WWE Raw Review - June 27, 2011
Shawn Michael's return didn't feel as special as it usually does, acting more of a celebrity guest host attempting to promote something rather than a legend. But he was used well in his exchange of words with CM Punk, and the crowd was hot for the Sweet Chin Music he delivered to Otunga and McGillicutty.
The opening match didn't really accomplish anything, but it was decent action for the most part. Punk should have gone over going into his WWE Title match, but at least walking out gets him heat.
An awesome match from Sin Cara and Evan Bourne, which even seemed to impress my brother who isn't even a wrestling fan! The contest needed more time to be considered truly memorable, but a good effort nonetheless.
Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler didn't get as much time as they usually do to put on an exciting match, but a nice finish out of nowhere to continue the feud. I cringe when I write that, as I would really want to see both men move away into something fresh sooner rather than later.
The Steel Cage Match was nothing special, especially with the predictable Mark Henry run-in. However, Henry was booked like a total monster here, and the steel cage collapse was an awesome touch. The win doesn't do much for Del Rio on the other hand.
I was happy not to see a Divas Pillow Fight for once, but the Submission Match that featured only two holds was not much better. The belt fits Kelly, but putting on great matches is something she lacks.
Match of the Night goes to the Tornado Tag Team Match for its intense, exciting action. Everyone looked strong and no one suffered, building to what should be a suspenseful Money in the Bank Ladder Match.
The main event was standard, but giving Truth a win over the WWE Champion was a smart move, even if it was due to outside interference. As for CM Punk's ending shoot promo, as I can say is wow. Never before have I seen something so edgy and awesome in promo, giving us the most controversial ending to RAW in years.
Overall, this was a great show. The RAW Roulette gimmick worked out better than I expected, giving us some great matches and succeeded in advancing story-lines. I am now more intrigued than ever to see what unfolds next in the CM Punk story-line in coming weeks.
The opening promo from Teddy Long and Christian to open the show served it's purpose in answering the question left hanging from Capitol Punishment. The point was made clear that Christian does indeed rightfully deserve another match, and the main event with Kane was also set up nicely.
An awesome showing from both Sin Cara and Ted DiBiase, with both young Superstars getting in impressive spots. This is the smoothest work we've seen from Sin Cara without botches so far, so I'm intrigued if he can work this well when he eventually has a match with Cody Rhodes.
In addition, Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes delivered another exciting contest to follow with their bonding chemistry. The promo also showed the American Dragon can work on the mic, which adds some fuel to this ongoing feud. Although the minor botch from Bryan slowed down the finish a bit, it was handled nicely to give Rhodes to win he needed.
The Mark Henry attacking on the Big Show was the right move, as it gives him major heat on this monster run he has going. He slipped up a little bit at one point, but it served its purpose. The video package covering the World's Strongest Man was also very well-done.
After months of failed attempts, the Intercontinental Championship Match did nothing for me. It was well obvious Jackson was coming out on top, so it only hurt Barrett in the process. However, it post-match comments to Slater and Gabriel were interesting, as it gets my hopes up he will finally get the main event push he deserves.
Another strong match from The Usos and the team of Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel, as both teams were showcased as stars this week. I loved the new entrance from The Usos, as it gives them character and personality. The finish was suspenseful, and hopefully continues the rivalry in a chance to contend for the WWE Tag Team Championships.
Jinder Mahal didn't do much for me this week, as it's already been established that him and Khali are forces to be reckoned with on SmackDown. It's time to get him in his first real feud, either in singles competition or tagging with Khali.
A great main event match featuring Kane and Christian, as these two veterans can work well together. I'd rather see Christian pick up the win clean and save the tag match for another week, but the tag match that followed was pretty good as well. I understand that with Henry getting the pin over the World Champion gives him heat, but it would have made more sense to give Captain Charisma the victory to establish that he deserves another shot.
Overall, a very entertaining show. It delivered great action all night long, and furthered each existing feud. Hopefully we see more build towards Money in the Bank begin next week to announce who competes in the Ladder Match at the pay-per-view.
Kicking off the show with CM Punk was brilliant, as it not only teased his huge announcement, but set up a well-hyped #1 Contenders Match later in the night. His reasoning was spot on, and his promos certainly have a way with connecting with the WWE Universe comically and in seriousness.
The Divas Match was basic with little disappointment, as Kelly Kelly is a suitable choice to finally take the belt of the Bellas. She can't guarantee a good match with her future title opponents, but at least she won't switch with her twin sister at the last possible second to win the match.
As I write this, I now have knowledge that Mason Ryan was mistakenly chosen as Evan Bourne's opponent, as Sin Cara was the rightful victor due to technical difficulties. Anyways, the match was pointless as it was, and it was strange to have Bourne lose minutes after a hype video was aired for him.
The arm wrestling match between Mark Henry and Kane was boring, and the disqualification finish was predicable. However, having Henry slam another giant through the announcer's table was impressive, and gets his heel career back on the right track.
Promo of the Night will obviously go to the segment featuring R-Truth, Christian, and The Miz. I enjoy all three Superstars in their current position, and putting them into one bickering segment made for hilarious comedy. They have awesome comedy, and it created tension going into their main event tag team match later in the evening.
Another awesome showing by Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler, and the 2-out-of-3 Count Falls stipulation made the match more interesting than usual. I'm not a fan of the dirty finish, as it might lead to a continuation of this feud. Please, move Kingston into main event and leave Ziggler to defend against Zack Ryder.
With its highly suspense, the #1 Contenders Match for the WWE Championship earns its rightful place as Match of the Night. The Falls Count Anywhere stipulation allowed all three men to pull out their spots and keep the crowd on their feet, so kudos to all three of them. CM Punk picking up the victory was logical, but I am sad to see him go following Money In The Bank. Being in front of his hometown crowd, I hope WWE finds a way to give Punk the title before he departs.
Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes delivered another strong match, but something has to change in order to convert this into a real feud. I expect both men to compete in the SmackDown Money in the Bank Ladder Match in a few weeks, but inserting them both in the Intercontinental Championship picture would give them more of an edge.
Without a doubt, the dance contest was purely used to kill time on the dragging show. Dance contests are bad enough in WWE, but having the competitors be two on-air personal the WWE Universe hates? This gives me unfortunate NXT flashbacks.
The 6-Man main event went much better than I anticipated, giving us a lot of time before the first elimination. This made Riley stand out, and further these three top feuds in the process. It was predictable to see Orton and Cena standing tall once again, but Christian and Truth also got in some great spots to go out looking strong.
Overall, a good show where the first garbage hour wasn't needed by any means. The show really picked up from the heel promo halfway through the broadcast, and went smooth sailing from there with some great action. The WWE Championship picture looks awesome on paper, and hopefully the slow build towards the Money in the Bank pay-per-view starts next week.
The show kicked off with the United States Championship Match between Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler, a very logical, but smart move. As much as their feud gets old, their matches never do, with fresh action for a solid ten minutes. The finish was a little odd, but it was smart to put the title on Ziggler to regain some heat.
I was a little surprised to see the match between Alex Riley and The Miz go on early, but it was great action. Riley looks comfortable in the ring, and Miz is the perfect opponent to make him look credible. The finish reminded me too much of Edge, and I was shocked to see Riley pick up the victory. Miz needs to regain some credibility, but putting over Riley will do wonders for how he is perceived by the crowd.
No one expected anything special from Alberto Del Rio and Big Show, as it was really the drama that drew this contest any attention. It was a typical move to have Mark Henry weaken him up, but I enjoyed Henry finally looking dominant and signaling a potential feud between the two. It was a good move to give Del Rio the victory, but couldn't they have just made Show submit? If the feud is over, then that's a disappointing way to go out.
The Intercontinental Championship Match was easily the quietest bout all night, and I don't blame the crowd by any means. WWE has given us no reason to care about this feud, and I'm glad it's finally over in a quick harmless match. It's time for Wade Barrett to reestablish himself as a serious threat on SmackDown.
It's simply amazing how CM Punk and Rey Mysterio can have no less than a dozen matches together but still find a way to make the matches interesting. That proved successful, and won this Match of the Night by far. I'm ecstatic Punk won clean with perfect, smooth finish without outside help from the New Nexus. I'm looking forward to seeing Punk in the WWE Championship picture.
The World Heavyweight Championship Match was a bit predictable, but still found itself to be very suspenseful in the final minutes. The finish was smart in order to continue the feud running, but it was a bit ridiculous to not have the commentators notice Christian's foot underneath the rope.
After a hot World title match, no one in attendance cared to see Evan Bourne and Jack Swagger. It's unfortunate too, as they've had a simple but effective feud running on RAW and they had a decent match on live pay-per-view. It's a nice win for Bourne, but opening up the show with this might have been better suited.
R-Truth has been built up to be a very enjoyable heel on Monday Nights, but the crowd give neither him or Cena any love during their WWE Championship match. The result was easily predicted, but the way it was handled was something you'd see on RAW, not closing the show. Good action, but meaningless.
Overall, it was a decent show. We got some great action in three matches, questionable finishes, and stuff just no one cared to see. The Obama impersonation was hardly comedy, and it's sad to see WWE actually see it as funny. With two title changes, you would think it would be newsworthy, but proved to be lackluster as a whole.