This Sunday is WWE Payback in Chicago at the Allstate Arena. Chicago has consistently been one of the best wrestling cities. In my opinion, the Canada and Japan crowds are better, but the Chicago crowd is probably the best in the United States. I decided a long time ago that I was going to review a Chicago WWE wrestling match during the week before the Payback PPV. There are so many classic WWE matches in Chicago that I can review. There are only five Dave Meltzer five star WWE matches and three of them happened in Chicago (Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart at SummerSlam 1994, Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13 and CM Punk vs. John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011). WrestleMania 13 and Money in the Bank 2011 were both at the Allstate Arena which makes it the only arena to host two Meltzer five star WWE matches. I decided not to review one of those matches. I like reviewing matches that aren’t very well-known so people reading these reviews can discover matches they never heard of.  The match I picked for this review is a match I didn’t know about until last year which surprised me because I thought I had heard of every great WWE match that happened in Chicago. The match I’m reviewing is Rob Van Dam vs. Christian.

The Facts:

  • This match was a ladder match and it happened at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
  • Christian’s Intercontinental Championship was on the line.
  • This was the main event match of RAW.
  • Rob Van Dam and Christian had a match for the Intercontinental Championship on RAW one week before this match. It ended after less than five minutes when Christian got disqualified for hitting RVD with the Intercontinental Title.
  • This was the #35 greatest RAW match according to a list posted by WWE.com on January 10, 2013.
  • Rob Van Dam won the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 22 in Chicago on April 2, 2006.
  • Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were the announcers during this match.
  • The time length of the match was 13:43.
  • This match is on the Rob Van Dam: One of a Kind DVD and the WWE Ladder Match 2: Crash and Burn DVD.
  • This match can be watched at http://www.wwe.com/videos/rob-van-dam-vs-christian-intercontinental-championship-ladder-match-raw-sept-29-26085237.

The Match:

Christian kicks RVD while RVD is pointing at himself so the crowd can say, “ROB…VAN…DAM”. RVD should do that before the bell rings. It doesn’t take long for RVD to get offensive. RVD knocks Christian down with a kick and leaves the ring to get a ladder. RVD puts the ladder on the ring apron and Christian attacks RVD before he can get in the ring. Christian puts RVD in the ring and he gets a ladder. Christian tries to bring the ladder into the ring. RVD baseball slides into the ladder and the ladder hits Christian. RVD flips over the ropes and lands on Christian who is carrying the ladder!!! Both men are down outside the ring. RVD puts the ladder in the ring and there are now two ladders in the ring. RVD and Christian fight outside. Christian grabs one of the ladders from the ring. Christian makes a bridge with the ladder. One end of the ladder is on the ring steps and the other end is on the security wall. Christian is trying to suplex RVD onto the ladder! RVD picks Christian up and drops him abdomen first onto the ladder! RVD climbs to the top of the security wall! He does the “R-V-D” with his arms. The Chicago crowd is on their feet. RVD does a leg drop on Christian on the ladder! RVD tosses the ladder and Christian back in the ring. RVD places the ladder upright by the ring corner. RVD tries to Irish whip Christian and Christian reverses it. RVD goes into the ladder that he placed by the corner. Christian makes another ladder bridge. This time the ladder is resting on the ring ropes by the corner. RVD is placed under the ladder and Christian slingshot catapults RVD into the ladder!!

Christian sets up the ladder in the middle of the ring. Christian climbs the ladder and RVD pushes the ladder. Christian falls down and lands on his feet. RVD hits Christian with a roundhouse kick. RVD lifts Christian over his head and drops Christian on the ladder. RVD then immediately does a backflip onto Christian and the ladder! Awesome spot! RVD hits Christian with the ladder and Christian falls out of the ring. RVD climbs up the ladder and Christian attacks RVD from behind. Christian hits RVD with a move that looks like an inverted DDT off the ladder!!! Christian puts the ladder in the corner. RVD monkey flips Christian into the ladder and then hits Christian with rolling thunder! RVD sets up a new ladder and puts it by a different corner. RVD climbs the ladder and Christian pulls him down. Christian picks up a ladder and RVD kicks the ladder! These are Pay-Per-View quality spots on RAW! Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler point out that everyone in the Chicago crowd is on their feet. Christian is lying down on the ladder and RVD climbs to the top of the turnbuckles. RVD jumps and Christian moves! RVD does the Five Star Frog Splash onto the ladder! RVD is hurt. Christian picks up the ladder and hits RVD who goes out of the ring. Christian sets up the ladder under the Intercontinental Championship title.  Christian climbs. RVD gets back in the ring and tries to stop him, but Christian kicks RVD down. Christian has his hand on the title. RVD flies from the top turnbuckle and kicks the ladder! Christian falls down!! RVD and Christian are down and then get up at the same time. Both men are climbing the ladder. The ladder tips over! Christian lands on the ropes and RVD lands on another ladder that is set-up in the corner! RVD climbs to the top of the ladder! The crowd is going crazy! R-V-D! FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH FROM THE TOP OF THE LADDER!!!!! The crowd is chanting “RVD”! It’s hard to hear the chant because half of the crowd is chanting and the other half is yelling as loud as they can. RVD sets up a ladder over Christian. RVD climbs the ladder and grabs the title! RVD is the new Intercontinental Champion!

Winner: Rob Van Dam

Rating: ****1/4

This is one of the best RAW matches I have ever seen and I think it has to be the best RAW match Chicago has ever seen. A great crowd can make a match better and it happened during this match. I think without the crowd, this is a four star match. With the crowd, I bumped the rating up to ****1/4. It was what I would expect from a Chicago crowd. They were loud, on their feet and they were reacting to every spot in the match. I would have been reacting to those spots too. Rob Van Dam and Christian could have easily stolen the show if they had this match at a PPV.  Every ladder spot they did was entertaining. They could have played it safe because it was a TV match, but it didn’t look like they were doing that. If they were, I can’t imagine how insane the match would have been on PPV. The crowd loved this match and their participation made me enjoy the match more. A great match and a great crowd. I hope that combination happens during several matches at WWE Payback.

I’m going to be at WWE Payback this Sunday and I might do some live tweeting. I’m @TonyKegger.

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