November 28, 2011

Attendance: 10,509 (58%)

PUNK SCHOOLS ANGLE
ANARCHY begins as beat-up, mid-90’s Ford Taurus pulls into the parking lot. The car comes to a stop, and CM PUNK appears from the driver’s seat, placing the Heavyweight Title over his shoulder. As Punk walks away from the car, he is approached by KURT ANGLE, just feet from the Forum’s entrance. Angle tells Punk that he should be counting his blessings - or whatever Punk does when luck’s on his side - because they both know that the Heavyweight Title should be over his shoulder. Angle says that he had AJ Styles beat, at WICKED GAMES, and that Punk snuck in and pinned him. Angle says that he did all the work in that match, and that Punk is reaping the reward. Angle looks at Punk and says that he should be the Heavyweight Champion.

Punk, nodding his head, agrees with Angle. He says that Kurt did do most of the work at WICKED GAMES, but that he didn’t think about the fact that he had only taken out one guy - not both. Punk says that, if the rolls were reversed, Angle would have done the exact same thing; he tells Angle that he’s lying to himself if he says otherwise. Punk then says that no matter what the circumstance could have been, Angle should know that there’s a difference between “should be Heavyweight Champion” and “IS Heavyweight Champion.” Punk slaps Angle on the shoulder, before walking off-camera, as Angle fumes.

“Headstrong” plays through the Forum as fireworks shoot through the air. Josh Daniels and Scott Michaels welcome everyone to Memphis, just over three weeks away from the final pay-per-view of 2011: CAGED RAGE. In tonight’s main event, David Otunga will step into the ring against the man that started off the show: Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk, in a non-title contest. Also tonight, after substituting for Martin Maldonado, X-Division Champion Adam Cole will face Eddie Edwards in a non-title match.

And, speaking of Martin Maldonado, Scott says that they have attained security camera footage from the arena in Raleigh, and are going to show it right now. The video shows Maldonado, stretching in a hallways backstage, when CODY RHODES attacks him from behind. The surprised catches Maldonado off guard, and Rhodes connects with a stiff elbow to the crown of Martin’s head. Rhodes continues the assault, using anything he can find. Finally, Rhodes pulls a fire extinguisher from the wall, and bounces it off Maldonado’s head, flooring the big man. Rhodes, for good measure, sprays the extinguisher over Maldonado’s body, before leaving the scene.

Scott Daniels says that, because of the attack, Martin Maldonado is not in Memphis tonight. Scott then announces that that first match of the night - Brutus Magnus versus Alex Shelley - will take place after the break.

Commercial Break

Brutus Magnus defeated Alex Shelley by countout in 0:17:47.
Rating: ** ¾

After upsetting the number-one ranked entrant in the Wicked Games Tournament, Brutus Magnus came up just short in the second around against “The Viper” Randy Orton. He looked to rebound from that loss tonight, but Alex Shelley was willing to show the fans that he was still a viable part of the HWL roster. This match went back and forth from the bell, with Magnus starting on the offensive. The tide turned, though, when Shelley connected with a swinging neck breaker for a two-count. Shelley stayed on Magnus throughout the match, trying to wear the bigger man down. Shelly connected with the Sliced Bread #2, but Magnus managed to kick out after only a one-count. Shelly tossed Magnus outside the ring, where he whipped Magnus into the ring post. Shaken, but still on his feet, Magnus was able to dodge a clothesline attempt, hitting a neck breaker onto the concrete floor. With the referee’s count nearing 10, Magnus mustered up the strength to lift Shelley into the air with a Gorilla Press. Magnus then dropped Shelley across the ring steps before rolling into the ring, as the referee counted to ten.

Commercial Break

JEFF HARDY is seen, standing in the ring, as ANARCHY returns from the break. Hardy says that he had everything planned out heading into Wicked Games. He says his future looked bright in his eyes, especially with the possibility of facing CM Punk at Caged Rage for the Heavyweight Title. Hardy says that he has no doubt that he would on to defeat Punk, just like he had done in the past. But, Hardy says that his dreams were derailed in an instant, when Shane Hagadorn interfered in his match against David Otunga. Hardy says that Otunga went on to the Finals, but Otunga knows he wouldn’t have made it that far if Hagadorn didn’t low blow Hardy. Hardy says that he wants to prove that Otunga can’t beat him without help, and issues a challenge for next week.

Randy Orton pinned Jeff Hardy with the RKO in 0:16:04.
Rating:

Jeff Hardy came out determined to send a message to David Otunga tonight. He would get that chance against “The Viper”, who was just one match away from being in the finals of the Wicked Games Tournament. Orton came out aggressive, clearly still upset about coming so close to a number-one contenders spot, and took that aggression out on Hardy. But, Hardy wasn’t going to go down lightly, as he used his aerial skills to keep things interesting for the fans, even using a jumping off a chair and hitting spinning leg kick to Orton. The second time Hardy used the chair, he brought Orton down with spinning leg scissors, which set Orton up for the Swanton Bomb. Hardy connected, but Orton was able to kick out just before three-count. As Hardy got to his feet, he noticed DAVID OTUNGA standing on the stage. Hardy started calling Otunga to the ring, not wanting to wait until next week. This gave Orton enough time to recover, and as Hardy turned around, Orton connected with the RKO. Orton made the cover as Otunga looked on smiling.

After the match, Orton rolled to his knees, and looked at Otunga. Otunga returned the look and clapped his hands before saying that, if Hardy could hear him, he accepted the challenge for next week. Otunga then dropped his microphone and clapped, telling Orton “good match”, before leaving the stage.

Commercial Break

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
As Anarchy returns, CODY RHODES makes his way down to the ring, as Josh and Scott review what took place last week after Rhodes’s match with Chris Hero; and the heinous backstage attack that Rhodes inflicted on Martin Maldonado.

Inside the ring, Rhodes says that, for weeks, he has been trying to come to terms with the fact that he is far removed from the Heavyweight Title; that someone else is both holding the title and challenging for it at Caged Rage. Rhodes says that those concepts are hard to wrap his mind around, when he has been spending his time trying to rid the HWL of the man who cost him the title in the first place. Rhodes says that he had his chance to do just that - and to become the number one contender - at Wicked Games; but he says that he just didn’t have what it took to put Maldonado away. In the hours after Wicked Games, Rhodes says that he thought of a number of ways he could finish the job, but he didn’t want to lower himself to the standards that Maldonado and Kurt Angle strive for. He says that he made his decision before his match with Chris Hero last week, but that his decision pushed aside after Maldonado attacked him. Rhodes says that he is bruised and sore from the attack, but not nearly as bad as Maldonado is, because he’s here and Maldonado is laid up in a hotel room in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Rhodes says that, what happened last week, was just a preview, a taste of what Maldonado has in store for him. Smiling, Rhodes says that there’s only one way he can satisfy both his needs: getting his redemption and ridding the HWL of Maldonado. Rhodes says that, in three weeks, at Caged Rage, he is offering Maldonado one last chance to finish the job AJ Styles hired him to do. One last match, Rhodes says, to see if Maldonado can do to him what he was unable to do to Randy Orton. Rhodes says that, as Maldonado lies in bed, feeling pain with every move of his body, he knows he wants this match. And, because of that, Rhodes says that he will see Maldonado in Providence on December 18th.

Rhodes drops the microphone, while the crowd looks on in stunned silence, as Josh and Scott discuss the “new side” of Cody Rhodes. It’s a “side of Cody we’ve never seen before,” Josh says. Scott wonders, “if Cody can do what he did last week, there’s no telling what he’s capable of when they’ll be locked inside a steel cage!”

Commercial Break

Evan Bourne & Kaz defeated Colt Cabana and Yoshi Tatsu when Kaz defeated Y. Tatsu by countout in 0:06:26.
Rating: ** ¾

The number-one contender was in action tonight, teaming up with Evan Bourne to take on his former partner, Yoshi Tatsu and Colt Cabana. As it was to be expected, this match was a showcase of high speed and aerial risks. In a short contest, there was a lot of action, especially when Tatsu and Kaz were in the ring together. These two know each other well from their past partnership., so it was surprising to see the aggressiveness that Kaz showed as he hit an atomic drop on the concrete outside the ring, jarring his former partner. Inside the ring Bourne and Cabana were brawling, as Kaz whipped Yoshi into the ring steps. Kaz rolled back into the ring, as Bourne tossed Cabana over the top rope, and the referee counted Yoshi out.

Josh Daniels says that he never would’ve expected to see a display like that from Kaz, so he must be trying to send a message to Heavyweight Champion CM Punk, that he’s not going to back down as they head into their match at Caged Rage.

Commercial Break

QUESTIONING TRUST
Backstage, DAVID OTUNGA meets CHRIS HERO in the hallway, and they head into the locker room together, confronting SHANE HAGADORN, who is seated in the corner. Hero says that he has known Hag adorn a long time, and that he has never seen him act the way he’s acted over the past couple weeks. Hero says he wants to know what’s going on, because he doesn’t like not being to trust the man who’s job it is to make sure nothing happens to him. Otunga says that he and Hero had been talking all week long, trying to figure out what purpose Hagadorn would have coming to ringside during Steve Corino’s match last week. Otunga says that, if there’s something Hagadorn needed to tell them, to do it now, so they could take care of matters “right now”.

Startled, his face turning red, Hagadorn tells Chris that his number one priority is him and Otunga. Hagadorn swears that he wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize their trust in him. He says he was ringside, last week, to simply give Corino something to think about. Hagadorn says that he is waiting for a response, but until then Hero and Otunga have nothing to worry about. Hagadorn gets to his feet and pleads with the A-List Knockouts to “trust” him, before walking out of the locker room.

[Non-Title Match]:
Adam Cole pinned Eddie Edwards with the Panama Sunrise in 0:13:33.
Rating: *** ½

These two men have had many battles during their time in the HWL, and tonight was no different. Though this match was not fought X-Division rules, Cole tried to push the envelope with the referee, nearly getting himself disqualified. However, using those tactics, he was able to wear down Edwards, and went on the attack for a better part of the match. However, they don’t call Edwards “Die Hard” without reason. Edwards was able to fight back, late in the match, and nearly picked up an upset victory after a DDT in the center of the ring, but Cole was able to kick out before the three-count. Edwards, arguing with the official, was rolled up with an inside cradle, but kicked out at two. Edwards ran into the ropes and attempted a cross body block, but Cole pulled down the top ropes. Edwards crashed hard on the concrete, and Cole was right there to capitalize on the mistake. Cole used everything he could find at ringside to inflict damage on Edwards, but was nearly counted out as the referee’s count hit nine. Cole slide into the ring, with Edwards, barely standing, struggling to enter the ring before the 10-count. Cole was waiting, and when Edwards got to his feet, Cole hit the Panama Sunrise for the 1-2-3.

Commercial Break

[Non-Title Match]:
CM Punk defeated David Otunga by disqualification in 0:02:35.
Rating: * ¼
[Shane Hagadorn interfered against CM Punk.]

The question heading into this match was whether or not David Otunga could truly trust Shane Hagadorn, and what his manager had in store for him and Chris Hero. Tonight, at least for a moment, it appeared that the answer would be “no”. Otunga started off strong, but the Champion was able to over take him with a series of kicks to the thighs and quick takedowns. Punk set Otunga on the top rope and hit a hurancarana before picking up a two-count. That was the moment Hagadorn had seen enough, and grabbed Punk’s boot, getting the Champ’s attention. The referee quickly called for the bell as Punk stood near the ropes begging for Hagadorn to get inside the ring.

By now, back to his feet, Otunga blindsided Punk with a forearm, sending him to the concrete outside. Otunga went outside and began to attack Punk, until KAZ ran down from the back and fought Otunga and Hagadorn off. Kaz stood near the Champion as Hagadorn made his way up the ramp. Otunga followed, a few feet people, shaking his head in either disbelief of disgust. Josh and Scott wondered what Punk would have to say about this next week, and about the assist that his challenge had just given him. They thank everyone for watching as Anarchy goes off the air.

Card rating: ** ½

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