The biggest post-Raw news item is unquestionably CM Punk's winning of the World title. If WWE's intent behind Punk wearing the big gold belt is to get fans interested in or talking about their product, mission accomplished! I personally didn't once change the channel off Raw after I saw Punk's segment, and this morning at my day job the few other wrestling fans in the building were discussing Raw for the first time in weeks and dropping Punk's name for probably the first time ever. The possibility of JBL capturing the belt the same night also kept me in suspense. At least until the familiar "deck stacked against the champion" cliche snuck its way into the program's writing and gave away the finish of the main event.
Punk's title win was a "too good to be true" moment for wrestling fans who have grown tired of WWE's by-the-numbers writing style. Pulling a WrestleMania IX (only in reverse considering Punk's weight and the face/heel role reversals) seemed like a move WWE would make. A slap back to reality, if you will. With WWE creative starting to think outside of the box, the big question now becomes: Where does CM Punk and WWE go from here?
That answer will likely depend heavily on the result of last night's Raw rating. Meanwhile, the top challengers for Punk's belt are logically JBL, John Cena, Batista, and former champion Edge. Edge is certain to continue his feud with The Undertaker on SmackDown at some point. Batista would have to turn heel for a match against Punk to work, according to one of the first rules of wrestling. The same goes for John Cena. However, Cena and JBL appear to once again be entering into a feud with one another. They don't need the World title to make that feud work, but it's quite possible one of them will get it by the next pay-per-view anyway. Regardless of how long his title reign lasts, hardcore CM Punk fans will surely feel the end came too soon.
A few other things have happened as a result of this move, by the way. The Raw brand once again has a Heavyweight championship, and the Money In The Bank storyline has now been concluded. At least until next year's WrestleMania when the match will more than likely take place again. Also, CM Punk is now the only man to hold the ECW, ROH and WCW/World titles.
Moving on to other wrestling news...
Here is the lineup for the upcoming two-disc Mr. Perfect DVD, courtesy of Silver Vision.
Twin City Origins
Building a Path
Living up to His Name
Return to the WWE
A Sudden Tragedy
Hall of Fame
The Perfect Legacy Lives On
Curt Hennig vs. Eddie Gilbert
Madison Square Garden (21/11/82)
Curt Hennig and Scott Hall vs. Steve Regal and Jimmy Garvin
AWA Championship Wrestling (26/11/85)
Mr. Perfect Hall of Fame Induction
WWE Hall of Fame (31/03/07)
“Rap is Crap” Music Video
Billiards October 1, 1988
Golf – Perfect Putt October 1, 1988
Darts October 8, 1988
Bowling October 8, 1988
Chess October 15, 1988
Basketball October 15, 1988
Ping Pong October 28, 1989
Diving November 4, 1989
Golf – Perfect Drive November 4, 1989
Horseshoes November 24, 1989
Baseball with Wade Boggs December 26, 1992
Football – Perfect Passer with Steve Jordan February 13, 1993
Basketball with Felton Spencer February 27, 1993
Hockey with Mike Modano March 13, 1993
Curt Loved Karaoke
60-Minute Time Limit AWA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Curt Hennig vs. Nick Bockwinkel
AWA Championship Wrestling (15/11/86)
Curt Hennig vs. Terry Taylor
Commentary By: Michael Cole and Mick Foley
Mr. Perfect vs. Bret Hart
Madison Square Garden (24/04/89)
WWE Championship Match
Mr. Perfect vs. Hulk Hogan
Madison Square Garden (15/01/90)
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match with Special Referee Roddy Piper
Mr. Perfect vs. The Texas Tornado
Madison Square Garden (24/11/90)
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels
Curt Hennig vs. Bret Hart
The lineup is rather iffy, in my opinion. The rare AWA matches were a great inclusion, and Hennig's matches against Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels are definite classics. You also can't go wrong with the "Rap Is Crap" video or the sports vignettes. On the downside, there isn't nearly enough WCW footage. Hennig was a member of the NWO and a United States champion there, for crying out loud! WWE is also forgetting about Hennig's brief return to the company in 2002 before his death. They could at least show his final WWE match against Matt Hardy. There are also no matches involving any of Hennig's Intercontinental title wins, or any of his classic matches against Ric Flair. If you're a big enough fan of Mister Perfect's character though, you'll probably still get plenty of enjoyment out of this set.
Promoters in Peru are outraged that Triple H is no longer a part of the upcoming Raw tour, since they built all their advertising around him.
WrestleMania XXV tickets are going on sale September 20th.
WWE has apparently lost a few people in talent relations as well as corporate recently, which could explain the recent lack of communication with talent concerning the brand switches.
Vince McMahon was present at the WrestleMania press conference in Houston, but never appeared before the people because he was still selling his injury angle. A few local area papers in Houston reported that he'd been seriously injured when the scaffold fell on him on Raw.
Batista got several stitches following Raw. He went head-first into Edge. Both wrestlers were otherwise reported to be okay.
The plan to tape ECW before Raw has been pushed back to September.
Indiana wrestler "Even Colder" Mike Austin is still at large after impersonating "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at a Wal-Mart autograph signing. The WCWO promotion Mike Austin performs for claims Austin was sent to Wal-Mart to promote an upcoming indy show, but once there he began charging unsuspecting "Stone Cold" fans $10.00 USD for photos and autographs before fleeing with the fans' cash. An unidentified man acting as the imposter's manager at the signing told police the Wal-Mart knew his accomplice wasn't Steve Austin, but claims they still allowed him to sign autographs. Wal-Mart officials said they suspected something was off when "Steve Austin" showed up to the event with no security or police flanking him. They notified police once they believed the man at the signing wasn't the real deal. Ironically, a few years ago the real "Stone Cold" judged a "Steve Austin look-a-like" contest, which was won by his future doppleganger. Police are continuing to investigate the matter along with help from World Wrestling Entertainment.
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