Tonight the road to Summerslam continues as RAW stops into the HP Pavilion Arena in San Jose, California. What will happen tonight with CM Punk and John Cena? Tune in to find out! Don't forget to refresh the page for all of the updates tonight as well as some analysis thrown in for good measure. Stay tuned, let's get RAW!
WWE RAW 8/8/11
August 8th, 2011
HP Pavilion Arena, San Jose, California
Attendance: Unknown at this time
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Michael Cole, and Jerry Lawler
We open the show with Triple H, in a suit of course, coming down to the ring with a microphone. He talks about the importance of the CM Punk vs. John Cena WWE title match at Summerslam and how it will change the landscape of this business forever. Triple H says he can only trust himself, and so he appoints himself the special guest referee for the WWE Title match at Summerslam! He promises that we will walk away from Summerslam with only one WWE champion. He says we still have to get through tonight first though, and he introduces John Cena to start off the show tonight with our first match.
John Cena vs. Jack Swagger
Cena's opponent is none other than "former World champ" (somehow that still doesn't sound very impressive) Jack Swagger. Cena is hot to start with a big snap suplex on Swaggy for a near fall. Cena slaps on a side headlock briefly and then nearly takes Swagger's head off with a beautiful dropkick as Cena is all kinds of fired up here tonight. Cena takes a bit of a lazy bump into the corner and Swagger follows up with a Swagger Bomb. Jack locks on a butterfly submission as Jim Ross talks up the importance of the Cena/Punk match this Sunday. God it's good to hear Jim Ross put over the talent again instead of listening to Cole and Lawler bicker for two hours every Monday. Gut-wrench suplex from Cena and he starts to mount his usual comeback with a sideslam, the Five Knuckle Shuffle, and finally the Attitude Adjustment finishes it for Cena at 5:24. Pretty much just a quick squash match for Cena, but there's nothing wrong with that to kick off a show. Pretty decent action for a squash infact. **1/4
Miz vs. Rey Mysterio is announced for later tonight.
We cut to backstage where Scott Stanford is rudely interrupted by Ricardo Rodriguez and Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio says that Punk is the "voice of the gutless" and then accuses him of running off before Del Rio could cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Apparently they're facing each other later tonight.
Elsewhere backstage R-Truth (who claims to be a "good R-Truth") is asked by Josh Matthews why he would take advantage of his friendship with John Morrison. He rambles about hot dog buns, asks a lot of rhetorical questions, and rants a bit more about how spiders creep him out. If you can't tell this is more promo comedy gold from R-Truth. Truth talks about his mother making "spider stew" and then promises to step on a "spider" tonight named John Morrison. Truth, buddy, we're all worried about you man. Cut back on the crystal meth intake, please.
Rey vs. Miz is up next, but before the match can begin The Miz jumps Rey from behind on the stage while he's making his entrance. Miz tosses him into the WWE logo structure a few times and gets some massive heat before hitting a sick running kick that sends Rey head-first back into the steel structure. Miz makes his way down to the ring as Cole leaves the commentary table to find out what this is all about. Miz complains about not having an opponent for Summerslam and how all of the attention is unfairly spent on the Punk/Cena match. He rants about trending worldwide and being a media sensation and then demands a referee come down to the ring and declare him the winner of the match by forfeit. Instead Justin Roberts announces that Triple H has ordered that The Miz compete in a new match right now, against none other than Kofi Kingston.
The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi quickly makes his way to the ring and we're off with our second match of the evening. These two must have wrestled each other a hundred times last year during Miz's last stand in the midcard, so the finish here would seem to be a foregone conclusion. Nice leapfrog sequence by Kofi to start and a dropkick gets him an early two count. Kofi hits a Lou Thesz press and then clotheslines Miz out to the floor before wiping him out seconds later with a big tope as we take a commercial break. When we return The Miz is wearing Kofi down on the mat with a chinlock. Miz hits his signature running lariat into the corner on Kofi and then nails him with a big double axe-handle off the top rope. Miz tries to fight off Kofi's unconventional offense, but winds up taking a huge flying cross-body off the top from Kofi for a close two count. Miz responds with an implant DDT, but Kofi kicks out this time. Miz tries for a superplex off the top but Kofi counters into a sunset-flip powerbomb off the top for another hot near fall as things are really starting to heat up now. Kofi blocks the Skull Crushing Finale attempt by the Miz, but then gets flap-jacked onto the top rope and Miz finishes him off with the Skull Crushing Finale at 7:31 (shown). These guys have become very familiar with one another and that chemistry was plain as day here as this was a really fun sprint by both men while it lasted. Solid match. **3/4
Backstage Josh Matthews asks CM Punk about his reaction to Triple H naming himself as the special guest referee at Summerslam. Punk says he isn't surprised by Hunter sticking his nose into their business again. He promises that business is about to pick up as he'll defeat Alberto Del Rio next.
CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio
King makes the outlandish claim that Del Rio's MITB briefcase is worth more than the brand new Audi he just drove into the arena as he makes his usual entrance to the ring. The opening chords of "Cult of Personality" ignite a nice pop for Punk as he makes his way out to the ring next and we're off. Del Rio dominates to start surprisingly enough, tossing Punk into the corner turnbuckle and yanking his arms against them, going right to work on Punk's arm to set up for his armbar finisher. Punk fights back with a running Muay Thai knee into the corner followed by a running bulldog. He follows it with a springboard clothesline and then tries for the GTS, but Del Rio escapes and hits him with a lung-blower. Del Rio tries for his flying armbar finisher, but Punk counters with a boot to the back of his head and then nails him with the GTS to pick up the win at 4:40. Well that was rather quick, wasn't it? I figured they'd try to protect Del Rio a bit more than this, but at this point I guess no one can really be surprised by Del Rio being made to look like a chump yet again. Solid win for Punk going into Summerslam though. **
JR, Cole, and King hype the big contract signing later tonight with Punk, Cena, and Triple H.
Beth Phoenix vs. Eve Torres
Eve seems to have some new music that sounds a bit like a remix of Rico and Billy & Chuck's old theme music. Beth quickly tosses Eve to the floor with a back elbow and then tosses her into the guard barrier by her hair. Beth drags Eve back into the ring by her hair and slams her to the mat repeatedly by her hair. An elbow drop gets Beth a two count. Eve (barely) hits a dropkick and follows up with a nice jumping kick to Beth's mouth. Eve leaps off the bottom rope with another kick and then sets up for a moonsault, but Beth knocks her from the top and then gives her the Glam Slam to pick up the win at 2:57. Just another squash to establish Beth's new heel persona, but atleast it wasn't dull. *
After the match Beth grabs a mic and reasserts how sick she is of women like Eve and Kelly Kelly in the WWE. Beth says there will be no more "booty popping" or "stinkfaces" and then goes to leave, but she gets jumped from behind by Kelly Kelly with the Diva's title. Kelly hits the ring to help Eve up as we wrap the segment up.
We get a highlight package of some of the WWE superstars on the red carpet at the recent Teen Choice awards. Cena ponders if "transcendence" is a word (it is John) and we get a few shots of the always awesome Joel McHale as well as some of the kids from the TV show Glee. Always glad to see wrestling get any kind of positive mainstream exposure.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Alex Riley
Riley continues to get pretty good pops while Ziggler is still struggling to regain his pre-Wrestlemania heat. Riley cuts a lame bad breath joke on Vickie and Riley hits Dolph with a flying forearm as the opening bell rings. Ziggler stomps away at Riley in the corner for a few moments and then Vickie hits the ring and slaps Riley in the face to get Ziggler DQed and give the match to Riley at 1:28. Vickie storms off afterwards, leaving Ziggler behind in the ring. Uhh...was there a point to this? 1/4*
When we return from a commercial break, we get a nice video package hyping up the Cena/Punk title match at Summerslam. Sounds like the WWE may have gotten a new voice-over guy as well.
R-Truth vs. John Morrison
Strange that these two are facing off tonight, as I was under the impression that this match would wind up on the Summerslam card this Sunday. For that matter, we're six days away and only have four matches announced so far. Kind of strange. Anyways, Morrison is fired up to start and almost immediately delivers the Spanish Fly (C4 suplex) to Truth for a quick near fall. Truth hits the floor for a breather and Morrison takes him out moments later with a huge spinning pescado over the top rope onto the floor! JoMo hip-tosses Truth into the guard barrier and talks some trash to Truth while he's at it. Morrison leaps up to the guard barricade, but Truth cuts his legs out from under him and Morrison's neck slams nastily against the side of the barrier. Back in the ring Truth delivers a big gourdbuster to Morrison and tries for the What's Up, but Morrison holds onto the top rope to evade it. Truth hits him moments later with the What's Up anyways though and gets the clean pin on Morrison at 4:04. I guess they're serious about continuing to push Truth, but this seemed like a seriously rushed and anti-climactic way to apparently blow off this feud only six days away from Summerslam. Where does Morrison go from here? Regardless, solid action while it lasted with Morrison taking some of his usual scary bumps. **1/4
When we return from commercial we get the results of our Summerslam poll asking who the fans think will walk out of Summerslam as the Undisputed WWE champion, with the results being 54% for John Cena and 46% for CM Punk.
Backstage Christian says he has a big announcement to make on Smackdown this week and claims that Triple H should show up for Smackdown this week as he'll want to hear Christian's announcement.
We cut back to the ring for our main event contract signing with Triple H and John Laurinaitis already in the ring. Punk is out first, followed shortly by Cena. Both men sit down at the table in the middle of the ring but before they can sign the contracts, Punk picks up a mic and decides to talk for a bit. He wonders out loud when the last time was when they had a contract signing that didn't end in a physical confrontation and he asks Cena if he should just flip the table over now and get the fight started already. Punk talks about feeling like a movie star getting ready to plug his latest film on Conan and then takes a shot at Triple H for the dismal sales of The Chaperone. Punk says he in fact does have a clip from a movie star for Cena, and introduces a clip from none other than The Rock! In the clip The Rock cracks some jokes about Cena's goofy ring attire and calls him a bloated transvestite Wonder Woman lookalike among other things. He mimics Cena's theme song and does his usual Cena impersonation. He talks about Cena going to his own hometown in Boston and getting booed and about how the majority of men around the world don't like Cena because they see through his bullshit and can smell a phony punk from a mile away as the clip wraps up. Crowd really liked that last bit Rock had to say. Cena goes on a rant about how he knows that he'll never win over alot of WWE fans and he begrudgingly agrees with Punk about his recent comparison of Cena to the New York Yankees. Cena continues to get some pretty big heat here from most of the men in attendance, but he puts over his own fans again and we get the usual rousing cheers from the women and children. Cena turns the tables on Punk and accuses Punk of being a phony for continuing to play up his role as the "voice of the underground". Triple H agrees with Cena on that and Punk asks Johnny Ace if he personally let the recently released Vladimir Kozlov, Chris Masters, and DH Smith know they were fired. He's (sort of) shooting again kids! Punk talks about when he won his first title in the WWE (the ECW title) and how Cena went up to him afterwards and told him that he had "almost given up on him", and Punk accuses Cena again of being a phony and a failure, bringing up his bodybuilder training and his time spent in UPW. Punk promises to walk out this Sunday the Undisputed champion and we wrap things up with both men signing their contracts and getting into each other's faces. Punk knocks Johnny Ace down and Triple H separates him and Cena again. Punk asks Hunter if "the fix is in" and we go off the air with the crowd chanting "CM Punk!" as the two champions stare each other down.
Bottom Line: Bit of an underwhelming effort for the big go-home show before the second biggest show of the year honestly. There was some solid action throughout the show and a few entertaining segments, but we still haven't got more than 4 matches announced for Summerslam and we're less than a week away from the show. Unlike the build to Money in the Bank, things don't seem quite as urgent and heated this time around between Punk and Cena, but I have confidence that they'll still wind up delivering another great match this Sunday. The closing segment was very well done though. As an individual show however, this was a bit mediocre and you'd be fine going into this Sunday if you missed the show entirely, so I've got to go with a slight Thumbs Down overall tonight. Not an awful or terrible show by any means though.