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Monday, 30 June 2008

NIght of Champions Live Notes

After a very long introductory video, we have the familiar voice of Jim Ross opening the show. Interesting. No announcement of all the commentators of the other brands.\

It seems we’ll be getting comedy and daftness out of the way here, as Morrison and The Miz are out for their title defence against Finlay and Hornswoggle. I may be wrong, but aren’t all four men on the ECW roster? Why aren’t Adamle and Tazz calling this?

Actually on second thoughts, I’m not really asking for Adamle over JR am I?

Poor show of editing as while they are showing a double feature of Hornswoggle doing some kind of senton, something meaningful in the match happens.

No-one sees the meaningful stuff happen so they show it again in a double feature which wouldn’t have been needed if the first double feature hadn’t been shown. Idiots.

Well, I suppose that was okay. The live crowd seemed into it, and I’ve often said that I am probably not representative of the audience at large, so even if I didn’t care for it, perhaps some did.

If tonight is going to be interpreted as reasonably serious and meaningful, at least they got rid of this stuff first. At one point JR said “This is not wrestling.” Hearing that, Jim.
Oh – Miz and Morrison won. Mercifully.

Interesting – another reasonably lame duck match as Matt Hardy v Chavo Guerrero is next. Two more ECW guys..........and it’s JR and Mick again.

Listen, I thought the draft on Monday was great, and stirred up some stuff and created some interest. But if there is no particularly continuity, what is the point?

Wow, Mick just said that “with all due respect to the ECW title” the United States Championship means just as much. Maybe this belt will stay on ECW. After all, what the point of Matt winning the ECW strap down the line if it doesn’t matter as much as the thing he is wearing now?

Out of nowhere, Matt wins and retains. Not a bad little encounter, but without much build up it just felt like a semi main-event on Smackdown rather than a contest that folks have paid money for.

Just over half an hour in, and we have the first mention of Vince’s little mishap last week on Raw. Extensive footage is shown, including the “I can’t feel my legs” line, but it came off feeling completely like an angle. Tazz (yes, he and Adamle are here) sold it too flippantly after the video package.

We have a title match for the ECW Championship, being called (shock) by the ECW announcers, but involving one Smackdown guy who is a former ECW champ. One Raw guy who is the current ECW champ. And one ECW guy wrestling his first match for Extreme Championship Wrestling.

All four wrestler before now have been members of the ECW roster and the matches were called by the Smackdown announcers. Hmmmm.

01.38amAdamle says “Big Show needs no introduction”. Shut up, then.

Surely Adamle can’t be doing this deliberately. He just out-Adamle’d himself by saying that Kane was in front of the broadcasting..........thing. He meant table. Or desk, or position, or any word but “Thing”.

Kane had some doctors come to look at him during the match which didn’t seem to lend itself to the match, so I guess he winded himself. He is dominating as a type, so perhaps he has recovered, or wasn;t hurt in the first place.

Slow and really rather boring encounter comes to an end with Mark Henry (MARK F’N HENRY) winning the ECW title.

Terry Funk, Shane Douglas, The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Sabu, Tazz, Mikey Whipwreck, Raven, Mike Awesome, Rhino, Justin Credible, Steve Corino.

Fuck you all.

Mark Henry is the champion.

My God that sucks.

Backstage bit with Batista and John Cena. Show of respect and words of why each man will win their respective matches. Nice tease not only for matches tonight but for a future Cena and Batista match.

Only black spot on the segment was CM Punk showing up. I love Punk and all, but the explicit nature of him saying that his briefcase is getting heavy seems to indicate that he will not be cashing that contract tonight.

Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes and in the ring with Ted DiBiase Jr out to challenge. His partner is...................

No-one yet. Ted says his partner has texted him and will be late. He refuses to forfeit, and the match starts.

He demands that Holly get in the ring and as he does, Cody DDTs Bob. Cody........tags in DiBiase, who slaps on a Million Dollar Dream into a slam. Three count, and Cody and Ted are champions.

Now, listen, that can’t happen. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but this is nuts. Over the years, thanks to numerous ludicrous contract signing segments, we know that contracts have to be signed for title encounters. So what did the contract say? That Cody was facing himself? What if Bob Holly kicked out? Could he have tagged Cody in to face himself? Bonkers. Absolutely stupid way to kick off a potential stable that could be superb. Just do it the right way, please, with a modicum of sense to it, is all I ask.


In a skybox, JBL cuts a truly superb promo. On the stick, the guy is amazing. Talk about brilliant heel promos, this man has it. However, the subject matter is pretty much about why he isn’t on the show, and the answer is that he absolutely sucks in the ring. Sucks more than a Dyson factory.

Chris Jericho is here. Another mystery opponent. The last one was non-existent, let’s see how this goes.

It is.....................................well it’s not HBK, according to Jericho. He’s not in the arena, which might mean that he is. It’s not Lance Cade either, because he’s at ringside.

It’s Kofi Kingston. Hmm, interesting. Well, I like the look of this guy, and advertising him to face Jericho wouldn’t have sold any tickets, so fair enough that this is a surprise moment. Jericho must win, but Kofi going really close will help him immensely. He does not have to win here to get over.

Small reaction for Kofi, by the way. Shows that no-one watches ECW.

King and Cole keep mentioning Cade at ringside – it’s almost as if they are being prompted from in the their headsets. Cade is doing nothing but they are talking him up like he is as proactive as a cross between Jim Cornette and Rain Man.

Credit where it due for that one. Kofi Kingston wins and is the new Intercontinental Champion.

When the music of the Jamaican hit, you had a heel (Jericho) with little heat and a babyface (Kingston) who many of the fans were unfamiliar with. During the match, there were a series of nearfalls for Kofi which garnered increasing reactions for the challenger.

Typically, after Jericho said that HBK was not in the building, he of course was, and he attacked the inanimate Lance Cade before distracting Y2J long enough for Kofi to get the win.

Nice build to a title switch which will hopefully help an emerging star. Jericho does not need the IC belt to get over, and his programme with Michaels is gaining momentum nicely.

The only downside, as per usual with HBK, is the overacting of the man from San Antonio. Shawn Michaels is arguable in the top 3 in-ring performers of all time, but his acting is painful too often. You can sell an injury subtly, Shawn, without acting like that. The commentators can sell the injury. Michaels is awesome in the ring, but he makes an ass of himself like that.

All in all, though, decent match which allowed Kofi to shine and built him up well. Could have been done on Raw, but Kofi gets some good exposure.

After showing a (mildly) comedic advert for Gillette with Cena and Vince, we have Mickie James out for a Women’s title match.

Another ‘funny’ bit with Vince. Yeah, he (kayfabe) nearly died on Monday.

Look, I know I’m starting to sound arsey, but why is Paul Burchill in wrestling gear. He doesn’t have a match, he is there to support his sister, Katie, in her battle with Mickie. Why does he have his wrestling attire on?

I’m not sure I should be watching this really. I’m getting cranky.

King just said, after Mickie hit a low dropkick, that it’s a move Mickie James has won a lot of matches with.

No it isn’t.

That’s a stand up lie. If she has won one match in her career with that I’ll be surprised, and she sure as hell hasn’t won ‘many’ matches like that. I’ll allow the odd ‘this is one of the biggest main events ever’ call and even the odd lie as to whether two guys have faced off before, but the fans aren’t idiots, Jerry. No one believes that Mickie wins matches with low dropkicks because they have never seen it.

This is why Mick Foley is doing a decent job on co-commentary, why JBL did well, and why a once-great colour guy like Jerry Lawler needs sending out to pasture.

All the talk after the draft was about JR. Unfair. It’s King that needs to be drafted. Maybe to TNA.

Not a bad little match, really. Decent outing for Katie Lea to show that she can actually wrestle. This match was still way too early in the development of both Katie and the feud between these two, but the match was ok and quite enjoyable. Commentary lunacy aside.

Edge is on his way for a title match with Batista, and we have just seen a video hyping the match. It was a nice build for the feud, especially for those not overly familiar with La Familia, but had one notable bit for me.

Batista was told by Edge in the video that he would not get another title shot if he lost this. Didn’t that happen a couple of months back? Maybe I’m going crazy.

Nice insider line from JR, saying that Batista has “leviathan-like strength”. Leviathan was Batista’s name when in developmental territories.

Perhaps Michael Cole will call John Cena to be a Prototype of a great wrestler later on.

Maybe not.

Big reception for Batista, by the way. More over than I expected.

More utter garbage.

Not a horrendous match, although I do feel sorry for Edge, because matches with big guys like Batista always look the same. It was going along ok, and then the “greatest commentator ever” made a terrible call (he called a spinebuster a Batista-bomb) and coincidentally the matches went downhill. Deliberate DQ attempt, replacement referee (Chavo) and a screwjob finish. Just completely lame , trite and has been done dozens of times.

The heel commissioner/general manager schtick must end. Now. It’s not just Vickie, but the entire concept is so overplayed it’s unreal.

I suppose Batista and Edge should be commended for spending more than 20 minutes in each other company with slamming their heads together.

Nice note to finish, though, as (I think) as Batista was selling a blow to the head he said “I see three Sign Guys”.

Nice main event. Told a great story, and towards the end of the match they were getting huge reactions for just punches. These two men were able to put on a good show which played to their strengths and hid weaknesses.

A lot has been said about Cole to raw instead of JR, but he made a great call, again towards the end. Cena had missed two attempts at the Five Knuckle Shuffle, and when he eventually hit the third, rather than selling it as being devastating, Cole said that Cena hitting it was a huge blow mentally for Cena.

Anyway, Triple H wins a good’un with a Pedigree. I never felt Cena would go clean over The Game because of Cena winning two years ago.

Slightly bad taste, it must be said, with Triple H at one point locking Cena in a crossface, when last year it was at Vengenace: Night of Champions last year that Chris Benoit was due to compete but never made it.

Show ends, and no CM Punk to run in at the end. God knows how they will get out of having no title belt on Raw.

Logic FTW.

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