Raw Review for 8/1/2011

Opening Segment – CM Punk starts off the show, which was the right move. Everyone is tuning in to follow up on how last week ended. He explained simply, that he can’t make a change from the outside and needs to be on the inside to do that. Funny, this was pretty much the concluding thought of SLC Punk. Punk made sure to mention the fans and thank them – to me, that makes him a full-blown babyface. Triple H comes out. These two had a great back and forth, Punk is really coming through on speaking the minds of the fans. Punk noted that Triple H had a reputation for holding guys down and even being over-rated himself. I was worried when Triple H told Punk to explain why he really came back. Luckily this was just Triple H trying to be standoffish. This block ended with Triple H saying that he would take care of the dual champions situation later in the night.

All in all, a good promo spot.

Diva’s Battle Royal – I felt like this was a waste. I was anticipating either Beth Phoenix or Eve winning. I wanted Phoenix to win, which she did. Then she turned heel. It was needed and expected, but somehow felt kind of forced. I guess she’s taking over for Kharma – she’ll play the role of the monster diva, until Kharma returns next year to dethrone her. Is there really any other diva on the roster that poses a believable threat to Kharma?

The Miz and R-Truth Segment – The WWE is dangerously close to making R-Truth a face. He seems more over now than when he was a face. Maybe it’s just me.

Miz & R-Truth Vs Rey Mysterio & John Morrison – I suppose it was necessary to have this match in order to let these guys all have an appearance, but I really didn’t care. This match really didn’t do much for me, nor did it advance any stories. At least Miz & Truth won and looked dominant at the end.

Triple H Interview – Josh Mathews interviews Triple H. After what could maybe be considered a hard-hitting question, Triple H asks Mathews if he shaved that day. Trips told him he better get on that… Did I miss something? It made Triple H look kind of like the bully Punk accused him of being. Other than that, he just repeated what he said earlier.

Dolph Ziggler Out – While putting himself over, he’s interrupted by Alex Riley. I actually am ok with this. Riley is over, although I think the title should stay on Ziggler for now, this feud should be used to make Riley really good.

Ryder & Santino Vs Otunga & McGillicutty – At least we’re getting more Zack Ryder on Raw, it’s really about time. The tag division could not be any more lacking though. Throwing teams together to fight the champions who also have nothing going for them really isn’t doing much. I hope the Kings of Wrestling arrive soon. Also important to note, I love Santino’s new Cobra arm cover, AKA Socko 2000. Also – why were the heels facing the hard camera? It’s supposed to be the other way around. I guess it helped the successfully retain their titles.

CM Punk Interview – Again, kind of a lackluster interview, just repeating things that have happpened. I remember there was a Cena interview somewhere before this also, but again, not much in the way of story progression.

Alberto Del Rio Vs Evan Bourne – These two wrestled solidly, but the match was really lackluster. Del Rio basically dominated. Toward the end Bourne made a quick recovery, but didn’t hit the shooting star press and then the match was over via tap out. Winner – Del Rio

On another note: I really hate that Del Rio has the money in the bank. He really doesn’t need it. That could have better served another superstar.

We’re told to vote on WWE.com for who the universe thinks the rightful champion is, Cena or Punk?

Promo for Smackdown – Sheamus Vs. Mark Henry. I, for one, am thrilled that Sheamus is a face. I think he could be an excellent face. I’ve thought for a long time now, he and Swagger should be faces. One down, one to go. Also we got the Miz 7-Eleven commercials tonight. Looks like there’s quite a lot of collector cups now. Does CM Punk have one?

We return and see the poll results – John Cena gets 54% and CM Punk gets 46%. Not a bad split, although I expected Punk to be the favorite.

Triple H comes out, ready to address the problem of having two champions. The obvious way this is going to go is a Summerslam match, but we have to pretend that isn’t a given. John Laurinaitis is the first interruption. Anyone hear the fan yell “Push Zack Ryder!?” Triple H isn’t happy to see him. He suggests Cena be stripped, because that’s what Vince would want. I first wondered why he’d say that since Vince would have a greater issue with Punk, then I remembered why and Cena reminded us. Cena came out got in Laurinaitis’s face – said that he must want Cena stripped because Cena decked him at MITB. After Laurinaitis tried to get tough, Cena said he was going to deck him again. Laurinaitis quickly bailed. CM Punk came out and basically, both guys wined rather than letting Triple H speak. Finally, Triple H announced the match at Summerslam. Both guys took turns showing off their titles and the music switched back and forth.

Ok Raw, but didn’t compel me to watch next week as much as the previous Raws have done lately. Zack Ryder needs to wear that Internet Championship on TV.
Micael Cole needs to know when to shut up sometimes. Burying the announcers during a match is just annoying. Maybe we’ll get the John Cena heel turn we’ve all waited for at Summerslam?

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