What could have been a great pay-per-view event ended in a big disappointment.
Capitol Punishment had a great opener and an even better match in the middle of the card, but the ending failed to live up to the expectations.
Let’s take a look of each match:
Singles match for the United States Championship
Dolph Ziggler beat Kofi Kingston (c)
This is a match very few would pay for, but once we have it we better watch it.
There is a reason why the WWE keeps pairing these two wrestlers: They have fantastic chemistry and always perform great openers.
Ziggler and Kingston always have something new and make each other look great, and this was no exception.
After 15 minutes of great wrestling (and yes, a couple of botches), it was almost a shame Vickie Guerrero had to interfere to give Ziggler the little edge he needed to use the sleeper hold on Kingston, who vanished in just a few seconds.
It was an odd ending for the match, and for a few moments it wasn’t clear what the referee’s ruling was, but Ziggler was declared the winner and new United States Champion.
Alex Riley beat The Miz
Is it me or did half of the crowd not know A-Ry was at home? His pop got much bigger after the announcer said “From Washington D.C., Alex Riley!”
It was a decent match, with a few good spots, but nothing really spectacular. Michael Cole got involved again, but this time it didn’t really affect the course of the match.
And again the silver briefcase appeared (seriously, what’s inside of it? Why do they keep using it?) in Miz’s hands, but the referee took it from him before he could hit Riley, and A-Ry took advantage of it to apply a DDT and get his first PPV victory.
Alberto Del Rio beat Big Show
I predicted Mark Henry’s interference (check the poll on my previous article), but I expected it at the end of the match, not before it started.
It was a short match, but I liked the booking.
Henry’s attack on Show leads to a feud between them, and as The Giant had attacked Del Rio from behind first we can say they were even.
Del Rio recovered credibility as a top heel with a very good performance. He was again the smart and strong heel instead of the coward who runs from a battle.
The Mexican Aristocrat focused on Big Show’s injured knee, leaving him unable to stand after locking a kneebar, so the referee had to finish the match.
The only problem with this match: Henry went for the wrong leg when he attacked Big Show, going for the left knee instead of the right, the one that was hit by Ricardo Rodríguez’s car a few weeks ago. However, both Show and Del Rio adjusted and focused on the left knee too.
Singles match for the Intercontinental Championship
Ezekiel Jackson beat Wade Barrett (c)
Wade Barrett started with a little too-political promo (I liked the “you will end speaking Chinese” joke), which led to chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A!” during the match.
I guess the crowd didn’t know Jackson is actually from Guyana.
There is not much too say about this match. It was a brawl with few highlights, and although for a moment it seemed Barrett was going to retain after a Wasteland, Jackson recovered and applied the torture rack to become the new Intercontinental Champion.
What was the point of Jerry Lawler’s interview with Jackson after the match?
CM Punk beat Rey Mysterio
Just like last Monday, CM Punk got a lot of support in the start, which stole a quick smile from his opponent.
This match shared some characteristics with the Ziggler-Kingston bout: We have seen it many times, but it’s always great to see.
And it didn’t disappoint. I actually think this was the best Punk-Mysterio match since the start of their feud last year.
They had great spots, a lot of reversals and kept us interested from the start until the end.
Mysterio had reversed the Go to Sleep twice, but Punk countered a 619 with a third GTS attempt that was successful to finally get a clean victory over his long-time rival.
Let’s see: In the same week, Punk got two back-to-back clean victories against the top two faces in RAW.
I suspect he already renewed his contract with the WWE.
Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton (c) beat Christian
It was a very nice exhibition, with some big bumps and good coordination between both wrestlers.
Orton did a good job selling the effects of the concussion he suffered a few days ago and he also got revenge against Captain Charisma, hitting him with the WHC belt after the match.
One note: I don’t mind Christian using the spear, but why does he have to make exactly the same antics as Edge?
But the match was also a bit short and the outcome too predictable and repetitive: an RKO out of nowhere to retain the championship. At least John Cena sometimes uses the Attitude Adjustment and other times the STF.
The “controversy” in the ending means we’ll get at least another contest between Orton and Christian, who already lost three title-matches in a row against The Viper. I’m not sure I want to see that again.
Evan Bourne beat Jack Swagger
Special bonus attraction: That’s how this match was announced.
OK, it was better than the typical Divas matches many people use as bathroom breaks between the two main events, but still nobody in attendance seemed to care.
At one point a couple of guys in the first row were yawning (literally) on camera.
What’s the difference between a Swagger-Bourne bout in the middle of RAW and an unannounced contest at a PPV?
Singles match for the WWE Championship
John Cena (c) beat R-Truth
The biggest disappointment of the night.
I really hated this match.
First of all, we had to wait too long for its start. Between the previous contest and a boring too-long “Barack Obama” promo, I almost felt sleep.
Then both wrestlers seemed to lack the energy required for a WWE Championship match. There were no big bumps, no great moves, no “holy sheet” moments.
It was like they were saving their best weapons for a rematch, which probably will happen.
The crowd only got excited in the last 10 seconds—probably the only good part of this match.
Truth had tossed Cena out of the ring and took a baseball cap and a drink from a kid at ringside.
What Truth didn’t expect was that the kid took his beverage back and threw it in his face. Cena took advantage of this distraction, tossing his opponent back in the ring for an Attitude Adjustment.
Truth now has a reason to keep claiming there is a conspiracy against him, so he will probably get a rematch.
Despite the lack of “gimmick” matches or special stipulations, I expected more from this PPV, but it ended up being one of the weakest of the year.
CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio stole the night and Dolph Ziggler vs Kofi Kingston was also very good, but the WWE can’t keep depending on those pairings to have good contests.
The good news is that Money in the Bank is coming, and if the ladder matches are as good as last year we’ll quickly forget about the disappointing visit to Washington.
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