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Monday, 19 May 2008

Judgment Day........well, Judgements

Welcome to your Judgment Day, folks. That’s my Judgment that the word Judgment should have an extra “e” in it, and that this PPV looks shit.

We’re about to go live for the show, and for a fun fact, I just put the correct channel on my TV (it’s on Sky Box Office here in England) and the film showing on the channel next door is “The Heartbreak Kid”. That means nothing, of course, but I thought I’d bring it to you. You can tell how excited I am about this show, can’t you.

By the way, I watched TNA’s last PPV today, and quite liked it. I’ll try to review them in future, but we don’t get them live over here.

Oh joy, JBL v Cena to kick off. To be fair to Cena, his crowd reaction was immense it seemed, and mostly positive too.

Three minutes in, we have a wrench of Cena’s arm, by JBL, on the ropes. Another PPV of relentless working a body part?

I think Cena may be hurt. However, I though HBK was hurt last time, so you probably shouldn’t listen to me. They definitely botched a spot, though, as Cena tried to lift JBL in powerbomb-esque fashion, and failed. They’ll make it out to be a symptom of Cena’s arm hurting, but they didn’t mean it.

Meanwhile, the match is terrible, and an injury wouldn’t worsen what is already snooze-worthy .Cena jerking the curtain is so bizarre.

Actually, I shouldn’t be so down on them missing spots. AJ Styles is a genius whose work might just be my favourite of anyone’s right now, and he made two howlers at Sacrifice. Everyoone Mokes mastikes II suppooose.

JBL needs to pick the match. He needs to convince me, and everyone else, that he is worthy of watching, and to do this he.............steals the signature move of Chris Masters. Wow, go John, go John.

*Picks up phone

“Hello? Yes, I’d like to order 17,000 boxes of Mamajuana please..........”

Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Cena wins after...........16 minutes? Did I time that right? They gave it 16 minutes? OK, to be fair, the pace got the fans into it, and they popped a couple of times for Cena nearly making a comeback, and then for the quick finish. However, it may have heat for the opening match.

The ECW show is so important that the recap of the feud shows features from with really, REALLY, lame impersonations of Kane and Punk by Miz and Morrison. E-C-Dub! E-C-Dub! boring.

We’re ready for the match, and to be fair, it probably won’t be that bad. I wonder if Punk is being deliberately lost in a tag match to make the fact that he could cash in his briefcase later less likely?

Sorry to keep going back to TNA, but when Borash did the announcement of the title match between Jo, Kaz and Steiner, it felt appropriate. Tony Chimel (or whoever it was – I was looking down typing while he spoke) announcing the WWE Tag Team Championships, which no-one gives a damn about, takes away the shine from doing the announcements that way in the big ones.

Kane pulls out an old submission hold he used as Isaac Yankem which resembles pulling teeth. Not to be confused with watching a JBL match – which is preferable to pulling teeth.

(Cheap plug – check out a future issue of Fighting Spirit magazine, which will feature an article about Glen Jacobs by yours truly. But I don’t need to plug, because you always by that magazine........don’t you? If you don’t, you should)

Morrison pins Punk to retain the titles in a ok bout which never grabbed me in a meaningful way. No disagreement between Kane and Punk, no shenanigans for the champs to retain. While I enjoyed the match itself, to an extent, matches like these opening two kill me on PPVs. What’s the point? There is very little build-up, there is no real reason for fans to care. It doesn’t warrant PPV inclusion. The next one, however, does.

Right, don’t overbook this for goodness sakes. Jericho and Michaels are both great in the ring, and have built this up well. I don’t mind a shoddy finish, because this is clearly going to carry on, and there is a PPV in a few weeks. I’m guessing we may see Batista here, making it lead to a Triple Threat next time.

I’m just keen that they let this one roll, and don’t go stupid with an injury spot leading to more “is he hurt?” nonsense. Just have a match, it’ll probably be good if you give it 15 or so, let each man get a near-fall, and if you don’t want to make it a clean finish, let Batista come in a demolish Michaels. When Jericho shows dissent at the interference, Big Dave bashes him too.

As a quick, late prediction, if it goes clean Michaels will win, because otherwise, why not put the IC title on the line?

Lots of points to make – firstly that my signal wasn’t perfect during this match, which is really annoying because it was perfect during the opening two contests.

Next, I really love Michaels ‘inverted figure-4’ move, but using it early, having Y2J escape reasonably easy and Jericho not really sell the leg didn’t help.

Next, the biggest thing that has ruined this otherwise excellent programme is that they cannot get the knee problem right. From the match with Batista, to his limping on Raw, Michaels has sold the left knee. At the start of this match, Jericho tried (in vain) to attack Shawn’s left knee. However, from the very first replay the night after the Backlash Pay Per View, JR and King have called the injury as being to HBK’s RIGHT knee. It is very, very poor inconsistency.

The crowd were not into this. I quite the like the intrigue of their characters of late, but although the people bought into a couple of holds and false finishes (notably the Lion tamer), they didn’t have an overwhelming favourite. I sensed plenty of Y2J support, but not to huge degrees.

I loved the idea of Jericho feigning injury to avoid a superkick, but if he knew what he was doing when he hit the codebreaker, why didn’t he follow up. HBK should have rolled to the outside if he was not going to be counted down.

I cannot stand seeing the crossface again and again. It is so unnecessary. Jericho sold it amazingly though.

That’s all me being picky – great match. Perfect emotions from each man, great technique in terms of execution of moves, and some very innovative spots to help the storytelling. I really liked the post-match stuff too. Furthered characters just that little bit more.

I’d prefer to put Jericho over here, because beating Shawn would help him greatly and wouldn’t really hurt Shawn, because of HBK’s lofty position and the fact that the match was a belter and evenly matched.

Loved it. Really loved it. Think how good it could have been with a couple of small flaws ironed out.

Quick interview with Todd with Mickie (bad hair day for the lass James, by the way) briefly mentioning her going out with Cena, but interruption comes from JBL.

JBL intimates Grisham, and sells himself really well as a bully, as a bad-ass, and as a legitimately mean guy. It would be believable if he ever won a match. He defends his match against Cena by saying that he beat Cena down for 20 minutes. Firstly, it was 16, with a lot of stalling, and second, JBL’s entire title reign was based on him squeezing out technical victories when he looked beaten. Great intensity, weak logic.

The ladies are on their way out for a triple threat between Beth, Mickie and Melina for the Women’s title, and I apologise for wrongly stating this was a singles match in my (admittedly late) predictions piece.

Recap is shown of Melina and Beth fighting backstage last week on Raw. I love the fact that, when so annoyed by someone that she felt the need to throw a......forearm. Because legal blows are necessary in a backstage brawl.

Hey, what do you know? It was short, but for what it was, it was very good indeed. Some fast-pacing, some neat spots and a great performance by Melina, who wrestled possibly the best match I’ve seen her have.

Bit of a weak finish, and the WWE has a long way to go in signing some legitimately talented females stars and build them characters, but as matches to rival the knockouts, this was better than the convoluted ‘makeover’ match at Sacrifice.

Batista confronts Shawn in the locker room, telling him that he’ll hurt him soon. Fair enough, but HBK should not be placed in close-up shots. Man, he is balding alarmingly.

Recap of the Edge/Taker recent programme on Smackdown – including Vickie being unable to deliver a decent promo or correctly say the word ‘larynx’.


As you may know, I am not a big Undertaker fan. Most of this match was typical Taker ‘blah’, but I’ll give them credit for a decent section as the end approached, with some credible near-fall action and with it actually making Edge look strong.

The finish itself I’ll let go as it is obviously a storyline point, and there was no point to them putting it back on Taker after stripping him of it, and always unlikely that Edge would win it clean. My God the segment with Vickie doing her speech was dreadful. Whether she took too long to build the tension and heat, or merely got the jitters and forgot her lines. There was a great deal of dragging of feet in the aftermath of this, considering the ladies’ match looked promising but was cut very short.

MVP is out bemoaning him being left off the card and his challenge for someone to come out and meet him is met by............Matt Hardy. What a surprise. But wait, it’s his brother that will challenge MVP.

I’m torn about stuff like this. I suppose if a match is good then I welcome it, but I hate having a Pay Per View match with no build up to it.

TNA throw a lot of stuff against a wall and hope it sticks, but when you think about MVP, Hardy (x2) Kennedy, Umaga, Finlay, Shelton, Chavo, Burke and Kennedy all standing out as good wrestlers with reasonable standing not booked on the card, as well as big names like Big Show and Batista and other talents like Carlito, Kingston and Wang Yang that can go, but are under-utilised.

I understand that spot fests like Money in the Bank are better if used sparingly, and that the “Terrordome” could have been much better, but having Miz and Morrison defend in a tepid 10 minuter and not using any of the aforementioned stars seems lopsided. Surely something could have been worked in for a bunch of these guys.

Hmm, once again.

A decent contest, with the booking key to be to push Jeff Hardy upon his return, and to have his “Whisper in the Wind” corkscrew moonsault to look like a credible finisher.

I’m annoyed that it took MVP to have to job again to push Jeff a bit, but I’d say that losing to Jeff won’t hurt him too much, as if and when he gets a big push, it will largely start from scratch (MVP, I’m talking about)

I do feel, though, that certain people never, ever lose cleanly when doing so could promote others in a major way. I’ll give Triple H a lot of credit for, at certain times, putting over Cena, Batista Jeff Hardy at vital times.

Michaels and Undertaker, though, could stand to drop a match or two. Yes, HBK lost to Cena and Taker to Batista, but both men got victories back at some point. Don’t forget, HBK and Taker are huge stars. It really wouldn’t kill them to put someone over from time to time.

I’m not necessarily blaming them I don’t know who books what, with whose influence and with which plan in mind. I just know that Jericho, Punk, Kennedy and MVP lose far too often, stopping their upward mobility, while Michaels and the Deadman always go over even though others would often benefit, even short term.

Orton is in the ring to some new music, which is typically generic and doesn’t really apply to him at all – what I can make out of it. It seems to be along the lines of “I hear voices” which he doesn’t. If he did, he could have blamed ‘the voices’ for him trashing hotel rooms, defecating in bags, breaching wellness policies............allegedly.

Announcements done, and we are underway. By the way, my satellite signal is struggling badly, so I may not be able to absorb the full nature of this match.

I really didn’t get a full view of this match so I cannot really comment on the nature of it, really. I have no idea if many of you had similar problems.

All I’ll comment on is the outcome, which was reasonably predictable. I’m not complaining. I liked that it was clean, and things have to move on. Although people will moan about Triple H’s standing in the company, he is a solid hand and is very, very over. Orton has had a great run in the last 12 months or so, and it is time to freshen it.

Triple H v John Cena seems to be the likely progression of the title picture for the summer, while hopefully the likes of Jeff Hardy and Ken Kennedy (behaviour permitting) can be placed as developing stars, getting to the status that Jeff did at the Royal Rumble, and maybe even giving them a run. None of them are ready for that right now, though, so a Triple H title run is not the worst thing in the world.

Oh, and my TV picture quality returned in time to see Triple H celebrating. Why didn’t it screw up with the first two matches? Oh well.

A half-decent PPV. I won’t cry if I never see it again, but a pleasant memory will be there with Jericho and Michaels putting on another terrific match, and some nice bits of progression with the Women’s division and several logical match finishes.

God knows how you build to another PPV in two weeks, though.

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