Countdown to WWE SummerSlam
SLAM! Wrestling Staff
The Summer of Slam is upon us.
The second biggest WWE PPV event of the year is this Sunday, and there are
a hell of a lot of question marks with this one. One can only hope that these
questions will be answered, but we may end up with even more queries afterward.
Let's take a closer look at SummerSlam 2005.
NO HOLDS BARRED WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
JBL vs. Batista
Even though their match at the last PPV was a dud, I'm looking forward to this
one. JBL is always entertaining in bloody brawls, so if they crank the violence-meter
up a notch, it could be great fun. Can't see them jobbing Batista in his hometown.
I think Batista's strong enough that he could probably take the loss to JBL
without sending him into a tailspin. I figure one of the titles has to change
so it might as well be here.
JBL's best-before date has long since expired. Three PPVs in a row with these
two? What are they, HHH and Batista? Batista takes it, laying JBL out for good.
Like HHH, JBL needs to take some time off to refresh.
Something has to give here, as this was the worst feud in recent WWE history.
For the fans' sake, JBL should be given the nod in this one. Batista has been
a very unimpressive champion and really lacks what it takes to be one at this
point in his career. He needs to develop better mic skills. However, SummerSlam
will be in Batista country, which can only mean title retention.
Has there been a hometown hero that's won a match in WWE in the last three years?
Big Dave hasn't been terrible as champ, but he hasn't been great either. Switching
the title to JBL may seem like a decent move, but let's face it - Brock is coming
back, and a match between the two OVW big men has dollar signs written all over
it. Look for that bout at Survivor Series, which means Batista retains.
Like John Cena, I cannot see Batista dropping the title to JBL or anyone else
for that matter this soon after the draft. Batista and JBL intrigues me much
more then Cena and Jericho. Batista by DQ.
WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Chris Jericho vs. John Cena
What with his CD and videos and his appearance on the Teen Choice Awards, Cena
has some real strong mainstream awareness right now, probably not seen since
the days of The Rock. So it would be stupid to slow down that momentum by having
him drop the belt right now.
I think a decisive win over Jericho is just what Cena needs to help him with
his credibility as the new top dog on Raw. You certainly can't fault WWE for
giving Cena/Jericho a decent build-up, although nothing compared to Hogan/Michaels.
This has been a good feud through and through. These two men mix well together
and should be able to pull off a pretty good, PPV-quality match. However, with
Jericho taking a break to focus on Fozzy, expect Cena to get the duke and retain
Cena's the number one guy on Raw right now, hands down. There's no way that
Jericho can carry the brand right now, especially if he's going to be slipping
into part-time work as he tours with Fozzy. Should be a solid match, but Cena
retains despite Carlito's run-in.
The champ will retain the title via pinfall. This feud has been relatively short
but at the same time too long. Jericho has had no momentum leading up to this
match and it all ends here for Y2J.
Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels
Watching this buildup, I've been marking out like I was a kid again. Both of
these guys, despite their age and injuries, can deliver in the big matches,
and this is probably the biggest of the year so far. I see a cocky HBK no-selling
for Hogan, generally trying to make the veteran look bad. But then the power
of Hulkamania comes through, and Hulk triumphs in the end, courtesy of three
punches, a big boot, and a legdrop.
Wrestlemania a few years back where the icon vs. icon match outshines the title
matches. It's hard to pick this one especially since SummerSlam is big enough
to support a decisive win, rather than waiting for the rematch at one of the
lesser events. I'll take Hogan to win.
A very intriguing match-up that we all wish could have happened a few years
ago. But back then, the outcome would have been more predictable - Michaels
would have won. Today, it's all about the nostalgia, and unless Hulk and Michaels
plan on carrying this through to Survivor Series or even 'Mania, then Hogan
This should be interesting to watch. Hogan has this one all the way, being that
he is a "Real American" and this PPV is taking place in the Nation's
Capital. Hogan Knows Best is a hit show on VH1, and Hogan has a daughter
whose singing career is on its way and needs promotion. Yeah...I'll go with
The big question here is how much these guys will continue their worked shoot
angle. I can see HBK no-selling Hogan's finger-waving and not falling into the
punch battle, just the same as I can see Hogan not laying down to the Superkick.
You almost have to expect a screwy finish, but no, it won't be because of Bret
Hart. What you will see instead is Steve Austin costing Hogan the bout, putting
him out on a stretcher that leads to a good nine months worth of ECW-esque promos
and their big WrestleMania match.
Ten years too late but better than never. Shawn Michaels' heel turn was a great
move and very surprising. If RAW wants to build on this for the long term, a
HBK victory makes sense and that is what will happen. Michaels takes a tainted
CUSTODY PAPERS LADDER MATCH
Eddy Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.
Eddie deserves an Emmy Award nomination for the way he's been playing the heel
lately. His promos have been the best segment of Smackdown in the past few months.
Since he's lost to Rey so many times recently, it would make sense for him to
get the win here. But as I don't see the feud continuing after this match, Dominic
will have to end up with Rey at the end of the night.
As good as Rey vs. Eddie could be match-wise, it's the storyline that's driving
this match, which I think will take away from how good star-ratings this bout
will end up being. I suppose with such a storyline, one could predict a "Dominic
turns on Rey" ala the Sandman-Raven feud from years back. Let's hope not.
Unless it's setting up for another rematch, let's hope Rey wins one more time.
The stipulation of the custody papers being above the ring mean that Rey Mysterio
will emerge triumphant.
Look for the "story-book ending" to this less than classic novel.
I am just surprised they aren't going to take a page out of WCW's books and
hang Dominic from a forklift or something. Nevertheless, Rey ascends the ladder
and takes back his son Dominik.
Here's the problem - Eddy needs to stay strong, but you want Dominic to end
up with the "happy papi". Guererro, naturally, will progress to a
US Title feud with Benoit as they re-establish Guererro as a top-level heel.
Guererro needs the victory more here, and we could see the Mexicools get involved
to assure that finish.
The custody for Dominic has to be one of the stupidest storylines in years
and frankly I just want this long and drawn out borefest to come to an end once
and for all. Guerrero has a lot of heat and not much else right now and another
loss would bury him deeper. Latino Heat will prevail.
| OTHER MATCHES
| Gold Medal, no Time-Limit Match: Kurt
Angle vs. Eugene
Bob Kapur: Hopefully booty-chasing Angle is dead, and
the vicious Kurt from Monday sticks around for a while.
John Milner: I think the Eugene Invitational (and the
Kurt Angle version for that matter) has run its course.
Greg Oliver: Angle wins to reclaim Olympic gold.
Chris Sokol: Could Matt Striker make his PPV debut and
cost Angle his medals?
Jon Waldman: Angle wins, but Dinsmore finally gets to
show off his mad skills here.
Ed Ludwig: This won't last long. Angle wins with the
| Grudge Match: Undertaker vs. Randy Orton
Bob Kapur: Undertaker pays back Randy for the job at
John Milner: Is Undertaker big enough to return the
job from Wrestlemania?
Greg Oliver: This match meant something at 'Mania. Now,
no one cares. 'Taker.
Chris Sokol: RK 0-2.
Jon Waldman: If Randy is going anywhere, he needs this
victory. 'Taker really should look at his boots and consider buying
a hanger for them.
Ed Ludwig: The Deadman is not one to put over many opponents
fair and square. Randy Orton will take this by countout.
| United States Title Match: Chris Benoit
vs. Orlando Jordan
Bob Kapur: There has to be one title change - and
after screwing Benoit at the last PPV, they have to give it to him
John Milner: Jordan has done nothing as U.S. Champ.
Better to go back to just being JBL's lackey.
Greg Oliver: Meaningless belt, meaningless match.
Chris Sokol: New champ...please!
Jon Waldman: Someone please, please get rid of Orlando
Jordan. Hell, Orlando Bloom would make a more believable champ.
Benoit takes it.
Ed Ludwig: The Crippler takes the strap with the
| "Shoot" Match: Matt Hardy
Bob Kapur: Sad how this feud peaked and flamed out before
they even faced one another.
Greg Oliver: Could have been main event of a Raw PPV.
Now nothing. Hardy.
Chris Sokol: This feud can't be settled in one match.
Jon Waldman: What happened? This was looking like such
a wicked feud. Oh well. Hardy loses and probably gets fired...again.
Ed Ludwig: This should be a very heated match for obvious
reasons and the one I'm looking forward to most. Edge will win by pinfall
with help from Lita on the outside.
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-- compiled by Jon Waldman