No Chance – The WWE Pay-Per-Views of 2011 (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Money in the Bank, TLC)

This week marked the final PPV of the year for WWE, the thirteenth in the past twelve months. How did it go? How did it stack up when compared to the other events that were supposed to be so good that we would pay for them? Lets take a look back…

Royal Rumble: The big story about the Royal Rumble going in was the fact that for the first time there would be forty competitors in the main event match instead of the usual thirty. But such a high number resulted in some people in the title match also being members of the Rumble. Now, almost a year later, the most memorable part of the whole Rumble was John Morrison playing the most incredible game of “The Floor is Lava” by leaping to the wall and making it back to the ring without ever touching the floor. It’s a shame that he won’t be around to perform in stunt filled matches anymore.

Elimination Chamber: One of the problems with the Elimination Chamber PPV is that its close proximity to WrestleMania usually means that match outcomes are easier to predict that usual. But this year even with predictable outcomes the matches themselves were fairly impressive. Lawler ended his feud with Miz and defied all logic by once again not having an unbearable match and once again the most memorable moment belongs to an impressive stunt from John Morrison

WrestleMania: This year was host to one of the less impressive WrestleManias, What started off as a promising lead up to the event, never really paid off. It was exciting to see the Rock return but it seems that was only a tease for next WrestleMania when he finally fights Cena. Lawler and Cole had a really entertaining on mic feud that never evolved into interesting in ring action. While Undertaker’s match was good, there was never really a moment that you thought Triple H had a chance of winning the match. Probably the highlight of the whole thing was the promo video before Miz’s entrance. All in all one of the weaker PPV events of the year.

Extreme Rules: Many of these matches were repeats of WrestleMania matches a month ago but almost every match was better than its WrestleMania counterpart. And The Michael Cole match is the exception that proves that rule. The biggest moment of the event was Christian winning the Heavyweight Championship for the first time after his best friend was forced to give up the title and retire. Of course five days later (two if you have the internet) that all changed but for a shining moment it was a really emotional moment for Christian.

Over The Limit: Two months later the WrestleMania fallout continues. Lawler finally defeats Cole two months later than he should have but that unfortunate didn’t end their feud, which continues unnecessarily to this day. Cena had what could arguably be his biggest “Super Cena” moment of the year when he beat Miz in an “I Quit” match even with constant interference by Alex Riley. But the most appealing part of the whole show was watching R-Truth as he first started his amazing heel persona.

Capital Punishment: We have a serious contender for biggest waist of money of the year with this PPV. While I know these matches must have happened because the Internet says so, I have no memory of Evan Bourne fighting Jack Swagger or Del Rio vs. The Big Show. What I do remember is that this may have been the oddest assist for Cena’s win over Truth thanks to a drink from the audience being thrown in Truth’s face.

Money in the Bank: Oh man, I’m starting to drool just thinking about the PPV. Two great MiTB matches, an impressive match between Christian and Randy Orton for the Heavyweight championship and all of that was shadowed by the CM Punk and John Cena match that would had been the match of the year had they had a Slammy for that this year. If WWE could guarantee this level of quality every time out, I know quite a few people who would be happily fifty dollars poorer every month.

SummerSlam: There were several other matches besides the main event but few people were interested in anything but the title unification match at the end of the night. While not as great as their match a month ago, Punk and Cena pull of a pretty impressive match. And though it’s not as memorable, Christian and Orton also have a rather fantastic match on this PPV that really feels like a match worthy of ending a summer long feud.

Night of Champions: This PPV promises that all belts are going to be up for grabs. The only problem with this is that the big belts are up for grabs every time so all this promises is that smaller belts that you don’t care about are going to have matches. Also, the biggest match of the night wasn’t even for a title. Just a grudge match between Punk and Triple H. It also happened to be the match of the night but part of that was just because Triple H hadn’t been in the ring since WrestleMania and was also absent for almost a year before that. It almost makes up for the fact that Punk lost the match.

Hell in a Cell: The point of a Hell in a Cell match is to ensure whoever wins a match is the undisputed winner, with no outside interference.  That being said, we got a clever way of allowing some disruption of a Hell in a Cell match by getting Cena locked out of the cell. In the middle of the “PPV every other week” part of the year, which makes this a bit of a waist since nothing is going to count for more than fourteen days.

Vengeance: Anybody who’s watched long enough will instantly recognize the collapsing of the ring as a recreation of one from several years ago involving Big Show and Brock Lesnar. That being said it was still an impressive moment. And one that helped carry a PPV during a moment I was suffering some serious PPV fatigue. It was also a valiant effort to have another match be fought on the broken ring, though the falls count anywhere stipulation helped to get the bulk of the match off of the ring.

Survivor Series: “Yay, Yay! The Rock has returned to the ring! All of My wildest hopes and dreams have come true! This is all I ever wanted out of life. I’m going to buy this PPV twice so that I can savor it on multiple screens.” This is the reaction that we were supposed to when we heard that Rock and Cena would be teaming up at Survivor Series. And to a degree it worked. Seeing the Rock again was great. And he really came out with almost no ring rust and for a second it was like I was a kid again watching The Rock. But that being said it would have been nice to see a match where Rock actually had a challenge in the ring. But I guess, I don’t know if that will ever really happen again.

TLC: This week’s PPV ended the year with three title changes, two of those being the same title. The success of this match depends on how much you like the gimmicks listed. Me, I enjoy a belt hanging over the ring so it was nice to see that in the main event. But most importantly and the end of the show, the holders of the two biggest titles in the company are Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. Who at the beginning of this year would have ever thought that would happen?

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