CM Punk attacks Jerry Lawler backstage before Raw starts and thus Michael Cole is alone on commentary for Raw tonight in Chicago!
^I like the idea of using a storyline to try a new announce team for Raw. Putting Lawler in the role of an agent or backstage help would be much better than listening to him on commentary every week. Something tells me his rivalry with Punk will continue for at least a few more weeks.
Sheamus comes out first tonight. Sheamus says the party will end soon for Alberto Del Rio. CM Punk interrupts. Punk says Lawler got what he deserves. Sheamus challenges Punk to a match tonight but Punk declines. AJ Lee comes out and books Cena against ADR tonight and Punk against Sheamus as well.
^I actually enjoyed the setup here, and I’ve been waiting for Punk and Sheamus to go one on one for quite some time now. I like the possibilities! This was a fairly typical setup used in the GM angles to open a show, but I didn’t think it was all that bad.
Dolph Ziggler defeats Randy Orton. Miz joins Michael Cole on commentary for the show.
^Match of the night. You can always count on these two to deliver excellent contests. I like Ziggler getting the win here by holding the trunks, but I also like the swapping victories to further the rivalry even more. These two could easily steal a ppv if they were put on a card. I wouldn’t expect them to face off at Night of Champions, but maybe Hell in a Cell would be more appropriate.
Daniel Bryan and Kane are shown in an anger management segment. Bryan shows his collage of yes and no. Kane holds up a blank piece of paper for his collage and is told by the doctor that the paper is a reflection of how you feel inside. Kane throws the paper in a garbage can and then causes the can to explode. The host is impressed. DBry calls Kane a teacher’s pet.
^You could see the trash can fire coming from a mile away, but this was funny. I like the continuation of DBry/Kane for a rivalry.
Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara defeat Cody Rhodes and Tensai. Sin Cara pins Rhodes after a swanton bomb.
^I hate admitting this, but Sin Cara actually has a much bigger excitement factor now that he’s involved with Mysterio. I’m sure down the line these two will become rivals, but for now their tag team matches have some pretty big wow factor to them. Tensai was boring as usual, and Rhodes worked a decent match. Time to find Rhodes an equally talented partner and dump Tensai from the picture. Good tag team match!
Another anger management segment in shown. Kane and Dbry do a trust fall. They do it again with “Harold” and both let him fall instead of catching him together. DBry tells Kane that he finally understands him.
^Poor Scorpio Sky. This segment was as funny as the first. It just amazes me how easily DBry can win an audience over with such little effort and talking. I just about spit out my drink when Kane asked “I will?” I love when basic humor can crack me up.
Sheamus comes to the ring for his match with Punk. Punk comes out and refuses to wrestle. He leaves and tells AJ he has personal days in his contract. AJ gets Jack Swagger to face Sheamus with ADR on commentary. Sheamus defeats Swagger using the Texas cloverleaf. ADR attempts to take out Sheamus with Ricardo and Ricardo ends up hurt.
^Punk leaving like that was interesting. Since when does he have his own driver? Swagger looked alright, but the guy is past stale and moving towards the category of being just a pile of forgotten dust. Boring! Sheamus dominant run as champ continues, but it’s hard to imagine WWE booking him to hold the World Title for much longer.
Eve defeats Kaitlyn with Layla on commentary. Eve shakes Kaitlyn’s hand and Layla’s after the match.
^It was short, but it was alright and definitely intriguing. Perhaps the story is that Eve is trying to make nice with everyone and move herself into a position of power? Could Eve become the replacement of AJ as GM of Raw down the line? Does Eve defeating Kaitlyn mean that we could have a triple threat match at Night of Champions? So many questions.
Jack Swagger is shown leaving. He tells AJ he is taking some extended time off. AJ says everyone is leaving her. Swagger apologizes and leaves.
^A repackage for Jack Swagger? It’s about damn time. AJ’s run as GM getting wrecked and coming to a finish? It seems a bit premature, but maybe that’s where this story is headed.
The last anger management segment is shown. Bryan offers Kane a rematch from Summerslam any time he wants. Kane says he will do his best not to eviscerate Bryan in a rematch. They exchange more heated words. Harold tries to interrupt them and they tell him to shut up. Everybody leaves as Kane and Bryan get more heated. The doctor freaks out and tells them they’ve learned nothing.
^This wasn’t as funny as the rest, but the segments came to an end at the perfect time. These two have the potential to put on a couple more quality ppv matches. The doctor was probably the most annoying of these segments, and his freak out was pretty lame. Glad it’s over.
Del Rio is interviewed but Otunga interrupts and says that his client has no client at this time.
^I know it’s something different and it’s supposed to be refreshing, but Otunga’s lawyer gimmick annoys me. WWE adding legal things into their script never seems to make much sense in relation to pro wrestling and the fact that it’s not real!
Jinder Mahal is defeated by Ryback.
^I thought it was someone elses turn to be defeated by Ryback, but I guess Mahal gets picked yet again. I know people want a slow build for Ryback, but I think it’s time he go after the US or IC Title and do a stretch of defending one of the belts. What better way to add prestige to a title than to see it defended in legit rivalries with a guy that is one of the next big things?
AJ makes tonight’s match with Cena and Del Rio a falls count anywhere match because of things falling apart on Raw.
^I like falls count anywhere matches, but in this case you’ve pretty much guaranteed interference and it will probably resemble their last man standing match from Vengeance last year. Does WWE really think it’s clever to change a main event to make a GM look better? It seems somewhat weak and pointless to me. Gimmick matches don’t mean all that much in my opinion.
Daniel Bryan and Kane are forced to “hug out” their problems as voted by the fans. They eventually hug, and then eventually brawl with Bryan getting the better of Kane before running off.
^This was dragged out a bit too long. I liked the eventual attack action, but the hugging scenario just did nothing for me.
Santino is defeated by Antonio Cesaro in a short match.
^Does this mean we’ll finally get someone else to challenge Cesaro at Night of Champions? Santino has been made to look like a joke, and it’s really disappointing because he and Cesaro could have had some excellent matches if the time had been allotted to them.
Zack Ryder defeats Heath Slater in another short match.
^I like seeing both of these guys on Raw, and so I’m not going to complain about the length of the match. These two have a lot more dues to pay, but I’m actually very impressed with both of them and think they can do big things down the road. Good match for being so short.
Vickie Guerrero protests in the ring until AJ comes out. AJ admits that she isn’t allowed to touch anyone now. Vickie slaps AJ and taunts her before leaving. AJ breaks down in the ring after Vickie leaves.
^This was fun, and interesting. AJ’s psycho gimmick is looking like it’s going to escalate soon. Could Vickie Guerrero potentially take over as GM in the future? I hope not, but it sure looks like storms could be brewing for a match between Vickie and AJ.
Alberto Del Rio defeats John Cena when CM Punk kicks Cena in the head and Del Rio gets the three count. Punk leaves and Paul Heyman is shown to be Punk’s driver.
^This was actually a surprisingly good main event between Cena and ADR. The two have always had a natural chemistry in putting on a fight together. Punk’s interference makes it so that the WWE Champion is the centerpiece at the end of the show. It’s cool to see Paul Heyman back, but I really think Punk is more than capable of speaking for himself without representation. Heyman’s involvement with Punk should make for an interesting continued title run for Punk.
Final Thoughts: Three good matches tonight with the tag match complementing the main event and the Ziggler/Orton matchup. The rest of the material throughout was actually fairly solid. I’ll give the show an above average rating and call it pretty good for the week. It was definitely a step up from the boredom we experienced last week. We’ll be back with brief TNA No Surrender Predictions at the end of the week along with my Rundown. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!