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Money in the Bank 2011 results, live retro blog: John Cena vs. CM Punk

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So... what are you doing this Saturday night? Probably twiddle your thumbs and do nothing, probably. Just relax and have a nice quiet evening. I mean, if you have plans for this Saturday night, then by all means, do that. Have a good time. Be safe and all that stuff. If you don't, I have a suggestion: watch some live retro wrestling with your favorite wrestling community and the best wrestling community in the galaxy.

You'll need a broadband Internet connection (I assume you have one since you're on this site) and an active WWE Network subscription (if you do not have one, new subscribers can get a free month here). Once you have that, you're all set to join the party.

And you'll wanna join the party this week. With its fifth anniversary approaching, this week's Retro Live Blog is the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Best Major Wrestling Show of 2011, Money in the Bank from July 17, 2011 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.

The featured attraction is a WWE Championship match between John Cena and challenger CM Punk. Complicating matters some is that this is CM Punk's last night in WWE, and per order of Mr. McMahon, should Punk win the WWE Championship, John Cena will be fired. So... two people might be gone when the night ends.

On the undercard, Randy Orton will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Christian, and this too has a stipulation: should Randy be disqualified or if there is evidence of biased officiating in favor of Orton, Randy will forfeit the WWE Championship to Christian.

Of course Money in the Bank wouldn't be complete without a Money in the Bank ladder match, or in this case, two of them. For a free WWE Championship match at any time up to one year, Alberto Del Rio, Alex Riley, Evan Bourne, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston, The Miz, R-Truth, and Rey Mysterio all hope to climb the ladder of success.

On the Smackdown side, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Sheamus, Sin Cara, and Wade Barrett will all fight up the ladder for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship of their choosing.

Note the early start for this week's Live Retro Blog: 7pm eastern, 4pm pacific, 12 midnight in Britain. Everywhere else, figure it out. As always, live blog rules apply, so that means no pics and no GIFs.

This week, the weather is hot and so is the wrestling, so stay cool with Cageside Seats!


Hi there! I'm Eddie Mac. Let's watch some pro grappling, shall we?


  • WWE CHAMPIONSHIP: John Cena [c] vs. CM Punk (If Punk wins the title, Cena will be fired.)
  • WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: Randy Orton [c] vs. Christian (If Orton is disqualified, he will lose the title. If there is evidence of poor officiating in favor of Randy Orton, Orton will lose the title.)
  • DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP: Kelly Kelly [c] vs. Brie Bella
  • MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH FOR A WWE CHAMPIONSHIP CONTRACT GOOD FOR ONE YEAR: Alberto Del Rio vs. Alex Riley vs. Evan Bourne vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz vs. R-Truth vs. Rey Mysterio
  • MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH FOR A WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP CONTRACT GOOD FOR ONE YEAR: Cody Rhodes vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Heath Slater vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett
  • Mark Henry vs. The Big Show

Money in the Bank 2011, July 17, 2011 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, even though it says Chicago on the graphic.

For those wondering, Rosemont is about 45 minutes northwest of Chicago. Also, very raucous crowd. 14,815 strong, but they sound like they're twice or even three times that size.

Match 1: Daniel Bryan won the Smackdown Money in the Bank ladder match for a World Heavyweight Championship match for any time up to one year at 24:27. Sin Cara was stretchered out after he was powerbombed through a ladder. Bryan had a guillotine choke on Cody Rhodes as Wade Barrett was trying to climb the ladder. Bryan was in danger of being Wastelanded off the ladder, but Bryan elbowed and kicked Barrett's head in before grabbing the case. Cole loses his mind because, yup, Daniel Bryan, world heavyweight champion, is on the doorstep of reality.  [Note from future Eddie: that powerbomb through the ladder/stretcher job was a write-off. Turned out he violated the Wellness Policy and was suspended the next day for a month. The original Sin Cara pretty much never recovered.]

Cut to earlier tonight, with Vince McMahon, his attorney, and WWE Vice-President of Talent Relations John Laurainatis. They're gonna make one last effort to keep CM Punk around.

Match 2: Kelly Kelly defeated Brie Bella in 4:54 to retain the WWE Divas Championship. Even as a cooldown match, it sucked. At least they looked amazing this evening, so... there's that.

Ad for The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro. I want.

Match 3: Mark Henry defeated The Big Show in 6:00. It was a Vince McMahon special. Until after the match... Henry Vaderizes (Pillmanize/Vader Bombs) Show's ankle post-match. CM Punk chant as Show's being carted out.

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviews Vince McMahon. First question: did Vince re-sign CM Punk? Vince after contemplating for a few moments, answered no. He calls Punk an ingrate, blames the whole situation on John Cena, and warns Cena that if CM Punk wins, may God have mercy on John Cena's soul.

Match 4: Alberto Del Rio won the RAW Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE Championship match for any time up to one year at 15:54. Del Rio unmasked Mysterio late in the match, then tipped him and himself over. Del Rio recovered, Mysterio did not. Speaking of Mysterio, the Chicago crowd did not Rey to win. At all.

Backstage, Josh Matthews interviews Alberto Del Rio and he said winning Money in the Bank was a formality, and his destiny comes later when he cashes it in and becomes WWE Champion.

Match 5: Christian defeated Randy Orton by disqualification at 12:20 to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Nope. You're not mistaken. The title actually changed hands on a DQ. WWE has gone full TNA. Orton was looking to finish off Christian, then the challenger spat in his face. Orton's temper got the better of him, culminating with a kick to the groin. Post-match, Orton gives Christian the RKO on the Spanish announce table. Twice. And as it turned out, Christian spat right in Randy's mouth. Gross. Orton was totally justified.


PSA for WWE's B. A .Star campaign.

Match 6: CM Punk defeated John Cena at 33:44 to win the WWE Championship. Oh, lots to talk about with this one. CM Punk chants rang throughout the match. One of the great visuals in recent memory has Punk sitting alone Indian style as the 14,000 chant in unison for Punk. Cena was vociferously booed. I mean, he was booed to the point where people probably wanted to kill this man. John was not welcome in their house. And this was before the match.

As for the match, to call this an instant classic would be an understatement. This is easily the best match WWE's put on since the two Shawn Michaels-Undertaker bouts at Wrestlemania. Late in the bout, Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitas come out, and it was nearly the Montreal Screwjob all over again. Cena pops Johnny Ace and tells McMahon he's not winning it that way. He probably should have: Punk hits the GTS and gets the three. Post-match, McMahon dials up an Alberto Del Rio cash-in, but Punk gives the on-rushing Del Rio a kick in the ear, and Punk takes off in the crowd, but not before he blows a kiss goodbye to his soon-to-be-former boss. Punk's gone. Cena's fired. WWE's gonna be in a weird place tomorrow.

Also, please put some pants on, Punk. You running around with the WWE Championship belt with practically your underwear on is gonna attract some attention. And maybe germs.


Top to bottom, the show was pretty good, but it will and should be remembered for a single match: the main event. As with any other sport, it's easy to crack under the pressure of a big spot, and John Cena and CM Punk should be applauded for not only not cracking under the pressure, but thriving under it. Sure, go ahead and watch the show, but the main event is all you really need to see. It's that good. On the strength of that one match alone (and I know I'll get the side eye for this), I'm gonna give Money in the Bank 2011 the full 10 out of 10.

Got a bonus for you guys: here's how cSs actually reviewed Money in the Bank 2011 on the night of the show. And the live blog from the night of the show.

[Future Eddie Mac again: no Live Retro Blog next weekend, as it's Battleground weekend. This feature returns in two weeks.]

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