Reviews

WWE Night of Champions 2009 Review

wwe night of champions 2009 poster

The WWE Night of Champions 2009 pay-per-view was the third year where WWE decided to put every championship on the line during a PPV event.

In 2009, every championship on the line meant eight title matches including the ECW Title, two different women’s titles and two major WWE “World” Titles as well.

This show followed The Bash 2009 and led into SummerSlam 2009.

Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:

“Every Championship is on the line as Jeff Hardy and CM Punk battle for the World Heavyweight Title. A Triple Threat Match for WWE Championship pits Randy Orton against John Cena and Triple H. Rey Mysterio defends the Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler. Plus, five more championship matches.” PG (V)

The DVD looked like this.

WWE Night of Champions
From Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 26, 2009

The opening video package focused on the importance of being a champion and highlighted the key feuds on the show.

The pyro went off in the building and it looked like a sold out crowd with 17,774 fans as announced by Michael Cole. Remember that WWE usually inflates attendance figures.

The Unified Tag Team Titles were up first. Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler called the first match. The Legacy duo of Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase were the challengers. Chris Jericho was one half of the Unified Tag Team Champions that was from Smackdown and at this point, he carried out two titles since they had the Raw/Smackdown Titles unified.

Chris Jericho did a pre-match promo. Jericho said before he introduces his partner, a video was shown of Edge rehabbing from a Torn Achilles Tendon injury on his left foot. They showed a video of Edge undergoing surgery with Edge saying he’ll do everything in his power to get back and become champion. Edge said he didn’t need anyone or Chris Jericho to attack his character or durability or accomplishments in WWE. Edge said he’ll use that as motivation in his recovery. Edge said when he comes back, he will prove Chris Jericho and everyone else wrong.

Analysis: Edge ended up missing nearly seven months, came back as a surprise at the 2010 Royal Rumble and won the Rumble that year. He feuded with Chris Jericho after that.

Chris Jericho saying he was wrong to choose Edge as a tag team partner. Jericho ripped on Edge for being weak, injury-prone and selfish while not thinking about Jericho, who is now without a partner. Jericho said now he has a partner that is worthy of a man that can stand by Jericho in this ring. Jericho introduced his partner…his name is…WELL IT’S A BIG SHOW!

Big Show walked out with his two titles as one-half of the Unified Tag Team Champions.

Analysis: In my Raw reviews at the time, I immediately started calling them Jerishow as the team name. A few months later, WWE started calling them that (spelling it as Jeri-Show). People said they stole it from me, but really, I mean I didn’t come up with an innovative name. It was just a matter of combining their names. Pretty simple.

Unified Tag Team Championships: Chris Jericho & Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase

Pre-match notes: Both teams were heels.

Show tossed Cody across the ring easily. Cody managed to get some offense after a choke against the ropes. Dibiase tagged in only for Show to run him over with a shoulder tackle. Jericho tagged in with Show whipping Jericho into the corner for a splash followed by a back elbow. Show back in with a headbutt on Dibiase. Jericho tagged in leading to Show slamming Jericho on Dibiase. Jericho got a rollup on Rhodes for two. The referee was looking at Show, so Dibiase pulled the rope down and Jericho bumped to the floor. Dibiase and Rhodes hit a high/low double team move. Cody stomped on Jericho in the corner leading to Cody applying a chinlock. Jericho went for a sunset flip, Cody got out of that and drove Jericho into the turnbuckle. Cody was choking Jericho against the rope without the referee seeing it. Dibiase prevented Jericho from tagging out and drove Jericho back into the turnbuckle. Jericho avoided a corner charge, Cody with a boot to the face and Cody jumped off the top with a moonsault press onto a standing Jericho for a two count. Jericho hit an enziguri kick on Cody, Dibiase back in and Jericho couldn’t tag out yet because Dibiase hit a clothesline. Dibiase caught Jericho with a powerslam. Jericho tried a Walls of Jericho submission, Dibiase got out of it initially and then Jericho applied it successfully. Cody distracted Big Show, who was told to stand back by the referee and Cody hit a DDT on Jericho for two. Dibiase sent Jericho into the ropes, Show tagged in and Dibiase hit a dropkick on Jericho. The crowd popped for Show tagging in, Jericho pulled Cody out of the ring and Show hit a Spear on Show, but Cody made the save. Cody dropkicked Show, Dibiase with a kick to Show’s knee and Jericho hit a Codebreaker on Dibiase while the referee was looking at Cody on the other side of the ring. Show applied the Colossal Clutch (an aggressive chinlock) on Dibiase for the tapout win. It went 9:32.

Winners by pinfall: Chris Jericho & Big Show

Analysis: **1/4 A decent match between two heel teams, so the crowd didn’t care that much although they cheered more for Jericho/Show since they were the bigger stars. Jericho and Show worked more like faces to try to set up a big moment when Show tagged into the match. There were a lot of cheating moments in the match by Dibiase and Rhodes, but in the end, Jericho hit the cheap Codebreaker not seen by the referee. That’s what ended the match.

CM Punk was interviewed backstage by Josh Mathews, who noted that Jeff Hardy claimed that Punk forgot who he was. Punk wondered if the audience was still behind Jeff Hardy and the fans cheered. Punk walked through the curtain into the back part of the arena. Punk said that they support a man that can’t even support himself? The fans cheered. Punk wanted people to stand and make some noise if you support Jeff Hardy. Punk said he didn’t blame anybody for supporting Jeff Hardy while adding that the people he blames are parents or parent because it’s obviously a single-parent situation just like the way Jeff Hardy grew up. Punk said that this doesn’t make you a good parent, it makes you an enabler. Punk doesn’t blame anybody under 17 that supports Jeff Hardy because they’re impressionable. Punk blamed the parents for not teaching the kids the right way to love. Punk ripped on people smoking cigarettes, drinking beer, having Jack Daniels and then marijuana (big cheers). Punk said he was telling the truth. Punk said that what comes next is stealing mom’s prescription because they’re addicted to drugs. Punk said for weeks he’s been saying “just say no” and Punk said we should say “yes” to a straight edge future of a drug-free America. Punk wanted them to say “yes” to the winner of tonight’s match, the World Heavyweight Champion. Punk held up his title.

Analysis: It was the early part of Punk’s 2009 heel run where he would rip on the fans a lot and brag about how he was better than them. It certainly worked with this crowd because Punk got a lot of heat and the fans were clearly supportive of Jeff Hardy going into their match later in the show.

There was a “Don’t Try This At Home” video that aired.

The lone ECW match was up next with the ECW Champion Tommy Dreamer in action. Josh Mathews and Matt Striker were the announcers. Christian got a good pop from the crowd.

ECW Championship: Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian

Pre-match notes: They were both faces. Dreamer won the title seven weeks earlier at Extreme Rules.

They touched knuckles as a sign of respect. Dreamer got in a slap to the face early on leading to Christian hitting a spin kick to the head. Christian went for boots to the face by the ropes, Dreamer blocked and Dreamer hit a neckbreaker. Christian came back with an uppercut off the ropes. Christian charged while Dreamer was on the apron, Christian sent Dreamer to the floor and a dropkick by Christian sent Dreamer into the commentary tables. Christian went for a springboard attack, but Dreamer moved. Dreamer hit a cannonball attack on Christian on the floor. Back in the ring, Dreamer hit a powerslam for two. Dreamer to the ropes, Christian with a punch and a pull off the ropes, so Dreamer took a back bump in the ring. Christian with a kick to the lower back. Christian went for a sleeper, but Dreamer countered that by dropping to his back to splash Christian onto the mat. Christian back up for a sleeper attempt again and Dreamer went running over the top rope to send both guys crashing to the floor. Back in the ring, Dreamer with a lifting slam that sent Christian into the mat. Dreamer with a corner dropkick. Christian went for a move, but Dreamer hit a spinebuster for a two count. Dreamer went for a slam, Christian slipped out and hit a reverse DDT. The crowd barely reacted as Christian hit a missile dropkick. Christian went for another dropkick, Dreamer caught him and Dreamer went for a Cloverleaf submission, but Christian got out of it. Dreamer with a catapult that sent Christian into the turnbuckle. Christian got a sunset flip for two and two more nearfalls after that. Christian with two boots to the face followed by Christian going up top to connect with a missile dropkick. They both got back up, Dreamer wanted a DDT, but Christian countered into a Killswitch for the pinfall win at 8:28.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW ECW Champion: Christian

Analysis: **1/2 A solid match between two veterans that built up well with nearfalls for both men until Christian found a way to put Dreamer away. It was a simple match between two babyfaces with the fans actually caring a bit by the end.

Christian celebrated with the ECW Championship. It was Christian’s second time winning that title. The reaction was okay, but not that loud at all. Dreamer and Christian hugged after the match.

Chris Jericho and Big Show were interviewed by Todd Grisham. Show said that they aren’t friends. This was just about business. Jericho put over Show as the biggest man in this business and they’ll be the most dominant team in history. Show said it’s about size, strength, agility, intelligence and there are about 40 championships between the two of them. Jericho: “Thank you Edge, for making all this possible.” Jericho laughed.

Analysis: They did have a long and dominant run as the Tag Team Champions. I remember some fun moments along the way.

There was a six-pack challenge for the US Title. Jack Swagger was first to boos, Carlito didn’t get much of a reaction as a heel, The Miz was also a heel, Primo didn’t get a reaction, MVP got a decent babyface pop and then the popular Kofi Kingston was last as the US Champion. It was noted that Primo replaced Big Show in this match.

United States Championship Six-Pack Challenge: Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger vs. Carlito vs. The Miz vs. Primo vs. Montel Vontavious Porter

Pre-match notes: Kofi Kingston was a babyface US Champion while MVP and Primo were also faces. The heels were Swagger, Carlito and Miz.

The first pinfall or submission wins the match.

There were a couple of quick pin attempts. Primo cashed after brother Carlito, but Miz hit Primo with a knee lift and neckbreaker. Carlito went for a springboard move on Kofi, who hit a back elbow at the same time, so they both rolled out of the ring. Primo with a headscissors on Swagger and then a cross body block on Miz for a two count. I think Swagger was supposed to break up the pin, but was too late and Miz had to kick out on his own. I’m not even sure if he did. Kofi with a headscissors on Primo right into a Gutwrench Powerbomb by Swagger for two with Carlito making the save. Swagger shoved Carlito over the top to the floor. MVP with a belly to belly suplex on Swagger across the ring. Swagger whipped MVP into the barricade. Carlito went up top and hit a somersault dive onto MVP on the floor. Kofi got some offense going with a missile dropkick and the Boom Drop leg drop for two. Miz with a clothesline on Kofi, then a corner clothesline on Swagger and Primo went after Miz against the turnbuckle. It was time for the Tower of Doom spot out of the corner with Swagger doing the Powerbomb while Kofi and Primo suplexed Miz. Carlito tried to pin guys involved in that. MVP with a necksnap on Carlito against the ropes. Miz sent MVP into the turnbuckle. Carlito and Primo hit a double cross body block as the brothers collided. Kofi jumped onto Swagger against the ropes, but Swagger caught him with a powerslam. MVP sent Miz over the top to the floor. MVP with a cross body block on Swagger over the top to the floor. Kofi battled Carlito a bit, Primo tried to pin brother Carlito and Kofi got a crucifix pin on Primo for two. Carlito wanted Primo to work with him, but Swagger hit them with a double clothesline. Swagger knocked Miz off the apron and a clothesline on Kofi. MVP drove Swagger’s face into the knee followed by the Ballin’ elbow drop. Miz hit a Playmaker on Swagger while Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on MVP for two as Carlito/Primo broke up the pin. Carlito with a Backstabber to Primo. Kofi went behind Carlito and hit a Trouble in Paradise kick to the back for the pinfall win at 8:35.

Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston

Analysis: ***1/4 A fast-paced match with a lot of action. The last few minutes were really good with a lot of nearfalls for different guys along with the story of Carlito/Primo working together until Carlito turned on his brother. That selfish act by Carlito allowed Kofi to capitalize with a Thunder in Paradise kick on Carlito for the pinfall win. I like how MVP, Swagger and Miz all looked like they had a shot to win too. It was an even match most of the way. In the end, the champ retained.

Randy Orton, the WWE Champion, was interviewed by Josh Mathews. Orton said that what happened with Ted and Cody was unfair. Orton said if this was singles competition, he would beat Triple H or John Cena. Orton said he’s counting on the egos of his two opponents to cancel eachother out. Orton said maybe one day the fans will stop disrespecting him or give him a standing ovation. Orton said he will remain your WWE Champion.

Michelle McCool made her entrance as the Women’s Champion. The Smackdown announcers Todd Grisham and Jim Ross were at ringside to call the action. Michelle beat Melina to win the Women’s Title at The Bash a few weeks later. Melina got a decent pop for her entrance. While Melina did the splits on the apron, Melina dropkicked her to the floor!

Women’s Championship: Michelle McCool vs. Melina

Pre-match notes: Michelle McCool was the heel while Melina was the face. I was referring to McCool as McTaker a lot in these days since it was known that she was dating The Undertaker. They got married a few years later.

The bell rang, Melina tackled McCool and was aggressive with punches. Melina with a dropkick, headscissors and a spinning heel kick. Melina kicked McCool into the ropes, McCool avoided a charge and Melina went crashing to the floor. McCool with a knee against the barricade. McCool with a half crab wrenching back on Melina’s leg. McCool shoved Melina off the apron to the floor. McCool went for a kick on the floor, Melina moved and McCool hit the barricade. They were standing on the barricade with McCool hitting a DDT on the top of the barricade. When Melina was on the apron, she avoided a dropkick from McCool. Melina jumped off the apron with a hair whip takedown on the floor. Melina sent McCool into the ropes leading to Melina hitting two knees into the back. Melina with a two knees to the ribs. Melina hit a spinning heel kick on McCool for two. McCool came back with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Melina kicked McCool down and did a Thesz Press off the ropes for two. McCool countered a pin attempt with a pin of her own using her whole body to hold Melina down. It went 6:12.

Winner by pinfall: Michelle McCool

Analysis: **1/4 They did a good job of showing aggressiveness and making it feel like a fight. Unfortunately for the ladies, the crowd was dead quiet for a lot of the match. The finish also fell flat because I doubt most people assumed McCool was going to win with a rollup like that, but Melina failed to kick out, so that was it. McCool just won the title at the last PPV, so it was obvious she would retain in the rematch against the former champion.

John Cena was shown getting ready for the WWE Championship match up next.

The video package aired for the WWE Championship between champion Randy Orton, John Cena and Triple H.

Analysis: Randy Orton feuded with both guys for so many years. Cena and Triple H were in the finals of a tournament to earn a title shot when Legacy’s Dibiase and Rhodes attacked both guys. Orton thought that meant a double disqualification meaning he faces neither guy at Night of Champions, but Orton was wrong. The guest host Ted Dibiase Sr. said that Orton will defend the title against Cena and Triple H in a triple threat. It’s a booking move that WWE has done many times over the last two decades. They referenced the WrestleMania 24 triple threat over a year earlier that Orton won with Orton saying he would win again.

John Cena made his entrance to the loudest reaction of the night by far. A lot of cheers for Cena, but some boos as well. Cena was a five-time WWE Champion at this point. Triple H was next to a pretty good pop from the crowd and he was a 13-time WWE (or World) Champion going into this match. Randy Orton was booed as the heel WWE Champion. Cole tried to say their WM24 match was the main event and a great match, but it wasn’t on last. I thought the match was good, but not really great. The three guys stood in the ring for the championship introductions from Lillian Garcia. Orton was booed heavily.

WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Triple H

Pre-match notes: Randy Orton was the heel WWE Champion, Cena was a face and Triple H was also a face.

The rules for WWE triple threat matches is the first pinfall or submission in the ring wins the match. No countouts or disqualifications.

Orton bailed to the floor, so Cena and Hunter went after him. Back in the ring, Hunter with punches, Orton tried to leave and Cena hit a running clothesline on Orton on the floor. Hunter with a boot to Orton’s face and Cena hit a bulldog. There were more punches, so Orton left again. Cena with after Orton to knock him down and Hunter sent Orton into the barricade. Orton managed to get some offense going by knocking Cena off the apron onto Hunter on the floor. Orton worked over Cena with punches as well as stomps on the limbs. Cena came back with the shoulder tackles as well as the spinning slam. Cena connected with the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Cena wanted the Attitude Adjustment, but Hunter was back in and he threw Cena into the ring post. Orton hit Hunter with a clothesline. Orton with a dropkick for two. Orton with a chinlock leading to an exchange of punches and Orton hit a powerslam. Orton set up for a move, but Hunter hit him with a boot to the gut followed by a DDT. Cena got back into the picture by going up top and he jumped off with a leg drop. I think Cena barely touched Orton and didn’t touch Hunter, but they sold it anyway while the announcers claimed Cena hit them both (he did not). Orton back up with a backbreaker on Cena. Hunter wanted a Pedigree on Orton, but Orton hit a back body drop over the top to the floor. Cena and Hunter were both on the apron at the same time, so Orton teased a double DDT, but instead, Cena and Hunter backdropped Orton over the top to the floor.

Hunter and Cena faced off as they took their time to soak in some cheers from the crowd. Hunter and Cena exchanged punches with some “yay-boo” reactions from the crowd with the boos for Cena. Hunter won that punch battle, then Cena with two shoulder tackles and Hunter with a jumping knee. Hunter with a facebuster into the knee. Cena with the flipping neckbreaker. They each fought out of finisher attempts, Hunter shoved Cena into the ropes leading to a spinebuster. Cena hit a Pedigree on Cena, feet near the ropes and there was Orton to pull Hunter out of the ring. That was the first finisher of the match. Orton whipped Hunter into the steel steps. Orton cleared off an announce table and slammed Hunter onto it. Orton wanted an RKO, Hunter with a low blow and Hunter wanted a Pedigree, but Cena saved. Cena tossed Orton over the barricade into the crowd. Cena applied the STF on Cena on the announce table, but Orton was there with punches on Cena. Orton and Cena went into the ring where they exchanged punches leading to Orton bouncing off the ropes with a kick to the chest. Orton wanted the RKO, but Cena shoved Orton off. Cena set up Orton on the top turnbuckle, Hunter got involved and Hunter hit the turnbuckle, so Orton was crotched on the top rope. Cena applied the STF on Hunter in the middle of the ring with the crowd getting loud about it. Cena applied the STF again with Orton getting back on his feet. Orton went for The Punt, Cena avoided it and Cena got a rollup on Orton for two. Orton back up with a clothesline on Cena. Orton stomped and did knee drops on both guys for a couple of minutes. Orton missed a knee drop on Hunter, so Cena did a chop block to Orton’s leg and Hunter did a knee drop to Orton’s knee. Cena with a spinning slam on Orton, but then Hunter sent Cena out of the ring. Hunter applied a Sharpshooter on Orton and I think Hunter applied it well. Hunter dragged Orton to the middle of the ring. Cena back in with an STF on Orton at the same time as the Sharpshooter. Orton was tapping out. Referee Mike Chioda was about to ring the bell, but then he stopped due to both guys applying finishers at the same time. That led to Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase going into the ring to attack Cena and Hunter since Cody/Ted were part of Legacy with Orton. Cody checked on Cena, then he turned around, Cena lifted Cody and Orton hit an RKO on Cena with Cody on Cena’s back! That was great. Hunter was on the floor getting beat up by Dibiase, so Orton covered Cena for the one…two…three to win the match at 22:19.

Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton

Analysis: ***1/2 A pretty good match here by three guys that wrestled many times together. It wasn’t some classic triple threat like Cena was predicting before the match. I thought they did a nice job of setting up nearfalls after finishing moves as well as that spot where Orton was in the double submission, yet he found a way to leave with the title thanks to some help. A cheap win for a heel champion that should frustrate fans of Cena and Hunter while getting even more heat on Orton for the way he won the match. I’ll give them credit for the creative finish with the wrestlers playing their parts well for sure. What they were going for worked well.

Orton celebrated the WWE Title win with Rhodes and Dibiase. They showed replays of the key spots in the match. Hunter and Cena stared at Orton. They showed more replays.

Analysis: Cena earned another title shot on the next night’s Raw and Orton faced Cena one month later at SummerSlam. That match ended in controversy too.

Maryse was shown getting ready for her match when The Miz walked up to her. Miz flirted wit her, Maryse flirted back and stopped Miz from kissing her. Maryse said that Miz didn’t win the US Title and she didn’t want to be seen with a loser. Miz claimed he can get any girl he wants. Miz said he wasted his time with her and he got nothing from her last week. Miz called Maryse a tease that’s going to lose that championship, then she’ll beg to be with Miz, but it’ll be too late because she butchered it just like she butchers the English language when she opens her mouth. Ouch. Miz left while Maryse was confused.

Analysis: They were dating at the time. A few years after this, they got married. As I write this in 2021, they have a reality show and two young daughters together. Miz and Maryse are a great couple.

They showed the singer Chilli with her son at ringside. Chilli is from great women’s singing trio TLC. Don’t go chasing waterfalls, my friends.

Mickie James made her entrance as the energetic challenger that’s always been one of my favorites. They showed a clip from Raw when Maryse sprayed some perfume or hairspray into Mickie’s eyes during an interview segment.

Divas Championship: Maryse vs. Mickie James

Pre-match notes: Maryse was the heel Divas Champion on Raw. Mickie was the face challenger.

They did an aggressive lockup, then let go and Maryse shoved Mickie in the face. Mickie with a snapmare followed by a low dropkick. Mickie went for a move off the apron, but Maryse kicked her off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Maryse with a back elbow and a knee to the face. Maryse with a chinlock, Mickie fought out of that and Maryse dumped her out of the ring. Maryse had some perfume or hairspray that she used on Raw, but Mickie knocked Maryse out of the ring and Mickie was going to use it, but the referee stopped it. Mickie with a Thesz Press followed by punches. Mickie drove Maryse’s back into the apron. Mickie jumped off the top, Maryse moved and Maryse covered for a two count. Maryse applied a chinlock again. Mickie fought back with elbows, then picked up Maryse on her back and dropped back to the mat. They exchanged punches, then Mickie with a running forearm and two clotheslines that Maryse didn’t sell well. Mickie hit a neckbreaker for two. Mickie hit her patented headscissors out of the corner, Maryse sent Mickie into the ropes and a rollup got two for Maryse. Mickie to the turnbuckle, Maryse with a slam off the ropes. Maryse wanted her finishing DDT, but Mickie countered and hit the jumping Mick-DT for the pinfall win at 8:36.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Divas Champion: Mickie James

Analysis: * This was a poor match. The crowd wasn’t into it, Maryse seemed off for some of the spots and it just felt like a struggle to get going. Mickie usually had matches that were much better than this, but this was a struggle. It was so weird hearing a crowd so dead for a Mickie match too because she always could get the crowd going. These fans just didn’t care at all.

The win meant that Mickie joined Michelle McCool as the only women to win the Women’s Title and Divas Title in their careers. Mickie celebrated with the Divas Title.

Analysis: It was Mickie’s first and only time winning the Divas Championship. Maryse was dealing with a legitimate knee injury that led to her having surgery after this and she missed about four months of action.

Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase were interviewed by Josh Mathews. Ted reminded Josh that Randy Orton is still the WWE Champion while Cody mentioned that Triple H and John Cena lost. Cody said that step by step, they are cementing their legacy.

A video package aired for the Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio facing Dolph Ziggler, who was a rising star at the time.

Dolph Ziggler entered with Maria. I don’t remember that pairing lasting that long as an on-screen couple. It was a Smackdown match with JR saying it was Ziggler’s first opportunity to win the Intercontinental Title. Good reaction for Rey Mysterio, but again this crowd wasn’t very loud at this point in the show.

Intercontinental Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Maria)

Pre-match notes: Rey Mysterio was the babyface Intercontinental Champion while Ziggler was the heel.

Ziggler with a dropkick into a cover for two. Rey got a rollup for two. Ziggler got a shoulder tackle knockdown leading to a chinlock. Rey with a leapfrog, then a headscissors takedown, but then Ziggler got a hold of Rey and did a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle for a two count. Ziggler with a hard whip into the turnbuckle for two again. Rey went for a move off the ropes, Ziggler got a hold of him and Rey did a headscissors into the turnbuckle. Rey with a springboard senton followed by a leg drop off the ropes. Rey charged right into a powerslam from Ziggler for two. Ziggler with a waistlock, Rey ran to the ropes and Ziggler was sent to the floor. Rey hit a diving senton splash onto Ziggler on the floor. Back in the ring, Ziggler wanted a Powerbomb, but Rey did a headscissors into the ropes. Ziggler avoided a 619 kick and sent Rey under the bottom rope to the floor in a bump that Rey did many times in his career. Back in the ring, Ziggler got a two count.

Ziggler worked over Rey with a chinlock. Rey broke free with some elbows to the head, but Ziggler hit another powerslam for two. Ziggler applied a full nelson to ground Rey. When Rey broke free, he tried a forward roll, Dolph countered for two and Rey countered back for two. Rey countered a rollup attempt into a kick to the head for two. Dolph with jawbreaker-like move for a two count. Ziggler charged, Rey with a drop toe hold to send Ziggler into the turnbuckle and Rey charged leading to Dolph lifting him to the apron. Rey went up top, he jumped off with nothing as Ziggler hit a dropkick for a two count. Ziggler charged, Rey kicked the back of the leg and Ziggler went crashing into the turnbuckle. They battled on the turnbuckle with Ziggler lifting Rey up into a gutbuster (Dolph’s knee hitting the ribs) for a two count. Good nearfall that the fans reacted to well. Rey with a kick to the head leading to Ziggler going to the ropes and Rey hit the 619 kick. Rey hit the springboard splash off the top for the pinfall win at 14:20.

Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio

Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good match between two great athletes with Rey at his best while it was still early in Ziggler’s career. They didn’t work on body parts or anything like that. There were a lot of nearfall attempts, so that’s good. Ziggler was definitely on offense more than Rey to show that Dolph was aggressive, but Rey found a way to win. It wasn’t at the same level of great matches that Rey had with Chris Jericho in the months prior to this.

The video package aired between the World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk facing Jeff Hardy. This was a Smackdown feud. Punk faked an injury during their match at The Bash with Punk faking a left eye injury, so Punk kicked referee Scott Armstrong in the back to retain the title by disqualification. Punk claimed he didn’t take the cheap way out while Jeff had a hard time believing that. They did promos about how Punk was a straight edge and drug free while Jeff lived a different lifestyle, but the fans still liked the guy. The fans hated Punk for the way he said things and what he was saying, so it was easy for him to get heat.

CM Punk entered first as the World Heavyweight Champion with JR commenting that it was rare to see the champion going out there first. Jeff Hardy got a big ovation from the crowd as usual. Jeff was very popular at the time. They stood in the ring for championship introductions by ring announcer Justin Roberts with Hardy getting cheered loudly again while Punk was booed.

World Heavyweight Championship: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy

Pre-match notes: CM Punk was the heel World Champion while Jeff Hardy was the face.

They spent about a minute doing some moves in a feeling out process. Punk and Jeff each went for signature moves, but it didn’t work, and Jeff hit a clothesline. Jeff with shoulder tackles to the ribs. Punk got a sunset flip for a two count. Punk grabbed a chinlock, Jeff broke free with punches and Jeff ran the ropes with Punk avoiding a running attack, so Jeff bumped to the floor. Punk went for a suicide dive on the floor, but Jeff moved and Punk went diving into the barricade. Ouch. Back in the ring, Jeff with a neckbreaker. Jeff went up top, but Punk bailed to the floor. Jeff jumped off the top, Punk moved and Jeff jumped onto the barricade for a crash landing. That’s a classic Randy Savage spot. When Jeff got back in the ring, Punk worked him over with kicks to the back. Punk applied a bow-n-arrow submission with the knees to the back and when Jeff broke free, Punk kicked him in the ribs. Punk went for a suplex off the ropes, but Jeff countered with a front suplex off the middle ropes. Jeff with a neckbreaker, forearms, atomic drop, double leg drop and a low dropkick for two. Jeff went up top, but Punk shoved him, so Jeff collapsed to the mat.

Punk charged at Jeff with a running knee to the face followed by a bulldog attempt, but Jeff sent him into the turnbuckle. Jeff jumped off the ropes with a Whisper in the Wind twisting body attack for two. Jeff with a front suplex. Jeff went up top again, he jumped off with a Swanton Bomb and Punk moved out of the way, so Jeff hit the mat. Punk hit a double underhook backbreaker. Punk with a dragon sleeper submission, but Jeff got to the ropes. Punk with punches to the face, Jeff ducked a strike and hit a Twist of Fate neckbreaker. Jeff went up top, he jumped off with a Swanton Bomb, but Punk got the knees up to block leading to a two count. Jeff went for a Twist of Fate, Punk got out of it and Punk hit the Go To Sleep (GTS) for two with Punk smiling because he thought that was it. Punk covered two more times for two counts. Punk thought that was it and the fans did too, but Jeff kept kicking out. Punk grabbed the World Title at ringside, Punk teased that he was leaving, so Jeff punched Punk from behind and brought Punk back into the ring. Jeff with another Twist of Fate. Jeff up top and he jumped off with the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall win! Big pop for that as Hardy won the World Heavyweight Title at 14:56.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy

Analysis: ***1/2 A very good championship match with Hardy winning clean to get some revenge by taking the World Title back. Like the match before it, there wasn’t any instance of working on a body part or anything like that. It was about getting nearfalls and the action was fast paced especially towards the finish. The last few minutes were great after Punk only got a two count with the GTS and then Hardy won shortly after that. I actually liked the spot with Punk leaving, then Jeff going after in the aisle and bringing him back in quickly. Jeff hit his two moves from there and that was it. New champion.

Jeff Hardy celebrated with the World Heavyweight Title. They showed replays of some key spots in the match. Jeff’s celebration continued. The fans were happy. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: The feud would continue at SummerSlam in a TLC Match with Punk getting the title back. They main evented that show too. They had another match on Smackdown after SummerSlam and then Jeff was gone from WWE because his contract expired with Jeff choosing not to renew his deal.

This event had a runtime of 2:52:31 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show rating (out of 10): 7

It was a good show with four matches going over three stars, but nothing that really stood out as a great match. There are better Punk/Jeff Hardy matches out there while the WWE Title triple threat match won by Orton is okay, but it’s not that memorable.

Some of the matches in the second half of the show were hurt by a dead crowd. I think what happened was the fans got loud for the Orton-Cena-Hunter match and then when that was over, they just didn’t care about the other matches until the main event.

 

FIVE STARS

1. Jeff Hardy

2. Randy Orton

3. CM Punk

4. John Cena/Triple H

5. Rey Mysterio

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Randy Orton vs. John Cena vs. Triple H (***1/2 out of 5) – I rated Punk/Hardy the same, but I liked the triple threat a bit better.

Worst Match: Mickie James vs. Maryse (*)

Most Memorable Moment: Jeff Hardy hitting the Swanton Bomb on CM Punk to win back the World Heavyweight Title.

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.

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My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport