Last Man Standing Match: CM Punk vs Randy Orton
This was a rematch from WrestleMania and the blowoff match for the feud between Punk and Orton that had been going on for a few months. Really good match that saw kendo sticks, chairs, and the announce table come into play. Punk actually survived a few RKO attempts and got up before the 10 count. They got a full 20 minutes to work here, which they should have gotten at ‘Mania 27 a month earlier, and that gave them time to have a better match.
U.S. Title Match: Sheamus (c) vs Kofi Kingston (Tables Match)
This was one of the few matches that did not have a WrestleMania tie-in. Kofi did most of the work here; good match overall. Some really cool false finishes where Kofi used his athleticism to escape being put the table. Seeing both guys back then is a major contrast to today; Sheamus is a better worker now and Kingston doesn’t fly around as much as he did then.
Country Whipping Tag Team Match; Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler vs Michael Cole and Jack Swagger
This was another match that had a carryover from ‘Mania 27. Let me be honest here: I didn’t watch this crap. If you’ve read any of my recaps before you’ll know that I skip these kind of farces. I’m sure you can read up on it somewhere else if you want to. And as always, sorry not sorry.
Falls Count Anywhere: Rey Mysterio Jr vs Cody Rhodes
Rhodes cheated to beat Mysterio at ‘Mania, and this was the follow up and blowoff match to this feud. They lived up to the match stipulations and fought all through the building, including a cool spot where Mysterio hit a nice crossbody off of the concession stands in the hallway. They were in stands and finally in the ring for the finish. Rey was clearly not what he used to be but could still fake it enough for those who weren’t watching too close. Good match, lasted eleven minutes but could have gone a few more without dragging.
Loser Leaves WWE Match: Layla vs Michelle McCool
Layla and McCool had been a tandem for a while but after losing at ‘Mania 27 they broke up and started what would be a brief feud that ended here. The match was no DQ but that never really came into play. This was the height of the ‘you ladies get five minutes and you’ll like it’ era for the women’s division, and they got just about that amount of time. That whole era was part sexism, part not having enough women who were good wrestlers to have a real division. Both ladies here were ok but not great workers; to their credit they did have a good, compelling match here that the crowd was into. At the same time when you watch this match in 2017 it looks pretty pedestrian compared to what we get from the women’s division now. Post match we got a run in and beat down from Kharma, who was supposed to be the new monster in the division but was gone after a few months.
World Title Match: Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
This match was to fill the vacated World Title that Edge surrendered after winning it from Del Rio at ‘Mania 27, and while it wasn’t a rematch Christian being Edge’s best friend makes a continuation of sorts to the program between Edge and Del Rio. This was another really good match; neither guy was one to do all kids of flippy stuff off the ladder but they managed to work in some good ladder spots throughout. We got some blood from Christian, some interference from both Del Rio flunky Broadus Clay and Edge to lead up to the finish.
Christian winning the title was a real moment, as you could tell from the look on his face and the crowd reaction after it was over. Del Rio wasn’t finished; he would follow this up a Money in the Bank win later in the year and a successful cash-in after that.
Tag Team Title Match: Kane and Big Show (c) vs Wade Barrett and Ezekiel Jackson
And the burial for the Corre, Barrett’s faction composed of remnants of the Nexus, continued here. Barrett and Jackson lasted four minutes and put up a bit of a fight before the finish, where Barrett tagged himself in to finish off Show and caught a chokeslam for the loss. The Corre was pretty much DOA as it was and this didn’t help matters any. The Nexus remains on the list of biggest blown opportunities in recent memory and this match is a reminder of it. Among the lumberjacks you could see some familiar faces like Titus O’Neil.
WWE Title Match: The Miz (c) vs John Cena vs John Morrison
This was a cage match, and the addition of Morrison made a big difference in match quality from the one on one match Miz and Cena had at ‘Mania 27. Miz being a paint by numbers guy in the ring back then needed the kind of diversion that a third man in the ring could provide, and Morrison’s style eas perfect for adding some excitement in. The match was a good one, and Cena winning the title was something that you may not have liked at the time but was necessary going forward.
Another show that looks a lot better in hindsight. They were at Peak Cena Overload at the time, so how you felt about him then went a long way towards how you may have judged this show when it happened. Definitely worth a viewing if you haven’t seen it yet.