I'll admit to you now, I'm ill prepared for tonight. I haven't got my normal PPV gear on (Tracksuit bottoms and WWE T-shirt) and I've forgotten to stock up with masses of Junk Food. I'll struggle on though.
Short intro promo, and I think I saw a clip of Orton, Cena and Trips from back at last year's Mania, not even a current one. You can tell by the t-shirts.
Oh for goodness sakes. This is the one match I was looking forward to. And it's on first?? That doesn't bode well for the level of the surprise does it? Jericho is on his was to face Legacy. Does Jericho have a curfew on a Sunday or something. His matches with Mysterio went on second or third, and now he jerks a curtain despite the build up for this. This basically rules out Christian, Ziggler or anyone else not on the show already, doesn't it?
Jericho with the mic. And its..........Edge explaining why he got hurt.
Small pop for the video, more bad words for Edge and its.........
THE BIG SHOW???? OH COME ON! I don't mean to swear, but the fucking Big Show?
Seriously, who thinks this is a good idea? Anybody? Big Show hasn't had an entertaining match in five years. Jericho has been providing gold at every turn, and now he has this big lummox to deal with.
What does this achieve? What in the hell does it achieve? It makes matches worse; it lets down people expecting an exciting mystery partner; it drags Jericho down; it elevates no-one. Absolute bullshit.
Crowd are basically dead. Imagine how they would be if this was Christian.
A small chant for Y2J. He is the best heel in the business, and yet people are chanting for him. That's not because the rest are great heels, its that Jericho is the only one over.
This is a heel v heel match. I can't believe the amount of idiocy involved in this booking.
A couple of move notes - Legacy did the old Cade and Murdoch high-lo move, and Cody just broke out a gorgeous moonsault to a standing Jericho. And Teddy hit a powerslam, not as good as his old man's. And Cole called it a scoop slam. Because he is an idiot. Or because he told in his ear to be one.
I have to be fair, the crowd popped nicely for the finale. They got into to it as it went along. It wasn't a bad match by any means. But it will not be remembered for very long.
Top promo by Punk (except the single parent line, which was uncalled for). Remember the theory about the heel believing what he says, or at leats feeling it could be true. Everything Punk says could make sense. He delivers it tremendously. This is a proper heel turn. Don't turn on another midcarder no-one cares about, call the fans on their love for a top star. This live crowd will be hugely behind Hardy in the title match.
I wonder if they did that because Punk has been mega over in Philly before, and since they are a notoriously raucous crowd, his pious promo would turn them completely against him.
ECW now. This could be fun. Dreamer back in Philly, we could get quite the split crowd here.
OK, that was a pretty cool pop for Christian. Maybe he's the favourite.
I quite enjoyed that. Hard to get a face v face match going after a heel v heel one, but it was done reasonably. Crowd were slightly in favour of Christian, but it was tapered because of their liking for Dreamer.
As an aside, I really enjoy listening to Striker. He is a great analyst. He'll not go much highly up the ladder, because he isn't a big enough name, but he adds far more to an individual match than King does. Matt actually talks abouot why moves happen, and what effect they have. King can do this, because he used to. He should be allowed to do it more. I miss the (even vaguely) heel colour commentator.
Six pack challenge next. I wish they'd get Sean Waltman to at least make a cameo.
Swagger out first, followed by Carlito and a pretty decent reception for Miz, I think. I've predicted Kofi, but I'd love to see Miz win this by sneaky, foul means.
Primo out next, so he's replacing The Big Letdown. Then MVP and.........my TV has just gone black..........
Shit, I've just realised what I typed. I didn't mean that to sound bad. My TV genuinely lost signal, and came back just as Kofi entered the ring. Please don't think I've started talking like Bill Watts or something.
This one is like a TNA X-Div opener. You can decide for yourself if that is a positive.
Great exchange of nearfalls with Kofi, Carltio and Primo. Well deserved round of applause.
I quite enjoyed that. I always think each PPV should act like the old circus theory. You know, if you don't like the clown, you might like the juggler. (I don't mean 'insane clown' and 'juggalo') I mean that it might not all be for you, but something will be. And you need variety. Three hours of the same stuff gets boring. I see no problem with throwing out six guys and having some fun.
No-one looked weak. Swagger got some good dominant spots in. MVP build the crowd up some. Miz was sneaky. Carlito backstabbed his bro. Kofi looked athletic. All fine by me.
I am not a Michelle McCool fan. I was not looking forward to the McCool v Perez match.
But that opening spot was f'n awesome. Great stuff.
I tell you what, I'll give them credit for that. I enjoyed that match. It was way better than I expected - far exceeding my expectations. I didn't care for a touch of Melina overselling (noise) and then underselling (taking a DDT on the barricade then fighting back seconds later) but it was creative, it was intense, featured some innovative spots.
I am very pleased to be wrong. Very well done, ladies.
Favourite part of the match, though, was Todd forgetting the divas marketing slogan "Smart, sexy and.....whatever the other word is." Unintentionally hilarious - but I think he might get a little telling off for that.
Four matches, one title switch so far. How many more?
Triple threat next. Interesting positioning. Cole says it all started a few short weeks ago. No it didn't, it started years ago, and hasn't bloody changed. That's the problem.
I may sound like Mr Predictable, but I'm afraid I didn't care for most of that.
I'll start with some postives. I liked the opening where Cena and Triple H worked together to get to Orton. I liked the fact that they addressed the double tap-out and the ref didn;t know what to do. I like the creative RKO to finish.
I didn't like Orton winning but Triple H and Cena having claims at the title still - suggests we won't get rid of them yet.
I didn't like the double run in prompting a comment that it was no DQ. If it is no-DQ why don't they use low blows and weapons and all kinds of shit?
I didn't like the pace of the match. It was very slow, featured little or no creativity, and had the standard one man outside, two men in format.
I didn't like the hokey Cena fightback. That legdrop/leaping fameasser move is horrible.
I didn't like the length it was given to achieve very little indeed.
Apart from that it was fine.
Nice backstage seg with Maryse and Miz. I like the fact they are developing this relationship in a slightly different manner to the usual wrestling romances. Miz actually showed a small element of babyface in his comeback to the French Canadian. Maybe he'll start to court another diva, with Maryse getting jealous?
That would be title switch number two tonight, then, as The Divas Title joins the ECW Championship in jumping to the challenger.
Mickie James being champ is fine. I like Mickie, and I would like to see her be given enough time to work with Gail Kim. That would be great. Also a possibility that they may look at the stupidity of having two female titles and unify them, especially now that both champs have been Diva's and Women's champions, for what that is worth.
The match itself was ok. Maybe. It certainly wasn't as good as Michelle v Melina, which I'm surprised about, but I have to go with the evidence of my eyes. To me, this was the match the girls should be allowed to have on Raw from time to time rather than their crappy little three minute tag matches.
Really, really good match. Best on the show by a country mile, and without a doubt Ziggler's most impressive outing to date. It has to be. Massive credit to Mysterio, who is a terrific seller, especially given the fact that he cannot use facial expression to help him.
I thought the outcome was correct. Mysterio is over with the kids and having a belt helps his image. It also helps the IC strap, because it needs star power and stability. The result is also the right one, because it underlines my point that I made last month (about Miz and Cena) that you don't have win to be put over, and you don't always get over if you win.
Ziggler will have gone up in many folks (on sofas and backstage) estimations, and will come back again. Great job.
Interesting promo for the Tag Team DVD. Billy and Chuck getting a viewing was incredible, and interesting that Championship wrestling from Florida and WCCW got mentions, but ECW didn't. No Public Enemy?
One to go then, and just two title changes thus far. I think we'll get one here though.
Did JR just call Jeff Hardy a "High risk junkie"? Ouch. Shouldn't have said that, Jim.
Anyway, the aforementioned Jeffrey Nero Hardy is the World Champion. The ending was a little anti-climactic. I thought Punk deserved a little more than a rather limp finish where he was dragged back to the ring and beaten.
The match in general was good. It wasn't spectacular, but it was plenty solid, and I would suggest this issue may not be finished. I still spy a gimmick match blow off for these two at Summerslam.
Credit to Punk here, I think, for his facial expressions, really helping to convey emotions and his character. Credit also to the cameramen and directors for picking this up. Not easy, that.
Overall, that's an ok show. A couple of missteps, but mostly a parade of stuff which was a touch above average. Three title changes is a reasonable amount, and plenty of viewers, especially the young, will go home/switch off happy with Rey and Jeff picking up wins in the last two matches.
Monday, 27 July 2009