Capitol Punishment 2011 (formerly known as Fatal 4-Way 2011) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on June 19, 2011 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.. "Capital" by Jim Johnston was the event's official theme song.
Capitol Punishment featured professional wrestling matches involving different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds, plots, and storylines that were played out on WWE's television programs. Wrestlers portrayed heroes or villains as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a match or a series of matches.
The predominant feud on the card was between John Cena and R-Truth for Cena's WWE Championship. The crazed R-Truth started to set his sights on the WWE Championship and John Cena after Truth realized that there was a "conspiracy" against him in the WWE. Truth started to attack merchandise stands featuring John Cena merch, and then he even turned his attention to the fans in attendance at arenas. Truth labeled the fans "Little Jimmys" and "Little Jennys", and they were just as big a part of the conspiracy as the people in the WWE. Truth attacked fans, and managed to trick John Cena into getting counted-out when the two had a match. This put Truth in contention for the WWE Championship yet again. As the weeks to the pay-per-view drew closer, Truth was nearly put into a match with John Morrison by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin on the All-Star RAW episode, but Truth attacked Morrison backstage, re-injuring Morrison's neck.
The second most predominant feud on the card was between former World Heavyweight Champion Christian and current World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton. Christian felt as though he deserved another shot at Randy Orton's title due to poor officiating at the Over the Limit pay-per-view. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long didn't grant Christian his title match, but he placed Christian in a match as the Special Guest Referee between Sheamus and Orton. During the course of the match, Christian refused to count "three" against Orton while Sheamus had his shoulders pinned to the match. This angered Sheamus, but also let Orton connect with an RKO on Sheamus, and Christian counted the three to give Orton the victory. When the match was over, Christian hit Randy in the face with the World Heavyweight Championship instead of giving him the belt. Christian then managed to taunt and mock Orton to the point that Orton agreed to another World Heavyweight Championship bout at Capitol Punishment. Sheamus was going to be added to the match after winning a No Disqualification Match against Orton on SmackDown, thanks to interference from Christian. The match was Sheamus vs. Christian, but Christian won the match. Afterwards, Randy Orton stormed the ring, but Christian escaped. Randy then settled on kicking Sheamus in the head, putting him out of action indefinitely.
Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger led a mini-feud leading up to Capitol Punishment. Bourne and Swagger exchanged a series of wins and losses. But a more important feud on the card was between CM Punk and Rey Mysterio. Punk and Mysterio similarly exchanged a series of wins and losses like Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger did, but Punk and Mysterio were reigniting a feud dating back to WrestleMania XXVI. Punk enlisted the aid of his New Nexus cronies to help him win against Rey, but they were to be banned from ringside at the pay-per-view.
Ezekial Jackson started to grow apart from The Corre, and wanted to pursue a singles career away from the group. Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, and Justin Gabriel didn't take kindly to Jackson's new aspirations, and promptly beat him down backstage. Jackson was given multiple opportunities at Wade Barrett's Intercontinental Championship, but each time he got Wade in the Torture Rack, his signature submission maneuver, Heath and Justin would run down and attack Jackson. This would make Jackson win the match by DQ, but titles can't change hands by disqualification. During a six-man tag team match against The Usos and Ezekial Jackson on SmackDown, Wade abandoned Heath and Justin. He claimed he was preserving his own interests since he had a title match at Capitol Punishment against Zeke, but Justin and Heath were angered by his actions. Justin and Heath then announced to Wade that The Corre was no more and he could defend his title on Sunday without their help, effectively dissolving the group.
Big Show sat on Alberto Del Rio's luxury car, which angered Del Rio. When they lost the WWE Tag Team Championships to The New Nexus, Alberto Del Rio mocked The Big Show and Kane backstage during an interview segment. Del Rio even slapped Big Show across the face. Big Show then chased Del Rio into the parking lot, but Del Rio's personal ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez accidentally ran Big Show over with his car. This injured Big Show's leg and left Kane without a partner. Del Rio and Ricardo then made fun of Big Show by having Ricardo dress like him, mocking Big Show's weight. Big Show then ran down to the ring and beat Ricardo to a pulp, putting him in the hospital and leaving Del Rio without his ring announcer. Kane had to pull Show away to keep him from killing Ricardo. Despite his injury, Show still wanted a match against Del Rio, and was granted one at the pay-per-view.
The Miz blamed his former protege Alex Riley for him not regaining the WWE Championship from John Cena at Over the Limit. Miz fired Riley live on Raw and then demeaned him in front of the world. Riley responded violently, attacking Miz. Riley and Miz battled each other over the next few weeks, leading to a match between the two at the show. The opening match was between Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston, who were feuding over the United States Championshp after Dolph beat Kofi in a non-title match on Raw.
As WWE's 2011 June pay-per-view event, WWE Capitol Punishment replaced the 2010 Fatal 4-Way themed event. Promotion towards this event was centered around the setting for the PPV, that being the United States capital, Washington, D.C. This promotion, however, wasn't all praised. WWE produced a video to promote the event using actual press footage of President Barack Obama spliced and edited with footage that WWE recorded using actors. The video is intended to show Obama answering questions about Capitol Punishment in a press conference. First airing on May 22 at Over the Limit, WWE received criticism for the video. To avoid legal complications with the U.S. government, WWE added a disclaimer at the start of the video for future airings. This included spelling out their acronym as "World Wrestling Entertainment", a name they ceased using earlier in the year.
The promotional poster for the event also featured the President, where Obama is acting as a referee in a confrontation between WWE Superstars John Cena and Rey Mysterio. WWE released a similar disclaimer for the artwork as they did for the video. The event, however, did feature an appearance by Obama impersonator Reggie Brown.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Santino Marrella and Vladimir Kozlov defeated Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston (c) by knockout to win the WWE United States Championship (11:05)
- Alex Riley defeated The Miz (9:15)
- Alberto Del Rio defeated The Big Show by referee stoppage (4:52)
- Ezekiel Jackson defeated Wade Barrett (c) to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship (6:46)
- CM Punk defeated Rey Mysterio (14:58)
- Randy Orton (c) defeated Christian to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (14:09)
- Evan Bourne defeated Jack Swagger (7:08)
- John Cena (c) defeated R-Truth to retain the WWE Championship (14:45)
Other on-screen talent
- Capitol Punishment 2011 Official Website
- Capitol Punishment 2011 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Capitol Punishment 2011 at Online World of Wrestling
- Capitol Punishment 2011 on WWE Network
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