John Morrison vs. CM Punk for the ECW Championship
We continue on through the summer of 2007 and have made it to the biggest party of the summer with Summerslam, and it is a big one as it is the 20th anniversary of the show and it looked like it was going to big show. One of the big matches going into the show was the third encounter between Punk and Morrison for the ECW Title as Punk was finally looking to break through and become the man of the ECW brand. Considering that we have seen Morrison now pin Punk clean on back-to-back shows, this was the perfect opportunity for Punk to get that big win especially on the second biggest show of the year. There was no question in a lot of people’s minds that this was going to be the night that Punk finally won, but if he didn’t you wondered what would happen with him as he could be looked at as a choker on the big stage.
On the 7/24 ECW, Morrison claimed he was done with Punk and introduced his newest challenge where he would face a random challenger and if they either defeated him or lasted 15 minutes with him, they would earn a future title shot. He would defeat a jobber in 33 seconds and later that night, Punk would team with Tommy Dreamer to defeat Morrison and Elijah Burke in a tag match when he pinned Burke. On the 7/31 ECW, Morrison squashed another jobber in 20 seconds as Punk, Dreamer, and Burke staked their claim to a title shot, and Punk would defeat Dreamer and Burke in the main event to earn a non-title shot against Morrison. On the 8/7 ECW, Punk defeated Morrison to earn a title shot at Summerslam and at Saturday Night’s Main Event, Punk teamed with the Boogeyman to defeat Morrison and Big Daddy V when he pinned Morrison. On the 8/21 ECW, Morrison and the Miz defeated Punk and Boogeyman in a tag match when Morrison pinned Punk clean. The feud has been built up fairly well since Vengeance and now the time seemed to be right for Punk to end Morrison’s reign and become the top dog of ECW.
Punk gets a big pop from the crowd while Morrison had solid heat as a heel, and it was good that this was the only match from ECW that is on this card since it was the big feud of the brand. Punk trips up Morrison to start the match and pounds on him on the mat as he grabs the leg and hooks a headlock, and Morrison escapes as he hooks a headlock of his own and Punk escapes the hold with a toss. He avoids a dive from Morrison and hits a hiptoss as both men block a second hiptoss attempt and Punk hits a spinning slam, and he hoists Morrison up for a suplex and drops him on the top rope before hitting a springboard dropkick. Both men block a suplex attempt as Morrison catches Punk with a knee and he hits a neckbreaker in the ropes as Punk falls to the floor, and Morrison throws Punk back into the ring and gets a two count as he whips Punk hard into the corner. He pounds on Punk on the mat and continues to pound on him for a two count before hooking a submission on, and Punk fights to his feet and breaks the hold only for Morrison to send Punk throat first into the middle rope. He kicks Punk to the mat for a two count and goes back to the submission as Punk fights to his feet and breaks the hold, and he pounds on Morrison who ducks a shot and he gets a kick in before whipping him into the corner. Punk leaps over Morrison and hooks a sunset flip for a two count as Morrison slingshots him into the corner with Punk landing on the middle rope, and Punk hits a reverse crossbody for a two count and he ducks a shot as he hits the running knee in the corner. Morrison blocks a running bulldog attempt only for Punk to escape a back suplex attempt and he hits a running enzurgiri for a two count, and he hits a powerslam on Morrison for a two count only for Morrison to duck a clothesline and he hits a modified backbreaker into a neckbreaker for a two count. He sets up for his modified neckbreaker only for Punk to escape and he goes behind Morrison before hitting a clothesline, and he goes up top and hits a moonsault for a two count as Morrison gets a shot in and he whips Punk into the other corner. He charges at Punk who hoists him up and crotches him on the top rope as he goes up to the middle rope and hits a clothesline on Morrison, but Morrison catches Punk with a kick only for Punk to counter a suplex with a small package for a two count. He catches Morrison with a kick to the head and puts him on the top rope before going up himself, but Morrison blocks the hurricanrana as Punk crashes to the mat and Morrison hooks a rollup while using the ropes for leverage as he gets the three and retains the title.
The match itself was solid as both men worked hard and put on a decent title match though they didn’t get a lot of time to work with as they only got 8 minutes on the second biggest show of the year. Considering how rushed this feud was put together after what happened at Vengeance, they had done a decent job in building this feud though the matches that we’ve seen have been decent at best which is pretty disappointing given who was involved. We know how great Punk is in the ring and Morrison has always been viewed as a potential breakout star, so the fact that they’ve not had epic matches is not a good sign for either guy. While the match itself was good, the ending was stupid as Punk had to win here and become champion though it was clear they were higher on Morrison and wanted to get him over as champion. Unfortunately, Punk now has lost three straight title matches on PPV and risks being labeled a choker on the big stage, and now it seems like he has blown his last chance and there aren’t many other top level challengers on ECW so Morrison’s reign might be in trouble. The crowd was into the match and Punk, but are not happy when Morrison won and that also hurt as the crowd would’ve popped huge for Punk if he won. Morrison steals the win over Punk and escapes with the title as we now see what will happen with both men going forward.
Final Grade: **1/2