The first show after a shocking SummerSlam PPV where we saw a lot of big changes to the WWE, including the debut of a familiar face and some titles changing hands. Let's see what they have in store to follow that up.
Credits & Solicit Info:
The 8/15 edition of WWE Monday Night RAW
So like every good reviewer, I didn't watch the big show on Sunday night because I'm an idiot. And I missed Christian and Orton murdering each other as Orton walked away with the title, a really good Danielson vs Wade match. Kelly Kelly getting a surprise win, and some big old guy named Kevin coming in after Punk had pinned Cena (who's foot on the ropes was missed by HHH) and giving him a Jackknife Powerbomb, setting up Alberto Del Rio to come in and cash in his MitB briefcase to win the title. So, nothing big or surprising.
I'm an idiot. WWE is firing on all cylinders right now and I skipped the show and missed a pretty awesome event that looked good going in and featured two world title matches that have been part of some great feuds all summer long. Why did I skip it? Because I'm an idiot. Now, without further ado, let's get to tonight's show.
We start off with a recap of last night and some still pictures. HHH missing the foot on the ropes was pretty blatant as he didn't position himself in a spot where he could have claimed to not see it. That's the sort of thing a guy who regularly refs would have done better, turning to make sure he missed the foot or counting with the other hand or something. HHH heads out to the ring first, says a lot of people have reasons to have issues with last night's show, first and foremost John Cena who he missed the call on. Says he isn't sure who would have won if he had made the right call. It's a good job of putting both guys over and selling it as a great match. As for the post match stuff, he claims he had nothing to do with any of it. I will not buy this, as I think it's the start of the new Corporation, but we'll see either later tonight or in the coming weeks. He's got a bit of a shifty eyes thing going on, though that could just be playing to the audience. Says Nash will be here tonight to explain why he did what he did. Del Rio cashing in is just how MitB works and there's nothing wrong with what he did, which is right, since most everyone has gone that route, face or heel (with a couple of exceptions like RVD vs Cena). Now it's time for our one true champ Alberto Del Rio. The lack of Ricardo calling out his name makes me sad. "My name is Alberto Del Rio, the undisputed WWE Champion", I like the sound of that. I really hope this is a one off match with Rey and he moves on to a feud with Punk or someone like that. If this sets up another freaking Rey feud, I'll cry. Says he wasn't planning on cashing in until Nash ran in and laid out Punk. Solid promo so far, talking about how he wants to represent every one of the fans with respect, passion, and he just wants to be a champion for them, and later he will be signing autographs and taking pictures in the lobby. The crowd booing this is hilarious, as he's cutting a face promo. Brings up that he'll be fighting Rey, which the crowd loves as they are in San Diego and everyone loves Rey everywhere anyways. Del Rio says he loves Rey just like everyone else because Rey is a Mexican icon, a gran luchador. I love Rey, I love beating Rey Mysterio. Talks about how he started his WWE career beating Rey. Says he wakes up in the morning and says "Hey, Alberto Del Rio, what do you want to do today? I'm going to beat Rey Mysterio!" Great line. Tells the audience he's going to beat the Chihuahua, and that everyone should change their area code, because he's going to give them a new hero, Alberto Del Rio. Good opening segment. Puts over all the key changes, sets up some good stuff for later on, and didn't go too long. King doubts HHH's story about not knowing what's up with Nash, and as we go to break they show HHH walking into Cena's dressing room.
Truth is coming out, and now his entrance has music, but no words. It's like a rock remix of his old theme. I do not like this, as the no music entrance stood out better. He'll be taking on Morrison in a rematch of last week. Morrison promises he'll give all the Little Jimmies out there something to cheer for, as this will be a Falls Count Anywhere match, and they are on Morrison's element. The match doesn't take long to end up outside of the ring. Morrison has the early advantage, diving outside and taking out Truth. Morrison looks very aggressive tonight, and hits a nice move where he ducks a clothesline and jumps off the barrier for his kick he normally does off the ropes. Just before the commercial break, Truth evens things by hitting his inverted Falcon Arrow move on the floor, which looked pretty awesome. Back from break, Truth is killing Morrison with hard shots to the back, and we see that during the break Truth dumped Morrison off the turnbuckles in the corner to the outside. Truth hits a big running knee on Morrison that drives his head into the barrier, and then yells out "That's for all the Little Jimmies!". Good stuff. Truth is just being vicious right now, and is ranting like a madman between attacks. He's really in the zone right now as a performer. He has been this good since his early days in TNA when he was a title contender, a really good era for TNA in general, and the first time I saw anything of value from him as a performer (and I'd imagine many others felt that way as well). As over as Punk has become as a face this summer, morphing from the biggest heel to the most popular guy in the company, Truth has turned into a top tier heel in that same time period. He could really use some big PPV wins over a guy like Cena and maybe even a title run (though with Del Rio having the belt, there's not really an opportunity for that on RAW right now). Morrison with an inventive spot to end the match, flipping Truth with a suplex and dropping him into a rolling chair where he landed in a seated position, then backing up and hitting a huge running knee that took him out and flipped the chair over, spilling Truth out on the floor for the pin. Good match, and I like this feud overall.
Back from break we get to see a video about why Rey is a great champ and then we get Miz in the ring talking about Jared from Subway who is in the audience. Miz then says he only agreed to do this because Jared is a Miz fan, but Miz is not a fan of his because he thinks he could be a better Subway spokesperson than Jared. This is a kind of dull and annoying segment wasting Miz's talent. And it's now turning into a commercial for why Subway is great. Miz then talks about how he's a star and he'll be champ again. Awful waste of time. Backstage we see Nash getting out of a limo and slowly making his way to the ring. He's clearly limping a bit, though I suppose that could just be a strut. I really don't feel any need to see him wrestle anymore.
Oh look, time for Kelly to fight a Bella. What a shocking match we havent' seen a million times. Oh wait, it's actually a tag match with Kelly and Eve vs both Bellas. I'm not wasting my time with this. After the faces win, Natalya and Beth come out on the stage and clap for them. Another waste of a segment.
And here we go, Kevin Nash is out (with no music, surprisingly) to explain what he did last night. Starts off thanking HHH for allowing him this chance to explain what he did, and then goes into how close him and HHH are. Right before the main event, as he was watching from the crowd, he got a text that said "Hey big man, can you do me a favor and no matter what happens, can you stick the winner for me." When a friend asks me to do something, I do it. Talks about how he loves the thrill of being in the ring, like at the Rumble, and last night was just business. Nash says he's shocked HHH was saying he didn't know anything about it last night, and says they need to get on the same page. Instead, Punk comes out looking less than happy. He stops on the ramp and waits for the very large cheers and chants from the crowd to die out, before asking Nash if he expects him to believe that load of crap. Punk then says he doesn't really buy any of this and thinks it was all the two of them working together. He then tells Nash to jump off a bridge because it would be good for business, and talks about how he now has proof that Nash and HHH have no idea what's good for business. Nash is not amused and feels that Punk should watch his mouth. Punk then tells Nash he should watch the show, as he does and says whatever he pleases. Nash continues to not be amused. Punk says the story Nash told proves HHH is a liar, but maybe HHH is telling the truth and Punk is the liar. Nash offers to show the text, Punk then reads a text from his sister that is pretty funny about how she thought Nash was dead. This is good stuff, but they need to move the story forward instead of just arguing. Punk says he doesn't blame Del Rio, as he's done the same thing before and 8 guys have cashed in and all won the title, but instead he's mad at HHH and this crap he's letting run wild all over the place. Nash then talks about how Punk hasn't accomplished anything, and Punk comes back pointing out that Nash didn't believe in Eddie and it's not 1994. Nash then says that in '96 he changed the business and made it possible for guys like Punk to be here. Then he says Punk should get out of here. Punk then says he came here as Punk, and will leave as Punk instead of coming in with lame gimmicks like Oz or Diesel or Vinny Vegas. Good stuff, again, and now Punk is ready to fight, but security is stopping him from getting int he ring while Nash smirks in the ring. Punk says he's going to go look for HHH since he can't get to Nash. Solid segment, that just adds to the confusion of the story instead of clearing things up. This could go a few different ways, which is a good thing, but Punk needs to be given his title shot sooner rather than later, and they need to not drag this stuff out too long. Still, overall this was a fun segment.
Back from the break we see Laurinitus in HHH's room talking to Nash, who is looking for HHH. He says that HHH is in a meeting with Punk, and John says he's glad he ran into Nash as he has something important to talk to Nash about. I get the feeling we'll see him being the one that sent the text and the leader of a heel faction, at least at first, though it could all be a front before HHH is revealed as the real mastermind. Afterward, we get a recap of Dolph and Vickie breaking up from last week. Alex Riley is on his way out to face Swagger, and Dolph and Vickie are on commentary. King makes a fat joke about Vickie, and Dolph responds that she's in better shape than King. Which is probably true. I'm glad someone finally pointed this out. Vickie and Dolph are arguing and going back and forth a lot during the match, and the others are kind of egging them on. However, Dolph is kind of defending her from the announcers like the big brother who thinks only he can make fun of his little sister and not the school bullies. Meanwhile, in the ring, it's a solid match. Nothing great, but that's mostly due to the fact Riley is just OK and they keep cutting away to show the announce table. Finally, Vickie gets up and steals JR's hat for some reason, and then starts walking around in the hat. Eventually she gets on the apron and puts the hat on the ref when Riley was going for a pin. This distraction leads to Swagger getting the advantage and eventually hitting his powerbomb finisher (which took multiple tries because Riley wasn't helping much). Good stuff, and it seems Vickie is moving on to a new client, maybe. I think that could be good for all of them. Swagger could use a real push, Ziggler could stand on his own, and Vickie could be best used building up another champ.
Back from break we see more with Swagger stopping Vickie backstage and telling her he's a big fan and she's done great work building up guys like Edge and that she could be one of the great managers, like others who had multiple clients. He then tells her she should think about expanding her roster. The idea of her starting a stable would have pissed me off a few years ago, but she's really improved and is great at this sort of thing right now, and I think she could do some great work with a group of 3 or 4 heels. We then get a big SummerSlam weekend recap showing "stars" and fans interacting with the crowd. Backstage we see Punk and he walks into his room to find Stephanie there. She says some threatening stuff about how people get what they deserve. Good stuff, and I'd have no issue with her being on TV again, or even her being the one behind the Nash stuff. More possibilities arise, whcih is a good thing.
We now see Kofi and Evan making their way to the ring to face Otunga and Perfect Jr. I could see Evan and Kofi being a good team if they wanted to push them and keep them together for a while. Otunga is still awful, but they've developed some decent tag team chemistry and some decent moves that work despite Otunga's extreme limitations. King says that despite them holding the belts for a while, he's waiting for them to do something exciting and stop being so bland, which is the rare occasion where King makes a decent point. The finish sees Kofi get a hot tag, clean house, get interrupted by Otunga who was out of the ring, toss Otunga out, then get a tag from Evan. Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise, setting up the Shooting Star Press, for the win for Kofi and Evan. If the rumors are true that the WWE wants to reignite the tag division, these two as a major face team could really help, and if they do indeed bring over some of those ROH teams like the Kings of Wrestling, these two could put on some great matches with them.
It's now time for the main event. Del Rio is out first with Ricardo announcing his entrance. These guys are always good together, but they also have fought so many times in the last year that I jsut cant' get excited for them fighting anymore. Both guys are among the best guys in the company and generally great, but it's just been too much. That said, the crowd is loving this match so far and they are putting on an exciting start to the match. During the break Del Rio dropped Rey on the barricade to get control of the match. Rey starts to get the upperhand and even hits a huge tornado DDT out of the corner. He then gets a few near falls with quick roll ups before getting a kick to the head. King complaining about a guy having too much arrogance and flaunting it is the essence of irony considering he wears a crown to the ring and pretty much did the same kidns of things whenever he played a heel. I hate King, he's the Chris Berman of wrestling. Del Rio misses a move against the ropes and ends up flying to the outside between the ropes in that way he does, which leads to Rey eventually hitting a huge moonsault off the ropes to the floor on a standing Del Rio. Just as he gets Del Rio in the ring and sets up the 619, Del Rio takes him out with a big clothesline and gets right back in control. This has been a good match, but like I said earlier that's no surprise with these two, it's just that the feud has been done to death. Del Rio is getting frustrated. On a side note, two guys dressed in suits with scarves at ringside, looking like they are going to a Halloween costume as Del Rio, have been wildly entertaining all match long. Del Rio hits that top rope enziguri so cleanly and makes it look so good, I know he's not the only guy that does that by any means, but he certainly is among the best. Del Rio goes for the cross arm breaker, but Rey counters into a roll up for a near fall. The ending sees Del Rio hit with the 619, and then when Rey goes for the splash, Del Rio gets his knees up, holds on to Rey and rolls him up for the pin. Good ending to a good match. Following the match, Del Rio attacks Rey and just beats the crap out of him, another staple of their matches. Cena is not amused and sprints out to the ring to save Rey. He looks absolutely pissed off. Del Rio gets out of the ring with the help of Ricardo. Cena then gets on the mic and talks about all the reasons he should be pissed off. He says he could be mad at HHH, but instead he's mad at the scumbag named Del Rio who stole the title after two guys did everything they could and laid everything on the line for the title. He then says Del Rio is not a champ, just a target. Cena is in serious mode and cutting a good promo. He then says that everyone will be gunning for Del Rio and that while Punk deserved his title as champion, and that Del Rio just got lucky, and if he ends up fighting Cena he won't get lucky. Del Rio's destiny is to have Cena kick his ass. Good stuff, but Punk better be first in line for the title shot, or at worst it should be a 3 way.
Overall a good show that set up stories, gave us some good matches, and left questions going forward while answering some stuff from Sunday night.
Review by: rdrsfn82