Raw Fusion: Freedom Of Speech
The 4th July 2011 episode of Monday Night Raw starts with a video recapping the tables match between John Cena and R-Truth and the comments made afterwards by CM Punk, followed by John Cena making his way to the ring.
John Cena talks about the comments that CM Punk made last week, and how because of them the WWE has suspended him indefinitely, which also means that he has been stripped of the right to his last match to face Cena for the WWE Championship in his home town of Chicago, Illinois.
He says that the WWE’s remedy for this is to throw together a triple threat match to decide a new number one contender, but as for CM Punk, we are supposed to just sweep him under the rug, ignore his accomplishments and legacy and pretend he never exited.
Cena says that he’s never seen eye-to-eye with Punk, but he has a voice of a champion and he is weighing in on the WWE’s decision as he says it sucks. He says that he an Punk don’t agree on everything, especially his concept of loyalty to the brand, and what Punk is thinking of doing with the WWE Championship is something that he never would.
But CM Punk was suspended for speaking his mind, and telling everyone how he feels, and though Cena understands that it is a PG show and there are things that you can and cannot say, and that Punk’s outburst was at his expense, but though he didn’t agree with what he had to say, he didn’t see anything wrong with it.
Cena asks the fans where the WWE will stop with it, mentioning an incident of Daniel Bryan being fired for being too aggressive, and speculation that at certain events, WWE representatives confiscate the signs that fans make, but Punk has been suspended for speaking his mind.
The crowd start a “first amendment” chant which Cena points out and says that it is about freedom of speech, and he freely admits that he is no fashion icon, and that he in fact looks like the Kool Aid man in jorts, but he asks what if they say that he can’t be him, will he be suspended indefinitely and the crowd told to look and act a certain way?
John Cena says that is not why he signed up for this, and that is certainly not why he defends his title each and every night, and addressing Michael Cole, he tells him that there will be no Anonymous General Manager interrupting his tirade, as this isn’t as simple as a few emails back and forth, and that in fact he has gone over the GM’s head and asked for answers from Vince McMahon, who he says he called and who promised that he will be in the building later on.
He says that when he gets there, they won’t be talking backstage so that they can get a politically correct answer, as he wants answers just like the fans want answers, so Vince has some “’splaining” to do in the ring later on, and more importantly we will hear first-hand from the WWE Champion that he wants to face CM Punk at Money In The Bank.
After a video recapping the match between Kelly Kelly and Nikki Bella and it’s aftermath last week on Raw, The Bella Twins take on Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres in a match which sees Kelly get the victory for her team when she hits the K2 for the 3-count.
After a video hyping Tough Enough winner “Silent Rage” Andy Leavine, we see R-Truth backstage where he is talking on the phone to “Flo” about how he couldn’t get a discount from someone and asking if “Flo” can help him out, apparently getting a favourable response.
He is approached by Scott Stanford, who wants to interview him on his thoughts on the triple threat match and possibility of getting another shot at the WWE Championship and John Cena. Truth says that he shouldn’t be facing anybody, and the way things ended last time, he should be awarded another title match.
Truth says that the conspiracy launched against him is trying to keep him away from the WWE Championship, but he has some good news and bad news for those who lead the conspiracy. He says that the good news is that he saved 15% by switching over to Geico for his car insurance, but the bad news is that he is going to hurt someone later on, and they are going to “get got”.
He turns around to find Alberto Del Rio, exclaiming that first it was Little Jimmy, and now it’s Señor Jimmy, which he says isn’t fair or right. Del Rio says that it is not about being fair, but it is about destiny, and that it is his destiny to win the triple threat match later on and become the new WWE Champion – but Truth already knows that.
After a video hyping the upcoming episode of Friday Night SmackDown!, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov are pitted against The New Nexus’ David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty in a match which sees McGillicutty get the victory for his team when he takes advantage of the distraction provided by Otunga when Marella hits him with the Cobra, and hits Marella with a swinging neckbreaker.
Afterwards, Otunga and McGillicutty have a few moments to celebrate until Zack Ryder’s music hits and he makes his way out onto the stage, where he just says his “Woo Woo Woo, You Know It” catchphrase.
Going backstage, The Miz is interviewed by Scott Stanford, who says that The Miz has never beaten his former protégé Alex Riley in one-on-one competition, so asks what the difference will be in their match-up later on, and whether we will a different strategy out of him.
The Miz says that CM Punk has been suspended, so once again there is another golden opportunity to become the WWE Champion, but he wasn’t picked to be in the triple threat match for the number one contendership, because of Alex Riley.
He says that Riley is a nuisance and that he set him off course, and that he could have kicked him to the kerb a long time ago. The Miz says that he gave him a life and an opportunity that he abused, but Riley’s opportunities end later on as he brought him into Raw, and he will take him out – so he hopes that it was all worth it for Alex Riley because it will all end later on, because he’s The Miz, and he’s Awesome.
Elsewhere backstage, Sgt. Slaughter and Evan Bourne are talking about it being July 4th, until Jack Swagger interrupts and tells Slaughter that if anybody should be leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, it should be the All-American American, not a guy who sided with Iraq in the Gulf war.
Slaughter says that everybody makes mistakes, that Bourne has made mistakes, he’s made mistakes, and Swagger’s parents made a mistake when they didn’t use birth control. Swagger suggests that he make a mistake and get in the ring with him later on, to which Slaughter says “you’re on, maggot!”
After a video recapping the time that Jack Swagger won Money In The Bank, Jack Swagger goes against Sgt. Slaughter in a match which sees Swagger get the victory when he hits Slaughter with the corner slingshot splash for the 3-count.
Afterwards, Swagger decides that he wants to punish him as he applies the ankle-lock to Slaughter, until Evan Bourne runs down to make the save, giving him a few kicks that force Swagger out of the ring. After Bourne asks for a microphone for Sgt. Slaughter, Slaughter leads the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Now, Alberto Del Rio takes on R-Truth and Rey Mysterio in a triple threat match to determine the new number one contender for the WWE Championship. The match ends with Del Rio getting the victory when he interrupts Mysterio’s pin attempt on Truth, and applies the cross-armbreaker that forces Mysterio to tap out.
After a video recapping Edge’s Money In The Bank win at WrestleMania 21 and subsequent win when he cashed it in at New Years Revolutions 2006, we go to the ring where there is a cake that says “Happy Birthday Dolph and the United States of America”, before Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero make their way to the ring.
Vickie says that the birthday of the United States is being celebrated, but as Ziggler is the United States Champion, she thought it would be fitting that he have a birthday celebration as well. She asks everyone to stand up and join her in singing Happy Birthday to him.
After Vickie is finished, she asks Ziggler if he has a wish before he blows out his candles, which causes Jerry “The King” Lawler to quip on commentary that his wish is for Vickie to never sing again.
Dolph Ziggler says that he doesn’t have a wish, but there are a few things that he wants to say. He says that the crowd have no idea how good they have it, as they are witnessing the greatest sports-entertainer in the history of the WWE, in his prime.
He says that there will be a dozen more John Cenas, a dozen more Randy Ortons, but there will never be another Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler says to forget CM Punk, and to forget John Cena and the WWE Championship, because as long as he is the United States Champion, that is the only title that matters, and he is all they need to make Monday Night Raw perfection.
Kofi Kingston takes this opportunity to make his presence known as his music hits and he makes his way to the ring, and he asks why they are having a party without inviting him, which he says is messed up.
He says that he guesses that Ziggler can come out bragging all day and talking about himself, and come out and have a title celebration, but the fact of the matter is that without Vickie in Ziggler’s corner, he can not beat Kingston.
Dolph Ziggler says that they used to be at the same level, and they went toe-to-toe and tore it up every night, but Kingston is at the same level, but Ziggler is on his way to a much higher one, so in case he didn’t notice, he has left Kingston in the dust – and as for the party celebrations, he is having one, so to beat it.
Kofi Kingston shoves Ziggler, which causes him to stumble back and knock Vickie, who ends up sitting on the cake. Ziggler and Kingston then end up fighting around ringside, until they enter the ring and it happens again, this time causing Vickie’s face to end up in the cake.
Kington ends up chasing Ziggler to the back, while Vickie is shown humiliated in the ring, with her then slowly exiting it and leaving covered in cake.
After a video recapping The Miz’s Raw Money In The Bank win last year and another video recapping the history between The Miz and Alex Riley, The Miz is pitted against Alex Riley in a match which sees Riley counter The Miz’s backbreaker and neckbreaker combination into a backslide for the 3-count. Afterwards, an upset Miz attacks Riley, an attack which ends in him sending Riley over the announce table.
Next up, Vince McMahon makes his way to the ring and talks about how the CM Punk situation has gotten out of hand, and though he doesn’t owe the fans an explanation, he’s going to tell us the reason that he suspended CM Punk – he deserved it.
He says that if the fans were in his shoes, they would do the same thing, and that it’s not necessarily the comments about his family as he doesn’t have a thin skin, and it’s not about his ego, but about doing what’s right for each and every one of the fans.
McMahon says that Punk was going to tell a story about him, so he’ll tell a story about Punk instead, and how the real reason he suspended Punk is because of the fact hat his contract is almost over.
He says that CM Punk made some demands to McMahon, such as wanting a special limousine service, fly first class, have private transportation, and did in fact want to be on the things he mentioned last week such as magazines, cups, and DVDs, but McMahon says he wasn’t worthy of being on.
Vince McMahon says that he suspended Punk because he deserved it, and from his standpoint, Punk is just that – a punk. He thanks the fans and says that he’ll see everyone next week in Boston and starts to exit the ring, but John Cena’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring.
Cena asks if that is it, if McMahon is going to call him a punk and kick him to the kerb after that tirade. McMahon claims that CM Punk kicked himself to the kerb, but Cena says that he spoke his mind, which he says is something that McMahon completely endorses.
He says that McMahon is so “freedom of speech” it’s amazing, as he will come out and do and say whatever he wants, and asks if believes in the first amendment, to which McMahon says he does and that that is why Cena’s microphone is still working.
John Cena sarcastically thanks McMahon, but says that Vince McMahon to him has always been a fighter, and that he remembers a time when McMahon would make his way to the ring each and every week, doing his walk (as Cena then imitates it), and would stand in the middle of the ring and say “bring it on, I’m ready to fight!”
He says that Vince McMahon took down Turner (referring to Ted Turner, as the WWE ended up buying WCW ten years ago), not because he was a coward, but because he was a fighter. Cena says that CM Punk says a few things that got under McMahon’s skin, so he suspended him, so asks what happened to Vince McMahon the fighter, if he has finally gone soft, and if the famous grapefruits are now peach pits.
John Cena says that if that is the case, then he came out to tell him that he still wants to fight, and he wants to fight CM Punk – and if McMahon doesn’t feel like fighting, maybe he should hang it up, as he then calls Vince McMahon an old man.
McMahon tells Cena why he really suspended Punk – he says that he doesn’t want to take a chance on Cena, that Punk defeats Cena. He says that he takes calculated risks, and that’s how he created an empire and beat everybody who got in his way, therefore if Punk defeated Cena he would walk out of the WWE and walk into another wrestling organisation the next day and show off what he’s got, thus embarrassing him.
He says that he will not be embarrassed, and on behalf of everyone in the arena, they don’t want to see that happen either. John Cena mocks McMahon at being afraid about being embarrassed, but McMahon says that he’s afraid of Cena not beating Punk.
Cena says that he’s not going to guarantee he will beat CM Punk, but the match should happen as Punk earned the spot to face him, he is the champion, and the fans want to see it. He says that as a member of the WWE Universe, to him Money In The Bank is the biggest Pay-Per-View of the year.
He says that as a member of the WWE Universe, he’s wondering if Punk can pull it off, if he does what is the history of the WWE Championship, how will John Cena handle a hostile crowd and does he have what it takes to defeat Punk in his last match, and whether the kid who rode in the side of his car at WrestleMania 22 is all talk or whether he has a set and will do something crazy.
Cena says that is not embarrassing, but in fact sounds like the match of the year, but McMahon won’t let it happen because some kid said something that he didn’t like, so he’s suspended. He asks what if he says something that Vince McMahon doesn’t like, whether he will suspend him too, but McMahon tells him not to go there, and says this should not be done in public, and not to piss him off.
McMahon tells Cena not to be Hogan or the guys before him, and if he wants to talk in front of the people, then they will, but to be a man and talk to him one-on-one. He says that he gave a logical explanation, and though he doesn’t believe John Cena can beat CM Punk or just doesn’t want to take the chance, he doesn’t see it as a big deal.
John Cena says that Vince McMahon doesn’t want to take a chance of being embarrassed instead of giving the fans what they want, and that yet again his ego gets in the way. McMahon says that Cena is embarrassing him now, and he doesn’t give a damn what the fans want as he is not going to jeopardise who he is or his company.
He says that it’s not Cena’s company, it’s his, and that there were a long line of people who came before Cena, and he does what is right for the company and believe it or not, for the fans, and his decisions are good ones.
Cena says that he gets it and is not stupid, but he says that if this is how he wants to run it, it is not something that he signed up for. He says that he gets it that everyone is replaceable, but he works himself to the bone for McMahon and the brand because he likes to think that the WWE Championship stands for something.
He says that Vince McMahon is so worried about CM Punk taking the title and making it meaningless, but he earned the right to face him, so if McMahon just kicks him to the kerb, he’s already made it meaningless, as he then pushes the WWE Championship into McMahon’s hands and exits the ring before starting to leave.
McMahon asks where Cena is going, and says that he is like all the rest who walked out on him as he calls him an ingrate, but as Cena reaches the stage he tells him to wait a minute as he has something and he will see what kind of man he is.
Vince McMahon walks up to the stage to where John Cena is standing and tells him that he hates that it has come between them, but it has, so CM Punk is reinstated and he has his match. He immediately tells Cena to get the smile off his face, and tells him that he shouldn’t be smiling because if Punk walks out of Chicago with the WWE Championship, he will walk right down the aisle and say “John Cena, you’re fired!”
We are shown Vince McMahon leaving and John Cena’s reaction to what he has just been told as Raw goes off the air.