[TV Recap] WWE Raw Supershow – 7/16/2012

Money in the Bank fallout, Summerslam build-up, and a whole lot of schilling for next week’s historic 1000th episode. The final two hour Raw Supershow promises to be an eventful one.

Raw Supershow is live at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The usual Raw intro plays, followed by pyro and shots of the crowd. They announce the main event for tonight: CM Punk will face The Big Show.

“Cult of Personality” plays, bringing out WWE Champion CM PunkMichael Cole and Jerry Lawler recap his match at Money in the Bank last night against Daniel Bryan and the fact that A.J. didn’t play as big of a role as everyone thought she would. Punk stands in the center of the ring as the crowd chants his name. Punk gets a cheap pop by saying he loves Las Vegas. He says a year ago he dropped a “pipe bomb” and has proven he’s the Best in the World. He says he’s beat everyone, including Bryan (despite having a very confused guest referee). Punk reminisces about the first episode ever of Raw, saying that a wrestler like him would’ve ever been on that show back then, let alone a wrestler like him who’s been champion for eight months.

Punk is interrupted by The Big Show, who sarcastically gives Punk a round of applause as he heads to the ring. Show gets in the ring with a mic. Show sarcastically says Punk’s story was really touching and then dismisses it. He says that they both know he was inches away from winning the Money in the Bank match last night. The crowd chants “Big Show sucks!”. Show calls the crowd rude, which gets them to boo even louder. Show says John Cena was in the right place at the right time when the handle broke off the briefcase. He said if he had the briefcase, he would be cashing it in right now (apparently his match is non-title; that’s sad).

Punk says that yes, Show almost won but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Punk says Show did what he usually does: destroy people and then lose. Punk says Show has everything it takes to be champion and should be Money in the Bank, but he lost and that’s why Punk has the respect of the crowd and the WWE Championship while Show has a fat iron-clad contract and the respect of no one. Show says the crowd doesn’t respect themselves, let alone Punk. Show says if Punk left the WWE tomorrow, he’d give them a week before they forgot him for the “next new thing”. Show says they both know the company only revolves around one man and that Punk is just a cog in the machine.

Punk says he’s the WWE Champion, and Show’s not, he’s just a well-paid shell of a man who happens to be a giant. Show says that’s just Punk’s opinion. Show says that Cena’s Mr. Money in the Bank and after he knocks Punk out, he could end up losing the WWE Championship to him. Show leaves the ring as Punk chews on those words.

Thoughts: I enjoyed the opening segment. Punk and Show were both good on the mic and I like Show getting into Punk’s head about the fact Cena could cash in the Money in the Bank contract at any point in time.

We cut to the announce table, as Cole and Lawler schill for next week’s 1000th edition of Raw. They plug the fact you can watch the first ever Raw from 1993 on YouTube. They hype The Rock‘s return next week and Cole tells everyone to tweet about it. Ugh.

WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth and Kofi Kingston are headed to the ring for the next match.

The announcers plug the poll on WWE.com for which title should be defended on next week’s Raw. They will reveal the results later tonight. This is a preview of how “RawActive” will work for the three hour Raws I guess.

Match #1: R-Truth/Kofi Kingston (c) Vs. The Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil/Darren Young) w/A.W. for the WWE Tag Team Titles

Kingston and O’Neil start off. O’Neil overpowers him at the outset with an uppercut. Young tags in and throws Kingston face-first into the turnbuckle. Kingston fights back, ducks a clothesline, and hits a dropkick. R-Truth tags in and he and Kingston connect with a double hiptoss followed by Kingston hitting a boot to the face. R-Truth does a little dance, followed by a legdrop. Kingston tags in and hits a crossbody for a 2-count. O’Neil comes in to intervene but gets a dropkick to the face. Kingston and R-Truth hit a double baseball slide, sending Young out of the ring. Kingston hits a splash to the outside on both members of the Prime Time Players.

Commercial break.

Back from commercial, Young has Kingston in a waist-lock. Kingston breaks out and starts fighting back. Kingston tries to tag R-Truth but Young pulls him back. O’Neil tags in and puts Kingston in a side bear hug. Kingston headbutts O’Neil to break out, but kicks a kick to the breadbasket for his troubles. Young tags in and lays Kingston over the apron. A.W. helps style his fro as he chokes Kingston. Back in the ring, Kingston breaks away and tags R-Truth in. R-Truth cleans house and goes for a cover on O’Neil. Young breaks the count. R-Truth clotheslines Young out of the ring. Kingston hits the Trouble in Paradise from the apron, and R-Truth then lands the “Little Jimmy” on Young for the 1…2…3!

Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: R-Truth/Kofi Kingston by Pinfall (8:00)

Match Grade: B (A better than average tag team match with some good spots and action. One match in and it’s already better than every match from last week combined. That’s scary.)

Backstage, A.J. is on her phone texting when Daniel Bryan walks in. A.J. defends her calling the match down the middle, and Bryan cuts her off saying he’s sorry for everything he’s done to her since Wrestlemania. Bryan says that he can finally admit that…before he finishes, Eve Torres shows up. Torres is upset that Bryan ditched her last week and says she and a partner of her choosing will face Bryan and A.J. A.J. asks Bryan what he was going to say, and he says he’ll tell her after the match. He then kisses her cheek and walks off. A.J. sort of smiles.

Thoughts: Interesting. Does this mean Punk has been cut loose of the love triangle? I hope so; as fun and entertaining as it’s been, it’s time for Punk to get back to business.

 An ad for Tout.com plays. Hooray.

We’re back at the announce table, and Cole introduces Cena’s first “Tout”, which is his favorite Raw moment (the day he was drafted to Raw). They say/threaten that they will play Tout messages from fans talking about their favorite Raw moments. Oh dear.

Match #2: Zack Ryder Vs. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio attacks Ryder right as the bell rings. He throws Ryder in the corner and delivers a series of kicks. Ryder retaliates with an elbow to the face when Del Rio rushes in. Del Rio quickly regains the advantage and works over the arm. Ryder gets knocked to the outside and Del Rio continues the assault. Del Rio smashes Ryder’s arm into the ring steps and throws him arm-first into the barriers. Ryder reverses Del Rio into the apron and rolls back in. Del Rio goes right back on the offensive and throws Ryder shoulder-first into the ringpost. Del Rio locks on the Cross Armbreaker and gets the easy submission win.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio by Submission (1:30)

Match Grade: C (Short, but inoffensive squash.)

Del Rio continues the attack…and out comes the returning Rey Mysterio! Mysterio runs into the ring but Del Rio attacks him. Mysterio fights back and hits the 619, knocking Del Rio to the floor. Mysterio celebrates in the ring as Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez watch on from the entrance area.

Heath Slater shares his favorite Raw moment: him! He goes through his fights with legends over the past few weeks, painting them in a positive light as we see how he’s gotten his ass kicked by the likes of Vader and Sid Vicious.

Thoughts: Heath Slater is awesome.

We see a mysterious locker room door, where Slater’s next “legendary” opponent awaits. Who will it be? We’ll find out next!

 Heath Slater is already in the ring. He asks who the legend will be this week…and out comes Rikishi!

Thoughts: Did not expect that.

Match #3: Rikishi Vs. Heath Slater

A “Rikishi” chant breaks out. Slater is bemused that he’s the legend he’ll be facing. Slater ducks a lock-up attempt and celebrates but walks right into a savate kick. Rikishi then hits the Stink Face on Slater in the corner, followed up a chop to the throat. Rikishi goes to the second rope and hits the Banzai Drop for the 1…2…3!

Winner: Rikishi by Pinfall (1:10)

Match Grade: C (It was what it was. Not really a match so much as a chance for another legend to show off his signature moves. I 100% did not expect Rikishi; seems like a downgrade considering the legends of the previous weeks.)

The lights go out, and when they come back on Rikishi is joined by his sons The Usos. They do the old-school Too Cool dance as the crowd cheers. Where’s Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmasta Sexay?

WWE brags about Raw being the longest running episodic TV show in history. Fair enough. Cole pimps the fact that Degeneration X will be kicking off the 1000th Raw next week!

Next up: Bryan/A.J. against ???/Eve!

Eve Torres comes to the ring and introduces her tag team partner: The Miz! Yay!

Match #4: Daniel Bryan/A.J. Vs. The Miz/Eve Torres

Bryan and Miz start the match off. The crowd is in a “Yes!” frenzy. They lock up, and Bryan quickly applies a headlock. Miz backs him into the corner and goes for a cheapshot, but Bryan ducks and hits a series of “Yes!” kicks to Miz. Miz reverses an Irish whip and hits a high knee to Bryan’s sternum. Miz chants “No!” then hits the rope and connects with a massive kick. A.J. tags herself in.

A.J. and Eve quickly meet in the center, and Eve gets the advantage. Eve delivers a massive kick and gets a 2-count. Eve chokes A.J. on the second rope. Eve goes to the second rope and chokes A.J., lifting her off the mat. A.J. fights back and hits a spinning heel kick followed by a Shining Wizard. Miz distracts the ref to keep the count from happening. A.J. kicks Miz off the apron while his back is turned. Miz runs in and distracts the ref, while Eve gets A.J. in a small package. Bryan reverses it and A.J. gets the 1…2…3!

Winners: Daniel Bryan/A.J. by Pinfall (2:51)

Match Grade: C+ (Too short to give anything higher, but a fun tag team match with some good action. A.J.’s Shining Wizard is awesome.)

After the match, Bryan gets on the mic. Bryan says his career, state mind, and entire life won’t be right until he says these words: “A.J., I love you.” The crowd boos loudly at the proclamation and duel chants of “Yes!” and “No!” break out. A ringside attendant hands him a little red box (not Christy Hemme, you pervert). Bryan says that this week, all he wants is her. Bryan gets down on one knee and proposes to her! A.J. is overwhelmed with emotion, because she has lady parts. Bryan puts the ring on her finger and puts the mic to her for an answer. A.J. says yes! They kiss in the middle of the ring to a mixed reaction. Bryan and A.J. lead the crowd in a “Yes!” chant. Oh God, I’m sucked in. Someone check me to make sure I’m still a manly man.

Thoughts: I was waiting for a swerve the entire time, but it looks like the engagement is going to stick (for now). And I am down for it. Also I guess this Bryan’s face turn? Or A.J.’s heel turn? A turn turn? Or something? Either way, I’m hoping for a (hopefully cobra-free) “Match Made in Heaven” at Summerslam.

An Impact Wrestling ad airs (at least in the DFW market). Awesome. I should watch that more.

Raw Moment: The Rock steals Steve Austin‘s Smoking Skull belt and throws it into the river.

 –

Cole and Lawler recap the Bryan/A.J. engagement that happened and read Bryan’s tweet that they will be getting married on next week’s Raw. Aw, there goes “Match Made in Heaven II”.

Jack Swagger comes out to the ring for the next match. Out comes Vegas’ own Ryback. Uh-oh. Swagger goes on the offensive before the bell rings and lands a powerbomb on Ryback. He hits the Swagger Bomb, and goes for the Ankle Lock. Ryback reverses it but Swagger takes him back down with a shoulderblock. Someone ring the bell! Swagger tries to hit the Ankle Lock again but Ryback powers out. Ryback catches Swagger with a massive clothesline, followed by a spinebuster. He picks him up and lands three powerbombs in a row. Swagger rolls to the outside. Apparently this wasn’t a match. Swagger retreats to the back as Ryback leads the crowd in a “FEED ME MORE!” chant.

Thoughts: It was nice to see Swagger actually hit some offense again and on the “indestructible” Ryback, no less! Naturally Ryback fought back and technically won the confrontation but it was cool to see someone finally land credible offense on him. FEED ME…a Ryback/Swagger match, please.

Another Tout from Cena. Yay.

Vickie Guerrero comes out screeching “Excuse me!”. She introduces the Smackdown Money in the Bank winner Dolph Ziggler. He comes out in a suit and tie, carrying the briefcase, and they make their way to the ring. Ziggler says that every single MitB contract has been successfully cashed in, meaning that he will become the next World Heavyweight Champion. He says it’s only a matter of time before he cashes it in and when he does, he’ll become the greatest champion in WWE history, even better than Bret HartSteve Austin, and The Rock. Ziggler says he’s the show-off and the undisputed future world champion. Out comes Chris Jericho to break up the lovefest.

 Before Jericho can talk, Ziggler cuts him off and says that it isn’t about him. Ziggler says this is his moment and that he won his match and Jericho didn’t. Ziggler says Jericho has never won Money in the Bank (but he’s won a lot of World Championships, so…). Ziggler asks him the last time he won anything. Jericho remains silent. Ziggler says all he’s heard is how great Jericho is, how he’s going to save the WWE, and how he’s the best in the world, yadda yadda. Ziggler says no one has been given more chances than Jericho, and he has been coasting along on that fooling everything. Ziggler says Jericho is all hype and that’s he losing his touch. As Ziggler continues to says he’s lost his touch, Jericho stops him mid-sentence with a Code Breaker. He stares coldly at the fallen Ziggler and leaves the ring. Ziggler smiles as he watches Jericho leaves.

Thoughts: A Jericho/Ziggler feud? YES YES YES F*CKING YES. A really good segment, love the intensity of Jericho and the smugness of Ziggler. He’s really overcoming that terrible ring name.

We see a whole lot of answers to “What’s your favorite Raw memory?” via Tout. Not as painful as I expected it to be. Then a whole lot of Raw1000 pimping, as you would expect: D-X, Rock, Brock Lesnar, yadda yadda.

And out comes Brodus Clay to juke, jive, and waste time. We get the results of the championship poll from earlier: Christian will defend the IC Title next week on Raw1000.

Match #5: Brodus Clay Vs. JTG

Clay and JTG lock up but Clay throws him down easily. JTG rushes in but gets knocked down with a shoulderblock. Clay whips him into the ropes and hits a shot to the stomach followed by a knee to the face. Clay hits a weird-looking suplex and an elbow drop. Clay throws JTG into the corner and rushes in but gets met with a boot to the face. JTG hits the ropes and trips Clay. JTG works on Clay’s injured knee and lands a series of shots to his back. JTG mocks Clay (HA!). JTG applies a front facelock and then a dropkick. JTG ducks a clothesline and goes for a bodyblock but gets caught and slammed. Clay hits a fisherman’s suplex, followed by a headbutt, and then the big splash for the 1…2…3!

Winner: Brodus Clay by Pinfall (2:29)

Match Grade: D+ (Another plodding Clay match, but JTG looked pretty good. They need to either do something with Clay or take him off of TV for awhile. His act is stale.)

Clay, his two Funkadactyls, and a bunch of young WWE fans dance in the ring to celebrate his victory.

Next up: CM Punk faces The Big Show in the main event!

Raw memory: Vince McMahon being embarrassed by his clean-shaven head. Donald Trump finds it hilarious. I…sigh heavily.

Main Event: CM Punk Vs. The Big Show

 Punk uses his speed to escape from Show’s grasp. He kicks at Show’s legs, attempting to knock him down, but Show pushes him into the corner and punches him in the…shoulder. Hm. Punk tries to attack, but Show hits a headbutt to knock him to the canvas. Show taunts Punk, who then fights back and is once again knocked to the ground by a Show-derblock (see what I did there?). Show stands on Punk’s back, putting 500 pounds of pressure on his body. Show goes to the outside and chops Punk on the ring apron. Punk continues to fight back but once again Show uses a headbutt to stop the momentum. Show breaks the count then rolls back to the outside. He jaws with the fans ringside. Show goes for a bodyslam but Punk escapes and pushes him into the ringposts.

Back in the ring, Punk lays into Show with a series of kicks but, yet again, Show breaks it up with a headbutt. Show lands a massive punch to Punk’s gut and uses his foot to choke him in the corner. Show whips him into the opposite corner and rushes in but catches Punk’s boot to his face. Punk launches off the second rope but Show catches him and bodyslams him to the mat. Show lands another blow to Punk’s ribs. Punk tries to fight back but Show lands another punch to Punk’s ribs. Show mocks the crowd for cheering Punk on and says no one can beat him 1 on 1 (erm…). Punk fights back and jumps onto Show’s back to apply a sleeperhold. Punk wrenches the sleeperhold on, trying to knock Show to his knees. Show pulls him off and lands a sidewalk slam.

Show goes to the second rope to hit his own Swagger Bomb, but Punk moves out of the way. Punk kicks him right in the face. Punk comes off the ropes with repeated clotheslines as Show reels. Punk hits a spinning kick to Show’s stomach and hits the ropes again but Show hits him with a back bodydrop. Show sets up for the K.O. Punch. Punk ducks the punch and catches him in the head with a series of enziguris. Show falls into the corner and Punk runs in and hits the High Knee. Punk hits another High Knee for good measure, followed by another. Punk goes for a bulldog but Show pushes him off into the corner. Show goes for a splash, but Punk moves, and Show lands to the mat with a heavy thud. Punk scales to the top rope and hits the “Macho” Elbow Drop. 1…2…KICKOUT. Punk is shocked that he kicked out.

Punk launches off the ropes, but gets caught in a chokeslam. Show goes for the pin, but Punk gets his foot on the rope to break the count. Show argues with the ref then goes back on the attack. He puts Punk in the corner and beats on Punk’s hurt ribs. The ref tries to intervene but Show pushes him off, which causes the DQ.

Winner: CM Punk by DQ (9:16)

Match Grade: B- (One of Show’s better matches but still plodding in spots. Punk brought some good stuff out of him though. All things considered, a pretty damn good main event considering it’s Raw…minus the DQ ending.)

Show continues the attack on Punk. Suddenly, John Cena runs out with the briefcase. Show leaves the ring to let Cena capitalize and cash in his Money in the Bank contract. Cena gets on the mic as the (young) crowd cheers. Cena says that earlier he said he had an announcement concerning the briefcase but before he can make it, Show interrupts. Show says he knows what’s going to happen: Cena is going to cash in the briefcase right now. Show tries to play on Cena’s ego saying it’s been awhile since he’s been champion and that Punk holds the belt he himself designed. Show says Cena would be a fool not to cash in the briefcase right now. Meanwhile a referee rolls in ready for the contract to get cashed in. Cena refuses to cash the briefcase in right now. Cena says he will cash it in next week at Raw1000, when both are fresh, and they will find out who the actual “Best in the World” is. Cena then says his “huge announcement” was actually…hitting Show in the head with the briefcase, which he does. Nice. Punk and Cena meet in the center of the ring, Punk holding the title in air and Cena holding the briefcase in the air (phooootooooo ooooop!). The show goes off the air.

Average Match Grade: C+

  • Best Match: R-Truth/Kofi Kingston Vs. The Prime Time Players
  • Worst Match: Brodus Clay Vs. JTG

Entertainment Value: B+

  • Best Segment(s): Jericho/Ziggler confrontation, A.J./Bryan engagement (shut up), Ryback/Swagger brawl
  • Worst Segment: Brodus Clay’s dancing; looked even worse this week thanks to Rikishi

Overall Show Grade: B

  • Now that was a Raw worth watching. Each segment served a purpose and built up future matches (the Jericho/Ziggler one being the best), and outside of Clay, there was little in the way of filler. Ryback and Swagger had a fun little brawl, and even though I know I should probably say I hate it to save face I enjoyed the hell out of Bryan’s proposal to A.J. Outside of the first and last match, nothing was given enough time match-wise which hurt the show a little bit, but WWE did a great job building up to next week’s 1000th episode of Raw and I’m pumped to see Cena/Punk for the WWE Title. It could go either way. Leave it to their final 2 hour show to finally produce an episode worth watching.
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