SummerSlam Gives LA a little “TLC”, WWE Style.
Yes, it is that time of the year once again, where we are counting down and building up to one of the WWE’s historic major PPV’s. We here at Rant Sports are counting down and illustrating each SummerSlam event, we are going to look at the top 10 SummerSlam’s, so this way we are only focusing on the best ppvs that were offered to us. Each day we will provide a different SummerSlam ppv, counting down from 10 to 1. This was not an easy list to compile, but the staff of interns did an excellent job in putting together a list that defines an era of great PPV. Without any further ado, let the Rant Sports, Top 10 Summer Slam PPV’s begin.
RANT SPORTS TOP 10 WWE SUMMERSLAM’S
Date: August 23rd 2009
City: Los Angelas, California
Venue: Staples Center
Combined Attendance: 14,116
Sub-Theme: “The Biggest Event of the Summer”
SummerSlam has always been touted as the biggest PPV of the summer, and comparing to the smaller ones, it does ring true (however, Money In the Bank is quickly becoming that must see event). Summer Slam holds a lot of historic value in terms of the history of the company. SummerSlam 2009 would be the first SummerSlam to kick off the staple (no pun intended) of making the Staples Center in Los Angelas, California the home of SummerSlam. This year will be 4 years in a row that the show is in LA. Personally, I am fine with this idea. The embodiment of SummerSlam is supposed to be hot fun in the sun and equivalent with a beach lifestyle, and California defines that better than any other state. Im sure someone is asking, “What about Florida”? True, but August is hurricane season, not a good look for the biggest party of the summer. Plus, the ambiance of SummerSlam is built as a junior Wrestlemania, all around event in terms of the festival environment that the WWE brings to LA, so once again, this decision to hold it in California is fitting.
SummerSlam 2009 was a Tri Branded PPV consisting of Raw, Smackdown and ECW. This would actually be the last tri branded summerslam, as ECW was finalized as a WWE brand just 6 months later. This event would be shown to be an absolute stacked card, including 5 championships being on the line.
The PPV opened up with Rey Mysterio (Champion) vs Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Championship. This match was the perfect way to start the show out as these two gave the audience, live and at home a helluva match to get the blood pumping in the show. This was the year when I became a fan opf Dolph Ziggler, stating that he was the future of the company and this match is what proved that to be. Dolph was so hungry to win the IC championship, that his match focus was to slow Rey down and bring another element of pain to the match. We even got a dose of old school Rey in the match, based on the moves he displayed. And from that, we get a victory from Rey Mysterio over the show off.
ECW Champion, Christian pinned William Regal in an 8 second match.
The WWE Championship would be on the line as Randy Orton would defend his title and would face off against challenger John Cena.7 years earlier, both John Cena and Randy Orton would debut in the WWE, setting their sights to reach the highest of the high in the sport. Many people, along with myself said that Orton/Cena would be the next Savage/Hogan, Flair/Rhodes, Hart/Michaels and Austin/Rock. Giving us one of those classic and legendary rivalries that will be sketched into the times of pro wrestling. Although we never got thier 1 on 1 match at Wrestlemania, we did get it at SummerSlam. In a way, this match was 7 years in the making. In 2008, Orton had a very successful and very impressive WWE Championship run, and after regaining it back in 2009, Orton was looking to repeat that run. In order to do this would be to get by the most decorated superstar in WWE, John Cena. This match was 20 min of solid exchange between the two. However, an odd ending. Orton was the leader of his 3 man stable “Legacy” consisting of himself, Cody Rhodes (son of Dusty) and Ted Dibiase Jr. (son of the Million Dollar Man). Orton was handicapped, because the member of legacy were tied up in a De-Generation X reunion match, the match before. So Orton was on his own, or was he? After the match was restarted by the ref, due to Orton pinning Cena with both of his feet on the rope, Cena locked up Orton in the STF, but before Orton could tap out and hand the title back over to Cena, a “fan” from ringside jumps the barrier and pulls out the ref. After being “arrested” by LA’s finest, Orton capitalizes an gives Cena the 2nd rope DDT followed by the RKO to secure the win and retains the WWE Championship. We would find out that the “fa” was Brett Dibiase, Ted’s brother.
The World Heavyweight Championship would be on the line as CM Punk challenges the World Heavyweight Champion, Jeff Hardy in a ladder match match to close the show. I remember Punk giving a legendary pre match promo when he criticized some of Hollywood’s decisions to make films concentrated on teen vampires. So as the promo was hot, Punk went into the match on fire as he was determined to win the World Championship at one of the most prestigious ppv’s of the year. Before making this happen, he must go through the charismatic enigma, Jeff Hardy first. Hardy was argubly the most popular superstar in the WWE, with of a legion of fans behind him. However, for the “smart” fans, we knew that Hardy was on his way out the door as he was not looking to renew his contract with the WWE. To smart fans, it was a no brainier how this would conclude, but in the WWE nothing is ever certain until the final bell rings. The ladder match is Hardy’s specialty as he’s given us classics with this tool. This was a match that was not easy to watch as both men were not easy on each other at all breaking out not only the ladders, but tables and chairs as well. At one point of the match, Hardy set Punk on a table from the outside to hit him with the Swanton from the top of the ladder, but did not connect with Punk. Punk went to seize this moment by climbing the ladder while Hardy was being escorted out, but even when Hardy attempted the climb the ladder after recovering, Punk knocked him off to win the World Heavyweight Championship. However, Punk’s celebratory victory would be lived short as the lights were to go out and come back on, and appearing in the middle of the ring…The Undertaker. And he gives Punk a chokeslam to hell. Starting the building blocks of a new rivalry.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer for Rant Sports