All that being said, I almost found it difficult to stay awake through the PPV. Although there were some good moments, this one, in my opinion, was a snoozer overall. Not to mention the fact that I have a low opinion of PPV matches, especially title matches, that end in anything other than a pinfall or submission.
So, here’s the overall Take on the night, in slightly less detail than you’re used to because of my time constraints today.
It’s often difficult for me to make a decision on who should be in The Headliners section. First of all, for those of you not used to my columns by now, The Headliners section is reserved for whatever had the biggest story impact. Sometimes the best matches just don’t qualify.
Tonight, this honor has to go to Batista, as he was finally able to defeat The Undertaker for the first time since their rivalry began to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
With Stone Cold Steve Austin as the special guest referee, Taker and Batista looked like two opponents who had learned their adversary well. While there were a couple of missteps in the match, overall it came off alright for two power strikers.
The match started with some of the usual back-and-forth until Taker locked in a triangle choke hold on Batista, whose only escape was to make his way to the ropes. Taker then nailed Batista with a big boot to the head for a near fall, followed by Taker focusing on the shoulder of The Animal.
Taker went for a big knee in the corner, but Batista dodged giving him the opportunity to nail The Dead Man with blows and kicks that sent him to the outside. While there, Batista was kind enough to reacquaint Undertaker with the guard wall and steel steps as well as drive his back into the ring. Once back inside, however, Batista missed a clothesline while Taker’s flying version found its mark (sorta) for a near fall.
Undertaker next went Old School, but Batista fought his way out and put Taker down on the top turnbuckle. An attempt at a superplex failed, however, when Taker fought free and put Batista on the mat for another near fall. Taker then took an early flight when he went for a high knee with Batista in the corner. Batista dodged, sending Taker flying over the turnbuckle and down to the floor below.
Batista got a near fall once all were back in the ring, but then Taker grabbed The Animal by the front of his shorts and sent him flying out of the ring. Soon after, Taker had nailed his big leg drop with Batista on the ring apron, sending him back down to the floor. Back in the ring, Taker got another near fall, followed by clothelines and hitting snake eyes on Batista.
Batista instantly recovered from the hit, however, and hit a hard clothesline of his own. He then went for a Batista Bomb, but Taker drove him into the corner and hit some more strikes. Taker was then whipped into the corner and Batista went for a spear but found nothing but ring post for a hard-sounding hit. Undertaker would try to take advantage of the moment and go Old School again, but Batista showed his power by catching The Dead Man as he came down and hitting a spinebuster. A pin attempt by the Champion was reversed into another triangle choke, however.
Batista pushed his way up from the hold to put Taker’s shoulders to the mat, forcing him to kick out from the hold. Then Taker went for the choke slam, but elbows from Batista allowed him to escape. His freedom was short-lived, however, and Taker nailed a second attempt at a choke slam and nearly had the three-count.
Undertaker then went for the Tombstone piledriver, but Batista escaped and speared the challenger for a near fall of his own. Again Batista attempted a Batista Bomb, but Taker escaped. A charging Dead Man was then dropped into the second turnbuckle by a toe hold. Batista hit Undertaker with exhausted-looking blows in the corner, but Taker managed enough strength to pick the Champ up and hit The Last Ride. Batista still managed to kick out at the last second to preserve his title.
Taker then went for the Tombstone again, but Batista would turn it into a spinebuster for another near fall. Taker sits up, much to the shock of The Animal, but soon finds himself the victim of a successful Batista Bomb. Undertaker kicked out again, again shocking the Champion who quickly turned the shock into fury and hit a second Batista Bomb for the victory.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad match. Not one of Taker’s greatest, however. The more powerful story here is that Undertaker was pinned by Batista, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since the rivalry began. Whether that means Batista has put an end to the current challenge by Taker has yet to be seen, but it seems clear to me that they may be paving the way for Edge to return and challenge Batista for the strap.
I was disappointed in several developments with this event. First, I was very much looking forward to Matt Hardy taking on MVP for the U.S. Championship, but Hardy’s injury from last week’s Smackdown! kept him out of that one.
As a result, the people got to choose a new opponent for MVP, who ended up being Kane. MVP wisely focused on the ribs of Kane, who is still selling the injury, but Kane turned it around by attacking MVP’s ribs furiously. The match ended with a countout with MVP lying in apparent agony on the floor. How disappointing.
I also have to say I was disappointed with the way things ended in the match between WWE Champion Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels – but not surprised. The match was good overall, although HBK still doesn’t look to be 100 percent. HBK picked up the win when, while going for Sweet Chin Music, Orton nailed him with a low blow. Nice counter, I suppose, if you can’t lose the belt through disqualification. Orton, after losing, set up to give Michaels the big boot to the head, but The Showstopper apparently was playing up the pain a bit and jumped up to nail the superkick and lay Orton out.
Boring was the match for the ECW title between Champion CM Punk and the people’s choice that I found surprising, The Miz. The crowd wasn’t much into it either, as chants of “You can’t wrestle” and “Y2J” could be heard during the match. Punk won with the GTS.
Another Downsider? How about no Y2J showing up? Oh, I know there’s heavy speculation that he may be at Raw, but I had a strong feeling he might show up at the PPV with that “Cyber Sunday” flash I saw on the last Save_Us promo. Oh well.
The best match of the night in my opinion goes to HHH and Umaga’s street fight. Certainly won’t find high-quality technical wrestling here, but it was interesting and kept my attention.
HHH was first out, and charged to attack Umaga before he even got down the ramp. Umaga got the upper hand, but HHH quickly fought back and went for a Pedigree on the ramp. Umaga countered and went for a Samoan Drop, but HHH also escaped. The two ended up behind the computer-themed dÃ©cor, only to see HHH tackle Umaga through the wall.
The fight spilled into the crowd, and the two worked their way through the fans to near ringside as Umaga missed a charge and went flying over the guard wall. Once in the ring, Umaga missed an avalanche and was staggered by repeated right hands from The Game but just wouldn’t go down. Enter one trash can, firmly applied to the Samoan Bulldozer’s head, and he finally went down for a near fall.
HHH went for the trash can again but was hit by a Samoan Drop. HHH was then hit by a headbutt and a splash for a near fall. The two then were outside the ring again and HHH found himself driven into the ring and steps. Back in the ring, a leg drop by Umaga scored a near fall. It wasn’t long after that things started to look worse for The King of Kings as he was on the receiving end of Umaga’s posterior in the corner, but HHH kicked out of two pinning attempts. A frustrated Umaga nearly took after the referee.
Umaga then went for a chair shot, but a low blow from HHH put a stop to that. Umaga then felt another low blow from the chair, and then a DDT from The Game for a near fall. HHH hit a facebuster and went for the Pedigree again, but Umaga picked the game up and drove him into the corner. Umaga charged at him, but found only the boot from HHH. A sidewalk slam from Umaga put HHH back down again, however.
Hunter then started to go under the ring for his “little friend,” but was booted by Umaga before he could find it. Umaga then missed a chair shot, and was tackled over one announcer table by HHH. A chuckle was appropriate soon after as Jerry Lawler could be heard telling J.R. “Hit him, J.R.! Hit him!”
HHH, laid out on one table, soon felt a splash from Umaga that collapsed the furniture and left them both on the floor. HHH looked out as Umaga drug him from the wreckage, but managed to crawl back into the ring as referees tried to calm Umaga. The Samoan then went up top but missed a big dive and went head-first into the mat.
That was the opportunity The Game needed, and the crowd erupted when his “little friend,” a.k.a. sledgehammer, made its appearance. Umaga dodged the strike from HHH and nailed him in the midsection, then went for a Samoan Spike. HHH dodged that, however, and nailed a sledge shot followed by a Pedigree.
– Finlay and Rey Mysterio fought it out in a stretcher match. Mysterio won the match, and some improvisation was seen when the stretcher got caught on a cable during what looked like was going to be the final push across the line. Finlay got back up and the two went at it again for a moment until Finlay found himself landing face-first on a stretcher with no padding. Then Mysterio finished the trip for the win.
– Mr. Kennedy won his match against Jeff Hardy in what was basically a consolation match between the losers of the WWE Championship poll. The match was a lot of Kennedy trying to keep Hardy grounded, but unfortunately wasn’t the best match these two excellent talents could have put out.
– Mick Foley and JBL went at it in the ring after it was revealed that Stone Cold had won the voting for special guest referee by a landslide. Enter Stone Cold, and Foley quickly received a stunner. JBL got the upper hand on Austin for a few moments, but eventually felt a stunner of his own.
– Save_Us promo aired again with the latest addition being several shots of “Please Stand By.” Seems that this mystery will soon be revealed, but not tonight folks.
– Mickie James won the Diva’s Halloween Costume Contest, but in my opinion it should have been Maria by a landslide! She dressed up as a cat and, when asking for votes, said “I really am a pussy cat. Pet me and I purrâ<80>¦” Yummy.
– Despite reports that Y2J signs are being confiscated, I did see a “Save Us Y2J” sign in the crowd at the beginning of the broadcast.
Don’t like my take? Let’s hear yours! Send me your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org … the best and worst of the bunch may be featured in the weekly editions of Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches (found in the editorial section). Remember, short ones are good, long ones may be cut, and keep the name of the column in mind when you come looking for answers!