Raw #998 comes to you live from Denver, Colorado.
Recap of AJ’s actions last week.
AJ opens the show and welcomes CM Punk to the ring. Jerry Lawler tickles everyone’s sides by saying, “They named a clock after her: cuckoo.” Hilarious. Not. AJ says she’s not insane and is always in control of her mind, and meant to kiss Punk on SmackDown. She says Punk’s eyes sent love straight into her heart. “YES!” crowd chants. Punk appears to be uncomfortable. AJ says she knows what she has to do, then drops to one knee like she’s proposing. Good crowd reaction, and Punk looks shocked. ”CM Punk. Will you marry me?”
Daniel Bryan comes out screaming “NO!” Bryan says Punk is playing her to retain the WWE Championship, while he never stopped having feelings for her. Bryan tells Punk to say “I do,” but he stays quiet. Bryan says Punk sees AJ as a special guest referee, but she’s important to him. Bryan says he didn’t mean to stop a proposal, but to make one–he drops to one knee, and asks AJ to marry him. Punk asks where Bryan’s ring is. Punk asks AJ to talk to him in the back. Bryan says, ”Don’t you talk down to my future fiancée!”
The two start arguing, but they’re interrupted by the GM’s email. Michael Cole goes to read it. He takes off a sheet of paper that’s on the laptop, opens the lid and reads off another sheet of paper. For some reason, the camera is behind him to show that he’s actually reading off the paper, rather than going behind the lid to try and cover it. Brilliant! The email says that the Anonymous Raw General Manager is running tonight’s show, and there’s already been a match booked: CM Punk & AJ vs. Daniel Bryan & Eve. Bryan is upset with it. Seconds later, another email is typed at the speed of fucking light, notifying Bryan that if he beats Punk, AJ may view him differently.
AJ is now confused. Her proposal to Punk caught him off guard, and Bryan’s proposal to her did the same thing. She said she needs time to think. She’s glad the match is booked, because everything happens for a reason. At the end of the night, she’s going to walk out with her future husband. She looks at both men and leaves, ending the segment at 20 minutes. Overall, not one of their best segments. For some reason, the WWE Championship is such an afterthought in this storyline, which should not be the case. Instead, we’re getting marriage proposals. Which is fine to an extent, just don’t lose sight of the big picture. Cole reading off the paper for the GM’s emails might make me more mad than this, though.
Sheamus d. Jack Swagger (F)
Sheamus hit White Noise and a Brogue Kick for the pinfall at 45 seconds. Swagger keeps getting booked like a bitch. Post-match, Alberto Del Rio rolls in in a Ferrari. He tells Sheamus he’s going to win on Sunday at Money in the Bank. Sheamus hit another Brogue Kick on Swagger afterwards.
Backstage, Santino is with Zack Ryder, who’s running SmackDown this week (which was taped after Raw). Santino, dressed like Sherlock Holmes, is on a mission to find out who the Anonymous Raw GM is. Shouldn’t that have been the motive after the first week, rather than doing it over a year later? Did nobody care who it was until now?
The Rock confirmed to be at the 1,000th episode of Raw on July 23 in St. Louis. Excellent.
Dolph Ziggler & Tensai d. Tyson Kidd & Christian
Tensai hit Christian with a Senton Splash for the pinfall at 2 minutes. Post-match, Tensai gave Kidd a powerbomb against the side of the apron, followed by a Senton Splash. This could’ve been so much more.
At the announce table, Cole and Jerry Lawler are arguing over who should run Raw and SmackDown. Cole said the GM should be running both shows, while Lawler suggests Mick Foley to run Raw and Teddy Long to run Smackdown. Cole spilled water on Lawler, as a new email is in. Cole is too angry to read it, so Lawler does: it’s Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler. The crowd is happy, while Cole isn’t. Cole wants it to be changed. Lawler goes back on the podium to read a new email, but the sound guy missed his cue. Brutal. Lawler is also reading off the paper. The GM says the WWE Universe will determine if the match takes place. Voting is on WWE.com. What a waste–who’s going to say no to this? Overall, a terrible segment all-around that revives one of the worst feuds I’ve ever seen. Please. No more.
“Did You Know?” If you watched 1 hour of Raw every day it, would take almost 5.5 years to watch every show. Well, I’m fucking glad to know that now!
Brodus Clay d. Drew McIntyre (F)
McIntyre tried to go off the top rope, but Brodus slammed him with a headbutt, followed by a Big Splash for the pinfall at 1 minute.
Backstage, Santino finds Chris Jericho and accused him of being the Anonymous GM. Jericho asks if Santino was the GM. As Santino leaves, Big Show comes in from behind. Chris says the two of them were one of the greatest teams of all-time, but Show says some of the most embarrassing moments of his career were when he was a part of JeriShow. Show told Jericho to stay out of his way and Show won’t knock him out.
Raw moment: Stephanie McMahon talking about February 11, 2002 with HHH & Steph renewing their wedding vows.
John Cena opens hour two. He plus MITB and says every winner of the briefcase has always cashed it in to become champion. Cena will do two things and in six days: Big Show will finally be stopped; and he’ll do whatever it takes to win the WWE Championship. “I, John Cena, will win Money in the Bank.” Solid promo.
John Cena & Kane vs. Chris Jericho & Big Show via DQ (C-)
After a pair of commercials, Jericho is working over Kane. Kane gave Jericho a side slam and then tagged in Cena, who hit shoulderblocks followed by the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the Attitude Adjustment on Jericho. He covers, but Show pulls him out of the ring for the DQ at 16 minutes. You read that right. For some reason, he got DQ’d for breaking up a pinfall. When has that ever happened? Post-match, Show threw Cena into the security wall. Maybe they botched their cue again. Show clotheslined Kane, then grabbed two ladders from under the ring. He knocked over Jericho and Kane with one of the ladders, then squashed Jericho with it. Cena comes up from nowhere with a ladder and knocks Show out of the ring. Logic still points to Cena winning the briefcase to feud with CM Punk for the WWE Championship.
Cole is pleading to have the match cancelled. “I’ve read all your complaints. You’re horrified when I wrestle. You don’t want me in matches disgracing this great sport.” I agree.
“Did You Know?” Raw has aired more episodes than Seinfeld, Friends, Cheers, and Frasier combined. Another skewed stat, as usual.
Backstage, Eve finds CM Punk and wishes him good luck. “I wasn’t talking about the match. I was talking about AJ.” Eve thinks if AJ doesn’t hear Punk say “I do” later, then AJ will make sure Punk doesn’t win the WWE Championship on Sunday. Eve says Punk has been overshadowed by The Rock, John Cena, Triple H, Big Show and Brock Lesnar…and now by AJ.
Backstage, Santino found an iPhone, but The Great Khali grabbed it. Santino asked him if he was the GM. Khali said yes, but then no. English is a tough language.
Money in the Bank pre-show via YouTube is R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. Hunico & Camacho.
Sin Cara d. Heath Slater (D-)
The winner becomes the eighth man in the Money in the Bank Ladder match. Cara hit his headscissors into La Mistica for the pinfall at 2 minutes. Post-match, Slater said he’s a future champion and wants to face a former champion and beat him.
Bob Backlund’s music hits, and the crowd is dead. “You still got it” chant before he even did anything. Slater kicked him in the stomach, then punched him in the head. Backlund came back with the Crossface Chickenwing as Slater taps out.
The results to the Lawler vs. Cole are in: 75% Yes to 25% No.
Josh Mathews & Booker T are the new commentators.
Jerry Lawlerd. Michael Cole (F-)
Cole quickly rolled out, but Booker threw him back in. Lawler hit the dreaded Airplane Spin for the pinfall at 1 minute.
Another email from the Anonymous Raw GM. Josh Mathews read it,, which said that due to Booker’s interference, he was awarding the match to Cole.
Santino’s music hits. He’s looked all over, and if the GM is here’s he’s under the ring. The GM says they’re not under the ring. Santino gets pulled under the ring. Lawler pulled him out, and Hornswoggle emerges with a laptop in his hands. Ahh, shit. The email sound starts going off at random as Lawler connects the dots. Hornswoggle kicked Lawler, then bit Santino in the ass and kicked Cole in the shin and left. That was borderline retarded. Horny as GM likely wasn’t the idea from the start.
CM Punk & AJ d. Daniel Bryan & Eve (D)
Cole starts by saying tonight has been incredible. Yeah. Punk and Bryan do the finish from the Anderson Silva/Chael Sonnen fight at UFC 148, where Sonnen missed a spinning back first, and then Silva hit a big knee. Eve and AJ eventually came in. Eve hit a sloppy tackle, then missed a flipping legdrop as AJ got her knees up. AJ hit a double dropkick to the head followed by a corner charge. AJ hit a spin kick to the jaw. Eve tries to tag in Bryan, but he drops off the apron. AJ then scores a rollup for the pinfall at 3 minutes.
Post-match, the ref raises Punk and AJ’s hands, then AJ hugs Punk. Bryan grabs the mic and says she means more to him than any match. He says they should leave so they can go get married. Punk says he won’t lie to her to retain his WWE Championship. He doesn’t care if this will cost him the title, but he won’t marry her. He apologizes if this hurts, but cares enough about her to tell her the truth. AJ slaps Punk in the face. Bryan tells her to “come home” with him, but AJ slaps him in the face too. She yells “YES!” as she walks away to end the show.
Three Stars of the Show
* Big Show
** John Cena
*** CM Punk
Final Grade: R-
That’s right. R- for fucking remedial. Easily the worst Raw of 2012. There was maybe 10 minutes of wrestling action on the show. Absolutely brutal.