5/17 Powell's WWE Judgment Day pay-per-view report: Edge vs. Jeff Hardy for the World Hvt. Championship, Randy Orton vs. Batista for the WWE Title, Rey Mysterio defends the IC Title vs. Chris Jericho
May 17, 2009 - 10:00 PM
By Jason Powell
Aired live on pay-per-view
Chicago, Ill. at the All State Arena
I will be recording a Dot Net Member Exclusive audio recap of the show later tonight. You can gain access to all Dot Net Audio, the Member's Forum, and the ad-free version of the website for only $5 per month by visiting the Dot Net Members' Signup Page.
The show opened with a video that hyped the various matches while playing on the Judgment Day theme... Fireworks exploded on the state to kick off the show live in the building. Jim Ross introduced the show and noted that there are 14,822 fans in attendance...
Powell's POV: Look like they're using all three broadcast teams tonight. The good news: Less Michael Cole and some Matt Striker. The bad news: Less Jim Ross.
1. Umaga defeated C.M. Punk in 11:55. Todd Grisham checked in with J.R. and they'll call the first match together. Ross said he has no idea why Umaga has so much rage when it comes to Punk. The live crowd popped big for the hometown Punk and chanted his name to start the match. The ring ropes are are white in a nice change of pace.
Umaga caught Punk with a twisting slam less than a minute in. Punk came up holding his shoulder. The live crowd picked up the "C.M. Punk" chant again. Grisham noted that Punk can cash in his Money in the Bank contract at any time.
Punk sold heavily in the opening minutes and then hit a plancha onto Umaga at ringside. Punk hit some of his signature spots including a knee-lift and a heel kick. He came back with a running knee to the head at 9:30. Punk hit a bulldog off the second rope and went for a cover, but Umaga threw him off.
Later, Punk went for the GTS, but couldn't lift his opponent. Umaga caught Punk with a kick and then followed up by slamming his backside into Punk's head in the corner. Umaga used the Samoan Spike and scored the 1-2-3 on Punk. Grisham put over Umaga's performance as "the most impressive return you'll see."
Powell's POV: Fun opening match. The crowd absolutely loved Punk and they'd go crazy if he came out and cashed in later tonight. Very entertaining match and a strong start to the pay-per-view.
Backstage, Chavo Guerrero told Vickie Guerrero that John Cena had received medical clearance to compete. Big Show stood up and warned Vickie that she would lose Cena to the injured list just as she lost Triple H. She said the company is bigger than any individual and that someone else would step up. "Yeah, I know who will step up," Show said. He started to leave the room, but bumped into Edge, who said he was there to speak with his wife. Show and Chavo left the room to give an uncomfortable looking Vickie some alone time with Edge...
Josh Matthews and Matt Striker narrated highlights of Christian beating Jack Swagger to win the ECW Title at the Backlash pay-per-view...
2. Christian defeated Jack Swagger at 9:35 to retain the ECW Title. Matthews and Striker on commentary. Good aggressive action to start. They went to ringside early. Swagger picked up Christian and threw him into the ring post. Cool spot. Back in the ring, they slowed things down temporarily, as Swagger locked Christian in a leg scissors.
Both men traded good near falls between 8:00 and 9:00. A short time later, Christian rolled up Swagger and then held the tights for the win. After the match, the announcers pointed out that Swagger held the tights while going for a pin earlier in the match...
Powell's POV: Another good match. I really enjoy watching these two. The story last month was that Swagger got caught taking a turnbuckle off only to be slammed onto an exposed turnbuckle. This month, Swagger was caught holding the tights, only to be pinned as Christian held the tights. Nice storytelling and I don't think we've seen the last of these feud.
Backstage, Edge left the room and bitched to Chavo about not stepping in when Santina called Vickie a pig... A shot aired of several Chicago Bears sitting at ringside...
Powell's POV: Ross misidentified one player as Jay Cutler, but I'm pretty sure it was tight end Greg Olsen. Ross may have been confused because the player had a drink in his hand, so it's only natural to assume it was Cutler. Wow, my first shot at Cutler, who was one of my favorite QBs. The thrill is gone now that he's playing for a division rival of my beloved Vikings.
3. John Morrison defeated Shelton Benjamin (w/Charlie Haas) in 10:10. Ross and Grisham on commentary for the Smackdown match. Less than two minutes in, Morrison used the top rope as a springboard and performed a 450 splash/dive onto Shelton at ringside. Awesome! They slowed things down in a hurry back in the ring and the crowd got quiet in a hurry.
At 9:00, Shelton caught Morrison leaping off the rope in a powerbomb position. He stumbled as he ran with him and threw him into the far corner. Scary move, but Morrison landed in the right position. Later, Morrison knocked Haas off the ring apron and followed up with the flying Chuck Kick (his tribute to Chuck Norris). Morrison hit his Starship Pain (split-legged corkscrew moonsault).
Powell's POV: The live crowd never really recovered from the slow middle section, but there were some amazing high spots from Morrison. I hope they give these two another shot next month on pay-per-view.
A WrestleMania 25 DVD ad aired. The DVD comes out on Tuesday...
The Miz's music played and he strutted to the ring. Nice! We heard from Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler for the first time. Not so nice. In the ring, Miz told the crowd to "give it up for Marty Jannetty, oh, I mean John Morrisson." Nice line.
The crowd gave Miz the "What" treatment. He acknowledged it and said they sounded like a bunch of ducks. Miz quacked at the crowd. The crowd booed and then chanted, "You suck." He responded by saying, "I haven't heard that one before." Miz said that since he can't wrestle John Cena tonight, he was going to challenge someone comparable. He called Cena a "lovable loser, much like the Chicago Cubs."
Miz pointed out Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano sitting in the front row. Miz noted that Soriano does Cena's "You can't me" hand gesture after he hits a home run. Miz said the hand gesture really means, "You can't see a World Series ring as long as you play for the Cubs." Miz said it was a cheap line and therefore he wanted to apologize to anyone who was around in 1908 to see the Cubs win the World Series.
Miz challenged Soriano to serve as a Cena surrogate by facing him in a match. Miz excused himself and said he received a phone call. "Forget it, Alfonso, that was Lou Pinella," Miz said. "He said you can't do it because he'd rather you get your annual injury on the field rather than off." Miz said that since Soriano couldn't wrestle and was supposed to be a fill-in for Cena, he's therefore 4-0 against Cena.
Santino Marella's entrance music played and he came to the ring to confront Miz. Santino took offense to Miz mocking Soriano because he assumed it was an Italian name. Funny. Soriano laughed in the crowd. Santino said some WWE wrestlers look like animals. He said Vickie looks like a pig, and Vladimir Kozlov looks like the muppet eagle. He said miz looks like a jackass. Cole and Lawler did their annoying fake laughing bit.
Miz said he had no problem kicking Santino's ass. Santino said he hopes Miz brought a metal detector. He said he brought some guns and pulled the sleeves off his t-shirt. Miz punched Santino, who fired back. Miz laid out Santino with a DDT. The crowd booed.
As Miz was leaving the ring, Chavo Guerrero ran out and yelled at the fallen Santino. Chavo went up top and Frogsplashed Santino. Chavo yelled, "You're the pig now, Santino"...
Powell's POV: The Miz's streak of greatness continues. It went downhill quickly when Santino came out, but watching Miz tear into the Cubs and Soriano was fantastic. Soriano didn't laugh along or act like he was going to do anything. He just stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face, which helped the segment...
Backstage, Josh Matthews interviewed Chris Jericho, who tore into Rey Mysterio and the fans. He led the fans to chant "619" via his heel promo. He vowed that there would not be a 619 tonight, and guaranteed that there would be a new Intercontinental Champion...
4. Rey Mysterio pinned Chris Jericho to retain the Intercontinental Title in 12:30. At 6:00, Jericho caught Rey in a Torture Rack. He spun around and then dropped down to his knees. Jericho went for the cover, but Rey kicked out. Really cool move. Later, Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho, but Rey blocked it. Jericho hit tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a near fall.
At 10:15, Rey went for the 619, but Jericho caught him and immediately applied the Walls of Jericho. The live crowd cheered like crazy for Jericho applying the hold. Rey tried to crawl toward the ropes, but Jericho pulled him back. Rey slipped out and caught Jericho in an inside cradle for a near fall.
Rey ran at Jericho, who threw him into the air and caught him in a powerbomb slam for another great near fall. Later, Jericho got his head slammed into the turnbuckle and dropped down to his knees. Rey hit the 619 and then followed up with an awesome top rope splash for the clean pin. The crowd popped big for Rey getting the pin...
Powell's POV: That match was a blast once they kicked it into gear down the stretch. They want to work a long program together, so this is just the first chapter of the feud. I loved the way Jericho played into the assumption that he'd capture the title on this show by guaranteeing a victory in his promo. It was fun to watch the live crowd cheer Jericho going for the finisher only to pop even louder for Rey getting the pin. Great show so far.
A video recapped Randy Orton's latest exploits and his feud with Batista... Randy Orton made a slow ring entrance. Batista came out with a big cut on his forehead...
Powell's POV: I believe the cut occurred during the dark match main event on Monday night after Raw. Unless I'm losing my mind (which is possible), I believe our correspondent noted that Batista was bleeding heavily when he headed backstage after the match, leaving John Cena to celebrate with the fans.
5. Batista defeated Randy Orton by DQ in a WWE Title match in 14:50. The crowd popped big for Batista's entrance. They quieted down once the match started. Orton applied the chinlock of death, but he didn't keep it locked in as long as usual. After some back and forth action, Batista took control. At 13:15, Orton grabbed the belt and tried to leave.
Batista ran to ringside and grabbed Randy. Batista threw Orton back inside the ring and hit the spinebuster. Batista went for the Batista Bomb, but Randy punched him in the head until he released him. Orton went for the RKO, but Batista pushed him off. At 14:40, Batista shoved Orton into the corner and he stopped just short of running into the referee.
Batista grabbed Randy from behind, and Orton slapped the referee across the face for the DQ. Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes ran out and attacked Batista. "Whoooooooo!" played over the house p.a. system. Ric Flair's entrance music played and he headed to the ring to save Batista. Flair threw punched the Legacy members and eventually helped Batista clear the ring...
Powell's POV: Didn't I just see that guy on Ring of Honor's HDNet show? The live crowd popped big for Naitch. Looks like the retirement isn't going to last long.
Cole and Lawler popped for Flair at ringside and then introduced a video that focussed on the John Cena vs. Big Show feud...
6. John Cena pinned Big Show in 15:00. Show dominated the first five minutes of the match and then tossed Cena to ringside. Show continued to dominate as then reentered the ring. Cena went for a bulldog at 6:15, but Show just pushed him away. Lawler noted that the match was all Show and that Cena had yet to hit any big moves.
At 8:00, Big Show applied what Cole referred to as a "gargantuan bear hug." Cena eventually broke free and Cole put over Cena's "amazing power." Show shoved Cena to the mat again. When Cena stood up, Show ran at him, turned around, and slammed his backside into Cena. Iceman Parsons is screaming "gimmick infringement."
At 10:00, Cena finally connected with a couple of punches and took down Show with a neck breaker. Cena did the "You can't see me" bit and connected with the five knuckle shuffle. However, Show stood up and grabbed Cena by the throat. Show went for the chokeslam, but Cena slipped out and DDT'd Show.
Cena applied the STF, but Show broke free and came right back with a big clothesline. Show dragged Cena to the corner and hit the Vader Bomb, but Cena kicked out at two. Cole said Cena kicked out after "literally being squashed." He said he didn't know a better way to put it. Yep, and that's part of the problem, Michael.
Later, Show kicked Cena to ringside and then tried to bring him back in the ring, but Cena went on offense and ended up hitting a leg drop off the second rope. He went for the STF again, but Show broke it up. "It can't be done!" Lawler exclaimed. Show picked up Cena in powerbomb position, but dropped him over his head and drove him into the mat instead.
Show stood up and signified that he was going for the knockout punch. Cena slowly stood up. Show went for the punch, but Cena avoided it. Cena used the Attitude Adjustment and scored the clean pin. The announcers raved about it as a "miracle victory." The live crowd wasn't nearly as lively for the finish as they have been for past Cena wins. Cena headed to ringside and hugged Alfonso Soriano...
Powell's POV: About what you'd expect from these two. The opening matches were so damn energetic and entertaining that the big guys like Batista and Big Show just haven't been able to match it. The announcers raved about Cena's win and referred to it as one of the most amazing wins of his career. The crowd had fun with the post-match celebration, but they weren't digging it as much as the announcers were pretending to.
An ad aired for Terminator Salvation. Can't wait!... Grisham and Ross hyped the Extreme Rules pay-per-view for June 7 in New Orleans... A video aired to promote the Edge vs. Jeff Hardy match...
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7. Edge pinned Jeff Hardy to retain the World Hvt. Championship in 19:55. Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions for the title match. Scott Armstrong is the referee, but the announcer didn't say it because Vince McMahon likes his referees to blend in. Sigh.
Good back and forth action to start. Hardy hit a nice kick onto a seated Edge for a near fall at 9:30. He came back a short time later with a crossbody block off the top rope for a better near fall. At 11:00, Hardy applied the Sharpshooter, but Edge reached the ropes. At 11:30, Edge hit the Twist of Fate for a near fall.
At 12:30, Hardy ran toward the corner and used the ropes to press himself up for a kick on the seated Edge, but Edge stood up, caught Hardy, and powerbombed him. The announcers noted that Hardy was showing signs of frustration.
Both wrestlers went to ringside and Hardy dismantled part of the ringside barrier. Hardy ran the rail, but Edge recovered and ran off the announcers desk and speared Hardy in mid-air. Hardy landed on the ring barrier he dismantled and it ended up providing him with a nice cushion. Cool move. Hardy struggled to get up. The ref counted, but Hardy made it back in the ring at the nine count.
At 16:30, Hardy hit the Twist of Fate and went for another cover, but Edge stuck his leg on the rope to break it up. They ended up back at ringside. With the referee distracted, Matt Hardy showed up out of nowhere and clubbed his brother over the back of the head with his cast. Edge rolled Hardy back inside the ring and went for the cover, but Edge kicked out.
Hardy came back and went up top for the Swanton. Edge recovered and caught Hardy on the ropes. Edge hit the Edgecution off the ropes and scored the clean pin to win the match. Edge celebrated with his title belt while trainers tended to Hardy in the ring to close the show...
Powell's POV: Very entertaining main event. Great near falls and good drama. I'm guessing Matt's interference leads to a one-off match at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view. I hate to see them ignore the rules of the brand split, but I'd be fine with it in this case since they've established a storyline purpose for doing so. Overall, another strong pay-per-view effort from WWE. It wasn't the most newsworthy show aside from Flair returning, but there were plenty of quality matches.
Check back tomorrow for the WWE Judgment Day Hitlist. Rich Twilling and I will be recording a Dot Net Member Exclusive audio recap of the pay-per-view shortly.