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Joe Louis Arena – Detroit, MI – May 23, 2010
MATCH #1: Intercontinental Championship Match – Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston
McIntyre has been the champion since 12.13.09 and this is his fifth defense. Kingston is on fire right away, attacking the champion with kicks and clotheslining him to the floor. He follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Kingston hits a big clothesline and looks for the Boom Drop but McIntyre rolls to the floor. Undaunted, Kingston tries to bring the fight to the apron but McIntyre pushes him back into the ring post and Kingston crashes to the floor. Back in the ring again McIntyre takes control. The champion wears Kingston down with a seated abdominal stretch, but Kingston escapes with a hiptoss. Kingston tries a float over in the corner but McIntyre kicks him right out of the air. McIntyre goes up to the second rope for a dive but Kingston gets his boots up right into his face! On their feet now Kingston picks up the pace and takes control. Kingston hits his version of corner mounted punches and then drops McIntyre with a forearm. He goes up top and hits a high cross body but it only gets two. McIntyre comes back with a gutbuster for a near-fall. Kingston counters an Irish Whip and sends McIntyre’s shoulder into the ring post. He hits the Boom Drop but McIntyre kicks out. Kingston then tries the Trouble in Paradise and McIntyre counters to the Future Shock DDT, but then Kingston reverses to the S.O.S. to get the pin and win the title for the second time at 6:24. That was surprisingly short but they had a lot of energy and told a solid story. Good choice for an opener.
McIntyre tries to complain to Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long, but Matt Hardy comes out and hits him with the Twist of Fate instead.
MATCH #2: R-Truth vs. Ted DiBiase
DiBiase is accompanied by Virgil. Cole assures us that it is “the real Virgil.” Truth starts off going after the arm so DiBiase backs into the corner to break the hold. DiBiase gets frustrated so he slaps Truth across the face. Unfortunately for him, that just angers Truth and he clobbers DiBiase with strikes and a leg lariat. One of the slaps look like it really knocked DiBiase loopy. Truth clotheslines DiBiase to the floor and Virgil comes over to check on his boss. Back in the ring Virgil distracts Truth, allowing DiBiase to hit a neckbreaker. DiBiase dumps Truth to the floor and rams him back-first into the barricade. Back in the ring DiBiase hits a flapjack for two. Truth tries to fire up but DiBiase cuts him off with a clothesline for two. DiBiase hits a belly-to-back suplex for another two-count. He goes up to the second rope for a double ax-handle but Truth puts a fist into the midsection. Truth puts DiBiase on the top rope. DiBiase pushes Truth down but ends up getting crotched and crumpling to the mat. Truth builds some momentum with strikes and a hip toss. He hits a Flatliner for two. He goes for the Axe Kick but DiBiase counters it to an Electric Chair Drop but it only gets two! An awkward exchange leads to both guys just crumpling into the ropes. Truth hits a suplex stunner for two. He follows up with the Lie Detector to get the pin at 7:46. That was like a Raw match but twice as long. They did not mesh well together and had a lot of awkward spots. How did this get more time than the opener?
MATCH #3: Straight Edge Society Pledge vs. Hair Match – Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
Punk is the aggressor early on, stomping Mysterio down in the corner. Mysterio fights out and backs Punk into the opposite corner and hits some mounted punches. Punk cuts him off with a high back body drop to the floor. He goes for a house show dive but Mysterio avoids it and hits a headscissors to send Punk face-first into the barricade. They fight over by the barber chair and then back into the ring. Mysterio tries the 619 but Punk cuts him off with a boot. Punk then hurls Mysterio under the bottom rope and right into the barber chair! That’s a cool spot. Somehow Punk has been busted open so the match grinds to a halt as the referee tries to stop the bleeding. I’m not a gore freak, but I hate how WWE treats blood nowadays. This is wrestling for crying out loud. Punk looks legit annoyed. Mysterio recovers and rolls back into the ring Finally Punk gets up and dropkicks Mysterio back to the floor and throws him hard into the barricade. Punk follows up with a vertical suplex and then throws Mysterio back in the ring. He follows him in with a slingshot senton for two. Mysterio starts firing up but Punk cuts him off with a hard clothesline for two. Mysterio comes back and hits the Code Red for two. He hits a springboard cross body block for another near-fall. Mysterio continues on offense but can’t put Punk away. Punk fights back and alley-oops Mysterio into the corner and hits Welcome to Chicago Motherfucker for a two-count. He sets up go 2 Sleep but Mysterio counters it, and Punk re-counters to a Buckle Bomb. Punk hits a bulldog off the second rope for two. He unloads a series of kicks, landing a solid shot to the skull for two. Mysterio tries a quebrada and Punk grabs him in the Go 2 Sleep, but Mysterio counters one more time and hits the 619! He misses the springboard splash though, and Punk goes for a cocky cover but Mysterio rolls him over in a crucifix to get the pin at 13:48!
The Straight Edge Society runs out and beats Mysterio down and tries to handcuff him, but Kane comes down to clear the ring for Mysterio. Did Kane have a reason to hate SES at this time? I don’t remember. Mysterio now handcuffs Punk to the ropes and shaves his bloody head. The match was really good and without the silly blood stoppage it would have been ridiculous I think. The post-match feud ending shenanigans definitely bump it back up a notch.
MATCH #4: Unified Tag Team Championship Match –Hart Dynasty vs. Chris Jericho & The Miz
Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith have been the champions since 4.26.10 and this is their first defense. Miz and Kidd start the match. They go back and forth briefly and then Kidd takes control with a series of kicks. Smith tags in and hits a big delayed vertical suplex for two. He then kicks Miz to the floor, and when Jericho tries to illegally charge him he gets backdropped to the floor. Smith then picks up Kidd and launches him over the top rope to wipe out both challengers. Back in the ring Kidd gets a two-count. Miz backs Kidd into the corner and makes the tag. Jericho kicks away but Kidd lands on his feet out of a backdrop and takes control. Smith tags back in and hits a legdrop for two. Jericho hits a charging Smith with a boot to the face and then a dropkick off the second rope. He then kicks Smith to the floor and distracts the referee so Miz can take a cheap shot. Back in the ring Jericho hits a belly-to-back suplex for two. Smith comes back and hits a side slam. Jericho is able to tag Miz, who cuts Smith off before a tag can be made on his end. Miz controls Smith briefly, but then falls victim to an Electric Chair Drop. Tags are made but the crowd is barely awake. Kidd unleashes a flurry of offense on Jericho, and dropkicks Miz off the apron. He gets a cradle for two, and then tries a rana but Jericho counters with the Walls of Jericho! Kidd reaches the ropes and then nails Jericho with a kick to the head. He goes for a springboard something but Jericho catches him with the Codebreaker! Jericho can’t cover right away though so he only gets two. He argues with the referee, allowing Kidd to recover enough to kick Jericho in the head. Smith gets the tag and he unloads with his power offense. He hits Jericho with a belly-to-belly throw. Then Smith lands a powerslam but Jericho kicks out. Smith goes for the Running Powerslam but Jericho avoids it and Miz trips Smith, allowing Jericho to get a small package for two. Miz argues with the referee, distracting him long enough for Natalya to trip Jericho! Smith hits the Running Powerslam but Jericho kicks out. Miz gets a blind tag and hits the Reality Check for a close near-fall. He goes for the Sharpshooter but Smith counters with an inside cradle for two. Now Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale but Smith avoids it and sends Miz into Jericho, knocking him off the apron. Smith and Miz trade O’Connor Rolls for two-counts. Miz hits his clothesline in the corner on Smith but gets caught in perfect position for the Dynasty to hit the Hart Attack and win the match at 10:43. These are four really talented guys so I expected more. The crowd was also really dead for almost the whole match.
MATCH #5: Randy Orton vs. Edge
They stare at each other for a while to start. Orton scores first with a shoulder tackle. He hits a clothesline and executes the Orton Stomp. Orton continues on offense, hitting a big knee drop and stretching Edge in the ropes. Edge rolls to the floor and when Orton follows him out Edge hurls him into the barricade and then drops him gut-first on the barricade. Back in the ring Edge gets a two-count. It looks like Orton has injured his left arm. Edge continues working over Orton’s midsection, setting up for the Spear. He goes up top but Orton knocks him down and hits a superplex. Both men get back to their feet and start punching each other. Orton takes advantage with clotheslines and the powerslam for two. Edge fights back with a boot to the face. Orton rolls to the apron and Edge looks for a Spear but Orton gets a knee into his face. Now Orton hits the Orton DDT but Edge gets his foot on the bottom rope. Edge rolls to the floor to regroup. He’s able to snap Orton’s neck off the top rope on his way back into the ring. Edge looks for the Spear but Orton kicks him in the face. Orton stupidly pounds on the mat with his and looks to have further injured himself. His arm is hanging limp. Edge rolls to the floor and Orton follows him out. They brawl on the floor as the referee counts. Edge goes for a Spear but Orton moves so he crashes into the barricade and both men are counted out at 12:48. Well obviously the finish sucked because Orton injured himself, but the match was surprisingly bland even before that. These two have had great matches in the past so I’m not sure what the deal was here.
MATCH #6: World Heavyweight Championship Match – Jack Swagger vs. Big Show
Swagger has been the champion since 4.2.10, and this is his third defense. The champ tries a single leg takedown and Show shoves him off. Swagger tries again but this time Show stomps on him and Swagger looks flustered. Now the champ tries a go-behind, but Show reverses it to one of his own and scores a takedown. Show shoots the half for a two-count as a shocked Swagger takes a powder. Meanwhile Show does push-ups. Someone’s been watching their Scott Steiner tapes. Swagger gets back in the ring and runs right into a boot. The challenger is firmly in control, swatting the champion around the ring and stepping on him. Show tries the Chokeslam but Swagger avoids it and rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Swagger snaps Show’s neck off the top rope. Swagger then goes low to knock Show down to his knees, and then knocks him down completely with a shoulderblock for two. He hits two consecutive Swagger Bombs but Show kicks out easily. Show fights back with a flurry of offense, including a running shoulder block to take Swagger off his feet. He shoves Swagger to the floor, and the champ grabs his belt. Swagger simply walks into the ring and hits Show with the belt to get disqualified at 5:04. Man, what is with the garbage finishes tonight. The match barely had a chance to be anything before they ended it.
After the match Swagger uses a chair to further abuse his challenger. However, Show comes back and Chokeslams Swagger on the chair, and then knocks him out with a big right hand to the face.
MATCH #7: Divas Championship Match – Eve vs. Maryse
Eve has been the champion since 4.12.10 and this is her first defense. Maryse takes a cheap shot to start and immediately throws Eve shoulder-first into the ring post. That gives the challenger a pronounced advantage early on, and she wears the champion down with strikes and submission holds. Maryse throws Eve to the floor and then follows her out. She goes for a kick but Eve ducks and Maryse’s leg cracks off the ring post. Eve throws Maryse back in the ring and builds some momentum with clotheslines and a dropkick. She hits a standing moonsault for two and a sunset flip for another two-count. Maryse brutally kicks Eve in the face her way out of that and yells at the referee to do his job. Eve fires back with a flurry of strikes and the Flatliner but Maryse kicks out! That’s a surprise. Eve kicks Maryse down and goes for a running senton but Maryse gets her knees up. Maryse goes for the French Kiss DDT but Eve blocks it and hits an inverted piledriver to get the pin at 5:02. That was decent for a Divas match. Eve may not be great now, but neither was Trish Stratus at one time.
MATCH #8: “I Quit” Match for the WWE Championship – John Cena vs. Batista
Cena has been the champion since 3.28.10, and this is his second defense. Batista takes the microphone right away and reminds Cena he made him say “I Quit” last week, so he offers him a chance to bail on the match right now. Of course Cena will have none of it. Cena hits Batista with the microphone and they’re already on the floor. He grabs a chair but misses and cracks the ring post. Back in the ring Batista levels the Champ with a clothesline. Batista takes control now, working Cena over with his impressive power. He abuses Cena both in and out of the ring, stymieing the champion. Cena comes back with the series of shoulderblocks and the Protoplex. He hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle and goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Batista avoids it. Batista then uses the referee as a shield, and then kicks Cena’s leg out from under him and hits a Spear. Now the Animal locks on the Rings of Saturn, but Cena still won’t quit. Cena actually powers his way back to his feet and slams Batista down. He then locks on the STF, and I love that when Batista reaches the ropes the referee doesn’t break the hold since there are no disqualifications. Batista passes out in the hold so he can’t say “I Quit.” Cena gets a bottle of water and dumps it on Batista to revive him, but the Animal still won’t quit. That’s a good choice too, because Batista quickly connects with a spinebuster and the Batista Bomb! Batista then goes outside and preps the announce tables. He throws Cena over his shoulder and powerslams him from one table through the other. Cena has been busted open somehow, but he still won’t quit. A frustrated Batista starts dragging Cena through the arena. Batista goes for a Batista Bomb up amongst the people, but Cena fights it off and knocks the Animal onto the security guards. They start battling back towards the ring and then up the entrance ramp. Batista finds a chair and bashes Cena with it repeatedly. He then gets in one of the cars used for the set, and some moron left the keys in there! Batista backs it up right where Cena was and some sparks go off but Cena must have avoided it because he’s not dead. Cena picks Batista up and hits the Attitude Adjustment onto the hood of the car. He joins Batista on the roof of the car and picks him up for another Attitude Adjustment and Batista quits right away at 20:31. Of course Cena delivers the move anyway, sending Batista crashing through the stage! Sure they ripped the finish off from one of Cena’s previous “I Quit” matches, but they worked a good match leading up to it and doing the Attitude Adjustment off the roof of a car is a cool spot.
During the celebration, Sheamus attacks the WWE Champion and leaves him laying as they go off the air.
BONUS MATCH: No Disqualification, No Countout Match for the United States Championship – The Miz vs. Bret “Hit Man” Hart, Raw, 5.17.10
Miz has been the champion since 10.5.09 and this is his seventh defense. Hart is a former four-time U.S. Champion himself. They’re in Toronto, so just guess how this one will turn out. Miz stalls to start and grabs the microphone. He announces that he has secured the services of Vladimir Kozlov and William Regal to counteract the Hart Dynasty, should they try to interfere. Right on cue, Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith come from the crowd and run Kozlov and Regal off. Meanwhile, Chris Jericho has made his way into the ring, and Natalya steps up to backup her uncle. Jericho tries to intimidate Natalya, but she slaps him in the face! Miz comes after her so Bret punches him in the head. Jericho attacks Bret as Natalya leaves the ring and Smith comes in. Smith clotheslines Jericho to the floor, and then Miz knocks Smith to the floor. Miz goes for the Sharpshooter but Kidd comes from out of nowhere with a springboard missile dropkick! Smith recovers and gets back in the ring, and the Dynasty delivers the Hart Attack! Bret then locks on the Sharpshooter and Miz taps out at 3:55! It wasn’t really much of a match, but it was fun and the crowd ate it up. Plus Miz would get the title back in short order, so everybody wins in the end.