Re: Being The Booker
Post-Summerslam news and notes;
The general feeling in the immediate aftermath of last nights Summerslam is that despite the miserable British weather, the show itself was a rip roaring success, with plenty of top matches fulfilling their potential and matching their billing, whilst the reactions for certain stars such as the UK’s own William Regal when winning the Intercontinental title have been called by some as ‘memorable’.
In the most contentious decision of the night with the powers that be, Christian went over Umaga in the main event to not only retain the World Championship, but to bring an end to Umagas 14 month long ‘streak’. Many had been pulling for Umagas run to continue, right through Christian, with Christian to win the title back in a rematch at a later date, but with Summerslam being such a huge show for the company, the ‘safe’ decision was made in order to end the night on a high note and have Christian go over clean. There are fears though that this loss could irreparably damage the Umaga character, and even a later title win would mean much less than it would’ve at Summerslam and do little to repair the damage done by this first loss.
Much was purposely made of the post-match happenings to the Brock Lesnar-Triple H streetfight, with The Game set to take a further leave of absence from on screen duties. He had been expected to sit out the remainder of the year when he initially took time off in April, but with the company desperate to stack the Summerslam card, he did as asked for the good of the company, but now that the Brock Lesnar feud is over, Triple H is unlikely to return to television until the lead up to WrestleMania. Given the manner of his exit at Summerslam, it’s rumoured that The Game may announce his ‘retirement’ via satellite in the coming weeks to explain his absence for the foreseeable future.
As for Lesnar, some were surprised to see him go over Triple H - especially so decisively - given the recent rumours that he is currently looking OUT of his WWE contract, as he supposedly is tired of the schedule. The WWE though are determined to keep Lesnar on board, and are expected to fight all the way to keep him locked into to his contract which still has almost three years to run. However, patience is said to be growing thin with the Iron Man, having already caved to his demands a year ago for more time off and sporadic breaks throughout the year, (the reason for his on-air ‘suspension’ post-WrestleMania, and the two weeks he missed during the world tour) the recent rumours are said to have upset many of the higher-ups in the company - and the dominant victory over Triple H was likely a final ‘olive branch’ to keep the star on board.
Another surprise to many was the nature of Mister Kennedys victory over John Cena - with Cena, undoubtedly the biggest star in the company (at least in merchandise sales) - tapping out for the second straight Pay Per View. While at first glance many may think that Cena is out of favour with the company, it is said that this is simply another chapter into the ongoing struggle Cenas character has had to deal with ever since coming up short to Christian at Summerslam, with this latest setback set in motion quite some time ago. It was felt that both Cenas ongoing angle could continue through a loss in this manner, and Kennedys stock would have the opportunity to rise further with such a headline grabbing win over a top name at the second biggest PPV event of the year.
The current plan moving forward for MNM is currently unknown. Some backstage expect the group to go its separate ways after defeat at Summerslam, with Nitro tipped for stardom within the company, whilst Mercury could be seen as a useful lower carder, that could help further boost the cruiserweight division. However, there are said to be many supporters of keeping at least the tandem of Nitro and Mercury together - if not the trifecta with Melina - and attempting to turn the group face upon a likely debut on Smackdown, and a potential feud with the current champions AMW. With the Caribbean Connection still firmly in the picture though, it’s unknown how the group would fit into the title scene on Smackdown currently, as - given the way in which the WWE tag team title match ended at Summer slam - the feud for the titles between the Connection and AMW could be set to rumble for the foreseeable future.
On Raw, it appears that Straight Edge will be headed straight into feuds with the two new debuting teams on Raw; The Master Craftsmen just signed from Smackdown and the set to debut Angels of Anarchy in a group of matches that has many people excited, and harkening back to the Fall of 2002 and the ‘Smackdown Six’, believing that Punk, Helms, Albright, Haas, Daniels and Williams could emulate some of the unforgettable matches seen five years ago.
Despite the raw emotion shown from the fans for William Regals epic hometown Intercontinental Title win, it’s unlikely that Regals celebration will last for long. Initially, Regal was only set to be part of the title match at Summerslam in order to prolong the Benjamin/Hardy angle, and to give Regal a chance to perform at Wembley Stadium. However, as the show rolled around, it became obvious to agents and writers alike that anything less than a Regal victory at Summerslam would put a huge dampener on the night for the home contingent at Wembley. There are even rumours that Regals triumph could be as shortlived as tonight on Raw - whilst still in London - is not nearly as important for the company as keeping the fans happy at Summerslam was.
Expect the current Kurt Angle/Rey Mysterio feud to continue for the foreseeable future. The match at Summerslam is expected to be the first of a series of matches between the two over the coming months, with both Angle and Mysterio ‘digging’ their angle, having been given free reign over creative to form the rivalry as they want to. Having initially been set to have a basic month long feud to simply ‘get them on the show’ at Summerslam, Angle and Rey both decided that they felt they had more to offer, and are currently showing that with a bitter hatred developing, and the mask removal at Summerslam is said to be just another step in a long time angle.
With Randy Orton seemingly ending Rob Van Dams title aspirations at Summerslam, it’s unclear what lies next for Randy Orton as WWE Champion. A title change had been rumoured at Summer slam (which initial plans saw Umaga defeating Christian), but with Orton keeping the title, the list of potential challengers is likely to be narrowed down to Brock Lesnar only. Batista looks set to feud with Garrison Cade given recent developments, Paul London is likely to be kept busy with the United States title, and, RVD has just fallen short again at winning the title, marking his third loss to Orton this year. With the list of potential challengers slim to none, some are of the belief that a return for Chris Jericho is imminent. Jericho was at Summer slam - and was identified by the Smackdown broadcast team during the event, with Jericho on tour in the UK with Fozzy. Jericho is expected to record an interview with Joey Styles this week which should address his future, having been put out of action in April thanks to a boot from Orton. Another option is Ric Flair, although Flair still doesn’t appear to be any nearer to finalising a return to the company, despite rumours of a return just three months ago - he has yet to sign any deal that would see his return, nearly one year after ‘retiring’.
A face turn for Edge has also been discussed, such is the need for fresh faces to challenge Orton on Smackdown, but it’s expected that Edge will remain the #2 heel on the brand for the time being. However, with a clean win over The Undertaker at Wembley under his belt, a rare heel/heel feud over the belt could be possible and would make sense, with Edge seemingly a much more worthy challenger at the current moment than perhaps anyone on Smackdown. Much will depend on what type of schedule Undertaker adopts for the remainder of the year, having wrestled just three matches since WrestleMania. If he decides to be a more regular performer in the Fall, the feud with Edge will almost certainly run on, and a match with Orton for the title could be possible too.
There was said to be a clean bill of health after the show last night, with no serious injuries reported at present, although Triple H of course will (kayfabe) likely be out of action for months. Both Straight Edge and MNM are set to miss at least one week of TV in order to sell the effects of TLC, though MNM could be kept off TV for longer as creative decides where to go next with them. Mickie James is also set to be kept off TV for a number of weeks in order to sell the injuries she suffered last week on Raw.
Also, with the high volume of switches from Smackdown to Raw over the past month, there is expected to be some kind of backlash for Eric Bischoff. At this point, it’s unknown what the repercussions will be for the Raw GM, but some rumours suggest that with Bischoffs contract expiring in January - and with Eric making it clear he is not interested in re-signing - it could lead to Bischoff being fired, sooner rather than later. Arn Anderson is expected to make his return as Smcakdown GM at the conclusion of the current world tour in two weeks, and it’s also likely that some faces from Raw will end up moving to Smackdown in order to balance the rosters once again.
TWO WEEKS UNTIL RAW