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CALDWELL'S WWE NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PPV RESULTS 9/18: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Triple H vs. C.M. Punk

Sep 18, 2011 - 9:47:19 PM

WWE Night of Champions PPV Results
September 18, 2011
Live from Buffalo, N.Y.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T are on commentary for the PPV broadcast. No Jim Ross. (PWTorch columnist Greg Parks, who is live in the building, noted there was a C-M-Punk chant prior to the PPV starting.)

The PPV started with a video package focusing on what goes into being a champion: Power. Orton-Henry, Del Rio's destiny, and Triple H were focused on. But, where does the Power go when it's gone? ... Will Orton lose his power to Henry? Will Del Rio lose control of his destiny to Cena? And, will Triple H lose his command at the hands of C.M. Punk? Tonight, it's a Night of Power, Night of Opportunity, and Night of Champions.

Arena: Live inside the arena, full pyro shot off as they focused on the stage, which had title belt banners hanging from the stage. Cole introduced the show and noted he's joined by top champions in their own right, Booker T and Jerry Lawler. Lawler noted they might have a new COO by the end of the night, too.

In-ring: Justin Roberts introduced the opening match for the Tag Titles. Cue up The Miz's theme music to bring out Miz. Finally, no bubble-letters entrance. Miz made his way out on-stage before R-Truth joined him. Truth and Miz rapped a re-mix to Truth's theme music, interjecting "You Suck" for "What's Up?" They finished the wrap and Cole "evaluated their performance," calling it awesome. The tag champs came out next, first Evan Bourne. Bourne then waited on-stage for Kofi Kingston to join him. At least they're matching with lime-green and bright orange colors.

1 -- WWE tag champions AIR BOOM (KOFI KINGSTON & EVAN BOURNE) vs. AWESOME TRUTH (THE MIZ & R-TRUTH) -- WWE Tag Title match

Early on, the announcers discussed past memorable tag teams (all singles wrestlers joining together, rather than natural tag teams). Booker actually said, "I was part of a great team...Booker T and Goldust." Booker then heeled on the Air Boom team name as the tag champs landed high-flying offense on the outside to take out Miz. Back in the ring, Truth cut off Bourne and the heels began working over Bourne. Miz started dancing around the ring like a boxer, drawing a Floyd Mayweather reference from Booker. Miz lost control, though, and Kofi hot-tagged for a leaping cross-body, then Boom Drop on Miz. Kofi followed up with the SOS, but Miz kicked out in time, showing resiliency. Miz came right back with an implant DDT on Kofi and the announcers said it was all over, but Kofi kicked out.

There was an over-done spot where Bourne feigned a tag behind the ref's back, and the ref allowed the tag based on sound. After some nearfalls for Bourne, Bourne went top for Air Bourne, but Miz moved and delivered an implant DDT. Miz made the cover, but Kofi broke it up. The ref lost control when Truth made a tag behind the ref's back, but the ref didn't allow Truth into the ring because he didn't hear it. In the background, Miz hit the Skullcrushing Finale on Bourne, but the ref was still occupied with Truth on the apron. That allowed Bourne to kick out in time. Miz had enough and shoved down the ref out of frustration. The ref then came to his senses and called for the bell, DQ'ing Miz and Truth.

Post-match, Miz held the ropes in frustration as Cole tried to defend Miz's actions. After the official announcement, Miz slowly stalked the ref and shoved him down. Truth tried to calm down Miz before apologizing to the ref and helping him to his feet. Truth then slapped the ref before Miz yelled about the conspiracy. Miz said he's sick of this. Miz and Truth refused to leave the ring before they cut to a BA STAR spot.

WINNERS: Air Boom via DQ at 9:51. More like a TV match than a PPV bout. Three things happened here: Air Boom continued to look weak, WWE played up Miz and Truth's conspiracy theory program, and WWE took the referee controversy from the Mayweather-Ortiz fight last night and incorporated it into the opening match.

Backstage: After a spot for "Inside Out," Miz and Truth were shown walking backstage. Matt Striker walked up to them and said putting their hands on a ref is subject to fines. Truth said that wasn't a referee out there, but another conspirator. Striker asked what they think Triple H would say. Miz said they don't care and Hunter might not be COO after tonight. Foreshadowing of interference during Hunter-Punk or red herring?

In-ring: Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes came to the ring for the next title match on the show. They replayed Ted DiBiase attacking Rhodes on Friday's Smackdown before DiBiase came out to challenge Rhodes. (Parks noted DiBiase was cheered in the arena, but still drew boos since they probably haven't seen the Smackdown angle.)

2 -- Intercontinental champion CODY RHODES vs. TED DIBIASE -- IC Title match

Basic exchange early on, then Cody slapped Ted, who tackled him, but couldn't take advantage. Cody landed a headbutt to continue wearing down DiBiase before delivering his trademark springboard kick for a two count. Rhodes continued to wear down DiBiase as Booker said he appears to be ready to take the next step to World Title material. DiBiase finally showed some life with strikes before delivering a running knee for a two count. DiBiase followed with a dropkick to the face, but Cody grabbed the bottom rope to avoid a three count. The first noticeable reaction of the match came 9:30 in when DiBiase ripped off Rhodes's mask and held it up for the crowd. DiBiase tried to use the mask as a weapon, but Rhodes ducked, rolled him up, hooked the tights, and scored the three count for the win to retain the title.

WINNER: Rhodes at 9:44 to retain the IC Title. Forgettable match. WWE has damaged DiBiase's character so much that the audience didn't care until DiBiase ripped off Rhodes's mask.

In-ring: After a commercial with Rey Mysterio for LightStrike and a hello from the Spanish announce team, Christian's music played to bring out the former World Hvt. champion. Cole called him an all-time-great champion and said he's glad to see him out here. In the ring, Christian surveyed the arena before noting they're in Buffalo. Christian said he's talked to Smackdown GM Teddy Long and Triple H tonight, but they're too self-absorbed to do the right thing. He said he's amassed a laundry list of great matches, and because of that, he deserves one more match for the World Title. He said that he deserves a title match against Henry or Orton immediately after their match tonight. Christian decided to put it in simpler terms: Buffalo has never won the Super Bowl, probably never will win a Super Bowl, and he's won a Super Bowl...twice. Christian started a chant of "One...More...Match" but was interrupted by Sheamus's theme music.

Out came the former two-time WWE champion as Lawler noted he teamed with Sheamus on Raw to destroy McGillicutty and Otunga. In the ring, Sheamus said Christian is right...this is Night of Champions. He said it's not the night of the crying, moaning, complaining little weasel. Christian told Sheamus this doesn't concern him, then Sheamus made a testicle reference from his family storybook. Christian told Sheamus he has the testicles to stand up and say he deserves one more match. Sheamus backed up and rubbed his chin before announcing his plan: he helps Christian get one more match and if Christian wins, then his first title defense will be against him. Christian said he has a deal. Sheamus then led the One More Match chant on Christian's behalf. Christian turned his back, though, and Sheamus dropped him with the Brogue Kick center-ring. Cole called it "straight-up manipulation."

DVD plug: Randy Orton's new DVD. There's been more commercials then matches thus far. 45 minutes in and it feels like the sixth and seventh quarter-hours of Raw on repeat.

In-ring: Next up, the U.S. Title match. First out was John Morrison and Cole quickly broke down his title resume before Lawler plugged his slow-mo entrance. Alex Riley was out next sporting a taped left forearm. Cole said Riley is looking for his first title tonight. The final challenger, Jack Swagger, was out next as the announcers noted Vickie Guerrero is wooing Swagger. U.S. champion Dolph Ziggler was out next, flanked by Vickie. (Looking at the reactions to mid-card faces Morrison and Riley, Parks noted Morrison's pop was more sustained, but Riley's was loud when his music played.)

3 -- U.S. champion DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. JACK SWAGGER vs. ALEX RILEY vs. JOHN MORRISON -- U.S. Title match -- fatal four-way

Ric Flair reference early on as Cole noted past U.S. Hvt. champions. Wrestlers were in and out of the match to start things off before Swagger cleared Morrison to the floor with a hip-toss over the top rope. Swagger then found himself in the ring with Ziggler, drawing screams from Vickie. Swagger cleared Ziggler to the floor, then Riley dropped Swagger with a TKO for the pin, but Vickie put Swagger's foot on the bottom rope. Everyone started yelling at Vickie, allowing Morrison to score a close nearfall on Ziggler. The action picked up at 5:00 when they teased a few Tower of Doom spots that left Morrison and Ziggler on the floor and Swagger and Riley KO'ed in the ring. Morrison re-entered with a hot streak of offense before attempting Starship Pain, but Riley got his knees up to block.

After a teased double submission spot for Swagger and Ziggler, Swagger ran into Ziggler. Riley then dropped Swagger with his finisher, but Swagger kicked out just in time. They reset with Swagger delivering a gut wrench powerbomb on Riley, but Ziggler did the house show finish shoving Swagger out of the way, then pinning Riley to retain the U.S. Title. Ziggler retains. Afterward, Vickie celebrated with Ziggler as Swagger sold shock in the ring.

WINNER: Ziggler at 8:21 to retain the U.S. Title. Very nice second-half to the match, some well-done and believable nearfalls, and the Vickie-Dolph-Swagger triangle continued with some measure of advancement compared to the snail's pace of this storyline on TV. (**1/4)

Backstage: Josh Mathews brought in #1 contender Mark Henry. Mathews noted Henry's had big opportunities in the past and maybe he can't win the big one. Henry ripped the mic out of Josh's hand and noted he has 15 years of frustration ready to come out on Orton. Henry told Doubting Josh to come to the ring and interview him after he wins.

Backstage: Vickie was shown celebrating the win and Striker approached her for an interview. Vickie noted Dolph is working with her, Swagger wants to work with her, and everyone else in the locker room wants to work with her. Vickie noted if Triple H loses tonight, she knows she will make a great COO. Vickie then planted a big kiss on Striker to conclude the bit.

Back live: The announcers were shown on-camera to plug the Hell in a Cell PPV in two weeks. (Parks noted WWE changed the ring mat during the backstage skits.) Cole then fed to a video package on the Orton-Henry World Title match build-up.

In-ring: Mark Henry was out first to challenge for the World Title. Cole noted Henry's debut match back in the mid-1990s was against Lawler, who recapped the domination displayed by Henry in that match. After a Cena Pause, Randy Orton's music hit to bring out the World champion. Orton took his time coming to the ring as the announcers reminded viewers not to forget about Orton being a dangerous champion even if Henry is on a roll. Smackdown announcer Tony Chimel handled the formal ring intros before the bell sounded.

4 -- World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON vs. MARK HENRY -- World Title match

Cole played up a big-match setting for the World Title match as Booker noted he brought the World Title over to WWE. Also, Batista was referenced as a former World champion. Champ and Challenger circled the ring before Orton landed decisive offense to take Henry off his feet. Orton landed a knee drop to the jaw, which caused Henry to slap the mat, pop up, and stare down Orton, who then side-stepped a charging Henry to throw him to the floor. The story got the crowd involved before Henry re-entered the ring and delivered a big boot to the face. Henry teased the World's Strongest Slam, but Orton slipped over Henry's head and slapped on a sleeperhold. Henry escaped by placing Orton on the top turnbuckle, then punching him clear off the top to the floor.

Back in the ring at 4:15, Henry began assaulting Orton with a variety of punishing offense. Henry delivered a big splash and Cole declared it's over, which meant it wasn't, and Orton kicked out before three. Orton tried a comeback at 8:00, but Henry fought him off, only to miss with a second big splash. Orton was the first man to his feet and he delivered ten big punches. Five more almost drew a DQ. Henry was taken off his feet again via dropkick, then Orton stalked Henry for his patented DDT, only to have Henry headbutt him away. Henry followed up with the World's Strongest Slam, but Orton kicked out. Henry sold frustration as the announcers suggested he really can't win the big one. Henry tried to go for a corner splash to end it, but Orton got his feet up. Orton then hit a DDT and dropped down to the mat to tease the RKO, but Henry rolled to the apron. Orton tried the patented DDT from the second rope and managed to execute it to a big reaction. Orton made a cover, but Henry grabbed the bottom rope for a break.

At 11:30, Orton reset and stalked Henry, who flung him into the ropes out of nowhere. Henry used the opening to kick Orton in the gut before coming to his feet. Henry sneered down at Orton looking for the kill and kicked him in a now-injured left knee. Orton tried pulling himself up on one leg, then tried a desperation RKO, but Henry shoved him away and delivered the World's Strongest Slam. Henry made the cover and it was good for the win. They cut to crowd shots of disappointed and shocked fans while Henry took his World Title belt and held it up in the air.

Post-match: Henry held the title belt in front of the announcers before they went to a replay of Orton giving Henry everything he had until Henry pulled it out. Following a replay, Mathews entered the ring to interview the new World champion. Henry yanked the mic away from Mathews and accused him of not believing. Henry said Mathews didn't believe he would hold the "most coveted prize in professional wrestling." Henry called out the haters and non-believers in the crowd before welcoming everyone to the Hall of Pain. Henry vowed to be the most dominant champion of all-time. He said he's taking on all-comers and isn't running from anyone. Henry said he's never, ever losing the World Title. Henry left the ring and welcomed everyone to the Mark Henry Era on the way up the stage.

WINNER: Henry at 13:07 to capture the World Title. Good, sports-oriented story after solid build-up on TV. Orton's "knee injury" gave him an "out" and sets up a likely re-match in two weeks at Hell in a Cell. Also looming is Sheamus, who split two matches with Henry over the past month. (**)

Tomorrow night: Hugh Jackman guest-stars on Raw.

Backstage: Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez were walking down the hallway with John Laurinaitis. Del Rio yelled at Ace for the main event outcome last week, but Ace said it was Triple H's call, not his. Del Rio told Ace this company better start treating him right after he wins tonight. Del Rio and Ricardo walked off, then Ace told someone else good luck. It was C.M. Punk off-camera and he was sporting a WWF Ice Cream bar t-shirt. Punk said that was pretty convincing, but he wasn't buying it. Ace told him good luck and Punk said "yeah, kind of like good luck in your future endeavors." Punk sneered and walked off, then Ace hopped on his phone, as if that line provided him sort of inspiration.

In-ring: Divas champion Kelly Kelly, accompanied by Eve, came out first for the Divas Title match leading to the double-main events. Buffalo was not a fan of Kelly. Beth Phoenix, along with Natalya, came out to a strong reaction in her hometown. Strong pro-Beth vibe in the arena.

5 -- Divas champion KELLY KELLY (w/Eve) vs. BETH PHOENIX (w/Natalya) -- Divas Title match

Even offense to start the match and Beth nearly got herself DQ'ed for being over-aggressive. Later, Eve tackled Natalya ringside and a brawl broke out. Beth nearly scored a pin in the ring during the chaos. They reset and Beth scored a superplex, but sold the effects and couldn't make a pin in time for a three count. Beth tried to remain calm, then went for a powerbomb, but Kelly rolled through into a quick pin for the win. Kelly jumped out of the ring to celebrate with Eve as Beth (and the crowd) sold disbelief. They stayed in the moment for a while as Beth sold fighting back tears, unable to get the job done.

WINNER: Kelly at 6:30 to retain the Divas Title. Good story with the crowd invested due to Beth. Rarely does someone win in his or her hometown, though, so the finish wasn't surprising. It will be interesting if they go the "one last shot" route for Hell in a Cell in two weeks. Or, if they move on to Natalya.

Announcers: Cole, Lawler, and Booker were shown on-camera to reset the show. Cole said Kelly just upset Beth and now they move on to the WWE Title match. Cole said it's about the most-important title in "sports entertainment history." They went to a video package starting at the beginning of the WWE Title with Buddy Rogers, including a Bruno Sammartino clip. Bob Backlund was included. From the '80s on, Hulk Hogan, Iron Sheik, Yokozuna, Steve Austin, Michaels, Undertaker, Edge, Jericho, Brock Lesnar, Savage, Rock, and Hart were focused on. The video stopped to introduce Alberto Del Rio, who believes he will be the greatest of the great.

In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez was in the ring to introduce Del Rio. Pause. No sign of Del Rio. Del Rio then came marching to the ring and grabbed Ricardo to inquire where his car key is. Suddenly, John Cena's music played to bring out Cena in Del Rio's Ferrari. Cena checked himself in the mirror, then stormed the ring to taunt Del Rio. Once everyone settled down, Justin Roberts tried the formal ring intros, but Del Rio yanked the mic away from Roberts and brought Ricardo back into the ring to introduce him. Roberts then tried to introduce Cena, but Cena took the mic from him. Cena said the thing he hates the most about Del Rio is he thinks he's better than everyone else. Cena said he doesn't have his own garbage ring announcer, but he can do it himself. Cena self-deprecated, cut a promo on Del Rio, got a cheap pop for a Buffalo reference, and finished by handing the mic over to Roberts to do the John Seeeeena intro.

6 -- WWE champion ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title match

The crowd was hot early with a "Let's Go Cena" vs. "Cena Sucks" chant. Lawler noted some members of the Buffalo Bills are ringside after their win over the Raiders earlier in the day. Cena paused to acknowledge the dueling chants before Ricardo grabbed Cena's foot from the outside during a sequence. The ref saw Cena drop, saw Ricardo standing on the outside, and gave him the boot. Ricardo protested, but headed to the back. Another loud dueling chant picked up as Del Rio controlled the action. The two men reset in the ring, came to their feet, and knocked each other down with a double clothesline. Cena tried to get in some offense, but Del Rio continued to cut him off.

Cena made his trademark comeback at 10:00 and wanted the Attitude Adjustment, but Del Rio countered with a backstabber for a two count. Del Rio and Cena started a series of counters and reversals that ended with Del Rio in control. Del Rio hung up Cena in the corner and went for a diving headbutt, but Cena moved and Del Rio ate the ringpost. Cena then hit a top-rope guillotine leg drop, but Del Rio kicked out. More counters and reversals. Del Rio tried a top-rope move and connected with an ugly-but-effective flying splash that looked like a kid jumping into the pool with no idea what he was going for, but Cena kicked out. Del Rio then tried the cross arm-breaker, but it gave Cena an opportunity to "display his power" with a powerbomb counter after powerlifting Del Rio into the air. Cena then hit the AA, dumped a returning Ricardo off the top rope, and slapped on the STF. Del Rio fought the hold for a while, but tapped out, giving Cena another title victory.

Post-match: Del Rio and Ricardo recovered on the outside before Cena celebrated in the ring. Cena then shook hands with Lawler and played to the ringside fans before declaring the Champ is Here. Cena paused to interact with some Cena Haters as Michael Cole's voice continued to fall apart. They went to a replay of Cena celebrating the title victory.

WINNER: Cena via submission at 17:32. Slow spots early on, then some decent-to-good sequences leading to the finish. It sets up a re-match at Hell in a Cell in two weeks, where Del Rio could win the title back before WWE travels to Mexico for TV tapings. Del Rio needs a sustained run since WWE is desperate for top stars, but WWE was booked in a corner where Cena had to win here, as their top star couldn't lose three straight PPV title matches. (**3/4)

Video Package: C.M. Punk-Triple H feud with Kevin Nash's involvement pre-"firing" and "release." They also focused on their show-closing promo on Raw when Punk's mic cut out and Punk gave Hunter the DX crotch chop.

In-ring: C.M. Punk was out first for the main event. Cole, with the last shreds of his voice in-tact, said it will be interesting to see how this match affects Hell in a Cell in two weeks. The camera zoomed in on Punk's ice cream t-shirt as he sat down in the ring to wait out Triple H's entrance. "C-M-Punk" chant during the Cena Pause. Punk closed his eyes to absorb the moment before Triple H's music played to a big reaction. Hunter came out on-stage with water bottle in-hand and slowly made his way to the ring. Hunter did the water-spitting in the spotlight and Punk jumped him from behind. Since it's No DQ, the bell sounded to begin the match on the floor. (Parks noted Hunter's reaction was a tad more than Punk, but nowhere near expectations for Hunter and neither's was close to Cena.)

7 -- C.M. PUNK vs. TRIPLE H -- No DQ match, Hunter's COO role on the line

The brawl moved to the announce table position. Hunter teased a Pedigree, but Punk slipped out and scrambled back into the ring. Hunter stared at him while standing on the announce table, then slowly entered the ring to square off against Punk. Once the announcers reset, Booker and Lawler carried the broadcast, with Cole interjecting a soundbyte here and there. The match moved to the floor and Hunter ran Punk's leg into the ringpost. They teased going over the guardrail, but Punk kept it ringside and sent Hunter into the ring steps.

Hunter came back with a whip over the guardrail that moved the action to the floor. The ringside fans sat politely as Hunter and Punk brawled on the floor. The fight then moved along the floor section toward the entrance area. The fight spilled over to the set, where Hunter catapulted Punk into a videoboard. Punk then sent Hunter over the videoboard, where a laptop was spotted. The Raw GM? Punk landed a double axehandle before throwing some equipment toward Hunter's head. Punk sent Hunter into the other videoboard before dragging Hunter down the entrance ramp toward the ring.

Punk rolled Hunter into the ring at 9:20 before going under the ring for a chair. Punk cracked it over Hunter's back before doing a crotch chop. Punk with a cover, but Hunter kicked out. Punk was the aggressor, but ran into a Double A spinebuster from Hunter for a two count. Hunter followed up with a hard whip into the chair propped up in the corner that sent Punk spilling to the floor. On the floor, Hunter clipped Punk's left knee and Punk screamed out in pain to sell the move. Hunter then wrapped Punk's knee around the ringpost before smashing the knee into the post with a steel chair. Hunter did a crotch chop before attempting a figure-four on the floor, but Punk shoved Hunter away and into the ring steps. Punk then kicked Hunter onto the Spanish announce table (no-selling the knee work) and returned to the ring. Punk perched himself up top, did the Randy Savage pose, and delivered a flying elbow onto Hunter through the table, which popped the crowd. Lawler called the move "savage" as both men recovered on the floor.

Back in the ring, the two men sold the effects before R-Truth and The Miz stormed the ring. They attacked both Hunter and Punk before Miz delivered the Skullcrushing Finale to Hunter. Punk then took Paydirt from Truth. Miz then rolled Punk on top of Hunter and told the ref to count. Hunter kicked out, though, and Miz sold shock. Truth called the next shot for them to take out ref Scott Armstrong. Armstrong tried to stand up to Miz, then popped Miz with a right hand. Truth jumped him from behind, though, and the two men beat down Armstrong. Booker and Lawler were trying to make sense of this, with the COO currently in a match and no one in charge.

John Laurinaitis then came out and tried waving some people down with him. Back in the ring, Hunter and Punk sold life to clear Miz and Truth out of the ring. In the confusion, Hunter dropped Punk with the Pedigree. No ref was available, though. A new ref came out, but Ace told him to check on the original ref, Armstrong. Hunter demanded answers, then turned around and took the G2S from Punk. This time, Ace allowed the new ref to count the pin, but Truth broke up the pin. (Why would Truth break it up when they want Hunter fired?) On the floor, Punk smashed Truth with the G2S.

Back in the ring, Punk slowly reset and went for a springboard clothesline, but Hunter intercepted with a kick to the gut and Pedigree. Hunter made the cover, but Punk kicked out to a huge reaction. New referee in here, of note, as Laurinaitis turned around to place a phone call or send a text. Suddenly, the crowd started popping for something off-camera and there's Kevin Nash. Nash went over the guardrail and into the ring to pop Punk, then Hunter. Nash pounded on Hunter, then tried a Jackknife, but Punk broke it up. Nash absorbed the blow, though, and delivered a Powerbomb on Punk. The crowd was quiet as Nash left the ring to clothesline Punk on the floor. Nash then started clearing the announce table as Booker tried to ask Nash what was going. Suddenly, Hunter emerged out of nowhere with a sledgehammer to KO Nash. The camera zoomed in on Hunter with those big determined eyes as he slid back into the ring. Hunter crawled toward Punk, who recovered to his feet. Hunter delivered the Pedigree center-ring, rolled Punk over, and it was good for the win.

Pot-match: Hunter remained on top of Punk, selling the effects. They showed Nash still KO'ed ringside. Hunter stared down at Punk as Lawler and Booker recapped what just happened. Hunter then made it to his feet and got his hand raised. Booker noted that tonight Hunter was the Last Man Standing (foreshadowing for what's to come at Hell in a Cell?) as the credits came on. Booker said they have a lot to sort out here. Hunter did a crotch chop toward Punk, who began to stir on the opposite side of the ring. They signed off at 10:47 p.m. EST.

WINNER: Triple H at 24:09; Hunter remains COO. A wild brawl with the expected interference to give Punk an "out" for his expected loss. One item coming out of this was the latest paragraph in the chapter of Laurinaitis trying to undermine Hunter, which kept things where they are for now since Hunter remains COO. It seemed like WWE was going for something bigger than how the match finished, but they're either saving it for TV, one of the upcoming PPVs, or they're keeping things the way they are for now. Miz and Truth had to interfere, but there's no explanation for Truth breaking up Punk's pin on Hunter other than Truth's character is just nuts. The match delivered on expectations, but perhaps fell short on the wild booking scenarios created by the No DQ stipulation and TV mysteries. (***)


James Caldwell and PWTorch columnist Greg Parks will be hosting a post-PPV Livecast starting at 11:30 p.m. EST with live calls on the PPV. Join the discussion at (URL -

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 or email us at

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