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Monday, 18 August 2008

Summerslam live notes

Summerslam Live

We’re live for Summerslam, the biggest blockbuster of the summer. I’ve got my popcorn, I’ve sat through the trailers, there’s a bloke in front me getting in my way, and there’s a kid behind me kicking my seat and eating crisps loudly. Maybe I took this cinema thing too seriously.

Jeff Hardy is out for the opener against MVP and Tazz is with JR on commentary. Still with the sell of the Mick Foley injuries. I speculated earlier today that Mick may appear in the HiaC match, but an online report says otherwise.

There hasn’t been a bad build up to this, but it does seem at this juncture that the feud is over who has the best cornrows. You’d have to go with Montel, but then if he is that highly paid he can afford a decent stylist. Jeff’s house burned down, taking with it all his hair-care products.

Well, I nearly got it right. I said that MVP would win by cheap means, and he sort of did. With Jeff set for a Swanton, Shelton Benjamin appears and Jeff dives onto him. The pause means he misses the swanton, and MVP hits the drive by kick.

No acknowledgment of Shelton by MVP – maybe a triple threat for the US title?

After more awesomeness by Santino, we have the combined IC and Women’s title match. No mention of Kofi’s countrymen winning medals, like the mention Michael Phelps got earlier. On refelction, probably because Ghana haven’t won anything.

Note in case WWE lawyers are reading. He is Jamaican. He’s called Kingston. It’s so obvious.

Points to me. I went for Santino causing Kofi to me out of action and Beth to beat Mickie. OK match without being anything other than you’d expect. Santino absolutely spot on with his mannerisms, and a typical superb post match celebration. Beth carried Santino out on her shoulders, as he told the IC belt “I missed you.”

Shawn’s out here with his wife Rebecca. He says that the Doc has told him to walk away. He says he will heed the advice of the docs. He’s explaining the reasons he is leaving, including virtuous reasons like being a good husband and father.

Meanwhile, though, we see a shot of someone in the crowd wearing a HBK hat. You read that right. Someone bought that horrible straw cowboy hat thing. Mind you, he has got a Spanish flag, and they dress in dopey matador outfits and wear sombreros so they are beyond salvation.

Jericho comes out to confront Shawn, to claim that he is responsible for Shawn’s retirement, not a build up of injuries. They are in each other’s face, suitably angry, but in a tone that makes it look real. Full of emotion and such a great lesson that you don’t have to shout to get the point across.

Segment ends with Jericho getting the admission out of Michaels, but with HBK getting the vocal upper hand. As Rebecca tries to get Shawn to leave, Jericho swings, misses HBK and clocks Rebecca. Wow, she took that well. I don’t think there was contact, but she fell well. HBK plays the concerned husband rather than attacking Chris, and Jericho in turn looks concerned and embarrassed.

Just a wonderfully done segment. Tremendous stuff. I would think that this will be the impetus for HBK to reverse his retirement decision.

Striker on commentary with Todd Grisham in the brand new line up, and I’m really pleased for Matt. I really enjoyed interviewing him last year, and although he basically had nothing interesting to say about his storylines an position in the company, he was a very funny, likeable guy, who I remember stating that he’d like to be a commentator. Pleased for him.

Err........ok. ECW as an afterthought once again as Matt hits an early Twist of Fate, but Atlas pulls Matt out. The bell rings after less than 30 seconds and we have another piece of bullshit to further bury the ECW legacy.

Atlas continues to beat on Matt, before Jeff comes out to save him. Wow, that doesn’t make Matt look good. Not really sure what the point was of that. The Hardys suplex Henry on the outside, but it’s basically a farce. What was the point of that? Seriously.

Decent reaction for Punk as we get the World Title match underway. Nice video package to help build this. This needs to be a decisive one for CM, because otherwise, if he can’t look good against JBL, how would he be against Cena or the like?

Clearly not a priority match this one, and I’d simply describe it as functional. Punk gets the clean win he needed, and there was a sick clash of heads which may have caused this to finish a bit early.

Looks like the other World title match is next, so they’ve really gone with the high-profile non-title affairs in the main event slots. Surely they’ll close with Undertaker and Edge.

I am on a roll tonight! Triple H, as predicted, builds the attempts at the Pedigree during the match, but fails a couple of times. He hits it at the end to a huge – and I mean HUGE – reaction to win. Not horrific, certainly not as bad as could have been.

Cena and Batista to get it on with 80 minutes of the show to go. I don’t think they’ll go right to the very end of the time, but if you allow for this to go twenty, and the show to finish at 3.45am, that still gives the Cell to be 45 minutes. Hmm. I’d expect a long, long main event.

Right, plenty to say.

Firstly, I did not expect Batista to win that cleanly. My predictions, which were flying until now, take a hit, and I can’t decide whether or not I approved of the match or not. I quite liked the way it was booked, with a heavy emphasis on two things – on them trying to hit their signature move, and on each man trying to break down the other’s leg.

Seeing Batista break out a figure 4 was a surprise, as was a Rear Naked Choke, although the STFU was less of a shock. I was disappointed that the holds were put on very sloppily, though, so that some realism was lost. Both men wrestle very staccato, so can put on decent matches with great workers and ring generals like Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, but together they didn’t completely click.

The ending was decent though, and I suppose it is hard to criticise them for the effort very much. I thought the finish, after a couple of false ones, was pretty creative.

You have to look at where they go from here? A rematch so that Cena can even things up? Possibly. Punk is now free for action with someone, and Batista would be the logical number one contender, but they went at it on PPV and on free TV not long ago. I don’t know where Cena goes apart from back to JBL, which no-one wants to see. If Rey is with Kane, and Jericho v HBK continues, I’m lost for ideas.

I was still typing when this match started, but we are not well into Edge v Taker, and Edge is well on top. I love Edge’s mannerisms in this, and this really has the big match feel – the first time tonight. Good so far, and props being set up indicate big stuff to come.

Very, very good cell match. Very good indeed. Plenty of good, innovative spots. An Edge jump into Taker on the Cell wall broke the structure to allow for an Edge spear through an announce table after running over the other two.

A chokeslam through two tables that had been set up earlier was a nice touch, as was Edge missing Old School but Taker hitting a spear.

Plenty of false finishes (not helped by the referee’s lack of conviction on the third count) ensued before the end arrived – and it wasn’t simple. Chokeslam through tables, then the spear, then a camera broke over Edge’s head. One man con-chair-to next, before a Tombstone to finish. I’m all for Edge looking good, but thank God he didn’t kick out after all that.

Post match was a bit unnecessary, with Taker returning to the ring to Chokeslam Edge off of ladders through the ring, and the gap eventually going on fire.

Terrific main event though, and the really interesting thing to take out of the Pay Per View is that a lot of matches were blow off matches. Edge, Taker, Triple H, Cena, Batista, Punk, JBL – all looking for something new.

A pretty decent show. No terrible matches, just the abortion that was the ECW ‘contest’. Terrific main event to cap off a better than average PPV.

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