Michael Cole and The King join us after a commercial for the Hardy’s documentary, Twist of Fate. This doc is a good watch and is available on the Network if you haven’t seen it yet. The pair tell us that Shawn Michaels will be on to tell us what his future with the company is going to be. This all stems from an eye injury he suffered at the hands of Chris Jericho at The Great American Bash, the previous PPV/ We get a clip showing us all this and the feud that ensued. The injury came from a back elbow to the face that split Michaels wide open for the last PPV of the PG-13 era. Shawn Michaels enters the arena in a suit, and is joined by his wife, Rebecca Hickenbottom. The Hickenbottom’s receive a warm welcome from the fans as they make their way into the ring. The couple take to the mic and both appear visibly upset. Shawn says he is taking the recommendations of the doctor, this time, and is going to walk away from the business. The crowd of course are reacting negatively to this decision. Shawn brings them back to happy by highlighting his career and thanking them for being a part of his journey to this point of his career. This is a great speech, but it is soon interrupted by Chris Jericho’s theme music. Jericho enters and is wearing a finely tailored suit. He enters the ring and does what he does best, takes to the microphone. Jericho then simply says “No.” Chris then says he wont let Michaels walk away unless he admits that Jericho is the reason for this. Michaels responds by sternly saying “If you even have the slightest amount of human decency, you will get out of this ring right now.” Jericho again tells HBK “No” and is still demanding he admit that Jericho is responsible for the forced retirement. Is Chris Jericho not one of the greatest Heels ever? I mean, as a kid I hated him, so I guess he is always doing his job. He is getting some good heat from the fans here too as he is ruining Michaels’ moment.
Jericho is still demanding Michaels admit it is him who caused this and now he even is saying stuff like “Go home and tell your kids why daddy can’t go to work anymore.” This dude is the best at being the Heel and if you haven’t seen his new stuff at NJPW, you are missing out. Michaels finally succumbs to the pestering of Jericho and responds by telling him “..I’ll sit my wife and kids down, and tell them the reason daddy can’t wrestle no more is because of the actions of a vile, selfish, worthless human being.” Shawn then asks Chris to go home, sit his wife and kid down and tell them that “Daddy will never be Shawn Michaels.” The crowd have a few “HBK” chants as Michaels turns his back on Jericho. This is when Jericho takes a shot at Michaels, but he ducks it and the punch connects with Rebecca instead. It is rumored that this punch actually hit her a little too hard and caused her to have a bloody lip. There was tension between the two in the back over this, allegedly, and she broke it by saying “Is that the best you’ve got, Jericho?” Michaels is quick to check on his wife as Jericho watches on. Jericho leaves the ring and continues to watch on as staff attends to Rebecca. Jericho keeps his eyes on Michaels, as he walks backwards up the ramp, and Michaels is eyeing him right back. The crowd gives Rebecca a standing ovation as she is helped back to her feet. We can notice here that the punch definitely connected because she has a fattened lip. The couple slowly make their way up the ramp and exit the arena. This is an amazing segment and I can see why Vince didn’t want to have the pay-off quite yet. It has been said that Michaels wanted to end the feud here at SummerSlam but Vince thought it was better to continue it on to Survivor Series, which they did. Check this one out and you wont be disappointed.
We see a quick commercial for wweshop.com before we re-enter the arena and are joined by the ECW announce team of Matt Striker and Todd Grisham. The ECW Championship is on the line for the next match and the crowd explodes when the challenger, Matt Hardy, enters. The Champion, Mark Henry, enters and the crowd has zero response for him even though he is joined by Tony Atlas. Henry is quick with some early punches and tosses Hardy into the corner. The World’s Strongest Man charges Hardy but the splash backfires when Hardy moves. Matt then hits an early Twist of Fate and when he makes the cover it appears to be over. Atlas stops it by pulling Hardy from the ring by his foot right before the three count. Atlas continues to attack Hardy as the ref calls for the bell. Atlas doesn’t stop and slams Hardy into the ring stairs. This is when the younger Hardy, Jeff, appears and attacks Atlas. Once he gets Atlas grounded, Jeff takes to the apron and hits him with a Swanton Bomb. The crowd is going crazy for this but I can’t say I like an ECW Championship match ending by DQ. You can still be Hardcore and maintain a PG rating. Henry joins the fight on the outside and is double suplexed. Match Time-:31
There is another commercial and this time it is for a DVD set that is the whole of SummerSlam up until this point. And hey, it even comes in a cool collectors cooler! I remember the days of not being able to turn on the Network and have the whole of the WWF/WWE library at our disposal. Sometimes I think we forget how lucky we are to have that option. After this commercial break we are now joined by Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler and they introduce us to the video that builds the next match between CM Punk and John “Bradshaw” Layfield that is for the World Heavyweight Championship. The video does a good job of telling a story of the feud between New York’s favorite son, JBL and the Cinderella story that is CM Punk. Good stuff here, and another well produced package by the WWE.
The challenger, JBL, enters first and of course it is in while stretch limo fully decked out with the bull horns on the hood. I wonder how hard it was to get that stupid thing into the arena. When the champion, CM Punk, enters, the crowd is sent into a frenzy. When both men are in the ring Lillian Garcia announces them and when she says JBL’s name the crowd respond with a resounding Boo. CM Punk’s welcome on the other hand is the loudest pop of the night. The”CM Punk” chants are in full force as the ref raises the Title high and the signals for the bell. The collar and elbow starts and JBL easily drives Punk into the corner. This, of course, causes the ref to separate them and the two are back to staring each other down. They attempt the collar and elbow once more but JBL uses a midsection knee to get Punk in a side headlock. Punk eventually breaks free and after a few trips off the ropes Punk nails JBL with the flying forearm. A dropkick from Punk follows this and JBL goes crashing through the ropes. Punk then hits the ropes and goes flying to the outside with the suicide dive into JBL. The crowd is in a frenzy after this maneuver. He then quickly returns JBL to the ring and takes to the top turnbuckle. The crossbody lands successfully and Punk makes the first cover attempt of the match. The leg is hooked but JBL still gets the kick-out.
JBL slows the gaining momentum of Punk by flattening him with a shoulder block. When Punk is on the ground Bradshaw gives his fingers a good stomping and this has always been a Heel move that I am a fan off. JBL whips Punk to the corner, and when he tries to meet Punk there he is met with a big boot. Punk then takes to the top turnbuckle again but this time JBL is quick to meet him there with a punch and a fall-away slam from the second rope. Bradshaw then makes his first cover attempt by hooking the leg, but Punk kicks him out. The JBL attack continues with right hands to the lower back, until he viciously whips Pink into the turnbuckle. The lower back of Punk becomes the focus of Bradshaw and he works it with a waistlock. Punk escapes it with some elbows to the midsection of JBL but is flattened with a clothesline after escaping. JBL then covers, but Punk kicks out. After a suplex, JBL tries for another cover but Punk again kicks out. The waistlock is reapplied after Punk kicks out following a side suplex. Some elbows to the side of JBL’s head are what allow Punk to escape this time. It doesn’t do much good because after they collide with their shoulders Punk finds himself in an abdominal stretch. A hip toss is what allows Punk to escape this hold but it takes all he has to do so and he falls to the mat after.
Both men are slow to rise and JBL finds himself dazed in the corner. This sets up Punk to drill him in the face with a high knee. Punk hit him with a running bulldog but when he tries for the GTS he drops JBL due to the “injured” lower back. This allows Bradshaw to get his first offensive maneuver in a while in and its a big one, The Clothesline From Hell. JBL then drops five elbows onto Punk and attempts the cover. Somehow Punk kicks it out and this causes Bradshaw to argue with the official a little. The two trade right hands and JBL comes out ahead after an eye poke. He tries for another Clothesline From Hell, but Punk ducks this one. This sets Punk up to take JBL off his feet with a flurry of punches and kicks. Punk goes to the apron and hits JBL with a springboard crossbody. This doesn’t go as planned and JBL catches Punk. He them drives Punk to the mat with a scoopslam and tries for the cover. When Punk kicks this one out JBL seams really frustrated with the official. When JBL raises his fist and stalks Punk as he rises to his feet. This get some nice heat from the fans. JBL hits the ropes for another Clothesline From Hell but is met with a dropkick from Punk instead. Punk whips him into the corner and nails JBL with another high knee. He again tries for the bulldog but JBL counters this one by atomic dropping Punk onto the top turnbuckle. Before JBL back drops Punk to the mat we can see blood forming at the crown of Punk’s head. They show a replay of this happening when the two collided heads earlier in the match. JBL is very slow to make a cover and this allows Punk to kick-out. Both men are slow to get to their feet and Punk strikes first, lifting JBL for the GTS. He successfully executes the finish and tries for the cover. The fans count along as the ref counts the three and CM Punk retains the World Heavyweight Championship. CM Punk raises the Title high and whips the blood from the top of his head onto his hand tape. He then points to the Title and we can see him mouth “I’ll bleed for this.” This definitely wasn’t supposed to happen as we are now in the blood-free PG era. We see the ref come over and say something and Punk soon stops. These two had some great in-ring chemistry here and it really translates into a great match. Realistically you could just skip right to this match in the PPV and not be missing much. Match Time-11:09