It was that time of the month again for World Wrestling Entertainment as they presented their latest pay-per-view offering, Capitol Punishment, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The show began with title action as Dolph Ziggler, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, challenged Kofi Kingston for the United States title.
This was a nice opener. There were a couple of messy moments early on but on the whole they put on a pretty good match.
We saw plenty of fast paced back and forth action, with Vickie only getting involved once. After Kingston countered Ziggler’s back stabber by holding on to the ropes Vickie sank her claws into Kingston’s eyes.
Moments later Ziggler locked in a sleeper hold. Kingston tried to fight it, but it wasn’t long before Kingston was unconscious, the referee calling for the bell and giving Ziggler the title win.
Then it was on to the grudge match between the Miz and Alex Riley.
This was basically Miz tanking his former handbag carrier to the wood shed. For large portions of the match the Miz dominated, but no matter what he did he couldn’t put Riley away.
Riley eventually came back into the match, and after Michael Cole tried to get involved from the announcers table the Miz tried to bring his trusty briefcase into the equation. The referee stopped the attack, giving Riley the chance to take the Miz down with a jumping DDT for the pin as the pupil got the better of the master.
The Mexican playboy was up next as Alberto Del Rio faced the Big Show.
This was an interesting one. Show attacked Del Rio as he was making entrance. Then, while they were brawling at ringside Mark Henry made an appearance, slamming Show through the Spanish announcers table. He then did further damage to Show’s previously injured knee.
After much deliberation the match began, with Del Rio working over Show’s bad wheel. Show had his moments, but after Del Rio applied a knee bar it was more or less over. Moments later the referee called the match, with the big guy unable to continue, and Del Rio taking the win at whatever cost.
The title action continued as Ezekiel Jackson challenged Wade Barratt for the Intercontinental title.
Barratt, now a solo act, voice his displeasure at being in America’s capital (UK spelling) city, which drew chants of USA for his opponent of South American origin.
Like their previous encounter this wasn’t too bad, but it certainly won’t be a match of the year candidate. Barratt looked like he was going to get the win after taking Jackson down with wasteland, but after kicking out of the pin Jackson put Barratt in the torture rack, with the Brit submitting moments later to give Jackson the title win.
Yet another encounter between Rey Mysterio and C.M. Punk followed.
Plenty of good solid action here as these two put on another enjoyable encounter. However, as good as it was it did seem to drag on as it searched for it’s ending.
As for that ending Mysterio went for the 619, only for Punk to counter with the go to sleep for the pin.
The Smackdown main event saw Christian challenging Randy Orton for the World title.
These two had a lot to live up to after their previous encounters, and they just about managed to match what they’d done before.
The story behind this one was simple. With Orton recovering from a concussion Christian centred his attack on the champion’s head, and the challenger did a good job of taking it to the title holder.
It was a pretty good encounter, and Christian’s growing frustration at his inability to put Orton away was played out perfectly.
Then, after several attempts, Orton finally connected with the RKO for the winning pin.
Except that Christian didn’t see it that way, claiming that his foot was under the rope when he was pinned (which was later proven by the video replay). Orton didn’t care though, clobbering Christian with the title belt before he left the ring.
No Divas for filler material this month as Jack Swagger faced Evan Bourne in the penultimate match.
This was a very enjoyable encounter, a well executed size versus speed battle which saw Swagger grounding his high flying opponent, putting on a good display before Bourne made his comeback.
When then saw some decent exchanges leading up to the end, where Bourne countered Swagger’s ankle lock attempt with a roll-up for the winning pin.
After an awful segment which saw a poor President Obama impersonator doing the spinneroonie with Booker T it was on to the Raw main event as R-Truth challenged John Cena for the WWE title.
This was probably the weakest match on the show. I don’t know if it was just me but it didn’t really have that main event feel. The execution was okay, but at times the action just seemed to plod along without going anywhere.
Plenty of near falls in this one, but when Truth took Cena down with his face plant variation the champ rolled out of the ring. Truth then decided to get a drink from a fan at ringside, with the kid throwing the beverage in his face. Seconds later Cena put Truth away with the attitude adjuster for the winning pin.
In conclusion – well, the first Capitol Punishment proved to be an enjoyable show, although it did have it’s not so good moments.
The match quality varied. Orton/Christian delivered, as did Miz/Riley. But sadly others, most notable the Mysterio/Punk encounter suffered from the same ailment that has blighted TNA for a while now, the overlong match disease.
As for the main event Cena/Truth just didn’t live up to all the hype.
As for the fake Obama, am I the only one who thought that he looked nothing like the President?
So in all Capitol Punishment gets the thumbs up, but not a big thumbs up. If you haven’t seen this yet be prepared to take the bad with the good.
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