Nick’s Pay-Per-Review: WWE Judgment Day 2009

Nick Paglino

Rey Mysterio vs Chris Jericho for The Intercontinental Title: Another great wrestling match. We reported on WrestleZone not too long ago that Jericho was in the midst of requesting a feud with Mysterio, and I knew then we would see a classic bout or two from them, and last night’s effort, although not quite a classic, was still very exciting. Jericho has definitely slowed his style down in recent years, taking a more mat based approach to wrestling than the lucha style he worked in his WCW days, so it was nice to see him work with someone like Rey and show us a bit of that speed he used to incorporate into his bouts. I was surprised to see this match end cleanly for Rey, because I am not sure how this program will continue from here if that’s the current plan on Smackdown, but I hope it does continue, because this is the kind of feud WWE does not want to make a mistake with by shortchanging it time wise. 8 Stars.

Randy Orton vs Batista for the WWE Championship.This was a lackluster effort. Both of these guys have the potential to work a much faster-paced match, but instead they bogged it down with too many rest holds and ground and pound offense. The PPV up to this point, with the possible exception of Punk vs Umaga, was very high octane, with a lot of innovative, speedy offense. I felt like the the show took a big step back in momentum when Orton and Batista hit the ring. To make matters worse, the DQ finish was both a creative dud and very anti-climactic. I suppose WWE made up for the lack of in-ring power, however, by having Ric Flair make a very unexpected appearance at the end of the bout. Not only did it raise the volume of the show as things were getting quiet, but it made for a nice segway into Raw tonight by allowing the fans to anticipate what Flair will do when he appears live on the broadcast. 6 Stars.

John Cena vs Big Show: This match and the predecessor took the PPV down into a temporary lull, as the excitement was missing from both contests in addition a complete lack of creativity. I said last week on The Voice of Wrestling that the entertainment value of Cena vs Show would hinge on the WWE creative team booking it differently than they have in the past. In the end, however, it seems as if creative decided to book a match we have seen over a thousand times from John Cena. It began with Big Show in control, working offense which was very plotting, slow and deliberate, then finished with the typical Cena "Hulk Up" followed by the pin fall. There were some hints of excitement when Cena attempted to lock on the STF many times but couldn’t do to the sheer size of Big Show, but in the end any excitement created was made moot by predictability. 5 Stars.

Edge vs Jeff Hardy for The World Heavyweight Championship: A fantastic match with which to end the show. I’m very glad WWE decided to go this bout as the main event as the WWE Title match ended so disappointingly. It’s almost as if someone in creative said "ya, we know the finish to Batista vs Orton will be a huge letdown, so instead of coming up with a good ending, we’ll just close the show with Edge vs Hardy." That said, both guys worked very hard here and the contest saw some really innovative spots with both competitors hitting signature moves like The Poetry in Motion and the spear on the outside of the ring. I am retaining hope that recent reports of Jeff Hardy leaving WWE when his contract expires are untrue, however, if they are, then this would be a fantastic feud for the enigma to close this chapter of his WWE career with. 8.5 Stars.

Overall, WWE’s 2009 edition of Judgment Day was an excellent Pay-Per-View for the in-ring wrestling fan. It may have left a lot to be desired in the way of entertainment, surprise and storyline if that’s more your taste in pro wrestling, but for me, to borrow a phrase from Jim Ross, I prefer the steak to the sizzle. Tonight’s Raw should be interesting as we will see what WWE decides to do with Batista and Orton, as something hot needs to happen to keep this feud alive, and the question may be: will Ric Flair be hot commodity that does the trick? Out of a possible 9 stars, I give WWE Judgment Day 2009 7 out of 9 Stars.

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