0. Antonion Cesaro v. Santino Marella (US Championship)- We didn't watch the pre-show here, but were very happy to hear that Cesaro did indeed win the US Championship from Santino. Normally I'm not an advocate for guys getting a title straight out of the gate like this, but in this case I like the decision. Santino is entertaining, but he's a comedy act, and it doesn't help bring merit to a title if you can't take the guy seriously who's wearing it. The US championship needs the same kind of overhaul the IC championship did (and some would argue does again). He may still be a relatively fresh new face, but the idea of "I can speak five languages and that makes me smarter than you" has gained him a ridiculous amount of heat in a very short time, so I think there's a great opportunity here for him.
1. Chris Jericho v. Dolph Ziggler - The match was pretty solid all the way through, and in the end, Jericho proved he could still win the "big one". This was not an outcome I predicted, since I'm going with the whole "history repeating itself but not" thing on this feud. The upstart lost to the veteran ten years ago, so I thought maybe the veteran would lose to the upstart this time around. Instead, Jericho picked himself up and decided he wasn't going to lose both rivalries, and he made Dolph Ziggler tap in the Walls of Jericho. Meanwhile, JR took a cheap shot at the IWC via Twitter, which didn't sit well with me. Maybe we're not WWE's biggest audience, but we do have a voice. We are still fans. Ultimately, isn't it the fan reactions that sell your tickets? Yeah, the IWC cried out in anger, because we love Ziggler, and we want to see him do amazingly great things, and we all thought this was his ticket out of the midcard and into the ranks of Randy Orton and Sheamus. And maybe it still is. JR's point, ultimately, was that we don't know what they've got planned, but I think he could have found a better way to say it. Or he could have kept his incessantly re-tweeting mouth shut. That would have worked too.
2. Daniel Bryan v. Kane - I honestly do not remember anything about this match now, but I don't think this was about the match. It was about the aftermath of the match. Daniel Bryan managed to roll up Kane unexpectedly, and then he got the hell out of Dodge while Kane rampaged through the backstage area for the rest of the show. How do we know that? Twitter, of course! Kane never came off the trending topic list all night, thanks to various superstars tweeting after having just barely avoided his wrath. Our favorite two reactionary tweets were from the Usos ("Kane crazy!!! Damn right we runnin!!!! We fast...") and Heath Slater ("Ok when Kane gets mad he's pretty scary"). I like the idea that Heath Slater has no idea that the seven-foot wrecking machine dressed as Satan is supposed to be frightening. Just another day in West Virginia, I guess.
3. The Miz v. Rey Mysterio (Intercontinental Championship) - I was VERY happy to see Miz retain here. I think he's got a long reign ahead of him, and I think that's good for the title.I was surprised to realize that this was the match on the card I was most looking forward to. I put down my own computer, leaned over the arm of the couch, and watched intently, because dammit, I'm not gonna miss a second of my Miz denying any challenger of the title. I liked that right off the bat, Rey had to realize quickly that this guy he was in the ring with isn't the same Miz as before. The all bark and not so much bite Miz is gone, and this guy will hurt you (and apparently did). Mysterio did me the favor of dressing as Batman, so when it was over, the only appropriate response was, "Ha! Looks like Rey forgot to bring his Bat-Miz repellant!"
4. Sheamus v. Alberto Del Rio - I did not care enough going into this match to even try to make a prediction, but what I got was so much worse than anything I could have predicted anyway. Ricardo missed a shoe toss intended for Alberto, and Sheamus won by hitting Del Rio over the head with it, and then got lucky when the ref was way out of position and didn't see Del Rio's VERY OBVIOUS LEG HANGING OVER THE ROPE. Sheamus knew it was there, and all that smug little bastard could do was shrug and make an "Aw Shucks" face. If Booker T is half the GM that AJ is, he'll order a rematch (since the pay-per-view ended unfairly), and he'll ban Ricardo from ringside. But we won't get that, because Booker T is a face GM and Sheamus is a face Champion. What we will get is Sheamus walking into Booker T's office, and Booker being all like, "Yo, Dawg, congratulations, man. That was great. Alberto Del Rio sure got what he deserved, didn't he?" And Eve will be in the corner looking disgusted, wondering what kind of administration she's gotten herself into. I dunno, with Eve's Voice of Reason in the mix, maybe I can hold out hope for something interesting to happen, but I'm not holding my breath.
5. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston v. Prime Time Players - PTP are still plenty entertaining without AW, and I'm hoping they build these guys up some more. Keeping the belts on the champions was the right move here, however, and it makes Little Jimmy happier, so why not?
6. CM Punk v. Big Show v. John Cena (WWE Championship) - Um, yeah. I don't know why everyone in the house was surprised that this was the penultimate match. Triple H is fighting Brock Lesnar, CM Punk is running a whole angle on how he's been overshadowed his whole reign, and you really think the title's going on last? Welcome to the real world, folks. The match basically just served to add more fuel to the fire, because 1) it didn't go on last, again, and 2) CONTROVERSY. Maybe I would like the restart better if I hadn't just seen an World Title Rematch on my screen last week (and even several days removed from SummerSlam, I think TNA did it better), but I have come to appreciate it finally. Also, AJ is doing a way better job that Booker T right now. Did Booker T come out and restart the match when controversy erupted for Sheamus and Del Rio? No. But when two guys have submission holds on Big Show, and he taps out, AJ knows EXACTLY what to do. And Punk knew exactly what to do as well. And that is why he is your champion.
7. BROCK LESNAR v. Triple-H - I could not have cared about this match less. I still couldn't care about this match less. I do not have any interest in these two guys fighting it out. It's not the Attitude Era anymore, and I don't need replays of it to remind me that I am slowly aging, and one day, I too will be older and possibly embittered, yelling out my front yard for those damned kids to get off my lawn. But for right now, I'm still fairly young, and I'm just starting to like the new product again, and giving us a main event like this just cheapens all the other young talent who are actually doing the majority of the work. I mean, Jesus Christ, CM Punk is in a triple threat match that involves John Cena, and he STILL can't main event one of the Big Five (because I consider MitB just as big now). Hunter looked like he was taking his ball and going home after he lost, but we'll have to hold out to see how long that lasts.