Very fun WWE Tag Team Championship match to kick off the pay-per-view. I, along with those in attendance, were disappointed with the disqualification finish, but it fit in with the "conspiracy theory" talk nicely. It's great to see the tag titles finally receive emphasis and be given a lengthy contest.
A rather boring Intercontinental Championship match, and the live crowd pulled no punches. However, I don't blame them, as this particular contest wasn't advertised up until a few days ago, and the crowd wasn't entirely buying into DiBiase as a face. The finish was flunky, but hopefully it leads to the rivalry to continue and further expand.
Getting Christian and Sheamus involved on show was a brilliant idea, as it keeps their feud alive and develops it as an ongoing story for those who don't watch SmackDown. Although I don't think Christian earning one more title match would be smart at this point, his campaign to receive one is rather interesting. Sheamus' interference was logical, but having him destroy Christian does not get the latter over as a legitimate threat in any way.
Great four way over the United States Championship, but nothing less than expected given the Superstars involved. I was pleasantly surprised with Ziggler retaining the title, as it gives the belt even more prestige with Ziggler overcoming the odds. The main focus of this bout was regarding the love triangle involving Ziggler, Swagger and Vickie, and it looks to resume after tonight.
Although it wasn't a great match, Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton truly told a story. Having the commentators questioning as to whether Henry could ever capture the World Championship. The last sequences of moves were exciting, and seeing Henry emerge victorious as the new World Heavyweight Champion was indeed an emotional moment. His promo that followed was easily one of the best heel promos in recent memory. Hopefully this means Henry will receive a lengthy run as World Champ, as the belt as changed hands a number of times in recent months.
Much like at SummerSlam, challenger Beth Phoenix brought the best out of Divas Champion Kelly Kelly in a decently wrestled match. However, having Kelly retain again in such a fashion is very questionable. Phoenix needed to win the championship here, especially seeing the show hailed from her hometown of Buffalo. I have a strong feeling Creative has subsequently dropped the ball on the Divas of Doom at this point, and we'll be unfortunately seeing Kelly for months to come.
As far as the match goes, John Cena and Alberto Del Rio put on a very strong contest in what won Match of the Night for this viewer. These two have excellent chemistry, and each nearfall was very believable. However, giving the title back to John Cena this early in the feud is an absolute waste of a push for Del Rio, who seemed to finally be a mainstay on Raw. Although Del Rio held on for a reasonable amount of time before tapping, the ending result is beyond stale, predictable, and unappealing booking for a majority of the people who watch the program.
Personally, the CM Punk vs. Triple H match didn't feel as special as it should have been for me given how much build this has gotten of the past two months, or lack thereof. The run-ins were logical given the No Holds Barred stipulation, but it got to the point towards the end of the match where I questioned if Vince Russo was hired back. I was anticipating the Awesome Truth and Nash interference, but not having them align with one another or anyone for that matter kills any suspense this rivalry had going. With Triple H emerging victorious and absolutely no signal of a potential faction, no viewer has any reason to care about anyone involved.
Overall, a stunning lackluster show that was indeed newsworthy, but not in a good way. The solid action certainly delivered, but the results don't leave any possible suspense for the upcoming broadcasts. The World Titles are worthless at this point, and the product as a whole has quickly become stagnant. With WWE going through their toughest time in the ratings while battling with the NFL, I don't see the ratings improving given that viewers have no reason to care or tune in at this point.
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