WWE Capitol Punishment 2011
June 19th, 2011
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
June 19th, 2011
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Hey didn't we just have one of these PPV things a few weeks ago? Oh well, in the world of wrestling you can never have enough PPVs. Or atleast that's what the brass seems to think. Tonight's a pretty good looking card though, we've got Christian taking on Randy Orton for the WHC, Cena defending the WWE title against a red-hot R-Truth, another Punk-Mysterio match and several other intriguing match-ups, so let's get right into the show. Obviously the theme here is political in nature, but let's hope we don't have to see another one of those god-awful Obama press conference dream sequences they've been airing for weeks. Onto the show!
We open with a pretty good video package highlighting the Cena-Truth feud and focusing around Washington DC's ties to conspiracy and propaganda in the past. Creative promo.
Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T
WWE United States Title Match
Kofi Kingston © vs. Dolph Ziggler
These two have a pretty storied rivalry, atleast in terms of quantity of matches. Lock-up to start and some basic hold exchanges. Ziggler hits a quick legdrop for a two count and then applies a loose chinlock as the crowd starts to rally behind Kofi quickly. Ziggler tries his crucifix bomb move but Kofi counters into a pinning attempt. Big German suplex out of the corner from Ziggler gets another two. The ring ropes are red white and blue so the show's got an old-school feel to it. Ziggler tries for his sleeper but Kofi escapes quickly. A nifty double axe handle/cross body off the top to Ziggler's back get's Kofi his own near fall. Kofi misses the Trouble in Paradise and manages to hit the S.O.S. instead, but Ziggler kicks out! They trade roll-up attempts and Kofi fights off the Zig Zag with a big double-stomp. Kofi blocks a superplex attempt and hits a huge cross-body off the top but again Ziggler gets the shoulder up at two. Ziggler manages to slap his sleeper hold on again but again Kofi escapes quickly. Kofi misses the Trouble in Paradise but then blocks the Zig Zag from Ziggler. Vickie slaps Kofi in the face and Dolph locks the sleeper hold on with a vice-like grip and puts Kofi to sleep to win the US title at 11:05! Very hot opener here as these two have good chemistry together and got the crowd fired up and into things pretty quickly. Some great counter wrestling to kick the show off in a fun way. ***
Backstage we see R-Truth arrive at the arena in a black limo with John Cena's WWE title still around his shoulder from last Monday. He invites Josh Matthews to a party ("Fo shizzle!") and then runs into Eve and invites her to the party as well ("Fo shizzle!") but she shoots him down. Truth says he's going to dedicate his victory to all the little Jimmys (which surprisingly gets a big pop as a catchphrase), and then sort of lightly slaps Eve in the face and says "Be gone" and then walks off like a total fucking pimp. That was another ridiculous and entertaining Truth segment.
We cut to The Miz who is backstage with Todd Grisham. He tells him he can defeat Riley tonight because all Riley was ever good for was carrying his briefcase.
Alex Riley vs. The Miz
So this is pretty much Alex Riley's shot at the big time, both in kayfabe and reality. He gets a huge pop once again, as the mind continues to be boggled over how over this kid has gotten so quickly. He even gets to come out last. Miz starts trash-talking him and the bell rigns as Riley takes big right hands to him. He chases him out and around the ring and beats on him some more back inside until Miz counters with a big boot. The Miz takes the upper hand from here, just beating Riley down with repeated lefts and rights for several minutes. Riley gets a few shots of his own in but misses a spear into the corner and hits his shoulder on the turnbuckle. Miz continues the beatdown and then locks on a chinlock back in the ring for a bit. He plants him with a huge reverse DDT for a near fall. Miz hangs Riley up in the tree of woe and stomps away at him, totally dominating Riley at this point. Riley fights back with a spear and some more right hands and then delivers a huge spinebuster for a two count. Crowd is still really into Riley, as this is apparently his hometown. A big running boot gets Riley another close two. The action spills to the floor again and near the announce table where Michael Cole begins berating Riley, who tosses him up and over the table for a big pop. Miz grabs the steel briefcase but the ref takes it out of his hands and Riley nails him with a huge impaler DDT and pins The Miz clean for the upset win at 10:12! This was pure old school formula stuff with Riley taking an epic beatdown for most of the match to build up heat and then paying it all off with the underdog comeback and the shocking win. My jaw actually dropped upon seeing Riley win clean, and how often can you genuinely say that about pro wrestling anymore? Sports entertainment goodness. ***
Backstage we see a completely fake and not even convincing Obama impersonator show up to the arena and be greeted by a serenading Vickie Guerrero. This is absolute crap if you couldn't tell just from reading that.
Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio
Oh boy, and things had started off so well. These two began feuding after Big Show was "accidentally" run over by one of Del Rio's cars, leading to ANGRY GIANT RAGE for the last two weeks. The Big Show attacks Del Rio from behind on the stage before the match ever even starts and they brawl to ringside when Mark Henry (who Show had beaten up on Smackdown this past Friday) comes running down and slams Big Show through an announcer's table that just explodes at ringside. Henry slams Big Show's injured leg into some steps just for good measure as Del Rio demands the ref counts Big Show out and award him the match. The ref begins counting Big Show out even though the bell never rang to begin with (which Booker T points out on commentary). Show makes it back in before the 10 count and asks the ref to start the match as the bell officially rings (so why were you just counting ref?). Show tries for a bodyslam but his leg gives out under him immediately and Del Rio goes right to work on it with a dropkick and stomps for a near fall. Big Show manages to give him a choke slam that sends Del Rio to the floor as Show's leg gives out under him again. Del Rio tries for the cross armbar but Show counters with a slam. Del Rio works a nice leg-lock submission on the mat for a bit until Show gets the rope break. Great selling from Show here honestly, something he doesn't get enough credit for. Show tries to stand again but collapses and the ref gives him a few more seconds before finally calling for the bell and awarding the match to Del Rio at 4:56. While I appreciated Show's great selling and the idea of the whole match, the fact that they went ahead and had the match after the Mark Henry beatdown and then still ended with a non-finish anyways just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. *½
Backstage R-Truth wants to have his picture taken with Cena's title, but his photographer doesn't seem to want to so Truth threatens him.
Ad for the new Best of WCW Nitro DVD set.
Elsewhere backstage Matt Striker tries to interview Wade Barrett, but he grabs the mic from him and begins cutting a promo while walking out to the ring. He says he isn't happy to be in Washington DC because this place needs a Queen or a King. This crowd is absolutely dead silent for this, not giving him any heat at all as Barrett begins making cracks about American politicians, education, and the national debt. He says everyone here will be speaking Chinese in a year and finally gets a few mild boos. A mild USA chant starts up eventually as Barrett promises to beat Big Zeke. Barrett tried, but this entire promo totally bombed and had no reaction or heat from the crowd at all.
WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Wade Barrett © vs. Ezekiel Jackson
More USA chants to start even though Zeke is from Guyana. Side headlock from Barrett to start and Zeke tries for an early torture rack, but Barrett hits the floor for a breather. Back inside Barrett hits a big sideslam for a two count. To my amusement a mild "We Want Ryder!" chant breaks out. Barrett gets some petty offense in and Zeke starts to make the quick comeback when suddenly Barrett hits the Waste Land on Zeke...who kicks out at two. Zeke throws him up in the torture rack and Wade Barrett quickly submits to give Zeke the IC title at 6:50. That was just awful to be honest, and the crowd absolutely could not care less about Wade Barrett as a heel, or Ezekiel Jackson winning the IC title. *
After the match the King gets into the ring and asks Zeke how it feels to be the new Intercontinental champion. The crowd reacts nicely to him now as Jackson says today he won his independence from Barrett and the Corre and puts in a really cheap Mick Foley pop by mentioning the town he's in. Not a bad little post match promo from Zeke actually, even with the cheap pop.
Backstage Kelly Kelly and Santino say hello to the fake Obama. Santino tries to teach Obama the Cobra, but the Secret Service guys pounce on him before he can deliver it.
Elsewhere Josh Matthews is with CM Punk for some final comments. Punk cuts an incredibly awesome promo, referencing Washington DC's history of the straight edge punk movement and the corrupt politics of days past. Punk says that Mysterio is not a hero or anyone's friend, and that he's no different from Punk besides the facade he puts up. Killer promo from Punk.
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
These two had a great feud last year that was re-ignited a few weeks back as both men wrestled each other twice and won one match apiece, so this is the rubber match. Feeling out holds from Punk and Rey to start. They go into a Greco-Roman knuckle-lock and trade roll-ups. Rey sets up Punk for the 619 early but Punk quickly escapes to the floor. Rey tries a seated senton off the apron but Punk just flap-jacks him face first onto the guard barrier! Back in the ring he applies a bow and arrow submission on Rey and then a backbreaker for two. Punk works an abdominal stretch for a bit until Rey drops him face-first into the second turnbuckle. Punk blocks a split-legged moonsault attempt for another near fall. Rey sends Punk out to the floor and delivers a beautiful Asai moonsault. Rey follows up with a bizarre twisting shoulder block off the top for another two count. He tries a springboard cross-body but Punk rolls through into a near fall of his own. Both men begin trading sick kicks and near falls. Punk delivers a big back suplex off the top rope to Rey, but Mysterio kicks out. Running knee strike from Punk but Rey escapes after a second try and hits a 619 to Punk in the corner! Rey tosses Punk back in and tries a top rope splash, but Punk gets the knees up. Punk tries for the GTS but Rey counters with a hurricanrana for another near fall. Punk nearly takes Rey's head off with a stiff spin kick, but yet again Rey kicks out and this match is really starting to pick up some steam. Punk tries the GTS again but Rey counters and sets him up for the 619. Punk catches Rey though and counters that into a gigantic GTS to pick up the win (for a pretty big pop) at 15:00! This one started off much slower than their usual contests, but I liked that as it was a change of pace for them. They still packed in all of the incredible counters and near falls they're known for in the finishing stretch and it's great to see Punk get a much deserved PPV victory. ***½
World Heavyweight Title Match
Randy Orton © vs. Christian
I can't say I've been a big fan of Christian's heel turn (not that I don't think he isn't capable of being a great heel), but these two have crazy awesome chemistry together so this should be another great contest. They do the big-match intros with Tony Chimel. Orton hits some right hands as the bell rings and hits a clothesline. Christian hits a dropkick that sends Orton to the floor but misses a follow up pescado. Back inside Orton hits the ten punches in the corner and then tries for a DDT off the steel steps outside, but Christian blocks it. Back inside he delivers a reverse neckbreaker for two. Christian delivers another neckbreaker and Randy starts to get a glazed over look in his eyes and the commentary team sells the concussion Randy suffered. Back body drop from Orton and he just goes to town on Christian's chest with a flurry of forearms. Orton delivers a big superplex to Christian but takes too long to cover and Christian kicks out. Orton busts out his awesome old gutwrench-neckbreaker and gets another near fall. He delivers the signature second rope assisted DDT and tries for the RKO, but Christian counters with a reverse DDT for a close two. Christian tries for the spear but Orton evades it and tries for the RKO. Christian escapes that though and hits the spear, but again Orton kicks out! Orton starts the comeback and nails Christian with the RKO and pins him (with Christian's foot underneath the bottom rope) to retain the title at 14:05. After the match Christian pleads his case with the referee and then gets nailed by Orton with the title belt. A lot slower than their last few matches, but once it got going towards the end it got pretty darn good. I disagree totally with having Orton retain here but they've probably got another match coming because of Christian's foot being under the rope, so it's not the end of the world or anything. ***¼
On replay it appears pretty clear that Christian's foot was under the rope.
We get a really cheesy ad for the Money in the Bank PPV with Big Show and Hornswoggle.
The Bella Twins come out with of all fucking people the "Keith Stone" character from the Keystone Light beer commercials. Not for any particular reason or anything, they just walk out for shits and giggles I guess. That was one of the most random things I've seen in a long time.
Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne
This is billed as a "bonus attraction match", as we've still got nearly an hour left on the clock for the show. Would have preferred a tag match with Daniel Bryan and Sin Cara against Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, but this will do. Evan Bourne making his return to PPV for the first time in many months. More "We Want Ryder!" chants in the crowd as Swagger delivers a huge powerslam to Bourne to start. Bourne hits a sweet springboard hurricanrana but then eats a big gutbuster from Swagger. Swagger applies a chinlock as we get a shot of the Bellas cheering Bourne on at ringside with Keith Stone. Swagger continues to beat down Bourne with huge hammer fists. Big boot gets a near fall and the crowd is pretty dead unfortunately. Bourne plants Swagger with a huge DDT out of nowhere but Swagger gets the shoulder up. Bourne hits a few big kicks and then tries for the Shooting Star Press, but Swagger moves and he lands on his feet. He blocks a gut-wrench powerbomb attempt from Swagger and then blocks an ankle lock attempt by rolling into a cradle and Bourne gets the semi-upset win at 7:18. Just a quick filler match really, but it had nice energy and Bourne looked good in the rare PPV victory. **½
And to kill more time, out comes the terrible fake Obama impersonator. There are actually some fake soldiers at ring side saluting him to make this even worse. This guy doesn't look a thing like Obama. He walks up to a podium on the entrance ramp and I pour myself a big, stiff drink. This guy kind of sounds like a muppet and the crowd start up loud "What?" chants immediately. He wishes good luck to John Cena and R-Truth and compares Truth to Joe Biden. Obama makes a crappy political joke about how he "does nothing" and then tries to take off, but Booker T grabs a mic and tells him to hold up and join him in the ring. Take a wild guess as to where this is going. Booker says Obama has made history in the US and all over the world as the first black man elected US president and win a Nobel Peace Prize (he's not the first president to win a Nobel by the way), but asks him if he can do a spinarooni? Booker shows him how it's done and then Barack delivers one of his own. This was just as bad if not worse then it sounds, and a total waste of PPV time. Politics and wrestling don't mix, and they never will.
WWE Title Match
John Cena © vs. R-Truth
Who would of thought R-Truth would be main eventing a PPV in a title match a few months back? Give credit where it's due though, Truth has stepped up to the plate and cut an extraordinarily entertaining series of promos for the build up to tonight's match. Truth comes out to no music still and Cena gets a ridiculous pop. Lock-up to start and Truth hits the floor for a quick breather. Back inside he hits a quick suplex on Cena for an early near fall. Truth shows off with some dancing as he hits a leg drop and then nails Cena with the corkscrew back-elbow for another two count, which Booker claims to have invented. Truth continues to beat down on Cena, which is just an odd visual really. The crowd is surprisingly quiet apart from some dueling Cena chants. Truth tries the dancing leg drop again but it misses and Cena fires right up and hits Truth with the side-slam and the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He tries for the AA but Truth counters into his suplex-stunner (which Cole says he's never seen before from Truth, even though he uses it in almost every match) for yet another two count. Cena applies the STF, but Truth quickly gets the rope break and follows up with a big scissors kick. Cena again kicks out though. Truth counters a powerslam into another near fall and Cena rolls out of the ring. Truth goes to a fan at ringside, grabs his hat and puts it on and then takes a sip from his drink, but the little kid throws the drink in his face and Cena tosses him into the ring and delivers the Attitude Adjustment to retain the title at 14:46. As good as some of the build for this match was, it unfortunately just did not deliver when push came to shove. This was slow, awkward, and didn't really get going into any sort of groove until the last few minutes. Overall a disappointing match. **¼
After the match Cena brings the little kid into the ring with him and they celebrate together. That's nice, I guess. He celebrates with some soldiers at ringside as we go off the air.
Bottom Line: This was a really solid show, just as a lot of people were expecting it to be. A very solid undercard with Kofi/Ziggler, Miz/Riley, and Punk/Rey to go along with another good Orton/Christian title match that sets up (presumably) another rematch down the line. The main event was disappointing, but the good outweighed the bad pretty easily here even with a few disappointing matches and some painfully stupid comedy segments. Solid Thumbs Up here.
*Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter September 12th, 2011 by Dave Meltzer