Before I begin the actual show, I’d just like to note that it’s certainly pleasing to see Heat before the Pay-Per-View being used to actually continue a storyline onwards. Nice to see you making use of the show.
@ ‘Creepy Female Narrator’. Probably not intended to be funny, but I found it amusing regardless. I thought the opening video was very nicely done, continuing on with your theme that you’ve had built well. Also found it surprising MNM and Straight Edge featured so heavily, as it’s a bit of a contrast to the situation you have going over on the SmackDown! side of things, with the division looking pretty weak there. The opening commentary was also nice, building up your two main events very well. Not sure about ‘ridiculous’ being the right way to describe Hell in a Cell, however, apart from that, a good way to kick off the show.
The first match is the tag title match? In all honesty, any four of your non-main event matches would have been a perfect fit here, so there’s certainly nothing wrong with this decision.
@ calling Nitro a prick in the opening paragraph. Jealous of his awesomeness? The opening minute was nice with the Nitro counter, and while I like that we seemingly have a quick start, the next spot was a bit awkward, especially Punk taking Nitro down with a shoulder tackle with what I interpreted as being off a standing start. Makes Nitro look weak, physically. Was a bit worried Nitro was going to get the one up over Punk early following the arm drag, but I’m happy to see the face outdoing the heel, as he should in the early going of an opener, by low bridging the ropes. Surprised Punk didn’t try to capitalise on the spot with an exciting suicide dive, as the faces should be full of energy early (especially a face like Punk), although I guess it was a bit too early for the high risk move. The quick tags following that was a nice way to give the faces some serious momentum in the early going, and really show their teamwork. Really, I love to see the double team moves in tag matches with actual teams, as it shows that the two are truly a team. The desperation of Mercury before the brief period of dominance from MNM was good, although I liked that you kept it brief for now, although hitting a midair dropkick is a pretty major move, which imo, should be saved for the big transition move of a match. The continued teamwork of Straight Edge is good to see, while the change of momentum with some dirty work from the heels. Why is that when a heel points out that a face has run in the official looks, but vice versa the official tells the face to leave the ring? A wrestling mystery.
While the cheating to keep the momentum from MNM was nice, I would have liked to have seen MNM take control for a little longer before having to cheat to keep it to really draw sympathy from the fans. While the cheating was nice, it came a little sooner than needed imo. The teasing of a tag was nice, although I thought you may have been able to mild it a little better. Still, nicely done. The counter into the Punk Card was alright too, although I have to question whether Punk would be strong enough to catch Mercury and then throw him up to his shoulders. It’s visually impressive and looks like it could only be done by a freak (such as Cena) which prompts me to ask. I also noticed that MNM stopped working on Punk’s arm in this interval, having done so earlier. Why was that? Regardless, this hot tag was built up very nicely, making it seem oh so dramatic like it should. Helms’ hot run immediately following the tag was nothing short of awesome, and while I thought the move to get Mercury on the ropes was a bit odd, the change in momentum back MNM’s way to send the match into the homestretch was alright. The finish of Straight Edge almost getting screwed out of the title victory thanks to Melina’s distraction and a shot from the titles, only for Straight Edge to overcome the odds pretty much brings the feud full circle, overcoming all these tricks that MNM used to initially deny them the tag titles. Nice way to kick off a pretty damn good opener.
Nice video package for Judgment Day centred around Orton. Too bad some jobber made the banner.
Nice little promo. Like the mention of the hiding of the sledgehammer (how is it always placed in the same spot?), and the continued hype for how damaging Hell in a Cell is. Even with both results probably going against the McMahons tonight, I still look forward to hopefully seeing this Angle/Tripper feud you continue to hint at.
Of all people, the biggest jobber in the match gets a chance to speak?
Nice little, basic promo from Regal that did its job, although as I said, I’m surprised of all people that he got the chance to speak since I can’t see him being a prominent figure on RAW after this match.
@ Coach talking about how many times Mysterio touches his mask. Kicking the match off with a distraction from Long is fine, and I liked the athleticism that followed, but I’m certain we saw the exact same dropkick counter in the last match, which means it’s certainly nowhere near as impressive a second time around, and also, again it was too early for my liking, especially since I think the two should have shown their speed and agility for a bit more before any real moves were used. Mysterio countering back with a speedy headscissors was good to see, and the senton dive was good too to really get the crowd fired up and behind Mysterio. Not surprised you had Benjamin take the advantage right after that, as after a high risk move early on is usually a good time to do it so the face doesn’t have too much momentum. Benjamin’s momentum shift was a bit short before we saw mini-comeback just following this imo, although the speedy counter wrestling was nice. I just think you need to sustain the heel offense for longer to really get the crowd behind the face. Again, the offense should have been sustained from Benjamin for a bit longer next imo, although the counter to the 619? Awesome. Very visually impressive when imagined. As I’ve said before, the offense from Benjamin maybe needed to last longer, and I don’t like Mysterio countering the next move right after the big counter, as it kind of no sells it, even though you put emphasis on Shelton taking his time before going for the stinger splash. The counter wrestling, however, was nice, as it has been all match thus far. The counter and three move sequence that followed from Benjamin too? Awesome. I should also note that at this point that I like the constant use of Long a ringside to motivate Shelton. It’s a nice touch, imo. The counters from there were very nice too, with the use of Long for Shelton’s incredible superplex being good, as well as Rey’s cradle counter to continue to build nearfalls. The counter from there from Shelton of pushing Mysterio out to the floor was good, but a senton onto the floor, with no one spotting you? Much too dangerous, imo, as he’s flipping over, so he’s got a lot of velocity going and could easily land on a shoulder, or even his neck really badly. Benjamin recovering so quickly from such a move was also something, that really, considering the impact of the miss he had, was probably much too quickly done. The counters to the end were very nice, with Long sacrificing himself, along with the tornado DDT counter before the debut of the Paydirt. Slightly surprised Benjamin took out the win, as I think Rey really needed it right now, although I guess The Brotherhood needs the build too. As a whole, a pretty good match, although I thought early on Shelton could have slowed the action down a bit (playing the role of being bigger than Rey), as well as a bit more selling being done. Still, a nice sprint style match, which had some very exciting counters building to an awesome finish.
Get to WrestleMania 24 and you’ll be my hero.
Ah, a man who actually matters in the Money in the bank match getting promo time, eh? Surprised you had Kennedy go off on one of his self loving rants, as I thought we were seeing a much more serious Kennedy from here on in. Seems especially weird on a night where there’s a hell of a lot on the line. Regardless, this was a nice promo from Kennedy, with some usual smartass like behaviour, as well as a very nice ending (Grisham being owned = ratings).
Coach says Matt Hardy is the talented half of the Hardys? Honestly, you’re Coach, aren’t you?
I found you mentioning Kennedy getting a mixed reaction interesting too. Perhaps a face turn is on the horizon? A bit weird that you had Michaels make a beeline for Umaga, only for them to not start the match off together. Would have thought that would have been a good opportunity to allow the two to have a bit of a brawl. The start of the match was a little iffy, with you saying neither man wants to make a mistake, only for Hardy to pace it up. I do, however, like the blind tags early, as it sets the tone for what we can expect to see in the match. I should also mention that the crowd booing Michaels is a nice touch of realism. The action was solid enough up to the tag of Umaga, which I love. A nice faceoff between the two in an actual match which is great. Michaels showing no fear to ‘Mags was good to see, but Umaga ultimately owning him – awesome. Surprised to see you break the action between Umaga and Michaels up so quickly, though I have no problem with it, and this is probably a smart way to do it. Umaga, as a savage, probably isn’t smart enough to understand the psychology of the match properly as he relies on instincts, so he would climb up into the corner next to a guy who obviously wants to tag in. A bit weird seeing Hardy and Michaels start the match back up again since you would think Michaels would still be groggy from the big wheel kick, although it fits in nicely with the psychology that they’ve wrestled a few weeks ago, and that Hardy wants to prove he’s the better man. Some nice actual wrestling, which was good to see, and I loved the interference from ‘Mags. The blind tag seemed a bit sloppy, as with the referee’s focus on Umaga, you don’t think he’d spot it. Kennedy’s offense on Hardy was nice initially, but you made him look incredibly stupid by having him whip Hardy into the corner. Seriously, he should know better, and having him make amateur mistakes like that is no good for him. I’m also a little disappointed, as I thought we’d see the first real isolation of the match in Hardy, with heels working together against him (well, Tomko, Kennedy and possibly Regal. Not ‘Mags). Regal wanting a piece of Kennedy was smart following their match on RAW, and while I like the no frills offense, why wouldn’t whoever was in the corner Kennedy was flinged into not just tag themselves in? They should be eager to get in, as is the psychology of this match. Regal allowing Kennedy space to go make a tag is also a rookie mistake a veteran like him shouldn’t be making. Tomko vs. Umaga? Hell yeah. Another nice little faceoff. Would have liked more offense from Tomko before Umaga took over, and again, the action moving into the corner wasn’t a good thing, although I’m glad to see someone finally put on the back foot for more than a cup of coffee. As I’ve said, Umaga’s not the brightest, so blind tags on him work, and the little action to start with between Tomko and Kennedy was nice. Matt interfering like that following the move as a face seemed a bit wrong, and another tag seemed a bit messy here, with Henson being distracted only for a tag to happen again. I am, however, glad to see this eventually led us to Umaga and Michaels in the ring together. The run ins liven what has been a bit of a slow match up a bit, which was good to see, with Tomko looking like a beast which is certainly good. The action from there was a bit all over the place, with chaos everywhere making it very hard to follow. Kennedy going for reinforcements to attack ‘Mags with was nice, although apart from that, the action seemed a bit scattered and random, and maybe came a bit too suddenly. I will say that I have liked the match looking over, only to continue because wrestlers aren’t legal. It’s a nice, different way to keep things exciting. While the action has been increasingly hard to follow, I do also have to say that the blind tags being made and wrestlers unaware of who’s legal is a nice touch (although I must say Henson’s done a bloody good job if he can keep up
). Despite the action being confusing, the ending with bodies being scattered is finally getting us somewhere where things are a lot easier to follow. ‘Mags not quite going down from Sweet Chin Music is a nice touch, and the Green Bay Plunge was well set up from Kennedy. The ending, however, was very confusing. For starters, Henson had already allowed a chair to enter the match when Kennedy brought it in earlier. Why stamp his authority now? Secondly, there have been many tags that the referee would struggle to see imo, and this is the first that he actually hasn’t. Just seems a bit odd. Regardless, Umaga sending everyone else down on the outside was nice, and as for him pinning Michaels? I love it. I had an idea that you may give ‘Mags the briefcase, and I really was hoping for it, as the unpredictable beast could do tremendous things with it. Him pinning Michaels is just the cherry on top. As a whole, this match was very hard to follow at some points, and a bit confusing, although ultimately, I love the booking of ‘Mags winning. Kennedy having it won may perhaps give him ammunition for a face turn too ... or maybe to bitch and moan like he’s on his period. Either or.
Yay, jobber show.
Hell in a Cell already? Seems early on the card, although I guess you’ve only got six matches, and All or Nothing has been built the most, while the divas can break up the action between the two big matches (especially since they’ve had no real build themselves). The video package building up both Triple H vs. Christian and Hell in a Cell was wonderful too btw, and something you didn’t really need to do. Just shows the effort you put in, which is a tremendous thing imo. Also loved that you made a point of Tripper just stepping into the cell calmly, while Christian stopped to take it all in. Another nice touch. The match starting out with a fist fight isn’t a real surprise since it’s a brawl style environment, and Christian getting the early advantage was a must. A bit surprised not only that you had Triple H take momentum his way so quickly, but also that you used the facebuster so early in the match, although with weapons still to come, I guess it’s not one of his more impactful moves anymore. Also shocked to see Triple H be the first introduced to the steel ringside environment, as you would think he would have the advantage around ringside in this type of match. The face does need to look good early though, so I don’t mind this. Triple H getting the advantage eventually on the outside was the right move, and the cables being used as the first weapon is the right move imo, as it’s best to start off small and build up. Using the cameraman as a weapon too? Love it. Very creative. Liking the back and forth start to this, with Christian again taking control, although another shock in you really showing the aggression of Christian early. I thought that’s where the finish would come from, with Christian finally showing he does have that killer instinct after wrestling the match as he normally would. The suicide dive spot into the cell was a nice spot too, and a good way to shift dominance. Didn’t expect to see blood so early, but it had to happen eventually in here. You have to love it. Triple H showing his brutality by instantly going after the forehead after Christian was split open was awesome too. Christian’s brief comeback was pretty well timed after a nice little period of Triple H dominance, although I’m glad it was just a tease, as this match is really starting to build, with the introduction of weapons attesting to that. I’ve got to say that I loved the use of the steps. Very innovative and very cool. Triple H then going back to the head of Christian and using the exposed turnbuckle was again very nice. Loving the sick offense of Tripper thus far. The Christian comeback was also very well timed, and with another nice spot which I haven’t seen for awhile. Triple H bleeding too is awesome as well, putting over the brutality of the match. What’s the deal with the ref counting though? No count outs in Hell in a Cell.
Christian going berserk with the chair is fine because as I said earlier, you’ve already had him show some of the aggression that he supposedly didn’t have in this match. The ladder spot that followed was also very nice, although I’m slightly surprised Christian’s offense didn’t last longer. I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer for a sustained comeback. A gutbuster counter out of the Pedigree? Don’t think I’ve ever seen Christian pull the gutbuster out, though it is a nice move. I can’t help but feel the next ladder match spot makes Christian look incredibly stupid, as he failed just moments ago; why go back to the well so soon? Surprised Tripper went back to the well again himself with the Pedigree attempt, although the spinebuster on the ladder was very nice. The sledgehammer? Simply had to come eventually. The ducking of the sledgehammer shot and reverse DDT was nice, and Triple H’s Pedigree spot was alright, with a kickout having to happen due to the brutal nature of this match. You can’t just have a regular finish to this type of match. I’m surprised you had Tripper go for the Pedigree again after the kickout, as logic would say he’d go back to the sledgehammer, as he apparently knew before it was the only way to finish Christian. The counter wrestling into the Unprettier was very nice too, as was the buildup to the cover and of course, another kickout that had to come. The finish of Christian getting to the sledgehammer first and truly showing he has that killer streak was nice too, with the inevitability of the blow in the mind of Triple H being pretty cool. Honestly, as a whole, this match was completely heads and shoulders above the rest so far. The offense from both Christian and Tripper was pretty much spot on (especially Triple H, who, for once, absolutely owned). Excellent match.
King of the Ring, eh? Don’t mind the concept as it can be a useful tool to get someone over. From the looks of things, it didn’t quite get Kennedy there last year, although you never know this year.
Nice selling of the brutal Hell in a Cell after the match, while seemingly continuing the breakdown of the McMahon family, who after tonight won’t be around anyway. Good o see their final night is when it’s all falling apart.
Nice little way to continue this Beth Phoenix episode. Seems Laree is a bit touchy.
More juicy McMahon stuff. Angle vs. Triple H please when Tripper comes back. Don’t make me beg.
Maryse, eh? She owns fairly hard, so I’m certainly not going to object to this. Victoria attacking Maryse pre-match is a nice cheap heat tactic, and a good way to get things kick-started with Laree making the save. Nice way to try to get some excitement into a match, which as you said, is in the dead spot. Laree coming out full of energy is nice to see, although the experienced Victoria using it against her also makes sense. Nice little mini-comeback from Laree, though I loved the flapjack/half Boston crap move from Victoria. Very clever. Although you wrote the pain of Laree nicely too, let’s be honest: Laree was never tapping out to a half crab.
Laree’s comeback after the overconfidence from Victoria was nice, but damn, so was the counter to the Laree-DT, doubled with Victoria aggression following it. Awesome. After that move however, the match seemed to slow down a bit much. Shoulder thrusts, elbows and a clothesline counter aren’t exactly scintillating, especially right before the finish. The exchange at the end was nice enough, with the expected result coming about. Really, this match did all it had to do in splitting up the main events and giving the women a short contest to show some ability, which you obviously set out to do.
SummerSlam to England? Pah, jobber. Send it over this way to Australia.
@ Coach owning J.R prior to the hype video for All or Nothing. What a star. As I said before, the effort you put into these video packages is really good to see. Pretty much gives us everything we need to know about how this match came about. Cena tells Linda to leave? Interesting, although I guess she would be a waste of oxygen that the fans could be breathing while at ringside. Starting things off with a brawl is nice, with Angle really showing how important this match is by trying to get the jump on Cena. I like Shane trying to get involved, but the F-U on the ramp before the match even began was a bit of a shock, although with it being No Holds Barred, I guess you wanted to get Shane out of the way as quickly as possible (though I have no doubt he’ll recover in time for the finish
). The brawling through the crowd was pretty nice, and I liked the suplex spot onto the concrete. Very brutal. Cena getting the upper hand had to happen since he’s the brawler, so glad to see the match start with him in control after the back body drop. Surprised you had Angle take control as quickly with some pretty heavy offense, although I guess it shows how much the match means with the big moves already coming out. The brawl around the outside with Vince’s interference was pretty nice, and I’m loving the amazing intensity of Angle. Cena’s mini-comeback here was nice too, although I’m glad Angle took control, as a period of dominance from him seems right at this time. Again, Angle’s intensity was nice, and the use of Angle going for too much with the steel chair was a clever way to change the momentum up. Vince interfering and Angle looking to take advantage of that was nice too, although we just saw the steel chair off the ropes spot a couple of matches ago, making it seem less impressive the second time around. Liked the run in of Tomko for the save as you’re giving yourself more work with by having these extra bodies. Angle then getting the momentum back following Cena’s changing of attention was good, and it was a very good time to pull out the five rolling German suplexes from Angle, showing how much the match means. Vince attacking the ref also does the same, and Vince whacking angle with the steel chair, while expected, is a fine spot. The counters from there were very nice too, eventually leading to the Angle Slam on Cena (well, and on Robinson/Armstrong which is a nice showing of intensity and chaos). Interference from a referee? Nice. Another something to add to the match. The interference from Shane and co was nice, sending Cena out of things before the Ankle Lock. Having even the timekeeper becoming a part of this match is interesting ... before Lesnar? Surprised, as I thought he’d be out for longer, but it definitely makes sense (and boy does SmackDown!’s main event scene need him back
). Bischoff back too is pretty good to see, since I was excited to see a face Bischoff as GM. Perhaps it will happen now? I couldn’t help but laugh at Mike Chioda coming out too. Damn those referees are important in this match.
@ Nick Patrick vs. Mike Chioda. Didn’t that match happen back at Invasion? Lesnar taking out Shane and Angle while Bischoff owned Vince and made him watch the ending by handcuffing him was pretty nice, setting up the awesome finish (which had to happen) well. Big way to finish the show with a very nice main event. Probably not match of the night, but still, excellent stuff.
As a whole, this was another fine offering on Pay-Per-View. As a whole, the undercard was pretty good, but damn, the two main events certainly delivered as promised, and that’s what really made this Pay-Per-View what it was. Not much else to say, other than don’t take too long off plz.