Seen any good PPVs lately? WWE knocked one out of the park last night, perhaps even set the wheels in motion for that big change we've all been waiting for, so where do they go from here? John Cena is fired, CM Punk is watching the Chicago Cubs (I hear he even bought an extra ticket so the WWE Title would have its own seat) and Vince McMahon is going to kick things off tonight on Raw. I got a feeling tonight's going to be a big one so refresh your tab for ongoing coverage of the show and follow me on Twitter... if it ever decides to work.
Vince McMahon kicks things off with Johnny Ace at his side. Did you see the news earlier where a WWE.com writer publicly apologized for calling Ace a "stooge"? The best part was all the people who thought it was real... like I said a few weeks ago, the internet crowd is always the easiest to trick.
The crowd is already chanting "CM PUNK!" and Vince says that you will never hear that name again, because it is the name of the biggest ingrate in WWE history. But it doesn't matter because here tonight, live on Raw, they will crown a new WWE Champion in an eight-man tournament. Yeah right, a paper champion! It's pretty much everyone in last night's MITB ladder match, minus Evan Bourne, plus Dolph Ziggler.
Oh and John Cena's been fired, at least according to John Cena, Vince wouldn't go far enough to use those words.
Our opening contest in the WWE Championship tournament is The Miz vs. Alex Riley and hot damn, people really love Alex Riley. Don't get wrong, I like the guy too and I hope WWE runs with him, but when's the last time the crowd got behind a young good guy this quickly and this enthusiastically?
Miz is still reeling from his nasty fall from the briefcase last night and Riley is taking advantage of the injured leg, but sorry kid, you can't just leave yourself open for the Skullcrushing Finale like that. Miz advances to Round 2 - barely - and I don't know if that bodes well for his quest to recapture the "WWE Title." C'mon Miz, you can do it buddy!
Cool little hype video for the return of John Morrison, now if WWE would just shit or get off the pot with him. I really hate that phrase, by the way, I have no idea why I typed it.
Jack Swagger vs. R-Truth is our second match in the Paper Champion Tournament and this is a bit of an odd combination. Fun little match though and the crowd got behind R-Truth, since, ya know, he's awesome. Truth steals the win with a quick roll-up and Lil Jackie is eliminated from the tournament!
Alberto Del Rio is in the ring for his tournament match, but first has a few things to say. Seeing a lot of folks throw around the brilliant idea of Del Rio being the first guy to hold both the MITB briefcase and the WWE Championship. I would not argue this, not at all... even if he would just be a paper champion.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston is our third match in the first round of the Championship Tournament and I have high hopes for this one. These guys had a fun feud earlier in the year, I'm not opposed to seeing them go at it again. And yep, this match is a blast so far, Kofi's going bananas and I'm not just talking about his sweet B. Brian Blair trunks. Beautiful suicide dive from Kofi, Del Rio responds with an enzuigiri on the apron and quickly regains control.
Fun back and forth action and it looks like holding both the MITB briefcase and the WWE Championship was not Del Rio's destiny, Kofi pulled an upset win out of nowhere and advances to the semifinals! I like it, Kofi could use a strong showing tonight.
I love that WWE got Cee-Lo's "Bright Lights, Bigger City" as the theme for SummerSlam. It's a great summer song and really gives the show that WrestleMania Pt. 2 vibe they've been trying to capture. Doing SummerSlam Recalls, this week highlighting Wembley Stadium in 1992, is a nice touch too.
Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler is our final quarterfinal match in the Championship Tournament and Captain Z is the only guy in the tournament who didn't have to wrestle in the Money in the Bank last night, so that's a great story to work with.
Ziggler and Rey Rey are no strangers, had a series of some of the best opening matches in recent WWE history back in 2009 and they're picking up right where they left off. We're only a couple minutes in and it's already the most exciting match so far and we've had quite the night of wrasslin' so far.
Of course, I had to go and open my mouth. 619 and big splash later, Rey picks up the victory. Nothing against that, but I liked the dynamic Ziggler could've added to the tournament and I really just wanted to see these guys wrestle for another 15 minutes. Ah well, it's only a two hour show and we haven't even got to the semifinals yet.
7-on-7 Divas Tag next with the good gals taking on the bad gals... at least the gals who are bad this week but will probably be good again next. Beth Phoenix wins by hitting Rosa Mendes with the Glam Slam and... yeah. Not much to see here.
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz is our first semifinal match... sorry Kofi, I was rooting for you there for a minute, but I can't turn against my hero. The Miz is incredibly brave for toughing it out here and even on one leg, he continues to show why he is the Most Must-See WWE Superstar in history. He has the heart of a champion and a lion! The heart of a champion lion! The Heart. Of. AWWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSOOOOMEEE! Skullcrushing Finale takes The Miz to the finals, one step away from the WWE Championship*.
*Also, The Miz is the only guy who could win this tournament and not be a paper champion.
Backstage, R-Truth promises the title is "gonna get got." Don't make me question my devotion to The Miz, Truth!
R-Truth vs. Rey Mysterio is our second semifinal match and it's starting to suffer from King of the Ring fatigue. No matter how fun tournaments are in theory, crowds just don't get as excited for someone when they see them wrestle multiple times in one night.
They're cutting this show mighty close, it's 10:43 as I type this and we're in the middle of a semifinal match. Still gotta do the finale, the fallout and perhaps even find out what John Cena's "severe consequences" are. That's a lot to squeeze-in in under a half hour.
These guys are having a good match, but I feel like we're just delaying the inevitable here. Truth vs. Miz doesn't seem likely, but they sure are taking their sweet time here and again, we're really getting short on time.
There we go, Rey hits the 619 at 10:48 and the big splash is all but academic and Mysterio moves onto the finals... where he will lose!
Main Event time! Rey Mysterio vs. The... McMahon? Vince McMahon is making his way to the ring and I have a feeling the proverbial shit is about to go down. Vince announces since they are running short on time, he has to postpone the tournament finals to next week because he has an important announcement to make. Oh this won't go over well, I knew they were running short on time.
Vince says he can make a new John Cena and he does what's best for the fans, but it's hard to hear the rest over the deafening "CM PUNK!" chants. Vince says "let's get this over with" and here comes John Cena, who wasn't even supposed to be here today! [/Clerks reference]
Cena grabs the mic and tells Vince there's no reason to waste time and he doesn't want to be like Shawn Michaels, with the shadow of "YOU SCREWED PUNK!" lingering over him. He's not going to be Vince McMahon's patsy and we're seeing shades of the "RUCK FULES!" John Cena here and I'm digging it. Cena says it's fine and Vince has eight months to make another big time Superstar to face The Rock at WrestleMania 28, but before he gets the ax, he just wants to let Vince know that he loves wrestling. And if he doesn't get to wrestle in WWE, he'll walk onto another television show... "BROTHER!" WWE just referenced TNA for the first time ever and believe me, TNA will never let you forget about it. Vince doesn't respond well to threats, so he's going through with it. Until...
TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!!!
Triple H has arrived and he's in a bitchin' suit. There was a board of directors meeting today and the WWE brass is concerned about Vince McMahon. An injunction has been filed with a vote of no confidence and the family agrees. Is it time for the yearly "remove Vince from the equation" story already? Yep, they've appointed someone to handle day-to-day operations of WWE, Triple H! Damn, I was hoping for Steve Austin in jorts and a tie again.
Vince McMahon... YOU'RE RELIEVED OF YOUR DUUUUUUUUTIES!
Triple H says "I love you, pop" and leaves, with Vince in tears. The crowd chants "THANK YOU VINCE!" and that's gonna do it for Raw.
Well, that was unexpected. It was going to be tough to follow up with no CM Punk, but the WWE Title is still out there, locked in a fridge and being forced to watch the Chicago Cubs try to play baseball. Someone's gotta rescue it, right?! Regardless, it definitely seems like WWE is still trying to drastically change things and keep it unpredictable. Considering the roll they've been on with this CM Punk story, I'm still excited.
Oh and I don't trust Triple H for a second.