Oh it’s finally happening: Tiffany The GM Because They Couldn’t Be Bothered To Find Anybody Else announces that thanks to Donald Trump’s re-jig of Raw, there’s been another talent exchange/New Talent Initiative which would be the final shake-up for ECW On Sci-Fi. Well they’ve only had Christian vs. Swagger to run on these past few months so thanks Trump! (That sounds bad but it’s still preferable to thanking Tiffany.)
Evan Bourne vs. Tyson Kidd
We get clips of Bourne getting demolished by Henry in the feud that was going fine until it took a hard right into a lampost. But enough about Jimmy Uso.
Christian vs. DH Smith
The Hart Dynasty are feeling confident after their win against Christian & Swagger last week. Smith uses his bigness to smother Christian as Striker plugs WWE Classics. Surprised they haven’t badly edited The Fink yelling WWE NETWORK over any out-dated expressions like “WWE 24/7” or “upcoming Uso tag title win.”
Before we start, I want to point out Ezekiel Jackson has been in the intro since the brand split in April and he’s still not shown up.
“Sometimes there’s days you never forget! And one of those days is this Sunday with Extreme Rules!”
We’re in The City (The City Of Angels) but all I see is dead wings and tonight’s main event is a six-man tag match with all the important people so fuck knows what they’re going to do for the rest of the hour.
Judgement Day 2009: Christian vs. Jack Swagger (ECW Title)
Uh oh, we’re in the European Title Match No-One Asked for slot on the PPV but luckily Christian gets a tremendous pop that is far bigger than the brand he’s representing.
We’re five days away from Judgement Day with Christian defending his title against Jack Swagger and er that’s it so let’s jump in this pool of excitement.
It’s been two weeks since the last post due to that whole “Las Vegas for Double Or Nothing” thing followed by living out my fantasy of being completely fucked up on edibles like Hunter S. Thompson. I’ve retired from them and will only do them again if the Saudis are paying for it.
We’re in MSG and the ring is set up in a weird position so the entranceway is slightly to the right making for an empty hard cam shot. This works nicely as a metaphor for ECW on Sci-Fi right now where they kind of know what they want and only get half of it.
It’s the first ECW on Sci-Fi since the Supplement Draft and the intro has already been updated with the unwanted toys like Hurricane, Ezekiel Jackson and Kozlov. Main event is the Backlash Contract Signing as Christian won the Elimination Chase on Superstars last week.
We start off with terrible news as The Miz was drafted to Raw on Monday, thus splitting up one of the great tag teams of the era and leaving the just-unified tag team division in such a state that super-teams like Jeri-Show, D-X and Jeri-Edge had to step in.
Upon hearing the news, Miz hugged Morrison then immediately left him laying, foreshadowing both men’s WWE careers.
It’s the show after Wrestlemania and Josh Mathews joins Striker on commentary with both of them looking & sounding like they’re ready to discuss men’s rights.
Christian & Finlay vs. Mark Henry & Kane
Finlay qualified for MITB by pinning The Brian Kendrick on Smackdown, which seems a tad unfair given Christian had to win a battle royal to earn his shot.
Teddy Long welcomes Finlay & Horny to the St. Patrick’s Day episode of ECW and they immediately lose Hornswoggle quicker than a failed piss test.
Primo Colon vs. The Miz
Amazingly both men are still on the roster in 2019 with Miz demolishing Primo last week on Smackdown. They show a clip of Morrison & Miz dressing up as Ben Affleck to mock The Colons (Striker: “the punctuation?”).
Tonight, Swagger teams with Miz & Morrison in the main event to ensure the rest of the card will be like the forty minutes Tarantino could have cut out of his film but insisted on leaving in.
I’m not one for superstitions but this is how this episode starts.
We get the first dramatic video package in a long time for the Jack Swagger vs. Matt Hardy title match as the first big match in a long time on this show.
Hey Scott, Big fan, yadda yadda, just wondering when you’re gonna get off your fat fucking lazy ass and rant the PPV? Kind regards, Dan.
Wouldn’t watching the PPV require me remaining on my fat fucking lazy ass? There seems to be a gap in logic there. In the mean time, you get this and like it. The SmarK Rant for WWE Bragging Rights 2009 – Live from Pittsburgh, PA. – Your hosts are Michael & Jerry & Todd – So apparently the winner of the metaphorical bragging rights gets an actual trophy. Really? In 2009? (And in 2010! Thankfully they came to their senses and dropped it in 2011.) The Miz v. John Morrison You’ve gotta feel a little bit bad for Marty Jannetty, having been turned into even more of a punchline than he was before. (The sad thing is that I have no idea which one I was mocking there. I assume Miz, but then he’s the guy who went on to main event Wrestlemania and Morrison is doing guest spots on Zack Ryder’s internet show these days. Although neither guy is exactly Shawn MIchaels.) Morrison rides him down to start and controls with an armbar for two. Shoulderblock gets two. Miz bails and heads back in for a side headlock. Morrison escapes with a pancake and gets the standing moonsault for two. Miz hammers away and tosses him, but Morrison comes back in with a sunset flip for two. Rollup gets two. They fight over a backslide, but Morrison clotheslines Miz to the floor instead and follows with a baseball slide. Glad we missed that because of the director showing the locker rooms watching the match. (Team Smackdown! Team RAW! Team Miz! Team Morrison! Everyone loves to support a Team according to Stephanie!) Morrison goes for a flying headscissors and gets dumped to the floor, and back in Miz gets a backdrop suplex for two and takes over. Morrison slugs back, but Miz clotheslines him in the corner and adds a kneelift for two. We hit the chinlock, but Morrison rolls him up for two. Another rollup gets two. They slug it out and Morrison wins with a legsweep and adds a leg lariat for two. Shining Wizard misses and Miz rolls him up for two. Morrison with the Moonlight Drive for two, but Miz bails to escape Starship Pain. Morrison hits him with a plancha instead, and that gets two. Morrison puts him on top, but Miz hits him with a double axehandle. Morrison comes back with a Russian legsweep and goes to finish, but Miz knocks him down and pins him at 10:55. The announcers were all “The winner of this is the conquering hero who hit the home run!” and stuff, but the crowd wasn’t really into it. They really need to better inform the crowds when it’s the most important PPV of the year, because otherwise people just think for themselves. Match was fine, as they have good chemistry. *** Michelle McCool, Natalya & Beth Phoenix v. Melina, Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim Kim starts with Phoenix and gets a rollup out of a slam attempt for two, so McCool tags herself in. That goes nowhere, so Natalya comes in and slams Kim. Gail gets a kneelift off the apron and it’s over to the RAW side, where Kelly gets a Nash choke in the corner, but gets dropped on the top rope for two. The Smackdown team works Kelly over in the corner and Phoenix gets a snapmare for two. Kelly plays face in peril and McCool throws knees, but Beth comes in and gets rolled up for two. Hot tag Melina and she faceplants Phoenix and gets a small package, but McCool turns them over for two. It’s BONZO GONZO and Beth finishes Melina with the Glam Slam at 6:51. Totally watchable. **1/2 (Three years later and only Nattie is foolish enough to continue waiting for her turn to be pushed in this company.) Meanwhile, D-X tries to rally the troops, inadvertently insulting everyone on the team (“And we exposed this guy as a fake Jamaican!”) but still getting the solidarity desired. Smackdown World title: Undertaker v. Batista v. CM Punk v. Rey Mysterio Punk declaring “It’s clobbering time!” on the ramp is pretty awesome. Batista chases Punk to start, and walks right into Undertaker’s punch. Punk hammers on UT in the corner, and that’s an epic fail as Taker tosses him into a Mysterio dive from the apron. Rey dropkicks Taker out of the ring, but walks into a boot. Taker goes to work on Batista with Old School, but Punk prevents a second attempt and fights on the top rope with UT. He manages a superplex and Rey springboards in for two. Batista beats on Punk and adds a powerslam, but Taker puts him down with a big boot. Rey tries diving in with a rana, but Taker counters to the Last Ride, and Batista spears UT out of that. Rey and Batista argue over who gets to cover, but Taker pops up, so Rey gets the 619 on Taker, into Batista’s spinebuster for two. Rey goes up again and gets caught by Punk with GTS for two. Batista goes after Taker and gets caught in the gogoplata, but Punk breaks that up and hits the running knee on Taker. That leads to the Last Ride for two. Taker and Batista slug it out and Batista gets chokeslammed for two. Punk goes after Taker and gets tossed, leaving UT to finish Batista, but Batista counters with the Batista bomb for two. Rey breaks it up and gets two, and there’s your heel turn for Batista. Unfortunately, Batista gets so distracted by the dark side of the Force that a chokeslam from Undertaker gets two. (Uh, sorry, Mr. Mouse, sir, I meant “The alternate side of the public domain religion.” Please don’t sue me now. Loved the Avengers!) They clothesline each other and Punk gets two on both of them. Rey comes back in and Batista tosses him, but Undertaker finishes Batista with the tombstone at 9:56 to retain. Well that was fast-paced, to say the least. I liked all the crazy finishers for the first 8 minutes or so, but it kind of fell apart once Batista turned. Needed to go to the finish as soon as Batista nailed Rey, but it was really entertaining otherwise. ***1/4 Afterwards, Josh interviews Rey & Batista, and Rey is all “Well, we did our best”, and Batista attacks him again to really drive the point home. And people CHEER him. (That’s because he’s fucking awesome.) Well, that was a pretty awesome heel turn with some good menace from Batista (“I’m not playing. I’m gonna rip your head off.”) so you can hardly blame them. And a really good, high quality heel turn with solid motivation has been lacking for a while now, so good on them. (Has there even BEEN one since then? Big Show maybe, although that had the crying and begging for his job thing preceding it. I feel like Randy Orton is gonna turn again soon, and it’s going to be an EPIC backstabbing on someone because he really seems bored in his current role and I think he’d take to an evil predator role again really well.) Bragging Rights Trophy final: HHH, Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes & Kofi Kingston v. Chris Jericho, Kane, Matt Hardy, Finlay, R-Truth, DH Smith & Tyson Kidd (Almost as exciting a lineup as this year’s Survivor Series main event. And a lot of the same people!) Once again the announcers lie about RAW being the “longest running episodic show in TV history,” which it’s not. The Simpsons and Law & Order have been running longer than RAW, and 60 Minutes has not only run longer but has produced more episodes. (Much like Meltzer, my blood boils every time I hear that stupid made-up honor and I MUST REFUTE IT. Or else!) Rhodes and Truth do some brawling to start, but Cody tags out to Show. So we get Show v. Kane instead, and Show puts him down and follows with a legdrop for two. Swagger comes in and gets in Kane’s face, and that proves to be a bad idea. The Smackdown side beats on Swagger in the corner, and Hardy gets a clothesline for two. Swagger charges and hits boot, and Matt follows with the yodeling legdrop for two. To the floor, where Hardy clotheslines him, and we get our first RAW v. Smackdown standoff. Matt gets caught in the RAW corner and Henry tosses him around, then Shawn works on the arm until Matt hits a Side Effect. Over to Finlay, who whips Shawn into the corner for a Flair Flip, but they collide for the double KO. Shawn recovers first with the superkick, but the Hart Dynasty sneaks in with a Hart Attack to keep Shawn in the corner. And it’s Jericho time, as he goes to a chinlock. Cole, while talking about Big Show: “Big Show there, looking at his partner. Well, no partners tonight!” Except for the six partners on his team, I guess. Kane comes in with a seated dropkick for two. Grisham accidentally calls the Hart Dynasty “The Hart Foundation” and MICHAEL COLE makes fun of him for saying something stupid. Buh-zing. (It’s BAZINGA. But then Big Bang Theory wasn’t quite the cultural phenomenon in 2009 that it is now. By the way, I’m totally serious. People who don’t live in Canada don’t understand how that show completely dominates every facet of TV up here. It is literally one of the highest-rated shows in Canadian TV history, and the Comedy Network runs a marathon basically every stat holiday, plus it’s constantly, CONSTANTLY shown in syndication, often in two hour blocks like the Simpsons, on any station that can buy the rights to it up here. Sheldon shirts are everywhere and worn totally without irony in public, and there’s ads for it all over. It’s EVERYWHERE. I mean, I love the show too, but you can basically pick anyone off the street at random and engage them in a conversation about last week’s episode and if they think Raj is gay or not.) Smith comes in with a backdrop suplex on Shawn for two. Kidd slingshots in with an elbow, but misses, and it’s hot tag HHH. He runs wild on the Harts and hits everyone with spinebusters, but Kane chokeslams him. Kidd gets two off that. Jericho with a bulldog, but the Lionsault misses and Kofi comes in. Jericho counters the, uh, Boom Drop into a Liontamer attempt, but Kofi rolls him up for two. (Sadly “Boomdrop” became the totally non-ironic name for that move.) Trouble in Ghana gets two and it’s breaking loose in Tulsa again, as everyone does their wacky finishers. Kofi looks to finish, but Big Show turns on him, revealing that his alliance to the World tag team titles is more important than a meaningless trophy. (NO PARTNERS TONIGHT! It was FORESHADOWING!) I’m shocked, I don’t know about you. Jericho pins Kofi at 15:31 to give Smackdown the trophy. Sadly, no one smashes it. Too short to give everyone any kind of time in the match, but it was another good fast-paced match for the night. ***1/2 RAW World title, Iron Man match: Randy Orton v. John Cena Cena with the headlock to start, and Orton also goes that route. Cena fights out and Orton sends him into the corner and Cena tries a bulldog, but Orton counters that and stomps the back. Cena takes him down with an STF out of nowhere, however, and Orton taps out at 3:55. Cena is 1-0. Smart booking there, as Orton tapped immediately rather than let himself get injured. (If only Jon Jones would have learned that lesson.) 30 second rest period follows, and Orton charges in with a powerslam, then chokes away on the ropes. Suplex gets two. Orton goes to the CHINLOCK OF DOOM, but Cena escapes with the Throwback and goes up for the legdrop. Five knuckle shuffle is countered with the RKO, and we’re tied 1-1 at 9:00. Cena bails to the apron and Orton sends him into the railing, then clears the announce table and nails Cena with the monitor. That gets two. You know, it’s 2009, they should really have switched to LCD monitors by now. (Or iPad or something. Like really, what IS up with that? Even TNA, who does free tapings and whores out their TV time to Direct Auto while losing millions has nicer equipment for the announce team.) Orton brings the microphone into the ring and puts Cena down for two. And Cena is BLEEDING. Holy shit, that’s only the second time this year someone has done that. (They came down HARD on the blood edict at this point, making sure that any stragglers who still wanted to gig themselves for their art were snuffed out like the proverbial candle in the wind.) They want to check the cut, but Cena is too angry and tosses Orton, before getting sent into the stairs himself. Orton gets two off that. Orton stomps Cena’s head on the stairs and gets two. Back in, Orton slugs away while the announcers talk about how the doctors might have to stop the match because of Cena’s cut. C’mon, Jerry Lawler would bleed more than that during his PROMOS, why would he ever say something like that? This TV-PG shit is fucking stupid. (Get used to it. Although in the age of Hep-C and other disgusting blood-borne illnesses, in a lot of ways I’m glad they’re being safer about it. Maybe we can go back to my personal favorite: Biting down on a condom full of fake blood to simulate internal injuries!) Cena comes back with the Shuffle and FU, but Orton counters to an RKO in mid-air and both are down and out. So the ref counts them both out at 17:00 to make it 2-2. Well that’s kind of a pointless fall, although it does save Orton from going down 2-1, so I guess it makes sense in that regard. I retract my criticism. (Not often I do that. Usually I’ll fight to the death to defend whatever stupid stance I’ve taken that day.) They fight to the top rope and Cena gets the FU off the top, for the pin to go up 3-2 at 19:38. And Legacy runs in for the beatdown, because why not? It’s no DQ anyway. After the 30 second rest period, Orton pins Cena at 20:55 to make it 3-3. Kofi Kingston chases Legacy away to explain their departure. They brawl to the stage and Orton rams Cena into the pyro table, which sets off an explosion on the ramp. That seems to inspire him, so he throws Cena into the lighting grid for more silly special effects, and that makes it 4-3 Orton at 25:33. Orton continues to play with the pyro board, which has GOT to be setting something up, and indeed he puts Cena down with a chair and drags him over the pyro and then threatens to BLOW HIM UP REAL GOOD. Sadly, it doesn’t work, because it would have been the most over-the-top retardedly awesome finish in wrestling history. So with that devious plan foiled, they fight back to ringside as Jerry Lawler has to say with a serious inflection “Guys, Randy Orton’s intentions were to blow up John Cena.” I can’t even type that without cracking up. (I wish Ryback had been involved, because then I could have said “He was already blown up!” but Cena is pretty awesome, cardio-wise.) Was he going to ask for ONE…BILLION…DOLLARS first? Was his next step the sharks with frickin’ laser beams on their heads? They’ve crossed the line from wrestling into Austin Powers, folks. (Vince Russo was WAY ahead of them…) Anyway, Orton hits Cena with the stairs for two, then a chair for two. Back in, Cena gets the cradle out of nowhere for the pin at 33:00 to make it 4-4. Orton tries to beat up Cena during the rest period, and the ref is like “You’ve gotta give him 30 seconds!” Are you kidding? You’re gonna tell that to the guy who tried to murder someone with a PYRO BOARD? (In all fairness, it was only ATTEMPTED murder. I mean, to quote Sideshow Bob, they don’t give out Nobel Prizes for attempted chemistry.) So Orton gives him the 30 seconds, then drags him to the apron and DDTs him to the floor to make it 5-4 at 35:15. After the rest period, he covers again and gets two. Back into the ring for the Garvin Stomp, which gets two. Orton slugs him down for two. Very slowly. Cena suddenly makes the comeback, rapidly shifting as usual between playing a corpse and moving planets as Superman, and Orton bails to think the situation over. (In all fairness, Superman hasn’t been able to move planets since before the John Byrne revamp in 1987, and certainly not after the New 52. Although maybe he was super-duper-overpowered again around 2009, but I wasn’t reading very much in the way of comics at that point so I’m not sure.) Lawler thinks that 19:00 is too long for Orton to stall, but that never stopped Larry Zbyszko before. They slug it out on the ramp and then Orton runs all the way back to the ring again to waste more time. So back into the ring, Orton attacks and pounds away on the mat, then tries his DDT, but Cena reverses out and Orton bails again. Into the crowd this time for the time-wasting brawl, as Cena sends Orton down the stairs and back to ringside again for two. Into the stairs for two. Nice visual as he tosses Orton through the timekeeper’s barricade, then hits him with the STEEL steps. Then he stops to prep the table, and sets up the stairs next to it. That seems like an oddly specific plan for revenge. As it turns out, he carries Orton up the stairs on his back and puts him through the table with the FU. That ties it up at 5-5 at 51:00. Cena brings another table into the ring and puts Orton’s lifeless body on it, but then goes up and tries a flying splash. That backfires on him, of course, and they slug it out from their knees as the crowd boos Cena’s comeback. The ref is bumped and Orton gets the RKO, but it only gets two, even with Charles Robinson sprinting in. Oh no, I said a referee’s name, I hope Vince doesn’t sue me or yell in my headset. (It’s so funny in the dark way that I love so much that they spent YEARS making sure no one would ever speak the name of a referee on WWE TV and turning them into nameless nothings, only to suddenly be all “BRAD MADDOX!” when the situation required an evil referee, and they’re shocked when it doesn’t get over.) Orton gets rid of that ref and stops to talk to the voices in his head, but misses the PUNT OF DOOM and gets caught in the STF. He holds on for nearly a minute, but taps at 1:00:00 to give Cena the belt back. I liked the Hell in a Cell match better, actually, as I found this even more slow and plodding than usual for an Orton match and couldn’t take it seriously after Orton tried to kill him with fireworks. I don’t get where some people are getting “All time classic” from at all. ***1/4 (Yeah, like seriously, who even remembers this match outside of the pyro board spot?) The Pulse: A good show with yet another in the endless series of World title changes that mean nothing. (Oh…JUST WAIT.) Nothing bad and all good matches means an easy thumbs up, but this is nothing I’m ever going to go back and watch again.