The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 07/18/11 (Bye Vince)



The John Report: The WWE Raw Deal for 07/18/11 (Goodbye Vince)
By John Canton
Follow me on Twitter at @johnreport

I wrote this live. I have predictions throughout. I’d rather not edit it out so that those of you that didn’t read it live can know what I was thinking as I wrote it. It’s more authentic that way. Live from Green Bay, Wisconsin this is the Raw Deal…

Vince McMahon comes out to start the show along with VP of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis (Johnny Ace) by his side. They showed the locker room with talent watching the screen to see what will happen. Del Rio was clutching his newly won briefcase. Loud “CM Punk” chant to start the show. “You will never hear me again say that man’s name. You’re chanting the name of the biggest ingrate in WWE history. He walked out on each and every one of you. He walked out on everyone who has ever been in this ring. That man is an egotistical selfish turd.” He says not one man will be bigger than the WWE listing Hogan, Austin, Hart and others.

Vince says there will be a new WWE Champion crowned tonight in a single elimination tournament. The matches are:

Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Jack Swagger vs. R-Truth
Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
Alex Riley vs. The Miz

No Cena. Vince said severe consequences will happen here tonight against Cena. The crowd booed Cena. Vince said he wants to boo him too because he let him down. He promises us that it will be a night that we will always remember. Hmm. What does that mean?

The announcers Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler talk about the big news. They mentioned Cena’s tweets where he said that he thinks he’s already been future endeavored. They went over the matchups in the tournament. That means there’s potential for seven of these matches on the show. I’m not even going to throw a prediction out there.

The Miz comes out first for his match selling his knee injury. It was a work, by the way. That match is next.


First Round of WWE Title Tourney: The Miz vs. Alex Riley
The announcers put over Miz toughing it out at Money in the Bank despite the knee injury. SAY IT TO MY FACE time as Riley gets a decent face pop. Riley goes right after Miz’ injured right knee. It shouldn’t be pointed out that they haven’t shown the new WWE title, but the graphic is showing the old one. Riley misses a charge and goes shoulder first into the turnbuckle. They take turns having the momentum. Miz leaps off the ropes with a dropkick, but Riley catches him and puts him into a single leg crab. Miz makes it to the ropes. Cole pointed out that the matches are going to be pinfall or submission only. That would mean they’re no DQ/no countout, but I doubt we see too many weapons. Out of nowhere Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale to win the match in 5 minutes.
Winner: The Miz

Analysis: *1/2 This tourney isn’t likely going to produce any classics since there will be seven matchups, but this was fine for a TV match. Miz won out of nowhere. He was on the defensive for much of it, but he hit his finisher and that was it. Well booked match.

They show R-Truth walking. Next up is his tourney match vs. Jack Swagger.

They showed the Summerslam commercial for August 14th in Los Angeles. I’m not sure if I like the song. It could grow on me, though.


They showed the Vince Lombardi statue in Green Bay by Lambeau Field.

To remind us of him, they show a video package highlighting John Morrison, who is close to coming back from a neck injury. I’d guess that he’s ready by Summerslam.

First Round of WWE Title Tourney: R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger
Both guys were in the Money in the Bank ladder match last night. It’s a heel vs. heel match. My guess is it goes short. Swagger gets a back suplex for two. Crowd is dead for this. Cole mentions over 50,000 tweets in an hour for #savecena on Twitter and likely over 100,000 now. Swagger’s splash off the ropes gets two. Truth avoids a charge, hits a jumping sidekick and that gets two. Swagger comes back, trips him up, goes for the Ankle Lock. Truth rolls through, sits on him and Truth wins the match after four minutes.
Winner: R-Truth

Analysis: *1/2 Decent match. Short as expected. The crowd wasn’t sure who to cheer for, so they were dead for much of it. Good counter for the win by R-Truth.

Next up is Kingston vs. Del Rio. The winner of that will face The Miz.

Orton vs. Kane in a Street Fight on Smackdown this week.


Del Rio came out in a nice car like usual and with his Money in the Bank briefcase. I miss Ricardo Rodriguez to do his introduction. Cole says that #WWEChampion is trending on Twitter right now.

“My name is Mr. Money in the Bank Alberto Del Rioooooooooooooooooo!” He did say “but you already knew that.” Fail by ADR right there. He says that he wanted to cash it in last night, but Punk ran away like a chicken. Del Rio says that all of this is happening because Cena couldn’t get the job done. He wants Cena fired because WWE needs a new leader, so he obviously suggests himself. Hey there’s Ricardo Rodriguez! Yes. I marked out for this. I would like him to introduce me at my wedding one day. My name doesn’t have the same ring to it, but he can make it work.

Since I’m being asked all over the place I’ll make the official prediction as Mysterio over Del Rio in the tourney finals. Then post match Del Rio cashes in the briefcase to become the “new” WWE Champion much to the delight of Mr. McMahon.

Commercial time. Match after the break. I loved the Smurfs as a kid, but would I want to see this movie? No thanks.


Back from break, Del Rio’s still in the ring. Did they play his music for the entire three minutes? Catchy tune.

First Round of WWE Title Tourney: Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio
They talked about the Cena situation some more as Cole mentioned that Rock didn’t want McMahon to fire Cena and Rock called Cena a phony. Kingston hits a dive through the ropes onto Del Rio on the floor. These two could have some great matches if they got a lot of time. Back in the ring, running kick by Del Rio gets two. Three minutes into this match, they have talked about Cena for the entire three minutes instead of the action in the ring. Del Rio misses a charge into the corner, which leads to a bump on the back of the head. Kofi gets his momentum going, but ADR moves before the Boom Drop. Del Rio gets the tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Del Rio goes for the Cross Armbreaker, but Kingston reverses it. Kingston pins Del Rio with a rollup out of nowhere. Cole questions whether Del Rio’s shoulder was down. The replay shows it was. Match went six minutes.
Winner: Kofi Kingston

Analysis: ** Best of the matches so far. I’m surprised Del Rio lost. There goes my prediction. I could delete it, but I’ll leave it there to show that I can be very wrong about these kinds of things. I still think he’ll end this show as the WWE Champion.

Kingston moves onto the semis to face The Miz. Mysterio vs. Ziggler is next. They show Rey walking down the hallway as he prepares for the last match of the quarterfinals.


Summerslam Recall video: Davey Boy Smith vs. Bret Hart at Summerslam 1992. I love this match. I promise that when I write my top 25 Summerslam Matches column in August this one will be on the list. Could it be #1? You’ll see in a few weeks. The top 25 list will be posted the week before this year’s Summerslam.

Back from break, Cole says Del Rio was robbed because his shoulder was up. After the match they show the replay again and Cole admits that the ref made the right call.

Backstage, Josh Mathews interviews Kofi Kingston. He says he’s taking the first step towards becoming the new WWE Champion. “One down, two to go. Boom!”

Mysterio comes out for the next match. Ziggler comes out next with Vickie Guerrero. We’re at the top of hour two now. Cole mentions that Ziggler tweeted about being the only champion on Monday Night Raw. Technically he’s right because the Tag Titles & Divas Title can be defended on both shows. They are really pushing Twitter and Facebook after hiring a Social Media director.

First Round of WWE Title Tourney: Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler takes control early. He puts Mysterio in a submission, but Rey counters with a pin and Dolph counters that with a nearfall of his own. Nice Alley Oop powerbomb by Ziggler. Mysterio gets a hard kick to the head for two. Mysterio hits a press off the top, but Ziggler counters him and hits a Mr. Perfect like snapmare for two. I loved when Mr. Perfect did that move. Mysterio drives Ziggler into the middle turnbuckle and counters a powerbomb into a hurricanran. Great spot. Ziggler counters the 619 into an inverted bodyslam for two. Mysterio gets the 619 this time. He goes up top, hits the splash and he’s going to the semifinals after five minutes of action.
Winner: Rey Mysterio

Analysis: **1/2 This was the best of the first round matches. Their chemistry is great. I’d love to see a longer match between them in a PPV setting.

The announcers talked about McMahon’s opening promo and the tournament. They mentioned how you can’t say the name of CM Punk. They never said it. Now we’re onto the semifinals in the new “WWE Champion” tournament.

Mysterio vs. Truth
Kingston vs. Miz

Backstage they showed McMahon talking to John Laurinaitis, Executive Vice President (EVP) of Talent Relations. Cole wondered if they were talking about John Cena’s future. That will likely be dealt with in the main event.


They did a Social Network plug saying WWE has more Facebook Fans than some other companies that are way bigger than them.

Kelly “Yelly Yelly” Kelly comes out to lead the Divas to the ring. It’s a 7 on 7 Divas tag.

Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, Eve, Gail Kim, AJ, Kaitlyn & Natalya vs. Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Melina, Alicia Fox, Tamina, Rosa Mendes & Maryse
Can we toss twelve of them out and just do Beth vs. Natalya instead? That would be refreshing. Cole read a tweet from Joey Styles saying he used to work there. Of course he runs the website. Holy crap, the match broke down within 30 seconds. No lie. Everybody is brawling on the floor. Beth hits the Glam Slam on Rosa. That’s the end of the match. Literally 45 seconds.
Winners: Kelly Kelly and friends

Analysis: DUD What a waste of time. The intros took longer than the “match” if you can call it that. It would be nice if they invested more time in booking the women because there is some talent there.

Semifinals are coming up next.


Kofi came out for his match. Cole called it a big upset for Kofi to beat Del Rio. They replayed the finish. The Miz came out second. He’s still selling the knee injury as they showed the replay.

Semifinals of WWE Title Tourney: Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz
They each get some nearfalls early. Miz slows it down with a chin lock, then Kofi comes back by going after the right knee with a straight kick at it. Kingston hits a dropkick for two. Miz is doing a great job selling the knee injury. Nice spot by Kingston in a move that was basically a headbutt to the knee. Miz bails to the apron. He drapes Kingston’s neck of the top rope. Kingston counters the Skull Crushing Finale with a rollup for two. I thought that was it. Miz comes back with the Skull Crushing Finale for the victory after three minutes.
Winner: The Miz

Cole put over how courageous Miz was. His teeth were bleeding.

Analysis: * Too short to be more than that. They did some good nearfalls. I liked the ending. It put over how tough Miz was to fight through the knee injury.

The Miz moves onto the final to face the winner of Mysterio vs. R-Truth.

Backstage, Scott Stanford interviewed R-Truth. He said he deserves to be champion. He said the conspiracy won’t stop him from being Rey Rey. “All you little Jimmy’s better close your eyes because that title is gonna get got. And that’s the Truth.”

Mysterio vs. Truth is up next.


They show a video about Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine. They show his old house. It was a tough neighborhood. They talk to his high school wrestling coach. They even have footage of it where Andy pins a kid after he showed some rage. It basically put him over as somebody that had to work hard to get where he’s at. I think it’s a good idea to do these videos about him because it keeps him fresh in the mind of the fans.

They showed videos highlighting the wins of Mysterio and Truth.

Semifinals of WWE Title Tourney: Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth
The crowd is hot for the match with Mysterio in it. Truth controls it early on. Somebody get Truth a water bottle and a cigarette. If he works more than once in a night he needs it. If he doesn’t get it then it must be a CONSPIRACY! Nice arm drag through the second rope by Mysterio. There’s a dive through the ropes. Three minutes in we go to commercial for the first FLOOR TO COMMERCIAL~! spot of the night.


Back from break, Truth is in control. At eight minutes this is the longest match of the night so far. Truth prevents a 619 by decking Mysterio with a hard clothesline for two. That clothesline looked a little sloppy. Truth hits a front suplex for two. Mysterio with a drop toehold into the middle turnbuckle. Springboard crossbody by Mysterio. Truth misses the scissors kick; Rey hits a seated dropkick for two. We’re past ten minutes now. Truth gets a two count as Mysterio gets his hand on the bottom rope. Mysterio comes back with a headscissors into the ropes. That leads to the 619 and the missile splash for the pinfall victory after 12 minutes.
Winner: Rey Mysterio

Analysis: **1/2 The longest of the six matches we’ve seen in the tournament. Mysterio’s offense still works for me. I know some people are sick of him, but not me. He’s always been a hard worker who puts on great matches. He did it again here. I don’t think anybody ever thought Truth was winning this match.

Mysterio is staying in the ring because the finals are coming up next. Mysterio vs. Miz.

They ended up booking a former WWE Champion in The Miz against a former two time World Champion Rey Mysterio. My guess is Del Rio cashes in the briefcase on one of them to end the show as WWE Champion. It makes more sense to do it against Mysterio due to him being a babyface, but Miz is injured so it works there too.

If you missed the excellent Money in the Bank PPV my recap is HERE. I think we saw the match of the year at that show. Check it out when you get the chance if you haven’t done so already.


Back from break, they introduced Rey Mysterio again. He was already in the ring. Before announcer Justin Roberts could finish the intro, Vince McMahon’s music hit and he walked out to the ring. McMahon says they’re running out of time, so he’s postponing the finals until next week. He says he has something else to do. “Don’t be selfish Rey. This is bigger than you.” Mysterio left.

McMahon goes on to speak about how he’s doing this for the betterment of the company. The crowd chants “CM Punk” during much of the speech. He talks about how loyal Cena has been to the company. He says he doesn’t want to do this…then he pauses and the crowd chants “CM Punk” again. That’s exactly the kind of chant they want Punk to get while he’s not there. It will make his return in a few weeks, a month or whenever it is mean that much more when he comes back. The fans are chanting him outside of his hometown. It’s perfect.

John Cena’s music hits. The former WWE Champion enters in his usual red Fruity Pebbles inspired gear. “You don’t need a seven second delay, Kevin,” says Cena among other things to producer Kevin Dunn. He talked about how he wasn’t going to rip Vince or his company. He talked about how he didn’t want to be Shawn Michaels screwing Bret because of the burden Shawn had to carry all those years. He said he wasn’t going to be the guy to screw CM Punk. “Punk if you are out there watching that was a hell of a match out there son, thank you so much.”

Cena tells Vince that he doesn’t want to play along with Vince’s way. He says Vince has about eight months to match up with The Rock at WrestleMania 28. He understands that Vince thinks he can find somebody else. Meanwhile, John gets to walk away with his dignity. The crowd cheers. “I love the WWE and I truly believe that I belong here. Man I hate saying this, but if you’re about to tell that I’m not welcome here – that I have no other option – I love this. This is what I do. If you make me walk tonight then I will walk on somebody else’s television show and keep on doing this…brother.” Whoa TNA reference there. He says there are a lot of people that say he’ll do a lot of things, but one thing he won’t day is kiss Vince’s ass. Very good speech.

McMahon says as much as it hates him personally and business wise to say this…John…whoa cue Triple H’s music. Hunter walks out to a huge op. He’s wearing a suit. Vince gets his son in law Triple H, who Vince introduces as “one of the all-time greats and my son in law as well…Triple H.”

Hunter says there was a board of directors meeting in the morning. Hunter got there as fast as he could. He says that he flew to the office in Connecticut where there was a meeting. The board asked him to come to the show to talk to Vince about the current situation. Hunter wants to talk about it in the back. The crowd boos. Hunter says the board is concerned about Vince. They understand he’s built a global empire, but that the board is questioning Vince’s decisions of late. The board has filed an injunction against Vince with a vote of no confidence. “And Vince, the family agrees.” Crowd with an “ooooohhhh.”

The board has appointed someone to take over the day to day operations of the WWE. Here we go. “And um…I can’t even believe I’m going to say this, but Vince it’s me.” Vince can’t fire Cena or anybody else. Hunter says Vine taught him from day one that nobody is bigger than this business. Hunter says this is just business.

Hunter: “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I’m here to inform you that Vince you are relieved of your duties.” Vince is crying. The crowd is chanting “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye!” Cena has left the ring by the way.

Hunter says that he did not want to do this. He’s trying to do what’s right for the business. He asks Vince to look at him. “I love you, pop. And I’m sorry.” Then he leaves Vince alone in the ring. McMahon continues to cry in the ring alone.

When Hunter leaves the crowd stops their chant. They start applauding Vince. A “Thank You Vince” chant breaks out to end the show. The show ends on Vince’s face as he’s crying while the crowd continues that chant.

This was one of the most surreal endings to Raw that I’ve ever seen. I’ve been hearing that Vince wanted to take himself off screen for a while. I guess this will do it on a more permanent basis. Obviously he’s still really the CEO and main booker of the company, but on screen it will allow for some freshness with Hunter being the man in charge. I like it. It will also likely lead to CM Punk being back sooner rather than later, which is what I expected.

Three Stars of the Show
1. Vince McMahon – The end of the “Mr. McMahon” character on screen. Have to give him the nod here.
2. Rey Mysterio – Two really good matches. Always delivers.
3. The Miz – Great job selling the knee injury.

6 out of 10
Last week: 6
2011 High Score: 9.1 (March 28)
2011 Low Score: 4 (Jan. 10/May 9)
2011 Average: 5.81
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 6, 5, 7, 5.5

How would you rate 7/18 Raw on the 1-10 scale?

Early in the show Vince said it would be a “night we’ll always remember.” Yep. It is. My immediate reaction is that this is a great angle. Essentially this means the Mr. McMahon character is over and is replaced by Triple H. It works because I think Vince’s character had grown stale while corporate Triple H has a lot of freshness to it. He can start off as a babyface, but perhaps he’ll be a heel long term. We don’t know. Like I said above it will probably lead to the return of CM Punk sooner rather than later. Hunter could publicly call out Punk for a negotiating session live on Raw, so Punk shows up through the crowd with the WWE Title and you can build up to his return that way. His issue was with Vince. Hunter can try to bring him back by doing things his way. The possibilities are endless now.

Lost in the Hunter-Vince story was Cena’s performance. I really liked his speech. It was one of his better ones because it felt like John Cena the man instead of Cena the cartoon character. I liked the “brother” line that was a Hulk Hogan/TNA reference too. Did not expect that. They never acknowledge TNA. I’m sure Dixie thinks it’s real haha.

I thought the matches were okay although they were short for a reason. They fell flat early on, but the semifinals definitely picked up the pace. I’m assuming we still get Mysterio vs. Miz for the WWE Title next week. Maybe it won’t happen, though. It was a Vince idea. Perhaps it will be ended. We don’t know.

We’re going to go into next week not knowing what the future holds. How is Triple H, new CEO, going to run things? I like not knowing. It keeps people tuned it. Call me crazy, but I’m excited about the future of WWE. Bring it on. Let’s have some fun with this.

Thanks for reading.

John Canton – [email protected]
Twitter @johnreport

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