Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
Carlito vs Shelton Benjamin - ***1/4
- A pretty good opener for this PPV. Both men do a good job and make it the best they can in about 12 minutes of match time. Shelton is always on a roll and Carlito keeps up despite not having a finisher yet. There's a smarky crowd here in Las Vegas with Shelton getting booed and Carlito cheered.
Victoria vs Christy Hemme - **
- Not as bad as WM21 but it's still the low point of the matches. And all that screaming reminds me of Kelly Kelly's "wrestling". It tells you how little they care about the women's division at this point, though, when the Women's Champion (Trish) is injured and still champion.
Kane vs Edge - ***1/2
- A much better match than any they've had before. Crowd is as usual more concerned about Matt Hardy than what goes on but they manage to put on a quality match unlike the terrible PPV match before this at Backlash 04. A lot of drama in the end with Snitsky interfering, Lita trying to get involved and Kane going through every single one of them to win. Surprised I must say as I was damn sure Edge would win before moving on into the feud with Matt. Before I move on to the next match, though, I must drop this. Kane & Lita's relationship has got to be one of the most confusing angles ever. It goes in so many different directions and despite Kane forcing Lita to marry him, their marriage ends by Kane coming out as the face and Lita the heel. Now I know this was fueled by real-life stuff behind the scenes with Edge/Matt/Lita but still...
Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle - ***3/4
- Another good match between these two but this feels in many ways like a poor man's rendition of the WM match. Starts off slow with headlocks and shit, then they go outside the ring for a bit and it gets exciting by the end with finishers being exchanged and the crowd coming into life. Still one hell of a match and HBK gets even with Angle following an awesome Sweet Chin Music against a diving Angle. Oh, and the build-up to this was so bad that they had to recap their WM match as the pre-match video package. It was literally Angle coming to Raw with HBK asking for a rematch and him answering "Okay".
John Cena vs Christian vs Chris Jericho - ****
- This would have had more potential as a one-on-one between Cena and Christian as that's how it started off but it's still a great triple threat. Traditional with every guy getting their short amount of time in the ring together and an interesting commentary team as Lawler pulls for Jericho (after sucking Christian's cock for over 2 years!), Coachman for Christian and JR being neutral/pro-Cena. Overall a very enjoyable match and I have to laugh at the five or so Cena haters this early as there's a very brief "Cena sucks" chant going on and some goofball has the thumbs down when camera closes in on Cena doing the double 5 Knuckle Shuffle. It sucks how they dropped the ball on Christian after this by drafting him to Smackdown and burying him to the point he decided to not renew his contract by the end of 05.
Batista vs Triple H - ****3/4
- And here's the awesome Hell in a Cell main event! Both men go all out and this feels like an epic, violent fight and thankfully, doesn't come off as the extremely forced garbage that was the HBK/HHH match the year before. This match has everything a cell match needs save for them exiting it and going to the top. Steel chains, blood, chair with barbwire, sledgehammers, steel steps, finishers, a hot crowd, excitement and so on. Lasts over 20 minutes and every minute of it is worth watching. So many memorable moments and I can't even put it into words. I can only imagine how a live experience would have felt when HHH gave Batista a Pedigree. HHH-hating smarks and casuals all around must have thought "Fuck, this is the end!" only for Batista to kick out to a huge reaction. I also liked the finish with Batista doing the powerbomb and HHH trying to counter with the sledgehammer but couldn't quite get it done due to the beating he had taken. After this, HHH's "reign of terror" is officially over and he will be gone for almost 4 months to take a break. He still waited and did a master job of legitimizing Batista as a main eventer here before that, though. People talk about today being a transitional period for WWE but so was this year and look at how great it was. Cena's break into the main event was in a masterpiece "I Quit" match while Batista got in through this brutal HIAC classic. Today, I can't even dream of something 1/10th of this in quality.
Overall: **** out of ***** (A great PPV, if not a bit short with the matches. Only 1 hour into it, half the card was finished and although the three main event matches got a lot of time, the Viscera/Lillian segment was a huge waste of time that could have been used for a better match. But with the matches we got, every single one delivered except the divas one but that's short enough it wont matter in the end. Quite possibly the best PPV so far into the year which says a lot since every single one of them have been quality, including the Smackdown exclusives!)