8/17 WWE SummerSlam Live Coverage: Undertaker vs. Edge in a Hell in a Cell match, John Cena vs. Batista, C.M. Punk vs. JBL for the World Hvt. Championship
Aug 17, 2008 - 10:00 PM
By Jason Powell
Aired live on pay-per-view
Indianapolis, Ind. at Conseco Fieldhouse
The show opened with a video recap of the Edge and Vickie Guerrero storyline... Fireworks exploded on the set, which is in movie theater style based on "The Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer" theme... Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler took turns introducing the show from ringside...
1. MVP pinned Jeff Hardy in 10:10. Well, so much for the broken neck rumors. Hardy danced just fine during his entrance. Ross and Tazz called the match. They're now calling MVP's kick to the head the "Drive-by kick." The ring was filled with smoke leftover from the fireworks. Ugh.
MVP performed a belly-to-belly suplex on Hardy that flipped him into the corner. Cool move. At 9:45, Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind and then went up top for the Swanton Bomb. However, Shelton Benjamin ran out and Hardy dove onto him at ringside. Hardy returned to the ring and missed a Swanton. MVP hit the Drive-By Kick and scored the pin.
Powell's POV: This match was much better than their last pay-per-view match. Very entertaining opener. The stage set is really cool this month. The movie theater billboard lists the names of the wrestlers involved in individual matches. I'll bet it would look cooler if Comcast offered WWE pay-per-view events in HD in my area.
Backstage, Maria interviewed Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix. Santino took a shot at his former girlfriend. Maria pointed out his unibrow, which he said drives Beth wild. Beth glared at Maria and said, "He's all mine"...
The text poll tonight is "Will Edge and Vickie Guerrero divorce?"...
2. Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix defeated Kofi Kingston and Mickie James to win the Intercontinental Title and the WWE Women's Title. Cole and Lawler on commentary. Santino debuted a new singlet. Early in the match, Beth scolded Santino at ringside when Kofi got the better of their exchange. Kofi ran toward the couple and acted like he was going to dive onto them. Santino reacted by jumping into Beth's arms.
Beth hit her finisher on Mickie and scored the pin while Santino was knocked out. She woke him up and they celebrated together. Santino took the IC Title and she took the Women's Title. At ringside, Santino climbed on Beth's shoulders and held up both titles. On the stage, Santino kissed the belt and said, "I missed you"...
Powell's POV: Good effort by everyone involved, but the live crowd wasn't into it from start to finish. The women were especially good, though. Santino was all comedy. I'm happy Santino took the IC strap and they're not doing the bit where Beth takes that belt and gives Santino the WWE Women's Title. He should be a fun, vulnerable champion.
Highlights aired of the Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho feud...
Shawn Michaels walked to the ring with his wife Rebecca. Both looked somber. HBK said his doctor's recommendation was that he walk away due to the eye and other injuries he suffered over the years. The doctor ultimately said the decision was Shawn's to make. Shawn said he talked it over with his wife and other family members.
"For the first time in my life, we've decided it's time for me to heed my doctor's advice and walk away," Shawn said. The live crowd booed. He thanked the fans for letting him be HBK and the Showstopper. He said he's also known as the guy who screwed Bret Hart, who was in DX, the famous ladder match, the guy who lost his smile, and the guy who retired Ric Flair.
HBK said he has a chance to be something else: a full-time husband and father. He said the decision won't be popular, but he wants to make the right one. They showed shots of two young women in the crowd crying.
Chris Jericho's music played and he walked to the ring wearing a suit. "No," Jericho said. "I'm not going to allow you to go out this way." Jericho said he wouldn't let HBK walk away without admitting to his face that he he was walking away because of him. HBK said that if Jericho had the slightest bit of human decency, he'd get out of the ring. Jericho persisted.
Jericho said he's earned the right to hear HBK admit that his career was ended by Chris Jericho. "The epitaph for your career is going to read, "Shawn Michaels: the man who was forced to walk away from the wrestling business because of Chris Jericho." Shawn said he'd admit it. He said he'd sit his wife and kids down and tell them that the reason their daddy couldn't wrestle anymore are due to the actions of a vile, worthless human being.
HBK said he wants Jericho to go home and sit his wife and kids down and tell them, "Daddy will never, ever be Shawn Michaels." The live crowd popped and started chanting, "HBK." Michaels and Jericho stood face to face.
Rebecca tried to pull Shawn away. Meanwhile, Jericho took a swing at Shawn. HBK ducked and Jericho's punch nailed Rebecca. Jericho looked concerned as he headed to ringside. Shawn kneed over his fallen wife and then glared at Jericho as his nemesis backed up the aisle. Trainers and referees entered the ring to help Rebecca.
Rebecca eventually sat up and hugged her husband. The trainers helped Rebecca out of the ring and Shawn hugged her on the ring steps. She held the side of her face as Shawn and the trainers slowly led her backstage. The announcers remained silent during all of this...
Powell's POV: The first part of the segment was Brett and Deanna Favre. HBK even has the gray facial stubble. That being said, this was so f'n good. Great angle. These guys just keep coming up with ways to top themselves.
A preview of the movie Street Kings aired... Todd Grisham and Matt Striker checked in from ringside...
3. Matt Hardy defeated Mark Henry (w/Tony Atlas) by DQ in an ECW Title in 0:30. Todd Grisham and Matt Striker on commentary. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate and had the pin, but Atlas reached in at the last possible moment (looked like he was late) and pulled Matt off for the DQ.
Jeff Hardy ran out and attacked Atlas at ringside. Henry jumped Jeff from behind, but Matt and Jeff teamed up on Henry and suplexed him at ringside. The Hardys celebrated in the ring as the announcers put over the latest Hardy reunion. Striker stumbled over his words big time at the end when he said something about "Championships are for champions," and then mumbled something else...
Powell's POV: Lame match. They made the live crowd happy with another Jeff Hardy appearance, but that was really weak. I guess it keeps the feud alive if nothing else, but it doesn't help me in the confidence pool on the Dot Net Members Forum prediction pool. Damn DQ finishes.
A shot aired of C.M. Punk stretching backstage... A video recapped the Punk and JBL feud...
4. C.M. Punk pinned JBL to retain the World Hvt. Championship in 11:15. At 1:30, Punk hit the first big move of the match when he dove through the ropes onto JBL at ringside. At 2:30, JBL hit a fallaway slam off the second rope for a nearfall. Nice move. JBL locked in a rest hold and the crowd reacted accordingly with indifference.
Unfortunately, this gave Cole time to tell viewers that Punk has beaten some top stars such as JBL once and Batista twice. Yeah, those Batista wins were great. Worse yet, is it really a good idea to remind viewers that Punk has already defeated the guy he's in the ring with?
JBL locked Punk in an abdominal stretch at 6:30. Lawler unenthusiastically said this was JBL's match. Moments later, Punk hit the high knee in the corner and followed up with the bulldog. Punk went for the GTS, but he sold the abdominal stretch by acting like he was unable to life him. JBL hit the Clothesline from Hell and then nailed Punk with a few elbow drops before getting a nearfall.
Later, JBL went for another clothesline, but Punk caught him with leg lariat. When JBL landed, his head accidentally struck the back of Punk's. Punk held the back of his head, but recovered quickly. Moments later, a closeup shot of the back of Punk's head revealed that that he was bleeding from the back of his head. The announcers finally acknowledged the spot as a replay was shown.
A short time later, Punk hit the GTS out of nowhere and scored the pin. He held the back of his head and checked for blood a couple of times. "I'm coming home," Punk said during his celebration...
Powell's POV: JBL and Punk smacked heads hard on the leg lariat spot. It's hard to tell how bad the cut is because of Punk's hair, but I'm guessing he'll be getting some stitches tonight. Raw is in Chicago tomorrow night, so it will be a homecoming for the World Hvt. Champion. Okay match with some dead spots. Solid, but hardly spectacular or memorable.
A Triple H and Great Khali video aired...
5. Triple H pinned Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh) to retain the WWE Title in 9:20. Hunter went for the Pedigree early. Khali fought out and hit the Khali bomb. Khali locked in the head vice, but Hunter slipped out. Say what you will, but there was good crowd heat for the head vice. The match spilled to ringside and Khali chopped Hunter.
Back in the ring, Khali controlled the match. A huge "You can't wrestle" chant broke out briefly. Ouch. Khali locked in the nerve hold and silenced the crowd with his amazing ability. Well, not really, but they were quiet. Khali slammed Hunter and hit the legdrop for a nearfall.
Later, Hunter hit a high knee. Khali stumbled backward and his arms were tied up in the ropes. Hunter moved in, but Khali kicked him. The ref released Khali's arms. Hunter kicked Khali and went for the Pedigree, but Khali blocked it and backdropped Hunter to ringside. At 7:45, Khali locked in the head vice. Super Hunter broke the vice momentarily. A short time later, Hunter hit the Pedigree and scored the clean pin.
Powell's POV: Much better than expected. Hunter got the most out of Khali. Not a great match or anything, but way better than the usual Khali match.
A John Cena and Batista video aired...
6. Batista pinned John Cena in 13:45. The usual mix of boos and cheers for Cena. Plenty of high-pitched squeals and baritone boos. No big staredown to start the match. The first notable moment of the match came at 3:15 when Batista locked in the Figure Four. "He might have to tap out here," Lawler said on commentary. Cena rolled into the ropes to break the hold.
Moments later, Cena FU'd Batista over the top rope to ringside. "He is scary strong," Cole said. Cena sold a knee injury. He looked to the crowd and received more boos than cheers. He did the "You can't see me," and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena failed to hit the FU. Batista came back moments later with a boot to the face.
At 7:30, Cena locked in the STFU. About 90 seconds later, Batista reached the ropes to break the hold. Batista began selling a knee injury of his own. Cena went for the FU again, but Batista turned it into a rear naked choke. The live crowd didn't pop much for the move and Batista showed a lot of light by moving his arms. Cena elbowed Batista's bad leg until he broke free.
Batista speared Cena for a nearfall. A short time later, Cena reversed Batista's slam attempt and turned into the FU. Cool move. It took some time for Cena to roll over and cover Batista, who kicked out to a big pop. Cena sold it well with a look of surprise that Batista kicked out of his finisher.
Cena went to the ropes, but Batista caught him. The crowd did the "Yeah" and "Boo" bit with the cheers going to Batista. At 13:00, Cena went for a legdrop off the top, but Batista caught him and powerbombed him for a nearfall. A short time later, Batista hit another Batista Bomb and scored the pin. Cole said Batista was just three seconds better than Cena at SummerSlam. What?!?
Powell's POV: Both guys stepped up and delivered a very good match. It's not a match of the year contender or anything, but the match was better than I expected it to be and I love the clean pin finish. The match ended before the top of the hour, so there is plenty of time for the main event match.
78 percent of WWE text voters said Edge and Vickie will get divorced... The Hell in a Cell cage was lowered around the ring. Ross referred to it as Satan's structure. I'm so happy he and Tazz are calling this match rather than Cole and Lawler... Another Edge and Vickie video aired...
7. Undertaker beat Edge in a Hell in a Cell match in 26:45. During Edge's ring entrance, Ross said Edge is going to Hell tonight. "Judging from the look in his eyes, he's going to enjoy the trip," said Ross. Nice. Tazz looked at the structure and said he'd never want to be in a Hell in a Cell match. They also pointed out that Edge is 7-0 in singles matches at SummerSlam.
Edge flashed the crazy eyes, smiled, and licked his lips in Heath Ledger's version of the Joker style while waiting for Undertaker's entrance. Standard Undertaker entrance. No druids with torches for his latest return. Ross said Taker "is the yard stick by which every WWE superstar past and present is measured." Nice.
Edge continued to smile even as Taker removed his hat and glared at him from just inside the cage door. Taker reached back and closed the cage door behind him. Charles Robinson locked the cage door shut. Tazz observed that Edge doesn't seem to be intimidated.
The bell rang and Taker struck the fighter pose. Edge continued to smile while performing his best Joker impersonation. Edge through a flurry of punches, but Taker came back quickly and took control of the brawl. A shot aired of Vickie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Zach Ryder, Curt Hawkins, and Bam Neely watching the match on a backstage monitor.
Taker grabbed the ring steps and set them up in the corner of the ring. He picked up Edge and went for Snake Eyes, but Edge apparently caught himself because he didn't sell the move. Edge grabbed control and speared a sitting Taker, who had his back against the ringsteps. Edge set up two tables on top of one another on the floor at ringside.
Taker tried to chokeslam Edge, but he blocked it. Edge grabbed a chair from under the ring and jabbed Taker with it. In the ring, Edge struck Taker with a couple of chairshots. Tazz stressed how impressed he was with Edge for not backing down. He pointed out repeatedly that Edge wasn't afraid of Taker, which is usually the mental battle when facing Taker. Good call.
Edge set up another table in the ring. He creamed Taker with another chairshot to the head. Edge set up a ladder (was under the ring) and set it up in the corner of the ring in front of the table. Edge took a breather by sitting down on the ring steps momentarily. He placed Taker on the table and then climbed the ladder. Ross pointed out it was the same move he performed on Foley.
"I understand," Edge said while standing on the ladder. He leapt off the ladder and hit the same move he used on Foley. Edge went for the conchairto, but Taker reached up and grabbed him by the throat. Edge broke free, but Taker knocked him down with a punch and then caught him with a big kick that knocked Edge off the ring apron, off the cage, and then face first onto the ring apron. Cool move.
At 13:00, Edge springboard off the ring steps on the floor and speared Taker through the cage. The cage collapsed right in front of Lillian Garcia and the other ringside WWE personnel, so it was definitely a planned spot. The live crowd loved it. At ringside, Taker took control of the offense. He swung a television monitor at Edge, who avoided it. Moments later, Edge struck Taker with a television monitor.
With Taker on one announcers' table, Edge climbed onto another one of the tables and then speared him through the third announcers table. Another shot aired of Vickie and company watching the match on a monitor. Back inside the ring, Edge struck Taker with the ladder and a television camera. Ross said Vickie has been surrounded by her family all day because she feared what Edge might do.
Edge lined up Taker for a spear, but Taker reached out and grabbed him by the throat. Taker chokeslammed Edge for a great nearfall. Edge caught Taker with a low blow and followed up with an impaler DDT for a nearfall. Taker sat up in Dead Man style. He went for the last ride, but Edge slipped out and speared him for another great nearfall. Damn. Great match so far.
Taker hit the Last Ride for a nearfall. Some of the crowd chanted along, but Edge kicked out. One of the friends I'm watching the show with said the fans won't buy the nearfalls until they see those two tables get broken. Good point. Taker went for the Tombstone on the ringsteps that were set up inside the ring, but Edge slipped out, grabbed Taker's head, and pulled him down for another nearfall.
At 24:15, Edge tried to perform Taker's Old School walk, but Taker stopped him and then chokeslammed Edge off the top rope and through the two tables at ringside. Well, there go the tables. Back in the ring, Taker took a page out of Edge's playbook by spearing him. Taker picked up the camera, looked into it and said something, then bashed it over Edge's head. The lens flew off, making the blow look all the more impressive.
Taker placed Edge on a chair and performed his own version of the Conchairto. Taker scooped up Edge and delivered the Tombstone piledriver for the win. Afterward, a shot aired of Vickie and her crew clapping for the finish backstage. Taker walked onto the stage and stopped when he saw the "Edge vs. Undertaker" listing on the stage set. He glared at it and then headed back to the ring.
Taker picked up Edge and placed him onto a ladder that was standing in the corner of the ring. Edge didn't move while Taker went to ringside and grabbed a slightly taller ladder. Taker positioned the ladder next to Edge's ladder, looked at him, and said, "Now we're going to hell." Taker stood with a foot on each ladder and performed a soft looking chokeslam that sent Edge flying through the canvas and apparently into hell.
In a cool move, Taker knelt in one corner and suddenly flames began shooting out of the hole Edge left in the ring. "Undertaker sent Edge straight to hell," Ross enthusiastically said to close the show...
Powell's POV: Shouldn't J.R. be more concerned that Taker just torched Edge? Nevertheless, an absolutely amazing Hell in a Cell match with a great call by Ross and Tazz. No Mick Foley aside from the pre-match videos. No complaints, but it will be interesting to find out what his role was going to be before he had the contractual falling out with WWE. Very good show with most matches living up to or exceeding my expectations.
Stay tuned. I'll be reviewing the show via podcast with Newsday.com pro wrestling blogger Alfonso Castillo later tonight.