Sunday, September 6, 2009

Match of the Month - August

I'm a little late on this one, but you know the old saying, better late than never. I introduced this feature last month and oddly enough, none of the top matches came from a PPV. Will that trend continue after SummerSlam? Highly doubtful. Once again, I narrowed the list down to six fantastic matches, but only one can be Match of the Month. Make sure to vote in the new poll to let me know if you agree or disagree with my selection. Alright, on with the list; first, the runner-ups:

Nigel McGuinness vs. Tyler Black - Ring of Honor 8/17
The newest name heading to WWE, Nigel McGuinness, made his return to HDNet on August 17th and tore the house down with ROH's fastest rising star, Tyler Black. This match likely would've been higher up the list had Nigel been 100%, but after deciding against surgery for his injured arm, he came back early and wasn't up to his usual level. Still, even a 75% Nigel McGuinness is arguably the greatest all-around competitor in Ring of Honor, and he proved that by putting on a hell of a match here.

CM Punk vs. John Morrison - Smackdown 8/14
The story going into this one was the fact that John Morrison had previously scored two pinfall victories over the then-former World Champion, CM Punk. The third time was the charm for the Straight Edge Superstar, not only did he defeat Morrison, he demolished him. This was the defining match for Punk as a full-blown heel, he was more aggressive in the ring and his facial expressions were downright scary. Punk wanted to hurt Morrison, and he did just that in this match, which I would say is their best to date.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian - ECW 8/4
This Extreme Rules Match kicked off the month of August with a bang. Raw was just coming off its worst episode of the year (the Dr. Ken debacle) and ECW wasn't looking all that great either until Dreamer and Christian saved the day. Hot dog carts, Singapore canes, the Killswitch on a car door... a pin with a car door! These guys tore each other apart, all for the right to be called ECW Champion, and Christian won that right by retaining in a contest that may go down as the ECW Match of the Year.

Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong - Ring of Honor 8/24
Do yourself a favor, watch this match. I know a lot of people don't have access to HDNet or you may not even have an interest in Ring of Honor, but seriously... watch this match. However you have to do it, you owe it to yourself as a wrestling fan to see this one. Aries & Strong found that rare balance between indy-style wrestling and sports entertainment and produced one of the greatest matches since ROH debuted on HDNet in March.

Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler - SummerSlam 2009
The opening contest of SummerSlam turned out to be the sleeper hit of the show. These two had a good outing at Night of Champions the month before, but I was not prepared for how good this match turned out to be. Mysterio may have found the Fountain of Youth before this one, seeing as he was wrestling like it was 1997. Ziggler was no slouch either, stepping up to the plate, showing the WWE Universe that he deserves his spot and is a future main eventer. Until his unfortunate suspension, 2009 was Mysterio's year, but if he can keep putting on matches like this when he returns, he'll still have October, November and December to prove why he's the Superstar of the Year.

But, there can only be one Match of the Month, and that honor goes to:

CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy - SummerSlam 2009
Were you expecting anything else? There's really nothing more I can say about this one that I didn't say in my SummerSlam review:
Let's talk about how friggin' awesome the TLC Match was. I'm just going to come right out and say it: CM Punk & Jeff Hardy are out of their damn minds. The chairshots were sick, the table bumps were rough, the falls off the ladder weren't pretty, that Superplex onto the ladder was absolutely disgusting, and Jeff Hardy doing the Swanton off a 16-foot (at least) high ladder through the ECW announce table was nothing short of terrifying. Even the final shot was brutal, it was just a simple strike, but then Jeff has to fall flat-back off the thing onto one of the least forgiving sections of the ring. These two put their bodies through hell and gave us the perfect conclusion to the best feud of 2009 so far, and I doubt anything else is going to come close. Hats off to CM Punk for becoming a three-time World Heavyweight Champion - wonder how many smarks thought they'd ever be reading that.

Okay, I lied, there is more I can say about this one. Jeff Hardy deserves all of our respect for making CM Punk look like a true champ in this one. After what is sure to be the greatest feud of 2009, Jeff Hardy took a well-earned hiatus from WWE, while CM Punk has taken over as the best in the business today. It all culminated with this match, and hats off to both men for sacrificing their bodies and possibly their careers for our entertainment.

So did I get it right? You tell me in the latest Kick-Out!! Poll, what's your pick for Match of the Month? Poll closes Saturday night, so get your votes in early! And if your choice isn't on the list, let me know what it is in the comments section.

Finally, the results from our previous poll:

Before the end of 2010 - 47%
Within the next three years - 49%
More than three years - 0%
He's going to TNA - 1%
Jeff Hardy is done wrestling - 1%

The majority of you believe he'll be back before the summer of 2012, and almost as many think it'll happen within the next 15 months. As he loves reminding us, Jeff is a free spirit and lives in the moment, so I think the only safe assumption is that Jeff Hardy will be back when Jeff Hardy wants to be back. After his recent performances at SummerSlam and last week's Smackdown, I'm right there with that 47%, the sooner The Extreme Enigma is back, the better.

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