I haven’t been quite so disappointed with a PPV in a long time.
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Jesse & Festus vs. Ryder & Hawkins vs. Miz & Morrison (c) vs. Finlay & Hornswoggle: I find it hard to believe that Ryder and Hawkins are over enough for a tag team title reign when I honestly still can’t tell them apart without their names on their tights. I understand that sounds like a joke, but it isn’t. Why in the world would you put the tag titles on two guys who are nothing more than Edge’s flunkies? It doesn’t make sense… especially considering Miz and Morrison are kinda/sorta pretty over as asshole tag team champions. Wouldn’t it make more sense to feud them with another team you want over (like Jesse & Festus, who people love) and actually have a series of good tag matches. This reeked of “we want these guys off Smackdown but still want heel tag champs.” I guess Miz & Morrison move back to more exclusive ECW and Ryder and Hawkins start being the dick tag champs with 1/8th the charisma of Miz and Morrison. The one thing that sucks about ECW at the moment is that we have a bunch of guys who are really good workers (Hardy, Miz, Morrison) stuck under a world champion (Henry) who can’t.
US Title – Matt Hardy (c) vs. Shelton Benjamin: How and why this match is getting good reviews on the Internet is beyond me. Shelton was sloppy the whole match and turned in a performance far below his normal effort on Smackdown. I’m a huge Shelton fan… have been for a long time… and if you told me I was getting a 15 minute match from Matt Hardy and Shelton Benjamin that was going to feature a title change I would have signed up immediately. This was terrible by Shelton standards. Maybe he had “dehydration and flu-like symptons” like Tim Lincecum did. I kind of assumed this finish with Matt Hardy’s move to ECW and hope that it’s a step to push Matt Hardy toward the top of the ECW card — though I honestly don’t hold out much hope.
ECW Championship – Mark Henry (c) vs. Tommy Dreamer: I have no real opinion on this match either way. The one hurdle I’m still trying to get over with ECW is the championship is not contested under ECW rules. Colin Delaney’s turn seems somewhat pointless to me. They’re putting him over as a heel when he looks like he should be legitimately eaten by any other guy on the roster? Plucky, tiny underdogs don’t really work as heels, but I’ll give it a shot I guess.
Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels: Show-stealer… but I think we knew that going in. Great, great story told the entire match by Jericho punching at the pre-injured eye until it finally busted open. Then Jericho went after it with renewed vigor. I could be forgetting something, but they put Jericho over stronger in this match than I’ve seen in any other match in his WWE career. A referee stoppage? Awesome stuff.
Divas Title – Michelle McCool vs. Natalya Neidhart: I really couldn’t care less, honestly. This just means two women’s matches at Wrestlemania. Awesome. BTW: this title will henceforth be referred to as the Tramp Stamp Belt on this blog.
World Championship – CM Punk (c) vs. Batista: Really, really good match up to the schmozz ending. I was convinced they had to put Punk over here. It’s rare to see a world champion punked out harder than Punk was by Batista on Monday. The way Batista simply dismissed Punk and gave him a “awe shucks” pat on the head was insulting. All things said Punk had to win here. Instead, they decided to go with the No-Contest to the anger of the Uniondale crowd. I will also admit to being ticked off at the ending. If want the feud to extend to Summerslam have a tag match. That said, they did a really good match and stole some spots from the UFC and Affliction cards the night before (the caught kick followed by slaps and the kick to the head knockout) and that was pretty cool.
JBL vs. John Cena Backstage in Uniondale Long Island and not remotely near a parking lot in New York City brawl: Crap. Don’t care. I’m not in to matches where guys are trying to murder each other.
WWE Championship – Edge vs. Triple H (c): Overbooked ending. The two guys had a decent match followed by everyone involved in the Edge/Vickie storyline running to the ring. Long story short – Triple H kept the belt… probably the right call for now. I’ll admit to expecting Vickie to hit Triple H with the belt and thus saying the entire thing was a mind game to mess with him all along. The reason I thought this is because the Edge and Vickie stuff doesn’t make much sense otherwise. Why in the world would you turn Edge on Vickie in such a way that you make the non-wrestler come across as the face? Wouldn’t Edge’s eventual turn on Vickie make him one of the most over guys in the company. It’s not hyperbole to say Vickie is the most over heel on Smackdown. Edge and her marriage always seemed like a tremendously awesome way to build up Edge as a superstar face down the road. If, say, in six months their marriage started to get a little rocky and Edge turned on his wife for every guy in the audience… that wouldn’t be huge? Instead, they do this silly thing where Vickie comes across as the one getting screwed the fans aren’t sure who to cheer for and who to hate. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Edge spearing Vickie should have been something that was built toward for months… it wasn’t something that should have happened as a throwaway moment in an overbooked ending.
I had high hopes going in to this card. I turned out to be very disappointed in everything but Jericho/Michaels. Odd booking decisions and a sub-standard match by Shelton really killed this show for me. I expected the matches to be really good (most of them were) but the finishes, by and large, were stupid.