Monday, July 18, 2011

Money in the Bank 2011: My Personal Recollection.


As a lifelong wrestling fan, I haven't attended nearly as many events as I could of.  Especially, since I live close to Chicago, a frequent stop for the WWE.  Since Backlash 2001, I went nearly 10 years without going to a live show.  Night of Champions 2010 was my first show back, and I enjoyed the experience.  Last March, I attended my first Raw, it was the go home show to Wrestlemania.  NXT, Superstars, Raw, and Smackdown all taped at one event.  We seen Edge's last Raw match, although we didn't know it at the time.  HBK, Undertaker, and Triple H had a great promo in the ring.  And let's not forget The Rock and Cena had their first face to face confrontation.  I didn't think that could be topped... but then there was last night.

When the tickets were purchased, I figured it would be a fun event in the first place.  The MITB matches were always fun to watch on TV, figured it would be better live.  But then CM Punk shook the wrestling world and would be squaring off against John Cena for the top prize in his home town.  No doubt he would get a hero's welcome.

Pulling up to the Allstate Arena, you can feel the buzz.  When I got to my seats, I looked around and seen CM Punk shirts, signs, and Chicago flags all over the arena.  But let's be fair, kids, women, and even some men could be spotted in red shirts.  Cena was pretty well represented himself, it was going to be fun. As we waited patiently for even the dark match, CM Punk chants echoed through the arena.  It wasn't quite as rabid as the One Night Stand crowd, but I still felt I was a part of something special.

After a less than desirable dark match between the Nexus and Kozlov/Santino, we were ready for the televised event.  The mere shot of Punk on the intro made the crowd erupt.  We got straight to business with the Smackdown MITB match.  Man, was that exciting.  Sin Cara getting broke through a ladder got our first "Holy Shit" chant of the night.  My friends went in joking about wanting Slater to win, but we weren't the only ones.  A couple "One man rock band" chants were started throughout the match.  But in the end, Daniel Bryan got the victory and a well deserved standing O from us at Chicago.  And we are just getting started.

Next up we got the Divas match.  I give the ladies a good grade for effort, but the crowd was lost.  This is when the smarky chants broke out.  Including an attempt at a Colt Cabana and Zack Ryder chants.  I yelled out a "Woo Woo Woo" and several "You know it bros" broke out. That was very funny.

About every review I read, they liked Henry/Show match.  But once again the crowd didn't seem to care.  A small Pillman and Vader chant broke loose after the post match assault, but it just didn't have the same connection some people seen on TV.

The Raw MITB was next and just like the SD match, it was extremely entertaining.  Evan's SSP off the ladder got the second "holy shit" chant of the night.  There was kids around me, but screw it, I was having fun and paid to be there.  The Miz was extremely over with the crowd, biggest pop of that match and the place went unglued when he came back out.  A great moment is when one of my friends yelled for Del Rio to rip off Rey's mask only to see it happen about 10 seconds later.  I marked out big for Del Rio winning, but missed Ricardo Rodriguez and his announcing, but I did my best to replicate it, much to the chagrin of the children in my section.

As much as I did not want to I had to use the beginning of the Orton/Christian match to use the bathroom.  It was either then or the main event though.  I couldn't believe that Christian won the the title, even if it was in a cheap fashion.  Orton's RKO on the announce table got a huge pop.  The crowd was expecting Daniel Bryan to cash in. Chants of his name kept breaking out.  The crowd wanted one more RKO on Christian, and I read some grief over that, but you know what it was fun as hell and it got a great reaction, that's what wrestling is about right?

And it's the main event.  The anticipation of Punk was electric, it was truly like watching our home team play for a championship against our biggest rival.  Punk's came out like a hero, the noise was incredible.  Cena got booed as expected too, but the atmosphere was set.  Dueling chants rang throughout the match until eventually everyone had their concentration glued on the match.  The close falls, submission holds had us out of our seats, it was incredible.  I can't explain how it was, but I was screaming and dripping in sweat.  I had legitimate nervousness about Cena maybe winning this, I had emotions invested in the match.  We got wrestling how it should be.  I'm not a Cena fan, but I surely will give him credit for being the performer he can be and that night he did great.  Just like at ECW: ONS he didn't try to pander to a hostile crowd, he was a dick and I loved it.  When CM Punk finally got the we went absolutely bat shit.  I've been to several sporting events and that feeling tops nearly all of them.  CM Punk beat John Cena in Chicago for the WWE Title, I couldn't believe it.

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