I watched Summerslam 2005 with some friends in the business and my family and we all felt mixed about the PPV as a whole. As it is with most WWE pay per views, two to three matches save the PPV from complete failure. It’s sad that from top to bottom that each match can’t be strong and there were definitely some bold misses from Summerslam.
Blaring – You Gotta Be Kidding Me:
Oh yeah!…Matt Was Squashed
Matt Hardy’s being squashed for what was supposed to be one of the hottest and most anticipated storylines of the show. You know something’s wrong when it’s the third match of the night. I don’t agree with the opinions I have read, I didn’t felt there was anything good about the brawl. A one sided, mugging of Matt Hardy. To stop the match because of Matt’s blood loss was very cheap, the first thing I said was Steve Austin lost more blood than that and they didn’t stop the match right away. I understand that it was supposed to be a brawl and I’m okay with that, but Matt’s creditability was ruined by WWE and there’s no doubt it was done on purpose. Vince McMahon wants to remind Hardy who really calls the shots, and it’s Vince McMahon, not Matt Hardy. It was the wrong thing to do, nothing matters that Matt says from this point on. If he says he was cheated, robbed or “Matt Hardy will not die!” is now irrelevant because fans didn’t even get close to what they were expecting or even wanted. Fans are reasonable, if they are entertained and the workers work, like Eddy and Rey Mysterio did, it doesn’t mater who ends up winning, they got their money’s worth. Matt Hardy and Edge has been the most disappointing, dropping of the ball storyline in the last year. The entire storyline I could care less about now because I felt that if someone did pay for the show on this storyline alone, they were jipped of their money completely.
I Just Had To Know
Shawn Michaels turning face at the end of his loss to Hulk Hogan. I agree with everyone so far, Shawn proved that he can carry Hogan, he can make a slow mover like Hogan look like a million dollars, he can basically wrestle himself and make it worth the show. However, the handshake should have been saved for after the camera stopped rolling. All that great heel heat, gone with one handshake. I understand if Shawn doesn’t want to play heel anymore, but he’s very effective at it and proved he can do so without saying “Suck it!” or being vulgar in his promos. I was pleased with the work done, since it was all Michaels and Hogan just following along. It was also disappointing that Shawn has to sell his leg drop but Hogan can’t sell his superkick. I didn’t expect Michaels to win, though Hogan has nothing to gain from this, Michaels still is smelling like roses because he stayed professional, he worked the entire match and still did the job.
Praise With A Pop:
The Custody Ladder Match
Eddy Guerrero and Rey Mysterio Jr. put on a four star ladder match with dangerous spots, especially when moves were not fully perfected and had the emotional drive throughout the match to make it the match of the night under the main event. I was with it every step of the way and they not only gave the best Smackdown performance but proved just how valuable they are to their brand and what they can bring to the dance. I wasn’t a fan of the storyline to begin with but I love watching them both work and Eddy is brilliant as a heel. The most dangerous spot was the backdrop onto the ladder from the top of the ladder, I know both men have to be feeling their bumps today. They told a story in the ring, that every performer should study carefully.
HBK: The One Man Showstopper
Shawn Michaels wrestling portfolio just got stronger for this wrestling clinic on how to have a successful main event with Hulk Hogan. His facial expressions, almost overacting at times for humorous intentions, his ability to sell Hogan and ring psychology were top notch. The slapping was a nice touch, every time Hogan tried to Hulk up, showing that he wouldn’t be every other opponent, selling Hogan all the way. Though Hogan has nothing to gain from defeating Michaels, Michaels still comes across as the better man for carrying the match, making Hogan look like a challenge. To Hogan’s credit, he did blade, which is something he rarely has done for a opponent. Michaels could out Crimson Hogan but chose not too.
Surprisingly Good Performances In The Championship Matches
They couldn’t top the main event but both matches were strong for all the participants involved. Jericho showed why he’s the veteran and made Cena look good. Bradshaw and Batista delivered a passable match with the nice staircase power bomb at the end, was intense to watch. Hopefully JBL and Batista will end so Batista can move on to a new opponent. Jericho and Cena I think will be done for now but I don’t think for good, I think Jericho should get a win on Cena for the championship at another place and time. It’s now time for Angle to take the strap from Cena.
The Element of Surprise
Chris Benoit winning the US Title away from overexposed Orlando Jordan in less than 30 seconds was a great way to kick off the matches and a way to completely bring surprise back into the WWE. I never would have predicted that, it also made Benoit’s move sets less predictable and it makes the element of “you can tap out at anytime” seem validated.
Another surprise was the rejection of Eugene as the face of the match by the Washington DC, pro Kurt Angle crowd. Kurt is so much like Ric Flair, if you have to jeer him, you’re still reacting to him, and cheer him anyway. I think Kurt’s been a heel for a long period of time, that he’s easy to have transition as a baby face (remember the RAW reaction he got when he returned).
The Day After
The amazing WWE multimedia department did a fantastic job making Summerslam look like a million dollars. Shawn Michaels gave a sarcastic take on his match with Hogan which I loved and showed his true feelings about putting Hogan over. As long as he doesn’t have to put over Masters in a victory too, that would be far too much for me to handle. As HBK said, Masters is Greenhorn and has a lot to learn about giving a good promo and showing personality greater than a cardboard cutout.
Great opening bout with Shelton Benjamin and Kurt Angle who have trained so closely together over the years. That was fun to watch in so many ways and they can bring the best out in each other. Shelton’s been on a two or so month losing streak, while Masters is undefeated. Sometimes there is no justice in this world.
Chavo Guerrero really does look like Eric Bischoff now in this racist Kerwin White gimmick.
Matt Hardy is so beyond squashed it’s not even funny. Losing to Rob Conway just shows how much faith WWE has in Hardy. Sure, WWE will try to justify that they are pushing Conway and Edge distracted Matt, but there’s no fire in Matt’s eyes, he’s just showing up for work. He looked pretty far gone after that step bump too.
Carlito is always fun but add the Nature Boy Ric Flair to the mix and you’re going to have a good segment. I’m excited about the bout if Flair’s going over so he can add the IC Belt to his resume, it’s obvious it wouldn’t be a year title reign and Carlito could always get it back.
They keep Maria yet they can Ivory, Molly Holly, Dawn Marie and Joy, WWE’s logic astounds me. I know they want a resident elevated stupidity version of Maria but it gets old fast. WWE simply does not know how to book or keep talented women. Snitsky having a foot fetish is also disgusting, I have never had any admiration for anyone’s feet before.
There’s hope for Ashley, though her selling the kick from Torrie Wilson was sad considering she has shown spunk for weeks. I have faith she can outwrestle Torrie, I’m just sad that they have crossed over to RAW to have this storyline and yet RAW loses Christy Hemme and Stacy Keibler. RAW definitely got the worst of the deal.
The Murdoch and Cade promo seemed out of place entirely and come off as hokey.
Cena and Jericho’s Your Fired Match is as always with a hot crowd, fun to watch. I liked the psychology used where Cena struggled to get him his fireman’s carry, I mean, FU to get some more out of the Hampton, VA crowd. Jericho was lazy in his Walls of Jericho on Cena but sometimes he does get lazy during his match and it’s frustrating. He’s still carrying Cena and with him taking a break, Cena really needs to step it up. Jericho begging for his job still felt uncharacteristic, but that’s typical for them to take a strong worker like Jericho and have him beg Eric Bischoff of all people for his job. Hopefully it means a face return when he comes back from his break. In the meantime, Kurt Angle is going to dominate Cena, carry him, and dominate him some more. It should be a fun feud but WWE should expect more and should have expected more out of Cena if they are going to put the belt on him for this long. I’m looking forward to Angle winning because I think Kurt’s due for a title run, it’s been two years since he held the WWE Championship and with his off the charts intensity, Kurt Angle should not be denied and that’s putting it in perspective. Thanks for reading, as always your comments are welcome at Bam@insidepulse.com.