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WWE Raw July 18, 2011: Review

Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis enter the arena to kick off Raw

With the WWE Championship match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view resulting in a CM Punk victory under controversial circumstances, there were huge expectations in the WWE universe on what would happen on the subsequent Raw on Monday. Well, after watching the whole show, I must really say that Raw delivered excellent content to follow up the excellent and exciting pay-per-view. Let me break the show into bits and do a detailed analysis of this week’s show.

This week’s Raw took place at the home town of the Super Bowl winners this year – The Green Bay Packers at Green Bay, Wisconsin. The show started off with the WWE Chairman Vince McMahon dressed in a peculiar pink coat, making his entrance along with the Executive Vice President of talent relations, John Laurinaitis. The fans started to chant “CM Punk!” , but Vince said that he won’t pronounce that name in the future and said that CM Punk was a disrespectful selfish turd. He also said that no one is and ever will be bigger than WWE itself. Then, he made a shocking announcement stating that there will be a 8-man single elimination WWE Championship Tournament for the vacant WWE Championship. Vince said that he did not include John Cena in any of those matches because of his actions which led to the WWE Championship being taken away by CM Punk. He also added that John Cena would face serious consequences for his faults. The Chairman of the board concluded by saying that it would be a night of epic proportions and left the ring.

Match 1: The Miz Vs Alex Riley

The Miz Vs Alex Riley

1st Round Match In The WWE Championship Tournament

This match promised a lot of action with the animosity between The Miz and his former protege Alex Riley peaking in the past few weeks. However, it has to be said that the match was utterly dismal with plenty of sloppy moves and slow paced action. The Miz was not entirely in his comfort zone throughout the match because of his knee injury that occurred during the Raw Money in the Bank Ladder match. Alex Riley too didn’t step up to the needs and lost to the Miz. The match ended with The Miz hitting the scull crushing finale on Riley and bet him via pin-fall. Miz advanced to the Semi-finals of the Tournament with this win.

Match Duration: 4min 30s

Match Rating: 1/5

Winner: The Miz   


Match 2: Jack Swagger Vs R-Truth

Jack Swagger Vs R-Truth

1st Round Match In The WWE Championship Tournament

Before R-Truth made his entrance, a special video package on WWE Superstar John Morrison was aired, touting his return to in-ring action in the near future. John Morrison had been sidelined for months because of the injuries caused by R-Truth during their feud 3 months ago.  I had a feeling that John Morrison may return the same night, but that didn’t happen. But when it happens, it is sure that he would go after R-Truth and get his revenge.

The second match in the WWE Championship tournament was also not upto the mark. There were a few high spots in the match for R-Truth but none for Jack Swagger who was impressive at the MITB pay-per-view. This match also lasted a mere 5 minutes and R-Truth got the victory by reversing an ankle lock attempt by Jack Swagger.

Match Duration: 5min

Winner: R-Truth 

Match Rating: 2/5


Match 3: Alberto Del Rio Vs Kofi Kingston

Alberto Del Rio Vs Kofi Kingston

1st Round Match In The WWE Championship Tournament

The winner of the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match, Alberto Del Rio came out first and his personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, made a comeback after the Big Show saga. Alberto made a promo, calling himself as Mr.Money In The Bank. The Mexican aristocrat accused John Cena for failing to finish the job. He also said that he wants John Cena to be fired because the WWE needs a newer, better and stronger leader like him. The match started after the arrival of Kofi Kingston. The match was way better than the earlier matches and had plenty of good wrestling action. Kofi got a suprise victory after a roll up. Kofi qualifies for the semifinals.

Match Duration: 6min

Winner: Kofi Kingston

Match Rating: 3/5


Match 4:  Rey Mysterio Vs Dolph Ziggler

Rey Mysterio Vs Dolph Ziggler

1st Round Match In The WWE Championship Tournament

The final round 1 match of the WWE Championship tournament involved the master of the 619, Rey Mysterio and the current united states champion, Dolph Ziggler. A standard wrestling match with lots of action. Mysterio got the win after hitting the 619 followed by a splash. Rey Mysterio joined R-Truth ,The Miz and Kofi Kingston to make it to the Semi-finals.

Match Duration 5min 30 s

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Match Rating: 3/5

The progress at the end of the 1st round

Match 5: Kelly Kelly, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Eve Torres, AJ, Kaitlyn and Gail Kim Vs The Bella Twins, Tamina, Melina, Maryse, Rosa Mendes and Alicia Fox.

7 on 7 tag team match

The Divas match was put between the 1st round and the semi finals of the WWE Championship tournament to maybe give some time for the four competitors to recuperate and focus on their next task at hand. However, there wasn’t much to talk about this match as it lasted for a mere 2 minutes with Beth Phoenix pinning Rosa Mendes for the victory while everyone else were struggling it out at ringside. Genuine filler match and it sucked big time.

Match Duration: 2 min

Winners:  Kelly Kelly, Natalya, Beth Phoenix, Eve Torres, AJ, Kaitlyn and Gail Kim

Match Rating: 1/5


Match 6: The Miz Vs Kofi Kingston

Semi Final Match in the WWE Championship Tournament

The Miz and Kofi Kingston put up a nice match. Kofi Kingston was in control for most parts of the match. However he missed wilding when he went for SOS. This allowed The Miz to take advantage. He hit the scull crushing finale on Kingston to get the victory and move on to the finals which would make him one step closer from becoming a 2 time WWE Champion.

Match Duration: 5min

Winner: The Miz

Match Rating: 3/5

Updated chart after Miz's victory in the semifinals

Match 7: Rey Mysterio Vs R-Truth

Semi Final Match in the WWE Championship Tournament

This was the best match of the night as far as quality of wrestling is concerned. Well executed moves and sharp reversals kept the crowd guessing all the time. It was Rey Mysterio who defeated R-Truth through a 619 and a splash and getting a pin fall victory. Rey Mysterio gets another opportunity to be the WWE Champion. So it will be the Miz and Mysterio who will slug it out at the Finals of the WWE Championship Tournament to become the new WWE Champion.

Match Duration: 6min

Winner: Rey Mysterio

Match Rating: 4/5

Fully Updated Chart

Vince informing the postponement of the final to Rey Mysterio

Rey Mysterio was getting ready to take on the Miz in the finals but the music of Vince McMahon was played out. Vince came out to the ring and announced that the finals was postponed to the next week since he had to address a very urgent issue and the program was running short of time. Mysterio was pissed off by Vince’s action and left the ring in disgust. Vince took up the John Cena issue. Cena came out and congratulated CM Punk for winning and for having put up a good match at MITB. When Vince was about to be fire Cena, Triple H made an interruption and after long hesitation announced that Vince McMahon was relieved of his duties and he himself was going to take care of daily activities of the WWE. This announcement not only came as a shock to Vince but also to the WWE Universe who were left in awe considering the weight of the situation. Though it may just be a plot or the real deal, the universe reacted maturely to give a warm sendoff to Vince by chanting “THANK YOU VINCE!”

The Bottomline:

Vince McMahon sobbing after hearing Triple H's announcement

Simply put, the focal point of this week’s Raw was just wrestling and it was delivered to an extent. A lot of fans expected the WWE to take the CM Punk saga to the next level. But WWE dropped the ball on CM Punk and went on a process to crown a new Champion which would reduce the credibility of the Championship. The postponement of the finals of the WWE Championship Tournament may have been disappointing to the fans who were at the arena, but paved for increased interest for the next week’s show. So who do you think would be the WWE Champion next week? Rey Mysterio? The Miz? or may be even CM Punk? Post you comments below.

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