Monday, July 25, 2011

RAW 7/25

Cult of Personality/Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.

If you've seen RAW, you know what you're going to see here. If you haven't, you're going to get spoiled.

The very first match of the evening was the championship match between Rey Mysterio and Miz, which I found interesting and the reason of this would be discovered later. The match was... okay. I don't think Miz and Rey are a really great match-up; their styles are too different and don't really lend well to each other. Miz had a nice bounce-off-the-ropes powerbomb and Rey did all his usual high-flyin' jumpin' around moves, winning -- natch -- with the 619, after targeting Miz's "bad knee." Weak win, but eh. Good for Mysterio, I guess.

Weaksauce Del Rio comes out to cash, but gets kicked in the face and runs back out like a bitch before officially cashing.

There's a quick little backstage vignette of Rey celebrating with the roster, including a couple of guys I don't even recognize and one that looks an awful lot like that one guy Percy Watson. Is he on the roster still? (...Again?) John Cena also offers his congrats and Rey has some mic time during which he thanks his wife. Awww.

They give us a nice little recap of last week, what with Hunter firing a teary-eyed Vincent Kennedy McMahon, just in case we might have missed it somehow.

The next match is Dolph Ziggler vs. Evan Bourne. Zig comes out to a slightly reworked version of his theme and seems to be growing his hair out again. Evan brings his all, as he usually does, with some very nice kicks and maybe a slightly botched hurracanrana, but we love him anyway. To no avail, as Ziggler puts Evan in the sleeper for the win. Lamest finisher ever. Not a bad match, but I love to watch Evan do his stuff, so maybe I'm a tad biased.

The Bellas and Eve have fight backstage and Keith Stone -- yep, that guy -- comes out to be smooth and draw on the one Bella's arm so as to distinguish her from the other. Here. Hold my stones. Completely random and absurd, but I laughed anyway. There's a fine line between absurdly hilarious and just plain absurd... as we will discover later.

This is of course a lead-in to the Diva's evening squash, with Eve and Kelly Kelly vs. Melina and Maryse. The majority of the very brief match is spent by the Divas shaking their butts at each other and me trying to figure out if Melina's hair is black or blue. Melina seems to be the only one with actual wrestling moves, as she busts out a dropkick but still manages to lose to Kelly's ass. Women's division... yep.

Triple H then comes out, to cheers and fangirling all around to make a few announcements, including the "blockbuster return" of a superstar. First, however, he thanks Vince, to which the crowd responds with a mixture of boos and cheers. The boos are slightly more prevalent.

He then announces a second championship match will take place later in the evening, it being Rey Mysterio vs. John Cena. Well, we all know how THAT'S going to end up. He goes into this "blockbuster return" spiel, and naturally the crowd starts chanting "CM Punk!"

The blockbuster return is actually JR, but that's okay, because we like JR. Michael Cole takes great offense to this, and gets up on the announce table to protest. He calls JR, among other things, a "fat hayseed" and an "Oklahoma redneck" and threatens to quit. Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, Cole. JR observes this all very stoically. Like a boss.

Some back and forth between Hunter and Cole, which nobody cares about because really? Hunter relieves Cole of his commentary for the evening and puts him in a surprise match with someone.

R-Truth comes out as Cole heads backstage to get ready. There is some slightly amusing back-and-forth here, with both Truth and Trips talking to imaginary people, but I really think that entire bit was set up just so Truth could say "YOU MIGHT BE THE GAME, BUT I AIN'T PLAYIN."And then John Morrison came out in jeans and no shirt and I died.

(I know, I'm trying to be a serious wrestling writer person right now, but seriously, what do you want from me, John Morrison in tight ass jeans and abs so hard you could grate cheese on them, I don't even. Anyway... where was I?)

Cole comes out for his match in Triple H's ring gear, to Triple H's music, with a water bottle and doing the whole... thing. His opponent is none other than Zack Ryder, who probably gets one of the loudest pops of the night.

As you might expect, it's a two minute squash and Cole cries into the mat after his loss.

Weaksauce Del Rio comes out to fight Kofi in probably the least exciting match of the evening that lasts longer than two minutes. I find it rather hilarious that Del Rio has absolutely no crowd reaction. The match is eh. Kofi taps. Crowd responds with a collective yawn.

Last match of the evening, Rey vs. John Cena. Match is quick paced with lots of back and forth and near falls. John catches Rey a lot and slams him; Rey refuses to go down and stay down. At one point Rey has John in the STF, which was pretty cool. John finds his red mushroom, gains a second wind and stands up. And now everyone knows how to get out of the STF, provided they first have superhuman strength, of course. Jerry Lawler calls this match historical like eight times. Can I just say, for a second, that every match cannot be historical? Every match is not MEANT to be historical. If they were ALL historical, NONE of them would be. Okay, carrying on.

John slams Rey with a big fat Attitude Adjustment for the totally not at all surprising win.

Then "Cult of Personality" plays. What is this theme, I wonder?

Guess who walks out. CM motherf*cking Punk. With the belt around his waist. Walks in to the ring and each of the titleholders hold up their titles. End.

Once I got done fangirling over Punk -- if you follow me on Twitter, you may have noted my capslock button got stuck -- I'm not at all sure how I feel about this.

At first it seems awesome. CM motherf*cking Punk. But on the other hand, that whole... thing was just a work. Like I should even be surprised at this point, but seriously. I mean, I know it was a work, but... I wanted to believe that parts of it were true. That Punk's last night was true, that his running away with the title was really... a thing. That it meant something.

But now it's just all the same shit again. I mean, John's the champ... the official champ, I think. And where are they going to take this? Punk vs Cena at Summerslam? The matchup they just had at the last PPV? And how do you suppose they are going to top it? They can't. There is no way they can top CM motherf*cking Punk running out of the arena with the title. They can't. They shouldn't even try. But they're going to.

For some reason, it seems that the ubiquitous "they" (usually referred to as merely Vince McMahon, because it's easier to point the finger at one person then a faceless "they") seem to have a theory on storylines. If it worked once, it will always work. HBK and the Undertaker at WM26... it will work at WM27. Because it worked so well last time.

Now, I don't presume to speak for all the fans, but I do think the prevailing opinion of Punk's angle leading up to MitB was that it was awesome, because it felt real. We wanted to believe Punk's anger and dissatisfaction; haven't we all felt dissatisfied at the WWE at one point or another? And then Punk won, he won clean, and he ran away with the title, and I think in that moment he kind of became our hero. We all expected differently, we expected a screwjob, but we were wrong. I don't know about you guys, but I was shocked. Hell, I was euphoric. Do you know why?

Because we didn't expect it.

Because that was some shit that we did not expect to see, and because it was different. This was a thing that has never happened. This was a thing that was new.

And now it seems like they're leading up to the same match, which they will have absolutely no way of topping from the last time they did it. I don't know why they do this. "Punk vs. Cena worked before; it'll work again." It wasn't the matchup that worked... it was everything else that worked. It worked because it was different.

You guys know what I mean here? It drives me crazy that WWE always seems to do this. They start out with these things that are new and exciting and gets everyone up in a tizzy with the "OMG WHAT IS THIS THING THAT I HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE?!" only to go back into the same old shit. It's a cop-out. It pisses me off. It's insulting. They promise us awesome shit only to feed us the same old tired crap, like we won't know any better or be able to tell the difference.

I hope I'm wrong though. I've been wrong before. I don't mind being surprised. What do you guys think? Is this leading to a reheated Cena/Punk match for Summerslam? Would you want to see it again? Do you think it's even remotely possible they could top MitB?

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