WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 08/15/11 from Edmonton….Alberta, Canada.
The Big News: John Cena beat CM Punk with help from Kevin Nash to earn a title shot at Alberto Del Rio for Night of Champions.
Alberto Del Rio came out to start the show and they said that Rey Mysterio will be out of action for months because of Del Rio. Before Del Rio could even introduce himself, John Cena interrupted. Cena said he will take the title from Del Rio and hurt Del Rio. Cena made fun of the idea that Del Rio owns all these cars. He added that there’s only one guy who can go toe to toe with him and Del Rio isn’t Punk. At least Cena’s goofy joking is mostly gone at this point.
CM Punk came out and said this was a rerun with Cena wanting another title match. Punk said he beat Cena twice so he should get the title shot. He dropped a Jack Tunney reference. Punk noted that both he and Cena have had trouble with HHH in the past. He said that if Cena won, Nash would have gone after Cena. Both Punk and Cena wanted to cash in their title rematch clause. Del Rio said he wouldn’t defend against either because he defended last week. He told Punk to stop crying.
That brought out HHH. HHH said Del Rio would be wrestling next and that Cena and Punk can’t just use their rematch clauses whenever they want. HHH said that Punk and Cena would get to decide who gets their shot first. He announced Del Rio will defend at Night of Champions against the winner of a Punk vs. Cena match in the main event of Raw.
Alberto Del Rio beat John Morrison. Del Rio worked Morrison over. Morrison missed an Asai moonsault and Del Rio threw Morrison into the barricade. Morrison back dropped Del Rio to the floor and Del Rio took a scary bump on the back of his head. Del Rio hit a bridging German suplex for two. Morrison hit a twisting DDT for two. Morrison used a huracanrana for two. Morrison hit a springboard kick but Del Rio rolled out of the way of starship pain and threw Morrison into the post. Del Rio applied the armbar and they did the dumb spot where Morrison just sits in the fully extended armbar for a long while before finally tapping. This was a good match.
Eve Torres beat Nikki Bella. Kelly Kelly and Brie Bella were in the corners. They did a pre-match inset interview where Beth Phoenix and Natalya said they wouldn’t reveal their true motives. They had an ungodly amount of makeup on, particularly Natalya. That’s not a knock, as they are heels, but I wonder if it’s something intentional or just a one week oddity. Eve won a sloppy match with a standing moonsault and swinging neck breaker.
Alex Riley beat Jack Swagger. Swagger had Vickie Guerrero in his corner, so Dolph Ziggler came out and told Vickie to leave. In the midst of that, Vickie fell and hurt her ankle. Swagger went out, shoved Ziggler, and told him to leave. Swagger went back into the ring and was rolled up by Riley for the win.
HHH came to the ring and called Kevin Nash to come out. There were some Diesel chants. Nash said he got a text from HHH and thought he was doing HHH a favor. HHH was unhappy and wanted Nash to say he didn’t get a text from HHH. HHH said that Nash doesn’t work in WWE. Nash said yes, so he doesn’t have to get CM Punk over. Nash said HHH knows he would have killed Punk. HHH told Nash that Nash can call out Punk, just not in WWE. He then asked Nash to leave.
CM Punk came out and said he wanted to get to the bottom of this. He referred to Nash as Big Lazy and referenced Nash’s dyed hair. Punk suggested Nash, HHH or Stephanie McMahon might have been behind the hit, and he doesn’t believe either HHH or Nash. The way WWE usually handles these things, the clear presentation of three suspects would seem to suggest it’s not any of the three. Punk said Nash got off easy last week and this week he would be kicking Nash’s ass.
Punk went after Nash when HHH tried to stop him. Punk told HHH to get his hands off Punk and said HHH has never liked him. HHH told Punk not to make the mistake of thinking HHH isn’t the same guy he has always been. HHH threatened to leave Punk unconscious. Punk responded by saying HHH’s balls are in his wife’s purse. Nash then punched Punk. Nash and HHH left arguing. Backstage, HHH told Nash to leave and Nash said HHH has changed.
Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston beat David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty to win the tag titles. The challengers got the best of McGillicutty early before the champions took over on Kingston. Bourne got the tag and went to town. Kingston hit trouble in paradise and Bourne hit the shooting star on Otunga for the win. Backstage, they had a little celebration which is always a nice touch. Elsewhere backstage, John Laurinaitis told HHH that Nash had been in a car accident. HHH left for the hospital and Laurinaitis said he would take care of things on Raw.
Santino was coming out when he was jumped from behind by R. Truth and Miz. They destroyed him and took the microphone. Truth said Punk and Cena are in on the conspiracy. He said they sit around the conspiracy table and conspire. For some reason, that line really cracked me up. Miz agreed there is a conspiracy. He noted he was champion and beat Cena at Mania and now he’s arguing with fast food pitchmen. Miz said he’s sick of seeing Santino on Raw when Santino hasn’t won a match in five years. Miz said they are sick of being underutilized and now they will take opportunities. Truth then did a new rap over the same song. He had new lyrics and the hook is now “you suck.” This was a very entertaining segment even though it did kind of brand these two as midcard guys.
John Cena beat CM Punk. The crowd was pro-Punk and when Cena threw his shirt into the crowd it was thrown back. With the crowd behind Cena, Lawler dropped in a bizarre-o-land reference. Bizarre-o-land has conquered a lot of territory. Punk hit a springboard clothesline and went for GTS but Cena countered into an STF attempt. Punk avoided it initially but Cena tried again and applied it. Punk got to the ropes. Punk hit GTS but Cena kicked out.
Punk went for the Macho Man top rope elbow but missed. Cena hit a top rope rocker dropper but Punk kicked out. Cena went for the FU but Punk escaped and hit a running knee for two. Cena hit the FU but Punk kicked out. Punk hit a crossbody off the top but Cena rolled through and went for the FU. Punk escaped and rolled up Cena for two.
Punk hit a high knee and was going for the GTS when Nash showed up on the stage yelling that this wasn’t over. Punk did the “stop trying to win, turn your back on your opponent, and stare at the guy on the stage” move and of course when he turned around Cena of course hit the FU for the win. Punk should be making fun of that shit like Scream making fun of the dumb blondes running up the stairs, not falling for it. With that said, this was an excellent match. Alberto Del Rio attacked Cena after the match. John Laurinaitis tried to pull Del Rio off but Del Rio kept attacking.
This was an entertaining show with good matches and good promos. Cena vs. Del Rio and Punk vs. Nash still has the limitations mentioned last week, but that’s nothing new. Perhaps the most promising sign on this show was the commentary. After the commentary was completely out of control last week on Raw and Smackdown, it felt like there was a conscientious effort to improve things this week. They let Jim Ross do a lot more in calling the action and Michael Cole was toned down so many notches as to be almost unrecognizable from what he has been recently. As a result, the commentary was much, much better. It was both significantly more listenable and effective in getting over the angles.