The screams filled the sold-out event at the Allstate Arena in Chicago when WWE brought Judgment Day to the city on May 17, 2009. It was a night packed with action and excitement. I will give some insight on the four championship matches, a surprise appearance, and the opening contest, which featured the hometown hero.

C.M. Punk, the Chicago native, faced Umaga, in a thriller. Punk had a weapon – not a spray, or anything under the ring. He used his legs, with the hope of flattening his larger opponent. The “Samoan Bulldozer” stood strong. He just refused to succumb to the kicks and punches. The spectators roared in appreciation when Punk flew over the top rope, onto his large opponent. The excitement, however, was short-lived, because Umaga steadied himself, and attacked without passion. Using his signature move, which is called the “Samoan Spike”, he pinned Punk. The Wrestlemania “Money in the Bank” winner lost the match, in front of his home crowd. He was quick, and his moves were smart. There was little to no jubilation for Umaga because the spectators wanted the local boy to somehow emerge victorious. Boos filled the arena as Umaga made his exit. I wanted Punk to win, because he was the hometown favorite, was quicker, and a better wrestler.

The first Championship match was for the E.C.W. (Extreme Championship Wrestling) title. There were two superb wrestlers in this match: Christian, and Jack Swagger. This was a very competitive battle. Both wrestlers tried to use illegal moves, and they made several attempts to pin each other, but with their determination, they both got themselves out of the awkward situations, and continued the match. Christian made several attempts to pin his opponent with his finishing move -“the Killswitch”, but Swagger countered. The action at the end of this match was nail biting and tense. The conclusion of the match occurred when Christian rolled up Swagger and pinned him. Christian grabbed hold of his opponent’s tights, and he kept an eye on the referee to make sure he didn’t see the illegal move. The crowd was happy with the result. He has been ECW Champion for just a month, and he deserves a long reign as champion. I hope he will continue this winning streak.

One of the most entertaining matches of the night was the battle for the Intercontinental Championship. This match pitted the great wrestlers – Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio against each other. These two thrilled the Chicago crowd with their agility and variety of moves. Prior to the match, Chris Jericho made two guarantees in an interview segment: (a) that Mysterio would not hit his 6-1-9 move, regardless of how much the fans wanted it, and (b) that he, (Jericho) would become the new Intercontinental Champion.

Several times, Jericho was draped across the middle rope, giving Rey the opportunity to perform his 6-1-9. Fortunately for Chris, he escaped just as the champion was going to hit him with the move. So, up to that point, Jericho kept his word. Near the end, however, the challenger whipped his opponent into a turnbuckle across the ring. As he was running to hit Rey, the Champion moved. Jericho hit the turnbuckle, and fell to his knees in the corner. With lightning speed, Mysterio connected with the 6-1-9, and finished the match with a splash from the top rope. Rey Mysterio got the pinfall victory, and retained the Intercontinental Championship.

This action packed match had the crowd on its feet. The skills of both combatants were evident, and the crowd was ecstatic with the result.

Another title match was for the WWE Championship between Randy Orton and Batista. Under WWE rules, a title does not change hands through a disqualification or count out. Batista tried his uttermost to win the belt, and there were times when Orton did whatever was necessary to keep the belt. There were obvious signs of frustration from competitors. At times, Orton tried to walk away, but Batista caught him, and threw him back in the ring. Orton grabbed a steel chair to hit his opponent, but the referee intervened. After several hair raising moves, I think Randy Orton realized he could not beat Batista. So, for no reason at all, he turned, and slapped the referee, and intentionally got himself disqualified. Batista won the match, only because Randy got himself disqualified to retain the WWE title. So, you see, the disqualification came because of certain terms.

After the match, “The Animal” Batista took out his frustrations on Orton by attacking him. But, Randy’s “Legacy” teammates, Cody Rhodes, and Ted Dibiase Jr, came to save their leader. The three members of Legacy triple teamed Batista until……..The “Nature Boy,” Ric Flair arrived. He and Batista overpowered Legacy. The two friends and former “Evolution” members celebrated in the ring, as Legacy watched from the ramp, dejected and disappointed.

The appearance of Flair was a shocker. Luckily for Batista, the “Nature Boy” was able to save him from a major beating. That rescue was sure appreciated by the fans, since it added more action, to an already exciting match. I was happy that Orton retained his title. And, I was more than thrilled to see Ric Flair, since he is my favorite wrestler of all time.

The main event of the night featured two “Smackdown” superstars. Edge put his World Heavyweight Championship on the line, against Jeff Hardy. These two had classic battles in the past, and this one was no exception. There were moments in the match were Hardy was so close to capturing the title, but Edge managed to kick out of any pin fall attempts. Jeff’s downfall began with an incident which occurred on the arena floor. The champion cleared the announcer’s table, with the intention of placing Hardy on it. As Edge was occupied doing that, Jeff started walking along the barricade (which separates the wrestlers and the fans). Jeff was contemplating a quick jump on Edge. As the challenger leaped, Edge speared Jeff through the announcer’s table. The fans were stunned. The referee began his ten count, but quickly stopped it, so he could hold the champion back from going after Jeff on the arena floor. As the challenger was just getting to his feet, his brother, Matt Hardy, hit Jeff with the cast on his injured hand, knocking him out for a bit.

Jeff made it back to his feet and into the ring, staggered and dazed, after the cast shot. He mounted some offence on his opponent, but experienced difficulties. Edge was on the mat, and Hardy tried to climb to the top rope. As he reached the top, he tripped, and Edge took advantage. He nailed his “Edgecution” DDT from the top, covered the challenger for the count of three, and emerged victorious. Edge retained the World Heavyweight Championship, in a very exciting and fast paced match, which entertained the crowd throughout.

The fans were not happy with the result, but I was. I just felt Edge deserved the win. I think he makes a better champion than Jeff Hardy. Jeff had his shot as champion for a month between December and January. And, yes he was successful, but I just believed Jeff could not hold the title for a long time.

Judgment Day was a tremendous show. It was filled with exciting action and a surprise appearance by a wrestling legend -Ric Flair. I think the crowd enjoyed all the matches. This was evident from the manner in which they reacted during the matches. In my mind, the match of the night was Edge against Jeff Hardy. The fact that these two superstars wrestled on many occasions during their tenure with the company, made it extra special.

The WWE was successful in staging yet another fantastic and entertaining show, and demonstrated to fans, once again, that they will always get their money’s worth when they attend or view their shows. It was entertainment, at the highest level.

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