7/16 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: John Cena's latest big announcement, Money in the Bank fallout, final two-hour show, episode 999
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members will be listening to my audio review of WWE Raw later tonight. They are already listening to the 81-minute WWE Money in the Bank audio review that Chris Shore and I recorded last night. 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 Las Vegas, Nevada at the Mandalay Bay Events Center
[Q1] The opening montage aired.. Pyro went off on the stage... Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler introduced the show from ringside. They immediately hyped that John Cena won the Raw Money in the Bank match, and then hyped C.M. Punk vs. Big Show as the Raw main event...
C.M. Punk's music played and he headed to the ring wearing the WWE Championship around his waist. The announcers recapped the title match from MITB, and Lawler noted that A.J. was "pretty much impartial" as the special referee. Punk said it may sound strange coming from someone who is Straight Edge, "but I love Las Vegas."
Punk said it was almost a year ago when he sat on the stage and dropped a pipe bomb. He said it started a revolution. He recalled saying he was the best and he has proven that he's the best in the world. He said he beat Daniel Bryan despite the fact that there was a confused referee who didn't know whether she was with him or against him. Punk said he intends to hold up the WWE Championship on Raw 1000 and be proud.
Big Show's music interrupted Punk. He said he was inches away from taking the MITB briefcase. The crowd chanted. Show told them they were rude because he was trying to make a point. He said John Cena was in the right place at the right time when the handle of the briefcase broke. Punk said Show almost won, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Punk said Show has the size and the strength, but he still lost. Punk said that's why a guy like him who is half of Show's size is respect. Show laughed and questioned whether Punk thinks the fans actually respect him. "Not possible, they don't even respect themselves," Show said. He added that if Punk left WWE tomorrow, it would take a week before they move on to the next new thing.
Show said Punk isn't special. He said they both know that WWE revolves around one man. He said Punk is just another cog in the machine. Punk said he's the WWE Champion, whereas Show is just a bitter, well paid, shell of a man who just happens to be a giant.
Show pointed out that John Cena is Mr. Money in the Bank. Show said that after he knocks out Punk and beats him, Punk could possibly lose the championship to John Cena. Show dropped the microphone and left the ring.
The announcers hyped Raw 1000 and The Rock's appearance on the show... A shot aired of R-Truth and Kofi Kingston walking backstage. The announcers said they would be defending the tag titles after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: A good back and forth verbal exchange from Punk and Show. They set up the possibility of John Cena cashing in the MITB contract tonight, and Show picked up where Eve left off in needling Punk about being overshadowed. I still believe the fact that Cena has been in the pay-per-view main events over Punk's WWE Championship matches is becoming part of the storyline.
[Q2] A poll asked viewers whether they would prefer to see the U.S. Title, Intercontinental Title, or the Divas Championship defended on Raw 1000...
1. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. The Primetime Players (w/A.W.) for the WWE Tag Team Championship. The champions got off to a good start, Kingston hit a big dive onto both opponents on the floor as the show went to break. [C] After the break, the challengers took control. Darren Young stopped at ringside so A.W. could pick his hair. Ugh.
Kingston made the hot tag to Truth. A short time later, A.W. bickered with the referee, which allowed Kingston to hit his Trouble in Paradise kick on Titus O'Neil. Truth covered O'Neil and the referee turned around and made the three count...
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeated The Primetime Players to retain the WWE Tag Titles in 7:45.
Backstage, A.J. was shown texting when she was approached by Daniel Bryan. She said she called the match down the middle and she's sorry if he didn't like that. Bryan said he's sorry about all of the awful things he's called her since WrestleMania. He said he has no hidden agenda. He said he was so caught up in beating Punk that he made her the scapegoat.
Bryan said he could finally admit something, but he was interrupted by Eve. He tried to blow her off, but she was ticked because Bryan walked out on her during the mixed tag match last week. Eve said she gets to pick her own partner for a mixed tag against Bryan and A.J. Eve said payback is exactly what A.J. is. After Eve left, Bryan leaned in and kissed a reluctant A.J. on the cheek...
[Q3] [C] A commercial hyped that DX will be opening next week's Raw show...
Powell's POV: The tag match was solid, but I enjoyed the backstage segment a lot more. Bryan did a nice job of seeming sincere with his remarks to A.J. It is odd to me that A.J. continues to work against heels like Eve and Vickie Guerrero. I've found her actions to be heelish for some time now. As for the DX opening, you had to know they'd tease something big to give viewers an incentive to tune in early. I assume we'll be seeing a lot of those show opening teases in the weeks ahead as they establish the earlier start time.
After the break, the announcers hyped Tout and aired the John Cena "big announcement" tease from earlier in the day...
2. Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez). Cole noted that Ryder was one of the first wrestlers to make a name for himself using social media. Del Rio put Ryder away with the Cross Arm Breaker.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder by submission in 1:30.
After the match, Ryder reapplied his finishing hold. Rey Mysterio's music played and he came to the ring to a big pop as the announcers played up that he hasn't been on Raw in nearly a year. Del Rio put the boots to Mysterio once he entered the ring, but Rey fought back and drilled him with the 619...
Powell's POV: I guess that answers the question of whether Mysterio will appear on Smackdown this week. He was advertised for a dark match tomorrow night in San Diego, but was not listed for any other shows. Obviously, that will change now that he's back on Raw. I'm cool with them going with Rey tonight rather than on Raw 1000. After all, that show is already loaded and a Mysterio return may have been lost in the shuffle.
Heath Slater was featured in the Raw 1000 video recap. He said his favorite moments are his own. Highlights aired of his matches and segments with the various legends... The announcers hyped that Slater would face another legend after the break... [C]
[Q4] After the break, Slater stood in the ring and said he knew that a legend would be coming out. Rikishi made his entrance to a nice reaction...
3. Rikishi vs. Heath Slater. The fans chanted for Rikishi as the opening bell sounded. Rikishi caught Slater with a kick and then gave him the Stinkface. He finished him off moments later with a Rikishi bomb for the win. Rikishi prepared to dance and the lights when out. When the lights were turned on, The Uso Brothers were in the ring with their father and they all danced together...
Rikishi pinned Heath Slater in 1:10.
Powell's POV: Quick, painless, and even fun if you're in the mood for nostalgia.
The announcers hyped the mixed tag match for after the break while questioning who Eve's partner will be and what Bryan wants to tell AJ... [C]
An ad for Smackdown questioned whether Alberto Del Rio finally overcame Smackdown and which wrestler captured the MITB contract...
Powell's POV: It is ridiculous that they haven't made a big deal over Dolph Ziggler winning the Smackdown MITB contract. It's not like FOX ignores the NFL's AFC simply because they have the NFC contract.
Eve made her entrance and introduced her mystery partner...
4. The Miz and Eve vs. Daniel Bryan and A.J. Cole said A.J. is the second most influential female athlete in the world on Twitter behind only Serena Williams.
[Q5] Eve had A.J. pinned, but the referee was distracted by Miz, which gave Bryan time to roll them over so that A.J. got the pin...
Daniel Bryan and A.J. defeated The Miz and Eve in 3:00.
After the match, Bryan took the mic and said that there's something A.J. used to say something to him that he was too stupid and scared to say back. Bryan told A.J. that he loves her. The crowd booed and chanted no. A.J. looked confused and turned her back to Bryan. He circled around her.
Bryan admitted he asked A.J. to marry him last week because he wanted to become the WWE Champion. Bryan said he doesn't want anything this week. He got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked A.J. to marry him. Bryan put the ring on A.J.'s finger even though she hadn't answered him.
Bryan put the mic up to A.J.'s face. She looked anguished, but then she smiled, nodded, and said yes. They kissed. They did the "Yes! Yes! Yes!" bit and the crowd chanted along with "Yes!" and "No!" chants...
Powell's POV: Her answer really should have been "Yes! Yes! Yes!" I'm not sure where this is going, but I've always liked the idea of putting Bryan and A.J. back together as a couple. However, I like the idea of calling up someone such as Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose to play the part of her new boyfriend even more.
The announcers hyped that John Cena was in the building with the MITB briefcase. They also hyped Punk vs. Big Show for the main event... [C]
A Raw flashback video showed The Rock and Steve Austin segment with the title belt thrown in the river...
Powell's POV: I think I speak for at least 90 percent of you when I saw I would love to see the spinner belt meet a similar fate.
Cole and Lawler revealed that Daniel Bryan and A.J. will holding their wedding on next week's Raw...
Jack Swagger made his entrance. Ryback came out and was attacked by Swagger as soon as he entered the ring. The announcers said they weren't sure whether the referee ever called for the bell. Swagger roughed up Ryback for a bit.
[Q6] Ryback came back with a clothesline, a spinebuster, and three powerbombs. Swagger fled the ring...
The announcers hyped Punk vs. Show as the main event... [C]
Powell's POV: Ryback was a little more over with the Vegas crowd. He got the obligatory Goldberg chants early, but the fans chanted "Feed me more" along with him after the match that never technically got started. As for the wedding, it seems like a hot shot move for a show that is already overloaded with big returns, but at least the quick wedding fits with A.J.'s unpredictable persona. Then again, they are in Vegas, so getting hitched at the all night Elvis wedding chapel would probably be truer to her character than waiting a week.
The announcers aired John Cena's Tout tease of his latest big Raw announcement...
Vickie Guerrero interrupted with an "Excuse Me!" She introduced Dolph Ziggler as the winner of the Smackdown Money in the Bank ladder match (no need to watch Smackdown based on that commercial). Dolph said everyone knows that every MITB contract has been cashed in successfully. Thus, he said viewers were looking at the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Powell's POV: I sense a disturbance in the force. Oh, that's just ultra-paranoid online wrestling fans freaking out over the possibility of Ziggler being the first man to fail to cash in successfully.
Ziggler said he will be a great champion and said he'll be better than Bret Hart and Steve Austin. Chris Jericho's music interrupted Ziggler and Vickie. He came to the ring and Cole plugged that the latest Fozzy single "Sandpaper" will be released on iTunes on Tuesday.
Once in the ring, Jericho looked at Ziggler and smirked. Jericho was about to talk, but Ziggler said not tonight. He said for once it's not about Jericho. Ziggler said this is his moment. He said he won his MITB match and Jericho didn't win his. "In fact, you've never won Money in the Bank," Ziggler said. "While I'm at it, when is the last time you've won anything?"
Jericho's smirk disappeared and he looked intently at Ziggler. "What, you can't remember either?" Ziggler asked. He said all he's heard is that Jericho is going to save us and how he's the best in the world at what he does. "Apparently, what you do is lose," added Ziggler. He said no one has been given more opportunities and main event chances than Jericho.
Ziggler said Jericho has been coasting for so long that he has everyone fooled. "You're all hype," Ziggler said. "Think about it, Chris, when is the last time you actually won an important match? You can't remember either. Is it possible that you're losing your touch, That you can't win the big one anymore? The great Chris Jericho. Are you losing your touch? I think you're losing your touch. Vickie, I think he's losing his touch."
Jericho grabbed Ziggler and dropped him with the Codebreaker. The fans chanted Y2J. Jericho's music played and he headed backstage while Vickie tended to Ziggler. Once Dolph sat up, he rubbed his jaw while smiling as he walked Jericho walk up the ramp...
The announcers hyped the main event and the possibility of Cena cashing in his MITB contract...
Powell's POV: A good segment that plays off the obvious regarding Jericho's big match record since his return to WWE. A babyface Jericho vs. heel Ziggler feud would be a lot of fun. Jericho will be taking a break for the Fozzy tour after SummerSlam, but it appears we'll at least see those two work a SummerSlam match.
[Q7] [C] A shot aired of the Vegas strip (they showed the Bellagio water show earlier)... A batch of fan Touts aired regarding their favorite Raw moments... A graphic hyped the wedding of A.J. and Daniel Bryan, the DX reunion, Brock Lesnar's response to Triple H's SummerSlam challenge, and The Rock's return for next week's Raw...
Powell's POV: It's worth noting that Lawler said that the group who revolutionized sports entertainment with their degenerate attitude will all reunite" next week. The key word there may be "all." Okay, so I don't think we'll see Chyna, but perhaps we'll see Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, and X-Pac.
Brodus Clay and his dancers did their entrance routine. The announcers hyped revealed the results of the fan poll. 36 percent of the fans picked Christian to defend the Intercontinental Title, 34 percent selected the Divas Championship, and 30 percent picked the U.S. Championship... [C]
Powell's POV: The voters actually came through with a logical pick?
The announcers once again hyped the Bryan and A.J. wedding. They also plugged that the couple will be interviewed by Christian on The Peep Show on Friday's Smackdown television show...
5. Brodus Clay (w/Cameron, Naomi) vs. JTG. Cole said the last time he saw JTG he was getting a makeover on NXT. JTG targeted the injured knee of Clay. "Look at me, I'm a dinosaur," JTG said while mocking Clay's dance. Clay eventually came back with his signature moves, including the big splash finisher. Clay and his dancers danced with a group of children...
Brodus Clay pinned JTG in 2:30.
Powell's POV: I'm not sure whether I'm more surprised that JTG appeared on Raw, that he actually received a televised ring entrance, or that he is still coming out to the Cryme Tyme song even though he has a new look. Honestly, I'd rather see JTG than the tired Clay dance routine at this point. I like Clay when they give him an edge, but the Clay who dances with kids is repetitive.
[Q8] Donald Trump was featured in a Raw 1000 flashback. He recalled shaving Vince's head at WrestleMania. Bobby Lashley was shown and mentioned by name, but there was no mention of the late Umaga, who was in the match with Lashley... [C]
Powell's POV: The hat made it look like Vince was Heisenberg before Walter White was on Breaking Bad.
The announcers hyped the DX reunion for the start of next week's three-hour Raw...
6. C.M. Punk vs. Big Show in a non-title match. Punk tried to keep Show at a safe distance while also trying to chop him down with kicks to the knee, but Show eventually got his hands on Punk and roughed him up. Show leaned on the ropes while standing on top of Punk at 1:35.
[Overrun] Show set up for the big knockout punch, but Punk avoided it and tagged him with a big kick. Puunk nailed Show with three high knees in the corner, but he was unable to bulldog him. However, Show missed a splash in the corner and fell to the mat. Punk looked to the crowd and went up top and then dropped the elbow for a big pop. Punk went for the cover, but Show kicked out strong.
Punk went to the ropes and jumped right into a chokeslam. Show covered Punk, but Punk put his foot on the rope to break up the pin attempt at two. Show tossed Punk into the corner and threw punches into his ribs. The ref tried to get Show to back off, but Show shoved the referee to the mat and was disqualified.
C.M. Punk defeated Big Show by DQ in 9:20.
Show continued to work over Punk. John Cena's music played and he ran out with the briefcase. Show left the ring, leaving Cena in the ring with the fallen Punk. Cena recalled sending out a Tout earlier in the day regarding a big announcement. Big Show interrupted Cena.
Show said everyone knows that Cena is going to announce that he's going to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase on the spot. Show asked how long it's been since Cena was WWE Champion. He said the belt was even designed by Cena. Show said Cena would be a fool to not cash in now. He said the people don't respect him or even themselves. "Look at how weak he is," Show said regarding Punk.
Cena said the answer was no. Cena turned to Punk and said he has one week to prepare for the biggest match of his life. Cena said he will cash in the Money in the Bank contract at Raw 1000 next week. Cena said people wondering what the huge announcement regarding the briefcase was. He slammed it over Show's head and indicated that doing so was his huge announcement...
Powell's POV: I enjoyed Punk vs. Show. I liked the way Punk delivered the kicks to keep Show at a distance early and the way he sold for the giant throughout the match while also getting his big spots in down the stretch. As for Punk vs. Cena, I expect some type of Big Show interference or some type of a schmoz that sets up the need for a rematch at SummerSlam.
Overall, I was ready for WWE to turn the page on some of their recent storylines and they did so. They kept A.J. away from Punk, moved Jericho into a feud with Ziggler, and moved Punk and Cena into at least a one week program. Plus, the show delivered nonstop hype for next week's loaded Raw 1000. I'll have more to say about Raw in my member exclusive audio review, and in Tuesday's WWE Raw Hitlist. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
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