Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth… NXT Champion: Seth Rollins… Diva’s Champion: Layla
Bret Hart opens the show! First time in a WWE ring in MONTREAL since the infamous screw job back at Survivor Series 1997; he soaks in the cheers for a good minute or two. Fifteen years. He says the last time he was there; it was one of the darkest days in his career, but one of the proudest. He won’t forget the fans’ support of him. He says God bless the people of Montreal. CM Punk interrupts. He’s wearing BRET HART-esque, pink and black, ring gear, complete with similar design piping on the side. Punk talks about Bret’s book, which ruled; he ponders what if Punk had wrestled Bret at Series ’97. Bret says he would have pretzeled him in a Sharpshooter within a minute. Punk rewrites history, saying Vince McMahon would never had screwed him, the Attitude Era would never had happened, because Punk would have escaped to WCW and WWE would have been dead. Bret reiterates he’s the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Punk gets a shot in on Jerry Lawler; Hart shows what Punk did last week including Paul Heyman. Punk makes a classic heel story up about forgetting stuff in the arena and then attacked him. Punk talks about John Cena as Bret’s white night; Bret mentions “respect” which angers Punk. He mentions that he demands respect from everyone as the WWE champion. Punk calls Cena overrated and Bret overrated as well. Punk says he’ll Punt Cena to sleep. Bret says just like he is putting the Canadians to sleep right now. Punk gets serious and says he is going to make Cena a beaten empty shell of a man… just like Bret. Fans chant “asshole” as he makes his exit.
6.5/10 Punk is great and it’s always good to see Bret in a WWE ring.
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (w/Little Jimmy) vs. The Miz & Antonio Cesaro (w/Aksana): All sorts of champions in this match. Pre-match, Cesaro says “prestige” in five languages. Miz and Kofi start; he wraps him up in a headlock and Miz tries a hiptoss but Kingston monkey flips him. Truth gets a tag and they hit a double Russian leg sweep followed by a Hardy-like elbow/knee drop combo. Cesaro runs in and gets dispatched with a double hiptoss. The heels retreat to the floor so Kingston somersault planchas off Truth’s back as we head to break. We return with Truth in a Cesaro chinlock; during the break Miz pushed Truth off the apron into the announce table. Cesaro sets Truth up for the Miz to hit a Bossman straddle. Miz pounds in the corner and hits the Vintage Clothesline. He comes off the top with a double axe for two; Miz applies a chinlock. He hits the ropes but charges into a leg lariat. Kingston gets the hot tag and springs are loaded and he bounds into the ring with a clothesline. He hits a dropkick and a leaping clothesline; the Boom Drop follows. Miz tries to attack from the apron but eats a dropkick. Cesaro takes over and punches him in the gut; Kingston fires back with a pendulum kick and crossbody. Miz breaks up the pinfall but Truth makes him pay with the Lie Detector. Cesaro hiptosses Truth to the floor and then rolls up Kofi (with tights) for two; Cesaro complains and Kingston surprises him with Trouble in Paradise for three. 6/10 Good tag match; the tag champions win the match which makes sense since they are the best tag team and should win tag matches.
Here are your winners… Kofi Kingston & R-Truth @ about 9:15 (broadcast) via Trouble in Paradise pinfall.
We get highlights of Booker T banning the Brogue Kick from SmackDown from pressure from David Otunga. Earlier today, they had a deposition with Otunga, Ricardo Rodriguez and Sheamus. Sheamus is being deposed by Otunga. Otunga brings up referee Chad Patton and Daniel Bryan as former victims of the Brogue Kick. Otunga continues calling the Brogue Kick a lethal weapon. Sheamus gets mad and Brogue Kicks the camera. 2/10 Did that serve any purpose?
Layla, Eve Torres & Kaitlyn vs. Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox & Natalya: This is an odd tag team match; when did Eve turn babyface and Fox turn heel? Kaitlyn and Phoenix start and Beth beats her in the corner. Kaitlyn fires back and hits an awful leaping clothesline. Natalya tags and gets a nearfall. Beth distracts the referee allowing Alicia to kick Kaitlyn from behind and get the advantage for her team. Fox tags in and hits a Northern Light suplex for two. Layla gets a tag and nails all the heels. She hits the bouncing crossbody for two. Eve blind tags in and hits that neckbreaker move of hers to get three. 1.5/10 The only entertaining part of this match was Eve’s disingenuous celebrating with her partners.
Here are your winners… Eve Torres, Layla & Kaitlyn @ about 2:50 via neckbreaker pinfall.
AJ Lee watches on a monitor when she’s approached by CM Punk. Punk’s not happy that he has a match and John Cena does not. He taunts her about scorning her marriage proposal and her tantrum last week. AJ feels that since he walked out on the people last week; they should pick his opponent this week. Brodus Clay (one of the options for the WWE Universe to vote on) stops by to say “what’s up”.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk RawActive match: Fans voted overwhelmingly for Orton to face Punk and his awesome Bret Hart ring gear. Michael Cole finally notices it. This is a WrestleMania rematch. They lock up and Punk hits a shoulderblock. Orton fires back with a hiptoss as the commentators mention Punk’s title reign eclipsing “Superstar” Billy Graham for number nine on the list of lengthy WWE title reigns. Punk stalls a little. They lock up and the fans begin chanting for Punk. He fires back in the corner with kicks and punches; Punk mimics Bret with a backbreaker. He hits some short knees and back-leg takes Orton down. Orton fires back and hits a head-butt; he almost gets an RKO but Punk slips to the floor. Punk tries to take a walk but Randy catches up with him and tosses him back down the aisle. Cole mentions Punk’s allegiance with Paul Heyman referencing Punk’s “Summer of Punk” promo last year and adds that Heyman brought Punk to the WWE back in 2008. He manages to dropkick Orton off the apron. We return from break with Orton at Punk’s mercy in an abdominal stretch; Orton hiplocks his way free but then misses a floating knee. Punk hits a Bret Hart driving elbow off the second rope. He slams Orton and drops a Bret-like leg for two. Now he heads up top for the Macho Man Elbow but Orton recovers and crotches him. Orton then gets his legend tribute (to his daddy) move, with the Cowboy Superplex. They exchange blows from their knees; they brawl to their feet with Randy getting the better of it. He begins the voices in his head comeback with clotheslines and a backdrop. Punk rolls to the apron which allows Orton a Viper DDT attempt but it is counters with a roundhouse kick. Punk hits a springboard clothesline. No RKO like at WrestleMania and it gets two. Orton counters the GTS and Punk then counters the RKO; Randy hits the stretch backbreaker for two. Now Orton plugs him with the Viper DDT. Orton Vipers up but Dolph Ziggler interferes and draws a DQ. Post-match, Orton powerslams both Ziggler and Punk; Randy looks for the RKO on Punk but the heels collect themselves and overwhelm him. Jerry Lawler leaves the announce position to help out Orton. They clear the ring abut take the battle to the floor as we head to commercial… 6.5/10 Good match; I liked all of the Bret Hart tributes by Punk in this match. He did the same thing for Randy Savage a year or so ago. I also like how this match morphed into the subsequent one.
Here is your winner… Randy Orton @ about 8:15 (broadcast) via DQ.
Randy Orton & Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. CM Punk & Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero): This is JIP with Ziggler pounding Orton in the corner; apparently, during the break, AJ Lee made this match. Ziggler hits a neckbreaker for two. Dolph takes forever capitalizing so Orton fires back with the stomp. He flattens him with a Euro uppercut. Randy hits a slingshot suplex for two. Lawler tags in to a nice ovation; the King hits a dropkick (right in Ziggler’s face). Jerry hits a pair of second-rope fist drops. If this were in Memphis, Ziggler would have to be stretchered out. Ziggler comes back with a dropkick as Punk uninterestingly twiddles with the tag rope. Dolph hits the Showoff Elbow for two and lassos him in a chinlock. Lawler fights back but gets floored with a punch from Dolph; King tries a tag but Dolph mocks him. Dolph takes forever and hits the most demonstrative Showoff Elbow in history. Dolph applies yet another chinlock. Lawler CREATES SEPARATION with a back suplex. Lawler tags, Ziggler does not and Randy hits a series of clotheslines; he hits the third or fourth scoop-powerslam. Dolph counters a Viper DDT with a backdrop to the floor. Paul Heyman meanders to the ring and has a powder with Punk. Vickie screeches at them since they seem to care less about the occurring tag match. Heyman gives Punk the WWE title and they have a conversation on the floor. The camera stays with them as we see Ziggler, in the background, miss a Namedropper and Orton nearly gets an RKO; Dolph counters with a schoolboy for two. Orton hits the RKO as Punk ignores the match and Ziggler gets pinned. Post-match, Punk and Heyman continue their conversation up the ramp. 4.5/10 Kinda boring match actually and the end was completely elcipsed by the Heyman stuff. Paul couldn’t have meandered down during the long chinlock in the middle that vampired all of the excitement out of the match?
Here are your winners… Randy Orton and Jerry Lawler @ about 7:15 via RKO pinfall.
In the back CM Punk and Paul Heyman bump into Matt Striker who asks them the nature of the relationship. Punk responds with “I’m a Paul Heyman guy” (referencing the “Summer of Punk” promo).
We get highlights of the “hug it out” moment with Kane and Daniel Bryan which devolved into a brawl. In the back Kane is waiting as he is approached by Bryan. Neither knows which one summoned the other, apparently Dr. Shelby did. AJ Lee invited him. Dr. Shelby has a plan to make them not angry anymore. I hope it’s a tag title shot.
Heath Slater is in the ring and DEMANDS his rematch with Zack Ryder; Zack appears on the Tron and says his opponent is not RY-der, but is close…
Ryback vs. Heath Slater: FEEDING TIME! Former Nexus members collide but we’re not mentioning that. Slater tries a side headlock so Ryback tosses him to the floor. He runs back in and gets steamrolled. Slater tries to punches him but it is no sold; Heath avoids a charge in the corner and finally floors Ryback with Miller’s Crossing. It gets one. Slater hits a few kicks to Ryback’s back but that serves to piss him off. Slater tries a Dangerous DDT but it only gets one as well. Slater takes a moment to celebrate and Ryback levels him with the Sheffield Lariat and a tri-powerbomb. Ryback finishes with Shell Shocked. Post-match, he gets the Canadians to chant “feed me more”. 3.5/10 Ryback wins again; I think that’s 29-0 (on television).
Here is your winner… Ryback @ about 2:45 via Shell Shocked pinfall.
In the back the Primetime Players are in AJ Lee’s office. AJ says they are not the not the number one contenders. AJ says they have not defeated every team in the WWE. They will face Kane and Daniel Bryan next!
Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Prime Time Players number one contender’s match: Oh, this should be great. Bryan trying to not explode on the crowd during his entrance is hilarious. Kane and Bryan argue over who will start; Kane wins and gets Titus O’Neil. Kane levels him with a clothesline and TAGS in Bryan. The French Canadian fans chant “oui” at him; he hits a lot of No Kicks in the corner. Young blind tags in and levels Bryan with a clothesline. Two more former Nexus guys giving it a go tonight; all we need is Wade Barrett facing Justin Gabriel and we’ll have had it all tonight. The Players isolate Bryan and hit a tandem clothesline. Titus SLAMS Bryan and aggressively pounds away in the corner; Darren tags and surprises me with a Northern Lights suplex, for two. O’Neil tags and they hit the Millions of Dollars Suplex; he chokes him in the ropes. Bryan fires back with kicks getting the fans to chant “yes” now. Titus just grabs him with a backbreaker for two. O’Neil stomps away and applies a chinlock as the match seems to have fallen apart a little, the commentators seem lost too, and the fans are silent. Young tags and applies another chinlock as the fans begin to get restless. Bryan begins a comeback and he hits a suplex. Kane wants a tag but Bryan says “no”. Bryan misses a swandive head-butt and Young almost pins him… and applies another chinlock. Not sure but I think Jerry Lawler’s mic seems to be out. Daniel fights free again and hits a running clothesline. Kane waits for his tag and Bryan still refuses. The real No Kicks begin center of the ring; Kane finally tags himself in and lays waste to the Players. He hits a side slam for two. Kane to the top and hits a diving clothesline. CHOKESLAM! Kane easily dispatches with O’Neil and Bryan blind tags himself back in. Kane does not look too happy about it so Kane chokeslams him… right onto Young! Referee counts three and Kane and Bryan are the number one contenders! Post-match, Kane helps Bryan to his feet and holds his arm up. Funny. 3/10 I don’t know what happened there, the King’s mic went out and the match seemed totally disorganized as well. I saw big things for this tag team weeks ago. Kane and Bryan are the contenders and they will probably become tag champs and will have some of the best backstage skits on Raw.
Here are your winners… Kane and Daniel Bryan @ about 9:15 via chokeslam pinfall.
Tyson Kidd vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez): Kidd’s got his mentor in the building and has to get squashed by Del Rio. Alberto attacks as the bell rings and pounds away. Kidd comes back with a nifty dropsault and looks for the Sharpshooter. Del Rio fires back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a chinlock. Kidd tries to fire back but eats a head-butt; Del Rio tries his rope splash but slides to the floor. Kidd knees him from the apron. Back in the ring he misses a springboard elbow drop and Del Rio hits a running knee. Del Rio looks for, what I think is supposed to be a Texas Cloverleaf, but Kidd reverses into a Sharpshooter! If the bell mysteriously rings here… Alberto fights to the ropes. Tyson misses a guillotine legdrop and Del Rio snags him in the cross-armbreaker for the tapout. Post-match, Del Rio continues the assault and calls Sheamus out. He says he has lost the Brogue Kick and now he will lose the World heavyweight title. 2/10 Bleh, another boring squash for Del Rio; it would have been cooler of Bret Hart helped Kidd win that match.
Here is your winner… Alberto Del Rio @ about 4:15 via cross-armbreaker submission.
Back at the commentator’s table there is no Jerry Lawler. Michael Cole says that he collapsed at the announce table a few matches ago and the medics are performing CPR on him. That does not sound good. This explains the confusion during the earlier tag match. I hope Jerry is okay. Cole says this is not part of the entertainment portion of the show.
Sheamus vs. David Otunga: There is significantly less commentary during this match; Otunga kicks away at the bell and then pounds away. No commentary makes the match seem eerier. Otunga makes the mistake of trash talking and Sheamus knees the hell out of him. He snags him in O’Clubbering and then hits the Irish Curse. He locks up the Texas Cloverleaf and gets the quick tapout. Post-match, Sheamus feigns leaving but then thinks Brogue Kick and clobbers Otunga with it. Here comes AJ Lee… but Booker T interrupts her. Booker says this is his territory. He says if he uses the Brogue Kick again he will be stripped of the title. 2.5/10 The match just served as a backdrop to the Brogue Kick storyline. The match sucked though.
Here is your winner… Sheamus @ about 3:00 via Texas Cloverleaf submission.
In the back Kane and Daniel Bryan argue; Dr. Shelby calms them down. Bryan says that he could get to like the team but they begin to argue over whose name will come first in the team name. Shelby suggests “Team Friendship”; Kane and Bryan agree that that sucks and continue their argument.
Michael Cole gives another Jerry Lawler update. Jerry has been taken to a hospital and he is breathing on his own He preferences this is real. Cole will not commentate for the rest of the show to honor the King.
Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: They lock up and Rhodes tries a Mysterio move with a leapfrog into a monkey flip but Rey stomps him in the face. Rhodes fires back with a Goldust uppercut and pounds in the corner; he hits the rapid kneelifts and a running knee for two. The zero commentary really shows how much it lends to a match as Cody hits the release gourdbuster. Rey kicks hits way back but Cody nearly grabs him in Cross Rhodes; Mysterio escapes and low bridges Cody to the floor. He leaps off the apron with a hurracanrana. Back in the ring, Mysterio tries a rope-assisted head scissors but Cody counters and hits the Beautiful Disaster… for two. Rhodes is mad and stomps away. You can tell the wrestlers are a bit off, probably concerned for Jerry Lawler. Cody misses a charge and posts his shoulder. Rey comes back with a head scissors takeover and a wheelbarrow bulldog for a nearfall. Rey kicks him in the face off a drop-down counter and heads to the top; he hits a seated senton but Rhodes comes back and tries a powerbomb; Mysterio counters that into a 619 attempt but The Miz arrives to hang the phone up. Mysterio dropkicks him but gets immediately snagged in Cross Rhodes for three. Post-match, Miz goes after Rey but Cody nails him with the Cross Rhodes as well! HE picks up the IC title and hoists it up before taking his leave. 5/10 This match was lacking the obvious fire because of the Lawler situation; the attack on the Miz would have been so much more impactful if there was commentary to put it over.
Here is your winner… Cody Rhodes @ about 8:15 via Cross Rhodes pinfall.
Back from break, Michael Cole gives another Jerry Lawler update; he is breathing on his own. This update is the King is reacting to lights and is in the isolated ER. He is awaiting a CAT scan and Cole offers his prayers and says that Lawler is, as always, fighting.
Bret Hart heads to the ring a bit more somber this time. He brings out John Cena. Bret says the feud between Cena and CM Punk that mirrors his feud with Shawn Michaels. He sees himself in Cena and (the old) HBK in Punk. Cena says he and Punk have a long way to go to reach Bret and HBK level. Fans taunt him with a “you can’t wrestle” chant. Cena says Punk is insecure person who has to fish for complements. HBK and Bret stood for something but Punk is desperate for respect. Hart asks him what he is going to do to shut the phony Punk up. Punk interrupts Cena calls him a phony as well and invites him into the ring. Punk calls Cena the biggest phony in the WWE is passing judgment on the champ. Punk calls this rampant disrespect; he adds that both of them were surpassed, Cena by Punk and Bret was surpassed HBK. Punk adds that he is better than Shawn Michaels. He also says that “hillbilly” that Bret made pass out at WrestleMania 13, Steve Austin… Punk is better than him too. Punk then turns to Cena and says he is better than The Rock as well. He says that he laid Rocky out with relative ease when he showed Punk disrespect. Punk continues saying he’s the best wrestler, talker, technician, and brawler; he says he’s not insecure, he speaks in truth, because he is it, therefore not a phony. Cena calls him a liar, hypocrite and a conceded scumbag. Cena calls Montreal an honest city and mentions “Bizarro World”. Cena makes a point that Punk has been WWE Champion for 300 days and the title has been “meaningless”. Cena says there is no conspiracy there is “no you”. John refers to the “Summer of Punk” promo and the change that never happened. Cena became a main eventer and went through all of his ups and downs but has remained himself. Punk has changed over and over; Cena even mentions that he stole the flying elbow from the late Randy Savage because he has yet to find himself. Right now he feels that his latest persona revolves around the WWE Champion. He is going to have to find a new identity after Night of Champions. Cena cuts a promo in French. Punk says that he has lowered himself to the fans levels. Cena gets in his face about it and says at Night of Champions he’s going to kick Punk’s ass. Punk thinks of slugging John but it’s blocked and they standoff. Cena removes the shirt and Punk tries to nail Bret but it’s blocked and he’s floored with one punch. Punk retreats and Cena and Bret celebrate. 9/10 Kudos to the three of them for putting on a spectacular closing promo despite the seriousness and chaos going on in the back due to the Jerry Lawler situation. Great closing.
Michael Cole gives us one final Jerry Lawler update; he adds that Jerry’s condition has stabilized and his breathing is on its own and heart is beating on its own. Good to hear get well King! At the time of this posting Lawler had had a heart attack and had three stents put into his heart.
OVERALL 7.5/10 This show was going along well but the Jerry Lawler situation casts a negative light on the show. The lack of commentary in Jerry’s honor also gives the show an odd feeling. That closing promo was one of the better builds to a PPV in a long time.