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CALDWELL'S WWE CAPITOL PUNISHMENT PPV RESULTS 6/19: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Cena vs. Truth, Orton vs. Christian, Miz vs. Riley

Jun 19, 2011 - 9:52:43 PM

WWE Capitol Punishment PPV Results
June 19, 2011
Live from Washington, D.C.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

WWE's latest PPV started with a video package focused on R-Truth accusing the "Little Jimmys" in the crowd following John Cena. Plenty of subtle WWE merchandise plugs. The "conspiracy" aspect of Truth's heel turn put the focus on politics since they're in D.C. Truth declared that tonight, the Truth will set him free.

Arena: Live inside the Verizon Center, a basic military-sounding theme started the show before Michael Cole welcomed everyone to Father's Day. Cole was joined by Jerry Lawler and Booker T tonight. The set is a giant replica of the Capitol building hanging above the Videotron.

In-ring: They're starting with the U.S. Title match in the nation's capital. U.S. champ Kofi Kingston was out first, followed by Dolph Ziggler, alongside Vickie Guerrero, to challenge for the title.

1 -- U.S. champion KOFI KINGSTON vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) -- U.S. Title match

The bell sounded and Booker resumed his recent anti-Kofi commentary, questioning his heart and determination. Cole noted Steve Austin, Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, and even Booker have previously held the U.S. Title. Kofi teased an early Trouble in Paradise, but Ziggler ducked and went on the attack. Cole said this is a big match because it means big dollars being champion. Cole slipped in a subtle "money in the bank" reference ahead of next month's PPV. Booker re-visited WWE's inconsistent approach to the kayfabe concept of titles = money, stressing the importance of the match for both men.

Ziggler maintained control of the match as the crowd tried rallying behind Kofi. WWE offered some different camera angles during this portion of the match. Kofi finally mounted some offense at 6:00, but Ziggler escaped the SOS, only to take an elbow to the face. Kofi then hit a double axehandle from the second rope for a nearfall. Kofi then warmed up the Boom Drop and connected. Kofi followed with a TIP tease, but Ziggler easily ducked. Kingston then ducked a follow-up clothesline and hit the SOS, but Ziggler surprised the crowd with a kick-out. Booker was even more surprised: "What the hell?!"

Champ and challenger reset the match, then exchanged some nice counters to take the energy level to the next level for the first time in the match. Kingston went up top trying to finish off Ziggler, but Ziggler crotched him. The two men battled up top before Kofi pancaked Ziggler and nailed a high cross-body from the top turnbuckle for another close nearfall. The announcers stressed Ziggler escaping everything Kofi could throw at him.

Kingston slowly tried to set up the SOS again, but Ziggler countered with a sleeper. Kingston escaped by ramming Ziggler into the ringpost, then missed with TIP. Vickie became involved moments later by raking Kingston's eyes from the outside behind the ref's back. Ziggler followed up with the sleeper and the crowd came to life buying into Kofi in jeopardy. Kingston then scraped the bottom rope, but the ref didn't call for a break, and Ziggler re-applied the sleeper. The bell then sounded out of nowhere since the referee wasn't visible on-camera, but there was no official ruling. Booker thought it was a DQ. Ref Armstrong then received the U.S. Title belt and handed it to Ziggler. New champ. And no one is quite sure why. Cole tried to recover, saying Kingston passed out in the sleeperhold, despite some controversy.

WINNER: Ziggler at 11:06 to capture the U.S. Title. Fair opening match. Not great, not bad. Out of nowhere, WWE refereeing has gone off the deep-end with weird finishes the past seven days. The final few minutes (prior to the odd finish) bumped this above a two-star effort. (**1/2)

Backstage: A black limo was shown pulling up in the garage. Out came R-Truth, who still had possession of Cena's WWE Title belt. Josh Mathews tried to get a word with Truth, who acted confidently about things tonight, noting he has a party to attend. Truth then walked by Eve, who said she doesn't know who he is anymore. Truth said that's right because no one knows who he is anymore.

Elsewhere backstage: Todd Grisham brought in The Miz to ask him if he really has what it takes to beat Alex Riley. Miz did his now-played-out "Really?, Really?" standard opening response to any line of questioning. Miz then talked about him not being WWE champion right now only because of Riley. Miz, holding a briefcase (another not-so-subtle plug for MITB next month) said after he's done with Alex Riley tonight, Riley can go back to carrying someone else's bags.

Video Package: They aired a lengthy video package recapping the Miz-Riley relationship turned heated feud.

In-ring: The Miz's music played and he emerged on-stage through the "A-W-E-S-O-M-E" bubble letters a la WrestleMania 27. After a pause, Riley's new music played to bring out Riley, who was billed as being from "Washington, D.C." Upon that announcement, the crowd roared after a cautious reaction. Cole entered Heel Cole mode running down Riley, prompting the announcers to talk over themselves. Before the bell sounded, Miz trash-talked Riley, who kicked Miz in the gut to start he match.


Once the bell sounded, Miz bailed from the ring, but Riley chased him back into the ring to deliver right hand blows. The ref separated the two men, allowing Miz to boot Riley in the face to take control. Miz slowed things down to land repeated left-hand strikes as Cole continued to promote Miz. Booker said the ref might need to stop this match right now. Lawler told Booker he's selling him short. "He's dead, Jerry, he's dead," Booker declared as Riley opened his eyes. Booker implored Riley just to stay down. Miz taunted Riley, who tried some desperation strikes. The clear objective for the announcers was to talk up Miz as a big, bad fighter in an attempt to counter the view of Miz being soft, while setting up a strong comeback for Riley.

Riley eventually avoided a corner attack to buy some time and Cole said this might be Riley's only chance in the match. Riley then tackled Miz and landed big right hand strikes before ramming Miz head-first into the corner post. Riley followed with a spinebuster for a nearfall after Cole implored Miz to kick out. Miz tried to trick Riley after begging off, but Riley landed a boot to the head for a nearfall. The match moved to the floor and Cole stood up to cut a promo on Cole. The big heat was on Riley teasing a beating to Cole, who was dragged over the announce table. Miz recovered, though, and flung Riley into the ring.

Miz retrieved the briefcase, but the ref yanked it away. Riley then hit an elevated DDT and scored the pin for the win. Big reaction for the finish after the spot with Cole ringside. Booker sold surprise with Riley picking up the win as Cole pounded his fist into the ground to sell disgust with the outcome. After a replay of the finish, they showed Miz with that faraway look in his eyes selling disbelief that he lost to Riley.

WINNER: Riley at 10:12. Basic, easy-to-follow story of Miz being the schoolyard bully to his former best friend, Riley seemingly biting off more than he could chew, and then Riley making the comeback. The in-ring action was basic-level and they needed Cole to get a reaction, but it was fine for the second match on the card. (**)

Backstage: Sgt. Slaughter was shown standing next to a Fake Obama. Weak impersonation facially. Fake Obama was surrounded by fake secret service, then Vickie Guerrero walked in and sang Happy...Father's Day to Obama. She tried to seduce Obama before the secret service took her away. Slaughter said she got...carried away. Fake Obama forced a laugh.

Video package: A shorter-than-Miz-Riley video package focused on the Del Rio vs. Big Show feud leading to their singles match tonight.

In-ring: Del Rio was out first in his latest flashy vehicle. Cole, healthy again, noted Ricardo Rodriguez was not present due to Big Show's attack on Raw. Suddenly, Big Show emerged from the back and attacked Del Rio from behind. Show beat down Del Rio around ringside, then sent him flying into the guardrail ringside.

Show sent Del Rio into the ring, but Mark Henry came out of nowhere to attack him from behind. Henry threw Show over the announce table as Cole declared Henry is crazy. Henry then lifted up Show, balanced him, and delivered a World's Strongest Slam through the Spanish announce table. Cole sold it like Henry snapped. Henry started to walk off, but came back to smash Show's previously injured knee/leg into the table scraps. Show sold the left knee as the ref checked on Show before returning to the ring to give Del Rio instructions.

They went to a replay of Henry manhandling Show before going back to a live shot of the ref checking on Show. The bell never sounded to start the match, but the ref began a ten count. Booker noted this and the announcers said it would be a forfeit if Show couldn't make a ten count. Show then gingerly rolled into the ring, the ref queried him on whether he could go, and called for the bell.


Show thwarted Del Rio's early attack, seemingly no-selling the knee work until Del Rio chopblocked him to begin targeting the left knee. Show suddenly came back with a chokeslam, but Show couldn't do anything since his "knee gave out." Del Rio rolled out of the ring to catch a breather in the process. Del Rio then went up top, but Show blocked with a chokeslam grip. Del Rio kicked him away, though, and went for the cross arm-breaker, but Show lifted Del Rio into the air for a reverse single-arm DDT. Show was the first man up and slowly stalked Del Rio, who dropkicked him in the knee. Del Rio followed with a "cross leg-breaker," trying to twist Show's leg/knee with a kneebar. Show cried out in pain, then reached the bottom rope after putting up a fight.

Del Rio reset in an opposite corner and stalked Show, who very slowly made his way to his feet. The ref asked Show if he could continue as Del Rio smirked on the other side of the ring. Show managed to pull himself up on a second try, but then fell on his stomach after lunging at Del Rio. The crowd didn't know how to receive this since it was something WWE never does. The ref then decided to call the match, giving Del Rio the win. Post-match: Show was helped away by medics as Del Rio celebrated in the ring.

WINNER: Del Rio with Show unable to continue at 4:57. Del Rio gained a little bit here, but not that much since he couldn't take advantage of Henry's pre-match attack to put away Show in a minute or two. As for the finish, it seems like WWE's new "promotional flavor of the week" is a more sports-like feel to matches with referees having more "discretion" and "making mistakes." It goes against decades of controlled booking and recently emphasizing the "entertainment aspect," which means the crowd has no idea how to receive it. (*)

Backstage: Wade Barrett took a mic from Matt Striker and began walking through the hallway doing a walking promo. Barrett emerged on-stage trying to do a "monarchy vs. democracy" promo. Of course, Barrett brought up Weiner, which fell flat on the crowd. Some more anti-USA lines drew a tepid reaction. A "U-S-A" chant eventually broke out that didn't gain match steam. Barrett eventually vowed to destroy Ezekiel Jackson. Jackson, from South America, then came out to defend the U.S.

4 -- Intercontinental champion WADE BARRETT vs. EZEKIEL JACKSON -- IC Title match

The bell sounded and another "U-S-A" chant started up. Still not strong, but better than during the pre-match promo. Cole said, with all due respect to the fans in D.C., Jackson is from South America. Booker said, I believe, that Jackson "looks American." Cole had a good laugh before the announcers resumed talking over themselves calling the match. An audible "We Want Ryder" chant started three minutes in as Barrett worked over Jackson. Barrett drew ref Charles Robinson's ire by not breaking in the corner with repeated strikes, then Jackson found an opening to build some momentum.

Suddenly, Barrett hit Wasteland and Cole sold the match being over, but Jackson kicked out. "U-S-A" chant attempt #3 followed. Then, Jackson started his bodyslam routine as Booker hyped Jackson's physique. Jackson then slapped on the Torture Rack and the ref called for the bell. There wasn't a connection between the ending & the result of Jackson winning the title, leading to a "huh, what happened?" reaction in the crowd before Jackson was awarded the IC Title.

Post-match: They went to a slow-mo replay of Barrett tapping on Jackson's forehead to declare he didn't want anymore. In the ring, Jackson posed with the IC Title belt. Lawler then stepped into the ring for a post-match interview. Jackson said it's the greatest day of his life. "This is awesome; this is great!" he said. Jackson declared his independence from Barrett and The Corre before getting a cheap reaction via D.C. shout-out. Jackson said he's going to prove himself now on with "liberty and personification of domination."

WINNER: Jackson via submission at 6:41 to capture the IC Title. Basic, TV-quality match with Jackson picking up the expected title win. Barrett, as damaged goods, can presumably move on and try to re-establish himself somewhere on Smackdown. (*1/4)

Backstage: Kelly Kelly, Santino, and Beth Phoenix greeted Fake Obama. Santino asked Obama if he'd like to see his Cobra. "No, no that Cobra," Santino quipped. Santino then showed off the Cobra and teased a strike, but secret service jumped in, tackled Santino, and swept Obama away.

Elsewhere backstage: Mathews brought in C.M. Punk to discuss his match with Rey Mysterio up next. Punk sarcastically asked Mathews if he wants a soundbyte on D.C. Punk said he thinks D.C. is known for "scum and villainy of politicians." Punk said he heard Mathews call him a politician earlier, which is okay, because he's a politician. Punk said he's not a liar and Rey is lying through his little mask about being a hero. He said Rey is trying to get rich just like him. Punk said the difference is he tells everyone he's using them. He claimed to be the only real one here. He vowed to beat Rey, then do the "most honest thing the WWE Universe has ever seen." Back live, Lawler wondered aloud what Punk is talking about.

In-ring: Rey Mysterio was out first as Cole heeled on Mysterio. Lawler suggested Cole drink a big glass of shut up. Punk's music hit to boos & a pro-Punk reaction from the vocal males. Cole noted the Raw GM has banned New Nexus from ringside for this match.


The bell sounded and Cole referenced Punk beating WWE champion John Cena on Raw, albeit with help from R-Truth. Cole and Lawler debated tattoos, prompting Lawler to ask about the "soft drink reference" on Punk's body. Cole quickly cut off that talk before Pepsi was given a plug. Basic feeling-out process to begin the match, then Rey teased an early 619 attempt, but Punk blocked, only to find himself on the floor. Rey tried a running sentaun, but Punk caught Rey in mid-air to toss him into the guardrail.

Back in the ring, Punk began wearing down Rey with matholds, including a body scissors as the announcers bickered. Punk cut off a comeback attempt and applied an abdominal stretch. It wasn't enough to put away Rey, who made a comeback with a flying headbutt from the top turnbuckle for a two count. Rey then climbed up top again looking for a moonsault, but Punk crotched Rey and climbed up top to deliver a back suplex for a two count. Of note, Punk was selling a right elbow injury at this point.

Punk missed with a corner attack and Rey followed with the 619, but Punk fell to the floor. As a result, Rey had to get Punk back in the ring to set up for his finisher, which gave Punk an opening to get his knees up to smash Rey in the mid-section. Punk tried a cover, but Rey kicked out. Punk began selling a knee injury before limping to his feet. Punk began waving it's over and called for the G2S, but Rey turned it into a snap huracanrana for a close two count. Punk suddenly landed a kick strike to the head for a two count that concluded the sequence.

The two men reset the action before Punk set up for the G2S again, but Rey arm-dragged Punk to the middle rope. Punk blocked the 619, though, and positioned Rey center-ring to deliver the G2S. Punk made the cover for the win. Booker, never one to shy away from hyperbole, declared it one of the best matches he's ever seen. Instead of talking about the agony of the defeat for babyface Rey, babyface Booker then talked up Punk's performance in the ring. It's part of the Announcing Epidemic where wins & losses aren't stressed, rather the "evaluation of a match" is focused on.

WINNER: Punk at 14:58. Teflon Rey takes another loss, which gives Punk two big wins in the past seven days against the #1 and #2 babyfaces on the Raw roster. The match wasn't one of their better efforts, but they did enough to have a stand-out match on a weak show thus far. (***)

Video Package: Leading into the Big Two matches of the PPV, they focused on the Orton vs. Christian feud ahead of Smackdown's top match.

In-ring: World champ Randy Orton came out to a strong reaction as the announcers stressed the storyline aspect of Orton's concussion. Lawler and Booker talked about the effect of a concussion, including forgetting basics and losing your bearings at times. Cole stressed Orton has been "medically cleared" for the match tonight. The announcers continued to set up a potential "out" for Orton using the real-life effects of a concussion. In the ring, Orton seethed as formal ring introductions were made by Tony Chimel. Mixed for Christian, strong for Orton. Cole stressed the talking point that Christian believes the fans turned on him, not the other way around. Ref Chioda checked both men for foreign objects before calling for the bell.

6 -- World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON vs. CHRISTIAN -- World Hvt. Title match

Orton and Christian slowly walked toward each other and Christian slapped Orton, who responded by decking him. Christian gained control moments later as Booker offered worked talking point that it appeared Orton's footwork was off due to the concussion. Christian then missed with a plancha on the floor and Orton followed with right hand strikes. Booker said it appears Orton's balance is "still just a little bit off." Christian then countered a move near the ring steps and rammed Orton head-first into the steps, targeting the "concussion area."

Back in the ring, Christian wore down Orton as a mild "R-K-O" chant started up in the crowd. Christian then got the vocal males on his side as Orton "sold the effects" of the concussion with a faraway look in his eyes. Christian then walked into a high back-drop out of nowhere to give Orton an opening. Orton followed with right arm strikes to the upper chest over and over and over again. The crowd didn't even react to that, which would normally draw an escalating reaction. (Is the crowd just waiting for the Nationals, members of Congress, the National Guard, the Capitals, and the real Obama, as advertised?)

Orton followed with a snap powerslam and belly-to-belly suplex, but Christian kicked out. Booker and Orton then exchanged bombs from their knees before Orton lifted up Christian for an innovative slam straight into the mat from his shoulders. It was only good for a two count, then Orton teased the RKO and Christian bailed to the floor. Back in the ring, Christian found himself trapped in the horizontal DDT from the second rope. Orton got that look in his eyes, then dropped down to the mat teasing the RKO, but Christian slipped right into a reverse DDT for a two count. That drew a reaction.

Christian and Orton reset with Christian in the corner teasing the Spear. Orton did the splits to duck Christian, then flowed right into an RKO attempt, but Christian actually escaped and nailed the spear. Christian made the cover, but Orton kicked out. Lawler said Orton might have a concussion, but Christian might have a mental break down. Lawler then referenced Edge, noting he's watching this right now.

Christian and Orton reset again, then Orton nailed the RKO. Christian was near the ropes, though, and Orton made a cover with Christian's foot underneath the bottom rope "breaking the plane" of the ropes. The ref counted three for the win. The announcers didn't mention the obvious rope-break as Orton began posing in the ring. Christian then grabbed the referee and pointed out to him that his foot was underneath the ropes. Lawler sold that he wasn't aware of Christian's complaint. Booker told him not to do this.

Suddenly, Orton snuck up behind Christian, who turned around and took a belt shot to the head. They went to a replay of the finish and showed a few different angles of Christian having his foot under the rope. Booker called it a judgment call. Cole started screaming that Christian's foot was under the ropes. Booker said it doesn't matter. What an argument. They went to another replay and Booker blamed the camera angle. This was followed by a replay of Orton popping Christian with the belt.

WINNER: Orton at 14:03 to retain the World Hvt. Title. A notch or two below last month's four-star effort, but this was the best match of the show thus far. It will be interesting to see if WWE keeps Christian in the World Title chase based on the rope-break or if they shift elsewhere. (***1/4)

MITB plug: They're going with an animated "Once Upon A Time" fairytale theme for next month's PPV. Big Show and Hornswoggle were shown hanging out in their pajamas.

Exterior shot: Shane McMahon's music was randomly playing back from break as they showed footage of D.C. Back live, the Bellas Twins's music played to bring out the Bellas along with the Keystone Light spokesman from the commercials. They cut to the announcers, who tried to talk about Cena vs. Truth as Lawler focused on the beer and Bellas.

Video package: They aired another "conspiracy" video on R-Truth before returning to the arena. Justin Roberts announced a special attraction match up next.

In-ring: Jack Swagger came out for the bonus match as the announcers noted it's only appropriate since he's the "All-American American." Lawler added the first "capital punishment" reference of the night, saying that's what Swagger deserves. Evan Bourne came out to a decent reaction before the popcorn match began.


After the bell sounded, Lawler tried to engage Cole in some Father's Day-related banter that turned into Cole plugging the list of countries watching the PPV internationally. In the ring, Bourne landed an elevated dropkick before taking a gutbuster. Suddenly, they cut to the heel Bellas sitting ringside cheering on babyface Evan. Huh? Swagger continued to slow down the pace as the announcers tried some airplane jokes about Bourne being grounded. It was so quiet in the crowd that the ref could be heard without being mic'ed. Booker went back to his tried-and-true thought of the night that the ref was considering stopping the match, but Bourne came back with a head scissors.

Bourne got his knees up to block a Vader Bomb and followed with a variety of kick strikes. Bourne then ran into a big boot to the face for a nearfall. Bourne came back with a big DDT, drawing more hyperbole from Booker that it might have been the biggest DDT he's ever seen. Bourne followed with a kick strike before climbing up top. Bourne wanted Air Bourne, but Swagger avoided and slapped on the anklelock. Bourne countered into a victory roll, though, and it was good for the win.

WINNER: Bourne at 7:17. Tough crowd tonight and this match never had a chance. Bourne got a decent win in the semi-main event slot, but Swagger has so little credibility that it doesn't mean anything at the end of the day. (*1/2)

Tomorrow Night: Power to the People three-hour Raw.

Arena: Roberts announced President Obama. Out came Fake Obama to a podium positioned on-stage with U.S. flags in the background. They actually cut to military personnel ringside saluting the fake president. Once the presidential music stopped, the crowd was silent with a few catcalls. Fake Obama proceeded to do a fake speech about watching Raw. The "what?" chants created noise as Fake Obama said he is not the Raw GM because if he were, there would be a lot less Cole and a lot more Jim Ross. "Obama" wished Cena and Truth good luck before equating Truth to VP Joe Biden because he can't understand anything they say. "Obama" asked the crowd if they're ready for the main event, then signed off.

Suddenly, Booker T jumped to his feet and told "homey" to slow down. Fake Obama turned back to the ring and Lawler said he thinks Booker had the concussion. Not something to joke about with WWE watering it down as something basic like a little old headache. Booker welcomed Fake Obama into the ring to talk him up before asking if he could do a Spinarooni. Harlem Heat music played for Booker to demonstrate. "Obama" then warmed up himself up, spun around the ring, and did a Spinarooni. After everyone shared a fake laugh, they went to a slow-motion replay of the Spinarooni. "Only here, folks, only here," Cole said, trying to seem like he was acknowledging how awful that segment was.

Video Package: Dueling videos on Cena and Truth aired leading to the main event.

In-ring: R-Truth, with possession of the WWE Title belt after taking it on Raw, came out to the ring to his silent ring intro. Truth posed with the belt before the ref took the belt away from him. Truth kept muttering before John Cena's music hit to a typically strong reaction. Cena stood on-stage and smiled for the camera before hitting the ring. Cole plugged the MITB PPV in July and noted there will be two MITB matches. Roberts handled formal ring intros for the main event before the bell sounded at 10:34 p.m. EST.

8 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. R-TRUTH -- WWE Title match

The bell sounded and the announcers debated the merits of Truth's conspiracy claim having never received a title shot in WWE. Again, with the Announcer Epidemic in pro wrestling, they stopped short of stressing how a wrestler earns/obtains/qualifies for/achieves a position to legitimately receive a title shot. Since Truth has been positioned as a wrestler who loses more than he wins, he shouldn't qualify for a title shot, which would be the lead announcer's position as the "voice of reason" opposed to Truth, who heelishly worked his way into the title match despite a weak resume. Since WWE doesn't have a credible lead announcer and since WWE (and TNA) haven't established a foundation for matches mattering, that important aspect to build a story is completely lost. As for the match, Truth dominated early on as the crowd engaged in a variety of chants, including "Let's Go Cena," "Little Jimmy," and "Cena sucks."

At 9:00, Truth applied a chinlock that he turned into a body scissors. Lawler said it appears Cena didn't take Truth seriously coming into the match. The crowd re-engaged in a dueling chant before Cena escaped the body scissors, only to take a clothesline for a two count. Cena finally found some offense with multiple shoulder blocks before setting up the Five Knuckle Shuffle, which he delivered. Truth robotically popped to his feet, but blocked the Attitude Adjustment with a high-impact move. Cena could be audibly heard calling a spot while covering his mouth. Truth then missed a corner attack and Cena put him in the STF. Truth scored a rope break, though, and followed with an axe kick, but Cena kicked out.

At 13:00, Truth climbed up top and looked down at Cena for a while. It gave Cena an opening to catch Truth off the top rope, roll through, and hoist him into the air for an AA tease, but Truth escaped and hit Paydirt. Truth made a cover, but Cena kicked out and rolled out of the ring. On the floor, Truth became preoccupied with a Little Jimmy ringside. Truth grabbed the kid's cap and WWE cup to take a drink. Suddenly, the kid splashed the drink in Truth's face, which drew laughs from the announcers. Truth sold the steel water shot to the face and Cena quickly rolled him into the ring. Cena nailed the AA and scored the pin for the win.

Post-match: Cole heelishly tried the "rules of wrestling" argument that Truth was screwed because if this were baseball, the game would have been stopped after the kid splashed Truth in the face. Again, because WWE is so inconsistent and there isn't a foundation, it's just empty talk. Cena then celebrated in the ring with the kid as Lawler talked it up as a big moment for Cena fans. They went to a replay of the splash-in-the-face before showing Cena celebrate with military servicemen ringside. Cena saluted, Cole signed off, and they ended the PPV at 10:51 p.m. EST.

WINNER: Cena at 14:45 to retain the WWE Title. Completely forgettable PPV main event. They delivered a payoff for Cena Fans with "one of their own" giving the heel his comeuppance, which was about the only thing this had going for it. Blah ending to a blah PPV. (*3/4)



FINAL THOUGHTS: There are a lot of minor & major issues WWE has right now with their product. Lazy, inconsistent, shortcut-based booking over a long period of time has progressively stripped away the foundation. Sometimes they get a hot audience to cover for the big issues, but this audience was mainly sitting on their hands waiting for something to react to rather than emotionally connecting. The PPV also exposed that WWE has depended so heavily on multiple-man and gimmick matches - especially on PPV - that putting together a PPV compromised of one-on-one matches with stories that can't flourish due to the booking is a recipe for a poor-to-forgettable PPV.

We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.

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