Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Thoughts on WWE RAW: July 25th 2011

Photo Courtesy The Bleacher Report


  • Rey Mysterio d. The Miz in the title tournament final to become WWE Champion
  • Alberto Del Rio tried to attack Mysterio post match and cash in his MITB briefcase. Mysterio fought of Del Rio who then decided against cashing in his shot.
  • Dolph Ziggler d. Evan Bourne via submission
  • Eve Torres & Kelly Kelly d. Melina & Maryse
  • Triple H made his first address as COO. Announced the return of Jim Ross and booked Mysterio vs. Cena for the title in the Main Event.
  • Triple H was interrupted by R-Truth, who was subsequently taken out by a returning John Morrison.
  • Zach Ryder d. Michael Cole via Rough Ryder
  • Alberto Del Rio d. Kofi Kingston via Cross Arm Breaker
  • John Cena d. Rey Mysterio via Attitude Adjustment to win the WWE Title
  • CM Punk made his return as he and Cena held their titles aloft as the show closed.

July 9th 2000, the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. Jeff Jarrett, WCW World Champion at the time, marched to the ring before promptly laying down allowing his opponent, Hulk Hogan to score the pinfall victory by placing his foot upon the chest of Double J. Hogan promptly left the arena, and WCW, with the title. Of course we all know what followed in what became known as the "Bash at the Beach" incident. However there's a reason I bring this situation up.

The above events were what's referred to in the business as a "Worked-Shoot", a storyline made to look like an unplanned, spontaneous event. The plan behind the scenes was that then WCW creative director, Vince Russo, would allege Hogan's "backstage politics" were no longer to be tolerated, Hogan would be handed the belt and asked to leave the company. This would then result in a World Title tournament, culminating at that year's Halloween Havoc Pay-Per View with two Heels in the Final. The victor's celebration would be cut short as a returning Hulk Hogan, with the real World's title around his waist, would make a triumphant return ultimately leading to a Title vs. Title "Unification" match.

Of course those events never came to fruition, however WWE creative must have been leafing through Eric Bischoff's "Controversy Creates Cash" autobiography and decided the storyline was to good to be left in the "What if..." pile of storyline's that never came to be.

CM Punk's return tonight mirrored those events exactly and for all intents and purposes looks to have setup a Unification match against John Cena at Summerslam. There are also rumblings in Stamford that this will see the end of the gruesome "Spinner" belt, with a new belt being introduced, consolidating the two belts out there now.

Whilst Punk's return was a surprise, I must admit, I knew something was up the moment they announced the World Title match as the opener, in which Rey Mysterio claimed the World Title by defeating the Miz in a stellar bout. And whilst I may not have agreed that Rey was the man to carry the title, I can't help but feel sorry for the little guy, winning the belt and then losing less than 2 hours later. But I guess this means Christian can't go complaining to management about his initial reign!

I can't help but feel WWE jumped the gun a little tonight with John Cena's title victory and CM Punk's return all coming within two weeks of Punk's "departure" and Cena's "firing" and more importantly all in one show. Suspense and Anticipation are two key elements in storytelling of late WWE seems to have abandoned both of these elements. I guess they wanted to cash in on this early, fearing the buzz generated two weeks ago be lost in the coming weeks and months, that's understandable but its also such an impatient, short term vision for this storyline. In my opinion each of tonights big events - Mysterio's title win, Cena's Title Win and Punk's return all could have played out over the coming weeks, tease Punks return and allow speculation and anticipation to build amongst the fans and ultimately have a hotly contested PPV main event later in the year.

One things for sure, this will be a source of impassioned debate and in the end, I guess this storyline is only going to be as good as WWE are willing to make it.

Oh and one more thing, for those of you attending this years Summerslam event, please remember to take this essential piece of kit with you...

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