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THe Crossface: Summerslam 2002
Posted by The Smart Marks on Aug 25, 2002, 23:56
On paper, Summerslam looked like a great show. Did it meet expectations? Well, the staff came out of the woods for this edition of the Crossface and they have plenty of thoughts on the show. Before we get started, let’s meet the players…
Byron Vester: Look for Byron to spit the venom as he brings you the Friday news updates. When he's really pissed off, he vents in his Anger Management columns. Check out his latest piece of work as he reviews Stone Cold's What? DVD.
Danny Gregory: Danny is the Smart marks connoisseur of all things music and he happens to like wrestling also. His column, the Riot Act, is a journey into a madman’s mind. Check out his latest article here!
Dr. Tom: Tom is the hardest working man at The Smart Marks! Besides being a regular in the Crossface chat, he brings the content every week with his Smackdown recaps, the Mid-week News and the occasional movie review. Don't miss his latest work, as he pinch hits for Dames in The Weekend News!
Edward Robins: Edward is a huge movie buff and brings you DVD reviews of obscure, B-films in his Exercise In Poor Taste columns. He also pounds out the content every week bringing you, the reader, the weekly Velocity recap. Check out his latest views on this past week's Velocity.
Fake Razor: Razor is the Smart Marks weekly Heat recapper (with the exception of PPV Sundays!). When he feels like expressing his views on a multitude of topics, he drops in with his Last Word column. Check out his latest Heat recap.
Jared "JHawk" Hawkins: You can count on JHawk to speak his mind as he reviews RAW on a weekly basis. Along with his RAW reviews, he also drops in with his column, This Week In Wrestling, examining a significant date in wrestling history. Check out his thoughts as he warmed up for Summerslam with On-Site WWE house show report.
Matt D: As one of our newest staff members, Matt D graces our presence with his "Such A Scream" columns examining today's music acts and the albums they make. He also joins us bi-weekly with the Music News Update. Check out his most recent update here!
O.R. Polk, Jr.: Polk is a regular in the weekly Crossface and has a knack for giving detailed, entertaining DVD reviews… without giving away the movie! Summerslam also happens to be the first PPV since Royal Rumble that he has ordered. Don’t forget to read his latest DVD review for the movie Freeway!
Retro Rob: Retro Rob comes to you every week with his Confidential report. He also enjoys reviewing his vast collection of wrestling tapes. Check out his latest review on Summerslam '98
Now, let's examine the show...
Kurt Angle v. Rey Mysterio
Byron: Nice little match with a pretty predictable ending. Kurt did a bang-up job selling for Rey, but I’d still like to see him actually BUILD UP to the anklelock instead of just slapping it on 80 times a match.
Danny: Good, fast paced match. The right guy went over but not at the expense of the Rey. The finish was a little odd--not the anklelock, but the reversal that set it up--but other than that, it was GOLD, man. Slightly marred by Angle's fruity new singlet, admittedly, but that's not a major complaint. 8/10
Dr. Tom: This was the best choice to jerk the curtain, but it's weird seeing Angle in that spot. There was a lot of good early action, then each man hit his signature spots. Rey's highspot over the ref was pretty cool. I expected Angle to win, mainly because he looks like a joke if he doesn't. It was disappointing that this one only got about nine minutes; I would have loved to see it go fifteen. Still, this was definitely a solid opener. ***1/2
Edward: I’d love to say this was a solid opener and a match of the night, but ironically, even though I was one of the board’s prime supporters, I only caught the last couple minutes. They were a thrilling couple minutes though, and it didn’t seem to have the same “Angle sets himself up for all the cruiser spots” feel of Angle/Kidman from Smackdown last week. What was up with the ref trying to stop Mysterio from flying over the top rope? This isn’t Stampede Wrestling folks!
Fake Razor:Wow, this match was fucking AWESOME. Better than I expected. Mysterio jumped Angle from behind, and the action was fast and furious all the way through. BRILLIANT reversals and really a great match overall. I don't know why this went on first though. Good thing Angle went over too. He kicked out of Rey Rey's finisher! Well, I guess he gave Mysterio a good rub, and this match should help bring more value to the crusier division. My match of the night. ****1/4
JHawk: Excellent way to open. In fact, almost too good a way to open, as much of the rest of the card had to try to keep up. Rey looks good, but Angle doesn't get hurt any in making Rey credible. And the right guy goes over, so no complaints here.
Matt D: Good match, but it didn't tell much of a story like the feud leading up to would've suggested; instead, it for more like an exhibition of each man's (considerable) talents. Plus they could've given it another five minutes. Even though Angle won cleanly, Misterio came out looking good, so both men benefited.
Polk:While the match was good, it had no business being the opening match. And it didn't do a damned thing for REY or the cruiser division. While Mysterio got in some high flying offense he didn't come out looking nearly as good as he should have, which is what I thought the purpose of this match should've been: have Angle go over but BARELY. In fact, Angle even kicked out of Rey's 619/West Coast Pop combo. Good job, WWE.
Retro Rob: A good fast-paced match here, which is exactly what an opener should be. Nothing too fantastic to drain all the energy out of the crowd and nothing too dull that would kill the crowd from the get-go. Another plus about this match was that neither Kurt Angle nor the Crusierweight division looked bad. Rey seemed like a credible opponent for Kurt and hopefully that will help propel the Crusiserweight division to new heights...Who the hell am I kidding? This is the WWE we're talking about.
Ric Flair v. Chris Jericho
Byron: WHAT THE FUCK? That ending shocked the hell out of me. So, I guess Chris is now the official WWE doormat, eh? Decent match and all, but still, Chris can’t seem to buy a damn win these days.
Danny: Well, you know...it would have been better if Flair was capable of any offensive moves other than the chop. The chop is now actually the third most frequently used move in the WWE, right behind the punch and the quad tear. Little known fact. This one was a little blah, in my opinion. Why Flair went over is beyond me. 7/10
Dr. Tom: Wow, Flair won. I certainly wasn't expecting that. He needs to stop trying to do the Flair Flip, though -- tonight's try was sad and painful to watch. It was strange to Jericho tap so soon to the figure-four, since it hasn't been built up as being deadly in ages. **
Edward: How is it one of the most anticipated matches turns out to be the most disappointing? With two of the WWE's greatest grapplers squaring off, I'd kind of expect, ya know, some actual wrestling involved? What I got was a million chops from two great men going through the motions... but at least some things never change, and we can always count on Y2Jobber getting pinned. Somehow I'd hoped it would be different this time, but hey, gotta make sure Jericho gives his rub to those young up and comers like Ric Flair!
Fake Razor:Pretty old school and slow paced. Nothing too great, both guys have had much better matches. Flair even blew his rope flippy thing. Jericho lost! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! ARE THEY TRYING TO KILL JERICHO'S CAREER? Seriously, that really pissed me off. What does a win for a part time wrestler like Flair do here? **1/2
JHawk: Not bad, but the tap out in the ropes confused the crowd I was with. However, I liked this match and especially dug the karma of Flair throwing Jericho off the top rope when it's usually the other way around. No complaints here.
Matt D: Kinda sloppy and had little flow, much like Jericho's match with Cena last month. Maybe all this losing is starting to affect his motivation. And what was the deal with Flair? 98% of his offense was his chops. Both he and Jericho felt like they were on autopilot, and the match suffered as a result. Then there's the matter of Jericho jobbing again, but I'm sure there's plenty of other people who'll complain about that, so I'll leave it to them.
Polk: What's WWE thinking? Jericho's such a loser lately I'm having a hard time even getting excited about him anymore. I'm a Jericho fan, an avid backer but it's hard to get behind someone who is made to look like a complete jobber all the time. First Flair beats EDDY on PPV, now this. First Jericho loses to JOHN CENA on PPV and now this. Again: What's WWE thinking?
Retro Rob: I still don't understand why the WWE can't have the SmackDown! announcers only announce the SmackDown! matches. I guess JR can't walk up and down the ramp that many times. Eh, nothing special here, but not actively bad either. Wrong guy went over, UNLESS Jericho beats the living hell out of Flair on Raw and sends him on his way to retirement. There is no reason for a 50 year old semi-active wrestler going over a 30 year-old who still can be a contender for the WWE Title.
Edge v. Eddie Guerrero
Byron: My personal MOTN. Eddy was in full rudo bastard fuck mode tonight and it just made the match that much more enjoyable. Hell, the Spear finish even made some sense considering that Eddy missed the Frog Splash earlier in the match.
Danny: Another good one. The psychology was sound and both guys were pretty much on. Given the sheer and utter awesomeness of the rest of the show, I don't remember much of this. I remember it was good and that Edge went over. Score! 7/10
Dr. Tom: A good hot start, then it slowed down into the eventual shoulder psychology. I liked the Frog Splash onto the shoulder an awful lot. The ending seemed a little rushed to me, but I won't complain overmuch, as this was a very good twelve-minute contest. ***3/4
Edward: As usual, mi amigo Latino Heat gets screwed by a gringo! Actually, aside from the fact that he won with a spear (which he really shouldn’t have been able to deliver given the state of his arm/shoulder), Edge did a much better job selling his arm than I ever would’ve given him credit for. He’s no Billy Kidman (THAT kid knows how to sell an arm!), but that’s a good thing, because Billy Kidman will never make the main event anyway.
Fake Razor: This was a pretty decent match all around. GREAT psychology from Eddy, who worked on the left shoulder the whole match. Edge won... which sort of pissed me off. This is one match Eddy could have used a win in. Third PPV in a row he's jobbed. ***1/4
JHawk: I was all set to call this "Match of the Night" until the finish. Never never never never never spend 10 minutes working on the left shoulder, only to have Edge win with the spear using the left shoulder. Had he even used the other shoulder for the move, I'd have enjoyed this one so much better. However, this was a very good match overall, and I loved the psychology of the constant working of the arm.
Matt D: Crowd may've not been all that into it, but I liked it. The psychology clicked, and Guerrero worked Edge's shoulder nicely (that frog splash on the arm was SWEET). I didn't care much for the ending–the spear makes for a lousy finisher unless you’re thickly built (like Rhyno)–but oh well.
Polk: I would've had no problem with this match if it wasn't for the out of nowhere finish that involved Edge using his "injured" shoulder to take out Guerrero. The finish killed my faith in God.
Retro Rob: Fantastic match, which is what I have come to expect from Eddy. The psychology was sound and lasted throughout. The finish rubbed me the wrong way. Eddy had been kicking Edge's ass all match and then all of a sudden the spear puts Eddy down for the count. From the matches I really paid attention to, this was the best.
The Un-Americans v. Goldust & Booker T
Byron: Nice tag match. Can you believe the pops Booker got throughout? Hell, the Hooters I was watching the show in kept randomly breaking out the “Can you DIG IT? SUCKAAAAA!” line and when Book did the Spinaroonie, forget about it. The ENTIRE place just went apeshit. Finish was kind of anti-climatic to me since they did the same one 2 weeks ago on RAW, but fuck it. The Un-Americans couldn’t job in BOTH of their matches tonight, so it’s acceptable.
Danny: Good tag match with a hot tag that really was hot. Good Booker T. chant, as well, although that proved to not be the oddest thing this crowd did all night. 7/10
Dr. Tom: I love false tags in tag team matches. They built to the hot tag well, since Goldust is a good bumper and seller. I expected the Canadians (the "Un-Americans" moniker just plain sucks) to retain here, and then lose the straps closer to 9/11, but did they HAVE to use Test interference to do it. This one wasn't quite as good as I expected. **1/4
Edward: This is my pick for match of the night. Goldust was in top form, getting in a lot of solid offense and playing face in peril like a true champ. Those dastardly Canadians playing every heel trick in the book (no pun intended) to prevent him from tagging in Booker, though a little cliché, hasn’t been played that perfectly in a long time and Nick Patrick going blind to miss Test’s obvious interference? Priceless. Beautiful work from them and ‘Dust, but I was actually a little disappointed with Booker T. Whether it was because he didn’t get enough time in or whatever, even though he delivered on the Spinarooni I wasn’t as impressed as I normally was. I’ll go so far as to call this a classic, textbook tag team match.
Fake Razor: This was a nice tag match. The crowd really seemed to get into it too. The Un-Americans got good heat, and the fans REALLY seemed to get into Booker towards the end. Good move by having the Un-Americans hold onto the title, as Test is pretty much guaranteed a loss tonight. ***
JHawk: Good match with one glaring problem. If Nick Patrick didn't see Test's interference, then he's either blind or becoming a Canadian. For that reason, this was the only match that really pissed the group off. Just too blatant.
Matt D: A really fun, old-fashioned All-American Boys vs. Evil Foreigners match. This kind of tag goodness is the sort of thing the WWE needs more of to bring life back into that division. This match fills me with such good spirits, that I'll even overlook the lame run-in ending.
Polk: This one, fortunately, went down just like it should've. I only wish that a pissed off Jericho had cost Booker the match and kicked off a feud between them.
Retro Rob: OK guys, if your friend ever asks you to try smoking Vicks Vapor Rub, JUST SAY NO! Trust me, it's not something you want to try. That being said, I was kind of out of it for the next three matches. Jobbing the faces may or may not have been a good decision in the long-run. It was the right decision if the WWE decides to have a big Americana show around September 11 and the faces defeat the Un-Americans. It was a bad decision if the feud just ends. It would surprise if the WWE choses the latter, but we can all hope for best.
Chris Benoit v. Rob Van Dam
Byron: It was pretty good, but dammit, Benoit didn’t need to lose the IC title so fucking soon. BUT, considering how Steph was acting after the match with Bischoff, I’m pretty sure that RVD is now Smackdown! Property. Also, Rob’s selling was pretty damn good tonight, which made the match that much better than their RAW anti-classic a while back.
Danny: Hell yeah. GREAT psychology here, as Benoit pulled out some wicked looking shit to take out the shoulder, which RVD sold well. The whole thing rocked and was a definite MOTYC. Bravo, gentlemen. 10/10
Dr. Tom: This was definitely the match of the night. At times, it looked like a squash for Benoit. I *loved* the suplexes onto the arm, but then again, I used to mark for the Minnesota Wrecking Crew destroying a body part. It's just good stuff. The Five-Star out of nowhere bothered me a little, and I really expected Benoit to retain to keep the title situation balanced between the two shows. Minor caveats aside, this was an excellent match. Can we agree that Benoit is all the way back now? ****1/4
Edward: RVD’s going to Smackdown! RVD’s going to Smackdown! Ummm, I mean the match was decent, I guess. I’m no RVD fan, but I was impressed by his work tonight (more than Benoit, which as a Benoit fan is a first); he kept the notoriously weak fore-arms to a minimum and kicked and flippy flopped to his heart’s content, as only he can do. The “mid-air reversal” spot right before the finish may have been the only move that looked really bad (and man, it looked AWFUL, at first I thought they just screwed up, then when I realized the truth was all “come on, do you expect us to buy that?”) in this match-up, but seeing as how my “styles clash!” statements were so brutally shattered by their RAW meeting, I was expecting a lot more. The match had nothing really special or over-the-top to make it stand out, other than the collective ‘net wet dreams of the two men involved.
Fake Razor: This is probably the match I looked foward to the most on the card. It was pretty damn good as well. On a par with their RAW match from two weeks ago. I expected a little better on PPV, but hey, I'm not complaining. Still an awesome match. I was a little ticked that Benoit lost, since he's lost his first two PPV's back in a row. I thought Benoit would keep the title on SD, but Stephanie alluded to signing Van Dam. Maybe we'll see this feud continue. Or maybe Benoit will move on to bigger and better things. Either way I'm happy. ****
JHawk: I can't praise this enough. Like Eddy vs. Edge, there was excellent psychology with Benoit constantly working over the arm. Great psychology by RVD when he was trying to beat Benoit with his own crossface. This match played off their Raw match very well too. My only gripe: RVD's the only good thing about Raw right now, and the banter between Steph and Bisch makes it seem like RVD's jumping ship. Bad move.
Matt D: What a pleasure it is to watch Benoit work. I thrill to the sight of him decimating the poor soul that steps into the ring with him, and I took great joy in seeing him murder RVD six ways to Sunday. Benoit does such a splendid job of carrying RVD to the Match-of-the-Night (and possible Match-of-the-Year contender–I need to watch it again to make sure), that I don't even mind that the overrated Van Dam beat my beloved Benoit. No, when the end result is this great, I don't mind at all.
Polk: I'm not really upset at the outcome but it truly doesn't make much sense. Benoit and SD! NEED the IC title. But it's looking like Benoit's the expendable one and not the title, because it was strongly hinted that RVD's headed to Smackdown!. I AM SO tired of all this shuffling. Either stick to it or END this "split" already.
Retro Rob: I barely saw any of this match. Although, judging by Stephanie's reaction afterwards, I think it is relatively obvious that RVD is now SmackDown! talent. After all, they do need some sort of heavyweight title on that show.
Undertaker v. Test
Byron: Pretty good power match with an insanely predictable ending. Taker at least sold somewhat for Test, but I stopped caring after he smooshed Lance and Christian.
Danny: Miles better than I expected, but nothing spectacular. Undertaker seemed to be working harder than usual here and it showed. He couldn't be bothered to job, though. 6/10
Dr. Tom: This was definitely briefer than I thought it would be. I was hoping UT wouldn't end up fighting off ALL the Canadians, but he did. They pulled the TOMBSTONE~! out of mothballs, though, so that helps to make up for it. Good enough for government work, I guess, though I certainly wouldn't write home about it. *1/2
Edward: It’s your everyday slobberknocker with a really awesome finish. I have no problems admitting I marked like it was 1991 when I saw ‘Taker bust out the TOMBSTONE and the OL’ SKOOL PIN! Oh, hell yeah! I was expecting to be bored out of my skull, but ‘Taker, being a true patriot, saved the day. Although this does beg the question, is Test EVER going to go over in a match that matters?
Fake Razor: Not too bad really. Basic brawl, nothing too painful. Test predictably lost, despite interference from the other two Unamericans. WOOO! Tombstone to finish it off. Sorry, I mark for the Tombstone. **
JHawk: Good opening sequence, great finish (Tombstone=mark out), but the middle dragged like hell. Much better than I expected, but not much else to say.
Matt D: Wasn't a DUD or anything, but it was still a dull, run-of-the-mill power match. There was no reason for Undertaker to go over here, but the other main outcome would have seen Test going over, and there's no reason for that, either. Whatever.
Polk: This was another easy match to call. We all knew Test would lose. As JR said during the telecast, Test has been living off of the "unlimited potential" label for long enough. Also a nice touch to see UT pull the Tombstone "outta the mothballs".
Retro Rob: Once again, I didn't really watch this match. Not entirely because of the Vicks, but because I figured it would suck. The Undertaker went over, so all is right in the world again.
Shawn Michaels v. Triple H
Byron: I didn’t give a flying fuck about this match, BUT once they got into it after that dreadfully slow first part, it was rather enjoyable and the out of nowhere finished shocked the hell out of me. Still don’t see why HBK went over, but DAMN, that was some pop. Also, I kind of liked what happened post-match because Trips got insanely huge heel heat from it and even though the sledge shots were pulled, they still looked pretty painful.
Danny: FUCK YOU ALL! This match rocked the house from start to finish. The naysayers were silenced once and for all, as Triple H both pulled out a hell of a performance and jobbed. Even if it was to Shawn Michaels. The real story, however, was HBK putting on a better match than he had any right to and completely stealing the show. Total MOTYC. Awesome, awesome stuff. 10/10
Dr. Tom: It's "unsanctioned" because WWE is assuming no liability for any injuries suffered in this one. It's amazing how many people didn't pick that up from Raw. Anyway... WOW! HBK had fed us low expectations for weeks, but damn if he didn't crank up the dial to 11 for this one. He's certainly not the HBK of old, but he did a lot more than I thought he could (or would) do. The back psychology was nice, until the kip-up killed it, and HHH had a habit of silencing the crowd whenever they were starting to get behind Michaels. I certainly wasn't expecting the dive thru the table. HBK winning doesn't mean anything, so it meets the requirements for HHH to do a job, but I'll be damned if I wasn't impressed by this one. Much better than I thought it would be. ***1/2
Edward: Being a somewhat of a new viewer, this was my first time seeing the Heart Break Kid in action, and even though he looked like absolute shit (pardon the language) on RAW a couple weeks ago, I was surprised by the fact that he could, in fact, still work, and work well tonight (he carried Hunter, instead of the other way around, and I’m ready to join Michaels and thank the Lord for that!). The only problem is the match took FOREVER to get started, but once it did, it got interesting fast, although it still ran way too long. My main gripe was as the spots got more and more high risk, the believability factor lowered and lowered. HBK, a “cripple”, had no problem going through a table from the top turnbuckle, and went off a ladder with ease, but was put on a stretcher from two shots with a fake sledgehammer? Gimme a break…
Fake Razor: HOLY SHIT! I couldn't believe some of the stuff HBK busted out. A plancha, an elbow off the ladder, and the piece de resistance... a splash off the top rope to the outside through a table! WOW! Sadly, the match itself wasn't too swift. Mainly HHH dominating with HBK showing sparks of life here and there. HBK impressed me somewhat; he looked to be in decent shape, despite losing a lot of muscle mass. The match was not too good though, it bored me when there wasn't a "HOLY SHIT!" type spot going on. HBK won, which surprised me. HHH beat the hell out of him afterwards to further establish him as heel.Eh... *** and I'm being generous.
JHawk: I did not come into this card looking forward to this match, but by God, from a pure markout standpoint, this might have been one of the best matches of the night. Great psychology (work the back, work the back, work the back), brilliant commentary by JR to make everything seem even more devastating to the point that even I started cheering for HBK. And the postmatch beatdown actually pissed me off somewhat. The only real downside was that Hunter's first offensive run was rather boring (and almost 10 minutes long), but it built to the finish very nicely. Kudos to WWE for some excellent booking.
Matt D: Going into this, I feared a CRIPPLE FIGHT~!, and coming out of it, I was pleasantly surprised. It contained a little too much stalling at the start, but once Michaels brought out the ladder, I marked out (yes, yes I did) and got into it. Shawn won, which I have no qualms with; HHH got his heat back in one of the few instances where it was justified–it furthers his sadistic heel character. I'm hoping that Mr. Hickenbottom decides to step out of the limelight now, but somehow I doubt it.
Polk: Man, is HBK back or is HBK back?! Great match and it far and away exceeded my expectations for two of the major backstage politicians in the game. Shawn's broken and HHH is a roided up, slower shell of his former self. It just goes to show what both of them can do if they put their minds and bodies to it and don't look out for just each other. HBK gets a very cool win and Hunter gets his heat back and becomes possibly the biggest heel in the biz by "crippling" Shawn. HHH does the job, HBK does the stretcher job. Now if they would just do that for guys that DON'T sleep with them...
Retro Rob: I'm sure some of you have figured out that I am a Shawn Michaels mark. NONETHELESS, I expected very little from this match for all the obvious reasons. To say the least, I was pleasently surprised. As a brawl I think the match was a success. Reason being, there were various different types of spots and not too much punch-kick crap. Shawn held his own and did a helluva job all things considered. He didn't lose a step. The match may not have been ****+, but anything above ** would have been acceptable. That being said, they went above and beyond. I hope that I'm not the only one who feels this way because otherwise I'll just be thought of as another HBK mark who would have loved this match if it was -*****. I still don't know why a referee was there for an "unsanctioned" match. IMO, this was the most entertaining match of the night and I think that Shawn still has a few matches left in the tank. ! Now I know that I complained about Flair going over Jericho, but this was different. Triple H regained all of his heat with the post-match antics. No rematch is even necessary as long as Shawn takes a long hiatus from TV. That way Triple H could add Shawn to the list of guys he ran out of the business.
The Rock v. Brock Lesnar
Byron: Okay, to be honest, I didn’t pay that much attention to this match, but I liked the ending because BROCK WON ON HIS OWN! Sure, he’s not getting “main event heel” heat, but they are taking a step in the right direction with Lesnar (which they should have done a few months ago) and I’m interested in seeing how they play this reign out.
Danny: Another good match, this one highlighted by an inexplicably mixed crowd. God knows how this Lesnar title reign is going to go--probably not well--but this match and the reaction after the fact were a little encouraging. 8/10
Dr. Tom: "Rocky sucks?" "Let's go Lesnar?" Did we witness a double turn? I always thought Rock would make a good heel as the arrogant movie star who didn't need wrestling anymore... maybe he'll get the chance to play that character after his latest movie break? Lesnar is truly going down the Goldberg path after this win. I would just advise him to stay away from Kevin Nash and cattle prods. Decent match, though a little on the brief side for a main event, and definitely booked by Heyman. ***
Edward: THE NEXT BIG THING HAS ARRIVED! To everyone who has been saying for months that Brock can’t get a reaction, take this match, shine it up real good, turn it sideways, and STICK IT STRAIGHT UP YOUR CANDY ASSES! I was interested by the fact that it was face heat, but I guess even the marks know by now that The Rock’s a no-good sell-out Hollywood whore and is leaving them again. The ending was abrupt, but fitting because nothing made me happier to see The Rock’s sorry (candy?) ass take the F-5 and the 1…2…3! Nice knowing you Dwayne, hope your scripts are better than your promos, and don’t come back either! By the way, Heyman took a nice bump too, right when I was afraid the Spanish announce table would survive a PPV.
Fake Razor: This was just about what I expected... decent, but nothing great. It got exciting at the end when Brock kicked out of the Rock Bottom, and the sequence of reversals at the end, which inevitably lead up to the F-5. The fans started to get behind Lesnar towards the end, and he actually got a decent pop for the win. Nice Rock Bottom bump by Heyman through the table. I was actually cheering Brock on, because if Rock held on he'd most likely drop it to HHH the next night, or soon thereafter. ***
JHawk: Another pleasant surprise. Brock was allowed to use just enough of the amateur background to look just a little more credible. The finisher counters were great for popping the crowd. And even if the very audible "Rocky Sucks" chants were more anti-Rocky than pro-Brock, for one night it appears that Brock might be ready for the big time. Even the People's Elbow failed! Above average match with some excellent booking.
Matt D: I don't get it. I understood it when the crowd turned against at Wrestlemania X-7; I was surprised, but glad, to see the huge pro-Jericho/anti-Rock sentiment at last year's No Mercy; I even accepted all the Hogan love at this year's Wrestlemania (Canada's full of oddballs–it's a known fact), but I'm baffled by what I saw tonight. How can Brock–a man who has received absolutely no heat at all until this evening, finally attain heat at Summerslam, and FACE heat, no less? I mean, what the hell? "Let's go Lesnar?" Where did that come from? I can't comprehend it. Anyway, much like the previous match, it was a surprisingly good, though no masterpiece (much like the previous match). It will be interesting to see what they do with Brock at MSG on Raw given his newfound--but temporary?--face heat.
Polk: I knew it would happen, but I tried to tell myself it wouldn't. The finish was rather anti-climatic, IMO. My only question now is: Who and What Now? What's gonna happen in MSG tommorrow? I guess that's the question WWE wants me asking, and the reason we'll all be watching RAW. Damn you, Vince. Damn you straight to hell.
Retro Rob Typical Brock match. Boring as hell. When a manager is involved in highspot of a match there is a big problem. This match was perfect proof of Brock not being ready for the title. He can't work good matches and the crowd doesn't give a damn about him. Supposedly Lesner will be fighting Angle at WrestleMania X-9. I just hope they don't plan on leaving the title on him for that long. Let's hope Vince and Co. come to senses soon. A nice RVD title run would be cool.
Byron: Best WWE PPV of 2002 hands down. Personally, I didn’t have a single match below **1/2 and the matches that I thought weren’t going to be that good ended up being better than I thought. Solid wrestling and CLEAN finishes (outside of the tag match, of course) assures that this show smokes everything since last year’s SummerSlam, so it gets a big thumbs up from me.
Danny: The show fucking ruled. Uh...Shawn Michaels is my personal lord and saviour. Best show of the year, bar none. I can't see them topping this, either.
Dr. Tom: This is the best PPV WWE has turned out in a while. Nothing was actively bad, the worst match was mediocre, and several were very good. If you didn't catch this one, order the replay or get a tape from someone, because it's certainly worth it. See what can happen when you know how your booking will turn out months in advance? Overall score: 8/10
Edward: On paper I wasn’t expecting much, but this match delivered. With the exception of Flair/Jericho, there weren’t any truly awful matches, some could’ve used a trimming but were definitely still watchable and always had at least one great spot in there. Even though I would never think of taping this without express written consent, if I had, I’d still definitely pick up the DVD release when it hits.
Fake Razor: Best PPV of the year. The card looked great on paper, and it definitely delivered. Everything was pretty damn good; there was something for everyone. Worst match was Test vs. UT, which wasn't even so bad. Side note, Coleslaw messed up, he shilled that the Tough Enough 3 guys where there, and you could see them sitting in the front row the whole time. Sort of spoils the casting show, now doesn’t it?
JHawk: This card kicked about 8 kinds of ass. The worst match of the night was Taker vs. Test, and even it didn't suck too bad. And some of the matches were better than they had any right being. A solid effort for WWE, but can they keep it up for another month?
Matt D: A good show overall. Only two stinkers and six good-to-great matches make this the WWE's best PPV in a year full of unexceptional ones.
Polk: Thumbs up. 7 out of 10, even if I didn't agree with most of the booking or finishes.
Retro Rob: Easily the best show of the year. At least three great matches on one card...what more can you ask for? The Long Island crowd wasn't great, but they were better than have been over the last few years. If you didn't order the show, I definitely recommend checking out the encore Tuesday night. And remember, JUST SAY NO TO VICKS!
(If you'd like more opinions and details about Summerslam, make sure you check out Dames' Diatribe on the PPV!!!)