Date: 3rd September 2012
Venue: Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, The Miz
We are closer to Night of Champions and last week’s dissection of Jerry Lawler has moved Punk’s heel character on nicely now, which has taken long enough to happen. Also, we hear more after AJ Lee attacked Vickie Guerrero last week, plus more on Bryan and Kane’s anger management lessons. Let’s begin.
Lawler taken out by CM Punk
A lot involving Punk here tonight, starting with him taking out Jerry Lawler before he came out to do commentary. With chest issues diagnosed for Lawler, Michael Cole was left alone to do the broadcasting alone (God help us!), until The Miz, the reigning Intercontinental Champion, came out to do commentary for the rest of the show (Thank Goodness!). Any other commentators going to get taken out as well soon?
Punk turns his back on Chicago and Sheamus
After running down Sheamus at the beginning of the show, AJ Lee makes a Champion v Champion match for later on in the evening. Until Punk decided to take a “personal day off” and left the building. That is an effective way to build heat for Punk (except the Chicago crowd still cheered for their hometown hero), but I’m not happy at the way they made him look like a coward to walk out on the World Champion. Rating: C
Has Punk joined forces with Paul Heyman?
During the end of the match between Alberto Del Rio and John Cena in a falls count anywhere match, Punk returned and laid out Cena with a kick to the head, allowing Del Rio to cover Cena for the win. The interesting thing here is when Punk drove away and Paul Heyman was seen looking out the window at Cena on the floor. As the internet is buzzing right now from a collective orgasm at this revelation, it makes sense that these two would join forces eventually. Punk has said himself that he is a Paul Heyman Guy and Heyman was the man who gave Punk his chance in WWE ECW six years ago. If they are indeed together now, along with Brock Lesnar, this will be a very interesting partnership indeed. Rating: B+
Ricardo Rodriguez saves Del Rio again
After Sheamus defeated Jack Swagger, Del Rio attacked the World Champion, only to be taken out by Sheamus. Rodriguez though took the Brogue Kick for Del Rio, which rendered the announcer unconscious for a while. With Otunga involved as a lawyer, are we going to see ANOTHER lawsuit feud leading to Night of Champions? I really hope not, it’s just so boring! Rating: D+
Ziggler beat Orton
A quick mention for this, as this is a rematch from SmackDown and Ziggler finally got a win over Orton. Could they have not saved this for an actual feud instead, so there may be something to fight over for both men? Rating: C
Hugging it out on live TV!
With the anger management classes ending this week, Daniel Bryan and Kane haven’t really made much progress….. considering they reduced the teacher to tears at the end. But the hilarious/awkward part came when the pair of them were in the ring hugging each other (thanks to the WWE voting for that on Twitter. Why would they vote for this?) The pair of them could barely hug before they began tearing each other apart. This rivalry and the way it has been executed so far has been nothing short of funny and entertaining, which is what you want from a story. Fantastic stuff and it makes me wonder when the blow off match will be between these two. Rating: A-
SummerSlam rematch for the US Title
I was surprised when I saw the title was on the line here, with Antonio, who won the title on the SummerSlam pre-show from Santino Marella, faced the former champion Marella in his customary rematch. This was pretty much just to get the rematch out of the way, because it only lasted a few minutes and was a step above a squash. Still, it was a nice surprise to see the title defended on RAW for the first time in over two months I believe. Rating: C-
The losing streak of Swagger continues
After losing to Sheamus this week (being the replacement for CM Punk walking out), Jack Swagger announced later on RAW that he is leaving to take “an extended break”, which I assume means he will be off WWE programming for the foreseeable future. This may be the best thing for Swagger at this moment, as he has not won a singles match on RAW since winning the US Title from Zack Ryder back in January this year. His character is stale beyond belief and he has no reaction from the fans anymore. A major fall down the ladder for the former World Heavyweight Champion in the last two years, so let’s hope he comes back re-invented in his character and motivation. Rating: C
AJ Lee has a nervous breakdown
After attacking Vickie Guerrero last week on RAW, AJ Lee has been ordered by the WWE Board of Director’s to apologise to Vickie. Despite that, Vickie still slapped AJ (as AJ cannot touch any member of the WWE roster at all), which sent AJ into a nervous breakdown in the ring. I have a feeling AJ won’t be RAW General Manager for much longer, but even worse, that Vickie Guerrero will be back in charge of RAW at some point. I know she is a good heat machine, but her voice makes my ears bleed and it grates on me very easily. AJ, please grow up a bit so you can keep your job. Rating: C-
Overall: C+ With a few interesting angles, RAW was quite stacked tonight in terms of events occurring. Firstly, CM Punk possibly joining forces with Paul Heyman makes me want to watch RAW next week and see what will happen next. Along with the Bryan and Kane anger angle and there is actually a few reasons to watch RAW at the moment. That’s all you can ask for at times really, but WWE could use the three hour show a bit better in places, such as building mid card feuds more, ala Orton and Ziggler, so the crowd can get more emotionally invested in them. Decent show tonight, with the three hours not dragging too badly here.