The video package to start the PPV off was really spectacular. Things like that, that may seem small, are what really helps a BTB along. A great deal of detail and work looks to have gone into it, so top job. It pretty much summed up the lead-up to the event by showing what happened at WrestleMania 22 very well, before finishing off nicely. The commentary was also great to start with, really setting the scene for the PPV well.
Great way to start off proceedings with two of the best wrestlers going around here. The comment that Charlie got a lesser pop than Shelton makes me think he’ll be the one to turn down the line (as does the promo on last RAW), though it shouldn’t be tonight. Nice use of Coach as devil’s advocate too, saying one of the two may take a cheap shot. The handshake to start with is nice to symbolise that they are indeed buddies (well, for now at least), and thus far Coach has been pure gold. The technical wrestling is nice to see to start with, though changing it up a bit with Benjamin nailing some strikes makes sense, as WWE matches are never just pure technical contests (well, maybe Benoit vs Angle @ Mania X-7, but that’s an exception). Having Haas make an early comeback is the right move too, as this isn’t a match where one man should dominate for too long, especially considering the match has just got under way. The crowd reacting negatively to Haas along with Haas not caring again seem to be hints that are well placed here. Haas’ ruthlessness is really being showcased well here with the barrage of attacks and his little comments in there which I love. Haas is actually playing the heel role very well here, with a nice tease for the fans at a Shelton comeback been thrown in with the cross body in the right place. The big moves came on a bit suddenly, though I’m liking it, especially with the swift counters being used. The sequence of moves from the Superkick that left Haas standing to the move right into the armbar from the kick out are all very indy style wrestling, and I have to say, I love it. Good to see you using these two guys to bring in that different type of strong style wrestling, as it’s very fun to read. The suspense as to whether Shelton would force the submission or not was written very nicely, though you could tell it wouldn’t quite end there.
The counter into the Haas of Pain was tremendous (as well as the counter out of the Haas of Pain for that matter), as I’m loving the counter wrestling here. The counters just continued on amazingly until the end with a smart finish which should add to the frustration of Haas. A very indy style match, and because of that, I loved every moment of it.
Remembering Maria was kidnapped (and possibly raped
)? Good to see. This was better than Trish’s promo on RAW as it all seemed to go together a bit better. Trish calling Mickie slutty wasn’t necessarily needed, though I appreciate that you’re trying to get across her hatred.
Nice little promo to hype the main event and the major stip behind it here.
Helms/’Lito simply had to start with this fast pace for it to be considered interesting at all following up from the opener you had. Helms taking the early control was good, especially with some moves to really get the crowd going by showing his agility. Carlito not needing Masters to launch a comeback of his own is all good imo, as he is Mr Money in the Bank, and as such needs to look good. Carlito’s offence was fine, lasting about the right amount of time, while Helms’ comeback came after a small tease with a very nice move to crotch ‘Lito coming as a great momentum changer, followed up with another crowd pleaser in the hurricanrana. The high octane offence of Helms is very good to see, keeping it innovative and exciting. Back body drop counter was already used in this match, so that’s a bit repetitive, even if it did go the other way this time. The use of the erm, face to the nuts to allow for a pause was well done, as was Helms overcoming the attempt at cheating from ‘Lito to allow him to almost have the win, if not for Masters. The continued teasing that Helms may pick up the win, only for ‘Lito to shatter those dreams in the end was built up well, with a nice ending. Again, entertaining stuff here.
Hype for the women? Cool. Also interesting to see you hyping WrestleMania 23 already. It’d be epic if you got there, tbf. Poster’s pretty sexy too, Bradley (if you ever read this). More hype, this time for Show vs RVD was good filler.
Showing Trish’s hatred with how this started was a very good idea, showing that she simply couldn’t wait to get her hands on Mickie (Joey saying “Catfight~!” would’ve been appropriate here, btw
). Ducking the clotheslines may have been a bit overused here, as you had four or five ducks of the very same move in the first minute or so, which is overkill imo. The action again being at a frenetic pace is good to begin with as it’s a multi-woman match. The slap exchange was pretty damn cool and well written, really bringing a new level of intensity forward to the match. The hard hitting action continues to be great as the match progresses and Trish squealing is well, always welcome
. Not exactly liking the no selling of the spear tbh, but hey, at least you acknowledged it yourself.
@ the ignoring of the rules from the official. Sometimes I swear they’re retarded. Again, the violence being turned up here is great, showing a real hard hitting women’s match with three of the divas capable of doing it. The double clothesline spot to finish the little exchange was also very clever, so I guess I should mention that. Again, the fast paced action leading into the big clothesline from Victoria was top notch. The action continued on very nicely, with the Chick Kick spot being quite simply amazing. Awesome, awesome, awesome. You’ve really put Victoria over strong here as well, as despite her not really being the focus of the feud, she’s really put on a good show here, with the counter out of the sunset flip back into the Widow’s Peak being great stuff again. Mickie stealing the title from Trish right after Trish looked to have it won ensures this feud has a lot more legs after this great match. Very well planned out, with the pace being great. Reminded me a lot more of an indy match again than the usual crap we get with the WWE divas, though it’s refreshing to see the women being booked so well. It of course helps when you’re using three of the best WWE have (well, had), as you are. Another great match.
Again, hype for your main event breaks things up well. Spirit Squad promo was quality stuff, as per the norm with you and them. They’re in your face, annoying and corny, and you just seem to write that really well (not that I’m implying anything of you
). Estrada at the end adds some intrigue. A turn from him, perhaps? Nice little promo from TWGTT, though Benjamin saying the best man didn’t win is a bit odd. Is he just playing on the fact that Haas thinks he’s better? I guess so. Anyway, nice hint at more dissension in the ranks.
Extremely clever little ploy used by The Bisch (and well, thought of by you) to give the Squad some extra heat, as well as making the Coach look like a dick and making the match seem unwinnable for Haas and Benjamin. The athleticism of the Squad being shown is great, as it’s what makes them so damn annoying.
@ another dig at a kink in wrestling, where while being no DQ, the partners stay on the apron despite the referee being powerless to stop them coming in. That athleticism continues to being showcased well, and the teamwork from Kenny and Johnny was damn fine. Why’s the referee cutting Benjamin off when it’s no DQ? Though you mentioned it earlier in the match, he should still be powerless to stop Shelton. The use of double teams from the Squad is good to see, because you’ve given yourself a fair chance to have all of them featured fairly. Without doing so, it would’ve been hard. I don’t think Doane is the youngest champ in WWE history since I’m sure Rene Dupree was World Tag Champ at 19, while Kenny was 20, but hey, this is just me being a total wrestling nerd (or at least attempting to be one). While the tease at a comeback took awhile to come, I’m glad it did at the time you used it, as Charlie was never going to come back quickly after his match earlier, with the shot from the belt to start the match off on top of that as well. Nice cheap tactic from the Squad to keep Haas down as well with the clothesline from the apron. A double team finally being the undoing of the Squad is appropriate, as they had cheated all along to keep their advantage going. The double German was also fucking amazing too. Benjamin coming in at such a fast pace, wiping out the Squad members was great stuff, really getting the match heading to a climax with that awesome top tope t-bone. The irony of the powerbomb into the corner from Benjamin is played on well, and with the match set to end, moving as many people as possible to the outside is good. The no DQ ruling finally being brought into effect (well, since the start of the match) is good to see, and using it to take out two of the Squad members for the rest of the match is a good use. The finish of Doane being left outnumbered is great poetic justice for the ending, with yet another very entertaining match coming to a finale. Estrada coming out to introduce what I would assume is the tag team formerly known as 3MW is a huge shock, as it opens up great possibilities for the future, whether Jamal and Rosey eventually go singles or not. Your writing brought out great descriptiveness when it comes to just how savage these two are, with the commentary added in nicely from Styles and Ross. The sheer force and power of the two men was showcased very, very well. The use of Umaga’s Samoan Wrecking Ball is good, as it’s a damn impressive looking move when you see how fast he moves, and you really emphasised the force of it well. The same can be said for how you wrote the pair of Samoan Spikes.
@ the belts in the mouths, just like Umaga did with the Intercontinental Title (well, at least I think he did). Top stuff, with a brand new threat unveiled tonight in huge fashion. Awesome.
Showing the battle wounds of Mickie and Helms fills in time well, as was the Squad again emphasising the scariness of The Sons of Samoa.
Beautiful opening paragraph, really building up how big this match is. RVD taking to it to Show right away is the right move, showing his desperation to get at him. With the whole story of the feud being the sadistic nature of Show and Bearer, I don’t like the idea of Show trying to leave after a shot that didn’t even take him off his feet when he could attempt to punish Van Dam in the cage. Big Show showcasing his power by not being forced headfirst into the cage was smart, saving the steel weapon for later, while it also led into you selling just how dangerous RVD’s kicks are very well. Not big on Van Dam being able to run Show across the ring, as I’m sure Show could simply refuse, although it served as an alright way to change the momentum at the right time. The simple kick/punch strategy from Show on the injured ribs of RVD was top stuff, as you made sure to make the impact seem as gruesome as possible. RVD’s desperation at not wanting to let Show out was written well, though Show staying on the offensive afterwards was the right way to go, with him making RVD bleed only building the sympathy for Van Dam. The continued desperation of Van Dam was excellent, and the thrust kick spot was smart. Again, I don’t think RVD has the power to be able to run a 500 lb man across the ring with him, though I like Big Show being busted open as it adds more avenues for you to go down (the giant struggling from blood poss, perhaps?), and well, cage matches are meant to be bloody wars. Everyone pleading for Van Dam to leave only for him not to and thus it costing him was built up very well too, with the storytelling in the match writing being phenomenal. The use of Bearer to get the burlap sack and steel chair into the ring were well done, adding some new toys to be played with as the desperation of Van Dam continues to be great. The use of the Van Daminator to put Show out was good, utilising a big move of Van Dam, and his willingness to please the fans by heading to the top of the cage was well used, allowing some outside interference to begin. The use of Masters was awesome, using his gimmick/strength to great effect. You set the scene perfectly for the Triple H interference as well, bringing an awesome return. The face turn was awesome, surprising Bischoff by taking out his cronies. The mandatory Spanish announce table bump from ‘Lito was freakin’ awesome, and Triple H cashing Bischoff out leaves the two important men in the ring. The Five Star missing makes sense as Show was down for so long, and the three right hands to end it for Van Dam put over how sickening and sadistic Show is. Shocked to see Van Dam lost, but with the way Triple H returned you can’t help but feel the focus will now move onto him with Bischoff and friends. The commentary afterwards was great, putting over the implications, while Coach was awesome as ever. Amazing stuff.
Probably could have done with more than just the Judgment Day ad to split up time before the Flair segment. Would’ve taken them some considerable time to clean the ring and get all of the bodies backstage. Just a minor thing, really.
Flair was amazingly on right from the start here with some great stuff, getting the crowd emotionally invested right to begin with. Pretty surprised retirement is the road you went down, though you built up to it very well with the little speech from Flair. Orton interrupting is something I didn’t expect, though it makes sense. Great start with Orton, building Flair up as someone who was great but is now walking away. The characterization from Randy in the way that he talks is especially great. Flair bringing up his history gives you that appreciation of his career, while Orton bringing up how close he is to Flair by knowing his family gives you the appreciation of how close they are. The exchange between the two was great stuff leading into Orton knocking Flair’s microphone away. Orton’s speech was brilliant. The passion, emotion and just character behind it were amazing. It seemed almost as if Orton had him convinced, but you went down the emotion road, tugging at the heart strings. No doubt Flair will be back sooner rather than later, however this was a great promo.
Show and Bischoff segments before the video package serve as fine filler.
The showing of intensity from both men in their entrances was great stuff. Angle taking control in the early part shows his experience well, while Cena fighting back with his own headlock and being smart enough to go down to a knee puts over that he’s very smart in the ring, despite the inexperience. The short arm clothesline from Cena to show he isn’t a finesse type of guy was smart, and building up to him spitting back at Angle has made them look even once again, which is good stuff. Using Angle’s intensity to be pissed at being spat on leading to the breaking down and subsequent higher pace of the match is good, as you can’t have it move slowly forever. The emphasis on the surgical approach of Angle was nice, putting him over well as a true technician. The short tease before the comeback from Cena was done well, as is the norm here, though with no real build-up to it, it definitely gives you the feel that this match has a long way to go. The counter of Kurt kicking Cena when he went down to taunt him was great. Don’t think I’ve ever seen that before, but it’s a great idea. The Cena comeback was never going to last long because, as I said before, this still has a lot of legs. The counter to the third German seemed a touch awkward, as you had Cena spin out behind Angle, then kick him in the gut. A little more detail to say Angle turned around quickly was needed imo. The second counter to the five knuckle shuffle was again great, this time with the Ankle Lock, although I’m glad to see you had Cena counter the same way Angle countered out of the STF-U, again making them look equal. Not sure about Cena being so remorseless about going after the leg since he’s usually a nice guy and stuff, however it does show his intensity well. The shinbreaker on the steel steps was also a very clever move. The desperation of Angle to not be caught in the STF-U was very well written, while Cena still being remorseless keeps the story going. The counter of the F-U into the German suplex was alright, though after all of the punishment to Angle’s leg, you’d have to question whether or not his knees wouldn’t give out on him after escaping the move. Three Germans might be a bit too much for Angle as well, though the sudden F-U with the burst of energy from Cena was cool. The exchange of rights with the classic Cena crowd reaction was great stuff; very well written. The chain of counters into the STF-U was very well written, and again, the pain, the pressure and the agony built up the suspense beautifully. The build for whether Cena would tap in the Anle Lock was much the same, though here you showcased Cena’s strength in a great way as well. Glad to see you went with Angle countering out of the F-U into the Angle Slam despite Cena’s strength, as you hadn’t utilised the move yet in the match. The intensity of Cena leading into the third F-U was great, and Michaels’ run in (well, he didn’t run exactly, but y’know) works perfectly (should have known it when he was prominent in the video package
). The absolute intensity of Michaels’ assault was amazingly written, and while it was a screwy finish, it worked very, very well. Michaels spitting the water in the ref’s face was also a very nice touch btw, putting his heelishness over. The commentators were used beautifully after the match to also put over the assault, with the fact that he kicked Chioda just icing on the cake. The assault afterwards makes Michaels your focus as we head off, bringing forth more storyline possibilities. Awesome work.
Overall, this Pay-Per-View was superb. You had some tremendous matches and some great storyline advancement with the debut of The Sons of Samoa and the respective returns of Triple H, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels. A few feuds aren’t over (MITB and the women), so you have so much you can go on with after this. Apart from maybe a few backstage segments which could have filled time out better, this was a brilliant Pay-Per-View. Great stuff, man.