Believe it or not, WWE is planning to build up to three matches at SummerSlam around the cast of Jackass. Steve O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man, Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn and Preston Lacey are all on board to appear at the PPV and three or more episodes of Raw to build to the show. Johnny Knoxville is still in talks with WWE about appearing, while Rake Yohn turned them down and Ehren McGhehey and Dave England were not offered a spot. Although nothing has been finalised they will likely have the Jackass guys either team up with WWE faces to take on some heels or have them actually face the heels themselves. Bear in mind that this year’s SummerSlam, on the 13th August, is in Madison Square Garden and thus will have a crowd of predominantly ‘smart’ and very vocal fans that may not take kindly to the show being dominated by celebrities – much like the Impact Zone’s reaction to TNA trying to incorporate elements of Jackass into the X Division, only on a much larger scale.
The latest issue of the Wrestling Observer has more details on the project, which is being spearheaded by Shane McMahon. He pitched a long-term angle when Steve O and Pontius appeared on Raw last year, yet Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were against it as neither of them sold Umaga’s offense, which irritated many of the wrestlers. The decision was left to Vince McMahon but he held off making one until recently, when Bonnie Hammer of the USA Network strongly suggested that WWE needed more celebrity involvement after Kevin Federline and Donald Trump had proved successful. Ironically, as noted by Dave Meltzer, it was only a few weeks ago when Vince told the WWE stockholders that celebrity involvement in wrestling should not be overdone.
As noted earlier, the angle came very close to being cancelled due to Steve O’s backstage behaviour at the 4th June tapings in Tampa. He was being his usual crazy self, which proved completely at odds with the standard WWE locker room etiquette, and had a camera crew following him around and filming things for his Paparazzi Stuntman DVD. They got footage of things like Arn Anderson and other agents going over match finishes, members of the creative team going over promos with some wrestlers and even footage of some of the wrestlers changing. Vince was furious about their behaviour but Shane stepped in and did some damage control. He’ll be doing plenty of that in the next few months, no doubt.
The other main match at SummerSlam will be Triple H returning to face Randy Orton. There was a Vince McMahon vs Rey Mysterio match planned many months ago but it is uncertain whether or not they will go ahead with it now.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 11th June 2007 (click here for subscription information)
Tags: Raw, WWE