Raw Is… A Tournament? 7-18-11

Vince is walking to the ring (wearing a hideous coat with a color that does not exist in nature) with Johnny Ace in tow (whom I have decided is now mute). CM Punk is ingrateful. There will be an 8-Man Tournament for the championship. John Cena is fired. Tonight will be a night of epic proportions. Will this be a WWE night of epic proportions or will this be TNA’s huge announcement that turns out to be Shark Boy’s evening dinner.

The first match was Miz vs. Alex Riley. Alex Riley is coming along nicely. Miz got the win so I was happy to see that. Miz has been through a lot in the past few weeks in his knee and has done a great job of selling his injuries from last night. Miz ended up with the win so he can lose in the next round and not lose anything.

We were treated to Jack Swagger and R-Truth. The crowd could care less about this match. So could I while watching it. While everybody was so in love with King of the Ring, I wasn’t. The only reason I cared about the results was because it was a launching pad for a lot of careers. I’m not the biggest fan of tournaments (except for ECWA’s Super 8).

Then we got Alberto del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston. And the return of Ricardo Rodriguez, the man with the best hair in the WWE. They had a really exciting match that got the crowd going for a little. Kofi Kingston is slowly becoming one of the top babyfaces on Raw. Kofi came out of nowhere to pin Alberto del Rio. This was the highlight of the night up to this point. (And then it plummeted very quickly as my wife discovered Wikipedia and started giving me the life story of Alberto del Rio. But you already knew that.)

At the point they were interviewing Kofi Kingston, I knew he was getting attacked. And then he didn’t get attacked. Is Kofi getting a rocket strapped to him? Rey-Dolph started out really well. My wife once again ruined wrestling for me by comparing Vicki Guerrero to Carol Burnett. They fought a really good match with Rey picking up the victory.

They did a 14-diva match. There were 28 reasons to watch this match. I don’t think this match lasted 28 seconds. It was long enough for me to swoon for A. J. and wish Sara del Rey was here.

Then we got Kofi and Miz. This match was really good and we had a bloody smile from Miz. I found myself asking if Kofi was really going to win it. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of those matches on a Monday Night Raw. If Miz wins this tournament, I don’t see how he can still be a heel. Maybe that’s what they’re doing.

We found time for an Andy Leavine video package. They need to do more of these. Give me a reason to care about these guys. Then we got Rey vs. R-Truth. This should make a pretty good feud because R-Truth hate the “Little Jimmies” and Rey does everything he can for them. The guys are great athletes and would feed off of each other really well. (Break from Raw: The cops in the Twix commercial crack me up every time.) The two fought such a great match with such intense drama. The crowd really got into it as well.

I knew the finals of their tournament wasn’t going to be this week. I thought we would have had to wait til Summerslam. If they had just been up front with us, we would have been fine. I just can’t but feel it was bait ‘n’ switch. Vince introduced Cena. Cena made a reference to “Kevin [Dunn].” So we’re still keeping with the shooting. I like this Cena. He made sense and was rational. “I will walk on somebody else’s show, Brother.” HHH came out and Vince introduced his son-in-law, HHH. Trips is now “The Corporate Game.” HHH is now taking over the day-to-day operations. So Vince is relieved of his duties (with tears).

This Raw was a pretty good disappointment. The only reason is we didn’t get CM Punk. Punk hasn’t gone anywhere yet. He’s building up plenty of buzz for himself and the company. Some people like tournaments. I don’t. But I think the crowd did a good job of building up their momentum. I hated the ending angle. This is typical of the past 10 years. Anything that has gotten hot, the McMahons have tried to insert themselves into it. Looks like my timeline really liked it, but I hated it. I am curious to see where it goes from here.

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