History of Summerslam Count-Up – 2009: Smackdown Main Events. Stop Laughing. They Really Do.

Summerslam 2009
Date: August 23, 2009
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Attendance: 17,129
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Todd Grisham, Matt Striker, Josh Matthews

With another year under our belts since the previous Summerslam, our main feuds are Cena and Orton and Punk (woo!) and Hardy. As many of you may likely know, this very well could be Hardy’s last match with the company. Our other big deal is the return (again) of DX, this time facing Legacy.

While a lot of people have criticized this, the segment that they had on Raw was excellent in my eyes. Shawn is a guy that can just come from nowhere and have a great match. The card actually looks pretty freaking sweet tonight. That doesn’t mean it’ll be good, but let’s get to this.

I liked the Summerslam logo this year. It looked a bit old school. The intro is hijacked by DX doing shadow puppets, but they freeze it on Legacy. Apparently this was the kiss cam and Cody loves Ted. Ted says ditto. So he loves himself I guess?

Anyway, they have some shenanigans going on which are kind of funny. I like the DX comedy sometimes. It’s not going to be the 90s version, so why compare it to that? It was fairly funny, involving DX breaking the feed of the intro and Shawn trying to fix it. It’s better than it sounds.

JR does the opening alone. That’s just odd. I like Aerosmith though so I’m not complaining about the music. As has become the custom, no buildup for the first match.

Intercontinental Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler

I’m quite surprised this is opening. This is a rematch from NOC as well, which allegedly was brought on by Rey simply whining about not having a long enough reign yet. Based on that, I think the title change is coming here but odder things have happened before. They had a great match last month so I’m assuming this will be good too. Ziggler is growing on me, but I have a hard time getting on Kerwin White.

Rey comes out first. Why? He’s the champion. Now we get Grisham to talk so that’s an improvement I guess. I like the purple and gold on him. It’s almost reminiscent of his WCW days but not quite. I miss the big semi-circle video screen that they used to have for Summerslam. Ross forgot Ziggler’s first name. How dare he forget the real name of Ivan Drago? Ziggler’s music is awesome. How did Kerwin White actually keep a job this long?

Just goes to show you that you can’t make fun of wrestlers when they have horrible gimmicks. Other than Santino of course. He will always suck. The graphic of the belt looks very cool for some reason. Wow the IC belt is actually opening the show. That’s an odd thing to think of. Ziggler is freaking ripped. I’m getting close, dangerously close actually, to liking this guy.

Love that quick powerslam that’s done coming off of the ropes. It just looks awesome. Ok, that moonsault was SWEET. Rey doesn’t do his old style often, but when he does it’s freaking amazing. Ziggler has leopard print gloves. That’s either really stupid or really awesome. That was a pretty weak corner powerbomb. I guess Rey’s size makes up for it. This has been pretty hard hitting so far. What more can you ask for?

Apparently Rey makes a habit out of getting people in the corner and drop toe holding them. Yeah I’ve never seen him do that in the corner either. Thank you JR. Dolph just kills him with a clothesline afterwards. That looked awesome. He used a Stinger Splash. He has to be cool. Sick looking head bump on the post from it too. Rey goes for a springboard reverse crossbody but Dolph hits a perfect dropkick to the ribs. That was sweet.

This is a very good match. And there it is. We have our stupid way to get into position for the 619. My only criticism of Dolph is his offense is a bit basic. If he upgrades that he’ll be very good. He’s rocking the bad Mr. Perfect haircut though, so I’m not wild about that either. I kind of like the white ropes, but I’m not sure.

Ziggler finally avoids the springboard splash in the most basic way of all: he sits up. Why is that so complicated for some people? The fans are chanting for Ziggler here, which is surprising but also good I guess. Rey gets a hurricanrana from the top to win and keep the title in a very good match.

Rating: A-. This was a GREAT opener. It was fast paced, it was solid, and the face won. I’m hyped for the rest of the show and it’s 330 in the morning. That’s exactly what an opening match is supposed to be. See how effective the IC belt can be when it’s not being used in bad comedy angles? Ziggler looks awesome here which is all you can ask for. See what they do on Smackdown? They have the veterans make the young guys look good. That’s how you keep the future going people.

Josh is in the back with Swagger and MVP who say that tonight there’s a culture clash. Both are solid on the mic here, but Swagger impresses me a lot more. He’s got the heel character down to a T and the cockiness is perfect. MVP is good, but not as good. Also, he talks about how Swagger has this great background and was a rich kid. Ok, that’s fine, but he still won with athleticism in the NCAA. Swagger won this promo war with ease and he’s making the DDP two time two time thing better.

King and Lawler say nothing of importance.

Jack Swagger vs. MVP

My goodness…could it be? I mean, it’s impossible isn’t it? This couldn’t be…a regular non-title midcard match? I…I think it is! Now, can you find anyone that actually thinks MVP has a chance? His face turn has been a complete disaster as he’s just cut out to be the cocky heel. Go back to it already. After those promos, I’m looking forward to this. The opening 25 minutes to this has been pretty sweet so far.

MVP goes for the Ballin Elbow about 19 seconds into this, but because it takes longer than that to set it up, it doesn’t work. I don’t get why these two are having this match anyway, since Swagger pinned him clean already on Raw. This is a very slow paced match and the fans aren’t liking it that much. They’re way behind the face though as he’s in the Monsoon Special, which I’m sure Gorilla would find something wrong with.

Looking at it, it is pretty sloppy. Sick clothesline stops MVP’s comeback though. Into a half camel clutch which wouldn’t actually hurt but now it’s full. At least Swagger knows how to hurt people. Ok, Swagger gets knocked down and MVP sets up for the Ballin Elbow. I timed him on this: SIXTEEN SECONDS from the time that he got in position to the time it connected. That’s over 5 pins. Seriously, could you not just cover him in that amount of time?

They fight a bit more…and MVP wins clean with the playmaker? What the heck? MVP actually won this thing and he did it clean. How in the world did that happen? I’m genuinely surprised by that, and I don’t think it’s in a good way. AGAIN they mention the chick from The View. WE GET IT!

Rating: C. This was fine, but short and surprising. It certainly wasn’t bad, but at just 6 and a half minutes they didn’t have the time to get anything going. There were some bad spots in there too where it was just flat out boring, but luckily they were quick. Again, not bad, but it’s really nothing special. It felt like a Raw match.

Don’t try this at home. Good advice actually.

Luke Perry is here. I don’t care.

We get a recap of the guest hosting thing, which I think has gone well. ZZ Top was awful but other than that, I think it’s gone well. I still want to murder Dr. Ken though. It’s worked for one simple reason in my eyes: for the most part, they’ve gotten people that either have a ton of charisma or seem like legit WWE fans. That’s all you can ask for really.

Nancy O’Dell reads off a script about her charity. Yeah that’s fine. It’s for ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She talks to people like Freddie Prinze Jr…and that’s it. She’s apparently going to host Raw in the future. I’ll be reading something that night. She’s very annoying.

Tag Titles: Big Show/Jericho vs. Cryme Tyme

Speaking of annoying, I don’t like the champion’s new music. This has actually been built up pretty well I’d think, with Show being the partner to replace Edge when he got hurt. It seemed to me that was a last second decision, but whatever. Cryme Tyme is one of the oddest teams I can ever remember. They’ve never actually done anything, so maybe they will here. I’m not holding my breath though.

Actually, this match has gotten the third most build, which isn’t what I expected. However, I’m certainly glad to see a tag title match getting this kind of TV time. It’s what the belts really need. Again the champions come out first. Jericho runs down celebrities in general. Isn’t he a celebrity as well? Oh apparently he’s a superstar, which isn’t a celebrity. That…doesn’t make a lot of sense.

For the second time in 2 minutes we hear that they have over 40 titles between them. Show looks like he’s losing a bit of weight. That’s a good thing. Cryme Tyme interrupts Show’s promo. Remember what I said about the show being good so far? They just ruined it. They’re just freaking annoying to say the least. What have they ever actually accomplished? Oh yeah they got fired for being annoying.

JR makes another reference that no one gets. There’s no way that the faces are winning here, due to reasons of suck, but maybe at least we can get a decent match out of it. Yeah that’s not going to happen I don’t think. Jericho goes for the walls but instead goes for a slingshot. JTG just kind of jumps on him, which looks sloppy and stupid as usual. Grisham says that they’re trying to turn Hollywood into Holly-hood. Take me now.

JTG has to stay in there longer than he should simply because Shad sucks. He’s a beast as far as his look goes though, and he’s able to stand up to Show in the size department. Yeah he’s a lot better on defense. Show is freaking scary to say the least. Jericho whispers a spot to Shad which looks really bad. It’s never good when it’s on a major PPV and a veteran has to carry a team that’s been around as long as Cryme Tyme has been.

I think that’s my real issue with them: they’ve been around for a good few years and they just never get any better. The full nelson is applied, and of course we have the eternal question: WHO WAS NELSON? Maybe Babyface Nelson? Anybody? Anybody? I’ll be here all night. Jericho puts another hold on him, which makes sense because it’s really all Shad can do: get put in holds and sit there. It’s a scary thing when JTG is the bright spot of the team. Yeah this team is awful.

Jericho gets him in the Walls, and amazingly, he doesn’t tap. Seriously, can they bury this move any more than they already have? It’s just stupid how it doesn’t work on anyone at all anymore. When’s the last time someone tapped to it? Anyway, Show hits the punch for the knockout and Jericho gets the glory.

I’m really starting to like this team dynamic as Jericho does all the talking but Show wins the matches for them. At the very end of the segment, Ross mentions Big Show is undefeated at Summerslam. See, that is an interesting stat, and it would have been a lot more interesting at the beginning of the match.

Rating: D+. Yeah this was boring. Shad is just flat out awful, and JTG is just ok. The only reason they get over is their gimmick and nothing more. That’s just flat out boring in all aspects and nothing good comes of it. I can’t stand them and there was just nothing they could do here to make this interesting at all.

Ad for Breaking Point. Interesting concept, but I’m not sold on it. The main events only thing makes me feel better though.

Josh is with Punk who says a movie script he found called the Jeff Hardy story. He runs down LA and the lifestyle there and elsewhere, which yet again, rings amazingly true on so many levels. Every single thing that Punk has said in his promos has been true, and it’s amazing to say the least.

Kane vs. Great Khali

Again, no transition at all. I like Kane’s music here. Once Kane is in the ring, we actually get a long recap, which could have gone…I don’t know, before his entrance so it’s not him just standing there in the ring? This is an intriguing match to me as they’ve had a fairly long build with no official match. That’s a nice plus for a change as it gives this a bit more of a build. Now, if they manage to have a passable match, then we have proof that HBK/God vs. the McMahons was indeed a tag team match.

The reveal of Singh as Khali’s brother was pretty boring but it gives it a bit of a reason for being around Khali so much. Hopefully, this will be short and painless, but I’m not betting on that. JR mentions that Kane is on a four match winning streak at Summerslam. See? That’s another interesting stat and it makes you wonder if he can extend it here tonight. It’s small, but it adds a tiny bit more to the match and might get people more interested in it.

That’s what a commentator is supposed to do: offer insight. When you watch a DVD and listen to a special commentary, you’re listening for insights, maybe some numbers or stories that you wouldn’t know otherwise. That’s what wrestling commentators are supposed to do, but it so rarely happens which is a shame. JR says it’s a bowling shoe match, meaning we’re sorry that this is going to suck so badly.

A lot of this is just Khali showing off how strong he is, which is fine I guess, but I’d like more action. Khali misses a bad looking legdrop and then just sits there. He doesn’t sell anything or anything like that, but just sits there for the low dropkick. Kane apparently sees evil and likes it. I guess that’s why See No Evil sucked: Kane just wasn’t motivated. They fight over their respective chokeslams but that goes nowhere. Oh this is bad. It’s just so freaking sloppy.

To be fair though, what do you expect from two monsters like these? Khali with a sick sounding chop. The top rope clothesline puts Khali down and gets two. He doesn’t really kick out but it’s implied his shoulder was up. JR brings up an interesting point: if Khali quit in his language, would the referee understand it? Amazingly, the Khali chop isn’t enough for a pin. Geez Khali’s hands are freaking massive.

Kane hits a running dropkick to the knee and a running DDT for the win. That finish was kind of awesome actually. I love that Kane didn’t use a bad chokeslam to win it. That’s what I want to see more of in the WWE today: wrestlers winning with moves other than their finishers. It’s not really that hard to do and it works very well I think. Do it more often.

Rating: D+. Oy this was bad indeed. It was very sloppy, but the ending made it a lot better. Also, it was less than 6 minutes. See, that’s intelligent booking. You know these two aren’t going to have a great match, so keep it short. That makes a lot of sense and it made things a lot better than they could have been.

Some hot woman from a talk show is here. Slash is here too, so it’s closer to making me care. Robert Patrick is here.

We hit the recap button on DX vs. Legacy. This one is pretty short. HHH kept getting his teeth kicked in by them so he said he’d make one phone call. It wound up being about three but he eventually found Shawn as a cook in a diner in San Antonio, in what I thought was a very funny segment. This was followed up by Legacy actually beating them down in a run in on Raw a few days prior to this which at least made this look possible.

Oddly, the stuff about him being a cook is completely omitted from the recap video. What we do get though is a bunch of clips from some of their old exploits which have absolutely nothing to do with this feud or match. For some reason people were hoping that X-Pac or someone like that would return. People, the old DX is dead. All you’re going to get is these two buffoons, so be happy with it and let go of the past already.

Also, this really isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. They’re going to have decent matches and it’s going to help Legacy look legit if they win a single match, which is a good thing. DX can do whatever they like out there and they’re going to get cheered. What else can you ask for out of them really? It’s HHH against someone not named Orton. Be happy.

DX vs. Legacy

Now this is for some reason considered one of the main events. Why? What makes this one of the big matches? Yes, Shawn is back, but when HHH returned against Booker in 2007 it was a midcard match and that was fine. I get that it’s the third biggest match by default, but that doesn’t mean it should be. I’d put the tag titles above this as they’ve had far more build, but whatever. Anyway, let’s get to this.

Ok, I’ve heard great things about the DX intro, and I’ll admit, it was awesome. Basically, it’s an army theme with a bunch of troops coming out in a jeep and firing off guns. Then the stage splits apart and DX comes out on a tank, launching of a bunch of fireworks. The fans are WAY into it and it’s cool. Everything is loud and big here and the crowd is screaming. That’s what you’re looking for here. The fans are the most important thing at the end of the day and they’re loving this.

Screw the people that think the return of DX was stupid. It’s cool and it’s working. The glow sticks are a cool idea too and I’m surprised it took this long for them to be invented. It takes about 5 minutes, but so what? The reaction was awesome, so rock on. Legacy is the evil opponent here, but they have some sweet music. It’s not as great as their 39th song, but it’s better than theme 341B. The announcers point out that this is a huge chance for Legacy and they’re absolutely right.

DX is a team of two hall of fame members, and Legacy are young guys. This is their chance, so hopefully they don’t get crushed. Naturally, HHH starts going strong which makes sense as he’s the face, so why wouldn’t he be in control at first? Oh apparently the right knee of HHH is his vintage knee. That’s good to know. Shawn gets tagged in to a big pop. Apparently the fans think something of this guy.

He does a cool spot where he fakes Cody out when Cody goes for a leapfrog but Shawn gets slapped. That was stupid don’t you think? There’s the return slap that you knew was coming. Legacy is controlling the match. That’s a lot more than I expected them to do actually. HHH is in now and not dominating. This is being worked slowly towards a big ending. That’s a truly lost art in tag team wrestling today.

I’m liking this: DX gets momentum and Legacy keeps stopping them. See, this is how you build a tag team: you let them look good. That’s what veterans are supposed to do: make young guys look good. DiBiase uses a chin lock. Good to see those Orton lessons paying off. It amuses me that as a tag team, Legacy is light years more successful than DX has been. Legacy is I think 3 time tag champions?

DX has definitely never won a tag title. What does that tell you? Lawler says this isn’t what DX had in mind. Yeah they were looking for some Chinese Checkers. Legacy is doing a great job here of keeping HHH in the ring. That’s very old school and it’s working quite well here. We get the boo yay punching sequence which I always kind of hate. Shawn gets the tag in. Cody goes for the Shawn elbow, which apparently is him stealing the move.

I love how they make no issue of Shawn stealing it from Savage who was winning world titles with it before Shawn debuted in the WWF. DX is actually in trouble here and the announcers are putting them over huge, which is all you can ask for. The crowd starts wooing as Shawn puts on a figure four. Cody hits Crossroads on Shawn, which is actually a pretty good name for his finishing move I guess. Rhodes takes a Pedigree as Shawn takes Dream Street.

Dang I actually couldn’t tell Legacy apart there. That’s not a good sign at all. In one of the fastest endings I’ve ever seen, Shawn hits Sweet at least 4 inches from Cody’s Chin Music for the pin. Yeah that wasn’t even close. Literally they were both just standing up and leaning on each other then Shawn took a step back and kicked. Yeah he missed but maybe the air knocked Cody down?

Rating: A. This was a great tag team match for many reasons, but the big one was that Legacy was made to look legit. This wasn’t like when DX dismantled the Spirit Squad week in and week out. Legacy had me believing that the upset was indeed possible. DX made them look good here in a very good 20 minute match. DX should have won, but they won the right way here. That was by far Legacy’s biggest and best match ever, and they brought their best. I’m impressed with both teams.

Ad for the WM 25 special on Saturday which is going to bomb.

ECW Title: Christian vs. William Regal

Not a ton of backstory here. One night on the Abraham Washington Show, a talk show segment on ECW, Regal was simply announced as the #1 contender. 5 days prior to this, he hooked up with Kozlov and Ezekiel Jackson to form a trio with the only real thing in common being that they’re heels. This should be ok I guess. I still have no clue what the massive appeal of Christian is, although he’s had some decent matches lately.

I feel so sorry for the ECW announcers. Literally, we haven’t heard their voices until now, an hour and 40 minutes into the show. Also, yet again the champion comes out first. That’s just odd. Regal comes out with his two big henchmen.

Jackson’s heel turn was just odd as he was a face for all of two weeks and he was never an actual face at that. All that being said, it’s a 10 second match. Regal gets hit with the Killswitch and is out. Jackson and Kozlov are you beaters tonight. I prefer the Weasleys, but that’s just me. They half kill him here as the name Regal’s Roundtable is used. I like that…kind of.

Rating: N/A. Regal doesn’t belong on a major show like this, so I have no issues here at all. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about how this was a disgrace and what not like that. Hogwash, this was great. Number one, the exact same thing happened last year as the ECW Title match got 33 seconds. Number two, this got the people’s attention and it made them believe that a match could end at any time.

That’s one of the major evils in WWE right now: there’s no point to watch the first 10-15 minutes of a world title match as it’s always going to go longer than that. Here you have a match where if you turn around to pet your cat the match is over. That’s brilliant. Number three, there was no build at all here. This gives you something to further the angle so you can have a rematch next month. Number four, people are talking about this now.

Isn’t that the point of any match? Number five, EVERYONE knew Christian was retaining here. How awesome does this make him look as champion? He beat an established veteran that fast with one move. This was a stroke of genius, not a disgrace.

They air some video about some F list celebrities and a charity event the roster was at. I won’t make fun of charity events, ever.

Let’s thank Aerosmith for our pointless theme song.

We get something resembling a recap of last Monday where they were tag partners. Cole says that Orton showed his true colors by attacking Orton after the match. EXCUSE ME? HE IS A FREAKING HEEL! HE NEVER WANTED TO BE IN THE TEAM IN THE FIRST PLACE! How is he showing his true colors by doing what he’s done the whole time? My goodness Cole does it cost you money to think or something?

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Randy Orton

Well, at least it’s not HHH again. Basically, it’s pretty simple. Cena won the beat the clock thing to get here, and no one is surprised at all. In a rematch from two years ago, let’s do this. Cena runs to the ring which is kind of odd indeed. He gives his hat to his Marine co-star. Great way to get over with the kids there Johnny Boy. Orton comes out to a chorus of mostly boos. Why does the title graphic spin when the belt itself doesn’t?

My goodness I love the big fight introductions. They just work on all levels. After those, we get our recaps. Yeah that’s actually a bit better. It doesn’t waste as much time. They start off on the mat which actually goes pretty well. That’s something you rarely see from these two and while they’re hardly Kurt Angle, that was pretty good. Orton puts Cena down for awhile and when Cena is trying to get back up, it really looks like he’s trying to give Orton head through the tights.

I know that’s said a lot, but this is the closest it’s ever gotten. Orton takes FOREVER to drop a knee which looks like he’s going for a splash. It’s a new move, so of course it’s vintage. I have no problem when it’s actually a vintage move: HBK’s forearm, the facebuster by HHH, Old School etc. However, a move by Orton that he’s bene using for a few months at most? Give me a break. It’s a misuse of the word and insulting to my intelligence.

Cena hits You Can’t See Me, even though I can see him the entire time. This match is FLYING by. It feels like there was no intro or build and we’re already in the middle of it. That’s not good. FU doesn’t go and Orton hits a powerslam, called a scoop slam by Cole, to get back in control. They flat out say the WWE Title is the more valuable title. At least they admit it. Orton goes for the same knee and this time Cena gets out of the way. At least he’s intelligent.

I really don’t like this referee. He has that hitch in his count and it’s just aggravating. Orton hits that elevated DDT which I love as it’s a move that the ropes actually make better. Orton’s eyes really are great when he’s setting for the RKO. Facial expressions can make or break a match. Edge, Orton and Punk are some of the best there are at it. Punt misses and Cena hits the throwback. He hits the top rope legdrop about as well as he ever has, which is to say he actually connected with it.

Apparently Cena throwing his hands up and jumping up and down means FU now. It’s double clothesline time to make this a bit boring. Why is it only on a double clothesline that they’re devastating moves and not something that the guy pops up from? The fans seem confused as to who to cheer for. Orton shoves the referee, rolls to the floor and grabs his belt and leaves. Now we have where this match has been getting destroyed since Sunday.

I say that as Lillian is on screen making me think I should rephrase that, but at the same time maybe I shouldn’t. Within seconds, she’s received word from Vince…but she trails off. She then announces Orton as the new champion, when she was supposed to say still champion. That’s a major screw up and I think it’s because they blew the spot and tried to do too much at once.

Cole tries to cover as fast as he can, and NOW we get the orders right as Vince has said that if Orton gets disqualified Cena wins the belt. More on that later. So the match is restarted and Cena is dominating. Orton goes to the floor and asks for the belt, which is dropped at first, and then he walks to the back saying that he’s done.

Ok, now we’re restarting it AGAIN, and now if he gets counted out we have a new champion. Ok, how in the WORLD did she get word that fast? Both finishers are teased but Orton gets a roll up with his feet on the ropes to steal it.

OR DOES HE?

Another referee comes out and says that Orton has his feet on the ropes, so the original referee says this doesn’t count. Ok wait, back up. What about all the times when it’s said that the referee’s decision is final? If that’s the case, then one of two things should happen. #1, no match can end until the referee has had a chance to go back and rewatch the match, or #2, no decision is ever final since if the referee’s decision is final, then he could in theory go back and reverse it at anytime.

In other words, if the referee can reverse his own final decision, then couldn’t a referee go back and reverse something from years ago? If he has final say I don’t see why not. Guess what? It’s another restart. Best sign of the year: This is Why I Watch Smackdown. Preach it brother. STFU is put on and we get the rapidly becoming infamous moment as a “fan” (it’s Ted DiBiase’s brother Brett but that’s not revealed until tomorrow night) jumps into the ring.

Ok, reasons why this is clearly fake. #1, everything stops. In a real situation like this they just keep going. #2, they put the camera on the guy. That makes it fake as whenever this happens, the cameras go off and you can see the fans all watching the guy. #3, they talk about it. That NEVER happens.

#4, and most important of all, given the fact that the match has been restarted 3 times now, do you really expect this to be real? That was my biggest reason. It’s too unrealistic (and that’s saying a lot given this match) for it to have not been planned. Orton hits a quick RKO for the pin.

Rating: B-. For this rating, I’m factoring out all the insanity and I’ll explain why in just a second. Without all that stuff, this was a bad match. It was boring, it was very rushed, and it just wasn’t entertaining. However, I blame a lot of that on the booking, which is what killed this for me. The rating is fairly up there because a lot of the rhythm was taken away by stupid booking. Lillian messed up her lines, and that’s fine.

She had three freaking sets of them. This match suffered horribly from being overbooked. Why do you need the three restarts if you’re going to do the fan thing? Do one or the other, not four things. It’s too confusing, it takes too long, and it’s just freaking stupid by the end. The fan run in thing would have been fine and actually pretty creative if not for the other three restarts.

Why do you need to have so much stuff in the world title match? It makes things look silly to me and it just makes thing far more complicated than they need to be. The match was bad, but the grade will be high because I think a lot of what was bad was based on the booking of the match and not what the wrestlers were doing. In essence, they had to remember four finishes. That’s asking too much of any wrestler and I think it had a lot to do with them not being that on here.

We recap the Punk/Hardy feud, which has been AWESOME.

Smackdown World Title: CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy

This has been one of the best feuds in recent memory for a few reasons. One, it’s Punk at his best. Two, the clash is so natural that it’s great. Three, the matches have been great. It’s possible Hardy is done after this, so I’d expect a new champion. Punk lost the title to Hardy at Night of Champions in what I would call an odd choice after Punk delivered one of the best promos I’ve ever heard that had me cheering in my room.

Anyway, this is a TLC match, which actually plays into the two time MITB winner’s hands I’d think. Thankfully this has gone on last. Other than some lines from Ross about how Hardy is addicted to adrenaline, it’s a standard hard hitting spotfest that you’ve grown to know and accept in these places. Hardy has some mixed reactions here as I think it’s gotten out that he’s gone. Do announcers not pay attention?

Why are all ladders the biggest they’ve ever seen? Did you know Jeff is like smoke being poured through a keyhole? I’m not sure if you caught it the first 10,000 times Ross has said it. Yep and there it is the major spot, as Hardy, for about the fourth time in his career, goes to the huge ladder and hits the super swanton. Yeah it looks cool, but dang we’ve seen it way too many times. Why didn’t Punk move either?

He wasn’t tied down and it took Hardy longer than it takes him to smoke a bowl to get up there. More commentary problems as this is going on too. Hey, in case you didn’t see it, here’s 15 replays. Hardy is being taken out on a stretcher. I guess that’s how they’re ending him? Yeah that’s…different I guess. While this is happening, Punk starts climbing. Hardy pops up to go after him though.

I love the powers of recuperation that wrestlers have. Punk is hopping up the ladder and it’s just hysterical looking. He looks like a freaking rabbit. Hardy takes a straight fall down off the ladder as Punk takes the belt to end the show. Sweetness indeed. The announcers of course try to make this out to be completely epic. JR sounds like he’s ordering dinner. Way to show emotion there buddy. No wonder you’re in the Hall of Fame.

Before we go though, the gong rings. Taker pops up from under the ring and chokeslams Punk, who is somehow STILL not being respected as champion. Yeah I don’t like this. Match was good though. Post match, a gong strikes. Taker pops up from under the ring and chokeslams the new champion to end the show.

Rating: A. This was a great match and a great way to end the show. It wasn’t complicated like the last show and to me shows why Smackdown is way ahead of Raw right now. This wasn’t all drama and over the top stuff. Sure it was a gimmick match, but it was about the match and not some big screwjob.

At the end of the day, the best way to get over and have a good match/feud is to have good action, not good stories. The last two matches are a classic example of that, and Smackdown did it right while Raw failed.

Overall Rating: A-. This was a VERY good show. It’s not great, but it’s close. The worst match of the night is Kane/Khali, but it’s at least watchable. They kept it short which was smart. The tag title wasn’t much but they kept JTG in there for the majority of the time which is certainly the right thing to do.

Other than that and the STUPID booking for the Raw title match, I really liked this show for one reason: it was about the in ring stuff. That’s the solution to any wrestling company’s problem. At the end of the day, have good matches and the fans will be happy. The matches were good and I’m very pleased with this show and it gets a big recommendation.

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