It’s time for WWE Judgment Day 2009. It was the 11th time that WWE used the Judgment Day name and also the last time they ever used it for a pay-per-view event. This is a card with seven matches that are all singles men’s matches. I guess you could say it was a bad time for the tag team and women’s/divas division. Some big names were missing from the card since The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Triple H were not wrestling on the show. This event also took place after the 2009 draft on April 13.
When I think of WWE in 2009, it really wasn’t a strong year for the company. I started writing my WWE Raw Deal reviews about a week after this show because I was at a point in my life where I figured I could try writing about wrestling as a full-time career. It took a few years for it to happen, but it worked out for me even though I don’t look at WWE 2009 fondly. Raw was hurt by the awful guest hosts they trotted out there week after week, Smackdown was generally a good show and ECW was somehow hanging on by a thread.
Judgment Day did a poor number with 228,000 buys, which is the lowest number in Judgment Day history. It did beat out some other PPVs that year, though, so it’s not like it was some all-time bad show or anything like that.
This show followed WrestleMania 25 and Backlash 2009, which I haven’t reviewed yet.
Here is the synopsis on WWE Network:
“Deep personal rivalries take center stage in Chicago as Jeff Hardy battles Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship. Randy Orton defends WWE Championship against Batista. John Cena faces The Big Show. Rey Mysterio faces Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship. Christian defends the ECW Championship against Jack Swagger.” PG (V)
The DVD and poster looked like this:
Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Let’s get to the show.
WWE Judgment Day
From Allstate Arena in Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois
May 17, 2009
The opening video package focused on the big matches on the show: Edge vs. Jeff Hardy, Randy Orton vs. Batista and John Cena vs. Big Show. It basically told us that the heels Edge, Orton and Show will face a judgment day for their actions.
The pyro went off on the stage and it looked to be a sold out show at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, which is one WWE’s favorite venues.
CM Punk got a big ovation from the crowd in his hometown of Chicago. Punk was carrying the Money in the Bank briefcase with him since it was the second straight year where he won Money in the Bank. The Smackdown announce team of Todd Grisham and Jim Ross were at ringside. JR was more of the analyst with Grisham as the play by play guy. CM Punk beat Edge in a non-title match on Smackdown three weeks earlier and then Umaga showed up to attack Punk before Punk could cash in the MITB briefcase. That led to Umaga’s entrance.
CM Punk vs. Umaga
Pre-match notes: CM Punk was the babyface while Umaga was a heel. They were on the Smackdown brand.
Umaga shoved down Punk, he tried a splash, Punk moved and Punk got a kick to the chest. Punk jumped off the ropes, Umaga caught him and spun Punk around into a slam. There were “CM Punk” chants as Umaga worked over Punk with punches and then Punk ran right into a back elbow from Umaga. Hard whip into the corner by Umaga two times in a row. Umaga grounded Punk with a vice grip on the shoulder for about a minute with Punk getting to the rope, so Umaga jumped on the arm. Umaga sent Punk’s left shoulder into the steel post leading to an armbar for about a minute. Punk went to the apron, so Umaga kicked him in the face to send Punk off the apron into the barricade. Punk got back into it with a sunset flip attempt, but Umaga sat on Punk to stop that. Umaga did a splash, then he tried it again and Punk got a boot up to block another attempt. Punk went for a body slam, but Umaga shifted his weight and landed on top for a two count. Umaga continued to work on the trapezius muscle of Punk with the vice grip. Punk worked over Umaga with forearms, but Umaga stopped that with an uppercut punch. Umaga to the middle rope, Punk was far away and Umaga’s headbutt missed, so Umaga hit the mat. Umaga charged, Punk pulled the rope down to send Umaga to the floor and Punk pulled himself over the top to land on Umaga on the floor. Back in the ring, Punk with kicks, a running knee to the face and a jumping heel kick. Umaga sent Punk into the turnbuckle, then Umaga missed a splash and Punk hit a running knee to the face. Umaga sent Punk to the corner leading to a splash. Umaga’s hip attack failed because Punk moved, so Punk hit a bulldog off the middle rope with Umaga doing a power kickout. Good sequence of moves there. Punk with a kick to Umaga’s head and Punk hit a springboard clothesline for two. Nice nearfall there. Punk tried a lift, Umaga got out of that and Umaga hit a Samoan Drop for two as Punk got the right shoulder up. Umaga tried a Samoan Spike, Punk avoided it and kicked Umaga in the head three times. Punk with a lift again, but Umaga was too heavy and hit a superkick. Umaga with a running hip attack against the turnbuckle and Umaga hit a Samoan Spike punch for the pinfall win at 11:52.
Winner by pinfall: Umaga
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a fun opening match between two guys I liked a lot. Punk was an ascending star while Umaga was a dominant heel for a few years. The match told the obvious story with the bigger man Umaga dominating most of the match, Punk was selling everything well and made the comeback before falling short. Punk kept going for the Go To Sleep finisher, Umaga avoided it every time and then Umaga finished off Punk with some of his signature power moves to get the win. Even though Punk lost here, he still had a lot of success in the months ahead.
Umaga celebrated the win with some yelling in whatever language he was supposed to speak.
Analysis: Sadly, this was near the end of Umaga’s run in WWE. They did a rematch at the next PPV Extreme Rules with Punk getting the win back. Umaga had a Wellness Policy violation for the second time, then he refused to go to rehab and WWE chose to release him. Umaga tragically passed away in December 2009 at 36 years old. Apparently he was close to coming back to WWE again, but painkiller drug use led to his death at a young age.
They showed Vickie Guerrero in her office with nephew Chavo Guerrero saying John Cena’s match with Big Show was officially on. Big Show was in the office. Show said that she already lost Triple H to injury and tonight she’ll lose to John Cena as well. Show said the fans will be disappointed when he beats Cena. Vickie said when Show takes Cena out, somebody will take Cena’s place. Show left, Edge walked into the room saying he needed to speak to his wife Vickie. Chavo left and the scene cut away.
The ECW announce team of Josh Mathews and Matt Striker was on hand to call the lone ECW match on the show. They showed a replay from Backlash when Christian beat Jack Swagger after Jack hit an exposed turnbuckle and Christian won the ECW Title for the first time.
Jack Swagger made his entrance as the former ECW Champion getting his rematch. Christian got a big pop from the crowd since he was popular as a babyface at this point in his career. The wrestlers stood in the ring for the championship introductions from ring announcer Tony Chimel.
ECW Championship: Christian vs. Jack Swagger
Pre-match notes: Christian was the babyface ECW Champion while Swagger was the heel challenger that was the former champion. Swagger was a rookie on the main roster while Christian was a veteran that started in WWE over a decade before this.
Christian with some palm strikes to the jaw, then Swagger sent Christian to the floor and they ran around the ring. Back in the ring, Swagger with a kick to the gut, Christian avoided a press slam and Swagger avoided the Killswitch. The fans were solidly behind the champion with “Let’s go Christian” chants. Swagger used his power to hit a running shoulder tackle and then a whip sent Christian into the turnbuckle. Swagger charged, Christian pulled the rope down and sent Swagger to the floor. Christian with a running dropkick followed by Christian jumping off the middle turnbuckle onto Swagger on the floor. Swagger got back in the ring with a running knee lift and then a shoulder tackle to knock Christian off the apron to the floor. Swagger slammed Christian ribs first into the steel ring post. Swagger worked over Christian with a leg scissors around Christian’s ribs. Swagger with a knee to the ribs followed by a body slam. Swagger went for a splash off the ropes, but Christian got the knees up and Christian hit an uppercut off the middle rope. Swagger drove Christian’s back into the top rope and Christian hit a sitout neckbreaker for two. Christian with two boots to the face, then he did it again and Christian jumped off the top, Swagger moved and Christian hit the mat. Swagger went for the Gutwrench Powerbomb, but Christian fought it off and Swagger went running into the turnbuckle. Christian up top, Swagger jumped to the middle rope and hit an overhead suplex. Good spot there. They did a double clothesline spot to knock both guys down. Swagger lifted Christian onto his shoulders, then Christian tried a sunset flip and Swagger sat on top for two. Christian went for a DDT off the ropes, Swagger blocked it and this time Christian hit a reverse DDT off the ropes for two. Swagger sent Christian into the top turnbuckle and then the referee saw Swagger doing a tight pull on a rollup. Swagger hit a belly to back suplex with Christian floating over to bump onto his chest. Christian pulled down Swagger’s straps and then Christian did a rollup where he sat on top while pulling the tights for the pinfall win at 9:33. The referee didn’t see Christian cheat to win.
Winner by pinfall: Christian
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good title match with Christian using his veteran experience to find a way to beat Swagger again. Swagger worked on the ribs of Christian for most of it with Christian selling everything well as usual. Swagger went for tight pull on a pin attempt, he was caught by the referee and then Christian managed to pull the tights to get the win. The story was about how Christian was able to find a way to beat Swagger again, even by cheating.
Chavo Guerrero was outside of Vickie’s office and Edge walked out of there. Chavo asked Edge what that was about. Edge said he didn’t need an excuse to talk to his wife. Chavo said he heard that Edge wasn’t even living with Vickie anymore. Edge said there was a cross-dressing idiot that’s calling Vickie a pig (that would be Santino/Santina) and Chavo has done nothing about it. Edge called Chavo an embarrassment and left to get ready for his World Title match.
They showed some members of the NFL’s Chicago Bears in the crowd.
Shelton Benjamin made his entrance with Charlie Haas during Shelton’s “Gold Standard” phase of his career. John Morrison made his entrance to a decent pop as the guy that was recently drafted to Smackdown.
Shelton Benjamin (w/Charlie Haas) vs. John Morrison
Pre-match notes: Shelton Benjamin was a heel while Morrison was a face after several years of being a heel.
Benjamin with an overhead suplex to start the match followed by a fireman’s carry into an armbar. Benjamin with a shoulder tackle, Morrison with punches and then Benjamin bailed to the floor. Morrison went up top with a springboard 450 splash and it looked like he was going to come up short, but Benjamin stepped forward so Morrison knocked him down. Good job by Shelton getting in position to catch Morrison there. They replayed the spot to show how impressive the move was, but really it showed how Benjamin did a nice job of getting in the right spot. (See photo above.) Morrison was up on the turnbuckle, so Benjamin kicked him in the face to send Morrison to the floor. Benjamin with a punch and knee drop followed by a chinlock, then Morrison got free and Benjamin went for another chinlock. When Morrison broke free again, Benjamin hit a knee lift to knock him down. Benjamin applied a sleeper for about a minute again, then Morrison got back up and they did a collision spot to knock both guys down. Morrison countered a belly to back suplex by landing on top for a two count. Benjamin with a back elbow, Morrison with a dropkick and clothesline. Morrison countered a move in an athletic way into a side Russian legsweep for a two count. Benjamin countered a Morrison move by sending Morrison’s back into the knee for two. Morrison with a jumping kick to the head followed by a sliding knee for two. Morrison with a kick to the chest, then he jumped onto Benjamin, who did a Buckle Bomb. Benjamin didn’t catch him clean, so it looked sloppy, but it got the job done. Morrison blocked a Paydirt attempt, then a drop toe hold into the turnbuckle. Morrison with a Flying Chuck kick off the ropes. Morrison hit the Starship Pain twisting moonsault off the top rope for the pinfall at 10:10.
Winner by pinfall: John Morrison
Analysis: *** This was a competitive match between two of the most talented athletes in WWE. They were trying to build up Morrison as a face in the midcard, so beating a guy like Benjamin was a way to give Morrison a bit of a lift. I think some of the middle portion of the match was too slow with the rest holds and if there was more action in there it would have been a better match. Morrison’s flurry of offense towards the end of the match was a lot of fun to watch with the crowd popping big for it.
Let’s Hear from The Miz
The Miz was a newcomer on Raw and he was booed heavily as soon as he got out to the ring. The Miz recognized the winner of the previous match: “Marty Jannetty, I mean John Morrison.” Miz said this won’t be the first time that he followed Morrison and topped one of his performances.
The Miz said he knows John Cena won’t answer one of his challenges. The fans were chanting “what” at him and Miz said that they sounded like a bunch of ducks that were quacking and he told them to shut up. Miz said since he can’t face John Cena tonight, he’ll challenge a substitute for Cena. Miz said that Cena is overrated, disappointing and the fans still like him. Miz said that Cena is a lovable loser like the Chicago Cubs. The fans booed him for that. Miz pointed out Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs in the crowd, who was an All-Star outfielder for the Cubs at this point and the fans popped big for Alfonso on the screen. Miz said he sees Soriano doing the “you can’t see me” hand gesture and Miz said that you can’t see a World Series ring as long as you play for the Cubs. That drew big heat. Miz apologized to anybody born before 1908 who actually witnessed a Cubs World Series title. Miz said that if Alfonso has a problem, you can win a World Series, but we know that’s not going to happen or serve as a Cena surrogate and try to face Miz because “you can’t see me.” The fans wanted Soriano to do it. Miz claimed he had a phone call, then claimed it was Manager Lou Piniella and said he’d rather have Alfonso get his yearly injury on the field rather than off the field. Miz claimed that Alfonso forfeits, so now he did something the Cubs haven’t done in a World Series four times since he’s 4-0 now (three against Cena and one against Soriano).
Santino Marella showed up for the interruption and the fans liked that. Santino called him “Fiz” and said that he can’t let Miz continue talking like that any more. Santino claimed that Soriano was a fellow Italian, but that’s not true and Alfonso laughed. Santino said that they can have some pasta and make fun of Steve Bartman. Miz wanted to know what Santino wanted. Santino claimed that WWE superstars resembled animals since Vickie Guerrero looked like a pig, Vladimir Kozlov looked like Sam the American Eagle and Miz asked what animal he looks like. Santino told “Fiz” he looks like a jackass and then Santino did some donkey noises. Miz said that he has no problem beating down Santino. That led to Santino telling Miz that he hopes he brought his metal detector because Santino had some guns (his muscles) and he’s not afraid to use them.
Miz punched Santino, then Santino punched back and the fans got into it with booing Miz while cheering Santino. Miz hit a snap DDT on Santino while Miz claimed he was 4-0 against Cena now. Miz left to boos.
Chavo Guerrero went down to the ring to yell at Santino for calling Vickie a pig. Chavo went to the top rope and Chavo hit a Frog Splash on Santino. The fans booed that.
Analysis: That was a very good promo from The Miz. With that said, I don’t know if a worldwide PPV audience needs to hear a ten-minute promo done for local heat, but I did think Miz had a good delivery. As for Santino, he was hilarious as usual. Chavo got revenge on Santino for the bad comments Santino has said, so that’s a follow up to Chavo’s conversation with Edge earlier.
Chris Jericho was interviewed by Josh Mathews with Jericho saying there was a conspiracy against him. Jericho ripped on the crowd for being “gelatinous tapeworms” and claimed he was robbed of World Title chances multiple times. Jericho said he is the most talented performer in this company while Mysterio gets by on the cheers of the crowd that chants “619” for him. That led to “619” chants from the crowd. Jericho said you can chant it all you want because that’s the closest you will get to see it tonight. Jericho guaranteed there would be a new Intercontinental Champion tonight, so deal with that.
Rey Mysterio made his entrance as the Intercontinental Title and he got a big pop from the crowd. Chris Jericho was up next as a heel doing his slow walking routine where he has a lot of cockiness as he walked down to the ring.
Intercontinental Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho
Pre-match notes: Rey was the babyface champion while Jericho was the heel challenger. This was the first of three straight PPV matches between them. They had one of the best feuds in WWE in 2009. Jericho was probably the best heel in WWE and the best all-around performer in WWE during this heel run around 2008 to 2010 at least.
The fans chanted “619” to support Rey and upset Jericho. Rey tripped up Jericho by the ropes, but then Jericho bailed to the floor. Jericho with a snapmare leading to a kick to the back. Jericho sent Rey under the bottom ropes, Rey landed on his feet and sent Jericho to the floor. Rey with a senton dive off the apron onto Jericho on the floor. Jericho sent Rey into the barricade. Rey punched Jericho by the ropes, so Jericho was up against the ropes and Rey went up top to connect with a leg drop for two. Jericho sent Rey to the apron, but then when Rey was up top, Jericho tripped him up to crotch Rey across the top rope. Jericho with a springboard dropkick that knocked Rey off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Jericho with a slingshot over the top rope leading to a splash on Rey’s back for a two count. Jericho with a chinlock leading to Jericho’s “ask him” routine, Rey broke free and Jericho hit a forearm to Rey’s face. Rey came back with an enziguri kick into the ropes. The fans popped as Rey charged, but Jericho hit a back body drop for two. Rey took a break on the floor, Jericho got a hold of Rey on his shoulders, Jericho spun around and hit a backbreaker on his shoulders for a two count. Jericho set up Rey on the top rope, then Jericho tried to pull the mask off, but Rey elbowed Jericho down to knock him down. Rey jumped off the top with a senton and then Rey hit a cross body block to knock Jericho down for two. Rey hit a standing side kick to the head for a two count.
Rey was sent into the corner, he delivered a back elbow and then jumped onto Jericho’s shoulders. Jericho tried a Walls of Jericho, but Rey got out of that. Rey ran the ropes right into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Jericho. Rey was sent into the turnbuckle, but then he shoved Jericho into another turnbuckle. Rey with a headscissors into the ropes, Jericho avoided a 619 kick and Rey jumped onto Jericho, who caught Rey in the Walls of Jericho. The fans were going crazy as Rey powered out and set up Jericho for the 619 again. This time, Jericho caught the legs of Mysterio and Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho submission although it was more like a Boston Crab. Rey countered the Walls of Jericho into an inside cradle for two. Rey charged at Jericho, who caught the champion and delivered a huge Powerbomb for two. Jericho charged at Rey, who did a drop toe hold into the turnbuckle. Rey connected with the 619 kick near the turnbuckle and Rey did a springboard splash off the top rope for the pinfall win at 12:39.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: **** This was an awesome match where they built up to the 619 kick all match and after Rey was able to hit it, Rey managed to get the win shortly after that. They kept building up to Rey going for the 619 kick, then Jericho kept countering it and it built up the drama more. The fans got into it so much. Jericho was tremendous as the cocky heel that controlled most of the match while also pissing off the crowd as much as he could. The final 619 that connected was done in a unique way because it was against the turnbuckle instead of in the middle of the ropes.
Rey Mysterio celebrated the win. The replays showed the story of all the 619 attempts until Rey finally connected with it. Rey posed with the Intercontinental Title while Jericho was frustrated in the ring. Grisham noted that Jericho guaranteed a win, but he failed to get the job done.
Analysis: They would go on to have IC Title matches at Extreme Rules and The Bash as well. Their match at The Bash was the best of the three PPV matches. It was one of the best PPVs of the year.
The video package aired for WWE Champion Randy Orton facing Batista. It focused on Orton’s legacy in WWE with Orton saying this company revolves around Orton, who had Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes with him in the Legacy group. Orton offered Batista a spot in the Legacy group, but Batista said he wasn’t there to help Orton, he was there to hurt Orton. Batista talked about how Orton almost ended his career after doing The Punt and Batista came back after four months. Batista said that he’s going to hurt Orton just like Orton hurt Batista and then Batista will take away the WWE Championship. It ended with Batista saying he was going to hurt Orton.
Randy Orton made his entrance with the WWE Title on his shoulder as Orton did his slow walk towards the ring. The Raw announce team of Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler put over the storyline as best they could. Batista was up next as the challenger that got a pretty good ovation on his way down to the ring. The fans really liked Batista going into this match. The wrestlers stood in the ring as Lillian Garcia did the championship introductions.
Analysis: Batista missed about four months after Orton punted him in the head in December. Batista ended up missing WrestleMania and came back on the Raw after WrestleMania. The real reason that Batista missed four months was because he had surgery to repair a torn hamstring. Batista had a lot of muscle tear injuries. Just saying.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Batista
Pre-match notes: Randy Orton was the heel WWE Champion while Batista was the babyface challenger. This was a Raw match.
Orton immediately bailed to the floor when the bell rang. Batista hit a shoulder block leading to Orton going to the floor again. When Orton went back into the ring, Batista hit a clothesline and a suplex for two. Batista jumped on Orton’s lower back to keep him down. Batista with shoulder tackles to the lower back and Batista gave Orton a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Orton sent Batista to the floor, Batista went to the apron and Orton hit a dropkick to knock Batista down. Orton with a belly to back suplex onto the edge of the barricade. That’s a move Orton would modify in his career by doing it by the announce table. Orton did his arm posing in the ring leading to boos. Orton hit a jumping knee drop and forearm to the jaw leading to a chinlock. Orton hit his modified backbreaker for a two count. That led to Orton doing his limb stomping routine followed by kicks to the ribs. Orton did another chinlock for about a minute with Batista hitting a belly to back suplex. Orton with a headlock, Batista sent him into the ropes and Orton hit an impressive dropkick. Batista was on the apron, Orton hit a knee to the head to block a shoulder tackle and Orton did a draping DDT for a two count. Orton teased going for The Punt, but Batista got back up and hit a Spear to a big pop. They exchanged punches, Batista charged right into a boot to the face and then Batista hit repeated shoulder tackles. Batista with a corner clothesline and a running powerslam for two. Orton did an elbow to the head and then Orton bailed to the floor. Orton wanted referee Mike Chioda to count him out, so Batista went out to the floor. Batista chased Orton, then Orton held onto the ring post, Batista punched Randy and they went back into the ring. Batista with a clothesline for two. Batista with a kick to the face, so Orton left the ring again. Orton pulled Batista’s throat down onto the top rope. Orton grabbed a steel chair, Batista punched him to stop the chair being used and they went back into the ring with Batista hitting a shoulder tackle off the top for a two count. Orton slipped out of the Batista Bomb attempt, Orton grabbed the WWE Title and tried to leave. Batista brought Orton back into the ring. Orton tried using the title to hit Batista, but Batista hit a spinebuster. The referee Mike Chioda took the title and put it out of the ring. Orton punched his way out of the Batista, but then Batista shoved Orton when Randy tried the RKO. Batista charged, Orton moved and Batista hit his left shoulder against the ring post. Batista shoved Orton towards the referee, but Orton stopped himself from hitting Chioda. Then Orton backed away a few feet and slapped Chioda in the face! Chioda called for the bell for the disqualification finish at 14:45.
Winner by disqualification: Batista (Randy Orton remains WWE Champion)
Analysis: **3/4 A slow-paced match with a weak finish to keep things going between them. There was so much stalling in the match that I think they were just stretching to fill time. Batista’s first comeback in the match did get the crowd going, but there were times when the fans didn’t care about the match. Then it became about Orton trying to lose the match on purpose and it took him several minutes to figure out how to do it. They could have had a better match if it was more of a brawl with big moves and counters the way Batista had better matches with Undertaker. Anyway, this was more about the story than the match and to set up a rematch.
After the match, Batista was mad about the referee’s decision. Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase ran down to the ring to beat up Batista with Orton. Ric Flair ran out for the save with Flair helping Batista. Flair chopped and kicked Cody and Ted, so Batista hit a Batista Bomb on Orton. Batista with a spinebuster on Dibiase. Flair with chops on Cody, who bumped to the floor. Flair hugged Batista and raised Batista’s hand. The fans loved that.
Analysis: This was good as a post match angle because the fans popped huge for Ric Flair being there. Flair was still in good shape after retiring on year earlier. Flair ended up leaving WWE and wrestling in other places because he still wanted to compete in the ring. Anyway, as for Orton and Batista, it led to a WWE Title match at Extreme Rules. Batista won the WWE Title there, but then he forfeited due to a torn biceps (another muscle tear injury) and Orton would get back the WWE Title.
A commercial aired featuring WWE superstars talking about injuries ending with this message: “Please don’t try this at home.”
The video package aired to set up John Cena vs. Big Show. The World Title match at Backlash three weeks earlier was John Cena defending the title against Edge in a Last Man Standing match. Cena was about to win, but Big Show attacked Cena and gave Cena a Chokeslam into a spotlight. Cena was unable to get back up, so Edge won the World Title because of Big Show’s interference. Cena cost Big Show a match on Raw as payback. Going into this show, the story was that Cena was hurt because of what happened at Backlash and then Big Show beat up Cena on Raw again.
Big Show made his entrance first. There wasn’t much of a reaction to him. John Cena made his entrance to a mixed reaction with more cheers than boos. Cole said that Cena was medically cleared, but there was no way he was 100% healthy. Lawler said he’d take Cena at 75% over most guys. The announcers did a good job of driving home the story.
John Cena vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: John Cena was the babyface while Big Show was the face. The story was that Cena was banged up due to Big Show’s attack at Backlash, so Cena was coming into the match injured.
Cena was trying to avoid Show for the first minute as the fans chanted “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks” and then Show got a hold of Cena with repeated punches to the ribs. Show kept on punching Cena in the ribs. Cena with punches, but then he ran right into a shoulder tackle by Show. That led to Show stepping on Cena. Show with a body slam. Show hit a sidewalk slam for a two count. Show with a headbutt. Show charged with a running kick, Cena moved and Cena charged, but Show tossed him over the top to the floor. Show left the ring, picked up Cena and drove Cena ribs first into the ringpost. Back in the ring, Cena tried a bulldog, but Show shoved him across the ring. Show with a hard chop to the chest followed by another punch to the ribs. Show whipped Cena into the turnbuckle across the ring. Show charged, Cena got his feet up and Cena jumped into a bearhug by Big Show, who continued to work on Cena’s ribs. Cena broke free and was met with Show hitting a running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Show charged, Cena moved and Show hit the turnbuckle. Cena with a chop block to the left knee and Cena hit a neckbreaker. Cena did the “you can’t see me” hand gesture leading to the five-knuckle shuffle fist drop. Show wanted a Chokeslam, but Cena countered to a DDT. Cena tried to apply the STF, but John couldn’t do it and Show hit a clothesline. Show hit a Vader Bomb splash off the middle rope onto Cena. The way Show hit the move, you can see his knees were the first things that hit the mat, so that’s how you protect Cena while doing the move. Show went for the Vader Bomb splash off the middle rope again, but Cena moved and Show hit the mat. Cena tried for the STF again, Show powered out of it and kicked Cena into the ropes. Cena came back with a boot to the face, then Cena went up top and hit the leg drop to the back of the head. Show fought off an STF attempt with elbows to the head. Show lifted Cena over his head and dropped him back to send Cena knees/face first into the mat. Big Show set up for the KO Punch, Cena ducked it and Cena lifted Show up for the Attitude Adjustment for the one…two…and three. It went 14:57. Cole called it a “miracle victory” for Cena.
Winner by pinfall: John Cena
Analysis: ** A decent match that dragged on a few minutes too long for the story they were trying to tell. It was a lot of Big Show’s boring offense with Cena doing a solid job of selling throughout the match. I think that finish is the kind of thing that made people hate Cena since he took such a beating throughout the match, yet he still won the match with his Attitude Adjustment even though his ribs were supposed to be hurting. It should have taken more to beat Big Show. Cena couldn’t get the STF on Show, yet all it took was one Attitude Adjustment to win the match. Cena did that move to Big Show many times in his career.
Post match, Cena greeted Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano at ringside since Soriano does the “you can’t see me” hand gesture, so they did that together. The announcers put over Cena’s big win a lot and the fans cheered as Cena did his usual posing routine.
Analysis: Cena’s rivalry with Big Show would continue at Extreme Rules. They had a Submission Match where Cena got the win again.
The video package aired for the main event with Edge defending the World Heavyweight Title against Jeff Hardy. Edge spoke about how they started in WWE at around the same time and one of the differences between them is that Edge is a predator and opportunist while Jeff squanders opportunities that are handed to him. Jeff said when he became WWE Champion (at Armageddon 2008), the guy he beat was Edge in a triple threat match. Edge said that was one good day out of 365 does not make a champion and Edge is the main event. Jeff said that championship gold is coming back to where it belongs.
Edge made his entrance as a nine-time World Heavyweight Champion that was on the Smackdown brand. Edge had one of the coolest entrances in all of WWE and was booed by the fans. The fans were chanting for Jeff Hardy, who got a huge ovation when he got out there to his “No More Words” theme song. Jeff had his face painted as he loved to do. The wrestlers stood in the ring as ring announcer Justin Roberts did the championship introductions.
Analysis: They had a long history together going back to the tag team days in the late 1990s and throughout the 2000s. Jeff won the WWE Title at Armageddon 2008 in December and then dropped the title to Edge at Royal Rumble 2009 because Jeff’s brother Matt cost Jeff the title. Now they are back in a World Title picture although this time it’s the World Heavyweight Title instead of the WWE Title.
World Heavyweight Championship: Edge vs. Jeff Hardy
Pre-match notes: Edge was the heel World Heavyweight Championship that won the title at the previous PPV, Backlash. Hardy was the babyface challenger. Edge was a nine-time World Champion in WWE at this point while Jeff Hardy was a one-time WWE Champion. This was a Smackdown match.
Edge with a shoulder tackle leading to Jeff hitting two arm drags. Edge charged, Jeff moved and Edge hit the turnbuckle. Jeff with a headscissors leading to another armdrag. Jeff sent Edge to the apron, spin kick by Jeff to knock Edge from the apron to the floor. Jeff hit a somersault dive over the top onto Edge on the floor. That looked great although Jeff hit his lower back hard on the floor as well. Back in the ring, Jeff went up top, dove off with a splash and Edge moved, so Jeff hit the mat. Edge whipped Jeff into the turnbuckle and then Edge hit a running shoulder tackle to knock Jeff off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Edge kicked and elbowed Jeff’s lower back to keep Jeff down. Edge with a running cross body block on Jeff’s back while Jeff was against the ropes. Jeff fought out of a submission, Jeff went for Twist of Fate, but Edge hit a sitout neckbreaker for two. Jeff ran the ropes with a cross body block for two, then a jawbreaker and a sitout front suplex. Jeff went up top again, he jumped off, Edge moved and Jeff hit the mat hard again. Edge went for a boot to the face, Jeff ducked it, Jeff with a clothesline, atomic drop, double leg drop and a low dropkick for two. Jeff tripped up Edge by the turnbuckle, then Jeff went up top and connected with a cross body block for two. Hardy went for a dropkick, but Edge held onto the ropes to stop himself. Jeff came back with an inside cradle for two. Jeff applied his version of a Sharpshooter submission with Edge crawling to the bottom rope to break it. Jeff pulled Edge off the ropes and hit a Twist of Fate neckbreaker for two.
Jeff with a running clothesline and Jeff threw his shirt into the crowd as the women screamed for that. Jeff countered an Edge slam attempt into an inside cradle and Jeff got a two count. Jeff was frustrated about not being able to put Edge away. Jeff went up top, Edge went after him and Jeff hit a Sunset Flip Powerbomb for a two count. Hardy kicked Edge out of the ring to the floor. Jeff cleared off the Smackdown announce table as well as part of the barricade at ringside. Edge was set up on the table. Jeff ran across the top of the barricade, but Edge hit him with a Spear on the floor! Rough landing there. The referee Scott Armstrong checked on Jeff on the floor, then went back in the ring to start the count and there was a lot of drama as Jeff crawled back in the ring before the ten count. The fans chanted “let’s go Hardy” for Jeff as Jeff hit a legdrop on the ropes and then a Twist of Fate neckbreaker. Jeff jumped over the top with a leg drop for two with Edge getting his foot on the ropes to break. Jeff hit the Whisper in the Wind attack off the ropes for a two count. They were on the floor with Jeff hitting the Poetry in Motion attack off the steps leading to a leg lariat that sent Edge over the barricade. Jeff was slow to get back in the ring as his brother Matt Hardy hit Jeff in the back with a cast that was on Matt’s right hand. The referee was looking at Edge, so he didn’t see it. Edge put Jeff back into the ring for the one…two…and no because Jeff got his shoulder up. Great nearfall. The replay showed that Matt’s cast hit Jeff in the head. Jeff struggled to get back up to his feet, so Edge went for a Spear. Jeff moved and Edge hit the turnbuckle. Jeff slowly climbed to the top rope again, Edge met him up there and hit an Edgecution DDT off the top rope for the one…two…and three. It went 19:56.
Winner by pinfall: Edge
Analysis: ***3/4 It was the typical very good match between two guys that were familiar with eachother. There were a lot of nearfalls for Jeff that made it look like he might win, but it wasn’t meant to be thanks to Matt Hardy showing up to cost his brother. I thought the finish was brilliant with Edge winning with the DDT off the top instead of the Spear because it was a big move that was also a counter that made sense in that situation. Jeff was fully in control of the match when Matt interfered, so just like at the Royal Rumble earlier in the year, Edge only beat Jeff because he got some help. It was fitting for Edge’s heel persona while it made Jeff even more of a sympathetic babyface.
Edge celebrated with the World Heavyweight Title. They replayed the key spots in the match. JR called it a superplex, but it was more like a DDT off the top rope. Edge held up the World Heavyweight Title on the stage while Jeff was out in the ring. Edge held up the title some more while Jeff was getting checked out by doctors in the ring. The camera showed Edge one more time and that was it.
Analysis: This would lead to another Edge vs. Jeff Hardy match at the next PPV Extreme Rules and that one would be a Ladder Match. That match result was a lot better for Jeff, but his title reign didn’t last long at all.
This event had a runtime of 2:45:50 on WWE Network.
Show rating (out of 10): 6.75
This is one of those shows where it’s full of good action all night long, but there isn’t one standout match. By that I mean even though Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho had the best match, they had better matches on other shows in the same year. The same goes for Edge and Jeff Hardy in the main event where they had a solid match with a cheap finish since Matt Hardy cost brother Jeff the title again. John Cena’s match with Big Show was boring. Batista and Orton did okay, but I didn’t like the finish. Most of the other matches were good with Umaga getting a dominant win (the last time Umaga won a WWE PPV match), then John Morrison picking up a win as a new face and Christian was impressive against Swagger.
This was not a show with feud-ending matches. In fact, five of the seven matches had rematches a few weeks later at Extreme Rules with a sixth match turning into a triple threat. That’s also why this show didn’t feel like a big deal because they did so many rematches. That made this event feel less interesting.
1. Rey Mysterio
2. Chris Jericho
4. Jeff Hardy
Best Match: Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho (**** out of 5)
Worst Match: John Cena vs. Big Show (**)
Most Memorable Moment: Matt Hardy hitting Jeff Hardy in the back of the head to cost Jeff the World Title against Edge.
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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