RRC: July 30th
July 30th 2012: On this week’s Raw Review Crew… lots of matches and fire, although one probably didn’t cause the other.
Welcome once again to the RRC for the 1001st edition of Monday Night Raw. Last week wasn’t the greatest show ever, but could the fallout trigger an improvement this week, Krizbii and Justin C are here as usual to find out.
I made a new set of banners for the new Oratory, but the new Raw logo meant I had to do them all again, at least Miz’s title win meant I needed to change two of them anyway. I still don’t really like the new logo, I don’t know if I like the new theme song or not as we’ve still never had the proper new credits sequence, maybe we would have this week if the pyro hadn’t burned the new set. To be honest I quite liked just having the central screens working and no pyro, the obsession with HD is to have lots of black and lots of bright lights, but the top and bottom LED sections stood out much effectively without the massive sections on either side.
Last week’s ending fell a bit flat, but Punk picked up the ball and ran with it here. He’s not a heel (yet), but his argument is valid, he’s the WWE champion and should be the centre of attention. Anything that also highlights how awful Jerry Lawler’s commentary is has to be a positive too. Big Show wanted to steal Punk’s spotlight, Cena attacked him, and AJ made a number one contenders match, while Punk just stood there wondering why everyone just totally ignored him. A very good opening segment that instantly spun last week’s stuff into gold.
Del Rio vs Santino
Alberto thinks Santino is beneath him and doesn’t want to wrestle unless it’s a title match, since he’s a Smackdown guy he should maybe just stay on his own show instead of facing Santino every week. Refusing to fight doesn’t really get Del Rio over any more as a threat to Sheamus, but maybe Santino can actually defend his own title sometimes now.
Sandow vs Clay
I don’t know why Vickie wanted to dance, it’s almost like they wanted to fill time. It had nothing at all to do with Damien Sandow coming out. Sandow mysteriously didn’t get Smackdown graphics even though other Smackdown superstars did, since they’ve dropped the supershow tagline now they should just use Raw graphics for everyone, then at least it would be consistent. Talking of inconsistency, Brodus continues to either squash or be squashed, he’s been around for months, but still has never really had an angle.
Sheamus vs Bryan
Fans had the chance to vote which one of the three identical matches they wanted to see. I guess they’d have gone for an occasional pin if it was falls count anywhere, but this was a great example of giving idiots a chance to think they’re having an influence when all the options are essentially the same. Despite the lack of true options, the match they had was very good and got plenty of time, it certainly did more for Sheamus as champion than his 18 second title win at Wrestlemania.
Post match Hilarity
Bryan refused to see the ring because he needed a doctor. WWE refs suck, instead of caring about his welfare and getting a doctor they tried to get him out of the ring anyway. Truth and Kofi came out for the next match and poor Little Jimmy took a nasty fall to the outside (even Ziggler has never managed a bump that looked like that). A few mental health jokes later and Bryan went backstage for some bad comedy skits with a doctor that he somehow managed to make watchable until he was randomly attacked by Kane and his red light of doom at the end.
Kingston vs O’Neill
Primetime Players are acceptable in tag action apart from their shitty manager (who throws a shoe? honestly), but in singles action Titus is awful. Kofi managed to survive and drag an almost decent match out of him and as Titus won, there’ll probably be another tag title match between the teams sometime soon.
Punk talking down to Cena was great, although it was typical WWE trying to make Cena look like an underdog.
Slater vs Orton
It’s good to have Orton back and him facing Slater the legend killer was a nice tough. I’m not sure what they’ll do with Randy now, most midcard heels are doing other things already heading into Summerslam.
Jericho/Christian vs Miz/Ziggler
Another good match that continued two feuds. Three of these guys are very good in the ring and working with them can only help Miz. After a slow-ish start where Ziggler was trying to avoid Jericho, this had a very good last few minutes and a sensible finish with Christian costing Miz the win and Ziggler standing tall again.
Tensai vs Kidd
It’s unusual for someone to win after getting a jobber entrance, so Tensai put things right by getting the decision reversed. Tensai is so not over that even the Albert chants don’t last for very long. He’s a fat angry man with pen on his face, but he has been since he debuted. Like Brodus they should do something with him or use the time to push someone else.
Cena vs Big Show
Great commentary by Punk, being fair and balanced in his dislike of both guys and taking on Lawler’s bullshit when necessary. Another good match that got time
I guess GMs need to have a last name, apart from it appearing in her Twitter account, they’ve never really bothered to use Lee in AJ’s name before. I’ve always liked AJ, but on Raw she was awful. She lacked any of the charm that she’s shown in the last few months and didn’t even have a hint of her quirky style like when she wore Converse to her wedding last week, she was just straight up smug, cocky woman in a business suit. All her decisions were straight forward Teddy Long booking, but instead of being the vengeful, unstable ex the fans could get behind, she just came off as a cold calculating bitch. Sure Eve just did that role, but Eve’s a heel, so her bitchy attitude worked. Even Tiffany was more convincing as ECW GM than AJ was on Raw.
Apart from totally killing AJ’s character this was a very good show, plenty of wrestling, a good angle that ran through the show and should continue to run. The triple threat for Summerslam is super-lazy booking, but since Punk isn’t going full heel it makes sense to have him fighting both a face and a heel. One of the best Raws of the year (not that there’s much competition) and maybe a sign that 3-hour shows can work without gimmicks or legends.
The first regular three hour RAW of the WWE Era. C.M. Punk will start the show, whenever that is. Apparently the RAW set started on fire and the building had to be evacuated. See, it is all proof that God doesn’t want RAW to be three hours.
RAW: Now With Promos On Tables
After an extended recap of last week’s show and video of the set fire from earlier, C.M. Punk came out to a decent response. C.M. Punk said that everyone talks about wanting a Wrestlemania Moment, but last week he had a RAW Moment. Before he explained his actions, C.M. Punk addressed how Jerry Lawler ended last week’s RAW. He said Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe. Punk went to the announce table. He asked Lawler how he jumped to such a conclusion. Punk said The Rock is not the WWE Universe. He’s one delusional movie star who showed him a lack of respect. Rock interrupted him, ignored him, and acted like he was just going to take the WWE Title from him. Then at the end of the night, Dwayne tried to make the show all about him. Then at the end of the show Punk put him in his place. And now what? Rock has stayed silent and the 1000th episode of RAW ended how every show should end, with the spotlight on the WWE Champion.
Big Show decided to come out and interrupt. Punk asked Show if he came out to steal the spotlight too. Show said that RAW 1000 ended with the spotlight on him. He cost Cena the WWE Title and made John Cena the first guy to cash in MITB and lose. And Punk would have tapped out if Big Show didn’t do what he did, and Show is the only reason he is still WWE Champion. Show vowed that he is going to be the next WWE Champion. Punk said he’s the only person winning anything. Cena came out and went after Big Show Show left the ring. A.J. came out and said Big Show vs John Cena would happen later tonight, with the winner facing C.M. Punk for the WWE Title at SummerSlam.
Segment Analysis: Good opening segment. I think they were trying to make Punk come off as a heel by going after Lawler, but the fans for the most part continued to cheer him. That’ll be interesting to watch going forward. Punk said what he needed to say and delivered it well. Cena’s punches on Big Show looked horrible. The match announcement was expected. Good opening. Survey Says: 3/5
Daniel Bryan stood outside A.J.’s office, contemplating going in.
Wait? It Isn’t A Squash This Time?
Alberto del Rio vs Santino. Doesn’t this happen every week? Del Rio had the upper hand early. He worked over Santino’s arm. Santino tossed Del Rio over the apron and Santino drop kicked him off it. Del Rio had an arm lock applied back from break. Santino fought out with a back drop. Santino hit some punches and did his split duck, but Del Rio caught him with a kick. Santino caught Del Rio and went for the Cobra, but Del Rio caught him with a kick. He threw Santino into the ring post and applied the cross armbreaker for the won.
Del Rio took the mic and said everything is beneath him, and that he will not compete until his World Title Match at SummerSlam.
Segment Analysis: Hey, at least they let them wrestle a bit this time and not have it be a complete squash. Good for the WWE to know that they need to have some wrestling on the show. I’m still not buying into Del Rio. He’s not doing it for me. His character is lacking. Survey Says: 2/5
Daniel Bryan continued to stand outside A.J.’s office.
Recovering Heat 101
Back from break, Brodus Clay was dancing in the ring. Vickie Guerrero interrupted and said she was going to show everyone how to dance. Damien Sandow came out. He said last week, a horrible crime was perpetrated against humanity. They replayed what happened to Sandow last week. Right after, Sandow attacked Clay. He took out his leg. Sandow ripped off Clay’s necklace and stood tall.
Segment Analysis: Well, they tried to get some heat back on Sandow after last week and did a decent job of it. Sandow has potential and it was a smart move to have him attack Clay. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Back from break, Daniel Bryan finally walked into A.J.’s office. She told Bryan to shut up and called him out for talking to the guys in the white coats that looked like they worked at a mental hospital. She said he made a match for Bryan later against Sheamus. He asked if it was for the World Title, and she chanted No.
They recapped Lesnar/HHH from last week.
The WWE Universe voted for a Street Fight. Bryan missed a moonsault and Sheamus hit an Irish Curse Backbreaker. Sheamus charged at Bryan in the corner but Bryan ducked and took down Sheamus with a leg sweep and kick. The two exchanged punches and kicks and Sheamus took Bryan down with an elbow. Bryan rolled to the outside but Sheamus threw him into the barrier a couple times. Bryan charged at Sheamus but he was back dropped onto the ramp. Sheamus threw Bryan into the WWE sign. He went for White Noise but Bryan escaped. He took out the knee of Sheamus and hit some kicks, then kicked Sheamus off the stage. Bryan hit a flying knee off the stage onto Sheamus into commercial.
Back from break, Bryan had an armbar applied. Bryan drop kicked Sheamus out of the ring. He jumped at Sheamus but Sheamus caught him and hit a fall away slam into the barricade. Sheamus hit his chest punches on Bryan over the barricade and suplexed him on the floor. Sheamus got a chair and kendo stick but they ended up outside the ring. Sheamus clotheslined Bryan over the rope. Bryan recovered and took the kendo stick and went to work on Sheamus. Bryan set the chair up in the corner. He went to use the kendo stick but Sheamus caught him and took the kendo stick and proceeded to use it. Bryan ducked a kendo stick shot and drop kicked Sheamus into the chair.
Outside the ring, Sheamus hit a shoulder tackle on Bryan and hit him with the chair. Sheamus grabbed Bryan and went to ram him into the post but Bryan escaped and the momentum of Sheamus took him into the post. Bryan put the steps in the ring. He threw Sheamus into the barricade. Bryan went for a kendo stick shot but Sheamus stopped him. He went for White Noise on the steps but Bryan pushed him off. Sheamus recovered and hit the Brogue Kick for the win.
Segment Analysis: Very good TV match. This is exactly what the three hour RAWs need to have, longer wrestling matches. Bryan looked good in defeat and stood toe to toe with Sheamus. I would give it ***1/2 stars. Good wrestling and a great job by both men. I just hope Bryan doesn’t get too lost in the shuffle. He still deserves a spot at the top of the card. Survey Says: 4/5
Daniel Bryan refused to leave the ring until he saw a doctor. Kofi and R-Truth came out. They told him to leave the ring. Truth said they had business to handle. Bryan asked where Little Jimmy is. Bryan shook his hand and then kicked Little Jimmy. Bryan asked what was wrong with him. He’s not the one tending to an imaginary child. Four mental doctors came out. They came for Truth, but A.J. told them to get Bryan. She said he clearly is unstable and needs to go under psychiatric evaluation. A.J. waved good bye. Hmm, I imagine a collection of skits about this next week.
Rape Jokes Are PG?
Kofi Kingston vs Titus O’Neil. O’Neil caught Kofi off the ropes and hit a bodyslam. AW said he was like Kobe Bryant in a hotel in Colorado: Unstoppable. Ha. Kofi fought out of a chin lock and went into his usual offense. Darren Young tried to interfere but R-Truth took him out. A.W. threw his shoe at Kofi. O’Neil hit a sit down slam after the distraction for the win.
Segment Analysis: The best part of the match was AW’s random Kobe joke. But do people still care about the Prime Time Players? I doubt it. Survey Says: 2/5
C.M. Punk ‘apologized” to John Cena. He said he did to Rock in one night what Cena couldn’t do for a whole year. He told Cena to just let it go.
Heath Slater came out and challenged any current WWE superstar to a match. Randy Orton came out. He made quick work of Slater with his normal offense and the RKO for the win.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan was questioned by a mental doctor. He started screaming YES!
Too Many Rest Holds
Jericho/Christian vs Ziggler/Miz. Christian and Ziggler started. Ziggler caught Christian with a quick kick and tagged in Miz. Christian went to work on Miz before he escaped and tagged in Ziggler. Christian tagged in Jericho, with Ziggler then tagging in Miz. Jericho hit a few Flair chops in the corner but Miz caught a charging Jericho with a boot. Miz tagged in Jericho. Jericho went to the top and hit an axe handle. The heels were sent to the outside and Christian hit a dive from the top into commercial.
Back from break, Miz had a head lock applied on Jericho. Jericho fought out and made the hot tag to Christian. Miz tagged in Ziggler. Christian hit a high elbow and knocked Miz off the apron. The distraction allowed Dolph to hit a drop kick. Dolph tagged in Miz. Miz hit a kick to the face for two. Christian countered out of a head lock and tossed Miz to the outside. Christian went for a tag but Miz pulled Jericho off the apron. Miz and Ziggler then double teamed Christian. Ziggler hit an elbow for two. Ziggler applied another head lock. Christian tried fighting out but Ziggler hit a neckbreaker. Ziggler botched some kind of move. He went for a ZigZag but Christian hit a power bomb. Both men made tags. Jericho drop kicked Ziggler off the rope. Jericho hit a Lionsault on Miz. Ziggler broke up the pin attempt. Christian hit a Spear on Ziggler but then missed Miz and went into the apron. Jericho went for the Walls but Miz countered out. Christian caught Miz with a thumb to the eye and Jericho hit the Codebreaker for the win.
After the match, Ziggler hit Jericho with the MITB Briefcase.
Segment Analysis: I thought it was an average match. It could have been better. It took them too long to get out of first gear. The last few minutes were entertaining but there were too many rest holds in the first half of the match. Nice to see Jericho pick up the win. Survey Says: 3/5
Bryan did the Ink Block Test, which included a goat face picture. He asked if Charlie Sheen put him up to this.
Tensai beat Tyson Kidd. The ref reversed the decision after Tensai continued the beat down after the match. He slapped Sakamoto after.
The doctor told Daniel Bryan he was sane. Kane came in and said he was Bryan’s anger management therapist and beat him up.
What A Surprise Ending!
Main event time with C.M. Punk on commentary. Big Show slowly worked over Cena early. Cena applied a sleeper hold that Show backed out of. Show caught Cena jumping off the ropes but Cena applied another sleeper. Cena got the Big Show down to his knees and went for a pin. Show kicked out and tossed Cena to the outside. Why didn’t the ref raise Show’s arm 3 times? Big Show backed into Cena in the corner. As Show yelled at the crowd, Cena caught a charging Show with a kick and then bulldog. Cena tried fighting back but Show caught him in a bear hug. Cena elbowed out and went for a bodyslam but failed. Show went for a chokeslam but Cena countered with a DDT. Show caught Cena with a sideslam. Show went for a Vader Bomb but missed. Cena went into CENA MODE! Show caught Cena with a chokeslam but only got two.
They went to the outside. Show went to put Cena into the post but Cena countered out. Show countered and threw Cena over the table into C.M. Punk. Show went for the KO Punch but Cena ducked. He went for the Attitude Adjustment but Punk broke it up. Punk kicked Big Show in the head. Punk said that both men were losers. A.J. came out and made a Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam. Punk said A.J. can’t do that and wanted respect as the show closed.
Segment Analysis: The match actually wasn’t bad, with an expected ending. I just don’t want Big Show in the match. We could get a good Punk/Cena match but instead Big Show drags it down a bit. They also didn’t clearly define what Punk’s role is going forward. Everything he says and does comes off as a heel, but the crowd is still behind him. It is just a weird spot to be in right now for Punk. Survey Says: 3/5
It definitely felt like a long show, but I thought it was decent. There was some filler, a lot of recaps, but also some good things. Most importantly, it had some good wrestling. The Sheamus/Daniel Bryan match was a very TV match. The tag match wasn’t bad and the main event was OK. A.J. seems to be toned down as the crazy chick. I find it weird the WWE would just drop it like that. Daniel Bryan was very entertaining on that show. Randy Orton being back will help the WWE’s roster out. I actually thought the show was a bit better than last week. I’m gonna go ahead and give the show a 7. Good wrestling and C.M. Punk was entertaining all night. But sooner than later, they need to define his intentions and make it clear if he is a heel or a face.
Lets Blog it Up! http://jctopropereport.blogspot.com.
And remember kids, you don’t ever want to be on fire like Kobe Bryant in a hotel room in Colorado. You don’t have his millions, you won’t be able to escape punishment.
Last Week: 6.375
2012 High Score: 8.5 (Apr 2)
2012 Low Score: 2 (Apr 9, May 14)
2012 Average: 4.94
Justin C: 4.93
Average Score: 7.63