Date: August 27, 2007
Location: Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Joey Styles, Taz
This is a bit of a weird show as it is built around the two World Title matches, but two of the other big matches involve people who have been gone for months. We’ll be seeing Randy Orton challenging John Cena for the Raw World Title while Great Khali defends the Smackdown World Title against Batista. At the same time, Rey Mysterio and HHH are back after some long layoffs, making the build for this a bit weird. Let’s get to it.
The opening video narrates a look at Mysterio returning and the regular World Title matches, making it feel like a TV show.
Then we get the REAL opening, with the “We Can Rebuild Him” video on the returning HHH, the actual star of the show.
Kane vs. Finlay
Grudge match after Finlay accidentally knocked a cup of coffee Kane. Worked for Jericho in 2000. Kane, with his injured ribs, knocks Finlay into the corner to start and grabs a slam to keep him in early trouble. Some uppercuts in the corner set up some choking on the ropes before Kane knocks him over the top. That’s not enough for Kane, who boots him in the face, only to get hit in the ribs.
Back in and a backsplash gives Finlay two and it’s off to a half crab. Kane fights up again and it’s an enziguri to put Finlay down for a change. A one armed side slam gives Kane two and there’s the top rope clothesline to rock Finlay again. Finlay is right back with a shot to the ring but it’s Hornswoggle time.
You don’t do that to Kane, who shoves Hornswoggle down but can’t chokeslam Finlay due to the bad ribs. JBL: “He has won a WWE Championship with that chokeslam.” No, he hasn’t. Finlay unhooks the turnbuckle pad, which is enough for him to sneak in the Shillelagh (with an assist from Hornswoggle) shot to the ribs for two. That’s too much for Kane, who sends him into the post and grabs the chokeslam for the pin.
Rating: C+. This was about taking two hard hitting guys and letting them beat on each other for a little while. That’s how you start a show and it worked well enough, as they both know how to do this match really well. Not a classic opener or anything close, but it was fun to watch two guys like this do their thing.
Vince McMahon and Coach joins the General Managers in a party themed move. McMahon thinks the mother of his illegitimate son wants a payday but here is Santino Marella to suggest he is said son. That’s rejected, so here is MVP to say he wants to issue an open challenge to Matt Hardy for something other than a match. Vince is down for that, but William Regal thinks Vince’s son would be more, uh, regal. Everyone else leaves and Vince seems disturbed by the thought of being with an Englishwoman.
Video on Rey Mysterio. Did you know he’s back tonight?
Intercontinental Title: Mr. Kennedy vs. Carlito vs. Umaga
Umaga is defending and it’s one fall to a finish. They stare at each other to start and Umaga punches both of them in the face before sending them into various corners. Carlito and Kennedy need a breather on the floor and decide to go for a distraction, which goes horribly wrong as well. Kennedy saves Carlito from the running hip attack in the corner though and it’s a running boot to drive Umaga’s head into the steps. That leaves Kennedy to stomp on Carlito inside but he’s right back with a springboard elbow.
They seem to be going as fast as they can because Umaga is up, meaning it’s an uppercut from the floor to drop Carlito. Kennedy saves him from a Stinger Splash in the corner though and a shot to Umaga’s head gets two. Umaga isn’t about to get double suplexed so he suplexes both of them at the same time instead. The monster awakens and wrecks both of them, including the running hip attack in the corner to Carlito. Kennedy knocks Umaga outside…but Umaga is right back in with the Samoan Spike to finish Kennedy to retain.
Rating: C. It was little more than a Raw match and that didn’t exactly leave us with a great showcase. The good thing is that Umaga looked like a monster out there as Kennedy and Carlito combined completely failed to stop him. That’s the kind of win that will build Umaga back up even more and that is going to make the person who finally stops him look even bigger, as it should.
Undertaker is back at Unforgiven.
We recap Chavo Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio. Chavo put Rey on the shelf for knee surgery and is now laughing at the idea that Rey is coming back. Revenge seems imminent.
Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero
Rey’s torso is covered in silver paint because he can be a bit odd with some of his costume ideas. They talk trash to each other to start until Rey hits him in the face. Chavo goes after the knee but Rey slips away without much effort. The test of strength is on, allowing them to flip around a lot with neither getting very far.
Another try for the knee works better for Chavo as the leg is wrapped around the middle rope. Rey isn’t having that and kicks Chavo outside before taking him back in for some knee work of his own. There’s a middle rope hurricanrana to send Chavo flying again but he catches Rey in the Tree of Woe to go after the knee again. Said knee is wrapped around the post as we get to the meat of things. The stretch muffler has Rey in more trouble and there’s a dropkick to the knee.
The knee is fine enough to hit an enziguri but it gives out on the 619 attempt. Rey has to get to the ropes to get out of a half crab and now it’s Chavo’s turn to be in the Tree of Woe. That doesn’t last long either so Rey sends him outside for a running seated senton off the apron. Rey misses a high crossbody back inside though and it’s a Gory Bomb to give Chavo two. Another 619 attempt misses and Chavo hits a few Amigos. Rey isn’t having that though and it’s the 619 into the springboard splash for the pin.
Rating: B-. As expected, this was a good match between two talented wrestlers, though I’m still not sure how much interest there was going to be in Chavo as a focal point. He’s a very good worker, but he is more a solid hand than a featured player. That being said, this was all about Rey being back and getting to shake the rust off, which worked well in his first match in a long time.
King Booker and Queen Sharmell say Rey Mysterio’s return may have been great, but HHH’s return will be an entrance, followed by him bowing down to King Booker.
Maria, Beth Phoenix, Melina, Jillian Hall, Mickie James, Torrie Wilson, Victoria, Kristal, Michelle McCool, Layla, Kelly Kelly, Brooke
The winner gets a future Women’s Title shot against Candice Michelle, who is at ringside. It’s a brawl to start, as it should be, with a bunch of brawling around the ring. Jillian gets rid of Maria and Layla is gone soon after. Brooke seems to have been tossed somewhere in there too and Kristal gets rid of Victoria (that’s an upset).
Michelle knocks Kristal out and there goes Kelly (through the ropes, because over the top is a bit too much). Torrie helps get rid of Jillian and Melina knocks out Mickie. We’re down to Michelle, Melina, Beth and Torrie, with Melina being knocked out by Michelle. Beth gets rid of Torrie without much effort and we’re down to two. Michelle tries a kick and is tossed out to give Beth the win.
Rating: D. What else did you expect here? There are only a few women who are ready to challenge for the title and Beth is about as good of a choice as you could have here. Beth is a different kind of monster and we should be in for a showdown with Candice. At least they kept this moving, as that is the best idea they could have had here.
Almost immediately as soon as the match is over, here is MVP, with a few guys carrying a cooler, to say no one paid to see these women. You need him on the show, so MVP talks about how he used to drink beer. His tastes have changed now that he is rich, but tonight it’s time for a beer drinking contest with Matt Hardy.
Hold on though, as Matt brings up MVP using a surrogate for their boxing match. Well Matt (who somehow knew this would be a drinking contest) has his own surrogate: Steve Austin. Cue Austin, who warms up for the contest with some rope running and pushups but it’s a Stunner before the first beer is consumed. A lot of drinking ensues. Nothing wrong with a surprise appearance like this, even if Austin didn’t say a word.
Wrestlemania is coming to Orlando.
Vince McMahon is still in the office with the bosses when Cryme Tyme interrupts. They think “Vinnie Mac” (Vince: “Vinnie Mac?”) might be their dad and it’s time to chant MONEY MONEY YEAH YEAH. Everyone dances around Vince, including William Regal in a hat. Cue Ron Simmons for the catchphrase.
Video on John Morrison.
ECW World Title: John Morrison vs. CM Punk
Morrison is defending and gets taken down without much trouble to start. Punk wins a grapple off to start and hits a hiptoss before hitting a triangle dropkick to the floor. Back up and Morrison hits a neckbreaker onto the apron, allowing him to hammer away with some right hands.
We hit the chinlock with an arm trap, which Tazz doesn’t seem to notice as a version of the Tazmission. A regular chinlock doesn’t work either and Punk is back up with a middle rope crossbody for two of his own. The scoop powerslam gets two more but it’s a backbreaker into a neckbreaker to give Morrison two more. Back up and Punk crotches Morrison on the top and they’re both down for a bit. Punk’s top rope hurricanrana is countered though and Morrison puts his feet on the ropes for the stolen pin to retain.
Rating: C. These two have had more than a few matches now and it wasn’t exactly anything better than their previous stuff. Punk has lost to Morrison time after time now and there isn’t much left for these two to do with each other. The other problem is that there isn’t anything else for Punk on ECW, but he has to win something soon. Not a bad match, but it could have been on ECW TV.
King Booker vs. HHH
This is HHH’s first match since January after another torn quadricep. Booker, with Queen Sharmell, thinks there is only one king around here. Naturally HHH gets a big special entrance video, including the WE CAN REBUILD HIM deal. Commentary tries to put it over like the 2002 MSG return and it’s just not there.
Booker slugs away to start but gets punched outside without much trouble. Back in and HHH gets cut off with an elbow to the head, only to get knocked right back to the floor. HHH gets to punch him in the face a bit more, setting up the facebuster for two back inside. Booker gets smart by going after the leg, only to have HHH take out Booker’s leg instead.
The Figure Four goes on so Sharmell rakes the eyes for a save. The slugout goes to HHH, and he tosses Booker outside for a whip into the steps. They head back inside for the spinebuster but Booker breaks up the Pedigree attempt. Some knees to the head set up a side slam but Booker misses the Houston Hangover. The Pedigree finishes Booker without much effort.
Rating: D+. The match wasn’t a disaster but it was far from as good as you would have expected from these two. HHH shrugged off everything Booker threw at him and then won clean in the end, which isn’t exactly surprising. I would have expected a bit more than about eight minutes, but odds are they didn’t want to leave HHH out there to get winded early. This could have been worse, though it was pretty lame, all things considered.
We recap Batista vs. Great Khali for the Smackdown World Title. Khali is the new unstoppable monster and Batista is one of the only people who can come after him. That’s a bit of a problem though, as Khali’s Claw/vice grip are rather deadly.
Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. Great Khali
Batista is challenging and gets pounded down in the corner to start. Khali sends him outside in a heap and hits the big chop on the way back in. That’s only good for two so Khali sends him shoulder first into the post, setting up the nerve hold. The rope is grabbed, meaning it’s a forearm to the back and another nerve hold goes on.
Cole describes the reaction as the fans getting restless, which is certainly one way to go. Batista fights up and blocks the vice grip, setting up the spinebuster. For some reason Batista goes up but dives into the double chokeslam for two. Runjin Singh throws in a chair and Khali hits Batista for the DQ.
Rating: D-. Restless would be one way to go, but the better term would likely be “bored out of their minds”. This was a bunch of sitting around doing nothing until Khali did something pretty stupid and now we are likely in for a rematch, because that is what we needed here. I get the idea of the chase, but the idea of Khali being involved in anything fast paced is disturbing.
Post match Batista gets the chair and blasts Khali for a change. JBL is livid at Khali for doing something so stupid, which is a fair assessment.
It’s back to the office, where Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young come in to see Vince. They don’t think they’re the mother of the son, but Mae wants some relations with Vince RIGHT NOW to make a new son. Mae jumps him and leaves a taste in Vince’s mouth…which he kind of likes. Coach: “That’s disgusting sir!” Vince: “Old chicken makes good soup.”
We recap John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the Raw World Title. Cena has been champion for almost a year but Orton has been on a path of destruction. Now it’s time for Cena to stop him, because no one else can do it.
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton
Orton is challenging and gets headlocked to start, with the fans really not being behind Cena. The headlock (and really blatant spot calling) continue until Orton reverses into one of his own. Cena can’t counter into the STFU and Orton stomps him down. Back up and Orton keeps it simple with a hard shot to the head which might cause Cena to miss a crossbody.
That means Orton can knock Cena off the apron and onto the announcers’ table for two back inside. The rather aggressive chinlock goes on but Cena suplexes his way to freedom. A missed charge lets Orton get in some more stomps but he misses the big knee. The powerslam doesn’t miss though and we’re right back to the chinlock. Cena tries to power up again so Orton grabs a sleeper with a bodyscissors.
More power gets Cena out of trouble, this time by driving Orton into the corner. Now the comeback is on, including the Shuffle, but the FU is countered into the backbreaker. There’s the hanging DDT as JR is wondering when the concussion is coming. The RKO is countered but Cena misses another charge and falls over the top. Back in and Cena tries the Throwback but winds up with a Blockbuster, which is quite the odd visual coming from him.
The top rope Fameasser connects and Orton is in trouble again. This time the FU is countered with a neck snap across the top. That’s enough to load up the Punt but Orton takes too long and gets pulled into the STFU. The rope gets Orton out of trouble and he grabs a quick RKO for two (that’s still a rare kickout). Cena is done playing around though and hits the FU to retain.
Rating: B. This was a big time fight and Cena felt like he went through a long battle. They were trading big moves but the ending was a bit of a letdown, as Cena kicked out of the RKO and then finished him clean. That doesn’t leave much of a future for the feud, but never let it be said that WWE won’t let something continue despite it looking like it was wrapping up. What we got was good though, as these two were starting to feel it when they went home.
Overall Rating: C. The main event helps a lot and there was enough good to make it work, but Batista vs. Khali was horrible and HHH’s return was a disappointment. It was a bunch of short matches too, with only Orton vs. Cena and Mysterio vs. Guerrero breaking ten minutes. At least we got some good stuff in there though, including a solid main event. Good, but certainly not great show.
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