WWE Raw Review – August 22, 2011

-We are LIVE! from Edmonton (dramatic pause), Alberta, Canada (home of a really, really bad hockey team…but nowhere near as bad as the one on Long Island).

-World Champion Alberto Del Rio kicks us off (actually WEARING the belt and therefore earning major bonus points from me) and attempts to introduce himself but spotlight hog extraordinaire John Cena immediately interrupts. He runs down Del Rio in a pretty token manor and puts over CM Punk, which draws out the Second City Superstar to a nice pop.

Punk is sick of Cena whining for title shots (you and me both, brother) and demands his shot at the belt, name-dropping Jack Tunney in the process. Both guys try to cash in their rematch clauses (why can’t we do away with this “rematch clause” crap?) but Del Rio blows them off.

COOHHH, hero of sports-entertainment fans everywhere, has had enough and books Punk vs. Cena tonight to determine who gets the shot at Night of Champions. Cole calls it a “bombshell” but I’d call it rather predictable booking.

There is no reason for this at all, I just love old-school wrestling stories. If you like this one, I’ll throw in a few more during commercial breaks.

This is from an old Wrestling Observer issue when Savage was wrestling in Nashville back in the day:

They ended up on the ground punching and kicking and screaming in front of this old school giant juke box. The police were called, being told by the employees that their friend was in a fight with the crazy wrestler Randy Savage. It should be noted that wrestling was huge on television in the city, and everyone knew Savage, and most people in town thought he was crazy. The cowboy then pulled a knife on Savage.

Savage saw the knife, leap frogged over the counter, and grabbed a kitchen knife. At about this point, sirens were blazing signaling the police being about to arrive. The cowboy, hearing the sirens and seeing Savage with a knife of his own, ran out the door.

Two police officers, who recognized him immediately, came into the Waffle House and Savage started cutting a promo, complete with “Oooh yeah, can you dig it.” The staff said that Savage started it. They tried to arrest Savage, but Savage started yelling how the other guy started it and he was the victim. They tried to arrest him, but he wasn’t being cooperative. At this point Savage started fighting the police officers while a crowd gathered. They couldn’t overpower him and get the handcuffs on. So they decided to pepper spray him. One officer pulled out the spray, as another officer held Savage. If you’ve ever seen a wrestling spot, well, Savage ducked and you can predict what happened next.

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Morrison
King immediately goes nuts putting over the Cena/Punk match as an epic happening. Morrison, meanwhile, takes control and gets an early two but runs into some kicks and Del Rio hammers away. ADR works the arm as usual but Morrison hits a dropkick for two and goes to a headlock. Del Rio kicks out of it but gets dumped to the floor, allowing Morrison to try an Asai moonsault. ADR gets out of the way (Morrison impressively lands on his feet) and slams John against the crowd barrier. Nice spot to take us to break.

We return with Morrison fighting out of a chinlock but he walks into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. A Del Rio powerslam also gets two and the crowd wills Morrison to his feet so he responds by back dropping Del Rio over the corner and to the floor (no Shawn Michaels bump, of course). Morrison launches into his babyface comeback but gets caught with his head down and Del Rio hooks a German suplex for two.

Del Rio looks to finish but gets rolled up for a close two. A tornado DDT gets another near fall and Morrison snaps off a hurricanrana for yet another two count. A flash kick puts Del Rio down near the corner but Morrison misses Starship Pain and Del Rio sends him into the ring post. ADR wastes no time and applies the cross armbreaker, earning the submission and the win.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio

Started slow but the crowd was starting to buy Morrison’s near falls at the end of the match. A good TV match as Morrison continues to try to justify a push ***.

Nikki Bella vs. Eve
Oh, yippie. Beth and Natalya cut a heel promo during Eve’s entrance, saying pretty much nothing of note. You know that women are being taken seriously as athletes when whistling begins as soon as the bells rings.

Eve gets distracted by Brie and Nikki gently stomps away but Eve quickly makes her comeback with a back suplex for two. Eve hits a hooking clothesline and a standing moonsault (with that ridiculous seizure-like dancing) for two. Brie distracts Eve when shes heads up top and Nikki trips her up for two. Eve quickly recovers and hits a swinging neckbreaker for the win.
Winner: Eve

-Absolutely zero flow and sloppy as hell DUD. Kelly gives Brie a Rocker Dropper just because while Beth & Natalya glare at her from the entrance ramp.

-THIS JUST IN!! Kevin Nash apparently can chew gum and walk down the hallway at the same time.

Jack Swagger vs. Alex Riley
Swagger has been jobbed to almost near-death and now they are pushing him again? What have I done, God? What have I done? Riley gets the All-American Wrestling entrance to firmly entrench him as the underdog.

Swagger dominates but plays to the crowd and walks into a spinebuster. Dolph Ziggler joins us at ringside to yell at new manager Vickie Guerrero, who somehow falls down. Swagger comes out to defend his new woman and, when he returns to the ring, gets quickly rolled up and pinned.
Winner: Alex Riley

-The win means absolutely nothing to Riley, considering the match was secondary to the gaga going on outside the ring DUD.

-COOHHH hits the ring along with Kevin Nash to address all these nasty rumors that are going around (no, not THAT kind). HHH again denies sending the text message directing Nash to attack Punk but Big Kev refuses to apologize and “put over” (his words) CM Punk.

HHH tells Nash he can’t be calling out guys because he doesn’t work at WWE. Hunter politely asks Nash to leave but CM Punk isn’t going to allow that to happen. Punk runs Nash down and tries to start a fight but COOHHH breaks it up. Punk flips out on Triple H and demands to know why Hunter has it out for him, drawing the ire of HHH.

Punk, of course, doesn’t respond to that well and questions HHH’s masculinity, which causes Nash to floor Punk with a right hand. Hunter drags Nash to the back while Punk sits in the ring with a smirk on his face. That segment came off kind of boring and flat actually as they seem not to know how to maintain the momentum they built at SummerSlam.

-After the break, Triple H kicks Kevin Nash out of the arena.

WWE Tag Team Titles
Mike McGillicutty & David Otunga vs. Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne
Does it really matter who the tag team champions are? I really like that Lawler is absolutely burying the former Nexus guys and expecting people to care about Kingston and Bourne beating them. Did anyone on the writing team actually WATCH wrestling before taking their jobs? Ridiculous.

The faces switch off on McGillicutty and Kofi hits a high springboard cross body for two. He quickly looks for the finish but McGillicutty takes a powder. Since Kofi is a complete moron, he gives chase and gets nailed from behind, turning himself into the face-in-peril.

Otunga works on Kingston with his boring-ass offense and Lawler continues to bury the heels on commentary. McGillicutty amps up the workrate with a chinlock but Kofi finally gets a flying headscissors and hot tags Evan Bourne.

Kofi gets rid of McGillicutty and hits Otunga with Trouble in Paradise from the apron. Air Bourne hits and the pin is academic for the titles.
Winners and NEW Champions: Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne

-They kind of gave away the finish when Lawler was burying the champs and Cole was talking about how Kingston & Bourne were going to rename their team *if* they won the titles. The match was boring and average but commentary pissed me off **.

-Mrs. Wayne Gretzky has a statue in Edmonton? Nothing like building a monument to a mercenary who doesn’t have loyalty to any team he’s ever played for.

-Meanwhile, random jobbers celebrate with Kingston & Bourne backstage, acting like winning the tag titles is a big deal.

-Still meanwhile, John Laurinaitis tells Triple H that Kevin Nash was just in a car accident on the highway. HHH heads to the hospital immediately while Laurinaitis holds down Raw. Man, I can’t predict what’s going to happen next, can you?

-Santino Marella comes down a scary big pop but gets immediately jumped by R-Truth and the Miz. Why does the Miz constantly do that “I’m breathing heavy and I have puffy cheeks” face? Does he thinks it makes him look intense? To me, he looks constipated.

Anyways, Truth cuts another one of his promos complaining about a conspiracy and Miz agrees with him. He says it’s ridiculous that someone like Santino, who never wins a thing, is on Raw while he has to sit on the sidelines…that’s actually a really good point. Truth and Miz promise to take any opportunities that come their way and destroy anyone who gets in their way.

I have to admit, I kind of liked this promo, especially the “You Suck” song to Truth’s former “What’s Up?” theme.

CM Punk vs. John Cena
Winner gets a shot at Alberto Del Rio at Night of the Champions. Speaking of ADR, he is at ringside alone with John Laurinaitis.

Edmonton pulls an ECW and throws Cena’s shirt back at him, earning a pop from the smarks in the crowd. That, of course, makes Lawler launch into his “you may love or hate him but you gotta respect him” line that he busts out anytime a crowd DARES to boo John Cena.

They wrestle to a stalemate and now Lawler decides to bury Punk on commentary…what the hell is wrong with him tonight? Did Miss Kitty send him a picture of her and Kizarny together or something? Damn. The hosehead Canadians chant “let’s go Oilers” and meanwhile the guys in the ring have more world titles than the Oilers will have wins this coming year.

Oh right, the match. They exchange some equal stuff until Punk takes control with his running knee/bulldog combo in the corner. He gets distracted by Del Rio at ringside though and gets leveled to take us to break.

We return with both guys down for a double KO but both guys get to their feet and try for their finishers. Neither guy can hit it though and Punk hits a springboard clothesline for two. A GTS attempt is countered to an STF attempt but Cena has to settle for a crossface. Hmmm, curious move given what city they are in tonight.

Cena misses a blind charge and Punk hits the Go 2 Sleep but it only gets two. Punk heads up top for the Macho Man Flying Elbow but it only hits canvas. Now it’s Cena’s turn to head upstairs and his move hits as the legdrop to the back of the head gets two. Cena tries for the AA but Punk viciously elbows his way out and hits a hard running knee for a near fall.

Cena suddenly no-sells and pops up with the Attitude Adjustment out of nowhere for two. Punk gets a high cross body from the top but Cena rolls through and muscles him up for an AA. Punk manages to wriggle his way out of it and hits the KO Kick to put Cena down. Punk looks to finish but Kevin Nash appears on the ramp to taunt him. Wow, who didn’t see that one coming? Cena uses the distraction to hit the Attitude Adjustment and get the pin.
Winner: John Cena

-Didn’t like the random no-selling and hated the finish, *** for some good spots. So where do we go from here, Punk vs. Nash? Who the hell wants to see that?

Alberto Del Rio attacks Cena after the match but John Laurinaitis pulls him off. That’s just what we need: Dynamic Dude Johnny Ace as a heel authority figure.

Final Word
I have to say, I really didn’t like this edition of Raw tonight. There was bad wrestling, Lawler burying the tag champs on commentary then burying Punk, a bad finish in the main event and more Kevin Nash than I ever want to see. They had so much promise after SummerSlam and are wasting no time in flushing that goodwill down the toilet.