PPV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE CYBER SUNDAY REPORT 10/26: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV
Oct 26, 2008 - 9:50:25 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
WWE Cyber Sunday PPV Report
October 26, 2008
By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
The PPV started with a random video package with all of the WWE stars self-deprecating about how unimportant WWE Universe's role is in the PPV. They got serious and Triple H gave us a word that we can decide his future tonight. Oh boy.
Michael Cole opened the PPV by saying this is sports entertainment's greatest form of democracy. Rey Mysterio's music hit, then he walked out of a giant Blackberry on the entrance stage. After Rey entered the ring, Todd Grisham broke down the voting results for our opening bout. No Holds Barred - 39 percent, Falls Count Anywhere - 35 percent, and two out of three falls picked up the remaining 26 percent. Low blows are legal and out came Kane with a big smile for the match.
1 -- KANE vs. REY MYSTERIO -- No Holds Barred match
Rey tried to bust out a Kendo stick on the floor early on and he found a little bit of success until Kane spiked him into the ringpost. More weapons entered the scene when the action moved to the ring, as apparently this turned into a weapons match. Kane teased several chokeslam finishers, but Rey escaped each time. At 10:00, Rey jabbed Kane in the gut with a chair shot, then hit his forearm with a chair shot. Rey wanted the 619 a third time, but Kane slipped out and went for a chokeslam. Rey managed to escape again, then he hit a huricanrana that propelled Kane to the middle rope. Rey followed with the 619 and the springboard splash for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio in 11:00. Nice opener. Had some slow moments, but Rey used his quickness to excite the crowd and create some good drama. Not much use of the "No Holds Barred" concept, but enough weaponry to give the fans a satisfying opener. (*1/2)
Backstage video: They showed Michelle McCool in an Army outfit. That's a winner. Katie Lea was Vickie Guerrero. No, actually a vampire. Candice Michelle was Marilyn Monroe. Too predictable.
Backstage: Chris Jericho was shown walking around, then he confronted Teddy, Manu, and Cody, who all just happened to be standing around talking. Jericho told them that if they want to take it to the next level, they need to take out Batista tonight. Lots of background noise. Cody said they're going to be pretty busy tonight. DiBiase said his title defense tonight should be priceless with the odds stacked against him. Eeeeh.
Cyber Sunday Control Center: On stage, Grisham welcomed out Teddy Long and Tiffany. They danced a touch, then Long hyped ECW's efforts tonight. He brought out ECW champion Matt Hardy to a huge reaction, then they sent it backstage to show Mark Henry, Evan Bourne, and Finlay standing by to find out who will be Hardy's opponent tonight. And the results... Bourne with an overwhelming 69 percent of the vote. A mere 6 percent listened to Hardy's promo and voted for Henry.
2 -- ECW champion MATT HARDY vs. EVAN BOURNE -- ECW Title match
Bourne went for a pretty aggressive attack early on, including a hard knee strike to Hardy's pointed nose in the corner. He tried a springboard move, but Hardy met him with a forearm that rocked Bourne to the outside. Back in the ring, Hardy went to work on Bourne and wanted a running bulldog, but Bourne countered into a cross armbreaker in center ring. Hardy broke free, but Bourne nailed a standing moonsault for a two count. Hardy came back by trapping Bourne's legs in the ropes, then he wanted a Razor's Edge, but Bourne countered in mid-air with a huracanrana. They came to their feet, but Hardy took the advantage with the side effect for a nearfall. Hardy then landed a second side effect, and Bourne kicked out again. Hardy then went up top, but Bourne met him in mid-air with a spinning heel kick.
At 10:00, Bourne nailed a sweet moonsault off the top rope for a two count. He nailed a leaping back kick as Striker recounted big title changes in Phoenix. Jeff Jarrett name-drop, oh my. Bourne went for a roundhouse kick, but Hardy rolled him up with a small package for a nearfall. Hardy, desperate, went for a hook of tights, but it was unsuccessful. Bourne tried a top rope move, but Hardy blocked him and they battled up top. Bourne headbutted him down, then Bourne wanted the Shooting Star Press, but Hardy moved out of the way to get a gasp from the crowd. Hardy came up smiling and wanted to finish him, but Bourne blocked Twist of Fate and bridged him for a two count. Suddenly, Hardy popped up to his feet and hit the Twist of Fate for the pin and the win.
After they replayed the finish of the match, Hardy pulled Bourne back into the ring and shook his hand in congratulations. Bourne thanked him as Striker said that was two great athletes and entertainers putting it on the line tonight.
WINNER: Hardy in 12:00 to retain the ECW Title. Nice, nice match with Hardy in position to be the stronger wrestler for once. Good to see him in that element rather than having to overcome a Mark Henry type opponent. Great counters at the end with Hardy and Bourne going move-for-move. Should be a match that people remember at the end of this show. (***)
Cyber Sunday Control: Up next, it's the random tag match decision. Results showed 38 percent for Miz & Morrison vs. Cryme Tyme and 35 percent for Cody & Teddy defending the belts against Punk & Kofi. Internet War wins out.
3 -- CRYME TYME (SHAD GASPAR & J.T.G.) vs. THE MIZ & JOHN MORRISON
Morrison and JTG started things off and they scrapped for a few minutes. Nice touch of realism to make this actually seem personal. JTG landed a flying elbow smash, then Miz took a tag. Shad took a tag as well, then Shad dominated Miz with power moves. Miz and Morrison found themselves on the floor at 3:00, then Shad gorilla press slammed JTG over the top rope onto both opponents. Back in the ring, Miz and Morrison took control on JTG and Miz responded to the cat-calls from the crowd, "Who can't wrestle now?!"
Shad took a hot tag at 8:00 and started cleaning house, including an inside-out clothesline on Morrison. Shad then lift-up slammed him in center ring and he wanted to end it. Shad tried a running splash in the corner, but Morrison blocked. Miz and JTG then brawled on the floor before taking it back into the ring. Ref tried to restore order, but Miz took out Shad's knee from behind and Morrison hit the Midnight Ride corkscrew neckbreaker on Shad for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Miz & Morrison in 10:00. Okay tag match. Started off promising, but slowed down at the end before a finish suitable for the heels to win.
Cyber Sunday Control Center: Grisham told the fans to vote online for the Taker vs. Big Show match.
Backstage: Chris Jericho was shown talking to someone off camera. He asked the person to just make sure things are fair for his title match tonight. The camera panned back to reveal Khali and Singh. Khali cut a promo on Jericho, then Singh told Jericho he says no. Disdain from Jericho. ... They teased a John Cena return at the Survivor Series PPV next month.
In-ring: Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix came out to the ring. Cue up the Honk-a-meter where Honky had 64 weeks and he has 11 weeks as IC champion. That means in ONE WEEK...and one year, he will be the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all the times. Santino went for the local promo about the has-beens coming to Phoenix to fade out and die. Randy Johnson. Shazam O'Neill. Ha, that was good. Suddenly, there's Shaq sitting on the front row to a big pop. Santino said he's moving right along. Matt Leinart. Oh wait, he was a never-will-be. He said all of those people should have retired a long time ago. He sent it over to Grisham for who won the vote tonight. Piper, Goldust, and Honky Tonk were shown backstage in the flesh. And the winner... Honky with 35 percent over Piper, who had 34 percent. Close shave.
Honky came out to the ring all-smiles, then he started his promo on Santino. Honky said he doesn't know about cool and cocky, but Santino is...bad. Oh. He accused Santino of not being able to sing or dance like him, and he would never match up to him. Honky then asked for his music, and Honky started doing his Elvis dance. Santino had to take a few steps back, then Honky asked him to try his hand. Santino started dancing much to the chagrin of Beth, then Santino surprised him with a right hand blow to the face to get things underway.
4 -- IC champion SANTINO MARELLA (w/Beth Phoenix) vs. HONKY TONK MAN -- Intercontinental Title match
One minute into the match, Honky was in control when Beth suddenly tripped Honky from the floor. The ref saw the interference and he called for a DQ of Santino. Santino then verbally ripped into Beth for costing him the match. Beth said she was just trying to help him out.
Suddenly, Goldust's music hit and he walked out on stage. The outfit just does not fit at all anymore. Actually, fits tight in all the wrong places. Goldust walked down the ramp and stared down Santino, then Piper's music hit and Piper walked to ringside. Santino then tried to bail into the ring, but Honky kicked him in the gut. Goldust landed a DDT, then Piper gave him a round of right hands and a thumb to the eye. Honky mercifully finished things off with the shake, rattle, and roll neckbreaker to put a cap on Santino's night.
WINNER: Honky via DQ in 1:00; Santino retains IC Title. Just a filler gimmick match to continue watering down the IC Title. It's merely a secondary title, but it could be valuable at some point again. Fortunately, Santino was entertaining to make this bearable. (n/a)
Video package: After they showed more diva costumes (oh my, Maryse), they went to an extended video package on the Big Show vs. Undertaker feud. ... Control Center: Grisham was about to plug the voting for the match, but Chavo Guerrero wheeled Vickie on stage to a chorus of boos. Vickie then went to the voting on how Taker will lose. Voting went 49 percent for Last Man Standing vs. 42 percent for I Quit match. Vickie: "I Quit match!" Ross and Tazz were dumbfounded, then Vickie tried to repeat all three choices again before settling on Last Man Standing as the correct winner.
5 -- THE UNDERTAKER vs. BIG SHOW -- Last Man Standing match
Big Show dominated early, even getting a seven-count on Taker about three minutes into the match. The match moved to the floor where Taker rammed Show head-first into a steel chair against the ringpost. The giant went down for an eight count, then Taker placed him on the ring apron to nail the patented leaping leg drop. Back in the ring, the two heavyweights traded strikes and blows. Great physicality here. Taker got Show wobbling with right hands, then he wanted a chokeslam, but Show grappled him. He wanted the chokeslam, but Taker countered with a fallaway DDT in center ring. Nice sequence at 9:00.
Show eventually got up and loosened the turnbuckle pad in one corner. Taker took advantage by ramming Show gut-first into the exposed steel before landing a flying clothesline. Taker tried to charge with a big boot in the corner, but Show moved and Taker ate the exposed steel before toppling to the floor. Show followed outside and sent Taker into the ring steps. He then cleared the ECW announce table and sent Taker flying into the front row with a TV monitor blow to the face. Taker then blocked a chair shot blow and tried to leap at Show, but Show caught him standing on the guardrail and chokeslammed him through the announce table. Nice sequence. Taker then made it to a bent-over position at nine, which ref Robinson deemed acceptable to continue the match.
At 15:00, they returned to the ring where Show toyed with Taker until Taker nailed a flying fist smash and sat up for the crowd. Taker stumbled over toward Show and wanted to go Old School, but Show blocked with a chokeslam in center ring. Taker was spread eagle on the mat, then he pulled himself up at nine using the ropes. Show wanted the big right hand smash, the crowd saw it coming, but Taker could do nothing about it. Taker was knocked out cold, then Show retreated to his corner with a big smile on his face. With the crowd roaring in anticipation, Taker sat up at seven, then reached his feet at nine.
Show figured this was coming, so he grabbed a steel chair from the outside. He then waffled Taker across the forehead with a chair shot. Taker kinda got his hand up, but not enough to block anything. Why why why the chair shot to the head? In any event, Show went back to the well to inflict more punishment on Taker, but Taker suddenly locked in the choke-like vice hold. Show tapped, but there is no tapping, so Taker kept it locked in for a while. Robinson applied his ten count as the crowd roared, then Taker reached his feet at nine with Show out cold at the ten count, giving Taker the win. After the ten count, Taker collapsed to the corner while Show clutched his throat to sell pain. Meanwhile, Chavo wheeled Vickie away on stage. Notice how the "Sara" tattoo has been removed from Taker's neck. Show left the ring, then Taker celebrated to close the match.
WINNER: Undertaker in 20:00. Excellent heavyweight battle. They had a controlled brawl on the outside where everything mattered and they didn't just do a giant brawl for the sake of having a brawl. It's always great theater to watch two respected giants slugging it out in the ring. Nice use of the stipulation and the crowd bought into the action throughout. Taker just continues to roll on having great matches, while Show is being restored to his feared-heel status. (****)
Backstage: Jericho complained to Mike Adamle about his unfair practices for the World Title match tonight. He said good GMs make the right decision, not the popular decision. Adamle asked Jericho if he thinks he's that spineless. He's not changing anything. Jericho then pulled out his cellphone and told Adamle they can discuss this at a different time. Some reinforcements?
Divas Costume Contest: Tazz was in the ring, then he brought out all 16 divas from Raw, Smackdown, and ECW to decide who won the costume contest. It has to come down to Michelle, Maryse, Mickie, and Kelly Kelly. And the winner is... Mickie James as Lara Croft from Tomb Raider to repeat from last year. Mickie celebrated, then a giant brawl broke out in the ring. Babyface divas ended up standing tall in the ring to close the brief contest.
In-ring: WWE champion Triple H came to the ring for the WWE Title defense against Jeff Hardy, Koslov, or a combo of both. Hunter did his full ring entrance, then Grisham revealed the voting... 57 percent for Jeff Hardy and 37 percent for a triple threat. They showed Koslov slightly disappointed and Hardy unfazed on the split screen, while Hunter put on a determined look in the ring. As Hardy came to the ring, Jim Ross said the WWE Title has never changed hands in Phoenix.
6 -- WWE champion TRIPLE H vs. JEFF HARDY -- WWE Title match
After the opening exchange, Hunter gave Hardy the "this close" finger-and-thumb gesture to remind Hardy of how close he's been to winning the gold. Hardy and Hunter then teased Twist of Fate and the Pedigree, respectively, before both men popped up to their feet for an intense stare down. Hardy took a deep breath, then he circled around the ring before slapping on an arm bar. Hunter came back when he shoved Hardy off the top turnbuckle into the guardrail on the floor. He then worked over Hardy with repeated blows into the ringpost. At 8:00, Hunter blocked a corner splash and landed a spinebuster, but it was only good for a two count. He then blocked a turnaround splash and slapped on the Crossface in center ring.
The action moved to the floor at 10:00 when Hardy escaped the Crossface, and Hardy landed a leg whip smash on Hunter while he rested on the guardrail. Hardy flung Hunter into the ring, then he nailed the Whisper in the Wind. He then went back up top and got a second Whisper for a two count. Things became intense at 13:00 when Hardy blocked the Pedigree and nearly bridge-pinned Hunter. Hardy then nailed the Twist of Fate and made the cover, but Hunter kicked out. Hardy went for the home run Swanton Bomb and he connected. Hardy didn't make an immediate cover, however, and he went back up top. This time, Hunter got his knees up and Hardy's lower back ate kneepads.
Both men recovered to their feet, then Hunter wanted the Pedigree, but Hardy blocked and kicked Hunter to the floor. He then flew over the top rope with a dive that caught Hunter about five percent. They quickly made an audible on the fly, then Hardy fired himself up and took Hunter into the ring. Hardy tried a top rope move again, but Hunter crotched him and grappled Hardy for a super-sized Pedigree from the top turnbuckle. Hunter collected himself, then he made the cover for the pin to retain the WWE Title. Ross said Hardy probably had more nearfalls tonight, but Hunter got the fall. Hunter coughed and collected himself, then he stared back at Hardy, who gave him a slight clap. Hunter nodded in Hardy's direction to put him over in defeat, then Hunter celebrated on the entrance ramp.
WINNER: Hunter in 16:00 to retain the WWE Title. Another great title match between these two. They really added a new layer to the story of the match, with Hardy trying to do two of every one of his signature moves to inflict more punishment on Hunter, but Hunter managed to avoid the second and third Swanton bombs to pick up the win. Unless they go back to the well at Survivor Series for Hunter vs. Hardy, it's time for Hardy to go a different direction to use the rub he's received from wrestling against Hunter. (***3/4)
Video package: They focused on Batista's journey to the #1 Contender to the World Title against Chris Jericho tonight. ... In-ring: Chris Jericho came to the ring first to defend the title. His music stopped and the boos were heavy, then Batista came out to a strong reaction. The announcers directed our attention to the confident body language of Batista vs. the worried look on Jericho's face. Time to find out who the special ref is. They showed Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, and Steve Austin standing backstage in ref t-shirts. Huge pop for Austin. Voting went... 74 percent for Austin and 22 percent for Michaels. Jericho could only hold his head in pain seeing that result. The glass broke, then Austin strutted out to the ring and went to two neutral corners to pose for the crowd. He then grabbed the World Title belt from Jericho and held it up for the crowd before calling for the bell.
7 -- World Hvt. champion CHRIS JERICHO vs. BATISTA -- World Title match
Jericho tried to have a discussion with Austin, then he walked over to Batista and slapped him hard across the face. Batista, enraged, shoved Jericho into the corner. Jericho then bailed to the floor and said he was done. Austin took the mic, though, and said Jericho isn't retaining the title via DQ or count-out tonight. Not on his watch. Jericho thought it over while Austin started his ten count, then Jericho ran into the ring and accepted a clothesline from Batista. Jericho finally found some offense with a blow to the knee, then Jericho started to wear down Batista in center ring. Jericho then tried to mount Batista in the corner, but Batista tried to counter with a Batistabomb, only to have Jericho slip out into a roll-up for a two count. Jericho then slapped on the Walls of Jericho at 9:00 and Austin checked on Batista to see if he wanted to give up. Batista refused, then dragged both men to the bottom rope for a rope break.
Austin got a little aggressive asking for a rope break and he yanked Jericho by the hair. They had a brief discussion to pop the crowd, then Jericho tried to go back to work on Batista, but Batista landed a sidewalk slam for a close two count. Batista nearly surprised Jericho with a Batistabomb, but Jericho held onto the ropes to break. Jericho suddenly spring up top, but Batista nailed him in mid-air with a clothesline. Batista made the cover, but it was only good for a two count at 12:00. He tried to follow with a spear, but Jericho moved and Batista ate the ringpost shoulder-first. Batista tried to come back with a shoulder tackle on Jericho, but Jericho ducked and Batista nailed Austin.
Jericho nailed the codebreaker in the confusion, then Shawn Michaels ran to ringside and he applied the slowest count ever to allow Batista to kick out. Michaels sarcastically shrugged that he was in pain, then Jericho shoved him. Michaels teased a superkick, but he stopped short, allowing Batista to nail Jericho with a spear. Michaels started a count, but JBL came to ringside and yanked Michaels out of the ring before giving him the Clothesline from Hell on the floor. Deck seemed to be stacked, as Jericho smashed Batista with the title belt, then Randy Orton suddenly entered the ring. He made a count, but Batista kicked out in time. Heel ref pet peeve alert. Crowd popped big for the kick out, then Austin re-entered the scene and gave Orton a quick Stunner that rocked the building.
Jericho and Austin had a confrontation at 16:00, then Austin tried a Stunner on Jericho, but Jericho shoved him away into the corner. Austin fell down, Jericho turned around, then Batista smashed him with a spinebuster in center ring. Batista shook the ropes before grappling Jericho and landing the Batistabomb in center ring. Batista then made the cover, Austin made the count, and Batista won the World Title. Afterward, Batista clutched his face as Michael Cole recounted Batista's journey back to this spot. Austin raised Batista's arm in center ring, then they shared a few brews to cap off the show.
WINNER: Batista n 17:00 to capture the World Hvt. Title. Entertaining match with Austin, run-ins, and a lot of activity. They could get away with that after featuring clean finishes throughout the show before the main event. I would imagine Jericho gets his re-match on Raw before Survivor Series, then Cena returns at Survivor Series to challenge Batista for the belt in a re-match from Summerslam. Stay tuned on that, but a nice cap to an exceptional PPV. (***)
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