SummerSlam 2008 gives us The Undertaker and Edge in a Hell in the Cell match. CM Punk and JBL go face-to-face for the World Heavyweight Title, Matt Hardy squares up with Mark Henry for the ECW Championship and on the WWE side of the Strap we get Triple H and The Great Kahli….all this and so much more in this edition of The Chairshot Classic.
Today we will spend the evening in The Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The show is sold-out with 15,997 in attendance and another 447K tuning in on PPV at home. The theme song for the night will be “Ready to Roll” by Jet Black Stare and the event is sponsored by the 20th Century Fox film “Street Kings”. On a sidenote this is a great movie that stars Keanu Reeves and Forrest Whitaker. Its the story of crooked cops and one mans journey to bring it all down. Check it out. This is also the first PPV after the WWE went to a PG rating, the last one of the PG-13 era being The Great American Bash. Let’s head to the arena and see if this effects the overall product as it’s time for “The Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer”!
The show opens with a movie trailer that is done to make SummerSlam seem like the Blockbuster event of the Summer. It goes on to show Vickie Guerrero reinstate The Undertaker and grant him his Hell in a Cell match with Edge. This a feud that carried over from WrestleMania and Taker and Edge were the first to Main Event both events in the same year. This is a well done package and ranks up there in best opens at SummerSlam for sure.
After the package ends Jim Ross welcomes us into the sold-out show and he introduces the other announcers, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Michael Cole. The three men run through the nights card and the first competitor of the night is introduced. Jeff Hardy enters and he gets the usual love from the fans. Or as a JR says “A Michael Phelps-like welcome.” JR is tasked with calling the first match and his partner is Tazz. I wish they would move past this mutli-brand announcing as I am a fan of just one announce crew, not three. Montel Vontavious Porter, or MVP is next out for what looks to be a good opening bout.
As soon as the bell sounds, MVP goes for a big opening kick but Hardy dodges it. This opens a window of opportunity for Jeff to land a series of haymakers to the midsection. MVP rolls from the ring to recover and Hardy is quick to follow him. MVP uses this to his advantage and slides right back into the ring, hoping to get the upper hand. This backfires, and Jeff pulls him back out of the ring by his feet. Hardy then slams MVP into the security wall getting the first nice pop of the night. After high-fiving some fans, Hardy bounces MVP off the apron and returns him to the ring. A springboard leg drop and a pin attempt follow, but MVP gets his foot on the rope to break the count. An armbar is next, and when Hardy transitions into a standing variety of the hold, MVP is able to find the ropes. Hardy keeps the advantage for some time but it starts to shift after MVP hits the charging Hardy with a belly-to-belly toss into the turnbuckle. MVP tries for a cover but Hardy gets the shoulder up at two. MVP works Hardy with an armlock next and every time Hardy is close to escaping, Porter nails him with strikes to keep the hold applied. This eventually leads to Jeff Hardy being put in the camel clutch in the center of the ring. Jeff manages to escape it, but MVP is quick to put him into a variation of a single leg crab. Hardy finally finds the ropes and the official is forced to break the hold.
Hardy rolls to the apron to escape the stomps of MVP and tries to springboard back into the ring. This doesn’t go as planned and MVP catches Jeff, mid springboard, with a right hook. The crowd have a little “MVP” chant here as he brings Hardy back into the ring. Porter tries for a cover and is shocked when he is only rewarded a near fall. An Alabama slam is next, and this leaves Hardy suspended in a tree of woe position. After a quick argument with the official, MVP slams Hardy to the mat and goes for another cover. He is again only gets a near fall and pick Hardy back up. He puts Jeff into a Razor’s Edge like set-up but Hardy escapes with the backslide and catches MVP with a reverse neckbreaker. Hardy lands the mule kick and this sends MVP into the corner. When Hardy charges him, MVP pulls off the ropes for momentums and dropkicks Hardy square in the chest. This had some nice impact and sends Hardy sailing across the ring. MVP is quick with another cover attempt, but for the fourth time he only gets the two count. MVP then whips Jeff into the corner, and when he bounces back out, MVP sends him right back into it with a dropkick. MVP tries for the Drive-by Kick but Hardy explodes from the corner and catches him with a slingblade. Both men lay prone as the ref starts his count. They both slowly return to their feet at the count of seven and Hardy gets the advantage with a Russian leg sweep. Hardy tries for the leg drop cover but it’s MVP’s turn to kick-out. Hardy explodes into a springboard Whisper in the Wind and so does the crowd when this happens. Hardy is quick to return to the top rope, and when he gets up there we see Shelton Benjamin appear at ringside. Hardy crossbodies him and returns right to the top rope. Jeff tries for the Swanton Bomb, but the interference allows MVP to roll from harms way. Hardy hits the mat hard and this allows MVP to hit the Drive-by Kick. When MVP makes the cover, this time he gets the three count and the victory. This was a decent match but I expected better from these two. Not a must watch by any stretch of the imagination and could be skipped over. Match Time-10:21
Next we get an interview with two of the competitors in the next match that is an inter-gender bout with the Intercontinental and Women’s Championships on the line. This is team Glamerella, which is made up of Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella. Maria Kanellis interviews the two and this is all really lame stuff here. We re-enter the arena after this tragedy and Lillian Garcia tells us that this is a winner takes all tag-team bout for the IC and Women’s Titles. I find this quite offensive to one of my all-time favorite Titles, The Intercontinental Championship. Out first is the Women’s Champion Mickie James, who receives a nice pop from the fans. The IC Champ is out next and the crowd has even more pop for Kofi Kingston. Glamerella is out next and incase you’re to young to remember this name was a play on the common theme of combined celebrity names at the time. Most famously was the couple of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, or Brangelina, if you will.
The Glamazon and Mickie James start the bout and the collar and elbow leads to a side headlock for Mickie. She tries to hip toss Phoenix, but she is overpowered and Phoenix tosses Mickie off of her. Phoenix is soon kneeling after James dropkicks her knee out from under her. James then hits the ropes and lands another dropkick, this time to the face of Phoenix. Phoenix reverses into a backdrop and this allows her to tag in Marella. As this is a inter-gender match Mickie James isn’t forced to come out and lands a kick to the back of Marella’s head. She avoids a clothesline from him and this gives her the opportunity to tag in her partner. After the tag is made, Kingston enters the ring via the top rope and nails Marella with a crossbody. Kofi lands a few flipping maneuvers before he sends Santino Marella flying from the ring with a European uppercut. Phoenix starts to yell at her partner and this is when James enters the ring and sends Phoenix sailing off the apron with a dropkick to the back. The crowd pops for this and Beth picks Santino up, as to protect him, because it looks like Kofi is coming out of the ring with a suicide dive. Kofi instead dives into the top rope, intentionally, and bounces back into the ring. Cool stuff here from Kingston.
Marella returns to the apron and when Kofi tries to pull him into the ring Marella hotshots him with a reverse neckbreaker. After Marella does a little more offense and delivers a thumb to the eye of Kingston, he tags Beth Phoenix back in. After a quick kick to the midsection of Kofi, she tags her partner right back in. Marella hits a snap suplex and goes for the cover. Kofi kicks it out at two. Marella responds to this by sitting on the back of Kofi and wrenching on the IC champ’s neck. Kofi eventually stands this up and both men hit the ropes. The two collide in the middle and it looks as though they accidently bumped heads. Marella makes the tag and Kofi is able to do the same. Mickie comes in hot and nails the Glamazon with a series of forearms. Mickie then hits the ropes and takes Phoenix off her feet with a slingblade. She hits a second slingblade and when Marella tries to enter the ring James dropkicks him off the apron. After a hurricanrana, Mickie heads to the top rope and hits Phoenix with the Lou Thesz press from the air. She goes for the cover but Marella enters the ring to break it up. James hits him with a cool tornado DDT but this allows Phoenix to attack her from behind. Phoenix hits James with the Glam Slam and makes the cover. The ref counts the three and Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella are new Title holders. This is the first time the IC Title changed hands at SummerSlam since 2002 when Rob Van Dam beat Chris Benoit. (More on that here.) If you have taken the time to read about this match do yourself a favor and DON’T watch it. Pure trash and a disgrace to a Title that has been carried by some of the greatest bell-to-bell performers of all-time. Match Time-5:35