SummerSlam may be over, but now starts the fallout
By Michael Dworkis
The opening bout featured some excellent acts of high risk moves from the cruiserweights involved. Billy Kidman and Paul London truly proved why they have the WWE Tag Team Championship around their waists. London hit D-Von Dudley with his amazing Mushroom Stomp off the second rope and scored with the incredible DropSault. However, the Dudleys disregard for fair play and Spike Dudley's new "bully" attitude proved to be the decisive factor as Kidman had the match won after hitting the Shooting Star Press on Spike, but D-Von saved his little brother, and after taking out London and Rey on the arena floor, D-Von and Bubba Ray delivered the 3-D to Kidman, allowing Spike to recover and get the pinfall.
Well, Kane won Lita's hand for marriage. Lita had better add a hell of a lot of fine print on the pre-nup agreement. Kane had better hire some good security, because the side-effects that this will have on Matt Hardy, will drive him to insanity. Matt is a walking time-bomb, and Kane better watch his back.
Booker T no doubt has memories of his Best-of-Seven with Benoit back in WCW, and certainly attempted to make a repeat of that. Booker had the match in his hands, but he got too comfortable and thought he had Cena where he wanted him. Cena saw a split-second opening, took it, and hit the FU to win the first match. This is Booker's wake up call. Cena wants the U.S. Championship back. But there is little doubt that Booker will turn up his game to retain his championship.
Edge did what he said he'd do, defeat Jericho and Batista. Sure, Edge blindsided Jericho after he dispatched Batista to the outside, but that's how you have to win a triple threat match of this caliber. No teamwork, everyman for himself. Batista may have been considered the favorite going in because of his size and strength, but the fight in Jericho and Edge could turn the match to anyone's favor in an instant. Jericho held his own for the majority of the match, taking most of the beating from the other two participants. Jericho gave it his all, but the brutal assault by Batista took enough out of Y2J, that Edge was able to hit the Spear full force and retain his championship. A great match, but one can bet that Jericho isn't done with Edge.
Eddie decided to step it up and attempt to play ball in Angle's court, using various amateur holds and takedowns. Eddie attempted his own Ankle Lock, stealing his moves to rattle Angle. Apparently it didn't work, and it only fired Angle up. Angle played the "brain game" having a great plan. Planting the notion in Eddie's mind to use the boot was genius. Eddie tried to steal a win by repeating his antics at WrestleMania XX, but Angle is smarter than that. Angle locked in the Ankle Lock the exposed foot and that was the curtain call. Eddie's foot had no protection and that meant open season. Angle used his brains in this one to win.
Eugene wanted revenge for all the garbage Triple H put him through. First convincing him that Evolution was his friend, and then trying to use Eugene to get the World Heavyweight Championship. As William Regal said: "That's just bloody evil." Eugene is a gifted individual who is not just living his dream but is dreaming about the great things he could accomplish. Triple H deserved the beating he received. During the match, Jim Ross asked if Eugene was prolonging the inevitable, but the only thing inevitable was Eugene taking the fight to The Game. In an act that no one on this planet would expect, Eugene caught Triple H's boot, flipped the bird and scored a stunner. Eugene nailed Triple with a Rock Bottom and a Hulk Hogan-like legdrop. However the distraction of Ric Flair gave The Game an open opportunity to come back. Eugene fought back and hit Triple H with a huge Pedigree, but Flair put Triple H's foot on the ropes. William Regal came out to help Eugene, but it backfired, and the distraction allowed Triple H to hit the Pedigree to seal the victory. A great match. Although Eugene did not gain the win, he gained respect from his peers for his outstanding effort in standing up for himself.
JBL showed no fear and the determination to win. Undertaker bullied JBL early on, leading many to believe that the Deadman would take this, but as we know, JBL will do anything to achieve success. Using Orlando as a diversion, JBL blindsided Undertaker and took control of the match, attempting to take out the leg. The match spilled to the floor in front of the Spanish announce table. At this point, Tazz noted that the crowd erupted in chants of "Spanish table" hoping someone would go through it, but JBL took the fight back into the ring. During a brawl, referee Nick Patrick was taken out. After JBL hit the Clothesline From Hell, Orlando jumped in and grabbed Patrick's arm for the three count, but Undertaker kicked out. Orlando brought the belt into the ring, but the Deadman took it from him and clocked JBL with it. Unfortunately for Taker, referee Nick Patrick woke up and saw it. Thanks to Jordan, JBL retained the WWE Championship. But... JBL would not be able to fulfill his promise of being able to walk out of SummerSlam because after the match, Undertaker chokeslammed JBL through the top of his limousine. JBL, unable to walk out of the arena on his own power, had to be stretchered out. This is not over, not by a longshot.
Orton's eyes said it all going in. He wanted to become the youngest World Champion in history. Benoit's eyes told another story. The story of a man who worked 18 years to become the World Heavyweight Champion, wanting to make sure that this young upstart could not rip away everything he has worked so hard and so long for. Orton played a smart game, getting into the head of Benoit by applying a variation of the Sharpshooter early on in the match. Benoit was able to counter out, but the message was clear: Orton scouted Benoit, Orton did his homework. Orton dodged a huge Suicide Dive from Benoit which all but knocked out the Rabid Wolverine. Orton continued his fight, doing the smartest thing possible by making Benoit unable to apply any submission maneuvers. Orton's resilience was pushed to the limit. Benoit gave his all, hitting Orton with about 10 German Suplexes, a northern lights suplex, Sharpshooter, Crossface, but Orton would not quit. Orton escaped the Crossface and nailed the RKO to win the championship and earned the distinction of being the youngest world recognized champion in sports entertainment. No Flair, no Batista and no Triple H there to interfere. Orton won it on his own. He earned his win. In a display of sportsmanship, Benoit returned to the ring and extended the hand to Orton, and the new champ accepted. Orton and Benoit shook hands in the middle of the ring. Benoit left Orton with the message: "Be a man." This is advice and words of warning to Orton. The 24-year-old World Heavyweight Champion is now the man with the bull's eye on his back.