Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7/30/12 RAW

Alberto Del Rio vs. Santino Marella: *1/4

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (Street Fight): ***1/4

Titus O'Neil vs. Kofi Kingston: *

Randy Orton vs. Heath Slater: N/A (squash)

Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Miz & Dolph Ziggler: **1/2

Tyson Kidd vs. Tensai: *

John Cena vs. Big Show: **

How fitting AJ's first official RAW on the job as new permanent GM starts with a pre-show fire to the set. Lovely pyro blast was the cause here. I'm sure Kane jokes ran wild.

I'm assuming WWE played a video package of RAW episode #1000 to kill some time at the start and allow the fans to file in. Frankly, this perfectly played into Punk's opening promo. Heck, he still got some pops coming out even after last week's actions.

Punk really didn't cut a full heel promo, but more of the tweener variety. It had heel tendencies by being partially aimed at Lawler, but he also made it clear that the spotlight should be on the "WWE champion," as opposed to always saying "me." Having Show and Cena come out gives Punk more ammo to show how he's constantly upstaged. Even AJ grabbed a bit of the spotlight to announce a main event that doesn't include Punk.

Santino and Alberto start off the wrestling portion of the show. Cole mentions Santino has held the U.S. Title since March, but is that really a feat anymore? Santino's hasn't defended that title very often. Cobra didn't have a chance to strike, and ADR picks up the win in a fairly average match. Good crowd reaction here. Del Rio basically on protest and not competing again until SummerSlam. He's being built up strong for a possible title run later this year. I honestly would have him take the World Heavyweight Title for now if the plan is for Punk to constantly hold onto the WWE Title.

Brodus dances, but Vickie dancing was even more amusing. It wasn't too bad, certainly better than me. Sandow plays the party pooper in all this. We see the video package where DX took Sandow out on RAW #1000, then Sandow attacks Brodus. No match, just a segment to make Sandow look good.

Thanks to AJ, Daniel Bryan faces Sheamus tonight, and through RAWActive, WWE Universe picks stipulation. No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere, or Street Fight. Wait, aren't these all basically the same thing?!?! The only thing we're missing is Extreme Rules, which really isn't extreme anymore.

Fans pick Street Fight convincingly. Remember when going off the stage actually had more shock value? Now guys like DB are jumping off the stage to deliver moves to people. This match really delivered the physicality. Sheamus and DB work real well together. Brogue Kick ends it. Wish it went longer, but it's far better than most of the matches we normally get on RAW.

DB refuses to leave and wants a doctor. Kofi and Truth come out. DB punts Little Jimmy out of the ring. Guys in white from the loony house come out. AJ tells the guys in white to take DB away. Sounds about right.

Mr. McMahon will reveal the new permanent Smackdown GM this Friday.

Titus faces Kofi in singles action. AW with the Kobe Bryant sexual assault reference in the Colorado hotel room that WWE had to apologize for. Fairly straightforward match here. AW with the shoe distraction leads to a Titus win.

It's Heath Slater time again, this time to challenge any current WWE superstar. RANDY ORTON. Oops. Nice pop for Orton. Slater with a couple shots in, but after that, Orton hits signature moves and ends it quick.

DB answers questions from some doc and it's always "YES." YES YES YES.

Tag match time with Christian/Jericho and Ziggler/Miz. How the HELL did Ziggler completely miss that Rocker Dropper?! Christian with a thumb to Miz's eye leads to Codebreaker for three. Whoa, a face with a heel move? Blasphemy! Ziggler nukes Jericho post-match with the briefcase.

Doc with those ink blot tests. Three pics then placed on the side form either a bunny or, in DB's eyes, a goat face. Now that was clever and awesome. And "Goat Face" trended worldwide! YES YES YES.

Tensai and Tyson Kidd in singles action next. "ALBERT" chants. Kidd with a good effort, but that sitdown powerbomb and senton splash gets three. Post-match attack makes ref reverse decision, so Kidd scores the official win. Yeah, whatever. What the hell did this accomplish?

As expected, DB is deemed 100% sane. But we need an anger management therapist. YAY KANE! Got a great laugh there.

Punk on commentary during Cena/Show. Very hot crowd here. Nice mention of Punk's lengthy title reign, so again, I hope it extends until Royal Rumble so Rock can face Punk. At this point, that seems like the plan to me.. Cena slamming Show woulda been impossible, Lawler? Really? Not like Cena's done that a zillion times before. Not a bad match here; an average match just made better with a few counters. Cena launched into Punk at the announcing booth. Cena just makes it back in before getting counted out. Cena looks for Attitude Adjustment but Punk stops that. Bell rings. Punk kicks Show in the head. Punk says neither man wins. AJ says otherwise and makes a Triple Threat for SummerSlam, much to Punk's dismay.

Not a bad show here. In fact, the crowd really won me over. Hope more shows take place there in the future.

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