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WWE Summerslam - August 29, 2007
-From East Rutherford, NJ. Our hosts are Michael Cole and JBL for Smackdown, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler for Raw, and Joey Styles and Tazz for ECW.
Kane vs. Finlay
Yikes, this isn’t exactly what I’d call a “hot opener.” Kane’s ribs are bandaged from a previous shillelagh attack from Finlay. Kane dominates in the early going, though he makes it clear that his midsection is killing him. Finlay finds his opening by knocking Kane off his feet on the ropes, causing him to land rib-first on the turnbuckle. Finlay is no fool and goes to work on the injured midsection. Kane makes a comeback in short order. Kane scores with the flying clothesline and looks ready to end this but Finlay rebounds with a back senton. Hornswoggle (the reigning Cruiserweight Champion) interferes but Kane catches him in retreat. Finlay saves his buddy and blocks a choke slam by kicking the ribs and nailing a DDT. Finlay exposes a turnbuckle to distract the ref from the shillelagh. Kane blocks the weapon but Hornswoggle hands Finlay a second shillelagh. Finlay clocks Kane for a near fall. Kane dishes out a choke slam for the win at 8:46. That was actually pretty decent as Kane had to overcome injuries and a crafty opponent, **½.
-Vince McMahon is surrounded by various characters while he continues his hunt for his bastard son. Santino Marella joins the party and suggests he’s the missing son with a song. Vince dismisses him and MVP waltzes in. MVP doesn’t think he’s the bastard but he wants to challenge Matt Hardy to something other than a wrestling match. Vince approves it as he’d be proud to have MVP as a son. Vince is left alone with The Coach, who is wondering if William Regal could be his son. Vince says he could never do it with an English woman. Segments like this make me feel better about the current PG direction, as this is terrible.
Umaga © vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito
I see they still hadn’t given up on the Kennedy and Carlito experiments at this point. Umaga dominates in the early going, despite Kennedy and Carlito being in cahoots. Kennedy grabs Umaga’s boot, allowing Carlito to sneak in for a drop-kick. Kennedy kicks Umaga against the ring steps and returns to the ring to go toe to toe with Carlito. Umaga is revived and he pulls Kennedy to the floor. Diving head butt on Carlito by Umaga! Kennedy rescues Carlito from a corner splash (why?) and clocks Umaga over the head with a monitor. Carlito pays it forward by knocking Kennedy off the apron and going for the cover. Carlito talks Kennedy into continuing their alliance. Umaga reverses a double suplex! Umaga goes ballistic and tears through both opponents. Kennedy dumps Umaga and nails the Kennedy Roll on Carlito. Umaga storms back and nails Kennedy with the Samoan Spike for the win at 7:20. This was lively and straight to the point, I liked it, **½.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Umaga
Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio
This is Mysterio’s big comeback match after Chavo put him on the shelf last winter. Rey comes out dressed like the Silver Surfer, since Fantastic Four 2 was playing that summer. Chavo is eager to attack the surgically repaired knee. Rey takes Chavo down and they flip around until Guerrero goes tumbling to ringside. Chavo wraps Rey’s knee around the ropes but soon finds himself on the receiving end of a dive to the floor. Rey begins targeting Chavo’s knee, which seems fair. Chavo sets Rey up in a tree of woe and finds another chance to hurt the knee. Rey counters a leg submission with a head scissors takedown, but Chavo retains control. Rey nails an enziguri, but his knee won’t allow him to hit 619. Guerrero applies a half crab! Chavo absorbs a cross body counter but gets caught in the tree of woe! Rey unloads all his anger on a helpless Guerrero. Seated senton to the floor by Mysterio! Rey mans up enough to hit a springboard move and kicks the head for 2. Tornado DDT by Rey gets another near fall. Chavo ducks a cross body and nails the Gory Bomb! Rey kicks out! The 619 misses, allowing Chavo to hit the 3 Amigos. Rey blocks the third suplex and finishes with the 619/splash combo at 12:04! This really picked up as it went along, these two always did have a great chemistry, ***.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
-Todd Grisham ponders if Triple H’s return will be as successful as Rey’s. He interviews HHH’s opponent, King Booker! Playing a British king was such a goofy direction for them to go with Booker T. Anyways, the King vows to make Triple H bow before him.
-Women’s Champion Candice Michelle has the night off and is here to watch the #1 contenders battle royal.
Divas Battle Royal:
Beth Phoenix vs. Maria vs. Jillian Hall vs. Mickie James vs. Torrie Wilson vs. Melina vs. Victoria vs. Kristal vs. Michelle McCool vs. Layla vs. Kelly Kelly vs. Brooke
The winner will get a shot at Candice’s Women’s title. Half the women in this match moved on to TNA and seem to be doing okay for themselves. Beth dumps future Knockouts Champion Brooke out first. Jillian shoves Maria off the apron. Torrie tosses Layla through the ropes. Kristal kicks Victoria out. Michelle inadvertently eliminates Kristal while attacking Mickie. Beth eliminates Kelly, which saddens Jerry Lawler, since she reminds him of his fourth wife. Torrie eliminates Jillian, saving James. Melina dumps James right away. We’re down to Melina, Torrie, Beth, and Michelle. Melina gets clotheslined out by McCool. Beth ruthlessly tosses Wilson, at last. Phoenix lifts McCool and eliminates her at 7:04. Candice is in big trouble. I don’t have any really mean things to say, so I guess this was good enough, *½.
Winner: Beth Phoenix
-MVP comes to the ring with a cooler. There’s no chance whatsoever that this segment will be a horrible waste of PPV time. MVP boasts that no one paid a ticket to see the divas (true) but they paid to see MVP (doubtful). MVP confesses that when he was poor he would drink beer, but now that he’s filthy rich he only drinks fine beverages. Fortunately for us, out the goodness in his heart, he’ll lower himself to have a beer drinking contest with Matt Hardy. Ugh. Hardy comes to the ring and seems to accept the challenge. Before they begin, Matt tells MVP that he’s proud to be a common man. Hardy says he knows he can out drink MVP so he’s not even going to try. Matt points out that in their boxing match, MVP picked out a substitute, therefore he wants to do the same. As you could probably have guessed, Stone Cold Steve Austin storms the ring and lays MVP out with a stunner.
-Vinnie Mac continues the hunt for his bastard son backstage. Cryme Tyme thinks it could be one of them, seeing as they share a love of money. Coach and Teddy Long join them in dancing around Vince. Regal even gets in on the fun. Why yes, this show did cost $40 to order. The punch line is Ron Simmons proclaiming “DAMN!”
-They’re still pretending that the ECW Championship is a big deal and provide a nice hype package for the John Morrison/CM Punk title match. Neat!
John Morrison © vs. CM Punk
CM Punk is aggressive and outwrestles Morrison in the early going. Morrison delivers a neck breaker onto the apron! And just like that, Morrison is in control. Punk gets his hope spots in, spring boarding off the turnbuckles and nailing an enziguri. Turns out it’s a full-blown comeback, as Punk nails a power slam. I’m guessing we’re running short on time. Morrison nails a neck breaker for 2. Lariat by Punk and a moonsault! Morrison gets crotched on the ropes, setting up a nice clothesline. Punk continues to roll until Morrison blocks a hurricanrana. Morrison gets the pin at 7:04 while trying to use the ropes for leverage. Too short to amount to anything, **.
Winner and still ECW Champion: John Morrison
-We get a split screen of The Great Khali and Batista warming up for their title match.
King Booker (with Queen Sharmell) vs. Triple H
Triple H is returning from being sidelined with his second torn quad. This match would be Booker’s last WWE match until his 2011 return. Basically, this match is just a formality to set up a Pedigree. Triple H is too overcome by fan support and Booker nails a cheap shot to kick things off. It doesn’t take long for HHH to clothesline Booker to the floor so he can resume posing. Triple H continues to trounce Booker until Sharmell provides a distraction. Booker drop-kicks the surgically repaired leg and goes to work on it. Triple H quickly comes back with a figure four leg lock, but Sharmell rakes the eyes to break it up! Booker gets some shots in but it doesn’t take long for HHH to bounce back. HHH delivers a spinebuster but the Pedigree is blocked. Booker’s scissors kick misses but he delivers the Bookend! Side slam by Booker but the Harlem Hangover misses! Triple H muscles into the Pedigree for the victory at 7:54. This was one of the most selfish performances I’ve ever seen. I guess it’s excusable since Booker was leaving, but I don’t think anyone paid $40 for an extended squash, *.
Winner: Triple H
World Heavyweight Championship:
The Great Khali © (with Ranjin Singh) vs. Batista
In 2007, I left to go camping for 2 weeks and I came home to find that Khali had randomly become World Champion. Needless to say, I was not pleased. Batista had been chasing the World title all year and had failed at every pay-per-view since Wrestlemania. Khali manages to dominate in the early going in suitable fashion. Batista snaps Khali’s neck on the ropes but runs into a chop to the head. Cue the nerve hold! The crowd chants “You can’t wrestle” as the shoulder massage continues. Batista finally counters but runs into a big boot. Batista blocks the vice grip and nails a spinebuster! Khali blocks a flying shoulder block and nails the double choke slam. Batista kicks out! Singh slides in a chair and Khali uses it for the DQ at 6:54. Crappy finish to a crappy match, ¾*.
Winner via DQ: Batista
-Batista gets his heat back with a spear and some chair shots. Don’t worry, folks, if you’re feeling ripped off that you spent $40 and got this, next month you can spend another $40 for Unforgiven, where we promise this won’t happen again!
-Mae Young and The Fabulous Moolah want to have relations with Vince, so they can provide another bastard son. Young tackles Vince and it’s about as funny as it sounds. Actually, it’s far worse, as they drag the elderly women out of the room by force. In the wake of the Benoit tragedy, WWE tried really hard to keep things classy, as you can tell. The punch line is that Vince kind of liked it.
John Cena © vs. Randy Orton
Believe it or not, but at the time Cena/Orton was a fresh match. Also, Cena was in the 11th month of his third title reign and Orton was the biggest threat to come along in months. J.R. is kind enough to mention that Cena had been champion for 24 out of the previous 27 months. So yeah, the crowd is heated for this one. Cena is roundly booed as he works a headlock. Orton reverses to a nice pop. Cena looks for an STF but Orton starts throwing hard punches. Cena scores a bulldog for the first near fall. Cena is selling a head injury and misses a shoulder block. Orton sends Cena crashing off the apron onto the announce table. Cue the chinlock! Cena counters but he’s unable to build any momentum. Orton misses a knee drop, but cuts off Cena’s comeback with, you guessed it, a main event chinlock! Cena is trapped for quite a while before backing Orton into the turnbuckles to escape. Cena makes a comeback, complete with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. The F-U is blocked and Orton nails a backbreaker. DDT off the ropes by Orton gets 2! The RKO is blocked but Cena is sent tumbling to the floor. Orton whips Cena into the ring steps but can’t get the pinfall. Swinging neck breaker by Cena but he gets caught on the top rope. Cena blocks and delivers the flying leg drop! The F-U is blocked yet again and Cena gets snapped off the ropes. Orton goes for the death punt but it misses! Cena locks on the STFU, but Orton gets the ropes. RKO out of nowhere but Cena kicks out! Cena surprises with the FU and gets the pinfall at 21:13. This is easily the best match Cena and Orton ever had together, ****.
Winner and still WWE Champion: John Cena
Final Thoughts: The main event surpassed my expectations. It’s funny that I was so down on Orton at the time, looking back he was firing on all cylinders in 2007. Nothing else on the show really stood out. The under card is forgettable as the big selling points in the weeks leading up to it were that Triple H and Rey Mysterio were coming back. The Rey/Chavo match was a good outing but that Triple H/Booker match left a bad taste in my mouth. Overall, this is a bland show, and WWE is capable of doing much better for the “Biggest Party of the Summer.”
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