Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 07-17-2012 at 06:30 AM (5193 Views)
Money in the Bank recap
Money in the Bank has been a great pay-per-view for the last three years, and last night was no different. Yes, Cena predictably got an inexplicable main event slot (again) and won (again), but if you overlook the pointlessness of Cena being in the main event and having a Money in the Bank contract it’s easy to see that last night WWE maintained their record of putting on a great Money in the Bank PPV. Punk versus Bryan is an easy match of the year contender (which is why I don’t understand how they haven’t been given a main event for their consistently excellent matches alone), Dolph Ziggler finally got his chance to become a true champion, and Alberto Del Rio actually made me support him for once – he bossed his match against Sheamus, and his aggression is alluring. My only quarrel is that Jericho didn’t capture the Raw MitB contract, but we already knew Cena would ruin yet another main event going in.
Monday Night Raw 16/7/2012
This week’s Raw was fuelled by the epic match that was CM Punk versus Daniel Bryan at Money in the Bank. I was on a high from the start, and although it took about 40 minutes before anything interesting happened, I enjoyed Raw.
It was a surprising night for me with Bryan seemingly turning face with AJ in tow, Cena announcing that his cash in will be at Raw 1000 rather than SummerSlam (a match I hope he loses for the sake of the WWE Championship’s reputation), and the biggest thing which happened (in my eyes) was Dolph Ziggler solidifying his place as a heel by pointing out some harsh truths to Chris Jericho.
Cena to become the first to unsuccessfully cash in MitB?
Contrary to my belief that Cena would cash in for a match at SummerSlam, he will in fact challenge CM Punk on Raw 1000. I can honestly say I was surprised Cena decided to cash in for next week, as it offers a great chance for Punk to defy history.
I know it is a fool’s errand to stake a bet against John Cena these days, but you simply do not take the WWE Championship from CM Punk after eight months on an episode of Raw – no matter how prestigious that episode of Raw might be. It makes no sense, and it insults the work Punk and his various challengers have put into making the championship respectable again.
Before Punk’s pipe bomb a year ago, the WWE Championship seemed to gravitate towards Cena simply because they had nobody else to put the title on. Also, Cena had been in some forgettable rivalries over the year leading to Punk’s game-changing shoot promo (whilst writing this I am struggling to remember anything entertaining which the WWE Championship was involved in).
Now since Punk has become relevant in the eyes of the WWE Universe, he has done nothing but entertain and put on great matches. Of course this is just my opinion, but Punk has (along with various others) revitalised a championship which was in dire need of some refreshment. The only promise Punk is yet to fulfil is to replace the childish belt with something more fitting to the Reality era which Cena is becoming less and less relevant in. The only problem is that Cena’s main eventing for the sake of merchandise sales is causing the quality of the product to be overlooked, despite the fact that Bryan and Punk are what The Rock and Stone Cold were to the Attitude era, and Orton and Cena were to the PG era.
Ultimately, WWE has set up a WWE Championship match on Raw which could realistically go either way, but it seems pointless to have Cena win yet another championship whilst Punk is still interesting and progressive as champion. If Cena wins next Monday it is a step backwards for the company as a whole.
With that being said, Big Show could just as easily stop the match from even taking place after Cena’s briefcase shot this week.
Dolph jumps off the fence between face and heel
In what had to be the best promo I’ve seen Dolph Ziggler deliver, he tore Chris Jericho a new one. There is no better way to put it – Jericho has an 0-7 record on pay-per-view in 2012, and Ziggler is using this to propel himself into being a genuine World Heavyweight Championship contender. Whilst I’m not so big on Ziggler legitimising himself over Jericho (I’d like to see Y2J get at least one title run in his latest stint with WWE), this rivalry has promise – promise that gives WWE a new top heel just as one transitions into a face (Bryan), and the face turn every Jerichoholic wants to see.
For me this was the best moment of the night for the simple reason that I didn’t see Jericho opposing Dolph. I figured Ziggler would be slowly built into the main event much like The Miz was, but it turns out WWE finally thinks he is ready to shine in the main event. I very much look forward to the development of this one.
Will you marry me? Yes! Yes! Yes!
First thing’s first, why did AJ waste a perfect chance to say “Yes!” when she accepted this proposal?
I’m not entirely sure how I feel about a Daniel Bryan face turn, although it wouldn’t affect his fan base all that much. He’s been over with the fans since WrestleMania and a face turn only increases the number of “Yes!” chants he receives. Where I think he would be at a loss is when it comes to his arrogant attitude which I have personally come to love. He has gone from male chauvinist towards into just simply deceiving and selfish with AJ, and it has worked for him.
Putting the two together as face superstars just takes that intriguing factor away in my opinion.
I could be entirely wrong, of course, and this could be another way for Bryan to manipulate AJ. The only problem there is that CM Punk has moved onto new pastures and simply doesn’t care about the status of AJ and Bryan at this point. Bryan has nothing to gain from AJ, except perhaps some interference. Whilst I’ve loved the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/AJ storyline, it’s left Bryan in limbo in terms of where his next title shot or main event storyline is coming from.
All I can really see is a rivalry with The Miz which will not live up to the epic nature of Bryan’s last few months.
In other news…
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston def. The Prime Time Players – whilst this was a good match, the number one contenders wasted their chance to be on PPV and have a chance of winning. I’m kind of enjoying AW’s ringside commentary too.
Alberto Del Rio def. Zack Ryder – aggression won this bout for ADR, and I’m starting to really like it. His ruthlessness and the fact that he dominated Sheamus at MitB are signs that WWE might finally start to use him well enough to be a believable champion.
Rikishi def. Heath Slater, Rikishi and The Usos danced – I marked out here, and it wasn’t for the match. I loved seeing Rikishi and Jimmy & Jey Uso dance after the inevitable win, although once the lights went out I had fears that Brodus ‘child groomer’ Clay would join the master of the Stinkface.
Ryback vs. Jack Swagger ended in a no contest – I’m not sure why this match was even scheduled. It never started and, whilst there was the chance for Ryback to have a genuine match, it would have been another squash given the slide that Captain Jack is on right now.
Brodus Clay def. JTG – I wish Brodus would just stay on SmackDown. His gimmick has become dull and it looks like he knows it.
Overall, this week Raw delivered exactly what I expected of it. It gave me a few surprises, and opened up some new chapters in WWE after successfully closing others at MitB.
For what could be the last ever two-hour episode of Raw, it felt like WWE was closing the doors to an era, rather than just coming off of a PPV. Jericho and Bryan are turning face, Dolph is becoming a bonafide heel after months of being just another guy, and with three hours to use every week from now on we might see some new and interesting characters develop.
I just hope D Bryan can make magic of his impending matches against The Miz over the coming weeks. Roll on Raw 1000!
For more of my views follow me on Twitter (@SpringerAJ) and tweet #YYYTRR.