MSRP: $24.95
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 180 minutes

Smackdown! 8/17/07 – Kane vs. Khali excerpt
Raw 8/27/07 – Carlito’s Cabana w/ Triple H excerpt

The Pitch

It’s WWE’s biggest party of the summer…at least the one not involving drugs, hookers, etc…

The Humans

Vince McMahon, John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, The Great Khali, Rey Mysterio, Triple H, Carlito, King Booker, Finlay, Kane and every other hulking monster in the WWE.

"Goddamn this thong is killing me!"
(Note to Kane: Heh, just a joke big guy…you know, all in good fun…please don’t kill me.)

The Nutshell

Celebrating the 20th time that this pay-per-view has presented the biggest show of the summer, WWE Summerslam 2007 features a host of wrestling matches: John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE title; a match for the World Heavyweight Championship with Batista challenging The Great Khali; a Triple Threat match for the Intercontinental Championship between champion Umaga, Carlito and Mr. Kennedy, the return of Triple H from a quadriceps injury as he takes on King Booker, a grudge match between Kane and Finlay; an ECW Title match between champion John Morrison and C.M. Punk; and the return of Rey Mysterio as he takes on the man who put him out of action for nearly a year: Chavo Guerrero.

Rumor has it that Simon Cowell’s two black eyes, broken rib and missing teeth were caused by a certain somebody who didn’t take rejection too well…

The Lowdown

I love wrestling. Have been a fan for over 20 years, and I miss the times when Ric Flair was champ and having those classic trinity of matches with Ricky Steamboat in 1989, or when Savage was champ and the whole Megapowers meltdown had been carefully crafted and building for over a year, or when Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were having their classic matches. I still watch even though wrestling right now is in a fairly sorry state of affairs with the shocking number of deaths of current and former wrestlers, the steroids scandals that have been rocking the sport for years, and just overall the badly written storylines and decline in quality of in-ring action. Sadly, Summerslam, which should be a showcase of the best of what the WWE has to offer, is just another reminder of how things need to improve in a hurry and how the WWE needs to stop treating its fans like complete morons. More on that later. Right now, here’s a rundown of the matches:

That was the first – and consequently last – time Carlito tried his new finishing maneuver: the Flying Nutsack Knee Squasher…

Kane vs. Finlay

This is basically a grudge match, as Kane hasn’t had anybody really interesting to feud with lately, and Finlay is the Smackdown! brand’s resident go-to-feud-guy. Anytime they need someone to get their rumble on with anybody for little to no reason, they call on Finlay. Kane has his ribs taped up to sell a previous injury sustained in a vicious shillelagh (a small wooden Irish club) attack by Finlay a couple of weeks prior. Generally, considering Kane’s resident "monster" status, this is a way to seemingly even things up between him and Finlay. This is a by-the-numbers match, with Kane dominating most of the early going, and Finlay getting the upper hand via his exploiting Kane’s rib injury, a run-in by Hornswoggle, Finlay’s Leprechaun helper (read: a dwarf in a green suit), and another shillelagh shot to the ribs. But eventually, Kane powers through and gets the fairly predicatable win via chokeslam.

Winner: Kane

Reminds me of a porno I’m trying to forget…

Decision: Kane usually needs someone a bit quicker than Finlay, or a good technical mat wrestler or someone as equally unstoppable as him to have a really good match. Triple H, the Rock, Stone Cold and the Undertaker have had some very good matches with Kane. But here, it’s just a bunch of stilted power moves and right hands by both participants. Finlay and Hornswoggle are joined at the hip and you know it’s only a matter of time before the Little Bastard is going to appear for some quick comic relief or an tainted victory via shillelagh. No surprises here and not too terribly interesting. Kane and Finlay actually had a much better match a couple weeks later on SmackDown! where it was a street fight and Finlay got the clean pin via his Celtic Cross slam. They should have booked that much here.

Unfortunately, the new opening act, Silver Man Group, didn’t go over too well…

Triple Threat for the Intercontinental Championship: Umaga (champion) vs. Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito

This is a curious booking as Carlito has been out of the Intercontinental title picture for quite awhile, Kennedy is a recent transplant to Raw via the latest WWE Draft, and Umaga recently regained the title from newcomer Santino Marella who only won the title because Lashley, who had been feuding with Umaga since Wrestlemania, had helped Santino win the strap in Italy. This is also a fairly predictable match whereby Carlito and Kennedy, two popular heel personalities on Raw have to combine forces for most of the match to handle the much more powerful Umaga, who is essentially one of the Wild Samoans updated for the new millennium. Once Carlito and Kennedy neutralize Umaga, they go at it and Kennedy looks to pin Carlito until Umaga recovers and Samoan Spikes (a taped up thumb shot to the throat) Kennedy into oblivion to retain the title.

Winner: Umaga

Needless to say, competition in the "Sleep With Troy Anderson Battle Royal" was fierce…

Decision: I’ve seen several Triple Threat matches where there’s one powerful wrestler and two much less powerful wrestlers, or one heel and two faces, or vice versa and they usually follow the same formula where the two similar wrestlers have to pull the double team on the third wrestler and then settle things between themselves. Triple Threat matches work much better when the wrestlers are on the same level playing field in terms of appeal – either negative or prositive – and skill-wise. Check out the Triple Threat World Title match between Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit at WrestleMania 20 for an example of a truly excellent booking of this type of match. Umaga is filling the Raw raging, mindless brute role quite nicely right now, and Kennedy and Carlito are great personalities, although I think they both need better booking than to be stuck in this match. Kennedy needs to be dropped into the WWE Title picture ASAP as he’s easily the most popular wrestler on Raw right now with the exception of Triple H. Carlito is better on the mic than in the ring, and a good booking for him is usually around a title, whether he’s pursuing it or trying to hold onto it. Recently he was briefly feuding with Triple H and I think he’d be good in a feud with the current Intercontinental Champ Jeff Hardy.

This future Stone Cold stunner brought to you by…

Grudge Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero

Now this is a grudge match, which goes back almost a year, as that’s how long Mysterio has been out with a knee injury suffered at the hands of Chavo in an "I Quit" Match in 2006. This feud had been brewing in the aftermath of Eddie Guerrero’s death in 2005 and Mysterio’s winning the World Title in 2006, which he then lost to King Booker following an incident where Chavo nailed him with a chair. The rationale behind this is that Chavo was jealous of Rey having won the title and his friendship with Eddie, who was Chavo’s uncle. So he conspired with Eddie’s widow, Vickie, to turn on Rey and eventually cost him his championship. In their I Quit Match, Chavo had Rey hung up on a scaffolding and proceeded to repeatedly bash Rey’s knee with a chair until Rey was forced to quit and was subsequently out of action for about 10 months. Now he’s back looking for revenge. Mysterio comes out in some funky silver body makeup to match his silver outfit and mask. He looked kind of like one of those performing statues you see on Hollywood Blvd or at Venice Beach. Anyway, Chavo and Rey are old nemeses as they’ve wrestled each other for years, both in WWE, WCW, and almost certainly in Mexico. Considering Rey’s knee injury, it was easy to see that that’s what Chavo was going to focus on, and he did. Rey was playing up the gallant underdog, which he’s used to doing and predictably, he gets the win via 619 (swinging kick to the head of opponent who’s prone on the bottom rope) and a top rope falling splash.

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Stone Cold’s opinion of Ann Coulter…

Decision: Mysterio is a fantastic performer. He’s really the only true luchador-style wrestler that WWE has in its roster at the moment, although Chavo uses a lot of that similar style as well. But Mysterio is a flipping, high flying dynamo that can delight any crowd he performs in front of. But for me, he’s kind of in a quandary position at the moment, because the only performers he can really set it off against are cruiserweights who are nearly as agile as he is. Despite Mysterio’s incredible ability, I’ve never bought him being able to go toe to toe with the bigger, more powerful wrestlers who lumber inside the ring like a semi truck going uphill compared to Mysterio, who’s a Lamborghini in sixth gear at times. Booking him against Batista or The Great Khali, which the WWE has been doing recently, is just too big a suspension of disbelief. And he’s wrestled Chavo so many times that there’s really no surprises to be had here.

No one was more surprised than me to discover Val Kilmer was the current ECW champion…

Although Mysterio is popular enough to have won the World Title last year, he’s truly at his best when he’s going against other cruiserweights who can keep up with him. And that’s one area where WWE consistently drops the ball: their cruiserweight division. They currently have the title on Hornswoggle, who’s eyebrow deep in the "McMahon’s bastard son" storyline right now and the Cruiserweight title is essentially rusting away while the cruiserweights on Smackdown! have nothing to go after. WWE needs to get that title back in active circulation, and book all the cruiserweights in the company to Smackdown! and get the great matches that they’re capable of having back on the air. Right now TNA, which features the X Division Championship, which is pretty much a hardcore / cruiserweight title, that is mostly contended for by cruiserweights, is kicking WWE’s ass all up and down the street in this division.

ECW Championship: John Morrison (champion) vs. C.M. Punk

John Morrison was formerly Johnny Nitro, of the tag team, MNM, and was a multi-time tag team champion on Smackdown! and Intercontinental Champ on Raw. When he was drafted to ECW, he quickly won the ECW World Title which was vacated when Lashley was drafted to Raw. Morrison soon adopted his current gimmick, which is a thinly veiled attempt at emulating Jim Morrison. He had been feuding with C.M. Punk over the title ever since and had even been pinned by him in a tag match the week prior. Here they had a serviceable, if not great, match with Morrison getting the typical heel’s feet on the ropes finish that wasn’t even sold that well because Morrison was a little too far from the ropes to execute effectively.

Don’t know what’s more illegal: this pin by John Morrison or this angle of CM Punk…

Winner: John Morrison

Decision: To be honest, I don’t know why CM Punk is as popular as he is right now
and why WWE’s been booking Morrison / Punk cards throughout the
summer. Punk seems to be more a grunge version of Rob Van Dam without
much of Van Dam’s arsenal or ability. Morrison’s working a great gimmick right
now and if he hadn’t gotten suspended, along with a dozen other
high-profile wrestlers for WWE Wellness (i.e. drug) infractions, WWE
would be doing well to have kept the title on him for awhile.

King Booker vs. Triple H

The rationale behind this match is that King Booker, who became the King of the Ring in 2006 and had gotten his King Harley Race / King Haku / Macho King gimmick on accordingly, was looking to stop Triple H from calling himself the "King of Kings" as Booker felt he was the one true king of the WWE. He had previously defeated Jerry "The King" Lawler in a similarly themed match a couple of weeks prior. Meanwhile, Triple H was making his long-awaited return to the ring following a legitimately devastating quadriceps injury where his muscle had been ripped right off the bone in his right leg. Triple H had the exact same thing happen to his left leg in 2001 and was out for over eight months. I saw the match where that first injury occurred – a tag team match with Stone Cold against Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho – and he ripped the muscle in the middle of the match and he still finished the match. Anybody who thinks these guys are all completely fake hasn’t seen the heart it takes to perform when they have a shoot (real) injury. Queue a Triple H Pedigree (double underhook facebuster) and Triple H’s return is successful.

"Hey Dickface, you seen my dog?"

Winner: Triple H

Triple H’s return brings the house down. There’s only one guy who gets a better pop (crowd reaction) the entire night, which we’ll get to in a moment. Triple H looks phenomenal and he appears to have dropped about 10 pounds and just toned the shit out of everything. Here, Booker T and Triple H are fairly evenly matched in terms of size, but there are really few wrestlers who can go toe to toe with Triple H in terms of overall technical ring ability, although Booker T’s unusual style makes for a good matchup. Booker T is kind of fun to watch in his "King Booker" schtick because he throws on the faux regal accent, while slipping back into ghetto every once in awhile when he gets pissed. His entrance is tedious to get through, though. You could go out for pizza and a couple of beers and come back and he’d still be walking down to ringside to his King Booker theme, which drags on like a funeral dirge. Nevertheless, this was a pretty good match, although somewhat predictable since there’s no way that Triple H would have been expected to job (lose) in his first match back.

Most unforseen twist ending to a match: Triple H getting shot by Sgt. Barnes…

Diva Battle Royal #1 Contender’s Match

WWE Divas Maria, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Melina, Kelly
Kelly, Leyla, Victoria, Jillian Hall and Kristal Marshall all gathered for
a battle royal (toss opponents out of the ring till one remains) to
determine the #1 Contender to Candice Michelle’s Women’s Championship.

Winner: Beth Phoenix

Decision: In a simple word: torturous. Basically 10 pieces of cheesecake in
painted-on outfits (always a good thing), with really only three to
four with any real wrestling ability (never a good thing). The WWE Women’s Division, which was pretty good just a couple of years ago, has completely gone to shit since the departures of Trish Stratus, Lita, Molly Holly and Gail Kim: real women wrestlers. Now the WWE’s focus seems to be with hiring the hottest chicks they can find and giving them enough basic wrestling training to be passable at best. Only Mickie James, Beth Phoenix and Victoria have legitimate, tangible abilities in the ring. The rest are there to titillate and yet bore us with cheap catfights and gimmick matches. Most of these chicks need to get with the Trish Stratus school of wrestling. Trish was a former valet who became a legit, and quite talented, female wrestler slowly over a few years and ended up a seven-time women’s champion. She carried the division on her back for a number of years with innovative moves such as the Ma-Trish (pun on Neo’s Matrix move by bending backwards to avoid a punch or a kick), the Stratusfaction (a jumping top rope bulldog) or the Chick Kick (a spinning karate kick to the head). Lita also was quite good before a serious neck injury and knee injury threatened her career. Since then, the Women’s division has been at a loss. Melina and Michelle McCool are coming along in their abilities, but are a long way from Trish or Lita, and Candice Michelle seems to be improving weekly, but she still has a way to go…and she’s the champion (as of SummerSlam anyway).

Try as he might, Khali couldn’t squeeze the images of Britney Spears’ VMA performance out of poor Batista’s head…

U.S. Champion MVP vs. Matt Hardy: Beer Drinking Challenge

MVP is the current U.S. Champ and he’s had a heated rivalry with Matt Hardy over that title for most of the summer. Together they’re also the current WWE Tag Team Champs who have a tenuous relationship at best while the rivalry over who’s better is dominating they’re storylines. MVP is a cocky, spoiled, NBA-type of athlete who thinks he’s ballin’ better than anybody right now, including Hardy. They’ve been challenging each other to all types of events: arm wrestling, push ups, football tossing, boxing, etc. Yes every type of contest…except wrestling matches. During the boxing match, MVP had former world champion Evander Holyfield sub for him, so Hardy one-upped him by also choosing a sub when MVP challenged him to a beer drinking contest. Now the very word beer in the WWE means only one possible person could be brought in to participate: Stone Cold Steve Austin. He arrives and the place goes bananas. Even though he’s been retired for three years or so, Stone Cold still makes appearances in special circumstances and raises hell, and he can still command a bigger reaction than anyone currently in the business. This goes about how you’d expect: Stone Cold cracks open a few brews, gives the boot, the stunner, the finger, and the place explodes in glee as MVP is out colder than the beer he never got to drink.

Winner: Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!

Khali displaying one of his gold teeth…

World Heavyweight Championship: The Great Khali (champion) vs. Batista

This is the first of two main events, with former World Champ and hulking figure of maledom Batista (6’5”-ish, 290 lbs-ish) challenging the freak of nature Indian goliath, The Great Khali (7’3", 420 lbs). This isn’t a match of subtlety. These guys lay clubbing blows and as ridiculously huge as Batista is, Khali makes him look like Rey Mysterio. Khali is Big Show-from-10-years-ago type of big, and 10 times uglier. The difference between Big Show and Khali: as limited as Big Show’s repertoire was, Khali makes him look like Ric Flair in terms of talent. Khali can basically slam, club and slap on the Khali Vise Grip (a double head claw) and that’s about it. Batista can move pretty good for a guy his size, but this is still for the most part a lumbering, train wreck of a match. A deliberate disqualification by Khali via chair shot and this one is in the books with the status quo the same.

Winner: Batista by DQ.

Plane ticket to New Jersey: $475.
SummerSlam ticket: $250.
Hot Dog, nachos, beer: $18.50.
Chance to see Batista head down to the ring to tear that obnoxious
YouTube "Leave Britney Alone!" guy a new one: Priceless.

Batista is a very entertaining performer. Few guys his size have the in-ring ability that he does. He’s got a solid power bomb (Batista Bomb) and spinebuster in his arsenal, and he’s copied some of his other signature moves, including Ultimate Warrior’s rope shake into his repertoire. His spear (football tackle to the midsection), however, isn’t anywhere near as good as Goldberg’s. Nevertheless, Batista is charismatic and I see shades of The Rock in his mic skills and demeanor. He’s also capable of having some great matches. Look to his World Title match against Undertaker at Wrestlemania 23 or his trilogy of World Title matches with Triple H in 2005. Great matches all. Unfortunately, he’s currently stuck in a World Title feud with Khali, who is virtually incapable of having a good match. Khali needs a truly versatile performer such as John Cena – one with a mix of strength and speed – to pull off any kind of decent match. Otherwise its screaming in Punjabi, clubs, chops, neck squeezes, Vise Grip, squash match. Khali moves like Andre in his final days of wrestling…and that ain’t a pretty thing to watch. The language barrier is also a big hinderance. He may be friggin’ Rock or Stone Cold on the mic, but when it’s in Punjabi (or Hindi, hell I don’t know), it’s just a bunch of gibberish from a ridiculously large human being.

Somewhere right at this moment, Calvin Klein is drooling…

WWE Championship: John Cena (champion) vs. Randy Orton

Randy Orton has finally gotten his chance one on one with WWE Champ John Cena, and he’s built up this match by repeatedly attacking Cena in the weeks before their clash, including giving him several RKOs (a jumping cutter where he grabs an opponent’s head with his right arm and falls down to the ground, pulling them face first into the mat). One of those RKOs was on a steel chair the week before SummerSlam. Orton’s entire gimmick centers around his being the young lion who has ended the careers of many a WWE legend, which is why he’s called the "Legend Killer." Some of these recent legends include Rob Van Dam, Shawn Michaels, Dusty Rhodes and Sgt. Slaughter. Orton has had memorable wars with Mick Foley and Hulk Hogan, and at SummerSlam 2004, he defeated Chris Benoit to become the youngest World Champion in history.

Meanwhile, John Cena has essentially been the franchise player for WWE for the last three years. Dominating the WWE Championship, he’s defended it against all comers, including some classic matches against Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and now Randy Orton. He’s been in Fatal Four Ways, a Fatal Five Way, Last Man Standing matches, Submission matches, and he’s defeated the likes of Bobby Lashley, Umaga, and The Great Khali. He’s been the workhorse of the company and is one of the most liked – and strangely most hated - champions in recent history. I can’t ever recall seeing one of WWE’s marquee performers elicit the mixed reactions that Cena does. Half the building is cheering their lungs out for him, and half the building is fighting security to lynch the guy. "Cena Sucks!" comments are a regular occurrence and Cena’s opponents, usually heels, get as big of popular reactions against him as Cena himself gets. I honestly don’t understand the heat that Cena gets.

Three things unknown to the Bush Administration…

If it’s a leftover reaction from his rapping, wigger persona, then it’s a lasting one. Cena’s about as reliable performer in this business and he’s equally good on the mic as he is in the ring. If the heat comes from his perceived lack of in-ring skill, I’d put his ability up against Hogan in his prime any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Look at Hogan’s best matches of the past: Hulk Ups (recoveries from a devastating finishing maneuver, a rush of adrenaline, punches to the head, boot to the face, legdrop, win, posing). Not a knock against the Hulkster at all, because I grew up loving his matches, but I’d say Cena’s in ring ability is at least what Hogan’s was, yet he’s still perceived to have almost no talent by his haters. Odd. Regardless, it’s Cena in a stirring win over a determined Orton after an FU (fireman’s carry slam).

Winner: John Cena

Decision: This was easily the match of the night and one of the matches of the year IMO. This was a back and forth contest that saw the signature moves of both performers, who are both at the top of the game and in their primes. Orton is a great heel and has a fantastic stalker quality when setting up for an RKO. It’s easy to root against him and he makes being evil something fun to watch. Meanwhile, Cena is great at delivering, and more importantly selling, other people’s moves, much like the Rock was. When he walks into a surprise RKO, it’s a thing of beauty and the arena cheered its asses off during that instant. I like Cena and its easy to see why Vince McMahon is so high on the guy, having him remain champion for longer than anyone since Hulk Hogan’s fabled four-year title run 20 years ago. Usually the WWE Title flip flops back and forth among heel and face champions and it’s been a rare thing for anyone to hold onto it for more than a few months. Haters be damned, I think Cena is the WWE right now and I hope he makes a speedy recovery from the torn pectoral muscle injury which has just very recently forced him onto the disabled list.

"Say it! Say it! SAY IT!!"

In closing, I have a couple of nuggets of opinion on how the WWE can improve and get out of its current doldrums. To wit:

1. Concerning the main image problem that the WWE is suffering from right now: steroids and wrestler deaths, I don’t have an solution for the steroids issue, but a lot of these guys are dying prematurely from drug abuse, particularly heart failure from painkillers and coke that they need just to get through the life of being constantly injured and on the road 250 – 300 days a year. The WWE is currently in an unprecedented position where they have three name brands: Raw, Smackdown! and ECW and three corresponding rosters. They can cover much more territory with more wrestlers than I think they’ve ever had before. So my solution? Cut them just the tiniest bit of slack in terms of the schedule. Let your three rosters cover the same schedule that your single roster used to do 20 years ago and let these people – who give the WWE and the fans everything they have night in and night out – have a little more time at home to rest and recover. Any wrestling fan knows that the life of a professional grappler in one of hardship, and the only reason I can think to keep up this insane schedule that they do is simply for the company bottom line. Period.

"Okay, so let me see: if I get rid of the mutual funds and roll the cash into a high-yield annuity, then that would allow me to leverage myself for the buyout of the tech stocks…"

2. Book your wrestlers into better matches and take advantage of what you have in your arsenal rather than squandering it. What I mean is I’m tired of seeing the same old tired kind of rivalries and opponents week in and week out. Batista was knocked out last year and forced to give up the World Title because of the actions of Mark Henry, yet when both were back on the roster, nothing was ever done to pursue a revenge storyline. You think that wrestling fans have the memories of gnats, and we don’t. We remember everything. Change things up. Put guys against each other in match ups we haven’t seen. A Batista vs. Lashley (when he returns from injury) feud would be epic. Triple H vs. Kennedy. CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio. And make these clean matches. some cheating is fine (Ric Flair made his entire career off of it), but have some decisive pinfalls rather than the frequent run-ins and DQs that continue to dominate the storylines.

Man, do those wrestling chicks take their diaphragms seriously…

3. Get your tag team division up and running again. The best Smackdown! has been able to do in the last few years is London and Kendrick with a one year title reign? Not buying it. There’s talk of bringing in the New Hart Foundation – the children of the originals – I say do it. Get a new Demolition up and running, that would be killer. Develop new talent as tag teams with tag team names instead of throwing together mid-carders as a makeshift tag team. What’s happened to The Road Warriors, Midnight Express, Rock & Roll Expresses and Horsemen of the past.?Those feuds by the best tag teams of the last 20 years were some of the best matches I can remember. I can remember a Survivor Series, from 1988 or so, when there was a match with 10, 10 top tag teams in one elimination match: The Rockers, Hart Foundation , British Bulldogs, Demolition, Powers of Pain and on and on. Not every wrestler is going to be a breakout singles star. Package some good tag teams together, keep them together, and let some juicy feuds get going. You’ve been missing that for years.

"Shit! My album sold how many units?"

4. Along the same note of #3 above, reorganize your titles more smartly than they currently are. Since there’s not enough quality tag teams for one set of tag titles much less two, combine them back into one tag title and defend them over all three brands. You’d be inviting matches that you’ve only dreamed of as teams who are isolated from each other could have cracks at each other over something meaningful like a championship. Also, do the same for the Women’s Championship. There are Divas on all three brands and many of them have little to no chance to get booked into matches with the current Women’s Champ. You can keep the primary World Titles (The WWE Title, World Heavyweight Championship and ECW Title) and the secondary titles (US, Intercontinental) exclusive to the three brands, but the lesser titles could be defended across all three to spice things up a bit. This includes the Cruiserweight title if the cruiserweights aren’t going to be moved to one brand to contend for it. Also, bring back the Hardcore title and reinstate the 24/7, anytime anywhere defense rule.

"Do I hear $20 Gs for this? $20 Gs. You’re insulting me with these offers, people! $20 Gs to the gentleman in back, do I have $25Gs?…"

5. Finally, and I can’t stress this enough: the bad guy doesn’t always have to be the inferior, cowardly wrestler. A wrestler can kick ass for years like Hogan did and as soon as he switches sides, his skills and his courage go in the crapper. It’s old. It’s beyond tired. Get rid of that mentality. Surprise us. A perfect example of this type of thinking is Stone Cold vs. Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13. Great match as the two combatants go back and forth until Hart finally locks Austin in the Sharpshooter (a submission move) and a bloody Austin – the bad guy by the way – refuses to give up and passes out. Hart got the win, but Austin cemented his growing legend with that single match.

I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Even after 20 years, I still love wrestling, to the puzzlement of my friends and especially my wife. But it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make because I grew up with this shit and I want to see it continue for a long time to come, and right now it could be better – much better. SummerSlam 2007 was average at best except for a couple of matches, especially the Cena / Orton match. With TNA and MMA breathing down the WWE’s neck, they’ve got to step up their game, and for the most part, they didn’t here.

The Package

The only special features are two excerpts from Raw and Smackdown! from August, one featuring a four minute clip of Khali trying to squeeze Batista’s brains out of his ears, and a clip from Carlito’s Cabana where Triple H makes his return to Raw and begins his recent feud with Carlito.

6.1 out of 10