A few side notes to start off with. First, this show has the honor of receiving the second lowest buyrate of 2009 and one of the lowest buyrates in company history, comparable in recent memory to the December 2006 ECW pay-per-view. Also, the NHO gang and I were on our usual perches at Buffalo Wild Wings when their satellite messed up and they had no good explanation for it. We should’ve taken it as a sign from above but, being blinded by our passion, we made a quick getaway back to the cozy confines of my living room and ordered the show on cable. Will it be better or worse than I remember it? I’m going to erase all previous notions and start from scratch to give it an honest look.
1) Christian vs. Finlay vs. Mark Henry vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Jack Swagger – Scramble Match – 4
2) Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio – 7
3) The Great Khali vs. Dolph Ziggler – No DQ Match – 3
4) Primo & Carlito vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. Chris Jericho & Edge - 3
5) Melina vs. Michelle McCool - 3
6) C.M. Punk vs. Jeff Hardy - 5
7) John Cena vs. The Miz - 4
8) Randy Orton vs. Triple H – Three Stages of Hell Match - 4
Ok, so the opener was one of those crazy scramble matches that have the rules about interim champions and all that mess. I’ve only seen a few of these matches, none of them were good and neither was this one. Swagger and Christian started off but didn’t seem to have the same magic they had back in the early part of the year. The middle really seemed to drag with Finlay and Dreamer. It seemed as if all four guys were just killing time until Henry hit the ring. There was a giant tower of doom spot which was followed up by a predictable spot where Christian dove onto everyone on the outside. Swagger had some nice clotheslines. All five were on cruise control and the match suffered for it. Plus, there’s whole 20-minute time limit thing which, for a match like this, is way too long. Jericho and Mysterio had a phenomenal match and by far the best match on the show. Damn, these two work so well together. They melded some lucha into the WWE style and it flowed really well. The double springboard by Mysterio was cool but Jericho’s counter of a 6-1-9 into the Walls of Jericho was even better. Jericho tried the same spot from Extreme Rules where he pulled Mysterio’s mask off mid-move but this time, Mysterio had a second mask on. Great match to blowoff the feud with. Dolph bumped around the totally immobile Khali in a good effort for his first singles pay-per-view match. All Khali did was punch and chop and looked worse that usual. Kane interefered at the end and wore out Khali with a chair. Not good at all and a waste of five minutes. Jericho and Edge were thrown into the the tag title match at the last minute, much to the dismay of the original two teams. The entire story of the match was that Legacy and the Colons refused to tag in either Edge or Jericho. Cody busted out a nice back submission on Primo in one of the better spots of the match. I noticed that crowd was not into the match at all and that took a bit away from the match for me. Carlito executed a very sloppy springboard elbow. Edge tagged himself in to get a spear for the win. This really felt like a Raw main event.
Second half started off with a Women’s title match and featured a terrible DDT from Melina about thirty seconds in. McCool worked over Melina’s knee for the majority of the match and Melina was superb at selling it. She even sold it on offense, which isn’t really done a lot today, at least from what I’ve seen. Faithbreaker from McCool gets the win after some Alicia Fox interference. Not really all that great but better that some of the 90 second diva matches on TV every week. Punk and Hardy had a nice pace to it. Jeff crashed into the rail early on when he used the stairs as a springboard. Punk’s strikes were nice and Hardy’s offense was of the standard variety he uses in all of his matches. For the record, I’ve never been sold on Jeff Hardy as a top singles guy. One problem I had was that when Hardy had Punk in a hold, he would try to get the crowd going, instead of working the hold. The good pace came to a screeching halt with the screwy finish. First, Hardy hit the swanton bomb for a three-count. The ref then waved it off after he noticed that Punk’s foot was under the rope. Next, we get an argument between Hardy and the ref, Punk scoops up Hardy for the GTS, and Hardy elbows him in the eye. Punk then kicks the ref. Yeah, it came across as screwed up as it reads. The finish hurt the score but Punk’s selling of the eye afterward was a sight to behold (no pun intended). Cena and Miz was more filler than anything. Miz started off good and worked on Cena’s neck for a bit. Cena was trying to make Miz look credible but it seems like Miz is destined to be nothing more that a high mid-card act. The end was basically Cena squashing Miz with the Attitude Adjustment and the STF. Decent match but didn’t feel like the semi-main of a pay-per-view at all. Now for the main and, Lord almighty, there were some issues here. The show was running way late by this point and they had to condense the first two falls into about five minutes. First fall was your standard HHH/Orton fare until HHH got DQed for using the steps. Thirty seconds later, he pins Orton on the floor with a Pedigree to win the second fall. Third fall was a stretcher match which featured bad crowd brawling, both guys falling off the stretcher by accident, and HHH pulling a sledgehammer out of the stage. Wait, what? Why the fuck was there a sledgehammer in the stage? Rhodes and DiBiase interfere to give Orton the win in a shitty main to cap off a shitty show. Yep, this was just as bad as I remember it.