WWE Week In Review XII
July 20, 2008- July 26, 2008
Welcome to the twelfth edition of Cassidy’s WWE Week In Review. Feel free to contact me on Wrestling 101 anytime with comments, questions, and anything in between.
This week started off with the WWE Great American Bash from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island, NY. A hot summer night in Long Island saw champions retain, new champions crowned, relationships fall apart, and careers put in serious jeopardy.
The night started off with new WWE Tag Team Champions as Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder claimed gold in their home region of Long Island, NY by defeating champions Miz & Morrison, Jesse & Festus, and Finlay & Hornswoggle in a Fatal 4-Way to not only win their first tag team titles, but to also regain SmackDown’s tag team titles from the two ECW Superstars. Will Miz & Morrison seek to regain their WWE Tag Team Titles? With all the dissension in the ranks of "The Family", will Hawkins & Ryder’s achievement be overlooked by the General Manager of SmackDown?
The next match also provided a similar situation, as Shelton Benjamin shocked the world and defeated Matt Hardy for his first United States Title. Benjamin used his Pay Dirt finisher to dethrone the U.S. Champion and bring the gold back to Friday Nights. Will Matt Hardy seek retribution for his lost title? Where does the elder Hardy go from here? Now that the Gold Standard has gold, will anything stop Benjamin now?
After new WWE Tag Team Champions and a new United States Champion were crowned, all eyes were on the ECW Championship, as Mark Henry defended his ECW Title against ECW Original Tommy Dreamer. Fortunately for the World’s Strongest Champion, he broke the trend that started in the two prior matches by defeating Dreamer to hang on to his ECW Title thanks to a big assist by Colin Delaney, who turned on his friend and cost him the title. Why did Delaney turn on Dreamer? Has Colin aligned himself with The World’s Strongest Champion? How long will Henry be able to hold onto that ECW Title? Is there anyone on the ECW Roster that can take it from him?
The next match on the card was a very personal affair as Chris Jericho took on his intense rival for many months in Shawn Michaels. Jericho would absolutely snap at the Bash and would leave HBK in a bloody heap with a torn retina. Jericho certainly took his hatred for Michaels to a new level to say the least. When will we see Shawn Michaels again? Has Chris Jericho successfully ended the career of the legend? What will Jericho have to say for his actions?
The next match was a guaranteed historic match as Michelle McCool and Natalya would battle to determine the first ever Divas Champion. McCool pulled the upset over Natalya and actually forced the third generation wrestler to tap out to her Brazilian Heel Hook to become the first Divas Champion. Will McCool be able to hang on to her Divas Title with Divas like Natalya, Victoria, & Maryse lurking on Friday Nights? Will Natalya seek revenge for this loss? How does Natalya feel being forced to tap out?
Then it was time to decide the World Heavyweight Title as CM Punk would make his first major defense of the World Heavyweight Title against three time World Champion Batista. Punk was out to prove to everyone that doubted him that he is not a fluke champion and Batista was simply out to regain the gold he feels is his. Neither man would really get what they wanted as the severely unbalanced Kane attacked both superstars in the middle of the match, dashing the dreams of Batista and leaving CM Punk the champion, but still a questionable one. How will The Animal and The Straight-Edge Champion respond to Kane’s interference? What’s next in Kane’s bizarre spiral into lunacy? Who will be Kane’s next victim?
Next up was a highly personal match between two former WWE Champions- JBL and John Cena. The two faced off in a brutal New York City Parking Lot Brawl. The two rivals fought each other all through the Nassau Coliseum, but it was JBL who would pin Cena on top of a car to get the win after throwing Cena into a car windshield. Is this the end of this feud? Have things been settled between The Millionaire Mauler and The Chain Gang Commander? What’s the condition of John Cena following this brutal match?
Finally, it was time for the main event as WWE Champion Triple H would defend his WWE Title against The Rated-R Superstar Edge. By the end of the night, Edge’s opportunistic ways would come back to bite him, as it was his wife, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero who would ironically cost Edge the WWE Title. Despite the help of Alicia Fox, Edge still fell short of being a 6-time World Champion. Edge would certainly put an end to any reconciliation between him and Vickie by laying out the GM with a Spear. Triple H was able to defend his WWE Title, but seemed flabbergasted after getting the pin. What are the consequences of Edge’s actions against his wife and boss, Vickie Guerrero? Is Edge in for a long ride on Friday Nights? Who will be next to challenge Triple H for his throne?
The post-Bash RAW started off with The Animal Batista. After seeing footage from Kane’s interference the night prior in the World Heavyweight Title Match, Batista came out to challenge Kane to a fight and also declared himself in charge of RAW for the night and said he was only going to make one match- CM Punk Vs. Batista for the World Heavyweight Title on RAW. JBL interrupts The Animal and tells Batista that his time to challenge for the World Title has come and gone. At the Bash and that JBL will be the next to face Punk for the title. After all this talk about his championship, CM Punk came out and accepted Batista’s challenge for the World Heavyweight Title and the main event of the evening was set.
The opening contest saw Lance Cade defeat Paul London in Cade’s first match since joining up with Chris Jericho. Cade called out Shawn Michaels to appear before, during, or after the match. Cade’s match with London came and gone, but no Michaels. Chris Jericho did come out and again declared Shawn Michaels’ career over and said that he had "saved" himself from the Heartbreak Kid.
Next up was a Divas Match between Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly. RAW’s newest Diva put forth a valiant effort, by Phoenix overpowered Kelly Kelly for the win.
Before the 6-Man Tag Team Rematch from last week’s RAW, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan made an appearance. Duggan declared that he felt it was time to hang up his boots and retire as a wrestler, fueled by the comments made by Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase last week. Jerry "The King" Lawler came into the ring and changed Duggan’s mind about retiring, raising the mood of "Hacksaw". The World Tag Team Champions came out and criticized Lawler for giving Duggan career advice. Lawler slapped Rhodes in response to the young team’s disrespect towards both legends.
Next up was the 6-Man Tag Team Rematch from last week between CTC (John Cena & Cryme Tyme) and JBL, Cody Rhodes, & Ted DiBiase. John Cena was able to Double F-U the tag team champions to pick up the win.
Santino Marella was out next and reissued his challenge from last week, this time specifying to face a man. His challenge was answered by a former Intercontinental & European Champion making his return to the WWE after a five year hiatus- D’Lo Brown. Brown made quick work of the Italian Superstar and pinned him with ease following the Lo Down. After the match concluded, however, a series of confusing events took place between Marella and Beth Phoenix. First the two traded waistlocks, but then traded a liplock in the middle of the ring. Both Phoenix & Marella looked bewildered as Marella exited the ring and headed to the back.
Next was the main event of RAW for the World Heavyweight Title in a Great American Bash Rematch. Before the championship match could get underway, Kane came out and started a brawl with Batista and laid him out with a Chokeslam. Batista made the decision to continue with the match anyway and after a couple of minutes of recuperation, the match was underway. Punk held his own against The Animal, but Batista overpowered the Straight Edge Champion, but it was all for not as JBL attacked Batista, ending the match. After JBL laid out The Animal, John Cena came out to get him some more of The Millionaire Mauler. After accidentally hitting Batista, Cena & Batista started to brawl in the ring. Batista tried the Batista Bomb, Cena tried the F-U, but WWE Referees were able to separate the two. What will Shane & Stephanie McMahon do about the out-of-control RAW they’ve been seeing as of late? Who will face CM Punk for the World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam?
Tuesday Night’s ECW started off with ECW General Manager Theodore Long. Long introduced a new ECW Championship belt and gave it to ECW Champion Mark Henry. Hall of Famer Tony Atlas told the crowd that Mark Henry getting the new ECW Title belt represents the new ECW and that guys like Tommy Dreamer are the past, but Henry is the future. Colin Delaney then came out to explain his actions against Dreamer at the Bash and told those in attendance that when he was Dreamer’s friend, it got him beat down week after week. GM Long informed Delaney that he would be facing Dreamer right then and there. Tommy Dreamer absolutely dominated his former protégé and flattened him with a Dreamer DDT to get a measure of revenge on Delaney.
The next match saw newcomer Evan Bourne continue to rack up wins, this time against James Curtis. With Chavo Guerrero & Bam Neely looking on, Bourne hit his Shooting Star Press to win again.
The main event of ECW had major SummerSlam implications as the Fatal 4-Way that took place between Matt Hardy, John Morrison, Finlay, & The Miz would determine who would face Mark Henry for the ECW Title at the August tradition. Chaos ensued as all four ECW Superstars vied to face the World’s Strongest Champion in Indianapolis. In the end, it was former United States Champion Matt Hardy pinning John Morrison to head to SummerSlam for his shot at the ECW Title.
Friday Night SmackDown was an emotional episode from start to finish. Emotions ran high- from happiness to despair to disappointment. The night started off with MVP and The VIP Lounge with guest and opponent in the main event- Jeff Hardy. MVP wasted no time in badgering his guest, questioning Jeff’s career decisions and bringing up Jeff’s darkest moments, including his suspension and his house fire. MVP even went as far as to say that Jeff feels guilty for his dog, Jack, who died in the house fire. The cocky superstar told the younger Hardy that he doesn’t even care about his career and does not care if he gets released for one more violation. Jeff says that he is fortunate enough to get a second chance and told the former United States Champion that the Ballin’ Superstar knows a thing or two about second chances. An emotional Jeff Hardy eventually pushed MVP clear out of the ring.
The opening match of the night saw Shelton Benjamin’s first appearance as the new United States Champion. The Gold Standard defeated Jimmy Wang Yang with his Pay Dirt in a non-title bout.
The second match of the night also had major championship implications as Festus defeated one-half of the new WWE Tag Team Champions Curt Hawkins. After the match, the new tag team champions assaulted and laid out the stoic Festus.
Vladimir Kozlov continued his dominance over the entire roster by defeating Philadelphia’s own Stevie Richards and remained undefeated in the WWE. After the match, Kozlov approached the SmackDown Announce Team and told Jim Ross & Mick Foley that he wanted more competition.
Next up was a huge match for all six superstars involved, it was a "Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer" Battle Royal, where the winner of the 6-Man Battle Royal would go on to SummerSlam to challenge Triple H for the WWE Title. The match pit The Charismatic Enigma Jeff Hardy against The Green Bay Loudmouth Mr. Kennedy against The Punjabi Giant The Great Khali against The Franchise Player MVP against The Samoan Bulldozer Umaga against The World’s Largest Athlete Big Show. Jeff Hardy got a bit of retribution by eliminating MVP. Jeff would also manage to eliminate Big Show, but in the end, it was the monstrous Great Khali who would last eliminate Jeff Hardy to earn the right to face Triple H for the WWE Title at SummerSlam. The champion came out and had a face-to-face with his new #1 Contender. The 12-time World Champion had to look up at Khali. Ranjin Singh convinced The Punjabi Warrior to wait until August 17 as Triple H stood tall in the ring, ready for SummerSlam.
In non-title action, the new and first Divas Champion Michelle McCool scored her first win as champion against Maryse. Also, Brian Kendrick continued to utilize his new bodyguard, Ezekiel, to earn a win over Shannon Moore.
Next up was an emotional public apology by The Rated-R Superstar Edge. The former World Champion asked his new wife, Vickie Guerrero to come out to the ring so Edge could apologize for his affair with Alicia Fox. Edge tried his best to reconcile with his scorned wife, but his attempts were futile, as Vickie duped her husband and informed him that she did something that he may not like. Edge certainly did not want nor expect to hear that his wife reinstated The Undertaker. Not only that, but The Undertaker would return at SummerSlam and face Edge himself. The icing on the cake for the General Manager was telling her cheating lover that his match against The Undertaker would be settled inside Hell in a Cell. It’s true what they say- Hell hath no fury like that of a woman’s scorn. What will Vickie do to her estranged husband next? Will Edge be able to survive SummerSlam against The Undertaker? What will The Undertaker do in the weeks leading up to his match with Edge?
Superstar of the Week: Vickie Guerrero
SmackDown: July 18- 2.4 Rating (Up From Last Week’s 2.3 Rating)
RAW: July 21- 3.3 Rating (Up From Last Week’s 3.2 Rating)
ECW: July 22- 1.5 Rating (Up From Last Week’s 1.4 Rating)