Best Match: CM Punk vs. John Cena
Worst Match: Kelly Kelly vs. Brie Bella
Four very good to outstanding matches made this the finest WWE show in years. The filler was the usual throwaway stuff, but the two MITB matches were great, especially the opener (won deservedly by Daniel Bryan). Orton vs. Christian was hampered by the DQ finish, and was the only dubious booking decision on the entire show. Considering Orton has pinned Christian on the previous two consecutive PPV's, would it have killed them to allow Christian to score a pinfall here? However, the post-match almost made up for it, and even suceeded in achieving the desired crowd response. Punk's performance in the main event was reminiscent of Randy Savage's one-man show at Wrestlemania VII. The Punk/Cena match may not have been the most athletic match imaginable, but it had the crowd response, the unpredictability, the drama and suspense that it elevated it to probably the most exciting match (possibly aside from the Michaels/Undertaker pair of encounters) that WWE has produced in years. It was certainly, by far, the best booked.
Thumbs WAY up
Best match: Punk vs Cena
Worst match: the girls
First, the bad. The Divas match was unusually bad, even by WWE standards.
The good: everything else. Both ladder matches were extremely entertaining, and save for a few wild and scary spots (I'm thinking in particular of Evan nailing the back of his head on the mat when falling off with the Miz, and Jack Swagger nearly landing on the back of his head) seemed rather safe. The Raw match had a very neat ending, although I assume it was botched, as Rey falling wasn't planned, and led to Alberto getting wrecked. Also great to see the crowd into Bryan winning his match.
I didn't really care for the finish of the Christian/Orton match, although I suppose it's acceptable since Randy's gimmick is that he's a lunatic.
The main event seemed to have off the charts heat and made of very entertaining watching. The match itself was excellent, which speaks to Punk's abilities as not everyone can get a match like this out of Cena. It was a little slow at first but built nicely, with the scary suplex to the floor seeming to signal that it was ON. They had me buying that Cena was going to simply win clean during the long reversal sequence (which was awesome), so kudos to them. And just when I'm starting to get really angry at the Montreal finish, they shut that down too. The company swerved me multiple times in a single match, and I'm glad for it.
Very interested to see where the go from here, and I can only hope that this does a good buyrate both to encourage more storylines like this, and also to cement Punk's status as a tippy-top guy. He built up the match with some of the best mic work of the decade, then fully delivered in the ring. I expect it might do well, as this is the first show I've bought all year. WWE's direction has really turned me off of late, and a combination of giving a new guy the ball to run with and acknowledging my frustrations has brought me back, if only on a short-term trial basis. Here's hoping they see this for the success it was (artistic for sure, and hopefully financial as well), and regain this and other hardcore fans that tapped out ages ago.
Two Cheesy Big Thumbs Up.
Best Match: Smackdown MITB
Worst Match: Kelly vs. Bella
I wanted to give myself an hour or so to digest, before sending you this feedback, because I thought I may have formed my opinion out of the pure euphoria of professional wrestling being done correctly. I think this may well have been the best pay-per-view the WWE has produced since Wrestlemania 17 and Canadian Stampede.
The Smackdown MITB match was an excellent way to start off the PPV and my favourite match of the entire show. I really liked the psychology in that almost all the ladder spots made sense in the context of the match. A lot of guys got to be showcased during the match in particular Sheamus, who murdered Sin Cara.
Kelly Kelly vs. Brie Bella was the only down point of the show, I really don’t understand the Divas division at this point. Why hire models if they are never actually going to model? If you want women wrestling, hire women wrestlers. If you want attractive women who can act, cast for actresses. What we’ve got at the moment makes no sense whatsoever.
I wish Mark Henry didn’t have 15 years of WWE baggage, because if he was a fresh character coming in from Japan or a territory back in the day, I would be excited about the prospects of him becoming a headliner in WWE. At this point I don’t think he can be a draw on top, but maybe I’m wrong. Either way, Henry deserves a lot of credit for his improvement and Big Show played his role really well in this feud.
The Raw MITB match was also very good but it didn’t captivate me in the same way the Smackdown one did. I was shocked to hear Rey Mysterio booed, even with a ‘smart’ crowd that was something else. Evan Bourne’s SSP off the ladder was spectacular, but made absolutely no sense in the context of the match. Where was he going exactly?
I thought Randy Orton was made tonight, I haven’t been a fan of Orton the babyface but I thought this was his breakthrough performance. He took a 50/50 crowd and had them in the palm of his hand by the end.
The main event wasn’t the most slickly executed match, but it had epic drama. It was very much John Cena vs. RVD from the Hammerstein on steroids. I loved the booking, in that they teased the two most anticipated finishes but instead swerved in the most logical fashion. It's going to be interesting to watch the follow-up.
WWE has been waiting years for someone to take the ball, well someone’s finally taken the ball.
I was at the show tonight, and I don't even know where to begin. I was at the Hammerstein for Cena/RVD, and this crowd was maybe as good as that one. In fact, a guy tried to throw Cena's hat back like the ECW crowd did, but came up short and it ended up on the floor.
One funny thing is that no one left when Punk ran away and the show went off the air. It was like the crowd couldn't believe that it actually happened and was waiting for another swerve, or just wanted to keep celebrating. We all just stood there and watched Vince go to the back. Vince punching Johnny Ace was great.
Chicago crowds are always fantastic, but this was at another level, unbelievable amount of hardcore fans. Before the show I saw T-shirts for the Ultimate Warrior, Jimmy Snuka, Ted DiBiase, NWO, a 2001 WWE Raven one, Survivor Series 89, WrestleMania 13, and several for Randy Savage. There were guys with giant WWE Ice Cream bars with CM Punk on them. Tons of Chicago flags with Punk on them. The crowd chanted for CM Punk before the show and all throughout the night. Also a huge pop for Daniel Bryan winning.
Here's another weird funny thing. Remember the "RAW Technical Difficulties" graphic with Michael Cole having his arm around Hornswoggle? For some reason, they put that on the Titan Tron for a few seconds before the show, I have no idea why.
Maybe the best show I've ever been to, with Spring Stampede 94 and ONS 2005 being right there.
Best Match: PUNK vs. CENA
Worst Match: Kelly Kelly vs. The Bella Twin
THUMBS WAY, WAY UP!!!
I was live for The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25 in Houston, TX. When that show was over, I was certain that I would never enjoy a LIVE wrestling show as much again. Shawn Michaels was my favorite wrestler of all time and what he and the Undertaker did that night was something I didn't think I'd ever see again.
As far as I was concerned, the business had peaked for me as a fan.
Tonight's PPV changed that. I drove twelve hours to this show. I only had three hours of sleep last night. Right now, I am emotionally and physically drained. This show was the most fun that I've ever had at a wrestling show. I enjoyed every single thing about this show (except for the women's match, but I understand its purpose on the card). I think my excitement for Punk winning at the end wasn't necessarily because he won but because they actually did what no one thought they would do. An absolutely phenomenal show, and I strongly recommend the replay to anyone who didn't watch it live. I will be buying this DVD when it comes out.
What a night!
This was the first WWE PPV I've bought in about 5 years. All I want to say is that the build earned my money, and I'm glad they delivered something different. Hope the RAW follow-up isn't shit.
Money In The Bank
Thumbs Way Up
Best Match: Cena vs. Punk
Worst Match: Divas Match
I think this show was more entertaining than any PPV (including Mania) that WWE has done in a very long time. The 2010 Mania is probably the last time I felt like a PPV was close to this good because of Taker vs. Michaels. The whole build to the show was really well done and it felt exciting to me. I watch WWE whether it is hot or not, but this was definitely hot. Seems so odd that a "B show" PPV would be this good in July with SummerSlam coming up. I cannot see SummerSlam topping this unless someone comes back like Batista, Jericho, or Taker. Great show...wish they were all this good!