Cena hates Del Rio, Del Rio killed Rey (who is having surgery on his bad knee later this week and will be out of action for a bit), Nash hates Punk, HHH claims he has no idea what's going on, the mid-card is filled with interesting stuff, and tonight we get to start setting the stage for the next PPV and hopefully find out who will be challenging Del Rio for the title.
Credits & Solicit Info:
WWE Monday Night RAW for 8/22
Let's get right to it. We are in Edmonton, so you know the crowd will be awesome and will not necessarily follow the heel/face roles with who they cheer and who they don't. I love Canadian crowds.
We kick things off with Ricardo in the ring announcing the arrival of Alllllllllllllbbbbbbbeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrtttttttttttttttttttooooooooooooooooo DeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllRRRRRRRRRiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiooooooo!!! Great car tonight, and a quick recap of Rey getting beat last week and then the post match attack that sent Rey off TV so he could get much needed surgery on his knee, even if the attack was shown as being on his arm to get him off TV. Cole points out that Rey will be gone for a few months. I really hope he's back in time for the Rumble and Wrestlemania as he really brings it at both of those events each year. "My name..." Cena's music interrupts, and now I have no idea who this guy standing in the ring with a scarf is. Dammit Cena, stop ruining introductions! I will never figure out who this is! You are a dick Cena! The crowd seemed to give Cena a fairly warm reaction this particular night. Part of that is because he's the first face to come out, part is because they truly hate Del Rio (he was heavily booed when he came out). There's still some boos, but it's not as bad as we've seen in some places. "Hi, my name is John Cena, and I'm the man that's going to take that WWE Championship off your waist. And not only that, I'm going to hurt you." Cena is talking a lot of trash about how he's going to take out everything Del Rio holds dear and send him home. He then says he's a nice guy, but Del Rio caught him on a bad day. Then he says only one guy can hang with him. Looks over Del Rio and concludes that he is not in fact CM Punk, but if he had just let Del Rio finish his intro he'd have already known this! Way to think ahead Cena. He then says since Del Rio is not Punk, when they fight he will kick his ass. This leads to the emergence of CM Punk, which the crowd is really behind. Punk makes his way to the ring and gets a big CM Punk chant when his music dies out. He tells Cena to hold up a second and that this feels like a rerun since Cena wants another title match. Punk points out that he beat Cena twice in high pressure situations, and then Del Rio cashed in his MitB (which Punk points out was totally fair and deserved) and that if anyone deserves a title shot it's him. So Cena should not get crap and Punk should get his shot instead. Del Rio rants in Spanish, and then tells them it's his time. Punk then tells him not to interrupt him again, and that while he has no issue with what Del Rio did (even though he feels he did it better), he has a problem with HHH, Kevin Nash, Del Rio, and everyone else trying to screw him over in this situation. Punk points out that Cena and him have both had issues with HHH and that whoever texted Nash to attack Punk would have had him take out Cena if he had won. His name of Berto for Del Rio is almost as fun as Randall Orton. Del Rio says it wasn't a conspiracy, but was destiny. Punk says destiny is him cashing in his rematch clause. Cena then says he is cashing in his rematch clause tonight as well. Del Rio says he's ignoring both of them and that since he defended his title last week, it's time to celebrate. But not here in Canada, and that Punk needs to stop crying like a little girl. Then as he's about to tell the two of them what's going to happen,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, it's time to play the game! HHH makes his way to the ring and Del Rio is smiling and happy to see him. HHH looks slightly less enthused about this. He then tells Del Rio to wipe the look off his face and that he's not here to protect Del Rio. He then says while he won't be defending the title tonight, Del Rio has a match next. He then tells Punk and Cena that they don't get to cash in whenever they want, instead they get to figure it out for themselves as they will be facing each other tonight with the winner getting a shot at Night of Champions. I smell a double count out or DQ or something of that nature leading to a triple threat match, which is what I said last week. Really good opening segment, IMO. They then head to commercial (and show Henry killing Shamus, Big Show, and all the others he's been destroying lately. It's a pretty great package setting up a Henry vs Shamus match for Smackdown. I've really enjoyed the Henry push over the summer and Shamus is one of the best young talents in the company.
Del Rio is waiting for his opponent, and it is ................................... John Morrison! They recap his great win last week over Truth (wonderful match). And we are underway. Morrison comes out aggressive just like last week, and gets the early advantage. Athletically and stylistically, I feel these two could have a nice series of matches. Del Rio gets back in control with one of my favorite heel moves, the cocky back kick where he kind of gloats while doing it, kind of like Flair, but without kicking them in the balls. Just such a great look when you sell the body language to show complete disdain for your opponent, which is something Del Rio is great at. After Del Rio slows things down a bit, Morrison gets things going on a faster pace when Morrison gets back in charge, but JR points out that last week we saw a different side of Morrison that showed some real anger and was much more aggressive. Which is completely true and puts over Morrison really well, while also mentioning something that actually matters to the match at hand. That is why JR is a great announcer and what all announcers should be doing. Heading to commercial Morrison goes for a moonsault ot the outside, missed, lands on his feet, and then is slammed into the barrier by Del Rio, and both guys are down. Back from commercial, Del Rio is in the ring in control and Morrison quickly gets up and starts to reverse, only to take a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Ricardo is starting to get more animated, and Del Rio is hitting some big slams and some nice submission holds. He's going more after the neck tonight, rather than the arm that he usually goes after, which makes sense considering Morrison's neck injuries at the hands of Truth. He's still hitting arm moves, but it's not the usual pinpoint focus he normally has. I like that and feel it makes Del Rio seem very intelligent. Del Rio hits a just gorgeous German suplex that he holds on to. I love that move when done well, and he hits it very cleanly. Morrison reversed another attempt at a back breaker into a beautiful DDT. Both guys have been looking really good and seem like they belong in the main event. Morrison goes for his running kick, Del Rio catches him, stands up and Morrison then turns it into a Hurricanrana for a near fall. Great match, given tons of time, and again, both guys look great. Morrison hits his spring board kick, goes for Starship Pain, misses, lands on his feet, gets tossed into the ring post, and Del Rio locks in the cross arm breaker right in the middle of the ring and after trying to find a way out, Morrison is forced to tap. Great match, right guy won, and then after the match Del Rio tried to break Morrison's arm as the ref tried to stop him. More heel greatness that really pissed off the crowd. Morrison looked like he belonged in the main event tonight and that was a PPV quality match.
I just realized the PPV is the same day as my friend's wedding in Napa, so I'm going to be driving home as the show is on. What a jerk! I already hated him for getting married out of town, but now I doubly hate him.
The Bellas are in the ring waiting for Kelly and Eve. I hate seeing these four in the ring at the same time. I will not be watching this match. Even beats one of the Bellas, and then Beth and Natalya come out and clap for them from the ramp. Nash is then shown backstage walking to the ring, as he was apparently invited here by HHH. Next week we get to see a live Smackdown on Tuesday featuring all the people from RAW and Smackdown. That could be a fun show.
Vickie is out after the break to introduce her potential new client, Jack Swagger. She then walks him to the ring for a rematch with Reilly. I hope they let Vickie get a stable of heels. That could be fun. Just as they start getting into the meat of the match, Ziggler makes his way down to the ring and starts talking about how Swagger is a joke. Vickie gets knocked down by an inadvertent elbow while Ziggler is turning around, Swagger makes his way out to check on her and confront Dolph, who says it's none of his business. Upon rushing back in the ring, Swagger gets caught in a roll up thanks to the distraction. Ziggler then points out that Vickie doesn't need a loser like that and should focus on her one client who is a champ. Swagger is pissed at everyone. This is setting up as a fun story. HHH is then shown heading to the ring.
HHH calls out Nash, says he needs to clear the air about what happened at SummerSlam. Nash comes out, they hug, HHH says he didn't send the text and that what happened was not meant to happen. Wants to make sure everyone is on the same page and there's no conspiracy. Nash says he was going to come out and apologize to Punk, but because of all the crap he said last week, not so much. Nash says he doesn't work here and HHH says that's why he can't have him calling guys out and doing things in the ring and attacking guys on WWE property. Says he should go beat up Punk across the street. HHH then asks Nash to just leave. Punk's music hits, he comes out and he says he's here to find out who sent the message. He then points out that the options are HHH, Nash acting on his own, or Steph, though he does it with references to Clue that are pretty fun. Punk says all he does is cross lines, just like Nash. The crowd is giving a huge CM Punk chant. Punk says he's done talking, Nash got off easy last week, and now he's going to go kick his ass. HHH steps in front of Punk, pushes him back from Nash, Punk pushes his hands off his chest, and then calls out HHH and asks him who is in charge, Nash, HHH, or Steph. HHH responds that just because he's in a suit and in a new role doesn't mean he's not the same guy he's always been and that he'll destroy Punk if he has to. Punk then says he doesn't want to have HHH take off his suit and put it in his wife's purse next to his cellphone and his balls. Nash then hits a cheap-shot on Punk, and HHH pushes Nash out of the ring telling him he can't do that sort of thing. Punk sits in the ring smiling at all of this and holding his jaw. Good segment that continues to raise more questions as to what is going on and whether HHH is involved or who is behind all this stuff.
Back from break HHH is still telling Nash he can't be putting his hands on superstars. Nash starts questioning HHH and saying he's changed. HHH asks Nash to leave, and once he's gone HHH looks upset that he's had to do this. Our next match will be Kofi and Evan vs the tag champs formerly known as the Nexus It's a pretty short match (though entertaining) that sees a finish when Kofi tosses Perfect Jr from the ring, hits Trouble in Paradise on Otunga, and Bourne then heads up top and hits the Shooting Star Press to give us some new tag team champions. The announcers are really talking up the new team, really putting this over as a chance to change the tag division, and making this seem like a huge event. I really really hope that is what happens and that we see a big push for the division, especially if they actually bring in guys like the Kings of Wrestling or Beer Money or whomever. Like I said last week, these two make a very fun team.
Back from break, they are still going on about that tag team win and the new champs. Evan and Kofi are backstage and very excited. Kofi says they've been discussing teaming up for a while, then a bunch of guys led by Ryder come over and start celebrating with them, pouring champagne and whatnot. I really, really hope this is the start of something new and big. HHH is then shown walking, and Laurinitis runs him down saying Nash was in an accident and gives him the name and address of the hospital Nash is at. HHH then leaves him in charge and heads out to check on his friend. I smell shenanigans.
Santino is on his way to the ring, only to be attacked by Miz and Truth. Those two vs Kofi and Evan could be a fun feud if they want to go that route and have them as a tag team. It's a nice, quick attack that leaves Santino laid out in the ring. They then grab some mics, and Truth tells the crowd to shut up before telling them that's what's goign to happen to all the Little Jimmies! Truth is pissed because there is a conspriracy and that HHH, Nash, Steph, Cena, and Punk are all working together to keep Miz and Truth down. "They all sit around the conspiracy table and .................. conspire." Great line. He then says since HHH took over it's no longer about the Truth, and it's no longer about Miz either. Miz then says he can't believe it, ubt he agress with Truth and there is a conspiracy. THis is a fun team that could cut some awesome promos. I don't care if they are going for the tag titles or just helping each other win singles matches. Miz says he beat Cena at Wrestlemania just a few months ago, and then HHH becomes in control of RAW and Miz is stuck picking fights with Jared from Subway. They then start insulting the crowd to make sure the crowd stays vocal. A large "You Suck" chant has been going on for much of this, but the crowd is clearly into it. Miz says he's tired of seeing Santino, who hasn't won in 5 years, on RAW while they can't get an opportunity. They then say they will take any opportunity they can get and will take instead of waiting to be given one. They work really well as a team on the mics. Great stuff. Miz and Truth then start telling the crowd they suck to the beat of his song, and Truth creates a new rap that insults the crowd and involves his new gimmick. Pretty fun new song. While the no music stuff was great, this new song is good enough that I can deal with them getting rid of that. I like the seeming return of stables and alliances and whatnot that seem to be going on right now. I'd love to see Vickie bring Dolph and Swagger together as a team, these two, Evan and Kofi, the Usos, and a couple other teams brought into the tag division to create what would be a very fun division.
Time for the main event, Del Rio is ringside, as is Laurinitis, and both Cena and Punk get out to the ring pretty quickly. The crowd is pretty split and when Cena tosses his shirt out of the ring, a Punk fan tosses it back to him. Punk's shirt was not returned. Cena then tosses it back out again to a different fan, who appreciates it. Punk has a fun reaction, and both guys take their time getting to the match to listen to the crowd. The match kicks off with some quick chain wrestling and reversals. These two work very well together and should be able to put on a great PPV quality match if they are given enough time. THe match is moving at a very fast pace, Cena taunts the guy that tossed his shirt back at him when he goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle early on, which leads to a reversal by Punk. Punk then glares at Del Rio a little too long when setting up for his spring board clothesline, leading to Cena knocking him off the apron and to the outside as we head to a commercial break. Back from the break we see both guys going for finishers and reversing each other back and forth, until finally Cena tosses Punk onto the apron, eats a punch, takes a spring board clothesline for a near fall and then Punk goes for the GTS, which is reversed itno the STF, which is then reversed with a push off, which leads to Punk going for his big kick, which is ducked, and while ends with a crossface by Cena, but Punk gets to the rope. That was a great segment of moves. Eventually, Cena dives at punk and hits the corner hard, leading to a GTS, but Cena kicks out. This has been a very good match, to the surprise of no one that has seen these two go at it this summer. Punk goes for the Macho Man elbow drop, but takes too long and Cena ends up able to roll out of the way. Cena then goes up top and looks to hit his leg drop, and succeeds for a 2 count. The crowd is absolutely on fire for this match. I love Canada. Cena goes for the AA, but Punk just starts hitting huge elbows as if he is Danielson. Once Cena is down to his knees, Punk hits a huge running, jumping knee. Cena kicks out at 2. Punk is kind of gloating about hte near fall, and Cena jumps up for the AA and Punk kicks out. Both guys are just lying in the ring for a minute, no one has the energy to get up and take advantage of the damage they've done. Eventually both guys are up, Punk gets up on the top rope, hits a cross body, Cena rolls through, picks up Punk for the AA, and Punk rolls him up and then gets up for the big kick to his head. Punk is signaling for the GTS, and then Nash gets on the ramp and distracts Punk, leading to him dropping Cena as Nash makes his way to the ring. When he turns back to Cena, he's hit with the AA, Punk is pinned, and then Nash heads away. After the match Del Rio attacks Cena. Laurinitis stops Del Rio along with the ref and helps hold him in the corner. Del Rio breaks away to attack Cena more than a couple of times. Cena is left lying out cold on the floor, Del Rio is pissed off and wants to keep beating him, and the show goes off the air.
Good ending, and as with everything else about the main event since SummerSlam the show ends with more questions than answers. Is HHH involved and feigning ignorance or is he really seeing his friend go behind his back to do this stuff? Is Punk really out of the title picture, or will HHH add him to the match due to the involvement of Nash? Is Del Rio part of all this, or just a lucky guy that's been able to benefit from the actions of others?
A really good show, some really good matches, some really fun potential storylines, and as usual this summer, it does a great job of making me want to see what's coming up next.
Review by: rdrsfn82