July 10, 2011
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

The Greatest Cage Matches of All Time
Three-Disc Set
Released: June 28, 2011
DISC THREE

Josh Mathews explains that while the Dudleyz and the Hardyz are known for their TLC matches, they also seemed pretty comfortable inside a steel cage as well.

WWF World Tag Team Champions The Hardy Boyz vs. WCW World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (w/Stacy Keibler) – Title Unification Cage Match (Survivor Series 2001)
From the one and only WWF PPV I ever attended live which also happened to be the same date, time and location where Vince took one final massive dump on the legacy of Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW right on it’s very gravesite: Greensboro, NC. And hey, why not. They were the only company that not only had the balls but also the assets to nearly put him out of business. Ironic how they were running an angle where it appeared Lita’s man Matt Hardy might be digging Stacy Keibler a little bit. And my word, who wouldn’t. Pinfalls and escapes are the only way to win. Other than that, tag match rules seem to apply. Matt and Bubba Ray start us off. The Hardyz double-team Bubba Ray with their TANDEM OFFENSE~! as JR points out. Matt plays face-in-peril for a while. He delivers a reverse DDT to Bubba and makes the hot tag to Jeff. It breaks down and never returns to traditional tag-team form as the Dudleyz receive Poetry in Motion one at a time. The Dudleyz prevent a climb out, but D-Von takes a Russian Legsweep off the top rope. Meanwhile, Bubba Ray gives Jeff a Super Bubba Bomb! Matt receives a double-team flapjack into the cage. Jeff gets launched up to the top of the cage, but Bubba Ray pulls him down into a Doomsday Device. Reverse 3D on Jeff gets two thanks to a save from Matt. He gets thrown into the steel for his troubles and then SPLASHED by individual Dudleyz! NASTY. Jeff moves away from a D-Von flying headbutt as well as a diving legdrop from Bubba Ray. With the Dudleyz stunned, Matt comes off the top rope with a double flying clothesline. Double backdrop to Bubba Ray sets up a STEREO FLYING LEGDROP/SUPERFLY SPLASH from the Hardyz for 1-2-NO! As Matt tries to climb out, D-Von slams his head into the cage with his foot stuck in the top tier – leaving Matt just hanging around by his foot. Wassup Headbutt is delivered to Jeff. STACY! GET THE TABLE! Alliance ref Nick Patrick won’t allow it until Stacy shows him a little tail and pulls the cage door key out of his back pocket. It’ll get you every time. In comes the table, but the 3D is countered. Matt shoves Bubba down off the top rope and escapes over the cage wall to the floor. That’s kind of dumb because it leaves Jeff all alone with the Dudleyz. After bouncing D-Von’s head off the cage a few times, Jeff starts to climb out. D-Von does the only thing he can do at this point and that’s lay down on the table. JEFF CAN’T RESIST! He tries the SWANTON BOMB off the top of the cage, but D-Von gets out of the way leaving Jeff to crash and burn through the table. Bubba Ray crawls over and covers him for 1-2-3. (15:46) This leads to the first Hardy Boyz failure of a feud. Decent story mixed in with some decent spots and a great finish. You could sense that the crowd seemed desensitized by the crazy ending. Possibly from the TLC matches that were still somewhat fresh in the minds of wrestling fans. BLOOD COUNT: None. **½

Edge vs. Chris Jericho – Cage Match (Smackdown, 7/25/02)
2002 was my FAVORITE year of Edge. Don’t care too much for the Rated-R Superstar and he may be a dozen time world champ or whatever with many other big time main event matches, but he never had another year like this one. I could watch any 2002 match with Edge and be entertained. To set the stage, both guys are coming off losses from the Vengeance PPV that just happened on July 21. While Jericho was defeated by a newcomer named John Cena, later in the show he then cost Edge and Hulk Hogan the WWE tag team titles to give Lance Storm and Christian the belts and then formed the short-lived Un-Americans stable along with Test. Edge maintains control to start, as it should be. Off a corner whip, Jericho tries to shoot up the turnbuckles and climb out real quick, but Edge yanks Jericho down. Jericho gets tied up in the ropes which leaves him wide open for a SPEAR. Seems kind of risky to me. Couldn’t Jericho just put his feet up? Once Jericho breaks loose, he sidesteps another SPEAR and sends Edge into the cage. Some more cage violence busts Edge open. Bossman straddle leads to YEAH BABY. Of course it only gets two. Sleeper drop from Jericho gets two. Now Jericho ties Edge up in the ropes just so he can get in some free shots on that open wound. Jericho becomes a little careless and charges Edge only to get sent into the cage. Oh, that sneaky Edge. HERE COMES EDGE! Half Nelson Face Slam gets two, as does the Edge-O-Matic. Jericho stops Edge from climbing out, but then Edge counters a superplex with a sitout front superplex. Nice! Cover, 1-2-NO! Jericho counters the EDGECUTION though and tries for the WALLS OF JERICHO, but settles for a catapult into the cage. Jericho crawls for the door, but Edge grabs him by the ankles. A chair gets pulled into the match as Edge gets knocked for a loop. Cover by Jericho, 1-2-NO! He wants to give Edge another chairshot, but Edge ducks and hits the SPEAR for 1-2-NO! Another climb attempt by Edge, but Jericho brings him down to the mat with a top rope bulldog. Now it’s Jericho’s turn. He makes it up to the rim of the cage, but Edge pulls him back inside and delivers a SUPER ELECTRIC CHAIR DROP! Holy crap it looked like Edge broke his neck there. As Edge makes the climb, Jericho starts to crawl. However, Edge is just a little faster and makes it out and over the cage wall to the floor for the win. (13:14 shown) Fun fact: There were only two cage matches on Smackdown in 2002 and Edge competed in and won them both, defeated Kurt Angle and now Chris Jericho. After the bell, the rest of the Un-Americans head down to beat the ever living crap out of Edge. But guys, YOU’RE ALL CANADIANS! You of all groups of people should be able to get along. Anyways, the new kid on the block John Cena wearing (blue and white tights) comes down to help out. When he fails, Rey Mysterio (who just made his WWE debut on this episode of Smackdown) climbs up the cage and FLIES down on top of Storm and Christian. Test tries to powerbomb the guy, but learns quickly that YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB REY! The good guys clean house on the Canadians to end the show. BLOOD COUNT: Edge. ***½

Chris Jericho vs. Christian (w/Trish Stratus & Tyson Tomko) – Cage Match (Raw, 5/10/04)
VITAMIN C EXPLODES~! So Christian and Trish (as a heel, at her hottest) screwed over Jericho at WrestleMania and two months later he’s STILL pissed about it. The only way this feud can end is in a steel cage. I loved the summer of 2004 on Raw because it was booked like the NWA in 1987 with Evolution (the Four Horsemen) battling the good guys like the world champ Benoit, Jericho, Benjamin, and Edge (Dusty, Road Warriors, and Nikita) on a weekly basis. Onto the match, Jericho has to manually place Christian into the cage to start. When Jericho can’t get the WALLS OF JERICHO early, he tries for a quick escape up to the rim of the cage. Christian pushes him down, but then gets pulled off the top rope to hotshot himself. They trade slaps and chops (WOO!), but Christian wins that battle with an inverted backbreaker for two. Jericho crotches Christian as he tries to climb out. As Jericho starts to make his way down to the floor, the “Problem Solver” Tyson Tomko walks over and threatens Jericho with a chair if he so decides to climb out at this point in time. Similar to Chris Benoit when he faced Kurt Angle in 2001 in a cage and Austin was beating the cage with a chair, Jericho dives down on top of Christian with a flying bodypress! Well, sort of. By the way, I KNOW Benoit’s dive was a flying headbutt, but it’s the same principle. Jericho heads for the door and once he sticks his head out, Tomko walks by and kicks him in the face! Now the zebra shirt guys have had enough. Tyson Tomko, YOU ARE OUTTA HERE! Since Christian is laying down flat on his face and can’t, Trish makes sure to look extremely disappointed for him. While kicking Jericho in the face to stop him from crawling out wasn’t quite as dramatic as slamming the door in his face, Jericho is still able to SLOWLY make it half way out the cage when Christian grabs a hold of his ankles and pull him back inside. More fisticuffs, but then Jericho charges into a backdrop and that sends him into the cage. Christian starts choking on Jericho, but Jericho fights up and sends Christian into the cage to bust him open. Now we see some more cage violence. As Christian gets stuck in between the ropes and the cage, Jericho gives him a springboard dropkick to further the damage. Awesome. Running bulldog gets two. Trish starts climbing the cage to distract Jericho long enough for an UNPRETTIER attempt, but Jericho shoves it off. Jericho tries another running bulldog, but Christian sees it coming and sends Jericho off into the cage. UNPRETTIER connects! Christian is too exhausted and bloody to capitalize quickly enough as that only gets two. Since he can’t get the pinfall, Christian starts to climb out. Jericho meets him on the top turnbuckle though for a BUTTERFLY SUPERPLEX! Now Trish has broken into the cage with a steel chair in hand. Doorkeeper/ref Jack Doan didn’t seem to try and stop her though. Come on Jack! I would have tackled her down to the ground and everything! She goes to swing at Jericho and gets tripped up for the WALLS OF JERICHO! While Jericho disciplines Trish, Christian tries to sneak up the cage wall without Jericho being ever the wiser! He lets Trish go at the very last second as he spots Christian up at the cage rim. Christian starts to climb down to the floor, but Jericho pulls him back up and down onto the top rope. Jericho grabs a kick and takes Christian down to the mat for the WALLS OF JERICHO! Christian finds the bottom rope right at the door, but grabbing the ropes is meaningless in a cage match. Christian makes it half way out the door while still in the hold. He even touches the floor with his hands grasping for anything to give him the leverage to break the hold, but there’s nothing he can do. So Jericho pulls him back to the center of the ring and Christian taps to give Jericho the win. (11:41) During the match, Christian suffered a pretty bad back injury and was forced to miss the entire summer. Of course then he comes back at Unforgiven to have another dangerous and high-risk encounter with Chris Jericho in a ladder match over the vacant Intercontinental title after Edge had to leave because of a groin injury. Not a good year for E&C, or Team ECK for that matter. By the way, I thought both of these Chris Jericho cage matches were equally very good in their own way. This one just had the roles reversed where the opponent was taking the bumps instead of Jericho. BLOOD COUNT: Christian. ***½

Randy Orton vs. Ric Flair – Cage Match (Taboo Tuesday, 10/19/04)
This was back when Randy Orton was trying to become a face the first time while battling his former Evolution buddies and it just didn’t work. He’s just a natural bad guy and I still think he is to this day. Lawler bets that Flair has had more steel cage matches than Orton has had matches. In 2004, I wouldn’t think that’s actually *that* far fetched. Orton controls to start daring Flair to keep getting back up. When Flair tries to escape, he thumbs Orton in the eye to take over. WOO! Chops and low blows. Why not. Flair sends Orton into the cage and that’s all it takes to bust Orton up. It’s a good one too. More cage violence ensues followed by some chops. Now Flair eats the cage and he’s busted open. Flair tries to leave and Orton grabs a hold of his tights to expose Flair’s behind. Orton then proceeds to bash Flair’s head into the rim until he walks away on the top rope and crotches himself. Now Flair begs off into a ten-count corner punch. Orton climbs up top to stomp on Flair’s head, so Flair punches him in the balls. WOO! More cage violence follows. Flair tries coming off the top rope, but you know where that leads. Flying bodypress from Orton gets 1-2-NO! Inverted backbreaker gets two. Flair chops him silly though and heads for the door. Orton pulls him back inside, but Flair has a secret weapon. Brass knuckles! Flair punches his lights out for 1-2-NO! WHAT. Flair heads out the door again, but Orton grabs him by the leg. As he pulls Flair back inside, a chair comes along with him. Orton ducks a swing and delivers the RKO for 1-2-3. (10:36) They sure don’t make brass knuckles like they used to. Afterwards, Randy Orton shows Ric Flair some respect, which happens often in Flair’s case in WWE. Not sure why since they just beat the heck out of each other into a bloody pulp. Fun match, though. BLOOD COUNT: Randy Orton and Ric Flair. ***

Matt Hardy vs. Edge (w/Lita) – Cage Match (Unforgiven 2005)
True story: the boyfriend gets injured and sits at home while the girlfriend of six years stays on the road and cheats on the boyfriend with his best friend. A story as old as time. During the summer of 2005, Matt Hardy started SHOOTING (but not really) on live TV showing up when he wasn’t “under contract” and shouting words like Ring of Honor and using Edge and Lita’s real names – stuff that had never been said on WWE television. For those reasons, for every guy who’s ever been screwed over by his ex-girlfriend, and because people just really didn’t like Edge, this feud became the hottest thing going in wrestling. They had a brawl at SummerSlam where Matt was TKO’d, a street fight on Raw that got to the point when neither man could even finish the match, and now this. To be fair though, it’s a pretty great match. To start, neither man can send the other into the cage. When Matt starts punching harder than Edge can stand, Edge tries to climb out. He reaches the rim, but Matt brings him back inside. Matt headbutts him down and delivers a double-sledge. Edge quickly heads for the door and fails as Matt drags him back to the center of the ring. Hardy grabs a headlock and won’t let go. It takes a nasty eye rake to get Matt off him. Hardy pulls down a climb attempt and catches Edge with a jumping clothesline for two. Matt warms up for the TWIST OF FATE, but Edge shoves him off into the cage back into an Edge-O-Matic for 1-2-NO! They meet up on the cage rim again and Matt pulls Edge back in for a SUPER SIDE EFFECT! Edge elbows him off and bashes Hardy’s head into the rim until he collapses to the mat. Edge follows up with a missile dropkick to the back of the head. A pair of back suplexes do further damage to Matt’s head. Edge continues to pound on Hardy’s head to try and knock him out again. A DDT and why not. Cover, 1-2-NO! Edge powerbombs Matt into the cage. Oh the head trauma. A buckle bomb continues the violence. However, MATT HARDY WILL NOT DIE! He gets to his feet only to eat a running boot. As he pulls himself up again by using the ropes, Edge kicks him down again. A struggle on the top turnbuckle leads to Matt taking a SUPER POWERBOMB. Slow cover by Edge, 1-2-NO! Matt stops a ten-count corner punch by walking forward as Edge hotshots himself on the top turnbuckle. Hardy avoids the SPEAR and hits the Side Effect for two. Edge tries to cut off Matt’s comeback by just crawling out the door, but Hardy reaches him in time. As Edge gets pulled back inside, Lita hands Edge his MITB briefcase he won at WrestleMania 21. Once again, doorkeeper/ref Jack Doan fails to restrain the ladies. Edge misses with the briefcase and gets tied up in the ropes. Off come the elbow pads as Matt is pissed! He catapults Edge into the cage to bust him open. He follows up by sending Edge into all four sides of the cage. Lita tries to climb inside, so Matt shakes the cage to knock her down. Now it’s Hardy kicking Edge in the head. Matt climbs to the top rope to come down on Edge with the briefcase, but Edge shoves the ref into the ropes to knock Matt over. As Matt stands up in between the ropes and the cage, Edge decides its time to deliver the SPEAR! Edge heads up top and tries to climb out, but Matt once again meets him at the top for the SUPER SIDE EFFECT! Lita has had enough. She grabs Lillian Garcia’s chair and walks right past Jack Doan to try and get inside the cage. He finally sees what she’s doing and takes the chair away from her, but doesn’t stop Lita from getting inside to break up the pinfall. Matt and Lita lock eyes and while they discuss politics or something, Edge starts to crawl for the door. Matt turns around just in time to drag Edge over to a corner away from the door. Lita tries to whack Matt with the MITB briefcase and fails as Matt gives her the TWIST OF FATE. I’m sorry, but it sounds like a sex move. As Matt stands back up, Edge drills him with the SPEAR for 1-2-NO! Since he can’t pin Matt, he tries to climb out again. Matt manages to meet him on the top turnbuckle again and elbows him back down. The win seems certain for Matt as now there is no opposition. All he has to do is climb over the rim and head down to the floor, but he’s a Hardy after all and can’t resist doing stupid things from high places. A FLYING LEGDROP FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE is enough to kill Edge dead for the 1-2-3. (21:32) There are few matches these days that cause people to emotionally get behind a match. Maybe few guys know how to go for a solid twenty minutes anymore where the match gets properly built up. Maybe they don’t know how to sell as well as Matt Hardy anymore. Maybe the veterans who do know how to go twenty minutes never cared to show the newer guys how to wrestle to the point people cringe and forget that they are watching a worked match. Whatever the reason is, Matt Hardy and Edge for twenty minutes made you believe that they really hated each other using just passion and violence and you don’t doubt it for a second. 2005 had a lot of great matches and I think this one seems to get lost in the shuffle. They would have more violent encounter after this on the Raw Homecoming show when Raw returned to the USA network on October 3 in a Loser Leaves Raw ladder match for Edge’s MITB briefcase, but of course Matt lost and went back over to Smackdown. BLOOD COUNT: Edge. ****

WWE Champion John Cena vs. Edge (w/Lita) – Cage Match (Raw, 10/2/06)
So strange seeing Cena on disc two and here on disc three four years later and seeing just how much he had changed as Cena gets ready for the world premiere of The Marine. What’s not strange is Lita’s AMAZING shirt she’s wearing here. Anyways, this was billed as Edge’s last shot at Cena’s WWE title. I can’t remember why though since Cena had just regained the belt at Unforgiven in an epic TLC match. Last week on Raw, Edge had a bunch of Smackdown guys come in and beat up on Cena’s elbow pretty good – particularly Finlay and his shillelagh. No one can slam each other’s face into the cage to start, so Cena delivers the release Fisherman’s suplex for two. Cena’s elbow is heavily taped and he tries to shake it loose every now and then to “sell” the injury. Edge goes after the elbow and then heads for the door, but Cena pulls him away for a back suplex. As Edge takes a cross corner whip, he uses his own momentum to shoot himself up to the top turnbuckle to try and escape. Cena is right there to slam him back down for two. An FU gets countered to a DDT from Edge for two. Edge works a Fujiwara armbar to hyperextend the injured elbow, but Cena shoots up and backdrops Edge away. Flipping bulldog or whatever the heck its called gets two. Cena tries to climb out using his one good arm, but Edge yanks him down in between the ropes and the cage to set him in place for a SPEAR. They trade fisticuffs on the top turnbuckle until Cena slams Edge’s head back into the rim of the cage and brings Edge down to the mat with a bulldog. Oh snap, let’s take a commercial. As Tony Schiavone would say, TAKE A BREATHER AND COME ON BACK! When we take a breath and come on back, Edge has Cena in a nasty crossface hold that bends Cena’s injured arm in a direction it shouldn’t go. Of course, Cena fights out and delivers a belly to belly suplex. Edge comes back with a spinning heel kick and crawls for the door, but Cena pulls him back. Edge running boots the elbow and then throws Cena into the cage to do more damage on the elbow. Time to climb, but Cena meets Edge on the rim of the cage where they trade blows. Edge claws Cena’s face and puts him back on the top rope, but Cena brings him back down with him. As they meet on the top rope, Edge takes Cena to the mat with a back superplex. That gets two. Edge takes another chance by climbing the cage, but Cena crotches him on the top rope and mounts his comeback. Shoulderblocks and the Protobomb set up the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Edge avoids the FU and smashes Cena’s face into the cage. Edge tries to take advantage and climb out, but Cena is there to stop him again. We could see a SUPER FU, but Edge slips out and tries an electric chair drop. Cena escapes the electric chair drop and tries the FU again, but Edge avoids *that* because of Cena’s hurting elbow and hits the Edge-O-Matic for 1-2-NO! Awesome! Aside from Cena’s elbow “injury”, a series of reversals after a year’s worth of matches like they have had makes sense. Edge heads for the door and when Cena grabs hold of him, Lita hands Edge a chair through the open door. This doorkeeper/ref isn’t Jack Doan and doesn’t put up with such. Lita, YOU ARE OUTTA HERE! While that’s all good, he doesn’t seem to mind that the chair still made it inside the cage. The ref who was inside the cage already doesn’t even seem to *notice* that there’s now a chair inside the cage. Edge catches the ref with a flying clothesline by accident. He finds a chair though, so it’s okay. He gets that crazy look in his eye and goes to swing at Cena only to fall into the STFU. Since there’s no ref, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch head down and enter the cage to beat the crap out of Cena. They botch the DOUBLE GOOZLE on Cena, but that’s okay. Cade and Murdoch start to drag Edge out the door, but here comes Degeneration-X for the save. HHH takes care of Cade while HBK delivers SWEET CHIN MUSIC to Murdoch which causes him to slam the door on Edge’s face. That leaves Edge to receive the FU from Cena for the 1-2-3. (16:17 shown) Pretty much your standard Edge cage match. Take a lot of career shortening bumps and have the people wondering who will win all the way to the end. Well, until the interference anyways. Since Cade and Murdoch clearly couldn’t handle DX, Edge would convince Randy Orton to join him in the short-lived Rated RKO tag team to take them on. HHH would soon blow another quadricep in one of their matches and as a result missed WrestleMania 23, so in the end Edge really did get some revenge. BLOOD COUNT: None. ***½

World Heavyweight Champion Batista vs. Chris Jericho – Cage Match (Raw, 11/3/08)
This was billed as the main event of the 800th episode of Raw. During Jericho’s awesome feud with Shawn Michaels, he ended up capturing the World Heavyweight title at Unforgiven, then lost the belt to Batista at Cyber Sunday eight days before this match took place. Jericho tries escaping early off a cross-corner whip. He makes it all the way to the rim of the cage, but Batista pulls him back inside for a running powerslam. Cage violence ensues until we go to commercial. AND WE’RE BACK! Jericho turns Batista over for the WALLS OF JERICHO. As Batista reverses the hold, he nearly kicks Jericho off through the door. Realistically, he would have if he wasn’t all late pulling Jericho back inside. Batista gets the door shut on his injured leg. Doesn’t matter though, as Jericho gets caught in a black hole slam for two. Jericho counters a spinebuster into a DDT, or so it appeared. That gets two. Batista catches the CODEBREAKER and sends Jericho off into the cage. He misses a spear and eats the cage. Jericho starts to climb and gets to the other side of the cage, but he’s coming down right at the door. With the door swung open, Jericho climbs right down into the arms of Batista who brings him back into the cage. Some spots just aren’t innovative. They merely come across as contrived and fake. If Batista wants to win and since this isn’t really a blood feud, why doesn’t Batista just toss Jericho away and walk down the ringside steps to win? Batista hits a Spinebuster, but then Jericho uses his positioning in the BATISTA BOMB to grab hold of the rim and climb up. Batista meets up on the top rope and they fall back down. Jericho climbs again and makes it to the rim. Batista climbs up as well and wants to BATISTA BOMB FROM THE TOP ROPE, but Jericho grabs hold of what brings the cage down from the ceiling. He finds what appears to be a large metal carabiner and hits Batista several times in the head to bust him open! Jericho manages to avoid the Batista Bomb and makes it over the cage, but Batista grabs him by the throat from under the rim! Jericho figures if he kicks Batista away, he’ll just fall to the floor and that’s exactly what happens as Jericho regains the World title. (10:55 shown) This was okay, but a lot of the escape spots just came off looking silly. Also, you can tell when Batista is trying and when he is half-doing a match too. This was the latter. Maybe this was a night when some of his roided up muscles were just about to tear again. Who knows. BLOOD COUNT: Batista. **

World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk vs. Jeff Hardy – Cage Match (Smackdown, 8/28/09)
Not to ruin the finish although it does, this was “Loser Leaves WWE”. This is just five (two?) days after SummerSlam, where CM Punk had regained the World title in a match of the year candidate TLC match. While Punk’s shoulder is all taped up, Hardy is probably just too high to realize what is actually broken and bruised on his body. Punk interrupts Hardy’s entrance and catapults him into the cage. He gives Hardy a suplex on the floor before they head inside the cage for this match to begin for real. Right off the bat, Punk is satisfied with just climbing out the cage as soon as the bell rings. Hardy refuses to lose and that brings Punk down. He delivers a suplex to hopefully slow him down this time so he can climb out now. Again, Hardy meets him at the rim of the cage. Hardy gets face smashed into the cage rim and falls back down to the mat for two. Jeff fights back and sends Hardy into the cage. Whisper in the Wind get two. Commercials! When we come back, Hardy kicks Punk away when he’s trying to climb out and then hits a flying bodypress for 1-2-NO! Hardy goes for the door, but Punk grabs him by the legs and catapults him into the cage. This time, Hardy catches himself and starts climbing up the cage wall. Punk meets him up at the rim, but Hardy stops a superplex and crotches Punk on the top rope. As Punk falls to the mat, Hardy can’t resist the SWANTON BOMB! Cover, 1-2-NO! Since Punk wants to climb out, Hardy goes for the door. Come on, Punk. That’s just stupid. Punk then has to run over and grab Hardy before he can escape. Hardy connects with a mule kick and crossbody blocks Punk into the cage. Punk collapses and easily crawls towards the door, but Hardy pulls him back to the center of the ring. They come up off their knees punching and trade finisher attempts. Hardy counters the GTS to the backslide for 1-2-NO! Makes sense considering Punk’s shoulder is already supposed to be hurting. Punk punishes Hardy with a double-underhook backbreaker for two. GTS fails again as Jeff escapes the move and hits the Twist of Fate. As Hardy makes the climb up to the rim, Punk manages to grab hold of his leg and pull him back inside for a superplex! Now it’s Punk who reaches the rim of the cage. Hardy tries to retrieve the world champ, but Punk thumbs him in the eye and slams his head on the rim. That’s enough to push Hardy back down to the mat as Punk just falls down to the floor for the win. (13:00 shown) Punk post-match reactions are just awesome and have to be seen to be appreciated. While certainly not even close to that level of greatness, a lot of fans at the time saw a lot of comparisons to this and the Bret-Owen cage match as they attempted less risky big spots and just tried to win in order to hold onto their jobs. Good match and even as a Punk fan, I don’t go crazy over this match as some people have. BLOOD COUNT: None. ***¼

Final Thoughts: Wow, this was like the Chris Jericho and Edge disc. Not that I’m complaining, just making an observation. Disc one had a couple great matches, disc two was kind of a letdown more due to the lame 1990s cage matches (except BRET-OWEN!) and not particularly because of the choices, and disc three picks up quite nicely with a whole bunch of fun matches. So I’m going with a strong thumbs in the middle for this set, folks.

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