What’s not to get pumped up for? Tonight’s PPV is being headlined by two MITB Ladder matches- one featuring eight Raw Superstars and the other featuring eight SmackDown superstars- and a steel cage match between WWE Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and John Cena. Spanish Announcers Hugo Savinovich and Carlos Cabrera are in the house! Place your bets on when their table bites the dust…
There’s always the threat of an appearance by Nexus to wreak some havoc, and on paper, it’s a recipe for success. However, after I confirmed the buy on my cable box, I wasn’t 100% sure I was parting with my money wisely.
After all, there were also two Divas matches on the card. Of course, it’s not the ladies’ fault that they’ve been booked into oblivion for the last two years.
The first match of the night was the SmackDown MITB ladder match and it scored in a big way. For almost 30 minutes, the participants went at it. The sickest spot was Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston performing a boom drop onto a prone Drew McIntyre as he lay on…yep, you guessed it…the Spanish announcers’ table.
Nice booking by the WWE…it was difficult to determine a clear-cut winner and I was more than a little surprised as Kane emerged victorious.
In the second match of the evening, Alicia Fox retained the Divas Championship against Eve Torres. It was a short contest and the crowd unfortunately, lost interest quickly.
Due to a very weak tag team division, it was tough to get psyched up for yet another Hart Dynasty vs. The Usos match. Nothing special here as the Harts retained the titles when David Hart Smith caused one of the Usos to tap out to the Sharpshooter.
Rey Mysterio defended the World (not Heavyweight) Championship against Jack Swagger. It was a physical contest that saw Mysterio gamely working through the ankle injury suffered at Swagger’s hands a few weeks ago.
Mysterio won the match and while Swagger was attacking him afterwards, Kane ran in and chased Swagger away. Kane then cashed in his newly-won MITB contract (in record time) to win the Championship from Mysterio in a minute-long match.
Divas match #2 was next and Layla beat Kelly Kelly.
The second MITB Ladder match of the night followed, featuring eight Raw Superstars in action. There were some sick spots in this match as well, including Randy Orton hitting an RKO on John Morrison off of the ladder.
Towards the end of the match, there some nice teases as three of the wrestlers all came very close to grabbing the briefcase. First was Evan Bourne who was stopped by Edge, and then Randy Orton who received one of the biggest pops of the night as he began to ascend the ladder.
However, it was Miz who emerged victorious to win the briefcase. Not sure how long he’ll hold the contract before cashing in, but one thing is for sure, I can’t wait to see him as a Heavyweight Champion.
The final match of the night was a steel cage match between WWE Champion Sheamus and John Cena. The Kansas City crowd popped huge for Cena and was hot for the entire match.
It wasn’t a five-star classic, but there were plenty of nearfalls and lots of back-and-forth action between both men. Sheamus passed up an opportunity to walk out of the cage when he had Cena tied up in the ropes, but he decided to continue attacking Cena.
Shortly after, Nexus made their inevitable appearance. Michael Tarver was carrying a pair of bolt cutters, but one of the ringside officials grabbed them out of his hands and ran backstage. Nexus then turned their attention to another ringside official, demanding the keys, but he refused and threw them into the crowd (nice!)
Back in the ring, Cena grabbed Sheamus and they accidentally took out in-ring referee Charles (Lil’ `Naitch) Robinson. Cena locked Sheamus into the STF, and Sheamus tapped but since the ref was out, it didn’t matter.
Cena then tried to climb the cage, but was met at the top by Nexus member Justin Gabriel. They traded punches before Cena flipped Gabriel into the ring. The other Nexus members then caught Cena on his way down and provided enough interference to him down while Sheamus climbed over the other side of the cage and only had to fight off Heath Slater.
Sheamus hit the floor first and retained the title. He then high-tailed it through the crowd to the back followed by several Nexus members.
Cena was pissed and took out his frustrations on Michael Tarver and Darren Young (sporting a new `do) who had remained at ringside after catching the better of the exchange on the side of the cage just minutes earlier. Cena screamed “I told you I’d take you all out.”
Good finish to an otherwise average PPV.
I read over the last few weeks that some fans were worried about the MITB PPV cheapening the annual MITB match at Wrestlemania, but the two matches on tonight’s card delivered in a big way, and are spread out far enough to keep the excitement level for the match at Wrestlemania high.
Still plenty more to be done with the Nexus storyline as Cena has just begun to make a dent in the group. Although, it doesn’t look like Sheamus is safe from attack by any means…will they eventually team up as they’ve teased several times on Monday Night Raw?
Now that Undertaker is part of the promos for next month’s SummerSlam PPV, I’d have to take the early odds on him facing Kane for the Heavyweight title.
John Cena appears with us on the “Busted Open” radio show. We’ll get his reaction to the night’s events. Check it out…Monday between 2-4PM, Eastern on Sirius 125/XM 241.
About the Author
Written by Pete Copeland