ThunderStruck: Raw Analysis 06/25/12

AJ opens Raw talking to what we assume are Punk, Bryan, and Kane. Turns out she is talking to a mirror. Off to the opening promo.

^I saw Snow White and the Huntsman recently. Strange but interesting comparison to the wicked queen. I like how AJ’s character has been involved in this WWE Title scene without being a full fledged distraction to the actual WRESTLING that we’ve been gifted with between Punk and Bryan. Fun opening!

Vickie Guerrero comes out and announces a triple threat elimination match. It’s between Kane, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan. It’s a non title match. Daniel Bryan wins the match when he kicks Punk in the head after Punk has eliminated Kane with the GTS(via a small AJ distraction as she skipped around the ring).

^Obviously this wasn’t Vickie Guerrero’s real life idea, but I have to wonder if creative is booking her show better because there might actually be legitimate plans to have her run the show in the future. I’m not sure I could take another era of that drama similar to when she was on Smackdown.

Backstage, Vickie books a contract on a pole match between Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio to determine who will face Sheamus for the World Title on Smackdown. Ziggler smashes flowers that ADR brought for Vickie.

^For how much ADR has improved since he returned from injury, I’m actually looking forward to seeing what these two can do in the ring together. Both of these guys have high stock(despite Del Rio’s lack of personality). Del Rio’s in ring abilities have improved drastically and I love how aggressive he’s been in his matchups(particularly this past Friday night against Christian on Smackdown).

Big Show defeats the un-banned Brodus Clay in a short match when he falls on top of Brodus during an attempted slam and gets the three count. Show hits the WMD on an injured Brodus as officials are helping him exit after the match.

^There goes the Funkasaurus’ streak. I’m not sad. These two could’ve really shown us something as mobile big men and instead we were given a ridiculously short and poorly executed brawl. Now Brodus has a knee injury and will come back later on to exact his revenge on Show. Nothing predictable about that.

Kane tells AJ backstage that he isn’t boyfriend material and that he doesn’t do relationships. He points out that he’s a monster and that he wears a mask. He also points out that even he finds her to be mentally unstable and then says goodbye to her. She sobs and it turns to laughing as he walks away.

^Yes, I know wrestling is supposed to be entertainment and resemble a soap opera. But Kane in a storyline with any female has been awful and ridiculous in the past. Compared to those, this angle with AJ has been refreshing. My only concern is that every time they try to reinvent his monster gimmick, something like this comes along and reminds us that his character was a normal average Glen for way too many years before putting the mask back on.

Santino Marella defends the US Title against Jack Swagger and uses the cobra to defeat him in a very short match.

^I recently listed all the guys on the roster that I thought could contend in the US and IC Title scene. There’s quite a few names out there. Why oh why do we continue getting the same match shoved down our throats every so many weeks? Vickie dumped Jack Swagger, and now it’s supposed to make sense that she books him in a US Title match? The wrestling in this match could’ve been incredible, and instead we were given a typical Santino matchup. I don’t know how WWE continues to get this so very wrong.

John Cena comes out to make a major announcement. Chris Jericho returns and interrupts. He tells Cena to make his announcement. Cena says he will compete in the WWE Title MITB Ladder Match to stop the Big Show from winning it. Jericho says he will also be competing in that match. Vickie Guerrero interrupts them and announces a World Title MITB match along with a WWE Title match. She announces that Kane, Cena, Big Show, and Jericho(only former WWE Champions) can compete for the WWE Title shot. She books Cena and Jericho in a one on one match tonight.

^I’m intrigued to find out who the other participants in the WWE Title MITB match will be(Mysterio will probably be a lock). The announcement was a bit predictable, but I like how much more emphasis is being put on having MAJOR contenders in this match. I’m guessing the World Title match will be filled with more of the hungry dominant guys that want a shot at the gold. Jericho and Cena booked for the main event? Are we back in 2005?

Psycho Sid returns and squashes Heath Slater. He pins Slater after a powerbomb.

^The guy has lot a little bit of hair on the top of his head, and he moves around even more awkwardly than he did in the past. The absolute ironic part here is the fact that he still wrestles just as terribly today as he did back in ’97! I like the nostalgia concept and plan, but I think after seeing this I would prefer to have Vader wrestle squash matches every week than see the sad physical condition of guys like Piper and Sid.

Sheamus stops the match between Del Rio and Ziggler to announce that Vickie Guerrero has booked them in a triple threat match for the World Title on Smackdown.

^Just when you think two heels are going to give you a great and decided number one contenders match, they get booked into an even bigger main event that we have to wait until Friday to see. I’m okay with this in the sense that Smackdown will now be a better show than Monday Night Raw in terms of wrestling(doesn’t take much usually).

Backstage, AJ tells Punk that she is dedicating the battle royal match to him tonight. Later in the night, he wants to talk about what’s going on between them. AJ says she’s open to taking things to the next level.

^As Days of Our Lives rolls on…I still see AJ costing Punk the title eventually and rejoining DBry. MITB would be the perfect time to do it with these two now booked in the main event of the show.

AJ eliminates Vickie at the end of the battle royal to become the winner. She does the Daniel Bryan yes arm gestures after the match while she celebrates.

^Women in bikinis(more like underwear and lingerie for the most part). This concept doesn’t scream Vince McMahon or anything. Vickie will now have it out for AJ, and my question is whether or not it will continue as a storyline or just be dropped. Interesting things could come from this if the writers want to be creative and keep Vickie in charge of one or both shows(though I’d be shocked if WWE actually planned out even the smallest storyline more than a few weeks in advance).

John Cena and Chris Jericho go one on one in the main event. Big Show attacks Cena while he’s in the walls of Jericho to cause a dq finish. Jericho leaves and Show attacks Cena with a chokeslam and modified camel clutch(called the colossal clutch) to end Raw.

^Well, this could’ve been a good wrestling match; the little bit that we saw actually was quite decent. I like the idea of having these three men plus Kane competing in MITB. I have to question the logic behind risking injury to all of your top guys in one of the most brutal matches, but WWE can simply fix that problem by not having these men utilize the ladders as much as others on the roster might(Kofi, Bourne, Dolph, ect.). Big Show’s dominance ends Raw; what a shocking new twist.

The tag team division should have been on the show. The Divas should have been used on the show. Another week of Raw with storylines pushed and very little wrestling. Thanks a lot WWE; you guys sure know what the fans love! As I said, this wasn’t a terrible show in terms of the entertainment/storyline aspect, but you have to sprinkle in a bit more wrestling to keep my interest. I’ll be back at the end of the week and my Best In The World reaction should be up sometime this week as well. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! Please post your comments below! – add me! – check us out!