Location: US Bank Arena, Cincinnati, Ohio
Announcers: Jerry “The King” Lawler, Michael Cole
Preface: Tonight was the start of 3 hour RAWs. Last week we saw CM Punk stand by and allow the Big Show to attack John Cena after their championship match. We also saw CM Punk lay out the Rock with a flying clothesline; disrupting the most electrifying move in sports entertainment. Was it a full heel turn for Punk? Is he now a tweener? Answers to come.
Full Disclosure: I didn’t cover any of the backstage stuff that happened during RAW. I normally don’t cover the minor backstage interactions and with RAW moving to three hours, I really don’t have the time to address everything. Obviously the Daniel Bryan stuff was fantastic.
CM Punk promo
Wow, what a promo. What a way to start off RAW. CM Punk sat
indian style Native American style on the announcers table while he confronted Jerry Lawler over what he said last week. Native American style = shit is about to get real. Jerry Lawler closed RAW last week telling the fans that CM Punk had “turned his back on the WWE Universe.”
I always find it interesting when wrestlers use knowledge they gained from actually watching the show. We rarely see this. For example, the CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kane triple threat match at No Way Out ended with AJ Lee taking a bump off the apron. Kane got distracted and CM Punk capitalized with the GTS for the victory. After the match Kane carried AJ Lee to the back, but we saw her smiling at Punk in the ring, as if the entire situation had been orchestrated. You’re telling me that Kane didn’t go back to his hotel room that night and order the No Way Out replay?
So we learned that CM Punk watches RAW because he wasn’t happy with Lawler’s comments to close the show. Later on we learned that AJ Lee watched last week as well because she saw the men in white coats and called Daniel Bryan out on it. Going forward I want a precedent established. Either every “superstar” watches RAW and studies the tapes or none of them do. I dislike the ambiguous nature that surrounds this.
Back to RAW. CM Punk’s promo addressed everything we could have hoped for; Jerry Lawler’s stilted and hackneyed commentary, Dwayne showing up for one week and immediately being granted a title shot, and the focus of the show not being on the WWE champion. I was surprised at how quickly the audience turned on CM Punk. The kindergarten crowd let him hear it. He’s been your champion for the past 8 months, I think he at least deserves the opportunity to explain his actions.
Moments after saying he hates to be interpreted Big Show came down to the ring. Rabble, rabble, rabble, Show vows to become next WWE champion.
John Cena, not happy that other people are getting attention, runs down and clears Big Show out of the ring while CM Punk calmly watched. The WWE missed an opportunity here for the two of them to have some interesting back and forth on the mic. The segment had already gone about 18 minutes, but it’s a 3 hour show now. I guess they needed to reserve enough time in the show for us to see Stephanie McMahon slapping Paul Heyman 3 times.
AJ Lee’s terrible music hit and she gave us our main event for the night. John Cena vs the Big Show with the winner facing CM Punk for his title at Summerslam. It was at this point that the creative team was faced with two clear choices.
1. Have John Cena become number 1 contender. Challenge CM Punk at Summerslam. Watch as they put on another quality match and tear the house down.
2. Fail to give us a clear winner, creating a convoluted triple threat match that no one wants to see.
Vince, your creative team blows.
Non-title match up
Santino Marella vs Alberto Del Rio
“Santino Marella whose held the United States championship since March.” Sorry Cole, it’s not that impressive if all he ever wrestles are non title matches.
Del Rio dominated the entire match up. After the match Del Rio grabbed the stick and said he would not compete unless it was in a match for the world title. Pretty much every tweet I saw was similar in fashion to Mr. Holzerman’s here. Take the belt off Santino immediately. I’m not a Santino fan, nor am I a hater. What I am a fan of, is championship belts having credibility. The United States title has ZERO credibility. And how can it? The belt is very, very rarely defended on television.
The WWE needs book their US and Intercontinental titles the same way they booked the Hardcore championship when they put it on Rob Van Dam in 2001. RVD defended the belt nearly every week, having excellent matches in the process. RVD claimed on his DVD that the WWE retired the belt because it started to mean too much. That sounds like a pretty good problem to have. Give the belt to someone with some actual wrestling ability and have them defend it on a weekly basis.
Vicky Guererro dance segment
Vicky gave us her best Elaine Benes dance moves. Thankfully Damien Sandow puts a stop to this. But my good will towards him ends as soon as he showed us footage from last week. We get it. We all watched RAW 1000. Sandow attacked the Funkasauras and ripped off his necklace. I’m undecided how I feel about Damien Sandow, but I know for sure that I’m over Brodus Clay.
Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus
We were treated to a very good match up on free television. Match of the year candidate for sure. I agree with Joey Styles’ tweet, but I’m gonna suggest Sheamus vs Daniel Bryan was a little better than anything Danny Doring or CW Anderson ever did in ECW. This match was great and without a doubt one of the highlights to RAW.
Forgettable match, unforgettable AW comment.
“Titus O’Neil is like Kobe Bryant in a Colorado Hotel Room… UNSTOPPABLE!”
That’s not PG. I guarantee he was ripped a new one immediately after he went through the curtain backstage. Let the record show deplorable violence with a chair and Singapore cane is acceptable, referencing 9 year old rape allegations is not.
AW threw his shoe at Kofi, leading to a distraction. Titus O’Neil with the slam and victory.
Absurd amount of talent in the ring for this match. This match as well as the Bryan/Sheamus street fight made RAW worth watching this week. Great wrestling all around. These guys made each other look good in the ring.
Jericho with the Codebreaker on Miz for the victory. After the match Ziggler hit Jericho in the head with the Money in the Bank briefcase. I’m not sure if these two have an announced match at Summerslam yet, but if/when it happens, it could steal the show.
One on One match
Back and forth match until John Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on the Big Show. CM Punk made the save. He then got on the mic and declared that there was no winner. As Punk was leaving AJ Lee predictably entered to let us know we would be seeing CM Punk vs John Cena vs the Big Show in a triple threat match. RAW went off the air with CM Punk yelling in AJ Lee’s face. He missed a golden opportunity here for the perfect retort.
So now that CM Punk is a heel he immediately morphed into heel champion who is afraid to defend his belt mode. The WWE only knows two kinds of heel champs. Either they are completely invincible and can beat everyone with one hand tied behind their back (HHH) or they have to cheat to win and never want to defend their title (every other heel champion.)
Monday Night RAW moved to three hours long, but I guess that is still not enough time to feature any divas. Don’t get me wrong, I HATE pointless divas matches, but I would rather watch Beth Phoenix “Ryback” the shit out of somebody than see Stephanie McMahon slap Paul Heyman three times.
CM Punk returning to be CM Punk was great. This week he finally took off HHH’s blazer and went back to “Leader of Nexus” and “Straight Edge Society” CM Punk.
he made it.