Sunday, August 23, 2009

SummerSlam 2009 Review

Live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, it's the 22nd edition of WWE's second biggest event of the year - SummerSlam! I enjoyed the opening bit with DX, funny stuff that was a bit different than WWE's usual sense of humor.

Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship is up first, Rey's always a good way to get the crowd pumped early. I was going into this match expecting to be entertained, but what I got was the sleeper hit of the evening. Seriously, this was the second best match all night, a tremendous opener that far and away exceeded all expectations. Mysterio continued to wrestle like he's ten years younger, as he has all throughout 2009 and Dolph Ziggler looked like a main eventer. I loved the story these two told, Ziggler's increasing frustration was great and it was what turned out to be his downfall when the veteran took advantage. Great spots from the beginning with Rey's beautiful leapfrog moonsault, all the way to the end with the top-rope gutbuster reversed into a Super Hurricanrana. That was old school Rey Mysterio Jr. on display tonight! I know a lot of people are going to be upset that Dolph didn't win, but after a performance like that, he doesn't need the title yet. Refer to the Five Things I wanted to see tonight and see why I think Mysterio retaining is what's best for the Intercontinental Championship.
Predictions: 0-1

Loved the backstage promo from MVP & Jack Swagger, mostly MVP doing all the work, but there was something about that segment that I found really cool. MVP's never been a slouch on the mic and having such an easy target like Swagger to work with makes him sound even better. Shame the awesomeness of the promo couldn't follow them into the ring...

MVP vs. Jack Swagger was a pretty big letdown, mainly because the crowd was dead for it the entire time. Now, we can debate about why the crowd was dead, it certainly didn't help that the match got very little build-up and I bet most people at the show didn't even know it had been added to the card, so WWE definitely has to shoulder some of the blame. That said, it's not like we're dealing with two complete unknowns here and they weren't putting on a bad match, so I don't really get it. No matter the reason, the crowd killed this match, but luckily it was fairly short and MVP got his first PPV win in quite some time.
Predictions: 0-2

Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. Cryme Tyme... ooh I like the new JeriShow theme, I'm gonna miss the "WEEEEELLLL IT'S THE BIG-BIG-BIG-BIG-BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!" intro, but this one was at least a real song and not just cutting back and forth between the two themes... hell, I can do that. Anyway, once I heard the new theme, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that they were retaining, you don't go through the trouble of getting a new intro for the guys just to have them lose. Despite the loss, Cryme Tyme looked great tonight, as they should have considering they're one of the few "real" teams left in WWE. The tag gold slips away once again, but when they day comes and Shad & JTG finally get their hands on the belts, it'll be all the more sweet. For now, it's way too soon to end the reign of Jericho & Big Show, these guys are just getting started on their quest to conquer all of WWE.
Predictions: 1-3

Kane vs. The Great Khali was absurdly long considering the participants and some things that happened later that I'll get to shortly. Admittedly, I wasn't paying that close attention to this match because I didn't really care and watching Khali wrestle always makes me uncomfortable... the guy looks like he's going to crumble right there in the middle of the ring! The Punjabi Playboy stuff is amusing, Ranjin Singh is great and Kane can still put on a watchable match when he needs to, but I don't ever need to see these elements in the ring together ever again. Definitely the low point of the night.
Predictions: 2-4

Once again proving the dirtsheets have no clue what they're talking about, DX vs. Legacy did not headline this evening. But before we get into this match, let's talk about the DX entrance... holy hell, that might be the most extravagant thing I've ever seen in professional wrestling. I think they released Eugene so they could pay for all the pyro, the extras and the tank, yeah they came to the ring on a FREAKING TANK! I liked it though, nice tribute to the old DX and the WCW invasion stuff... and of course, they had to use the guns on the tank as a phallic symbol, putting them between their legs as pyro shot out. It's like being at a KISS concert!

Oh yeah, there was an actual match in there too. Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase was way more match than I thought it would be and probably way more match than it should have been. Alright, here's the deal: all the Triple H clich├ęs have to stop after tonight. It's really been over five years since he "buried" anybody, but then he goes out there tonight with Shawn Michaels and they take two guys who aren't even close to their league and they make them look like Superstars. There were points when I actually thought Legacy was going to win, and I would've been furious if that had happened, but that's just how much HHH & HBK put these guys over. Lawler & Cole did a great job on commentary, the look on HBK's face after the match, the fact that the match felt like it was damn near 30 minutes long, it all just made Rhodes & DiBiase look worthwhile. Now, as for the match itself, it wasn't fantastic. In fact, there were some parts where I was downright bored, especially when Legacy were taking a page out of Orton's book and bringing the match to a complete halt. Still, the match did what it needed to do - way more than it needed to do - and while I'm still not sold on Rhodes or DiBiase, they did come out of this one looking stronger than I thought they would.
Predictions: 3-5

Alright, what the hell was that? I spent all week going bonkers over the prospect of William Regal vs. Christian, I begged WWE for 15 minutes and the match lasts all of five seconds. Come on! Look, obviously they were running short on time, I get that sometimes things need to be shifted around, but here's an idea - use that finish for the Kane/Khali match! There's no excuse for that sorry excuse for a match getting more time than the ECW Title, especially when it's two guys as talented and underrated as Christian and William Regal. My only hope is that they get a submission match next month at Breaking Point and tear the house down. At least we got more of the awesomeness that is the Regal/Kozlov/Zeke stable, but I reiterate: COME ON!
Predictions: 4-6

And while I'm fired up, Randy Orton vs. John Cena was seven shades of stupid. Perfectly acceptable wrestling match, but the ending - excuse me, endings - were so bad, my brain started punching the back of my eyes, trying to escape. It was angry at me for watching something so mind-numbingly bad. I have to admit, WWE had me going on the "fan" jumping in the ring, had they not cut back to him being dragged out by security, I'd be sitting here thinking it was legit. But seriously, more Orton shenanigans? Who does this guy think he is, Edge? At least with Edge it made sense, but this is just getting ridiculous and I'm so beyond sick of Orton, it's a chore to even write about him. Obviously this sets up next month's PPV, there can't be any wonky finishes in a submission match, but that still doesn't excuse the nonsense that went on tonight. Talk about overdoing it. Huge thumbs down.
Predictions: 4-7

Okay, now that all the bad stuff is out of the way, let's talk about how friggin' awesome the TLC Match was. I'm just going to come right out and say it: CM Punk & Jeff Hardy are out of their damn minds. The chairshots were sick, the table bumps were rough, the falls off the ladder weren't pretty, that Superplex onto the ladder was absolutely disgusting, and Jeff Hardy doing the Swanton off a 16-foot (at least) high ladder through the ECW announce table was nothing short of terrifying. Even the final shot was brutal, it was just a simple strike, but then Jeff has to fall flat-back off the thing onto one of the least forgiving sections of the ring. These two put their bodies through hell and gave us the perfect conclusion to the best feud of 2009 so far, and I doubt anything else is going to come close. Hats off to CM Punk for becoming a three-time World Heavyweight Champion - wonder how many smarks thought they'd ever be reading that.
Predictions: 5-8

With CM Punk standing tall over Jeff Hardy's prone body, it looks like that's going to do it for this year's Summ -- did the lights just flicker? And now they're completely out. *GONG!* OMG PUNK DON'T LOOK DOWN DUDE! IT'S THE UNDERTAKER! Sorry, I get a bit carried away when The Phenom is around. Taker chokeslams Punk, walks out of the ring, throws tables, ladders and chairs all over the place and then sets the stage on fire! Now that's how you end a PPV! So... freaking... awesome.

Alright, so we get a stellar beginning, a hit & miss middle and an absolutely fantastic ending, so where does that leave us? Rey/Ziggler tore the house down, Tag Title match was good, DX/Legacy was solid and the main event was a Match of the Year contender. Considering that and the fact that most of the bad stuff was forgettable, I'm inclined to give SummerSlam '09 a solid thumbs up. Let me know your thoughts on the event in the comments section, I'd love to get a good conversation going about this one, because it was definitely one of the biggest PPVs of the year.

13 comments:

  1. first comment ... cool ...

    Rey vs Dolph
    Amazing match. Simply awesome. I saw Dolph really come into his own, and I did see fire in his eyes, like he genuinely wanted to prove something. Rey made me watch in awe, as usual.

    Loved the promo work of MVP, not too sure about Swagger, there's something plastic about his delivery ... Their match was shit. I was looking forward to it, and it was a disappointment.

    Kane vs Khali? Why did they even have this match? Grrrrr, hated it, didn't care about it, just wanted it to finish, just wanted to move on with my life when it finished.

    Jerishow and CT, feckin finally we get a theme tune for these that I can listen to, albeit the slightly neutered "well,it's the big show ..." not being as good as the original vocals, but woteva.

    The match was great, but I expect nothing short of perfection from Jericho - in Every Single Match :)

    i hope jerishow feud with DX. That would certainly make the tag titles look worth having. Although, I think they should just have 2 belts not 4.

    DX match, re: the entrance, it was perfect ... only DX. it was great.

    The match? I think shawn showed a lot of ring rust ... but it was servicable.

    ECW title debacle, I just wanted to destroy the TV at that point, but I'm sure my wife wouldn't like that. I was seriously bummed and my feelings about this match were the same as yours vis a vis Kane and Khali taking up time with dead weight.

    Orton vs cena ... with 1 day to go before she leaves, Lil Garcia manages to add a major championship botch to her list of botches!
    Match was ... hmmm, it was. At least it's over.

    TLC match exceeded my expectations, made even my wife mark out (and she doesn't enjoy wrestling) ... it was one of those matches that will be etched into my memory for years to come, and ... well, I loved it.

    The correct man won.

    Where was Matt H?

    THE UNDER-BLOODY-TAKER! Yes, Smackdown is OVERLOADED WITH AWESOMENESS. I gotta have a drink to steady myself lol!

    Peace out.

    tom

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  2. Not much to say since I DIDN'T GET TO SEE SUMMERSLAM! :( but apparently the 'fan' that interferred was actually Brett DiBiase...
    Could be a new storyline??

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  3. I heard about that too, I wonder if anything's gonna come of that, or is it like the developmental plants in the audience at wrestlemania during undertaker match? If it was even brett dibiase/joe hennig

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  4. I have to disagree with your view on the Cena vs Orton match. It did what it had to do.

    Heading into a pay-per-view where it's submission only, Orton HAD to win, nobody would believe that he could topple Cena in a submission match, considering he's up against a guy who holds 1 of the 2 submission holds anyone taps out to in the company, if he couldn't beat him in a straight up wrestling match.

    As far as the screwy finishes go, it again achieved what it set out to do, show us that Cena is better than Orton, but Randy will do anything to keep hold of the title and it teased at him finally getting his come-uppance, but again he pulled it out. Come buy the next Pay-Per-View to see if he fianlly does, it's classic booking.

    Also considering TLC match was to follow, with the Undertaker return also left for the evening, this was the perfect time to pull this type of thing, becaus as the dust settles, the fans will be happy enough Taker is back. No need to blow a clean win for Cena on a PPV that already has elements that will top it.

    So yeah, I'm sure we'll have a definitive ending to Cena vs Orton at Breaking Point, with Cena getting his triumphant victory, while more than likely, that dastardly CM Punk will escape with his title, in the first main-event.

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  5. It's funny....my first thought when the Christian/Regal match ended was 'Wow Razor isn't going to be happy about that!' It made me laugh when I realized.

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  6. One screwy finish would've been fine, but three? There's continuing a feud, and then there's going over the top... they went way over the top with that.

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  7. The Undertaker's return tops any and every WWE moment I can possibly think off right now. Maybe just because I'm so pumped after watching it, but damn that incredible.

    Punk has defintley been involved in nothing but awesome angles since he got pushed up the card. Cashing the MitB in on Edge, the JBL drinking promo, cashing the MitB on Hardy, the slow turn and now the best Undertaker return since we were introduced to the ABA.

    I'm also angered beyond belief that Khali/Kane for some unknown reason got so much time. The only was I can even possibly attempt to justify that is the fact it has so much more build. The rematch at Breaking Point better be effin' amazing.

    It almost feels like WWE's brands are mimicking the WCW stars careers. RAW is your Hulk Hogan, refusing to let anyone that's not ME have any of the spotlight, SD! is your Chris Jericho, where he's getting over regardless of still being thought of as less than the top stars and ECW is just the entire the cruiserweight division. >_>

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  8. *I'm also angered beyond belief that Khali/Kane for some unknown reason got so much more time than Regal/Christian. The only was I can even possibly attempt to justify that is the fact it has so much more build. The rematch at Breaking Point better be effin' amazing.

    ****

    Corrected my post before anyone seriously started to think I wanted a rematch for Khali/Kane.

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  9. Yes, the finish was over the top, but it was unique and I liked it. It kept me wondering how Orton would escape this one, plus it's way better than having him just hooking the tights or foot on the rope finish that's been done to death. I've never seen a triple restart been done before, so it was entertaining.

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  10. As I get older, the things I find myself looking for in a PPV are markout moments and my energy level after the show. Between the DX intro, the fan run in and subsequent RKO, the spots in the TLC match, and Undertaker's return I found myself getting really into it and enjoying myself. After the show, I was ready to run ten miles. Just a great three hours. Solid wrestling, great entertainment, and fun surprises. I have to give the WWE some serious kudos for putting on a great show.

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  11. I was at SummerSlam, and I was pleased with the event for the most part. I'd say it was a good 8.5 for me. I actually really enjoyed Orton vs. Cena. I'm not too crazy about it happening all over again at Breaking Point, but this IS Raw, so some combination of Orton/Cena/Ttiple H was bound to happen.

    I felt so cheated with the ECW Title match. That's been my favorite championship in WWE for the last few months based on a.) the fact that the title doesn't change hands as often as the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles (I have yet to consider any of the ECW Champs paper champions); and b.) the matches are usually solid whether they last 10 minutes or 20 minutes. Obviously, they threw the latter out the window. That damn thing was about 10 seconds. I was so stoked that ECW was being represented, and then they fed us that garbage.

    Kane vs Khali was pretty boring. I just found out it was about six minutes. Honestly, it felt like it lasted about 15.

    DX's entrance was definitely one of the highlights of the night. It's one of the best entrances I've ever witness, if not THE best. It was great to see HBK back in the ring after so many months.

    As for the TLC match, pure gold. Sometimes these types of matches don't live up to their full potential, but Hardy and Punk almost raised the bar with their match. Taker returning at the end of the match was just awesome!

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  12. I'd say the one bright spot for ECW is the fact that the brand is so isolated from the rest of WWE, the situation will be rectified in the coming weeks and (hopefully) we'll get a nice solid submission match between Regal & Christian at Breaking Point.

    Sucks for guys like you who were at SummerSlam and guys like me who threw down $40 to watch it on PPV, but that's the nature of the beast, especially when they're running low on time. The Kane/Khali match could've been 10 seconds and they could've easily shaved 5 minutes off DX vs. Legacy, but what's done is done.

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  13. That's pretty much the only thing that would make sense at this point. Build the feud for the next few weeks, then have Regal plug in his Regal stretch and the fact that Christian doesn't have a submission move, and we've got a competent match set for Breaking Point.

    If I could have had things my way, Khali and Kane wouldn't have even been on the card. If you include their entrances and their six-minute match, and subtract five minutes from DX vs. Legacy, you've got a decent amount of time for the ECW Title match. Although it seems as if they threw Christian and Regal in at the very last minute, because I got the official program, and that match was nowhere on there. Likewise, my sister got the SummerSlam T-shirt, and every match is listed on the back except for the ECW Title match.

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