Last week’s edition got a lot of views (probably because of the click-bait title of The One That Got A Ref Fired) so let’s continue with The One After Summerslam 2008 (oh boy I can smell the hits already.)
Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry (ECW Title)
We’re in Norfolk, VA and less than a week after his release, Braden Walker is already a meme.
Date: August 19, 2018
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips, Jonathan Coachman
It’s the second biggest show of the year (I think) and that means we’re in for a stacked card. The big matches include Roman Reigns challenging Brock Lesnar for the Universal Title, AJ Styles defending the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe and, in the match that I think should close the show, Daniel Bryan vs. the Miz. Tonight has some promise so let’s get to it.
Date: August 24, 2003
Location: America West Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz
It’s one of the biggest shows of the year and I can’t bring myself to get excited over it. This show really hasn’t been built up very well with only the Smackdown World Title match with Kurt Angle defending against Brock Lesnar offering much interest. The rest of the show feels very flat, especially the Raw World Title match which should have been Goldberg vs. HHH. Let’s get to it.
Live from New York, NY
Airdate: August 26, 1991
Hosted by Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan & “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
With matches made in both Heaven and Hell, will Vince go to Purgatory? Also, three title matches support the undercard. Read on!
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:
Date: August 25, 2002
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial, Uniondale, New York
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.
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.
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.
I was looking for he Batista-John Cena match from SummerSlam ’08, but could not find a good quality vid. So we’ll run with this one instead. No complaints from this side. It’s a solid ****+ Hell in a Cell match.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
This is pretty cool, although Chris Benoit apparently didn’t compete in any Summerslam ever and everyone bleeds in greyscale. Things really go to shit once you hit the brand extension, as well.