As wrestling fans remember, WWE changed the names of the majority of its annual pay-per-views in 2009, with the company now going into full swing with its PG rating. We said goodbye to exciting, cutting edge names like No Way Out, Backlash (and Unforgiven & No Mercy in 2008)...and we also bid a fond farewell to Judgement Day.
Starting in October 1998(!) before settling into the May slot of WWE's annual schedule, Judgement Day has had its fair share of legendary memories i.e. Triple H vs. The Rock in an Iron Man match, the Undertaker returning to wreak devastation on the McMahon-Helmsley Faction, JBL battling Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Championship, then battling John Cena a year later in the violent `I Quit' match etc. Are there any unforgettable moments here (like Backlash 2009) for the final Judgement Day to go out on? Not really, but it's still a very good show that features some quality wrestling. And with Chicago, Illinois (where the first Judgement Day was held) hosting venue for the last hurrah...there's certainly that special vibe about it.
CM Punk vs. Umaga
In his home town of Chicago, CM Punk locked horns with the late, great Umaga (before putting his MITB briefcase to legendary use against Jeff Hardy!) in this solid opener. A David-and-Goliath affair that although unspectacular, features some fine wrestling and strong performances from both men. Good bout indeed. (7/10)
ECW Championship Match
Christian (Champion) vs. Jack Swagger
A rematch from the previous month at Backlash. Admittedly, it's a step-down from that particular outing, but this match still features some great exchanges and excellent chemistry. Another terrific great go-around between the two. (8/10)
John Morrison vs. Shelton Benjamin
I had high-hopes for this one. Given how highly talented these accomplished veterans are, I thought they would tear the house down easily. But alas, it wasn't to be. Benjamin and Morrison failed to `click' together on this night, and you felt like John's singles-star was starting to rise, whereas poor Shelton's was about to fade into obscurity. Some hellacious spots here-and-there, but it's ultimately disjointed and doesn't really flow like it should. (6/10)
The Miz, Alfonso Soriano & Santino Marella
An absolutely FANTASTIC segment! The Miz cuts a dynamite heel promo on the fans, John Cena, Chicago, the baseball player & his fellow cubs. Santino also shows his formidable mic skills by exchanging some hilarious wit and insults with the Miz, ending in a brawl that will have the viewer hooked! Alfonso is a good sport throughout and Chavo Guerrero makes a good appearance at the end. Great stuff! (8/10)
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Rey Mysterio (Champion) vs. Chris Jericho
When Rey won the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania 25, and he was immediately thrown into a feud with Chris Jericho, you just knew the results would be spectacular. Easily one of the best feuds from 2009 and a fantastic rivalry which would help make Mysterio's IC title reign the stuff of legend. Simply a fantastic match-up that will have you absolutely hooked. A thrilling story from start-to-finish, which spawns sequels that are even better than THIS one! Match of the night. (9/10)
WWE Championship Match
Randy Orton (Champion) vs. Batista
The old Evolution teammates square-off in a heated bout that has all the history, animosity and fundamentals for a great championship match. To be honest, I was expecting something more intense and fast-paced, instead of a methodical clash between two polar-opposites. Still, Orton again shows his excellence as a wrestler and Dave's ferocity shines through. Another solid bout that's letdown by the cheap ending, but the aftermath with Legacy and the Nature Boy Ric Flair himself is AWESOME! WOOOOOOOOOO!!! (8/10)
John Cena vs. The Big Show
A grudge match that followed on from what the Big Show did to Cena at Backlash. I wasn't expecting much here, but it's actually rather decent. There're elements of Hogan vs. Andre here, with Show looking like a true dominant giant and Cena selling his injuries convincingly. Fine outing from both men. (6/10)
World Heavyweight Championship Match
Edge (Champion) vs. Jeff Hardy
After all their deep history together, how could one expect this main-event to be nothing less than excellent? After so many ladder/cage/tag bouts together, this straight-wrestling bout shows just how much Edge and Jeff Hardy have matured as competitors, story-tellers and main-eventers. For twenty-minutes, they give the fans a simply engaging match that doesn't disappoint. Maybe the `shock' interference near the end is unnecessary but nothing really dampens the overall result. (9/10)
As always, you can expect ONE special feature on this disc, but it's a good Home Video Exclusive that shows Batista reuniting with an old friend (guess who!) in a segment that's sure to bring genuine smiles to people's faces. All in all, Judgement Day 2009 is hardly a must-see show, but it's nonetheless a quality one. Recommended.