WWE Raw Report CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 6/27: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw Roulette - Shawn Michaels involved, Punk "shoots," Cena vs. Truth
Jun 27, 2011 - 10:10:26 PM
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WWE Raw Results
June 27, 2011 - Episode #943
Live in Las Vegas, Nev.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
This week's live WWE Raw started with Michael Cole plugging Raw Roulette as they showed various canned Vegas clips. Backstage, the wheel was spun by...Booker T, who posed next to the wheel as it continued to spin.
Live in the arena, the first man out for the night was special guest star Shawn Michaels, who came out to a big reaction. Michaels came out on-stage fired up sporting hunting gear to subtly promote his new show on Outdoor Channel. Justin Roberts introduced Michaels as he entered the ring to start the show. Cole plugged Michaels's Twitter page and accolades as Michaels posed in the ring.
Michaels opened his promo by saying he really tried to stay away, but he just couldn't. "HBK, HBK" chant as Michaels said he couldn't leave all this. (This all seemed to come out of left field.) Michaels said he gave it the old college try giving up WWE. "Is he coming back?" Lawler whispered. Michaels said he missed the fans and, let's face it, it was each fan who made this guy from Texas the headliner, showstopper, main event, Mr. WrestleMania, and now Mr. Hall of Fame.
Michaels turned his attention to the Raw guest-hosting deal from the past few years. He said he typically doesn't like hosts trying to plug something...but he does have a show on the Outdoor Channel debuting tomorrow night. Suddenly, C.M. Punk's music interrupted and Punk came out on stage flanked by tag champions New Nexus for the first time in a few weeks. Cole announced Mason Ryan isn't here because he "suffered an injury" over the weekend. Cole also refreshed viewers on Punk's storyline vowing to leave WWE with the title at Money in the Bank.
In the ring, Punk told Michaels he just couldn't stay away; he's an addict. Punk asked the crowd if they're all happy to see Michaels here. Punk said what's going to make him happy is when he leaves on July 17. The crowd cheered. Michaels said what Punk is saying is the fans never have to hear from him again. Punk agreed it's a win/win and reminded Michaels he lost to Undertaker on his way out of WWE. Punk told Michaels he went out a loser, but he will go out a winner as WWE champion.
Michaels sarcastically asked Punk if he's run this by current WWE champion John Cena. Punk said he doesn't have to because he beat Cena on Raw two weeks ago. He vowed to leave WWE with Cena's WWE Title at MITB before turning his attention to the fans. Punk said he thinks it's sad the fans would clap for the past - Shawn Michaels - than get on their hands & knees to beg the future - himself - to stay. Michaels replied that the fans cheer him because they know he's better than Punk. Punk smirked as the crowd chanted, "One more match."
Punk said he's not going to lie that Michaels was better than him at one point, but, now, Michaels is a retired Hall of Famer. Punk began talking himself up before Michaels cut him off and said they're both essentially straight-edge. But, the similarities end there, as he has his style and Punk has his. Michaels then smashed Otunga with a superkick and the crowd popped. Punk told Michaels he just made the biggest mistake of his life.
Suddenly, the Raw GM buzzed in. Cole stepped to the podium and read an email. Since Punk only has three Raws left, the GM is going to make them count. And it starts with Punk having the first match tonight. They cued up a pre-taped Booker T promo running down the match options tonight before spinning the wheel. It fell on the Question Mark. Booker told Punk this means Punk has a mystery opponent and an all-expenses-paid trip to hell because Punk is facing this man...the camera panned left to reveal Kane, who apparently just happened to be standing there in the event of the wheel landing on a giant question mark. Back live, Michaels dropped McGillicutty with a superkick and told Punk, "Good luck with all of that." PYB (3) talk time: 10:45.
Kane's pyro blasted in the arena and the Smackdown brand's Kane came out to face Punk. Kane shot off pyro in the ring and Cole fed to commercial break.
[Q2] [Commercial Break]
Video package: They returned for a video package on Mark Henry. Big hype for Henry leading to a plug for Smackdown this Friday, with Henry setting his sights on World Hvt. champion Randy Orton.
1 -- C.M. PUNK vs. KANE
Back live, Cole noted Kane felt Henry's wrath on Smackdown last week. The bell sounded and Kane uppercut Punk to the outside. Back in the ring, Kane delivered a running dropkick for a nearfall. Lawler posed the question of what would happen to WWE if Punk walks out as champion. Cole played up WWE's recent marketing philosophy of trying to find something that's "never, ever happened before." Punk then took control as Cole played up Punk's storyline reason for wanting to leave WWE: feeling disrespected by the locker room and fans. Kane made a comeback, but Punk caught him on the top turnbuckle. Kane headbutted Punk to the mat, then Punk quickly rolled out of the ring to avoid Kane. Punk waved off Kane as the ref began counting. Instead of stressing the consequences of losing a match, Cole called it a good move, with the argument being Punk already has his title match in the bag. Punk disappeared to the back at an eight count, then Punk was counted out to give Kane the win.
WINNER: Kane via count-out at 4:18. WWE is so inconsistent with their application of consequences to losing a match. On Smackdown and Superstars, the announcers have randomly begun discussing the "winner's purse," but on Raw, it's a foreign concept. Either stress it or don't bring it up. Aside from that, the match was just part of WWE's attempt to build that bridge to the MITB PPV. It seems like there will be follow-up later in the show.
Raw Roulette Match tonight: Big Show vs. Alberto Del Rio. Plus, John Cena vs. R-Truth. The wheel will determine the type of match for each match.
In-ring: Back live, Sin Cara's music hit to bring out Sin Cara for the match with Evan Bourne not yet promoted on the show. Roberts introduced this as a Raw Roullete match. After Sin Cara made his entrance, Bourne came out to face Sin Cara in a "make-up" from last week's Power to the People screw-up.
2 -- EVAN "AIR" BOURNE vs. SIN CARA -- No count-out match
Roberts was still in the ring waiting to announce the stipulation, but the ref called for the bell. Bourne was like, "Um, to the Videotron." The ref calmed everyone down, then sent it to the Videotron. Booker and Eve hyped the match, then the wheel landed on a No Count-out match. So much for not repeating stipulations from last week. Back live, the bell re-sounded to officially start the match, complete with mood lighting. Cole dropped "wrestling" in the broadcast recapping Sin Cara's background getting his start in Mexico. After some basic back-and-forth, the action moved to the floor and the two men squared off with each other before simultaneously re-entering the ring.
Back in the ring, Bourne landed kick strikes before Sin Cara knocked him to the floor. Cole referenced this past weekend's Smackdown house show tour in South Texas and claimed Sin Cara had the biggest ovations. Lawler added another "wrestling" reference, saying it's difficult to come up with a gameplan when wrestling against Sin Cara. Back in the ring, Bourne scored a nearfall via crucifix pin. Sin Cara came back with a nearfall before Bourne landed an enziguiri for a nearfall. Cole referenced Sin Cara being unbeaten in WWE as Sin Cara landed a twisting corkscrew press for a two count.
At 4:00, Bourne came back with a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Bourne then set up Sin Cara for Air Bourne, but Sin Cara moved and Bourne landed his feet. Sin Cara then dropped Bourne with a spinning armbar takedown and it was good for the pin and the win. Post-match: Sin Cara pointed down at Bourne out of respect before WWE went to a replay of the big moves during the match.
WINNER: Sin Cara at 4:50. This was probably the smoothest Sin Cara has looked on live TV (not Smackdown). Short at five minutes, but it felt like a full TV match for this era. Fine action teasing more they could put together. (*3/4)
Backstage: Booker brought in Kofi Kingston to find out what kind of match he's having with Dolph Ziggler up next. Kofi stepped up to the wheel, but Vickie Guerrero interrupted and spun the wheel instead. "Does this count?" Kofi asked. It stopped on "Player's Choice," which gives Kofi the choice of match. Kofi said he's picking the match he voted for last week - Vickie banned from ringside. Kofi sarcastically told Vickie, "Nice spin." Booker had a good laugh as Lawler called it a "dream match" having Vickie banned from ringside.
Las Vegas: Cole brought the show back with an exterior shot of Vegas before the announcers plugged the Money in the Bank PPV coming up in three weeks. Cole reminded viewers of a MITB victory traditionally guaranteeing a WWE Title victory. Cole then announced the full line-up for the Raw MITB match: Kofi, Rey, Bourne, Del Rio, Truth, Swagger, Riley, and Miz. No qualifying matches. Interesting.
In-ring: Kofi Kingston came out for the next match before Vickie tried to interrupt. She was escorted away by refs, though, which drew a smile and a wave by Kofi. U.S. champ Kofi Kingston then came out as Lawler incorrectly said Vickie helped Dolph win last week, when Dolph was DQ'ed to retain the U.S. Title.
3 -- U.S. champion DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. KOFI KINGSTON -- non-title match
Cole said a victory for Kingston could put him back in the hunt for the U.S. Title. Dolph tried running away early on, but Kofi caught up with him. Back on the floor, Dolph smashed Kofi into the ringpost to take control. The ref was at six of a ten count when WWE decided to show wrestling doesn't matter by cutting to break with Kofi in jeopardy flat on his back on the floor.
Back live, the action was in the ring and at least the announcers acknowledged Kofi barely made it back into the ring to continue the match. Dolph maintained control of the match as Cole plugged upcoming WWE house shows. As Dolph continued to slow down the pace, Cole plugged the origins of their feud last year on Smackdown before continuing to Raw.
At 7:00, Kofi tried a surprise pin, but Dolph escaped. The two men scrapped for a bit before Dolph cut off Kofi with a boot to the head. Dolph then tried to throw Kofi out of the ring, but Kofi suddenly rebounded off the ropes and flowed right into Trouble in Paradise on Dolph for the pin and the win. Very fluid finish right there. After a replay, they showed Kofi celebrating his victory in the ring.
WINNER: Kingston at 7:35. What you would expect from Kofi and Dolph without Vickie present. They didn't go out there to have a steal-the-show match, but tell a story that Dolph isn't a capable champion unless Vickie is present. (*1/2)
Still to come: Cena vs. Truth. Cole fed to Booker backstage at the wheel, now with Maryse. Booker recapped the events on the show thus far before Del Rio interrupted and said he's tired of facing Big Show. Maryse noted Del Rio already beat Show at Capitol Punishment. Booker cut them off and tried to spin the wheel, but Del Rio cut him off and tried to get fresh with Maryse, who spun the wheel. Del Rio and Maryse engaged in a conversation about money as the wheel spun. They continued to talk as Booker just laughed and laughed in the background. The camera revealed the wheel stopped on...steel cage. The crowd popped, then Maryse ran away. Booker told Del Rio he has no luck at all. Big Show vs. Del Rio in a cage is next, Lawler said.
In-ring: With the cage lowered around the ring, Roberts formally announced the steel cage match one minute before the top of the hour. Out came Del Rio in a bright yellow Lamborghini. Lawler said Del Rio is arriving in a fancy car, but he might be leaving in an ambulance. Del Rio sold confidence as Cole noted Del Rio's personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, is still recovering from Big Show's attack earlier this month. Del Rio took his time entering the cage after going from confidence to concern. Big Show's music then brought out Show with a big smile on his face since Del Rio conceivably has nowhere to run or hide.
4 -- BIG SHOW vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- steel cage match
The bell sounded and Del Rio quickly tried to climb out of the cage, but Show yanked him down to center-ring and delivered a big chop. Del Rio then ate the cage face-first before Show dragged Del Rio's face across the cage. Del Rio came back with a dropkick to the injured knee, giving Del Rio an opening. As Del Rio worked on Show, Mark Henry suddenly emerged and began walking to ringside. Henry walked over to the announce table and started talking trash to no one in particular. Henry paced ringside as Show made a comeback with a hard chop. Show then teased a chokeslam, but Del Rio kicked the leg again before delivering a DDT for a two count.
Del Rio tried to escape the cage, but Show yanked him down to his feet. Show suddenly climbed up the turnbuckles with Del Rio and set him up for a SuperShowplex. After a pause, Show executed and Cole said the ring & cage shook. At this point, Henry decided to interject himself into the match. Henry ripped off the cage door after some struggle, then brought the door inside the cage. Henry booted Show and Del Rio crawled on his hands and knees out of the cage door, picking up the win.
Post-match: Henry stared down at Show as Del Rio smiled on the outside. Henry lifted up the cage door and charged Show to smash him in-between the cage door and wall. Show then spilled out of the cage, falling on top of the gimmicked side of the cage that fell upon impact. Henry shouted down at Show that he's not playing anymore. Henry started yelling at refs and agents who came down to ringside. "You going to fine me?!" Henry shouted. Henry ripped off the announce table cover before trash-talking fans. Henry said he wishes someone would step up to him. Medics checked on Show as they cut to break.
WINNER: Del Rio at 5:20. Blah cage match that was merely a means to an end of extending the Show-Henry feud and continuing to establish Henry's violent, destructive character. Henry has played his role very well the last two weeks on Raw.
Moments Ago: Cole solemnly introduced a replay from after the cage match with Show falling through the cage. On-camera, Cole said it's becoming commonplace for Show to be run over by vehicles or knocked over by objects or have other similar things happen to him.
In-ring: Kelly Kelly's music hit to bring out new Divas champion Kelly Kelly for the next match. After a replay of Kelly capturing the Divas Title last week on Raw, the Bellas's music hit to bring out former champ Brie Bella and Nikki Bella. A spin of the wheel backstage determined it will be a submission match.
5 -- Divas champion KELLY KELLY vs. NIKKI BELLA (w/Brie Bella) -- non-title Submission match
A brief match ended with Kelly submitting Nikki in a Boston Crab. That might be a first. After the match, the Bella Twins beat down Kelly before Eve ran out to make the save. After a replay of the match that nearly doubled the time of the match, the heels and faces trash-talked each other to conclude the segment.
WINNER: Kelly via submission at 1:20.
Still to come tonight: Cena vs. R-Truth with a stipulation determined by a spin of the wheel.
Las Vegas: Cole and Lawler reset the show and fed to a video of Andy being named the Tough Enough winner earlier this month. This led to a video package/sit-down interview with Andy talking about being slapped by McMahon after winning. Steve Keirn, Ricky Steamboat, and Dusty Rhodes were also shown on-camera. They basically took the WWE.com interview with Andy after winning Tough Enough and applied it to TV.
Backstage: Booker was with Rey Mysterio to spin the wheel. Booker said Rey is waiting to find out what he's doing tonight. The wheel stopped on a Tornado match. Booker said it means Rey and Alex Riley against Jack Swagger and The Miz in a Texas Tornado match. Rey walked off, then Booker spotted Diamond Dallas Page off-camera. Page stepped into the camera shot to plug the Best of Nitro DVD. Page said everyone knows who the host is and they reminisced about WCW before Drew McIntyre stepped into the camera shot. Mac said the other stars are saying Booker and DDP are washed-up relics. He said his opinion is they're taking up his TV time. Suddenly, Michaels stepped into the shot and dropped Mac with a superkick. Michaels said he just couldn't help himself. He wanted a look at the DVD since he's "absolutely never seen any of this." Michaels gave it a double-thumbs-up recommendation anyways.
Up next: Raw Roulette with Riley & Rey vs. Miz & Swagger. It should be a "one of these doesn't belong" match.
[Q7] In-ring: Back live, The Miz's music hit. Cole awkwardly segued from a "BA STAR" public service announcement to describing Miz as the star of Raw. After Miz completed his intro, perennial Raw loser Jack Swagger came out to team with Miz. Alex Riley was out first for the faces and Cole tore him down to promote Miz. Out last was Rey Mysterio as Cole plugged the Raw MITB ladder match, with four of the men in this match. Cole said he's picking Miz and Lawler said he's picking Rey.
6 -- THE MIZ & JACK SWAGGER vs. REY MYSTERIO & ALEX RILEY -- Texas Tornado tag match
The bell sounded and the men paired off against each other. The sound was thrown off by about two seconds during the BA STAR PSA and remained thrown off at the beginning of the match. The first nearfall of the match had the audio happening two seconds before the visual of the nearfall. Rey and Swagger eventually moved their fight to the floor. In the ring, Miz scored a close nearfall and they cut to break with Riley looking down at Miz.
Back live, Miz and Swagger were talking strategy while standing over Riley. A replay from during the break showed how the heels took control of the match. Riley tried a spirited comeback on Miz, but Swagger cut him off from behind. Suddenly, Rey re-entered the match with a cross-body attempt on Swagger, but Swagger caught him in mid-air for a gutbuster across Miz's knee. It only resulted in a two count, then the heels went to work on the faces. "619, 619" chant from the crowd, which drew Miz's ire. Miz then dropped Rey with a DDT after Rey teased a comeback, but it only drew a two count.
Riley and Swagger found themselves on the floor moments later, leaving Miz and Rey in the ring. Miz wanted a superplex, but Rey blocked and headbutted Miz to the mat. Rey followed with a seated plancha, ducked a Swagger clothesline, and smashed Miz with a kick to the head, but Miz kicked out of a pin. Rey then set up the 619 on Miz, but Swagger yanked Rey to the floor. Back in the ring, Riley caught Swagger with a spinebuster and made a cover, but Miz broke up the pin.
[Q8] Miz regrouped and dropped Riley for a fallaway DDT, but Riley kicked out, drawing a reaction from the crowd. Cole said he admits he's been impressed by Riley, who then clotheslined Miz over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring, Swagger smashed Rey in the face with a big boot and scored another believable nearfall. Swagger, frustrated, went for a gutwrench bomb, but Rey countered into the 619, only to have Swagger grab Rey's leg. Swagger applied the anklelock and Miz helped out before Riley yanked Miz away.
On the floor, Riley slingshot Miz into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Rey hit the 619 and Riley dropped Swagger with his signature DDT. Rey followed right up with his top-rope splash on Swagger in one fluid motion and it was good for the win. Afterward, Rey sold a left knee injury as Riley checked on him. Rey limped across the ring to celebrate with Riley as the crowd roared.
WINNERS: Rey & Riley at 11:43. That was a hot match with all of the intangibles that make up a standout TV match. That's called taking advantage of an opportunity to steal the show. Swagger, despite taking the expected loss, looked solid for the first time in months. Riley gained some momentum, Miz looked good when he was in control, and Rey was Rey. (***)
TV plug: They rolled a trailer for Shawn Michaels's new hunting/lifestyle show on Outdoor Channel. Back live, Cole said it's been an unbelievable night.
Backstage: R-Truth was talking to himself while standing in front of the wheel. Booker told Truth to go ahead and spin the damn wheel. Truth had to make sure there wasn't a conspiracy with this wheel. After a big spin, the wheel stopped on a Tables match. Truth said he can dig that. He said, tonight, Cena is going to get got. Truth smiled and started talking to himself again. Booker took off, leaving Truth to tell his imaginary Little Jimmy about the conspiracy.
DVD plug: "Greatest Steel Cage Matches" out tomorrow. All of the blood shots were in black-and-white. WWE, WCW, NWA, AWA, and World Class were given plugs.
Smackdown plug: Another look at Mark Henry, with the description of him as one of the most dangerous men in WWE. This Friday, Henry comes face-to-face with World champ Orton.
Las Vegas: Cole said they are seconds away from Cena vs. Truth as WWE showed more Las Vegas clips. Back live in the arena, the cameras focused on various tables positioned ringside.
In-ring: R-Truth came out for the main event. Cole suggested Truth was wearing a mini-straight jacket around his waist. In the ring, Truth posed and sold shock over hearing boos from the crowd. Truth paced around the ring before Cena's music hit to a typically big reaction. Cena then came out on-stage rolling the dice before storming the ring to pose for the crowd.
7 -- WWE champion JOHN CENA vs. R-TRUTH -- non-title Tables match
The bell sounded and Lawler brought up Cena losing a famous tables match to Sheamus, which was at the TLC 2009 PPV to begin Sheamus's first WWE Title run. Cole tried to sell Truth as a formidable opponent by saying they all seem to laugh at Truth's antics, but he's a dangerous man. The crowd started with the dueling chants one minute into the match as Truth took control.
[Q9 -- over-run] At the top of the hour, Cena charged Truth for the Attitude Adjustment, but Truth escaped and hit a float-over jawbreaker. Truth then slipped out of the ring and grabbed a table, which he slid into the ring. Truth set up the table in the ring as Cole recapped the important match results on the show. Nice touch. Cena sold being in peril as Truth set him up for a suplex through the table, but Cena countered with a suplex away from the table. Cena then yanked down the top rope to send a running Truth over the top rope.
On the floor, Cena threw Truth into the ring steps before finding his own table to introduce into the ring. Cena set up the table in the ring before grabbing Truth on the floor and throwing him into the ring. Cena stalked Truth for the AA, but Punk came down to ringside and moved the table out of the way as Cena delivered the AA. Punk smirked and did You Can't See Me, prompting Cena to jump Punk on the floor. Punk ran back into the ring, Cena chased him, and Truth speared Cena right through the table to pick up the win. Both Cena and Truth sold the effects of what was a vicious-looking ending to the match.
WINNER: Truth at 5:14.
Post-match: Punk took a mic, walked up the ramp, and sat down on the stage. Punk said he wants Cena to listen up. He said he has a lot of things to get off his chest before he leaves in three weeks. Punk said he doesn't hate Cena, in fact, he likes Cena more than most of the guys in the back. Punk claimed to be the best in the world, not Cena. Punk said Cena is better at one thing than he is: kissing McMahon's ass. He said Cena's as good as Hulk Hogan was. Punk said he doesn't know about "Dwayne," who's a pretty good ass-kicker. Punk "broke the fourth wall" waving to the camera before claiming to be the best wrestler in the world. Punk said he's been hated since he came to WWE and Paul Heyman saw something in him. Punk said he's a Paul Heyman guy, and so is Brock Lesnar. "And he split, just like I'm splitting." Punk said the biggest difference between him and Brock is he's leaving WWE with the title. Cena continued to sell in the ring as Punk paused.
Punk said he's grabbed so many of McMahon's fake brass rings and the only thing that's real is him. Punk said he's the best in the ring, on the mic, and even on commentary. Yet, no matter how many times he proves it, he's not on the program or the cup or in movies or on any crappy show on USA Network. He's not even on the WWE intro video. Punk said he's not on any talk shows, but he should be. He said the fact that Dwayne's in the main event of WrestleMania next year makes him sick. Cena was seated in the ring looking at the stage at this point. Punk addressed the people cheering him right now. He said those are the ones buying the cups and programs, then shoving them in his face at 5:00 a.m. in the airport so they can sell it on eBay.
Punk said he's taking the WWE Title with him, maybe to New Japan or even to Ring of Honor. Punk shouted out to Colt Cabana. Punk then cut a promo on McMahon, saying McMahon could be a billionaire rather a millionaire, but he's surrounded by yes-men like Laurinaitis. Punk said the machine will keep on rolling despite people complaining because they keep buying tickets and merchandise. He said maybe WWE will be better off when McMahon is dead. But, then, his idiotic kids will take over and run the company into the ground. Punk said he wants to share a story about McMahon. At this point, his mic was cut off to "make it seem like a shoot." Punk slammed down the mic and tried mouthing words into the on-stage camera. The show abruptly cut off and they faded out ten minutes past the top of the hour.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Punk's final promo was designed to "get everyone talking" with a worked shoot promo, but it was all approved by McMahon and came across like a repeat of Joey Styles's "anti-WWE, pro-ECW" promo aimed at the hardcore audience who knows what Punk is talking about. But, the promo had no connection to the main fanbase that just wants to invest in a good story, not hear about what's going on backstage or behind-the-scenes. This seemed like a version of TNA's "insider promos" that seem like a copy of a copy of something from the Attitude Era, completely loses the main audience, and distracts from the purpose of a pro wrestling show.
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