The Way Too Long Review of WWE Backlash 2009

I’m almost all caught up in my run through 2009’s shows.  After this I have to review the Bash, and then I’m all done.  It’s still a couple weeks until Night of Champions hits on disc, which will free me up to review some other stuff.  Anywho, I have basically no memories of this show, besides thinking Steamboat/Jericho was decent, and John Cena being thrown through a spotlight.  Otherwise, I’m totally blanking.

April 26, 2009 from Providence, Rhode Island.  Ask Dusty and I bet he’ll tell you the state was named after him.

Match #1: ECW Championship
(c) Jack Swagger vs. Christian

I cried tears of blood when I heard that Christian was coming back to the WWE.  I think I was the only one who wasn’t happy.  I can’t stand him.  Incredibly overrated.  Swagger starts the match with a waistlock takedown.  To the corner where Christian fires off a bitch slap, followed by his shitty open ended punches and his shitty spin kick and a shitty backelbow off the second rope for two.  Nothing this guy does looks good.  Why do smart marks choke their chickens to this guy?  Headlock by Christian, shot off by Swagger into a shoulderblock.  Another shoulderblock by Swagger, then a press-slam over the ring post and to the floor.  Swagger throws him back in the ring and covers for two.  Shoot off and a really weak looking kitchen-sink kneelift by Swagger, into a reverse waistlock.  Amateur takedowns by Swagger, with authority.  Christian fights out of the waistlock but gets whipped to the corner.  Charge by Christian misses but he gets tied up in the ropes and curb-stomped down for two.  Bearhug now, and I know Swagger is supposed to be ‘deceptively big, deceptively strong, yada yada yada’ but I don’t buy him using a bearhug.  Please someone tell him to stop it.  Christian fights back so Swagger goes for a press-slam, Christian wiggles out but only runs into a gut-buster for two.  Back to the waistlock, which is a better signature rest-spot for him then the bear hug, as it plays off his amateur background and he knows how to work the hold.  He lets go of it and slugs it out, but a charge misses and Christian flips himself up with a kick to Swagger’s face.  Another kitchen-sink kneelift by Swagger, this time without the suckage, but Christian blocks a pump-splash with his knees.  Double knock-out is followed by Christian fighting back with his incredibly shitty punches.  Tornado DDT attempt by Christian is thrown off by Swagger, but Christian springs off the ropes with a sunset flip for two.  360 powerslam by Swagger and another double knock-out.  Swagger goes for the gutwrench bomb but Christian blocks, so he places Christian on the top rope.  Christian fights off and hits a nasty looking tornado DDT, which might be the first move he’s done since returning to the WWE that didn’t look like chocolate covered ass, and it gets two.  Clutch slam by Swagger to fight back, then he loads up for an F5.  Christian wiggles out and fires off a horrible looking armdrag.  To the apron where Swagger goes for the mythical German suplex off the ring, which we can barely see because my old arch-nemesis, the unventilated pyro smoke does it’s run-in.  Someone should really file a class-action lawsuit against the WWE for this shit.  If you ever got cancer and attended a WWE show, cha-ching!  I mean, if people can sue the tobacco industry where there is a warning right on the fucking package that says “This shit will kill you!” then what’s to stop anyone from blaming the WWE’s unfiltered pyro for their tumor.  Christian flips Swagger back into the ring and climbs, but gets backdropped off the top and Swagger hits his pump splash off the top rope for two.  Swagger jaws with Christian, leading to him getting bitch-slapped.  Swagger goes for an Oklahoma Stampede but Christian rolls him up for two.  Swagger won’t be denied and does it an Oklahoma Stampede for two.  Both guys expose turnbuckle pads, but the referee only catches Swagger.  So Swagger charges at Christian and eats the exposed turnbuckle pad.  Killswitch follows and Christian wins the ECW Championship.
***3/4 Swagger’s best match so far and Christian’s best singles match in years, possibly ever.  But I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me exactly why Christian is a good wrestler because so far nobody has been able to.  90% of the credit for this match should go to Swagger because nearly ever aspect of Christian’s offense was embarrassing.  But they were given time to build something up and it turned into a pretty good match.

-Meanwhile, Christian accepts kudos from everyone in the back, then runs into Edge.  Edge jaws about how he must think he’s better now.  Christian claims he used to be fun.  Edge blames everything on John Cena, who turned him into a, his words, ‘bitter, raving lunatic.’  Everything is his fault.  Except that burning sensation, which I’m guessing we can place on Lita or possibly Matt Hardy.

Match #2
Chris Jericho vs. Ricky Steamboat

Can someone explain to me why a Hawaiian has a oriental sounding theme song?  Or maybe he wasn’t born in Hawaii.  I demand to see a birth certificate.  Steamboat actually dyed what is left of his hair black here.  Jericho bails to the corner, then locks up.  Steamboat takes him down and Jericho bails to the ropes.  Shove off leads to Steamboat sliding out of the ring, then sliding back in and dropkicking Jericho through the ropes, then hitting a plancha.  Big chop by Steamboat and a pair of armdrags into an armbar.  Fans give the Steamer a “You Still Got It!” chant, but not as loud as the one heard on Raw.  Jericho escapes and elbows away, then gets a shoulderblock, but eats an armdrag into an armbar.  Jericho elbows out of it, only to get chopped and shoulderblocked.  Jericho goes to dump Steamboat, who skins the cat.  Jericho expected it and dumps him proper with a clothesline.  Steamboat to the apron where Jericho hits a springboard dropkick on him.  Back-suplex by Jericho, then a snapmare into a chinlock.  Steamboat escapes it but eats an armdrag, but Jericho explodes out of that with a clothesline for two.  Headlock by Jericho, and Steamboat tries to escape it.  Shooting off doesn’t work.  Hitting a back-suplex doesn’t work either and Jericho holds the headlock.  Steamboat finally escapes and drives Jericho onto the ropes.  Steamboat fires away at Jericho, then loads up for a back-suplex off the top.  Jericho tries to fight out of it but Steamboat really wants to hit it and does, with Jericho’s head visibly bouncing off the canvas.  That’s gotta hoyt.  It gets two.  Shoot off and Steamboat gets a couple thrust chops and various karate shots for two.  Powerslam by Steamboat gets two.  Chops and a shoot-off, but Steamboat lowers his head into a kick, then the running enziguri for two.  Bulldog by Jericho but Steamboat catches him trying the lionsault and gets him up on his shoulders.  Jericho rolls down out of it and locks in the Walls of Jericho, but Steamboat reverses it and hooks in a figure-four, though he can’t quite get it hooked in.  Jericho rolls to the ropes.  Both guys to the apron where Steamboat backdrops Jericho back into the ring.  Jericho charges but wipes out on the ring post and Steamboat hits a cross-body off the top for two.  Steamboat comes off the ropes and goes for a chop, but Jericho hits the code breaker on him coming down.  It only gets two as Steamboat gets a foot on the ropes.  Ooooh, I don’t know about that one.  That really should have finished.  Jericho goes for a slam but Steamboat rolls him up in a small-package for two.  Walls of Jericho follows and it gets the submission.
***1/2 Pretty good.  Steamboat does still have it.  As nuts as it sounds, they might have well have a short little run with Steamboat back and maybe give him the IC title or something.  Hell, give him a heel turn to shut the critics up about him never having a run as the villain.

-Meanwhile, Santino talks to his sister on the phone, while Beth Phoenix bitches at him.  She’s mad that Santino has his own dressing room, then tells him to come clean about being Santina.  They jaw with each other a while longer, leading to Beth breaking up with him.  Santino gets pissy and claims in a TV-PG kind of way that he faked every orgasm he had with her.

Match #3
CM Punk vs. Kane

Why?  Sign at ringside: Pepsi is not Straight Edge.  It is if it’s caffeine free.  I actually went over a year without caffeine back in 2002.  I actually ended up gaining weight despite the lack of sugary drinks in my diet.  It wasn’t worth it overall, and I’m a habitual Pepsi drinker to this day.  Mexican Pepsi, which uses sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup.  Since I actively have started avoiding that shit, I feel 100x healthier and have kept the gut off.  I’m pushing thirty now.  Time to start thinking about this stuff.

Wow, totally pointless tangent there.  To the match.  Ugh… are you guys sure you don’t want to hear more about my eating habits?  It’s fucking Kane!

Fine.

Both guys put up their dukes to start.  Punk fires off a few kicks, and then we go to the corner where Punk strikes away.  Clean break.  Kane brawls Punk to the corner and slugs it out.  Sling to the corner and a charge that misses, leading to Punk hooking up a cross-armbreaker on the ropes.  He lets it go, then kicks away at the arm. Dropkick sends Kane to the outside.  Punk goes for a plancha but gets caught in a chokeslam.  Kane lifts him up, where Punk manages to land on the apron and knee Kane in the face.  Flying forearm off the apron and on the floor, a standing armbar in the ring.  Punk knees it out, but Kane reverses him and whips him under the bottom rope and into the ring post.  Looked horrible.  Kane then baseball slides him into the ringpost.  Back in, Kane covers for two.  Fans aren’t into this one.  Body scissors by Kane, and he works the hold with some headbutts.  Punk elbows out of it, going after the injured arm while doing it.  Psychology!  Punk charges but misses.  He catches Kane with a back-elbow, but then gets leveled by a stiff clothesline for two.  Backbreaker the striking move into a backbreaker the submission hold.  Kane lets it go then kicks him around.  Shoot off and Kane lowers his head into a kick.  Kane loads up for the chokeslam but Punk counters with an arm-breaker.  Match honestly is way better then the crowd is giving it credit for.  Kane charges Punk into the corner, where Punk somehow hooks in some weird armbar on the ropes.  Looked terrible, but maybe it was the camera angle.  Punk springs off the ropes with a clothesline, but then charges into a big boot.  Kane climbs but Punk pops up and hits an enziguri to crotch him.  Punk lifts him off the ropes and goes for the GTS, but Kane wiggles out into the corner.  Running knee to Kane in the corner, then a bulldog for two.  Punk springs off the ropes but Kane hits an uppercut for two.  Fans are assholes because this is pretty good.  Kane goes for a side slam but Punk counters into a cross arm-breaker again.  Kane muscles out with the side slam he was looking for, and it gets two.  Kane calls for the chokeslam, but Punk hits a series of kicks and slaps, but gets caught in a chokeslam and… Kane wins?  What the fuck?
***1/4 Another case of someone having their best singles match in years.  This time it’s Kane’s turn.  I appreciated the psychology and both guys put in a great effort.  If the crowd had been better, these guys might have really gotten a roll going and four-starred it.

Match #4: “I Quit” Match
Matt Hardy vs. Jeff Hardy

Yipes.  I *really* hated the Wrestlemania match.  These guys have no chemistry against each other and getting a good match out of Matt Hardy is like trying to turn back the tide.  I love how some people were pissy with me for saying Matt has shown no improvement in the decade he’s been in the company.  Someone even said that he “was always good and there wasn’t a lot of room for improvement.”  Are you fucking shitting me?  He has no moveset, never displays psychology, and can’t pace a match to save his life.  If you do the same job for over ten years and don’t improve at all, you’re in the wrong business.  Look at the Undertaker.  He’s been in the company for almost twenty years and he keeps getting better.  He’s in his forties now and by all logic should be deteriorating.  Instead, he’s improved as a worker so much that I actually look forward to his matches now.

To the match.  No face paint for Jeff.  Is there some kind of pattern to when he does or doesn’t wear it that I’m not aware of?  It’s weird.  Just pick one look or the other.  Matt charges at Jeff to start and gets beat down.  Slam into the turnbuckle, then some more kicks.  More brawling, leading to Jeff hitting his legdrop between the legs and the dropkick to the face.  Matt bails, where Jeff hits a dropkick between the ropes, then a plancha.  Didn’t I see the same sequence in the Jericho/Steamboat match earlier?  Jeff preps the stairs and hits the poetry in motion into Matt, sending him into the guardrail.  We don’t get to fully see Jeff hit a diamond cutter on Matt on the ropes because miserable fuckwit Kevin Dunn is more concerned with showing up a replay of the move we just saw five seconds ago instead of focusing on the active moves in the match.  Jeff brawls Matt to the corner and hits the momentum kick.  Stomp and some legdrops by Jeff.  He climbs and hits a legdrop off the second rope.  More brawling and a sleeper by Jeff.  Matt uses momentum to drive Jeff into the turnbuckle, then drops an elbow.  Shitty elbows by Matt… this guy never learned how to throw any striking move… then a ram into the turnbuckle.  Jeff blocks it and climbs, but Matt shoves him off and into the floor.  Jeff won’t quit.  Fans love the match so much that they chant for tables.  Matt wrings Jeff’s leg into the post a few times, but Jeff won’t quit.  Matt ties Jeff’s legs around the post and tugs on them.  In the ring, he hits a chop-block and slaps on the figure four.  Michael Cole notes that ‘there are no submissions here.’  So saying “I Quit” doesn’t count as a submission?  Michael Cole is truly the Matt Hardy of announcing.  Matt goes to work on the legs… hey, psychology?  From Matt Hardy?  Holy poop!  Maybe I should check outside and see if it’s raining fire and brimstone.  After killing Jeff’s legs some more, he re-applies the figure four.  Jeff refuses to quit and reverses it.  He rolls it over and finally lets it go.  Matt grabs the leg, then ducks an enziguri and applies a half crab.  This match ain’t half-bad.  Jeff won’t quit and now Matt is getting pissed.  He lets go of the hold and legdrops Jeff, then places him in a tree of woe.  He climbs out of the ring and hooks on a chinlock from this position.  Jeff still won’t quit and Matt is all pissed now.  He loads up for a superplex, but Jeff fights him off and hits a whisper in the wind, selling the leg injury mid-air, and we’re at a double knock out.  Both guys brawl, leading to Jeff hitting the mule kick.  Jeff slaps on a Texas Cloverleaf, kind of.  Applying it the way Dean Malenko did, where you sit down on the back, is banned in the WWE because of all the guys with back problems.  Matt taps out, but that’s not good enough to count as a submission.  He gets to the ropes, but for once the WWE uses logic and doesn’t force a break.  Jeff goes for the twist of fate but Matt pushes off, only to get leg dropped.  A second attempt at the Twist of Fate works, and then Jeff follows it up with the Swanton Bomb.  Matt still says he won’t quit.  Jeff hits another Swanton, then bails out of the ring to grab a table.  He takes forever to prep it, which buys Matt some time to roll out of the ring.  Jeff catches him on the outside and hits another twist of fate.  He throws Matt back in the ring and places him on the table, then grabs some duct tape so as to set up the Dr. Evil Memorial Overly Elaborate and Exotic Death.  He tapes Matt’s hands together, then ties Matt to the table.  Oh come on.  Unless this leads to an unnecessary surgery, this is a little overboard.  To the WWE’s credit, the fans are hot for this entire sequence, wondering what all Jeff will come up with.  It’s not a very big ladder, but it still pops the crowd.  Matt begs for mercy, but Jeff will not hear it.  Matt says he loves him and he’s sorry about everything.  He pulls the Mom card and says that his mother, looking down from heaven, wouldn’t want this.  Jeff still doesn’t care.  Finally, Matt says the magic words to the biggest heel reaction of the night.  Jeff slowly climbs down to the turnbuckle, then hits the leapfrog legdrop on him.
***1/2 Liked everything up until the exotic death scene.  I guess I’m the Scott Evil of recappers, because I feel like I’m fighting windmills saying “What are you going to do?  Hog-tie him to a table and legdrop him off a ladder?  Just grab a chair and start beating him with it.”  Besides, I can think of a way better ending.  Instead of a table, hog-tie Matt up and then place a chair around his neck.  Climb the ropes and hit the swanton without waiting for him to say I Quit.  It pays off the Wrestlemania finish with the twist of fate with the chair and it’s a more fitting revenge for someone that tried to murder you three times, burned your house down and killed your dog.

-Meanwhile, Orton makes threats against Batista and Shane McMahon.  Apparently, the stipulation is once again if they get DQed, Triple H loses the championship.  My fucking god, I forgot all about that one.  Even Randy Orton said how dumb the company was to have that stipulation.

-It’s time for the Khali Kiss-Cam, with special guest Santina Marella.  Khali is looking forward to it, so I guess the Punjabi Playboy is the world’s largest homo.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  Santina declares that she is in love with Jim Ross, who apparently wasn’t notified ahead of time that this joke was going to be played on him, and he’s clearly pissed.  It takes him a little bit to actually play the role.  Khali decides to let him off the hook on his kiss, provided his kisses Jim Ross.  And now JR is really pissed.  He even gets snotty with Michael Cole.  I wonder if the WWE has some kind of policy about fucking with Jim Ross.  Togas, Dr. Hiney, being drafted to Smackdown, Big Dick Johnson spraying him in the eye with champagne, and now a kiss from Santino.  I tell you, one of these days he’s going to snap.  News will break on CNN that everyone in Titan Towers has been mysterious drowned in barbeque sauce.  I’m sure this will cause youtube conspiracy videos swearing that Jim Ross was framed by Kevin Sullivan.  BUT WAIT~!  Here comes Beth Phoenix to challenge Santina for the Miss Wrestlemania crown.  Khali gets pissed at that.  Beth wisely jaws with someone twice as big as her.  She calls him the biggest idiot walking the Earth, and gets comically thumped on the head and pushed over by Khali.  Beating Women = Good Times.  If Seven Brides for Seven Brothers can be rated G, why not?  Santino asks the bell to be rung, then covers for the pin.  Afterwards, Khali still wants some loving.  Makes you wonder what the real plans were in the Punjabi Prison matches.  He rips off Santina’s bra, and hilarity ensues.  Fun stuff, but I think anything like this should be saved for Raw and not cost people money on pay per view.

Match #5: WWE Championship, Six-Man Tag Match
(c) Triple H, along with Shane McMahon & Batista, vs. Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, and Cody Rhodes
Special Stipulation: If any of the babyfaces get disqualified, Randy Orton wins the championship.

Well that’s fucking retarded.  The stipulation killed their match at Wrestlemania, but the WWE is, if nothing else, consistent in their unwillingness to learn anything ever.  Why handcuff the wrestlers like this?  Fans didn’t swallow the drama of it at the biggest show of the fricken year.  Rhode Island traditionally supplies a shitty crowd, so how could it be a good idea to do it again?

Oh, and even more boneheaded: if DiBiase or Rhodes score the pin, Randy Orton still gets the championship.  Why?  We’re approaching WCW in 2000 levels of stupidity in booking here.  I try to pick on bad booking less then most, but come on, overloading a match has NEVER done anything to pop a buyrate or increase a TV rating.  TNA proves that every month with their ridiculous ‘reverse battle royals’ and ‘feast or famine’ or ‘AIDS-infected-needle on a pole’ matches that never move the ratings or the buyrates upwards.

I get why they’re trying it.  It’s because they’re running the well dry with their current crop of main eventers.  And the WWE is just as slow as ever when it comes to elevating fresh faces towards the main event.  Well, as much as I want to avoid being one of those jaded internet writers who rags on the company for lack of elevation, I kind of feel like I’m forced to here.  The WWE is just running through the same series of matches over and over again.  In my upcoming piece for Pro Wrestling Press, I will bring up how all those internet marks who hate John Cena should be happy he’s in the main event because those guys get stuck in endless feuds that never get paid off.  To be clear, that’s not an endorsement of the never-ending loops.  A recent news posting here at Pulse brought up how many times a combination of Triple H, Randy Orton, and John Cena have main evented against each other on pay per view.  It’s disgraceful and the WWE deserves to be bleeding money for it.  But I was wrong, because this lack of variety has spilled over to the midcard as well.  I own every 2009 Pay Per View on DVD thus far, so I figured I would take a quick gander of some of the stuff.  It’s scary.

In the seven 2009 pay per views released on DVD thus far…

-Jeff Hardy and Edge have faced off four times.  Three singles matches and one elimination chamber match where Edge was eliminated by Jeff before anyone else entered.
-Triple H faced off against Randy Orton three times.  Two singles matches and the tag match you are about to read the recap of.
-Randy Orton faced off against Batista twice, both singles matches.
-Chris Jericho wrestled Rey Mysterio on three straight pay per views, all singles matches.
-Christian wrestled Jack Swagger on four straight pay per views.  Twice in singles, once in a triple threat match, and once in a scramble match.
-CM Punk wrestled Umaga twice, both in singles matches.
-Matt Hardy wrestled Jeff Hardy twice, both in singles matches.
-John Cena wrestled Big Show twice, both singles matches.

So seven PPVs into 2009 and twenty-two matches were repeated in half a year’s worth of shows.  Not counting the Royal Rumble match itself, there have been forty-four matches on pay per view over that time period.  Thus, 50% of the matches shown on pay per view were shown on other shows from the same year as well.  Buyrates are down?  No shit.  Because in 2009 if you’ve seen one pay per view, you’ve seen them all.

And it’s not a reflection of the quality of the shows.  In fact, I think 2009 has been a good year for match quality.  Of the shows I’ve reviewed so far, the only one I’ve given thumbs down to is the dreadful Royal Rumble.  I’m not going to penalize a rating of a match because it’s a rematch and booking sucks.  But people get bored of having the same matches over and over again.  I’m not against having rematches on pay per view, but have meaning to them.  Don’t just throw them on there because you can’t figure out anything better to do.  Rematches should be reserved for stuff the fans are hot for.  Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho?  Fine.  The fans loved the feud, the matches had great heat to them, and it was worthy of it.  Maybe not three pay-per-views in a row worthy, but it was a good choice.  Jeff Hardy vs. Edge?  Yes, that’s fine but not four pay per views fine.  Cena vs. Big Show?  The fans didn’t care the first time, so why would they care a second time?  Same with CM Punk vs. Umaga.  Same with Christian vs. Jack Swagger.  Especially the same with Orton vs. Triple H.

The most telling number for 2009 is zero.  That’s the number of new main-eventers we’ve had this year.  The WWE has a roster of nearly (maybe over?) 100 wrestlers and in seven months not one new person is heading for the main event?  I guess in a way you could say Jeff Hardy is since I think he’s officially reached the level where he’ll always be an option for the top of the card, baring some kind of wellness violation of course.

The WWE is not totally wrong in being skittish when it comes to elevation.  They’ve been burned by a lot of newcomers in the last few years.  Some, like Brock Lesnar or Bobby Lashley, quickly left the company after having lots of time and resources put into getting them over.  Then you have people like Mr. Kennedy.  He was to be the next big thing, but a case of foot-in-mouth disease busted him down when he was going to be the next big thing.  The worst timing ever for what turned out to be a non-injury prevented him from getting the World Championship in 2007.  A wellness violation busted him right before the biggest push of his career.  Meanwhile, he never showed improvement in the ring and was, quite frankly, a very boring wrestler.  Finally, the WWE rightfully cut it’s losses with him and sent him packing.  Recently, there was hype that MVP was going to break through to the main event.  But after watching this year’s crop of pay per views, I figured out why he’s not being elevated.  He just plain isn’t any good in the ring.  He might be some day, but so far he’s been botching moves and showing little talent for pacing or psychology in matches.  Smarks were up in arms during his burial in 2008, because he ended up on Johnny Ace’s shit list.  Did anyone stop to think that maybe it was justified?  And even Jeff Hardy burned the WWE… twice… before he had earned enough trust to be brought up to the main event.

Still, the WWE needs to work up some nerve and change things up a little bit.  They’ve had drafts that don’t mean anything and we’re stuck now with the same feuds that were going on last year.  It looks like John Morrison will be the first person to break through to the main event at Summerslam.  I don’t know if it’s the choice I would have gone with.  I’m a firm believer that a main eventer should have a style that anyone can work with, not work around.  It’s why Chris Benoit was not successful as a main eventer in 2004, because his style was suited for more athletic, fast paced (RE: smaller) guys who tend to be in the midcard.  Morrison is kind of in the same boat.  Size doesn’t matter, obviously.  Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart proved that in the 90s.  CM Punk actually is a good choice and I think the WWE would be wise to keep him around the main event level, but I think they’re getting scared off again.  It looks like Mark Henry will find his way into a title match or two by the end of 2009.  It’s scary thought, yes, but at this point I’ll take it if it gives me a break from recapping another Cena/Orton or Orton/Triple H match.  Besides, he is over.  I don’t know exactly how they did it, but the WWE has successfully gotten Mark Henry to the point where fans are digging him.  As a babyface, he doesn’t have to carry the majority of offense in a match.  Maybe it will work.  They’ll never know until they try.

Anyway, rant over.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Either that or I hope I have caused you to curl up in a corner and mumble “not Mark Henry!”

Babyfaces jump Orton to start.  Orton gets dumped and brawled around on the floor to start, before the bell rings.  Orton decides to bail on the match, leaving it two on three against Priceless.  Cody and DiBiase are pissed but the bell rings and Batista slings Rhodes into the ring.  Shoulderblocks, then a snapmare and a running boot to his face.  Tag to Shane McMahon.  Vegimatic to Cody, then some elbowdrops by Shane.  Tag to Trips, and the fans are cold as hell now for the match.  And why not?  You have two rookies who are supposed to be heels trying to hold their own against two established mega-stars and one of the owners of the company.  Who wants to cheer against them?  It’s not like they’ve been the instruments of destruction during this feud.  They’re the two kids who look at each-other while the bully does his bullshit and freak out at all the trouble he’s getting them into.  It’ll happen again at Summerslam, just watch.  Rhodes & DiBiase don’t have that annoying factor that the Spirit Squad did.  The fans could very well side with them.  Anyway, Trips is in and he stomps away at Rhodes in the corner.  Hard whip to the other corner.  Heat is practically below zero.  Another hard whip, and then Trips is forced to do a crotch chop to try and pop the crowd.  It doesn’t really work.  Trips lowers his head into a kick, then Rhodes tags DiBiase.  He ends up eating a clothesline.  Tag to Shane and they hit a Hart Attack for two.  Someone must have told Shane to lay off the horrible punches because he instead hits some elbows, then tags Batista.  Shoot off but he lowers his head into a kick.  Tag to Rhodes who gets beat down.  Wow, they’re just totally being made into jobbers here.  Delayed suplex to Rhodes, with Cody taking the bump like a diving brainbuster.  Batista picks him up again and gets his eyes raked.  Tag to DiBiase who kicks away at the corner and gets broken off by the referee.  More stomps and a tag to Cody who slugs it out.  Another tag and they both shoot off Batista, but he hits them both with a flying tackle.  Cody gets dumped and DiBiase eats a spinebuster.  He loads up the powerbomb, but DiBiase bails.  Batista chases him up the entrance and smacks him around, but Randy Orton returns to the match and rams him into the post.  Orton to the apron so he can get the tag.  Orton stomps away Batista.  Miserable fuckwit Kevin Dunn decides we should not watch the actual match but instead watch Triple H react to it, and miss a clothesline or something from Randy.  Tag to Cody who stomps away in the corner, then draws the referee away so the heels can both beat on Batista.  Batista ends up on the floor, where Orton goes for the punt but the referee is watching and he puts the breaks on.  Tag to Randy who hits the DDT off the ropes.  I love the spot because it always gets the fans heated up.  It gets two.  Stomps between the legs and a step over, then a tag to DiBiase who drops some elbows.  He needs to do a fist drop like his dad.  I’m not saying he should trade on his name or anything, but use your daddy’s fist drop.  It was his coolest looking move.  Chinlock now by DiBiase.  Batista fights out with a back suplex.  Tag to Orton who prevents the hot tag and stomps some more.  This match is just way too punchy-kicky thus far.  Kneedrop by Orton, then a couple more.  More punching by Orton, but Batista reverses a whip and hits another flying tackle, this one especially vicious looking.  Cody gets the tag, while the hot tag goes to… Shane  Yea?  Punches for Cody and a neckbreaker for two.  We go outside where Shane preps the table.  Cody goes back in to try and beat the non-existent count, so Shane hits a hangman and then hits an elbow off the top for two, with DiBiase pulling him to the outside.  Orton down to whip Shane into the stairs.  He tries to take the bump by Mick Foley he doesn’t have the weight to make it look big and the stairs don’t move.  He gets to the apron where Orton suplexes him back in the ring for two.  Orton seems to draw a blank on what to do next and just stands around for a while.  He then tags DiBiase who kicks him around to the outside.  Match pretty much sucks.  Ram into the apron by Ted then a toss in the ring with a cover for two.  Tag to Cody who stomps away for two.  Shane tries to fight back but gets punched down.  Tag to Randy who gets a free kick on Shane.  I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but Orton seems totally lost when he’s in the ring with Shane here.  He takes a while and then finally, audibly calls for a standing dropkick and hits it for two.  Ugh.  They should try to edit those spots out when they reach disc.  DiBiase in to throw some elbows.  Double stomp off the ropes gets two.  Now a rear-chinlock.  Camera cuts to Trips who has a weird grin, possibly over how comically bad Shane sells the chinlock.  DiBiase hits a weird takeover and hits a soccer kick.  Tag to Cody who drops a knee for two.  Front-chancery now.  He holds this for a while, then Shane tries to muscle his way to the corner and make a tag, but Cody pushes him back down.  Shane backdrops out of it, so Cody makes the tag to DiBiase.  Ted prevents the tag and, hey, he hits his daddy’s fist drop.  Maybe I haven’t been paying attention.  He goes for the Dreamstreak (horrible name for it, it should be called the Million Dollar Nightmare) but Shane fights out of it with a DDT and a double knock-out.  Tag to Orton, hot tag to Trips.  He slugs it out in the corner then fires off a clothesline.  Orton lowers his head into a face buster, then both members of Priceless get dumped.  Orton gets a shot on Trips but eats a spinebuster.  Rhodes saves and things break down as Batista comes in.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! to Orton is stopped by Rhodes who hits his DDT.  Shane comes in and dumps Rhodes with a cactus-clothesline.  Rhodes plasters Shane with a chair on the floor, then hits Batista as well.  Shane took it the hard way, right in the ear.  Man, not cool.  I don’t like Shane, but you don’t Casey Jones someone in the side of the head with a chair.  The Rock nearly got fired when he did it to Ken Shamrock in 1998.  Meanwhile, in the ring, the ref counts both Orton and Trips down.  Both guys get up at eight.  Orton goes for the RKO, but runs into the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!, then has to let go of it to stop Batista from chairing Rhodes.  Trips turns around into the RKO for two.  Everyone bought that as the finish, including the time keeper who rings the bell.  Wow, horrible botch there.  It doesn’t matter, as Orton hits the punt on Trips to score the pin and the title.  At least the title changed hands straight from the old champ to the new champ.
1/2* Really, really terrible.  Punchy-kicky and the heels never really heated up the match during their two offensive runs against Batista and then Shane.  It was as if all parties involved couldn’t figure out exactly what to do before the finish.  Worst of all, the match was twenty five minutes long.  That’s way to long to just throw punches and kicks.  This is so far the low point for the WWE championship of the year.

-Trips does a stretcher job on the way out.  Smarks bitch at him, but give him credit: he put over the punt here like Jesus put over the crucifixion.  Oh, and of course this gives the announcers a chance to speak in their ‘someone fell from the rafters’ voice.  I’m going to prove why it’s stupid and should be retired.

Here’s how you do it.  Everyone has seen the Foley/Undertaker Hell in a Cell match, correct?  Okay, I want you to picture that match, but mentally replace Jim Ross screaming “GOOD GOD ALL MIGHTY!” at the top of his lungs with him saying “good god almighty” in the Owen Hart just died voice.  Doesn’t have the same impact, does it?  Well, it’s time to dump the sad voice.  The WWE needs to ban it.  And I call it the Owen Hart voice because ever since Over the Edge 1999, and Jim Ross is especially guilty of this, every time something ‘tragic’ happens in the ring, they cut to the sad voice.  The WWE has had enough real tragedy since 1999, and it’s really disrespectful to the real stuff that can and does happen in professional wrestling.  One day someone will be seriously hurt, live on pay per view.  It will happen.  It’s wrestling.  But because the announcers keep using the sad voice, maybe fans won’t get that something real and serious is going on.  Come on Jim Ross, use your head for something other then a hat rack.  Because that sad voice doesn’t get anything over.  It just reminds us of Over the Edge.

Match #6: World Heavyweight Championship, Last Man Standing Match
(c) John Cena vs. Edge

The WWE has really run the last-man standing stipulation into the ground over the last twelve months.  I’m not a big fan of the match.  I thought Jericho/Trips from Fully Loaded was just okay.  Cena/Umaga from the Royal Rumble was the high point of the gimmick, and I even went five stars on it as it was the only match of it’s type that embraced the gimmick fully and created some really tense false finishes, plus a very good and logical finish.  I also enjoyed Orton/Trips from No Mercy.  Mostly though, the gimmick leads to non-dramatic falls and slowly paced ‘let’s whack each-other with shit’ stuff that I find boring.

Cena is going into this match with a concussion from a conchairto, so we have a half-way decent hook for the drama, much like we did for Umaga/Cena.  So maybe this will be okay.  Lockup to start that goes all around the ring.  Cena goes for the bulldog off the ropes but Edge pushes off and bails.  Cena gives chase, then they return to the ring where Cena leapfrogs Edge and acts like he’s going to set up the FU, but Edge puts the breaks on.  Lockup and Edge gets a headlock, shot off into a shoulderblock.  Cena fights off and hits a fisherman’s buster.  He loads up for something but Edge wiggles out and hits the Edge-o-Matic.  Cena starts to sell the head injury.  Huge “Cena Sucks” chant while Edge hits three really weak clotheslines.  Mounted punches and referee starts counting and reaches seven.  This is the biggest problem of the last man standing matches.  In a normal match, you can cover a guy off of weak moves but it’s okay because you can transition from the cover to your next series of maneuvers.  In last man standing matches, you just sit there while the referee counts.  The crowd of course doesn’t buy that mounted punches is going to lead to a finish, so they don’t react at all.  You just have to sit there and endure the allegedly dramatic near-fall that goes on three or four times as long as a two count pinfall attempt does.  And that’s just boring.

Back to the match, where Edge hits a spin kick and we get another count.  Cena up at six, which is the equivalent of about a twenty count.  Sleeper now by Edge.  Oh man, this match is fucking terrible already.  Edge doesn’t work the hold at all, so they just stand there until Cena rams him into the corner.  Edge quickly grabs it again and this time holds it forever.  He lets go and the referee starts to count.  To the fans credit they get a ‘let’s go Cena’ chant going, but again they don’t buy it as a finish and don’t pop when Cena gets up at seven.  Edge misses a clothesline and eats a couple flying shoulderblocks and the protoplex.  Five Knuckle Shuffle but Edge kicks Cena in the head when he leans over to say “you can’t see me”.  Edge then snatches Cena up in the sharpshooter.  He then drags him over to the ropes and grabs onto the ropes and leans up against the corner for leverage.  Fans are cold for this.  Another count follows.  Cena to the apron where Edge shoulderblocks him off and into the table for another long count, this time eight.  Edge sets up Cena on the stairs and goes for a shoulderblock, but Cena casually steps out of the way and Edge eats it.  Looked terrible and slow.  This actually gets a six count.  Edge then whips Cena into the stairs for another eight count.  Edge goes for another whip into the stairs, but Cena reverses it and Edge eats the stairs.  This leads to a long six count.  And again, a count of six is like twenty to thirty real time seconds.  It’s fucking ridiculous.  Cena goes to lift the steel stairs into the ring but struggles to do it and gets hate-hooed for it.  He gets them in the ring, then enters it and gets booted in the face.  Referee Charles Robinson actually seems to prevent Edge from setting up a follow up spot to make a count.  Ugh.  I hate this match.  Edge ignores the count and preps some stairs on Cena, then dropkicks them into him.  Six count for that.  Edge charges at Cena and gets backdropped out of the ring.  Long count follows.  Kill me.  Cena picks up the stairs in the ring and throws that at Edge on the outside.  Nice pop for that, then another boring long count follows.  Cena tosses Edge into the ring and they have a boring, slow-motion slug out despite the fact that the offense they’ve given each other is no more exciting or dramatic then the much faster paced TLC match they had with each other years ago.  Continuity?  Fuck that.  Both guys then do the ‘let’s hold each-other up by leaning on each other’ spot that’s supposed to be dramatic.  The fans laugh at it.  They fucking laugh at it.  Then both guys punch each other down for a double knock out.  Long, boring eight count follows.  Cena loads up for the FU, Edge counters, and they repeat this three times until Edge hits a back suplex.  Edge cocks his jaw up and goes to hit the five knuckle shuffle, but Cena snatches him in the STFU.  He lets go of it after less then a minute.  Yes I know, you can’t win with me.  Still, why not hold the move until the person faints or dies or something?  It gets a seven count, and it turns out the STFU is the WORST MOVE EVER~! because Edge is recovered enough to hit the spear.  Edge seems to crawl at Cena like he was going for a pin, then remembers the shitty stipulation.  Seven count follows.  Edge climbs but Cena pops up because the spear was the WORST MOVE EVER~! and hits an FU off the top rope.  Nine count for this, but Edge was stirring long before the nine and thus nobody really bought it as the finish.  Oh, and that FU off the top rope?  You guessed it… WORST MOVE EVER~! because Cena climbs and dives only for Edge to spear him out of the air.  Nine count follows, then Cena passes out again like he’s Glass Joe in Punch-Out!! and falls out of the ring.  Edge preps the announce table and loads up the impact DDT, but Cena loads up Edge and gives him the FU onto into the crowd in what is a pretty cool spot in a match that is still incredibly shitty.  It gets a nine count.  Edge then has enough gas after this to start running away from the match and through the crowd.  They end up in concourse of the arena, but nothing happens there, and they end up by the stage area, where Cena bulldogs Edge off the stairs and into the sound equipment.  It gets a seven count.  Edge strikes Cena with a hard-hat, and they fight to the steel staging.  Why have the part where they run through the hallway?  Cut out the middle man and just head to the stage.  Anyway, Edge hits the impact DDT on the steel stage, but it only gets an eight.  So Edge bails and grabs.  He chairs Cena in the back, then hits a conchairto on the stage.  It gets nine.  Way to kill the move, guys.  In fact, it turns out the conchairto is the WORST MOVE EVER~! now as well, because Edge charges at Cena only to be immediately caught in the FU.  Cena looks to hit it, BUT WAIT~!! because here is Big Show.  He picks up John Cena and chokeslams him through a gimmicked spotlight, complete with phony baloney fireworks, a concussion blast, and fire.  It gets the ten count and Edge wins the championship.
DUD Yeah, it had a couple neat spots, but they were completely ruined by the horrible pacing issues.  Spot, count, spot, count, spot, count.  The heat was low through-out, and it was just silly how they oversold all these non-issue spots.  These guys have matched up against each other for years now and had run through all these spots multiple times, so why would they be so devastating as to necessitate long counts here?  Anyway, there has been some really bad matches in 2009.  The Diva Battle Royal at Wrestlemania.  Shane vs. Orton from No Way Out.  But this match is my current personal choice for Worst Match of the Year.  It was meant to be a headline match, and instead it was slow, boring, heatless, illogical, and all around awful.  When it comes time to vote in the RSPW awards, remember that this match was the main selling point for the show.  Other matches might have sucked more, but this one sucked at a cost of anywhere between $15 to $500 for a ring-side seat.  Easily the worst match for both guys’ main event careers.

-Cena gets strechered out to end the show, and the announcers get to use their sad voice again.  Yea!

SPECIAL FEATURE: You get to see Triple H get stretchered out of the arena, with Stephanie McMahon crying.  Trips finally wakes up, where Shane McMahon hushes up the actual trained medics so he can calm his brother-in-law down.  I wish Shane would make up his mind.  You can either pretend to be a wrestler or pretend to be a medic.  You can’t do both.  Anyway, Batista and Shane look at each other and promise Orton will pay for it.  Whole thing ran two minutes.

BOTTOM LINE: Everything was fine until the two title matches started.  I’m going thumbs down because the undercard matches were pretty decent but not spectacular.  The main events were incredibly boring.  Rent it if you must, but do not buy it as you won’t want to watch anything on here more then once.  And man, Cena/Edge was truly awful.

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