ThunderStruck: Raw Analysis 07/02/12

The show opens with a shot of the WWE Title MITB briefcase hanging above the ring. It’s announced that John Cena will team with CM Punk to take on Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho.

John Cena comes to the ring and says he will win MITB and become the next WWE Champion. Daniel Bryan comes out chanting yes. Bryan says he will win the WWE Title and Cena will fail when he cashes in his briefcase. Cena says he can think of at least one person that disagrees with Daniel. Punk comes out and says he does. Punk gets the crowd into a yes chant of who disagrees with DBry. Jericho interrupts and talks about everyone stealing his catchphrases. Kane interrupts, followed by Big Show and we have a brawl. Show cleans house and leaves as quick as he arrived.

^Yeah, people might be stealing catchphrases, or even changing old ones up slightly. It’s how WWE evolves into the product we see today. I was half expecting Teddy Long to change the main event into a six man tag. Is Kane already on his way to another face turn? I like the opening segment, because despite the appearance of storylines not being furthered, John Cena has been brougth back into the WWE Title picture the last two weeks and WWE did it in a way where Cena hasn’t been the major focus of the show. The major focus of the show has become the WWe Title itself, and that’s how it should be.

Charlie Sheen will be the social media ambassador for the 1,000th episode of MNR. Insert Booker T quote here.

The Prime Time Players, David Otunga, and Cody Rhodes are out for a four on four tag match against Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Christian, and Santino Marella. Brodus Clay interrupts the match, and Santino uses the cobra on Otunga to get the win for his team.

^I’m glad to see Truth back, and I’m glad to see all of this talent featured on Raw. Sure, I can complain about the length of the match or the length of time that each guy received, but I’d rather just be appreciative that these eight were all put on the show this week. I’m surprised that Otunga is booked to be such a joke in the ring, especially knowing that he’s only kept around because of his celebrity status and look.

Teddy Long tells Alberto Del Rio that he will face Sheamus for the World Title at MITB. He also tells him he has a surprise up next.

^I don’t like the decision to have Sheamus face Del Rio one on one. I don’t think the match will be all that entertaining, and I don’t understand the logic behind allowing this match to be featured on a ppv card. I’ll rant more on this in the coming weeks.

ADR goes one on one with Sin Cara. Del Rio attacks Sin Cara before the bell and applies a cross armbreaker on the outside. No contest.

^So instead of getting to see these two Mexican legends lock up, we get a brutal beatdown that ends in fifteen seconds? I asked for Sin Cara to have a decent rivalry or work matches that are different than just the quick squash bouts, and this is what we get. Thanks a lot, WWE. This was to put over the intensity of Del Rio in his quest to become World Champion. I understand the booking logic, but WWE is foolish if they put the title back on Del Rio.

DBry gives AJ a rose. She chews it up and spits it out after telling him off.

^It’s either really good acting, or Daniel Bryan and AJ are not in cahoots like I originally thought. I really like the acting that AJ’s character has developed, either way.

Paul Heyman is shown via satellite. He announces that Brock Lesnar will answer Triple H’s challenge for Summerslam in person on the 1,000th episode of MNR in three weeks.

^Wow. An announcement that an announcement will happen in three weeks. Thanks for the update Mr. Heyman. Is WWE so afraid that we’ll forget about Lesnar and Triple H’s rivalry? If that’s the case and their confidence in the feud is that low, why even have the match?

AJ and Sheamus defeat Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler. AJ pins Vickie after Sheamus picks Dolph apart.

^At what point does Dolph Ziggler get the upper hand? Seeing that ADR is getting the title shot, and seeing that Rhodes will probably win the World Title MITB ladder match, what will happen once again to Dolph Ziggler? I’m guessing he’ll fall back into lower mid card obscurity until WWE decides they need him in to wrestle quality matches with top talent again.

AJ gets upset with Punk backstage for not acknowledging her match because he was on the phone with his sister.

^Psycho alert. Somebody should pair her up with Sid. On a brighter note, it’s good that WWE isn’t booking Punk’s character to be madly in love with her or anything of that sort.

Heath Slater defeats Doink the Clown. Diamond Dallas Page comes out after the match and lays Slater out with the Diamond Cutter.

^Apparently Doink was played by one of the originals, the Brooklyn Brawler. The guy looked small. DDP’s rumored appearance turned out to be true. The guy looked to be in great physical condition for his age. I’m impressed by the way Heath Slater has embraced his own gimmick and done a good job facing off with the past Superstars each week. Working your tail off no matter what gimmick you’re given is what being a WWE Superstar is all about.

Big Show defeats Kane in a no dq match after chokeslamming him on a steel chair.

^I know I complain EVERY SINGLE TIME these two are booked to wrestle on Raw, so why isn’t WWE getting the hint? We don’t care about watching two large wrestlers work their asses off to put on what most would consider to barely be an average wrestling match. It makes no sense, and WWE keeps shoving it down our throats. It’s something we’ll continue to live with. There’s a small rumor about the Undertaker appearing on the 1000th episode of MNR to renew his rivalry with Kane. I’d rather see an Isaac Yankem appearance.

Teddy Long puts a name tag on Eve. Eve runs into AJ and they exchange words. AJ tells Eve that she will show her how to get noticed.

^I love seeing Teddy in power. I love seeing AJ and Eve as the catty females. I’d like to see the two of them have an actual match sometime in the near future.

Tyson Kidd scores the upset win on Lord Tensai. Tensai charges Kidd when the bell rings and Kidd moves out of the way. Kidd rolls up Tensai with a school boy and gets the three count. Tensai attacks his manager after the match.

^I don’t want to get my hopes up that Tyson might actually get a legit push, but a rivalry with a guy like Tensai that lasts a few weeks is a good start in my book. Why not let these two engage in a heated feud that showcases Tyson’s ability to make even the largest sized performers look good in the ring? Regardless of what they do next, it was just great to see Kidd get a big win on MNR.

DBry and Jericho exchange catchphrases backstage after making fun of one another’s jackets.

^On a personal note, I’d be proud to own either one of those jackets, replica or authentic. Second of all, Jericho’s catchphrases are far more creative than a simple yes chant that happened to catch on with the current audience. I like the interaction between these two, and I would love to see a rivalry with Jericho as the face.

CM Punk tells Cena to follow his lead in the ring tonight.

^It’s good to see these two come full circle a year after their rivalry. I’m looking forward to them renewing their rivalry over the WWE Title.

Josh Mathews attempts to interview Tyson Kidd but is interrupted by Tensai. Tensai throws Kidd into the lockers.

^Backstage segments like this one seem to happen every other week. What I like different about this one is the fact that it took place AFTER a match instead of causing a match not to happen(like earlier with ADR).

Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho against John Cena and CM Punk ends in a no contenst. Cena and Jericho brawl to the back. Punk and Bryan are distracted by AJ as she attempts to jump through a table. She ends up kissing Punk and shoving him off the turnbuckle and into Bryan as they both collapse through a table together. Raw goes off the air with AJ doing the yes chants.

^I’m not usually a fan of matches ending like this, but I have to say that I love where this storyline has brought us. I originally thought this whole thing was a setup by AJ and Bryan to help him capture the WWE Championship. Seeing things unfold has made me realize that WWE wants us to question who she will help to victory at MITB. While this did little for Jericho and Cena, the Punk/DBry rivalry is as interesting as it ever was and I can’t wait to see how the story continues on Smackdown!

The show was slightly above average, and I attribute my positive rating to my liking of the AJ storyline in the WWE Title picture. I liked the eight man tag, but I’d like to see more tag team action(perhaps the Usos, or Hunico and Camacho, or even Reks and Hawkins), especially on an episode of Raw that is supposed to be booked by Teddy Long. The matches were quite short as usual, but I liked the Tyson Kidd angle, the Kane/Show match could’ve been a lot worse, and I enjoyed seeing Y2J interact with Daniel Bryan throughout the show. I guess after recounting all that, slightly above average is pretty much the perfect fit for this show. Don’t forget that we have a live Smackdown tomorrow night. I hope all of you here in the states have a happy and safe 4th of July! Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me! – check it out! – NonStop Wrestling Online!