Considering how poorly the Championship Scramble match had been received in the weeks leading up, WWE had to do something to get some buzz coming out of tonight's Unforgiven pay-per-view. They certainly did just that as Chris Jericho regained the WWE World Title in a match he wasn't originally supposed to be in.
Jericho took the place of now-former World Champion CM Punk. Punk was attacked in a backstage angle by Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and Manu (who? Hold on...we're getting there).
Punk was unable to then compete in the match and was replaced by Jericho as the final entrant, only revealed upon his actual entrance into the ring. It seems fitting that the weakly-booked Punk's reign came to an end without him actually having a chance to defend the belt, but c'est la vie.
But wasn't Jericho supposed to fight Shawn Michaels? And what about the other Championship Scrambles? Read on as Ropes, Ring, and Cage brings the action to you in the order that it happened:
Matt Hardy won the ECW Title in a Championship Scramble: Instead of attempting to explain exactly what happened and how, I'll just tell you this. The match included Mark Henry (champion), The Miz, Chavo Guerrero, and Finlay. Hardy pinned Miz with around three minutes left and was able to evade Henry enough to keep the belt. The match wasn't good as Matt Striker described it as "bowling shoe ugly."
World Tag Champs Ted DiBiase/Cody Rhodes defeated Cryme Tyme to retain the belts: DiBiase reversed a small package that allowed Rhodes to get the pin on JTG. Post-match, the two teams brawled and Afa Jr. (later revealed as Manu) came in on DiBiase/Rhodes behalf.
Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Jericho in an unsanctioned match: People were livid this match was so early, but they would soon figure out why. The match went just under 30 minutes and the end came when the referee stopped the match after Michaels repeatedly was punching Jericho with a belt wrapped around his hand.
But it was supposed to be an unsanctioned match, you say? Exactly. Big spot where HBK hit a top rope elbow on Lance Cade and Jericho while the latter were laid out on the ECW announcer's table. Of note was that they acted like Michaels was possessed with Michael Cole asking whether God would forgive him. Uhhh...
HHH retained/won the WWE Championship in a Championship Scramble: The match—featuring HHH, Jeff Hardy, MVP, Brian Kendrick, Shelton Benjamin—ended when HHH hit a pedigree on MVP as time ran out, barely beating Hardy who had a cover on Benjamin.
They are calling this a new title reign for HHH, which is absolutely ridiculous. If you're the champ going in and the champ coming out, nothing has changed. I guess there is no stopping him from eventually passing Ric Flair for most title reigns.
Backstage, Michaels was interviewed and said that he was heading home to be with his family and that the worst was yet to come for Jericho.
Also backstage, Randy Orton confronted World Champ CM Punk and started talking trash. Then, the Young Horsemen (a name I made up for DiBiase, Rhodes, and Manu) attack which Orton punctuated with a mafia kick.
Divas Champion Michelle McCool defeated Maryse: Let's just move on.
At this point, RAW GM Mike Adamle came out and said that Punk might not be able to compete and that if not, he would find a suitable replacement.
Big Show then came out and wanted to be that guy. This prompted Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero to come out, which prompted the Undertaker appearing on the videoboard and threatening to put Guerrero in a coffin (which was rolled out by druids a few minutes earlier).
Undertaker then came out and Show was holding her from running anywhere. Just as Taker was about to drop a blow on Vickie...surprise! Show turns on Taker and beats him down for several minutes, culminating with her slapping Taker as Show held him back. This went on forever.
Chris Jericho won the WWE World Title in a Championship Scramble: As written earlier, this was a huge surprise. As the last entrant, Y2J was hard-selling his injuries from his earlier match with Michaels. End came when Batista was 30 seconds away from winning the belt when Rey Mysterio flew out of nowhere and Batista caught him.
This distracted away from a speared-out Kane whom Jericho pinned to get the title as time expired. Batista, Kane, Jericho, Mysterio, and JBL were the participants.
Josh Nason started Ropes, Ring and Cage in 2007 and is the main contributor of content for the site. A long-time writer, his work can also be read at sites like SmallWhiteBall.com, EmailMarketingGuy.com and others. He also does radio appearances and was on TV once, notably giving Razor Ramon a thumbs-down during a crowd pan of WWF Wrestling Spotlight. He can be reached at email@example.com.