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SummerSlam 06 Review

Posted in In My Head by Jack at 03:44, Aug 22 2006

It?s Summer Slam time folks. One of the WWE?s oldest PPVs gets a new twist this year, as it is now a tri-band show. Raw, Smackdown and ECW will be represented tonight, providing ?one stop shopping? for the WWE wrestling fan. Will three brands mean three times the fun, or three times the failure? There is only one way to find out.

The show opens up by introducing us the announce team, all three of them. All of the announcers from Raw, SmackDown, and ECW were in attendance and perched behind their own broadcast tables for the nights festivities. They took up so much space that the usual Spanish announce team was no where in site. I wonder if the three can ?play nice? for the entire night.

Match 1 ? Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero
From World Champion to curtain jerker in just a few months. That?s what I was thinking as Rey took to the ring for his match with Chavo. Despite his position on the card Rey, (and Chavo for that matter), put on a good match that was well received by the fans. While they didn?t do anything extraordinary, they each put in a solid nights work, hitting their signature moves, and playing to the crowd from time to time. The highlight of match came surprisingly when Rey?s mask inadvertently came off, and he had to make a quick exit from the ring with his face buried in his hands. Fortunately all that was seen on camera was the back of his head, and the match resumed as soon as he slipped it back on. Though Rey won the battle with his mask, he lost his match with Chavo due to inadvertent interference for Vicky Guerrero. The show is off to a good start. The way the two kept playing to the crowd added a sense of meaning to the match that added on to the solid in-ring work.

Next up is a backstage segment with King Booker and his hilariously bad English/Royal accent. He is interrupted by Edge and Lita, and the two make a Kiss My Feet/Be My Servant side bet based on the outcomes of their matches tonight. This was a nice idea, and adds a little something extra to the show.

Match 2 ? Sabu vs. Big Show: ECW World Title Match
In what turned out to be an almost non stop prop fest, Sabu and a few trusty chairs battled the Big Show in what was a mediocre match. The match relied almost entirely on plunder spots; so much so that when one of the spots went wrong boos could be easily heard. It easy to forgive a blow spot when it is mixed in with good wrestling, but tonight these two simply moved from chair/table spot to spot, and so when one went bad it really killed the flow of the match. In the end Big Show?s choke slam secured him the victory, but neither he nor Sabu would want this match on their highlight reel.

We then go backstage for a few minutes of bad acting from the Divas which leads to a meaningless lingerie shower scene. This is followed by a Hogan/Orton feud video package.

Match 3 Randy Orton vs. Hulk Hogan
If the fans were expecting a good match, the WWE certainly was not. From the moment Hogan came out J.R. began giving excuses as to why this match might turn into a suck fest. In fact throughout the entire match J.R. kept making references to Hogan?s advanced age, and health problems. It was as if J.R. wanted to say ?Hey, he?s an old man, give him a break.?. Fortunately Hogan?s performance was far better than J.R.?s expectations. Though certainly not a barn burner, Hogan held his own and delivered his standard in-ring performance, albeit slower and at times a little more gingerly than in the past. The crowd however ate up every moment, and were rewarded by witnessing the famous ?Big Boot and Leg Drop? that allowed Hogan to get the pin. The two put in a very basic, but competent mach and as a result the crowd is as raucous as one could hope for.

Once again we go backstage, this time to see Melina give Foley a little pep talk prior to his match.

Match 4 Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair: I Quit Match
How can things that are going so right, end up going so wrong? Foley and Flair had the crowd in the palm of their hands right up to the end of this match. With both Foley and Flair being as merciless as they could be, they bled, bruised and battered each other with barbed wire, and baseball bats, all the while asking the other to say the words that would end the match. Unfortunately, when those words finally did come from the mouth of Foley, it wasn?t after some horrific attack, and it wasn?t to prevent some unimaginable act of violence. It came as Flair was going to attack Foley with a barbed wire wrapped baseball bat, the same bat he had been working Foley over with seconds before. Though the announcers tried to put forth the idea that Melina was in the way and that Foley quit to prevent her from being hurt, it certainly didn?t come across that way. When the match ended, the crowd fell silent, unable to comprehend why Foley ended it when he did. Though the build up to the finish was great, the ending was very disappointing.

Backstage we see the McMahons recruiting some ?backup? for their match later on tonight, and we are then sent back to ring side.

Match 5 ? King Booker vs. Batista: World Heavyweight Championship match
If the ending of Foley/Flair cooled down the crowd, Booker and Batista came to put them on ice. The two worked their typical power move based style and did so competently, however seeing the same sort of moves from both men seemed to wear the crowd down, and eventually they settled into a dull roar. Sadly, the end of the match gave them little reason to be more lively as interference from Sharmell caused Booker to be disqualified. A disqualification in a title match, on a PPV? It seems that the worst match of the show has had a head on collision with he worst booking of the show and there are no survivors.

A DX video segment is next, followed by their match.

Match 6 DX vs. The McMahons
Well actually it was DX vs. The Sprit Squad, then Finley, Mr. Kennedy, William Regal, and then Big Show, and then the McMahons with a little Umaga thrown in for good measure. As one might expect DX was beaten down by Vince?s army, but then rallied late with a little help from Kane. The ring work was average, highlighted by the McMahons execution of some old Demolition and Road Warriors moves. The crowd was active through out the match and were pleased when DX got the win. There was nothing great here, but at least they managed to wake up the crowd.

The final video package of the night detailed the story behind the Cena Edge feud, and then we are taken back to ring side for the main event.

Match 7 John Cena vs. Edge w/Lita: WWE Championship match
In a mach that had the crowd split 50-50 between Edge and Cena fans, the two put on a well paced brawling style of match, highlighted by two very impressive power lifts by Cena, one of which saw him dead-lifting both Edge and Lita at once. (Cena will never have to worry about dying in the ring, as he is sure to pull a groin muscle long before that can occur). Though there was nothing spectacular about this match, it was entertaining, and Lita?s interference kept one guessing as to exactly how the match would end. Though Cena was able to literally ?carry? Edge and Lita in this match, he could not overcome the brass knuckle punch that Edge delivered to get the win.

So there you are Summerslam 06. Though some of the matches didn?t turn out as well as I had hoped, I must admit that the WWE did a good job of making it seem that all the matches on the card were important, and not just thrown together to fill time. That having been said, there were some definite misses among the hits tonight. Though this show wont make a wrestling fan out of someone who isn?t already, I think its worth the money if you already have the WWE addiction.

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