WWE SummerSlam 2007 8/26/2007

August 26, 2007
Continental Airlines Arena
East Rutherford, NJ
Attendance: 17,441
Announcers: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Joey Styles & Tazz

Dark Match

Cade & Murdoch defeat Brian Kendrick & Paul London

Pay Per View

Fun Fact: This is the Garden State’s 7th PPV. Including this one, 6 of those 7 are one of the Big 5 (2 Wrestlemanias, 3 Summerslams and a King of the Ring). The only non-big 4 is No Mercy 2004.

1) Kane (Glen Jacobs) defeats Finlay with a chokeslam at 8:49

Fun Fact: On 8/10, Finlay and Kane got into a backstage confrontation. Later in the night, Finlay attacked Kane with his shillelagh before his match. The next week, Kane’s injuries cost him a match against Great Khali and Finlay assaulted him once again after the match. On 8/24, Mr. McMahon granted Kane a match with Finlay.

A nice old bowling shoe match to get the twentieth Summerslam off the ground. Both guys will not be messing around in this one, as they both will bring clubbing strikes and power moves to the table. Now the build to this match was somewhat silly as, just like with Chris Jericho in late-2000, Kane had coffee spilled on him. Sometimes you wonder how any of this crap gets in the writers’ heads. Coffee? I thought we’ve moved past the Attitude Era when lesbians and bikinis could start storylines. Kane’s ribs are taped up from the shillelagh attack by the Irishman and Finlay would target the injury. What sucks for Kane is that he was slated for a World Title feud with Edge, but he injured Edge before the Great American Bash and Edge is now on the shelf. Both men really work the other over, particularly Finlay who’s going at Kane’s ribs. Then the Hornswoggle shenanigans with an extra shillelagh shot to the ribs but Kane kicked out. Kane gets a much deserved win with a chokeslam on Finlay. After all the chaos on Smackdown the past few months, he gets the win here. Grade: 2

Justin: The opener of the twentieth Summerslam promises to be an interesting brawl between two hosses. Kane is dinged up and his ribs are taped up, courtesy a shillelagh shot from his opponent. Finlay make his Summerslam debut here after a somewhat quite 2007 thus far. Kane started off strong, but the rib injury was clearly hampering him quite a bit. With some of his power sapped, Kane turned to high impact strikes to maintain control, even sending Finlay off the top rope and to the floor with a big right hand. Finlay finally had an opening and smashed Kane in the ribs to slow him down. He worked Kane over a bit, working the ribs but Kane slugged his way back. Out of ideas to keep Kane down, Finlay went under the ring to summon Hornswoggle. The little guy quickly scampered away and Kane was able to fight through the rib pain to attempt a chokeslam, but he just couldn’t build the strength to pull it off. The psychology here is pretty solid, as is Kane’s selling. Finlay tried to tear off the turnbuckle pad and use the shillelagh, but Kane fought him off. With the referee distracting, Hornswoggle handed Finlay another shillelagh, which he used to bust Kane in the ribs for a near fall. I really thought that was it. Kane again regained control and this time he was able to hit the chokeslam for the win. This was a solid opener with two veterans that just smacked the crap out of each other. It doesn’t get more basic than this, but a formula is a formula for a reason. Grade: 2

*** Backstage, Mr. McMahon is consulting with William Regal, Teddy Long, Armando Estrada and Jonathan Coachman. MVP enters and chastises Long for leaving him off the show. He then asks McMahon if he can issue an open non-match challenge to Matt Hardy tonight. McMahon allowed it and MVP smugly walked out. ***

2) Umaga (Eddie Fatu) defeats Carlito (Carly Colon) and Mr. Kennedy (Ken Anderson) in a Triple Threat match to WWE Intercontinental Title when he pins Kennedy with the Samoan Spike at 7:23

Fun Fact: On 8/20, Umaga appeared on Carlito’s Cabana where he was challenged to a title match by Carlito. Before Umaga could respond, Mr. Kennedy appeared and said he deserved a match more and should receive it. Umaga’s reply was a physical one as he smacked both men around. Newly crowned GM William Regal appeared and said Kennedy and Carlito would face off later in the night to determine Umaga’s challenger. The match would end in a double pinfall, so Regal announced that both men would face Umaga at the PPV.

Scott: For the second time in three years, the Intercontinental Title would be defended in a triple threat match at Summerslam. That year, it would be Edge, Jericho and Batista and that match was tough to gauge with that weird Toronto crowd. Here we have a odd combination of participants. Umaga and Kennedy who are heels, and Carlito who I guess a lukewarm face? I don’t know but the crowd is pretty dead. Now Jersey is an extension of New York City in terms of very smart and vocal fans, but really what do you do with this match? Who do you root for? Which “bad guy” should the crowd be invested in? Overall the match wasn’t bad, with Kennedy showing why he was pushed in 2006, and winning Money in the Bank. Of course keeping healthy is the bigger problem. He was probably World Heavyweight Champion at some point this year, but now that’s not going to happen. So he’s relegated to getting back into things with this feud. Umaga has had a great 2007 and it’s been well documented here. Carlito’s been back and forth and I was thinking that he may get the strap here. Kennedy was about to win the title by pinning Carlito, but Umaga grabs him, spikes him and pins him. Umaga got some face pops at the end of the match, probably because he’s the lesser of two evils. The Samoan Bulldozer retains the title in a fun brawl. Grade: 2.5

Justin: Well, it certainly has been a while since we have seen Mr. Kennedy in any sort of high profile position, but here he is part of an interesting three-way match for the IC title. Carlito is another wrestler that has been quite aimless here in 2007 but it looked like they were trying to get him back into the mix a bit. The real question here, however, was if either man, or anyone for that matter, could finally take down the dominant IC champ, Umaga. Since regaining his title from Santino Marella, Umaga has been on a tear and was even gaining some support amongst fans for being such an awesome badass. He dominance continued early as he pounded on both Kennedy and Carlito with reckless abandon. Both men bailed to the floor and tried to regroup and act as a unit against the monster champ. Their tactics finally worked, as Kennedy distracted Umaga and Carlito was able to dropkick him to the floor. With Umaga out of action, the challengers started to go at it in the ring. Even though Umaga had been gaining some support, the crowd was definitely a bit out of sorts here with no true face to rally behind. That portion of the match was short lived, as Umaga viciously yanked Kennedy to the floor and then cracked Carlito with a headbutt from the second rope. Desperate, Kennedy grabbed a ring monitor and bashed Umaga in the skull with it. Carlito took advantage but only got a near fall. This really felt more like a handicap match with no true face, so the structure and heat is just awkward more than anything. Umaga heated up again, landing strikes, Samoan drops and sidewalk slams. With Umaga knocked to the floor, Kennedy hit the Green Bay Plunge on Carlito, but Umaga slid in, broke up the count and rammed Kennedy with the Samoan Spike to retain his title. The match was a bit disjointed, but it worked well enough to keep Umaga’s momentum rolling and to continue to rebuild his mystique and dominance. Grade: 2

3) Rey Mysterio (Oscar Gutierrez) defeats Chavo Guerrero with a springboard splash at 12:08

Fun Fact: Over the summer, it was announced that Rey Mysterio would return from injury at Summerslam. On 8/3, assistant GM Vicki Guerrero granted Chavo Guerrero the PPV match with Mysterio, whom Chavo had put on the shelf in late 2006. The next week, Chavo came to the ring in a Mysterio masked and mocked Rey’s injury. He continued to wear the mask over the next two weeks and both shows saw Chavo unleash a vicious mean streak as he destroyed both Shannon Moore and Funaki.

Scott: The build to this match was actually pretty good, as Chavo came out and mocked Rey after the announcement was made that he would return at Summerslam. Coming out in his mask and mocking him while pummeling fellow cruiserweights Shannon Moore and Funaki. Then the moment little kids in masks have waiting ten months for. Rey comes up through the floor with his fireworks and one thing was clear when he walked down the ramp: Wow he looks bloated. Secondly, Rey uses special occasions like Wrestlemania to dress like a comic character. Tonight it’s Silver Surfer. He took it to the next level by having silver paint on his torso. So as the match progresses he starts looking bloated and half-painted. The crux of the match is for Chavo to work over Rey’s reconstructed knee. The crowd is back into this with “Rey” and “Chavo Sucks” chants as they want to see their Mexican hero take down the late Uncle Eddie’s nephew. The psychology is great as Rey was going to go for the 619 but his knee gave out and Chavo ratchets the single leg crab. The match picked up midway through even though Rey is working in essence at half speed. Chavo hit the Gory Bomb but Rey kicked out. Every time Rey tries to make a comeback the knee goes out and Chavo goes for the Three Amigos, but Rey makes his big comeback, hits the 619 and the top rope splash to win the match and retribution. Aside from Rey’s ridiculous outfit, he wrestles a decent match and the crowd is back into the show. Grade: 3

Justin: After a serious knee injury and a lengthy rehab, Rey Mysterio makes his long awaited return to action, facing off with his friend turned enemy. Rey was decked out in all silver, including having his body painted, to pay tribute to the Silver Surfer. He was also sporting quite the little gut, showing that he wasn’t quite in ring shape just yet. The focus in this match was clearly centered on Rey’s revenge against the man who tried to end his career. The fans in the arena were happy to see Rey back, cheering him on from the moment the bell rang. Rey tried to show his quickness early, trying to show he was fully healed. On the other side, Chavo looked to zero in on the rehabbed knee with his offense. JBL really harped on how hard it is to trust your body after a serious injury, a great point that added to the story of the bout. Rey moved well, but eventually missed a dropkick in the corner and hung himself in the tree of woe, wrenching that knee and giving Chavo control. Chavo continued to pound and stretch the knee, slowing the match down and looking for Rey to tap out. Rey gallantly battled back, but you could tell he just wasn’t fully ready for in ring action as he was a step slower and a little hesitant. Regardless, he still lands his big moves as the match wound down, picking up near falls on Chavo. Rey gave Chavo an opening, allowing him to hit a Gory Bomb for a close near fall. Rey stayed alive but Chavo kept the pressure on. Rey finally was able to snap Chavo into the ropes, land the 619 and hit a springboard splash to win his return match. This was a fine bout, definitely not up to their usual standards, but it is what you would expect for Rey in his first match back after major surgery. We will see how he works himself back into shape and where Chavo now goes from here with this feud seemingly in the books. Grade: 2.5

4) Beth Phoenix wins a Battle Royal to earn a Women’s Title match
Participants: Beth Phoenix, Brooke Adams, Jillian Hall, Kelly, Kristal, Layla, Maria, Melina, Michelle McCool, Mickie James, Torrie Wilson & Victoria

Fun Fact: William Regal made this match on 8/20 to determine a new top contender for Candice Michelle’s Women’s Title.

Fun Fact II: This is Kristal Marshall’s final WWE PPV appearance. In February, Kristal and Vicki Guerrero began to unveil a sinister plot. Shortly after, Kristal entered into a relationship with Teddy Long and the two were set to wed on 9/21, During their courtship, Kristal was able to convince Teddy to hire Vicki as assistant GM. During the wedding, an overwhelmed Long suffered a heart attack, ending the wedding ceremony and putting Long on the sidelines, allowing Vicki to become interim GM. Before the relationship between Vicki and Kristal could develop further, Kristal was released in October. She would debut in October 2009 alongside her husband Bobby Lashley and remained with the company until early 2010.

Scott: Wow, this is a colossal waste of time. The highlight here is one guys sign that says “Divas, let’s settle this in my hotel room.” There are maybe four legitimate wrestlers in this thing, and the rest are eye candy. This match should have been on either Raw and Smackdown and the winner should have faced Candace for the title here. Another, better match could have had time added to it and we could have had a decent little title match. Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Melina and that’s probably it. In the end Beth Phoenix won, which I could have told you was the right thing to do without wasting time on a silly battle royal. Grade: 1

Justin: With no clear contender lined up, our next match is a Diva battle royal to determine who will challenge Candice next. The ring was filled with ladies from across all three brands as Candice looked on from ringside. This was a pretty standard battle royal, with nobody really standing out as a clear favorite. In the end, the match boiled down to Melina, Torrie Wilson, Beth Phoenix and Michelle McCool. I am surprised to see how quickly Mickie James has fallen from her perch as top Diva. She has barely been featured in title feuds and doesn’t make the final group here. Melina was the first to go, bringing a smile to Candice’s face. Torrie went down next, and the match came down to Beth and Michelle. Beth would use her strength, hoist Michelle up and toss her to the floor. It was clear Beth was being set up for a big push here and Candice was in her crosshairs. Grade: .5

*** MVP walks to the ring and two attendants carry a cooler out with him. He brags about his refined tastes in alcohol and then agrees to lower his standards and challenges Matt Hardy to a beer-drinking contest. Hardy obliges and heads to the ring as this rivalry continues to bud. Cole informs us that MVP & Hardy are being forced to team up and challenge Deuce & Domino for the tag titles later in the week on Smackdown. Hardy reminds MVP that he chose a substitute, Evander Holyfield, to face Hardy in a boxing match a couple weeks back. So, Hardy has picked a substitute tonight…Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin emerged to a huge pop and it was a nice surprise to see him back. Just as the contest was about to begin, Austin dropped MVP with a stunner and celebrated in the ring to end the segment. ***

5) John Morrison (John Hennigan) defeats CM Punk (Phil Brooks) with a roll up to retain ECW Title at 8:09

Fun Fact: On 7/24, CM Punk pinned John Morrison during a tag team match. The next week, Morrison decreed that Elijah Burke, Tommy Dreamer and Punk would face off and the winner received a non-title match the following week. If the winner could then last fifteen minutes with the champ, the challenger would receive a title match. Punk won the triple threat and then defeated Morrison in 14:55 the next week to earn another title shot. On the 8/18 SNME, Punk again pinned Morrison in a tag match. On 8/21, Morrison finally got some revenge when he pinned Punk in a tag bout.

Scott: For the third consecutive PPV, CM Punk gets a third straight shot at the ECW Title. I’m surprised this match isn’t Extreme Rules since it is…well ECW. Punk’s stock continues to rise both on the card and in the fans’ hearts. With Rob Van Dam gone, someone else had to slide into that slot as fan favorite next to Jeff Hardy. Both these guys know each other so well that this match is easily the best one of the three. Morrison is bigger and stronger than Punk but “Straight Edge” is probably the better wrestler. That’s ok as Morrison is feeding off of Punk’s workrate and enhancing his work. This was probably one of the better audibles the writers did by putting the title on Morrison after the Benoit mess. Unfortunately the ending is pretty cheesy as Morrison puts his feet on the ropes. That’s why I think this match needed to be Extreme Rules. Another tough loss for Punk, is he out of chances? Grade: 3.5

Justin: Another month is in the books and CM Punk is yet again challenging for the ECW Title. This time, he reenters the Palace of Wisdom to challenge the Shaman of Sexy, John Morrison. Morrison’s gimmick overhaul was a good one and has really helped him stand out a bit more and start to put his MNM past in the rearview mirror. Despite his multiple failed attempts at winning the gold, Punk still gets a warm welcome from the fans, which were in his corner here. Punk smothered Morrison early, looking for a quick victory. When the champ was able to turn the momentum, he was pretty aggressive, really peppering Punk’s head with quick punches. Part of the story here was how each man knew the other quite well by this point, so their standard offense was not going to work. The pace was very good as the second half of the match saw both men trading strikes and near falls. It was clear these two had very good chemistry and it was on display once again. In the end, Morrison cheated, put his feet on the ropes and cradled Punk for the win. Morrison retains his gold and Punk comes up short yet again. Even though it is usually through nefarious mean, you have to wonder how much damage these losses are doing for Punk as he continuously comes up short. This was a good match, nothing stellar, but at this point these two could churn out a good match in their sleep. Grade: 3

6) Triple H (Paul Levesque) defeats King Booker (Booker Huffman) with a Pedigree at 7:57

Fun Fact: On 7/30, King Booker continued calling out Triple H, claiming he was the one true King of WWE. The next week, Booker defeated Jerry Lawler and as a result Lawler would be forced to crown Booker the following week. On 8/13, before crowning Booker, Lawler revealed that William Regal had set up Booker to face a returning Triple H at Summerslam. Booker responded by attacking Lawler and cracking him with a TV monitor. Finally, the next week, Booker brought out and mocked a skinny Triple H impersonator. He then forced Jim Ross to kiss his ring before shoving JR back into his chair.

Fun Fact II: This is Triple H’s first PPV match since injuring his leg at New Year’s Revolution.

Fun Fact III: This is King Booker’s final WWE PPV match for over three years. He would lose to John Cena the following night and then was suspended for appearing on the infamous Signature Pharmacy steroid distribution list. Booker disputed the claim and was eventually released from the company per his request in October, alongside Sharmell. Two weeks later, he would debut in TNA.

Scott: You will excuse me if I am totally subjective and bias towards this match. This was nowhere near the great marking out moment I had in 2002 when he made his big return to the WWF after the major quad injury. This however brought many fans of the H, including me, into rapture. Being out since January, including missing his first Wrestlemania, was killing me and many fans. The product ran ok while he was gone, but without Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Edge and Rey Mysterio things were looking fairly bleak. Now the King of Kings is back and this wrestling fan is enjoying every minute of it. He’s returned to take his rightful place on wrestling’s throne. King Booker has been talking serious trash over the past several weeks saying he was the true king of wrestling. Well Jerry Lawler will always be the true King but I digress. These two met at Wrestlemania XIX but the stakes, the personalities and the crowd is very different from that match four and a half years earlier. The match isn’t bad, fairly standard actually. Nobody really cares though as they just wanted to see The Game get his return win. He definitely did. This was a decent enough match between two professionals. Grade: 2.5

Justin: For the second time tonight, we have the return of a major star. Over the last month, King Booker has stepped up his rhetoric about being the one true King of WWE, doing his best to eradicate all other pretenders. One of those other self-proclaimed kings was Triple H, who was due back just in time for Summerslam. After a somewhat over-the-top entrance video and pyro display, The Game makes his return to WWE TV, his first live appearance since January, and the crowd goes bonkers for him. Hunter got off to a fast start, smacking Booker to the floor with a clothesline. Booker quickly took over and focused on Hunter’s rehabbed leg. This was about paint-by-numbers as it gets as the crowd tries to rally Hunter, but Booker just stomps and slugs away at him. Hunter looked pretty good here, as he slimmed way down and didn’t come back all jacked up like he did back in 2002. He survives a Book End from Booker, dodged a Harlem Hangover and finished off Booker with the Pedigree to get his first PPV win since 2006. This was nothing special, just a basic match to get Hunter back in the game. After a long run of consistent PPV appearances since he debuted in 2001, Booker now takes a leave of absence for a while. As great as the King gimmick was for him, he definitely needed some time away to freshen up, so his departure wasn’t the worst thing for the company at this point. Hunter is back and you know that it won’t be long before he is back in the main event picture. Grade: 2

7) Batista defeats Great Khali (Dalip Singh) by disqualification when Khali uses a steel chair at 6:55; Khali retains World Heavyweight Title

Fun Fact: On 7/27, Batista challenged Great Khali to a title match, but was refused. An angered Batista knocked Khali to the floor with a spear. The next week, Teddy Long announced that Batista would receive his title match at Summerslam. Later that night, Batista & Ric Flair battled Deuce & Domino and the match ended in DQ after Khali got involved. With Batista wiped out on the floor, Khali locked a claw on Flair to end the show. On 8/10, Khali defeated Flair in a non-title match. After the bout, Batista came down to save Flair, but Khali locked him in the claw as the show faded out. A week later, Khali struck again, locking Batista in the claw once again. The next night on SNME, Batista & Kane defeated Khali & Finlay. On 8/24, Batista fired the final blow, knocking Khali to the floor and punching the champ until he was busted open.

Scott: Once again, the Animal gets another crack at the World Title. 2007 has been his year of missed opportunities. It’s amazing how over Batista still is considering he hasn’t won a PPV match since the Royal Rumble, including five consecutive championship matches. I thought immediately that Khali was nothing more than a holdover champion for Batista to finally conquer. In fact Batista really put his power moves on display and worked the massive Punjabi over, including a big time spinebuster. I was actually enjoying the big powerfest as Khali really looked motivated since getting this unexpected opportunity to be Smackdown’s top dog. However, in a completely retarded ending Khali gets himself disqualified by knocking Batista out with a steel chair. This after Batista kicked out of Khali’s big powerbomb finisher. The fans get ripped off and Batista again does not become champion. I was absolutely floored that Batista didn’t win the title here and that he lost another PPV title opportunity. I can’t believe he’s still over with the fans after leaving belt-less. The writers must think that this feud has more legs to it, which is why the change didn’t happen here. I really do like this match, but I wish Batista had finally taken the gold back. Grade: 3

Justin: The unlikely entertaining championship reign of the Great Khali rolls on to another PPV. And of course, it wouldn’t be a PPV without a Batista title shot, as he has once again found himself with a shot at the gold. If he doesn’t win here, things are really going to reach a comical level. Khali smashes Batista early, chopping him down and following with elbows, knees and kicks. Batista just couldn’t get on track here, as Khali went to his nervehold to wear down the challenger. The crowd started to get a little restless, as Batista just could not turn things around. Just as he started to show some life, Khali caught Batista coming off the top rope and planted him with a huge tree slam. After Batista kicked out, Khali was out of ideas to defeat the Animal, so he grabbed a chair and smacked Batista with it to take the easy way out and retain his gold. JBL was not very happy with that finish and I can’t blame him at all. After the bell, Batista snaps and wrecks Khali with the chair, getting some revenge. Another month down, and it is another blown title shot for Batista and he is really starting to look like a major league choker when it comes to title matches. Grade: 1

8) John Cena defeats Randy Orton with an FU to retain WWE Championship at 21:20

Fun Fact: On 7/23, Randy Orton assaulted John Cena and dropped him with an RKO on the stage. Jonathan Coachman then appeared and announced Orton as the number one contender for Cena’s title. Earlier in the night, Orton sent Dusty Rhodes to the hospital with a punt to the head. The next week, he did the same to Sgt. Slaughter. On 8/6, Orton interfered in Cena’s match with Umaga. The next week, Cena teamed with Umaga to defeat Carlito and Orton. On 8/20, Orton jumped Cena during a match with Snitsky, dropping him with two RKOs.

Scott: Jim Ross opened with a fascinating fun fact of his own as this main event began. He said that since John Cena first won the WWE Title 27 months ago at Wrestlemania XXI, he’s been WWE Champion for all but three of those 27 months. That’s harkening back to the days when Hogan, Savage, hell even Bob Backlund were long-term champions. As the match begins, we have the usual “Cena Sucks” chants from the guys who are also cheering loudly for all of Orton’s maneuvers. I really liked the way this match was going, from the hot crowd to the big match feel. Remember, this is the first ever meeting between these two young studs. So for the second consecutive month we have a very fresh matchup here that the crowd was really digging. I have to give more kudos to the Orton fans than to the Cena fans here, as they’re really amping the energy level for this match. It doesn’t hurt that the show is in New Jersey, a wrestling hotbed. Orton dominated most of the action early on, continuing to increase his maturity level in the ring. He’s become more deliberate in the ring, going at his pace and really putting his moves over. His moveset was never anything to write home about, but Orton puts it over and makes it better than it probably is. Cena as usual is doing his excellent job as the face in peril, hitting his occasional moves but for the most part taking a pretty good shit-kicking. This match is definitely different than Cena’s match with Bobby Lashley at the Great American Bash. That match was very even in the way the pacing went, where both men really got their shots in and went back and forth. Here Orton dominated the action for a good majority of it, except when Cena would make up moves and get comebacks. He always does that weird middle of the air neck breaker thing. I never understood who taught him that. Orton actually wrestled the smarter match with some good reversals. Orton’s big mistake came when he should have gone for the RKO at a moment when Cena was down. Instead he thought about the head punt, but he took too long and Cena ducked it then locked in the STFU. Orton got out of it and hit an RKO but Cena ducked out of it. Both men were out of it when Cena hit an STF out of nowhere and again came from behind to retain his championship. I didn’t remember this match very well but watching it again, it could be a top five candidate for match of the year. I might me overrating this match, but that’s fine. It’s a great main event and the end to a solid Summerslam. Grade: 4

Justin: With seven blasé matches in the books, we now look to the main event to hopefully save the show. John Cena and Randy Orton have been indirectly linked to each other since they both debuted as bland babyfaces back in 2002, but this was the first time they entered into a feud so it felt like a pretty big deal at the time. The crowd was pretty hot here as Cena and Orton circled each other to start the match. With that opening segment, this definitely felt like a big time bout. They traded matwork early, but Orton took advantage of Cena arguing with the referee by popping him in the skull with a right hand. The crowd buzz was sustained as Orton pounded on the champion, trying his best to ring his bell and set him up for a punt to the head. Cena’s brief comeback ended with a thud as he missed a cross body and then was shoved off the apron and into the announce table. With Cena banged up, Orton’s offense became methodical and precise, targeting the legs and head, busting out the legendary Garvin Stomp in the process. After a lengthy chinlock from Orton, Cena finally fired up and got back into the match as the split crowd both cheered and booed him vociferously. As Orton cut Cena off and turned his assault back to the champ’s head, the crowd was at a fever pitch and were honestly playing as big a role in the match as the competitors. Despite all the damage, Cena kept fighting back, unwilling to stay down and give up his gold. The ebb and flow at this point was great, as every time you thought the match was winding down, things picked right back up and neither man would give in. I don’t often give props to JR and Lawler, but they were very good here and really helped tell the story of the match and put over its importance. Cena dodged a punt and hooked the STFU and it looked like Orton was finally cooked. Somehow, he survived and hit an RKO for another wild near fall. Orton was dazed and confused and Cena preyed on it by bouncing up and hitting an FU to win the match and keep his belt. This was a great main event as these guys had tremendous chemistry and told a great story in the ring. Cena’s title reign continues on as we close in on a full year. Orton has come a long way here in 2007 and he has elevated himself from bit tag team player to a legit main event player that fits right into the title picture. Grade: 4

Final Analysis

Scott: I really liked this show from top to bottom. Sure there was a couple of duds in there but I was pretty much entertained throughout. The John Cena train keeps on rolling along with another big PPV main event win, and again he had to battle from behind as Randy Orton really brought his working boots and put on a great match. The World Title match was fun except for that ridiculous ending with Khali just getting himself disqualified for really no reason whatsoever. The undercard was pretty good as well, particularly the growing feud between CM Punk and John Morrison. Sure Punk lost again, but Morrison cheated and the match was great. The roster seemed to have shifted around and with some returns on the horizon things overall may be looking up. This is one of those Summerslams you think on paper isn’t very good, but it really isn’t. If you have it, throw it in and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Final Grade: A-

Justin:For the fifth straight year, we get a very disappointing Summerslam from the company. For the six years before that, Summerslam tended to be one of the best shows of the year, but starting in 2003, things really started to take a turn for the worse and this show did not turn that trend around. Filled with short, bland matches that featured uninspired and basic work, there are no standout matches on this card at all. Nothing of any level of importance really happened outside of Triple H and Rey Mysterio making their long-awaited returns to win paint-by-numbers matches. It was nice to see the continued pushes of some of the younger guys, including John Morrison and Umaga, but again these aren’t happenings that should be carrying a marquee PPV like Summerslam. One of the few positives was the crowd, as they pretty much stayed into each match throughout the night. The main event was really good and salvaged the show somewhat, but on a whole it was a disappointing Summerslam. 2007 started off hot but has tapered off a bit as the summer comes to a close. Final Grade: C-

MVP: John Cena & Randy Orton
Runner Up: Umaga
Non MVP: Batista
Runner Up: CM Punk

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