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8/23 Powell's WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view report: Jeff Hardy vs. C.M. Punk in a TLC match for the World Hvt. Championship, Randy Orton vs. John Cena for the WWE Title, DX vs. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase
Aug 23, 2009 - 10:00 PM

By Jason Powell

Dot Net Members are following along on the ad-free version of the site and discussing the show in the members' forum. Plus, I will be recording a Dot Net Member Exclusive audio recap of the show later tonight. You can gain access to all Dot Net Membership perks for only $5 per month by visiting the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.

Aired live on pay-per-view
Los Angeles, Calif. at Staples Center

Powell's POV: For those of you who missed it, Beth Phoenix won a 15-Diva battle royal held before the show. The match was taped for the SummerSlam DVD. Chavo Guerrero was the special referee, and he helped eliminate two Divas at the end and then raised Beth's hand. The Divas surrounded him and then Hornswoggle speared Chavo. Thanks to Dot Net reader Guiguioh for his help with this match.

The show opened with a DX video and skit. The DirecTV feed was a little slow kicking in, so I missed the first few seconds. They were clowning around about having trouble with the video. They said the message is, "We're back"...

Inside the arena, pyro exploded on the stage and the Aerosmith theme song played. Jim Ross introduced the show as the 22nd SummerSlam...

1. Rey Mysterio pinned Dolph Ziggler to retain the Intercontinental Title in 12:25. Mysterio hit a great moonsault onto a standing Dolph early, but Ziggler controlled the early action. Mysterio wore purple and gold because he's a Brett Favre fan. Or maybe it's because they're in Los Angeles and those are Lakers colors. Definitely the latter, but there's your daily Favre mention.

The next several minutes featured some great back and forth action with both men scoring a couple of quality near falls. They showed it down for a minute around seven minutes in, but the pace picked up with another good Dolph near fall at 8:00. At 9:15, Dolph hit the Fameasser out of nowhere for another excellent near fall.

At 11:15, Rey went for the springboard dive off the middle of the ropes, but Dolph moved and rolled him up for another great near fall. Dolph showed frustration over not getting the pin. Later, Dolph went for a gutbuster off the second rope, but Rey turned it into a hurracanrana and scored the 1-2-3. Ross and Todd Grisham noted noted that Dolph appeared to be inching closer to capturing the title...

Powell's POV: Damn good opener. Really fun match. Great way to kick off the show. Ross's commentary at the end seemed to indicate that we haven't seen the last of the feud given the line about Dolph inching closer to winning the IC strap.

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed Jack Swagger and MVP. Matthews said it's a culture clash between the two. Swagger called MVP a stepping stone. MVP fired back by talking about how he didn't get the privileges that Swagger had growing up such as a rich grandfather...

Powell's POV: That was a very necessary segment. Sure, they've bickered on Raw here and there, but they really needed to get their storyline over one more time since it received the poorest hype of any match on the show.

2. MVP defeated Jack Swagger in 6:25. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler checked in for the first time on commentary. Neither MVP nor Swagger received much crowd reaction during their ring entrances. The live crowd didn't get into the early action. Swagger caught MVP in the Camel Clutch, but MVP stood up with Swagger on his shoulder and performed the electric chair.

MVP looked to the crowd for a reaction and got a decent one when he performed the Ballin' routine. He went for the Playmaker, but Swagger snuck out of it. There was an awkward spot where Swagger ran MVP toward the corner, but it didn't look like MVP knew whether he was going to go between the ropes or headfirst, so he paused briefly. A minute later, MVP went for the Playmaker again, hit the move, and scored the clean pin...

Powell's POV: Lousy reaction from the live crowd. I still have faith in both guys, but they're just not getting enough time on Raw. Plus, they both need to be working with bigger names who will give them rub and put them over. Sadly, they're on Raw so, well, you know.

A "Don't Try This At Home" video aired... Cole and Lawler spoke as a shot aired of actor Luke Perry sitting at ringside with his family... A video recapped the Raw guest hosts...

Nancy O'Dell of "Access Hollywood" spoke at ringside and plugged the Betty's Battle charity for ALS. She received some boos from the live crowd. She introduced Freddie Prinze Jr., who received some squeals from the women. He said Randy Orton is in for a fight in the main event...

Big Show and Chris Jericho came to the ring. Jericho cut a promo about the celebrities being parasites just like the fans. Jericho said he's the best in the world at what he does. He said Show is bigger and therefore better than the fans. Jericho handed the mic to Show, who was interrupted immediately by Cryme Tyme's music...

3. Big Show and Chris Jericho defeated Cryme Tyme to retain the Unified Tag Titles in 11:00. New music for Show and Jericho. Ross and Grisham on commentary. The crowd picked up a little for this match. Shad pressed Jericho over his head and slammed him at 4:00. However, Show speared Shad shortly thereafter and the heels took turns working him over.

The crowd got behind Cryme Tyme more as the match went on and were on their feet for a good near fall at 8:45 when JTG nearly pinned Jericho. However, Jericho caught him moments later in the Walls of Jericho while Show and Shad were at ringside. JTG struggled and pulled himself to the ropes to break the hold. However, as the referee was pulling Jericho away, Show came out of nowhere and punched JTG. Jericho covered JTG for the win...

Powell's POV: Decent match with a good finish. The camera was focussed on JTG as he pulled himself toward the ropes and then Show's punch came out of nowhere.

A Breaking Point video aired...

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed C.M. Punk, who went on a great rant about a Jeff Hardy screenplay, housewives who are more concerned with Kate Gosselin than their own kids, and kids who idolize the dorky "Twilight" vampire...

Powell's POV: Funny, yet intense and heelish all at the same time. Punk was on a roll. His heel Straight Edge character is just a blast.

4. Kane beat The Great Khali in 6:00. Ross said the match would be physical, but it wouldn't be pretty. The live crowd didn't react much to either wrestler during their entrances. Grisham acknowledged that this was a WrestleMania 23 rematch, and he noted that Khali beat Kane in that match.

Kane locked Khali in a long headlock. Khali eventually broke free and chopped Kane for a near fall. He followed up with the Khali vice grip. Kane reached the ropes and then pulled Runjin inside the ring and threatened to attack him. With Khali distracted, Kane kicked his knee and then DDT'd him for the win...

Powell's POV: There were some cheers for the finish, but the live crowd really didn't care about the match. Sure, you can blame some of the lack of interest on people not watching Smackdown, but I'm going with the fans just not giving a damn about this feud. Move on.

A shot aired of Vince McMahon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. A shot of some female Today Show personality aired, followed by Slash of Guns-N-Roses fame, and actor Robert Patrick...

Powell's POV: Slash would beat the heel Terminator from Terminator 2 in a fight. If nothing else, Slash could do more drugs than that particular Terminator model.

A DX video aired and chronicled the attack by Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase...

The arena went black and the DX music started. It was drawn out with special pyro on the stage as the main riff played. A group of men in soldier gear drove a jeep into the arena and shot off blanks into the air. They ran off and then Triple H and Shawn Michaels rode to the ring on a tank. Shawn Michaels was wearing camouflage chaps. They did the DX chop as the tank fired a shot...

Powell's POV: Tough crowd or poorly mic'd? Cool entrance, but the live crowd didn't seem very loud on television.

Hunter did the "for the thousands in attendance and the millions (he wishes) watching at home" routine. The crowd was lively for this and there were plenty of DX signs in the crowd. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase came out next and didn't get any reaction from the live crowd. Michael Cole said it's a huge match for Cody and Ted...

5. DX (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) defeated Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase in 20:00. Hunter and Ted started the match. Hunter got the better of the exchange and performed a DX chop before dropping a knee on DiBiase. Cody tagged in and slapped an Shawn, who then tagged into the match for the first time. Shawn got the better of Rhodes, who bailed to ringside.

Later, Cody worked over Hunter while Shawn waited for the hot tag. Although the action was very slow for a few minutes, the crowd clapped along with Shawn when he fired them up. Hunter went for the hot tag, but Ted tagged in and punched HBK off the ring apron. Hunter got the better of DiBiase and made the hot tag to Shawn just as Cody tagged in at 14:45.

Shawn worked over Cody and then kipped up, but Ted ran in and clotheslined Shawn from behind. Cody went to the top rope and went for a high below drop, but Shawn moved. Cody was bleeding from the mouth. Shawn went up top and Cody cut him off and crotched him on the rope. Cody went for a superplex, but Shawn fought him off and knocked him down with a punch.

HBK looked to the crowd and hit his own top rope elbow drop, but Cody lifted his knees and scored a near fall. "This is unbelievable," Lawler yelled. Cole said Cody and Ted were delivering a performance for the ages. Shawn locked Cody in the figure four, but Ted ran in and broke it up.

At 18:25, Cody caught Shawn with the CrossRhodes for a really good near fall that Hunter had to break up. Hunter hit the Pedigree on Cody. Hunter and Ted fought their way to ringside while Shawn and Cody struggled to get to their feet. They stood up and leaned on each other to beat the referee's 10 count. Suddenly, Shawn hit Sweet Chin Music from out of nowhere and got the pin...

Powell's POV: The first five minutes were slow. Fortunately, the match built nicely. It was hard to take Cody and Ted's pin attempts seriously, but the match was designed to make them strong despite losing the match. The announcers did a solid job of getting that across during and after the match. Fun tag match.

A commercial plugged the WrestleMania special that will air Saturday night on NBC at 8:00 p.m. CT...

6. Christian pinned William Regal (w/Ezekiel Jackson, Vladimir Kozlov) to retain the ECW Championship in 0:07. Josh Matthews and Matt "Beer Can" Striker on commentary. Striker pointed out that this was the first of three championship matches on SummerSlam. Mediocre reaction for Christian. Scattered boos for Regal and his sidekicks.

The bell rang and Regal went to take his robe off. Christian quickly hit the Killswitch and scored the clean pin. Kozlov and Jackson hit the ring and beat up Christian. They took turns hitting their versions of the Rock Bottom, and then Regal locked Christian in the Regal Stretch...

Powell's POV: The referee should be fired! A man should have the right to take off his ring attire before the bell rings. Seriously, though, that was disappointing. I was looking forward to that match. The consolation prize is that Regal's promo on Tuesday should be a gem.

Highlights aired of WWE performers appearing at various charity events in L.A. Roddy Piper was shown with MVP. Kofi was shown talking about a charity event. He lost his accent quickly... The announcers thanked Aerosmith for the theme song, and then narrated highlights of the Orton vs. Cena feud...

Powell's POV: Wow, they're saving Jeff vs. Punk for last. I love it!

7. Randy Orton pinned John Cena to retain the WWE Championship in 20:45. A fan along the rail held up an RKO sign that read "Really Kreepy (and) Oily." Cute. A shot aired of Freddie Prinze Jr. looking pissed in the crowd during Orton's entrance. Twilling checked in to say he saw Tito Ortiz in the crowd, but I missed it.

Orton grabbed the early advantage and a loud "RKO" chant broke out briefly. Cena must have caught Orton with an early punch because Orton keeps checking his mouth for blood and licking the inside of his lower lip. Orton locked in the dreaded chinlock of doom for a minute. An audible "Let's Go Orton" chant broke out.

Powell's POV: Just checked and it was definitely Tito Ortiz with Prinze.

Cena made a comeback and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle, which was met with more boos than cheers. Orton cut off his Attitude Adjustment attempt and went back on the offensive. Orton missed a knee drop. At 9:20, Cena dove at him, missed, and tumbled to ringside.

Once Cena got back in the ring, he took control of the offense and received a lot of boos with some cheers. Cena started stomping and raising his arms in the air, presumably to get the crowd ready for his finisher. His wannabe "tune up the band" moment looked so bad that one of the guys watching the pay-per-view just said he saw an gorilla do that at the zoo right before he through feces.

Orton avoided the Attitude Adjustment. They traded punches and Orton got the "yeahs" and Cena got the "boos." At 13:00, Orton shoved the referee to get himself intentionally disqualified. Lilian Garcia said she's just been informed that the winner and "new champion" was Orton. Seconds later, she said she had just been informed that Mr. McMahon was restarting the match and Orton would lose the belt via another disqualification.

Powell's POV: Wow, Lilian has totally checked out. I think she started to say her second line first, and there's no explanation for the "new champion" line regarding Orton.

The match continued and Orton took charge of the offense. Orton headed to ringside and ordered a ringside attendant to hand him the title. The attendant dropped the belt, picked it up, and handed it to Randy. Orton headed up the ramp and was counted out at 17:05.

Lilian announced that per Vince's first announcement, the match would be restarted again and Orton would lose the belt if he were counted out again. What? Orton came back in and pinned Cena a minute later while putting his feet on the top rope for leverage. A second referee ran out and restarted the match because Orton was using the ropes. Ugh.

Later, Cena had the STF locked on Orton when a man wearing jeans and a white t-shirt ran in from the crowd ran in and attacked the referee. Security entered the ring and pulled off the "fan." After the fan was escorted from the arena, Orton hit the RKO on Cena and scored the pin...

Powell's POV: They didn't include footage of the fan in the replay, but it had to be a plant given that he ran in just in time to break up the STF. Too much chaos. It felt like some of the overbooked TNA pay-per-view main events.

A video hyped the Jeff Hardy vs. C.M. Punk feud... Punk made his entrance. Ross said something on commentary, but his mic was turned off. Grisham spoke until Ross was ready. J.R. said he'd like to know what Grisham said and he assumes it was really good. Funny.

Hardy came out next wearing full face paint. He climbed one of the many ladders and looked to the crowd, which gave him a mediocre reaction. Ouch. Tough crowd. Ross explained the pinfalls don't matter and it's all about hanging the belt. Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions. Boos for Punk, cheers, but hardly a big pop for Hardy...

8. C.M. Punk defeated Jeff Hardy in a TLC match to win the World Hvt. Championship in 21:35. A small Hardy chant broke out right before the bell. Punk mockingly joined in with the chant. Funny. Hardy grabbed the early advantage and made the first ladder climb less than three minutes in, but Punk kicked it a couple times until Hardy fell off.

At 4:00, Jeff springboarded off a chair and was caught by Punk, who dropped him back first on the edge of the chair. Ouch! Not sure if that one was intentional. Punk controlled the next couple minutes of the match. They fought to ringside and Hardy got the upper hand.

At 8:15, Hardy set up Punk on a table on the floor. Hardy climbed to the top rope and then went for a splash. Punk moved and Hardy crashed through the table. Damn. Punk smirked on the floor as he was getting up. Punk grabbed a giant ladder at ringside slid it in, and set it up. Punk slowly climbed the ladder and Hardy recovered in time to meet him halfway up.

Hardy actually passed Punk on the ladder, but Punk got him into position for the GTS. Hardy slipped out and powerbombed Punk off the lower part of the ladder and onto the mat. Hardy climbed the big ladder, but Punk shoved it over and Hardy crashed with one leg on the turnbuckle.

Punk and Hardy ended up fighting on the ropes. Punk superplexed Hardy and both men landed hard on a ladder that had been laid out for the move. Big ouch! They understandably slowed things down a tad after that big spot. They ended up fighting at ringside and Punk wrapped a chair around Jeff's neck and tried to run him into the ring post. Jeff blocked it and wailed on Punk with repeated chairshots to the back.

At 16:40, Hardy set up a table on the floor and then tore the ECW broadcast table apart. He struck Punk with a monitor, placed him on the broadcast table, and smacked him with a chair again.

At 17:30, Hardy grabbed the biggest ladder and set it up in front of the table. He took his shirt off and threw it into the crowd. Jeff stood near the top of the ladder and soaked up the crowd's cheers. Jeff stood at the very top of the ladder and performed a Swanton that drove Punk through the table. A major holy shit moment! Two referees checked on both wrestlers and they replayed the move a couple times.

Trainers came out and put Jeff in a neck brace and onto of a stretcher. Punk rolled back inside the ring. Jeff blew off the trainers and struggled to climb inside the ring. Punk was climbing the ladder and Jeff ended up meeting him at the top of the ladder. Punk won the battle and Jeff took one more big bump off the ladder. Punk grabbed the belt and won the match.

Afterward, the lights flickered a couple times while Punk stood over the fallen Hardy and smirked as he raised the title belt above his own head. Taker's bell came over the P.A. system and the lights went out. The fans cheered. When the lights came back on, Punk laughed as he looked at the stage and no one was there.

However, Punk looked down and noticed that Undertaker was lying where Hardy had been. With Hardy out of the picture, Taker reached up and grabbed a surprised Punk by the throat. Taker chokeslammed Punk and then mugged for the live crowd and then headed backstage. The announcers narrated a replay of Taker's chokeslam...

Powell's POV: Great TLC match. If Hardy is taking a break, he went out in style. Wow. The post-match angle was also a blast. Most of the fans didn't pick up on the fact that Taker was lying under Punk until he reached up and grabbed him by the throat. Very well done. The last match made this a memorable show and made up for the disappointing WWE Championship match.

Dot Net Members will be listening to my audio recap of the show later tonight. You can gain access to all Dot Net Membership perks for only $5 per month by visiting the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.

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