Sunday, 16 September 2007

WWE Summerslam 2006 on Sky Box Office - TV Review

It’s the hottest event of the summer, as WWE presents their 19th annual Summerslam spectacular, featuring matches from all three brands, which means hosting stints from all six main announcers.

It’s a battle of the Mexicans to begin the show, as Rey Mysterio battles the returning Chavo Guerrero. An okay opener, with some good high spots from both men, and an appearance from Vickie Guerrero which saw her inadvertently cost Mysterio the match when she accidentally knocked Rey off the top rope. A brain buster and frog splash later, and Chavo had the win.

Backstage, King Booker ponders his place in the world with an appalling English accent before he’s interrupted by his fellow champion, Edge. At least they’re not feuding over shampoo commercials this time as they exchange challenges and wagers.

On to the first title match of the evening, as the Big Show defends the ECW title against An interesting match this one. The Big Show again impressed, as he has done since he turned extreme, and Sabu also had his good moments - but also a couple of botched ones as well, which everyone will probably remember more than anything else. In the end, the Show emerged victorious, choke slamming Sabu through a table.

We then see highlights of the Diva Search final, before Leyla, the winner, undergoes an initiation of sorts. Oh well, at least I can claim she has British roots.

Surprisingly, just three matches into the show, Hulk Hogan faces Randy Orton. It’s your typical Hogan fare here, which is entertaining in it’s way, although it’s also a little predictable. Orton connects with the RKO, Hogan escapes with his foot on the ropes, Hulks up, then connects with the big boot and leg drop combination and winning the match before posing for the fans. The fact that none of the Hogan family were in attendance did harm the angle a little in my opinion, and it would have been nice if Hogan would use his creative control contract clause to put someone over for a change.

Sticking with the Raw brand, Ric Flair battles Mick Foley in an I Quit match., the match that without a doubt had the best build-up of all the matches on the show. It’s a hell of a battle between the two veterans as they literally beat the crap out of each other with barbed-wire boards, baseball bats and more, until each one of them became a bloody mess. Foley took a bad bump off the ring apron onto the concrete floor, and the ref stopped the match - until Flair dragged him back into the ring to continue the beating, clobbering Foley with the barbwire bat. Melina then threw the towel in in an attempt to save Foley, and Flair was about to attack with the bat again when Foley finally said “I quit”. This was a hell of a match, far superior to their previous encounter, and hopefully this won’t be the last we’ll see of this feud.

On to the next title match, as King Booker defends his World Heavyweight title against former champion Batista, who had to give up the belt after injury. A very enjoyable match here, with both guys going all out to put on a good bout, and the King retaining the belt, thanks to the interference of his Queen. Just as Batista was about to take Booker out with the Batista bomb, Sharmell jumped into the ring and attacked him, with the ref calling for the disqualification. But Batista managed to get the bomb on Booker in the end, although it was a sloppy looking one.

Time for tag-team action, as the D-Generation X team of Shawn Michaels and Triple H face Vince and Shane McMahon. Before the match begins, the McMahons send out their henchmen, the Spirit Squad, Mr. Kennedy, Finlay, William Regal, and the Big Show to demolish DX, with the Show choke slamming Michaels in the ring and Triple H through the ECW announce table, so I guess the Spanish guys were announcing somewhere else in the building then! It’s only when DX are down and out do the McMahons come down to the ring and actually start the match. The McMahons then proceed to beat the hell out of Michaels, even invoking the spirits of the Road Warriors, Demolition and the Hart Foundation, using all of their finishers, and it wasn’t until Triple H got back into the ring that the momentum changed, and not even the interference of Umaga, who was chased off by Kane, could stop DX from coming out on top. After Shane was stopped from launching the Van Daminator by a Michaels super kick, Triple H took Vince down with the pedigree for the winning pinfall to end a tremendous bout.

Time for the main event, with Edge defending the WWE title against former champion John Cena, in a match where if Edge is disqualified he could lose the title. A hell of a match here, with great drama throughout, and Edge and Cena putting on great performances with an ending that was exciting and a little unexpected. After Edge escaped the STFU by getting to the ropes, Lita gave him a set of brass knuckles as the ref dealt with Cena. With Cena then lifting Edge onto his shoulders for the FU, Lita jumped into the ring and onto Cena’s shoulders as well. As she got FU-ed and was ushered out of the ring by the ref, Edge clobbered Cena in the back of the head with the brass knuckles, and with the ref’s attention back on the match, Edge got the winning pinfall.

In conclusion - I really enjoyed this one. Although some parts of the show were a bit of a let down, overall it was a great show, with Flair/Foley and Edge/Cena being the standout moments of the night. Here’s looking forward to Unforgiven next month.