-From Philadelphia, PA.
Unified Tag Team Championship:
Chris Jericho and Big Show © vs. Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes
Big Show is replacing the injured Edge as tag team champion. Big Show easily overpowers Rhodes in the early going. Dibiase tags but runs into a shoulder tackle. Jericho tags and Show whips him into Dibiase. Jericho and Show work to isolate Dibiase. Show botches a double team move, going to slam Jericho onto Dibiase. Rhodes tags but gets beaten down. Dibiase pulls the ropes, sending Jericho to ringside. Rhodes capitalizes and works with Dibiase to isolate Jericho. Rhodes breaks out a moonsault and gains a near fall. Jericho hits an enziguri but Dibiase prevents the hot tag. The isolation on Jericho continues. Jericho locks the Walls of Jericho on Dibiase! Big Show can’t stop Rhodes from interfering with a DDT. Cover by Dibiase gets 2 (the crowd is firmly behind Jericho now). Big Show makes the blind hot tag but he has to fight off both Legacy members. Jericho nails the Codebreaker on Dibiase, and Show finishes him with the Colossal Clutch at 9:31. A bit sloppy at times and completely by the numbers, but I was impressed they were able to get the crowd so interested into a heel vs. heel match, **½.
Winners and still Unified Tag Team Champions: Chris Jericho and Big Show
-CM Punk enters the arena with a microphone and cuts a promo near the stage. He is confused why the fans would support a man like Jeff Hardy. Punk can’t blame the fans for supporting Hardy, but he should blame their parents, ahem, “parent.” Obviously, the fans all must have a single parent, since that was Hardy’s situation. Punk lets fans under 17 off the hook, since they don’t know better. It starts with a Jeff Hardy T-shirt, which leads to cigarettes, which leads to booze, which leads to marijuana. Punk wraps it up by encouraging the fans to “just say yes” to World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk! This is awesome stuff, easily Punk’s best promo since leaving Ring of Honor.
Tommy Dreamer © vs. Christian
A shoving contest starts the fun. They exchange face slaps. The pace quickens with some nice back and forth action. Dreamer blocks Christian’s rope kick and drops him for a near fall. Believe it or not, but the Philly fans are chanting “ECW.” They battle on the apron, but Christian manages to drop-kick Dreamer on the floor. Christian misses a dive! Dreamer nails a senton off the apron! Back to the ring, Dreamer nails a power slam for 2. Christian knocks Dreamer off the turnbuckles. Christian targets the neck. Good series of reversals ends with Christian hitting the canvas hard. Christian goes for a sleeper but Dreamer dives the ropes. Back to the ring, Dreamer connects with a series of attacks but can’t put Captain Charisma away. Tree of woe drop-kick by Dreamer. Christian counters a pump handle attack and nails a missile drop-kick. Christian’s second attempt is blocked and gets caught in a Texas Cloverleaf! Series of pinning predicaments follows. Another missile drop-kick and the Killswitch finishes Dreamer at 8:28. Great work from both men, though it would have been nice for Dreamer to retain in Philly, ***.
Winner and new ECW Champion: Christian
-Backstage promo with Chris Jericho and Big Show. Jericho puts over his decision to have Show replace Edge. Show says that this is all just about business and not friendship.
United States Championship:
Kofi Kingston © vs. Jack Swagger vs. MVP vs. Carlito vs. The Miz vs. Primo Colon
Primo is taking Big Show’s place, who decided he’d rather be a tag team champion. Carlito is shaken that his brother is in the match and hightails it. As you can imagine, the action is all over the place. The Miz looks for a quick win, but Kofi foils him. Carlito and Kingston speed things up and collide. Swagger and Miz double team Primo, who fights them off. Kingston head scissors Primo into a gut-wrench powerbomb from Swagger, but Carlito breaks the pin. MVP returns and squares off with Swagger. The ring is clear as everyone battles at ringside. Carlito dives onto MVP from the top. Kingston goes to town on Swagger in the ring. Miz joins the fun and dominates until Primo and Kingston set up a double superplex… but Swagger powerbombs them all down! Carlito smells blood but can’t put anyone away. All six men are back and the spots keep coming. Series of great near falls with the Colons and Kofi. Carlito is looking for team work from Primo, but Swagger drops them both. MVP gets the ballin’ elbow on Swagger, but Miz slams him mid-playmaker. The Colons dump Miz, but Carlito hit’s the backstabber on his brother. Trouble in Paradise finishes Carlito at 8:35! This was a fun spotfest, and I appreciated the story with the Colons. Too bad this great build would lead to a three minute match between the brothers the next night on Raw, ***.
Winner and still United States Champion: Kofi Kingston
-Backstage interview with WWE Champion Randy Orton. He’s a bit peeved that he isn’t as respected as Triple H and John Cena. He is facing both of them tonight and is counting on their egos to cancel each other out.
Michelle McCool © vs. Melina
Melina goes for her famous entrance, but gets cheap shotted by Michelle! Melina is furious and aggressively goes after the champion. Michelle wants a time out but Melina throws a drop-kick that misses by a foot. Michelle sends Melina crashing to ringside and knees her head into the barricade, giving her the upper hand. Michelle misses a boot at ringside but counters Melina with a DDT on the guard rail! Melina pulls herself on the ropes to dodge a baseball slide! Michelle gets her face planted on the floor. Back to the ring, Melina brutalizes Michelle on the ropes. The crowd is really starting to get into this, and so am I for that matter. Belly to belly suplex by McCool gets 2. Seated senton by Melina gets reversed into a pinning predicament and Michelle gets the pin at 6:12! Wow, these two women brought the hatred and had an entertaining match, **½!
Winner and still Women’s Champion: Michelle McCool
Randy Orton © vs. John Cena vs. Triple H
Orton slides from the ring right away. Instead of fighting, Triple H and Cena corner Orton at ringside. They chase the champion back into the ring. HHH makes first contact, knocking Orton to the floor, where Cena is waiting for him. Back to the ring, Triple H pummels the Legend Killer, setting him up for a Cena bulldog. They abuse Orton for a few minutes until Orton manages to knock Cena off the apron and concentrate on him. Cena bounces back but Triple H stops the Attitude Adjustment and tosses him to the floor. Orton clotheslines HHH to regain control. Triple H nails a DDT, giving Cena an opening to hit the top rope leg drop on both men (though it looked like it missed to me). Cena is dumped to ringside and Orton blocks the Pedigree. Orton tries to double DDT his opponents off the ropes, but it’s reversed. Cena and Triple H are finally alone to square off (with the usual tricks). Triple H nails the Pedigree, but Orton breaks the cover. Orton sets up the announce table for The Game, but Cena tosses him into the crowd. Cena applies the STF on the table until Orton breaks it up. The fans cheer for Orton over Cena as they slug it out in the ring. Cena blocks the RKO. Cena sets up a superplex, but Triple H stops it. Cena catapults Triple H into Orton on the ropes! HHH is caught in the STF. Orton attempts a death punt but Cena rolls him up for a close 2 count. Orton is up first and stomps his opponents. Triple H and Cena rebound and both take shots on the champ. Cena is dumped to ringside, leaving Triple H to apply a sharpshooter on Orton! Cena returns and simultaneously applies a crossface. Orton taps, but the referee doesn’t know who to award the title to. Instead, Rhodes and Dibiase storm the ring and make the save. This doesn’t make sense, the match should have been over despite the controversy on who got the submission. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment on Rhodes, but Orton delivers the RKO for the victory at 22:13. This was surprisingly meandering, considering how good their Wrestlemania 24 bout was. Solid, if unspectacular, and finish was illogical, **¾.
Winner and still WWE Champion: Randy Orton
-Backstage, The Miz is still hitting on Maryse. The Miz says Maryse is just a tease and has butchered her chances with him the same way she butchers the English language.
-Tune in to Raw tomorrow night for Shaq!
Maryse © vs. Mickie James
They’ll have to work hard to top the Women’s title match from earlier. They lock up and enter a shoving contest. Maryse hides in the ropes but that can’t save her from Mickie’s wrath. Maryse connects with a stiff kick to the head, sending Mickie crashing to ringside. Mickie stumbles to the ring and suffers more head attacks. Maryse tosses James to the floor and back in again. That seems pointless at first, but she grabs a spray can from under the ring. Mickie counters but the referee won’t let her use it. Mickie goes high risk but it misses. Cover by Maryse gets 2. Maryse applies a camel clutch but it’s eventually countered. Mickie hits a flurry of offense. Maryse tosses Mickie off the ropes but ends up eating a DDT. Mickie gets the pin at 8:36. This was fairly boring and really dragged on. Incidentally, this might also have been the longest Divas Championship match to date, *.
Winner and new Divas Champion: Mickie James
-Backstage interview with Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase. They say that even though they lost their Tag Team match, Orton was victorious so therefore Legacy had a successful night. Keep telling yourself that, guys.
Rey Mysterio © vs. Dolph Ziggler (with Maria)
A big deal is being made about how this is Ziggler’s first big time match. Lots of feeling out in the early going. Series of quick near falls by Ziggler and then a chinlock. Rey quickens the pace (messing up a headscissors in the process) but gets power bombed into the turnbuckle. Ziggler is in firm control and methodically beats down Rey. Rey counters with a headscissors into the turnbuckles. Springboard senton by Rey and a flying cross body for 2. Rey runs into a power slam for 2. Rey counters a suplex and knocks Dolph to ringside. Senton off the apron by Rey! Back to the ring, Dolph catches Rey in an electric chair position but it’s countered. Rey misses 619 and gets slid to the floor. More methodical beating by Ziggler. Rey counters a sunset flip and picks up a near fall. Chinbreaker gets 2 for Dolph. Rey flies into a nasty drop-kick and barely manages to kick out. Dolph delivers a big time gut buster off the top rope! Cover by Dolph gets 2.9! Rey bounces back and nails 619. The springboard frog splash finishes Dolph at 14:18. Impressive outing for Dolph, as he and Rey managed to work a nicely built match with a hot finish, ***.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Rey Mysterio
World Heavyweight Championship:
CM Punk © vs. Jeff Hardy
Punk throws some kicks and then goes for the head. Punk throws some chain wrestling at Jeff to try and show him who’s boss. Hardy quickens the pace and beats Punk into the corner. Punk counters and applies a chinlock. Hardy misses a cross body and flies to the floor. Punk misses a suicide dive! Hardy rolls Punk back in for a near fall. Hardy already wants a swanton but has to improvise and misses a dive to the floor. Punk sits in the ring, hoping for a count out win. Punk prematurely celebrates as Jeff returns in the nick of time. Punk aggressively kicks the back. Punk continues to target the back, even applying a bow and arrow. Hardy counters, but Punk retains control. Hardy counters on the ropes, planting Punk hard on the canvas. A slug fest erupts, with Jeff getting the upper hand. Punk blocks the Whisper in the Wind. Jeff blocks a bulldog and connects with Whisper in the Wind for 2.5. Jeff misses the Swanton Bomb! Punk nails a double underhook backbreaker and applies a Dragon Sleeper! Punk connects with some strikes but Jeff delivers the Twist of Fate out of nowhere! Punk blocks the Swanton and gains a 2.9 cover! Punk hits Go To Sleep but Jeff kicks out! Punk grabs his belt and decides to take a hike. Jeff pursues and drags Punk back to the ring. Twist of Fate by Jeff and the Swanton Bomb finishes Punk at 14:49. The wrong guy went over here, but I suppose they wanted this show to end on a feel-good note. This was a solid main event that built nicely to a strong finish, ***½.
Winner and new World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy
Final Thoughts: If you like *** matches, then this is the show for you. If you expect more from a $40 pay-per-view, I understand, but there is enough good stuff to warrant a recommendation. I’m still smiling over the awesome Punk promo from early in the show, though it’s a shame that his momentum got derailed with the title loss later on. Really, only the Divas title match was bad so go ahead and look for this event on DVD next month.