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WWE Summerslan - August 17, 2008
by SamoaRowe

-Welcome to the "Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer!" Tonight, Cena and Batista battle for the first time, Triple H faces his biggest challenger yet, CM Punk sets out to prove himself against his biggest naysayer, and Edge and Undertaker bring their rivalry into the infamous Hell in a Cell.

-Our hosts for the evening are Jim Ross and Tazz for Smackdown, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler for Raw, and Matt Striker and Todd Grisham for ECW.

Montel Vontavious Porter vs. Jeff Hardy
MVP attempts a big boot right out of the gate, but Hardy is ready for him. Hardy lures MVP to ringside and batters him around. Cover by Hardy gets 1. Scoop slam by Hardy and an over the ropes leg drop. Hardy works the arm. MVP gets the rope break and the match restarts. They exchange kicks, with Hardy getting the upper hand. Hardy runs into an overhead belly to belly suplex from MVP, earning a cover for 2. MVP works the head and arm. MVP transitions into a camel clutch. Hardy counters with a monkey flip, but MVP wraps himself around the leg for a hold. Hardy gets a rope break, so MVP kicks him around a bit. Hardy tries to use the ropes for a catapult, but MVP catches him in process and continues to dish out a pounding. MVP places Hardy in the tree of woe, and MVP snaps his head to the mat. Cover by MVP gets 2. Hardy escapes a power bomb and counters with a Neckbreaker. Hardy mule kicks MVP into the corner, but MVP blocks the corner drop-kick. Cover by MVP gets 2.5. MVP drop-kicks Hardy to the corner but Hardy counters the big boot with a clothesline. Side Russian legsweep by Hardy and a pinning combination for 2. MVP counters the corner drop-kick again, but Hardy counters into a sunset flip. Whisper in the Wind by Hardy, who goes high risk. Shelton Benjamin runs in, so Hardy dives onto him on the floor. Hardy goes for the Swanton bomb on MVP, but misses. MVP hits the drive-by kick to the head and picks up the win at 10:10. This was a good way to open the show, ***.
Winner: MVP

-Maria gets to interview ex-boyfriend Santino Marella and new girlfriend Beth Phoenix. Santino earns some heat by suggesting that Maria has let go of herself and puts over his adoration for the Glamazon. Maria makes a crack about Santino's unibrow. This leads to a stare down between the ladies, with Beth clarifying that Santino is all hers. Well, she can probably have him.

Intercontinental and Women's Championships (Winners Take All):
Kofi Kingston and Mickie James © vs. Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix

Beth and Mickie kick off the match for their teams. Beth blocks Mickie and tosses her effortlessly. Mickie locks from behind, but Beth knocks her off. Mickie drop-kicks the knee and then the face. Cover by Mickie gets 1. Beth drops Mickie on her head and gets the tag. Mickie monkey flips Santino and makes the tag. Kofi hits a flying cross body on Santino and a drop-kick. Hard Irish whip by Kofi, who leaps onto Santino for some strikes. Kofi knocks Santino from the ring with an upper-cut. Santino blames Beth, who gets drop-kicked out by Mickie. Kofi teases a dive (causing Santino to jump into Beth's arms), but ends up getting hung up on the ropes by Santino. Beth and Santino work well as a team and keep making tags to keep Kofi isolated. Santino works a chinlock. Kofi frees himself and tags are made to both divas. Mickie and Beth exchange shots. Mickie takes down Beth and drop-kicks Santino off the apron. Mickie hits the head scissors takedown and goes high risk. Mickie hits a top rope Lou Thesz press on Beth, but Santino makes the save. Kofi is dispatched, but Mickie hits a tornado DDT on Santino. Beth hits the face buster on Mickie and picks up the win at 5:25. Santino and Beth make for an entertaining team, **¼.
Winners and new Intercontinental and Women's Champions: Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix

-Santino rides out on Beth's shoulders, holding both titles proudly over his head. They pose with their belts on the stage, and you can hear Santino telling the Intercontinental title belt that he missed it.

-It's time for the big announcement from Shawn Michaels! He comes to the ring with his wife. Mrs. Michaels (first name: Rebecca) does her best sad face, as HBK announces that his doctor told him to retire. HBK is going to follow his doctor's advice and retire, as he feels he had a wonderful career and regrets nothing. HBK lists off all his accomplishments (including the time he lost his smile). HBK is also proud to have been a full-time husband and father. Their moment is interrupted by Chris Jericho, the man responsible for HBK's eye injury. Jericho says that he's not going to let Shawn Michaels mix in his eye injury with his other injuries and retire on his own terms. Jericho wants Michaels to admit he's retiring because of Chris Jericho. HBK very quietly and sternly tells Jericho to leave the ring. Seriously, they are doing a good job showing their anger and hatred without shouting. HBK says he'll tell his wife and children that the reason he can't go to work anymore is because of a vile, selfish, human being. HBK wants Jericho to go tell his own wife and kids that he can never ever be Shawn Michaels. Jericho goes to swing at HBK but accidentally hits Rebecca! HBK checks on her wife, who is out cold. Jericho slowly makes his way out, not quite sure what to make of this. HBK gives Jericho a cold look that seems to indicate future violence. You know, normally I'm annoyed when a non-wrestling segment gets this type of time on pay-per-view, but this was absolute gold. I'm very interested to see where things go from here.

ECW Championship:
Mark Henry © (with Tony Atlas) vs. Matt Hardy

Hardy ducks a clothesline and hits a series of smashes that don't seem to have much effect. Hardy hits the Twist of Fate and goes for the cover, but Tony Atlas pulls Hardy out. This earns Henry a disqualification loss at 0:35. Well, that was quick. This was not much longer than the ECW title match at Wrestlemania. DUD.
Winner by DQ: Matt Hardy

-Tony Atlas rams Matt Hardy into the steel steps. Jeff Hardy runs in to save his brother, and they hit a double suplex on Henry on the floor. The Hardys celebrate their reunion in the ring to a great pop.

World Heavyweight Championship:
CM Punk © vs. John Bradshaw Layfield

They lock up with JBL using his power to corner Punk. JBL breaks loose with some clubbing and a headlock. JBL tackles Punk, blocks a hip toss, but suffers some sharp kicks to the leg. Punk drop-kicks JBL to the floor and hits a suicide dive! Cover by Punk gets 1. JBL knocks Punk off his feet and clubs him into the corner. Punk tries to go high risk, but JBL climbs up and hits a fall away slam from the second rope! Cover by JBL gets 2. JBL pounds on Punk and locks on a bear hug. Punk elbows his way to freedom but runs into a big boot. Cover by JBL gets 2. Snap suplex by JBL gets another near fall. JBL drops Punk on his head and gains another near fall. JBL goes back to a bear hug. Punk escapes, but JBL has an abdominal stretch in store for him. Punk gets a high knee and a bulldog. Punk attempts the Go 2 Sleep, but his back gives out. JBL hits a stiff clothesline and a ridiculous amount of elbow drops. Punk goes nuts with some martial arts shots and gets a cover for 2. Punk springboards off the ropes right into a power slam from JBL, earning another near fall. JBL attempts the clothesline from hell, but runs into a heel kick. Punk hits another high knee, but JBL blocks the bulldog and plants Punk on the top rope. JBL hits a back superplex! JBL is too slow going for the cover, so Punk kicks out. Punk ducks a clothesline and hits the Go 2 Sleep! Punk makes the cover for the win at 12:05! Punk gets a much needed clean victory. The match was uneven, but the story of Punk silencing his biggest critic was excellent, **¾.
Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: CM Punk

WWE Championship:
Triple H © vs. The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh)

Khali uses his size to try and intimidate Triple H, but the champion fires away with shots. Khali shrugs them all off and hits the double choke slam early! It would have been amazing if that had been the entire match. Khali locks on the vice grip and Triple H appears to be screwed. Triple H fights off enough to tackle the back of Khali's knee. HHH pursues Khali to ringside, but runs into a giant chop to the face. Khali dumps Triple H back to the ring and follows up with stomping and smashing. The crowd breaks out the “You can't wrestle” chant as Khali tries to pin Triple H with one foot. Khali locks on the claw to the shoulder. Body slam by Khali and a leg drop for a near fall. The “You can't wrestle” chant returns as Khali goes back to the vice grip. Triple H escapes and hits the face buster, which leads to Khali tangled up in the ropes. Even while stuck in the ropes, Khali manages to get a boot to the face. Triple H attempts the pedigree, but Khali fights to the ropes and drops Triple H to the floor. Triple H trips Khali from the floor, and slams the big man's leg into the ring post. Khali reaches up and clotheslines HHH on the apron. The action returns to the ring, where Khali tries to smash Triple H's skull in. Triple H escapes and goes for the pedigree and nails it! Triple H gets the cover and retains the gold at 10:01. This was ones of the most entertaining Khali match ever, as they worked very hard to cover his weaknesses and book the action to his strengths, **.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Triple H

John Cena vs. Batista
Batista quickly gets a headlock, gets shoved off, and hits a side tackle. Batista runs into a hip toss, and Cena picks up the advantage. Cena goes for the headlock and hits a side tackle of his own. Cena blocks the Batista Bomb, but eats a clothesline. Suplex by Batista gets a cover for 2. Fisherman suplex by Cena gets a cover for 2. Batista hits a sidewalk slam and gets another near fall. Cena reverses the Batista Bomb into an F-U attempt, but Batista knocks him off. Batista hits a single leg atomic drop and applies the figure four leglock! Cena struggles for the rope break and then attempts the F-U. Batista seems to have the move blocked by grabbing the ropes, but ends up getting F-Ued to the floor. Batista returns to the ring but ends up on the receiving end of a Cena hot streak. Five knuckle shuffle by Cena. Batista blocks the F-U and hits a big boot. Batista powers Cena into the corner and hits a hard Irish whip. Cena runs into a spine buster! Cena reverses the Batista Bomb and locks in the STFU! Batista is trapped in the hold for a superhuman amount of time before FINALLY getting the rope break. Batista reverses the F-U again and locks on a rear naked choke. Cena escapes, but Batista immediately hits a spear and picks up a very close near fall. Cena counters Batista and finally succeeds in hitting the F-U! Cena takes too long making the cover and only gets a near fall. Cena goes high risk, but Batista climbs up to cut him off. They exchange haymakers on the top rope. Cena knocks Batista off, goes for the flying leg drop, but Batista reverses into a power bomb! Cover by Batista gets 2.99999! Batista Bomb is enough to put Cena away at 14:10! That was a fitting way to cap off a dramatic contest. Batista's hot streak continues and Cena was back in form. This one absolutely delivered, ****.
Winner: Batista

-Edge makes his way to the ring looking rather deranged.

Hell in a Cell:
The Undertaker vs. Edge

Edge is fired up and unleashes a series of strikes in the early going. Taker tries to turn the momentum, but Edge is persistent. Taker kicks Edge in the face to cut him off. Taker tosses Edge over the ropes, and he hits the cell on his way down. Taker drives Edge into the cell wall. Taker proceeds to dish out a methodical beating on the floor, utilizing the cell throughout. The action returns to the ring, with Taker bring in the ring steps and positioning them on the corner turnbuckle. Taker drops Edge on the steps, but somehow this leads to Edge finding second wind and tossing Taker into the steps as well! Edge basement drop-kicks and then spears Taker back into the steel. Edge fetches a table from under the ring and leaves it leaning against the cell. Edge drives the ring steps into Taker to keep him down long enough to grab a second table. Edge piles up the tables at ringside and attempts to suplex Taker onto them. Taker counters with a choke slam attempt, but Edge hangs him up on the rope. Edge fetches a chair targets the throat with it. With Undertaker down, Edge brings out a third table and sets it up in the ring. With Undertaker struggling to stand up, Edge drags out a ladder from under the ring. Edge is now in his comfort zone, surrounded by all the ingredients needed for a TLC match. Taker is still helpless and eats another chair shot. Edge positions Taker on the table and then climbs the ladder wielding the chair. Edge dives off the ladder, smashing the chair into Taker's face while crashing through the table (just like what Edge did to Mick Foley on a recent Smackdown). Edge grabs two more chairs and positions Taker for the con-chair-to. Taker counters with a choke slam attempt, Edge blocks, but Taker settles for a straight punch to the face. Taker kicks Edge off the apron, causing him to bounce off the cell wall. Taker grabs the other ring steps and drives them into Edge's skull. Edge counters and trips Taker into the ring post. Edge dives off the ring steps onto Taker, causing them to fall back and crash through the cell wall to the outside!

They brawl outside the cell, over to the announce tables. Edge fights back with a television monitor. Edge then spears Taker off the Raw announce table onto the ECW table! They take their time getting back up and brawl back to the ring. Edge drive the ladder into Taker's skull. Edge pulls a video camera out from under the ring and smashes Taker with it (paying homage to the previous Hell in a Cell match at Survivor Series). Edge signals the spear, but Undertaker counters with a choke slam! Cover by Undertaker only gets 2! Edge blocks the Last Ride with a low blow. Edge hits the impaler DDT and only gets a near fall out of a cover. Taker tries to hit the Last Ride on Edge onto the pile of tables, but Edge blocks and hits a spear. Cover by Edge only gets 2. Taker counters Edge's turnbuckle shots with the Last Ride! Somehow, Edge kicks out of the cover! Taker attempts a Tombstone piledriver on the ring steps, but Edge counters and drives the Dead Man back-first onto the steel! Cover by Edge only gets 2. Edge tries to steal the “old school” spot, but Taker counters, leaving Edge crotched on the top. Taker climbs up and choke slams Edge onto the pile of tables! With Edge back in the ring, Undertaker hits him with a spear! Taker takes the camera and clocks Edge in the head. Edge's bad karma continues to catch up with him, as Taker hits the con-chair-to. Undertaker hits the tombstone piledriver and picks up the win at 27:03! This was a fitting way to cap off a rivalry that lasted for well over a year, and Taker throwing back Edge's tricks to screw him was a great way to achieve a sense of closure. ****¼.
Winner: The Undertaker

-The Undertaker is on his way out, but notices that Edge is moving on the tron. Undertaker returns to the ring and sets up the ladder. Taker plants Edge on top of the ladder and fetches a second ladder. With the two ladders standing side by side, Taker climbs up and has something nasty in mind. Taker choke slams Edge off the ladder and he falls through the ring canvas! Taker then cues the lights and flames come out of the hole where Edge disappeared! Well, despite the goofy nature of The Undertaker summoning fire, that was a cool moment.

Final Thoughts: After a string of mediocre summer pay-per-views, the WWE kicked things into high gear with Summerslam. Both World title matches were better than expected, Cena/Batista lived up to the hype, and Undertaker finally settled the score with Edge in a violent and satisfying Hell in a Cell. This is a show worth seeing.

Thumbs up.

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