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Credits & Solicit Info:
So yeah, with Punk back, it's time to see how they deal with two guys holding the WWE title. Beyond that we still have Morrison and Truth on a collision course, HHH trying to shake things up as the new boss, Del Rio continuing to hold his briefcase, Ziggler claiming he has no competition, and a bunch of other plots going on. Time to start the show and see what happens and where we go from here.
The show kicks off with a recap of the Punk/Cena situation, and then we hear Cult of Personality, Punk's new old theme (it was his theme in the indys before coming to WWE). This is just a perfect way to start a show. "The Champ is here!" is his first words upon returning, which gets him a big cheer (which King tries to claim is mixed) and a CM Punk chant. Now it's time to sit in the ring and tell us a tale of how and why he came back. Talks about how his actions directly led to Vince getting fired and the other changes, but how the credit should also go to the audience for reacting to what he's done and how he's here to make this fun again for everybody. I couldn't agree more. They really need to get behind him and the other young guys that deserve their chance to carry this show. Punk can't do it at Comic-Con or any of the other multimedia stuff, and needs to be here to be the voice of the voiceless. Says he made the call to ask to come back, called Cena as champ the "soul crushing status quo" which got a true mixed reaction with more boos than cheers. Then says Cena is as much a champ as the kid sitting ringside with his fake belt. This has been another great promo, and the crowd is eating out of his hand. He's easily the most over guy in the company right now. I like that he's putting over himself, the title, the integrity of the belt, the audience, and not cheapening anything about the belt while doing this promo. HHH's music hits and Punk tells us "apparently it's time to play the game", which was great. The reaction to HHH is not nearly as big as Punk, but he's definitely getting 99% cheers from the people reacting. So that's got to be good. There's now a quieter HHH chant, and Punk is still playing the crowd saying "H- H - H is the C - O - O", pronouncing each letter individually. Another great move. HHH says he brought back Punk because it's good for business, no different than bringing back Morrison and JR. The audience spoke, and he gave them what they wanted, putting his personal feelings aside. Punk takes exception to that last bit, and wants to know what his personal feelings are. HHH says he thinks Punk is "a smug, overrated, attention seeking, guy that puts too much stock in his own hype.". The crowd disagrees, a bit, but Punk concurs that he's smug and says it's like looking in a mirror. Good stuff. Punk then lists all the guys like Jericho and Mick that Vince let leave, with Brock getting a pretty good pop as well. HHH then says that Punk only resigned because he needed this platform for his own ego and because without the WWE he means nothing. I wouldn't go that far, but this is by far the biggest platform he can have in the US. HHH tries to leave, and Punk calls him back. Promises he's not going to shut up and just toe the company line. He then blasts HHH for all the crap he's done over the years, hogging the spotlight from other guys that deserved to get more attention. He then calls HHH a bully and says he is willing to push back. HHH talks about how he'd like to smack Punk, but isn't going to because this is bigger than that and as COO (for them, pointing at the crowd for a cheap pop) and that comes with rules that he may not like but has to follow. And then threatens Punk some more, telling him to not break any rules either. Punk asks, "Or what? You gonna beat me up?" in the most sarcastic way possible. He then flicks HHH's tie in his face, drops his mic, and leaves. Pretty great segment, even if it was a 20+ minute talking segment. We then see Morrison doing some flips and jumps off walls to prep for his upcoming tag match with Rey vs Miz and Truth later tonight.
Next up in the Diva battle royal. I will not be watching this crap. Beth with by lifting both Bellas and tossing them out at the same time. Kelly comes in to congratulate her and Beth tosses her around like a rag doll around the ring. Apparently she's going to be a heel again and take the damn title back. Hopefully this leads to some women's matches I can actually watch on RAW. She tells Kelly her days as a bimbo champ are over. Not a bad ending, but the match was almost certainly awful as most battle royals where everyone starts in the ring are, and all Diva ones are because of the low qulaity of the WWE Divas, most of whom should be valets. Anyways, lets move on. Miz is pretting for his match later tonight and Truth is just being crazy. Pretty good promo, with both guys bringing their usual entertaining attitudes. Miz continues to toe the line between face and heel, and Truth continues to just be insane.
Back from break, Josh Matthews interviews Cena who gets a mixed reaction from the crowd. Cena feels that Punk is admirable because of his willingness to speak his mind, but that it might come back to bite him in the ass. Cena then says he'll be out there when HHH makes his desicion on what to do with the title. It's fairly straight forward, and not too jokey or too serious. Kind of odd as he seemed to be almost laughing while talking, but his words were actually pretty serious. I think he should have been a bit more serious, but whatever. Now it's time for the tag match. Truth is wearing a flak jacket for his ribs that were injured when Orton attacked him like a heel last week on Smackdown. They then show a clip of Miz on George Lopez trying to kill his dancing partner during a silly sketch. Kind of funny. Time for a commercial break before the match. Now we are all in the ring, and the match starts off with the former tag champs and Dirt Sheet hosts, Miz and Morrison, facing off. The first good match of the night, these four very talented guys are putting on a crowd pleasing, high paced match, that is energizing the crowd that kind of died down during the Diva stuff. Miz's move where he knocks a guy to his knees and then hits a DDT should look really awkward on Rey due to the size difference, but instead looks great. I feel like that is a credit to both guys and their great in-ring work. The chamistry between Morrison and Truth is also pretty damn amazing, as those two just compliment each other really well. the end of the match saw a bicycle kick by Morrison set up a 619 on Truth, Miz drag Rey out of the ring and toss him over the barricade before he could bounce off the ropes, Morrison hit a big kick on Miz on the apron, and Truth get the pin with his finisher on the distracted Morrison. After the match, Miz his the Skull Crushing Finale on Morrison. Then Truth came back and smacked Morrison with a water bottle (which never hurts, but always looks cool). The two then celebrated together. I don't know where they are going with this, or if this was just a one off, but I could see these four in a #1 contender match at SummerSlam, and I could see that match being awesome. Backstage Josh is with HHH and asks about the confrontation with Punk to start the show. HHH says that what Punk did was nothing new and it wasn't surprising. He then warns Cena to keep things focused on business and not make it personal.
Dolph and Vickie are out, with Vickie talking about how he's superior to Punk and Cena. Dolph then mentions that the reason he said "follow that" after his match last week, was because he is the best WWE superstar on the roster, and he's more of a man and more talented than anyone backstage. Cue Reilly's music. He then comes out to say Ziggler hides behind Vickie the same way Miz hid behind Reilly and needed him to win. Ziggler then says that Reilly doesn't belong in his class, and takes off his jacket ........................ only to leave the ring. This could be an OK feud, and Ziggler will probably make Reilly look good in the ring, but I'd rather see Ziggler fight a guy like Bourne or Del Rio. OK segment trying to build a US title feud, but nothing to write home about.
Next up is Ryder and Santino vs the Nexus, who are now defending their belts two shows in a row after fighting the Usos on Friday. Santino starts the match getting dominated, the Nexus have actually developed some tag team moves, the crowd has a huge "We want Ryder!!" chant going. Santino gets away from Otunga and tags in Ryder, to a huge cheer from the crowd. Ryder and Perrfect Jr then make for a pretty entertaining bit of wrestling, before Santino screws things up and causes enough of a distraction for the Nexus to win with an elbow drop off the top rope by Otunga while Ryder was held on Perfect Jr's knee. An OK match for what it was, but it's a waste of the tag titles to have them on the Nexus and not have them ever on TV and it's a waste of Ryder and his popularity to not have him used better on a more regular basis, but hopefully these last few shows are a sign that both of those things are changing. I wouldn't hold my breath, but it's possible.
We get a recap of the opening, followed by Punk being interviewed backstage. He says he hopes Hunter makes the right choice later tonight. Says he was testing HHH and he passed with flying colors. Good stuff, Punk kept a serious and simple tone throughout, didn't make any big jokes until the end ("the champ is here, and now the champ is walking this way"), and got over the importance of the decision later tonight. That's so simple sounding, but it was entertaining and is the stuff wrestlers should be able to do all the time.
Next up is Del Rio vs Evan. If they give these guys time, this could be a really fun match. Del Rio spends most of the match in control and attacks the arm throughout the match. Evan gets a nice little comeback with his knees to the head reversal of a suplex, but it's short lived as he heads up top only to have Del Rio hit his top rope enziguri and then locked in the arm bar finisher. After the match, Del Rio locked on the arm bar again until Kofi came out and saved Evan. Decent match, not given enough time to be truly great, and I don't mind this Kofi vs Del Rio feud and I think they could have a really good match at SummerSlam.
Time for HHH's announcement. He's apparently thought about this for a long time, and has come to the decision that ...................... John Laurinaitus then comes out and interrupts him. That was, odd. and he then announces that he's in charge of signing talent, and that he's been there for a long time and knows how Vince thinks and how he'd want HHH to handle this. He then advises HHH to strip Cena of the title, which elicits a mixed reaction. This leads to Cena's music hitting. I suppose Lauinaitus is there to be the full on heel corporate persona so that HHH can kind of toe the line between face and heel, but I feel it's unnecessary. Cena is really dividing the crowd, and then takes over Punk's rant about how Lauinaitus is a yes man. He does a pretty good impression of him, but other than that it feels like he's doing this to steal some of Punk's cheers by trying to be the guy that references backstage stuff and speaks his mind. It's not really working. HHH spends most of the segment just standing around while Cena does this. Cena then uses internet logic and says that Punk shouldn't be champ ahead of him because of one night in Chicago anymore than Cena should be COO because he beat HHH at WM a few years ago, which has nothing to do with anything. HHH says he's not going to strip Cena of the title, because his win over Rey was legit. Punk's music hits, and he comes out waving his finger. This time, there's some louder boos, almost like someone pointed a mic at a group of Cena fans, since it was much louder than it was earlier in the show and was followed by a huge CM Punk chant with no competing Cena chant. Punk feels this is bullshit and that resetting the status quo is awful. HHH says, that he wasn't done talking. Cena tries to interrupt, and HHH tells him to know his role and respect the boss (don't call me Hunter). At SummerSlam we will have both guys walk in with their titles, which were both fairly won and earned, and we'll walk out with one undisputed champion. Which is the logical ending that everyone saw coming. HHH then leaves and the two guys take turns holding up their titles to see how the crowd reacts, which is mixed to both guys. Their music also hits each time they raise their belts. It's a pretty fun ending to the show, and both guys end up laughing and smiling a bit in the ring. They are openly screwing with teh sound guy by the end, and as the show goes off the air both guys are still going at it. Good ending to the show, if a bit too obvious.
Overall this was a more promo heavy show than the last few weeks, but that wasn't really a bad thing as there was a lot of storyline stuff that needed to be dealt with and it was mostly by charismatic guys that made it entertaining. A good, but not great show that sets up the potential for a few good matches at SummerSlam, including what should be another great main event with Punk and Cena.
Review by: rdrsfn82