WWE Night Of Champions 2012 9/16/2012
Written by: Scrooge McSuck from DaWrestling.com
– Originally broadcasted live, on Pay-Per-View, on September 16th, 2012, from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Yay. Normally I don’t recap, or even watch, recent PPV’s, but I’ve fell into watching WWE programming lately, and Cena vs. Punk always interests me, so I figured why not give this one a crack?
#1 Contendership to the United States Title, 16-Man Battle Royal:
(Participants: Brodus Clay, Epico, Primo, Justin Gabriel, Tensai, Tyson Kidd, Michael McGillicutty, Zack Ryder, Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Jinder Mahal, JTG, Drew McIntyre, Ted Dibiase (Jr.), Heath Slater, Santino Marella)
Matt Striker and Scott Stanford are calling the action for this one. I like that Brodus actually got his full entrance, while everyone else just kind of piled in, rapid-fire style. I wonder where Ryback and Damien Sandow are, among other “higher level” midcarders. I guess you can’t job them in a Battle Royal, right? I had no idea JTG or Ted Dibiase (Jr.) were even on the roster, anymore. Please, anyone but Santino win. ANYONE ELSE. Slater acts like a goof and gets tossed by a gaggle of superstars at the 6-second mark. So is he the new Stevie Richards? Michael McGillicutty gets tossed at 45-seconds, and Ted Dibiase follows seconds later. So much for the Second Gen. guys. Brodus tosses Primo at 1:11. Mahal goes next, at 1:21, also courtesy of the Funkasauras. Epico joins the group at 1:37. Tensai throws Gabriel 5 rows back at 1:52. Tyson Kidd tries his luck with Tensai, and gets thrown into the pile, powerbomb style, at 2:08. Tensai and Brodus do the big-man staredown, and Santino quickly intterupts with a failed double clothesline. He says no thanks, living the two big men to battle it out. Clay goes at 2:58, at the hands of the PTP and McIntyre. Santino tosses JTG in a comedy spot at 3:21. It was funny, I admit. McIntyre is gone, thanks to Ryder, at 3:37. Santino lays out Tensai and Young with the Cobra, but both men are dead on the canvas, so he can’t eliminate them. Poor Tensai selling a comedy move is a good sign his push is long dead. Titus tosses Santino at 4:25 to crowd disappointment. Ryder manages to fight through the stacked odds, tossing out O’Neil at 5:14. Tensai dumps both Ryder and Young, but only Young is gone at 5:26. Ryder with a knee to the face of Tensai, and a hurricanrana eliminates Tensai at 5:42, making Zack Ryder the #1 Contender to Antonio Cesaro’s U.S. Title. Quick and had a purpose.
– Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield, filling in for Lawler on short-notice, are calling all the action tonight. Does this mean making Cole more of a babyface/neutral commentator again, on a regular basis? Hopefully…
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
The Miz © vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes:
I hate “Four Way” matches, especially when they’re strung together for no other reason than to put a bunch of people onto the show. I guess they’re planting the seeds for the inevitable Mysterio/Sin Cara program, and adding Rhodes really does seem pointless. Miz just won the title, and a “fresh” push, so he’s not losing the title already. Rhodes quickly dumps Sin Cara, but the luchadores work together to clear the ring for the moment. Miz pulls Rey to the floor, and now it’s a double team on Sin Cara. He manages to take both men down with a head scissors/headlock, and settles his sites on the Miz, sending him to the floor with an arm drag. Rey sends Rhodes out with a sloppy head scissors, and now we get an exchange between Rey and Sin Cara. They exchange head scissors, but Miz breaks the pin attempt. Rhodes with a front suplex on Sin Cara, and Miz with a punt to the midsection of Rey. Rhodes and Miz go at it until Rey rolls Miz up for two. Sin Cara rolls Rey up for another two count. Double snapmare and kicks from Rey and Sin Cara. They trade kicks with each other next. Rey sends Sin Cara to the corner with a drop toe hold, heads to the top, and gets kicked down. Sin Cara climbs up, but Rhodes pulls him down and hits the Disaster Kick for two. Rhodes goes for Rey, and Miz joins us for the super-plex/powerbomb spot, with Miz covering Rhodes for two, then covering Rey for two.
Miz clears Miz and Rhodes with baseball slides, then chokes Rey across the middle rope. You’d think he would try something more substantial? Miz kicks the knee from under Rey, and connects with a DDT for two. Whip to the ropes, Rey ends up on the floor, and Sin Cara back in with a missile dropkick. That sends Miz to the floor, and Sin Cara follows out with a suicide dive. On the other side of the ring area, Rey sends Rhodes to the security wall with a head scissors, then comes off the apron with a seated senton. Sin Cara with a corkscrew splash on Miz for two. Mysterio with a dropkick to the back of Miz, followed by a springboard moonsault for two. Rhodes plants Mysterio with a face buster for two. Miz sends Sin Cara to the post, but gets tripped along with Rhodes, and the 6-1-9 connects. Rey to the top, and a splash gets two. Rhodes pulls Rey out of the ring, and covers Miz for two. Sin Cara breaks that cover, and gets stomped on by Rhodes for it. Rhodes with a snapmare, and he goes for the mask, but Rey interrupts with another seated senton. Rhodes recovers, and sends Rey sliding out of the ring. Sin Cara with a kick to the face, whips a mask out of his trunks, and Miz sneaks up with a bacb breaker and neck breaker for two. what was he trying to do, anyway? Miz goes for a powerbomb, but Sin Cara puts a mask on Miz to counter. Rhodes goes for the Cross Rhodes, but Miz blindly grabs him and hits the Skull Crusher for the three count at 12:06 to retain the title. Started off slow, and for the most part, it’s hard to get into these 4-Way’s, but the near falls made up for the lack of substance. Odd how heatless Sin Cara was, in comparison to everyone else.
– Darren Young and Titus O’Neil act like goobers backstage for Eve, but things are interrupted when we find out that Kaitlyn has been given the Nancy Kerrigan treatment. SHENANIGANS! I’ve seen better acting in Porno’s featuring Cave-people. For those who don’t read the news wire, Kaitlyn was penciled in for the title match due to a botched elimination of a Battle Royale.
– We recap Daniel Bryan and Kane being sent to Anger Management. Honestly, this has been one of the highspots of Raw, lately. From the Anger Management classes, to their “hugging it out”, and becoming the mismatched partners who don’t quite like each other. add goofy music and video effects, and it’s comedy gold.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth © vs. Team Friendship (Kane & Daniel Bryan):
Does anyone think the Champions have a shot in hell of retaining the titles here? Kane and Bryan won the #1 Contendership in a match against the PrimeTime Players, but really, did they have to earn it in a division consisting of the Uso’s, Epico & Primo, and Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel? Cole and JBL remind us of “Little Jimmy”, but the less said the better. Kane and Kofi start, with Kofi going to work on the legs with kicks. Kane dumps him over the top, but Kofi hangs on, and comes back in with a dropkick. R-Truth tags in and a body press gets two. Bryan gets the tag in, and lays a series of kicks into the midsection of Truth. Whip to the corner, and Truth takes Bryan over with an arm drag. Kingston tags in, and comes off the top with a forearm for two. Cole throws a Basham Brothers reference in the list of “great tag team champions”. The crowd is surprisingly not into this. Kane tags himself in, and lays Truth out with a clothesline. Bryan gets a friendly tag in, and comes off the ropes with a double axehandle. Bryan with “No” kicks to the chest, followed by a basement dropkick for two. Bryan with a snapmare, and Kane comes in with his own… unique… version of a basement dropkick for two, then settles into a chinlock. Into the corner, and Kane follows with a clothesline. Kane and Bryan with a poorly executed attempt at double-teaming, leading to a mid-match argument. Kane: It’s not my fault! Why does that ring a bell?
With the little spat between friends over, Bryan offers to hug it out, and Kane accepts. SUCCESS! Holy crap, how is this getting over? R-Truth comes back to life to tag in Kingston, who’s already repeating spots. He hits the top rope forearm and a dropkick, followed by a jumping clothesline. The crowd is actually boo’ing him. He drops the boom and sets up for whatever the fuck he does, but Kane pulls him to safety. They argue over it, and Kofi hits Kane with a baseball slide, then a somersault plancha on Bryan, landing on his feet in the process. Back inside, and Bryan traps Kofi in the No-Lock, but R-Truth breaks it. He tries a plancha on Kane, but Kane side-steps and rams him back into the apron. Bryan feeds the “Yes” chant again, and runs into the corner with a dropkick. Kane tags himself in, and goes to the top. Kofi tries a hurricanrana, but Bryan hooks Kane’s ankle to prevent the move. Kane doesn’t appreciate it, so Bryan throws him off… on top of Kingston, and that gets three at 8:34. Are you serious? Bryan celebrates like he’s the World Champion, and then they argue with the classic exchanges of “I am the Tag Team Champions!” Oddball match, but it worked perfectly into the story they were trying to tell, so while not a wrestling clinic, it accomplished what it set out to do… I dunno, it kind of makes sense when I type it. So… Kane’s tag team champion partners include Mankind, X-Pac, Undertaker, Big Show, Rob Van Dam, Hurricane, and now Daniel Bryan. Am I missing anyone?
– Backstage, Eve delivers the news to Booker T and Teddy Long. It’s Night of Champions, so EVERY TITLE must be defended. It’s the by-laws! Booker gives the title shot to Eve, who’s incrddibly bad, obviously turning heel, acting, gives away the eventual pay-off to this storyline. I guess it’s way better than “she won a battle royal”, but if you blow a spot in a Battle freakin’ Royal, you kind of don’t deserve your spot. It’s not like she hasn’t been in them before. You’re basically throwing yourself out. But I digress…
WWE United States Championship Match:
Antonio Cesaro © (w/ Aksana) vs. Zack Ryder:
Ryder won a #1 Contender’s Battle Royal on the Pre-Show. Cesaro describes his feelings of this match in five languages: Unfair. I don’t care for Ryder, but the live crowd was all for his win, so what do I know? At least it’s not Santino. Lockup, and Cesaro with a quick waistlock takedown, and front facelock. Ryder escapes, and takes Cesaro down with a hip toss. Cesaro with a headlock, followed by a shoulder tackle. Criss-cross, and Ryder with a one-man flap jack, followed by a dropkick for two. Cesaro counters a whip to the ropes with a hot shot, then slaps on a chinlock. Whip to the ropes, and Cesaro with a clothesline for two. Cesaro lifts Ryder off the canvas, and takes him over gutwrench style for two. Cesaro with a pair of double stomps to the midsection for another two count. He brings Ryder over with a suplex for two, then goes back to the chinlock. Ryder escapes, and gets the upperhand of a slugfest. Whip to the ropes, and Cesaro with an uppercut for two. He takes it to the corner, and unloads with a flurry of rights and lefts. Cesaro with the hangmens choke, and damn is that a brutal looking hold when done right. Ryder slips free, and rams Cesaro face-first into the canvas. Ryder with a twirling clothesline and roll up for two. He goes to the top and connects with a missile dropkick for two. Cesaro sets up for a suplex, but Ryder counters with a neck breaker for two. Ryder crotches Cesaro across the top rope, and brings him down with a hurricanrana. Ryder goes for the boot in the corner, but Aksana pulls Cesaro out of the way. Back inside, Cesaro surprises him with an upprcut, and the Nuetralizer is enough to retain the championship at 6:41. Felt like a match suitable for the main event of Superstars, or as it was here, one of the lesser matches on the Pay-Per-View. It was OK under those terms, but I’m still not see’ing this love for Zack Ryder.
– We hype the CW Network’s Vortex Block, which includes the new WWE program, Saturday Morning Slam. It’s rated TV-G, doesn’t show the Divas acting too slutty, or allow any of the superstars to do moves targeted for the head and neck.
– Backstage, Alberto Del Rio and David Otunga are having a chat when Ricardo Rodriguez shows up without the neck brace on… FAKE! FAKE! FAKE! They just want to ban the Brogue Kick to give Del Rio an unfair advantage. Who didn’t see that coming?
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vicki Guerrero):
My God, Vicki’s voice is like rusty nails on a chalkboard. Ziggler is still in posession of the Smackdown Money in the Bank briefcase, and smart fans were all pegging for it to be cashed in at this show. Ziggler has been jobbing a lot lately, which makes zero sense, but it’s on par of sense making as trying to push Orton as a babyface. This is some kind of grudge match, but the real question is why this is on the show, when there’s not a title to be had? maybe I’m looking too into it, but it should be a rule only championship matches be contested. Ziggler has definitely come a long way since being Chavo Guerrero’s caddy and one of the goofs in the Spirit Squad. I actually want to see him pushed into a World Title program. Lockup, and Ziggler grabs a headlock. Criss-cross, and Ziggler puts the brakes on to frustrate Orton. Lockup, and this time it’s Orton controlling with a headlock. Orton comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle and clothesline, then busts out the first half of the Garvin Stomp. Really… THAT? Ziggler with a drop toe hold and a picture-perfect dropkick for two. Whip to the ropes, Ziggler with a boot to the chest, followed by a neck breaker for two. He sets up for a suplex, but Orton counters and uses the ropes, Tully Blanchard style, for a two count. Orton with a back breaker, followed by a pair of clotheslines. He catches Ziggler off the ropes with a powerslam, but a DDT is countered with a roll up for two. Ziggler with a dropkick to the knee, but a head scissors is countered with a powerbomb. Orton sets him up across the top rope, Ziggler fights Orton down to the canvas, and comes off with a missile dropkick for two. The crowd seems to be exchanging chants for both men, as Ziggler hangs Orton across the top rope for another two count. Ziggler with a series of elbow drops, six of them to be exact, for a two count. He settles into a chinlock, then bridges for added pressure.
Orton fights back to his feet, and breaks the hold with a back suplex. Ziggler catches Orton coming with an elbow, followed by a diving clothesline for a two count. Ziggler goes back to the chinlock, but Orton is quicker to his feet, this time. He escapes with a headbutt, and lays Ziggler out with a dropkick. As usual, we get instant replay, and something big happens. Looks like Ziggler connects with a DDT, but it only gets two. Oh, and the Viper nickname for Orton sucks. Just wanted to throw that out there. Dolph heads to the top rope, but Orton ends up crotching him across the turnbuckle. Orton lays into him with roundhouse rights, climbs up, and successfully takes Ziggler over with a super-plex. It’s only good enough for a two count. They slug it out, with the crowd apparently in Ziggler’s favor at this point. Orton nails Ziggler coming off the ropes with elbows, but Ziggler catches him with his head down with the Rocker Dropper for a two count. “Let’s Go Ziggler” chant breaks out, to my surprise. He jumps on Orton for a sleeper, but Orton shrugs it off. They spill to the floor, with Orton throwing Ziggler into the security wall, with authority. Orton throws him over the barricade, and plants Ziggler with a DDT on the arena floor! I’m surprised the camera didn’t cut-away from such a violent move. Orton throws Ziggler back in the ring, and covers for two. Ziggler just barely got his foot on the rope. Orton does some goofy motion to “strike”, but the RKO is countered with a roll up for two. Ziggler jumps on Orton’s back with a sleeper hold, but Orton throws him off, tosses Ziggler in the air, and finishes with the RKO at 18:24. Not exactly the finish I wanted, but I can’t complain. A highly satisfying, high-impact offense filled match. I was going into it with kind of a lukewarm feeling for what was in store, but I was pleasantly surprised.
WWE Divas Championship Match:
Layla © vs. Eve Torres:
Sorry if I don’t go into super-detailed description of this. For lazy readers, Eve is filling in for Kaitlyn, who’s been brutally attacked by a mysterious assailant. Michael Cole even points out the obvious heel set-up for Eve. WWE’s “Stand Up Against Bully’ing” campaign reminds me of not too long ago when Layla and Michelle McCool were feuding with Mickie James over her weight, and calling her fat for not being a size “0”, or whatever nonsense. Lockup, and Layla with a school-girl for two. Eve with a headlock takeover, and Layla counters with a head scissors. Lockup, and Eve goes to work on the arm. They go through a series of counters, but the fans couldn’t care less. Layla with an awkward roll up for two, and Eve counters for a two count of her own. Layla surprises Eve with a basement dropkick, then shows remorse for it. Eve sucker-kicks her in the midsection, and throws Layla to the floor. Eve continues to work on the midsection. Back in the ring, and this match is dying a slow death. I’m not going to say I long for the days of Trish vs. Lita, because I hated the WWE Women’s Division then, too. Eve with a body scissors, and I completely get side-tracked when Cole accidentally refers to KEVIN von Erich as the Texas Tornado. This match is so boring, it’s putting Cole and JBL to sleep. Layla counters a neck breaker into a DDT (I wish I were watching Roberts/Rude from WrestleMania IV). Layla with the big comeback, but more nothing happens, Eve ducks under a body press, and a corkscrew neck breaker is enough for the three count and Diva’s Championship at 6:40. The definition of a bathroom break match. The crowd is still dead.
– Daniel Bryan and Kane are both running around proclaiming that they each are the Tag Team Champions. A.J. Lee nearly has a fit over their “progress.” I’m sorry, like Ryder, why were so many people so hard up for A.J.? She’s cute, I guess, but I stand by my mantra of the past decade: I watch wrestling for WRESTLING. Kane gives Bryan, A.J., and Dr. Shelby a Gatorade bath, and screams about going to DisneyLand. Classic. So… does Kane no longer embrace the hate? He’s reverted to his Fall of 2002 goofy Kane phase. Will Triple H show up in two weeks to accuse him of raping another corpse?
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Sheamus © vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ David Otunga & Ricardo Rodriguez):
I wish I had my own, personal ring announcer for every day life. I’m surprised this didn’t open the card, considering how lowly this belts status seems to be in comparison of the WWE Championship. Don’t ask me the lineage, I can’t remember anymore. Sheamus has defeated Del Rio every time they’ve met, including a controversial finish at SummerSlam. Since then, Sheamus nearly killed Rodriguez with the Brogue Kick, triggering a “lawsuit” from Otunga, and forcing Booker T to ban the Brogue Kick… until tonight. You see, Smackdown GM Booker T shows up after the introductions to declare that the Brogue Kick is no longer banned. Sheamus nails Otunga with the Brogue Kick, aiming for Del Rio. ADR with a side headlock and shoulder tackle. Criss-cross, and ADR rolls away from another Brogue Kick attempt. Back inside, a lockup goes to the corner, and Sheamus takes control with rights. Whip to the corner, Sheamus catches ADR coming with a boot, then connects with a neckbreaker for two. ADR sends Sheamus the apron, but misses whatever-the-fuck he was trying. Sheamus follows with a shoulder tackle. Back inside, they fight their way to the top rope, until ADR hangs Sheamus up across the buckle, then throws him off the apron, onto the spanish announcers table. ADR works him over for a bit, before returning to the ring, covering for a two count.
Del Rio slaps on a modified version of the Crossface (they unbanned that move?). Sheamus fights to his feet, but runs into a kick, and ADR covers for another two count. He sends Sheamus’ shoulder into the ring post, then wraps the arm around the post for more damage. ADR to the top, and a double axehandle gets two. Cole explains to us the lineage of the belt, dating back to Triple H as the original champion, so yes, it’s the Big Gold Belt from Raw “invented” in September 2002. Del Rio continues working the arm, locking on a cross-armbar from the apron. Del Rio to the top, and this time Sheamus nails him coming off. Sheamus with a pair of axehandles, followed by a shoulder to the midsection. He comes off the ropes with a knee lift and connects with a powerslam for two. ADR gets sent to the apron, but fights back with headbutts. Sheamus blocks being sent to the post again, and instead rams ADR. Sheamus with ten clubbing blows to the chest (thanks to the crowd for counting for me). He sets up for the White Noise, but ADR counters with the Back Stabber for two. Sheamus counters the Arm-Breaker with White Noise, but wastes time playing to the crowd. The Brogue Kick misses, and ADR with a jumping kick to the face for a two count. ADR with extended trash talking, but the Arm-Breaker is countered again. Third time isn’t a charm, but Sheamus can’t lock on the Cloverleaf, either. Is the crowd chanting Dean Malenko? Sheamus charges, and gets his arm hung up on the ropes for his troubles. ADR takes advantage of the situation with some vicious kicks to the forearm. ADR goes to the arm, and finally locks the Arm-Breaker, but Sheamus won’t tap. That’s reserved for a WrestleMania main event. He manages to escape by lifting ADR off the canvas and slamming back down. Brogue Kick misses again, and back to the Arm-Breaker, but this time Sheamus hooks the rope with his feet. ADR pitches a fit, and eats the Brogue Kick moments later, and it’s enough for the three count at 14:25. They were wrestling like they were going for 25-30. Good match, but a bit on the boring side during the first half. I didn’t expect much out of this, but didn’t expect to dislike it either, and I guess my feelings were accurate in the end result. It was just “there” for me.
WWE Championship Match:
CM Punk © vs. John Cena:
Decent story to this one… Punk has been, as of the date of the show, Champion for 302 consecutive days, but for the most part, has been playing second fiddle to people like John Cena, Triple H, the Undertaker, and Brock Lesnar, and demands respect for being the self-proclaimed “Best in the World.” Raw GM A.J. Lee offered Punk to select his own opponent for this show, and picked Cena, as long as Cena told him that he was the best. Cena refused, accusing Punk of needing the accolades of others to feed his ego, rather than believing in it himself. Things escalated, Punk took it out on Jerry Lawler a few times, and A.J. officially announced Cena as the #1 Contender, for no other reason other than “it was her choice” in the end. Suddenly, Paul Heyman was thrown into the mix, and introduces CM Punk for the main event. Manager or what? We don’t know. Punk, in classic dick-hole heel fashion, has his ring attire designed like the pinstripes of the New York Yankees, and Cena is wearing a “Rise Above Cancer” shirt. After introductions, Punk poses with the belt in the air for at least two minutes, before finally handing it off to the referee.
Lockup into the ropes, they fight over a headlock. Punk with a head scissors, but Cena easily escapes. Punk grabs a side headlock, but chooses to hang onto the ropes, rather than come off and risk anything. Feeling out process, with Cena grabbing a front facelock, then taking Punk over with a snap suplex. Punk rolls to his stomach to avoid a pin, and Cena grabs a waistlock. Punk escapes with a well-placed elbow to the side of the head then brings Cena over with another headlock. Cena sends him to the ropes, and takes him down with a back drop. Charge to the corner misses, and Punk connects with a basement dropkick to the face for a two count. Whip to the corner, and Cena with a bit of an over-sell. Punk escapes an electric chair drop and plants Cena with a DDT for two. Punk with elbows across the chest for another two count, then settles into a chinlock. Cena escapes, but walks into a drop toe hold. Punk slaps on a bridging STF, as Heyman looks on from ringside. Cena powers out, then rolls to the floor to gather himself. Punk follows with a suicide dive, then makes Cena’s daddy poop himself… I think. His facial expression screamed bowel movement. Punk plays to the crowd too much, allowing Cena to baseball slide him back to the floor, then throw him into the front row. Cena brings him back over the barricade with a fisherman suplex onto the floor.
Into the ring, Cena goes for the AA, but Punk slips out and connects with a roundhouse kick to the back of the head. Punk with a Camel Clutch, but Cena is too strong. Punk hammers Cena back down with elbows to the neck. Punk comes off the ropes with a forearm for a two count. He heads to the top rope, and comes down with a double axehandle. Punk goes for the GTS, but Cena fights free. He comes off the ropes with shoulder tackles, but a side slam is countered with a body press. Punk with a pair of clotheslines. They fight through a neck breaker sequence, and Cena with a clothesline of his own for two. Cena goes for the dumb Five-Knuckle Shuffle, but Punk kicks him in the face on the way down. Punk with a twisting kick to the midsection, followed by a neck breaker for two. Punk springs off the top, but Cena rolls through for the AA, but Punk hooks the rope, and gets dumped over the ropes instead. Cena follows him out with a suicide dive of his own. Back inside, Cena with the side slam, and another attempt at the Five-Knuckle Shuffle is countered, this time with the Anaconda Vice. Punk powers out and hooks on the STF (it still looks terrible). Punk fights through, and turns it into the Crippler Crossface. Holy crap, has that move come back all of a sudden. Cena to his feet, and he slams down on Punk to break the hold.
Slugfest, with neither man gaining control. Cena hits the ropes, and Punk connects with a jumping heel kick. He runs in with a knee, and lays Cena out with a short-clothesline. Punk to the top, and the Macho Man elbow gets two. Punk signals for the GTS, but Cena grabs the leg and locks on the STF once again. Punk has enough in him to hook the rope to force a break. Cena charges, Punk catches him with the GTS, but it’s only good enough for two. Punk lays into Cena with kicks all over the body. He comes off the ropes with a lunging clothesline for another two count. They counter each others big move until Cena hits a super-excellerated combination of side slam, five-knuckle-shuffle and the AA, but it’s only good enough for a two count! Punk rolls to the floor, a smart move to avoid another pin or submission attempt. Cena throws Punk back into the ring, heads to the top, and misses the big leg drop. Punk with another roundhouse kick for a two count. Punk bitch slaps Cena around, and comes off the ropes with a high knee for two. Punk heads to the top rope for a moonsault, a move you don’t normally see him do… and he misses by a mile. Gotta try whatever you can, I guess. Both men are slow to their feet. Cena goes for the AA, but Punk counters with the GTS… for two. Punk with the Rock Bottom for two! Punk pouts, allowing Cena to recover and hit another AA… for two! Cena pulls Punk off the canvas, and sets him up on the top turnbuckle. Punk tries fighting free, but Cena says “fuck you” and quickly slams him down with a bridging back suplex, and it’s FINALLY good enough for the three count at 26:59.
Cena celebrates with the belt, but… it was good enough for the three count on BOTH men, making it a draw, and thus the Champion retains. Cena wants it to continue, but the referee’s decision is final. WWE hasn’t over-killed the double pin finishes, so I’m cool with it, but would’ve much prefered Punk rolling his shoulder, so Cena loses, but only because he pinned himself. Other than that minor complaint and over-killing each others big moves, an outstanding main event. It’s not AS good as the 2011 Money in the Bank match, but it’s still worth a look. Considering where this program has gone, they need to do an I Quit match. You can’t do much more with pinfalls, thanks to each man killing the others signature spots over and over, and you can’t do Last Man Standing, because it sucks. Do I Quit, but no using weapons. So basically a submission match without tapping out.
Final Thoughts: Despite half of the card not known until the week of the show, this turned out to be a pretty entertaining show, from top to bottom. Punk/Cena and Orton/Ziggler are both must-see matches, already making it a recommended viewing considering it took up a good hour of the PPV, but even undercard stuff like Sheamus/ADR, the Tag Titles and Intercontinental 4-Way were all solid efforts, as well, for different reasons. Other than the women’s, sorry, DIVA’S Title Match, there’s very little in terms of stuff worth skipping over. I would never, ever, ever, recommend paying $40-45 for the Pay-Per-View, but this is easily a good choice to pick up when the DVD comes out.