[TV Recap] WWE Raw Supershow – 7/23/2012 (1000th Episode)

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WWE celebrated their 1000th episode of Raw and threw the kitchen sink at it in order to make the three hour show compelling. Did it work? Did they prove that the switch to three hours a week will be worth it? Read on after the break to find out!

A video package plays highlighting the past 999 episodes of Raw. Highlights include the Steve Austin/Mike Tyson confrontation, the Muppets, Shane McMahon‘s Van-Terminator, the debut of Chris JerichoShawn Michaels “losing his smile”, the Ric Flair retirement show (ha!), the Eddie Guerrero tribute, Austin driving the Zamboni, and the most important moment of all-time: The Miz and Pee Wee Herman‘s in-ring confrontation. Annoying song aside, this is a great opening montage.

We are live from St. Louis, Missouri for the 1000th episode of Monday Night RawMichael Cole and Jerry Lawler welcome the home audience. The ring announcer introduces Vince McMahon, who is barely containing a sh*t-eating grin. He struts to the ring in classic McMahon fashion. Cole and Lawler kiss his a**, as it customary. Lawler is wearing a suit. Weird.

McMahon exclaims “wow, 1000 episodes!” to uproarious applause and thanks the crowd. The crowd chants “Thank you Vince!” back at him. McMahon lets loose with the classic “Welcome to Monday Night Raw!”. He asks the crowd to welcome Degeneration X.

The Return of Degeneration-X

Out come Triple H and Shawn Michaels to a loud pop (looks like this crowd is actually awake). They throw DX glowsticks (available at WWE.com) to the crowd. Cole and Lawler talk about DX’s accomplishments which obviously include “invading” WCW (which is bullsh*t but that’s a rant for a different time).

Michaels says that he’s feeling the excitement, but something’s missing. Triple H agrees with him and asks what that “missing” thing could be. Triple H asks “didn’t there used to be more of us?” and the crowd goes wild. He repeats himself and the crowd gets even louder. They point to the stage and the DX music plays. Out come Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, and X-Pac in the DX jeep. They all embrace in the ring. I may or may not be grinning from ear to ear (shut up). Crotch chop/pyro combo.

Road Dogg gets on the mic and does the old school New Age Outlaws introduction (bleeping out the “A**” in Gunn’s nickname because, you know TV-PG). Triple H gets back on the mic says that’s a start, but he’s gotta know one thing: “are you ready?”. The crowd is indeed ready to “suck it”. Triple H stops midway to mock the other members for losing their hair and pimp the fact it’s the 1000th episode of Raw (is it?!?).

Gunn goes to do his part, but Michaels intervenes. They argue who gets to do the next part, and Triple H asks Gunn to not let Michaels “lose his smile” lest he pose for Playgirl again (HA!). Triple H says they should do it together. Before they get to do their part of the segment, Damien Sandow comes out to interrupt. Sandow introduces himself as the “Intellectual Savior of the Unwashed Masses”. Michaels wants to hear him out. Sandow walks into the ring while lambasting DX for their crude ways. Michaels sarcastically says he’s going back to church to beg for forgiveness for being a part of DX. Sandow says they could beat him up, but if they do he will be a martyr, not a victim. DX go into a huddle to plan their next move, while Sandow looks on in disbelief. They break and Michaels hits the Sweet Chin Music on Sandow. Triple H catches him on the way down and Sandow gets Pedigreed. DX circles around the fallen Sandow, and Gunn says “if you’re not down with that…”. You know the drill. The DX music plays as they play to the crowd. They strip Sandow of his ring robe then throw him out of the ring.

Thoughts: How could I not love this? This isn’t going to be a very impartial recap, I can feel it. I’m feeling especially vulnerable to nostalgia. Good to see Gunn, Dogg, and X-Pac too. Glad they included them. Part of me was nervous they wouldn’t. Too bad Sandow got destroyed.

Lawler and Cole hype Brock Lesnar and The Rock‘s return, as well as the upcoming wedding between Daniel Bryan and A.J. and the WWE Title match between champ CM Punk and John Cena.

Quick cut back to DX who are now celebrating on the entrance ramp as we go to commercial.

Lilian Garcia introduces Jim Ross, who’s supporting one hell of an awesome goatee. He’s going to join Lawler and Cole on commentary. Phew. Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, and World Champion Sheamus make their way to the ring. Chris Jericho comes out for the heel side, and we see a recap of his confrontation with Dolph Ziggler last week. I wonder if they’ll be teaming to…yup. They are. Ziggler’s out next. Alberto Del Rio comes out last, driving another fancy car that manlier men than me are probably drooling over. Sheamus and Del Rio stare each other down as he makes his way to the ring.

Match #1 (Six-Man Tag): Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara/Sheamus Vs. Chris Jericho/Dolph Ziggler/Alberto Del Rio

We join the match in progress as the heels are beating on Sin Cara. Ziggler hits an elbowdrop for a 2-count. He tags in Jericho, who reluctantly comes in. Jericho snapmares Cara and locks him in a front facelock. Cara breaks out and rolls up Jericho for a 2-count but Jericho quickly regains the offensive for his team. Jericho delivers a bodyslam and cockily pins him with his foot for only a 1-count. Del Rio tags in and throws Cara in the corner, followed by a running kick. He covers him for a 2-count (and Cole mistakenly calls Cara “Mysterio”). Del Rio puts Cara in a submission that I can’t remember off the top of my head. Cara tries to bust out but Del Rio throws him in the corner. He rushes in but Cara escapes and lands a swinging DDT. Sheamus gets the hot tag and he lays into Jericho. He goes for a bodyslam but Jericho slides out. Sheamus delivers a backbreaker combo for a 2-count, broken up by Del Rio. Mysterio throws him to the outside and lands a splash. Cara kicks Ziggler to the floor, before Jericho throws him out. Jericho tries for the Walls but Sheamus gets out. He then goes for the Codebreaker but Sheamus catches him. Sheamus tries for the Brogue Kick but misses. Jericho goes for his second rope moonsault but Ziggler knocks him off. Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick for the 1…2…3!

Winners: Sheamus/Rey Mysterio/Sin Cara via Pinfall (Time Not Recorded)

Match Grade: B-

  • Fun six-man, at least what we saw of it. Helped build the Jericho/Ziggler feud, and let Mysterio ease into returning to the ring by having him…not get in the ring. Cara looked pretty weak though; as much as I love his work from Mexico, he’s really out of place in the WWE. Maybe the signing of PAC (not that one) will give him a sort of renaissance.

A Raw Fact reminds us how much gas has gone up since 1993. Thanks guys, now I want to hang myself (metaphorically?). We see a series of TOUTs from fans congratulating Daniel Bryan and A.J. on their impending marriage. Oof, that was…something. Cole introduces Charlie Sheen, who is live via Skype (dammit they found a way to keep him involved!). Sheen says the WWE would make a good home for him. They will check back in later. Well at least they figured a way to get around the “quitting Twitter” thing.

Recap of last week’s Raw and the engagement of Bryan and A.J. in the center of the ring.

We cut backstage to A.J. getting ready for the wedding, talking about how special the wedding is going to be to Layla. Layla asks her if she’s sure she wants to go through with it and A.J. reacts in her normal crazy manner. A.J. asks why everyone calls her unstable when the WWE itself is unstable. She opens her locker room door, where “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan yells incoherently and R-Truth and Roddy Piper are playing with the invisible “Little Jimmy”. We then see Mae Young and her son, the Hand (HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!). Layla runs from the insanity as we go to commercial.

Thoughts: BEST. CALLBACK. EVER. Although, as someone on Twitter pointed out, the Hand should in theory at least be a little tan since his father is technically Mark Henry.

Cole and Lawler plug the official song of the night, which is somethingsomething by someone. I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention. A carhop from Sonic comes over to refresh the announcers. Wow.

Jack Swagger is outside the ring, getting ready for his match…against Brodus Clay. Oh god, not again. The usual Clay dancing routine goes on. Yay? Cole plugs an app called Shazam, which identifies theme music or something.

Clay gets on the mic and introduces his “brother from another mother”…Dude LoveLove comes out and awkwardly dance.

Match #2: Brodus Clay Vs. Jack Swagger

Swagger attacks at the bell, but Clay fights him off quickly. Splash and pin. Quick squash match. Didn’t this guy give Ryback the biggest fight of his run so far last week? Goddammit.

Winner: Brodus Clay via Pinfall (0:16)

Match Grade: F

  • Another pointless Clay outing that buries Swagger.

Love and Clay dance in celebration. Even Dude Love can’t save this. Stupid. Stupid dumb stupid.

Backstage, Triple H is with Trish Stratus. They do some Yoga exercises. Stratus gets behind him and it looks like…you know. The other members of DX catch him. They all leave except for X-Pac and Stratus, who make awkward conversation.

Daniel Bryan is backstage in his tux with a bunch of guys in white…and they aren’t tuxedos. WEDDING HIJINKS ARE A COMIN’, FOLKS!

The ring is set up for the Bryan/A.J. wedding that is obviously not going to happen anymore.

*The Wedding of Daniel Bryan and A.J.*

Jerry Lawler introduces the reverend for the ceremony: Slick, complete with horribly racist “Jive Soul Bro” music video playing on the TitanTron! Remember all of his Raw moments? Me either. Slick says he’s been promised a whole lot of “yardbird” for his services tonight because again, he’s a racist stereotype. Daniel Bryan comes out in his all-white tuxedo and gets the crowd going with “Yes!” chants. “Here Comes the Bride” starts playing to bring out A.J., who looks amazing in her wedding gown. Bryan holds the ropes as she climbs in. Wrestling ring weddings are so romantic; I hope my future wife thinks the same.

Slick starts his Reverend duties and starts chewing the scenery (“MAAAAAAAAARRIAGE!”). A.J. tells him to tone it down, and starts laughing. He asks if anyone has any objections to their union and waits for someone to speak as the crowd boos. Slick marvels at the boos. Bryan grabs the ring, and says that he knows they’ve had their ups and downs and he loves her. He promises her that once he slips the ring on her finger and they are man and wife, a new chapter will begin for the both of them. Bryan says he’ll finally have everything he’s ever wanted. He puts the ring on her finger. Slicks asks Bryan if he’ll take A.J. as his wife. He says “Yes” and grins.

Slick goes to ask A.J., who cuts her off by saying “Yes! Yes! Yes!”. Slick goes to make it official, but A.J. tells him to wait. A.J. says she wasn’t saying “yes” to Daniel…she was saying “yes” to someone else (Aw snap! No she didn’t! Aw hell no! Other such sayings!)! A.J. says someone else already made a proposal to her earlier tonight. Out comes…Vince McMahon?!? McMahon comes out to the ramp and says this isn’t that proposal. He says it’s a business proposal and introduces A.J. as the new General Manager of Raw! A.J. angrily hands her bouquet to Bryan, skips around him, and leaves the ring. Bryan is in disbelief and rips up the bouquet. She starts chanting “YES!” on the entrance ramp as Bryan angrily yells “NO!” back at her. Bryan destroys the wedding set-up.

Thoughts: A.J. as the new GM? Why the hell not! She’s one of the hottest characters in the company right now and she definitely deserves a more expanded role. It’ll be interesting to see how Raw shakes out with her “in charge”. As for the segment itself…it was what it was. Slick definitely made it far more interesting by being Slick though, I’ll tell you that much. His hardcore “Reverend”-talk was amazing.

A promo for next month’s Summerslam plays. It airs August 19th, for those interested.

Daniel Bryan is still in the ring and going absolutely crazy, repeatedly yelling “NO!” as refs are trying to calm her down. “Cult of Personality” hits, bringing out WWE Champion CM Punk. Punk gets in the ring and salutes the crowd as they show their reverence. Bryan is not happy to see him (SHOCKING!). The crowd chants Punk’s name.

Punk gets on the mic and says he didn’t come out here to rub what just happened in his face, but he does so anyway. What a dick. Punk says everyone is in collective shock and awe that she wouldn’t want to marry such a nice guy. Punk recaps that A.J. has been announced as the new RAW GM which isn’t good for Bryan’s career. Punk says while Bryan can continue throwing tantrums, Punk will continue being the “Best in the World”. Bryan says not only is he better than Punk, he’s the greatest WWE Superstar of all-time. Bryan repeats it, much louder. 

*The Rock Returns*

Bryan’s proclamation brings out The Rock to interrupt the argument. He’s looking a little smaller, in a good way. Rock gets in the ring and does his whole routine, then grabs a mic. The crowd is a mix of cheers and boos. Rock says Bryan doesn’t get to see who the greatest of all-time is, the fans do (yay, more Rock pandering…isn’t his penance to the WWE fans completed by now?). He then launches into the whole “Finally…” schtick to the shock of absolutely no one.

Bryan interrupts Rock mid-sentence, and Rock interrupts him back. Rock says “you don’t just cut The Rock off like that.” A “Boots to Asses” chant breaks out and my eyes can’t stop rolling. Rock says St. Louis is where he won his first WWE Championship. Rock says he isn’t here to talk to Bryan (calling him “Frodo”), he’s here to talk about the WWE Championship. Rock announces that at the Royal Rumble, he will face whoever is WWE Champion at that time. The crowd seems…whatever about it but I’m down to see it. Punk says he will be the WWE Champion come January, and says that tonight he will beat John Cena. Punk says he will beat The Rock at the Royal Rumble. Rock says that he will become the next WWE Champion at the Royal Rumble.

Bryan interrupts the both of them, saying that tonight was supposed to be the greatest night of his life. Bryan says that  he will face The Rock and be the face of the WWE. Rock compares Bryan’s look to a cross between a homeless lumberjack and an oompa loompa, then launches into his own Oompa Loompa song. Rock wishes Punk a good match tonight, and that he got Bryan a wedding gift: A ROCK BOTTOM. “If Ya Smellll…” and such follows.

Thoughts: Well the seeds have been planted for the Royal Rumble and that’s definitely a huge announcement. Nice to see Rock in there with the “new generation” of WWE stars too. Too bad his schtick wasn’t that funny on this go around. Oh well they can’t all be winners. Now we can hopefully get back to the actual wrestling.

Bret Hart gets introduced to be the Special Guest Ring Announcer for the next match. He looks way more animated than the entirety of his last return. Lawler brings up his old feud with Hart, and the “Kiss My Foot” Match, the pervert. Hart says one of the best moments of his career was beating Curt Hennig for his first IC Title match, and he is honored to be the guest ring announcer for the upcoming IC Title match. He introduces the champion Christian first, already screwing up his role (I kid, I kid). Hart introduces The Miz in a lackluster fashion. I wonder who Hart wants to win.

Match #3: Christian (c) Vs. The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Championship

They lock up. Christian throws Miz in the ropes, and lands a clothesline. He scales the second rope and lands a dropkick. Miz goes for a hiptoss, but Christian reverses and throws him out of the ring. Christian goes to the top rope and splashes Miz. Christian is in pain and grabs his knee as we go to commercial.

Back from commercial, Miz has Christian in a half-Crab. Christian kicks him off. Miz tries a clothesline, but Christian ducks and takes him down. Christian starts fighting back. Christian scales the top rope and lands a crossbody for a 2-count. Christian goes to the second rope and hits a flying elbow knocking Miz down. Christian hits a sunset flip for a 2-count. Miz escapes another sunset flip and kicks Christian right in the face. He goes for the pin and only gets a 2-count. Miz wrenches Christian’s “injured right knee over the second rope. Miz rushes in and Christian slaps him. Christian lands a Tornado DDT from the second rope and gets another 2-count. Christian goes for the Spear but Miz counters and goes for the pin. Only a 2-count. Miz crotches himself on the second turnbuckle and Christian tries to hit the Killswitch but Miz counters. Christian tries to counter out but lands on his bum knee, allowing Miz to hit the Skull Crushing Finale for the 1…2…3!

Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: The Miz via Pinfall (7:35)

Match Grade: B

  • I enjoyed the match and loved the psychology of Christian’s injured right knee. It’s rare to see that nowadays. Glad to see Miz get the IC Title belt for obvious (awesome) reasons. And with Christian’s injured knee playing a role, it gives them the perfect excuse for a rematch. Give them more time and we could have a hell of a match on our hands.

We check back in with Charlie Sheen, who lambasts Bryan for crying like a baby after being stood up at the altar. He steals Rock’s “Oompa Loompa” line. He is trying really hard to make people believe he’s actually watching Raw.

Another plug for the Cena/Punk main event. Cole and Lawler launch into a TOUT plug, but they fade out to commercial in the middle of it. Somebody up there likes me.

A video of Regis Philbin congratulating Raw on their 1000th episode, and talks about the many WWE guests he had on his old daytime talk show. Unlike other celebrities, he sounds sincere. He also sounds like Tom Waits.

*Triple H/Brock Lesnar Confrontation*

“Time to Play the Game” starts playing as Triple H makes his way back to the ring in serious-mode. His fists are taped. They might have been before and I just wasn’t paying attention earlier.

Quick interjection for a Raw Recap from 3 months ago, when Brock Lesnar attacked Triple H and “broke his arm”. Presented by 5 Hour Energy, the best placebo on the market.

Back to the ring now. Triple H says he’s had his fun but now it’s time to pick up the intensity. He calls out Brock Lesnar to answer his Summerslam challenge. Lesnar’s music hits, which brings out Paul Heyman instead. Heyman gets in the ring, and Triple H says he wanted to talk to the horse’s head, not the horse’s a** (rimshot). Heyman says Lesnar is here tonight, and has authorized him to answer the challenge for his “client”. Heyman rejects the challenge on Lesnar’s behalf. Triple H threatens to go to the back and find him, but Heyman reminds him that there are already two pending lawsuits from the Lesnar camp. Triple H calls Lesnar a coward for not coming out and saying “no” to his face. Heyman calls Triple H a child for calling Lesnar names to goad him to the ring. Triple H knocks the mic out of Heyman’s hand for talking about his kids. Heyman apologizes, then says he pities his kids.

This brings out Triple H’s wife Stephanie McMahon who just renewed her restraining order on me last week (I mean, what?). She gets in Heyman’s face and sternly tells him to never speak about her kids again. She says the lawsuits aren’t about Lesnar, they’re about Heyman. Heyman is compensating for being a business failure (ECW, WCW, other promotions WWE gloats about destroying every damn chance they get). Stephanie says Heyman’s kids are ashamed of him. She slaps Heyman across the face. Heyman walks across the apron to grab his mic. He walks back in with a look of contempt, and in anger he accepts the challenge on Lesnar’s behalf at Summerslam.

Heyman congratulates Stephanie for manipulating him and starts ragging on her until she attacks him. Lesnar’s music hits again which brings out Brock for reals this time. Lesnar runs in the ring and he and Triple H start brawling. Triple H gets the upper hand and clotheslines him out of the ring as the crowd roars (man, Brock Lesnar can’t beat anyone nowadays can he?) They stare each other down, Triple H in the ring and Lesnar on the outside. They then take their shirts off to intimidate each other (or signal that they wanna make out with each other later). Lesnar and Heyman retreat to the back as Triple H paces the ring.

Thoughts: As usual, Paul Heyman elevated the material just by being Paul Heyman and I appreciate the whole “manipulate the man on accepting the challenge for his client” angle, but fighting over their kids? That was a weak premise. Also the fact Lesnar came out and got his a** handed to him rather quickly; I’m no fan of the guy but he’s supposed to be a monster right? I’m aware this was his “revenge” for getting his arm broken three months ago, but all he had to do was clothesline the dude and that was that? Sort of a letdown. Luckily they have Heyman to sell the match for them, otherwise this would be falling flat.

And we’re back from commercial…right into more TOUTs. These aren’t as bad as the last time, but I really really couldn’t care less about them. Yet. I’m holding out hope they figure out how to utilize them properly over the next few months.

We now see a clip from the upcoming WWE ’13 video game which features the “dream match” of Austin/Cena. The graphics look PS2-grade, at best. Cena wins the simulation, which should surprise absolutely no one.

And now, we get a look back at the classic Austin/Vince feud from the Attitude Era. A genius of a storyline, if you ask me (which you didn’t but f*ck you, my site). Highlights include the beer truck, the cement truck, and all the usual clips you see when they bring up this moment in history. Cena, Stephanie McMahon, and others weigh in with their thoughts. And now…COMMERCIAL.

Back from commercial, Lawler and Cole fellate the WWE over all the media coverage the 1000th episode of Raw has gotten.

The best theme music in the WWE hits, bringing out the U.S. Champion Santino Marella and Hornswoggle, both carrying out new WWE plush dolls. Lawler and Cole pimp the new Wrestling Buddies (sorry, Brawlin’ Buddies), which are now smaller and talk. Santino and Hornswoggle hand out the Brawlin’ Buddies to the ringside crowd. Howard Finkel comes out to guest ring announce. Out comes Heath Slater who says his victory tonight is going to be “epic”! He challenges any of the legends in the back to a NO-DQ, No-Countout Match. Apparently Santino isn’t wrestling. Out comes his opponent…Lita! Slater is amused at the fact a woman answered his challenge, and accepts it.

Match #4 (No DQ, No-Countout): Lita Vs. Heath Slater

The bell rings, and Lita gets on the mic. She says she hired herself a little protection. Out come the APA (Bradshaw/Farooq) to assist Lita in her match. The APA hit the ring and Slater runs out and starts heading to the back. All the legends that faced Slater over the past few weeks plus others (Sid Vicious, Vader, Bob Backlund, Road Warrior Animal, Doink, Rikishi, DDP, Sgt. Slaughter and, erm, Roddy Piper) come out to prevent Slater from leaving and they throw him back in the ring. Slater turns around and Lita hits the Twist of Fate. Bradshaw then connects with the Clothesline from Hell. Lita hits a Moonsault for the 1…2…3!

Winner: Lita via Pinfall (1:52)

Match Grade: n/a

  • Alright seriously this wasn’t a match, so I’m not grading it. It was just a way to put a bunch of legends in the ring and for that it worked I guess. I don’t know, whatever. It’s a whatever thing. Maybe now Slater can move onto to doing other things instead of being 2012’s Rob Conway.

After the match, Farooq gets on the mic and delivers a “DAMN!” for good measure. All of the legends celebrate in the ring over the fallen Slater.

Recap of A.J. becoming GM earlier tonight and breaking off the wedding with Bryan, followed by The Rock and Sheen mocking him.

Sean Mooney makes his glorious return to WWE television to interview Daniel Bryan about what happened earlier tonight. He craps on Charlie Sheen for mocking him and says if he was here, he’d slap the Yes Lock on Sheen faster than he could say “…WINNING!”. Is that still cool? I don’t know.

Thoughts: MOONEY! MOONEY! MOONEY! SEAN FREAKIN’ MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONEY! Hang on let me catch my breath. Okay, so anyway this was…OMGOMGOMG SEAN MOOOOONEY! MOOONEY! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY!

Cole interviews their 100,000,000th social network follower who’s at ringside. He is really excited to be here and is totally not reading off a script. Cole then puts himself over. Lawler segues into a montage featuring the great “Catchphrases” heard on Raw, hosted by Fozzy the Bear. They emphasize Austin’s “WHAT” phase, which I’m surprised about because I’m sure everyone in that company hates that.

Backstage, Zack Ryder is with “Mean” Gene Okerlund and John Cena. Ryder says Okerlund was behind “GTV”, an angle none of the WWE fans probably remember now. All of a sudden, The Rock walks in to break the group up. He and Cena stare down and Rock wishes him luck in the main event tonight. Cena says he’ll be the one to face The Rock at the Royal Rumble. Rock likes that idea. The crowd is audibly chanting “Cena sucks!”. Maybe he should quit wrestling for movies and then come back all smiles and lollipops; worked for The Rock.

We come back from commercial to a dark arena and a whole lot of fire pyro. That brings out Kane for the next match. He interrupted by Jinder Mahal and the other wrestlers stuck on NXT for the past year (Hunico, Camacho, Drew McIntyre, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks). They surround Kane, until the bells start sounding. Out comes The Undertaker to assist his brother. Loudest reaction of the night so far. His new entrance attire looks similar to the evil spirit from Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. Undertaker takes his time getting to the ring, the time in which the NXT guys could’ve beaten the crap out of Kane and ran away. Some people just don’t think!

Undertaker gets in the ring and stares at his “brother”. He takes off his ridiculous robe and tries to flip his hood off, but fails. He now has a mohawk because he’s Brock Lesnar. The NXT guys rush the ring, and get easily dispatched by the Brothers of Destruction. Hawkins and Hunico receive chokeslams followed up by duo Tombstone Piledrivers. Undertaker and Kane stand uncomfortably close to each other and stare at the destruction they’ve caused. A “This is Awesome” chant breaks out. Yeah, okay.

Undertaker and Kane push the bodies of Hunico and Hawkins out of the ring and the crowd gives them an ovation as they pose.

Thoughts: Fun to see the Brothers of Destruction reunite for the first time in awhile. Too bad it came at the expense of, you know, their younger talent. But who needs new talent when they only have five hours a week of television time to fill? I’ve never watched NXT so I have no idea who Jinder Mahal is but he reminded me of Muhammad Hassan because I’m apparently a racist.

A “Be a Star” video package airs showing WWE superstars teaching kids not to bully but to instead watch them bully on a weekly basis. I love this campaign; the irony is delicious.

Back from commercial, Cole and Lawler check back in with Charlie Sheen to talk to him about Bryan’s earlier comments/threats. Sheen makes a really lame threat and calls Bryan “goat face”. Sheen says he’s not hard to find and sort of challenges Bryan to a match/fight/or something. They hint at a possible Bryan/Sheen confrontation at Summerslam. I’d rather gargle gasoline…more than I usually do, anyway.

A recap of last week, where Cena says he’ll be cashing the Money in the Bank briefcase at the 1000th edition Raw…which leads us to right now.

“My Time is Now” hits, bringing out John Cena, Money in the Bank briefcase in hand. Cena hands it to the ref, effectively cashing it in. CM Punk makes his way out next. The results of the earlier Twitter poll say the fans want to see Rock/Punk at Royal Rumble. They didn’t rig it! Main event is up next!

Main Event: CM Punk (c) Vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship

Cena and Punk shake hands, sort-of. Code of Honor! They lock up, Cena gets a headlock. Dueling chants start for each wrestler. Punk pushes Cena into the ropes, and Cena knocks Punk down with a shoulder tackle. Another lockup, another headlock by Cena. Punk pushes Cena in the ropes again, gets knocked down again. Punk catches Cena in a backslide for a quick 2-count. They stare each other down once again.

A third lockup, and Punk applies a hammerlock. He transitions into an Abdominal Stretch (nice). Cena slips out and hip tosses Punk. Cena tries to apply the STFU, but Punk pushes out. They lock up again and Cena pushes Punk into the corner. Cena breaks cleanly. The two circle one another and go for a lockup, but Punk slips behind and starts chopping Cena. Cena blocks an Irish whip attempt and goes on the offensive himself. Cena takes him down with a headlock. Punk lifts him up and delivers a back suplex to break free.

Punk sits him up and delivers a kick to the back. Punk picks Cena up for a backbreaker. Punk makes the cover but only gets a 2-count. Punk puts Cena in a leglock and transitions into a reverse chinlock. Guys this is a wrestling match, I can’t believe it! Cena powers his way out of the chinlock and kicks Punk in the stomach. They trade punches. The crowd is more on Punk’s side. Cena gets the upper hand, ducks a clothesline, and hits a series of shoulderblocks. Cena goes for a suplex but Punk gets out and hits a spinning heel kick.

Punk sends Cena into the corner and hits the High-Knee. He mocks Cena’s “You Can’t See Me!” hand sign. Cena suplexes him out of nowhere and goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Punk kicks him mid-taunt (NICE). Punk signals for the GTS. He picks Cena up, who wiggles out and accidentally hits the ref. Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment but there’s no ref to count his victory. Oops!

The Big Show runs in and delivers a spear to Cena as he gets inside the ring. Show sets up for the Knockout Punch and connects with it. Show exits the ring and walks away. Punk looks conflicted at what to do, and goes outside to wake up the ref. He continually questions himself and what he’s doing. Punk throws the ref back in and stares at Cena who is still knocked out in the center of the ring. Punk goes for the pin. 1…2…KICKOUT! Punk looks upset at himself for stalling.

Punk picks Cena’s all but limp body up and goes for the GTS but Cena turns it into the STFU. Before Punk can submit, Show comes back out and attacks Cena causing the DQ.

Winner: John Cena via Disqualification (11:12)

Match Grade: B+

  • A really good wrestling match going on there before the (necessary) screwjob finish, although one could argue it wasn’t wrestling so much as “stalling until the run-in”. I enjoyed the action as well as Punk’s self-conflict after Show laid out Cena. Interesting stuff that only got better with what transpired after.

Show continues to attack Cena as Punk looks on. Punk turns his back. Rock’s music hits, and he hits the ring (as Punk leaves). Rock delivers a Spinebuster and goes for the People’s Elbow but Punk runs back in and clotheslines The Rock before he can connect (YES!!!!!!!!!!). Punk connects with the GTS on The Rock. Half the crowd is cheering, but there are also audible boos. So it’s almost a heel turn. Punk grabs his WWE Championship and despondently looks at the carnage in the ring (Rock not really selling the GTS). Punk walks to the back, still looking conflicted at what just happened. And that concludes the 1000th episode of Raw! Thanks for reading!

Thoughts: The 1000th episode wasn’t all that great, but that was one hell of a way to conclude it: Punk standing tall, heel (ish) turn in effect, and he got to GTS the most popular and famous member of the roster. I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Average Match Grade: C

  • Best Match: CM Punk/John Cena
  • Worst Match: Brodus Clay/Jack Swagger (the match that sunk the grade to as low as it is)

Entertainment Value: B

  • Best Segment: The CM Punk/Cena post-match shenanigans.
  • Worst Segment: The Charlie Sheen Skype chats/TOUT

Overall Show Grade: B-

  • The WWE threw the kitchen sink at their 1000th episode and still didn’t ultimately deliver in the end. There were some great segments and the ending was tremendous but there was also a lot of filler and useless moments. Plus for a three hour wrestling show, having only four matches is damn near ridiculous, especially if only one reaches the double-digits in terms of time. This is a preview of things to come: more storyline, even less wrestling. That makes me nervous. I’m more anxious to see what they do next week, now that all the big names are not going to be there. That will be the true test. But I’m not holding out much hope; outside of a killer CM Punk storyline brewing and some other positives (A.J. as GM, Miz as IC Champion, the potential of Jericho/Ziggler), I don’t know how they’re going to fill three hours without at the very least destroying Smackdown in the process. And here’s a true testament to how the three hour format could negatively effect future programming: I had all but forgotten DX was even on the show in the first place until about five minutes ago. That’s telling.

What are your thoughts on tonight’s show? Do you think WWE will be able to pull off compelling TV three hours a week from now on? Comment below or email me at theprowrestlingnerd[at]live[dot]com.

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