Monday, June 20, 2011

Capital Punishment Review

By Chad Smart
WWE’s newly titled June pay per view is in the books. Personally, I’m glad WWE ditched the Fatal 4-Way concept pay per view as I’m not a fan of themed pay per views since they often lead to matches booked more for fitting the theme instead of having a legitimate reason for happening. How did the new pay per view fare? Here are my thoughts.

First off, the set was probably the most impressive looking pay per view stage outside of Wrestlemania. The Titantron was flanked by a replica White House set up which played into the Capital aspect as well as being held in Washington D.C.

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Before I get into thoughts on the actual matches, I have to mention the segments with "President Obama." I didn’t think these types of segments worked back in the ‘90s with President Clinton and I wasn’t a fan of the segments on this show. I understand they were tongue in cheek segments, but having members of the WWE roster treat the imposter as if he was the actual President is just as bad as when TNA had Daffney portraying The Governor "Sarah Palin" and the Beautiful People acted like she was the real deal. Another issue I have with the segments is fans paid $44.99 for the show. The price is a bit steep for lame comedy, in my opinion. Though by now I should expect such segments on all WWE programming.

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Two new mid-card champions were crowned. Dolph Ziggler won the US Title while Ezekiel Jackson on the Intercontinental title. Hopefully their reigns will be more memorable than the champions they beat. Remember when Kofi Kingston was feuding with Randy Orton and it looked like he was about to break through to upper mid-card status? How about when Wade Barrett was part of the hottest angle of the past few years? Both Kofi and Wade have fallen in the eyes of the fans. The Wade/Zeke match was so void of interest a "We want Zack" chant broke out midway through the match. Wade’s pre-match anti-America promo couldn’t even incite the audience enough to boo him. Something drastic needs to be done with Wade to rebuild the character and it needs to happen soon.

Alex Riley scored the upset of the night beating his former mentor The Miz. While I like to see new talent getting the chance to shine and feel wrestling companies tend to wait too long before pushing potential stars, the elevation of A-RY baffles me. How Riley goes from John Cena whipping boy to beating a former World Champion in the span of four weeks doesn’t make sense. The live fans seem to be behind Alex though, so who am I to criticize the lack of character development.

Mark Henry attacked the Big Show before his match. Henry slammed Show through the Spanish announce table reinjuring Show’s leg. Once the match started, I was once again shaking my head at wrestling logic, or the lack thereof. Big Show backed Alberto Del Rio into the corner to start the match, why Show didn’t throw his knockout punch to end the match is baffling. Del Rio kept attacking the leg eventually leading to Show being unable to stand and the referee stopping the match. With video surfacing of Del Rio at the E3 convention challenging John Cena to a match at SummerSlam, I figured this was step one in rebuilding Del Rio as a credible contender. Del Rio gets the victory, Big Show doesn’t suffer a pin fall, so neither guy looks weak. Besides the logic questioning, I was also bewildered by the use of Mark Henry. Is this the start of making Henry look like a monster again, or was it simply a way to get Big Show to sell the leg injury?

CM Punk and Rey Mysterio had another solid match that saw Punk turn a 619 attempt into Go To Sleep for the pin fall. During the match, Michael Cole started slipping back into obnoxious announcer mode. The announcing really distracted from the match. Before the match, Punk said after he beat Mysterio, he would do something shocking. Punk didn’t do anything after the match, so the shock may come on Raw or in the next few weeks.

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Randy Orton defended his World Championship after being cleared to wrestle following a concussion. With the way the announcers played up the concussion, and the number of punches, kicks, slaps, and other moves putting impact on Randy’s head during the match, I got the feeling the concussion was more story line than real. Christian tried to finish of Randy with a spear to no avail. I don’t know how I feel about Christian using the spear. On one hand I can appreciate Christian paying tribute to his friend, Edge. On the other hand, taking Edge’s finishing move makes Christian look weak by needing someone else’s move to win matches. Randy hit an RKO for the victory after Christian leaped off the top rope jumping over Orton. Christian’s leg was under the bottom rope during the pin and the referee wasn’t even looking in the direction of Randy and Christian when making the three count. I’m expecting this to be mentioned on Smackdown and another match between Randy and Christian to take place at Money in the Bank pay per view.

Jack Swagger vs. Evan Bourne was a bonus added attraction. I’m not a fan of unannounced matches being put on pay per views unless they’re the result of events that happen on the show. The original ECW was good at creating matches during their pay per views. While announcing the match beforehand probably wouldn’t have led to a measurable about of added buys, just throwing guys out there screams, filler. During the match the Bella twins and Keystone mascot, Keith Stone were at ringside. The history between Michael Cole and Jack Swagger wasn’t brought up during the match. Can I say how I hate when events are forgotten simply because they don’t fit into the current story being told. It’s one thing if the events happened months or years ago, but when they happened weeks ago, it’s very annoying. This match was Swagger tossing Bourne around for the most part until Bourne made a comeback and got a roll up for the victory. Basically a lengthier Raw match.

John Cena and R-Truth had a match. That’s about all I have to say about it. I didn’t expect Truth to win the title and there was nothing during the match to make me feel I could be wrong. The ending with a kid throwing his soda on Truth leading to Cena throwing Truth back into the ring and delivering an Attitude Adjustment was very anti-climatic.

Overall Capital Punishment wasn’t a bad show. At the same time there was nothing on the show I’d recommend going out of your way to see. With the exception of new mid-card champions everything is the same in the WWE Universe and will probably continue during the upcoming weeks leading to the next pay per view.

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1 comment:

  1. Capitol building, not White House. But I completely agree, it was impressive. I felt like they could have done more with the WWE Championship match but it was about what I expected I suppose. Assuming they throw JoMo into that mix next month, I'm sure the match quality will step up a bit.