-So yes, I enjoyed Money in the Bank as many did, but I’m also with that group when I say that Cena winning in the end was just a “fe-fi-ho-hum.” Punk seemed awful defensive on Twitter to fans who pointed out his 0-7 standing in main evening PPVs in 2012, but maybe all can be forgiven if Cena cashes in an loses. They’ve really gotta jump start Punk at some point; they’ve drained his battery worse than leaving your car charger plugged in for a month.
-If you want some light reading, enjoy this blog on the day I spent with former ECW and ROH Champion Jerry Lynn. Not having paid my dues in the sport, I put him over. In table tennis. Really. http://camelclutchblog.com/a-day-with-jerry-lynn/
-WWE Monday Night RAW is live from The Meadows
Punk admits he loves Las Vegas, presumably because he likes drawing genitals on the faces of passed out chums. Oh, and it’s the same place he dropped the “Pipe Bomb” a year ago. Man, it seems like longer ago. Punk’s beaten everyone in his path, and then segues into the 1000th Raw. Punk says a man like him never would have been on the first Raw. Well, he just would have jobbed under his real name to Friar Ferguson. This brings out Big Show to resurrect the ninth best feud of 2010. Show claims he would have won if not for those meddling ki—er, if the briefcase handle hadn’t broken. Punk points out that “almost” doesn’t mean anything, because despite the carnage he creates, he still loses. And that’s why Punk’s respected: he wins, and Show doesn’t. Show says the fans would move on to somebody else if Punk left tomorrow. Like TNA if Punk jumped there. “This company revolves around one man” says Show. Geez, save that for your future RF Video shoot. Punk spells out Show’s shortcomings in one sentence, and Show helpfully reminds him that the damage he does tonight may lead to Cena cashing in moments later. Mock pipe bomb drop concludes.
Segment Rating: 8/10. Wow, a segment that builds intrigue for the main event? I miss those! Seriously, are they actively exorcizing the demons of last week?
Match 1: Ghana Get Got vs. Prime Time Players (WWE Tag Team Championship)
O’Neil hammers Kofi while AW does his poor man’s Jimmy Hart impression. Maybe he needs the musical note sunglasses. Kofi has better luck with Young and tags Truth in. Hey, Truth and Young main evented SummerSlam 2010! Kofi lands a crossbody on Young for 2, and the PTP are double baseball slid to the floor. Kofi lands a dive off Truth’s back to crush both challengers as we head to break. We return to the PTP double teaming Kofi, and O’Neil has the hoss bear hug applied. Kofi escapes with headbutts, but gets hammered back down. Young gets his picking from AW but loses grip on Kofi, who tags Truth, who then cleans house. After a failed distraction, Kofi gives O’Neil some Trouble, and O’Neil Gets Got moments later.
WINNERS: Ghana Get Got via Moment of Truth (Still WWE Tag Team Champions)
Rating: 4/10. Middling tag team match, but I hope they keep focus on the division for a bit.
-AJ is confronted by Bryan, who apologizes for hurting AJ’s feelings in the hunt for the title. Eve disrupts, still steamed over Bryan deserting her last week. Eve gets to choose a partner against Bryan and AJ. Bryan gives AJ an innocent kiss to further the angle.
Match 2: Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio
Ryder barely gets a full entrance, and Alberto doesn’t even get a ride. Budget cutbacks are a bitch. I love the sign that says “ALBERTO DEL TACO” because it proves that the fan is smart enough to know his stereotypes. If he wrote “ALBERTO DEL SUSHI”, that’d be ridiculous! Del Rio mauls the arm because he’s ANGRY, and Cross Armbreaker finishes.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio via Cross Armbreaker
Rating: 2/10. Boy, I’ll bet you feel silly for cheering Ryder!
-Rey Mysterio makes his grand return after eleven months to put a stop to Alberto’s post match beatdown. I enjoyed their matches in 2011, so I’m down.
-Raw 1000: Heath Slater picks all the times he was crushed by legends.
-Speak of the devil, Slater builds his next mauling.
Match 3: Heath Slater vs. Rikishi
We can’t get Naomi in booty shorts, but we get Kish. Life isn’t fair. Superkick and stinkface ensue. Samoan Spike hits in tribute of fallen brother Umaga, and Rump Shaker kills Heath dead.
WINNER: Rikishi via Rump Shaker
Rating: 3/10. Just for the Umaga Spike
-Usos dance with Papa Kish for fun. Sexay isn’t worth the plane ticket, I see.
-WWE calling Lassie “roadkill” would be as tasteful as calling Chris Benoit “pinata”
Match 4: Daniel Bryan/AJ vs. The Miz/Eve Torres
Hey, continuity! Bryan and Miz’s feud from 2010 relived! I figured they’d have to do the Bryan face turn soon enough. Miz and Bryan open, and Miz is served a heaping dose of Yes Kicks, but Miz receipts him with a knee to the gut, and a sick mafia kick. AJ tags in, so Eve’s in as well, and Eve kicks AJ down for 2. AJ comes back after a corner choke, and lays Eve out with a shining wizard, but Miz distracts the ref. AJ dropkicks Miz off the apron, and they exchange weird looks. Eve cradles AJ, but Bryan turns it over to give them the win.
WINNERS: Daniel Bryan/AJ via inside cradle
Rating: 4/10. Short, but fun.
-Afterward, Bryan takes the mic and admits to AJ that he loves her, after not having the guts to say it before. AJ is freaked and conflicted, and Bryan goes as far as to make a formal proposal. She says yes, and the crowd boos, because they’re morons.
-Raw 1000: The Rock steals Austin’s Smoking Skull belt. Vince just retroactively fined Austin and Rock $25,000 each for saying “belt” in 1999.
Match 5: Jack Swagger vs. Ryback
I asked for competition for Ryback, and we get it. Swagger jumps before the bell, and lands the Swagger Bomb and pump splash, but Ryback is still conscious. Ryback kicks off the ankle lock, but is grounded by an ensuing shoulder block. Ryback comes back, hitting a front spinebuster, followed by a powerbomb chain. Swagger drops dead to the floor, but the match never began.
WINNER: No match
Rating: 2/10. Really? Just have Ryback crush him and pin him if you’re serious about getting him over.
-Things I like better than Tout: my chronic spleen pain.
Talk Segment: Dolph Ziggler
Dolph’s shirt’s lower cut than Vickie’s. Is the V-neck really a thing? Ziggler guarantees a title win over Sheamus, and will be a better champion than anyone while Vickie repeats everyone he says with a screech. This brings out Jon Bon Jericho, and Dolph cuts him off from speaking. Then Ziggler points out Jericho’s failures in 2012. In Jericho’s defense, he’s more well-known in Brazil than Dolph is. Jericho stares a hole through Dolph for two minutes before breaking his code. Insta-face turn!
Segment Rating: 7/10. Jericho and Ziggler? I’m down.
-Things I like better than Tout: robbing from children’s charities
Match 6: Brodus Clay vs. JTG
JTG sent out campaign flyers for Linda McMahon, so he gets an entrance tonight. Shee-Elbow connects, but JTG stops the corner charge and takes the knee out. Brodus comes back with the Shee-Plex, rhino headbutt, and Funk It to win.
WINNER: Brodus Clay via Funk It
Rating: 3/10. Serviceable squash.
-Raw 1000: Donald Trump laughs at bald Vince.
As a heel, Big Show should defecate in his skull cap and smoosh it on a kid’s head at ringside. HEEL HEAT. Punk works fast around Show, but can’t get anything more than quick kicks before being headbutted down. Punk valiantly fights back, but is shoulderblocked down. Show even adds the Andre stand-on-back move for good measure. To the floor, where Punk continues his attempt to fight back, only to be cut down. Show’s slam attempt is reversed into a post-smash by Punk, and he kicks away back inside, but Show headbutts to halt the onslaught. Punk tries coming off the middle rope, but Show catches him with a slam. Show methodically continues slugging away, and Punk comes back with a jumping sleeper. Show writhes, but eventually counters with the side slam. Show goes to the middle rope, but Punk avoids the pump splash. Punk can’t bring Show down with strikes, and Show backdrops him. Show readies the WMD, but misses and Punk nails him with a high roundhouse. And another. And an enzuigiri knocks him into the post. Corner knee NAILS Show, and another connects as well. Third one hits hard, but Punk can’t hit the bulldog. Show misses an avalanche, and Punk hits the Savage Elbow for 2. Punk’s springboard is blocked by Show, who hits a Chokeslam for 2, foot on the rope. Show loses his cool, and throws the referee down. Boo, I was loving that match!
WINNER: CM Punk via DQ
Rating: 7/10. Really good David and Goliath match, and would have been better with an ending.
-Afterward, Show mauls Punk further and readies the WMD, but hereeeeee’s Cena. Show merely leaves, and Punk is down and hurt. Cena takes the mic and mentions his announcement, while Show draws out the ‘obvious’, that Cena’s going to cash in. But no, Cena’s cashing in…..next week. Ooooh, they’re building to a show! See how much more effective Cena is when he speaks seriously? Cena clocks the goading Show for good measure. Staredown takes us out.
OVERALL: Well hey, a much better show this time around. I’m really looking forward to Punk vs. Cena, and there was nary a wasted moment tonight, outside of the squashes. I guess WWE’s better at starting stories than living in the holding patterns before PPVs. Still, I’m looking forward to Raw for the first time in a while, and that’s all that matters.
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for Wrestlechat.net and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.
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