WWE RAW 7/30/2012
Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcome us to the show and announce that before the doors to RAW were about to open tonight there was a pyrotechnic failure and part of the Tron caught on fire!
They show video of the fire and announce that this caused a delay in seating the fans.
Video Package: RAW 1,000
After the lengthy video package, CM Punk’s music hits. Justin Roberts introduces him as he walks to the ring. Punk has a mic and says that everyone always wants their Wrestlemania moment. Last week, Punk had a RAW moment that was bigger than most people’s Wrestlemania moments. Punk wants to shed light on the fact that he was uncomfortable with the way RAW 1,000 went off the air. Lawler closed the show saying that CM Punk had turned his back on the WWE Universe. Punk walks over the ropes and stares at Lawler. He exits the ring and lays his belt on the commentator’s booth and sits Indian style on top. Punk says he is used to bad commentary, but how could Lawler jump to such a conclusion? If anyone turned their back, it was Lawler turning on Punk. The Rock is not the WWE Universe, he is just one man. He came in and showed the WWE Champion a lack of respect. He interrupted Punk and then acted like he wasn’t even in the ring. Rock acted like he was just going to take the Championship belt from Punk. The Rock should be thankful that Punk didn’t hurt him right there. At the end of the night Dwayne tried to make the show all about himself. That’s exactly when Punk showed him the kind of man that he is dealing with at the Royal Rumble. This isn’t a popularity contest, it’s the WWE and Punk is the Champion. The audience hasn’t heard from The Rock in a week, which is weird since when he was feuding with Cena he couldn’t be shut up. Punk says that Lawler can spin the story however he wants, but the RAW 1,000th episode ended as every show should end – with the focus on the WWE Champion, the best wrestler in the world.
The Big Show’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Punk slides inside. He calls for the music to be cut off. He asks if Show has come out to steal the spotlight as well. Show says that RAW 1,000 ended with the focus on himself. He is the one who cost Cena his Money in the Bank shot. Show addresses Punk and says that he knocked out Cena for him, but Punk still couldn’t beat him. He even was in the STF which would have made him tap if Show hadn’t knocked Cena back out. The only reason Punk is Champion is thanks to Big Show. He vows to be the next WWE Champion.
Punk says that Show couldn’t beat Cena at No Way Out and couldn’t win at MitB. The only person who is winning around here is Punk.
Cena’s music hits and he charges down to the ring. Cena goes right after Big Show and kicks him out of the ring. Punk coolly leans back and watches the events unfold.
Justin Roberts introduces the New GM of RAW – AJ Lee. She says that her first act as GM is to announce tonight’s main event. It will be The Big Show v. John Cena. The winner of the match will go on to face CM Punk for the WWE Championship at Summerslam.
Santino v. Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio takes it to Santino at the start and stomps him into the ground. Santino attempts to fight back but is quickly knocked back into the ropes and kicked in the gut. Santino flips Alberto over the ropes and knocks him out of the ring as we head to commercial.
Back from the break Del Rio is in control. Santino is caught in an arm bar on the mat. He fights his way up and lands a backdrop suplex. He splits under a clothesline but is caught with a boot. Del Rio continues to fight and hits a drop arm bar and segues into the cross arm breaker. This match is over.
Winner via Cross-Arm Breaker: Alberto Del Rio
After the match Del Rio grabs a mic and stands over the fallen United States Champion. Rio says that Santino is beneath him, as is Sheamus and all of the fans. Because of this, he announces that he will not be competing until his World Heavyweight Championship match at Summerslam.
# Backstage Bryan is trying to work up the guts to knock on the door of GM AJ.
Brodus Clay is in the ring dancing with the Funkadactyls. Vickie Guerrero comes down to the ring and says that as the Queen of Divas she will show Clay how to move. She begins to start a very lame jig.
Damien Sandow’s music hits and announces that as the martyr for the WWE Universe he must address the terrible crime that was committed last week. Footage airs of Sandow being attacked by DX. Sandow then immediately goes after Clay. He even breaks the neck bling that Clay wears.
Bryan walks into AJ’s office and asks if she is completely insane. AJ tells him to shut up because she isn’t his bride to be anymore, she’s his boss. She points out that there were guys last week walking around that looked like they were from a mental institute. Bryan claims that they were groomsmen. AJ says that she is moving on because she made a match for Bryan tonight. He will be facing Sheamus. Bryan asks if it is for the Title, to which AJ starts to chant *No*.
Video Highlight: HHH/Heyman/Stephanie/Lesnar segment from last week’s RAW
# Josh Mathews asks Sheamus about the poll over what type of match he and Bryan should have tonight. The fans can vote through Twitter hashtags. As far as Sheamus is concerned, the rougher the match, the better.
Bryan is in the ring and says that the fans are no longer allowed to chant *Yes*. Bryan is the only one allowed to use that chant. He attempts to combat them with a *No* chant. After Sheamus’ entrance, Lawler announces that the fans have voted for a Streetfight with 73% of the vote.
Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus
Bryan runs the ropes but gets caught with an Irish Curse Backbreaker. Bryan fights back and drops a knee on the neck of Sheamus. He transitions into an arm bar. Sheamus gets back to his feet and kicks Bryan in the side a couple of times and then goes for the pin. Bryan kicks out. They brawl to the outside of the ring and Bryan is thrown head first into the barricade. Bryan charges at Sheamus but is sent into the air with a backdrop onto the steel entrance ramp. At the top of the ramp Bryan kicks him repeatedly in the head. He runs and hits a low dropkick which knocks Sheamus to the floor. Bryan leaps out after and hits a running knee.
Back from the break the men are in the ring. This only lasts briefly as Bryan kicks Sheamus to the outside. He runs the apron and attempts an arm lariat but instead is sent into the barricade via a fall away slam. Some kendo sticks are almost brought into play, but Bryan sends them out of the ring. Sheamus throws Bryan over the ropes and out after them. Bryan grabs a kendo stick and nails Sheamus. Reentering the ring he repeatedly beats on Sheamus. He slides out and grabs a steel chair. He sets it up between the second and third ropes in the corner. He attempts to use the kendo stick again, but Sheamus headbutts him and steals the stick. Bryan dodges one of the volleys and dropkicks Sheamus which knocks him back into the corner and head first into the propped up steel chair. Cover, but Sheamus kicks out.
Bryan gets the steel chair which fell out of the ring. Sheamus follows after and throws him into the barricade again. He takes the top step off and exposes the lower half. He lifts up Bryan and looks to slam him onto the steel. Bryan scurries free and sends Sheamus into the steel post. Bryan heads over to the steel steps and slides them into the ring. He catapults Sheamus into the barricade and then slides him back into the ring. Bryan goes for the kendo stick but Sheamus grabs for it as well. They engage in a game of tug of war, but Sheamus lifts him up into the air. He teases a Celtic Cross, but Bryan escapes. Sheamus responds with a Brogue Kick, and this match is over.
Winner via Brogue Kick: Sheamus
Bryan is still in the ring and says that he is not leaving this ring until he gets a doctor. He claims to have hurt his neck. The referees try to make him leave.
Video Recap: CM Punk’s RAW opening promo
Bryan is still in the ring claiming to have a hurt neck.
Kofi Kingston’s music hits and he comes out with R-Truth. Kofi says that he knows Bryan has had a bad few weeks but he doesn’t need to take it out on all the people. He just needs to go. Truth tells him to skedaddle. He, Kofi and Little Jimmy have business to handle. Bryan asks where Little Jimmy is. Truth tells him he’s in the corner. Bryan introduces himself and bends down saying that he knows Jimmy is his biggest fan. Bryan kicks up into the air and sends Little Jimmy up and out of the ring. Truth flies out of the ring to console him and yells what’s wrong with Bryan? Bryan says what’s wrong is that Truth is consoling an imaginary child. Truth is out of his mind. Bryan calls for his mental attendants to get Truth.
AJ’s music hits and she says that Bryan seems a little mentally unstable tonight. In the interest of a safe working environment she believes that he needs to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. She asks the men in white coats to escort him out of the ring. Bryan complies and heads up the entrance ramp. He and AJ have a stare down before he leaves the stage.
Kofi Kingston w/ R-Truth v. Titus O’Neil w/ Darren Young
AW introduces his tag team and is unfortunately on a live body mic for this match.
Titus slams Kofi and tries for a cover. Kofi kicks out. He mounts Kofi and applies a chin lock. Kofi tries to fight free but is punched back down to the mat. Titus lifts him up into the air, but gets caught with a tornado DDT. Kofi looks for the Boom Drop, but Young jumps up on the apron. Truth knocks him back off. AW throws his shoe into the ring at Kofi. Kofi throws it back out, but Young takes advantage of the distraction and hits a hard spinebuster for the win.
Winner: Titus O’Neil
# Punk is backstage with Cena and admits that he took advantage of Big Show knocking him out. He says that he has no issue with Cena. He doesn’t care who wins tonight’s match between the two. He knows Cena is upset because he did to The Rock in one night what Cena couldn’t do in a year, but he just has to let it go.
Chris Jericho & Christian v. The Miz & Dolph Ziggler
Miz starts the match off against Christian but quickly decides to tag in Ziggler. Ziggler squares off against Christian who tags in Jericho. Miz gets the tag. The action finally starts as Jericho charges towards Miz in the corner but is caught with a boot to the face. Ziggler gets the tag only to meet an axe handle from Jericho who leaps off the second rope. Miz tries to run in at Jericho but gets sent out of the ring. Christian takes to the top turnbuckle and leaps to the outside with a crossbody to both men.
Back from the break Miz is in control with a rear choke. Jericho escapes and tries a roll up. Miz kicks out and immediately goes back to the headlock. Christian gets the tag as does Ziggler. He nails Ziggler in the face and then leaps from the second rope with a European Uppercut. Ziggler sidesteps a Killswitch only to be caught in a sunset flip. Christian knocks Miz to the outside but turns into a dropkick from Ziggler. Ziggler tags in Miz who begins to stomp on the chest of Christian. Cover, but Christian kicks out. Miz gets behind him and applies the choke. Ziggler gets in a cheap shot so Miz goes for the cover. Ziggler gets the tag and tries for a cover of his own off of an elbow. He shows off with a headstand while applying the hold. Christian fights his way to his feet and hits a swinging neckbreaker.
The Miz gets a tag, but so does Jericho! Jericho runs into the ring like a man possessed and knocks Ziggler off the apron. He pumps up the crowd and hits a Lionsault. Ziggler breaks up the cover, but Christian comes in to fight him off. Christian ends up sent shoulder first into a steel post. Miz barely escapes a Walls of Jericho and attempts a Skull Crushing Finale. Christian hits a cheap shot which allows Jericho to connect with a Code Breaker! This match is over.
Winners: Christian & Chris Jericho
While Jericho is celebrating, Ziggler runs in from behind and nails him with the MitB Briefcase.
# Daniel Bryan is still with the doctor and is being administered a Rorschach test. When the cards are laid on the table they appear in the shape of a goat. Bryan starts to freak out. He asks if Charlie Sheen put the doctor up to this and then begins to yell things to him as if he is in the room.
Tensai v. Tyson Kidd
Tyson starts the match with a bunch of kicks, but gets floored with a shoulder block. Tensai hits a splash in the corner and then slams Kidd neck first into the rope. Tensai gets behind Kidd and starts to pound on his face. Tensai locks on THE CLAW as Tyson bleeds from his forehead. Kidd dodges a clothesline and hits a kick to the head. He tries a roll up but Albert kicks out. Kidd hits a huge flying neckbreaker and goes for the cover. A-Train kicks out. Tensai responds with a flattening front slam and then connects with a running back splash. This match is over.
After the match Tensai continues the onslaught. He refuses to stop so the referee decides to reverse his decision.
Winner via DQ: Tyson Kidd
A barrage of referees get in the ring to stop the attack. Tensai calls for his assistant and then headbutts him before throwing him out of the ring.
# The doctor reveals that as a result of his evaluation Bryan is actually sane. Bryan talks to himself and says he knew it. Kane appears and throws Bryan into the wall repeatedly!
CM Punk comes down to the ring to join in on commentary for the main event.
John Cena v. The Big Show
Show punches Cena and he falls to the mat. Cena gets to his feet but is quickly knocked back down. The same repeats over and over again. Punk is on commentary and reiterates that he feels it is important that the WWE Champion closes the show.
Big Show tells the crowd to shh so he can deliver a chop. Cena dodges and jumps on Show’s back. Big Show fights him off and catches him in a bear hug, but Cena counters back into the choke on the back! Show is beginning to fade so Cena goes for a cover. Show kicks out by tossing Cena right out of the ring! Punk and Lawler continue to bicker.
Back from the break Show is still in complete control. He throws Cena into the corner and shouts that this is easy. Cena leaps out of the corner with a splash that knocks Big Show to the mat. Cena is first to his feet and begins to unload with a series of kicks and punches. Show catches him in the air and cinches on the bear hug. Cena escapes with punches and tries for a slam. Show falls down on his chest and lands in a pinning position. Cena kicks out. Show gets to his feet and signals for the chokeslam. He grabs Cena, but gets hit with a DDT!
Punk has toned it down since the commercial break. Cena is able to dodge a second rope senton from Show and starts to sequence into the 5 moves of doom. Cena signals for and connects with the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. Cena looks for the AA, but gets caught in a chokeslam! 1..2.. Cena kicks out!
Show punches Cena in the stomach and he rolls out of the ring. Show follows after Cena and launches him over the commentator’s booth right at Punk! Show rolls back into the ring as the referee begins to count. Cena makes it back into the ring at the last second. Cena dodges a Weapon of Mass Destruction and lifts Big Show up and onto his shoulders! Punk flies into the ring and attacks Cena! The referee calls for the bell.
Punk kicks Show right in the head. He gets out of the ring and grabs his Title and a microphone. He gets back into the ring and announces that the winner of the contest is nobody. They’re both losers. Punk exits the ring and heads towards the back.
AJ comes out onto the ramp. She announces that they aren’t both losers, they’re both winners. CM Punk will defend his Title at Summerslam against both Big Show & John Cena.
Punk comes up and yells at her calling her crazy. He demands that she show him respect.
Tonight was all about the WWE Championship. No that’s not a typo, I didn’t mean to type Champion. Tonight was about the Championship. For the first time in a while, The Championship took center stage. Punk is doing a good job with this slow burn heel turn to legitimize the Title. It has been left out of the main event of most PPVs in recent memory and fell to an afterthought to other storylines. When given a match to fight for the ability to have a shot at the gold, Cena and Show put on a solid match that really helped sell the validity of the Title.
Now, I want to make it clear that I’m not a belt mark, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate when the company decides to finally put some focus back on the belt. Now seems to be a convenient time for the refocus. I doubt it’s a coincidence that the WWE Title starts to regain the main attention of the show right as Cena reenters the hunt. Factor the face of the WWE in with the fact that the next person to hold the belt will be the 50th WWE Champion in history, and you have the perfect timing for this strategy.
The bulk of the rest of the show was rather dull. There was an obscene amount of recaps and hyping.
A high point would have to go to the reteaming of Chris Jericho & Christian. Reunited and it feels so good. I thought for a moment as Jericho was eagerly calling for the tag that he was going to walk away. Thankfully it appears that our prayers have been answered and Jericho has actually returned as a face. When he pumped up the crowd and they realized he was finally tuning into the face vibe, the audience erupted. This is the Jericho I’ve so desperately missed and I’ll enjoy it for the next month until he heads back out on tour.
The AJ as GM experiment is now officially underway. Tonight was underwhelming to say the least. What does she really bring to the show? Her character seems completely different than the crazy chick that was so entertaining. I’ll give her a couple more weeks before jumping off the bandwagon. The ending to RAW did nothing for her case as Punk’s cries for respect was a dud of a moment.
Daniel Bryan was pretty entertaining in his vignettes. I guess they really are hoping to go full steam with the Charlie Sheen involvement. Kane even threw in an Anger Management plug. This, incidentally, is not the worst show on TV, but in a FX block that includes Louie & Wilfred it does leave a little to be desired. Yes, I watch other TV as well.
Daniel Bryan & Sheamus should be commended for another stellar match. It was essentially an old school hardcore match without going overboard. I will hand it to the WWE for handling the voting in an appropriate fashion. They didn’t shove it don’t the throat of the audience.
I usually chuckle at Vickie Guerrero but her Elaine from Seinfeld dancing during the Brodus segment was lame.
Little Jimmy got got tonight. Not much else to say about that little segment.
Tyson Kidd got in a decent amount of offense against Tensai. He is proving himself to a lot of fans with this feud and is receiving some much deserved exposure.
Oh yeah, Randy Orton returned. I completely forgot until I went through to check if I missed anything I felt like commenting on. If you were wondering, he is just as boring as before he left.
The best part about 3 hour RAWs is that when they fail the 2 hour shows will seem quick to recap.