With little build going into most of these matches, I didn’t expect to be emotionally invested in the card — and I was right. However, that didn’t mean that the show wasn’t promising from a wrestling standpoint, and on that end, Capitol Punishment certainly delivered on expectations, good and bad.
The opening bout between Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston wasn’t the best outing between the two, but it got the job done in terms of setting the tone for the night. Much like the contest, the entire show itself was good, but not quite great.
Despite being in the Nation’s Capitol, the event didn’t have the special feel of the “Big Four” on the pay-per-view calendar despite WWE’s best efforts to stack the card. The segments with the Obama impersonator did nothing for the live crowd, as they were largely indifferent to his presence. Strangely, despite having 7 announced matches and putting on a bonus match as filler, WWE still couldn’t kill enough time prior to the main event, resorting instead to an extended segment with the fake Obama and Booker T. The worst part was, instead of allotting more time to other matches or the main event itself, WWE tried to keep the segment running as long as possible so that the Cena-Truth match would go its planned length and still fit within the traditional pay-per-view broadcast window.
A wrestling show that doesn’t want to give the fans more wrestling? Go figure.
The booking of each match was largely predictable, down to Mark Henry exploiting The Big Show’s storyline injury in assisting Alberto Del Rio. There were no true surprises, and for a show with so little build, that was, well, unsurprising.
For a show that was priced at $45, I can’t say I completely got my money’s worth. The action was serviceable, but the planning and execution behind the card seemed more like an extended version of RAW or SmackDown than a pay-per-view. Incidentally, while many storylines were advanced, it didn’t feel like a pay-per-view was necessary to take each rivalry to the next chapter. I wouldn’t be surprised if a portion of the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view features altered rematches of some of these bouts.
My disappointment aside, I still feel compelled to say that the show was good for what it was. But, again, the theme of the night had largely been, “Good, but not great.”
Verdict: 3 out of 5 – Good action, but nothing that couldn’t have been seen on RAW or SmackDown. The event did everything it set out to do, but the poor build held back a card with much potential.
WWE Championship — John Cena retained against R-Truth.
World Heavyweight Championship — Randy Orton retained against Christian.
Evan Bourne defeated Jack Swagger (unannounced bonus match).
CM Punk defeated Rey Mysterio.
Intercontinental Championship — Ezekiel Jackson defeated Wade Barrett (new champion).
Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show.
Alex Riley defeated The Miz.
United States Championship — Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston (new champion).
Prediction Summary: 6-of-7* (*Bourne-Swagger match was an impromptu match made during the event, prior to predictions).
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