It was time for WWE to mess with our minds again as they presented their latest concept pay-per-view, Fatal 4 Way, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Sports here in Britain, with Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Matt Striker handling commentary duties.
After Vince McMahon opened the show announcing that Raw Gm Bret Hart wouldn’t be at the show because of the attack of the NXT rookies, it was on to the first match of the evening as Drew McIntyre challenged Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental title. Before the match began McIntyre called Smackdown GM Teddy Long down and ordered him to take a seat at ringside.
From there we had a very entertaining opener. Kingston continues to impress the hell of me, and I loved his counter to the simplest of moves, a McIntyre clothesline. The Scot also put in a good showing as Vince’s chosen one. These two are definitely the future of the WWE.
This one had a great dramatic ending. McIntyre took Kingston down with the future shock DDT, but as the referee was taking forty winks McIntyre threw Long into the ring and ordered him to make the count. Old peanut head then grew a set and only counted two, which enraged the challenger. McIntyre then ordered Long to make another count, but as he went for another DDT Matt Hardy ran in from the crowd and took the Scotsman out with the twist of fate. One trouble in paradise later and Kingston had the title retaining pin. Nice work all round.
Then it was on to the first four way match of the evening as Maryse, Gail Kim and Alicia Fox challenged Eve Torres for the Divas title. I guess these girls aren’t being used as filler material this month.
Well, it was okay, but it was nothing to write home about. Gail showed why she is light years ahead of every other Diva at the moment. She was clearly the most polished performer in this match. No win for her though as Fox pinned Maryse after Torres took her out with a moonsault. Can’t they just give the title to Gail?
It was back to singles action for the next match as Chris Jericho faced Evan Bourne. Wait a minute! Evan Bourne is on pay-per-view?
Anyway, veteran and up and comer put on an exciting back and forth encounter, reminding this writer of when the 1-2-3 Kid took on Razor Ramon way back when. Bourne’s high flying moves looked great as he frustrated the veteran.
Once again Bourne kicked out after the code breaker, fighting his way back and getting the upset win after the shooting star press. This was a hell of a match, and it’s nice to see the veterans putting the young guys over.
The Smackdown main event saw the Big Show. C.M. Punk and Rey Mysterio challenging Jack Swagger for the World title. This must have been one of the few times we’ve seen two masked wrestlers in a WWE ring since the hey days of the Conquistadors.
I loved the opening sequences in this one as the Big Show threw all of his opponents around the ring like they were stuffed toys. That guy is certainly one of the most entertaining aspects of the WWE right now.
As for the others, you really can’t fault any of their performances, or the appearance of Kane as he continued to try and find out who attacked the Undertaker.
The end came as something of a surprise, as Mysterio took out Swagger with the 619 and sealed the title winning deal with a big splash off the top rope. Mysterio as new World Champion? We certainly didn’t see that one coming.
The title action continued as R-Truth challenged the Miz for the United States title. The awesome one entertained us with his own lyrics to Truth’s entrance music before the match began.
Thankfully Miz remembered he was much better in his day job with another solid performance. The Truth was also as solid as usual, and these two ingredients made for an entertaining encounter, with plenty of near falls, before the Miz took the pin with a roll-up to retain the title.
Six person tag action followed, as Natalya and the Unified Tag Team Champions the Hart Dynasty faced the latest Samoans to come off the long production line, Jimmy & Jay Uso, along their lady friend, Tamina.
This was the first time I’d seen the Usos in action, and I have to admit that these new boys looked pretty good, pulling off moves that many of their relatives made famous over the years.
It was a nice little encounter, with Natalya getting the win for her team by taking Tamina down with a spinning lariat. Entertaining stuff here.
The Raw main event saw Randy Orton, Edge and Sheamus challenging John Cena for the WWE title. You know, everyone thought that Orton wouldn’t be in this one after his injury last month, so kudos to the guy for making it back so quickly.
As for the match, there were some nice exchanges from all four men, but it just didn’t seem as good as it’s Smackdown equivalent, lacking that certain spark. It was enjoyable to watch, but nothing more than that.
Each man pulled off their big finishing moves before the NXT rookies appeared on the scene and attacked Cena and Edge. Then, while the rookies were dealing with Edge at ringside, the opportunistic Sheamus sneaked into the ring to pin Cena and win the title.
But that wasn’t the main story, as Team NXT beat on Cena some more before chasing the celebrating Sheamus backstage. No goodbyes from the announcers, with the show ending as a helpless Cena writhed in agony in the centre of the ring.
In conclusion - another strong effort from WWE here, and although there were a few questionable thing about this show, overall it was quite good, certainly better than TNA’s most recent efforts.
And it was also nice to see a crowd without a vuvuzela in sight!