In the days leading up to WWE’s newest pay-per-view offering, Fatal 4-Way, the point has been made repeatedly that the odds are stacked against the champion keeping his or her belt. Well, the statistics proved true, as all three title matches under those rules saw new champions crowned on Sunday night.
The main event saw Sheamus emerge as the new WWE Champion, capitalizing on a gang-style assault of the other participants in the match – Edge, Randy Orton, and former champ John Cena – by the invading NXTrookies.
Before the invaders attacked, the four men were engaging in a fairly decent contest. As is typical for a WWE multi-man match, generally two, or occasionally, three men would battle it out in the ring while the other(s) would be recovering on the floor. Early on, Edge and Sheamus worked well together, double-teaming Cena and then Orton. Soon, though, Orton and Cena were able to recover, and after some time fighting each other, turned their attention back on to the villainous duo. The latter stages of the match saw a sequence where each man hit his patented finishing move, and then the match spilled to the floor. In the meantime, the NXT headed to the ring after sneak-attacking the members of the locker room who were watching the match on the backstage monitors to avoid such an invasion. The angry horde of rookies assaulted all of the competitors, repeating their assault on Cena from a couple of weeks ago. With him down and out, they went outside to punish Edge and Orton. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Sheamus sneaked into the ring, and pinned Cena to win the championship, before running out like a thief in the night. He was celebrating the win on the top of the entrance ramp before the NXT group chased him away, and the show ended with images of Edge, Orton, and Cena down and out in and around the ring.
In the earlier Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Championship, Rey Misterio won his second world championship by pinning the former champ Jack Swagger, in a match that also involved CM Punk and the Big Show.
Show started off strong, hitting all three opponents with power moves and attempting for quick pins. After taking his eye off of Rey for a minute, he caught the wrong end of a DDT, after which he rolled out of the ring. The other three picked things up, with each man hitting some highlights, including a nice-looking chain German Suplex spot. At one point, when all four men were down, the big red monster Kane made his way down to the ring to get vengeance on the man he thought was responsible for injuring the Undertaker. Evidently, his suspicions were directed towards Punk, who he tried to force into a casket, until the Straight Edge Society were able to make the save. In the confusion, Rey hit the 619 on Swagger, and followed that up with his springboard splash to get the win.
In the third Fatal 4-Way match, four lovely ladies battled it out for the Divas Championship. Better than many recent WWE diva matches, this one saw Eve Torres try to defend her title against her sworn enemy Maryse, her friend Gail Kim, and the wild card Alicia Fox. There were a few good moments in this one, with some nasty-looking hard action. In the end, it looked like Eve would retain, after hitting a vicious neckbreaker on Maryse followed by a moonsault. Instead, the sly Fox capitalized, and knocked Eve off of Maryse, threw her out of the ring, and covered Maryse herself for the pin.
The next WWE Pay-Per-View is Money in the Bank on July 18.
The show kicked off with Mr. McMahon making his way to the ring. He informed the crowd that RAW GM Bret Hart would not be appearing at the show, and they ran the clip of the NXT limo attack. He said that he would be meeting with Bret’s representatives later in the night to determine when Bret would be able to return, and to help decide what actions would be taken against the perpetrators.
Match 1: Drew McIntyre vs Kofi Kingston – for the Intercontinental Championship
As McMahon was leaving, his “Chosen One” Drew McIntyre came out to start the match, earning a handshake from the Chairman. Apparently, they agreed that Teddy Long, McIntyre’s nemesis, would have to come to the ring and take verbal abuse from Drew. He mocked Long for lying down for him last Thursday, and told Long to watch him win his Intercontinental Championship so that he could present him with the belt afterwards.
Match starts off fast, with Kingston getting the early advantage with a dropkick that sent Drew to the floor, followed by a flying dive through the ropes. Drew was able to hit a sneaky move from the floor that dropped Kingston hard. Kofi fought hard to come back, but Drew kept him down, wrenching and working on weakening Kofi’s arm. Kofi with a beautiful counter to a short-arm clothesline, floating over Drew and hitting a DDT. With his arm hurting, Kofi unleashed his arsenal of kicks to slow down the Scot. A high cross body nearly got him the pin, but a big boot to the face cooled down his frenzied comeback. Kofi avoided the double-arm DDT, and hit a tornado DDT of his own, but McIntyre got his leg on the rope to escape the loss. Kingston had a standing head scissors locked on, and when Drew tried to swing him off, Kofi’s legs knocked out the ref, so he wasn’t able to count after Drew hit his DDT. Drew forced Long into the ring to act as a substitute ref, even making him wear the unconscious ref’s shirt. Long stopped short on the count at 2-and-a-half. An angry Drew threatened to hurt Long if he did that again. As Drew went to hit another DDT, Matt Hardy, who is on suspension, ran in and hit Drew with a Twist of Fate. A groggy Drew got up, only to get hit with the Trouble in Paradise, after which Long gladly counted the pinfall.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Drew McIntyre
Match rating: 8/10
Backstage, the Hart Dynasty say they will beat the Uso’s in honour of Bret Hart.
Maryse vs Gail Kim vs Alicia Fox vs Eve Torres– Fatal 4-Way Match for the Divas Championship
Winner, and new Divas Champion: Alicia Fox
Match Rating: 7/10
Backstage, Big Show and Rey talked, with both of them saying that he would walk away as the new champion.
Match 3: Chris Jericho vs Evan Bourne
Chris Jericho took the mic to talk about his recent poor performance, saying that despite his results, he is still the greatest commodity in the company, and that Evan Bourne is just a pretender to the throne.
Y2J started off aggressively, countering Bourne’s speed with aggression. That didn’t last long, though, and soon Bourne went sky-high, landing a move off the top to the floor. Jericho gained back control, though, with a well-placed springboard dropkick as Bourne was climbing back into the ring. After escaping from Jericho’s submission clutch, Bourne had a glimmer of hope with some kicks, and then was able to catch Jericho on the top rope, hitting a standing hurancarana to knock him down. Another beautiful counter, with Jericho catching Bourne’s double-knee attempt and rolling him into the Walls of Jericho. Bourne was able to grab the rope, angering Jericho to the point that Jericho shoved him off the apron and into the announce table. A running attack backfired, and Bourne sent Jericho hard into the ring steps, and then hit his double knees off the top, but he was still too weak to hold Jericho down for the pin. Bourne went for Air Bourne, and landed on his feet when Jericho moved, only to walk into a Code-Breaker. 1, 2, and no! Bourne got his foot on the bottom rope, to the dismay of a frustrated Y2J. Jericho tried again for the Walls, but Bourne was able to somehow turn it into a spinning DDT. Jericho caught Evan going to the rope, but was knocked down twice while trying for a superplex. The second time left him prone for Air Bourne, giving Evan the biggest victory of his WWE career.
Winner: Evan Bourne
Match Rating: 8/10
Match 4: Big Show vs Rey Misterio vs CM Punk vs Jack Swagger – for the World Heavyweight Championship
Winner, and new World Heavyweight Champion: Rey Misterio
Match rating: 7/10
Backstage, WWE Champ John Cena says that the entire locker room will be ready to stand united if the NXT crew try to interfere with the main event. He wouldn’t predict a victory in his upcoming title match, given the odds and the results of the previous Fatal 4-Way matches.
Match 5: The Miz vs R-Truth – for the US Championship
Miz comes out singing a parody of Truth’s entrance music – funny, but then he forgot his lyrics, which had the commentary team laughing. Miz slowed down Truth early with a big kick to the gut, and then, in a great sneaky move, shoved Truth off the apron hard. Miz tried for a cheap count-out victory, but Truth got back into the ring in time. They exchanged offensive flurries for some time, but the pace was pretty slow during the middle of the match – clearly, fans love their entrances more than their in-ring offerings, as the crowd seemed pretty listless during this one, even though it wasn’t bad. After a series of pin attempts, Miz thwarted a sunset flip attempt and simply sat down on Truth’s shoulders to get the pin and keep his belt.
Winner, and still US Champion: The Miz
Backstage, Edge ran down the other participants in the main event, and predicted he would win the WWE Championship.
Match 6: The Hart Dynasty vs the Uso Brothers and Tamina
Intergender rules for this one, so the girls could only fight each other during this contest. Fairly even, with The Uso’s cutting off Tyson for a good portion of this match. Tremendous looking move, with Tyson diving from the apron onto one of the Uso’s, only to get caught and Samoa Dropped hard into the barricade. Tyson finally got the desperation tag to Natalya, who dominated Tamina, nearly getting the win until an Uso broke up the fall. On the floor, Kidd hit a flying somersault splash to knock out the Samoans. Meanwhile, Natalya moved out of the way of a Superfly attempt by Tamina, and hit a huge running lariat to get the pin.
Winners: The Hart Dynasty & Natalya
Match Rating: 7/10
Match 7: Edge vs Sheamus vs Randy Orton vs John Cena – Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Championship
Winner, and new WWE Champion: Sheamus
Match Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8/10