BOSTON — Let it never be said that the people of Boston don’t enjoy a good fight, and they weren’t hurting for a reason to start one at last night’s Summer Slam pay-per-view.
As if last night’s Red Sox loss to the Yankees didn’t provide enough fodder for argument at the sold-out TD Banknorth Garden in Beantown, bring in a hometown talent vying for the world heavyweight title against a foreign-born towhead, and you’ve got yourself a brawl.
To get the evening started, fans were treated to a bonus match between Carlito and Rob Conway. Though it was nothing special, the crowd was happy that the good guy took the first match –- Carlito won with a backcracker.
The most-hyped match of the night was the Randy Orton-Hulk Hogan feud about half-way through the night. Fans clad in Hulkamaniac gear –- which in some cases included red and yellow boas and faux facial hair -– filled the 20,000 seat arena and the concourses above it even four hours before the event began. Despite his bad-boy antics, Orton supporters can generally be seen (and heard) within a crowd, but not Sunday night. Not only did Orton’s fans stay home to watch the Sox game, his foes didn’t hesitate to let him know what they thought.
The crowd seemed a little unsure what to make of the Foley-Flair “I quit” match, despite seeing the thumbtacks and barbed wire they’ve come to love. Since much of the match’s action took place on the floor, fans lost out and weren’t happy about it. Shortly after Melina’s appearance in the ring begging Flair to leave Foley alone, chants of “bulls**t” filled the arena. Though Flair elicited his usual cheers, people seemed more confused as the two, both bloodied, left the ring separately after the match.
It was no secret who fans favored –- or who’d win -– the DX-McMahons match, though appearances by other superstars were more of a surprise. Kane’s man-handling of Umaga was short-lived –- his music ended as quickly as it began, and it seemed fans wanted more of the giant who has been noticably absent from Raw for the past few weeks.
Attendees were also disappointed by the result of the Batista-King Booker match. After making a bet with Edge over who’d win each of their matches, King Booker took to the ring with “Queen” Sharmell in his usual arrogant fashion. Batista’s appearance was welcomed to say the least. Though the match ended favorably for Batista, it was only because Sharmell had jumped into the ring, leading to a DQ that left King Booker with the title.
By the time Edge and John Cena took to the ring, some fans were already on their way out the door. Those who stayed were evenly divided -– half for Cena, half not necessarily for Edge, but certainly not for Cena. Towards the end, some seemed truly devastated with each blow to Cena, and booed loudly when the match ended with Edge winning. His fans stayed in the arena till a shaken Cena, minus the blood we’ve seen him covered in during recent shows.
Some fans were satisfied simply by Hogan’s appearance at the event, but some left saying Summer Slam 2006 was the worst pay-per-view they’ve ever been to. Despite the favorable outcomes of most matches, the show left something to be desired –- a little more action and a few appearances by unexpected Superstars might have helped save this event from oblivion. Attendance and crowd enthusiasm were just fine, but the lack of excitement in the ring made Summer Slam 2006 an event to forget.
Amy Lawson is an East Coast-based writer with a penchant for old movies and iced coffees. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.