Interesting Monday Night Raw following a disastrous Night of Champions Pay Per View. Many unanswered questions and new champions crowned at the PPV. How did WWE rebound and progress their storylines?

WWE Monday Night Raw 9/19/11

CM Punk starts the show. The Cleveland crowd proves early to be a terrible one as Punk is greeted by mostly boos. He acknowledges it and says this building has never really been good to him. Triple H comes out to talk about the next Pay Per View “Hell in a Cell” being 2 weeks away. Time out……2 weeks away??? That’s a little ridiculous. The millions that bought the last awful PPV aren’t going to spend money on another one so quickly. Terrible idea. Anyways, Triple H makes the main event for Hell in a Cell, and its a triple threat match for the WWE Championship featuring John Cena, Alberto Del Rio, and CM Punk. So Punk is somehow back in the title picture in a feud he has nothing to do with. A Hell in a Cell match, or any gimmick match for that matter, is supposed to be used to finish a feud. It’s not a good idea to throw a new feud that will progress more into this situation. It lacks depth and emphasis on the a main event. Only the names of the wrestlers can carry the hype.

I bet the PPV has a low buy rate. So CM Punk says there is a conspiracy in the WWE and its not with Triple H. Head of talent relations John Laurinaitis comes out for no apparent reason. Punk accuses him of being behind the conspiracy. Laurinaitis tries to fire CM Punk but Triple H vetos it. Triple H does promise that someone will be fired tonight. I’ve said this before…anytime there is a “who did it” storyline in the WWE its always Vince McMahon. Laurinaitis is being used a decoy as an obvious answer to the question. When the “who did it” is revealed it will not be Laurinaitis. The WWE writers want you to think it is. CM Punk used a line in this promo where he said someone higher up than Triple H is responsible. That is an indication of McMahon. The storyline involving McMahon’s firing was that he lost control of the WWE as the COO. He is still recognized in the storyline as the Chairman of the Board. He will be back. Do you think he wants to tarnish his reputation long term by letting people think he doesn’t run his own company?

8 Man Tag Team Match- Sheamus/Kofi Kingston/Evan Bourn/Justin Gabriel vs. Christian/ David Otunga/Mike McGillicutty/Wade Barrett. This match is a combination of a few feuds in an attempt to fit everyone onto tv programming this week. Early in the match Evan Bourn takes the heat and really doesn’t get much offense. I complain about this every week. Give the guy offense. Gabriel could have taken the heat. He isn’t a champion like Bourn is. When Bourn gets a chance to use his arsenal he is the most exciting guy in the company to watch. Stop squashing him in matches because of his size. At some point in this match (terrible) Jim Ross says “WWF” and gets censored. Idiot. Sheamus gets the hot tag and hits the Celtic Cross on Otunga for the win as Christian looks on. Christian doesn’t try to break up the pinfall out of fear. So no “Great White” references to Sheamus tonight? I don’t really like that nickname anyways. Maybe it was because he was in the ring with Otunga. I’m just saying.

In the back we see a referee with Triple H telling him that he is too scared to get in the ring with Miz and R-Truth. If you missed the PPV (and I hope you did) Miz/Truth attacked two different referees in two different matches. Alberto Del Rio comes in and complains about being thrown into a triple threat match. He says “I pray for Mr. McMahon to come back and run this place.” Hmmmm I wonder why they are trying to keep McMahon’s name relevant?

Alberto Del Rio vs. John Morrison. I guess I’ll use this spot to complain about Del Rio no longer being champion. Why does John Cena need that title? He doesn’t. They just killed all the momentum Del Rio had on his first title reign and turned him into a weak champion. Taking the title off him that early made him lose all credibility. I don’t know who is deciding to make all the title reigns short, but its very very stupid. First Christian and now Del Rio. Back to the match. Both Morrison and Del Rio need wins bad. Both are in need of bigger pushes. Del Rio begins the match very aggressively and works the arm of Morrison. Then in about 1 minute he squashes Morrison and wins by submission. I was very excited to see a match between two of the best workers in the company…and then it was ruined…big time. Del Rio needs a lot more than this to be credible again. They have a long way to go to rebuild him, but that’s a start. Morrison on the other hand must be under punishment. I heard that he brought Melina to an event after she was released by the company. I guess he is in the dog house now. And that’s a shame because he is so talented. Put him in a meaningful feud. Or better yet make this a real life storyline. Have him try to bring Melina into the building backstage and be denied. Then progress the storyline in a real life fashion from there where he sneaks her in. Triple H can suspend him, and they can do random run ins from the crowd. It would get a huge response and people would really be behind them. Your looking at major Matt Hardy-Edge potential here. Plus Melina is good enough to be in the company and was underused in her defense.

Hugh Jackman is our guest host tonight and comes out to the ring. Yes the Wolverine, Oscar hosting, broadway singing, actor, Hugh Jackman. He does a nice job getting the fans over before Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler come out. Vickie hits on him. Ziggler is jealous and runs his mouth. Jackman says he will find an underdog wrestler to take him out later tonight. The crowd loudly chants “We want Ryder”. Jackman grabs a sign out of the crowd that says “Ryder > Wolverine”. I love where this is headed.

The Miz and R-Truth pull up in a limo and are greeted by John Lauranaitis. They apologize to him for their actions at the PPV.

Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes. Before the match starts Sin Cara comes out. Not a typo. Interesting storyline. There are 2 Sin Caras. To catch anyone who is unknowing up to date, Sin Cara was suspended for steroids. While he was out they had another guy play his character. That other guy turned heel and didn’t act the same as the original. Now that the original is back they created this unique storyline. Obviously, the WWE storyline doesn’t mention the steroids thing. Their storyline has to do with the original Sin Cara being out due to an “injury” he suffered at the Money in the Bank PPV. So Rhodes exits the ring and the match doesn’t happen. Instead the 2 Sin Caras face off. The crowd is aware of which one is the real Sin Cara as they cheer the original and boo the impostor. (To be honest the original Sin Cara sucks. I think he is an overrated spot monkey who has a 3 move arsenal. The new guy was very good.) The 2 Sin Caras impressively fly around the ring a little fighting one another. The original Sin Cara knocks the impostor out of the ring. That ends this segment. I hope they drag this storyline out a little. I like it. Entertaining.

The Miz and R-Truth go into Triple H’s office to apologize and suck up to him. He fines them $250 thousand each. He tells them they will take on CM Punk and John Cena.

Terrible Smackdown General Manager Theodore Long is seen walking up the ramp with terrible Jim Ross in the ring. Ross says that Long just informed him that Randy Orton will get a rematch for the World Heavweight Championship at Hell in a Cell against the new champion Mark Henry. Henry comes out to be interviewed by Jim Ross. Ok, ok, ok. Here we go. I hate Mark Henry. I hate Jim Ross. I’m not over exaggerating when I say that they are my two least favorite WWE employees. Henry because he can’t wrestle, lacks charisma, is injury prone, and was a waste of a character the last 15 years. It was truly the darkest day in WWE history when he actually became World Champion. I want to turn off the tv every time I see him with the title, but for the sake of this blog I’ll watch. But I’ll turn off the tv on Smackdown. Ross is awful because he doesn’t have a true eye for talent, is a terrible play by play commentator, and doesn’t know the name of a single wrestling move. So seeing these two in the ring together was unbearable. So Henry wanted JR to apologize to him on behalf of the WWE fans. He said JR never believed in him. He said JR said he wasn’t high on him, said he was injury prone, and said he was an over achiever. So me and JR actually agree on something? So I guess I can’t say he doesn’t have an eye for talent. I guess he just has a very limited eye for talent. He chokes JR with his tie until Jerry “The King” Lawler hits the ring to save him. Henry destroys Lawler and puts him through the announce table. That ended the segment. Henry doesn’t deserve anymore of my time so I won’t speak of this any longer.

Coming back from break Lawler is being escorted up the ramp. Josh Matthews is now on commentary with Michael Cole. Exciting.

Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix and Natalya. Kelly gets a lot of shine early. she tags in Eve and the match eventually turns. Somehow Eve rolls up Natalya for the win. Another quick match. So is this now a joke? I don’t get it. What is WWE creative trying to do? Are they trying to address the fact that wrestling fans don’t want to see barbie doll wrestlers anymore and then taunt them with real wrestlers only to squash them. Do they laugh about it? Do they not want to give people what they want? Do they find pleasure in that? I really don’t get it. So Beth loses quickly in her hometown at the PPV to Kelly, and now the niece of the greatest wrestler of all time, Bret Hart, loses to awful Eve. Both by roll up, and both quickly. So much like Del Rio, the Diva’s of Destruction are now buried. They are no longer credible, no longer dominant, and no longer relevant. End the storyline WWE, you killed them. How terrible. The only thing that can save it is if Eve turns on Kelly and joins their group. But how weak does it make the 3 of them look knowing that the only way they can beat 95 pound Kelly Kelly is by a 3 on 1 numbers game? Kelly now looks stronger than Del Rio. She should go over clean on him in a match next week.

Hugh Jackman is in the back with Zack Ryder as they get ready for the next match.

Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Zack Ryder w/ Hugh Jackman. Hugh Jackman has a Broski head band on. I love it. I like this match because Ziggler and Ryder are good friends in real life. They tweet at each other a lot. I also like the new camera shot on Ryder’s entrance that begins with crowd reaction. This shows you that the WWE understands how over Zack Ryder really is. They are starting to put full stock into him. Especially by using a guest host like Jackman to put him over. Other wrestlers with this camera shot in their entrances: John Cena, Randy Orton. Enough said. This match is decent. Eventually Vickie is ejected for slapping Ryder. While she is leaving and the referee is distracted Jackman punches Ziggler. It’s actually a good shot. Zack hits the Ruff Ryder for the win. Zack pinned the United States Champion. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Great job WWE. You know it.

In the back after a Jack Swagger highlight package he approaches Vickie Guerrero. She finally accepts him as a client. Ziggler walks in looking very angry.

CM Punk and John Cena are together in the back. Cena says they are fine as a team tonight and then puts over the Hell in a Cell match. Blah blah blah blah.

The Miz and R-Truth come out to their new “You suck” rap song. This entrance has grown on me. Now that the timing is down I like it. It was especially funny seeing The Miz smile as he sang “you suck” to his hometown of Cleveland.

The Miz and R-Truth vs. CM Punk and John Cena. CM Punk comes out to a big fan pop this time. Maybe WWE edited it in the second time. Finally we actually get a wrestling match tonight. Not a 1 minute squash match, not a mediocre spot fest, but a real wrestling match. Punk is very impressive early hitting a great bridging German Suplex. The Miz also hits his DDT from the knees which is nasty. (Commercial break. First time tonight a commercial break cut out part of a match. I ranted about this last week. I honestly think WWE writers are reading this blog. Too many things I called for last week happened this week. Including the commercials, Zack Ryder, The Miz in a longer match, and CM Punk in more than one segment.) Back from commercial we get a lot of Cena and R-Truth. They bored me for awhile. Eventually we get a hot tag to Punk. He comes in on fire hitting nice suplexes, kicks, knee shots, bulldogs, and springboards. GTS on The Miz for the win. Glad to see they made it a priority to put him over tonight.

Triple H comes out. He says “Punk good match. Miz, Truth, your fired.” Thank you Donald Trump. Miz and Truth run to the back and attack Triple H backstage. Conveniently every single WWE wrestler is sitting right there when it happens. The well placed roster is able to grab ahold of Miz and Truth and throw them out the doors. Triple H walks off angrily and attempts to push over a cart that doesn’t move. That is seriously how the show ends before fading to black.

So where do they go from here? I beg WWE to do this. Don’t have Lauranaitis bring Miz/Truth back right away. Let them go out and campaign to the media and to social media that they need to be back. Have a Facebook campaign. Have people back them on Twitter. Have them go on Conan’s show. Have them rant to ESPN. Have them go to Ring of Honor to cut a promo on Triple H. Really get a cult following here. Then when everyone in the world is screaming for them to come back, bring them back in dramatic style. They can still be entertaining tweener heels, but everyone will eat them up. It could be huge for the company. Great publicity. Great storyline. Great hype. Great television. And most importantly…Great business.

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