So, Tables, Ladders, Chairs. So many questions. Will Zack finally win the US Title? Will Cena make an appearance after all? Has Booker T still got it? Will Nash and Hunter survive a ladder match? Will I be able to contain myself during the World Title match? Answers inside.
We start in the best possible way, with Vickie, with Dolph working, with Zack. He HAS TO win here. The crowd is so into him which is great to see. This started off so great; Dolph sweeping the leg like a Show Off, Zack coming back with babyface armdrags, and then that sweet sequence ending in Dolph’s dropkick caught and turned into a slingshot. I enjoy Zack’s somersault senton. Wow, OK, Dolph’s NEVER ENDING ELBOWS was awesome! Plus the final one right to the head. The sit ups were another great ‘Show Off’ bit. Angle Slam! We have move stealing up in this bitch! Alert Twitter. Zack’s second rope dropkick that led into his comeback was so sweet. And ejecting Vickie is always good value.
You know, it only occurred to me watching this match, but now I recognise it and look back and see it done through history: I really, really love it when there’s a match that people deeply, desperately want one guy to win, like this one, and they play it up big time by doing a whole bunch of rollups and pins and teasing the finish incessantly. All of the rollups in this match were great and had me jumping. The final few minutes were just awesome stuff, like the Zig Zag blocked into Dolph’s Dropkick, and Dolph getting a nearfall off his own leg lariat. And then knees up, Ruff Ryder, ZACK WINS! YES YES YES! FINALLY! Haha, Zack’s Dad and Big O in the crowd. This was just so, so much fun. Not even Cole could ruin it, although he did his level best. ZACK!
I like Booker and Alicia’s scissor kick friendship. Cody attacks him again. Seems like overkill but whatever, looking forward to it.
Yay a tag title match after all! Opening was good, good spot work, culminating in Kofi’s awesome monkey flip reversal. Loved the sh*t out of that. Bourne getting tossed outside was cool. But even cooler was the Colons’ thing where they do stereo rope jumps when they tag out. That is great, they need to keep that. I like Epico’s Three Amigos suplexes. Liked Bourne rolling out of the Gory Special and hitting the knees to get the hot tag. I also like how Kofi had to run around all over the place to finally knock the guy on the outside out – these guys really made him work for his comeback, if that makes sense. And the fun babyface finish with Bourne’s Leap and Kofi’s ricochet Trouble in Paradise. I’m glad AB didnt just lose the belts here, there’s life in them yet. Good stuff.
Teasing that Booker wouldnt compete was really weird here since the beatdown wasnt that bad and he walked away from it. Anywho.
Teddy is like the smallest Santa Claus ever. And I just saw my friend, a thin girl and all of 5’4″, with the suit on. Wacky.
Its funny, a tables match is such a thing that its pretty much always a handicap to those trying to work it, and the angle is to see how well they can overcome it. And Orton and Barrett did very well indeed. I liked the early part where they just used tables as weapons. I LOVED Jerry Lawler explaining that you had to be defensive in a tables match, which was then demonstrated by Barrett sensing danger and knocking the table out of the way. Really smart work, I love stuff like that. Loved the litany of head shots Barrett gave Orton after the suplex tease. The apron part of the match was just super. First Barrett’s clinched knees and Boot combo and Orton had to stop his fall. Then the INSANE sequence from DDT to backdrop to the missed Boot to trading punches on the apron to the Wasteland to the shoulder into the DDT finally hit. INSANE. I was expecting Barrett to win so I was shocked by the RKO through the table, but it was a good finish. More fun stuff and the show has ticked all boxes so far.
More weird Teddy stuff, hitting on the Bellas. A Swagger conversation, Sheamus, match made. Sure, we have time to fill.
And women! Yes! I appreciated them replaying the Slammy bit because a) Lita and b) there was a whole bunch of DRESSES up in that biatch. I like it as a pretext for one more Beth/Kelly PPV match, and I also liked them mentioning that Kelly’s title win was in Baltimore. Another great opening, with the slap-off and the low bridge. Nice bump on the floor. I wish Kelly wouldnt scream so, but whatever, she’s got Fire. And I dont blame her for screaming when she was selling because Beth beat the absolute crap out of her. I marked at the first rollup. Beth and Kelly are all about the rollups man. Drilled her with the spinebuster. Beth going for a top role leg drop was something different to bust out to set up Kelly’s comeback. Dug the K2 into the Glam Slam, and when Kelly went up I saw her grit her teeth and ROLL HER UP AGAIN! I marked insanely. Beth counters this time with her own rollup, and then the cool reverse powerbomb thing for the pin. Really good match and a great addition to their series. This show still rocks.
I never enjoy Alberto being mean to Ricardo. Stop it!
ANOTHER Cody ambush. This annoyed me because I thought they’d really held off the match again and I just want to see it at this point. Plus again, Booker walked away from it so it didnt seem that bad.
Hunter and Nash. Didnt turn out that badly after all. I was terrified mainly of them trying to do ladder climbing and bumping spots, but luckily they stayed well away from that and worked a brawl with ladders as weapons instead. I liked quite a few spots in this, like Nash’s sudden ELBOW over the barricade, and the ladder-assisted leg work. Shades of Sheamus. Also later Hunter struggles to his feet on the outside only to be met with Nash sliding the ladder into his face from the ring, that was a visually awesome spot. You know, when Nash was looking under the ring I thought he’d brought his own sledgehammer so he didnt have to climb in a fit of Evil Genius. Not to be. Saving the one big ladder climb for the end turned out smart, and Nash took a big bump through that table. If the first Pedigree attempt was really a botch, man, you have to laugh. I thought they recovered pretty well by claiming Nash’s leg collapsed. Anyway, a fun movie-ish blow off with the taunts. Nobody died, it wasnt bad at all and they worked hard, but at the same time it went way too long and they were way too slow in parts. I got bored. I actually marked for the stretcher coming out, because hopefully that means Nash is gone for good now.
Late slip, but Punk is officially John Cena, cracking jokes and burying gimmicks. Ace is great though.
Somehow in the space between the backstage skit and now I’d forgotten about Sheamus vs Swagger. My God, how many great opens can one show have? Sheamus was a BOSS taking Swagger’s shots and no-selling them, Puro-style, all “Is that all you got?!” I like Swagger’s spot where he pushes the guy into the ropes only to be reversed on the third one. Also liked Sheamus getting posting-and-barricade-tossing revenge. Finish was cool. This was fine as filler but, like, it was clearly just filler.
Show’s promo here was so great. The man is so underrated. He was great here, totally pumped, totally as if he was about to win the world title. As if I wasnt excited enough.
Show is also officially John Cena, turning into Camo Man. And we extend the record for hot openings. Show going outside and tossing every chair ever into the ring like a madman, while Henry just stands there all “you crazy!” was hilarious. Ahahahaha! “You out your mind! This aint happenin’!” I love Mark Henry so much. And we get into it. Targeting the hand! OH. MY GOD. Marry me. On the go-home Henry sh*t his pants when he saw Show escape the Ankle Lock and KO Swagger like nothing, so at the first chance he gets he goes to work on Show’s right hand. GREATEST OF ALL TIME. This in turn leads to the most logical chair swinging battle in history, which Show loses because his hand is injured. I love wr-NO! KICK OUT! NO!
WHAT. THE. F*CK.
NO. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. What the F*CK?!
I love you Show, I really do, but F*CK OFF. THAT is how Henry’s title reign ends? F*ck you!
Argh chair DDT. Ahh I see, Bryan is cashing in. Go son, go! I still never trusted this, I half-expected Show to kick out but no, three count, Daniel Bryan wins the World Title.
And I cant even enjoy it. Henry losing the title pissed me off so much that I lost interest in everything from that point. Bryan’s big moment turned out to be nothing. I hope there’s some sort of reason for it, because this sucks.
I will say though, that it will be interesting to see what goes down on Smackdown now. Bryan was Show’s little buddy, Show even helped him cash in on Henry before. Show just completed what he sees as his 8-year-long dream to win the world title again, and he finally beat Henry. And Bryan came out and ruined it. Will Bryan turn heel? Will Show turn on Bryan? And HOW PISSED WILL MARK HENRY BE?! I like the intrigue going forward, but f*ck man, no. I cant believe its over. This sucks.
Anyway, Booker was good here again and I’m glad they’re finally doing the match. It just seems weird here, after all the teases, and especially as a comedown to the last match. I cant care nearly as much as I should. Booker looked really good on offense though, before taking that big bump outside. I really liked the big strike exchange they built, and luckily the crowd was ready to respond too. Booker KILLED him with that CRAZY SPINEBUSTER. Wow. I liked the little touch that Booker was getting past the beatdowns, but he did the Spinaroonie at the wrong moment and basically knocked himself for a loop. Cool finish with the scissor kick missing, the spin kick missing and Cody nailing the BD. Twice. Good stuff.
Man, I just, sitting here waiting for this main event I was so unbelievably bored. Cant remember the last time I was this disinterested in a PPV main event. Luckily they worked hard, but still, the first few minutes I couldnt have cared less. But there was some cool stuff early – the heels teaming only for Alberto to use Ricardo as a distraction to get Miz. The knee-bulldog turned into a slam on the chair, ouch. The teases over the table before Punk hit the giant knee on the barricade.
But the moment I started caring about this match was when Ricardo handcuffed Punk to the ladder. Thar was some cool ass sh*t and a hell of a novel way to build tension in a ladder match. Punk kicking the bar off the ladder to free himself ruled too. The match totally picked up from there. The spot where Punk and Miz were on the top teasing the suplex onto the table only for Alberto to TOP ROPE ENZIGURI them both, and Punk with the slow-motion dead sell before flopping through the table, that was an awesome spot. I liked Alberto going nuts from that point, destroying Miz in the aisle and destroying Punk on the floor. The only thing was that when he moved the ladder from a perfect position to the side it telegraphed him taking a big bump and ruined any tension at that moment. But I liked Ricardo following up with his own climb and his HOLY SH*T BUMP THROUGH THE TABLE. That was brutal, this poor f*cker.
And then more handcuffs! Doing it here again is so cool because you can actually tease a finish here. Miz gloating like a douchebag only to get KICKED was awesome. Then Miz and Alberto climb while Punk does a mad scramble to undo the turnbuckle in time. And he’s out! I liked the final tease with Miz before finally the GTS and the win. That turned out to be quite fun. Like I said I had zero interest going in, but they did some cool stuff, the handcuffs angle rocked, and it ended up as quite a fun main event after all. Good stuff, and a really good show all the way down, if you ignore the fact that Mark Henry lost the World Title and my life is over.