Yes! Yes! Yes! The Raw Review (#YYYTRR)
by, 07-24-2012 at 07:02 AM (8413 Views)
1,000 episodes and hundreds of shocking moments, and Raw 1000 was no different.
To put it simply, last night’s Raw was amazing. I refuse to go as far as saying it was the WrestleMania of Raw’s, like Michael Cole, but pretty much everything that happened lived up to the hype. Give or take the fact that World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus was put into a six-man tag team match rather than given something worthwhile, and that Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler’s rivalry was progressed in a bizarre way (they’re already rivals, why would they team up?), and you have a truly great episode of Raw.
Punk turned heel in epic fashion, The Miz became WWE’s 21st Triple Crown champion, and The Rock will be back at the Royal Rumble. That’s not even it, Triple H and Brock Lesnar will go at it at SummerSlam (much to nobody’s surprise) in a match which looks like it could be more brutal than Cena/Lesnar was at Extreme Rules, and a multitude of legends made deserved appearances.
The only reservation I have is the lack of beer-swilling and ass-kicking from a certain rattlesnake.
CM Punk’s revolution comes full circle
A CM Punk heel turn is something I personally love, and the fact that he did it by turning on John Cena and The Rock just makes it better.
The pieces have been in place for this for just over a year, when CM Punk delivered his infamous pipe bomb. He basically pointed out that Cena and Rock were in the spotlight whilst he, the best in the world, had to sit in the background and just accept it. The fact is that CM Punk has carried WWE for me (with the help of Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho) over the past year, whilst John Cena has continually been involved in pointless angles with no surprises. It now makes sense why Punk has had to be the warm-up for the John Cena show month after month – it gives Punk motivation to snap and turn on the fans.
It is just a brilliantly orchestrated angle which WWE has played out here. The assumption that Punk’s revolution had been forgotten (like so many of WWE’s efforts in recent years) once Punk held the title for 250 days could not have just been in my head, and the fact that they’re effectively building an 18 month story is impressive for today’s WWE.
On another note, The Rock can sell a flying clothesline and the GTS better than so many others. Viva la revolution!
Bryan’s wedding blues, Rock to challenge at Royal Rumble
After the inevitable failed wedding was over with, we had a new Raw GM in the crazy AJ (should be interesting to see what happens to Bryan over the next few months) and the makings of a great Rocky promo after Bryan’s claim that he is the “greatest WWE superstar ever” – he’s pretty damn good, but the greatest ever is a slight overstatement. After proceeding to call Bryan every Lord of the Rings reference he could, Rocky decided to set in motion a potential feud of the year.
He will challenge the WWE Champion at Royal Rumble, and by the looks of it that man will now most certainly be CM Punk. Knowing that The Rock is going to be away for the next 5/6 months gives Punk the chance to unleash his inner heel – something which we all know he excels at. He can make the WWE Championship mean more than he already has, and become the most hated heel since JBL cheated to retain the same title for 10 months (his Clothesline from Hell on Slater was epic, btw).
And then you have the return of The Rock. You can hate the fact that he shows up every now and again and somehow gets a WWE Championship match without a single match, but the fact is he is always going to cause fans (including myself) to erupt. He oozes charisma and so does Punk, and with the pieces in place for a great heel/face encounter the promos between these two are likely to be amazing. It helps that they can both ‘go’ in the ring too.
The only sad thing is that their match at Royal Rumble will likely lead to Rocky winning (thus ending what would be a 427 day (or thereabout) title reign) and facing Cena at WrestleMania for a second time, whilst Punk could potentially go on to face Stone Cold Steve Austin at the same event. To be clear, the sad part is that The Rock would be the one to end Punk’s title reign, rather than somebody progressive like Daniel Bryan.
Either way, I’m quite excited for Punk’s heel Championship run.
In other news…
Mr. McMahon thanks the WWE Universe – this was a fitting way to open Raw 1000, I just wish he’d stuck around for the DX reunion.
DX reunites, Damien Sandow gets the classic DX treatment – of the many mark-out moments last night, this was easily the best one. It was especially funny to see HBK and Billy Gunn fighting over who owns the DX catchphrases.
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara def. Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler & Alberto Del Rio – I’m not entirely sure why, on a 3-hour show, they needed to put six superstars in a quick match. What was more bizarre was the way they decided to further the Jericho/Ziggler feud (they’re already rivals, why make them team up?). I’d rather have seen Dolph interrupt a classic Jericho promo and accuse Y2J of rehashing old material.
Brodus Clay def. Jack Swagger – this match took all of 10 seconds, and even the Dude Love dancing part was disappointing. The Funkasaurus gimmick is tired and boring, change it.
The Miz becomes WWE’s 21st Triple Crown champion – finally Christian’s unnecessary Intercontinental Championship reign is over. I like him, but he doesn’t need a midcard title when the WHC is open to new challengers. The Miz is finally on his way back up, awesome!
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H set for SummerSlam – not remotely surprising that this match is happening, but at least it was a good segment. The potential brutality of this match actually has me looking forward to it. Also, the return of mega-MILF Stephanie McMahon was welcome.
Lita def. Heath Slater – I loved seeing Lita, but what was better was the sound of the APA’s music hitting. A true mark out moment for this fan.
Daniel Bryan vs. Charlie Sheen? – after a series of Skype interactions with Sheen throughout the night from Cole, he seemed to have no sympathy for Bryan being stood up and simply told him to “man up”. As much as I enjoyed his presence on Raw, I don’t want to see Bryan’s push wasted on a meaningless celebrity feud.
The return of the Brothers of Destruction – it was fitting that Undertaker returned for Raw 1000 considering he main evented the very first episode. It was no DX or APA moment for me, but it was nice to see.
Like I said, I loved this episode of Raw.
It was a great way to celebrate 1,000 episodes, but I hope Bryan isn’t lost in the fray now and they keep his angle with AJ going. I also hope they can do better with the matches in the permanent 3-hour timeslot – the WWE Championship match lasted all of 10 minutes and was all in the overrun. When you have three hours you can fit a decent 30-minute match onto the card (especially when 5 minutes was just Santino and Hornswoggle handing out WWE’s latest toy).
It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty damn good. The Punk heel turn made it for me, and AJ as GM should be an interesting change of events.
I just wish America would stop pissing about with their commercial times and give us 10 minutes without a break. Seriously, sort it out!
Thanks for reading, and for more of my views follow me on Twitter (@SpringerAJ) and give me your feedback with #YYYTRR.