WWE Raw Review – June 27, 2011

It’s a special night in WWE because it’s the first time in awhile we haven’t had a three- hour special. Of course, that’s not going to stop Vinnie Mac from delivering yet another gimmick show.

Yes, tonight from Las Vegas, Raw Roulette comes your way to desperately try to pop a rating and convince people Raw is “must-see TV”.

The question on my mind is how much bad “comedy” are we going to have to sit through.

As always, feel free to comment below and give your thoughts. Since we weeded out all the mouth-breathers last week, maybe I can use three syllable words this week…yay!

-As mentioned, we are LIVE! from Las Vegas, NV (home of hookers, drugs and cash…and that’s just the visiting NBA players).

-The returning Shawn Michaels kicks us off (with full entrance of course) because, hey, he’s got a reality show to pimp, man. HBK kisses up to the live crowd for a bit and then gets down to the business of plugging stuff.

CM Punk has heard enough and reminds everyone he is leaving because they don’t appreciate him enough. Shawn says they are a lot alike and Punk agrees. Shawn: “We both don’t smoke, drink, do drugs-” Punk: “Anymore.” Awesome stuff.

HBK can’t handle the truth and lays out Otunga with Sweet Chin Music, which causes the GM to book Punk in the first match of the night. The wheel lands on mystery opponent and Michaels lays out McGillicutty as well, giving us…Kane.

CM Punk vs. Kane
Kane tosses Punk to ringside right away and drops him on the crowd barrier then takes him back inside while a LOUD “CM Punk” chant erupts. Think the smarks are on to his act? Kane hits a dropkick to the face for two and delivers a side slam for a near fall. Punk kicks Kane in the head to break and lays in a beating in the corner.

Kane decides to stop selling and hits a big boot but gets caught heading up top and Punk tries for a superplex. Kane manages to thwart that and dump him to the mat, so Punk says “enough of this crap” and takes a talk for the count out.
Winner by Count Out: Kane

-Cole tries to justify the crappy finish by saying Punk doesn’t want to get hurt. That’s fine and all but why didn’t Punk get his spots in? He got a couple kicks and punches but was otherwise cannon fodder for Kane. Remember Vince, this isn’t 1999 and Kane isn’t the one you’re pushing *.

No Count Out Match
Sin Cara vs. Evan Bourne
You don’t think WWE realized they really screwed up by rigging the vote for Mason Ryan and thus made up the story about the “servers crashing”, do you? Nah, Vince would NEVER lie to the fans like that. The stipulation is kinda weak but what did you expect?

I still really hate the yellow lighting. They start on the mat, displaying some nice counters until Cara uses a spingboard armdrag to set up another flipping armdrag from the corner. They do the “mutual respect” bit on the outside then decide to head back inside where Bourne uses the double stomp for two and the ECW trademarked “power ranger” makes it’s 2010s debut.

More flipping counters from both guys and Bourne ends up outside so Cara dives out with a headbutt between the ropes. Bourne takes control with flying headscissors on the entrance ramp but Cara gets La Magistral back inside for two. Knee to the face gets two for Bourne but Cara immediately comes back with a 360 senton for two. Bourne immediately comes back and puts him down for a standing moonsault and a near fall. Bourne looks to finish with Air Bourne but has to land on his feet and Cara screws up the La Mistica but it still gets the pin.
Winner: Sin Cara

-You could definitely tell they were rushing through things because they were only given a couple minutes. These two definitely need 15 minutes on a PPV but I’m definitely dreaming about that one. Cara botched the finisher so it loses points there but still an exciting TV effort **1/4.

-Backstage, Vickie hijacks Kofi’s wheel spin and lands on Player’s Choice, inadvertently giving Kofi his choice of any match. He chooses himself vs. Ziggler with Vickie banned from ringside. Wow, what an exciting match we would never see anywhere else!

-Cole and King do the hard sell on the Money in the Bank PPV.

Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
Vickie is, of course, banned from ringside which I guess makes sense in continuity and all that. She does appear on stage though so that Lawler can get one of his stupid, unfunny fat jokes in…stupid.

Dolph teases a walkout but gets his ass kicked and dragged back to the ring where he’s hit with a forearm. We head back outside and Kofi slams him but tastes the ringpost and you can bet it doesn’t taste good. King immediately declares him injured and/or dead (in his “serious voice”) as we head to a commercial break.

We return with Dolph working a chinlock because apparently there wasn’t time for that during the commercial. Kofi misses a splash in the corner and a Rocker Dropper from Dolph gets two. Kofi fights back again but gets put down with a neckbreaker for another near fall. Kingston manages a surprise small package for two and manages to counter a toss to the outside with Trouble in Paradise for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston

-Good booking here as it logically sets up Kofi vs. Dolph for the title at PPV with Vickie involved. Simple but effective match as well **.

-Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio has Maryse spin the wheel for his match with the Big Show and Del Rio is smitten…until the wheel lands on a steel cage match. Whoops.

-It was awful convenient that the steel cage was here. You know, just in case the wheel landed on that space. Wait a minute, you don’t think? No, no, no, no, no. IT’S STILL REAL TO ME, DAMMIT!

Steel Cage Match
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show
Del Rio tries to run away but gets chopped and tastes the steel. We get our token cheese grater spot but it’s just not the same knowing we won’t get any blood. Show misses a blind charge and Del Rio targets the injured knee immediately like a good little heel. Del Rio works a leg submission while the World’s Fattest Man Mark Henry makes his way to ringside.

Show fights out with a right hand but Del Rio goes to the knee and gets a short DDT for two. Alberto gets caught on an escape attempt and Show lazily slams him into the cage. Show brings Del Rio down with a superplex and Henry takes the opportunity to rip the cage door off and make his entrance.

If you want to see something really funny, go back on YouTube and watch him do that a few years ago. They forgot to rig the door and Henry couldn’t break it…comedy gold. Anyways, Henry kicks Show in the head and Del Rio wastes no time in crawling out for the win.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio

-Then, in a spot I’ve never seen, Henry uses the cage door as a weapon, driving Show against the cage wall which then breaks. That’s a pretty cool spot, I’ll give them that. They are certainly putting Henry over as a monster heel and the segments are awesome, it’s just a same that he sucks in the ring. * for the punchy-kicky match but the spot was ***.

-Of course, Big Show walks off from the attack. I guess if you no-sell a car, then you can no-sell anything.

-We recap the future ex-Mrs. Shannon winning the Divas title and Booker spins the wheel and makes the deal for a submission match…uh oh.

Submission Match
Kelly Kelly vs. Nikki Bella
Nikki goes to work on the arm and locks on a Fujiwara armbar while Kelly screams like she just saw one of you naked. Kelly breaks and locks on a Boston Crab, leaning way back and earning the quick submission.
Winner: Kelly Kelly

-Total DUD of course. The Bellas beatdown my sweet Kelly but Eve makes the save. Is that a tag match on the horizon I see?

-Andy from Tough Enough gets a hype video with Skinner putting him over. I mean, come on, if you can’t get over with the Gator Man talking you up, you should just give up.

-Meanwhile, Rey Mysterio spins the wheel and gets a Tornado Match (tag match with all four guys in the ring) with Riley against Miz and Jack Swagger.

We even get a Diamond Dallas Page appearance to plug the Nitro DVD, which Drew McIntyre does not appreciate. Shawn Michaels adds his two cents with Sweet Chin Music to McIntyre to shut him up and claims to never have seen Nitro cause he was always working. Oh, that Shawn…always the kidder. Booker and DDP can’t believe what they just heard.

Tornado Match
The Miz & Jack Swagger vs. Rey Mysterio & Alex Riley
I’ve gotten to the point where I see Jack Swagger and almost instantly go to sleep because he’s so boring. The guy desperately needs a makeover. Of course, Vince probably thinks he’s giving all these guys “rubs” by giving them wins over Swagger. The fans, on the other hand, view him as a loser and can’t believe he was ever world champion.

Everyone clotheslines each other and Miz heads outside to deal with Riley while Swagger beats on Rey in the corner. Swagger gets a backbreaker on Rey and hits the pump splash for two. Miz returns but gets crotched on the top and Rey takes out Swagger with a seated senton from the apron. Riley gets a sloppy Kurt Angle Pop Up Superplex for two and we head to commercial.

We return with the heels in control, as always, and Mysterio on the outside. Riley gets beaten down against the ropes but makes a comeback off a double back body drop attempt. That doesn’t last long though as the heels get rid of Riley and hit a double team gutbuster on Mysterio for two.

The kiddies get behind Rey Rey as Miz hits his short DDT for two while Riley and Swagger tumble to the floor. Miz tries for a superplex but Rey takes him down and hits his senton. He gets rid of Swagger again and a kick to the face of Miz gets two. They exchange finisher attempts but Swagger interrupts the 619, allowing Riley to return with a spinebuster for two.

Miz hits Riley with a reverse DDT for two but he gives Alex time to recover and Riley hits the Cactus Clothesline to take himself and Miz out of the ring. Rey runs into a nice looking big boot from Swagger for two but counters the gutwrench to a 619 attempt. THAT attempt is countered to an Anke Lock from Swagger but it’s stopped by Riley and now the faces can hit their finisher combo for the win.
Winners: Rey Mysterio & Alex Riley

-It started slow but damn it picked up towards the end. The crowd was really digging it and popped loud for the finish, something you don’t always see on Raw. The second half was non-stop action and the energy was really flowing ***1/4.

-Meanwhile, R-Truth spins the wheel for the match against Cena and gets a tables match.

Tables Match
John Cena vs. R-Truth
Truth debuts some new ring gear here: A straitjacket…fair enough. Truth attacks to start and the chant between the over-20 crowd and the tweens gets started. Cena hooks a suplex and job around until Truth locks an extremely boring submission hold. Cena breaks for a dropkick and both guys sell like they’ve been wrestling for ten minutes…really weird.

Cena looks to finish early but Truth counters with a stunner and heads outside for a table. He sets it up in the corner for a suplex but Cena turns it around because Truth is basically a joke at this point. Truth gets low-bridged and tumbles to the outside, where Cena introduces him to the ring steps.

Cena sets up the table and hits the AA but CM Punk (wearing a Steve Austin shirt) has evilly removed the table. Cena attacks and brawls with Punk in the ring, so Truth takes advantage and spears Cena through the table he set up in the corner earlier. The crowd definitely doesn’t like that finish.
Winner: R-Truth

-Short match which existed only to have the angle at the end, so that means it gets *1/4 and likes it.

-Punk goes off on a shoot-like promo GASP mentioning Hulk Hogan while comparing Cena to great backstage politicians. He goes through the terms “wrestler”, “Paul Heyman” and “Brock Lesnar”, setting a record for mentioning forbidden words and people in a such a period of time. I know it’s not really a shoot but I love this guy.

Punk keeps laying it on thick and complains about not being promoted (rightly) and keeps calling The Rock “Dwayne” in a nice touch. We go even further as he promises to take the world title to NJPW or Ring of Honor (“Hi, Colt Cabana!”). He starts attacking Vince’s family until they finally cut his mic and the show goes dark without any sign-off from the commentary team.

Final Word
Wow, I was ready to call this show another average effort until that promo at the end. If you’re a “smart” fan (you know what I mean), you were eating up every syllable of Punk’s promo and probably loving it. While it’s most assuredly not a shoot, the fact that there’s even a 1% chance of it being a shoot makes it effective. People will be talking about this tomorrow and that’s good news for WWE.

Can you imagine if they allowed Punk to talk like this for the last 6 months? He’d be the biggest heel in the promotion right now. The sad part is that Punk was RIGHT about everything he said. Just like Joey Styles was right when he went nuts during the ECW relaunch and just like Nexus was right about people getting sick of the same old main eventers.

Hell, it’s the best close to a show they’ve had since the initial Nexus attack. That’s good enough for me.