WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 07/25/11 from Hampton, VA.
The Big News: The WWE title changed hands twice, Jim Ross returned and CM Punk showed up at the end of an eventful edition of Raw.
Rey Mysterio beat Miz to win the WWE title. Miz worked over Mysterio for much of the match. He hit a DDT and slingshot sit down power bomb. Miz’s offense looked really good here. Mysterio then made a simple comeback with a huracanrana, 619 and top rope splash to take the title. After the match, Miz jumped Mysterio. Alberto Del Rio ran down to cash in Money in the Bank but Mysterio caught him with a pescado and Del Rio took off without having officially cashed in.
Backstage, a bunch of jobbers congratulated Rey Mysterio on his win. John Cena came up and shook Rey’s hand. Rey gave a little speech and the wrestlers poured champagne on him. This was a nice little touch that made the title feel more important.
Dolph Ziggler beat Evan Bourne. They have remixed Ziggler’s entrance theme. Ziggler took over on Bourne. Bourne came back with dropkicks and went for the shooting star press but Ziggler moved out of the way. Bourne landed on his feet but Ziggler caught him in a sleeper and the referee stopped the bout. After the match, Ziggler said on the microphone, “Follow that.” I assume that’s a new part of his shtick.
Eve Torres and Kelly Kelly beat Melina and Maryse. They usually rotate wins for the women but it has reached the point where if you see Melina in the match you know who’s losing. They did comedy backstage before the match to plug a sponsor. Eve shook her ass provocatively before hitting a standing moonsault on Maryse. Melina distracted Eve and Maryse gave Eve a kick to the back of the head and a stinkface. Obviously, the women have been getting a little more leeway for sexuality recently. Kelly got the hot tag and hit a Thesz press, neck breaker, bulldog and famouser on Melina for the win.
HHH came out to the ring. He put over Vince McMahon. He then announced there would be a second title match on Raw: Mysterio vs. John Cena. That got some “Cena sucks” chants. HHH said he had re-signed somebody. It was of course teasing CM Punk but instead Jim Ross returned.
Michael Cole got on the announce table and ran down Ross. Cole refused to work with Ross. HHH said he had thought about firing Cole but it would cost more to let him go than to keep him. HHH noted that if Cole left it would be a breach and Cole would lose his future earnings. He told Cole to take the rest of the night off and decide by Friday. Cole said he wouldn’t quit. HHH then told Cole to get ready for his match. HHH said he picked gear for Cole and Cole would be wrestling next.
R. Truth came out to speak with HHH. He was seen speaking with HHH backstage previously. Truth accused HHH of being part of the conspiracy and wanted HHH to make things better. HHH made fun of Truth for talking to voices. They did a bunch of comedy. HHH said he re-signed another person who wanted a piece of the truth. John Morrison came out and attacked Truth. Morrison gave Truth the starship pain.
Zack Ryder beat Michael Cole. Cole came out to HHH’s music and was wearing HHH ring gear. He did the HHH entrance for comedy. When Ryder came out as the surprise opponent he didn’t appear to get much of a reaction but moments later there were pretty loud “let’s go Ryder” chants. Ryder hit the rough rider quickly for the win.
Alberto Del Rio beat Kofi Kingston. Kingston hit a springboard crossbody and boom drop but missed trouble in paradise. Del Rio attacked the arm and shortly thereafter caught Kingston in the armbar for the tap. Backstage, Miz ranted and raved basically about the state of his career. He said HHH’s appointment was a big mistake.
John Cena beat Rey Mysterio to win the WWE title. Mysterio hit some leg kicks early. We got dueling Cena chants. Cena came back with a clothesline on the floor and powerslam. Cena went for his shoulderblocks but Mysterio countered with a dropkick. Cena hit the Cena slam and five knuckle but Mysterio escaped the FU attempt. Mysterio hit a top rope senton for two. Mysterio put Cena in the STF. Cena countered into an FU attempt but his knee gave out.
Mysterio hit the 619 but Cena got his knees up when Mysterio went for the top rope splash. Mysterio went for a huracanrana but Cena threw him off. Cena hit a top rope leg drop to Mysterio’s front. Mysterio tried to set up the 619 but Cena turned around and hit the FU for the win.
After the match, Cena helped Mysterio up. “Cult of Personality” played for a while and finally CM Punk showed up on the stage with the WWE title. He came down to the ring smiling. Cena held up his title. Punk responded by holding up his title and the show ended.
I really liked most of this show. Jim Ross coming back, if it’s a permanent move, is a long overdue decision. There was plenty of good wrestling and intrigue. They even gave Zack Ryder a good opportunity to make an impression. I’m not so sold on Punk coming back so quickly, however. It just feels rushed. There isn’t enough time to get over the legitimacy of the two versions of the WWE title and you need more of a buffer zone to set up a big title match after so many recent title switches. With that said, the basic direction remains strong and there is plenty left for them to do along these lines.