We see a package next that shows Triple H running through the SmackDown roster during his WWE Championship reign. This video builds to his feud with the Punjabi Nightmare, The Great Kahli and his mouthpiece Ranjin Singh. The package shows Khali running through the roster in a similar way and builds to an arm wresting contest between the two. Just when it looks as Triple H has him beat, Khali cheats and hits Hunter with a headbutt. One of the big questions in the video is whether or not Triple H will be able to give the big man a Pedigree. Lets head to the arena and find out.
The number one contender, The Great Kahli, and his mouth piece enter first and The Punjabi Nightmare of course gets some good heat from the crowd. The heat is quickly turned to admiration when the WWE Champion enters the arena. Triple H spits the water and I can’t help but notice that he has switched back to “The Game” theme song. It may not be “King of Kings” but its is still Motorhead and is still a top twenty theme song. The two men stand toe-to-toe and The 7’4″ Khali just towers over Triple H. Khali starts the match with a shove and Triple H responds by sticking and moving around him. Triple H lands a series of rights and every time Khali tries to strike, Triple H ducks it, continuing the barrage of punches. Triple H tries for an early Pedigree but Khali is able to shove him into the ropes to escape. The two collide in the middle of the ring and this doesn’t phase Khali at all. Triple H hits the ropes and tries to move Khali with a shoulder block, but again this does nothing to him. Khali then grabs Triple H by the throat and gives him a two handed chokeslam. When The Great Kahli raises both hands in celebration the crowd really turns up the heat. Khali challenges Triple H to rise to his feet and when he does so, Khali puts him in the Khali Vice Grip. The escape is made when Triple H kicks the front of Khali’s knee, forcing him to release. Once free Triple H brings the big man to the mat by chopping out his knee.
Both men are dazed on the mat and Khali rolls from the ring when he finally stands. I’m curious if this is done because it was easier for him to stand back up that way. Triple H soon joins him on the outside but Khali strikes first, hitting Hunter atop the head with a clubbing chop. Khali then whips Triple H into the security wall before returning him to the ring. A mudhole is stomped into Triple H when they are back in the ring, and Khali maintains the advantage. After a clothesline he tries to pin Triple H by standing on his chest. Triple H gets the shoulder up at two so Khali applies a shoulder vice. When it looks like Triple H may rally free from the vice Khali sends him back to the mat with a club to the back. A scoopslam follows, and after Khali drops a leg he tries for a pin. Triple H is still able to get the shoulder up so Khali goes back to The Claw, or shoulder vice. Triple H slowly rises to his feet and escapes the hold behind some elbows to the midsection. He follows these up with some forearms to Khali’s head and it looks as though Triple H maybe regaining momentum. Khali shoves Triple H into the ropes and Triple H fires back with the kneebuster. This sends the crowd into a frenzy as Khali falls back against the ropes and gets his arms twisted up in the top two. Triple H charges him and this backfires when The Great Khali is able to get his size 18 boot up. It connects with the face of Triple H and the ref helps Khali to get free. Triple H still lands the first strike, a boot to the midsection, and tries for another Pedigree. This doesn’t work and Khali backdrops Hunter from the ring. A tough looking bump for sure. When Triple H is back on his feet instead of returning to the ring he pulls Khali’s feet out from under him. Triple H then wraps the big man’s knee around the ring post. Khali then rolls from the ring and Triple H climbs onto the apron. Before he can jump off onto Khali though he is struck with a big chop from Kahli that takes him off his feet. Khali struggles to return to the ring and when he is finally in it he applies The Khali Vice onto the head of Triple H. He tries to escape using some body shots, but The Great Khali doesn’t waiver and keeps the lock firmly applied. When it is looking like Hunter may escape Kahli tosses him into the corner. Khali tries to charge with a clothesline but Triple H ducks it and lands a kick to the midsection. When Triple H hooks in the Pedigree the crowd explodes. He drive Khali to the mat and the crowd grows even louder as he makes the cover. The ref counts the three and Triple H retains the WWE Championship. Whenever I see The Great Khali on the card I’m not expecting much of a match bell-to-bell. I guess this one was OK but I still wasn’t a fan of this. Match Time-9:14
Up next is a package for the feud between Batista and John Cena. The entirety of this angle is centered around the fact that these two have never faced off in a one-on-one match. So for “The first time ever” we get to see this. These two came up together in OVW, Ohio Valley Wresting, and I have a hard time believing The Leviathan and The Prototype didn’t face-off there. The video is well put together like most of them on this SummerSlam are. It uses a bitter John Cena to tell a story of all his Title wins being overshadowed by The Animal that is Batista. John would finally get his chance at Batista when they are both drafted to RAW during a Superstar Shake-up. This is a match that is six years in the making so lets head back to the arena and see if the match lives up to the hype.
The Place is electric when John Cena enters the arena and hits the ring. This dude is so over and it isn’t a surprise that Cena won the text message vote asking “Who is the more popular Superstar: John Cena or Batista?” Cena won this with a resounding 73 percent. The Animal that is Batista receives a decent pop when he enters, but it isn’t quite as loud as the one Cena received. The collar and elbow starts and Batista comes out ahead with a side headlock. Cena shoves off the ropes to free the lock, but Batista hits him with a shoulder block. Both men hit the ropes again, and after a leap frog from John, Batista is taken to the canvas with a hip toss. A scoopslam follows, and after this Cena waits for Batista to regain his footing. At this point the crowd is going nuts. After a side headlock from Cena the two hit the ropes again and after a shoulder block, Batista goes for an early Batista Bomb. Cena escapes this but is flattened by a brutal clothesline from Batista. A powerplex is next and Batista tries for the first cover after driving Cena to the mat. Cena is able to get the shoulder up and the match continues.
An Irish whip to the turnbuckle is reversed by Cena and when Batista bounces out of the corner he is nailed with a fisherman’s suplex. Cena hooks the leg and tries for a cover, but Batista easily kicks it out. It is Batista’s turn to reverse an Irish whip, and when he does so, he catches Cena with a sidewalk slam. Batista tries for another cover but again Cena gets a shoulder up. When they return to their feet Cena tries for a FU out of nowhere, but Batista escapes with a back slide. He then chops the knee of Cena out and takes a moment to recover. Batista atomic drops the knee of Cena and then takes a move from the playbook of Ric Flair, applying the Figure-Four. It takes a moment, but Cena eventually finds the ropes. Cena again goes for a quick FU when they return to their feet but Batista grabs the top rope. So instead of the FU, Cena just dumps Batista over the top rope. Batista crashes hard to the outside but Cena also hits the mat, holding his knee. Batista returns to the ring and tries for a clothesline but it is avoided by Cena. Cena then hits a pair of his signature flying shoulder blocks. These are followed up by an atomic drop slam, but Cena is clenching his knee afterwards. Cena limps over to the downed body of The Animal and the crowd explodes when he does the “You Can’t See Me” hand motion. We all know that the Five Knuckle Shuffle follows this and Cena lands the dropped fist successfully. Cena goes for the FU again but Batista manages to escape with another backslide. This allows Batista to take John off his feet with a big boot. This takes Batista off his feet as well and the ref starts the count.
Both men return to their feet at the seven count, and Batista drives Cena into the corner with a shoulder. He continues to drive the shoulder into Cena before whipping him into the other corner. Batista meets him there with a clothesline that lifts Cena off his feet. Batista then whips him to the other corner. This time when Batista tries to meet him there, Cena strikes first with the back elbow. Cena then charges the dazed Animal, but is met with a brutal spinebuster. Batista gets the crowd pumped up and then does his “Thumbs Down” taunt. Batista goes for his signature bomb but Cena is able to pull both legs out from under The Animal. Cena then uses a move I’ve always liked and is under utilized, the leg DDT. The crowd is sent back into frenzy mode when Cena locks in his signature submission maneuver, The STFU. It takes some time but Batista slowly muscles his way to the ropes. Just when it looks like he may get the rope break, Cena releases the hold and drags Batista back to the center of the ring. Only to reapply the STFU. Batista again muscles his way towards the rope and this time he is able to get there. When the ref breaks the hold the crowd is once again going bonkers.
Cena stalks Batista like The Animal that he is and strikes with another FU attempt. Batista again escapes with a backslide and this time he transitions it into a rear naked choke that takes Cena to the mat. Just when it looks as Cena is starting to fade he elbows away at the midsection of Batista to escape. Both men are slow to return to their feet, but Batista lands the first blow. It happens to be a vicious one, the spear. Batista hooks the leg but Cena is able to narrowly escape by getting the shoulder up. Batista put Cena onto his shoulder but it is Cena who now uses the backslide and escapes. Cena picks Batista up and this time when he attempts the FU it is a success. This takes all he has and the place is shaking as Cena slowly crawls over to make a cover. The leg is hooked, but Batista is still able to kick-out. Cena finds his way to the top turnbuckle, but Batista meets him there and the two are soon trading punches on the second turnbuckle. Cena eventually knocks Batista to the mat and comes off the top rope to try for a seated leg drop. This doesn’t work and Batista catches him in perfect Batista Bomb form. He drives Cena to the mat and makes the cover. The fans count along with the ref but they are in disbelief when Cena still gets a shoulder up. Batista looses his cool and delivers another brutal Batista Bomb. This time when he makes the cover he is awarded the three count. Up to this point in 2008 Cena has put a lot of guys over and the trend didn’t stop here. This was a great match with great pacing and back and forth. The ending probably even surprised a lot of fans because of the popularity of John Cena at this time. Cena would take a break on August 26 of the year to have neck surgery on a bone that was making contact with a nerve. This would be nothing serious and it wouldn’t take long for him to return. Like I said a great match and worth the watch. Match Time-13:44