Hello and thanks for showing up to reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.
And your host for this event, hailing from a dark corner in the North East of England, hiding out in a BBC video storage vault, a man more blunt than a sledgehammer to the bollocks, it’s Danny Damage.
The Raw Rant, July 16th 2012
Welcome to the final (I think I’m right this time) two hour Monday Night Raw. Money In The Bank is behind us now and I was pretty happy with Ziggler’s win, yet I almost keeled over when it looked like he’d failed the cash in. Sadly, there’s also a down-side, it’s become almost inevitable that John Cena will once again be WWE Champion, joy. I smell a trap though when CM Punk vs. The Big Show is announced as the main event tonight. Even more so when Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler ponder whether Cena will cash it in tonight, I don’t think he has it in him.
Speaking of CM Punk, he heads out to the ring. While Punk is pointing out all the changes since his pipe bomb last year, The Big Show cuts him off and they play the crowd for a bit, building their main event fight later. Big Show warns Punk that when he hits the KO punch, he reckons that Cena will cash in his briefcase. Hmm, now I’m more convinced that isn’t going to happen.
Time to vote for something, this week it’s regarding which title should be on the line next week at #Raw1000. The three choices of either the US Title, the IC Title or the Diva’s title. I can inform you with the time travelling methods of hand writing notes while I watch Raw and then typing them up later, that Christian will defend the IC belt next week.
–WWE Tag Team Title Match
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (w/Little Jimmy) defeat The Prime Time Players (w/AW). Nice little tag match here, the champs showing they’ve gotten back into the swing of things and the challengers showing what they bring to the table. R-Truth finishes with the What’s Up?/Shut Up, but I think Cole called it as the “Little Jimmy”. I haven’t noticed it being called this before but I wish Killings would just stick with a name for his moves, if it is him that’s indecisive. AW was annoying as ever having the headset mic. on for the duration, again, but I guess he’s doing his job if he’s getting heat.
AJ and Daniel Bryan hang out backstage, DB reiterates how sorry he is and says how much of a fool he’s been and that he has something to say to her. Eve Torres interrupts them and says she’s got a match vs. the two of them with a mystery partner, later on. Bryan tells AJ he’ll finish what he was saying after their match.
John Cena plugs Tout.
Alberto del Rio makes Zack Ryder tap to the Cross Armbreaker. He locks it in again and Rey Mysterio returns and makes the save, sending Alberto packing. Sorry for not being excited here, but I’ve never been much of a Rey, baby face, reverses everything, move set consists mainly of the other guy spinning his tiny body around to make him look good, heart-string tugging about Eddie, Mysterio. I think that the only time I truly enjoyed watching something with him was when The Big Show swung him and a stretcher into the ring post and dropped him flat on his face. I wonder, have they run out of a need for Sin Cara now?
–Raw Blast From The Past Match
Rikishi pins Heath Slater after hitting the Samoan Spike and the Banzai Drop. Like all of these, this was a very quick match. They fill in some time with Rikishi dancing in the ring and then his sons join him for a boogie. I’m guessing (hoping) this means The Funkasaurus has the night off.
AJ & Daniel Bryan win vs. Eve Torres & The Miz. Eve had AJ in a small package, but with The Miz distracting the referee, Daniel Bryan pushes them over in AJ’s favour. I’m not sure what bothers me the most, The Miz returning or lack of the closure on the AJ angle. Don’t get me wrong, she was better than last week, I just didn’t want this dragging on for much longer. Oh no, the Anti-Santa heard my fears and causes Daniel Bryan to say he loves AJ, gets down on one knee and proposes to her. She says yes and a few minutes later we’re told the wedding will be next week at #Raw1000.
Ryback vs. Jack Swagger is a no contest from the start. Swagger jumps the Sin City Cyborg (seen a couple of signs, love it!) before the bell and is in control for a minute, Ryback counters, triple powerbomb, music hits, feed me more, the end. I feel the crowd should chant “Feed him more” in response to him, repeating what he says just seems daft to me. This is maybe where an escort should have come into the equation, but I suppose it’s possibly a bit late for that now. Better now he’s having a little back and forth with folk, intelligently, being jumped from behind or double teamed, etc.
Vicki Guerrero introduces Dolph Ziggler who gloats about his MITB win until Chris Jericho joins them in the ring. Before Y2J has a chance to say anything, Ziggler works wonders on the stick and aggravates Jericho into hitting him with a Codebreaker and leaving. Nice to see Dolph given more than the “I’m great, I’m gunna win” quick promo opportunity, the guy ticks all the boxes. I’ll assume that Jericho’s sudden face turn has something to do with Fozzy having a new single out, either way, I’m looking forward to these two getting it on. It could happen next week or it could be saved for the next PPV, nothing further was mentioned.
Tout segment from members of the WWE Universe. Okay, no, no, no, no. Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want this on Raw, ever. If you want to link Touts you like to your social network sites or to your .com web page, that’s fine. But please, I know you’re going to three hours next week but you don’t need to break your neck to find shit to fill time like this. Just give me a couple of (would be) dark matches or something.
Brodus Clay flattens JTG with the Splash off the ropes. Nothing new here, apart from JTG’s look. Clay took a little offence, but it didn’t last long. Kids get in the ring after the match to dance around, the Funkadactyls go a third week now without horrifying parents with their strip club dance moves.
CM Punk scored a DQ victory vs. The Big Show after Show shoved the referee over. A great David and Goliath match was ruined by simply being a setup to whether or not Cena would cash in the briefcase. After the ending bell had rung, Big Show beats on Punk until Cena runs down and makes him back off. Cena announces he’s cashing the contract in next week at #Raw1000 and then batters The Big Show’s head with the case. Punk and Cena stare each other down for the fade out.
It seems to me that the magical face turning fairy visited last night. Y2J didn’t say anything but managed to turn and challenge Dolph Ziggler, while Daniel Bryan turned all gooey eyed over AJ and dons his red dragon attire again. At MITB he was wearing trunks and boots that looked like something he’d killed earlier in the day, he had some kind of bad ass, outback trapper vibe going on which gave me the impression that his heel-ness was being magnified.
There was a little less of AJ in non-wrestling roles tonight, which was nice. I’m anticipating a heavy dose of whiney voice next week though, weddings in the WWE don’t really have a history of being quick and simple.
If you ask me, we didn’t need both Rikishi AND Brodus Clay in one night. They had the Ryback match (which follows a similar formula to Clay’s matches anyway) in there as well which all kind of felt like a lot of filler for me.
The WWE are adamant on keeping Dolph Ziggler a heel, maybe it’s something to do with his twitter account, I’m not sure. What I am sure of however, is that they’ve had several chances to turn him but have refused to each time. Having Vicki silence the crowd and introduce someone in the manner that she does has the potential to get even John Cena heat, so the fact they haven’t separated these two suggests to me that he’s staying in this camp for a long time. Not that I’m grumbling though, quite a lot of guys will always be better as a heel than they are as a face, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, The Big Show, Kane and John Cena, to name a few.
#Raw1000’s getting most of the focus at the moment, no mention at all of the next PPV. Here’s what’s planned so far for next week:
-CM Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Title
– Christian defending the IC Title
– The Rock
– Brock Lesnar
-Daniel Bryan & AJ’s Wedding
– DX to kick things off (at least two of them anyway)
I’m really hoping that Cena is the first to fail a MITB cash in next week. I’ve said many a time before that he obviously has a place in the WWE, but I don’t necessarily believe he needs to be a title holder. He can work with anyone he wants at any time and 99.9% of the time, he’ll win, cleanly, whilst looking like a fucking superhuman that can climb a ladder with a full grown man hanging off his throat that’s applying a rear naked choke.
If they’re using this for the draw and to put Punk over even more, then great, thank you very much. But if they’re giving Cena the belt back and planning on keeping me bored with his title matches, then I’ll lose quite a bit of faith in the product, again, especially after someone else just made Austin Aries their World Champion.
Digest and discuss! Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week.