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New Orleans Arena – New Orleans, Louisiana – June 7, 2009
MATCH #1: Fatal Four-Way Match for the United States Championship – Kofi Kingston vs. MVP vs. Matt Hardy vs. William Regal
Kingston has been the champion since 6.1.09, and this is his first defense. Regal and Hardy appear to make an alliance, but it takes about a second before Regal sacrifices him to the wolves. Hardy bails to the floor and pulls MVP out with him, and then Kingston follows them out with a slingshot dive to wipe them both out. Back in the ring Kingston hits a cross body off the top rope on Regal for a two-count. MVP breaks it up and he and Kingston exchange some moves before Regal breaks them up and goes after the champion. Regal takes Kingston up top for the butterfly superplex and MVP tries to get work in a Tower of Doom spot but they mess it up and everyone just kind of crumples to the mat. Hardy makes his way back in and tries a cover on each opponent but they all kick out at two. He stays in control, hitting the leg drop off the second rope on MVP for two. Kingston recovers and takes on everybody with his patented “controlled frenzy.” Michael Cole loves that. Kingston goes for the Trouble in Paradise on Regal but gets caught and suplexed right onto Hardy. The action is coming pretty fast here. MVP and Hardy wind up in the ring, and MVP is Ballin’. Regal breaks up the cover and hits a suplex on MVP. He then knocks MVP to the floor with a knee, and dumps Hardy as well. He thinks he throws Kingston to the floor, but the U.S. Champion rebounds off the ropes and hits Regal with the Trouble in Paradise to pick up the win at 6:43. That was really short but they packed a lot of action in, so it was fine for an opener.
MATCH#2: No Holds Barred Match for the Intercontinental Championship – Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho
Mysterio has been the champion since 4.5.09, and this is his second defense. The champion goes right after his challenger, knocking him to the floor and not giving him any room to breathe. Jericho cuts him off and slams Mysterio into the guardrail. He tries to whip him into the steps, but Mysterio handsprings over them and dropkicks them into Jericho’s knee. That was cool. They continue fighting around the ring, and Mysterio hits a running rana off the apron. Back in the ring he slingshots in with a legdrop to the back of the head for two. Jericho comes back with a boot to the gut and then drops Mysterio’s midsection across the top rope. The challenger is firmly in control now, wearing Mysterio down with a variety of offense. He goes for the springboard dropkick but Mysterio counters and sends Jericho to the floor with a dropkick of his own. Mysterio goes up top and hits a plancha, wiping Jericho out. Back in the ring Mysterio hits a springboard legdrop for two. Mysterio goes for the 619 but Jericho gets up and they knock each other down. Back up Mysterio gets a victory roll for two, and Jericho reverses it for another two-count. Mysterio goes for a low dropkick and Jericho grabs his legs to go for the Walls of Jericho, which gets reversed to an inside cradle for two. The champion hits a solid kick to the face for another two-count. Mysterio bounces off the ropes and Jericho catches him with a hard clothesline. Jericho pitches Mysterio to the floor and follows him out. He drops Mysterio with a face-first suplex. Back in the ring Jericho gets a two-count and then locks on a modified chinlock. Jericho starts going after the mask, and I love how the crowd reacts to it. Mysterio kicks his way out of the hold. Jericho tries a charge in the corner and misses, ramming his shoulder into the ring post and crashing to the floor. Mysterio follows him out with an amazing suicide dive through the ropes to wipe Jericho out. Back in the ring Mysterio hits a headscissors and a rana for two. Mysterio goes for another 619 but Jericho counters to that spinning backbreaker for two. Jericho counters a rana attempt with a powerbomb, but then misses a Lionsault. Mysterio hits a 619 to the back of Jericho’s head, which is awesome since Jericho couldn’t see it coming and thus couldn’t counter it. He then tries to Drop the Dime, but Jericho catches him with a Code Breaker! Mysterio kicks out at two! Jericho goes outside and brings a chair into the ring, and Mysterio kicks it right back into his face for a two-count! Mysterio hits a chair-assisted senton for another two-count. He sets up the chair in the corner and hits a drop toehold right onto it. He then tries to use the chair as a springboard for a rana, but Jericho catches him and locks on the Walls of Jericho! Mysterio is able to use the chair to crack Jericho in the head and break the hold. He goes for another 619, but Jericho is able to pull Mysterio’s mask off! Jericho is able to schoolboy Mysterio for the three-count and his ninth Intercontinental Championship at 14:40. These two are so ridiculously on right now. The match was fast paced, had some really creative spots, and they’ve incorporated the mask seamlessly into the heart of the feud. This is great stuff.
MATCH #3: Samoan Strap Match – CM Punk vs. Umaga
Umaga would seemingly have the advantage in this match, seeing as how he’s from Samoa and all. Punk takes the fight right to Umaga, but quickly gets knocked down. Umaga touches two turnbuckles and Punk breaks it up and hits the running knee to the face in the corner and a couple of kicks. Punk tries to touch the corners but Umaga pulls him back and hits a Samoan Drop. Umaga uses the strap as a weapon, and also dishes out kicks, punches, and headbutts. He also uses the ring post to wear down Punk’s shoulder. Back in the ring Umaga picks Punk up in a suplex and drops his midsection on the top rope. Umaga then kicks Punk off the apron and to the floor. He goes to touch the turnbuckles but Punk holds him back after two, and Punk gets back in the ring with the springboard clothesline. Punk goes for the Go 2 Sleep but Umaga slips out and hits a leg lariat. Umaga tries a charge in the corner and misses, and then Punk uses the strap for a nasty looking low blow and Umaga rolls to the floor. Punk pulls Umaga into the ring post and then back in the ring. He hits another running knee in the corner and a bulldog. I like the little graphic in the corner. Punk gets three turnbuckles before Umaga pulls him back and hits the spinning slam. Umaga touches three turnbuckles and Punk breaks that up and pulls Umaga to the floor. Punk tries to touch the buckles with Umaga no the floor and he manages to get three before Umaga pulls him back. Umaga goes to the top rope but Punk uses the strap to pull him crashing into the canvas. Punk once again hits three turnbuckles, and this time when Umaga tries to pull him back Punk reverses it to the Go 2 Sleep and touches the fourth turnbuckle to get the win at 8:58. That was a pretty short but they did some good stuff in there. Punk going over clean was nice after two straight pay-per-view losses (to Kane and then Umaga) before this.
MATCH #4: Triple Threat Hardcore Rules Match for the ECW Championship – Christian vs. Tommy Dreamer vs. Jack Swagger
Christian has been the champion since 4.26.09, and this is his fourth defense. If Dreamer loses he will be forced to retire. I appreciate Christian’s promo before the match since he tried really hard to make me care about this match. Then Tommy Dreamer comes out and reminds me that no, I don’t care. Jack Swagger tries to cut in as well, but they both just walk away. That boy gets no respect. Swagger tries to pit Christian and Dreamer against each other, which ends up backfiring on him of course. He has to fight off both of his opponents and pitches them both to the floor early on. That also backfires on Swagger because both men grab weapons – Christian finds a trash can lid and Dreamer finds a Singapore Cane and the wear Swagger out with the weapons. The two friends also fight each other, and Dreamer takes Christian out before turning his attention completely to Swagger. Christian rejoins the fray and steals Dreamer’s heat on the Tree of Woe dropkick with a garbage can assist. He then slams Dreamer’s head into the trash can and gets a cover for two. Dreamer recovers and goes for the DDT but Christian avoids it and sends Dreamer to the floor. Swagger recovers and hits Christian with the Singapore Cane a couple of times for a two-count, and then a belly-to-belly suplex for another two-count. He follows up with a gutbuster and a face-first gorilla press slam for another two-count. Swagger goes to remove the turnbuckle pad and Dreamer cracks his hands with a Singapore Cane, allowing Christian to hit an inverted DDT for two. Dreamer gets back in the ring and hits Christian with a trash can lid, and then slams Christian on another one. Swagger retreats to the floor while Dreamer misses an elbow drop off the second rope and rolls to the floor. Christian tries to hit a springboard plancha on Swagger, who puts a trash can up in to the champion’s face. Dreamer throws a bunch of trash cans in the ring and comes in with a Singapore Cane. He hits Swagger with it once, but then Swagger catches Dreamer and hits a nice belly-to-belly suplex. Instead of going for a cover, Swagger sets up three trash cans in a row and puts Dreamer up on the top rope. Swagger goes for a superplex but Christian breaks up and powerbombs him so Dreamer still ends up getting superplexed. Christian covers Dreamer for two, and then covers Swagger for another two-count. He goes out and gets a crutch, but when he jumps off the top rope with it, Swagger catches him with a boot to the gut. Swagger takes the crutch but Christian avoids getting hit with it. He puts Christian up on his shoulders and drops him face-first onto the exposed turnbuckle. He goes for the Gut Wrench Powerbomb but Dreamer hits him in the ribs with the crutch. Dreamer then cracks Swagger on the head with it and hits the DDT to get the pin and win the title for a second time at 9:38. That was decent enough, but never really got any kind of flow or story going. Striker’s proclamation that “Thomas John Laughlin is the ECW Champion, and for one moment all is right in this world” is just a tad overdoing it.
MATCH #5: Hog Pen Match for the Miss WrestleMania Crown – Vickie Guerrero vs. Santina Marella
Before the match starts Vickie Guerrero announces that it’s now a handicap match, as Chavo Guerrero will be joining her. Santina throws some mud, so Chavo beats her down. Chavo goes for a piledriver but Santina reverses to a back body drop. He goes right back to beating Santina and then throws slop at her. Santina recovers and throws Chavo into the pig pen, and then gets a two-count with a schoolboy rollup when Chavo jumps back over in the mud. An angry Chavo beats Santina down face-first in the mud, and then makes the tag to Vickie. Santina gets up and threatens Vickie with slop, so Chavo comes back in and knocks him down. Chavo goes to slop Santina but she moves and Vickie gets hit with it instead. Santina then dumps a bucket of slop on Chavo as well for good measure. Vickie tries to escape but Santina throws her down into the mud and gets the pin to become the undisputed Ms. WrestleMania at 2:44. Well I don’t see how they could put a match worse than this on pay-per-view.
MATCH #6: Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship – Randy Orton vs. Batista
Orton has been the champion since 4.26.09, and this is his second defense. Pinfall, submission, and escape rules are in effect. Orton immediately tries to escape and Batista is barely able to hold him back. Batista throws Orton around for a while, and when Orton tries to escape again Batista throws him back down to the mat and goes on offense. Batista hits a suplex for two, and then chokes Orton with his boot up against the cage. Orton tries going out the door this time and gets stopped. Batista goes for a powerslam and Orton slips out and throws Batista face-first into the cage. Orton follows up with his backbreaker and tries to crawl out the door, but Batista drags him back in. Batista whips Orton into each side of the cage, and then hits that powerslam for two. Orton pulls Batista’s face down into the middle turnbuckle, and then stomps away on the Animal. Batista comes back with a big spinebuster and he signals for the powerbomb. Orton counters with a back drop right into the cage. He then hits a standing dropkick and crawls up the cage, but then decides to come back in the ring and go for the Punt Kick, but Batista avoids it. The champion tries to escape but Batista has recovered and he pulls Orton off the ropes in position for a Batista Bomb. Orton counters to an RKO attempt, but Batista pushes him off into the cage. Batista grabs Orton on the rebound and then hits the Batista Bomb to get the win and his first WWE Championship (fifth World Title overall) at 7:04. I’m not sure why the match was so short, but it did allow a faster pace than we would have seen if the match was twice as long, so maybe it wasn’t a bad thing. I actually liked it a little better than their Judgment Day 2009 match.
MATCH #7: Submission Match – John Cena vs. Big Show
Cena starts by trying to go after the legs, and even tries an early STF. Show withstands these attacks and starts wearing Cena down, much in the same fashion he did back at Judgment Day. Every time Cena tries making a comeback Show uses his size and power advantage to cut him off. Cena eventually gets Show in a sleeper hold and the big man goes down to one knee, but then brushes Cena off and hits an alley-oop powerbomb. Show continues working Cena over, focusing on the ribs. This goes on for quite a while until Show goes for a Vader Bomb and misses. Cena foolishly goes for a bodyslam, but Show falls back on him and locks on a very homoerotic submission hold. Show takes the fight to the floor and continues his assault. He locks on an abdominal stretch, which Cena fights out of. Cena hits a DDT and once again goes for the STF, but Show kicks him to the floor. He tries to get back in the ring by jumping off the top rope, but Show catches him with a bearhug. Cena breaks the hold and hits the Throwback and a Five Knuckle Shuffle. Show shrugs it off and goes for a Chokeslam, which Cena reverses to the Attitude Adjustment. Cena once again goes for the STF and Show blocks it. Show hits a knockout punch to the face, and Cole says if Cena can’t answer the 10-count the match is over. I thought the only way to win a submission match is if your opponent submits. Anyway, they’re on the floor and Show tries to ram Cena into the ring post, but Cena slips out and pushes Show into it instead. Back in the ring Cena hits the legdrop to the back of the head, and then he ties Show’s leg in between the bottom and middle ropes, and then is able to lock on the modified STF. Show taps out at 19:05. Holy crap that was long. I remember reading a lot of complaints about the finish, because the ropes wouldn’t make the hold more effective or whatever, but the point is that Cena couldn’t reach both the legs and head of Show at the same time, so using the ropes allowed him to put on a modified version of the hold. It’s actually pretty clever, and the commentators put it over properly, but I guess it’s easier for people to just complain. That’s just the finish though, because I agree that the match was boring and way too long.
MATCH #8: Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Edge vs. Jeff Hardy
Edge has been the champion since 4.26.09, and this is his second defense. I love how they’ve played up the history of the first tag team ladder match 10 years ago that made both of these men famous. They do some brawling and back and forth stuff in the opening minutes. Edge goes for the Edgecution, but Hardy counters and hits a gourdbuster. Hardy tries to bring a ladder into the ring, but Edge hits a baseball slide, sending it back into Hardy’s ribs. Back in the ring Hardy backdrops Edge over the ropes and Edge crashes chest-first onto a ladder. Hardy makes the first attempt at grabbing the belt but Edge pulls him down. Edge appears to go for some kind of flapjack into the ladder, but Hardy gets tangled in it and takes a nasty bump on his junk. The World Heavyweight Champion brings another ladder in the ring and sets it up in the corner. He whips Hardy back-first into it, and then moves the ladder to another corner. This time he sets Hardy against the ladder and goes for a Spear, but Hardy moves out of the way and takes control now. Hardy hits the hesitation dropkick in the corner, with the help of the ladder. He sets a seated Edge up against the ladder and goes for a running dropkick, but Edge avoids it. Edge goes to work on Hardy’s leg now, and traps Hardy in between the ladder and locks on a Sharpshooter. Hardy taps out, but of course that doesn’t end the match. Edge tries to climb the ladder but Hardy dropkicks him down. Hardy sets up the ladder upside down and drops Edge chest-first across it with a suplex. I don’t believe I’ve seen that before, and that part of the ladder hurts! Hardy goes out and grabs another, taller ladder. He hits the Twist of Fate and climbs up and grabs onto the belt, but the ladder falls out from under him, and Edge grabs Hardy’s leg and pulls him down, doing further damage to Hardy’s knee. Edge tries to whip Hardy into the ladder but Hardy reverses it and then climbs up the ladder to hit the Whisper in the Wind. Hardy goes outside and brings in yet another ladder. He notices Edge getting up, so he hits him with a Cactus Clothesline and they both tumble to the floor. Edge hits a boot to the face, and then sets up a ladder between the ring apron and the guardrail. Hardy blocks a suplex attempt and throws Edge into the barricade. He tries to throw Edge into the steel steps, but that gets reversed and Hardy’s shoulder crashes into the steps instead. Edge then throws Hardy into the security wall, and then comes at him with the steps. Hardy blocks that and hits a sort of Ace Crusher over the guardrail. That’s a cool spot; I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do that before. Hardy then sets Edge on the ladder that’s between the apron and guardrail. He sets up another ladder really far away from Edge, but gloating to the crowd gives Edge the chance to recover and join him up there. They tip the ladder over and both men crash through the ladder bridge. They recover awfully quickly and make their way back to the ring. The referee gets knocked down, and then both men climb ladders. Edge thinks he has Hardy in perfect position for a Spear, but Hardy counters it with a Twist of Fate! That’s a nice nod to their history there. Both men recover and climb up the ladder, and Edge knocks Hardy down. Hardy wisely pulls Edge between the rungs of the ladder to trap Edge, and then he’s able to climb the ladder and retrieve the title at 20:06. They had one or two contrived spots but mostly this was a tremendously entertaining car crash type of match between two of the best ever at it.
Jim Ross gets in the ring for a word with the new champion, but wait! CM Punk is out to cash in his Money in the Bank title shot!
MATCH #9: World Heavyweight Championship Match – Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk
Since we just saw Hardy win the title moments ago this is obviously his first defense. Punk hits an immediate Go 2 Sleep, but Hardy kicks out! He picks Hardy up, and the new champion gets a quick inside cradle for two. Punk drills Hardy with a kick to the head and one more Go 2 Sleep, and this one is enough to put Hardy down and we have our second NEW World Heavyweight Champion of the evening at 1:02. Once again WWE comes up with the perfect place to use the Money in the Bank title shot, and Punk is a two-time World Champion.