The stars of Raw, SmackDown and ECW return to Chicago for
WWE: Judgment Day 2009, a night for pro wrestling's finest to take a
stand, defend their titles, and lay to rest their bitterest rivalries. Here's
the PPV's complete lineup:
• CM Punk vs. Umaga
CM Punk opens this pay-per-view trying
to get back at Umaga for attacking him a few weeks back. Unfortunately, the
first half of this 11-minute battle is rather disappointing, with Umaga trying
everything to slow down the action via countless sleeper holds and other
dragging submission maneuvers. Punk tries to speed things up a bit toward the
end, and luckily enough, we get to see at least a few well-coordinated moves,
strong kicks and one or two well-executed high-risk maneuvers. Needless to say,
this opener could've been more exciting.
• Christian vs. Jack Swagger in an ECW Championship
this is what I call a highly entertaining matchup! Christian and Jack Swagger
don't shy away from offering their fans a fast-paced show, and they both display
first-class athleticism via impressive high-risk wrestling action and innovative
maneuvers. Clocking in at 10 minutes, this battle works from start to finish,
and even though it's not as surprising as you may expect, it's undoubtedly a
whole lot more intense than its predecessor.
• Shelton Benjamin vs. John Morrison
This is quite an
intense PPV battle! Morrison and Benjamin display great flexibility, and they
quickly get the crowd to play along. At 10 minutes, this excellent battle starts
real fast, slows down a tad in the middle, and wraps up with some high-speed,
high-risk action. Morrison in particular delivers a series of stunts that are
about as entertaining as they can get. Job well done by both athletes.
• Rey Mysterio vs. Chris Jericho in a Intercontinental
Jericho and Mysterio go head to head in this 12-minute
title match, which isn't that surprising but still fairly enjoyable to watch. I
would have liked to see a better coordination between these popular WWE
superstars, but all in all, they deliver a big enough variety of bold moves and
holds. On the other hand, this matchup is by far not as amusing as the previous
• Randy Orton vs. Batista in a WWE Championship Match
Orton's title match against Batista could've been a highlight of this
pay-per-view, but instead, he decides to play around and slow down the wrestling
action as much as possible. Alas, Orton's defensive attitude cripples most of
this matchup, while Batista manages to at least deliver a few powerful moves.
Luckily enough, this 14-minute battle is not dead boring, but it's a shame these
guys fail to fully utilize their experience.
• John Cena vs. Big Show
This one is clearly a missed
opportunity. The feud between Cena and Big Show started at WWE: Backlash,
but I wish WWE writers had come up with a better solution than this
disappointing brawl. Heck, I'm not sure you can even call it a brawl. At 14
minutes, this matchup is way too long, with Big Show dominating most of it via
slow holds and several powerful kicks. Cena gets to deliver some punches as
well, but other than that, he spends most of the time on the defense. Solid
moves I counted in this match: two or three, at the most. I can only hope the
main event will do better.
• Edge vs. Jeff Hardy in a World Heavyweight Championship
Luckily, this title match between Edge and Hardy really delivers the
goods. The matchup lasts for 20 minutes, but it's never really boring. Hardy and
Edge are both flexible enough to execute countless high-risk maneuvers, and they
don't shy away from giving fans exactly the kind of show they expect from these
guys. Entertaining, well-coordinated, and surprising, this final battle is
undoubtedly the most intense of this pay-per-view. It's definitely a great way
to end the show.
The disc's image quality and audio transfer work just fine. No complaints
here, as usual. The bonus section totally disappoints, and the only thing
viewers get to see is a 30-second backstage clip of Batista and Ric Flair having
a great time catching up. You'll probably be better off skipping this one.
To recap, WWE: Judgment Day features three really great matches, two
decent performances, and one disastrous battle. The show's not as exciting as Backlash, but it's not a waste of time.