Alright, so, before I get in to the matches let me just say…. POOR. PERFORMANCE. PHILADELPHIA. What was with that crowd? They bearly managed to lift out of their seats until Jeff Hardy started Swantoning all over the place. And that was the last match! I always imagine that cities and states with a particular connection to wrestling will rock harder than other places. Maybe they were distracted by the baseball season or something. Anyway, there’s a lot of bling exchanges to get through so let’s get cracking.
Pretty much every NoC recap I’ve read has said this, but it was kind of telling that Legacy’s much anticipated match with Chris Jericho and a mystery partner was on first. First matches aren’t generally the best you’re gonna get. They’re there to make sure the people stuck in line waiting to buy an overpriced hotdog and the PPV people at home who can’t get their viewing card number to go through don’t miss the biggest match of the night.
When Jericho announced he’d reveal a new tag partner at Night of Champions, the internet tom-toms started beating and all kinds of wild and wonderful names were thrown about. My personal favourites were the Undertaker, Randy Orton and Christian. How great would it have been for Randy to go up against his helper monkeys and win? Later to lose the WWE title, of course. And how awesome would Jericho and Christian have been? Team Canada Part Deux? Amazing. Look, I’m even making up my own wrestlegasm moments now. Anyway, what we actually got was Big Show. Ok, so kind of an anti-climax, but he totally redeemed himself by leaving giant paw-shaped slap mark on Cody Rhodes’ chest.
If it's make-up, don't spoilt it and tell me. I like to think he gave him a really good thump.
Jericho and Show kept the belts. Game on!
Next up CM Punk, the Maude Flanders of WWE, wanted to confront the audience concerning their debauched, toxic ways and accused the parents (sorry, paRENT) in attendance of damaging their kids.
It’s strange, part of me thinks “who the hell do you think you ARE, Punk? Telling ME having a beer is tantamount to shooting heroin in my arm?’ But there’s something a little bit tantalising about a boy THAT square, even if Preachy Punk is just part of a the character. It’s almost like he’s begging to be corrupted. If he ever wants to go the other way and clink pale ale bottle necks together with someone, I’m right here.
Drank a couple of bottles of this on an empty stomach and couldn't feel my feet. True story.
One question though, a tattoo is ink embedded in the pigment of your skin, right? A foreign chemical under your skin? Just sayin’.
Moving on, I don’t often give much blog time to ECW. It’s not that I don’t watch or love it, it’s just that I don’t have time to squash everything in here. I can confirm though that I am a total peep and every time Christian’s music kicks I get a funny little tingle in my fingers. We’ll call them Mini-Wrestlegasms. The match was solid and the two shared a lovely, bromantic moment when Christian took the title at the end. But you’ll have to wait til the end of the week before I tell you more about that. Man Hug Moments are now a special feature all of their own.
Alright, so next we had a Six-Pack Challenge for the US Championship, fought over by Jack Swagger, Carlito, Primo, The Miz, M.V.P and Kofi Kingston. It went how you might expect a Raw mid-card match to go and wasn’t spectacular, but it was energetic and seemed to turn the key in the backs of the audience for a few minutes. Especially with this ménage à quatre.
Kofi kept the belt, which was probably a great weight off his mind, what with his dog having hernia surgery this week and all. (I <3 Twitter) I do have a bone to pick with WWE though. What’s with all the Waffle House hate? First The Miz tells Mickie James he predicts she’ll be reduced to working as a Waffle House waitress within a few years, then Jerry Lawler describes Jack Swagger as “tougher than a Waffle House steak”? In the interest of fairness, you could have said Denny’s or Shoney’s or IHOP or Cracker Barrel or Bob Evans. Ok, not Bob Evans. Bob Evans is freakin’ awesome.
From one thing that makes me feel fat to another – Michelle McCool vs Melina. It’s a sad day, people. Like all passing crushes, my girl-crush on Michelle McCool has come to an end. I’m not entirely sure why, but her voice started to grate on me and, ultimately, I tend to shake my pom-poms for faces. I always fall out of love with heels after the initial excitement. (Unless they’re Chris Jericho.) So, I was fully in Melina’s corner, despite her Smackdown promo involving her chucking foundation powder all over Michelle. Must we ALWAYS use beauty products to fight, ladies? I’m looking at you too, Maryse! My brother informs me that that’s the only way girls know how to fight. I proved him wrong by punching him in the gut………. and sweeping some Jeff Hardy inspired liquid eye-liner across his face.
The match wasn’t bad, but they’ve probably done better on Smackdown. I should know. I actually pay attention to most women’s matches. I would have concentrated a little more closely on this one but the incessant screeching kept distracting me. Kind of like watching women’s tennis. Michelle kept the title, but it’s ok Melina. You’ll get another chance. And, alright, you haven’t got any gold to hang around your waist at the moment, but you boyfriend can hold jewels IN his waist. Hmm? Feel better?
Ok, time for a big ‘un. Triple H and John Cena try to capture the belt from around Randy Orton’s waist…..or his shoulder depending on what mood he’s in that day. It started off kind of slow. There was all kinds of slipping under the ropes and posturing. Not that I ever complain about man parades but from a wrestling point of view… slow. But proceedings picked up and it turned in to a pretty good match. Hunter had Randy in a sharp shooter, John joined in with an STF and even the great Randy Orton couldn’t take the pain of the two of them on top of him and started tapping out. I’d be willing to give it a shot, but that’s for another day. Despite the submission, with both guys on top of him, the ref couldn’t decide whether to grant victory to John or Triple H. Tricky! The official scratched his head and consulted his mental rule book on what to do.
But all this dithering gave the helper monkeys time to scuttle in and remove the boys from Orton’s back. John tried to put Cody out of action, but before he could adjust his attitude Randy stuck the RKO on John’s neck and took the match. Ok, I need to sit down for a moment to recover. What? You didn’t realise I write these things standing up?
I’m gonna go and sneak backstage to eavesdrop on someone’s conversation. Oh here’s something juicy – The Miz and Maryse. The Miz made his usual advances which, after initially encouraging, Maryse shot down in flames. The line between flirty retreat and outrageous tease is fine and it looks like Maryse travelled too far in the wrong direction. When even The Miz is turning you down, things ain’t looking too crash hot.
It was the start of a bad night for Maryse, who went on to lost the Women’s Title to my new number one chickie, Mickie James. The crowd were AWFUL for this match. AWFUL! And ok, it certainly wasn’t the best match they’ve had together, but apart from the odd wolf whistle and a decent cheer when Mickie took the match, nada.
It’s funny how things change. Who would have thought a year ago that Smackdown would dominate the final two matches of a PPV and that one of them would involve a former Spirit Squad member. But Dolph Ziggler has moved up the ladder pretty swiftly over the past few months, and even though I was suspicious of him at first (mainly because of his hair) he was impressive in this match. Ok, so Rey Mysterio is a more than generous performer. But still, I thought Ziggler was kind of special and it makes me excited about the band of college educated athletes floating round the roster at the moment.
As expected, Mysterio won the match, taking Ziggler out with a 619 once but he’d had his fun. But he gave him a gift of a match. Welcome to the big-time, sir. By far the match I enjoyed most but, oh dear, looks like Maria might be rethinking her choice of beau. She didn’t exactly run to his broken side, did she?
By the way, if you were as hypnotised by Dolph’s tiny, shiny shorts as I was, keep your eyes peeled at the weekend. I might have a treat for you. Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge. Say-no-more.
Final match of the night belonged to CM Punk and Jeff Hardy. Ok, listen guys. I wanted Punk to win as much as you did. You KNOOOOW how I feel about Mr. Brooks. But all the marks need to take a Xanax (very un-Punk like, I know) and give Jeff his props. He’s been working hard for a long time now and if you remember, he only held the belt for a few seconds before Punk cashed in his MITB contract and snatched it away. It’s not Jeff’s fault the powers that be decided to push him. He even asked for a break! It’s not his fault that kids are eating up the promos and feel connected to him. Embrace! Rant over.
The match itself was pretty solid, as most of their matches have been, and it was awesome to see even more personality then usual from Punk. This strong Straight Edge angle has really brought him out of his shell and I LOVE it. Excuse me for going all-out girly, but there were points when my mind said things like “Oh My God, I don’t think he could look any cuter than he does right there.”
Punk put the GTS on Jeff but failed to make the pin. And again. And again. Exasperated, Punk took his ball (belt) and went to go home, hoping he’d be counted out, disqualified and remain keeper of the gold. But Jeff was having none of it and dragged Punk back in the ring by the ear. A few minutes and a Swanton Bomb later – the title had changed hands.
Ahhhhhhh, it’s awesome to be back on my wrestlegasm throne. I missed ya. More before the end of the week and lots to come over the weekend.
UPDATE: As you will see from the first comment in the comments box, Maude Flanders was supposed to be Helen Lovejoy. Soz. A lapse of concentration on my part. But the dearly departed Mrs. Flanders would not have been a Jeff Hardy fan anyway. And you got the idea, right? No harm, no foul. Huge thanks to my colleague, Adam of LOL Wresslin, for so graciously pointing out my error.