Another month, another PPV. This one doesnt seem to have much interest going in, but the card looks solid as hell as far as matches go, so lets see how it goes. Oh, of course, SOMEONE WILL BE FIRED BUT PROBABLY NOT! YEAH!
Sheamus vs Dolph was AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGHSOME. For once the “Man, the World Title opens?” talking point never even crossed my mind, because I was just so hyped for these guys getting 20 minutes in the opener to go nuts with. And go nuts they did. Loved it ALL, awesome stuff and their best match together yet. Crowd was hot for Dolph. Commentary was set to ‘Normal’ thank God and they did a great job with it. And man, work, work, work.
The beginning was AMAZING, with Dolph getting the ‘good luck kiss’ from Vickie and Sheamus going for the D-Bryan WM Brogue Kick and just missing. Then Dolph stalling like a mofo before getting dropped with some sharp elbows. I really dug every single minute of this match. Dolph’s leaping DDT ruled. His offense from that point on was so simple but so effective, just DDTs and sleepers aimed at the neck and head. In particular I loved him continually going back to the sleeper, the sleeper, the sleeper, trying to wear the guy out. And for his part, I liked how Sheamus kept trying to kick out at one even after everything, its a little detail I love about him and really makes him look strong. Speaking of details I love, I SQUEALED LIKE A GIRL when Dolph hit the Fameasser after POSTING SHEAMUS ON HIS BAD ARM! I also dug Sheamus’ flipping himself up top only for Dolph to hit the SUPER FACEBUSTER. Just really awesome stuff all the way through, loved it all. Both guys continue to rule the world.
Santino vs Ricardo was not as good as their Smackdown match. This one kind of died after the opening sing-a-long, mainly due to the stip I think. Its the same with Bra and Panties matches or any other stripping match, there’s really nowhere to go with it. Crowd hated it too. But I have to say I was somewhat mollified by the LEG COBRA, which was a great spot. Anyway, whatever.
Christian vs Cody I enjoyed a hell of a lot, another really great match. LOVED Cody taking a bump off the slap, as well as the early apron sequence. Also dug the different way they got to the posting, with the nutshot tease and then SMACKING his shoulder. As always Christian does a super job playing off and countering all of his signature spots in even more ways. I really dig Cody’s Bob Holly Tribute Hanging Kick-Alabama Slam combo, he should definitely keep that. Man, once Christian started using the Killswitch to set up the frogsplash I had a bad feeling the Killswitch would go the way of the dodo, and that might be the first sign of it. But still the finish was GREAT, the kickout and the BD Kick attempts and the frogsplash with the knees up and then finally the SPEAR to win. The man switches sh*t up so well. Really enjoyed. Cody needs to move onto bigger things pronto.
TAG TEAMS! I’m pumped for this personally because I always think they should do more of these four corners clusterf*cks with the tag division. Plus MILLIONS OF DOLLARS are about to ensue! I like the look of all four teams here. Excepting Gabes’ stupid hair. JUST PUT THESE GUYS ON TV! Ahem, anyway, I enjoyed this. Usos got their shine early. Colons got to get heat on Gabes, and Gabes always sells well. Cool finish with the blind tag set up, then the STEREO USO DIVE and the CRAZY ASS TYSON FRANKENSTEINER TO THE FLOOR! Shades of the 30th June Superstars 6-man, and if anyone else remembers that they get a cookie and my work is done. And bingo, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. I like how the AW angle actually makes sense; he screwed around and let their rematch clause expire because he realised he didnt want these guys after all, and now he has found a better horse to hook onto in the PTP. It kind of makes the Colons look like jobbers, but they can always turn face or something out of it. AW seems like a better fit for the PTP anyway, even though they can talk fine.
MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!
Didnt really care about the Hunter promo, if I’m honest, but the main point – challenging Brock for Summerslam – was there so it was fine.
Women! They are alive after all! This isnt going to shock the world but I really dug Layla vs Beth II. I was kind of taken aback by Layla going all Laycool on her and teasing her at first, but it made for something different, and they were trying so hard to get the crowd into it. A lot of stuff to like too, like Layla’s offense, and LAYLA AS BRET HART using the corner counter to the Glam Slam. Also the Military Press-DDT counter. Finish was abrupt again but I still dont mind as an attempt to establish the Layout. Layla, God love her but she is so not over as a babyface and they really need to do something about it (like, oh I dont know, LET HER TALK OR BE INTERESTING IN SOME WAY?) very soon. But whatever because I LOVE HER.
Sin Cara vs Hunico was fine but man, kind of dull. Its funny, Cara has been interrupted so many times already, but every time he comes back they sort of just start from the beginning again with him having showcase matches to establish him, as if we’d never seen him before. But…he’s already established by now, they dont need to keep going back to the start of his push. Plus physically he hasnt looked the same in a long time, for whatever reason, and the flips as they are just arent enough anymore to sustain this kind of repetition (as opposed to Ryback). He needs to start having bigger matches and actual angles really badly. Just do something different with him.
The AJ backstage angle running through the show was great fun. Sucking up to all three guys, and then Kane macking all over her. Cannot WAIT to see what she does. I also really dug the video package, the schitzo feel of it with all of the voices was really apropos.
Punk vs Bryan vs Kane was, I thought, a really great three way. Almost all three ways are, really, but I enjoyed the hell out of it. Lots of cool spots. The early Punk and Bryan Kicking Duel. Punk’s dive being THWARTED before Bryan nailed his own tope, then Punk hits his dive and Bryan goes for the Flying Knee and gets UPPERCUT DEATH. Loved the ensuing period where Punk and Kane get into things before Bryan comes flying out of nowhere with a knee or something to break it up. Doomsday Device ruled but I loved even more the Tower of Doom sequence, where they teased it and teased it and teased it but never actually got there and Bryan hits the Flying Dropkick to both instead. Then loved the Elbow Drop-Elbow Drop miss-Diving Headbutt-Elbow Drop completed sequence. So much awesome down this stretch – the Yes Lock-rollup nearfall from the first match. Bryan getting GTS’d but being pulled to the floor. The Chokeslam-DDT counter. (The DDT is the counter of the day today.)
And then AJ! She distracts Kane, BONK, and Punk wins. I really, really like this as a swerve on what I think we all expected. This angle, AJ as a crazy biatch has so much life in it yet that I’m glad this was not the end of the intrigue. Her not really showing her hand still is fascinating. Was it all a set up to help Punk win? Or is she luring Punk in by helping eliminate Kane from the equation before she goes back to Bryan? Or is she really just batsh*t insane and likes making out with different guys? Stay tuned.
RYYYYYYYYBACK! I like the way he always tries to add something different, this time doing a weirdly stiff splash off the top. FEED HIM THREE. It has to happen either this week on TV or on the 1000th. I am so ready for an attempt at a Triple Buster.
Cena vs Show, man. The first half was kind of slow but then it really picked up, and by the end I thought it was a super fun overbooked main event. Early on, again, it wasnt much. I think if anything its because Cena was selling too much – he had just about zero offense and there was a lot of Show just standing around, and as far as just standing around during a match goes, Show, I love you, but you are no Mark Henry. But once Cena started making comebacks and the action picked up it started ruling pretty quickly. LOVED Show picking Cena up to the top BY HIS NECK and then the GIANT SIZED ELBOW DROP CRASH AND BURN. That was an ALMIGHTY leap from Show. The struggle at the door for Cena to pull Show back was AMAZING and one of the best spots of that nature I’ve ever seen. An awesome struggle, and then getting a nearfall off of a Shoulderblock was just tremendous. I love prowres.
And then SHENANIGANS ENSUE! Ace comes up, Vince tries to make the save, he goes into the door, door goes into Cena, Chokeslam, KICKOUT! Loved that nearfall. Then the KO Punches of Doom and we have no refs left. But BRODUS CLAY BITCHES! He was great being all ‘Come at me bro’ and calling for the cavalry in the form of all the faces Show had run through (including a Zack appearance that the crowd wanted) and Kofi finally knocks him down! Cena’s desperate crawl with the rope here was amazing. He is caught but BAMFU! Then the climb/crawl race and man, I bought this so hard. Even when Brodus came and dragged Ace away, Cena was busy watching it from up top and I was screaming “GET DOWN! HE’S GOING TO CRAWL OUT JUST GET DOWN ALREADY!” And he did, just in the nick of time! I love everything.
As a blowoff this was ridiculously great. Brodus coming out made so much sense – he was the main guy killed by Show, he was shipped off to SD but was still gunning for revenge every week, and here was his chance. Its great for him that he was so featured here and got some real payback on a main event level guy. I just loved the story of it all. At OTL Show made a choice, a choice to turn to the dark side. He chose the easy way out, the sure thing, the guarantees, ahead of his principles, ahead of toughing it out and doing what was right. He beat up a whole bunch of guys along the way to this PPV for no real reason – he justified it to himself and everyone else by saying they didnt care, or they laughed at him, or they disrespected him by being comedy characters, but really, he just wanted to beat people up. And it came back to haunt him here. And really, Ace is the one who caused all this when he fired Show and dangled the carrot to turn him in the first place, and now Show’s payback becomes Ace’s payback as his horse loses the race and he’s fired. I also like the idea that we all learned our lesson from the last PPV where they missed a chance to get rid of Ace. No dicking around, just make sure the bastard loses no matter what. A rare case that a massive babyface gang attack on a heel actually made sense and didnt come off as assholic in any way. This really was a heel, or two, getting their just desserts.