Hey everyone. Hope you enjoyed my WWE Stock Watch Report. Now, onto the Capitol Punishment Preview.
The build for Captiol Punishment has been better than Over the Limit, but that's not saying much. They had 3 weeks to build to that PPV, and everything just seemed rushed. I thought the WWE was just trying to get to Over the Limit, then hit the reset button afterwards, which it pretty much looks like they did. Even the 2 Smackdown rematches have a new piece added to their stories. I still think this will be another low PPV buy though. Even though the build has been better than Over the Limit, it's still been not as great. Two of the better WWE PPVs, Money in the Bank and SummerSlam, are the next 2 PPVs and usually have some good intrigue attached to them.
On with the preview!
Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (c) vs Ezekiel Jackson
The IC Title defended on 2 straight PPVs? Does Vince McMahon know about this? If this is the WWE's way of putting emphasis back on the secondary championships, I'm all for it. They need to be re-established. WWE may not think it, but I think it would help bring some viewers back if they made these titles mean more.
The other great thing about this match is that we get to see the awesome bodyslam work of Ezekiel Jackson. I really don't know why WWE is trying to push him. Oh yeah, Vince likes big guys. Duh. I try to justify most big man pushes, but even I can't get behind this one. Why push a guy like Jackson when you have a younger, more skilled albeit a bit smaller, and whiter, version of him in Wade Barrett. As I said in my WWE Stock Watch, it's a shame to see how far Barrett has fallen down the card. On a weak Smackdown roster, you would think he would be used better.
The new wrinkle added to this match is that Barrett doesn't have former Corre members Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater on his side. They told Barrett the other week on Smackdown that the Corre was done. Now Barrett has to deal with Jackson on his own. Jackson has looked dominant recently, getting the better of Barrett and then Corre members Gabriel & Slater on Smackdown. I think the WWE sees the same problems with Jackson as I do, or at least I hope. Barrett picks up the win here, proving that he can do things on his own. It gives him momentum heading into Money in the Bank.
WINNER: Wade Barrett
United States Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs Dolph Ziggler
Again, more emphasis on the secondary titles is ok with me. Unlike the IC Title match, these two should be able to put on an entertaining 10 minute match. The story here is that Ziggler has been scouting Kingston for the past few weeks now, and knows every trick Kofi has up his sleeve. I like the fact that they added that wrinkle into this program. It's almost like they are making it seem important that the wrestling inside the ring matters (Hi TNA), and that more goes into it when there are titles on the line. It also makes the US Title seem important. Dolph cares about it so much that he's putting extra time and work into scouting the current Champion so he can get the Title back. I also like the video packages they did on Dolph & Kofi over the last two weeks. Makes them seem important and a big deal now and down the line in WWE.
I think this match is a toss up. On one hand, Kofi is over as a mid-card face champion and having the belt on him means something to the fans. On the other hand, Dolph has a load of potential and having him win the United State title would elevate him up the card, which is something he could use. With Dolph's in ring work and Vickie's heat drawing, he should be higher than he is. I'm going with Dolph here to win the title.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler
Rey Mysterio vs C.M. Punk
First the positive. These two have put on two good TV matches in the last month. Now is the rubber match, and I think they have been saving their best stuff for this. And they can put on some good ones. I saw them go at it live in Buffalo at Armageddon in 2008 and it was a very fun match. These two know each other and have great chemistry inside the squared circle.
Now the negative. It seems like these two were just thrown together on the card because they had nothing else for them to do. What's the back story? They've fought before? Come on WWE, you are capable of better. Rey Mysterio has had no set program since his move to RAW. He could be still helping out the face side of Smackdown if he was over there. On RAW, Rey almost seems like a novelty act or a special attraction.
Then of course there is the on going matter of C.M. Punk's contract status with the WWE. All signs point to him leaving the company. He's not happy that he isn't treated like a top star. He's their best worker on the mic and one of their best, if not best, in ring worker in the company. But he feels dis-respected, and he's burned out from being on the road so much. I respect his decision to take some time off.
Now the question remains; How does the WWE send Punk out? There's been talk that he may have a program with Cena for Money in the Bank, but that depends on if the WWE wants to send him out that high. I think the more likely scenario is that Punk continues his losing streak on PPV, and Rey picks up a win here.
WINNER: Rey Mysterio
Big Show vs Alberto del Rio
This match worries me. Not because I don't think it will be decent, but because I fear for the booking of it. I don't know how many times I can say it, but ADR needs help and fast if he is going to face John Cena at SummerSlam. WWE needs to realize that. Even if they build him back up in the next couple of months, the match still won't draw as much as it would have 3 months ago, when ADR was hot and appeared to be on the verge of a break out.
The story here? Big Show is pissed that Ricardo Rodriguez, ADR's personal ring announcer, tried to run him over and kill him with his car. Show returned this week, and beat the ever living hell out of Ricardo. With him out of the picture, it's ADR vs Big Show one-on-one. I'd love to see ADR pick up the clean win here with the cross armbar, but I don't think that is happening. WWE sees Big Show as a monster and they probably wouldn't have him lose clean like that to ADR, even though he should. The more likely scenario? Show gets pissed and just starts beating on ADR, not breaking at the referee's 5 count, causing himself to get DQ'd and giving Albero the win.
WINNER: Alberto del Rio via DQ
Alex Riley vs The Miz
One month ago, I would have never thought that this match would the highlight of a PPV undercard. But the WWE may have struck gold here. As I like to joke around, this is the match where the "BROMANCE EXPLODES!" A-Ri and Miz were best buds. But after Miz lost the WWE Championship, he started to take his frustrations out on Riley, putting all of the blame on him. After Miz fired Riley and slapped him in the face, Riley finally snapped. He received a big pop and a "RILEY" chant. I'm sure the WWE wasn't expecting that. I for one was worried that the WWE would ruin in the coming weeks, but to my surprise, they've done very well. He even got a rub from Steve Austin and Roddy Piper this past week on RAW.
The question now is how far is the WWE willing to go with Riley. Do I think he is a future main eventer? Right now, no. But I would have said the same thing about the Miz years ago. With the right tooling and mentoring Riley could be one down the line. Right now I see him as a solid mid-card babyface in the coming months. We also haven't seen Riley wrestle a solid singles match yet in the ring. We don't know what to expect from him in that department.
Then of course there is the Miz. A loss to Riley probably wouldn't do too much harm for him, it'd be more of a rub for Riley than shot down for Miz. Miz main evented Wrestlemania and was the former WWE Champion. I win for Riley would do wonders for him. Miz's mic work would help him get any heat lost back on him. Usually if the WWE wants to do an extended program, they would have the heel pick up the first win and have the face extract revenge. But I think if Riley won here, Miz could say it was a fluke and demand a rematch. I think the WWE is high on A-Ri right now, and he scores the upset win here with a quick schoolboy roll-up.
WINNER: Alex Riley
World Heavyweight Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs Christian
These two have already given us two good matches, and there's no reason they can't do it again. These guys are two veterans that know how to change up a match in the ring. Well, at least Christian. I like to harp on Orton because I think he wrestles almost the same match night in and night out. But these two have good chemistry in the ring and have put on 2 of the best matches in the WWE this year.
Christian's heel turn has been played out well. He finally snapped a couple weeks ago. He knows he can beat Orton, but he's also becoming frustrated with his inability to do so. Christian has attacked him with a belt shot to the head twice now, and now the WWE is playing up a concussion angle between the two. Apparently, Orton does have an actual concussion that he received on a recent international tour. There's talk that if he can't pass a concussion test, this match won't even happen. I think it will though.
I've said numerous times here how I want this program to play out, and it starts with a Christian win here. Even with the win, Orton can be protected. He can say the only reason Christian won is because he was still affected by his concussion. Christian brags about how he finally beat Orton. The rematch at Money in the Bank is a Triple Threat Match involving Sheamus. Then the blow off is at SummerSlam in a TLC Match. If I was making this show, I would have it go on last. It will be the best wrestling match on the show more than likely.
WWE Championship: John Cena (c) vs R-Truth
R-Truth has been the best thing in the WWE the last 2 months. Is he a little over the top sometimes? Yes. But he is playing the psycho conspiracy theory freak part perfectly. I think this match should have been saved for a few months. Let Truth get even more heel heat on him, then finally earn his shot against Cena. But the WWE rushed this program for Capitol Punishment. I would have rather seen Punk wrestle Cena here, then save Truth for MITB, or even SummerSlam. Right now, a Truth/Cena SummerSlam match might draw more than a Del Rio/Cena match.
John Cena has been ok in the last month. Not as corny as usual, but still not that entertaining. The problem is almost everybody knows Cena will hold the Title for an extended period of time, but yet the ratings continue to remain stagnant. The WWE needs to realize that there child audience, which apparently istheir new target audience, will tune in every week no matter what. It's the 18-34 male demographic that they are losing. They don't like seeing Cena constantly at the top. They want change, but the WWE doesn't do it. They fell if Cena is not on top, they'll lose $$$. Guess what: He is on top, and business isn't improving. Cena on top constantly isn't the only reason, but it's a decent part of it.
So how does this one play out? I personally would love a R-Truth win here, even if just for a month. But that's probably not happening. While Truth has been great, I doubt Vince has faith in him to carry the company even for a month. But I think Truth's conspiracy theory angle will continue. There's a ref bump. Truth has the match won but there is no referee. Truth revives him but only gets a 2 count. Cena recovers, hits the Attitude Adjustment, and scores the win. Truth complains for a rematch and continues his psycho conspiracy character. This is also why this match goes on last, because Cena winning is what the WWE likes, to send the kids home happy.
WINNER: John Cena
That's all I have today, and for the rest of the week, Capitol Punishment Review will be up Monday. I'll be watching it live at a Buffalo Wild Wings.
Until next time,