PPV REPORTS CALDWELL'S WWE BREAKING POINT PPV REPORT 9/13: Review Cena vs. Orton, Punk vs. Taker, DX vs. Legacy before the Hell in a Cell PPV
Sep 25, 2009 - 9:55:57 PM
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WWE BREAKING POINT PPV REPORT
September 13, 2009
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
The WWE PPV started with a video package of various submission holds. Screen was split up into several "shattered glass" frames leading to a world of suffering where everyone's challenge is to find the breaking point of his opponent. Focus on Taker-Punk, DX-Legacy, and Randy Orton vs. John Cena. And now, Batman (get those kids cradle to grave) presents tonight's PPV.
Announcers: Michael Cole welcomed us to Montreal where every main event match must end in submission. Cue up JeriShow's mixed theme music for the opening match. Boos for Jericho & Show during their ring intros, then MVP and Mark Henry came out separately to challenge for the belts. Henry with the "World's Strongest Man" acronym on the back of his ring gear. MVP had some modified ring gear, taking the sleeves off the red Power Rangers outfit. Team Big Red tried to talk trash beforehand to Jericho, who smugly ignored them.
1 -- Unified tag champions CHRIS JERICHO & BIG SHOW vs. MVP & MARK HENRY -- Unified tag title match
Jericho quickly bailed to the outside early on to buy time and generate boos. Back in the ring, MVP went to work on Jericho before Henry tagged in. Jericho then rolled over to his corner to avoid a match-up with the big man to bring in Big Show. Surprising "Let's go Big Show" chant from a vocal minority. Henry and Show repeated their deal from TV with the battle of big men. Show then did the fake test of strength to kick Henry in the gut, which generated an early Bizzaroworld reaction. Henry then teased a bodyslam, but Jericho snuck into the ring to knock Show down on top of Henry for a two count. Jericho and Show tagged in and out to work over Henry, then they had a slow-motion double clothesline with both men crashing to the mat.
Both men then got up and tagged out at 6:15. MVP fired off with a clothesline into a knee drop. He then fired up the crowd for a Ballin' elbow drop for a two count. Jericho then teased the Walls of Jericho out of nowhere, but MVP avoided and nailed a boot. MVP didn't see a blind tag to Show, though, and Show delivered a big spear on MVP. Show then methodically went to work on MVP before tagging in Jericho, who toyed with MVP. He then raised his fist in the air for an 85/15 boos to cheers. MVP came back with a clothesline moments later and tried to tag in Henry, but Jericho cut off a tag. Jericho then lackadaisically shot MVP off to the ropes and MVP flipped over Jericho into a smooth DDT. Nice spot.
MVP then crawled over to Henry for at hot tag at 10:30. Jericho tried to combat Henry with a cross body splash, but Henry caught him in mid-air for a press slam. He followed with the World's Strongest Splash, but Show broke up a pin attempt. Show then chucked MVP to the floor, but Henry knocked Show to the outside. Henry then splashed Jericho, who quietly slid across the ring to the corner so he could put his foot on the bottom rope for a rope break. Jericho suddenly tried the codebreaker on Henry, but Henry easily blocked and chucked Jericho high into the air. Jericho landed on his wrists to break the fall and sold an injury. Out of nowhere, Show reached up and smashed Henry in the face with the KO punch from the floor. Jericho slowly, slowly, slowly crawled over to Henry and rolled him over to make a pin for the win.
WINNERS: Show & Jericho at 12:15. Okay tag match. Slow at times, some good spots sprinkled throughout, but not a memorable match. Crowd was interested throughout, which helped. (*1/2)
Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase to talk about their match against DX tonight. Cody repeated all of the talking points about the Submissions Count Anywhere going anywhere in Montreal, finding DX's Breaking Point, they're great, but we're better, etc. Ted cut to the chase and said they're going to make DX tap. He then grabbed some DX glowsticks. He said DX is like these glowsticks. They're fun and entertaining, but after a while, that glow burns out. You lose interest. And then you throw them away. Nice, nice promo from DiBiase. Well done.
In-ring: The Miz came out first for the U.S. Title match added to the line-up on Saturday. Miz then cut a promo in French (apparently hanging around with Maryse paid off) and said He's The Miz and He's Awesome in French. Crowd was positive for that. Kofi Kingston then came out to defend the title. Wild pre-match camerawork. Hard camera picked up a ringside cameraman during Miz's promo, then the overhead crane moving around. Someone's getting yelled.
2 -- U.S. champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. THE MIZ -- U.S. Title match
Miz teased the Skullcrushing Finale early on, but Kofi blocked it and jumped onto Miz in the corner for six or seven punches. He followed with a European uppercut of sorts for a two count. Kofi then connected with two straight light cross body splashes into a dropkick for another nearfall. Kofi was then hung out to dry in the corner for Miz to punt him in the back. Lawler on commentary tried to spin the recent program against John Cena into a positive as Miz blocked another running cross body block by Kofi with a boot to the head. Miz then dropped Kofi with a pancake drop to go back on the attack. Crowd for the most part quiet early on here.
Kofi flung Miz to the outside at 5:45, then teased a highspot, but Miz tripped him on the apron and smashed Kofi's back into the ring apron. Back in the ring, Miz worked over Kofi before going up top for a rare high-risk move. He floated in the air to hit a double axehandle smash off the top, but it was good for a two count only. Miz continued to work over Kofi, then incorporated some kick strikes that Kofi answered with some of his own. Boos/yeahs for Kick Strike Fest '09. Kofi then hit a unique legsweep/back slam for a two count.
Kofi started to build momentum at 9:30 with the leaping lariat into the Boom Boom legdrop, but Miz blocked with his knees up and scored a two count. Miz and Kofi then had a rolling pin exchange mid-ring before Kofi executed a Russian legsweep. This time, Kofi followed up with the Boom Boom leg drop... and scored only a two count. Kofi went up top and nailed a crossbody block, but Miz rolled through into a two count. Miz then rolled up Kofi from behind and hooked the tights, but Kofi kicked out. Miz started clubbing him with forearms to the back of the head before taking a breather. He followed with a high knee, but Kofi blocked the reverse neckbreaker on the Reality Check combo. In the same motion, Kofi nailed the Trouble in Paradise kick out of nowhere for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Kofi at 11:58 to retain the U.S. Title. Good finish after a slow start to warm up the crowd. Credit both wrestlers for pushing through the slow parts early on to slowly build to a nice finish. Emphasis was on Miz scoring nearfall after nearfall to retain credibility before being booked to lose the match. Kofi continues to look good as U.S. champion. (**1/2)
Video package: They focused on DX vs. Legacy in the Submissions Count Anywhere match. Pretty early on the card for this one.
In-ring: DX came out first for the match-up. In the middle of the intro, the PPV cut out. Didn't miss much a minute later with Triple H and Shawn Michaels in the ring waiting out the crowd reactions. Mainly positive reaction for Shawn Michaels 12 years removed from the Montreal Screwjob. Hunter asked everyone if they're ready. Hunter paused, which allowed a "You screwed Bret" chant to get some life. Oops, they don't forget. Hunter said he knows there was an incident that happened quite a few years ago that apparently it still sticks with people and they won't let go of it. Michaels did a "close your mouth" motion. Hunter then blamed Michaels and claimed he wasn't even there. Haha. Even louder "You screwed Bret" chant. Michaels sarcastically thanked Hunter for that back-up. Michaels finished his part of the intro to boos. Lawler said Canada goes around reminding elephants of things they forget. Don't think he'd get many votes running for office in a Canadian city. Legacy then made their way to the ring to face off against DX.
3 -- DX (SHAWN MICHAELS & TRIPLE H) vs. LEGACY (TED DIBIASE, JR. & CODY RHODES) -- Submissions Count Anywhere in Montreal
DiBiase didn't even have time to take his t-shirt off, as DX took the fight right to them after the opening bell. Hunter and Michaels targeted the left knee of their respective opponents to set up for a future submission attempt. Heels bumping around for DX early on here. Michaels took Cody over the guardrail to the floor as Lawler talked about WWE production crew having cameras all over the arena for this one. Hunter knocked both opponents around before the fight moved into the stands. Team 3D and Beer Money brawled up the Impact Zone...oh oh, wrong promotion brawl-through-the-crowd. Um, Michaels choked DiBiase in one of the railings. Meanwhile, Hunter took Cody to the concourse to smash him into a Molsen beer vendor station. DiBiase suddenly blind-sided Hunter as a crowd began to circle around the brawl. Loud "You Screwed Bret" chant toward Michaels. Both members of Legacy were then put in a figure four on the floor of the concourse. Not very sanitary, I must say. "Ole, ole, ole" chant broke out. Fight then moved back down the stands. I've always wanted to see someone body surf during a brawl-through-the-crowd.
At 5:00, Michaels hung Cody across a guardrail in the cheap seats then put him an MMA submission trying to make him tap with his neck cranked in a vice hold. DX ran down the steps toward the ringside area and clotheslined Legacy back over the guardrail to the ringside area. Hunter then grabbed a chair and stabbed Cody in the gut with it. Hunter then slid Cody's body through a chair an put him in a Sharpshooter through the chair. Michaels then sat on Cody's back and put him in a Camel Clutch simultaneously. Crazy sick spot. DiBiase suddenly made the save before Cody could tap to a Sharpshooter Clutch in a chair. DiBiase then rolled Hunter into the ring, but Hunter nailed a spinebuster. He then put DiBiase in a Crossface, but Rhodes broke it up. Michaels snuck in too and chopped Cody, who then chucked Michaels over the top, but Michaels skinned the cat and flipped Cody to the floor. DiBiase avoided the cat flip and flung Michaels to the floor where Cody put Michaels in a standing submission hold on the floor. Hunter broke it up, then chucked Cody head-first into the ring steps.
At 10:00, Hunter worked over DiBiase in the ring while Michaels and Cody brawled to the production area in the limited view seating area. They took their fight up the stands for phase two of the brawl. Cody took a took seat on the third row, then flung Michaels over the guardrail onto a gimmicked production table down below. Michaels sold a back injury as the ref screamed for help. Hunter checked on Michaels as Cody and DiBiase regrouped on the floor. Hunter then went on the attack to fight for HBK. Fight moved to the entrance stage where Hunter took Cody through the curtain to the backstage area. Camera followed Hunter throwing Cody into a Storage trunk. DiBiase then snuck up behind Hunter to blast him with right hand blows. DiBiase held Hunter to allow Cody to blast him with right hand fists. DiBiase then put Hunter in the Million Dollar Dream as Cody verbally taunted him. Hunter escaped the hold by ramming him into a poll, then Hunter gave DiBiase a spinebuster through the catering table. Michaels came to his feet in the arena as Hunter put Cody in a Crossface. DiBiase came to life and broke it up, though.
At 15:00, DiBiase grabbed a steel chair and gave it to Cody to smash Hunter with. (Cody got 95 percent floor, 5 percent Hunter's hair.) Hunter sold being KO'ed on the floor as the action kind of came to a halt. Camera then picked up Legacy slamming Michaels on the entrance stage back in front of the audience. Legacy then dragged Michaels by the hairplugs down the entrance ramp taunting and tormenting him. DiBiase screamed at Cody, "Right in the middle!" They stalked HBK in the ring, taking their time to allow Hunter the big Willis Reed run-down-the-ramp to make the save. Michaels fought back on his own and flung DiBiase to the outside. Cody ducked a superkick, then rolled into an Anklelock. Michaels tried to block ala Kurt Angle at WM21, then he finally kicked Cody away. He caught Cody with a superkick to the gut, but not a full connection. Meanwhile, Hunter was shown being helped to his feet backstage. Michaels kept trying to fight Legacy one-against-two in the ring, then DiBiase and Cody teased a spike piledriver, but Michaels escaped.
At 20:00, everyone was down in the ring. Crowd looking to the entrance for Hunter ala Monday Night Wars. Michaels then tuned up the band, but Cody cut him off from behind and smashed Michaels into the ringpost. Cody wanted a figure four around the ringpost, but Michaels made him work for it by blocking several times. Cody finally set it up, then locked it in around the post. Michaels sold agony, but wouldn't tap. Crowd chanting for Triple H as DiBiase followed up with the Million Dollar Dream on Michaels as he was in the figure four. Suddenly, Hunter came rolling down the entrance ramp as SuperMichaels fought the hold. Hunter couldn't make it down, though, and Michaels was forced to tap out with Hunter half-way to the ring.
Post-match: Cody and Ted sold half-shock/half-pain after winning. Hunter finally made it to ringside to check on his fallen comrade as Legacy celebrated on the entrance ramp.
WINNERS: Cody & Ted at 21:40. Excellent brawl that WWE doesn't do very often, which made this match stand out. (Whereas TNA does this every month, so it feels like a repeat of the same formula match.) Legacy sold a ton early on, but weathered the storm like at Summerslam, but picked up the big victory here. Nice piece of business to elevate Legacy with a meaningful, "clean" major PPV victory over DX. What's interesting will be the follow-up on how they continue to make Legacy stars and where Michaels/Hunter go from here in the storylines. Well done. (****)
Backstage: They showed WWE champion Randy Orton watching the monitor backstage. Josh Mathews walked up to Orton asking him for a reaction about Legacy just winning. Orton told him to have a seat if he wants to talk. Mathews then pulled up a chair for a little chat. Orton said he has no reaction because he knew Legacy was going to win. Mathews, satisfied, wanted to know about the I Quit match. Orton cut him off and said Mathews only wanted to ask one question. Orton said Mathews is one of those people who says one thing, then does another. He said that's like John Cena. Orton said you can't be sure Cena is unable to say those words. He coldly said he's going to make Cena feel pain that will make him say the unthinkable.
Hell in a Cell preview - Oct. 4 is the Hell in a Cell PPV.
In-ring: Kane came out first for the "bowling shoe ugly" Singapore cane match. Hey, look, there's Smackdown announcers Jim Ross and Todd Grisham for the first time tonight. Great Khali and Runjin Singh then came out to face Kane. I just think they keep Singh on TV so Justin Roberts can say his name. Khali did his pre-match shout of declaration before the bell sounded.
4 -- KANE vs. GREAT KHALI -- Singapore cane match
Khali landed a big frying pan-like chop (Big Show's move......) on Kane early on. Kane then grabbed a cane, so Khali followed suit. Grisham said it's Ryan Howard vs. the man who will not be mentioned from the Cardinals. They had a Cane Battle, then Kane knocked Khali down to one knee with successive shots to the back. Khali ended up on the mat and Kane landed a low dropkick for a two count. Crowd began to catcall as Kane grounded Khali on the mat. Khali then stole a cane and began smashing Kane with multiple weapon shots. Khali then called for the Khali Chop and delivered it. He made a cover, but Kane kicked out. Singh then snuck in the back door for a cane shot on Kane, but Kane no-sold. He threatened to choke out Singh, but Kane released him and Khali nailed a Khali Chop on Kane. Khali checked on Singh, which was a distraction to allow Kane to comeback and nail a chokeslam on Khali. Crowd popped for that big, impressive feat. Kane then covered Khali for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Kane at 5:55. Six long minutes ending with Kane going over Khali, who apparently isn't being looked at to be a strong attraction act right now. Doubt this is the end of the feud, unfortunately. (1/2*)
Backstage: Eve brought in World Hvt. champion C.M. Punk for an interview. Punk said everyone said he couldn't beat Jeff Hardy in TLC at Summerslam, but he still won. And now everyone says he can't beat Taker. Well, he's World champ, so he's used to proving everyone wrong. Punk then referenced Jeff Hardy. He said three weeks after he left, Jeff Hardy went ahead and did what he was talking about all along. He told everyone to check the headlines because you won't find his mugshot around the world. Ouchie. WWE obviously not happy with Hardy being arrested so soon after being in WWE to give them negative press. Suddenly, lights went off and came back on. Punk freaked, then they showed Jimmy Wang Yang messing with the lightswitch. Yang said he's just messing around, then told Punk good luck. They shook hands, but Punk blasted him with a headbutt and punched him around before throwing him into the door. Punk finished off his promo after that mild inconvenience.
In-ring: ECW champ Christian came out first, then William Regal and the Ruthless Roundtable. Tony Chimel then announced that Ezekiel Jackson and Kozlov are banned from ringside. And if they do not leave immediately, Regal will forfeit this championship match. Regal's slow head turn of disgust was absolutely great. Crowd then gave Kozlov and Jackson the "na na na goodbye" chant on the way out.
5 -- ECW champion CHRISTIAN vs. WILLIAM REGAL -- ECW Title match
And...Regal lasted eight seconds after removing his ring jacket following the opening bell. Regal knocked Christian to the outside early on, then went back to work on Christian with a necktie submission hold. Christian broke free and monkey flipped Regal to the mat, but Regal maintained a hand-to-hand grip and nailed an overhead exploder suplex for a two count. Very nice. Regal went back to the submissions with a surfboard stretch. (He didn't rock back and forth like Bryan Danielson, which would have been a nice piece of foreshadowing, but also a babyface move.) Christian escaped Regal, but Regal nailed a running knee to the face for a two count. Regal brawled with Christian in the corner and Christian nailed a Tornado DDT for a close two count. Christian tried to build momentum, but Regal dropped Christian on his head with a Regalplex for a two count. Man, that was a dangerous Japanese-style move. Fortunately, Regal's a pro. Christian then came back with a running forearm for a two count.
At 10:00, Regal blasted Christian with forearm blows, but ran into a double knee smash. Christian teased the Killswitch, but Regal shoved him to the ropes. Regal tried to follow up with the big running knee smash, but Christian avoided it and nailed the Killswitch for the pin and the win. Post-match: Christian took his ECW Title belt and had his arm raised while Regal slowly backed out of the ring in the dark. Christian saluted the Peeps and held up his title belt with the victory.
WINNER: Christian at 10:15 to retain the ECW Title. Very good PPV undercard match. Nice pace, good action (other than the dangerous Regalplex spot), and Christian picked up a clean victory. Good to see that. Would be time for a new challenger, but I get the feeling this is continuing. (***1/4)
Tomorrow night on Raw: Batista makes an announcement. And Trish Stratus guest hosts. ... Backstage: They showed John Cena focused on his WWE Title match.
In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced Pat Patterson to the hometown crowd. Jim Ross said it's almost 30 years since the "creation" of the Intercontinental Title, which Patterson was awarded first. (Sept. 15, 1979 officially.) Patterson took the mic and cut a promo in French. He put over the IC Title belt, then introduced...before he could bring out John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler's music interrupted. Patterson told Ziggler he doesn't have to introduce himself. Patterson said he talked to a lot of people in Montreal, but no one said anything about Ziggler. Patterson said Ziggler has a big future and could be IC champ one day. Patterson started to leave, but Ziggler wanted the mic. Ziggler said first Bob Barker, not Pat. When did this company get taken over by senior citizens? Ziggler with some more old jokes that died like an Abraham Washington segment. Ziggler said he thought Pat was dead, anyways. Now that he seems him in person, Pat looks great. Even his hairpiece looks real.
Crowd chanted "Shut the f--- up," as Ziggler's material continued to die a slow death. Ziggler patted him on the shoulder and said he's a great guy. But, you know what, you're a hell of a guy. He added a little extra behind the shove. Crowd doing the Steve Austin "what?" chant as Ziggler continued to talk. Ziggler then kicked Pat in the gut and smugly walked off. Ziggler decided he wasn't done, though. Ziggler wanted another piece of Pat, but John Morrison ran into the ring to make the save. Morrison checked on Pat, then Ziggler slowly walked off. What a horrible segment to fill time and buffer to the main events. Those jokes were just brutal.
In-ring: WWE champion Randy Orton slowly came out to the ring for the semi-main event WWE Title match. John Cena's music hit to instant boos, which were answered by strong female/kids cheers. Right at the top of the third hour for the final two matches. Cena stood on stage to absorb the boos before he stormed the ring. Lawler said he knows not everyone is behind him and he's not out for a popularity contest, but his only concern is making Orton say I Quit. Crowd booed Cena and Orton during the official ring intros. Orton then shot Cena an evil look before the bell sounded. Off we go.
6 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match -- I Quit match
No contact in the first minute, then Cena took it to Orton with a forearm and fisherman suplex out of the corner. Cena landed a fist strike, then airballed with a flying shoulder tackle when Orton ducked down to the mat. Orton then bumped Cena off the apron into the Raw announce table on the floor. Ringside, Orton grabbed a TV monitor and directed a shot toward Cena, who got his hands up to absorb the blow. Cena sold it like a direct shot to the head, though. Back in the ring, Orton set up Cena across the middle rope for his patented Jake Roberts DDT. Announcers reminded us Cena suffered a head injury on Raw, which could affect him tonight. Nice piece of storytelling to stack the deck just a little bit more. Orton then grabbed a chair and set it up in the ring. He wanted to repeat the end of Raw with an RKO into the chair, but Cena blocked and made a classic comeback. He paused for the crowd to reach its peak before he delivered the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena then wanted an FU, but Orton grabbed the top rope and landed on the apron. He then yanked Cena's shoulder/neck down hard across the top rope.
At 5:00, Orton saw Cena prone for The Punt, but Cena ducked and teased the STF. Orton slipped out of the ring, through, and lured Cena into a whip to the ring steps. Orton then grabbed the ring steps and blasted Cena in the face. Orton demanded Cena give it up, but Cena sternly said "no" a few times. Orton was angered by this development, so he lifted Cena and rolled him into the ring. He then grabbed a bag out from under the ring. Thumbtacks? No, it was a chain with a key on it and handcuffs. Orton put the chain around his neck, then put Cena in a handcuff. Orton stomped Cena down to the mat, then cuffed Cena to the top rope. Orton symbolically "held the key" to the match with it around his neck. Orton began attacking Cena, who refused to quit.
At 10:00, Orton took the mic and jammed it into Cena's head. Orton then unhooked Cena and cuffed Cena's hands together. Orton then dragged Cena up the ring steps and hung Cena over the top turnbuckle. Orton began assaulting Cena's stomach with body blows, then he landed fist smashes one after another. Orton screamed at Cena that he's not passing out on him, so he threw water at Cena, who then spit it back in Orton's face. Orton was not pleased, so he grabbed the Singapore canes from the bowling shoe ugly match early. Orton then "tortured" Cena with multiple cane shots to the body. Orton then smashed him across the wrist as he continued to be hung up in the corner. Cena refused to quit. Orton then put the cane into Cena's throat and Cena kicked him in the crotch. They didn't show it, but Cena pulled himself down to the ground. Camera zoomed in on Cena having cut marks across his stomach. Cena slowly walked over to Orton, who had a chair in hand to surprise Cena with a chair shot to the head.
At 15:00, Orton uncuffed Cena, then he re-cuffed Cena around the ringpost with Cena on the ground facing the post. Lawler did the "babyface is about to lose, which means he's not going to" line about Cena needing to think about living to fight another day. Cena then blasted Orton across the back with a chair shot and Cena shrieked. Cena refused to quit. Orton was about to lose it. At this point, you're wondering where the gun is to shoot him. How much further can you go before the heel loses credibility for not killing the other guy? Anyways, Cena back dropped Orton to the mat, then he stole the key from Orton and uncuffed himself before cuffing them together. They transferred all the heat onto Cena, who then cuffed Orton and started going nuts on Orton. Cena exploded with body shots before taking Orton into the ring to land more body shots. Cena teased the FU, but Orton slipped out and nailed the RKO in center ring. Orton then tried to drag both of them toward the key across the ring, but Cena tugged him back to center ring and applied the STF. Cena wrapped the cuff around Orton's throat, then Orton fought the hold before shouting "I quit, I quit" to give Cena the win.
After the post-match happenings for replays, recovery, etc., Cena took the mic and declared, "I did not quit." They stayed with Cena's post-match celebration for a while as Orton sold a shoulder injury on the way out. Cena then stood on the stage and lifted up the title belt to salute the crowd.
WINNER: Cena at 19:45 to win the WWE Title. Crazy match. Hard to rate this, but it had all of classic Cena-Orton elements with Orton being one the best crazy stalker heel characters in recent memory, Cena showing the grit and determination, and a memorable finish. Orton was so good as the crazy heel that he didn't lose much despite dropping the title. Looks like Cena-Orton re-match in Hell in a Cell to hopefully end this feud, although they continue to deliver very good PPV battles. Frustrating to see the same storylines on TV, but they continue to deliver on PPV. (****)
Announcers: Grisham and Ross posed the question of how in the world is C.M. Punk going to make The Undertaker submit tonight. They went to Summerslam when Punk beat Jeff Hardy to win the World Title, then Taker surprised Punk with a chokeslam to close last month's PPV. They ran a video on the subsequent Smackdown TV build to tonight's main event.
In-ring: Justin Roberts said it's no count-out, no DQ, no pinfalls, just submission. C.M. Punk then came out first to defend the World Title. Grisham plugged Hell in a Cell on Oct. 4, then Taker's entrance began. Undertaker came out sans hat. Just wearing the giant sleeveless trench coat from the Ministry of Darkness era. Punk slipped to the outside during the intro and stared down Taker as he completed his entrance. Justin Roberts then handled the formal ring intros. Only have 20 minutes left until the top of the hour.
7 -- WWE World Hvt. champion C.M. PUNK vs. THE UNDERTAKER -- World Hvt. Title match -- Submissions match
Bell sounded and Punk ran right out of the ring to the floor to frustrate Taker. He did his rolling rights gesture, then slipped back into the ring. Punk ducked an early strike, then a second and landed a flurry of strikes in the corner. Taker absorbed that, then chucked Punk clear over the top rope to the floor. Taker chased Punk back into the ring and landed body blows. Back to the floor where Taker missed with a running kick and crashed into the guardrail. Punk then stomped away on Taker before grabbing a chair. Theme of the night. Punk jabbed a chair into Taker's stomach before landing a steel chair shot toward to head. Taker got his hands up to block, but the imagery was still a shot to the head. Back in the ring, Punk delivered a running knee strike and tried a bulldog, but Taker blocked. Taker wanted old school, but Punk blocked and crotched. Punk then hit an enziguiri kick and followed with a nice superplex in center ring. Of note, no submission attempts yet.
At 6:30, both men came to their feet and Punk stared delivering kick strikes. Taker came back with right hands, starting a "boo / yeah" exchange. Taker with one big wind-up and strike three to Punk followed by a hard clothesline in the corner. Taker then hit Snake Eyes and a big boot out of the corner. Taker raised his hand in the air for a chokeslam, but Punk countered with a roundhouse kick to the head. Punk slowly approached Taker, then he was suddenly trapped in the Hell's Gate submission. Punk only fought the hold for a few seconds, then he tapped out and Taker wins the World Title. That was shockingly short and surprising.
WINNER: Taker at 8:20 to capture the World Hvt. Title.
Post-match: Suddenly, Teddy Long's music hit. Long came out on stage and said he regrets to inform everyone that Taker's Hell's Gate submission hold was banned from Smackdown a long time ago by Vickie Guerrero. Unfortunately, that provision still stands. Long said the match must continue. Okay...
7b -- WWE World Hvt. champion C.M. PUNK vs. THE UNDERTAKER -- World Hvt. Title match -- Submissions match
They re-stared the match and C.M. Punk snuck up behind Taker to attack him. Punk then slapped on the Anaconda Vice and the referee Scott Armstrong immediately called for the bell. There was no tap out. Ref Hebner called for the bell, Shawn Michaels then took the World Title, and Bret Hart was left in the ring asking "What the f--- is going on?" Long just stood on stage with no reaction as Punk held the World Title in the air. Perhaps the storyline is that Long decided to screw Taker because he was strong-armed into giving Taker a title shot without any merit. Punk jumped up and down with the belt as Taker stood in the ring in disbelief. Ross emphasized that Taker did not tap out after they replayed the finish. PPV closed with Taker staring up at Long in disbelief.
WINNER: C.M. Punk at 0:25 (8:55 overall) in the re-start to retain the World Hvt. Title. Well, that was a pretty silly finish. It was obvious they had no way of booking a clean finish to this match going into the PPV, so the question was how they would screw Taker and keep the belt on Taker. A knock-off version of the Survivor Series '97 was pretty weak. We'll see how they follow-up after the numerous weeks of Vince McMahon getting in Long's ear to do something big with the Smackdown brand. Match was too short for a PPV main event. (*1/2)
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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
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PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**