So with the 1000th RAW out of the way now, we can look to the future and hopefully build the card at SummerSlam. With three hour episodes every Monday night from now on, there’s no reason WWE cannot build an effective card for the “hottest event of the summer”. With AJ Lee as the new GM of RAW and Punk seemingly fresh off a heel turn last week, this week will be interesting to say the least. Let’s begin.
The RAW titantron caught on fire earlier that evening as the doors were opening. Luckily, no-one was hurt and part of the titantron is blacked out for this episode.
We recap RAW 1000 last week. Truly an awesome episode filled with nostalgia and long-term progression.
Segment 1: CM Punk explains his actions.
Clearly the fans don’t think Punk is heel, as the fans loudly cheer him. Punk is essentially pissed off at The Rock for stealing his moment last week on RAW 1000. He says all this to Jerry Lawler, who said last week that Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe. Cue Big Show who said he saved Punk’s title last week and now Cena want’s a piece of Show, as he chases him out of the ring. After AJ makes the main event of Cena v Show for tonight, she then adds that the winner will face Punk for the title at SummerSlam. It took a while to get going, but this was a solid promo from Punk, who plays the heel (more of a tweener at the moment) much better than a face. He will get better on the mic, but I don’t think this needed to be fifteen minutes long. Rating: B-
Bryan wants to see AJ but walks away instead.
Segment 2: Alberto Del Rio defeats Santino Marella
No car for Del Rio tonight due to the fire earlier. What is with WWE’s fascination with having their midcard champions lose every week it seems? Fair enough, Santino put up a fight, but the cross armbreaker by Del Rio ends this. Isn’t there anyone else they could have used though? Rating: D+
Del Rio says Santino is beneath him, like Sheamus is too. So Del Rio only wants matches for the world title in future, meaning he won’t compete until Summerslam, starting tonight.
Bryan is still outside AJ’s office.
Segment 3: Brodus Clay and Vickie Guerrero dance.
Who thought it was a good idea for Vickie to dance? Whoever mentioned it should be fired, let alone the person who gave the OK to put it on RAW! Oh thank you, Sandow is here to stop this. He shows us footage of the attack by DX last week, and then attacks Clay, leaving him lying in the ring. I think we have our first feud for Sandow/Clay. Decent stuff here, as Brodus received his first beatdown by someone not named Big Show. Rating: C
Recap of Ziggler talking down to Jericho two weeks ago, before the Codebreaker put Ziggler down and out. Jericho/Christian v Ziggler/The Miz in tag team action tonight.
Bryan FINALLY goes into AJ’s office, but get’s verbally bitchslapped. AJ reckons the guys in white with Bryan last week may be from the mental home (makes sense). Instead, Bryan will face Sheamus tonight… but AJ chants NO to a world title shot request (Why is she stealing that??).
Recap of Triple H/Stephanie/Heyman/Lesnar last week, when the Lesnar v Triple H match was confirmed for SummerSlam.
Segment 4: Street Fight: Sheamus defeats Daniel Bryan
This is going to be good. Bryan wants the people to stop chanting yes. Ha, good luck! I was beginning to wonder if the street fight stipulation was needed for this match, but the match quickly picked up with weapons and hard hits by both guys. Brogue kick to Bryan on the steel stairs end this, but damn that was a good match. I really got into this as it went on, and Bryan showed he can stand toe to toe with the World Champion. Good TV match. Rating: B
Recap of Punk’s promo earlier. Why show this again? Back from commercials, and Bryan wants a doctor in the ring for him. This is funny to me for some reason. We then finish the recap of the opening segment earlier in the episode. They are literally killing time here. Wouldn’t a match have sufficed instead?
Segment 5: Kofi Kingston (w/ R-Truth) v ???
Bryan is still in the ring when Kofi and R-Truth tell him to get out. So Bryan kicks Lil Jimmy out of the ring and tells R-Truth he doesn’t exist. This is getting funnier by the minute somehow. Here come the men in white coats… for Daniel Bryan! According to AJ, Bryan is “mentally unstable tonight” and has to be escorted out. I had to stop my laughter at times, seriously, as I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at this madness. No match.
Mr McMahon is to name the new SmackDown GM this Friday. That will be interesting to watch.
Segment 6: Titus O’Neil (w/ AW and Darren Young) defeats Kofi Kingston (w/ R-Truth)
Oh apparently there is still a match here. Short match which Kofi essentially carried, as Titus is not at the level yet to have longer matches on his own. Distraction by AW and Young allow Titus to hit the spinebuster for the win. At least it looks like they have a chance to win the tag titles in future. That’s how you build suspense for future title matches. Rating: C+
Punk tells Cena he doesn’t wish him luck and he did to Rock what Cena couldn’t do in one year. Nice touch.
Cole apologises for comments made by AW earlier. What comments did he make to warrant an apology?
Segment 7: Heath Slater v ???
Slater challenges any current superstar to a match. So he gets Randy Orton, making his return after his suspension. Clotheslines, powerslam, mid-rope DDT, RKO, pin. HUGE pop for Orton on his return and that was the perfect way to return. Rating: B
Bryan is talking to the doctor about his neck and AJ. Doctor asks him some questions, which starts his YES rant. Oh boy this isn’t going to end very well is it?
Segment 8: Chris Jericho/Christian defeats The Miz/Dolph Ziggler
Interesting fact: Christian and Jericho are former World Tag Team Champions together back in 2002. This match had an old school feel to it and it worked like one too, with Miz and Ziggler dominating and using the traditional heel tactics that are always effective at gaining heat. I was really feeling this one, until Jericho hit the Codebreaker for the pin on Miz. I think Miz/Ziggler would have been better going over here but it’s not the worst result in the world to be honest. Solid match and it was definitely in the right slot on this episode near the top of the card. Rating: B
Ziggler hits Jericho with the Money in the Bank briefcase. He looked deranged just then.
Bryan is still being questioned by the doctor. He answers questions about the pictures he sees. He finally caught up to the fact they are goat faces instead of what he thought they were.
Segment 9: Tensai defeats Tyson Kidd; reversed to a DQ win for Tyson Kidd
This may be filler, but this is a mini feud that has gone on for about a month now. Easy to have a back story isn’t it? Tensai slaps on the claw but that does nothing in the end. Rollup by Kidd does not get the pin like last time however. Baldo Bomb and splash get the pin on Kidd. Albert chants by the crowd aside, this was short and sweet. Rating: C
Tensai attacks Kidd more after the match. Referee reverses his decision, saying Kidd wins by disqualification. I see this continuing and I am all for it. I want to know why Tensai keeps attacking Sakamoto after every match? Is there a point to that?
Doctor declares Bryan sane… until Kane, his “anger management therapist” comes in and attacks him.
We recap the Triple H/Lesnar drama AGAIN! Is there nothing else they can fill this time with?
Segment 10: John Cena defeats Big Show
Hell Yes!! CM Punk is on commentary here, which will be pure comedy gold. Don’t mind if I put Punk quotes here throughout the match. LOUD “Cena sucks” chants in the arena, as Punk slates Lawler’s commentary skills. He should be slating Cole’s skills instead, but I suppose heel on heel doesn’t quite work. Punk to Lawler: “I see you have a lot of notes, just like a Rock promo”. Nice.
As you can tell I have said nothing about this match because it sucked. These two never had good chemistry every time they faced each other. I was merely listening to the commentary the entire time as it was WAY more interesting. The best moment of the match was when Cena went flying into Punk at ringside. Cena loaded the AA afterwards but Punk nails Show I think. Is that a DQ win for Show? Boring match overall really. Rating: D+
Punk declares… no one the winner. I think I know where this one is heading for SummerSlam. AJ comes out and makes Punk v Cena v Big Show at SummerSlam for the title. Thought so, as Punk is livid to end the show.
Overall: B Well, the titantron being on fire may have helped this show, because the first permanent three hour RAW did really well. Several good matches and moments, especially Randy Orton’s return at a time when WWE need him the most, dominated this show, which was great to see. The main event sucked, but it was all about the storyline here and I’m ok with that. Punk’s heel turn takes another step to completion, as I would put him at about tweener status right now. Solid episode tonight and I hope they continue this into next week.