7/2 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: C.M. Punk and John Cena vs. Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar's camp responds to Triple H's SummerSlam challenge, Money in the Bank hype continues
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members will be listening to my audio review of WWE Raw later tonight. They are already listening to my 76-minute Q&A audio show that was recorded earlier today. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php. You are also encouraged to download our free iPhone, Android, and Kindle Fire apps.
WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from Laredo, Texas
[Q1] The show opened with a recap video from last week's main event that concluded with Big Show leaving John Cena lying... The opening video played... Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler checked in on commentary as the Money in the Bank briefcase was shown hanging above the ring. Lawler hyped that Teddy Long is hosting the show, and Cole hyped the C.M. Punk and John Cena vs. Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan main event...
Powell's POV: Let's get the contest going. We're giving away a pair of one-month memberships tonight and two more memberships on Tuesday night during Smackdown live coverage. Cut and paste the following onto your Twitter page tonight during the live Raw to enter: Read @Prowrestlingnet's live coverage of WWE Raw at prowrestling.net #wwe #raw
John Cena's music played and he headed to the ring. He stopped to tell the camera that there was a great crowd in attendance. Cena received a pop during his entrance, but it settled into a mix of cheers and boos once he was in the ring. Cena recalled Chris Jericho telling him that anything can happen in Money in the Bank. He said last week was a crash course for him because Big Show interfered while he was wrestling Jericho.
Cena said there are no friends, only enemies in Money in the Bank. Cena said the fans are just like him. He said he knows exactly what's going to happen at Money in the Bank. He said he has to be prepared for anything and he will be. He said Big Show will lose, while he will grab the Money in the Bank contract. Cena said he will cash in the contract and become the next WWE Champion.
Daniel Bryan interrupted with "Yes!" chants and he walked to the ring. The crowd responded with "No!" chants. Cena quipped that even Bryan agreed with him. Bryan said he will beat C.M. Punk at MITB and become the new WWE Champion. Bryan said that if Cena manages to win the contract, then he will become relevant to him because he will be the first superstar to cash in the MITB contract and lose.
Cena said those are strong words, but he can think of one person who disagrees. "Actually, John, I can think of a lot more people than just one that disagrees with Daniel," C.M. Punk said while walking to the ring. Punk polled Cena and Lawler regarding who disagrees with Bryan to play up the "Yes!" chant.
Bryan said that was enough. He said he's begging someone to have an original thought and not just steal his catchphrase. Punk noted that A.J. will be the special referee for their match at MITB. Punk said she will count Bryan's shoulders down. Punk said that if Cena wins the MITB contract, "Well, then I guess it just comes down to you and me again, doesn't it?" Punk commented.
Chris Jericho's music played and he headed to the ring. He said Punk is still a wannabe. He said Bryan shouldn't complain about people stealing his catchphrases because it happens to him all the time. "No offense, Mr. Best in the World," Jericho said. Punk responded, "None taken, Mr. Bon Jovi." Jericho gave Bryan the "Would you please just shut the hell up" treatment. He welcomed viewers to Raw is Jericho and said no one in the ring will ever, EVER be the same again.
Jericho said he invented the MITB match and therefore he is going to win the MITB match. He dared anyone in the ring or in the back to come down and tell him otherwise. Cue Kane's entrance theme. Kane got in Jericho's face and said, "Otherwise." Big Show's entrance music played.
[Q2] As Show was walking to the ring, Bryan attacked Cena from behind. A brawl broke out with the wrestlers in the ring. Show made it to the ring and got the better of Cena. Kane cut off Show briefly, but Show took him down. Show stood tall while the other wrestlers sold on the mat or at ringside. Show's music played to conclude the segment... [C]
Powell's POV: A good opening segment that set up the show's main event, the WWE Championship match at MITB, and the Raw version of the MITB match all at the same time. It was fun to hear Jericho break out some of his old schtick again.
A graphic noted how old current celebrities were when Raw's first episode was held. Back live, Cole cracked that Lawler was in his prime then. The announcers hyped Charlie Sheen's role as the social media ambassador for the 1,000th edition of Raw...
1. Cody Rhodes, David Otunga, The Primetime Players (w/A.W.) vs. Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, and Christian in an eight-man tag. Truth returned and so did ring announcer Justin Roberts, who was replaced by Lilian Garcia last week. Darren Young clotheslined Kingston outside the ring. The wrestlers all bickered at ringside and the show cut to commercial. [C]
After the break, the heels worked over Kingston until he made a hot tag to Santino. The heels broke up a Santino pin on Otunga and cleared the Players from the ring. A.W. told his team that they don't need this. The Players went to the back. Otunga tried to tag Rhodes into the match, but he also bailed. Cole noted that Cody still blames Otunga for costing him a spot in MITB.
Brodus Clay's music played. Clay and his dancers walked to ringside. Otunga tried to leave the ring, but Clay threw him back inside the ring. Santino hit Otunga with The Cobra and pinned him.
[Q3] After the match, Christian hit the Killswitch and Clay splashed Otunga. Clay and the dancers danced. Santino joined in and some kids entered the ring to dance with Clay...
Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, and Christian beat Cody Rhodes, David Otunga, The Primetime Players in 8:10.
Backstage, general manager Teddy Long was shown dancing as he watched Clay on a monitor. Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez entered Long's office and complained about always losing what he deserves. He begged Long to give it to him. Long said he doesn't think Del Rio deserves anything, but the board of directors have named him No. 1 contender. Long said Del Rio will challenge Sheamus for the World Hvt. Championship at MITB. Long said Del Rio would face "a Teddy Long surprise" after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: The eight-man tag match felt like filler, though it did give them a chance to further establish that A.W. likes to have his team counted out when they appear to be in trouble, and briefly played up the Cody Rhodes drama over the MITB spot. More than anything, it reaffirmed that David Otunga's wrestling character is one step up from the guys Ryback beats. Long not endorsing Del Rio didn't help heading into the title match at the pay-per-view.
The 1,000th Raw video flashback featured Stephanie McMahon talking about how her brother Shane trained her father for a match against Steve Austin. The training footage was shown.
Powell's POV: Fun footage that also showed how much Vince has aged. They actually blurred the WWF logo from one shot inside the Titan Tower gym.
At ringside, the announcers spoke about the expansion of Raw to three hours...
Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Sin Cara. Del Rio drove a 1955 Rolls Royce into the building this week. The Hispanic crowd was anti-Del Rio, but they were pleased to see Sin Cara. Del Rio roughed up Sin Cara when he entered the ring and then applied the Cross Arm Breaker on Sin Cara on the floor at ringside.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara never got started.
Powell's POV: That made Del Rio look much better than the Long segment did. I am surprised that they made Sin Cara look bad in a Hispanic heavy market. They could have had Del Rio beat up anyone, so it will be interesting to find out what led to Sin Cara being put in that spot.
Backstage, a camera held a closeup shot of a Red X symbol. The camera pulled back to show it was something A.J. was wearing rather than C.M. Punk. Daniel Bryan approached from behind and happened upon some flowers. Bryan took a flower and gave it to A.J. while apologizing for his antics.
A.J. said it was sweet and said she's sure it has nothing to do with her being named special referee for his match with Bryan. She said Bryan never cared about her. She said she's going to win her match tonight and run into the arms of the man the WWE Universe sees as her soulmate. A.J. bit the pedals off the rose and handed the stem back to Bryan...
A shot aired of Paul Heyman having his tie adjusted as he sat in a chair. A graphic noted that Heyman would appear via satellite...
Powell's POV: Another strong segment with A.J. It was nothing special until she bit chomped on the flower.
[Q4] An ad for Smackdown hyped The Great American Bash battle royal and ran through the top names that will appear in the match. The winner of the match will be named general manager of Smackdown next week...
A video recapped the last Paul Heyman and Triple H segment...
Paul Heyman appeared via satellite and was asked whether Brock Lesnar would accept the challenge. Heyman said he was pleased to announce that Lesnar has made a decision. Heyman said Lesnar will announce that decision in three weeks on the 1,000th edition of Raw.
Heyman said Triple H wants the match for reasons beyond what he's saying. He said Hunter will need money because he's going to sue him for putting his hands on him. Heyman also said Triple H is looking for a way out. Heyman said that if Lesnar accepts the challenge, he will end Triple H's in-ring career.
Heyman said everyone will then tell Triple H how he was the last of his era and how he went down courageously. Heyman said that if Lesnar accepts the match, it won't actually be a match. "It will be a mercy killing," Heyman said. Heyman laughed...
Cole announced that Teddy Long has tweeted that Kane will face Big Show in a No DQ match, and Sheamus and A.J. vs. Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero in a mixed tag match... [C]
Highlights aired from Smackdown of Vickie Guerrero slapping Dolph Ziggler... Vickie introduced herself as the Queen Diva and then introduced Dolph Ziggler for their mixed tag match...
[Q5] 2. Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero vs. Sheamus and A.J. in a mixed tag match. Sheamus worked over Dolph and set him up for the Brogue Kick by yelling "Brogue" over and over. He just may have telegraphed it, as Ziggler was able to tag in Vickie. Sheamus then drilled Ziggler with the kick anyways. A.J. kicked Vickie and drilled her with a running knee for the win. Vickie grabbed the mic from Justin Roberts and yelled "Yes!" as she headed toward the back...
Sheamus and A.J. defeated Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero in 3:30.
Backstage, A.J. was still in "Yes!" mode, but she stopped while looking for C.M. Punk. He told her to hold on because he was on the phone. She wanted to know who he was talking to and she wasn't happy. Punk told her that he was on the phone with his sister. A.J. asked what he thought of her match. He said he was on the phone. "You weren't paying attention to me?" A.J. asked in a whiney voice...
Powell's POV: Don't worry, A.J., the rest of the adult male viewers were definitely paying attention to you. Is it just me or does WWE turn up the volume on her entrance music? It seems like it's louder than everyone else's music whenever she comes out. Anyway, A.J. is pissed at Bryan and feels scorned by Punk. It's also worth noting that she keeps ending up in the Dolph and Vickie drama. It's probably due to her weird heel vs. heel feud with Vickie, but I think a Dolph and A.J. pairing would be fun.
Heath Slater was in the ring. A video recapped his recent losses to the veterans. Back live, Slater said it's not funny. "I'm the one man band, baby," Slater said. "I am not a clown." Doink The Clown's music played and he came out to a non-reaction from the crowd...
3. Doink The Clown vs. Heath Slater. Cole mocked Lawler over his past issues with Doink. Slater hit a neckbreaker and pinned Doink clean.
Heath Slater pinned Doink The Clown.
[Q6] After the match, Dallas Page's entrance theme played. He walked onto the stage to a decent reaction and then got a good reaction as he played to the crowd inside the ring. The crowd chanted "DDP" as he did the Diamond Cutter routine. He encouraged Slater to do it too, but then dropped him with the Diamond Cutter...
Powell's POV: Maybe the crowd would have been more receptive if they couldn't see some indy wrestler billed as Doink at every local indy show. Yes, Page managed to promote YRG with a t-shirt. If that surprises you, then you haven't been paying attention to Page over the last few years.
A No Holds Barred video aired. The movie will be released on Tuesday... Separate shots aired of Kane and Big Show walking backstage. Lawler hyped that their match was coming up next... [C]
Powell's POV: I would ask why they are bothering to re-release No Holds Barred, but I'm guessing there are more people excited about this than there are for the new releases that WWE Studios puts out.
A video showed John Cena and Alicia Fox meeting with soldiers at the Walter Reed Medical Center last week... The announcers hyped the Raw MITB match...
4. Kane vs. Big Show in a No DQ match. Show shoulder blocked Kane off the ring apron and into the barricade early. Show also kicked Kane in the jaw in front of the announcers' table. Back inside the ring, Kane caught Show with punches and a DDT for a two count. Later, Kane picked up a chair and Show speared the chair and Kane. Show followed up with a chokeslam onto the chair and got the win...
Big Show pinned Kane in a No DQ match in 3:45.
Powell's POV: They continue to build up Big Show in a big way. I assume John Cena will win MITB, but Big Show is my second pick. Punk beating a dominant Big Show at SummerSlam would actually be a big win for his character.
[Q7] Backstage, Eve sucked up to Teddy Long, who told her to save the drama. Long handed Eve an oversized name tag just as she made him wear. After Long walked away, Eve took the tag off and got catty with A.J., who asked who she's going to brownnose next. A.J. said Eve will do anything to get attention. "You want to see how to get attention?" A.J. asked. "I'll show you. I'll show all of you"... [C]
Powell's POV: A.J. is the most entertaining character on the show tonight. They should have planted that "I'll show you all (how to get attention)" seed earlier. I don't know about you, but if I were on the verge of reaching for the remote, that line would keep me watching Raw.
The Raw Memorable Moments feature had Alberto Del Rio stating that his most memorable moment was DX invading WCW...
5. Tensai (w/Sakamoto) vs. Tyson Kidd. Tensai roughed up Kidd, but then missed while charging at him in the corner. Kidd rolled up Tensai and pinned him clean. Cole said that may have been the first time Kidd has won a match on Raw in three years. Tensai beat up Sakamoto after the match...
Tyson Kidd pinned Tensai in 0:17.
Powell's POV: Is it wrong that I hope for Tensai to lose just so I can watch him beat up Sakamoto? That son of a bitch deserves it! Actually, the creative powers that put two guys who can't talk together as a unit deserves the ass kicking.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan told Chris Jericho that he hoped he wasn't going to wear "that stupid jacket to the ring." Jericho mocked Bryan's jacket and said his beard needs a trim. Bryan started yelling, "Yes!" Jericho said "Ever again!" in a back and forth comedy battle between the two heels...
In the other locker room, Punk told Cena that they have history, but he said he's grown as a man and as a leader. Punk said Cena should just follow his lead. Cena smirked and patted him on the back while shaking his head in disbelief while saying he would just listen to Punk... [C]
Powell's POV: I'm not sure where they're going with this and perhaps it will make sense, but it looked like it was scripted to make Punk look like he's getting a big head, while Cena gave him the same smirk and look of disbelief he'd give an over the top heel. Meanwhile, dare I say that I've had my fill of "Yes!" chants tonight?
[Q8] Backstage, Josh Mathews tried to interview Tyson Kidd in his locker room, but Tensai entered and beat up Kidd... Ring entrances took place for the tag main event. Cole noted that Punk is a week away from passing the 1996 reign of Shawn Michaels...
6. John Cena and C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho. Punk and Bryan started the match. They both tagged in their partners within the first two minutes. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment on Jericho, who held onto the ropes. Cena knocked Jericho to the floor heading into the break. [C]
The heels controlled the bulk of the action after the break leading up to the overrun. They took turns tagging while working over Cena. There were dueling "Let's Go Cena" and "Cena Sucks" chants from the crowd.
[Overrun] Cena continued to sell for the heels and eventually got to his corner to make the hot tag. Punk springboarded into the ring and clotheslined Bryan. Punk went on an offensive flurry, including a high knee and an Anaconda Vice. Jericho entered the ring and kicked Punk to break up the pin. Cena tossed Jericho to ringside and they brawled up the ramp and to the backstage area.
Punk and Bryan traded good offense in the ring. Bryan took the advantage with a kick to Punk's head and got a two count. Punk came back with a superplex for a near fall that had the crowd hot. A.J.'s music played and she skipped to and around the ring as Punk and Bryan continued to exchange punches and kicks.
A.J. looked up at them and didn't seem pleased that they weren't looking at her. She climbed onto the ring apron and then went back to ringside and looked underneath the ring. It took her three looks, but she finally pulled a table out from underneath the ring and set it up at ringside.
A.J. slowly climbed to the top rope while looking down at the table. Bryan headed to ringside and pleaded with her. "Don't jump," Bryan said. Punk joined Bryan by approaching A.J. on the ring apron and telling her not to jump. A.J. planted a big kiss on Punk's lips and then shoved him off the ring apron, onto Bryan, and they both went through the table. A.J. pumped her arms and did the "Yes!" bit again to close the show... The new Raw commercial aired after the show went off the air...
John Cena and C.M. Punk fought Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho to an apparent no-contest.
Powell's POV: A.J. is usually served up in small doses. They loaded up on A.J. this week and it worked for me. The non-finish to the main event was logical given her stated goal of trying to get attention, and her antics set up the pay-per-view nicely. It was refreshing to see Punk, Bryan, and A.J. in the main event mix. I have no idea if we're supposed to believe that Cena and Jericho are still fighting somewhere, but their disappearing act gave viewers a taste of how good Punk vs. Bryan can be.
Overall, this was not a very newsworthy show, yet it was successful in setting up the WWE Championship match and offering some hype to the Raw Money in the Bank match. That said, I've lost a lot of enthusiasm regarding the Raw MITB match since last week and a lumbering Show and Kane match certainly didn't help. Our contest winners are listed on Twitter via @prowrestlingnet. There's a change in plans for audio, as I'm going to save the Raw audio show for Tuesday morning. Thanks for watching along with me.
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