WWE Week In Review XIV
August 3, 2008- August 9, 2008
Welcome to the fourteenth 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.
With less than two weeks until The Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer- SummerSlam, WWE kicked off the week in a big way with WWE Monday Night RAW. This particular RAW marked Mike Adamle’s first week as being the official General Manager of RAW. The new GM kicked off the show by telling the Knoxville faithful that he has made some mistakes in his relatively short WWE career, but plans to excel as RAW’s General Manager. He wasted no time in setting up a huge night of RAW action, as he announced there would be three championship matches on RAW! As first revealed during Saturday Night’s Main Event this past Saturday, Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase would be defending their World Tag Team Titles against SummerSlam opponents- John Cena & Batista. Before Adamle could make any further announcements, JBL interrupted and pleaded with the new GM to make him the #1 Contender for CM Punk’s World Heavyweight Title. This would bring out Chris Jericho- another superstar with his sights set on the World Heavyweight Title. JBL & Y2J both lobbied Adamle for the #1 Contender’s spot, but the new GM had enough of the bickering. Adamle then named an "Adamle Original" match, where JBL would team up with Jericho to take on CM Punk in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. If the team of JBL & Jericho win, whoever earned the deciding fall would be the #1 Contender for the World Title in 13 days at SummerSlam. However, if CM Punk wins the bout, then neither man would challenge for the title.
In one of three title matches promised by Mike Adamle, Kofi Kingston successfully defended his Intercontinental Championship against Paul Burchill. Immediately following that match, we had the second of three championship matches as Women’s Champion Mickie James defended her title against Katie Lea Burchill. Mickie was able to retain her title in this struggle for the gold. After the match, Mickie James was assaulted by former Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix. Phoenix laid out the champion, much to the delight of her "business associate" Santino Marella. Backstage, Marella & Phoenix meet up with Adamle and request an Intercontinental Title Match for Santino Marella and a Women’s Championship Match for The Glamazon at SummerSlam. The boss informed the duo that there is room for only one more championship match at SummerSlam. After some deliberating, RAW’s GM came up with another "Adamle Original"- it would be Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix teaming up to face Kofi Kingston & Mickie James in a "Winner Take All" match for both the Intercontinental & Women’s Championship.
More trouble was on the horizon for the loudmouthed Jamie Noble on RAW, as in a WWE.com Exclusive video, Layla told Jamie Noble that she "doesn’t associate with losers". While the former dancer for the Miami Heat was showcasing her "skills" in the ring, RAW’s newest acquisition William Regal interrupted. Now "The Hottest Former Free Agent" in WWE, Regal came out and proceeded to remind the fans exactly who he is. It didn’t take long for the "king" to be interrupted by Jamie Noble. Determined to prove himself to Layla, Noble brawled with the cocky Englishman as officials had to separate the two.
Next up was one of many "Adamle Originals"- a 2-on-1 Handicap Match to determine the #1 Contender for CM Punk’s World Heavyweight Title. Before the match could begin, GM Adamle announced that the match would be over at the 10-Minute Time Limit and if no one has won, then it will be a Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam between champion Punk, JBL, and Jericho.
In a match that resembled a Triple Threat match, JBL and Jericho brawled against each other and against Punk. The match would come down to the last 15 seconds. After wearing Punk out with the Walls of Jericho, JBL threw Y2J to the outside. Jericho would retaliate by hanging JBL up on the top rope, but in doing so, inadvertently made JBL fall on the downed champion. Quickly realizing that the referee was counting, JBL hooked a leg and got the 3-count, making him the #1 Contender for CM Punk’s World Title in 13 nights at SummerSlam.
Speaking of Chris Jericho, we also heard from Shawn Michaels for the first time since he was assaulted and given a detached retina at the hands of Y2J. Michaels admitted that he has been competing with broken ribs since WrestleMania and that he has had multiple knee surgeries and that his back still gives him trouble more than ten years later. All this in addition to the detached retina. Shawn Michaels announced that he is scheduled to go to his doctor on the 15’th; two days before SummerSlam. HBK informed the fans around the world that, unlike in the past, he will listen to the doctors and do what they tell him to. He stated that he loved wrestling, but there’s one thing he loves more- his family. Shawn then stated he would be on hand for SummerSlam and that he will make the decision to either continue or end his legendary career and he will announce it live to the world on that night.
Matt Striker also made his in-ring return since being drafted to RAW in the Supplemental Draft. Striker congratulated new GM Mike Adamle and stated that Adamle would find a suitable opponent for the former New York City School Teacher; an opponent that would test Striker’s abilities. Striker never counted on who Adamle chose to face him- the demented Big Red Machine Kane. Kane made short work of Matt Striker with the chokeslam. The unbalanced former WWE & ECW Champion grabbed the mic and informed the world that he is in a "better place" now than he has been in recent weeks. He stated that he now knows that "he is not alive, he’s dead". Adamle may have given Kane an easy night this week, but next week will be a different story. The GM announced that on next week’s RAW, he will find out what is in the burlap bag that Kane has been carrying for the past few weeks. He stated that if Kane won’t give it up, that Adamle will take it from him.
Then it was time for a big time main event as the World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase took on the team of John Cena & Batista. During the match, Batista refused to tag Cena and Cena tagged Batista with a slap to the face, but in the end it was Cena & Batista putting aside their differences for the match for the sake of winning the World Tag Team Titles. The SummerSlam opponents did just that, as Batista pinned Ted DiBiase, intense rivals John Cena & Batista were the new World Tag Team Champions! With this new development en route to SummerSlam, will these two be able to co-exist as tag team champions knowing that they will have to compete against the other in less than two weeks? If the two can co-exist, is there any one team that can stop them? Will winning the World Tag Team Titles cloud these two from achieving their ultimate goal- the World Heavyweight Championship?
Tuesday’s ECW was a wild one from start to finish with just under two weeks away from SummerSlam. This week’s ECW had a special visitor from RAW- the former New York City School Teacher Matt Striker substituted for Tazz to help Todd Grisham call the night of ECW action.
The opening match of the night was a tag team encounter as Evan "Air" Bourne teamed up with the Self-Proclaimed Cuban Assassin to take on the Mexican Warrior Chavo Guerrero and The One-Man Fence Bam Neely. In the end it was the lightning-quick Evan Bourne rolling up the powerful Bam Neely to score the win for the new blood team.
ECW also saw a confrontation between The Fighting Irishman Finlay and The Bearded Brute Mike Knox. Knox came out and told the fans that he did not need to explain to them why he attacked Finlay last week. Mike Knox went on to call the father-son duo of Finlay & Hornswoggle a "joke". The Irish Family then came out to confront Knox. Finlay told the monstrous and angry Knox to take a shot at Finlay. Knox thought better of the situation and opted to back away from Father Finlay and exit the ring.
This week’s ECW was a make-or-break night for former ECW General Manager Armando Estrada. ECW General Manager Theodore Long gave Estrada one more opportunity to earn an ECW Contract. With desperation in mind, Armando Estrada took on ECW Original Tommy Dreamer, but it was Dreamer’s former protégé Colin Delaney ironically running interference for the man who put Colin through the exact same thing when Estrada was still running the show. Colin provided enough of a distraction for Estrada to roll-up Dreamer for the upset win and to earn his ECW Contract. Backstage, Theodore Long informed young Colin Delaney that he will face Tommy Dreamer next week in an Extreme Rules Match. Braden Walker was also in action, defeating James Curtis in dominant fashion.
It was then time for the television debut of "The Dirt Sheet", WWE.com’s most popular original series starring former WWE Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison. Miz & Morrison’s guests would be none other than ECW Champion Mark Henry and his #1 Contender at SummerSlam- Matt Hardy. Miz & Morrison mocked and made fun of Mark Henry, Tony Atlas, and even Lena Yada. However, the former tag champions attitudes changed when a furious World’s Strongest Champion came out. To try and calm the big man down, Miz & Morrison decided to turn their mockery towards #1 Contender Matt Hardy. After a little bit of that chicanery, Matt Hardy made his way to the ring. After giving the duo a taste of their own medicine, The Miz got in the face of the former United States Champion. Matt wasted no time in laying out Miz, but after an errant right hand by John Morrison to the World’s Strongest Champion, Mark Henry cleaned house of John Morrison and Matt cleaned house of The Miz. For a brief moment, these two rivals actually resembled a team. It will be a different story in 12 nights at SummerSlam when Mark Henry defends the ECW Title against Matt Hardy.
On Thursday, WWE.com announced that they have come to terms on the release of ECW Superstar Braden Walker (real name- Chris Harris) after only a month with the company.
WWE.com announced on Friday that WWE has released six additional wrestlers. ECW Superstars Nunzio (real name- James Maritato) & James Curtis (Kurt Sellers) and SmackDown Superstars Shannon Moore, Domino (Cliff Compton), & Big Daddy V (Nelson Frazier, Jr.). WWE has also released veteran referee, Nick Patrick (Joseph Hamilton, Jr.).
Friday Night SmackDown had a aura over it just a mere 9 nights from SummerSlam. With Tazz substituting for an injured Mick Foley, the opening contest was a special Olympics 6-Diva Tag Match with each Diva dressed up as a different Olympic athlete. Cherry was dressed up as a boxer, Maria was dressed as a skier, Victoria as a gymnast, Maryse as a tennis player, Natalya as a horse rider, & Michelle McCool as a volleyball player. In the end it would be the vicious Natalya forcing Maria to tap out to the legendary Sharpshooter to win the match for her team.
Meanwhile in the backstage area, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Chavo Guerrero, & Vickie Guerrero find Chavo’s bodyguard Bam Neely knocked unconscious with a black rose laying nearby.
Speaking of the WWE Tag Team Champions, they were in non-title action against SmackDown’s Resident Redneck Jimmy Wang Yang & Shannon Moore (in his last WWE match, as he was released earlier in the day). With a little bending of the rules, Hawkins & Ryder were able to defeat the high-flying duo.
In another non-title match, United States Champion Shelton Benjamin took on The Rainbow-Haired Warrior Jeff Hardy. In a tough back-and-forth bout between two extraordinary athletes, Jeff Hardy would hit the Twist of Fate and follow it up with his patented Swanton Bomb, but before he could make the pin, SummerSlam opponent MVP came in and laid out Jeff with a vicious quick to ruin Jeff’s win over the United States Champion.
Backstage, WWE Tag Team Champion Curt Hawkins catches up with Chavo & Vickie and explains to them that his tag team partner, Zack Ryder went missing, but Hawkins did find another black rose. Chavo suggests that they talk to the one man that could help them battle these assaults- Edge. Vickie refused to speak with her cheating husband, but Chavo promised to speak to The Rated-R Superstar.
The next contest was a very unique encounter between WWE Champion Triple H and his #1 Contender at SummerSlam The Great Khali. The two would face off in a first- an Indian Broken Glass Arm Wrestling Contest. After the two exchanged words, they got to the arm wrestling. Just as Triple H was ready to put Khali’s huge hand into the broken glass to win it, Khali headbutted the champion, ending the contest. Throwing the table out of the way, Khali tried to chokeslam Triple H, but The Game countered and attempted the Pedigree, but Khali was just too large for even Triple H to Pedigree. Khali would lay out Triple H with a big chop and then leave The Game motionless with the devastating Khali Vise Grip. Is this a sign of things to come for The Great Khali? Will we be seeing the first Indian WWE Champion in history at SummerSlam? How can Triple H combat this Punjabi Nightmare?
Backstage, we find Curt Hawkins laid out on the concrete floor with yet another black rose. In the ring, The Undefeated Moscow Mauler Vladimir Kozlov was in the ring demanding "more competition". Kozlov’s challenge was answered by Jesse & Festus, or more specifically, Jesse. Kozlov made short work of the feisty tag team specialist, using his patented headbutt to remain undefeated.
Next, The Brian Kendrick was in action against ECW’s Super Crazy. Before the match, The Brian Kendrick revealed that Ezekiel Jackson is his "advisor". His new "advisor" would certainly become a big factor in The Brian Kendrick’s victory over The Insane Luchador Super Crazy. Ezekiel Jackson was able to distract Super Crazy long enough for his client to score the victory over the ECW High-Flyer.
In Vickie Guerrero’s office, Vickie’s Rated-R Husband comes into the room and requests that Vickie Guerrero believe in him and his "plan" for The Undertaker, who was the sole suspect for the mysterious assaults throughout the night.
The remaining members of La Familia- Edge, Vickie, & Chavo make their way to the ring. Edge and his best man, Chavo Guerrero grab steel chairs from ringside in preparation for The Deadman. Edge calls out his SummerSlam opponent as Chavo places the wheelchair-bound Vickie Guerrero in the corner. As Edge & Chavo await The Phenom, Edge strikes his "best man" in the back with a steel chair and then seals the deal with a Con-Chair-To, proving to everyone that he was the one who assaulted his own "Family" and laid the black roses. Edge then started to leave the ring, but came back to his wife and dumped her out of her wheelchair! Backing her into the corner, Edge told his wife that she doesn’t need to be afraid of The Undertaker, that she needs to be afraid of him. Edge then promises to take The Undertaker to hell at SummerSlam and take the whole family and Vickie Guerrero down with him. The "Old Edge" that Mick Foley referred to last week has come back in full force and as unstable as ever. Is the "Old Edge" capable of combating The Deadman in the Deadman’s Playground in nine nights or is The Undertaker’s return going to be an unstoppable success?
Superstar of the Week: Batista
SmackDown: August 1- 1.2 Rating (Down From Last Week’s 2.4 Rating)
Saturday Night’s Main Event: August 2- 2.4 Rating
RAW: August 4- 3.4 Rating (Down From Last Week’s 3.6 Rating)
ECW: August 5- 1.5 Rating (Up From Last Week’s 1.4 Rating)