Let’s see if I can make sense of this pay-per-view before my head explodes.
1. Kofi Kingston vs. M.V.P. vs. William Regal vs. Matt Hardy – 3 – On paper, this match looked fine. However, matches aren’t fought on paper, they’re fought in the ring and that’s what led to its downfall rather quickly. The spots seemed awkward and MVP botching the easy part of the tower of doom was pretty embarrasing. The finish felt rushed as Kofi hit Regal with a big kick and pinned him out of nowhere with no build up. Bad way to start.
2. Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho (No Holds Barred Match) – 6 – Excellent match. I would go so far as to say one of the top five WWE matches of this year. Mysterio caught Jericho with a 6-1-9 while Jericho was facing the wrong way. It was a nice move but absolutely nobody picked up on it. Same thing with the 6-1-9 on the corner post. Jericho was in ultra-heel mode as he cut a promo starting at the merch stand and going through the crowd while randomly telling people “Don’t touch me.” Rey did a nice facebuster with a chair, just like Sabu used to do only better. Rey was busting out some old lucha moves that haven’t been seen in a long time. I thought the finish was amazing, with Jericho grabbing the mask in the midst of the 6-1-9 and immediately pinning him. Wonderful … just wonderful.
3. C.M. Punk vs. Umaga (Samoan Strap Match) – 4 – The object of this match was to touch all four top turnbuckles in succession to win. In order to help the average home viewer keep track, there was a very annoying graphic in the top right of the screen that wasn’t properly timed at all. The action in the ring was fine but they didn’t seem to click like they did the month prior. The strap was also a big hinderance and really got in the way of what could’ve been a very good match. Punk hoisted Umaga into the GTS for the win. Umaga got released the day after. Maybe he can finally put that Samoan Bulldozer moniker to good use and clear some trees for the new shopping center in Samoa.
4. Jack Swagger vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian (Triple Threat Hardcore Match) – 4 – Another average match. It seems like the only people who’ve gone balls out on this show have been Rey and Jericho. This felt a lot like an Attitude-era hardcore match with some of the most random weapons available. Christian has really turned up his game since returning in February and him and Swagger have had some good matches, including one from early spring that is a MOTY candidate. ECW right now is one of the best wrestling shows on TV. The mix of the veterans with the young guys, plus the Hart Dynasty has really turned that show around. Dreamer looked good here and the story was that he had to win the ECW title or retire. He hit a nice somersault senton trash can shot and had some hard bumps. The weapon shots were mediocre, especially the crutch shot that Dreamer used to finish off Swagger and win the title.
5. Santina Marella vs. Vickie Guerrero (Hog Pen Match) – 0 – This was ludicrous. I was watching this show in a sports bar with the rest of the NHO crew and honestly, I felt embarrassed as hell when this was on. What would the average person think if they walked in and saw this on the TV? Here’s another question, why the hell was this on pay-per-view? It’s not like people actually want to pay money for this garbage. This whole Santina/Santino schtick has run its course and it’s time to put and end to the misery. Afterwards, they do more lame backstage shit with Vickie and Chavo covered in mud? The only and, I mean, only redeeming quality was that the referee wore giant hip waders and Lawler had, as Didge put it, his “pig shit boots” on. Fuck this.
6. Randy Orton vs. Batista (Steel Cage Match) – 4 – Whenever I hear the phrase “Orton vs. Batista” most times, I cringe, because that means a match of slow Orton offense and shabby Batista moves. However, going into this with low expectations really worked because I’ll be damned if they didn’t have a better match than I thought they would. Batista was supposedly working with a torn bicep. Probably the reason this was so short. If Batista needs surgery, why did they give him the title? And why was Orton pinned so clean so fast? Legacy was convieniently forgotten about. This was just basic and a whole lot of nothing.
7. John Cena vs. The Big Show (Submission Match) – 3 – Show has become lazy and slow. Cena could have a good match with anybody but Show is just so large and bolbous that nothing Cena does against him is really believable. Plus, why would you put these two in a submission match? Cena hardly uses his submissions anymore and Show just recently developed a camel clutch type move that acutally looks pretty painful. These two have no chemsitry what-so-ever and the match was so slow and prodding you could’ve slept through it and not missed a thing. The whole jist of the bout was Cena trying to get Big Show in a submission, which he succeeded, barely. He hooked Show’s foot on the rope, which quickly came undone, and wrenched back with a crossface to make Show tap. Ew … please tell me there won’t be anymore of these borefests.
8. Jeff Hardy vs. Edge (Ladder Match) – 6 – This could be good. There are ladders all over the place, it’s like ladder overkill. Both guys get credit for coming up with new spots for this, a few examples come to mind. First, Hardy front suplexing Edge into the two little strands that hold the ladder together. Second, a rough-looking Twist of Fate in mid-air. Finally, the major bump that nearly killed both guys. They fell off a super tall ladder through a ladder bridging the ring and railing. Edge actually took the best of it as the ladder broke his fall. Hardy landed shoulder-first on the floor and probably messed up his shoulder bad. The finish was original as well, with Hardy wedging Edge into the rungs and climbing up to win the title. Good match but not memorable … WAIT … THERE’S MORE!!
9. C.M. Punk vs. Jeff Hardy – 2 – Punk cashes in!!! There was more drama in this 90 seconds than there was in almost the entire show. Hardy kicked out of one GTS and Punk kicked out of a quick roll-up. Damn, that was close. Punk gets a sloppy GTS for the win and a second World Title reign. Punk should be going heel after this … oh yeah, that’ll work just fine.
A meaningless show that I would probably rank as the worst WWE pay-per-view of the year. There wasn’t much in the way of great matches but you should seek out Mysterio/Jericho and the Ladder Match. Everything else can be skipped, lucky you. Unfortunately for me, I had to sit through this.