Wow, it's the final Raw before SummerSlam, that came fast. Refresh your tab, Twitter, etc.
Triple H kicks off Raw once again (is it 2003?) and says we need a special referee to make sure a match as huge as John Cena vs. CM Punk will be decided by someone he can trust. That man is, of course, Triple H... surely you weren't expecting anyone else? And that large explosion you just heard? Yeah, that was the Shenanigans Doppler Radar in Kick-Out!! Studios exploding.
Contract signing between Punk and Cena tonight, but they will both compete in matches tonight and Cena is up first!
John Cena vs. Jack Swagger is our opening contest and these two always have a fun match. Of course, Swagger's standing has dropped considerably in recent years, so this is little more than a warm-up match for Cena. An easy win for the Champ* and that's really all there is to say about it.
SummerSlam Recall is Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect from SummerSlam 1991, one of my favorite matches from either guy.
Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz up next and I thought I heard Rey was hurt? Oh, he is now, Miz just blindsided him on the stage and is beating the holy hell out of him. I believe the word you're looking for is "awesome." Miz heads to the ring to ask who he's facing at SummerSlam, because for some reason, he doesn't have an opponent, even though he presented at the Teen Choice Awards, is on MTV this week and is trending worldwide! Yeah, what's up with that?! But instead of winning this match by forfeit, Miz gets stuck competing in a new match. Flagrant abuse of power by Triple H.
The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston is next and I'm just amazed to see Kofi in a match against someone other than Del Rio or Ziggler. I'm also slightly amazed to see another Raw that's been dominated by decent length wrestling matches, as has been the trend for the last month. Another great back and forth match, Kofi's springboard cross body was absolutely beautiful, but it wasn't enough to put away The Miz. Skullcrushing Finale, this one's over! Now can someone get him something to do at SummerSlam?
Backstage, CM Punk says Triple H just had to insert himself into the SummerSlam match because he needs that spotlight... it's like he's solar powered. I dunno about solar powered, but I've seen some Triple H matches that were about as fun as watching a windmill turn! Oh snap!
10pm main event time! Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk in what should be a hell of a match if it's given the kind of time our first two matches were. Yep. Another awesome match and much more enjoyable than the forgone conclusion that was Cena vs. Swagger. Del Rio busting out the Backstabber was nice touch, but a big kick to the head and a Go To Sleep gave the win to the real WWE Champion. Man, what is up with tonight? Excellent matches, straight-up finishes without trying to make everyone look good (while making no one look good), hell of a first hour.
Beth Phoenix: still awesome.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alex Riley and apparently Vickie's no longer fat, now she's smelly and has bad breath. Hey, for WWE, that's considered social progress. Vickie slaps the shit out of Riley and gets Ziggler disqualified, but hopefully these two lock up again for the US Title on Sunday.
R-Truth vs. John Morrison appears to be our final match of the evening, but why aren't they doing this at SummerSlam? Morrison hits a beautiful corkscrew plancha over a turnbuckle, but it all falls apart for him when Truth knocks him off the guardrail and he lands neck first. That made a really nasty sound. Truth dominates after that and picks up an easy win, so I suppose they left the door open for a match on Sunday.
Contract Signing is our "main event" tonight, but anyone who complains about the in-ring action on this show should be kicked in the shin. CM Punk & John Cena head to the ring and Punk states the obvious: these contract signings always end in silliness, so let's make it fun. Punk shows a clip of The Rock trash talking Cena from the hills where they filmed The Sound of Music. For some reason, the guy just starred in one of the highest-grossing films of the year, but couldn't spring for the 60fps FlipHD.
Cena's no slouch in situations where he's up against someone who can really push his buttons and drops some knowledge on Punk. "Maybe I could increase my workrate or let my heel persona shine through!" Oh Cena, I still love ya and it's for stuff like this.
And just when you thought this story hit its apex a month ago, Punk and Cena bring the goods and deliver the best back and forth conversation that I've seen in a long, long time. That's right, a conversation, which is not something you get a lot in wrestling. It feels real, not like they're reading lines, just a back and forth, real conversation between two guys who are damn good and just don't like each other. Again, I don't like to recap things like this word for word, because print just won't do it justice. If you missed this, make sure you track it down, because it may be the best part of the story since Punk first dropped the pipe bomb.
And make sure you track down this whole show, because it was a damn good Raw. The crowd sucked, which could stop a show in its tracks, but thanks to rock solid wrestling and awesome mic work from everyone who got talk time, it was a great show. Outside of the contract signing, there wasn't anything like OMG AMAZING!, but everything came together incredibly well and each segment delivered. You can't ask for much more than that on a weekly show. Kudos WWE.