We start off with a look back at Hell in the Cell and Undertaker’s title win over CM Punk and move right to the opening titles. GM Teddy Long is in the ring, and he is happy to congratulate Taker. Jubilant, even. He pitches Bragging Rights and mentions the potential for John Cena to lose his title match and leave RAW. Teddy assures Cena he would be welcome on SmackDown, and that doesn’t make Punk happy. Out he limps to rebut. JR and Todd put over Punk’s PPV effort as valiant and almost successful. They are not burying him, no matter how his loss came about.
Punk says Teddy should focus instead on Punk and his guaranteed rematch for the title. He wants to be the number one contender, regardless of who he’s facing tonight (it’s Batista). He complains about moving from Taker in the cell to Batista within five days and declares he will make the title match on his terms at a time of his choosing. He wants a submission match with the same ref as the Montreal PPV, and he wants Teddy at ringside. Teddy objects, but here comes Vince.
Vince cues Teddy to introduce him properly, and Teddy obliges. Vince reminds him the probation lingers and claims Teddy was about to announce the title match at the next PPV: It’s a fatal fourway with Taker, Punk, Rey Mysterio, and Batista. Vince admonishes Teddy for continuing to antagonize Taker. Teddy and Punk are incredulous. Vince will take no more of your questions and introduces our first match tonight.
Rey Mysterio vs. unified tage champ Chris Jericho Yes, Mysterio is getting a tag title shot and a heavyweight title shot within a month of returning from his suspension. He’s Rey Rey. These guys can wrestle this match in their sleep, and despite how much I enjoy them working in singles matches and against each other, this is essentially the same match they’ve had since Jericho targeted Rey’s mask. And Jericho goes for it again, bless his heart. The same match formula is here again: Rey is an offensive engine, but Jericho is a counter specialist. Jericho targets the torso early with a standing suplex and a flapjack. He slides Rey outside for that now-standard ringside belly flop.
Rey fights out of a chinlock after the commercial and gets a two-count. They mess up an enziguri spot off the ropes, and Jericho drops Rey on them out of a suplex. He shoves Rey to the floor, brings him back in, and follows with a rotating slingshot splash. When Jericho goes for the mask, Rey counters with a senton and crossbody. The near-falls begin. Rey tries for the 619, and Jericho catches him for a Walls try. Rey rolls through for a pin attempt. Rey runs off the ropes right into the awesome Torture Rack backbreaker counter. Another 619 is countered, but Rey adjusts and tries for a springboard move. Jericho catches him again for a full-on Walls and sits down flush on Rey’s shoulder blades. Rey powers out and hits a head kick for the third 619 try. It hits, and a slingshot splash gets three. I take it back. I’d watch this every week.
Cryme Tyme’s Word Up segment today is for “Eve,” who is Exquisite, Vivacious, and Exiting because she has a match next. “The Notorious E.V.E” faces the womens’s champ.
Eve Torres vs. women’s champ Michelle McCool I’d say Michelle wins me over here, but I think instead I’m just not impressed with Melina’s constant screaming. Nothing special to start until Michelle uses a running knee, and JR smartly notes that her knee brace gives each move oomph. Indeed, McCool uses sharp kneedrops and a spinning legdrop to work over eve. A crossarm chinlock follows. Eve tries some dropkicks to set up a somersault senton. The handspring elbow fails, but she gets a quick two off a suplex block. Michelle has had enough and PLANTS Eve with a kick to the sternum to end it immediately. A nice power move to win it.
Vickie Guerrero and Eric Escrobar are canoodling on Teddy’s couch, and he’s not happy. “EXCUSE ME,” he says, and I applaud the continuity. Vickie complains that Eric isn’t wrestling tonight and defends Punk AND Taker from Long’s PPV plans. Teddy tries again to blame Vince, but Vickie cuts him off and mentions his probation with amusement. Eric rattles off some Spanish and goes Gomez Addams on Vickie’s arm. Teddy can’t win.
IC Champion John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler The story, rightfully, is whether Ziggler can get over the hump. Even though this is only his second match against Morrison for the title, he’s chased the IC belt for months now. The two trade mat wrestling counters to start – headlocks, armbars, etc. Ziggler is the first to throw a punch to gain control, but Morrison goes back to the simple headlock. That quickly changes to an inverted backbreaker into a side Russian followed by the breakdancing legdrop for two.
Maria runs out and grabs a folding chair to sit on and cheer on Dolph. Morrison uses the pivoting high kick, but Ziggler answers with a beefy bridging German for two. Stinger splash gets two. The screaming leaping elbow gets two, and Ziggler can’t put him away. He’s getting angry. A short-arm powerslam gets two. Morrison escapes a headlock with an Electric Chair and makes the comeback. Leg lariat and standing Shooting Star get two. He crossbodies Ziggler outside, and Dolph sets up Maria’s chair on the apron to use later. She grabs it to sit in, and Ziggler can’t find it when he senses he has a chance to use it. He’s stunned Maria has taken it and walks into a Flying Chuck. Morrison pins and gets three. Maria tries to comfort her man. Guess it wasn’t sabotage.
A new video package for Taker extends across his career against big names: Hogan(twice), Sid, Rock, Brock, Austin, Edge, and Punk. Hey, I always forget about his Big Red era. We hear Gorilla and the Brain calling matches, and that’s a nice surprise. “He will hear your cry,” the voiceover says, ”and he will save you.” And you’re thinking exactly the same thing I am when you hear that.
After the break, a frustrated Ziggler breaks up with Maria backstage. He sees a bright future in his professional life, but he doesn’t see her in his personal life. Will Melina say she told her so?
Rey and Batista joke about winning the big belt at Bragging Rights and affirm their friendship. Rey feels bad for losing the tag match Sunday, but Batista dismisses it. Fight as a team, lose as a team. That’s nice. Still, it feels like an insta-fued is bubbling.
R-Truth/Matt Hardy vs. Kane/Drew McIntyre Truth calls out to the Trenton crowd, and now I know where they’re at tonight. JR mentions that the faces are both Tarheels. JR notes that the heels shouldn’t work well together but do because virtually every tag is a blind tag timed properly. Matt works Drew’s arm nicely, but it leads nowhere. Kane takes over with a McCool-esque boot. It’s by the numbers until Matt eats the Drew sitout DDT for the pin. Nothing fancy here, and JR suggests the Kane/Drew team may continue.
New champ Undertaker is in the ring to follow up on the video segment, but, honestly, he’s all over the place. We’re talking Steiner-level gibberish here. He namechecks his Bragging Rights opponents and promises to come out on top, and they will rest. in. peace.
Batista vs. the only former straight edge champion in WWE history CM Punk Punk is hobbled and starts off by repeatedly antagonizing Dave and taking a powder. The announcers are still putting over Punk as a credible opponent, especially for Taker. Batista clobbers Punk in the corner until the latter again goes outside to regroup. JR makes a distinction between being injured and being sore, and it’s a good point. Punk stunguns him and tries a springboard clothesline, but Dave kicks him down for a Bomb. Punk escapes to ringside once more.
Batista’s tossing Punk around when we come back from the break. Punk tries a high kick, and Dave blocks to apply the ankle lock. Punk goes out AGAIN. Batista chases back in and is met with a kick and a flying knee. Elbow shots and a nice leaping legdrop follow. Punk targets the head with a chinlock and then the figure-four headlock, and again JR puts over Punk’s strategy. Eventually this will stop surprising me. Batista pops up with a Bossman slam and works him over in the corner. Oklahoma slam comes next for two.
Punk hits the running turnbuckle knee but can’t go to the bulldog. A second try is turned into a spinebuster, and Punk goes out and under the ring. Batista drags him out and tries for a ringside Bomb. Punk grabs the ropes, kicks Batista off, and slides in to before the ten-count. Batista has lost and gives us his secondary finisher, the I Can’t Believe I Lost face. Punk is all smiles. Batista leaps in and Bombs him down for the moral conquest. And that's the show.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
Originally posted by Big BadWow, that Undertaker title win over Austin occurred at Over the Edge '99, a.k.a. the event where Owen Hart died. Is this the first time any footage from that show has been the light of day?
Considering that PPV was NEVER released in any form via the company. I know its bootlegged almost by anyone and everyone but my guess is your probably right.
Unless someone has paid better attention than the both of us. Leads me to believe that other have considering I'm hit a miss on some shows as the weeks progress through the year(s).
The "Octuple Title" was called the J*Crown, actually. It was decided in an 8 man tournament by New Japan Pro Wrestling among the Japanese Jr. Heavyweight Champions and won by The Great Sasuke on 8/5/96. The belts were: IWGP Jr.