July 25, 2011

Dolph Ziggler . . . continues to impress me with his ability to seemingly have fun matches with everyone he works with.

Zack Ryder . . . makes his first RAW match count by getting Michael Cole off of everyone’s TV!

Rey Mysterio . . . finally seems to have found his work boots with a damn fine main event.

REY MYSTERIO vs. THE MIZ (Decision Match for the vacant WWE Heavyweight Title)

This isn’t bad, but considering the crown jewel is at stake, this seems rather low key. There are a few nice spots, but it lacks the sense of urgency that you’d expect from a title match. It’s also odd that Cole tries to harp on Miz being on one leg (along with Miz selling it after the match) because they never went there aside from a single kick from Rey, and Miz tweaking it on a missed charge. It’d have been interesting to see them go that route though, it’d have been a nice change to see the babyface working the limb, not to mention that Miz made it to the title match by outsmarting his opponents *because* he had a bad wheel.

The best way to sum this up would be Mysterio by numbers. It’s just like Misawa by numbers only replace Misawa’s elbows with Rey’s usual spots. They have a few nice exchanges, such as Miz’s DDT when he dodges the big roundhouse and Rey rolling through Miz’s attempt to throw him to the floor, but this just feels like a regular TV match and nothing more. The crowd reaction from the 619 and splash that gives Rey the title is impressive, it certainly shows that there’s a genuine interest in seeing him as champion, even if I find him to be a poor choice.


Matches like this show why Ziggler deserves to be higher up the card. He lets Bourne tee off on him from the get go and use his speed to his advantage, but Ziggler turns the tide by outsmarting Bourne, and that’s what allows him to win. The first time is when Dolph dodges the enzuigiri and takes Bourne down with the rocker dropper and takes over. Bourne comes back when Dolph misses a splash and then takes him down with a rana, but Dolph avoids the SSP and quickly takes down Bourne with the Zigzag and goes right for the sleeper to keep Bourne stationary. Bourne looks good for being able to take it to the U.S. Champion, and Ziggler looks even better for knowing how to win.


There isn’t anything special to see here, aside from the relative oddity of Maryse doing a stink face. Melina and Maryse do stuff to Eve for a bit and then she tags in Kelly. The match breaks down and Kelly pins Melina with her finisher. The only thing to take away from this is how much Cole harps on Eve and Kelly being best friends, I guess Eve will be turning heel on her sooner or later.


I’m not going to declare HHH by broski or anything like that, but putting Ryder on TV is cool with me. Cole quickly getting squashed and then being off my TV for the rest of the night is OK by me too. Woo Woo Woo! You know it!


With some more time to work with, and without a commercial break interrupting their work, this could be a neat little match. Kofi is a bit like Rey in the sense that he seems content to just work in his usual spots, but Kofi also makes sure to make Del Rio’s arm work count. Even when he’s gearing up for the Boom drop and Trouble in Paradise, Kofi keeps his bad arm in mind. We’re only shown a few of Del Rio’s arm spots, but they’re good stuff, the DDT to the arm was the perfect way to halt Kofi’s first comeback, and Del Rio snapping the arm over the ropes was a great way to give himself the opening for the cross armbreaker that force Kofi to give it up.

REY MYSTERIO © vs. JOHN CENA (WWE Heavyweight Title)

Where has *this* Mysterio been the last few months? This is a damn fun back and forth match, with both Rey and Cena bringing things that they haven’t shown in a lot of their matches with other people. Rey is determined to show that his size and the fact that he’s already wrestled once won’t be a factor. Meanwhile Cena doesn’t seem to really want to have to get tough, but Rey forces him to by taking the fight to him the way he does. Cena could easily mow right through Rey, but he holds back until Rey starts peppering him with legs kicks which Cena responds to by dropping him with a big shoulder block. It’s the same thing a few minutes later when Rey hits a big dive, Cena realizes that Rey came to fight and he drops him with a lariat on the floor.

For his part Rey pulls off quite a few surprising counters and spots. The really nice one being when Cena seems to be getting ready to start running through his usual stuff but Rey dropkicks him to block the shoulderblock, and put a stop to it. Rey rolling through the STF into one of his own was a real surprise, and the hold itself looked no worse than it does when Cena puts it on. The last half or so of the match really looks like a better-wrestled but a smaller-scale version of Cena/Punk, with them doing an awesome job of keeping the fans on their toes thinking that the next big move will be the last. Cena winds up outsmarting Rey to win rather than overpowering him, by making Rey run himself into the AA to give Cena the title. ***

The match is over but the action continues because the real WWE Champion is in the house! It looks like Punk and Cena will be going one more round to determine the undisputed WWE Champion.

Conclusion: Some good wrestling from the usual suspects (Dolph, Kofi, and Del Rio) along with a couple of nice surprises make this an episode of RAW you won’t want to miss.