Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Sheamus… Intercontinental Champion: The Miz… United States Champion: Santino Marella… Tag Team Champions: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth… Diva’s Champion: Layla
We see clips of the pre-show, while they were letting the fans in the building, of a fire set off by the pyro. Parts of the Titantron burned. Way to kick off the NEXT 1,000 episodes. Got the grand-spanking-new Tron for Raw 1000 and they burned it up for Raw 1001.
CM Punk opens the show. Fans still cheer him. He talks about WrestleMania moments; last week he had a Raw moment that was bigger than most WrestleMania moments. A statement from Jerry Lawler has bothered him since Raw 1000 went off the air, and I quote, “CM Punk has turned his back on the WWE Universe”. Punk turns to the King and heads out of the ring. He sits on the announce table and calls this jump to conclusion, horrible. Punk says The Rock is not the WWE Universe; he’s one man, who Punk turned his back on. He calls the Rock delusional and showed Punk disrespect; first off, he interrupted the WWE Champion, something no one should do. Punk was then further insulted when the Rock was talking with Daniel Bryan and just completely ignored him. He continues on about “Dwayne” and how he tried to make the Raw 1000 all about him at the end and Punk showed him what kind of person he is. He feels the show should end with the spotlight on the WWE Champion. As usual, I agree with him. Big Show interrupts. Punk reenters the ring and Punk complains about Show stealing the spotlight. Show feels Raw 1000 was about him; he cost John Cena the title and made him the first MitB winner to fail. He says that even after he kayoed Cena, Punk still could not beat him, and probably would have tapped if Show hadn’t interfered again. Show takes credit for Punk still remaining the champ; he then vows he will be the next WWE Champion. Punk runs through all of Show’s recent losses and failures. Cena interrupts… actually he just charges in and attacks Show chasing him off. They yell mean things at each other. The NEW GM of Raw AJ Lee (they call her “AJ Lee” now) comes out, in a suit looking like mini Stephanie McMahon, and books her first Raw main event, Cena versus Show for the number one contender to Punk’s title at Summerslam. 5.5/10 Pretty decent opening; I guess they aren’t going Full Monty with the Punk heel turn, which is fine, as long as it gives him his edge back. AJ is okay as GM as long as they keep her normal (not psycho) and perhaps neutral, favoring no one, babyface or heel. That would be unique.
In the back Daniel Bryan is pondering entering AJ Lee’s office.
Santino Marella vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez): This match is the other match that occurs once a month for Del Rio (Zack Ryder is the other); Alberto’s car was not permitted in the building due to the earlier fire. Del Rio should stick with the black trunks; it makes him look more legitimate. He charges wildly and misses a clothesline; Santino capitalizes with some punches but gets leveled with a clothesline. Del Rio goes to work with stomps; Marella gets a few punches in but a suplex cuts it off. He continues with the main event stomp and then props Marella in the corner and slaps him around. He chucks him cross-corner but gets backdropped to the apron and dropkicked to the floor. We head to break with Del Rio bewildered on the floor. We return with Santino trapped in an armbar; he rises but gets punched in the breadbasket. He hits a running double stomp and MOCKS THE COBRA! Alberto returns to the armbar and Santino tries yet another comeback; Del Rio kicks him and grabs a headlock. Marella backdrop suplexes free and begins a real comeback. Punches and a split-legged dropdown… countered with a running kick. Del Rio continues the boring offense with more stomps. He tries a second-rope double stomp but Marella moves. The Cobra pops the crowd but Del Rio kicks to counter and poses his shoulder in the corner; the Backstabber armbreaker and cross-armbreaker follows for the tapout. Post-match, Del Rio says he destroyed the US Champion, like nothing; he says Marella, Sheamus and the crowd are beneath him. He announces he is not wrestling until Summerslam. 2/10 Big time squash for Del Rio there, or should I call him, Alberto Del Stompo, as stomps and armbars are all of his offense nowadays. Santino usually gets a little plucky offense in, here he got zero. Boring match.
Here is your winner… Alberto Del Rio @ about 7:10 (broadcast) via cross-armbreaker submission.
Daniel Bryan continues to have a crisis of conscious regarding entering AJ Lee’s office.
We return with Brodus Clay already in the ring dancing, which is a first. Vickie Guerrero interrupts the dance party and does her “Elaine Dance”. Tis he, Damien Sandow, the martyr; he calls his attack from D-Generation X a horrible crime perpetrated against all of humanity. We get clips, kind sir. Clay laughs at him. Sandow attacks him and takes his leg out. He mauls him with a series of knees to the face. Damien rips the necklace off of Clay and takes his leave. 7/10 That was a good statement from Sandow; this helps him retain lost heat from the DX fiasco better than decimating a jobber. Clay is popular and perhaps he is finally going to be involved in a feud in lieu of blowing out JTG each week.
We move forward to clips of the Dolph Ziggler/Chris Jericho saga and a tag match is announced for later in the evening. After that (and a commercial) Daniel Bryan has finally worked up the guts to enter AJ Lee’s office. She offers a handshake; Bryan gets in her face about the wedding last week, she shuts him up, and says he’s his boss. AJ thinks Daniel was going to have her committed last week since he was hanging around with men in white; Bryan says they were the groomsmen. She wants a clean slate so she books him in a match with Sheamus. Bryan asks if it is for the title she responds with a “no” chant. After a video package for Triple H/Brock Lesnar we see Sheamus; Josh Matthews asks him what match he would prefer the WWE Universe to pick for his match with Bryan tonight. Apparently, on Twitter, you can vote for the match via hashtag. I’m one of the few who does not mind this social media experience thing on Raw. Sheamus says the rougher the better; before he leaves he asks if Josh is okay, apparently he looks a bit nervous.
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan #RawActive street fight: YES! Pre-match, Bryan DEMANDS the fans stop chanting “yes” and plays with the crowd, enraging them more to chant “yes” with “no” until Sheamus’ entrance interrupts. The fans tweeted street fight overwhelmingly. Bryan attacks at the bell with a running knee. Sheamus clubbers right back. Bryan flips off the top to counter a cross-corner whip but gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker; he begins to knee away. Bryan drop-toeholds Sheamus into the bottom buckle and then twists his arm. Sheamus comes right back with a reverse elbow. For a RawActive match, fans voted for street fight, this sure isn’t very street fighty. Sheamus gets a nearfall. Bryan rolls to the floor and NOW the street fight can begin as Sheamus tosses him about the ringside area. Bryan gets a few kicks in and charges Sheamus… and gets BACKDROPPED onto the steel ramp. Ouch. They brawl up onto the stage where Bryan tastes the giant WWE logo located there. Bryan counters White Noise on the stage with a low dropkick; he begins the Yes Kicks at the edge of the stage, teetering him, and then a running dropkick knocks Sheamus off the stage onto the concrete below. Sheamus bounces off the ground and looks to have injures his ankle. Bryan leaps off the stage with a leaping high knee as we head to break. When we return, we are back in the ring, and Bryan has an armbar locked in, which is a rare lapse in psychology for Bryan. Sheamus hurt his ankle prior to the commercial. Sheamus tries a comeback but Bryan cuts it off with a knee to the gut; Bryan dropkicks him to the floor. Daniel runs off the apron but Sheamus catches him and tosses him INTO the barricade with a fall-away slam. Ouch II. Bryan winds up in the Timekeeper’s Pit for some O’Clubbering; he suplexes Bryan, over the barricade back to ringside, onto the floor. Fans chant for table but Sheamus finds a Kendo Stick and a chair instead. He chucks them into the ring but Bryan wisely pushes them back onto the floor, drawing boos. Sheamus clotheslines him back to the floor. He takes forever capitalizing, which is rare usually he charges out after his opponents, and Bryan manage to get the Kendo Stick; he nails Sheamus with it a bunch of times. Back in the ring, he lays out Sheamus, in the corner, with the stick in the corner as the fans chant “yes”. Bryan grasps the chair now and wedges it into the opposite corner. He swings, Ryan Braun style with the Kendo Stick, but it’s a foul ball and Sheamus grabs the stick. Sheamus snaps the stick over Bryan’s back but Daniel manages to dropkick him into the corner and Sheamus bangs the back of his head on the chair. It only gets two, of course. I don’t mind Sheamus booked strong, he’s the champ. Bryan heads to the floor with the chair but Sheamus recovers insanely quickly and levels him with a shoulderblock. He clobbers Bryan with the chair and disengages the steps; they tease dropping each other onto the steps and Bryan manages to post Sheamus’ shoulder, hard. Bryan puts the bottom half of the steps into the ring and then hammer-tosses Sheamus into the barricade. Back in the ring, they fight over a Kendo Stick; Sheamus uses his strength to tug of war Bryan onto his shoulders for White Noise… ON THE STEPS! Bryan saves his life by wriggling free but falls to a Brogue Kick, immediately following, to give Sheamus the hard-fought win. 8/10 If this is what three-hour Raws will have on them; I’m all for it. Great match. Brutal back-and-forth with some hard shots and good use of plunder, it was not overboard. Sheamus and Bryan continue to have stellar matches between them, this is another example. Bryan looks really good in the loss as he held his own with the invincible champion.
Here is your winner… Sheamus @ about 19:10 (broadcast) via Brogue Kick pinfall.
When we return from break, Daniel Bryan is still in the ring and DEMANDS to see a doctor and REFUSES to leave the ring unless he gets one to check on his injured neck. He yells “no” at a bunch of referees who are trying to extricate him from the ring. Meanwhile, we get highlights of CM Punk at the top of the show, when we return; Bryan is still in the ring as Kofi Kingston, with R-Truth (in a nice suit) and Little Jimmy, comes out for a match. I love how all of the matches run into one another. Kofi has a mic and asks Daniel to leave the ring; Truth tells him to skedaddle. Bryan asks Truth where Little Jimmy is; Truth tells him he is in the corner. Bryan KICKS Little Jimmy out of the ring! Truth rushes to Little Jimmy’s aid as Bryan yells at him for consoling an imaginary child. He calls his “groomsmen” from last week to take Truth away since he is “mentally disturbed”. Kofi tries to reason with them until GM AJ Lee arrives. She directs the men in white to commit “the little guy in the ring” since he appears a little “mentally unstable”. AJ tells him he needs to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. I wonder if he will run into Ric Flair or Roddy Piper there. 6.5/10 I enjoyed how they used Kofi and Truth to supplement the AJ/Bryan storyline, keep them fresh in the fans’ minds other than being in a match. This unpredictability if fun and if these three-hour Raws are all going to be like this, I’m all for that.
Mr. McMahon will announce a new SmackDown GM this Friday. I was wondering when they were going to tie up that obvious loophole.
Kofi Kingston (w/R-Truth & Little Jimmy) vs. Titus O’Neil (w/Darren Young & A.W.): Truth props Little Jimmy down in a chair at ringside. They lock up and O’Neil uses his strength to quickly take over; Kingston uses his speed to get a boot up to block a charge and tries a springboard crossbody, but once again, Titus’ strength comes into play as he catches him in midair. He drops Kofi into a backbreaker. AW shouts, “Titus O’Neil is like Kobe Bryant in a hotel in Colorado… he’s unstoppable!” Oh, that’s gonna cause a problem. George Carlin may believe that rape is funny but I’m sure there is SOME member of the Universe that disagrees with him. I like AW and I hope this does not cost him his job. The broadcasters are silent for a good ten seconds, probably getting an earful from Vince McMahon. O’Neil tosses Kofi into the corner; Kingston tries to fight back but eats a bodyslam. He applies a chinlock as they seem to have cut off AW’s mic. Kingston begins to fight back but O’Neil continues to maul him. AW has started to talk again so I guess he was just shell-shocked at what he said. Kofi counters a swinging slam into a DDT but it really looked like O’Neil scores with a Gunslinger. Kofi begins his comeback with some dropkicks; O’Neil won’t go down so Kingston leaps into a clothesline to finally fell the big guy. The Boom Drop connects with draws Young onto the apron; Truth knocks him down drawing referee Scott Armstrong over to him which allows AW to throw his shoe at Kingston. AW shouts, “yo mamma” at Kingston; he grabs the shoe and tosses is back at AW. Kingston turns right into a Sky High for the pinfall. 4.5/10 O’Neil needed that win for some legitimacy here; the match was thrown off by AW’s off-color comments regarding the Kobe Bryant rape situation. Hopefully it does not lead to his dismissal because these guys work well together.
Here is your winner… Titus O’Neil @ about 2:40 via Sky High pinfall.
In the back CM Punk levels with John Cena about last week with Big Show. Punk likes Cena and is honest with him; he does not care if Cena wins or Show wins. He tells Cena not to be bitter at the fact that he did to The Rock what Cena couldn’t do.
Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater: Heath runs his mouth and challenges any current WWE superstar. Orton answers with a Mohawk and Slater is dead. Slater kicks him and tosses him into the corner and pounds away. Slater celebrates a bit too quick and Orton fires back with clotheslines and the scoop-powerslam; Viper DDT follows as the crowd loses its shit… RKO! 2/10 Squash to bring Randy back, nothing less nothing more. I wonder if the WWE will go through with the legends angle with Slater after this.
Here is your winner… Randy Orton @ about 1:00 via RKO pinfall.
In the back Daniel Bryan talks to a therapist. Really? He of course asks him a series of questions that Bryan has to answer “yes” to until he just starts screaming “yes” over and over. That was actually kind of funny.
Christian & Chris Jericho vs. The Miz & Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero): Here’s a team with A LOT of history going back to the infamous “dollar Canadian bet angle” which involved a Trish Stratus heel turn. Jericho is a babyface again, it’s been a while. Christian and Ziggler begin and Dolph takes wrests him down and SHOWS OFF. Ziggler mouths off to Jericho on the apron so Christian slaps him and gives him a flapjack. Dolph CREATES SPACE and tags out; Miz charges right into a headlock takeover with knuckles. Miz scampers away and tags Ziggler back in. Christian wrings his arm and tags in Jericho; now Ziggler scurries to the corner and tags out. Miz runs into a hiplock and clothesline for a one count; Jericho slams him and then follows up with an elbow for another lateral press and kickout. He tosses Miz into the corner but runs into a boot; the heels take over on Jericho. Chris comes back with a shoulderblock and a top-rope double axe. Ziggler gets clotheslined to the floor and Miz charges and winds up next to him. Christian comes off the top but the heels barely catch him as he lands onto them. That could have been bad. Back from break, Jericho is entangled in a chinlock because during the break, Vickie distracted him and Ziggler knocks him off the apron; back to live action, Jericho gets a rollup for two. Miz levels him with a clothesline and applies a chinlock. Jericho escapes with a back suplex. Christian gets a tag and goes to work on Ziggler; he hits a running forearm followed by the pescado uppercut. A second-rope reverse elbow allows the springboard sunset flip, for two. Dolph backs Christian into his corner but he fights out; Miz gets knocked off the apron but Ziggler scores with a dropkick. Miz tags in and hits a running boot. They work Christian over in the corner with a series of stomps and a chinlock. Christian CREATES SPACE chucking Miz to the floor; Christian begins the crawl but Miz pulls Jericho off the apron to cut the tag off and they Horseman Stomp him. Ziggler returns and hits a Show Off Elbow, for two. He applies a handstand aided chinlock Christian fights back but Ziggler drops a neckbreaker; he whiffs on something (I think the Namedropper) and continues to pound on Christian. He goes for the Namedropper again but Christian turns it into a powerbomb. Ah, that’s what was supposed to happen. Jericho gets the hot tag and beats up Miz with shoulder tackles; he knocks Dolph off the apron with a springboard dropkick and hits the running bulldog to Miz. The Lionsault connects but Ziggler runs in to break it up. Christian wipes Ziggler with a spear but then Miz tosses him into the post, shoulder first. Miz walks right into a Walls of Jericho attempt but Miz powers free and boots him down. Miz regains his bearing and tries the Skull-Crushing Finale but Jericho pushes him off. Christian BLATANTLY CHEATS from the apron with thumb to the eye and Miz stumbles into the Codebreaker for three. Post-match, Ziggler clocks Jericho from behind with the briefcase. 7.5/10 Very good tag match here which continues a pair of storylines; good match.
Here are your winners… Christian & Chris Jericho @ about 15:50 (broadcast) via Codebreaker pinfall.
In the back the psychotherapist gives Daniel Bryan the Rorschach (inkblot) test. The therapist “haphazardly” places the inkblot papers onto the table once Bryan has given his answer and lo and behold, they resemble a goat face. Bryan runs through all of the insults The Rock gave him last week; he thinks Charlie Sheen is behind it and screams for him.
Tyson Kidd vs. Tensai (w/Sakamoto): In an odd twist of fate, Tensai is already in the ring and Kidd gets the entrance. Tyson is trying out some new trunks in lieu of the shorts. Kidd gets some kicks in but eats a shoulderblock. Tensai kills him with the locomotive splash and beats on him with elbows. The fans are bored already as Tensai applies a trapezius claw. Kidd powers free and hits a Pelé style kick; Tensai misses a charge and Kidd rolls him up again, this time for two only. He retreats onto the apron and hits a pendulum kick and scales the ropes for Code Blue… but it only gets two! Tensai recovers and hits the Baldo Bomb and running senton for the pinfall. Post-match, Tensai continues to beat on Kidd with short clotheslines. He brings back the Derailer to complete the beating. The referee reverses his decision and gives Kidd the win via DQ. He beats up Sakamoto and then scares the referees away. 2.5/10 That did not do Kidd (or Tensai) any favors. Kidd looks like a jobber and Tensai gets the ol’ crappy referee reversal call, which is rather stupid since post-match beatings occur all of the time.
Here is your winner… Tyson Kidd @ about 4:50 via (referee decision reversal) DQ.
The therapist concludes that Daniel Bryan is angry, bitter but sane. He leaves but his anger management therapist shows up and chokes him into the wall. His anger management therapist is Kane.
An extensive video package for the Triple H/Brock Lesnar match at Summerslam is shown.
John Cena vs. Big Show number one contender’s match: CM Punk comes out for commentary and pretty much to rip Jerry Lawler. Cena attacks at the bell but Show, as usual, overwhelms him and pounds away. He hits a reverse avalanche as the fans vociferously chant “let’s go Cena/Cena sucks”. Punk is the only entertaining part of this match as Show chops Cena. Punk’s “heel turn” is good because he is just returning to the character that he was when he first propelled himself into the main event during the Summer of Punk. Cena hops up on Show with a sleeper hold, for w while. Show eventually backs him into the corner; John leaps off the second rope but Show catches him in a bearhug. Cena quickly swings himself around into another sleeper. Punk’s major point is the WWE Champion should be the center of attention instead of movie stars, like The Rock. Cena drives Show to one knee as Punk teases Lawler about having notes prepared and calls it “a Rock promo”. Show collapses onto his back and Cena tries a cover but the power kickout sends Cena to the floor. Back from break, Cena tries a comeback with a shoulderblock but just bounces off the proverbial brick wall. Show hits another reverse avalanche and jaws with Punk. Cena counters another avalanche with boots and a second-rope bulldog. Cena begins to fire up but gets caught in another bearhug. This goes on for a minute or so. Cena tries to slam Show but he Earthquakes back on top of him. Show signals for the chokeslam but Cena counters into a DDT; Show still manages a side suplex but he is slow to recover. He lumbers up the ropes but MISSES the Vader Bomb. NOW Cena begins the comeback with the usual, a back suplex sets up the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Show snags him in a chokeslam out of nowhere… for two! Cena kicked out. He tumbles to the floor as Show watches and then gives chase. He contuses the slow-ass beating on the floor; Cena manages to post Show on the floor. Show recovers quickly however and tosses Cena over the announce table wiping out Punk in the process. Show rolls back into the ring and waits on a countout. Cena makes it back in at nine. He calls for the WMD but it misses. Cena hoists him up for the AA but Punk returns and beat up both guys. He blindsides Cena and then kicks Show’s head off. Post-match, Punk grabs a pipe bomb and says that no one wins because they are both losers. He leaves but AJ Lee wanders out and books a triple threat match for Summerslam. Punk gets in her face and demands respect as the show finally ends. 2/10 Boring match that was predominantly rest holds; it had a big fight feel… from 1985 for all of the wrong reasons. It was really long too, and there was no winner anyway as both will wrestle at Summerslam anyway.
Here is your winner… no contest @ about 18:10 (broadcast).
OVERALL 5/10 If this is how the three hour Raws are going to go; I’m pretty impressed this week. I like how the matches and storylines meld into each other, gives the show a much more unpredictable feel. The show was not super outstanding or mind blowing, just a perfectly acceptable three hours of wrestling. My only major issue was WAY too many video packages and recaps, fill that time with another match! Oh, and the main event sucked.