The SmarK Rant for WWE Summerslam 2006 – 08.20.06
(Originally written 01.16.18)
Live from Boston, MA, drawing 16,000 people and doing 540,000 buys (down from the year before by about 100K)
Your hosts are Michael Cole & JBL, Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler, and Joey Styles & Tazz
Rey Mysterio v. Chavo Guerrero
So as we saw last time, Chavo turned on Rey to cost him the World title, as they fight over who is allowed to exploit the memory of Eddie Guerrero. This is advertised as Chavo coming out of “retirement” for one night only. They slug it out and Rey takes him to the floor with a headscissors, and follows with a baseball slide, but then tries one dive too many and misses. Chavo hits his own dive to take over and chokes him out back in the ring. Chavo drops him on the turnbuckle and stomps him down, and Rey tries to bail and buy some time. Chavo catches him on the apron and they head up for a teased powerbomb off the top rope, but Rey turns it into a facebuster instead. Rey comes back with a springboard crossbody for two and a low kick to the head for two. They head up again and Rey takes him down with a rana, into the 619, but Chavo blocks the senton and both guys tumble to the floor. This brings out Vickie Guerrero, back when she was just a minor supporting character, and she yells at Chavo until Rey hits him with a dive. Back in, Chavo hits the Three Amigos, but Rey reverses into a rana and does his own version, which the crowd doesn’t like very much. Rey goes up and Vickie trips him up accidentally, which allows Chavo to hit the brainbuster and finish with the frog splash at 10:56. Good fire from both guys, but it’s like, he’s dead, just let it go already. Oddly, Vickie was the one who became the biggest star out of all this, which I don’t think anyone would have predicted. Match was alright, but they were so tone-deaf with the Eddie stuff, where the crowd didn’t want to see it at all and they just kept pushing it. ***
Meanwhile, King Bookah contemplates his reign, having suddenly developed a royal accent out of nowhere, but Edge and Lita interrupt to make a wager about who retains whose title tonight.
ECW World title: The Big Show v. Sabu
Sabu immediately attacks with a chair and gets two, but Show trips him into the chair and pounds on him to take over. Show with the bearhug and he hurls Sabu across the ring with a fallaway slam to put him on the floor. Sabu finds another chair to make his comeback and dropkicks it into Show’s face for two, then finds a table that winds up in the corner. Sabu bulldogs him and puts him through the table with a half-assed facebuster, but Show no-sells it and puts him down with an electric chair. Show goes up with a pump splash as Joey and Tazz are WAY overselling this. Show brings in the stairs and another table to setup a convoluted spot, which is basically the table on top of the stairs. Wouldn’t it be better to just put the legs up on the table? The table’s actually LOWER this way! Anyway, this ends up with Sabu slipping off the table and then putting Show through it with a DDT. And then Show chokeslams him through another table out of nowhere for the pin at 8:30. They were trying for all the smoke and mirrors gaga, but Sabu was beyond horrible at this point and somehow managed to blow pretty much every spot and suck all the heat out of the match. Complete waste of PPV time. ½*
Meanwhile, Layla wins the Diva Search, and then gets bullied by the other women backstage. But they SHOWER her and it’s the least sexy shower possible.
Randy Orton v. Hulk Hogan
I remembered this as being promoted much higher up the card than it actually was, but the relationship with Hogan was falling apart so they probably moved it down. In fact the opening video package didn’t even mention this match! The stuff with Orton being a slimy predator and invading Hogan’s home life was interesting to start, but quickly ran out of steam leading up to the show. Plus Hogan’s hip was a mess and he could barely walk. JR notes that “Hulkamania knows no race.” Well, THAT one would certainly be proven incorrect in later years. Hogan is at least mightily over here, and he overpowers Orton to start as Randy takes some cartoonish bumps for him. Orton works a headlock and Hogan escapes with a wristlock that again sends Randy flying. Orton stomps him down, but Hulk fights up and slugs away in the corner while JR laughably puts over Brooke Hogan as a “rising singing star”. Literally none of those words are correct. Hulk keeps punching as this is going nowhere, but Orton finally goes after the knee with the GIANT KNEE BRACE on it to take over. Orton goes up and misses the flying bodypress, and Hulk fights back until Orton dropkicks him. RKO gets the apparent pin, but Hogan’s foot is in the ropes, so THIS MATCH MUST CONTINUE. This gives Hogan a chance to hobble to his feet and make the comeback before putting the young whippersnapper away with the big boot and legdrop at 10:52. Poor Orton had to lay there selling the boot for like a minute while Hogan showboated. Crowd loved Hogan but this was absolutely nothing. Like, literally just Orton bouncing off him for 10 minutes. Hogan v. Michaels was no technical classic but at least there was a crazy energy to it and Shawn was trying to do something. Orton was just like “Pin me, pay me.” And that was that. *
Meanwhile, Melina checks in with Mick Foley leading up to the match with Ric Flair. She’s worried that if Mick loses, it’ll look bad for her brand as the manager of champions. What a weird storyline this was.
I Quit match: Ric Flair v. Mick Foley
Mick immediately beats Ric down in the corner and puts him down with Mr. Socko, but Ric won’t quit easily. So next up, he wraps barbed wire around his sock, but Ric goes with the testicular claw and kicks him in the nuts before stealing the barbed wire sock and throwing chops with it. To the floor, where Mick gets run into the stairs and he goes flying off those, but he finds a barbed wire board under the ring and smashes that into Flair’s face. Flair is busted open, to no one’s shock. Back in, the crowd chants “We want fire”. Stay classy, Boston. Mick runs the barbed wire into Flair’s face and drops it on his shoulder and Flair is just gushing blood. Flair still doesn’t want to quit, so Mick beats him down with the microphone in the corner. Next up, thumbtacks, and poor Flair takes a slam on those. Still not enough to quit, so Mick uses a barbed wire baseball bat on his face until Flair goes low again to escape. He beats on Mick with the bat and demands that Mick either quit or face death by having his heart ripped out. I know which one I’d choose, but Mick keeps going and Flair sends him off the apron with a Nestea Plunge and Mick does indeed appear to be dead. This brings out Melina and the trainer declares the match over, but Flair points out that it’s not a “Lay down on your ass match” and it needs to continue until Mick quits. Back in, Foley makes sure to roll through the tacks on the way in, and Flair rips at his face with barbed wire until Melina throws in the towel at 12:10. Flair is STILL not satisfied, so he threatens to hit Melina with the bat and Foley says “I Quit” to end it a third time. Gruesome match that went too long, but it sure wasn’t dull. ***
Smackdown World title: King Booker v. Batista
So the problem here becomes immediately apparent, as Foley and Flair stole the show with all the crazy blood, and people are waiting for DX, while these two guys are pretty much treated as a cool-down match on an overloaded show. Batista overpowers him to start, but Booker necks him on the top rope to take over and goes to the chinlock. Batista fights out and Booker hits him with the scepter behind the ref’s back to put him down again and the crowd is really bored with this. Booker misses a sidekick and crotches himself on the top, and Batista is BUILDING MOMENTUM with a sideslam for two. And then Booker throws him into the stairs to kill that momentum. Back in, Bookend gets two. Batista comes back with a Jackhammer for two, but Booker hits him with a neckbreaker for two. Batista gets the full nelson slam, but Sharmell runs in for the DQ at 10:30. TV level match with a TV finish. This pretty much killed Booker’s star aura as a champion right out of the gate. *
Meanwhile, DX makes trouble in the locker room.
Shawn Michaels & HHH v. Vince & Shane McMahon
The McMahons bring out the Spirit Squad and D-X promptly destroys them without even breaking a sweat. Then it’s Ken Kennedy, William Regal and Finlay, who do a more effective job of the attempted beatdown, but still get dispatched. Next up, Big Show, and he manages to kick Shawn’s ass while the other three finish off HHH outside. This is like something out of a videogame, as the odds are insanely stacked against the babyfaces. At least the McMahons now can pose a reasonable threat. So we start with Vince beating on Shawn and getting a slam, and Shane dances in for his goofy punches. Vince distracts the ref while Shane chokes Shawn out with the tag rope. If there’s two people in the world who are big enough wrestling geeks to do all that classic stuff, it’s Vince and Shane. McMahon double elbow and Shane drops his own elbows on Shawn and gets a series of inverted backbreakers. Double suplex from the McMahons and they drop a PAISAN ELBOW. OK, that’s pretty awesome. HHH keeps fighting up and Shane puts him down again with a baseball slide. Next up: A Demolition elbow for Shawn. And then a Hart Attack, with Shane playing Bret. There’s a certain charm to this that can’t be denied. And what else but a Doomsday Device next? Although Shawn doesn’t do the proper bump off it. All that only gets two. Shawn gets pissed and fights back, hitting the McMahons with a double clothesline to get the crowd going again. And HHH crawls up onto the apron and takes the hot tag, kicking some ass. Neckbreaker for Shane sets up a facebuster, and he clotheslines both McMahons. Spinebuster for Shane and Shawn comes off the top with the flying elbow for Vince. Shawn gets rid of Shane, but now Umaga joins us and gives HHH the spike, but Kane heads out and brawls with him to get rid of him. Vince gets two on HHH off all that, then punches the ref out. They’re definitely going too long now. Shane sets up the Van Terminator, but lands in a superkick, and Vince eats KICK WHAM PEDIGREE at 13:02. I could see they were going for the epic Russoriffic full monty here, but they just weren’t clicking at that kind of level. Still, this was a fun compilation of tag team wrestling geekiness and was mostly a good formula tag match. ***
RAW World title: Edge v. John Cena (DQ Rule waived)
RVD was freshly expunged from the main event scene due to his legal troubles, although really, where would he have fit in here anyway? Cena quickly misses a charge and hits the floor, and Edge stomps away on him in the ring and adds a dropkick while people hold up a giant “If Edge Wins We Riot” sign in the background. 2006 was, if nothing else, the year for people threatening to riot if someone won a wrestling match. Cena hits the floor again and beats the count at 9, then makes the comeback while his hometown crowd boos him. Fisherman’s suplex gets two. Edge tosses him yet again, but Cena beats the count at 9 again, then misses a bodypress in the ring and Edge takes over again. Edge goes to a chinlock, but Cena dramatically powers himself up until Edge boots him down for two. Edge goes up and Cena follows, but Edge puts him down and follows with a clothesline from the top for two. Edge goes to the camel clutch (this was right after Iron Sheik’s famous Twitter rant, so that was likely a deliberate choice) but Cena powers out and comes back with the Flashback neckbreaker. Lita tries to send a chair in, but Edge of course doesn’t want to get DQ’d and lose his title, so he sends it back and allows Cena to make the comeback. Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Edge comes back with the Impaler DDT for two. They head up and Cena takes him down with a victory roll for two, but misses a charge and Edge gets a bodypress. Cena rolls through that one and Lita distracts him again, but this time Edge accidentally knocks her off the apron. They collide and both are down, and Edge gets two. Edge sets up for the spear, but Cena takes him down into the STFU, which brings Lita in with the belt while Edge screams at her to let him do it himself. And then she gives him brass knuckles behind the ref’s back anyway. Cena tries the FU on both of them, but while the ref gets rid of Lita, Edge knocks him out with the knucks and pins him to retain at 15:45. It wasn’t quite up to the level of the Big Match John stuff we’d start getting in later years, but Edge desperately trying not to get disqualified thanks to his overzealous crazy girlfriend, and then just giving in and cheating anyway, was a great character touch. ***1/2
Whole lot of nothing on this show, take a pass.
Tags: SmarK Rants, Summerslam 2006, WWE Network