10 Thoughts on WWE Monday Night Raw 08.16.11- The Del Rio Regime (CM Punk, Stephanie McMahon, Kevin Nash)
by Patrick Spohr on August 16, 2011

Hey! It’s 10 Thoughts on Raw again, where we talk about…Raw…and junk. So, Summerslam is behind us and I was, to be frank, underwhelmed. There were a few good matches, and I think the main-event was handled well enough, but there were some really bizarre booking decisions that were irksome, to say the least. You can read more about my thoughts on the big show in this week’s Caught in the Ropes, and you can also check out what will assuredly be a deluge of thoughts on the big event here at Pulse Wrestling throughout the week.

1. Well, Alberto del Rio is finally champion. Not that he’s been waiting that long, it’s just that this seemed inevitable ever since he came to the company and made his presence known. I also like it since it makes the WWE Heavyweight Championship scene more complex and wide open that it has been for a while.

2. Hmm, I guess HHH is sticking with the face authority figure role for now…or not. Kevin Nash showing up is a nice touch, so long as he and HHH stick to yackin’ and don’t get in the ring again. And here come’s Alberto, to a mixed reaction from my hometown San Diego crowd. I would have gone to this show, but stuff came up and I couldn’t make it work. I never noticed this before, but Alberto says “guys” a lot. I mean, a lot. That aside, Alberto’s promo tonight had some very strong face overtones to it, at least at first, which is kind of weird.

3. Okay…John Morrison’s promos haven’t managed to get much better. The falls-count-anywhere style match does highlight his strengths as a wrestler, which will make this more than the usual brawl. I wonder how the WWE is planning on using the guy now; he’s been pushed and dropped so often it’s hard to tell. His continuing relationship with Melina, which has been causing some problems for Morrison, has to be a distraction for him as well. Man, that suplex into the chair followed by the running knee was pretty awesome. Good first match for this show.

4. There’s a good number of Miz fans in the Sports Arena tonight. What are the odds that we’ll see a Miz face turn at some point? Wait, Jared from Subway is here? Why? We got that moron from Keystone Light, and now this. Fantastic. I liked the “Subway sucks!” chants though; that was the only good part of this. I hate it when they turn their talent into shills for outside advertisers like that.

5. I find it funny that Kelly Kelly claims that she dedicated her Summerslam title defense for women everywhere. I’m sorry, Beth Phoenix winning the title back would have struck a real blow for female wrestling fans, or at least for women tired of crappy Divas matches, which I imagine is every woman everywhere. Come on, WWE, don’t have Beth and Natalya saunter out with nothing to say; give them the mic for a minute and let them further this storyline.

6. Lukewarm reception for Diesel. I wonder if that’s due to his actions at Summerslam or his mediocre run in TNA. Probably a combination of both, really. Fans really need to knock it off with the “What?!” chants; they’re just obnoxious, and I probably would have ended up dumping a beer on the idiot in front of me screaming “What?!” if I was in the arena tonight. Good pop for Punk! Please take a jab at Nash’s record at WCW, Punk. The text message bit was gold; oh so very good. I’m split, however; I don’t think Nash should get into the ring with Punk, but this might be a good feud for Punk. We’ll see where this goes.

7. Looks like they’re setting up Johnny Ace as the management heel. Is that a good thing? I certainly don’t want to hear the guy on the mic week in and week out, so I’m gonna say no. If they keep him off TV most weeks, I guess I could deal with it. But, as I’ve mentioned many times before, if they spend too much time on backstage politicking, it’s going to turn into TNA, just with better production values. Quick aside: I’ve enjoyed Dolph’s job on commentary tonight; dude was funny.

8. That was an ugly botch at the end of the Swagger/A-Ry match. I thought Swagger was supposed to be the next coming of Kurt Angle, but if he can’t even pull of a gut-wrench suplex on A-Ry without it looking awkward, then how long can he last? Well, a pairing with Vickie might help the guy just like it helped Dolph, and that would allow Dolph to move on to something else.

9. Wow…I thought the team of Otunga and McGillicutty was lame before, but they’ve managed to get worse. Bad entrance theme aside, now they’re coming out to the ring sporting a ludicrous approximation of “street wear”. When Jerry Lawler is making fun of you on commentary and JR is noting the lack of competition you’re facing, you’re doing something wrong. Okay, the WWE is doing something wrong as well by letting their tag-team division stagnate as long as it has, but these two aren’t the kind of guys who can revitalize the tag-team scene. Bourne and Kofi would be a better choice as champions, though it looked like Bourne overshot the Air Bourne a bit.

10. Good match between Alberto and Mysterio; I love Alberto’s top-rope enziguri. Alberto also looked good here, not resorting to shenanigans in order to pick up the win. Oh, God; Cena, why are you here, and why are you taking off your shirt? Wait, why is Cena burying Alberto here for cashing in the MITB contract? Isn’t that the point of the damn thing? Well folks, here we are: John Cena buried an entire PPV.

Not a bad show, by all accounts. There were a few good matches and the intrigue was plentiful, setting up the new feuds that’ll take Raw into Night of Champions. I worry about the McMahon-Helmsley regime rearing its ugly head once again, and I don’t want Johnny Ace’s five-packs-a-day voice warbling out of my TV every single Monday. But as far as the big after-PPV Raws go, this one was pretty good. See you next week.

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Patrick Spohr

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  • James Alsop

    Agreed: Johnny Ace’s voice is just horrible.

  • Blair A. Douglas

    Johnny Ace sounds like Marty Funkhauser from Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s tremendous. He needs to be in a comedic role.

  • Evan Bush

    The way I saw it, it’s A-Ry who acted liked a dead weight during the gutwrench powerbomb. Swagger pulled it off without a hitch on heavier guys before, like Tommy Dreamer, so it just looks like a case of Riley needing a bit more work.

  • CB

    9. Wow…I thought the team of Otunga and McGillicutty was lame before, but they’ve managed to get worse. Bad entrance theme aside, now they’re coming out to the ring sporting a ludicrous approximation of “street wear”.

    ——–> HAHAHAHA!

  • LBD “Nytetrayn”

    Between Cena’s words and Daniel Bryan’s plans for MITB, maybe WWE is trying to alter what the “acceptable” way of cashing in is.

    Or maybe Punk’s statement on the matter was supposed to be the counterbalance to Cena’s.

  • Patrick Spohr

    I’d hate to see them do that. The great thing about the MITB contract is that it can be used at any time and under any circumstances, and I wouldn’t want to see that utility reduced to just the heels alone. The thing ain’t broke, so WWE shouldn’t fix it.

  • Patrick Spohr

    @James and Blair
    Know what, Johnny Ace’s voice reminds me of Paul Heyman’s impersonation of Steve Austin, like the one he did on WWE’s ECW retrospective.

  • Joseph Hargrove

    5. Beth mentioned in her Twitter account thar she and Nattie will have the next step in their crusade soon. That said, they could be headed to Smackdown on Friday to reveal what their next plan is.

  • Zork

    I dunno…I think “Cena buried the whole PPV” is a bit over dramatic.

    Cena put over the match he had with Punk real strong, then called Del Rio a coward for what he did. Del Rio’s actions can easily be seen as cowardly and opportunistic and even “Smart” by some people.

    I don’t believe that really translates to “Cena buried SS.”….

  • Patrick Spohr

    No, no, no. I was talking about Cena burying MITB. Del Rio used the briefcase for its intended purpose, like so many guys before have done. This isn’t some newfangled thing that the WWE has never seen before. So my problem is that Cena is calling Del Rio a coward and that he’s not a real champion because he used the briefcase, which was the ENTIRE REASON FOR MITB EXISTING. What was the point of that? He won MITB, so he gets to use that contract whenever he sees fit. It’s not rocket science.

  • jstew

    @ blair I thought thats why Punk was referring to him as Funk Man this week lol. He kinda resembles funkhauser too

  • Wally Kovacs

    Except of course, the WWE buries nearly all the people that win the belt via MitB. Edge eventually made it work, but his entire gimmick by that point was “the opportunist”. RVD called his shot, so that was moot. Punk’s first reign made him look pretty weak (he had to basically repeatedly prove himself against JBL of all people, and then had the belt taken off him via ‘injury’ with no revenge for a couple years). His second reign was made to look like a joke by Taker. How long did it take Miz to seem like a legit champ (if ever). Not to mention, Swagger anyone?

    I guess Kane did ok with his Money in the Bank immediate cash in, athough that one was the same night he was in the MitB match, so it wasn’t a fresh Kane vs. a beat down champ in that case.

    The MitB gimmick has always had that stigma attached to it, and Cena isn’t the first person to call someone out on the ‘cowardice’ of using the contract to it’s full potential.

    Also, the contract doesn’t say “and no one can complain about it” in the fine print of the contract. The decision isn’t being reversed do to “cheapness”. It’s a perfectly valid argument that “you could only win the belt because of the MitB stip”. Then, the rematch would presumably be their chance to prove that claim wrong.

    On the Ace = Funkhauser thing, Punk even called him Funkman a couple times in when they are on screen together recently.

  • Patrick Spohr

    I think that has more to do with the WWE using MITB as a main-event proving ground for untested guys than it does with the concept itself. It used to be that guys without main-event experience would take a run at the IC belt to see if they could get over or not. MITB is that now, which is why you see bad runs from guys like Swagger, Miz, and Punk. WWE didn’t think those guys were getting over, correct or not.

    Also, I’m not saying Cena or anyone else can’t complain about it, but when you’re the top guy in the company and you come down that harshly on someone for winning MITB, then that can do serious damage to its reputation. That’s my opinion anyway.

  • Zork

    Arg, my bad Patrick!

    I realized shortly after that post you were actually talking about the MITB PPV! You’ve got a good point though I suppose. The point I was trying to illustrate is that it isn’t realistic to think that somebody wouldn’t complain about how cheesy it actually is that a guy can just cash in a briefcase and win a world title because that other guy is tired from having a hard match or was just clobbered.

    I actually think the MITB concept has lost it’s luster and needs to be put away for about a year or so, it’s impact has been greatly dulled since a few years ago imo. I’d give a sort of KOTR like status where it’s just something they do every now and then. A MITB win just isn’t satisfying anymore because the same story has been told with it since it started.

    Guy cashes it in at the right time, and wins. Then he’s made out to be a Paper Champion and no one really thinks he can legit defend the title so it’s all about how the new champ just barely squeaks by a victory…every…single…time. They’re just retelling Edge’s story since he first won it. You can say it’s the writers’ fault but that’s the whole point, if they can’t come up with some other story to tell with it then it needs to be put to bed. Daniel Bryan’s MITB status is the only one that really seems any different and it’s still too early to say anything about that.

  • Patrick Spohr

    There’s a number of things the WWE needs to put on hiatus. In fact…that’ll be the next installment of Caught in the Ropes. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • AFN

    @Evan Bush

    That is what I was coming here to say. Riley sandbagged it hard on Swagger. I wonder if he never had to take the move before or what? Swagger was lifting dead weight. Damn good way for Riley to get his ass injured.

  • EWF_X29

    Wow I feel old, no one remembers Super Dave Osbourne. (Funkhauser) As for Cena burying MITB didn’t Lawler say the same thing to Miz when he won?

  • AFN

    I remember Super Dave very well, I wasn’t making the connection however.

  • Joe Violet

    From a storyline standpoint, it makes sense for Cena to complain about Money in the Bank. He’s had two of his title reigns end because of it. Granted, RVD did call his shot, but the point is, Cena had two reigns end because of that briefcase.

    As far as the Swagger/Riley match goes, it looked like a botch on both parts. Riley’s fault for sandbagging, and Swagger’s for not at least throwing down a blow to the back or something to at least try to make it look like the reason he couldn’t lift Riley was because of a block.

    Johnny Ace…there’s a REASON he did nothing beyond be Shane Douglas’ partner in the Dynamic Dudes years ago. Well, that, and he gave us the Ace Crusher…that’s pretty much it!

  • CB

    I really hope Del Rio wins out over Cena during this feud even after Mexico. I just can’t stand Cena as champ anymore.

  • Battlebowl92

    Swagger didn’t get over because after winning the briefcase, and then cashing it in, he was just “Jack Swagger”, the exact same guy cutting forced promos, it was lazy by creative… then to top it off he was cast to play IC Champion Honky Tonk Man in a feud with Big Show

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