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8/15 WWE Summerslam PPV review: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live event

Aug 16, 2004 - 8:00:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

SUMMERSLAM PPV REPORT
AUGUST 15, 2004
TORONTO, ONTARIO AT AIR CANADA CENTER


Announced Crowd: 17,640 sellout.

-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler introduced the show. They talked about how there are "four big main events." See, Triple H is still in the main event of Summerslam even if technically it's not the final match.

-Michael Cole and Tazz previewed the Summerslam opening match.

1 -- SPIKE & D-VON & BUBBA RAY DUDLEY vs. REY MYSTERIO & PAUL LONDON & BILLY KIDMAN

London opened up with some offense, but soon was selling thanks to double-teaming by the Dudleys. At 4:30 he finally hot-tagged Mysterio. At 6:00 Kidman tagged in and worked over all three Dudleys. After a BK Bomb on Spike, Bubba broke up the pin attempt. Chaos ensued with dives outside the ring by London and Mysterio. After a Hart Attack clothesline by Spike and Kidman, Rey hit the 619. Cole said, "This has to be it," which gave away it wouldn't be it. A minute later the Dudleys gave Kidman the 3D for the win.

WINNER: Dudleys at 8:06.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- It's a real shame that Mysterio is limited to about 60 seconds of action in an eight-man tag match on a major PPV given what he is otherwise capable of. It's tough for anyone to shine in a six-man tag that lasts only eight minutes when over half is spent beating on one babyface (London) building to a hot tag.

-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler took over commentary. They introduced a highlight package recapping the Matt Hardy, Lita, Kane feud.

2 -- MATT HARDY vs. KANE

Lita came out in maternity clothes showing quite a bit more than she did six days ago. Lawler firmly said Kane is the man who impregnated Lita, which is a strong indication that Kane did not impregnate Lita after all since announcers tend to overstress red herrings. Hardy went after Kane with aggression early. Kane then took over offense at 1:00. After Lita and Kane yelled at each other, Kane turned to dive at Hardy. Hardy ducked and Kane flew to ringside. Hardy then dove onto Kane, then gave Kane the Twist of Fate at ringside. Hardy yelled for the referee to begin his ten count. Normally Hardy wouldn't necessarily want to win by countout and would rather get some physical revenge on Kane, but since Lita put their marriage on the line needlessly, he now has to become obsessed with just winning any way he can. Lita grabbed the ringside bell into the ring. Hardy grabbed it and Hardy KO'd Kane with it. Hardy then made the cover, but Kane put his foot on the middle rope to stop the count. Ross said that was the first time he's ever seen Kane use the middle rope for an out. Hardy leaped off the top rope, but Kane caught him with a choke. He then shoved Hardy into the ropes and gave him a "size 18 boot right between the eyes of Matt Hardy." Kane went to the top rope. Hardy shoved him off balance, then went for a superplex. Kane, though, chokeslammed Hardy off the top rope. Hardy sold it really well. Kane scored the pin. Lita looked shocked as reality set in. She ran away, flailing her arms like Pheobe in Friends. Kane grinned widely.

WINNER: Kane at 6:05.

STAR RATING: 3/4* -- That was a letdown. They got in and out of it quickly without any major storyline twists or sense of closure on the angle. Hardy didn't even take a beating to explain what will be a prolonged six-to-eight month absence from action due to needed major knee surgery soon. With all of the time dedicated to hyping this match, they needed to give PPV purchasers more of a payoff, more of a newsworthy happening, than just a short match and a loss by Hardy.

-Todd Grisham interviewed Randy Orton. John Cena stepped into the picture and confronted Orton. He asked the fans if they like him. They shouted no. Orton said he doesn't care what "a bunch of ass-backward Canadians think." He said he finds it pathetic that Cena had to interrupt his interview to get a little bit of air time "because there is no one and nothing more important than Randy Orton."

3 -- BOOKER T vs. JOHN CENA -- First in the Best of Five Match Series

They began with high-energy exchanges. Booker took control after dropping Cena crotch first over the top rope and then knocking him to the floor. Booker leaped off the apron and didn't seem to have any idea what to do, so he just slapped Cena's back. Cole was all ready to call some big move and worked himself into a frenzy as Booker was on his way down, but when all he did was slap Cena's back, Cole said, "Booker!... Just!... uh... hit... uh, Cena on the...uh... spine..." Booker settled into a partial camel clutch and then a chinlock. Cena stood up and small packaged Booker. Cole seemed excited, not because it might be a pin, but because he knew the name of the move. A minute later Cena hit the FU out of nowhere for the anticlimactic win that felt more like the finish of the first fall of a best-of-three-falls match than the end of the work for the night.

WINNER: Cena at 6:20.

STAR RATING: *

-Raw G.M. Eric Bischoff, fresh back from producing a PPV based out of Sturgis, S.D. at the motorcycle rally, met up with Smackdown G.M. Teddy Long. Bischoff said every time WWE runs a joint PPV, he notices there's a new Smackdown G.M. He said there have been three others including Stephanie McMahon, Paul Heyman, and Kurt Angle. Bischoff told Long to learn what he can when he has the job because he doubts by the time there's another joint PPV that he will still be G.M. Long told Bischoff he doesn't know if he'll ever succeed in getting rid of Eugene, but if he does, he'd be glad to sign him and make him the "biggest superstar ever." Long said that applied to everyone. Bischoff shot him an evil look.

-Ross and Lawler introduced Diva Dodgeball.

4 -- EDGE vs. CHRIS JERICHO vs. BATISTA -- IC Title match

Batista knocked Jericho to the floor before the match as Jericho was playing to the crowd. Batista and Edge then fought for the opening minute. Jericho soon joined in. They fought at ringside with Jericho dropkicking Batista into the ringside stairs at 3:00. That led to a staredown between Edge and Jericho. The crowd booed Edge against Jericho during their initial exchanges. Lawler said that surprised him since Edge is from Toronto. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho. Edge almost reached the bottom rope, but Jericho dragged him back to the middle. Batista then reentered the ring to break it up at 5:30. When Edge got in offense against Batista, the crowd even booed Edge then. They booed everything he did. When Edge went for the Spear, Jericho cut him off Pounce-style. Batista then took Jericho down and scored a near fall, but Edge broke it up. Ross explained it was in each wrestler's best interest to break up any pin or submission attempts. When Jericho rolled up Edge from behind, the crowd popped until Edge kicked out. Then they chanted "Y2J, Y2J." Jericho yanked Edge's head to the mat, then went for a Lionsault, but shifted gears mid-air and dropkicked Batista off the ring apron. Edge then gave Jericho a Spear for the pin. Lawler asked, "Are we in Bizarro World or Canada? The fans are cheering Edge now that he won."

WINNER: Edge at 8:16 to retain the IC Title.

STAR RATING: *3/4 -- They are rushing thorough these matches. They could have done so much more with this match, but it seems they are making sure there is plenty of time for the four big matches to have about 30 minutes each on average.

5 -- KURT ANGLE (w/Luther Reigns) vs. EDDIE GUERRERO

Angle looked quite a bit thinner than earlier this year. They battled for takedowns amateur style in mid-ring. Fans chanted, "Let's Go Angle!" Tazz and Cole agreed that they were in Bizarro World. Eddie took Angle down first, but a minute later Angle controlled Guerrero with a keylock. Angle applied one suplex, but Guerrero escaped the attempt at a second one and applied an anklelock of his own. Angle screamed in pain and reached for the bottom rope. He couldn't reach it, so he twisted himself around and poked Guerrero in the eye. He followed with an Angle slam. He stood up limping, selling the anklelock. He pulled down his strap and then went for his own anklelock. Guerrero screamed in pain. Guerrero was bleeding from below the right eye at this point. Guerrero managed to apply an anklelock of his own at the same time. Angle torqued Guerrero and forced him to release his attempted counter anklelock. Guerrero reached the bottom rope to force a break at 4:30. Reigns then kicked Guerrero in the head while the ref was chatting with Angle. Angle applied another anklelock right away. When Guerrero fought out of another submission attempt, one of Guerrero's boots had been untied by Angle. Cole and Tazz wondered what his strategy was. As Angle applied a chinlock, they were clearly communicating with each other, calling the next series of spots. Guerrero suplexed out of the chinlock at 8:30. The ref began counting both men down on the mat. They both stood at the same time. Angle got in the first series of punches. Guerrero fired back, managing to avoid tripping on his laces. Guerrero gave Angle his Triple Vertical Suplex series. Guerrero played to the crowd. He went to the top rope with his boot barely on his foot. Angle met him there quickly and overhead suplexed him to the mat. He went for a quick cover, but Guerrero kicked out at 10:00. Guerrero escaped an Angle Slam attempt and turned it into a DDT. He followed with a Frog Splash attempt, but Angle rolled out of the way. Angle hit an Angle Slam. Cole said, "This one is over." I'm so sick of announcers always saying the match is over every time there's a convincing near fall except for the one time in a match when it's not really over. It ruins every near fall for discerning viewers who have picked up on the pattern. The ref got knocked down after bumping into Angle. Guerrero grabbed his boot off his foot and KO'd Angle. When Reigns jumped onto the ring apron, Guerrero KO'd him, too. When the ref sat up, Guerrero fell back and pretended to be injured. Guerrero then stood up and went for another Frog Splash. This time he hit and scored a near fall at 12:45. The crowd popped big for it. Angle surprised Guerrero out of nowhere with a surprise anklelock. Guerrero tried to spin out of it, but he couldn't. He eventually tapped.

WINNER: Angle at 13:36.

STAR RATING: *** -- A strong three star match, but really nothing more. It was really good for what it was, but a bit too one dimensional both in terms of being all submission-oriented and almost all ankle lock attempts within that theme. It's tough to fit a full-fledged PPV-stealing best match into 14 minutes. With five more minutes, they could have really hit a few crescendos to elevate this match a half star or so. It's clear now that Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit is going long, and the other two main events aren't going to be short, either.

-A recap aired of the Triple H-Eugene feud.

6 -- TRIPLE H vs. EUGENE

Ross said if Eugene beats Triple H, it will be the biggest upset in Summerslam history. Eugene was happy to see all the fans when he first walked out, but as soon as he saw Hunter it was all business. He entered the ring and got in some early punches on Hunter as soon as the bell rang. When they fought at ringside, Hunter used Lilian Garcia as a shield. She squealed. He threw her to the ground to distracted Eugene. When Eugene bent over to tend to her, Hunter attacked him. She was helped to the back. Hunter began dismantling the Spanish announcers' table. Hunter teased suplexing Eugene from inside the ring to the table, but Eugene reversed it and suplexed Hunter into the ring. Eugene punched Hunter in the corner. He paused to remember what number came after seven by looking at his fingers. Ross said Eugene is "child-like at times." Hunter faked a knee injury to sucker the ref and Eugene into letting their guard down. Eugene came back and hit the Rock Bottom. Eugene began bleeding from his right arm during sustained offense from Hunter. Hunter applied a sleeper at 8:30. The enigmatic crowd cheered. The ref dropped Eugene's arm twice. The ref yelled to ringside that if the arm dropped one more time, it was over. Eugene held his arm up and waved the finger a la Hulk Hogan. Hunter set up a Pedigree, but Eugene backdropped out of it. The crowd booed. Eugene began the superman comeback. The crowd booed it. Ross called a "Kerry Von Erich Discus Punch" by Eugene. Eugene gave Hunter the finger and gave Hunter a Stunner, which got the crowd on his side for the first time of the match. Lawler again called the crowd "bizarro fans." Eugene rammed Hunter's head into the ringside stairs. Eugene did the full-fledged Hulk Hogan legdrop routine, but Hunter kicked out. Ric Flair made his way to ringside and jumped on the ring apron. Eugene knocked him off the apron. Eugene catapulted Hunter into the top turnbuckle and then hit the Pedigree. The crowd popped as Eugene made the cover. Flair put Hunter's right leg over the bottom rope to interrupt the count. Eugene thought he won. The ref explained to him that he hadn't won. Flair tripped Eugene as he bounced into the ropes. The ref told Flair to return to the back. Flair threw a hissy-fit and whipped off his jacket. As he worked his way back, William Regal stepped out and KO'd him with brass knuckles. As Eugene celebrated, Hunter surprised him with the Pedigree for the win. Hunter dragged a KO'd Flair to the back by his leg in a funny bit. Eugene pouted as Regal consoled him in the ring. Ross pointed out that Hunter did now fulfill his vow to end Eugene's career and he was lucky to have just won.

WINNER: Triple H at 14:07.

STAR RATING: **3/4 - A very different match than Guerrero-Angle, but nearly as good.

-The Raw Divas Candidates vs. Raw Divas Dodge Ball match began. The Diva Candidates won quickly in about two minutes. Trish and Victoria got into a fight afterward.

7 -- JOHN BRADSHAW LAYFIELD (w/Orlando Jordan) vs. UNDERTAKER -- WWE Hvt. Title match

Fans in the front row flicked off Taker as he made his way to the ring. After brawling briefly at ringside, Bradshaw got in some early punches, but Taker took JBL to the mat and began working over his left arm. Taker walked the top rope (way too early to be believable since Bradshaw easily could have just yanked him off the top rope) and came off with a forearm. He followed up with a DDT-like move out of the armbar. JBL came back by working over Taker's leg, ramming his leg with a chair at ringside at 5:15. Taker reversed JBL into a rolling kneebar. The crowd booed Taker's offense. Its rare that this many fans during a WWE PPV have gotten so into going against the grain in their reactions throughout an entire WWE PPV. Toronto can expect to have Smackdown tapings from now on, but not anything live if they don't learn to behave and react how Vince McMahon wants them to. The crowd chanted "Spanish Table! Spanish Table!" Taker guillotine legdropped JBL across the ring apron. JBL came back at 10:15 and climbed to the top rope. Taker caught him up there and hit a superplex for a near fall. JBL moved into a spinning toe hold. Taker grabbed JBL's throat mid-spin, but JBL kicked him in the knee. Taker surprised JBL right away with a chokeslam for a two count. Taker hit a flying clothesline, but then sold his knee from the previous spinning toe holds. He hit two clotheslines in the corner and then snake eyed JBL over the top turnbuckle. One hard clothesline later, he made the cover and scored a near fall at 13:30. Taker followed up with a chokeslam for another near fall. When Jordan distracted Taker, JBL nailed Taker with the Clothesline from Hell for a two count. The shoulder lift received a mixed reaction from the crowd. JBL bumped into the ref in the corner, then they hit each other with simultaneous big boots. Cool spot. Jordan threw the WWE belt to JBL. He KO'd Taker with it, then kicked the belt out of the ring. Cole said, "JBL is going to steal this match-up and it's a damn shame." That guaranteed a kickout by Taker. Jordan dragged the KO'd ref over to JBL and began slapping the ref's arm on the mat. Before the third count, Taker still lifted his shoulder. In a hilarious moment, Jordan, overcome with honesty, stopped the count and didn't count to three because Taker lifted hid shoulder. Taker knocked Jordan out of the ring. Taker made a desperation Last Ride out of the corner at 17:00 and made the cover. JBL kicked out at the last split-second. Jordan charged into the ring with the belt and was going to hit Taker. Taker booted Jordan, then hit JBL with the belt. The ref came to in time to see the belt shot and called for the DQ. There was no other finish in this one given that JBL was keeping the belt. It's not as if Taker was going to do a job to JBL under any circumstances. After the match, trying to make up for the lame DQ finish, Taker slammed JBL into the hood of his car Nord the Barbarian style. JBL's boots broke the windshield. The crowd booed as Taker returned to the back. JBL bled all over the hood of his car from his forehead. Taker returned to the JBL and chokeslammed him through the roof of the car. JBL was put in a neck brace and taken out on a gurney. Jordan stopped them from wheeling him away until he got the belt and put it on his chest.

WINNER: JBL via DQ at 17:38 to retain the World Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: **3/4 -- The DQ finish knocked the rating down a notch. Up until the finish, it was in contention for "best match" on the show given how disappointing the rest of the matches were to this point. The crowd distracted from some solid work in the opening ten minutes. Undertaker didn't seem to know how to handle the crowd. Taker did some nice innovative matwork and takedowns to keep things interesting. They both seemed determined to have a good match, but it was tough to gain momentum with the crowd trying to steal the show rather than get into the action.

-Saturday, Sept. 25 tickets go on sale for WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles, Calif. at Staples Center.

8 -- CHRIS BENOIT vs. RANDY ORTON -- World Hvt. Title match

This match began at 20 minutes past the hour, giving it roughly a maximum of 35 minutes. Before the match Ross and Lawler commented on how unpredictable the crowd was. You know when crowds go this against the grain, it's the talk of management as they try to figure out how much it affected the delivery of the storylines they were trying to advance, plus it hurts Vince McMahon's feeling of control over the fans' emotions. They began the match cautiously. Ross noted that Benoit is a 19 year veteran, which means Orton wasn't even in first grade when Benoit began his career. Benoit used an armdrag to take Orton down and into an armbar. Ross compared it to Rick Steamboat's strategy against Ric Flair in their feud. Orton went for an early Sharpshooter. How many people expected the bell to ring at that point because Benoit refused to drop the belt in Canada? Benoit powered out of it and slipped Orton into it. Orton struggled to escape, so Benoit went for the Crossface. They both rolled to the floor. Orton shoved Benoit into the ringpost. Benoit accelerated like a dart and bumped hard to the floor. Fans chanted "Spanish Table" again. At 9:30 Benoit dove through the ropes at Orton, but Orton moved and Benoit hit the ring barrier face-first. He was very slow to get up. Orton rolled into the ring to break the count. Ross brought up that Benoit not long ago missed a year after neck surgery. Orton threw Benoit back into the ring and pounded on his chest with forearms. He then gave him a neck-wringer followed by a side-application camel clutch. Anything but another basic chinlock. They continued working a strong match for several minutes, with Orton working over Benoit with a side headlock and some powermoves. When he went for an RKO at 15:45, Benoit blocked it. He ducked an Orton clothesline and then German suplexed Orton to the mat. He followed with a full application of the Camel Clutch. Benoit followed up with a two unreleased German suplexes. Orton tried to block the third, but instead Benoit just took him over with three more in a row, totalling five. The crowd applauded the series. Benoit took his time getting to the top rope. When he dove off with a headbutt, Orton met him with his feet. Both men were slow to get up. Orton went for a pin, but Benoit kicked out and then surprised Orton with a Crippler Crossface. Orton forced a break and then surprised Benoit with an RKO out of nowhere for the pin. As Orton celebrated, Benoit left. Then Benoit returned to the ring for the "Code of Honor" handshake. They stared each other down for a few seconds, then Benoit offered his hand and said, "Be a man." Orton paused, the crowd booed. Benoit shouted, "Come on, be a man!" Orton then shook his hand. Orton began to well up and his chin quivered as he draped the belt over his shoulder.

WINNER: Orton at 20:09 to capture the World Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: **** -- Very good match, just at four stars, nothing more. The finish coming out of nowhere in some ways was cool, but in other ways seemed to steal away five more minutes of drama that most were probably expecting from these two.

-After the PPV concludes, if you saw the event, send us your name, hometown, 1-10 score, picks for best and worst matches, and a brief paragraph of well-edited, print-ready comments to our "torchreax" address (see email link below).


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