Sunday, June 20, 2010

WWE Fatal 4-Way 2010

I hoped earlier that this could wind up being a PPV that looked bad on paper, but turned out great in the execution, luckily, that was the case tonight. Let's take a closer look at the first ever Fatal 4-Way.

Vince McMahon opening a PPV is always interesting. The chairman didn't have a lot to say except that Bret Hart is still hurt from the incident involving the NXT Graduates; I wonder if this means Bret as GM was just a temporary thing? Could be a great opening to get the Rookies signed if a heel GM was put in Hart's place, but honestly, I'm over the evil authority figure.

Kofi Kingston vs. Drew McIntyre for the Intercontinental Championship was a rock solid opener. Easily the best I've seen McIntyre and Kofi was on fire, whether he was in control of the match or getting the hell beat out of him, he was golden. Teddy Long & Matt Hardy getting involved after the ref bump was a bit much, and I found it strange the announcers were talking about Kofi "overcoming the odds" or whatever when McIntyre was the one who got screwed, but obviously the "Chosen One" had it coming to him.

Eve vs. Gail Kim vs. Maryse vs. Alicia Fox was better than it had any right to be, but Alicia Fox winning the Diva's Championship is laughable. Sure, the Lisa Frank Championship is a complete joke, but that's no reason to encourage that sentiment and make it an utter laughingstock. When I watch Alicia Fox, I literally worry for her safety and those in the ring with her and I can't understand why WWE would think it's a good idea to make her a champion. I wouldn't put the Hardcore Title on her for five seconds during the 24/7 era. And as decent as this match was at the time (grading on the Diva Curve), Natalya and Tamina blew it out of the water a couple hours later.

Chris Jericho was out next to call us hypocritical sycophantic parasites and announce that he's the best in the world at what he does. The New York crowd was electric for Jericho and were ready to be insulted at every turn, they were just happy to see him. Turns out, Jericho was out for an impromptu match against Evan Bourne! Absolutely fantastic match and my personal pick for Match of the Night, and it wasn't even scheduled. Obviously way better than the three minutes they got last Monday, and Evan Bourne was solidified as a WWE Superstar with a HUGE win over the self-proclaimed "best in the world." I do have to laugh at the smarks who were booing Evan, the exact same people who complain that WWE doesn't push Evan Bourne, then turn on him when he gets pushed against a smark favorite like Jericho. Which is it, fellas? Oh I see, you want Bourne to win, just not against the guys you like! Anyhoo, Evan looked great, Jericho looked great, both men made the other look great, this match was what wrestling is all about, and even the most die-hard Jericho fan has to appreciate what he did for Evan here.

The first of our main events went on next, Jack Swagger vs. Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk vs. Big Show, and I had a feeling I'd be annoyed by this match when the hype video was centered entirely around Kane. Luckily, the Big Red Machine didn't get involved until the very end, setting his sights on CM Punk, and giving Rey Mysterio the opportunity to nail Jack Swagger with the 619 and capture his second World Heavyweight Championship!

Okay, so we have to talk about the internet backlash against Rey Mysterio, and I have to be honest, I just don't get it. I feel like a lot of it dates back to Eddie Guerrero's passing, which people that never knew Eddie Guerrero love to call "exploitation," but the people who were closest Eddie have never publicly complained about. Yeah, Rey's reign sucked, but keep in mind it was on Smackdown in 2006, and there was nothing good about Smackdown in 2006, and the handling of his reign was WWE's fault, not Mysterio's. But in that time, Mysterio has gone from "Guerrero's best friend" to one of the most popular wrestlers in the industry today. I can't think of anyone who captures the crowd, moves as much merchandise, and can work a match quite like Rey Mysterio, him winning the World Title is simply good for business. Rey has worked his ass off for the last 18 months, his matches are the best I've seen from him in any of his time in WWE, it's like he's 10 years younger all of the sudden, and there's no doubt in my mind that he's earned this.

And the stuff about him "being rewarded for injuring The Undertaker," is flat-out absurd. It ain't ballet, kids, people get hurt all the time. Rey's not some sloppy worker that recklessly hurt The Undertaker, I've seen numerous wrestlers (most notably Lance Storm) talk about how when they see their name on the card next to Rey's, they get excited because they know they have an easy night of work ahead of them. And c'mon, The Undertaker is old school and a tough SOB, I don't think he needs a bunch of angry kids in front of a computer screen sticking up for him after an injury. When Rey Mysterio breaks your nose, then you can get pissed, k?

Okay, so as for the actual match, I really enjoyed it, it's in close competition with Bourne/Jericho for Match of the Night honors and my only gripes are Kane's involvement and that it was a tad bit too short. If Kane is set to feud with Punk for the time being, I can only hope that means Swagger vs. Mysterio is on tap, I think those two could put on some awesome PPV matches.

The Miz vs. R-Truth had the unfortunate task of being a cool-down match, and as I've been saying all week, this should've been the Fatal Four Way that we saw last week on Raw. Miz's parody of "WUT'S UP" was funny, but not nearly as funny as The Miz forgetting the lyrics. Would've been a good match to open a PPV or be the 10pm main event of Raw, but to follow up a Fatal Four Way for the World Championship in front of a rowdy New York crowd? These guys didn't stand a chance.

In another match added during the card, we got six-person tag team action with The Hart Dynasty vs. The Uso Brothers & Tamina Snuka. As I mentioned earlier during the women's match, Tamina and Natalya showed the fragile Divas how it's done. I know it's a novel concept to have women actually wrestle in a WWE ring, but more stuff like this would be nice. I wouldn't be surprised if WWE intentionally keeps Natalya out of the ring to avoid the rest of the Divas roster looking like an embarrassment, but she deserves gold around her waist. Natalya is everything a wrestler should be (regardless of gender), she's got the look, she's a great talker and kicks ten tons of ass in the ring. Screw the Divas Championship, I want Natalya to win the US Championship! The Usos didn't look too shabby in here either, Tyson getting Samoan Dropped into the barricade was NASTY!, and I think these guys will make a nice addition to the tag division. The Hart boys were awesome too, but that's their par, what more can you say about them?

Main Event time! John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton in a Fatal Four Way for the WWE Championship. The match was pretty much exactly what I expected out of these four guys, and that's not a bad thing. Lots of drama, lots of near falls, and lots of stuff to encourage dueling chants from the crowd. I think my favorite moment was Orton nailing Cena with the RKO, getting a 2.99999 count, then Sheamus just shoving the referee to interrupt the count. Technically speaking, it was a win, but Orton had that coming to him after that bullshit last year where he somehow retained the WWE Title despite tapping out when Cena and HHH had him in a double submission hold.

The match took a turn for the weird when they showed R-Truth, Evan Bourne, David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd watching the match backstage. They showed them a few times throughout the match, but apparently they were the sitting ducks for the NXT Invasion. All seven guys attacked, then made their way to ringside where they mugged all the participants in the match... well, all of them except Sheamus, who scored another victory over John Cena for the WWE Title! I hope all the Cena haters out there are on board with the Celtic Warrior, because I'm pretty sure he's John Cena's Kryptonite, fella. I'm a bit behind on my Superman comics, is there clear Kryptonite? Sheamus won and hauled ass away from ringside, briefly stopping to pose with the WWE Title at the top of the ramp, only to run off again when the NXT Grads chased after him while the crowd chants "DANIEL BRYAN!" Fun fact: Sheamus' win marks the 100th reign of the WWE Championship. Cena, Edge and Orton were out cold, bringing the show to a close... at 10:35?! WTF is that?!

Okay WWE, even if I'm paying more per year than I was before the increase, I can allow another PPV price increase when you drop the number of PPVs, but expecting me to pay $45 for a show that ends at 10:35 is inexcusable. There was easily enough time for another match, even if it was something pointless involving Michelle McCool, don't end a show 25 minutes early. Yeah, I know PPVs are traditionally under three hours, but Extreme Rules ended right at 11pm, and 10:35 is just insulting. I don't know if a match ran short, because I feel like everything got a decent amount of time, but I sincerely hope this was an isolated incident.

That complaint aside, I really enjoyed this show. As I said, all the matches got enough time, and outside of the Divas match, everything was entertaining. Not sure if I like both World Titles bouncing around again, but Mysterio with the title is long overdue and I'm not going to complain about Sheamus winning the belt because he's awesome. As long as these reigns aren't cut short by a round of WWE Title hot potato, I'm cool with it. I wouldn't say it's the greatest PPV I've ever seen or anything, not even the best PPV of the last 12 months, but it far exceeded my expectations.

2 comments:

  1. Re: Jericho. Any time he gets to work with a smaller high flier... I don't know how anyone can complain about that. I mean, I'd rather see the smaller guys fighting each other than playing through the giant killer scenario again.

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  2. Yeah, whenever Jericho works with someone like Mysterio or Bourne, it's like he reverts to his cruiserweight days and busts out stuff we haven't seen in years.

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