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WWE SummerSlam 2005

by Scrooge McSuck

- Courtesy of the WWE Network! Originally presented on Pay-Per-View on August 21st, 2005, from the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. Jim Ross, Jerry "The King" Lawler, and Jonathon Coachman are at ringside to call the action for the matches featuring Raw Superstars, while Michael Cole and Tazz are covering the stuff from Smackdown. WWE Network doesn't have helpful jump buttons for matches, so I have to poke around blindly to skip the filler.

WWE United States Championship Match:
Orlando Jordan © vs. Chris Benoit:

Yes, Orlando Jordan is the DEFENDING Champion. Michael Cole reminds me of the horror that he's closing in one SIX MONTHS as the United States Champion, having won it from John Cena a few weeks before WrestleMania 21. How did a career JTTS not only find himself pushed along with the WWE Champion, but get the secondary Title for half a year?! Jordan weaseled his way into a successful defense against Benoit in their last PPV meeting. Lockup, Jordan tries a cheap shot, gets taken down with a German Suplex, and Benoit makes him tap out at the 26-second mark. No Rating, for obvious reasons. Jordan had zero heat before the bell rang, but the crowd still liked Benoit. In the weeks that followed, WWE aired segments where Benoit would do stuff to mock how quick the match was, like "It takes me longer to make a cup of coffee than it did to make you tap out."

- 15-minutes into the PPV, and we've had 30-seconds of wrestling. The backstage segment with Eddie and Vicki Guerrero was pretty good, but that's what Raw and Smackdown is for. Leave the PPV for all in-ring stuff and not lengthy backstage stuff that forces the crowd to sit around and wait for something to happen.

Matt Hardy vs. Edge (w/ Lita):

Oh, the days when Matt Hardy was considered sane. Art imitates life, as a very real life incident occurred concerning these three, and Matt, the victim who made it public, was actually released from his contract over it. Lita turned heel on Kane, the monster who raped her and forced her to carry his demon child before an accidental bump at the hands of Snitsky caused the miscarriage (yes, that's a real storyline), and Matt Hardy was rehired and started jumping the rail and attacking Edge for "ruining his dreams of having a family." Hardy slugs away to start and grabs a rear choke. Crowd gets on Lita with less-than-flattering chants while Edge takes Matt off the apron with a Spear between the ropes! Edge comes back with clubberin' until he takes a face-first bump on one of the ring posts, busting him open in the process. Edge pounds away on the cut and continues to punish Matt until the referee calls for the bell at 4:47, with Jim Ross speculating because Matt could no longer defend himself. ** I liked that they worked a "realistic" match which was basically a brawl, but this was too short and felt like a place-holder for a more important match at a PPV down the line. I do remember being fairly disappointed, but understood the booking decision.

Ladder Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero:

It's been a while, so I'll try and make this brief: Rey and Eddie had a "professional" rivalry, but Eddie kept losing, to the point he snapped and turned heel. They brought in Rey Mysterio's son Dominick into it, Rey kept winning. Eddie revealed the dark secret that he's really Dominick's father and challenged Rey to yet another match, with custody of Dominick on the line. Eddie's desperation at beating Rey was one thing, but using such a low-class exploitation angle is not my thing. Things would only get worse in 2006, but that's a story for another time. I will say the "Who's Your Papi" shirt was pretty awesome.

Eddie controls early and brings the Ladder to the ring less than 2-minutes into the match. Eddie climbs, but Rey springboards off the top rope to dropkick him off. A second ladder comes into play and Rey quickly baseball slides it into Eddie's face, followed by a seated senton to the floor! They fight at the top of the Ladder and blow a sunset-flip Powerbomb spot. Rey gets sandwiched between ladders and Eddie connects with a somersault from the apron. Eddie tries climbing, but Rey cuts him off and back drops across another ladder, while the original ladder gives away underneath, causing Rey to take a nasty bump. Rey climbs and Eddie quickly dropkicks the ladder over. Eddie climbs, but Dominick hops in and unsuccessfully tries to shake the ladder. Eddie stops his climb to chew him out. Eddie teases hitting him, but Rey interrupts and whips Eddie face-first into a ladder, followed by a 6-1-9. Rey drops the dime across the ladder, but he's selling the knee. Rey climbs, Eddie follows, and they somehow turn things into a spectacular Powerbomb. Eddie pulls the ladder from underneath on a climb attempt, then catches the falling Mysterio with his own Powerbomb! HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO THAT!? Eddie pins Rey under the ladder and climbs... and then stalls for time for what feels like forever. Rumors were that Vicki missed her cue, and the spot looked awkwardly long until they made something out of it. Eddie with the Three Amigo's, with the third across the ladder. Eddie climbs again, and now Vicki runs in to tip the ladder over on him! Rey recovers while Vicki holds Eddie back and retrieves the documents for the victory at 20:18. Post-match, Rey KO's Eddie with the briefcase, because Eddie fucking deserved it. *** A little long for my tastes, and that 60-seconds of Eddie seemingly being in limbo nearly ruined the finish, but they told a good story, the actual finish was pretty cool, and when the spots hit, they looked fantastic. Eddie's bad luck against Rey continues.

Eugene (w/ Christy Hemme) vs. Kurt Angle:

Here's a riddle for you: Kurt Angle, an established star, is doing a 3-minute challenge where he puts up his Olympic Gold Medals to anyone that can beat him or survive. You use unknowns for the challenge, and tease some guy named Matt Striker pulling off the impossible, having two failed attempts at it. So how do you blow off the angle? Bring EUGENE back from an injury, job Angle to him randomly on Raw, and have the rematch at SummerSlam to kill it dead. Way to create new stars, WWE. Eugene has Christy with him because they have to justify the $250,000 contract she "won" by sitting on pie and cussin' out a ho bag. Angle punks Eugene out before the bell and pounds away in the corner. Eugene ducks under a clothesline and counters with a Spinebuster to boos. Angle interrupts the People's Elbow with a clothesline to a thunderous pop. Angle with a pair of Germans. Crowd boos another Eugene rally and Angle with a release German Suplex for two. Eugene from out of nowhere with a Rock Bottom for two. Angle blocks the Stunner, Eugene counters the Angle Slam, and Stunner attempt #2 connects for two. Angle could kick out of three more of those, remember summerSlam 2001? Eugene slaps on the Ankle Lock, but Angle counters and hits the Angle Slam. Ankle Lock applied, and Eugene taps out at 4:44, giving Angle back his own Gold Medals. 1/2* Nothing match that served the purpose of ending a storyline that could've done good for someone but ended up being a stupid excuse to bring Eugene back to television. Bravo.

- Random WWE Diva's wash a limo that teases the President inside... but it's really Vince McMahon, and the bumper sticker says "McMahon for President." Probably would go as well for them if it said "McMahon for Senator."

The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton:

What's the deal with this one, again? Time to Wikipedia it... and there's zero information on the SummerSlam 2005 page. Great. Maybe Orton stole the urn or murdered Paul Bearer. This couldn't possibly be as bad as the epic turd that was 'Taker vs. JBL in 2004. Weird that Undertaker made his entrance first. Orton tries to keep his distance, but 'Taker quickly controls with his obvious strength advantage. Orton with a hip toss and clothesline, but 'Taker no-sells and knocks him silly with a big boot. 'Taker teases going old school, but Orton brings him down with an arm drag for a near fall. They take turns pounding away on each other in the corner, with 'Taker getting the best out of the exchange. Orton gets a boot up on a charge, but runs into another big boot. Whip and 'Taker with his diving clothesline for a two count. 'Taker continues to dish out punishment in the corner. Whip across the ring, and a running knee meets nothing but buckle.

Orton targets the knee and surprises Undertaker trying to re-enter the ring with a DDT for two. He viciously attacks the knee like his name is Ric Flair. 'Taker pounds the ribs to fight out of a leg scissors, but Orton elbows him across the face and drops a knee across the chest for two. Orton with a boot to the face for another two count. 'Taker offers another comeback, but gets taken over with a Powerslam and Orton goes back to the leg, applying a step-over toe hold. 'Taker counters and rams the knee of Orton into the canvas. Orton comes off the ropes, clipping the knee, and goes back to the leg scissors. 'Taker uses Orton's leverage to knock him over the top rope, then introduces him to the ring steps. 'Taker hobbles around before coming off the apron with a big time leg dropô. Old School attempt #2 is successful, followed by a modified Downward Spiral for two. 'Taker with snake eyes, but the running boot is countered with a dropkick. 'Taker blocks the RKO, Orton counters the Tombstone, 'Taker counters again, and Orton finishes the sequence with his inverted back breaker for a two count! Orton goes for a body press, but 'Taker rolls through and plants him with a chokeslam! Suddenly a "fan" hops in the ring to create a distraction. Orton from out of nowhere with the RKO... and that's a three count at 17:18?! You could argue the merits, but that's as clean as it gets. The "fan" turns out to be a disguised Bob Orton Jr. HURRAY FOR SHENANIGANS! ***1/2 These two had surprisingly good chemistry, considering 'Taker's reputation and Orton's frustrating performances against some of the best workers the WWE had less than a year earlier. They worked a smart match with Orton targeting the knee, and 'Taker actually showed vulnerability for the majority of the match.

WWE Championship Match:
John Cena © vs. Chris Jericho:

Yet another rehash of "WWE Champion vs. Heel Authority", as Cena didn't fit the image of a WWE Champion in the eyes of Eric Bischoff. Somewhere along the lines, Jericho turned heel, and voila: here's our Raw World Title Match. Jeez, how much longer was Bischoff around? I could've sworn he was gone by this point, but the memory is a bit hazy. Jericho grabs a headlock and comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. Cena pops up for a slugfest, won by Jericho. Jericho with a spinning heel kick, knocking Cena out of the ring. Cena ducks the springboard dropkick, causing Jericho to land on the arena floor. Back in the ring, Cena aggressively attacks until taking a boot to the face on a charge. Cena teases a comeback, only to get dumped out of the ring. Jericho comes off the apron with a missile dropkick and chokes Cena out with a microphone cord.

Back in the ring, Jericho muscles Cena onto the top turnbuckle and takes him down with a Super-Plex for a near fall. Cena rallies with clotheslines, but a diving shoulder misses. Jericho comes off the ropes with a bulldog, and the Lionsault doesn't find the target. Cena goes for the FU, but Jericho rolls through and goes for the Walls, only to be kicked out of the ring. They do a contrived spot with Cena coming off the top with a leg drop across the back of the head for a two count. FU attempt #2 is countered with a DDT. Jericho with a back breaker and a series of elbow drops across the back as the crowd splits with chants of Let's Go Cena/Let's Go Jericho. Jericho takes too long setting up a move off the ropes, and gets laid out with a clothesline for it. Cena with more clotheslines and an ugly hip toss, followed by his goofy back suplex. Jericho counters the 5-Knuckle Shuffle with the Walls of Jericho, but Cena makes it to the ropes. Jericho heads to the top rope, as does Cena. Cena goes for a Super-FU, but Jericho counters with a back suplex for a two count. Jericho goes for the bulldog, but Cena catches him, flips him onto his shoulders, and finishes with the FU at 14:51. **3/4 I wasn't feeling this as some kind of "hatred" match, because Jericho worked a fairly strong babyface style match for most of it. The work was good enough, but Cena really didn't add much to it, and honestly, Jericho felt like a place-holder contender of the month on his way out of the company.

WWE World Heavyweight Championship; No Holds Barred Match:
Batista © vs. John Bradshaw Layfield:

What have I done to deserve this?! WWE actually teased creating a new "World Champion" by putting JBL over all the top contenders on Smackdown, before revealing the final Smackdown Draft Pick was Raw's Batista, reigning World Heavyweight Champion. Cole notes this is Batista's hometown, which usually means jobbing. JBL meets Batista at the top of the entrance stage to kick things off. Batista bops him with a fire extinguisher and pounds away. They work their way through the crowd until Batista spears JBL through the security wall, back when the spot was fresh. Cole has the nerve to call the obvious padding a "steel wall." JBL with a short-arm clothesline and some clubberin'. He rips the belt off the timekeeper and whips Batista with it. Batista finally escapes with a back suplex and takes his turn using the belt. JBL gets a boot up on a charge and hits the Clothesline from Hell, but it only gets two! The ring steps are brought in the ring while Batista plays dead. JBL goes for a piledriver, but Batista counters with a back drop. JBL goes for another clothesline, but Batista counters with a spinebuster. He gives the thumbs down and plants JBL with the Batista-Bomb. One more time, this one on the ring steps, and Batista retains the Title at 9:06. *1/2 Decent brawl and they were more convincing of hating each other than Jericho and Cena did, but this would barely qualify as a decent Main Event for Smackdown, let alone the second biggest PPV of the year.

Legend vs. Icon: Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels:

And here we go with the only reason to watch SummerSlam 2005. Backstory: Hulk Hogan makes his return to WWE T.V. via induction into the Hall of Fame, then makes a surprise appearance at WrestleMania 21, saving Eugene from a two-on-one beating at the hands of Muhammad Hassan and Daivari. The same duo was causing trouble for Shawn Michaels, so Shawn was allowed to find himself a partner, and he chose Hogan, who the crowd demanded "One... More... Match" from. They handled the evil foreign menaces with ease, and teamed up a few more times until Shawn came out of nowhere to KO Hulk with Sweet Chin Music. Douchebag Heel Shawn returned, trolling a Montreal crowd over the Screwjob, and an episode of "Larry Fling" with Shawn dressed up as Hulk Hogan, trying to use the word "Brother" as much as humanly possible.

Jim Ross notes this is Hogan's first SummerSlam in 14 years. Lockup, and Shawn over-sells the shove across the ring. Two more times, just to show that the heel is considerably smaller than the babyface. Shawn with chops, but he gets sent to the corner and punted damn near 10 feet in the air. He thumbs the eyes to slow down the Hulkster and goes back to chopping. Hogan with a back drop and clothesline sending Shawn over-selling to the floor. Hogan blocks being rammed to the buckle, so Shawn bitch slaps him. Twice. Shawn takes his signature flip to the apron and gets knocked silly from a standard punch. Hogan slams him across the Spanish announcers table and pounds away. Whip to the post, over-sold. Hogan tries to battering ram, but Shawn blocks and sends Hulk into the post, instead. Shawn pounds away, and Hogan blades. Whip to the ropes and Shawn grabs a Sleeper. Hogan counters with a back suplex, and both men are slow to their feet. Whip, and Shawn comes bouncing back with the diving forearm. Shawn to the top, missing the elbow. Hogan with rights, but the big boot is countered with a second diving forearm, and in the process, knocked out the referee. Shawn slaps on the Sharpshooter, and it looks as bad as when the Rock does it. A second referee comes in, but Hogan muscles his way to the ropes. Hogan kicks Shawn away, and it's our second ref' bump of the match. Shawn goes low, whacks Hulk with a chair, and connects with Sweet Chin Music... and it's HULK UP TIME! Three rights, big boot (in the most ridiculous sell of ALL TIME), and the leg drop finishes it at 21:23. **1/2 Hard match to rate, because Hogan delivered what Hogan was physically capable of (not much), and Shawn tried to work a solid match, but holy crap, was the bumping borderline business exposing at times.

Post-match rant: Probably the best part of the match is the backstage politics that gave us what turned out to be the biggest clown performance I've ever seen. Depending on who you hear it from, the story goes something along the lines of the following: Neither man wanted to do the job, because Hogan had complete creative control over finishes to his matches, while Shawn thought Hogan being a part-timer meant he should've laid down for him. Original plans had further meetings between the two on PPV, possibly at Unforgiven and Survivor Series, but the unwillingness of both men meant doing business was nearly impossible, and the end game was Shawn Michaels, in a losing effort, bumping around in such an over-the-top fashion that you can't even suspend disbelief as to what you're watching. Neither man comes across as professional with how everything fell apart, but Shawn's "effort" clearly makes him look like a total d-bag in this situation.

Final Thoughts: Other than the Hogan vs. Michaels fiasco, there's really nothing to go out of your way to see here. Cena vs. Jericho disappoints, Undertaker and Orton worked so many matches in 2005 that this one just kind of gets lost in the shuffle, and Batista and JBL is your Smackdown Main Event. In the undercard, Eddie and Rey continued to have shaky-chemistry considering the expectations, Edge and Matt Hardy was just an excuse to build to a more important match, and how about that Orlando Jordan? Noticed there weren't any Tag Matches? Can you even remember who were the Champions on Raw and Smackdown? Solid Recommendation to Avoid.

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