Monday Night Raw
Date: August 1, 2011
Location: Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indianapolis
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross
Tonight we continue the road to Summerslam with the first public statement from the champ (I think) CM Punk. HHH is still in charge and in theory JR will he here as well. We’ll probably start the building to the PPV as there are only two Raws left before the show, which has really snuck up on us. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of what got us to have two champions. I still don’t see why Vince didn’t strip Punk of the title as MITB went off the air or book him in a “champion can lose the title by countout” match with anyone he could find.
Here’s Punk, still with the new song, to open the show. He holds up the belt to a solid reaction and declares that THE CHAMP IS HERE. He has a story to tell us. Punk says he knew for about a year that his contract was going to be up. He loves working in WWE but not the bosses. He spoke his mind and we managed to get some change out of it. Vince has been relieved of his duties and that’s change.
Punk takes some credit but the fans are to be thanked also. Punk is here to make this fun again but he couldn’t do that from his couch in Chicago. He made the call to come back and the timing couldn’t be better. Cena may have a belt but what Punk has is a championship title. This title means that he’s the best wrestler in the world.
Cue HHH who says he brought back Punk because it was good for business. That’s why he brought back JR and Morrison (again, when was he actually gone other than to injury?): business. Personally though, HHH thinks Punk is smug, overrated and believes his own hype too much. Punk says it’s like looking in a mirror.
The champion talks about how Vince has let guys go that are main event level talent: guys like Batista, Foley, Jericho and Lesnar. HHH says if you want to tell the truth, why not do it about why you re-signed? Punk isn’t sure about this but HHH says it’s because he wanted to hear his own voice. Punk has called the microphone a pipe bomb, but what happens if no one is around to hear a pipe bomb? He needs the WWE Universe for the platform.
Punk calls that a 50/50 shot, but the truth is that he’s the WWE Champion. HHH says that’s true but so is Cena. HHH says he’ll fix that tonight and his music plays him out. Punk says cut the music, even though he loves Motorhead. He says he’s just getting warmed up. Punk isn’t going to shut up just because he signed a contract. If Hunter Hearst Helmsley (Punk’s words) wants to talk about egos, let’s talk about HHH’s.
We get references to HHH using his power backstage that he got from sleeping with the boss’ daughter and how he held everyone down. That’s true to a degree but that’s a big debate for later. HHH says because he’s the boss, he can’t break certain rules, even though he wants to take Punk’s head off. “Can you do that, or do you need to go ask your wife first?” Punk leaves HHH who is kind of smiling.
Rey has a tag match later and Morrison dives over him. They get Miz/Truth later.
Oh great there’s a Divas battle royal next.
Divas Battle Royal
Picture every Diva who isn’t champion and they’re in this. Kelly is on commentary here. They’re going out incredibly fast. We’re down to Alicia, Beth, Natalya, Eve and the Bellas. Scratch Nattie from that. This match actually takes a break. Really? Back with more boring Divas action. Alicia is out. There’s nothing to talk about here because they’re just trying to put each other out. Even looks good in pink though. Eve is out and landed pretty badly. Beth puts both Bellas out (one on each shoulder) to win at 7:18.
Rating: D. So? It’s the same stuff as always and it never was very interesting at all. There’s nothing else to say here as most of the match was either rapid eliminations or the commercial. It was what it was and that’s about all there is to say about it. At least Beth can destroy her now.
Post match Kelly goes in to hug her like an idiot and Beth turns heel and kills her, thank goodness.
Truth comes up to Miz and says they’re a lot alike. Miz disagrees so Truth says that having two WWE champions is bad. It’s horrible. It’s…..”A conspiracy?” Miz doesn’t like this and tells Truth to leave. Truth wants to know why HHH had them in a tournament if he was just going to bring back Punk. I guess we’re ignoring Vince making that tournament now.
Cena says his focus tonight is HHH because there are two WWE Champions. The decision is tonight so Cena will be there for it.
The Miz/R-Truth vs. John Morrison/Rey Mysterio
Miz vs. Morrison starts us off. John keeps going after Truth which lets Miz get a shot in. Suplex gets two. Nice leg sweep puts Miz down and it’s off to Rey. Seated Senton off the top gets two. Miz is sent to the floor as is truth. Rey hits a seated senton off the apron to take Truth down and John dives over the top with a corkscrew dive to mostly hit Miz and we take a break.
Back with Truth holding Rey in a camel clutch. During the break the evildoers actually didn’t cheat to take over. Nice to see for a change. Truth continues his old school offense with an abdominal stretch. Rey fires off but it’s off to Miz who gets a seated boot for two and we hit the chinlock. Enziguri puts Miz down but he keeps the tag from being made. Back to the chinlock, this time by Truth.
Big spinning forearm gets two on Mysterio. Rey dives again for the ropes but Miz makes the save again. Nice little story there for the match. Miz hits his corner clothesline but goes up and dives into a dropkick. There’s the hot tag to Morrison who gets a solid pop. See what happens when you build something up?
He cleans house and hits the C4 to Truth for two. He loads up Starship Pain but Miz pulls Truth out of the way. Back inside an axe kick misses and a Pele kick sends Truth into the 619 position. Miz makes the save and sends him into the crowd. Moonlight Drive hits Miz but Morrison walks into that jumping downward spiral for the pin at 11:03.
Rating: B. See, THIS I can get into. They built up the hot tag all match and the payoff for it was a solid reaction from the crowd. Things can be so simple and yet can still work very well. I liked it rather well here and Morrison’s mistakes were played up well by Miz and Truth, who caught him in his mistakes. Nice to see and it’s called psychology. Makes me all tingly.
Post match Truth hits Morrison with a bottle of water and Morrison takes the Finale.
HHH says nothing of note.
Summerslam Recall is Warrior taking the title from Honky in probably the best Summerslam moment for the vast majority of the series.
Here are Dolph and Vickie. I’m still not sure on the song. Vickie says her catchphrase a lot and wants to know why Dolph hasn’t been getting enough attention. Dolph says he’s more of a man than anyone in the arena and anyone in the back. Cue…..Alex Riley? I think I can work with this. Riley wants to know when Ziggler is going to accomplish something without Vickie. Dolph has Vickie step aside….and leaves.
Santino Marella/Zack Ryder vs. David Otunga/Michael McGillicutty
This is non-title and the Nexus name has been dropped it seems. King mentioned Ryder’s show before the breaHe gets the hot tag to a ROAR but gets beaten down after a brief flurry. Santino is sent to the floor and Ryder misses the Rough Ryder. He gets caught in something like a Demolition Decapitator at 2:22. This was fine.
We get some of the earlier exchange between the Game and Punk.
Punk says he’s the champ.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Evan Bourne
Bourne runs into a boot to start and the beating begins. Del Rio’s arm work is great as the psychology of the match is perfect for him. His finisher is an arm hold so why would he work on anything but the arm? That’s basic psychology for you: why would you do something to say Bourne’s back if you’re going to work on the arm to end it? Bourne makes a brief comeback and the armbreaker ends this at 2:30.
Post match he puts the hold on again and Kofi comes out for the save.
Here’s HHH for the big announcement on who should be champion. He’s about to say it but John Lauranitis (you try to spell it) comes out and says executive VP and in charge of signing talent. HHH doesn’t look happy here. Johnny Ace (see why he got that name?) says Vince would want Cena stripped of the title. That brings out Cena who says that Ace never thinks and is the yes man that Punk was talking about.
Cena says that he’s not going to strip the title because it would devalue the title. He talks about how he wants to hit Ace again because that was his favorite part about Money in the Bank. HHH: “I don’t have any problem with that.” Ace leaves and HHH says he’s not stripping the title. Punk only came back to WWE when Cena was pinning Rey and said to hit his music. HHH again says he won’t strip the title and that brings out the other champion.
Punk doesn’t like the idea that HHH is going to strip him of the title which he has a legit claim to also. HHH says that’s not what he was going to do and tells them to quit whining. Also to Cena, it’s not Hunter. He’s Cena’s boss. At Summerslam it’s the rematch for one undisputed champion. Kind of lackluster the way he said it but it’s the only way they can do it.
HHH leaves and they stare each other down. Punk holds up his title and his music plays us out. Scratch that as Cena holds his up and that music plays us off. Punk goes onto the ropes and now HIS song plays. This is kind of awesome. Now Cena does the same but Punk’s is the last one heard after it changes like 8 times total.
Overall Rating: B. This was a hit and miss show. The HHH and Punk stuff was good and the tag match was good, but the rest of the show was building to other shows later in the future, which is ok but a little boring for a TV show. Summerslam is looking better now though as you can see a lot of the matches coming into focus. Good sign and a good building show here, but not great due to the wrestling being subpar.
Beth Phoenix won a Divas Battle Royal
The Miz/R-Truth b. John Morrison/Rey Mysterio – What’s Up to Morrison
Michael McGillicutty/David Otunga b. Zack Ryder/Santino Marella – Middle rope elbow/backbreaker combination to Ryder
Alberto Del Rio b. Evan Bourne – Cross Armbreaker