- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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."
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.
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.
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.