June 20, 2010

I’m all for the WWE trying to freshen up the product by renaming the PPVs, but it only works for big gimmick matches like the Royal Rumble. Fatal 4-Way is as creative a name for a PPV as “Six Diva Tag Match.”

The Big Show . . . winds up being the best wrestler in a match that involves CM Punk and Rey MYSTERIO.

Chris Jericho . . . puts Evan Bourne through the ringer to show him what it takes to be a big player in the WWE.

The Miz . . . outperforms a former WWE U.S. and NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

KOFI KINGSTON © vs. DREW McINTYRE (WWE Intercontinental Title)

I could have done without the ref bump and all the nonsense with Teddy Long at the end, especially Hardy’s Twist of Fate that didn’t even make McIntyre’s head hit the mat, but this was a good opener otherwise. Both of them were very good about selling, Kofi was spot on in putting over Drew busting up his arm, and both times that Kofi surprised him with a DDT and the SOS, Drew would put over his neck in an appropriate manner. They were both up to task in playing their respective roles, Kofi the sympathetic babyface, while Drew was the arrogant jerk. The business with Teddy Long at the end doesn’t really accomplish anything more than overshadowing Kingston, and the Hardy run in only taints Kofi’s win. It’d have been one thing if Drew had cheated while the ref was down and Hardy’s Twist of Fate to set up the Trouble in Paradise had simply leveled the playing field, but that was the polar opposite of what happened. ***


Wow. This is almost a total mess. The only real storytelling is Eve, Gail, and Fox all singling out Maryse’s arm to try to tap her out, and that’s gone as soon as it’s there. The end with Alicia taking out Gail on the floor and breaking up Eve’s pin, just to steal it herself, is a nice example of the downfall of this match for the champion. Beyond that, it’s just six minutes of them doing stuff, very little of which seems to matter. There were a few nice looking spots from Fox. The tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and her bridging suplex both spring to mind. But, nobody is going to mistaking these four for Trish Status, Mickie James, or the high end members of the SHIMMER roster.


If Bourne was as good as Kofi, then this would have been a better version of the opening match, and without all the silly overbooking. It’s same basic principle at work, the jerk heel beating on the spunky babyface, but ultimately losing in the end. Bourne was very good at putting over the beating from Jericho, especially when Jericho locked in the Walls, but when it was time for Bourne to do something, he was content to fly or dive, whereas Kofi was spiking McIntyre with a DDT out of nowhere.

This may be Bourne’s big win, but its Jericho’s match, and he shows it through and through. He’s got the sadistic edge you’d expect when a veteran is hellbent on teaching the spunky youngster a lesson. It helps that Bourne is willing to take a couple of sick bumps, such as the flop off the apron when Jericho does his springboard dropkick. It’s also nice to see Jericho’s reaction when Bourne kicks out of something big or gets the ropes to break the Walls. He doesn’t whine or cry to the referee, he just grabs Bourne and tries to continue the assault. It’s refreshing to see them making a bit of a show out of Bourne hitting the SSP to finally keep Jericho down, with Jericho doing all he could to avoid the big shot, but trying for too much and winding up putting himself right into position for it. If Bourne was as up to task as Kofi or Jericho, then this might have stolen the show, instead it winds up just being a little bit better than the opener. ***

JACK SWAGGER © vs. CM PUNK vs. REY MYSTERIO vs. THE BIG SHOW (World Heavyweight Title)

It’s weird to think that Big Show was the best part of a match that involved both Punk and Mysterio, but that’s what happened. The best parts of the match involved Big Show dominating and the other three working together to take him out of the mix. The best segment being Rey doing dropkick to the stairs into Show’s knee, and 619 around the post. That allowed Punk to dive onto Show to take him out of the match for good.

Without Show the match wasn’t much more than typical three-way stuff, with two guys working while the third sits out until it’s time to change things up. There’s no story at all to be found. The bit with Kane attacking Punk is just as bad as all the overbooking nonsense in Kofi/McIntyre, maybe even worse since it came out later that it was Kane who’d attacked ‘Taker all along, thus making this angle obsolete. The only positive to take away from Rey’s second World Title win is that he beat the champion to do it, but it’s another case of the popular babyface scoring the win and having it tainted by unnecessary interference.

THE MIZ © vs. R-TRUTH (WWE United States Title)

So, when exactly did Miz learn how to work? Once they flesh out the story of Truth’s midsection being the target, this is better than it has any right to be. Miz is perfect in his role of bastard heel sharking in on an injury, and he comes up with some really smart spots to hurt Truth’s midsection. The only real downfall of this was that Miz couldn’t squash Truth, Truth had to get in offense of his own, and Truth’s offense didn’t generally gel with the story they’d been telling. Miz was forced to sell some things more than he probably should have, Truth’s missile dropkick and the inverted suplex are both good examples of this. The home stretch with Truth trying to outwrestle Miz and win with cradles was better, although it was disappointing to see Miz just counter the cradle for the win, and not take a cheap shot at Truth’s ribs.


This isn’t much more than filler until the last few minutes when it’s down to the Natalya and Tamina. There are a few nice spots to be seen, Jimmy’s Samoan Drop to Kidd into the barricade being the best of them, but this never seems to make it out of first gear. It doesn’t help that Usos are far from interesting when they’re in control and working over Kidd, and rather than fired up Smith being the hot tag to get some revenge on the Usos, it’s Natalya to go right to the showdown between the women. It’s fine that Natalya beats her after she wipes out on the splash, but the sharpshooter would have been more suitable.

JOHN CENA © vs. EDGE vs. RANDY ORTON vs. SHEAMUS (WWE Heavyweight Title)

Some will hate this strictly on the basis of the overbooking involving the, then unnamed, Nexus interfering and allowing Sheamus to get the pin. But, it’s not as bad as Kane’s appearance to get Punk out of the match, because it somewhat contributes to the story. Edge, Orton, and Sheamus all have one thing in common, they’ve all spent considerable time in the role of the dirty heel, it’s the role that finally got Edge to the main event. So, it’s no surprise that they’re all trying to take the cheap way out and steal the pin anyway they can. The allegiances shift constantly as Edge, Orton, and Sheamus all work together, and turn on each other just as quickly.

The work itself isn’t anything spectacular, but their timing is good, more often than not. There’s always someone poised to attack just when it seems like someone else is on the verge of possible getting the big win. The best of these comes when Orton dispatches Sheamus and Edge quickly takes advantage and spears Orton off the apron. It leaves Edge and a weakened Cena, but Cena springs to life and gets Edge in the STF, suddenly the “ultimate opportunist” who looked to be about to win was on his own and nobody to save him. There’s another good one earlier in the match when Sheamus has Orton up for the High Cross, only for Edge to spear him down. In that regard, the Nexus run in doesn’t ruin the match at all, it simply gives Sheamus the opening he needs to pin Cena and take the title, something that Orton or Edge would have done just as quickly. It’s far from the best match of the night, but it’s the best of the three four-way matches.

Conclusion: If not for the four-way matches, then this would be an OK filler PPV. Kofi, Jericho, and Miz were all game with good performances. Sadly, the four-way matches drag this down, the first two much more than the last one. It’s not bad as a rental, but definitely not worth buying, and certainly not worth the PPV price tag.