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Eyes on #1...Capitol Punishment [2011]

Eyes On #1 - Capitol Punishment - What happens when a capital-themed PPV includes a main eventer in R-Truth and a Barack Obama impersonator?

WWE Capitol Punishment’s official logo

July 19th was a monumental day for the WWE with the announcement of the Brand Split; a concept, that the powers that be believed would revitalise an otherwise ailing and predictable product.

It was pushed as though it was a completely revolutionary idea, handily forgetting that the WWE had tried and failed with the idea in the mid to late noughties before eventually benching it completely.

To say the re-introduction of the concept is divisive is an understatement, some saying that certain divisions would suffer – namely, a paper thin Women’s Division roster that had taken years to drag from the doldrums of bra and panties matches, while some argued that the split would benefit stars who couldn’t buy a push if their lives depended on it.

The only thing we knew for sure? That we would be reverting back to the two pay per view a month system. Too much wrestling? Very possibly – especially when coupled with SmackDown Live, RAW, NXT, Main Event, Superstars and the newly introduced 205 Live shows. 

It’s a shame really. Two pay per views a month dilutes the excitement that we all feel for them, and for me definitely, pay per views were the highlight of my month. Waiting on the edge of my seat to see when the title would change hands, or the end of the latest feud in whatever bizarre stipulation WWE creative had dreamt up in the build-up.

One of my earliest wrestling memories, in fact, is the 1996 Boiler-Room Brawl between Mankind and The Undertaker at SummerSlam, the culmination of carefully planned promos and vicious matches. This is the way pay per views should still be used today.

After the announcement of the brand split, I took to the Network to watch some of the classic pay per views of old, watching them carefully and with fresh eyes. Thus, this brand new feature was born!

The feature is called Eyes On... and each month I shall review a classic pay per view, the matches, the segments, the video packages and the backstage shenanigans that make the pay per views events that we looked forward to, not the diluted product I’m frightened it is becoming.

So without further ado, it is time for the first instalment of this new feature – Eyes On...Capitol Punishment 2011.

The promotional poster for Capitol Punishment PPV featuring former President Barack Obama acting as a referee between John Cena and Rey Mysterio, who both competed at the Pay per View

It might seem somewhat strange to some, that I have chosen to start this new feature with such an obscure and, some would argue, obsolete pay per view.

It took place in a year when the WWE product itself was arguably at it’s most boring and predictable: giving birth to the internet sensation ‘Cena Wins Lol’, which emphasised how obvious the fans thought the results and matches had become.

However, looking back at this night in the nation’s capital on June 19th, I feel that, despite the concept being bizarre and untouched ever since, the wrestling itself...was okay!

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