The 945th edition of WWE Monday Night RAW came to you on the Fourth of July from the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV. After his earth-shattering and scathing comments about the WWE and the McMahon family at the conclusion of last week’s RAW, CM Punk was suspended indefinitely by WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon with Punk only allowed to appear at non-televised events for the remainder of his contract and, on RAW, WWE Chairman and CEO Mr. McMahon addresses the CM Punk issue in person. With CM Punk’s suspension leaving the need for a new #1 Contender for the WWE Title, R-Truth, “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio, and “The Master of the 619” Rey Mysterio square off in a Triple Threat Match with the winner earning a WWE Title match.
- Kelly Kelly & Eve def. The Bella Twins by Kelly Kelly pinning one of The Bella Twins following the K2.
- Non-Title: The New Nexus def. Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov by Michael McGillicutty pinning Santino Marella following the McGillicutter.
- Jack Swagger def. Sgt. Slaughter by pin following the Swagger Splash.
- #1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match for the WWE Title: Alberto Del Rio def. R-Truth & Rey Mysterio by Rey Mysterio submitting to Alberto Del Rio’s cross armbreaker to become the new #1 Contender for the WWE Title.
- Alex Riley def. The Miz by backslide roll-up.
After the earth-shaking comments made by the now suspended CM Punk on last week’s RAW, the show kicks off with WWE Champion John Cena as Cena reminds the crowd that, due to Punk’s scathing comments, Punk is suspended indefinitely and has been “stripped” of his right to challenge for the WWE Title in his final WWE match at Money-in-the-Bank in Punk’s hometown of Chicago, which is why the Triple Threat Match later in the night will determine a new #1 Contender. Cena continues that they are supposed to “sweep” CM Punk “under the rug” and “ignore his accomplishments, his legacy, his outbursts and pretend he never existed”! Cena then states that he has the voice of the champion and he is “weighing in” on the WWE’s decision, saying that it “sucks” before saying that he and Punk do not see “eye-to-eye” on a lot of things, particularly Punk’s idea of “loyalty” to the WWE as the plans Punk have for the WWE Title is something he would “never do”.
Cena continues that Punk was suspended for “speaking his mind” and that he “found nothing wrong” with what CM Punk said last week! Cena then asks “where does the WWE stop?” before recalling the incident where Daniel Bryan was fired for being “too aggressive” and that he has heard of fans having their signs being taken away at live events. Cena continues that, if they take away their “freedom of speech”, then “what’s next?” before stating that it is not what he “signed up for” and that is not why he defends the WWE Championship for. Cena then states that it is “bigger” than the anonymous General Manager of RAW, saying he called WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and McMahon is on his private jet on his way to the arena! Cena then states that they are not going to “talk it out” backstage, they are going to discuss it in the ring on RAW before Cena drops the bombshell that he “wants” to face CM Punk at Money-in-the-Bank! What will WWE Chairman Vince McMahon have to say about the CM Punk controversy when he arrives in the arena?
After coming to the aid of Kelly Kelly on last week’s RAW, Eve teams with Divas Champion Kelly Kelly to face The Bella Twins in tag team action. In the end, it was Kelly Kelly hitting the K2 on one of The Bella Twins en route to picking up the win for her team. Can Kelly Kelly achieve the same result in two weeks at Money-in-the-Bank when she defends the Divas Title against Brie Bella?
With their leader, CM Punk, suspended indefinitely for the remainder of his WWE contract, the remaining members of The New Nexus were in action on RAW as WWE Tag Team Champions David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty faced Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov in a non-title match. In the end, it was Santino Marella hitting the Cobra Strike on David Otunga, but this allowed Michael McGillicutty the opportunity to hit the McGillicutter on Santino en route to picking up the win. After the match, the YouTube sensation, Zack Ryder, made a brief appearance to proclaim “woo, woo, woo, you know it.”
After a backstage confrontation between the legend and the brash Superstar, WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter was in action against “The All-American American” Jack Swagger on RAW. In the end, it was Jack Swagger hitting the Swagger Splash on Sgt. Slaughter en route to picking up the win. After the match, Swagger looked to dole out more punishment to the Hall of Famer as Swagger locks in the ankle lock on Sgt. Slaughter, but Evan Bourne makes the save for the legend before getting Slaughter a microphone so that he could sing the National Anthem on America’s birthday.
With former #1 Contender CM Punk being suspended indefinitely, a new #1 Contender for the WWE Title needed to be named on RAW as R-Truth, “The Mexican Aristocrat” Alberto Del Rio, and “The Master of the 619” Rey Mysterio all faced off in a Triple Threat Match with the winner earning that spot. In the end, it looked like Rey Mysterio was poised for victory after hitting the 619 and Splash on R-Truth, but Alberto Del Rio took advantage by locking in the cross armbreaker on Mysterio, forcing Rey to tap out to become the new #1 Contender for the WWE Title! Now that Alberto Del Rio is the #1 Contender for the WWE Title, who will replace Del Rio in the RAW Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match?
In an apparent Fourth of July celebration, United States Champion Dolph Ziggler and his “associate”, Vickie Guerrero, appeared on RAW with cake and party favors set up in the ring. Vickie states that, since it is America’s birthday and Dolph is the United States Champion, then it is Dolph’s birthday, as well. Vickie then demands that everyone stand up while she sings “Happy Birthday” to Dolph. Vickie then asks Dolph to “make a wish” and blow out the candles on his cake, but Dolph instead states that he’s got something to say. Dolph continues that, as long as he is the United States Champion, it is the only title that “matters” and he is all they “need”. Kofi Kingston then crashes the party and tells Dolph Ziggler that, without Vickie Guerrero, Dolph cannot beat him. The United States Champion then tells Kofi that they used to be on the same level, but now he is better than Kofi before telling Kofi to “get lost”. Kofi then shoves Dolph, who inadvertently bumps into Vickie with Vickie’s backside plopping right onto the cake and, amidst the brawl between Dolph and Kofi, Vickie was inadvertently knocked into the cake again, this time front-first. As Dolph Ziggler escapes the ring, Vickie Guerrero is left to make the slow, shameful exit on her own.
Two weeks before they are two of the eight participants in the RAW Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match, last year’s RAW Money-in-the-Bank Ladder Match winner, The Miz, went one-on-one with his former protégé, Alex Riley, in a Capitol Punishment rematch. In the end, it was Alex Riley coming out of nowhere with a backslide on The Miz en route to picking up the win over the former WWE Champion. After the match, The Miz’s demeanor changed from shock to anger as Miz rushed the ring and attacked Alex Riley from behind. Miz takes Riley to the outside of the ring where Miz sends Riley spine-first into the ringside barricade before hurling Riley back over the barricade. The assault continues with Miz sending Riley shoulder-first into the steel steps before Miz tries to squish the skull of Riley on the steps. The emotionally unbalanced Miz then smashes Riley’s face off of the announce table before delivering a vile kick that sends Riley careening over the announce table. What is the status of Alex Riley following this senseless attack by The Miz?
After the highly personal and controversial comments made by CM Punk about him, his company, and even his family that resulted in his indefinite suspension of CM Punk last week, WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon appeared on RAW to explain his decision. The Chairman states that he suspended CM Punk indefinitely because Punk “deserved it”, adding that the fans would have done the “same thing.” Mr. McMahon continues that it wasn’t necessarily the comments made about his family because he does “not have a thin skin” and it is not about his “ego”, it’s about doing what is “right” for the fans. The Chairman then reveals that CM Punk came to him and requested things like “limousine service” and “private transportation”, in addition to wanting to be on magazine covers and DVD sets, which he was “not worthy” of being on. McMahon then reiterates that CM Punk was suspended because he “deserved it” and that, from his point of view, CM Punk is just that, a “punk”.
Mr. McMahon was then ready to leave and call it a night, but John Cena was having none of that as the WWE Champion wasted no time in coming to the ring to confront the Chairman. Cena tells McMahon that, after all that, the Chairman is going to call CM Punk a “punk” and kick him to the “curb”. Cena continues that Punk spoke his mind, which McMahon “endorses” as the Chairman will “do” and “say anything” that he wants before asking if McMahon believes in the “first amendment”, which McMahon agrees that he does. The WWE Champion then states that he remembers when Mr. McMahon used to “strut” out to the ring and “took down” whoever stands in front of him, saying that McMahon “took down” Ted Turner and did it because he was a “fighter”. Cena continues, asking if McMahon has “gone soft” before saying that he still wants to “fight” and he wants to fight CM Punk, but if the Chairman does not want to “fight”, then McMahon should “hang it up”, referring to McMahon as “old man”.
Mr. McMahon then tells John Cena that he takes “calculated risks” and always has, but he cannot risk CM Punk defeating John Cena and claiming the WWE Championship, then taking it to another wrestling organization and being “embarrassed”, adding that he is “afraid” that Cena cannot “beat” CM Punk! Cena disputes that he is the WWE Champion, he “wants” the match, and the fans “want to see it” because, as a fan, he is anticipating if CM Punk can win the WWE Title before leaving the company at Money-in-the-Bank and the match does not sound “embarrassing”, it sounds like the “match of the year”, but McMahon won’t “let it happen”. Cena then proposes what happens if he says something that the Chairman does not “like it”, asking if he “suspends” him for it.
McMahon then tells Cena not to “piss” him off like Hulk Hogan and many others have in the past, telling Cena to “be a man” and talk to him in front of the fans. McMahon continues that he cannot “take the chance” of Cena losing the WWE Title to CM Punk and Punk leaving with the coveted title. Cena argues that McMahon does want to “take the chance” of being “embarrassed” when he should just “do the match”. McMahon states that the whole situation they are in is “embarrassing” and he does not “give a damn” what the fans want because he is not going to “jeopardize” who he is in his company. Cena then asks if Cena does not “get” that it is his “company” and his “decisions are good ones”. Cena then tells McMahon that he “gets it”, but if that’s how McMahon wants to “run it”, that’s not something he “signed up for”. Cena continues that he “gets it”, that “everyone is replaceable”, but he has “worked” his “ass off” for McMahon and the WWE because he likes to think that the WWE Title “stands for something”. Cena continues that McMahon is so “worried” about Punk taking the title and making it “meaningless” and, if Punk “earned” the right to face him and McMahon is going to kick Punk to the “curb”, then McMahon has “already” made the title “meaningless”!
With this shocking statement, John Cena hands the WWE Title belt to the Chairman and exits the ring as McMahon shouts that Cena is an “ingrate” and is just like “all the others” who “walked out” on him in the past, but when Cena reaches the staging area, McMahon tells Cena to wait. McMahon then picks up the WWE Title belt and tells Cena to “wait right there” before exiting the ring and coming face-to-face with Cena on the stage. After some hesitation, McMahon informs Cena that CM Punk is “reinstated” and that Cena has his match at Money-in-the-Bank! This brings a smile to the face of John Cena, but the Chairman tells Cena to wipe that smile off of his face because, if John Cena loses the WWE Title to CM Punk at Money-in-the-Bank, then he will walk down to the ring and “fire” John Cena from the WWE! The stage is now set for the biggest match in the careers of both John Cena and CM Punk as, on CM Punk’s final night in the WWE, he will challenge John Cena for the WWE Championship at Money-in-the-Bank, but if Cena fails to retain the title, then John Cena’s nine year career in the WWE comes to an abrupt end! Can John Cena retain the WWE Title against CM Punk to save his career or will CM Punk walk out of his hometown and the WWE as the WWE Champion, ending the career of John Cena in the process?
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