August 19, 2005
Countdown to WWE SummerSlam
By 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.
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.
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 the gold.
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.
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 wins.
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 Hogan.
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 victory.
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.
-- compiled by Jon Waldman