What is up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw on 8/8/11. With SummerSlam set for this week, how would the WWE build up the second biggest PPV of the year? Well, let's find out and start of the review.
We open up the show with Triple H. He talks about how important the match between CM Punk and John Cena is for this Sunday. In fact, he says its so important that the only person he can trust for this match is himself. He elects himself to be the special referee for the match and claims he will call it down the middle (wink, wink?). He also says the contract signing between Punk and Cena will be taking place tonight and both will be in action tonight. Pretty simple way to open up the show. Again, I can't help but think the Game will play a significant roll in the WWE Championship match by screwing over one or both guys. It's an interesting move to say the least. There is a lot more that would come out of this scene, but I will save that for later.
Match #1: John Cena vs Jack Swagger
Pretty basic match. It went back and forth for a while, but Cena was too much for Swagger. The finish comes when Cena hits the AA for the clean win. I have no problems with this considering Cena needs momentum going into his big SS match.
Winner via pinfall: John Cena
Backstage interview with Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio announces he is facing off against Punk tonight, claims Punk is the Voice of the Cowards, and how he will beat him just like he was about to do at MITB. You know, I talk about how Randy Orton says the generic face stuff during his promo, but it also seems Del Rio says the generic heel stuff all the time. Again, I see high hopes for this guy but he isn't doing anything to really get himself over the top. You almost forget he is a main event guy and the crowd still gives him basic heel pop. Then again, that can all change when he cashes in MITB. There was also a backstage interview with R-Truth. This guy continues to act like a cartoon character with how he goes about things. He talks about spiders and how hot dog packs and hot dog buns are taboo since they sell hot dogs by a ten pack, but the buns are at eight. Hey, he totally has a point there. What the hell guys? He also talks about spider stew and how he hates spiders. I wonder if Truth has ever seen Home Alone...
Needless to say, this was a pretty strange promo. Then again, he is crazy so its expected. We are getting ready for a match between Rey Mysterio and the Miz. Rey is making his way to the ring, but the Miz attacks him from behind. Once the Miz basically kills Mysterio, he heads to the ring. Michael Cole is about ready to suck his cock (With how Cole's fanboy juices comes out, you almost think that its going to happen at somepoint) while the Miz has something to say. He talks about how its ridiculous he doesn't have a SS opponent and he should be the WWE Champion because of how he does every appearance outside the WWE for this company while the attention is on Punk and Cena. He demands the referee to give him the victory since Rey will "forfeit" the match. A ref arrives and says Triple H found a new opponent for Miz and that match will begin immediately. Anyone thought it was ironic that the Miz is complaining about not competing at SS while he technically didn't compete at last year's SS? Oh, well. Wrestling logic can be kinda funny at times. What will probably end up happening is the Miz goes up against Mysterio at SS based on tonight's actions. It was reported during the weekend that Rey got a bit of an injury, and they probably did the attack to give Rey the night off. It was also announced on this show that Rey will go up against the winner of the WWE Championship Match on next week's Raw. That should be a clue that the injury Rey has is just a day to day deal. At least that is what I hope.
Match #2: Miz vs Kofi Kingston
This was a pretty good match. It was back and forth for the majority of the contest and it ended when Miz cashed in on a mistake and hit SCF for the clean win. It's almost embarrassing how this match might have been better than anything that was on Hardcore Justice last night. At least this match was entertaining. Oh, and did Cole say he was watching the Teen Choice Awards last night? Why would he be watching that? I saw Hardcore Justice last night and even though it wasn't very good, it has to be a lot less disappointing than the Teen Choice Awards. Has the world gone mad?
Winner via pinfall: Miz
Match #3: CM Punk vs Alberto Del Rio
There was a backstage interview with Punk. He talks about how its not surprised Trips added himself to the title match since he has a massive ego. He thinks Trips should say out of the match. There was a pretty big Punk chant going on during the match. It seems lately Punk is getting a lot of chants in the arena while Cena is getting more boos. I think that is about as close as Cena is going to get to a heel turn since I don't think it will never happen and I don't think it should. Anyway, an ok back and forth match. Del Rio was mainly targeting the arm in this match. The finish comes when Punk fights back and hits the GTS for the clean win. This does make Del Rio look pathetic considering he is the MITB holder, but Punk needed this win for momentum so I am fine with it.
Winner via pinfall: CM Punk
Match #4: Beth Phoenix vs Eve
They showed a video clip of Cena and Miz at the Teen Choice Awards. Cena talks about beating up Justin Bieber. Imagine seeing Cena rip out Bieber's spinal cord in front of a massive audience? Now, THAT would be a moment we can ALL remember. Cole asked JR which he prefers, blondes or brunettes. JR answers with simply saying yes. Honestly, that was a pretty stupid question Cole. Why choose only one? Eve came out to some new entrance music. It was pretty uneventful to say the least. I didn't like the way this match was designed. They should have have Beth kill Eve in under two minutes. Instead, they actually had Eve go in there and actually got several moves in on Beth. Yeah, Phoenix wins this match cleanly, but it should have gone a lot quicker to really show the dominance of Beth. The match ends with the Glam Slam. After the match, Beth cuts a promo in how she is tired of these ladies ruining the diva division and is tired of the fanservice. She is walking away, but turns around to talk some more, only for Kelly Kelly to attack her from behind and quickly gets in the ring to join Eve. The scene ends with Kelly hoisting up her title and.....getting no reaction from the audience. Seriously, the audience was dead when Kelly showed up. In fact, you probably could hear a pin drop. Hey Kelly, that's the audience way of telling you to do something new and try. I still don't think Kelly has earned this opportunity and is lucky to be holding the belt. That's the key word, trying. I would show Kelly a lot more respect if she was consistently trying to improve her character and in-ring ability because I am not impressed with the addition of an Infamassour and nothing else. You just can't expect the audience to love you because your holding a championship belt and your a good person. You have to give the reason for the audience to give you a reaction and Kelly hasn't really done that. Ezekiel Jackson, this also applies to you. To add insult to injury, Beth was actually getting cheers for her heel promo. That is almost the WWE Universe's way of saying they have no interest in Kelly and just want to see.....anything that looks like effort. That would explain why Kharma was getting a ton of applause when she showed up to rip apart the division way back then. Kharma, this division really needs your help.
Winner via pinfall: Beth Phoenix
Match #5: Dolph Ziggler vs Alex Riley
Before the match started, Riley told Vickie Guerrero her breath smells like rotting dead corpse and she gets angry. The match was barely a match. There was a few moves here and there, but nothing to really get you into the match. To be fair, the purpose of this match was not to put on a good performance but to tell a story. The finish comes when Vickie gets in the ring to continuing arguing and she slaps Riley. The ref calls for the bell. After the match, Dolph and Vickie argue about the DQ and Riley pushes them into one another. He walks away while Vickie and Dolph continue to argue. It gets to the point where Vickie walks out on Dolph and we might have just seen the end of the power couple. Is this is the end of Vickie and Dolph? Well, too early to say that is the case, but we might be seeing early shades of a breakup. I actually think its time to let Dolph go out on his own and see what he can do. This also adds fuel for the Ziggler/Riley rivalry. We might see a US Title match between the two at SS, but nothing was announced as of this moment.
Winner via DQ: Alex Riley
Match #6: John Morrison vs R-Truth
Kinda interesting and odd they would put this match on tonight as opposed to wait until SS to do it. Then again, a rematch is probably going to happen, so let's just move on. This match was ok to watch. There was a spot where Truth tripped Morrison off the guard rail and hit his neck on the back of the padded barricade. Morrison sells a neck injury for the rest of this match. The finish comes when Truth takes advantage of the neck problems and hits the Facebuster for the clean win. This most likely keeps the feud going and maybe setting a rematch at SS. Again, nothing was announced for SS. Guess we have to wait for SD this week since we need to add some more matches to the card.
Winner via pinfall: R-Truth
We now get to the moment most people were probably interested in having me talk about. We have the contract signing between Punk and Cena. Both wrestlers arrive, but you know they have some words to exchange. Punk quickly says this contract signing is kinda ridiculous because its already official that the match is going down. He basically breaks the fourth wall in saying how these things will result with the table being flipped over and a fight begins (not unless your TNA). Punk says he feels like an entertainer at the moment, which is funny because its ironic. He talks about pitching a clip and how it will be better than Triple H's movie. I like how Trips is wondering where Punk's movie is and Punk responds by saying its already on DVD. Anyway, the video starts and its the Rock. The Rock was making fun of Cena and is basically calling him a phony. Once the video is over, Punk says that isn't his exact feelings towards Cena, but he was right about Cena being phony, but he also calls the Rock a phony as well. Cena grabs the mic and says he is entertained by Punk and the clip caught him off guard, but says the Rock is a living legend and he realizes he will never be able to win over "The millions" because he does things differently. He calls out Punk in saying how Cena is a little too PG and he is nothing more than the Hulk Hogan of this generation. Cena says he will never be able to win over the IWC (He didn't say IWC, but that is what he was going for) because of his Five Moves of Doom and adding a little bit of a heel persona because he is more concerned by the fans that like him as opposed to the ones who don't. He instantly calls Punk a phony since he considers himself the Voice of the Voiceless and how he was trying to get a ton of money. Trips jumps in on this and actually agrees with Cena in how Punk is a phony. That is when Punk takes a different approach and talks about the recent WWE releases that John Laurinaitis had to do this past weekend. He calls Triple H gutless since he has Johnny Ace do the dirty work and fire these talents while he is off somewhere else. Punk quickly gets back to Cena and the crowd is loving Punk. He says Cena is one of the top guys of this company and looks down on talents. He talks about winning the ECW Championship many years ago and how Cena told him "great job....I almost gave up on you". Punk instantly says who the hell is Cena to tell him he isn't good enough? Punk says he holds grudges and he has been holding that line over Cena for years now. He says he didn't give up on his dream while Cena did when he went into professional bodybuilding and decided to go into wrestling because he couldn't hack it (To interrupt for a second. It is true Cena tried to go into bodybuilding before going for pro wrestling). He says he had to fight for his spot while Cena gets opportunities handed to him. He finally says he will win the Undisputed Championship on Sunday and Cena will walk out with nothing and signs the contract. Very loud Punk chant while Cena has something to add to all of this. Cena says Punk has a lot of pressure in all of this and says even though Punk busted his ass to beat him at MITB, he could be a one hit wonder if he can't beat him at SS. Cena finally signs the contract and both guys are ready to throw down. The table gets flipped and Punk and Cena are at each other's face. Johnny Ace gets in between both of them. Punk punches Ace while Trips gets in between both of them. Cena then lands a cheap shot on Punk and he is out of the ring. We see a little bit of an argument between Trips and Cena while Punk is saying how Trips and Cena are possibly setting him up at to make sure he loses. The show ends with a stare down from a distance between the two.
Ok, I tried to talk about the major points of all of this, but not sure if I can do it justice. Really, this is one of those moments you really have to watch for yourself. This was an excellent scene. Really, both guys delivered good promo after good promo. I liked the spot where Cena talked about the Five Moves of Doom and how he should unleash his heel persona. In a lot of ways, this was Cena's way of saying f*** you to the IWC because these are the two most common complaints against Cena from the IWC. It was also Cena's way of saying he doesn't care what the IWC says towards him because its pretty obvious the man has a fan base. What the IWC fails to realize sometimes is Cena is really good at what he does and he actually has earned his spot to be the face of the company. Yeah, I admit I am not the biggest Cena fan, but I definitely respect what this guy does on a weekly basis. There was a time where Cena was rising up through the rankings and sometimes the IWC makes it seem like Cena was the golden boy since day one. New flash guys. They have to at least prove they are worthy of that spot before getting special treatment, and that goes for everyone. Yes, all the way from Hogan, to the Rock, to SCSA, and to Cena. I will never question Cena busting his ass to get to the top because anyone who usually makes it to the top had to bust their ass to earn it. Sometimes, I think the IWC hates whatever is really popular in the wrestling business. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see the IWC turn on Punk one of these days. Oh well, I digress. Anyway, Punk continues to deliver excellent promos. You can tell both Punk and Cena were having a little fun with this one because both guys were laughing while the other guy was talking. Not to mention the consistent abuse to the fourth wall. Another moment in which the fourth wall turned into rubble. I really liked it when Punk talked about Chris Masters in how he got his release. He said Masters has improved for over the last year and they just released him. That is EXACTLY what I have been saying for the past few months now. Masters really was showing a lot of improvement and he really got a raw deal when he received his walking papers last Friday. Instead of focusing on Masters who is a musclebound guy with some charisma, they push Zeke who is just a musclebound guy without any personality. Still don't know what the hell the WWE sees in you Zeke since your the definition of bland. Of course, it wouldn't be a Punk promo without a mention of WWE ice cream bars. Are those ever going to make a comeback? It was interesting that the Rock's video got put out there tonight. In a lot of ways, this was more fuel for their WM match, but Punk found a way to make it work for his character and it really showed. I also liked the part where Punk talked about how Cena told him he almost gave up on him. Punk was really over with the crowd while Cena continues to get bashed by the fans, but at least the women and children are still pulling for him. I thought the show ending with Punk saying out loud that Trips and Cena are plotting to screw him over was very interesting. I mentioned last week that I can see Trips screw over Punk in order to help out Cena based on the conversation the two exchanged last week. I can't help but think the WWE has another trick up their sleeve and something else can happen. There is also the off beat chance Trips can screw over both guys and just take the championship for himself. Heck, they can actually turn Cena heel if they wanted to, but as I mentioned earlier, I don't think it will ever happen. Still, it could happen? Plus, you can't rule out the possibility of Del Rio cashing in MITB on either guy after its all over. I know everyone is thinking of all of these different swerves and screw jobs that can happen, but there is also the chance this match is really called down the middle and either Punk or Cena win cleanly. They really have built up this match as a must win for Punk because he needs to prove he is for real and that he roll with the big dogs. This almost feels like Rocky in which Cena is playing Apollo Creed and Punk is playing Rocky since Punk is still considered the underdog. Punk is pretty much playing a face/tweener at the moment and it just seems like the audience really likes it when Punk does some worked shoots because he puts so much energy and passion into the promo. Again, these is where TNA should be taking notes in how to make worked shoots actually work. They invested a lot of time and energy for this one match and this one match alone is going to carry the PPV. I am pretty damn excited for this match and it will be interesting to see what the WWE has brewing in the creative pot. I felt Punk made the better promo, but Cena was no slouch with the mic tonight. I really have seen some of Cena's best mic work during his rivalry out of Punk than he has with the Rock. Its almost like Punk gets the best out of Cena and vica versa because this is some of the best work I have seen out of Cena for years; while Punk has done everything to prove he deserves to be a top guy. This was definitely my favorite moment of the night. I don't know about you, but Punk is really making wrestling fun and interesting.
I thought this was a damn good episode of Raw. There was some pretty good matches and lots of SS buildup. I realize the WWE didn't announce any new matches for the PPV, but they still have SD later in the week to make some more matches. Also, let's face it? This PPV is pretty much being carried by the Punk/Cena match and they did a really good job in building up a match most people wanted to see and make it that much bigger. Again, it will be really tough to top the match the two had at MITB, but I am sure that won't stop both from trying. Even if there wasn't any new matches announced for SS, there was some buildup for some potential matches. They have definitely set something up between Ziggler/Riley, Truth/Morrison, and Miz/Mysterio, so I guess we will wait until later in the week to find out what other matches end up making it on the card. Just a very enjoyable show for tonight, but what really stole the show was the Punk/Cena contract signing. Heck, when was the last time a contract signing was the best part of a wrestling show? I can definitely recommend checking out this show and I strongly recommend you watch the contract signing between Punk and Cena because there was some stuff I had to leave off of it and it was a pretty enjoyable 15-17 minute segment if I say so myself. 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. I am also on blogger/blogspot. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time and damn those spiders.