The Way Too Long Review of WWE The Bash 2009

Before we get started, let’s have a moment in silence for the words “Great American”.  If the WWE wanted to drop that part of the title, they should have just dropped the whole thing. It would be like saying “We’re not calling it Wrestlemania anymore.  We’re just going to call it Mania.”  It’s lazy.

So, it would seem what I thought was my best review, that of Backlash 2009, turned out to be my most controversial.  The consensus is everything was okay until I shit on the Edge/Cena Last Man Standing Match.  Thusly the floodgates of hell opened up and I got more hate mail on Wednesday then I got spam.  That’s pretty remarkable.  I feel I should likely respond to it.

First off, to those who wanted to tell me that I was wrong without resorting to name calling or generic ‘you suck’ attacks, kudos.  To everyone else: you suck, fucktards.   It’s just a review, one man’s opinion.  I got an e-mail from someone accusing me of ruining the match for them, and they previously had liked it.  I don’t really know what to say.  If some guy you don’t even like gives a match you love a negative review and now you’re out of love with that match, you have bigger issues them I’m equipped to address here.

Given the volume of hate showered on me, I decided to re-watch the match just to see if I was in error.  I wasn’t.  It really was god awful.  But that was just my opinion mind you.  It shouldn’t effect your feelings towards the match.  And it’s not like there’s a Rotten Tomatoes or Meta Critic of wrestling where my review is going to bring down that match’s average or something.  But wouldn’t it be cool if there was?  Someone get cracking on that.

I explained my beef plainly.  They had better, faster paced matches.  This match was slow but contained basically the same spots that every Edge/Cena match had, only done with twenty second or more pauses between each one.  So why should I score it higher then, say, the TLC match from Unforgiven that was faster and much more fun to watch?  The Last Man Standing match wasn’t even in the same galaxy as the TLC match.  It’s not a testament to either guy’s talent either.  They just had an off night or had their hands tied by the stipulation of the match.  I’m a big John Cena fan.  I’m a big Edge fan.  It just wasn’t a good match.  I’m a big fan of Triple H and Shawn Michaels as well but I gave two of their matches DUDs.

And it’s also not a question of not being able to enjoy a slow-paced match.  A well built slow paced match is just as good as a well built speedy match.  But this wasn’t paced as much as it was stop-go-stop-go.  It was like Cena and Edge played the wrestling version of Red-Light, Green-Light.  This is the kind of stuff that people busted Sabu for in ECW back in the day.  Why let these guys slide?  So yes, there were some really nifty spots.  But the pacing was just way too out of whack and it wasn’t realistic for either guy to be knocked out for a long count so easily.  We’ve seen these guys dozens of times before.  We know what they’re capable of.  So why would a whip into the stairs constitute a twenty second knockout?

Of course, I am fighting windmills here.  If you loved the match, I’m not going to change your mind about it.  The stuff I write here on Pulse is designed for both those who have watched the shows and those who are potential buyers of the shows.  If you disagree with me, use the comments section as a chance to make your pitch why I’m wrong.  If you want to convince people that I’m off my rocker, try not to come across as a raving lunatic while doing it.  I’m always willing to talk wrestling with pretty much anyone, so send an e-mail, use the comments, or post in the under-used Pulse forum.  Oh, and for those who are starting a petition to have me fired from Pulse, make sure you send me the link so I can plug it when I post my next DVD review.  And I’ll be sure to sign it myself.  Because those things always work.

Oh, and quit bitching about the length of the reviews.  It’s called the “WAY TOO LONG REVIEW.”  That should clue you in that it’s going to be wordy.

June 28, 2009 from Sacramento, CA.  California: The only state in the union where the governor would fail a WWE wellness test.  At least I hope it’s the only one.

Match #1: ECW Championship, Scramble Match
(c) Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian vs. Jack Swagger vs. Mark Henry vs. Finlay

Rules: A new star enters every three minutes.  If someone gets a pin, they become the current champion.  Whoever is the champion at the end of the time limit becomes the official champion.  Christian and Swagger start.  Lockup goes on for a bit until Swagger slugs it out.  Ram into the corner and a shoulderblock.  Shoot off and Swagger goes for a powerslam, but Christian wiggles out.  Swagger recovers and tosses Christian into the ropes, but eats his shitty punches.  360 Powerslam by Swagger gets two.  Abdominal stretch into a gut buster, then he loads up Christian on the top rope.  Christian goes for a tornado DDT, but gets thrown off.  Swagger charges into a sleeper, but rams Christian into the corner and snaps him down in a front chancery.  Swagger loads up Christian again on the top rope but Christian fights off and hits a missile dropkick.

#3 in is Finlay.  Punches for all.  Clotheslines for all, then he picks up Christian and drops him on Swagger.  He knocks Swagger out of the ring, but gets rolled up by Christian for zero.  Uppercut and a butt splash by Finlay for two.  Short-arm clotheslines then a whip to the corner but Christian comes off the ropes with a flying back elbow for two.  Swagger trips Christian up and yanks him out of the ring and into the guardrail, but Finlay dropkicks Swagger through the ropes and to the floor.  Swagger rakes the injured eye of Finlay and fires off a school boy for the pin.  **CURRENT CHAMPION: JACK SWAGGER** Sunset flip by Christian gets two.  Reversal sequence ends with Christian hitting a reverse DDT for two.  Clutch slam by Swagger and Christian bails.

#4 is Tommy Dreamer.  Clothesline for Swagger, then a punch to Christian coming off the ropes.  Bulldog to Swagger and a weak powerbomb counter to Christian gets two.  Neckbreaker to Swagger, then Christian gets placed in the tree of woe and dropkicked in the face.  Swagger cuts off a Dreamer celebration by weakly tossing him into Christian, then takes him to the outside and dumps him into the table.  Finlay is still being looked after by a medic, but Swagger attacks him anyway.  Finlay fights back and rams him into the post, then takes him in the ring and hits the Celtic Cross.  It gets three.  **CURRENT CHAMPION: FINLAY** Snapmare to Finlay by Christian and a kick gets two.  Dreamer whips Finlay into the corner and gets a back elbow that looked like chocolate cover raisins and ass.  Christian takes Dreamer down and climbs.  Christian fights off Dreamer, then Swagger clotheslines Dreamer and jumps on the ropes to go for a superplex.

#5 is Mark Henry.  Swagger and Christian are still fighting over the superplex.  This leads to Mark Henry helping them with a tower of doom.  Swagger gets dumped, then Christian press-slammed to the outside.  World’s Strongest Slam to Dreamer gets him the pin.  **CURRENT CHAMPION: MARK HENRY** Everyone tries to slug it out on Henry and gets shrugged off.  Finally, Swagger, Christian, and Finlay are able to take him to the outside.  Christian sends Swagger to the outside and rolls up Finlay for two.  Hard whip to the turnbuckle by Finlay, then a suicida to Swagger.  Dreamer to the apron where he hits his diving flip to Swagger.  Then Christian hits his springboard plancha onto Dreamer.  Henry climbs to hit his mythical triple somersault senton into a cup of tap water but Swagger makes the save to huge heat.  Pump splash off the ropes to Henry… gets the pinfall?  **CURRENT CHAMPION: JACK SWAGGER** 2:15 left.  Swagger swats everyone off, but Henry sets him up on the ropes and hits his guillotine slide.  Killswitch to Swagger gets two as Dreamer saves, then hits the DDT on Christian for the pin.  **CURRENT CHAMPION: TOMMY DREAMER** 1:15 left.  Everyone goes for some quick pinfalls for two.  Neckbreaker by Finlay to Dreamer gets two.  Then Swagger covers him for two.  DDT to Swagger by Finlay but Henry saves at two.  Cover by Henry gets nothing and things break down until the time limit runs out.  Winner: Tommy Dreamer.
* Pretty shitty match.  I hate the gimmick, and these were the wrong guys to really make it special.  They should have thrown in some of the fliers.

-Meanwhile, Edge bitches to Teddy Long.  He demands to be let into the World Heavyweight Championship match.  Edge is pissed that he isn’t on the pay per view, and threatens to get Long fired.

Match #2: Intercontinental Championship vs. Mask
(c) Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio

This likely has my vote for feud of the year thus far.  Proof that even when times are tough, the WWE can pull off some good stuff.  Lockup and Jericho tries to rip off the mask, then grabs a headlock.  Shoot off by Mysterio but Jericho hits a shoulderblock.  Boot to the stomach and a shoot to the rope, but Mysterio gets a foot up and hits a rana to send Jericho to the outside.  Baseball slide but Jericho catches Mysterio and slings him head-first into the guardrail.  Awesome spot.  To the apron where Jericho catapults him into the bottom rope.  Delayed suplex gets two.  Now back to the chinlock.  To the top rope where Jericho goes for a back suplex, but Mysterio elbows off and hits a seated senton, but then charges into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two.  Ram into the turnbuckle and a choke with the foot.  Ram into the opposite turnbuckle, then a baseball slide to send Mysterio to the floor.  Jericho goes for a suplex over the apron, but Mysterio flips out of it, only to eat a kneelift and dropkicked in the face for two.  Jericho ties Mysterio’s arms up, but Rey fights back and muscles him out of the ring.  Mysterio climbs and hits a sick seated-senton on Jericho, hitting Chris right in the face with it.  That one had to hurt.  Back in the ring, Mysterio hits a crossbody for two.  Head scissors to get Jericho into the turnbuckle, then a springboard into a split-leg moonsault for two.  Crazy stuff.  Diving moonsault attempt by Mysterio is caught by Jericho into a powerslam for two.  Headbutts by Jericho but a charge to the corner misses and Mysterio hits the diving moonsault off the top for two.  Rana attempt by Mysterio is turned into the Walls, right in the center of the ring.  Gets to the ropes.  Mysterio tries to low-bridge Jericho but can only get him to the apron.  619 misses and Jericho hits a clothesline.  Jericho climbs but gets caught and kicked in the face.  Rana off the top is turned into a top rope powerbomb and Jericho covers with his feet on the ropes for two.  Lionsault attempt by Jericho misses and Mysterio fires off a rana with bridge for two.  Mysterio sets up the 619, Jericho counters that and goes for a shockwave, but Mysterio counters that into a DDT for two.  Mysterio springs off the ropes and eats the code breaker, but Jericho is slow to cover and it only gets two.  Jericho is getting pissy and throws Mysterio like a sack of potatoes into the turnbuckle.  Jericho climbs and goes for the code breaker off the ropes, but Mysterio makes him slip off.  Dropkick off the ropes by Mysterio and the 619, but Jericho catches the West Coast Pop and slaps on the Walls of Jericho.  Mysterio gets out of it and goes for a sunset flip, but Jericho sits on it for two, countered by Rey for two, countered again by Jericho for two and he rips off the mask.  BUT WAIT~! because Mysterio has a second mask on.  Jericho is stunned long enough for Mysterio to hit an enziguri, the 619, and the top rope splash for the pin and the title.
***3/4 Not as good as the Extreme Rules match, and to even try and follow that up might have been silly.  What I liked about this series of matches is these guys were on three pay-per-views in a row and gave us three completely separate, unique matches.  Both guys busted out new moves, and the entire series had continuity from match to match.  Excellent ending to pay off the angle too.

-We get highlights of Donald Trump buying Raw… then selling it back.  What the fuck was that about, anyway?  Did the WWE notice how everyone shit all over it when it happened and decided to quickly abort?  If so, kudos I guess.

-Now Teddy Long is getting bitched at by Chris Jericho.  Jericho demands his automatic rematch happens tonight.  Long tells him to go fuck himself in a TV-PG kind of way.

Match #3: No DQ
Dolph Ziggler vs. The Great Khali

Kill me.  Although I’m not as big a hater on Khali as most, he really shouldn’t be used too often on pay per view.  Turning him babyface was the right idea.  The WWE always makes the mistake of taking the over-sized freaks and trying to shove them down people’s throats as unstoppable killers.  They do this because their most successful angle ever was the Andre/Hogan feud in 1987.  But Andre was a star because of his run as the babyface for over a decade, not because of his time spent as a heel.  It’s the heel’s job to carry the match on offense.  Well come on, Khali can’t do that.  Use him the way territories used to use Andre.  Bring him in once a month or whatever, have him tag up with some babyface who needs help, let him feud with some loud mouth, then take him off TV for a while.  Or have him work the house show circuit as a special attraction.  Make him something special the way it was traditionally done.  I’m guessing feeding him to Dolph Ziggler won’t be a good idea.

To the match, and the highlights actually make it like Khali sold his end of the build well.  Khali gets a decent pop, which proves by point that people want to like him, so why fight it?  And is it just me, or should Dolph Ziggler’s “I Am Perfection” theme have been saved for Joe Hennig, the son of Mr. Perfect?  I’ve heard pretty good things about him, so I doubt he’ll fizzle out like Teddy Hart did.  Khali sticks and moves, but gets slung down to the canvas.  Khali whips Ziggler into the corner and then peck-slaps him down.  Another whip to the corner but Ziggler dropkicks the knees.  Khali casually pushes him over the top and to the floor in a good bump by Ziggler.  Khali goes outside and gives him a short-arm clothesline.  Peck slap against the post by Khali, but another one misses and Khali smacks it.  Fans aren’t buzzing for this.  Ziggler comes off the apron with an axehandle, then a flying dropkick.  On the apron again where Khali swats him back into the ring.  Big boot misses and Khali slowly crotches himself.  Ziggler whips his foot on the ropes and grabs a chair.  Ziggler whacks his leg with the chair, but Khali swats off another one.  Dropkick to the leg and a rocker-dropper by Ziggler gets one.  Front chancery now by Ziggler.  Khali picks him up and tosses him off.  Clothesline by Khali and a big boot, BUT WAIT~!! because here comes Kane.  Khali is distracted long enough for Ziggler to go to down on his injured leg with the chair.  Ziggler then bails so Kane can go nuts with the chair on Khali.  I used to rag on how Khali didn’t know how to sell… well… anything really.  But he says these shots pretty good.  Kane gets finished and bails, then Ziggler dives in the ring and covers for the pin.
** Nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.  It proves my point that Khali is better suited for being the babyface.  Crowd was overly-hard on it, especially considering that Ziggler had his flying shoes on.  Not a good match or anything, but given the low expectations it wasn’t like, embarrassing or anything.  Sigh, I can practically hear the fucktards typing hate mail right now.  “You liked Khali/Ziggler more then Edge/Cena?”  Yes, yes I did.

-Meanwhile, McMahon makes fun of how little Teddy Long has accomplished in the last five years.  He goes on to say that he would shoot himself if stuck in a fox hole with him.  He keeps Long on probation.

Match #4: Unified Tag Team Championship
(c) Carlito & Primo vs. Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes

BUT WAIT~!! because Teddy Long wants to prove he can be controversial.  Here it comes… he’s going to tell people the Cena/Edge match from Backlash sucked.  Actually, he adds Chris Jericho & Edge to the match.

Match #4: Unified Tag Team Championship
(c) Carlito & Primo vs. Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes vs. Chris Jericho & Edge

Priceless dumps Edge while the Colons dump Jericho.  Carlito starts with DiBiase.  Slugout follows.  Carlito does a high backflip off the top rope and clotheslines Ted down.  Tag to Primo and they hit a drop-toehold and headbutt for two.  Jawbreaker by DiBiase, then Jericho tags blindly.  DiBiase is pissed and Jericho gets backdropped.  Then Cody blind-tags Jericho and now Jericho is pissed.  If you must do these silly multi-team matches that still only have two guys in the ring, this is the way to do it.  Rhodes drop-toeholds Primo down and tags in DiBiase, who slugs it out.  Primo fights back with various kicks, a legsweep and a legdrop for two.  Tag to Carlito who hits a dropkick for two.  Chinlock now.  Tag to Primo who gets countered-down by DiBiase and punched.  Tag to Rhodes who goes with some stompery.  Tag to DiBiase and both guys smack Primo down.  Tag to Cody while Jericho and Edge get frustrated that they’re not getting into the match.  It’s weird to watch, as both teams are working exclusively on the right side of the ring, completely avoiding going anywhere near Jericho and Edge’s corner.  Cody with a windmill on Primo, who escapes with a jawbreaker.  It sends Cody to the wrong corner and Edge tags himself in.  Huge pop for that.  Edge charges at Primo but misses and ends up getting tagged by DiBiase.  Neat, original idea they got going here.  Suplex by Teddy gets two.  Schoolboy by Primo gets two but we don’t get to see it or DiBiase’s clotheslines because miserable fuckwit Kevin Dunn wanted to show us a replay of Edge’s time in the ring where he did nothing.  Cody tags in and gets a free dropkick for two.  Jack-knife cover gets two.  Leg-vise is turned into a rollup by Primo for two.  Clothesline by Rhodes gets two.  Fans chant for Edge and… Christian.  Jericho shoots a nasty glare at the fans for that.  Cody sets up a reverse Gory Special, but Edge comes in illegally and throws Primo off.  Primo kicks off Cody and he tags DiBiase.  Shoot off but DiBiase lowers his head and gets backdropped over the top and to the floor.  Tag to Rhodes, hot tag to Carlito.  Kneelift and a clothesline by Carlito.  Floating back-elbow gets two as DiBiase breaks it up.  Primo dropkicks Ted out, then eats an illegal code breaker from Jericho.  Carlito dumps Jericho, then sends Rhodes into the wrong corner where Edge makes the blind tag on Rhodes.  Backstabber to Rhodes but he’s not the legal man.  Carlito is all like “What’s up with dat?” and gets speared by Edge for the pin and the titles.
*** Neat match structure but the fans kind of ruined it by being mostly heatless.  And I’m no longer digging Rhodes or DiBiase as they seem to be pretty limited in the ring and overuse fundamental brawling stuff instead of actual wrestling and psychology.  They’re the children of 80s stars, and they wrestle like it.

-Meanwhile, Orton tells Priceless to not worry about blowing it because the important thing is they help him keep the championship.  DiBiase gets in his face and chews him out for it, then wishes him luck with Triple H, because he’s sick of being Orton’s lackey.

Match #5: Women’s Championship
(c) Melina vs. Michelle McCool

McCool gets absolutely no heat during her entrance.  It’s mouse-fart quiet.  I don’t watch Smackdown but from what I’ve heard she’s gotten really good in the ring as of late.  Lockup and McCool knees away and slugs it out.  Backelbow by Melina but McCool grabs a double choke.  She tries to go for a slam but Melina holds her and rolls through it into some punches.  Backdrop and a clothesline by Melina, then a diving something gets one.  Christ almighty, both these bitches are loud.  Melina kicks away on the ropes, then McCool fights back with a dropkick to the knees and some elbows to the knees.  Knee cruncher by McCool.  To her credit, she seems to get how to wrestle and becomes the first chick in a few years to display some actual psychology in a match.  Mounted punches gets one.  McCool kicks Melina’s leg out from under her then snaps it back.  Whip to the corner but Melina dives down on it.  McCool ties the leg up in the ropes and tries to work it.  Fans are hate-hooing this, and that’s shitty of them.  It’s undeserved.  McCool starts smacking Melina’s leg on the post and the stairs, then drags her in and covers for one.  Tilt-a-whirl gut-buster by McCool and then a muffler hold.  I’m not a big fan of Melina.  I think she hasn’t displayed a good aptitude for the business as of yet.  But she is incredibly flexible and that can lead to some cool spots, like McCool holding her injured leg to the back of her head.  Yipes.  Fans react a little bit to it.  Better then nothing I guess.  Charge in the corner misses by McCool and Melina goes for a kneedrop on the ropes, which was a bad idea because it’s still injured and she goes down in pain.  Melina actually is selling the injury as she fights back but, McCool sets her up for the Faith Breaker.  Melina counters that and gets a kick for two.  McCool with a big kick now gets two.  McCool drives her to the corner, but Melina fights back and hits a face buster off the ropes for two as Alisha Fox puts McCool’s foot on the ropes.  Melina dropkicks Fox through the ropes, but gets kicked in the face by McCool for two.  McCool loads up the Faith Breaker and hits it for the pin and the title.
***1/4 The best women’s match in years, easily.  McCool has turned into quite the wrestler it would seem, and Melina did her part by selling the injury well and being the human Stretch Armstrong that she’s meant to be.  Fans were shitty to it, as they have been on everything all night.  I would have liked the finish to been something involving the leg, but otherwise no complaints.

Match #6: World Heavyweight Championship
(c) CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy

Jim Ross claims that Hardy was champion for less then a minute.  Actually it was like five minutes or so, which is longer then Yokozuna’s first reign or Andre the Giant’s reign.  I love Punk’s new preachy, happy-go-lucky heel character.  So naturally the WWE would abort his run after only a few weeks.  The WWE actually seems to try and mute the crowd so they can claim he gets a mixed reaction, when it seems like the fans are behind him.  Then Hardy gets a decent, but not large reaction and thus the WWE turns up his music so nobody notices.  Hardy doesn’t have the face paint on tonight, which JR notes means he’s ‘focused on the match.’  Hardy gets a good pop during his in-ring introduction.  Punk seems to get booed but it somehow seems artificial.  I wonder if someone who attended the show live can tell me what it really sounded like.

Lockup to start.  To the corner where Punk jaws around a bit.  Another lockup and Jeff grabs a headlock, reversed by Punk into one of his own.  Shoot off by Hardy into a shoulderblock by Punk.  Circle and lockup leads to both guys trading waistlocks, then hammerlocks.  Headlock takeover by Hardy.  Punk tries to shoot off but Jeff slides down on it.  Punk reverses into his own takeover and headlock.  Shoot off by Hardy and Punk hits a shoulderblock.  Punk then snatches Hardy up in the GTS, but Hardy rolls him up for two.  Twist of Fate but Punk fights out of it, only to get backdropped out of the ring.  Hardy hits a plancha, then preps the stairs.  He whips Punk into the rail, then misses the poetry in motion off the stairs and wipes out.  Punk gets all cheeky and arrogant and decides to interrupt the referee’s count.  Hardy barely beats the count back in.  So then Punk covers for two.  We get way too many replays of the missed poetry in motion.  Head scissors on the mat by Punk, and he works the hold by elbowing.  He releases and covers for two.  Backbreaker gets two.  Another head scissors now by Punk, but Hardy wiggles his way to the ropes.  Scoopslam by Punk, who then climbs.  Legdrop off the second rope misses and Punk’s ass is hurting like he just ran into Haku in the shower.  Whisper in the Wind by Hardy gets two.  Three clotheslines and an atomic drop, followed by a legdrop between the legs and a dropkick for two.  Pancake suplex by Jeff to set up the swanton, but Punk rolls out of the ring.  Hardy gets to the apron and then flies off it with a clothesline.  Hardy seems to have hurt himself doing that.  Back in, dropkick sends Punk to the corner, where he goes for the momentum kick.  Punk catches him in it and goes for the GTS, but Hardy wiggles out.  Punk levels Hardy with a big kick to the head, then charges at him with the high knee and the bulldog for two.  Punk knots up the legs of Jeff with some kicks, then swings it out, but eats the Twist of Fate, without the twist… I guess that makes it a diamond cutter… and he goes for the Swanton.  Punk casually sits up to cause Hardy to miss it.  Punk calls for the GTS, but Hardy hits a small package for two.  Punk wakes up and hits a big kick to the head and loads up the GTS, but Hardy wiggles out and hits another twist of fate.  Swanton Bomb hits and he covers… for the pin and the championship?  I don’t remember hearing about that.  BUT WAIT~! because Punk’s foot was under the ropes and thus the match continues.  Oh, and big kudos to Punk for his hilarious cross-eyed, mouth gaping open sell-job of the Swanton.  I loved it.  He looked like a character in Punch-Out!! that had just been knocked out.  Hardy jaws with the referee, which gives Punk enough time to recover.  Jeff goes for the twist of fate again, but Punk goes for the GTS.  Hardy elbows out of it, which Punk then sells like his eyeball has been knocked out.  Punk then kicks the referee, acting as if he thought he was kicking at Hardy, and it draws the DQ.
***1/2 Decent match.  Crowd was just as shitty for it as they have been for everything else and it stopped them from getting a good momentum going.  I don’t score against endings because they are out of the wrestler’s hands, but this one was strange.  I think the teased Hardy win was overkill and that it should have been skipped.  The DQ ending wasn’t bad though.  At least it served to get Punk even more over in his new heel role.

-After the match, Hardy kills Punk.  Punk continues to oversell the phony eye injury, and Hardy kills him some more.  Huge heat for Punk on the way out, then a big grin when he picks up his title belt.  I love it.

-Meanwhile, the Colons get pissy with Teddy Long.  Long says that he doesn’t want to get fired and that he was supposed to shake things up.

-Meanwhile, Orton calls Cody Rhodes and asks him to hurry up and get DiBiase to come back.

-Meanwhile (jesus) the WWE had a block party earlier today.  Eat time much?

Match #7
The Miz vs. John Cena

I haven’t seen it, but this match is the reason why my first article with Pro Wrestling Press was delayed.  I read the results to this show and heard that Miz got squashed in under five minutes, and suddenly an article defending John Cena didn’t seem right with me.  It’s not that I wanted Miz to win the match.  I didn’t care either way.  But after building it up and actually getting him over in the feud, I think he deserved a little bit more then a time filler on PPV.  Let’s see if it’s as bad as I heard.

Lockup and Cena takes Miz down and drops his weight on his knee.  Another takedown and another drop on the knee.  Cena takes Miz down and stomps the arm.  Miz misses a clothesline and gets taken down in a headlock.  Shoot off leads to Miz getting shoulderblocked, then Cena avoids getting hit off a whip and takes him down with another headlock.  Shoot off and Miz gets hiptossed.  Shoot off again and Cena lowers his head into a kick by Miz, who finally gets in an offensive move.  So naturally Cena no-sells it and chases Miz on the outside.  Miz actually catches Cena coming in and gives him a hangman.  Punches in the corner by Miz, then a flying clothesline.  Fans are super hot for the Miz.  He climbs and hits a sledge off the top rope for two.  Running boot to Cena’s face, then a suplex for two.  Not exactly the squash everyone said it was.  Boots by Miz and a clothesline for two.  Knee to the neck and a baseball slide to send Cena out of the ring.  It gets two.  Miz gets arrogant and stalks over Cena.  He slugs it out but gets punched on to huge heat.  Hulk up time.  Shoulderblocks, protoplex, five-knuckle shuffle, FU, STFU, tappy tappy.
1/2* This was like watching an episode of Superstars, and I’m talking about the 80s version, not the modern one.  Fans were hot for this and it should have been given more time.  Despite being pretty good on the microphone and doing everything in his power to get the feud over, it would seem the WWE didn’t have much faith in him.  He still has my vote for most improved wrestler of the year.

And yes, the John Cena article is still going up in the next issue of Pro Wrestling Press, but I took it a slightly different angle.  Check it out when it hits at thewrestlingpress.com

Match #8: WWE Championship, Three Stages of Hell
(c) Randy Orton vs. Triple H

Stage One: Traditional Wrestling Match

Not sure how a traditional wrestling match is considered a stage in hell.  I mean, I could see it if the match was, say, Boogeyman vs. Mark Henry.  Or since it’s supposed to be hell, Chris Benoit vs. Mike Awesome.  That sounds pretty good actually.  You know, given all the drug overdoses, murders, and suicides that wrestler tend to have, plus all the huge assholes the industry has to begin with, actual hell might turn into wrestling heaven.  Of course, Satan will likely recruit Vince Russo to book it all shitty and fuck the whole thing up, because he’s evil and everything, and that’s sort of his thing.

Anyway, we brawl to start.  Shoot off leads to Orton getting a shoulderblock.  He then charges into the flying knee.  Clothesline by Trips and some punches in the corner.  Whip to the corner but Trips charges into a boot.  Orton goes to crotch Trips on the post, then botches the spot where Trips reverses it and there’s a noticeable delay before Orton remembers to weakly ram himself into the post.  Welcome to amateur hour.  They even show a replay of it.  Ugh.  Suplex over the ropes gets two.  Shoot off and Trips lowers his head into a kick, but Trips loads up the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! only for Orton to go after Triple H’s injured leg.  He slugs away on it, then wrings it on the post.  Orton kicks away at the leg, then hits a cruncher on it.  Orton goes for the RKO but Trips shoves off on it and hits a spinebuster.  Wrap-around backbreaker by Orton and Trips ends up falling out of the ring.  Trips tries to get to the apron but Orton kicks him back down.  Trips has enough and gets himself disqualified by chairing Orton in the head.  He then beats on Orton repeatedly with a chair.  Picture Trips as Steve Austin and Orton as the Rock.

Stage Two: Falls Count Anywhere

Trips loads up the Pedigree on the floor and covers for the pin.  Clever booking or a show that’s run too long?  They should have cut out the overly long and boring ECW Title match.  Fans aren’t too happy, and they shouldn’t be.  They got ripped off.

Stage Three: Stretcher Match

Trips loads up Orton on the stretcher and goes to push him over the line, but Orton recovers with no warning and kicks the stretcher into the bad leg of Triple H.  Clothesline on the ramp by Orton.  Trips tries to fight back but gets crotched on the guardrail.  We take the fight to the stands where Triple H limps around.  Orton clubs away at him and we head over to the tech area.  I’m having Cena/Edge flashbacks.  Trips fights back and clotheslines Orton over the guardrail and back to ringside.  Trips is still selling the leg injury and can’t really follow this up with anything, so Orton removes the protective padding on the rail and whips Trips into it, then back suplexes Trips into it.  Sounded cooler then it looked.  Orton rams Trips into the guardrail.  Fans are fairly cold to this match.  The WWE needs to set up some system where they punish towns that go cold for live pay per views by not returning to them for a few years on TV or something.  Not that there’s much to get fired up for with this one.  Trips fights back but Orton kicks him in the gut and sends him into the stairs.  Orton puts Trips in the ring, then throws the steel stairs into the ring.  Fans actually start to buzz.  Orton goes to kill Trips with them, but Trips drop-toeholds him down and Orton comically bangs his head against them.  I hate that spot.  Trips lifts the stairs up and knocks Orton out with them.  You know what would be a cool spot?  A cactus clothesline with the stairs.  Dangerous, sure, but it would be a spot everyone would talk about.  Trips places Orton on the stretcher and Trips barely gets him halfway there before Orton fights back.  They brawl on the stretcher, which starts to roll down the ramp.  Looked cool until it crashed and Orton WAY oversold it.  It wasn’t like a big crash or anything, but Orton acted as if he had been shot in the back with a cannonball or something.  Orton fires off his rope-DDT, only he uses the stretcher to do it and Trips lands on the concrete.  Orton goes for the punt but misses and hits the stretcher.  It sells this like death, but again it looked awful.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! but Orton backdrops out of it and Trips lands on the stretcher.  Orton goes to push Trips across the line but Trips rolls off the stretcher.  Orton is getting pissed and coils up for the RKO, but Trips throws him into the titantron.  Pedigree on the steel stage leads to a double knock out.  They’re right by the line and the stretcher is there, so all he has to do is put Orton on the stretcher and push him less then a foot.  This process somehow take Triple H roughly forever, long enough for a BUT WAIT~! moment.  In this case, BUT WAIT~! because it’s Cody Rhodes.  Trips fights him off, BUT WAIT~! because Ted DiBiase is Orton’s lackey after all.  He beats Triple H down, which hilariously knocks the stretcher with Orton on it over.  DiBiase and Rhodes then put Orton on the stretcher, but Trips fights back, but can’t.  They keep stomping on him, then go to revive Orton.  But wait, because Trips has hidden a sledge hammer under the panel of flooring that he was down on, just on the off chance that he would end up being beat down on that exact spot.  I guess that’s what makes him the Game.  Sledge shots to Priceless, but Orton kicks him in the balls and knocks him out cold and onto the stretcher with the floor paneling that the sledge hammer was hidden under.  He pushes the stretcher across the line and wins the match.
* I’m sure this will earn me even more heat with the smarks, but I don’t care.  This feud is played and I somehow doubt Orton & Trips will be able to have a decent match together for at least a couple years now.  These two have stunk up three pay per view main events in 2009 and played to three completely dead crowds.  The WWE needs to take a hint and end this shit, even if it means no blow-off.  Though I’m guessing we’ll end up with an Orton/Triple H Hell in a Cell match in October.  This was just really dull, and these guys have nothing left to do against each other.  This felt thrown-together at the last second, and I think it actually was as I seem to recall this originally booked as a Last Man Standing match.  The stipulation here didn’t hurt it, but they weren’t even given enough time to do the falls-count-anywhere part.  I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have helped, but deliver as advertised at least.  And I’m not faulting Orton or Triple H for a lack of effort.  It’s just time to call it off between these two.  It’s not working.  This is an easy choice for worst feud of the year so far, and sadly it’s still not over yet.

-After the match, Triple H knocks out Orton with a sledge to the face, presumably to send the fans home happy.  I doubt these fucking fans know the meaning of happy.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Tony Atlas tries to cheer up Mark Henry.  Atlas channels his inner-Grandpa Simpson and talks about the old days when he used to wrestle with an onion in his belt.  Henry tries to tell him that he has heard it all before, then basically fires him.  Thus begins the babyface turn that everyone but me seems to be dreading.  Lasted about a 1:15 and is as worthless as all other special features.  They should just include matches from Raw or something that lead up to these shows.

BOTTOM LINE: One good undercard match and a couple decent ones are hampered by some mind-boggling booking choices.  Another Orton/Triple H match?  Cena/Miz gets only a few minutes and ends up as a throwback style 80s match after all the build?  Overall, nothing here was really special enough to warrant paying money for this show, so thumbs down.

And with that, I’m all caught up with 2009’s pay per views that have been released on DVD.  Just in time too, as I’m taking a brief vacation.  When I get back, I’ll catch up on some other DVD sets I’ve missed, like the Best of Starrcade and the Saturday Night’s Main Event set.  They should be good to kill some time while I wait for the WCW set to be released at the end of the month.  That looks *really* good.

Oh, and if you’re pissed about the Orton/Triple H rating, try to express it without coming across like a fucking child.

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