WWE Week In Review XIII
July 27, 2008- August 2, 2008
Welcome to the thirteenth edition of the WWE Week In Review. Feel free to contact me on TWO or Wrestling 101 anytime with comments, questions, and anything in between. Also, check out my new blog on Wrestling101.com, coming soon.
With only three weeks until The Biggest Blockbuster Of The Summer- SummerSlam, Monday Night RAW started off the week in an explosive and unpredictable way. John Cena opened the show up by coming out to the ring and "owning up" to his wild right hand he inadvertently delivered to Batista last week after the World Heavyweight Title match. Cena called out "The Animal" and much to the delight of his hometown crowd, Batista came out and stood toe-to-toe with Cena. Batista told the former WWE Champion that he saw the tape from last week and realized that Cena hitting him was an accident. Batista told Cena that things were "cool" between them. The Hometown Animal went on to tell Cena that after Batista defeats CM Punk at SummerSlam and regains the World Heavyweight Title, he will give Cena the first title opportunity. The Chain Gang Soldier then informed Batista that he doesn’t think that Batista deserves another title opportunity after failing to win the World Title from CM Punk twice. As tensions mounted between the two, Cena proposed that Batista goes one-on-one with Cena right there in D.C. on RAW. Before Batista could accept or reject the challenge, WWE’s Executive Vice President Shane McMahon came out and informed the two superstars that he and his sister, Stephanie McMahon, have appointed a new RAW General Manager, who will be revealed later in the night, and that the new GM has already put together two huge matches. In the first match, World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk would be facing the WWE’s "Hottest New Free Agent". Shane informed Cena & Batista that the new RAW GM already had plans for them, as they would be facing the team of Kane & JBL in the main event of the night.
The opening match of the night saw WWE’s new odd couple- Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix score a win over D-Lo Brown & Kelly Kelly. The self-proclaimed "International Superstar" rolled up Kelly Kelly for the win. After telling Santino that their relationship was strictly business, The Glamazon planted a kiss on the former Intercontinental Champion.
The mysterious new RAW General Manager made a head-scratching decision in a big time championship match that would see Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase defend their World Tag Team Titles against the team of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan & RAW’s Color Commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler. However, before the match could start, RAW’s Senior Referee Mike Chioda came out to the ring and delivered the message to Lilian Garcia that the match had been changed. Instead of "Hacksaw" teaming with "The King", it would be Lawler’s commentating partner, Michael Cole! As the match progressed, the WWE Hall of Famer tried his best to fight the match in a two-on-one situation to protect Cole. After Cole & "King" made inadvertent skin contact, the referee deemed it a tag and Michael Cole was the legal man in the ring. One-half of the tag champions, Cody Rhodes dragged the announcer into the ring and, even though Cole was able to land a punch on the second generation star, Rhodes would ultimately pin Cole to retain his and Ted DiBiase’s World Tag Team Titles. After Cole was taken from the ring, ECW’s Play-by-Play man, Mike Adamle filled in for Michael Cole for the night.
Next, Jamie Noble was in the ring with his "part-time girlfriend" Layla, the loudmouthed cruiserweight challenged Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston to a match, which Kofi readily accepted and was able to pin Noble for the win in non-title action.
With The Mauling Millionaire JBL joining Lawler & Adamle for commentary, World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk was set to face a mystery opponent in non-title action. This mystery opponent turned out to be former RAW General Manager William Regal. Regal lost a match to Mr. Kennedy a couple of months ago in a "Loser Leaves RAW" match, thus making William Regal a free agent to decide which of the three brands he wants to join. Despite beating the champion bloody, Regal was not able to score a successful win in his WWE return, as Punk pinned Regal following the GTS. After the match, self-proclaimed #1 Contender for the World Title, JBL was set to confront the champion, but was interrupted by the unstable Big Red Machine Kane. Kane wasted no time in leveling his tag team partner for the main event. Punk attempted to take the monster down, but was flattened by a big boot by JBL as Kane & JBL exchanged confused looks in the ring.
Next up was what would be "The Final Highlight Reel", Chris Jericho came out with protégé, Lance Cade, and explained to the fans that it was them who forced Jericho to become more of a entertainer than a wrestler. He stated that he would have continued the hunt for World Title gold back in 2002/2003 if it had not been for the pleas of the fans. Jericho said he took that road and that he was sick of being an entertainer. He told the D.C. crowd that he had to end the career of Shawn Michaels to get the fans attention and to prove that he’s a wrestler, not an entertainer. Jericho then threw his name in the hat to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title at SummerSlam.
It was announced later in the night that Shawn Michaels will appear live on RAW next week in Knoxville, TN with a response to Chris Jericho’s Final Highlight Reel.
We come back to see SmackDown’s Jim Ross joining ECW’s Mike Adamle & RAW’s Jerry "The King" Lawler at the announce position. J.R. revealed that he had no idea why he was called to be in D.C. when he should be on his way to Hershey, PA for Friday’s SmackDown.
Next was a non-title encounter between Mickie James and Jillian. Mickie was able to secure the win over Jillian, but the bigger story happened after the match. While celebrating with her father in the front row, the Women’s Champion was assaulted by Katie Lea Burchill. Katie Lea announced that she assaulted Mickie for the new RAW General Manager, whoever it is and that her and her brother Paul were going to be the new Intercontinental & Women’s Champion as Mickie lay on the arena floor in front of Mr. James.
In the blockbuster main event of the evening, John Cena & Batista reluctantly teamed up to face an equally reluctant team of JBL & Kane. After an errant right hand by JBL, Kane chokeslammed his tag team partner, which gave Cena the opportunity to F-U Kane for the win.
These four men will have another chance at each other at Saturday Night’s Main Event this Saturday at 9/8c on NBC when John Cena will team up with Cryme Tyme & The Animal Batista to take on the team of JBL, Kane, Cody Rhodes, & Ted DiBiase. On the SmackDown side of things, Edge will face off with the Charismatic Enigma Jeff Hardy. All this in addition to Jenny McCarthy appearing on the show in support of Generation Rescue.
Shane McMahon wasted no time in coming out and introducing the new General Manager of RAW- none other than ECW’s Mike Adamle! As the crowd roared it’s disapproval and Cena & Batista were visibly confused, Adamle announced that Batista and John Cena will face off one-on-one at SummerSlam, which is not what the two wanted as they made it clear they wanted to be in the World Heavyweight Title Match facing CM Punk. If neither Cena or Batista are challenging CM Punk at SummerSlam, then who is? Kane, JBL, & Chris Jericho have all laid claim to being deserving of a World Title opportunity, but who will the new RAW General Manager choose to face Punk? With Mike Adamle being RAW’s new General Manager, what does this mean for his announcing duties on ECW?
Tuesday’s ECW started off with the revealing of a new ECW Play-by-Play Announcer to replace Mike Adamle in former Heat Play-by-Play Announcer and former RAW Interviewer Todd Grisham.
The #1 Contender for the ECW Title at SummerSlam, Matt Hardy, made an appearance on the show, stating that he has always been a fan of ECW and that it’s a good fit seeing as Matt has been involved in some of WWE’s most "extreme" matches. It didn’t take long for Matt to be interrupted by ECW Champion Mark Henry and his manager, WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas. The powerful duo came out to the ring to send a strong message to the #1 Contender in the form of a "demonstration". Much like he did in front of Tommy Dreamer the Tuesday before The Great American Bash, The World’s Strongest Champion was able to prove his overwhelming strength, by this time bending a metal bar into a "U" shape. Matt Hardy seemed unimpressed by the feat and told his SummerSlam opponent that a metal bar can not fight back. He also informed the champion that he can break Matt’s body, but never his spirit. Matt then assured victory for SummerSlam and stated he would be the next ECW Champion.
The opening contest of the night saw the "undefeated" Ricky Ortiz take on ECW’s Mexican Warrior Chavo Guerrero (with "associate" Bam Neely). The newcomer fought back and forth with the former ECW Champion, but when Chavo tried to get some extra leverage in a pinfall attempt by putting his feet on the second rope and having Bam Neely hold his feet in place, Chavo & Neely got caught red-handed and also got disqualified, giving Ortiz the win. After the match, Chavo & Neely assaulted Ortiz and Chavo laid him out with his patented frog splash. Before anymore damage could be done, Evan Bourne intervened and saved Ricky Ortiz from the wrath of Chavo Guerrero & Bam Neely.
Backstage, Colin Delaney catches up with Mark Henry & Tony Atlas. Colin asks the World’s Strongest Champion why they abandoned him last week in his match against Tommy Dreamer. The champion and Hall of Famer explained to Colin that they needed him to prove himself to the duo. Atlas then requested that Colin Delaney "soften up" Matt Hardy for SummerSlam by facing him in the main event of the evening. Henry assured Colin that both himself and Atlas would be in his corner.
Next up was a tag team bout as former WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison took on Finlay and his son Hornswoggle. Finlay was able to hang on in the match, but after John Morrison ran Finlay’s shoulder into the ring post, it all went downhill from there for the Fighting Irishman. After unsuccessfully attempting to pin John Morrison following the Celtic Cross, Finlay went to the second rope to try a different maneuver, but Hornswoggle tagged himself in and went for a spinning headscissors on Morrison, but Morrison was able to counter and slam Hornswoggle face first into the mat and get the win for himself and The Miz. After the match, Mike Knox came out of the crowd and laid out Finlay with two big boots to the face. Mike Knox later explained to Lena Yada that he attacked Finlay because Finlay used to be "The Man Who Loved To Fight", but now he’s "The Man Who Loves To Dance Around With Leprechauns". Knox also made a bold statement by alleging that Finlay had gone "soft".
Backstage, as Matt Hardy gets ready to face Colin Delaney in the main event, another ECW Upstart, Braden Walker, comes up to Matt and assures the elder Hardy that he has his back tonight. However, Matt would prove that he did not need Braden Walker to back him up, as he made short work of Colin Delaney, as Mark Henry & Tony Atlas watched from the staging area. Henry & Atlas made their way into the ring and The World’s Strongest Champion showed his abhor by hurling Colin Delaney over the top rope to the arena floor on the outside. The champion stared a hole through his #1 Contender before exiting the ring. Colin Delaney turned his back on Tommy Dreamer at The Great American Bash to join up with Mark Henry & Tony Atlas, but now that they have excommunicated Colin Delaney from their team, can Colin survive in ECW now that he’s made so many enemies? Is ECW Champion Mark Henry taking Matt Hardy for granted? Will Matt be able to dethrone the ECW Champion at SummerSlam?
Friday Night’s SmackDown kicked off with The Charismatic Enigma Jeff Hardy. The former Intercontinental Champion made his way to ringside for a match between his intense new rival, MVP and fellow high-flyer Jimmy Wang Yang. MVP made sure that Jeff Hardy would not forget about last week as MVP told Jeff Hardy that Jeff would never win the WWE Title because of his "reckless attitude". MVP was able to hit Yang with his patented boot for the win. Jeff Hardy then entered the ring and sternly told MVP to never mention his home, his fire, or his dog again. MVP then attempted to cheap shot The Prince of Risk and Jeff countered and laid out the cocky superstar with a Twist of Fate.
Meanwhile, in the backstage area, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero spots Edge & Vickie’s Wedding Planner, Alicia Fox in the building. It didn’t take long to figure out that Vickie’s new husband Edge was the one who gave Alicia a ticket to be in the building.
Next up was a non-title contest between United States Champion Shelton Benjamin and Mr. Kennedy. A back-and-forth match would eventually see the Green Bay native hit his signature Mic Check to pin the U.S. Champion in non-title action. After the match, Eve Torres caught up with The Gold Standard and Benjamin told the diva that Benjamin should not have even been wrestling, as he claimed to have a case of bronchitis.
Next we would see The Brian Kendrick take on ECW’s Stevie Richards. With a big distraction by Ezekiel, The Brian Kendrick was able to hit The Kendrick to defeat Stevie.
The opening match of the night was not the only time we would see Jeff Hardy, as Jeff would take on the #1 Contender for the WWE Title at SummerSlam- The Great Khali. Jeff tried his best, even managing to land the Swanton Bomb on The Punjabi Giant, but with a major assist by MVP, Khali was able to defeat Jeff Hardy en route to his WWE Championship Match against Triple H.
SmackDown also saw Maria make his first appearance as a SmackDown Diva. Maria was able to upset former Women’s Champion Victoria to win her SmackDown debut match. Divas Champion Michelle McCool might want to be prepared for Maria.
The World’s Largest Athlete Big Show was also in action, destroying former WWE Tag Team Champion Domino. After the match, Big Show had a monumental face-off with SmackDown’s Samoan Bulldozer Umaga.
Then it was time for what everyone in the building had been waiting for- The Cutting Edge. All night long, Chavo Guerrero was determined to figure out who Edge’s mystery guest was on The Cutting Edge. Chavo was unable to find out who the mystery man or woman was, as absolutely nobody knew who it would be. Edge came out for The Cutting Edge and explained that he felt more comfortable with his surroundings in the ring- a table, a ladder, and a chair. Well, the entire world got their answer when Edge came out and revealed his guest to be a man "who knows The Undertaker better than anyone" and asked SmackDown Color Commentator and Hell in a Cell veteran Mick Foley to be the guest on The Cutting Edge, much to The Hardcore Legend’s surprise. Edge tells the former WWE Champion that Foley’s loss to The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell in 1998 still eats away at the legend even after ten years have passed. Edge then request Foley’s help to combat The Undertaker at SummerSlam. Mick Foley tells Edge that there is only one man who can help The Rated-R Superstar and that is himself. Foley tells Edge that he needs to find and tap into the "old Edge" from days gone by. To find the Edge that was ruthless and aggressive, not the "new Edge" that took shortcuts and groveled at the feet of the "love of his life" Vickie Guerrero. Mick may have got more than he bargained for, as Edge knocked down Foley with a big right hand and kicked Foley out of the ring. Mick would put forth a valiant effort against Edge, but Edge was able to spear Mick into the steel ring steps. Foley would manage to get back in the ring and even get the Mandible Claw on The Rated-R Superstar, but Edge low-blowed Mick and laid him on the table in the ring and used a steel chair to dive off the ladder and put Foley through the table. Has Mick Foley awoken something in Edge? Will the "old Edge" be ruthless enough to defeat The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell at SummerSlam or will The Deadman be too much for Edge to handle?
On Saturday, WWE held the 32’nd edition of WWE Saturday Night’s Main Event on NBC from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The show started off with a huge RAW 8-Man Tag Match as Batista, John Cena, & Cryme Tyme took on the team of JBL, Kane, and the World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase. World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk sat down with SmackDown’s Jim Ross and RAW’s Jerry "The King" Lawler to get a chance to scout his potential opponents for his World Title at SummerSlam. The match would go back and forth between the eight rivals, but in the end, it was a small mistake by JTG that cost his team the match. John Cena aided JTG in a splash off of the top rope onto Ted DiBiase, but JTG tried to pin DiBiase, but JBL was the legal man for his team. After disposing of John Cena, JBL capitalized, hitting JTG with his signature Clothesline From Hell to secure the win.
Only 14 days from their one-on-one match at SummerSlam, Batista & John Cena will team up for the third time in a week in tag team action. Only this time, they will be challenging Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase for the World Tag Team Titles on RAW. Will Cena & Batista walk into SummerSlam in a World Tag Team Champion Vs. World Tag Team Champion situation or will the young tag champions be able to upset the dream team of Cena & Batista?
In SmackDown action, the #1 Contender for Triple H’s WWE Title at SummerSlam- The Great Khali demolished SmackDown’s Resident Redneck- Jimmy Wang Yang with the Khali Bomb. Will The Great Khali be able to defeat one of the greatest WWE Champions of all time to claim the gold or will Triple H find a way to overcome the enormous Punjabi Nightmare?
In the main event of Saturday Night’s Main Event, two former rivals faced off as Edge took on Jeff Hardy. Courtesy of a vicious kick by MVP, Edge was able to defeat Jeff Hardy in the main event. This is the second match that MVP has cost Jeff in 24 hours. Can Jeff get MVP out of his personal and professional business? What measures will the Legend Thriller take to rid his life of the Ballin’ Superstar?
Superstar of the Week: Edge
SmackDown: July 25- 2.4 Rating (Same As Last Week)
RAW: July 28- 3.6 Rating (Up From Last Week’s 3.3 Rating)
ECW: July 29- 1.4 Rating (Down From Last Week’s 1.5 Rating)