The John Report: Thoughts on Summerslam 2009 (Hardy/Punk TLC, Orton/Cena)

The John Report: Thoughts on Summerslam 2009 (Hardy/Punk TLC, Orton/Cena)

This will be a column recapping my thoughts on Summerslam. Go elsewhere for full detailed results. I’ll give you my immediate reactions to the matches with star ratings and whatever else might come to mind. I wrote this all “live” and am posting it about 30 minutes after the show has ended.

Rey Mysterio d. Dolph Ziggler
Great choice for the opener because the crowd is always going to be into a Mysterio match. I loved how Ziggler kept going for pins. Awesome 619 counter by Ziggler although then he hit Billy Gunn’s finisher. Ugh, I don’t like things that remind me of Gunn. How many nearfalls in the match? At least 25, if not more. Great “Let’s go Ziggler” chant too. It lived up to the hype as the opener and it was better than their match a month earlier. I would have liked to see Ziggler with the belt, but it’ll happen sooner or later. ***1/2

I really liked the MVP/Swagger face to face promo. MVP was especially great. Why can’t they do it on Raw when more people are watching and may be influenced to buy the PPV?

MVP d. Jack Swagger
The crowd was pretty dead for much of it, sadly. They cheered for the signature spots of MVP, but not much else. I guess 40 second matches on Raw aren’t helpful, huh? I’m glad that MVP got a clean win because he certainly needs it. They need to put each of these guys into longer matches on Raw so the crowd can get used to their styles. The right guy won. We’ll see what’s next for MVP. I don’t have much faith. *3/4

Classy move to support the Nancy O’Dell charity. I don’t mind that. Nice to see Freddie Prinze Jr. survived the week.

Chris Jericho & Big Show d. Cryme Tyme
New theme for Jerishow. I think it’s better than what they had before, so good for them for realizing it needed change. The match was a pretty standard tag with the champs working over the faces. The crowd bought the Cryme Tyme nearfallss because they were made to look credible in the build to this. Wow, what a cool finish. Jericho with the Walls of Jericho, JTG gets ropes and Show decks him with the punch. Love that ending. **1/2

Another classic promo from CM Punk. This guy rules. I’m drinking beer, by the way. Nothing Straight Edge here.

Kane d. The Great Khali
Kane won with a DDT after a low dropkick. That’s enough about this match. To their credit, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it could be. So kudos for that. See how positive I am? 1/2*

DeGeneration X d. Legacy
Wow, that was an elaborate entrance complete with the firing off of cannons in order to make the dick jokes. I think that it took longer than the MVP/Swagger match, but the crowd was really hot for it. This match reminded me of how much I missed HBK. I’m glad that it wasn’t a squash. They gave Legacy enough offense to make you think that maybe they’d get the win. It was really booked evenly with Legacy scoring some genuine nearfalls. Loved how they took turns cheating at the end too. HBK destroying Rhodes with the Sweet Chin Music when they were both tired was the perfect finish. Very fun old school tag match that surprised me with how good it was and 20 minutes was the right amount of time. Kudos to all four guys, but especially to Legacy for coming up big in the biggest match of their careers. This was definitely one of the better WWE tag matches of the year, if not the best. ***3/4

Christian d. William Regal to retain the ECW Title
Christian pinned him immediately after the bell rang with the Killswitch. I’m talking like a seven second match. Post match, Regal beat him up along with his stable of Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson. I guess this means the feud will continue. No match rating.

Randy Orton d. John Cena to retain the WWE Title
Slow pace to this as expected so that Orton could do his patented gazing. I am a huge fan of the DDT off the ropes that Orton does, by the way. The false finish was pretty weak with Orton shoving the ref and the bell ringing. Then Lillian screwed up the announcement. Good for her, it’s her last day tomorrow. You’re allowed to screw up on the way out. Anyway, the match got re-ordered by Vince McMahon (we never saw him). A couple of minutes later he walks out for the countout. We then find out if Orton gets DQ’d or counted out he loses the belt. Seconds after that, Orton wins with his feet on the ropes in the most obvious use of the ropes and another ref comes in to tell the current official what happened. The match restarts, Cena slaps on the STF and Orton’s about to tap when some random fan runs in. Security jumps on him while the wrestlers stop what they’re doing. It looks real, but it’s clearly not because everybody stops what they’re doing. If it was real there’d be more people jumping on the guy. My guess is it’s something where the person was Orton’s friend that was there to make sure Orton didn’t lose. The fact that people think it was real showed it worked perfectly. The match continues with Randy hitting the RKO while on the apron for the pinfall. The voices in my head tell me there will be a rematch, folks. This was more of a storyline than a match. **1/2

CM Punk d. Jeff Hardy to win the World Title
I’m genuinely happy that this is the last match on the show. Pretty cool to know that hard working smaller wrestlers like Punk and Hardy are main eventing the second biggest show of the year. It’s the best feud in WWE right now and maybe this year (along with Rey/Jericho), so they definitely deserve it. This was as brutal (in the good way, not the Kane/Khali way) as advertised. Hardy going straight through the table was great and the powerbomb off the ladder spot always works for me too. Wow, when Jeff’s leg went across the top rope after falling off the ladder it looked really scary especially for his neck. That superplex onto the ladder on the mat was brutal. Maybe Punk needs to take some painkillers after that. You know Jeff will. (High five to all those that use drugs.) JR said Hardy’s addicted to adrenaline. Just not addicted enough to sign a long term contract extension. Hardy’s offense with the use of the chair was great because he took so much shit from Punk that as a fan you feel that Punk deserves that. HOLY FUCK Jeff’s insane. That ladder was HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE. Swanton off the ladder through Punk lying on the table. Might as well go all out with no more matches on the horizon, but wow, that was fucking nuts. That might top his previous huge spots from 8 or 9 years ago. They lay their dead for a couple of minutes until the refs helped them. Then a climb up the ladder, Punk goes after the ribs, Jeff falls off and Punk wins. Thank you Punk. Thank you Jeff Hardy. This is the kind of match that makes me continue to be a wrestling fan…just as long as both guys are safe. It was an epic match in the top three of the year with Michaels/Undertaker and Jericho/Mysterio (from the Bash). ****1/4

Post match, as Punk was standing over Hardy the gong hit. The lights went out and when they came back on it was Undertaker there. He chokeslammed Punk to end the show. Cheesy? A little, but it worked for me. I liked it. Good way to end the show on a positive note too. I’m glad that they didn’t overbook the match with Matt Hardy being involved. It wasn’t necessary here. What they did worked.

Three Stars of the Show
1. Jeff Hardy – It was probably his last match in WWE for a while, but hopefully not ever. What a way to go out.
2. CM Punk – Awesome job again. The guy continues to impress. Other than Jericho, my favorite performer in WWE.
3. Legacy – Both of them. Their best performance in WWE to date.

Final Thoughts
I think this was the best PPV of 2009 in WWE. We got three really good matches ending with a main event that was definitely the best PPV main event this year. You can make a very good case that Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk has been the feud of the year, along with Jericho/Mysterio. Sounds like a good poll question one of these days.

I think Ziggler looked credible against Rey while Legacy performed very well with DX. Cryme Tyme looked better than they ever have too. Losing the matches doesn’t matter in the long run. It’s the experience of working with top guys that will make them better performers. They’ll get their wins when the time is right. It’s just not right now. I’m also happy that MVP got a decisive win that hopefully shoots him up the ladder a bit. And hey, Kane/Khali wasn’t brutal. Please no more of them, alright?

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Orton/Cena booking, but I understand it. They never book Cena to lose a match clean especially in singles, so they had to be creative in order to build to the rematch. The positive is that the chemistry between Orton/Cena was pretty good. I look forward to their next match because it could be great even with the submission gimmick on it.

8 out of 10.

If you missed it find some way to check it out. It’s worth it. Best PPV of the year. Congratulations to WWE for a successful Summerfest…err Summerslam.


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See you on Tuesday for the next Raw Deal.

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