The Announce Table

TAT: WWE SummerSlam 2004 Thoughts

Hey tatfans, I’m a little groggy after going to bed at stupid O’clock, but I did it for you…So Summerslam, the second biggest card of the year, has hit our screens in a whirlwind spectacular which only saw the crowning of one new champion, coupled with some rather strange decisions. Let’s review…

Hey tatfans, I’m a little groggy after going to bed at stupid O’clock, but I did it for you…So Summerslam, the second biggest card of the year, has hit our screens in a whirlwind spectacular which only saw the crowning of one new champion, coupled with some rather strange decisions. Let’s review…

I’ll tell you what: this was one of the best designed WWE events for a long time. The colour scheme, the fonts, the picture styles, the cutaway stills, the MUSIC, was all top notch. WWE Management promised they had a big surprise lined up for the Summerslam theme tune and 1970’s grand-dad rockers Rush were an excellent choice.

We have a new World Heavyweight Champion! Randy Orton has made his jump from promising egomaniacal mid-carder to prodigious, humbled champion. “But is it too soon?” I hear you ask. What is “too soon?”. Describe “too soon”. Is it that he is genuinely too young and too inexperienced at this pro-wrestling game to be considered a worthy champion? Is it that he’s been shoved down our throats this year and perhaps you’d like to see him challenging for the belt for a while before he actually wins it? Is he only on the path to becoming good enough; he’s not established enough yet?

Personally I hoped Benoit would win. I would have liked to have seen Orton lose at a PPV, but only narrowly, and then have an angle where he sets up Benoit as the next target on his Legend Killer Tour. Perhaps the Orton/Benoit rivalry was not explored enough? Perhaps it was never meant to be. There was never a grudge between Orton and Benoit, this was signified by the handshake at the end of the match. This match was not about rivalries and grudges, it was about sizing your chance, and attaining your dream. I must admit, Orton really looked the part once he won his belt. The Orton era has begun, and I think he’s here for keeps.

Contrast the glory that was Randy Orton to the roadkill that was John Bradshaw Layfield and I think I have finally seen just why many people have no time for The Undertaker. I was not impressed with the Deadman last night. This was the match I was looking forward to the most. This could have been a hard-hitting, trash-talking, hugely entertaining, perhaps career-defining event for JBL. He could have Clothesline-From-Helled Undertaker (even in a dubious manner) and picked up the win, but no; Undertaker didn’t want it that way. ‘Taker took the Clotheline, took a belt shot, bumped the ref, and generally got given a bit of a hiding from JBL. This was good. What was not good was the fact that Undertaker just sat up too quickly after taking these hits, making JBL’s armoury look ineffective.

Then ‘Taker’s creative control clause took effect. Suddenly ‘Taker gets disqualified, JBL wins and then ‘Taker comes back to the ring, beats JBL up and Chokeslams him through the roof of his limo. JBL was made to look very weak last night, even though he retained his gold.

The undoubted highlight was Kurt Angle vs Eddie Guerrero and for once, I called it spot on! A 15 minutes mat-fest with Kurt Angle picking up the win. What surprised me about this match was the fact that Angle didn’t need Luther Reigns to play a big part in the outcome. Reigns gave Eddie a spanking outside the ring on one occasion, we expected that though, but my point is Angle didn’t win dubiously. He made Eddie Guerrero tap. Big props to Eddie and Angle for a truly entertaining match, their fued can continue, and Angle’s proposition to become a whimpering-yet-unbeatable super-heel is coming to fruition.

I’m afraid the same cannot be said of the Eugene vs Triple H match. Now, I enjoyed it, there was nothing wrong with the wrestling at all, but my spider-senses are telling me that perhaps the Eugene gimmick has run its course? The crowd booed Eugene mercilessly, and I felt a bit sorry for old Nick Dinsmore. The Canadian crowds are known for their love of technical wrestling, that Dinsmore can produce in droves, but – like me – perhaps they don’t like the retard gimmick? Perhaps it’s run its course? Only time will tell, but the writing was pretty much on the wall. Old Triple H did a great selling of a fake injury though. Top stuff.

So Edge retained his belt in a decent match which made me forget that Batista was actually in it. As predicted, this was dominated by Jericho and Edge come crunch time, although at the beginning and middle parts of this match I thought Batista gave a strong showing. He’s really improved. This match wasn’t about Batista though, it was about showcasing Jericho and Edge, and I really enjoyed it. Perhaps for the long-term the result was the right one; Edge pinning Jericho after Spearing him.

John Cena got a result out of nowhere when he FU’d Booker T to a first victory in the “Best of Five” Series. It was a pretty solid match. Booker T came across as stronger as he has been in the last few months and Cena arguably looked weaker. I still think Cena will win in the long-term though, although expect Booker to get the next two wins.

Kane will marry Lita then! That was a turn-up for the books. No Shawn Michaels, no underhand goings on, no cheap shots, just a Chokeslam from the top rope and a grinning Kane and a scampering Lita. Hardy is going in for knee surgery that will keep him out of action for about 6 or 7 months, but don’t expect this to be the last of this feud. Oh no. Kane will go on to feud with Michaels, Lita will get booed, and maybe, just maybe, at the Rumble or at Wrestlemania, Matt Hardy will return, in better shape than ever, and this feud will continue. Hopefully it won’t be as ridiculous as it as been recently. But you can only wish…

In a totally non-ramificational match to open Summerslam, and probably the most entertaining, The Dudleyz picked up a win over the trio of London, Kidman
and Mysterio. Yeah, there may be some scuffles after this match, but overall this would have to rank up there as one of the better matches of the night. Kidman executed a Shooting Star Press, London did his Dropsault, Mysterio did the 619, and The Dudleyz executed the 3D to pick up the win.

Lastly, and leastly, the Diva Dodgeball. What a waste of time! What a waste of time! This could have been used to get a better idea of which “Team Dream”
Diva-wannabe could hang in the WWE with the real divas, but no. All it was was a shoddy game of dodgeball, Team Dream beat Team Diva 5-0, the incredible
wannabe Michelle excelling. Afterwards the Divas realised they hate each other and Trish and Victoria had a little scuffle afterwards, no doubt setting up another Victoria vs Trish Women’s Championship match. I realised that I now want Michelle to win Diva Search.

Special mention goes to the Toronto crowd who did their best to ruin Summerslam. They booed Edge, booed Benoit, booed Eugene, did a Mexican wave during Undertaker vs JBL, booed Kane and Matt Hardy, booed Lita, booed Diva Dodgeball and yelled “boooooring” during the Kurt Angle vs Eddie match. JR, King, Taz and Cole were audibly and visibly disappointed with this show of petulance and smart-alecness.

The crowds have now tried to ruin both Wrestlemania and Summerslam this year.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the Orton Era…