Welcome to the Recapitation! Too choppy to be a full-blown review, too bombastic to be a quickie recap, the Recapitation takes no prisoners in its quest to make sure this page is updated at least once…um…in a while. If you want to read a review done by professionals, click here. Done? Good. Now let’s drop the blade on SummerSlam 2004, live from Bizarro Land!
1) CW champion Spike Dudley & Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley b Rey Mysterio & WWE Tag Team champions Billy Kidman & Paul London at 8:07. Spike hid behind his brothers for the most part. Spike’s “Napoleon” gimmick is a hoot. Rey & BK hit a Hart Attack-type clothesline, followed by BK catapulting Spike onto the middle rope for the 619. Clever. Not fer nuttin’ (TM Tazz), but I thought it was amusing that in one exchange, BK showed more chemistry with Rey-Rey than he has ever shown with his tag champion partner. Remember, last year’s best PPV tag team match was when Bacardi & Cola successfully defended their WWE Tag Title against Rey & BK at Vengeance. It does make me wonder if a little juggling isn’t in order, with Rey & BK as the regular tag team, while the CW division is built around London’s state-of-the-art high-flying. BK gave Spike a picture-perfect SS press, but D-Von yanked BK outside, breaking up the pin. D-Von clocked BK, side-stepped a Rey dive, and decapitated London with a clothesline, all in less time than it took to read this. D-Von looked like a killer, and it didn’t go unappreciated by the crowd, who honored him with a short-but-sweet “D-Von” chant. Back in the ring, the Boyz danced with BK, culminating with the world’s most convoluted setup into the 3D. Spike pinned BK, as both were legal. All six guys played their roles well, and made the most of their ring time. Best PPV opener in recent memory...and you know what my memory is like. (Kerry)
2) Kane b Matt Hardy Version One in the Lita-Is-A-Dirty-Slut match at 6:09. If you judge heel heat by signs, Lita is public enemy #1. She was greeted by “LITA IS AN EVIL JEZEBEL,” “SLUG FACE,” and a Decepticon symbol. Now that I mention it, she does kinda sound like Starscream during those whiny promos of hers. She was also the target of the most creative sign of the year, “LITA IS A DUMAS.” (Her real name is Amy Dumas.) Oh yeah, Toronto chanted “slut” at her, too. Now then, screw the Jarretts; THIS was total nonstop action. Matt opened fast with a NICE side effect off the bottom rope, followed by a Sabu-style guillotine legdrop and the sickest tornado DDT I’ve ever seen in my freakin’ life. Matt hit the twist-of-fate on the floor, and Kane just barely beat the count back in. Inspired way to keep Matt’s finisher strong without it being the actual finish. As an aside, I was bummed that neither JR nor King went for the obvious puns about the various twists of fate that led up to this match in the first place. They’re losing it, people. Slug Face distracted the ref so Matt could KO Kane with the ring bell. Kane made the ropes for the nearfall, which JR did sell as something out of the ordinary. So he’s losing it at a slower rate than King, but he’s still losing it. Matt went for another TOF, but Kane shoved him into the ropes and nailed him with a big boot. Kane went upstairs, but Matt crotched him. Matt went for a DDT off the top, but Kane turned it into a SWEET chokeslam off the top for the clean pin. HELL of a good match. I didn’t think there was any way to avoid one of two clichéd finishes wherein Lita (a) turned heel and revealed Kane was in her (ahem) cahoots all along, or (b) screwed not only both Matt and Kane, but also screwed the pooch when her interference backfired and cost MHV1 the match. Even the best my smarky heart hoped for was a clever swerve where Matt walked out on the match for a countout, condemning Lita to unholy matrimony. Who woulda thunk it? A ball-bustingly great little match with a clean finish! The surprise of the night. Nothing makes me mark out like than a match that blows away my expectations. Matt going toe-to-toe with Kane made him look like a million bucks. Matt has been one of the company’s most underutilized talents for years, while Kane is the most versatile guy on the roster. Between this feud and his Benoit matches, 2004 has been an in-ring career best for the Big Red Machine. He’s a team player, too. This was his first PPV win all year. I just hope the inevitable “bachelor/bachelorette party” skits are as painless as possible. (Kerry)
Tard Grisham interviewed Randy Orton. RKO was cutting a great, cocky promo until he was interrupted by a smirking John Cena. Both guys were great and this was a fun little detour that reminded us why the shared PPVs are even more unpredictable than the brand-specific ones, because the hint of inter-promotional interludes hang in the air like a wonderful stench. However, if seven months later, we look back at this as the start of the slow build to an Orton-Cena match at WM21, then I take it all back and this was the worst thing since Comedy Central ruined The Man Show by bringing in Blow Rogan and Doug Hopeless.
3) John Cena b U.S. champion Booker T at 6:26 in the first match of a best-of-five series to decide the undisputed U.S. champion. First off, this damn company had lightning in a bottle when Book was traded to SD and became a prima donna who thought the land of blue ropes was the “minor league.” He had a MONEY confrontation with then-champ Eddie Guerrero and seemed destined to light it up as SD’s #1 heel. But it didn’t happen. Um, why not? Give me ONE good reason why Book shouldn’t have had JBL’s spot in the Eddie feud and the WWE Title reign. Anyway, back to business at hand. Screw this angle. What’s the “dispute?” Sure, Cena was stripped of the U.S. title, but the match to crown the new champion was an eight-man elimination match that saw Book outsmart and cleanly pin both Cena and RVD. Had Cena been DQed or COed in the match, he’d have a dispute as he was never pinned or made to submit in losing the gold, but that’s not the case. Big babyface pop for Cena, but no rap, sadly. Hey, remember those edgy freestyles that put Cena on the map? Well, don’t let him do them anymore. Not so coincidentally, this match had no heat. Cole miscalled a Cena neckbreaker as the “throwback.” Tazz covered for Cole as best he could. By the way, Tazz really needs to stop calling Booker, “The Bookman.” “Bookerman” actually has a ring to it. “Bookman” is just plain retarded. Blah match ended when Cena hit the FU out of nowhere for the clean pin. We’ve gotta watch four more of these? (Mike)
Backstage we saw Long marking out for the Cena-Booker match. The Playa really can sell ice to an Eskimo. Bischoff swaggered in and baited Long, pointing out that he was SD’s fourth GM (after Skankanie, Heyman, and Angle). Bischoff said that come Survivor Series, SD would probably be on GM #5. Long should have pointed out that Bischoff’s dumb honky ass was wearing a blue shirt, which is SD’s color. Instead, Long told Bisch that if HHH mutilates Eugene tonight, the Special One would be welcomed to the SD family. For that matter, Long opened his doors to any Raw superstar unhappy with EZ-E. That holla’ed the smirk right off Bischoff’s face. Long then defiantly stormed out of his own office. The hell? Forgiving that, though, this was an excellent segment.
4) IC champion Edge won a triple-threat match over Chris Jericho & Hugh Jackman to retain the title at 8:27. The IC belt is a big gold wildcard at SummerSlam. On one hand, some of the best matches in WWWFE history have been for the IC strap at SSlam (Bret vs. Hennig, Bret vs. Bulldog, HBK vs. Razor). On the other hand, SSlam IC Title bouts have let loose some real stinkers in the past (Venis & Trish vs. Eddie & Chyna). This match leaned more towards the latter than the former. Mr. Jericho, for those about to rock, we salute you. Jericho single-handedly made this match watchable, and the crowd was totally behind him. Hugh was decent in his role, but Edge just sucked. Don’t take my word for it, check out his hometown crowd booing the hair gel right off his scalp. It was here that Lawler called Toronto, “Bizarro Land,” because the crowd wasn’t responding the way they were “supposed to.” Big ups, Toronto. JR mentioned that Jericho was the first Undisputed World Champion. And now, not three years later, he’s one-third of a mid-card match at SummerSlam. It’s a living. JR also called Edge a bastard. Well, technically, he stated, “Edge never knew his father.” Oh Christ, it’s gonna turn out to be Kane, isn’t it? Also, Edge attended WM6. He voluntarily sat through Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo? No wonder they were booing him. After tonight’s reaction, if Edge wasn’t going heel before, he sure is now. Then watch, he’ll get cheered. You can’t win for losing. Seriously, Edge really does suck. The only thing he’s missing at this point is a staff with a big silver “W” on it. JR miscalled the Edgeacution as “a tornado DDT.” Told ya he was losing it. Finishing sequence saw Y2J go for a lionsault, but adjust it into a sweet dropkick, knocking Hugh off the apron. Edge popped up and speared Jericho for the pin. Trivbit: Edge is only the second wrestler to successfully defend the IC Title at SSlam, behind Shawn Michaels (who beat Hennig in 93, and Razor in 95). The championship wasn’t defended in 1996 or 2003. Every other year, it changed hands. (Mike)
WMXX is on that stupid “Fanatic Series” for some reason. Guys, the DVD has been out for months. If we haven’t seen it by now, we don’t care.
5) Kurt Angle (w/ Luther Reigns) b Eddie Guerrero at 13:38. When Luther came out with Angle, I groaned. As it turned out, his role was kept to a minimum, as he tapped Eddie with a SICK big boot from ringside, then Eddie knocked him off the apron during his comeback. Though I would ask why Angle needs an assistant now that he’s not the GM anymore. Bah. Monster “Let’s go Angle” chants early on. Eddie went for the ankle lock, which Cole called “Angle’s move.” Actually, it’s Ken Shamrock’s move. The most creative spot of the year saw the lads actually lock on a “stereo ankle lock,” clamping the hold on each other at the same time. The story of the match was that Angle tried to remove Eddie’s boot so the ankle lock would be that much more devastating. Um, okay. Eddie hit the Angle slam, which made me think that they should expand the lie/cheat/steal gimmick to include Eddie stealing his opponents’ trademark moves. From a character standpoint, that should piss off Kurt more than boosting crap from his office. Eddie hit the Three Amigos suplexes and went upstairs. Angle jumped up and hit the “Spider-Man suplex” off the top. I love that freakin’ spot. Eddie missed a frog splash, and finally lost his boot. Shockingly, he was wearing a dainty little quarter-sock, bringing shame upon the Guerrero household not felt since Chavo Classic’s under-the-influence romp at this year’s Cauliflower Alley shindig. Eddie bumped Angle into the ref, and laid out both Angle and Luther with his boot. Instead of putting the boot back on, however, Eddie just laid down for the Eddie-sell. The crowd did kinda warm up to that. Given the build, I think they missed the boat on a great in-match story by having Eddie outwrestle Angle clean, forcing Angle to resort to cheating (which then leads to Eddie outcheating him, too). You know, like Angle-Benoit at WM17. Anyways, Angle won clean when Eddie tapped to a tenacious-as-hell ankle lock. This was a tough match to book. Eddie was coming off four high-profile jobs to JBL, while Angle didn’t make good on his promise to win a Royal Rumble (twice!), and furthermore, has been defeated in every PPV match he’s wrestled since he beat John Cena in a snoozer at No Mercy 03. Not as good as their WMXX classic, but still one of the ten best PPV matches of the year, easily. Made all the more impressive by the fact that Eddie was working with an injured hamstring. (FRITZ)
6) HHH killed Eugene’s career at 14:07. Remember Eugene’s undefeated streak? Well, technically, they blew that at last month’s PPV when LR3 beat Eugy & Ric Flair by DQ. Okay, no big. JR could still sell the Special One as having “never been pinned.” Things really got weird here. I swear there was some guy in the fifth row who had a sign that changed from “EDGE SUCKS” to “EDDIE SUCKS” to “EUGENE SUCKS.” He really hates wrestlers whose names start with “E.” I’m kinda like that with wrestlers whose names end with “V-O-N- -E-R-I-C-H.” Eugene, Raw’s biggest babyface of the year, was booed out of the building. In a great heel spot, HHH hid behind Lilian Garcia. Hey, they never clarified something: Is Lilian officially a Diva or not? What about Linda McMahon? Funny spot saw Eugene do the 10 punches in the corner. Eugy had to stop himself at eight, then slowly figure out that he could give two more. King dusted off the “He’s stuck for an answer when you say hello” joke. Christ, Lawler, why can’t you use jokes like you use the ladies? When they get to where they’re so old, they’re legal in all 50 states, dump ‘em. There was a swerve where the ref gave the dreaded “X” sign while HHH feigned an injury in order to get the drop on Eugene. And people give me crap because I didn’t believe the deaths of Pillman and Owen were legit at first. HUGE chant of “Eugene sucks” rocked the house. Hey, is Eugene’s “airplane wings jog” a rib on Bischoff’s old “airplane wings jog” when he was the NWO's manager? Eugene cut his shoulder hardway on the steps. JR sold one of Eugy’s punches by calling it a “Kerry Von Erich discus punch.” That’s the only time you’ll see the K-word in this paragraph, dear reader. Eugene punctuated his comeback by flipping HHH off and giving him a stunner. I admit it, I popped for that. Retards giving obscene hand gestures = GOLD. Ric Flair walked out to a bigger pop than either guy competing in the match. I guess Toronto hasn’t read his bestseller yet. Eugy got a nearfall with a pedigree, as Flair saved HHH. The douchebag won’t even job to his own damn finisher. The ref ejected Flair, leading to a spot where a bruised William Regal walked out and KOed Flair with the brass knux. Um, you’re a little late, Your Lordship. This distracted the simpleton, allowing HHH to hit the pedigree for the pin. Nice career you had there, Nick. On the plus side, I hear Ohio is lovely in autumn. (Chris)
7) Team Dream (Scary Spice & Obnoxious Redhead Chick & The Other Four Wannabes) b Team Diva (Women’s champion Trish Stratus & Molly Holly & Gail Kim & Jazz & Victoria & Nidia & Stacy Keibler) in the “Diva Dodgeball” game at 1:25. Hey, screw you. If you know all the “Diva search” contestants by name, you’re a goddamn loser. That’s right, a site named “The Wrestling Fan Dot Com” thinks you’re a goddamn loser. We’d tell your friends, but you don’t have any. You sicken us. As for the rest of you, they called the hopefuls “Team Dream.” Disappointingly, Ed Leslie didn’t show up and get everyone investigated for anthrax possession. No mention of the fact that Trish is Women’s champ. She didn’t have the belt with her, either. One of the Diva hopefuls no-showed, and Trish captained from the sidelines, making it six-on-six. Earl Hebner refereed. I mention this because it sets up a joke later. This was a quickie clustershmazz, as the Divas went down quicker than – Nah, way too easy. Only one memberless member of Dream was eliminated, whereas Nidia was the last one out for Team Diva, if anyone cares. Now see, Lita should have booked herself in this match. One well placed shot to the stomach = No more Kane fetus. Dumb bitch. Trish attacked Victoria after the loss. Hey, I just thought of something. If you do PPV win-loss-draw records, this is gonna shoot everything all to hell. King was upset that the live crowd pooped all over this poopfest. “Canadians don’t even like women,” he whined. Yeah, and according to Lawler’s rap sheet, neither does he. Oh, and just in case this debacle hasn’t sufficiently scalded your dogs, here’s a list of wrestlers who were not booked on this PPV (Heat doesn’t count): RVD, Chavo Jr., The Bashams, Nunzio, Jamie Noble, Charlie Haas, Rene Dupree, Rhyno, Tajiri, and World Tag Team champions La Resistance III. (kevin)
8) WWE champion JBL (w/ Orlando Jordan) b The Undertaker by DQ to retain the title at 17:37. Even the idiots who booked and promoted this match had no faith in it. There wasn’t even a recap video feature before the match. Cole didn’t even try to sell this as the inspiring story of a lowly Acolyte who became a self-made millionaire and finally opposed the man for whom he, um, acolyted for. UT’s latest stolen move is Kanyon’s flatliner. The announcers acted like they’d never seen it before. For God’s sake, guys, just call it a “flatliner.” It even fits with UT’s gimmick and everything. JBL worked over UT’s leg. The crowd responded by doing the wave. Cole hilariously tried to sell it as the crowd “trying to urge UT on.” Only pop of the match was when a fan hopped the rail and jumped on top of the JBLimo (TM Sean Carless), almost giving away the post-match spot. I’m guessing that a lot of this won’t make it to the DVD. UT gave a weak elbow to JBL’s neck on the apron, which looked like hell after Luther’s stiff kick not an hour prior. JBL, the guy who Vince McMahon has faith in as a long-term champ, royally fucked up a short-leg scissors and awkwardly turned it into a bad spinning toehold. The guys exchanged clotheslines from hell. Fans chanted “Spanish table.” There was a ref bump, leading to OJ tossing the gold to JBL so the champ could clock the Deadman with a belt shot. OJ forced Nick Patrick’s hand to count, but UT kicked out at two anyway. Clever. UT recovered and hit the Last Ride out of the corner for a nearfall. UT then picked up the belt and gave JBL a receipt, but Patrick had awoken just in time to call the DQ. Cole was beside himself, because “It was Orlando Jordan who introduced the belt into the match.” They did the same thing for the first Eddie-JBL PPV match. Like “introducing” a weapon means that it’s okay for the other guy to grab it and assault his opponent. Even doing a “job” by DQ meant UT had to get his heat back. For a dead guy who can’t be killed and is impervious to pain, he sure is a thin-skinned sumbitch. UT threw JBL into the steps and the crimson flowed. Too little, too late, Johnny Boy. UT proceeded to vandalize the JBLimo (TM Sean Carless, 2004) and bodyslam Bradshaw on the hood. Bradshaw’s boots cracked the windshield for the visual of carnage (TM Shawn Michaels, 1993). UT smeared some of JBL’s blood on him, which, given JBL’s alleged backstage proclivities, was probably not the wisest move. Next was the “Slam Of The Night”/”Sting Of The Week”/”WWE Rewind” moment we’ll be enduring for the rest of the month, as UT chokeslammed JBL through the limo’s roof. Cole’s blood pressure continued to soar as he excitedly yelled that UT chokeslammed JBL through the limo’s “moonroof.” It would have been a great line, except for the fact that the limo didn’t have a moonroof. OJ dragged JBL out of the limo, where they collared him and strapped him to a stretcher. OJ stopped the stretcher so he could place the belt on JBL’s carcass. Nice touch. They replayed the chokeslam about 193 times. In all fairness, this wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. Still not a keeper, though. I guess they did what they could. (Mike)
An ad for WM21 aired. The biggest show of 2005 will be held on 4/3/05. You’d think they would have made a bigger deal about the announcement of that date. So does this mean there won’t be a PPV in March 05, but two in April?
9) Randy Orton b Chris Benoit for the World Title at 20:09. A humorous sign taunted, “RANDY WETS HIS BED.” Monster chants of “You screwed Bret” were aimed at Earl Hebner. Hey, Earl sure got to the arena from that dodgeball gym, lickety-split. Maybe his brother was outside in a car with the motor running. Again. Another chant of “Spanish table” sprang up at some point. For some reason, JR and King never mentioned that RKO headlined last year’s SummerSlam, as part of a six-man elimination chamber match with HHH, HBK, Y2J, BDC, and um, Goldberg. Sickest spot of the night saw Benoit dive headfirst into the ringside barrier, just like Montecore, the falcon from Joe Schmo 2. Orton hit a nice fallaway out of the old Jesse Ventura backbreaker submission, followed by his picture-perfect flying bodypress for a nearfall. Zero pop for Benoit’s first sharpshooter attempt. Not surprising, really. On PPV, no one ever gets their submission hold on the first time around. Another great spot saw RKO get both feet up to block the diving headbutt. Benoit is the greatest man in the history of the universe. Finish saw the guys dance until RKO hit the RKO for the clean pin. By the end, they even woke up the crowd. JR crowed that Benoit had won “seven straight PPV matches this year.” No, he didn’t. Royal Rumble + WMXX + Backlash + Two matches at Badd Blood + Vengeance = Six. Maybe JR meant “Seven PPV matches in a row.” He’s still wrong. Benoit & Cena won their elimination match at Survivor Series 03, preceded by Benoit beating A-Train at No Mercy 03. That’s eight. So Benoit’s last PPV loss was actually at last year’s SummerSlam, when Eddie Guerrero retained his U.S. Title in a four-way over Benoit, Rhyno, and Tajiri. Hmmm, and at SSlam 02, Benoit lost the IC Title to RVD. New pattern alert: The Chris Benoit SummerSlam Curse. You heard it here first. Anyway, back to my original point. JR sucks. As Orton celebrated, Benoit stopped halfway down the aisle and power-walked back to the ring. Benoit screamed lyrics from Macho Man’s rap CD at a puzzled Orton. The guys shook hands and saluted each other. Hint of a face turn for RKO, as Benoit taught him respect. Awesome match, and the prototype of how a torch should be passed. I was beyond relieved that HHH didn’t show up to steal young Randall’s spotlight. He must have missed his cue or something. Oh, one more thing. I think RKO might be the youngest champion in WWWFE history. They didn’t really make that clear. (FRITZ)
Overall over-analysis: If you do a compare-and-contrast over the years, you’ll see that SummerSlam has the best track record of the Big Four PPVs. I think that’s partially because SSlam isn’t considered the big stage, so they’re more likely to take a chance on elevating a new guy in the main event (Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, Col. Mustafa). Tonight was a strange, uneven show. HHH-Eugene was a highlight reel of everything wrong with the company, while Benoit-RKO was a highlight reel of everything right with the company. Eddie and Kurt delivered beautifully, Kane-Hardy outperformed all expectations, and the Dudley six-man was a perfect PPV opener. When you get right down to it, the good stuff on this show blew the bad stuff away. Plus, think of all the stuff we learned tonight about family values. Lita is going to be Undertaker’s sister-in-law (and, as my buddy Reid pointed out, she’s now Grandpaul Bearer’s daughter-in-law). My other buddy, Barry O, is now uncle of the World champ. And apparently, Christian really IS a “creepy little bastard.”
PPV MVP: The Toronto crowd. Take a bow, you magnificent hosers. Big ups to my boys Chris and Joe (www.olcalwayswins.com), and all the people at the show who I DON’T know. This almost makes up for the time you cheered Hogan at WM18, unleashing another epidemic of Hulkamania upon a world not properly vaccinated against it.
PPV LVP: JR & King. Hang it up, guys. Your “dueling Alzheimer’s” bit has become an embarrassment to us all. That’s why we pretend we don’t know who you are in public.
This Observer’s Thumb…………….is up.
-HDS, signing off from Bizarro Land-
This week: We finally get caught up on NWA TNA Impact reviews. This makes Angry Mike Tenay slightly less angry. Go here.
Next week: “Hard Knocks: The Chris Benoit Story” finds its double-discs on the unforgiving chop block of the Recapitation.
And coming in September: The most shocking, swerving, scalding “Behind The Pyro” yet. Pro wrestling’s biggest conspiracy will stand exposed for the world to see, just like those naked Diva pics Sean keeps posting in the TWF Forum.
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).