WWE Raw: CM Punk returns, and a new WWE champion is crowned ¿ twice

The Triple H Era in WWE got off to an exciting start on Monday night’s episode of Raw.

Moments after John Cena captured the WWE title from Rey Mysterio, who earlier in the show defeated The Miz in the tournament final to win the vacant championship, CM Punk made his return.

Punk, who had defeated Cena for the WWE title on July 17 at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view and then exited the company when his contract expired later that night, wore the WWE title belt that he had left with to the ring. He and Cena stood face to face, each man raising his belt in the air, but no blows were exchanged.

Also on the eventful show, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross was brought back as an announcer, and John Morrison returned after being sidelined with an injury.

As if all that wasn’t enough, Internet sensation Zack Ryder actually wrestled on Raw. WWWYKI.While it’s nice to have Punk back on the show, I’m surprised that WWE didn’t keep him off TV longer, having him show up on indy shows and crashing events where WWE personalities are appearing (such as last week’s Comic Con in San Diego, where he had a verbal exchange with Triple H) to build up greater anticipation for his return. This just seems like it happened too quickly, as Punk was only gone for a week.

I’m also surprised that a babyface ended this show as the company’s new WWE champion. With Punk now playing an anti-establishment babyface, I figured a heel such as The Miz or Alberto Del Rio would be champion when Punk came back claiming to be the rightful champion, which would then set up a title unification match.

Now it appears that it will be Punk versus Cena for all the marbles at next month’s SummerSlam pay-per-view, Unless Cena is turning heel – and wouldn’t that be something – this matchup is a curious choice.

Other thoughts on Monday’s show:

Mysterio was the star of the show, as he had a good match with Miz to open the program and an even better one with Cena to close it. Unlike the mixed reaction he has received with some crowds lately, the fans were behind Mysterio all night. …

It was nice to see a matchup of two top stars – Cena and Mysterio – that was fresh. Oh, and by the way, it was yet another good match from the guy who “can’t wrestle.” …

As soon as The Miz attacked Mysterio after their match, I knew Del Rio was coming out to cash in his MITB contract and I was certain that he was going to be successful. Of course, I also thought he was going to do it at the MITB pay-per-view. I hope WWE doesn’t keep having Del Rio swing and miss, because the more that happens, the weaker he looks. …

Punk came out to his old Ring of Honor theme, “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour, which is a great song and it suits Punk very well, but I hope Punk doesn’t stop using “This Fire Burns” by Killswitch Engage. That’s the best entrance music in the business, in my opinion. …

It was great to have J.R. back at the announce table. That was long overdue. …

Having Ryder as the mystery opponent for Michael Cole – who was put in a match by Triple H – was a good way to finally get Ryder on Raw. Cole, by the way, was pretty amusing doing Triple H’s entrance and wearing “The Game’s” gear. …

Now that Triple H is the on-air authority figure, what will become of the anonymous Raw general manager? After all this time, is there not going to be a payoff? …

I got a laugh out of the verbal exchange between Triple H and R-Truth. …

When Triple H brought out Morrison, he said that he had re-signed him. I didn’t know that Morrison was unsigned; I just thought he was out with an injury. …

The Del Rio-Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler-Evan Bourne contests were decent TV matches. I liked that Del Rio avenged last week’s loss to Kingston. Ziggler showed more intensity and personality than usual during his win over Bourne. …

With Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres – who teamed up to beat Melina and Maryse – being so chummy as of late, my guess is that Eve wins the Divas No. 1 contender battle royal next week and turns heel on KK. An Eve heel turn was hinted at a few months ago, as she snapped at some fellow babyface Divas in the locker room, but it was never followed up on. …

Melina may never win another match – in WWE, that is. …

Keith Stone. Ugh.

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