WWE Raw TV report

WWE Monday Night Raw

August 6, 2012

San Antonio, TX

Rob McCarron

Tonight is the Night... 
- We find out CM Punk's feelings about being announced for a triple threat title match at SummerSlam.
- We see how AJ Lee performs in her sophomore week as Raw GM.
- Shawn Michaels returns to WWE in his home town. 
- Raw takes up three hours of our lives. 

Raw begins this week with a white-suit clad AJ Lee skipping to the ring in her second week as Raw General Manager. She immediately announces Randy Orton vs Big Show and Daniel Bryan vs John Cena. CM Punk's Lemmy beard interrupts at this point, to a mostly positive reaction. Punk apologized to AJ Lee for disrespecting her last week, then asks her to cancel the SummerSlam title match calling it a mistake. AJ refuses, which Punk blames on AJ seeking revenge on CM Punk. Punk asks AJ if she's going to be the evil Raw GM sticking it to the guy everyone likes, at which point the crowd booed the intimation that CM Punk is the guy everyone likes. A less than enthused John Cena enters the ring and the crowd begins a dueling chant for and against Cena. Cena calls Punk out for being "that guy" who complains every week about getting no respect. Big Show interrupted, but AJ took control before "her show" could get out of hand.  AJ announces CM Punk versus either The Miz, Kane, or Rey Mysterio, with the opponent being chosen by the WWE audience.  Cena was fine here, although he didn't do much. Punk showed more heel tendencies, and a well times crowd reaction may have helped the cause. I think the dynamic of waiting for Punk to go full-fledged heel gives some needed flexibility in his programs for the next four months leading to Royal Rumble.

Brock Lesnar and Triple H are announced as being in the building.

#RAWactive Match: CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio. Mysterio received 47% of the vote in a much closer call than I would have suspected. Good opener, with the crowd into Mysterio. Nothing major to this one. Cole and Lawler talked about there being truth behind Punk's accusations that AJ Lee is just trying to get revenge on Punk for his rejection of her marriage proposal several weeks ago. Finish saw Mysterio hit a 619 on Punk, but getting blocked on the splash from the top. Punk hits the GTS and gets the pinfall victory.
Backstage, Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo are shown arriving to the building in a ferrari.  Hopefully someone will go back to get Del Rio's bags, as they arrived with nothing.

Not to be a fanboy or anything, but... WADE BARRETT RETURN HYPE VIDEO~! Wade Barrett is shown in a return video bareknuckle fighting, hyping his Barrett Barrage as just beginning. No return date given, but must be coming soon.

Backstage, Alberto Del Rio sucks up to AJ Lee. AJ says she has nothing scheduled for Del Rio tonight, which he celebrates. As AJ leaves, he turns to Ricardo and is relieved she did nothing crazy. AJ returns, hearing the word crazy, and schedules Alberto in a match next. As it turns out, Ricardo has to return to the car and get Del Rio's gear.

Match: Alberto Del Rio vs Christian. Del Rio returns to his white/gold gear. Back and forth contest, with Del Rio showing more of an aggressive side throughout. Christian went for the spear but Del Rio hit a superkick instead, went for the armbreaker, but was countered. While Christian went to the top, he was distracted by Ricardo. This allowed Del Rio to hit Christian in the head with his boot, and follow that up with the armbreaker for a submission victory.

Backstage, Sheamus is standing next to Alberto's car. Ricardo left the keys in the car while retrieving Del Rio's gear. Sheamus advises Ricardo not to do that next time, then promptly steals the car. Del Rio shocked in the ring at this turn of events.

An hour in, and already a noticeable change of pace from last week. An average and usual opening promo segment, with matches being set up. Two fine matches with somewhat clean victories. The biggest change - fewer recap segments. It's been a fluid hour.

Match: Randy Orton vs Big Show opens the second hour of WWE Raw. Orton ditched the mohawk this week. Big Show had control and was dominating much of the match, including hitting a chokeslam that only got a two count. Show was setting up for a second chokeslam, which Orton blocked, but Show managed to send Orton outside the ring. Show followed and hit a spear on the outside, after which referee John Cone called for a double countout. Show sent Orton back in the ring, intending to hit a knockout punch, but Orton ducked and hit the RKO. Orton, not a challenger for the title at SummerSlam, stood tall over Show, who is a challenger for the title at SummerSlam. If you don't want either of these guys losing a match on Raw, why 1) put them in a match together and 2) have Orton stand tall at the end anyway? 

A quick video shown hyping Lesnar and Triple H at SummerSlam, and promoting that both are in the building tonight.

Match: Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins vs Ryback. Raw returned with Reks & Hawkins already in the ring. Hawkins and Reks actually got some offense against Ryback this week, so they must have been practicing their 2 on 1 strategy. Ryback hit the meathook clothesline and then his fisherman's buster on Hawkins for the pinfall victory. Well, the duo tried.

Match: Titus O'Neil & Darren Young of the Primetime Players vs Epico & Primo of the Epico & Primos. PTP with AW and E&P are all in the ring as Raw returns from a commercial break. AW announces that he is still the owner of All World Promotions whether we like it or not. No Rosa tonight. Cole during this match claimed the WWE tag team division is very competitive right now. I don't know if I'd agree. I'll just assume Cole is right. AW had his live mic on the outside but refrained from saying anything controversial this week, unless you're not a fan of Mother Teresa. In the middle of the match, as Epico had control, Darren pulled Titus out of the ring. AW claimed they had enough, but as they were bailing Kofi and Truth made their entrance to keep the Primetime Players from leaving. With the distraction, Epico was able to hit the backstabber on Darren Young for the pinfall victory. 

At ringside, Cole and Lawler put over the brand new faces making a name for themselves on the new three hour Raws. We then saw a recap of Damien Sandow's Raw moments over the last two weeks.

Backstage, Damien Sandow vows to rid WWE of all foolishness. Let's see if he can get that third hour abolished.

Match: Brodus Clay vs Damien Sandow. Sandow attacked Clay's knee while Clay was making his entrance. Sandow kept targeting the knee, and Clay couldn't stop him. The girls stood by helpless, begging Damien to stop. He didn't, and this match was thrown out before it began. Very good stuff from Sandow here, who got massive (by 2012 standards) boos when he posed and told the crowd "You're welcome" after the beatdown.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan, clad in a shirt with "No! No! No!" now on the front, is in AJ's office. Bryan wants AJ to turn the triple threat at SummerSlam into a four way, but AJ tells Bryan he's facing Kane at SummerSlam.

Kelly Kelly returned to wrestle in the first Diva's match on Raw in several weeks.

Match: Kelly Kelly vs Eve Torres. Cole tells us that this match was signed by AJ Lee as a response to an unkind Tout from Eve last week. Cole during the match said that Eve had earned her blue belt in jiu-jitsu. So naturally, Kelly Kelly got the win with a hurricanrana. After a few month absence, Kelly looked as good as she ever has in the ring, including a bit more aggression. Nothing happened after the match, so Eve just loses and Kelly just wins. We'll see if either are on Raw next week.

Video recap: Sheamus borrowing Alberto Del Rio's car from early in the night.

Shawn Michaels returned to WWE after a one week absence. The crowd, including Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole, gave him a standing ovation. #HBK thanked the fans for allowing him to be a part of history with Raw 1000. Michaels was about to give his opinion on Lesnar vs HHH when Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their way to the ring. Heyman did the talking for Brock, and said Brock is not going into SummerSlam to entertain. He's going to SummerSlam "to fight Triple H, and to prove he is the baddest dude on the planet today."  Michaels told Brock that he'll be at SummerSlam in Triple H's corner. While Heyman was responding, Brock took the mic from Paul and threatened HBK which brought out Triple H. HHH was wearing a T-shirt and jeans this week, with wrists taped. With HHH and HBK now in the ring, Brock promised to see HHH at SummerSlam. He then turned to Shawn, and threatened that he'll see him before then. At this point, Brock and Heyman left the ring smiling. This in all was a whole lot of nothing, although the aspect of what Brock meant exactly still hangs out there.

Michael Cole played a Tout from Sheamus on his MacBook Air. Sheamus was at the Alamo with Alberto's Car singing 'Deep in the Heart of Texas.'

Match: Alex Riley vs Dolph Ziggler with Chris Jericho at commentary. Jericho was wearing Ziggler's 'Show Off' shirt at ringside. Jericho and Lawler spent the early parts of this match asking which motor oil Ziggler used in his hair. Ziggler pretty much squashed Mr. Riley, while spending a lot of the match focusing on Jericho at ringside. Jericho wanted to tout some video of Ziggler, which caused enough of a distraction to allow Riley to roll Dolph up for the win. Riley immediately bailed, and Ziggler screamed angriliy at Jericho. Lawler pointed out that during the match Alex Riley was trending, and Cole mocked that it was his first win all year long. Ziggler and Jericho had a stare down to end the segment.

AJ, through Twitter, announced Miz vs Kane next. That's the forth or fifth match tonight all booked within the show. AJ needs to learn to plan ahead.

Another tout from Sheamus is shown. He was eating Mexican food inside the ferrari this time.

Match: Kane vs The Miz. AJ put this match together after these two were the losers in the Twitter poll earlier in the night. Miz was going after the leg of Kane, and had control early on. However, that was short lived as Kane countered the Skullcrushing Finale and hit a chokeslam for the pinfall victory. Lawler and Cole were putting over Miz's impressive offense against Kane at points. Miz had looked pretty song since returning, including big clean wins. Don't know why that ended here, but I thought a Miz win was the way to go here, if you're going to have any finish at all. 

Backstage, Sheamus finally returned with Del Rio's ferrari. The car was trashed. While Daniel Bryan made his entrance, cameras cut backstage again to see Del Rio and Ricardo screaming about the condition of their car. Del Rio told Ricardo to clean the car.

Match: Daniel Bryan vs John Cena. A strong performance from both men here. The crowd, as usual, was into this Cena match more than anything else on the show. Coming up to the 11pm hour, Bryan had reversed an AA into a guillotine choke. Cena got out of it, but Bryan hit a kick to the head for a pin attempt. Unsuccessful, Bryan went to the top rope and landed a "goat head" headbutt, as Lawler called it. Unable to get a pinfall, Bryan followed with repeated kicks to Cena's chest. Cena reversed the last one into the STF. Bryan then countered that into the No! Lock. Bryan applied it briefly before Cena powered out and landed an AA for the pin. A hot finishing sequence to a good TV main event. Cena screamed "I won!" afterwards in celebration.

CM Punk came to the ring in a hoodie and confronted Cena in the ring, holding the title belt up in Cena's face. John Cena noticed Big Show running to the ring, so he pushed Punk aside. Punk and Show brawled, with Cena getting the better of it to get Show up in the AA. Punk clubbed Show's back, which caused Cena to buckle and both men went down. Punk then went to commentary, grabbed a mic, and said that Cena was right and Punk has been letting people disrespect him. Punk says he was trying to make people happy, and he let people walk all over him. After a minute long rant, Punk went back to the ring for more, but got caught with a knockout punch from Big Show. Show then knocked out a dazed Cena. Big Show posed with the WWE Championship belt, with Punk and Cena knocked out, to end the show. 
Big News: Kane vs Daniel Bryan was added to SummerSlam. Shawn Michaels will be in Triple H's corner at SummerSlam. Alex Riley won a match, and trended on Twitter.

Highlights: Daniel Bryan and AJ together continue to make babies smile. What a delightful pair. Sheamus and Del Rio had promotion for their match at SummerSlam highlight much of the show, even if it was silly humor with the stealing of the ferrari. It was humor, I think. I mean, Cole laughed. The main event was also very good, as Bryan continues to work well with pretty much everybody. Breaking news, I know.

Lowlights: The Players vs Epico & Primo match seemed like a replay from matches in the past, as did Ryback vs Rekkins. Having an "I've seen that before" feel to 30 percent of a three hour show is not appealing. Again, nothing new, but the show is too long. If you're a developmental wrestler right now, though, you may love that. Match finishes were a little mind boggling, specifically Big Show's loss and Kane's win. Although Big Show's loss wasn't so bad with the way the show ended. 

Final Thoughts: I wouldn't go back and rewatch anything on this show, but at least I can remember most of it.  Nothing too bad, nothing too great, nothing too boring, nothing too anything. I am, at least, looking forward to next week. After all, what is Brock planning to do with Shawn Michaels?

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