Monday, July 25, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/25/11 from Hampton, VA.

The Big News: The WWE title changed hands twice, Jim Ross returned and CM Punk showed up at the end of an eventful edition of Raw.

Show Analysis:

Rey Mysterio beat Miz to win the WWE title. Miz worked over Mysterio for much of the match. He hit a DDT and slingshot sit down power bomb. Miz’s offense looked really good here. Mysterio then made a simple comeback with a huracanrana, 619 and top rope splash to take the title. After the match, Miz jumped Mysterio. Alberto Del Rio ran down to cash in Money in the Bank but Mysterio caught him with a pescado and Del Rio took off without having officially cashed in.

Backstage, a bunch of jobbers congratulated Rey Mysterio on his win. John Cena came up and shook Rey’s hand. Rey gave a little speech and the wrestlers poured champagne on him. This was a nice little touch that made the title feel more important.

Dolph Ziggler beat Evan Bourne. They have remixed Ziggler’s entrance theme. Ziggler took over on Bourne. Bourne came back with dropkicks and went for the shooting star press but Ziggler moved out of the way. Bourne landed on his feet but Ziggler caught him in a sleeper and the referee stopped the bout. After the match, Ziggler said on the microphone, “Follow that.” I assume that’s a new part of his shtick.

Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly beat Melina and Maryse. They usually rotate wins for the women but it has reached the point where if you see Melina in the match you know who’s losing. They did comedy backstage before the match to plug a sponsor. Eve shook her ass provocatively before hitting a standing moonsault on Maryse. Melina distracted Eve and Maryse gave Eve a kick to the back of the head and a stinkface. Obviously, the women have been getting a little more leeway for sexuality recently. Kelly got the hot tag and hit a Thesz press, neck breaker, bulldog and famouser on Melina for the win.

HHH came out to the ring. He put over Vince McMahon. He then announced there would be a second title match on Raw: Mysterio vs. John Cena. That got some “Cena sucks” chants. HHH said he had re-signed somebody. It was of course teasing CM Punk but instead Jim Ross returned.

Michael Cole got on the announce table and ran down Ross. Cole refused to work with Ross. HHH said he had thought about firing Cole but it would cost more to let him go than to keep him. HHH noted that if Cole left it would be a breach and Cole would lose his future earnings. He told Cole to take the rest of the night off and decide by Friday. Cole said he wouldn’t quit. HHH then told Cole to get ready for his match. HHH said he picked gear for Cole and Cole would be wrestling next.

R. Truth came out to speak with HHH. He was seen speaking with HHH backstage previously. Truth accused HHH of being part of the conspiracy and wanted HHH to make things better. HHH made fun of Truth for talking to voices. They did a bunch of comedy. HHH said he re-signed another person who wanted a piece of the truth. John Morrison came out and attacked Truth. Morrison gave Truth the starship pain.

Zack Ryder beat Michael Cole. Cole came out to HHH’s music and was wearing HHH ring gear. He did the HHH entrance for comedy. When Ryder came out as the surprise opponent he didn’t appear to get much of a reaction but moments later there were pretty loud “let’s go Ryder” chants. Ryder hit the rough rider quickly for the win.

Alberto Del Rio beat Kofi Kingston. Kingston hit a springboard crossbody and boom drop but missed trouble in paradise. Del Rio attacked the arm and shortly thereafter caught Kingston in the armbar for the tap. Backstage, Miz ranted and raved basically about the state of his career. He said HHH’s appointment was a big mistake.

John Cena beat Rey Mysterio to win the WWE title. Mysterio hit some leg kicks early. We got dueling Cena chants. Cena came back with a clothesline on the floor and powerslam. Cena went for his shoulderblocks but Mysterio countered with a dropkick. Cena hit the Cena slam and five knuckle but Mysterio escaped the FU attempt. Mysterio hit a top rope senton for two. Mysterio put Cena in the STF. Cena countered into an FU attempt but his knee gave out.

Mysterio hit the 619 but Cena got his knees up when Mysterio went for the top rope splash. Mysterio went for a huracanrana but Cena threw him off. Cena hit a top rope leg drop to Mysterio’s front. Mysterio tried to set up the 619 but Cena turned around and hit the FU for the win.

After the match, Cena helped Mysterio up. “Cult of Personality” played for a while and finally CM Punk showed up on the stage with the WWE title. He came down to the ring smiling. Cena held up his title. Punk responded by holding up his title and the show ended.

Final Thoughts:

I really liked most of this show. Jim Ross coming back, if it’s a permanent move, is a long overdue decision. There was plenty of good wrestling and intrigue. They even gave Zack Ryder a good opportunity to make an impression. I’m not so sold on Punk coming back so quickly, however. It just feels rushed. There isn’t enough time to get over the legitimacy of the two versions of the WWE title and you need more of a buffer zone to set up a big title match after so many recent title switches. With that said, the basic direction remains strong and there is plenty left for them to do along these lines.

Monday, July 18, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/18/11 from Green Bay, WI.

The Big News: Big dominos continue to fall in WWE, with HHH announcing that Vince McMahon has been relieved of his duties and HHH appointed the new head of WWE’s day-to-day operations.

Show Analysis:

Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis came out to start the show. All the wrestlers were watching backstage on a monitor. There were loud CM Punk chants. Vince said he will never say that name again. He called Punk the biggest ingrate in WWE history, who turned his back on the fans and the locker room. He labeled Punk an egotistical, selfish turd. Vince said no one man is bigger than the WWE.

Vince announced that there would be a tournament on Raw to crown a new WWE champion. He went through the brackets, which did not include John Cena. Vince said Cena let him down. He warned Cena that there would be severe consequences. Vince said this would be a night people would always remember. The announcers said Cena on Twitter claimed to have already been fired.

Miz beat Alex Riley in a first round tournament match. Miz was selling an injured leg and Riley went after it immediately. He worked over the leg for much of the match. Riley hit clotheslines and a spine buster and went for his implant DDT. Miz reversed that and went for the skull crushing finale but Riley got out of it. Miz dove off the ropes and was caught in the Texas cloverleaf. Miz escaped and hit the skull crushing finale for the win. This was a strangely booked match with the face going right after a heel’s injured leg only to be caught with the heel’s finisher for a relatively clean pin.

R. Truth beat Jack Swagger in a first round tournament match. Prior to the match, they aired a video package for the soon-to-return John Morrison. Swagger got the best of the action early. He hit Irish whips, a Vader bomb and chop block. He went for the ankle lock but Truth reversed that into a cradle for the win.

Kofi Kingston beat Alberto Del Rio in a first round tournament match. Del Rio before the match said he hopes John Cena is fired and Del Rio will be the new leader of the company. Ricardo Rodriguez finally made his return and put over Del Rio on the ramp. Kingston hit a tope but Del Rio gave him an enzuigiri as he came back into the ring. Del Rio used a tilt-a-whirl back breaker and went for the armbar. That led to a sloppy pair of rollups with Kingston getting Del Rio down for the three. Del Rio’s shoulder wasn’t down the entire time and the announcers pointed it out but I’m not sure if that was intended or just an accident. Backstage after the match, Kingston said he just took his first step towards becoming the new WWE champion.

Rey Mysterio beat Dolph Ziggler. Mysterio hit a senton off the top. Ziggler responded with a neck breaker. Mysterio missed the 619 and Ziggler hit an inverted powerslam. Mysterio then finished Ziggler with the 619 and a top rope splash.

Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, Eve Torres, Gail Kim, AJ, Natalya and Kaitlyn beat Melina, Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Maryse, Rosa Mendes and Tamina. They had 14 wrestlers in the match, but again only 2 were ever in. Beth gave Rosa a slingshot suplex. A big brawl broke out. Beth then hit the glam slam on Rosa for the win. The match went 45 seconds or so.

Miz beat Kofi Kingston in the first tournament semifinal. Kingston, like Riley, went right after Miz’s bad leg. He set up for trouble in paradise but Miz crawled out of the ring. Kingston went after him but Miz snapped Kingston’s neck on the ropes. Miz dropped Kingston on the top turnbuckle and hit the skull crushing finale for the win. Miz was bleeding pretty badly from the mouth at the end. Backstage, Truth said the conspiracy wouldn’t keep him from beating Rey. He said the title would get got. They also aired a video package on Andy Leavine growing up poor.

Rey Mysterio beat R. Truth in the second tournament semifinal. Truth hit a head over heels clothesline and worked over Mysterio. Mysterio used an arm drag to throw Truth out of the ring and hit a tope to the outside. Truth worked over Mysterio for a while and hit another big clothesline when Mysterio went for the 619. Truth hit a cool looking suplex into a stunner. Mysterio then closed the show with a 619 and top rope splash for the finish.

Vince McMahon came out and said they were running low on time and would postpone the WWE title tournament final until next week. Mysterio seemed angry but left. I liked this, both in the sense they can hopefully build ratings a little bit for that match but also because it sort of acknowledges time constraints and I would like WWE to do little touches of that here and there to create a more realistic feel.

Vince McMahon said that he can create a new John Cena. The crowd loudly chanted for Punk. Vince thanked Cena for his contributions to WWE. He said he does what’s right for business. The crowd again loudly chanted for Punk. Cena came out and said he didn’t want to go through what Shawn Michaels did. No matter what Michaels did, he had to carry the burden of screwing Bret. Cena said he didn’t want to be the guy who screwed Punk and wouldn’t be Vince’s patsy. Cena said Vince can go ahead and find a new opponent for Rock at WrestleMania. He added that he feels he belongs in WWE but if Vince lets him go he will walk on someone else’s TV show and keep doing this, “brother.” That was an obvious Impact Wrestling reference.

Vince was about to announce his decision and apparently fire Cena when HHH came out in a suit. Vince introduced HHH as his son-in-law. HHH said there was a board of directors meeting earlier in the day. He asked Vince to come talk about it in the back. Vince wanted to do it in the ring so HHH told him the board was concerned about Vince’s questionable decisions and gave him a vote of no confidence. Vince added that the family agrees. HHH said he has been appointed to take over day-to-day operations of WWE. HHH said Vince wouldn’t fire Cena.

HHH finally announced that it’s just business, but that Vince has been relieved of his duties. Vince did a great job selling this and began crying immediately. The crowd began singing goodbye. HHH said he didn’t want to do this but was just trying to do what’s right for business. “I love you, pop,” HHH concluded and dropped the microphone. The crowd applauded a teary-eyed Vince and chanted “thank you” at the close of the show.

Final Thoughts:

This was another entertaining and interesting show. It continues to feel like WWE is headed in a very positive direction and it would seem there are plenty of twists and turns ahead. A reprise of the Shawn Michaels/Razor Ramon Intercontinental title program with CM Punk seems likely, as does HHH taking the role of a heavy down the line. Both should work well. John Cena in the top face role doesn’t fit very well into the rest of what’s going on, but they’ve done their best the past few weeks to make him more likeable to the people not already on his side.

One final point of interest is where they are going with the WWE title. You would figure they are putting the title on a heel to set up an eventual conflict with Punk, but Miz was booked on this show more like a face. WWE is clicking right now, so I’ve got confidence everything will come together well.

Monday, July 11, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/11/11 from Boston, MA.

The Big News: WWE completed its best build for a pay-per-view match since Batista vs. HHH. It remains to be seen how many orders WWE can generate for a B pay-per-view with a three week build but it’s hard to do much better of a job than this. Hopefully fans encourage WWE to continue in this direction by ordering the show.

Show Analysis:

CM Punk came out to start the show with his new mustache and a megaphone. He sat down in the middle of the ring and asked if he has people’s attention now. He said that he got in trouble because he has the balls to say things nobody else has the balls to say. That got a big face pop. Punk said the company is filled with a parade of shameless ass kissers. He noted he is now reinstated and brought back up in the form of the megaphone in case they try to cut his microphone off. The crowd began loudly chanting “CM Punk.”

Punk said that he had been given a microphone because Vince McMahon wants to sign him to a lucrative long term contract. Punk said it is funny Vince is bending over backwards for him now because all he ever wanted was the power of the microphone. Punk called himself the hottest property in the industry. He claimed to have made WWE socially relevant in the real world. Punk said WWE only gets mentions in the real world because CM Punk is speaking his mind or because somebody died. He brought up the interest there has been in him from the media.

Punk observed that now he has one foot out the door and finally Vince wants to give him everything he wants. Punk said that if Vince treated him this way five years ago he wouldn’t have five years of loaded up ammunition. He suggested he have the first ever live contract negotiation in the ring with Vince. Punk said that maybe he would sign, maybe he wouldn’t, and maybe Vince would join the CM Punk kiss my ass club.

That brought out John Cena, who was serious and not joking around. Punk thanked Cena for reinstating him into a job he didn’t want. Punk said he will beat Cena for the title and change how it looks because it has been far too ugly for far too long. The fans cheered that one. Punk pointed out that if Cena loses, he isn’t really going to be fired. He noted the last time Cena was fired it lasted no time at all and told Cena not to worry about that.

Cena responded that Punk likes to run his mouth. Cena noted that Punk has to go through Cena to leave the company with the title and Cena said he is no pushover. Cena said a lot of people thought they were the best, referencing a number of people no longer with the company including Kurt Angle, and then they faced Cena and were left disappointed. Cena said he doesn’t care what Punk says because he is coming to Chicago to whip Punk’s ass. The GM then said that Vince was on the way to negotiate with Punk and that Cena would be wrestling in a special match next.

This was a tremendous start to the show. Punk was great again and Cena was really good in his own right. He didn’t do the goofy comedy and instead delivered an intense promo that made him look strong and made the title match seem important. As an added bonus, they continued the kind of edgy feel with nods to facts WWE usually wouldn’t bring up and more colorful language than usual.

John Cena beat Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga. Michael Cole was telling the story that this match was made to appease Punk and get him to re-sign. Cole was freaking out selling what it would mean if someone left with the title and made references to the WCW war and Bruno Sammartino. Nexus worked over Cena. Cena came back with a fisherman buster on Otunga and shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and five knuckle on McGillicutty. Cena went for the FU but Otunga stopped him. Cena regained control with a famouser off the top and STF on McGillicutty but Otunga broke that up. Finally, Cena hit the FU on McGillicutty, threw Otunga out of the ring, and pinned McGillicutty.

They’ve done this so many times that it’s hard to be bothered any more, but I just don’t understand the mentality of having a singles wrestler beat the tag champions in a handicap match. If you’re so dead set on a handicap match, which to me always do more harm than good unless it involves jobbers, at least have it be two wrestlers who aren’t the tag champions.

Backstage, Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre were making fun of Vince McMahon. They went on for quite a while before Vince finally of course came in and revealed he overheard what they were saying. Vince made McIntyre and Ziggler vs. Big Show in a handicap match.

Kelly Kelly beat Melina. Kelly hit a handspring elbow, stinkface, neck breaker and famouser for the win. Things don’t look good for Melina these days. The Bellas did commentary and after the match they made fun of Kelly for not eating. A fight broke out and Eve Torres tried to make the save. However, the Bellas got the best of things this week.

Miz did a promo from the top of a ladder. He said he knows what it takes to be champ and he will show it at the PPV. He started to do his catchphrase when he was interrupted by Jack Swagger. Swagger noted he has also cashed in MITB and won the title and said he will do it again. Miz asked if someone cashes in MITB and nobody remembers, did it really happen? Evan Bourne was next out and said he was tired of hearing what the other guys have done. Bourne said he will steal the show and win the match.

Kofi Kingston made his entrance and noted this was all talk. Kingston said if he wins the match it will be because of what he does and not because of what he says. He brought out how Edge’s career was ended by matches like this. R. Truth continued the procession. He said two weeks ago he beat John Cena and did some comedy about being afraid of spiders rather than heights. It’s a real shame what they have done to Truth because he was a hot heel and they’ve turned him into a complete joke.

Alex Riley ran out and didn’t say anything but just went after Miz. Finally, Alberto Del Rio came out and said he shouldn’t be in MITB because he took out Rey Mysterio and is the number one contender. Del Rio vowed to teach all of them a lesson. The GM announced a six man tag. I’m not really a fan of these contrived feeling segments but the participants did well.

Alex Riley, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne beat R. Truth, Miz and Jack Swagger. The heels worked over Bourne. Kingston got the tag and hit dropkicks, clotheslines, the boom drop and a frog crossbody off the top. The heels took back over on Kingston and worked him over for a bit. Kingston hit a double DDT on Swagger and Truth, then tagged Riley. Riley hit a spear and spine buster on Swagger. Swagger went for the Vader bomb but Riley got up his feet and hit the implant DDT for the win.

After the match, Miz gave Riley the skull crushing finale. Everyone took turns hitting moves on other guys. Bourne was going for the shooting star press when Del Rio ran in and pushed Bourne off the top. Del Rio then laid everyone out with a ladder and gloated in the ring. This was a good match and a good post-match as well.

Big Show fought to a double count out with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre in a handicap match. This wasn’t a match so much as an angle. Show just destroyed McIntyre for a while as Ziggler hid from the action. Show beat up McIntyre on the ramp and they were both counted out. Show continued to destroy McIntyre and went for a choke slam off the stage when Mark Henry ran in and knocked Show off the stage into protected cushioning. Henry running in out of nowhere looked cool but the bump looked basically fake because of all the protection.

Vince McMahon came out for the final segment of the show. He said he is not joining the CM Punk kiss my ass club. Vince said contracts shouldn’t be negotiated in public, which seems like a good rule of thumb. Vince had a contract ready for Punk and said it included his own collector’s cup. Punk came out and immediately got in a “Whatamaneuver!” to mock Vince. Punk said he thought Vince would come out in a Cena t-shirt but now he saw Vince has no faith in Cena.

Vince replied that he just couldn’t live with himself if Punk left with the title. Vince referred to Punk as Phil. Punk said his lawyers drew up a different contract with new perks. Punk said he would get to push Vince and Vince will like it. Punk wanted his own jet and his face on everything like the Titantron, turnbuckles, cups, shoes and socks. Punk said he wanted Vince to bring back the ice cream bars. That got a big positive reaction and “ice cream bars” chants. Punk said he wants WWE Films to produce CM Punk: the Movie. He said they can call it Chaperone 2, only entertaining, funny and successful.

Punk said Dwayne, or Rock for those who don’t watch crappy Disney movies, can still wrestle Cena at WrestleMania but Punk will be in the main event. Finally, he wanted Vince to apologize to Punk and the people. Punk said Vince does the anti-bullying campaign but Vince is one of the biggest bullies he’s met in his life and Vince will apologize. This got loud “CM Punk” chants. Punk said he has had his friends fired from the company. Vince said they deserved it. Punk replied that Vince wants to punish people for liking wrestling like Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows.

Punk said he is the voice of the voiceless and Vince will apologize and like it. The crowd started chanting “we want wrestling.” Vince yelled that he doesn’t give a damn what the people want. Punk said that is the problem, that Vince doesn’t give a damn. Punk added that his problem is he cares too much. Punk said he’s a bad guy and doesn’t wear the white hat but he is in touch with what the people want. He demanded an apology. Vince apologized and then apologized again more loudly. Punk celebrated.

Vince went to sign the contract, with audible chants of “Colt Cabana” and “we want wrestling.” However, John Cena came out to interrupt. Cena noted that the people love Punk but Punk is going to walk out on them. Cena said that if Vince wants to give into a terrorist, he won’t tell Vince what to do. Cena said Punk and Vince are like spoiled brats and did some terrible obnoxious comedy. Cena said he dislikes Vince but still shows up for work. He called Punk a hypocrite and brought up Rock saying he was home and never leaving again. Cena said Punk just wants to take the title and walk out.

Cena started to say Punk has lost sight when Punk interrupted. Punk observed that Cena still looks at him like a kid who can’t hang with him. He brought up being dressed up like a gangster as part of Cena’s entourage at WrestleMania in Chicago. Punk said he vowed then that in a few years he wouldn’t be watching Cena but beating him. Punk then said, “This is the part where I talk them into the building.”

Punk said Cena is like the Red Sox or Patriots or Bruins or Celtics, the Boston sports teams who still view themselves as underdogs when in fact they’re winning titles and dominating. Punk pointed out Cena’s father and wife in the front row. Punk said Cena is what he hates: he’s a 10 time champion and no longer the underdog but rather the dynasty. Punk said Cena has become the Yankees. Cena punched Punk in response. This angle is written for Bill Simmons.

Punk walked up the aisle referring to Cena as Steinbrenner or Jeter and said that he is the real underdog. Punk said the reason he wants to leave is because he is tired of this, tired of Cena, just tired. Punk said Sunday say goodbye to the WWE title, say goodbye to Cena and say goodbye to CM Punk. He tore up the contract and said he will go be the best in the world somewhere else. This segment went way past the usual time and was fantastic.

Final Thoughts:

Punk vs. Cena is the sort of feud that makes me love wrestling. You’ve got two very distinct characters with completely different goals fighting for stakes that feel significant and real. I hope WWE has some great ideas going forward, because this is their chance to get hot again.

Monday, July 04, 2011

WWE Raw Report

Date: 07/04/11 from Las Vegas, NV.

The Big News: John Cena convinced Vince McMahon to go through with a Cena vs. CM Punk main event at Money in the Bank.

Show Analysis:

John Cena came out to start the show. He said that Punk had been suspended indefinitely and lost his title shot. Cena said the decision sucked and that Punk was suspended for speaking his mind. Cena pointed out it’s a PG show and that while he didn’t agree with what Punk said, it didn’t cross any lines. He brought up Daniel Bryan being fired for being too violent and signs being taken away from fans. He said that first amendment rights were being taken away. So apparently Cena has no idea what the first amendment means. Cena said he called Vince McMahon and that McMahon would be on the show later.

I liked this promo. It was delivered seriously like Cena cares about this and is standing up for what’s right while Cena also did a bunch of things to accentuate Punk’s points. He brought up the Bryan thing, the PG direction and just generally came across as kind of disingenuous. In short, the promo gave you good reasons to either get behind or stand against Cena.

Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres beat the Bella twins. The Bellas worked over Eve briefly. Kelly tagged in and used a Thesz press, whirlybird, stinkface, bulldog and famouser for the win. Backstage, R. Truth backstage did a lame comedy promo. They’re turning him into a joke and it’s such a waste given how well he was connecting. Alberto Del Rio ran into Truth and did his usual promo about destiny.

Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga defeated Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov. Nexus beat up Kozlov for a bit. Kozlov got the tag to Santino. Santino used a couple hip tosses and a diving head butt. He set up for the cobra but decided to use it on Otunga on the apron. McGillicutty then gave Santino the cutter for the win. Zack Ryder appeared on the stage afterwards to say woo woo woo you know it.

An intense Miz backstage said Alex Riley’s run of success will come to an end. Jack Swagger confronted Sgt. Slaughter and Evan Bourne elsewhere. He made fun of Slaughter’s age and challenged Slaughter to a fight. Slaughter accepted.

Jack Swagger beat Sgt. Slaughter. Slaughter hit some chops, an elbow and applied the cobra clutch. However, Swagger got out of the hold quickly. He then hit a clothesline and Vader bomb on Slaughter for the pin. After the match, Swagger put the ankle lock on Slaughter. Evan Bourne made the save and Slaughter said the pledge of allegiance.

Alberto Del Rio beat Rey Mysterio and R. Truth to become number one contender. Mysterio hit a crossbody off the top onto Truth on Del Rio’s shoulders. Del Rio accidentally ran into the post and Mysterio gave Truth the 619 and a top rope splash. Mysterio had Truth covered but Del Rio ran in and grabbed Mysterio’s arm for the armbar submission. The finish was cool, if a little too similar to the triple threat number one contender match finish from a couple weeks ago.

Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler came to the ring. Vickie said that it was Ziggler’s birthday and sang happy birthday to him. Ziggler said there will never be another Dolph Ziggler. Kofi Kingston interrupted and said Ziggler can’t beat him without Vickie. Ziggler said he left Kingston in the dust and told Kingston to leave. Kingston shoved Ziggler and Ziggler accidentally sent Vickie’s behind into the birthday cake. Then, as she was surveying the damage, the wrestlers brawled back into Vickie and he front fell into the cake.

Alex Riley beat Miz. Miz dominated the match forever until Riley hit a spear and spine buster. Miz took back over with a clothesline and went for his back breaker/neck breaker combination. He hit the back breaker but then Riley reversed the neck breaker into a backslide for the win. After the match, Miz attacked Riley. He sent Riley into the barricade and steps and hit a big running kick to the head. Miz was freaking out, alternating between fury and dejection about losing again to Riley.

Vince McMahon closed the show. He said that Punk’s suspension wasn’t about Vince’s ego but about doing the right things for the people. He added that Punk’s contract is almost up and Punk wants limo service, first class flights, magazines, DVDs and more. Vince said Punk isn’t worthy of magazines and DVDs. The fans booed that. Vince called CM Punk a Punk and went to leave.

That brought out John Cena. He claimed Vince is about freedom of expression and this goes against that. He said that Vince is a fighter but maybe he has gone soft and if he isn’t willing to fight he should hang it up, “old man.” Vince responded that his real reason for suspending Punk was he didn’t want to risk that Punk would beat Cena. He noted he has been through this before and if Punk wins, he will walk into another wrestling organization with the title. Vince said he won’t be embarrassed.

Cena said he won’t guarantee that he will beat Punk but the match should happen. He said Cena/Punk would be the biggest match of the year but now it won’t happen. Vince told Cena not to be like Hulk Hogan and others by pissing him off. Vince noted it’s not Cena’s company but Vince’s. Cena said if that’s how Vince runs his company, Cena doesn’t want to be a part of it.

Cena said he recognizes he is replaceable but he puts his heart into the company. He concluded that Punk earned his right to fight for the title and if Vince kicks Punk to the curb he has made the title meaningless. He handed the title back to Vince and left. Vince followed Cena up the ramp and told Cena that Punk is reinstated and Cena has his match. Vince then added that if Punk leaves Chicago with the title, Vince will fire Cena.

Final Thoughts:

The second taped show on double shows tend to be less newsworthy, and this show was mostly centered on carrying through what happened last week. I’m still very optimistic about the potential for this angle and intrigued with the finish they have planned for the pay-per-view.