WWE Raw Supershow tonight (Sept. 26, 2011) emanated from the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Tonight's edition marked the go-home show to Hell in a Cell on Sunday, Oct. 2 in New Orleans.
Before we get to the reactions to the show, it's time to give a shout out to the Cageside commenter who delivered the "Comment of the Night" in the Raw live blog thread. And that honor goes to Sir Ingenious, who dropped this gem while discussing John Cena -- "I'm taking a Cena. BRB, going to the John." Well done, Sir.
If you want full results from Raw tonight, click here for the running blog. Time to get to reactions from the show:
- I'll expand on this in a post tomorrow but I'm absolutely distraught -- and you should be, too -- at how far CM Punk has fallen in such a short amount of time. Just two months ago he was the toast of the town, the hottest act in professional wrestling. Now? He's just another guy in the pack, virtually indistinguishable from anyone else. And you're damn right I blame Triple H. He inserted himself into the hot angle, stole all of Punk's heat, pinned him at a pay-per-view, gave him the crotch chop and now the main event storyline revolves totally and completely around whether or not Triple H is losing control of the company. Does the angle have a ton of potential? Yes. Am I intrigued by where they'll go with it? Sure am. Was CM Punk a casualty of it? You bet your ass he was. And you wonder where my cynicism comes from.
- To piggyback on that point, look no further than the TDIH post Jesse did today. Triple H won the title in 1999 in a six-pack challenge with Stone Cold Steve Austin as a ringside enforcer. "The Game" won the strap that night but because WWE didn't ever sacrifice the hot act at the time, he ate a stunner right after getting the pin. The WWE champion closed a pay-per-view getting stunned out of his shorts. That's the difference between then and today.
- We can see from a mile away where the storyline is headed with members of Smackdown like Cody Rhodes and Christian outright calling out Triple H. Naturally, he must remain strong in the face of it, burying all of them with sound logic and witty comebacks, but at least the groundwork is being laid for the return of Vinny Mac to tell him he's not doing any better a job than Vince was.
- Disappointed not to see Miz and Truth in attendance to cause a fuss.
- That said, why are they bringing David Otunga into this? Did he get a new gimmick as the Harvard educated lawyer who will help advise the new faction that is forming? How many different ways are they going to try to get this guy over before they realize they just need to send him down to FCW to be a king there?
- John Cena was overloading with the cheese tonight and while there are some that feel I'm too hard on him here at Cageside, I must explain that I simply can't help myself. This is a fan blog, I'm a fan, I hate his stinkin' guts. No way around it. The least talented champion in WWE history and that includes Vince McMahon.
- Dolph Ziggler has quickly grown on me as one of the top heels in the company today. He's got a bit of work to do on the microphone -- I'd like to see him be a little more assertive instead of whiny -- but he's really rounding out as a top performer. His ability to make anyone he's up against look like a million bucks is entirely too underrated.
Thoughts on the rest of the show after the jump.
- Fining Mark Henry $250,000 sounded dumb at first, just like it was dumb to fine Miz and Truth before firing them. Then he seamlessly incorporated it into his gimmick by smashing Great Khali to pieces and screaming that "if I'm getting fined, everyone is going to pay." That's brilliant. His big push continues and I hope it doesn't end on Sunday.
- The impromptu battle royal that saw Cody Rhodes retain his Intercontinental title was yet another way to maximize TV time. Usually, this is pointless, but they did well with it tonight by getting Sheamus even more over while allowing Rhodes to look fairly strong and Christian to piggyback and look as good as he could, considering his circumstances later in the evening.
- Where was Randy Orton?
- WWE did great tonight playing on the two separate incidents of the past week that garnered a ton of online buzz. In fact, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the 2.3 rating Smackdown popped last week was due partially to the crazy reaction the Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton match got online due it turning into an absolute bloodbath. We all know what Hugh Jackman's segment with Ziggler did for everyone last week and the fact that WWE tied it all in together this week was great.
- Women. Huh.
- John Cena's promo before his match with Christian was one of the worst segments of television I've ever seen. That's really all there is to say about it. The ensuing match was slightly better but all the tomfoolery at ringside with having Punk and Alberto Del Rio as guest commentators just felt like overbooking an easy angle.
- I was glad to see Del Rio go over so nicely this week and actually be made to look like a legitimate heel badass that will do what it takes to win the WWE title. Chair-shotting everyone in the ring and telling the crowd to go to hell after he wins the strap is exactly what I wanted to see out of him. No more running away like a pansy.
- Zack Ryder continues to get the weirdest push I've ever seen. They work super hard to sell him, pull the rug out from under him, then give him a bullshit victory. Rinse and repeat each week. He gets pushed and de-pushed during the same show, every week. It's maddening. Either get behind him, or get him off TV. He's getting a legitimate reaction and if they actually gave him the time of day, he might actually take the ball and run with it. Triple H using his schtick at the top of the show helped but book him a little stronger in matches and things might turn for the better.
- That revival of the tag team division you heard about? Yeah, that's not happening.
Didn't think this was the best show but there's some nice potential with where everything is headed. But that's enough from me; now it's your turn to sound off in the comments with all your thoughts from tonight's show.
What you did like, what you didn't like -- everything. Don't hold back, Cagesiders. You know I never do.