KELLER'S WWE CAPITOL PUNISHMENT PPV BLOG 6/19: Random Thoughts in Chronological Order
1 -- KOFI KINGSTON vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) - U.S. Title Match
-Unfortunately, we got way too many tasteless bullying fat jokes by the svelte 32 inch waisted Jerry Lawler aimed at Vickie Guerrero. Even Booker T joined in, first laughing at Lawler, then adding some of his own. I don't get how people like Lawler can get past the utter hypocrisy of making fun of Vickie's weight when she's probably got a better BMI than he does at this point. It's sexist, also, at this point because women are supposed to be Michelle McCool shaped and a man can just wear a loose shirt. I'm usually a big fan of Lawler, and I know he puts up with a lot from Vince McMahon, but this is just too much. It also goes against the whole anti-bullying campaign by WWE because a bunch of men sitting around making fun of a not-particularly-overweight woman for being overweight is bullying and sends a horrible message. It'd be just as bad if she were really overweight, but in a different way
-In the end, Vickie stopped a Kofi rally by jabbing him "in the pupils" (as Michael Cole put it). Ziggler applied a sleeper and the bell rang. The announcers weren't sure why, but it turned out that Kofi simply passed out and the ref called an end to the match.
WINNER: Ziggler in 11:00 to capture the U.S. Title.
STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Very good opener. Not off the charts, but a good execution of a solid energizing match.
-R-Truth came out of a limo backstage. He dedicated his title win later to all of the Little Jimmys. He also tried to talk to Eve, but she said she doesn't know who he is anymore. Truth said no one does.
-Todd Grisham interviewed The Miz who said without him Alex Riley will be nothing again and end up carrying someone else's bags.
-A long video package aired on the Miz-Riley feud.
2 -- THE MIZ vs. ALEX RILEY
-Cole got worked up ripping on Riley's selfishness and touting Miz. Booker T said Miz came up the hard way. Not many veterans have said that about Miz over the years, but by now it has become the truth. He had his "Real World" background held against more than someone coming in off the street doing the same thing he did to get where he did in WWE.
-Lawler said if one could retain a title with one's mouth, Miz would still be champion, but a champ has to get it done in the ring.
-They opened up with an aggressive tackle and rolling around the mat and then Riley chasing Miz around ringside. Riley got the better of Miz until the ref pulled him out of the corner. Miz took that chance to jump Riley and stomp on him in the corner. Good energy and intensity, matching the backstory of this feud.
-Pretty one-sided the rest of the way until a comeback late in the match by Riley. He threw Miz shoulder-first into the ringpost from inside the ring, then hit a spinebuster for a two count. Miz rolled out of the ring a minute later after another near fall. Riley threw him into the ringside barrier and then into the announce table. Cole complained about the lack of respect Riley was showing to "the man who nurtured you and was like your father, he gave you everything." Riley grabbed Cole by the ears and yanked him over the announce table. Miz, though, recovered and kicked Riley. As Booker laughed, Miz grabbed the brief case. The ref took it away. Riley surprised Miz with a face-plant DDT for the win.
WINNER: Riley in 10:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- One-sided most of the way, but I liked the intensity early, the long beatdown by Miz before a couple near falls by Riley, and then a satisfying crowd-pleasing spot of Riley beating up Cole before scoring the win when Miz's attempt to cheat backfired.
-Backstage Sgt. Slaughter shook hands with a President Obama impersonator, who was backed by fake (or very confused) Secret Service agents.. He was actually pretty good, although he looked a bit like a woman cross-dressing to impersonate a man. He made a comment about ObamaCare, then Vickie approached him and sang "Happy Father's Day" a la Marylyn Monroe. Security dragged her away.
-A commercial aired hyping the three-hour "Power to the People" episode of Raw featuring fans voting with their mobile phones.
-A video package aired on the Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio feud.
3 -- THE BIG SHOW vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO
-Big Show aggressively attacked Del Rio at the start. Booker T said we don't want to see Big Show in this state as he's a dangerous, dangerous individual. Mark Henry then attacked him from behind at ringside. Cole wondered where he came from. He had the best vantage point. He should be telling the viewers. Henry powerslammed Show through the Spanish announce table at ringside. Lawler said he's never seen anything like that in his life.
-Del Rio begged the ref to begin counting out Show. Henry began to walk away, but then turned abck and went after Show again, although he almost slipped and fell on his way. He went after Show's injured leg.
-The ref held off Del Rio and insisted he stand back before he began his count. Show struggled to work his way to the ring apron. He couldn't stand. An eager, counter-productive Del Rio kept breaking the ref's count. Show for some reason pushed himself to his feet using his injured left leg as the primary tool. Show rolled into the ring before ten and then got suddenly mobile on his legs and beat up Del Rio. Del Rio, though, escaped a chokeslam attempt and kicked his left leg. He continued to work over Show's leg and went at him with a relentless offense. Show, though, kicked out of his pin attempt with force, flinging Del Rio high into the air.
-Show managed to hit a chokeslam. Del Rio leaped off the top rope a minute later, but Show caught him by the throat. Del Rio went after Show's bad leg, then went for the cross armbreaker. Show countered and lifted Del Rio and slammed him backward. He clutched his knee afterward. Del Rio then applied a cross legbreaker. Show cried out in pain. He eventually reached the bottom rope to force a break.
-As Show tried to stand, the ref finally called off the match, saying he could no longer defend himself. Booker had been saying the best thing for Show would be to live to fight another day.
WINNER: Del Rio in 5:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- Not much to the match, but the story was tell told, with Del Rio taking advantage of Mark Henry's illegal attack. It built up a rematch event more as fans should anticipate what a healthy Show would do against Del Rio. I could see them milking this and building to a cage match as far into the future as Summerslam. The powerslam by Henry was pretty impressive, and Show's selling was good. Del Rio is also great at his arrogant gloating. So everyone played their parts well. This wasn't intended to designed to be a four-star match, but for essentially an angle, it was well done.
-R-Truth asked a photographer backstage to take pictures of him with the WWE Title belt. The photographer said it still had John Cena's name on it. That upset R-Truth who shoved him against some crates. He said will beat Cena and he will have to take pictures of him. This stress on the title belt by R-Truth is welcome, but it should have been a bigger part of the hype going into this PPV.
-A commercial aired for the "Best of WCW Nitro" DVD hosted by "Diamond" Dallas Page.
-Wade Barrett, stealing a page from Josh Barnett on the Strikeforce event on Showtime last night, yanked the mic away from Matt Striker and went on a walking monologue. He said he wasn't thrilled to be in the nation's capitol. "This place needs a queen or a king," he said. He walked to the ring and taunted the fans. "Isn't this the country where an elected official had to resign because he Tweeted pictures of himself in his underwear." He took digs at the education system and national debt. "Give it 20 years and every single person in this building is going to be speaking Chinese," he said. "I won't be." He said the problem with the U.S. is that on the outside it looks all nice, shiny, and comfortable, but up close it's nothing but a hollow shell, much like his opponent Ezekiel Jackson. Lawler said that speech went on longer than Bernie Madoff's prison sentence. It did go a little long.
4 -- WADE BARRETT vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON - IC Title Match
-Basic back and forth match with a steady pace for several minutes. Zeke kicked out of a pin attempt after Barrett executed his Wasteland finisher. Cole gave away it wasn't going to be the finish by going way, way over the top declaring it over as the ref began his count. A "USA, USA" chant broke out.
-Barrett looked frustrated. Zeke caught his boot, gave him a forearm to the face, bodyslammed him several times, and then applying the Torture Rack for the tapout win.
WINNER: Ezekiel Jackson in 7:00 to capture the Intercontinental Title.
STAR RATING: *1/2 -- It was fine. About what you'd expect from these two if they were motivated, and they seemed to be, but in seven minutes and with their limitations, it wasn't going to be great.
-Lawler entered the ring to interview Jackson afterward, asking him how it felt to be the new IC Champ. Jackson said it's the greatest day of his life. He said it's awesome and great. He got almost no crowd reaction. He said he just stamped his independence from Barrett and the rest of The Corre. He got a better pop when he yelled out the name of the city. He said he's going to show in his life the important thing is liberty and Personification of Domination, grrrr-yahhhhh! He's still not connecting with the crowd, but WWE is building him and he's going to have a chance to show he can rise to his push.
-The WWE anti-bulling campaign message aired. Eve: "Show tolerance and respect." It's a nice message.
-Kelly Kelly, Santino, and Beth Phoenix (no longer looking like a Glamazon) shook hands with the Obama impersonator. Santino asked Obama if he wantsed to see his Cobra. The Secret Service saw it as a threatening gesture and tackled Santino.
-Josh Mathews interviewed C.M. Punk backstage. He said he is a politician, and you have to be one to swim with sharks. He said any WWE Supersar or "Sports Entertainer" (he said it snidely with air-quotes) who says otherwise is a liar. He said the only difference between Rey and him is he (Punk) is honest and the others are putting on a facade. He said he will go on to do the most honest thing the WWE Universe has ever seen after he beats Rey.
5 -- C.M. PUNK vs. REY MYSTERIO
-Punk won clean after blocking a 619 and then giving Rey the GTS. These two have worked enough together they were able to have a smooth, good match start to finish.
WINNER: Punk in 15:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- It was well executed, and the clean finish is welcome, but this match and feud feels a little too familiar at this stage. Easily the best match of the night so far.
-A long video package aired recapping the Randy Orton-Christian storyline.
6 -- RANDY ORTON vs. CHRISTIAN -- World Championship Match
-Cole note during Orton's ring intro that Orton was medically cleared for this match. Booker T talked about concussions he's had in his career before, but it was tough to understand what he was saying with the mic level compared to Orton's music. Lawler said something about being in a fog after suffering concussions. Cole wondered if Orton pushed himself back too far just to get revenge on Christian. Lawler said he wanted to be clear that doctors cleared him, but he does have to be aware of his condition.
-Early in the match Booker played up Orton seeming uneven in his footwork. Orton almost twisted his ankle just doing a standing stomp on Christian in the opening minute. Not sure if he was playing it up or Booker just jumped on a misstep, although he started saying that before Orton really showed signs of being a little off balance.
-Orton settled into his obligatory side headlock at 2:00. Orton dominated the majority of the opening few minutes. When Orton tried to DDT Christian off of the ringside steps, Christian escaped and knocked Orton's head into the steps. Christian then went on sustained offense for several minutes.
-At 8:00 they began going back and forth with short stints of offense and some near falls.
-Christian escaped an RKO attempt at 10:00. Orton scored a near fall seconds later anyway with a new move where he lifted Christian into an inverted bodyvice and then dropped down neckbreaker style. Christian avoided another RKO a minute later by bailing out to ringside. Orton chased him back into the ring.
-Orton pounded the mat at 12:00 and set up an RKO, but Christian countered with an inverted DDT for a near fall. Cole again ruined it by declaring Christian the new champion as the ref began his count.
-Christian waited for Orton to get up and signaled for a spear. When he went for it, orton leapfrogged him and went for an RKO. Christian slipped free and hit a spear for a convincing near fall that popped the crowd. Christian grabbed his head in frustration as he collected his thoughts. Orton was on his back and not getting up. Lawler said Christian might have a mental breakdown over this. Lawler said Edge is watching somewhere. Orton got up and dropkicked Christian. Cole wondered what Edge thinks of Christian's new demeanor.
-Orton avoided a top rope leap by Christian and then hit an RKO for the win. Cole also gave away that this was the finish since he didn't declare Orton the winner until the ref hit his three count. This "WWE Announcing Rule" or never predicting a win but always predicting a win when there's actually going to be a countout is so annoying and condescending to the audience over the age of 12.
-After the match Christian claimed his leg was under the bottom rope on the pin. Orton stood and watched and finally had enough and hit Christian with the title belt. Orton then played to the crowd.
WINNER: Orton in 14:00.
STAR RATING: ***3/4 -- Another very good match between these two. They have a good chemistry and, if not for Cole's announcing, there were some dramatic convincing near falls in those final minutes.
-The announcers threw to a video package on R-Truth.
7 - JACK SWAGGER vs. EVAN BOURNE
-Swagger dominated the majority of the match with amateur-style wrestling. Late Bourne made a comeback and took Swagger down with a jump reverse sidekick. He then climbed to the top rope and went for his Shooting Star Press. Swagger moved and Bourne landed safely. Bourne then countered an ankle lock attempt with a leverage pin. Nice finishing sequence.
WINNER: Bourne in 7:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Good match. The crowd saw it as a buffer between the two World Title matches. These two have the bully-underdog chemistry down.
-The Obama impersonator stepped up to a podium on the stage. The crowd did the "What!?" chant. He said he is not the anonymous Raw G.M. He said if he was, there'd be a lot less Michael Cole and a lot less Jim Ross. "God, I love that fat bastard." He said R-Truth is like Joe Biden, he can never understand what he's saying, but he sure is a hoot. He said Teddy Long is a combination of George Bush and himself, "he's either doing the wrong thing or nothing at all." Pretty innocent and nonpartisan. Not very funny, but with all of those videos, they needed to do something to follow up on the theme, I suppose. Booker called Obama to the ring. Lawler said Booker might have a concussion. He then challenged President Obama to do the Spinarooni. He did it, not very well, but it could have been worse, and the crowd didn't care that much either way. They didn't hate it or love it.
8 -- JOHN CENA vs. R-TRUTH - WWE Hvt. Title Match
-Truth wore the WWE Title belt to the ring. Lawler said he should win the title before parading around with it. The bigger question is why did WWE allow him to hold onto it backstage and bring it to the ring? Is there no authority figure in WWE to stop him from parading around with stolen property?
-Cena came out to a non-passionate response, at least as it came across on TV - neither an explosion of cheers or a cascade of boos.
-Lawler said Truth claims he was the victim of a conspiracy theory because he never got a title shot in 10 years in WWE (apparently they're counting his years in TNA as WWE years), but he noted that he was in WWE 18 years before he got a title shot. WWE hates Kings and minorities, apparently.
-Okay, once the match began, the crowd picked up with a loud battle of "Let's Go Cena!" and "Cena sucks!"
-Truth bailed out to ringside twice in the early minutes, then went on sustained offense for a long while. The crowd chants continued, albeit with a little less intensity, nine minutes into the match.
-At 10:00 Cena made a comeback and went into his finishing routine. Truth interrupted it and hit a suplex/neckbreaker type move for a two count. They went into a series of two counts. Cena rolled through a top rope bodypress by Truth, but when he stood up and set up Truth for an overhead suplex, Truth slipped free and face-planted Cena for a two count.
-Cena rolled to the floor. Truth took his time as he walked to around ringside. He walked up to a kid and took his hat and drank from his soda. The kid threw the soda in his face. Cena surprised Truth by throwing him into the ring and hitting the Attitude Adjustment for the slapstick victory.
WINNER: Cena in 14:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Too one-sided throughout, and then one of the worst endings to a PPV match in a while. It was just too slapstick and pandering to little kids. It's the type of finish that epitomizes and solidified a lot of adult fans concluding that a John Cena-led WWE promotion is not something they're going to get behind and support.
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