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Case Number 14716

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WWE: SummerSlam 2008

WWE // 2008 // 175 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // October 10th, 2008

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All Rise...

Judge Franck Tabouring slams this event for offering viewers cheap wrestling entertainment.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of WWE: SummerSlam 2009 (published November 6th, 2009), WWE: SummerSlam 2010 (published November 7th, 2010), WWE: Summerslam 2011 (published October 27th, 2011), WWE: Summerslam: The Complete Anthology, Volume 1 (1988-1992) (published May 16th, 2009), WWE: Summerslam: The Complete Anthology, Volume 2 (1993-1997) (published May 16th, 2009), WWE: Summerslam: The Complete Anthology, Volume 3 (1998-2002) (published October 5th, 2009), and WWE: Summerslam: The Complete Anthology, Volume 4 (2003-2007) (published October 15th, 2009) are also available.

The Charge

It's the biggest blockbuster of the summer.

Opening Statement

Too bad it's not really worth watching.

Facts of the Case

Raw, Smackdown and ECW present WWE's Summerslam 2008 in Indianapolis. Here's a quick overview of what the PPV looks like: Mark Henry and Matt Hardy face off for the ECW title; Jeff Hardy takes on MVP; Cm Punk defends the World Heavyweight title against JBL; and Kofi Kingston and Mickie James fight Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix. Also, Triple H battles the Great Khali; Batista goes head to head with John Cena; and Edge and the Undertaker compete in a Hell in a Cell Match.

The Evidence

Here's the complete lineup of the event:

• Jeff Hardy vs. MVP
MVP has been interrupting most of Jeff Hardy's matches during the weeks leading up to this event, and now the two athletes finally get a chance to go one on one. Clocking at 10 minutes, this battle is pretty entertaining for an opener. While MVP slows down the pacing of the match at times by using several submission attempts, Jeff Hardy delivers an impressive show with some very risky moves that prove his incredible flexibility. Other than that surprises remain rather scarce in this first matchup, which eventually sends this pay-per-view off to a solid start.

• Kofi Kingston & Mickie James vs. Santino Marella & Beth Phoenix in a Winner Take All Match
Both the Intercontinental and the Women's championships are on the line in this tag team match, which means the winners walk away with both titles. Somewhere along the planning of this event, WWE writers must have forgotten the importance of this match. Running for only five minutes, which is obviously too short, this is a rather disappointing battle with less surprises than its superior predecessor. There's a lot of potential here because the wrestlers deliver some solid moves at first, but the match's quick duration and a more or less weak ending turn this one into a missed opportunity. Too bad, because especially Kofi Kingston and Mickie James could have made this one a lot more enjoyable to watch.

• Shawn Michaels Announcement
Shawn Michaels suffered a heavy eye injury just a couple of weeks before this PPV, and he promised his fans to make an appearance to discuss his future. The whole thing last for 10 minutes, but don't expect too many surprises here.

• Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy in an ECW Championship Match
I know I have to watch my language here, but this match is crap. Again, what were the WWE writers thinking? They could have easily turned this thing into an entertaining battle with a surprising twist, but instead they chose to mess it all up and give fans absolutely nothing. Right now, this does not look like a big summer blockbuster. Let's move on real quick.

• CM Punk vs. JBL in a World Heavyweight Championship
Although Punk may not physically look like someone who's ready to fight the big boys in the World Heavyweight competition, he's definitely got what it takes to be a champ. This battle between current champion CM Punk and JBL is not necessarily a fantastic match, but it is a great improvement on what we've seen so far. At 11 minutes, this battle for the title is diverse enough, with both wrestlers delivering a variety of strong blows and bold moves. Let's hope it keeps getting better from here on.

• Triple H vs. Great Khali in a WWE Championship Match
Let me start by saying this: the Great Khali is a joke, and he's certainly not improving the quality of WWE wrestling. Now he's up against Triple H for the WWE title, and guess what: their battle is quite disappointing. The match for the big title lasts for nine short minutes, lacking the action and variety we are used to in these kinds of battles. Khali is a big guy who's not the fastest in the ring, and that seriously prevents this matchup from picking up speed. The much shorter Triple H tries his best here to demonstrate his skills, but his efforts are not worth it. Too bad.

• John Cena vs. Batista
This is a good one. This is exactly the kind of wrestling entertainment I expect at these pay-per-views. Batista and John Cena are evenly matched superstars in the WWE, and this 13-minute match between the two flexible athletes is rich in various moves and solid holds, strong blows and plenty of kicks. The action remains high until the end, and a few surprises easily turn this battle into the best one of the night so far. Even though this is not a title match, Batista and Cena bring along enough energy to give fans exactly what they paid for to see. Finally!

• Edge vs. Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell Match
If you thought the countless battles between the Undertaker and Edge were finally a thing of the past, you thought wrong. Now that the dead man is reinstated, he gets yet another shot at battling the rated-R superstar. The fact that it is a Hell in a Cell match should make the whole thing a little more interesting. Although I quickly grew sick watching these two WWE stars fighting each other at every PPV, this final battle of the night is not all too bad. On the contrary, it is quite amusing. At 27 minutes, both wrestlers put on a solid show, delivering some tough moves in and outside the ring. To make it more diverse, they also bring all sorts of gadgets into play, including tables, ladders, chairs, and even a camera. It is a well-coordinated matchup decent enough to close a rather mediocre event.

The picture quality on the disc is fine as usual, and the audio transfer delivers just what you would expect from a television event such as this one. The DVD's technical aspects are solid.

I always complain about the lack of passable special features on these discs, and while the bonus material this time is not one of the best, it has a little bit more in store for viewers than usual. Besides a ridiculous interview with Shawn Michaels after the event, the extra stuff also include "WWE Summerfest," a 49-second spot with footage from the WWE promo event before the PPV. Also featured on the DVD is the ECW Championship rematch between Mark Henry and Matt Hardy at the regular ECW show following Summer Slam 2008. It's not a particularly awesome match, but I've seen worse.

Closing Statement

An awesome summer blockbuster this is not. The final two matches of the night deserve some praise, but overall, the event counts among the weaker ones I've seen so far this year. Better luck next month!

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Video: 88
Audio: 89
Extras: 65
Acting: 70
Story: 68
Judgment: 72

Perp Profile

Studio: WWE
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
• None
Running Time: 175 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Sports
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• WWE Summerfest
• Interview with Shawn Michaels
• ECW Championship Match -- Hardy vs. Henry


• Official Summerslam Site

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