We’re in Tucson, AZ and our main event is CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke vs. Shelton Benjamin and OH SHIT IT’S THIS MATCH, rev up the GIF making machine. But first here’s some dude’s sign.
Kelly Kelly & Kofi Kingston vs. Layla & Santino
Santino’s ECW debut and his firm non-Playboy stance is generating hardcore boo-age. He attempts Layla’s leg stretch entrance as Tazz sings Centerfold by J. Geils Band and the crowd boo that comedy spot. Immediately after Joey explains the women can only wrestle the women, Kelly & Kofi double dropkick Santino. ”Alrighty then.” Kingston lands the Koronoco Buster so Santino takes a breather as Layla complains about him being shite. That motivates him to deliver a STO to Kingston to further crowd hate. I forgot Santino was such a heat magnet before he turned face forever. All he’s doing is hamming it up and yelling after every move like Luger selling a punch (”OHHH!!!) but for whatever reason the stuff that would make him beloved is the reason he’s so hated now. Santino tags in Layla who attempts offence on Kingston but Kelly saves him from a beating. Her strikes are awful but she’s at least falling off the top rope a lot to compensate as not even Kelly can fuck up gravity. Santino pulls her off a pin-fall attempt, Kofi takes Santino out the ring and Kelly finishes with a Rocker Dropper.
Winners: KKKK (Harmless tag opener between the goodies and the baddies. I honestly don’t remember Santino being THAT over as a dick so this was excusable even with Kelly Kelly’s involvement.)
We get the Wrestlemania XXIV advert with no wrestling but Kelly Kelly stars as a lifeguard and Mae Young chases a fat dude. How this was supposed to sell Wrestlemania is anyone’s guess.
Stevie Richards vs. In The Ring To My Left Mike Knox
Jobber Knox chokes away on Stevie’s nine-time repaired throat and drops him Stun Gun style across the top rope. Large hairy clothesline gets two followed by an unwieldy unshaven leg-drop for another two as Stevie pretends to be Knox’s career and nearly dies. Stevie kicks away a backdrop attempt but Knox blocks the StevieT and dumps him, going for a corner charge while mocking Stevie’s I’LL SHOW YOU, YOU’LL SEE catchphrase. Stevie dodges (he saw him) gets some corner splashes of his own to finish with the StevieT.
Winner: Stevie Richards (Knox played his role as a large loser very well here and Stevie looked great overcoming the dishevelled one’s dickery.)
Tommy Dreamer gives Colin Delaney more advice (”make wearing the shirt of the company your look so the company gives you lots of them you can sell at conventions years later”) to prepare for tonight.
RAW RECAP: JBL refuses to apologise for beating up Hornswoggle as he reveals HORNSWOGGLE ISN’T VINCE’S SON, HE’S FINLAY’S. JBL is going to get the proof out of Finlay next time he sees him. This plot twist made little sense but was the best thing for this rotten idea, even if they hand-waved the glaring plot-hole of who Vince’s son really was. Oh wait, I’m wrong: JBL says it was some kind of conspiracy by the rest of his family to teach him a lesson WHICH MAKES EVEN LESS SENSE as the whole Bastard Son saga started in a segment where Vince was about to repent to his family and admit his wrongs. I know I sound like Comic Book Guy here but this shit was around for months and with an army of writers that was their best arse-pull. Hornswoggle would later be responsible for the death of the Cruiserweight Title, the Anonymous Raw GM, and The Thief & The Cobbler being unfinished.
Tommy Dreamer & Colin Delaney vs. The Miz & John Morrison
Dreamer uses his experience to arm-drag Morrison and ground him with elbows. Delaney tags himself in and surprisingly gets a nifty over-the-ropes senton which infuriates Morrison who kicks him daft. The WWE Tag Team Champions double-team Ellsworth’s Dad and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Miz’s Final Fantasy X shorts.
Delaney gets beat up for a while before escaping a suplex attempt and Dreamer bulldogs Miz. E-gasp-C-wheeze-W Tree of Woe followed by an Inverted DDT on Miz by Dreamer, who accidentally sends Miz into Delaney’s head and knocks him down but it doesn’t stop Dreamer getting the win with the DDT.
Winners: Tommy Dreamer & Barely Conscious Colin Delaney (Match told a decent story with Delaney being useless yet confident. Dreamer winning the match by himself by using Delaney as a prop was odd, but Let’s Wait And See Where It Goes™.)
Then we get this short-lived PSA.
YEAH DELANEY, LOOKING AT YOU.
Highlights of the Wrestlemania Press Conference. Looks interesting but it’s presented WWE montage style with nu-metal blasting over the top when people are talking. Show & Mayweather square off (with Mayweather standing on a chair) and Show tells him THIS IS REAL
like your spousal abuse.
Miz & Morrison blame each other for their loss backstage until Lena Yada asks about Dreamer & Delaney getting a title shot next week. Miz replies THAT’S AS LIKELY AS MAYWEATHER BEATING BIG SHOW AT WRESTLEMANIA. WHICH IS 33 DAYS AWAY AVAILABLE ONLY ON SKY BOX OFFICE.
CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke vs. Shelton Benjamin (Number One Contender’s Match)
Every time Punk and Burke wrestle a star goes out in the night sky. ECW Champ Chavo shows up for commentary after not being mentioned for a week. Burke has done nothing to get this title shot in kayfabe and in reality, he’s like the Kane of ECW in that he loses constantly but thanks to a shallow talent pool he keeps on getting put in main events by default. Shelton immediately kicks Burke out the ring, just like that shit-hot Survivor Series 2009 main event. Punk delivers a jumping calf kick on Shelton who then gets sent outside thanks to Burke holding the ropes. Burke gets taken apart by Punk as the crowd chant his name. Burke gives Punk 4-Upside Ya Head and this possibly discombobulates Punk as that’s the only logical reason for the Minute Of Hell that follows:
Punk ends it by giving Burke a springboard dropkick to send him outside and OH I WAS WRONG, WE HAVEN’T LEFT PLANET SHIT YET as Shelton plants Punk with the Playmaker and Burke is supposed to break up the pin but…
We go to break as everyone considers their employment options. When we return, Punk attempts to suplex Burke to the outside but Shelton charges in and vaults over both men to Sunset Flip Powerbomb Punk to the floor. OK that nuttiness goes some way to redeeming this match. Shelton scrapes up Punk to pin him but Burke knocks him away and tries to steal the win with an Outer Limitz Elbow but he makes the mistake of playing to the crowd so Shelton interjects for yet another miserable sequence that’s not botch-ridden but still clear they’re on different pages. I was wrong, Burke must have been knocked less as he’s been the weak link in every sequence so far. Burke goes up top but Shelton Spider-Man Suplexes him off the top for two. Shelton nails Punk with the impressive Use-Opponent’s-Momentum-To-Enziguri. Punk connects with the corner clothesline on Shelton but as he’s setting up the running bulldog, Burke gets a dropkick to the back of the head. I’m sure Punk loved that. Burke attempts the Outer Limitz Elbow but Shelton grabs him, Burke sends him outside and in the process Punk hits the GTS on Burke to end it all.
Winner and New Number One Contender: CM Punk (They tried after the break but after that opening sequence it was like applying lipstick to a burn victim. Shelton was the only one who escaped this mess with dignity, the other two were the worst wrestlers on a show featuring Kelly Kelly. A must-see for botch-fans the world over.)
Overall: Punk winning the Number One Contendership again is literally the only option for them currently but Shelton looked the best he’d looked since joining the brand in the main event so if this was any other time of year he was a natural choice. I forget if there’s a talent thing after Wrestlemania but this show has been on stand-by for so long I’m surprised Sci-Fi didn’t air Tom & Jerry episodes instead.
In the interest of fairness, here’s the cool sunset flip bomb to end the recap on a high note.