October 23, 2011

Sprint Center – Kansas City, Missouri
Attendance: 10,032 (58%)

Fireworks shot off the stage and ring area as “Back For More” by Five Finger Death Punch played throughout the arena. As the smoke cleared, Josh Daniels and Scott Michaels welcomed everyone to Kansas City, Missouri, and to the Downfall pay-per-view. They went over the seven scheduled matches for the evening, before a small preview video played, showing the events from last Monday night surrounding Brutus Magnus's challenge to Jeff Hardy and Rami Sebei.

Handicap Match:
Jeff Hardy/Rami Sebei vs. Brutus Magnus

Magnus demanded this match, Monday night at Anarchy, and quickly found himself over-matched after the bell rang. During his time in the HWL, Rami Sebei has proven to be a very agile athlete, who uses his speed to his advantage. In doing so, he almost became Heavyweight Champion. Similar to his partner, Jeff Hardy has proven to be just as agile, and more willing to put his body on the line to pick up a victory. That was the case tonight, as Hardy and Magnus found their way outside the ring, and Magnus – in a moment of control – whipped Hardy into the steel barricade at ringside. Magnus worked over Hardy's back after re-entering the ring, but wasn't able to put him away with a pin-fall attempt. Hardy fought back, slowly getting to his feet, and made the hot tag to Sebei, who came in and used his speed to take down Magnus. After hitting a beautiful spinning DDT in the center of the ring, Sebei tagged in Hardy, who quickly jumped to the top rope before hitting the Swanton Bomb for the 1-2-3!

Jeff Hardy and Rami Sebei defeated Brutus Magnus when J. Hardy pinned Magnus with the Swanton Bomb in 0:07:47.
Rating: *** ¾

After the match, Hardy and Sebei left the ring and celebrated with the crowd as the camera went backstage.

Backstage, in their locker room, CHRIS HERO and DAVID OTUNGA – the HWL Tag Team Champions – are seen listening to Shane Hagadorn. Hagadorn told them that tonight was the first time in a while that they would not have to face Skip Sheffield or Rob Terry for the title belts. He said that, tonight, they get to step into the ring with a makeshift team that was created by Peter Bradshaw out of two men that couldn't cut it as singles competitors. Hagadorn said that Bradshaw was crazy to think that Steve Corino and Eddie Edwards would be able to take away the titles that Hero and Otunga had worked so hard to get, after winning just a couple matches over the past few weeks. Hagadorn said that Hero and Otunga had nothing to worry about, that they were better then Corino and Edwards, and that after they won tonight, drinks would be on him. Hero and Otunga got to their feet as all three men walked out of the dressing room.

Also backstage, in the parking lot, “The Nature Boy” RIC FLAIR and the HWL Heavyweight Champion AJ STYLES, are seen carrying their luggage into the Sprint Center. As they head towards the door, Alisha Hicks appeared, in a purple sweater and gray dress pants. She told the duo that a video had been shown on Monday night, showing them leaving a restaurant. She asked if it had anything to do with the phone call Flair had taken two weeks ago, and if they could tell her who they had met with. Styles said nothing as Flair looked Alisha up and down, complimented her on her attire, and said that the questions would be answered in due time. Flair said that he wasn't going to waste his time giving Alisha the specifics of what did or didn't happen, and that Styles had bigger things to worry about. They walked past Alisha as the scene cut back to ringside.

Tag Team Title Match:
Steve Corino/Eddie Edwards vs. © Chris Hero/David Otunga (w/Shane Hagadorn)

For the past couple weeks, things have gone back and forth between these two teams as they prepared to face off tonight, with the Tag Team Titles hanging in the balance. After winning the right to challenge the Champions, Steve Corino and Eddie Edwards were greeted by what seemed to be a friendly handshake from the Hero and Otunga. Last week, that changed, as Hero was not willing to return the offered handshake of the challenges. That set the stage for tonight, where Hero and Otunga, who Hagadorn referred to as the “A-List Knockouts”, proved that they were the dominant team. Having worked together in the past, they had learned each others' skills and tendencies. They worked over Corino and Edwards with a number of double teams, while Hagadorn kept the other member occupied. Corino looked to be in a world of hurt at the end of the match, but he ducked under a vicious clothesline attempt from Otunga, and was able to tag in Edwards, who cleaned out, getting the crowd fired up! Outside the ring, Corino grabbed Otunga and threw out back into the ring. Shane Hagadorn came from behind and hit Corino in the back with a forearm. Corino turned around and chased Hagadorn from ringside. Hero, who noticed that his manager was in trouble, left ringside and began to give chase, too. Inside the ring, Edwards waited as Otunga got to his feet before connecting with a springboard dropkick. Edwards made the cover, and the referee counted the 1-2-3!

Steve Corino & Eddie Edwards defeated Chris Hero & David Otunga when E. Edwards pinned D. Otunga after a springboard dropkick in 0:17:51.
Rating: ***
(Steve Corino & Eddie Edwards won the HWL Tag Team Titles.)

After the match, Edwards and Corino were announced the winners, which stopped Hero in his tracks atop the stage. Edwards rolled out of the ring and grabbed both title belts as Hero lost his temper and started tearing down whatever part of the set he could get his hands on. HWL officials rushed to the stage, and after a struggle with Hero, escorted him to the backstage area.

Backstage, the camera followed Alisha Hicks as she approached MATT MORGAN. Alisha asked if Morgan had any information about who AJ Styles and Ric Flair were talking to on Monday night. Morgan told Alisha that she's starting to get on people's nerves – and that it's in her best interest to stop snooping around. Alisha said that not Morgan nor any other member of the Conglomerate would dare put their hands on her for doing her job. Morgan smiled, and said that that was probably true. Morgan said that he didn't know who Styles and Flair had spoken to, and that neither of them would be willing to offer up that information to him, or any other member, any way. Frustrated, Alisha turned around, and came face to face with Chelsea. Chelsea said that if Alisha kept asking questions, there was one member of the Conglomerate that she would have to worry about. Alisha quickly walked away as the scene went back to ringside…

Josh Daniels and Scott Michaels discussed the up-coming match, for the Women's Title, between Velvet Sky and champion Brie Bella. A video package is then played, showing the changes that had taken place in Velvet's personality as she got closer to challenging for the title.

Women's Title Match:
Velvet Sky vs. © Brie Bella

Velvet Sky came out to the ring, still fuming from the “Smack Heard 'Round the World” this past Monday on Anarchy. She attacked Brie before the bell, and didn't relent for the entirety of the match. Velvet controlled things from the get-go, but the champion was able to surprise the challenger with an armbar submission out of nowhere. However, Velvet reached the ropes in less then 10 seconds, and before the crowd knew it, she was back in control. Velvet brought things outside the ring, for just a moment, but clearly thought better of it, as she threw Brie back inside the ring, where she locked in the sleeperhold reverse mat slam for the shockingly quick 1-2-3.

Velvet Sky pinned Brie Bella after a sleeperhold reverse mat slam in 0:08:04.
Rating: **
(Velvet Sky won the HWL Women's Title.)

After the match, as the crowd looked on in shock, Velvet left the ring and grabbed the Women's Title. She held it in the air, while walking up the ramp, as the crowd rained boos down on. As Velvet got to the stop of the ramp, she turned and lifted up her skirt, mooning the crowd, before walking through the curtains to the backstage area.

Backstage, Alisha Hicks was seen with the X-Division Champion Evan Bourne, as he prepared to defend the title against Adam Cole. When asked what was going through his mind as he got ready to face Cole again, for the second time in three weeks, Bourne said that he didn't really expect anything differently. Bourne said that he had known how much the X-Division Title meant to Cole, and that after beating him, Cole would find a way to get back into the title match. Bourne said that Cole's actions on Monday night took things to another level, and that he would take great satisfaction in beating Cole again tonight.

The camera showed “The Viper” Randy Orton walking through the backstage area, when he was approached by KURT ANGLE. Angle told Orton that he got lucky Monday night, hitting the RKO after the fact; and that Orton doesn't really know what he's in for tonight. Angle wished Orton good luck before walking away as Orton stared behind him.

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

These two men have had a very poisonous relationship in just the last few weeks, and it's all been over the X-Division Title. This past Monday night, Adam Cole attacked Evan Bourne and made his intentions on getting a rematch known, and tonight he got his wish. The stage was set by their last encounter, two weeks ago, and the crowd's interest in this match rose as the bell rang. But, unlike the last bout between them, Cole and Bourne stayed relatively close to the ring in this one. They replaced the hardcore style that the X-Division has become known for, for a more high-flying style, and it caused a lot of cheers – and groans – from the crowd in Kansas City. During the match, Bourne was able to connect with the 450 Splash, but being close to the ropes, Cole got his foot on the rope, breaking the count. After working Cole over more, Bourne set him up for another 450 Splash. But, this time, Bourne played to the crowd just a little too long, and Cole was able to roll out of the way! Long, agonizing moments passed as the fan's anticipation rose along with both athletes. Cole got to his feet first, and waiting as Bourne did the same, before connecting with the Panama Sunrise for the shocking 1-2-3!

Adam Cole pinned Evan Bourne with the Panama Sunrise in 0:16:49.

After the match, the crowd watched in stunned silence as Cole rolled out of the ring, and grabbed the X-Division Title. Cole made his way up the ramp, laughing and holding the title in the air, as the camera cut to the backstage area…

Backstage, Alisha Hicks was seen with both Kurt Angle and Martin Maldonado. Alisha asked if Maldonado felt prepared to face Randy Orton tonight, since he would be making his singles' debut in this match. Maldonado stood silent as Angle told Alisha that Maldonado was a professional, that he had been in the business for quite some time. Angle said that Maldonado honed his craft down in the PCW before being hired as his “associate”, to help rid the HWL of “The Viper”. Angle said that neither he nor Maldonado were concerned with whether or not he was ready tonight. Angle said that the only person that should be worried was Orton himself, because he got a first-hand look at what Maldonado could do inside the ring on Monday night. The two men walked away as the scene faded…

Backstage, Peter Bradshaw is shown in his office, as CM PUNK barges in. Startled, Bradshaw got to his feet and met Punk in the middle of the room, and asked what the meaning of his intrusion was. Punk demanded that Bradshaw change his match tonight; that he would face anyone else on the roster, instead of Anderson. Punk told Bradshaw that everyone saw what Anderson is capable of doing, nearly choking Punk on Monday night. Punk said that he signed a huge contract with Bradshaw, and unless he wanted to pay Punk everything he was owed when he got put on the shelf, Bradshaw would make the change. Bradshaw said that he wouldn't change a thing, and that the match was still going to happen. Punk flew into a rage, pushed Bradshaw down to the floor, and stormed out of the office, leaving the HWL owner in shock.

Martin Maldonado vs. Randy Orton

The Kansas City crowd was hot for this match. Some would say it had more anticipation then tonight's main event, as Orton finally got the chance to step into the ring with the man responsible for the hit-and-run accident that took “The Viper” out of action for weeks during the summer. Maldonado came out to the ring, alone, and after the bell rang, showed that he wasn't in need of outside assistance. Maldonado came out strong, tearing into Orton, using his size advantage to overpower “The Viper”. Maldonado kept on the attack for a better part of the match, until he attempted a Gringo Killer that Orton blocked, whipping Maldonado through the ropes, to the concrete outside the ring. Both men brawled all over the ringside area, with the referee following in-tow, pleading with them to bring the match back into the ring. As they made their way back towards the ring, Orton flung Maldonado into the steel ring steps – for good measure – before rolling into the ring. Maldonado slowly re-entered the ring at the count of seven, but Orton struck soon after, hitting an RKO! Orton went for the cover, but Maldonado placed his foot on the ropes to break the count. Orton slapped his hands on the canvas before turning his attention to the referee, and throwing him through the ropes! With the referee incapacitated, Orton went ballistic on Maldonado, hitting the bigger man with everything he could muster. After a few vicious moments, the referee re-entered the ring, just in time to see Orton connect with a second RKO. Orton made the cover for the 1-2-3!

Randy Orton pinned Martin Maldonado with the RKO in 0:18:13.
Rating: *** ¾

After the match, the crowd in the Sprint Center went crazy for Orton. Orton, meanwhile, stood over Maldonado, staring at his motionless body, soaking in the scene as the cameras went backstage…

Backstage, Ted Hanson was seen with Ken Anderson before his match with CM Punk. Anderson looked distraught, and he apologized for the events that took place during the steel cage match on Monday night. Anderson said that what happened to Punk was an accident, and that he knew that everyone that stepped into the ring was putting their lives on the line. Anderson said that he did not want to be the cause of permanently injuring someone, or taking away their livelihood. Anderson said that Punk had every right to want to change their match, but that the time for doing that had passed. Anderson said that he would put away all the words that have been said between the two over the past month, and do everything in his power to make sure both men walked out safe at the end of the match, no matter who won or lost. Anderson walked away as Josh Daniels and Scott Michaels discussed the sudden change in Anderson's attitude.

Also backstage, AJ Styles and Ric Flair were seen making their way towards the stage area, when they are again approached by Alisha Hicks. Hicks said that she had been trying to get answers from someone in the Conglomerate all night long, and that she was getting tired of being given nothing. She asked again, if either Styles or Flair would be willing to give her information about who they met with on Monday night. Flair and Styles stopped, looked at each other for a moment, and then walked past Alisha without saying a word. Alisha threw her microphone down in frustration as the scene went back to ringside.

Ken Anderson vs. CM Punk

The semi-main event was up next. Earlier in the evening, Punk was seen asking Peter Bradshaw to get him out of the match, and then attacking the owner when he didn't get what he wanted. Anderson was then seen apologizing for injuring Punk's neck Monday night at Anarchy. But, what took the cake, was when Punk was introduced, he came out to the ring in a neck brace! Punk got on the microphone and said that he was unable to compete tonight, due to doctor's orders. Anderson stood in stared in amazement as Punk pointed to his injured neck and started to leave the ring. He didn't get far as Peter Bradshaw appeared on-stage and said that he had not heard a thing for the medical staff, and according to him, Punk was in fine condition to wrestle. Bradshaw had the match started, and Anderson and Punk went at it tooth-and-nail. Both men pulled no punches inside the ring, as they jockeyed for position. Anderson quickly too the match to the outside, where he whipped Punk's back and neck anywhere into anything that he could find: the guardrails, the steel steps and even the ring post! Punk looked like he was out on his feet as Anderson rolled him back into the ring. Anderson had Punk right where he wanted him, and attempted to hit the Mic Check, but Punk just barely kicked out at 2 ½! Anderson went berserk, and shoved the referee down to the canvas. As Anderson stood over the referee, Punk rolled to safety, and as Anderson turned around, Punk locked in a schoolboy pin attempt, but the referee was unable to count the three. Punk released the hold just as the referee got back to his feet. With both men standing up, Anderson missed with a clothesline, that Punk ducked before connecting with the G.T.S out of nowhere! Punk made the cover for the 1-2-3!

CM Punk pinned Ken Anderson with the G.T.S in 0:15:16.
Rating: *** ½

After the match, Punk crumpled onto the floor as the referee pointed to him as the winner of the match. Punk used the ropes, and struggled to his feet, as the crowd looked on in shock at how Punk won the match. He rolled out of the ring and slowly made his way up the ramp as the camera went backstage…

Backstage, Alisha Hicks was seen with Cody Rhodes, just moments before his Heavyweight Title match against AJ Styles. Alisha asked how Rhodes felt heading into this match, after being gone for so long with an injury. Rhodes said that everything he did during his time rehabbing from the injury was to get him back to this very spot. Rhodes said that Styles was carrying a title that everyone knew wasn't his; that had the match at Unbreakable taken place, things would've been different tonight. But, Rhodes said that he wasn't dealt a hand he liked, but he played the cards he had. He said that, tonight, he was as ready as he had ever been to step back into the ring; and that he was more than ready to take back what was rightfully his. Rhodes walked away as the scene faded.

A preview for the up-coming HWL pay-per-view: WICKED GAMES is shown. The 8-man tournament, to crown a #1 Contender for the Heavyweight Title will take place on November 20th, live from the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina!

HWL Heavyweight Title Match:
Cody Rhodes vs. © AJ Styles (w/Ric Flair & Chelsea)

This match may go down in HWL history as one of the greatest ever! Rhodes and Styles both came out tonight like balls of fire, hitting one another with everything they had. They both seemed like their careers depended on the outcome of this match, and neither of them wanted to leave Kansas City with a loss. For 30 minutes, both men put their bodies on the line for the sake of honor and the HWL Heavyweight Title. Styles took the advantage when he started working over Rhodes' groin area, causing the challenger to limp throughout the rest of the match. Styles threw Rhodes to the outside, to get a breather; and while distracting the referee, Flair made his presence known by furthering the damage on the outside! Flair rolled Rhodes back into the ring, and Styles connected with the Styles Clash, but Rhodes was able to kick out just before the three! Styles seemed to have been taken off his game after seeing Rhodes kick out, and eventually Rhodes was able to fight back, bringing the crowd with him. Rhodes fought back, hitting Styles with everything he could muster after enduring the champ's assault. Rhodes connected with a DDT and set Styles up for the Cross Rhodes when KURT ANGLE ran down to the ring and jumped onto the apron! With the referee distracted, MARTIN MALDONADO entered the ring and hit Rhodes with the Gringo Killer! Maldonado pulled Styles across the ring and draped him over Rhodes before leaving the ring. Angle jumped down off the apron, and the referee turned to see the pinfall. The crowd groaned in disbelief as the referee counted the three, and awarded Styles the match.

AJ Styles pinned Cody Rhodes via pinfall in 0:30:14.
Rating: ¾
[Martin Maldonado interfered against Cody Rhodes.]

After the match, the crowd roared in disapproval of what they just witnessed. Ric Flair and Chelsea entered the ring, and helped Styles to his feet as Angle made his way up the ramp, staring at the action in the ring. Chelsea grabbed the Heavyweight Title, and gave draped it over Styles's shoulder as Josh Daniels expressed how sickened he was by what just too place. Anarchy went off the air as the other members of the Conglomerate made their way to the ring to celebrate the victory.

Card rating: *** ¾

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