Let the Party Begin

This year, the road to SummerSlam will be "The Biggest Party of the Summer," and the party will culminate on August 20 when the summer spectacular invades Boston. But even though summer doesn't officially begin for another six weeks, the party itself is already in full swing.

The WWE Superstars recently went out to Los Angeles for the SummerSlam commercial shoot. Everyone was there, and from all accounts, it was quite the shindig; there were hot dogs, a huge pool, Divas in bikinis…the perfect atmosphere for a successful party. And while we can't give too much away yet, the festivities had sack racing, volleyball, and of course, the ever-popular slip and slide.

WWE.com was able to talk to some of the Superstars during the shoot, and everyone seemed to be having a blast. Carlito, for one, felt the scenario was perfect. "Being from the Caribbean, this is right up Carlito's alley…hot women in bikinis, warm weather, it's perfect for Carlito. And of course, it can't be the biggest party of the summer without the biggest star, Carlito." Unfortunately for the Caribbean Superstar, his participation in the sack race turned out to be the lowlight of the day. "Carlito got a little distracted by Candice Michelle, but that's not too hard," he said.

Fellow sack race participant Candice Michelle agreed with Carlito's final statement. "If this is the hottest party of the summer, it needs the hottest Diva…and that's me," she said. "I use everything I've got in an attempt to win…I may not have crossed the finish line first, but I won in other ways." Candice was also around the slip and slide, and while she said that she had never been on one, she was an expert at holding the hose.

For United States Champion JBL, the shoot was a chance for him to do something he's an expert at. "Coors Light was one of our sponsors, and I got to lie in a hammock and drink beer all day," he remarked. For another SmackDown Superstar, it was a chance to try something new. "Today, I did something I've never done before. I played volleyball for the first time in my life," Finlay told WWE.com. Unfortunately, the fighting Irishman didn't seem to enjoy the new experience. "I didn't like it, and I think it's a girl's game," he said, "but I still made an impact."

So what was the best part of the shoot? "Hot dogs and beautiful Divas in bikinis," said Viscera. "What more do you need?" Snitsky, on the other hand, was looking forward to the games. "I can't wait to watch the Divas go down the slip and slide, because they'll have their shoes off!" he remarked excitedly. "But hey, while I wait, I get to work on my fantastic tan."

Of course, there were a few mishaps, as there always seems to be at every barbecue. One fully clothed WWE magazine staffer found his way into the pool, courtesy of Triple H. Snitsky was also the victim of a ketchup attack. As for Trish Stratus, well, let's just say that it wasn't what she got on her, it was who did it. "Carlito's been running around all day, trying to oil me up," she said disgustedly. "You know what? That's just not cool."

How did this compare to the Superstars' ideal backyard barbecue? Shelton Benjamin told us that if it were his barbecue, things would be a little different. "At my house, it would be me and the Divas, and that's about it. I'd have some barbecue ribs, some hip-hop music playing, and some beautiful women." WWE Champion John Cena, on the other hand, was glad it was different. "You've all seen my backyard barbecues on television. Usually, there's some horsing around going on, and not quite as many beautiful women to look at," he said. "Wait, maybe I shouldn't have said that." Sorry, champ.

It was a long, hard weekend of shooting, but the Superstars wouldn't have it any other way. "I feel like I've been here for three days, but it's only been a few hours," Cena later said. "It's hot and sticky out here, but it's a blast."

It seems that the Superstars all had fun…but what do the producers think? "This was a lot of fun, having all the Superstars out here, and I think it will turn out great," said Barry Bross, the director of the shoot. "Everybody had a great time, we had a lot of physical humor going on, and we even had Mae & Moolah out here. It's going to be awesome."

John "Big" Gaburick, WWE's Director of On-Air Promotions, agreed with Bross. "Overall, it was an excellent shoot," Big told me. "It was very ambitious, and we got two promos with the RAW Superstars and two with the SmackDown Superstars out of it. The Superstars really got into the theme and enjoyed the shoot, and I think the promos will turn out great."

So what can you fans look forward to? Well, like I said earlier, we can't give too much away, but I'll let Trish Stratus give you a hint. "Buns, Kane, swimsuits…that about sums it up."

Also, be sure to check newsstands starting June 27 for a special Backyard Barbeque special magazine, featuring all the action that happened at the SummerSlam shoot.

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