10 Thoughts on WWE Monday Night Raw 07.04.11 (Cena, Punk, Vince McMahon)
by Patrick Spohr on July 5, 2011

Welcome back to 10 Thoughts on Raw! Happy 4th of July to everyone in the U.S. and…happy Monday to everyone else. I’ll keep things short this week since it is a holiday, but check out this weeks Caught in the Ropes, as well as Steven Gepp’s latest View From Down Here article where he discusses recent turns in the WWE. I have to go, though; it seems that my television has come down with a bad case of flatulence. Oh, wait…that’s just Nickelback.

1. The crowd is really getting behind CM Punk; there’s even a few “CM Punk” chants. I do like that they’re putting Cena behind Punk; it does bolster the opinion of some that Punk’s promo last week was his Austin 3:16 moment. Oh, wait, we’re allowed to remember the Daniel Bryan firing? I usually hate Cena promos because the character is stale, and I think Cena himself is tired of the act and wants to do something new. But I’ve been liking this so far; it’s kind of a throw-back to the Cena character of old before the PG-era began.

2. I’m not going to talk about the Diva’s match. I’ve already said my piece on the current Divas in my Caught in the Ropes columns, and unless something changes, there’s nothing else to say. I do have to mention that Eve Torres’ outfit does look like something Wonder Woman would wear.

3. “Silent Rage?” Dude, that is lame. I’m sorry Big Andy, but that is absolutely lame. At least I have a R-Truth and Alberto del Rio promo to get that awful taste out of my mouth. I haven’t seen enough of Andy to tell how he’s going to work out, but I kind of take issue with using Dusty Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat to shill for this guy. I don’t think he’s done enough to earn that kind of rub from two legends.

4. Am I the only one that is tired of Santino and Kozlov? They’re a kooky Italian and a goofy Russian; that’s Lawler level comedy there. And did they use a variation of the Sheepherder’s battering ram? There’s really not much to say about this; it’s not worth my time.

5. Zack Ryder! Awesome, I…that’s it? I guess any attention is better than no attention at all but is this a sign that the ‘E might start to use the guy more? Or is this just me reading too much into things? He’s already popular online, WWE, just give the guy a damn shot!

6. What is the point of continuing this Miz/A-Ry feud? Oh, that’s right, creative can’t think of anything better to do with them. A-Ry already won at Capital Punishment, there’s nothing else for these two to do together. Ah damn, SERGEANT SLAUGHTER! “You’re parents made a mistake when they didn’t use birth control.” Good line, Sarge, you still got it.

7. I have to question the ‘E putting Mysterio in the MITB match considering his long history of knee problems. It’s not like the ‘E can risk having one of their few popular faces leaving for an extended period of time due to injury. Guess we’ll see what happens…

8. I like the Alberto del Rio push; I think he’s the next best option after Punk leaves for top heel. I enjoy what Truth has been doing lately, but for now, I see him as more of a upper-mid card guy.

9. I have to wonder where the ‘E is going with the A-Ry/Miz feud. I know I mentioned this earlier, but having Riley bury Miz isn’t doing much for either one of them. Where does A-Ry go after this? A U.S. title run? Does the ‘E switch him over to Smackdown? Keeping these two in this feud for too long will backfire on the ‘E. Maybe they’re heading for a Jericho-esque angle for the Miz where he becomes increasingly frustrated with his losing streak. I don’t know.

10. I haven’t read the spoilers for this episode of Raw, so I’ll be interested in seeing what happens here. It’s sad that it’s taken the ‘E this long to find a great angle for Punk; he’s been the best man in their company for a while. I think if the ‘E isn’t going to turn Cena heel, then making him more confrontational with the WWE brass instead of being the perfect company man is at least better than what we have been getting.

If it wasn’t for that last promo, I would say this episode was a bust. And while I haven’t been big on Cena over the last couple of years, this was one of the best promos he’s cut in a while. Punk is reinstated, which we all saw coming, for the most part. We’ll see how this plays out; see you next week.

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Patrick Spohr

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  • Phil

    I’ll give credit where it is due; even though I respect Cena’s work-ethic, he usually bores me and clashes with my wrestling purist leaning sensibilities; here however his two promos were well delivered and engaging, and not just the hybrid sarcastic humor/man on a mission presentation that we are accustomed to.

    Provided a contract extension is agreed upon between WWE and Punk, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a swerve where McMahon backs Punk in some underhanded fashion. The Raw MITB bank winner cashing in that same night and defusing the whole situation would also be a possibility.

    So the start and finish were both solid segments, however the rest of the show was pretty awful, with the first hour being sleep inducing, (Divas and Tag-team bouts were dreadful) the triple threat just marginally above-average, and then a increasingly boring program with Miz and Riley, with a lackluster post-match segment.

    Riley needs to establish some kind of signature in-ring style quick; he is really vanilla with his work, and also has a few clumsy spots; otherwise it will be a matter of weeks before he is a regular on Superstars with Chris Masters, (Who puts on better matches as it stands right now) JTG, Curt Hawkins, and Koslov. I don’t mean to pan those guys (Besides JTG, he sucks) because they are good workers but some wrestlers profile as being better as warm-up acts and not headliners of more sophisticated angles, and right now Riley is in that category.

  • sideshowbob

    So as the diva bashing continues.. Didn’t anyone else notice that 3/4 of that matches participants WERE trying this week??

  • Jim

    Which Diva wasn’t trying? And what was with all the working of Eve’s arm? Did they rehire Finlay?

    I wish people would stop saying “The ‘E” all the time, because it gets annoying very fast.

  • sideshowbob

    It seemed to me that kelly kelly’s involvement was kept minimal as the other women actually GASP wrestled some… I didn’t mean it as a slam on kelly kelly, she was there for the entertainment part of the match, but there was actual wrestling from the 3 others for a change… And still, people are quick to dismiss them.. That’s all I meant.

  • Phil

    It’s not to be intentionally dismissive of the entire division; I quite enjoyed the match last week on Superstars between Beth Phoenix and Gail Kim; this tag-match simply was rather bland and was twice the length that it needed to be.

  • foxxxy

    Thanks WWE for ruining the best storyline since the Outsiders. What if after Punk’s promo it was announced he would be off the WWE schedule through his contract expiration. McMahon comes out and cuts a promo apologizing to the fans for taking away the final oportunity to see him and even acknowledges Punk’s ability. Vince however says to allow punk to get away with what he did is an insult to all of the other wrestlers who come to work every day with the goal of making the wwe great guys like cena, mysterio, orton, etc. He acknowledges not everyone is always happy with their place in the company but that issues should be handled backstage not live on air. To allow punk to stay would encourage any wrestler with a complaint to go off script and whenever they feel like it. Vince apologizes once more to the fans but says WWE will do everything possible to make it up to the fans and Cena will face (insert name) at money in the bank. Commentators dont mention Punk by name at during any broadcast instead they speak of the high professionalism of cena and other talents and talk about the WWE’s commitment to its fans and quality entertainment. They also build the hype for cena vs insert name match as two guys who may not like each other and both want to win but also are professional enough to follow the boundries of the sport and go about things the right way. fast forward to MIB everything goes smoothly up until the final match. Cena is introduced but before insert name’s music hits Punk jumps a guard rail in street clothes, takes out a security guy and refuses to leave the ring. He’s shouting like a mad man about being held back his entire wwe tenure. Vince comes out to reason with Punk saying this conversation should happen behind closed doors ( the announcers are stuttering and stammering to try to cover for what is obv not scripted) finally vince loses patience and starts yelling a demanding punk to leave the ring. Punk drills vince and with punch knocks him out. Punk stands over vince he may own the company but in real life hes just an old man and a pussy. He goes to strike vince again but Cena comes and pushes him away. Security run in and seperate everyone. Cena grabs a mike and cuts a similiar promo to mcmahons on raw from weeks earlier and begs vince to let him handle things with punk right then. Vince grants his wish but says it is not sanctioned by wwe in anyway. They go on to have an extremely stiff shoot fight type match with cena eventually wins and punk goes off air. Instead we are getting the evil authority figure mr. mahman again.

  • Wally Kovacs

    Riley/Miz is just a holding pattern until the PPV. With the Money in the Bank match having both of them in it, they don’t ‘need’ another feud until after the PPV, and the feud will at least bring something to the match. Ditto the feuds between Truth and Rey, as well as the older Del Rio/Rey feud. Not to mention Swagger/Bourne. After the PPV, they can go to other feuds that might have PPV matches, but until then, they don’t really need to start a new feud, when the old feud is still tied into the match. (Ziggler, however, is not in the match, so perhaps he should be finding an opponent instead of continuing with Kofi, who is in the match).

    It is interesting that the IC and US champs aren’t in the MitB match, they normally get thrown in there. And it’s unlikely they will be fighting anyone … their most recent feud partners are in the match … I guess there is still time, and they may get title matches anyway.

  • sideshowbob

    MITB ppv would be a decent show to pull a non-title ‘champ vs champ’ IC/US match out each year.. Keeps them relevant while potential contenders are tied up in the MITB matches..

  • Phil

    In the case of ongoing programs such as Miz/Riley, Bryan/Rhodes, and Swagger/Bourne intermixing with MITB matches, it gives away that none of those competitors will ultimately be victorious as they will likely take each other out of the match as a means of fueling their respective programs through Summerslam.

    Good call on the mid-card championship match; give them some time (15-20 minutes) and it would be a nice way to showcase both champions and add a little prestige to both titles, which is always an uphill battle.

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