WWE: 5 Thoughts of the 7/25 RAW (Triple H, Mysterio, Cena, CM Punk and More)
Well, before I start, let me just say that it is a good time to be a WWE fan. I won't say that these times are beating the feelings of nostalgia that the attitude era normally brings us fans (Especially when the likes of The Rock, Bret Hart and Steve Austin appear on WWE programming nowadays) But with the end of the "Mr. McMahon" character seemingly occuring last week, I felt it was time for me, A.J. Dwayne (aspiring Broski of the Week) to finally do an article on Bleacher Report (since a friend of mine, who happens to be one of the top writers in the wrestling section had convinced me to do so)
So with the spirit of a new era in WWE, I would like to be a new blogger on WWE events, posting my thoughts on certain events. I would also like to stress that all of my pieces are opinion-oriented and there may be people out there that disagrees with me. I know all writers have to deal with this, but I wanted to let the reader know that I'm aware that all people differ in thought.
WELP...now that I got that out of the ring, here's five moments on RAW that caused me to do the dangerous past-time of thinking...
Thought #1: The Ending Makes Me Wanna Watch Next Week! Thanks CM Punk!
RECAP OF MOMENT: John Cena defeats then-New WWE Champion Rey Mysterio in a PPV caliber WWE Championship match-up. After mutual respect between Mysterio and Cena, Cult of Personality by Living Colour blares on the speakers and out comes CM Punk. CM Punk and Cena stare each other down, with the crowd behind CM Punk and Cena looking at Punk's WWE Title as RAW goes off the air.
THOUGHTS ON MOMENT: First off, CM Punk using a theme he used in the indys was something special. I remember a long time ago watching a match with blond-CM Punk (with that music) facing a post-WCW unmasked Rey Mysterio Jr. and a soon-to-be (at the time) resigned Eddie Guerrero. (Side-Note, Punk was defending a title and successfully defended it. I think the match is on YouTube and it's a great Triple Threat) The song fits CM Punk better than This Fire Burns by Killswitch Engage. which wasn't a bad song for Punk, but considering the turn that the CM Punk character has taken (A sort-of Sober, Cunning Light Heavyweight version of Steve Austin) and Punk's mentions of ROH and appearance at AAW recently, the song felt right for CM.
Hats off to John Cena. (Quick duck! Cena haters are throwing bricks of hatred!) Haha, honestly speaking, as soon as Triple H in his State of WWE address (which I'll touch on later) said "the guy who was robbed of his re-match," my suspicions of Cena somehow leaving RAW WWE Champion was confirmed. I thought Mysterio was gonna be beaten in 5 minutes, but Cena had a great match-up with Rey. Now apparently with this new WWE comes the John Cena who wrestles great matches. Yeah there's the infamous (clearing my throat) SHOULDER-SHOULDER-MISSED PUNCH-PROTOPLEX-HAND!-U CANT SEE ME- 5 KNUCKLE SHUFFLE comeback that me and my friends scream at the tv when watching Cena do such a thing (Hi Robert Aitken! How you doin?) But with CM Punk and now Rey Mysterio, John Cena has proven to be a very exciting superstar to watch (Is it 2004 again?)
That being said, I wanted to dissect the ending a little more. Now, maybe I'm just reading into it too much, but I think tonight we have finally seen that spark that with ignite a slow-growing flame that will eventually spread, like wildfire, into a fan-craving John Cena heel turn. If you look at Cena's face after CM Punk raises his championship, Cena had a look of desire. It read that John Cena knew he was a mere paper-champion and that to be the real WWE Champion he needs to beat the real WWE Champion...CM Punk. If (and that's a huge IF for the company who kept Cena face in Nexus!) if they want Cena to be heel, what a perfect way to start this.
If I was booking (bear with me) I would do what WWE is doing and book Punk/Cena II at SummerSlam...but I would have Punk win. and then have Cena chase Punk, with frustration setting in and by the time of the Survivor Series (By the Way, in case you don't know, The Rock is confirmed for MSG) that's the night Cena finally, after 7 to 8 long years of "If Cena Wins We Riot"...Cena riots on We, the Universe of (To Quote Sheamus) Dubya Dubya EEEEE....Of course, that's I was a talented booker (Teach me, oh great Vince Russo!)
One last thing on this slide, quickly, is a nod to Rey Mysterio. Sure, a lot of people hate it when he's a Heavyweight Champion because it's a total disregard to weight classes (and I agree) but Rey Mysterio was a World Champion Performer tonight in having a good match with The Miz and a great Main Event match with Cena. The WWE Championship has a lot more meaning now on WWE programming and it's thanks to the last week of performances by Vince McMahon, CM Punk, Triple H, John Cena and for tonight, Rey Mysterio.
Thought #2: Returns of Jim Ross & John Morrison Sparks Great Side Storylines!!
RECAP of MOMENTS: Triple H announced that his has resigned a blockbuster WWE Superstar...Jim Ross. Michael Cole takes exception to this and almost gets fired/R-Truth, after confronting Triple H is informed by WWE's new cheif of operations that a superstar resigned for a piece of him. This leads to an attack on R-Truth by the returning John Morrison
THOUGHTS ON MOMENTS: I'll start with Jim Ross. Over the past year, the WWE Universe had to bear witness to Michael Cole's transformation from a relatively good commentator to a heel manager who buries people and argues with other commentators taking away from what's going on in the ring. Hopefully Jim Ross is back and he stays put. The WWE has tried to replace him a million times and it never works. Face-Michael Cole, Mike Adamle, The Coach, Al Snow (Yes this is true), Josh Mathews, Joey Styles and Heel-Michael Cole can't produce what the WWE wanted- A Jim Ross replacement who calls matches just like Jim Ross. So I'm in the majority, I believe when i say that I hold hope that WWE will let Jim Ross decide when it's time for Jim Ross to retire from commentary.
As for commentary on RAW, I'm expecting this to be the beginning of the end of Michael Cole's commentating days. Whether you want to believe it or not, Michael Cole could quite possibly become the dawn of a new day for managers in the WWE. Aside from Vickie Guerrero, has there been any prominent managers lately? I think Cole's on-screen character is a perfect way to get a heel over. So I think either that's gonna happen, or this will begin Michael Cole's departure from RAW and becoming the voice of SmackDown once again. Something I actually wouldn't mind since he seems calm on Friday nights.
Now, for R-Truth and John Morrison. A lot of people were pleased with this part of the show. I confess that I wasn't so upbeat for it. Because it was inevitable. Considering it was R-Truth taking out Morrison and being accredited with Morrison's injury in the midst of his heel turn, AND that they pretty much told us this was coming with Morrison's random highlight video last week...this was easy to call. I won't lie and say that this won't be good stuff, because I think it will be. Morrison and R-Truth can have good matches together, especially since I think Truth works better in the ring as a heel and it can be a really good match for SummerSlam (If you don't think Truth vs JoMo is happening at SummerSlam, I'd love to hear what you think will happen in the comments. Would welcome it!).
But I'm gonna pose this question (A prequal to my friday article on John Morrison) is now the time for the Shaman of Sexy to become a World Title Contender? And if not, then...should we say never?
Thought #3: ARE YOU SERIOUS, BRO!?
RECAP OF MOMENT: Michael Cole, pathetically mocking Triple H, is squashed in a match against Triple H's personally appointed opponent, Zack Ryder.
THOUGHTS ON MOMENT: Well...gee I don't know.
I've been a fan of Zack Ryder since the Major Brothers were lying about being brothers.
I enjoy the gimmick
I've subbed to his YouTube show at longislandicedz
I follow him on Twitter @ZackRyder
I even have a Zack Ryder T-Shirt! (U Mad R-Truth?)
The thing is this. It's true that Zack Ryder is getting a lot of press because of his internet show and this has ultimately resulted in his face turn, but I'm gonna blame us fans for not feeding into it when it counts...because we're normally quiet when he appears on RAW.
Think about it, the one real match he had in all of 2011 was against Kofi Kingston. That crowd was quiet. When he interrupted David Otunga and Michael McGuilicutty on the fourth of July. Well, honestly, that crowd was sleep because of Otunga and McGuilicutty...and as of this moment right now...in this moment...this is the moment...the moment of Zack Ryder's fifteen minutes running out.
It looks like he'll be a regular on RAW, but I think he needs to start having legit matches. Show off that moveset that actually wowed me at a RAW house show against Evan Bourne in Atlantic City a while back. He did all the work in giving his own character a mountain of intrigue (Something that I think he should get more kudos for than he already does) But I think it's time that WWE uses it more to their advantage. They have "something" here...don't know what it is but it is definitely "something"
Heck, if I was booking (again bear with me) I would have kept Ryder irrelevant and them BOOM...he wins the 40-Man Royal Rumble...Woo Woo Woo
I already talked a great length about Michael Cole...so all I will say is that the WWE should NEVER let that man wear an outfit like Triple H's ever again...YOU HEAR ME!? EVER!!!!!!!
Thought #4: The Miz Is Still Awesome...and Still Relevant!
RECAP OF MOMENTS: To Open RAW, Rey Mysterio defeats The Miz to become the WWE Champion. Later on, the Miz, in a backstage promo reveals his anger towards Triple H's decision making earlier in the show (namely the Mysterio/Cena booking)
THOUGHTS ON MOMENTS: Thank god! I'm not gonna lie to you, I was praying that The Miz would defeat Mysterio, even though all signed pointed towards Rey winning, and when Miz lost, my spirits were a little deflated.
Whether you love or hate this guy, The Miz has become a very entertaining character as well as a very good wrestler. However with all the focus slowing shifting to Cena, The Rock, Triple H, CM Punk and Vince McMahon...as well as Alex Riley constantly beating the Miz since Capitol Punishment (Last Monday being the exception) I feared the Miz was gonna through, what i like to call, The Swagg-Down.
The Swagg-Down is in reference to the fall of Jack Swagger's Main Event status. Follow me. He won Money in the Bank, cashed in to become World Champion, held it for months until eventually losing the championship, then after a re-match or two,would start falling down the card until eventually he starts headlining Superstars (Don't believe me? Watch for a Jack Swagger/Alex Riley match this Thursday) And that, my friends...is the Swagg-Down.
The Miz looked like he was heading there, with Alex Riley of all people, owning him. But they started having Miz, selling his MITB injury like a champ btw, win his way to last night's finals...only to lose to Rey Mysterio. Miz did a post-match attack, but that was just to tease an Alberto Del Rio cash in. Miz was an afterthought!
However, luck showed up eventually and before the main event, the Miz got the chance to do what he does best...talk. Better yet, he bashed Triple H for booking John Cena in the main event (Careful Miz, you might cause yourself a face turn) But the thing about his promo, it reminded me so much of when Chris Jericho, back in 2003 started to bash Stone Cold Steve Austin as a general manager, eventually leading to a Survivor Series match that got Austin "fired." Miz channeled his inner Jericho (And let's be honest, The Miz, with his suits, attire, look and demeanor comes across as Jericho's younger brother, or better yet, apprentice). But because of this, I get a feeling that The Miz is gonna be a huge pain in HHH's backside moving forward...and this is a pain that this Mizfit will enjoy...watching
Thought #5: The Rest of RAW (Triple H's Address, Del Rio, Kofi, Bourne, Dolph)
Well let's analyze this moment for moment.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Evan Bourne - I have no idea why, at the end of the match, Dolphin Ziggles screamed into the mic, "Follow That" It felt kind of unscripted. And I also felt that Dolph didn't have that great of a match with Evan Bourne to be bragging. By the wayz, is this like the 50th time these two had a match together this year? Can they, like...you know...NOT face each other for a while. I didn't enjoy the segment because it followed Mysterio/Miz...a great match with superstars who were the same builds of Ziggler and Bourne. Kind of a rough spot. But hey, at least Dolph's finally using his remixed theme.
Divas Segment - Sadly, I enjoy the Keith Stone Commercials. Sadly I marked out when Keith Stone appeared on RAW. Proudly, I was happy that he was the reason the Bella Twins didn't wrestle and subsequently Maryse and Melina let us know that they still are employed. I like Melina's look lately, but they REALLY need to use like 30 seconds of the 5 minutes Divas get to develop her. Other than that, I enjoy when the Divas show up, because it's become a past-time in Wrestling to take a piss when divas go out to the ring. (Don't worry, I don't hate Diva wrestling, I just want the Divas WRESTLERS featured more -- like Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Melina to an extent, Tamina can actually go...heck I can handle botchy Gail Kim!) I hope Kharma can revive the division like they planned. Too bad I gotta wait a year to find out. Til' then, I'm a pisser!
State of WWE - I touched on it a lot throughout, but one thing I want is the look of RAW to change a little bit more. Maybe a new RAW logo. I've got my suspicion that a new theme and open video will debut soon. I just want Triple H to shake it up a little more than he already did. I mean, don't get me wrong, his first night in charge of RAW, here's his stats: Mysterio's WWE Champion for an hour. He brings back John Morrison and Jim Ross. He successfully mocks R-Truth with ease. The show ends with the appearance of CM Punk and a staredown of TWO WWE Champions. A pretty good start, I'll admit. But I'm hoping for more rumblings in the coming weeks.
Del Rio vs Kofi Kingston: I will admit that I missed the match so I have no idea how good it was. All I know is Del Rio was victorious, avenging his loss from last week. Way to kill Kofi's momentum again, WWE...
MATCH RESULTS: (out of five stars)
1) WWE Championship: Rey Mysterio defeats the Miz (***)
2) Dolph Ziggler defeats Evan Bourne (1.5)
3) Kelly Kelly & Eve defeats Melina & Maryse (zero)
4) Zack Ryder defeats Michael Cole (squash)
5) Alberto Del Rio defeats Kofi Kingston (unrated)
6) WWE Championship: John Cena defeats Rey Mysterio (3.75)
MY OVERALL SHOW RATING—(B-)
I thought this was a very good followup RAW from last week's madness. Because of Miz's comments I suspect Mysterio vs. Miz for SummerSlam, which I'm fine with. I can't wait to find out what "Follow That!" meant.
Next Week, we're getting the world's most dangerous match where injuries can definitely occur—a women's battle royale. I wonder if JR and King are the only two calling RAW from now on, and if so, I can't wait to see where Michael Cole goes.
Hopefully, Zack Ryder gets an opportunity to break through on RAW next week and I pray he doesn't fall into a feud with Cole. I wonder if Del Rio/Cena is still the match for SummerSlam, if so, then where's the CM Punk angle going?
Alright, that's it for me, AJ Dwayne. Follow me on Twitter @IAmAJDwayne. Like me on Facebook (Search "AJ Dwayne"), Follow my Tumblr (ajdwayne.tumblr.com) and also, follow Robert Aitken on Twitter @ShaksWithAiks.
I'll be back with a "3 Thoughts of Superstars" article Friday morning. Until then, take care and spike your hair!