Hello and welcome to another edition of The Final Cut. It has been quite a while since I last did one of my WWE pay-per-view reviews, actually it has been a good couple of months since I produced anything remotely resembling a wrestling column so please do excuse me if this comes over as rather rusty.
The Hardy Boys Vs. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch
Not only was this the home town of United States champion Chris Benoit but apparently The Hardy Boys come from a nearby town so it was basically a homecoming for them as well and the fans were very into the Hardys from start to finish.
This was an excellent opening bout and a perfect way to start off the pay-per-view, and it actually went a good 20-25 minutes, which was rather surprising but nice. Although saying that I thought Matt Hardy was lacking slightly tonight, he is also looking a little bit ‘podgy’ around the stomach.
Trevor Murdoch should never be allowed to attempt that stupid move that he does ever again! Saying that I do like Cade & Murdoch as a team and wish the WWE would stop breaking them up and uniting them all the time.
Winner: The Hardy Boys
Melina Vs. Mickie James
Normally a women’s’ match on any WWE pay-per-view will have me heading for toilet break, or to the kitchen to make a sandwich, but this was actually a very enjoyable bout between two women who can actually wrestle when they are allowed to.
I felt that the fans did take a while to get into the match but when they realised that Melina and Mickie James were actually putting on a decent show they soon got behind Mickie James.
I liked the spot where both wrestlers did the splits and started exchanging punches, that was very unique. I really do hope that ‘certain’ people were watching this match and that this is a sign of things to come.
MVP Vs. Chris Benoit
Although this was not as good as their WrestleMania encounter I still thought it was a decent bout. I must admit I was very surprised to see that Chris Benoit retained the championship, especially since he was wrestling in his home town and this would not have been the first time a champion has been defeated in his home town.
MVP is really starting to impress me with his improving performances in his feud with Benoit, but then again how can you be in a feud with Benoit and NOT learn anything to improve your game? I wonder if those critics who thought he was “as green as a green thing” are starting to change their biased minds yet?
I know a lot of people were expecting Benoit to drop the strap to MVP but I believe that there is more than enough room in this feud for one final match, perhaps some kind of gimmick match like a ladder match or a submission match and that is when Benoit will drop the title.
Winner: Chris Benoit
Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon & Umaga Vs. Bobby Lashley
This was probably the worst match of the night for me. There was nothing really terrible about it, I just felt that it lacked something that the rest of the card had. The fans did not seem as into the match and it did drag on in a lot of places.
Before this match my main feeling was that we have seen this type of match many times before, both on pay-per-view and on television, and the good guy always comes out OK and wins the match in the end.
Sadly it did not happen this time, what was much more perplexing was the fact that it was not Umaga or Shane McMahon who picked up the championship, it was Vince McMahon who only came into the match to cover Bobby Lashley.
Surely it would have made much more sense for Umaga to walk out with the strap leading to another explosive Umaga/Lashley encounter somewhere down the line? Or am I being too sensible here?
Winner: Vince McMahon
[World Heavyweight Championship]
Batista Vs. Undertaker
Batista and Undertaker have both been criticised over the years for their poor performances but they both put on a fantastic display here. I did not see their WrestleMania encounter, so I can not match it to this, but I’ve been well informed it was a lot better!
I only have two main niggles. The first was that Batista kept on forgetting that he was meant to sell his injured thigh every time he did a big move that had him land on it. It was almost comical to see him pop up and then realise he should sell the leg.
My second niggle was the finish, although it was a very nice way to end the match (the spear off the stage and the set exploding and crashing down on them) the draw was such an anticlimax and the fans let it be known that they were very disappointed in the decision.
But putting those two negative things out of the way this was one hell of a match, my match of the night, just about. I particularly liked the look on their faces when the other kept getting up from their big moves.
I would certainly like to see another match between these two if this is the kind of calibre we can come to expect.
John Cena Vs. Randy Orton Vs. Shawn Michaels Vs. Edge
I actually fell asleep right at the start of this match, just as they were entering the ring. This was in no way indicative of what was going on in the ring, I was just very tired. I did manage to catch the match thanks to downloading it on the internet and almost kicked myself for falling asleep and missing it!
This is possibly one of the best main event matches I have witnessed in the last five, maybe even ten, years. All four participants almost pulled out all the stops to produce a multi-wrestler title match that fans will be talking about for years to come.
I was slightly disappointed that it did not get a little bit more time, say an extra five to ten minutes as there were a couple of spots in the bout that did look like they were rushed to fit them into the match.
I thought the finish was superb. I’m a bit critic of the booking team but on this occasion they got the decision spot on. Having Cena take a superkick and then land on Orton for the pin was pure brilliance in my view, much better than some lame screw-job finish.
I’ll certainly be looking forward to John Cena and Shawn Michaels getting it on again at some point down the line.
Winner: John Cena
So there you have it, one of the best pay-per-views to be produced by the WWE for some considerable time. I do not know exactly what they did, maybe it was the tri-brand thing, maybe it was something else, but what I do know is that they should stick with it as it is obviously working perfectly for them.
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