Raw comes to you live from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/Kane/AJ video package off the top.
Backstage, AJ is talking to herself in a mirror, practicing what she’s going to say to the three guys. She says she knows Bryan still has feelings for her, how her relationship with Kane is unlike any other and how she wants to be soulmates with Punk. “I think it’s best if we all go our separate ways.” This chick is nuts.
Vickie Guerrero comes out and announces that she’s the interim GM of Raw & Smackdown this week. She says she’ll be promoted to permanent GM on July 23 for Raw #1000. She announces a three-way elimination match, beginning now.
Three-Way Elimination Match: Daniel Bryan d. CM Punk & Kane (B-)
Of note, it’s a non-title match. Kane controlled early, but Punk eventually got the upper hand, scoring a suicide dive to the outside on both guys. Punk with a nice roundhouse kick on Bryan, but he gets his foot on the bottom rope. He tries for a GTS on Bryan, but Kane comes in with a big boot, then a top rope clothesline on Punk. He winds up for the Chokeslam, but AJ music hits and she skips around the ring again. Kane went for the Chokeslam, but Punk reversed into a GTS for the pinfall elimination. As soon as Punk rolled over and began to get up, Bryan landed a big kick to the back of Punk’s head for the pinfall elimination at 11 minutes. Overall, a very nicely done match. The finish was expected given that it was non-title, and there’s no way Punk would’ve tapped out to the YES! Lock.
Backstage, Alberto Del Rio is sucking up to Vickie Guerrero. He says he should be the #1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. Dolph Ziggler walks in and says that he should be. Vickie books them in a #1 Contender’s Match, with a contract on a pole. The winner gets a WHC match against Sheamus on SmackDown. Ricardo Rodriguez enters with flowers in a vase for Vickie. Ziggler grabs them, asking if they’re for him. Then he throws it against the wall, breaking it over the WWE ’12 video game poster. Yeesh, the game wasn’t that bad!
To explain the “Brodus is banned from Raw” thing, Michael Cole pointed out that the stipulation was only something that John Laurinaitis did and that Vickie got that changed for this week.
Big Show d. Brodus Clay (D)
Clay is on Raw now because his ‘banned from Raw’ stipulation was only in effect for John Laurinaitis’ tenure as GM. knocked Show down early with a headbutt. Show begins working on Clay’s left knee early. After Show ran off the ropes, Clay picked him up, but collapsed under his bad knee, allowing Show to score the pinfall at 2 minutes. Post-match, Clay is in serious pain as officials tend to him.
John Cena’s 300th Make-A-Wish. Good stuff.
Raw Moment: Bob Barker hosting The Price is Raw. His stuff with Chris Jericho was awesome.
They replay what happened during the break–as Clay is being helped off, Big Show lands a KO punch and hits Clay right in the fucking face.
Paul Heyman/Triple H recap.
Brock Lesnar will answer Triple H’s Summerslam challenge next week. I’m expecting a ‘via satellite’ segment.
Backstage, Kane is talking to AJ. He said she makes him feel things he never thought possible. “I don’t do relationships. I’m a monster.” He says his source of pleasure is eviscerating people–but still, he finds her mentally unstable. Ha! He thinks it’s best if the two of them stay away from each other. Kane leaves as AJ begins crying, but quickly begins laughing.
United States Championship: (C) Santino vs. Jack Swagger (D)
Santino hasn’t defended the US Title on Raw since mid-April, according to Michael Cole. Swagger in control early, but Santino reversed the momentum. He goes for the Cobra, but Swagger picks him up. Santino reverses it into a big DDT, then hits the Cobra for the pinfall at 2 minutes.
Divas Summertime Beach Battle Royal plug.
John Cena walking backstage. He has a People Power shirt in his hands. Zack Ryder walks in and throws it in the garbage, then they firsbump. They’re such good friends!
John Cena opens hour two with a promo regarding his big announcement. He says Raw has been a lot like Star Wars of late, and begins recapping what’s happened using real names mixed with Star Wars names. At No Way Out, Vince McMahon went to Laurinaitis and said (in a Yoda voice), “No chance in hell have you. Fired you are.” Good crowd pop for that, as Cena began laughing. Suddenly, the lights shut off and out comes Chris Jericho! Big crowd pop. They say his time off was due to Fozzy touring, not the Brazilian flag-kicking suspension.
Jericho tells Cena to make his announcement and get out of his ring because tonight is his night. Cena says he hasn’t been WWE Champion in almost a year, and is hereby inserting himself in the Money in the Bank match for the WWE Championship. He says he’s going to win the “whole fudging thing.” Jericho makes fun of him for saying “fudging.” Cena says “it’s a PG show, it’s the best I can do.” “What are you, 9?” “Most of our audience is around that age.” Wow, thanks John.
Jericho says he invented the Money in the Bank ladder match in 2005, which is accurate. Jericho says Cena can’t win just based on his name. Nobody has been in more ladder matches than Jericho. Instead of worrying about stopping Big Show, Cena should worry about stopping Jericho–he too is now in the Money in the Bank Ladder.
Vickie Guerrero interrupts, and says there will be two Money in the Bank matches. One of them will be for the WWE Championship contract, and the other for the World Heavyweight Championship. Jericho cuts her off, but Vickie snaps right back in and tells him not to interrupt. Jericho says, “What are you gonna do? Suspend me?” Nicely done. The WWE Championship MITB match will only have former WWE Champions in it–Kane, Big Show, Chris Jericho and John Cena. Cena says it’s a great idea, and Vickie is doing good–keep taking orders from the WWE Board of Directors and never make any decisions yourself. Vickie says she’s running Raw tonight, and she will book the main event–Chris Jericho vs. John Cena. It’s the first time ever, apparently, but I swear I’ve seen this before. An alright segment, although Cena’s announcement was hardly surprising. The PWInsider speculates that Cena wins in order to challenge CM Punk for the title at SummerSlam.
Lilian Garcia is introducing a WWE alumni who hasn’t been on Raw in 15 years, but Heath Slater cuts her off with a promo. “I am Heath Slater and I rule the world.”
Sycho Sid d. Heath Slater (D-)
Holy shit, it’s Sycho Sid! Nice crowd pop. The two-time World Champion’s last appearance on Raw was 1997. He’s not in bad shape, but he can hardly move. He hit a big clothesline, then a leg drop on Slater. Then calls out for a powerbomb as the crowd pops, then hits hit for the pinfall at 2 minutes.
WWE.com lists Charlie Sheen as the Raw celebrity social media ambassador. He’ll be at Raw #1000 on July 23. #WINNING
#1 Contender for World Heavyweight Championship: Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio ends in No Contest (D-)
There’s a pole attached to one of the ring posts, with a clipboard on a hook. This match just screams “TNA.” Both guys run to the top of the turnbuckle, and ADR hits a top rope Samoan Drop. They eventually get back up, and Ziggler pulls the contract off, but doesn’t control it. They take turns trying to grab it and knocking it out of each other’s hands. Why do you need to have possession of it? It’s a contract, not a fumbled football. Ricardo Rodriguez runs in and grabs it, but Ziggler superkicks him, sending the contract flying to the outside, just in front of the announce desk. Ziggler and ADR begin pulling each other away from it, and eventually both take a tumble to the outside on the opposite side of the contract. Shaeamus’ music hits, and he comes out to the stage. He says Vickie booked a Triple Threat match for the WHC on SmackDown. So, the match is over? What the fuck was the point? If you’re going to do a Triple Threat anyways, why waste the four minutes if you have no intention of finishing it? Why not give the extra time to the opening three-way and just say it’s a Triple Threat in the backstage segment? This feels like the Family Guy episode where Stewie kills Lois and dies, then we find out it’s just a simulation. Fuck.
WWE asks Twitter people to vote for who AJ should stay with–Punk, Bryan, Kane or all. Punk wins with 51% of the vote. Stupid on so many levels.
It’s now official: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at MITB.
Backstage, AJ is talking to Punk. She said she was going to win the Divas’ summertime battle royal and dedicate it to Punk. He wants to sit and have a serious talk about their relationship, and AJ says she’s open to moving it to the next level. They’ll talk after the match, though.
Raw Moment: Mick Foley talking about the “This is Your Life” segment with The Rock. One of my favourite moments of all-time.
The divas were in the ring for the beach battle royal. Vickie made her way down and revealed a leopard skin one piece outfit. She inserted herself into the match.
Divas Summertime Beach Battle Royal: AJ Wins (F)
Vickie comes out late and puts herself in the match. She talks off her robe, revealing a horrifying leopard unitard. That’s going to replace the whale in my nightmares, yarrr. Apparently, if you fall out of the ring in any capacity, you’re eliminated. Everyone was flying out, with the referee’s scurrying them away from the ring. The final three are Layla, AJ and Vickie. Layla got thrown out by AJ after Beth tried to interfere. Vickie tries to dump AJ, but she hands on to the bottom rope. Vickie double checks to make sure AJ is still in, then starts celebrating. When she realizes AJ is still in, AJ jumps her and lands some punches. Vickie eliminates herself, as AJ gets the final kick out after Vickie had basically rolled out for the win at 2 minutes. Post-match, AJ is yelling “YES!”
WHC match on SmackDown: (C) Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler. But you already knew that!
John Cena d. Chris Jericho via DQ (D)
Cena got worked on but made a comeback with shoulderblocks and a spinning side slam. He went for the 5-Knuckle Shuffle, but Jericho counters with a Walls of Jericho. Cena counters that, then quickly hits the 5-Knuckle Shuffle. Big Show’s music hits as he walks down to the ring. Jericho takes advantage and applies the Walls of Jericho. Show gets in and hits a massive leg drop on the back of Cena’s head for the DQ at 4 minutes. Jericho is pissed that he lost and got up in Show’s face, but then backed away and encouraged Show to continue. Jericho wisely leaves, as Show delivers a Chokeslam on Cena. He applies the Colossal Clutch, as Cena passes out. The show fades to black.
Three Stars of the Show
* Chris Jericho
** Daniel Bryan
*** Psycho Sid
Final Grade: C
A good buildup for MITB in the show, and some progress on Heyman/Lesnar/HHH even though we didn’t see or hear from any of them.