1. Kofi Kingston and CM Punk vs. Priceless - 6
2. Layla, Katie Lea, and Jillian Hall vs. Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, and Candace Michelle - 4
3. Rey Mysterio vs. Evan Bourne - 6
4. JBL and Chris Jericho vs. Batista and Shawn Michaels - 4
The first match of the two was a tag team encounter pitting the champions Priceless against the fan favorite upstarts Kofi and Punk. It also had a story built-in, as Punk was seeking retribution for Priceless’ involvement in jumping him at Judgment Day ’08, a result of which cost him his WWE championship. Kofi and Punk have a good dynamic, not sure how much mileage they’re planning on getting with them as a team, but the crowds are really reacting to them and they’re high energy which I think is a boost of adrenaline the tag division really needs. They gave the at least ten minutes, which is especially nice for TV, and it built up well. After taking a slew of Punk offense, Priceless were able to grasp control, doing old school heel tactics and clever things like quick, effective tags. Kofi got a hot tag to swing momentum back again, exploding all over the champs like he did the night previously after Cyber Sunday ’08 in a hotel room on several of the divas still adorned in their Halloween outfits from the night’s show. There were two sloppy spots, one, Kofi propelling Punk out of the ring onto Priceless, as CM was launched awkwardly and barely made it over with his crossbody splash; the second, a roll-up where Punk got away from Rhodes and Cody did this real big, over exaggerating, reaction of shock in response to realizing Punk was in tag range of Kofi, then there was a delayed reaction by Punk until he hopped over to make it. The ending segment really picked up again, with Punk destroying DiBiase in the corner, drilling Manu’s Samoan ass on the apron, then hitting the “Go to Sleep” on Ted in the middle of the ring, for the win and the titles which elicited a huge crowd eruption and a aftermath celebration from Kofi and Punk that seemed truly genuine and ecstatic.
The women’s match was fairly good stuff, for a short, throwaway TV bout. Candace started and looked surprisingly competent, even remembering to work the wrist after a roll-through spot, etc. Mickie, though, held it down for the most part for the faces and that’s fine with me. Kelly got in last and got the victory, it appears they’re building her up, presumably in time for WrestleMania and the big reveal she’ll be posing nude. Her tits are admittedly perky, or so Mike Knox told me over blueberry scones last week.
The Bourne versus Rey match was so tits. Rey’s facials were just transcendent, and they did a great mentor versus student, or more accurately, idol versus fanboy styled match. The fast-paced stuff was mostly spot-on and perfect. Rey’s stuff actually came off looking hurty, too, especially the seated senton he did off the apron onto Bourne on the floor that crushed Evan’s head. Rey did slip once doing a springboard, but Bourne capitalized quickly, which was the best and most believable response. Rey got the win in the end, continuing an Evan roll-through until Mysterio held dominate position and kept it just long enough to get the three count. I really dug this, hope to see them work each other again on a bigger stage later down the line.
The main event was kind of a letdown. Shawn didn’t even show up until the last minute, as he was beat down in the back pre-match, in what was actually a fun segment, as JBL just pounded Shawn’s leathery, deceitful, old ass including destroying a fluorescent lighting grid with Michaels’s skull. The opening stretch with Batista dominating the heels was fun, but when we returned from break gears had shifted and the heels were wearing down big Dave in a slow, plodding, and directionless bit just eating time until Michaels hobbled down. I didn’t mind Batista, the new champion, pinning JBL clean, but did find it odd besides a sloppy Thesz press and three punches that didn’t connect, Michaels didn’t really do anything to get revenge on JBL, even when Bradshaw was lying motionless on the mat after the match.
Overall, workrate wise about as good as Raw gets these days, and I enjoyed the bulk of it. The promos, including an incredibly dry in-ring with Michael Cole and Batista, were mostly ass. Goldust in high-definition is a real fucked up experience.