The night after what was (hopefully) a great SummerSlam (it did present a great card), I’m sure many questions are looming. I phrase it this way because once again, I have managed to avoid the big results of the title matches and special attraction bouts from the Pay-Per-View.
So, did C.M. Punk retain his WWE Championship against John Cena & The Big Show? (Hope so!) Was Alberto Del Rio able to win his first World Heavyweight Championship? (I’d be okay with that result, but if Sheamus kept the gold, that’s fine too)
How bad did Brock Lesnar and Triple H abuse each other? (Personally, I think Brock should’ve won this to build momentum that was lost during his Cena feud)
Are new Tag Team champions crowned in the Prime Time Players? (Also would like that). And, could Chris Jericho finally win “the big one” against Dolph Ziggler? (I actually know this outcome, but won’t spoil it for those who are reading this and don’t know. I will say I was disappointed by who won – the other guy should’ve absolutely.)
All these questions and more will be answered as we move on to Monday Night Raw!
Monday Night Raw for August 20th, 2012 – “Controversy Creates Demands”
Introduction Segment: Welcoming & Arena Promo
Michael Cole welcomes us to Monday Night Raw, live from Fresno State University in Fresno, California. “Here comes the pain!” Brock Lesnar, followed by Paul Heyman, walks out and is all smiles. Cole informs us that he did indeed defeat Triple H last night, and still photos of the match are shown.
Heyman takes the mike first, to a chorus of boos. He says he understands how they feel, because the match was a “most uncomfortable match to watch.” He cites HHH’s ability to “play through the pain,” and references his torn quadriceps in 2001. (He did so by also taking a shot at Jerry “The King” Lawler and Michael Cole on commentary, saying that when Heyman was behind that desk, he did a far better job.) Heyman says that while even a torn quad couldn’t keep “The Game” down, Brock Lesnar did.
“Brock Lesnar forced Triple H to quit on his own family. Brock Lesnar forced Triple H to quit on his company. Brock Lesnar forced Triple H to quit on his friends. Brock Lesnar forced Triple H to quit on his fans. Brock Lesnar forced Triple H to quit on all of you!”
“This man, this athlete, forced Triple H down to the canvas and left Triple H a beaten, battered, former-shell of a man. And I don’t feel sorry for Triple H, and neither should any of you.” Heyman makes this statement because it was HHH who picked this fight. He even says that Triple H asked the referee to let everything go, so it could be a “fight to the finish.”
Heyman wants said referee, Scott Armstrong, to the ring because “his client” Brock Lesnar would like to address him. Referee Armstrong does come down, slowly and nervously. Lesnar is just staring a hole through Scott.
Paul E. asks Armstrong to assure him that Triple H wanted it to be a “fight to the finish” and then tells him Lesnar has two words for him. Lesnar approaches Scott, puts his hands on his head, taps it, and says “good job.”
Heyman now anoints Brock Lesnar “the new King Of Kings, the master of the Brocktagon, and the conqueror of the WWE Universe. Each and every one of you are now the loyal subjects to the lord and master of the WWE Universe, the conqueror himself. My client, BROCK LESNAR!”
Lesnar salutes the crowd and both exit the ring.
Later tonight, Shawn Michaels will be live via satellite.
Segment #2: Tout Promo
Cole & Lawler talk about the “controversial ending” to the Triple Threat WWE Championship, and C.M. Punk did retain (yay!). The Champ himself now appears via the Tout internet program, and asks to pick his opponent tonight, since he defended his title twice at SummerSlam. (Okay, missed something there not reading results). Apparently, General Manager A.J. Lee is heavily considering.
Match #1: 6-Man Tag-Team – WWE Tag-Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, & Sin Cara VS. Cody Rhodes and The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil)
(So wrong on the P.T.P. winning the tag-straps, but hopefully they get another shot). Young and Kingston start out with a lock up and waistlock by Darren. Kofi ducks a clothesline and clamps on a side headlock. Flashy high-flying action from Kofi, including a jumping-tornado-elbow. He tags in R-Truth and they hit a double-hip-toss on Young and double-dropkick on O’Neil. Sin Cara pulls Cody out of the ring and the faces stand tall for a break.
Back live, Kofi rolls out of a headlock and jump-tags R-Truth again. Truth is all over Darren, and hits the Scissors Kick for a nearfall! Cody blind-tags Young and works over Truth. Front-face suplex and he stomps away on Truth. Titus is now in and twists Truth’s head and neck to the side. Big boot from O’Neil, 1 – 2 – Truth kicks out.
Young is switched back in now and locks in a grounding chinlock with scissors. Harsh clothesline and another grounding chinlock by Titus. He knocks Kofi off the apron as Kingston was cheering on his teammate, but Titus turns around into a running calf-kick. Both tag, so now it is Cara and Rhodes.
Cara ducks a clothesline and pulls out his aerial offence. Springboard back elbow, Hurricanrana, and top-rope crossbody from Cara put down Cody, but only for two when Young saves the bout. The Tag-Team Champs now take out The P.T.P., and in the ring, Cody tries to unmask Cara, but gets jacknife-pinned for the three-count!
Winners via Pinfall: WWE Tag-Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, & Sin Cara
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Matt Striker begins to interview Raw General Manager A.J. Lee, when a certain Harvard Educated lawyer makes his return. David Otunga offers his services, but she goes for them in a different way – in the ring. Otunga will be in a match.
Meanwhile, Striker gets back to the main question, whether WWE Champion C.M. Punk can pick his own opponent. A.J. does agree to that notion, however, in the end, she has to have approval. The General Manager skips away as usual.
Match #2: 2-On-1 – Ryback VS. Local Talent
As par for the course, Ryback dominates, hits three powerbombs, and goes for his finisher, but Jinder Mahal runs in and attacks from behind. The bell rings for the d.q.
Winner via Disqualification: Ryback
Post-match, Jinder locks in the Camel Clutch, until Ryback stands up and drops him with a jawbreaker. Mahal rolls out of the ring and watches Ryback properly finish the local talent, and demand “feed me more!”
Segment #4: Locker Room Promo
Chris Jericho is texting on his cellular phone when Dolph Ziggler walks in. “The Show-Off” congratulates Jericho on winning “the big one” but reminds him he has only won one “big one” this year, and Dolph wants to face him again to prove he can defeat “The Ayatollah Of Rock N’ Rollah!”. Jericho reminds Ziggler of who he is, until General Manager A.J. Lee skips (literately) in.
She books a rematch between the two superbly-talented wrestlers, but adds a stipulations – Dolph’s Money In The Bank briefcase will be on the line, as will Chris Jericho’s contract. If Jericho loses, he is terminated, but if Ziggler loses, the MITB contract goes to Y2J.
Alberto Del Rio, sans World Heavyweight Championship, is walking backstage a little mad. It is made known that Sheamus apparently cheated to keep his World Title and Del Rio has filed a formal complaint.
Segment #5: Arena Promo
Alberto Del Rio is out and demands another World Heavyweight Championship contest. He shows the evidence of Sheamus getting the pinfall, despite Del Rio’s foot being on the ropes. Once again, Raw General Manager A.J. inserts her skills and books a match for Del Rio, however not a World Title one since this is not Smackdown; instead he will be facing “The Viper” Randy Orton.
Match #3: Single – Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) VS. “The Viper” Randy Orton
(Note: World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus comes out and joins the commentary table.) Punches from both grapplers begin the bout, then a dropkick from Orton. He runs down Alberto with a shoulder block and then a springboard suplex. 1 – 2 – Del Rio kicks out. Orton stomps away and drops a high-knee to Del Rio. Randy punches away in the corner but Alberto drops him on the turnbuckle, then nails him in the back-of-the-head with a resounding kick.
Del Rio is now in full-control, working over Orton with angry stomps. Del Rio ascends the turnbuckles but is cut off by Orton, who brings him down with a top-rope superplex! 1 – 2 – kickout from Alberto! Both punch back and forth at each other until Del Rio gets a kick on Randy’s left arm. That didn’t do much damage, as Randy came back with a clothesline and a powerslam. He goes for the Sprinboard DDT, but Del Rio counters and takes him down with an enziguri. 1 – 2 – Orton kicks out!
Alberto kicks away again at Orton’s arm and sets up for the cross-armbreaker submission, but the former “Legend Killer” reverses into a swinging neckbreaker. Randy uses the corner to drive Del Rio down with the Springboard DDT, then hypes himself up for the R.K.O. Ricardo Rodriguez distracts Orton before he can hit it, but Sheamus scares off Del Rio’s servant.
This allows Del Rio to hit The Backstabber from behind and cover Orton. Randy puts his foot on the ropes, which Sheamus points out to the referee. Alberto only gets a two because of this, then with his attention to the World Champion, he turns around into an R.K.O. 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Randy Orton
Segment #6: WWE.com Exclusive Promo
WWE Champion C.M. Punk is questioned on the “controversy” from his title defense at SummerSlam. He totally plays down the “controversy,” instead holding up the championship on his shoulder and saying “respect this!”
Segment #7: SummerSlam Promos
Clips of Antonio Ceasaro defeating Santino Marella for the U.S. Championship from the SummerSlam pre-show on YouTube are shown, as well as the week of WWE invading Los Angeles for SummerSlam Week.
Match #4: Single – “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (with “The Funkadactors” Naomi & Cameron) VS. “The Intellectual Savior Of The Masses” Damien Sandow
Sandow tries to go for Brodus’ legs, but the big man overpowers and punches away in the corner. Huge clothesline and right hands. Big belly-to-belly suplex and elbow drop. Clay splashes him in the corner, then thumps him with his rear-end. “The Funkasaurus” runs at him with a headbutt. He misses another corner splash however, and Sandow manages to roll him up for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: “The Intellectual Savior Of The Masses” Damien Sandow
Post-match, as Sandow is celebrating, Brodus sneaks up from behind and T-Bone Suplexes him, then dances with some young fans in the ring.
Up next, Shawn Michaels live via satellite.
Segment #8: Satellite Promo
Prior to Shawn, a replay of Brock Lesnar breaking his arm from last week is shown. Michael Cole asks Shawn’s opinion on Triple H and his career potentially being over.
Shawn says despite preparing for it, no one can know the feeling of “it” being over, even when it hits you in the face. As still images of the match last night are shown, Shawn puts over Triple H as a warrior, a man of honor and integrity. Shawn says he wanted to support his friend, which may have been a mistake because he ended up as a distraction more than anything. Michaels tells the truth – “I didn’t think he could beat Brock Lesnar.”
However, Hunter has nothing to be ashamed of. Michaels touts him as one of the “greatest, greatest superstars to ever live. I’ve always respected you and I’ve always been proud of you. And I’ve always loved you. We all love you. On behalf of myself and the entire WWE Universe, we thank you for a job well done.”
Match #5: Single – David Otunga VS. The Big Show
Show immediately goes after Otunga. Huge blows and scoop slams, and Big walks over Otunga. Show gears up and knocks out David with the Big Punch, 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: The Big Show
Post-match, another WWE.com Exclusive is shown, with an extremely angry Big Show following his SummerSlam match. He complains about the constant double-teaming in the Triple Threat and wants a fair one-on-one match.
Up next, Kane & Zack Ryder will team to face Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Daniel Bryan!
Match #6: Tag-Team – Kane and “Long Island Iced-Z” Zack Ryder VS. Daniel Bryan and Intercontinental Champion The Miz
Kane & Miz begin, with Kane hammering away in the corner. He throws Miz to his other corner and tags in Ryder. Impressive middle-rope missile dropkick from “Long Island,” but Miz counters with a big boot. He stomps away and then kicks him in the face for a near fall.
Bryan is now in and delivers knees to Ryder’s shoulder/arm and then stretches his other arm. Repeated kicks to the chest (with “no/yes” chants) and a knee drop get a close count for Daniel. Ryder tries to fight out of a side headlock from The Miz, but instead receives a neckbreaker for a two-count.
Bryan is back in and delivers kicks in the corner. Bryan goes to run at Ryder, but he ducks and ends up hitting his own partner, knocking Miz off the apron. This allows Kane to be tagged in, and Bryan wants to do the same, but Miz drops down and leaves him dry. So, Bryan also chooses to leave, running out of the arena.
Furious, Kane decides to chokeslam Ryder and tear apart parts of the arena. He grabs a technical dude and chucks him over the barricade. To the fans’ delight, he Tombstones Ryder and runs away.
Winners: No Contest
Segment #9: WWE.com Exclusive
John Cena’s turn to be interviewed following the SummerSlam, and he takes the high road, saying he lost, but he’ll get him tomorrow.
Segment #10: Backstage Promo
WWE Champion C.M. Punk is with Matt Striker and announces his next opponent for his WWE Championship. It is somebody that “can take a beating like a man, somebody that the WWE Universe looks up to, somebody that a lot of people say I can’t beat. My next opponent – John Cena. However, Punk adds a condition – and later tonight demands respect from John Cena.
Up next, a #1 Contender Battle Royal for the Divas Championship (That’ll be a quick recap!)
Match #7: Diva Battle Royal for the #1 Contender’s Slot to the Divas Championship – Kaitlyn VS. Aksana VS. Tamina VS. Rosa VS. Natalya VS. Alicia Fox VS. Eve Torres
Rosa and Aksana roll out of the ring together, eliminating themselves. Alicia double-dropkicks Natalya & Tamina, but they do not get out of the ring. Natalya is whipped out of the ring, then Alicia is super-kicked by Tamina over the top, and Tamina is thrown by Kaitlyn, who after a small struggle, manages to dump Eve to the floor for the victory!
Winner via Elimination and NEW #1 Contender for the Divas Championship: Kaitlyn
A quick Tout video from Brock Lesnar is played and he states that he has accomplished everything he wanted, so he’s leaving the WWE and never coming back! (Cha, right!)
Via Twitter, Raw General Manager A.J. Lee announces that next week she will send Daniel Bryan to anger management therapy classes.
Segment #11: Locker Room Promo
Vickie Guerrero is freaking out, but yet encouraging her man Dolph Ziggler at the same time to win the match tonight. Dolph agrees, saying this is the biggest match of his career and he HAS TO and WILL win!
That match is next!
Match #8: Single “Contract VS. Contract” – “The Showoff” Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) VS. Chris Jericho
Ziggler & Jericho lock up and Jericho starts with a shoulder block and two quick roll-ups. Dolph goes to the outside for a break. Jericho catches Ziggler in a small package for a near fall, then chops him down. Dolph fights his way out of the corner and drops the jumping elbow for a two-count. Ziggler focuses on the injured ribs of Jericho, but gets booted and hit with a second rope missile dropkick. 1 – 2 – Ziggler kicks out! Jericho tosses Dolph to the apron and drops him with a springboard dropkick.
Back live, Ziggler has Jericho in a grounding rear chinlock/sleeper to wear him down. Harsh, quick elbows to the collar of Jericho then another jumping elbow. Y2J counters into a side backdrop and boot-to-the-face. Two running shoulder blocks and an axe handle (a la the late, great “Macho Man” Randy Savage”) put Dolph on the mat. Both are on the top turnbuckle, where Jericho 10-punches him and then pulls out a top-rope Hurricanrana! 1 – 2 – Dolph’s still in it!
Ziggler comes back with a jumping DDT, but only gets two! Jericho throws a Fameasser attempt, and “The Showoff” wiggles out of a Walls Of Jericho. Small Package from Ziggler, 1 – 2 – Y2J kicks out! Running Bulldog and the Lionsault, but Dolph gets the knees up and drives Jericho down with the Zig-Zag. 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall & STILL Money In The Break Contract Holder: “The Showoff” Dolph Ziggler
Post-match, as Dolph is celebrating like he as already won the World Championship, Jericho snatches the briefcase and smashes Ziggler with it. He runs at him and hits the Codebreaker. Jericho leaves, walking up the ramp and slapping the fans hands.
Segment #12: Arena Promo
WWE Champion C.M. Punk is now out and ready to name John Cena as his next opponent, with a condition. He walks over to the commentary table and talks to Jerry Lawler. The “Straight-Edge Superstar” wants Lawler to tell the WWE Universe it was a lie when he said Punk has turned his back on them on the few weeks ago. Lawler reiterates that’s how he felt at the time, so Punk wants an apology instead.
Before he gets it, John Cena interrupts and meets him in the ring. Punk is disdained by Cena interjecting prior to his apology from Lawler. Punk claims he has taken a back seat to John Cena and The Rock since WrestleMania, despite being the WWE Champion. All he wants is respect, and he named Cena the #1 Contender because he wants to and has to beat him again.
However, C.M. say it may not matter because of all the loyal fans to him. Punk names his stipulation: John Cena must admit, on live television, that “The Second-City Saint” is the BEST IN THE WORLD. He does that, he’ll get his title shot.
Cena retorts and talks about Punk’s 9-month reign as Champion. He says that his relationship with Punk is built on one thing: respect. He compares the fans’ loyalty to their university football team to their loyalty to Cena and wrestling. Because of that, Cena cannot say that Punk is the “best in the world.” Cena has to believe that each and every night, HE is the “best in the world.”
Cena is not going to throw away his integrity to feed Punk’s ego. He is okay if Punk doesn’t name him the #1 Contender, because one way or another, Cena is confident he will get the title back anyway. Cena says name anyone he wants, however Punk has an opportunity – if he chooses Cena and defeats him at Night Of Champions, that will define Punk’s existence because C.M. would have beat Cena in his own hometown of Boston. Cena states that if Punk doesn’t pick him for the challenger to face at Night Of Champions, then he will have no respect for the WWE Title and no respect for himself.
Cena walks off, as Punk contemplates, squatting in the ring. Pretty much completely ignoring what John said, Punk turns his attention back to Lawler and demands an apology. He coaxes him into the ring, where Jerry does apologize, but it’s not over. He wants “The King” to declare that Punk is the “best in the world.” In short, Lawler says he can’t, because he’s at the announce table and have built a rapport with the fans.
Lawler turns around and goes to the ropes, but gets kicked from behind by Punk. The WWE Champion positions himself over a downed Lawler with the WWE Championship draped over his shoulder, saying nothing to close the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Ramblings – By Moe Tapp
A pretty good Raw with some twists, but a bit lackluster compared to last week’s, especially coming off a big Pay-Per-View. Onto the analysis.
Excellence: Brock Lesnar/Paul Heyman opening promo. Heyman is gold on the mike and really put the emphasis on building Lesnar as a monster, obliterating Triple H. Lesnar too was gold, just standing there looking intimidating. Loved the “scare tactic” he used with Referee Scott Armstrong, only to tell him “good job.” That fit his character perfectly.
Liked the return/interaction of A.J. and Otunga, especially with Otunga not really playing face/heel, just using his outside skills of being a lawyer to help out Ms. Lee.
Again, love the aggressiveness and “anything to win” attitude that Alberto Del Rio has lately. And great finish to the match, throwing the same one from last night back in Del Rio’s face to cause him to lose. This did NOT hurt him one bit and added to the heat of the rivalry. Much like above, also loved Big Show’s no-nonsense aggressiveness in his match with Otunga and just dominated him.
Shawn’s promo was good – came off very heartfelt (pardon the pun) and real. The words seemed to be chosen carefully, since they were statements that could be related to anyone in any type of professional position or life in general. Obviously, it won’t be Triple H’s last match, but they’re playing it up like it is well enough!
Liked the twist to the Kane/Ryder VS. Miz/Bryan match, with the two heels bailing and Kane going nuts again. True to his character and to theirs as well. However, poor Zack – how is star has fallen.
Surprisingly, I actually liked the Divas Battle Royal and it had some unique eliminations. Nice to see Kaitlyn get the top spot too for a fresh challenge.
While I knew the outcome (come on, it was way too predictable), still a FANTASTIC match between Ziggler and Jericho, and glad they were given the main event match on the show.
Cena’s promo in the ending segment also awesome and what he is truly about – as I’ve stated before, when he talks like this, you can truly feel the genuine desire, passion, and love he has for the professional wrestling business and it’s fans.
Bogus: Way too many “WWE.com Exclusives.” The first couple were okay, then it got old fast and was basically the same thing. 6-Man-Tag, Ryback, Brodus/Damien (however a great match) were all just filler – nothing special.
Lesnar announcing he’s leaving WWE via Tout – something like that should’ve been more emphasized and live in the arena. (It did seem weird/off-guard.)
Still not buying the C.M. Punk “in-between” heel turn. Again, while he is excellent on the mike and an awesome wrestler, he is just stating the same stuff over and over, and it is kind of getting old. I like that he is trying to make the WWE Champion deserve respect, but when he makes it about himself and not the title, it’s a “ya, ya, heard that before” in my opinion.
Nonetheless, a decent Raw and they really are doing well so far with the 3-hours, especially since not one episode yet has felt like it “dragged.” They are really mixing promos and matches well (granted, a few fillers could be without, but overall the effort is there to keep interest.)
As always, until next week, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online readers and Wrestling Fans!