With mere hours until WWE’s SummerSlam 2011, it’s time for PINFALL Magazine’s final SummerSlam Review Series Entry, SummerSlam 2009. I figured with CM Punk headlining tonight’s show, I’d close out with the last SummerSlam that Punk headlined. It’s crazy how much has changed in 2 years, but at the same time it’s also funny to see how much has stayed the same. There are some solid bouts on this card, and I’d say it’s at about the same level that tonight’s entry will reach. The main event was the best part of the show by far, but the entire thing played well. A lot of the faces on the show are still with The E today, and everyone on the card is still alive, which is rare when you go back for a wrestling PPV review.
2 year old spoilers follow
The opening with Shawn and HHH goofing around with the promo video was a different way to start the show. Felt like something on the MTV Movie Awards.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: Rey Mysterio Jr. (C) v Dolph Ziggler (****): Rey Jr. in his Lakers colors for this one. Dolph’s zebra gloves are funny to see. I don’t usually enjoy when these two get together, but I liked what I saw here. There was enough back and forth to keep this from being a cliche’ Rey Jr. WWE match. Ziggler was using the Fame-Asser even in 09. Ziggler freaking out after Rey’s final kick-out was great, and the fans chanting “Let’s go Ziggler” actually blew my mind. Rey always knows how to open a big PPV.
MVP and Swagger facing off for a backstage promo was great. Reminds me of the good old days when guys like Piper and Hart would do the same.
Jack Swagger v MVP (**): I liked the set-up for the match more than the execution. The match itself isn’t ugly, but there’s not much going on. It’s basically just a rush to whoever hit their finisher first.
Unified WWE Tag Team Championship: JeriShow (Big Show & Chris Jericho) (C) v Cryme Tyme (JTG & Shad Gaspard) (***): It’s funny how far apart these two teams are as far as success/talent. Jericho put Big Show over on the mic better than anyone has in a long time. I always thought Shad was the better worker of the Cryme Tyme duo, but Jimmy the Gimmick is the one that still has a job. I have to give it to JTG, at least he held the tag rope. The crowd was hot for the Walls of Jericho spot, and I loved the ending of this one. Big Show’s sucker punch KO was perfect.
Punk’s promo rules. He rips Jeff Hardy, Twilight, and LA. The guy can cut any kind of promo he wants, at any time.
Kane v The Great Khali w/ Runjin Singh (**): Some of the messiest pin attempts I’ve ever seen. Khali can throw a mean Corner Clothesline. I didn’t think I’d like this match, but it was more enjoyable than anticipated. Khali is gigantic, so watching him take Dropkicks to the Knee and DDTs is quite a sight. They kept it short enough.
DX (HHH & Shawn Michaels) v Legacy (Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase Jr.) (****): The US Army entrance for DX was a little bit much. Rhodes stands out more than Ted Jr. even without the Phantom of the Opera gimmick. A lot like how HBK outshines HHH, no matter who he marries/buries. Shawn Michaels is such an interesting hybrid of wrestler. He has elements of Flair, Savage, and even added touches of Benoit at one point. Another strong WWE tag match, this one on a much higher level. The finish was fun, and HBK’s Sweet Chin Music was out of nowhere.
ECW Championship Match: Christian (C) v William Regal w/Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson (*): Zeke has come a long way in two years. The match was funny, but it sucked to see Regal in a two second squash.
WWE Championship Match: Randy Orton v John Cena (**): Cena came out first, as the challenger, should I faint? Freddie Prinze being part of the storyline explains why it wasn’t the real main event (well that, and the fact that Punk is Best in the World). This is the equivalent to Warrior/Hogan as far as lack of interesting wrestling is concerned. Cena’s little stomping taunt before the Attitude Adjustment was horrible, and he was smart to eliminate that from his repertoire. Lilian Garcia botched the false finish, calling Orton new champion, and so on. What a convoluted mess the ending turned out to be. This is what happens when you have to use gimmicks instead of wrestling to get your champs over.
World Heavyweight Title TLC Match: Jeff Hardy (C) v CM Punk (****): Didn’t take Punk long to bring the furniture into the proceedings. Some of the bumps in this match are brutal to the fullest extend of the word. This is one of those car wreck matches, where it’s hard to look away from the wreckage. Spot after spot of these dudes bouncing off something the human body isn’t meant to. These two were given the main event for this show, and they ran with it. Punk even took unprotected headshots from the chair. Swanton Bomb from the tallest ladder ever through a table was intense, and seemed to have nearly wiped Hardy off the planet. The finish wasn’t as great, but Undertaker showing up was a good way to close out the PPV after the Punk win.