We begin with Undertaker's music and entrance, and oh how I wish this was Punk in costume. Nope, it's the real deal, and he demands Punk personally hand over his soul. The Hell's Gate will get him but good. The crowd died down pretty quickly once the lights came back up. Punk interrupts to say that he ain't scared, and he's stronger than the Hogans, Flairs, and Shawn Michaelseseseses that Taker has defeated. The chemically altered fans will have no choice but to say "just say no." Taker rebuts and affirms the fans will say "rest in peace."
Punk presented himself with confidence and calm, and Taker did not regard him as an easy win. I was worried about that with the smaller champ defending against the Phenom.
Final vs. Mike Knox - Belfast Brawl It's no-DQ and nondescript. The lone interesting moment comes when Finlay is thrown to the table in the corner, and it doesn't break. Finlay smacks Knox with the Shillelagh and gets the pin. A submission match between the two could have been fun. Before the match, Knox gave a small tidbit on lizard defenses against predators, and he's not quite successful at this cerebral-maniac business.
The Great Khali vs. David Hart Smith doesn't happen. Kane attacks before the bell. Khali hits the tree slam and leaves.
Michelle McCool and Layla suckered Dolph Ziggler into an incriminating photo, and they'll apparently use this to steal him away from Maria. This Ziggler appearance presents him much more as a face than his later one.
Unified tag champs Chris Jericho/Big Show vs. Cryme Tyme Distinguished by some new offense from JTG. He uses a front version of the Christian backbreaker and a running Overcastle on Jericho. Jericho takes control and tags in Show, and Show's entrances into the matches now have that feeling of doom for the face-in-peril. Gaspar tags in and takes Show outside. JTG and Jericho trade reversals inside. Jericho sends JTG to the ropes, and JTG skins the cat to dropkick Jericho down. He starts to pull himself inside when Show CLOCKS him, and JTG is out. Jericho pins.
IC champ John Morrison vs. Charlie Haas Haas is almost unrecognizable in his long black tights and thicker build. He does some textbook work on Morrison's arm including a gorgeous roll-over armbar and a DDT armbreaker. He makes an error in the corner and eats a Starship Pain for the loss. Morrison plays a video package of last week to thank Rey Mysterio and offer him a rematch anytime. Ziggler, offended, enters to rebut, but Morrison quickly dubs him Mister Ziggles, and the crowd is quickly chanting the insult. The Lovely Mrs. Tracker is crying from laughter. Ziggler won't take Morrison's offer for a match right now, saying he'll challenge on his terms. And now he's a full weasel heel again. His backstage skits don't match his in-ring behavior.
Layla w/ women's champ Michelle McCool vs. Melina Quick and dirty as McCool pops Melina in the ribs, and Layla pins her.
Big Boss Vince McMahon reminds GM Teddy Long he's on probation. Teddy promises a big surprise next week on SmackDown, and Vince demands it be better than good.
Matt Hardy tells Josh Grisham that his submission match against Punk will foreshadow his defeat against the Taker. Wait, Matt has a submission move?
Later, R-Truth wants Teddy to give him a face-to-face fight with Drew McIntyre but can't finish his catchphrase and Drew decks him with authority. I like this push.
Straight-Edge Heavyweight Champion CM Punk vs. Matt Hardy - Submission Match Matt hits consecutive neckbreakers to target the neck and then uses a jaw-dropping octopus variant where he applies a reverse full-nelson and then leg-wraps a standing Punk. That should have been saved for the false finish as nothing else Hardy does after can live up to it. Punk works Hardy's neck and arm, including a falling knee to the back of Hardy's head (the move the cost Haas his match earlier). Matt blocks the G2S and applies a figure four on the raised knee. Punk fights out and applies the Anaconda Vice. Hardy does the smart thing by reaching for Punk's eyes but quickly taps. I missed that move.
Punk celebrates with his belt. Taker's music hits, and the lights go down. When they're back up, Taker stands on the stage with Punk's belt, and there's your PPV sales pitch.
I forgot the f'ing logo again.
(edited by Matt Tracker on 12.9.09 1234) "To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
I have been an Undertaker mark for 19 years. I've been a CM Punk mark for, what, 7 weeks? I cannot believe I'm rooting for Punk to win at Breaking Point. I don't believe he will, but by God, I will be cheering him on to make my beloved Deadman tap. If he does, my head might explode.
Because of the company's new pay per view concepts, poor Punk has found himself in a feud with the Undertaker, one of the pillars of WWE and probably the most indomitable force on the roster, whom he's never wrestled before, and he's got him in a submission match with a follow up in a Hell in a Cell. That's a tough road to hoe. And Punk probably isn't up to it. But whatever, even if he loses on Sunday, he has a couple of weeks to find some friends to help him survive the Hell in a Cell next month and get his belt back.
Also, I love that Taker dug out his old 1997 goth leather coat out of the casket. The hat/coat Old West getup was way past boring. I wish he'd go full on Lord of Darkness and wear the cult leader robe again.
Drew McIntyre is a guy who's been doing what I've wanted to do to R-Truth for weeks now. I love this guy already and I've never even seen him wrestle.
The Ziggler/Morrison exchange was 100% pure indy and it was awesome.
I'm now convinced that CM Punk is going to defeat the Undertaker. After all, Matt Hardy has two victories of the Undertaker but is unable to defeat CM Punk.
Finley cracking Knox with the shillelagh while Knox was in midair for the Knox Block was pretty awesome. I thought for a moment that they were actually going to go with a double knockout finish, which I would have been all for. I'd love to see these two go at it in a Hell in the Cell match, which conveniently is the next PPV, so they won't have to "waste" it on a midcard feud.
I didn't tape this show but I watched it on YouTube. (Shhh, don't tell WWE you can do that!) I also caught a glimpse of their broadcast card, which I'm sharing with you here just 'cause I think it's interesting. This looked to have come from an Australian feed, judging by all the graphics for the big tour of August, 2010 (tickets available in November!) and if I had to bet, I'd say it actually aired earlier than 9/11 because I'm pretty sure it airs before Fridays down there.
So we can see that it really WAS #525 (even if I can't get Matt to put an episode number in his thread titles, hint hint), and it turns out they title all their episodes, too, although unless you happen to see this card you won't know what they've called it. As you can see above, this one was called "Everyone Submits to the Grave." This ends this episode of "things possibly only I find interesting."