What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw 11/28/11. How will CM Punk's first title defense turn out? Well, let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with Piper's Pit, with you host "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. He talks about himself and brings out his guest, John Cena. Piper talks about how the audience can give you energy, but Piper thinks Cena doesn't embrace this since he gets a mixed response. Piper says teaming up with the Rock really opened his eyes and thinks Cena is starting to lose control of himself. Cena says he is loyal to his fanbase and realizes there are groups of people who hate him and he's okay with that. Piper says Cena is the face of the company, but the boos are getting louder and it's time for Cena to tell the fans how he REALLY feels about all of this. Piper claims that if Cena doesn't let it out, he will definitely lose and WrestleMania and it will continue to go downhill for Cena. Cena goes on a rant how different audiences have always hated him and nothing will be able to faze him. Piper once again is pushing for Cena to tell the fans how he really feels, but Cena once again refuses. It gets to the point where Piper slaps Cena in the face. It almost seems like Cena is going to turn into the Incredible Hulk, but he just leaves the ring, which ends the segment. Very interested events to open up tonight's show. Piper is awesome, but what else is new? We are also seeing the development of Cena's character, which hasn't been done in a while. Piper was pushing Cena to the point to really tell the fans how he felt, or release his anger...
You tell him, Emperor Piper. Cena usually brushes off these type of responses, but you almost get the sense that maybe it's starting to eat away at Cena. I really liked it since it shows the tension building up in Cena's character. Once again, the door is open for Cena to turn heel. I still don't think it will happen, but if they are planning it, it will be a slow build up. Tonight might have been the start of that slow escalation of a new Cena. It's always possible Cena finally tells the fans off, but still remains a good guy. I can see people complain in how this segment didn't do anything for the time being. As I've said many times on this show, pro wrestling is about telling a story, and storytelling does take time. Definitely one of the better Cena segments I have seen all year. WWE couldn't have picked a better person to poke Cena's buttons like Piper. Then again, Piper is a professional at making you hate him. Whatever you do, don't give this guy a coconut....
Match #1: John Morrison vs Miz in a Falls Count Anywhere Match
As Morrison is making his way to the ring, Miz attacks him from behind with a lead pipe. After several lead pipe shots on Morrison's leg, officials finally break it up. Miz waits in the ring while officials help Morrison to the back. Morrison turns around and walks towards the ring. After some stiff negotiations that Phoenix Wright would be proud of, the referee actually allows Morrison to compete. The match starts and Morrison makes it interesting, but the injury would catch up to him. There was a point where Miz got a kendo stick and used it on Morrison, but Morrison would use the weapon for himself. They eventually fight up the entrance ramp. After Miz shoves Morrison in the WWE logo sign (possible metaphor?), Miz hits Skull Crushing Finale. He is about to pin him, but the referee rules that Morrison cannot compete and Miz is handed the victory. The match wasn't good, but it also wasn't designed to be good as they were going for storytelling here. After the match, officials help Morrison on a stretcher while Miz cuts a promo. By the way, John Laurinaitis made a quick cameo in checking up on Morrison. He shook his head in disgust and left. Laurinaitis: You've just been....future endeavored *smug pose*. Miz says R-Truth was last week, Morrison was tonight, and next week will be......you have to wait and see. Miz looked really angry tonight. Either he was pissed off or he was constipated. Then again, that could also make a person angry. Anyway, this whole bit does a lot for the Miz since he seems to be ready for something big. As I mentioned last week, he could be the next guy to challenge for the WWE championship. I can see people being upset that Morrison goes out like this. A lot of reports are saying this was Morrison's last week with the WWE and it isn't really clear if he was able to re-sign another deal. Well, it's always possible for Morrison to come back, but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last time you see Morrison. Cheer up, you might be able to see him in another 3-4 months on TNA. Yeah....what? We will wait and see what will happen for Morrison's career.
Match #2: Bellas vs Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly
During the match, Beth Phoenix and Natalya were jogging around the ring. Okay, Jillian Michaels? After....THAT, the match ended when Alicia did her rollthough legdrop for the clean victory. That cryptic link showed up once again on WWE programming. As I mentioned last week, I thought either Chris Jericho or Undertaker with the video. I actually thought of someone else that I'm surprised nobody has mentioned. It could be Christian? It doesn't seem very likely, but he would definitely like to reclaim something he once had if you think about it. Might be a longshot, but I'm just throwing s*** out there. Either way, that could be an interesting episode of Raw...maybe.
Winner via pinfall: Alicia Fox and Kelly Kelly
Backstage where John Laurinaitis is on the phone with Brodus Clay. He ONCE AGAIN delays his debut for another week. David Otunga comes into the scene and wonders why Laurinaitis keeps doing that to Brodus? Laurinaitis says it will make Brodus more angry, thus going ape s*** when he finally shows up. I still think Brodus' gimmick is going to be that guy who never shows up. Either way, this is already better build up than WCW's Glacier. Anyway, Alberto Del Rio arrives since Laurinaitis called him in. Bender tells him to take this match seriouslly against CM Punk tonight since he doesn't want Del Rio to lose again. Laurinaitis claims to be unbiased, but he is clearly pulling for Del RIo. I think a gear might be lose in Robonaitis? Punk interrupts and makes fun of all of them. He said he did a google search on "Laurinaitis and spineless" and got a high number, but not higher than "Del Rio and boring" (A little fun fact for you reading this. I actually did this myself and "Del Rio and boring" got a ton of google hits. I wonder how many of those are sponsored by me?). As for Otunga, all you get is something about Jennifer Hudson (It's funny because it's true. Try it out). After Punk has had his fun, he talks about retaining the WWE Championship. As Punk leaves, Otunga says Punk is trying to pull a fast one in get himself DQed. Laurinaitis adds that if Punk DQs himself in any way, he is stripped of the title. Damn lawyers.
Match #3: Dolph Ziggler vs Randy Orton
Wade Barrett was on commentary for this match. This was a well paced, back and forth match. Good wrestling match to watch. The finish comes when Wade gets involved, but Orton drop kicks him. This allows for Dolph to hit the Zig Zag and wins the match. Pretty big victory for Dolph. I can see IWC bitching in how Dolph should've got the clean victory. Well, keep in mind that it's Orton. You know, one of the bigger faces in the WWE. You can't make him look bad, so he has to lose in some sort of shenanigans. Pro wrestling has always been written up like this, so don't act like this is new. A win like this is showing more signs that WWE is ready to push Dolph to bigger things. I think Dolph is in the same position as Miz was last year. Remember when Miz was US Champion last year? He was holding onto MITB and they were building him up to the main event. Before he could jump in the main event, he had to put somebody over in the mid card division and/or drop the US title. As you know, it would turn out to be Daniel Bryan. I think Dolph is working his way up the main event, but before he can jump in there, he has to help put over Zack Ryder and drop the title. Look out for #Heel in 2012.
Winner via pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Back in the ring where Michael Cole wants to "interview" Daniel Bryan. Cole calls him a hypocrite for lying about his MITB cash-in. Bryan wants it understood that he earned MITB and he earned his world title match for tomorrow night. He says Cole is the worst announcer ever. Bryan says he knows Cole will never like him, but maybe he has learned to respect him. Cole says there is no way he can respect Bryan for cashing in MITB on a fallen champion (Oh, like your precious Miz and Del Rio? Hypocites and wrestling logic go hand in hand). They show the false cash-in and Cole continues to gloat. Bryan goes on a speech in how it's true he's a hypocrite, but his plan changed with Mark Henry started making an example out of him. He says he will become world champion. I like the ending there with Bryan's promo. Kinda strange that Bryan's best promos have come when Cole was involved? Henry interrupts and says even though he's banged up, he will defend his title tomorrow night and Bryan doesn't have a chance of winning. No chance of winning? Is there any tiger blood available? Bryan gets angry and says he will see him tomorrow night, but not before kicking him in his injured leg as he walks away. Pretty good job of setting up the world title match for tomorrow night. It showed a lot of passion in Bryan's eyes and it does make the match a little more interesting, despite the fact that it could turn into a slaughterfest. I really hope that doesn't happen since Bryan has actually be been getting some decent character development the last two weeks and a massacre would hurt his developing stock.
Match #4: Zack Ryder vs Jack Swagger
A basic match that let's the Ryder Revolution have their fixings. The finish comes when Ryder counters the Swagger Bomb by raising his knees. Zack would follow up with Rough Ryder for the clean victory.
Winner via pinfall: Zack Ryder
A Kane resurrection video package. I kinda hope Kane is wearing the mask when he returns, but wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't happen. Mick Foley arrives in a Santa suit. He does a WWE Smackdown version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Kinda funny. It really adds hype for tomorrow's show. There was also a backstage scene in which Punk tells Laurinaitis to kiss his ass. It's funny how people complain in how WWE PG is dumb, but you have people like Punk who tend to break down the PG wall on several occassions. I swear, people pay way too much attention to the rating that appears before a WWE program.
Match #5: CM Punk vs Alberto Del Rio for the WWE Championship
Punk is ready to fight. You know what that means...
This was a good match, but not as good as their Survivor Series match. It might not have been a great wrestling match, but it was sure entertaining. There was a moment where Del Rio exposed the turnbuckle, but the referee would deal with that. This allowed for a steel chair to come into play. Del Rio smashes it on the floor and tries to pull an Eddie Guerrero, but Del Rio epic failed this bit since Punk tossed the chair right back at him and fell to the floor. Now, THAT'S how you pull off an Eddie Guerrero. I was already content with the match being over right then and there, but we're still going. The finish comes when Ricardo Rodriguez gets involved. While the referee is dealing with him, Punk uses the exposed turnbuckle to use it on Del Rio's head. Punk picks up the victory in cheap fashion. Not a clean conclusion, but it reminded me so much of Eddie Guerrero. Remember back in the day when Eddie would win matches like this? And he was the good guy....sometimes. After the match, Punk hit GTS on Ricardo. The show ends with Punk celebrating. If you're a fan of Eddie Guerrero, you will like this match. It definitely sets up the possibility of ONE MORE MATCH (Christian: What the f***?) between Punk and Del Rio because of the screwy finish. If things are over between Punk and Del Rio, I think Miz is the next candidate to challenge Punk.
Winner via pinfall and still WWE Champion: CM Punk
I really enjoyed Raw tonight. This might have been the best Raw I have seen in a while. The matches were solid and fun to watch. There wasn't perfect wrestling matches, but they were entertaining. The promos/segments were enjoyable as well. I can see a lot of people disliking the Piper/Cena bit since it didn't do a whole lot at the moment, but I think WWE is trying to tell a story to Cena's character. It doesn't mean it will lead to a heel turn, but it could be interesting to see a transition to Cena's character. You can still keep Cena face, just as long as you try something different. Cena's character is kinda stale and it might make for interesting TV to see where they go with all of this. I would like to see a slow build up to this since it seems like Cena will snap at somepoint. Just because he snaps doesn't mean a heel turn is on the way. You just have to wait and see. Give Pipe a ton of credit since he can really get underneath your skin, which is what made the facial expressions on Cena that much bigger. Then again, that's what I expect for one of the greatest villains in professional wrestling. Punk was hilarious once again. He really is making things more entertaining with his anticts. He can put on a good wrestling match and can make you laugh, what more do you want? Tonight must has been a full show since Kevin Nash didn't make an appearance. Anybody catch that? There was even build up for tomorrow night's SD, so I think it was a very well done show. No show is going to be perfect, but it was really fun to watch and I recommend it. 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. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.