Key Arena – Seattle, Washington – Sunday, May 22, 2011
In memory of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, 1952-2011.
Josh Mathews, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Booker T, and Michael Cole (from the Cole Mine) are on commentary.
MATCH #1: Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth
The newly minted heel Truth cuts a bizarre promo about parting spots. Truth tries to ground Mysterio early on, but Mysterio low-bridges the ropes, sending him crashing to the floor. Mysterio jumps off the apron with a hurricanrana and then throws Truth back in the ring. He goes up top but Truth knocks him down, tweaking Mysterio’s knee. Truth traps Mysterio on the apron and hurls him into the ring post. Back in the ring Truth gets a two-count. Truth continues the offense, hitting the Truth Conviction for two. He wraps Mysterio around the ropes and the ring post, contorting his body into awkward positions. Truth goes to the second rope and Mysterio cuts him off with a bulldog for a near-fall. Mysterio speeds things up, hitting a springboard cross body block for two. He follows up with some knees to the face and a big kick for another two-count. Mysterio goes up top and hits a seated senton, but then Truth cuts him off with the Lie Detector for two. Truth goes for the Corkscrew Scissors Kick but misses, and Mysterio gets him in position for the 619 but can’t make a connection. Instead Mysterio dropkicks Truth on the floor, but then gets pulled crotch-first onto the ring apron. Back in the ring Truth hits the Shut Up for the super clean pin at 8:11. That was a solid opener that felt like it had more juice in it.
MATCH #2: Intercontinental Championship Match – Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson
Barrett has been the Champion since 3.25.11, and this is his third defense. They start with some slugging, which comes as a huge shock. Jackson knocks Barrett to the floor, and then brings him right back in for more abuse. He throws Barrett over the top rope and gives chase. Back in the ring Barrett tries a cheap shot but Jackson cuts him off and continues going to work. Barrett suckers Jackson in and gets a cheap shot to finally take control. He hits an elbow drop off the second rope for two. Barrett goes for Waste Land but Jackson fights out of it. Instead Barrett hits a pumphandle slam for two. Jackson fights back from his knees, punching Barrett to the floor, and then hurling him back into the ring from the apron. Now Jackson unleashes a series of bodyslams and the crowd gets behind it. Jackson lifts Barrett into the Torture Rack and that brings out Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater for the DQ at 7:26. That didn’t do much for anyone.
MATCH #3: Sin Cara vs. Chavo Guerrero
Guerrero tries to keep Cara grounded in the early going. Cara responds by sending Guerrero to the floor and following him out with a corkscrew plancha. He follows with a headscissors. Back in the ring Guerrero regains control, albeit briefly. Cara goes up top and hits a beautiful moonsault press for two. He then awkwardly bounces off the ropes and does nothing. That was strange. Cara then misses a Stinger Splash and Guerrero puts the boots to him. Guerrero keeps Cara on the mat, cutting off his high-flying comeback attempts. He goes to work on Cara’s left knee, which is good strategy. Guerrero goes up top and Cara kicks him down to the floor. Cara follows him out with a flying body press off the top rope. Back in the ring Cara hits a hurricanrana off the top rope and unleashes a flurry of strikes, including a handspring elbow. Cara hits an enziguiri and a springboard cross body block for two. Guerrero cuts him off with a shoulder to the midsection and picks him up for the Gory Special. Cara escapes that and then badly blows his finishing move to get the pin at 7:22. There was the one awkward spot running the ropes and the blown finish, but aside from that this was perfectly serviceable. Really though, of all the moves to blow your finish is the worst one to do it on.
Before the next match, Alberto Del Rio comes out to talk about his destiny to win the WWE Championship, regardless of who wins tonight’s main event, John Cena or The Miz. Del Rio does his usual speech before being interrupted by the WWE Tag Team Champions, who have a match next.
MATCH #4: WWE Tag Team Championship Match – Big Show & Kane vs. CM Punk & Mason Ryan
Kane and Show have been the Champions since 4.22.11, and this is their third defense. Kane and Ryan start he match. Ryan impressively knocks Kane down a couple of times, and even executes a big bodyslam. He clotheslines Kane in the corner and tags out. Punk runs into a right hand and the Champions take control. Show tags in and Punk is taking a beating. Punk goes low with a dropkick and makes the tag. Ryan gets some offense in and then tags out, allowing the Champions to resume control. I like how only Mason Ryan can do any real damage to Show or Kane. Legitimately Punk is doing a good job making him look as good as he can, and Show and Kane are selling for him. Ryan hits Kane with an Oklahoma Stampede for two. Kane fights back with a vertical suplex and both men are down. Punk tags in and keeps Kane from tagging Show. Now Punk goes up top for the elbow but misses it. Now tags are made on both sides and Show is a house afire. Show clotheslines both Punk and Ryan, and then Kane sends Punk to the floor. The champs hit Ryan with a Double Chokeslam to get the pin at 9:05. That felt more like a RAW match, but it was solid enough.
MATCH #5: Divas Championship Match – Brie Bella vs. Kelly Kelly
Brie has been the Champion since 4.11.11, and this is her first defense. She attacks right away but the challenger is ready for her. Kelly goes to the top rope and hits a high cross body block for a two-count. Kelly follows with a Stink Face. Brie dumps her to the floor and Nikki takes a cheap shot. Back in the ring Brie takes control, working Kelly over and keeping her on the mat. Kelly fights back with a Thesz (rolling over in his grave) Press. She follows that with a bulldog for two. The referee turns his back and Nikki jumps in the ring. Nikki hits the X-Factor to get the win at 4:02. That was exactly what you would expect from a four-minute Divas match.
MATCH #6: World Heavyweight Championship Match – Randy Orton vs. Christian
Orton has been the Champion since 5.6.11, and this is his first defense. Christian gets a quick rollup for a one-count. Orton responds with a side headlock. Christian gets out of it and hits a missile dropkick from the second rope for two. Orton hits a back elbow and then Christian dumps him to the floor. Christian dropkicks Orton through the ropes and follows him out to the floor. Back in the ring Christian goes to work. Orton fights back with a dropkick. Christian crawls over to the corner and goes up top but Orton knocks him down and hits a nice superplex a la Cowboy Bob Orton. That gets a two-count. Christian comes back with a backslide for two. Orton responds with a series of clotheslines, and then Christian cuts him off with a spinebuster for two. They get back to their feet and trade shots. Christian wins that battle and then hits the falling inverted DDT for two. He goes for another missile dropkick but Orton catches him and jackknife cradles him for two, and Christian counters that to a sunset flip for two. Christian attacks Orton from the floor, snapping him backwards off the top rope. He goes up top and hits a diving headbutt for two. They get back to their feet and Orton hits the inverted headlock backbreaker for two. Orton follows with the Randy Orton Stomps for another two-count. A series of reversals ends with Orton locking on a reverse Boston Crab. Christian gets to the ropes. Orton throws Christian into the corner and Christian fakes him out and then executes a sunset flip for a close near-fall. The crowd bought it, so they must have watched their Smackdown match. Christian tries the Pendulum overhead kick but Orton counters it to the rope-hung DDT for a two-count. Orton tries the RKO but Christian pushes him off. Christian calls for the Spear but runs right into the snap scoop powerslam for two. Orton goes for the Punt but has second thoughts, allowing Christian to hit the Spear for a huge near-fall. A series of finisher reversals ends with Orton hitting the RKO for the pin at 16:51. Christian brings out the best in Orton, but I don’t mean it to sound like Orton didn’t hold up his end too. These are great, well-matched opponents and everything they did out there just clicked. Face versus face matches are especially hard to pull off and these two did a tremendous job. They shake hands after the match and show each other respect. This is great stuff.
MATCH #7: Kiss My Foot Match – Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole
Cole comes out dressed in his suit and says he’s not medically cleared to compete tonight due to his infected athlete’s foot. The referee tears up the doctor’s note and rings the bell! Lawler is all over Cole, tearing at his suit. He even throws out a dropkick, sending Cole to the floor. Cole begs off and then rams Lawler’s head into the steel steps. He pushes Lawler into the barricade and then takes off his shoe and sock to wave his disgusting foot around. Lawler catches it and hurls Cole right into the Cole Mine. Back in the ring Lawler drops the fist off the second rope to get the pin at 3:01. That’s about how long the WrestleMania match should have lasted.
Lawler brings out Eve, who hits Cole with a moonsault. Next out is Hall of Famer Jim Ross, who pours BBQ sauce on Cole. A humiliated Cole bails before kissing Lawler’s foot and says it won’t happen like this, or ever for that matter. Then Bret Hart makes his way out and throws Cole back into the ring. Cole then has to kiss Lawler’s foot, hopefully putting an end to this feud once and for all.
MATCH #8: WWE Championship I Quit Match – John Cena vs. The Miz
Ross joins Mathews and Booker on commentary. Cena has been the Champion since 5.11.11, and this is his second defense. In the past Cena has defeated JBL, Randy Orton, and Batista in I Quit matches. Miz gets on the microphone right as the bell rings and announces that since there are no disqualifications, this is going to be a handicap match with Alex Riley assisting him. Cena starts the match on fire, which is necessary given his disadvantage. He tries an early STF on Miz but Riley breaks it up. Cena continues the fast-paced assault, hitting Miz with the Attitude Adjustment, but Riley then blasts him with the briefcase. Now Miz and Riley take control, and the referee asks Cena if he quits, but of course the answer is No. Cena tries fighting back but Miz whips him into the steps. Miz hits a DDT on the steps but Cena still won’t Quit. Riley smashes the steel steps on Cena, and then holds him in place for Miz to unleash an assault with a kendo stick. Miz cracks Cena across the abdomen with the stick, leaving instant marks. Even after getting hit in the head with it, Cena will not Quit. Miz and Riley take Cena up the entrance ramp and Miz hits a suplex. The crowd appears to have lost interest as this match continues to drag on. Miz gets a leather strap and wears Cena out with it. Cena finally fights back and the crowd wakes up for a second until Miz hits Cena with a chair. Back in the ring Cena fights back again and whips Riley into the referee, knocking him out. Miz sets the chair up in the ropes and delivers the Skull Crushing Finale onto it. The frustrated Miz starts asking Cena fans in the crowd if Cena should quit, which of course they say no. Miz recaps the match so far and says he’s going to beat Cena with the chair until he quits. He levels Cena with the chair, which gets no reaction whatsoever. Then they steal the finish from Royal Rumble ’99, playing a recording of Cena saying the words I Quit for the finish at 23:06.
But wait! The referee figures out that it was a recording from Riley’s cell phone and restarts the match. Cena has had time to recover and he hits Riley with an Attitude Adjustment through the announce table. He gets a hold of the leather strap and chases Miz up the entrance ramp with it. Cena then locks on the STF and Miz quits like a little bitch at 1:42 (total match time 24:48). I understand what they were going for in that match but boy did it ever not work. The crowd totally lost interest and it went on way too long. Maybe at fifteen minutes they could have gotten away with it, or not doing the stupid restart, but this was a failed effort for sure.
BONUS MATCH #1: Triple Threat Number One Contender’s Match – Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz, Monday Night RAW, 5.9.11
Both Miz and Del Rio go after Mysterio in the early going, but he’s able to outsmart both of them and thwart their attacks. Del Rio pitches Mysterio to the floor so he and Miz can do battle. The pace has been fast and furious so far. Del Rio is the next one to get taken out so Miz and Mysterio can fight. None of the three men can sustain an advantage, as someone is always there to break up a pin. They take a commercial break and when we come back Del Rio is controlling Mysterio in the ring while Miz catches a breather on the floor. Del Rio takes a quick break to go outside and throw Miz into the ring post, just to keep him down a little longer. Miz comes back in and sends Del Rio to the floor, but then gets kicked in the head by Mysterio, who then hits a slingshot legdrop for two. Whew. Miz comes back and misses the corner clothesline and Del Rio pulls him to the floor. Mysterio follows with a somersault senton to wipe out Del Rio. Back in the ring Mysterio hits Del Rio with a seated senton and a springboard cross body for two. Mysterio follows with a headscissors and rolls Del Rio up for two. Miz is on the top rope but Mysterio brings him down with a rana. Del Rio catches Mysterio with an armbreaker and then locks in the Cross Armbreaker. Miz breaks that up and hits the baby DDT on Del Rio for a two-count. Del Rio rolls to the floor and Mysterio kicks Miz to the outside. Alex Riley makes his way out to fire up the Miz, while Del Rio gets back in the ring. Mysterio hits Del Rio with the 619 and knocks both Riley and Miz off the apron. He hits the big splash from the top rope but Riley breaks up the pin. Miz then sneaks in and rolls Mysterio up to get the pin at 10:51 (shown). That was hard to keep up with (in a good way), with nonstop action and hard work from everyone involved. The finish was weak, but all the work leading up to it was really fun.
BONUS MATCH #2: Brie Bella vs. Kelly Kelly, Monday Night RAW, 5.16.11
Brie is the Divas Champion but this is a non-title match. She’s accompanied by her twin sister Nikki of course. They start with some chain wrestling and Kelly hits a Thesz Press. Brie comes back and distracts the referee, allowing Nikki to interfere. The Champion controls Kelly briefly, but Kelly is able to come back with a spinning headscissors, a handspring elbow, and a bulldog for a one-count. Brie tries to cut her off but Kelly counters back with a cradle to score the pin at 1:52. Well they did what they could in 112 seconds. Kelly showed a few nice moves.
BONUS MATCH #3: No Holds Barred Match – John Cena vs. Jack Swagger, Monday Night RAW, 5.16.11
Swagger attacks Cena during his entrance, gaining an early advantage. Cena is the WWE Champion but this is a non-title match. They make it to the ring and Swagger continues the beatdown. Cena rises above pre-match attacks but Swagger cuts him off and continues to wear him down. Swagger is rolling as we head into a commercial break. Back to the action Swagger is still in control. There was some action on the floor during the break and Cena almost put Swagger through a table but was unable to. They head back to the floor and Swagger whips Cena into the exposed barricade. Swagger has been focusing on the rib area. He throws Cena back in the ring for a two-count. Swagger brings in a steel chair but even that’s not enough to put Cena away. He hits a chair-assisted Vader Bomb but Cena kicks out again! Cena fires up and starts going for Moves of Doom but Swagger catches him and slams him hard to the mat. Swagger puts on the Patriot Lock but Cena wriggles his way out of it. Cena then sidesteps a charging Swagger and throws him face-first into the steel chair. Now Cena is able to uncork the Moves of Doom, including the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment and locks on the STF for the tap out victory at 7:52. As usual, Swagger turns in a solid performance against a main event talent and Cena rises above to get the win. I’d like to see more between these two actually.
BONUS MATCH #4: Kiss My Foot Match – Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler, King of the Ring, 6.25.95
Bret takes it to Lawler early, slugging away at him both in and out of the ring. They head back to the floor and Lawler is able to pull Bret into the steel ring steps. Lawler continues the abuse, throwing Bret into the barricade. Back in the ring Lawler jaws with the crowd and then hits Bret with the piledriver! Lawler goes for another piledriver and he hits it perfectly. Bret is probably flat-lining at this point. Lawler hits a third piledriver and covers but Bret kicks out! That’s just nutty. Bret tries to fight back but Lawler dumps him to the floor. Lawler removes his boot to reveal his rotten foot. He hits Bret with his boot, which I never understood as a cheating tactic. Lawler tries to stick his nasty foot in Bret’s face but Bret catches it and takes Lawler down. Bret hits the headbutt to the midsection. Momentum shifts a couple of times and when Bret starts building momentum Hakushi and Shinja run out to help Lawler but it backfires. Bret brings Lawler to the ring and it’s time for Moves of Doom. Of course this culminates with the Sharpshooter and Lawler gives up at 9:21. That was the usual Bret v Lawler match, and even in 1995 I’m surprised Bret kicked out of three piledrivers. Match was nothing special, but it was a good way to pay of the lengthy feud these two had.