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The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago this weekend…
KELLER’S WWE JUDGMENT DAY PPV REPORT
MAY 17, 2009
-After the video packages, Jim Ross and Todd Grisham introduced the show.
1 — C.M. PUNK vs. UMAGA
Umaga dominated early. The announcers wondered if being in his hometown was actually a distraction for Punk since he had so many friends and family asking for tickets and his time. The crowd loudly chanted for Punk in the opening minutes. Umaga settled into a nerve hold at 4:00. The crowd again loudly chanted Punk’s name. Umaga kicked Punk off the ring apron to the floor, then sit-splashed him back in the ring a minute later. The 100 percent beatdown continued methodically. Grisham said Umaga was enjoying this match and was in no hurry to win it and end it. Punk lifted Umaga for a bodyslam, but fell backward. Umaga missed a diving headbutt off the top rope. Punk slingshot himself onto Umaga on the floor. Back in the ring he threw signature kicks and a kneelift. Grisham, channelling Gorilla Monsoon again, said Punk has travelled the world to master his martial arts kicks. Ross referenced Mr. Wrestling II after a Punk kneelift. At 11:00 Punk hit a DDT for a two count. Punk following with a flying clothesline for a two count. Punk went for his finisher, but Umaga blocked it and gave Punk the Samoan Drop for a near fall. Umaga signaled for his Samoan Spike, but Punk got up and hit a couple kicks. He went for another Go To Sleep, but Umaga escaped, kicked him in the chin, splashed him in the corner, and gave him the Samoan Spike for the win. Grisham asked if there’s anything that can slow down “this bloodthirsty savage” (who cares a lot more about his hair than most anyone else on the roster).
WINNER: Umaga in 12:00.
STAR RATING: ** — Okay match. A little one-sided early, which would have suggested a Punk win to even things out, so the Punk loss would seem to be a surprise, except for the fact that WWE has an oddball policy of either jobbing or humiliating performers in their hometowns. It’s either an ode to unpredictability or one of the famous Vince McMahon Mindf—s that he does just for kicks.
-Backstage, Big Show told Vickie Guerrero that she already lost Triple H to injury and tonight Raw is going to lose John Cena as well. He said the fans who came to see Cena are going to be bitterly disappointed. He said it’s not good for business. Vickie pondered his comment and said the company is bigger than any single person, and if he’s out, someone else will step up and take his place. Show said he knows who will step up. As he turned to leave, Edge walked in. Show said hi to him like Seinfeld would do to Neuman. Edge asked to speak to his wife. Chavo Guerrero excused himself. The camera cut to ringside just as Edge and Vickie stood uncomfortably in front of one another.
-They showed Josh Matthews and Matt Striker at ringside. They aired a clip of Christian’s ECW Title win over Jack Swagger.
2 — CHRISTIAN vs. JACK SWAGGER — ECW World Hvt. Title match
Striker said the championship atmosphere favors the veteran champion Christian, so how would the rookie Swagger respond? At 3:00 Christian dove over the top rope onto Swagger. Swagger came back at ringside and threw Christian ribs-first into the ringpost. At 5:00 Christian missed a top rope diving headbutt. Swagger went for a pin, but Christian rolled his shoulder up. Swagger went for a gut-wrench powerbomb, but Christian escaped and went back to the top rope. Swagger met him up there and suplexed him to the mat for a two count at 7:00. The collided with a double clothesline of one another. Christian went for his Kill Switch. Swagger escaped and went for a suplex. Christian flipped over mid-air and it’s not clear who was supposed to be hurt. Christian then pulled Swagger’s straps to lock his arms and then rolled him up. He yanked on his tights to score the pin. Swagger had yanked on the tights earlier in pin attempt, so Christian once again used Swagger’s cheating against him later, as he did to win the title with the turnbuckle exposed.
WINNER: Christian in 10:00 to retain the ECW Title.
STAR RATING: ** — Just sort of there. Well executed, but it lacked a spark most of the time.
-They showed Chavo trying to listen through the door to Edge chatting with Vickie. Edge walked out. Chavo asked what that was about. Edge asked why a husband needs a reason to see his wife. Chavo said last he heard they weren’t living in the same house. Edge said last he heard there was a crossdresser idiot calling his aunt, his wife, a pig and he’s done nothing about it. He said he’s not a man, he’s an embarrassment. He said he had to prepare to defend his World Title.
-They showed the Chicago skyline. Then they showed some Chicago Bears in the front rows.
3 — SHELTON BENJAMIN (w/Charlie Haas) vs. JOHN MORRISON
Shelton opened with a nasty exploder suplex. He took Morrison over with a fireman carry takedown. Morrison escaped a headlock, but Shelton shoulder tackled him to the mat. Morrison springboard flipped onto Shelton on the floor. Shelton had to move in a bit to get underneath Morrison. Impressive athletic feat. The crowd chanted “Holy sh–!” Ross called it “all or nothing for John Morrison.” As Morrison climbed back into the ring, Shelton kicked him back to the floor. At 3:00 Shelton took control of the match. He applied a modified type of sitting abdominal stretch. He seems to be deliberately picking up his pace and adding some variety to his usual rudimentary mix of moves and holds. He settled into an upperbody chinlock. When Grisham asked Ross if he’d read some of Morrison’s poetry, Ross said, “I’d read it and broaden my horizons. Every other part of me seems to be broadening.” He shifted into a sleeper at 6:00. Morrison escaped and dropkicked Shelton, then hit a clothesline, side elbow to the face, and a Russian leg sweep. Nice sequence that led to a two count. Shelton caught Morrison as he flew at him and turned and powerbombed him into the corner turnbuckles awkwardly. Morrison came back with a drop toe hold in the corner, then a monkey flip. Haas jumped on the ring apron, so Morrison knocked him to the floor, then hit the chopkick (a springboard roundhouse kick) and his Starship Pain finisher (corkscrew split-legged moonsault) for the win.
WINNER: Morrison in 10:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 — The crowd was into the flashy moves, but didn’t really know who to get behind. It’s like showing up for a Blackhawks vs. Red Wings game, but the Canadiens and Canucks are playing instead. It might be a good game, but you were ready to cheer for one side and boo the other. The right guy won as Morrison has an upside whereas Shelton seems settled into a mid-card-for-life role. However, Shelton did turn up the variety of moves and his intensity a notch for this one compared to usual lately.
-A commercial aired for the WrestleMania 25 DVD coming out Tuesday.
-The Miz walked out to his ring intro. He said he wanted to recognize the winner of the previous match. “So give it up for Marty Jannety… uh, John Morrison. This won’t be the first time I follow John Morrison and top one of his performances.” He said he knows Cena won’t answer his challenges because he’s 3-0 against him. When the crowd did the “What?” bit, Miz yelled at them, saying they sound like a bunch of ducks “Quack! Quack! Quack!” The crowd replied, “You suck! You suck!” Miz said, “I haven’t heard that one before.” He said since he can’t face Cena tonight, he wants to fight a substitute for him. He said Cena is overrated and disappointing, yet the fans still like him. “He’s like a lovable loser, much like the Chicago Cubs.” The crowd booed. He then pointed at an athlete in the crowd whom he said is Cena-like, Alfonso Soriano.
Soriano stood and received cheers. He said when Soriano waves his hand in front of his face during a game, that means he won’t see a World Series ring as long as he’s with the Cubs. He told him if he has a problem with something he said, he can do one of two things. He can either win a World Series, which we all know isn’t going to happen, or he can serve as a Cena surrogate and get into the ring because “you can’t see me!” He told him to step up. Miz pulled out his cell phone and took a call. He said, “Really? Really? Really?” He said Lou Pinella called and said he can’t step up because he’d rather he get his yearly injury on the field, not off. He said that means he wins by forfeit. He said that means he’s now 4-0 against Cena (or a Cena surrogate). “Be jealous, Cena fans,” he said. “Because I am The Miz…” Santino’s music interrupted.
Michael Cole told Jerry Lawler he never thought he’d be happy to see Santino. Santino stepped into the ring and said he can’t let him keep talking like that “no mores.” He botched Miz’s name, then said he can’t stand to listen to him bash a fellow Italian named “Soriano.” Miz asked, “This is Miz Time. What do you want on Miz Time?” Satino said he’s noticed recently that WWE Superstars are starting to resemble animals. Santino said Vickie is resembling a pig. Cole chuckled. He said Vladimir Kozlov resembles Sam the American Eagle from The Muppets. They went to a split screen and he was right. Miz asked what animal he looks like. Santino said that was easy. “You’re a jackass.” Cole laughed uproariously. Santino made a donkey noise. Miz said he has no problem beating him down. Santino said he hopes he brought his metal detector, because he brought some guns and he’s not scared to use them. He ripped removable sleeves off of his t-shirt and flexed. Miz jumped Santino. Santino flipped Miz and mounted him. Miz flipped Santino. They kept reversing position and the crowd cheered and booed accordingly. Miz DDT’d Santino, then celebrated. Miz and Santino are entertaining separately, and here they had a good chemistry. Maybe a little long for a PPV segment, though.
Miz left and Chavo ran to the ring to seize the chance to go after Santino, who’s been mean to his aunt lately. Chavo hit his top rope frog splash. Then he asked, “Who’s a pig now, Santino?” Chavo’s music played as Chavo strutted out of the ring.
-A “Please DO NOT Try This At Home” video aired.
-Matthews interviewed Chris Jericho backstage. Matthews asked if Jericho thinks there’s “a controversy against you.” He meant to say “conspiracy against him.” Jericho set him straight and then went onto a deliberate verbal rant against the fans and everyone against him. He expressed dismay with fans and management favoring Rey Mysterio. He said there will be no 619 tonight. He guaranteed there’d be a new Intercontinental Champion tonight. “So deal with that!” he said while chuckling.
4 — CHRIS JERICHO vs. REY MYSTERIO — Intercontinental Title match
Jericho bailed out to ringside after Rey charged at him at the start. Jericho entered the ring and got in some early offense. There were competing chants of “Y2J” and “Let’s Go Rey.” Jericho threw Rey out of the ring, and Rey did a somersault to the floor to land safely. Grisham was almost speechless. Rey took over on Jericho on the floor. Jericho reversed Rey into the ringside barrier. Back in the ring, Rey knocked Jericho into an awkward position hanging on the second rope. Rey gave him a legdrop off the second rope. The whole sequence was contrived and overly complex. When Rey went to the top rope, Jericho shoved him and kicked him to the floor. Jericho settled into a chinlock in center-ring. Ross said Rey is the most popular Superstar ever on Smackdown. John Cena, to name one, has been on Smackdown. Rey went for a 619, but Jericho avoided it. Rey regrouped at ringside. Jericho suplexed him back into the ring, then they went into a Lucha Libre style sequence for a two count for Jericho. Jericho went for Rey’s mask. Rey kicked him away. Rey then dove onto Jericho and scored a two count. They went into a fast sequence leading to a Rey near fall. Jericho caught Rey diving off the ropes and set up an Electric Chair. He went for a Walls of Jericho, but Rey escaped. He hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for a two count. Nice rapid-fire sequence. Rey went for another 619, but Jericho again avoided it. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho. Rey kicked himself free and spun Jericho onto the middle rope. He again went for a 619, but Jericho caught him and applied a Boston Crab center-ring. Rey reached for the bottom rope, but instead turned Jericho into an inside cradle for a near fall. Rey charged at Jericho, but Jericho caught him and powerbombed him into a leverage pin attempt for a near fall. Rey gave Jericho a modified 619 in the corner near the turnbuckles and then springboard splashed him for the win.
WINNER: Mysterio in 12:00.
STAR RATING: ***3/4 — Really good match, especially the second half. It easily could have gone longer and not overstayed its welcome, and it’s coming in at just 12 minutes that keeps it from that four star category as it didn’t feel epic enough. There was also that awkward spot where Jericho teetered on the middle rope for no reason other than to let Rey legdrop him, which looked really contrived. They did a great job setting up the 619 as a huge move for Rey to hit with Jericho guaranteeing that Rey wouldn’t hit it.
5 — RANDY ORTON vs. BATISTA — WWE Heavyweight Title match
Orton bailed out at the opening bell as Batista went after him quickly. Batista had eight stitches on his forehead. Lawler said it was part of a rumored altercation he was part of. Batista dominated the opening few minutes. Orton yanked Batista by his trunks through the ropes to the floor. When Batista got back on the ring apron, Orton hit one of his signature high dropkicks. Orton back suplexed Batista onto the edge of the ringside barrier. Orton applied his obligatory side headlock at 5:00. He dominated 100 percent for several minutes, including a beautiful standing high dropkick to Batista’s face. When Orton went for a punt kick at 8:00, Batista surprised him with a spear. They stood and exchanged punches. Batista went on offense, so Orton bailed out to the floor and asked the ref to count him out. Batista went after Orton at ringside. Orton kicked Batista and ran around the ring. Batista pursued him. Orton hugged the ringpost as Batista battered his back. Batista yanked Orton back into the ring and clotheslined him for a two count. Batista gave Orton a boot to the face. Orton rolled to ringside. Batista grabbed at his head. Orton dropped Batista throat-first over the top rope. Orton grabbed a chair. Batista knocked Orton to the floor first, then rammed his face into the announce table. Back in the ring, Batista flew off the top rope with a shoulder tackle. He went for the cover, but Orton kicked out at 13:00. Batista set up a Batista Bomb. Orton slipped out and slid backward to ringside. He grabbed his title belt and tried to retreat to the back. Batista dragged him back into the ring. Orton tried to use his belt as a weapon, but Batista gave him a spinebuster. He then shook the top rope and set up a Batista Bomb. Orton punched out of it. Orton went for an RKO. Batista shoved him off of him. Batista charged Orton in the corner. Orton moved and Batista flew into the ringpost. Orton then went into stalking prey mode. He went for an RKO, but Batistashoved him into the ref. Batista grabbed Orton. Orton slapped the ref to get DQ’d. Batista got bug-eyed with anger at the call, which saved Orton’s title.
WINNER: Batista via DQ in 15:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2 — Pretty slow early, but it turned into a solid match at the end. The copout slap DQ finish was lame.
-Afterward, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase attacked Batista. Ric Flair’s music played and he ran out for the save. He cleared the ring Super-Shane-O-Mac style, then hugged Batista and raised his arm in the air. “Ric Flair! Amazing!” exclaimed Lawler as Flair and Batista celebrated. Batista grabbed his crotch right before they cut away.
-A commercial aired for the WWE Extreme Rules PPV.
-They showed Lawler and Cole at ringside. They previewed the Show vs. Cena match.
6 — JOHN CENA vs. THE BIG SHOW
This match began two hours into the PPV, leaving nearly an hour for the last two matches. A loud “Cena sucks” chant competed with a “Let’s Go Cena” chant. The tone of the chants was as you’d expect, deep and high respectively. Show methodically clobbered Cena for the opening minutes. He threw him to ringside at 4:00. He picked him up and rammed him into the ringpost belly-first. At 7:00 Show locked on a bear hug. The announcers discussed how Cena must not be 100 percent yet. Show even shouted that at Cena early in the match. Cena powered out of the bear hug. Show, though, splashed him in the corner. Cena made a full comeback at 10:00. He got a mixed reaction as he went into his “You can’t see me” routine. He hit Show with the five knuckles, but Show came back with a chokeslam attempt. Cena countered with a DDT, then went for an STF. Show was too big. Show got up and floored Cena with a punch to the face. Show dragged Cena into the corner and hit a corner swing splash for a two count at 11:00. When Show went for a second corner swing splash, Cena moved. He went for another STF, but again couldn’t reach around Show. Show kicked Cena off. Cena took a clumsy bump to the floor. Boy did that look silly. Not sure what Cena was going for there. Cena kicked Show in face and then hit a top rope guillotine legdrop. He went for the STF again, but Show elbowed out of the attempt. Show came back and dropped Cena face-first to the mat. Show waited patiently for Cena to stand. Cena used the ropes to get to his feet. As Show set up his KO punch, Cena surprised him by lifting him onto his shoulders and hitting the Attitude Adjuster for the win. Lawler and Cole went nuts for the move out of nowhere. Lawler said it was as impressive a move as he’s ever seen.
WINNER: Cena in 15:00.
STAR RATING: ** — It got better in the end, but those plodding first ten minutes really offset much of what was pretty good about the final five or six. So it ads up to an average match at best. They built to that finish nicely and got across effectively how big Show is that Cena couldn’t lock on the STF.
7 — EDGE vs. JEFF HARDY — World Hvt. Title match
After some early back-and-forth action, Hardy flip dove over the top rope onto Edge at ringside at 3:00. Edge took over back in the ring with sustained offense for several minutes, concentrating on Hardy’s back. At 8:00 Hardy made a comeback, but when he went for a crossbody block off the top rope, Edge moved and Hardy crashed. Hardy connected with the crossbody a minute later for a two count. The crowd was listless at this point, not even popping for an inside cradle near fall for Hardy at 10:00. Hardy applied a sharpshooter, which did get a bit of a rise out of the crowd. Hardy gave Edge a Twist of Fate for a near fall at 12:00. Edge caught Hardy on the top rope. hardy punched Edge and sunset flipped him off the top rope to the mat. They took it to the floor. Hardy ran the edge of the security wall, but as he leaped, Edge caught him with a spear. Hardy beat the countout by a second. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Edge on the middle rope and made the cover. Edge put his leg on the bottom rope to stop the count. They fought to ringside again where Hardy leaped off the steps and knocked Edge with his legs over the ringside barrier. Both men crashed into the crowd area. Hardy threw Edge back into the ringside area. As Hardy climbed over the barrier, his brother Matt jumped him from behind and hit him with his cast. When Hardy crawled back into the ring, Edge went for a spear. Hardy ducked and struggled to the top rope. Edge gave him a supersuplex off the top rope for the win. Ross said Matt had no business being there tonight. “Zero!” exclaimed Ross. They put over the superplex as one of the nastiest impacts they’ve seen. Hardy landed awkwardly.
WINNER: Edge in 20:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 — Good match, but not a main event that could make this show a strong recommendation on replay. It didn’t feel PPV-headliner worthy.