Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the only review team with a functioning time machine, Cewsh Reviews. We have a special treat for you this week, as we’ve taken the aforementioned time machine, and let the denizens of our favorite wrestling discussion forum, Rajah.com, choose the destination. Earlier this year they voted on the Best Show of the Decade, and the winner wound up being Wrestlemania XVII. Since we were already totally saving that for another time, we instead took at look at the runner up, and were surprised to find that it was one of the first shows that Vice and I ever watched together. Inspired by this mixture of nostalgia and selfishness, we chose that show, which turned out to be WWE Summerslam 2002.
Now aside from Vice and I having seen it when we were adorable little marky marks, this show has a lot to recommend it. Not only does it have one of the most stacked sounding undercards in wrestling history, but it also features the in ring return of Shawn Michaels against his former best friend turned enemy Triple H, and the rise of a young man named Brock Lesnar to prominence, as he faces the Rock for his first chance at WWE Heavyweight gold. It’s a big fucking show, that sounds even bigger, and with the nostalgia train going full throttle, it ought to be damn fun to stand on the tracks. Unless you don’t like that sort of thing. In which case you can stand aside and wait for the lame, nancyboy train, which should be arriving at eleven.
So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking review!
Cewsh: This is usually the part of the show where I tell you about how the opening video was inspirational, or how it sold me on the show, or how, conversely, it was a sack of shit that killed my interest. Sometimes I even post the video itself, and then Vice and I might ramble on about sets for awhile.
Funny thing is, this show has NO opening video, and the set is literally just the regular Smackdown set of the day, with a big green S sort of floating to the side. So either motherfuckers were much, much lazier back then, or this was a show that they figured would sell itself. Or they spent all the production budget on nachos. Which, frankly, I wouldn’t blame them for. At any rate, though, there’s nothing much to see here, aside from the show’s official theme song, which has to be one of the greatest in WWE history.
Cewsh: This may be the single funnest match in WWE history.
You have Kurt Angle, who at this point was probably the most fun to watch wrestler in the world.
He's up against Rey Mysterio, who at that time could have made a strong case in his own favor for that distinction. Then you add in great chemistry, a hot crowd, and a match that never bothers with something puny like slowing down to take a breath, and what you’re left with is the kind of unadorned joy that you see very little of in wrestling or anywhere else for that matter. This is a match that you would enjoy, your mother might enjoy, and the homeless guy who pisses on himself in the parking lot of Blockbuster might even get a kick out if it while he’s stealing your silverware.
Trying to do play by play for this match would be fruitless, because these guy pretty much defy convenient description here (a fact which isn’t lost on Michael Cole and Tazz. Wait, Michael Cole and Tazz together?
I’ll just tell you that this is probably the single best opening match to a show that I have ever seen. It isn’t heavy on anything like psychology, and it doesn’t bother to tell a story of any kind, which holds it back from being a special match to stand on it’s own, but there’s one thing that it definitively has going in its favor. When this match ends, all I want is to see more wrestling. That’s fucking exactly what I should want. If I could high five my way through the years, these guys would deserve it.
88 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
Vice: From the second this match starts, it’s just all kinds of awesome. It’s love at first sight, really. And seriously, the size differences are amazing. And I’m not talking about Rey being a shorty. Here, Rey is a scrawny little fuck like he used to be a long, long time ago. Before he bulked up and did all kinds of steroids and stuff. And Angle is fucking GIGANTIC here. Like seriously, the dude probably weighs a good 20-30 pounds more here than he does now. 20-30 pounds of muscle, too. He’s just so goddamned rip in this match. Now he’s just lean, which is good.
Angle wins in a wonderfully lovely opening match. Gotta love the ridiculous YOU SUCK chants, which I almost forgot about. What a great way to kick off the show. Jesus.
Cewsh: Stephanie McMahon is walking down the hallway with someone we will charitably refer to as “Some Guy” as he directs her to her locker room. Get ready for the M. Night Shamalamalan twist, though, as it turns out that it is both her AND Eric Bichoff’s office for the night. OH SNAP.
You may recall that at this point Stephanie was the GM of Smackdown and Bischoff was running Raw. What you may not remember was that at least one segment a month would be dedicated to their absurd desire to bone one another into particle fission. So essentially Vince McMahon was approving storylines where his greatest enemy in real life would be totally all about nailing his daughter, and she’s totally all about it too.
Never let it be said that Vince McMahon isn’t willing to do whatever it takes to make compelling television, ladies and gentlemen.
Cewsh: So apparently this feud was sparked when Jericho jumped Flair for no apparent reason, causing Flair to spaz out, steal one of Fozzy’s guitars mid performance, and elbow drop his jacket into submission. Naturally that led to a match between the two here, because a friendly game a chess is simply out of the question after a theft has been committed.
Vice: Fuck me what a great entrance for Jericho. The camera angles, the lighting, the pose, it’s all fantastic. I’m really starting to warm up to Jericho right now (yes, in 2010), but I’m sure I’d love him a lot more if he still had amazing entrances.
Ric Flair has aged so much in the past 8 years. He looks so young here. Full head of fluffy hair. Fairly lean. Relatively firm man boobs. Eyes are actually in their sockets. Skin isn’t red and hard looking, so he’s like 90% less of a crustacean. And, well, he actually appears to not be a lunatic. What the hell happened to him?
Ric just seems like a much bigger deal when he looks like this. Nowadays, as much as I love him and respect his work over the years, he just looks like a joke. It’s kind of embarrassing. His “guess what… I GOT A PROBLEM!!!” line from TNA’s PPV was legendary though. Oh man. I love me some Ramblin’ Ric.
Fairly good match. Very surprised to see NAITCH win, with a figure four no less. I’d love to see early 90’s Flair up against modern day Jericho. I’m not sure if they’d mesh, but I still want to see it.
Cewsh: The tide of this match swings back and forth with Flair taking the majority of the punishment like most Flair matches. Jericho flies around, bumps for Flair, and puts a great heelish ass kicking on Flair, and generally works his ass off to make this match interesting, as Flair does…well, the same exact shit he does in every match he’s ever had.
They go back and forth for a good long while, and both men do a great job of stringing along an entertaining match that is still not nearly the great match you’d hope for from these two. At the risk of being strung up by the internet police, I have to say that maybe it’s time I stop expecting Flair matches to be great, when seemingly it is by far the exception rather than the rule. Jericho does the best he can with Flair here, and a much younger Flair than we see wrestling now keeps up competently, but orgasmic this is not.
76 out of 100
Cewsh: Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar are backstage in their locker room, and Heyman is hyping Lesnar up to murder the Rock to death, and win the title, and looking at Lesnar, it’s hard to believe that that isn’t inevitable. It’s been a few years since I saw him, and I swear to god, I completely forgot how absolutely jacked and enormous the guy is, and I remember how damn fast he was. If I saw Brock Lesnar coming down a dark alley after me, I would shit myself, lie on the ground, and pretend to be a dead hobo. My odds would just be better that way.
Cewsh: In a shoot interview, Scott Hall once said that Booker T complained to him that the announcers were always talking about other storylines and matches while his match was going on, and about how that was bullshit, and Hall responded by telling him that the reason for that is that his style of wrestling was so pretty and aesthetically pleasing to watch, that it speaks for itself, and needs very little to be said about it to get it over.
That describes this match perfectly.
Edge was a machine at this point.
He was working with some of the best wrestlers to ever live (Eddie, Benoit, Mysterio, Angle) on a weekly basis, and as a result he was getting really amazing in the ring, and meanwhile Eddie Guerrero worked one of the smoothest and easiest to watch styles in the history of wrestling. What results is a match that isn’t necessarily a great match so much as an exhibition of how pretty wrestling can be. There isn’t a ton of emotion here, not much of a story. It’s just two talented and fluent wrestlers, plying their trade artistically. And man is it fun to watch.
Sort of a theme tonight isn’t it?
77 out of 100
Vice: I forgot how good Edge was in this time period. Up until he turned into a massive heel with Lita, he bored the shit out of me as a face and I really despised him. And man was that I.. DON’T.. LIKE.. YOU! promo on Orton really bad. He was tearing it up in this match along with Guerrero. Guerrero being good is no surprise though, even if I do find a lot of his work to be super overrated.
Cewsh: Ahhh! Watch out Lance and Christian! There’s a dead guy with a flag floating behind you! AHHHHHH!
Hmm. Was that maybe in bad taste?
Vice: Seriously, Christian had one of the worst looks in professional wrestling for so long. The stupid long hair, the fishnet tank top, his awkward body type.. he just looks so hideously awful. In terms of just looking like a flat out idiot, his only real competition is Chris Hero, but at least Hero is being ironic with how utterly dumb he looks and has made a gimmick out of it. Christian just looks like a retard.
But if I can be serious for a moment…let me talk about Lance Storm. Why in the utter fuck does this guy get so much shit? Lance is amazing. Sure he hits people on the soft side, but isn’t not injuring someone a plus? He knows how to work a match perfectly fine and is ridiculously crisp in the ring. I think if people knew how to use him better, he’d have been a massive star. He’s a just a weird guy in the sense that he does not have a ton of emotion and is fairly soft spoken in real life, but he’s got a wealth of humor and charisma. He was never really allowed to let that shine through, though. He was either in the super serious role or the completely ludicrous role with dancing and having a big dick. He has a great mind for the business, so I wish instead of assigning him something to do, someone asked “hey, Lance, what would YOU do?” and let him do his own thing.
Seriously underrated talent. He knew he wasn’t going to be the world champion, so he decided to be a fantastic midcard talent that put on great matches and made others look as good as possible. I think another thing that held him back is that he seems way, way too nice. Kinda like Christopher Daniels in a way, where they have a ton of talent and do what they’re told, but if they were to speak up and show that they can be great, maybe they’d be given more of a shot.
Booker and Goldust were a legendary team, really. Not the greatest in the ring together and I don’t recall them ever having a great match, but their backstage skits were tremendously entertaining. I love the ol’ oddball pairings.
And with all that said, this match bored me shitless.
Cewsh: We cut to Jamie Noble and his girlfriend Nidia at The World in Times Square. For those of you new to the WWE, The World was an enormous sports bar that WWE ran in Times Square, full of WWE memorabilia, and with a stage for random WWE events and promos and angles to be shot. It was a really cool place that eventually went out of business, taking my dream of getting shitfaced and picking a fight with some guy over whether or not Mr. Fuji’s powder was baby powder or talcum powder away from me.
Apparently, Nidia is in the midst of choosing a man to random make out with and/or have sex with. She chooses one of these dashing studs, and proceeds to stick her tongue so far down his throat that she could diagnose prostate cancer, while her boyfriend heartily cheers her on, encouraging her to “do that one thing with your tongue I like!” Which is disturbing and intriguing at the same time.
Cewsh: Let’s get this out of the way right now.
Yes this is Chris Benoit. Yes he killed his family and himself, and yes that fact is extremely fucked up. No, we are not going to talk about it here, and we’re not going to judge the man’s in ring performances based on what happened later in his life. That would be like saying OJ Simpson wasn’t a great running back because he killed his ex wife. It isn’t true, even if calling him great stirs up feelings. So if you want to hear about what a monster he is or how it’s a shame about what happened, you won’t. That’s not what we’re here for.
Now, when I was looking over this card, this match caught my eye because not only was I completely unaware that it took place here, but I actually couldn’t remember a time where these two ever wrestled each other at any other time either. You might suspect that the technical style of Benoit and the flippy style of Rob Van Dam wouldn’t mesh, but they really really do for two reason.
1) Benoit is great at beating people up.
2) Rob Van Dam is great at getting beaten up.
With that said, perhaps you can divine the way this match goes, as Benoit administers a vicious beating on Van Dam, and Van Dam keeps doing his crazy Gumby moves to get out of impossible predicaments. The blend here, with Benoit bringing out Van Dam’s stiff side, and being tight and crisp right back, results in what would be the best match on a lesser card, and a match that stands out even amongst it’s sturdy competition on this one. These guys try their best to steal the show, and while they don’t quite manage it, it’s more because of the greatness they’re up against than because of any lack of quality work from these two.
82 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
Vice: This was a very fun match. Obviously the topic here is Benoit because of what happened with him. Well, when he first came out, I thought nothing of that. I was able to just watch him wrestle like I always could, and I enjoy that. What he did was horrible, but he really was one of the best wrestlers ever. I’m glad I can still get a kick out of his matches. This match also made me miss RVD a lot. Another guy who gets a ton of crap for his repetition, lack of psychology, whatever. But you know what? Fuck you. He was entertaining as hell. RVD to TNA please.
Very fun match. Not great, but it was a treat to watch. RVD is good at taking bumps, and Benoit is good at ki— err.. Benoit is good at beating people up.
Vice: My favorite thing about this match was the video package. It’s Undertaker vs. Test, but the video package really has nothing to do with the match at all. Undertaker is only in it for about 2 seconds and isn’t mentioned by name. It’s just a video package about the Unamericans saying that Canada is cool and America drools. AMERICA SUCKS!
Ok, so, I haven’t seen Undertaker as the American Badass in yeeeaaars. I’m so used to him being the old fart zombie dead man demonic sheriff of Death Valley, that it’s just ridiculous seeing him with short hair and waving an American flag around. I liked him during this time period for the most part though. It’s also really odd to think about how Test is dead. His death was so random (in a way..) and out of the blue that it hasn’t totally sunk in yet. Same with Umaga. Like, I see Test on screen and have to think “he’s dead, isn’t he?”.
Oh right, there is some sort of match that went on here. I didn’t care much for it, but it wasn’t horrible or anything.
Cewsh: The Undertaker vs. Test. The Undertaker. Vs. Test. I don’t even know what to think about this match. On one hand the Undertaker is great and a legend and all, and I liked his run as the American Badass. On the other hand this was not the good phase of him being the American Badass. This is the part where he was lazy, tired, and treading water until it was time to turn heel again. On one hand, Test has always been an underrated performer, and has a look that I can’t help but adore him for. On the other hand he’s TEST, and he’s only good for pretty much one really good match a year.
And this wasn’t it.
It’s not that this match is bad, persay. Both guys go out of their way to make each other look good (a bigger feat of work for Taker than for Test), and the fans are wildly in support of the Undertaker, which helps things along considerably. But there really just isn’t anything terribly interesting going on here. This match has very little reason to happen, as Test is barely even a member of the Un-Americans, and Taker isn’t REALLY feuding with them anyway. Inevitably, though, this match provides us with the yearly Summerslam patriotic moment, as Taker holds up the American flag in celebration of his win. Which is fair, because Death Valley is in America, so there’s no reason why zombies can’t be patriotic.
70 out of 100
Vice: I have fond memories of this match, mainly because of how badly Cewsh was marking out for it. See, he and I both watched and loved wrestling for many years, but we watched at different times. Sure I watched some oldschool WWF and NWA back when I was a wee lad, but I was never super into it. Except one match involving Arn & Ole Anderson that nearly had me screaming at the TV. But basically he was a huge fan up until the attitude era, which is when he stopped and I got really super into the Monday Night War. Then I stopped watching around when Jericho showed up in WWF and the whole demise of WCW and the Invasion, which was more or less when Cewsh picked up the ball and ran with it.
Then it wasn’t until right before Wrestlemania 18 that we were both watching at the same time. He more or less convinced me to check out some wrasslin’ during history class. So anyway, the story here is basically that he was a massive mark for Shawn Michaels, having watched him for years, and I basically had no idea who he was, because I started watching after he had broken his back. Sure I saw his little stints as the commissioner or whatever, and he had a few cameos here and there, but I really didn’t know much about him, aside from the fact that he had broken his back and would likely never compete again. So when Michaels was gearing up to get back in the ring again, Cewsh’s reaction was more or less “ZOMG WTF I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WOULD HAPPEN HOLY SHIT OMG THIS IS THE GREATEST THING EVER FUCK STEAK, BLOWJOBS, BIRTHDAY PRESENTS AND CHRISTMAS SHAWN MICHAELS IS GOING TO BE WRESTLING AGAIN!!!” which completely outdid my reaction of “that’s cool I guess”. Obviously I gave the man props for getting back in the ring, but I wasn’t emotionally attached to him in any sort of way.
Cewsh: Vice is absolutely and completely right. Back in the day when we first watched this, I was more Marky Mark then the goddamn Funky Bunch. All I kept babbling about, through all of the other matches and during all of the other segments was about how Shawn Michaels was back and how they couldn’t possibly have a real match because Shawn’s back was BROKEN. B-R-O-K-E-N. I was actually legitimately concerned for his safety and wellbeing in this match, and I felt so strongly about it that even watching it now, 8 years and an assload of cynicism later, I still get chills seeing him perform here.
Which is weird, because when I was a little kid, I thought he was lame, and should totally get his ass kicked by Tatanka.
As this match begins, the atmosphere in the crowd makes it absolutely clear that they’re more or less thinking what I was thinking. Shawn is going to get murdered here, and he’s seriously going to be hurt. As a result, the crowd is subdued during the entrances and the early stages of the match, as they go back and forth with some low key brawling. The match, and the crowd, don’t stay down forever, though, as Triple H starts violently working over Shawn’s back, the crowd comes alive in his defense, and I remember basically levitating off the couch from sheer force of indignation at this heinous act.
Vice: Knowing he had broken his back, it made the match painful to watch. Triple H obviously targets it and does some nasty attacking, which made me somewhat concerned for the man’s health. It’s not like every person who has broken their back has surgery and then gets slammed onto chairs and that sort of stuff, so I was wondering if this was a terrible idea for him. Cewsh, naturally, was very invested in this match.
Cewsh: Like Donald Trump invested.
At this point Triple H has completely taken over the match, working Shawn Michaels from pillar to post and taking special exception to working on his back, in the most brilliantly heelish way possible. And as Michaels fades more and more, the crowd gets behind him more and more until the cheers become deafening, but still Triple H keeps the advantage, using Shawn’s ring rust and emotions against him, and annihilating his back at every turn, with everything from abdominal stretches to backbreakers across chairs. He isn’t fucking around, and it looks like all hope is lost for Shawn Michaels. He’s taken every blow that Triple H has to dish out, and he’s hardly even moving as he lies desperate in the ring just waiting…
Vice: Just as I was starting to open my eyes and really get into the match, and hating Triple H, Shawn kips up and dances around like a little girl before going on to not sell a damn thing. Even though I was not a huge “smark” like I am today, knowing the business like I do, I still ended up with an incredible headache from the ridiculous facepalm I struck myself with. Yeah, he got a hell of a pop, but even watching it now it just takes me out of the match so remarkably fast. I think the match would be so much better if he hadn’t done that, and instead had played the face in peril for the majority of the match, having very emotional comebacks that are cut short by the evil Triple H. Shawn can still win in the end of course. But it’s one of those rare times when there is a legitimate story and legitimate concern, and that can make a match one thousand times more intense. But after Michaels kipped up, I was just like “oh, Michaels is fine” and BAM. No emotion. Just a regular match for me.
Cewsh: Despite this huge and ridiculous continuity error, the comeback stirs the crowd to new heights, as Shawn goes banana on Triple H, knocking him silly all over the ring, even laying Triple H on a table on the floor, and, in a feat that caused me to yell in alarm 8 years ago, leaping off the top turnbuckle through the table to the outside. Both men are busted open now, fighting the epic war that both refuse to lose. Triple H is dazed and hurt, but still has the instincts of a fighter, as he holds Michaels at bay with his methodical wearing down techniques. But where there was no chance for Michaels before, there are now cracks in Triple H’s defenses, which leads to both men throwing bombs at each other, until finally Shawn Michaels catches Triple H out of absolutely nowhere with a roll up, surprising him just long enough to get the 1…2…3, and win his comeback match.
Of course, winning is only half the battle.
Immediately after winning the match, Triple H jumps Shawn Michaels, and nails him in the back with the sledgehammer. Then, as the referee stands by helpless, he stands over Shawn and basically executes him with a swift and vicious blow to the spine from the sledgehammer, sending medics hurrying to the ring, and rendering the crowd that was on it’s feet going nuts seconds earlier, back to their seats in a worried silence as Triple H smiles the vilest smile ever smiled back at them.
Vice: This is a very good match that just seemed huge. Obviously because it was Shawn Michaels returning, but also because Triple H was a great son of a bitch leading up to the match. And the video package before the match was quite epic. This isn’t the best match in the world, but if you haven’t seen it, you need to go download it.
Cewsh: This match wasn’t quite the rollercoaster ride of emotions that it was when I first saw it, and it’s sad that giving up my markness has kind of diluted my ability to feel that strongly about matches like this, but what it has gained me is the ability to appreciate the work that these two men did here, and Triple H in particular.
Going into this match, neither man could have really known for sure how much Shawn Michaels was going to be able to do, even pushing himself to the limit, so the brunt of the weight of this match falls squarely of the ridiculously broad shoulders of Triple H, and here he absolutely rises to the challenge. His heel work in antagonizing Michales and the fans was terrific, his manner of working Shawn’s back was both believable and emotional, and after each heelish maneuver, he let the focus shift to Shawn long enough for Shawn to elicit the maximum sympathy from ever pained expression. He didn’t hurry through this, they let the match take on a life of it’s own, and by the end, the work well and truly had paid off into an amazing match.
Frankly if it weren’t for one singly kip up that ruined the flow of the match and was John Cena-like in its completely preposterousnous, this match might be one of the most highly rated in our history. As it stands, it will simply have to settle for “awesome” rather than “transcendent”.
Here’s to nostalgia.
92 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
Cewsh: Here’s some trivia for you. If a friend ever asks what segment came between TripleH/Michaels and Lesnar/Rock at Summerslam in 2002, you can proudly answer that it was the segment where Howard Finkel came out and talked a bunch of shit, Trish Stratus offered to have sex with him, and Lillian Garcia kicks him in the nads and then fell down.
I’m sure you will be the star of many a dinner party from here on out.
Vice: I didn’t care at all about Shawn Michaels, but you know who I was totally attached to? BROCK LESNAR. Oh man was this guy fucking awesome. Literally from the second I saw him, I loved the giant son of a bitch. He was huge. He had tattoos. He just fucking killed people like an animal. Even to this day, I’m a huge mark for raw strength. Brock picking up a 220 pound person with as much effort as me picking up a plastic fork was just an incredible sight to see. I loved it when he killed the Hardy Boyz too. Well, one of the twats decided to whack him with the chair AS HARD AS POSSIBLE right in his FACE.. TWICE, and even then that only seemed to irritate the wild beast, as he didn’t appear to be in any pain at all. I loved it. When he was going through and killing people leading up to this match, I was pumped.
I was slightly worried that RVD would win the King of the Ring. Why, I don’t know. But WWE practically injected me full of heroin when Brock became the number one contender and was set to face THE ROCK. Man was I happy. Man did I want The Rock to fucking die. Like, I wanted to see him get F5’d through the ring. And then have Brock pick up said ring and beat Rock to death with it. And then as Rock’s soul was wiggling its way out of his corpse en route to heaven, Brock would F5 it. Then he would toast some bread by breathing fire at it, then would proceed to make a sandwich out of Rock’s soul and eat it.
I love Brock so much.
He was just some crazy, furious bastard. He was stronger than anyone else on the roster and had was even faster than most. What a fucking ridiculous combination. It’s no wonder that he was able to wander into MMA and take faces on his way to becoming a legitimate heavyweight champion of the world. Oh, AND he’s fucking Sable. And yeah, she still looks phenomenal. And yeah, I want them to make a porno that ends up on the web. There. I said it. Hopefully I can sleep at night. As long as I put my phone on silent so Hero! does not wake me up by calling me. Dickhead.
When I first watched this match, I just wanted Brock to win. The match itself was just a formality for me. 20 minutes of crap to sit through to see my boy with gold around his waist. Having said that though, I’m so fucking thankful that I watched it again, because it is a spectacular match. No one ever really talks about this match anymore, and watching it again makes me curious, and kind of irritated, that no one seems to give it a ton of love. The video package made this match look huge. The training videos, Brock’s unstoppable push, Rock being Rock.. it’s all so glorious. The crowd was absolutely on fire for this match too. Brock debuted not THAT long before and got the typical “ROAR I AM NEW AND REALLY REALLY BIG” push, which so many people get. Even to this day. But most are met with a bucket of apathy, unlike Lesnar who was over to an incredible degree here. He was seriously wrestling like a veteran and was treated as such. He really was something special.
But yeah, this match was a thousand times better than I remember. It was a fucking spectacle, really. Brock showed that he was more than capable of being a world champion, and Rock was great too. Except his sharpshooter, which is still the worst executed move in the history of professional wrestling. It’s like a 45 second botch and is painful to sit through because it is so awful. Why did no one tell him how godawful it was? That aside, everything was glorious.
If you haven’t seen this match in a while, then download it and watch it again before I kill you. It is really quite good and needs more love.
Cewsh: You know, whenever I looked back at this show, I always thought of it as sort of a one match occasion. TripleH/Michaels stole the show and everything else attached to it, Angle/Mysterio was good, and eh, Brock/Rock was alright I guess, for a glorified squash match.
Christ how wrong I was.
This match is so good that it made me ache that neither of these men is still in the wrestling business. It isn’t so much emotional or story driven as it is tension filled and competitive. It isn’t so much technical as it is a spectacle. This match between the top dog in the prime of his career, the Rock, and the young monster who has been tearing through everything on his way to the top, Brock Lesnar, is everything a passing of the torch match is supposed to be. It’s everything that Warrior/Hogan was, it’s everything that Hogan/Andre was, it’s everything that Hogan/Rock was, it is the spectacle that makes a man a star in one night and cements him in the history books forever, and believe me when I tell you that the Rock knows that every second they’re in the ring together.
I don’t even know how to put how great this match is into words. The Rock completely drops the comedy and the smiles for this match, giving us the very rare all business version of himself that means something serious is going on, and he sets a blistering pace here that Lesnar has no trouble keeping up with. Lesnar, for his part, makes every move, every motion look dangerous and violent, going by the old adage that if you don’t have to move, don’t move, and if you do move, explode into action, he never seems to take the time to cross the ring, he’s just suddenly there, imposing his will wherever he sees fit. As a result, the war between the old dog and the young pup is as competitive and wild a match as I’ve ever seen in wrestling.
And I’m not even making mention of the parsley on the meal plate, like Heyman’s brilliant and inspired managerial work, and the Rock’s tone perfect response to the crowd’s 180 degree turn in choosing to boo him and cheer Lesnar. As the match goes on the Rock slowly but surely follows the crowd reaction and transforms into a heel to suit them, giving them the bad guy they insist on making him, while making Lesnar look like a conquering hero in the process.
There is so much good here, it’s hard to even process. Once you have a match at this quality, it’s just a matter of nitpicking the small details to determine just HOW amazing it was. By my count? It is the second best match I have witnessed since we started Cewsh Reviews. This isn’t a show just about Michaels/Triple H. Those guys were just the appetizer. This is the main course.
95 out of 100
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval
Cewsh: Hooooooly shit, what a show. I have never seen another show in recent memory that can even come close to comparing to how great this one was from top to bottom. The only other show that even compares, statistically, is WWE No Way Out 2009, and that’s just because it basically had all of 3 matches to have averaged out. Not only did this show average, AVERAGE, a Download Seal of Approval, but one half of all of the matches on the show got that coveted recognition, including one being my second highest rated match in the history of Cewsh Reviews.
This forgotten gem is a show that should be lauded for years to come, and not one second of it is to be missed. If you aren’t already downloading it then you clearly weren’t listening. Beg, borrow or steal, but whatever you have to do, watch this show.
Vice: Man, what a ridiculous show this was. This really did feel like the summer’s Wrestlemania. In fact, this show could have been a Wrestlemania for all I care. Shows like this are why people always have such high hopes for Summerslam and always end up disappointed. This was a gigantic show with two great main events and a brilliant undercard. I remember the show being good, but fucking hell. It was wonderful. Truly wonderful.
Well that'll do it for us this week, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed sharing with us the best show we've ever gotten a chance to review, and we hope it doesn't bum you out that it's pretty much guaranteed to all be downhill from here. But hey, take heart! Next week we're finally giving you guys something that you've been (modestly) clamoring for ever since we started this little ditty called Cewsh Reviews. LUCHA LUCHA LUCHA! That's right, as installment number 2 in our Month of Wrestlemania, we will examine AAA's Triplemania 2009, the biggest show of the year, for one of the two biggest companies in Mexico. Teddy Hart, Sean Waltman, and Jack Evans are just a few of the names that MIGHT be there, along with some other familiar faces. Oh and midgets. Dear god will there be midgets. So be sure to tune in next week for that and in the meantime keep reading and be good to one another!