The Summerslam Countdown: Day Seven

August 15th, 2011 by |

Summerslam was last night and I’ll review that one in a later post. First and foremost, I want to discuss the hilarity that is NBC’s Wrestlemania 27 special. Every year, NBC does a one-hour special that condenses Wrestlemania into a bunch of highlights. Not sure of the appeal, especially since this year’s was so bad, but it’s there.

At Wrestlemania, the big match was Triple H vs. Undertaker. Triple H had a badass entrance with “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica playing. Undertaker also walked down like a badass to Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave”. Herein lies the problem. NBC decided that ponying up the cash to play the Metallica song on their broadcast was fine and dandy. But Johnny Cash? Nope. They weren’t going to waste a dime on that.

It happens. Throughout all these DVDs I watch, they remove a lot of music due to rights issues and replace them with other stuff. Undertaker’s Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock themes are replaced with his Big Evil “You’ve Done it Now” theme. It would make sense that NBC would just put his regular theme over the Johnny Cash one. Right?

Nope. Instead, they decided that the perfect song would be “ET” by Katy Perry. I’m not joking. What were they thinking?!

I kissed a ghoul and I liked it.


Date: August 21, 2005
Era: Cena Era
Location: MCI Center in Washington, DC
Known as: Shawn Michaels’ Oversell Extravaganza!

Though the card is stacked with big enough names, even the title situations lack any stories of interest. The main event, on the other hand, is where the money is. Shawn Michaels had called in Hulk Hogan to help him out against the threat of Muhammad Hassan and his manager Davairi. That… wow. The modern version of that is like if John Cena needed the Rock’s help in beating David Otunga and Zack Ryder. They easily win that PPV match and they team up together against Carlito and Kurt Angle, where Michaels nails Hogan with Sweet Chin Music during the match. Michaels becomes a complete jerk out of nowhere, for reasons I’ll explain later. And so, we have on our hands a match of Legend vs. Icon!

The Atmosphere

The theme of the show is “Remedy” by Seether, which makes for the perfect fit. The intro is this song playing with quotes from all the wrestlers discussing how awesome they are or what they’re going to do to their opponents. It’s some blood-pumping shit ended when we see a shot of Michaels hitting Hogan with Sweet Chin Music. Then it dedicates itself to hyping that match. Speaking of that match, when they show the video package for Hogan/Michaels, they never show any footage of Muhammad Hassan as they had dropped him from the company in the lead-up due to portraying him as a terrorist during the day of a London bombing. Good riddance, since not only was he pretty bad in the ring, but his gimmick was one of the most genuinely embarrassing and stupid things in wrestling history.

Also embarrassing, though far less so, is a segment of the Divas washing a car with Vince sitting inside, pondering the idea of becoming president. Jericho tries to sell his match against Cena with a fantastic, tense promo and Vickie Guerrero pops in backstage to confront Eddie. We’re so used to seeing Vickie after the fact that seeing her as both a face and with the man she married feels so weird.

The Matches

Orlando Jordan defends the United States Championship against Chris Benoit, who is for some reason announced as “The Game” Chris Benoit. I don’t know. OJ suckerpunches Benoit, eats a couple German Suplexes in retaliation, is put in the Crippler Crossface and taps. Twenty-five seconds. Pretty hilarious and would become great fodder for their continuing feud.

Matt Hardy and Edge go head-to-head based on their real life rivalry. Lita cheated on Matt with Edge, Matt blew up over it online, WWE decided that it was really unprofessional of him, fired him and Matt ended up getting over merely for not being there. After a while, the company brought him back to turn this reality-based hatred into an angle. It’s a pretty quick match, too quick, but the fierce offense from both guys makes you take notice despite it. They immediately brawl on the outside, take it into the ring and get sent back out anyway. Matt stands over Edge in the corner and gives him mounted punches, only for Edge to drop him on the corner post. This busts Matt open and Edge lays into him to the point that the ref has no choice but to stop the match because Matt simply can’t continue.

Eddie Guerrero faces Rey Mysterio in a Ladder Match. This is easily the best match of the night and should make me nothing less than glad at seeing these two fight it out. The thing is, the match is poisoned by an unfortunate gimmick where they’re fighting for the custody of Rey’s son Dominic, who Eddie is apparently the biological father of. Eddie and Rey start out talking with each other until an Eddie cheapshot. Eddie takes it to the outside, slams Rey’s head into the steps and then into a ladder. Eddie sets up the ladder, climbs up and gets taken down with a springboard dropkick. Rey gets some licks in, including a Baseball Slide into the ladder into Eddie and a springboard sitting senton. The two climb the ladder, trade blows and Eddie does a rather botchy Sunset Powerbomb. He dropkicks the ladder into Rey, bodyslams him onto it, places him inside the ladder like a Rey-on-metal sandwhich before doing a senton off the top onto him.

The two go back and forth, each trying to climb and the other doing something ridiculous and awesome to stop them. When it seems Eddie has it won, Dominic runs into the ring and shakes the ladder, causing Eddie to get down and angrily demand a hug. He’s about to slap Dominic, only to be stopped by Rey. Rey even hits a 619, only using the ladder instead of the ropes. It’s sweet. More back and forth and climbing attempts. Rey climbs the ladder, Eddie kicks it out from under him, catches Rey and drives him down with a powerbomb. He sets the ladder up over Rey so he can’t move and climbs. Rey is able to wobble it and gets Eddie down. Eddie gives him the Three Amigos onto the ladder and climbs one last time. Vickie runs out and shoves Eddie off. She then prevents him from stopping Rey from climbing up and getting the briefcase, thereby making Rey the legal guardian of Dominic. Rey’s celebration gets an exclamation point with Rey smacking Eddie upside the head with the briefcase.

Eugene vs. Kurt Angle is another short match that gets a lot done in the time provided. Eugene offers a handshake and gets slapped and stomped on. When he tries a People’s Elbow on Angle, the Olympian simply gets up and clotheslines him to the adoration of the fans. Big “LET’S GO ANGLE!” chants. He gets some German Suplexes in there and slams Eugene’s head into the corner. Eugene begins to Hulk out… which is booed. He gets a Rock Bottom out of nowhere, then goes for a Stunner, which is reversed into an Angle Slam, which is reversed back into the Stunner. Angle kicks out. Eugene pulls down invisible singlet straps and puts his opponent in his own hold, the Angle Lock. Angle counters by shoving him into the corner. Then he gives him the Angle Slam, the Angle Lock and makes him tap out. Since he’s won his stolen gold medals back from Eugene, he brings a chair into the ring – not for hitting – but for standing on so the referee can award the medals to him.

Undertaker faces Randy Orton, which is probably the worst match of the night, yet it’s still rather okay. Orton immediately knows that he’s out of his league here and tries to escape. Undertaker overpowers him and spends a long while in charge. Even though Old School is turned into an armdrag, Undertaker is still dominant. It isn’t until he misses a running boot that Orton’s able to get some traction by working the leg. Although hitting a DDT at one point, he mostly spends his time working the leg and it begins to drag. With Undertaker’s leg draped over the rope, Orton jumps up with intent to slam down on it with his ass. Undertaker moves his leg and uses it to kick Orton out of the ring instead. He then hits a Guillotine Legdrop off the apron, Old School and a Downward Spiral of all moves. He drops Orton down onto the corner pad with Snake Eyes, runs across the ropes and runs right into an Orton dropkick. Undertaker shoves off the RKO attempt and the two start flipping back and forth as they try to give each other the Tombstone. Finally, Orton reverses it into his trademark backbreaker. He hits a top-rope crossbody, Undertaker rolls with it, stands up and gives Orton a chokeslam. A fan runs into the ring and distracts everyone for a moment. As he’s dragged away, Undertaker picks up Orton and receives a surprise RKO. Orton pins him, gets the victory and reveals that the fan is really his dad Cowboy Bob Orton. Undertaker’s theme starts playing and the two heels run off.

John Cena defends the WWE Championship against Chris Jericho. This is before Cena’s become too tiresome, but it’s still mostly your average Cena match. They trade wrestling holds to start and it escalates into heated punching and slapping. Jericho misses a springboard attack and falls out of the ring, but gets back into the game and spends a long time with the advantage. He dropkicks Cena off the apron and strangles him with some nearby wires. Soon Cena gets momentum, but misses a shoulder tackle and it’s Jericho’s game yet again. Jericho hits a bulldog then misses his Lionsault while landing on his feet. Cena tries for a roll-up and it’s reversed into the Walls of Jericho. Before it can be locked on, Cena forces Jericho out of the ring. When Jericho climbs back in, Cena hits him with a legdrop off the top to the back of the head. The FU is reversed into a DDT and the crowd is split on who to cheer for. When Cena makes his comeback, both sides of the crowd are rabid. He goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and Jericho somehow turns it into the Walls of Jericho, this time getting it locked. Cena grabs the ropes and it’s released. Cena tries for an FU off the second rope, but Jericho makes it into a suplex. Yet Cena kicks out. He catches Jericho with what appears to be a Tilt-a-Whirl backbreaker, but instead uses Jericho’s momentum to place him on his shoulders so he can hit the FU. The champ retains.

On the other side of the championship fence, Batista defends the World Heavyweight Championship against John “Bradshaw” Layfield in a No Holds Barred Match. JBL goes right for Batista during the entrance and gets hit with a fire extinguisher. They brawl around the entrance area and JBL whips Batista into a wall. As they get closer towards the ringside area, JBL picks up a chair and instead gets Speared through the guardrail barrier. JBL is still able to get up first and slams Batista into the post. He whips him with a belt, yelling, “C’mon, Animal!” and then starts to strangle him. Batista breaks out via a back suplex and starts whipping JBL in retaliation. JBL hits a random Clothesline from Hell, but Batista kicks out. JBL brings the steps into the ring. He figures he’s going to give Batista a Batista Bomb onto the steps, but it’s reversed with a backdrop. JBL runs into a spinebuster. After crushing him with the Batista Bomb, Batista hesitates the cover. The crowd chants “ONE MORE TIME!” and he gives them what they want by powerbombing JBL onto the steps. He pins him, then tears up some of JBL’s fake money. A fun match, though, yet again, a little too short.

Now for the marquee match of the night, Hulk Hogan vs. “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels. This one’s a hoot. First, some backstage background. The original idea was that they’d have two face vs. face matches with each getting a win. Then Hogan had it changed so that it would only be one match with him going over. Then he changed it so that Michaels would go heel specifically for this match because Hogan didn’t want anyone splitting up the crowd cheers that should by all rights be HIS. Michaels had become more of a moral man compared to his asshole 90’s self, but dove back into that personality just to prove that sometimes two wrongs do make a right.

Now, you can’t no-sell Hogan’s offense because that would get him angry enough to hit you for real. Michaels decides to go the opposite route to make Hogan look like a fool.

The match itself is pretty good, though. Michaels does a good job playing it up, such as putting Hogan in a Sharpshooter in order to piss off the crowd who had just been chanting “YOU SCREWED BRET!” In the end, Michaels gives Hogan a low-blow, hits him with a chair, does a top-rope elbow AND hits Sweet Chin Music. Hogan Hulks up, delivers the boot and the legdrop before getting the pin. Afterwards, Michaels goes back to being face by offering his hand and saying, “I needed to know and I found out.” Hogan embraces him and all is well. Like I said, the match itself is enjoyable, but as a comedy match, it works even better.

At this point, we’re getting into the really good shows. Some matches are, at worst, average and everything else is better. The real problem is trying to fit so much stuff into a three hour show.


Date: August 23, 2009
Era: Cena Era
Location: Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
Known as: The one with… um… Honestly, it’s not really that overly memorable

Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase have been the bane of Triple H’s existence and he’s been finding it hard to compete with the both of them at once. The only way he can win is if he gets help. Batista’s injured, Flair’s retired and Orton’s a jerk, so he goes to find Shawn Michaels, who is a fry cook. Michaels ends up agreeing to come back and superkicks a little girl as a way of quitting his job. Elsewhere on the card, Jeff Hardy has the World Heavyweight Championship and is antagonized by CM Punk, who holds Jeff’s drug-using history against him. Hardy may claim that he’s clean and back on top, but CM Punk is straight edge and therefore better than him.

The Atmosphere

We get a cool grindhouse movie intro, a style that I wish the company would have kept for another few years, only DX interrupt to do shadow puppets and ruin the footage. It leads to some wacky happenings and we continue to the show. A big deal is made about the Raw Guest Hosts, including some interviews by a woman from Access Hollywood who the crowd does not care for. They also spend a couple minutes showing footage of wrestlers making a difference in LA and hanging out with fans for Axxess.

There are only two backstage promos to talk about and they’re both pretty damn good. One is about Jack Swagger and MVP discussing the culture clash of having an ex-con face the All-American American. Even better is CM Punk, who talks about finding a movie screenplay for the Jeff Hardy Story, which ends with Hardy winning his Summerslam main event match. Punk is going to prove Hollywood wrong.

On a similar note, I want to see/write a black comedy biography on the lives of the Hardy Boyz with Michael Cera and Jon Heder as the Hardy Boyz circa 1998 and Danny McBride and John C. Reilly as the brothers circa now.

The Matches

We begin with Rey Mysterio defending the Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler gets an early powerslam in and grabs the tights, but it’s not enough. Rey begins to outwit him, turning a backdrop attempt into a moonsault and then tricking a running Ziggler into falling out of the ring. Rey’s mistake comes from trying to do a hurricanrana off the top rope and getting it turned into a powerbomb to the corner. Ziggler takes over with the crowd split. He briefly tries a chinlock, but then goes for a lot of cover attempts that get him nowhere. Ziggler misses a Stinger Splash, opening him up for a springboard senton courtesy of Rey. Rey tries a springboard crossbody and instead gets intercepted with a dropkick. Rey gets Ziggler with an enziguri, sets up for the 619 and misses. Ziggler punishes it with the Famouser. Lots of near falls from here on. Ziggler tries a bodyslam and it’s turned into a DDT. Rey hits the 619, but misses the follow-up splash. Ziggler goes for the pin and Rey kicks out. Frustrated, Ziggler brings Rey into the corner so he can give him a press slam off the top rope. Rey reverses it into a hurricanrana and pins Ziggler in what is an excellent and very even match. Wonderful start to the show.

Next is Montel Vontavious Porter vs. “The All-American American” Jack Swagger. Swagger goes for a wrestling takedown and MVP turns it into a Sunset Flip. Then it’s a Sidewalk Slam to set up for the Ballin’ elbow drop, but Swagger leaves before he has a chance. MVP makes up for it by diving out onto Swagger. When MVP climbs to the top, Swagger sweeps him onto his back and takes control. Lot of really good transitions here between the two. They really could have pushed this feud a bit more. MVP makes a comeback, gets a cool-looking punch flurry in there that dazes Swagger, then hits Ballin’. He puts him in position for the Playmaker and instead gets thrown into the corner. Swagger rolls him up with the tights in hand, but MVP kicks out. A splash into the corner is marred by MVP putting his knees up, allowing him to hit Swagger with a Mafia Kick and the Playmaker. MVP wins an exciting match between the two guys who should have been shoved to the top.

We’re on a roll and it continues with Jeri-Show (Big Show and Chris Jericho) defending the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championship against Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG). I want to call this one of the top ten tag matches I’ve seen in WWE. It just really clicks for me. Jericho cuts a promo in the ring and when it’s time for Big Show to get a word in, the Cryme Tyme theme kicks in. Jericho and JTG start it off with some nice ringwork and JTG pulling out a flipping neckbreaker. Jericho Slingshots him into the corner, but JTG lands standing on the second rope and turns it into a leg lariat. Jericho suckerpunches him and makes the tag. Show stands on JTG’s feet so he can’t escape and make the tag. Soon enough, Show runs into a boot to the face and JTG tags in Shad. Despite his immense size, Shad is unable to take Show down. Jericho rears his head in and receives a press slam for his troubles, only it works as a diversion. When Shad turns around, Show Spears him.

Jericho works on Shad and runs into a boot in the middle of the ring. He gets up and knocks JTG off the apron to prevent the tag. Show puts Shad in a full nelson and slams him when he grows weary of the hold. Jericho is tagged in an misses an elbow drop. Jericho still keeps on him, but gets caught in a Sidewalk Slam. Shad tags JTG, who goes right for Jericho and delivers a Mug Shot followed by Da Shout Out. JTG’s offense rules. Show comes in to stop a pin attempt. Shad runs back in and clotheslines Show so hard that they both go over the top rope. JTG rolls up Jericho and there’s a kickout. Jericho puts JTG in the Walls of Jericho, JTG struggles with it and ends up reaching the ropes. Only by this point, Big Show has conquered Shad and nails JTG in the face with a knockout punch. Jericho pins JTG and gets the decisive victory.

When I’m watching this, I can’t help but wonder what kind of match could possibly ruin the momentum and keep this from being in the top three. That’s when we get Kane vs. the Great Khali. Fuuuuck. Kane, being the heel here, appears a bit scared and attacks Khali first. He tries to Irish Whip him, but gets tossed out instead. Say what you will about Kane’s later ringwork, but the man TRIES to make this match watchable. He doesn’t succeed, but he tries. The two try choking each other, but force each other off. Kane hits his top-rope clothesline, which doesn’t appear as impressive when used on someone Khali’s size. Kane puts Khali in a chinlock (oh cripes…), but Khali escapes, boots Kane and delivers a Brain Chop. Kane kicks out. Khali puts him in the Vice Grip, but Kane’s able to reach the ropes. He grabs Ranjin, then lets go of him and dropkicks Khali in the knee. He grabs Khali for a DDT and gets the pin. Not a moment too soon.

D-Generation X (Triple H and “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels) take on Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr.). DX gets a pretty awesome entrance where the army and a tank lead them out, but it does start to go on for too long after a while. Ted and Triple H feel it out in the beginning and it almost comes off as even. Ted tags in Cody, who walks over to Michaels and slaps him in the face. Triple H obliges and tags his partner in, giving us even better chemistry in Cody vs. Michaels. The two brawl with Cody getting his licks in, but Michaels comes out on top and slaps Cody back. Cody scouts Sweet Chin Music and escapes the ring, only to be thrown back in by Triple H. Again, he escapes Sweet Chin Music. Legacy begins to get some dominance on Michaels and use frequent tags. Eventually, he’s able to tag in Triple H. Triple H and Ted have an even enough fight, but then Triple H starts handing out spinebusters to both members of Legacy. Michaels clotheslines Cody out of the ring while Ted nutshots Triple H. The face-in-peril routine gets pretty boring until Cody comes in and starts using some more upbeat offense to keep us awake. Naturally, Triple H is able to get out of his predicament and tag in Michaels.

Ted is quick to take down Michaels and Cody tries for an elbow off the top. He misses and Michaels climbs up for his own. He ends up crotching himself on the top rope. Cody goes up to capitalize, gets shoved to the mat and Michaels finally drops the elbow… only to land on Cody’s knees. CrossRhodes is reversed into a Figure Four, with Ted making the save. Triple H tries to drop him with a Pedigree, but Cody makes the save. Sweet Chin Music on Cody is reversed into CrossRhodes and Triple H breaks the pin. Behind the ref’s back, Triple H delivers a Pedigree to Cody and Ted delivers Dream Street to Michaels before taking the fight to each other. Both Cody and Michaels slowly stand up and Michaels releases a sudden impact of Sweet Chin Music. DX wins and it comes off as far less dominant than I would have expected.

Christian defends the ECW Championship against William Regal, who is accompanied by Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson. The ref separates the two, Regal goes to remove his robe, Christian gives him the Killswitch and pins him. Nine seconds. Kozlov and Ezekiel run in and hit their finishers, followed by Regal giving Christian the Regal Stretch. Considering how awesome this match COULD have been and WWE’s tendency to give ECW so little time at these PPVs (I still have Matt Hardy vs. Mark Henry to review), I can’t give it a good rating by any means. Still, it’s more watchable than Kane/Khali.

Randy Orton defends the WWE Championship against John Cena as part of their never-ending feud. It’s even in the beginning with the crowd split. Orton gets the advantage and holds it for a long while. He puts Cena in a sleeper, Cena escapes and hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle fairly early on. Orton escapes the Attitude Adjustment and hits a powerslam. Cena makes a comeback and, like all ill-fated Cena comebacks, he misses a shoulder tackle and goes out of the ring. Writing these articles is opening my eyes on how often that spot happens. Orton does his second-rope DDT and Cena kicks out. There’s a lengthy setup for the punt, which naturally misses and Cena hits the Throwback, followed by his top-rope legdrop. Another Attitude Adjustment is put to rest with Orton grabbing the top rope. The two clothesline each other, get up and start doing the “YAY!”/”BOO!” brawling spot, which is really funny because each guy is getting a mixed reaction. Orton decides to shove the ref and gets himself disqualified, but Vince McMahon has the match restarted. If Orton gets himself DQ’d once more, he loses the belt.

When he reenters, Cena wins the exchange and they roll to the outside. Orton throws Cena into the steps, grabs the belt and walks off, allowing himself to be counted out. Again, he’s ordered to restart the match and if he pulls that again, he’ll lose the title. He walks into the STF, gets out of the hold before it can be locked on, goes for the RKO, Cena turns it into an Attitude Adjustment and then Orton rolls him up with his legs on the rope. He pins him and celebrates! Only a second ref comes out to point out that Orton cheated and makes him restart yet again. Cena immediately puts Orton in the STF and what appears to be a fan runs in. He’s dragged out, Cena has let go of the hold, Orton grabs him by the head and drapes it over the top rope, then finishes him off with an RKO. Same old shit match with a fun ending sequence.

The fan aspect was interesting because they did try to make it seem legit. There are a couple holes in how they went about it, but it did have people speculating. It turned out to be Brett Dibiase and there would be absolutely zero follow-up.

Our main event is Jeff Hardy defending the World Heavyweight Championship against CM Punk in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match. Punk beats Jeff into the corner to start and we got this annoying kid in the crowd who will not shut the fuck up about how great Jeff is and how much Punk sucks. Punk smacks Jeff with a chair, sets up a ladder and gets shoved off. Jeff hits a couple moves of his owns, throws Punk from the ring, tries to climb and gets knocked off. Punk tries for the Go to Sleep and gets shoved into the ladder instead. Things start to really pick up in the “holy shit!” sense as Jeff runs and jumps off a chair for Poetry in Motion, only to have Punk catch him and drop him right onto that chair. Punk proceeds to beat Jeff with the ladder, throws him out and then follows up with a suicide dive. He places a chair over Jeff’s neck and tries to shove him into the corner. Before he can, Jeff removes the chair. He flings Punk into the steps. Instead of making the collision, Punk jumps up, lands on top of the steps, turns around and gets pasted with a chair shot. Jeff follows up with Poetry in Motion off that chair and into Punk, crushing him into the guardrail.

Punk is set up onto a table as Jeff climbs to the top rope and splashes off. Punk moves at the last second. Punk climbs the ladder, only for Jeff to take him down with a Sunset Powerbomb. Punk gets him back with a superplex off the ladder. They get up at the same time with Jeff delivering a Twist of Fate. The Swanton follow-up is prevented when Punk puts his knees up. Punk hits him with a knee to the face in the corner and tries for a bulldog. Jeff instead picks him up and throws him out of the ring and through a table. Punk gets up in time to stop Jeff from reaching the belt via a springboard axe-handle. Again, he tries to use the chair as a collar on Jeff, so he can injure his neck. Jeff removes the chair, shoves Punk into the steps and completely wails on him with said chair. He takes a break to beat him with a monitor… then goes back to beating him with a chair. Then he places Punk on one of the announce tables. He climbs up the extra-tall ladder and Swantons off of it, landing on Punk and driving him through the table! Damn, what a spot!

Punk weakly crawls in first as the officials are busy putting a neck brace on Jeff and putting him on a stretcher. Jeff still forces himself to get back into the ring and Punk looks horrified and desperate. They end up swinging fists on the top of the ladder as the last stand. Punk wins the brawl, Jeff falls off the ladder and lays unconscious on the mat. Punk grabs the title and becomes champ, ending one hell of a ladder match. As he celebrates, the lights briefly flicker. Then the lights go out and we hear the familiar gong. The lights turn back on and Undertaker is laying where Jeff just was. He grabs Punk by the throat and chokeslams him to end the show.

The PPV has some really good matches where it counts, but two stinkers and an average Cena/Orton match that keep it from being higher on the list.

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6 comments to “The Summerslam Countdown: Day Seven”

  1. Actually, at the end of Mysterio vs Guerrero, it was Rey who hit Eddie with the briefcase after the match.

  2. Man, reading the 2005 recap really makes me glad I wasn’t paying any attention during that time. Just the sort of angles I’ve heard they were doing then were just…I mean, I realize some of the Attitude era stuff was dumb, but stuff like that Rey/Eddie feud, and Eugene, and…ugh, some of that Kane stuff I’ve heard, for example and just insulting and offensive in parts. I mean, Eugene, seriously, I obviously wasn’t watching at the time and know little about him, but how the hell did they get away with that?

    Oh, and I definitely read all of these, Gavok. I just usually don’t comment because I tend to forget what I might have had to say by the time I get to end.

  3. @MegaSpiderMan: Whoops! Misremembered. Thanks for the correction.

    @Schide: Eugene is a weird situation. I like to believe that the idea for Eugene came from Zach Gowen, a wrestler who had one leg. The company tried to play up his handicap as something to rally behind, but the problem is that, well, he’s handicapped. Yeah, he does a neat one-legged dropkick, but he’s skinny and not very watchable. So that went bust.

    Eugene was a similar concept, only it’s a fake handicap, meaning you can actually have a good wrestler do it. When he first debuted as Eric Bischoff’s nephew, people were outright shocked that they would do this, but William Regal was able to actually get it over. There was actual emotion in the relationship between Regal and Eugene and it worked. The problem was twofold. One, they pushed him way too fast to the point that he and Triple H had a major Summerslam match (which I’ll get to down the line) and two, after the push calmed down, they had no idea what else to do with him.

    Short version is that having a mentally challenged wrestler is cool for when he pulls out wins and sad and uncomfortable when he loses and gets beaten up. The further his career went, the more he was in the latter category.

  4. @Gavok: All right, I guess. I can see how it might sort of look like a good idea in theory. Sort of. At first, like you said. But there’s no way it couldn’t eventually degenerate into something stupid when the person isn’t actually handicapped.

    I didn’t know about Zach Gowen though. That reminds me of Gregory Iron, a wrestler with cerebral palsy who I saw in I think a couple of matches in Chikara. I thought that was pretty cool and he seemed to be a relatively effective performer doing this sort of thing.

  5. I thought Eugene and Festus were ideas cut from the same cloth: handicapped people who became savants when inside the ring. I wished they showed Eugene actually learning and becoming more confident as time went on. It would have been a good character progression. Kudos to Nick Dinsmore for kayfabbing all the way though.

  6. The good thing that did come out of the Eddie-Rey feud was the “I’m Your Papi” t-shirt