Date May 17, 2009
|Sponsor(s) Terminator Salvation|
|Themesong(s) "Rescue Me" by Buckcherry|
Promotion World Wrestling Entertainment
Judgment Day (2009) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), took place on May 17, 2009, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. It was the eleventh and final show under the Judgment Day name and the tenth show held annually; it featured talent from the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands. The event's card featured seven matches.
The main event for the show saw Edge successfully defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Jeff Hardy. WWE Champion Randy Orton was disqualified in a match against Batista and therefore retained his title. In addition, John Cena defeated Big Show.
The undercard for the show had four other singles matches: CM Punk versus Umaga, ECW Champion Christian defending the championship against Jack Swagger, John Morrison versus Shelton Benjamin, and Rey Mysterio defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Chris Jericho.
Presented by Columbia Pictures' Terminator Salvation, the event had 228,000 buys, down from the Judgment Day 2008 figure of 252,000 buys.
The card comprised matches which result from scripted storylines and have results predetermined by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Storylines between the characters were produced on WWE's weekly television shows Raw, SmackDown, and ECW with the Raw, SmackDown, and ECW brands—storyline divisions in which WWE assigned its employees to different programs.
Since January 2009, Randy Orton had been feuding with the McMahon family, attacking Vince, Shane and Stephanie McMahon before his match with Stephanie's husband Triple H for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XXV, which Triple H won. At Backlash, Orton, along with his protégés, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase (collectively known as The Legacy), defeated the defending WWE Champion Triple H, Batista and Shane McMahon in a six-man tag team match to win the title. On the April 27 episode of Raw, Batista defeated The Big Show via countout for a WWE Championship match against Orton at Judgment Day.
ECW's primary contribution to Judgment Day was announced on the April 28 episode of ECW on Sci Fi by the interim general manager of the show, Tiffany. She announced that ECW Champion, Christian, would defend his title against the previous champion, Jack Swagger, who chose to invoke his rematch clause guaranteed to him after losing the title at Backlash.
On the May 1 episode of SmackDown, a match took place to determine who would face Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship at Judgment Day. Jeff Hardy defeated Kane, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio in a fatal four-way elimination match to become the number one contender.
At Backlash, during the World Heavyweight Championship match, The Big Show interfered, throwing the former champ, John Cena through a spotlight. In result, Cena was incapacitated enough to lose the World Heavyweight Championship to Edge, as well as receiving storyline internal injuries. During the match to determine the number one contender for the WWE title on the April 27 episode of Raw, Cena entered the arena distracting Big Show, leading to him losing the match against Batista. The next week on Raw, Big Show demanded a match against Cena, only to have the general manager, Vickie Guerrero, set up a match between the two for Judgment Day, when Cena would be medically cleared.
At WrestleMania XXV, CM Punk won the Money in the Bank ladder match, which meant he earned a guaranteed chance to challenge any world champion at any time over the course of the next year. On the May 1 episode of SmackDown, Punk was about to invoke his championship match against the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge, only to have Umaga interfere and assault him. The following week, Punk was given another match against Edge but was again attacked by Umaga. It was announced later that night that Punk would face Umaga at Judgment Day.
Before the show started, an untelevised match occurred between Mickie James and Beth Phoenix with her associate in her corner, Rosa Mendes; James won the match by pinning Phoenix after performing a DDT.
The opening match was between Umaga and CM Punk. The match was based around Umaga dominating Punk and neutralizing any attempt Punk made at offense. Punk was able to move out of the way of a diving headbutt off the top rope and then perform some offense maneuvers. At the end of the match, Umaga delivered a Samoan Spike for the pinfall victory over Punk.
Next up was the ECW Championship match between Christian and Jack Swagger. The match went back-and-forth with constant counters to each others moves. This was followed by Christian attempting a Killswitch, only to have Swagger counter but Christian pulled down the straps from his singlet. Swagger then attempted a clothesline, but Christian ducked, caught him around the waist from behind, and rolled him to the mat, using the singlet he compromised for extra leverage, getting the pin.
In the third match, John Morrison wrestled Shelton Benjamin with his longtime tag team partner, Charlie Haas, in his corner. Haas unsuccessfully attempted to interfere on behalf of his partner before Morrison halted the effort, and he ended the match by pinning Benjamin after a Starship Pain.
Following this match, The Miz entered the ring and verbally berated the live crowd, insulting them and John Cena claiming, "He's like a lovable loser, much like the Chicago Cubs." He then turned his attention specifically to the Cubs' left fielder, Alfonso Soriano, who was in attendance, insulting him before being interrupted by Santino Marella, who took exception to The Miz's comments, leading to a fight between the two. The Miz got the better of his opponent, ending by delivering a DDT. Chavo Guerrero also came out to attack Marella after comments made by the latter about Guerrero's aunt Vickie Guerrero.
The following match was for the WWE Intercontinental Championship between Rey Mysterio and Chris Jericho. The match started with both men attempting to throw each other out of the ring to get the advantage. Mysterio tried the 619, but Jericho stated prior to the match that he would not allow the move to be performed. At one point, both competitors sat on the top turnbuckle, and Jericho made an attempt to remove Mysterio's mask, only to be knocked away. Mysterio attempted a 619 but Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho. Mysterio won the match after the 619, followed by a Splash from the top rope to get the pin on Jericho.
Main event matches
The fifth match saw Batista challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. The match focused around the two brawling: Orton kept Batista down with stomps and chinlocks but Batista delivered a spear. Orton spent the latter portion of the match trying to get himself disqualified by trying to use a steel chair and the WWE title belt as a weapon, as well as trying to get counted out, only to have Batista halt his efforts. After an attempt at the RKO was blocked, Orton ran into the referee and slapped him in the face. This was rendered a disqualification victory for Batista, due to Orton attacking an official. Per title match rules, Orton retained the championship, as the title cannot change hands on a disqualification unless stated otherwise. Following the match, Orton's protégés, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, came down to the ring and assaulted Batista until retired wrestler, Ric Flair, made his return to the company to aide Batista against his assailants. Batista was then able to deliver the Batista Bomb to Orton.
John Cena faced The Big Show next on the card. In the early part of the match, The Big Show performed various punches on Cena, but was ultimately countered by his opponent who attempted to apply the STF, but it was unable to be fully applied due to The Big Show's size. Cena then delivered the Attitude Adjustment to Big Show for a pinfall victory.
The main event saw Edge defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Jeff Hardy. The match kept a quick pace between the two, trying to gain the upper hand with a number of strikes and takedowns, as well as Hardy executing a Twist of Fate. The action would spill onto the floor, leading to both men positioned at the barricade surrounding the ring area. Hardy tried to run across it, and Edge stopped him with a spear through the barricade. Hardy set up the steel steps, ran up the steps and performed a heel kick on Edge, leading to both competitors crashing into the crowd over the barricade. Once Edge managed to return to the ring, Matt Hardy, came through the crowd and attacked Hardy with his cast (Jeff had broken Matt's hand in their previous encounter). At the end of the match, Edge delivered an Edgecution off the top rope, pinning Hardy to retain the title.
Following Randy Orton's retention of the WWE Championship against Batista at Judgment Day by getting himself intentionally disqualified, Ric Flair, an associate of Batista's, announced on the May 18 episode of Raw that, as ordered by the Raw General Manager, Vickie Guerrero, Orton would face Batista in a steel-cage match at Extreme Rules. This match stipulation would prevent both interference from outside parties and deliberate disqualifications.
Also, on the May 18 episode of Raw, it was announced that The Big Show would have a rematch with his Judgment Day opponent, John Cena at Extreme Rules as well; this time, however, the match was to be a submission match, which a wrestler can only win by forcing an opponent to submit.
On the SmackDown immediately following Judgment Day, SmackDown general manager, Theodore Long, felt that Edge's retention of the World Heavyweight Championship was questionable due to Matt Hardy's interference, so he declared that Jeff Hardy would have a rematch for the championship at Extreme Rules. Hardy and Edge had a match that night, with the stipulation that whoever won would be allowed to choose the stipulation for the match at Extreme Rules. Hardy won the match and chose a ladder match, which requires the competitors in the match to climb a ladder to obtain the title belt suspended over the ring in order to win.
After defeating CM Punk at Judgment Day, Umaga continued to attack Punk. He interfered in Punk's match with Chris Jericho on the May 22 episode of SmackDown, assaulting Punk with a leather strap and issuing a challenge to Punk for a Samoan strap match at Extreme Rules.
After Christian retained the ECW Championship against Jack Swagger at Judgment Day, Swagger attacked Christian on the following episode of ECW and pushed him off the entrance ramp. Two days later, on Superstars, Swagger interfered in a title match between Christian and Tommy Dreamer, resulting in the match being ruled a no contest. On the May 26 episode of ECW, Swagger announced that he would have a rematch against Christian at Extreme Rules, but the ECW general manager, Tiffany, stated that Dreamer had been added to the match, making it a triple threat hardcore match, a match with no disqualifications or countouts, and the first man to score a pinfall or submission would win. As Dreamer's contract with the company was set to expire one day before the show, it was announced that he had signed a one-day extension to give him a chance at winning the title; if Dreamer were to fail to win the title, he would no longer wrestle for ECW.
Following Mysterio's victory over Jericho at the event, Jericho went to SmackDown general manager, Theodore Long, and demanded a rematch for the title the next month at Extreme Rules. Long then announced that would happen in a No Holds Barred match at the event.
The show received generally mixed reviews. Brian Elliot, writing for the Canadian Online Explorer's wrestling section, called it, "intriguing in more ways than one." He commented on how three of the company's big stars (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker) were absent from the show; he also commented on the fact that all seven of the matches were singles matches and commented, "...there was hope that the better in-ring performers on the show would have the opportunity to wrestle – a rarity in today’s over-the-top wrestling climate." The show was rated average, but "fun", with the highest score being 6.5/10 for Punk versus Umaga, the Intercontinental title match, and the World Heavyweight title match. Well-known wrestling journalist, Dave Meltzer, of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, summarized the show by saying, "No great matches but six or seven matches were good to very good. A lot of good finishes." He also praised The Miz in speaking role, calling it the "best mic work Miz has ever done".
Writing for The Sun, however, The LilsBoys rated the event 6.5/10, stating the event "was simply OK. And that’s not enough." They criticized the finishes of the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship matches, claiming that the "cheap finishes in both world title matches... just felt you leaving a bit ripped off." They praised the Intercontinental Championship match between Mysterio and Jericho, stating that it "was the only match on Judgment Day that is worth catching on the repeat."