No Motivation for SummerSlam? Not so fast my friends.
So, what's missing from SummerSlam?
That's what someone told me, not directly, of course. Oh really? That's kinda surprising to me, there seems to be boatloads of motivation. Let's take a look.
Edge vs. Eddie Guerrero
Okay, now this one is kinda thrown together. That one I'll give you. There's some semblance of a backstory, but not much. However, if we're gonna get a thrown together match, why not Edge and Eddie Guerrero?
Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle
Backstory: Rey's the new kid, he scores a big win over Kurt Angle in a 6-man. But wait.Rey wasn't the legal man and Angle throws a fit about it. Angle proceeds to run Rey down, refer to him as a 12-year old, etc. Rey doesn't like the insults so he issues the SummerSlam challenge. Angle accepts and then Rey attacks him later in the show, bloodies him.
Rey's motivation: He wants to prove he's not a fluke, he wants to score a big win, and most of all, he wants to shut Kurt Angle up.
Angle's motivation: He wants to prove Rey's win WAS a fluke and show that no "12 year old" gets the best of Kurt Angle. Plus, he wants revenge for that nasty cut on his forehead.
Chris Jericho vs. Ric Flair
Backstory: Well, Jericho started it all. He ruined Flair's big announcement so he, the King of the World, could get the spotlight. However, since then, Flair seems to be getting the one up on him. Flair's embarrassed him by removing his pants and furthermore, Flair has shown him up during his Fozzy concert and by winning the tag match they were both involved in. Jericho has bloodied Flair on one nasty occasion though.
Jericho's motivation: He thinks Flair is a has-been and he's gonna prove it. He thinks HE is the King of the World and he's gonna prove it. And most of all, he thinks he's a bigger star, a more talented wrestler, than Ric Flair ever was and he's gonna prove it.
Flair's motivation: Jericho ruined his big announcement, Flair wants revenge. Jericho's running down the name of the Nature Boy, Flair's not gonna stand for it. Jericho claims Flair doesn't have it anymore, Flair's gonna prove he does.
Booker T & Goldust vs. Lance Storm & Christian for the WWE Tag Team Titles
Backstory: Booker T meets Lance Storm in a match, Goldust gets Eric Bischoff to agree to give them title shots at SummerSlam if Booker can beat Storm. Booker does. They've had a couple of matches since.
Booker & Goldust's motivation: Uhhhhh.the gold? Defending the USA is up there too, but they want the gold.
Storm & Christian's motivation: I don't know.keep the gold? This is a title match, it's about the belts, what more do you want? After all, everyone always says 'Why can't a feud just be for the gold?' Here ya go my friends.
Test vs. Undertaker
Backstory: The UnAmericans lay out the Undertaker, drape an American Flag over the American Badass. Hell, they even hit him with the Conchairto (allegedly). So, Taker wants revenge, but he has a hard time getting his hands on the UnAmericans at first. They've had a couple of multi-man matches and Test issued the challenge, I believe. Taker also defending the USA in a promo on Raw.
Test's motivation: Take out the American Badass, a big win for the UnAmericans. Plus, a win over the Undertaker is a big win for someone like Test.
Taker's motivation: The simplest of all: revenge. Plus, he's defending his country and what it stands for.
Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Benoit for the WWE Intercontinental Title
Backstory: Chris Benoit beats Booker T for a shot at the IC Title. Chris Benoit then screws RVD out of the IC Title and proceeds to jump to Smackdown, taking RVD's title with him. But wait, RVD's got a rematch clause and Bischoff knows it. So, Bischoff gets a hold of the contract and here we are. RVD vs. Benoit for the IC Title.
RVD's motivation: Win back the IC Title, get revenge on Benoit for screwing him. Bring the IC Title back to Raw.
Benoit's motivation: Keep the gold, for himself and Smackdown.
Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels
Backstory: HBK talks HHH into jumping to Raw so they can have "fun." However, Bischoff wants to make HBK into HHH's manager. HBK doesn't like this, doesn't like being told what to do. He threatens to walk, but Triple H stops him, says he has an idea. We get a brief DX rebirth, but HHH ruins the fun with a Pedigree to the Heartbreak Kid. Shawn comes to Raw the next week wanting answers, but instead of answers he gets his ass kicked and thrown through a car window. Who did it? We have to wait a week, HHH wants answers, investigates everyone, but we come to find out, of course, that it was the Game all along. Ya see, HBK being Triple H's manager was the Game's idea in the first place, but HBK's ego ruined it all. So, being the guy that he is, HHH beat the hell out of him. HBK wants revenge, challenges Triple H to a fight at SummerSlam. Triple H agrees, laughingly. He gets HBK to sign a waiver so he's not held liable for the damage he does. Bischoff and WWE refuse to sanction the match.
Triple H's motivation: Destroy Shawn Michaels for good. Prove to the world that he's a bigger star than Michaels ever was.
Michaels' motivation: Show the world the Showstopper can still go, on some level. Get revenge on HHH for his sneak attacks, and, of course, show his son what being a man is all about.
Brock Lesnar vs. The Rock for the WWE Undisputed Title
Backstory: Lesnar wins King of the Ring, earning the SummerSlam title shot and proceeds to run roughshod, despite a DQ loss to RVD, over some impressive names, including persumably ending Hulkamania. Rock wins the Undisputed Title at Vengeance and the mind games begin. Lesnar and Heyman continue to toy with the Rock, including Lesnar staring in the Rock's eyes as he tapped for the first time in at least 3 years. Rock may not say so, but there's an aura of respect around Lesnar. Rock knows he's in for a battle from the young monster, he's taking him seriously. Lesnar and Heyman, on the other hand, seem to think it's a foregone conclusion that the gold is coming home with the Next Big Thing. And to make things even better, as of this week's Raw, the two men haven't even thrown a punch at each other.
Lesnar's motivation: End the reign of the People's Champion, get the blood of the Rock on his hands. Win the Undisputed Championship and prove that he's not just the Next Big Thing, he's THE Big Thing.
Rock's motivation: Keep the gold, continue to prove that he's the best. End Lesnar's run of terror, and on some levels, get revenge for his friend Hulk Hogan.
So, there ya have it. 8 matches, 7 seem pretty clear cut to me. I mean, this isn't rocket science, do you want them to draw you a map? If you've watched these shows you should know everything above. Call me crazy, but if SummerSlam is lacking anything it's damn sure not clear-cut motivation. Sure, there's not the long drawn-out storylines, but this is a different era. They're back to one show a week. There doesn't seem to be as much behind them because there just isn't. They only get 4 shows to build a feud, not 8. That's the nature of the beast these days and, for once, they appear to have gotten it right. I know one thing they've given me: Motivation.to watch SummerSlam. Until next time, if there is a next time, I leave you with the words of the great philosopher, Jonathan Coachman, and say, PEACE!
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