Monday Night Raw Review August 8, 2011
Triple H’s music hits and here comes the COO of the WWE. He begins to boast about the WWE landscape changing at Summerslam. He begins to talk about authority being respected, and needing someone to be in charge. Triple H appoints himself as special guest referee. He says tonight the WWE Universe will witness the contract signing, as well as Cena and Punk in action. Out comes Cena for his match to start off Raw. H and Cena exchange words in the ring, but Cole talked over him so it was hard to hear what was being exchanged.
The beginning of Raw was quick, efficient, and did not waste precious minutes for the “go home show” heading into Summerslam. Triple H made his announcement and it seemed to make the match a little more interesting, if it already didn’t intrigue you. You continue to see an evolution of his new character on television, and I loved how he started the show, and Cena immediately followed. I am beginning to hate contract signings. It seems like each month there is a signing. We get it; the match is going to happen. This segment gets a B+
John Cena vs. Jack Swagger Review:
Cena and Swagger begin to battle, as Swagger takes the early advantage, attacking Cena on the mat. Swagger hits his patented splash off the middle rope onto the body of Cena. Submissions hold on Cena, until Cena gives him a backdrop. Swagger continues to break down Cena, until a shoulder block and side suplex are connected on Swagger. He hits the Attitude Adjustment for the win.
We get a typical Cena match. He gets beat down by Swagger, who still shows me he is toned in the ring with his abilities. Cena should have showed why he is the “champion” and dominate, but it didn’t happen which bugged me. You need to see him on top of his game, not escape with a win. This segment gets a C. I still think Swagger needs another run at the top, but he is far from being on that level as a heel. Maybe a character change would help him get back there.
Alberto Del Rio rips on C.M. Punk and talks about how Punk ran when ADR wanted to cash in. He tells us what will happen to Punk tonight. He called him a coward. We get R Truth talking about why. He talks about absolutely nothing, which makes this segment ridiculous to me. His character has become a mean, jealous, and conspiracy theorist to a complete joke of a character. Take these four minutes away from him and put it in a match. Awful.
I like this quick segment, but wonder why Del Rio is facing Punk. We get a Heel on heel, even though many love C.M. Punk, so I am not sure why he is the opponent. As for R Truth, I could not stand it. It told me nothing and wasted time on what could have been used elsewhere. I am all for building storylines and character development, but this segment didn’t do anything. This segment gets a D.
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio Review:
The Miz attacks Rey Mysterio on top of the stage, throwing him in the WWE logo stand. He kicks Mysterio in the head, as referees have to hold him back. He walks to the ring, looking extremely pissed off. Michael Cole heads into the ring to talk to the Miz. Cole begins to talk about audacity, and he grabs the microphone out of his hands. Miz is upset that he does not know who he will face at Summerslam. He brags about how he is trending worldwide, and how he is on every media outlet. He wants to grab the attention of everyone, and if he has to attack Rey to grab it, he will do it. Triple H gives the Miz another opponent, who is Kofi Kingston. Kofi and Miz feel each other out, and Kofi hits a high dropkick for a quick two count. Miz gets thrown to the outside, as we head to a commercial. Miz has Kofi grounded coming back from the break. Kofi hits a kick on Miz, and rolls him up for a quick two count. The match continues to be slow paced, until Kofi begins to open his athleticism with high kicks and chops. A nice jump off the top rope, landing on Miz, gives Kofi another close pin fall. Miz hits a DDT on Kofi. The end of the match sees Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale.
The match had a mixture of ground and pound, as well as high flying abilities. Miz showed once again that he continues to be a fan favorite because of what he accomplishes in the ring. Kingston shows that he has freakish athletic abilities, and he can carry a match with him on the offensive for more than 60 percent of the time. I feel like Kofi is stuck here for a very long time, giving us great matches with his flashy offense, but nowhere else to go with the bland character. This segment gets a B. I wish we would have gotten an announcement afterwards of Rey and Miz. We are less than one week, and would love to have an “official” announcement on some matches.
Alberto Del Rio vs. CM Punk Review:
Before I begin the match review, CM Punk’s new music and titantron graphics are absolutely perfect for him. Wikipedia “Cult of Personality” and then you will understand why it is perfect. The two lock arms, and Del Rio starts with kicks to the leg. Punk gains a quick advantage, but Punk rams into the post. Del Rio gets a quick pin fall, and continues to work on the arm of Punk. Del Rio tries to hit Punk on the ropes, and hits hard to the ground. Punk hits a swinging neck breaker. Punk tries to hit a GTS, but gets reintroduced to the ring post. Punk hits a kick to the head, and follows it with a Go to Sleep for the win.
This match was decent, not the best from both men. They were good, not great. I wish they gave them a commercial break to work through, because both of these men can go. I am a fan of both, but did not want to see them fight. I would rather have seen a Riley, with an interference of Dolph Ziggler so neither looks extremely weak. CM Punk continues to gain popularity and Del Rio continues to show how good he really is in the squared circle. This segment gets a B, due to the lack of time they gave them. I think it still gave exposure to Del Rio, who, besides from being the MITB winner, hasn’t been utilized much.
Beth Phoenix vs. Eve
The match begins with Beth Phoenix beating down Eve. They head to the outside, and Beth throws Eve into the barricade. She drags Eve by the hair into the ring. She body slams Eve. Eve hits a kick to Beth’s face. The finish comes when Beth Phoenix stops Eve from hitting her back flip, and hits the finisher, Glam Slam, for the victory.
Not too bad of a divas match, but the crowd seemed so uninterested. Beth doesn’t want the Divas division to be a mockery, so she is going to change that. Kelly Kelly comes down and hits Beth in the back to tend to Eve. Kelly Kelly poses, which annoys me because she didn’t do anything really besides a quick cheap shot. I am interested to see this Divas match on Sunday. I felt like Beth and Eve were one step off, and looked sluggish. This segment gets a C-.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alex Riley Review:
Riley hits a quick clothesline on Ziggler, but Dolph counters and stomps away at Riley in the corner. Dolph locks in the sleeper hold. Riley hits a huge spinebuster, as Vickie Guerrero enters the ring to stop Riley from beating on Dolph. At the end of the match, Riley hits Ziggler into Vickie. This hopefully will set up an actual match, this time at Summerslam.
Not much to react to here. Vickie storms out, and dissention starts between the two. I want to see this match at Summerslam, which would be a great opening match. This segment does not really get a rating. Nothing to rate, besides hopefully more to come from these two great, young superstars.
We get a great video recap package of Cena and Punk.
R Truth vs. John Morrison Review:
Morrison starts on R Truth with some high flying moves, including a cork screw to the outside. Morrison and Truth battle back and forth to the outside. Morrison takes a hard bump to the lower neck. He barely answers the ten count. Truth begins to take over in the ring, hitting Morrison with an open faced suplex. Morrison answers back, but Truth hits his finisher for the win, clean.
I Absolutely disliked the ending to this match. There is no way Morrison should have lost clean to R Truth as he is “seeking revenge” for his injury from R Truth. The match was entertaining, but I felt like it was rushed and the end did not make sense to me. Why have the guy returning lose clean? Hopefully something comes out of this. This segment gets a C.
In Ring Segment:
Triple H and John Lauranitis are in the ring. C.M. Punk starts off by talking about how every contract signing is the same, how it ends in confrontation and a broken table. We then get a video of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson trashing John Cena. He talks about his jean shorts, his wristbands, and what makes him a phony. Cena goes on the microphone to discuss The Rock, and tries to discuss why he is so popular. Cena says he will never win over the millions. Cena discusses how he is compared to by the New York Yankees, and how they are loved and hated. He tells Punk to look in the mirror if he wants to see phony. Punk name drops the recently fired superstars and says Lauranitis gutless. This gets a rise out of the crowd. Punk then talks about how Cena came to him when he won the ECW Championship. They go back and forth and end Raw with a shove.
This was the best contract signing I have seen in quite some time. They really give C.M. Punk the freedom to say whatever he wants. It shows because they let him use Chris Masters, Vladimir Kozlov, and Harry Smith to his disposal. He always speaks truth, even though it still is somewhat scripted. It was a good surprise to see The Rock via webcam, or facebook. What did it do for us? It kept this long wait until Wrestlemania 28 more interesting, because he is not going away completely just to randomly show up at Royal Rumble, or a Pay Per View a few months before Wrestlemania. Punk, Cena, Triple H, and The Rock are all intertwined with one another very well. I cannot wait to see Summerslam because Cena and Punk will continue to carry the event, even though the mid card matches are thin and weak.
Besides a few matches and the contract signing, this Raw was boring, uneventful, and did not do what it needed. They did not build the mid card matches to Summerslam, but had useless interactions between certain superstars. Cena and C.M. Punk finished Raw on a high note, but there is not enough build for other matches because they did not give them time to do it. The WWE Championship match will carry Pay Per View Buys, but big wrestling fans will wonder why nothing else has been built up. Give the US title more time, give Miz more time, and “officially” make matches. This Raw gets a C, and that is a generous C.
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