Matt Hardy (c) def. Mark Henry by pinfall for the ECW Championship
Hardy spent much of his offense working on Henry's leg, which paid off on two occasions for him. After a big splash, Henry's knee hurt and he was slow to make the cover, and at the end of the match, Hardy was able to counter the World's Strongest Slam by hitting the leg and turning it into a Twist of Fate. Decent enough match. Matt Striker was absent for some reason, leaving Jerry Lawler to call the match with Todd Grisham.
Beth Phoenix (c) def. Candice Michelle by pinfall for the WWE Women's Championship
Some miscommunication between Beth and Santino gave Candice an opening, but Beth was able to kick out. She reversed the Candy Wrapper into a Glam Slam for the win. Candice showed less ring rust than she had on her TV appearances.
Rey Mysterio def. Kane by disqualification in a Mask vs. Nothing match
Rey looked to hurt his knee on a bad exchange off the ropes towards the end of his match, but he was able to resume flying around soon after. When he tried coming off the top to the outside on Kane, Kane clocked him with a steel chair for the DQ.
At this point, MVP tried to talk to Vickie Guerrero about his mistreatment on Smackdown, but Big Show ran him off. As a result, he went to the ring to complain publicly. His diatribe was interrupted by Randy Orton, who berated MVP. MVP said that as a Smackdown superstar, he wasn't bound by Mike Adamle's decree of a suspension for hitting Orton, but Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes and Manu interrupted before MVP could get physical.
They told MVP not to let Orton get to them, because he's all talk and no action due to his injury. They talked about Punk and the punt on him briefly, and Orton said he wouldn't respect the Priceless trio until they accomplished half of what he's done. Orton backed off and left afterwards. MVP thanked the second-generation guys for coming out and said if he went to Raw, he'd like to team with them, but they chewed him out for not having a wrestling bloodline like they did. MVP backed out soon after, but met CM Punk and Kofi Kingston on the ramp. They had a powwow and agreed to rush the ring together, but Punk and Kofi came up short, leaving MVP to slide in alone and be triple-teamed. After he was thrown out of the ring, they finally charged themselves and cleaned house.
Batista def. JBL by pinfall in a #1 Contender's Match
Match was pretty one-sided. JBL got a couple of moves in here and there, but Batista dominated and hit the Batista Bomb for the win.
JBL got the mic afterwards and said his heart wasn't in the match, due to the financial collapse. He proceeded to praise the fans and thank them for signing the 700 billion dollar bailout to help give him his money back in a funny promo. Cryme Tyme wasn't amused and stole his limo backstage, taking the Divas (and Sgt. Slaughter?) out to party.
Big Show def. Undertaker by knockout
Slow match, as might be expected between these two. End came when Big Show removed the turnbuckle cover behind the referee's back, then slammed Undertaker into it. Three big punches followed before the referee deemed Undertaker unable to continue and called for the bell.
Triple H (c) def. Jeff Hardy by pinfall for the WWE Championship
Good match, bad ending. After Jeff countered the Pedigree and hit the Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb, Triple H still had the presence of mind to turn Jeff's cover into a rollup to steal the win. I know, I know, I should move beyond the HHHate, but sometimes he makes it hard. Everything before that was very good, though.
Chris Jericho (c) def. Shawn Michaels in a Ladder Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Jericho was busted open early by a see-saw spot similar to the one that destroyed Joey Mercury's face a couple of years ago. At the end of the match, we were able to see that he lost most of a tooth to the ladder. The match was good, with a couple of new ladder attacks, as is always the case in a ladder match. Lance Cade interfered at the end to prevent Shawn from winning, and the match finally culminated in a tug of war at the top of the ladder, with Jericho and Michaels each having one end of the belt's strap. Michaels tugged Jericho a little too hard and Jericho headbutted him, causing Michaels to fall off the ladder and allowing Jericho to win. This is the second time now in Jericho's month-long reign that an 'accidental' headbutt has given him the win in a title match. Coincidence? ...yeah, probably.
Overall, it was a good show. The two promo segments were entertaining, and the title matches delivered.
I thought this was a great show. Triple H's best match in exactly a year, and the best possible way for him to win since he gave Jeff everything and snuck one over right before he was going to lose. The ladder match was brutal -- Jericho lost a tooth and took the timberrrrr bump with nothing to break his fall. Even Taker/Show, Rey/Kane, and MH/MH delivered.
So the Undertaker, a man whose gimmick is sitting up after taking tremendous damage, is beaten by a ref stoppage? Uh....
“How is it that I am a good actor? What I do is I... pretend to be the person I’m portraying. You’re confused. Case in point: in Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson comes to me and says ‘I would like you to be Gandalf the Wizard,’ and I said ‘You are aware that I am not really a wizard?’ and Peter Jackson said ‘I would like you to use your acting skills to portray a wizard for the duration of the show.’ So I said ‘Okay’ and then I said to myself ‘Mmm.. How do I do that?’ And this is what I did: I imagined that I was a wizard, and then I pretended, and acted, in that way on the stage. How did I know what to say? The words were written down for me in a script. How did I know where to stand? People told me where to stand." -- Sir Ian McKellen, Extras
Good PPV, not great. This was the first one I've watched live since WM 24, and only cause a friend wanted to show off his new HD and the cost was split between 4 of us.
The Hardy/Henry match was a fine opener, not great(it is a Mark Henry match)but pretty decent action.
Candice/Beth was a bathroom break for me. Candice is awful in the ring, and she is not over at all.
Ray/Kane was decent but had a lame ending.
They could have at least had an impromptu match with MVP/Kofi/Punk against Priceless. As it was it just seemed like filler and would have been better suited on Raw. It's sad they couldn't find time for matches with Kendrick/Benjamin/Punk/Kofi/Bourne/M&M/Cryme Tyme/etc. on this PPV but could do this and the pointless JBL promo.
JBL/Batista was a squash which I enjoyed as I dislike JBL, but the post match promo and Cryme Tyme shenanigans weren't necessary. The Sgt. Slaughter appearance did get a good WTF laugh out of us.
I don't get the positive reaction to the Show/Taker match I've seen on some reviews. I thought it was slow and boring. I still see it leading to a Survivor Series team match, with Taker or Vickie leaving being the stip. I'd be happy to see MVP turn face by joining Takers' team.
I'm not a big Hardy fan, and I'm pretty neutral on HHH. The match was really good back and forth stuff with both men bringing it. However, that ending was complete shit. I would have been fine with HHH getting the win off of a pinfall reversal sequence ala Bret/Perfect at Summerslam. Thing was, HHH took BOTH of Jeffs' finishers and then reversed the pinfall after a 1 count. If it was a heel that took the TwistOFate/Swanton combo, he'd be out cold for 5 minutes,but Trips just shrugged it off.
Main-event was fantastic, with only the Cade interference docking it. Lots of old and new spots and great back and forth action. Someone give Jericho a raise for that fall to the floor. The tug of war at the end was truly dramatic, as you felt it could go either way. Loved that they played off the ending of the Punk/Jerich cage match with Jericho winning off a accidental headbutt.
I don't think HHH made Hardy look weak seeing as how his Pedigree got reversed and Jeff hit the Swanton. His only resort was to roll him up and get a quick win. He could of kicked out and pedigreed him dead but he used a quick push last resort and looked exhausted after it. Compare this HHH v. Hardy win to other matches they've had. Wasn't Jeff the only person HHH ever beat with a lame sleeper hold? Or how about when Jeff won the Intercontinental Championship from Trips on Smackdown (via Matt Hardy interference) only to lose it back to him the following Monday in a squash match? No sympathy for the Devil it seems.
I wanna like Cryme Tyme but these "rob from the convenient" segments got old months ago. I did like JBL's promo about the bailout even though it was pointless after the squash match.
The ladder match freaked me out. The spot with Shawn getting the ladder rungs slammed on his head. Jericho being thrown knee first into the ladder in the corner. Then the fall from the top of the ladder to the floor unprotected. Couldn't Cade have caught him? Let Cade take the brunt of that as Jericho is way to valuable. Looked morbidly awesome though as I wouldn't be suprised if that really injured him.
I thought it was odd the way they just left the Kane vs Rey Rey result just kind of hanging there. Only one replay of the homerun swing that killed Rey? Rey wasn't wearing much of his mask at the end of that match either.
Jericho had to be crapping himself when the tilt the ladder spot with Michaels pinned underneath was unfolding. I can't imagine what a slow bump like that must feel like BEFORE it actually happens. I feared the worst when that one was unfolding.
The tug of war spot at the end was a lot of fun too, I'm slightly amazed Jericho was able to hang on with one hand and lean back without slipping up on his grip.
Here's my take on the guys who were released (special attention to Raven at the end). JC: He was a guy who was never really over, even as the top guy in ECW. The best he could have hoped for is jobber status in the WWE, and that's exactly what he got....