Welcome to the fifth installment of the WWE RAW Rundown! I’ll give you guys a unique take on Monday’s shenanigans in the world of WWE and their anti-logic. I’ll run down the matches, important plot points and anything else that begs to be said. Lets set an over/under on recaps for the night: if you guessed the over on 1,814 you’re probably going to be right.
Greetings yet again, you wonderful readers! Last week we saw about six-hundred too many recaps, and the announcement that CM Punk will defend the WWE Championship in a triple-threat against John Cena and the Big Show at SummerSlam. Along with that, we had the next salvo in the Brock Lesnar/Triple H feud, and the return of a viper. With only a few short weeks until the big night, one can only speculate as to where the WWE will take all of this clusterf*cky goodness. Let’s see, shall we?
RAW opens tonight with RAW General Manager AJ Lee skipping down to the ring in a white business suit. Is it bad that I can still look favorably upon AJ even with the pants suit? Also, she clearly got the memo about walking in heels (which was also tweeted by Eve over the weekend), since it appears she is prancing down the ramp in flats this week. This fashion-forward moment has been brought to you by Bugle Boy, “irrelevant since some time in the 90′s!”
Ms. Lee comes out to announce matches made tonight pitting the Apex Predator Randy Orton against the Big Show, as well as Daniel Bryan (in a match that the IWC has only wanted to see since the Nexus angle two years ago) squaring off against John Cena! I can get behind this match. Orton will be interesting because either he wins and takes some of Big Show’s value heading into SS, or Show wins and kills Randy’s push. Which train wreck are we going to get.
CM Punk and his disturbingly-close-to-a-handlebar-moustache-beard interrupt AJ mid-announcement and claims that he is a man (shocker, right). Since he’s a man he can admit his wrongdoings. Punk continues, admitting he stepped out of line and lost his temper last week in letting his emotions get the better of him. He apologizes and proposes that they remain friends. AJ accepts the apology, allowing CM to quickly step in and mention that she has a lot on her plate and is bound to make mistakes like putting him in the triple-threat match. So hey, let’s just cancel the match and go on with our lives! AJ doesn’t buy into it for a moment and lets Punk know the decision still stands, prompting CM Punk to accuse her of doing this out of bitterness towards his refusal a few weeks ago when she proposed.
Well what do you know, out comes John Cena to accuse Punk now of being one of “those guys”. By that, he apparently means the guys who come out and DEMAND respect from everybody, rather than stepping into the ring and earning it. Last I checked, Punk has one of the longest championship reigns in the history of the WWE so… respect earned? Maybe just a little bit of respect earned? In any event, Cena tells Punk that he’s got eleven championship reigns and ten years in the business and he has to come out and earn his respect every single day. I think that’s more of the personalty of Cena, than respect due to his accomplishments. Nobody disputes Cena’s success in the WWE.
John Cena clues CM Punk in that it’s his fault that the SummerSlam match is a triple-threat. Had he not interfered in the Big Show/Cena match last week, he would have faced one of them, instead of both. Punk fires back accusing him of interrupting him while doing commentary during the match. The two men jaw back and forth, with Cena using the term “homes”, and referencing the Miami Gators of Back to the Future II fame. Big Show heads out before being cut off by AJ who tells everyone to save it for their matches and SummerSlam. Punk, angry by his lack of involvement, tells the GM that he should be in the main event. AJ tells him that he is going to be in a match, with the opponent selected by the WWE Universe over Twitter, and the match is next.
Before break, let us squeeze a recap in! We get a brief video package showing Brock Lesnar breaking Triple H’s arm. It’s announced that both men are in the arena tonight here in San Antoino, Texas! So I guess expect fireworks, mindless mumbling by Lesnar, and at least two swear words to be censored.
Match No. One: WWE Champion CM Punk versus Rey Mysterio
As much as this match-up disappoints me, it is one that comes with some significant history. Before CM Punk was traded to RAW in the last WWE Draft, he ran the Straight Edge Society on SmackDown and had a hotly contested feud with Rey Mysterio. The program culminated in a Mask vs. Hair match, where we saw Punk shaved bald. Now, in 2012 Punk is arguably the face of/biggest name in the WWE, and Rey Mysterio is barely back from injury and has to wear shirts to hide the stomach pudge he is rocking these days.
The pairing works well together, and the majority of the early goings are dominated by quick attacks and extended rest holds. You’re going to have to expect that when Rey Rey isn’t exactly at one-hundred percent or capable of some of his high-flying luchadore style. Punk heads outside the ring followed by Rey Mysterio with a running senton to Punk down to the arena floor as we go to a commercial break.
Rey continues to hold advantage until CM Punk finds an opening and goes back to wearing down the Mexican superstar. Jerry Lawler butchers “hell has no wrath like a fury.. hell has no fury like a woman scorned”, as Punk continues to systematically beat down Mysterio. No sooner does that happen, Punk attempts to hit the GTS (Go To Sleep), only to have Mysterio wiggle free, drop CM Punk to set up for the 619. Mysterio hits it and climbs the rope for the splash to finish it, but Punk raises his knees to block the move. Sensing the moment, CM Punk quickly gets to his feet and lifts Mysterio before leveling him with the GTS and the pinfall victory.
Just before commercial we see Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez parking a beautiful jet black Ferrari before heading towards the ring.
Back and we get a Fight Club..err Wade Barrett promo. He’s clearly rocking a beard and what looks like an impressive amount more muscle on his frame. When he returns (which will be right around or immediately following SummerSlam) he’s going to get his massive push.
Alberto Del Rio enters AJ’s room and puts down Booker T in Spanish (a language I am not fluent in) while kissing a ton of ass to keep himself out of a match for the night. As she agrees, Del Rio turns to Ricardo and mentions to him “see, I told you she wouldn’t do anything crazy”. Clearly her trigger word is “crazy” because she immediately jumps back into frame and changes her mind, telling him he has a match…next!
I really hope you, reader, have the over on the aforementioned recap limit because we get another one right now from the 1000th episode of WWE RAW about Triple H and Brock Lesnar. They do know that more happened that night other than just these guys, right?
Match No. Two: Alberto Del Rio versus Christian
Alberto Del Rio is doing a killer job at this “I wont wrestle until my World Heavyweight Championship match at Summerslam” thing, as he sticks his foot in his mouth and this week gets Christian as punishment.
Before the match gets started, we get another video recap of ADR destroying Sheamus by slamming the hood of his car over his body repeatedly.
Del Rio immediately goes on the offensive, going after Christian’s arm to soften it up for his armbar finishing hold. Christian takes advantage of Del Rio’s arrogance and mounts some offense of his own including a pair of near falls. Alberto finds an opening and goes right back to work on the arm with repeated kicks and takedowns. ADR attempts a senton bomb off the top but misses it allowing Christian to go for a spear only to be met with a kick to the face.
Alberto Del Rio goes for the armbar but has it reversed into an attempt at the Killswitch by Christian. The signature move is reversed as well sending Christian into the corner. Roberto Rodriguez distracts the referee allowing Del Rio to nail Christian with his boot before applying the armbar finisher for the submission win.
As he and his personal ring announcer celebrate the win, Sheamus pops up on the Titantron in the back. He reveals himself to be in front of the Ferrari, and that Ricardo Rodriguez left the keys in the vehicle while fetching ADR’s ring gear. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion hops in and claims he is going to take it for a joy ride around San Antonio. So for those keeping score, the king babyface on Smackdown just committed grand theft, and the crowd is loving it. I’d say he’s going to be arrested, but lets face it… WWE gives no care about this “logic” I speak of.
Match No. Three: Randy Orton versus Big Show
The two men open with clubbing blows back and forth as Orton seeks the early advantage. Unfortunately for him, his opponent is nearly five-hundred pounds and that tends to tip the scales in his favor with a brawl. Big Show keeps the pace of the match slow as he uses his brute force to take the viper down.
If there is one thing that Orton has to even the playing field is speed and athleticism as he connects with multiple boots to pull the giant off of him. Orton attempts a pair of clotheslines that staggers the Big Show, before leveling him with a dropkick. Randy prepares for the RKO but has it reversed into a chokeslam and Show only gets a two count from it. Orton ends up outside where Big Show hammers away at him.
Orton counters a powerslam outside of the ring, sending Show into the steel ring post. Randy sees the opportunity and goes for the RKO yet again but misses as Show shoves him off and charges at him with a powerful spear. The referee reaches the count of ten and throws the match out as double count-out.
After the match, Big Show rolls Randy Orton back into the ring and taunts preparation for his WMD. Orton ducks the punch and lands the RKO to floor the giant as we cut away from the action to about the forty-fifth recap clip of Triple H and Brock Lesnar from the 1000th episode. Really, do they think that we’ve forgotten about this?! I’ve probably lost some pretty useful memories because they’ve shoved this recap down my throat so many times. It really is dumb… it really is WWE!
Match No. Four: Ryback versus Curt Hawkins/Tyler Reks
Prior to the match we get a brief video clip of Ryback talking about food chains and hunger and feasting on Hawkins and Reks. If I’m being completely honest, I really can’t follow what he is saying after staring at that creepy pink-eye thing he’s got going on in his left eye. Not sure what that is all about.
To the match though, as Ryback is taking (and no-selling) attacks by the pair of Hawkins and Reks. WWE really should do something with this tag team, because they actually are good workers. Instead of using them to build or at least put over their tag division, they just go ahead and have them squashed by a guy who hasn’t really had much in the way of a storyline in a few months now.
If it sounds like I’m not covering the match heavily, it is mostly because apart from a few shenanigans, Ryback is dominating the pair in lew to the lariat clothesline and his fishermans buster for the victory. After the match he chants “feed me more”, and I can’t help but think “give me something relevant already!” It was fun for a while, especially when the guy or guys he was squashing were indy jobbers and not actual WWE talent. If you’re gonna squash WWE talent, at least let it be someone like Brodus Clay. Get that guy all the way off my television!
Match No. Five: Prime Time Players versus Epico and Primo
AW is still on my telelvison this week, and I can’t accurately express my sadness. At least we get the jobber entrance from both teams to save me a few extra minutes of pain.
Despite the occasional reversal, the Young and O’Neil control the action against Primo Colon. AW throws out another ridiculous statement “Darren Young is like Mother Teresa, he can do no wrong”. Just after he says this, Epico gets the tag in and turns the tables, taking it to Young, including a triple-back body drop that while messy, was still kinda cool. O’Neil pulls Young out by his leg and the team looks to walk out on the match.
The music of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth plays as the WWE Tag Team Champions come out to restore some order in the match. The distraction allows Epico and Primo to stop the PTP, as Epico and Darren Young end up back in the ring. Darren, however, is still distracted by the happenings outside, allowing Epico to hit the backstabber and pick up the win…what? This tag team clusterf*ck is making me want to throw things! First we’re going to bring the division back, okay I’m cool with that. Then we’re going to push the PTP to the #1 contendership, and a likely WWE Tag Title reign leading up to or at SummerSlam. I am still okay with this. Suddenly they lose to the team they beat for the spot, thus looking weak. Either they are punishing the team for Abraham Washington’s comments about the Colorado Hotel Room last week, or they have NO IDEA what they are doing. Rage is building, ladies and gentlemen, rage is building!
We cut to a recap (woo!) involving Damien Sandow, first from the 1000th episode of WWE RAW where he takes the superkick and pedigree from DX, and then his assault on Brodus Clay last week for laughing at his plight. After this, we see Josh Mathews stop Sandow and ask about his actions. He remarks that it’s his job to rid the WWE of foolishness that will essentially only dumb down the masses. Anyone who dances deserves to be disposed of. So tonight, he disposes of Brodus Clay.
Thank you, Damien Sandow, thank you very much!
(Is it too obvious I am really not into the Brodus Clay Funkasaurus angle?)
Match number six never really takes place, as Damien Sandow jumps Clay as he makes his dance entrance. Clay tries to fight Sandow off, but to no avail as Damien pretty much tries to break the historically bad knee of Clay. As the referees pull the two apart, Clay is laying on the floor in a heap of green and tears. Meanwhile Sandow stands atop the entrance ramp and hollers “YOU’RE WELCOME!” to the audience
Back at the office of the RAW GM AJ, Daniel Bryan tells her that after he beats John Cena tonight she’s going to be forced to turn the SummerSlam match into a fatal four-way match. It is at this point where AJ tells him that he already has a match scheduled, against Kane. His anger gives way to a competing “NO!” “YES!” chant. Ugh.
We return from commercial break to Divas action and the return of Kelly Kelly.
Match No. Six (officially): Kelly Kelly versus Eve
Eve pretty much mouths to KK that she isn’t worth it and tries to walk out on the match. However, Kelly has no part of it and attacks Eve, pulling her back into the ring before she can get away. Kelly Kelly connects on a Thez Press and an ass shake (this is a move?) in the corner before Eve tries to abandon the match once more.
K2 chases, brings her back to the ring and lays into Eve before missing on a scissors grab allowing Eve to slam her face-first into the mat. Eve mounts her own bit of an offensive before Kelly Kelly reverses an Irish whip into a hurricanrana pin to win her return match. Kelly celebrates her return victory as we cut away.
Luckily, she is only wrestling for the WWE part-time now, so we wont have to see her brand of sketchy wrestling too often.
Recap No. 627: Sheamus committing GTA by stealing Alberto Del Rio’s Ferrari earlier in the evening, much to Del Rio’s chagrin. Seamlessly into Lesnar/H clip from the 1000th episode. I legitimately believe this is the sixth time they’ve shown this tonight. I lost count though.
So, WWE RAW tonight is live from San Antonio, Texas and you know what that means! You can’t do a show there without bringing out San Antonio’s own (and my wrestling idol) HBK Shawn Michaels! The crowd gives him one helluva pop, as you would expect. He breaks into his shtick about being out of breath just coming to the ring and whatnot. HBK continues, talking about the more things change, they more they seem to stay the same. There are a ton of new faces, but all the scuttlebutt is about the confrontation between Brock Lesnar and Triple H and SummerSlam.
Brock Lesnar, tailed by Paul Heyman, interrupt him to say that Lesnar isn’t coming to SummerSlam to entertain but to fight Triple H. Shawn chimes in by telling the pair that Lesnar took it somewhere that he never should have taken it. Brock Lesnar made it personal, and it’s brought out something in Triple H that even Shawn isn’t familiar with. Because of that, HBK is taking H at SummerSlam and moreover will be in his corner for the pay per view.
After Heyman yammers on about everyone having to witness what Lesnar does to H, Lesnar rips the microphone out of Paul’s hand. Brock tells Shawn that the only reason he is taking Triple H at SummerSlam is because he’s never been in the ring with Brock…until now. Lesnar takes a few steps towards HBK before Triple H’s music plays him out to the ring.
Lesnar and Heyman act as though they’re leaving the ring before turning back in. Brock points to H and tells him “I’ll see you at SummerSlam”. He then points at HBK stating “and I’ll see you before then!” With that, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman leave the ring as we go back to another recap back to Sheamus stealing the car earlier in the night. We cut into a Tout by Sheamus in the car in front of the Alamo. I’m laughing now as the World Champion breaks into an Irish rendition of “Deep In The Heart Of Texas”.
Back from commercial we have Chris Jericho at the broadcast desk, and Alex Riley in the ring. Vickie Guerrero brings a little bile to my throat before introducing the Smackdown Money in the Bank winner, Dolph Ziggler.
Match No. Seven: Dolph Ziggler versus Alex Riley
Jericho really does kill it on the mic. He’s great at putting guys over, as well as adding his own goofy humor (as a face). All the while, in the ring, Ziggler and Riley compete in a match that could actually be a solid program, but because of his burial (backstage politics are a bitch), Riley is looked on as a jobber.
Ziggler puts the boots to Riley before taunting Jericho, allowing Riley a moment to land a hard right hand. Dolph has one of the prettiest dropkicks in the entire WWE. Both competitors fight back and forth, each having a couple strong spots before Jericho climbs up atop the desk to Tout what is going on in the ring. The distraction affords Alex Riley the opening to roll up Ziggler for the victory. This is my moment of the night! I actually like the in-ring ability of Riley, he just needs an opportunity to shine.
AJ Lee tweets that since Miz or Kane weren’t selected to face CM Punk earlier in the night, they’ll face each other, NEXT!
After a break, Sheamus releases another Tout of him eating Mexican food in the Ferrari. He comments about how Mexican food doesn’t agree with him, as he spills a great big glob of something onto the floorboard of the car.
Match No. Seven: WWE Intercontinental Champion Miz versus Kane
Can we safely say that we really don’t want this match? Would we not have been better suited seeing Kane versus Punk and Miz versus Mysterio? I’d even settle for Miz versus CM Punk and Kane versus Mysterio in a David versus Goliath match. Of course, either would break the face versus heel dynamic.
This match pits Miz’s opportunistic tactics and technical style against Kane’s brand of “screw you” bash and bash some more attack. The early portion of the match sees Miz try to take advantage of brief gaps of Kane’s offense, but is unsuccessful as the pure size and strength of Kane keeps it down to a slow, powerful pace. However, the WWE Intercontinental Champion is capable of finding a moment to take out the left knee fo the Big Red Monster, focusing on the leg, while connecting on a dropkick to a downed Kane, and some stiff kicks. Kane manages to get to his feet, fighting off a sleeper hold and kicks to level Miz with a big boot and suplex.
The Miz moves out of the way of a turnbuckle splash and goes for the Skull-Crushing Finale, only to have Kane drive him backwards into the corner. Kane charges and lands face-first into the turnbuckle where the WWE Intercontinental Champion tries to capitalize but finds himself launched up and into the turnbuckle himself. The dazed superstar stumbles back to Kane who floors him with a mighty chokeslam for the 1-2-3.
We return from break with Sheamus puling into the lot with Alberto Del Rio’s Ferrari looking more like a scrap heap, smoking, covered in garbage. He turns to a WWE official in the back and hands him the keys, mentioning how Mexican food just goes right through him, and not to tell anybody what happened. That is a damn shame for such a gorgeous car.
AlbertoDel Rio finds the car and goes on a Spanish-spoken rant that, once more, I can’t translate. He eventually tells Ricardo Rodriguez that it was his fault and that he’s going to have to clean it. The segment ends as Ricardo pulls shrubbery and an orange road cone out of the car. Punk heads outside the ring followed by Rey Mysterio with a
Match No. Eight: Daniel Bryan versus John Cena
You know, the more they keep referencing “Anger Management” with Daniel Bryan, the more that I am certain that Charlie Sheen is going to be a a part of the SummerSlam shindig with his match against Kane. I am simultaneously amused by the pairing of Sheen/Kane (assuming he’ll be in Kane’s corner or something to that effect) as well as disappointed that this is what they are opting for, over a billion other options.
Prior to the match’s start, we get a clip from last week’s episode where Punk attacks Show/Cena, and AJ’s following announcement of Punk defending against both men at SummerSlam.
After a brief lock-up, the two break as the crowd starts their “lets go Cena… Cena sucks!” chant. Daniel Bryan begins chanting “NO! NO! NO!” and “…this is about me!” I am ashamed to say that for it being a hometown crowd, the Cena chants are louder than hometown hero Shawn Michaels. You uncultured heathen fans!
Bryan ducks out of the ring, as Cena gives chase, but is met by a dropkick by D-Bry, knocking him out of the ring and into the barricade outside. Bryan steps onto the ring apron and connects with a flying knee that levels the leader of the CENAtion. Daniel Bryan has a pretty damn cool moment with a fan as he starts his screaming “no” chant with a fan, getting in his face as the fan has a dueling “yes/no” chant with him. I dont know if the guy was just a fan, or a plant… but it was neat to see interaction like that. We don’t often get moments like that, save for victory celebrations.
We return from what I can only hope is the last commercial break with Daniel Bryan firmly in control, abusing John Cena in the corner, culminating in a running dropkick to a dazed Cena. Bryan continues his kicky ways, multiple times being warned by the referee to cease lest he wants to be disqualified. Cena catches a momentary rush as he back body drops DB before taking another stiff kick that damn-near knocks him out. Bryan remains relentless with his kicks and rest holds, keeping Cena grounded, until Cena “Hulks Out” ala Hulk Hogan in the 80′s and lands a running shoulder block. Cena follows up with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle and goes for the AA, before Daniel Bryan reverses it into a Guillotine choke hold. The dangerous submission, locked tight, turns John Cena’s head purple but he’s able to fight out of it.
D-Bry connects on a spinning roundhouse kick and a near fall before ascending the turnbuckle and hitting a diving headbutt that looks more devastating for Bryan himself, than Cena, but hey that’s WWE wrestling logic at its best. The high-risk maneuver nets another near finish but Daniel Bryan looks as though he is about to snap while John Cena struggles onto his knees.
Danny Boy hits a total of nine ultra-stiff kicks dead on into the chest of not-quite-super-yet Cena and attempts to throw the death blow into John’s skull, but he ducks and locks in the STF. A master of submission wrestling, Bryan slips out and looks to lock in the newly minted “No Lock” (formerly LaBell lock, and then Yes Lock). Super Cena comes alive and powers out, reversing it into a Boston Crab before lifting D-Bry up and hitting the Attitude Adjustment for the win.
After the match, CM Punk comes out of the back to stare down John Cena, and once more Big Show breaks it up. Cena charges at Show, which is sort of like charging at a brick wall, and just barely avoids a chokeslam from the giant. John lifts Big Show up for the AA before Punk interrupts it with a shot that drops both men. Punk exits the ring and picks up a headset at the broadcast desk claiming that maybe he was his fault that he was in the triple threat at SummerSlam, that people disrespect him:
“…my fault people have been disrespecting me. It’s because I let people disrespect me… I’ve been shaking everybody’s hand, and I’ve been smiling real good and kissing babies and trying to make everybody happy. I let people walk all over me, and I let people disrespect me… from here on out, I do what I do best…”
Punk drops the headset and runs back into the ring, firing a spinning roundhouse at Big Show. The giant catches the leg and knocks out CM Punk with the WMD. Cena stumbles back to his feet and catches one himself, and the show goes off air with Show standing in the ring holding the WWE Championship in the air.
As you can see, Punk kind of sheds the “people should respect me” mantra for the “eff it, I’m going to destroy and do whatever I have to, and I will remain the WWE Champion!” This suits him a great deal better than where he had been with things the last couple of weeks. Of course it also feels like every week he gets closer and closer to kayfabe with how he acts and how the IWC (internet wrestling community) feels about what WWE should be doing. I’m okay with it. It also looks like Brodus is going to take a little time off, and I expect that they will attempt to repackage him for a WWE Films horror movie that he starred in (or at least that’s the story going around). Also don’t be surprised (just a hunch) if we get MORE Lesnar/H/HBK next week, ending in HBK taking some disgusting assault at the hands of Lesnar himself leading to the SummerSlam PPV.
In any event, that will do it for the WWE RAW Rundown for the August 6th edition. Sorry for the delay this week, but rest assured that the the WWE Rundown will continue to come to you all each week on Tuesday. I hope you have all enjoyed it, as I have enjoyed bringing it to you all, dear readers. Feel free to leave comments about the show, angles/storylines, or anything else pertaining the WWE product. Come back next week as I will continue to bring you the best (and inevitably the worst) of the WWE on the RAW Rundown!
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Filed Under: Pop Culture Madness