July 18, 2011
Raw: Triple H returns; McMahon, not Cena, fired
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on Monday Night Raw: The goal at the beginning of the show was to find a new WWE Champion to replace CM Punk, who departed the company Sunday with the title. By the end of the night, the tournament final was put on hold for other business between Vince McMahon and John Cena. McMahon was about to fire Cena when Triple H returned to make a shocking announcement that will change WWE forever. Should be a good one!
And we are LIVE! from Green Bay, Wisc. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are our hosts. This show is presented in WWEHD (TV-PG, V)
Vince McMahon is out to start the show. He says as of right now, the name of the WWE Champion (CM Punk) will no longer be said in this company and tonight, there will be an eight-man tournament to determine the new WWE Champion and that will begin right now.
Match #1 - WWE Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match - The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio) vs. Alex Riley (Washington, DC)
Riley works over Miz's injured knee, which was hurt last night at Money in the Bank. He applies a half crab but Miz is able to push his way out and that sends Riley to the floor. They exchange in the ring when Riley catches Miz with a knee to the back of the head. Now Riley fires up and hits a spinebuster for two. He goes for the implant DDT but Miz escapes. Miz catches him with a back elbow and comes off the second rope but falls short.
Riley grabs him and locks in a Texas Cloverleaf but Miz crawls to the ropes. Miz tries to buy some time but Riley takes him down. Riley is all over Miz here. But then out of nowhere, Miz catches him with the Skull-Crushing Finale and that's it.
Winner via pinfall: The Miz
Match #2 - WWE Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match - R-Truth (Charlotte, NC) vs. Jack Swagger (Perry, Okla.)
Swagger with a Vader Bomb for two. Truth hits the big side kick but Swagger kicks out at two. He goes for the scissors kick but Swagger locks in the ankle lock. Truth rolls through and locks in a pinning combination and the referee counts three right as Swagger kicks out, but it's too little, too late. This one is over.
Winner via pinfall: R-Truth
Match #3 - WWE Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match - Alberto Del Rio (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) vs. Kofi Kingston (Ghana, West Africa)
Kingston with the jumping corner punches and then a big uppercut for two. Del Rio ends up going to the outside and Kingston comes flying in with a suicide dive. Well done. Kingston sends Del Rio in but Del Rio catches him with a kick coming back in for two. Now Del Rio goes to work on the back of the head. Del Rio goes for a move in the corner but crashes and burns and Kingston goes to work.
He goes for the Boom Drop but Del Rio rolls out of the way. Kingston goes after him but Del Rio takes advantage of his eagerness and hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He goes for the cross-armbreaker but Kingston counters and rolls him up for the pin.
Winner via pinfall: Kofi Kingston
Match #4 - WWE Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match - Rey Mysterio (San Diego, Calif.) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Hollywood, Calif.)
Ziggler drops Mysterio on the outside in the early-going and takes over from there. He goes to work on the left leg but Mysterio kicks his way out of it. Both men going for quick pinfalls. Ziggler goes for his jumping elbow but misses. He goes for a corner splash but Mysterio moves and hits a kick to the head for two.
Ziggler goes for the sleeper, but Mysterio runs Ziggler into the middle turnbuckle. Head-scissors connects for Mysterio and he goes for the 619 for Ziggler moves and grabs Rey for a throw for two. Mysterio, though, connects and sets Mysterio up for the 619 and hits it. He follows with a splash from the top and that's it.
Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Match #5 - Kelly Kelly, Kaitlyn, AJ, Natalya, Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix & Gail Kim vs. Brie Bella, Nikki Bella, Maryse, Melina, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes & Tamina
It all breaks down into a brawl about 20 seconds into the match leaving Phoenix and Mendes in the ring where Phoenix quickly dispatches of her with the Glam Slam and that's it. About 45 seconds total.
Winners via pinfall: Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Kaitlyn, AJ, Natalya, Eve Torres & Gail Kim
Match #6 - WWE Championship Tournament Semifinal Match - Kofi Kingston (Ghana, West Africa) vs. The Miz (Cleveland, Ohio)
Miz crotches Kingston on the top rope and pulls him down for a two count, but Kingston comes back with kicks to the bad knee. Kingston comes in with a slingshot elbow drop for two and then follows up with a dropkick to Miz's knee. Kingston to the top and hits the big high cross but Miz rolls it through for two. Kingston grabs Miz's leg and hits a kneebuster.
He goes for the Trouble in Paradise but Miz rolls to the apron and then wrings Kingston's neck. He comes back and goes for the Skull-Crushing Finale but Kingston rolls through for two. Kingston goes for another splash but Miz moves and catches him on the rebound with the Skull-Crushing Finale and that's it.
Winner via pinfall: The Miz
Match #7 - WWE Championship Tournament Semifinal Match - Rey Mysterio (San Diego, Calif.) vs. R-Truth (Charlotte, NC)
Big clothesline connects for Truth for two. Truth goes to work with a headlock but Mysterio gets out and sends Truth flying to the floor with an armdrag. Now it's Mysterio who comes flying in with a suicide dive that takes Truth out.
Mysterio with a rollup for two but Truth puts him down with a kick for two. Truth pounds away and then hits Mysterio with the Lie Detector but Mysterio kicks out at two. Mysterio with a drop-toe hold into the second rope. He comes off for a 619 but Truth drills him with a forearm that stops him in his tracks for two. Front suplex connects for Truth for two. Truth charges into the corner but Mysterio moves. Mysterio with a big springboard splash for two. Tons of action here.
Suplex stunner connects for Truth but Mysterio gets his hand on the bottom rope. Mysterio onto the apron. Truth comes at him but Mysterio fights him off and puts him into position and hits the 619. He follows with the splash and that's it.
Winner via pinfall: Rey Mysterio
As Mysterio is being officially introduced for the tournament final, Mr. McMahon's music hits and he makes his way to the ring.
McMahon says he's got something bigger to deal with than the WWE Championship match, so he's postponing it until next week. He has to deal with John Cena. He says he wants to thank him for his contributions to WWE but has to make some difficult decisions. He says sometimes you have to set an example in business. He says this isn't about his personal ego, but he does what's right for the fans from a business perspective. He says as much as he would not like to do this, he wants to get it over with. Cena's music hits.
Cena grabs the mic and says he's not going to need a seven-second delay or show his genitalia. He says he's not going to go through the things McMahon made Shawn Michaels go through when it came to Montreal. He said he didn't want to be saddled with screwing CM Punk for the rest of his career. He says he wasn't going to be McMahon's patsy. He says he isn't going to play along with that crap because McMahon would've made the WWE Championship meaningless.
Cena says McMahon has about eight months to find another opponent for The Rock at WrestleMania 28. He says meanwhile, he gets to walk out with his pride and dignity. He says before McMahon does his spiel, he loves the WWE and feels he belongs here and if McMahon makes him walk tonight, he'll just walk right onto someone else's television show and keep doing this, BROTHER. He says he gets accused of doing a lot of things but one thing he'll not do is kiss McMahon's ass. Right as McMahon is about to fire Cena, who comes out but Triple H.
Triple H said he got here as quick as he could and that there was a Board of Directors meeting this morning. He is speaking in hushed tones. He says the board is concerned about the current situation and sent him to talk to McMahon. He asks to go talk about it in the back. McMahon denies that. Triple H says the board is concerned about McMahon's extremely questionable decisions as of late. He says the board has asked him to come here and let McMahon know the board has filed an injunction against him with a vote of no confidence, and he notes the family agrees.
Triple H says the board has appointed someone to take over the day-to-day operations of WWE and he can't believe he's going to say this, but it's him. He says McMahon isn't going to fire Cena and he isn't going to be doing anything else. He notes he learned from McMahon that this is business. And he is here to inform McMahon that he is relieved of his duties. Crowd chants the goodbye song as both Triple H and McMahon cry. Triple H says "I love you pop and I'm sorry."
He throws his mic down and heads up the ramp, leaving McMahon alone in the ring. The crowd is now cheering him. The show goes off the air with McMahon crying and the crowd chanting "Thank You Vince."