I’ve always regarded Summerslam to be the second biggest WWE PPV of the year and this looks like being a decent card though I have a few misgivings about what we’ll be seeing on August 21st. Time to preview the card beginning with the matches from Raw.
WWE Title: John Cena v Chris Jericho
Pardon me while I try to work out exactly why Chris Jericho has this title shot. Perhaps it was because he lost the money in the bank match at Wrestlemania, or was it his losses to Shelton Benjamin that got him this match? I suppose at the end of the day it’s more down to Jericho’s out of work exploits that have got him this match. It’s Fozzy against rap music just like WCW tried a few years back with two kinds of music clashing. Of course it’s a masterplan by Vince as usual. Bring music into the equation and it gives them the chance to plug Cena’s new single and album week in week out, while keeping Jericho happy as he talks about Fozzy.
The build-up to this match has been like a second rate rehash of Austin v Mr McMahon. Bischoff takes an instant dislike to the newly arrived on Raw John Cena and does everything he can to get the title off him. For some reason he decides that Jericho and Carlito are the people who can achieve his aims. That’s a cue for every possible combination of matches apart from Cena v Jericho with the champ getting beaten up most weeks. All very predictable, in fact during one time I taped Raw, I just fast forwarded through the Cena match until the inevitable run-in or attack by Jericho in his new career as referee.
There is no way on earth that Jericho is going to win the title this weekend. In fact his presence in this title match shows the lack of real depth amongst the heels on the Raw roster when Triple H decides to take time off. Who else could have had this title shot? There’s only really Angle, Carlito and Edge and this match is simply a break before Angle gets his title shot at Unforgiven and Edge uses up his money in the bank title match contract. Cena wins and the unrelenting promoting of his CD continues and just wait till the movie comes out next year.
Hulk Hogan v Shawn Michaels
So why did Michaels turn heel on Hogan? Apart from the usual, “I’m better than you” statement, there hasn’t been much explanation really. Perhaps Michaels was just doing us a favour as he decided that those Hogan celebrations really do go on far too long and besides we’ve all seen them a million times. I’m really glad that Michaels has turned heel, in fact I thought he might do it at Backlash but at least it’s finally happened. He’s better as a heel and his attitude change sets up potential matches with Cena, Hardy, Kane and Benjamin. Perhaps we might even see another match with Triple H but with Michaels as the heel and Trips as the face?
So what about Hogan? Well, like Cena he has something to promote – his reality TV series and that’s why you can also expect to see Mick Foley back soon as his new book comes out this month (a copy of which is already in my possession). I have to admit his body looks in great shape but wait till you get to his face and he really does look like Methusalah. But he’s over with the crowd so who cares if he can barely move at times? So who wins? Well I’m really not sure, I guess a Hogan win is a big possibility even though we know he shouldn’t be able to beat Michaels in a wrestling match but I wouldn’t be surprised if Michaels gets a very dodgy victory and the feud continues.
Matt Hardy v Edge
So just how many paragraphs have I written about this during 2005? If you don’t know the history behind this storyline then where on earth have you been all year? I actually interviewed Matt Hardy earlier this summer and feel a bit cheated by what’s happened since. He complained about how WWE has changed over the past few years since the influx of WCW staff and said that if he met Edge in the ring it’d have to be a mixed-arts martial match. Weeks later, Hardy agreed to come back to WWE!
This match is a mixture of fact and fiction and so far the biggest victim has been kayfabe. What was the point of Hardy telling the fans that while Lita was married to Kane onscreen, she went home to him every night (apart of course from when she was with Edge). Bang goes a year-long storyline, we don’t need to suspend our disbelief anymore Matt just blew it out the ocean. No wonder Kane hasn’t been seen since, he really should have moved to Smackdown. Remember in storyline world he’s the guy Hardy should be upset with after marrying Lita and beating him up at the wedding. But that’s not going to happen, this is the Matt and Edge story now.
So what can we expect on Sunday? Well Edge is the guy who Vince believes in most so he’s going to get the win by some foul means or another. The feud will continue because there’s more money to be made but after it’s over it’ll be back to Heat for Mr Hardy.
Eugene v Kurt Angle
What does Eugene do to get all these high profile matches? Last year he met Triple H at Summerslam and this time around he gets to meet Angle. The build-up has been average mainly because we don’t just have to put up with Eugene but Christy Hemme as well! Eugene managed to survive three minutes with Angle so won his Olympic Gold Medal. What is it about Angle that he has to bring those medals to the arena with him every time he wrestles? He’s always losing them of course. Unable to get the medals back and having to look at Tatanka and wonder how he affords his food bills, Angle finally got a No time limit match. Rumours that Eugene asked how long that is are completely untrue. However there is gossip that he asked for a longer match! Will Angle get his medal back? I guess so as he’s booked to meet Cena for the title at Unforgiven.
World Heavyweight Title: Batista v JBL
So another PPV and yet again it’s JBL in the Smackdown main event, how predictable. I’m still not convinced that Batista is a main-eventer. He lacks the skills on the mic that make a true superstar. In fact some of his appearances are so wooden I’m surprised he doesn’t bleed sawdust. Talking of bleeding, JBL says that the more he bleeds the more he wins. That doesn’t quite tally with his views on ECW does it? Nor does the fact this is a no holds barred match. So can JBL get his title back? Rumours are that this feud is going to continue for awhile so I’m going to be a brave little bunny and predict that JBL will become World Heavyweight Champion this Sunday, so help us God.
US Title: Orlando Jordan v Chris Benoit
I’ll do a deal with the devil. JBL can be Champion as long as Orlando loses his belt. If Chris Benoit is to be any kind of success on Smackdown he needs to win this title, rather than face Simon Dean! Benoit can bring the US Title up to another level. I go for Benoit to win the title.
Ladder Match: Eddie Guerrero v Rey Mysterio
Poor Eddie, this time last year he was the champion and now he’s a jobber. Time after time he loses to Rey Mysterio so that makes me think this Sunday he’s finally going to get a victory over the guy who should be in the cruiserweight division. But then again that might not happen because of the crazy storyline this match has. Eddie has revealed that he’s the real father of Dominic, Rey Mysterio’s son and he wants him back. Currently little Dom is in foster care but whoever climbs up the ladder can grab his custody papers and pay for his schooling etc for years to come. What next on WWE? Perhaps we should actually have Dom at the top of the ladder ready to be collected by whoever wins? The build-up to this has been ok, it’s gone on a bit too long and is a tad unrealistic to say the least. “Hello is that foster care? Hi it’s Eddie here, just thought I’d let you know that whoever climbs up a ladder this Sunday gets custody of Dominic, is that ok?” Crazy isn’t the word! Eddie winning will take this feud one step further down the line to historical heckling about how ridiculous it is. What if Eddie wins and Dom turns up and turns on Rey, now that’d be interesting. I go for Eddie to win, that’s if he can remember how to.
The Undertaker v Randy Orton
Undertaker or UnderPartimetaker? He adds very little to feuds these days which is why Vince had to panic when due to the Hassan problem, he had to make Undi the Number One contender. What to? The most days taken off from your schedule in one year! Randy Orton has to win this match as he really is the future of Smackdown. Sooner or later he will become champion and take the WWE to the next level. All Undi does these days is make the odd appearance here and there and rely on a bit of dry ice and video to scare wrestlers. Why do they get so scared? Bet they don’t watch any ghost programmes on TV! Orton will win this and hopefully cleanly to make a real point.
At the time of writing this there were no other matches confirmed which is surprising. Look at this list of talent that hasn’t so far got a match: Kane, Carlito, Shelton Benjamin, both tag champs, Nunzio, Christian, Booker T, MNM, William Regal, Mexicools, Big Show, Chris Masters and Rob Conway. Just why are there no real feuds taking place for the IC title, tag titles and cruiserweight title? Why is the women’s title in suspended animation? Couldn’t they have stripped Trish (not that way!) and let Victoria and Christy meet for the vacant title? Why have titles if they get ignored! I have a feeling that Regal v Scotty could be added to the card and perhaps the new look, total disaster Legion of Doom might get a match on Heat. Anyway it should be a decent card with the Mysterio match bound to be match of the night. Enjoy!