Date: July 22, 2011
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Josh Matthews
Money in the Bank is over and the question is simple: can Christian make it through one whole show as world champion? He won the title from Orton in the first instance I can ever remember where the “if the champion gets disqualified he loses the title” stipulation actually worked. Also Daniel Bryan now has the MITB case so there’s always the chance of a cash in starting tonight. Let’s get to it.
We open the show with Orton sitting in a chair in the middle of the ring. His says his name is Randy Orton. I wonder if he loves to fight. Although there’s a lot going on in the WWE at the moment, this show isn’t going anywhere until his issue with Christian is settled. We get a clip of Orton destroying Christian post match and here’s the new champion.
Christian wants to know what unfinished business Orton is talking about. Orton says as long as Christian is breathing there’s unfinished business. Christian thinks the unfinished business is with the voices Orton has in his head. Orton says Christian has been hiding behind a team of lawyers but Christian says Orton simply broke the rules. Christian says that he’s been fighting incompetence for a long time now and also the unseen forces that keeps Randy on top. He’s beaten them all though and is now a two time world champion.
There won’t be a celebration tonight because nothing has changed over the last few months. He’s not going to talk to these people because they still treat him badly. Orton says these people are going to see him beat Christian tonight because he wants his rematch. Christian says no because rematches don’t grow on trees. Is he new here or something?
The champ says he’s going to leave and talk to his lawyers about the situation. Orton comes after him but here’s Teddy of course to break that up. Teddy says Orton will get his rematch but not tonight because he has Kane in a street fight. Orton needs to be the bigger man and that just doesn’t happen. He takes Christian down and hammers away for a bit until the referees pull him off. Christian gets in Teddy’s face but Teddy says get to the ring because Christian has a match with Big Zeke right now.
Ezekiel Jackson vs. Christian
Non-title here. Jackson comes out after a quick break. Christian immediately heads to the floor to hide for a bit. They get into the ring and no mention has been made yet of their ECW days. Total power game from Jackson to start us off and a long gorilla press slam puts the Canadian down. Jackson slams him again and sends him to the floor as we take a break. Back with Jackson slamming Christian into the announce table on the floor.
Christian ducks low and Jackson eats steps and the momentum shifts. That gets two back in the ring. Christian uses some basic stuff but Jackson gets a shot to the ribs and takes over one more time. Actually scratch that as Christian nails him in the ribs and stops the momentum. Booker says Christian can pull this off. He’s the world champion. Shouldn’t it be Jackson that can pull this off?
Off to a chinlock and it’s Jackson in trouble again. Jackson escapes with a Samoan Drop and starts firing off clotheslines. Christian avoids one but can’t hit the Killswitch. Here come the slams but Christian escapes and goes to the knee. Killswitch doesn’t work again and Jackson gets him on his shoulder. Jackson charges shoulder first into the post though and the Killswitch ends this at 6:39 shown of 10:09.
Rating: C. Match was fine but I really don’t get the need to have Jackson lose again. Isn’t there some non champion midcarder that could have done this? It’s not like Jackson should have beaten him but I don’t get the point in having him lose like that. Christian needed the clean win over someone though so that was fine for the most part.
Here’s Cole to bring out Daniel Bryan. Cole says it was a fluke win at MITB and Bryan says he doesn’t care what Cole says. Cole makes fun of Bryan for being all valiant but he knows Bryan is going to cash in like everyone else has: when the champion is down and out. Bryan doesn’t deserve to have that case. Bryan says Cole didn’t deserve to be in a featured match at Mania. No one deserves anything in this company and he’s earned his spot over the last 12 years.
He lists off some of his injuries such as a detached retina and not being able to hear out of his left ear due to being kicked in the head so much. However he won’t quit because he’s dreamed of being WWE Champion since he was a kid. The person who holds the case can cash it in whenever and wherever they want. Bryan however is going to cash it in at Wrestlemania. I’ll believe that when I see it. Heath Slater of all people comes out and calls Bryan a loser.
Heath Slater vs. Daniel Bryan
Slater starts off in trouble and has to escape the LeBell Lock by going to the floor. We take a break and come back with Bryan tossing him around with an armdrag. Bryan is now in the top of Booker’s Fave Five now. Slater throws on a headlock and takes over. Hard whip into the corner puts Bryan down. Bryan starts fighting back and the crowd is cheering so hard that they’re not even moving.
Booker says Slater has the same amount of charisma as a bowl full of turnips. Slater puts him down again as Cole keeps saying it was a fluke. Back to the chinlock as Booker and Cole get into their bickering again. Josh as usual gets us back to the match because he’s the responsible one. Bryan makes a comeback with a flying forearm and both guys are down. Daniel lowers his head and gets kicked in the face for his troubles.
Slater charges at him and goes crashing to the floor. Bryan hits a running kick from the apron and back inside we go. Missile dropkick gets two. Slater grabs a spinebuster for two. Pinfall reversal sequence gets some two counts for both guys. Bryan sets for what looks like a tornado DDT but goes into a guillotine choke instead for the tap at 7:25 shown of 10:55.
Rating: C+. Good match here as Bryan got to showcase himself pretty well. This is what he needs: matches where he can show off his skills and get the win at the end because since he lost the US Title he hasn’t done much. He’s gotten a little resurgence leading up to the MITB win so it’s not totally out of nowhere but he needs some resume building wins.
We recap Big Show vs. Henry at the PPV where Henry hurt Show’s leg post match.
Henry says the destruction will never end because the attack on Show gave him a pleasure. If it sounds like he’s talking about himself, it’s because he is. His words there, not mine.
We get the Vince/Cena/HHH video from Raw which eats up about ten minutes. Josh wouldn’t say Punk’s name leading into the segment.
Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett
Fallout from the MITB build here. The announcers touch on Cara being out due to the “injuries” he suffered in the ladder match. Sheamus hammers him down to start but Barrett gets his foot up in the corner to take over. Cole says Sheamus has a degree in computer technology and Barrett has one in marine biology. Never would have guessed those. Wade chokes Sheamus out on the top rope and then kicks pale boy to the floor.
That gets two back in the ring. Barrett has been dropped from the Fave Five. We get a Harvey Whippleman reference for no apparent reason. Sheamus grabs the Irish Curse for two. He pounds away even more like the brawler he is and they head to the floor. It turns into a slugout and neither guy can really get an advantage. They fight to the announce table and it’s a double countout at 4:29.
Rating: C+. I like big man brawls like these where they don’t really care about the pin and it’s about the fight. Neither guy could really lose here so the ending was the right idea. I’d like to see more of this but then again I like both guys. Either way, fun brawl that probably will lead to something more from them later.
They keep fighting post match and Barrett tries Wasteland, only to take the Brogue Kick to leave Sheamus standing tall.
Kane says he’s going to unleash his pain and misery tonight. Lately he’s been haunted and tonight he’s going to try to escape that. He’s been feeling too human lately and doesn’t like it at all. He uses the Devil’s Favorite Demon line for the first time in many months.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
This is a street fight. They have a ton of time left to do this also. Kane fires away to start and beats Orton down in the corner. Orton gets a boot up though and there’s the Thesz Press. Kane grabs him by the throat but Orton counters into a failed RKO attempt. Out to the floor we go They fight up the ramp and neither guy can get much of an extended advantage.
Orton rams Kane into the railing and finds a kendo stick. He’s getting all googly eyed and slides back in so he can bust out the elevated DDT. That fails completely and Orton is sent back over the top and out to the floor. Orton goes into the railing as we take a break. Back with Kane still in control and getting a two count. Orton low bridges Kane to send him to the floor but jumps into an uppercut.
Kane sets up the announce table but Orton escapes the chokeslam attempt. Orton climbs up onto the table to escape but it falls forward and Randy is holding his knee. He’s up again but he’s limping. Kane’s knees go into the steps in a wicked shot and Randy hammers away. Orton puts Kane’s leg on the step and stomps it into the steel and then slams the steps down onto it. We take another break and come back with Orton hammering away at the leg/ankle.
Kane fires off a big boot to take Orton down. He goes up but Orton avoids him and sends Kane’s shoulder into the post. Elevated DDT hits and it’s RKO time. That doesn’t work and Kane hits the side slam for two. Now the big clothesline hits and Kane calls for the chokeslam. Orton is like screw that and grabs an RKO out of nowhere for a VERY close two. Kane can’t get up so Orton sets up the Punt. The Big Bald pops up and hits a chokeslam for two.
We take an almost unprecedented third break as this match is going to get 20 minutes minimum. Back with Kane picking up a chair. He drills Orton four times with it and loads up a tombstone onto it. Randy escapes that and also escapes a chokeslam onto it. The RKO onto the chair ends this at 14:08 shown of 25:38 (remember that I assume 3:30 per break so the match could have been much shorter or even a bit longer).
Rating: B-. This was good but not great. For a TV match it took up a very long time which probably wasn’t a great idea. They never really hit a high gear but the match itself was fine. I do kind of question giving this so long and giving Barrett vs. Sheamus four minutes as you could have balanced this out a lot better. Still though, good stuff for a long match.
Post match Kane takes his glove off and shakes hands with Randy. I don’t ever remember seeing his right hand. Kane gets up after Orton leaves and the fans applaud him. Geez another turn for the Big Bald? Mark Henry comes out before Kane can leave though and he doesn’t look nice. Remember Kane has a very bad knee here and can barely stand. Kane fires off on him but Henry takes the knee out. Henry gets him down as I guess Kane’s new buddy Orton doesn’t need to help Kane. Kane gets the same treatment Show got at the PPV.
Overall Rating: B. This was an odd show at times as not a lot happened. You had some long matches and a lot of wrestling, but at the same time a lot of people weren’t here at all and weren’t mentioned. The main event is long and probably too long for what it was. The ending is kind of weird as Henry claims another victim, but it keeps Henry’s push going. Either way, good show but not a classic or anything.
Christian b. Ezekiel Jackson – Killswitch
Daniel Bryan b. Heath Slater – Guillotine choke
Sheamus vs. Wade Barrett went to a double countout
Randy Orton b. Kane – RKO onto a chair