Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday Night RAW Recap: Weak Build to a Strong PPV

Location: Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Announcers: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole
Guest general manager: Anonymous RAW GM
This is the last RAW before the Money in the Bank pay-per-view on July 15th. Theoretically, this means the WWE should be actively trying to put on a good show. As you will see, nothing could be farther from the truth. 

AJ Lee/D-Bryan/CM Punk in ring segment
RAW started off the right way with AJ Lee bouncing down to the ring. Eventually CM Punk joins her, and AJ surprisingly proposes to him. Moments later, Daniel Bryan comes down and proposes to AJ. Somewhere in the world, Brie Bella is pissed. Segment ends with AJ telling us she is going to walk out of the arena tonight with her future husband. 
Spoiler Alert: At the end of the night, she walks out by herself. Not sure if the writers re-booked the show on the fly or what, but it doesn't make any sense for AJ to make that declaration and then for the show to end the way it did. Sloppy booking. 
Abbey MacQueen ‏@AbigaelHay
Someone get AJ a skip-it. She'd easily break 100 

Sheamus vs Jack Swagger
Sheamus did more damage to himself setting up his brogue kick than Swagger accomplished during this entire 30 second win. Anyone else immediately think of Marky Mark hitting himself in the movie "Fear" every time Sheamus pounds his chest in anticipation? Just me? Alright, moving on. 

After a 20 second match. Michael Cole: "This is what  is all about." - Sad. 

Tensai/Dolph Ziggler vs Tyson Kidd/Christian

The back fat slam
Another short match. Tensai with the pin over the current Intercontinental champion, Christian. He then proceeded to powerbomb Tyson Kidd onto the right apron after the match was over. Despite the domination, there is zero chance former Albert wins the ladder match on Sunday. 

Brodus Clay vs Drew McIntyre

The front fat slam
Drew McIntyre just hasn't been the same since The United Kingdom disbanded. In all seriousness, how great was that stable in WWE 12 the video game? It was without a doubt Sheamus, McIntyre, Regal and Wade Barrett's best work. It took longer for you to read those last three sentences than if you watched the Brodus Clay and Drew McIntyre match twice. Funkasauras squash in what seems to be a night of squashes. It's like everyone is trying to Beat the Clock, except no stipulations were ever announced. 
John Cena/Kane vs Jerishow
Prior to the match Cena got on the stick and guaranteed a victory this Sunday at Money in the Bank. 

John Cena: "When I defy the odds and win the World Title for the 13th time...."

This was a pretty solid match up. But then again after our first 3 matches, anything was going to seem like Savage/Steamboat at WM 3. The whole time I watched this match, I was just dreading the four of them in the ring together this Sunday. Chris Jericho has a lot of work ahead of him in order to carry those three stiffs to a presentable ladder match. I am hoping that they prove me wrong, but it's unlikely. 

Money in the Bank qualifying match: Sin Cara vs Heath Slater 

Cross Faced Chicken Wing
Obviously Sin Cara was going to win this one. Adding him to the Money in the Bank ladder match is a great idea. The man is a spot machine and he has absolutely no chance of winning the match. No chance.....that's what he's got.

After the match, Slater challenged any former WWE champion in the back to come out. Enter Bob Backlund. Crowd chants "you still got it" as Backlund literally just walks around in the ring. Eventually Backlund locks in the Crossface Chicken wing on Slater to my delight and roughly around 18 people in the arena who actually know who Bob Backlund is. 
Jerry Lawler vs Michael Cole

Do yourself a favor and watch this Lance Storm/Jerry Lynn match from ECW Anarchy Rulz 99 and pretend the announcer match never took place. The only silver lining is that the "match" was over quickly.
I'm the result of lazy booking
After the match the Anonymous GM announced that he was changing the winner of the match to Cole because Booker T interfered. Then Santino came out in his Sherlock Holmes insignia. Side note, watch the BBC tv series Sherlock. It's not quite as good as Breaking Bad or The Wire, but better than Mad Men or The Walking Dead

Anywho, a year after the Anonymous RAW GM angle ended, we find out it was Hornswoggle. Woo. Give me Mae Young giving birth to a hand or HHH simulating necrophilia before ever making me watch this RAW again. 

On the 1000th episode of RAW, I demand that we find out who was behind GTV. 

Eve Torres/Daniel Bryan vs AJ Lee/CM Punk

Bend and Snap
In interesting news, my girlfriend is a bigger fan of Eve Torres than AJ Lee, so I guess girls prefer "hoeskis" to psychos. Forgettable match up. AJ rolls up Eve for the victory after Daniel Bryan refused the tag from Eve. 

The WWE champion actually closing RAW?
RAW ends with AJ slapping CM Punk because he told her he wasn't going to marry her. She also slapped Daniel Bryan, most likely because he's kayfabe dating Brie Bella and thus was never serious about his marriage intentions. This was the highlight of RAW, seriously. 
Grade: D

Final Thoughts: Worst episode ever. I try very hard not to come across as a jaded wrestling smark. I do my best to give everything a chance, but seriously, our first 3 matches tonight lasted about as long as I would during a night with Kate Upton (anything less than 30 seconds would fit this criteria). I can't give credence to any episode of RAW in which three straight squash matches, takes place. Honestly, after tonight, I am really considering downloading the recent TNA PPV, Destination X. Never thought I would resort to watching TNA, but here we are. 

We...we apologize for this entire show. We must have eaten some bad clams or something while writing it. 

Completely Arbitrary Top 5

5. My girlfriend for enduring all my Kate Upton/Eve/AJ Lee/Kelly Kelly chatter.
4. AJ Lee, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk - Only half redeemable part of RAW.
3. Eve- Told CM Punk to his face that he was overshadowed by The Rock, John Cena, HHH and Brock     Lesnar. Talk about a pipe bomb. 
2. Bob Backlund - Looked pretty good for his age. I marked out for the Cross Faced Chicken Wing.
1. When the show faded to black.


A little bonus coverage for the reader(s). As of right now, only four matches have been announced for the PPV. This is fine with me if it means each match gets quality time. If it looks like the show will end drastically short, throw in a Ryback squash and you're golden. On to the matches.

Money in the Bank ladder match for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship
Damien Sandow vs Tyson Kidd vs Christian vs Santino vs Tensai vs Cody Rhodes vs Ziggler vs Sin Cara
How in the hell are three RAW wrestlers in Santino, Tensai and Ziggler even in this match up? And why is the current Intercontinental champion as well as the current United States champion involved in this match? 

You can essentially rule out Christian and Santino immediately. They have their titles and not even the WWE's creative team is stupid enough to have a wrestler already with a title win this match. It is painfully obvious management is down on Tensai, so he has no shot. Ziggler just had an extended program with the current heavyweight champion Sheamus, so I really don't see them going back to that well so early. Sin Cara is the "Shelton Benjamin" of this match. He is only in it to provide something for the highlight reel when Vince tries to shill "WWE's Best Ladder matches 38" DVD.

That leaves Tyson Kidd, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes as possible winners. Sandow has been on TV for all of 20 seconds, so I can't imagine him winning. Our next PPV is one of the WWE's big 4, which is Summerslam on August 19, 2012. Believe me when I say that Sheamus vs Damien Sandow isn't going to put any "asses in the seats."  I don't see Sheamus losing his title at Money in the Bank, so having Kidd win doesn't make much sense, unless creative has a long term plan in mind (trust me, they don't). Smart money is on Rhodes.

Prediction: Cody Rhodes victory

World Heavyweight Championship match
Sheamus (c) vs Alberto Del Rio

Sheamus' title reign has been nothing to write home about. Still, I don't think creative is ready to give up on him just yet. Sheamus retains and hopefully begins a program with Cody Rhodes.

Prediction: Sheamus

Money in the Bank ladder match for a shot at the WWE Championship
Big Show vs Chris Jericho vs Kane vs John Cena 
Cena wins. Challenges CM Punk at Summerslam. Book it. 

Prediction: John Cena

WWE Championship match

Dubious officiating
Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk (C) with AJ Lee as special guest referee

I want to say with confidence that CM Punk wins this match up. However, the involvement of AJ Lee as the special guest referee really is a wildcard. The only referee I would want less is Shawn Michaels. Would you really want AJ Lee deciding the fate of your WWE Championship reign? I think not. 

Prediction: CM Punk retains, but I have ZERO idea how we get there. 

Bonus Final thoughts: Last year's Money in the Bank PPV was amazing. It is a must watch for any wrestling fan. The main event that night was CM Punk vs John Cena for the WWE title. Seriously, stop what you are doing right now and Youtube CM Punk's entrance. Chicago's crowd that night was AMAZING. The only crowd in my mind that even comes close was Toronto during the Rock and Hogan's match at WM 18. 

The story line at last year's Money in the Bank had Punk's contract expiring the next day and if he won the title, he was going to take it home with him. I'm going to sound like a wrestling nerd, but it really was riveting, innovative stuff. 

I expect a great PPV. After all, this is about the time when the WWE actually tries to put on a decent show. With RAW's 1000th episode, the switch to 3 hour RAWs, and  Summerslam next month that is shaping up quite nicely with the possibility of CM Punk vs John Cena and HHH vs Brock Lesnar, I'm not wrong. It's a good time to be a WWE fan right now. I'll leave you with one of the best moments of CM Punk's title reign after defeating John Cena at last years Money in the Bank.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to follow me @TheRawLibrarian on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. After watching it I realised that the WWE, and especially the Creative Team are messing with the fans' intelligence. This is completely unfair to the fans, especially to the older generation.

    That angle about the Anoynmous GM was the worst o its kind. It sucked, and sucked badly. They had so much potential over this storyline and yet, they decided to screw it over, and make the GM Hornswoggle.

    I am a true WWE fan. Been loyal to the company since 1996. But last night was a spit in the face to my intelligence. That was not fair, by every aspect of it. It was not fair to the generation who watches it now, and the generation who was watching it back in the 90s. This is basically a 'Fuck You, fans' kind of segment!

    This is Vince's moneywhoring at its best!