What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw on 9/19/11. With Night of Champions concluded and Hell in a Cell in two weeks (still can't get over that), how will the WWE move forward? Well, let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with....battling seizure robots?
Maybe this only happened when I was watching the show, but did anyone catch the first ten seconds of Raw going on the air? The camera was glitching out like a mad man. Anyway, CM Punk arrives to the ring. He walks gingerly to the ring to sell the injuries from last night (If you watched the match, he probably isn't doing much selling since some of those shots looked brutal). He talks about how Cleveland, Ohio hasn't been a good place for Punk. He talks about how some of the roughest spots of his career has happened to him in Cleveland. He admits he might have been wrong about Triple H from the very beginning and really believes there is a conspiracy in the WWE, but not the one Miz and R-Truth are referring to. Just as he's about to explaining his train of thought, Triple H interrupts. He gives Punk credit for the war they went through last night, be Punk still lost at the end of the day. Trips also decided Punk has earned the rematch he never received, so it will be John Cena vs CM Punk vs Alberto Del Rio in a Triple Threat, Hell in a Cell Match at the PPV. Trips also adds if Punk and him continue to have problems, he has no problem doing another battle with him. Punk agrees, but now isn't the time for that. Punk thinks someone has been using both himself and Trips and believes it's someone on the higher scale of the WWE ladder. As soon as Punk says this line, John Laurinaitis arrives and says he doesn't buy what Punk has to say and thinks he's the cause of Trips loosing complete control of the WWE. Punk laughs and says it took him a while, but realizes this conspiracy all started because of Johnny Ace since he would like to seek higher power and wants to get rid of both Punk and Trips. Johnny Ace disagrees and says he already has a good job, but Trips reminds him he calls the shots and to NOT forget that. At some point, Johnny Ace fires Punk, but Trips immediately says Punk isn't fired and he will get to the bottom of all of this and someone will get fired tonight. I still find myself interested in this storyline. I did mention that it's possible Johnny Ace is secretly working for Vince McMahon to somehow get his job back. Foreshadowing? It's possible. Then again, there's a lot more with this scene as the show would continue.
Match #1: Air Boom, Sheamus, and Justin Gabriel vs David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty, Christian, and Wade Barrett
This was a very short match. Not really the best way to open up the show, but we only have two weeks until HIAC, so WWE is going to be in fast forward mode from now until then. This match eventually broke down and there was more confrontation between Sheamus and Christian. Sheamus is about to hit High Cross on Christian, but he runs away and leaves Otunga by himself. Otunga eats a Brogue Kick, a High Cross, and Sheamus scores the win for his team. Really a short and pointless match, but I suppose it did its job in building up Sheamus/Christian. Still, you could've gotten the same result with half of the talent. Eight people was a little much to have out there for this contest, but maybe that's just me.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus, Air Boom, and Justin Gabriel
A short backstage scene where a WWE referee is afraid to go near Awesome Truth, but Trips tells him he will take care of it. Umm, don't the WWE referees have unions or something? That would be a weird turn of events to say the least if that turned out to be the case. Anyway, Del Rio comes in the scene and considers Trips the worst COO ever. He wanted a one on one match with Cena, but Trips doesn't change the match. In other words, Del Rio is s*** out of luck. With that said, I wouldn't be shocked to see Del Rio steal the title.
Match #2: Alberto Del Rio vs John Morrison
This was even shorter than the first match. Remember my discussion in how Punk's match last night wasn't a job? Well, this is an example of a job. Morrison taps out within maybe a minute of this match to the Cross Armbreaker. Oh, I bet the Morrison fanboys are very pissed off after tonight. It honestly doesn't bother me. Del Rio needed to go out there and completely kill someone to redeem some momentum, but some people question why Morrison? Couldn't they get someone else? Well, of course they could. Maybe WWE creative is sending Morrison a message with this job fest? Gotta go the full distance to improve yourself Morrison. If you do that, you will get another push. Remember, pushes aren't handed out to people, you need to EARN them.
Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio
Back in the ring where Hugh Jackman arrives. This guy had a lot of energy tonight. Seriously, I like this guy. He showed up and seemed to be really excited about being on the show and he had a lot of fun with it. Some of the previous guest host can take a page out of Wolverine's book. If you aren't going to try, don't take the booking. Jackman plugs his Rock'em Sock'em robots movie (Hey, it might as well be called that) and gets interrupted by Vickie Guerrero. She tries her best Rebecca Romijn impression and tries to get inside Jackman's pants, but it doesn't seem to be working. Dolph Ziggler gets angry and calls him.....Batman?
Probably a simple error by Dolph, but how do you confuse Hugh Jackman to Christian Bale? Hell, how do you confuse Wolverine to Batman? Anyway, Dolph calls the Cleveland fans losers. Jackman says he believes in the underdog since that's what his movie is all about. He decides to get a WWE Superstar to challenge Dolph tonight. He thinks about it for a while, but the audience is chanting "we want Ryder". Jackman realizes this and brings in a Zack Ryder sign from the live crowd into the ring, so it appears he has made his decision. Well, it should be an interesting match. Gotta give it up to Jackman tonight. Speaking of guest host, it was reported earlier today on the WWE website that the Muppets would be guest hosting on Halloween night. I personally think it's a great move. Some see this as WWE catering to the kids again, but have you seen the Muppets? In many ways, they cater more to adults than kids. Plus, the Muppets and Kermet the Frog are some of the most iconic figures in all of television/cinema. It would be a good way to promote the Muppet movie and it would be good publicity to have the Muppets over on Raw. This is a move that seems it's good for business. Remember, the concept of a business is to make money and get publicity, and I think that is what this move will do. No matter how many people will bitch about it, it will be interesting to see how that episode turns out.
We are getting ready for Sin Cara vs Cody Rhodes. It appears we are seeing the original Sin Cara, but before the bell rings, the other Sin arrives. We get a staredown between the Mighty Morphin Cara Rangers to find out which one is the real one. Both guys show off in the ring to prove their strengths and talents. At the end of the day, the real Sin stands tall. Most people say you can't really tell the difference between the two, but if you look at the size and height of both guys, you will notice the difference. The real Sin Cara is shorter and smaller while the evil Sin Cara/Hunico is taller and a little bigger. Anyway, this was just further build up for the future match. Rhodes turned into a ghost in a matter of seconds. You can argue what was the point of Rhodes showing up if he didn't do anything, but I honestly don't care. Rhodes will get some screen time on SD this week, so I'm fine with it. By the way, I FREAKIN' CALLED THAT S***!!! I said it from the beginning it would be Sin vs Sin and I was right.
Backstage where Awesome Truth is apologizing for last night's actions in getting involved in his match and the referee attacks. Trips says he accepts the apology, but they will get a $250,000 fine each and will face off against Punk and John Cena tonight. Damn, $250,000 for a couple of cheap shots? This makes you think the NFL isn't fining people enough when they go off and do stupid s***. Yeah, I know it isn't real, but I'm just having a little fun. Wrestling fans can be so serious sometimes.
Back in the ring where Jim Ross is going to interview Mark Henry. JR got news that Randy Orton will be cashing in his rematch at the HIAC PPV and it will be a HIAC Match. Henry talks about how people never believed he would reach the top....
Henry says JR thought he would never be a world champion and he wants an apology. JR apologizes, but Henry doesn't like it. He grabs his neck tie and starts to choke him out a bit (Daniel Bryan: What the f***?). The King goes in there to tell Henry to stop the attack. He eventually lets go, but decides to take things out on the King. The two fight, but was completely one sided. Henry hits World's Strongest Slam on the King. Henry would clear out the announcer's table and hits a second WSS on King, but this time going through the table. The segment ends with medics attending to the King. I think the story they tired to get out of this was Henry doesn't take crap from no one and nobody is safe with Henry as the WHC. Then again, I will admit this scene didn't do much for Henry since all he did was cripple a 60 year old man. I wasn't much of a fan of this scene. By the way, you would think after 10+ years of commentary that Michael Cole and others would've learned how to rebuild one of those smashed tables. Oh, and did anyone notice the wrestling logic where Miz and Truth get fined but nothing happens to Henry? Just checking...
Match #3: Kelly Kellly and Eve vs Beth Phoenix and Natalya
This match was really short. Beth and Natalya are dominating the match, but can't seem to figure out the art of a rollup victory. The finish comes when Eve gets a rollup victory for the quick win. Seriously, what are they doing with this division? This just doesn't seem to make much sense. I just don't like what they are doing with the divas division at the moment. Rollup victories don't make you look strong, they really make you look lucky. Then again, since they happen more often in the Divas division, it kinda makes you look weak. Plus, why Eve of all people?
Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly and Eve
Match #4: Dolph Ziggler vs Zack Ryder
I like the pep talk in the back between Jackman and Ryder. Do you still think Jackman isn't having fun tonight? He's wearing one of Ryder's headbands. Seriously, I love Jackman tonight. Sign him to a contract.....I mean it. Vickie slapped Ryder during the match, but the ref saw it and sent her to the back. While the ref had his back turned, Jackman got on the top and delivered a Wolverine Punch to Dolph. Ryder hits the Rough Ryder and Zack steals this match. That was a pretty good punch by Jackman. After the match, Jackman and Ryder celebrate. I don't think this means Ryder will be joining the US Championship picture at the moment. In fact, I think this was just used for comedic purposes since Dolph is dealing with Jack Swagger and Alex Riley for the most part. Either way, it was very funny to watch. By the way, in case you think WWE just completely forget about Swagger, you would get a scene with him. After a commercial break, Vickie is watching a Swagger highlight video and Jack walks in. He ask if Vickie will accept him as a client and she agrees. She will be managing both Dolph and Swagger from this point on. Jack is happy while Dolph isn't too pleased. Well, at least they are going somewhere with all of this.
Winner via Falcon Punch: Zack Ryder
Match #5: CM Punk and John Cena vs Awesome Truth
This was probably the best match of the night. All four guys went out there and put on a decent match. Kinda odd seeing Punk and Cena work together, but I enjoyed it. The finish comes when Punk hits the GTS on the Miz for the clean win. I think it was very important for Punk to pick up the main victory after his defeat from last night. Say whatever you will about Punk's push, but it appears the WWE hasn't completely bailed on Punk if he's dealing with the major storyline on the show and continues to main event.
Winner via pinfall: CM Punk and John Cena
After the match, Trips comes out and fires both Miz and Truth. Both guys think for a while, but instantly lose control. They rush to the back to attack Trips, but the majority of the WWE roster is there to break them up. They send Truth and Miz out of the building and the show ends with a pissed off Trips walking away into the sunset. Well, that was an interesting turn of events. You have to think like the CM Punk "firing" earlier in the year that Awesome Truth's firing is in the realms of kayfabe. I think I might have realized what's going on here. Maybe the plan is to have Vince or Johnny Ace fight to take over the head position of the WWE, thus they "fire" Miz and Truth to get them to join their team or to use the element of surprise. Also keep in mind the PPV coming up in November is Survivor Series. What's tradition in Survivor Series? The Survivor Series Elimination match. Is it possible we will see Trips' team going up against Vince's team? Well, not really sure about that, but it was something I was thinking about while watching this segment. Either way, this is good storytelling from the WWE because it will get people to come back and find out what's going on in the WWE and this particular storyline. Keep in mind Trips didn't explain why Truth and Miz were fired, so it would be interesting to see what story they will come up with when the time comes. Then again, what if Trips isn't that innocent? What if Trips has been playing a chess game this entire time to get people like Punk to maybe take their eyes off of him and then BAM, Trips blindsides Punk? Again, just another idea to toss out there. See, just goes to show that even though people were bitter and angry about how parts of this storyline were rushed, they are still keeping it very interesting with all the curveballs. Either way, it seems the WWE has planted a few cards for future episodes of Raw and possibly Survivor Series. Should be an interesting couple of weeks.
I thought this was a decent edition of Raw. There was some dead or not so great moments on the show, but I think the good cancels out the bad. The action was definitely lacking tonight since the main event was the only good wrestling match. Again, pro wrestling is about entertainment and telling a good story, and they did that tonight. I thought Jackman was funny and brilliant on tonight's Raw. Again, if you're going to guest host, at least put some effort out there. Not saying all the guest host prior to Jackman weren't excited to be there, but there was certainly a lot of people who didn't give two s***s about the show. I enjoyed the opening and closing segments. I really like the curveball in firing the Miz and Truth. Most people (including myself) didn't really see this coming and I was surprised they went down this direction, but in a good way. WWE actually managed to build up some of the SD rivalries tonight like Sheamus/Christian and Sin Cara. Two matches were announced for HIAC, so it appears they are building up the card in the right direction after tonight. I see a lot of potential matches for the HIAC PPV, so that's at least a positive for the PPV. Not a perfect show since it clearly had its flaws and dead spots, but I found it enjoyable. It's amazing how WWE tries to build up how brutal HIAC matches are, but the last few years of these matches, they have really become tame. There was a point where a HIAC match was the blow off point of a feud, but with the way the match has gone and now being turned into a gimmicky PPV, it just doesn't have the same fire power that it used to have. It will really take something for HIAC matches to be special again, but with the PG era and blood spots taken out, it seems like HIAC will continue to fall downhill. Now, it's still possible to have a good HIAC match without blood since blood is only novilty and what makes HIAC is the structure and all the weapons/goodies you can use in this match. Even with that said, a lot of the past HIAC matches haven't used a lot of these tools. It's possible we will see HIAC reach the glory it used to, but with Henry possibly having a longer title reign and Del Rio in line to possibly steal the belt, this doesn't end the feud and instead makes it continue. Yeah, so some quick thoughts on Hell in a Cell matches. 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 tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time and more battling seizure robots!!!