What is up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw on 7/25/11. With this being the first Raw of the "Triple H regime", how would things fair out? Well, let's find out and start the review.
Match #1: Rey Mysterio vs Miz; winner is the "NEW" WWE Champion
So, the WWE is opening up the show with a world title match? You knew they had to have something up their sleeve if the title match opens up the show. Anyway, this was actually a pretty cool way to open up the show, even though I was expecting Triple H to cut a promo to start the show but this was ok. Rey and Miz delivered a pretty damn good match. I would even go further to say this was the match of the night. It really felt like a world title match and I like how both guys went the extra mile. I don't think we have seen a rivalry between Miz and Mysterio, but it can work if done well. I like the springboard Powerbomb the Miz delivered to Rey, but only a two count. The finish comes when Rey hits the 619 and the Top Rope Splash and we have a "new" WWE Champion. I should note there was plenty of stuff that would happen if they opened up the show with this match. After the match, Miz lands a cheap shot and leaves. Alberto Del Rio runs with the MITB and is about to cash it in, but Rey hits a crossbody and Del Rio runs away with the briefcase. So, it appears Del Rio is pulling a Miz with the MITB by teasing the possibility of cashing in the briefcase but ends up running away. I don't know about this because Miz did it last year and I got sick of seeing it after a while and it just feels like Del Rio could be doing the same thing. Hopefully, it's just a strange number of coincidences.
Winner via pinfall and NEW WWE Champion: Rey Mysterio
Backstage where the Raw locker room is celebrating as if they just won the Super Bowl with the new champion in Rey. John Cena would arrive and congratulate Rey and then leaves. Rey gave a quick interview on how he made a bunch of sacrifices to get to the top and it was worth it. What a feel good story. Of course, the feel good stories in pro wrestling ALWAYS go well....don't they? Nah, maybe I am over analyzing it?
Match #2: Dolph Ziggler vs Evan Bourne
Ziggler came out to a new entrance theme. It was his old theme, but a remixed version of it. I personally think it sounds better than before. Anyway, this was your basic Bourne match. He tries and almost has the win, but can't overcome the odds and the match ends with Ziggler applies the Sleeper Hold for the win. It seems the only way Bourne is going to win matches is if he shoots them with a Mega Buster. On the other hand, it seems they could be trying something with Ziggler. After the match, he claimed to be the best in the company and vows to never lose the US Title. It's nice to see a midcard champion actually acknowledge and be proud of the fact they have the title. Its been something I have been noticing about pro wrestling in this day in age. It often feels like the guys who win the IC or US titles almost don't even care they have the belt. I remember back in the day when the Macho Man was the IC Champion and he looked at the title as if he WAS the best and seemed to care about holding it. Heck, Wade Barrett held the IC belt but hardly didn't talk about it and didn't really show as if he cared up to the point where he dropped the title to Ezekiel Jackson. I guess what I am trying to say is if your going to have all of these belts, try to make it mean something not only to the person who has the title, but for the people who compete for it. It just makes having the belts and title matches that much more meaningful. Still, better than some guy who thinks a world title actually gives him power even though he had the title for 2-3 months and that power did absolutely nothing. Yes, I am referring to TNA.
Winner via submission: Dolph Ziggler
A backstage comedy segment with the Bellas, Eve, and Keith Stone. Eve is arguing about the Bellas doing the switch out during matches and Stone says he dislikes people who use identity theft. He starts to mark one of the Bellas with a marker only for the cameraman to take his eye off of them for a few seconds and reveals some artwork that would put tattoo artist to shame. Bellas leave in disgust and shock while Eve says how smooth Keith is. This might have been more corny than the actual commercials. Even though I didn't like the segment, it somehow made the WWE Divas interesting since Kharma left. Still, 1000s better than watching a retarded leprechaun attempt comedy.
Match #3: Kelly Kelly and Eve vs Melina and Maryse
Your basic diva match. This match wasn't designed well and it seemed like the choreography was off at times. Kelly hits Infamassour on Melina for the win. Does anyone even care about Kelly holding the title? Oh, and Cee Lo Green is performing at SummerSlam. Who the hell is Cee Lo Green? I am actually not joking right now since I have never heard of this person until now. Once again, I don't listen to rap and have no intention of starting now.
Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly and Eve
Back in the ring where Triple H is finally going to address the audience. He starts off by saying Vince McMahon was a genius and the WWE wouldn't be where it is without him. He congratulates Rey for becoming the new champion, but this is Triple H's show and he says Rey will defend his championship against Cena later tonight. He says one of the first things he wanted to address was an individual who has been getting some serious support from the WWE Universe to bring back on television. After lots of buildup and "CM Punk" chants going on throughout the arena, we hear the Oklahoma Sooners fight song. That can only mean one person in Jim Ross, who is making his way down the ramp. The crowd still reacts pretty well since they teased Punk's arrival. Michael Cole has this look as if he is going to murder someone as JR is walking down the ramp. Cole quickly gets on the mic and says he has done everything the WWE has told him to do, but the one thing he won't do his work with JR. He starts tossing insults at JR about his weight, BBQ sauce, and ass kissing. Trips says he expected Cole to react like this and thought about firing him, but because of "Cole's contract, it would cost him more to fire him than stay so he gives him a choice. He tells him to either do his job or Cole can quite, but that would be a breech of contract and Cole would lose money and benefits. He gives Cole the rest of the night off to think about his career and he has until Friday night over on Smackdown to make the decision. Cole quickly says he will do his job, but Trips said he still has the rest of tonight off because he has a match coming up. Cole is confused by this and makes excuses that he doesn't have his ring gear, but Trips says he has some gear for him in the back and to get ready right now because he is up next. As Cole is walking away, R-Truth arrives. Truth says Triple H has always been apart of the conspiracy, but he actually likes what he sees out of the new boss. He wonders what Trips can do for him since Little Jimmy costed his world title match back at CP. During this time, Truth is talking to imaginary people while Trips decides to join in on the fun and starts talking to imaginary people as well. Truth realizes what is going on and tells him he isn't playing his game and leaves. Just as he's leaving, the Game tells Truth he signed another wrestler back. John Morrison returns and immediately attacks Truth. He ends the segment by hitting SSP on Truth. Pretty interesting segment to say the least. JR returning was a surprise. Not sure if its a long term move or just temporary, but JR on commentary is always a treat. I had a feeling Morrison was set to return really soon since they kept showing hints on last week's show of the video package and how Truth caused the injuries for the sake of the storyline. You had to sense a Truth/Morrison storyline was on the way because that had to be the original plan until Morrison got hurt. It should be interesting to see what happens when that comes full circle once again. It was also announced that Triple H would be on SD this week and address things over on that show.
Match #4: Michael Cole vs Zack Ryder
Cole came out to Triple H's King of Kings entrance. He was also wearing the tights and failed at doing the water spit. You have to admit that Cole is a bit of a character at times since he gives the best facial expressions during a scene. This is why I say Cole needs to have more of an active role like a manager because he can't really do that while on commentary. Anyway, this was a jobber match and it ended with the Rough Ryder. Ryder got a match on Raw this week and actually won. Is this a sign of things to come for Ryder? I know the IWC has their panties in a bunch when you talk about Ryder. While I am not a fan of his gimmick (I think anything that reminds me of Jersey Shore makes me cringe), Ryder does have a lot of the tools to go pretty far in the business and you have to give him credit for at least trying to make this gimmick work and get more air time.
Winner via pinfall: Zack Ryder
Match #5: Alberto Del Rio vs Kofi Kingston
This was an ok match, but almost a carbon copy of last week's match. Well...... outside of the finish that is. The finish came when Del Rio locked in the CAB and wins via submission. I remember how the commentators referred to Punk as "he who should not be named". That's right folks, Punk has become the Lord Voldemort in the WWE because we aren't supposed to talk about him anymore even though we know he is out there......somewhere
Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio
A backstage interview with the Miz. He says Rey or Cena having the belt is embarrassing. He says Cena doesn't deserve a title shot because he was the one who caused this series of events, while Rey is not "must see" material because he hides behind a mask. He also says he dislikes Triple H's new direction and says this is a mistake for the company. Hmm....this is still in the early stages, but I think what will happen is Miz fighting against the boss in the Game because he doesn't like how the company is moving. It's kinda like how the wrestlers fight the bosses in pro wrestling, expect its backwards since the boss is usually the bad guy while the wrestler is a face, but that obviously isn't the case with the Miz. This is just a quick reminder by the WWE to say the Miz is still here and we have plans on the way for him.....I think.
Match #6: Rey Mysterio vs John Cena for the WWE Championship
Again, another good world title match. I didn't think it was quite as good as the first one tonight, but this was still a good match to watch. It went back and forth for quite a while. I liked the spot where Rey reversed the STF and locked in a STF of his own. The finish comes when Rey is trying his hardest to beat Cena, but he can't and Cena eventually hits AA and we have a new WWE Champion....again....or do we have two champions? As Cena is celebrating with the new title, he picks up Rey and Rey eventualy leaves to let Cena celebrate. That is when Cult of Personality hits and Cena is wondering what is going on. CM Punk comes out of the entrance ramp with the real WWE Championship. He soaks it all in from the audience for a while until getting in the ring. Both guys have a staredown and Cena hoist up his title to receive cheers. Punk puts his title up to actually get a bigger reaction for the audience. Cena just nods and leaves the ring. The show ends with Punk enjoying the moment.
Winner via pinfall and NEW WWE Champion: John Cena
Ok, now time for me to talk about this segment. First of all, I kinda feel bad for Rey. He wins the title only to lose it less than two hours later. Then again, he did his job and I think him dropping the title right away made sense since he was the odd one in this segment. Three is a crowd and Rey had to step aside. Still, I think he played his role pretty well. Remember what I said about feel good stories in pro wrestling? Yeah, a lot of the times they don't tend to last very long. Second, while I agree that Rey as champion isn't the best long term goal since Cena is still there, I think they should have waited and not do it all in one night. And third, I had a feeling it was Punk when the music played because I remember Punk using this theme back when he was in Ring of Honor. While I do admit Punk appearing tonight was a slight surprise, part of me is a bit disappointed. I think what I am referring to was I felt the WWE rushed Punk back onto television too quickly. If I were the booker or creative in charge, I would keep Punk off tv for around a month or two and have him show up at SummerSlam. In fact, I would have Rey go into SS as the champion and Cena is chasing the title. You can either have Cena win it there or have Punk jump out and take out both guys and close out SS with him holding the real WWE Championship. Punk is one of my favorite wrestlers in this generation and I do feel like a show is missing something when he isn't around, but I felt they rushed this a bit and should have kept Punk off tv for a while longer. I think it was pretty clear they are quickly billing up Punk vs Cena to happen at SS, but I would have held off on it since it would have made Punk's appearance than much more. Yeah, he got a massive pop, but the moment could have been much grander if they had waited a few more weeks or until SS. Now, while I am on the side that says WWE should have waited to bring back Punk, I can understand why the WWE did it. Punk is THE hottest wrestler/superstar out there and he has been getting more pops than Cena, which isn't easy to pull off and people just want to see him. I think the WWE realized they couldn't keep Punk off of tv for too long and that is why they rushed him back. Now, it's possible that there is more on the way with this and this storyline can still take an interesting turn. Punk came out to his ROH theme and thus maybe he is showing up as a "non WWE" employee and is just trying to cause a stir. Why? Because he is Punk and he does whatever the hell he wants, so I can buy that. Maybe Punk reveals this was all a trick from the beginning to get Vince fired or something? I can understand how people can say the WWE dropped the ball tonight, but let's not forget this angle/storyline isn't over yet and there is still more to happen. We know Punk and Cena are going to have to meet again, and maybe they will unify both WWE Championships. There is still a lot they can do with this angle from now until then, and then some. I am still interested in this storyline, but I do felt it was rushed just a tad. Still, if something better comes out of it, I am all for it. Again, we are still in the middle of this storyline and we are just going to have to sit back and see what the WWE is plotting here. Lately, things have been unpredictable, so you never know what is gonna happen next.
I thought this was a pretty good episode of Raw. We had the first night of the "Triple H regime" and it seems that more stuff can be on the way. There was some ok comedy, good wrestling matches, and some ok storytelling with a couple of returns mixed in there. I thought this was a pretty fun show to check out since it had a lot of everything. I can see others saying otherwise with how the Punk storyline was played out, but there was still some good wrestling matches to be seen and some ok promos, so I think that makes the overall feeling of the show worthwhile and fun to check out. There is definitely an interesting turn of events that can happen after tonight. Is Punk going to go up against Cena and is he really back or is he a "non WWE" employee? What will Triple H do over on SD and what else does he have planned for Raw? What will Miz do to fight against Triple H's vision of the WWE? What will Rey do after dropping the title and when will Del Rio cash in the briefcase? See, there is still plenty of questions to be asked and enough interest to keep watching. Again, I know people are quickly off board of the main angle of the show, but I think there is still enough interest and still a chance something big can come out of it. 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 and tonight's show. You can also find me on blogger/blogspot. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.