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Evenin' all. I'm in the wrong country this week. Instead of northern England, I am in New York. Closer to Titan Towers than I've ever been! I can smell the Wellness in the air... at least I think that's what it is.

We kick off this week with a typically overdramatised recap of last week's main event (Hardy/Mysterio vs Jericho/Ziggler). Turns out Jeff never actually threw Jericho INTO Punk - Punk leisurely got out of the way about two seconds before, making his pissedoffness slightly funnier. The voiceover here is highlighting the heelish stuff Punk has said in recent promos. All he needs is one big I AM A HEEL NOW moment and I'll be a happy monkey. Will this be the week?

Live from Richmond, Virginia and we have a champion-vs-champion main event tonight, CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio. I remember a very decent match between these two, so good. YET AGAIN we have Jeff Hardy out to open the show. Sorry, JEEEEEEEEEFFF HARDY. Huge pop, even for him. Should be a hot crowd. Crowd still going nuts after a minute or two, and he even gets some 'we're not worthy' bows. He's on the mic. He says he's sick of CM Punk preaching his straightedge lifestyle. Uh, he only mentioned it once, but okay.
Jeff is facing Chris Jericho tonight. He says it's time for Jericho's walls to come crumbling down, then throws in an amusing "thankyou, Richmond!" at the end as if he's literally a rock star. For two seconds I reminisce upon Van Hammer vs JT Southern, then I'm glad to be in 2009. Jericho is out and we're underway.

Jeff Hardy w/o facepaint vs Chris Jericho w/o Tag belts

Hardy takes the upper hand from the start, taking it in and out of the ring. Generic Hardy stuff including a very nice hurricanrana, before Jericho blocks a baseball slide and pulls Jeff out of the ring as we go to ADVERTISING.

BACK and I have a hunch there will be CM Punk shenanigans in this match. And probably Jeff Hardy shenanigans in Punk's match later on. Y'know, just a wild stab in the dark. Jericho has Hardy in a sort-of sleeper (I really need to brush up on my move names. I know a lot but I MUST KNOW ALL). This rest hold lasts for a while as JR and Tard play up Night of Champions, which actually doesn't look too bad. Jeff escapes and hits a crossbody for two. Nice running enzuigiri by Jericho gets two also. Jericho gets some brief offense in and Jeff is down. Jericho taunts Jeff, stepping on his chest and kicking him around. Jeff seems more on planet earth than he has done in recent weeks. Good. Jericho goes for a Hitman-style second rope elbowdrop but actually hits Jeff with his knees. He goes for a cover with his feet on the ropes, which the ref stops. Second rope hangman gets two. Jeff is overplaying the face-in-peril thing in this match I feel - he's getting away with it though, this crowd is really fired up. He comes back with a sort of forearm thing and a couple more forearm things. Atomic drop, crotch legdrop, low dropkick, two count. Trademark Hardy comeback leading up to a Swanton attempt which misses. Jericho hits the lionsault (for a change!) which gets a close two. I don't think these two have much chemistry together, to be honest, even though they're both good. It's like Mr Perfect vs Shawn Michaels. To and fro from here, eventually Jericho reverses Hardy's corner dropkick into the Walls, which Jeff escapes. My apologies for not recapping this in a more entertaining manner, I'm being distracted by an insane thunderstorm. Whisper in the Wind gets two, more to-and-fro... codebreaker causes Jeff to roll outside the ring unseen, with a hilarious "where'd he go?" moment from Jericho. Jericho's epic search ends and he rolls the apparently unconscious Jeff in for... two! JEFF HARDY IN 'NOT UNCONSCIOUS' SHOCKER. Jericho switches into 'pissed off' mode, kicking Hardy around before walking into a Twist of Fate. With the speed of a tectonic plate, Hardy goes up for a Swanton, but Jericho crotches him on the turnbuckle. Punchup on the turnbuckles leads to Jericho falling and Jeff hitting a pretty stiff-looking Swanton for three.
Winner: Jeff Hardy

That was pretty generic stuff. Functional I guess. Where was Punk?

TO THE BACK and Michelle McCool is having her makeup done by an unattractive middleaged woman. Figures. She talks in a slightly vacant monotone about how amazing she is. Melina comes in with straightened hair to be a bitch. They have a rematch for the Women's title at Night of Champions. Melina throws a bunch of makeup over McCool before saying "I also do hair". Women just aren't funny, are they? Ever. ADVERTISING.

It's a John Morrison video package! Cool. And now, it's The Great Khali! Sigh. He is facing the beard that ate MIKE KNOX, who I completely and utterly forgot was still on the roster. Welcome back, Mike.

The Great Khali w/ Ranjin Singh vs Mike Knox

Knox is apparently over 6'6". Huh. Khali makes him look like  a jobber for approximately ten seconds before Kane shows up and uses his vast sucking power to telepathically remove all of Khali's strength, allowing Knox to get some offense in. Khali quickly recovers and hits a Punjabi Plunge for three.
Winner: The Great Khali.

Kane has just been standing motionless on the ramp like a huge muscular baby. Khali goads him into the ring and Tard actually says "we may just see these two buildings collide!"... Okay, there's hyperbole and there's just nonsense, Grisham. THESE AREN'T MEN! THEY'RE PLANETS! THE GREAT KHALI IS A PLANET, AND RANJIN SINGH IS HIS MOON! Anyway, Kane puts one foot into the ring and then wimps out. "Is Kane playing mind games?" wonders Tard. No, he's just being a huge hairless wuss.

Tonight, aside from his match with Mysterio, CM Punk is challenging THE ENTIRE WWE UNIVERSE! Woah, don't let that World Title go to your head yet, Mr. Ring of Honor... there is no way this will be as entertaining as the mental image in my head, but it might be cool anyway. Oh, lovely! It's 'Word Up', my least favourite thing on WWE TV. I let them yammer on mindlessly as usual without paying attention really at all. Today's word is 'G.O.A.T.' which is an acronym for Greatest Of All Time. The Hart Dynasty shows up and this leads into a shill for the Tag Team DVD set, which shouldn't need any shilling as it looks great. The inherently slappable Jesse ('Slam Masta J' seems to have stuck) says he should be on the DVD set. Completely ignoring Festus, he says it's because he comes from the same place as the Fabulous Freebirds. That's actually a good point. Fuck Festus. I zoned out a little and paid attention to the insane weather instead.
Here's DOLPH ZIGGLER! And his chickadee, Maria - has she turned heel?! Dolph's on the mic. He reminds us of his Intercontinental title match. I really hope he wins that one actually. ADVERTISING and we find out he's facing Finlay who STILL has that fucking midget's genocide-inducing music.

Dolph Ziggler w/ Maria vs Finlay

Finlay is apparently a third-generation wrestler. 'Finlay' is just his surname, so I hope his father and grandfather were just 'Finlay' too. Finlay also has quite a paunch these days. And Dolph is actually kicking his ass. I won't bother recapping this move-by move but Dolph gets in most of the offense and looks pretty good. Things turn around briefly when Finlay boots Ziggler into the announcer's table. Maria tends to her beau and Ziggler hits his finisher outside the ring (which looks good) - and Finlay gets counted out.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler.

Maria gives DOLPH a hug. Aww. Decent little match I guess. TO THE BACK and Chris Jericho (with a huge icepack taped to his shoulder for some reason - maybe Jeff fucked him up with that Swanton) is chatting to Kane. This means that his partner for the tag title match will not be Kane. ADVERTISING.

BACK and CM Punk is out to 'challenge the WWE Universe' in what should be another great promo. Solid boos for him at last. Awesome. As soon as he utters the words 'Just Say No', I'm hooked. This is absolutely the way to go. Punk's straightedge promos from ROH are priceless as we all know by now, and this is a big-time version of that. Punk apparently is a big-time asshole about being straightedge in real life, refusing autographs to smokers, etc, so this promo is totally natural, and fantastically arrogant.
Eventually Jeff Hardy comes out. The atmosphere here is brilliant, as Punk says 'I'm not going to enable you' and 'I'm gonna just say no' before strolling out of the ring and up the ramp without even turning around. That was pretty cool but I was expecting a bit of a POW! moment. Maybe that'll come later. ADVERTISING. Jeez, how many ad breaks are there on US TV? It takes about three days to watch a film.

BACK and it's Diva time. Yay. Eve is out with Cryme Tyme, to their music. Natalya is out 'with The Hart Dynasty', well hang on, she's IN the Hart Dynasty. Semantics!

Eve w/ Cryme Tyme vs Natalya w/ The Rest Of The Hart Dynasty
Glad to see Natalya get some ring time, she's one of the most capable Divas on the roster. Eve is still improving too, and we're getting an above-average Diva match. ie, it's not all slapping, hair-pulling and screaming. Natalya dusts off her surfboard (not a euphemism) before Eve turns it around with some dropkicks. These two are actually pretty stiff together (insert joke here). Eve hits a pretty good moonsault, which gets three. I was actually distracted by how non-shit that was.
Winner: Eve.

Chris Jericho tells The Great Khali that he's one of the front runners to hold the tag titles with him. Khali says "comedy" I think, but Ranjin Singh gives a much longer translation. Basically Khali said no. What a surprise.

Apparently Vince McMahon is 'high' on R-Truth's Pretty Ricky "character" (which he was doing backstage just for a laugh before McMahon decided to put it on TV...) - this is both crushingly unsurprising and really irritating. Luckily R-Truth is in action next. ADVERTISING.

Back and Truth is doing his entrance where he normally raps horribly off-time. He's actually dead-on tonight, and even throws in some dance moves. Hilariously, he's facing a jobber. Oh wait, it's Charlie Haas, who doesn't even get announced.

R-Truth vs Charlie Haas

Pointless wager: if Charlie Haas wins this match, I will never watch wrestling again. Interesting spot comes when Truth apparently jarrs his knee doing his cartwheel out of the corner. Haas does some generic heelery, targeting Truth's knee. Which he does for a very long time. JR and Tard refer to Truth's alter ego as 'Delicious' which is wrong. Maybe Martin Lawrence sued them. That'd be classic. Has Haas always had ginger hair? How have I not noticed? Hm. Anyway, Truth comes back, momentarily thinking it's 1983 or something as he goes for a pin after an armdrag. Haas misses a corner charge and Truth hits an insane corkscrew scissors kick for three.
Winner: R-Truth.

JR and Tard take to the ring to go over the NoC lineup. I maintain that it looks promising, minus the seen-it-so-many-times-I-might-fucking-cry WWE Title match.

And here's our main event - something like 20 minutes to go, this should be interesting.

World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk vs Intercontinental Champion Rey Mysterio

Rey is out with a ridiculous over-mask which looks like it was made out of gift wrap by a child. Oh, ha ha. It was. It was designed by a contest winner in WWE Kids magazine - who is present in the crowd to get the monstrosity given back to him. Fuck you, kid. Slow start to this with the two warily exchanging leg holds - we do have almost fifteen minutes to go to be fair. There's soon a staredown. Well, a stare-up. Rey gets quickly fired into the ring post and Punk takes the upper hand. He works basic stuff but throws in shoves and cocky glances and nice little heely touches. Rey eventually backflips out of an armbar, gets a few strikes in on Punk whilst keeping hold of his hand, goes up to the top for some lucha shit but gets shoved to the outside. Punk keeps him out with a baseball slide as we go to ADVERTISING.

BACK and surprise surprise, Rey's in a rest hold. Punk maintains the momentum convincingly, working Rey over in a distinctly heelish manner, mostly working on Rey's arm. A logical thing to do with a high-flyer. Punk's always-cool tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two before he puts Rey in another armbar. The crowd are getting a little quiet now. Just as I type that, every ten-year-old in the building slowly starts a '619' chant. It doesn't work, Rey's still getting beaten up. Another armbar. Hmm. A little rash, giving these two 15 minutes plus? Punk is showing off how many submission holds he knows, including a slightly comical standing reverse surfboard thing which sees him wearing Rey like a tiny Mexican backpack. Rey starts to slowly come back as DOLPH strolls down to ringside. This somehow gives Rey magical powers, as he hits a springboard crossbody for two, and a superb dropkick for another two. Punk is set up for a 619 but turns and backdrops Rey, who hits a springboard senton instead before knocking Ziggler off the apron and running straight into a spinning heel kick from Punk. Punk keeps it going from here, and a nice little sequence sees Rey go for another springboard senton before being caught by Punk in the GTS position. Rey fights out, turning it into a wheelbarrow bulldog. As Punk uses the ropes to crawl to his feet, Rey hits a quick 619 and a splash, before Ziggler breaks up the pin for the DQ.
Winner by disqualification: Rey Mysterio.

After the bell, Rey goes for a 619 on Ziggler, but Punk takes Rey down (why?) before rolling out of the ring and escaping extremely slowly. Ziggler stalks Rey before hitting his increasingly cool-looking finisher - twice - which really needs a name. Ziggler continues working on Rey before Jeff Hardy storms out at top speed straight past Punk (causing Punk to drop the belt! FORESHADOWING?!) to rescue Rey. Punk then callously sneaks in and hits the GTS on Jeff. Nice. That's it.

This was a decent SD, better than either of the last two, easy.

YES: There wasn't a bad match tonight, which is great. Punk continues to be extremely watchable and Jeff looked a lot better than he has done recently also. Also, NO PRETTY RICKY!

NO: Word Up still exists. Khali/Knox was pointless. Kane continues to be a ridiculous wussball.

WHAT?: Rey's mask was... funny. And once again, WHERE IS TEDDY LONG?

That is that! I am Ian Sparke, King of New York (for a while).


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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).