All-State Arena – Chicago, Illinois – September 19, 2010
MATCH #1: Intercontinental Championship Match – Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston
Ziggler has been the champion since 8.6.10 and this is his third defense. He’s accompanied by Vickie Guerrero and NXT Rookie Divas Kaitlyn. If Ziggler is counted out or disqualified, he will lose the championship. These two have fought each other about a billion times and they generally have pretty good chemistry. This is a pretty standard opener, with Kingston going on offense for the first bit until Ziggler cuts him off and grounds him. Kingston comes back and hits the S.O.S. but Ziggler is too close to the ropes to score the pin. Vickie tries to interfere but Ziggler talks her out of it for fear of being disqualified. Kingston misses the Trouble in Paradise and gets tangled up in the ropes. Ziggler takes advantage by hitting the Zig Zag for the pin at 12:42. That was a sharp opener and Ziggler looked really good in the victory.
MATCH #2: Big Show vs. CM Punk
People complained about this match being on the show since it wasn’t for a title, but the gimmick of the PPV is “Every Title is Defended,” not “Only Championship Matches.” I swear people find the dumbest stuff to complain about. It does seem like a bit of a waste to squander Punk’s hometown pop on this meaningless match, but them’s the breaks sometimes. Punk makes the most of it though, cutting an anti-people of Chicago promo to turn the crowd against him. Show dominates the early going both in and outside the ring. Punk comes back with kicks and knee strikes that ground the Knucklehead. He goes to the top rope and jumps right into a Spear! That looked pretty cool. Show follows up with the Knockout Punch to get the pin at 4:45. Well that was short and pointless.
MATCH #3: United States Championship Match – The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan
Miz has been the champion since 6.14.10 and this is his second defense. Danielson’s music here is truly wretched. Of course Miz is accompanied by his apprentice e Alex Riley. Bryan uses his superior technical skill but Miz is able to keep him grounded by working the arm and shoulder. The challenger is able to knock Miz to the floor and wipes him out with a dive. He comes back in the ring with his missile dropkick for a close near-fall. Miz actually uses a Nigel McGuinness lariat (the one out of the corner with Bryan on the top rope; wonder who came up with that idea?), which is awesome. The crowd is juicing on Bryan big time, and they’re totally buying his near-falls. Riley tries to interfere but it consistently backfires. Miz argues with the referee and Bryan traps him in the LeBell Lock and Miz taps the title away at 12:28! What a terrific showing for Bryan, and Miz looked awesome too. These two are perfect foils for each other and I would love it if they re-program them at a higher level at some point.
MATCH #4: Unification Lumberjill Match for the Divas and Women’s Championship – Melina vs. Michelle McCool
Melina has been the Divas Champion since 8.15.10 and this is her third defense. Lay-Cool have been the Women’s Champion since 5.14.10 and this is their third defense. Melina is a three-time Women’s Champion and a two-time Divas Champion. McCool is a two-time Women’s Champion and a former Divas Champion as well. This is the fairly typical Divas match, and the lumberjills get involved quite a bit. McCool, who has angered all of them over the last few months, goes right into the lioness’s den and gets her butt kicked. Rosa half heartedly goes for a forearm on Jillian and then decides against it, and Jillian apologizes to her. This all happens on camera, and it’s hilarious. Next time McCool goes to the floor a brawl really does erupt, and Layla tries to interfere but gets tossed out as well. That gives McCool the opportunity to sneak back in the ring and kick Melina in the face to unify the titles at 6:33. Thank goodness there’s only one title for the Divas now.
MATCH #5: No Holds Barred Match for the World Heavyweight Championship – Kane vs. Undertaker
Kane has been the champion since 7.18.10 and this is his second defense. Undertaker attacks his brother in the aisle right away and they fight around ringside. They continue spending most of the time brawling their way around ringside, spending very little time in the ring. It’s nothing but brawling for a LONG time until Undertaker goes for the Tombstone but Kane reverses it and gets the pin at 18:28. Seriously, almost nothing happened in those eighteen and a half minutes. It wasn’t insulting or anything, but it was just dreadfully dull. It’s not often Undertaker drops a clean fall to anyone.
MATCH #6: Tag Team Turmoil Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship – The Hart Dynasty vs. Mark Henry & Evan Bourne vs. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes vs. The Usos
Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith have been the champions since 4.26.10 and this is their third defense. They are accompanied by Natalya. The champions are at a distinct disadvantage as they have to start the match, against the Usos, who are accompanied by Tamina. They go back and forth a bit until Kidd puts one of the Usos in the Sharpshooter, but the other Uso kicks him in the head to eliminate the champions at 2:11. Marella and Kozlov are the next team out. Tamina has a crush on Marella at this point, and she distracts him long enough for one of the Usos to hit him with a Samoan Drop and the Usos move on at 3:16. Henry and Bourne are up next. The power of Henry and the aerial tactics are too much for the Usos to overcome, as Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam and Bourne follows up with Air Bourne to eliminate the Usos at 5:10. Finally Rhodes and McIntyre are the last team out. The winners here will be the new WWE Tag Team Champions. McIntyre and Rhodes isolate Bourne right away, which is wise. Of course Bourne gets the hot tag and Henry starts cleaning house. It turns into a pier-six brawl and Rhodes grabs Bourne with the Crossroads to get the win and the titles at 11:42. I’ve never understood the concept of gauntlets when several of the rounds are only about a minute long. Why not let the Hart Dynasty face Rhodes and McIntyre, or do a three-way with Bourne and Henry or something and just give that all the time rather than this gauntlet stuff. I do like Rhodes and McIntyre as champions, but I can’t figure out why the Hart Dynasty was jobbed out like that.
MATCH #7: Six Pack Challenge Match for the WWE Championship – Sheamus vs. John Cena vs. Randy Orton vs. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Wade Barrett
Sheamus has been the champion since 6.20.10 and this is his fifth defense. He’s a two-time champion. Orton gets an enormous pop on his way out, and is a five-time WWE Champion and a former World Heavyweight Champion. Cena is a seven-time WWE Champion and a two-time World Heavyweight Champion. Jericho is a former WWE Champion and a three-time World Heavyweight Champion. Edge is a four-time WWE Champion and a 5-time World Heavyweight Champion. That’s a total of 30 World Championship reigns, but Cole somehow came up with 32. Anybody help me out here? Everyone is in the ring at the same time, so this should be pretty fast-paced. Jericho and Cena battle and Cena hits him with the bulldog, and then Orton sneaks in from out of nowhere and hits Jericho with the RKO to eliminate him at 1:30! That’s quite the shocker there. Edge looks upset because he and Jericho had some plans to work together in this match. Everyone watches Jericho make the walk of shame, and then that turns into everyone surrounding Nexus leader Barrett. Everyone hates Barrett so they keep him out of the ring. Cena and Orton have the epic stare-down and the crowd is slightly hot for it. Sheamus and Edge work together a bit, but of course all alliances are short-lived. The finisher-reversal parade begins about 14 minutes in and Cena hits Edge with the Attitude Adjustment to eliminate him at 15:00. The Nexus comes running out to distract Cena and Barrett hits him with the Wasteland to eliminate Cena at 18:32. The Nexus tries to distract Orton as well, but Cena takes a few of them out with a chair and Orton takes care of the rest with an RKO! Barrett tries to grab Orton with Wasteland, but Orton reverses to the backbreaker and hits the RKO to eliminate him at 20:32. We’re down to Sheamus and Orton. Sheamus delivers a quick Brogue Kick but Orton kicks out at two! He goes for the High Cross but Orton counters with the RKO to get the pin and become a seven-time World Champion at 21:26. The eliminations came really fast at the end but the match was really fun and never boring throughout. It wasn’t particularly memorable, but I’ll take it.