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 30th 2012


Raw starts this week with the Titantron catching fire during a pyro. test before the show, delaying fans being able to enter the arena. While they’re still sorting that out, we’re given some video to show what happened on #Raw1000.


The WWE Champion, CM Punk heads out to the ring to explain his actions last week. He’s a heel now, so he’s going to antagonise Jerry Lawler by sitting cross legged on the announce table in front of him. He’s pissed off (and rightly so) at the lack of focus on the WWE Champion last week and in general. The Big Show comes out and tells him he wouldn’t be champion still if it wasn’t for him. John Cena charges down to the ring and sends Big Show to the outside until all of this is brought to a standstill by the appearance of the new Raw GM, AJ Lee. She makes a Cena vs. Big Show match for the main event tonight, the winner to face CM Punk for the title at Summerslam.


Daniel Bryan stands outside the GM’s door, unable to bring himself to enter.


Alberto del Rio makes Santino Marella tap out quickly, with the Cross Armbreaker. After the match, Alberto says everything is beneath him and that he won’t compete again until his title match at Summerslam. Great use of Santino’s title, loving his mini-mullet though.


Daniel Bryan still can’t find it in him to go in the GM’s door.


Brodus Clay is about to compete in a match, but is interrupted by Vicki Guerrero, who shows us all how to dance. Once she’s done, Damien Sandow, our martyr, joins them and shows a clip of him getting beaten up by D-X last week. While Clay is laughing at the clip, Sandow attacks him and leaves.


Recap of Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho’s feud.


Daniel Bryan finally plucks up the courage to talk to his old girlfriend and new boss, AJ. She tells him she figured out his plot involving the guys in white coats last week, that he was going to have her committed once he was her husband. He denies the charges and is given a match against Sheamus later. Wait, what was that? Twice now she’s been on camera, talking, but I’m not incredibly agitated. Interesting.


HHH, Lesnar & Heyman recap.


Voting time, sort of. Tonight’s Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus match will have a stipulation added by the WWE Universe. The options are either No Hold Barred, Falls Count Anywhere or a Street Fight. I’m pretty sure they could work the exact match for all three of those.


Josh Matthews talks to Sheamus backstage, asks if he’s bothered about what type of match will be picked. Sheamus responds with I’m a face, I’m a face, I’m a big fat, fecking face, fella. I mean, he responds with the fact that he doesn’t have a pretty face, so the rougher the match, the better for him and then he smiles. Then he goes back to ask Josh how’s he’s feeling, that he’s seeming a little more nervous than usual and shows the kids how it’s important to look out for the little fella too. Like I said a couple of weeks ago, some people are just better as heels.


Daniel Bryan chats with the crowd, he demands that they stop chanting Yes!, that it’s for him and only him to say. The crowd obviously, deafen him with Yes! chants. Before the match starts, Jerry Lawler brings our attention to the Titantron so we can find out which of the three No DQ/No Count Out matches were picked. The Street Fight won with 73% of the vote, the other two were split pretty much evenly.


–Street Fight

Sheamus defeats Daniel Bryan with a Brogue Kick that sends Bryan falling back onto the steel steps. A very enjoyable match and a great effort by both men. Daniel Bryan was on top form and Sheamus was earning his keep by being some giant slab of meat that can take one hell of a fucking beating, night in and night out.


After the adverts, Daniel Bryan is still in the ring and asking for a doctor to check on his neck. Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and Little Jimmy enter the ring as Kofi has a match next, Bryan refuses to leave and punts Little Jimmy out of the ring, much to R-Truth’s horror. Bryan calls for the men in white coats to take R-Truth away but AJ intervenes and tells them it’s Bryan she wanted them to take for a psychological evaluation.


Tout time. Roar! I am badly lit, pixelated fan, sat on my couch, grrr!


Titus O’Neil pins Kofi Kingston after hitting the Clash of the Titus, thanks to AW distracting Kofi by shouting “Yo mama!” and throwing one of his shoes at him. Prior to this, AW undoubtedly gets himself knee deep in shit while cheering for his man, giving us “Titus O’Neil is like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado. He’s unstoppable!”, classic.


CM Punk and John Cena backstage, Punk sets things straight and tries to clear the air, but then rubs a few things in Cena’s face and heads off.


Michael Cole apologises for AW’s Kobe Bryant joke.


Heath Slater is done killing legends and calls out any current superstar on the roster that thinks they can beat him, I can see where they’re going with this. Someone just got off of their suspension……..


Randy Orton squashes Heath Slater with some clotheslines and an RKO. Wow, the underwear model is back. Ladies, hold onto your panties and buy a fresh pair just in case, he’s taking twice as long with all of his poses tonight. I did like the setup for this however, was very fitting with Slater’s recent escapades.


Daniel Bryan is being interviewed by a doctor as part of his psychological evaluation, he is asked a series of yes and no questions. Bryan answers yes so many times that he gets fed up of waiting for the doctor to ask him anything and barrages him with vein popping barks of YES! YES! YES!.


Chris Jericho & Christian are victorious over Dolph Ziggler & The Miz. Y2J finished The Miz with a Codebreaker after Christian gave The Miz the old thumb to the eye. Ziggler and Christian got a little muddled up at one point, I think Christian was meant to reverse the Name Dropper but missed and Ziggler applied some quick thinking and hit him into the corner and back out to repeat the spot. Afterwards, Ziggler cracks Jericho in the head with the briefcase.


Daniel Bryan takes a Rorschach test and tells the doctor what he makes of the three inkblot patterns. The way in which the doctor places the cards down on top of each other, makes a pattern that looks just like a goat’s face. This doesn’t amuse Daniel Bryan and his plea of sanity diminishes when he includes Charlie Sheen in his suspicions.


Tensai beats Tyson Kidd with the Derailer and back splash. He continues to punish Kidd after the match, which eventually causes the referee to reverse his decision. This angers Tensai into trying to hurt Kidd even more, but officials prevent it, Tensai instead takes it out on Sakamoto. That’s two weeks in a row now I’ve been expecting Trish Stratus to show up and ask Albert what the fuck his problem is and what’s going on with all the pretending to be Japanese, the crowds are STILL chanting Albert and we think it’d be best to go back to making jokes about having your cock pierced.


Daniel Bryan is given the all clear from the doctor, he’s convinced that he’s perfectly sane. The light goes red and Kane shows up, informing Bryan that he’s his Anger Management Therapist. He kicks Bryan’s arse and leaves him on the floor.


Triple H/Brock/Heyman recap, again.


CM Punk joins Lawler and Cole for the main event, nice one.


–No. 1 Contender’s match (WWE Title)

John Cena vs. The Big Show ends in a no contest. While Show and Cena battled on the outside, Show sent Cena flying into CM Punk and tried to claim a count out victory. Once Cena was back in the ring, he attempted an FU and was knocked down by Punk who then went on to deliver a hard kick to the head of The Big Show. The champ grabs the microphone, says neither of them are winners and leaves.


As he vanished behind the curtain, AJ comes out to correct him. She says they’re both winners and they’ll both be facing CM Punk at Summerslam, for the title, in a Triple Threat match. CM Punk returns to get in her face and express his dissatisfaction.


Afterthoughts.


CM Punk kicked quite a bit of arse this week. Not just in the ring and on the stick, but at the commentator’s table too. Being good at his job, he focused all of his negative comments towards Lawler and put him in his place whenever he tried to challenge him on something. He and Michael Cole shared statistics, giving Cole the opportunity to sit back and smirk at Lawler’s misfortune of being the face commentator, both men were on their toes so they didn’t give Punk an excuse to show them up on live TV. Amusing to notice how neither of them had the courage to point out that “Let’s go Cena” was trending during the match.


Jericho and Ziggler’s feud is picking up a lot of steam. These two are really working well together.


Hopefully, The Prime Time Players and the tag division won’t suffer because of AW’s joke. The division has shaped up a little in the last few months and it’d be a shame to see it suffer over something so silly.


Raw Active to me, so far, seems rather disingenuous. I remember Taboo Tuesday and Cyber Sunday’s concept, that the fans were given the power of voting for what they wanted to see. When they did this as a PPV, they were able to keep a close eye on the results in the days leading up to the PPV and were able to work things before the event. Sadly, tonight’s options were practically all the same thing; No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere or a Street Fight. Doing it this way means that they could just prepare one match and not have to change it much, if at all, if people weren’t to choose the better sounding Street Fight option. Next week: Diva’s fight in bikinis, winter coats or dressed as cardboard box robots. You decide! To be fair, I think I’d vote for the awesome-o box robots.


As a big surprise to me, AJ was actually pretty entertaining this week. She’s much better now she’s not doing serious acting, she’s trying to be funny and she’s much better at it than playing the vulnerable, moody little girl, fighting over all the boys. She’s still twitching her head whenever she says anything with more than two syllables, but more confidence and the avoidance of her Droopy the Dog face, makes her presence on the screen a lot more welcome. Great job.


I don’t know if they’re going to continue the angle of AJ trying to prove that Daniel Bryan is unstable. Personally, my vote is for them to go all the way with it, let him go as fucking mental as possible. I would jump off my chair and possibly shit a little if they wheeled him down to the ring Hannibal Lecter style, restraints, facemask, armed guards, the works. Either that or like the little dude in the backpack from Ace Ventura 2.


Digest and discuss! Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week.


Danny Damage

@BluntDamage (twitter)

  • Maturedsinner

    WWE always rigs their polls. 3 choices, 2 of which sound less favorable than 1. For example: Special Guest Referee choices of Don’t-Care, Uh-No-Thanks, or Stone Cold Fucking Steve Austin. They will never make a poll that affects the show where every choice has an equal chance of winning.

    • Leon

      Remember last year when they had people text in their votes, and we had Kane v. Mark Henry in a arm wrestling match and Evan Bourne v. Mason Ryan? LOL. WWE got trolled bad. You’re welcome, WWE Universe.

  • Awdrgy

    Man, Orton was small compared to last time, guess we know what the suspension was for.

    & what was the point? All the match choice were basically the same, give or take where a pin fall could take place. 

    • I didn’t know marijuana substitute was supposed to make you bigger.

      • eugenesteamboat

         Wasn’t it a type of steroid and also pot? I think pot got him a fine and the steroids got him the suspension. He always comes back a bit smaller… looking forward to a 160lb Randy Orton showing up in TNA after strike 3.

  • According to Jericho’s latest book, he didn’t know he’d a) have to face Shelton Benjamin at Taboo Tuesday (or Cyber Sunday, whichever it was) and b) that he’d drop the title to him until the day of.

    BUT

    Most of these polls are awfully leading, if not pointless.

  • guest

    i really dont care about the triple threat match if show wins we get to see that fat ass every time if punk wins it will continue his reigh as champ now if cena wins…………. SAME OLD CRAP

    • Tmacman

      Right now it looks like all results would mean the same old shit, you’d have PG-fied super Cena running around taking on bad guys “against all odds” and “doing the right thing” or some shit, an old and lazy Big Show who I swear is just hanging in there because he’s big and not much else, and Punk going along on of the most average heel runs in a while (I’ll give it time to pick up steam, but right now…meh).

  • How many minutes did Bryan have in that Raw? Amazing.

  • Blah People

    Have we become so disenfranchised from good GMs that we just gloss over the fact someone is shit and focus on the positives now? AJ is a terrible actor, up there with Larrrrryniiiiiitis, and she has the screen presence of him as well. It’s a good niche for a character, but not really GM material.

    There’s a few interesting things about the extended Raw, we got three matches of which you’d only see one in a 2 hour Raw which I thought was good. I think the commentary needs addressing, 3 hours listening to the same two blokes is utter dullness when it’s not on PPV (as there’s not big matches to keep you interested), I wouldn’t be opposed to Booker T dropping in for the tag team/SD matches or maybe having a small group of managers/superstars who round robin an hour every week. I just found myself pissed off listening to them, and I don’t really blame them for that, keeping anyone entertained for three hours of wrestling is fucking hard, there’s segments where you are begging for them to be given a bit of help. 

    Raw’s still got most of the same appeal, set looked sexy without the side panels, going forward, I do kind of worry the show will become too visually segmented, I always hear ‘in the knows’ talking about how things are placed in a show, but I’ve never really thought about it when watching, but you did really feel the separate hours in this Raw. Was a solid enough show this week, and I wouldn’t be too worried if it continued as is.

    • Tmacman

      Booker doesn’t do commentary anymore, currently he’s the GM of Smackdown.

  • PlanBFromOuterSpace

    If A.W. is reprimanded for his Kobe joke, it should be because he’s horrifyingly out of touch and his references are like 8 years old.  Is he going to post the apology on his LiveJournal?

  • WHAT?

    HEY LOOK EVERYBODY its a championship match that no one gives a fuck about

  • randomguy1155

    i thought the A.W. bti was funny IMO. and as far as AJ go….just no.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a poll for Mick Foley to wrestle as
    A) Mankind B) Dude Love or C) Cactus Jack

    • Uncle Cletus

      I think Cactus should wrestle Mankind and Kane get set on fire again. Preferably in the Queen Vic

  • MariusV

    The referee in the Tensai/Kidd match…is he new?