Sunday, August 23, 2009

8/23/09 SummerSlam

Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler (IC Title): ***1/2

MVP vs. Jack Swagger: **

Chris Jericho & The Big Show vs. Shad Gaspard & JTG (Unified Tag Team Titles): **3/4

Kane vs. The Great Khali: *

Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase: ***3/4

Christian vs. William Regal (ECW Title): DUD

Randy Orton vs. John Cena (WWE Title): ***

CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy (Tables, Ladders, & Chairs; World Heavyweight Title): ****1/4

Match of the Night: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy

Trash of the Night: Christian vs. William Regal (a.k.a. the 6-second squash)

Three Stars: (T-1) CM Punk and Jeff Hardy; (T-3) DX and Legacy

Analysis: The opener between Mysterio and Ziggler cemented Ziggler's place as a serious contender and a future main eventer.

Swagger and MVP looked fine, but it was just your basic singles match I could see on any free TV show.

The Unified Tag Title match was very well done. JTG's struggle in the Walls of Jericho was exciting. It just missed three stars in my book, however, because Shad was somehow knocked out after taking Big Show over the top rope, yet Show recovered and decked JTG with the right cross after JTG had gotten to the ropes to break the submission. Show's quicker recovery didn't make much sense to me, and also, a similar finish was done on Smackdown two days prior.

Kane v. Khali was better than I expected, but that doesn't mean it was actually very good. I will say that I was ready to stamp it a DUD before the match even began, but happily didn't have to.

DX's return provided an amazing tag match. Let's face it: I was also expecting Legacy to go down in an average tag match (at best) much like the Spirit Squad did back in the day. But thankfully, I was wrong. The last few minutes took me back to the 2002 and 2003 days where tag matches featured main eventers, the crowd was hot, sure wins were broken up at the last second, and everyone was not shy in hitting finishers. Even in defeat, Legacy was put over as a serious threat.

Christian squashing Regal basically made ECW look like an embarrassment to professional wrestling. Matt Striker barely had any air time in this one. At least Josh Matthews did a backstage segment.

Regarding the WWE Title match, I had to re-watch it to figure out what the hell happened. And I'm glad I did that. Despite what some people perceive (really because they may have just watched it once), the WWE Title match was headed for three stars anyway even before the mass confusion. The confusing ending provided a bit more action to get it to three. Although I didn't care for the numerous restarts (and Lilian's botching of the announcements), I figure it will be woven into RAW tomorrow when Orton talks. The "fan" attacking the ref (later identified by wrestling sites to be Brett DiBiase) was a very bizarre spot, and pretty much symbolized the last 7-8 minutes.

The TLC match was incredible. It was another Match of the Year candidate that showcased how brutal this gimmick match can be. The uses of tables, ladders, and chairs were not forced; the action was amazingly smooth. JR's use of the word "carcinogenic" in this match was such a beautiful word to describe the action, considering Punk is straight edge and Hardy has had drug problems in the past. JR even reused the phrase "out-of-body experience" near the end. We had more than one typical Jeff Hardy sick spot, most notably the 15-foot Swanton ladder spot. The finish, while some thought it may have been flat, was very acceptable. And finally, Undertaker is Punk's next opponent. Win!

Oh, and does this mean Punk vs. Taker in a submission match at Breaking Point next month (where the world title matches are submission matches)? Sweet!

Overall rating: ***3/4

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