The Three Count

T3C: WWE SummerSlam 2004 Preview

It is the second biggest WWE show of the year and there are some great matches lined up this Sunday, but just why are several titles not being defended? The Three Count investigates…

A strange but sensational SummerSlam

It’s time for what is traditionally the second biggest card of the year but am I the only one who thinks the booking has been a bit erratic for Summerslam? Take a look at the card after this weeks Smackdown and we appear to have no tag title defences from either Raw or Smackdown (was that a nail I heard being put in a tag wrestling coffin?), no Cruiserweight title defence and no Women’s title defence. What is the point of having titles if they’re not defended on such a high profile card as this? Even the US Title defence isn’t going to crown a champion. There’s no match for RVD or Rene Dupree nor The Hurricane, Rosey or Kenzo Suzuki. But at least we do have Diva Dodgeball, what more could a man whose seen all the Diva’s far too many times want? Anyway on with the preview beginning for a change with the…

Smackdown Matches

WWE Title: JBL v The Undertaker

Are you on your knees praying for the Undertaker to get the belt off JBL? More than likely you are but I have grave news for the Undertaker, I have a feeling The Million Dollar Man and Virgil, oops sorry JBL and Orlando Jordan, may well keep their money grabbing hands on the WWE Title this Sunday.

Why do I have this horrible feeling? Take a look at the future plans for Undi, he’s scheduled to be feuding with John Hideandseek (ok that’s not his real name but you try spelling the real one at this time of night). Now surely that’s not going to be for the WWE Title? I have a feeling JBL’s reign of terror (it scares the S*** out of me everytime I think of him as a WWE Champ) is going to last a little bit longer.

Sure JBL can handle the promo’s excellently but everytime I see the guy I think of APA and that Stan Hansen impression he was so crap at. Vince likes the guy so what can we do? I go for a tarnished win for JBL possibly with Big John interfering and costing Undi the title.

US Title: Booker T v John Cena (Best of 5 series)

Hasn’t the US Title situation been a right mess over the past few weeks? This scenario just reminds me of the series of matches Booker T had with Chris Benoit in WCW and the Hardy Boyz v Edge and Christian tag series. Trouble is of course, this match is totally irrelevant. We can all guess that the series will get to 2-2 and go to a decider at the next Smackdown PPV. These two can put on good matches, but we’ve already seen plenty over the past weeks, do we need five more? I go for Booker to get a win this Sunday but as I’ve written it doesn’t really matter.

Eddie Guerrero v Kurt Angle

I’m hardly going to be declared a genius for stating this is going to be the match of the night. Two of the best wrestlers in the world who despite not being 100% fit (when are they?) can still put on a far better show than JBL could ever dream of. The feud has been raging for nearly a year now ever since Eddie started getting his big push which led to that title victory over Brock ‘I’d rather be playing in the NFL’ Lesnar earlier this year and the inevitable Angle heel turn. Their Wrestlemania match was a classic and while this might just fall short of that because of Guerrero’s hamstring and Angle’s neck, it’s still going to be great. Who wins? I go for Angle to get a victory and keep the feud going.

The Dudleys v Paul London/Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio

All those title belts and not a defence in sight, what a waste! It’s good to see Paul London getting the push he deserves and at least even if he ends up on the losing side on Sunday he still has a title belt to not defend on major PPVs. The Spike Dudley heel turn was slightly unexpected but makes sense with his half-brothers on Smackdown now. He can certainly have a good feud with Mysterio in the future but this match has little value. No titles will change hands so who cares? I go for Mysterio to pin Spike.

Raw Matches

World Heavyweight Title: Chris Benoit v Randy Orton

Are you ready for the Orton era? Looks like that’s the nailed on result of this weekend World Title match from Raw. Benoit has been a good champion, even if he was stuck with Kane as an opponent. I’d have liked to have seen him in a major one-on-one confrontation with Shawn Michaels on a PPV but he’s done his job well.

Just like Kane, Orton got his title chance through a Battle Royal rather than beginning a feud with the champion himself. His IC title run was successful, even if tarnished by unclean victories, but is he ready for the next level? I’m not too sure and if JBL stays as WWE Champ, the company will have two relatively untested champions carrying the brand. Orton is good on the mic, he looks great in the ring, but he still lacks experience despite having met nearly all the top contenders over the past year or so.

It should be a good match, how will it end? I go for that Orton title victory which obviously will cause havoc in the Evolution camp. Will it be caused by an Edge heel turn? Possibly.

IC Title: Edge v Jericho v Batista

So finally Jericho gets another title shot on a major PPV but alas I doubt he’ll be winning the belt even if this is in Canada. Nor do I believe that Batista will win the title, though an evil part of me would like him to. Imagine the scene at Monday Night Raw, Orton parades his World Title belt, Batista his IC title belt and poor old Triple H and Flair have nothing at all, then see Evolution crack up.

Just fantasy I’m afraid, Edge seems to be on a major push now and will keep his title, but as a face or a heel? Now if you read this weeks TWO Newsletter you’ll see that I’m not a great fan of Edge. He lacks that final something that makes a main-eventer (but then again not as much as JBL and look where he is now!). A heel turn looks inevitable, so where does that leave all that ‘I’ll take down Evolution one by one’speech? Edge and Jericho could have a reasonable feud in the future, so why stick Batista in here?

Triple H v Eugene

This has been a storyline that has been built up better than any on the show, but then again it does feature Triple H. He may not have a title (this is one of his rare non-title singles matches on a PPV, apart from the Hell in a Cell match with Michaels you have to go back to Summerslam 2002 – also against Michaels – for him to be not challenging for or defending a belt).

Eugene hasn’t been wrestling much lately and in fact his appearances have been fairly limited this past few weeks. That’s a good thing, a) because I was getting sick of it and b) most other people were as well and overkill was nearly being reached. It’s the usual storyline of ‘you cost me the title’ but with Eugene’s disability being used to allow Triple H to be really nasty.

The use of William Regal has been interesting, if not a bit disappointing. Regal is great on the mic and will be a brilliant manager or GM in the future, but his in-ring career is failing badly. Well, not badly as he’s in WWE and not going to be short of a penny, but his recent results don’t indicate any titles in the future. Being used the way he was against Triple H last week doesn’t make him out to be a strong wrestler. I expect him to make some kind of impact here though.

Who’s going to win? I’ll go for Eugene simply as with Orton getting the belt, it makes Triple H’s humiliation complete. Whether it’ll be a decent match though I’m not sure at all, and where Eugene goes after this, I’m again not too sure, his shelf life is getting shorter though surely!

Till Death Do Us Part Match: Kane v Matt Hardy v Alf Garnett

OK so I made up the last bit. Who will have the misfortune to marry Lita? Boy if ever there was a reason to lose a match, getting married to her must be the biggest incentive of all. All that romantic chat with her enormous tattoos on show, charming.

This really is the most boring storyline on Raw at present. I don’t care if Lita is pregnant, I don’t care about Lita full stop! Is this really going to go on for nine months? Is Lita getting the fake lump ready?

Matt Hardy at least has a storyline, Kane simply has to remember he was a World Title challenger once upon a time. Who’s going to win? It all depends on outside interference I suppose. Will Shawn Michaels make his comeback and cost Kane his bride? That’s highly possible as that’s the next feud on Kane’s plate. Or will Lita turn heel on Matt and marry Kane? That’s also likely. I have a feeling the latter is going to happen, but watch out Kane, Michaels will get you sooner or later.

Diva Dodgeball

Oh great, just what we all want to see. A sport we don’t care about in the UK and a load of Diva’s we’ve seen a million times before. Why not just hand out photos of the Diva’s, let us have a few minutes on our own to do what we wish and then have a wrestling match!

So there we have Summerslam 2004. It should have some excellent matches but I still don’t understand the lack of title matches. What will be the match on Heat? Hopefully a Raw Tag Title match with La Resistance losing to Tajiri and Rhyno or perhaps we’ll be treated to a Mark Jindrack match or even Steven Richards in a wig!

Enjoy Summerslam, the new Orton era is about to begin!

Stephen Ashfield