It is the 996th Monday Night Raw, live from Indiana!
We are treated to an opening video package recapping triple threat match from No Way Out with CM Punk, Kane and Daniel Bryan. The focus of this is how CM Punk and Kane have a weakness, and that weakness comes in the form of AJ. The recap the entire feud so far, which has really breathed fresh air into the Kane character which was going through his typical stale feud phase. We get clips to last week on RAW with AJ skipping around ringside a Kane mask distracting the Big Red Love Machine. AJ is doing a phenomenal job in her role here of a psychopath and is keeping viewers intrigued to see what she is going to do next.
It wouldn’t the longest episodic sports entertainment show filled with humans on earth (or something) without a monologue piece to kick off RAW. AJ has something to say to all of the wrestlers. First she addresses Daniel Bryan and says they have drifted apart as of late. Kane, however, makes her lose all her inhibitions and wants to get wild with him. I wonder how she would feel if she saw “See No Evil”. According too AJ they both know you’re not a man though you’re a monster. I was hoping she would break out and sing “Am I a Muppet or am I a man?” The Indianapolis crowd starts to chant “crazy chicks”. CM Punk and AJ and are soul mates but AJ thinks they all should go their separate ways. The camera shows that AJ this whole time is talking to a mirror. Cue to maniacal laugh and weird facials and you have your opening promo. If I would have told you that before this year began the WWE Diva with the most air time on June 25th 2012 would be AJ I’m sure you would have said I was as crazy as AJ is portraying herself to be, however AJ is doing an amazing job breaking out of this feud.
It is video clip time. We show Brodus Clay getting knocked out by Big Show a few weeks back on RAW and tonight Big Show will be taking on the Funky Dinosaur. Oh yeah, that John Cena has a historic announcement to make tonight. (bartscott) CAN’T WAIT!!! (/bartscott)
Once again back is in the incredible as Vickie Guerrero comes out to massive heat from the Indianapolis crowd. Guerrero announces she is interim RAW and Smackdown general manager. Jerry “The King” Lawler seems disappointed and shocked while saying “oh no”, he must not watch any other WWE programming or follow anything WWE related on twitter since it has been heavily promoted all week. Vickie wants to be the permanent General Manager and announces that the permanent General Manager will be announced on the 100th edition of RAW. She is excited to bring us a great show and announces that we have a 3 way elimination match to kick off Monday Night RAW
Three Way Elimination Match: Daniel Bryan vs The Big Red Love Machine vs CM Punk
Daniel Bryan comes out first to a great pop of “yes yes yes yes” chants. We have our first twitter plug of the night, Cole says AJ one of the most talked about people on twitter, doubt it but shill on bro. Kane out next, he is enamored with AJ (at least it isn’t Katie Vick) and AJ cost him the title. I really enjoy Kane’s intro with the smoke and him walking through it, he has been repackaged more then just about anyone but when he walks out the smoke it is different and is a good addition to his character. HUGE POP for CM Punk he alerts us that IT IS CLOBBERIN TIME!! For me it is just 9:09 pm, but I suppose somewhere it is clobbering time. We are treated to a really silly twitter shill, you can tweet WWE who AJ should be with 4 diff hash tags, sort of like Taboo Tuesday except just a hahs tag fest love connection, Chuck Woolery eat your heart out, or better yet #chuckwooleryeatyourhashtagout. I wonder if fans really believe this is how they will determine who AJ is with, or if it is a cool use of twitter. Methinks it is the latter
As we are off!! Champ goes first after Kane with a few shots and then Bryan attacks Kane with a few punches. Kane gains control over Punk and then Bryan clips Kane’s leg and brings the big man to his knees and it is YES FEST, they kick Kane down with “yes kicks”. I read they did this spot at a house show recently and it is a great way to get the crowd involved, and out of nowhere Bryan rolls up Punk for a 2 count. Punk goes for a modified pre springboard kick to back of Bryan which is a great realistic spot. We get a clip of AJ watching the monitor as Punk goes for a suicide drive through the middle rope and gets caught with a uppercut, creatively done, Bryan goes for a move on the outside of the ring on Kane, Kane catches him with a bear hug slam into the side barrier and we gets a commercial. SUSPENSE!! WE HAVE RETURNED Kane is now dominating both Punk and Bryan. Kane goes to the top and Bryan catches him with a few “yes” punches and Punk catches Bryan and hoists Bryan onto his shoulders as Kane and Punk look to set up for the Doomsday Device (great move, shout out to the Road Warriors) but Bryan counters it into a victory roll as Kane flies over the top of them both. I really like this spot it was awesome and original and Bryan gets the 2 count. Cole outs over that one thing that all three of these guys have in common is AJ, apparently them chasing the title takes a back seat to AJ, groovy way to strengthen the title. Kane catches both guys in a double choke slam attempt but its countered into a double suplex. This feels a lot more like a great triple threat match so far,I’m not complaining though. Yes and No exchanging elbows by Punk and Bryan, and we have Kane on outside, Bryan charges after Punk and he sends Bryan flying to the outside and crashing down to the outside hard. Looked as if Kane was supposed to catch him but did not do a good job (hi ya Miz). Punk with a great sinister facial expression and you get the feeling he is plotting his next move which is a middle rop suicide dive onto Bryan and Kane. Cole puts over how Punk has had the 4th longest WWE championship reign in 15 years. This is really a testament to what Punk is doing with the title as far as making it a big deal again which the title was sorely lacking as it was being passed around more then Kim Kardashian. Bryan is back in the ring, Punk goes for springboard clothesline and misses as Bryan tries to go for the “Yes lock” Punk counters with a slingshot of Bryan at Kane, I am glad to see this move back in rotation in WWE, and Punk gets two count as Bryan gets his leg on the rope. Punk signals for Go To Sleep and gets eats a Kane boot to the mush, Kane gets two and slings punk into a sidewalk slam and gets 2 again. IT IS AJ TIME, AJ skips around the ring in normal clothes, shucks I was hoping for more masks. Kane goes for choke slam and punk does a great job countering it with a GTS which punk did an amazing job selling how hard it is to keep Kane up there for a while before executing the move. KANE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED, Punk catches his breath and then gets kicked in the head by Bryan, and Bryan gets the uno dos tres. GREAT FINISH!! This finish really puts over the unpredictability of the elimination match along the speed and power of Bryan’s strikes. Bryan is at the top of say how he wants to the title and he has made Punk tap out.
Vickie Guerrero in the locker room and we get a visit from Senor Destiny Alberto Del Rio and Virgil errr Richardo Rodriguez. ADR tries to sweet talk Vickie into being the #1 contender with roses that promptly disappear with RR after ADR gets upset at RR, pointless roses then eh. Enter Dolph Ziggler who gets a nice a face reaction, saying how he is now the #1 contender and as so close to beating Sheamus so ADR needs to get in line. Weird that he calls Vickie “Vick” for that is an odd name to shorten in the name of love but I guess it is their thing, cool dolp. Vickie makes a match for tonight with a #1 contender match on a pole match…you watching this Russo, IT IS A FRIGGIN ________ ON A POLE MATCH. ADR and Doph banter back in forth until RR comes in with the flowers in a vase which Dolph says “oh are these for me” takes them from Vickie’s hands and smashes the vase against the wall. Where is Tony Parker to get a glass shard in his eye from that, not really though. The winner gets a title shot on Smackdown this Friday. Holy intelligent booking Batman!! The winner gets a #1 contender shot on regular TV?!?! Great job putting over the SD main event and putting over the slow climb while building value in a title match on Smackdown, who is booking this sensical stuff
Yay for everyone because up next, we get Snoop Dogg’s old bodyguard Brodus Clay vs The Big Show, Cole puts over how 4 weeks ago this match never started, I cant imagine this match starting 4 weeks later. We rehash what happened last month (for the second time in an hour) as Show destroyed Clay which did an impressive job putting over Show as a cold blooded heel. Disco ball dropping means we get the Funkasorus, I understand WHY this has to happen, all this smoke and mirrors to cover up the fact that Clay is as green as the outfits the Funkadactyl’s (moronic name) or whatever they’re called are. Cole says Clay is not in a good mood due to what Show did to Clay on Smackdown and the last time he was on raw. Clay is dancing in the ring, seems to be in a jolly mood, which completely contradicts what Cole just said. Show’s music hits and he comes out ready to go. Something I really like here was Show takes his gum out of his mouth and rips his shirt off, now I don’t know if this was predetermined, but it really in a subtle way puts over how Show is ready to go in the ring and destroy Clay like a monster heel should. Novel concept I must say.
BIG SHOW VS BRODUS CLAY
They exchange offense as Show goes for a chop and Clay blocks it with a few soft looking punches. Show whips him off the ropes and Clay hits him with the head butt of extreme hair gel and pain!!! Show to the mat and starts to work the knee, BRILLANCE!!! The Funkadactyl’s look worried, they might of just heard they are being referred to as Funkadactyl’s. Show is really working the injured knee of Clay and wraps Clay’s knee around the pole. Excellent work by show, and puts over again his heel dominance by working over a body part and isolating it, I bet Arn Anderson taught him that. Show slips on the second rope for a second and then goes for a Vader bomb. Clay gets a weak head butt and goes to slam show (wait wasn’t his knee hurt), Show collapses on top of Clay and Show picks up the easy win. THIS should write Clay off TV for a bit bu knowing how much Vince likes weird dancing stuff Clay will be ready to shake it Smackdown soon enough.
John Cena is here and he tweeted! They put over again how his announcement will make history. Anyone else thinks he mentions the divorce, Mickie James, or Kenny from the spirit squad, doubt it. We get a video package about john Cena granting his 300th wish, amazing to see Cena do this, you can tell he really enjoys doing this, invites 300th wish kid to the 1000th episode,and mentions how he is searching for 500 to 1000 wishes. Whether you love him or hate him this is great stuff that Cena does. I believe it was Punk that said nobody cares about the WWE like Cena does and it is evident here. Kudos John, but seriously, how was Mickie in bed?
Another video package with Bob Barker hosting Raw, I sure hated this guest host stuff, although Barker and Jericho’s confrontation was really funny Chavo Guerrero sighting as Barker “beat him up”. Bob Barker just really put over neutering and spraying your pet, geez why didn’t I like this stuff?
The announcers are using their “serious voices” to put over how show came back and knockeded the fuckeded outed of Clay at the end. If this doesn’t write Clay off TV for a bit who knows what will.
VIDEO MONTAGE AGAIN! Cue the clip to HHH at No Way Out challenging Lesnar to a duel at Summerslam this year. We fast forward last weeks RAW where Evil Genius Paul Heyman and HHH bicker about Lesnar not going to fight HHH, Heyman, not surprisingly does a great job instigating this and taking control of this feud, THIS IS HOW A MANAGER WORKS!! You elevate your guy thorugh your mic skills. Looks like Mr Jimmy Johns Brock Lesnar will be on raw next week to answer HHH, I really hope that Lesnar says very little and Heyman does all the talking.
AJ TIEMPO!! AJ just wants to talk to Kane. Kane says he now feels things that he never thought were possible (probably because AJ is alive and not dead like Katie Vick), but he is not boyfriend material because Kane is a monster who wears a mask and enjoys eviscerating people YET he thinks aj is mentally unstable. Seems like I was doing it wrong all these years, I’m going to start telling women that is why I’m not boyfriend material. Kane says it is best to stay away from AJ and says goodbye, AJ starts to cry and then laughs like a psychopath.
DID YOU KNOW: If I was to watch every RAW episode back to back to back it would take me 75 days, awesome. I pity the employee that had to figure this out
SANTINO MARELLA VS JACK SWAGGER
We are back in the squared circle with Jack Swagger and his Richie Rich hairstyle in the ring without his music (never a good sign) and it is Santino Marella who comes out to a decent reaction. Cole says this is the first time Santino has defended the title since April 16th 2012, way to make that title useful guys. Santino goes for some offense and Swagger stops him before Santino gets started and sucker punches him, brilliant scouting there champ. Swagger dominates early and gets Santino in the corner, and the “Swagger sucks” chants begin. Santino chases around Swagger with a cobra without the sleeve, and gets a 2 count.
Twitter shill again. Swagger puts the knees to the back and Santino counters it with a suplex and then kips up and hits Swagger with the splits then a hip toss and now we have ourselves THE COBRA!! Swagger counters it, lifts Santino up and Santino counters with a DDT and tis COBRA TIME!! 1 dos 3, Santino wins. Total sidenote, if Orton is the viper and Santino has the cobra, over who is the “snakier” not sure if that is a word but you ge my point
Cena walks, and a nation cries, he finds a box with the label “free to a good home” with a “People Power” shirt on the top, Cena looks around and in comes Zack Ryder, bro. Ryder throws the shirt in the trash and they fist bump and explode, so brotastic. Does anyone remember when Ryder was having his name chanted at MSG and was in actual feuds and had a purpose, yeah apparently Vince and the superfriends don’t
Cena comes out to make his historic annonouncement, and he actually get a pretty good face pop, awesome for a guy that you can just tell enjoys what he does for a living (mickie james excluded). Now usually it’s a mixed reaction but this crowd is really pro face for Cena, Cena slips in the #meepmop tweet plug, pretty funny in its own way for those who know. Cena now commences cuts a star wars esque promo about what has happened lately, with Johnny Ace, Big Show, Vince, and everyone else who was involved in No Way Out and relates it to Star Wars. Creative in its own right and I popped at the end when he compared Vince to Yoda and said “no chance in hell have you, fired you are” in a Yoda voice, have to admit it made me laugh. Now right as Cena goes into his historic announcement and the lights dim because JERICHO IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jericho strolls down to the ring and he apparently was on a big European tour with Fozzy, dont mention the fact he punted the Brazilian flag. Nice face pop for Jericho and Cena makes his announcement which is he is going to be in the Money In The Bank ladder match although it guarantees he is going to win and goes onto to get Punk at Summerslam. Cena goes over how things have changed in the 30 days Jericho has been gone(#suspended) with Big Show now a monster and him being in the MITB is a problem so Cena gets into MITB to stop Big Show from winning MITB and becoming the champ. They seemingly forget the fact that winning doesn’t guarantee you win the title, which I’m sure Punk has something to say about that but we can forget all about that minor detail guys. Cena wants to win the whole “fudgen thing” and Jericho looks at him stupid and says “fudgen” cool little exchange there. Jericho puts over the value of the money in the bank ladder match as a career ender and it being his idea (he said so himself in the book). Jericho says if Cena wants to do something fun then go in a bouncy house, cut a Star Wars promo, or do Mickie James (well he didn’t say the last one, but yeah). Jericho is putting over the value of MITB in a real strong way, but now not only does Cena have to stop Show, he also has to stop Jericho because Jericho is in MITB as well. EXCUSE ME!! EXCUSE ME!! Vickie enters to awesome heat, again and according to Vickie you can’t just put yourself in the MITB match. Jericho interrupts her and Vickie lets him know to not to do that again because she is the GM and this is her show. Jericho responds classically with “what are you going to do, suspend me” BANG ZOOM KA POW!!!!. The board of directors have stated that only past WWE champs can get in this MITB ladder match and it is going to be; Kane, Jericho, Cena, and Show. That is going to be terrible idea, why not use this match to elevate the young guys who need a push such as Kofi, Zack Ryder, Dolph, or even Tyson Kidd, wasn’t that the concept of the match to begin with? I guess not. Cena says that’s a great idea (shockingly) and says Vickie isn’t bad as a gm and she just has to repeat what the board of directors say and don’t make decisions on her own. Vickie reminds him that this is her show tonight and it is JERICHO V CENA which we haven’t seen in 2 years. “it has been over two years so for the first time ever”. That makes no sense to me either, sorry Vickie, either way great main event with Jericho and Cena.
HEALTH SLATER VS PSYCHO SID
The one man southern jobber comes out to no pop or anything because he is the only man southern tackling dummy. He says that “he is the one man band baby!!!!” great, no one cares. He is one of the top superstars on raw (no), he is Heath Slater and he rules the world!!! Music hits and it is time for the squeegee wheeling Psycho Sid Justice-Vicious. He gets a pretty good pop as he comes down the ramp and we are off! Sid starts out with some terrible looking offense choke thrust looking slap thing, Sid puts Slater on the turn buckle and slaps him like he is an indie wrestler and then drops him with some more sloppy offense. Slater gets a few simple kicks in and comes off the ropes and gets a clothesline for his efforts. Sid hits the leg drop and Lawler asks “how many superstars has Sid laid to waste with that” umm no one really jerry. Cole puts over that Sid hasn’t been on RAW in 15 years, yeah I feel really old now. Sid gets a good pop from the crowd as he calls for the powerbomb and hits a sloppy unsafe powerbomb and covers Slater for the W. Poor Heath Slater, that one didn’t look fun at all for him. “Psycho Sid” chant breaks out and the match is over.
ADR vs Dolph Ziggler for the #1 Contender
Looks like ADR has his own Facebook page with a lot of “likes”, I bet he checks in everywhere he goes and invites all his fans to clubs and parties. Dolph Ziggler is out next and fans are starting to get behind Ziggler, you can’t hold down talent and Ziggler has more then enough of it. “Lets go Ziggler!!” chants begin, earth to the writing staff: THIS GUY IS OVER. Ziggler starts out running for the contract; ADR catches his and gets some in kicks in the corner, and now goes for the contract while Ziggler stops him. ADR misses an insequeri and Ziggler hits him with a Russian leg sweep. Crowd is firmly beind Ziggler as the “lets go Ziggler” chants get louder. They trade blows and then Ziggler counters a powerslam and ziggler hits a picture perfect drop kick, ziggler gets sling shotted to the turnbuckle and leaps to the second rope (great looking spot) and goes for the contract. ADR catches him and goes for the contract himself, Ziggler is on the shoulders of ADR and the hit a Samoan drop from the top which didn’t look like Ziggler landed that how he wanted to and his ankle rolled or he landed on it. They meet again at the top and Ziggler has the contract and takes it off and it flies off the pole and to the mat, which sort of goes against the idea of the match right. Both men are scrambling for control of the contract which seems confusing; they exchange blows left and right. RR grabs the contract and Dolph kicks it out of his hands to the outside, ADR and Ziggler take turns scrambling for the contract some more trying to reach the contract outside of the ring and they take a nasty spill on the other side of the ring. Looks like Dolph landed hard on the back of his head, both men are outside trying to regain their bearings and all of a sudden Sheamus comes out and says that the match on Smackdown this Friday will be a triple threat match. Wait, then what was the point of the match we just had? Like I said something about the ending of that match didn’t add up, but if it means another triple threat match for the title I am all for it. Match ends in a no contest.
The results from the #whoshouldajdate poll are in and Punk wins in a runaway, so I guess that means they have to date. If it was only that simple in junior high then I would have totally politicked for votes for my junior high crush.
MITB title match has been announced which is CM Punk v Daniel Bryan II. This should be another awesome match that I hope gets a good 30 to 45 minutes to tell the story. They’ve got my money for this PPV, now if they could make that ladder match less predictable
CM Punk and AJ promo time as Punk is in the back on the phone, I wonder if he really talking to someone. J appears and put her hands are Punk and says guess who, Punk guesses “King Kong Bundy”. Great guess but no. AJ said she is dedicating her match in the battle royal to Punk, Punk says they need to talk to about where they stand and AJ gets the wrong idea. Any promo with AJ in a bathrobe is approved by me. I hope this means all the divas are in bikinis for the Diva Battle Royal, go get m sexist Vince, degrade them all!! Oh yeah vote Linda McMahon for office
DIVAS BATTLE ROYALE
All the divas are in the ring in bathing suits and the Vickie comes in and strips down to a one piece cheetah print bathing suit. I apologize to that family of cheetahs that lost their skin for that bathing suit really that was wrong of us. We begin and before you know it Rosa and Kaitlyn are out, my interest in this has almost gone away. As the smoke clears AJ, Layla, and Vickie are all that are left, AJ eliminates Layla, (way to keep your champ strong, hard to complain when Layla is in a two piece bathing suit though). AJ and Vickie are left, AJ is sexy, that’s all I got, as AJ eliminates Vickie for the win, I’m sure that my life will be better if I never see Vickie in a bathing suit again. AJ does the Daniel Bryan “yes” chant as we finish up here
MAIN EVENT: JERICHO V CENA
Jericho enters first and is out to the ring with a great pop. Cena is up next as the fighting pride of Western Newberry Massachusetts. Cole and Lawler put over the newest edition of WWE magazine with Cena on the cover and Lawler says he learned stuff about Cena he never knew, I doubt that but ok, buy the magazine. Cena sucks chants start up as Jericho slaps Cena one good time and Cena goes for the AA and Jericho slides out and 2 of 3 minutes into the match and we go to commercial. We are back with Cena in a headlock and Jericho continues to work Cena over with slow methodical offense. Cole and Lawler put over that every winner of MITB has won the title, now what would be interesting to see someone actually lose after winning a contract. Jericho still in control and says “I’m back” and the crowd pops, Jericho is good. Cena counters back with a suplex but Jericho goes back to the offensive with another headlock. Cena starts to “Cena up”, hits the ropes and Jericho catches him with a high elbow, goes for the lionsault and misses it. Cena begins to “Cena up” again, shoulder block shoulder block and you cant se….YOU CANT SEE THIS COUNTER as Jericho sneaks in some offense. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho but Cena counters and finally hits the 5 knuckle shuffle. ITTTTTTSSSS THE BIG SHOW, Big Show walks to the ring as Cena is going for the AA and Jericho rolls into the Walls of Jericho and has it in the middle of the ring “ASK HIM” “ASK HIM”. Show enters and hits Cena with a “leg drop of deviancy”, Jericho and Show stare at each other and Jericho leaves Cena in the laid out in the middle of the ring. HUGE choke slam by Show to Cena and Show puts Cena in a modified camel clutch/colossal clutch looking thing as we go off the air, before we go off the air we get Cole saying that show “might be unstoppable”
Stars of the Night:
1 – AJ – getting better and better every week
2 – Jericho – great to have him back and in the mix
3 – Punk, Bryan, and Kane – these three are having great matches together
Solid in ring work from the matches that got time (Ziggler vs ADR and the 3 way elimination match). I would have liked to see Kofi involved in something but with R Truth injured I am not sure where they can put him yet. Hard to believe MITB is 3 weeks away, I’m not looking forward to the RAW side MITB ladder match because I feel it does nothing for the talent like the match was originally designed to, which was elevate new talent. I am looking forward to Punk v Bryan II, these guys will deliver the goods and I will be watching