WWE Raw Review – July 4, 2011

-We are TAPED! from Las Vegas, Nevada.

-There will be a triple threat match between Del Rio, Mysterio and R-Truth because CM Punk has been “indefinitely suspended”…I wonder if he has to serve that suspension in Parts Unknown.

-What’s the deal with WWE finding the one attractive girl in the crowd cheering when Cena makes his entrance? Are we supposed to like him more because women with fake breasts cheer for him?

-Speaking of Cena, he’s out to suck up to the smart fans by saying Punk’s suspension is BS. He also brings up the fact that WWE confiscates signs at TV tapings (which is 100% true) and has suddenly become the bastion of free speech. Cena promises that Vince McMahon himself will be here tonight to explain his decision.

-In other news, Kelly Kelly can walk down a hallway.

The Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly & Eve
Kelly’s pants really don’t leave much to the imagination. Eve puts down Nikki and adds a standing moonsault but a Brie distraction allows Eve to be dumped to the floor. Nikki gets two off an arm snap (what?) and the Bellas stomp away at the injured extremity. Eve fights out of a armbar and gets the hot tag to Kelly who is indeed a house of fire. Flying headscissors almost bring Nikki out of her top and a facebuster gets two, saved by Brie. A brawl erupts and Kelly hits a Rocker Dropper for the win.
Winners: Kelly Kelly & Eve

-Can we move on from the Bellas now? Match was typical women’s stuff *.

-We get a promo video for Tough Enough’s Andy. Steve Keirn is looking old.

Meanwhile, R-Truth mixes up his insurance companies and meets Alberto Del Rio.

Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov vs. David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty
I could probably count on two hands the number of people who care about these teams. Santino pisses off Otunga and gets knocked down but Otunga has to bail when the Cobra is threatened. McGillicutty checks in but takes an atomic drop and Kozlov (now a US citizen according to Cole) comes in with a belly to belly for two. The faces switch off on McGillicutty but an Otunga distraction allows the heels to take over. The crowd is completely dead for all of this stuff.

Kozlov counters a double suplex attempt and gets the hot tag to Santino, who uses the POWER OF JOBBER OFFENSE to takes control and clear the ring. He hits Otunga with the Cobra but McGillicutty catches him napping with a running swinging neckbreaker and gets the pin.
Winners: David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty

-Pretty standard tag match here with absolutely zero crowd heat *1/2.

-Out of nowhere, Zack Ryder appears and…does nothing. OK, actually he hits his catchphrase but that’s it…even the announcers can’t explain his appearance.

-Meanwhile, The Miz doesn’t like Alex Riley too much. Isn’t Riley a Smackdown wrestler or are we just supposed to forget all that?

-Still meanwhile, Sgt. Slaughter is excited he gets to lead people in the Pledge of Allegiance but Jack Swagger takes exception because he’s EVIL and brings up Iraqi Turncoat Slaughter…ouch. They decide to have a match later and Evan Bourne plays cheerleader.

Jack Swagger vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Just please keep it short. Swagger hammers away but Sarge fires back and tries for the Cobra Clutch but gets clotheslined down. A running pump slam gets the pin in a logical conclusion.
Winner: Jack Swagger

-DUD of course but what did you expect? Swagger locks on the ankle lock afterwards but Evan Bourne saves and allows Sarge to live his lifelong dream: Leading Las Vegas in the Pledge of Allegiance…lofty goals there.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth
The winner is the number one contender, as previously mentioned. Del Rio puts down Rey with a kick and adds a dropkick before dumping R-Truth with an enzuigiri. Mysterio low-bridges Del Rio on a charge, putting him to the floor but Truth cuts him off with a corkscrew elbow for two. We all head to the outside and Truth introduces both opponents to the ring barrier.

Back inside, Rey takes a whip to the corner for two and dives from the apron on Del Rio to ensure he stays down. He definitely knocked himself a little loopy when his chin hit Del Rio’s head on that one. Truth heads back inside and gets a side slam on Mysterio for two but Del Rio returns to take flying headscissors from Rey Rey. Truth and Mysterio head up top but Del Rio puts Truthon his shoulders and we get a Mexico Doomsday Device as we head to a commercial break.

We return with Del Rio hitting a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Mysterio for two but he charges to the corner and a drop toe hold sends Alberto’s face hard into the buckle. Truth gets a double sunset flip on Rey and Del Rio in a cool spot for two and adds an X-Factor on Mysterio for another near fall. Del Rio busts out a Back Stabber on Truth for two, saved by Mysterio.

Del Rio tries a sunset flip of his own on Mysterio but Rey rolls though and gets a kick to the face for two. Truth gets his scissors kick on Mysterio and Del Rio saves but he runs himself into the post and tumbles to the floor. Rey hits the 619 in the meantime on Truth and hits the splash but Del Rio hurries back into the ring, hooks his cross armbreaker on Rey and gets the submission.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio

-WWE has had a nice streak of really good TV triple threat matches the past couple of weeks and this one was no different. There were a few innovative spots and good finish that you don’t see every day ***.

-Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler are out with a birthday cake to celebrate Ziggler’s (and the USA’s) birthday. Anyone who doesn’t know what’s going to happen here should turn in their wrestling fan card at the door and never return. Of course, Kofi joins us and accidentally pushes Vickie into the cake, triggering a brawl that results in Vickie hitting the cake face-first.

-Do you want a perfect example as to why Jerry Lawler has lost all of his cred as an announcer? How about acting like Vickie sitting on a cake is the funniest thing he’s ever seen?

-Alex Riley hype video because why not? Riley really needs a character aside from “guy who hates the Miz” or else he’s going to tumble down the card very quickly.

The Miz vs. Alex Riley
Slugfest to start and Riley hits a clothesline before beating on Miz outside the ring. Miz catches him coming back in however and stomps away. Miz works a headlock and hits a short DDT for two then hits a running knee lift for another near fall. A Riley comeback is stopped by a flapjack from Miz and a reverse DDT gets yet another two count and we head to break.

We return with both guys down but Riley pops up with a spear and makes his comeback with a spinebuster for two. Riley looks to finish with the DDT but gets put down and Miz hits his clothesline in the corner. Miz looks for his backbreaker-neckbreaker combo but Riley surprises him with a backslide and actually gets the pin.
Winner: Alex Riley

-Miz has really fallen. He went from being the guy kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment to being the guy losing to Alex Riley on a backslide. Miz attacks after the match and beats Riley’s ass but we really needed some blood here to sell the beating a little better…God forbid, right? A boot to the face sends Riley tumbling over the announce table and Miz has snapped I say, SNAPPED! Match was just kinda there with nothing spectacular *1/2.

-Meanwhile, Vince McMahon has finally arrived.

-CM Punk recap video just to confirm that this is just an angle to the last 20 people who were holding out.

Main Event Interview
Vince McMahon hits the ring and explains Punk deserved to be suspended and nothing else. I love how Vince just flops from face to heel depending on the situation and who he needs to put over. He tries to take his leave but wait, there’s a spotlight to be hogged so John Cena makes his appearance.

Cena defends Punk like he’s his brother until Vince admits he’s worried Punk would walk out of the promotion with the title. Cena goes on a tirade until Vince reminds him that this is his company.

It’s amazing here, Cena has successfully worked this angle so now instead of CM Punk being the folk hero, now Cena comes off as the man fighting for CM Punk and therefore is above him. It’s subtle but it’s definitely there.

Cena decides that Vince is making the title meaningless by not giving Punk the shot and hands McMahon title before walking out. Vince gets really pissed and confronts Cena on the stage, reinstating CM Punk but promising to fire Cena if he loses the world title.

Final Word
Well, for me this was definitely a downer after last week because nothing could top that promo and they tries to do it with the firing angle. The problem is that everyone knows Cena isn’t going to be fired, so the angle is pretty much meaningless. They would have been better served going the Matt Hardy route with Punk interrupting the broadcast in a shoot manner so the rubes still buy that it might be real. As is, it’s just another wrestling angle that didn’t build on last week at all in my book. The wrestling was decent but nothing to go out of you way to see.

Screw you, Jaromir Jagr.