After a surprisingly good Payback, the WWE brings us another 3 hours of wrestling tonight. Rumors are swirling about Mark Henry’s possible retirement, and who will be John Cena’s new #1 Contender for the WWE Title. I must admit, things are a lot more interesting in the WWE than they were a couple of weeks ago.
CM Punk Fighting For America!
RAW started with Alberto del Rio. Alberto said he was the Real Superman. Del Rio said him winning last night was just as controversial as Dolph winning the night after Wrestlemania. And the crowd cheered for a coward like Dolph Ziggler. Del Rio said he gave them everything and the crowd didn’t give him the respect he deserved. Del Rio fought Jack Swagger, and all he heard was “USA USA.” He said America is all about pigs and cowards. He fought for the people the last five months and it got him nothing, last night he fought for Alberto del Rio and it got him the World Title. Del Rio said he is the best.
And then CM Punk interrupted. Punk said the last time they were in the ring together and Del Rio was holding a Title, he beat him for it and he held it for 434 days. Punk said he was out here because he heard Del Rio say he was the best. Punk said there is only one Best in the World, and he is out here to challenge him. Paul Heyman interrupted and said his clients don’t fight for free and kissed Del Rio’s ass. Punk said he knew he was banged up and when Del Rio was stealing a Title he was stealing the show. Punk said he wanted to prove he was the best and wanted a fight with Del Rio. Del Rio said Punk didn’t want to fight him. Punk then asked Ricardo if he had his tights on. Vickie came out and made Punk vs Del Rio for later.
Segment Analysis: I liked that segment for a couple of reasons. It wasn’t a corny, joking promo. It was about wanting to fight and wrestle. It teased more tension between Heyman and Punk. It may be a little to early for Del Rio to go into full heel mode, but at least he did a good job ranting about why the fans didn’t pay him respect in the last few months. Solid opening to the show. Survey Says: 3.5/5
CM Punk told Paul Heyman he didn’t want him ringside anymore.
About Damn Time…
Wade Barrett was ready to face Curtis Axel. Vickie came out and said he instead gets to face her big surprise, Christian. Christian took Wade Barrett out on the outside with a dive off the top. Christian hit a dropkick off the second rope. Christian caught Barrett with an elbow then a tornado DDT off the second rope. Barrett surprised Christian with ha kick to the gut. Christian reversed a pump handle slam attempt and pushed Barrett into the post, then hit the Killswitch for the win.
Match Analysis: Short match for Christian’s debut, but that was to be expected. Christian looked good for the limited amount of work he did. First Christian returns, RVD at MITB. Barrett isn’t getting the push I thought he would after losing the IC Title, but it is still early. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Another Wyatt Family promo aired.
Did That Really Happen???
Sheamus vs The Rhodes Scholars in a Handicap Match. Sheamus took out both men early until Cody caught Sheamus with a Disaster Kick. They hit a Double suplex. Cody caught Sheamus with a kick to the face, then Sandow hit the Elbow of Disdain. Cody slapped and taunted Sheamus while Sandow held him. Sheamus tossed Cody to the outside while still being held. Sheamus then went to work on Sandow. He hit the rolling senton, then his rope punches on Cody. Sheamus caught Cody mid-air and hit White Noise. Sheamus was ready for the Brogue Kick, but Sandow rolled up Sheamus and scored the pinfall win. After the match, Sheamus hit a Brogue Kick on Cody.
Match Analysis: Even if it was a one time thing, I’m glad Sandow went over. What a bully Sheamus is! And you can tell, the crowd was barely into Sheamus. I don’t think he’s as over as the WWE would like us to believe. Survey Says: 2.5/5
HHH told Vickie she needs to control The Shield and make an example of them.
Daniel Bryan and Kane both said they wanted to win the WWE Championship, and they seemed to come to an understanding that their tag team is done.
More Doctor Angles
The APP results for Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton was No DQ. Bryan landed some kicks to the thigh of Orton. Bryan landed some more kicks in the corner, but Orton caught Bryan with an elbow then landed some kicks of his own. Orton hit a slingshot suplex. Bryan was able to come back with a half crab, but Orton raked the eyes of Bryan and tossed him to the outside. Orton applied a headlock back in the ring. Orton then landed some punches in the corner. Bryan ducked a clothesline and hit his flying clothesline then a dropkick in the corner. Bryan ducked a charging Orton and he went to the outside. Bryan went to hit his dive but Orton moved out of the way and Bryan landed hard on the outside. Orton landed a couple of shots with a kendo stick on the outside then got a two count back in the ring.
Back from break, Bryan headbutted Orton off the ropes and hit a missile dropkick. Orton hit a quick suplex and went to toss Bryan to the outside. He tried pulling himself back in but Orton kicked him off. The doctor checked on Bryan who sold an upper body injury. Orton and Bryan brawled in the ring and Orton threw Bryan to the outside. Orton backdropped Bryan on the barricade and the referee called the match. Orton shook Bryan’s hand after the match.
Match Analysis: So Del Rio can kick Ziggler multiple times, but a No DQ Match can stop because of a referee decision? Okay. If the WWE wants to push Bryan to the WWE Title, I don’t think that was a good start. Bryan did a good job selling a real injury, which I thought might have happened. Survey Says: 2/5
A McMahon Telling Someone Not To Bully? LOL
A.J. came out. She said last night she crushed Kaitlyn’s spirit, and she knows how to get exactly what she wants. She said there isn’t a woman as strong or courageous as she is. She said if there is a woman in the back who is a fraction as good as she is, she dared them to come out. Stephanie McMahon came out. She said what she did to Kaitlyn was degrading to women everywhere. Steph said it was time to start acting like a Champion. She said maybe she should just marry a superstar. She said what she did to Kaitlyn was a masterpiece. A.J. said the only reason Steph is out there because she wants to be A.J. Stephanie said she can take away the Divas Title from A.J. if she wants. Kaitlyn and a bunch of Divas came out. Steph told Kaitlyn not to interrupt her again. Kaitlyn came down to the ring and attacked A.J. before Big E took her away.
Segment Analysis: At least the WWE is trying to push a Divas program. But I just don’t know what the point was of that segment. Why was Stephanie out there? Is it leading to something else down the line? Couldn’t you just debut a new Diva? That segment just seemed all over the place. And a McMahon talking about not degrading women is laughable. Survey Says: 2/5
Kane vs Dean Ambrose for the US Title. Kane took out Ambrose with a boot. Kane hit two corner clotheslines then a sideslam for two. Kane hit his clothesline of the top, then Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins interfered. Reigns speared Kane and they hit a triple powerbomb.
Vickie confronted The Shield. She was ready to reprimand them but Vince McMahon came in and told them to keep up the good work. He said he never liked that Halloween mask wearing freak Kane anyways.
Zeb Colter came out. He said America is at war and the government is spying on us. He said that is why Jack Swagger and himself have decided to join forces with a foreigner who sees and shares their same desires. Out came Antonio Cesaro to fight William Regal. Cesaro made quick work of Regal. I wish they could have been given more time to wrestle, but it was mostly dominated by Cesaro. After the match, they laid the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag on Regal.
THAT’S WHAT I DO!!!
John Cena came out. Cena said he loves the crowd and they are all here because they love the WWE. He said that they have always been honest with him, and there are groups of people out there that just don’t like him. And there are groups of people out there that like him because he goes to war for them. He said he had a horrible 2012 (he didn’t) and he always told that group to hang in there. And after all his turmoil he can still stand in the ring and say the Champ is here. He thanked the fans that stood by his side. He said he feels as good as he has ever felt and he can take care of any challenge put in front of him. He told the eventual winner of the WWE Title MITB that there will be no opportune time against him and he will always be ready. He said the next person to hold the WWE Title will have to earn it.
Mark Henry came out. He left his wrestling boots on the stage. He told John Cena to put his guard down and asked him to stay. He said he respects everyone in the business and he knows how difficult it is. He said he was a veteran in 2002 when Cena came in and he is doing an awesome job. Henry said that Cena is going to be the greatest the WWE Champ of all time at the rate he is going. He said he’s had some great success, but not as great as Cena. Henry said he is out there to retire from the active roster. Cena handed Henry the WWE Title belt. Henry said he traveled the world over, but he stands before us a proud man. He thanked his wife, son and daughter. He told his daughter who cries when he leaves that he is coming home. Cena came in and shook Henry’s hand, then Henry hit the Worlds Strongest Slam on Cena.
Segment Analysis: Wow, that may have been one of the best things that the WWE has done in a long time. Henry’s speech was very believable, and then BOOM. It is how you build heat to a match really quick. Everything was played out so well. I’m already looking forward to the match at MITB. The crowd ate up everything Henry did, and CHEERED him afterwards. Just a great segment overall. Survey Says: 4.5/5
Mark Henry challenged John Cena to a match. He said he played us like puppets and the reason he had two boots was because he is going to leave one in Cena’s ass.
Chris Jericho made quick work of Heath Slater and the rest of 3MB. Are you happy to be back yet Chris?
Curtis Axel defeated Sin Cara. Another short match that didn’t have much to it. Miz was on commentary.
Vince, HHH and Steph all individually told Vickie to listen to them.
Bravo WWE, Bravo
Before the match Paul Heyman told Punk he understood everything and that he still loves him. Punk took it to Del Rio quickly, forcing Del Rio to bail. Punk landed some more kicks and again Del Rio bailed. Back in the ring Del Rio caught Punk with a kick then another to the head. Del Rio landed another kick to Punk’s body. Punk surprised Del Rio with a quick GTS attempt but Del Rio bailed. Punk caught Del Rio with a dive to the outside. Ricardo distracted Punk, allowing Del Rio to land a kick to Punk’s arm, sending Punk back to the outside. Back from break, Del Rio continued to work over Punk’s arm. Punk caught Del Rio with a kick while Del Rio jumped off the top. Punk went for a kick to the head, but Del Rio ducked and hit an armbreaker. Del Rio landed some kidney punches then the backstabber. Punk ducked a Del Rio kick and Punk hit a GTS, but Del Rio rolled to the outside. Del Rio walked off with Ricardo and was counted out.
As Del Rio walked up the ramp, Ziggler attacked Del Rio. Officials came out to break up the fight. Punk stood in the ring alone, when Brock Lesnar’s music hit. Lesnar came into the ring and grabbed a mic. He went to speak, but Lesnar instead dropped the mic and hit the F5 on Punk. Lesnar walked off smiling to end the show.
Segment Analysis: It’s the feud we all expected to happen at SummerSlam, but I didn’t think they would pull the trigger on it this quickly. I still don’t think Lesnar/Punk happens at Money in the Bank. It’s a match that should be saved for SummerSlam. If Punk isn’t going to be on TV full time then they can play it out. Of course, with Punk and Paul Heyman working on a program together, it is bound to be good. Liked seeing Ziggler come back at the end to and going after Del Rio. Good ending to RAW. Survey Says: 4/5
That was a great episode of RAW. It may have been the best show all year. I don’t know where to start. The Mark Henry/John Cena segment was brilliant. I know the rumors are Cena/Bryan at SummerSlam, but Henry almost deserves a WWE Title run after his performance tonight. Having CM Punk back does wonders for the show, and now we should get a great build to Punk/Lesnar at SummerSlam. Especially if Heyman and Punk have a lot of input in the program. The opening promo between Del Rio and Punk was good. Like I said, no goofiness involved. Just two guys who wanted to fight. Christian coming back, along with the return of RVD and the debut of the Wyatt family will help the roster. The WWE has done a great job the last two nights building potential and momentum for the summer. This was a great show that I’m giving an 8.
Until Next Time,
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Tags: alberto del rio, Brock Lesnar, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, john cena, Mark Henry, Payback, Raw, Rob Van Dam, WWE