On our way to find the top 10 SummerSlams of all time, today we come down to number 6. SummerSlam is the second biggest PPV that WWE rolls out in a calendar year, and has a rich history. We go back in time to 2009, to a time when Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton were at the top of the mountain. Going into the PPV, Randy Orton was the WWE champion, and defended his title against John Cena, while Jeff Hardy was the World Heavyweight champion and was involved in a bitter rivalry with CM Punk.
The Punk – Hardy feud was the best thing going in the WWE at that point, since they were natural opposites. Punk, with his drug free life style criticized Hardy, and mocked him which escalated their feud, while Randy Orton’s challenger was determined by a ‘Beat the clock’ challenge which John Cena won. Without further ado, let us go through the main card.
Rey Mysterio defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the WWE Intercontinental championship
This was arguably one of the best opening matches in SummerSlam history. Rey Mysterio went on the offensive early, but Ziggler came back by countering a Hurricanrana attempt. Fast paced action between the two competitors. I almost forgot how good Rey was back in the day. He still had “it” at this point, but too many knee surgeries cost him too much as he had to tone down his move set. The bout ended when Rey countered Ziggler and went for the Hurricanrana for the three count fall. That was a good match to open the show.
Rating: *** ¼
Montel Vontavious Porter defeated Jack Swagger
MVP really improved over the course of ’07, as Chris Benoit mentored MVP and bettered his in-ring skills. MVP initially out-wrestled Swagger in the bout, but missed the Ballin’ elbow. Swagger took control of the match, but MVP came back with an elbow, and avoided a running Pump Handle Slam, hit the Yakuza kick and then the Playmaker for the three count to pick up the victory. Nothing special about the bout, but it was decent.
Jeri-Show (Chris Jericho and The Big Show) defeated Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG) for the Unified WWE tag team championships
Cryme Tyme was really over with the crowd during this period. It wasn’t a surprise though; it worked for Los Guerreros before. They just replaced the Mexicans with African Americans. Good job, Vince McMahon. Anyway, Jeri-Show took control over the match till JTG made a hot tag to Shad, who then dominated till Show hit him with a huge spear. Another hot tag sequence saw Shad throw Show out of the ring, but JTG was caught in the Walls of Jericho. He somehow managed to escape, but was then knocked out by Show, and Jericho got the pinfall for his team. That was a very good match, considering the limited capability of Cryme Tyme.
Kane defeated The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh)
This was one match I wished I could fast forward. A pretty standard Khali match, so it included about 3 moves in entirety. Khali took control early on with head chops, but Kane brought in Ranjin Singh which distracted Khali. Kane then hit a DDT to pick up the victory. I remember a time when Khali was India’s biggest sensation, and his pre-show battle royal appearance at WrestleMania was covered live by Indian news channels! Things went south from there for the big man.
Rating: ½ *
D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) defeated The Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase)
After months of looking like fools during their alliance with Orton, Cody and Ted finally received an opportunity to show how good they really were, and they made the most of it. Shawn was brought back from working as a chef (No joke! And we thought he had enough bucks to retire. Oh wait!) Cody took control over HBK, but Shawn tried to make a come – back when Ted cut him off. Lots of good back and forth action, and the end saw Triple H taking Ted out, while Shawn recovered and delivered an SCM to Cody to pick up the victory. Cody and Ted looked really good, but that didn’t matter much afterwards.
Rating: *** ¾
Christian defeated William Regal (with Vladimir Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson) to retain the ECW World championship
Christian blindsided Regal and hit the Killswitch for the pinfall victory in under 10 seconds! At least, Christian’s first World Heavyweight championship run lasted for more than a day.
Randy Orton defeated John Cena to retain the WWE championship
I should be on medication if I expected a good match out of these two. Thankfully, I didn’t, not even in ’09. This was probably the most over booked match of the year in ’09, as the match was restarted thrice after Orton found ways to make sure he’d hold on to the title. The match officially ended when a fan hit the ring and took Cena out, enabling Orton to connect with an RKO to pick up the win. That wasn’t a reason to restart the match again? Okay! That was a weird match which felt like a bad accident.
Rating: * ½
CM Punk defeated Jeff Hardy to win the World Heavyweight championship in a TLC match
This match had all the elements to be the match of the night, which it easily was. You had the dare devil Hardy, a TLC match and one CM Punk, which can only mean a treat for the fans. There were some really good spots, but the best was Jeff delivering a Swanton from a near 30 foot ladder with Punk on the announcer’s table! That was an amazing spot! The officials came down and tried to carry both of them to the back, but Punk climbed the ladder instead.
Jeff came back as Punk had a “You got to be kidding me” expression on his face. Punk shoved Jeff off the ladder and brought down the big gold belt to win the championship! Post match, The Undertaker made his return and chokeslammed Punk to close the show. Now that is how a main event should be! An amazing match between two talented youngsters.
Rating: **** ¼
Overall rating: *** ½ (Out of 5 stars)
That was a really good PPV. Although the Kane-Khali and Christian’s 8 second win didn’t do any favours to the quality of the PPV, the biggest disappointment was the WWE championship match, which was a huge mess. The saving grace was the main event which completely blew everyone away. Anyway, that does it for the review of SummerSlam 2009. Do check it next time as we count the days down to this year’s edition by looking at the best 10 previous SummerSlams in WWE history.
Paul Heyman hinted to Sportskeeda that someone may join Roman Reigns' stable. Click here for more.