WWE PPVs CALDWELL'S WWE MONEY IN THE BANK PPV RESULTS 7/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live PPV
Jul 18, 2010 - 9:56:05 PM
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WWE Money in the Bank PPV Results
July 18, 2010
Kansas City, Mo.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
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This month's WWE PPV opened with a video package containing slow-motion shots of various wrestlers contemplating what it will take to win the Money in the Bank ladder match. This led to fast-paced clips of various spots from MITB matches at past WrestleManias.
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Matt Striker are on the call. Lawler said the Raw brand's MITB ladder match will occur later on, while Smackdown's is up first. It's the Elimination Chamber formula of Smackdown starting the PPV off with their gimmick match.
In-ring: IC champion Kofi Kingston was out first to kick off the PPV. Dolph Ziggler, then Christian came out. Cole said Christian is his pick, so we know he's not winning. Cody Rhodes then came out doing the Lex Luger gimmick staring at himself in a mirror. At least it wasn't a full-length mirror. Matt Hardy was out next as they zoomed in on a Brinks truck positioned on the stage to sell the "money in the bank" concept. "Mr. Spraytan" Drew McIntyre was out sixth, followed by Kane, then Big Show, who was sporting a knee brace.
1 -- SMACKDOWN'S MITB LADDER MATCH
Cody Rhodes was the first person to attempt to scale the ladder, but Big Show knocked him down to the floor. Show and Kane were left in the ring for the battle of big men. Show knocked down Kane and he was all alone very early in this match. Show tried to climb, but broke one of the rungs for a comedy spot. He simply shook his head, then various men entered the ring for Show to chop them all down. Show then went under the ring perhaps looking for his personal ladder, but everyone ganged up on him to before ramming him into the ring steps.
Back in the ring, McIntyre tried to scale the ladder, but Hardy knocked him down. Hardy climbed the ladder by himself as the crowd popped, but Christian entered the ring and knocked him down. Christian teased a climb to the briefcase, but Hardy yanked him down. Hardy and Christian then took their TV feud to the outside, giving Cody Rhodes an opening. Kofi made the save, though. Kofi teased a climb, but Dolph cut him off. Dolph then got his shine climbing the ladder. He had two hands on the case, but Christian cut him off. Christian and Dolph traded blows on top of the ladder, then Christian hip-tossed Dolph to the floor. Christian then tried to grab the case, but Hardy knocked him off the ladder.
The action reset at 5:00, then Kane attempted a double chokeslam on Christian and Hardy, but they countered into a double DDT. Hardy and Christian then had a ladder war before Christian dropped Hardy onto a ladder hanging over the middle rope. Hardy rolled to the outside and Christian started climbing again, but Rhodes knocked him over the top rope onto Big Show ringside. Back in the ring, Kane was in there by himself, but then he took finishers from Rhodes, Kofi, and Hardy. More men teased ladder climbs for the next few minutes until the action moved to the outside where Kane started clearing the announce tables, including the Spanish table.
Kofi then dropkicked a ladder into Kane and smashed Mac with Trouble in Paradise on the announce table. Suddenly, Kofi looked up and saw one of the ladders ringside. The crowd popped as he looked around before climbing the ladder and staring down at McIntyre on the table. Kofi then came off the top of the ladder with a Boom Drop through the announce table, taking Drew through the table. It was a relatively safe spot that looked crazy. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Dolph Ziggler climbed the ladder and had the case, but Big Show entered the ring and grabbed him off the ladder for a chokeslam. Show and Kane then battled again until Christian and Hardy teamed up to ram a ladder into Show. Show blocked a second double ladder attempt and shoved them down to the mat. Show followed with a splash onto the ladder, crunching Hardy and Christian's mid-sections.
At 13:00, Show was alone in the ring and he started clearing ladders out of the ring. Show then slipped out of the ring again and went underneath looking for the double reinforced big boy from Smackdown on Friday. Show dragged the ladder out from underneath the ring, then he power-lifted it to a standing position. Show then re-entered the ring and tried to get it into the ring. Poor guy couldn't get it into the ring. The crowd popped for Show's attempt as everyone else continued to sell death ringside, apparently. Show then took the ladder through the middle rope and got a pop after finally getting the ladder inside the ring. Show set up the giant ladder in the ring, but he exerted all his energy getting the ladder into the ring. Rhodes took advantage by popping Show from behind with a ladder. He then scaled the giant ladder, but Ziggler caught him with an electric chair.
They reset at 16:00 with no one on their feet in the ring or on the floor. Show eventually came to his feet again and teased climbing the big ladder, but Kingston came out of nowhere and springboarded onto the ladder. Show tried to chokeslam Kofi off the ladder, but Kofi hit a DDT to take out Show again. Kofi then tried to climb again, but Rhodes came off the top with a leaping missile dropkick to take Kofi off the ladder. Nice false finish. After that, Rhodes dropped Kofi with Cross Rhodes onto a ladder. Ziggler then dropped Cody with the Zig-Zag into the ladder. They cut to a shot of Hardy struggling to his feet ringside. Meanwhile, Show fought off Cody, then Ziggler while limping on one leg. Show cleared the bodies from the ring, then limped over to the big boy ladder.
At 20:00, Show slowly climbed rung by rung until Kane re-entered the ring and shoved Show off the ladder, sending Show flying over the top rope to the floor. The other wrestlers then dumped ladders on top of Show to bury him ringside. Kane even chucked a ladder over the top rope onto Show. Hardy piled on as well. Meanwhile, Mac is still still death ringside. Back in the ring, multiple men started fighting around Big Show's ladder. Rhodes got a hand on the briefcase, but Kane grabbed him by the ankle and uppercutted him to the floor. Kane was alone, but Ziggler sprung into the ring and climbed over Kane to the top of the ladder. Ziggler tried to grab the case, but Kane blocked. Ziggler then hopped on Kane's back and slapped on the sleeperhold. Kane fought it off, though, and knocked Ziggler off the ladder before throwing him off the apron onto the pile of ladders covering Show.
Kane tried to climb with no one left in the ring, but Rhodes and Kofi yanked Kane to the outside. Kane then grabbed Kofi for a chokeslam onto the pile of ladders covering Show. Suddenly, Kane and Rhodes brawled near the stage area. As expected, the Brinks truck came into play, with Kane sending Rhodes face-first into the back door of the truck. Mac is still noticeably absent here. Back in the ring, Hardy and Christian tried to climb, but Kane ran in to block. H&C then powerbombed Kane off the big boy ladder. They started climbing one side of the ladder and traded blows while standing on the ladder. Hardy teased retrieving the ladder, but Christian blocked him. Each man had two hands on the case, but then they knocked each other off the ladder simultaneously. And, there's McIntyre resurfacing from the Boom Drop.
McIntyre slowly slid into the ring and started climbing the ladder as the fans booed. Mac reached the top-half of the ladder, but Kane entered the ring and climbed the ladder. Kane then shoved McIntyre off the ladder with a mild chokeslam. Kane was alone on the ladder and the crowd popped as he reached up, grabbed the case, and unhooked the case from the hook to win the match. Kane let out a lot of emotion clutching the case and selling the victory as a big deal. Kane now has one year to cash in the MITB briefcase.
WINNER: Kane at 26:18. Excellent MITB ladder match. Nice false finishes and big moments while telling some good stories within the match. There's always the "health concern" issue for these types of matches, which has to be balanced with the entertainment value of the match. At least there weren't any head shots using the ladders as weapons, which was a good thing. Now, the rest of the PPV has a tall order living up to a thrilling, highspot-type match, but with some good stories that engrossed the audience. (****)
Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in a contemplative WWE champ Sheamus. Sheamus said his pride led him to believe he was untouchable before he ran into Nexus on Monday's Raw. He said Nexus was like a great white shark. He said he gets it now that Nexus is a threat to everyone, including himself. On Monday, he chose a side. Mathews asked if he respects John Cena now. Sheamus cut him off and said he sent a message to Nexus, while also sending a message to Cena that he can beat him on his own. "I hate Cena," he said. He looked into the camera and said Cena is his tonight.
2 -- Divas champion ALICIA FOX vs. EVE TORRES -- Divas Title match
It's apparent why there are two women's division title matches on this show since WWE traditionally uses them as buffer matches on PPV. WWE needs a buffer match after the opening MITB match, then they'll probably use the Women's Title match as a buffer after the Raw MITB match. Eve and Alicia collided early on, then traded nearfalls. Alicia knocked Eve to the outside, where Eve landed a forearm smash before Alicia rammed her into the side of the apron. Back in the ring, Alicia went to work on Eve. Eve then came back with a sort of leaping kick to the face from the corner before going to the second rope. She attempted a flip splash, but Alicia got her knees up to block. Alicia then hit her scissors kick finisher for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Alicia Fox at 5:54 to retain the Divas Title. Fine title match. Alicia continues to fit the role as the Raw brand's heel champion. It seems to set up nicely for Melina to enter the picture as the next challenger. (*1/4)
Announcers: Cole, Striker, and Lawler narrated clips from the end of Smackdown when Jack Swagger's dad was taken out by Kane and Swagger simply watched from ringside. And, for the follow-up promo trying to explain the angle...
Backstage: Swagger was on the phone talking to his "mom" about what happened to pops on Friday. He asked his mom how he's doing right now. Swagger told his mom to shut up and stop being so hysterical. He said it's not his fault because dad is trying to live vicariously through him. Swagger then cut a wrestler promo, leaving the "moment" of "being on the phone" with his mom. Swagger vowed to snap Rey Mysterio's ankle tonight to win back the World Hvt. Title. He told his mom he loves him and hung up.
In-ring: They showed the Money in the Bank Brinks truck on the stage, then the Uso Brothers came out to challenge for the Unified tag titles. Hart Dynasty came out next to defend the titles.
3 -- Unified tag champions HART DYNASTY (TYSON KIDD & D.H. SMITH w/Natalya) vs. USO BROTHERS (JEY & JIMMY USO w/Tamina) -- Unified tag title match
Smith started things off for HD as Lawler suggested Smith needs a mean streak as his missing ingredient. Striker drew attention to the Usos both having the taped thumb gimmick and said they know it's a "tribute to a fallen Samoan we all know and love." Apparently Umaga is getting the Chris Benoit treatment. The Usos continued to work over Smith early on in the match before Kidd tagged in. The Usos dropped Kidd with a double-team Samoan Drop, but Kidd kicked out before three. Jey then attempted a flying splash from the top rope, but Kidd got his knees up to block. Smith then hot-tagged in and slapped on the Sharpshooter. Tamina hopped on the apron to distract Smith, then Natalya yanked her off the apron and gave her a powerslam. Back in the ring, Smith reapplied the Sharpshooter to force a tap-out for the win.
WINNERS: Hart Dynasty at 5:54 to retain the Unified tag titles. WWE has to walk a fine line between using the past to get over the second-generation stars, but not making it to where the audience would rather see the original. HD needs to find a way to stand out more than just using the Hart name, while WWE hasn't done enough with the Usos since they debuted a few months ago and really had a stand-out introduction promo. The tag title match was fine, but the biggest pop of the match was for Natalya dropping Tamina with a bodyslam ringside. (*1/2)
Up next: World Hvt. Title match. Before going to the title match, they recapped Rey Mysterio's World Title victory at last month's Fatal Four-Way PPV. They went to the Smackdown follow-up storylines setting up Rey vs. Swagger tonight.
In-ring: Jack Swagger came out first to challenge for the World Title. His music stopped and he looked around the arena as they booed him for being a coward on Smackdown. After a pause, Rey Mysterio hobbled out on stage selling Swagger's recent work on Smackdown. Striker said Mysterio has a "grade two tear" in his ankle. Lawler stacked the deck, saying this doesn't look good for Rey tonight. Cole then plugged Summerslam in Los Angeles next month when they're back on PPV. Rey eventually made it into the ring and held up the World Title belt for the crowd. Tony Chimel handled the formal ring intros for the title match. Swagger was, of course, booed. Mysterio had a strong Midwest reaction.
4 -- World Hvt. champion REY MYSTERIO vs. JACK SWAGGER -- WWE World Hvt. Title match
The bell sounded and Swagger tried to dive after Mysterio, but Rey danced away to play a cat and mouse game. Swagger eventually locked up with Rey and pushed him to the corner. Swagger teased an early anklelock, but Rey kicked him away and landed a blow to the face. Swagger checked his face and tried to charge Rey, who ducked under him. He attempted a springboard moonsault, but Swagger caught him in mid-air and rammed him into the turnbuckle. Swagger tried a charging shoulder tackle, but Rey did a sit-up to avoid Swagger. Rey then attempted a top rope dive and dropped Swagger on the floor with a big sentaun splash. Both men sold on the outside before returning to the ring where Swagger came back with a big belly-to-belly throw.
Rey rolled to the outside for a breather, then Swagger followed out and rammed him into the announce table. Swagger dragged Rey back into the ring and made a cover for a two count. Swagger then slapped on a kneebar shoving Rey's head into the mat for additional pressure. Rey kicked away with his one free leg to escape. They tried a big spot off the ropes, but seemed to both fall to the mat. The announcers sold it as not being pretty, but effective for Swagger. Swagger and Rey made a nice recovery setting up for Swagger's signature Vader Bomb spot, which got the crowd back in the action. Rey avoided the move, then hit a seated sentaun. Swagger came right back with a headbutt, though, until Rey whipped him across the ring into the middle turnbuckle. Rey followed with a springboard moonsault for a close two count, then Swagger came right back by blocking a wheelbarrow into a German Suplex for a two count of his own.
At 7:00, Swagger teased the gutwrench powerbomb once before connecting with it on the second attempt. Rey rolled to the edge of the ropes, though, and Swagger made a cover, but Rey put his foot on the bottom rope to break the pin. Rey recovered moments later, not selling the effects of the gutwrench, and slingshot Swagger into the corner. Rey then tried a top rope move, but Swagger blocked and hoisted Rey onto his shoulders. Swagger wanted a spinning powerbomb, but Rey countered in mid-air with a top-rope DDT that looked pretty impressive. Rey made a cover, but Swagger kicked out. Rey then set up the 619 and he connected. Swagger staggered across the ring and Rey tried the springboard splash, but Swagger countered with the anklelock. Rey got the bottom rope to break, though. Swagger followed with a running Vader Bomb, then he followed with a second Bomb. Swagger wasn't satisfied and stared down at Mysterio. He then stomped on Rey's ankle and stood on the ankle until the ref forced a break. Rey then pulled an Eddie Guerrero at WrestleMania 20 vs. Kurt Angle by loosening the boot. Swagger tried the anklelock again, but Rey's boot slipped off. Rey then followed with a leaping huracanrana into a pin for the win.
WINNER: Mysterio at 10:45 to retain the World Hvt. Title. The finish of the match pretty much confirmed WWE trying to turn Swagger into their version of Kurt Angle. Swagger and Rey worked well together playing off the big man vs. little man match-up. But, when the announcers have to constantly ask the kayfabe question of how they're recovering from each other's offense, it means there isn't long-term selling. There wasn't much of that here, which took away from the overall quality of the match. But, the crowd was into the story and Swagger got over his power offense and menacing heel persona. (**3/4)
Post-match: Swagger attacked Mysterio as he celebrated and pounded Rey with forearms. Swagger then slapped on the anklelock and wrenched on Rey's ankle as Rey tapped out repeatedly. Suddenly, Kane hit the ring, but sans briefcase. Kane beat down Swagger and knocked him to the outside. Kane beat up Swagger and took him to the back. They went back to Rey celebrating in the ring as Striker noted Rey pulling a trick from Eddie Guerrero's playbook. Suddenly, Kane's music hit. This time, Kane emerged with briefcase in hand and referee Charles Robinson. The announcers were silent as Kane slowly entered the ring. Kane held the case and handed it to the referee to officially cash in the case.
5 -- World Hvt. champion REY MYSTERIO vs. KANE -- WWE World Hvt. Title match
Ref Robinson allowed Mysterio to collect himself before officially calling for the bell. Rey tried to run around Kane, who eventually grabbed him by the ankle and dropped him to the mat. Kane then dropped Mysterio with a chokeslam center ring. The crowd was mixed with their reactions, then the males came to life as Kane set up Mysterio and dropped him with the Tombstone Piledriver. Kane then made the cover and he's the new World champion. Striker loved the moment while Lawler said he doesn't like this. Cole agreed with Striker before noting it being a long, long time since Kane won a World Title. Kane then stood over Rey's body and hit the pyro before leaving the ring.
WINNER: Kane at 0:54 to capture the World Hvt. Title. This sure seems to be setting up Kane vs. The Undertaker at Summerslam if Taker is ready, health-wise, for the title match. The male audience in the crowd was pro-Kane as he cashed in on the babyface Mysterio, which was interesting. Smackdown's storylines should be interesting going to Summerslam now. (n/a)
Backstage: Edge was shown watching Kane celebrating on a TV monitor. Chris Jericho then walked up behind Edge and they exchanged words on the Raw brand's MITB match.
6 -- Women's champion LAYLA (w/Michelle McCool) vs. KELLY KELLY (w/Tiffany) -- Women's Title match
Interesting placement of the Women's Title match before the Raw MITB match, rather than in-between the MITB match and WWE Title match. Layla dominated early on, then knocked Kelly to the outside. McCool gloated over Kelly, who was selling on the outside. Tiffany then attacked McCool to allow Kelly to re-enter the ring. McCool and Tiffany continued their fight on the outside throughout the match, which set up a distraction in the ring for Layla to score the pin on Kelly.
WINNER: Layla at 3:59 to retain the Women's Title. A lot of moving parts here for a match that seemed to fit on TV rather than PPV. (n/a)
In-ring: Randy Orton came out first for the Raw brand's Money in the Bank ladder match. U.S. champion The Miz came out second, followed by Mark Henry. Ted DiBiase then came out with Maryse while holding onto the Million Dollar belt. DiBiase gave Marilyn Monroe...er...Maryse a kiss and Maryse headed to ringside to watch the proceedings. John Morrison was out fifth, followed by Chris Jericho, then Evan Bourne. Out last was Edge, who WWE has built up as the favorite. Torch readers are going with Miz or Orton to win.
7 -- RAW'S MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH
The match started with everyone kind of staring at each other before bodies started flying all over the ring. DiBiase had a chance to climb, but folded a ladder and swung it at Morrison, who ducked and delivered a kick. DiBiase then ducked a clothesline and clotheslined Morrison onto a ladder. Suddenly, Bourne dropkicked the ladder into Morrison's face before Miz snuck in behind Bourne and chucked him to the outside. Cup-of-coffee partners Miz and Jericho then battled in the ring until Henry got involved knocking them both down. After a brief reset, Bourne teased a ladder climb until Edge yanked him by the ankle. Bourne shook him off, then nailed a beautiful huracanrana off the ladder. Orton then entered the picture and knocked down Bourne before hitting an innovative spike DDT off a rung of the ladder.
At 5:00, they reset with some new players in the ring. Miz and DiBiase beat down Morrison, seeming to form an alliance. Striker suggested DiBiase slipped an envelope of cash under someone's hotel door this morning. "It wasn't mine," Lawler said dryly. Great comeback one-liner. Meanwhile, Morrison dropped DiBiase face-first into a ladder propped up in the corner. Morrison tried to climb for the case, but Edge cut him off. Jericho then set up a ladder next to the center ladder and climbed his ladder. Jericho tried to sneak in for the case, but Orton cut him off. All four men battled near the case, then Henry walked in and slowly shoved all four men off the ladder. Nice spot that popped the crowd. Henry was alone in the ring and Bourne came in with a slingshot dropkick on Henry.
Suddenly, Maryse slowly entered the ring after checking on her beau, DiBiase. Lawler asked if there's a rule if Maryse can get involved in the match. Maryse slowly started climbing the ladder until Morrison got involved and pulled her down. Morrison warned Maryse to get out of here. Meanwhile, DiBiase tried to sneak up the ladder, but Morrison caught onto the game and yanked him down. Miz then went on the offensive during the match. Cole continued to talk up Miz, which prompted Striker to ask what's up. Cole said he's the future of Raw and he's arrived in WWE. Ringside, Morrison and Miz battled, with Morrison gaining control. Morrison then launched himself into the middle of the ring to cut off Edge on a ladder. Edge cut off Morrison's momentum, though, and put him in the middle of the ladder hanging in the air. Edge and Miz worked together until Edge shoved a second ladder into Miz, which drew a mild pop for Edge fooling Miz.
At 12:00, Edge was alone in the ring trying to climb a ladder, but DiBiase cut him off with a ladder jab to the mid-section. DiBiase then unfolded a ladder upside down to make a "V" form. Orton tried to get involved, but DiBiase smashed him with a ladder to keep him out of the ring. Orton sold a knee injury ringside. Back in the ring, DiBiase climbed a ladder, but Henry cut him off. DiBiase tried a splash, but Henry caught him in mid-air with the World's Strongest Slam. Henry then kicked a ladder into Jericho, who tried to run in. Miz was next for a gorilla press slam onto Jericho. Bourne suddenly tried to climb Henry's back up the ladder, but Orton and Edge cut him off. Bourne had one hand on the case, then Orton and Edge grabbed Bourne and threw him over the top rope into Henry's arms for Henry to nail a World's Strongest Slam on the floor. Jericho then hit Henry with the Codebreaker into Edge nailing a spear in succession. Nice sequence.
They reset again at 15:00 with Morrison, Orton, Edge, Jericho, and Miz in the ring. DiBiase then joined the picture. Hands and bodies were flying while the briefcase continued to swing around in the air. No one got control of the situation, then DiBiase walked across a ladder propped up across the center ladder to join the fight. Orton and Edge then put DiBiase on the "bridge ladder" and they rolled him out of the ring to the outside. Orton quickly ended things with Edge by hitting an RKO center ring. Jericho and Morrison started battling one-on-one on top of the ladder as Jericho got a hand on the briefcase. Morrison then hung Jericho upside down, but Orton yanked him down. Orton dropped Morrison with the RKO and Bourne immediately hit the Air Bourne on Orton. Sick spot following up on Raw.
Bourne then climbed the ladder and got his hands on the briefcase. He couldn't unhook the case, though, and Jericho recovered to cut off Bourne. Bourne punched Jericho down the ladder, then reached up again. Bourne fought off Jericho, then Jericho came back with right hand blows. Jericho then smashed Bourne with the case and Bourne fell off the ladder. Jericho couldn't get the case, though, as it continued to swing and swing in the air. Edge then re-entered and battled on top of the ladder with Jericho. Jericho yelled at the case for swinging away from him, then Orton suddenly re-entered and dropped Jericho with an RKO off the ladder.
The crowd popped as Orton grabbed Edge and threw him off the ladder, sending him into the "V" ladder. The crowd cheers grew louder as Orton was in control of the situation starting his climb up the ladder. Orton got one hand on the briefcase and tried to unhook it, but Miz suddenly re-entered and shoved him off the ladder. Great false finish. Miz then started scaling and the cheers turned to boos. Miz grabbed the case and he unhooked the case to win the match. Torch readers were right on Miz and Orton being the top two candidates. Cole sold it as the biggest moment of Miz's career seizing the moment.
Post-match: Miz took the mic from ringside and surveyed the arena. Miz said the fans are all living in his moment. He held up the MITB briefcase and said he might be over-rated, but him winning the MITB contract means he's made it. "I made it!" he shouted. Miz pointed into the crowd and said he made believers out of all the haters. He told the audience to get a good, hard look at the man with the briefcase. "I am Mr. Money in the Bank," he said. "I am a future WWE champion. Me! Me!" Meanwhile, Maryse was in the background checking on DiBiase. Miz paused and quietly said, "I'm The Miz and I'm...awesome. Awesome!" Cue up his theme music to conclude the segment.
WINNER: Miz at 20:26 to earn a future WWE Title match. Another excellent MITB ladder match. This one was a little different than Smackdown's, which had plenty of good stories within the story thanks to Smackdown's writers doing the heavy lifting on Smackdown leading to the PPV. Raw's was more dependent on some creative spots, Evan Bourne having another stand-out night, and some very good false finishes utilizing Randy Orton. It will be a good debate on whether Raw's or Smackdown's MITB match was better. I'm going to lean slightly toward the Raw side. (****1/4)
Summerslam plug: They aired a video package plugging Summerslam, including a plug for The Undertaker being part of the PPV. ... Announcers: Cole, Striker, and Lawler were shown on-camera with a brief plug for next month's PPV. They transitioned into hyping John Cena vs. Sheamus for the WWE Title up next in the steel cage match.
In-ring: With the cage lowered to the ring during a pre-match video package, John Cena was out first for the main event. Cena did some shadow-boxing once inside the cage, then Sheamus came out to defend the WWE Title. Once everyone was assembled and the cage was locked, Justin Roberts handled the formal ring intros from ringside. 95 percent positive reaction for Cena. Ref Jack Doane then put an extra lock around the cage door and the bell sounded to start the match.
8 -- WWE champion SHEAMUS vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match -- Steel cage match
Sheamus started things off in control of the match as the announcers sold perhaps Cena isn't confident tonight. Cena then fired off right hands out of nowhere before running into an elbow to the jaw. Sheamus slowed things down again and landed a right hand before trying to shove Cena's face through a cage wall to inflict more punishment. Cena and Sheamus then came to center ring trading right hand blows. The five percent cheered for Sheamus before Cena came off the ropes with a flying shoulder tackle. He tried to set up the usual offensive attack, but Sheamus hit the mat and delivered a drop toe hold sending Cena flying into the cage.
At 5:00, Sheamus went back to work pounding on Cena with right hand blows. Sheamus then teased climbing over the side of the cage, but Cena cut him off with left hand jabs. Cena then walked Sheamus across the top rope and placed him on the top turnbuckle for a superplex that resulted in a two count. Sheamus suddenly came back with a Polish Hammer and scored a two count of his own. Sheamus slowed things down again before measuring Cena for another PH, but Cena ducked, only to walk into a sleeperhold from Sheamus.
Sheamus put Cena on the mat with the sleeper as Striker referenced a kayfabe conversation he saw earlier today between Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler. Cena tried to fight the sleeper, but Sheamus turned it into a rear naked choke. Cena then rolled onto his stomach and tried to do the dead lift spot coming to his feet with Sheamus on his back. Cena reached the ropes, then started a slow climb up the corner ropes with Sheamus still on his back. Sheamus decided to drop off Cena's back and kick the legs out from under Cena, sending Cena crashing into the turnbuckles. That was a long sequence continuing to build toward Cena's eventual full-fledged comeback.
Sheamus went back on the attack with another slow-it-down series of offense before teasing a climb out of the cage. Cena came to life, though, and yanked Sheamus off the cage wall onto the top rope. It's time to take this to the next gear. Cena came to life and did the usual routine before dropping the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena then measured Sheamus for the Attitude Adjustment, but Sheamus grabbed the cage wall. He tried to climb out of the cage, but Cena pulled him down. They traded blows while walking the top rope, then Cena rammed Sheamus's head into the wall to send him to the mat. Cena had a little cut over his right eye as he stared down at Sheamus while standing on the top turnbuckle. Cena tried a top rope Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Sheamus moved and Cena crashed into the mat.
At 15:00, they reset with both men selling on the mat. Sheamus was on the offensive as the crowd came to life with a dueling chant of the pro-Cena fans vs. the vocal five percent. Sheamus then hung up Cena in-between the top and second ropes. Sheamus toyed with Cena to break free, then he pounded on Cena with right hands to the head. Sheamus continued to beat on Cena, then he stood on Cena's shoulders to climb up the cage wall. Cena did the big Samson spot breaking free of the ropes and grabbing Sheamus before he could climb out. Cena then hit a top-rope bulldog and made a cover for a close two count that drew a gasp from the crowd.
They reset again with both men selling each other's offense. Cena then teased the Attitude Adjustment again, but Sheamus slipped out and hit the Irish Curse backbreaker across his knee. Sheamus couldn't make a cover, though, so both men sold the effects again. Sheamus made it to his feet and pounded his chest before measuring Cena and connected with the big bicycle kick to the face. Sheamus made a cover, but SuperCena kicked out just before three. Sheamus decided to try leaving the cage, but he decided to come back for more. Sheamus wanted the Outsider's Edge, but Cena suddenly sprung to life and nailed the Attitude Adjustment. Cena quickly tried a cover, but Sheamus kicked out to pop the crowd.
Both men were selling and out came Nexus to ringside. Michael Tarver had bolt-cutters, but the ref yanked the tool away. Nexus demanded the keys from ref Jack Doane. He refused. Doane then reached in his pocket and chucked the keys into the crowd. Nexus told Doane he's a dead man. Meanwhile, back inside the cage, the ref was bumped into the cage wall as the ref was looking at Nexus on the outside. Dumb officiating cliche. Cena then slapped on the STF and Sheamus was forced to tap out, but the ref was KO'ed. Cena released the hold, then started to climb the cage. Justin Gabriel tried to cut him off, but Cena flung him into the cage.
Suddenly, Sheamus came to life and tried to climb out as Heath Slater met him on the other side of the cage. Sheamus fought him off as Cena was fighting of Nexus members on the other side of the cage. Sheamus successfully fought off Slater and dropped to the floor as the ref came to life to see Sheamus escape the cage. Sheamus immediately hopped the guardrail and jumped into the crowd to high-tail it out of the building. Cena then jumped off the cage wall and landed on the ground selling frustration.
Post-match: They stayed with a shot of Cena boiling over with frustration. Sheamus's music stopped and he stared down at Darren Young before throwing him into the side of the cage. Cena then got down in a two-point football stance and measured Tarver to nail him with a big running clothesline. Cena huffed and puffed before staring at the ring steps. He lifted the steps and chucked them into Tarver's face. "I told you I would take every one of you out!" Cena screamed. Cena then grabbed a Nexus arm band and left the ringside area to the back. Cole said Nexus continues to dominate and make its mark. He said the hostile takeover of Raw continues. They showed Nexus members selling ringside to close the PPV on a bit of a down note.
WINNER: Sheamus at 23:03. Decent, but not satisfying main event title match. They had a slow - almost too-slow at times - pace to the match before picking up steam in the second-half with some strong false finishes. Nexus's interference and WWE's cage match stipulation that you can climb out of the cage pretty much defeated the purpose of the cage and WWE selling the PPV on the idea that Nexus would be kept out of the cage. It will be interesting to see where they go with Sheamus at Summerslam if Triple H is indeed unavailable. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton is a potential candidate. Some form of a Cena vs. Nexus match at Summerslam also seems likely. (***)
FINAL THOUGHT: Overall, a strong PPV thanks to two four-star-plus Money in the Bank ladder matches telling some good stories within the matches. With the way the main event finished, WWE has to be careful not to create go-away heat on Nexus after investing two months on building up the group. They're already in the danger zone of go-away heat on the Raw GM.
We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.
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