It's the last episode before the PPV on Sunday. The last chance to see CM Punk on RAW for a while (maybe), and it'c coming on the heels of a few really good weeks for both RAW and Smackdown, so let's see if they can keep that momentum going.
So, this column is a bit late this week. The fates (a wedding and the release of NCAA Football '12) delayed this until Wednesday morning. It's not like I watched the show and waited to post, I just haven't actually watched it yet. So, lo siento mucho. Smackdown was another strong, wrestling heavy event last week, RAW was good with Punk gone and still the focus, and now we get to see his return, so let's get started.
Punk opens the show, and promptly goes to a production guy and talks into the headset, telling the producers not to cut his mic. He then says he didn't watch last week because he wasn't on the show and so it couldn't have mattered. And he's sitting in that awesome cross legged style that is so condescending and simple. He then talks about the suspension, then he brings up most of the issues he brought up that got him suspended in the first place, and is getting quite a few cheers for it. He also has a bullhorn in case they cut his mic. There's a really loud CM Punk chant as he plays the bullhorn like a siren. If he's really leaving, and it's for a long period of time, that would be really sad. He's the best thing in wrestling right now. Talking about how a pic in his hands is a pipe bomb and all he really wanted, and how Vince is begging him to stay and offering him everything he can to keep him there. Says he's the only one that made WWE relevant, not to the people there (who don't count as he pointed out in a failed attempt to go back to being heel, which isn't going to work because this crowd is loving him right now. He could say he loves Nazis, burn a cross, and kick a baby without getting booed right now), but to the rest of the world. He's mostly right, he has created a huge buzz. Rome trying to get him on, Jimmy Kimmel, and whatnot have tried to get him on, and that wasn't happening with Cena beating Orton for the millionth time. This has been a great start to the show. Holy shit now he's asking for Vince to come out and negotiate in the ring, and even suggesting Vince may be asked to join the CM Punk Kiss My Ass Club. Now Cena is heading out to his usual mixed reaction, and Punk is yelling into the mic that he was talking and the music is too loud. This is amazing. He calls out the spinner belt for being hideous, it just keeps getting better. Then he points out that Cena was fired for like 3 days last time. Serious Cena is here and he's cutting a decent promo, Punk is bringing the best out of him in a way that the Rock wasn't. "I have this (the title) because I am the best and I deserve it", brings up guys like JBL and Eddie and Angle that he beat to prove he's the best, says he doesn't care what anyone thinks or the reasons why people do what they do or if Vince really fires him or not, he's going to Chicago to whip Punk's ass. This is great, and then there's a shitty beeping sound as the GM has a message. Vince is on his way and Cena will be ina special match next. Time for a commercial, and Punk wishes Cena good luck through the bullhorn as he walks away. That was an amazing opening segment.
Cena in a handicap match vs the tag team champs. Otunga is so fucking awful. Cena makes him look like the joke he is. Not Perfect Jr is in there and it actually almost looks like a wrestling match between two guys that can wrestle even if Cena is still dominating. If there was a real tag division, the champs would be wiping the floor with him instead of getting their asses handed to them. Cena wins in an extended squash where there was never any doubt. Practically a momentum killer for this show, but we know that Punk will be back later so you can't kill it all.
Mark Henry gets a nice video to pump up his match with Big Show. Ziggler is talking about how he's going to tell Vince to fire Cena and Punk, because he can carry the company with the US title. Vickie does an impression of Vince that was pretty funny. Drew then comes over and competes with hsi own impression that's pretty hilarious. Now some jokes about Vince's bad breath, until Vince walks over and puts his arm around Vickie. Good stuff by all of them that showed comedy without making anyone look like a joke. Vince calls them rising stars and tells them they are in a handicap match vs Big Show, because they earned it by being great. Then he asks for a mint. Vince gets asked what will happen in the ring with Punk, and he says the world can go to hell. Solid segment that showed you can do comedy without making the guys look like a joke in the ring like Santino.
Kelly Kelly means I'm not watching this crappy match. Then post-match the Bellas just insult Kelly's looks, because all women's matches need to boil down to looks and shallow shit like that, not a desire to win the belt. It's not like the debut of Kharma proved that taking the stuff seriously and pushing someone as an actual wrestler led to the first interesting women's story in years. Let's just move on.
The commercial for the Rey DVD was cool.
Miz is in the ring, on a ladder, with a mic. This will end well. Talks about how he has what it takes to be a champ, even if he's been a little off lately. How he's the future and will prove it on Sunday. The only negative lately has been not focusing enough on Miz with all the other stuff going on. Now Swagger is interrupting him, talking about how he's the future not Miz and how he won the MitB in the past as well. These two could have an amazing feud with Miz as the face. They would also be an awesome tag team or members of a stable. Now Evan comes out and tells them both to shut up and how no one cares about what they've done, and he's going to win the match. He should be allowed to talk more often, but then they might actually push him and lord knows Vince can't push a little guy. Now Kofi is out and he's another guy who won't get pushed beyond the mid-card no matter how much he deserves it. This group for the RAW MitB match is filled with guys that should be in the main events. Now Truth is ranting about how he beat Cena, has acrophobia, and how it's all a conspiracy. Then segways into talking about how there better not be any spiders, because he's afraid of them and if a spider crawls out of the case, he's going to be pissed. Reilly just runs out to attack Miz, with no talking. Now Del Rio is out with his car to state his case. Calls this a disgrace, says he won the #1 Contender spot, and how the fact Cena got Punk back was just because Cena is afraid of Del Rio. This is another great segment. Best thing since the opening of the show. These guys should be carrying the show week in and week out. Six Man tag with all the MitB guys is announced. Should be fun.
Big Show is on Burn Notice, and looks like ti should be a fun episode. I like when he's been on USA shows and stuff in the past, and I like Burn Notice.
Solid match, typical stuff you see in the build up to a big match like the one this Sunday. Everyone gets a chance to shine, match ends with chaos, but it was fun despite the predictable nature of it. The sheer talent of the guys involved pretty much guaranteed it would be good before the show even started tonight, as you knew they'd do something like this with the MitB guys and how it would play out. Reilly getting the win was also obvious, as he's the guy that needed a pin to look strong enough to have a chance to win. Del Rio then coming in to clean house also made sense as he's the strongest guy and the one most likely to win (at least as far as the way they've built the match). Simple and effective stuff that promotes the PPV by making sure the audience knows just how entertaining all these guys can be,
Now it's time for Show to beat up two guys with nothing to do on the PPV, only for Mark Henry to come out. I wrote that as they were walking to the ring, so let's see if it proves to be true. Looks like Drew is getting the brunt of this attack, only for Henry to stop him from tossing Drew off the stage with a choke slam by tackling Show and having all three of them going flying onto a pad. Pretty weak, IMO.
Vince is on his way to the ring, but it looks like he came out early so he's heading make and coming out again. Now he's taunting the guy dressed as Hogan. He really is great at working a crowd. After talking down about Punk a bit, Vince calls him out to the ring. Punk does a little Vince walk, then comes down to the ring with a folder ready to negotiate his new deal. After a lot of talk about what's going on, Vince calls Punk by his real name of Phil. Punk's lawyers have written up a new contract, and then asks the crowd if they want to hear about the deal he wants. Punk is pushing Vince, literally, right now. It's awesome. "I'll kick you in the nuts and you will smile and like it", that's great. He wants a private jet, not Vince's stinky jet, but a new one. He wants his face on everything from the turnbuckles to the spoons and forks they use backstage. He wants the WWE ice cream bars back. He wants WWE Films to make CM Punk: The Movie. He wants a match at Wreslemania, he wants it to be the main event ahead of the Cena/Rock match, and he wants an apology from Vince for suspending him and to apologize to the fans for being a hypocrite, especially about the anti-bullying stuff as Vince is one of the biggest bullies he's ever met. The crowd is now chanting for Punk yet again. Now he brings up his friends that have worked here and been unceremoniously fired (hi Colt Cabana and Luke Gallows) because Vince doesn't know what makes a superstar in 2011. "I am CM Punk and I am the voice of the voiceless", holy crap this is another awesome segment, this time with Vince in the ring listening to each reaction in person. The crowd is asking for the apology. Vince says he doesn't give a damn what the people want, and Punk says that's the problem and that he cares too much. He may not be a good guy, he may not wear a white hat, but he cares about what the people want. Vince apologizes, then Punk starts a "what" chant. Vince yells his apology, and Punk says that's better than 3 world title wins. Vince signs the new deal. Now Cena comes out to another mixed reaction. Cena calls Punk and Vince a couple of spoiled brats. Now Cena is trying to be funny talking about how much he hates Vince, instead of just being serious like he was earlier. Now he talks about how he shows up every day for the fans. Calls Punk a hypocrite for saying he stands up for the fans and then he's going to leave. Points out that the Rock came out and said he'd never leave, then he's not here and how Punk isn't the same guy, but he's about to do the same thing and that he's lost sight of his goals he used to have. Punk tells him that Cena is the one that lost sight of what he stands for. Mentions he was one of the guys with a Tommy gun during Cena's WM entrance years ago. Punk even apologizes for shouting, because he's not that guy. Tells him that Cena is a dynasty, calls him the New York Yankees. That finally pisses him off enough to throw a punch. Punk dives out of the ring, gravs the contract Vince signed, and then walks up the ramp calling Cena Jeter and Vince Steinbrenner. Now he sits down on the ramp to explain why he wants to leave. "I'm tired of this. I'm tired of you. I'm just tired." He then rips up the contract and tells them that Sunday they can say goodbye to Cena, to the WWE title, and to CM Punk. "I'll go be the best in the world somewhere else"..Great ending to the show.
Wow. The show was wildly inconsistent, but the good outweighed the bad and whatever Punk does, and however long he's gone (if he leave at all), I can't wait to see what happens on Sunday and what he does next. Punk is the best in the world, and by letting him cut loose like this, everyone now realizes it.
Written or Contributed by: rdrsfn82