ThunderStruck: Raw Analysis 07/16/12

CM Punk opens the show to talk about his run as WWE Champion. Big Show comes out and hypes their match tonight and points out that John Cena could cash in on CM Punk after their match.

^I wonder if that might possibly be a hint about what could happen later in the show. I like the fact that Raw opened with Punk and not John Cena. The idea of Big Show being in the scene to challenge for the title soon is somewhat annoying, but I’m glad to see Punk and the title being the focus of the show.

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth successfully defend the tag titles against the Prime Time Players. Kofi hits trouble in paradise from the ring apron on O’Neil and he walks into little jimmy from Truth.

^I was expecting a bit more from the PTP in this match. It was a solid tag team match, but Truth and Kingston can only have the titles for so long before they drop them. I hope these two teams face off some more in the coming weeks.

Daniel Bryan apologizes backstage to AJ for everything he put her through. Eve interrupts and tells them she gets to choose her own partner to face him and AJ.

^A Daniel Bryan face turn so quickly? I suppose it could work, but what does this mean for DBry’s chase for the WWE Title? Bryan is too talented to not be in the main event scene.

Alberto Del Rio squashes Zack Ryder and forces him to tap out with the rolling cross armbreaker. Rey Mysterio returns after the match and goes after Del Rio. He delivers the 619 and the two have a stare down after.

^First thing’s first. Zack Ryder is grossly misused, and it’s growing old. Second, I’m glad to see Mysterio back on Raw, and I think a rivalry with Del Rio leading up to Summerslam will be pretty entertaining and make for a potentially excellent Summerslam bout.

Rikishi returns to Raw and squashes Heath Slater. He dances with his sons, the Usos, after the match.

^This segment is growing on me, and it’s too bad that it’s going to probably end after next week. I’d be happy to see Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay along with Rikishi for a Too Cool reunion next week. It’s also nice to see the Uso family together in WWE.

Daniel Bryan and AJ defeat Eve and the Miz. DBry proposes to AJ after the match and she accepts. It’s announced on twitter that they will get married on Raw next week.

^As far as the rumors go that AJ was going to be treated like Miss Elizabeth, I guess it’s true. The ultimate question here is whether or not we’ll see Jake the Snake and the Undertaker interrupt the reception next week. Good to see the Daniel Bryan face turn continue to take effect. I don’t think this is a trick in any way.

Ryback destroys Jack Swagger after Swagger jumps him before any match can start. The crowd chants “feed me more” along with Ryback.

^So now Ryback is moving up the roster. I wonder how fast he will pick up the IC or US Title. I’ll guess that it will happen before the year is over.

Dolph Ziggler comes out to brag about winning MITB. He says it’s only a matter of time before he cashes in on Sheamus to become the greatest WWE Champion in history. Chris Jericho interrupts. Jericho doesn’t say a word before Ziggler verbally assaults him about his lack of recent accomplishments. Dolph says he thinks Jericho is losing his touch, and Jericho nails him with a codebreaker from out of nowhere.

^Can I say how excited I am for this rivalry? Can you imagine the potential Summerslam match these two could have? This has to be the best thing that came from this edition of Raw. What better way to put over the talent of Dolph Ziggler than to have him work a feud with one of the best of all time? The build for this could be absolutely awesome!

Brodus Clay squashes JTG.

^From a segment that could produce a match of the year candidate to a segment that has become stale and beyond. I don’t care about Brodus Clay, and I care even less about JTG. This whole scene was pointless.

Big Show is disqualified against CM Punk when he shoves the ref to the ground. John Cena comes out with his briefcase. Show says everyone knows Cena is about to cash in. Cena says he will cash in against Punk next week on the 1,000th episode of Raw.

^I’m surprised to say that Punk and Show actually worked a really decent match together. I was impressed with how the two coordinated things and kept the attention of the audience. I like the finish because it leaves room for a rematch down the line. As for Cena challenging Punk next week, I can’t wait to see the potential outcome for their third major one on one encounter.

The show was definitely a step up in terms of quality and wrestling as compared to last week. I was quite impressed with the storyline pushes and legitimate wrestling that we were treated to. Next week’s three hour show should be a fun blast from the past; I just hope the wrestling is given enough time to shine as well. I won’t have a full rundown this week, but it’s possible that something could go up over the weekend along with my second part of top Summerslam matches. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!

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