The Cobra Kai Review of WWE’s Best PPV Matches of 2011
I love these releases. Of course, they could have a better match selection, as either LMS [Punk vs Orton, or Cena v Alberto] that they had this year would be a better choice than Henry v Big Show, but since the ring fell down, they obviously have to include it. Not a lot of folk want to shell out the money to buy the PPVs when they hit DVD, so something like this is fantastic. So, let’s see how how they did with their choices this year. World Heavyweight Title – Royal Rumble, January 30th, 2011
Edge vs Dolph Ziggler
One year later, Ziggler would be in the same situation, but for a different title. It’s a real bummer that Edge had to retire all of a sudden, because even though his feud with Kane was a bleak spot, this match shows that he could still go with the best of’em. Giving us a fantastic match, and probably Ziggler’s best to date. There’s nothing flashy, nothing “OMG!” about it, it’s just an excellent match that’s built brick by brick. The stipulation of Edge not being able to use the Spear is great, because even though it’s simple, it always creates an interesting dynamic. Same goes for Shawn’s match against Orton at Survivor Series 2007.
Edge pays homage to his pal Christian, hitting the Killswitch at 20:48
****1/2 Elimination Chamber Match for the World Heavyweight Title – Elimination Chamber, February 20th, 2011
Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs Drew McIntyre vs Big Show
It wouldn’t be a Best Of without a little Chamber. Now, these matches tend to be a roll of the dice. They can either kick some serious ass, or just sludge along. Or, Triple H can win despite not having wrestled for literally an entire minute, whilst wearing bike shorts no less. This one does a fine job for itself. Everyone actually gets into the deal before anyone’s eliminated. I can’t recall if that’s been done before, but it was the first time I’ve seen it.. The real shine of this match is when Edge & Mysterio go at it near the end, they honestly elevate the match by at least a full star with their night cap performance.
Edge hits a mid-air Spear on Mysterio in 31:30
**** WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes
Rey had caused the once dashing Cody Rhodes to basically look like his older brother, via smashing his face with this knee brace, so this is the grudge match. Nothing too stand out, and a damn fine match for it’s placement on the card. I do find it a waste to give someone a victory over a guy like Mysterio when they really aren’t setting the world on fire.
Cody hits the Cross Rhodes in a cool 12 minutes.
***1/4 No Holds Barred Match – WrestleMania XXVII – April 3rd, 2011
I don’t think there’s ever been a match that people were so divided on. Peeps either hate it, or love it. Myself, I’m on the love it side. I saw it live with a group of friends, and I’ve never had so much fun. Sure, when Mark Henry is taking a stab at the streak, it’s not in question, but half way through this one nobody was sure. Half was for Triple H, the other half were for Taker. When Triple H hit the Tombstone, the place exploded, and we all truly thought it was over.
Undertaker puts Triple H in the Gates of Hell at 29:25
***** DISC 2 World Heavyweight Championship – Extreme Rules, May 1st, 2011
Christian vs Alberto Del Rio
Edge was forced to retire because of matches just like this, so Christian earned his spot in this match by winning a battle royal. I was ecstatic to see Christian get his chance, because he’s been busting his ass for over 15 years and has done nothing but deliver quality. As for the match, I have no qualms with saying that this is my favorite ladder match of all time. Both guys go to the absolute limit with each other, and beat every ounce of will, drive, and fortitude out of each other. You get everything, one moment you get an awesome segment where Christian & Alberto break out reversal after reversal on each other until one of them is finally bested, then you get a crazy spot like Alberto diving from the top turnbuckle through a ladder. An absolute war, and a fantastic moment with Edge & Christian celebrating with legitimate emotion.
Christian pulls down the title at 21:01
***** Capital Punishment
Rey Mysterio vs CM Punk
For the life of me, I can’t understand why I hadn’t heard of this match for the entire year of 2011. It’s absolutely fantastic from beginning to end, and what I believe is CM Punk’s true classic from 2011. They wrestled at a non-stop high pace, without one botch. They busted out reversal after reversal, then counter into counter, and had more incredible moments than one could count. This is an absolutely fantastic match that people need to look at again, because it’s flawless.
The GTS at 14:58 puts Mysterio out
***** Money In The Bank for Raw – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs Rey Mysterio vs Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley vs The Miz vs Kofi Kingston vs Evan Bourne vs R- Truth
The match started off great, with every wrestler taking a ladder and doing battle. This one had more spots than the Smackdown bout, and was about 10 minutes shorter. Not one of the best I’ve seen, but it worked. Unmasking Rey as a way to get one over on him is always a cool way to go.
Alberto becomes Mr. Money in the Bank at 15:54
**** WWE Championship Match – Money In The Bank – July 17th, 2011
John Cena vs CM Punk
A great match with one of the Top 3 crowds I’ve ever seen. For my money though, I can’t give it the fully monty, because I think it just ran way too long, with the first half not delivering so much. Afterwards, it really picked up the pace. I think seeing this live influenced people’s ratings, because that would have been awesome. There’s quite a few moments where you’d think for sure it was over. So, I can’t fault anyone for giving it 5 stars, I just don’t see it that way. Their SummerSlam match was the superior, in my opinion.
CM Punk puts Cena to sleep at 33:54
****1/4 DISC 3 No Holds Barred World Heavyweight Title Match – SummerSlam – August 14th, 2011
Christian vs Randy Orton
This feud reminded me a lot of Edge vs The Undertaker, where the chemistry was off the charts as they headlined PPV after PPV. Christian & Orton just couldn’t have a bad match this year, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. It’s an absolute monster, and both guys go until absolute tilt, it’s incredible. I had the match originally docked a quarter because of Orton winning, but that really shouldn’t effect the quality of the match, so I went all the way with this. What a brutal ending.
Orton hits a mid-air RKO onto the steel stairs at 27:43
***** World Heavyweight Title Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
Randy Orton vs Mark Henry
What we have here is basically Mark Henry’s greatest match. The WWE have done a fine job with Mark’s character, actually making him interesting for once in his 15 year career. They made Henry look like a true beast, with Orton throwing everything he had at him and it just wasn’t enough. Mark gets the clean win, making him look even stronger. Also, as a bit of an off note, is anyone else sick of seeing the Orton-Goes-For-The-RKO-Only-To-Get-Pushed-Away thing that happens 10 times in every Orton match? That never happened with The Diamond Cutter, and rarely with The Stunner.
Mark Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam at 13:07
***1/2 No DQ Match – Night of Champions – September 19th, 2011
CM Punk vs Triple H
Man, they talk about great guys in wrestling, and they better start talking about CM Punk soon. Here he is, at the prime of his career, in midst of one of WWE’s hottest angles ever, and he’s selfless enough to give the rub to the youngblood known as Triple H. Hopefully this will help catapult Triple H towards his 37th World Title reign. Also, it was nice to see that the booking for this match was a return shot for Vince Russo, with a sweet minimum of 8 different things happening. It was all gravy until right after Punk dropped the big elbow.
Triple H puts down the spot-light-glory-hog CM Punk in 24:07
***1/2 Divas Championship – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Beth was suppose to be the heel, yet there wasn’t anyone over 10 who wanted to see the over-tanned girl with hair extensions and the body of a 10 year old boy win this one. Again.
Beth wins at 8:31
* WWE Championship Triple Threat Match – Hell in a Cell – October 2nd, 2011
Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk vs John Cena
This was a great example of how Triple Threat’s should be booked. Each guy trying to snag the quick pin, with a ton of different ways to be broken up. Plus, this was the first time in a while that Hell in a Cell that truly felt like a HELL IN A CELL. By that, I mean just a brutal, violent outing. CM Punk getting his back cut to hell, and Cena getting suplexed through the chairs. I really hadn’t felt this interested in a HIAC since Taker/Batista. I loved the idea of Cena being locked out, because it gave Alberto that clever-heel aspect that’s been sorely missing, as he seemed to be taking delight in Cena’s frustration.
Alberto earns his 2nd title at 24:07. Then is beat to hell by Miz & R-Truth.
****1/4 World Heavyweight Title – Vengeance – October 23rd, 2011
Big Show vs Mark Henry
I would have much preferred to see Cena vs Alberto in a Last Man Standing from this PPV, than this match. However, the ring exploded, and thus this just had to be included. It’s not a bad match by any means, and a lot more than I thought these two could do, but they really need to be in a gimmick environment for them to thrive. Also, they really should have had Mark get back up on his own, and beat the hell out of Big Show as he’s being helped. It would have made him seem a hell of a lot tougher, and more viscous. Ah well.
No contest, the ring exploded. 13:00
**1/2 Last Words: Sure, there’s a match or two that could have been left off, and a match or two that should have been included. But for $20, you aren’t going to find more for your dollar, with almost every single match being fantastic. Only 3 out of 14 matches rank below ***1/2, and you don’t find that too often. A great set that’s a must, with a final score of ****3/4 This is Marion Cobretti saying, I want him out of commission. Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Lawrence?
The Cobra Kai Review of WWE’s Best PPV Matches of 2011