Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label John Morrison. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Morrison. Show all posts

Thursday, 7 June 2018

TV REVIEW: WWE Smackdown: 04/12/09

Hampton, Virginia

Just nine days away from TLC, The Undertaker plans to call out his upcoming opponent, Batista, whilst Jerishow prepare for their TLC match against DX with a match against Cryme Tyme.

Here's what went down.

NOTE: This an archived review written live at the time that WWE Smackdown aired on December 4th, 2009.

I'm archiving all my old reviews and including this one on Retro Pro Wrestling for the sake of prosperity.

R-Truth vs. CM Punk (w/ Luke Gallows)

Wasting no time in getting down to the action tonight, The Straight-Edge Saviour CM Punk battled R-Truth in a good opening contest.

Punk worked over his opponent's arm in the early going, allowing him to dominate the bulk of this entertaining bout before Truth began to make the inevitable comeback. Unfortunately, said comeback was cut-off by Punk's right-hand man, Luke Gallows, leading to a DQ finish.
Your Winner by disqualification: R-Truth

Afterwards, Gallows and Punk continued to annihilate R-Truth and looked rather pleased with themselves as a result.

Kane vs. Mike Knox

Fresh from his brief cameo in the Undertaker/Batista feud, The Big Red Machine locked horns with the infrequently-seen Mike Knox for seemingly no reason.

The match itself was so dull that commentators Matt Striker and Todd Grisham ignored it completely, choosing instead to hype up the Undertaker vs. Batista match at TLC. Kane chokeslammed Knox to end the contest.
Your Winner: Kane

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & The Big Show regarding their match against DX at TLC. Jericho, as strong as ever on the microphone, was the mouthpiece for his team; promising to end DX once and for all at the pay per view and putting over Big Show as a monster in a pretty solid promo.

From the vault: Mark Henry vs. Finlay & Hornswoggle (Smackdown 2007)

Taking a look back to the days when Finlay actually had something do to (even if it was hanging around with that annoying leprechaun) and Mark Henry was a bland babyface, we get this handicap match from November 2007. Henry was defeated when Finlay nailed him with a shelaglah after which Hornswoggle hit the Tadpole Splash for the win. Following the match, The Great Khali arrived on the scene and destroyed Finlay.

Triple Threat match to determine the number one contender to the WWE Women's Championship: Mickie James vs. Beth Phoenix vs. Natayla

With Women's Champion Michelle McCool and her BFF Layla hanging out at ringside, their rival Mickie James fought to earn a shot at McCool's belt in a decent match against Natalya and The Glamazon. Mickie was tossed from the ring in the early going, leaving the two blonde grapplers to put on a good show and carry the bulk of the contest.

The end came when Beth hit Nattie with the Glam Slam. James then dropkicked Phoenix out of the ring and stole the pinfall for herself to end an enjoyable bout that surpassed anything we've seen from the Raw girls in a long time.
Your Winner and new number one contender: Mickie James

Afterwards, Mickie James took the microphone from Josh Matthews; vowing not only to take the Women's Championship from Michelle McCool, but also to extract revenge from her and Layla for all the hurtful things they'd done over the last several weeks. James then shoved McCool, but was quickly outnumbered by the champion and Layla.

A returning Maria made the save before she and Mickie celebrated with the crowd.

Rey Mysterio set to return

Backstage in Teddy Long's office, Batista confronts the GM over a challenge laid down by Rey Mysterio. Big Dave agreed to a street fight against the master of the 619 on next week's show, providing his hold-harmless agreement remains intact.

The Animal also complained about The Undertaker's plans to call him out later on the show, but Long insisted he could do nothing about that.

Non-title match: Intercontinental Champion John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre

In a match he apparently requested, Intercontinental Champion John Morrison took it to Drew McIntyre in the early going, but it was the Sadistic Scot who walked away with a surprise victory after planting JoMo with a Kobashi DDT following several minutes of enjoyable back-and-forth action.
Your Winner: Drew McIntyre

The show returned from a commercial break to find Vickie Guerrero in the ring. Smackdown's consultant was fantastic at riling up the already excitable crowd with her usual 'excuse me!' catchphrase before calling out her former lover, Eric Escobar, and demanding an apology for the way he spoke to her last week.

When Escobar refused, Guerrero booked him in a handicap match against the Hart Dynasty, which begs the question as to when a consultant was granted booking power?

Handicap match: Eric Escobar vs. The Hart Dynasty

Despite his best efforts, Escobar was overpowered and outwrestled by his opponents in a passable outing, with Smith and Kidd picking up the win thanks to the Hart Attack.
Your Winners: The Hart Dynasty

In the post-match, Tyson Kidd brought Vickie Guerrero back to the ring, holding her ex in place whilst she administered a hefty slap to Escobar's chops.

Luke Gallows Speaks

Heading backstage once more, Josh Matthews caught up with CM Punk and Luke Gallows. The man formerly known as Festus told Matthews that his days walking around in a comatose state was as a result of his friends and family pushing pills on him and claims that CM Punk saved him. Furthermore, Gallows hoped that more lost souls could turn their lives around by following the Straightedge lifestyle.

Non-title match: Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & the Big Show vs. Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard & JTG)

As they look to battle DX in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs match at the TLC pay per view next Sunday, Unified Tag Champions Jerishow set their sights a little lower on tonight's show as they clashed with Cryme Tyme in a fairly good main event.

Following a short, explosive exchange of offence between the two teams, Big Show knocked out Shad Gaspard (now sporting short hair, for anyone interested in that kind of thing) with his Big Fist of doom to earn the victory for his team.
Your Winners: Chris Jericho & The Big Show

Having hyped up a confrontation between The Undertaker and Batista all evening, Smackdown heads towards the finish-line with the World Heavyweight Champion making his way to the ring to a thunderous ovation from the Hampton crowd.

Unfortunately for The Dead Man, his entrance was cut-short thanks to a surprise assault from Batista. The Animal attacked the champion from behind with a steel chair, and in a repeat of last week's show, proceeded to decimate him in the ring with more chair shots and a blow to the head with the Big Gold Belt.

Big Dave then posed with both chair and title belt as Smackdown drew to a close.

Final Thoughts: Despite that deathly dull outing from Kane and Knox at the start of the show, tonight's edition of Smackdown was nonetheless very enjoyable. CM Punk vs. R-Truth should probably pick up Match of the Night honours, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a tag team match pitting Punk & Gallows against Truth and Matt Hardy on next week's show (remember, Hardy suffered a similar fate at the hands of Punk & Gallows on last week's show).

Speaking of future booking plans, following Drew McIntyre's victory over John Morrison tonight, can we expect a title match between the two, possibly at TLC? I hope so, and I also hope that Morrison retains whenever they do meet over the gold, even though everything suggests the Scotsman is in for a title reign at some point in the near future.

On the negative side, I complained about it in the report, but I'm struggling to comprehend why Vickie Guerrero, who was hired only to help Teddy Long as a consultant, is suddenly granted the authority to book matches as she pleases.

Remembering Umaga
Over the past weekend, news emerged that Eki 'Eddie' Fatu, who competed in the WWE as recently as this spring as Umaga, had sadly passed away.

Umaga was a talented performer, playing the Big Monster role almost to perfection, and his Royal Rumble 2007 Last Man Standing match for the WWE championship against John Cena remains arguably as one of his career highlights. My thoughts go out to the friends and family of The Samoan Bulldozer.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

PPV REVIEW: WWE Survivor Series 2009

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 
Washington DC 

World Wrestling Entertainment heads to the US capital for their celebrated Survivor Series pay per view, with two main event Triple Threat matches, a bunch of traditional elimination matches and the epic grudge match between Batista and Rey Mysterio.

Here's what went down.

*NOTE: This is the live-review that I wrote at the time Survivor Series 2009 originally aired. 

I'm in the process of arching all my old reviews and post this one today for the sake of having a complete record of all my wrestling reviews. 

Traditional Survivor Series Match: Team Morrison (Intercontinental Champion John Morrison, Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Shelton Benjamin and Finlay) vs. Team Miz (United States The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger)

Kicking things off with the least hyped bout on the card, former tag team champions The Miz and John Morrison led their men into battle in this enjoyable inter-brand elimination bout.

Holding their own against the popular Team Morrison, it was The Miz and his allies who were left standing tall at the end of an entertaining, well-paced bout which served well in establishing newcomers Sheamus & Drew McIntyre as credible stars.

Order of elimination:
1. Evan Bourne eliminated Dolph Ziggler
2. Drew McIntyre eliminated Evan Bourne
3. Sheamus eliminated Finlay
4. John Morrison eliminated Jack Swagger
5. The Miz eliminated Shelton Benjamin
6. Drew McIntyre eliminated Matt Hardy
7. Sheamus eliminated John Morrison

Your Winners: The Miz, Drew McIntyre & Sheamus

Backstage, Team Kofi enjoyed a chat, with ECW Champion Christian making light of his status as the only white guy on the team. It was pointless, but still quite funny.

Rey Mysterio vs. Batista

Despite his best efforts, the lightning-quick Rey Mysterio was no match for his much larger adversary, and after a series of 619s and a frog splash failed to put Big Dave away, the former Intercontinental Champion was annihilated by a spear. Batista followed up with three hefty Batista Bombs, prompting the referee to call off the match.
Your Winner via referee stoppage: Batista

Not yet finished with the beat down on his former friend, The Animal hit Rey with a spinebuster onto a steel chair.

Even despite such a heinous attack, Batista was cheered loudly by his hometown crowd, which probably isn’t what the WWE were hoping for. Still, it was a strong angle in which Batista looked better than he has in a long while.

Traditional Survivor Series Match: Team Kofi (Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, MVP, R-Truth and Christian vs. Team Orton (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, William Regal and CM Punk)

After an exciting build up between Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston, the latter looked set to take that next step towards Superstardom as his team took on Randy Orton’s in another traditional elimination match.

A series of quick-fire eliminations saw the numbers diminish in fairly short order, leaving room for a good tag bout as Kofi and Christian battled Orton and  CM Punk. In the end, it was Kingston who left with his hand raised in victory after overthrowing both opponents.

Order of elimination:
1. Randy Orton eliminated Mark Henry
2. CM Punk eliminated R-Truth
3. Christian eliminated Ted Dibiase
4. MVP eliminated William Regal
5. Cody Rhodes eliminated MVP
6. Christian eliminated Cody Rhodes
7. Randy Orton eliminated Christian
8. Kofi Kingston eliminated CM Punk
9. Kofi Kingston eliminated Randy Orton

Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Kofi Kingston

Moving swiftly on, it was time for Smackdown to take centre stage with the first of tonight’s two Triple Threat matches.

World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat match: The Undertaker defended against Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & The Big Show

Even the remarkably talented Chris Jericho struggled to carry an out-of-shape Big Show and a broken-down Undertaker to anything more than a slow, mediocre bout. It’s not that nobody tried, but even when they did it still resulted in a rather uninspired affair which reached its inevitable conclusion when the champion locked Big Show in the Hell’s Gate.

Your Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: The Undertaker

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed the surviving members of Team Miz. Sheamus, McIntyre and The Miz himself said nothing of particular note.

Traditional Survivor Series Match: Team Mickie (Mickie James, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Divas Champion Melina, and Gail Kim) vs. Team McCool (WWE Women’s Champion Michelle McCool, Jillian Hall, Beth Phoenix, Layla and Alicia Fox)

Providing a natural break between the two main event matches, the WWE Divas took to the stage in a forgettable encounter which served to heighten the rivalry between team captains Mickie James and Michelle McCool.

Beth Phoenix continued to look strong before being taken out by Mickie, which ultimately led to the latter standing tall at the end of the bout along with WWE Divas Champion, Melina.

Order of elimination
1. Kelly Kelly eliminated Layla
2. Michelle McCool eliminated Gail Kim
3. Eve eliminated Jillian
4. Beth Phoenix eliminated Eve
5. Beth Phoenix eliminated Kelly Kelly
6. Mickie James eliminated Beth Phoenix
7. Mickie James eliminated Alicia Fox
8. Melina eliminated Michelle McCool

Your Winners: Mickie James and Melina

Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed Batista. The Animal joked about embarrassing Rey Mysterio in their match earlier.

 WWE Championship Triple Threat Match: John Cena defended against Shawn Michaels and Triple H

After weeks of worrying as to whether DX would work together to defeat him (which by the way, was about the only build up this match was afforded), John Cena’s concerns were quickly alleviated when Michaels planted his partner with some Sweet Chin Music less than five seconds after the bell.

From then on, Shawn, Hunter and Cena delivered a far, far better main event than the earlier effort from the Smackdown headliners, pacing out their lengthy match with some exciting spots, dramatic action and gripping storytelling.

Surpassing all expectations, especially in spite of the non-existent build-up, Michaels, Hunter and Cena proved to their critics why they deserve to be on top of the Raw brand by delivering a terrific main event in which Cena retained the gold.
Your Winner and still WWE Champion: John Cena

Final Thoughts:
WWE’s Raw brand finds themselves in an odd position not that dissimilar to how TNA were for a long while; producing mind-bogglingly stupid television shows, then cranking up the action and delivering something rather special on pay per view.

Tonight’s main event pitting WWE Champion John Cena against DX stole the show by a long mile, whilst the encounter between Randy Orton and rising star Kofi Kingston was easily the best of the three elimination matches.

That’s not to say the opening Miz/Morrison clash wasn’t entertaining; WWE’s young bloods worked hard to create a good opening bout which served it’s purpose well.

On the other hand, The Undertaker’s title defence against Jerishow was anything but entertaining; slow, meandering and achieving very little, it certainly wasn’t anything this writer would recommend you actively seek out.

A decent show overall with the Raw brand triumphing over Smackdown in terms of in-ring quality. Now there’s something you never thought you’d read six months ago.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

TV REVIEW: WWE SMACKDOWN - October 30th, 2009

Rochester, New York

Fresh from their triumphant performance at Bragging Rights, Smackdown head back to New York with their trophy in tow. Yet with Survivor Series approaching, there’s little time to gloat.

**NOTE: This is a review I originally wrote live at the time in 2009. I found this in my archives and decided to share it here** 

Teddy Long sets up tonight’s main event

This week’s Smackdown kicks off with a word from General Manager, Teddy Long. Not surprisingly, the Smackdown boss is pleased with his team’s victory at Bragging Rights, as is Chris Jericho, who interrupts proceedings to talk about the World Heavyweight Championship situation.

Following Raw’s example, Teddy announces that the title will be contested in a triple threat match at Survivor Series, with The Undertaker defending not only against The Big Show, but against the winner of a match between Jericho and Kane, due to take place later tonight.

Non-title match: Intercontinental Champion John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler

The two long-standing rivals get into a battle of wits on the microphone before their war turns physical in a very entertaining contest that Ziggler wins via count-out.
Your Winner via Count-out: Dolph Ziggler 

Backstage, Vince McMahon catches up with Teddy Long, informing the Smackdown GM that his probation period may soon be over following a recent spat of good work.

Not everyone is so happy with Long, as CM Punk arrives to complain about being left out of the world title picture. Hoping to appease one of his biggest stars, Vince books CM Punk in a match with, of all people, referee Scott Armstrong.

Beth Phoenix vs. Jenny Brooks 

Looking to re-establish herself as a dominant force in the Divas division, The Glamazon destroys enhancement talent Brooks in a short and sweet squash match.
Your Winner: Beth Phoenix

Full of Halloween cheer, Vickie Guerrero puts in an appearance dressed as a princess and insists the crowd refer to her as Princess Vickie Guerrero when she leads her boyfriend, Eric Escobar into competition next.

Eric Escobar vs. Matt Hardy

The veteran and the rookie collide in hard-fought contest, with newcomer Escobar looking to establish himself as a threat to the Smackdown roster, and seasoned pro Hardy hoping to get back to his winning ways.

He does just that, picking up the pinfall following a short, passable bout.
Your Winner: Matt Hardy 

After being attacked by his old friend at Bragging Rights, Rey Mysterio heads to the ring to try and work things out with Dave Batista.

Yet Big Dave is in no mood to make amends, instead insisting that their friendship is dead and from now on, Batista only looks out for Batista.

Batista attacks Matt Hardy

Heading backstage after a commercial break, Matt Hardy tries to talk some sense into Batista. Unfortunately for the elder Hardy brother, Batista is adamant in sticking with his new attitude and, just to prove it, he attacks Hardy.

Later on in the show, it is announced that Hardy and Batista will face off next week.

From the Vault: John Cena vs. Chris Jericho - Smackdown 2002

A rookie John Cena, long before he became the biggest thing in modern pro wrestling, tackles an angry Y2J in a good match which proves that Cena could actually wrestle if he wanted to.
Cena wins via DQ when Jericho hits a low blow.

Drew McIntyre vs. Finlay 

Anyone looking forward to an epic battle between Scotland and Ireland is probably disappointed. Instead of a fairly-fought contest, the dastardly Drew McIntyre attacks Finlay on his way to the ring, annihilates him on the outside and heads to the back with an evil grin spread across his face.
No Contest 

Up next, Mickie James wins the 2009 Halloween Diva Costume Contest hosted by Cryme Tyme. The whole thing is rather embarrassing to watch, and ends when Women’s Champion Michelle McCool attacks James after the victory.

CM Punk vs. Referee Scott Armstrong

TNA may have already done the whole ‘wrestling referee’ thing (remember Shane Sewell? Nah, me neither), but that doesn’t stop Smackdown from rehashing that angle as a clearly petrified Armstrong goes up against former World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk.

No surprise here, the Straight Edge Superstar obliterate the zebra and finishes him off with the Go To Sleep.
Your Winner: CM Punk 

Afterwards, Punk tells an unconscious Scott Armstrong not to forget the beating he just received.

Main Event: Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho vs. Kane (winner earns a title shot at Survivor Series) 

With a spot in the World Heavyweight Championship triple threat match at Survivor Series on the line, Chris Jericho and Kane go at it in a heated main event.

It’s a very enjoyable match, and arguably Kane’s best performance of the last two years. Unfortunately for The Big Red Machine, a good performance is not enough to win the match, and Chris Jericho walks into the Survivor Series main event thanks to the Codebreaker.
Your Winner: Chris Jericho 

Final Thoughts: 

Though far from Smackdown’s finest show, this week’s edition was nonetheless a good effort from all concerned.

In this writer’s mind, a heel turn for Batista was long overdue and should go a long way to freshening up his character and injecting a bit of life into an otherwise stale persona. The only problem there is that it takes away from CM Punk’s status as the brand’s number one bad guy.

In the title picture, your reporter is somewhat disappointed to see Smackdown devoid of its own ideas and simply copying Raw’s main event formula, but if this means Chris Jericho main eventing pay per views again, and possibly even scoring a surprise victory over The Undertaker then I’m all for it

Saturday, 13 August 2016

TV Review: WWE Raw - August 2nd, 2010

WWE Raw 02/08/10
San Antonia, Texas

With just two weeks before they’re set to do battle against Nexus at Summerslam, tensions between Team WWE reach breaking point. Elsewhere, WWE Champion Sheamus took on Goldust whilst the Celtic Warrior’s newest rival, Randy Orton, battled The Miz in the main event of WWE Raw.

Here’s what went down.

R-Truth confronted Edge

The Rated R Superstar kicked off this week’s show with an in-ring promo in which he lambasted his Summerslam teammates. ‘I don’t respect John Cena, I don’t trust Chris Jericho, I have no faith in The Great Khali and I barely know Morrison and Truth,’ said Edge, before challenging Nexus leader Wade Barrett to a match.

Instead of Barrett, it was R-Truth who made his way to the ring next, squaring up to his partner and urging him to be a team player. If the seven members of Team WWE didn’t work together, claimed truth, Nexus would win.

Before Edge had the chance to respond, Michael Cole received an e-mail from the Raw General Manager, who booked Edge. vs. Wade Barrett for right there and then.

Edge vs. Wade Barrett

Looking to assert his dominance early on, Barrett controlled the bulk of this fairly average contest before Edge fought back in a valiant comeback and set up his foe for a deadly spear.  Barrett however, was saved at the final moments by the arrival of his Nexus cohorts, who chased Edge up into the crowds, throwing the match out.
Result: No contest 

Returning from commercial, Edge confronted John Cena backstage and questioned why he didn’t come to his aid in the previous match. Cena insisted that since Edge had claimed he didn’t want any help, he wasn’t going to give him any. Infuriated, Edge quit WWE’s Summerslam team!

As Edge stormed off, cameras zoomed out to reveal Chris Jericho stood next to Cena. After a back-and-forth argument between the two, Cena accepted Jericho’s challenge for a match later in the show, with the added stipulation that the loser would have to leave Team WWE.

Nexus confront The Great Khali

Still backstage, John Morrison was found talking to The Great Khali and Ranjin Singh. Following some bog-standard Summerslam hype between the three, Morrison left, wishing Khali good luck in his match against Ted Dibiase (booked for later on in the show) as he did so.

With Morrison gone, members of Nexus approached the Punjabi giant and informed him that if he wanted to switch sides, his door was always open.

Eve, Gail Kim and Natalya vs. Jillian, Tamina and WWE Divas Champion, Alicia Fox

As Divas matches go, this one started out pretty good, especially when Natalya tagged in and proved why she’s one of the most underutilised girls on the WWE roster. Unfortunately, things really fell apart during the inevitable ‘All hell breaks loose, everyone fights at the same time’ spot, at which point it got a little bit messy.

To end things, Alicia Fox planted Natalya with an Axe Kick (though to be honest, it looked more like she just sat on the back of Nattie’s head.) for the three count.
Winners: Jillian, Tamina and Alicia

In the post-match, Alicia took to the microphone to boast about being the most dominant Divas Champion ever. Her moment of glory was short lived however, when Melina, in her WWE return, hit the ring and decked the champ

Non-title Match: WWE Champion Sheamus vs. Goldust 

Prior to the opening bell, fans were reminded of last year’s feud between these two in ECW. Back then, Goldust managed to hold his own against then-newcomer, Sheamus. A year on, and things are very much different. With Goldust still meandering at jobber level, the Irishman is now your WWE Champion, and oh how that showed in this match

Sheamus battered his former enemy from pillar-to-post in a short, brutal, eventually picking up the win with the Celtic Cross.
Your Winner: Sheamus

‘Oh, what a difference a year makes,’ grinned Sheamus in his post-match promo, going on to hype his WWE Championship match against Randy Orton at Summerslam. This was a good, perhaps even underrated piece of work by the WWE, cleverly showing Sheamus’ rapid rise to the top of the WWE hierarchy.

Chris Jericho vs. John Cena (winner must leave WWE’s Summerslam team)

Though hardly the greatest match ever, this was nonetheless a decent outing from the pair, with Jericho dominating the bulk of the battle, Cena gearing up for his signature spots and eventually making the inevitable comeback; Jericho quickly tapping to the STF before his opponent had even locked it in properly.
Your Winner: John Cena

As per the stipulation, Cena’s victory meant Jericho would have to leave Team WWE. Instead, Cena took the microphone and urged his foe to stay on the team. Jericho looked to be contemplating doing so for a spell, before shaking his head and walking off backstage to a chorus of boos.

Jericho and Edge reunite

Backstage, Edge congratulated Jericho on walking out of Team WWE. Returning the compliment, Jericho offered his respect to Edge for quitting the team earlier in the show. The two then eventually agreed to put their differences behind them and, with a handshake and a manly hug, vowed to work together.

Another e-mail from the GM then came in, informing the Canadian duo that they’d be facing John Cena and Bret Hart in a tag match on next week’s show.

Before the next match, we got a look at the new trailer for John Cena’s new movie, Legendary. It looks terrible.

The Great Khali vs. Ted Dibiase

Yeah, this happened. It was neither good nor bad, and ended with Wade Barrett and Skip Sheffield distracting Dibiase, allowing Khali to pick up the win.
Your Winner: The Great Khali

In a pre-taped segment, Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg hyped their new movie before The Bella Twins arrived and urged Farrell to ‘get some coffee’ with them. He politely declined, and that was pretty much the end of that. Much like the last match, it was just one of those things that happened and was neither here nor there.

Non-title Match: United States Champion The Miz vs. Randy Orton

Tonight’s main event began with a pre-match promo from The Miz, who took to the microphone and vowed that he would unquestionably become WWE Champion, sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately for The Miz, the number one contender for the title, Randy Orton, had other ideas. The two had a heated contest between the two in which Mr. Money in the Bank more than held his own against verified main-eventer, Orton.

Yet despite looking for all the world like he belonged in the upper-echelons of the WWE, tonight was not to be Miz’s night. Following an enjoyable scrap, The Viper struck with the RKO to earn the win.
Your Winner: Randy Orton

After the match, Sheamus ran to the ring for an intense staredown with his upcoming Summerslam opponent as WWE Raw faded to black.

Final Thoughts: 
Though this wasn’t the greatest show ever in terms of unexpected surprises, monumental events and outstanding matches, it was, in this writer’s mind at least, very smartly and solidly booked.

Though I’m a bit disappointed that the Edge/Jericho Union was somewhat downplayed, it does add an interesting component to future WWE storylines, and certainly, makes the build up to Summerslam more interesting.

Sheamus’ match against Goldust was very well done. Again, it was hardly spectacular from an in-ring standpoint, but by referencing their history together, it served well to remind fans of how the Celtic Warrior battered his way to the top of the company in such a short time.

Booking The Miz in the main event, and having him look equal to Randy Orton was another smart move, allowing the US Champion to prove that he can handle performing at that level, and getting fans used to an eventual main event push for the Awesome One.

Monday, 25 July 2016

TV REVIEW: WWE SMACKDOWN - September 25th, 2009

September 25th, 2009 
Tulsa, Oklahoma

**This is a WWE Smackdown review that I wrote live at the time in 2009 during the run up to that year's Hell in a Cell pay per view*

CM Punk Speaks

Hoping to get the Tulsa crowd riled up and ready for action, WWE send out the hottest heel in the company, CM Punk to do the job (not the job). And a fine job he does too; goading the audience about their alleged substance abuse and running over a list of his accomplishments to a thunderous chorus of boos. After demanding that someone in a position of authority comes down to give him some respect, Punk is instead confronted by a small army of druids who proceed to wheel a coffin to ringside accompanied by eeiry music.

Naturally, Punk acts scared and proceeds to bash the closed casket with a steel chair, expecting The Undertaker to surface. Yet when the Dead Man does not cometh, the World Heavyweight Champion makes the brave move of opening the coffin, only to find a bound and gagged Teddy Long inside.

Finally getting free, Long grabs a microphone and declares that, effective immediately, Taker's 'Hells Gate' submission hold is no longer banned and that, not only will The Phenom be able to use it when he battles Punk for the title at Hell in a Cell, but also when the two meet tonight in a non-title main event.

A good, solid segment to get things under way then.

Tag Match: Intercontinental Champion John Morrison and Finlay vs. Mike Knox and Dolph Ziggler 

As two of the hottest feuds on the Smackdown undercard collide in an entertaining, well-paced opening match, Knox and Ziggler work well to cut the ring in half and isolate Finlay from his corner right from the opening bell. It's a good strategy by the villans  which ensures that the inevitable hot-tag to Morrison drives the crowd wild.

Despite dominating most of the contest, a well-placed shillelagh shot to Knox's head by Finlay, followed by the always impressive Starship Pain from Morrison is enough to earn the win for the good guys.
Your Winners: John Morrison & Finlay 

Out in the back, Eve and her boys Cryme Tyme seem to be warming to the pesky Slam Master Jay and even allow him to take an initiation of sorts; handing him a spray can and telling him to take care of it, and that's as much as your writer gets to see.

Now apparently, what happened next was that Jay defaced Teddy Long's office, annoyed the GM and got himself booked in a match with Kane. For reasons I can't quite explain to you, dear reader, this bit was missing from the UK version of the show so when we head back to ringside, the next match doesn't seem to make much sense.

Slam Master Jay vs. Kane

Luckily, us Brits don't have to sit through something which doesn't make sense for very long as The Big Red Machine makes light work of the hip-hop homeboy, taking him out with a chokeslam in about two minutes.

In the back, Cryme Tyme are dissapointed.
Your Winner: Kane

Vince McMahon arrives at the arena. Before making his way to the ring, the Chairman is stopped by CM Punk, still angry at the announcement made earlier in the show. With little sympathy, Vinny Mac tells the champ he should have thought about the consequences of his actions.

In the ring, a jovial McMahon is an absolute riot. After insulting the crowd, he hypes next week's Ten Year Anniversary of Smackdown show, before singing the praises of one Drew McIntyre. Big things must be on the cards for the Angry Scot if he's getting the personal hype from McMahon himself.

Eliciting deafening 'USA! USA!' chants from the audience, McIntyre cuts a convincing promo as he lets us know that, from now on, Smackdown is all about him.

Not surprisingly, R-Truth finally makes his way to the ring, looking to extract some revenge for the recent spate of attacks he's suffered at the hands of McIntyre. Somewhat comically, despite being very angry, Truth still delivers his usual rap on the way to the ring.

It's worth noting that, even though he doesn't use it very long, or very often, Truth is great on the microphone. He quickly drops it and heads into the ring for a quick brawl that gets broken up by the refs.

This is shaping up to be an entertaining feud, and it should be interesting to see where it goes next.

Unified Tag Team Champion The Big Show (with Chris Jericho) vs. Batista

It is often said that the only entertaining part of any Batista match is the entrance, and whilst there is usually some truth in that, 'The Animal' at least manages to have a half-decent bout with 'The World's Largest Athlete'.

This is far from the greatest match you'll ever see, but it's at the least an entertaining psychological battle of the big men. Of course, it certainly helps that Chris Jericho is wonderful in his role as what can only be described as Big Show's manager, and the former Y2J's banter with commentator Jim Ross is nothing short of hilarious.

After fighting his way back from a vicious assault at the hands of his opponent, Batista stupidly attempts a Batista Bomb. Show counters with a chokeslam attempt, but Big Dave locks on an ankle lock. This causes Jericho to race to his partner's aid, only to recieve an ankle lock of his own.

And as Jericho frantically taps you have to believe that, somewhere in America, Ken Shamrock is nodding on with approval.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Batista

Up next, we get a video recap of the recent shenanigans between CM Punk, Teddy Long and The Undertaker. What's annoying about this is that Long still hasn't explained what's so wrong with Undertaker being champions.

Moving to Teddy Long's office, a visiting Vince McMahon demands to see his portrait. Despite Long's protests, the GM is forced to show the boss his picture. Wouldn't you know it, it's been vandalised by Slam Master Jay. Well, you have to credit to the Smackdown writers for turning a seemingly inconsequential segment earlier in the show into a big plot-point in the ongoing saga between McMahon and Long.

From the Vault: Cruiserweight Championship: Hurricane defends against Chavo Guerrero (Smackdown 2002)

Back in the days before Chavo Guerrero became the proverbial laughing stock of the WWE, he was actually a pretty awesome cruiserweight wrestler, and in this terrific bout from 2002 against The Hurricane, we're reminded of just how good Hornswoggle's arch-rival could be.

Following a superb display of speed and agility, Hurricane retains the title.
Your Winner: Hurricane

Coming back from the break, we're shown a funny clip of The Miz and John Morrison on 'Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader' which, of course, is America's answer to that 'Are You Smarter than a 10 Year-old' programme Noel Edmonds hosts over here. It has no bearing on tonight's show, but it's worth mentioning anyway, especially since Jeff Foxworthy is the host and your writer is big fan of the man's stand-up.

Getting back to more important things, we have a match on our hands.

JTG vs. David Hart Smith

Backed up by their partners and valets; JTG by Eve and Shad and Smith by Tyson Kidd and Natayla, both men into a short, spirited performance, with the son of Wigan's own British Bulldog taking the early advantage.

JTG makes a brief comeback, yet thanks to some interference by Nattie and Kidd, it's David Hart Smith who not only walks away with the win, but also proceeds to show more charisma than he ever has since being called up to the main event.
Your Winner: David Hart Smith

In the back, Josh Matthews interviews Batista. Big Dave announces that he'll be teaming up with Rey Mysterio to challenge Chris Jericho and Big Show for the Unified Tag Team Titles at Hell in a Cell.

Non-Title Match: World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk vs. The Undertaker

With twenty minutes remaining before the show ends, 'The Demon of Death Valley' takes several millennia to get to the ring. Not that you can blame him at this stage of his career. It's no secret that after years of service, The Dead Man's body just ain't what it used to be, and if anyone deserves to get a huge reaction without running himself ragged in the ring, it's The Undertaker.

Yet that doesn't seem to stop the former 'Mean Mark' from performing in a good main event as he catches the ever-cocky Punk in the corner and proceeds to pick him apart. Taker looks slow, and not quite his usual self, but he still manages to garner huge cheers from the crowd for every heavy blow delivered to the body of the seriously overpowered champion.

Eventually, Punk manages to turn things around with a hard-hitting top-rope vertical suplex and quickly starts to wear down his adversary with a headscissors.

From there, things really start to get interesting, until Punk manages to escape the Hell's Gate and escape to the outside only to be followed to the outside by Undertaker. With the referee's count drawing ever closer to ten, the champion dives into the ring to win the contest by a whisker.
Your Winner via Count Out: CM Punk

As Punk celebrates, Undertaker looks on annoyed and Smackdown comes to an end.

Final Thoughts: It's becoming more and more difficult to say anything other than "another good show from the blue brand," but say it I must. For whilst this wasn't the best show the Friday night crew have produced this year, it was still nonetheless an entertaining two hours.

The only thing that's really bugging me is the current feud between CM Punk and The Undertaker. When Jeff Hardy left the company after Summerslam, it didn't take a genius to work out that The Dead Man would likely be the next person to step up and challenge Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship. It could have been so brilliant too, had they just kept the story of the plucky champion finding cheap ways to hang on to his title whilst the clearly superior challenger grows more frustrated with every loss, but when you throw in the whole 'Montreal Revisited' angle with Teddy Long, it all becomes a little too much.

Why did Teddy feel the need to keep the belt away from The Undertaker? How was his job likely to be at stake if he didn't? Such things remain unanswered and, to me at least, seem to be really diluting what could have otherwise been a terrific feud.

Saturday, 2 July 2016


Boston, Massachusetts

Finally..The Rock, has come back to Smackdown. Well, in video form at least; delivering a special message to wrestlers and wrestling fans alike as part of the ten year anniversary of WWE Smackdown. Celebrating in style, all three brands are on hand for a very special edition of the best wrestling show on TV that culminates with an epic eight-man tag team main event.

Here's what went down when the stars of Smackdown celebrated their birthday.

*Note. This review was written live at the time back in December 2009. I found it recently whilst going through my writing portfolio and decided to post it here.* 

Batista vs. Kane 

Following an exciting video highlighting some of Smackdown's most memorable moments, two of the brand's biggest men collide in the ring.

As Big Dave makes his way to the ring, we're treated a flashback of the time he and Rey Mysterio defeated MNM for the tag team titles, and whilst he'll no doubt be hoping that a similar scene plays out come Hell in the Cell this Sunday, right now 'The Animal' has his hands full with 'The Big Red Machine'.

It's a decent effort from both men which produces a reasonably entertaining match, at least by their individual standards. After some hard-hitting, back-and-forth action, a Bastita Bomb puts Kane away for the three count.

Your Winner: Batista

Out in the back, the entire WWE roster is on hand for one giant party, celebrating ten years of Smackdown. Michael Cole pokes fun of himself by over-using his 'vintage' catchphrase (it's funny the first time, but soon gets just as annoying as when he uses it at the commentator's table) before Finlay orders some Irish whiskey and proposes a toast to Smackdown. Not surprisingly, CM Punk arrives on the scene to denounce the debauchery.

There's a cameo from Santino who, under the impression that it's a fancy-dress party, is decked in Undertaker attire and thus scares the life out of Teddy Long, but the highlight of the whole segment is the appearance of a returning Vickie Guerrero.

After lambasting Teddy for reinstating The Undertaker's Hell's Gate, the nuclear heat machine herself announces that she'll be returning to the brand to manage newcomer, Eric Escobar. Whether Escobar is much good remains to be seen, but this writer welcomes the return of one of the most entertaining women the show has ever seen.

After a quick commercial, we've got more from the big party. There are some things in life that this reporter never thought he'd have to commit to writing and 'a drunken Michael Cole eats shrimp with Finlay' is certainly one of them. Vintage Cole makes a joke about Hornswoggle's height, causing the little leprechaun to kick him in the shin.

Over on the other side of the room, Zack Ryder is denied access to MVP's V.I.P Lounge, whilst everyone from Charlie Haas to The Iron Sheik are allowed inside.

A Tribute to Eddie...

Smackdown fades into an emotional tribute video to the late, great Eddie Guerrero, and your reporter isn't ashamed to admit that it brought a tear to the eye.

Tag Team Match: Intercontinental Champion John Morrison & United States Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler & The Miz

Building towards their respective title matches at Hell in a Cell, Ziggler and Miz take it to their opponents in a very entertaining tag team contest as Jack Swagger watches on from ringside.

Meeting in the ring for the first time since they were separated, The Miz and John Morrison elicit a rave response from the Boston crowd as they kick things off, before things explode into an exciting, fast-paced bout which ends when Ziggler hits the Zig Zag on Morrison to pick up the win for his team.

Your Winners: Dolph Ziggler & The Miz 

Back at the party, racial stereotyping is in full effect as Yoshi Tatsu and Kung Fu Naki indulge in a spot of karaoke, singing Shawn Michael's theme tune. Jillian Hall takes over and the party comes screeching to a halt as her voice sends a disturbing chill up your writer's spine.

Whilst all this is going on, Sgt. Slaughter and the Iron Sheik get into a less-than-eloquent argument over which is better; the USA or Iran. The Sheik chokes on a piece of food, causing The Hurricane to come to the rescue.

Elsewhere, Michael Cole throws up on Chris Jericho's shoe, setting off a chain reaction as The Big Show also hurls. The look on Jericho's face deserves several awards.

Finally, The Rock has Come Back to Smackdown...

You could argue that the reason The Rock's appearance on tonight's show is such fun is all down to nostalgia. You could even argue that the reason his appearance makes for such a good segment is simply down to the novelty factor. You could, but you'd be wrong.

The reason why The Rock's segment on the tenth anniversary of Smackdown show is so good, is because The Rock himself is so good. Despite his years away from the business, 'The Great One' manages to deliver an incredible promo that puts most of today's current stars to shame. It's a hilarious, exciting performance from one of the most popular superstars in WWE history as The Rock brings out all his old catchphrases, puts over the Hell in a Cell pay per view and even hints at a possible guest host spot on Raw.

WWE Women's Championship Lumberjack Match: Michelle McCool defends against Melina 

With what looks like every WWE Diva in the company surrounding the ring, McCool defends her title against Melina in a fun little match that eventually breaks down into a full-scale diva riot.

As the lumberjacks, or jills, if you will, lay into each other on the outside, Beth Phoenix gives McCool the assist in keeping hold of her gold.

Your Winner and still WWE Divas Champion:

In a silly promo complete with creepy music, The Undertaker cuts his usual 'you will burn in the depths of hell' promo on CM Punk, and promises to make the champion need pills and alcohol. Yeah, great message for the PG crowd, 'Taker.

From the Vault: Matt Hardy vs. Chavo Guerrero, Smackdown 2002.

Is it just me, or is Chavo becoming something of a FTV regular? Not that anyone's complaining; going up against another FTV regular in Matt Hardy, the Mexican warrior takes it to his opponent in a very enjoyable, hard-hitting contest which is interrupted towards the finish by Kane...not the actual person, just, as Michael Cole describes it, his 'presence being felt'. This distraction is enough to allow Chavo to drill his opponent and pick up the win.

Your Winner: Chavo Guerrero

Heading to the back, the party is in full flow when Drew McIntyre takes up the microphone and proposes a toast; to Smackdown, to the future World Champion, to himself, and to the party just getting started. This brings out R-Truth, who ruins everybody's evening, and the cake, by brawling with McIntyre. The WWE Superstars come together to break things up, and the party is pretty much over.

Eight-Man Tag Team Match: DX, WWE Champion John Cena & The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton, Legacy and CM Punk

Billed as  'the biggest eight man tag team match in Smackdown history', this one certainly isn't short of star power as the top performers of both the red and blue brands do battle in a solid, action-packed main event.

A particularly nice touch comes in the form of lingering tension between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, still playing up the rivalry that led to their MOTY candidate at Wrestlemania 25.

The two legends aside, everybody plays their part well, creating a very enjoyable match which brings an equally enjoyable show to a close when The Undertaker pops Orton with the Tombstone for the win.

Your Winners: DX, John Cena and The Undertaker

In the post-match, the winners celebrate, each star posing to their own theme music as blue confetti falls from the rafters.

Final Thoughts:
For the last ten years, Smackdown has consistently proved its worth as an entertaining show and tonight's anniversary celebrations were a fitting tribute to a program which rarely fails to deliver. Despite not achieving very much (other than reaffirming the beliefs of most people that Michael Cole is some sort of idiot), the backstage party skits were entertaining, whilst the in-ring action ranged from good to great.

The return of Vickie Guerrero is most welcomed by this writer, and even after months away from the spot-light the former General Manager didn't miss a beat.

Yet for all that was great about tonight's show, one thing stood head and shoulders above the rest as the greatest; that spine-tingling promo from The Rock. If any one of Smackdown's current stars could develop even half the skill and charisma possessed by 'The Great One' in his prime, then the Friday night show may well continue to impress for many more years to come.

Happy tenth anniversary, Smackdown. Here's to ten more great years.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

TV SHOW REVIEW: WWE SMACKDOWN - December 11th 2009

WWE Smackdown: 11/12/09
Houston, Texas

**NOTE: This review was written live at the time in December 2009. I recently found it in my writing archives and decided to post here**

With just two days to go before he locks up with World Heavyweight Champion The Undertaker at TLC, Batista takes on a returning Rey Mysterio in a street fight whilst Luke Gallows makes his in-ring debut and Intercontinental Champion John Morrison indulges in a bit of racial stereotyping.

Such fun.

Batista Speaks

As he prepared to challenge The Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship in a chairs match at TLC, Batista made his way to the ring to speak his mind, and he had a lot to say.

Hyping up his forthcoming battle with The Phenom, Big Dave also took the time to play down his street fight later on in the show with Rey Mysterio, insisting that the masked superstar did not deserve to be in the same ring with him. Furthermore, The Animal insisted that not only did he not need Rey, he didn't need the fans either.

CM Punk & Luke Gallows vs. Matt Hardy & R-Truth

After assisting CM Punk, in demolishing both Hardy and Truth over the past two weeks, Luke Gallows made his official in-ring debut as he teamed with the Straightedge Saviour to take on a team looking for revenge.

Before the match began, Hardy gave out copies of his brother Jeff's new DVD, much to the chagrin of Punk, who urged the audience not to accept what he called 'poison'.

It was a fun way to kick things off and was followed by some equally fun action between the ropes. A decent opening contest saw both teams trade the advantage before Gallows picked up the win with his 12 Steps finisher.

Your Winners: CM Punk & Luke Gallows

Backstage in Teddy Long's office, the Smackdown General Manager was joined by bitter ex-lovers Vickie Guerrero and Eric Escobar.

Escobar laid into his former girlfriend in Spanish before helpfully translating for Teddy to reveal that he was basically insulting her. Not surprisingly, this resulted in Guerrero urging Long to book Escobar in a match against Chris Jericho.

From the Vault: Kane defeated US Champion MVP in a non-title match (June 2007)

Remember when MVP was one of the hottest new superstars on the Smackdown brand? When he was a larger-than-life, egomaniac heel and was thus entertaining as hell?

If not, this match showed the man also known as Montel Vontavious Porter in a better light than his usual three-minute appearances on Raw usually do as he battled Kane in a decent contest. The Big Red Machine won after a chokeslam. Yep, that happened.

Mike Knox vs. Kane

As Kane walked backstage with his music blaring (I wonder if he has his theme tune randomly playing wherever he goes, like in the Supermarket or at the hairdressers), he was stopped in his tracks by Mike Knox.

Knox insisted that he and The Big Red Machine were a lot alike, and claimed that he enjoyed fighting him on last week's show. Kane denied being anything like Knox, but admitted that he enjoyed their match too. Because of this, the two behemoths agreed to fight again later on in tonight's show.

Eric Escobar vs. Chris Jericho

Following a short exchange of offence between the two combatants, Vickie Guerrero interupted to change this into a handicap match, with Jericho's partner The Big Show joining the fray.

What followed was a mildly entertaining destruction of Escobar by the Unified Tag Team Champions, resulting in a win for the pair with the Walls of Jericho.

Your Winners: Chris Jericho & The Big Show

Afterwards, the champs took the microphone to hype their upcoming Tables, Ladders & Chairs match against Shawn Michaels and Triple H, vowing to end DX once and for all.

Drew McIntyre & John Morrison face off

In a final confrontation before they meet for Morrison's Intercontinental Championship at TLC, the champion and his challenger, Drew McIntyre, faced off in the ring.

McIntyre began by bemoaning the lack of attention afforded to him by WWE Magazine (his opponent features on the cover of the latest edition) and liking the chances of Morrison retaining at the PPV to a Scottish fable like the Loch Ness Monster.

This brought out Morrison himself, decked in full Braveheart attire as he claimed to be William Wallace (ask your history teacher) and addressed his rival in a faux Scottish accent.

The Shaman of Sexy verbally put down McIntyre, made fun of Scottish background for a while then beat him up.

Racial stereotyping aside, this was actually pretty fun.

Kane vs. Mike Knox

Smackdown's resident giants collided in a decent rematch from last week's show and faired slightly better than they did in their previous encounter.

The two behemoths battled back and forth, yet even Knox's ever-impressive flying cross-body block was not enough to secure victory as Kane planted his foe with a chokeslam to earn the three count.

Your Winner: Kane

Please let this go somewhere. As much as your reporter has always been unimpressed by Kane, Mike Knox does appear to have a lot of potential and it would be great to see him fulfil it.

Maria & Mickie James vs. WWE Women's Champion Michelle McCool & Layla

In what was probably the best match she's had at least since moving to the Friday night show, Mickie James looked good as she teamed with a returning Maria to take it to the woman she'll face for the Divas title at TLC, Michelle McCool, and her best friend, Layla El.

As short as most Divas matches usually are, this was nonetheless a good show from all four women, resulting in a win for the Number One Contender as James pinned Layla.

Your Winners: Maria & Mickie James.

After Todd Grisham and Matt Striker ran down the final card for Sunday night's TLC pay per view, it was on to the main event.

Street Fight: Batista vs. Rey Mysterio

Making his return following a knee injury, Rey Mysterio looked to extract some revenge from his friend-turned-foe, Batista in a good main event.

Batista looked better than he has in a while thanks to the efforts of his diminutive opponent as Mysterio flew around the ring in the early going before The Animal took it to the outside and proceeded to demolish his foe with a series of heavy blows involving the ringside furniture.

Not surprisingly, Big Dave maintained his momentum as he headed into a World Heavyweight Championship fight with The Undertaker by pinning Mysterio following a brutal chairshot.

Your Winner: Batista

In the post-match, The Animal continued to assault Mysterio before the lights dimmed and The Undertaker arrived on the scene, sending his upcoming opponent packing as Smackdown came to a close.

Final Thoughts: With TLC just two days away, tonight's edition of WWE Smackdown did everything it was supposed to do. Hype for three of the pay per view bouts (the TLC tag match, Batista/Undertaker's chairs clash and the Morrison/McIntyre bout) was played well and generated interest in the matches, whilst the in-ring action ranged from decent to good.

Certain parts of the opening to the Punk/Gallows vs. Hardy/Truth bout where edited out of the UK broadcast (all we missed was Punk badmouthing Jeff Hardy and his DVD again), but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the intro to that match, with Hardy giving out the DVDs and Punk doing his best to be heard over R-Truth's rapping, simply because it was something different.

And with that, I'm out of here and off to look forward to this Sunday night and WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs.

Friday, 4 December 2015

PPV REVIEW: WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs 2009

WWE - TLC 2009: Event Poster
WWE TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs
Sunday December 13th 2009,
San Antonio, Texas

**Note: This review was written live at the time. I've since found it in my writing archives and am posting it here for the sake of completion**

World Wrestling Entertainment's final pay per view of the decade brought about a number of big changes to the WWE Universe, with young stars such as Sheamus and Drew McIntyre competing for gold, DX looking to capture the tag championships for the first time and, of course, ECW's Christian & Shelton Benjamin looking to steal the show.

Here's what went down when WWE presented TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs

Dark match: CM Punk vs. R-Truth

In a match not shown on the pay per view broadcast, R-Truth defeated rival CM Punk, but don't be surprised if their bitter feud continues come Friday night.
Your Winner: R-Truth

With that out of the way, it was on with the show.

Ladder match for the ECW Championship: Christian defends against Shelton Benjamin

WWE - TLC 2009: Christian vs. Shelton BenjaminIn the run up to TLC, Christian and Shelton Benjamin vowed to steal the show with their ladder match for the former's ECW Championship, and they didn't disappoint.

Giving it everything they had, the two veterans put forth a phenomenal effort to deliver a well-paced, exciting opening contest with plenty of action and jaw-dropping spots.

After both men thrilled the crowd for the best part of twenty minutes, it was Christian who reached the top of the ladder first to retain his championship.

Your winner and still ECW Champion: Christian

Following a hype package for tonight's Unified Tag Team Championship match it was on to a title bout of a different kind as Smackdown took centre stage.

Intercontinental Championship: John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre

WWE - TLC 2009: John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre
Proving he can do far more than simply destroy people in short TV matches, challenger McIntyre stepped up his game as he took the match to his opponent, pummeling him around the ring in a decent title match.

Morrison made the inevitable comeback, but the sadistic Scott proved to be too much for the Shaman of Sexy, and following a nasty Kobashi DDT, it was McIntyre who won the match, and his first WWE title.

Your winner and NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion: Drew McIntyre

In the backstage area, Vince McMahon congratulated the new Intercontinental champion on his win, only for Josh Matthews to interrupt as he sought an interview with the WWE Chairman. Instead, McMahon implored Matthews to speak with McIntyre, who insisted it wasn't much of a surprise that he had won before Sheamus arrived on the scene to claim that the Scotsman wouldn't be the only one leaving with the gold tonight.

WWE Women's Championship: Michelle McCool defends against Mickie James

WWE - TLC 2009: Michelle McCool vs. Mickie James
With the ever-present Layla by her side, champion McCool looked to retain her gold and further humiliate her popular rival following weeks of abuse on Smackdown. Yet James wasn't about to take this lying down, and looked strong against her foe in this passable contest which seemed to send the live crowd to sleep.

In the end, it wasn't to be Mickie's night as a distraction from Layla enabled McCool to hit the big boot and pick up the win.

Your winner and still WWE Women's Champion: Michelle McCool

Wasting no time in getting on with things, we head back to Raw for another championship match.

Tables match for the WWE Championship: John Cena defends against Sheamus

WWE - TLC 2009: John Cena vs. Sheamus
After his hot-shot rise to the main event thanks to Jesse Ventura's Breakthrough Battle Royal, The Celtic Warrior Sheamus looked to dethrone John Cena in this enjoyable title contest.

Cena brought his usual game, which tonight impressed against his Irish adversary and helped to create a good match before, in a move that shocked just about every pro wrestling fan on the face of the earth, Sheamus hurled his foe off the top rope and through a table to capture the WWE Championship.

Your winner and NEW WWE Champion: Sheamus

Admit it, you didn't see that coming.

Chairs match for the World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker defends against Batista

WWE - TLC 2009: Undertaker vs. Batista
In the week's leading up to tonight's event, The Animal appeared to have the advantage over The Phenom; beating him senseless with a steel chair on at least two occasions.

Yet as the two met in the ring, The Undertaker finally gained a modicum of revenge in this mediocre title match.

At one point, Big Dave looked to have the win after he pushed his opponent into the referee then blasted him with a low-blow and a chair shot to the head for the three count. Unfortunately for Batista, Teddy Long arrived on the scene, explaining that whilst chairs were legal, low-blows were not and ordering the match to be restarted.

Coming so close to losing his title seemed to motivate The Undertaker further, and as the match began again, the champion wasted little time in blasting his foe with a vicious chairshot. A Tombstone Piledriver then sealed The Animal's fate.

Your Winner and still World Heavyweight Champion: The Undertaker

Backstage, Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes confronted Kofi Kingston, trying to instil fear in him prior to his match with their Legacy co-hort, Randy Orton. Kingston was not intimidated by the duo, and promptly barged into Orton's dressing room to see him face-to-face before they met in the ring.

Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston

WWE - TLC 2009: Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston

One of the most intense rivalries the Raw brand has seen in a long time came to ahead in this very entertaining match between bitter enemies Orton and Kingston.

The latter looked impressive as he continued to bounce back from his opponent's typically calculating offence, but it wasn't to be his night as The Viper countered a Trouble in Paradise attempt with an RKO to steal a victory.

Your Winner: Randy Orton

Backstage, Orton's erstwhile Evolution team mate, Batista, threatened to beat up Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long with a chair if he didn't 'make things right'.

TLC Match for the Unified Tag Team Championships: Chris Jericho & The Big Show defend against Shawn Michaels & Triple H

WWE - TLC 2009: DX (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) vs. Jericho (Chris Jericho and Big Show)
Though Christian and Shelton Benjamin had done plenty to fulfil their promise of stealing the show at the start of the night, the two teams competing for the Unified Tag Championship certainly gave them a run for their money in a very exciting Tables, Ladders & Chairs match which quickly spilled out of the ring and down the entrance ramp.

All four men battled back and forth, trading vicious blows and innovative spots in this agreeable main event before DX finally put an end to Jerishow's remarkable run as champions when the Heartbreak Kid scaled the ladder and retrieved the gold.

Your winners and NEW WWE Unified Tag Team Champions: Shawn Michaels & Triple H

And that just about ends tonight's show.

Final thoughts: It's the end of the year, the end of the decade, and World Wrestling Entertainment certainly went out in style. Top-and-tailed by two thrilling matches in the ECW Championship ladder match and the tag title main event, TLC was a good show by all accounts.

Personally, this writer is happy to see both Drew McIntyre and Sheamus holding gold, not only for the big surprise factor that came with the latter's shock victory, but simply because it's a strong indication that the Big 'E are putting plenty of faith in their rising stars.
By the way, didn't John Cena say that, if he did lose the title, he'd cash in his rematch clause immediately?

Saturday, 8 March 2014

ARCHIVED WRITING: WWE vs. TNA fantasy booking - Beer Money vs. Miz & Morrison

OK, so I’m back again with more What If? Scenarios. This time, we’ll be indulging in a bit of tag team shenanigans.

[Five years after this post was originally published on another website, I realise what a lousy scenario I created for this fantasy booking. That said, I'd still like to watch this match even now]

Beer Money, Inc. vs. The Miz & John Morrison

This is the one ‘dream match’ which inspired my whole WWE vs. TNA idea.

In Storm/Roode and Miz/Morrison, we have two great examples of singles workers with not much going on thrown together in a team and actually excelling in their new roles.

Beer Money have lit up TNA’s tag scene and, truth be told, are one the only things worth watching on the catastrophe known as TNA Impact.

Meanwhile, along with Carlito & Primo, The Miz & John Morrison are WWE’s tag team division (Cryme Tyme don’t count since they’re destined to be used as filler for the foreseeable future, and Rhodes/Dibiase are little more than Orton’s stooges).

In my opinion, this could work really well as a Heel vs. Heel match and though admittedly I don’t have as strong an idea for a storyline as I did with Styles/Punk, I actually reckon it wouldn’t need much of one.

All you’d need would be one more match between Miz & Morrison and The Colons with all the titles on the line. M &M would pick up the win and unify the titles.

The following week on Smackdown, the two are in the ring boasting about being the undisputed tag team champions when Robert Roode and James Storm show up with the TNA tag straps.

They beg to differ about the whole ‘Undisputed’ thing, and affirm their heel status by insulting both WWE and its fans; claiming that neither would recognise a truly great tag team like Beer Money if it powerbombed them.

To prevent a forced face-turn, Miz & Morrison agree that WWE fans are stupid (cheap heat, sure, but that’s all it would need), but that they are the better tag team.

From there, we could either go straight into this match on the following show, or build up to a pay per view with several weeks of entertaining skits/promos in which each time tries to prove they are the best.

Who would win? Who would care? This would just be a fun one to watch.

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.