Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kick-Out's Judgment Day 2009 Review

Aside from WrestleMania 25, WWE's been struggling on PPV in 2009. Did they break through tonight with Judgment Day?

CM Punk vs. Umaga was good, but too much stalling with Umaga's nerve hold kept the match from being a fast-paced, crowd-pumping opener. Luckily, with Punk being the hometown hero, the crowd stayed into the match the whole way through, even during the lull periods. I'm sure the smarks are going to whine about Umaga going over - maybe even throw out the laughably clich├ęd "Punk's in the doghouse" line - but as I said in my predictions, Umaga needed to solidify his return. The Samoan Bulldozer is more than capable of working with top talent and with Smackdown being light on heels, he needed a big win to reestablish himself.
Predictions - 1 for 1

Jack Swagger vs. Christian may have actually been a better choice to open the show, but since they opened last month, I suppose it made sense to have them go on second. These two had a tall order of living up to their great encounter last month without feeling stale and they exceeded my expectations. While Swagger dominated last month, Christian maintained control of most of the night and it kept the match feeling fresh and new even though we've seen them square off numerous times now. I love the bit where Swagger's cheating backfires and Christian gives him a taste of his own medicine, makes the ECW Champ look like the cagey veteran. Maybe I'm alone in this, but whenever these two square off in the ring or on the mic, I'm immediately reminded of Sylvester vs. Tweety from Looney Tunes.
Predictions - 2 for 2

John Morrison vs. Shelton Benjamin was just amazing. Morrison is insane, that's all there is to it... what was that, a springboard 450 Splash to the outside?! Shelton was no slouch here either, both these guys came to work and if there were ever any doubts that they have the tools to be top stars, this match should erase them. There can only be one winner though, and Morrison was definitely the right guy to win in this one. Awesome match.
Predictions - 3 for 3

Miz on Judgment Day! The Miz was on fire here, calling John Morrison "Marty Jannetty," slamming the Chicago Cubs (which is kinda like beating a dead horse, but I digress) and then verbally sparring with Santino? When you're looking for a definitive heel promo, you can't ask for much more than that. Sure it was cheap heat, but it was damn funny. If The Miz isn't in the WWE Title picture by 2010, WWE's doing something wrong.

Chris Jericho vs. Rey Mysterio is my personal pick for Match of the Night. I don't remember these two having many matches against each other in WWE (if ever?) but one took me back to the glory days of WCW. Both guys are more than ten years older since that epic feud, but they didn't miss a beat here tonight. The counters, the fast-pace action, the red-hot crowd going nuts for Jericho, it was exactly what I look for in a wrestling match. Loved it and I hope we haven't seen the end of this rivalry.
Predictions - 4 for 4

Randy Orton vs. Batista going on so early pretty much confirmed a screwy ending. I wasn't all that into this one, definitely didn't live up to their great match at Armageddon last year, but I'm sure there will be a rematch at Extreme Rules (...yay?). What really shocked me in this one was the crowd turning on Batista. I've always wondered why the crowd
relentlessly boos Cena for being "stale," but always gives love to Batista, who's been doing the exact same thing since 2005. Anyway, Orton's attempts to get counted out or DQed just made him look weak and not very "Viper-like," but who cares... NAITCH! Ric Flair out of nowhere was a wonderful surprise and I'm never going to be upset when The Nature Boy shows up. I wonder if WWE caught wind of those rumors of Flair wanting to wrestle again and wanted to make sure that if it's going to happen, it's going to be in their ring? Bad break for Ring of Honor if that's the case.
Predictions - 4 for 5 (but Orton kept the belt, that should at least be half a point!)

John Cena vs. The Big Show was not the brawl I had hoped it would be, instead it was pretty much a glorified squash with the squashee actually winning. It wasn't that this was a bad match, there just wasn't really anything too exciting going on. Still, no matter how many times I see it, it still blows my mind to see Cena lift the Big Show and hit the Attitude Adjustment, which looked particularly brutal tonight.
Predictions - 4 for 6

Edge vs. Jeff Hardy came really close to being Match of the Night, maybe if it was just a little longer with a few more dramatic near-falls. That Spear off the barricade was painful to watch and then Hardy hitting Poetry in Motion into the crowd was just as rough. Still, nothing comes close to that sickening Edgecution off the top rope, I thought Hardy may have broken his neck. Edge defending the belt is good, even if I was personally rooting for Jeff Hardy (or CM Punk!) and I look forward to his next opponent or the inevitable rematch. One big gripe though... why Matt Hardy? Please don't tell me we're continuing this feud, hopefully it was just a one time thing.
Predictions - 5 for 7

Now that was a PPV! Aside from the weak finish in the WWE Title match, I was happy with just about every outcome and almost all of the matches delivered great in-ring action. The card looked good on paper and I think it's safe to say that it exceeded high expectations. I was split on last month's Backlash, but tonight may have been the best Judgment Day in WWE history.

As always, feel free to leave your thoughts on tonight's show in the comments section, especially if you disagree with my assessment of the PPV. Feedback is always welcome here at Kick-Out!! Wrestling, so make your voice heard.
And hopefully you were following me on Twitter during the show, I'll be doing that for all PPVs in the future so you can interact with me there as well.

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