WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 07/11/11 from Boston, MA.
The Big News: WWE completed its best build for a pay-per-view match since Batista vs. HHH. It remains to be seen how many orders WWE can generate for a B pay-per-view with a three week build but it’s hard to do much better of a job than this. Hopefully fans encourage WWE to continue in this direction by ordering the show.
CM Punk came out to start the show with his new mustache and a megaphone. He sat down in the middle of the ring and asked if he has people’s attention now. He said that he got in trouble because he has the balls to say things nobody else has the balls to say. That got a big face pop. Punk said the company is filled with a parade of shameless ass kissers. He noted he is now reinstated and brought back up in the form of the megaphone in case they try to cut his microphone off. The crowd began loudly chanting “CM Punk.”
Punk said that he had been given a microphone because Vince McMahon wants to sign him to a lucrative long term contract. Punk said it is funny Vince is bending over backwards for him now because all he ever wanted was the power of the microphone. Punk called himself the hottest property in the industry. He claimed to have made WWE socially relevant in the real world. Punk said WWE only gets mentions in the real world because CM Punk is speaking his mind or because somebody died. He brought up the interest there has been in him from the media.
Punk observed that now he has one foot out the door and finally Vince wants to give him everything he wants. Punk said that if Vince treated him this way five years ago he wouldn’t have five years of loaded up ammunition. He suggested he have the first ever live contract negotiation in the ring with Vince. Punk said that maybe he would sign, maybe he wouldn’t, and maybe Vince would join the CM Punk kiss my ass club.
That brought out John Cena, who was serious and not joking around. Punk thanked Cena for reinstating him into a job he didn’t want. Punk said he will beat Cena for the title and change how it looks because it has been far too ugly for far too long. The fans cheered that one. Punk pointed out that if Cena loses, he isn’t really going to be fired. He noted the last time Cena was fired it lasted no time at all and told Cena not to worry about that.
Cena responded that Punk likes to run his mouth. Cena noted that Punk has to go through Cena to leave the company with the title and Cena said he is no pushover. Cena said a lot of people thought they were the best, referencing a number of people no longer with the company including Kurt Angle, and then they faced Cena and were left disappointed. Cena said he doesn’t care what Punk says because he is coming to Chicago to whip Punk’s ass. The GM then said that Vince was on the way to negotiate with Punk and that Cena would be wrestling in a special match next.
This was a tremendous start to the show. Punk was great again and Cena was really good in his own right. He didn’t do the goofy comedy and instead delivered an intense promo that made him look strong and made the title match seem important. As an added bonus, they continued the kind of edgy feel with nods to facts WWE usually wouldn’t bring up and more colorful language than usual.
John Cena beat Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga. Michael Cole was telling the story that this match was made to appease Punk and get him to re-sign. Cole was freaking out selling what it would mean if someone left with the title and made references to the WCW war and Bruno Sammartino. Nexus worked over Cena. Cena came back with a fisherman buster on Otunga and shoulder blocks, the Cena slam and five knuckle on McGillicutty. Cena went for the FU but Otunga stopped him. Cena regained control with a famouser off the top and STF on McGillicutty but Otunga broke that up. Finally, Cena hit the FU on McGillicutty, threw Otunga out of the ring, and pinned McGillicutty.
They’ve done this so many times that it’s hard to be bothered any more, but I just don’t understand the mentality of having a singles wrestler beat the tag champions in a handicap match. If you’re so dead set on a handicap match, which to me always do more harm than good unless it involves jobbers, at least have it be two wrestlers who aren’t the tag champions.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre were making fun of Vince McMahon. They went on for quite a while before Vince finally of course came in and revealed he overheard what they were saying. Vince made McIntyre and Ziggler vs. Big Show in a handicap match.
Kelly Kelly beat Melina. Kelly hit a handspring elbow, stinkface, neck breaker and famouser for the win. Things don’t look good for Melina these days. The Bellas did commentary and after the match they made fun of Kelly for not eating. A fight broke out and Eve Torres tried to make the save. However, the Bellas got the best of things this week.
Miz did a promo from the top of a ladder. He said he knows what it takes to be champ and he will show it at the PPV. He started to do his catchphrase when he was interrupted by Jack Swagger. Swagger noted he has also cashed in MITB and won the title and said he will do it again. Miz asked if someone cashes in MITB and nobody remembers, did it really happen? Evan Bourne was next out and said he was tired of hearing what the other guys have done. Bourne said he will steal the show and win the match.
Kofi Kingston made his entrance and noted this was all talk. Kingston said if he wins the match it will be because of what he does and not because of what he says. He brought out how Edge’s career was ended by matches like this. R. Truth continued the procession. He said two weeks ago he beat John Cena and did some comedy about being afraid of spiders rather than heights. It’s a real shame what they have done to Truth because he was a hot heel and they’ve turned him into a complete joke.
Alex Riley ran out and didn’t say anything but just went after Miz. Finally, Alberto Del Rio came out and said he shouldn’t be in MITB because he took out Rey Mysterio and is the number one contender. Del Rio vowed to teach all of them a lesson. The GM announced a six man tag. I’m not really a fan of these contrived feeling segments but the participants did well.
Alex Riley, Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne beat R. Truth, Miz and Jack Swagger. The heels worked over Bourne. Kingston got the tag and hit dropkicks, clotheslines, the boom drop and a frog crossbody off the top. The heels took back over on Kingston and worked him over for a bit. Kingston hit a double DDT on Swagger and Truth, then tagged Riley. Riley hit a spear and spine buster on Swagger. Swagger went for the Vader bomb but Riley got up his feet and hit the implant DDT for the win.
After the match, Miz gave Riley the skull crushing finale. Everyone took turns hitting moves on other guys. Bourne was going for the shooting star press when Del Rio ran in and pushed Bourne off the top. Del Rio then laid everyone out with a ladder and gloated in the ring. This was a good match and a good post-match as well.
Big Show fought to a double count out with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre in a handicap match. This wasn’t a match so much as an angle. Show just destroyed McIntyre for a while as Ziggler hid from the action. Show beat up McIntyre on the ramp and they were both counted out. Show continued to destroy McIntyre and went for a choke slam off the stage when Mark Henry ran in and knocked Show off the stage into protected cushioning. Henry running in out of nowhere looked cool but the bump looked basically fake because of all the protection.
Vince McMahon came out for the final segment of the show. He said he is not joining the CM Punk kiss my ass club. Vince said contracts shouldn’t be negotiated in public, which seems like a good rule of thumb. Vince had a contract ready for Punk and said it included his own collector’s cup. Punk came out and immediately got in a “Whatamaneuver!” to mock Vince. Punk said he thought Vince would come out in a Cena t-shirt but now he saw Vince has no faith in Cena.
Vince replied that he just couldn’t live with himself if Punk left with the title. Vince referred to Punk as Phil. Punk said his lawyers drew up a different contract with new perks. Punk said he would get to push Vince and Vince will like it. Punk wanted his own jet and his face on everything like the Titantron, turnbuckles, cups, shoes and socks. Punk said he wanted Vince to bring back the ice cream bars. That got a big positive reaction and “ice cream bars” chants. Punk said he wants WWE Films to produce CM Punk: the Movie. He said they can call it Chaperone 2, only entertaining, funny and successful.
Punk said Dwayne, or Rock for those who don’t watch crappy Disney movies, can still wrestle Cena at WrestleMania but Punk will be in the main event. Finally, he wanted Vince to apologize to Punk and the people. Punk said Vince does the anti-bullying campaign but Vince is one of the biggest bullies he’s met in his life and Vince will apologize. This got loud “CM Punk” chants. Punk said he has had his friends fired from the company. Vince said they deserved it. Punk replied that Vince wants to punish people for liking wrestling like Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows.
Punk said he is the voice of the voiceless and Vince will apologize and like it. The crowd started chanting “we want wrestling.” Vince yelled that he doesn’t give a damn what the people want. Punk said that is the problem, that Vince doesn’t give a damn. Punk added that his problem is he cares too much. Punk said he’s a bad guy and doesn’t wear the white hat but he is in touch with what the people want. He demanded an apology. Vince apologized and then apologized again more loudly. Punk celebrated.
Vince went to sign the contract, with audible chants of “Colt Cabana” and “we want wrestling.” However, John Cena came out to interrupt. Cena noted that the people love Punk but Punk is going to walk out on them. Cena said that if Vince wants to give into a terrorist, he won’t tell Vince what to do. Cena said Punk and Vince are like spoiled brats and did some terrible obnoxious comedy. Cena said he dislikes Vince but still shows up for work. He called Punk a hypocrite and brought up Rock saying he was home and never leaving again. Cena said Punk just wants to take the title and walk out.
Cena started to say Punk has lost sight when Punk interrupted. Punk observed that Cena still looks at him like a kid who can’t hang with him. He brought up being dressed up like a gangster as part of Cena’s entourage at WrestleMania in Chicago. Punk said he vowed then that in a few years he wouldn’t be watching Cena but beating him. Punk then said, “This is the part where I talk them into the building.”
Punk said Cena is like the Red Sox or Patriots or Bruins or Celtics, the Boston sports teams who still view themselves as underdogs when in fact they’re winning titles and dominating. Punk pointed out Cena’s father and wife in the front row. Punk said Cena is what he hates: he’s a 10 time champion and no longer the underdog but rather the dynasty. Punk said Cena has become the Yankees. Cena punched Punk in response. This angle is written for Bill Simmons.
Punk walked up the aisle referring to Cena as Steinbrenner or Jeter and said that he is the real underdog. Punk said the reason he wants to leave is because he is tired of this, tired of Cena, just tired. Punk said Sunday say goodbye to the WWE title, say goodbye to Cena and say goodbye to CM Punk. He tore up the contract and said he will go be the best in the world somewhere else. This segment went way past the usual time and was fantastic.
Punk vs. Cena is the sort of feud that makes me love wrestling. You’ve got two very distinct characters with completely different goals fighting for stakes that feel significant and real. I hope WWE has some great ideas going forward, because this is their chance to get hot again.