Monday, July 18, 2011

The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 07/11/11 (Punk Talks)

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I wrote this live on Monday night. Live from Boston, Massachusetts this is the Raw Deal…
The show started with a videos, but it got interrupted by CM Punk. He was wearing a Nexus t-shirt. He came out to his own song. He had a megaphone with him. Cue Jimmy Hart rumors. He asked us if he had our attention now. He summarized the last few weeks. Then he delivered a great quote: “I have the balls to say things that nobody else has the balls to say.” He mentioned that the megaphone was a backup in case his microphone got cut off. He did so by talking into the megaphone into the microphone. By the way he sat down for much of the promo. Then he got up.
Punk mentioned that Vince is desperate to re-sign him. He claims that finally Vince realizes he’s the “I made WWE socially relevant.” He’s not talking about the fans, he’s talking about the real world. Punk claims two reasons why WWE gets in the headlines: He said WWE got mentioned because Punk spoke his mind and because of people died. He claims ESPN Radio and Jimmy Kimmel want to know what he has to say. He finds it funny that while he has one foot out the door that Vince finally wants to give him what he wants.
He sat back down again. The crowd chanted “CM Punk” for him. He says that what he wants tonight is for Vince McMahon to come down to the ring to have a contract negotiation.
John Cena comes out to the hometown pop. Punk spoke on the megaphone while Cena’s music played. That was funny. Cena’s all serious, so he told Punk to talk to him. He says that the WWE title has been “far too ugly for far too long.” Crowd cheered. Punk goes on a rant. Cena says we’ve been waiting five years to hear that Punk has a set of balls. Good line.
It’s time for Cena to talk. Tells Punk that he’s no pushover. He brings up the best wrestler line. Punk says he’s the best wrestler in the WORLD. Cena says he’s the best because I have this (the WWE title) and I earned it. He claims that a lot of people thought he couldn’t hang with them. He listed names like HHH, HBK, JBL, Eddie Guerrero and others as guys who thought they could beat him but ended up falling. Cena says he thinks he’s going to Money in the Bank to whip Punk’s ass.
The GM buzzed in to say that Vince McMahon is en route to negotiate with CM Punk. Why is Vince never at the show on time? The GM says Cena’s going to compete in a very special match next. Punk on the megaphone: “Good luck.”
Great promo. Punk was masterful on the microphone again. He really did a great job of getting his points across and the fans were behind him. He definitely has a future as a babyface sooner or later. Cena did a very good job too. Loved the use of balls and ass in the promo too. It made it edgy instead of the usual campy stuff that we tend to see on Raw. That was an awesome use of 15 minutes to open the show to set the table for what’s to come later in the show and on Sunday.
I totally missed the next segment. Let’s blame technical difficulties for it. Yeah that will work. We got the start of the next match.
John Cena vs. Michael McGillicutty & David Otunga
This match went on for a few minutes and then they went to commercial. I got my technical difficulties fixed after the break. I didn’t miss much.
Back from break, the tag champs worked over Cena. He made the Superman comeback. He put McGillicutty in the STF. Then he hit the AA on him while throwing Otunga out of the ring.
Winner: John Cena
Analysis: * Predictable booking. Cena wins what could be his “last” match on Raw. McGillicutty lasted longer in the STF than Miz did at some points during his feud with Cena.
They hyped the McMahon-Punk contract negotiation later on.
Back from break they hyped with Lawler plugging all the social media stuff. Cole mentioned Boston is where WrestleMania 14 (Austin vs. Michaels) emanated. Then they plugged a Syfy show on Friday that Edge will be a guest on.
They threw to a video package highlighting the Mark Henry vs. Big Show match at Money in the Bank that is giving Vince a Bigmangasm. It’s actually been a decent feud for the most part even though Henry’s technically a SmackDown guy while Show is a Raw guy.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler had a chat. Dolph told Vickie that Vince should fire Punk & Cena because Ziggler would then be the best champion on Raw as the US champion. Then they mocked Vince with some weird imitations. Then Drew McIntrye walked in. He joined Ziggler & Guerrero in making fun of Vince. They ripped on his age, his hair and his breath among other things. Do they think that he doesn’t watch the show? Then Vince McMahon walked in. What a shocker. He says that they are two of his biggest rising stars. He heard what they said, so he booked Dolph & Drew in a handicap match against Big Show. He asks them for a mint because he doesn’t want to have BAD BREATH, which he says to their face. They mocked his breath, so that’s his revenge.
Scott Stanford walked up to Vince to ask him what he thinks, claiming that the entire world wants to know what he thinks. Vince says that the entire world can go to hell. Then he walked away.
That entire segment didn’t work for me. I’m sure Vince loved it, but it wasn’t very funny. One match in 45 minutes of show so far.
Plug: TJR Radio debuts this Wednesday from 10pmET to 12amET with my buddies The Ace, Frank The Clown and myself. It will happen once a month. Call in. Skype. Listen. Info is HERE.
Back from break, Melina was in the ring. She’s still employed? The Bellas were on commentary. They mentioned Kelly vs. Brie at Money in the Bank.
Kelly Kelly vs. Melina
I’m serious. Melina’s still in WWE? I don’t remember when she’s been used in anything useful. Melina put her in some kind of arm vice. Can Kelly sell moves in a way other than screaming as loud as she possibly can? She Kelly’d up after a minute of Melina offense, hit all of her signature spots and got a neckbreaker for two. Melina goes for her kick, Kelly moves, yells “COME ON!” and wins with the K2 in about two minutes.
Winner: Kelly Kelly
Analysis: DUD Way too short to be anything.
The Bellas go in the ring to mock Kelly. They call her too skinny. They say that she needs Proactiv for her face. Then Kelly attacked. Kelly goes into her selling mode of yelling loudly. Eve comes out to save Kelly. The Bellas take care of her. Why are the Bellas mocking Kelly for being skinny when they are equally as skinny?
This feud is awful. Please bring out Beth Phoenix to destroy all of them. They invest two minutes in a match, then they have trash talking that is reminiscent of girls in grade five.
Coming up next is The Miz.
It’s promo time as The Miz comes in to push the Money in the Bank ladder match. There are ladders all around ringside and inside the ring. The red briefcase is also there. Cole mentions that Twitter was down for 20 minutes because the WWE Universe crashed it. Sure.
The Miz sits on top of the Ladder to cut a promo bragging about all of his success. He says he knows what it means to take this path to be WWE Champion. He says none of his opponents have ever done it the way he has…I assume he means the MITB route which isn’t true because of Jack Swagger in the match. He knows what it takes to be a champion. Cue Jack Swagger. He says he’s also cashed in the contract. He says he’s going to do it again. Nobody believes him as Miz asks “really?” many times. The crowd does it too. He says people don’t remember Swagger winning. Evan Bourne comes out with a microphone. He says he’s going to steal the show and win Money in the Bank. That ten second promo was the longest of his WWE career I think haha. Kofi Kingston is next. He grew up in Boston, by the way. He puts over the match and the significance of it. He mentions Edge retiring early because of matches like this.
The next one out is R-Truth: “Surprise, surprise, surprise.” He says that two weeks ago he beat John Cena and that “all you Little Jimmy’s – y’all saw it.” R-Truth says he’s scared of heights (afrophobia) and then he has arachnophobia, a fear of spiders, too. This was silly, but Truth’s gimmick is a joke by this point, so it’s okay with me. SAY IT TO MY FACE time as Alex Riley runs out. Miz leaves the ring. There’s Alberto Del Rio in a Mercedes. He says he’s already #1 contender and that Cena is afraid of Del Rio. He says now he has to do it all over again to show us that it’s his destiny to become WWE Champion. He’s going to teach all of us a lesson of destiny. His music played before his promo finished.
Shockingly, with most of the guys in the ring in their ring gear we got an email from the GM. It’s Miz, Swagger & Truth vs. Riley, Bourne & Kingston. It starts after the break. Where’s the 8th man in the match, Rey Mysterio?
This segment was alright. I understand promoting MITB by having all of them talk, but the promos were way too generic. Also why does Del Rio lose his #1 contender status? That’s lame. I think he’ll win the match anyway.
Who do you have winning Raw’s MITB ladder match? I wrote a column about it and you can vote in the poll here:
The Miz, R-Truth & Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne & Alex Riley
Back from break, the heels are working over Bourne. At one point, Michael Cole said that Bourne hadn’t been in Money in the Bank before. Then he was quickly corrected, likely in his headset, by pointing out that this will be Bourne’s third MITB match. Lawler mocked him for it. Bourne hit a nice knee strike on Truth to hot tag Kingston. He hits all his offense on Truth and hits a froggy crossbody. Miz breaks up the pin. Truth hits a clothesline to Kingston that send him out to the floor. There’s another commercial spot.
Back from break, Kingston is still the babyface in peril. Basically they worked on Bourne for a while and now they are working on Kingston for a while. It’s obviously the smart move when the other option is Alex Riley, who isn’t very good at selling moves especially compared to those two. Kingston hits a double DDT on Truth & Swagger that was very impressive. Hot tag to Riley who hits a spear on Swagger followed by a spinebuster. Hiptoss on Miz. The match breaks down. Riley gets the feet up to block the Swagger Bomb and Riley hits his DDT to pin Swagger and win the match.
Winners: Riley, Bourne & Kingston
Analysis: **1/2 I didn’t time it, but it felt like 15 minutes or so. A formulaic tag match that makes the fans happy by having the babyfaces win. Riley’s momentum continues.
Post match, everybody hit their big moves and finishes. Del Rio came out of nowhere in his pink shirt. He attacked everybody with a ladder. He stood alone in the middle of the ring to end it. No Mysterio.
They aired a video package highlighting the Punk/McMahon/Cena promos from the past two weeks.
Ziggler & McIntyre walk out. They take on Big Show after the break.
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Big Show
They replayed the Mark Henry cage attack on Big Show from two weeks earlier. Show is wearing a shirt that says “W.M.D.” on it. He’s a Weapon of Mass Destruction. After Show slammed McIntyre, Drew yelled “God you’re killing me!” That was funny. Cole is doing the old JR thing of talking about how big Show’s chest and fists are. We know who Big Show is. He’s been in WWE for 12 years. The act like he’s a rookie. He chases McIntyre out of the ring. Meanwhile, in the ring the bell rings.
Winner: Ziggler & McIntyre
Analysis: DUD Not much of a match. I assume Ziggler wins via countout.
Post match, Big Show goes to chokeslam McIntyre off the side of the stage. Out of nowhere Mark Henry shows up and he charges into Big Show & McIntyre. All of them go crashing into the mats below. The refs check on Show & Henry. There’s also one checking on Drew McIntyre, but the cameras don’t care about that at all. They replayed it a few times. Decent spot although the crowd didn’t care too much.
They went to commercial with Show & Henry selling the pain while laying down on whatever kind of mat that WWE set them up with. It looks like they’re a couple of kids that ate too much candy while putting their hands on their bellies. It’s cute. Haha. What was the point of Ziggler in this match? Why isn’t he in Money in the Bank? The other question is will anybody care about McIntyre? Doubt it.
They showed Mark Henry getting helped by refs. He didn’t want them to help. In the background it looked like legit doctors were checking on Drew McIntyre. No mention of it. Drew is so low on the roster right now.
They replayed Del Rio dominating the end of the tag match that took place earlier.
Money in the Bank highlight video package. This was awesome. They should have had this airing for weeks instead of that stupid commercial where Big Show is reading a story to Hornswoggle. It’s shocking that they put over some huge spots by people who don’t work there anymore like Shelton Benjamin.
They plugged Money in the Bank with the following matches:
- Raw Money in the Bank
- Smackdown Money in the Bank
- World Title Orton vs. Christian
- WWE Title Cena vs. Punk
There are other matches, but they don’t matter obviously. We’ll have a TJR staff prediction column at on Friday most likely.
They showed McMahon & Punk walking to the ring from different areas in the building.
Aside from the opening promo this was a weak Raw. I expect a strong ending.
They plugged that Smackdown was the most watched show on Syfy for 40 consecutive weeks. They’re also getting the lowest ratings that WWE has ever got for Smackdown, I’m pretty sure. Get them out off of Friday.
CM Punk Contract Negotiations
Vince McMahon time. He walks out three different times to a decent pop. On the fourth try he gets a bigger pop as Cole applauds loudly for him. Remember when Lawler used to be pro-McMahon? That’s when he was great. Cole thinks Vince will shake his hand. He doesn’t. Then Vince shakes the hand of John Cena’s dad at ringside. Finally he goes into the ring, which has a table, two chairs, two microphones and a red carpet in the ring. “I’m Vince McMahon damnit let’s hear it.”
He mentions that he would never join the CM Punk “Kiss My Ass” club. Lots of ass usage tonight. He talks about how he doesn’t like negotiating contracts in public. “I wonder what CM stands for? I got the Punk part right.” I’m pretty sure it means Chicago Made. It could also be Chick Magnet. Ask the divas. He’s had a successful run with the women of wrestling. Hi Beth Phoenix, how you doing?
McMahon offers Punk a handshake. He doesn’t shake his hand. Vince sits down saying that everything is in order and that Punk’s lawyers looked it over. Punk goes: “What a maneuver!” Ha. Mocking Vince’s bad announcing. Punk says his lack of faith in John Cena is why he’s doing this. Vince can’t live with himself if Punk takes the WWE Title out of WWE after Money in the Bank.
Vince called him Phil. He says if you want to open it up then let’s open it up. Punk says he’s got a new contract. He’s already signed it. He wants Vince to sign it. “You want to hear a couple new perks?” Vince: “Don’t push me.” Punk says provision number one is that he gets to push him. He pushes him a couple of times. He says if Vince doesn’t listen to him
Provision #1: First class travel isn’t good enough. He wants his own jet.
#2: He wants his face will be on everything like the titantron, turnbuckles – he wants everything with his face on it. He wants him to bring back the WWE Ice Cream bars. Huge pop for those. They were classic! Crowd cheers.
#3: He wants WWE Films to start production on The Chaperone 2 except that his will be funny and successful. Mocking Triple H there.
#4: He says his match at WrestleMania will be the main event, not Dwayne’s match. That’s the Rock, in case you don’t watch crappy Disney movies – says Punk.
He says the last provision is that Vince will apologize for suspending him and for being one of the biggest hypocrites he’s ever seen. He says as far as the anti-bullying campaign goes, Vince is one of the biggest bullies he’s ever seen. “CM Punk” chant starts. Vince shakes his head no.
Punk mentions his friends being fired like Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows. “I am CM Punk and I am the voice of the voiceless. You will apologize and you will like it.”
Vince tells him to calm down. The crowd is really getting behind Punk here. This definitely feels like it’s going in the direction of CM Punk as a babyface. Punk tells Vince to sign the contract. Vince wants him to get it over with. Punk knocks the table over. Punk says he’s in touch with what the people want and he thinks that Boston wants an apology. Vince: “Sorry. I’m sorry.” Punk: “WHAT? If there
Vince: “I apologize you son of a bitch.” Punk says that was better than winning the World Title three times. I agree especially since Vince went into gravelly voice mode.
Punk: “Vince McMahon apologized to CM Punk. Sign it before the stock plummets some more.”
There’s a “Colt Cabana” chant as Vince is about to sign the contract. Cena’s music starts up again. No signing yet.
Cena tells him that Sunday night in Chicago is when Punk walks out on them. Cena says they’re like a bunch of spoiled brats. Then he goes into spoiled brat mode. Cena says he hates Vince too and wants to rip his face off. Then he goes into some story about crap that wasn’t funny. He says the people paid good money to be there at the show. Cena claims Punk is a hypocrite because he will ask the folks if Vince should apologize, but all he wants is to walk out.
Cena mentioned that there was a man who said he was finally home and never leaving again. Cena tells Punk he knows he’s not that guy. Cena tells him that he’s lost sight of everything. Punk claims he’s the underdog. He mentions WrestleMania 22 when he was part of Cena’s entrance holding a phony Tommy Gun during that mobster entrance. He claims that Cena thinks he’s the underdog and
He points out that Cena’s father and wife are in the front row. How many times have they mentioned Cena’s wife on the show? He claims that Cena isn’t the underdog, he’s the dynasty, you are what you hate, you have become what you hate: the New York Yankees. Then Cena punches him. Punk leaves the ring. He sits at the top of the ramp. We’re 15 minutes past the top of the hour.
Punk, while sitting at the top of the ramp, says that on Sunday night say goodbye to the WWE Title, say goodbye to John Cena and say goodbye to CM Punk. Then he rips up the contract. He drops the microphone and says: “I’ll go be the best in the world somewhere else.”
The show ends there.
I thought the promo was magnificent. The Punk-McMahon parts were especially great. I didn’t really like the Cena part or the baseball tie-in late, but I understood it with Punk saying he’s the underdog. Cena keeps acting like he’s not the favorite when he always is. Makes sense from a story standpoint. You can definitely tell that they are going in the direction of CM Punk as a babyface long term. It works for me.
I really have no idea what’s going to happen in that match on Sunday night. I love not knowing. My interest is very high. Looking forward to it.
Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk
2. John Cena
3. Vince McMahon
The show was about those three. They delivered.
6 out of 10
Last week: 5
2011 High Score: 9.1 (March 28)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10/May 9)
2011 Average: 5.81
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 5, 7, 5.5, 5
I’m giving it a 6 on the strength of two really good promos to start and end Raw, plus a pretty solid six man tag match midway through the show. Some of the other stuff was really bad or filler at best, so it was a tough one to grade from that aspect.
This was a show about three characters, one match and the future of CM Punk in the WWE. To me, what this show did was tell us that when CM Punk does come back (assuming he does leave) it will likely be as a babyface because the direction of his promos on Raw were babyface-like. They weren’t like a John Cena babyface. They were more like a Steve Austin type babyface, which would be refreshing to see.
The question is did those two Punk-Cena-McMahon promos get people more interested in Sunday’s Money in the Bank PPV? My answer would be a resounding yes. I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that. What CM Punk said about his speech two weeks ago creating interest about WWE was absolutely right. This is a great angle that they can’t afford to screw up. It has dollar signs written on it.
My opinion (and it has changed several times in the past few weeks) is that Punk will somehow beat Cena, McMahon will show up all angry about it, then Money in the Bank winner Alberto Del Rio will show up, attack Punk with the briefcase, get his title shot and leave Money in the Bank as the new WWE Champion. Cena doesn’t get fired because Punk leaves without holding the WWE Championship. Meanwhile, fans are in an uproar because Punk lost the title. McMahon can go on TV ripping on Punk for weeks until finally two or three months down the line (after he’s had a nice break) he returns as a triumphant babyface. That’s where I think this angle is going.
The other option is that Cena turns heel, sides with McMahon and Punk doesn’t stay away for too long. Personally I’d love that, but I don’t think Cena’s turning heel. If he does they can build up for it. I doubt that it’s happening on the weekend though.
That’s all for this week. There’s a lot going on this week. A rundown:
- TJR Radio debuts Wednesday night at 10pmET for two hours. You can call or listen in. Talk to me and my friends about Money in the Bank. The link is HERE. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’ll let loose and talk about a lot of different topics. It’s only a once a month thing, so this is your chance to talk to me.
- Money in the Bank PPV preview will be up likely on Friday morning. The TJR crew is joining me. You’ll be getting a lot of different predictions for it.
- On Sunday night I’ll cover Money in the Bank live at and I’ll post it on other sites after the show is done.


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