WWE PPVs KELLER'S WWE NIGHT OF THE CHAMPIONS PPV REPORT 9/18: Ongoing coverage of Cena-Del Rio, Triple H-Punk, Orton-Henry
Sep 18, 2011 - 10:00:09 PM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S WWE NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PPV REPORT
SEPTEMBER 18, 2011
AIRED LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW
[Wade Keller is the supervising editor of PWTorch and founder of the Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter. He has covered pro wrestling full time for 24 years, hosted a live weekend pro wrestling show on KFAN in the early 1990s, hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD interview series in the 2000s, and hosts the PWTorch Livecast weekdays currently at www.BlogTalkRadio.com/pro-wrestling-torch. The majority of his writing is exclusive to the PWTorch Newsletter each week, available to VIP members.]
-Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T introduced the show.
1 -- EVAN BOURNE & KOFI KINGSTON ("Air Boom") vs. THE MIZ & R-TRUTH ("The Awesome Truth") -- World Tag Team Title Match
Bourne and Kingston dominated at the start including stereo dives off the top rope onto the heels at ringside, but a cheapshot by Miz from the ring apron helped give the heels the advantage. Kingston got a hot-tag at 5:00 and he went on a flurry of offense. Kofi gave Miz an S.O.S. for a near fall, more convincing because no announcer prematurely declared the match over. Miz fired back with a DDT for a near fall. Miz was shocked Kingston kicked out.
Bourne reached for a tag. Kofi ran under Miz's legs. When Truth tried to get into the ring, the ref turned to him. Bourne climbed to the top rope and slapped his hands to give the ref the impression he made the tag, then Bourne dove onto Miz. As Cole protested, Booker said it won't matter because Miz is on top of his game. Could Booker kill more heat for wrestlers than he does if he were trying to sabotage things? He's so tone deaf when it comes to what to say when to enhance the story the wrestlers are trying to tell.
Miz yelled at the ref, explaining there was no tag. Bourne surprised Kiz with a roll-up for a near fall, then kicked Miz and an interfering Truth. Bourne then climbed to the top rope and went for Air Bourne, but Miz moved and then DDT'd Bourne. Cole declared the match over, so you knew it wouldn't be, and sure enough, Kingston broke up the pin. Miz tagged Truth, but the ref didn't see it as he scolding Kingston for interfering. Miz then gave Bourne the Skull Crushing Finale, but the ref was yelling at Truth for getting in the ring to offset Kingston. That gave Bourne a chance to recover enough that he kicked out by the time the ref got around to counting. Miz had enough and shoved the ref down out of frustration. The ref called for the DQ. Truth tried to calm Miz. Then he turned to the ref and apologized, but when the ref stood, Truth slapped the ref down. Miz said he's sick of it and demanded new refs. The crowd chanted "You suck! You suck!"
WINNERS: Bourne & Kingston in 9:00 to retain the World Tag Team Titles.
STAR RATING (**1/2): The action was not only good, but the story of Miz growing frustrated (for some good reasons, although the first incident was caused by Truth jumping into the ring illegally and causing the ref to be distracted) was well told. A good way to forward the storyline of Miz and Truth insisting there's a conspiracy against them.
-The anti-bullying spot airs, then a trailer for Triple H's movie.
-Miz and Truth were still ranting and raving backstage. Matt Striker walked up to them and explained that touching the referee like that is cause for fines and suspension. Miz said who is he to lecture them about the rules. Truth said it's a conspiracy. When Striker said Triple H may have something to say about that, Miz said he may not be COO after tonight.
2 -- CODY RHODES vs. TED DIBIASE -- Intercontinental Title Match
The announcers talked about the Hall of Famers who have held the IC Title over the years. Booker mentioned he won the belt, but Cole pointed out he wasn't a Hall of Famer yet. Booker just awkwardly laughed. Lawler didn't understand why fans at ringside were willingly wearing paper bags on their heads. Cole said the Honky Tonk Man's IC Title reign, the longest ever, began right there in Buffalo, N.Y. Lawler said Rhodes believes he is the greatest IC Champ ever because he is so self-centered, he doesn't believe anyone else ever held that title.
At 2:00 Cody kicked Ted between the legs, which DiBiase didn't sell as he came right back with a high dropkick. I don't think wrestlers should ever no-sell nut shots. It either makes them out to be missing key body parts or else just fake actors arbitrarily selling certain moves and not others. Cody dominated for the next several minutes. Some fans got a "boring" chant going at 7:00 even though the match was just fine action-wise. DiBiase just hasn't connected with the fans in any meaningful way yet to get them on his side with any enthusiasm. One thing.. he might want to get new entrance music now that he's turned babyface, especially since the lyrics brag about his being born into substantial money.
DiBiase caught Cody flying off the ropes with a dropkick for a near fall. He followed up with an attempted superplex, but Cody headbutted DiBiase away. DiBiase came right back with an armdrag of Cody off the top rope. Then he ripped off Cody's mask, which Lawler said was legal. The crowd popped for that. Lawler said finally an even playing field. When DiBiase swung the mask at Cody, Cody rolled up DiBiase with a yank of his trunks for a three count. That made DiBiase look pretty bad.
WINNER: Rhodes in 10:00 to retain the IC Title.
STAR RATING (*1/2): Basic okay match.
-A commercial aired for a set of kids toy guns starring Rey Mysterio.
-They gave the Spanish announcers some on-camera time.
-Christian walked out. The announcers treated it as unexpected appearance. Christian bragged about his accomplishments, and then said he deserves another title shot, so he wants to face the winner of Randy Orton vs. Mark Henry. He told Buffalo fans he'd tell a story they'd understand. He said they've never won the Super Bowl, but he's won his Super Bowl twice. He said those people who can feel his cause should stand up and let their voices be heard. Some fans stood. Lawler said, "Sit down, Cole." He wanted them to say in unison: "One more match." A lot of them chanted it. More than ever chanted "Spear! Spear!" for Edge when he was trying to get that chant over as a babyface. Sheamus then interrupted.
Sheamus called Christian a "squinty-eyed, whiny, crying little weasel." Sheamus said right now he'd give his Uncle Ferguson's Lucky Green Testicle to compete here tonight. Christian said, "Your what?" Christian shook his head and said, "At least I have the testicles to stand up like a man and tell the entire world I deserve one more match." Sheamus took a deep breath and said he agrees that he has a good point. He said if he helps him get one more title shot, he has to promise his first title defense will be against him. Sheamus asked the crowd to chant "One more match!" The crowd joined in. Sheamus then blindsided Christian with a brogue kick. Sheamus smiled. Cole said that was rude and straight up manipulation. Lawler said Sheamus was good at being rude.
-A commercial aired for Randy Orton's DVD.
3 -- DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. ALEX RILEY vs. JOHN MORRISON vs. JACK SWAGGER -- U.S. Title Four-Way Match
Lawler said: "Vickie has had a lot of those relationships. Those that work out for a while." Cole said Ziggler had just a 25 percent chance of retaining his title. Would he have just a 25 percent chance if his opponents were Cole, Mathews, and Justin Roberts, too? Is the match really that cut and dried, Cole? What a stupid thing to keep saying. Ziggler brook up an early pin attempt by Morrison on Swagger. At 3:00 Swagger and Ziggler faced off with both Morirson and Riley at ringside. Vickie tried to talk them out of fighting each other. Ziggler took the first shot, but Swagger nailed him with a big boot on the rebound. He then knocked Morrison off the ring apron. Riley re-entered and surprised Swagger. When he went for the pin. Vickie put Swagger's leg on the bottom rope. Riley yelled at Vickie. Ziggler dropkicked Riley from behind, then asked Vickie if she just cost him his match.
Morrison springboard kicked Ziggler for a near fall at 4:00. Ziggler power legdropped Morrison for a near fall a minute later. Morrison went for a superplex on Ziggler, but Ziggler fought it off and mug Morrison upside down. Riley went for a superplex, but Morrison sat up and powerbombed Riley to the mat. Swagger then ran up to Ziggler and tossed him hard to the mat. Nice sequence. It could have easily felt over choreographed, but the timing was strong and it looked good. Everyone was slow to get up.
At 7:00 Morrison hit some flashy spots and scored a near fall on Riley. Riley rolled into position for the Starship Pain, but Riley lifted his knees upon landing. Ziggler then applied a sleeper. Swagger ran in and applied the anklelock on Riley. The ref checked on both men. Morrison rolled out of the ring. Riley kicked Swagger out of the hold and Swagger charged into Ziggler in the corner. Riley then DDT'd Swagger and scored a believable near fall at 8:00. They cut to a celebrating Vickie at ringside. Riley favored his knee afterward, struggling to get to his feet. Swagger powered Riley into the corner and then re-applied the anklelock. Morrison interfered to break it up. Swagger kicked Morrison and hit a gut-wrench powerbomb. Ziggler moved in and knocked Swagger aside to steal the pin and get the win.
WINNER: Ziggler in 9:00.
STAR RATING (**): A lot of action packed into just under ten minutes, and they told a good story to forward the relationship between Ziggler and Swagger, and Riley and Morrison were just there as filler to create babyface near falls.
-Josh Mathews interviewed Henry backstage. He asked him if what doubters say is true, that he can't win the big one. Henry yanked the mic away and said he'll prove them wrong. He said he wants Mathews to the one to interview him after he wins the World Title.
-Matt Striker interviewed Vickie backstage who said everyone wants her to manage them. She said things are about to happen. She said if Triple H happens to lose tonight, she knows she would make a great COO to replace him. She then forced a kiss on Striker, and he seemed to like it a little.
-At ringside, Lawler made a face like he just ate a rotten egg. He called Vickie running WWE "a fate worse than death." Cole plugged the next pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell in two weeks. That's way too fast and gouging fans during tough economic times to stack up their cable bill for too many pay events in a short span of time. This happens every September/October and it's one of the reasons I believe a lot of people quit their "completist" approach to ordering every PPV and decided to break the streak and get more selective. The WWE greed pushed fans into being perpetually selective in what events they decide to buy.
-A video package aired on Henry.
4 -- RANDY ORTON vs. MARK HENRY -- World Hvt. Title Match
During Henry's ring intro, Cole said Henry debuted Sept. 22, 1996 when Henry debuted. He said his debut match was against Lawler. Lawler said as soon as Henry threw a shoulder tackle of some kind, he realized Henry would have a big career in WWE. Cole said with all of the talk of how devastating Henry is, have they overlooked how dangerous Orton can be. WWE has done a stellar job building up the Orton-Henry match; it's been more a more traditional sports-like model compared to some of the nonsense on Raw lately and it makes this match feel more real than any barrage of pseudo-shoot comments and insider references in an overly long promo. Henry's facial expressions have been especially good. Cole tripped of his wording when talking about the height and weight of Henry and Orton. Had someone else on the announce team done that, he would have been all over them for being unprofessional or sloppy.
Orton went after Henry's legs in the opening minute, then kicked him in the face. Orton dropped a knee on Henry's chest. Henry popped right up Road Warrior Animal style, but when Henry charged, Orton side-stepped him and threw him to the floor. Kevin Dunn had to restrain himself from going to a commercial at this point. Henry threw part of the announce table aside, then re-entered the ring and immediately pressed Orton. Orton jumped down and went for an early RKO, but Henry pushed him off and then gave him a boot to the face.
At 3:00 Orton applied a sleeper. Henry powered Orton backward into the corner to escape. Henry then powered Orton to the floor with a big slap, knocking him off the top turnbuckle. The announcers did a nice jo selling it. Cole noted that Henry has to be aware of the count because he can't win a title but countout. Henry shoved Orton into the ring apron twice, then threw him back into the ring. For the next few minutes Henry methodically beat up Orton, but Orton made a comeback at 8:00 when he avoided a splash.
Orton mounted Henry in the corner and punched away at him as the crowd counted along with him. He played to the crowd for cheers and got them. Orton took Henry down with a high dropkick. When he went for a DDT off the middle rope, Henry headbutted him. Then he powerslammed Orton mid-ring and scored a near fall. Booker acted shocked by the kickout. Lawler wondered if Henry can't win the big one. Cole said he can't get frustrated here. Henry set up a swing splash in the corner, but Orton lifted his boots and then took out Henry's knee and hit a DDT. He signaled for the RKO by pounding the mat, so Henry rolled out to the ring apron. Orton positioned Henry for the DDT off the second rope, and he executed it. Cole sold it well. Orton covered Henry, but Henry grabbed the bottom rope to stop the count. Booker screwed up the phrase "live for another day" when he said Henry grabbed the bottom rope to "live for another day." That cliche applies when someone taps out to "fight another day" rather than get more injured. One of the dangers of cliches is you stop thinking about what the words actually mean and just spew them indiscriminately, which is one of Booker's biggest shortcomings as a color commentator
Henry took over offense at 12:00 by yanking Orton's trunks from below and sending him hard into the middle rope. A minute later Henry moved in on a hurt Orton, but Orton went for an RKO. Henry easily swatted him away and then poweslammed Orton mid-ring for the three count. There was actually a big op from a lot of fans. They cut to crowd shots, though, of fans reacting with dismay. Cole said the 15 year odyssey is over. Booker said, "You gotta love it!" continuing his streak of counterproductive commentary that arbitrarily supports heels who are trying to generate heel heat which he undercuts week after week.
WINNER: Henry in 13:00.
STAR RATING (**3/4): That felt like a World Title PPV worthy match, one of Henry's better matches. His offense wasn't flashy, but it was believable, and the pace was solid, and the strong build-up added a lot of drama and gave the match more of a sports feel where something real was stake. The crowd was into it, and many did start siding with Henry because of the story WWE told in recent weeks of his 15 years quest.
-In a post-match interview, Mathews did enter the ring and ask him how it felt. When some fans began to cheer, he told them not to because they were doubters. He welcomed them to the Hall of Pain. "This is my moment, and I'm not sharing it with none of ya'. You don't deserve this. I'm gonna be the most dominant champion of all time. I'm taking on all comers. I ain't running from nobody and I'm never, ever losing this title." Good, believable, straight-forward promo. Cole said this might be the start of one of the most dominant and dangerous title reigns in WWE history.
-A commercial hyped Hugh Jackman starring on Raw tomorrow night.
-Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodrigues complained to John Laurinaitis about what happened on Raw last week. Laurinaitis said it was Triple H's call. Del Rio said after he beats Cena tonight, the company better start treating him with the respect he deserves. C.M. Punk walked up to Laurinaitis and talked about what he has done to Laurinaitis in the past. Laurinaitis said when he says good luck, he means it. "Like 'best of luck in your future endeavors'" asked Punk. Ohhh, that's going to get the "Internet marks" to pop. Punk's Internet pandering is ineffective on a large scale and, I think, Internet fans are even beginning to feel patronized by the whole act.
5 -- KELLY KELLY (w/Eve) vs. BETH PHOENIX (w/Natalya) -- WWE Divas Championship Match
Phoenix got a big pop from her hometown crowd. The announcers acknowledged this wasn't a crowd response Kelly was used to. Cole noted it was one year ago that the Women's Title and Divas Title were united. A loud "Kelly sucks!" chant broke out. When Booker said "Kelly Kelly's trying to hold onto what's hers, and that's the championship," Cole called him out for yet another painfully empty cliche.
When Kelly hit her modified bulldog, the crowd booed. Natalya yanked Phoenix to ringside to save her from being covered, so Eve attacked her. Phoenix attacked Eve and yanked her to the mat, then returned to the ring. Phoenix cut off Kelly's offense with a hard short-arm clothesline. Phoenix looked to the crowd and they cheered. Phoenix delivered a superplex off the top rope. Both were slow to get up. The ref, as is routine, moved in to check on Kelly, which is an especially good idea after Flair suffered that injury on the same move in his match against Sting that aired last Thursday night. By the time Phoenix made the cover, Kelly recovered enough to be able to kick out. Phoenix went for her finisher, but Kelly rolled out of it into a victory roll for the pin.
WINNER: Kelly Kelly to retain the Divas Title.
STAR RATING (*1/2)
-A video aired telling fans not to try it at home.
6 -- ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. JOHN CENA -- WWE Title Match
John Cena drove out in a yellow sports car, stealing Del Rio's car. Cole said Del Rio arrived at the arena in that 300K Ferrari, so Cena stole it. Booker asked if he was sure it was the same yellow Ferrari. That was funny, perhaps unintentionally so given Booker's usual wit. Cena cut a pre-match promo including a self-introduction that referenced his 1990 jorts, Fruitty Pebbles, and his intent to kick the dog crap out of Del Rio. Cole noted that it was 1963 when Buddy Rogers became the first WWE Champion (WWWF back then). He left off the "Nature Boy" monicker that Rogers used.
Del Rio got in the vast majority of the offense for the first ten minutes, including some action at ringside. The battle chants took place ("Cena sucks!" "Let's Go Cena!"). Del Rio charged at Cena, but Cena moved and Del Rio flew through the ropes to the floor. Cena went into his finishing routine, drawing cheers and boos. After he hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle, he slipped out of the Attitude Adjustment wen then hit a dropdown backbreaker for a near fall at 11:00.
Cena countered a cross armbreaker attempt and then hit a dropkick followed by a high dropkick for a two count. Cole ruined any drama by yelling, "New champion! New champion!" during the ref's count. When Cena climbed to the top rope, Del Rio hit a flying roundkick to the side of Cena's head for a near fall. Del Rio went on sustained offense again, but when he charged Cena in the corner shoulder-first, Cena moved, and Del Rio hit the ringpost. Cena then hit a legdrop off the ropes onto the back of Del Rio's head for a believable near fall at 15:00. Del Rio countered with a back suplex into a bridge for a two count. Lawler said, "What a match!" Booker added, "What a match tonight." Cole fired back at Booker, "As opposed to last night." Booker gets a rougher time than J.R. these days, but Booker actually deserves it.
Del Rio hit a flying top rope senton for a near fall at 16:00. Del Rio then went for the cross armbreaker. Cena prevented his arm from being straightened out. Cena pushed Del Rio's shoulders on the mat for a one count. Cena then lifted Del Rio into mid-air and powered him down. Cole sold it big, although in the last few minutes he began to lose his voice. Cena then hit the Attitude Adjustment. When Ricardo jumped onto the ring apron, Cena ran over and knocked him into the ringpost. Cena then ran back and applied the STF. Del RIo couldn't go anywhere. He tried to pry Cena's fingers off of him, but then tapped out. Cole said Cena celebrated like it was the first time he had ever won the WWE Title. Cena shocks hands with Lawler and exchanged celebratory words with Booker T.
WINNER: Cena in 18:00.
STAR RATING (***): Good match. One dimensional in those first ten minutes, but a very strong second half. Those ratings weren't good since Del Rio won the belt. Not sure if Cena would have won if not for that, but the ratings drop might have factored in.
-The announcers threw to a video package on Triple H-C.M. Punk. Cole's voice was totally shot.
7 -- C.M. PUNK vs. TRIPLE H -- No DQ Match
Punk wore a t-shirt that said "WWE Ice Cream Bar" on it. He sat mid-ring waiting for Triple H's music. Triple H did the bit where he ices his opponent for a minute before his music plays. Both guys got good, but not great pops, at least as it came cross on PPV.
Punk attacked Triple H as he stood on the ring apron doing his posing routine under the spotlight. It is a no-DQ match, after all. He pounded him with forearms at ringside and then threw him into the ring announcer nook at ringside. He threw the lid off of the announce table. Triple H recovered and attacked him, throwing him into the ring and sliding him right to the floor on the other side of the ring. Lawler and Booker were calling this as Cole's voice was gone completely at this point. Where is J.R.? Or Josh Matthews for that matter?
Hunter threw Punk hard into the announce desk area pretty hard. Then he viciously stomped him and punched him. Hunter set up a Pedigree, but Punk countered with GTS attempt. Neither pulled off the move. Punk ran right back into the ring. Hunter stood on the table and stared him down, catching his breath. A chant of "C.M. Punk" started. Hunter walked into the ring. Lawler asked if their mics were still working. "It didn't take long for this to get out of hand, did it?" Lawler said Cole may have been lucky in losing his voice.
At ringside at 5:00 Punk charged Hunter and gave him a flying knee to the chin. Booker mistakenly called it a Go To Sleep. Booker is just awful. Hunter threw Punk over the ring barrier, tearing part of the covering off. He was slow to get up. Hunter stood on the ring barrier and leaped off with a flying forearm to Punk's head. Lawler told Cole to nod his head occasionally if he liked what he was seeing.
They brawled to the stage. Hunter catapulted Punk into the staging lighting wall. Booker said Triple H is in his element. Punk countered a Pedigree attempt by backdropping Hunter over the lighting wall ton the floor on the other side. Punk climbed not the wall and leaped off with a forearm. It seemed Hunter might have countered with something, but it wasn't clear what happened. Punk threw a full duffel bag at Hunter. And another. Booker said, "I think this thing is even on points." Lawler said the advantage right now was with Punk.
Punk fought Hunter back to ringside. He wedged a chair in the corner, but Hunter countered with a spinebuster for a near fall. Hunter then threw Punk into the chair Punk had set up. Lawler said it may have been six months since Triple H was in action, but he was keeping up with Punk. Not a lot of heat here. The hype for this match was so bad in terms of setting up a clear-cut babyface, and the two wrestlers tore each other down so much, they both came out weaker for it, so the crowd was left without a dog in the fight unless they were predisposed to like Punk (as the crowds in Chicago and Canada seemed to be).
Hunter wrapped Punk's leg around the ringpost twice, then grabbed a chair and bashed Punk's leg. Booker said, "The kneebone is connected to the anklebone." Where is Cole to mock Booker when you need him? Hunter did the crotch chop which got a small pop. Then Hunter went for a figure-four, but Punk kicked him off of him. Hunter went for a monitor, but Punk kicked him on the side of his head, knocking him onto the Spanish announce table. Punk climbed to the top rope and landed an elbow drop; the entire table collapsed. This match misses Jim Ross to help sell it. Lawler was doing a solid job, though, carrying the play-by-play aspect of the match. Both were slow to get up.
When both rolled into the ring, they still weren't able to stand. Miz and Truth ran out and attacked them both. Booker called for somebody to get security. Miz gave Hunter his Skull Crushing Finale. Hunter took it awkwardly. Truth then gave Punk his finisher. Then they dragged Punk on top of Hunter. Miz ordered the ref to make the count. Hunter lifted his shoulder at the last possible second. Miz looked on in disbelief and dismay. He then marched toward ref Scott Armstrong and waved his finger at him for counting too slowly. He shoved him. Armstrong pointed at his ref stripes. Miz shoved him in the face. Armstrong poked Miz in the chest and made threats. Miz swung at him. Armstrong blocked it and punched Miz. The announcers really needed to say that Armstrong is a former pro wrestler to save Miz the loss of credibility from that spot. Miz and Truth attacked Amrstrong and kicked him to the floor at 18:00.
Laurinaitis marched to the ring and waved to the back for someone to follow him. Triple H and Punk got up and cleared the ring. Punk threw Truth over the top rope right onto the ref. Hunter got rid of Miz. Triple H then gave Punk a Pedigree. A replacement ref ran out, but Laurinaitis said the official referee was Armstrong, so he told him to try to revive him first. Hunter got up and crawled over to see what was going on. Punk then gave Hunter a GTS. Hunter felt near the ropes and Punk made the cover with his legs under the bottom rope. The replacement ref began to count. Truth yanked Punk off the cover and to ringside. Punk gave Truth a GTS. "What are we witnessing here?" asked Lawler. Lawler said it is a no-DQ match, so they are seeing everything. Booker said the match is still going on. Punk made his way back to the ring apron and he springboard toward Hunter. Hunter caught him, though, and hit the Pedigree for a believable near fall, but Punk kicked out. That felt like the finish. Lawler couldn't believe it.
They cut to Laurinaitis texting someone on his phone. The announcers didn't say anything about it, though. Kevin Nash made his way back through the crowd again. He walked into the ring and KO'd Punk. Then he punched Hunter when Hunter made a move toward him. Nash kneed Hunter repeatedly in the corner, then bashed him with forearms followed by a Jackknife attempt. Punk saved Hunter by attacking Nash. Nash gave Punk a kneelift and then gave him the Jackknife instead. Nash looked around at the carnage, then walked to ringside and stalked Hunter. He nailed Hunter with a running forearm. He then methodically took the monitors off the announce desk. Hunter, meanwhile, grabbed his sledgehammer and blindsided Nash with it, knocking Nash out cold. He then crawled back into the ring. The crowd chanted "C.M. Punk" and "Triple H" at the same time. Hunter gave Punk another Pedigree and made the cover and scored the pin. "I don't even know where to begin to recap what we just witnessed," said Lawler. Well said.
WINNER: Triple H in 24:00.
STAR RATING (***1/4): That was more of a spectacle than a match much of the time, but in the context of a WWE PPV main event with the various players all involved, it told a PPV main event level story. It's not something WWE can get away with too often (TNA did this stuff way too often on PPVs, often multiple times on a single PPV), but it probably worked tonight, especially with a Hell in a Cell PPV in two weeks to transition into.
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