WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 6/20: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live three-hour Raw - "Power to the People" theme, PPV fall-out
Jun 20, 2011 - 10:07:03 PM
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WWE Raw Results
June 20, 2011 - Episode #942
Live in Baltimore, Md.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's three-hour "Power to the People" edition of WWE Raw started with the standard Raw intro video before full pyro inside the arena. Michael Cole introduced the show, then Jerry Lawler plugged the Power to the People voting process. 46993 is the number to text choices.
In-ring: Out first to start the show was C.M. Punk. Punk took his sweet time coming to the ring as Cole and Lawler continued to plug the three-hour theme. They welcomed in Booker T to the broadcast position. I don't think anyone can take another three hours of Cole, Lawler, and Booker. Punk, sitting down in the ring, said he fears a show where the audience decides the content of this TV show. Punk claimed to be the best "wrestler" in the world. Emphasis on "wrestler." He noted he defeated Rey Mysterio last night at Capitol Punishment and he defeated John Cena last week on Raw.
Punk declared himself the #1 contender to the WWE Title because wins and losses still matter in WWE. He said that based on his accomplishments the past two weeks, he would like the Raw GM to shoot an email to ol' Cole making it official he's #1 contender. Punk said he doesn't want the match tonight, but at the Money in the Bank PPV in Chicago next month. Punk pulled a Chris Jericho declaring this is a sit-in and he'll sit here until the GM makes it official. Punk continued to sit in the ring before the GM buzzed in. Cole tried his intro and Punk told him to shut up and hurry up.
Suddenly, the GM buzzed again. Cole stepped to the podium and read the email that he is taking Punk's demands under consideration, but, right now, he wants Punk to leave the ring. Punk smiled innocently. He said he gets it. Suddenly, the GM buzzed in again. Cole read again that Punk should leave the ring...right now. Punk was irritated now. He said he won't leave until he's announced as #1 contender to the WWE Title.
The GM buzzed in again. Cole read that the GM was going to name Punk the #1 contender tonight, but considering Punk's actions, Punk will have to face Alberto Del Rio tonight in a #1 contender match. Punk stood up and said he's used to people making bad decisions in WWE, but Del Rio has one fluke win over Big Show. The GM buzzed in again. Now, it's a three-way. Punk vs. Del Rio vs...Rey Mysterio. The crowd popped for Rey's inclusion. The Raw theme music hit and Punk's mic was cut off so he couldn't talk anymore. Punk, irritated, screamed at the announcers and asked Booker if he really thinks that's funny. PYB (3) talk time: 6:10
Announcers: As Punk walked away, Cole plugged the Divas Title match up next to start things off. Eve, Kelly Kelly, or Beth Phoenix gets the Divas Title shot against Brie Bella. Lawler demonstrated by trying to send a text. Lawler was shown voting for Kelly Kelly to "strongly suggest" to the audience who they should vote for. Backstage: They showed Eve, Kelly, and Beth standing next to each other leading to commercial.
[Q2] In-ring: Back live, the Bellas came out for Brie's title defense as Cole tried to tell Lawler he can only vote once. Lawler said he felt bad, so he wanted to vote for all of the Divas. The poll results revealed...Kelly with 53, Beth with 36, and Eve with 11. Evaluation: They told the audience to pick Kelly and a surprisingly high number for Beth, who hasn't been presented as relevant in months.
1 -- Divas champion BRIE BELLA (w/Nikki Bella) vs. KELLY KELLY -- Divas Title match
Brie took control early on, per the formula. Kelly made her comeback, then reversed a victory roll for a pin and the win. Post-match: Cole blamed The People while the Bellas argued with each other ringside. As Kelly celebrated, Lawler stepped into the ring for an interview. Kelly sold tears and thanked everyone for voting for her and giving her a chance to win her first Divas Title. Cole couldn't stomach it.
WINNER: Kelly at 3:01 to capture the Divas Title. That was an expected title change and the post-match interview was a nice touch following last night's PPV. If WWE turns Beth heel, they could give the division some life via a Kelly vs. Beth feud.
Announcers: Cole fed to a video package on the "magical" Evan Bourne, who will be up next. They cued up a video package highlighting Bourne's high-flying offense and signature moments during his WWE career. After the video aired, Cole reset the show and said the viewers will pick Bourne's opponent up next: Jack Swagger, Mason Ryan, or Sin Cara. Let's see, they just showed a bunch of high-flying moves, then offered two heavyweights and a high-flyer as the options for Bourne's opponent to indicate the desired opponent. Bourne vs. Sin Cara I is something that should be saved for when it can be strongly built up, but WWE apparently doesn't see it as a big match worth protecting.
In-ring: Evan Bourne came to the ring back from break. Nice focus on Bourne as Lawler said he would like to see Swagger continue the feud with Bourne. Booker then hyped Bourne vs. Sin Cara as a potential main event anywhere in the world. As for the voting...Mason Ryan won with 51 percent, Sin Cara 30, and Swagger with 19. That was shocking. The live audience booed, apparently wanting Sin Cara. There's a lot there: Sin Cara isn't over with the audience yet and apparently the audience confused Mason Ryan with Batista.
2 -- EVAN BOURNE vs. MASON RYAN
Bourne tried to bob & weave to avoid Ryan, who dominated. On cue, the crowd loudly chanted, "Ba-tista." Bourne made a comeback with successive dropkicks before Ryan scored a knock-down clothesline. Cole said the WWE Universe apparently doesn't like Bourne since they wanted to see Bourne get destroyed by Ryan. Lawler said it's perhaps they like a good David vs. Goliath story. Cole said it could be they like a good car crash. Bourne then made another comeback and teased the Air Bourne, but Ryan avoided. Bourne tried an awkward small package and Ryan awkwardly kicked out. They talked about going to the finish and Ryan delivered a uranage finisher for the win.
WINNER: Ryan at 4:02. That was all messed up. Ryan looked awful (he's not close to being ready for a TV singles match lasting more than one minute and he's already damaged goods because WWE rushed into featuring him on TV without establishing him first via some squash matches a la Monty Brown in mid-2000s TNA). Also, Bourne was presented like a diminutive X Division wrestler unable to hang with a heavyweight.
Up next: Kane vs. Mark Henry and the options are: Body Slam match, Arm Wrestling Match, or Over the Top Rope match. They cut to a shot of Henry walking backstage in anticipation of the match.
Next Monday: It's a two-hour Raw, but it's Raw Roulette live from Las Vegas for the latest gimmick show. Back live, Cole plugged next week's show as Booker pretended to throw the dice. They cut to a shot of fans in the arena texting for the Power to the People concept.
Replay: Big Show destroyed Mark Henry on Smackdown last Friday. Of course, Henry returned two days later at the PPV last night to slam Big Show through a table. Henry came out first for the gimmick match against Show and the announcers acknowledged Henry "getting big revenge" on Show last night. Isn't Henry the heel?
In the ring, Henry stretched out the time via a promo as WWE tabulated votes. Henry noted Big Show got punished last night, just like Show punished him last Friday on Smackdown. Henry said when Show walks the earth, the earth shakes. But, when he walks the earth, all these people saying, "What?" are the ones shaking. They fed to commercial with the poll results on the other side of the break.
[Q4] In-ring: Back live, Henry's music was still playing as he continued to talk trash to the audience. Arm Wrestling won with 52 percent, then 35 for Over the Top Rope, and 13 for Body Slam. Henry paced around the ring confidently, then Kane's pyro intro suddenly hit. Kane entered the ring and stared at Henry before calling for the in-ring pyro. Kane approached Henry to lock up for the arm-wrestling contest, but Henry pulled away. In the crowd, it sounded like a chant of, "This is stupid." It sure sounded like it. Henry finally locked up, but Kane pulled away this time.
Kane had enough and aggressively approached the podium for the contest. A teased advantage each way before Henry got a little more of an advantage before Kane made a comeback. As expected, Henry attacked Kane to DQ himself from the contest. Henry knocked down Kane before smashing him out of the ring with the podium. On the floor, Henry rammed Kane back-first into the ringpost.
Henry proceeded to clear the announce table and scare off Booker before slamming Kane through the announce table. "Where you at?!" Henry shouted toward the crowd, wondering if anyone else wanted a piece. They cut to a shot of a woman on the front row selling shock as she took a picture with her phone. Henry continued to intimidate the crowd before WWE went to a replay of the slam. A medic tried to check on Kane, but Henry scared him off, saying Kane is going to suffer just like he's suffered in WWE not getting his respect. Henry eventually walked away, allowing the medic to check on Kane. Henry slowly walked past the fans, carrying on a conversation with himself a la R-Truth. Henry was terrific in his performance here.
On cue, Cole segued to a discussion of R-Truth. They showed a clip from last Monday on Raw when Truth stole the WWE Title belt, which he brought to the PPV. No mention of his loss at the PPV last night, though. Cole said they'll hear from Truth next.
Back live, the announcers were shown sitting behind the scraps of the announce table. Lawler said he knew he shouldn't have brought out his phone, suggesting it wasn't working anymore. Cole said there are some unstable people on Raw, including this man.
[Q5 -- second hour/standard first hour] They went to a video package on R-Truth at the top of the second hour for a "standard" Raw opening for people tuning in during the regular timeslot. It was the same video that opened the Capitol Punishment PPV last night. The video then transitioned to a clip of Little Jimmy splashing a beverage in Truth's face during the PPV last night to cost him the title match.
Arena: Back live, Truth walked out as Cole reset the show and noted Kelly captured the Divas Title at the top of the show, Mason Ryan beat Evan Bourne, and Henry destroyed the announce table using Kane.
In the ring, Truth waited out "You Suck" chants before cutting a promo on Baltimore. Truth sarcastically asked the crowd if they were having fun tonight making the calls. Truth said he called his head and noted to himself he didn't think things out clearly. He said he went through potential suspects trying to get him. The computer, maybe Cena. "Stop what'ing me!" he shouted. Truth said he got okey-doked by Little Jimmy. The delivery was gold right there. "I got got by Little Jimmy!" he said. Truth said big, little, and momma Jimmys - suddenly, Christian's music interrupted. The crowd popped. They really need to change Christian's face music to a heel theme.
Christian walked to the ring and told Truth he feels him. He said Power to the People is a complete joke. He said he's been in this business 17 long years and he finally became World champion, only to have it stolen from him five days later when he wasn't 100 percent because these people decided he should face Randy Orton. Christian said he's certainly had his chances to regain the title and has his setbacks, but it's not his fault. He blamed horrible audiences just like the one here in Baltimore, a horrible GM, and now a horrible referee just like last night. They went to a still-shot of Christian's foot underneath the bottom rope when he was pinned by Orton last night.
Christian said he should be World Hvt. champion right now. He said he's not out here to ask, but to demand justice be served. Christian told Truth he needs one more shot to become World champ. Truth shot back that he's never been champion and he "got got by Little Jimmy." The crowd laughed and Truth told them to stop laughing at him. Truth said maybe they don't have Little Jimmys in Canada, but the Little Jimmys want him to be a good R-Truth.
Suddenly, The Miz's music played. Miz strolled out on-stage and opened with his played-out "Really?" routine. Miz said he can't believe they're complaining about what happened last night. He said they're a bunch of whiners and crybabies. Miz said his gripes are legitimate because Alex Riley had a victory handed to him last night. Christian cut off Miz, noted Miz lost to his apprentice, and said they were in title matches last night. The heels started having a three-way catchphrase battle. It went "Really? Really? (Really! crowd echo)." It then changed to "Riley, Randy, Riley, Randy." Then, Truth shouted "Jimmy!" That was either awesome or awful.
Suddenly, Teddy Long interrupted and told them to shut up. "Just shut up," he said. Long said the fans want to see action, not a bunch of talking. Long booked them in a six-man tag match tonight. He said The People will choose what type of match it's going to be. And their opponents will be the team of Alex Riley (mild pop), Randy Orton (big pop), and John Cena (huge pop). Cole said this is ridiculous and noted this is Raw, not Smackdown. The heels went back to bickering as Cole continued to rant & rave about Long. PYB (3) talk time: 9:50.
Announcers: Cole reset the show and plugged new U.S. champ Dolph Ziggler defending the U.S. Title against Kofi Kingston in a return match from last night. The choices: 2/3 Falls, Vickie Banned from Ringside, or Submission. Cole said it's live next.
[Q6] Back live, Vickie Guerrero walked out on-stage and introduced the new U.S. champion, Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler, looking even more like Billy Gunn than usual, strutted out to the ring with the title belt hanging around his waist. Kingston came out for his re-match selling more determination than usual. The referee held back Kingston before Cole went to the results for the stipulation. 51 percent selected 2/3 Falls, 31 percent for Vickie banned, and 18 percent for a submission match. That was surprising. Vickie bragged about being allowed to stay at ringside before the bell sounded.
3 -- U.S. champion DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- U.S. Title match -- Two-out-of-three Falls match
Kingston took control of the match early on as Cole noted Ziggler joined an elite class of former U.S. champions last night at the PPV. Kingston scored an early nearfall with a back-slide, then tackled Ziggler to the mat. Kingston crashed to the floor attempting another tackle and they cut to break 2:30 into the match.
Back on Raw, Ziggler was working on Kingston. Cole said Raw is the "most unpredictable show on television" and the announcers recapped what happened during the break - Ziggler hit the Zig-Zag on the floor and scored a pinfall back in the ring. So, Ziggler went up 1-0 during the break. Back live, Kingston continued to take a beating from Ziggler. Ziggler then hit a Gunn-inspired Fameasser, but Kingston kicked out. Ziggler slammed his fists to the mat in frustration, then Kingston suddenly hit the SOS and picked up a pin at 7:40. Now, it's 1-1.
[Q7] The third fall started with Kingston grappling Ziggler, who suddenly kicked Kingston in the gut and hit a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Ziggler then went for his sleeperhold that looked more like a basic reverse chinlock. Kingston escaped, then catapulted Ziggler into the ringpost. Kingston tried to capitalize with chops, a leaping dropkick, and a standing double-foot stomp, but Ziggler kicked out of a pin attempt. Kingston then set up a leaping back splash as Vickie shouted at Dolph to get out of the way, but Kingston connected for another nearfall.
Ziggler, frustrated, slipped to the outside and retrieved the title belt. Kingston ducked a belt shot and caught Ziggler with Trouble in Paradise on the floor. Kingston then moved the dead weight into the ring, made a cover, and Ziggler touched the bottom rope with two fingers to force a rope break before the three count. Ziggler returned to the floor and grabbed a microphone to smash Kingston in the head when Kofi followed to the floor. That caused a DQ, giving Kingston the win, but Ziggler retained the title.
Post-match: Ziggler celebrated, still in possession of the U.S. Title belt. Ziggler then tried to inflict more punishment to Kofi, but Kofi dropped him with Trouble in Paradise in the ring. The announcers said it was too little, too late. They replayed high points of the match before returning to a live shot of Ziggler flopping around on the floor selling the effects, but still champion.
WINNER: Kingston via DQ; Ziggler retained the U.S. Title at 12:21. Not clear if they're moving away form Ziggler-Kingston (with Kingston cashing in his re-match) or continuing the feud due to the finish. Despite WWE presenting 1,001 match-ups between Kofi and Dolph on TV the last two years (including last night on PPV), this match still felt pretty fresh. Good action, drama, and nearfalls. (**1/2)
Announcers: Cole sarcastically thanked Steve Austin for the audience making "these boneheaded decisions tonight" since Austin storyline-set up the Power to the People show last week. They went to a replay of Austin making the announcement, tormenting Cole, and smashing the Raw GM laptop.
Up next: It's the triple threat #1 contender match. The options are No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere, or Submission.
Back live: Shawn Michaels's theme music played over a graphic plugging Michaels on Raw next week as "special guest." That should be a bigger deal, but they went right to Del Rio's vehicle entrance for the #1 contender match. After the announcers talked up Del Rio, he made his way to the ring to discuss his victory over Big Show last night. Del Rio turned his attention to tonight and vowed to destroy Mysterio and Punk tonight. "And that will not be by accident; that will be...pure destiny," he said. Cole said there's still time to vote for the match stipulation. It's on the other side of the break.
[Q8] Smackdown plug: They returned from break with footage of Orton defeating Christian at Capitol Punishment. This Friday on Smackdown, will an already-bitter Christian ever be the same? Booker's words, "it could ruin his career," echoed as they focused on a tormented Christian.
In-ring: After a shot of Del Rio waiting for his opponents in the ring, C.M. Punk came out for the match. Lawler said he just received a message in his headset they've received "hundreds of millions" of texts tonight. Rey Mysterio then came out as the third man in the match. He stopped to hand his mask to a kid ringside and a "Ryder > Superstars" sign was in the shot for a few seconds. Once Rey entered the ring, they went to the results of the match stipulation. 66 percent selected Falls Count Anywhere, 23 percent went for No DQ, and 11 percent selected Submission. Cue the bell.
4 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. REY MYSTERIO vs. C.M. PUNK -- three-way #1 contender match -- Falls Count Anywhere
Some back-and-forth, mixed action early on before Punk slammed Del Rio to the floor with a sunset flip powerbomb. Punk could only score a two count after the ref scampered out of the ring to administer the count, though. Rey then delivered a running sentaun splash on Punk to score a nearfall of his own. They cut to break with all three men on the floor.
Back from break, the crowd was engaged in a dueling chant. Meanwhile, the match was back in the ring. The three competitors exchanged offense before Rey was knocked to the floor and Del Rio dropped Punk with a single-arm DDT for a nearfall. Rey then re-entered the ring and set up for a double 619, but Punk intercepted. After some more mixed action, they executed a three-man Tower of Doom spot in the corner that resulted in Del Rio having the advantage. Del Rio scored a nearfall on Rey, then a nearfall on Punk. More mixed action, then Del Rio ate the ringpost and fell to the floor. Rey tried a move on Del Rio, but Punk grabbed him from behind. Rey escaped, though, splashed Punk, rolled to his feet, and nailed a suicide dive through the ropes on Del Rio in a one-two combo.
[Q9 -- third hour/standard second hour] Back in the ring, Rey hit a seated sentaun on Punk, but Punk escaped a pin attempt. Rey then airballed a splash when Punk casually moved out of the way. Punk tried a top-rope move, but Rey blocked, then missed with a huracanrana attempt. Del Rio followed right up with a cross arm-breaker on Rey, but Punk nailed a leg drop from the second rope to break it up. Del Rio suddenly smashed Punk with an enziguiri in the corner before turning his attention to Rey. Rey hit the 619, though, and went up top. Rey landed his finishing splash, but Punk quickly threw Rey out of the ring and pinned Del Rio for the ol' house show three-way match finish. Punk is the new #1 contender.
WINNER: Punk at 11:36 to become #1 contender to the WWE Title. The three-way match is such a tired and over-done concept, but this was an excellent TV match. Del Rio hadn't looked this good in the ring in months. Rey and Punk were terrific, as usual. (***)
Post-match: Punk took the mic and plugged July 17 as the most historic day of his career and in the history of WWE. He vowed to defeat Cena for the WWE Title on that day. As for that honesty he was talking about. Punk said the brutal honesty he's known for is July 17 is the day his WWE contract expires. He said when the clock strikes midnight and Sunday bleeds into Monday, he's leaving. Punk said he is leaving with the WWE Title. Punk let that sink in as the crowd reacted with a mix of shock and horror.
Reax: WWE has three weeks to paint that picture of what WWE would look like if Punk takes the title and leaves WWE. It would take the belt away from the top star and from the company, and would affect WrestleMania 28 with Cena vs. Rock. WWE missed that with the build-up to Cena vs. R-Truth, but they can sell a PPV putting the focus on Punk being so dangerous that it could change the face of WWE for good.
Up next: Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan. The options are a Paper Bag match, which Lawler said is a paper bag on a pole match (well, that can be penciled in for the next TNA Impact taping), a No Count-out match, or Collegiate Rules match.
[Commercial Break. House shows this weekend: Cena vs. Truth for the WWE Title and Punk vs. Mysterio.]
In-ring: Daniel Bryan was already in the ring for the Paper Bag match. Cody Rhodes then came out, flanked by the baggers, who handed out paper bags to fans on the front row. Now, for the stipulation. The audience went with a No Count-out match - 51 percent. 43 percent selected Paper Bag match and 6 percent collegiate rules.
5 -- DANIEL BRYAN vs. CODY RHODES -- no count-out match
On cue, the match moved to the floor, where Bryan suplexed Rhodes on the entrance ramp. Bryan then landed multiple kick strikes and Rhodes went running down the ramp. Bryan flung him back into the ring, climbed up top, and landed a double foot dropkick. Rhodes then cut off Bryan and landed a step-up enziguiri for a two count. Cole and Lawler were in the middle of a dispute about "hundreds of millions" vs. "hundreds of thousands" when Bryan scored a quick pin on Rhodes.
Post-match: Cody tried a post-match attack, but Bryan tackled him and applied the LeBell Lock. Ted DiBiase made the save, though, and Rhodes gave Rhodes the Alabama Slam. Booker exclaimed, "Sidewalk slam!" He's been hanging around Cole too much. Cole actually corrected him on it. Bizarro-world tonight. Rhodes then dropped Bryan with Cross-Rhodes as Cole continued to rail on Lawler and Booker's credibility. Rhodes finished the segment by putting a paper bag over Bryan's head.
WINNER: Bryan at 2:25.
Announcers: Cole reset the show after knocking Baltimore. He plugged a sneak-peek of USA Network's "Suits." After the video played, they cut back to Cole doing jumping jacks. Cole said up next is Vickie in a Dance Competition against Cole, Lawler, or Booker. Cole continued to "dance" and whoop it up before they cut to break.
Announcers: Cole reset the show, noting Kelly Kelly became new Divas champion earlier in Raw. Also, Henry destroyed Kane and Punk became #1 contender. Videos accompanied these talking points.
In-ring: NXT host Matt Striker was in the ring with Vickie Guerrero for an NXT-appropriate dance contest. Striker gave the mic to Vickie, who plugged Ziggler becoming new U.S. champion last night. She noted she's had 15 years of dance training and she's an expert at all forms of dancing. Vickie gave a shout-out to Sable, of all people, and offered her classic line about all the men wanting to be with her and the women wanting to be her. Vickie started to dance, Lawler did his fat jokes, and Vickie brought in Striker for a big kiss. The music stopped, then Striker went to the poll results. 47 percent for Cole, 39 percent for Booker, and 14 percent for Lawler. Lawler said they never have to worry about Cole on Dancing With The Stars. "Because he can't dance!" Booker said. "No, because he's not a star," Lawler replied.
In the ring, Cole did some awful dancing as Vickie watched on with disdain. Lawler said it reminded him of watching JR dance one time. Cole tried the Spinarooni, which put an end to Booker having a good time. Cole asked Booker if he can dig that. Striker then polled the audience, which booed Vickie and booed Cole even more. Striker said that Cole wins due to having the loudest boos. Vickie was indignant as Cole celebrated in the ring. Vickie then slapped Cole and accused him of cheating. Vickie declared herself the winner and left the ring as Cole complained to no one in particular.
Up Next: it's the main event six-man tag match. Well, at least the full ring intros. The stipulations: One Fall To Finish, 20-minute Time Limit, or Elimination Match.
[Q11] [Commercial Break]
Next Monday: Raw Roulette returns from Las Vegas. Also next week, Shawn Michaels in-attendance.
In-ring: R-Truth was out first for the six-man tag main event. Truth stopped to stare at the folks booing him before entering the ring. They showed a YouTube version of the finish to Cena-Truth last night as the crowd chanted, "Little Jimmy." Christian was out next doing a belt-around-the-waist motion while talking to the crowd. The Miz was out third for the heel trio. Lawler then plugged the Money in the Bank PPV coming up on July 17. Cole noted last year's MITB PPV set up Miz for the rest of the year.
Out first for the faces was Alex Riley, who received a decent reaction as Miz stared him down. Cole heeled on Riley, then Randy Orton's music hit. Orton slowly walked out on-stage holding the World Title belt. They cut to a shot of Christian locking eyes with Orton, who slowly made his way to ringside with a big smile on his face. Orton walked right up to the ring and stared at Christian before entering the ring. Riley followed Orton's lead entering the ring. Ref Charles Robinson held back the heels before the Cena Pause.
Cena's music hit to a typically big reaction mixed with audible boos. Cena stormed the ring as Orton bounced up and down in the face corner. Cole plugged tickets going on-sale this weekend for Night of Champions in Buffalo. The heels slipped to the outside before they went to the fan-voting results. Booker wanted the elimination match. The result was 79 percent for an elimination match. 15 percent went for One Fall and 6 percent selected 20-minute time limit. The heels huddled up ringside as the babyfaces waited patiently in the ring.
6 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA & World Hvt. champion RANDY ORTON & ALEX RILEY vs. CHRISTIAN & R-TRUTH & THE MIZ -- Elimination six-man tag match
The match started with Cena and Miz mixing it up. Cena brought in Orton, who worked over Miz and mixed in some looks toward Christian. Miz eventually cut off Orton and tagged in Christian, who scored some offense on his Smackdown nemesis. Christian kept Orton away from the face corner and the heels continued to work over Orton. Christian then set up for Edge's Spear, but Orton countered with a powerslam. Orton finally made a hot tag, bringing in Riley, who cleaned house on Christian. Riley bumped Miz off the ring apron, but the heels stormed Riley. The faces made the save and Cena nearly bulldogged ref Robinson in the process. With the ref preoccupied with Cena, Miz dropped Riley with the Skullcrushing Finale. Christian then pinned Riley and the heels took a three-on-two advantage going to break.
*Riley eliminated by Miz at 7:10*
Back live, Miz scored a two count on Orton as the heels continued their match-long attack on Orton. Miz started doing some crazy dance/aerobics movements in the corner before going for a running attack on Orton, but Orton cut him off with a clothesline. Cena then hot-tagged into the match and delivered signature offense on Miz. Miz escaped the Attitude Adjustment, though, and landed the Reality Check for a two count. Miz tried to follow with a top-rope move, but Cena blocked. The action then broke down before order was restored with the heels back in control of the match.
[Q13 -- over-run] The heels were still in control at the top of the hour. Truth mocked Cena, scored a nearfall, and complained to the ref about a conspiracy with his officiating. Cena slowly pulled himself up using Truth's pants, then Cena fired off a suplex to break Truth's control of the match. An awkward spot ensued when Cena had to milk a hot tag for what seemed like 15 minutes while waiting for the heels to cut him off. Truth eventually cut off Cena and Orton dropped off the ring apron to have a classic temper-tantrum moment. Miz then tagged into the match, but Cena scored a quick pin for the next elimination.
*Miz eliminated by Cena at 16:45*
Truth entered the ring and quickly took control of the match for the heels again. Christian entered next and went up top for a big move on Cena, but Cena moved out of the way. Orton then hot-tagged into the match and had some extra pep behind big clotheslines on Truth. Truth tried to fire back with a big clothesline, but Orton ducked and knocked down Truth. Orton followed with the spike DDT from the second rope before entering RKO mode. Christian cut him off, though, and Orton clotheslined Christian over the top rope. Back to center-ring, Truth missed with an axe kick and Orton landed the RKO for the pin.
*Truth eliminated by Orton at 19:23* Right after the pin, Christian speared Orton and pinned him for the next elimination. *Orton eliminated by Christian at 19:33* Christian shouted down at Orton that he's the World champion after scoring the pinfall. Cena tried to sneak up on Christian, but Christian fought him off, only to have Orton drop Christian with the RKO. Cena took advantage of Orton's tactics to slap on the STF. Christian tapped out, giving Team Cena the win.
Post-match: Orton re-entered the ring and accepted his World Title belt from Cena. WWE champ Cena and World champ Orton then celebrated together in the ring. After a replay of the finish, Cena was shown leaving the ring to celebrate with military personnel ringside. Cole signed off with a plug for next week's Raw from Las Vegas.
WINNERS: Team Cena at 19:58. Good main event. The "wrestler eliminated affecting the outcome of a match and the announcers failing to draw attention to it" element was an eye-roller, but everything else was good. It certainly looks like they're continuing Orton vs. Christian on Smackdown, but that remains to be seen. Regarding the WWE Title situation, WWE wanted to close this "Power to the People" show on a blue skies happy note, but it would have been effective to have C.M. Punk shown from a distance warning Cena about July 17. They have three more weeks for that, so at least WWE isn't in the fourth quarter throwing desperation heaves toward the endzone like they had to do with the Cena-Truth build-up to Capitol Punishment. (***)
FINAL THOUGHTS: An improvement over the past few weeks with some good developments and three strong matches, actually allowing the big matches to breathe unlike on last week's show. There are still the macro issues with the announcing and inconsistent approach to presenting the product (e.g. evaluating the performance within the performance), but it wasn't as much of a detriment to the show as in previous weeks. Cena vs. Punk build-up over the next three weeks gives WWE something of substance to work with.
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THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**