Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Dog Days of Summerslam...

Welcome all to your exclusive Summerslam Preview.

Just a reminder, this preview will also be on my blog, located at

This preview is based off the most current match listing at

WWE Champion John Cena vs. Chris Jericho

Sadly, this match has almost become a battle of Rap versus Rock and Roll. What makes it sadder is when you stop to think of the participants. John Cena is, let's face it, a white guy out of West Newbury, and Jericho's band Fozzy was originally some sort of inside joke where he and the lead singer 'Mongoose McQueen' were two different people.

As far as the storyling goes, the odds are against the anti-establishment Cena, who won't kowtow to Eric Bischoff. Jericho feels that Cena isn't worthy of being the WWE champ, based on the fact that he felt Fozzy was a better musical act.

Cena retains the belt by perservering through staggering odds, and his CD inches ever so closely to the remainder bin.

Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan

The tagline for this match is, "Immortality has its price".

This match will not be a technical showcase, but it will be an interesting look into how and why the wrestling fan reacts to things.

Hogan has been a perennial face, even in his NwO persona. HBK has been able to play both roles fairly well, his last big heel turn back during his feud with Stone Cold.

The angle with this match has been essentially this; HBK feels that Hogan's never deserved his accolades, and that he's basically coasted on what he did decades ago. Hogan's answered back that he never turned his back on the fans like Shawn did. Recent crowds [except for Montreal] have taken to cheer HBK, which is never a good thing for the writers.

Hogan has a reality show and very little wrestling ability. HBK is basically a part-timer who will still put it on the line in the ring. Non-wrestling logic says HBK wins in a walk, but Hogan still draws, even though he and Norm shop at the same hip store. HBK wins, but Hulk gets the last word.

World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. JBL

The Animal goes up against the former Acolyte in a No Holds Barred Match for the Big Gold Belt. The first time around, Batista disqualified himself, but kept the belt, a gutless maneuver that should never be on PPV. With the NHB stipulation, there should be a clear cut winner. We've seen both of these men in brawl-type matches[JBL in an I Quit Match, Batista in the Hell in the Cell] so we know they're willing to bleed and take risks. JBL has been a good heel champ, but the fans support Batista way too much for him to lose the strap right now. Batista retains in a violent brawl.

Edge vs. Matt Hardy

In a clash of storyline, reality and worked shoots, the only thing missing from this match is a time machine, because it probably should have happened a month ago. Now we've got basically another mid-card match. Remember when Edge was on top of the WWE, complete with a title shot whenever he wanted? And remember when Matt Hardy was screwed over by his girl, best friend, and his company over something he had no control of? Some see this as WWE's big experiment into some new way of storytelling.

In this case, if there is a clean finish, it spells death for both characters. See how I contradict myself in less than a paragraph? I see possibly some sort of DQ, perhaps involving Lita. Heck, this might be a good way to bring back the Money In The Bank title shot in the storyline.

Randy Orton vs. Undertaker

And so the Rebuilding of Randy begins. The WWE seems to want to try again with young Randall, who was once pushed to the limit and even given a title reign. His shoulder has kept him out of the ring for months, except for an ill-advised RAW appearance, where even Vince McMahon commented on the fact that he's missed a few cycles of Raffysterone.

So now he's back to finish what he started, and take out the Dead Man.

Previous readers of this newsletter know that this match is a partial byproduct of what happened at the Great American Bash. Orton was to have interfered in the Hassan/Undertaker match, resulting in Batista/Hassan for the title. Instead, Hassan is working an armory somewhere.

Randy goes over, as payment for laying down for Taker at Wrestlemania and keeping his record intact. If he can stay healthy, expect for Orton to be Batista's next victim.

Eugene vs. Kurt Angle

A bitter Olympian seeks to regain his 'precious' from Wrestling's Rain Man in a no time limit match for his Gold Medal.

While Eugene has mainly been used as a comedy act, I've read that he has some real wrestling ability. This match will probably the most traditional, 'wrestling' wise. Angle, even with a neck made of Legos, can make almost anyone look good in the ring.

I see Angle cheating to win back his medal, only to find to his horror that Eugene has replaced it with one made of chocolate. Matt Striker [the fired New York Teacher] makes a surprise appearance.

Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Kramer vs. Kramer this isn't. Instead of a boring judge in a stuffy courtroom, Eddie and Rey have decided to hang young Dominick's custody papers above the ring and have a ladder match to decide who's best fit to take care of him. I'm wondering if there'll be some crazy district judge in the south who will think this is a good idea. I also predict that more than a few kids will ask their parents if they would face their former spouse in the squared circle for sole custody.

This whole mess is a textbook case against involving your family in an angle. Dominick is the most convincing actor here, but that's mostly because he hasn't spoken yet.

I expect the match itself to be very good though. As long as Rey wears one of his good masks and is able to keep from adjusting it, this will be a treat. Eddie has yet to defeat Rey, so expect plenty of cheating on his part. Look for Rey to attempt suicide by ladder.

I say Rey and son are reunited. But I won't rule out even more wacky soap-opera hi-jinx, like Dominick turining on Rey and becoming Eddie Jr.

United States Champion Orlando Jordan vs. Chris Benoit

In keeping with my unwavering support for Benoit, all I'll say is that he makes Jordan submit and wins the title. Thus the groundwork is laid for his eventual rise back to WWE Champion.

Matches not on the card [as of this writing] :

Intercontinental Championship [Carlito]
Women's Championship [Trish, who has worked recent house shows]
World Tag Team Championship [The Hurricane and Rosey]

Cruiserweight Championship [Nunzio]
WWE Tag Team Championship [The New New Legion of Doom]

I'd expect one of these matches on Heat before the show.

Thanks everyone for reading, and feel free to pass this along to any of your fellow wrestling fans.

Mike G.

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