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WWE Flashback: Money in the Bank 2011; CM Punk Leaves WWE With the Belt

Originally published July 17, 2011 – After weeks of anticipation, CM Punk walked into the Allstate Arena on the final night of his World Wrestling Entertainment contract to challenge WWE champion John Cena at WWE Money in the Bank.  How would the most-discussed storyline in years payoff?  What two Superstars would obtain a Money in the Bank briefcase?  There’s only one way to find out!

The following is my ongoing blog and WWE Money in the Bank 2011 play by play of the night’s pay per view.

First up is the Smackdown Money in the Bank match.  Your competitors – Sin Cara, Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Cody Rhodes, Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Sheamus.  The diehard wrestling fans have been salivating at the thought of this match.  It doesn’t have the names that the RAW match has, but it possesses the most versatile group of the two matches.

After a bit of using the ladder as a weapon to take out both Sin Cara and Daniel Bryan, Slater and Gabriel tug away for control of the ladder.  Slater pushes the ladder into the ring and tosses Gabriel off of the apron.  Slater is the first to set up the ladder in the ring.  Gabriel gets into the ring and is the first man to start climbing it.  After Bryan knocks Gabriel off with a top-rope drop kick, Cody Rhodes starts climbing towards the briefcase.  Sheamus quickly takes him off though with an attempt of the Celtic Cross.

After a bit of back and forth, Gabriel, Slater, and Sin Cara each take turns hitting impressive plancha’s to the outside.  Gabriel hits a standard plancha on Kane, Slater nails a corkscrew plancha on Sheamus, and Sin Cara launches himself over the top rope with a visually-impressive cross body.

Sin Cara continues on a roll with his high-flying maneuvers.  Daniel Bryan becomes his next target.  Bryan climbs the rope to take advantage of a recovering Sin Cara, but he’s quickly caught with a C4.  Cara’s roll quickly ends though as he’s leveled with a Brogue Kick from Sheamus.  Sheamus then puts Sin Cara through a ladder that has ringside ref’s calling for EMT’s.  Cara eventually is carried out of the ring on a stretcher.

It would then be Kane’s turn to dominate.  After cleaning out the ring, Kane began his ascent to the top, but was quickly stopped by Corre members Barrett, Gabriel, and Slater.  Daniel Bryan makes the save before he, too, is attacked by the Corre trio.  This hot Chicago crowd is already starting the “CM PUNK, CM PUNK” chants.

Slater and Gabriel eventually turn on Barrett and send him to the outside.  Slater and Gabriel begin to climb opposite sides of the ladder in the ring, but Cody Rhodes gets in the ring and tips the ladder, sending both guys into the ropes.  Slater is then the victim of a Cross Rhodes.  Cody starts to climb the ladder towards the briefcase, but is stopped by Barrett who is also hit with a Cross Rhodes.  Sheamus quickly evens things up.

Daniel Bryan gets into the ring and starts climbing the ladder, but Sheamus stops him and puts him on his shoulders for an electric chair drop.  Instead of falling back, he turns towards the corner ropes where Kane is waiting.  Kane flies off the top rope and folds Bryan in half with a Doomsday Device, which should only make this Chicago crowd happy.  An “LOD, LOD” chant breaks out.  Kane and Sheamus battle for a bit before Kane removes Sheamus from the ring.

Kane starts climbing the ladder once again, but Daniel Bryan makes a miraculous recovery and is back chasing Kane up the ladder.  After a bit of work, he gets Kane down and reverses a slam into DDT.  Bryan starts climbing the ladder by Slater starts climbing behind him.  After a small struggle, Slater sends Bryan crashing to the mat with a neck breaker off of the ladder.

Sheamus is back in the ring and is handing out Brogue Kicks to anyone and everyone.  After cleaning house, Sheamus starts climbing the ladder.  A wide angle shot of the ring gives us a great shot of Sheamus climbing.  Just as he’s at the top, Kane is sauntering up the ladder from the bottom of our screen.  Kane and Sheamus struggle back and forth before Kane gains the upper hand and sends Sheamus crashing off of the ladder and onto another ladder with a Chokeslam.

Our next highlight comes seconds later after Kane is eventually sent to mat and Justin Gabriel hits Kane with a 450 splash off of a ladder.   Wade Barrett is next up for his time to shine and starts handing out Wastelands to everyone.  After handing out a Wasteland to 3 separate people, Daniel Bryan is back in the ring and starts climbing the ladder.  Cody Rhodes quickly chases him up the ladder.  Bryan is at the top of the ladder sitting on it.  Wade Barrett begins climbing the opposite side of the ladder.  With Bryan atop the ladder and now Barrett and Rhodes on opposite sides of the ladder, Bryan looks outnumbered.  He quickly out strikes Rhodes and sends him crashing down to the ring.  Barrett seems to gain the upper hand and tosses Bryan on his shoulders for a Wasteland off the top of the ladder.  Bryan quickly regains his balance after a few elbows to Barrett’s face.  A few elbows later and Barrett is sent tumbling to the mat.  Daniel Bryan takes the final step back up the ladder and unlocks the brief case.

Daniel Bryan, a year ago fired for choking Justin Roberts with a tie, is your Smackdown Money in the Bank Champion.  Bryan is shown celebrating and is visibly emotional as the crowd chants his name.  Great moment.

CM Punk winning the belt and being defeated by Daniel Bryan later in the show for the WWE Title quickly crosses everyone’s minds.  That would help ease the sting just a little if Punk really leaves, right?

Incredible match.  Tons of spot and 35 minutes of non-stop action.

We get a shot of the backstage area where Vince McMahon, Johnny Ace, and McMahon’s “lawyer” are entering the arena.  Michael Cole says that the lawyer is there for a last-ditch effort to re-sign CM Punk.

WWE’s attempt to follow up that great match is by giving us Kelly Kelly defending her title against Brie Bella.  Ummmm….piss break!  I’ll care when Kharma comes back.

Kelly retains the belt though without any help from Eve who accompanied her to the ring.  As the Bella’s exit the ring, Nikki repeatedly tells Brie “Look at her Brie…she barely even eats.  How can you not beat that?”

Meanwhile, as Randy Orton would have us believe, at least 10 guys in the locker room all speak up in unison saying, “I beat that.”

We got our first Summerslam promo highlighter by Cee Lo Green’s newest single, “Bright Lights, Bigger City”.  Terrific jam!

Next up is the match Michael Cole just coined the “Battle of the Behemoths” between Big Show and the “let’s see how many times we can push him down the fan’s throats” Mark Henry.  Prior to the match beginning, Mark Henry reminds us once again that “somebody’s gonna get they ass kicked.”  I may sound a little sour on Henry (I probably am since I think he’s been ruined over the last 15 or so years), but his newest heel push has been nicely booked and impressive.  I think we’re headed towards the inevitable Orton/Henry feud and that’s unfortunate.  I don’t think anyone wants to see that.

As the two men begin squaring off, Michael Cole tells us the measurements of both men’s thighs, chest, and shoes.  Ehhhh, ok.  This battle quickly spills out of the ring and right in front of the announcers.  I should mention that the Spanish announce team is ringside.  Let’s see if they’re still there after this match.

They get back in the ring and Henry quickly places a target on Big Show’s left knee.  First is the shoulder tackle to the knee, then some stomps, and other basic leg attacks.  Henry even applies a half Boston crab for a bit.  By the way, is Mark Henry wearing one of MVP’s old singlets?  Show gets out of the crab and changes the tune of the match for a bit.  Big Show climbs the top rope.  Yes, he climbs the top rope and hits a flying shoulder tackle into Henry.  Henry kicks out after 2.  Henry gets back to his feet as Show teases a chokeslam.

Henry avoids it and hits the World’s Strongest Slam.  It looks like it’s over, but Show kicks out.  Henry begins showing a bit of frustration, but picks Show back up and hits him with a second Worlds Strongest Slam.  Before going for the pin, he flattens Show with 2 big splashes.  Henry gets the clean pin in a squash of the Big Show.

After the match is over, Henry goes outside of the ring and gets a steel chair.  Henry wraps the chair around Shows left leg and hits a Vader Bomb on the chair.  For the second time in 2 months, Show is apparently being written off of TV with a leg injury.  He’s screaming in pain and EMT’s are tending to him in the ring.  Show has his leg put in an air cast and is taken out on a medical truck.

We get about 96 replays of the splash.

Vince McMahon is shown in a backstage segment.  He’s showing frustration over not being able to re-sign CM Punk.  Josh Mathews enters and asks McMahon if he has re-signed Punk.  McMahon says no, he offered more money to Punk than he’s offered to anyone, and says Punk is to blame for this deal not getting done.  McMahon ends the interview by saying “if by some chance Punk leaves this arena as WWE champ, may God have mercy on John Cena.”  Nice segment.

It’s now time for the RAW Money in the Bank match.  I don’t think I’ve recovered from trying to keep up with the first one, but here we go!  Your participants in this match – Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, R-Truth, Alex Riley, and The Miz.

Awesome moment at the beginning as every man is holding a ladder as the bell rings.  The bells rings and everyone is hitting the nearest person with a ladder.  After all the ladder shots are done, only Miz and Truth are left standing with their ladders.  Swagger quickly takes out the both of them with a bigger ladder.  Bourne and Kingston both start tugging on the same ladder and eventually decide to use it to take out Swagger and R-Truth.  Mysterio bounces off the ropes and springboards himself off of the ladder Bourne and Kofi are holding and hits a hurricanrana that sends Swagger to the outside.

With most of the competitors outside except Mysterio, Kofi, and Bourne, it’s time for some flying.  Both Mysterio and Kofi climb a corner turnbuckle and do simultaneous crossbody’s onto the guys outside.  Just as they’re recovering, Evan Bourne climbs a 15 foot ladder and hits an Air Bourne from the top of the ladder onto the group of people.

Bourne gets back into the ring and starts climbing the ladder.  The Miz quickly chases up the other side.  While Bourne and Miz are battling for the briefcase, Del Rio enters the ring and hits the ladder sending both guys flying to the mat.  Miz immediately grabs his knee and refs and the ringside doctor quickly tend to him.  Miz is led to the back as multiple replays show Miz landing on the knee awkwardly.

The ring now belongs to Mysterio, Kofi, and R-Truth.  Each take turns using the ladder to incapacitate the other.  Cool moments include Kofi hitting the Boom Drop off of the ladder and onto Truth as well as Mysterio hitting the 619 on Truth.

In a signature moment guaranteed to be shown many, many times, 5 ladders were all set up in the center of the ring.  Every member of the match except for The Miz was standing atop the ladders battling back and forth.  One by one, each man fell.  Kofi was the last man standing and seemed to be on his way to victory.  While trying to unlatch the briefcase, Swagger quickly jumped up onto a nearby ladder to remove him.  Both men went crashing to the ring.  While everyone was lying on the ground, the crowd rose to their feet as The Miz hopped down to the ring on his one good leg.

Miz then hopped up the ladder in a moment that I thought for sure was going to show him as the victor.  Mysterio quickly got him off by hitting a powerbomb off of the ladder.  Del Rio got back in the ring as Mysterio climbed for the brief case.  As the guys struggled for the briefcase, Del Rio grabbed Mysterio by the face and threw him off of the ladder.  When he did it, Mysterio’s mask came off.  While Mysterio rolled around the ring covering his face, Del Rio tossed Mysterio’s mask into the crowd.  Del Rio reached up and grabbed the brief case.

Alberto Del Rio is your RAW Money in the Bank winner.  This seemed to be the popular pick to win the match, so it wasn’t much of a surprise.  The Smackdown match was definitely the better of the two in my opinion.

A WrestleMania 28 promo is aired featuring John Cena and The Rock.

Next up is Randy Orton defending the World Championship against Christian.  A video package shows hyping the match.

After the video package, Alberto Del Rio does an interview with Josh Matthews.  Del Rio says that winning Money in the Bank was not his destiny, but rather “a formality”.  His destiny is to win the WWE title.

As the entrances are being made, I should point out what I should have mentioned awhile ago.  Not only is this Chicago crowd HOT, they’re extremely affectionate towards the heel’s.  Aside from Daniel Bryan, they’ve booed all the good guys.  For what it’s worth, as ring introductions are made by Tony Chimel, the crowd seems pretty split for this one.

If Orton is disqualified, counted out, or anything of that nature, Christian wins the belt.  Christian goes outside of the ring as the bells goes off and grabs a chair.  He brings it into the ring and tosses it at the feet at Orton, begging for Orton to hit him and get disqualified.  Orton yells “I’d love to”, but hands the chair to the ref.

As Orton and Christian get going, the crowd seems to be more pro-Christian now.  The crowd are pulling out dueling “Let’s go Orton” “Randy Sucks” chants.  Christian gains the upper hand at the beginning, using heel tactics such as open-handed slaps, chokes, and mounting Orton and punching right up until the 5-count.  Christian has Orton in the corner and runs at him with a splash, but Orton ducks and rolls up Christian for a near-fall.  Orton bounces off the ropes as Christian is getting to his feet but is met with a quick Spinebuster.

Christian goes for the Killswitch, but Orton gets out of it and clotheslines him over the top rope.  Both guys lay on the side while the ref counts to 10.  Both guys make it back into the ring at 8.  Some more back and forth, and Orton catches Christian with a jackknife pin for another near-fall.  These guys have phenomenal chemistry together and I hope they get to work together again in the future.  I can’t imagine the WWE continuing their feud past tonight unless it’s with Christian winning the belt.

Christian and Orton are once again battling in the corner.  Both men climb the ropes with Orton looking for a superplex.  Christian pushes Orton off of the ropes and hits a flying headbutt.  Orton kicks out at 2.  Orton is starting to gain some momentum now and goes for the RKO, but Christian escapes.  Christian hits the Killswitch out of nowhere.  Orton kicks out at the very last second as the crowd is on their feet.  Great match so far.

Christian is frustrated.  Christian is now lining Orton up for a Spear, but Orton hurdles it.  Christian hits the opposite steel post.  Orton then lifts Christian up onto his shoulders via a gutwrench and hits him with a reverse neck breaker.  Christian kicks out at 2.  Orton teases the punt as Christian recovers, but he misses it.  Christian gets to his feet and goes for a clothesline but Orton hits him with the quick slam.  Christian starts recovering and cowers to the corner, asking Orton to let up.  As Orton gets close to him, Christian spits in his face.

Orton goes irate and starts to punch Christian as the ref is counting to 5.  Orton stops but then hits Christian with a blatant low-blow that the ref sees.  The ref calls for the bell and awards Christian the World Heavyweight Championship due to Randy being disqualified.

Orton goes crazy after the match and attacks Christian.  The Spanish announce table finally comes into play as Orton gives Christian an RKO off of the table.

It looks like this feud will now live on into Summerslam.  What type of match will it be then?  Hell in the Cell?  Iron Man?  What could it be?  What’s obvious is that the fans want to see it as they’re chanting “One more match, One more match!”

While they’re chanting, Orton makes his way back towards the ring from the ramp and hits Christian with another RKO onto the announcer table.  Randy looks rather pissed that he’s hit that move twice and the table didn’t break either time.

We now get a lengthy CM Punk/John Cena promo package.  The second Cena was shown, boo’s rained down from the crowd.  When Punk was shown, it was one of the loudest pop’s heard in years.  This crowd is 100% pro-Punk.  “CM PUNK, CM PUNK, CM PUNK” chants are being screamed by the crowd before either man makes their intro.  Punk comes out first to a pop only rivaled by the last time The Rock was on WWE TV.  Punk is sporting his awesome, limited edition “Best in the World” shirt that is being sold at the arena.

I’ve already said it a few times, but I must make it clear.  The reaction that Punk is getting is giving me chills.  It’s a reaction that just isn’t seen in wrestling anymore.  I haven’t seen a reaction like this since that of The Rock or Steve Austin over 10 years ago.  If Vince needs any proof that Punk is money, LISTEN to this crowd reaction.

Cena’s music starts playing and the boo’s are so loud that you literally cannot hear his theme song.  Cena comes out without saluting the crowd are anything.  Cena is full-on heel Cena tonight.

Punk and Cena start off with a little chain wrestling.  Punk controls for the most part, but Cena tosses Punk to the ground and applies a chin lock.  The crowd plagues him with “You Can’t Wrestling” chants.  These chants quickly turn into a “CM PUNK” “Let’s go Cena” dueling chants, with 90% of the crowd chanting the former.  This crowd is INCREDIBLE.

These guys are putting on a wrestling display as Michael Cole brings up the Montreal Screwjob and openly questions whether or not it can happen again tonight.  As this discussion is happening, Cena goes for an Attitude Adjustment out of nowhere, but Punk slides off the back.  Punk goes for the GTS, but Cena slides off the back as well and both guys just stare at each other.  Catch-as-catch-can classic, indeed.

Booker T compares this back-and-forth action to that of a chess match.  Perfect analogy.  It’s not often you see storytelling like this much anymore in the ring.

Oh, and Punk’s good friend Colt Cabana is visibly present right in the front row.

Cena sends Punk to the corner and as Punk bounces off, he meets him with a kick to the groin and a fisherman’s suplex.  He goes for the cover but it’s a 2 count.  Cena gets Punk up and goes for another attitude adjustment, but Punk once again slides off the back and hits Cena with a DDT.  After a 2 count, Punk applies a triangle choke.  Cena stands up and gets out of the move, but Punk tosses Cena to the outside.

A breather well-deserved for both men.

A “Colt Cabana” chant now breaks out in the arena.

Cena is laying underneath the ropes with his head facing the mats outside the ring.  Cena climbs the rope and hits Cena with a knee drop.  Punk gets back in the ring and goes for the cover, but only gets a 2 count.  After Punk misses Cena in the corner, Cena counters and goes for the STFU.  Punk escapes and sends Cena into the ropes with his feet.  Punk bounces up and nails Cena with a clothesline.

Cena gets the upper hand and sends Punk into the corner.  Punk meets a charging Cena with a boot to the face.  Punk springboards off the ropes and botches a cross body attempt onto Cena, landing on Cena’s knee.  It clearly takes the wind out of both guys.  Cena goes to the apron to recover and as Punk comes over to him, Cena quickly gives him a suplex to the outside of the ring.  After a 2 count, Cena lifts Punk and nails another suplex.  He gets another 2 count.  Cena’s knee looks to be slowing him down.

Punk gets up and Cena goes for the AA once again, but Punk slides off the side.  Cena holds onto him and hits him with a modified side slam.  He gets a 2 count.  Punk gets up and the two guys exchange blows as the crowd duels back-and-forth with “Booo” and “Yeeaaah”’s .  Punk gets the upper hand and bounces off the ropes, but Cena locks him in an abdominal stretch.

The guys exchange blows once again and Punk sends Cena to the corner.  He attempts the running knee, but misses.  Cena hits the side slam on Punk and looks ready for the 5-Knuckle Shuffle.  It doesn’t happen though.  Punk gets back to his feet as Cena is outside and Punk flies through the middle and top rope to hit Cena on the outside.  The crowd is going nuts.

They get back in the ring and Punk misses with a cross body once again.  Cena teases the 5-Knuckle Shuffle and nails it.  Cena measures up for the AA once again, but Punk escapes and uses a punch, kick, kick, sweep combo to send Cena to the mat.  Cena gets up and Punk goes for the GTS as the crowd rises, but Cena escapes and hits Punk with a gut wrench powerbomb.

The announcers continue playing up John Cena’s knee injury.

Cena goes for the AA again, but Punk escapes and nails 2 straight jumping knees to Cena’s face followed by a bulldog.  Punk goes for the cover, but Cena kicks out at 2.  Punk continues the kicks to the head and chest of Cena.  Cena finally ducks one of the kicks and locks in the STF in the center of the ring.  Punk claws towards the ropes for about 20 seconds and just when it looks like he’s going to tap, Punk clenches the bottom rope to the delight of the crowd.

Punk catches Cena with a kick to the back of the head out of nowhere.  Only good enough for a 2-count.   Punk climbs the ropes and goes for the cross body, but Cena rolls him over and stands up with Punk ready for the AA.  Punk slides off and goes for the GTS, but Cena counters it into another STFU.  As Punk is near tapping in the center of the ring, Punk counters into the Anaconda Vice.  Cena gets to his feet and hits the AA out of nowhere.

Punk kicks out at 2 3/4ths!!!

This crowd is electric and you are watching the match of the year, hands down.

Punk starts recovering as Cena climbs the ropes.  Cena attempts the top rope leg drop to the back of Punk’s head, but Punk reverses it into a powerbomb.  He goes for the cover, but Cena kicks out at 2.  Punk signals for the GTS.  He lifts Cena for the GTS, but Cena grabs the ropes and escapes.  He sends Punk to the mat with a punch.  Cena climbs the rope and this time successfully hits Punk with the top-rope leg drop.  Punk kicks out at 2 once again.

Cena is now measuring Punk up for the Attitude Adjustment.  Punk stumbles to his feet and Cena hoists him on his shoulders.  Cena nails the AA clean and Punk kicks out of it again!  The crowd is going bananas as Cena begins to show some frustration.  Cole reminds us that this match has been going on over 30 minutes now.

Cena picks up Punk and puts him on the top rope.  Cena is setting up Punk for the top-rope AA.  Punk counters with many elbows to the temple.  Punk gets in front of Cena and hits him with a hurricanrana.  The leverage of the move sends Punk to the opposite turnbuckle.  Punk hits another running knee and then nails Cena with the GTS, but the momentum sends Cena to the mat outside the ring.

Punk goes outside and rolls Cena back into the ring.  As this happens, Mr. McMahon and Johnny Ace make their way half way down the entrance.  Punk notices them and stares.  Punk gets back in the ring.  Cena applies the STFU and Vince starts calling for the bell.  The ref isn’t ringing the bell, so Vince sends Johnny Ace to get the bell rang.  As he’s doing it, Cena gets out of the ring and clotheslines Ace.  Cena says “if he’s gonna win the match, he’s gonna do it fair and square.”

Cena then looks over at Vince and gets back into the ring.  Punk is waiting for him and nails him with a GTS.  He gets the 3 count. Your winner and new champion, CM Punk!

Vince walks to the announce table and gets on the headset and says “get Alberto out here…cash it in. Get him out here right now.”  Del Rio runs to the ring with the brief case.  Punk meets him with a kick to the skull.  Punk then leaves the ring with the WWE title.  He starts to head through the crowd and Vince tries to stop him.  Punk holds the belt high and blows Vince a kiss before leaving through the crowd to a huge ovation.

The credits roll as Vince stands in the ring disgusted and Punk celebrates in the crowd.

Full 2011 WWE Money in the Bank results
CM Punk defeats John Cenafor the WWE championship
Christian defeated Randy Orton for the WWE world heavyweight championship
Albert Del Rio defeated Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston, Alex Riley, R-Truth, The Miz, Evan Bourne, and Jack Swagger in the RAW Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Daniel Bryan defeated Heath Slater, Kane, Justin Gabriel, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Sin Cara, and Wade Barrett in the SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Mark Henry defeated Big Show
Kelly Kelly defeated Brie Bella for the WWE Divas title

Brett Clendaniel is the owner and managing editor of http://www.WrestleChat.net.

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