Cena WAS planned to turn heel in 2011

Normally I would post this somewhere in the BoD comments (HUSS!), but I figured it might warrant it's own post. Here's something for everyone who wants Cana to ever turn heel: Chris Hero just dropped on Rosenberg & The Masked Man's 'Cheap Heat' podcast that they actually had a plan to turn him heel after Wrestlemania in 2011, after the 1st Rock match was announced (and probably specifically for that reason). Cena spent $5,000 of his own money on new gear before being told they changed their minds & he said they decided he would "officially never turn heel."

Now whether that still stands after his merch numbers start to fall (if they ever do), who knows. But for all the theorists, there was at least an official plan at some point in the fairly recent past.
​I would be somewhat dubious towards the veracity of that information.  But it's certainly been discussed before, no doubt.  ​


The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2011

The SmarK Rant for WWE Royal Rumble 2011 I’ve had requests for a Royal Rumble Kindle book, but this is the one show I’m missing. So here it is! I wasn’t even watching the product at the time, so this is basically all new to me aside from knowing who the winner was. My exposure was limited to WWE sending me DVDs to review, and otherwise I was exclusively watching Classics on Demand for my fix. I barely even remember who the champions were or what the issues were, so I’m kind of looking forward to going in blind! Live from Boston, MA Your hosts are Michael Cole, Matt Striker and Jerry Lawler. World Heavyweight title: Edge v. Dolph Ziggler The spear is BANNED tonight during one of Vickie Guerrero’s reigns as Smackdown GM. Given the way Edge’s neck turned out, he probably should have heeded that warning. Dolph is noticeably more ripped here than he has been in recent times. Not that I’m accusing anyone of anything. Dolph slugs him down to start, but gets whipped into the corner and kneed for two. Edge with a gutbuster for two. Knee to the gut gets two. To the floor, but Dolph catches him with a cheapshot on the way back in to take over, and gets two. To the chinlock, but Edge fights out, so Dolph gets a sunset flip for two, reversed by Edge into a catapult for two. Ziggler puts him down with a neckbreaker for two. Back to the chinlock, as Dolph channels his inner Randy Orton and grinds on that for a while, but they collide on a bodypress attempt and everyone is out. Dolph recovers first and misses the blind charge, but Edge isn’t allowed to spear him. He hits a flapjack instead and makes the comeback, with a bulldog for two. Ziggler counters the Downward Spiral with something like a Franchiser, and that gets two. Edge counters the fameasser with a powerbomb for two as Striker is already getting on my nerves with his melodramatic clichéd commentary. They fight to the top and Edge fights out of a superplex, but Dolph rolls through a bodypress for two. Ziggler with a dropkick for two as the crowd starts to get on his side. Edge takes him down with his Edgecution submission, but Dolph makes the ropes. Edge charges and clotheslines himself, and Dolph hits the fameasser for two. The crowd is really buying into the near-falls here. Edge puts him down with a big boot and sets him up for a spear, but Ziggler catches him with the sleeper. Edge turns it into the Impaler DDT for two, but Vickie makes the save. Edge rolls Dolph up for two, but Kelly Kelly beats up Vickie to get rid of her, while Dolph hits the Zig Zag for two and freaks out the crowd. Another try at the sleeper, which Striker completely mis-explains. The sleeper doesn’t cut off oxygen, it cuts off blood via the carotid artery. A choke cuts off oxygen. Unless he meant that it cuts of blood to the brain, which carries oxygen, but really he doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. Edge escapes and bumps the referee, and with everyone unconscious he takes the opportunity to use the spear, which has Heel Michael Cole aghast. Edge finishes with an Unprettier as a shout-out to Christian at 20:44 to retain. Turned into a hell of a match to hook the crowd and keep everyone on the edge of their seats, pardon the pun. **** Dolph would soon end up with the belt in the most backhanded way possible. WWE title: The Miz v. Randy Orton Oh yeah, Miz used to be WWE champion. I seriously forgot about that. I will say, at least Miz as champion had confidence and swagger that is totally missing today. Like, a totally different person now. That being said, he was treated like a fluke champion and, dare I say, a B+ player next to the likes of Randy Orton and John Cena. Orton beats him down in various corners of the ring, but Miz’s lapdog Alex Riley gets a cheapshot from the outside and allows Miz to take over. Miz with the corner clothesline for two. We hit the chinlock, and Miz puts him down with a knee for two. Miz boots him down for two. Elbow gets two. We get a horrendously dull heat segment on Orton with Cole openly cheering for the Miz, but Orton fights back with a superplex for two. They slug it out and Orton tries the draping DDT, but gets backdropped to the floor as a result. Back in, Miz with a double axehandle for two. He goes to a chinlock as this thing drags on, due to Miz having no idea how to build to a climax in this kind of environment. Back to the floor, where he catapults Orton into the post, but he recovers at 8 and makes the comeback. So yeah, more clotheslines and the Garvin Stomp (which thank god he’s retired now) for two. A-Ry gets involved yet again and Miz gets a neckbreaker for two. Orton with an Angle Slam for two to escape the Finale. Miz grabs the belt and takes a walk, but Orton cuts him off, only for Miz to get a DDT for two. Orton rolls him up for two and follows with the draping DDT, but now the Nexus comes out and distracts Orton. Randy gets rid of Riley by tossing him onto the Nexus losers, but CM Punk runs in and hits Orton with a GTS and puts Miz on top at 19:53. That was WAY too long for that stupid TV finish. **1/2 Miz was like a lost sheep out there, struggling to stretch the match out to 20 minutes with his 5 minute offense. And they STILL put this guy out there to die in the main event of Wrestlemania! No wonder that show sucked ass. Divas title: Natalya v. LayCool The anonymous RAW GM buzzes in before the match and adds Eve Torres for some reason. Divas title: Natalya v. Layla v. Michelle McCool v. Eve Torres This earth-shattering announcement gets no reaction from the crowd, since Eve had not yet developed a personality. LayCool gets rid of Eve and Natalya fights them off alone, but the heels are left to face each other. It’s like a really shitty Royal Rumble! The babyfaces chase off LayCool, but Natalya gets a bizarre double Sharpshooter on Eve and Layla. I have no idea who that was supposed to hurt. Nattie fights off Laycool , but Eve dumps Natalya and moonsaults Layla for the pin at 5:13 to win the title. ½* Meanwhile, a clean-shaven Daniel Bryan and girlfriend Gail Kim (WTF was that about?) offer comments on the Rumble, but the Bella Twins interrupt with apologies for their previous shenanigans. That ends up very badly for everyone. Royal Rumble: This was the one year they tried 40 men, due to all the Nexus and Corre guys needing spots. CM Punk draws #1, and we suddenly get a giant Nexus v. Corre brawl until the anonymous RAW GM breaks it up with an e-mail. And then the #2 guy is Daniel Bryan. So that’s an awesome way to start. We get some teased eliminations as the crowd is heavily torn between these two internet geeks that no one cares about. Bryan misses a charge and Justin Gabriel is #3. He attacks Punk and quickly tries the 450, but it misses and Bryan dumps him at 2:35. Bryan goes back to beating on Punk as Zack Ryder is #4, long before he meant anything on TV. Broski boot on Punk and the Roughrider, but Bryan dumps him at 3:57. Sign at ringside: “Jobber Exit This Way” Now there’s some quality snark. William Regal is #5 and he wants to beat on everyone. I approve. He suplexes both guys around and knees Punk down, then has an awesome forearm battle with Bryan. And then everyone trades stiff kicks until only Bryan remains. Ted Dibiase is #6 and he’s throwing dropkicks! Bryan tries to get him out, and John Morrison is #7. He runs wild and hits Bryan with a C-4, but Dibiase dumps him…and he lands on the railing and hangs on! He jumps to the stairs (itself an amazing spot) and stays in. Why do they not throw money at this guy and bring him back? Yoshi Tatsu is #8 because, you know, 40 men. Regal gets eliminated at some point during the JoMo parkour show, call it 10:00. Husky Harris is #9 and he’s running interference for Punk, and he’s definitely in better shape these days. Chavo Guerrero is #10 as more filler, and hits the Three Amigos on Dibiase, Punk, Morrison and finally Bryan. Harris lays him out to end that run. Mark Henry is #11 and splits wigs, dumping Chavo at 15:21 and Tatsu at 15:49. JTG is #12 because 40 men. Husky beats on Bryan, who promptly quits and joins the Harris family rather than fight on. No, wait, that’s not right, that would be fucking stupid. Michael McGuillicutty is #13, and he’s also Team Punk for those like myself who can’t keep track without a scorecard. He dropkicks JTG out at 18:10, and there’s a real accomplishment for your resume. The Nexus geeks backdrop Dibiase out at 19:08, and Chris Masters is #14. There’s another guy they need to get back again. Masterlock on Punk looks to put him out, but Perfect Jr. makes the save. David Otunga is #15, and Bryan gets dumped at 21:16, followed by Masters at 21:23, Morrison at 21:40, and Mark Henry at 22:05 to finish clearing the ring. Tyler Reks is #16 and he’s pretty much fucked given it’s the Nexus all alone in there. And they swarm Reks and toss him at 23:07. Vlad Koslov is #17 and he gives it a go, but as a comedy guy he gets nowhere and the Nexus destroys him at 24:35. R-Truth is #18 but he’s not high level enough and also gets mauled and thrown out with suitable snark by Punk at 26:30. I think we can all see the payoff for this gag coming. Great Khali is #19 and he manages to fight them off and toss Harris at 27:48. Mason Ryan replaces him as the Nexus guy at #20, however, and dumps Khali at 28:40 to leave it all Nexus, all the time. John Cena has to be coming soon here to clear the heels out, especially with all the dead space of the Nexus waiting for their next victims. Booker T makes is surprise return at #21, however, and the crowd goes insane. Striker is marking out, bro. SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY. Booker manages to hold his own and gives us a Spinarooni, at which point Punk blindsides him and Ryan tosses him at 31:15. Punk is feeling confident about his chances at this point, and HERE’S John Cena to pay this off. OK, finally. Great Khali was one too many. And yes, Cena kicks the shit out of them and rids us of Otunga, Ryan and McGillicutty at 33:00 at one time. Punk is alone and tries a GTS, but Cena clotheslines him down and both guys are out. Hornswoggle is #23, pulling double duty after two anonymous GM e-mails, and I’m not liking his chances here. An irritated Punk kicks him down and goes after Cena, but gets FU’d to the floor at 35:40 to end his night. Cena makes peace with the midget and Tyson Kidd is #24. Hornswoggle takes him down with a flying headscissors in a physics-defying move, and then hits his own FU to allow Cena to finish him off at 37:23. Geez, poor Kidd. Heath Slater is #25 and he too is no match for MIDGET MADNESS, as he takes a 10 Knuckle Shuffle and frog splash before going goodbye at 39:08. Kofi Kingston is #26 to hopefully end the alleged comedy, and they’re STARING AT THE SIGN to really hammer home how serious this is. So Kofi controls with a dropkick and hammers away in the corner, but Jack Swagger is #27. He takes out both babyfaces, but stops to yell at Hornswoggle and gets Boomdropped as a result. This midget stuff is really killing the flow of the match. King Sheamus is #28 in his heel bully phase, and he beats up Hornswoggle to prove that. And thankfully boots him out at 44:11. Rey Mysterio is #29 as thankfully things can get serious again, and he runs wild on everyone until Sheamus cuts him off. Swagger gets eliminated via 619 at 45:59, and I’ve got some good news: Wade Barrett is #30. The bad news: There’s still 10 more guys to come. So he runs wild and hits Cena with the bossman slam, but Kofi throws kicks in the corner as Dolph Ziggler is #31 and everyone gangs up on Cena with no success. Diesel is #32 for the mega-pop of the night, with freshly dyed hair. I know it can’t happen for a variety of reasons, but can you imagine the reaction Scott Hall would get coming out for a Rumble spot as Razor Ramon one last time? Nash beats on a variety of guys, but Drew McIntyre is #33 as the crowd is unabashedly cheering for Diesel. DO YOU SEE WHAT THIS CROWD DID?! If you want to point fingers for the way the Summer of Punk went, look no further than this crowd. THANKS A LOT, JERKS. Alex Riley is #34 as Barrett boots Diesel out at 52:44, and everyone starts ignoring the match while Cole sucks up to the Miz at the commentary desk. Big Show is #35 and we get a Show-Diesel staredown that thankfully went nowhere. Show chokeslams some people and tosses Ziggler at 55:09, and then Drew at 55:28. Big Zeke is #36 and he immediately throws Big Show out a 56:00. He’s still under contract, by the way. Just sitting at home doing nothing. Speaking of sitting at home doing nothing, Santino is #37 and foolishly goes after Jackson, resulting in him getting knocked out of the ring under the bottom rope. Alberto Del Rio is #38 and Riley gets eliminated off-screen. Del Rio’s entrance is so long that Randy Orton is #39 before he even makes it to the ring, and Orton lays out Del Rio on the floor. In the ring, RKO for Del Rio, RKO for Sheamus, RKO for Kofi and out at 61:00, Sheamus out at 61:06. And then Cena and Orton have the biggest Wrestlemania Moment Epic Fail in history, as they point to the sign and the crowd shits all over it. Awesome. And Kane is #40 to close out the bloated field. Kane takes out Orton and dumps Jackson at 62:53, but Rey catches him in a headscissors and dumps him at 63:51, only to get tossed out by Barrett at 64:00. The final four: Cena, Barrett, Orton and Del Rio. Barrett gets Cena to the apron but can’t close the deal, and again we get the stupid Cena v. Orton tease. Barrett breaks it up with a suplex on Orton, and Cena hits Del Rio with an FU. This brings Miz into the ring to dump Cena at 66:54, setting up their epic Wrestlemania fail. So Orton is alone against Barrett and Del Rio, and he manages to hold his own. He bumps Wade at 68:56, but Del Rio dumps him right back at 69:00 to win the thing. However, TWIST ENDING, as Santino is still alive under the ring, and he loads up the Cobra, but also can’t close and gets eliminated for real at 70:17 to give Del Rio the win and MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA. By which I mean the opening match where he did the job while the crowd was still coming in. This had its moments, but the whole Nexus segment was way too long, and the Cena-midget comedy segment that followed was also too long, basically filling up the extra time with unneeded bloat where a 30 man Rumble would have served the purpose much better. Still, it’s a Rumble, it’s generally pretty good even with the flaws of this year. ***1/4 The Pulse Four matches, two were pretty good, two not at all, but that’s a good enough ratio for a recommendation. I literally couldn’t have told you any of the matches aside from the Rumble, though, which shows how forgettable this whole period was. And everyone forgot to buy Wrestlemania as a result. Thumbs mildly up.

FULL-LENGTH PPV MATCH – SummerSlam 2011 – John Cena vs. CM Punk – Undisp…

WWE’s official YouTube account states that both Cena and Punk walked into SummerSlam as WWE Champion. That’s almost as good as if it were stated on the WWE App (a new way to watch television!).


Nothing will ever be as good as being on the WWE App.  NOTHING.  

Two years later and I still don’t even get what the purpose of the finish was supposed to be.  HHH screws over Cena for some reason and ends up in a feud with Punk over Nash texting himself?  

Match was ****1/2, by the way, for those who have asked since I’ve never ranted on the show before.  

The Only Review Of SummerSlam 2011 That You’ll Ever Need

This request review is now brought to you with 98% less typos! Well, let’s not get crazy. 96% less.

SummerSlam 2011
Arena: Staples Center – LA, California
Attendance: 17,404
Buyrate: The event brought in 296,000 buys, which is actually 54,000 buys down from the year before.

Rey Mysterio, John Morrison & Kofi Kingston vs The Miz, R-Truth, & Alberto Del Rio
It’s a real shame that Kofi seems so complacent with his place in WWE, because he’s a real talent, and deserves to be much higher on the card. His role in this bout is no exception. The match itself I didn’t have too much faith in, however it started off great and never let up. An absolutely perfect opener, that was fast paced & action packed, with everyone hitting on point.
Mysterio hits R-Truth with the Frogsplash for the pin at 9:37 |  ***1/2

Nice moment backstage where CM Punk refuses to shake Steph’s hand because Punk knows where it’s been.

Mark Henry vs Sheamus
I never saw much of Henry’s rise before he won the strap, but the pre-match video package, coupled with the bout, shows they sure did one hell of great job of making him look dominating. Quickly snagging the upper-hand, Mark never really loses it, as he preforms one of my favorite moves from a big guy, thee ol’ “step on the guy’s chest and walk over him”. Later they do a great spot that all dominating monsters should do, or some variation, as Mark Henry picks up Sheamus and sends him crashing through the barrier. Normally I hate count-outs on PPVs, but this worked perfectly. Another great match.
Mark Henry wins by count-out at 9:28 | ***1/2

Backstage, Christian refers to Randy Orton as Cowboys & Aliens, a flop, while Christian is Harry Potter. Whether it’s Harry Potter from Troll, or Harry Potter from the film series is yet to be seen.

Cee-Lo preforms, and thankfully I get to skip it. Man, WHY do they put this crap on PPV? Do they
really think people want to see this? Do they imagine there’s someone out there high-fiving a friend because Cee-Lo is out in his Moo-Moo from the Liberace House of Crap?.

Kelly Kelly [C] vs Beth Phoenix – Divas Championship
This is during the time when Beth is wearing that ugly blue outfit. It’s a Divas match with Kelly Kelly. Cut & paste, really.
Kelly Kelly pins Beth with the roll-up, obviously at 6:33 | *

R-Truth & Jimmy Hart share wackiness in the back.

Wade Barrett vs Daniel Bryan
Bryan hits a Dragon Screw
Leg Whip, and some where in Texas, Dusty Rhodes is trying it out on his
wife. It’s flashy and all, but I really wish Bryan would stop doing that
back flip. There’s going to come a time when it doesn’t end well.  Soon
he’s building up momentum, but Wade simply halts that whole mess with a
massive black-hole slam esq
move. That’s how you make a man look dominating. Later, Wade has Bryan
sitting on the middle rope, with his chin resting on the top one. He
then grabs his head and smashes it with knees until he hits the ropes
and brings a boot to Bryan’s face, knocking him down to the floor head
first. A brutal spot that Wade really needs to make a regular. Daniel
later comes back with a vicious response as he flies off the apron to
the outside, crashing his knee into Wade’s face. This match has been
extremely hard-hitting, and continuing the streak of great matches. I
was originally pissed that Wade won, but Bryan’s doing OK, so my
senseless bitterness is forgotten. I’m sure Wade will be pleased to read
that.
Wade hits Bryan with the Wasteland to score the pin at 11:47 |  ***1/2

Christian [C] vs Randy Orton – No Holds Barred for the World Heavyweight Title
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 in 2011, and it reached it’s zenith at SummerSlam. An absolute monster, as 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 | *****

CM Punk [C] vs John Cena [C] – WWE Championship w/ special guest ref HHH
The chemistry between these two is one of the all time greatest. They absolutely can’t have a bad match between one another. Fantastic sequence mid match as both Punk & Cena try to hit one another with their combo moves, but keep getting shut down by the other person just as the momentum gets going. It then switches into a back and forth between submissions, where you feel the match could end at any moment.
Later they trade attempts at the GTS and AA, with Cena winning the exchange. The air is thick with finality, only for Punk to kick out, soon besting Cena with a GTS of his own, as Cena answers back with a kick out of his own. The crowd has hardly, if ever, sat down for the entire bout. One hell of an incredible match that I personally feel trumps their MiTB bout, due to a shorter match time and better pacing.
CM Punk hits John Cena with the GTS, scoring the pin at 24:28 | ****3/4

Of course, as we all know the Summer of Punk soon became of the Fall of Triple H & Bestie Kevin Nash. Who apparently sits back stage and texts himself.

Showcase Showdown: Honestly, I never had much faith that 2002’s SummerSlam would ever be dethroned, but it clearly just happened. The entire under card never went below ***1/2 [who counts Diva matches? I don’t], as the two main-events went on to deliver dual classics. One of the greatest PPVs I’ve ever seen, easily earning the highest of recommendations. Incredible.

Hope you guys dug it. If you have any requests or mailbag questions, just ask in the comments, or send me an email.
[email protected]

Str8 Gangster, No Chaser – The very website that caused the MPAA to come up with a rating between PG & R. So safe to say, my website is rated BONER. Wrestling reviews, horror, Top 5’s, Man Movie Encyclopedia entries,  as well as articles from the Saved By The Bell Archives.
WCW In 2000 – We’re 4 months in, and we’ve just learned you never trust a man from Hollywood. Speaking of which, you can also read a review of Ready To Rumble. A movie I PAID to see in theaters.
The Man Movie Encyclopedia – Vol. 1 – My book. Constant 5 star ratings, with endorsements from Scott Keith & Maddox.

– Caliber Winfield

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2011

The SmarK Rant for WWE Money In The Bank 2011 Live from Chicago, IL Your hosts are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Booker T. This showcase of taking a stand against corporate yes-men and selling out is brought to you by SKITTLES. Smackdown Money In The Bank: Sin Cara v. Wade Barrett v. Justin Gabriel v. Heath Slater v. Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus v. Cody Rhodes v. Kane That’s some impressive star power. Interesting that just a year ago, Sheamus had not yet begun his path of rage towards the World title and he was basically just a guy. Plus Daniel Bryan was a quiet, nerdy babyface. Sheamus and Barrett team up on Kane and get nowhere with that. We get a series of guys trying to get a ladder into the ring, ending with Gabriel making the first climb. Bryan dropkicks him off and Cody climbs, but Sheamus brings him down. Barrett pounds on Kane in the corner, but gets sent into a ladder, and Kane chucks it at people outside as well. The dives start flying as everyone does theirs. Back in, Sin Cara fights off Slater and Gabriel and hits Bryan with a Spanish Fly, but goes for a ladder and eats a boot from Wade Barrett. Back in, he also eats a Brogue Kick. Sheamus follows with a powerbomb off the apron and through the ladder, and that one puts Sin Cara on the shelf for a good few months. Who could have predicted that powerbombing someone onto a ladder would result in a serious injury? Kane and Sheamus slug it out in the ring while Cara gets loaded on a stretcher, but Cody and Bryan double-team Kane until he puts them down with a ladder. Everyone teams up on Kane for a beatdown, then on Barrett, but Bryan tries to climb in the chaos. The former Nexus/Corre guys organize themselves and Wade climbs for the case, but Slater & Gabriel turn on him as well and then race to the top themselves. Cody puts them down himself and fights with Barrett, winning that battle as well. Next up, Sheamus and Bryan, as Cole notes they’re both former US champions. I don’t remember Sheamus having that belt at all, but then I wasn’t really paying attention at that point anyway. Sheamus and Kane team up with a Doomsday Device on Bryan to get rid of him, and Kane chokeslams everything that moves. Bryan sneaks up the ladder again, but Kane brings him down while Bryan tries a triangle choke from the ladder. Bryan and Slater race for it and both go down, and now Barrett and Sheamus team up to bully people. Sheamus gets his turn by laying everyone out with Brogue Kicks and setting up a complex ladder contraption. It’s so weird watching Sheamus play heel, considering how naturally he fell into the smiling babyface role shortly after this. Sheamus takes out Gabriel and climbs, but Kane stops him and chokeslams him onto another ladder. That’s a sick spot, because there’s no give or protection on that. Everyone hits their finishers on Kane to slow him down, and then Barrett get his turn to hit everyone with his finisher. Cody gets rid of him and Bryan tries to sneak up the ladder yet again, and we get a three-way battle on top. Bryan hooks Cody with a guillotine choke on top to put him down, then elbows Barrett off the ladder, and grabs the briefcase at 24:21 to send the smarky crowd into a nerdgasm. No one saw that one coming. And no one saw the transformation that came over the next year coming, either. It was more than 30 minutes with entrances, and completely flew by, not feeling the least bit long. I really liked all the mini-stories with guys getting their solo time and Bryan’s constant sneaking up behind everyone on the ladder. Great opener, especially with the wide open field that made it impossible to guess who would win. ****1/4 Divas Title: Kelly Kelly v. Brie Bella Kelly takes out both twins to start, but does her (illegal) handstand choke on the apron and gets tossed to the floor. Back in, Brie takes over with a bodyscissors and gets two. She goes to a silly looking abdominal stretch on the mat, but Kelly escapes and she’s suddenly fired up. Like, literally one second she was laying on the mat looking bored and then the next she was MAD AS HELL and making her comeback. Kelly is not a good wrestler. Kelly with a neckbreaker for two. Bella does something to Kelly’s leg and gets two, but Kelly finishes with a fameasser at 4:49 to retain. And then they did this match 8 million more times over the course of the year. ½* Mark Henry v. Big Show Again, funny to think that Henry was seemingly just getting another monster push at this point, with people having little hope for it actually leading to anything. But this was basically where he caught fire, strangely enough. Show puts him down with a shoulderblock and Henry bails, so Show follows him out and clobbers him with a clothesline. Henry actually does a dropkick into the stairs, which hits Show’s knee, and Henry takes over in the ring. He boots Show down for two and goes to work on the knee with a half-crab, but Show makes the ropes. And in fact he goes up to the middle rope and hits a flying shoulderblock, but Henry escapes the chokeslam and hits the World’s Strongest Slam for two. Booker advises doing it again. That’s some insightful commentary there. And so Henry DOES IT and then splashes him into jello at 5:54. Wait, wait, wait…you mean that if you book this big monster to BEAT PEOPLE, in convincing fashion, he might actually get over? What strange hoodoo is this? Totally watchable big man match. **1/2 Henry Pillmanizes the ankle afterwards, because he’s AWESOME. Meanwhile, Vince McMahon admits that he didn’t actually re-sign CM Punk yet. Big Johnny silently waits in the background. RAW Money In The Bank match: Alberto Del Rio v. Kofi Kingston v. Jack Swagger v. Evan Bourne v. R-Truth v. Rey Mysterio v. Alex Riley v. The Miz Everyone grabs a ladder to defend themselves with, giving a funny payoff gag of R-Truth with a stepladder due to his fear of heights. Del Rio gets buried in ladders, and the future Awesome Truth has a stepladder duel in another cute spot. The future Air Boom teams up with a ladder for some damage, and the guys fight over a ladder that won’t even reach the briefcase! Finally Swagger smartens up and gets rid of the smaller one, and it’s dive time! Evan tops things off with a shooting star press off the big ladder on the floor for the final big trainwreck spot. Finally the big ladder gets into the ring and Bourne climbs first, but Miz cuts him off and they both go down via ADR. Miz blows out his knee on the landing and disappears. That didn’t look pleasant. Bourne and Rey climb over the bigger guys to race for the ladder, but Swagger gets rid of everyone. Riley tries to sneak up, but Truth puts them down and works on Rey in the corner with some silly ladder spots. This sets up Kofi coming off the horizontal ladder with a boomdrop, but Rey gets a 619 with the open ladder in a unique twist. They’re running about 50% with the spots in this one. We get a three-way battle on the ladder, as multiple ladders get set up and everyone is climbing their own. They all bat the briefcase around in a another cool visual, and then they start taking crazy bumps to the earth again. Kofi looks to be the lucky winner, but Swagger reappears and they both go down. This brings Miz out for his big return, with a big babyface reaction from the Chicagoans, but Rey cockblocks them and turns himself heel. Man, why do smark-heavy crowds hate Rey so much? He’s an awesome worker, what’s not to love? Rey tries for the case, but Del Rio follows and throws him onto another ladder after unmasking him. Rey of course loses his mojo and can’t recover, and Alberto easily claims the case at 15:49. This was a pretty obvious choice, because we were getting all the Del Rio we could handle whether we wanted it or not. This one felt a little flat compared to the Smackdown one because the winner wasn’t in doubt and a lot of the spots were pretty suspect, but it was still a pretty great match. ***3/4 Smackdown World title: Randy Orton v. Christian This was set up by Orton winning the belt from Christian, and then beating him over and over and over and over and over, but Christian gets ONE MORE MATCH because they need to stretch things out for a few more months. And the DQ rule is waived here. Christian tempts him with a chair to start, but Orton slugs him down and drops a knee. Christian fires back and tosses him, but misses a dive and gets sent into the stairs as a result. Back in, Christian escapes the draping DDT and hits an elbow off the middle for two to take over. They slug it out and Christian chokes away on the ropes and gets a Bossman punch from the floor for two. Orton comes back with a rollup for two, but Christian gets a spinebuster for two. Orton blocks the Killswitch and they tumble to the floor, but Christian recovers first and blocks a blind charge. Orton blocks a dropkick with a rollup for two, and hits his own dropkick for two. They fight on top and Christian puts him down for a flying headbutt, which gets two. Orton makes the comeback and they do a weird sequence where Orton whiffs on the RKO, and they try it again so that Christian can reverse to the Killswitch for two. Christian’s spear misses and Orton hits a body vice into a neckbreaker for two as the crowd starts to turn on him and get really into the near-falls. Orton gets the powerslam and draping DDT for two…but Christian backs off and spits on him. Orton gets pissed and pounds away, then punts Christian in the nuts for the DQ at 12:06, giving Christian the World title. This whole deal made Christian look like a punk and did nothing for him, because they wanted to keep stretching this “feud” over another PPV, but didn’t want to actually BEAT Orton, so you got this. Really, they’d have been better off just keeping the damn belt on Orton to make the eventual loss to Mark Henry mean something. Orton gives Christian an RKO on the table afterwards to get his heat back, and then on the way back to the dressing room Vince was screaming “SEND HIM BACK OUT THERE AND BREAK THE FUCKING TABLE!” into the ref’s earpieces, so Orton goes back and tries it again, and that table doggedly refuses to break. It was future endeavored the next day and recently showed up on Impact after the no-compete expired. ***1/2 WWE title: John Cena v. CM Punk Time to crank the volume, baby! The crowd atmosphere for this is unlike anything seen for years before or indeed since then. The intrigue was so off the charts here that it literally crashed my blog and many other wrestling websites, although as it turned out, it didn’t really translate into a record buyrate for the show. I was losing my mind while watching this live because literally anything could happen with the angle and it was the one time where someone was going to become a new star no matter what. And to his credit, Cena stoically ignores the boos, and doesn’t try to act like the goofy babyface. They work off a headlock to start and Cena dodges a high kick while the crowd chants “You can’t wrestle”. Punk stops to clarify who they’re talking about, and luckily it’s Cena. They trade armbars and Cena goes back to the headlock, but Punk comes back with a hiptoss before going to his own. They criss-cross and trade finisher attempts, and both guys back off, as the ultra-confident Cena is playing it a bit shaken here. Punk stomps him in the corner, but Cena fires back with a bulldog for two and goes to a facelock, again visibly showing nerves. Fake ones, not real ones. Clothesline gets two. Cena goes back to the headlock, but Punk escapes with the suplex for two. Cena slugs away in the corner and gets the fisherman’s suplex for two, but Punk reverses the FU into a DDT for two. Punk with a headscissors on the mat as the tension starts ramping up, and Punk dumps him and stops for a high five from former jobber Scotty Goldman. Kneedrop on the apron gets two. Punk misses a charge and Cena makes his first try for the STF, but Punk fights him off and gets a clothesline for two. Punk botches a bodypress and gets two as the female portion of the crowd starts chanting for Cena, and Cena bails to the apron and then suplexes Punk to the floor from there. Back in, that gets two. Cena starts to get more confident, dropping an elbow for two, and he uses a Dreamer Driver for two. Booker notes that Cena is winning the crowd over “like Rocky in Russia”, which is a pretty obscure reference these days. Like, how many of the Twitter crowd would have even SEEN the Rocky movies? Cena goes to an abdominal stretch, but Punk escapes and we get the double clothesline and you know shit is going to go down now. Cena makes the official comeback, but Punk rolls him up off the powerbomb for two. The running knee misses and Cena completes his FIVE MOVES OF DOOM leadup, but Punk kicks him in the face to show that indeed he can see him. Cena bails and Punk hits him with a suicide dive. Back in, Punk misses a crossbody and Cena is really determined to hit that five knuckle shuffle. Punk escapes the FU (not quite sticking the landing, which is something people harp on for some reason) and puts Cena down with a series of kicks for two. Cena counters out of the GTS with a gutwrench for two. Punk escapes the FU and hits a pair of knees into the bulldog, but he goes up for the flying clothesline instead of covering and only gets two. Punk throws kicks, but Cena takes him down into the STF and now the crowd is getting worried. Punk makes the ropes for a giant sigh of relief from 14,000 people. Punk clobbers him with a high kick for two, and goes up for the crossbody again, but Cena catches him and tries the FU, which Punk reverses to the GTS, which Cena reverses into the STF. Punk can’t make the ropes and I was freaking out at this point. Punk, however, fights out and into the Anaconda Vice and the crowd is losing it. Cena powers out and into the FU , for two. Punk reverses another FU attempt and tries the GTS, but Cena makes the ropes and puts him down. Cena to the top with the flying legdrop, for two. Nice touch as Cena stops to psych himself up and regroup, showing vulnerability you never see otherwise. Another FU gets two. They fight on the top as Cena wants an FU, but Punk reverses to a rana and follows with the running knee into the GTS. Cena was too close to the ropes, however, and falls out of the ring, and that seems to be the “out” for them to book a screwjob finish. However, Punk puts him back in as Vince and BIG JOHNNY head down to watch, and Punk walks into an STF as a result. Vince wants the bell rung, but Cena breaks the hold because he doesn’t want to win that way. Back in, GTS, and Punk is the champion at 32:53. The crowd loses their fucking minds as the Summer of Punk begins. ADR tries to cash in at Vince’s behest (which is what everyone thought would happen), but Punk fights him off and leaves with the title. I still love this match because it was a BIG FIGHT with actual stakes, and much like the Aries-Roode match it was a match where both guys went in with momentum and neither guy could conceivably lose. Cena acted like an actual human being for once and Punk showed fire that he lost sometime around Royal Rumble of this year and never really got back again yet. Any match where I’m compelled to crank the volume on the TV because I’m still so pumped to watch it can’t be anything but *****. The Pulse I don’t know if this is a contender for “greatest of all-time” status because the Punk stuff ended up being such a crashing failure afterwards, plus really the Del Rio win was of little consequence in the grand scheme of things and the MITB matches themselves were pretty forgettable, but this is easily, EASILY, the best PPV of 2011 and absolutely one of the best of the entire decade. And hey, it kickstarted the pushes of Mark Henry and Daniel Bryan, plus elevated Punk to the main event for good, so it’s got some major cred on the historical side of things. Plus there’s a shitload of awesome matches and nothing bad. Highest recommendation.

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  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?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  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?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  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?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  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?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  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?

Cobra Kai Review: Best PPV Matches of 2011

  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?