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KELLER'S TAKE

KELLER'S WWE BASH PPV REPORT 6/28: Ongoing coverage including results, star ratings, analysis, quotebook

Jun 28, 2009 - 10:00:20 PM


By Wade Keller, Torch editor

KELLER'S WWE BASH PPV REPORT
JUNE 28, 2009
SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW


BOX SCORE BASICS

(1) Tommy Dreamer defeated Christian and Jack Swagger and Mark Henry and Finlay in a five-person Scramble Match to retain the ECW Hvt. Title in 17:00. It opened with Christian vs. Swagger, followed by Finlay several minutes into the match, then Dreamer, then Henry. Finlay pinned Swagger to become ECW Champion. Later, Henry pinned Dreamer to become ECW Champion. Swagger pinned Henry a few minutes later to become ECW Champion. Finally, Dreamer pinned Christian. With one minute left in the "20 minute time limit" (they shaved some time off), they went into rapid-fire pin attempts as the last man to have scored a pin or submission when the time expired would walk out as champion. Dreamer survived as champion. (**1/4)

The Gillette commercial aired with John Cena and Vince McMahon. Odd.

Edge barged in on Teddy Long backstage. He said his job is on the line, so he should think outside the box. He pushed him to add him to the World Title match later and said he should not be left off any WWE PPV given his stature. Long said he should have been nicer to his ex-wife if he wanted favors around there. Edge told him to be careful or he'll be out of a job, too.

(2) Rey Mysterio pinned Chris Jericho to capture the Intercontinental Title and retain his mask in 17:00. Ross talked about Rey's uncle being a famous masked luchador and wearing masks in Mexico is a tradition dating back to the early 1930s. Grisham said to Rey, wearing a mask is part of his soul. Jericho went after the mask right away and was very vocal early. At 2:00 at ringside Jericho swung Rey head-first into the ringside barrier. A brief "Y2J" chant broke out. Ross said Jericho needs to focus on winning the match, not trying to demask Rey. Grisham pointed out that if Jericho wins, he gets the mask removed anyway, so winning surely should be 100 percent his focus. At 10:00 Jericho locked on the Walls of Jericho. Rey reached the bottom rope to force a break. They went back and forth for several minutes of rapid-fire action. Rey went for a 619, but Jericho countered with a sharpshooter at 15:00. Rey powered out of it, but Jericho sat down for a two count, but Rey rolled through for a two count, and Jericho did the same for another two count. Jericho yanked off one Rey mask, but another was underneath it. Rey surprised a stunned Jericho with a 619 for the win. Very good match, especially for position no. 2 on a PPV card. (****)

A SummerSlam ad aired. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler threw to a video package on the Vince McMahon-Donald Trump angle on the commercial-free Raw last week.

Jericho demanded from Long backstage that he gets his contractually guaranteed title rematch. Long said he's the longest-running G.M. in WWE - going on five years next month. He said he didn't last that long by giving in to the first selfish and obnoxious Superstar who barges into his office. He told him to get out of his office. Jericho said if he keeps it up, he won't last five years. He told him when he changes his mind, he knows where to find him.

They went to Ross and Grisham at ringside who threw to a video package on the Dolph Ziggler and Great Khali feud.

(3) Dolph Ziggler defeated The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh) in 5:00 in a no-DQ match. Khali beat up Ziggler at ringside early. Ziggler took control and worked over Khali's legs, including a chairshot. Khali punched the chair out of his hands, but Ziggler continued on offense. At 3:00 the arena went red and Kane made his triumphant return. Khali didn't seem pleased. Kane entered the ring and bashed Khali across the back with a chair, and then hit his head and four body shots. Ross wondered why Kane attacked Khali. An opportunistic Ziggler made the cover and got the pin. (1/2*)

McMahon approached Long backstage and said he was going to apologize for his treatment of him on Friday. McMahon said he then overheard him bragging to Jericho about being a G.M. for almost five years. He brought up Eric Bischoff, "Heyman," "Regal," and even Mike Adamle and said he's done nothing compared to them. He said his leadership skills are totally lacking. He said if they shared a foxhole, out of boredom and depression he'd shoot himself. He said the only thing he has going for him is his dance. McMahon mocked his dance and said he doesn't even have a sense of rhythm. He said he's still on probation. That was drawn out and unpleasant.

An ad aired for the DVD release of "12 Rounds."

(4) Edge & Chris Jericho beat Carlito & Primo Colon vs. Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes to capture the Unified Tag Team Titles in 10:00. After ring intros, Long stepped out onto the stage and announced that the match will now be a Triple Threat Tag Team Championship match. DiBiase and Rhodes weren't happy about that. Out walked Edge alone. He was then joined by Jericho. Ah, the old team two heels together to build to their eventual break-up with one going babyface gimmick. Primo took a beating for a while. Edge blind-tagged himself in as Carlito went for a pin on Rhodes. The ref didn't count and as Carlito protested, Edge surprised him with a spear for the win. (*3/4)

Backstage DiBiase & Rhodes walked up to Orton. Orton said he wasn't worried that they didn't win the tag titles because they have a more important role - which is helping him keep the WWE Title. DiBiase got upset that Orton treated them as lackeys and stormed away. Rhodes told Orton he'd have a talk with DiBiase and try to calm him down.

(5) Michelle McCool defeated Melina in 7:00 to capture the Women's Title. McCool dominated early, working over Melina's leg, which Melina sold throughout the match. When Melina made a comeback and had a pin attempt, Fox put McCool's leg on the bottom rope to break the count. Melina knocked Fox off the ring apron. McCool then fired back with her Styles Clash finisher for the win. Spirited effort and solid match. (*1/4)

A video package aired on the C.M. Punk-Jeff Hardy saga.

(5) Jeff Hardy World Hvt. Title match. Punk came out to a mixed reaction, which Grisham acknowledged. Grisham told Ross it appears the pressure is getting to Punk. Ross said Punk has a lot of fans and hasn't done anything wrong, as he's followed the letter of the law. Ross said it's not all about popularity, anyway. Fast-paced from the start including some action at ringside. Punk was unhappy with the ref's count and complained in a heelish fashion. By 9:00 Hardy was in control with a stretch of offense and some two counts. Punk made a comeback at 11:00 and hit a series of kicks and scored a near fall. He again showed some frustration. Grisham wondered if Punk feels pressure to legitimate his title reign. Hardy surprised Punk with a Twist of Fate. He ripped off his shirt and went for a Swanton. Punk sat up to avoid it (barely). Punk lost his balance as he stood and signalled for the Go 2 Sleep. Hardy surprised Punk with a small package for a sudden near fall. Punk fired right back with a roundkick to the head and then set up a G2S. Hardy avoided it and hit the Twist of Fate. He set up another Swanton and this time hit it and scored the three count. Hardy's music began to play. Just as fans felt safe realizing that there was no Money in the Bank contract floating out there, the ref called for the music to stop and he reversed his pin, stating that Punk's leg was under the bottom rope and thus the pin was illegal. Punk struggled to pull himself to the ropes and to his feet as Hardy fretted over the call. Hardy went after Punk. Punk lifted Hardy for a G2S again, but Hardy avoided it. Punk sold that he got poked in the eye. The ref told Hardy to back off while he checked on him. Is that a new rule? The match stops when someone gets poked in the eye. As the ref explained to Hardy what was going on, Punk roundkicked the ref in the back. The ref DQ'd Punk, declaring Hardy the winner. Ross said Punk's vision was impaired. Grisham said it couldn't be that impaired. The crowd chanted, "Bullsh--!" Punk grabbed his title belt and tried to retreat up the ramp. Hardy had enough and chased him down, chewed him out, and dragged him back to the ring for a beating. Several referees pulled Hardy off of Punk. Hardy broke free and jumped Punk again. Ross wondered how much more Jeff Hardy could take. (***3/4)

Primo and Carlito barged into Long's office and complained about him adding Edge & Jericho to the match. Long told them he knew they'd be upset, but before they say anything else, he wanted them to know what he expected them to do, do nothing and get fired? He said he did the right thing and he stands by his decision. Primo and Carlito uttered some frustration under their breath and walked away.

In his locker room, Orton picked up his cell phone and tried to reach Rhodes. He said he wanted to know if he talked to DiBiase and where their heads were at. He looked nervous about going at it alone against Triple H.

A video package aired on The Miz-John Cena feud, including Miz's hard-hitting comments aimed at Cena mixed with clips of Cena being a crossover star on talk shows and commercials.

(6) John Cena beat The Miz in 6:00 via tapout. Cena outwitted Miz early and ended up stomping on his fingers. He outwrestled him and settled into a relaxed, confident headlock. A couple minutes in, Miz took control and worked on Cena until a Cena comeback at 4:00. Cena set up the "You Can't See Me" sequence and shouted to the hard camera that he's been waiting a long time for this. He delivered the Five Knuckle Shuffle and then lifted Miz for an Attitude Adjustment. There was a mix of cheers and boos. Cena applied the STF and Miz promptly tapped out with both hands. (*3/4)

A video package aired on the never-ending Orton vs. Triple H feud.

(7) Randy Orton defeated Triple H in 21:00 in the Three Stages of Hell match for the WWE Title. Lawler said Orton didn't have a look of confidence on his face. At 4:00 Hunter bashed Orton with a chair, costing himself the first fall by DQ. He bashed Orton across the skull a second time, and then across his back three times, followed by six jabs to his back. Triple H shoved the ref away and jabbed Orton on the back of the head with the chair. Orton rolled to the floor. Lawler said what Triple H did may have been worthwhile. Cole didn't seem to understand. Hunter gave Orton a Pedigree on the floor and scored the pin to even the score. What he did certainly fits the letter of the law for the match. Two referees rolled a stretcher to the ring to start the third and final fall of the match. They put a strip of yellow tape on the stage, marking where Hunter needed to push Orton past to win. Hunter shoved Orton up the ramp, but Orton jumped off on the stage before the yellow line was crossed and clipped Hunter from behind. Orton beat up Hunter for four minutes in the crowd and around ringside. He tried to put Hunter on the stretcher, but Hunter blocked it. Orton shoved Hunter into the ringside steps. Orton lifted the bottom of the steps and was about to drop them on Hunter when Hunter gave him a drop toe hold, sending him face-first into the steps. Hunter then hit Orton with the steps and tried to push him up the ramp past the line. Orton began fighting back. Hunter jumped onto Orton and punched him as the stretcher rolled down the ramp. It didn't get far before it ran into the ringside barrier. Orton sold a back injury. Hunter threw Orton onto the stretcher. Orton fought back and rammed Hunter into the padded bedding of the stretcher, not exactly a believable strategy. Orton then DDT'd Hunter off the stretcher onto the steel rampway. Hunter avoided a punt kick by Orton. Hunter set up a Pedigree, but Orton backdropped Hunter onto the stretcher instead. Lawler said both men were "literally spent" at this point, 17 minutes into the match. Orton shoved Hunter slowly up the ramp, struggling to have the strength. Hunter rolled off the stretcher before they got to the yellow tape. Hunter got the best of Orton on the ramp and set Orton on the stretcher and tried to push it past the tape. Rhodes attacked Hunter. Hunter fended off Rhodes, but when Hunter was about to win again, DiBiase showed up to save Orton this time. DiBiase and Rhodes lifted Hunter onto the stretcher. Hunter fought back, but was overwhelmed by Rhodes and DiBiase. Hunter pulled a sledgehammer out of a secret compartment in the stage that he just happened to be lying over. He jabbed Rhodes and DiBiase with it. Orton got up and blocked a Hunter shot and then hit Hunter with the grating plate that Hunter lifted to get to his sledgehammer. Hunter fell onto the stretcher. Orton pulled the stretcher across the line to win. (***1/4)

As Orton celebrated with is title belt held high and proud, Hunter walked up behind him with the sledgehammer. He jabbed Orton in the side of the head with it. Orton went down like he was shot. Hunter then raised his arms and his music played as the PPV ended.

THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, NITPICKS

SCRAMBLE MATCH: I'm not a fan of the title changes in a Scramble match being declared official title changes, even within the match. Just declaring that many title changes and saying the winner of the falls was the official champion at that moment devalues the concept of a title change which should always be a big deal... The action itself was fine. We are learning that when someone really big threatens to leap off the top rope, it won't happen and someone will stop them, be it Henry tonight or Great Khali days ago...

JERICHO-MYSTERIO: What can you say other than these two have a really nice chemistry together? This was the proper finish at this stage of the feud. For Rey to put his mask on the line again, Jericho should have to put up his hair, and when Jericho loses the hair, it can really add to his heel character as he does whatever it is heels have always done after losing hair - wearing wigs or other headgear or (gasp) even a mask himself to cover up the "humiliation" of being bald.

TAG TITLE MATCH: Edge and Jericho won the tag titles without having to do much of anything in the match, playing up their status as heels, too. Although I was looking forward to Rhodes & DiBiase having a run as tag champs, giving the belts to Edge & Jericho helps give them something to do on Smackdown for a while and can be the beginning of a storyline leading to Edge turning babyface on Jericho. The downside is this might indicate an end to the Jericho-Mysterio feud, but we'll have to wait and see.

LEGACY DISSENSION: Dissension in the Legacy ranks already? I'd like to see DiBiase and Rhodes establish themselves as loyal cohorts of Orton for at least another year before they played this card. There are exponential increasing rewards for a break-up of a group the longer they wait to pull the trigger, and this is way too soon. If they just think they need to rush DiBiase into main events and perhaps a feud with Orton just to provide Orton with someone new to feud with, so be it, but having to rush the break-up of Legacy is a result of a lack of long-term planning a year ago. A lot more should have been done to establish DiBiase as something special, including not having him bump like crazy for Super Shane-O-Mac a couple months back.

PUNK-HARDY: Very good match with a very good finish. The crowd totally ate up booing Punk for his phony eye injury and claim that he thought he was kicking Hardy, not the ref. It was daring of WWE to play with Hardy fans' emotions once again by playing his music and letting them celebrate ever-so-briefly the second PPV in a row. Punk is playing his part to perfection. So is Hardy, for that matter, as the frustrated almost-champion who keeps getting screwed by an increasingly disingenuous supposed ally.

MIZ VS. CENA: That was pretty much the worst finish possible, at least on the surface. Cena won clean and convincingly, and for what purpose? Sure, Cena fanatics are happy that Cena proved he's better than Miz and got some measure of revenge, but by beating him so easily in such a short match, the message it sent was that Miz wasn't ever in Cena's league to begin with. That doesn't help elevate Miz, and WWE needs a heel with Miz's skillset to become a legit top tier player. This is a big step back and in the end, Cena really doesn't gain anything from it because he won in a way that said Miz was never a match for him in the first place.

ORTON VS. TRIPLE H: It was a suitable main event match, but it feels so stale between these two that even a good match just doesn't feel worthy of a PPV finale at this point. What more can they do to one another and if what they've done already doesn't count, what could going forward? It's like the feud that will never end... Triple H using the strategy of throwing the first fall to gain a virtually guaranteed quick win in the second fall and an advantage going into the deciding third was fine with me. It's a smart strategy, actually... A little suspense was added to the situation with the question of whether DiBiase would help Orton... It was a little too convenient that Triple H happened to knocked out near the place where he had secretly hidden the sledgehammer, unless we're to believe he hid a few of them...

QUOTEBOOK

Jim Ross: "I got hit by a skillet once. My second marriage."

Vince McMahon to Teddy Long: "If we shared a foxhole, out of sheer boredom and depression I'd shoot myself."

Ted DiBiase: "Is that all we are to you, Randy? Just henchmen to help you keep your title? You don't give a damn about us, do you?"

Jim Ross: "C.M. Punk has not done anything wrong. He had abided by the letter of the law, if you will, by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract for the second year in a row."

Jim Ross: "Jeff Hardy is a thrill ride with a pulse."

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LUCHA NEWS: Updated Lucha Underground TV viewership, plus median age, how Lucha compares to Impact, more
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw rebounds to highest rating since post-WM31
TNA NEWS: Impact TV viewership - Impact ends recent downturn
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2015 Titleholders
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - how the last two weeks have fared
OBIT: California writer/producer Joe Franciosi dies suddenly
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw up from last week's 2.55 rating, but still in year-low territory
TNA NEWS: Impact TV viewership - semi-live episode hits two-month low
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw falls from last week's year-low
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings - Thursday's show falls hard post-Extreme Rules
TNA NEWS: Impact TV viewership for Friday's episode
PWTorch Free Podcast
PWTORCH LIVECAST: Bruce & Travis take your calls tonight at 7:00 EST on PWTorchLivecast.com
LIVECAST AUDIO: Jim Ross talks live w/Wade Keller on Thursday's Livecast - now available on-demand
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (5/20) available on-demand - McNeill's All-Star Panel w/FAIRPLAY & Scott Fishman
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (5/19) available on-demand - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (5/18) available on-demand - Raw post-game show w/James Caldwell & live callers
LIVECAST AUDIO: Special PWTorch Livecast (5/17) Payback post-game show now available on-demand - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (5/15) available on-demand - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant take live calls
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (5/14) available on-demand - Wade Keller interviews former WWE writer John Piermarini
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (5/13) available on-demand - Pat McNeill's All-Star Panel w/Bill Behrens
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (5/12) available on-demand - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (5/11) available on-demand - James Caldwell's Raw Post-Game Show w/live callers
LIVECAST AUDIO: Friday PWTorch Livecast (5/8) available on-demand - Bruce Mitchell & Brad Stutts of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
VIP Exclusive Features
VIP - PWTorch Newsletter #1405 (PDF & TEXT): Keller’s WWE Payback, Raw, and Smackdown reports, Torch Staff PPV Roundtable Reviews, Keller’s End Notes on Triple H’s NXT Conference Call, ROH iPPV reports, Parks column (24 pages)
VIP - 05/22 Audio Flashback - Bruce Mitchell Audio Show (05-20-2005): WWE Draft Lottery, Matt Hardy's potential in TNA, Styles re-signing with TNA, Mcmahon's speech to Randy Orton and the real message it was sending, ECW (90 min.)
VIP - 05/21 - Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Two hot topics in-depth including Samoa Joe in WWE and clarifying exactly what has been reported about TNA's future on Destination America and how TNA has responded so far (26 min.)
VIP - 05/21 AD-FREE PWTorch Livecast “Interview Thursday” w/Jim Ross: Reaction to Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens appearing on NXT and Raw this week, brand split history, TNA-DestAmerica, his schedule, Lawler, Divas (94 min.)
VIP - 05/21 Audio Flashback - Guttman Audio Show (5-18-2005): How Orton-McMahon segment could have worked better, future of Rey-Eddie feud, Edge-Lita situation on Raw, A.J. Styles title win, Moment of Insanity (35 min.)
VIP - 05/20 - Wade Keller Hotline - Ask the Editor: Joe! Joe! Joe!, WWE spoiling their own big angles/finishes with app notifications, should Reigns fear Owens could take his top spot, all-Divas Network special, EC3 opinion (29 min.)
VIP - 05/20 Bruce Mitchell Audio Show w/Wade Keller: NXT Takeover Live Special review including Samoa Joe’s surprise debut after main event, Kevin Owens-John Cena analysis, TNA marked for cancellation news (70 min.)
VIP - 05/20 East Coast Cast (ep. #242): Dre is back for discussion of big NXT topics, Cena vs. Owens feud, live NXT Takeover commentary, more!, plus VIP Aftershow (200 min.)
VIP - 05/20 The Fix with Todd Martin & Wade Keller (pt. 2 of 2): Evaluating Elimination Chamber bonus PPV strategy by WWE, in-depth Kamala autobiography review with classic 1980s stories, TNA overview, UFC 187 Preview, more (54 min.)
VIP - 05/20 The Fix with Todd Martin & Wade Keller (pt. 1 of 2): Owens shows up on Raw, Lana-Rusev split, Ambrose-Reigns dynamic and the elevation of Ambrose lately, the NXT-WWE, ROH-NJPW Global Wars booking strategy (55 min.)
VIP - 05/20 PWTorch Livecast: Pat McNeill's All-Star Panel w/Jonny Fairplay & Scott Fishman: Influence of NXT on the main roster, NXT Takeover preview, Fairplay Stories, more!; VIP Aftershow - News & Events & Network Survey Live on the Air! (114 min.)
VIP - 05/20 Audio Flashback - TNA Hard Justice PPV Audio Roundtable: Keller, McNeill, Caldwell review entire event including A.J. Styles winning the NWA Title, Tito Ortiz appearing as special ref, how does this set up Slammiversary (46 min.)