WWE PPVs CALDWELL'S WWE OVER THE LIMIT PPV RESULTS 5/22: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Cena vs. Miz I Quit, Orton vs. Christian, Cole vs. Lawler
May 22, 2011 - 10:00:43 PM
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WWE Over the Limit PPV Results
May 22, 2011
Live from Seattle, Wash.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
WWE's second PPV this month opened with "In Memory" for Randy Savage. The graphic flashed on the screen for ten seconds before the standard WWE intro video played. They cut to an Over the Limit intro video focused on the human body only being able to be pushed so far...tonight, who goes over the limit between Cena and Miz in an I Quit match?
Arena: Live inside the building, pyro shot off before Josh Mathews introduced the show from Seattle. The arena got quiet, then a new R-Truth intro played. Truth walked out past automobiles on the stage to no music. Michael Cole's heel voice was heard, which sounded so tone-deaf. Mathews, Booker, and Lawler were on commentary with Cole in the Cole Mine.
Truth walked into the ring and addressed an already-quiet arena. He said he got to the arena and couldn't find a parking spot. He said he had to park with the rest of them. Truth said he had to walk in the rain, which might work for the hippies in Seattle - cue up Cole's cackling laughter - but it doesn't work for him. Truth said he's not playing games anymore, but Rey Mysterio plays games. He noted some fans wear Rey's toy masks - WWE cut to said fans - and he's taking Rey's spot tonight. Cole echoed Truth's comments, then Rey's music hit to bring out Rey for the first match. Cole heeled on Rey as he interacted with kids ringside, then Rey entered the ring.
1 -- REY MYSTERIO vs. R-TRUTH
Truth started things off in control as the crowd chanted, "You suck, you suck." Truth then flew over the top rope when Rey pulled down the top rope. Lawler noted Truth was still thinking about his parking spot. Rey then ran off the ring apron with a head scissors take over sending Truth flying into the guardrail.
Back in the ring, Truth hung Rey upside down when he crotched him on the top turnbuckle. Truth then went to work on Rey as the crowd serenaded him with boos. Good heat on Truth early on. Of note, lots of Canucks jerseys in the crowd. Short drive across the border from Seattle to Vancouver. Truth continued to work on Rey as Cole noted the "conspiracy" against Truth, which he can relate to. Lawler, who was sounding sick, drew Cole's ire. So many raspy voices on commentary tonight. Truth then took Rey up top, where Rey countered with a bulldog/gut-buster for a close two count.
Rey then mounted some offense with kick strikes into a turnaround splash off the ropes for a two count. Rey followed with a blast kick to the face for a nearfall. Meanwhile, Booker dropped one of his favorite cliches that Rey was all over Truth like a cheap suit. Rey followed with a seated sentaun, but ate the Lie Detector off the ropes. Truth made the cover, but Rey wasn't worn down enough to take a three. Truth tried to follow with Booker's axe kick speciality, but Rey ducked and set up Truth for the 619. Truth ducked out of the ring, though, only to eat a dropkick through the ropes.
On the floor, Truth pulled a Finlay yanking Rey into the ring apron banner before clotheslining him. Mark it down at 7:17 with the first "the end is near" reference of the night, this one from Cole. Lawler continued to act like Rey was doomed, which is usually the reverse psychology that the face will win, but Truth rolled Rey into the ring and dropped him with an STO-like finisher. One, two, three and a clean win for Truth. No music for Truth, who celebrated in the corner before taking a water bottle. Truth smashed the steel water bottle over Rey's head and slowly walked out of the ring celebrating the win. Truth kept talking to himself as he left the ring with the win in hand.
WINNER: Truth at 8:12. Truth has developed into a very good, refreshing heel. Good audience involvement in the match, which was a good sign for Truth getting over as a heel. Truth's no-music intro and exit was a nice touch. (**)
Backstage: Todd Grisham brought in The Miz, who was with Alex Riley. Miz noted Cena's past opponents in I Quit matches, saying they aren't The Miz. He said the same people who doubted him are doubting his ability to make Cena say, "I Quit." Miz vowed to prove them all wrong again. Miz tried to sign off, but Riley interrupted that Miz is awesome and the new WWE champion.
Seattle: Fish market shots. Cole noted he was down there earlier today and he rubbed all of those fish all over his stinky, smelly foot that he'll make Lawler kiss tonight.
Video package: Corre kicked out Ezekiel Jackson on Smackdown earlier this month, leading to tonight's Intercontinental Title match. Wade Barrett walked out alone to defend the title. Cue up Ezekiel Jackson's familiar Domination theme to bring out the challenger with a new over-the-shoulder camera shot following him to the ring. Jackson posed in the ring, leading Booker to note he's "jacked." Probably not the right verbiage WWE is looking for.
2 -- Intercontinental champion WADE BARRETT vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON -- IC Title match
The announcers talked as if Zeke is looking for his first title in WWE, forgetting he won the ECW Title in the final week of WWE's version of ECW TV...from Christian. Jackson overpowered Barrett early on, easily over-powering Corre's leader. Three minutes in, Cole said he's been sitting back listening to the broadcasters and he's determined they're the most boring team ever. In the ring, Barrett finally scored some offense after tricking Zeke. Barrett rammed Zeke shoulder-first into the ringpost multiple times before delivering a knee to Jackson's head. Cole also noted he has a big surprise for Lawler tonight in Kiss My Foot. The announcers continued to bicker and crack jokes with themselves, including Cole snorting like a pig.
Barrett suddenly set up for Wasteland, but Zeke slipped out and ate a back kick to the mid-section. Barrett wanted a pumphandle slam and he connected center-ring for a two count. Jackson fought back, though, and Barrett rolled to the outside for a breather. On the apron, Zeke sent Barrett flying into the ringpost before flipping him back into the ring.
Zeke then landed a flurry of power offense into a bodyslam. And another. And a third. How about a fourth? The crowd came to life as Jackson delivered #5. A crowd pop for a bodyslam in 2011. How about six? Nope, Jackson put Barrett in the torture rack. Suddenly, Corre members Gabriel and Slater (in new gear) hit the ring to cause a DQ. Jackson then cued up the bodyslam machine before eating the Black Hole Slam from Barrett. Barrett, Gabriel, and Slater put the boots to Jackson before Barrett delivered a boot to the head to silence Jackson tonight.
WINNER: Jackson via DQ at 7:27, Barrett retains the IC Title. Okay match before the "unique" offense from Jackson at the end of the match. If WWE continues the program, they can take the title re-match to the cage to keep Corre out of the ring. (*1/2)
Video: Misleading WrestleMania 27 DVD plug.
Backstage: Punk and Mason Ryan were shown walking down the hallway into the Nexus locker room. They spotted Otunga and McGillicutty selling an attack on the floor. Mason Ryan over-acted, flipping out about the situation. Punk told him to calm down and recognize this is only Big Show and Kane's work. He said they've clearly got under their skin. Ryan asked Punk if he cares about them. "Of cooooourse I care about these men," Punk said, before pulling him away. Otunga and Mike continued to sell on the floor before Punk returned to the locker room and told them to get up and walk it off.
In-ring: Sin Cara made his intro for the next match on the PPV. Mathews noted he has potential to break out any moment. What does that even mean in the context of a wrestling show? Chavo Guerrero then came out talking trash to Sin Cara on the way to the ring.
3 -- SIN CARA vs. CHAVO GUERRERO
The bell sounded and blue & yellow mood lighting filled the arena. It looked like a gimmick contest during a halftime show. Chavo ate a bottle-opener head scissors early on before Sin Cara dropkicked Chavo to the floor. Sin Cara then flew over the top rope with a twisting corkscrew splash on Chavo. Booker noted he's never seen someone land on their feet after a move like that. Sin Cara followed with a head scissors off the apron to the floor, continuing to wow the crowd.
Back in the ring, Sin Cara ducked a flying tackle and landed a springboard moonsault off the second turnbuckle for a two count. Chavo crawled to the corner, trying to grab a breather, then Sin Cara airballed a corner attack and ate a double knee smash from Chavo. Chavo started working over Sin Cara's left knee, trying to take away his aerial attack. That was only a temporary setback, as Sin Cara knocked Chavo to the floor and ran off the top turnbuckle with a big splash ringside. Sin Cara and Chavo got lost in the mood lighting ringside, then returned to the ring.
In the ring, Sin Cara measured Chavo for a springboard move and connected with another head scissors. Sin Cara then fired up the crowd, fired up himself, and landed multiple kick strikes on Chavo. Sin Cara then hit a springboard elbow smash into an arm drag. Next was an enziguiri kick from the ring apron into a flying cross-body for a two count. Chavo then tried to come back with a Gory Special submission, but Sin Cara countered with a quick armdrag. Sin Cara then executed a tilt-o-whirl facebuster and rolled up Chavo for the pin and the win. They didn't replay the finish during a post-match video package before Sin Cara celebrated on the way out.
WINNER: Sin Cara at 7:23. Chavo was just a tackling dummy out there taking move after move from Sin Cara, who dropped move after move in this match. The offensive display might work with a Level 1 opponent, but he'll have to advance his style as he faces stronger competition. (**)
Backstage: Grisham brought in former World Hvt. champion Christian, then current World Hvt. champion Randy Orton for a face-to-face. Grisham tried to stir things up between them ahead of their title match. Christian said he's not mad at Orton, Teddy Long, or anyone. He said he's not mad because he's sure he'll win back his World Title tonight. Orton then told Christian he's one hell of a competitor and it's a great feel-good story. He said if Christian loses again - Christian cut him off and said he won't lose again. Orton said when he fights a feel-good story, there is no happily ever after. Christian and Orton came close for a final close-up.
In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez was in the ring to introduce Alberto Del Rio, who isn't on the card. Del Rio rolled up ringside, sporting a suit. Apparently he's just cutting a promo. In the ring, Del Rio took the mic and introduced himself to the crowd. Del Rio wants to talk about something tonight. He wants to talk about desssss-tiny. Del Rio said he finds the immigration problem disgusting in this part of the country. He said all these stinking Canadians cross the border illegally. They cut to two guys ringside sporting Canucks jerseys. Cole had a good laugh. Del Rio said it's their destiny to wind up in a Seattle in a coffeehouse complaining about the weather or their miserable lives.
Del Rio said people might think he's upset not being in the WWE Title match tonight, but he's not upset because he could easily make Cena or Miz say, "I Quit," via his arm-breaker. If he were in the main event, they would be saying, "No mas, Alberto." Del Rio said it's okay because it's only a matter of time for him to take his place as WWE champion. Del Rio noted destiny cannot be stopped, which is why it doesn't matter if Miz or Cena quits because it's his destiny to become WWE champion...
Big Show and Kane's music suddenly interrupted, bringing out the WWE tag champions. Kane stared down Del Rio, who clenched his fist. Show then stood behind Kane, who did the pyro entrance. Mathews then assumed Kane and Big Show got to Nexus earlier in the locker room. Kane took the mic and said he's angry the Rapture didn't come yesterday - he was looking forward to it - but if Del Rio doesn't exit the ring right now, his destiny is to wind up just like Mike and Otunga. Show then made a fist and noted that's a "punch in the face." What happened to anti-bullying? C'mon, folks. Del Rio got the message and slipped out of the ring as Justin Roberts introduced the tag champs. Punk then led out Ryan to challenge for the belts.
4 -- WWE tag champions BIG SHOW & KANE vs. NEW NEXUS (C.M. PUNK & MASON RYAN) -- WWE Tag Title match
The bell sounded to begin with Kane and Ryan. There was an early "Ba-tista" chant from a few people in the audience. Hilarious. Ryan then lifted up Kane in the air for a big bodyslam. Only one? Is WWE building to a bodyslam contest between Ryan and Jackson at WrestleMania 28? Show then tagged in after Punk did, prompting Show to deliver a huge slap to the chest. Flashbacks to the Show vs. Punk feud when Punk sported the SES mask. Punk cowered in the corner, trying to cover his face, so Show adjusted his gameplan by slapping Punk across the back, drawing laughs from the crowd. Punk continued to play the under-sized heel selling for Show and Kane's size, finding himself in trouble early on. Punk came back with a kick strike to the head, then Ryan tagged in and knocked Kane to the outside.
Back in the ring, Punk and Ryan began working over Kane. Meanwhile, thunder was heard in the arena in the form of Show stomping on the ring steps to get the crowd involved rallying behind Kane. Ryan then lifted up Kane for a powerslam bouncing into the corner turnbuckle before spinning into a running powerslam center-ring for a two count. Kane came back with a boot to the gut and a suplex that cut off Ryan's momentum.
A tag was made to Punk, who cut off Kane just before tagging in Show. Punk then climbed up top, did a babyface Macho Man salute, and tried the ugliest elbow drop ever, but Kane rolled out of the way. Kane then tagged in Show as Ryan tagged in for Punk. Show ran over Ryan like a train before calling for the chokeslam. Punk found himself in the ring to break it up, then Show came back with a double clothesline. Kane then clotheslined Punk over the top rope. Ryan found himself alone in the ring to take a double chokeslam. Show with the pin for the win.
WINNERS: Show & Kane at 9:06 to retain the Tag Titles. Above-average tag match that was just a step above something you'd see on TV. Ryan taking another decisive "loss" following his double-chokeslam on Raw two weeks ago points to WWE not concerned about protecting him right now. Meanwhile, Punk's back to the drawing board with the played-out Nexus. (**)
Seattle: They went to an exterior shot of Safeco Field, where WrestleMania 19 was held. Cole noted Lawler and Jim Ross had their booth way up in the outfield for WM19. Booker just cracked up laughing. Mathews, with a desk full of scattered notes, plugged Capitol Punishment as the next PPV. Booker then read a prepared statement right on-camera about a hypothetical situation if President Obama attended the PPV.
Mock press conference: They did the Bug Light (or whatever beer product it is that I've tuned out after the last three NFL seasons) commercial deal where fake reporters ask fake questions about WWE stars and Capitol Punishment, with clips interspersed from a real Obama press conference pretending to answer the fake questions. I'm not sure which was worse - this or the erectile dysfunction take-off for Over the Limit. Back live, the announcers had quite the chuckle. Booker said members of the President's cabinet have been invited.
5 -- Divas champion BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella) vs. KELLY KELLY -- Divas Title match
The match started off with the basics of Kelly on the early offensive before Brie cheated to take control. It feels like a WCW Nitro match where everyone is waiting for the Kharma run-in. Kelly made her obligatory comeback, but the Bellas pulled Twin Magic to score the pin. The Bellas celebrated in the ring, then left up the stage. No sign of Kharma.
WINNER: Brie at 4:14. Kharma? No? (*)
Announcers: Cole stepped out of his Cole Box and slapped his foot on the announce table to indicate he was about to get ready for the Kiss My Foot match coming up later.
Video package: Christian's first World Title win in WWE, then Randy Orton crushing his dream five days later on Smackdown. The title match is up next... Out first was Christian to challenge for the World Title. Randy Orton then came out to defend the World Title as Mathews said he's one of the most intense Superstars in WWE history. That post-RKO celebration on Smackdown with the cheerleader split and mini-machine gun bit ruined that forever. Tony Chimel handled formal ring intros once champ and challenger were assembled in the ring.
6 -- World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON vs. CHRISTIAN -- World Hvt. Title match
The bell sounded and the crowd was already hot, creating a big-fight feel. Christian scored a quick roll-up for a two count to put a scare in Orton 30 seconds in. Booker went nuts with a cruise control analogy on Christian that veered off course. Christian scored another early nearfall before accepting a back-elbow smash. Orton tried to follow up, but Christian back-dropped him over the top rope to the floor. Christian followed with a baseball slide kick through the ropes.
On the floor, Christian landed a slap to the face before rolling Orton back into the ring. The crowd remained hot with dueling chants for Christian and Orton. In the ring, Christian delivered a bodyslam before applying a reverse chinlock. Orton escaped, but Christian re-applied before Orton escaped again and delivered a standing dropkick. The match moved up top (there was a visible Broski sign in the background), where Orton delivered a superplex that Booker labeled a giant suplex. Orton was slow to make a cover, allowing Christian to kick out in time.
"Randy, Randy" chant from the crowd as Orton measured Christian for a European uppercut, then another. Orton tried a third, but Christian countered with a backslide for a two count. Booker demanded Mathews call the winner right here, but Mathews said he's split. Christian then delivered a spinebuster on Orton out of nowhere for a two count. 6:30 in and this is already the best match of the PPV. Orton and Christian then came to their feet trading bombs. Big "yays" for Christian.
Christian delivered a reverse DDT for a two count, then clenched his fists looking for the audience to rally behind him. Christian tried a top rope move, but Orton countered with a jackknife pin attempt for a nearfall. Orton then cut off Christian's momentum with an uppercut. He tried to follow with an Angle Slam, but Christian countered with an armdrag. More counters. Christian then climbed up top and delivered a diving headbutt clear across the ring for a close two count that drew gasps from the crowd.
Both men collapsed to the mat selling the effects at 9:00. "Christian, Christian" chant as Christian was the first man up. Orton then caught Christian with a fallaway backbreaker for a close two count of his own. Orton slowly scooped up Christian for more offense, then both men countered each other's finishers. Orton suddenly busted out a reverse Boston Crab center-ring. Orton used his legs to pull Christian back to center-ring as Christian cried out in pain. The crowd was hot for the teased finish before Christian made the ropes for a break. Christian literally ate the bottom rope as he cried out in pain.
"Let's go Christian" chant as Orton stood over Christian, pacing the ring. Orton focused on Christian's back, then Christian teased a turnaround splash from the second rope that made Orton flinch with the RKO. Christian then delivered the turnaround move into a sunset flip for a close two count. That was such a great flinch sequence. Suddenly, Orton countered a move from the apron into the classic spike DDT. Orton with the cover, but Christian kicked out in time. Orton sold frustration not being able to put away Christian.
At 13:20, Orton started looking around the arena before dropping down to center-ring to start pounding the mat looking to set up the RKO. Orton tried it, but Christian threw him off. Christian then called for the crowd and suddenly entered another world. Christian called for the spear and backed into the corner looking to deliver for Edge. Orton was slow to get up as the crowd was hot. Orton then countered the spear into a classic Orton snap powerslam. Orton with the cover, but Christian kicked out.
The two men paused to rebuild the heat before Orton got that crazy look in his eyes. Orton stood over Christian, then backed away to the opposite corner. Orton measured Christian for the Punt, but he was conflicted. Orton sold not wanting to end Christian's career, then he tried the Punt anyways, only to have Christian counter with a spear. Christian made a rapid cover, but Orton kicked out just in time. Wow. Christian flipped out, unable to finish off Orton.
Christian then measured Orton for the Killswitch, but Orton shoved Christian away. He tried the RKO, but Christian blocked. More counters. Suddenly, Orton back-flipped over Christian and delivered the decisive blow with an RKO center-ring. Orton made the cover and it was good for the win. Booker doubled the match time, saying it was about 30 minutes of great match action.
Post-match: Orton celebrated with the World Title belt before posing in the corner. Orton started to leave the ring, but walked back over to Christian to help him up. Christian shoved him away, though. Christian then returned to the ring and got right in his face. Christian wiped his head and extended his hand. They shook hands before Christian slipped out of the ring. Orton stared him down as Christian slowly walked away holding his head in frustration. Christian continued to stand ringside as Orton posed in the ring. Back to Christian, who sold despair as Orton contemplated the match in the ring. The camera followed Christian all the way to the stage where he disappeared to the back. They cut back to Orton continuing to stare into the arena.
WINNER: Orton at 16:50. Wow, what a match. There's a new WWE Match of the Year contender with the strength of the story. Great counters, including that terrific RKO flinch spot playing off their first match, and a great story told incorporating Edge's involvement, two men's desire to be World champion, and the Smackdown story focused on tension and respect. (****)
Video package: Cole vs. Lawler feud and build-up toward tonight. ... In the ring, Jerry Lawler came out first for the Kiss My Foot match. Michael Cole then randomly walked out still dressed in his announcer suit. Cole began selling a limp as he slowly entered the ring. Lawler was puzzled. Cole asked for a mic and said he would like to compete tonight, but he is medically prohibited. He would like to ask for the understanding and compassion from Lawler, as well as the fans.
Cole continued to read that there's nothing more he would like to do than stick his foot in Lawler's mouth, but his doctor states, "My patient, Michael Cole, cannot compete because his athlete's foot has become infected and it's unsafe for him and Mr. Lawler. If Michael Cole sticks his foot in Mr. Lawler's mouth, Mr. Lawler may contract hoof and mouth disease. Therefore, I am banning Mr. Cole from competing tonight."
Cole handed the doctor's note over to the ref, who read it over. The ref suddenly ripped it up right in Cole's face. When was the last time there was a babyface pop for a WWE ref? He called for the bell and it was on.
7 -- JERRY LAWLER vs. MICHAEL COLE -- Kiss My Foot match -- Lawler's Hall of Fame ring on the line
Lawler began ripping up Cole's cheap suit, then Cole slipped to the outside and begged off. He suckered in Lawler, who ate the ring steps. Cole then sent Lawler flying into the guardrail. Cole began taking off his shoes before removing his right sock to reveal the nasty right foot enhanced for visual grossness. The ref sold he was going to vomit, then Lawler simply threw Cole into the Cole Mine, breaking it into pieces. Lawler proceeded to roll Cole into the ring before delivering a fist drop. Lawler made the cover and it was over in three minutes.
WINNER: Lawler at 3:01. That was kept much shorter than at WrestleMania. The post-match that followed was the payoff people were looking for...
Post-match: Lawler rubbed his hands together before starting to untie his boot. Lawler paused, saying he had something else in mind. Lawler started waving to the back and out came Eve. Mathews noted Cole has no respect for the Divas. Eve delivered a moonsault, then Lawler surveyed Cole once again. Lawler wasn't done. Cue up Boomer Sooner to bring out Jim Ross dressed in a suit. Ross surveyed the situation, then pulled out a bottle of JR's BBQ sauce. Ross made sure the product was displayed for the audience, then he poured a full bottle all over Cole's face. Cole, with his pants ripped and face covered in BBQ sauce, scurried out of the ring. Lawler noted Cole still hadn't kissed his foot.
"Not like this!" Cole shouted. Ross, Eve, and Lawler stood in the ring as Cole stood on the stage. Cole took a mic and said it may look like he lost tonight, but he didn't lose. He claimed he's not a loser. He growled that Lawler and Ross are losers. All the idiots in the crowd are losers. Cole said no matter what any of them do to him, he never did and never will kiss Lawler's foot. Cole dropped the mic and shouted no way.
Suddenly, Bret Hart's theme music hit to a huge reaction. Hart slowly walked out on-stage behind Cole, who started backing down the entrance ramp. Cole tried shaking hands with Hart, who threw Cole into the ring. Hart measured Cole in the ring and stepped into the Sharpshooter. Cole begged and begged before Lawler made Cole eat his right foot as BBQ sauce dripped down from Cole's forehead. Hart and Lawler hugged as Cole dragged himself across the ring. Mathews noted it was vindication for Lawler "and others" tonight. Cole continued to gasp for air before they went to a slow-motion replay of Cole eating Lawler's foot. The saliva just looked nasty in HD.
Back live, Lawler saluted the crowd as Cole continued to cry. Cue up Hart's theme music for a victory lap. And Jim Ross is back on commentary for the main event. Ross noted he hates to waste a good bottle of BBQ sauce, but Cole got what he deserved. Cole made his way to the floor as Hart finished his victory lap. Cole continued to sell the BBQ sauce before they went to another replay of Cole eating Lawler's mouth.
Video package: "That's What I Am" to bridge to the main event. ... After a shot of the Space Needle, they cut back to the announcers for a shot of JR's bottle of BBQ sauce. Ross, Mathews, and Booker reset matters before going to a video package on Cena vs. Miz to preview the WWE Title main event.
In-ring: Justin Roberts announced the match rules for the I Quit main event. Miz used the same ring intro from WrestleMania bursting through "A-W-E-S-O-M-E" spelled out in giant bubble letters on the stage. Mathews threw out another plug for Capitol Punishment while noting WWE has invited everyone from D.C. to the PPV. After the Cena Pause, John Cena's music hit to bring out the champ with a red, white, and blue theme. Cena stood next to the cars on-stage - perhaps some foreshadowing for the I Quit match. Roberts handled the formal ring intros, with the crowd a bit tepid early on.
8 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. THE MIZ (w/Alex Riley) -- WWE Title match -- I Quit match
The bell sounded and Miz quickly took the mic. Miz said one of them has to say, "I Quit" tonight. Wait, Miz just said, "I quit." The match should be over now. Miz noted Riley can also get involved since there are no rules. Miz told Cena to save himself the embarrassment and just quit right now. Cena tried to sell concern faced with this proposition of dealing with Riley. The ref asked Cena, who responded, "Hell no." Cue up the virtual handicap match.
The crowd started the dueling chants with kids/families pro-Cena and the deep-throated voices anti-Cena. Cena quickly went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Miz and delivered. Miz countered the Attitude Adjustment with the Reality Check, though. Miz then tried the Skullcrushing Finale, but Cena countered with the AA. Riley then entered the ring and blasted Cena with the briefcase. Riley landed more blows. The sound effects sounded like a plastic toy. Miz and Riley then combined on a double-team powerbomb from the second turnbuckle. Cena wasn't quitting that easily.
The match moved to the floor, where Miz and Riley rammed Cena back-first into the guardrail. Cena twice told the ref he wasn't quitting. Next, Cena ate the exposed guardrail in front of the timekeeper. Wanna quit? "Nope," Cena said nonchalantly. Next, Miz and Riley used TV monitors to bash Cena. No quit in Cena. Cena suddenly fought back, but Miz reversed a whip into the ring steps. Ross with a classic call on Miz's physical dissection. Miz followed with a DDT onto the ring steps. Miz yanked the mic from the ref and screamed at Cena to say it. Nothing from Cena. Miz then told Cena Riley has the steel steps and he's going to slam them into Cena's...ribs. He suggested Cena quit. "Go to hell," Cena told him. Riley then dropped the steps down onto Cena. No quit in him, though.
At 9:00, Miz and Riley hung Cena in the ropes before Miz retrieved a Kendo stick. Miz shushed the crowd before noting to Cena he has a weapon. He gave him an opportunity to not have so much pain put upon him. Cena breathed heavily before telling Miz, "You hit like a girl." Miz proceeded to crack the stick over Cena's body. Ross said Miz was going Ichiro on Cena. Nice. Cena cried out in pain, but wouldn't quit. Miz sold he was stunned by this. Miz then went to town on Cena, who tried to cover his body. Cena cried out in pain, but wouldn't quit.
Next, Miz and Riley dragged Cena up the entrance ramp to inflict more punishment. Miz landed sort of a mini-Orton punt that sent Cena about two feet off the edge of the ramp to the floor below. Cena caught his breath, looked around, heard the cries from the fans, and said he wouldn't quit. Booker said he was delirious. He said it's up to Miz to find Cena's breaking point. Miz then retrieved a strap and asked Cena if he wants to quit. Cena told him he might have a strap, but no nuts. Miz landed some weak-sounding strap shots across Cena's back as he was draped over a camera crane. Cena grimaced, but wouldn't quit.
Cena suddenly made a comeback, but Miz cut him off with a steel chair across the back. The match its way back into the ring where Cena teased another comeback, but Riley cut him off this time and the ref was bumped in the process. Miz then placed a chair in-between the second and top rope. He measured Cena with the Skullcrushing Finale into the chair, but kind of kicked the chair in the execution of the SCF, so it wasn't as smooth. Miz asked Cena if he wanted to quit, but no dice.
Miz said maybe Cena needs to hear it from someone else. He asked some kid on the front row. He said he doesn't want to see Cena take any more punishment, but he would never tell him to quit. "Not any day," the kid nervously said. Miz popped Cena in the head with the mic, then cut a promo on the kid again. Miz vowed to not stop until Cena says he quits. The kid just shrugged his shoulders. Another kid told Miz to quit first. Riley reprimanded the other kid for interrupting the bit. Miz then popped Cena in the head with the mic again.
Miz proceeded to trap Cena inside the exposed guardrail ringside. Miz vowed to bash this here steel chair over Cena's body non-stop until he quits. The crowd was quiet as Miz talked up the beating he had delivered so far. Miz told Cena to say the magic words. Cena said those kids are smarter than he is. No response from the crowd. Miz then bashed the guardrail to make it look like he hit Cena. Riley told Cena to say it. Suddenly, the recorded voice of John Cena played, saying he quit. The ref woke up and declared Miz the winner. Mathews acted dumb about the obvious recording.
WINNER: Miz at 23:11 to capture the WWE Title before the decision was reversed...
The ref went to retrieve the WWE Title belt, but found a recording on the floor. Ref Chioda waved off the decision, then entered the ring and played the recording as Miz complained about Chioda screwing him again. Chioda called for the bell and the match re-started. Cena ducked a belt shot that creamed Miz. Cena then gave Riley the AA through the announce table.
Cena collected himself, spotted Miz on the floor, then took off his belt. Cena proceeded to whip Miz with his belt. Miz ran all the way up the ramp and to the back. Cena quickly dragged him back to the stage, though, and put Miz in the STF on the stage. After a few moments, Miz weakly whispered, "I quit," and the ref declared Cena the winner. Cena retains.
After the match, Cena leaned against one of the cars on the stage before receiving the WWE Title belt. Cena stumbled over, selling the effects of the match. After a replay of the high points, Ross recapped the match. Cena celebrated on the stage and Ross noted Cena took it to new heights tonight. They went back to a replay of Riley playing Cena's voice recording for the false finish before showing Cena making his big comeback to ultimately win. Ross then signed off 51 minutes past the top of the hour as Cena celebrated with the title to conclude the PPV.
WINNER: Cena at 24:52 of total time to retain the WWE Title. Hit or miss type of TV match applied to long-form PPV match length. The goal was to make Miz seem like a more formidable and credible heel delivering punishment to Cena, and that was hit & miss as well. At the end of the day, the story will probably turn to more tension between Miz and Riley, then Cena likely moving on to a feud with Del Rio. They might try to squeeze out one more title match between Cena and Miz, but it's definitely time to move on. Hard match to rate, as it was more of an angle than a match. (**)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Average undercard, a very strong Christian vs. Orton match to deliver a quality wrestling match, the payoff (presumably) to the Cole-Lawler feud, more standout work from Truth, and a satisfying conclusion for Cena's target audience in the main event. Mild thumbs up.
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