The PG Era was in full-swing for WWE back in 2009. Everything was changing, even the names of their pay-per-views, and sadly it meant we had to say goodbye to Unforgiven as the September event in WWE’s calendar.
So came the gimmick-themed names/concepts for Vince’s shows, such as Hell in a Cell, TLC, Night of Champions etc. Breaking Point here was an idea that had merit; promoting the top-tier matches on the card as submission-style bouts. Although this could’ve been an annual thing, the concept of Breaking Point strangely hasn’t been used since. That’s something of a shame, as this show (despite being flawed) offers a lot more good than bad, with the Montreal crowd being absolutely fantastic throughout.
Unified Tag Team Championship Match
Chris Jericho & The Big Show (Champions) vs. MVP & Mark Henry
The Jericho/Show pairing was a really surprising success. They worked very well as a unit and enjoyed a nice dominant run as tag team champions. Against the random pairing of MVP and the World’s Strongest Man, what you have is a simple, yet decent opener with all four chaps working well together. (7/10)
WWE United States Championship Match
Kofi Kingston (Champion) vs. The Miz
Great U.S. title bout here between these rivals. Miz was really starting to come into his own here as a heel & singles-wrestler (his French promo against the Montreal crowd is brilliant!), and Kofi is as terrific as ever. Not as memorable as their fantastic Intercontinental Championship affair on Main Event four years later, but still an excellent encounter. Quality. (8/10)
Submissions Count Anywhere Match
D-Generation X vs. Legacy
The first of its kind, this Submissions Count Anywhere bout is a fantastic success. This tornado tag affair thrives beautifully on its intensity, its brawling and its genius gimmick. Like the previous month at SummerSlam, Triple H and Shawn Michaels graciously make Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase look like their equals, with convincing submissions, superb utilisation of the stipulation and fantastic psychology. It’s damn-near perfect, especially with the right team going over. Such an overlooked gem this was (both the feud and the matches themselves)! Match of the night. (9/10)
Singapore Cane Match
Kane vs. The Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh)
Oh, dear…I really despair over those times that Kane had to wrestle Khali. Not even the stipulation helps here. Marginally better than the bout at SummerSlam, but that’s not saying much. Only five minutes, but that’s five minutes too long. At least the outcome and finish were correct. SKIP. (3/10)
ECW Championship Match
Christian (Champion) vs. William Regal
Thankfully, the disappointment at SummerSlam was more than made up for HERE. No tomfoolery or stupid booking, just two brilliant veterans fighting tooth-and-nail in a pure, wrestling bout. There’re some stiff, brutal moments (cheers, Regal!) and absolute quality to behold. Stuff like this and Christian as ECW Champion are what made those final days of the ECW brand something to value. (8/10)
Pat Patterson & Dolph Ziggler
Before the main-events, we had this segment to provide the audience with a bit of a breather. It was great to see the first-ever Intercontinental Champion/former stooge/Hall of Famer here, and he does some admirable mic-work here (to the approval of the Montreal crowd). However, the whole thing DRAGS because of Ziggler, whose mic-work at this early stage in his career REALLY wasn’t up to scratch! The final moments and John Morrison’s run-in is all done to keep the IC Title picture hot (as it had been back in 2009), but the whole segment needed to be booked better. Skip. (4/10)
“I Quit” WWE Championship Match
Randy Orton (Champion) vs. John Cena
This was without doubt the most brutal, intense and psychological chapter in the entire Cena/Orton rivalry, and the entire execution is beautiful. Orton’s sadism, character skills and timing are on FORM here, as are Cena’s, and his resiliency is actually inspiring here. There are sick moments involving steel chairs, Singapore canes and handcuffs; all resulting in a brilliant story being told. Is it as good an ‘I Quit’ match as say Flair/Funk, Rock/Mankind or even Cena/JBL? No, but it’s certainly the greatest ‘I Quit’ bout out of the entire PG Era, and will certainly be remembered for a long, long time. (9/10)
Submission World Heavyweight Championship Match
CM Punk (Champion) vs. The Undertaker
After the legendary feud with Jeff Hardy, CM Punk had truly cemented his right to be world-title/main-event material. And after the Undertaker’s shocking return, things could only look up, right? Well, given hindsight I sorely wish Punk’s glorious world-title reigns in 2009 had gone on longer, and that the Taker feud had been much more productive. This is barely nine-minutes long, and while the action is good (with Punk standing up quite well to Taker), the finish and outcome is not only ultra-cheap, it did a great disservice to Punk and the audience! Recreating the Montreal Screwjob twelve years on? REALLY? Terrible way to conclude what had been an all-round great show. (7/10)
There’re some good extras to support this show. Eve Torres conducts a fine interview with Chris Jericho and the Big Show…and then there’s highlights from the 07.09.09 edition of Raw, where U.S. TV presenter Bob Barker guest-hosts the show. During that whole ‘Celebrity Guest-Host’ phase that dominated Raw for a time, Barker presents a crossover with ‘The Price of Right’ (the original, U.S. version). Presented in highlight-form and featuring a variety of different WWE Superstars, ‘The Price is Raw’ is absolutely bizarre and out-of-place, yet strangely – and rather ironically - very entertaining. A welcome goodie indeed.
In my opinion, it’s a shame that WWE Breaking Point was only a one-time event, as there’s a lot of terrific ideas that merited the show being turned into an annual affair. There’re some classic bouts and a strong undercard here, which is sadly letdown by a few major blunders, but Breaking Point’s concept and all-round quality is exceptional. Very much worth the purchase, fellow fans!