Team Cena vs. Team Booker – Summer Games Relay Match
Storylines: This is actually pretty easy. All competitors are contenders for the US Title, except maybe Haas, although he’s on the cusp. Plus, Haas and Luther, Booker and Cena, and RVD and Dupree have been feuding for over a month now on both SD and Velocity… and Booker and RVD are former buddies/RAW World Tag Champs. Oh, and the “Summer Games” connection is pretty obvious, I’d think.
Wrestling: Match starts with about a half-hour left in the broadcast, and RVD going against Booker T, with a five-minute time limit. Decent action with typical spots for both men, and things speeding up with 1:00 left in the round. Five-star frog splash with 10 seconds left, and — yet again — the splash hurt RVD more than it hurt his competitor. TIME’S UP and Luther’s in, going on the attack vs. RVD, as they go to commercial… and come back with a minute left, and RVD on the comeback! Time runs out and RVD is replacd by Charlie Haas, who works the knee with a vengeance. Luther comes back and hooks Haas into a camel-clutch-with-a-knee-in-the-back type move as we go to commercial… and when we come back, there’s 2:30 on the clock with Haas and Dupree in the ring. Tazz and Cole argue about making mistakes on national TV, etc., and I scream at Cole for OOOH a series of supli by Haas, but Dupree’s a French STALLION, and hooks Haas into an STF after a Booker T Belt Shot, but Haas won’t tap! 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-CENA! But a couple of minutes go buy, and Dupree locks in the pure camel clutch, but Cena gets out of it at 2:20 left in the round. Choke hold by Dupree slows it down, but French Tickler at :46… Cena gets up and Five-Knuckle Shuffle adds two *s to match ratings all over the IWC. Series of reversals, and Rene hangs on to the top rope during an FU attempt as the clock ticks down and Booker enters the match! Booker’s the fresh man, and does the “you can’t see me” before a knee drop, into the chinlock on the tired ex-US Champ, but Cena makes a comeback and EEKS out a win over a shocked Booker! The faces clear the ring as the show ends and Cole and Tazz get in a final plug for the PPV.
Winner – Team Cena with Cena pin over Booker T
Entertainment: Very entertaining match, with a cool, new stipulation — and I didn’t think new stipulations were possible in WWE! (I kid!) I liked the flow of the match, despite commercials of course, and I think it did a lot to keep people strong without jobbing any of the, let’s face it, very fragile Smackdown Midcard. Plus, it ended on a high note and sold the PPV, so it did the trick.
Intangibles: Overall, the wrestling was above-average, the storylines made sense, and the non-in-ring segments didn’t take away from the show, which is a good thing. In fact, the promos and vignettes actually fit INTO the storylines, were entertaining, and pushed the Pay Per View, which was this show’s ultimate goal (and in my opinion, it did better than RAW, for the most part). Now it’s up to Sunday night to deliever….
Read more of Matthew Michael’s wrestling commentary at TWB.