WWE Raw July 25, 2011: Live Coverage, Analysis and Results
So it is an absolutely huge day. No, it's not because of the start of the "HHH Era" on Raw. No, it's not because Vince McMahon has removed himself from storylines for the sixth time. Nope, it's a huge day because the PITTSBURGH PIRATES ARE ON ESPN.
Anyways, since I love my dear readers more than anything else in the world, I am sacrificing watching my beloved Buccos on the Worldwide Leader in Sports in order to cover Raw live for you.
Will HHH shake-up Raw so it no longer sucks on a weekly basis (unless CM Punk is involved)? Will someone else blatantly rip-off CM Punk (Randy Orton, I'm looking in your direction)? Will creative finally come to their senses and realize that NO ONE wants to see women wrestle? Will John Cena continue to pander to preteens like a pansy?
All these will be answered and more.
If you're really old or just plain stupid, make sure to refresh your browser to get my latest coverage and awesome analysis.
-Isn't being the number one program on SyFy like being the best downhill skier in Kenya?
-Meanwhile, The Miz is less than thrilled with Rey Mysterio being world champion and doesn't particularly care for HHH either.
WWE World Title
Rey Mysterio vs. John Cena
Why do I have the feeling Cena is walking out with the title? King calls Cena the "most controversial athlete in the history of WWE"...I thought that was the Godfather, Val Venis, The Rock, Steve Austin, Ric Flair, Rick Rude, Jake Roberts, the Undertaker, Beaver Cleaver, Goldust, Rob Van Dam, Sabu, and/or CM Punk?
Slow start as Mysterio works some kicks but he quickly switches to a headlock and Cena get a back suplex for two. Mysterio recovers with a bulldog for a near fall of his own and the crowd entertains itself with a dueling chant. Rey Rey tries to wake them up with a somersault plancha as JR diplomatically says the crowd might hate Cena but they all paid to see him. Cena dodges whatever on the outside and levels Mysterio with a clothesline on the floor but it only gets two back inside.
Cena works a bearhug but Mysterio turns it into a DDT for two. Necksnap by Rey Rey leads a moonsault for two and he looks for the 619 but Cena catches him and delivers a powerslam for two. Cena appears to start his SOS Comeback but Mysterio stops the boring shoulder tackles with a dropkick for two. Nice sequence sees Mysterio counter Cena ugly powerbomb but Cena sticks with it and hits it anyway.
John looks for the AA but Mysterio gets a hurricanrana to get out of it for two. Rey heads up top and gets the seated senton for two then shocks everyone by reversing Cena's STF to his own submission...it's not a very good one though. Cena impressively powers to his feet and tries to muscle Mysterio to his shoulders for an AA but his knee buckles. Mysterio takes advantage and hits a quick 619 but his splash from the top only hits knees.
Brief rest spot leads to Rey trying a hurricanrana in the corner but Cena almost KILLS him with a powerbomb and not in the good way. Cena heads up top and hits his legdrop for two as the crowd starts to seriously get into these false finishes. Another Attitude Adjustment is countered to a 619 but Cena sees it coming and pops up with the 619 for the win.
Winner and NEW Champion: John Cena
-BUT WAIT!!! "Cult of Personality" by Living Color hits the PA system and CM PUNK is in the building (complete with his SWANK "Best in the World" t-shirt). Needless to say, the voices that support CM Punk are just a little bit deeper than the ones supporting John Cena. Both guys hold their titles in the air and we fade to black...
-OK, now before the Cena fanboys jump on my ass what I'm about to say, let me say this: That was a GREAT television match. Tons a great spots, an awesome story and a great finish ***3/4. I absolutely hated the booking with Mysterio getting his legs cut out from under him (just book Cena in a triple threat or something) but now they get their big Cena-Punk showdown at SummerSlam so I guess that was the point.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston
Let's see if they go with the 50-50 booking that they do every...single...time. They really screw up a sunset flip spot and Del Rio hits the floor as we take a quick commercial break. We return with Del Rio working on the arm but he miscalculates a blind charge and hits the ring post. High cross body gets two for Kofi and he mounts the comeback, hitting a Boom Drop. Kingston looks to finish but misses Trouble in Paradise and Divorce Court gets two for Del Rio. A victory roll spot looks to finish for Kofi but Del Rio wisely grabs the ropes to break. Alberto takes advantage of Kofi's confusion and attacks the arm, applying the cross arm-breaker and getting the submission.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
-Another week, another 50-50 booking decision. I'm not saying Del Rio shouldn't have won but why give Kofi a win last week if he's only going to get crushed this week. It makes fans not get behind either guy as opposed to getting behind both. Del Rio should be mowing through opponents at this point, not losing to them and then squeaking by the next week. Match was too short to mean anything **.
Michael Cole vs. Zack Ryder
In a funny moment, Michael Cole does his own HHH entrance, complete with water spit. If Hunter REALLY wanted to embarrass him, he would have made Cole wear that ridiculous barbarian outfit from WrestleMania 22. That squeaking sound you are hearing right now is 10,000 internet fanboys squealing at Ryder being on Raw. Oh yeah, the "match": Ryder hits the Rough Ryder and gets the pin, that's it.
Winner: Zack Ryder
-DUD of course, just a waste of time...woo, woo, woo, you know it.
-So HHH is out for his little State of the WWE address and of course, since my sense are NEVER wrong, he books Rey Mysterio in a world title match against John Cena. If they put the title back on Cena immediately, I might put my fist through my TV.
The crowd reacts to that little piece of news by chanting CM Punk's name VERY loudly. HHH announces that he has resigned a former Raw employee and reveals it to be...Jim Ross. Well, that announcing on this show just improved 125% in about 30 seconds.
Michael Cole, of course, throws a big hissy fit and rages against pretty much everyone. HHH gives him the night off from commentary and books Cole in a match because apparently DUD matches are part of the "new era" of WWE that everyone was talking about.
R-Truth comes out and has now added "talking to himself" as part of his crazy gimmick. Truth, however, does not appreciate when HHH begins speaking to his own imaginary friends. Long story short, Triple H announces he's resigned John Morrison and Morrison kicks Truth's ass in retribution for his injury.
Sure, I welcome JR's return but the "big resigning" is John Morrison? Who cares? We all knew he was coming back.
-Just to let you know, last week's Raw drew a 3.2 rating or what WCW was drawing in January 2000 when everyone was proclaiming the company dead and buried...whoops.
-Meanwhile, a ridiculous segment with some guy who hawks awful beer leads to Nikki Bella having her arm marked up. So wait, WWE is marketing to children but still has beer spokesmen on their show? Makes perfect sense.
Maryse & Melina vs. Kelly Kelly & Eve
Eve drives Maryse's head to the mat then dances like a stripper (in an embarrassing way) before hitting a moonsault for two. A cheapshot from Melina turns the tide but a kick to the face allows for the hot tag and Kelly goes through all her rehearsed spots. A big brawl erupts and Melina misses whatever against the ropes, letting Kelly hit the Fameasser for the win.
Winner: Kelly Kelly & Some Girl
-So are we just going to get the same exact match every single week until creative decides which bimbo to push next? This was sloppy and pointless, like every single women's match ever 1/2*.
-Meanwhile, HHH and R-Truth have a private conversation backstage.
-Backstage, John Cena sees Rey Mysterio's spotlight and only steals it for a minute or so before allowing Rey to cut a victory promo. You know, it looks a little ridiculous when your world champion is almost smaller than the actual belt.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Evan Bourne
Dolph has a much-improved remix of his old music. Quick start leads to Bourne hitting a dropkick and Dolph takes a powder. Bourne brings Zig back in but falls victim to a Rocker Dropper and a standing dropkick for two. A suplex is countered and Ziggler hits turnbuckle on a blind charge, allowing Bourne to fire off kicks and hit a hurricanrana for two. Dolph manages to dodge Air Bourne and hit the Zig Zag, allowing for a sleeper and the win.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
-Too many dead spots but the match was about average. They REALLY need to figure out how to transfer the heat from Vickie onto Dolph and soon **.
-LIVE! from Hampton, VA (home of...aww, who the hell cares?)
WWE World Title
Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz
Hmmm, the placement of this match makes my Sportz Entertainment Alarm go off. Michael Cole then goes ahead and guarantees a new champion tonight...well ok then. Rey breaks out a hurricanrana early but a second one is countered and Miz dumps him to the turnbuckle. Awesome Clothesline in the corner gets two and we hit the chinlock. You know in wrestling video games when your guy is standing still and he kind of bounces up and down in place with an exaggerated breathing motion? That's what the Miz looks like constantly. It's kind of distracting once you notice it...you can thank me later.
Miz dumps Rey to the outside and adds a dropkick through the ropes but misses a kick attempt and hits the ringsteps on a flying headscissors to take us to commercial. We return with Miz hitting his neckbreaker which has never pinned anyone but Cole sells it like death. I really, really miss JR. A couple standing switches lead to Miz hitting the ring post shoulder-first and Rey mounts the babyface comeback with a cross body for two. Miz counters a kick to the face with a short DDT for two, allowing him to do his over dramatic upset face.
Big boot gets two and Miz gets more frustrated and Mysterio rolls him up for two. 619 attempt is dodged and a SWEET rope-aided sit-out powerbomb gets two. Miz hangs Rey Rey in the Tree of Woe but Mysterio dodges a running knee and Miz reinjures the Money in the Bank leg. Mysterio takes advantage of the injury and quickly hits the 619 to earn himself the World title.
Winner and NEW Champion: Rey Mysterio
-A really good, fast-paced TV match culminating in a clean finish so there's really not much to complain about workrate-wise ***1/4.
-BUT WAIT, Alberto Del Rio runs down to ringside and attempts to cash in his briefcase...and immediately gets hit with a plancha from Rey so he retreats to the back. Nevermind...as you were.
-Cole promises a State of the WWE Address from HHH tonight. Good thing that gets the main event slot over the world title match, huh?