July 4, 2011
RAW: New number one contender; Punk reinstated
By DALE PLUMMER -- SLAM! Wrestling
Once again Monday Night Raw is airing from Las Vegas. Not because Vince gambled away the airline tickets, but because today is the Fourth of July. The show taped last week right after RAW went off the air, so hopefully you didn’t read any spoilers on the internet this week. (I’m sure nobody did that after CM Punk’s rant.) If you did just click on the link anyway to get our page views up. (Thanks!)
WWE Champion John Cena kicks off the show. Cena tells the crowd that CM Punk has been suspended and will not be facing him at Money in the Bank. Tonight the RAW will have a triple threat match to name a new number one contender. Cena doesn’t want to ignore Punk and thinks the WWE’s decision sucks. The champ found nothing wrong with the outburst even though it was at his expense. Cena wants to know where this stops. Cena cites Daniel Bryan’s suspension and WWE officials taking signs at events. The champ cites the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment. Cena tells Cole that the GM will not interrupt him and he wants answers from the top, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Vince is on his way to talk to Cena, who wants to face CM Punk at Money in the Bank.
Match #1 – Brie and Nikki Bella vs. Kelly Kelly and Eve
Eve clears Brie from the ring, allowing Kelly to hit Nikki with the K2 and get the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Kelly Kelly and Eve
Tough Enough winner Andy is profiled in a short video.
R-Truth is on the phone trying to buy car insurance. I kid you not. Scott Stanford asks Truth how he feels about competing in a triple threat match. Truth says it’s a conspiracy as he should just be awarded the spot. He then tells us how much he saved on car insurance. Alberto Del Rio, or Senior Jimmy, tells Truth that winning the title is his destiny.
Match #2 – Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov vs. Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga
Santino cuts down Otunga with the cobra, but McGillicutty is the legal man. He hits Santino with a swinging neck breaker and gets the pin.
Winner pinfall: Michael McGillicutty and David Otunga
After the match, Zac “Woo woo woo” Ryder walks out on stage, says his line and walks off.
Scott Stanford wants to know if Miz is going to change up his strategy against Alex Riley. Miz talks about how Riley is costing him a shot at the title, and Riley’s opportunities will end tonight.
Sergeant Slaughter is in the back with Evan Bourne, when Jack Swagger makes some cracks about his age. Swagger says he will lead the crowd in the pledge of allegiance and then challenges him to a match.
Match #3 – Jack Swagger vs. Sergeant Slaughter
Swagger gets the pin after a Swagger Bomb from the corner. After the bell, Swagger applies the ankle lock. Evan Bourne runs down to make the save.
Winner via pinfall: Jack Swagger
Even after the loss, Slaughter still leads the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Match #4 – R-Truth vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Rey Mysterio – Triple Threat Number One Contender Match
Del Rio knocks Truth out of the ring and goes to work on Rey. Mysterio knocks Del Rio to the floor and is then taken out by an elbow from Truth. All three men fight on the outside. Truth smashes Del Rio into the security barrier, and then pushes Rey into the ring. Truth stomps Rey into the corner and then hits him with a side slam.
Del Rio makes his way back into the ring, taking out Truth. Mysterio connects with a head scissors. Truth fights Rey onto the top turnbuckle. Del Rio picks Truth up on his shoulders, and then Rey takes them both down with a cross body. We then go to commercial.
After the break, Del Rio has Mysterio on the ropes. Rey runs into a tilt-a-whirl back breaker, but kicks out of the pin. Del Rio charges Rey, who drops him into the turnbuckle with a toe hold. Truth uses a sunset flip over Del Rio and Rey to get a pin on Del Rio, but Rey breaks it up. Del Rio hits Truth with a back cracker, and Rey breaks up that pin. Mysterio rolls through a sunset flip and kicks Del Rio in the face. Truth connects with a scissors kick on Rey, but Del Rio breaks up the pin. Del Rio is shot into the ring post, and Truth is knocked into the ropes. Rey hits the 619 and follows with a flying head butt on Truth, but Del Rio breaks up the pin. He then locks in the cross arm breaker on Rey. Mysterio taps.
Winner via submission: Alberto Del Rio
Vickie Gurrero and Dolph Ziggler hit the ring to celebrate the Fourth of July and Dolph Ziggler since he is the United States Champion. Vickie serenades her man. Dolph tells the crowd that he is the greatest sports entertainers in his prime and his title is the only one that matters. Kofi Kingston crashes the party.
Kofi tells Dolph that he can’t beat him without Vickie in his corner. Ziggler tells Kofi that he has left him in the dust. Kofi pushes Ziggler and Vickie is knocked into the cake. The two men fight and Vickie is knocked into the cake again. Kofi chases Dolph to the back, as Vickie tries to compose herself and walk to the back covered in icing and cake.
Match #5 – The Miz vs. Alex Riley How many times do we need to see this? Alex Riley steal a win with a back slide.
Winner via pinfall: Alex Riley
After the match, Miz jumps Riley in the middle of the ring. He tosses him to the floor and slams him into the security barrier. Miz beats on Riley for several minutes and then tosses him over the announce table.
Vince McMahon is in the arena and he makes his way to the ring. Vine says Punk deserved his suspension. Vince was just doing what is right for everyone. The chairman acknowledges that Punk’s contract is coming up, and during negotiations he wanted too much. He then calls Punk a punk.
John Cena heads to the ring to get a better explanation. The WWE champ tells Vince that Punk just spoke his mind. Cena wants to know where Vince the fighter is? Cena still wants to fight Punk and that is why he is here. He then tells Vince that he should hang it up if he doesn’t want to fight. Vince doesn’t want to take the chance the Punk wins the belt and walks away with it. Vince is afraid that Cena won’t win. Cena tells Vince that this will be the match of the year and then wants to know what happens when he says something that Vince doesn’t like. Vince says he doesn’t want to take the chance. Cena wants to give the people what they want. Vince says this whole thing is embarrassing and he won’t jeopardize the company. Cena tells Vince that if he can’t face Punk the title is meaningless. He gives Vince the belt and walks off. Vince goes ballistic and then offers up this solution. Punk is reinstated and the match is on, but if Cena loses he is fired.
Dale Plummer has been writing for SLAM! Wrestling since 2003. Follow Dale on Twitter @DPlummer627