Raw results: Stars and gripes

BY James Wortman

July 04, 2011

LAS VEGAS – While the United States of America let freedom ring in celebration of Independence Day on Monday night, the WWE Universe around the globe was still reeling from CM Punk’s controversial “declaration of independence” one week earlier. The Straight Edge Superstar’s inflammatory words and unprofessional conduct on Raw resulted in a suspension that would essentially end his WWE career three weeks before his contract expiration – and his anticipated WWE Championship clash with reigning titleholder John Cena at WWE Money in the Bank.

However, support for Punk’s reinstatement would ultimately come from an unlikely source: The Champ himself.

Alberto Del Rio def. Rey Mysterio and R-Truth to become the new No. 1 contender

Alberto Del Rio believes he is destined for championship glory … but we already know that. Nevertheless, The Mexican Aristocrat had his work cut out for him in a Triple Threat Match against R-Truth and Rey Mysterio to determine the No. 1 contender to John Cena’s WWE Title.

Although all three of these ring warriors were scheduled to compete in the Raw Money in the Bank Ladder Match on July 17, a victory in this bout would allow them to bypass that harrowing, high-risk encounter.

At the end of an incredible match that pushed all three of these Superstars to their limits, The Ultimate Underdog seemed to have sealed a victory after nailing Truth with a 619 followed by a frog splash. However, as Mysterio had the conspiracy theorist pinned, the moneyed Mexican pounced, locking in the cross armbreaker on the surprised Master of the 619. As Del Rio seemed to nearly wrench Mysterio’s arm out of its socket, the masked Superstar had no choice but to tap out, earning The Mexican Aristocrat a No. 1 contendership.

WWE Champion John Cena defended CM Punk, called out WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon

John Cena might not have agreed with what CM Punk had to say about him one week prior on Monday Night Raw, but he’ll do whatever it takes to defend his right to say it. On the day the United States of America annually celebrates its freedoms, including the Freedom of Speech, The Champ vehemently criticized the WWE Chairman’s decision to suspend The Second City Savior and strip him of his scheduled WWE Title opportunity in two weeks at WWE Money in the Bank, emanating from Punk’s hometown of Chicago. After all, if Punk is unable to speak his mind, where does the censorship end?

Cena had it on good authority that Mr. McMahon would be in the building later in the night, and demanded that The Chairman meet him face-to-face to explain Punk’s exile. Also later that night, with Cena’s WWE Championship opponent on July 17 in question, Rey Mysterio, R-Truth and Alberto Del Rio would collide in a No. 1 Contender’s Match.