Hello and welcome to another edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews, the only wrestling review series on the internet that bangs on about still being relevant more than Enzo & Cass! It’s WWE’s Summerslam 2008, the return of The Deadman. Yes, Undertaker is back to seek revenge against the man who cost him his career, Edge must face Undertaker inside of a Hell In A Cell. Triple H has to defend his championship against none other than Great Khali, not looking forward to that match in the slightest, not going to lie to you people. Also, who is the biggest star of the last 3 years in the WWE? Was it The Animal Batista or was it John Cena? Two of the biggest collide for one night only to find out who the man is in the WWE. Other huge matches include CM Punk defending against JBL who has been on a role rekindling his feud with one John Cena. So, let’s get to this review!
Jeff Hardy vs MVP
Two of the rising superstars in the WWE, MVP has seen better days though after losing his United States Championship to Jeff’s brother Matt Hardy. Jeff seems on the cusp of a championship reign but has fallen a little in recent times. MVP has cost Jeff Hardy two big wins in the last few weeks. MVP misses a big boot to start the match, Jeff gives chase around the ring. Jeff drags MVP to the floor, MVP meets the barricade. Scoop slam and slingshot leg drop by Jeff for two as MVP places his feet on the ropes. Jeff grabs the arm while MVP pushes back on Jeff’s face, MVP cannot escape the arm-bar though. We have a clean break, Jeff nails a right hand and some boots to MVP.
The referee pushes off Jeff, more rights from Jeff. Irish whip to the corner, MVP belly to belly suplexes Jeff into the corner. That was beautiful and looked nasty too, two count for MVP. MVP applies a butterfly lock, stiff kick to the spine from MVP. Another butterfly lock from MVP, transition into a camel clutch. Jeff kicks off MVP but MVP rolls through into a single leg Boston crab, transitioning into a heel hook. Jeff makes it to the apron, Jeff looks for a slingshot but MVP decks Jeff with a right hand, MVP drops all his weight across the back of Jeff for two.
MVP slams Jeff into the tree of woe, Jeff is thrown back first into the turnbuckle. Two for MVP, MVP has Jeff in an Argentine backbreaker before Jeff slips out and delivers a nice neckbreaker. Corkscrew mule kick, Jeff was looking for his corner dropkick but MVP kicks off Jeff who hits his head hard off the canvas. Two for MVP, MVP comes close once more. Whip to the corner, John Wu dropkick from MVP. MVP looks for the player’s boot, Jeff explodes out of the corner with a neckbreaker. Russian legsweep followed by Jeff’s unique cover for two. MVP blocks the corner dropkick, looking for a spinebuster but Jeff rolls through for a sunset flip, two for Jeff. Whisper In The Wind, Jeff looks for the swanton, here comes Shelton Benjamin and Jeff dives onto Benjamin. Jeff looks for the swanton once more, MVP dodges and nails The Drive-By for the win.
This was a very enjoyable opener from the two, I was a little sceptical when the match began, could MVP be motivated and work with Jeff on this night considering his rapid decent down the card but no, MVP was vicious and worked over Hardy during the match convincingly, Jeff is crazy popular as always but those comebacks and signature moves are really being formed now in the minds of the fans, it makes the match so much fun.
Winner: MVP over Jeff Hardy via Drive-By!
(WWE Women’s Championship & Intercontinental Championship Match) Mickie James © & Kofi Kingston vs Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix
Despite Kofi’s splash on Raw, it feels Kingston has accomplished little to nothing as champion while WWE’s booking of the Divas has always been suspect so while Beth and Mickie have feuded, we have not seen many of the matches or angles play out with little more than a segment here and there. However, we do have the true birth of Glamarella here, Santino has dumped Maria and turned heel, taking on a persona which is magnificent and I shall here nothing against it.
Beth and Mickie begin the match, side headlock does not work for Mickie as Beth pushes Mickie off. Mickie takes the back, Beth is caught in the wasit-lock. Beth elbows Mickie away, Mickie dropkicks the knee and a low dropkick floors Beth for two. Beth nails a back suplex, Santino wants the tag. Mickie kicks Santino, monkey flip and a tag to Kofi. Springboard crossbody and dropkicks, Irish whip to the corner. Corner punches from Kofi, shoulder thrusts and a massive uppercut. Santino powders, Mickie dropkicks Beth off the apron. Kofi pretends to dive, Santino dives into Beth’s arm. Chemistry, Kofi gets over-zealous and eats a neckbreaker, Santino is in control.
Reverse chin-lock from Santino, tag to Beth. Beth kicks Kofi before a tag to Santino, snap suplex with a float-over for two. Back into a chin-lock, Kofi breaks free and both men bang heads. In comes Mickie, forearms and a neck-breaker. Irish whip, Regal-like cutter from Mickie. Santino eats a dropkick from Mickie, corner hurricanrana from Mickie. Lou Thesz Press from Mickie but Santino is in the ring, Santino lowbridges Kofi. MickieDT onto Santino, massive lariat from Beth to the back of the neck. Glam Slam on Mickie, we have new champions.
This was excellent, Beth and Santino as a duo are marvellous. Santino steals the show every second that he is in that ring. His facials and offence are perfect while Mickie and Kofi show a tonne of fire when they are in the ring. Disappointed that Kofi’s first reign never really took off but there is a bright future ahead for that man but as I was saying, there were so many elements to this match that made it so much fun. I want more Santino, I want more Beth and I want more Kofi and Mickie, hope there are rematches to come down the road.
Winners: Glamarella over Kofi Kingston & Mickie James via Glam Slam!
Shawn Michaels Announcement
Shawn Michaels is The Showstopper, Shawn Michaels is The Main Event but is Shawn Micheals finished wrestling? Chris Jericho’s assault on the eye of HBK have led Shawn Michaels to making a decision with his wife Rebecca by his side. Shawn’s wife is crying already, this is quite good. Shawn Michaels talks about walking away, retiring from the sport. The decision is for Michaels to make, Michaels will be listening to the doctor’s advice and walking away from the ring. The whole speech and Rebecca crying is very convincing, it is crazy to think that his Hall Of Fame speech will not come close to this.
The crowd pops as Jericho enters the ring, sensing that this is not a legitimate retirement but an angle, who cares though? Chris Jericho, the man who has forced HBK to retire has interrupted HBK’s retirement. Jericho wants HBK to state that he is the sole reason for HBK’s retirement. This is tense, Jericho is a despicable human being, Jericho is ice-cold in this segment. Bringing up the kids, Jericho has crossed such a line. HBK calls Jericho a vile, selfish and worthless human being and a wannabe Shawn Michaels, the two stare one another down. Another crushing line from Michaels, Jericho looks to sucker-punch Michaels but nails Rebecca instead. Interestingly, Jericho legit punched Michaels’ wife during the segment, causing Jericho to call himself unprofessional and feel like an actual piece of shit like his TV counterpart.
As far as angles go, this was tremendous. Jericho’s face after the punch tells you that even he knows he has crossed the line. The punch looks great because it was real but how low can you sink, sucker-punching another man’s wife. Jericho’s heat was nuclear, Jericho is the character to watch in the WWE at this time, nobody comes close. The commentators are silent, nobody reacts for what feels like minutes, they let you tell the story through body language and feel everything that is going on inside that ring. Rebecca has a legitimate swollen lip, you could not have done this better if you tried, I cannot wait to see the next chapter in this feud, I am all in on this feud and the story had me before this with Jericho trying to prove that he had surpassed his idol in Michaels.
(ECW Championship Match) Mark Henry © W/ Tony Atlas vs Matt Hardy
Being out of The United States Championship picture, Matt Hardy was transitioned to ECW as the brand’s top babyface and most established star alongside Mark Henry. Matt has never won a major singles championship in the WWE, could Matt win the big one? Mark Henry has had such a start and stop career due to injuries but Mark was finally finding his groove as an animal on ECW destroying everyone in his path.
Hardy starts attacking Henry, Henry shoves off Hardy with ease. Hardy dodges a clothesline in the corner, nailing a Twist of Fate. Tony Atlas breaks up the pin to save Henry’s championship reign. The match ends in an DQ, Atlas attacks Hardy. Here comes brother Jeff for the save, Swanton Bomb on Atlas. The Hardys double suplex Henry on the outside, I guess that is the end of that match. DUD!
Winner: Matt Hardy over Mark Henry via DQ!
(WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match) CM Punk © vs JBL
JBL had defeated John Cena in a brutal brawl and has set his sights on CM Punk, JBL being the premier bully of the WWE has been a joy to watch since returning following a stint as a commentator. Punk needs a big win as Punk survived Batista thanks to Kane, Punk is new school while JBL is old school. JBL believes indie wrestling to be trash and pisses all over Ring Of Honor. JBL clubs Punk and applies a side headlock, big shoulder block from the challenger. Punk dodges a clothesline, kicks to the legs and a flying forearm. Dropkick from Punk, JBL is out on the floor. Suicide dive from Punk, Punk climbs the top rope. Crossbody for two, JBL hits a massive shoulder block on Punk. Stomping on the fingers, JBL assumes control.
Irish whip to the corner, Punk boots off JBL. Punk tries to go high but a fallaway slam from JBL puts down Punk. Close call for Punk, JBL goes to work on the spine. Waist-lock from the challenger, Punk kicks his way out but JBL boots down Punk for two. Snap suplex for two, JBL nails a massive back suplex for two. Another waist-lock from JBL, looking to squeeze the life out of the champion. Abdominal Stretch from the challenger, Punk hip-tosses JBL out of the submission. High running knee in the corner, bulldog connects for Punk. GTS attempt but Punk’s ribs collapse from the weight of JBL. Short-arm clothesline from hell, followed by multiple elbow drops from JBL but Punk survives at two.
The two trade blows, clothesline misses for JBL. Spinning back fists and a roundhouse kick to the head for two, Punk rolls to the apron. Punk’s springboard backfires as JBL catches the champion for a powerslam, two for JBL. JBL winds up for his clothesline, Punk counters with a beautiful leaping calf kick, both men lay on the mat. Another high knee in the corner from Punk, JBL counters the bulldog. JBL places Punk on the top rope, super back drop from JBL. 1…2.. JBL comes close once more to having the championship around his waist. Short-arm clothesline misses again as Punk ducks for a GTS, Punk retains his championship.
Enjoyed this match a lot, JBL is completely believable in his role as a bully, JBL’s mannerisms are fantastic throughout this match, showing utter disgust for his challenge in CM Punk. The fallaway slam which leads to the heat segment is tremendous, JBL works over the back tirelessly, it plays into much of the match with Punk being unable to hit the GTS at first and Punk doubles over in pain throughout due to the damage to his back, JBL’s shock as his Clothesline From Hell misses and leads to The GTS is just good wrestling, might be my favourite match on the card so far.
Winner: CM Punk over JBL via GTS!
(WWE Championship Match) Triple H © vs The Great Khali W/ R. Singh
This came out of nowhere didn’t it? Where was Khali for so much of the year? Anyways, the more important story to me at least is Triple H is champion of Smackdown with Randy Orton out of the picture due to an unfortunate injury suffered at the hands of The Game. Neither championship picture intrigues me as much as the other big matches on the card which is a worrying sign. However, Punk and JBL won me over with a solid championship match but can Triple H pull a watchable match out of one Great Khali?
Khali shoves Triple H, Triple H continues to duck Khali and nail right hands but an early pedigree attempt does not work, a clothesline staggers Kahli but Khali nails his throat toss slam to The Game. Khali wants Triple H to get to his feet, Vice Grip from Khali. Triple H struggles and struggles but boots to the monster end the submission, chop block from HHH. Khali rolls to the floor, clutching that left leg, Triple H is in pursuit. Khali suckers The Game in, massive Slap to the head from Khali. Khali stomps Triple H in the ring, elbows in the corner. Short-arm clothesline from Khali, shoulder claw from the challenger.
Scoop slam and leg drop from Khali, another shoulder claw from Khali. Triple H mounts a comeback with right hands and a facebuster, Triple H has Khali tangled in the ropes. Nowhere to go for Khali, Khali boots away Triple H. Wisely, Singh saves Khali from the ropes. Triple H wants a pedigree, Khali makes his way to the ropes and back drops Triple H to the floor. Khali hangs too closely to the ropes, Triple H pulls out Khali. Khali’s leg meets the ring-post, Triple H stands on the apron and from the floor, Khali chops down Triple H with a slap.
Vice grip from Khali, Triple H ran right into the submission. Tripe H throws rights and lefts, Khali applies more pressure with Triple H falling to a knee. Triple H powers out of the submission, stomps to that injured leg of Khali. Khali misses a corner splash, could it be Pedigree time? Triple H struggles and applies The Pedigree, this match is over!
You know what? That did not drag anywhere near as bad as I thought, Triple H did everything that he could to make that an interesting match, the champion sold everything that Khali did like a God, Khali would hit a chop here and there and Triple H would struggle through this match like someone who had been battered. Loved Triple H kicking out the injured leg of Khali to escape the grip and apply the pedigree, it was established early and played into the finish, I see logical wrestling and I like, happy days.
Winner: Triple H over Great Khali via Pedigree!
John Cena vs Batista
Big match promo package, big match feel, the two biggest superstars of the last 4 years in WWE. Both men rose at the same time, the faces of their brands. Let’s do this, Batista takes down Cena with a shoulder block but a leapfrog and scoop slam puts down Batista. We reset, both men a little more cautious. Side headlock from Cena, shoulder block but Batista boots Cena, early Batista Bomb attempt but Cena dodges, Batista nails a clothesline and jackhammer for two. Irish whip reversal from Cena, fisherman suplex. Two for Cena, both men running through their signature offence. Irish whip reversal from Batista, sidewalk slam for two for The Animal.
Cena attempts an FU, Batista slips out for a chop block. Knees and right hands from Batista, shin-breaker from The Animal. Figure Four from Batista, love that little nod to Naitch. Cena reaches the ropes to free himself, another FU attempt, Batista holds onto the ropes so Cena dumps Batista to the floor, Cena clutches his injured leg, collapsing to the mat. Batista misses a clothesline, Cena nails his shoulder blocks and spin-out slam. Cena holds his leg throughout, Five Knuckle Shuffle from Cena.
FU blocked for a third time, Batista boots Cena to the mat. Cena is seared to the corner, shoulder thrusts and a corner clothesline. Batista nails his spinebuster, planting Cena in the middle of the ring. Batista Bomb is countered, dragon screw and STFU from Cena. Cena tracks Batista back from the ropes, Batista might tap but reaches the ropes just in time. FU is countered into a rear-naked choke. Cena elbows Batista’s knee to escape, love it good stuff Cena. Out of nowhere, Spear from Batista to take down Cena. 1…..2…. Cena kicks out!
Cena escapes a powerslam for a counter into an FU, tremendous counter. Best I have seen in quite some time, Cena cannot capitalize immediately. Cena crawls over, 1…2… Batista kicks out! Cena climbs to the top rope, Cena is slow to climb. Batista pursues, they trade blows at the top of the turnbuckle. Cena knocks down Batista, could it be Kobashi-style leg drop time? Cena jumps but Batista counters for a Batista Bomb. 1….2.. Cena kicks out! Batista is furious, big boot form The Animal, Batista Bomb and Cena is down.
This was utterly fantastic, this match never let up from start to finish. It was high calibre from the word go, the two playing chess with one another, the big moves coming out, everything they did was so crisp and clean. The counters from the FU to The Batista Bomb were simply awesome and that finish, a snap from Batista. Something has changed in our beloved Animal, it might not be an immediate heel turn but there is a dark side to Batista and who knows where we will go from here but I will proudly say this was an awesome match.
Winner: Batista over John Cena via Batista Bomb!
The Undertaker vs Edge (Hell In A Cell Match)
Edge had vanquished The Undertaker after falling to The Deadman at Wrestlemania, Edge had never faced a greater challenge than Undertaker, Edge was riding on cloud nine but Edge cheated on beloved wife Vickie Guerrero with his secretary, Undertaker had been reinstated by General Manager Vickie Guerrero. Vickie topped off her revenge on her cheating husband by making the match a Hell in a Cell match. Edge would use Mick Foley as the man to bring out his dark side, that sick, sinister side of Edge that battled Mick Foley at Wrestlemania.
Edge is in his zone but it’s Undertaker’s yard, the camera angles and Taker symbolically shutting the door of the cell, it is sheer perfection. Edge looks eager and ready to brawl with Taker but can The Rated R Superstar match The Deadman? Taker seems calm, no emotion. If any look is on his face, it might just be pity for Edge for what pain is about to come his way. Edge tees off on Taker, Taker cannot land a strike as Edge continues to pummel Taker. A big boot stops Edge’s offence though, Taker measures Edge in the corner for right hands and headbutts. Edge is tossed to the floor, Taker headbutts Edge on the ringside area. Edge is smashed into the cell wall, Taker scrapes Edge’s face off the cell wall. Taker brings steps into the ring, what could be the purpose here?
Taker lifts Edge onto his shoulders, snake eyes into the steps. Taker’s boot misses though as Edge nails an elbow and sends Taker into the steps. Low-angle Spear against the steps by Edge, steel steps to the head of Taker. Edge brings out tables, Edge has had experiences in TLC matches and hardcore matches, the tables are stacked on top of one another. Edge wants a suplex through the tables, Taker blocks and wants chokeslam but Edge counters with a hotshot into the ropes. Edge brings out a chair, stabbing Taker in the neck with the chair.
Chair shot to the back of Taker, Edge has placed a table in the ring and Edge grabs a ladder, Edge is in familiar territory. Chair to the head of The Deadman, another chair shot to the head of Undertaker. Taker is lying on the table, Edge wants to drive a chair through Taker’s face, Edge destroys Taker with the same dive that took out Mick Foley. Conchairto is on Edge’s mind, Taker is back to his feet though. Taker boots Edge off the apron into the cell wall, steel steps are smashed into the face of Edge. Edge escapes Taker’s snake eyes attempt, Taker is propped up against the cell wall, Edge grabs the steel steps and uses the steps to aid his Spear through the cell wall, both men are outside of the cell.
Edge and Taker brawl by the announce table, Edge cracks Taker with a monitor twice. Taker is on the Raw announce table, Edge climbs onto another announce table and runs at Taker, nailing a massive Spear through the ECW announce table. Edge is doing everything he can to destroy Undertaker and the crazy son of a bitch just might pull this off! Edge and Taker make their way back to the ring, the crowd boos but not everyone wants to fall off the cell ladies and gentlemen, not everyone is insane as Mick Foley. Taker rolls into the ring and eats a ladder to the face from Edge, Edge looks for another weapon and it is a camera. Taker is waffled with a camera, call-backs for all to see.
Taker kicks out at two! Edge wants the spear, Taker counters for a thunderous Chokeslam. 1…2… Edge kicks out! Last Ride is blocked with a low blow, Edgecution/Impaler DDT for two. Nobody bought into that finish, Taker sits up. Last Ride is avoided again, Spear from Edge but Taker survives again! Edge pummels Taker in the corner, Taker counters for a Last Ride, it finally connects. 1…2… Edge kicks out again! Taker drags Edge onto steel steps, tombstone is countered for an Edge O Matic on the steel steps from The Rated R Superstar. Two count for Edge, Edge has Taker where he wants him, Edge is looking for Old School.
Foolishly, Edge gets caught by Taker. Taker Chokeslams Edge through the two tables at ringside, similar to how Edge sent Taker tumbling through all those tables to end his career, Taker has extracted the perfect revenge on Edge. Taker spears Edge, another layer to the story between the two. Taker reaches for the camera, just like Survivor Series. Edge is waffled with the camera, Taker is not done yet though. Taker goes for Conchairto, every little thing that Edge did to Taker is coming back to him. Tombstone Piledriver and Undertaker has won this match but it is not over, Taker Chokeslams Edge off a ladder through the ring.
This was a tremendous main event, I thought nothing would come close to Cena and Batista but Taker and Edge stole the show. Loved the psychotic side of Edge, The Rated R Superstar brought out that vicious side of himself, drilling Taker with everything that he had, Edge knew that it would not be enough to take down Taker unless Edge stopped The Deadman breathing. Tables, Ladders, chairs, cameras and steel steps were all used to put down Taker but nothing Edge did would stop The Deadman. Hell-bent on revenge, Undertaker would not be denied on this night, Taker took everything Edge had and destroyed The Rated R Superstar. What made this so sweet was Taker using everything that Edge had done to him against him, the camera, the spears, the conchairtos, Taker enacted the perfect revenge and it was beautiful.
Winner: Undertaker over Edge via Tombstone Piledriver!
That was WWE’s Summerslam of 2008, the third of the big four pay per views for that year and it delivered, oh boy did it deliver. With exception of Matt Hardy vs Mark Henry, every match on this card ranged from fun to awesome. MVP and Jeff Hardy accounted well for themselves in the opening match, Hardy’s popularity carries through any match adding to the excitement but the two work a basic match with MVP showcasing his talent and Jeff showing off the charisma and work ethic that we all love. Santino and Beth are a tremendous pairing with Santino stealing every part of this match, good mixed tag team match, could not have gone smoother. You have the angle of Jericho vs HBK reaching a fever pitch with HBK looking to walk away from the ring and in his what could be final moments with the fans, Jericho tries to humiliate Michaels only to sucker punch his wife.
This is followed by 4 tremendous big matches, Punk and JBL put on a great match with JBL walking all over Punk and his over-confidence leading to the resilient champion Punk securing the win over his bitter opponent. Punk stands a as a true champion, no longer the underdog against every challenger from the Raw brand. To my surprise, Triple H brings out a very watchable and credible match with The Great Khali, I never thought I would type that yet here we are, Triple H sold well, Triple H had the crowd on his side and the work put in leading to the pedigree was solid and when the pedigree connected, I was with the fans enjoying the match. Cena vs Batista was awesome, everything about it felt like a Mania match, they worked a frantic pace, hit all their spots and had a finish that had me asking for more and questioning where they would go next. Finally, Taker gaining his revenge on the man who had been a thorn in his side for almost two years was beautiful. After every slimy and sneaky thing Edge had done, it was beautiful to see Edge’s world come crashing down upon him, this was a great Summerslam. Thanks for reading and remember: There’s always another night!