Facts of the Case
Before we get started, here's a brief look of what to expect on this disc:
Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Finlay, The Miz, and Chavo Guerreo face off in an ECW
title match; Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase challenge Cryme Tyme in a tag team
battle; and Shawn Michaels goes head to head with Chris Jericho. Also, Michelle
McCool confronts Maryse; Triple H, Jeff Hardy, MVP, Shelton Benjami, and Brian
Kendrick compete for the WWE title; and Batista, Rey Mysterio, Kane, JBL, and
Chris Jericho all take a shot at becoming the new World Heavyweight
Here's the complete list of matches:
• Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy vs. Finlay vs. The Miz vs. Chavo
Guerrero in an ECW Championship Scramble Match
Because the first battle of
the event is one of those special scramble matches, let me quickly go over the
rules for you. The match has a 20-minute time limit and starts with two
wrestlers in the ring, and every five minutes a new competitor enters the game.
If a superstar scores a pinfall or submission, he becomes the champion, and
whoever is the current champion at the end of the 20 minutes is crowned the
official champion. Got that? Then let's dive right into the action. The first
two into the ring are The Miz and Matt Hardy, and they both deliver a variety of
solid moves and efficient submissions. While the match remains fast-paced for
the next 10 minutes or so, things eventually slow down a bit once Mark Henry
joins the party. Still, despite an absence of bold moves because of Henry's size
and weight, the battle slowly picks up some speed during the final five minutes.
Chaos quickly ensues as the five wrestlers simultaneously try to pin each other
over and over again. Believe it or not, it's suspenseful and exciting, making a
solid start for a WWE pay-per-view.
• Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase vs. Cryme Tyme in a World Tag Team
It's back to the basics in this tag team fight. While
all four athletes manage to deliver a bunch of strong, risky moves, the match as
a whole is still boring. Cryme Tyme succeeds in pulling off some cool double
team action on their opponents, but surprises remain scarce in this mediocre
11-minute battle. I'm glad to see the wrestlers try to avoid simple kicks or
slow submission holds, but ultimately, the show they're putting on here isn't
impressive enough to keep the crowd engaged from start to finish. Let's hope for
more action in the next matchup.
• Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho in an Unsanctioned Match
For several weeks now, Michaels and Jericho have been loathing each other for a
number of reasons, and now they finally get a chance to face each other in the
ring. To make it all more appealing, the two wrestlers have agreed to make this
an unsanctioned match, which basically means they're going hardcore without
being bound to any particular rules. Both Jericho and Michaels approach this
battle with aggressive attitudes, using boots, belts, chairs, and tables to
teach each other a particularly brutal lesson. Although most of their efforts
result in a pretty entertaining and fast-paced match, the whole thing lasts for
27 minutes, which is quite long for a fight that is not considered a main event.
Still, the action remains strong, both superstars take some big risks, and we
get to see some awesome moves that occasionally change the pace of this
• Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. Brian
Kendrick in a WWE Championship Scramble Match
We're back with a scramble
match. This time, the WWE championship is on the line. Starting off this
competition are Jeff Hardy and Shelton Benjamin, two flexible athletes who set
the tone of the match by quickly engaging into an impressive duel for the gold.
As more wrestlers enter the ring, however, the pacing of the battle increases
and we get to see some awesome maneuvers from Hardy and Brian Kendrick. Once the
final contestant joins the fight, time becomes the most crucial issue in this
title matchup, and all hell breaks loose. We see plenty of finishing moves,
quite a few pinfalls, and one or two heavy brawls, all culminating in a
suspenseful race to snatch the title before the final bell rings. It gets very
close this time. I'm really starting to like this scramble concept, because it
has already turned two matches during this PPV into an exciting pro wrestling
experience. Now, let's see what the ladies are up to…
• Michelle McCool vs. Maryse in a Divas Championship Match
Sometimes I enjoy watching the divas battle each other, and sometimes I don't.
This time, I certainly don't. This title match is a big bore, and neither McCool
nor Maryse deliver a solid enough show. The only thing the two athletes engage
in during this five-minute matchup is a bunch of cheap kicks and slow submission
holds. I paid close attention and counted one or two decent moves, which is
clearly not enough to impress the crowd. This one's a forgettable stinker.
• Batista vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kane vs. JBL vs. Chris Jericho in
a World Heavyweight Championship Scramble Match
After the disappointment
that was the preceding fight (if you can even call it that), it's now time for
the main event, the third and final scramble match of the night. The excitement
about this one is pretty big, and Batista and JBL launch into the action with a
set of aggressive moves. Things are going pretty well for a while with the
fighting picks up extra speed every time a new wrestler enters the battle, but
when the clock reaches 15 minutes and the last competitor shows up, the match
takes a drastic, disappointing turn. I have no clue what the heck the WWE
writers were thinking, but the way they kill both the suspense and pacing of
this last scramble matchup is absurd. I can think of plenty of ways to wrap this
one up gloriously, but the show we get to see here pretty much ruins every
chance for a solid finish. It's too bad, really, because the scramble concept
worked quite well up to this point. At least the first 15 minutes work well.
I've never had any major troubles with the quality of the picture and sound
of WWE PPVs, and this time is no different. The image is clean and sharp
throughout, and the sound transfer is decent enough for my taste.
As usual, the special features on this DVD are weak and rather unnecessary.
Besides a lame one-minute interview with the Big Show and Vickie Guerrero, the
bonus material also includes a three-minute speech Chris Jericho made at the
Raw event following this pay-per-view. No surprises here at all.