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KELLER'S WWE SUMMERSLAM REPORT 8/21: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV event

Aug 21, 2005 - 9:58:00 PM

By Wade Keller, Torch editor

AUGUST 21, 2005

-Lilian Garcia sang the National Anthem, then a highlight video previewed the top matches on the show. Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and Coach introduced the show from ringside. Michael Cole and Tazz then talked about the Smackdown matches.


Not sure what to think - upset that Benoit has been moved to an opening match or satisfied that Jordan is where he belongs in the opener. Hopefully they can improve on their last one-on-one match which was realistic and logical for the most part, but incredibly dull and unoriginal. Well, Benoit executed a German suplex and then applied a Crippler Crossface right away and Jordan tapped out after about five seconds.

WINNER: Benoit at 0:24 to capture the U.S. Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: * -- I like that for a lot of reasons. One reason not to like it is "Chris Benoit flew to D.C. and got dressed for that?!" The main reason to like it is that it makes early submission holds for the next two years mean more as fans will remember that matches can end quickly. Maybe they're saving 60 minutes for Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels just in case they go the full time limit. Michaels has before, you know?

-Backstage Eddie Guerrero's wife tried to talk her husband out of going through with the match. She told him that the man she married is too caring and loving to hurt Rey or his family. "So you don't think I can beat Rey?" he said. He blew up at her and told her to get out of his locker room.

-They went into a video package on the Edge vs. Matt Hardy feud. They again played the clips of Lita talking, and sounding entirely reasonable rather than heelish. They replayed again and again Matt Hardy saying she destroyed his dream of one day having children, which made Matt sound weird for not realizing he can have kids with more women than just Lita. They replayed Edge saying he asked Vince McMahon to rehire Matt, again a statement usually reserved for babyfaces proving how brave they are when a heel has been suspended. You'd almost think someone has it in for Matt in WWE. I thought as a slap in the face to this feud WWE might put it on as early as third on the card. I never imagined it'd be second, and for all intents and purposes first.

2 -- EDGE (w/Lita) vs. MATT HARDY

Edge and Lita came to the ring first. Lita looked emotionally spent and disturbed, like she'd rather be anywhere but there. Hardy charged to the ring and Edge met him on the floor. Hardy then began ramming Edge's head into the ringside barrier several times. They entered the ring a few seconds later, the bell rang, and Hardy pounded away on Edge's head. Then he applied a rear naked choke as the crowd chanted "Hardy, Hardy." They went to ringside again briefly at 0:30, then quickly reentered the ring. The ref stepped in when Hardy was punching Edge in the corner. That gave Edge a chance to cheap shot Hardy. Edge just speared Hardy off the ring apron through the second and top rope to the floor. Boy, who would have thought Hardy would trust Edge with that move a few months ago in a worked environment. Edge snake-eyed Hardy over the corner ringpost. Hardy punched away at Hardy's face. Hardy was bleeding. He kept pummelling Hardy and the ref eventually called for the bell, claiming Hardy bled too much and couldn't intelligently defend himself.

WINNER: Edge via ref decision.

STAR RATING: **1/4 -- Good intensity throughout. Difficult to rate on normal stands because it wasn't supposed to look like a usual wrestling match. The finish was odd and made Hardy look like a loser who got fairly defeated by Edge. Strange. Hard to figure out, but I can't imagine this is what Hardy imagined when he thought about scenarios for his big PPV return match against Edge.

-Cole and Tazz talked about the Summerslam theme song and introduced Rey vs. Eddie. A video feature aired on the Rey-Eddie-Dominic storyline.

3 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. EDDIE GUERRERO -- Ladder Match for Custody

They actually brought Dominic to ringside for the match, just to be sure if he wasn't screwed up already by all of this in real life, this would do it. They easily could have written into the storyline that the social worker wouldn't let him near the match, but that wouldn't have made for as good television imagery, so the social worker got him a front row seat to watch his biological father and the man who raised him as his father fight for him. Rey was introduced second. He popped up through the rampway as usual, but then just stopped and walked to the ring with a serious look of determination. Rey walked to ringside and saw Dominic ostensibly for the first time in over a week and kissed him. Dominic smiled. Cole said he adopted both of his boys. "Just because you're not the biological father of your sons doesn't mean you can't a father to them," he said. He waited this long to reveal that personal detail in this storyline? Tazz also sided strongly with Mysterio. Eddie went after Rey early, but Rey fought back and monkey flipped him to ringside. Eddie threw Rey into the ringside steps. They showed Domini watching as Eddie threw Rey into a ladder in the aisle. Eddie brought the ladder into the ring and climbed it. Rey returned to the ring and springboard dropkicked Rey off the ladder at 2:45. Eddie brought the second ladder into the ring, but Rey dropkicked it into his face. Rey springboarded onto Eddie at ringside. They kept going to camera shots of Dominic smiling at Rey's offensive highspots. Rey climbed the ladder. Eddie climbed the other side. They fought at the top. Eddie got tot he briefcase first. Rey punched Eddie in the gut. Eddie responded with a sunset flip off the top of the ladder. He lost his grip on Rey mid-way, but Rey fell backward onto his back at 5:30. Not the smoothest spot, but still looked painful. Eddie used the ladder as a battering ram and then crushed Rey in the corner with it. Eddie set Rey on a ladder and then set a ladder on top of him, then flipped over the top rope onto the ladder, sandwiching Rey. With both ladders set up, and both men on top, Rey backdropped Eddie to the floor. Then something went wrong and Rey ended up crashing onto the second ladder, which also collapsed. The crowd chanted "Holy sh--." Cole talked about the roller coaster of emotions Rey must be feeling. Eddie got up first and set the ladder on the top rope in a corner. Eddie flipped a charging Rey ribs-first into the ladder. Innovative spot. Eddie began climbing the ladder. Dominic enter4ed the ring and shook the ladder to try to knock Eddie off balance. The ladder barely moved, but Eddie noticed. Eddie shook his finger back and forth at Dominic to scold him. He walked down the ladder and got in Dominic's face, asking him why he was shaking the ladder. "What's the matter with you?! Don't you love me?! You better love me! You know why? Because I'm your new daddy; get used to it." Rey then attacked Eddie with a barrage of punches. He leaned the ladder against the top rope. Eddie recovered and threw Rey toward the ladder. Rey blocked it and sent Eddie face-first into it. Rey followed with a 610 of the ladder into Eddie. Dominic smiled at ringside. Rey did the Droppin' the Dime on Guerrero and the ladder. Rey positioned the ladder underneath the briefcase. He grabbed the ladder, but Eddie grabbed his feet. Eddie lifted Rey onto his shoulders and climbed the ladder to set up an Electric Chair. Rey turned it into a sunset flip instead. Rey climbed the ladder again and got the brief case. Eddie kicked the ladder out from under him. Rey dangled from the ladder, unable to unfasten it. Rey fell into Eddie's arms who turned it into a powerbomb. Cole called it a spinebuster for some reason. Tazz corrected Cole. Rey pinned Rey under the ladder's lowest rung so he had to watch as Eddie climbed the ladder at 16:00. Eddie had trouble unfastening the briefcase from the clip. Rey managed to power the ladder out from under Eddie and tipped the ladder over. Eddie hung from the briefcase. Rey yanked him off by the ankle. Eddie landed on his other ankle. He yelled at the ref for some reason. Rey crawled over to the ladder and collapsed it. He went over to Eddie, but Eddie gave Rey the Three Amigos snap suplexes with the third on the ladder at 18:00. Eddie climbed the ladder again. Eddie's wife Vicky entered the ring and distracted Eddie, telling him not to do it. Eddie told her to go away. He grabbed the briefcase. She tipped the ladder over. He came up just short of snapping his neck over the top rope. She backed into the corner of the ring as if to wonder if she did the right thing or went too far. Rey then set up the ladder and climbed it. Vicky had a chance to change her mind, but didn't. Rey got the briefcase down. Dominic entered the ring and hugged Rey. Rey's wife Angie then came to ringside to celebrate with her family. Rey then returned to the ring and KO'd Eddie with the briefcase. Cole said "poetic justice." Tazz said he's never been happier with an outcome of a match that he wasn't involved in himself.

WINNER: Rey at 20:16.

STAR RATING: ****1/4 -- They did a really good job telling a dramatic story, introducing some dramatic spots, and creating a satisfactory finish to the deeply personal storyline.

-Todd Grisham interviewed Chris Jericho, who reminded everyone he beat Steve Austin and The Rock in one night to become the first Undisputed World Hvt. Champion. He said he is a Hall of Famer like Austin and Rock. He said it's time for John Cena to step aside. "Roll over, Rover," he said. Then he fantasized about wrapping the belt around his waist and Eric Bischoff can finally have a champion everyone can be proud of. That is the promo Jericho should have done on Raw last week.

4 -- KURT ANGLE vs. EUGENE (w/Christy Hemme)

Angle attacked Eugene at the start of the match. Eugene came back quickly and went into an early (too early) People's Elbow routine. Angle clotheslined him as he rebounded off the ropes. He should have emulated Benoit and applied an early Crossface instead. A loud "Let's Go Angle" chant rang out. Angle gave Eugene a released German suplex. The crowd booed Eugene's kick out at 1:45. Eugene hit a Rock Bottom for a near fall and a Stone Cold Stunner for a near fall, then Angle came back with is slam and an anklelock for the tapout win. Angle grabbed a chair from ringside. Christy covered Eugene. Angle threw Eugene out of the ring rather than hitting him with a chair. Then he set the chair up in center-ring. He demanded that his music play. He stood on the chair and had the ref re-present him with his Gold Medal. Great touch.

WINNER: Angle at 3:51.

STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Solid action, but surprisingly short. Then again, with the crowd hating Eugene, it's tough to justify going much longer with Angle getting cheered considering Cena's next on Angle's list.

-A skit aired of a limousine being washed and then revealed it was Vince McMahon inside. There was a licence plate that read "President of the United States." Then the camera panned back and showed a bumper sticker that said, "McMahon for President." McMahon smiled and shrugged his shoulder, as if to say, "Why not? Maybe some day." This was nothing more than a way to tie in that Summerslam was in the nation's capital - or so we can hope.


A slow, deliberate, old-school pacing to the match. Not bad, but not particularly exciting. They went back and forth for a while with Taker concentrating on Orton's shoulder. Then Orton gained sustained control, but lost the crowd as it felt like he was filling time. Taker came back at 12:00 and walked the top rope and came off with a forearm. Orton went for a surprise RKO, but Taker escaped. Taker eventually set up a Tombstone. Orton reversed the Tombstone attempt. Taker reversed it back. Orton then escaped and gave Taker a hangman's neckbreaker for a two count at 15:15. Orton climbed to the top rope and dove at Taker with a bodyblock. Taker rolled through and grabbed Orton by his throat and then chokeslammed him. An unidentified man in a white suit and red baseball cap entered the ring to save Orton. Security quickly got the guy out of the ring. Orton surprised Taker with an RKO for the win. The cameras didn't show the fan until Orton walked up the aisle and hugged him. The guy took off his wig, revealing it was Cowboy Bob Orton, his father. Taker sat up stunned and angered.

WINNER: Orton at 17:11.

STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Above-average, but not an adrenaline rush. The middle portion was weak, but the opening minutes and finishing sequence was solid.

6 -- JOHN CENA vs. CHRIS JERICHO -- WWE Title match

Jericho shook hands with Eric Bischoff backstage before he headed through the entrance tunnel. Smackdown gets some respect with a higher World Title placement on this card than the Raw WWE Title defense. Ross called Cena "unorthodox" and a "street smart brawler" as he walked to the ring. Ross gave Coach a hard time for mocking Cena for claiming to be from the mean streets. Ross said Cena doesn't claim that. Jericho got in early offense. At ringside Cena tackled Jericho. Jericho got in sustained offense in the ring. Cena made a comeback at 7:00, but missed with a flying shoulder tackle attempt. Jericho fired back with a bulldog type slam of Cena's head. Jericho went for a Lionsault, but Cena ducked. Jericho landed awkwardly on his knee. Jericho went for a Walls of Jericho, but Cena kicked him to the floor. Cena setup an FU at 9:15, but Jericho reversed it into a DDT and scored a two count. There were a loud battle of competing fan chants of "Let's Go Jericho - Let's Go Cena - Let's Go Jericho - Let's Go Cena." It was a pretty even split. The crowd worked themselves into a frenzy. Jericho ran in place, looking like a total idiot, giving Cena chance to recover and nail him with a flying lariat. Cena followed with several clotheslines and got some boos. Then he ducked a Jericho clothesline slammed him. He did the "You Can't See Me." Jericho caught him in a sudden Walls of Jericho at 12:30, which popped the Jericho fans. Cena struggled in the hold and reached for the bottom rope. Jericho dragged him back to the middle of the ring. Cena again crawled toward the bottom rope to force a break. That popped the Cena fans and prompted loud boos from the Jericho fans. Anther loud battle of "Let's Go" chants started. Cena caught Jericho on the top rope. Jericho dropped down and back suplexed Cena to the mat for a very near fall that popped the crowd at 14:15. Cena then grabbed Jericho as he rebounded off the ropes and gave him the FU for the pin. Ross yelled, "The Champ is still here!" Cena celebrated for a couple of minutes.

WINNER: Cena at 14:46 to retain the WWE Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Good high-energy match and the crowd's passionate response really made it feel like a major match.

-A promo aired for WrestleMania 22 in Chicago next year.

7 -- BATISTA vs. JBL -- World Hvt. Title No Holds Barred Match

Batista and JBL brawled in the aisle to start the match officially. At 2:00 Batista speared JBL through the ringside barrier in a cool spot. They replayed that a few times. JBL caught a charging Batista with an extended boot which showed some light. He followed up with a Clothesline from Hell which didn't show any light. They brought the lower half of the metal steps into the ring and used it as a prop. JBL escaped a Batista Bomb attempt from the steps. A minute later Batista hit the Batista Bomb. He looked at JBL knocked out and rather than cover him, he just stopped in his tracks. The crowd chanted "One More Time." He looked over at the step platform and set him up for another. The crowd stood. He gave JBL the Batista Bomb onto the steps for the pin.

WINNER: Batista at 9:08 to retain the World Hvt. Title.

STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Acceptable no holds barred match for a finale to a feud that was never meant to be (since Muhammad Hassan was originally scheduled to face Batista at Summerslam). That should be the last JBL sees of PPV main event level matches in a while, but he had a solid unexpected run for the past year-plus.

-Ross plugged Unforgiven on Sept. 18 from his hometown, Oklahoma City.


Michaels came out first to most boos, although it appeared the fans were mostly waiting for Hogan's entrance. No surprise this is the final match on the show, and there's no shame in it for the singles champs, either, as this is an epic "first" among two of the biggest - and very different - main event stars of the past 20 years. Hogan got a huge positive babyface response from the crowd, so many of the fans cheering Jericho and booing Cena are clearly behind Hogan all the way. Hogan posed as his music played. Hogan went after Michaels, so Michaels rolled out of the ring. Coach and Ross said nobody plays mindgames better than Michaels. Michaels had a poker face the entire time, showing no emotion. Ross said the terms icon and legend are interchangeable since both are both. They circled each other after the bell.

They locked up. Hogan shoved Michaels to the mat. Michaels took a great bump to the corner and got up showing his first emotions of the match - frustration and embarrassment. Michaels danced backwards as Hogan went after him. Hogan shoved him to the mat again. Michaels went after Hogan immediately. Hogan shoved him to the mat. Michaels got up right away and acted upset. Michaels applied a hammerlock and a headlock. A "Let's Go Hogan" chant broke out. Hogan shoulder-blocked Michaels, who bumped out of the ring. Michaels threw a brief fit at ringside. Back in the ring, Hogan shoved Michaels who somehow bumped onto the top rope. Hogan kicked him and straddled him over the top rope, then punched him to the mat.

Michaels was a bump machine for Hogan most reminiscent of how Curt Hennig worked against Hogan. Michaels poked Hogan in the eyes to gain control at 4:30. Hogan came back with a backdrop and then clotheslined Michaels over the top rope to the floor. Michaels did the rubber-leg bit as he stood and then collapsed. Ross, Lawler, and Coach talked about some of Hogan's biggest opponents over the years including Vader, Diesel, Undertaker, Andre the Giant, and Big John Studd. Hogan yanked Michaels back into the ring by the top rope. He nailed Michaels with a clothesline and some punches. Hogan went for a backdrop, but Michaels kicked him in the face.

So far Michaels has created almost all of the movement - a lot of it - to make Hogan appear to be a beast in his prime. Hogan's done very little, but fans aren't likely noticing. Michaels slapped Hogan in the face a couples of times, then threw some chops to the chest. Ross said he's never seen Hogan slapped before ever in his career. Hogan reversed Michaels into the corner. Michaels flipped into the corner. Hogan knocked Michaels to the floor. Hogan followed and rammed Michaels face-first into the security railing at ringside at 7:45, then slammed him onto the Spanish announcers' table.

He threw a flurry of punches, and then rolled into the ring to break the ref's count. Hogan whipped Michaels into the ringpost. Michaels came back and threw Hogan into the ringpost at 9:15. Michaels punched at Hogan. Hogan flung him off and staggered around the ring. Michaels threw Hogan into the ring, then reentered it himself. Michaels stood in the corner and threw a series of punches at Hogan's face. Hogan threw Michaels off. Michaels went right back at Hogan. Hogan began bleeding from the forehead.

Ross said the longer the match goes, the more it's to the advantage of the smaller man, Michaels. No reference to Michaels being the younger of the two. Hogan sat in the corner and looked half out of it. He struggled to his feet. Michaels punched away at him again. Ross said in all of Hogan's career he's never seen anyone dominate Hogan like Michaels was at this moment. That's a bit of an overstatement. Michaels applied a sleeper. Hogan's heavy bleeding covered Michaels's bicep in blood as he held onto the sleeper. Hogan's arm dropped once, twice, and almost a third time. Hogan waved his finger in the air and then back suplexed Michaels.

Michaels was the first up. Hogan reversed Michaels, but Michaels fired back with a flying forearm. Michaels then nipped up. He then climbed to the top rope and went for the big elbow drop. Hogan moved and popped up. Hogan pointed at Michaels, then punched away at him. When he whipped him into the ropes, Michaels returned with a flying forearm. Both went down, and they knocked the ref down. Michaels eventually nipped up, then went back toward the top rope. Instead, he went back to Hogan and applied the Sharpshooter. Hogan teased tapping out, then crawled toward the bottom rope. Michaels dragged him back to the middle. Hogan eventually did reach the bottom rope, although as he crawled there, he slapped the mat with his hand twice. Coach said he tapped. The replacement ref called for the break at 17:15.

As Michaels leaned over to grab Hogan, Hogan kicked Michaels into the ref, knocking him down. Coach wondered if there was even another ref on call. Hogan struggled to his feet and limped badly. Michaels gave Hogan a low blow. The crowd booed. Michaels went to ringside and grabbed a chair. Coach said Michaels is stealing the show just as he always does. As Hogan struggled to his feet, Michaels waited with a chair behind him. He then swung and struck Hogan, knocking him to the mat. Hogan twitched his leg. Michaels went to the top rope and hit the big elbowdrop. Michaels then signalled for the superkick. He tried to wake up the ref, then he stomped the mat over and over in anticipation of Hogan rising. Then he nailed Hogan under the chin with a sharp Sweet Chin Music. Michaels scored a two count, but Hogan powered out by throwing Michaels into the air. Michaels punched away at Hogan, but Hogan hulked up and no sold it. Michaels continued to pummel Hogan, but it had no effect.

Hogan then gave Michaels a big boot. Michaels took a huge rubber leg stagger into a flatback bump. Hogan milked the crowd for cheers and then dropped the legdrop. As Hogan posed, Michaels eventually stood. He shoved Hogan from behind. Hogan's music stopped playing. Michaels then said, "I needed to know, and I found out." He offered a handshake. Hogan and Michaels had some conversation, then he shook Michaels's hand. Ross said there is a lot of class in the ring. Michaels left the ring as Hogan had his arm raised in the ring by the ref.

WINNER: Hogan at 21:26.

STAR RATING: ****1/4 -- That was in many ways a one man show, and one of the greatest ever. Michaels was 100 percent professional, and he got out of Hogan what nobody else in this industry could have - which was a borderline great match. It told a great story, went longer than 20 minutes, had historically significant teases, convincing near falls, blood, drama, great bumps by Michaels, a nice bump by Hogan from Sweet Chin Music, and in the end the formula finish that the fans (for the most part) wanted. Hogan was really, really good given his incredible physical limitations at this point in his career.

To see the latest update on this report, hit "refresh" on your browser every few minutes. To read another perspective on this event, check out Torch columnist James Caldwell's "virtual time" report also right here on's main listing.

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show. To contribute your thoughts on Summerslam, click here.

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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