Monday, August 15, 2011

WWE RAW 8/15/11

WWE RAW 8/15/11
August 15th, 2011
Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, California
Attendance: Unknown at this time

We're 24 hours removed from Summerslam and Alberto Del Rio's (somewhat) shocking WWE title win after another great Punk/Cena match ended with Punk retaining. Kevin Nash put a brutal post-match beatdown on Punk after his victory, which allowed Del Rio the chance to come out and strike while the iron was hot. There are a lot of questions going into tonight's show. What will become of the fact that Cena's leg was on the bottom rope when Triple H counted to three last night? Why did Kevin Nash jump Punk after his match? Was Triple H in cahoots with Nash and/or Del Rio? All of that plus Del Rio must defend his title against Rey Mysterio tonight! So keep refreshing the page for live results and analysis after every commercial break.

Your hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler

We open the show with a video package of the events that went down last night, followed by the familiar crunchy opening chords of Motorhead that brings out Triple H, our Chief Operating Officer. He has a microphone and acknowledges that people are upset about the events that went down last night. Hunter apologizes to the fans and John Cena for not seeing Cena's foot on the bottom rope at the end of the match. Triple H didn't have a problem with raising Punk's hand though. He addresses the idea that he was in cahoots with Nash, and shoots it down immediately, saying he had no part in Nash's post-match beatdown of Punk. Hunter says he texted Kevin Nash to come to RAW tonight, and he will indeed be at RAW tonight (decent pop for Nash). Triple H says he always delivers on his promises, and brings out our new WWE champion, Alberto Del Rio. They note that Del Rio's MITB win comes out on DVD this Tuesday (hint-hint).

Del Rio comes out and does his usual name shtick. The look on Del Rio's face is pure heel gold. He says he couldn't resist cashing in his contract after seeing Nash attack Punk last night. Del Rio gets some decent heat from the crowd as he introduces himself as the new undisputed WWE champion and promises to represent them all with respect, honesty, and passion. The crowd chants "619!" in relation to Rey-Rey. Del Rio says he'll take pictures with your kids and sign autographs in the back and the crowd really rips into him. It's obvious Del Rio is just having a blast playing it up as the over-the-top rich Mexican heel. He mentions his match against Mysterio and the crowd pops at his name. Del Rio claims that he loves Rey Mysterio and the 619 chants get even louder before he says what he really loves, which is beating Rey Mysterio. As a matter of fact, that's how he started his career in the WWE. He brushes Rey off as an viable contender and calls him a chihuahua before tossing the mic to the ground and taking off. This was a really good way to start the show as the crowd was giving Del Rio a ton of heat for his cheap title win, and it seems as though Del Rio's title reign is off to a good enough start here. We cut to commercial with a shot of Triple H heading into John Cena's locker room

Falls Count Anywhere Match
R-Truth vs. John Morrison

R-Truth has new music finally, a remix of some of his past themes basically. We get a little video package of Morrison saying that he wants to take down R-Truth on his terms. Both men lock-up to start and then tease hitting some of their signature spots on one another as Truth rolls up Morrison for a two count. Morrison sends Truth to the floor with a clothesline and then takes him out on the floor with a corkscrew plancha for a near fall. They brawl around ringside and Morrison launches himself off of the guard barrier with a Muay Thai knee for another two count. They both tease a suplex, but R-Truth delivers a gourdbuster to JoMo for his first near fall of the match as we cut to commercial. When we return we see a replay of Morrison getting back-dropped out of the ring to the floor during the commercial break. Neat moment as Truth looks over the crowd with a strange look on his face just as the camera focuses on a sign that reads "The New Face of Crazy" with a picture of Truth underneath it. Truth hits a savage running knee to Morrison against the guard barrier for another pair of near falls. Truth stomps away on JoMo and then clotheslines him into the crowd. They fight back towards the ring and Morrison scores a step-over enziguri for a two count. Truth eats another lariat and then Morrison gives him a suplex onto a chair, turns around and nearly takes his head off with a stiff Shining Wizard for the win at 7:14 (shown)! That was a flat out fun way to kick off the show and Morrison gets his heat back with a hard earned win over Truth in another unique and fun match. ***

When we return from the commercial break The Miz comes out to the ring with a microphone in his hand and points out Jared from Subway of all people...and yes, it's really that guy, and he does have a damn Subway sandwich in his hand. Miz of course puts him down and claims he can do Jared's job better than he can. He walks out to the first row to confront Jared, takes his sandwich (that rat bastard!) and Miz puts over the new chicken sandwich promotion Subway is doing presently, as if this were an audition. He claims the sandwich will trend on Twitter because he's The Miz, he's a star, and he will be a champion again. Oh and he's something else I forget. What was it? Oh, right, awesome. Good promo segment for Miz so that he doesn't get lost in the shuffle, but the blatant product placement is starting to become somewhat annoying.

Kevin Nash arrives at the arena in a limo and begins making his way into the building as we cut to commercial. When we return we see country musician Trace Adkins in the front row.

Kelly Kelly/Eve vs. Brie Bella/Nikki Bella

Kelly Kelly somehow still has her Diva's title, despite Beth Phoenix's efforts last night She gives Brie a bulldog and then delivers the dreaded stinkface of doom to her for a bit. The Bellas go right into their twin heel formula in the corner, trading quick tags and working over Kelly's left leg. Kelly's leg gets bent in a grotesque fashion and angle, but she still manages to give Brie a flapjack. Eve tags in and hands out a few dropkicks as well as a bicycle kick but then she gets jumped from behind by one of the Bellas. Eve counters a suplex attempt with a neckbreaker and then hits her moonsault to pick up the win at 3:07. Y'know maybe I'm getting ahead of myself here, but these ladies keep showing remarkable improvement week after week. After the match Beth Phoenix and Natalya come out and give Kelly and Eve a faux round of applause. **

Kevin Nash is introduced as a former WWE champion, a four time WCW champion, and one of the most influential and charismatic wrestlers in WWE history. Nash initially gets a decent pop as his name is mentioned, but when he actually comes out the crowd doesn't seem to respond as vocally as before. Good God I feel like I'm recapping a Nitro report, I'm relaying a Kevin Nash promo about main event hijinx! Nash reminds us of his friendship with Triple H. He says Triple H was gracious enough to give him tickets to Summerslam last night because he was in town anyways, and then he claims that he received a text message that read "Hey big man, can you do me a favor? No matter what happens in the main event, stick the winner for me." Nash says he misses getting back in the ring and then says that what he did to Punk last night was strictly business. He acts shocked that Triple H claims he had nothing to do with Nash's run in.

The opening chords of "Cult of Personality" hits the arena speakers and suddenly the former WWE champion CM Punk is making his way out onto the stage with a microphone in hand. He's pissed and he asks Nash that if Triple H asked him to jump off a bridge, would he? Because Punk thinks that would be good for business. Big CM Punk chant starts up as Punk says that he knows that Triple H and Kevin Nash both have no idea about what's good business for the WWE. Nash claims this is the first time they've ever spoken with each other, so he tells Punk to watch his mouth. Punk ponders whether Nash or Triple H are lying. Nash offers to show Punk the text and Punk shows him one of his own from his little sister "Shaleen" last night that reads "OMG Kevin Nash WTF, thought he was dead LOL". By god they've worked their interweb lingo into everything! Punk jokes about Nash's career being dead and then explains that he's not mad at Alberto Del Rio because he only did what Punk did in the past to win the WWE title, but he is mad at Nash for his actions last night. Nash calls him an "indyrific wannabe" and that he's been here 5 years and only been in two PPV main events? Punk scoffs at Nash's overtures by bringing up his famous quote about Eddie Guerrero being a "vanilla midget" and that it's not 1994, it's 2011. Nash says Punk should be thanking him for paving the way for him with all the guaranteed contracts, and then calls him a waffle house employee and tells him to take a shower. Punk is playful though and says what he did last night was not good for business. He cracks jokes at some of Nash's past failed gimmicks and then asks Nash if he wants to fight, because Punk is willing to fight him right now in San Diego. But of course, here come the blackshirt security force to cut Punk off. Punk says if everyone's out here then Triple H must be alone in the back, so he's going to go find out the truth about this whole situation himself.

Alex Riley vs. Jack Swagger

Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero join the guys at the commentary booth and we're not two seconds back from the break before they're already bickering. Swagger goes to work on Riley in the corner, but Riley responds with a fiery lariat. Swagger hits a Swagger Bomb on Riley for a two count. This match has some strange kind of heat going on all the while Dolph and Vickie are having couples therapy on commentary, completely taking me out of the match despite the great pumphandle slam Swagger delivers in the ring for a near fall. Jim Ross looks so comically despaired as the man in the middle of these knuckleheads. Riley gives Swagger a big spinebuster. Vickie leaves the commentary table and steals JR's hat while Riley gets another near fall in the ring. Vickie tries putting the hat on the referee's head, but he's not having any of her hijinx. Swagger shows off his remarkable strength by just swinging Riley around like a ragdoll for a bit before delivering the gut-wrench powerbomb for the win at 4:22. Cole notes this is Swagger's first victory on RAW in a month. The action itself was solid, but the focus was entirely on the commentary table so you'd never know it. **

After the commercial break Jack Swaggers thanks Vickie backstage for her help tonight He says that Vickie shouldn't have to prove anything to Dolph He starts hitting on her and then says that she should maybe think about expanding her roster with the implication of taking Swagger on. I'd actually like to see that as Dolph hasn't needed Vickie for a long time and Swagger could use the heat she brings.

We get a lengthy wrap-up of all the Summerslam red-carpet hype and they plug their anti-bullying campaign as well before the camera cuts to backstage where CM Punk is approaching Stephanie McMahon. Now a lot of people commented on my Summerslam report that Steph wasn't that old and I shouldn't have said that she "looks great for her age", but I guess I just had an old brain fart. I happens once in awhile, but I thought Steph was into her late 30s instead of her mid 30s as she is. Regardless, she looks oustanding for someone who has had several children as well. She says she's sorry about how Punk lost the title last night, but in the end people always get what they deserve. Oh no she didn't!

Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourne vs. David Otunga/Michael McGillicutty

Kofi's out first, sporting some clean new baby blue trunks. This is anon-title match I guess. Kofi and Hennig Jr. lock up to start and Kofi gives him some forearms before tagging out to Bourne, who delivers a nifty assisted hurricanrana followed by a leaping kick. Otunga and McGillicutty team up on Bourne in their corner as Cole gripes about his lovelorn past with Jack Swagger. Bourne teases the hot tag but eats a pair of lariats instead for a near fall. Bourne plays the babyface in peril for a bit longer, eating a nice snap suplex for another two count. King manages to work in a "That's what she said" joke to my amusement, and Kofi gets the hot tag finally and cleans house with all kinds of crazy high dropkicks. That crazy Kofi, always getting high. He hits a cross-body off the top for a two count. Kofi nails McGillicutty with an enziguri and Bourne finishes him off with the shooting star press at 4:44. Pretty good action for a short little non-title match, though it does no favors for the already heatless Otunga and McGillicutty. **

"Undisputed" WWE Title Match
Alberto Del Rio
© vs. Rey Mysterio

They're still calling the title the "undisputed WWE title", so we'll see if that sticks or not. Mysterio gets a great pop from the hometown crowd and it's obvious the idea behind this match here is to gauge how well a city with a large Hispanic demographic like San Diego will receive them, testing the waters for the upcoming WWE tour of Mexico. Don't be surprised if this is your big money-match on most of those tours (with Sin Cara thrown in perhaps as a wildcard). They do some nice counter wrestling early with some cradle attempts thrown in. Del Rio launches Rey into the corner, but Rey responds with a headscissors that sets Del Rio up for the 619. Del Rio escapes quickly and we cut to commercial break. When we return Del Rio is in the midst of trying to rip Mysterio's mask off of his head. Mysterio hits a dropkick and then delivers one of the most crisp tornado DDTs out of the corner that I've ever seen in my life. Rey hits a springboard crossbody for a two count. He tries a headscissors into a cradle attempt but that doesn't work either and Del Rio just kicks him in the face. Del Rio wraps his legs around Rey's waist and tries to wear Rey down while JR cracks jokes about Mexicans getting paid thirty cents an hour. Del Rio misses a dropkick attempt and crumbles to the outside floor, so Rey gives him a baseball slide dropkick and then a beautiful Asai moonsault to take Del Rio out completely Rey tosses Del Rio back into the ring and hits the seated senton followed by the headscissors to set up the 619 once again, but Del Rio cuts him off with a lariat. A brutal tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Del Rio only gets two, so he starts laying in closed fists on Rey's head. Del Rio hits his sickening signature step-up running enziguri on the top rope, but Rey still manages to kick out. Del Rio goes for the armbar, but Rey counters into a roll-up for two and ninety ninths! Del Rio tries for the armbar again but Mysterio gives him another hurricanrana into the ropes and then hits the 619 on Del Rio! He goes to follow it up with the big splash off the top, but Del Rio gets his knees up and manages to roll Mysterio up to retain at 9:57 (shown)! This was an outstanding first title defense by Del Rio as he took on his longtime rival and beat him clean in the center of the ring, which gives him some credibility with the title now. The match itself was fine work by both men, but probably notch below the great match Cena and Rey had a few weeks back. ***1/4

After the match Del Rio continues the attack on Rey's arm, seemingly trying to break it. He applies his signature armbar submission and wrenches away on Rey for a bit, when John Cena comes down to the ring to make the save for Rey to a big pop. Cena grabs a mic and says he's coming off of one hell of a weekend. Cena says he could be pissed off at Triple H for his shoddy refereeing job last night, but instead he chooses to be pissed off at Del Rio for taking advantage of Punk after their match last night. Cena calls Del Rio a target and says that now that he's the WWE champion, everyone is going to be his enemy now. Cena goes all Deebo on Del Rio (gimme that bike, n*gga!) and starts foaming from the mouth practically as he promises to whip Del Rio's ass whenever he gets the chance to, and that wraps up the show tonight.

Bottom Line: This was a great show to cap off a good PPV last night. The angle with Punk and the Kliq is going to be very polarizing, but if they play their cards right it could make Punk an even bigger star and I really like where that whole program is heading. We got a good match to open the show and another excellent television main event to cap it all off, so I really can't say anything bad about tonight's show at all. Great show and an easy Thumbs Up.

Score: 8.5/10


Marc Elusive said...

Good post; I enjoy your reviews. How long you been writing for 411?

Colin Rinehart said...

Hey thanks Marc, I've been writing for 411 since early April, mostly doing video reviews before taking over the TNA PPV duties and now both the RAW and Smackdown duties. I always dig your Superstars report man.

Anonymous said...

Your reviews are awesome, man. But I wouldn't rate ADR-Rey so high. Rey's knee injury looks to be killing him, and therefore the speed he usually goes with is non existent. I'd give it around **1/2. Rey really needs to take some time off too. That knee isn't gonna get better working 15 minute matches every week.

Anonymous said...

I hated SummerSlam, but this was a good Raw. WWE needs to put ADR over really strong and they made a good start on that. Del Rio had credibility earlier this year before he was buried by Edge and Christian, but right now he's yet another champion that isn't ready to hold the belt. For all of TNA's flaws (and although I'm a TNA fan first, I recognize that TNA's product has flaws, if fewer than the WWE or ROH products), at least they haven't stuck the belt on anybody who wasn't ready for it (their problem is that they give the belt to the likes of Sting and Mick Foley, rather than the likes of Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler). It appears that they might put the belt on Crimson at BFG, but the BFG poster they just released features Angle, RVD, and Beer Money above the "Bound for Glory" logo with Hogan, Sting, and Flair below it. If Crimson VS Kurt Angle is our BFG main event, I'm pretty sure they'd at least stick Crimson on the poster for the event. Usually, TNA hints at future booking plans with their PPV posters (the Against All Odds poster, released before Genesis, had a subtitle "Is Immortal truly forever?" hinting that Immortal wasn't going to have a very good month leading up to that event).

I don't understand why WWE couldn't have put Truth VS Morrison and Miz VS Mysterio on the PPV. That would have been better than that awful singer or sticking Mark Henry on a PPV (maybe we could have gotten Christian VS Sheamus or a 3-way instead of Christian VS Orton XVIII or whatever number they're on now).

I like that WWE is bringing back Triple H, Kevin Nash, and Stephanie McMahon to TV. I have no problem with seeing older wrestlers so long as they aren't running around as the World Champion or getting constant World Title matches (TNA does a good job with their usage of Hogan and Flair and I liked what they did with Sting and Nash in 2010, but I don't like Sting's recent mega-push at all). What kind of shape are X-Pac and Scott Hall in? What about Road Dogg and Billy Gunn?