Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Six inches from a computer screen
Re: Being The Booker
Right now, I'm six (of 11) matches into Summerslam, and since I'm free all this weekend, could be - COULD - be on course to post Summerslam as soon as next Sunday. I wont rush to make it at that time however, and ultimately, could still end up posting the show the following Sunday (18th). How that'll happen, given it's St. Patricks Day weekend should be interesting......
Anyways, for now, here's some news and notes etc. Take it with a pinch of salt. It's internet rumours ffs; only some of it is true...
SummerSlam T-3 Hours; Backstage news and notes:
Excitement has reached fever pitch throughout London, as the WWE has taken over the entire city for the past five days, leading into tonight’s event. Despite the majority of superstars complaints over the past couple of weeks of tiredness after the gruelling world tour, spirits are high throughout the majority of the locker room for what is without doubt the biggest Summerslam ever, with a real WrestleMania buzz backstage.
The main event will definitely be Christian vs. Umaga, after rumours earlier in the week of Orton vs. RVD closing the show in order to send the fans home happy by giving RVD the WWE Title, and allow Umaga to win the World title earlier in the night. Whether the confirmation of the World Title match as the main event indicates a ‘happy ending’ for Christian is unclear. Management have been swaying back and forth over the outcome in the match, unsure whether the time is right to end Umaga’s streak or not, with the overriding feeling being that Umaga winning the title in the main event of the PPV could dampen many fans happiness on the night. Win or lose, it’s likely that Christian - with Ricky Hatton in his corner, of course - will stand tall at the end of the show in some fashion, perhaps saving Ricky Hatton from a 2 on 1 beating at the hands of a victorious Umaga and Estrada, and take something positive from the night, and end the evening on a somewhat positive note.
With the main event slot confirmed, the order of other matches on the show have been switched around all day long. Initially when the line up was being drafted, the Kurt Angle Rey Mysterio encounter was a likely opener - following on from their opener five years ago at the same event, but as time has passed, it’s felt that with the heat behind the feud, opening the show with that match wouldn’t work, with agents wanting a less ‘hostile’ match to warm the fans up. That would make the United States Title match a leading candidate to open the show. The issue between London and MVP hasn’t had too long to build, and if it were to be placed in the middle of the show, could be lost in the shuffle. Given the talent of both men - London especially - it’s thought they could build the fans up nicely for the bigger matches to come later in the night. If it does open proceedings, expect a successful retention for the Golden Boy, but a later slot could indicate a title change.
Another candidate for the ‘curtain jerker’ slot is the triple threat match for the Intercontinental Title. A lot of pressure has been building over the last week that William Regal NEEDS to win the title, with the partisan British audience likely to be unwilling to accept anything less - and indications from the Fan Axxess during the week suggests that will be the case, with massive support for the veteran from Blackpool. There is some thought that Regal failing to win the title could deflate the rabid fans for the remainder of the evening, whilst a win could ensure a hot audience for the night. As the debate continues for Regal, a win for Matt Hardy is DEFINITELY NOT on the cards though, mainly due to the Regal factor, with some fears that the fans in attendance would turn on Hardy for stealing their mans moment. The favourite for victory though is the current champion, with management extremely high on Shelton Benjamin and Theodore Long, keen to keep the title on The Black Diamond for the foreseeable future. However, with the momentum riding behind Regal, managements hands could well be forced into a title change - with only themselves to blame, having pushed Regal into the match initially just to get the Brit on the show. If this match opens the show, Regal wins. If it doesn’t open, the victory is up for debate.
It’s unknown what the plan is going ahead with AMW. It’s likely that they will be shown up tonight for sure, and most likely will lose the titles in the process given the series of vignettes of the champions disrespecting the challenges coming their way on Smackdown. It’s thought losing the titles will be the spark to reignite the duo, and snap them out of their complacency, to try and win back the titles. What that means for the TLC match is unknown. With Melina on Raw, it’s not certain whether the company wants to split the group of MNM, and as Chris Daniels and Doug Williams get set to debut, their alignment upon their debut - which has been rather ambiguous in their vignettes - will likely be determined by the winners of TLC, with the Angels of Anarchy set to jump straight into a title feud with the champions. A move to Smackdown for Punk and Helms could seem more plausible, as a break up has been rumoured since they dropped the titles two months ago - added to the fact that MNM would be playing second fiddle to AMW as the top heel team on Smackdown. Punk has been touted as a potential main event level talent in the future, whilst Helms is also rated as a steady hand, and the pair could be useful on the Smackdown roster for the upper mid card in Punks case, and the reinvigorating Cruiserweight division for Helms. Expectations are high for the TLC match though, and some believe it could and perhaps SHOULD steal the show.
Despite Brock Lesnar recently making noises about buying out the remainder of his contract to pursue a career in the fast growing world of MMA, he is still the heavy favourite to defeat Triple H tonight and end their feud. Lesnar has been positioned as the biggest face on Smackdown since WrestleMania, and the company are likely to block any move he makes to try and exit the WWE after five years of building many of their biggest angles around The Iron Man. With Triple H reportedly having to be talked into taking a break from his sabbatical to help add further star power to the show - which he initially intended to have from Backlash until the end of the year - it’s likely he will be gone from television again after tonight. Some sources have claimed that The Game will be triumphant in order to set up a potential rubber match down the line - potentially at Cyber Sunday next month - and THEN take further time off to heal, but that would seem unlikely, with Summerslam the perfect setting to close the heated rivalry, as opposed to a B-List PPV event.
It would appear imperative for both Mister Kennedy and Edge to pick up wins over their bigger name opponents, but their fate may well rest in how other matches turn out. Creative believe that while wins for both would solidify them as top tier players, a loss wouldn’t necessarily hinder them either, and could afford some different creative outlets for both coming out of the event. It’s thought that while one of the two WILL win, it’s felt backstage that it is unlikely that BOTH John Cena and The Undertaker would suffer losses at such a big show, with the two being arguably the biggest faces in the company, along with Christian and Brock Lesnar.
Batista has made no secret of his disappointment to miss out of the biggest show of the summer, and it’s been reported that The Animal is considering his options, believing he’s fallen out of favour with the top brass after his failed wellness policy test prior to WrestleMania, which threw a number of plans into disarray. It’s thought that he also feels slighted to be placed in a meaningless battle royal on the pre-show, whilst other ‘big’ names such as Brent Albright and Charlie Haas have been spared the demotion to the pre-show. To appease the big man, it’s expected that he will win the battle royal during the pre-show, but it may not be enough to make the unhappy superstar content with his position in the company.
The outcome of the Womens title match may not be known until the final moments before the match actually happens. If the show is set to be pushed for time, then expect Mickie to either forfeit the title, or lose in a quick fashion with her injuries a built in ‘out’ for a quick loss. However, should the show remain ‘tight’ then the two ladies should be able to have the chance to impress, with the pair receiving rave reviews from house show matches throughout the world tour. Regardless of the outcome, there are said to be plans to keep the two locked together for the foreseeable future, with a ‘Best-Of 5 or 7’ series said to be in the works down the line. That news is sure to disappoint Gail Kim and even the reinvigorated Victoria, who are likely to have to wait in the wings to get involved in the title scene in the womens division, should it be dominated by Mickie James and Beth Phoenix for such a period of time.
However, in the biggest news of the day, CHRIS JERICHO - currently out of contract - IS in the UK as he tours with Fozzy during the festival season, and HAS been spotted in London over the weekend, could well make a ‘shock’ appearance at Summerslam. Despite being out of contract, Jericho is keen to return, but just not currently. Jericho was written out of storylines as he fell victim to a Randy Orton punt kick, and there is some feeling that Jericho could show up at Summerslam to screw Orton out of the title, and set up his ready made feud with the current WWE Champion for when he is ready to make his return. Despite that, the current plan going forward has been to keep the belt ON the champion, with the feeling being that whilst RVD’s run was nice last year, a second reign at this point - apart from the sight of seeing him gain his redemption on Orton - wouldn’t have much juice. Also added to that caveat is that Van Dam is only currently scheduled for a certain amount of dates, having renegotiated his own contract early in the spring, and is unlikely to appear on many live shows. Still, a potential Chris Jericho appearance on the show could happen, if only to create a buzz worthy ‘shock’ headline.
I'll post the pre-show sometime next weekend probably (but if it looks like I am able to finish the show off in time to post it next weekend, I might just forego the preshow, and list the result of the battle royal, skipping over the other stuff) but please, keep predictions coming in the meantime.
ROLLINS > REIGNS & AMBROSE