Heeee's Back! Once again, we prepare for another return of Chris Jericho! What will the "Ayatolla of Rock N' Rolla" have to say tonight, and will he lay out a new challenge? Also, who else will be named for the Money In The Bank Ladder match for the pay-per-view on July 15?
How else will A.J. depict her craziness and play mind-games with Kane, Daniel Bryan, & WWE Champion C.M. Punk? And since Raw is being run by Vickie Guerrero, it should be (and hopefully - hehe!) a very friendly night for one Dolph "The Show-Off" Ziggler! Only one way to find out and that is to read on...
Monday Night Raw for June 25th, 2012
Introduction Segment: Video Recap, Backstage Promo, & Welcoming
A video montage of A.J.'s bizarre and outlandish acts to manipulate her three men is airs (well put-together). A.J. is now seen up close backstage, and is supposedly talking to Daniel Bryan, Kane, & WWE Champion C.M. Punk (who are "supposedly" off camera). She tells Daniel that to grow, they must separate. As much she wants to get "wild" with Kane, she know he is not a man, but a monster. And she considers C.M. Punk a "soul-mate", but informs them that they must all go their own ways. The camera reveals A.J. talking to herself in a three-split mirror.
The regular Raw video plays and the pyro blasts in the arena of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Michael Cole & Jerry "The King" Lawler welcome us, informing us that Big Show will take on Brodus Clay, and John Cena will be here to make an announcement to make history. (Ya, ya, been there, done that....let's see what it is.)
Segment #1: Arena Promo
The Interim Raw & Smackdown General Manager Vickie Guerrero now excuses herself into the fold. she puts herself over, as well as her hopes to be the permanent General Manager starting at the 1000th episode. Guerrero then makes the first match of the night, a three-way elimination.
Match #1: Triple-Threat Elimination - Daniel Bryan VS. Kane VS. WWE Champion C.M. Punk (Non-Title)
Kane & C.M. Punk start out until Kane dominates and begins to take out both Bryan & Punk. The two former independent stars make a comeback and kick (literately) Kane out of the ring, until Bryan rolls up Punk for a quick count, but to no avail. Punk & Bryan face off now. Shoulder block from the "Straight-Edge Superstar" along with an inverted atomic drop and Indian Deathlock Stomp. Kane makes himself known again with an uppercut on Punk and tossing Daniel into the barricade.
Kane is still in control live again, but gets cut off the top rope by Bryan and C.M. who holds Punk on his shoulders as Kane misses a flying clothesline due to Bryan rolling up Punk again, but only for 2! Kane attempts a double-chokeslam but is countered with kicks and a double-suplex. C.M. & Daniel trade hits back and forth, with Punk getting the best with a calf-kick and pushing Bryan into Kane, then Punk pulling the ropes on Kane and chucking Bryan over the top rope.
The "Second-City Saint" then runs through the ropes with a suicide dive and jumps off the top rope with an attempted flying clothesline, however Bryan reversed into an attempted Labell Lock, but Punk blocked that too. High kick on Daniel. 1 - 2 - Bryan's foot on the ropes. C.M. goes for the Go To Sleep, but gets booted by Kane for a near fall!
Kane leaps on to Punk with a clothesline and then signals for his chokeslam finisher. Just like last week, A.J.'s music blares interrupting the Big Red Machine. She skips down to and around the ring. Kane ignores her to his best and tries a chokeslam, gets it reversed into the GTS by Punk for the fall!
Kane is eliminated.
C.M. turns right around into a kick-to-the-head and a cover. 1 - 2 - 3!
WWE Champ C.M. Punk is eliminated.
Winner via Pinfall-Elimination: Daniel Bryan
Segment #2: Office Promo
Vickie Guerrero is in her office when she is charmed by Alberto Del Rio & Ricardo Rodriguez. They bring her flowers but Ricardo is sent to get her the vase. Meanwhile, Del Rio inquires about being the #1 Contender to the World Heavyweight Championship, until Dolph Ziggler walks in and pleads his case, wanting another match against Sheamus as he almost beat him again.
The two wrestlers get into a shouting match until Guerrero makes a real one - Contract On A Pole. Whoever gets the contract will face Sheamus for the World Title on this Friday's Smackdown.
Rodriguez walks back in with the vase/flowers, to which Ziggler takes them, asking "are these for me?" He then smashes them against the wall and walks off! (Beautiful!)
Match #2: Single - The "Funkasaurus" Brodus Clay (with "Funkettes" Cameron & Naomi) VS. The Big Show
Big Show slugs it out with Brodus to begin with but Clay fights back with punches and a headbutt. Show kicks at Brodus' injured knee however and take complete control. Show drops down on the knee and then smashes it against the ring post. Show dominates and works over Clay for a while, even hitting a second-rope splash. Brodus tries another small comeback but gets overtaken again as Big Show just falls on him for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: The Big Show
Post-match, officials and Naomi & Cameron check on an apparently injured Brodus.
Segment #3: Video Promo
Cole & Lawler introduce us to John Cena's latest (and greatest) achievement - the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Cena granted his 300th wish last week and will continue to do more.
Segment #4: 1000 Raws
September 7th, 2009, otherwise known as "The Price is Raw" with guest-host Bob Barker is recalled.
Segment #5: Recap
During the ads, Brodus Clay was knocked out by Big Show while being helped to the back. Triple H's challenge to Brock Lesnar and last week's confrontation between HHH and Paul Heyman is partially re-aired. It is announced that Brock Lesnar will actually answer Triple H's challenge next week.
Segment #6: Backstage Promo
A.J. is having a talk about her relationship with Kane, which the Big Red Monster is denying, for that very reason. He finds her "mentally unstable" and it is "for your own good that we stay away from each other." Kane walks off as A.J. begins to laugh and cry at the same time!
Match #3: Single for the United States Championship - The "All-American-American" Jack Swagger (Challenger) VS. United States Champion Santino Marella (Champion)
Referee Chad Patton holds up the title and here we go! Swagger aggressive early with a hard right-hand punch and more in the corner. Santino tries to turn it around but Jack kicks him in the gut and slams him to the mat. Jumping elbow drop and a butterfly stretch from the amateur wrestler. Marella reverses it into a backdrop and hits a hip-toss and jumping headbutt. He reverses another pickup into a DDT and nails Swagger in the face with The Cobra for the win!
Winner via Pinfall & STILL United States Champion: Santino Marella
Also tonight, The WWE Divas will compete in a "Summer Beach Battle Royal."
Up next is John Cena's major announcement. He is shown walking backstage, where is picks up a "People Power" (John Laurinaitis) t-shirt, and the "Long Island Iced-Z" Zack Ryder chucks it in the trash, much to Cena's approval.
Segment #7: Arena Promo
John Cena is out to make his "historical announcement." Cena does is best Star Wars impersonation to recap the recent feud between Big Johnny, Big Show, and Cena himself. He mixes Star Wars character's names with WWE personalities to get his point across. (Including a spot-on Yoda mocking!)
Before he can make this "historic" announcement, a historic superstar returns! Chris Jericho interjects to the delight of the fans. Jericho inquires what Cena is talking about and wants Cena to hurry it up so Y2J can take the spotlight. Cena obliges and publicizes that he will put himself into the Money In The Bank Ladder Match! (Told ya been there, done that)
Jericho takes exception to this, stating that Cena isn't going to win just because he's Cena. Jericho puts over the Ladder Match as a serious bout and informs Cena that he should worry about stopping him, since Jericho is also entering himself into the contest.
Vickie now gets involved, and has an announcement of her own - there will be (as usual) two MITB's - one for the WWE Championship and one for the World Heavyweight Championship. She also announces that the WWE Championship MITB will involve Kane, Chris Jericho, The Big Show, & John Cena - all former WWE Champions. Not finished yet, Vickie makes the main-event for tonight - John Cena VS. Chris Jericho!
Up next, another Superstar from Raw's past - over 15 years to be exact - makes their return. (Good guess....for fun I'll say Doink The Clown or a Diva, but I really hope it's someone bigger)
Segment #8: Arena Promo
As Lillian Garcia is about to bring out the past superstar, a former 2-time...(ok, I'll change my vote to.... Sid - there's a real wild-card guess!), Heath Slater interrupts. He puts himself over again as the "One-Man-Band" and doesn't care about the past Raw superstars, because he is "one of the top superstars on Raw."
(Holy Crap, I was actually right!) It is the 6'9, 317-pounder Sycho Sid. Big adoration for the man who hasn't been on Raw since June 9th, 1997. He just dominates (while chewing gum - classic Sid!) Slater. Huge leg drop and Sid calls for the Powerbomb. Nails it! Sid puts his hands over Heath's chest for the cover, 1 - 2 - 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Sycho Sid
Match #4: Pole-Single for the #1 Contendership to the World Heavyweight Championship - Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. "The Show-Off" Dolph Ziggler
(Loud "Let's go Ziggler" chants). Dolph immediately goes for the role but Del Rio drags him off and tries himself. Dolph cuts him off but runs into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Del Rio tries again but Ziggler catches him and drives him backwards with a Russian legsweep. Both slug it out until Ziggler lands on his feet after a second spinning backbreaker attempt but hits a nice high-dropkick. Ziggler is sling-shot over the ropes but jumps on the ropes and runs to the pole.
Del Rio chokes him with the rope and climbs the role, but Dolph climbs over him. Alberto counters with a Samoan Drop off the top rope! Both fight it out and climb again, but the "Show-Off" pulls the contract down! However, neither Del Rio, Dolph, or even Ricardo (yes, he gets involved), can control the contract, so the scramble between the wrestlers goes on.
Sheamus now walks out and informs the two that Vickie Guerrero has decided that it will instead be a Triple-Threat match for the World Title!
Winner: No Contest
Del Rio and Ziggler stare each other down following the statement.
It is also made known that Daniel Bryan will challenge C.M. Punk again for the WWE Championship at Money In The Bank! (Sweet!)
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
The WWE Champ is on his cell-phone, when A.J. (in a bath robe) surprises him and wants to dedicate her Battle Royal match to him. Punk asks her to have a serious conversation about what's going on between them following her bout. She agrees then wants to go win.
Segment #10: 1000 Raws
Last week's General Manager, the "Hardcore Legend" and former WWE Champion Mick Foley remembers his favorite moment from Raw, which of course is "This Is Your Life" from September 27th, 1999.
Match #5: Diva Battle Royal - Beth Phoenix VS. Aksana VS. Diva VS. A.J. VS. Rosa Mendes VS. Alicia Fox VS. WWE Divas Champion Layla VS. Kaitlyn VS. Tamina VS. Natalya VS. Vickie Guerrero
(Note: Took me almost as long to write out the names and this sentence as it did for the match to happen!) Bottom line, it was Vickie & A.J. last, with them brawling until A.J. kicks her out and wins!
Winner via Elimination: A.J.
A.J. celebrates by mimicking Daniel Bryan with "Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Up next, Cena facing off against Jericho!
Match #6: Single - Chris Jericho VS. John Cena
Lockup to begin the contest, with a side headlock take down from Cena and leg scissors from Jericho. (The usual calls of "Let's go Cena/Cena sucks" start up). Cena tries a quick A.A., but Jericho gets out of the ring and walks around for a break.
Live again, Y2J has Cena locked in a side headlock until Cena powers out. He hits a couple of punches but Jericho counters with a boot-to-the-face and second-rope dropkick. 1 - 2 - Cena kicks out! Jericho begins to assault Cena with kicks and a sliding dropkick, then attempts a suplex, but John reverses it into a fisherman's one of his own. Chris regains control with a harsh quick kick-to-the-face.
Another rear chinlock is clamped on, which Cena fights out of again with punches until he gets elbowed down. Jericho misses the Lionsault, allowing the former "Dr. Of Thug-A-Nomics" to fire himself up. He even counters a Walls Of Jericho attempt and hits the spin-out backdrop and the 5-Knuckle Shuffle.
The Big Show now walks to the stage, distracting Cena enough so Jericho can lock him in the Walls of Jericho. As Cena is in the submission hold, Show gets in the ring and drops a leg on the back of his head, dq'ing Jericho for interference.
Winner via Disqualification: John Cena
Post-match, Jericho ponders why Show did that, but then exits the ring, leaving Show to continue his beatdown of Cena with a Chokeslam and the "Colossal Clutch" submission hold to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter's Rumblings - By Moe Tapp
Ah, a much better show tonight! Raw really rolled on (almost) all cylinders, with only a few minor blunders, so on to the analysis...
Excellence: The opening highlight package of A.J.'s antics and her personality once again shines...to be honest, not only is she getting hotter week-by-week (hey, I am a 26-year-old male!), but she just knows how to one-up herself and everyone that she is involved with every week. That is a sign of someone who knows how to take their role and exemplify the best qualities out of it.
The Triple-Threat opener - even though I do have a pet-peeve of the Heavyweight Champion opening the show in a match, this still was a great bout with a great finish between Kane, Daniel Bryan, A.J., & WWE Champion C.M. Punk. This is one feud I hope doesn't end for a while, because a) they can do a lot with all four, and b) all four have awesome chemistry both in and out of the ring.
Dolph Ziggler smashing the vase/flowers. Just pure attitude and cockiness - love it! Also a small symbol of his "I don't need to suck-up to someone, 'cause I can take care of business on my own with my pure talent" demeanor.
Brodus Clay selling the knee injury during and after his match - storyline continuity is always a win, thank you!
John Cena granting 300 wishes - as much backlash as he gets for his character, outside of the ring, he really is a true role model. This is quite refreshing/awesome to see a celebrity of such high magnitude going out of his way to treat children with special needs and life-threatening illnesses, putting a smile on their and their family's faces, even just for one day.
Jericho putting over the Money In The Bank Ladder Match as a career maker and one to be taken very seriously. I liked his promo for degrading Cena's "funny" promo, putting the emphasis back on the importance and significance of the MITB bout.
Sycho Sid returning - as I said, pure freak guess, but cool to see him back. And he looked great, both physically (although, you could tell he's aged via the face) and wrestling-wise, he didn't miss much. He actually wrestled better in this one match than 13 years ago full-time for WCW! Honestly, I think he's one that could be brought back on occasion to do the odd match, if he stays in the shape he is in. Plus, the fans were behind him big time.
While short and a muffed ending, the Jericho VS. Cena main event was still a well-wrestled bout as usual between the two. Loved The Big Show choking out Cena then staring at referee Charles Robinson, satisfied with his work to finish the episode.
As mentioned above, my pet-peeve of the WWE Champion opening the show with a match - this one should've been announced and hyped up for later in the night.
Brodus Clay - he's supposed to be all mad at Show for what he's done, but dances to the ring as normal like nothing happened. No continuity there.
U.S. Title match - unfortunately, just pointless.
As I always love Dolph Ziggler's matches, and even though he beautifully showed off (pardon the pun, for real!) more of his athleticism, I did not like the Pole bout, especially with the screwy finishes that just ended up being a Triple-Threat anyway (at least this was announced beforehand though!). I think they should've just had a regular match, and if there was a messy ending to that, I probably would've been ok with it instead.
Diva Battle Royal - except A.J. winning (which was more predictable than the sun coming out tomorrow in California), it was also pointless and just bad, bad, bad!
Once more, a great improvement from last week's Raw, so let's hope they keep it up throughout, building to the MITB PPV and the 1000th Raw.
Until next week, as always, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers & Wrestling Fans!