First Union Center – PHILLY (Philadelphia) Pennsylvania – TV Rating: 3.7
The Good: It’s too little too late but at least Chris Jericho gets to beat up Matt Hardy pretty quickly and regain some momentum after playing third fiddle to Steph and Trips for two months. It’s not a great match by any means but it does what it needs to… but it’s not as bad as everything else on this show. Sorry, Philly. There’s a semi-famous Kane, Hogan & Rock promo here too, and the highlights of the “match” are below. Yes, WWE did the wrong thumbnail. Anyway…
The Bad: Kurt Angle and Vince’s in-ring tete a tete over the banishment of Stephanie McMahon FOREVER isn’t bad as such. But it’s yet more focus on Stephanie when it’s not needed, it’s Kurt Angle stepping up for Steph and not Jericho and it all seems a little pointless.
Similarly Billy & Chuck defend the titles against the Dudleys in their sort-of hometown of Philly. That’s the Dudley’s who have been drafted to different brands three days ago. And if they win they get to stick together. Which would be fine if tag champs were brand-neutral but they’re not. As B&C were drafted to SmackDown but that’s because they’re a team and not just because their Champions. Throw in the fact that the Dudleys seem to have no special desperation to win during the match and that D-Von leaves the ringside area to chase Rico and just three days in the holes in the draft logic are becoming glaring in places already. It’s been 3 DAYS.
- Booker T and DDP go two minutes before we realise that the former WCW World Champions are only fighting so that Brock Lesnar can do his latest destruction job. I like that he’s attacking a better class of wrestler here and I understand the build-up job they are doing on Lesnar. But he’s already over to a sense with this stuff so this is just more of what we’ve already seen.
- Well, at least the in-ring action as the nWo trio take on Hogan, Rock and Kane which is better than we’ve seen for the past couple of weeks on TV. And I know they are hot-shotting stuff for brand split reasons and eeking every bit they can out of the Order but it’s already as good as dead in the water. Hall, Nash and X-Pac are nothing out of the ordinary anymore… and they don’t last too long after this point for a few very important reasons.
- Rob Van Dam and Test over the IC title goes two and a half minutes but whilst RVD wins it seems like we are still persisting with the idea that Test deserves a push as he seems to be running an angle where he’s getting mad with referees/refs keep screwing him over.
- Raven and Maven is your typical run-of-the-mill Hardcore Title match but at least Raven winning means there is the possibility of better to come given his ECW background.
- Triple H & Ric Flair against Kurt Angle & Vince McMahon is a fun enough WWE TV main event but other than cementing The Undertaker’s heel alliance (presumably) with Vince McMahon it doesn’t do much more.
Overall: It was a poor show, to be honest. As paint by numbers as you can get, nothing much happens as we’re once again killing time until Raw and Smackdown become separate entities next week… Philly got a right old stinker of a show here with some big names in the main events.