Halftime Hennessy’s two self-proclaimed wrestling experts trade emails about this Sunday’s SummerSlam.
Good day to you, Eric. Do you smell what I smell? BBQ’s, chlorine from the pool, and burning rubber from Huffy’s riding around the neighborhood. This can only mean one thing… it’s SummerSlam Week!
I set aside time this past Monday to catch up on all the story lines leading to one of the “major” PPV’s of the year. And I mean it when I say time. In case you have been living under a rock the past month, RAW is now 3+ hours. In a world where we don’t have the attention span to read someones 140-characters-or-less thoughts, how are we expected to watch an extra hour to our favorite weekly episodic program? I watched anyway and I scribbled down tons of notes about the various angles and reality planes our wrestlers find themselves in. And then after watching the final segment with Brock Lesnar, HHH, and Shawn Michaels I just decided to toss out all my notes and focuses solely on one of the worst segments I have seen to close on a final RAW before a PPV. My goodness, was that pure awful.
I’ve lived through some bad segments on TV. I’ve suspended belief for the sake of the vision of the WWE creative staff. But as soon as I saw Michaels leave HHH and there were 15 minutes until 11pm and no scheduled matches left on the show I started nervously itching myself. BROKE OUT IN HIVES. What happened next was a writer’s nightmare. Michaels is shown driving a late model Ford Taurus or something which is involved in a minor fender bender with Paul Heyman’s equally unimpressive car. (Note: Did Alberto Del Rio secure the rights to only have impressive cars?) Michaels is dragged out of the car from behind by Lesnar who “backs into” the only available camera around and all we hear is the sound of Lesnar beating him down and a cut back shot later to a destroyed windshield and no one around.
Ok. This is bad so far. But it’s about to get worse. Lesnar carries a beaten down Michaels to the ring and gives him an F-5 for good measure. The Game comes rushing down but is stopped by Heyman who threatens one more step and Lesnar will snap Shawn’s arm. HHH, showing conflict stays, and Lesnar “snaps” it anyway. The show ends with Lesnar and Heyman getting away and Michaels getting medical attention for his broken arm.
Forget about everything else on the show and the ticket. I felt the need to spell out the whole segment to illustrate how god awful it is. I understand we are in the PG-era but there has to be a floor to go along with this glass ceiling the WWE won’t allow us to break. I can laugh when I see that it was Hornswaggle as the Mystery RAW GM all along. I can shrug when I see Ryback squash jobbers at record pace. But I can’t suspend belief that Brock Lesnar is running around the WWE breaking Hall of Famers arms. This is where I am drawing the line in the sand. I did not approve of it when he “broke” HHH arm a couple months back and I certainly do not today.
Does Michaels have to carry on Kayfabe on his Outdoor Channel show? When he’s walking around downtown San Antonio shopping for Rainier Cherries does he have to wear a sling? I understand Triple H wearing a small cask at the Mayweather fight the week Lesnar attacked him. But he’s management. Michaels is just there to sell PPV’s (Note #2 – aren’t we diluting the Michaels cameo if we bring him back every other week? Or is WWE setting up a possible return match. Possibly a revenge match against Triple H?)
Ok. I’m not going to rant about this segment anymore. We can move onto the rest of the SummerSlam card and various story lines. What would you like to discuss, Mr. DeLash? Besides when A.J. Lee is going to be appearing in Playboy, of course.
I’ll leave with you a bit of trivia. Can you name the two main events from SummerSlam 10 years ago in 2002? Try guessing without the help of google first. The answer may completely shock you or not shock you a bit.
Fender Bender, can I call you that after that lovely car tirade concerning the WWE? P.S. The car storyline is sooo Rikishi running over Stone Cold prior to Survivor Series. Ugh, I dislikey.
Anyway, I could not agree with the switch to a 3-hour format being a horrible move. In a world where working a full time job, 8:00 vs. 9:00 is a huge difference. So much DVRing to catch up on and when Monday Night Football starts, it will be tough but we will persevere through, I suppose. If the extended format does not save our tag team division (call back to our WM exchange), shed spotlight on Zack Ryder, Tyson Kidd, or Tensai (I kid, I kid), then what will?! #FreeKidd #RyderOrRiot
Does the whole Lesnar thing not seemed like it is being booked horribly wrong? When Lesnar first reappeared after Wrestlemania, I was LOVING the angle with John Cena. It was a smooth transition from a feud with The Rock to the Brock. And just like that, it was a one pay per view and done angle. Insert Triple H looking for that big Summer angle here. When there is weeks and weeks in between storyline updates, people lose interest. Trust me, this match will be must see TV on Sunday night, but the buildup is the opposite of the hype NBC gave that new Matthew Perry show during the Olympics. Can we Heyman involved in WWE story lines long term though? The man is a magician on the mic and needs to be consistently creating havoc in the squared circle.
All the poo-pooing we just did on that angle, let me tell you what has been making me saturated with excitement. The prospects of a Chris Jericho vs Dolph Ziggler match is totally reeking of awesomeness. My favorite two blondes in the WWE not named Kelly Kelly are slated to battle at the Summer’s Biggest Beach Party. The mic work leading up to the match has shown was two of the best on mic are capable of, while only teasing what sort of magic can be created on Sunday. If only this match was for the strap, then all-timer would have been scribbled all over the archives on this one. Think there is a chance that Dolph cashes in the briefcase this Sunday? Maybe that is our way to get a title match between the Show Off and Y2J.
Stop teasing me with AJ. Stop It. “Feed Me More”
Trivia Time. Scout’s Honor, I did not Google it, Bing It, or even Ask Jeeves. My answer is The Rock vs. Booker T for the WCW Title and Stone Cold vs. Kurt Angle for the WWF Title, although this may be 2001??
I dig this trivia aspect, let me leave you with one as well…In 2003, the Elimination Chamber appeared. Six participants. Two of them were Chris Jericho and Triple H, can you name the others?
Have a Nice Day!
So the card thus far is Lesnar (w/ Heyman) vs. Triple H (w/ Shawn Michaels?), Punk v. Cena v. Big Show for the WWE Title, Jericho v. Ziggler, Bryan v. Kane, Miz v. Rey for the IC Title, Kofi & R-Truth v. PTP for the Tag Team Titles, and the internet pre-show is Santino v. (Some guy I’ve never heard of) for the US Championship.
I like the Jericho/Ziggler feud a lot. I think the WWE is in an odd place with Y2J because while he is full time, he has many pursuits outside of wrestling (music, TV) and it seems as if those pursuits are enough to keep the WWE from giving him a belt. But he is so loved by the WWE Universe that they need to keep him above the mid card and in main event matches. So for most of this year we saw him losing in main matches but losing with grace. Now, with Ziggler perhaps he can elevate the younger blonde by creating a worthwhile feud and putting him over the hump. Do I think Ziggler is going to cash in? No, not really. We already blew one Briefcase on #RAW1000 with Cena, I think they are going to let this play out a little longer. Someone has to stalk Sheamus or Del Rio until Survivor Series.
But Jericho brings me to my next favorite talking point: The “heel” whose really a “face.” Jericho is supposed to be a baddie who doesn’t play by the rules and talks bad about the hometown crowd and steals ice cream from little kids (or little Jimmy). But he’s so over with the fans they he is cheered anyway. Other recent examples are Randy Orton (remember him?!?!) who went from punting everyone to smiling, and Daniel Bryan who is still in full heel mode (even if he literally rips up fans signs as part of his new schtick) and gets cheered anyway.
Ok, we have gone long enough without mentioning the main event at SummerSlam. Punk/Cena/ and Big Show thrown in for good measure. How do you feel about Triple Threat Matches at “major” PPV’s? This could have just been Punk/Cena and I would have been fine with it. Punk will still be over with the fans even if he turns full heel, even if all he talks about is being “disrespected” and all that. The only way to get the fans to turn on you is by taking on a more over fan favorite. Cena is not more over unless you are only counting 11 year olds. The only way to get the fans to turn on you would be to take on Mr. Rocky Maivia himself at the Rumble for the belt.
So what are your thoughts on this match? Cena seems kind of bored out there. I haven’t seen that fire in his eyes for the belt. Maybe he’s upset they didn’t ask him to be in “The Marine 3″. Maybe he knows the plan is to keep the belt on Punk until The Rock comes. Maybe he’s exhausted from trying to give AA’s to Big Show. Maybe Green isn’t his color and he’s hoping for a better brighter t-shirt for the Fall Collection. Who knows. And Big Show? Well Big Show is just happy to be here I think. I don’t think WWE is selling any PPV’s with just Punk vs. Big Show but at least he is still getting some main event love.
Trivia time: I stabbed at the dark on yours. I guessed: Benoit, Edge, Michaels, and (a wild card) Test! I’m sure none of those are right, because I did not watch that year. The answer to mine about the 2002 SummerSlam was: Shawn Michaels beating Triple H in a street fight and Brock Lesnar beating The Rock for the Title. And we have come full circle.
Instead of trivia I’ll ask: what is your FAVORITE SummerSlam moment?
Wow, that is great vintage Summerslam knowledge right there. The answer to my question included Goldberg, Randy Orton, Kevin Nash, and Shawn Michaels. Talk about a clusterfudge.
We should call that group of Jericho, Bryan, and Orton the “Resistant Face”. These are guys who are coined heels, but due to fan reaction get more of a face reaction. I’m getting that vibe that the Heel v. Face role is becoming less and less defined. Even look further down the card at a guy like JTG. Yes I went there.
The main event and my thoughts? It is leaps and bounds ahead of the Word Heavyweight Title picture, wait nevermind Booker T cancelled that match with Del Rio and Sheamus. I love Del Rio as an aggressive heel, but Sheamus reeeeks of John Cena in how he is being booked. The pale force pioneer (new nickname) has yet to look weak as a champion.
Sorry, I am keeping up with the tradition of getting sidetracked. I like the triple threat match because it adds a sense of uniqueness to the title picture. A Punk for Big Show match includes more Z’s then bum-filled sidewalk in Center City Philly, but this adds three different styles to a match needing some juice to it. I was enjoying Big Show as Johnny Ace’s henchman, not as a serious title contender.
Is it just me, or are the Prime Time Playas awesome? AW or no AW. I love the potential of these guys.
Hmmm…Favorite SummerSlam Moment has got to be, 2000, TLC 1. Dudleyz vs. Hardyz vs. Edge and Christian. Best. Matches. Ever.
I’m a fan of PTP although I’m a bigger fan of AW and managers in general and I am upset that he was released from the company. One little Kobe Colorado joke and all hell breaks loose. How about some of the returns we are seeing and also about to see to the WWE ranks. Rey Mysterio has come back to little to know fan fare (although his waist line is back in full force). Miz is back from his mini hiatus and somehow holds the IC strap. And now Randy Orton is apparently back but you wouldn’t know it if you have been watching TV or plan on watching SummerSlam.
Is anyone failing to live up to their potential more than Randy Orton? He is the full package and he has been on top for long stretches before. He should be feuding with Cena or Punk or Sheamus in all of the top matches on TV and PPV. I get that he tested positive for something and had to serve a suspension, but he was basically mid-card even before that. Please come back to us Randy Orton. We need you. In this PG Era we need you.
Also I need to mention the Miz. I’m so confused by his character. He seems like he never wins. He is never boisterous anymore. I miss the dominate heel Miz with Alex Riley stealing him wins. Can we get him a new sidekick? I miss him coming out in the 3 piece suits. Is it too late to bring back Riley? How can we fix either my love for the Miz or his rise up the WWE ranks? Also don’t even get me started about how Christian doesn’t get enough love. It’s too painful and I end up using a lot of curse words.
I’ll put in my two cents about my favorite SummerSlam memory. 1992. Wembley Stadium. Main Event for the Intercontinental Championship. Champion Bret Hart against hometown hero The British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith. One of my favorite matches of all time.
Is it that time, Mr. DeLash? Is it prediction time? Could it be?
I think it is just that time and after reading the Smackdown Spoilers (SPOILER Alert!), here is the full run down of the card and what I see taking place. Quick note on Orton though, he needs an angle or a schtick. His whole just being himself type of thing is overdone. My favorite Orton time was with Rated RKO and Legacy, there was aggression and meanness.
Pre Show: Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro for the United States Title
In all my research, the overwhelming thought here is that if Cesaro does not win this match, his career is over before it starts. I believe this guy is an Indy phenomenon and if he shines here, the marks out there will show their love (i.e. Daniel Bryan, CM Punk). I’m all for new stars as Marella has just about maxed out.
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. Prime Time Players for the Tag Team Titles
I have confessed my love for the PTP and I think it is the time they take the belts. If they really want to build the tag division, the time is now. Set them up in feuds against Reks/Hawkins, Primo/Epico, and the Usos.
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio for the Intercontinental Title
Easy, The Miz wins in a typical heel fashion. Mysterio is much like Jericho in that he is not destined for much success in the future and does not need the win. The Miz does. Wait, where did Christian go in this title picture?
Daniel Bryan vs. Kane
I’m sorry, I thought this feud was over 7 times before? Is this a beard vs. mask match? Is it for the love of AJ Lee (smokeshow)? Another easy predicition here, Daniel Bryan wins and moves on to another feud. I would actually like to see him mix it up with the Miz or Ziggler.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho
Ah my dream match on the card, this should be an instant classic. I honestly hope this is not a “one and done” match to put two guys on the card who need to be on it. I think Dolph wins here to continue to build his resume as he is ready to cash in the briefcase. Mark my words, CLASSIC.
John Cena vs. CM Punk vs. Big Show for the WWE Title
What makes sense is Punk continuing to hold the title until Night of Champions, where Cena will probably win the rematch in his hometown. I think the title goes with Cena to the Royal Rumble for the rematch with The Rock. Wrestlemania is headlined by Punk vs. Rock, $$$. Oh yeah, Big Show wrestles in this match too.
Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Triple H (w/ Shawn Michaels?)
This should be a slugfest and will easily get 30 minutes of time to tell its story. I honestly have no idea where this is going to go. My gut prediction is that Lesnar wins to build his character, since he has not won a match in his return. I see this feud not being over at the conclusion of this match.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Title
Zzzzz….Please get Berto the title. I would love to see a long reign on this guy as the aggressive heel. Sheamus needs some time off and a refresher of his jolly character
Brodus Clay vs. Damian Sandow
Sandow is the future and Clay is fat. Sandow wins with a cartwheel.
That should do it for me…your turn to layeth the smacketh down on these predictions. Happy Summer!!
Photo via flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.