What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw on 9/26/11. With Hell in a Cell set for this weekend, how will the Go Home edition of Raw do this week? Well, let's take a look at start the review.
We open up the show with Triple H. No King on commentary this week because of the Mark Henry attack, so Booker T joins JR and Michael Cole on Raw this week. The HIAC structure if above the ring. Gee, I wonder how the show is going to end this week? Anyway, after witnessing the foreshadowing above the ring, Trips talks about why he fired Miz and R-Truth. He says Truth and Miz were out of control and their behavior was unacceptable, which is why they were terminated. Trips also said he didn't buy the apology by Miz and Truth and claims Henry will have to pay a $250,000 fine because of the attack on JR and King. I think I know what's with all of these steep fines in the WWE. So they can cover the cost of Alberto Del Rio's rental cars. Dolph Ziggler comes out and complains about Hugh Jackman giving him the Adamantium Punch on last week's show in how he hurt his jaw and Trips should do something about it. Trips says he can give him some security for when the Muppets shows up next time...
Cody Rhodes comes out next and talks about the injuries he received against Randy Orton on last week's SD. Trips tells him to man up and stop whining. Christian comes out next and talks about Sheamus screwing him over last week, but Trips explains it was a Lumberjack match and that was the purpose. Christian talks to the other heels and tells them they should file the biggest lawsuit against the WWE for the mistreatment they are getting....unless he gets one more match. Who thinks this will be on Christian's next T-shirt? Trips agrees with Christian, so it will be Christian vs Sheamus at HIAC, Christian vs Orton on SD, and Christian vs John Cena tonight. He also books Dolph in a US Championship match against Zack Ryder, minus the Adamantium Punch. He decides to give Rhodes the night off because of his injuries, but Rhodes can't keep his mouth shut. Trips makes a 10 person over the top rope match for the IC Championship, which begins next. A very long opening. This ate up around 17 minutes. I am normally not a fan of long openings, but they did address a lot of the action for the course of the week, so I can't fault them for that. This might have been the start of something a lot bigger for the WWE. If you think about it, the "firing" of Awesome Truth will be some sort of power struggle involving the heels of the WWE. That would be interesting, but it has been done before. This would be one of the themes for tonight since we would see all three of these guys later in the show. It was also announced it would be CM Punk vs Del Rio tonight. Oh, and if Dolph takes Trips' offer on that security deal, you might want to watch out for Animal, he's bats*** crazy.
Match #1: 10 Man Battle Royal for the IC Championship
Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel, Alex Riley, Ezekiel Jackson, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison, Drew McIntyre, and Sheamus were in this match. The match was really short. There was a moment where the fake Sin Cara showed up to take out the original Sin and take his spot in the match, but Bryan eliminated him. There was an argument between the two Sin Caras and the referees since the original Sin never got eliminated, but got counted as the same person. Again, just more build up for their future match, even if it makes your head spin. The match ended when it came down to Sheamus and Rhodes. Christian showed up to "interefer", but something about this spot was off. The interference happened, but the match didn't end right away. It lingured on for a while until Rhodes used his mask to hit Sheamus in the face, thus getting eliminated. The Christian interference didn't really seem to make much sense. I have to think somebody missed a spot or two considering how after the match, Christian was gloating about how he screwed over Sheamus for the title. Either way, this match shows more tension between Christian and Sheamus going into Sunday. One thing I would like to see is Rhodes get a real rival. I thought they were going somewhere with DiBiase based on how their match at NoC ended, but they haven't done much since. Then again, there has only been two weeks to prep for HIAC, so I can't really complain about the build up. We really do need more than two weeks to put together a PPV card when you think about it. Just feels rushed at times.
Winner and still IC Champ: Cody Rhodes
Backstage where David Otunga and John Laurinaitis are talking about how Otunga might have to put that Harvard degree to good use with a lot of the stuff going around in the WWE...
How many times am I going to use that clip? So, it appears Johnny Ace and Otunga have made some sort of an understanding. This will be useful for down the road. There was an update by the commentators on the King's condition. It seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary, but Cole said King has anal bleeding? Did they really just go there? Of course, this is a real thing, but it just seems unnecessary to mention it. Was Cole taking a shot at the King because of their history? Will this be established when King returns? Seriously, this serves no purpose to the show other than being uncomfortable. Poor choice of words with that last sentence, WWE.
Match #2: Eve and Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix and Natalya
Well, after that uncomfortable series of events, your divas match for the night. In a lot of ways, this was the same match from last week with a slight change. Your typical divas match, so it was okay. Natalya applied a very interesting submission hold that had her legs all tied up like a pretzel. Not sure what this is called, but I'm sure somebody knows what it's called. How many times has Kelly lost control of that head scissors attack? Seriously, spinning around that many times is only going make it worse. I'm always waiting for the day Kelly spins so fast that she flies into the audience. Which reminds me of that episode of Fresh Prince where Will and Carlton are dancing...
Fresh Prince was such an awesome show. Anyway, the finish comes when Beth hits the Glam Slam on Kelly. Somewhere out there, the King is crying. It's about time Beth beat up on Kelly. In fact, this is what should have happened last week since Eve winning with a roll up didn't really make much sense. It was also announced it will be Kelly vs Beth for the Divas Title at HIAC. Unless this title change happens, this match shouldn't even happen. Well, maybe third time is the charm....
Winner via pinfall: Beth Phoenix and Natalya
We are about to get ready for a match between Henry and Great Khali until Henry hits Khali with the WHC. He hits the World's Strongest Slam on him to show how powerful he is. The match never got started. With Henry down a quarter of a million dollars, you know this s*** just got real. Joking aside, this shows the power that is Henry going into his match against Orton at HIAC. I personal hope Henry retains the title because I want to see a little more of what he can do as champion with this Hall of Pain gimmick. So, Khali goes from escaping Jinder Mahal to being a giant jobber....again? Again, this whole Mahal storyline wasn't planned very well.
Match #3: John Cena vs Christian
Del Rio and Punk were on commentary for this match. Cena cut a quick promo in hyping up the HIAC match. Five tons of steel, huh?
Oh, dear God. I hope that isn't the case. What would have been hilarious is when Cena yelled "is that all you got" towards the steel structure, it would start talking. I bet that would have grabbed a lot of people's attention. The match didn't last long. Punk and Del Rio were taking shots at one another on the headset. The finish comes when the action takes place on the outside of the ring and Del Rio cheap shots Punk. He eventually gets in the ring to hit an enziguri on Cena. After the match. Del Rio talked about destiny....for the one billionth time. Is anyone else getting sick of this destiny talk? Just seems like a broken record at this point. The match wasn't good, but the purpose was the get some tension between the WWE Championship opponents, and that did happen. In other words, they did their job.
Winner via DQ: John Cena
Match #4: Dolph Ziggler vs Zack Ryder for the US Championship
It's the IWCs favorite wrestler going for the US title. Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger were at ringside for this match. Ryder was looking pretty good in this match and it seemed he was going to steal this championship. The finish comes when Vickie distracts the ref, Zack missed Rough Ryder only for Swagger to snap his head off the ropes. Dolph hits Zig Zag....goon (Ha! See what I did there?) for the victory. I'm a little surprised they gave Ryder another match against major mid card talent. Are they really going to be using him a lot more on the show? Well, after the match, the heels would attack until Air Boom made the save. Teddy Long comes out and says this will be a Six Man Tag match and Vickie needs to find another person for her team or it will be a handicap match. Two Ryder matches in one night? I think the IWC just came!!!
Winner via pinfall and still US Champion: Dolph Ziggler
Match #5: Air Boom and Zack Ryder vs Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and Mason Ryan
At first, it was a handicap match. Vickie would show up with Mason, who looks more jacked up than when he left. It seemed doom was going forth with the faces when Mason got tagged in, but he attacks Swagger and Dolph instead. He eventually leaves, which allows Zack to hit Rough Ryder on Dolph for the victory. Well, they are taking baby steps with Ryder, but he seems to be getting over very nicely. In fact, this is going over so well that Ryder can actually get the US title. That's good for him, but this does push Alex Riley to the sidelines. They should still continue to use Riley since people were giving him a pretty big response and has lost some momentum since his rivalry with Miz. As for Mason, not really sure what this face turn does for the guy. Ryan has the look of a heel and not sure how he will be used on the show. Reckon, Mason needs a lot of work, but the guy has a good look. Even if I given him the name Batista Jr. Oh well, guess we will wait and see what they are planning with Mason. I want to add that Ziggler has been showing vast improvements these last couple of months. He still lacks a personality, but the charisma is developing and his mic skills are pretty solid at the moment. Nothing groundbreaking, but it's nice to see that he is improving. If the purpose of Ziggler possibly dropping the title to Ryder so Ziggler gets in the main event, than I would be for it since him remaining in the mid card wouldn't do anything. At the same time, Ziggler isn't quite ready for the main event. Again, he's improving, but he needs a little more time until we can start thinking main event slot.This just in.....Zack Ryder is now on Booker T's Fave Five!!! Alert the media!!!
Winner via pinfall: Air Boom and Zack Ryder
Backstage where Otunga, Christian, Vickie, Rhodes, and Dolph are talking about a possible lawsuit. They talk about how they need to join together to make this work. So, heels joining up to create a group? Something about this sounds familiar...
....nyeh, I'm probably over analyzing it. Then again, with Vickie talking about building up a stable for the last few weeks, getting Swagger on her side, and now this; it does make you think now, doesn't it?
Match #6: CM Punk vs Alberto Del Rio
Cena was on commentary for this match. Again, everyone was putting over how dangerous HIAC is, even though the match has gotten pretty tame compared to when it was first introduced. This was a pretty good back and forth match. Definitely the best match of the night. The finish comes when Punk hits a round kick for the clean win. I would have preferred a GTS, but it's effective since WWE has been trying to sell how lethal Punk's kicks are. That's right folks, they are even more power than Chuck Norris. That's enough to scare the s*** out of you. After the match, the giant structure starts to drop down and Punk, Del Rio, Cena, and Ricardo Rodriguez are all in the ring. Punk and Cena take out Ricardo until Del Rio takes them both out with a steel chair. The show ends with Del Rio standing tall. Well, I rather have Del Rio stand tall as opposed to Cena since we've seen that ending too many times, so nice for something a little different. Either way, they did about as good of a job in hyping up a PPV main event in such a short amount of time. Even if Del Rio wins the title at HIAC, it still didn't add up in giving the title back to Cena. I almost feel they gave it to Cena so he can have the WWE Title for a record 10th time, since they've been saying it a lot since he won at NoC. Then again, I'm not really sure who's going to win this match since Punk has a good chance of walking away with the championship as well. That does get me a little interested in this matchup, so I guess they did their job. Then again, there's a high chance shenanigans will come in play for this match, including a certain tag team who recently got "fired" making an appearance. Either way, things are getting pretty screwy in the WWE, but it's interesting.
Winner via pinfall: CM Punk
Considering the majority of the evening was dedicated to fueling the PPV, it was somewhat of a letdown. They did announce two more matches for the show, but that brings the total up to four. That's a pretty small card considering this was the last Raw until the PPV. They still have SD and there's still a few more matches they can throw in after tonight, but a few more announcements would've helped. The in-ring action for this week was better than last week. There was more matches that really stuck out. In fact, both Ryder matches were pretty enjoyable for what they were worth and the main event was solid. I also found the promos to be pretty decent this week. Overall, not a bad episode of Raw. Not perfect, not terrible, but an average showing that was pretty entertaining. There was some new developments as they might have given something to Otunga with this lawyer style gimmick. I never really thought Otunga was that bad on the mic, so this might be a good role for him. I don't really think this whole possible heelish stable is the result of the conspiracy since this looks like its own separate storyline (at least not right away), but who really knows? What I see here is some possible build up for what could happen at HIAC and for events down the road, like maybe.....Survivor Series? Yeah, I think that's a stronge possibility. Not really sure where this is all going at the moment and even if things are getting a little strange, it's intriguing. HIAC was built up tonight, but they need to add a couple more matches to the card. Reckon, a HIAC match can eat up a good amount of time, but considering that one of those four matches is a divas match, they need to add a few more. Again, we still have SD to look into for this week, so the week isn't over. 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 see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.