Monday, July 4, 2011

WWE Raw thoughts - July 4, 2011

Happy Birthday, America! So this week's Raw was pre-taped after last week's Raw, which always hurts my enjoyment for a show just a bit. Even though I managed to avoid the spoilers entirely, just something about the knowledge that the show isn't live will bug me. Regardless, the show is the follow-up to last week's bombshell of a finale and I'm live blogging, so let's have some fun! Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of the show and follow me on Twitter for the ongoing absurdity... sorry if you have to see all the tweets about this damn CM Punk drama from the weekend.

And it looks like it will be Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth vs. Alberto Del Rio to determine a new #1 contender tonight since CM Punk has been suspended indefinitely. In other news, The Miz and Alex Riley will tangle later in the evening, in the latest in WWE's "Oh, you actually BOUGHT the PPV? LOLz!" Series.

John Cena kicks things off and says that CM Punk is supposed to be swept under the rug and we're supposed to forget he ever existed. Cena thinks this is bullshit and while he doesn't agree with CM Punk, he will defend his right to say it. Cena references Daniel Bryan, signs being confiscated and CM Punk's suspension while the crowd chants "FIRST AMENDMENT!" Uh, fellas, I appreciate the sentiment and all, but that's not how the First Amendment works... at least since Linda McMahon lost her bid for Senate.

Cena wants answers and demands them from the top, which is why Vince McMahon is on his way and he will demand to face CM Punk at Money in the Bank. Hell of a start and a brilliant way to make Cena the good guy in this situation.

The Bellas vs. Eve & Kelly Kelly is our opening contest. Eve is in her red Wonder Woman gear, Kelly's wearing blue and white, it's all very patriotic on the good guy side. Unfortunately, Eve had to do some horrible booty shaking dance move before her standing moonsault and now I'm cheering for the Bellas by default. Okay, I would've been cheering for them anyway. Of course, if I'm cheering for you, it usually means you're going to lose, which is exactly what happened here in a simple, but fun Divas match.

Santino & Kozlov vs. McGillicutty & Otunga (who are the Tag Champs, BTW) up next. You know the story here, if the ring blew up right now, two-thirds of WWE's tag division would be gone. Tag Champs successfully defend in a ho-hum match, but the IWC just had a webgasm because Zack Ryder is here! He only says "Woo, woo, woo" etc., but perhaps he's on the hunt for a tag team partner? May I suggest Chris Masters?

Backstage, The Miz is awesome. Also, Evan Bourne & Sgt. Slaughter are hanging out because they have so much in common. One was a GI Joe, the other is about the same height as a GI Joe. OH SICK BURN! Jack Swagger takes issue with Slaughter's Iraqi sympathizer days and challenges Sarge to a match tonight to prove who is more American. Where's Lex Luger when you need him?

Sgt. Slaughter vs. Jack Swagger is our 4th of July match of the evening and the crowd loves them some Sarge... they're still maggots though. Swagger DEMOLISHES Sarge though, escaping the Cobra Clutch and finishing off the former WWE Champ with the Vader Bomb. Ankle Lock after the match, Evan Bourne makes the save and this feud continues for some reason. C'mon Sarge, kick his ass and join forces with Jack Swagger!

Sadly, that's not to be and Sarge just recites the Pledge of Allegiance.

Alberto Del Rio vs. R-Truth vs. Rey Mysterio is our 10pm main event and will determine a new #1 contender now that CM Punk has been suspended. Oh we'll hear something about a conspiracy if Punk gets reinstated. Even though this match is probably just a distraction for that very reason, I still love the idea of John Cena and Rey Mysterio going one-on-one. Has that ever happened? Not quite what I would consider a dream match, but it's one of the few big matches WWE has with their existing roster that we've never seen before.

Anyhoo, the match is a lot of fun, as any match with Del Rio and Rey usually is, and I'm digging the innovative moves they're coming up with here. A Sunset flip/German suplex combo? Awesome. Rey almost has it won, nailing Truth with the big splash, but Del Rio grabs him mid-pin, locks in the Cross Armbreaker and becomes the new #1 contender. Interesting twist, but I think we'll still have a bit of a wait on Del Rio vs. Cena.

Honestly, I just want Del Rio to win MITB so the roster can beg him to save the day when Punk wins the title, then he comes to the ring, teases cashing in, then just smiles and walks away. It would be the greatest dick move in WWE history.

Vickie Guerrero & Sonny Crockett Dolph Ziggler are here to celebrate America's birthday and since he's the US Champion, it's his birthday by default. Vickie sings Happy Birthday better than Marilyn Monroe ever did and Ziggler just kinda stands there like a dork with an untied bow tie around his neck. Just sayin.

Kofi Kingston crashes the party, and I swear, I'm not making this up, Michael Cole just said "What is he doing here on the 4th of July? He was born in Africa!" Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

Wow. Anyway, there's a little scuffle and Vickie winds up ass-first in America's birthday cake. This might mark the first time a cake has been used in wrestling and it didn't go in someone's face. I'm more interested in Vickie vs. The Cake though, because at least it's something we haven't seen 700 times, unlike Ziggler vs. Kofi.

The Miz vs. Alex Riley is up next and Riley is the proverbial HOUSE OF FIRE! NASTY~! clothesline sends Miz on his neck and this makes me sad. Kick him in the face, Miz! Fun little back and forth match though and Miz finally gains the upper hand (because ya know, he's awesome) and looks to have things in control, but Riley reverses the reverse DDT/neckbreaker into a backslide and steals a win. NOOOOOO!!!!

Miz brutally assaults Riley after the match. Completely justified considering all those sucker punches from Riley over the last month. There's only so many other cheeks a man can turn! The Miz has tried to be the better man here but we all have our breaking point. It's so sad to see Miz so emotionally unhinged though. Buddy, if you need a new corner man, I would never turn on you like that traitor, Riley!

Vince McMahon gets his swag on for the big finale of tonight's show. Vince says CM Punk wanted private limos, jet rides, and his face on the collector's cups. Basically, he wanted to be Ric Flair, which Vince said he wasn't "worthy" of. Oooh, a Punk vs. Vince war of words would be an oh-so-beautiful thing, we should make that happen soon. Vince calls Punk a punk and tries to leave, but of course, that's John Cena's cue.

Cena wonders if Vince has gone soft, even asks if the grapefruits have become peach pits and if Vince doesn't want to fight anymore, it may be time for the old man to hang it up. Ouch.

But then shit gets real. Vince really suspended CM Punk because he only takes "calculated risks" and he's not going to take a risk on John Cena. Vince doesn't want to be embarrassed if Punk wins and takes the WWE Title to "another wrestling organization." With all due respect Vince, what other wrestling organizations? (sick burn #2) That's a hell of an endorsement for Punk though, Vince McMahon doesn't think John Cena can get the job done? Wow. Cena objects, but Vince goes into full Dad mode and says "don't piss me off!"

Oh, but shit gets realer! This isn't what John Cena signed up for. If he can't face the guy that earned his title shot because he hurt Vince McMahon's feelings, then he's going to walk out on Vince just like Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin. Cena hands the belt to McMahon and leaves the ring. Wow, did not see that coming and it's a side of John Cena I'd like to see more of. Still Cena, still principled, but not so much "I AM WWE MAN NO MATTER WHAT!" It's one of those things that makes you wonder if even Superman has his breaking point.

Vince marches up the ramp and gives Cena the WWE Title back and tells him the match with Punk is back on, but if Cena loses, he's FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRED!

Good Raw, flew by too, but dammit, with that last line, I worry for the story. They're not going to do Cena's Fired Part 2, especially when they couldn't even do Cena's Fired Part 1, but maybe they'll still surprise me with something. The story is just too good, far too intriguing to just end with John Cena overcoming the odds and triumphing over evil once again. You're onto something huge, WWE, don't fail me now!

The John Cena ExperienceBefore They Were Wrestling Stars: CM PunkWWE: Rey Mysterio - The Life of a Masked Man


  1. Great review again. By far the best part tonight was the ending with Cena and McMahon. It's a very intruiging story, exactly what the summer needs. But unfortunately, it all goes back to what you said last week: wrestling is fake.

    It's not real. No matter how much we want to pretend, this is not real. In reality, there's no way WWE would allow CM Punk would take the title with him, there's no way they'd fire Cena (unless they do 'You're Fired 2: Cena's Revenge'), and I wouldn't be surprised if Punk wasn't actually going to leave in the first place.

    Of course it'll be a great match at Money in the Bank, but deep down we all know the outcome.

  2. I agree with thundertrain. A part of me feels that this storyline has been ruined with the stipulation that Cena is fired if he loses. They screwed it up the last time that happened and I can't see him being fired twice in a year.

  3. Imagine if Cena wanted to take a break too.