Sunday, September 13, 2009

2009 MOTY List for 4/5

1. Undertaker v Shawn Michaels, WWE, 4/5
2. Jack Swagger v Christian, WWE 2/24
3. John Cena v Rey Mysterio v Chris Jericho v Edge v Kane v Mike Knox, WWE, 2/15
4. John Cena v Shawn Michaels, WWE, 1/12
5. Matt Hardy v Jack Swagger, WWE, 1/13
6. Jack Swagger v Matt Hardy, WWE, 1/25
7. Edge v Triple H v Undertaker v Jeff Hardy v Big Show v Vladimir Kozlov, WWE, 2/15
8. John Cena v Big Show, WWE 3/30
9. The Miz v Primo, WWE, 3/10
10. John Cena v Chris Jericho, WWE, 2/2
11. Jack Swagger v Finlay, WWE, 2/3
12. Big Show v MVP, WWE, 1/16
13. John Cena v JBL, WWE, 1/25
14. Finlay v Jack Swagger, WWE, 1/6
15. Edge vs John Cena vs Big Show, WWE, 4/5
16. Jack Swagger & Mark Henry vs Christian & Finlay, WWE 2/17
17. Randy Orton v Shane McMahon, WWE, 2/15
18. Jeff Jarrett v Kurt Angle, TNA, 1/11
19. The Miz & John Morrison v Primo & Carlito, WWE, 3/13
20. JBL v Rey Mysterio, WWE, 3/30
21. Jack Swagger v Christian, WWE, 2/10
22. CM Punk vs Kane vs Christian vs Kofi Kingston vs Shelton Benjamin vs Finlay vs Mark Henry vs MVP, WWE, 4/5
23. Finlay v The Brian Kendrick, WWE, 3/13
24. The Miz & John Morrison & The Brian Kendrick v Primo & Carlito & R-Truth, WWE, 2/6
25. Jack Swagger & The Miz & John Morrison v Christian & Finlay & Tommy Dreamer, WWE, 3/3

OFF. Chris Jericho v Jerry Lawler, WWE, 3/30
OFF. Christian & Finlay v Mark Henry & Kane, WWE, 3/31
OFF. Shawn Michaels v JBL, WWE, 2/15

1. Undertaker v Shawn Michaels, WWE, 4/5

Ok fuck me this was maybe the most fun I’ve ever had doing anything ever. I wasn’t really looking forward to it! See, Undertaker basically only wrestles Undertaker matches now and all he’d been doing for the first chunk of the year was wrestling Undertaker matches with shitpacks like Shelton Benjamin and post-HHH-rape Vladimir Kozlov, so I was pretty damn sick of shitty Undertaker matches. Plus, the night after the HBK/JBL match from the previous show, Shawn came out and promptly wiped his ass with a year’s worth of awesome character work so that he could refer to himself by thirty nicknames and dance around like Triple H’s little DX butt buddy. So I totally wasn’t anticipating this at all, pretty much ignored most of the build up for it because who gives a fuck, and walked in here expecting for a total vanity match. Remember Bad Blood 2004, with the 50 minutes Hunter-Shawn Hell in a Cell? Definitely thought that was coming.

Incidentally, years and years and years of second hand smoking is slowly giving me an allergy to that shit, and the day before we flew out I woke up and had to go talk to my mom who was smoking in my face, and then I went to bed right after, which always leaves me sick when I wake up. The reason I bring this is up is because I had NO voice for this entire show, certainly not by the time this match came around. This meant I had to bandwagon Shawn for the dueling chants because “HBK!” is easier to try to scream than “UNDERTAKER!”. Another near note about this match is that Shawn rose up on this little chalice thing midway through the video package, and while I hadn’t noticed the earlier two set ups in the show, EVERYONE saw this, and for the most part stopped watching the video so we could watch someone rise into the air. He held the same pose the entire time. Strange.

So the match actually starts and everyone is super excited. The place was so much louder than it appears on tape. The first half of the match is honestly marked by some really shitty execution (Shawn busts out a crossface and I do my best to scream NO SHAWN YOU’LL KILL HIM until I see that it’s the rarely seen Cuddler Crossface, at which point I shrug and say welp, nevermind then) and two big-name wrestlers with often seen signature spots going for those spots to varying degrees of success, which is held together by the crowd’s familiarity in these spots and the heat the crowd generates for the dream match. Then Michaels does a shitty moonsault and kills himself and ‘Taker certainly isn’t going to be outdone on stupid self-maiming dives by Shawn or fucking Shelton Benjamin so he dives directly onto his head and we get a great count out spot because everyone thinks ‘Taker is dead. After that the whole deal goes right into a really long drawn out finisher fest, but it’s a really awesome one. Every kickout was treated like fuckin’ child birth. When Shawn kicked out of the tombstone everybody was jumping up and down and screaming. These two old fucks went out there and put together all the same stuff we’ve seen them do a billion million times, put some creative new twists (moonsault into a tombstone, etc) on them, and rode their facial expressions to create absolute pandemonium. And to think I couldn’t have been less interested in this match going in. One of my favorite matches and odds on favorite to be match of the year, even if just for how insanely fun this was to be there for live. Good game, men. Good fucking game.

15. Edge vs John Cena vs Big Show, WWE, 4/5

So I totally, totally marked the fuck out for Basic Thuganomics. As far as triple threats go I didn’t think this was bad at all. Being there live helped keep everything moving, and while they definitely used the typical three-way tropes of having one dude get knocked out, they were fairly creative. Really this match is held together by some quality wrestling personalities in Cena, Big Show, and Vickie Guerrero. Edge isn’t particularly offensive though I couldn’t help but pay attention to other stuff whenever he tried to go on ‘offense’. The best part of the entire match, short of the crazy visual at the finish with everyone on Cena’s shoulders, is when Show is tied up in the ropes. The reason for this is twofold: it lets Show do that awesome thing he does in multi-man matches where his personality takes over the match and brings it up a few levels, and it brings Vickie into the match so Edge can spear her. And of course the spear looks like shit. But it feels wrong to knock Edge too much for this because he, and the match, could have been so, so much worse. And instead it was pretty decent!

22. CM Punk vs Kane vs Christian vs Kofi Kingston vs Shelton Benjamin vs Finlay vs Mark Henry vs MVP, WWE, 4/5

This is another match that came off a lot better live. I mean it’s a totally fun clusterfuck either way. Some of Kofi’s stuff actually comes off better on tape. But one of the problems with these matches now is that they slow things down and focus on setting up one thing at a time, and with the way cameras work, well, it can be slow-ish on tape. Live this was constantly moving and that made it four times as fun. There are times, like when everyone lines up to do their dives, that it almost feels like a comedy match with how cute it gets, but the difference between cute comedy ladder match and cute comedy ladder match at WrestleMania is pretty astronomical. One doesn’t work, the other does. Benjamin’s dive was fucking insane, I absolutely thought he was dead. The dynamic in this match was pretty cool, with the two giants (and Finlay, naturally) wrecking stuff and tossing the little dudes around and the little dudes running around setting ladders up for different stuff. Some of the stuff looked good, some of it looked retarded, but there were tons of moments here that brought everyone to their feet and man, what more can you ask for? This is never going to be a ‘best match of the year’ type but for what it is it’s pretty fun and pretty good. Plus Punk won, and that was a big shock and a huge mark out for me. Especially given that I literally bought the tickets on the strength of Punk having won the first time.

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