What up wrestling fans, I am the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw on 8/29/11. So, would we get further insight with the conspiracy going around in the WWE? Well, let's find out and begin.
We open up the show with Triple H. He says he wants to make the WWE the best it can possibly be and for now on, SD superstars will get to appear on Raw on a more consistent basis and vica versa. I have some thoughts about this move, but I will wait until the end of this scene. Trips talks about the Kevin Nash/CM Punk deal and realizes people are lying to him and immediately calls out Nash to explain himself. Instead of Nash arriving to the ring, Punk shows up instead. Punk applauds the acting performance of Trips (Anyone else think that phrase is ironic?) and still thinks Hunter is lying about all of this and either Hunter and/or Stephanie is screwing him over. Nash comes out to the NWO music, which brings back a lot of memories. I know a lot of people have lots of hatred for the NWO angle, but it did have its moments and changed the landscape. Still, I can't help but think of this whenever I hear the NWO music...
Yeah, Hulk Hogan REALLY busted his ass on that night. Anyway, Nash said he lied about last week to really find out if Hunter is a man. Trips says he can't trust his best friends who lie and tells Nash to leave. Nash tells everyone John Laurinaitis signed him to a WWE contract and he doesn't have to leave. Trips decides not to fire Nash, but wants him to be honest. During this time, Punk starts gagging and rolling around. Punk claims he was acting, the same thing Trips and Nash are doing. Punk starts to mock the Kliq and Nash's knees until Nash says he wants to fight Punk. Punk agrees and says they should do it at NoC. He says it would be perfect since Nash is a champion ass kisser and wonders if this match is ok with Steph since she's the one wearing the pants and calling the shots as opposed to Hunter. Trips gets angry and decides to make the match official. A pretty interesting opening to say the least. So, we have a little more insight with this CM Punk vs the world storyline. Johnny Ace is once again mentioned on this show and with his consistent string of appearances, I have to think he will be a major player in this feud....well, not the wrestling aspect of it at least. Plus, there's Nash, Hunter, Steph and possibly Vince McMahon who have an influence with this deal. Damn, if things get this complex, we will need Detective L to solve the case...but I digress. I would go into my thoughts of the Punk/Nash match, but there's a lot more with this that would happen later in the show. As far as the idea to have Raw and SD join together in some way, I guess it's an ok idea. I know a lot of wrestling fans (particular the IWC) have wanted the WWE to get rid of the brand extensions for quite some time, but I've always been on the other side of the argument. The reason I like the idea of separating the talent is so you don't overshadow your rookies, up and comers, lower card, and midcard talents. I feel if you combine all of the talent on one show that you would put all the attention on guys like John Cena, Punk, and Randy Orton while the other guys will be out of the mix and would be lost. It seems the WWE is going with the idea of having the talent appear on a limited basis and not completely swamp it with their main eventers from both shows, and if that's the case, then I am fine with the Super Shows. If the WWE finds a good balance between their main eventers and their younger guys/midcarders, than I am fine with the idea, but it could be a problem if both shows end up revolving around those main event talents. Reckon, the fans want to see the more popular names, but you should always be building for the future as a wrestling company and those guys need screen time just as much as your well established talents. Hopefully, there's a good balance between both shows as I felt tonight's show was an example of a good balance with the combined Raw and SD talents. I am probably over analyzing all of this, but I suppose that's why I'm the Nerd. There's a lot more WWE talent these days and I just want to make sure those up and comers get their fair shot as opposed to being overshadowed. Even with that said, one of the reasons I like this idea is we get to see newer matches on a weekly basis since the opportunity is there as opposed to being excluded from Raw and vica versa. Time will tell if this was a good move or not.
Match #1: Randy Orton vs Dolph Ziggler
Dolph and Vickie Guerrero continue to argue about random stuff. This was a really good match to open up the action portion of the show. In fact, this match went so well that this might have been the best match of the night. The commentators really did a nice job in putting over Ziggler as opposed to just throwing him under the bus. I've always said Ziggler is a great in-ring performer, but if he can develop his charisma and personality, he will have a great career ahead of him. After a bunch of near falls, the finish comes when Ziggler locks in the Sleeper, but Orton counters and hits an RKO. The RKO here didn't look very good on camera. It looked like Orton lost his grip while Ziggler just took a dive. Well....those kinds of things can happen. What was more embarrassing was WWE showed a replay of the finisher and did a different angle of the shot, but it looked even worse than the original shot. Still, I won't throw the book at Orton since it was a very minor miscue. Orton needed the win since he's going into a title match tomorrow night while Ziggler losing might actually add something to his storyline involving Jack Swagger and Vickie. Still, I bet most people are complaining how Ziggler had to "job" to Orton again. A "job" is when a guy loses in about 90 seconds, so how's Dolph jobbing when had a 10+ minute match with the WHC? I've always hated how the IWC throws that term around since they almost make it seem a "job" is just plain losing, while that's not the case. I kinda got off track here, but just something I've been noticing that seems to grind my gears a bit.
Winner via pinfall: Randy Orton
Back in the ring with more promo time. Cena arrives and says how Alberto Del Rio is a terrible champion and he will take the title off of him. Mark Henry interrupts and talks about his reign of terror while Christian shows up and talks about Cena's crying over another title match. Cena proceeds to make fun of both Henry and Christian with more poop jokes. You know, I respect Cena, but it's hard to say those words when he's talking about dog poop. Christian and Henry are about to take out Cena until Sheamus arrives with a thunderous ovation from the audience to even the odds. As soon as Sheamus arrives, Christian basically says "F*** that s***" and leaves while Henry slowly retreats. During this spot, we went backstage for a brief moment where Johnny Ace wants Cena and Sheamus vs Henry and Christian for tonight, but Hunter arrives and says he already made this match and tells Johnny Ace to not overstep his authority as Hunter calls the shots. Pretty basic scene for tonight's main event and it also shows what the Super Shows are capable of. I also like the nice touch with the Johnny Ace/Hunter scene. Again, you really have to think Johnny Ace is a prime suspect in all of this, but maybe he's the most obvious choice and thus maybe it's not him? Really makes you think...
Match #2: CM Punk vs Miz
Miz cuts a promo in saying how Punk is a joke and he is way more controversial with his promos. That's laughable considering Miz has a long way to go before he's better on the mic than Punk. This was another good back and forth match. I think we have to go back to the WWECW days since the last time we've seen a Punk/Miz match. I really liked the match the two put forth. This match really made me think a Punk/Miz feud could happen one of these days and it would be pretty interesting. The finish comes when Punk is about to hit the GTS, but R-Truth arrives and we get a DQ. Yeah, I understand why they did the DQ, but I hate seeing really good matches end with a cop out. After the match, Punk eventually fights off both Truth and Miz until Nash arrives and gets in the ring. The Miz attacks Punk from behind while Truth joins in the attack to take out Punk. The scene ends with Nash hitting the Jackknife Powerbomb. A basic scene that shows the tension between Punk and Nash. You can almost buy the feud at this point since Nash seems to hit a groove spot with his mic work.
Winner via DQ: CM Punk
Match #3: Sin Cara vs Jack Swagger
Sin Cara.....or maybe we should be calling him Sin Hunico? Now, I've heard about the reports the original Sin was sent home last week while Hunico is said to be playing the Sin Cara role from now on. Mistico was a little shaky at times and this is a business at the end of the day, but I don't think they are completely done with Mistico since I can see a Sin vs Sin match if they wanted to go down that route. With that said, I don't really like the WWE listing the accomplishment of Mistico while Hunico is playing Sin since he didn't do all of those things, Mistico did. Imagine if you busted your ass and they gave all the credit to some other guy? Yeah, just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Still, with WWE listing Mistico's accomplishment, it must mean WWE hasn't completely given up on Mistico and maybe he can eventually play the role of Sin once more. Anyway, Vickie arrives during this match and all hell breaks loose. Ziggler arrives and they two argue while Swagger turns his back. Sin hits a Springboard DDT and one Springboard Moonsault later, the match is over. This match adds more to the whole Vickie/managerial deal. Still an up in the air storyline, but at least it's getting some development.
Winner via pinfall: Sin Cara
Match #4: Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne vs David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty for the Tag Team Championships
According to an online poll, the name of Kofi and Bourne's team is Air Boom. WWE Universe....what were you thinking? I don't really like the name for this team since it sounds like something a 2nd grader comes up with on the playground. Sonic Boom sounds like a better name, and why not considering Kofi and Bourne run at the speed of Sonic the Hedgehog and love to fly. Plus, Kofi's hair already looks like Knuckles the Echidna, so it would be a perfect fit. Again, I digress. The match was really short. King continues to talk about how boring the former tag champs while praising a tag team that has been together for three weeks. Ever get the feeling the King is a bit of a hypocrite? The finish comes when Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise and retains the titles. After the match, Otunga and Michael confront the King and toss his headset at the King. I have mixed feelings about this. While working a rivalry with a WWE HoF would give Otunga and/or Michael and identity (Let's be honest, they desperately need it since these guys are as generic as Wal-Mart brand foods), there was a point where King and Cole were in a heated rivalry which went on for way too long and not sure if I want to see the King involved in more storylines. It's possible King doesn't get involved, but they have been planting the seeds for weeks based on King's commentary, so you almost have to think it's on the horizon. As long as this rivalry/mini-rivalry doesn't last too long and does it's job in giving these guys a direction, than that's ok. If it's an excuse for the King to win a pointless feud, then I have to question WWE creative if that was the case.
Winner via pinfall and still Tag Champs: Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne
Match #5: Kelly Kelly vs Brie Bella
This is another a reason why the Super Show is a good idea. I get tired of seeing Kelly vs Bellas. It's getting old and it's basically beating a dead horse at this point since we've seen this match like 20 times this year. Find a new opponent!!! And I still have to wonder why Beth Phoenix and Natalya aren't wrestling as opposed to this entire division being the Kelly Kelly Division? They were on screen in the back and talked about how the WWE Universe are idiots for cheering Kelly, but they should be competing as opposed to showing up in a split screen or on the stage giving a pitty applause. The finish comes when Bellas do the switch out, and Nikki (I assume) hits the X Factor for the clean win. The Bellas winning here is also a strange case. Even though we might finally be getting somewhere with this diva storyline; the Bellas win the match and it makes no sense. I still have to believe WWE creative isn't clear as to what they want to do with this storyline base on tonight. We will wait and see....I suppose.
Winner via pinfall: Brie (er...Nikki? Aww, f*** it) Bella
Match #6: John Cena and Sheamus vs Christian and Mark Henry
One of the biggest examples of wrestling logic you will ever see, and this happens every time someone turns face or heel. Sheamus and Cena have a history, but they join up tonight and don't seem shaken up about past events. Oh well, guess we have to forget about it since it's wrestling logic. The match was nothing too special, but it was ok for the amount of time given. The finish comes when Christian eats a Brogue Kick and AA and the faces win the match. While I agree with Orton winning the match earlier tonight, Christian shouldn't have taken the pinfall here and something else should have been planned. Christian has a title match tomorrow night and this makes him look weak going into the match. Reckon, Christian realistically has no chance of winning this match since WWE has already established Orton/Henry, but you didn't have to make Christian look this hopeless. During the celebration, Hunter and Punk are backstage. Punk takes more cheapshots about Hunter's manhood while Trips informs him his match against Nash will not happen. Instead, Punk will face off against Trips at NoC, which ends the show. Couple of things I want to address. I wasn't too fond of announcing this match in a quick backstage scene. It would have been silly to make Hunter and Punk come to the ring for an announcement that would have taken two minutes, but I felt this was WWE cramming a show. If you read my TNA reviews, you already know my thoughts with wrestling shows cramming their programming. Not sure how else I could have handled this, but I think I would have made the announcement in the ring to make a bigger impact. While this was the match I was talking about for the past few weeks, I'm not sure they should do it now. I would have waited a little longer, but I don't have a problem. Either way, they could've waited until Survivor Series to do this match. There's a lot of things that could change between now and then. As of right now, we have to think Trips is at least telling the truth. This also won't be the blow off feud between Punk and Trips and it's only getting started. I think shenanigans will definitely be in play for this match and we will get more development with this storyline since I can see Nash, Steph, or Johnny Ace screw over Punk and then we get Trips' heel turn. I think a Nash/Punk match might have worked, but part of me is kinda glad it won't be happening (at least as of right now). Nash is old and broken down. He has a much lighter schedule than his TNA days, but I still don't think Nash can deliver a quality match and it will be Punk busting his ass all night long to make it passable. Still, with the Trips/Punk match happening at NoC, I have to think the WWE has a trick up their sleeve and maybe we get a lot more insight to the whole conspiracy going around (*shut up, R Truth*). Then again....maybe Hunter is the good guy in all of this and it's really Johnny Ace who is pulling the strings, which could lead to a bigger series of events? With all of that said, I am pretty excited for NoC since we can see what Trips and Punk can do in the middle of the ring. It could be a good match and will definitely tell a lot of of the CM Punk vs the world storyline. Yes, that's what I'm calling it and I think it's appropriate when you think about it.
Winner via pinfall: John Cena and Sheamus
This was a pretty decent episode of Raw. The promos were average to above average, and we had some pretty good matches. I will admit the match quality did drop quite a bit after the Punk/Miz match, so the second hour did suffer a bit. Still, there was enough story telling to keep you at least somewhat interested in the show. A lot of buildup for the future of WWE programming and the PPV. We found out talent will be able to show up on Raw and SD at times, but it doesn't spell the doom of the brand extension since the two world and midcard championship are still around...at least for now. There was also some matches/storylines that could be gearing toward NoC, in particular Punk vs Triple H. I really want to see this match and even thought it smells shenanigans, it will be good to see what they can do prior to the possible interference. There was more development with the Vickie storyline; but too early to tell what it could be leading towards, so we will wait and see. There wasn't much brought up about the Miz and Truth, but maybe they can show up on SD this week and talk about the conspiracy on the blue brand. There was announcements for tomorrow's Super SD, but most of these announcements were made last week. I have found it will be Punk vs Great Khali and Cena vs Wade Barrett tomorrow night. The show was also going to feature Del Rio vs Sin Cara and Orton vs Christian in a Steel Cage Match. Yeah, they have plenty of stuff going into tomorrow's live SD. Not a terrific night for the WWE, but a solid night to say the least that did it's job with the progression of the Punk storyline and many others. There was no Del Rio tonight based upon some vica issues, or at least that's what the reports are saying. Hopefully, this problem will be cleared up for tomorrow night. I would also like to see some altercation between Punk and Trips since the announcement wasn't done at the best possible spot. Then again, those are just some of my hang ups, but I still found the show to be entertaining. 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 and/or tonight's show. I will definitely be reviewing Super SD tomorrow night. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.