-So it’s another gimmick week, but thankfully just two hours long. WWE Raw Roulette is back, because the low buyrate for Over the Limit have scared Vince McMahon into gimmicking every show in the hopes that people will watch TV and be enticed to buy the pay per views. Of course, if you’re getting the “excess gimmicks” on TV, and that’s why you’re watching, why would you spend $50 on a PPV without the gimmicks?
-Live in Las Vegas. Home of broke mo-fos.
-Booker T’s manning the wheel. But he can’t provide his delightfully incorrect commentary from back there! Can’t Jerry Lawler man the wheel, or does he need constant supervision from a PO or something?
–Shawn Michaels is here, dressed as Larry the Cable Guy, because it’s important to have non-wrestlers clog the television shows, when you need the airtime to convince fans to buy those $50 PPVs. Do I sound grouchy tonight? I’m sorry. But if Shawn’s not carrying someone to a ****1/2 match, or slagging a midcarder while doped up on meds, then I don’t care.
-Shawn tells the fans he misses them, to a surprisingly lukewarm reaction. Maybe they’re just waiting for him to yell “GIT R DONE!” Shawn does plug his new hunting show (and I’m hoping he nails a deer with Sweet Chin Music), and is interrupted by CM Punk, Mr. Imperfect, and Jennifer Hudson’s Top.
-I just realized that Michaels has never had a true one on one match with Punk.
-After some more hemming, Shawn strikes Otunga with Sweet Chin Music, which in WWE is considered “destroying furniture”. Anonymous RAW GM declares that Punk must have a match tonight, and Booker spins up…..a “mystery opponent”, which is revealed to be Kane. Yeah, way to make the fans think they were getting Punk vs. Michaels. And Michaels nails Perfect Jr with a superkick, just because his dad ruined their SummerSlam ’93 match.
-Hey, remember when Booker and Kane and Shawn all feuded at different times? CONTINUITY! That’s like Ted Dibiase gave Randy Savage a scepter as a gift. You know, because they’re FRIENDS.
-Odd note: on the wheel, the “handicap match” option used to be the black and white “wheelchair” logo, but has since been changed. If you’re crippled, and that old logo being on the wheel offended you, maybe WWE isn’t the product for you.
-Promo video for 40 year old, bad ass Mark Henry. I love my cousin and all, but I think he’s run his course.
MATCH 1: CM PUNK VS. KANE
Big “CM Punk” chant, as the fans aren’t too thrilled to see Punk possibly put over upcoming youngster Kane on his way out. Slow match, heightened somewhat by Punk getting a nice high roundhouse to break a goozle. Cole’s plugging Twitters tonight like he’s getting fired if he forgets one. Punk rolls completely out of the ring on a Kane top rope attempt, and just leaves, because even he’s not interested in seeing Kane wrestle. Countout doth ensue.
WINNER: Kane by countout
RATING: 3/10. Well, that was a wonderful use of Punk.
-I just spun the wheel, and it landed on “ninety more minutes of reviewing this show”. EFF!
MATCH 2: SIN CARA VS. EVAN BOURNE
I’ll bet the wheel lands on a “Mason Ryan Replaces Sin Cara” match. The bell rings, and then the ref remembers “Oh yeah, we gotta spin the wheel!”. Booker rants like a maniac, and introduces Eve just to make me semi-happy. And it’s a “no count out” match, which is….fine. Booker: “IT’S ON LIKE NECKBONE!” Stevie Ray raises his glass. Technical sequence kicks things off, and both men exchange crazy counters. Bourne gets floored by a springboard knuckle throw, and a stalemate ensues. Bourne adds to the fun with a mushroom stomp for 2. Bourne does get rana’ed to the floor, and eats a headfirst tope, and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.
Cara takes a headscissors in the aisleway, which looked painful. Back inside, an exchange of magistrals leads to 2 counts. And more 2 counts. Screw this dead crowd. Evan takes out Cara with a spinning roundhouse, but misses Airbourne, and takes Cara’s headscissor crush for the pin.
WINNER: Sin Cara via pinfall (modified La Mistica)
RATING: 7/10. Fun stuff, although abbreviated. I appreciate their efforts. I dunno, Vince, I kinda enjoyed watching two little guys fly around. But I just buy your shows, so what do I know….
-Kofi Kingston gets a match with Dolph Ziggler for the US Title, and Vickie Guerrero jumps the line to spin the wheel. It gets “Players Choice”, so Kofi chooses…..no Vickie at ringside. It’s like Kofi watches the same show we watch, and just wants to improve things.
-The Raw MITB ladder match is named: Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio, R-Truth, The Miz, Alex Riley, Evan Bourne, and Jack Swagger. Okay, that could rule.
MATCH 3: KOFI KINGSTON VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (NON TITLE MATCH)
Vickie Guerrero tries to come out, but is immediately ejected. Lawler makes another fat joke, and I’m wishing for something of the colo-rectal variety for him. Seriously, it’s wrong and it’s not even accurate. Odd commercial break early on as Kofi takes a hard ringpost bump on the floor, and the crowd barely reacts. Did somebody die in the dark match or something?
We return to a chinlock. That’ll wake the crowd up. Dolph-Asser only gets 2 (Dumb Asser?) and this isn’t cutting a good pace. We’re getting the house show ads during this match, which is NEVER a good sign. Kofi dares pick up the pace and Kofi gets TIP out of nowhere for the win.
WINNER: Kofi Kingston via pinfall (Trouble in Paradise)
RATING: 4/10. Not good at all. Just slow and uninspired before the out of nowhere finish. I know both men can do far better.
-Booker T rambles to Maryse backstage, and Del Rio wants to know why he has to face Big Show again. I guess nobody explained the Big Show Midcard Mandate Principle to him. Del Rio gets Maryse to spin for him, and to his chagrin, it lands on steel cage. Do your worst, WWE. I watched through 1995, 2003, AND 2007! DO YOUR WORST!
MATCH 4: BIG SHOW VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO (STEEL CAGE MATCH)
No Ricardo Rodriguez makes me sad. Why do they remove character elements that make a character fun? (i.e. Armando Estrada with Umaga). ADR comes out in a Lamborghini, to little reaction. Lawler: “Have you ever seen Big Show pumped up like this?” You mean other than when he was told “Jericho’ll do all the work”? Typical house show offense ensues (smash into cage, heel tries early escape, etc). Del Rio picks the pace with a kick flurry, and then slows it down with a kneebar. Speaking of slow, here comes Mark Henry. Maybe Henry can try tearing the cage door off again, and fumble with the lock for 20 minutes. Del Rio steals Miz’s stunted DDT for 2. ADR tries an escape, but Show gets a superplex, which brightens things. Henry has trouble tearing the door off again (HOLY FLASHBACK!), but eventually undoes it, bringing it in as a weapon. Del Rio escapes through the open door.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio via escape
After the match, Henry sandwiched Show into the cage wall with the door, and the wall gives way, spilling Show to the floor! Nice! Holy (poop) chant ensues.
RATING: 6/10. Some nice spots, plus the spectacular money moment with the cage wall. I don’t ask for much. Pissed off Mark Henry is having some good moments.
-Maybe this show is turning the corner!
-*hears Kelly Kelly’s song*
-Maybe there’ll be a “piss in a sink” match here to give Kelly the advantage. But no, it’s a submission match. Will Kelly piss on Nikki until she has enough? It’s possible.
MATCH 5: KELLY KELLY VS. NIKKI BELLA (NON TITLE MATCH) (SUBMISSION MATCH)
Nikki works a long Fujiwara armbar, but Kelly thinks about the pleasantness of gumdrops and bunnies, and it keeps her going. Kelly then wins with a Boston “I Have” Crabs. Brie attacks, Eve saves, lather, rinse, repeat.
WINNER: Kelly Kelly via submission (Boston crab)
RATING: 0/10. I don’t have a Cornette-face emoticon.
–DID YOU KNOW: military personnel get free WWE tickets? Isn’t being in war zones hard enough on them?
-Rey Mysterio spins up, and it’s he and A-Ry vs. Miz and Swagger in a tornado match, and then…..DDP SHOWS UP! Huge “DDP” chant erupts, and he and Booker reminisce. Get Mysterio back in there, just so Schiavone can declare this the greatest night in the history of the sport. Ahh, damn, McIntyre’s here. Ahh, fun while it lasted. Then Shawn knocks him out. Thank you.
-Anti-Bullying ad plays, which is a nice change from the “go ahead and bully people, it worked for Hardcore Holly” campaign.
MATCH 6: THE MIZ AND JACK SWAGGER VS. REY MYSTERIO AND ALEX RILEY (TORNADO RULES)
True to form, the match is off to a quick scramble, with fast strikes. Not much story told, but at least the crowd’s warming up to it. Riley astonishes us with a top rope hip toss on Miz as it begins to break down….right before commercial. Of course.
We’re back, and the fans seem to want Mysterio to job. Weird. I’d be more into the match if the show hadn’t dulled me so badly by now. It’s a shame, because all four men are trying. Rey gets a dime drop on Miz, and uses trickery to wear down Miz and Swagger. Rey avoids a skull crush, Swagger stops the 619, and Riley gets a spinebuster on Swagger for 2. Whew! Rey avoids tapping to a Swagger anklelock, Rey hits the 619, Riley gets a floatover DDT, and Rey lands the splash to win!
WINNERS: Rey Mysterio and Alex Riley via pinfall (top rope splash)
RATING: 8/10. That was FUN. Should have been the 10 PM match, methinks.
-R-TRUTH! Booker: “Spin the damn wheel?” Truth: “Is fatback greasy?” Truth gets the table match, and it’s on! Truth is now talking to an imaginary friend, which I’m down with.
MATCH 7: JOHN CENA VS. R-TRUTH (NON TITLE) (TABLE MATCH)
The straight jacket/flak jacket looking thing that Truth is wearing is a nice touch. Dueling chants for Cena, which means the crowd’s awake at least. Cena does the modified fisherman early, so this should be short. Truth works a surfboard, two minutes in. Maybe John Morrison‘s “Truth has no endurance” cracks were a shoot. Truth hits a nice Osaka street cutter, and that leads to Truth going for a table.
Cena avoids a suplex through a corner table, and slams Truth into the steel steps as the fight spills outside. Cena gets the table in the aisle and brings it inside. As the AA is teased, CM Punk slides the table away and Cena lands the move through no table. Truth spears Cena through a table during the distraction to win.
WINNER: R-Truth via table break
RATING: 5/10. It was what it was.
CM Punk takes a mic to the stage, and begins a soul baring session. Punk admits he likes Cena, but doesn’t think he’s the best. Punk says that Cena kisses Vince’s ass worse than Hogan, but maybe not Rock. Punk says he’s the best “wrestler” in the world. Punk namedrops Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar in a rather eye-opening promo. Smark spooge is flowing tonight. Punk trashes the fans who cheer him (AMEN!!!!!!!!) and hits a raw nerve with that segment of the crowd. Then he name drops ROH and Colt Cabana. This is surreal. It’s a worked shoot, but it’s surreal nonetheless. Then he rips Johnny Ace, Stephanie, and Triple H, then they kill his mic, just to add to the fun, and then fade to black out of nowhere.
OVERALL: Well, the final angle is what made it work, even if it’s as “worked” as anything else. But man, did Punk have that audience listening. Decent matches here and there, but that promo, oh man that promo.
Something else, man.
Full RAW 6/27/11 Results…
R-Truth defeated John Cena in a Tables Match (non-title)
Alex Riley and Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz and Jack Swagger in a Texas Tornado Match
Kelly Kelly defeated Nikki Bella
Alberto Del Rio defeated The Big Show in a Steel Cage Match
Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match
Sin Cara defeated Evan Bourne in a No-Countout Match
Kane defeated CM Punk by countout
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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