Monday Night Raw Review - July 25, 2011
Having the finals of the WWE Championship tournament start off the show was confusing at first, but it came to make sense as it really got the crowd pumping for the rest of the night. Miz and Mysterio put on a quality title bout, and the emotion of Mysterio's win was a great feel even if it didn't last long. I've been a fan of putting Miz and Mysterio in a program for awhile now, so hopefully we can see a rematch at SummerSlam.
Dolph Ziggler and Evan Bourne have awesome chemistry, so a longer match could have helped more. However, a great win by Ziggler in order to get back on his hot streak since winning the title. Bourne should continue to be in the title picture as well. On a side note, Dolph's new remix sounds great, giving him so much more of an edge as a dominant heel.
A decent tag team match by Divas standards, with the sexual appeal keeping the fans awake and alive. Given their recent teaming, I expect Eve to be victorious next week in the battle royal to go on to face her friend Kelly Kelly for the Divas Championship at SummerSlam.
Although it would have been smart to hype Triple H's State of the WWE Address a few days in advance, it still was an intriguing segment. I completely marked for the return of Jim Ross, as he can certainly add some prestige back on commentary. Truth and HHH provided some hilarious comedy, keeping Truth relevant. John Morrison's return was overshadowed by the rest of the show, but it was great to see him back in order to build his feud with Truth going into SummerSlam.
In another record breaking moment, Zack Ryder won his first match on RAW! I was absolutely ecstatic when his music hit, and even though it was a thirty second match against Michael Cole, it sure answered his and many other's demands. The crowd gave him a solid reaction, so hopefully it leads to entering the U.S. title angle at one point or another.
A solid rematch from last week involving Kofi Kingston and Alberto Del Rio. The two could reignite their feud if given the right tools, but it doesn't seem to be the case. Both Superstars are currently lost in the shuffle right now, but at least Del Rio is one of the few heels that can win a match clean.
John Cena vs. Rey Mysterio is a match is a very rare contest, as these two haven't met since at least 2003, and that was before both became top main eventers. I would have loved to see this be stretched out to SummerSlam or even WrestleMania, but what we got was still pretty great. Giving the title back to Cena was expected, but CM Punk's return was not. The live audience, along with myself, went ballistic as they saw Punk walk out from the entrance. I'm loving his theme change as it fits Punk perfectly even if his old music was still pretty great, as well as his new attire and titantron changes. Holding up the belt in that fashion gets me excited me for SummerSlam, as we may be getting the unification match we all want to see.
Overall, this was a very exciting and noteworthy edition of Monday Night RAW. The returns of Jim Ross, John Morrison, and CM Punk were absolutely breath-taking and awesome, the action and two title matches were solid, and it began to plant seeds for the upcoming SummerSlam, not to mention Zack Ryder finally being given his chance to shine. In my opinion, this has to be the best RAW so far this year, and with Triple H now in charge, I'm hopeful the excitement continues in coming weeks.
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