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I’ll say it now: I went 4 and 3 in my picks.  Unfortunately, a couple of my losses were very bitter and stupid decisions by Creative.  Prepare for a lambasting.

Before I get to the results, I just want to mention quickly my feelings on the theme song for the night.  Or, rather, the band who provided the song.  What the fuck kind of a band name is Skillet?  Did you just think that naming yourself after a kitchen appliance was a good idea?  It’s almost as stupid of a name as Nickelback, and just as stupid as Korn.  Seriously, can’t you try to be original?  I think I’ll start a band and name it Dave.  Nobody in the band is going to be named Dave.  It’s just because I’m unoriginal and can’t think of a band name because my music is too bland.  Yeesh…

Okay, on with the show.

The Undertaker defeats CM Punk to win the World Heavyweight Championship

There are so many problems with this match that I don’t think I can list them all without either starting to cry or smash my monitor to bits.  So I’ll focus on a couple of things that bothered me the most.  First, why was this match first?  I can see the reasoning behind spreading out the Hell in a Cell matches.  Put them at various points in the night so people don’t get sick of it.  If you put all three together, people are going to get bored of the cage.  Isn’t it great how people are?  Anyway, that I understand.  But I don’t understand why a Cell match had to start the night.  They could have had any of the other title matches start the night, THEN go to a cell match.  Also, with a potential feud the caliber of Punk/Taker, putting them on as the curtain-jerker match is kind of insulting to both men.  Punk has been main eventing PPVs for some time now.  Why put him at the bottom of the card now?  Have they suddenly decided he’s not worth pushing anymore?  He seems to be just getting started.  And putting Taker in the opening match seems like they’re mixing up their priorities.

The second, and far worse problem with this match was that it was pathetic.  I watched it last night (I watched the rest of the show this morning), and unless I missed something important, these two had one of the most generic 10 minute matches I’ve ever seen.  I think a key to having a great match is to make it a unique encounter between the two competitors.  Each wrestler has their own moveset, their own personality.  So it stands to reason that a good match would be something that no other pairing of wrestlers would be able to pull off.  There’s a reason that different people have different personas and movesets.  It’s to create the illusion that the matches on a card are going to all be different and unique.  This match felt like you could have stuck any two people inside the cage and they could have had the exact same match.  It was absolutely bland and pointless.  There were absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever throughout the entire match, and it felt like a rush job at best.  Probably the worst opening bout on a WWE PPV I’ve witnessed since I started watching again back in early 2006.  And Taker won.  He didn’t need to win.  He doesn’t need another title reign.  Unless Vince is planning to have him keep it until Wrestlemania next year and have him lose, breaking his undefeated streak.  I swear to you now, if the Undertaker loses at Wrestlemania, I will boycott WWE forever.  It would be a colosally stupid decision to have him lose then.  If he loses, then nobody will ever have a fair shake at true immortality.  And if anyone deserves immortality, it’s the Undertaker.  What a god-awful way to start off this show.

John Morrison defeats Dolph Ziggler to retain the Intercontinental Championship

THIS is how the PPV should have started.  I cannot believe that they gave Punk/Taker 10 minutes and these guys 15.  Not that Morrison and Ziggles deserved less time.  These two had a fantastic bout, with Ziggles controlling the main portion of the match, and great chemistry and psychology between the two.  Morrison is beginning to grow stronger as a face, which I initially thought was a terrible idea.  But I like it that he’s getting favorable crowd reactions, and he’s getting better at the face comeback segment every time he’s in the ring.  I think his heart is still wanting to be a heel, since he’s so much better at it, but if he has to take on a different role to get ahead in the company, so be it.  He deserves it.  And Ziggles deserves another few shots at the title, which, based on this match, I know they’ll have the confidence in him to win it.  But Morrison needs to legitimize his title reign before Ziggles can take it away.  On the other hand, we’ve seen how Creative can yank away a title reign before it’s gotten a chance to even think about starting to become believable.  Just check back in a few matches later to see what I mean.

Mickie James defeats Alicia Fox to retain the Divas Championship

As usual, about as good of a match as you could expect out of these two.  Alicia is not ready for the spotlight to be on her yet.  She’s still green.  But she’s also still young, and has lots of opportunities to hone her skills.  She’s got the talent.  She just needs to realize it and act on it.  Mickie was her usual self, which is to say she was awesome as usual.  5 minutes and she wins with a rather ugly looking DDT.  Not much else to say there.

Chris Jericho and the Big Show defeat Batista and Rey Mysterio to retain the Unified Tag Team Championship

If I had to pick a match of the night, it would have to be this one.  I went in completely unwavering that Jericho and Show would win, and was honestly quite surprised to see myself doubt…myself so often during this match.  Batista and Rey have great chemistry as a team, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them get another title opportunity down the line.  The match itself was a great show, with Rey showing he hasn’t lost a step after his suspension, selling his ass off to Show, who I must say has some of his best spots with Mysterio.  Things like picking Mysterio up with one hand and pulling him from the floor outside the ring all the way inside the ring in one fell swoop make me mark out like crazy.  I’ll even give Batista some credit.  He stood up to Show a lot better than I thought he was going to do.  But in the end, logic wins out, and Show floors Rey with his rather weak-looking Knockout Punch.  I swear, it doesn’t even look like he’s swinging his arm.  He just kind of puts it in the way of his opponent and they run into it and magically fall over, unconscious.  Nevertheless, a great match.  I might actually want to see them go again once or twice.

Randy Orton defeats John Cena to win the WWE Championship

While this certainly was a lot better than the taker/Punk match, it still had a ridiculous win and a title change.  Seriously, guys, if Cena wins the title only to lose it three weeks later, he didn’t really win the title.  I have gotten so goddamned sick of these three week title reigns that I wish someone would ban them from Creative’s mindset.  It’s a stupid waste of time to have someone win a title, then lose it less than a month later.  Look at Edge.  He had, what, five title changes in the first half of 2009 before getting hurt?  What’s the point of that?  It just makes him look incredibly weak and inconsistent.  And I don’t care how they try to play this off in the storyline.  Orton says he gave up at Breaking Point so he could win at Hell in a Cell?  Well why not just win at Breaking Point and not have to win your title back three weeks later?  It’s a flawed idea that has got to stop.  And you’re destroying the prestige of the WWE Championship (what’s left of it, anyway) by having so many title changes.  It shows that nobody is a strong enough competitor to hold on to the title for very long.  Which means (to me, anyway) that the competition in WWE has diminished drastically in the past couple of years.  Remember Cena’s year long title reign?  That is how a title run should go.  Not this three weeks and you’re out bullshit that’s gone on all year.

I have an idea for an end-of-the-year column.  I’m going to go through the archives and list every title run for the major titles this year, and complain about how the average title reign is probably (I’m speculating here) under two months and how that’s not enough time to solidify a name as a champion.  But that’s two months away.  Back to the PPV.

The match itself was decent enough, but the important points have already been discussed.

Drew McIntyre defeats R-Truth in a pointless bonus match

Let’s save the debuts of people for television.  Especially those who aren’t as good as the announcers say they are.  Okay?

Kofi Kingston defeats The Miz and Hack Swagger to retain the United States Championship

This was probably the sleeper match of the night.  For the first time in my memory, there was not one point in this match where one guy was out on the floor and the other two had a singles match inside the ring.  All three guys were involved during the entire match, which (I think) is how a Triple Threat match should be.  Kofi was his usual bouncy self, Miz was what he continues to say he is, and Swagger was…the usual.  A somewhat typical, but at the same time atypical, match that did all the right things.  I really should have picked Kofi to retain.  He’s never going to lose in a multi-man match.

DX defeats Legacy

The concept of this match was great.  The execution was very good.  But it was sadly still very predictable, which kind of ruined the match for me.  I wasn’t expecting Legacy to do what they did, locking themselves inside the cell with Michaels alone.  But as soon as they did that, I knew what was going to happen.  And it happened exactly as I knew it was going to, which tainted the whole match for me.  Which is a shame, because, as I said before, the execution of this whole concept was very strong.  Dibiase and Rhodes turned up their anger and intensity to 11, and beat Shawn mercilessly and maliciously (Sidebar: Michael Cole, STOP SAYING “No absense of malice.”  Just say, “He’s malicious!”  Saying more words to sound smarter doesn’t work when you sound like an idiot).  I’ll give credit where credit is due: Shawn Michaels did sell his ass off tonight.  I’m not a big fan of his work, but at least he can look like he’s in pain when he wants to, which is kind of nice.  But we all knew that once HHH regained consciousness, he was going to go find something to break the chain and save HBK.  Though I must say I thought he might submit like he did at Breaking Point.  But Legacy broke the hold too early, and HHH cut through the chain and saved the day.  From then on in it was your typical beatdown, nothing terribly special.  DX wins, and cements their legacy.  Though I don’t think this match should have ended the show.

Well, if not for the two world title changes, this might have been a halfway decent show.  But because WWE Creative is apparently filled with a bunch of monkeys typing randomly away on keyboards, nobody can seem to make up their mind about anyone or anything.  Let’s hope they don’t fuck up Bryan Danielson or Nigel McGuinness.  Raw might be painful to watch tonight.  I may just watch a few episodes of Dirty Jobs I’ve got saved on my DVR instead.  Let’s hope that Raw isn’t stupid as hell tonight.

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