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PPV REPORTS
CALDWELL'S WWE JUDGMENT DAY PPV REPORT 5/17: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Orton vs. Batista, Edge vs. Jeff Hardy

May 17, 2009 - 9:50:53 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor

WWE JUDGMENT DAY PPV REPORT
May 17, 2009
Chicago, Ill.


The PPV opened with a grainy old-school horror movie look to the standard PPV video package. Good vs. Evil tonight at WWE Judgment Day. Voice-over man quoted some literature that sounded like Revelations talking about the wicked and whether they will conquer or not.

Announcers: Jim Ross introduced the show and said we'll find out tonight who's been Raptured. After a pause, we open with C.M. Punk in his hometown. Ross and Todd Grisham then talked about Punk having a huge task tonight against Umaga. Punk took his time playing to the hometown crowd, then Umaga came out to face Punk.

1 -- C.M. PUNK vs. UMAGA

Bell sounded and the crowd opened with a loud "C-M-Punk" chant. Ross said Punk is having a nice family reunion tonight, but the annoying neighbor is crashing the party. Ross so great at illustrating a point with a good ol' story. Umaga blocked a turnaround splash early on and whipped Punk down hard to the mat. Match went on for a while with Umaga in control trying to wear down Punk, who teased comebacks including a scoop slam attempt that back-fired. Ross said Punk has a tendency to be confrontational according to his peers. Confrontational Punk tried to make another comeback, but Umaga nailed him with a clean uppercut. Umaga missed a dive from the second rope, then both men recovered to their feet.

Punk landed an elbow strike, then he pulled the top rope down and Umaga flew over the top rope to the floor. Punk then landed a plancha on the floor. Back in the ring, Punk blasted him with kick and knee strikes. Umaga was not knocked down, then Punk landed a running knee in the corner, but Umaga blocked the bulldog with a corner splash. No matter, Punk came off the second rope with a bulldog for a two count. Punk up top for a lariat splash and a close nearfall. He tried to set up the G2S, but Umaga countered with a Samoan Drop for a close two count. Umaga then teased the Samoan Spike, but Punk ducked and landed kick strikes to the head. He wanted the G2S again, but Umaga slipped out and nailed a crescent kick, then running butt bomb, and Samoan Spike in a matter of seconds for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Umaga at 11:55. Decent opener. Interesting finish with Umaga picking up the win, as it shows who WWE will be placing more emphasis on going forward. Certainly seems like a Rey vs. Umaga program for the IC Title is in the works based on this clean PPV win for Umaga. (**)

Backstage: Vickie Guerrero was watching the action on a monitor, then Chavo Guerrero walked in with some good news that John Cena has been medically cleared to wrestle tonight. She then shot the info over to Big Show, who was off-camera on the couch. Show got up and said she's already lost Triple H on Raw and now she's going to lose John Cena. He said it's not good for business to have all these fans leaving the arena bitter and disappointed. "This company is bigger than any one individual," Vickie shot back. "You take him out and someone else will step up and take his place." Was that Vince talking? Show said he knows who will step up. Show went to leave, but Edge walked in and coldly told Show he needs to talk to his wife.

Video package: They recapped Christian capturing the ECW Title from Jack Swagger via potentially nefarious means at Backlash. ... Jack Swagger then came out first for the ECW Title match. Josh Mathews and Matt Striker talked up the title match, then champion Christian came out. Tony Chimel handled the formal ring intros and Swagger pointed to Christian to let him know he's taking the title. Lots of "Chicago Peeps" signs in the crowd.

2 -- ECW champion CHRISTIAN vs. JACK SWAGGER

Match moved to the floor early on and Swagger rammed Christian stomach-first into the ringpost. Swagger then stood on Christian's ribs for added effect before rolling him into the ring to begin an attack on the mid-section. Christian came back with double pendulum leg kicks out of the corner before going up top and missing a diving headbutt. Swagger tried to follow with a gutwrench powerbomb, but Christian blocked and made Swagger run into the top turnbuckle. Story of the match being Swagger a dumb oaf who runs into brick walls chasing the roadrunner. They went down at 7:30 with a double clothesline before recovering to their feet. Swagger wanted the electric chair, but Christian blocked, only to have Swagger victory roll him for a two count. Swagger then tried a small package with a handful of tights, but ref saw it and stopped his count. First time ever. Swagger teased the gutwrench, but Christian blocked and ripped down Swagger's singlet straps. Christian then rolled up Swagger and grabbed a handful of the singlet straps in between two and three to score the pin and the win.

WINNER: Christian at 9:35. Disappointing match. Just didn't have a flow and they were a bit off at times. Backlash match was better. Just an off night for both men. (*1/2)

Backstage: Chavo was eavesdropping on Vickie's office, then Edge walked out and Chavo wanted the scoop. Edge said he doesn't need a reason to talk to his wife. Chavo started to defend himself, but Edge said he needs to man up and start defending Aunt Vickie from cross-dressers on Raw. Edge called him an embarrassment and walked off. Chavo huffed and puffed.

Ringside: Chicago Bears were shown ringside. Jay Cutler and Brian Urlacher were there. No beat-each-other-up moment from the NFL players. Shelton Benjamin then came out with Charlie Haas for the third match on the card. John Morrison's music hit and there were the beginnings of the Cena Fan cheers for JoMo.

3 -- SHELTON BENJAMIN (w/Charlie Haas) vs. JOHN MORRISON

Shelton aggressively went on the attack with a t-bone suplex that dropped Morrison square on his head. Morrison then dumped Shelton to the floor and teased a highspot or two. Shelton walked away, then Morrison went for a sick 450 double-flip splash, but the spot looked off because Shelton had to run into harm's way to take the blow and not let Morrison break his neck crashing to the mat. Crowd came to life for the spot, though, so it worked out well live. Shelton then regained control when Morrison was distracted by Haas ringside. Shelton grounded Morrison with mat holds before they rammed heads mid-ring. Morrison made a comeback before bringing the crowd to love with a multiple revolutions head scissors into a Russian legsweep. Beautiful move. Morrison then landed a running knee strike to the head for a two count. Morrison then tried a springboard spin kick, but Shelton caught him in mid-air and tried to chuck him across the ring into the turnbuckle. Looked awkward. Morrison then smashed Haas off the apron and avoided a corner splash. Morrison followed with the Flying Chuck springboard kick, then a corkscrew split-legged splash onto Shelton for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Morrison at 10:12. Had its moments. Some were quite brilliant. Otherwise, crowd wasn't into 90 percent of the action. Tough to gauge match quality when the story of the PPV thus far has been a typically hot Chicago crowd being un-typically quiet tonight. (**1/2)

In-ring: After a WM25 DVD video aired, The Miz came to the ring for a promo. First, he wants to recognize Marty Jannety...er...John Morrison as the winner of the match. He said this won't be the first time he tops a Morrison performance. He said he knows John Cena won't answer his challenge tonight. Miz then shot down the "What?" chants, saying the people sound like a bunch of ducks. Nice improv. Fans responded with a "You suck" chant that Miz shot down. He said that since he can't challenge Cena tonight, he's going to challenge a replacement. Miz said Cena is like this lovable loser...uh-oh...much like the Chicago Cubs. Speaking of which, look who's in the audience tonight. Miz pointed to Alfonso Soriano sitting in the front row behind the announcers. Astros 6, Cubs 5 today. Just tossing it out there. (Need some love after the Game 7 disaster.)

Miz said he's seen Soriano doing the Cena "You Can't See Me" after hitting a homer. He said it really means "You Can't See Me wearing a World Series ring with the Cubs." Big heat live against Miz. He told Soriano he could either win a World Series or serve as a Cena surrogate and get in the ring. He told him to step up. Miz said to hold up...he's getting a phone call. "Really? Really? Really?" He said that was Cubs manager Lou Pinellia on the other line. He wants Alfonso to get his yearly injury on the field this year. Ouch. He said that since Alfonso can't do it as Cena's surrogate, Miz wins another one. Miz 4, Cena 0. Suddenly, Santino's music interrupted and Alfonso smiled. Babyface pop for Santino.

Miz wanted to know what he wants. Santino went in and out of Santino(a) character and said he won't let Miz talk like that no mores. See, Alfonso Soriano is a fellow Italian. Um...no. But, Alfonso went with it. Santino said they can have some pasta and make fun of that Steve Bartman guy. He then said there are so many people in WWE who look like animals. Vickie, Kozlov, Fiz. Miz then jumped Santino and they had a wild brawl with the fans doing the yeah/boo for when one or the other took advantage. Miz finally finished off Santino with a DDT and reminded us of the 4-0 record against Cena & Surrogates. Miz left the ring, then Chavo Guerrero stormed in and shouted down at Santino. Chavo started to leave, but then he went up top and nailed an ugly looking frog splash. "Brave" Chavo then yelled at Santino before leaving the ring.

Video package: Do Not Try This At Home.

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Chris Jericho for an interview. Jericho stared off into a distance while Mathews talked about a conspiracy against him. He said he's been wronged and robbed. Jericho said it's beyond a conspiracy or a controversy, but an attack on him. These hypocrite fans have faith in a man like Rey Mysterio, who gets by on the hypocrites who cheer for him. He paused for the fans to predictably chant "6-1-9." He vowed to become IC champion tonight.

In-ring: IC champion Rey Mysterio came to the ring first to defend the IC Title. Chris Jericho then came out and Rey flashed the belt to him. No formal ring intros for the match. Haha, oh yeah, it's the lame ol' IC Title belt.

4 -- Intercontinental champion REY MYSTERIO vs. CHRIS JERICHO -- IC Title match

Bell sounded and crowd with a loud "Y2J" chant. Jericho dominated early after blocking a top rope attempt and smashing Rey knee-first into the top ringpost. Rey tried to gather himself on the floor on that bad wheel. Jericho then knocked Rey to the floor and smiled for everyone to see how pleased he was with himself. Rey suddenly came back with a kick to the head to set up the 619, but Jericho popped up and tossed Rey across the ring. Rey then tried to come back with a head scissors, but Jericho had a sweet counter with a spinning backbreaker for a two count. So fluid. Jericho then hung Rey in the ropes and whipped him hard into the middle rope for another close call. Jericho teased a de-masking, but Rey fought him off and hit a seated splash. He followed with a crossbody for a two count.

At 8:30, Jericho and Rey had a great counter/re-counter exchange leading to Jericho nailing a backbreaker for a two count. Rey then set up Jericho for the 619, but Jericho moved. Rey tried to follow with a huracanrana, but Jericho caught him mid-air for the Walls of Jericho. Rey blocked, then corkscrewed Jericho to the middle rope for the 619, but Jericho grabbed his legs and slapped on the Walls of Jericho this time. Rey managed to escape and turn it into a small package for a two count. Rey tried to come back with a rana, but Jericho blocked with a powerbomb and a two count. Such great action. At 12:00, Jericho talked trash before eating the middle turnbuckle. Rey then nailed an abrupt 619 around the ringpost ala WM22 in Chicago. Rey then popped up to the top rope for the big splash for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Rey at 12:30 to retain the IC Title. Excellent PPV match. Really wish it would have gone another five minutes and been a true show-stealer. They really picked up the intensity of the show right there with some amazing action, great counters, and highspots the audience really bought into. Rey was awesome, Jericho was awesome, and they were awesome together from start to finish. (****)

Video package: Randy Orton vs. Batista was focused on. Surprising to see them in the semi-main event instead of the main event. Wait, not even the semi-main event. They seriously putting Cena vs. Show in one of the semi spots? Wow.

In-ring: WWE champion Randy Orton came out first to defend the title. He was alone. For now. Lawler said Judgment Day is the day you pay for your sins and Orton has racked up a boat load of sins. Cue up Batista's music after a pause. Huge reaction for Big Dave, who came out on stage glaring toward Orton. He had a noticeable cut on his forehead above his left eye. BD posed in the ring while Orton dipped to the outside to let Batista wear himself out. Lilian Garcia handled formal ring intros while Orton just paced around on the floor. 70/30 cheers for Batista. 95/5 boos for Orton.

5 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON vs. BATISTA -- WWE Title match

Bell sounded and the announcers said Batista was involved in an altercation earlier this weekend. Lawler said he had eight stitches in his eye as a result. Also, Orton dipped to the floor when the bell sounded to make Batista wait a bit longer for initial contact. Orton took a rest on the floor again, then Batista ran out of the corner with a clothesline. He kicked Orton in the back before sitting down on his lower back. Orton gained control at 4:00, then stood over Batista and did the old-school arms-extended pose from 2005. Crowd booed that heavily. Orton grabbed a basic chinlock and Batista escaped with elbow strikes before Orton nailed the fallaway backbreaker for a two count. Orton went back to the chinlock, then Batista escaped, and Orton re-applied. Batista escaped and Orton snapped off a nice dropkick. He then picked up the crowd intensity with that trademark horizontal DDT from the second rope.

At 8:30, Orton stalked cough-and-wheeze Batista for the RKO like a snake, but Batista remained on the ground. Orton then re-thought his plan to nail The Punt, but Batista was playing opossum and nailed a spear as Orton charged. Both men then came to their feet and they traded punches with crowd doing yeah/boo. Batista then scooped up Orton for a standing powerslam and a two count only at 10:00. Orton then rolled to the floor told the ref to start his ten count. Batista was not going to stand for Orton trying to get counted out, so he chased Orton around the ring. Orton tried to hug the ringpost, but Batista broke him off and tossed him into the ring for a clothesline and a two count.

Tree-hugging Orton then tried to grab a steel chair ringside, but Batista blocked. Batista then went up top (wha?) and nailed a nice-looking flying shoulder tackle for a two count. Batista teased the Batistabomb, but Orton blocked and rolled to the floor once again. He then grabbed his WWE Title belt and tried to run away clutching the belt, but Batista pursued him and tossed him back into the ring. Batista ducked a belt shot and nailed a spinebuster. Orton freaked as Batista grappled him for the Batistabomb, but Orton punched out. Batista blocked the RKO, then Orton moved out of the way of a spear in the corner. Orton, enraged, wanted the RKO, but Batista shoved him away into the ref. Orton and ref had a stop-and-collect-themselves moment, then Orton reared back and slapped ref Chioda. Ref called for the bell for a DQ and Batista put his hands on his head in disgust that he won, but Orton kept the belt. Classic Orton storyline.

Post-match: Legacy stormed the ring to help Orton with a three-on-one beating on Batista. Suddenly, Ric Flair's music hit. Oh snap. Flair stormed the ring in dress clothes as the announcers freaked about Flair being here. Flair looked to be in great shape as he fought off Legacy. Batista then dropped Orton with the Batistabomb before Flair ripped off a round of chops on folks. Flair then helped Batista up and they had a stare down with Legacy with Batista smiling. Six-man tag with Triple H next month?

WINNER: Batista via DQ at 14:45. Really nice storyline-driven match. Not the most aesthetically-pleasing at times, but both men put in a really nice effort and Orton played the snake heel role very well. Flashes of great wrestling storytelling at times in this one. Flair's surprise return was a memorable moment, but not as memorable since he was just on WWE TV a month ago. (***)

Extreme Rules promo: They plugged the ominous Extreme Rules PPV on June 7. ... Video package: John Cena vs. Big Show build-up.

In-ring: Big Show came out first for the semi-main event match. After a pause, John Cena's music hit to a loud reaction. Cena stomped out looking very focused and determined. Show returned his icy glare with a big smile.

6 -- JOHN CENA vs. BIG SHOW -- Don't call it an Exhibition match

They danced around the ring without locking up as Show simply maintained that smile. Crowd with a dueling "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks" chant. "Cena Sucks" part could have passed for "C-M-Punk." In any event, Show finally got his paws on Cena and punched him in the stomach to work on the injured ribs. Show then went into a methodical wear-down on the ribs as the fans picked up another dueling chant. Show went from smiley to scowling as he continued to beat down Cena. Cole said he lost his smile. Anyways, Cena lost an armband in the corner and Show tossed it away before missing with a big splash. Cena wasn't going to stand for wasted merch, so he fired up with a running chopblock at 10:00. Cena then dropped the Five Knuckle Shuffle and Show came to his feet. Cena clutched his ribs and approached Show for the FU, but Show blocked with a chokeslam attempt, only to have Cena counter into a DDT. He then tried to slap on the STFU, but he couldn't wrap it on.

Show pounded Cena back to the mat before going to the corner for a Vader Bomb ... and connecting. Ref made the count, but Cena kicked out. On the opposite end of the ring, Show wanted another VB, but Cena moved. Show kicked Cena away trying to follow with another STFU, then Cena came back with a running boot on the apron and top rope guillotine drop. Cena tried the STFU a third time, but Show shooed him away like a fly. Show then kicked Cena in the gut and wanted a powerbomb, but he then dumped Cena back over his head with a front-stomach drop. Innovative. Show called for a Five Dollar Footlong before clutching his right fist for the Big Turkey & Cheese Blow. Cena wanted an Italian BMT, though, as ducked The Punch to transfer right into the FU. Announcers came out of their seats as Cena followed through with the FU for the pin and the win. After the match, Cena went over to Alfonso Soriano ringside and hugged it up with him. They then did the "You Can't See Me" for the camera and hugged it up again. Nice moment.

WINNER: Cena at 14:59. Really nice finish. Something Pat Patterson would have booked to put the babyface in jeopardy of taking the heel's decisive finisher before the babyface avoids it and nails the super-human finish for the win. Classic Cena booking. Strong conclusion to an otherwise slow match for about 10-12 minutes. (**1/2)

Video package: They recapped history between Edge and Jeff Hardy, going back to when Edge had the stringy blonde hair back in the Edge & Christina days. For Jeff, they showed the clip of Jeff Hardy nearly winning the WWE Title from The Undertaker in that classic Raw TV ladder match from like an era ago to reinforce Edge's promos about Jeff squandering opportunities.

In-ring: Edge came out first to defend the World Title in the main event. Jeff Hardy then came out sporting face paint to show he's ready for battle. Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros with Jeff receiving a strong ovation. Edge was booed. Opening bell with a good 20-25 minutes of PPV time left.

7 -- World Hvt. champion EDGE vs. JEFF HARDY -- World Hvt. Title match

Jeff took initial control with a series of arm drags before Edge landed a knee to the gut in the corner. He then knocked Edge to the floor and landed a splash on the outside. Back in the ring, Jeff wanted the Whisper in the Wind a little too early in the match and Edge moved out of the way. Edge then shoved Jeff to the apron and knocked him to the floor with a running smash to the back. Back in the ring, Edge went to work on Jeff's lower back. Jeff fired back with a series of clotheslines at 9:00, but missed with a dropkick when Edge grabbed the ropes.

Suddenly, Jeff came back with a Sharpshooter in center ring. He had a unique overhand grip to maintain the hold as Edge fought the hold to reach the bottom rope for a break. The action moved to the top turnbuckle where Jeff nailed a nice sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. Jeff knocked Edge off the apron to the floor before clearing the Smackdown announce table and part of the guardrail padding. Jeff sent Edge into the exposed guardrail before ramming him head-first into a TV monitor. Jeff wanted to run off the guardrail onto Edge, but Edge speared him in mid-air right into the ground. Ouch.

Jeff recovered and crawled over to the ring before jumping into the ring at nine. Edge, frustrated, picked up his attack on the lower back. Jeff blocked a spear off the apron, though, and gave Edge a Twist of Fate across the middle rope. Jeff had a pin, but Edge got his foot on the rope. Jeff followed with a Whisper in the Wind that connected, but Edge kicked out. Action moved to the floor and Jeff re-positioned the ring steps to run off the steps with a big splash on Edge right into the lap of a family of five ringside. Jeff tossed Edge back to ringside, then Matt Hardy suddenly ran down the arena steps and blasted Jeff from behind with the cast. Ref didn't see the action on the floor, then Edge took Jeff back into the ring for a cover, but Jeff kicked out.

Edge wanted the spear, but Jeff moved and sent him head-first into the middle turnbuckle. Jeff slowly collected himself for a Swanton Bomb attempt, but he couldn't get in position soon enough, allowing Edge to grapple Jeff up top. Edge then nailed a superplex/edguctioner combo from the top rope for a big gasp from the crowd. Edge made the cover for the win. Afterward, Edge took his title belt and celebrated the victory while catching his breath. They replayed the finish, then closed with a shot of medics tending to Jeff Hardy in the ring. Selling the effects or he was legit KO'ed on that top rope finish.

WINNER: Edge at 19:55 to retain the World Hvt. Title. Would have been a show-stealer and more memorable in the fifth or sixth slot. In the main event slot, it was just a pretty good, but not great PPV title match. Had some high moments and they changed the pace of the match to keep throwing new things at the viewers to hold their interest, but not at the level of Edge-Cena from Backlash. (***1/4)

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.


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