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Thread: WWE Summerslam 2009 Review

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    Summerslam WWE Summerslam 2009 Review

    Summerslam
    August 23, 2009



    Rey Mysterio © vs Dolph Ziggler - WWE IC Title
    A Rematch from the previous month’s Night of Champions. Ziggler earned this title shot by winning a #1 contender’s match against R-Truth, Mike Knox, and Finlay. To think, we came this close to Mike f’n Knox getting a title shot on a big four PPV. This was a lot of fun a decade ago and it remains fun today. Part of the appeal is that prior to the Mysterio feud, Ziggler was just a lowcarder that the WWE had a lot of interest in, but hadn’t been much more than just a gimmick. Now, thanks to Mysterio, he’s able to showcase some talent in the ring. I’ve never been as high as Ziggler as others were during the peak of his popularity, but he excelled here working against Mysterio. From the beginning until the end, it’s a fast pace match with Ziggler keeping up. Both men got in a bunch of counters, the highlight being Mysterip leaping backwards off of the middle rope into a crossbody, but Ziggler countered with a drop kick in mid air. The crowd is into everything. The only really negative thing about this match was commentator, Jim Ross. I don’t know if McMahon was just constantly in his ear, but he often sounded lost. He’d begin a sentence, go silent for a bit before start talking about something else. He got better as the match went on, but for that first half, he was downright awful. After a ton of covers by Ziggler, he began to get frustrated by the end, causing him to up his aggression and stop working as smartly as he was before. That caused him to make the mistake of attempting a top rope gutbuster, but Mysterio countered it into a top rope Frankensteiner for the victory. Ziggler may have lost, but he did a lot to prove that he deserves this mid 2009 push that he was receiving. Hell of an opener. *** ¾


    MVP vs Jack Swagger
    What a random match. Back in April 2009, the WWE held their draft which featured a total of 36 moves across the brands. One such move was sending MVP from Smackdown to Raw. Then, since apparently the WWE recognized that they sucked at planning, then-Raw owner, Donald Trump, decided to take part in trading 15 wrestlers between the three brands of the WWE. That sent Jack Swagger to Raw as well. The highlight of this draft being Matt Hardy who was drafted from Smackdown to Raw in April and then traded back to Smackdown in June. This wasn’t anything interesting. The entire backstory seemed to be the dull heel verbally attacking a babyface for his past jail time that has been done plenty of times before. Not much happens in the match with Swagger working over the back and MVP needing to wait until the end of the match before finally being allowed to do his Ball In move. The commentators talking about what an amazing guy MVP is since being in prison feels so forced as up until a couple of months ago, all we knew of MVP was that he was a heel. Swagger kept locking in holds to keep the match dull. At one point, I clearly heard the referee instruct the talent to “Go home” with Swagger missing a Vader Bomb in the corner and MVP finishing him with his shitty Playmaker finisher. It’s a Raw match forced to be on PPV so that you have to pay $40 to see it. Both men would really struggle on the Raw brand. **

    At ringside is celebrity Luke Perry along with his young son. JUNGLE BOY HAS MADE HIS SUMMERSLAM DEBUT~! See, Jim can be hip. He knows about the new stars in wrestling. Please tell me I’m still relevant.

    JeriShow © vs Cryme Tyme - WWE Tag Titles
    Cryme Tyme earned this title shot by defeating The Hart Dynasty in a #1 contender’s match. Much to my surprise, the commentators, including a much more average Jim Ross, inform me that JTG somehow scored an upset victory over Jericho in a singles match. This was a pretty decent match with JTG getting in some offense before Shad, surprisingly, is the one chosen to play the face-in-peril for the champions. Even though it was totally just a means to give something for Show to do, he really excelled at this point being in these heel tag teams. After the face-in-peril sequence, JTG finally got the hot tag and cleaned house, nailing the Mug Shot (Faceplant) onto Jericho. The action would spill to the outside with Shad and Show battling it out, but thanks to a lucky break, Show would be in position to knock JTG out with a WMD from the outside. Jericho is quick to pounce on JTG, pinning the challenge to win the match. It was hardly great, but it was pretty solid stuff. ** ½


    Kane vs The Great Khali
    A rematch from Wrestlemania 23. Unlike their previous match, Kane is now the heel and Khali is the babyface. If you’re like me and you’re watching this event randomly, this isn’t all that obvious. Khali dominated the early going just as he typically did as a dominant heel monster. The pace is slow and always uninteresting. It eventually builds to Khali being in such control that Kane was sent against the ring ropes. That allowed Kane to grab Ranjin Singh around the throat and drag him into the ring. This distraction involving Khali’s little brother, oh yeah apparently Singh is now Khali’s brother?, allowed Kane to toss Khali his brother, then surprise him with a drop kick to the knee, and then finish him off with a DDT for the Kane victory. Is this match good? Absolutely not, but the length bothers me considering what’s to come later in the show. It wasn’t good, nor was it expected to be good. * ½

    DX vs Legacy
    Apparently this is HBK’s first match since WM 25, making this the second time in his career that his first match after a Wrestlemania ended up being Summerslam. Since the start of the year, Legacy had been a thorn in Triple H’s side. Rhodes and DiBiase helped Orton win the Royal Rumble match, last eliminating Triple H. Although Hunter managed to win the Elimination Chamber to win the WWE Title and then successfully defended it at Wrestlemania 25 against Orton, Legacy defeated Hunter, Batista, and Shane McMahon to bring the belt back to Orton at Backlash. Legacy would again help Orton beat Hunter at The Bash and Hunter/Cena at Night of Champions. Finally, Hunter is just out for revenge and conned HBK to return to the ring to join him in this war. Although Legacy would end up losing this match, I do feel as if the match was designed to make them look as good as possible despite losing. Most of the match is dominated by the heels to the point that both Michaels and later Hunter had their own face-in-peril sequences. Any time it seemed as if DX got one up on Legacy, it ended up not working. Case in point, Rhodes missed a nice looking top rope elbow drop, causing Michaels to try and show him how it’s done, but Rhodes had suckered him into leaping off of the top rope, ready to surprise Michaels with his knees up. Even the finish was built around Legacy getting one up on DX. Hunter, the illegal man, jumped into the ring to lay Rhodes out with a Pedigree, but DiBiase purposely jumped back onto the apron to get the referee to force Hunter out of the ring. The distraction allowed DiBiase to deliver Dream Street to Michaels. In the very end, DX won not because they were better, but Michaels kind of got lucky against Rhodes. With DiBiase and Hunter fighting on the outside, an exhausted Michaels and Rhodes used each other to slowly get back to their feet with Michaels surprising everyone with Sweet Chin Music and falling on top of Cody for the pinfall. Spoiler, DX/Legacy is going to be a three match PPV series with Legacy winning the next match at Breaking Point, but DX winning the third at Hell in a Cell. This does create a question, should Legacy have won here since DX got to win the two biggest matches? Maybe? Next year’s Nexus match is a lot more clear as to what should have happened because at least in this match, Legacy looked great. In the Nexus match, the WWE guys were all of the stars and mostly beat each other due to personal problems. Personally, I’m okay with Legacy losing here, but I’d understand if someone else may feel the opposite. The match is quite good though and it was nice to see Hunter leaving his shovel in the back for a change. *** ½


    Christian © vs William Regal w/Ruthless Roundtable - ECW Title
    For me, the best part about the June trades was that William Regal was sent to ECW. There, he quickly formed an alliance with Kozlov as they became new threats to Christian’s ECW Title now that Jack Swagger was gone. Then on the go home edition of ECW, a tag match was made with Christian and Tommy Dreamer vs Regal and Kozlov. However, thanks to the heels attacking Dreamer before the match, Christian was forced to find a new partner - Ezekiel Jackson. In the tag match, Jackson ended up turning on Christian to join forces with the heels, thus creating The Ruthless Roundtable. Onto the match and with the bell having rung, Regal goes to remove his robe, but Christian sees this as the perfect opportunity to surprise the challenger with an Unprettier to win the match in seconds. So on a night where Kane/Khali were given six minutes and there’s a completely random Swagger/MVP match, the sole ECW match of the night is given seconds. At the time, I don’t believe I cared too much since whenever this happens, it’s clear that it’s to set-up a rematch at another PPV, which I ended up loving their match at Breaking Point, but in the context of this show, it’s disappointing. ANGLE.

    After the match, The Ruthless Roundtable attacked Christian.

    Randy Orton © vs John Cena - WWE World Title
    Last month at Night of Champions, Orton won a three-way to retain the WWE Title over Cena and Triple H by pinning Cena. Although these two have wrestled each other a ton of times, including at Summerslam 2007 for the WWE Title, they haven’t had a singles match on PPV in a year and a half. So in some ways, it’s a fresh match...while also feeling pretty unoriginal. Their previous Summerslam match was pretty great, but this one was overbooked to the point that it was incapable of even being good. The match was essentially four falls. The main portion of the match saw Orton remain in control for pretty much the whole thing. This is important to remember. The pace is incredibly slow as Orton methodically works over Cena with kicks and strikes. Any time Cena attempted a comeback, Orton would cut him off quickly. This included avoiding a FU early on. Yet, despite the fact that Cena had failed to do anything of value thus far, once Orton was given a back body drop, he opted to shove the referee to force the DQ. Expert ring announcer, Lillian Garcia, announces Orton as the NEW WWE World Champion. Then maybe two seconds later, she announces that she got word from Mr. McMahon and the match would be forced to be re-started due to Orton purposely getting himself DQ’d. Due to this, the title can now change hands on a DQ. At this point, Cena gets in his strongest offense of the entire match, bringing some aggression to the match before being cut off again by being whipped into the steel steps. This time, Orton decides to just grab his title and leave, being counted out in the process. Garcia then announces that she just got word from Mr. McMahon that the match must be re-started again and if Orton gets himself counted out, he’ll lose the title. With the action back on, Cena picks Orton up for what is now the third attempt of the FU and fails yet again with Orton escaping and then rolling Cena up for the three count while his feet are on the middle ropes. Orton’s music plays and he celebrates with the title until a second referee runs out to inform the first about the illegal pinfall. So yet again, the match is re-started and Cena quickly locks in the STF, but a fan jumps into the ring and tackles the referee. While security drags the fan away, Orton is able to escape out of the ring and regains his composure before re-entering after he stuns Cena on the ropes and then delivers a RKO to finally win the match FOR REAL this time. The match never properly got going with Cena barely getting in any offense during the first fall. After that first fall, the match descended into parody levels of BS comprised of falls lasting just a couple of minutes before yet another Dusty finish would take place. The fan would end up being revealed as being Brett DiBiase, Ted’s brother who was then signed to FCW. Brett’s involvement ended up meaning nothing other than Legacy not being allowed to interfere and since he wasn’t a member, it was sorta allowed. I know that they idea of the match is that Orton was a real snake who knew he couldn’t beat Cena, so he did everything he could to escape with the title. That story is completely okay. It works well as a means to set-up a gimmick match for the rematch. However, where it doesn’t work is in a match where the challenger is never really in charge and the champion never looked as if he was actually in trouble. It’s your top babyface vs your top heel, this shouldn’t have been so difficult to book. * ¾

    Jeff Hardy © vs CM Punk - TLC Match - World Heavyweight Title
    At Extreme Rules, Hardy defeated Edge in a ladder match to win the WHT. Before the PPV ended, CM Punk would cash in his MITB contract and win the title from Hardy in the start of Punk’s heel turn. Hardy would defeat Punk by DQ at The Bash, but would win the title back at Night of Champions. When this match was originally announced, I believe I was a little uncertain whether it could be good or not since Jeff wouldn’t be able to rely on a bunch of others to deliver spots while he lies around for portions of the match. Instead, with this being the second time I’ve seen this now, it over delivered. I’d say the appeal of the match was the aggression. They really got over the fact that this program had become a grudge feud. There’s obviously plenty of spots with the various weapons, but at the forefront, the hatred is always the most important element that rules everything. Punk’s awkward looking selling also benefits the match. Punk’s selling was different from most, but he made it look like he was really in pain. Granted, some spots like the superplex on top of the ladder couldn’t have been very protected, but Punk was really an underrated seller. Near the end of the match, Jeff would snap and just start assaulting Punk on the outside. Using a chair, smashing Punk with a monitor, and delivering a Swanton Bomb from the top of a tall ladder through a commentator’s table. That caused the match to seemingly be stopped as medical staff comes out to check on Jeff and attempt to put him on a gurney. I do think this is where the commentary slacks off in their failure to express why Hardy is in worse shape than Punk, but considering JR is one of the commentators, I shouldn’t expect anything. Like a weasel, Punk slowly crawls his way back into the ring and hops up the ladder on his one good leg. Hardy, recognizing that his WHT is in jeopardy pushes the medical staff away and stumbles back into the ring to take the fight back to Punk. That leads to the two fighting it out on the top of the ladder with Punk delivering a kick and then strikes with a stiff forearm to send Hardy flying off of the ladder, allowing Punk to pull down the belt to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion. For a match with the king of the TLC era ladder matches, this match was surprisingly brutal. I love the fact that this feud of the summer got to main event “The Biggest Party of the Summer”. It stands out especially for the fact that CM Punk’s main WWE World Title reign would be marred by the fact that he practically never got to main event, but here he was being in the main event of a significant PPV while the likes of Cena, Orton, and Triple H had to work earlier in the show. **** ¼


    After the match, Punk celebrates standing triumphant over Hardy’s lifeless body. The lights go out and when they return, Hardy’s body has been replaced with The Undertaker’s. Taker grabs Punk by the throat and delivers a choke slam to end the PPV.


    Overall
    Nicknamed ‘The Biggest Party of the Summer’, I have to admit I enjoyed Summerslam 2009 quite a bit. It’s hardly a perfect show, but it has strengths where it needed to be strong. The opening match featured a quality fast pace match between Mysterio and Ziggler in what was easily Ziggler’s best match up to this point. Regardless of how you feel about Dolph these days, this match played a huge part in making him a somebody rather than just a lowcarder that had a gimmick of introducing himself to others. In the middle of the show, you had a quality tag match with DX vs Legacy built entirely around making Rhodes and DiBiase look like stars in defeat. Obviously, Rhodes and DiBiase ended up not being huge stars in the WWE, but they came out looking like bigger stars than they had ever been in the WWE before. Finally, there’s the main event with the unofficial end of the summer long program between Punk and Hardy. Their TLC match is a great one and I’d be cool with calling it a WWE MOTYC. I’d even say that the JeriShow/Cryme Tyme match was fine too. That being said, the rest of the show isn’t remarkable. The Cena/Orton match was an overbooked mess that failed to tell the story that they were trying to tell. The Khali/Kane match sucked, but it wasn’t the sort of match that you’d expect to be good. MVP/Swagger felt like a waste of time and was more deserving to be on Raw than a PPV. However, I’m wondering if that was a replacement match. Raw’s US Champion, Kofi Kingston didn’t wrestle on the PPV nor did he wrestle the following night on Raw. So if he was dealing with a bit of an injury and wasn’t able to defend the title against his then-rival, The Miz, it’s understandable why they’d go with Swagger/MVP instead. That being said, if Swagger/MVP was a replacement, that doesn’t excuse the fact that the sole ECW match was made into a quick segment instead of allowing Christian and Regal to have a great match. With three really good to great matches, this Summerslam still comes across as a quality PPV though.

  2. #2
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    Re: WWE Summerslam 2009 Review

    The MVP/Swagger match is even sadder in hindsight. This was arguably just after the peak of MVP's popularity in the company and the move from Smackdown to Raw completely killed any momentum he'd built up. I believe about a month earlier we had the classic "5 minute job to HHH" that was the nail in the coffin after losing the US title for no discernible reason.

    God damn Raw blew at this time, thank lordy for Smackdown.

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    Re: WWE Summerslam 2009 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Postman Dave View Post
    The MVP/Swagger match is even sadder in hindsight. This was arguably just after the peak of MVP's popularity in the company and the move from Smackdown to Raw completely killed any momentum he'd built up. I believe about a month earlier we had the classic "5 minute job to HHH" that was the nail in the coffin after losing the US title for no discernible reason.
    I can't remember MVP's second US Title reign at all. That's what happens when you hold gold without ever defending it on PPV. Your reign becomes instantly forgettable due to the lack of big moments. MVP on Raw seemed to just quickly go down the drain after being a big enough star on Smackdown. It got really bad at the very end when MVP was still really over, but he was made out to be a lowcarder.

    God damn Raw blew at this time, thank lordy for Smackdown.
    Smackdown in the summer of 2009 was great. I remember at the time, there being talk of SD having a new Smackdown Six. For whatever reason, this period doesn't get talked about enough though.

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    Re: WWE Summerslam 2009 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I can't remember MVP's second US Title reign at all. That's what happens when you hold gold without ever defending it on PPV. Your reign becomes instantly forgettable due to the lack of big moments. MVP on Raw seemed to just quickly go down the drain after being a big enough star on Smackdown. It got really bad at the very end when MVP was still really over, but he was made out to be a lowcarder.
    It wasn't long, but it came not long after ending his losing streak, turning face and featured that angle involving Sheri Sheppard so it was somewhat memorable enough to me. Far more than Kofi's that followed, that's for sure.


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    Re: WWE Summerslam 2009 Review

    That whole midcard era of Kofi/MVP/Swagger/Miz is such a blur to me. You could have told me any combination of them were in a midcard match on this show and I'd believe you. None of them were interesting at all.

    Meanwhile on Smackdown you had Rey making the IC title more relevant than it had been in forever on Smackdown.

    I love the main event for this show. Probably my favourite one on one tlc match in WWE. Shame Undertaker came along and ruined any momentum Punk had in 2009. The legacy tag is also excellent, I think.

    Good show, especially compared to Summerslams 2006-2008. Like most of 2009: blue good, red bad



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  6. #6
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    Re: WWE Summerslam 2009 Review

    This spot would have been so much better if Jim Ross called It. Todd Grisham isn't my cup of tea I guess.

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