WWE Raw Rundown: Episode Two “999 and counting…”
Welcome to the second 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. Please, please, please don’t suck tonight. Show me you care, WWE. For the love of crap, show me you care!
Tonight, WWE RAW comes live from Sin City, Las Vegas Nevada and we’re just one week out from the landmark 1,000th episode and the debut of a permanent three-hour time slot. One can only hope that coming off of a mediocre Money in the Bank Pay Per View we will start to see some twists in the story arc’s we’ve had shoved down our throats.
“Cult of Personality” hits and out comes still WWE Champion CM Punk, after having defeated Daniel Bryan (and his funky new ring tights might I add) in a No Disqualification match. AJ and her brand of crazy didn’t exactly help his case, but in the end, Punk managed to come out on top.
CM expresses his love for the great city of Las Vegas, even if he is straight-edge. He takes us on a history lesson about how one year ago he sat at the top of the ramp in Vegas and dropped his most infamous “pipe bomb”. He continues by pointing out that looking back at the very first RAW, someone looking like him wouldn’t have a chance to succeed in this business much less hold the belt. Yet today, here he is ,in his eighth month as champion, and plans to hold it going to the 1000th episode.
Cue the Big Show’s music, who is out to congratulate him, right? Drats. He comes out to complain about how he was inches from winning the MitB contract, and how if he had won he would certainly be challenging Punk for it tonight, and would win it. Show plays against the crowd for some good heel heat, talking to Punk about “the fans don’t like you,they dont respect you, they don’t even respect themselves”. Long story short, it’s CM Punk versus Big Show in the main event tonight. I swear if Cena cashes tonight and wins it on the heels of Rock’s return next week about the belt I am going to rage… so fair warning to you good reader.
Match No. One: World Tag Team Championship Match
R-Truth / Kofi Kingston versus “Prime Time Players” Darren Young / Titus O’Neil
No matter how much I dislike Abraham Washington, I do appreciate what the WWE is trying to do with a stronger tag team division. It’s really difficult to follow PTP’s matches with AW in control of his headset just rambling off nonsense. One has to wonder if he is going off the cuff, or if producers are giving him keywords to throw in. He’s currently battling Vickie Guerrero for “most jarring personality on RAW”. Nevertheless, the match remains fairly back and forth. At the midway point we get a lot of Kofi Kingston isolated from his corner, being handled, and double-teamed by O’Neil and Young. However, Kingston slips away and makes the hot tag to R-Truth who starts chipping away at Titus. AW inadvertently distracts the referee, allowing Kofi to hit his finisher, then R-Truth connecting with his own before the picking up the victory and retaining their titles.
Before the commercial break, we have Daniel Bryan talking to AJ (who seems a bit more “centered” this week, it scares me). Bryan apologizes about what has been taking place, and admits that he had been so caught up in fighting CM Punk that he made her the scapegoat. Eve’s chin enters the picture, followed by the rest of Eve, who points out last week where Daniel Bryan bailed on their match, and that she has petitioned for a match in payback. It will be Daniel Bryan & AJ Lee versus Eve and the partner of her choosing.
Match No. Two: Alberto Del Rio versus Zack Ryder
Del Rio comes out sans car, meaning he’s going to continue this vicious streak he’s been on lately. Unfortunately for him, it only comes out when it doesn’t matter, but no-shows in championship matches. It’s fair to call this a squash match, as ADR assaults Ryder outside the ring before making him tap to the cross armbreaker. After the match he locks the hold back in, threatening to break Ryder’s arm when none other than Rey Mysterio comes out to a MASSIVE pop from the crowd.
Meanwhile inside my house it’s dead silence, as we’re going to get Del Rio/Mysterio for the 1,483,212th time. Seriously. What is it about the WWE that they’ve gotta throw two hispanic dudes at each other and watch them go at it? If I turn RAW on next week and hear Del Rio call Rey his “chihuahua”… this is all better left unsaid.
Another RAW moment leading up to next week features the many embarrassment’s of the “one man band” Heath Slater gets to be segue for his next embarrassment, this time at the hands of WWE legend (clearly they’re using this term with some looseness)… RIKISHI!
Match No. Three: Heath Slater versus Rikishi
There is nothing about this match to really report. The bout looked like this:
1. Heath Slater rolled around Rikishi
2. Rikishi with a side superkick to Slater
3. Rikishi with the “stink face” in the corner to Slater
4. Rikishi with the Banzai Drop to Mr. Slater
Believe me when I tell you that the dance segment between Rikishi and his two sons (WWE talents Jimmy and Jey Uso) lasted twice as long as the match itself.
Match No. Four: Eve/The Miz versus Daniel Bryan/AJ Lee
Welcome back to The Miz. There’s been a long story regarding what Mike Mizanin has gone through since exiting WWE television months ago. He is in a much better place though now, and recently finished filming the third-too-many Marine movie.
As for the match, Daniel Bryan and Miz actually work together fairly well as they trade moves. Eve tags in, forcing AJ Lee to enter the fray as well. The two Divas go at it, Eve taking the early advantage. Momentum shifts as Eve shoves AJ to the ropes, and she retaliates with a kick to the face. After a shining wizard (fancy name for a running/jumping knee to the face), The Miz distracts the referee during a pin. AJ responds by going to that special crazy place, making eyes with he-who-is-awesome, confusing him long enough to kick him off the ring apron. He tries to climb back into the ring, as Eve rolls AJ up for a pin. With the referee once more distracted, D-Bry runs in to reverse the pin allowing Miss. Crazypants to pick up the win over Eve.
After the match, Daniel Bryan takes a mic and admits his wrongdoing to AJ, telling her “I have to say something to you, something you’ve said to me but I was too afraid to say to you”. He loves her, which is of course really sweet, I guess. As if the WWE hasn’t buried that previous storyline with Punk, D-Bry takes something from someone outside the ring and reveals it to be a ring. He goes down on one knee and proposes to her who proceeds to appear to run the spectrum of emotions (I am certain she was laughing at one point). After leaving D-Bry hanging for a while ( I feel your pain Danny Boy, my fiancee took forever to say anything too… sadface buddy, but hang in there!), AJ said yes and the two embraced, made sloppy, sloppy kisses in the ring and ended with tandem “YES! YES! YES!” chants.
NO… back from RAW and it seems we will be getting a live wedding ceremony from the lovely couple next week on the 1000th episode. So, that happened.
Next up is the match that never was… Jack Swagger comes out to the ring, riding a nice little losing streak. His opponent is: Ryback! Swagger quickly jumps on Ryback, stomping into him as he enters the ring. The All-American American quickly unleashes the gutwrench powerbomb finisher, followed up by his springboard “Swagger Bomb” finisher. Swagger goes for the ankle lock but has it countered. Ryback is leveled once more, and the ankle lock is attempted yet again, still being reversed. Ryback pretty much no-sells all the assault he has taken by jumping to his feet and leveling Jack with a clothesline, followed by a triple powerbomb. Swagger rolls outside of the ring ending the non-match. This felt like a total waste of time, unless it’s just a sampler from the WWE, as a sign that “yes, we are starting to push him up the ranks now, we’re all out of jobbers for him to disfigure”. I say Ryback versus Santino next week. Let’s just get that belt all the way away from Marella and put it on someone who is rising fast up the ranks.
Vickie Guerrero greets us like a screeching baboon to introduce the winner of last night’s World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank, Dolph Ziggler. In the ring, Ziggles reminds us that the winner of the MitB has a 100% success rate when cashing in, making him the future Heavyweight Champion. He continues by claiming to be better than Cena, The Rock, etc before being cut off by Jericho’s music. Let’s welcome Chris Jericho to insta-face now. That is how fickle the WWE Universe is, last night they booed the crap out of him at the pay per view, this week he cuts off reigning uber-heel Ziggler and gets a major pop from the crowd.
Jericho attempts to speak, and Dolph cuts him off, shoving his victory in his face, while taunting Jericho for his inability to win any Money in the Bank match he had ever been in, or inability to really come out on top of any major match he has been in of late. Having had enough, Jericho and his skinny jeans drop Dolph Ziggler with the Codebreaker before walking off, leaving Vickie and DZ in the ring as we go to commercial.
Match No. Five: Brodus Clay versus JTG
Go ahead and read that again, let it sink in. We all square now? JTG on RAW for the first time in probably a year or two, in what is going to be a thirty-second squash match against Brodus Clay, who is WWE’s new child demographic hero. I stand corrected, the match lasts all of 2:14 partially aided by rest moments and posturing.
Match No. Six: WWE Champion CM Punk versus Big Show
One thing I will say before this match gets underway is that the WWE created a gem when they unveiled their special commercial promoting for the 1000th episode on the USA Network. If you haven’t seen it, watch below, it’s short and amusing as hell:
The match showcases Big Show’s size, strength and all-around dominance as Punk can’t really manage to mount any consistent offense. Every opportunity CM Punk has to attack, Show is able to swat him away before long.
At this point Big Show begins hammering away at him in the corner, and tired of the referee trying to pry him away, shoves him to the ground, being disqualified.
After the bell, the giant continues the assault before John Cena’s music hits. Everybody is stunned, and anticipating the cash MitB cash in. John calls for the mic and begins to speak of his “announcement” before being cut off by Big Show who tries to egg him on to cash in now on a beaten champion, CM Punk.
John Cena shuts him down and calls his shot, for next week at the 1000th episode of RAW, a one-on-one match for the WWE Championship. This marks the second time that a superstar has called his shot (the first being Rob Van Dam who called it against John Cena at ECW One Night Stand in 2008), and sets up for a massive main event on next week’s three-hour spectacular.
Another night in the books, this time a much better showing than the previous two weeks. We had some pretty disappointing lows (marriage proposal, more squash matches, AW), but some promising and entertaining highs (Jericho/Ziggles, Show/Punk awesome showing, 1000th RAW promo, DX reunion next week announcement, and announcement of Punk/Cena WWE title next week). All that said however, I am pretty excited to see what the WWE decides to give us as fans for the debut of three-hours and landmark episode. That’s more than I have been able to say recently.
Hope you enjoyed the read, if you’ve got anything to say about the show, leave comments and tell me what you thought of RAW. As always, come back next week as I look forward to bringing you the best and worst of RAW every week, on the RAW Rundown!
Source : Images courtesy of WWE.com