. Brock throws some rolling germans now and Cena is knocked goofy again, so Brock does it AGAIN, but the ref still won’t call it. So Cena takes him down with the STF, as apparently Cena can rise above concussions, but Brock reverses out and finishes with the F5 at 16:02 to win the title. They try for the Undertaker reactions at ringside, but come on. We all knew it was happening. Nowhere near their first match, as it was basically an extremely extended squash for Brock, but major props to Cena for going out and getting destroyed like that. ***1/4 I’m guessing this is the Rocky III deal where Clubber Lang beats him in the first match and then the babyface regroups with a MONTAGE and makes the big comeback later, probably at Night of Champions. And why not, Rocky III is awesome. The Pulse Nothing blowaway great on the show, but everything was at least good or very memorable or building someone up, so I’d call it a thumbs up. Seems to be more of a setup for the Night of Champions “Please renew the Network, please please please” show, however.

QOTD:#55 – Summerfest….err….uh….SummerSlam

Back from vacation, ready to go coming off watching Summerslam 2014…..in response to yesterday’s question, I would say pretty much every good heel from the 80s (I was a huge mark), but more than anybody I would say Ole & Arn Anderson. What a mean couple of guys…..nowadays, I can definitely appreciate their heel work in the 80s

Today’s Question: I’ll keep it short and sweet today…..What would you say is the high point, and what is the low point from the Summer Slam 2014 PPV Special Event?


August Classics: Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit – SummerSlam 2000

Following up on yesterday’s post, SummerSlam 2000 also gave us this great match; a 2 out of 3 Falls Match between two guys who matched up well. Jericho was the smart-ass babyface and Benoit was the ruthless all-business-in-the-ring type who happened to be a Shane McMahon associate around this time, as a stable was being built with Shane at the head, leading Benoit, Kurt Angle, The Big Show and Edge & Christian. That stable would be short-lived, however. This match is a personal favorite of mine.


SummerSlam.2000 – Y2J Vs Chris Benoit – 2.Out… by dido67

SummerSlam Retro Report with “Mean” Gene Okerlund

Yeah, a bunch of people already e-mailed this thing.  WHY WAS THIS NOT ALL OVER RAW FOR WEEKS?!?

Real answer:  Because they kill ratings and that’s why they stopped doing them in the first place.  But goddammit, I’m a wrestling fan, I want the hard sell!  Convince me to spend my $9.99!  Kudos to Vince for pulling out the old intro voice as well.

Deconstructing the Road to Summerslam ’14

I said my goodbyes not realizing I was a few weeks ahead of
schedule for school, so I am going to be around for longer. How long will
depend on how hard my classes are this semester. It is unlikely I will be
writing anymore DVD reviews, though. Even if my classes are easy, I will still
not have enough time.
Summerslam is two weeks away. That means there are two Monday
Night Raws left to influence people to buy it. This Summerslam, because of the
Network’s underwhelming numbers, might be the most important one yet.
Therefore, WWE’s product should be hot right now from both a creative and
wrestlers’ performance standpoint. This week’s Raw showed little signs of that,
though. With the exception of the main event, its build for Summerslam was
dubious at best.
Let’s now take a look at all the important matches for
Summerslam.
Lesnar and Cena’s angle launched due to the Authority hating
Cena as champion so much, that they made a deal with their former enemies to get
the title off him. The story would have been better and made more sense if
Daniel Bryan had not been injured.  While
HHH had plenty of reasons to hate Bryan, he has not many reasons to hate
Cena. His resentment towards him has been forced and vague, to say in the least. It has made his authority gimmick less dimensional, because he is hating on a babyface who is best for business. And unlike all the other GM Authority people, HHH was refreshing because his character was more than hating the babyfaces for the sake of it. His character was  multifaceted because he only hated merely on the babyfaces that he thought weren’t good for business. In essence, the creative staff inserted Cena in Bryan’s original role – in
spite of it making no sense.
The story has fortunately moved away from that nonsense, as
the vocal point is now about it being a huge fight. To build it up as one, WWE
took a page out of the UFC’s playbook by using a similar array of video packages
and sit down interviews. There is no doubt about it that Cena’s happy-go-lucky persona can be very annoying,
although it does make things mean more when he becomes super serious. Due to playtime
being over, it emphasizes how big of a threat Lesnar is to Cena. Speaking of Brock,
he should never talk on a live microphone again. The difference between him
talking backstage and live are night and day, coming off excessively  more intimidating in taped interviews.
Ultimately, they have added in realism, continuity, and red-hot
heat into this.  Similar to an episode of
Seinfeld where Constanta does everything opposite from his natural instincts, WWE
has built this from doing the opposite of what they would normally do.
Unlike the UFC, though, this is trying to be ultra-serious in
the face of there being tons of silliness around it. It is difficult to take
something seriously when there is a wannabe ballroom dancer who is sexually
dancing with a bald midget on the same show. Raw is flooded with so much tawdry
and childish humor that is becoming hard to take anything seriously on its show
anymore. Comic relief has its place in wrestling, but it has to be sporadic and
actually funny for it to work. In sum, the comedy has become counterproductive
and a hindrance to things that are meant to be taken seriously.
Because of how well booked the Stephanie and Brie’s feud has
been, it has not been a projected disaster. They perfectly nailed the arrested
segment, as Stephanie’s behavior was on-point. While people love to hate and
cheer against her, it is hard to rally behind Brie. Even though she has not
been as terrible as predicted, her poor delivery on the microphone and
monotonous demeanor does not make her out to be a great foil for Steph. If she
were replaced with a babyface whom people cared about and could wrestle, while someone
replaced Stephanie with someone that had an awesome heel character like herself
but could wrestle as well – the suspense for this match would be off the
charts. 
However, the McMahon’s have always had a knack for booking themselves
in a spot where they can accentuate their strengths and hide their
weaknesses. It will be interesting to see if they can book this in a manner
that makes it entertaining.
HHH was supposed to wrestle Roman Reigns at Summerslam, but it
was put on delay because WWE is going to stack Night of Champions to make people
consider renewing their membership. Unless WWE comes up with a fascinating
story, nobody is going to renew their subscription to see HHH vs. Roman Reigns,
though. At any rate, it was confirmed that Randy Orton would take on Roman
Reigns at Summerslam instead.
So far, this feud has been an example of a major problem
within. WWE thinks a story needs to add a new layer to it every week, resulting
in feuds being marred by superfluous angles. Also, a ton of ideas have become hackneyed
from being recycled continuously within a short period of time –and clichéd booking
is now unfortunately at an all-time high from no-brand separation and three
hours of Raw to fill.
Theoretically, a storyline should be no different from a
movie trailer. Both should provide a sample size of things to come to create
intrigue and a sensation of wanting more. When done properly, they can be two powerful
tools that can cause people to pay to see it. Also, wrestlers who have a series
of matches need something to happen to ensure the next one will be even better.
 TV matches can actually buildup a PPV
match, contrary to popular belief. Ziggler and Miz gave an example of that
three weeks ago. They had a condensed, fun match that left viewers wanting to
see more. That causes people to imagine how grander their title match on PPV might
be with more time and significance. In regards to the Reigns/Orton feud, though,
the booking and the wrestlers have both failed to accomplish those two things. This
has overstayed its welcome, and their matches have been tedious and bloated –both
of which have caused a resentment towards their upcoming match.
This feud has also brought up another problem in WWE: beatdown
segments are not prospering into much of anything anymore. Back in the territorial
days, a good old fashion beat down could cultivate into a long, hot feud where
the plucky babyface sought for revenge over the malicious heel and finally culminated
in a bloodshed battle where the heel paid for his sins. Nowadays, we are
fortunate if Cena is does not make a mockery of it a beating the next week–
never mind him actually selling it or cutting a revenge promo.
That alluded problem was brought up when Randy Orton beat
the holy hell out of Reigns two weeks ago. The segment that was well received among
the critics, yet the beat down had next-to-no purpose by the next week. Instead
of using it to enrich the story, Reigns brushed it off as if it did not even
affect him. So even with a blindsided attack, Orton could not damage him.  The heel becomes irrelevant when the hero becomes
invincible; when the hero is invincible, there are no signs of endangerment;
and when there are no signs of endangerment nothing is engaging nor suspenseful.
Besides, Reigns defeating someone that a poses no threat to
him is not going to get him more over. Any amount of extensive offense Orton obtains
on him will impair his credibility, to be honest. They booked themselves in a
corner here, with the only logical way Reigns can become more over is if he
squashes Orton.  They would have avoided
this situation if only Reigns had just sold the beatdown.
Hell, they could have even taken it a step further. They
could have advised him not to wrestle at Summerslam. Then, he would have looked
courageous by going against the doctor’s will. Orton would also be made into a
threat and his extended offense would not be damaging to Reigns. Their match would
also be unlike their former ones because of the distinctive story. If this was all
done thoroughly, Orton’s extensive heat segment beatdown on Regins’ injury
could have garnered some sympathy for him and made him look like a stouthearted
combatant when he overcame the injury and won.
Now, we are shifting from a feud that booked itself into a corner
to a feud that is being booked backwards. Yes, I am talking about Bray Wyatt
vs. Chris Jericho.  Due to his year
absence, Jericho needed to regain some credibility in order for it to mean something
when he puts Wyatt over. Instead of holding off on their feud, so that Jericho can
win some matches and beat someone else at Battleground, they gave Jericho
credibility via defeating the same exact wrestler who he is trying to get over.
The decision is even stupider when it is put into perspective, to be honest.
In a feeble attempt to build up their rematch, Jericho has defeated
both Harper and Rowan –disqualifying both from ringside due to the
stipulations. Of course, this story would have made more sense if Harper and
Rowan cost Jericho his match at Battleground, although WWE adding something to a
feud that does not call for it has become their modus operandi.  It is also worth noting that Wyatt’s promos
are becoming so incoherent that the message is rather difficult to understand.  There is nothing wrong with him trying to be mysterious,
but his actions are becoming much too vague from his hard-to-follow promos. Up
until this point, this feud has just damaged the Wyatt Family even more.
Finally yet importantly, it is time to tackle the Seth
Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose feud.  This can
be best described as being a mixed bag. Dean Ambrose’s madcap persona has been
a shining diamond stuck up a cow pie. He has been the best defiant-hero in WWE
since Stone Cold Steve Austin, as his promos and just overall mannerisms are so
good that he is always causing people to want more of them. He has been the
highlight of Raw for the best several of months – with Paul Heyman being the only
individual that has come close to topping him.
They have been feuding with each other on a week-to-week
basis with minimal letup since June, yet not once have they wrestled a singles
match. The ultimate purpose of this feud has become so encrusted that is now an
afterthought. And the bait-and-switch at Battleground did not help this at all,
as put a sour taste in many of the fans’ mouth – no matter how much Andy PG disagrees
about it.
Yet again, Dean Ambrose was on point this week. His loose
cannon persona is so refreshing, and it has escalated to a point where it is unsure
what he is going to do next. His range and unpredictability are what has made him
into such a dynamic character.  However,
creative has let these two down again. Out of all the stipulations Dean Ambrose
could have picked, he picked a Lumberjack one. In context, it makes sense –
Seth Rollins will not be able to run away from a beating of a lifetime –
although it is so difficult to pull off an awesome lumberjack match, and it doesn’t strike as being appropriate for such a heated feud. And why didn’t
Ambrose force Seth Rollins put up his MITB briefcase on the line – especially when they were hinting at it on Monday Night Raw? In hindsight,
it is better to hold off on that until Night of Champions, assuming that the
blow off will be in and at  Hell in the Cell. Still, it is an example of what has become so
frustrating with this company: their inability to try to pave all the crevices
in their stories. They tend to have giant plot holes in them – as their booking
wants to go from point A to D by vaguely covering points B and C.
So, those are the important matches at Summerslam. The other
ones so far are Dolph Ziggler vs. Miz for the IC title, Paige vs. AJ Lee for
the Divas title, and Jack Swagger vs Rusev in a flag match. Overall, this is a good,
almost great, looking card. With the exception of Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena – the
booking has been inconsistent, though. One week an angle is firing on all cylinders,
but then the next week it is as cold as ice.  
Obviously, they still have two weeks to hard sell this PPV. They
need to get moving as quickly as possible, though, because time is in the essence.
They especially need to put on a compelling go home show, which has been a
major weakness in the company for a while now. Those shows are leaving its viewers with a bloated feeling, as opposed to an eagerness feeling, heading towards the said month’s special event. Even Wrestlemania 30’s
go-home show was poor – and that is saying something. And one must assume that
poor go home shows can put a big damper on a PPV’s buyrate/the network.
Even though Summerslam appears to be a good show, WWE has
failed to make it look like a “cannot miss” show. Which is what they desperately need Summerslam to look like.

Triple H’s role at Summerslam


Hey so last Monday they officially announced Cena vs Lesnar.  Now early reports rumored that Triple H would face Roman Reigns at Summerslam, however the ending to last Monday's RAW almost suggested that it would be Randy Orton facing Roman Reigns.  Now they could do Orton vs Kane and still do the rumored match but if they don't my question to you is:  When does Triple H insert himself into the Cena/Lesnar match as the special guest referee?  Triple H making himself special referee at Summerslam is almost a tradition now.

​Well, the logical progression is Reigns going over Orton at Summerslam and then moving onto the REAL feud with HHH at Night of Champions, unless they really want to stretch it out by doing shit finish at Summerslam / shit finish at NOC / Hell in the Cell at the PPV of the same name, and then move onto HHH at Survivor Series.  Either way, the Orton -> HHH progression seems to make the most sense.  And then HHH can make his life hell until he wins the Rumble to get revenge and yada yada millions of dollars made etc.  ​

QOTD #32: SummerSlam

Today’s Question:
What is your all-time favorite
SummerSlam match?
We have over 25 years to choose from, so have at it. To
start the discussion, jump to the end of this thread or hit the “Comments”
button. Otherwise stick around to talk about the Shield.

So which Shield member is going to have the most lasting
power? Which of the 3 is headed for stardom, and will still be there 5 years
from now? Seth Rollins has main event experience; he spent years on top of ROH
as Tyler Black. Roman Reigns is getting the rocket push, has Samoan blood, and
deep family connections … not to mention the height and build. And Dean Ambrose
has been the breakout since the Shield babyface turn, he’s got charisma coming
out his pores.
Darren: Roman Reigns. Why? a) Of the 3, which is
more likely to appeal to mainstream media/the masses? Which means, of course,
the WWE will force-feed him to us. Ambrose is ultra-talented, but can you
really see Ambrose on The Late Show with Jimmy Kimmel? b) The WWE and their
cookie-cutter formula won’t capitalize on Ambrose’s following and c) What other
options are there for Rollins or Ambrose? I’m taking an educated guess TNA wont
be around in 5 years
Mister_E_KindaBuzzedAllBecause:
I think that Reigns is the most likely to
be a long term upper tier guy. He’s got the look, he’s good enough in the ring,
and WWE is behind him.  That good enough
in the ring bit is still sort of up in the air, as he’s mostly been protected
in multi-man situations, but I think that he’ll do ok. He should slide nicely
into the small tier of top guys who trade the title around.
Jason Clark: I think it’s going to Reigns based on
injuries, or lack thereof. All three are roughly the same age to rounding
error, but Reigns’s size will permit him to wrestle a style less conducive to
injury than Ambrose or Rollins. Plus, Reigns (debut 2010) has less mileage than
Ambrose (debut 2004) & Rollins (debut 2003).
So we start with the Roman Reigns camp. He’s the first who’s
being given an opportunity, and seems to have a good feeling for the wrestling
business. Whether or not he’s ready in singles competition is the big question,
as he has been one of the most well protected wrestlers over the last 20 years.
If they invested half the energy in a lot of the wasted opportunities over the
years, they might have a much deeper main event roster today (however, not you
Ken Kennedy). We should get our answers about Reigns over the next year. If he
can hold the fans, and eventually carry the belt credibly when he’s asked, then
he may be a made man.
UdonBelieve: I’m gonna go with Rollins here. A lot of
people here talk about how they want to see Reigns prove himself in an extended
1 on 1 match. I’m more interested in seeing him cut a couple promos on his own
that get me emotionally invested in a program. Ambrose is my favorite of the
three and a highlight of Raw but I think his current loose cannon persona keeps
him at upper mid-card at best.
Seth Rollins has been given the chance to run with the ball
before, albeit on a high level indy level. So far, he’s held his own on the
major stage, carrying himself like a star from his first appearance. He also
has a little daredevil in himself, with the stage dives during the Shield feud
with Evolution. Still, many of you aren’t feeling Rollins as a main event guy.
He has definitely fizzled since the heel turn, but 5 years is a long time and
stranger things have happened. For example, who would have imagined that Kofi
Kingston would be doing the exact same shtick, with absolutely 0 career progression
in either direction, for 7 consecutive years?
WLLYOUSTOP?!?: My hunch is that Dean Ambrose is the one who
will have the longest lasting legacy, if for no other reason than someone on
the booking committee is finally going to realize the parallels with Austin and
start building Ambrose that way.
Marv Cresto: I suspect that Ambrose will become a bigger
name even if Reigns goes on to hold more titles and win more main events.
Reigns will be given every single opportunity to get over, like a Cena. While
Ambrose will over time pick up the support of the majority of the fans, like a
Punk or Bryan. I think they could all benefit from some changes in their look,
the SWAT gear is weird when they’re not a team.
Ambrose is the sentimental favorite on the BoD, as the
underdog maniac. He is clearly the guy the WWE expected the least out of, but
has produced the most since the split. His wild attacking of Rollins is
eventually going to grow old, however, and he’s going to need to find new ways
to channel his energy. Based on his worked “shoot” with Foley a couple of years
back, however, I have to believe he understands how to get a reaction when he
needs to, and there’s hope there.
Thanks for your answers yesterday. I’ll of course be back
tomorrow. Until then, have a great one.

Santino retires at WWE Live: SummerSlam Heatwave Tour

Hi Scott, 

I was at the Summerslam Heatwave Tour today at Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto when Santino retired.
-he admitted he's actually 40 years old, not the 35 he's billed as
-he was disappointed he couldn't wrestle in Toronto last tour because he was injured then too.
-he felt sad that he was never announced as from his real hometown of Mississauga/Toronto, Canada
-he hoped to stay on as a manager, general manager, or in some other role

Other notes:
-biggest pop and standing ovation: Chris Jericho answered The Miz's open challenge.  After the match, Jericho took the mic and said he was feeling pretty good in his first match in over a year.

-Cena beat Bray Wyatt in a Street Fight title match after an Attitude Adjustment through a table.


best,
The Undead Tailor


SummerSlam fever

Hey Scott,

With the early rumors that WWE is building to Daniel Bryan and BRRRRROCK LESNAR for the title at SummerSlam, which should be AWESOME, I'm getting a little SummerSlam fever. I've been watching a lot of the shows on WWE Network recently and it got me thinking for fun to lay down a challenge for you that the blog may enjoy also participating in.

Basically, I'm curious to see what you would rank as the top 10 SummerSlam events of all-time. And then to up the ante, what you would consider to be the top 10 SummerSlam matches of all-time. If you're really feeling froggy, you could list your favorite match from all 26 shows.

Enjoy your opinion, thanks!

Steve

​I actually missed a whole bunch of Summerslams because I lost touch with the product in 2005 and never really felt like going back to them, so I'm really not the best person to ask this one.  In fact, I barely remember 05 outside of Hogan-Michaels, skipped 06-09 entirely, only saw 2010 months later, and then skipped 11 and 12.  ​The show tends to come at the low point for my caring about WWE during the year.  
Just off the top of my head, I'd go:
1.  Bret-Bulldog 92
2.  Shawn-Razor ladder match 95
3.  Shawn-HHH street fight 02
4.  Brock-Punk 13
5.  TLC 2000
6.  Angle-Austin 01
7.  Bryan-Cena 13
8.  Rock-HHH ladder match 98
9.  Rock-Brock 02
10.  Jericho-Benoit 2000
I'm sure I'm missing obvious here, though.  I've heard good things about Punk-Cena but I've never actually watched it.  

10 Surprising Revelations From The 1991 Summerslam Payroll Sheet

Thought this was interesting and would spark some convo on the blog. The Summerslam 91 paysheet was released due to Warrior's lawsuit regarding the dvd WWE produced about him. 

As soon as I heard about this one I thought "Ah, Mookieghana must have done it", but it's someone else working off of a document provided by him.  Still, WOW.  I'm such a nerd for this sort of thing and it's awesome to be able to get some hard numbers even if it's decades out of date.  Great stuff.