[TV Recap] WWE Raw – 8/6/2012

On the Docket for Tonight’s Raw: CM Punk deals with the prospect of having to defend his WWE Title at Summerslam against two men (John Cena and The Big Show), The Prime Time Players continue to get under R-Truth and Kofi Kingston‘s skin, Brock Lesnar makes his return to TV to continue building his match against Triple H (and hopefully saving us from having to see the same recap video from last week another fifteen times), Daniel Bryan goes a little bit crazier while dealing with “The Big Red Machine”, and AJ Lee continues to try to shake up the show as new GM. All that and maybe even some appreciation for a certain “Heartbreak Kid” awaits you in this latest Raw recap!

A recap of last week’s John Cena/Big Show main event, followed by AJ Lee‘s announcement of a triple threat match between them and CM Punk for the WWE Title at Summerslam.

The new Raw intro video plays. No more Nickelback. I might be in heaven…even if the replacement song is a bit dumb.

Pyrotechnics blast off (no fires this week!) as Michael Cole welcomes the home audience. We are live from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX. Justin Roberts introduces GM AJ Lee to the ring. She welcomes the crowd to Monday Night Raw. She announces Randy Orton/The Big Show tonight, as well as Daniel Bryan/John Cena. Before she makes her next announcement, “Cult of Personality” plays, bringing out WWE Champion CM Punk. He’s still getting a “tweener” reaction.

Punk says he lives his life with zero regrets, but is also big enough to admit that he’s made a mistake. He apologizes to AJ Lee for yelling at her at the end of Raw last week in a backhanded way (he thinks he was justified to do so). He says the GM doesn’t deserve to be disrespected, just like he doesn’t deserve to be disrespected. Lee accepts his apology, and Punk thanks her and hopes they can still be friends. Punk says she’s bound to make mistakes given such responsibility, and gives her a chance to cancel her “mistake” in announcing a triple threat match for Summerslam last week. A “No!” chant breaks out.

Lee says she is new and will make mistakes, but the triple threat match is not a mistake. The match is still on as planned. Punk asks if this is her punishing him for rejecting her marriage proposal awhile back. Punk tries to get her to cancel the match again, but “My Time is Now” plays to bring out John Cena. He makes a random Hulk Hogan pose on the way to the ring.

Cena gets in the ring and stares down Punk. Cena says Punk’s become one of “those” guys, one that constantly whines for respect. Cena says respect is earned (T-SHIRT!). Dueling Cena chants and Cena lets them go at it. He says that he’s been champion 11 times and still has to fight for respect each and every day from the crowd (good use of their negative reaction). He blames Punk for causing the triple threat match. He tells Lee she smells great and shakes her hand. Punk says Cena’s become the guy who’s turned a blind eye to facts. He says Cena got involved in his “expert analysis” last week by flying into him during the main event. Punk says he won’t be disrespected by anyone, in case you forgot. Punk tells Cena that he “saved” him from Show. Cena gives a fact of his own: champions don’t do well in triple threat matches so he should probably be ready to lose his belt. Punk brings up his defeat of Cena last year.

Their argument is cut off by The Big Show who is now heading to the ring. Lee tells everyone to stop arguing, and Show stops at ringside. Lee tells Cena and Show to save their aggression for their matches tonight. Punk is mad Cena and Show get matches and he doesn’t. He demands the main event. Lee lets it go that Punk does have a match tonight and his opponent will be decided by the WWE Universe (oh boy). An “HBK” chant breaks out. Lee gives the Universe their choices: The Miz, Kane, or Rey Mysterio. Lee says voting starts right now because his match is next. Lee skips around the ring then to the back. Cole tells those of us watching to vote for his opponent on Twitter (nope). Punk awaits for his opponent in the ring as the fans get time to vote.

  • An alright segment to open the show. Punk’s still justified in his motivations but they’re slowly tweaking him to be more and more whiny in order to make the heel turn stick. Cena did his usual “hype the PPV” schtick, but his confrontation with Punk was nice and tense. No lame humor for once! AJ is getting better at being GM, and WWE announced two matches worth sticking around for tonight so I can’t lie and say they didn’t accomplish their goal.

We see a recap of Brock Lesnar breaking Triple H‘s arm a few months ago and then the commentators hype their face to face meeting tonight.

**Commercial Break**

Punk is still waiting in the ring for his opponent. Lawler stands up and gets on the house mic to announce the results. Punk is going to face…Rey Mysterio! Not too shocking. Punk applauds the choice. Cole tells us how “great” we did at voting, before patting our head and giving us our dog treats. Mysterio makes his way out for the match, his first singles match on TV since he returned if I’m not mistaken (I probably am).

Match #1 (Non-Title Match; #RAWactive Match): [WWE Champion] CM Punk Vs. Rey Mysterio

Punk backs Mysterio in the corner and breaks clean. A “CM Punk” chant breaks out, with assorted boos as well. Mysterio applies a leglock, which Punk reverses into a hammerlock. Mysterio gets a snap mare and kicks Punk hard in the thigh. Mysterio whips Punk into the corner, but ends up going shoulder-first into the post. Punk goes for the pin. 1-count. Punk continues the attack and goes for another pin. 2-count. Punk applies a leg scissor to wear Mysterio down.

Mysterio breaks out with shots to the hamstring but Punk rebounds with a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker for a 2-count. Punk heads to the top rope but Mysterio dropkicks him off and onto the floor. Mysterio goes to the apron and splashes Punk. Both men are down as we go to commercial.

**Commercial Break**

Punk and Mysterio are in the ring, with Punk in the corner. Mysterio goes to the top and starts laying forearms into Punk’s chest. He brings Punk to the second rope. Punk fights back and suplexes him off the second rope (Cole says top rope, he’s a liar). Punk goes for the pin. 1…2…kick out. Punk applies another leg scissor, this time around Mysterio’s waist. Mysterio tries to break out but Punk hits him with a series of forearms to stop him. Punk twists Mysterio’s head to add more pressure. Punk releases the hold and throws him under the bottom rope and out to the floor. Mysterio gets back up and hits him with a splash on the top. Punk tries a Sunset Flip, but Mysterio rolls out and kicks him in the head. He goes for the pin. 1…2…KICK OUT. Close one.

Punk pushes Mysterio into the corner but Mysterio kicks him. He jumps onto Punk and gets caught in the GTS but escapes. Mysterio connects with the 619 and goes for a splash but Punk gets his knees up. Punk hits the GTS. 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: CM Punk (10:11)

  • A good opening match, but it would be impossible for these two to have a bad one. Mysterio’s ring rust was pretty evident though and it was noticeably slower than usual. But still a decent showing for Mysterio, especially for his first real match back. (B-)

We recap the two matches Lee announced earlier: Orton/Show and Cena/Bryan.

Alberto Del Rio arrives backstage in his Ferrari. He has his own parking spot because he’s super rich. Ricardo Rodriguez opens the door for him and starts talking to him in Spanish. Del Rio tells him to shut up and they start heading towards the ring. Yay.

**Commercial Break**

Wade Barrett return vignette airs, centered around bare knuckle boxing. Barrett obviously beats the hell out of the competitors. He says his barrage has just begun.

  • Cheesy as hell, but it’s got me interested. Maybe he’ll end up fighting Finlay since he’s stealing his gimmick.

Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez visit AJ Lee in her office. He kisses up to her and says he hopes she won’t be like Smackdown GM Booker T and put him in a match against his will. She says she has nothing for him and Del Rio is pleased…but then he says “crazy” which sets her off so she puts him in a match after all. Del Rio sends Rodriguez to fetch his bags.

  • Del Rio did not put up much of a fight on that one, considering he doesn’t want to wrestle until Summerslam. 

A video package of Shawn Michaels plays. He’ll be on TV live tonight in front of his own crowd…to probably be attacked by Brock Lesnar.

Triple H/Brock Lesnar hype video plays again. WWE is now paying attention and are promoting Summerslam as the 25th anniversary of that show.

**Commercial Break**

Christian is already in the ring awaiting Alberto Del RioRicardo Rodriguez runs out to announce Del Rio, who comes out still wearing his suit coat. I like that, for some reason. He stops at the steps to fix his boots. We once again see the footage from last month’s Smackdown where Del Rio smashed the car hood over Sheamus’ back. This is still the only thing that’s driving this feud.

Match #2: Christian Vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez)

Del Rio rushes Christian, but Christian ducks and starts laying fists to him in the corner (no one counts). Del Rio pulls Christian outside and rams him into the ring post, followed by throwing him into the ringside barrier. Del Rio throws him in and goes for the pin. 2-count. Del Rio starts working on Christian’s left arm to weaken him for his finisher. Christian starts making his comeback with a clothesline and a right hand. He heads to the top rope and hits a cross-body for a 2-count. Christian sets up for the Killswitch but Del Rio blocks it. Christian goes another pinning attempt and gets a 2-count.

Del Rio gets the advantage again and continues working on Christian’s arm. Del Rio goes to the second rope and goes for a back splash but misses. Christian sets up for the spear but runs into a savate kick. He goes for the Cross Armbreaker but Christian tries to counter with the Killswitch. Del Rio pushes him off. Christian goes to the top, and Rodriguez distracts the ref allowing Del Rio to hit him with his boot. Del Rio applies the Cross Armbreaker and Christian submits.

Winner [via Submission]: Alberto Del Rio (3:05)

  • Ended up being a pretty damn good match for 3 minutes, and Del Rio squashing Christian that quick does build him a little bit, but I wish they used someone different for that role. (B-)

Sheamus shows up on the Titan Tron. He says he’s going to class up his act, and steals Del Rio’s Ferrari. Grand theft auto is a babyface move, people!

  • It’s a cheesy turn of events, but at least they did something to build up the Sheamus/Del Rio feud. They couldn’t continue living off of that attack on Smackdown from a month ago. I still couldn’t care less about the match, though.

Hype for the Orton/Show match, which is coming up next!

**Commercial Break**

We get a shot of the Alamo since we’re in San Antonio, TX as Cole and Lawler talk about Sheamus’ theft from a few minutes ago. Randy Orton‘s music hits, bringing out the Viper. They announce him as the “Apex Predator”, so apparently someone on creative has recently seen Chronicle (or follows Max Landis on Twitter, who has been calling Orton “Apex Predator” all year).

Match #3: “The Viper” Randy Orton Vs. The Big Show

Orton and Show stare each other down before locking up. Show quickly throws him down and backs him into the corner. He goes for a chop but Orton quickly fights out of the corner and backs Show into another corner. He clotheslines him twice, then starts hammering him on the second rope (crowd does count this time). Show catches him with a sidewalk slam, then steps on him. A “Big Show sucks!” chant breaks out and Show stares at the fans.

Show says Orton is in over his head, then headbutts him. Show says this is too easy so obviously Orton starts fighting back. Orton hits the ropes but is met with an elbow to the face. Show applies a front facelock to wear him down. The crowd chants Orton’s name to motivate him. Orton fights out and starts trying to take Show down. A dropkick does the job. He gets that crazy look in his eyes and sets up for the RKO. Show catches him and hits the Chokeslam for the 1…2…KICK OUT.

Orton goes to the outside, but Show picks him up to the apron. Orton runs at him but Show knocks him back to the outside. Show blocks a punch and hits a loud chop on Orton, who’s draped over the ringside barrier. Show rolls him back in. Show sets up for another Chokeslam. Orton starts kicking him, so Show pushes him over the top rope and onto the floor.

Show chops Orton on the announcer’s table and picks Orton up. Orton slides out and pushes Show face-first into the pole. Orton tries for the RKO, but Show pushes him off and lands a spear. The ref counts to 10 and it’s a double count-out!

Winner: Double Countout (5:41)

  • Not a bad match between the two and even though it was cheap, I dug the finish. It was a double countout that made sense; both men were concerned with fighting each other and ignored the count. Felt realistic, if that makes sense. (B-)

Show tosses Orton back into the ring and goes for the WMD but Orton ducks and hits the RKO. He is standing tall…above the man challenging for the WWE Title at Summerslam. Fair enough.

Hype for HBK’s appearance tonight as well as Triple H/Lesnar’s impending face to face confrontation.

**Commercial Break**

Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks are in the ring for a handicap match against Ryback. One of them looks to be holding a baton. Ryback cuts a picture in picture promo. Lots of feeding metaphors.

Match #4 [Handicap Match]: Ryback Vs. Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins

Reks starts out against Ryback and gets the quick upper hand. He tries to Irish whip him but Ryback blocks it and slams him to the mat. He goes for another bodyslam but Reks slides out and gets a shot in to his gut. Hawkins tags in and Ryback beats him up. He quickly tags out to Reks. Hawkins distracts Ryback and Reks hits a series of kicks and a clothesline for a 1-count. Hawkins tags back in, but then Reks tags back in. Okay.

Rek gets some quick offense and tags Hawkins back in. They hit a double front-face suplex and Hawkins go for the pin. 2-count! Hawkins goes for a rest hold but Ryback fights out. Reks grabs Ryback’s leg and Hawkins runs at him. Ryback back drops him onto Reks on the outside, then grabs Hawkins and throws him back in. He plants Hawkins with a spinebuster and hits a lariat. He hits his finisher on Hawkins and gets the 1…2…3.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Ryback (2:49)

  • Hawkins and Reks had some good offense on Ryback (although they never used that weird baton thing one of them was carrying), and I liked the spot where Hawkins got backdropped onto Reks on the outside. But, come on, like Ryback wasn’t going to win? They’re slowly making him more vulnerable by letting people get more offense on him, but his character is becoming stale (although the crowd seemed to be into him, so maybe I’m just the one getting bored). I still await the day they actually do something with Ryback. (C)

Hype for Cena/Bryan.

**Commercial Break**

Epico/Primo and The Prime Time Players are already in the ring. A.W. introduces them and they do their dance. Epico dropkicks Young out of the ring before the match starts and the ref separates the teams.

Match #5: Epico/Primo Vs. The Prime Time Players [Darren Young/Titus O’Neil] w/ A.W.

O’Neil and Primo start the match and O’Neil gets the quick offense due to his height. Young tags in and they hit a double shoulderblock. Primo reverses an Irish whip and hits a head scissors takedown for a 2-count. Young brings Primo to their corner and tags O’Neil in. They both beat on him in the corner, and O’Neil tosses him halfway across the ring. O’Neil slams Primo to the map and tags Young in. O’Neil suplexes his partner onto Primo.

Young applies a rear chinlock on Primo, who makes an awesome facial expression. Primo starts mounting a comeback, but Young hits a powerslam and gets a 2-count. Young whips Primo into the corner, who hits him with an elbow and gets to his corner to tag in Epico. Epico is a ball on fire, backdropping Young and dropkicking O’Neil off of the apron. Epico delivers three belly to back suplexes in a row. O’Neil pulls Young out of the ring and A.W. says they’re leaving. Tag Team Champions R-Truth and Kofi Kingston come out, allowing Epico and Primo to attack The Prime Time Players from behind. Back in the ring, the champs distract Young allowing Epico to hit the Lung Blower for the 1…2…3!

Winners [via Pinfall]: Epico/Primo (4:29)

  • I had a lot of fun watching this match. Epico and Primo are a great tag team, and I’ve already said I’m a fan of The Prime Time Players. But having O’Neil and Young lose…that was ridiculous. Still though, this is my favorite match so far and I like that the tag team division is finally getting some spotlight (reluctant spotlight due to the extra hour, but spotlight nonetheless!). (B)

We see clips of Damien Sandow‘s attack on Brodus Clay last week.

Backstage, Josh Matthews stops Damien Sandow who says he’ll dispose of Brodus Clay for the good of the WWE. He ends it with a “You’re Welcome” and heads to the ring. Match is up next!

  • PUNCH BRODUS IN THE D*CK, SANDOW!

**Commercial Break**

The usual Brodus Clay opening dance routine starts at the entrance ramp, but Damien Sandow attacks him from behind to stop it from happening (YEEEEESSSSS!). Sandow attacks Clay’s previously injured left knee. He places his leg on the ramp and steps on it twice as Clay screams in pain. Sandow puts him in a leghold and wrenches the injured knee, until officials break him off. Sandow gets back on the ramp and stares at the carnage he has committed. Sandow soaks in the boos of the audience.

  • Now that was awesome. The attack itself was pretty brutal looking, especially the leg stomp off of the ramp. Sandow was getting great heel heat too, which I hope WWE officials were paying attention to. He’s going to be a huge star in the next few years. You know how I know? He made want to see him face Clay…and I hate Clay. God help me.

Backstage, AJ Lee is with Daniel Bryan in her office. He says he’s calm now and he’s happy he’s fighting Cena tonight; when he wins, she can turn the triple threat main event into a four-way. But AJ lets him know he already has a Summerslam match…against Kane! Bryan says “No!”, Lee says “Yes!”, and they go back and forth. Lee wins the contest and Bryan leaves in a huff.

  • That was pretty funny. And also the announcement that Bryan meets Kane at Summerslam means Charlie Sheen will not be wrestling and that’s even better.

**Commercial Break**

We see The River Walk in San Antonio, TX and Lawler reminds us Sheamus stole Del Rio’s car earlier. Kelly Kelly makes her way to the ring for the next match, her first appearance in the company in three months. The WWE remembered the Divas! Eve Torres comes out next and we find out AJ Lee gave her this match because of a negative TOUT she sent towards her. Pro wrestling is high school.

Match #6: Kelly Kelly Vs. Eve Torres

Torres starts mouthing off to Kelly, then goes to leave the ring but Kelly brings her back in. Kelly hits the Thesz Press and attacks her. Kelly smashes Torres’ head into the second turnbuckle. She hits a handspring elbow (sort of) then goes for the Stink Face, but Torres gets out of the way and leaves the ring. Kelly follows her and throws her into the ringside barrier. Back in the ring, Kelly hits a Flying Crossbody for a 2-count. Kelly tries for a head scissors out of the corner but Torres slams her to the mat. Torres chokes her on the bottom rope.

Torres climbs to the second rope and chokes her more. Torres then applies a front chinlock and Kelly won’t stop shrieking apparently. The crowd brings Kelly back to life and she breaks out and hits a Hurricanrana into a roll-up for the 1…2…3. Also my ears are ringing from all that shrieking.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Kelly Kelly (3:02)

  • Apparently this is the first time Kelly Kelly has been on Raw in awhile but I hadn’t noticed because I’m a sexist pig. As for the match…it was what it was. The in-ring action was okay, really fake looking but okay, but the shrieking…OH GOD THE SHRIEKING AT EVERY MOVE. Reminded me of a Maria Sharapova tennis match. (C)

Recap of Sheamus stealing Del Rio’s car. Cole threatens a Tout from the Irishman as he cruises around San Antonio. More hype for the Triple H/Brock Lesnar confrontation. But before that, Shawn Michaels is coming out to say hi and totally not become a pawn in the Trips/Lesnar feud!

**Commercial Break**

Justin Roberts introduces “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels to the ring. He come out to a crowd reaction that…isn’t all that loud to be honest. But he lives there so I’m sure they see him all the time. Michaels salutes the fans in the ring, as Cole and Lawler give him a standing ovation because they don’t want to be fired. The music dies down and the crowd is way louder, proving once again that I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Michaels makes a joke about being out of shape, then thanks the WWE Universe for allowing him to be a part of history (meaning the 1000th episode of Raw). He brings up the reunion of D-X and calls it “priceless”. Michaels says he’s comfortable letting the world pass him by but when he heard WWE was coming to his home city, there was no way he was going to miss it (he plugs #HBK too, because social media bro).

Michaels shifts to talking about the Triple H/Brock Lesnar match coming up at Summerslam. This brings out Lesnar who’s with his adviser Paul Heyman. Lesnar keeps hopping around the ring like the cutesy MMA fighter he is as the crowd boos loudly. Heyman says it’s not surprising that everyone wants to know Michaels’ opinion about Lesnar’s match with Trips in two weeks. Heyman says he and Lesnar would seek his opinion out as well, but not for this match because Lesnar is heading into Summerslam not as an entertainer, but as a fighter.

Michaels says he’s not here to dispute Lesnar’s attributes but since he made it personal with Triple H, Michaels is picking Trips as the winner for Summerslam. Michaels believes this will happen so much, he wants to see it personally and announces he’ll be in Triple H’s corner! Heyman says Summerslam will be the end of Triple H’s career.

Lesnar cuts Heyman off and says the only reason HBK thinks Triple H can beat him is because HBK has never fought him…until now. Lesnar approaches Michaels, but Triple H’s music hits to bring him out to the ring. Lesnar smiles as the two stare him down and grabs the mic. He says he’ll see Triple H at Summerslam and Michaels…before then. OMINOUS! Lesnar and Heyman leave the ring and Trips/Lesnar stare at each other. I hope you found this entertaining because this is going to be repeated ad nauseum for the next two weeks.

Back at the announce table, they recap the Christian/Del Rio match and Sheamus’ thieving of his Ferrari. I GET IT. We see Sheamus’ TOUT from the Alamo, which actually adds to the story and is a good use of that social media service.

**Commercial Break**

Alex Riley is in the ring ready to job to Dolph ZigglerChris Jericho is at ringside to do commentary for the next match (while wearing Ziggler’s t-shirt). Cole asks Jericho what he thinks about the “Mirrored Rivals” article on WWE.com. Jericho brushes it off, and stops to let Vickie Guerrero introduces her man Ziggler. We see a clip from last week’s tag match and Ziggler’s ambush afterwards on Jericho.

Match #7: Alex Riley Vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/ Vickie Guerrero)

Ziggler ducks a lockup attempt then struts and stares at Jericho at ringside. Ziggler gets a waistlock, but Riley knocks him down. Ziggler gets an armlock but Riley trips him, gets an armdrag, and puts on an armbar. Ziggler pushes Riley into the corner and knees him in the gut. Ziggler beats Riley down to the mat. Ziggler delivers an elbow to Riley’s back, then jaws at Jericho. Riley blocks a punch and lays some of his own into Ziggler, but Ziggler hits a beautiful dropkick to regain the advantage.

Ziggler hits an elbowdrop and goes for the pin. 2-count. Riley tries to mount a comeback but Ziggler stomps it out of him. He continues beating Riley down and rubbing his forearm into his face. Riley gets a hip-toss/suplex combo in, but goes shoulder-first into the ringpost. Ziggler hits a neckbreaker then goes for a Jericho-style pin with his foot. Jericho starts shooting a Tout of the match which distracts Ziggler and allows Riley to roll him up for the 1…2…3! YESSSSS!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Alex Riley (4:16)

  • A good showcase for Ziggler’s heel persona and a decent match to boot. Riley getting the pin was awesome, but since it was caused by Jericho’s distraction and everyone buried him afterwards on commentary it ultimately won’t matter. Too bad too because Riley has done nothing but improve. (B)

Cole and Lawler read a tweet from AJ Lee who has signed a match between The Miz and Kane which is coming up next!

**Commercial Break**

We get another Sheamus Tout from Del Rio’s Ferrari. He spills Spanish food on the car. That nincompoop!

Match #8 [Non-Title Match]: Kane Vs. [WWE Intercontinental Champion] The Miz

Kane backs Miz into the corner and breaks clean, but Miz suckerpunches him. Kane gets angry and starts laying into Miz into the corner with a series of punches. Kane goes for a kick but Miz moves and he gets his caught on the top rope. Miz attacks the other leg to weaken the big man. Kane tries for a bodyslam but Miz slides out and continues working on the leg. Kane fights back with uppercuts, but Miz dropkicks Kane’s left leg followed by a kick to the head. Miz gets a 2-count.

Miz slaps a front facelock on the Big Red Machine. Kane gets out and hits a massive uppercut. He bodyslams him and hits a dropkick to the sitting Miz for a 2-count. Miz gets whipped into the corner and gets a clothesline, but moves out of the second attempt. Miz attempts the Skull Crushing Finale but Kane smashes him in the corner. Kane lifts Miz head-first into the turnbuckle. Kane delivers the Chokeslam on Miz for the 1…2…3! Sigh.

Winner [via Pinfall]: Kane (3:47)

  • Miz is the IC Champion and shouldn’t be getting jobbed out in this way; hell, even Santino took 7 minutes to get squashed last week. It just devalues the title. Match-wise it was pretty good, I like Miz’s attempts to keep Kane on his knees (not that way pervert) and Kane seems to still be improving in the ring all these years later. But still…why job the dude out? Come on. (C+)

We get one final hype mention for the main event, Cena/Bryan, which is up next!

**Commercial Break**

Sheamus has returned to the arena in Del Rio’s Ferrari, which is now covered in grass, Spanish food, and a whole lot of dirt and mud. Plus it’s smoking (a car after my own heart). He hands the keys over to a random backstage guy and leaves giddy like a schoolboy. The San Antonio cops immediately arrest him for grand theft auto. No they don’t. This is wrestling, stupid.

Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring, fighting the fans’ “Yes!” with “No!”. We go backstage, where Del Rio and Rodriguez see the state of his Ferrari. Del Rio makes Rodriguez clean it up. Rodriguez pulls out a traffic cold. Grand theft auto and petty theft? Sheamus is a douche.

**Commercial Break**

Main Event: John Cena Vs. Daniel Bryan

Cena gets a quick headlock and backs Bryan into the ropes. Clean break. Dueling Pro-Cena and Anti-Cena chants. Bryan is mad at the chants because this match is about him. He goes to the outside and yells “No!” at the ringside fans. Bryan runs in and gets hip tossed. Cena goes for the pin and gets a 2. Cena applies a side headlock, and Bryan breaks out with some forearms to the ribs. Cena quickly shoulder blocks him down and reapplies the headlock. The Cena chants continue. Bryan steps on Cena’s leg to get him to his knee then hits an armbreaker over his shoulder followed by an armbar.

Cena whips Bryan into the ropes, and Bryan goes to the outside. Cena chases him around and Daniel runs in. He delivers a baseball slide to Cena off the apron. Bryan hits a flying knee from the apron into Cena’s face. Bryan and a fan dressed as a ref duel “Yes!” and “No!” chants as we go to commercial. God I love Daniel Bryan.

**Commercial Break**

Cena is breaking out of a hammerlock as we return from break. Bryan stomps him to stop the attempted comeback. Bryan stomps Cena in the corner and hits a couple of “No!” kicks. He goes for a Running “No!” Kick and connects. Bryan goes for the pin. 1…2…kick out! Bryan relentlessly continues kicking Cena. Cena reverses an Irish whip and delivers a backdrop. Both men are down. Cena gets to his feet first and rushes at Bryan, but Bryan gets a drop toe hold that sends Cena face-first into the second turnbuckle. Bryan hits a “No!” Kick on the second rope which smashes into Cena’s face and goes for the pin. 2-count.

Bryan reapplies the hammerlock in the center of the ring. Cena powers out and goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Bryan slips out and kicks Cena’s hamstring to regain the advantage. Back to the hammerlock. A “Yes!” chants start, which Cena uses to fuel him (hey, desperate men do desperate things). Cena hits a series of shoulder blocks followed by a slam. Cena hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle and picks him up for the Attitude Adjustment, but Bryan turns it into a Guillotine choke (NICE!). Cena tries to get him off by smashing him into the corner but it doesn’t work. Cena falls down but gets back up and smashes Bryan into the corner again to finally break the hold.

Bryan runs at him, but Cena hits the Drop Toehold and goes for the STF but Bryan escapes it and kicks him. He goes for the pin. 1…2…KICK OUT. Bryan is going nuts from continually getting too close. The “Yes!” chants amp up, which don’t help his mental state at all. Bryan goes to the top rope and hits a Flying Headbutt (NO WAY!). 1…2…KICK OUT.

Bryan hits a series of “No!” kicks and goes for the final one but Cena grabs the leg and locks on the STF. Bryan breaks out of it and tries to connect the “No!” Lock but Cena picks him up and hits the Attitude Adjustment instead for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: John Cena (13:58)

  • Easily the best Raw main event of the 3 hour era thus far. Great in-ring action, lots of drama, and the crowd was absolutely smoldering. Bryan gets the MVP here for not only giving Cena a great and competitive match but also for just being an amazing character. I can’t say enough great things about him. Loved the hell out of this match. (A-)

“Cult of Personality” hits and CM Punk makes his way ringside. He gets into the ring and the two stare each other down. Punk raises the WWE Championship. Cena motions that he will beat him for it. Cena pushes Punk out of the way as The Big Show comes in. Cena picks Show up for the Attitude Adjustment but Punk stops it from happening. Punk gets to the announcer’s table and says that maybe it’s his fault that people have dispespected him. Punk goes into the “heel turn” promo, saying he’s done kissing babies and being nice. He says Raw ends the same way it’s ended the past two weeks: with Punk standing tall as WWE Champion. He throws the headset down and jumps back in the ring. Punk goes for a roundhouse on Show, who catches it and knocks Punk out with the Knockout Punch. Show then hits Cena with the Knockout Punch. He grabs the WWE Championship and raises it above his head. He puts the belt over his shoulder and stands tall over the fallen Punk and Cena. Fade to WWE Logo.

  • I did not see Show standing tall coming for some reason. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t been on the show all day and when he was didn’t get to say anything. Either way, I liked the end to the show and it helped remind the WWE audience that he could win the belt at Summerslam. I mean he won’t but he could.

Show Grade: B

  • Favorite Match: John Cena/Daniel Bryan
  • Least Favorite Match: Kane/The Miz (if only for the unnecessary burial)
  • Favorite Segment(s): Damien Sandow beating the hell out of Brodus Clay once again, the final segment
  • Least Favorite Segment(s): Sheamus stealing Del Rio’s car and TOUTing about it

Show Thoughts:

  • Another good edition of Raw and once again I’m shocked at how well they’ve adapted to the 3 hour show. They kept the Touts to a minimum and even more over actually made sure they mattered (costing Ziggler a match, continuing the Sheamus/Del Rio feud). And that main event…I can’t say enough great things about it. They tore that f*cking house down. Add in a random but meaningless Alex Riley victory, and I was happy. But when it comes to building and continuing storylines, Raw stagnated a little bit. The Triple H/Brock Lesnar confrontation was underwhelming and although The Big Show stood tall at the end of the night, his involvement in the Triple Threat is an afterthought at best. I also didn’t appreciate the fact that both Christian and The Miz did such quick jobs; they’re feuding over the IC Title and it made them both look stupid (Miz especially since he’s the damn Champion). The Sheamus/Del Rio feud is still not hitting the right chords with me and although they finally added another wrinkle to the story, it still revolved around Del Rio’s goddamn car. But all in all, another good TV episode from Raw but for those looking for a great build to Summerslam may be thoroughly disappointed.
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