8/20 Shore's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Brock Lesnar to open the show, Shawn Michaels to appear, Dolph Ziggler challenges Chris Jericho to a rematch
By Chris Shore
Dot Net Members will be listening to my Raw Audio review later tonight, and are already listening to the 86-minute audio review of SummerSlam Jason Powell and I recorded last night, as well as my 27-minute interview with Ring of Honor World Champion Kevin Steen. Listen to these audios and join me on the ad-free version of the site now by becoming at Dot Net Member at Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
WWE Raw on USA
Aired Live from Fresno, California.
[Q1] The show opened cold and Michael Cole said, "Monday Night Raw is live." Brock Lesnar's music hit and he and Paul Heyman came to the ring as Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler checked in on commentary. Still photos recapped the Lesnar vs. Triple H match and Cole reiterated that Hunter's arm was broken again.
Heyman took the mic and drew great heat. He said the match last night was difficult to watch. He put over Triple H as a warrior and even talked about the torn quad he watch Triple H suffer 11 years ago. He said a torn quad couldn't stop Triple H, but Brock Lesnar could. He said Lesnar made Hunter tap out, which means he made him quit. He said Lesnar forced Triple H to quit on his family, the company, his fans, and the entire WWE Universe.
Heyman continued to put Lesnar over as the baddest man alive and said Lesnar left Hunter a shell of his former self. Heyman said he didn't feel bad for Hunter because he wanted this fight, and he wanted it this way. He reminded everyone how Hunter told the ref to allow the rules to be bent and broken. Heyman called Scott Armstrong from the back and said Lesnar would like to address him.
Armstrong stalled as Heyman continued to call him out. Finally he came out and walked very slowly to the ring as Heyman encouraged him to enter. Armstrong finally did, and Heyman said while last night the two words they had for Hunter last night were "tap out," tonight Brock had two words for Armstrong. Lesnar took the mic and backed Armstrong into a corner. Armstrong look scared, but Lesnar clapped him on the shoulder and patted hius head before saying, "Good job." Armstrong left, and Heyman proclaimed Brock the new "King of Kings." Lesnar and Heyman left the ring as a graphic promised a HBK appearance tonight...[C]
Shore's Slant: Good opening segment and Heyman was tight here. The bit with Armstrong took too long, but it was a nice touch. I was surprised this played out without interference from anyone, but in retrospect it makes sense because I'm also fairly certain this means a Hunter vs. Brock rematch at WrestleMania.
[Q2] Back from commercial, Cole and Lawler talked about the "controversial" ending to the WWE Championship triple threat match. A CM Punk Tout showed Punk saying he wanted to pick his own opponent tonight. He also has the Lemmy beard now... Kofi and R-Truth made their ring entrances and passed out the plush dolls. A video from last night showed Truth pouring Gatorade on Little Jimmy. Sin Cara was out next.
1. Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes and The Prime Time Players. The match denigrated into a mess and the heels all took powders into the break...[C] Back from commercial, R-Truth took a hot tag and worked over Darren Young. Cole mentioned Khloe Kardashian as the social media ambassador. Truth played the babyface in peril. Titus took out Kofi which allowed Truth to hit a heel kick.
[Q3] Sin Cara got the tag and hit his spots on Cody Rhodes. The champs took out the PTP. Cody tried to take the mask off Sin Cara, and that led to a roll up victory for Sin Cara...
Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and Sin Cara defeated Cody Rhodes and The Prime Time Players at 10:22.
The announce team hyped a bizarre tag match of Kane and Zack Ryder vs. Daniel Bryan and The Miz...Matt Striker started to ask AJ about Punk's Tout. David Otunga walked up and plugged the movie he just filmed with Halle Berry. He said he wanted to offer his services because she needed protection from all kinds of legal issues. Her face changed and she asked him what he said and he said she needed to be protected. She told him to say it again and he told her to relax, he was only offering his services. She said he could offer his services in the ring against an opponent of her choosing. He looked concerned and left.
Striker went back to the original question and AJ said she liked the idea, and Punk could pick anyone he wanted. She paused for a moment and said, "Pending my approval." She smiled and skipped off...[C]
Shore's Slant: So we finally see the seedling of the problem with AJ, she doesn't like people trying to protect her. Thanks for the heads up. The six man match wasn't bad, but it was even more meaningless than the PPV last night.
2. Ryback vs. Two Local Jobbers. Ryback now has "Feed me more" piped in with his music. Sounds stupid. Ryback kept saying "Jinder" while he killed the two jobbers. He setup for his finisher, but Jinder Mahal ran in and attacked. He locked on the camel clutch, but Ryback stood up and hit a chin buster. Mahal fled, and Ryback hit his finisher on the two men and led the crowd in a "feed me more" chant...
Ryback defeated Two local jobbers by disqualification at 1:29.
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler walked up on Chris Jericho. Ziggler demanded a rematch because Jericho's win was a fluke. Jericho said he was the Ayatollah of Rock-and-rolla and Y2J, he was a six time former champion and knew how to win the big ones. He questioned if Ziggler did. AJ skipped up and said they both wanted a rematch, but she wanted to raise the stakes. She said if Jericho lost, his contract was terminated, if Ziggler lost his MITB contract went to Jericho. She skipped off. Ziggler looked at his briefcase and then chased after her...[C]
Shore's Slant: This Ryback/Mahal story is killing me. I could not be more bored with it. Mahal has looked like a chump over and over and yet we are supposed to believe he can handle Ryback for even a minute? Please. And could they possibly find a weaker way to get rid of Jericho? I was hoping Dolph would kill him.
[Q4] Alberto Del Rio made his ring entrance as Cole explained that Del Rio filed a complaint with Booker T and that the ref admitted to making mistakes last night. Del Rio said he got robbed last night by the referee and the peasant Sheamus. Still photos showed Del Rio with his foot on the rope last night. Del Rio demanded another title match against Sheamus right then.
AJ's music hit and she skipped out. AJ said she had no control over the World Title scene, that was Booker T's domain. She said she could put him in a match that would give Booker a lot to think about. She said his opponent was Randy Orton, who made his entrance to a huge pop...[C]
Shore's Slant: That could not have been more predictable from the moment AJ stepped out. Didn't we just see the match?
The last commercial for Smackdown asked who the new champions are. This is the commercial that aired right after Del Rio came out to complain about getting cheated out of the title. This kind of thing drives me up the wall...Sheamus made his entrance and joined the announce team...
3. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Randy Orton. Cole went right after Sheamus for the way he retained the title last night. Sheamus said all that mattered was he was still champion. Orton worked his plodd...er, methodical style on Del Rio, but Del Rio hit a snap mare and kick to the back of the head to take control. Del Rio went to the top rope, but Orton caught him and hit the superplex for two.
[Q5] Del Rio came back with a few moves that I missed because Brock Lesnar Touted he was leaving the WWE (story on the main page). Orton hit his DDT off the second rope and setup for the RKO. Ric Rod hit the apron and Orton went after him. Sheamus went after Ricardo too and he and Orton stared at each other with Orton pointing to Sheamus and saying something. Del Rio hit a backstabber. Orton put his foot on the rope and Sheamus pointed it out to the ref. Del Rio went crazy, and that allowed Orton to recover and hit the RKO for the win...
Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio at 8:33.
A video showed CM Punk getting interviewed after his match last night. Punk acted offended and said he had to defend his title twice and had to fight four people counting AJ. He finally picked up the belt and told everyone to get used to it whether they liked it or not...[C]
Shore's Slant: So much going on here with the Tout in the middle of this. The match between Orton and Del Rio was fine, but also very predictable. I assumes this feud starts as a triple threat before transitioning to just Orton and Sheamus. Ziggler could also come along and pull the title out to hold off Sheamus and Orton until SummerSlam. I wonder how long it will take for Cole to point out Lesnar's Tout.
A video recapped Antonio Cesaro winning the US title...The SummerSlam Week video from last night aired...
[Q6] Brodus Clay and his dancers made their ring entrance. A video showed the attack from Damien Sandow two weeks ago...[C]
The announce team hyped the Jericho vs. Ziggler match. Damien Sandow made his ring entrance. A cut in video showed Sandow claiming he would send the Funkasaurus back to extinction...
4. Brodus Clay vs. Damien Sandow. Clay took immediate control and beat up Sandow to know reaction from the crowd. Sandow kicked the hurt leg a few times, but Clay stood up and growled at Sandow. Not a single person in the arena reacted. Clay hit the big headbutt, but Sandow rolled him up a moment later for a surprise victory.
Damien Sandow defeated Brodus Clay at 2:41
Post-match, Sandow celebrated, but Brodus hit a t-bone suplex and a big splash before dancing with the kids in the ring... Shawn Michaels was shown getting ready to speak via satellite from his home...
Shore's Slant: Clay has lost all of his momentum, and Sandow is adrift in this feud. This is terrible. Both of these guys I had high hopes for. The are being misused right now.
[Q7][C] A video recapped Lesnar's attack on HBK. HBK was shown on the Titantron and Cole asked him his feelings on Hunter after his match last night. Shawn said he knew how Hunter felt. He said you tell yourself you know when it's going to end and plan on it being in quiet and a personal decision. He said instead, it happens in front of thousands watching on PPV and you can't prepare yourself for that.
Shawn cut a promo putting Hunter over while WWE showed pictures of Hunter getting his ass kicked last night. HBK said he was around because he wanted to support his friend, but he now realizes he was an added burden. He said he didn't tell Hunter the truth when that was what he needed. He said he didn't tell his friend he didn't think Hunter could beat Lesnar.
He said Hunter had nothing to be ashamed of. He said he would always be his friend and he loved him, he would always love him, they would always love him. He thanked Hunter for a job well done on behalf of the entire WWE Universe. They closed with a picture of Hunter broken after his match last night...
Shore's Slant: This was tough. HBK did all the right things, said all the right things, and even had the right tone. But this felt cheesy as all get out to me. Maybe I'm just jaded, but who really believes Hunter is done? I realize they are telling a story, but for this story to be a success, you have to honestly believe Hunter is done. I don't think anybody does.
David Otunga made his ring entrance. Cole pointed he he called her crazy. Dot Net reader Martin Stürzebecher from Germany pointed out I mistook the "protected" comment for the "crazy" comment. Thanks for that Martin. Big Show stormed to the ring next...
[Q8] 5. David Otunga vs. Big Show. Big Show took Otunga apart and finally hit the WMD for the win...
Big Show defeated David Otunga at 2:06.
A WWE.com video showed Big Show raging about not getting a one on one match for the title...The announce team hyped the weird couples tag match for next...[C]
Shore's Slant: Eh, I hate Otunga so this is fine. Besides, somebody had to be the sacrifice to Big Show. Might as well be a guy who has been gone for a while.
Kane made his ring entrance. A video recapped him killing Josh Matthews last night, and Cole said Matthews would be back one day next week.
Shore's Slant: I bet this means Cole and Booker on commentary Friday. Mother fu....
Zack Ryder was out next. Daniel Bryan came out to a huge Yes chant. Miz was out last...
6. Kane and Zack Ryder vs. Daniel Bryan and The Miz. Bryan and Kane stood in the ring. The bell rang, and Bryan tagged Miz and bailed. Kane dragged Miz in the hard way and started the attack. Ryder tagged in and immediately lost control to the heels.
[Q9] Brian hit his string of kicks and then a nasty looking knee drop for two. Bryan accidently kicked Miz, which allowed Ryder to tag Kane. Bryan tried to tag out, but Miz droppped to the floor. Bryan slapped Kane, and then he and Miz beat it through the crowd. Kane chokeslammed Ryder and then trashed the ring area. He killed a producer, then got back in the ring and hit the tombstone on Ryder...
Kane and Zack Ryder fought Miz and Daniel Bryan to an apparent no contest in about 4:30.
The John Cena WWE.com video reported on earlier where Cena refuses to acknowledge Punk as the best in the world...Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed Punk. Punk said he appreciated AJ allowing him to pick his opponent. He said his next opponent was John Cena, but on one condition. He said he would call out Cena later and demand respect and see if Cena would accept... A graphic hyped a Divas battle royal for next...[C]
Shore's Slant: So they are staying with Kane with the anger issues, which makes sense I guess, except I still don't know if Kane is heel or babyface. And I will say it again, it is too early for them to go back to Punk vs. Cena. If that happens, that is a mistake.
Layla had joined the announce team, and all the Divas were in the ring...
7. A Battle Royal tobecome the Number One Contender to the WWE Divas Championship. Aksana and Rosa rolled each other to the floor. Tamina and Natty teamed up and beat up Kaitlyn. They tried to eliminate Alicia Fox, but she almost eliminated them both. Why am I typing all this? Rapid fire eliminations led to Eve and Kaitlyn left. Eve almost pulled it off, but Kaitlyn slipped away and had to hit Eve with two clotheslines to eliminate her...
Kaitlyn became the Number One Contender to the WWE Divas Championship at 4:06.
[Q10] Cole narrated more still pictures of the Triple H vs. Lesnar match. They replayed Heyman proclaiming Lesnar the new King of Kings. Only then did WWE play the Tout from Lesnar saying he was done with WWE.
Shore's Slant: Not a good start when your number one contenders match has a botch on the finish. So WWE took an hour to show the Tout. I realize Brock might have messed up and did it too early, but if that's the case you need to call an audible. They look dumb.
The very good, but horribly ending, Wade Barrett video aired... An AJ tweet said she was sending Daniel Bryan to anger management next week. The announce team hyped the WWE app... Backstage, Vickie Guerrero flipped out in the locker room and told Ziggler he had to win for her. He said he had to win for himself, that he might never get another title shot again if he lost tonight. Vickie started screaming they had to win. Ziggler stopped her and said they would win tonight. He left determined while she looked scared...[C]
[Q11] Vickie Guerrero introduced Dolph Ziggler. Jericho was out next, still with his ribs taped.
8. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Chris Jericho in a MITB Contract vs. WWE Contract match. Both men started fast as Vickie screamed from ringside. Jericho tossed Ziggler to the floor and followed with the springboard dropkick on the apron...[C]
Back from commercial, Ziggler had a rest hold on Jericho that transitioned into the headstand headlock. Jericho came storming back with shoulder tackles and a top rope 'ranna that looked like he landed weird for two. They traded a ton of reversals and Jericho hit the running bulldog. He went for the Lionsault, but Ziggler got the knees up. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for the win...
Dolph Ziggler defeated Chris Jericho at 10:25. Jericho is now fired from WWE.
[Q12] Ziggler celebrated all over the ring as Jericho looked on. Vickie pointed and laughed. Jericho jumped up and took the briefcase from Vickie. He and Dolph stared off and then Jericho hit him with the briefcase. He followed with a Code Breaker to boos. His music played and Jericho said goodbye to the fans. Cole closed by saying this proved Jericho couldn't win the big one...
The trailer for The Day aired...CM Punk was shown walking backstage...[C]
Shore's Slant: Cole's comment gives me hope we will see Jericho again before Mania. I know he doesn't want a big fanfare moment when he retires, but as a fan, I want it. This match wasn't as good as last night's, but still good. Next time I see Jericho I guess will be 9/11 for the Uproar Tour!
The last commercial was for Smackdown and gave away that Sheamus had won. Why two different commercials? This is so bad... CM punk made his ring entrance. He took a mic, and then headed to the floor and faced off with Lawler. He said he was just going to talk about his match last night and his next opponent, but he wanted Lawler to admit that his "Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe," was a lie. Lawler said he meant no disrespect , but it was how he felt at the time. Punk demanded an apology. Before Lawler could answer, Cena's music hit.
[Overrun] Punk feigned shock that Cena couldn't wait. He said he wanted to point out that since winning the WWE Championship he had taken a back seat to Cena, Triple H, and the Rock. He said people were asking him why he wasn't in the main event. He said he was giving respect back to the company that had started giving him respect last year but enough was enough.
He said the reason Cena was the number one contender because he had to beat him again. He said he had beaten him before and it didn't matter because everywhere he saw the Cenation. He said he would give Cena his title shot if he would simply admit Punk was the best in the world.
Cena cut a promo that I have to admit I didn't fully understand. He said the one word that described his relationship with his fans was not champion, but respect. He made the comparison to fans and losing sports teams and said it was like that with his fans.
He said he might give up a title shot, but he wasn't calling him the best in the world. He said he couldn't say it because he believed he was the best in the world. It said that wasn't a disrespectful thing, it was how it had to be because he believed in the people and they believed in him. He said he would not ruin the integrity he had spent 10 years building.
He said he wouldn't say it, so Punk could pick anybody he wanted. He said that Punk had an opportunity to prove it though. He said Night of Champions was in his house, Boston, Mass. He said if Punk could walk into that night as champion and somehow walk out the same way he would instantly get the respect he so craved. He dared Punk to challenge him at Night of Champions and said if he didn't, Punk had no respect for the title or himself.
Cena left the ring and Punk turned to the announce table. He told Lawler that he wanted to finish what he started before he was interrupted and demanded his apology. He told King to get in the ring, and Lawler did. Punk again demanded his apology and Lawler apologized. Punk said Lawler needed to tell everyone he was the best in the world. Lawler said he wouldn't do it. Lawler walked past Punk and they bumped shoulders. Punk hit him with a roundhouse kick that knocked Lawler out. He took the WWE title and held it on his shoulder. He squatted and looked at Lawler as the show ended...
Shore's Slant: I'm not crazy about this story, but I like it a little. I guess my biggest fear is that they have Punk lose at NoC when he is in the "defining moment of [Punk's} career," as Cena put it. I thought both guys were good here, and I'm glad we can lay the "See, he's not a heel" stuff to rest. Kicking Jerry Lawler in the back of the head is a heel move, even when Punk runs out his very logical reason for kicking him. It's over folks, he's a bad guy.
All in all a show that was way to damn long, especially after a PPV. Nothing was particularly bad, but it dragged because of the lack of focus of creative for most of the card. Once again the main event has a better than average story while everything else is carried along by some weak current. I'll have more in the Member's exclusive audio review later tonight, and Jason Powell will have his thoughts in the Raw Hitlist tomorrow. Thanks for watching along with me.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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