Tuesday, August 23, 2011
WrestlingNerd Presents: WWE Raw Review 8/22/11 (It's a Conspiracy)
What up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw on 8/22/11. After last week's events, how would the WWE continue the buildup? Well, let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with Alberto Del Rio. He didn't get to say much because he was immediately interrupted by John Cena. He calls Del Rio an average talent and claims there's only one person who can go the distance with him, CM Punk. Cena gets interrupted by Punk in the process. Punk thinks this is a re-run with Cena going for his one millionth title match. Punk's explaining himself until Del Rio says it's his time to shine. Punk warns him to never interrupt him and stats while Del Rio is deserving of the MITB cash in, he has a problem with Triple H's regime and wants to get to the bottom of all of this. Punk assumes someone within the WWE is making sure Del Rio's the champ as opposed to him. He also brings up his rematch for the championship. This starts an argument between Punk and Cena in who's deserving of a rematch until Del Rio says he shouldn't have to face either of them. Triple H finally interrupts and says Del Rio won't face Punk or Cena, but he does have a match for tonight. He also stats there will be a #1 Contender's Match for the WWE Title between Punk and Cena. A decent opening for the show. I remember a line in which Cena and Punk claimed Del Rio was the third wheel. They actually have a point when you think about it. While Del Rio has improved and gained a lot of attention in the past week, the majority of fans really want to see Punk, Cena, or both. In fact, Del Rio was mostly silent for this segment as he was completely overshadowed by Punk and Cena. To be fair, this is still very new to Del Rio and it will take time for him to ease into a groove....if he's good enough that is. I wasn't really big on the main event announcement. While I enjoy Punk vs Cena matches, this match being on Raw just smell shenanigans of some sort. Then again, maybe I'm wrong? It was also reported during the opening that Rey Mysterio would be out of action for a while. This injury seems legit as Rey has been banged up for a while and needs some rest. It will be a shame to lose Rey for a while, but injuries are apart of the game. Best of luck Mysterio in the recovery process.
Match #1: Alberto Del Rio vs John Morrison
Really good opening match to start the action portion of the show. Good back and forth action between the two. Del Rio and Morrison work pretty well together. The finish comes when Del Rio locks in the Cross Armbreaker for the clean win. Del Rio needed the win to continue to show he's worthy of the top spot. Now, I imagine Morrison fans are a little angry at the WWE right about now. Since Morrison came back from the injury, he really hasn't done much. While Morrison's a great wrestler, I've also stated in the past Morrison needs to work on his personality and mic skills to really make himself stand out. He's lacking in these two areas, and it holds him back. Still, Morrison was really high prior to the injury, so why has his stock fallen so fast? Well, the reason being is a lot of people have stepped it up during his absence and proved they could do and equal or better job than Morrison. During Morrison's injury, we saw Punk reach a ridiculous level of fandom and even R-Truth has shown a lot more of what he can do. Yeah, the man's freakin' psychotic, but Truth has actually gained more credibility for a top spot than Morrison. What I'm basically saying is Morrison needs to bust his ass to prove he's worthy of moving up the corporate ladder. You can also argue how Morrison's his own worst enemy based on various backstage reports, but I don't like to talk about that type of stuff on here so let's move on.
Match #2: Eve vs Nikki Bella
Feel free to correct me if I wrote the name of the wrong Bella twin competing in this match. Brie and Kelly Kelly are at ringside for this match. This was a little better than last week's diva match, but it isn't saying much. The action really dragged and moved really slow. The finish comes when Eve hits a Swinging Neckbreaker for the clean win. After the match, Kelly hits the Infamassour on the other Bella twin while Beth Phoenix and Natalya are on the entrance ramp giving them a pity applause. I really didn't like this segment for a number of reasons. First, the ending was a carbon copy of last week's ending. Second, why aren't Beth or Natalya competing? And third, and the most important; why Eve vs Nikki? Beth and Natalya are targeting Kelly, so wouldn't it make more sense to have Kelly or the "Divas of Doom" compete? Reckon, Eve and Kelly are basically a team, but that's a lazy way of booking it. It almost feels like the WWE isn't quite sure what they want to do with this storyline, so they kinda put it on hold. At the end of the day, Eve gains nothing for winning the match and thus it just seemed pointless. So, it was basically a throwaway match. Definitely the weakest segment of the night. Hopefully, the WWE has an actual plan with this entire feud and we see some build up as opposed to doing a repeat.
Winner via pinfall: Eve
Match #3: Jack Swagger vs Alex Riley
Vickie Guerrero introduced Swagger has her potential new client. The match didn't last long. Dolph Ziggler arrived and confronted Vickie for working with Swagger tonight. At some point, Vickie fell to the floor and Swagger and Dolph got into it. Swagger walks back in the ring only for Riley to get a rollup victory. Not really a whole lot to say since this storyline is still in the early stages. We will just have to wait and see where they plan to go with all of this. Hopefully, we get a clearer picture with this storyline as we get to NoC.
Winner via pinfall: Alex Riley
Back in the ring where Triple H wants to talk about the "Who shot J....er....I mean who sent Kevin Nash the text". He invites Nash to the ring so they can talk. Nash reveals the text was sent from Hunter's phone, but Trips said he didn't send anything. Nash believes him since they have been friends for over 20 years. Nash stats he thought about apologizing to Punk, but he quickly remembered his comments from last week and he refuses to apologize. Nash even stats he would have killed Punk if he actually worked here. Trips tells him to leave since he "doesn't" want his friend to do anything wreckless. Punk interrupts and quickly stats he doesn't buy anything both are saying. Punk even thinks Stephanie sent the text and wants to kick some Super Shredder ass until Trips holds him back. Punk quickly gets angry and wants to know what's his problem? He calls out Hunter in saying how he's scared to have a guy like Punk as WWE Champion and even questions Trips' manhood by thinking Steph's calling all the shots. Nash takes a cheap shot at Punk and Trips restrains him. He calms him down and they both walk away. The segment ends with Punk smiling. Punk adds so much to a scene. It's amazing how pro wrestling's staged and scripted and yet Punk can make it seem real at times. This was an interesting scene, but there wasn't much revealed. Nash was a lot better on the mic this week. It looked like he got into a groove this week and it made the scene that much better. I know people are disappointed the culprit wasn't revealed, but they can drag out this thing for a few weeks. They can also wait until the PPV to reveal more details on all of this. I still find myself very invested in this storyline and this feels like the main storyline at the moment. Did anyone else the text was sent by Vince McMahon? There was also a backstage scene where Trips and Nash are arguing. Nash thinks Trips has gotten out of hand with his new power and leaves the arena.
Match #4: David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty vs Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne for the WWE Tag Team Championships
King continues to bash the tag champs since they haven't shown much. He even claimed the Bushwhackers showed more personality than these guys. He actually has a point there since the tag champs look like generic guy #1 and #2. This was an ok match, but nothing to brag home about. The finish comes when Bourne hits Air Bourne and we have new tag team champions. I personally don't have a problem with this. Otunga and Michael were just another bland tag team and it didn't seem they were getting anywhere with the hardware. Kofi and Bourne almost seem like a natural tag team and there has been talk of reviving the tag team division in the WWE. If that's the case, it makes perfect sense to go with Kofi and Bourne since they transition into tag team wrestling a lot better than Otunga and Michael. Oh, and maybe we can ditch Joe Hennig's goofy name while we are at it? Just a thought?
Winner via pinfall and NEW WWE Tag Champs: Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne
Backstage where John Laurinitis finds Trips and tells him Nash was just involved in a car accident. Johnny Ace tells him the hospital address and Trips immediately leaves the building and seems to leave Johnny Ace in charge...
Aw yes. Very interesting to say the least. I think if the last couple of weeks has taught us anything, don't trust the Funkman.
We are back in the ring where Santino's doing his air trombone dance. It's good, but it's no lucky dance...
Anyway, the comedy didn't last long as Miz and Truth arrive to attack Santino. They take him out and quickly grab the mics. Truth says this will happen to all the lil Jimmys. He once again brings up the conspiracy (it's funny because it's ironic) and how Triple H is doing everything possible to hold them both back. Miz realizes what Truth is saying and he agrees. He says he has tried to do everything to get noticed on this show, which is why he had a fight with the Subway guy last week. Miz and Truth claim they are sick of waiting for an opportunity and they will just take it. This segment ends with Truth rapping at how he dislikes the audience while the Miz joins the party. One of the strangest segments for tonight, but also one of the funnier moments in the process. The crowd was really giving both guys a ton of heat, but Miz and Truth handled it pretty well. We might have seen the birth of a new coalition between Miz and Truth, and I'm all for it. They both work pretty well together and can be the new old couple of the WWE. I really want to see what else they can bring to the table for next week's show. Still, did anyone understand half the things Truth was rapping? It all seemed mesh together, but maybe that's the best way to go about it since Truth is bats*** crazy?
Match #5: CM Punk vs John Cena; winner is the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship
The audience was very interesting tonight. It seemed like the fans were split between both Punk and Cena, but they really seemed to hate Cena more than anything else. You never sure what you're going to get with a Canadian audience. That's no way a knock against Canadians since I like seeing how other people react to their favorites. Once again, another great match put on between Punk and Cena. Like I said in my Summerslam review, it really seems Punk brings out the best in Cena and vica versa. Maybe this will shut the people up who say Cena can't wrestle since Cena has done well these past few months. Eh......probably not? Johnny Ace and Del Rio were watching this match at ringside. The King's commentary was something else during this match. King was basically anti-Punk in all of this and claims Punk is much weaker than Cena. King, where did THAT come from? I know the King praises Cena while on commentary, but he basically threw Punk under the bus this week. Heck, I think even JR and Michael Cole were caught off guard by this. Then again, maybe it's all apart of the conspiracy? This was a great match for free TV. Both went out there and made this a fun match. Both guys even kicked out of each other's finishers. Punk once again plays tribute to the Macho Man Randy Savage with a Flying Elbow. Punk's about to end it until Nash arrives and says this isn't over yet. Punk gets distracted and adverts his attention to Nash. This allows recovery time for Cena. Punk finally gets back in the match, but walks into AA and Cena wins the match. After the match, Del Rio jumps in to attack Cena. Johnny Ace tries to restrain him, but Del Rio continues to punish Cena. The show ends with a broken down Cena.
Winner via pinfall and NEW #1 Contender to the WWE Championship: John Cena
I realize people are very pissed off about this since Cena immediately gets back in the title hunt while Punk does something else. You have to look at it like this. I think it makes sense for Cena to get the title shot since Punk's in the middle of this whole text message/Nash deal. I think as of right now, the Punk storyline is the major storyline of the show while Del Rio/Cena is a close second. I think people tend to forget Stone Cold Steve Austin wasn't always in the title picture, but found a way to still get a lot of mainstream attention with some of the programs he was working. Just because Punk isn't fighting for the title doesn't mean he's completely going back to a garbage feud. Punk's working a much bigger storyline at the moment in which we might see Punk and Triple H lock it up. If you think about it, Punk's character is better without the title as opposed to being champion. Reckon, I'm a Punk fan as much as the next guy and I would love to see the guy get his lengthy championship reign, but I like the storyline he's working and I think it shows the WWE has big plans for Punk. Another reason Cena should get the title shot is to help establish Del Rio. It would be a waste to invest so much time into Punk only to have him fall to Del Rio, so it makes sense to go with Cena. This will also be the moment where we find out if Del Rio's deserving of this push or if he's just an over hyped wrestler. Only time will tell if Del Rio belongs in the spotlight, but I think he's making improvements. Still, I wouldn't be surprised if tonight's ending sparked more hatred for Cena since a lot of people get tired of seeing him in the title picture. I will admit it does get a little old, but Cena's the best one to put over Del Rio at the moment. Gotta look at this from a logical standpoint and this was the most logical move....at least in my opinion. As I mentioned in the beginning of the review, you knew some sort of shenanigans was on course, but that's ok. Of course, tonight's ending adds more to the Punk storyline since Johnny Ace delivered the message. Did Johnny Ace lie? Did he get false information? Did Johnny Ace and Hunter act the whole thing out? Yeah, I can keep going but I think you get the point. A very interesting turn of events to say the least.
I thought this was a pretty good episode of Raw. It was a heavy promo night for the WWE since we had three scenes with a good amount of talking. The promos/segments really made the show interesting to watch. The action was very good as well. There was some lackluster performances like the diva match, but with the Del Rio/Morrison and Punk/Cena matches, the action was definitely there. Great wrestling matches and storytelling all around, what more can you ask for? Like last week's show, we are left with more questions than answers. Maybe we will get an answer or two on next week's show, but all of these questions keep you coming back. What makes a good wrestling show is ending with a question/cliffhanger to make sure you come back the following week. I think the WWE is putting together one of the best years in a long time. I can definitely recommend watching this episode since it was very entertaining and well put together. I would like to find out more about the Punk angle? I'm interested to see how well they can build up the Del Rio/Cena title match. I'm also interested in what Miz and Truth plan on doing. All we need now is an actual direction with the diva division and some foresight in the Vickie deal and this would be an almost perfect show. Either way, a solid evening all around. That's 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. My schedule might be a little off with the Impact and SD reviews for this week, so just a heads up if it's running a little late or if they don't show up. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time....