WWE RAW July 11, 2011 Live from Boston, MA
OPENING SEGMENT: CM PUNK’S CONTRACT NEGOTIATION
CM Punk proves once again that his finger is on the pulse of forward thinking, doing so by lugging a Jimmy Hart-standard megaphone to the ring, should WWE cut off his live mic. Punk’s speech, reiterating the points he made the previous time he had open season on the stick. Following that, Punk entertained the idea of Vince McMahon offering him a crazy-good contract to stick around, and intimated that Vince may need to join his own personal Kiss My A$# club. This brought out John Cena, to a gi-normous mixed reaction, to stand up to Punk, essentially to tell him that victory on Sunday is by no means guaranteed. After the two exchanged pleasantries, the Raw GM, via Michael Cole, said that Vince was on his way to the arena, and that Cena would have a match tonight: a handicap match.
MATCH 1: JOHN CENA VS. MICHAEL MCGILLICUTTY/DAVID OTUNGA (NON TITLE HANDICAP MATCH)
I’ll bet I’m the only one that remembers that Cena and Otunga are former Tag Team Champions. In any event, this was one of the better outings from the Nexus duo, as Cena being placed in a vulnerable position made from some good double teaming (particularly the the Manhattan Drop/dropkick combo). Of course Cena prevailed, which should surprise no one, but he did the kids a solid by letting them hang tough. In the end, the AA dropped McGillicutty, and the crowd shockingly got behind Cena as it went along, culminating with a nice pop for the win.
WINNER: John Cena via pinfall (Attitude Adjustment)
RATING: 6/10 (Decent action and a fair amount of time, so thumbs up here)
VIGNETTE RUNDOWN: Mark Henry is a monster, Drew McIntyre does a funny Vince impression, and Vince needs to lay off the Cosmo Kramer tanning bed.
MATCH 2: KELLY KELLY VS. MELINA (NON TITLE MATCH)
I wonder what the all time scorecard is for “locker room hookups” between these two. Match is merely an excuse for Kelly to go into Money in the Bank strong, and Melina (once the alpha diva) is squashed after generic babyface offense, including the Herpes-inducing stinkface. K2 finishes easily. The Bellas adding flatly-stated insults after the match doesn’t exactly add enthrall, but the beatdown by the twins makes up for it. Eve gets involved, and is taken out as well. Generic build, tepid execution mostly.
WINNER: Kelly Kelly via pinfall (K2)
RATING: 3/10 (Just there, and I’m not particularly excited for the PPV match)
IN RING SEGMENT: THE MIZ
The Miz does the Shawn Michaels Memorial Ladder Climb to commemorate Money in the Bank on Sunday, and basically cuts the same promo he’s done the last year or so. Jack Swagger interrupts, and it’s another tradition: everyone in a multi-man match comes out to interrupt the previous guy. Evan Bourne is next, then Kofi Kingston, then R-Truth (just to add life, and to confess his fear of spiders on ladders), Alex Riley (doesn’t get to speak), and Alberto Del Rio. The anonymous GM makes a six man: Miz, Swagger, and Truth vs. Riley, Kofi, and Bourne. It’s amazing how when matches are made, even the matchmakers keep the faces and heels segregated.
RATING: 6/10 (Generic speak, except for R-Truth’s beautiful dementia)
MATCH 3: EVAN BOURNE/KOFI KINGSTON/ALEX RILEY VS. THE MIZ/JACK SWAGGER/R-TRUTH
Pretty generic six man to start, with Evan Bourne playing the face in peril until Kingston took over. Crowd’s starting to wane energy-wise a bit, after such a hot opening earlier in the night. Kofi then fell into peril, leading to a second heat segment, so it looks like we have an extended match. Kingston did add a nice double DDT on Truth and Swagger as they prevented him from tagging. Riley finishes Swagger with an Implant DDT, but we get a chaotic brawl after the match to heighten the selling point, complete with Del Rio getting involved.
WINNERS: Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston, and Alex Riley via pinfall (Implant DDT)
RATING: 6/10 (Wouldn’t marry it, might buy it a drink. Good enough)
MATCH 4: BIG SHOW VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER/DREW MCINTYRE (HANDICAP MATCH)
Hey, Lawler made an eyeliner joke instead of a fat joke for Vickie. Okay, I can live with that. Big Show’s WMD shirt looks like something from some watered down T-Shirt Hell wannabe site. The match begins as an excuse to have Show squash two opponents to look strong for his match with Mark Henry (complete with Dolph hiding like a coward). Show took Drew up the ramp and smashed him into portions of the set just to establish dominance. As he went to chokeslam Drew off the stage, Henry came barreling in, tackling Show off the stage and onto part of the production area. Both men selling being badly hurt (especially with a nice diving bump by Henry) made this quite realistic, and actually makes for an interesting encounter Sunday. Henry ended up hobbling away, whereas Show’s condition is unknown.
RATING: 7/10 (Short match, but fun post match angle)
What can I say? Punk played off Vince McMahon better than anyone since The Rock was in his prime a decade ago. Instead of being the generic supervillain heel, McMahon was forced to play a tweener, a helpless boss and an uncaring clod as Punk laid out WWE’s problems, demanded an apology, and made Vince squirm. McMahon played vulnerable well, and Punk cut his second great promo in the past two weeks. Then before Vince could cave in to Punk’s demands (ICE CREAM BARS!), Cena interrupted to point out Punk’s hypocrisy for putting himself first. The two bickered, pointing out how each other lost sight of each other’s true identities, and the crowd hung on every word, before Cena hit him after Punk pointed out how Cena is no longer the “underdog” as he portrays himself. Punk tore up the contract, declaring that he no longer wanted to be there after realizing that he’s tired of this same old crap.
SEGMENT RATING: 10/10 (Yeah, you’re buying this show too)
OVERALL: Hot show with great book-ending angles to take us to Money in the Bank, one of the most anticipated WWE PPV’s in a long time. If this show didn’t sell you, I don’t know what the hell can.
Full WWE Monday Night RAW 7/11/11 Results…
The Big Show vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre ended in a no-contest
Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston, and Alex Riley defeated R-Truth, Jack Swagger, and The Miz
Kelly Kelly defeated Melina
John Cena defeated Michael McGillicutty & David Otunga
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for WrestlingNewsSource.com and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.
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