What is up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look a WWE Raw on 7/11/11. So, with CM Punk not "suspended", what would he and the WWE do to add more fuel into the upcoming MITB PPV? Well, let's not focus on some overpaid baseball player hitting a ball over the fence and let's start the wrestling review.
We open up the show with CM Punk coming to the ring with a mic and a megaphone. After he says "do I have everyone's attention now", we finally begin the promo. Actually, I am not sure if this was planned or not, but when they did the normal WWE intro, Punk interrupted it. Maybe there was a technical error, but I thought it was a good move to further show how much Punk is tearing down the walls. Anyway, he talks about his suspension and getting into trouble for having the balls to say stuff others wouldn't ever consider doing. He also says Vince McMahon wants to sign him to a long term deal because he doesn't want him to leave with the WWE Championship. Punk goes further to say he is the best in the business and shook the world so much two weeks ago that people from ESPN and Jimmy Kimmel want him to make an appearance on their shows and talk about what he was saying back then. He says he will do his contract negotiations in the middle of the ring tonight. John Cena interrupts the segment and Punk thanks Cena for getting him back in a company he didn't want and how he will take the WWE Championship and make it less ugly (Seriously, I really get tired of seeing this belt and its bling-bling side show. It should look like a world title belt, not something that belongs in a music video). Punk says even though Vince put a stipulation on Cena getting fired if Punk walks out the champion, Punk claims Vince would never let Cena walk away and brings up how ridiculous Cena came back after being "fired" last year. Cena goes into a speech into how he defied the odds against the WWE veterans to become a big deal with the company because the vets told him many years ago that this guy will never make it big. Finally, the Raw GM interrupts and says Cena will compete in a match right now and Punk will talk to Vince later tonight about his contract. Overall, great promo work by both guys, but it was Punk who was making himself stand out. Once again, I find myself more interested in this segment and not really caring about everything else. This is one of those moments where I didn't really care about the matches and just wanted to see or hear more about this segment. Can't wait to the end of the show.....in fact.....can we just cut to the end? Come on, do you really care about the other stuff that happened? Fine.....*sigh*......let's talk about the other stuff as well.....*I never get to do what I want*.....
Match #1: David Otunga and Michael McGullicutty vs John Cena in a Handicap Match
Well, it was nice to actually see the Nexus members actually show some fight against Cena as opposed to lose in about 20 seconds. Even though Nexus was holding their own against Cena, they still couldn't beat him. Cena hits the AA and wins the match cleanly. I know people are going to complain in how this makes the tag champs look bad since they couldn't beat one guy, but it was expected and you should already know how Cena gets booked these days. I didn't really have a problem with the booking of this match.
Winner via pinfall: John Cena
Backstage with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero. They are rehearsing Ziggler's speech towards Vince. He was talking about firing both Cena and Punk and how the US Championship should be the main focal point of the WWE and how Ziggler is the brightest star right now. Drew McIntyre comes out of nowhere and does a Vince impression. It was both odd and cool since I think it was the first time I have seen Drew show some charisma. Anyway, while all three start mocking Vince about his bad breath, Vince shows up right behind them and puts Dolph and Drew in a Handicap Match against Big Show (WWE sure going overboard with the handicap matches tonight) and acknowledges the bad breath jokes they were making earlier. Well, I guess it is safe to say Drew is no longer the Chosen One if he is out making fun of Vince and continues to see his stock drop. Wrestling logic, we as fans are just supposed to forget about Drew's gimmick of the Chosen One because WWE never wrote it out of the show or killed it and they don't seem to have any intention of doing so. Also, one of the Raw crew members did an interview with Vince to find out about the contract negotiations. Vince responds by telling the world to go to hell. Vince is a nice guy, isn't he?
Match #2: Kelly Kelly vs Melina
Boring/bathroom break match. The Bellas were on commentary, but they added nothing to the match or their title match at the PPV. Kelly wins with a finisher and she continues to shame the Divas Championship. After the match, BellasBellas stand tall. Does anyone really care?
Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly
We are back in the ring with the Miz. He talks about MITB and claims he will win the briefcase. Jack Swagger interrupts and says he also won MITB, but Miz reminds him nobody remembers that. Well, we do remember it.....and how it ran into the ground. Evan Bourne interrupts and says he wants to win, yada, yada, yada. This pretty much continued until every MITB competitor (except Rey Mysterio, who I assume wasn't available tonight since he didn't make an appearance) says why they should win. Raw GM interrupts, so time for another edition of the Michael Cole hate train. He gives Alberto Del Rio the night off because of last week's confusion with the #1 Contender spot and it will be a six man tag match coming up next. I will admit the Miz did ok with this promo, but after hearing Punk, it just puts it to shame. R-Truth was also pretty hilarious when talking about a fear of spiders and heights. Arachnophobia and acrophobia do sound pretty similar and Truth was at least self aware of his madness. Cound you imagine a MITB match where spiders were swarming the ring? It would be MITB, the Fear Factor edition. By the way, anyone else think Bourne sounds like a 12 year old when talking?
Match #3: Kofi Kingston, Alex Riley, and Evan Bourne vs Miz, R-Truth, and Jack Swagger
This was probably the best matchup of the night and it was ok to watch. The finish comes when Riley hits the DDT on Swagger and wins the matchup for his team. They do seem high on Riley to be giving him win after win. After the match, Del Rio arrives and takes everyone out with the ladders. I think the spot where he threw the ladder straight at Miz looked pretty brutal. Right now, I would say the guys that have the biggest shot of winning this matchup would be Del Rio, Truth, Miz; while Riley is the dark horse.
Winner via pinfall: Kofi Kingston, Alex Riley, and Evan Bourne
Match #4: Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre vs Big Show
Drew was pretty much a punching bag for this match while Ziggler was hiding the whole time. They brawl up the ramp and the match ends in a double countout. Show is about to Choke Slam Drew off the stage until Mark Henry runs out there and tackles him off the stage. All three guys fall off the stage and the WWE medics attend to Show and Henry. Kinda funny how the medics and the commentators are concerned with Show and Henry, but don't seem to care about Drew. Even though I am not really interested in Show vs Henry, the feud has been built up in decent fashion. It does seem like Henry is going in with the momentum while Show is running on a bad streak. He hasn't won a match in a while and seems to be on his back most of the time. Yet, I wouldn't be surprised to see Show win with how WWE booking does these days.
Finally, the moment we have been waiting for. Vince shows up and does his entrance a few times to stroke his ego and get the audience to cheer for him. Hooray for cheap pop. Anyway, he says contract negotiations should be done in private and not in the public and finally calls out Punk. Punk arrives and mocks Vince's power walk. Vince is pretty much ready to sign the deal, but Punk is going to try for something a little different. Punk says how Vince has lost faith in his golden boy in Cena since he is really afraid Punk will walk out with his title. Punk says he and his lawyers looked at the contract and said it wasn't good enough, but quickly brings in the contract he would like to have signed. Punk says HIS contract is already signed and all Vince has to do is sign it. With Punk's contract, he stats he would like to have merchandise everywhere, his face be on practically everything, poke fun of Vince whenever he wants to and wants to see the comeback of WWE ice cream bars. Damn, it has been a long time since I have seen those. Dammit, now I want an ice cream bar. Maybe while we are at it, we can see the Super Mario ice cream bars make a comeback. Heck, how about a sea salt ice cream bar while we are at it, right? Anyway, the crowd is completely in favor of Punk and are eating up his words like candy. Punk also says he wants to being production on CM Punk: The Movie (which should be a million times better than Fred the Movie). He also wants his own main event at WM. Finally, he also adds he wants an apology for suspending him and for firing his friends like Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows because guys like them have passion for pro wrestling, but Vince cut them out because he felt they didn't have what it took to go further in the business. Punk wants an apology for himself and the guys who got fired because he is the voice of the voiceless. Things get pretty intense here between Punk and Vince since Vince just wants to get the contract signed while Punk has stuff to get off his chest. He flips over the table, the crowd is chanting "we want ice cream" (Dude, I don't care what you say, that is just awesome to hear an ice cream chant in a wrestling event). Vince says he doesn't care what they want, and Punk says that's the problem. Punk says he cares too much about the business. He might not be a suit and tie kind of guy, but he cares about pro wrestling and the fans. Vince finally buckles down and tries to apologize, but it was half assed. Punk works it out of him to give him a good enough apology and the crowd is loving this (honestly, I am loving this as well). Vince is about ready to sign the contract to make it official until Cena interrupts. During this time, there is a "Colt Cabana/we want ice cream/wrestling" chant going on. I wouldn't be surprised in one night, Cabana might have just gotten a second chance in the WWE.....if he wanted to that is. Cena comes out to more boos than usual, and this is the man's hometown (well, it's technically West Newberry, Mass, but it's close enough). You have to be a pretty powerful talker to get the audience to complete boo the hometown favorite. Cena says the audience loves Punk, which is why it is sad he is going to disappoint them by leaving this Sunday. He also says while he doesn't like working for Vince (and talks about dog crap for some reason) he at least he shows up for work and not complain about it. He says Punk is a hypocrite because he wants to leave the company and while he respects him for being an outspoken guy, that is his biggest flaw (I have said Punk has often gotten into the doghouse or into trouble for being an outspoken guy). Punk quickly cuts off Cena and says there was a time where Cena was the underdog, but he eventually became a big star. Punk says he is a true underdog and told himself many years ago when Punk did Cena's WM 22 entrance that he would be the guy who takes down Cena. He says Cena has lost sight of what he used to be because he has become the biggest star in the company, and even a dynasty. He says Cena is no longer the Red Soxs and has become the Yankees. Cena gets angry and punches Punk in the face. Punk leaves the ring and picks up his contract. He gets on the ramp and says THAT was the reason he wants out of the WWE. He says he is just tired of Cena and the show ends with Punk tearing up the contract.
Wow.....just wow. Honestly, what can I say about this segment? This segment will literally blow your balls off. Not sure if this was better than the Punk promo from two weeks ago, but Punk finds a way to match the epicness of back then and manages to deliver one hell of a promo. In a lot of ways, I kinda understand what Punk is saying in regards to Cena. There was a point where Cena was looked at as the underdog in the company. It is funny because Cena still likes to portray himself at times as the underdog, but that is no longer the case. Cena is the face of the company and is the top dog of the company. Simply put, he is no longer the underdog anymore and has become the main star. It is easy for Cena to complain about Punk not having the fame because Cena is actually the top guy and doesn't have to worry about stuff like that anymore. Punk is kinda being booked to be the underdog in this matchup. One of the big complaints about the WWE is the fact it has become too predictable. Well, one of those things that makes it predictable is Cena always winning his matches and being booked to look like a superman. I think when Punk said he was tired of Cena, I think he was saying what a lot of seasoned wrestling fans have been saying towards Cena. Now, I don't hate Cena, but I will admit one of the reasons pro wrestling is down is because it has gotten to the point where Cena always wins and nobody seems to take him down. Cena does lose from time to time, but it doesn't take long for Cena to get back into the spotlight by being in the main event or having the championship. Now, I will admit Cena has worked hard to get to where he is at and deserves to be the face of the company, but there are times where I wish they would establish other stars for the future of the company. WWE has to realize that you can't expect for Cena to be your guy for the next ten years. At some point, you need fresher and newer talents to take those wings and carry the company in the next generation. Outside of Cena and Randy Orton, it doesn't really seem WWE has figured out who will be the stars of tomorrow. Sure, they have lots of younger talent ready for the big time, but everytime they start to get a push, it quickly ends and they eventually fall back down in the rankings. When they pushed Sheamus to his first world title, I figured they would stick with that, but it didn't take long for Sheamus to drop the belt. Since then, Sheamus has danced between midcard and main event scene. Heck, Wade Barrett was doing wonders on the mic to get himself over the top, but his stock has fallen ever since he lost his feud to Cena. Miz had a lenghty world title run, but since dropping the belt to Cena, he hasn't looked very good and can't seem to beat a rookie. There are other examples of this, but I think I made my point. There are times where it seems we are seeing the same matches for over the last year, and it is because they aren't sure where to go with some of the talents at time and just hope that Orton and Cena will be there to carry the company forever. That is what has made the company predictable. Still, it is entertaining at times, but sometimes you really need to get away from being predictable and just try something new. I think that is what Punk meant by saying he is tired of Cena. There is definitely a great story being told here with this rivalry and it seems like the build up to this match is the buildup you would have seen at WM. I liked all the references Punk made during his speech and in a lot of ways, he might have just made Cena look like the bad guy. Punk was about to sign the contract (at least in terms of kayfabe since we still have no idea if Punk has resigned another deal or not) and Vince was about to cave until Cena had to come out and ruin the whole thing. Of course, Cena is still a face, but it is amazing how the hometown crowd turned on him and were siding with Punk. This further adds to my little theory that I was talking about last week where Vince and Punk are working together to get Cena out of town for the time being. It could still happen, but like I said, there are many different possibilities with a storyline like this. We have seen a lot of buzz with the WWE in the last few weeks and it is really thanks to Punk. Heck, Vince has even more of a reason to fire Cena now based off of tonight to furture this storyline because he put his company in jeopardy by opening up his mouth and forcing Punk to tear up the contract. I am hyped up for this event and I haven't been this excited for a pro wrestling storyline of his magnitude in a long time. Seriously, WWE cannot let Punk walk away and need to keep him because he is the best complete pro wrestler out there right now. Very enjoyable segment which might make your jaw drop and this is a segment that is definitely worth checking out. I can't give all the credit to Punk since Vince and Cena definitely contributed to this scene, but I think Punk stole the segment. There was times where it really looked like Punk was having a lot of fun, but he can also be serious at times and really knows how to deliver a work shoot. See, this is why people don't care about TNA worked shoots while Punk knows how to make them work. Oh, and damn you Cena because I wanted my WWE ice cream bar.......ICE CREAM!!!
Honestly, I can talk about this ending segment and Punk for another hour, but we need to wrap up this review. As far as the other stuff in the show, it was skippable, but the main storyline involving Punk/Cena/Vince was really worth checking out and a great segment to watch. WWE has ton a terrific job in hyping up the MITB PPV and I think this could be one of the biggest company changing PPVs in a while. This is the kind of PPV where the company can go down a different route and maybe do something no one would have ever imagined. Raw is doing so well right now that it seems like nobody cares about TNA or SD and are invested in Raw and what Punk is going to do next. I personally cannot wait for this PPV, and it is because of the main event. It is almost easy to forget we also have two MITB ladder matches at the PPV. This might be the a candidate for the best PPV of the year, so it will be interesting to see where this all goes. It could be something that leaves our jaws drop down, or it could be something that might end up turning into a disappointment or going down the predictable route. Well, I hope that isn't the case and hope we really see something special. Well, that is going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. As always, tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. You can also check me out on blogger/blogspot. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time and we need Punk. Oh, and where's my ice cream?