The John Report: WWE Raw Deal for 06/27/11 (Raw Roulette)
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport
I wrote it live tonight. Live from Las Vegas, Nevada (my favorite city in the world) this is the Raw Deal…
Here’s a look at the Raw Roulette wheel that WWE.com posted earlier today. Click on the image if you want a bigger view.
Here are the options: -WWF Blast from the Past Match. -Steel Cage Match. – Pillow Fight. -Lumberjack Match. -Handicap Match. -Song and Dance Match. -Submission Match. -Trading Places Match. -Strange Bedfellows Match. -Special Guest Referee Match. -Tables Match. -No DQ Match. -Pole Match. -Bodyslam Match. -Player’s Choice Match. -Tornado Match. -Blindfold Match. -Falls Count Anywhere Match. -Flag Match. -Mystery Match.
I’ll be back shortly after 9pmET to begin this week’s Raw Deal.
The show begins with Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introducing us to Raw Roulette. Backstage, Booker T. is spinning the wheel as the host of the roulette segments I guess. There’s Shawn Michaels’ music. Huge pop for the 2011 WWE Hall of Famer.
Michaels comes out talking about how he missed us. He said it was the fans that helped make him the showstopper, the icon, the main event, Mr. WrestleMania and now Mr. Hall of Fame. He’s not the Raw guest host, he’s just a dude showing up. He mentioned that he’s not like a Raw guest host that plugs stuff, but he just plugged his new hunting show on the Outdoor Channel that starts on Tuesday night. I’m sure details are somewhere if you’re interested. Then CM Punk’s music starts. He walks out with Otunga & McGillicutty, the tag champs. No Mason Ryan because of injury, says Cole.
“You just couldn’t stay away, huh?” says Punk. He said Shawn’s personality is addictive. Then he asks if we’re happy to see him and the crowd cheers. He mentions his last day is July 17 as the crowd cheers. I booed. This better be a work. Shawn says it’s a win-win because him leaving is what the people want. He mentioned that Shawn went out a loser against Undertaker unlike him, who is going to leave as a winner as WWE Champion. Michaels asks if he ran it by Cena yet. Punk mentioned that he beat Cena two weeks ago on Raw and that he’s leaving with the title. He says the fans are a reason why he’s leaving because they cheer for Michaels instead of begging the future (him) to stay. HBK to Punk: “The reason they cheer me is because they know I’m better than you.” Cue “one more match” chant. Haha. Awesome. Punk asks him if that’s a challenge. Michaels says they’re not alike. Shawn points out that they don’t do drugs or drink, Punk says “anymore” as a dig at HBK’s past drug use. Michaels nods his head, says “fair enough” to that. Michaels says you do things your way and I do things my way. Then he hit Otunga with a superkick. Huge pop! Out of nowhere. Punk tells him he made a big mistake. The GM buzzed in.
The GM announcement is that Punk will have the first match on Raw Roulette. Let’s spin the wheel. Booker runs down the list of choices for the wheel. Booker spins the obviously rigged wheel and it ends up on the “?” option. This means that Punk has a mystery opponent. Then Booker says he has a trip to hell because his opponent is Kane. He’s a Smackdown guy, yet here he is on Raw. The brands truly don’t matter. Just for fun, Michaels hit a superkick on McGillicutty. Then he told Punk good luck. Kane came out and we went to break.
I liked it as an opening segment. Just like with Austin, Punk had a great exchange with Michaels. I’d love to see either of those matches. Of course neither is likely. It was a great exchange and it started off the show on the right foot.
They had a commercial for Smackdown promoting Mark Henry’s recent domination. I like how they’ve booked Henry. It’s way better than using him as a babyface. He’s effective as a heel.
CM Punk vs. Kane
It will be interesting to see how they book this one because Kane rarely loses clean and it would be foolish for Punk to lose leading up to such a huge PPV title match. A “CM Punk” chant starts of early as Kane opens up on fire hitting all of his signature spots. Kane choked him, but Punk countered with a kick to the head. Lawler questions why Punk would want to leave when he had all those accomplishments and he was in the prime of his career. It’s because he’s been used like crap for the past year, Lawler. Punk goes for a superplex, but Kane blocks it. Punk rolls out of the ring before Kane can get his clothesline. Punk leaves. “What are you gonna do? Fire me? I don’t care.” The ref counts him out. Punk is backstage as referee Charles Robinson counts him out after 5 minutes.
Winner via Countout: Kane
Analysis: *1/4 The match was alright. I guess that’s how you book it if you don’t want to have a clean finish. Cole supported Punk’s decision saying he didn’t care whether he won or lost this match because all that matters is the WWE Title match at Money in the Bank. It does make sense, but they book the “heel walks out of the match” finish way too often.
They plugged Del Rio-Show and Cena-Truth coming up later in Raw Roulette matches. We’ll find out what the stips are later. I’m guessing it won’t be Pillow Fight. Note that there is a Steel Cage in the building too.
They plugged the WWE Poker game on WWE.com. I’ve never played it. Sin Cara’s music hit next. Time for the match with Bourne that should have been last week. Cole said that we wanted this match so much last week that it crashed their servers.
Spin the wheel time. Booker built it up for us. There’s Eve and her cleavage telling us she wants to see the match too. It lands on: No Countout. It’s going to be on like neckbone, says Booker.
No Countout: Evan Bourne vs. Sin Cara
The blue and orange Sin Cara lights are present for the match. Time for people to freak out because Cole said Sin Cara began “wrestling” at age 15. Yes he said wrestling. Not a big deal. They started out at a slow pace for the first couple of minutes, so perhaps they’ll get ten minutes. Each guy did high flying spots and missed. Sin Cara gave him a hurricanrana to send him out to the floor. Then Sin Cara dove on him through the ropes. Bourne gave him a headscissors on the floor. Cara gets a cradle for two; Bourne gets a knee to the face for two. They mention Cara’s undefeated as he hits a springboard corkscrews crossbody. Standing moonsault by Bourne for two. The athleticism here is awesome. Bourne goes for the Air Bourne finisher, but Cara moves and Bourne lands on his feet. Sin Cara finishes off with his headscissors into the armbar finisher for the win. Match got just under 5 minutes.
Winner: Sin Cara
Analysis: **1/4 Great stuff, but they should have got at least ten minutes. For whatever reason I expected them to get ten minutes. Of course they didn’t. Still, the chemistry they showed was great and it’s proof that fans want to see high flyers. The crowd reaction to the match was great. It was a nice showcase for both guys.
Backstage, Kofi Kingston was about to spin the wheel for his match next with Dolph Zigger. Then Vickie spun the wheel. It landed on “Player’s Choice” which means Kofi’s choice. His pick is that Vickie will be banned from ringside. That won in the poll last week, but it got screwed up too.
They showed an exterior shot of Las Vegas. Did I mention that I love that city? I do.
The announcers went over Money in the Bank in three weeks. Then they showed us the Raw Money in the Bank guys: Truth, Mysterio, Bourne, Del Rio, Kingston, Swagger, Riley and Miz. My pick is Del Rio.
Kofi came out for the next match. Vickie wanted to introduce Dolph, but two refs escorted her to the back.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston
This is non-title. No Vickie at ringside. About two minutes in Dolph threw Kofi into the ringpost and that led to our vintage floor to commercial spot.
Back from break, Dolph was in control. These two have had dozens of matches together on Smackdown and now Raw. It’s not fresh, but they are both above average workers. Their chemistry is great. Kingston gets a cradle for a nearfall to start his comeback. Ziggler comes back with a boot to the face. He throws Kingston into the ropes, Kofi bounces off with a cartwheel, Dolph turns his head, looks back and Kofi knocks him out with Trouble in Paradise after 8 minutes.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Analysis: **1/4 It went eight minutes, but we only saw five minutes of it this time. A champion loses a non-title match? That never happens. By never I mean always. This feud will never end.
Backstage, Booker recapped some things from the show so far as Maryse smiled with him while standing by the wheel. Del Rio walked into the screen complaining about having to face Big Show again. Maryse spun the wheel. Then she flirted with him, telling him he liked expensive things and so did she. The camera focused on them. Then the wheel stopped. Booker was laughing. The match: Steel Cage. Maryse left while Del Rio was mad. Booker: “She didn’t spin that? Tell me she didn’t just spin that.”
It’s Del Rio vs. Big Show coming up in a Steel Cage match after the break.
Quick plug: July 13. TJR Radio begins. It will be interactive. Everybody is welcome. Perhaps there will be some guests. You never know. Details to come in the next few weeks.
Just got this in a tweet from @king_nothing621: “Some jerk in front of me has a tjr sign. Just thought I’d share.” Haha awesome. Not a jerk to me. Thanks for the support!
Alberto Del Rio came out first. Justin Roberts told us you could win the cage match by pinfall, submission or escaping the cage. No Ricardo Rodriguez to introduce Del Rio. He’s still selling the attack from Big Show. Show comes out next. He’s happy that it’s a cage match.
Steel Cage Match: Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show
Big Show dominated the match early, but Del Rio kicked him in the knee and put him down. He focused on the knee with a legbar. Then Mark Henry walked out. That’s the third Smackdown person on the show since Kane and Sin Cara were also on. Lots of submission holds by Del Rio for a few minutes. Why is Del Rio climbing the cage when he’s right by the door? Steel cage matches: Where having a brain doesn’t matter. Big Show climbs the second rope and delivers a superplex on Del Rio. Both guys are down. That leads to Mark Henry ripping the chained door off its hinges. He is strong. He took the door into the ring with him. Meanwhile, Del Rio crawled out for the win.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Analysis: 1/2* Not much of a match. More of an angle. Del Rio continues his roll going into Summerslam where they are likely building him to feud with Cena.
With Big Show leaning up against the cage (outside of the ropes), Henry runs at him with the door and crushes Big Show. Then Show falls out the side of the cage. That was an awesome spot. The crowd chanted “Holy Shit” almost immediately and it drew a great response. Henry verbally taunts him. A bunch of refs and security dudes come out. He goes to Johnny Ace: “What are you gonna do? Fire me?” Awesome. They went to commercials as they checked on Big Show while Henry continued to argue with fans.
This was a very good segment. I enjoy angry Mark Henry a lot. Like I say all the time he’s much more effective in this role. He could be in line for the biggest push of his career. I give him credit. He’s doing a good job.
Back from break, they showed replays of Mark Henry’s attack. The announcers used SERIOUS VOICES~! to talk about it. When it happened live they didn’t talk at all.
They replayed last week when Kelly Kelly won the Power to the People vote. Then she won the Divas Title from Brie Bella. Now Kelly is facing Nikki. Booker spins the wheel. He hopes it lands on the Pillow Fight match. It lands on Submission match.
Submission Match: Kelly Kelly vs. Nikki Bella
Armbar by Nikki. Boston Crab by Kelly. Nikki taps. That was the whole match. Less than a minute. Worst submission match ever. I miss Kharma.
Winner: Kelly Kelly
Analysis: DUD It was two moves.
Post match, the Bellas attacked. Eve saved Kelly from the beatdown. She threw the Bellas out of the ring. The Divas division is awful. But you already knew that.
Cena vs. Truth later. Is Michaels going to be on again? That would be nice.
They showed the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. I stayed there once. Great hotel. I haven’t been to Vegas in three years. Probably not going to happen this year for me. Maybe early 2012. We’ll see.
They showed a video package on Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine. They show him training at FCW as Dusty Rhodes talks about it not being easy.
Backstage, Booker spins the wheel with Mysterio. It lands on “Tornado” so Rey’s in a tag match with Riley against Miz & Swagger in Tornado Match rules. That means all four guys in the match at once.
Rey leaves. In walks Diamond Dallas Page to a good pop. DDP is there to plug the WCW Monday Nitro DVD. Drew McIntyre shows up, calls them old and says he’s the future. He says they’re relics and that they need to leave within the next ten minutes. Michaels shows up, superkicks Drew and asks the other relics to help him get rid of Drew. Shawn grabs the Nitro DVD, said he never watched any of it and hands it back to Booker. What’s ironic is that he married a Nitro girl, Whisper. She’s the one that helped him deal with his addictions, which led to him becoming so religious. Read his book. It’s all in there. Shawn left as Booker told him he’d make sure Shawn gets a copy.
Anyway, the tag match is next.
There’s the “Be A Star” anti-bullying campaign. The Bellas are telling us not to be bullies yet we just saw them try to bully Kelly. Shouldn’t they put somebody else in the commercial? The kids don’t understand that it’s all an act. Oh well.
Tornado Rules: The Miz & Jack Swagger vs. Rey Mysterio & Alex Riley
It will be interesting to see how this match goes. I can’t remember the last time WWE did a tornado tag. SAY IT TO MY FACE! Riley got a decent reaction. Mysterio got a bigger reaction. All four guys are in the Money in the Bank match. The others are Kingston, Bourne, R-Truth and Del Rio. Lawler says he picked Mysterio while Cole picked Miz.
They did a sequence where three successive clotheslines happened. Swagger worked on Mysterio in-ring while Miz attacked on Riley on the floor. The faces get back in control and they go to commercial three minutes in.
Back from the three minute commercial, the heels got control again. Mysterio leaped off the top rope, Swagger caught him and dropped him onto Miz’ knee in a Gutbuster type move. Miz hit a reverse DDT for two. Riley dumped Swagger to the floor. Miz went for a superplex, Rey blocked it and hit a seated Senton. Then he gave a headscissors to Swagger into Miz. Swagger got dumped out. Rey hit a hard kick on Miz for two. Rey fought off the Skull Crushing Finale. He went for 619, but Swagger pulled him up. Riley hit a Rock-like Spinebuster. Miz breaks up the nearfall and hits a reverse DDT for two. The action is great thanks to the nearfalls. Riley hits a clothesline on Miz to send them both to the floor. Mysterio charges in, Swagger gives him a boot to the face and Rey kicks out. Mysterio counters a powerbomb into a headscissors. Jack counters 619. He goes for ankle lock, but Rey holds on. Miz gets taken out by Riley. Rey hits the 619, Riley hits the leaping DDT that needs a name and Rey hits a top rope splash for the win. Match went 12 minutes.
Winners: Mysterio & Riley
Analysis: ***1/4 Best match of the night. Great wrestling, a lot of awesome nearfalls and everybody looked great. Riley certainly held his own in there. I loved the chemistry between Miz & Mysterio especially. That could be a great feud.
They plugged HBK’s new hunting show. They said for more details to follow him on Twitter @ShawnMichaels_ I do. Do you? Follow me @johnreport while you do.
Booker had R-Truth spin the wheel for his match against John Cena: Tables Match. Then Truth talked to himself and Booker just left.
They aired a commercial for the “Greatest Cage Matches of All Time” DVD that has 24 matches. It’s a 3 DVD set. Lots of different companies covered. That could be a good buy.
They plugged some USA Network show called Necessary Roughness. It’s the chick that was in both Rescue Me and Prison Break. She’s great in Rescue Me, which is a show I love.
Tables Match: John Cena vs. R-Truth
Truth comes out first. Still no regular theme music. Cena gets a huge pop. Today is the 9 year anniversary of Cena’s TV debut on Smackdown against Kurt Angle. Congrats on that. There’s a “We’ve Cena Nuff” sign a few rows back. I guess that person isn’t a fan. There’s a dropkick from Cena. Lawler loves it when he dropkicks. That’s so cute, uncle Jerry. There are tables all around the ring, by the way. Truth hits his suplex into a neckbreaker move. He grabs a table.
Cena avoids the table. He goes out to the floor and brings another table into the match. Truth’s out on the floor during all this. One table is stacked in the corner. The other one is set up in the ring by Cena. He rolls Truth back in. The crowd rises as CM Punk runs out. He’s wearing a “Stone Cold” shirt for some reason. Cena gave Truth the AA, but Punk pulled the table out. Cena chases Truth. He goes back in the ring. Truth charges into Cena and spears him through the stacked table in the corner.
Analysis: * Not much of a match. Truth goes over to keep his momentum while Cena loses
Post match, Punk grabs the microphone, walks up the ramp and sits down while he talks to Cena. He says he’s the best, not Cena. He said Cena’s good at kissing Vince’s ass. He said he’s as good of an ass kisser as Hogan and also Dwayne, which means the Rock. “Oops I’m breaking the fourth wall” says Punk and he waves at the camera. Awesome! He mentions that Paul Heyman saw something in him. You know who else is a Heyman guy? Brock Lesnar. He says the difference is that he’s going to leave with the title. He says he’s grabbed all the brass rings. He says he’s proved I’m the best on the microphone, in the ring and even on commentary. “Nobody can touch me.” He’s right! He says he’s barely promoted, he’s not on cups, he’s not on crappy USA Network shows, he’s not on the signature that is produced at the start of the show and at WrestleMania. “The fact that Dwayne is in the main event of WrestleMania next year and I’m not makes me sick.” Cena is sitting up now. He says the ones that are cheering are buying those collector cups. He keeps going. He says he’s leaving, maybe he’ll go to New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor. “Hey Colt Cabana how you doing?” Love it. He talked really fast. He said John Laurinaitis (who is head of talent relations) is a kiss ass. Then he ripped on Vince. “Maybe the company will be better when Vince McMahon is dead, but it’s going to get taken over by his idiotic daughter and doofus son-in-law.” He says he wants to tell a personal story about Vince. Then the microphone gets shut off. And the show goes off the air suddenly with Punk yelling into the camera.
I can’t do that promo justice. It was terrific. He broke kayfabe a bit, sure, but obviously it was part of the script. I liked the “realness” of the end where the microphone got shut off. It makes it look legit. It adds something to the show that usually isn’t there. It was the kind of ending that you never see. It reminds me a bit of Bret Hart’s expletive filled rants in 1997 to start the Attitude Era actually, but obviously there wasn’t cursing here. It was the same kind of tone, though. You got to hear Punk’s point of view. It worked perfectly. That’s the kind of promo that needs to be watched over and over. It’s a “worked shoot” done right. It was magnificent.
It should be noted that via Twitter WWE is announcing that “CM Punk is suspended indefinitely.” It’s all part of the story. I absolutely love it.
I’m 30 years old. I’ve been watching professional wrestling for 25 of those years. That was one of the best promos I’ve ever heard on any wrestling show. I’m not just saying it because it is fresh in my mind. I’m saying it because I truly believe it to be true. That was a special moment.
Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk – That was one of the best promos I’ve ever seen. So good.
2. Shawn Michaels – I have missed him.
3. Rey Mysterio – He was the ring general in the best match of the night.
7 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2011 High Score: 9.1 (March 28)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10/May 9)
2011 Average: 5.83
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 5.5, 5, 4.5, 6
I don’t know if the show deserves a 7, but I’m giving it that because I loved the ending so much. It was unlike anything WWE has done in years. It was so fresh. The wrestling on the show was pretty good. Like I always say they should give the matches more time, but I really liked that tag match. The others were okay…except for the awful divas match.
A great thing about Punk’s promo? He did it wearing an Austin shirt. It felt like heel Austin. He ripped on Hogan, Cena and Rock. He didn’t rip on Austin. He is an Austin fan. He wore his shirt during this promo possibly as symbolism because it felt like some of Austin’s promos before he became the top babyface. Maybe it means something. Maybe it doesn’t. Either way I loved that tribute to Stone Cold.
My excitement for Money in the Bank is high. I love the ladder matches, plus the Punk-Cena WWE Title match is very interesting. What’s going to happen next week? Spoilers should be on the internet this evening because it’s being taped right after this week’s Raw. The roster is going to South Africa, Australia & New Zealand. I’m going to try to avoid spoilers, but I doubt I’ll be successful in that endeavor. Oh well. At least my interest is up again.
Thanks for reading. See ya next week.
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