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.


Anonymous Ryan Rosenthal said...

8 days. That's the amount of time it takes to measure the WWE's patience. 8 days.

While I don't want to piss away all of the goodwill that the company has earned with me over the last month, I will say that I was sorely disappointed to see CM Punk at the end of the show. It's entirely too soon and takes a lot of the steam and intrigue off of the angle they've done such a good job of laying out over the last several weeks.

Also, Cult of Personality? That's fine for a 1-week return, but I sincerely hope they didn't change his theme to that permanently. The Killswitch Engage track he has fits him and his character perfectly. If he comes out to it next week, then that's a real shame.

Nonetheless, I like the decision to bring back Ross (obviously, who couldn't) and I was happy to see Zack Ryder featured for a moment, even if it was in a "match" with Cole.

At the end of the day, they're still building RAW more strongly than before and leave you with a reason to tune in the following week, so I give them credit for that.

Great report, as always, Todd.

~Ryan Rosenthal

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Forsythe P Jones said...

I'll grant that a few cosmetic tweaks here and there are useful, in particular bringing back Ross, even if it leads to a lot of really dreadful Cole comedy ( I thought the commentary tonight, before Ross showed up, was really brutal..too much hard-selling of nothing much, and Lawler's lame jokes about Obama..I guess VKM is prepping his hag wife to lose yet another election next year ).
This felt like the ultimate hot-shot show, reacting to a couple of weeks of lower ratings by ripping the kitchen sink out of the wall and throwing it into the ring. I understand the need to get Punk back eventually, but this felt like it was really, really rushed. I assume some angle will be taking place at Summerslam involving HHH, Punk, Cena and VKM, but even just typing that sounds tired. It's only been one week and I've already had my fill of HHH for the year. But it's obvious that the real angle is HHH/Vince, because we just can't get enough of those McMahon family shenanigans. I think it's back to skipping shows and just reading yr reports, Todd. We'll see, I suppose.
Ryan, it's my understanding that Punk used 'Cult of Personality' during an angle in ROH, so I'd guess it was his call to use it tonight. I agree with you, for the long-term, using a 20 year Living Colour song seems like a bad idea.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous zillabeast said...

This was one hell of a good RAW. Much better even after I sit and think it over for a while. Rey Mysterio may be predictable, but he most certainly put on a hell of a show tonight.

I understand the decision to bring Punk back with only 3 RAW's left until Summerslam. Of course it would have been interesting to stretch this thing out over weeks or months but that was never going to happen anyway, so might as well get him back in now. I think the buildup and the match at the Staples Center will be tremendous.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Ryan Rosenthal said...

Just to follow up on a comment I made earlier, it would appear that CM Punk's Killswitch Engage "This Fire Burns" theme is no more and the "Cult of Personality" is officially his new theme. Need proof? Watch his reworked entrance video. It has footage of Kennedy and Mussolini to go with the lyrics. Change is not always a good thing.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

The whole sequence with Rey and ena should have taken place at summerslam.

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really hated the idea behind the two championship bouts in one night for the same belt, but in the end it may prove an interesting turn of events. To me the best part of the night came when Punk returned wearing the white T-Shirt. At this point, I am assuming that the Nexus angle is dead.

When both wrestlers held up their respective belts, Punk got a much better response from the crowd and Cena seemed to cower as Punk stood in the spotlight.

I suspect that Punk will make the argument that Cena's belt is illegitimate and that the only reason that Cena even has a belt is that Rey was forced to wrestle twice in one night.

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Bill McNeal said...

Of all the money matches WWE has available to them, they decide to throw a major one on Raw with an hour's notice? That is dreadful booking. Absolutely woeful.

Punk rushed back for some idiotic reason. They could have had him sit in the shadows, so to speak, or have him do a Matt Hardy in 2005.

The 2 titles storyline would have been much more affective if they had used some patience and did this at SummerSlam.

Speaking of CM, I wholeheartedly agree with Ryan Rosenthal with regards to the change of entrance theme music. Cult of Personality, good song as it is, doesn't suit him. I can only hope he is using it as a nod to Steve Austin, as this song was used for his Hall of Fame video, as opposed to it being a ROH reference. Unless he is bringing in a "New New Nexus", so to speak.

Whether you like or loathe Rey-Rey, you can't deny that when there is a big match, he shows up. He got good matches out of Miz and Cena in 1 night!

Say what you will about Cole's commentary, but, like William Regal, he is willing to be humiliated for some bloody good comedy!

Speaking of comedy, R-Truth and Triple H had surprisingly good chemistry.

Is it just me who finds Alberto Del Rio to be really tedious? I really hope he loses when he eventually cashes in the briefcase.

7:38 AM  
Blogger hobbyfan said...

It's too bad Triple H couldn't pull the trigger and remove Cole from Raw altogether. Leaving him on Smackdown would be nice, but that would end the mancrush with Miz, wouldn't it, now?

Cole parodying HHH, though, was not funny, though.

CM Punk showing up at the end, sporting a new shirt and his belt, spoke volumes of the creative team's incompetence and impatience. Where were Otunga & McGillicutty? Backstage, as their presence would've completely undone everything, as if it hadn't already, because now Mysterio winning the tournament, and the subsequent champagne bath started by Ryder, OBTW, are rendered meaningless. It's too bad Vince still has a hand in the water, because if he didn't, I don't think you see Punk until Summerslam.

11:51 AM  

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