Ranking Summerslam #16: 2006 - John Cena vs. Edge

or...The one where the belt could change hands on a DQ

We can also call this "the one where people slapped each other a lot."

This one had a bit of a long and winding road, so here goes…

The main event of that year’s WrestleMania was John Cena over Triple H at the Allstate Arena in Chicago. A younger Curtain Jerker was in attendance and was PISSED that Cena won, but let’s not get sidetracked (see BIGPALE’s review here).

Backlash that year was the usual "WrestleMania rematches with a twist!" format. Cena retained his title over HHH and Edge, and then Hunter turned full-blown face and reunited DX with Shawn Michaels. The two of them feuded with the McMahons for the rest of the summer season, beating them at SummerSlam.

Cena himself lost the title to Rob van Dam at the ECW One Night Stand pay-per-view when RVD cashed in his Money In The Bank opportunity and beat Cena in a very good (although a little overbooked) main event for the strap.

Van Dam’s title reign lasted all of twenty-two days. RVD, going to the Jack Swagger School Of Getting Arrested While Being Pushed To The Moon (or maybe RVD is the Obi-Wan to Swagger’s Luke Skywalker here?) was arrested for speeding and possession of weed and pills. This counted as a violation of the WWE Wellness policy, so Van Dam dropped the strap to Edge on an early July episode of Raw.

Bear with me; we are almost through the background stuff.

So, we now have a heel Edge holding the belt with a face Cena hot on his heels. A match was set for Saturday Night’s Main Event in July. Spoiler Alert: Cena won, but, since it was a disqualification win – Lita (Edge’s girlfriend/valet) slapped the ref, forcing the DQ – Edge kept the title. As a result a match was booked for SummerSlam with the stipulation that if Edge was disqualified, the belt would change hands.

To quote every bad infomercial ever…but wait, there’s more!

Edge, in an effort to intimidate or scare Cena – or just because he’s a little deranged – went over to Cena’s father’s house in Massachusetts and slapped him too. Slaps for everyone!

Cena responded with the typical Cena promo. You all know the notes by now…"I fight for all of you, even if you don’t like me, and I’m if (insert opponent here) thinks he can psych me out, he’s got another think coming, JACK!!!!"

Now, all that preamble out of the way, let’s get to the match itself.

It was perfectly booked.

I don’t say that often, but it was.

Main Event Time!

The match being in Boston, Cena started out pretty over, but the "Cena Sucks!" chants took hold early and grew to a loud crescendo. The two went back and forth, with Edge taking an early upper hand as Cena was distracted by Lita’s antics.

Throughout the match Lita kept trying to interfere, but Edge would admonish her and then eat a Cena power move. Edge and Cena always worked well together, as each has almost no regard for his personal safety and well-being, so they allow the other to do all sorts of risky moves. This was no different, as Edge took a wicked top-rope bump.

(Quick aside: As a longtime Edge fan, it gets tough watching some of his old matches, knowing that being put through a table or taking a ladder to the face or what have you is part of the reason he’s currently retired. Wrestling sucks sometimes. It just sucks guys in and spits them out. I’m glad to see Edge is apparently happy in retirement however. Far too often guys either can’t retire due to financial or other reasons, or retire and spend the rest of their shortened lives in a wheelchair.)

The ending sequence of this match was awesome. Cena had Edge in an SFTU, and Lita tried to interfere and save her man. Edge, in between screams of pain, yelled at Lita to stay away, less her actions force a DQ and title change.

Edge makes it to the ropes, and when the ref is literally pulling Cena off Edge, Lita slips him a pair of brass knuckles. Edge slips them into his trucks (all together now…ewwwwwww) and Cena lifts a dazed Edge onto his shoulders for an FU. Lita jumps on Edge’s back and eats an FU for her trouble. Cena is a really strong person to squat Edge and Lita. While the ref is checking on Lita (ignore for a second the fact that Lita being in the ring wasn’t a DQ, but we can’t have everything), Edge grabs the brass knuckles and clocks Cena in the back of the head. Cover, one, two, three, Edge retains.

If you are going to book yourself into a corner, this is a damn fine way to get yourself out of that corner. Bravo, job well done.

Of course Edge being a transitional champ (as much as it pains me to say) Cena would win the belt back at Unforgiven in Toronto in a damn good TLC match.

Curtain Jerker’s Star Rating – A solid 3¼ to 3½ I really enjoyed this one for what it was.

Up Next – This next one featured a guy being booked like it was five years earlier, only for him to be essentially squashed by another guy who couldn’t move due to injury.

Also in this series:

#17 - Michaels vs. Hogan

#18 - Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar

#19 - Hogan/Savage vs. Andre/DiBiase

#20 - Team WWE vs. Team Nexus

#21 - Rude vs. Warrior

#22 - Hogan/Beefcake vs. Savage/Zeus

#23 - Luger vs. Yokozuna

#24 - Hogan/Warrior vs. Slaughter/Mustafa/Adnan

#25 - Diesel vs. Mabel

#26 - Undertaker vs. Undertaker

The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Cageside Seats readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cageside Seats editors or staff.