Live from Los Angeles, CA
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & Matt Striker
Intercontinental title: Dolph Ziggler v. Kofi Kingston
Man, Kofi has just been going nowhere all year. Meanwhile Ziggler has been jobbed for months and they suddenly put the IC belt on him. And people wonder why no one cares about the titles. Kofi misses a tope suicida, allowing Ziggler to pound away in the ring and get a neckbreaker for two. He goes to a chinlock and then sends Kofi into the corner for two. Mr. Perfect necksnap gets two. He goes to a rear chinlock now as the announcers go on about Kofi’s “new aggression”. Yeah, while he’s laying there in a chinlock, that’s so AGGRESSIVE! Ziggler misses a blind charge and Kofi makes the comeback with his NEW AGGRESSION, which apparently includes screwing up a Thesz Press. Kofi with the Boomdrop and a crossbody, but Ziggler rolls through for two. Kofi reverses for two, but Ziggler gets a Fameasser for two. Yeah, he does remind me of Billy Gunn, come to think of it. Kofi misses the wacky kick, and Ziggler gets the sleeper (really? In 2010?), but Nexus runs in for the nWo finish at 7:11. Really? In 2010? Well that’s a stupid finish, although it’s not like the match was going anywhere. ** I should note, however, that THAT’S aggression. Kofi should take note.
Meanwhile, Chris Jericho and Edge try to convince Miz to join Team WWE as the seventh guy.
Tramp Stamp title: Alicia Fox v. Melina
Melina as the smiling babyface is kind of ridiculous. Although now Cole has upgraded her to “one of the all-time greats” after, like, 5 years in the business, so maybe she’s getting the grizzled veteran edit now. I bet she’s almost THIRTY. That’s so OLD. Melina takes Fox down and then pounds her in the corner, but then backs off and stalls while Fox figures out what her spot is. Melina misses a leapfrog and apparently reinjures her knee, but shakes it off and superkicks Fox to the apron. Alicia pulls her into the ringpost to take over, and then works on the arm. You’d think the knee would be the logical place to go, but I guess that’s why I’m not the Divas champion. Melina comes back with a dropkick and a faceplant for the title at 5:22. That was pretty much a squash. *1/2 Afterwards, Josh Matthews goes to interview Melina, but Layla and Michelle interrupt to set up the unification match at Night of Champions. Those two are pretty funny, actually. Melina fights them off, but the beatdown commences. Rough night for the babyfaces.
Big Show v. CM Punk, Luke Gallows & Joseph Mercury
Quick question: Why go through the trouble of changing Festus into “Luke Gallows”, but then leave Joey Mercury’s goofy boy band name as-is? People don’t even remember Johnny Nitro, why care about Mercury’s name? Show cleans the ring of the lackeys to start, then pounds Punk in the corner. They head outside and Show accidentally hits the stairs with an open palm, which we’re supposed to buy as a devastating blow, because that allows the SES to take over. Back in the ring, they work over the formerly-broken hand and take turns dropping elbows. Show makes the comeback and takes out the deadwood, but Punk hits him with knees in the corner. He and Mercury get a double bulldog in the corner (or as Michael Cole calls it, a “double DDT”) for two, but Show won’t stay down. Punk has had enough and walks out on the team, leaving Show to chokeslam Mercury for the pin at 6:45. *1/2 This would appear to set up the Punk-Show singles match at the next PPV. Whatever happened to using TV for setting up PPV matches, instead of just doing crappy rematches of the previous crappy PPV?
Miz joins us to give his decision on the main event, but first lists all the ways that Team WWE kissed his ass to convince him. So yeah, he’s the seventh member of the team. Michael Cole is delighted.
RAW World title: Sheamus v. Randy Orton
They posture up in the corner to start, but Orton does the beatdown and hits Sheamus with a clothesline out of the corner. He tosses Sheamus and beats on him in the front row, as Cole uses the Sledgehammer of Plot to point out that TITLES DON’T CHANGE HANDS ON A DQ OR COUNTOUT. Good god, just hire Tony Schiavone already. Back in, Orton uses his dad’s bottom-rope catapult (a nice little touch totally missed by the announce team), but Sheamus recovers and sends Orton into the stairs. Back in, Sheamus pounds away for two. Short-arm clothesline and kneedrop gets two. He sends Orton into the railing outside, and back in for two. The
Polish Celtic Hammer gets two. Orton fights back, but gets pounded down again, setting up a chinlock from Sheamus. Orton escapes with a backdrop suplex, and the backbreaker gets two. They slug it out and the crowd goes BANANAS for Orton. When did this start happening? Sheamus bails to the apron, so Orton suplexes him back in for two. Sheamus recovers with his own backbreaker for two. Sheamus sets up to finish, but misses the high kick and ends up on the floor. Orton brings him back in with the DDT, and again the crowd is just losing their shit. RKO, but Sheamus blocks it for two. Sheamus sets up for the finish (which finally has a name), but Orton escapes, so Sheamus hits him with the bicycle kick for two. Sheamus gets frustrated and grabs a chair, and that earns him a DQ at 18:54. Who is booking these awful, awful finishes tonight? Much better than their Royal Rumble snoozefest, as Sheamus clearly has improved leaps and bounds in terms of setting the pace and flow of a match. That being said, Orton was crazy over here and if they weren’t such huge pussies they’d have booked an actual finish to do something with it. ***1/2 Orton lays him out with the RKO on the table afterwards, bringing the running total to 2-1 in favor of post-match heel beatdowns. But the babyfaces are catching up!
Smackdown World title: Kane v. Rey Mysterio
Small gripe: Kane is not 323 pounds. I know it’s a grand wrestling tradition to pump up weights, but in a world where we know the weights of UFC fighters to the ¼ pound, there’s no way to buy that he’d be that heavy. Just another small sign of them not keeping up with the times. Kane pounds Rey down and sends him to the floor after dodging a 619 attempt. Rey suckers him into a baseball slide and then follows with a senton off the apron. Back in, he goes up, and Kane clips him off the top rope and runs him into the post to take over. Whip into the turnbuckles gets two. And now, a bearhug. Rey tries to escape with a sunset flip, but Kane blocks him, so Rey uses a headscissor takedown instead. Rey tries the 619 again, but Kane clotheslines him for two. He tosses Mysterio and then boots him off the apron, but Rey comes back in with a flying headbutt off the top. That gets two. Kane puts him down with a backbreaker for two, however. Backbreaker submission this time, but Rey escapes…and walks into a sideslam for two. Kane goes up and Rey tries a rana to bring him down, but Kane just shrugs him off. Rey keeps coming with a tilt-a-whirl into an inverted DDT, and then goes up with the senton and gets a hurricane DDT for two. Springboard legdrop gets two. Low kick gets two. Rey goes up and gets slugged down by Kane for two. Kane, getting paranoid, checks his coffin to make sure it’s empty, but Rey trips him up for the 619. Kane catches him and throws Rey into the coffin, but Rey comes back in…into a chokeslam attempt. Rey reverses that into the 619 for real this time, and the splash gets two. Kane boots him right back down, chokeslams him, and pins him to retain at 13:32. Very slow start, but Rey somehow got the crowd to buy the near-falls by the end. Still, we’ve seen this match what feels like a million times and it’s never been any good. **1/4 Kane threatens him with eternal suffering and pain, like having to write the goofy skits on RAW until the end of the universe or something, and then gives him another two chokeslams and a tombstone to really drive home his point. So we’re at 3-1 for the heels in post-match beatdowns now. Another trip to the coffin, but this time Undertaker really is there, and looking pretty old too. He stops to have a conversation with Rey in the corner about the goofy “Who attacked the Undertaker” storyline and then goes after Kane. However, apparently his mojo is not up to snuff, however, and Kane is able to beat the crap out of him. I think I saw on Dr. Oz that you’re not supposed to attack your undead brother when emerging from a vegetative coma until at least 3 PPVs after you’ve emerged from your magic coffin. I think it has to do with your pH levels or something.
Elimination match: Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield & Darren Young v. John Cena, John Morrison, Edge, R-Truth, Bret Hart, Chris Jericho & Daniel Bryan.
Well you certainly can’t say that they’re not trying new people in the main event here. Big brawl to start, which gives Cole a chance to work in his irrational hatred of Bryan. Bryan starts with Darren Young and puts him down with a knee to the gut, then hooks in a guillotine and into a crossface for the tapout at 0:50. That’s quite the return for Bryan. Jericho comes in against Gabriel and Team WWE works him over in the corner, and it’s over to Truth for a stunner that gets two. Again I ask: Why doesn’t someone just bring back the stunner as a finisher? It’s been 7 years since Austin retired, the move is totally fair game. And it’s still awesome. Tarver misses a charge on Truth and Morrison slugs him down, then hits a springboard kick and Starship Pain at 3:39. That move is the anti-stunner in terms of awesomeness.
So it’s 7-5 for Team WWE and the Nexus stops to plan things out, deciding to send Skip Sheffield in. He overpowers Morrison and gets a standing powerslam, while the crowd wants Bret. Skip with a pair of suplexes for two, slowing down the pace a lot. Gabriel hits a cheapshot from the apron and Skip pins Morrison after a clothesline at 7:40. And we go to an instant replay, while Sheffield pins and eliminates R-Truth with another clothesline at 8:13. Would have been nice to SEE that. I should note that it can’t be a true Survivor Series style match unless someone gets pinned by a clothesline, and now we’ve had two, so kudos there. Jericho is in next and gets dominated by David Otunga, but he gets the tag to Bret Hart. Bret pounds on Slater for being a ginger and goes through a lower-impact version of the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, but Slater tags out while in the Sharpshooter. I don’t think that’s actually legal, but Bret gets pissed and uses a chair for the DQ at 12:23 anyway. Jericho sneaks in with a codebreaker on Sheffield and Edge finishes him with the spear at 13:19.
Edge beats on Gabriel and flapjacks him for two, but Gabriel comes back with a spinkick for two. Back to Slater for some choking, and Nexus beats on Edge in the corner. Barrett comes in with a backbreaker for two, and we hit the chinlock. Edge fights out with a leg lariat, but Barrett gets a neckbreaker and brings Otunga in. He sets up for something, but Edge reverses to a DDT and makes the hot tag to Jericho. Lionsault wakes up the crowd and he gets the Walls for the submission at 19:28.
Jericho keeps going on Slater with a flying elbow, but he collides with Cena and falls victim to Slater’s finisher at 20:12. Some kind of bulldog thing. This prompts a big argument between Cena and Edge, and Slater rolls up Edge for the pin at 20:46. Edge spears Cena off the apron and we get a beatdown from Jericho and Edge for good measure. I guess that puts the heels at 4-1 for beatdowns now, although this wasn’t technically post-match. So it’s Bryan’s chance to shine with Cena doing his usual momentary selling of the devastating injury, and Nexus tees off on Cena 3-on-1. Cole’s continued abuse of Daniel Bryan would be pretty funny if it made any sense. Barrett cuts off a Cena comeback with a clothesline for two. Justin Gabriel works the arm for some reason, and a single-arm DDT gets two. Barrett in with a sideslam for two. Matt Striker notes that “you root for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back”. That’s exactly the sort of thing a COMMUNIST would say. So yeah, this gets really boring as Cena as takes a beating, and he finally makes the hot tag to Bryan. German suplex for Slater and he throws kicks in the corner to send Slater out, then follows with a tope suicida. Back in, Bryan with a missile dropkick, but Slater rolls him up for two. Bryan reverses to the crossface, and Slater taps at 29:09. Bryan is ready for whoever, but Miz comes in and lays him out with the briefcase, allowing Barrett to pin him at 29:43.
So it’s Cena all alone against Barrett and Gabriel, the odds once again impossibly stacked against him. Who can overcome such odds? NO ONE. But wait! Cena impossibly does his usual series of moves against Gabriel, but Barrett tags in to prevent an FU. The Nexus switches off and beats on Cena, and Barrett puts him on the floor with a big boot. They pull up the mats and Barrett DDTs him on the concrete, which would actually be a downer ending that would make sense and probably turn Barrett into a big star. But instead, they head back in after that and Gabriel goes up with the 450 and misses. Cena pins him at 34:58 to even things up. And Cena finishes Barrett with the STFU at 35:22. How in the world you can fuck up the most unfuckupable angle they’ve had in months, I don’t know, but there it was. Match wasn’t that great, either, with long boring passages due to the green-as-grass Nexus guys not really knowing how to work a long match like this. No fault of theirs, though. ***
The Bottom Line
This felt like a decent B-show, but the finishes were just atrocious. Like really, paying $60 to see a DQ in a World title match in 2010? And they wonder why PPV buyrates are in the crapper? I don’t want to buy a major show and have angles set up for the next three stupid “theme” PPVs instead of getting resolution at the show I paid money to see NOW. But that’s probably why I wait for the DVD these days anyway.
Recommendation to avoid.