What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw on 11/21/11. With Survivor Series over and done with, how will the show move forward? Well, let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with CM Punk. He talks about wanting to become a pro wrestler since he was in the 1st grade, NOT a sports entertainer. He talks about how big it was to win the WWE title at Madison Square Garden and says the WWE title will no longer be a hot potato and aims to keep this title for a long time. I really hope that's the case. There used to be a time where 6 month world title reigns were custom, but now they are more rare than shiny Pokemon. Punk wants to see change for this company, which one again arises the question of those WWE ice cream bars. I'm still wondering about that damn ice cream. John Laurinaitis interrupts and says while Punk and himself don't see eye to eye, he wants to make this a good working relationship. Punk says while Vince McMahon was a soul less bastard, at least the guy knew how to be interesting. He adds Laurinaitis is just the prime example of a businessman. A guy who is unbelievably boring and doesn't have anything interesting to talk about. Robonaitis reminds Punk that he is UPPER management and just because he doesn't have tattoos and piercings doesn't mean he doesn't have a wild side. Yeah, cuz I can totally see this guy running around with a diaper on his head while singing children songs. Laurinaitis makes it Punk vs Alberto Del Rio for the WWE title on next week's show. Punk wants to make the match tonight, but Laurinaitis already has plans. He already made Punk vs Dolph Ziggler for later tonight. Punk talks about how that's a stupid idea for a match since these fans want to see Dolph vs Zack Ryder. Laurinaitis says Ryder already has a match against Del Rio tonight. He also adds that Ryder can't beat Dolph and neither can Punk, which ends the segment. Another pretty good promo by Punk. The guy just knows how to make things more interesting. He is right about Laurinaitis. The guy has nothing interesting to say. My idea that Laurinitis is secretly a robot isn't so silly now, is it? There was also an exclusive video in Rock praising Zack Ryder after Survivor Series was over, so this was bonus footage. Did you hear that? If you listen really closely, you can hear the IWC letting out an orgasm. As always, don't take my reviews so seriously and learn to have a little fun.
Match #1: Alberto Del Rio vs Zack Ryder
Ryder interrupted Ricardo Rodriguez's introduction. Not cool. The best part of Del Rio is hearing Rodriguez go Del Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooooo!!!. Anyway, the match didn't last long, but it wasn't too bad to watch. The finish comes when Del Rio locks in Cross Armbreaker and gets the clean victory. I can see people being upset that Ryder lost very quickly, but you have to keep in mind that Del Rio has a title match on next week's show. He needed the win to at least get his stock back in place....well, at least for this week. Kinda odd they are doing a WWE title match on next week's show. Either Del Rio is being taken out of the title picture, or they will have shenanigans in store for that match. At the moment, I have to lean towards shenanigans.
Winner via submission: Alberto Del Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooooooooooooo (Hey, they didn't say I can't do it)
Match #2: Sheamus vs Jack Swagger
A fair match, but nothing too special. Sheamus wins this match with a Brogue Kick. For having a manager, Swagger seems to really suck at the moment. As for Sheamus, he continues to be on a hot streak. In many ways, this was the definition of a filler match. WWE television, now with more filler than DragonBall Z. By the way, do you pay attention to those Twitter ads that show up on WWE television these days? Well, I went back and watched the replay and noticed there was a link to a Youtube video. It was very blurry, so it's very possible you missed it. It talks about how "they will reclaim what is rightfully theirs". This is getting a lot of buzz in the internet world since people are trying to figure out what it means. Is a wrestler's come back? Was it a joke by WWE? I doubt that since that is a pretty cruel joke. I think the obvious assumption would be the return of someone. The two early candidates have to be Undertaker or Chris Jericho. I don't want to dive too deeply in this subject at the moment, but it's some food for thought.
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus
Back in the ring where Kevin Nash has something to say. He talks about how MSG is very special to him and he should've competed last night. He also talks about the Kliq and putting friendship before their careers and how he made a stupid decision to trust Triple H. He says him and Trips should've stole the show last night, but now that won't happen because Trips betrayed him. More build up for Nash and Trips. Nash just sounds like a bitter old man who wants to hold onto his youth, because he simply won't let it go. Are we talking about Hulk Hogan now? Joking aside, it's interesting storytelling.
Match #3: Cody Rhodes vs Santino
Very short match. Rhodes hits Cross Rhodes and wins cleanly. During the match, Booker T was talking about how Cody doesn't seem to respect the business and shows disrespects towards him. After the match, Cody came over to Booker and splashed a drink in his face. Take that, assorted beverages!!! Booker is very angry after all this. I think they are setting something up between Booker and Cody. Not sure how I feel about that. Booker isn't that old and can still mix it up in the ring. On the other hand, Cody would gain a little bit of stock by taking down Booker in some way. It could be interesting if done right. All I know is this.....Cody Rhodes, we comin' for you......you can finish the rest.
Winner via pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Match #4: CM Punk vs Dolph Ziggler
This was an amazing match. Dolph continues to show off here and there whenever he does something good. He even does a handstand. It just adds to his developing ego. Either that or Dolph is trying to qualify for the Olympics. Vickie Guerrero was trying to flirt with Punk, but it didn't seem to go anywhere. There was a ton of near falls and close calls, but the finish comes when Punk counters the Zig Zag into a spinebuster. He follows up with GTS and wins the match. I highly recommend checking out this match, cuz it was awesome. I really wish they would make up their minds with Dolph. He goes out at Survivor Series and wins cleanly, but then loses to Randy Orton in a matter of seconds. Then tonight, he takes Punk to the distance. You can't doubt the WWE trying something with Dolph. He is cutting more promos and seems to be developing his charisma week by week. Either way, Dolph seems to be making all the right moves to move up the WWE ladder. It's just a matter of picking a path for Dolph and sticking with it.
Winner via pinfall: CM Punk
There was a very interesting video that aired tonight. It showed some guy and broken glass. What's even more interesting thing about this video is that it ended with Kane's old mask burning. I think the early guess is a Kane return, but will he come back as himself or will he wear the mask again? I personally would like to see the return of the mask, which was my personal favorite era of Kane. I guess we will wait and see where this is all going. Speaking of video packages to hype up other wrestlers, where the hell is Brodus Clay? Wasn't he supposed to debut tonight? Maybe his gimmick is going to be the guy who keeps missing his debuts? It's an idea, but it could be very difficult to make a career out of that. It was clear WWE had no plans to show Brodus since they didn't even mention him this time around. This is clearly one of those ideas that WWE didn't plan very well since they keep delaying it. There was a backstage scene of Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox playing WWE 12 until Beth Phoenix and Natalya arrive. Beth and Natalya want Kelly and Alicia to cry. Jecht from Final Fantasy X would be so proud of this scene. Hate to say negative things about a video game I've never played, but I have to call bulls*** on WWE 12. Did you watch the match Kelly and Alicia were playing? It had the Kelly character doing stuff in the ring she has never attempted in real life. Talk about false advertising. Then again, it's just a game, so who gives a s***.
Match #5: Wade Barrett vs Kofi Kingston
Wade almost won this match early, but Randy Orton would show up to observe the match. Kofi ends up getting back in this match and actually makes it a fight. Kofi did make the match interesting, but Wade would end this match with Wasteland. The match was tolerable and acceptable, but nothing amazing. After the match, Wade talks about winning while Orton makes him flinch. What, are we playing Pokemon now? Anyway, it pretty much sets up an Orton/Wade rivalry. I think it was definitely on the way, especially how things turned out after Survivor Series.
Winner via pinfall: Wade Barrett
Time for the final segment of the night. John Cena comes out to talk about last night's match, the Rock, and how the Rock showed him up at the PPV. He starts to talk about the WM match until Awesome Truth shows up. Miz says the Rock out shined Cena last night and says nobody wanted any part of him last night. He totally has a point. MSG would storm the ring and beat up Cena if you let them. R-Truth says the Rock will whip his ass as WM and how his Cenation is going to die when he loses the match. Cena starts to get angry and agrees that the Rock still has it, but Awesome Truth is still a joke. Cena tries a little reverse psychology in how Miz and Truth can't stand one another. Once he leaves, Miz and Truth start to argue a bit. It really starts to escalate when there is a push. Truth ends up punching Miz in the face, but manages to make Truth calm down since they need to focus on Cena. As they are walking up the entrance ramp, Miz hits Skull Crushing Finale on Truth. The show ends with the medics attending to Truth. So, an interesting ending to say the least. I wasn't really a big fan of what Cena had to say. It just sounded overly cliche. This is one of the contributing factors to people not liking Cena. He does a lot of the same stuff night in and night out, even when it comes to his promos. Then again, I kinda expected that from Cena, so I can't really complain. Like I said many times in the past week, a Cena heel turn will probably never happen. Despite the fact many people were anticipating a Cena heel turn tonight. As for Awesome Truth ending, I do admit the break up came a little early. While it came a little early, you can almost sense the end was near for this tag team. It was never a long term goal to make Awesome Truth stick together forever. You have to realize that Miz would eventually get back in the title hunt. In fact, I expect to see Miz go up against Punk at either TLC or Royal Rumble for the WWE title. Raw was lacking heels, so it actually made sense to end the team. For Truth....he's in a real interesting spot. After being taken out by Miz, it does open the door for Truth to turn face. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I wasn't the biggest fan of Truth as a face. Mainly because he would never shut the hell up with "What's up". His heel character made him break away from all of that. Was he crazy? Yes. Did most of his promos sound like it was coming from a bipolar patient? Of course, but that's what made Truth get an identity and for people to pay close attention to him. If the plan is to turn him face, I would like to see it be much different from his last run as a good guy. Truth seems to be comfortable as a comedy character. His promos are out there, and he was making people laugh with his insane ramblings, so I think that's a good fit for him. Still, part of me still wants to see Truth as a heel since I almost fear that all of Truth's work these past few months will be for nothing. Here me out here. Truth was doing nothing as a face in WWE. All of the sudden, he turns heel and now he's important. It would be disappointing to see Truth actually make something out of his career, only to go back to what he was doing before. I don't think WWE would throw him under the bus like that, but it has happened in the past to other performers. Well, I guess we will wait and see what happens next.
Compared to what Raw has been like for the past couple of weeks, this was a drastic improvement. I wouldn't call the show a watcher, but it was entertaining for what it was worth. I think what really helped the show was Punk's promo and his match against Dolph. Punk really was the star tonight. They should call it Monday Night Punk. They didn't build up too many storylines for tonight. I think I understand why this happened. This is the Thanksgiving week for Americans, so people are pretty busy. So, it kinda makes sense to not have too many new storylines put forth since people might be too busy to miss the wrestling action for this week. This is probably why Brodus didn't show up tonight. There was new things established. For instance, Orton/Wade, the cryptic video (or videos) and the Awesome Truth break up, but you generally get a few more new storylines after a PPV. Speaking of people not showing up, wasn't there supposed to be a guest host tonight? It was mentioned by the USA Network, but WWE never acknowledged it. Then again, maybe that was a blessing in disguise since the host was suppose to be Jonah Hill. Maybe the cryptic messages were for him? Tonight's show might've been entertaining, but it wasn't perfect. I didn't really like the ending to the show, and there was too many throwaway matches. Then again, that goes back to that Thanksgiving week argument, so I guess it makes sense. I would call Raw average, but it wasn't terrible in my eyes. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. I have no idea how the rest of the week will shape up for me and the reviews. All I can tell you is if I have enough time to write up one, than I'll post it. If nothing is posted, assume I was too busy to write something up. I will try to see what I can do, but I make no promises. 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 R-Truth just got GOT!!!