The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 06/20/11 (Power to the People)

The John Report: WWE Raw Deal for 06/20/11 (Power to the People)
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport



It’s the Power to the People fan voting three hour edition of Raw. If you missed my Capitol Punishment recap CLICK HERE. Live from Baltimore, Maryland this is the Raw Deal…

The announcers were Cole, Lawler and Booker again. CM Punk started it off. He sat in the middle of the ring as he cut a promo about how he should be number one contender because he beat Cena last week and Mysterio on Sunday. He said he was the best “wrestler” in the world as internet fans freak out because he said the word. I don’t think WWE cares if somebody says it on TV. They just don’t want the press to say it. Hell if I know. He wants the WWE Title shot at Money in the Bank in his hometown of Chicago and he’s not leaving until he gets it. He even did snow angels at one point, which was hilarious. The GM buzzed in as Punk told Cole to skip the theatrics and just read it. The GM said that Punk was going to be #1 contender, but due to disrespect he’d have to face Alberto Del Rio. Then Punk bitched about it, so the GM added Rey Mysterio to the match making it a triple threat. The GM types fast…so do I. Hmmm. Anyway, it was a good opening promo from Punk, who is the best talker in the company.

<<< JC EDIT at 2pmET. A note on the fan voting. released the following statement Tuesday at around Noon Eastern: “Monday’s “Power to the People” edition of Raw gave the WWE Universe the ability to choose what they wanted to see on their television screens. Unfortunately, technical difficulties created by an influx of heavy voting traffic resulted in not every one of the more-than 697,000 recorded votes to be properly counted.

As a part of this interactive event, WWE fans were given the option to text A, B or C to 46993 (GOWWE) in order to decide what they wanted to happen during Raw. Things went perfectly at first when text votes selected Kelly Kelly (option B) to take on Brie Bella for the Divas Championship. However, our vote tabulating provider’s system became overwhelmed, resulting in these votes to spill into later polls. This technical mishap soon led to Mason Ryan (also option B) being voted into a match against Evan Bourne — even though, as it was later discovered, Sin Cara had received 90 percent of the total votes in’s Live Chat poll, and should have been Bourne’s opponent.

Stand by for more details to be reported by throughout the day.”

I’m not going to edit in my thoughts on every vote. Just keep that in mind when you read my comments on the show that WWE screwed up the voting process here. Now enjoy reading the rest of The Raw Deal. >>>

They mentioned the first fan vote of the night being who would wrestle Brie Bella for the Divas Title. You had three choices: Eve, Kelly Kelly or Beth Phoenix. They went to commercial as Lawler showed us how to vote. What a thrill.

Back from commercial, Lawler was still voting and claimed to vote for all the girls. I seriously dislike babyface announcer Jerry Lawler. I guess it’s my fault for remembering how good he was as a heel announcer. Anyway the results are in with Kelly Kelly getting 53% of the vote, Beth getting 36% and Eve getting 11%.

Divas Title: Kelly Kelly d. Brie Bella to become Divas Champion (1/2*)
They got about three minutes. Kelly “Kelly’d Up” and ended up scoring the pin after a cradle. It ended with Brie’s butt in the air, which is probably a familiar position for her. What? I’m not a Bella fan. I can’t like everybody! I think Kelly Kelly has inspired all people in the world that have the same name twice. She also gives hope to all 19 year old exhibitionists that you too can accomplish your dreams one day after you stop dancing on poles.

Post match, Lawler interviewed Kelly in ring. She was crying because it was such an emotional moment. I miss Kharma. Do you?

They showed a video package on the “magical” Evan Bourne as Cole put it. They’re trying to build Evan up leading up to Money in the Bank where they’ll need him to some high flying spots. Before the break they told us that fans could vote for Evan Bourne’s opponent: Jack Swagger, Mason Ryan or Sin Cara. I assumed Sin Cara was going to win. I assumed wrong.

Since the results came up after the break that meant fans only had about four minutes to vote. Booker said Evan Bourne vs. Sin Cara was a potential main event anywhere in the world. What? Everywhere except WWE maybe. What a bizarre comment. The results were Mason Ryan 50%, Sin Cara 31% and Jack Swagger 19%. What? Fans want to see Mason Ryan wrestle? I question the legitimacy of the results. I also question the legitimacy of the Wellness Policy when I see Mason Ryan, but let’s get to the match.

Mason Ryan d. Evan Bourne (1/4*)
I loved Bourne’s face. His expression was: “oh crap, really?” He wanted to wrestle Cara I’m sure. They had a sloppy match. You could tell Ryan is still very green and there were points where Bourne was waiting for him to be in position, but Mason was too slow. The best part of the match were the “Batista” chants. Hilarious. Ryan wins with the uranage that needs a name after about four minutes. Way to hype the jobber up with the video package. By the way I’m pretty sure Lawler said you can barely see Mason Ryan’s eyes because he has so many muscles. Yes he actually said that. The announcers are so awful these days. I have a more important question: Who the fuck would vote for Mason Ryan?

The next match was Kane vs. Mark Henry with three choices: Body Slam match, Arm Wrestling match or Over the Top Challenge. I hope people saved their money and didn’t text any choices.

They announced Raw Roulette next week from Las Vegas. Another scripted gimmick show. At least it’s back to the two hour format. I love Las Vegas. I need to go back.

They came back from break talking about how Big Show took out Mark Henry. He took him out for “two days” because Henry cost Show the match against Del Rio on Sunday. What a beating, huh? Anyway, Henry cut an angry in ring promo that was pretty good. Something about shaking the earth when he walks. He’s been in WWE for 15 years yet we’re supposed to act like he hasn’t lost matches for the majority of his career. The crowd was chanting “WHAT?” during a lot of it and he reacted nicely. Then they went to commercial. That meant you could vote for exciting match stipulations even longer.

Following the break, the results of the vote were in: 52% Arm Wrestling, 35% Over the Top Rope and 13% Body Slam. If Big John Studd were still alive he’d have voted Body Slam for sure.

Kane comes out, they take forever to start arm wrestling, nobody has a clear advantage and Henry attacks him. He uses the table to knock him out of the ring. Then he beats him up on the floor a little bit too. He clears off the announce table, picks Kane up and puts him through the table with the World’s Strongest Slam just like he did to Big Show. Since Kane’s a Smackdown guy like Henry is I guess this means they will feud. Then again do the rosters even matter? I don’t know. The announcers freak out, wondering if we’ve ever seen Henry this vicious before. I seem to remember him taking out guys like Undertaker and Batista in the past. He’s way better as a heel. It’s more natural. As they tended to Kane, Henry walked away barking. He delivered the line of the night: “My heart don’t run on Kool-Aid!” Haha yes! I was calling him KOOL-AID~! for two years and then he busted it out in a promo. I’m touched. Henry has feelings! Anyway, I actually really liked how this was done and how they put over how tough he is. I can tolerate him in small doses. The problem is if he’s in a match longer than three minutes his limitations shine through.

They aired an R-Truth video package as the first hour came to an end. Not a very good first hour. Painful at times. It did get better, though.

Back from break, the announcers were sitting at a broken announce table. Later in the show it would be repaired, though. Lawler mentioned his phone didn’t work anymore. Did he leave it on the table when Henry put Kane through it? Probably. Old people forget things.

The start of the 9pmET hour began with R-Truth complaining about the Little Jimmy that threw a soda (or water) on him at the PPV, which led to Cena beating him. Or as he put it: “I got got by Little Jimmy!” I love that. The crowd was chanting “WHAT?” which led to Truth saying “Stop What-ing me!” He is great. Christian came out rocking his new t-shirt. He called Truth “dog” as Booker asked: “Did he call him dog?” Funny. He bitched about the people, calling them a joke. He showed a picture of his foot under the rope when Orton pinned him at the PPV. Truth said at least you’ve been champion before. Then Miz came out. He complained too, talking about how the ref was crooked, which is why he lost to Riley. Basically you had three whiny heels together. They all started saying “Really?” to eachother and then it turned into “Really?” “Riley?” “Randy?” and finally a very loud “Jimmy!” by Truth. I loved it. Hilarious. Legit laughter from me and that’s not easy on a wrestling show these days.

Teddy Long came out on the stage because it’s All-Star night and Smackdown people are on Raw. I’m kidding. Obviously there were already SD people on the show earlier. They didn’t even try to explain it this week. Anyway, he did the usual Long thing of making a tag match later with Truth, Miz & Christian taking on Riley, Orton & Cena in the main event. I enjoyed the promo. The heels are all great talkers and they did a perfect job of explaining why they’re all angry. Christian makes the best point about why he got screwed, but the other two were fun as well. This promo woke me up from a mundane show up to that point.

The US Title would be on the line as Dolph Ziggler defended against Kofi Kingston in their rematch. The three choices are: A) 2/3 Falls, B) Vickie banned from ringside, C) Submission.

After the break, Ziggler walked out with Vickie as the three minute poll voting wrapped up. Shouldn’t they let people vote for longer? Maybe that’s just me. The results were 51% for 2/3 Falls, 31% for Vickie banned and 18% for Submission match.

US Title: Kofi Kingston d. Dolph Ziggler via DQ so Dolph retains the title (**3/4)
The usual solid match from these two. They got about 14 minutes total with a commercial thrown in early in the match. Ziggler got the first pinfall coming out of the break with a Zig Zag on the floor (that looked perfect) and then he rolled Kofi into the ring to pin him. Well done. Kingston was able to fight back and hit the S.O.S. for the pinfall to make it 1-1 at about the eight minute mark. Late in the match, Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise on the floor, rolled Dolph in, but the champ got his hand on the rope. Two fingers actually. Then they went back on the floor where Ziggler hit Kingston in the head with the microphone, leading to the DQ. Kofi wins, but doesn’t get the belt. It was the standard match between two guys that have wrestled dozens of times on TV in the last year or two. Their chemistry was great as always. I’m assuming the finish leads to another match at some point in the near future too. That would make sense at least.

They replayed Austin on the show last week, which set up the show this week. You’re airing this halfway through the show for what reason exactly?

They showed the stips for the #1 contender match that you can vote on: No DQ, Falls Count Anywhere or Submission.

They announced Shawn Michaels on Raw next week from Vegas. He’s the special guest. No GM role or anything like that. I assume he’s there to promote his new hunting show that’s on TV soon. I miss that man. My favorite of all time. It will be good to see him next week.

Del Rio came out for a promo. He vowed to destroy Punk and Mysterio saying that it was his destiny. They went to another commercial, so for this poll you actually had about seven minutes to vote.

Back from break, after plugging Smackdown, Lawler said there “hundreds of millions” of votes throughout the show. He meant to say thousands and they corrected him on that later. The vote ended up being 66% for Falls Count Anywhere, 23% for No DQ and 11% for Submission.

Falls Count Anywhere #1 Contender Match: CM Punk d. Rey Mysterio & Alberto Del Rio (***1/4)
Even though Mysterio lost a night earlier he got to be in this match. I figured it was because he’d be pinned. I figured wrong. The match got 12 minutes. It followed the standard triple threat match type where two guys work while the other guy breaks up the pin and so on. I liked that they remembered it was a Falls Count Anywhere match early on and tried pins outside the ring, but it didn’t last long. I always enjoy the powerbomb-suplex spot out of the corner. I also loved the spot where Del Rio had the Cross Armbreaker on Rey and Punk broke it up with the legdrop. Perfect. Mysterio went on offense late, getting the 619 on Del Rio and then hitting his top rope splash. He went for the cover, but Punk threw Rey out of there and ended up pinning Del Rio himself. I would have liked to see the GTS on Del Rio. It made him look too weak. I’m not sure why Del Rio is taking the pin. Maybe he’s winning the Money in the Bank, so he can afford a loss. I guess nobody will remember it in a week’s time, but I would have had Rey take the pin.

Post match, CM Punk cut a promo in-ring once again by sitting down in the middle of the ring. He mentioned that July 17 is when he’s going to defeat Cena for the WWE Title on that day in his hometown of Chicago at the Money in the Bank PPV. He also noted that his big announcement was that July 17 was when his contract expired and that he’d be leaving on that day. He said he’s taking the WWE Title with him. It was a great promo that left a lot of people thinking.

A thought to consider: Just because CM Punk says his contract is up on July 17 (it isn’t – the date is in September I believe) and that he’s leaving on that date win or lose doesn’t mean it will actually happen. I am certainly intrigued, though. I guess there will be four weeks of “what will happen?” type questions huh? I have no idea. If they have signed a long term deal with him they are not going to tell anybody. He’s not going to tweet about it. It’s better to keep it quiet. Maybe he loses, leaves for a few months to get a break and comes back strong. We don’t know. I don’t expect us to know. I don’t think he wants to work in TNA or work in the indies again. I think his heart is in WWE, but due to the grind he needs a break. My personal opinion is after he loses on July 17 he’ll go away for a few months and be back towards the end of the year. Then again I also thought Jericho would be back by now too. You never know.

With all of that said I think with Cena-Punk in front of a raucous crowd in Chicago that will be pro-Punk plus two ladder matches it’s going to be a strong Money in the Bank PPV.

Next up was Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes with three stips: Paper Bag match, No Countout or Collegiate Rules. Those options are so bad that they almost make the Henry-Kane options look good. Almost.

Back from break we found out the voting results: 51% for No Countout, 43% for Paper Bag and 6% for Collegiate. I guess Paper Bag would have meant that you’d wrestle with them on your fun. I would have voted that just for the comedy.

No Countout Match: Daniel Bryan d. Cody Rhodes (*)
It went about three minutes. Cody’s crew handed out paper bags to the fans. I like both guys, but the crowd was pretty dead for it. What, you’re not excited about the lively no countout stipulation? Bryan ended up winning via pinfall with a rollup. Post match, Ted Dibiase attacked him. Cody Rhodes gave him the Alabama Slam (shoutout to former tag partner Bob Holly), which Booker called a Sidewalk Slam and Cole went nuts on him for it. Normally on Smackdown Sin Cara saves Bryan from this kind of thing, but I guess on Raw they’re not as quick to set up his trampoline for the save.

They went to break talking about a dance contest happening next. Oh fuck no.

There was a dance contest. Vickie Guerrero against one of the announcers. Cole won the vote. This was awful. Cole won the contest. Whatever. I don’t even want to review it. Instead of this waste of time, why not do the Ryder-McIntyre match that was the dark match at Raw? Fans can vote on whether the winner gets a US Title shot, a Tag Title shot with a partner of their choosing or a spot in the Raw Money in the Bank match. Ryder wins the match and you go from there. All of a sudden he’s a regular on TV as a babyface. If some of your fans want to see the guy then put him on the show. Nobody wants to see Cole dance against Vickie. You have to build your future. Shouldn’t Vince McMahon know this by now? It took me thirty seconds to come up with that. It’s not hard. All it takes is a little bit of effort.

They went to commercial hyping the picks for the main event: One Fall to a Finish, 20 Minute Time Limit or Elimination Match. They have a “creative” team of writers and that’s the best they can come up with? That’s awful. The first two are essentially the same thing. When’s the last time the time limit has mattered in a WWE match?

Back from break, they plugged Raw Roulette and Shawn Michaels being on the show.

Then all six guys got their intros. They revealed the results: Elimination Match 79%, One Fall Match 15% and 20 Minute Time Limit 6%. Is there a way for me to contact those 6% to ask their logic for that one? I’m interested in knowing what was so appealing about it. Then they went to another break. Yep. Three hour Raw, folks.

Elimination Match: John Cena, Randy Orton & Alex Riley d. The Miz, Christian & R-Truth (***)
When was the last time a Raw main event got twenty minutes? This one did. I guess that satisfies those 6% that voted for such a time limit. That means 85% of the fans are happy while you 15% one fall voters are full of rage. Seriously, though, that’s one of the perks of a three hour show. There is time for a long match. The fact that it was elimination rules made it a lot better too. The first elimination was Alex Riley getting pinned by Christian 7 minutes in after Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale while the ref wasn’t looking. Crafty heels. Then they went to a commercial. Crafty ad placement.

They came back from break with the heels in control. Did anybody actually believe the heels were going to win? Of course not. They are jobbers against the Superteam of Cena & Orton. At one point Cena was going for the hot tag and the heels were too slow to cut him off. Orton was pissed on the apron. He dropped down in frustration. (My buddy TJR writer Mike Aires adds: “I read his lips after he dropped down and hit the ring steps…you could see he said ‘that’s bullshit.'”) It was Truth’s fault so I understand Orton being mad, but save it for the backstage area. Uh oh, back to the midcard for you R-Truth. He was going there anyway. Cena was able to hit the Attitude Adjustment on Miz to eliminate him. Orton got the tag, so did Truth. Orton quickly eliminated him with the RKO. Then Christian hit a Spear on Orton to pin him. Could there be another singles match between them? I think it would be wise to make it a triple threat with Sheamus involved. That left it to Christian and Cena. However, Orton was still in the ring and he hit a RKO even though he was eliminated. Then Cena put the STF on Christian to finish the match as Christian tapped out. Cheat to win!

Post match, the 2011 Megapowers celebrated to end the show.

Three Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk – Not even close. He carried the show.
2. Christian – Fun promo and best worker in the main event.
3. Mark Henry – “My heart don’t run on Kool-Aid.” For that line alone he gets in.

I feel bad leaving out Truth and Miz, but I had to honor Henry for that line. It’s a Raw Deal thing.

5.5 out of 10
Last week: 5
2011 High Score: 9.1 (March 28)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10/May 9)
2011 Average: 5.78
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 5, 4.5, 6, 5

The only reason this show got an above average score was because the main event got nearly 20 minutes and the Punk/Rey/Del Rio match got plenty of time too. Throw in the good Kofi/Dolph match and three quality matches happened on this show. On a regular Raw that wouldn’t happen. The other main highlights were the promos of some strong heels like CM Punk and that trio promo with Christian, Miz & R-Truth that was hilarious. The disadvantage of a three hour show is that they have a hard time filling it with quality programming. Instead of trying to get over somebody that’s never on Raw (hello Zack Ryder) they waste time with a dance segment featuring over promoted characters like Vickie Guerrero and Michael Cole. Awful.

During the PPV I wrote about how terrible the announcers were. It was just as bad here, if not worse. I guess I’ll continue to point it out in the hope that some kind of change is made because Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn (executive producer) need to realize the problems that exist. It hurts the quality of the show every week. At least on Smackdown you’ve got a babyface play by play guy in Mathews. On Raw Cole doesn’t shut up and Lawler acts like he’s a zombie babyface color guy who has no personality.

I’m exhausted writing about another three hour WWE Raw show. Between last week’s three hour Raw, then a mediocre PPV on Sunday and then this show there was too much WWE programming to write about. Don’t get me wrong. I still watch because I’m a fan of the business, but it’s a bad idea to do two three hour Raw’s while sandwiching a PPV. I’d be fine with no Raw’s being three hours ever again.

Also, I’ve never been a fan of Taboo Tuesday (except for the schoolgirl outfits in the 2004 Divas match), Cyber Sunday or these fan interactive Raw’s. Maybe it’s because I’m not 12 years old and I know better than to think that the people actually have power. They are rarely as interactive as WWE will tell you. I question the legitimacy of the results too. Needless to say I hope they don’t do another one of these types of shows anytime soon. One a year is more than enough.

I guess if there’s a good thing about this week’s Raw it’s that those awful “Obama” press conferences ended. I wish them the best in their future endeavors.

Here’s the Orton/Cena tag thing I mentioned. where Orton was angry. Thanks to Scott for the link. Scroll to 4:50 and watch as Cena is literally inches away from Orton for twenty seconds. Truth is supposed to break up the tag. He does so, but it’s way late.

Thanks for reading. See ya next week.

John Canton – [email protected]
Twitter @johnreport

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