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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

My SummerSlam Wrap-up!

SummerSlam was one of the best Pay-per-views that I’ve watched in many years. With one exception, the matches were really excellent battles that provided numerous twists that no one saw coming. In this special edition of HeadLocker, I want to grade the matches and give my thoughts on where the combantants go next.

MVP d Jeff Hardy

I called this match completely and totally wrong, I’ll admit it. Both men showed their A game in this match. MVP used a running boot to the head to drop Jeff and take the win.

Grade: A-

Where they go next:

Jeff Hardy may be looking at a reunion with Matt. A tag battle between Ryder and Hawkins and the Hardyz would be really great for ratings. It would also sky-rocket the Edgeheads’ careers. Both Jeff and Matt have done well as singles stars. When it comes to the Hardys, the old phrase is so correct: The Whole is better than the sum of it’s parts. The Smackdown/ECW tag division was devastated by the Draft adn the recent releases. A Hardy reunion could kick-start interest in the sagging division.

MVP deserves a chance to really shine. He held the US title for many months. Many might think he would go after Shelton Benjamin, next. I feel that would be a step backwards for MVP. He really needs to focus on Triple H. After the situation with Edge and Undertaker, Edge will probably be out of the mix, at least for awhile. Triple H really needs someone new to battle. MVP is the perfect choice for the next person to play The Game

Santino and Beth Phoenix d Mickie James & Kofi Kingston
Winners-Take-All Women’s/Intercontinental titles match

This was an Adamle Original where Mickie and Kofi put their respective titles on the line in a tag team match. The winning team gained both belts. I expected Santino to pin Mickie and try to claim both belts. WWE made the match more serious by having Beth use her Glam-a-Slam (WheelBarrow into a Reverse Powerbomb) to take the win. There was a little comedy after the match with Santino riding on Beth’s shoulders.

Grade: B+

Where they go next:

For awhile, Mickie will try to regain her title. She will probably have to battle Katie Lea Burchill to become number one contender. I expect Mickie to go on the back-burner for awhile to push a Katie Lea v Beth program. There might even be a few Tri-Diva battles for the strap.

Santino and Kofi may end up switching the I-C title back and forth a few times over the next few months. Santino might also square off against the twisted new version of Rey Mysterio. Kofi may also battle the evil Rey, assuming WWE turns Rey heel. Paul Burchill will finish off his program with Kofi, likely losing. Kofi may end up the next Carlito and end up in limbo. That would be a shame.

Shawn Michaels’ Big Announcement

Shawn decides to hang up his boots and walk away. He has his lovely wife with him in the ring to say good-bye. Out comes Chris Jericho. That was the classic Lenny and Squiggy moment. Chris whines and grumbles about wanting Shawn to tell his wife and kids that daddy can’t work because of Chris Jericho. Shawn one-upped Chris by telling him to tell his wife and kids that, try as he might, he would never be Shawn Michaels. Snap. Shawn started to leave and Chris went to take a shot at him. In a move lifted directly from the Robert Roode/Booker T feud over in TNA, Chris punched Shawn’s wife in the jaw. One livid fan really ripped into Jericho for the “missed” shot. Jericho slowly walked up the ramp as Shawn checked on his injured wife.

Grade: D

Where they go next:

Obviously, the Shawn v Chris feud will continue. Shawn will now demand revenge for his wife and his injured eye. I expect Batista to eventually come to Shawn’s rescue in this feud. The rescue might come after Batista wins the World title from C.M. Punk.

Chris will then feud with Batista over the World title. I doubt that he will win the title. He should win it but he will likely just continue in these feuds until his contract runs out or he gets sent to ECW/Smackdown.

Matt Hardy d Mark Henry (via DQ)
ECW Title match

WWE continued to spit on ECW at Summerslam. At Wrestlemania, the ECW title match lasted all of 8 seconds. At Summerslam, the match was over within moments. Matt hit his Twist of Fate, only to have Tony Atlas interfere. Matt was given a DQ win but Mark kept the belt. The match really weakened Mark Henry as a champion. To have him fall victim to Matt’s finisher, that fast, showed that he is inferior as a wrestler. WWE made a huge mistake with this match. ECW looks even less viable than before.

Grade: F-

Where they go next:

Matt may reunite with his brother, Jeff, as The Hardyz. Matt may get switched to Smackdown, full-time. Mark will continue to hold the ECW strap, since there is really no one on ECW that can take it from him. Mark will likely feud with Finlay, Tommy Dreamer and a few of the new recruits from FCW. He will dominate most of the feuds to make him look invincible. If things keep going as they are in ECW, Mark just might retire as the final ECW champion. It shouldn’t take but a few months to finish off the Black Brand.

CM Punk d JBL

This match made both men look good. JBL came so very close to taking the strap off Punk. JBL nailed his CLothesline From Hell, only to have Punk kick out of a lazy pin. Punk used almost everything in his playbook but stumbled against the ex-Texan. Punk managed to nail the G-T-S to retain his title. Since Punk had easily beaten JBL on his first title defense, I expected this match to be somewhat lop-sided. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t. Each man came out looking stronger than when he went in. JBL’s massacre of Jamie Noble on RAW is a perfect example.

Grade: A

Where they go next:

JBL will be in the mix at Unforgiven’s Championship Scramble. He’ll likely get to wear the strap, at least for a few seconds. JBL is running out of people to feud with on RAW. JBL really need to head back to the announce desk. His arrogance was a nice counterpoint to Michael Cole’s calmness.

Punk will likely lose and regain his title at Unforgiven. Punk is the Bret Hart of this generation. He will likely end up as one of the top champions of all time. His large arsenal of moves allow him to battle all sizes of opponents. If an opponent were too large to hoist up for the G-T-S, Punk has the Anaconda Vise to fall back on. I wish he could use his Pepsi Plunge (Top Rope Pedigree) but Triple H has all variations of that move locked up for himself. Punk will likely continue to unveil new moves as he matures as a champion.

Triple H d The Great Khali
WWE Title Match

Khali has been ridiculed for his lack of wrestling ability. Even at SummerSlam, there was a large You Can’t Wrestle chant. That may be true but Khali put on one heck of a show against the cornerstone. I actually wondered at times if Triple H was going to lose the strap. Triple tried three times to lock in the Pedigree. On his third attempt, he managed to drop the Punjabi Punisher to a collective Ooh from the crowd. Khali get major pops for putting on the best match of his career. Triple H gets even larger ones for making Khali (and himself) look amazing in this match.

Grade: A

Where they go next:

Khali is due to feud with Big Show, again. WWE really doesn’t have anything for both big men to do. Triple H has a laundry list of fresh challengers to his WWE title: Edge, Carlito, Vladmir Kozlov, MVP, Undertaker, etc… Trip’s plate is going to be seriously full from now until Wrestlemania, barring injury. Khali will continue to ping-pong around the WWE until his contract is up. Khali will likely just fade away, much like Giant Gonzalez did. I certainly hope I’m wrong on that prediction. I actually like and admire Khali (Dalip Singh). He has done a lot for his homeland since becoming a WWE star. I’d like to see him get at least one more run with a top title. My wildest concept would be to pair him with Kozlov and really wreak havoc on the tag team division, such as it is.

Batista d John Cena

This match was a Match of the Year contender. When I did my predictions, I almost couldn’t choose a winner. In the end, I actually picked incorrectly. I figured that Raw’s vote for the biggest star would sway the outcome.

Both men brought out every tool at their disposal, including a few new ones. Batista actually used a Kokina Clutch on Cena. Batista also used a Figure Four Leglock. Cena used all his staples, especially the STFU. He had Batista trapped in the move for several minutes, before Batista reached the ropes. The end came with the attempt at a Hurancanrana off the ropes by Cena. Batista twisted it into a Powerbomb. Batista then finished off Cena with the Batista Bomb. The crowd went wild.

Grade: A+

Where they go next:

The two men are going to be part of the new Championship Scramble at Unforgiven. From there, they will likely continue their feud to determine superiority. Much like the Undertaker/Batista program of a couple years ago, the two men will split wins. Their war will likely come to a head at the Royal Rumble. Who will be the ultimate winner? That’s anyone’s guess.

Undertaker d Edge
Hell in a Cell Match

This was perhaps the second best Hell in a Cell match, ever. Only the Mankind/Taker battle from 1998 was superior. Undertaker is well-known for being able to make anyone look good in the ring. When he had someone as good as Edge with him, there was no way that this match wouldn’t be over-the-top.

The two men took the battle all around (and through) the cage. Edge’s Spear off the announce table will be in the highlight reels for years. The finish of the match was almost as memorable as Mick Foley’s fall off the top of the cage. Edge lost but came out as a winner, thanks to his performance. He cemented his legacy as one of the best workers in the industry. While I may not like what his character is doing in the whole Vickie intimidation/abuse angle, I simply can’t deny the talent.

Where they go next:

Undertaker’s career is seriously winding down. He is in his 25th year as a wrestler, so his age and injuries have to be a determining factor in how much longer the Deadman will wrestle. Most feel that Wrestlemania 25 will be ‘Taker’s last stand. ‘Taker may just wrestle an occasional match to preserve his health for Wrestlemania 25.

Edge will likely take a little time off before returning for revenge on everyone in sight. I expect him to face Undertaker at Survivor Series and then move on to take the Royal Rumble. He will then square off against Triple H for the title at Wrestlemania 25.

Final Grade: A
Final Thoughts:

SummerSlam was perhaps the best PPV in the last 3 to 4 years. It out-shone Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble and all the filler PPVs this year. Every man and woman involved brought their A game. Khali pushed Triple H to new levels and Trip pushed back. Undertaker took Edge to the next level in their vicious battle. John Cena and Batista both looked at their very best. The only negative match was the ECW debacle. If you can overlook that one and the whole Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho do their best Booker T and Robert Roode imitation, then the show was perfect. I want to see WWE top this one. It’s going to be tough to do. Congratulations to the WWE. You finally got it right.

— Jay Shannon
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