October 10, 2011

Verizon Wireless Arena - Manchester, New Hampshire
Attendance: 5,817 (58%)

After the HWL video entrance, “Headstrong” plays in the background as a video montage is shown of various superstars inside the ring. As the video ends, an indoor camera shows a blacked-out arena as fireworks streak through the air, culminating in a huge explosion on the stage. The arena lights come on, as smoke rises to the ceiling, and the five-thousand-plus fans in the arena scream as a camera rotates around the ring area. Josh Daniels and Scott Michaels welcome the at-home audience to Manchester, New Hampshire, and announce that they are just 13 days away from the DOWNFALL pay-per-view. Taking the at-home audience back to last week, they cut to a video showing the events that took place during the CM Punk/AJ Styles versus Ken Anderson/Cody Rhodes match. The video ends as the paying audience boos what they saw on the Titantron. Their boos become louder as AJ Style’s music begins to play…

Styles and Ric Flair appear on-stage, in brand new, custom-made suits. Flair plays to the crowd, getting more jeers, as Styles calmly stands in the center of the stage, holding the Heavyweight Title over his shoulder. They make their way down the ramp, and enter the ring, where Flair continues taunting the crowd. While Flair hassles the crowd a moment longer, Styles is handed a microphone from the female ring announcer. Styles brings the microphone to his lips, about to speak, but is cut off as the crowd starts a “Cody! Cody” chant. Styles shakes his head, waiting it out. After a few moments, Styles brings the mike back to his lips and says that he wanted to come out and personally explain why he walked out of last week’s main event. The crowd starts chanting something that is bleeped for the at-home audience, and Flair starts screaming at the fans to “shut up”. Styles says that the crowd has a right to their opinion, but that if they were in a position of power - like he is - he assures them they’d do the same thing. AJ says that, last week, he was expecting something big to happen, especially given that Ken Anderson was allowed to pick his own partner. AJ says that it only made perfect sense that Anderson would choose Cody Rhodes, and that’s exactly what he did. Styles gives Anderson credit for being smart, but says that he’s smarter, because as Heavyweight Champion, Styles has the right to decide when he steps into the ring with the number-one contender. AJ says that last week was not going to be the night he fought Cody Rhodes, because that match had already been signed - whether AJ liked it or not. AJ says that, if the crowd wanted to see him face Rhodes, it would be at Downfall, with the Heavyweight Title on the line; not in some thrown-together match that he was above being a part of. That comment caused the crowd to boo louder, as Styles threw his arms in the air, looking at Flair for a way out.

Styles got his way out as CM Punk’s music started to play. Punk appeared on-stage, in a black T-shirt and his wrestling gear, with a microphone in his hand. The crowd continued booing as Punk made his way down the ramp, and entered the ring, sharing glances with both Flair and AJ. Punk asks them, “isn’t this great”, as he walked around the ring, seemingly soaking in the crowd’s discontent for him. Punk said that, since Styles was coming out to make a point as to way he walked out on last week’s main event, Punk thought it would only be fitting if he came out and did the same. Seeing as how he walked out too, he knew the fans would want his explanation as well. Punk said that, unlike Styles, he didn’t have the luxury of being able to decide when and where he fought someone, especially a number-one contender for a title he doesn’t have, yet. Punk says the only thing he had to worry about was putting his life on the line; and he said that, even though he’s done it a number of times in the past, he wasn’t going to do it in Moscow, Idaho. Punk said that his opponent at Downfall - Ken Anderson - has had a notorious reputation for not being the safest person to step into a wrestling ring. And, because of that, Punk said that if he was going to get injured - or worse - at the hands of Anderson, it was going to be on pay-per-view, where people would have to pay for it, instead of getting to see his career end for free. The crowd started the same unrepeated chant as before, and Punk greeted their taunting with a smug smile and a shrug of his shoulders.

The crowd’s booing turned into cheers as Ken Anderson made his way onto the stage. Dressed in a form-fitting t-shirt and blue jeans, Anderson told Punk that he agrees with the crowd, and that Punk is only afraid of getting embarrassed. Anderson said that Punk has spent most of his time since returning to the HWL, telling everyone that would listen to him, that he had become the biggest name in the business - somewhere else - and that fact alone should allow him the right to do as he pleases. Anderson said that Punk doesn’t want to get into the ring with him until the pay-per-view; but Anderson asked if the fans in Manchester were pleased that they spent their hard-earned money on tickets to see Punk weasel his way out of another opportunity to back up his statements. The crowd screamed out “No!” in unison, as Punk smirked and nodded to Anderson for calling his bluff. Punk then said that, if Anderson was hinting at wanting to fight tonight, then he would be willing to put his career on the line a couple weeks early. He said that he’d had a good long career, and if it ended tonight, he would go into retirement knowing that he would be remembered far longer than Anderson would ever dream.

The crowd’s volume started rising, at the hope of seeing Punk/Anderson later tonight, but they were once again interrupted, this time by CODY RHODES. Dressed in a white T-shirt, black sports jacket, blue jeans and boots, Rhodes said that he hated to be the one to ruin everyone’s fun at the start of the show, saying that CM Punk would be in action tonight, just not against Ken Anderson. Rhodes said that he was personally told by Peter Bradshaw, when he entered the arena tonight, who would be facing Punk in tonight’s main event: Cody Rhodes! Hearing the news, Punk dropped his microphone to the canvas and rolled under the bottom rope and out of the ring. He stopped, however, at the sound of Rhodes’ voice saying that if any member of The Conglomerate interfered in the match, that both Punk and the interfering member would be suspended, and would not take part in the pay-per-view. Rhodes also said that the same went for him and Anderson, and two men stared at each other for a long moment, before Rhodes turned and walked backstage. “Anarchy” went to commercials showing Anderson, Flair, Styles and Punk standing in stunned silence.

Commercial Break

As “Anarchy” returned from the break, RIC FLAIR and AJ STYLES are seen standing outside the Conglomerate’s locker room. AJ said that tonight was a rare occasion, because he agreed with what Cody Rhodes had said last week. That he and Flair had lost the power they should have, him being the Heavyweight Champion, and Flair being who he is. Styles said that they should be the most feared group in the HWL, but things continue to happen that make them out to be the laughing stock of the locker room. He said that, on the other side of the door, was a roomful of men who believed that they would hold some kind of standing in the HWL. Instead, they have to stand around and get mocked every week, because no one has done anything to prove the Conglomerate’s worth. Styles said that it needed to change, and fast, because he wasn’t going to let another accident cost him the Heavyweight Title at “Downfall”.

“The Nature Boy” nodded his head, listening to what AJ had to get off his chest, and answered simply by saying that he would do whatever he could to change the Conglomerate’s identity. Flair said that he, too, had been thinking about what Rhodes said last week, and had come up with a plan to get things moving in the right direction. Flair told AJ that, if he trusted him, to let Flair go through with his plan, and just wait to see what the end result was. AJ said that he did trust Flair, but warned that, if Flair’s plan backfired, all his trust would be lost. The two of them went their separate ways as the scene fades to ringside…

Kaz vs. Kurt Angle

A week after coming up short in his bid to regain the Tag Team Titles, with Evan Bourne, Kaz stepped into the ring with Angle. Angle caused quite the stir last week, as he and Martin Maldonado brutally attacked Randy Orton backstage, leaving “The Viper” bloodied in the parking lot. Tonight, Kaz gave Angle a little more fight than the former Champion was expecting, but frustration quickly set in for Kaz. After multiple attempts to put Angle away, Kaz tore into referee Anthony Thomas, throwing him over the top rope, before continuing to assault Angle. The match continued, as Thomas slowly got back to his feet, and Angle connected with a cheap back elbow, hitting Kaz square in the nose. Angle took advantage, rolled up Kaz, and grabbed a handful of tights as Thomas counted the three!

Kurt Angle pinned Kaz after a back elbow in 0:10:07.
Rating: ¼

After the match, Angle quickly rolled out of the ring as Kaz argued with Thomas. Thomas, who had had enough of Kaz, limped out of the ring, and stood by the announce table as Kaz turned his attention to Angle, who was walking up the ramp. As Angle walked up the ramp, he got blindsided by RANDY ORTON! Orton attacked Angle, on the ramp, before MARTIN MALDANADO ran down to make the save. Maldonado shoved Orton down to the steel, and stood over Angle, as Orton got to his feet. Orton said that things were far from over, and left through the crowd, as Anarchy went to commercials…

Commercial Break

Coming back from the break, Kurt Angle and Martin Maldonado are seen walking through the hallways backstage. They separate, heading in other directions, as the camera follows Angle into his locker room. He heads towards his ring bag, sitting on a chair in front of a locker, and notices a plain white envelope sitting on top. Angle opens the envelope and pulls out a piece of paper. He reads the note and lets it fall to the ground, before quickly looking over his shoulder. Angle begins to scour the locker room, opening doors and looking in the shower area for someone, anyone. He quickly leaves the locker room, storming down the hallway as the scene cuts to another area backstage…

The Women’s Champion, Brie Bella, is seen pacing around an empty area backstage, talking on her cell phone. Dressed in her ring gear, with the title belt around her waist, Brie said that she agree with the person on the other end: Velvet Sky is crazy. Brie said that she never thought she’d see Velvet do some of the things she’s done in the past, and that there’s no telling what she’s going to do in the future. Brie announced that she had a match coming up, and would have to end the call. She thanked the person on the other end, and hung up the phone, before heading towards the ring area, but she is stopped as VELVET SKY stepped into her path.

Velvet said that she heard what Brie had said, and that if she thought Velvet was crazy now, then Brie would indeed be shocked by what Velvet had in store. Velvet said that she might do some crazy things, but she had never once called anyone “crazy”, and demanded that Brie apologize to her. Annoyed, Brie told Velvet that she was not going to apologize and demanded that Velvet get out of her way. Velvet said not until she was apologized to, which Brie said was not going to happen. Velvet took a step closer, coming within inches of Brie’s face, and asked her to please apologize for hurting her feelings. Brie stood her ground, and said no. Then, out of nowhere, Velvet smacked Brie across the face and turned, running down the hallway, as Brie stood in shock, rubbing the side of her face.

Commercial Break

Non-Title Match
Hamada vs. © Brie Bella

Brie Bella’s night didn’t get off to the start she was expecting, as he encounter with Velvet Sky was witnessed by millions around the world. But, to make matters worse, she stepped into the ring with Hamada, a newcomer from Japan. Brie got off to a good start in the opening minutes of the match, but Hamada’s background in the world of Japanese wrestling appeared to be no match for the Women’s Champion. Hamada landed a couple frankensteiner and a power bomb before going for the cover, only getting a two-count, as Brie was able to get to the ropes. From that point, the match went back and forth, with both Vixens getting slow counts from the referee. Eventually, Brie was able to sit her second Bella Buster of the match, and covered Hamada for the 1-2-3.

Brie Bella pinned Hamada with the Bella Buster in 0:10:25.
Rating: * ¾

After the match, Brie rolled out of the ring, and grabbed her title belt, giving the referee a very dirty look. She made her way up the ramp as Hamada slowly sat up, holding her head, on the canvas.

Backstage, MARTIN MALDONADO is seen walking through the hallways, when he is approached by KURT ANGLE. Angle told him about note that was left in his locker room, and said that they need to discuss this together. Angle said doesn’t know who’s behind it, but he would be making a phone call if they agreed it was the right thing to do. Both men looked around them, suspiciously, before heading to an undisclosed area of the arena, as Anarchy went to commercials.

Commercial Break

Anarchy returned, showing the outside of the Verizon Wireless Center, before heading inside to show the ring area. HWL Owner PETER BRADSHAW appeared on-stage, carrying the HWL X-Division Title over his shoulder. As he entered the ring, and was handed a microphone, Bradshaw told the fans that he had good news and bad news to tell them. The bad news, Bradshaw said, was that Tyson Kidd - who was X-Division Champion last week - has decided to follow another path in life, and has decided to leave the HWL. (Crowd boos) But, Bradshaw said the good news was, that the fans in Manchester would not have to wait another week to see who would take the place of titleholder. Bradshaw announced that, the match between Evan Bourne and Adam Cole - which was previously slated to be a #1 Contenders Match - would not be for the vacated X-Division Title. (crowd cheers) Bradshaw thanked the crowd for their time, and said he hoped they would look forward to the match, later tonight. He left the ring as the camera showed the backstage area…

Backstage, Alisha Hicks was seen with CM PUNK, who was still in his t-shirt and ring gear. Alisha asked Punk to expand on the comments he made, earlier tonight, about Ken Anderson. Punk, annoyed by the question, told Alisha that there was nothing to expand on. He had come out to the ring and made his point crystal clear, he thought. Punk said that’s why Alisha would never be more then just a pretty face, with the ability to hold a microphone in front of someone’s mouth. Alisha shook her head, unable to believe what was just said to her, but she managed to ask Punk what he thought about facing Cody Rhodes in tonight’s main event. Punk said that, if nothing else, it was a way for Peter Bradshaw to show how much power he had. Punk said that Bradshaw had to prove a point to someone, and he knew that AJ Styles would just walk out again, if he was given an opponent he didn’t like. Bradshaw knew that Punk wouldn’t do that, he said. Punk said that he doesn’t like Cody Rhodes, but that he respects him. He’s been at the top of the mountain in the HWL - a place that Punk plans on being in no time at all. Punk said that, if Bradshaw wants to see what they are both capable of before Downfall, then that’s what’s going to happen. Punk said that the only thing sweeter than beating a former Heavyweight Champion tonight, would be beating the current Heavyweight Champion, when the time came. Punk walked away from Alisha as Anarchy went to commercials…

Commercial Break

#1 Contenders Match - Tag Team Titles
Steve Corino/Eddie Edwards vs. Colt Cabana/Yoshi Tatsu

In the days leading up to this match, Colt Cabana and Yoshi Tatsu had lost their respective partners, as they decided to leave the company, forcing Peter Bradshaw to put them together, shortening the #1 Contender tournament. Cabana and Tatsu came into this match at a huge disadvantage, having never worked together before, and facing a team who, last week, defeated Evan Borne and Kaz. That previous teamwork helped proved Corino and Edwards to be more deserving of a title shot at Downfall. All four men spent a significant amount of time, doing damage to each other outside the ring, but in the end, it came down to Corino connecting with a Northern Lights suplex to pick up the victory, punching he and Edwards a ticket to Kansas City.

Steve Corino & Eddie Edwards defeated Colt Cabana & Yoshi Tatsu when S. Corino pinned Yoshi after a Northern Lights suplex in 0:15:17.
Rating: *** ¾

After the match, Corino and Edwards left the ring, as the crowd gave them a mixed response to their victory. They did not see Chris Hero and David Otunga appear on-stage with Shane Hagadorn holding the Tag Team Titles on his shoulders. As Corino and Edwards turned, they quickly braced themselves for a fight, as the anticipation inside the arena built just as fast. The four men stood on-stage, staring at each other, before Hero and Otunga offered their hands. Reluctantly - after a few moments thought - Corino and Edwards shook their hands, symbolizing that their confrontation would be fair and down the middle. Hero, Otunga and Hagadorn left the stage as the scene goes backstage…

Backstage, Alisha Hicks is seen with ADAM COLE. Dressed in his ring attire, Cole is asked about the announcement that his match against Evan Bourne will now be for the X-Division Title. Cole said that, he had been saying for week, that it was only a matter of time before he stepped into the ring with the belt on the line again. He said that he just wished that the match would’ve been against Tyson Kidd. Cole said that, last week, he got a sense of redemption in beating Alex Shelley, but that the ultimate goal was to beat Kidd for the belt. Cole said that, instead, he will have to do to Evan Bourne what he wanted to do to Kidd; but that the end result would still be the same: that he would be announced the winner, and would walk out of Manchester as a two-time X-Division Champion. Cole left the area as Anarchy went to commercials.

Commercial Break

As Anarchy came back from the break, the camera showed Cody Rhodes stretching in an empty area backstage. As Rhodes finished his stretches, and began to walk away, he was approached by KEN ANDERSON. Anderson told Rhodes that he’s glad Rhodes’ injury had healed, and that he was getting back into the ring. Anderson said that he wasn’t happy that Rhodes was getting a shot at AJ Styles, and the Heavyweight Title, but he understood why. But, Anderson said the main reason he stopped Rhodes was to ask him a question. Anderson said he knew that Rhodes was looking to get back in the ring, and that just like him, Rhodes had heard enough of CM Punk running his mouth as of late; so, Anderson asked Rhodes to take what he wanted from Punk, but to leave Anderson a little bit for Downfall, where he would finish Punk off for good. Anderson patted Rhodes on the shoulder before walking away…

Match for vacant X-Division Title:
Evan Bourne vs. Adam Cole

A glass case was set up near the announcer’s table, holding the X-Division Title, reminding both men of what was at stake in this match. Knowing what awaited the winner, both men did everything they could to get the better of his opponent. Early on in the match, Bourne, in an uncharacteristic showing, threw the referee out of the ring in disgust. Unlike the other times this happens, there would be no penalty handed down to Bourne, and the match was allowed to continue. Both men continued to work each other over, with Cole gaining the upper hand as they made their way out of the ring area. Cole landed a DDT onto a fan’s chair, but instead of going for the pin, gloated - claiming that he would be a two-time champion. The time wasted allowed Bourne, who had grabbed another chair, to crack the metal onto Cole’s kneecap, sending him down to the concrete, holding his leg in pain. Bourne worked over the leg, and drug Cole back into the ring. Standing on one wobbly leg, Cole fell victim to a stiff forearm smash that allowed Bourne to make the cover, and win his first-ever title in the HWL!

Evan Bourne pinned Adam Cole after a forearm smash in 0:10:08.
Rating: *** ¾

After the match, Bourne rolled out of the ring, and opened the glass case, taking out the X-Division Title and holding it in the air. Bourne then rolled into the ring, and while standing over Cole’s body, revealed a small piece of metal from inside the tape that covered his forearm. Bourne let the metal drop to the canvas, as a wave of confusion went through the crowd. Bourne left the ring, carrying the title belt over his shoulder, as the scene cut to the backstage area…

In the Conglomerate locker room, RIC FLAIR and MATT MORGAN are seen talking. As Morgan left the room, Flair’s cell phone rang. Flair picked up, said hello, and listened to the person on the other end. After a few moments, Flair said that he would meet “them” next week in Hershey. Flair hung up the phone, leaned back in his chair, and smiled satisfactorily as Anarchy went to commercials.

Commercial Break

As Anarchy returned, “Back For More” by Five Finger Death Punch played while a preview for Downfall aired. The event will take place, on October 23rd, live from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missorui.

CM Punk vs. Cody Rhodes

Ever since the match was announced, earlier on the show, a lot of buzz surrounded the eventual encounter between Punk and Rhodes. The question was: Would the match last long enough to be something the fans would be happy with? That question was answered, and more, as neither Ken Anderson or AJ Styles wasted their time in showing up at ringside. Both men interfered for their respective party, but never doing enough to warrant a victory for either Punk or Rhodes. Even without the help from the outside, Punk and Rhodes both tried everything in their arsenal to put each other away, hitting both the G.T.S. and the Cross Rhodes on multiple occasions, to no avail. As the match began to wind down, and both men started showing signs of fatigue, they went outside the ring, where they both fell victim to sneak attacks from Anderson and Styles. In the end, neither man could gain the advantage, and the referee had no choice but to count them out.

Cody Rhodes and CM Punk battled to a double countout in 0:20:48.
Rating: *** ¾
[AJ Styles interfered against Cody Rhodes.]
[Ken Anderson interfered against CM Punk.]

After the match, all four men tore into each other, eliciting a roar of cheers from the crowd! HWL security personnel ran down to the ring and broke up the brawl, as PETER BRADSHAW appeared on-stage. Bradshaw said that he knew that all four men were salivating at the thought of getting a hold of each other at Downfall, but that neither he nor the fans were willing to wait that long. Bradshaw announced that, next week, AJ Styles and CM Punk would team up to face Ken Anderson and Cody Rhodes in a steel cage match! Bradshaw said that, unlike other cage matches, the only way to win this one would be either pinfall or submission. With the crowd cheering, Bradshaw left the stage. All four men stared in disbelief as Anarchy went off the air…

Card rating: *** ½

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