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PPV REPORTS
WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV REPORT 8/23: Keller's report on John Cena vs. Randy Orton, DX vs. Legacy, Jeff Hardy vs. C.M. Punk, Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler...

Aug 23, 2009 - 10:00:25 PM
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This report will be updated throughout the live PPV event...

KELLER'S WWE SUMMERSLAM REPORT
AUGUST 23, 2009
LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES, CALIF.


-The show's opening was interrupted by Triple H and Shawn Michaels who made hand puppets and then stepped onto the screen, apparently auditioning to become the next hosts for "Blue's Clues." Triple H said Michaels "broke Summerslam." Michaels said he was a TV repairman before becoming a chef, so he can fix it. They went back to the opening of the PPV. Then it "broke" again. Michaels said he only had the TV repairman job for two weeks. Triple H said at least everyone got the message that they're back.

-They went live to the arena where pyro blasted and then Jim Ross introduced the show.

1 -- REY MYSTERIO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER -- IC Title match

During Rey's intro, they cut to Ross and Todd Grisham at ringside. Ross said Rey weighed in at 175 (you know, five pounds heavier than Georges St. Pierre). Grisham pointed out this was Ziggler's first Summerslam appearance. Ziggler began aggressively, as if he was actually trying to win and not just perform. Rey cam eback at 1:00 with a moonsault bodyblock for a two count. He then flew at Ziggler at ringside with a head scissors takedown. ZIggler came back and dropped Rey face-first over the top turnbuckle. He then settled into a grinding chinlock. Rey elbowed out of it seconds later, but Ziggler kept control with a kneelift and then a sideslam. The pace picked up again at 6:00 with some near falls by Ziggler. Ziggler was impressive enough that at 9:00 a pretty loud "Let's go Ziggler" chant broke out. The announcers didn't acknowledge it. Rey countered a second rope move by Ziggler with a huracanrana for the clean win. Ross characterized it as not a setback for Ziggler, but an example of him inching closer to the IC Title.

WINNER: Mysterio in 9:00 to retain the IC Title.

STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Really good opener. That style and pace could have been in teased four stars if they have five to ten more minutes. Nice work to set the pace for the show.

-Josh Matthews interviewed Jack Swagger (sporting a five o'clock shadow) and MVP. Matthews said some people are calling this match "somewhat of a cultures clash." Swagger said MVP is an ex-con who uses flash and hype to mask his physical shortcomings. He said MVP may have some talent, but all he amounts to is a stepping stone for him. MVP said he didn't have the upbringing Swagger did, and he did make some bad decisions, but he paid for those sins. He said when Swagger was in the NCAA, he won a trophy. He said when he fought in prison, he fought to live another day. He said it is a culture clash: A spoiled jock against an ex-con who's trying to make up for lost time. Really good promo overall, with Swagger and MVP both showing why they're deserving of a path upward on the roster. A novel presentation, too, with both standing face to face before their match.

2 -- MVP vs. JACK SWAGGER

After an early flurry by MVP, Swagger bailed out to ringside. MVP slingshot dove onto Swagger on the floor, then threw him back into the ring and scored a two count. Swagger came back by countering a second top rope DDT attempt. He settled in on an abdominal stretch. He then wrestled him to the mat and applied an augmented Boston crab. MVP came back at 6:00 and went into his Ballin' sequence. When he went for the Playmaker, Swagger countered and scored a near fall with a pull on MVP's tights. MVP caught Swagger on a corner swing splash with his knees. He then kicked him and finished him with the Playmaker for the clean pin.

WINNER: MVP in 7:00.

STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Decent basic short match. The finish could be simply a "PPV feel-good" finish, it could indicate MVP is in for a stronger push, or could even foreshadow some heel victories later and an attempt to balance that out.

-They showed Luke Perry in the crowd. Then they aired a video package on all of the guest hosts on Raw recently. Justin Roberts introduced Access Hollywood host Nancy O'Dell, who interviewed Freddie Prinze Jr. She tried to talk him into wearing spandex.

3 -- CHRIS JERICHO & THE BIG SHOW vs. CRYME TYME - Unified Tag Team Title match

Before the match, Chris Jericho said that he and his partner are bigger celebrities than anyone in the crowd. He said everyone better respect his partner. Cryme Tyme's music interrupted. The heel duo totally dominated the opening six minutes. Shad finally hot-tagged J.T.G. who went after Jericho with a flurry, and then took a shot at Big Show at ringside, ducking a slap and dropping him throat-first over the top rope. He scored a two count on Jericho, with Show breaking up the pin. Shad then clotheslined Show over the top to the floor as J.T.G. rolled up Jericho with a believable near fall which drew a nice crowd pop. Jericho came back with a Walls of Jericho out of nowhere at 10:00. J.T.G. crawled to the bottom rope to force a break. Big Show walked up to him and gave him his signature knockout punch. The ref was backing Jericho away from the ropes, so he didn't see the infraction. He did count to three when Jericho made the cover.

WINNERS: Jericho & Show in 11:00 to retain the titles.

STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Pretty one-dimensional match, but it told a logical story with the bigger stars dominating, the babyfaces making a respectable comeback, and the heel duo cheating to ultimately win.

-Matthews interviewed C.M. Punk backstage. He held up a script someone wrote about the life of Jeff Hardy. He said he read it, and the ending had Hardy conquering his demons and retaining his title. He said it was a nice script, but the ending wasn't reality-based. He brought up kids idolizing the star of "Twilight" even if stars like that live destructive lifestyles. He said he doesn't subscribe to the poisonous lifestyle, but he just tells the truth and is accused of being preachy. He said tonight he's going to rewrite the Jeff Hardy story. He said it might be hard for people to watch, but it'll have a happy ending for him. Another promo, showing those who don't watch Smackdown regularly what they're missing.

4 -- KANE vs. THE GREAT KHALI (w/Ranjin Singh)

Ross said this match will be physical and intense, but not pretty, saying it was a sponsored by Dick Weber, who apparently has something to do with bowling shoes. We got a long mid-match chinlock. Khali came back, but Kane ended up grabbing and yanking Singh into the ring at 6:00. Kane then dropkicked a distractedKhali's legs and DDT'd him for the win. The crowd popped for the win, forgetting apparently that Kane supposedly turned heel at some point, although beating up Singh, who never really turned babyface (he just started smiling more and bringing women to Khali to kiss), wasn't the best way to get the crowd behind Khali and against Kane.

WINNER: Kane in 6:00.

STAR RATING: 1/2* - About what you'd expect.

-They showed Vince McMahon's Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Then in the crowd they showed Slash and Robert Patrick.

-A video package aired on DX.

5 -- TRIPLE H & SHAWN MICHAELS vs. CODY RHODES & TED DIBIASE

DX got a very elaborate ring entrance with pyro blasting through the arena and then a military Jeep driving out soldiers who aimed guns to the ceiling and fired toward the roof. Then Michaels and Hunter stood on a tank as it drove into the arena. Lawler went, "Wow! What an entrance. That was blockbuster" Good ring entrance, to be sure, making DX's return seem like a major happening. It must be nice to have the connections within the company to get the budget for that type of superstar ring entrance. Triple H said it's been a long time coming, and then asked L.A. if they were ready. He shouted "Get ready to suck it," as Michaels stood in the background. He then stepped up and said if you're not down with that, they've got two words for them. He held the mic up and the crowd did the rest. Then Legacy got their relatively paltry ring entrance. Triple H got early control over Cody, who goaded Michaels into tagged in. Cody slapped Michaels. Michaels slapped back. When Michaels set up Sweet Chin Music, Cody bailed out. Triple H went after him at ringside. Cody tried to charge at Michaels in the ring, but Michaels took him down with a drop toe hold.

Legacy eventually took over, but at 6:00 Michaels hot-tagged Triple H into the ring. When Cody took a cheap shot at Hunter from the apron, Hunter yanked him into the ring. That gave DiBiase a chance to jump Hunter and catapult him into the corner. Triple H fired back with a clothesline and a spinebuster at 6:00. Cody jumped Hunter as he set up a Pedigree on DiBiase. Michaels made the save. Hunter backdropped Michaels over the top rope onto Cody. Hunter posed, but DiBiase caught him with a low kick as the ref was distracted by Michaels and Cody at ringside. Legacy settled into a long stretch of grinding matwork. At 12:00 Hunter made a comeback and crawled toward his corner. DiBiase, though, also reached over and tagged in Cody first. Hunter, though, seconds later made the hot-tag and Michaels went to work on Cody. As Michaels set up his superkick, DiBiase jumped him from behind. Hunter yanked DiBiase to ringside and threw him into the crowd. Rhodes climbed to the top rope and went for a top rope elbow, but Michaels moved and then went for his own top rope elbow. Cody, though, knocked him off balance on the top rope. When Michaels came back and went for yet another top rope elbow, Cody lifted his knees. Cole called it a performance for the ages, complimenting how well they scouted and prepared for this match.

Michaels applied a figure-four at 16:00, but DiBiase interfered. Hunter set up a Pedigree on DiBiase, but Rhodes broke that up. Lawler said he was impressed thus far with how well Legacy scouted DX. Michaels went for Swet Chin Music, but Cody blocked it and after a DiBiase distraction, he hit Crossroads for a near fall. Cole declared that Legacy were about to upset DX, but Hunter broke up the pin. Hunter gave Cody the Pedigree a the ref was trying to get DiBiase out of the ring. DiBiase, though, then gave Michaels his Dream Street finisher as the ref was distracted by Hunter. Hunter went after DiBiase at ringside as the ref began to count both Cody and Michaels down. Both were slow to get up, but they beat the count together at nine. Michrals then surprised Cody with the superkick out of nowhere and scored the clean pin.

WINNERS: DX in 18:00.

STAR RATING: ***3/4 -- A very good match on several levels, including the near falls and dramatic hot tags that were masterfully executed, but what really made it stand out was that it was a star-making performance for Legacy with the announcers really selling it as such. This defined Cody and Ted as being in the league of Shawn and Hunter. They looked like they belonged and it took everything Michaels and Triple H had. There were some slow minutes when Legacy grounded Hunter for several minutes in the first half, but it picked up from there to the end.

6 -- CHRISTIAN vs. WILLIAM REGAL (w/Ezekiel Jackson, Vladimir Kozlov)

Josh Matthews and Matt Striker took over on commentary. At the bell, Christian surprised Regal - still in his robe - with the Kill Switch and scored the pin. Striker flew to L.A. for that? Jackson slammed Christian hard on the mat and then Regal applied the Regal Stretch. Kozlov shouted at a KO'd Christian. Striker called the heels a "ruthless roundtable."

WINNER: Christian in 0:05 to retain the ECW Title.

-A video package aired on Summerslam weekend including a clip of Batista and Roddy Piper.

7 -- RANDY ORTON vs. JOHN CENA - WWE Title match

Cole said Cena is arguably WWE's biggest star. Lawler said in terms of mat wrestling, he'd give Orton the edge. Same with the category of diabolical thinking. Orton dominated early and hit a flying kneedrop mid-ring for a near fall at 5:00. He then settled into his obligatory chinlock which he converted to a sleeper. Cena escaped at 7:00 and made a comeback with two flying shoulders. There was a mix of cheers and boos. Orton avoided the Attitude Adjustment and turned it into a powerslam for a two count. Orton ducked a charging Cena, who rolled hard to the floor. He DDT'd him off the middle rope for a near fall, then set up the punt kick. Cena moved and countered with the blockbuster. Cnea then leaped off the top rope with a legdrop to the back of Orton's neck for a two count. Cole did a nice job building up the drama of that moment of the match. Cena went for an Attitude Adjuster, but Orton grabbed the top rope. They both clotheslined each other at the same time and went down at 12:00. The ref began to count them down. When they both got up, they exchanged punches. Cena got the better of the exchange, so Orton shoved the ref to get intentionally DQ'd. He bailed out to ringside and grabbed his belt. Lilian Garcia messed up pretty badly, saying there was a "new champion," which caused the crowd to pop, but then she said it was Orton, which was confusing. He clutched his belt. Lilian then explained further that Mr. McMahon just told her he was restarting the match and if Orton got DQ'd on purpose again, he'd lose his title, and her syntax was messed up even saying this second part. So at 15:00 the match continued.

Cena hit a sideslam and then went after Orton at ringside. Orton reversed momentum and scored some near falls on Cena. Orton then grabbed his title belt and walked to the back. The ref counted him out. Lilian got the announcement right. Cole called it ridiculous. Lilian said the match will be restarted again and if Orton gets counted out "once again," he'll lose the title. This whole thing seemed rushed, as if the show was running long (which would explain the really short ECW Title match, too). The pace was fast in the ring here with countermoves for a few seconds and Orton scoring a leverage pin on Cena with his feet on the middle rope. Cole said Orton slithered his way into another win. A second ref ran to the ring and told the first ref what happened. As Orton demanded to be handed his title belt, the referees explained to orton that they were re-starting the match. Cena then applied an STF mid-ring at 19:00.

Apparently a fan charged into the ring and jumped onto the referee. Apparently he was really upset that Orton was stripped of his win. The second ref and a security guard charged quickly into the ring as Cena backed into the corner away from the melee. The match came to a stop as the fan was dragged to the floor. The ref, Scott Armstrong, tried to regain his senses as the fan was dragged to the back, which the director showed. Orton was at ringside catching his breath as Cena paced in the ring. Lawler said this is as bizarre as it gets. Orton re-entered the ring, but when Cena reached for him, he gave him an RKO over the middle rope. Back in the ring he gave Cena another RKO and scored the pin. If it was a plant, it was well done as it's tough to pull that off realistically. If it was an unplanned incident with an actual fan, they recovered nicely and quickly. Cole was suspicious of how the star all aligned for Orton. It'd be quite a stretch, though, to believe that Orton had a fan planted at ringside to protect him in case his intentional DQ, intentional countout, and illegal rope leverage pin all backfired on him.

WINNER: Orton in 18:00.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- Fundamentally a solid match as you'd expect from these two. The cheating by Orton three times in a row didn't bother me as they told a story of Orton doing everything possible to win, painting a picture that Cena is better by a hair but Orton is more cunning. The problem is with the way the Lillian announcements were handled, which seemed rushed in general and clunky on her part when executed, plus the second ref convincing the first ref to restart sets a new standard that controversial finishes can be overturned by a second ref, which almost never happens otherwise. But when this is seemingly the 250th version of these two against one another, they have to get creative and there's danger in going too far.

-A video package aired on Punk vs. Cena.

8 -- JEFF HARDY vs. C.M. PUNK - World Hvt. Title match

Punk took Hardy down first. Hardy came back at 2:00 and climbed the ladder. Punk knocked him down. Hardy threw Punk into the ladder mid-ring. Hardy flew at Punk in the corner, but Punk caught him and threw him onto a couple chairs set up in the ring. The action went to the floor again. Hardy came back and whipped Punk into the steps, but Punk leaped onto the steps and then flew at Hardy. Hardy, though, swung a chair at him. Hardy dove off the top rope toward Punk on a table at ringside, but Punk moved and Hardy crashed through the table. Punk set up a ladder mid-ring and climbed it. Hardy recovered and yanked Punk down. Hardy climbed over Punk up the ladder. Punk grabbed him. Hardy sunset bombed Punk to the mat. Hardy climbed the ladder, but Punk tipped the ladder over and Hardy's extended leg hit the ropes. Punk superplexed Hardy off the top rope onto a ladder on the mat at 11:00.

At 14:00 Punk yanked Hardy off the ladder and threw him to the floor. Punk put a chair over Hardy's head and was going to threw him into the ringpost, but Hardy countered and whacked Punk repeatedly across the back with a chair. Hardy smashed Punk with a monitor and then swung a chair at his face. Hardy climbed a mega-sized 15-rung ladder, which two referees were nice enough to help hold in place for him. Hardy flip dove onto Punk on an announce table eblow. Officials ran to check on both wrestlers. They went to a replay. When they came back, both wrestlers were being put on stretchers and backboards. The crowd got restless, now wanting it to be the actual end of the match. There was no announcement. Hardy fought off the neckbrace being put on him. Punk slithered into the ring, so then Hardy managed to break free and work his way back into the ring. He flipped into the ring through the ropes and landed on his head in the process. Punk climbed the ladder on one side as Hardy climbed the ladder on the other side. Hardy punched Punk and reached for the belt, which swung above the ladder. Punk punched back, and then he kicked Hardy and knocked him off the ladder to the floor. Punk reached and grabbed the belt to win. Ross wondered if Hardy had taken his final fall. Grisham called it as devastating a TLC match as they've ever seen. Ross called it a battle for the ages.

WINNER: Punk in 20:00 to capture the World Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: ****1/4 -- This will be on the radar for some as a Match of the Year contender. It wasn't at that level for me, but it was a very good TLC match with two good athletes who stunt bumped all over the place, but made every big move count in the context of the TLC rules.

-Afterward, as Punk celebrated, Undertaker's music played. Punk waved him to the ring. Undertaker popped up through the canvas and chokeslammed Punk. That's what you call a transition from Hardy as your top babyface on Smackdown to Undertaker. What a dream come true for Punk to be chokeslammed by Undertaker at SummerSlam. It's like getting into the NBA in time to be dunked on by Shaq or Michael Jordan when you're young enough to have been in grade school when you first saw them on the big stage.

QUOTEBOOK

Jim Ross: "Dolph Ziggler is a very intelligent, articulate young man, especially when talking about himself."

MVP to Jack Swagger: "I wish growing up I had the wonderful life you had - the rich grandparents to spoil me and the father to play catch with."

C.M. Punk: "I'd go so far as to say I'm the only real person in this building. I wish I could say it's a Los Angeles epidemic, but the fact is it's worldwide. You have housewives in Iowa who subscribe to US Weekly so they can model their hair after Kate Goselin instead of helping their kids with homework."

Triple H: "To Cody and Ted, you girls want a war, you got a war. Get ready to suck it."


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