Judgment Day 2007
Date: May 20, 2007
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Jim Ross, Michael Cole, Taz, Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield
It’s another B show but this one is trending more towards B- territory. The main events will see John Cena defending against Great Khali and Edge defending against Batista. Neither of those exactly sound like must see main events, but I’ve certainly heard of worse cards. Maybe the rest can pick up the slack. Let’s get to it.
The opening video talks about not knowing what is on the other side while looking at the main events.
Ric Flair vs. Carlito
Carlito turned on Flair to split up their team and it’s time for revenge. JR says Flair deserves to be in all the Halls of Fame. I remember him getting inducted into the Paperboy Hall of Fame a few years back in a touching ceremony. Carlito goes right after him to start but gets chopped outside in a hurry. Back in and Carlito takes him down by the arm for some hammerlocking. The arm is sent into the apron and Carlito forearms away in the corner.
The fans are behind Flair but get quieted down when the arm is wrapped around the post. There’s a hammerlock slam but flair comes back up with the good arm for a single chop. That’s all Carlito is going to give up at the moment though as he dropkicks Flair into the corner and goes right back to the arm. Another comeback is cut off as JR sums up the match: Flair is getting one shot in for every two or three from Carlito. The armbar goes on again and an elbow to the face gives Carlito two.
Flair chops his way out of the corner but Carlito cuts him off again with a backdrop. We hit another armbar before Carlito stomps on the arm and grabs a keylock. Flair fights up again with more chops and right hands, plus an elbow to the jaw. There’s the chop block but Carlito cuts him off with a thumb to the eye. The Backstabber is blocked though and Flair stomps on the leg. More stomping sets up the Figure Four for the tap.
Rating: C. Can we please give up on Carlito already? It’s pretty clear that WWE isn’t going to give him a big push (which I can understand) and now he has one of the better matches in his WWE run but loses clean to Flair. I’m fine with Flair winning, but it’s getting a little tiring to watch Carlito get dead end push after dead end push.
Shawn Michaels looks back at being hurt by Great Khali and then kicked in the head by Randy Orton….and gets jumped by him again, leaving Shawn laying.
We recap Bobby Lashley vs. Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon/Umaga. The trio beat Lashley last month to give Vince the ECW World Title and an angry Lashley is out for revenge. And the title, but that might be implied. Vince has been an amazing heel as the champion and it’s about as perfect of a troll job as you could hope to see.
ECW World Title: Vince McMahon/Shane McMahon/Umaga vs. Bobby Lashley
Lashley is challenging and sends Umaga outside to start. The McMahons are tossed around, with Shane having to save Vince from destruction. That earns Shane an overhead belly to belly and there’s a spear to cut off the invading Umaga. The running powerslam pins Shane in less than a minute and a half.
Post match Umaga takes Lashley down again and Vince says Lashley didn’t pin Vince so that isn’t a title change. Better luck next time as the amazing trolling continues. Of note: Vince lost his stylish doorag in there and most of his hair has grown back.
Shawn Michaels is told he can’t wrestle tonight.
CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke
Punk, with bad ribs coming in, joined Burke’s New Breed but turned on them in about a week. Burke goes straight for the ribs but Punk puts on a headlock to cut him off. Some kicks stagger Burke and it’s a quick breather for a standoff. Burke goes after Punk’s ribs to slow him down, only to get kicked right back down. The chinlock goes on but Burke comes back with more shots to the ribs. Said ribs are fine enough for a t-bone suplex and Punk hits a running elbow in the corner.
A delayed vertical suplex drops Burke for two, though Tazz thinks that might have hurt Punk’s ribs even more. We hit the chinlock but Burke is right up with some shots to the face. Again Punk comes right back with a spinning middle rope crossbody but Burke tosses him over the top, with Punk landing on the steps for a nasty crash. That’s not enough to slow Punk down again though as he slides in with a sunset flip (minus the flip) for two more. The GTS is countered so Punk tosses him outside instead, setting up the suicide dive.
Back in and Punk goes up again, only to get pulled down for a hard crash onto the ribs. Burke starts ripping at the tape (maybe they’re the source of Punk’s powers) and puts on a waistlock. A belly to back suplex gets two on Punk and the fans chant for JBL. Burke is smart enough to grab a bodyscissors while the fans get it out of their system before cutting off a charging Punk.
They head up top, where Punk hits a top rope superplex, only to bang up his ribs again. Back up and Punk gets two off an enziguri, setting up the running knee in the corner. The GTS is countered into the Elijah Experience for two so Burke puts him on top, setting up the Elijah Express in the Tree of Woe. The delayed cover gets two and another Elijah Experience is countered into the GTS to give Punk the pin.
Rating: C+. The first half of this was weird as Punk didn’t seem like he was going to sell a bullet to the ribs, let alone anything Burke threw at him. Things got better later on and they settled into a nice match, with Punk vanquishing Burke after some work. This should free up Punk to move into the ECW Title picture, at least once the McMahons are out of the there. Good match, at least once Punk stopped being a superhero.
Edge brags about his recent accomplishments and promises to retain the title against Batista.
Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels
Shawn isn’t here to start due to not being cleared….but here he is anyway, looking totally out of it (which would have meant something very different for Shawn back in the day). Shawn insists that the bell ring and Orton drops him with one shot. Shawn has to pull himself up on the apron and the hanging DDT drops him hard again.
Commentary already wants this stopped as Orton kicks Shawn in the head again. Orton loads up the RKO but lets Shawn drops out of near pity. Shawn has to go to the eyes to break up a super RKO and manages to shove Orton off the top. The top rope elbow connects and Shawn somehow picks himself up in the corner. Sweet Chin Music is loaded up….and Shawn collapses, which is enough for the referee to call the match.
Rating: C. I have no idea how to rate something like this as it was much more of an angle than a match. Shawn hit about one move, but that’s exactly the point of something like this. It was complete destruction and makes Orton look great, so well done on all fronts here, even if it was barely a match.
Post match Orton hits an RKO, causing Shawn’s wife to come out and cry. Shawn is taken out on a stretcher, which allowed him to go off for a few months for knee surgery.
Great Khali, holding the WWE Title, which isn’t his, says if John Cena wants some, he can come get some.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Hardys vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch
Cade and Murdoch are challenging after having been sneakily respectful to the Hardys as of late. Matt and Cade start things off with Cade grabbing a headlock takeover. That doesn’t last long as Matt is right back up for a standoff. JBL’s strategy for Cade and Murdoch: drink beer and knock people’s teeth out. Simple yet effective. The pace picks up and Matt gets taken into the corner for some arm cranking from both villains. A hard forearm to Cade’s face lets the tag bring in Jeff as things actually slow down for a change. JBL: “You never know what this tattooed up freak is going to do.”
A hiptoss drops Jeff again but Murdoch doesn’t follow up, which is still a bit strange to see. It’s back to Matt for a clothesline and it’s time to work on the arm. The middle rope elbow to the back of the neck gives Matt two but Cade comes in off a blind tag to run Matt over. A dropkick gives Cade two and it’s back to Murdoch as the villains start taking turns. Murdoch’s Vader Bomb hits raised knees though and it’s back to Jeff to start cleaning house.
The slingshot dropkick in the corner gets two on Murdoch and the Hardys clear the ring in a hurry. JBL: “What would you call that move that Jeff Hardy did?” Cole: “Good.” JBL: “That was too easy.” Cade and Murdoch tease walking out but come back in so Jeff can grab a headlock. That’s broken up and Murdoch sends Jeff outside….as the fans sing the Goodbye Song for some reason.
Cade takes Jeff back inside to drop some knees on the back and Murdoch puts on the chinlock. A kick to the face gives Murdoch two and the Code Red/Canadian Destroyer (or somewhere in the middle) gets two. Jeff jawbreaks his way to freedom and there’s the hot tag to Matt. The Side Effect gets two on Cade but he’s right back with a spinebuster to put Matt down for the same. Not that it matters as it’s a Twist of Fate into the Swanton to give Jeff the retaining pin.
Rating: B-. Rather nice old school formula tag match here with the Hardys winning to hopefully wrap this up. At the end of the day though, there is only so much that you can do when the division only has a handful of teams. The Hardys can work with anyone, but who else is there to work with at the moment? Cade and Murdoch are a good old school southern style tag team too and that is always going to work.
Batista is voted most likely to win a title tonight.
We recap Edge vs. Batista for the Smackdown World Title. Edge won the Money in the Bank briefcase on Raw and then cashed it in later in the week to win the title from Undertaker. Now it’s time for Batista to get his shot, as he and Undertaker had gone to a draw just before the cash-in.
Smackdown World Title: Edge vs. Batista
Edge is defending and you can see him panic just a bit when Batista’s music hits (he was always great at the facial expressions). We actually get the instructions from the referee for a bit of old school flavor. Edge hides in the ropes to start as commentary gets in an argument over how much of a champion Edge really is. More bailing to the ropes keeps Batista (with a taped up knee) from getting very far to start so he puts Edge on top instead.
With nothing else working, Batista finally hammers away in the corner and then throws Edge outside. Edge sends the bad knee into the steps to slow Batista down and a missed charge into the post makes things even worse. That gives Edge a new target and the Fujiwara armbar keeps Batista in trouble. It’s switched over into a hammerlock but Batista is back up with shoulders to the ribs in the corner.
Batista clotheslines Edge out of the air and it’s time to slug it out. A powerslam gives Batista two but Edge counters a second attempt into the Edge O Matic for two of his own. The spear cuts Edge in half for two more and Batista hits the spinebuster, only to hurt his own knee. The delay lets Edge pull Batista into a rollup with trunks to retain.
Rating: C-. This was a good example of a match that didn’t work because there wasn’t much of a story. They were fighting over the title, but their story was set up via a two minute promo on Smackdown. I know they didn’t have the time to do anything more, but it left this one really lacking. Edge retaining works just fine as he needs to be established as champion, though it was a pretty lame way to get there.
The WWE Divas are polled on John Cena vs. Great Khali. It’s split, though Maria votes for Batista. For some reason this is edited off of the Peacock version, and I would really hope it isn’t over Victoria and Melina picking Khali because he’s “really really big.”
US Title: MVP vs. Chris Benoit
Benoit is defending (with a bad knee after Smackdown) and it’s 2/3 falls. They fight over a lockup and head outside for a second, only to come back in for a standoff. MVP has to bail to the rope to escape the Crossface before grabbing a headlock takeover. With that not working, MVP takes him down by the knee but Benoit grabs the arm to escape. MVP goes right back to the knee but Benoit is right back with the rolling German suplexes.
The knee gives out though, leaving Benoit to switch to the Crossface instead. A rope gets MVP out of trouble and it’s time to stomp on the knee some more. MVP misses the running boot in the corner and has to escape the Sharpshooter. Instead, MVP goes up top and gets caught in an electric chair, only to have the knee give out. The Playmaker gives MVP the first fall and we get a one minute rest period.
MVP is right back on the leg to keep Benoit in trouble and he gets tied in the Tree of Woe. A kneebar keeps Benoit in trouble and we get what sounds like a “THIS IS BORING” chant. Benoit fights up but gets pulled straight into a stretch muffler. The rope gets Benoit out of trouble but MVP is right back on the knee. Another twist of the knee sets up a small package to give MVP the second fall and the title.
Rating: C+. This was almost a sequel from Benoit vs. Finlay on Smackdown and it wasn’t that much better. There is something off in Benoit as of late and that is going to get sad in a hurry. For now that, MVP winning is a great thing as he FINALLY gets something after weeks of losing almost everything. You can only do so much with him when he can’t win a thing so this was a much needed statement.
We recap John Cena vs. Great Khali for the Raw World Title. Khali took out Edge, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels before dropping Cena on the same night. Cena knows he’s going to get destroyed here but is never one to back down from a challenge.
Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Great Khali
Khali is challenging but comes in holding the title itself. There is something to be said about the shots of the fans, including one woman, going absolutely coconuts for Cena’s entrance. That is the kind of thing that a lot of wrestlers wish they could do but only a handful can actually make happen. They do the big staredown to start and Cena’s shots to the chest have no effect. Khali’s clothesline has quite the effect though and a right hand puts Cena down again. Cena gets knocked outside for a ram into the steps for two back inside and Khali drops a big leg for the same.
A shot to the knee staggers Khali though and Cena manages the Throwback, only to get kicked in the head. The nerve hold has Cena in more trouble but he powers up for some running shoulders. The big shoulder ties Khali up in the ropes and Cena is smart enough to unload as fast as he can. Khali gets an arm free to knock him away but the big chop is blocked. They fall outside again and Khali grabs the steps, only to have them dropkicked into his face. Back in and Cena scores with the top rope Fameasser (with the fans WAY into the fast comeback), setting up the STFU to retain the title.
Rating: C. It’s probably Khali’s best match ever, though that isn’t exactly a high bar to clear. What matters here is that Cena escapes over a monster and got a good(ish) match out of him, as Khali mainly stood there while Cena flew around. They were smart to keep this short, and dang the crowd being into this helped a lot. Not a great match, but given their situation, it was about as good as it was going to get.
Replays wrap us up, complete with a cut from Cena putting the STFU on to the hold actually being on because WWE likes to cut a lot.
Overall Rating: C+. There was enough good action on here to keep me interested, but it was definitely a step down after the last few big shows. Nothing on here felt like you needed to see it and that is not the best feeling. It was certainly a lower level pay per view and having One Night Stand coming up just two weeks later is not going to make things better. Decent show, but not really worth your time.
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