Last week saw Vince fired, Punk leave with the title, Daniel Bryan announce he's going to cash in Money in the Bank at Wreslemania, Rey and Miz make it to the finals of a tournament for a new champ, and HHH take over as the new boss. So let's see how they build on most of that this week.
The show kicks off with Miz vs Rey for the title. That's kind of a surprise, and makes me wonder what all we'll have in store tonight, as I figured this would be the main event. The crowd is a bit better than last week and actually seems to care about the match, though it seems like they weren't ready for the world title to be decided to start the show. Miz is noticeably less hobbled tonight, barely showing any effects of the leg injury he suffered (or at least acted like he suffered, though I'm inclined to believe it was real and somewhat minor) at MitB last week. Jerry Lawler just took a cheap shot at the president making an address to the public on network TV that made me almost chuckle. As the match has gone on the crowd has gotten really really into things. Much better than the crowd last week, which honestly didn't deserve a new champ to be awarded with how dead they were. This crowd was into things at the start, despite the fact people were still probably arriving at the building and getting drinks and such, and now that they are more settled they are actually a pretty great and loud crowd that's firmly behind Rey (though Miz is getting a decent number of cheers as well). Miz counters the 619 by ducking, then grabs Rey for a powerbomb and ricochets him off the ropes for a little extra spring before hitting the powerbomb. Good stuff so far with both guys going all out in a match that's lasted nearly 20 minutes to kick off the show. In the end the bad knee from last week is attacked by Rey leading to the 619 and the top rope splash by Rey to get the 1-2-3 and make Rey Mysterio the new WWE Champion! Really good match and a great way to start off the show. Plus, even if Miz wasn't selling it the whole match, I like that the injured knee was a part of the finish, and post match Miz attacks Rey and lays him out, selling the re-injured knee as hobbling him. Cue up the trumpets and Del Rio is looking to cash in his MitB contract on a seemingly defenseless Rey, only to see Rey come flying over the top rope into Del Rio on the outside. Del Rio then changes his mind about cashing in and decides he'd like to hold his case for a little while longer. The only disappointing part of this whole opening segment was the fact they are continuing to use the ugly spinner belt design instead of debuting a new belt that doesn't look like a tacky piece of crap. And it sounds like HHH will make a speech on the new state of the WWE, so there's that for the main event I suppose. I don't know why everyone backstage is celebrating with the Miz or why Cena is happy he won. I mean, I guess they all hate Miz, but still, it seemed like overkill for a guy that's won the title before. now a recap of Vince being fired. Pretty much a waste of a segment catching people up on what happened last week and showing Rey as the new champ, stuff they've already shown or at least mentioned earlier tonight. Next up is Dolph vs Evan Bourne. I hope this is the start of a push for Bourne and I think this could be a fun feud for both guys. Much better than Kofi vs Ziggler for the 18297th time. During the match they again mention someone having a degree, in this case Evan. They were doing this on Friday last week as well, and it seems to be a new thing they are pushing for some reason, mentioning what people did before they were wrestlers or what they can fall back on or whatever. I don't really get why, but whatever. Dolph dodges the Shooting Star Press and hits his finisher before picking up Bourne and locking in the sleeper hold for the submission win as Evan passes out. So I guess this probably isn't the start of a feud for the two of them. Ziggler then grabs a mic and dares people ot follow that up, as if he's the best performer out there and the best wrestler around. I don't agree, but I like the confidence that showed. They then announce Kofi and Del Rio will have a rematch from last week when Kofi beat Del Rio int he tournament. Now we come back from commercial with the lame ass Keystone Light guy dealing with the Bellas backstage. This is fucking dumb. He puts a drawing on one of their arms so they can tell them apart and she acts like she has never heard of soap and has no idea how to wash a marker off. So dumb. And now we get a tag match with Kelly Kelly and Eve teaming against Maryse and Melina, which I will not be watching. The crowd dies for it, because it's fucking dumb and they are all terrible. HHH is up next, and they still aren't allowed to say Punk's name apparently as Jerry cuts himself off. HHH comes out and he's apparently announcing the return of someone. HHH is in a suit and looking like he's not going to be wrestling any time soon. I think if he stays in this boss role on a permanent basis, with very rare wrestling appearances, he could be great and that WWE could use him better as this than as a in-ring guy with as often as he gets hurt and as old as he is. HHH then says the only reason they are there is because of one man, and thanks Vince in an attempt to get a Thank You Vince chant going. I don't know how I feel about doing that every week, but as a one time thing I have no issue with it. HHH being excited for Rey and congratulating him is really really odd. And then he follows it up by saying he's going to do something different, and we will have a second title match tonight with Rey fighting against Cena in his first title defense. If they just give Cena the title back with some weakass crap like having Rey have two matches in one night, I'll be irritated, but I don't think they will do that. The crowd loves the idea, though. HHH says there's one name he hears everywhere he goes, and the crowd responds with a CM Punk chant. HHH says he's contacted this man and he's resigned him. He then asks the crowd to help him welcome him back to RAW, and...................... Jim Ross comes out to Boomer Sooner Jerry is happy about this, while Cole is less so. I was expecting something really dumb, so this is great news for me. Hopefully it means Cole goes back to Smackdown and not a three man booth with Cole sticking around. The crowd is happy to see JR and tells Cole that he sucks. Cole then grabs a mic and tells HHH that he doesn't think this is a good idea as he's the future not JR. "I refuse to sit down and work with this fat hayseed!" I think I'm about to get my wish and see Cole sent packing from RAW, but I fear this will make him even more unbearable on Smackdown. After he's done with his temper tantrum, HHH says he was going to fire Cole at first but reconsidered and decided it would cost too much to fire him so he's going to keep him around and that the only way he can leave is if he quits. Having a Cole-centric storyline is not a good outcome to this. And HHH now announces Cole has a match. Seems like HHH is trying to force Cole to quit, which would be fine with me, but the actual story to get there will be shit. Truth then comes out to get this segment back on track. Truth seems to think HHH has been part of the conspiracy all along. I'm shocked that he thinks this is the case. He then talks about how with a new day and a new regime, he likes what he's seeing. He then asks (while talking to his imaginary friends) what HHH will do for him. "Spiders and heights cost me the MitB briefcase" is one of the greatest sentences uttered in wrestling history. Truth does not think that HHH joking and making fun of him is funny. This only encourages HHH to do more elaborate stuff, and then Truth calls HHH crazy. Their dueling crazy faces were funny. Truth leaves angry, but HHH calls him back to mention that he resigned another guy that wanted a piece of him. Which is followed by John Morrison returning and really pissed. Truth stares in disbelief for a second, then charges him. After a couple shots, he tries to run off only to have Morrison dive over the steel steps and tackle him. This is followed by a pretty intense battle in the ring, and a successful Starship Pain that leaves Morrison standing tall and Truth rolling out to the ground. If you cut out Cole having a match announced, this would have been a great segment. Cole then comes out doing a HHH impression, which is just annoying. And his opponent is............................. OH RADIO TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU KNOW it's Zach Ryder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome. He gets a decent pop from the crowd, though not as big as it has been other times recently due to the fact that Cole was in the ring and half the crowd probably went on a bathroom break or to get snacks or whatever because he's awful. Ryder gets in the ring and wins in roughly 10 seconds. Ryder deserves better. He also needs his one legged tights back. Not as bad as it could have been, solely because of Ryder. Time for Del Rio vs Kofi, and with Ricardo back all is right in the WWE, I really missed the guy. What followed was a well contested high speed match with both guys still showing the effects of the MitB match and their match last week. I'd be happy with this as a feud for both guys for the next few weeks or so, and maybe a match at SummerSlam. In the end Del Rio keeps attacking the arm of Kingston and wins with the cross arm bar finisher. Ricardo then cheers this win with his usual aplomb. With the two matches being split, I think there's a good chance they fight again fairly soon and continue this feud at least on TV if not at SummerSlam, which should lead to more fun matches. Coming back from the break we get Miz's thoughts on his loss earlier, which is not a question he's happy to hear. Instead he goes on a rant about how all the problems are Cena's fault for losing to "he who shall not be named" and then thinks it's bullshit that Cena isn't fired and not only that he's going to give Cena a title shot. And then he points out that Rey as champ is terrible because he doesn't have a face to market, while also plugging his appearance on George Lopez later in the week. It seems Miz is not a fan of the new regime and is not happy with any of these decisions. I feel like this is a good route to go with his character, and I hope it leads to a title feud sooner rather than later. Rey and Cena then make their way to the ring for the main event. Really? The promo for next week and the big draw is supposed to be a Diva Battle Royal for the #1 Contender spot? Really? That's a draw? I'm speechless. Needless to say, barring a surprise entrant, I won't be watching that crap. Now it's time for the main event. Cena's reaction, while still mixed, is less than it was during the Punk matches and honestly a bit less than it has been in a while. Could just be this one crowd that's really hyped for a second title match or it could be a sign this recent stuff has lessened people's anger towards him. I'm inclined to believe the former, but we will see in the coming weeks. As the match is going on the Cena Sucks/Let's Go Cena chants get really really loud on both sides, pretty much showing that the earlier subdued reaction was just because the crowd was happy to see a second title match. Cena is kind of workign the heel role in this match, and it suits his style very well. Honestly the best work of his entire career has always been as a heel, like in Chicago at MitB or at One Night Stand vs RVD or his early stuff when he was a straight up heel before turning face. He's a genuinely nice guy, or at least he seems that way, and he works really hard to give the fans what they want every night, but he just seems more comfortable as a heel and he falls into that role really well. Anyways, this has been a pretty good match with both guys getting a lot of near falls. Rey reverses an STF attempt by Cena and turns it into an STF! I don't think I've ever seen anyone do that to Cena and I don't think I've ever seen Rey apply that hold to anyone. Cena then stands up on one leg with Rey on his back. And while i realize that Rey is really light by wrestler standards, that's still ridiculously impressive. The AA fails as Cena sells the leg as being injured and unable to stand on it with Rey, which leads to a 619, but Cena gets his knees up on the splash to avoid being pinned, though it seems to cause Cena as much pain as it did Rey and he's unable to even attempt a pin. Cena eventually reverses Rey in the corner into a powerbomb where Rey lands a bit awkwardly on his shoulder, and then hits his leg drop on Rey, who kicks out. The crowd is going absolutely nuts and this is a really fun match that's really ratcheted up in the last moments. Cena tries to losen up his leg and goes for the AA again, only to get reversed into a 619 setup, but he recovers and catches Rey as he's running towards him and hits the AA for the win. Ugh, Cena as champ is really really dumb. Cena feeling bad for Rey after the match just makes it worse, as if he really cared about Rey he would have declined the match and asked HHH to save it for next week when it would be a fair fight. But whatever. What's all this, after all of that, Cult of Personality hits. Yeah, the 80's song............................... and the champ is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CM PUNK has stepped out on the ramp with his belt, the true WWE championship. Cena is stunned and the crowd is cheering a lot. I kind of wish they'd saved this a little while longer, and maybe let Cena try to get the belt at SummerSlam instead of tonight, but it's still a cool moment when Cena holds up the belt and gets a heavy mix of boos to go with a few cheers, followed by punk holding up his belt to much louder cheers. Then the show goes off the air without a single word from the announcers or either guy. Interesting ending to the show and I'm curious where they go from here. Is Punk hired back? Was he just crashing the festivities? If he comes back does the title Cena just won become meaningless? I don't know where they are going. Overall it was a show with a good amount of good wrestling, and some good movement on storylines, but in the end Cena as champ is just kind of lame and I was hoping it would take longer, but on the other hand having Punk come out to end the show means I don't totally hate Cena with the belt as it makes the most sense for them to put the titles on the line against one another once Punk decides to "officially" resign. So I have a mostly positive, but somewhat mixed reaction overall.
Written or Contributed by: rdrsfn82