h1

The Summerslam Countdown: Day Eleven

November 24th, 2011 by | Tags: , , , , , , ,

First off, I got to go to Survivor Series the other day. There I got to meet Zack Ryder’s buddy and supporting character on the Z True Long Island Story, the Big O.

Us internet sidekicks need to stick together, you see.

Well, this is long, long, LONG overdue, isn’t it? Again, I apologize. I simply timed everything wrong when trying for this Summerslam Countdown. I started watching too late and by the time I finished, I only had a day before the first update was due. These updates take a lot out of me, and doing them on a daily basis eats away at me. At a certain point, you just have to wave it away and decide, “You know what? I think I’d rather spend the next couple months writing about superheroes instead.”

Plus other things stepped into the forefront and put this on the backburner. Since it’s been a while, here’s our list so far.

23) Summerslam 1995 (Diesel vs. King Mabel)
22) Summerslam 1997 (Bret Hart vs. Undertaker)

21) Summerslam 1993 (Yokozuna vs. Lex Luger)
20) Summerslam 1999 (Austin vs. Triple H vs. Mankind)

19) Summerslam 1988 (Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks)
18) Summerslam 1994 (Undertaker vs. Undertaker)

17) Summerslam 1996 (Vader vs. Michaels)
16) Summerslam 2007 (Cena vs. Orton)

15) Summerslam 1990 (Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude)
14) Summerslam 2010 (Team WWE vs. Nexus)

13) Summerslam 2000 (Rock vs. Angle vs. Triple H)
12) Summerslam 1992 (Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog)

11) Summerslam 2005 (Hogan vs. Michaels)
10) Summerslam 2009 (Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk)

9) Summerslam 1991 (Match Made in Heaven/Match Made in Hell)
8) Summerslam 1989 (Hogan and Beefcake vs. Savage and Zeus)

7) Summerslam 2003 (Elimination Chamber)
6) Summerslam 2008 (Undertaker vs. Edge)

5) Summerslam 2006 (Edge vs. Cena)
4) Summerslam 2004 (Orton vs. Benoit)

Let’s finish it up with our top three.

3) SUMMERSLAM 1998

Date: August 30, 1998
Era: Attitude Era
Location: Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
Known as: The Highway to Hell

It’s weird, reviewing these old PPVs. The Attitude Era is considered this great golden age of wrestling and other than the very end of it, the PPVs are mostly crap. This is the exception. Austin vs. Undertaker is a huge money match between the new hotness of professional wrestling and the top guy who has always been beloved. A lot of the story centers around the “will he”/”won’t he” with Undertaker turning heel, especially because Vince McMahon’s been suggesting that Undertaker and Kane are now in cahoots… which turns out to be true!

The Atmosphere

Crazy, intense intro about the main event.

The backstage stuff is a goldmine. Austin destroys a hearse and goes on to put on a great promo. Rock, who is a rising heel at this time, is just hitting his stride on the microphone and cuts two promos, one covered in blood. Mankind is sad about the hearse he was set to use for his intro (the one Austin destroyed, thinking it was Undertaker or Kane’s) and when he finds that his tag partner Kane is nowhere to be found, he gets a bit distraught. Mankind is a crazy son of a bitch, but even he knows that going out there to face the New Age Outlaws alone is a stupid move, even if he isn’t giving the fans “their money’s worth”. Vince steps in an talks him into it by pointing out how this will make him a legend if he’s able to pull it off.

Meanwhile, “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC is our theme and it rules.

The Matches

Our opener is a surprisingly long match where D’Lo Brown defends the European Championship against Val Venis. This is when D’Lo’s chest protector gimmick is in full swing and for some reason he has the Rock’s theme. Like, not the Nation of Domination’s theme, but the Rock’s. D’Lo shows some respect at first, but after the second lockup, he gets a cheapshot in and runs. D’Lo proceeds to use his chest protector to his advantage, both defensively and offensively. Lot of good chemistry between the two and the New York crowd is completely into it. In the crowd, we see the enigmatic newcomer Edge looking on because that’s his thing. Val dominates for a bit, hits a really nice T-Bone Suplex and the match begins to go back and forth. D’Lo gets Val in a Cloverleaf, lets go and works on his back. A second-rope senton misses. Val goes to the top rope and hops off, getting caught with a Sky High. D’Lo is too hurt to pin, so when he gets around to making the cover, Val is able to kick out.

D’Lo jumps off the top and gets caught in a powerslam. Val goes to the top for the Money Shot and D’Lo puts his knees up to block it. At this point, I’m beginning to wonder why anyone is going to the top rope at all. It doesn’t work out either way. D’Lo has the crowd split, with some chanting for and others chanting against him. He goes for his running powerbomb, which he botches at first (luckily not the Droz kind of botch) and gets it right the second time. He climbs to the top for the Lo Down and, as you can guess, misses. Val tears the chest protector off and puts it on himself. The ref gets in his face over this and when Val climbs to the top, the ref shakes the ropes and crotches him. Val rightfully shoves the ref, getting himself disqualified and gets his revenge on the ruling by bodyslamming the ref and giving him the Money Shot. Good way to start the show and even the Russo finish made sense.

Next is a seven-man tag between the Oddities (Golga, Kurrgan and Giant Silva) vs. Kaientai (Taka Michinoku, Sho Funaki, Dick Togo and Mens Teioh). On paper, I should hate this match. I mean, it’s a good wrestler from yesteryear and two awful big dudes making four incredibly talented Japanese wrestlers look like jokes. Not to mention the Oddities have the Insane Clown Posse in their corner, whose intro goes on for too long and gives me an extra dose of douche chills. Yet at the end, I kind of dig this match. It’s a good time. At first, Taka tries slamming Golga’s head into the corner, but it’s no-sold. Golga hands out headbutts to everyone, escapes the ring and pours water onto the shoes of Kaientai’s manager Yamaguchi-san. All of Kaientai teams up on Kurrgan, who easily throws them aside. Kurrgan and his four opponents play tug-of-war with Yamaguchi-san until Kurrgan lets go and they tumble. Silva is tagged in and all of Kaientai make a run for it. Silva choke-throws Togo and then corners them, followed by crushing them Andre-style.

Golga is brought in again and this time Kaientai is able to pick up steam. They double dropkick him, followed by a double bodyslam. Then they jump off each corner and deliver rapid elbow drops as they have the chance. They keep him down with a quadruple clothesline, but then miss a series of elbows and splashes. Kurrgan is tagged in and he gives Funaki a Sidewalk Slam. He and Silva choke the four opponents. When Yamaguchi-san runs in, Luna takes him down. Silva and Kurrgan both do double chokeslams and Golga splashes all four at once for the pin. Do Kaientai deserve better? Sure. Still, it’s an enjoyable comedy/sideshow exhibition.

Jeff Jarrett faces X-Pac in a Hair vs. Hair Match. X-Pac pals around with Howard Finkel and gets him to do the “SUCK IT!” spiel, but Jarrett blindsides him. X-Pac gets some licks in, throws Jarrett out and gets him with a second-rope splash to the outside. Jarrett grabs X-Pac for an Atomic Drop, but slams him nuts-first into the corner post. Jarrett dominates for a while until X-Pac surprises him with a Tornado DDT. They go back and forth a bit and even trade sleeper hold spots. X-Pac misses a twisting splash off the top and Jarrett follows it up with a Figure Four. X-Pac reaches the ropes, Jarrett tries again and this time gets kicked into the corner. X-Pac nails a spinning heel kick and Bronco Buster, but then runs into an elbow. Jarrett tries a top-rope crossbody, is caught and X-Pac rolls back into a pin. No good, as Jarrett kicks out. Things are getting really good in the match, though. Lots of near falls. Another Bronco Buster is met with a kick to the crotch. Finkel complains about it and Jarrett hits him. He turns around and gets grabbed in for the X-Factor.

Jarrett kicks out. Southern Justice (the Godwinns as Jarrett’s lackeys) come out and get involved, but in the confusion, X-Pac steals Jarrett’s guitar, pastes him with it and gets the pin. The New Age Outlaws, Headbangers and Droz clear the ring and they all proceed to shave Jarrett bald. His response to this? “You’re all full of shit!” The best part is how Thrasher takes a handful of the clippings and puts it over his own bald head.

Now for the crappy match to drag things down. Marc Mero and Jaqueline take on Sable and her mystery partner Edge. Ah, the days when Edge was this new, enigmatic face. I remember around this time, some fan had a sign in the front row saying to make Edge champ. And they did! …eventually. It starts out pretty good. Edge outclasses Mero, they tag their partners, Jacqueline runs like a bitch from Sable, the guys tag back in and Jacqueline grabs Edge’s leg, allowing Mero to take the advantage. At this point, the match slows to a crawl. The women are tagged and Sable manhandles Jacqueline. Mero gets in her way, gets hit in the nuts and Sable pulls him in for a Sablebomb. Jacqueline stops it, almost gets a TKO from Sable and Mero saves his partner. Jacqueline accidentally knocks Mero off the apron and Edge capitalizes with a splash over the top rope. Jacqueline intervenes, Edge grabs her and gives her a spanking… which is pretty out of character. Edge continues to dominate Mero and gives him a neckbreaker off the corner post, but Jacqueline puts Mero’s leg on the rope. The rest of the match is Jacqueline and Mero bumbling around, repeatedly hitting each other by accident. Edge gives Mero the Downward Spiral and places Sable on top for the pin. It’s a weird match to watch because despite my descriptions, Sable does most of the in-ring work. Edge isn’t even in there all that much.

Ken Shamrock goes up against Owen Hart in a Lion’s Den Match. Owen has Dan Severn in his corner, whose entire WWF tenure is a Russo-stained mess. This match isn’t in the arena at all, but in the MSG Theater. Shamrock slams Owen around and reverses everything thrown at him. Not only does he outmaneuver Owen, but he overpowers him too… until Owen sneaks in a mule kick to the shamrocks. Shamrock still kicks Owen’s ass anyway, strangling him with a shirt and does a cool spot where he bounces himself off the cage and nails Owen with an elbow. Owen’s bounced around the cage, but soon gets his bearings and starts slamming Shamrock into the posts linking the cage walls. Owen dominates the fight, hits an enziguri, tries for a hurricanrana and gets powerbombed to the floor. Shamrock bounces off the cage for an elbow. A second attempt is caught and turned into a powerslam. In a really cool spot, Shamrock is put in the Sharpshooter and escapes it by climbing up the nearby cage for leverage. A “BORING!” chant that I don’t quite agree with starts up as Shamrock delivers a Tornado DDT. Owen gets him in a surprise Dragon Sleeper, but Shamrock again escapes by using the cage to his advantage, flipping off the wall. He takes Owen down and puts him in the ankle lock. Severn leaves Owen’s corner in disgust as Owen is forced to tap out. It’s too bad Vince hates UFC. I kind of miss these matches.

The New Age Outlaws (“Bad Ass” Billy Gunn and “Road Dogg” Jesse James) defend the WWF Tag Team Championship against Mankind in a Handicap Match. This is pretty much a snuff film. The Outlaws bring out a dumpster for the hell of it. Mankind starts it out by nailing each of them with a cooking sheet, gets into a chair duel with Gunn, gets disarmed by Road Dogg and is beaten down. They give him some seriously hard cooking sheet shots and a Conchairto. Mankind backdrops Gunn out of the ring, puts Road Dogg in the corner and knees the sheet right into his face. The numbers catch up again and they slam his head into the dumpster. They give him a back suplex/neckbreaker combo, but he kicks out. They powerbomb him through two set-up chairs and he kicks out, although they accidentally play their music for a second. Finally, they finish him off with a spiked piledriver onto one of the belts. After the pin, Road Dogg announces their win and they toss Mankind into the dumpster. Kane appears from inside it and beats the stuffing out of Mankind with a sledgehammer. The Outlaws choose to run off and leave Mankind to his beating. Short, but a pretty good hardcore brawl.

The Rock defends the Intercontinental Championship against Triple H in a Ladder Match. Rock has Mark Henry in his corner while Triple H has Chyna. Triple H has the DX Band play him to the ring and then throws their drums. That’s not very nice! They worked hard on that performance! Actually, wait, no. They sounded drunk and uninterested. Good show. Once the match starts, Triple H runs into a Rock Bottom attempt and soon after Rock runs into a Pedigree attempt. They brawl to the outside with Rock in control. He decides Triple H has had enough, sets up the ladder and climbs. Triple H climbs to the top rope, jumps off and knocks Rock off the ladder. Triple H gets some ladder-based offense in there, but it’s only brief, as Rock attacks his knee. Then he goes on and on with ladder shots to the knee. Rock climbs again and gets shoved off. It goes to the outside and Rock Slingshots Triple H into the ladder. Triple H gets a spurt of offense in, sets up the Pedigree and is backdropped onto the ladder.

For a while, there are duel chants, but it soon just becomes “ROCKY SUCKS!” Henry tries to get involved, but Chyna intercepts him. Rock and Triple H keep taking turns climbing the ladder until they start duking it out on top. Rock wins the brawl and Triple H falls off, but then Triple H stumbles into the ladder, knocking it over. Rock picks up the ladder and is met with Triple H banging a chair into it repeatedly. Rock gets back at him and lands the People’s Elbow on the ladder, which now has the crowd chanting at him positively. Later, Triple H climbs up the ladder, sees Rock getting up and jumps at him. Rock catches him with a Rock Bottom and lays him out. Rock climbs up, Triple H drags him down by his pants and then gives him a Pedigree. Mark Henry blinds him afterwards with a handful of powder. It comes to a head with Rock and Triple H trading blows on top of the ladder. Chyna gives Rock a low blow, Triple H gets the belt and we have a new champion. Very solid.

That leaves “Stone Cold” Steve Austin defending the WWF Championship against the Undertaker. Undertaker overpowers Austin at first and it becomes a lot of back and forth brawling. Austin pulls out some wrestling holds to the surprise of everyone, but it’s effective. It continues to be even until Undertaker takes over. Kane walks out and Undertaker leaves the match for a second to tell him to leave. He needs to do this himself. Austin leaves the ring to make sure Kane leaves the arena, but when he gets back onto the apron, he’s chokeslammed into the ring. Austin clothesline Undertaker out of the ring and the two start brawling through the crowd. Back in the ring, Austin tries a Stunner. Undertaker shoves him off, backs up and rolls over the top rope. Austin jumps after him, gets caught and is slammed into the post. Austin is placed on one of the announce tables, Undertaker climbs to the top rope and nails him with a legdrop. The two kind of slide down the table instead of there being a real break to it. Austin is dragged back into the ring and kicks out, albeit he’s spitting up blood. The two take each other out with a double clothesline.

Austin gets up and Undertaker shoves him from behind into the corner. Austin bounces back and hits a Stunner out of nowhere. Undertaker kicks out and delivers a chokeslam. He goes for Old School and while in mid-air, he gets kicked in the nuts (though it’s botched). Another Stunner finishes Undertaker off and Austin retains. Undertaker hands him the belt, then walks out to join Kane at the entrance. They both stare at Austin together, but he completely ignores them both.

2) SUMMERSLAM 2001

Date: August 19, 2001
Era: Crossover Era
Location: Compaq Center in San Jose, California
Known as: The one during WWF vs. WCW

WWF vs. WCW was like the Clone Saga of pro wrestling. A good idea that went on too long and was written so, so badly. SO badly. This is shortly after the first PPV, InVasion, where Steve Austin turned on WWF and joined WCW due to his own paranoia. He has the WWF Championship while Booker T has the WCW Championship. Kurt Angle and the Rock are both set to win those titles back for their side. Also, Diamond Dallas Page has been stalking Undertaker’s wife, which is hilarious when you consider what DDP’s wife looks like compared to Undertaker’s.

The Atmosphere

The theme song of the show is “Bodies” by Drowning Pool, which would be fine enough, but they decide to mostly show the video for the song itself instead of making it just wrestling footage. Um, okay. The backstage stuff is completely awesome. Test and Jericho each give great promos. They hint Christian’s heel turn by having him steal a cell phone from Edge to talk to their grandmother, only to have her hang up immediately. Shawn Stasiak bugs Debra about improving his standing and later tries tackling the Rock several times, only to miss completely and hit a wall. I miss clumsy Stasiak. I also miss Planet Stasiak. Don’t miss Meat, though. Stephanie McMahon pumps up Rhyno for his match while Shane McMahon gives Booker T a piece of a broken table that he Bookended the Rock into… which had been made into bookends. Adorable.

The Matches

Even though the booking is pretty terrible during this time, we at least get some fantastic matches out of it. For instance, Lance Storm defends the WWF Intercontinental Championship against Edge. They have a fast-pace opening exchange that leads to Edge coming out on top via a clothesline to the outside. Huge “LANCE STORM SUCKS!” chant follows. Lance gets back into the ring and they continue, showing some outright excellent chemistry. A Maple Leaf half-crab is reversed and Storm is shoved into the corner. Edge’s Crucifix is reversed into a forward-flipping Samoan Drop. Storm works on Edge and puts him in the Abdominal Stretch. Edge hiptosses him off, but Storm lands on his feet and knees Edge in the gut. Storm flies off the top, gets caught and is powerslammed. Edge mounts a comeback, nails the Edge-o-matic, reverses a hurricanrana into a powerbomb and has little luck in putting his opponent away. Storm gets a Maple Leaf out of nowhere, but Edge crawls to the rope and succeeds. The ref gets knocked out for a sec and Christian runs in. He accidentally Spears Edge and freaks out. Storm goes for the cover, but Edge kicks out. Edge ducks a superkick and puts Storm away with the Edgecution DDT. Christian gives him the newly-won Intercontinental belt and forces a hug. Great start to the show.

Next up is Spike Dudley and the APA (Farooq and Bradshaw) vs. Test and the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley). The Dudleys give some early double-team offense to Farooq, but soon after, the APA double-team Test. Spike takes on D-Von one-on-one and outfoxes him repeatedly until Bubba Ray interferes and dumps him over the ropes. Spike is punished by Test and tries to fight back, only to eat one hell of a spinebuster. They set a table up on the outside and Test presses Spike over his head, but Spike scratches Test’s eyes and escapes. D-Von misses a diving headbutt and Spike makes the hot tag to Bradshaw. He completely destroys Test and a clusterfuck erupts in the ring. Bradshaw ducks a boot, hits a powerbomb and Bubba makes the save by dragging Bradshaw out. Spike gets a running start for the Dudley Dog, but Test shoves him off mid-move and sends him through the table on the outside. Bradshaw lands the Clothesline from Hell, but there’s no ref to make the count. Shane McMahon runs in, hits him with a chair and Test makes the pin when the ref starts paying attention. Very strong six-man tag. It’s the shortest match of the night, but it’s still over seven minutes, so no matches got slighted the entire PPV.

X-Pac faces Tajiri to unify the WCW Cruiserweight Championship and the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. The sound editing on the DVD is terrible. Just terrible. They edit over a new song instead of X-Pac’s Uncle Kracker theme and add in the fakest sounding boos you’ll ever hear. It’s even worse when Tajiri holds his belt up and we hear fake cheers to make things look more rinky-dink. They start with some solid lucha exchanges, followed by Tajiri sending X-Pac out of the ring, hitting a baseballs slide and then Asai Moonsault. X-Pac gets him back by Atomic Dropping his crotch into the corner post. X-Pac briefly holds him in the Romero Special. Tajiri tries a hurricanrana and gets powerbombed instead. Really cool spot happens where X-Pac goes for the Bronco Buster, Tajiri gets up, sidesteps him and kicks his legs out, which fires X-Pac high into the air so he lands in Tree of Woe position. Tajiri takes advantage by doing a slide to the face. After the Tarantula, he does a top-rope crossbody that’s caught and turned into a pin attempt. Tajiri kicks out. X-Pac climbs to the top, then gets crotched. Tajiri does this weird face-flop move to him, then a really sick German suplex. X-Pac kicks out. The two do some more lucha stuff against each other, ending with an X-Factor. It takes him too long to make the pin, so Tajiri is able to kick out at the last instant. X-Pac’s buddy Albert runs out, gets a face full of mist from Tajiri right before X-Pac hits Tajiri in the nads and gives him a second X-Factor. X-Pac is the undisputed flippy champ.

Rhyno defends Stephanie McMahon’s honor against Chris Jericho. This is one of the best Rhyno matches I can even recall. Good opening mix-up where Jericho hits a crossbody, Rhyno throws him over the top, Jericho lands on the apron and takes him down with a top-rope forearm shot. He throws Rhyno from the ring and gives him a springboard dropkick. He has complete control and climbs up to the top. Stephanie appears and grabs his leg. She’s quickly kicked off and he makes a leap for Rhyno, who gets him with a Goar. When the ref isn’t looking, Steph sneaks in a slap to the face. Rhyno breaks out an Airplane Spin into a TKO and goes for the pin. Jericho kicks out. Jericho mounts a comeback and is quickly taken down. Rhyno does a diving headbutt and misses. Jericho gets back into the game with a moonsault and a second-rope dropkick, but Steph distracts the ref from making the count. Jericho kisses her as a taunt, gives Rhyno a bulldog and misses a Lionsault. Still, he lands on his feet and knocks him back down so he can make the impact on the second try. Rhyno kicks out. Rhyno gives him a spinebuster and then puts him in the Walls, but Jericho grabs the ropes for the escape. The Goar misses, Jericho rolls him up, turns it into his Walls of Jericho and makes the Man Beast tap out. Possibly match of the night right here.

Jeff Hardy defends the Hardcore Championship against Rob Van Dam in a Ladder Match. Being a RVD match, they start it with a series of indy standoffs until Jeff hiptosses RVD out of the ring. He follows with a somersault plancha, then jumps off the top rope, misses and hits the guardrail on the outside. RVD goes to get the ladder, Jeff runs on top of the guardrail and dives into him. Jeff brings it into the ring, just as RVD pushes down one end of the ladder, causing it to seesaw into Jeff’s face. In return, Jeff does the same, only the ladder seesaws into RVD’s crotch. Jeff does a springboard moonsault onto the ladder and shortly after, RVD lays the ladder across the ropes in the corner, places Jeff onto it and hits the Rolling Thunder. NICE. RVD goes to get a chair and when he turns around, Jeff slides into the ladder, sending it into RVD’s face. The two go back and forth with trying to climb the ladder. RVD tries to sweep Jeff and instead gets DDT’d. Jeff goes for a Swanton and misses. RVD goes for the 5-Star Frog Splash and misses. They both climb up the ladder and RVD ends up suplexing Jeff. Again, they climb up at the same time and this time Jeff gives RVD a Sunset Powerbomb.

The end is kind of a botch. Jeff climbs up and hangs onto the title for a second. RVD is meant to jump off the top and sidekick him, but he screws it up and Jeff falls anyway. RVD gets frustrated in the blown spot, but proceeds to grab the belt while Jeff struggles to climb the other side of the ladder.

Now for the part of the show where we have a match that dips down the average, keeping it from hitting the #1 spot. In this case, it’s Undertaker and Kane vs. Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon in a Cage Match. If there was ever a match that could explain what went wrong with the WCW Invasion, it’s this match. The bell rings and both WCW heels make a run for it. They’re pulled back in. Undertaker and Kane annihilate both of them. Kanyon desperately tries a top-rope axe-handle and gets caught with a chokeslam by Kane while Undertaker darts DDP’s head into the cage. It just becomes the two Brothers of Destruction repeatedly slamming and grinding their opponents into the fencing. Kanyon gets some brief offense in, getting Undertaker with a top-rope clothesline, followed by a Famouser from the top. He and DDP start climbing up and the brothers sit up. DDP is tossed down onto the top rope and gets crotched. Kanyon falls out and decides to just leave his friend behind. Undertaker strangles DDP with a chain, chokes him, lets go, warns him to leave or else, changes his mind, chokeslams him and gives him the Last Ride. Brothers of Destruction win and the feud continues to be just as one-sided to the point that a later match has Sara pin DDP. Cripes.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin defends the WWF Championship against Kurt Angle next. They meet each other on the ramp and start brawling, taking it to the ring. The opening brawl is won by Austin, who starts working on Angle’s leg. Angle gets the ankle lock out of nowhere and Austin’s quick to escape the ring. Really kickass spot happens when Angle gives Austin three German suplexes, Austin tries to fight his way out, Angle delivers two more, Austin goes for the rope and Angle delivers two more. He follows with the Angle Slam, but Austin slips out and gives a thumb to Angle’s eye. Austin gives him a superplex, then drops him with a Stunner. Angle kicks out and Austin’s more pissed than shocked. He argues with the ref, then gives Angle another Stunner. This time, Angle falls out of the ring and Austin’s more frustrated.

Austin slams Angle’s head into the post a couple times, bloodying him, then does it three more times for good measure. He pummels him, tries for another pin and Angle continues to kick out. Back to the post it is! Angle gets a boost of strength and throws Austin over the rail. Austin grabs him and gives him a suplex. As Austin climbs over the rail, Angle springs up and gets him with an ankle lock. Angle begins to kick Austin’s ass, brings him back in, hits a moonsault and Austin kicks out. Another exchange leads to Austin putting him in the Cobra Clutch. Angle lifts his arm to show he’s conscious, then runs both of them out of the ring. Austin gets back in and hits a Stunner. Angle kicks out. Angle catches a kick and gives Austin an Angle Slam. Austin kicks out. Angry and desperate, Austin punches the referee. The two continue their fight with Austin constantly beating up whichever referee reaches the ring until a WCW ref comes out. Angle hits the Angle Slam again, but the ref calls for a disqualification. Angle doesn’t win the title. Instead, he puts that ref in an ankle lock out of revenge. Fucking sweet match.

That leaves Booker T defending the WCW Championship against the Rock. Booker has Shane McMahon in his corner so after Rock gets the best of him in the opening, he chases Shane around. Eventually, he throws Booker into Shane on the apron and then gives him a Samoan Drop. The action goes back and forth between the two and although Booker lands his trademark dashing sidekick, Rock brings him outside and starts slamming his head into the table. Booker plays it dirty with a nutshot and then slams Rock’s head into the steps. To add more injury to the Rock’s batch, he picks him up and crotches him on the guardrail. He throws him around the crowd, slams him into a pole and all the while Shane is in the ring, removing one of the corner pads. Booker kicks the crap out of Rock until they do a chinlock spot and after that, the match begins to drag a bit.

Rock gets out of it, of course, and puts Booker in the Sharpshooter. He lets go due to a distraction from Shane. He makes a run for Shane, then turns around into another Booker sidekick. Rock fights back with a Slingshot into the corner, follows with a DDT and only gets a 2-count. Shane slips a steel chair into the ring and while the ref is busy taking care of that, Shane nails Rock with the title belt. Pissed at their match from earlier, the APA storm the ring and chase Shane. He tries to escape, only to run directly into the Clothesline from Hell. In the ring, Booker hits the Bookend and Rock kicks out. Rock makes his heroic comeback, delivering a spinebuster and the People’s Elbow. Shane – who really shouldn’t be moving after taking Bradshaw’s finisher – grabs the ref by the leg to stop the count. Rock goes to the outside and gives Shane a Rock Bottom. He gets back into the ring, eats a spinebuster, gets driven down by Booker’s scissor kick and would lose the match if it wasn’t for Booker taking a second to do the Spineroonie. After finishing the taunt, he walks right into the Rock Bottom and Rock gets the pin.

Not nearly as good as the match that it followed, but still a serviceable way to end the show. Outside of that Undertaker match, everything is solid. So what made #1?

1) SUMMERSLAM 2002

Date: August 25, 2002
Era: Crossover Era
Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York
Known as: Rock vs. Brock

Despite only being on the scene for only a few months, Brock Lesnar’s career was gaining a whole lot of steam. Not only did he win the King of the Ring quite decisively, but he also completely annihilated Hulk Hogan both cleanly and with a bearhug. Man, remember when Hogan was putting people over? His victory put him in line for a match against the undisputed champion, the Rock. Elsewhere on the card, Shawn Michaels had been viciously attacked backstage. After some of the worst-written twists and turns, it was revealed to be his buddy Triple H behind it. After four years out of action, Michaels would make his in-ring return to take on his old friend.

The Atmosphere

No intro for this show, strangely enough. Just “SUMMERSLAM!” There’s a good deal of terrible non-wrestling stuff on this show. Like how the Triple H vs. Michaels video package is quite good until we find out Triple H is behind everything and the montage makes a nosedive. Or the audio problems that hurt the opening minutes. Or anything involving Stephanie McMahon and Eric Bischoff backstage. Worst of all is a segment involving Trish Stratus, Lillian Garcia and Howard Finkel where the Fink announces in his announcer voice, “My weiner!” Now, I’m going to be honest with you. I can’t remember the content. All I know is that I wrote, “My weiner!” in my notes in regards to this segment. What does this mean? I don’t want to do the research. Anyway, this is the payoff to a feud between Fink and Garcia that nobody cared about, ending in Garcia kicking Fink in the crotch. And I’m positive that, “My weiner!” was said before that, as much sense as it would make for a response.

There’s some cool shit in there too. The Rock vs. Brock video package is pretty sweet. There’s an awesome scene of Paul Heyman giving Brock a pep talk. The Un-Americans have some good mic work and even the WWE restaurant segment where Nidia has a makeout contest is somewhat amusing. Luckily, the show has more than enough wrestling actions to bring up the average.

The Matches

When your opener is Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio, you know you’re in for a good PPV. Rey sneaks in from behind and gets Angle with a springboard hurricanrana. The two rapidly go back and forth, Angle failing to lock in his ankle lock and Rey failing to hit the 619. The crowd is split on Angle, though they come around a bit more when he hits a beautifully crazy Wheelbarrow German Suplex. Then he reverses a hurricanrana into a Sidewalk Slam. Cole blissfully ignores the fact that the fans are now on Angle’s side, but what else is new? Angle dashes at Rey and Rey ducks down while pulling the top rope, causing Angle to spill out. The ref warns Rey not to attack Angle, but Rey simply jumps OVER the ref and gets to Angle on the outside. Big “HOLY SHIT!” chant for that one. He gets a plancha legdrop, only for Angle to kick out. He ends up on Angle’s shoulders, Angle tries to maneuver him into the ankle lock, Rey maneuvers him into the 619, follows with the West Coast Pop and Angle kicks out. Rey sets up for a top-rope hurricanrana, Angle slips out from underneath him, grabs the leg and makes him tap to the ankle lock. This right here is the definition of a hot opener. Insanely high energy.

Next is Ric Flair vs. Chris Jericho. Jericho shoves Flair and gets a slap across the face in response. The battle goes back and forth in the beginning. When Jericho is sent out of the ring, he skins the cat and pulls himself back in, only to turn around and receive a chop to the chest. Jericho takes control and sends Flair into a barricade. Jericho goes off the top and crushes Flair, causing the old man to mutter, “Oh God!” and stagger into the camera man. Jericho works him over some more, tears the pad from the corner and chokes him with the tag rope. In a funny little turnabout, Flair sees Jericho climbing the ropes and chops him. Then he tosses him into the ring much like he himself has been tossed hundreds of times throughout the years. Jericho transitions a Schoolboy into the Walls of Jericho, but Flair gets out of it and turns it into a Small Package. Flair sets up the Walls himself, but gets confused on what to do and Jericho turns the tables by putting Flair in the Figure Four. Flair gets the ropes (though pretty much taps while reaching for it) and soon after shoves Jericho into the ref. He delivers an unseen low blow and makes Jericho tap to the Figure Four. Outstanding match, albeit this was during a time when Flair was way too dedicated to using chops in his offense. Like he didn’t know how to do anything else.

Edge takes on Eddie Guerrero. Without a doubt one of Edge’s best matches. Fast-paced opener with a lot of back and forth. Eddie gets tied into the ropes and Edge Spears him. A second Spear misses and launches him out of the ring. Edge gets slammed into the steps and Eddie begins to work over his arm with lucha-based offense. Eddie holds him in a Chicken Wing for a while and when Edge breaks free, he puts him in a Fujiwa armbar. The crowd begins to lose interest until Edge powerslams Eddie and takes back control. He suplexes Eddie out of the ring, and then splashes onto him. Eddie later climbs the ropes and Edge grabs him for a facebuster-type move. He runs at him for the Spear and eats a dropkick instead. Eddie’s Frog Splash is met with Edge putting his knees up. He slams Eddie with the Edgecution DDT and Eddie kicks out. Another Edgecution is reversed into the Northern Lights Suplex, but Edge kicks out as well. Eddie goes up for the Frog Splash again, but Edge is able to attack him before the leap. Eddie knocks him back down with a series of headbutts, Frog Splashes onto Edge’s hurt arm and Edge is still able to kick out. He goes back to working the arm until Edge regains momentum. Eddie misses a clothesline, gets Speared and Edge gets the pin.

The Un-Americans (Lance Storm and Christian) defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against Booker T and Goldust. God, I miss Bookerdust. In fact, here’s an awesome mashup of what their theme song should have been.

Goldust starts the match strong, hitting Christian with powerslams and the like and even keeps his cool when Storm runs in. The faces dominates until Christian distracts the ref and Storm thumbs Goldust’s eye. The heels play around with Goldust, tossing him out of the ring and just plain kicking the shit out of him. He’s able to grab Storm mid-momentum and chokeslam him, but the ref’s too busy paying attention to Christian making the tag that he doesn’t see Booker tag and puts him back in the corner, angering the fans like nothing else. Goldust Slingshots Christian into Storm and then he and Christian clothesline each other. He slowly makes his way to Booker, but this time Storm pulls Booker off the apron and thwarts them again. Storm and Christian set up a Conchairto on Goldust, but he ducks the shot, clotheslines them both and collapses to the cheers of, “USA!” He finally makes the hot tag and Booker goes to town. He nails Christian with a Missile Dropkick. The Axe Kick is turned into the Unprettier, which is then reversed into a face plant. After Storm accidentally dropkicks the ref, Booker hits an Axe Kick on both Un-Americans. He does the Spineroonie, stands up and an interfering Test is there to meet him with a boot to the face. Christian pins Booker and the champions retain.

Chris Benoit defends the Intercontinental Championship against Rob Van Dam. I should mention that when I watch and review these old PPVs, I go out of my way to know as little as possible of what’s going to be on the show. I may know the main events and a couple matches, but I don’t even want to jog my memory. I want it to be as much a surprise as possible. So when I saw I was getting Benoit vs. RVD, one hell of a smile crept up on my face. So anyway, RVD kicks the hell out of Benoit until Benoit rolls out to escape. Between the two, there are a whole bevy of crazy counters. RVD misses a roundhouse kick and endures a release German Suplex. Benoit keeps on him with the crisp offense he was always known for. I mean, he’s more known for other things, but… yeah.

RVD gets the advantage for a sec and goes for the split-legged moonsault, only to land on Benoit’s knees. Benoit goes for the diving headbutt and misses. Likewise, RVD’s Five Star Frog Splash misses. Benoit puts him in the Crippler Crossface, only for RVD to hook his foot over the bottom rope. RVD jumps to the top rope and Benoit grabs him and shoves him out. Benoit puts him in a few rest holds, which gets the crowd chanting for RVD. He escapes for a second, but misses a cartwheel moonsault, making him prone for another Crossface. He elbows his way out and gets rolled up. RVD kicks out. Benoit suplexes RVD onto his arm, then does another Crossface. RVD nears the ropes, Benoit releases the hold, puts him in another submission, but this time RVD is able to put his own Crossface onto Benoit. Benoit elbows his way out of the hold. RVD holds onto the advantage and nails the Rolling Thunder. Benoit kicks out. RVD goes to the top rope and gets crotched. Benoit climbs up and goes for a super back suplex. Instead, RVD twists and splashes onto Benoit as they fall. He follows with the Five Star Frog Splash and gets the pin. Just as good as you’d expect from this pairing.

The weakest match of the night is still pretty damn good and it’s rightfully the shortest. Undertaker goes on-on-one with Test. Even being the shortest match, it’s still over eight minutes long, showing how good they were with pacing this show. Undertaker takes the early advantage, including a shot from his jumping clothesline. When setting up for Old School, Undertaker is undone by Test shoving the ref into the ropes. Then he gets punched out of the ring. Test dominates from here on out until he lowers his head for a backdrop and gets DDT’d. Afterwards, Undertaker succeeds in hitting Old School. The two begin to reverse a whole lot of moves. Snake Eyes is reversed into a Pumphandle Slam, which is reversed into a choke, which is reversed into a running boot, which is reversed into a chokeslam. Test kicks out. While Undertaker sets up for the Last Ride, the Un-Americans run in. He chokeslams them both, but gets nailed with Test’s running boot. The ref only counts two. Test knocks the ref over and grabs a chair. Undertaker kicks it into Test’s face, delivers the Tombstone and it’s all over. Really, when this is your worst match of the night, you know you’re having a good time.

The returning “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels faces Triple H in an Unsanctioned Street Fight. After his extravagant confetti entrance, Michaels goes right for Triple H with lots of pummeling. Triple H throws him from the ring, but Michaels is back in and goes back to more pummeling. Triple H is sent sailing and gets up just in time to have Michaels crash onto him with a plancha. Michaels hits him with a garbage can lid, does the skin-the-cat just for the sake of showing off his athleticism and then smashes Triple H with a garbage can. He sets up for Sweet Chin Music early on, but a little too early. Triple H sidesteps it and gives him a backbreaker. He works on Michaels’ troublesome back while jokingly making a crotch-chop gesture. He starts using the chair on Michaels’ back and beats him back down whenever Michaels makes an effort to stand up. Michaels gets busted open. Triple H whips him with a belt and then wraps it around his fist for stronger punches. He brings out the sledgehammer and puts Michaels in the Abdominal Stretch. He starts arguing with the ref, who claims that while this is no-DQ, he’s going too far and he needs to knock it off.

Triple H sets up Michaels for a superplex, but gets knocked off and Michaels gets ready for a top-rope elbow. Triple H thinks quick and shoves the ref into the ropes, causing Michaels to get crotched and double over. With Michaels’ back exposed, Triple H picks up the chair and wails on him. He drops him onto an open chair with a Sidewalk Slam, but Michaels kicks out. He tries another pin. Michaels kicks out. Another pin. Kickout. A Sidewalk Slam onto a folded chair. Three more kickouts. At this point, the crowd is fully behind Michaels. Triple H prepares for a Pedigree on the chair, only Michaels slips out and hits him in the gonads. Triple H picks up the chair and gets it shoved into his face via Sweet Chin Music. Now they’re both bloody. They start brawling with Michaels as the victor. He does a kip-up to show off his second wind, then starts dishing out some of Triple H’s medicine. A chair to the head, whipping with the belt, another trash can shot and he even uses a boot as a weapon. Jim Ross comments, “A heel for a heel!”

He gives him a bulldog onto the steps, then beats Triple H with a ladder. After getting thrown into the ladder, Triple H is still able to kick out. The two continue to go at it, brutally switching control. Triple H runs at him with the steel steps, gets tripped and slams his face into the steps. Michaels clotheslines him out, sets him up on an outside table and splashes through it from the top rope. The crowd absolutely freaks. Not finished, he climbs up the ladder and hits an elbow drop. He gets ready for Sweet Chin Music once again and it’s reversed into a Pedigree. At the last second, Michaels turns the Pedigree into a roll-up and gets Triple H for the pin. Although Michaels wins his first match back in years, it’s a moot victory. Triple H attacks him after the match and beats him ferociously with the sledgehammer. Michaels has to be taken out in a stretcher.

I remember their feud as being never-ending and getting pretty unbearable towards the end, but damn if this isn’t an awesome way to start it out.

That leaves the big main event of the Rock defending the WWE Undisputed Championship against Brock Lesnar. The New York crowd has grown tired of Rock’s old act and are strongly behind the dominant newcomer Lesnar. Rock comes out second, laying his belt onto the floor like he’s drawing a line, before mimicking Brock’s shuffle and rushing into the ring. It’s there that Brock destroys him immediately and the crowd seems a bit split at first. Even though there’s some Paul Heyman interference to help him, Brock simply annihilates Rock. He clotheslines him over the guardrail and keeps the maiming going. Rock does fight back briefly, but he’s tripped and goes back down. The two work beautifully together and it’s a shame we didn’t get more matches from this combination. Brock dives at Rock in the corner, misses and slams his shoulder into the post. The two kip-up at the same time and go back to the battle.

Rock starts to get momentum and is ready for the Sharpshooter, only he lets go in order to punch Heyman. Then he puts the Sharpshooter on despite the crowd chanting, “LET’S GO LESNAR!” Brock almost taps to the hold, but Heyman distracts the referee. Rock lets go and grabs Heyman. Brock comes to life and saves his manager from having to take a Rock Bottom. He pokes Rock’s ribs with a chair, puts him in a bearhug and Rock refuses to lose consciousness. Now the crowd begins to get behind Rock a bit more and he succeeds in escaping. Heyman distracts the ref again, but this time it works against his favor, since Rock simply punches Brock in the junk. Brock is sent out of the ring and Rock goes off to clear off one of the tables, noticeably annoyed at the crowd’s negative reaction. He gives Brock a Slingshot into the post, then puts Heyman through the table with a Rock Bottom. The two make it back into the ring, where Brock takes a Rock Bottom and kicks out. Brock slowly gets up and surprises Rock with his own rendition of the Rock Bottom. Rock kicks out. Rock plants Brock with a spinebuster and runs for the People’s Elbow, but Brock bounces back up and clotheslines him before he can finish. The F5 is turned into a Rock Bottom, prevented with an elbow to the head. Another Rock Bottom attempt is reversed into the F5 and Rock is done. Brock hits his finisher, gets the pin, becomes the champ and the crowd eats it up. So do I.

What a show. One of the best PPVs I can remember. Solid card from start to finish and the Fink excitedly talks about his weiner. What else can you ask for?

Thanks for the two of you still reading it. Again, I apologize that it took so damn long for me to get my inspiration to finish this monster, but it’s done so there’s that. And thanks to Bearnt! for uploading some of the videos.

As for what’s next? I think I might do a series on CHIKARA’s King of Trios. Not a ranking, but a look at the history of the 3-day show.

Similar Posts:

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

9 comments to “The Summerslam Countdown: Day Eleven”

  1. Did your ratings stay consistent for all the PPV Countdowns you’ve done? I mean, could you give a complete ranking if you wanted to or would it just not work for one reason or another? I’d like to see that if it could be done.

    I’m definitely down for a King of Trios series. I’d love to be able to delve in to the history of Chikara a bit more.


  2. @Schide: I think I can do that. Royal Rumble is out of the question, since I only ranked the Rumble matches themselves. I didn’t even give them scores. Just went, “I liked this match more than this match… but not as much as that match.” With Wrestlemania, I weighed the atmosphere portion more because it’s ultimately more important than it is during Survivor Series and Summerslam. But yeah, I can probably come up with a cumulative list of Wrestlemania, Survivor Series and Summerslam put together.

    For King of Trios, I figure it’ll be a 20-part thing. There are five KoT shows that each last three days. So I’d do a prologue post that introduces the teams and important storylines, then do each day as its own entry.


  3. Attended Summerslam 2001 in person, and was wondering where you would put it – not disappointed with #2 at all.

    – Crowd was pretty hot that evening, I have no clue why WWF/E would edit that for the Pac/Tajiri match.
    – Okay, so I wasn’t the only one who felt that Brothers of Destruction/DDP & Kanyon match went on for too long.
    – I think even the Austin fanboys I sat near were angry at the way Angle/Austin ended. Great match, but stupid ending.


  4. @NeoChaos: The reason it was edited is because they sometimes like to replace the themes on these DVDs for the sake of having to pay less in terms of royalties. That’s why you never hear Kid Rock or Limp Bizkit whenever Biker Undertaker comes out. It’s pretty noticeable sometimes due to the bad attempts to add in other stuff going on at the same time. Like how they’d have Howard Finkel rerecord his announcements and it sounds way too clear, like something out of Smackdown vs. Raw. In this case, since the boos and cheers were integral, they took whatever replacement song they used for X-Pac’s theme and added canned boos, making it sound really fake.


  5. @Gavok: See, no, I understand the music licensing thing – it’s the crowd noise editing that bugs me. I can sorta understand it for X-Pac since they might not have the tech to single out the music and not the crowd, but editing in cheers for Tajiri’s entrance just seems needless to me.


  6. @NeoChaos: It’s not that they added cheers to Tajiri’s entrance. There’s a part during X-Pac’s entrance where Tajiri steals away his title and holds it up as the crowd suddenly goes from booing X-Pac to cheering Tajiri. As part of the terrible sound editing, they put in some fake cheers over X-Pac’s replacement theme and it only proceeds to make things sound more off.

    Sorry that I explained that so badly.


  7. Only watching Survivor Series 2011 now, better late than never. The Zack Ryder pop is surely one of the loudest ones in recent memory. Also, a “Repo Man for HOF 2012” sign put a smile on my face.

    Was that a “Sexual Chocolate” chant at the start of the Mark Henry match? :D


  8. Great finish!


  9. @photon: I was chanting “Let’s go Henry!” so to hell with what everyone else was saying. :colbert:

    I did try to merge the Wrestlemania, Survivor Series and Summerslam lists into one ranking, but it ended up not working well. Wrestlemania’s extra hour and extra matches hurts the average too much for it to really compare. No matter how great and memorable a Wrestlemania is, the extra matches that aren’t so good will drag its score down, while a really good Summerslam or Survivor Series needs to simply have a handful of quality matches.