Show starts with CM Punk coming to the ring. Seems the fans aren't pleased with him being champ, boo hoo. Punk says there's some form of controversy from his match at the Bash, and he's tired of it. People say he intentionally hit the ref, so he's there to show the world what happened. A highlight video plays.Punk was almost robbed of the title, the rules still mean something to him, Punk is a man of honour, he has intergrity, and doesn't take shortcuts. Punk then says that there's no excuse for Hardy's actions after the match. He then wants an apology from Hardy. Teddy Long comes to the ring instead...Long says it was a classic match (true) and he doesn't want it to end that way. So: rematch at Night of Champions. Sweet! Long then books CM Punk and Jeff Hardy vs. the Y2J and Edge
Enter Hardy: he doesn't want excuses. Punk knew he was punting the referee and that he should shut up. Hardy can see through him. Push comes to shove between them and it was quickly broken up by Long. Punk says he had to forfeit his match at Superstars because of his eye but he won't do that tonight. Punk then eggs Hardy to punch him but eggs him futher by saying JUST SAY NO.
Match 1: Finlay d. Ricky Ortiz (remember him?) via Celtic Cross. Fun exchange between them with Ortiz asking Finlay if he's upset that Hornswaggle is on Raw. He then suggests releasing the negative energy, and then hands him a Ricky O'Rally towel. Hey, Ricky, that was a while ago! ANyhow, FInlay slugs him and the match is on. Fun match, but too short.
Backstage, Dolp Ziggler is backstage, stretching. He sees Maria and introduces himself. Aparently they went out last night because "she had fun last night" or something. Maria wishes him luck and Dolph suggests he might get lucky tonight. Hold on, is Dolph a face now?
Match 2: Dolph Ziggler d. R Truth via (what looks like) a russian legsweep of sorts. Ziggler was funny at the start, asking R Truth "what's up?" after a kick and punch. Decent match between these two, but I gotta wonder...what happened to R Truth's supposed push?
Backstage: Word Up with Cryme Time returns. This week's word: WANKSTA. Backstage shenanigans occur with Layla, Jimmy Wang Yang, and Jesse. I fast forwarded through it.
Match 3: Kane d. Rey Mysterio after Kane reversed Rey's springboard splash into a chokeslam in a very cool move. Kane and Rey are fun to watch together. After the match, The Great Khali comes down to the ring with a chair, and Kane runs into the crowd to escape. Good idea.
Backstage: Edge and Chris Jericho are with Josh Matthews: Chris was happy to see Rey (the ultimate hypocrite?) fall to Kane, and will win the title back, becoming the ten time champion. Edge says tonight isn't about Rey Mysterio, it's about defeating CM Punk and Jeff Hardy. Edge calls Punk a liar. THey'll beat the man with the injured eye and the silly face paint and show who's the best.
Match 4: Cryme Tyme d. the Hart Dynasty. What? The end came when the referee was distracted, so Cryme Time capitalized. What? Come on, the Harts deserve better than that....but if it leads to a longer program, hopefully with the tag championships involved, then I guess I'm okay with it.
Raw Rebound. Yawn.
Match 5: Maria and Melina d. Michelle McCool and Layla by way of a Melina legdrop. Standard diva fare here.
Smack of the night: Morrison beating Punk last night in a kickass match.
Backstage: Morrison is in Teddy Long's office: he suggests to face the winner of Punk/Hardy at Night of Champions. They then do some Michael Jackson karaoke. Uhhhh....I don't know what to make of it, except that if it were anyone else, it'd really suck.
Match 6: Edge and Chris Jericho d. CM PUnk and Jeff Hardy: CM Punk gave Jericho a GTS but then walked into an Edge spear for the pin. FUnny bit during the match sees Punk try to make a hot tag to Hardy, but Hardy gets a sudden "eye injury". Edge and Jericho have great chemistry in the ring.
All in all, a great show. Six matches, seriously...I can't wait to see what comes of Diggler/Khali/Kane - that's a fun angle. CM Punk's making the slow descent into heeldom (and doing really, really well) and well...the show flowed really well.
We don't have a Superstars report here, do we? During the SuperStars taping portion of the live show, we had a match with CM Punk vs. Edge. Punk initially came out getting pretty much his usual face pop. However he was still selling the eye injury room the PPV. They got a little ways into their match, & Punk started complaining bitterly about his eye. Audience can see that this is clearly nonsense, & Punk is roundly boo'd. He then tells the ref that he can't continue. Edge wins by forfeit. All this gets Punk some substantial heel heat. (And coincidentally gets Edge some face response that he wasn't actually looking for.)
So that's the mindset in the crowd when Punk comes out on SmackDown. With his eye apparently miraculously better in under an hour of crowd realtime. So the audience boos had a bit of additional impetus even before his promo.
I think it's not so much that R-Truth's push has fallen off as it it that they're pushing Dolph more as well. (Turns out he's actually starting to grow on me.) R-Truth gets a big crowd response with the whole "What's up" entrance & exit, & he's a solid worker -- I'd say he's generally doing fine for himself.
We didn't have the "Word Up with Cryme Time" segment in the arena. Interesting. Although now that they're doing ECW, & contributions to SuperStars & SmackDown all in one sitting, they're not wasting much time during the live show. They're no longer leaving space for the commercial breaks & doing some of the filler crap that they used to. This is actually a very good thing, & gives the live audience a lot more wrestling!
Of all the "big guy beats up Rey" matches, Kane & Rey is about the only one I enjoy. I don't know how they mesh so well, but they always do.
I liked the Teddy / Morrison tribute to Michael Jackson. Funny.
There were several times when Jeff went to tag in Punk, & Punk chose that particular moment to have eye trouble. When Hardy had his "eye problem" -- & absolutely flung himself off the edge of the ring in distress :-) -- Punk didn't get much sympathy.
After-show treat for the live audience: Edge & Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio. Very short, but basically an excuse for the faces to hit a couple of top-rope finishers on the heels to leave the crowd happy.
Fun show, even though I wasn't in the best of seats.
Here's my take. Finishers are perfectly fine to be kicked out of. As long as the match has told the story leading up to it. Austin/Rock I was a long feud that was basically, what, almost a half years worth of buildup?