We lead off strong with my boy Dolph Ziggler against Chris Jericho. Ziggler has had the upper hand after both Raw and Smackdown, so you have to think Jericho is due for a win. Jericho is rocking a bandage around his stomach after the attack last week so you know that’ll come into play. Quick pace with strong moves on both sides to start the match. They are pros who have worked together a lot lately so it’s almost a lock to get a good performance out of them. Ziggler is his usual self. Getting thrown over the top rope is turning into one of his signature moves. He’s gotten really good at it. Highlight of the match so far is a hurricanrana off the top rope by Jericho. It took a little while but the crowd really got up for this match, with the arena split for both guys. Ziggler blocks a lionsault and turned it into a zigzag, but only got a two count. Jericho then landed a codebreaker but Ziggler got out of the ring to safety. Another quick sequence gives Jericho the opening to apply the walls of Jericho and get Ziggler to tap out. Jericho finally (and predictably) wins the big one in as good of an opening match as you could hope for.
Daniel Bryan up next to go against Kane, with Charlie Sheen nowhere in sight. Bryan runs all around Kane early on but Kane counters with a big move every once in a while to even it out. Bryan is basically acting like a man possessed. It’s just kind of odd that this whole match is set up because Kane is his anger management supervisor. Out of nowhere Bryan slaps Kane in the face, causing Kane to go medieval on Bryan, almost getting disqualified. The ref jumps in, and Bryan comes back to knock out Kane with a kick to the head. Bryan went for a headbutt of the top rope, but Kane caught him with his hand and hit him with a chokeslam. Kane decided to go one step further and finish him with a tombstone, but Bryan slipped out of it and secured a small package for the surprise win. Great ending to a solid match. Kane lost his mind after losing and went backstage to find Bryan, who apparently left the arena already. (more of that on Raw I’m sure)
Time for the Miz to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Rey Mysterio (as Batman). Miz goes into his usual move set but the Miz throws in some nice counters, specifically catching him going for another hurricanrana and turning it into a power bomb. Miz falls into the 619, but moves away from the top rope splash. Rey then flipped out of a skull crushing finale into a sunset flip, but Miz kicked out on two a pulled off the move for the win. So far we’re three matches in with no duds. Meanwhile Miz is really getting pushed hard here.
Speaking of duds, Sheamus versus Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship next. They cancelled the match two weeks ago, only for Booker t to reinstate it a week later. This was the best that they could do to get us interested in it, and it didn’t really work. It’s a shame because I like both of these guys in the ring, but they just can’t work the mic well enough to sell a feud together. It doesn’t help that we’ve seen it already a month ago. It would be for the best if they picked feuds with more charismatic opponents. The crowd just isn’t feeling it. They have some decent stuff going on, but just nothing overly impressive and more importantly nothing all that new. Del Rio tries to add flavor by attempting to go for a brogue kick, but Sheamus turned it away. Del Rio then locked his arm breaker in, but Sheamus lifted him up, and then turned it into a power slam. That sure got the crowd going. Del Rio lands a kick to the head but only got a two count. That sent del rio off the deep end and dragged Roberto Rodriguez in out of frustration. While the ref tried to get Rodriguez out he threw a shoe to Del Rio, only Sheamus caught it instead and used the shoe on Del Rio. Sheamus then hit an Irish Curse and went for pin. Del Rio had his foot on the rope but the ref didn’t see it and Sheamus was awarded the win. So the referee misses the show being used as a weapon and Del Rio getting his foot on the rope way before the three count. Del Rio is obviously pissed and I have a bad feeling that he’ll use this as ammunition to get another rematch. Where is Booker T in all this? Not a bad match, but definitely the worst of the night so far.
Uh oh, tag title match looking to take the worst match of the night crown. At least Kofi and truth have matching outfits on. The crowd is just dead for it. The only person they care about at all is Kofi and with good reason. He’s by far the most talented person in the ring right now. This match could have really used AW but of course he’s gone now. The Prime Time Players just don’t have much to offer. Kofi tags Truth in and it just kills the crowd more. Match had everything you expect. Kofi does some springboard moves, giving Truth the chance to get the win in the ring. It did save the crowd enough for the WWE Championship match that follows it.
It’s interesting that this match isn’t closing the show, specifically with John Cena in it. They are really banking on Triple H/Lesner. Punk comes out wearing Bret Hart colors (heels wear pink, right?). Before the match I predicted that Punk would retain by pinning Show, but Cena would do most of the work. Let’s see if I’m right. Big Show starts off in classic Big Show fashion, dominating everyone in the ring. All three men eventually get there big spots in, but fall just short of winning the match. Cena gets taken out of the match first, leaving Punk alone against Show. Cena then came in and got more of the same. Again, the whole story of the match is that Big Show is unstoppable. Interesting considering he hasn’t won anything since his heel turn. We get into a cycle of Cena taking out Show, Punk getting Cena before he can go for a pin, then Chow taking out Punk. It’s like rock paper scissors. Punk turns the tide a little with three straight knees to the face. Cena then hits the leg drop off the top rope, with punk applying a submission hold to Show’s head. At the same time, Cena applies an STF and Show taps out. Well played WWE. AJ comes out and decides to restart the match, and Show immediately choke slams both men, but can’t get a three count on either. Cena then hits an AA, but Punk throws Cena out of the ring and covers show to take the match (nailed it). It should be noted how ridiculous it is that Cena can toss Big Show around on a week to week basis like he does. The only problem is that it happens so often that it doesn’t have any impact anymore. Either way we get a nice twist to a pretty damn good match. Punk’s collision course with the Rock is still on, but for now we get more of Cena and Punk playing off each other for alpha dog, while Big Show can say that the champ can’t beat him on his own.
In case you were wondering, Fred durst, Rick Rubin, David Arquette and Maria Menounos (in a Bob Backlund shirt) are all on hand. With whatever the hell this band is called’s concert is going on, this seems like a great time to mention that Antonio Cesaro finally ended Santino’s United States Championship run. He did it with his woman Aksana distracting Santino before he goes for the cobra. Santino was a complete joke as champion and it’s time to give someone new a push and Cesario seems like a good person to do it. He’s talented in the ring and on the mic, and it also makes him the only real heel with a strap. Punk doesn’t count.
Brock Lesnar finally comes out with Paul Heyman to take on Triple H, without Shawn Michaels. Already a much different match than Cena/Lesnar. Very back and forth. Lesnar keeps going for the Kimora lock but Triple H keeps breaking out of it. Eventually Triple H throws Lesnar out of the ring and yells “This is the WWE not UFC.” (nice!) Lesnar then takes his gloves off and immediately takes down Triple H. It’s on now. Full on slobber knocker. Earlier in the show, Triple H told the ref not to stop them from fighting at any point, making it a no DQ match. So now Lesnar is working Triple H’s previously broken arm. Lesnar goes for a small package out of nowhere for the only real wrestling move I’ve seen him make since he came back. The pace is slow. There are good spots, but too much dead time between them. Crowd is trying to get into it. Triple H drives Lesnar into the announce table, then gives him a hard shot to the gut, injuring his stomach. I know this because he yelled out, “Oh my stomach!” Triple H hits a spine buster and has all the momentum. Lesnar reverses a pedigree, then has his F5 reversed and Triple H finally hits the pedigree for a two count. Lesnar then hits Triple H with a low blow in front of the ref, but since Triple H wanted a no DQ match it continues. Lesnar hits an F5 for a two count and we’re back even. Lesnar then applies the Kimora lock but Triple H fights his way out of it and lands another pedigree, however when Triple H goes for the pin Lesnar locks the Kimora again and Triple H taps for the win. A good yet unspectacular ending to another solid pay per view. I feel like it would have been better if they switched the last two matches. The show ends with the crowd chanting “you tapped out” to Triple H while he apologizes to the fans. Very strange. It looked like it was his last match. He waves goodbye to the crowd and Michael Cole tells we could have seen the last of Triple H. Really awkward way to end things.
I suppose both Triple H and Brock Lesnar will be taking off for a while. Lesnar only has so many appearances left and really needed a win to have any credibility the next time he pops up. Meanwhile Triple H might not be back until WrestleMania. Surprisingly the whole match was clean despite all the Shawn Michaels and Paul Heyman nonsense and having a no DQ match. I expect Triple H to announce his retirement on Raw, with Shawn Michaels getting him to come back for one last match at WrestleMania. Maybe even a rematch against Lesnar. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
By the way, anyone care that the Divas only showed up as background dancers during the concert? Me either.