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wrestling / TV Reports

The Summerslam 2007 Breakdown

September 1, 2007 | Posted by J.D. Dunn

Summerslam 2007
by J.D. Dunn

So this semester’s already shaping up to be a bitch. Last week was wall-to-wall writing, except for Wednesday, a night that I was assigned to go see a theatre production of Hamlet. It wouldn’t have been so bad except I was seated in the rich, drunken cougar section, and some old lady kept asking me to hold her cigarettes and complimentary vodka while she checked her messages. I don’t care how much money you donate to the arts, blue hair is never going to be sexy.

It could be worse. Vince made out with Mae Young…and liked it.

Anyway, buy the merch (http://www.cafepress.com/411mania)

  • August 26, 2007
  • Live from East Rutherford, N.J..
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Joey Styles and Taz.

  • Opening Match: Kane vs. Finlay.
    Generally, you want a fast-paced match to open the show and get the fans excited right off the bat. This is not that match. In fact, the fans are dead silent until Finlay gets caught on the top rope and uppercutted to the floor. It’s a word! Kane goes up, but Finlay knocks him off, landing Kane’s ribs right on the top rope. Kane comes back with a sideslam, but his ribs are too damaged to do the chokeslam. Finlay grabs Hornswoggle from under the ring, but Kane does the zombie sit-up and scares the poor little guy half to death. Kane sets up for a double-chokeslam, but Finlay saves the leprechaun. Kane still can’t get Finlay up. Finlay goes back to the ribs, hitting them with a shillelagh. Finlay’s schoolboy only gets two, though. Finlay misses a charge and posts himself, allowing Kane to finish with the chokeslam at 8:49. Not a big fan of the little choo-choo train that could psychology where Kane tried several times to hit the move and then was able to hit it after more punishment on his ribs. **

  • In the back, Vince and all of the authority figures party. Nothing of note, other than Vince saying he wouldn’t fuck an Englishwoman with Coach’s dick. What about Elizabeth Hurley? Victoria Beckham? Hell, David Beckham?
  • Intercontinental Title: Umaga vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito.
    Carlito presence is superfluous here, considering he hasn’t really done anything all year. The heels try to convince Umaga to go after the other one, so he goes after BOTH. Kennedy breaks up the buttalanche, allowing Carlito to knock Umaga to the floor. Kennedy adds a running boot to the face, driving Umaga to the steps. In the ring, Kennedy busts out THE STROKE on Carlito. Ain’t I great…great?! Umaga recovers and yanks Kennedy to the floor. He tries a splash in the corner, but Kennedy saves Carlito again! Kennedy grabs one of the monitors and smashes it into the post in the general vicinity of Umaga’s head. That was lame. Umaga reverses a double suplex attempt and tears Kennedy and Carlito a collective new asshole. Kennedy hits Carlito with the Finlay Roll for two, but Umaga rips him off the cover and hits the Samoan Spike at 7:24. If Kennedy is to be the next guy to challenge Cena, this was not the way to make him the heir apparent. In fact, it was basically a handicapped match. At least Umaga seems to have a solid following as a babyface. **1/4

  • Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio.
    Rey is supposed to be dressed like the Silver Surfer, but he looks more like the Tin Man. They do a brief lucha sequence before Chavo begins targeting the knee. Rey avoids a sliding dropkick, though, and Chavo spills to the floor. Now, it’s *Rey* who starts working Chavo’s knee. Rey goes up but gets crotched on the top and caught in the tree-of-woe. Chavo goes right back to the knee, including the Argentine Kneerack. Rey battles out of it and turns it into a headscissors, but Chavo goes back to a kneebar. Rey hits an enzuigiri, but his knee gives out when he goes for the 619. Chavo pounces with the half-crab. Rey makes the ropes, though. Chavo goes up, but Rey knocks him into the tree-of-woe and kicks away at the knee. To the floor, Rey hits the vertical splash. Back in, he springboards into another one and seems to pull a groin muscle. Chavo sunset flips him, but Rey rolls through and kicks him right in the head for two. Rey hits a Quebrada DDT, but his crossbody misses. GORYBOMB! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! The 619 misses, and Chavo hits the Triple Verticals. Rey counters the last one to a headscissors and hits the 619 finally. That leads to a springboard splash at 12:06. Same problem as the Kane match as Chavo did things to Rey that would injure a *healthy* knee, but Rey was “gutty” so he blew off everything Chavo did. How about this for a finish: Chavo becomes so obsessed with injuring Rey again that he leaves himself open and gets rolled up on a fluke. The rest of the match had some cool spots, but they didn’t hold together as a whole. **1/2

  • King Booker promises to make Triple H bow down.
  • #1 Contender’s Diva Battle Royal.
    Candice Michelle observes from ringside. Your participants are Victoria, Kristal, Michelle McCool, Layla, Brooke, Kelly, Maria, Melina, Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall, Torrie Wilson and Mickie James. Brooke goes early. Jillian tosses Maria. Layla gets tossed by Melina. Kristal boots Victoria out and then gets inadvertently eliminated by Michele McCool. I can only assume that’s going to come back to haunt Michelle. Ross and Lawler have a funny exchange, commenting on Kelly Kelly’s elimination:

    Lawler: Kelly Kelly is one of my favorites. She looks like my fourth wife.
    JR: How many wives have you had?!
    Lawler: Three.

    Divas start flying fast and furious. That leaves Beth, Torrie and Michelle McCool. Torrie and Michelle team up on Beth, but she boots Torrie to the floor. That leaves the scrawny McCool against a rather beefy Beth Phoenix. Michelle fires away, but Beth picks her up and dumps her over the top. 1/2*

  • MVP interrupts the celebration and talks about drinking beer back in the day. So now he’s going to engage in a “Beer-drinking Contest.” Matt Hardy comes out and says MVP got to pick a substitute for their boxing match, so Matt has a substitute beer-drinker. MVP is the only man on the planet who doesn’t know what’s coming. CRASH! Stone Cold Steve Austin comes out to drink sum damn beers. But first, he knocks MVP silly with a Stunner.
  • In the back, Cryme Tyme thinks one of them might be Vince’s son. That leads to a lot of dancing, which would normally be eye-roll inducing, but William Regal joins in and gets down with his bad English self.
  • ECW Heavyweight Title: John Morrison vs. CM Punk.
    Punk totally outwrestles Morrison early on, blocking or countering everything he can throw at him. He busts out Jericho’s springboard dropkick, but Morrison blocks his sunset bomb attempt and delivers a neckbreaker on the apron. Morrison grounds things with a chinlock. Punk sunset flips him and comes off the second rope with a crossbody. An enzuigiri gets two more, as does a snap powerslam. Morrison will never die! Morrison reverses the Pepsi Twist into a backbreaker, but Punk goes right back to it. Moonsault! ONE, TWO, THR-NO! Punk crotches Morrison on the top and hits a flying clothesline. A roundhouse kick knocks Morrison silly, but Morrison counters a huracanrana and puts his feet on the ropes (in theory) for the win at 7:07. I know a lot of people complained that Morrison failing to secure his feet on the ropes, and that made Punk look weak, but really excuses are moot at this point. This is Punk’s, what, third or fourth failure at winning the title? That’s no longer getting screwed, it’s being a loser, a Buffalo Bill, and that’s the stink Punk has now. The match was starting to get pretty good before they cut it off. In my opinion, they should put all the young athletic talent on ECW and make it sort of a “younger, faster, quicker, better” show. That way, you can keep your monsters on Smackdown, your personality guys on Raw, and use ECW as something of a minor league (although you obviously don’t sell it as that). **1/2

  • Triple H vs. King Booker (w/Queen Sharmell).
    Hunter looks considerably less j-j-j-j-j-jacked now. That’s a good thing, by the way because less weight will make him quicker and, in theory, less injury-prone. Hunter clotheslines him to the floor. Back in, they botch something (no doubt Booker’s fault!), and Hunter has to cover with another weak clothesline to the floor. Hunter with the facebuster for two. Booker finally goes after Hunter’s injured leg. Hunter turns it right back on Booker, clipping his knee. Booker charges into the spinebuster. He blocks the Pedigree and hits the BOOK END! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Booker goes up for the HANGOVER! It misses! The roundhouse kick misses too, and Hunter finishes with the Pedigree at 7:57. This was just above “glorified squash” level thanks to Booker getting at least one nearfall with the Book End. As with Rey, it’s hard to get a gauge on how good Hunter’s going to be. He did look a little winded, but that’s something that he’ll have to work out over time. *3/4

  • “Did you hear the one about the man who couldn’t be destroyed?” Uh, yeah. I just watched him in a match.
  • World Heavyweight Title: The Great Khali vs. Batista.
    The best thing about this match was the commentary, and that’s not necessarily an insult. Khali jumps Batista on his way into the ring and clubs him down. He applies a trapezes hold, which would normally be incredibly boring, but JBL explains why the hold works and what kind of damage it does. Now, that would be all well and good, but Batista really doesn’t sell it like that, and neither does anyone else. See, if they just walked around with one arm hanging limp, it would be a cool move. Batista forces out and spinebusters Khali for two, but Khali Treeslams him and then hits him with a chair for the DQ at 6:55. Well, that just sucked a dick. I understand that they’re probably building up to some sort of big rematch at Unforgiven, but wouldn’t you want to do the big match at your “second biggest show of the year?” 1/2*

  • WWE Heavyweight Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton.
    This is one I’ve actually been waiting for since they debuted within weeks of each other in 2002. Future wrestlers and fans of storytelling, take note of the first five minutes of this match. Of course, the crowd is divided about fifty-fifty. Cena slaps on a headlock and takes Orton down, drawing big boos. Orton powers up, but Cena backs him into the corner and gives a clean break. Orton suddenly *pounces* on him, grabbing his own tight headlock as if to say, “Fuck you, I can do it better!”, and the crowd pops huge…for a headlock. See, it’s like I’ve been saying for a while now – it’s not necessarily what they’re doing, but the importance they give it. Cena gives another clean break but gets punched right in the face and just collapses. Again, think of the usual reaction to a punch in the WWE. It’s usually no-sold and then they start slugging it out. Cena struggles to the apron, so Orton knocks him off into the announce table á la Bret Hart. Back in, Orton hits the ORTONLOCK but actually makes it look cool by wrenching back on it. Cena powers up into a backdrop suplex but runs into a powerslam. Randy goes back to the chinlock. Cena elbows out of it but runs into a dropkick. Orton goes back to the chinlock. Cena, again, goes for a backdrop, but Orton blocks and whips him back down onto the mat. See how one spot builds to another within the context of the match? Awesome! Cena makes the comeback with the usual and hits the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Orton elbows out of the FU and hits a Stretch Backbreaker. Cena rolls to the apron again, so Orton yanks him across the ropes and hits the Rope-Assisted DDT. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Orton stalks him for the RKO, but Cena shoves him away. Cena charges but gets thrown over the top rope. Back in, Cena hits a flying neckbreaker, which was a nice improvisation since Orton was out of position for the Throwback. They fight on the top, with Cena powering out of a superplex and hitting the Sicilian Slice. Orton blocks another FU and snaps Cena’s throat on the top rope. Cena is slow to recover, so Orton has the bright idea of punting him in the head and ending it once and for all. Instead, Cena avoids the kick and rides him down into the STFU. Orton…just makes…the ropes. RKO! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Orton hauls him up, but Cena suddenly pops up and hits the FU for the anti-climactic win at 21:19. This was the one match on the card that actually felt like a big match. It could have stood to have Orton kick out of the FU and go a few more seconds until a real finish. As it is, it just looks like Cena completely no-sold the RKO. The design, storyline, and effort were outstanding, but the final stretch of the match needed to be just a bit longer to build to a crescendo and make the match something really special. As it is, it’s just the best match on a bad card. ****

    The 411: Even a hell of a performance in the main event can’t save this dog of a PPV. In fact, the entire show felt like they were building to some bigger, future show, which, one assumes, is Unforgiven. That’s all well and good, but if Unforgiven doesn’t deliver, this card was nothing more than a bunch of missed opportunities.

    Thumbs down

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