On This Day: August 22, 2011 – Monday Night Raw: Cena vs. Punk

Monday Night Raw
Date: August 22, 2011
Location: Rexhall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross

We’re up north this week and it’s time for the fallout from Cena going Alberto hunting to end last week’s show. Also I’m sure we’ll be getting more out of Punk vs. the establishment in the form of Nash/HHH. This is a hot time for the company so hopefully they can manage to keep it going this week in, as Lawler likes to call it, Bizarro Land. Let’s get to it.

One note: I’m watching a recording so the times on matches with commercials may be a bit inaccurate but I’ll do my best with them.

Here’s Alberto to open the show in a Lamborghini. Sign in the audience: Alberta hates Alberto. That’s cute. He says “my name” and is cut off by My Time Is Now. Cena seems way over here in Canada. He introduces himself to Alberto and calls himself the man that’ll take the championship off Del Rio. Also, he’s going to hurt him so badly that Del Rio is going to run back to his parents’ house because he’s tired of the flea market scarves, the second rate help and the rented luxury cars. This is serious Cena.

Cena says he’s tired of seeing average people like Del Rio because there’s only one person in this company that can go toe to toe with Cena. He’s looking at Del Rio and doesn’t see CM Punk so he’s not looking at anything better than average. Cue Punk who says Cean shouldn’t get another title shot. Punk beat him twice in big matches and would be champion if not for Alberto cashing in (which he’s cool with).

Punk and Cena argue a bit and Alberto cuts them off (Cena: Hey look it’s captain third wheel), saying it’s his time. Alberto says get out of here in Spanish. Punk says never cut him off again. He says his cashing in were both better than Alberto’s. He knows that everyone is out to get him, including Del Rio, HHH, Nash and maybe even Jack Tunney. However, Cena needs to pay attention because just after Punk insulted Stephanie at the PPV, he gets jumped. The reason Cena needs to pay attention is if he had beaten Punk, the text would have said “take out Cena”.

Punk thinks someone wants Alberto to be champion. Punk says he’s going to cash in his rematch tonight. Cena says he’s cashing in tonight, not Punk. Punk: “Your rematch clause is about as real as Santa Claus.” Alberto says he defended last week so this week it’s time to celebrate. He celebrates in full wrestling gear? Now here’s HHH to talk some more. He tells Alberto to take the smug look off his face because he’s not here for Del Rio. Alberto’s match is up next so stick around. Also you can’t just cash in rematch clauses whenever you like it. Punk vs. Cena for the #1 contender spot at Night of Champions.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Morrison

Non-title here remember. Morrison goes right for him to start but gets guillotined on the top. That goes nowhere so Del Rio goes for the arm. Morrison fires off a dropkick but it’s right back to the arm. John sends him to the floor and tries an Asai Moonsault, only to miss and land on his feet. Del Rio sends him into the barrier and takes over again. Back from a break with Del Rio holding a chinlock.

Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets two. I love Alberto’s psychology as he hits something to slow Morrison down and and then it’s right back to the arm. Cole says Morrison is an avocado. Why he calls his this isn’t clear but then again what is from Cole? Del Rio keeps hammering away as this is another of the kind of matches he needs: a match with a legit name who shouldn’t be ready to beat him so the loss means nothing but the win means something for Alberto.

Morrison manages to backdrop him to the floor and gets all fired up. He goes for the Starship Pain position but Del Rio gets away before it launches. The Mexican hits a German on the American. Cross armbreaker can’t hook and Del Rio gets caught in a spinning DDT which looked good as Morrison managed to avoid the botch. Morrison’s shining wizard doesn’t hit but he gets a rana for a close two. Big kick to the head looks to set up Starship Pain but Del Rio moves. Morrison’s shoulder hits the post and the armbreaker ends this at 12:30.

Rating: B. I was into this one. Like I said earlier, he needs wins like this one because it builds him up. Swagger lost matches like these and it really hurt his credibility. This makes Del Rio look good because Morrison is a solid and established midcard guy. A loss to Del Rio doesn’t hurt him and the win makes Alberto look good. That’s all you need and it’s the best thing they can do.

Del Rio puts the hold on again on the floor.

Eve Torres vs. Nikki Bella

The announcers said this was vs. Brie before the commercial. Does it really matter? The evil Divas do an old school inset interview talking about how they don’t want to be popular or voluptuous or pretty like Eve and Kelly (which is Beth saying these things and Natalya saying we don’t). Nikki takes over to start but gets caught in the hip gyrating moonsault. What awesomeness! Moonsault is broken up but Eve hits a Moss Covered Three Handled Family Credenza for the pin at 2:37. This was nothing but it was bad.

Kelly hits K2 on Brie post match. Natalya and Beth come out to glare at the nice girls.

Nash is up next.

Ok no he isn’t.

Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger

Vickie does Jack’s intro and is managing him now. Swagger takes him to the mat very quickly and JR says Swagger is a former two time world champion. So the ECW Title counts? We’ll have to remember that for Mark Henry later. Riley gets that SWEET spinebuster of his and here’s Dolph. He yells at Vickie as Swagger can’t get the powerbomb. Vickie is on the floor but we didn’t see what happened. Swagger goes after Dolph and shoves him, walking back into the ring and a rollup for the pin at 2:00. I really hope they’re not getting straight to Dolph vs. Jack as this could go for a very long time.

Here’s HHH who talks about how there were issues at Summerslam but he wants to bury this right here. He calls out Nash and they shake hands/hug. Nash says he believes what HHH said about not sending the text, however he needs to be able to prove that he’s a man, referencing wanting to fight Punk. HHH says Nash doesn’t work here so he can’t do anything. Nash says he would have killed Punk last week and the security was to protect Punk, not Nash. HHH can fight Punk, just not here. He asks Nash to leave and here’s Punk.

Punk says he wants to get to the bottom of this. Let’s play Clue: was it Big Lazy with the tube of Just For Men in the conservatory? Was it HHH backstage with the sledgehammer? Or was it Stephanie in the library with a candlestick? We have a library? The tape library perhaps? Punk doesn’t believe any of these people and Nash said that Punk stepped over a line last week. That’s what Punk does, but now he’s done talking. He goes for Punk but HHH cuts him off.

Punk gets in HHH’s face and wants to know what HHH’s problem is with Punk. Why does he not want Punk being champion? Who’s pulling the strings? HHH? Nash? Or Stephanie, the bean headed wife? HHH says he made a promise to not get physically involved, but don’t cross a line with him because he’s the same guy he used to be and he’ll leave Punk laying where he stands. Punk makes fun of HHH again and Nash decks him and the former Clique leaves with HHH being mad at Nash. The fans chant for Punk.

Back from a break and HHH yells at Nash. Nash says HHH isn’t the same since he put on the suit and leaves.

Tag Titles: David Otunga/Michael McGillicutty vs. Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourne

This is a rematch from last week. Lawler points out that the champions haven’t done anything with the belts. We get a Bushwhackers reference as Lawler says they had better charisma. That’s true at least. Bourne beats on McGillicutty to start but that doesn’t last long with Kofi coming in. After some more attacking he goes outside after both champions and gets caught easily.

Otunga comes in to work over Kofi, hitting a corner clothesline for a very delayed two. Off to a chinlock for a few seconds and here’s McGillicutty who hits a double team dropkick/atomic drop for two. JR says that was an almost perfect dropkick. Off to another chinlock and McGillicutty yells at Lawler, asking if that was impressive. In a cool move Kofi nips up into a headscissors and brings in Bourne. He cleans house with jumping knees and a spin kick for two. Kofi sends Michael to the floor and hits Trouble in Paradise to Otunga. Shooting Star Press gives us new champions at 5:00.

Rating: C. Eh just a quick match here. Otunga and McGillicutty aren’t horrible but they were boring as champions. Either way this wasn’t too bad but hopefully this starts a new thing in the division as JR and the announcers make it seem like it’s kind of a big deal. This wasn’t bad and them winning that fast was probably a good thing.

Some NXT guys and Ryder pour champagne over the new champions. They’re really pushing this as a big deal.

Johnny Ace catches up with HHH and tells him Nash was in a car wreck. Well of course he was. Ace gives HHH the hospital info and will run Raw as HHH leaves. I’ll set the over/under at 12 minutes into the main event before Nash arrives.

Here’s Santino for a match but Miz and R-Truth jump him on the way to the ring and give him a big beatdown. Truth calls Santino Little Jimmy and says that’ll happen every time. DON’T START THE WHATS!!! Truth says he’s tired of the HHH/Stephanie/everyone else conspiracy. He used to main event PPVs but now it’s not about him. It’s not about Miz either.

Time for Miz to speak and he says Truth is right. The Canadian crowd gets on his nerves so he yells at them. He was in the main event of Wrestlemania and now he has to yell at Jared the Subway guy. Miz speaks slowly so Canada can understand him. He’s sick of Santino, who hasn’t won a match on Raw in five years (or since June but who’s counting) while the two of them get nothing.

They’ll be taking an opportunity instead of waiting for one which includes stomping spiders. Some people are gonna get got. That’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and IT’S AWESOME. In a cool moment, Truth does a freestyle to the beat of his song and yells at the crowd with YOU SUCK replacing What’s Up. That’s rather cool.

John Cena vs. CM Punk

Ace and Del Rio are at ringside. The fans throw Cena’s shirt back twice. I’ll take it if they don’t want it. This is a pro-Punk crowd. It’s a slow start but they have some time. The fans chant for the Oilers (hockey team) and here comes Cena. He goes into the finishing sequence very quickly. The Shuffle is countered into a rollup for two very quickly. Leg lariat sets up the corner knee and bulldog for no cover.

Punk goes up but gets knocked to the floor as we take a break. Back and both guys are down. Punk grabs the GTS but Cena escapes as does Punk from the AA. Another AA attempt fails and Punk gets the springboard clothesline for two. GTS is countered into an STF attempt but Punk escapes. Cena uses pure power to push Punk down into the STF where Punk is in trouble.

That’s a good looking hold but Punk makes the ropes. Cena’s shoulder goes into the post and the GTS gets two. They’re telling a good story as they know regular stuff isn’t going to work so they’re throwing bombs from the beginning. Punk goes up but the elbow misses. I love that tribute he does to Savage. That’s what it should be: a move done in his honor and the point to the sky is perfect in multiple ways for Savage.

Cena now goes up and hits the Famesasser for two. AA #4 is countered into a SWEET running knee for two. HUGE AA gets a very close two. Again I love the throwing huge stuff and almost nothing but huge stuff. Top rope cross body is rolled through into the AA but Punk reverses into a sunset flip for two. He sets for the GTS but here’s Nash again, saying it’s not over with Punk. Punk turns around and the AA sends Cena to Night of Champions at 14:25.

Rating: B+. Seriously were you expecting anything but a good match here? They have that chemistry that you need and it’s showing here. You give these two fifteen minutes and they’ll give you the top level match they’re capable of. Obviously TV is different than PPV but this was rather awesome indeed. Good match as the kicking out was good stuff.

Alberto immediately jumps Cena until Johnny Ace breaks it up. Del Rio beats him up some more because he can.

Overall Rating: B+. This was another good show with some good matches and a lot of drama. The idea of having Nash faking the car accident and someone helping him in on it (no idea if Ace did it or not because he may have just been given a note by a fake caller etc) is interesting as there could be a lot of ways it could go. Good show here with a nice mixture of stuff going on.


Alberto Del Rio b. John Morrison – Cross Armbreaker

Eve Torres b. Nikki Bella – Swinging neckbreaker

Alex Riley b. Jack Swagger – Rollup

Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourne b. David Otunga/Michael McGillicutty – Shooting Star Press to Otunga

John Cena b. CM Punk – Attitude Adjustment


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