Last week, it was determined that CM Punk was not going to be removed from the main event at this Sunday's MONEY IN THE BANK pay per view (though they had already had a match to determine his replacement).
The catch? If John Cena loses the belt and CM Punk walks out of the building with it, John Cena will be fired.
Do I expect Vince McMahon to actually fire his biggest profile competitor? Not in a million years, but that doesn't mean things have to go off without a hitch.
This is the last RAW before the pay-per-view, so RAW has some work to do if they want to have their contribution towards driving up the buy-rate for MONEY IN THE BANK and future pay per views.
The members of the MONEY IN THE BANK ladder match need a spark. They need more reasons to want to battle in that match apart from just the title shot.
How will the RAW "creative" team make their last mark before their competitors take the trip to Chicago?
Let's get to the RAW results and find out!
So RAW opens strong with the music of CM Punk, and the Straight Edge Superstar leader of New Nexus is bringing a megaphone with him to the ring and is sporting a Wild West Outlaw mustache paired with a six o'clock shadow (or is it a 9 o'clock shadow, based on the start time of RAW?)
Apparently CM Punk didn't watch RAW last week, but he has friends who watched it or found recaps on sites like these...
He gives a recap of what he said two weeks ago, letting us know that he got in trouble because he speaks his mind on topics that no one else has the balls to talk about.
The megaphone, he tells us, is in case they turn off his mic... and then he proceeds to hit the siren on the phone, reminding me of the early days of RAW.
He was allowed to come to the ring with a mic because Vince WANTS to give him a long-term contract, which was caused by Punk getting mainstream media coverage by ESPN, Jimmy Kimme and he's all over YouTube.
Apparently Punk wasn't treated so well over the past five years by Vince McMahon, and now he has found an outlet for his pent-up frustration.
Because Punk likes to do things differently and because he knows Vince wants to get a deal done, Punk says he wants Vince to come to the ring tonight and do their contract renegotiations in front of the world... which might include Vince having to join Punk's "KISS MY ASS CLUB".
Oh, and John Cena makes his entrance because I suppose he's tired of what Punk is saying.
Punk thanks Cena for getting him reinstated... for a job that Punk didn't even want.
When he wins the belt, Punk says one of his first orders of business will be to redesign the belt which, as Boston agrees, has been far too ugly for far too long.
The only thing John Cena seems to have a problem with is the fact that CM Punk seems to be disregarding the fact that he has to beat John Cena to get the belt, which isn't a foregone conclusion.
Cena does make a strong, empassioned speech, one of the best serious promos I've heard of him in a long time, the best promo I've heard from Cena without a rhyming pair of lines in the bunch, about all the competitors, come and gone, who thought they were the best but who couldn't hang with Cena.
The Anonymous General Manager apparently has insight into what goes on with Vince McMahon, and he tells us that McMahon is on his way and he's going to be negotiating with CM Punk.
Let's just hope that McMahon was planning on attending, because the drive from Greenwich, Connecticut up to Boston isn't inconsequential, there are no flights he could take, and he might not make it by 11:15 pm Eastern time.
Furthermore, the GM knows that this could be John Cena's last night on RAW... so he books him in a match. A surprise match... coming up after the commercial.
Oh, sure, the biggest star in the business today... and he gets booked to compete 20 minutes into the show? That works....
Me thinks the GM should let someone else deal with scheduling the show.
The match? It's a handicap match... against the tag team champions.
Does the Anonymous GM actually want to keep John Cena? Booking him in a handicap match less than a week before one of the biggest matches in his career, against the tag champs, nevertheless, isn't a good way to keep him near 100% going into Chicago. It's almost as if the GM wants Punk to win the belt.
Handicap Match - John Cena vs David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty
So if Cena wins this match, how bad does that devalue the tag straps?
The logic from the announcers is that Vince McMahon has booked this match as something of a show of good faith / olive branch for CM Punk to help sweeten contract negotiations.
I'm liking elements of this storyline less and less.
So thankfully, the tag champs do some double-teaming and actually show some skills that you'd expect the WWE Tag Champs to have. Maybe they don't use as many quick-tags as they could've, bu I've seen tag teams get lesser treatment in the past in a handicap situation, so that's actually a step up, sad as it is.
Alas, John Cena still hits the Five Nuckle Shuffle, still sets up for the Attitude Adjustment... but YES! The New Nexus breaks up the opportunity with a well-timed double-team and actually hit a combination move (sad as it was. Seriously, execute the inverted atomic drop / dropkick combination a little better next time?)
Being Superman, as is the case, John Cena battles back, gets McGillicutty into the STF...
And AGAIN they let New Nexus battle out of it!
Just when I was optimistic about Cena possibly losing, he overcomes the odds, hits an Attitude Adjustment and throws Otunga out of the ring before pinning McGillicutty
Outcome - John SuperCena gets the victory over the now ball-shrunken Tag Champs
Way to continue to kill your division, WWE "creative". At least you gave them more offense than I had expected. Would it really have been the end of the world to give New Nexus the win there?
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero are scheming on how to improve Dolph's position in the company. They practice what Dolph would say to Vince, and apparently
Drew McIntyre shows up and starts mocking Vince. Dolph joins in on the mocking of Vince, makes fun of different things about Vince, and apparently they're not thinking about the fact that this is all being taped...
...nor did they consider the fact that Vince could actually be in the arena already... which is the case. Vinnie Mac shows up, compliments Dolph and Drew on being two of the top rising stars on RAW... but then leads on that he heard what they were saying about him... and they book Dolph & Drew in a handicap match against The Big Show.
If you were two young competitors looking to make a mark in WWE, wouldn't you view a match with Big Show as a huge opportunity to prove your worth? If your goal is to be the top guy in the business, wouldn't you have to beat a guy like Big Show to get there anyway? Why view this as a punishment?
Because WWE "creative" writes it that way because they want to make Big Show look "awesome" and they don't care what people think about Dolph Ziggler and/or Drew McIntyre right now.
Despite the fact that Ziggler is holding what could potentially be the third most important singles championship in the business, if they wanted it to be.
Anyone want to bet they bury Dolph and Drew in this upcoming match instead of making them look good?
No, this isn't going to become a drinking game like what we did on Smackdown. That's a Friday thing.
Nice try, though. I just can't be drinking on a Monday.
Match - Melina vs Kelly Kelly
Before the match, Michael Cole throws Jerry Lawler under the bus for celebrating when Kelly Kelly won the belt, and Lawler has amost nothing to say in response.
On Kelly2's way to the ring, one of the Bella Twins say they're surprised Kelly didn't use two hands to hold up the belt... and we're thinking that the Bella Twins probably like to do so much together that there are plenty of times when they're using two hands.
Anyone else liking Melina's new look with the blue streak in her hair? It sure didn't help her wrestle, as she got very little offense in the match.
Outcome - Kelly Kelly wins by pinfall
In the aftermath, the Bella Twins get into the ring and beg Kelly Kelly to go get a meal, and they've got a lot of nerve to talk trash right now. Kelly went through an entire match, and her hair still looks better than either of the Bella Twins... both of whom are starting to get little muffin tops over their white pant waistbands.
The Miz comes to the ring, where there's a ladder setup both inside the ring and all around it, and it actually looks like they're going to remind us about RAW's match with the pay per view's name on it.
The Miz sits atop the ladder and reminds us that The Miz knows better than any of his opponents about what it takes to win this match and get the briefcase and become a champion.
Jack Swagger takes one more step towards becoming a face, because he interrupts The Miz and makes fun of The Miz for getting hit in the head too many times by Alex Riley, because he must have forgotten that Jack Swagger won a Money In The Bank before and actually cashed it in to win the title.
The Miz with the funniest line of the night so far: If someone wins Money In The Bank, Cashes It In and Wins The Belt but No One Remembers, did it actually happen?
Evan Bourne shows up and says he's going to win MITB, and seriously, it's so funny, he actually looked like he believed it.
Kofi Kingston gives a decent promo, talking about how he's going to give it all to win the briefcase... and this is a match which demands that sort of dedication, referencing Edge's dedication and how that ultimately shortened his career.
Not to let the Little Jimmies go without being mentioned, R-Truth shows up and says this is a conspiracy because he's got acrophobia, and he can't remember whether that's a fear of heights or a fear of spiders, but he's afraid of both of them.
On a serious note, did anyone else realize that former World Champion Yokozuna had severe arachnaphobia, which actually lead to his death? Yokozuna died of a heart attack after seeing a big spider in his hotel room.
Alberto Del Rio shows up, and he airs his legitimate gripe about how he should be the #1 contender... and I actually think he should sit out this match and demand that he gets a title shot after the pay per view. The ladder match doesn't set something up for SummerSlam, so why shouldn't Del Rio automatically get that shot?
The Anonymous GM says Alberto Del Rio has a point... about what, he doesn't say... but he does book a match.
Six Man Tag Match - Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston & Alex Riley vs The Miz, Jack Swagger and R-Truth
Someone's going to clear the ladders, and then we'll get down to business!
During the match, Michael Cole makes the claim that you can't despise The Miz because of the success The Miz has had. Great logic by Michael Cole who apparently would side with the victors of a given situation no matter how they handle their business. I can think of a half-dozen world leaders over the past hundred years who might fit that category.
As expected, the guys in this match get their chances to establish their talents, though aside from The Miz and Alex Riley, and maybe Jack Swagger with Evan Bourne, no significant feuds are built through the course of this match... unless you count the spot where R-Truth tries to clothesline Kofi Kingston THROUGH the ropes instead of OVER them.
Outcome - Alex Riley adds to his personal momentum by pinning Jack Swagger
In the aftermath, everyone gets in some offense (R-Truth actually connects correctly with a clothesline over the top rope to Kofi Kingston) and then Alberto Del Rio decides he is going to attack everyone with a ladder, risking potential injury to his prospective opponents... and I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of those guys won't be able to compete on Sunday due to Del Rio's attack.
Time for the second Handicap Match of the night!
Handicap Match - Big Show vs Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
If Big Show wins this match, do we stop caring about Handicap matches? What would be the point of a handicap match if the 1 always beats the 2?!
And right off the bat, it doesn't look like Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler are going to be working together... I should just fast forward now to get this over with.
Seriously, like Drew McIntyre is suddenly going to make his mark? He was left out of the Money In The Bank ladder match because they don't care about him, whatever the reason. Maybe this match wil show he's a company man and the beating he's taking rom Big Show will give him some good karma to get him booked better in the future.
Outcome - Big Show takes the action out of the ring and doesn't care about the match's outcome, and they both get counted out
When the action goes to the edge of the stage, Mark Henry suddenly shows up ad tackles Big Show and Drew McIntyre off the stage... and although Big Show and Henry land on a padded surface, there's no teling where Drew McIntyre landed, and the cameras don't seem to give a damn. I wouldn't be surprised if McIntyre was actually injured.
For those counting, that would be twice tonight that someone might have been unintentionally injured.
The main event of the evening is the contract negotiation between CM Punk and Vince McMahon. What are the chances that Punk takes some liberties on the mic when he's face to face with Vinnie Mac himself?
Vince starts off by saying there's no way he's going to actually kiss CM Punk's ass.
Shocker, Vince doesn't like the idea of doing contract negotiations being public, but he's willing to do it just this once.
Man, I'm realy hoping we see Vince McMahon get hit with the Go2Sleep in this segment. I'm not betting on it, but I'd love to see it.
Punk shows up with a leather binder, and when he gets into the ring he refuses to shake Vince's hand before they sit at the table setup in the ring.
Vince says the lawyers have all been through it, everything's in there, even the "CM Punk Collector's Cup".
I'd buy it.
Punk says Vince being in the ring is evidence that Vince doesn't have faith in John Cena beating him on Sunday.
Vince says he really just wants to do what's right and wants to try to keep a potential disaster from happening.
Wow, Vince actually cals Punk by his real name, Phil.
When Punk says "you want to have fun? we'll have fun", I'm thinking this is about to get good.
Amongst the new demands that CM Punk has, he wants his face on everything and he wants Vince to bring back the WWE Ice Cream bars... which the fans go crazy for...
...and I'm betting Vince actually considers doing that, considering it probably WILL make a bunch of money.
Out of all of the demands that CM Punk makes, out of all of the things that Punk demands that Vince is unlikely to give-in to, CM Punk demands that Vince apologize, not just to him, but to the WWE Universe, for among other things, being a bully.
He cites Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows getting fired by Vince, who Punk rightfully calls out on not knowing what makes a Superstar in 2011.
Punk has what I consider to be the best rant on McMahon that I've heard, potentially ever, and this is like eating the last piece of an awesome pie, knowing your future desserts won't be as good because that pie can't be recreated...
I can't imagine another set of promos with this sort of emotional depth and saying all the things that most of the IWC have been wanting to tell him for years, and I can't imagine how they'll continue this up in future shows with a similar storyline because there's no way CM Punk will be this untouchable in the future.
I love the fact that the fans are chanting "We Want Colt Cabana!", by the way.
And alas, John Cena has to ruin al the fun, just when it was getting good.
What does SuperCena have to say?
Anyone else noticing that John Cena is amping up the Massachusetts accent because he's in Boston tonight?
Cena and his Bostonian accent craps on the promo, kills the tone and totally gets things wrong.
John says that Punk's whole goal is to take the belt and walk out of WWE with the belt... but isn't the whole process of the contract negotiations the means by which Punk might STAY IN WWE?!
If CM Punk wanted to leave, why would he even try to negotiate?
Punk and Cena get into a heated
Punk reminds Cena and the entire city of Boston that the 10-time champ and the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Celtics and the New England Patriots and the Boston Bruins are no longer under-dogs, they're dynasties.
Rightfully so, CM Punk identifies himself as the underdog, the guy who has risen up and made a name for himself and is fighting to be on top.
The punch-worthy comment from Punk in the eyes of The Champ? He rightfully says that John Cena is essentialy the New York Yankees.
After getting punched, CM Punk leaves the ring, finds his favorite spot atop the ramp, sits and announces that he's tired of all the WWE bullshit... and he tears up the contract.
This article will be updated throughout the night (with the GuysNation home article being updated first, followed by articles on other sites), so keep checking back for the latest recap and analysis with what some people consider humor. By the end of the evening, the GuysNation version of this article will have the infamous polls!