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RAW: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Biggest MitB Match Ever. EVAR~!
June 26, 2012

by PyroFalkon
Master of the PyroFalkon Multimedia Empire, Incorporated
Read Pyro's Words
at Blogspot --/-- View Pyro's Videos at Youtube
  

A splitting headache and a busy night means no precap for you, as usual. The only topics on my mind worth talking about are the fate of King Fuckface and Purely Evil Sociopath Jerry Sandusky, the cooling weather, and a personal project I’d guarantee you won’t care about. So instead, let’s get to RAW…
 

Pre-Opening: We get a video package of AJ being four keys short of a piano, and then we smash-cut to AJ in the back. She’s looking off-camera to the left as she basically declares her love for Daniel Bryan, her horniness for Kane, and her aborted destiny with CM Punk. The camera pans… and she’s actually talking to a mirror. Not exactly in a crazy way, just rehearsing a grand breakup speech she’s planning with three guys she isn't actually crazy.
 
 

Sure, nothing crazy about that. From there, opening themes and pyros, and we’re right to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Fun fact: I was born 40 miles from there!

Opening: Odd that the “opening” isn’t the very first segment, but whatever. Tonight we’re going to see Brodus Clay take on Big Show one-on-one, we’re going to have the return of Chris Jericho, and John Cena earlier tweeted something about “I’m going to make a historic announcement tonight.” All right, Superwigger, I’m curious.

Pre-Segment 1: But first, here’s Vickie Guerrero dressed in a suit. She’s totally into being the guest GM this week, and is sure she’ll be the permanent GM once we hit our 1000th episode. So I guess we know when that mess is going to be sorted out, huh?

But for her first match for this week, she’s making a triple threat elimination match to open the show tonight. And the three participants are AJ’s beaus!

Segment 1 [Triple Threat Elimination Match]: Daniel Bryan defeats CM Punk by pin, after CM Punk eliminates Kane by pin. Solid match, perfect length, fantastic opener, and I’m not entirely sure anything will top it tonight.

Awesome spot as we came back from commercial. Kane threw DB into the corner, then threw Punk into the same corner and followed up with a running hip check. Kane then climbed to the top, but DB recovered enough to get up and climb the ropes as well. Kane and DB grappled a bit for position on the top rope, but neither got the advantage. By then, Punk recovered and interjected himself, getting under DB’s legs and pulling away. This caused DB to be in the Doomsday Device Position, and Kane jumped off the top rope to deliver the flying lariat. However, DB ultimately counted, rolling forward on Punk’s shoulders to turn it into a pin attempt. He only got the two-count, but it was fun to watch. [Ed. Note: on top of being fun n and of itself, it was also the logical "evoluotion" of a spot they did at the PPV. Sweet.]

From there it was all back-and-forth. DB didn’t get in much offense, but Kane and Punk beat the crap out of each other and DB, eventually culminating in DB powdering out. Punk set him up for the GTS, but Kane gave Punk a big booth. DB rolled out of the ring at that point to let his opponents go at it.

And go at it they did, back-and-forth for a couple minutes, until Kane managed to finally land his flying lariat off the top rope. He signaled for a chokeslam, but that’s when AJ hit ringside and skipped around the ring, just to skip her way back up the ramp. Kane tried to ignore her, but his hesitation gave Punk time to recover and hit Kane with the GTS. One, two, three!

And then DB slid in the ring to give Punk a roundhouse to the temple. One more pin, and that was that.

Segment 2: Vickie is in the back in her office, and then Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez come in. Blathering ensues, and he tries to convince her that he’s the #1 contender to the World Heavyweight Title. Dolph Ziggler materializes and says that ADR was #1 contender… until he got hurt. Then Dolph stepped in, kicked ass, and nearly beat Sheamus. So he just wants one more shot, evidently taking notes from heel Christian.

Well, Vickie figured this was going to happen, so we’re going to have an always-classic pole match, specifically a “World Heavyweight Title Match Contract on a Pole” match.

Segment 3 [Singles Match]: Big Show defeats Brodus Clay (w/ Naomi & Cameron) by pin. Decent enough match, a little on the short side overall, but it was the perfect length for what they were trying to do.

This match existed after Show assaulted Clay a few weeks ago, and the story here was that Brodus got off to a hot start… until Show kicked Clay’s knee that was injured by David Otunga last week. It was all knee-targeted offense for 90% of the match. Show then also did his second-rope springboard splash, and something interesting happened: he slipped on the rope while trying to climb it. The crowd started groaning on him for that miniscule botch, but Show groaned back at them, effectively lampshading the botch while also insulting the crowd. Very cool; I don’t recall a heel ever interacting this much with the crowd’s chants and boos, and it really helps sell his in-character douchebaggery.

Anyway, after the splash, Show grabbed Brodus by the Mohawk and readied the WMD. Brodus actually fought out of it, then made the mistake of picking Show up in Samoan Drop position. The strength was admirable, but the knee just couldn’t take it, so Clay fell backwards with Show on top of him. Three-count and done.

Segment 4: The commentators posit about John Cena’s “historic announcement” later, but they segue from that into talking about the fact that Cena has fulfilled his 300th Make-A-Wish. As our OO Forums members have said, this is the reason Cena isn’t going to turn full heel any time soon, if at all.

Segment 5: For some reason, Bob Barker gets to share his memory of RAW, specifically the episode he guest-hosted a couple years—wait, that was back in 2009? Holy shit, I’m getting old…

Poor Bob mentioned that “as far as Chavo Guerrero is concerned, I’ll give him a rematch against me on the 2000th episode of RAW.” This shows you how out of touch the poor guy is: he’ll still be kicking around in 13 years, no problem, but Chavo will still be fired.

Segment 6: We get a “moments ago.” During the commercial, Brodus was being helped to the back due to his knee, but Show came back down to hit him with a proper WMD. Jerk.

Segment 7: We get a replay of Triple H’s promo against Brock Lesnar at No Way Out, and Paul Heyman’s reply (and Trips’s punch) last RAW. Why in God’s name have we wasted time on these last four segments, exactly?

Oh wait, here’s something new: Brock Lesnar is going to actually respond to the promos next week on RAW. Joy cookies.

Segment 8: AJ is in the back and delivered her speech to Kane, but instead of a breakup speech, it’s more of an apology speech. Kane isn’t exactly happy with AJ making him “feel things” because he’s not boyfriend material, and he’s totally not going to be in relationships. Besides: “I’m a monster, I wear a mask, my only source of pleasure is eviscerating people… and even I find you mentally unstable.” HA!!! You’d have to hear him deliver the line.

Anyway, Kane says that they need to stay away from each other, so he says goodbye and walks away. AJ then… uh… somehow cries and laughs simultaneously. That’s creepy as shit, maybe even more creepy than a close-up of a maggot.

Segment 9 [Singles Match for the United States Title]: Santino Marella defeats Jack Swagger by pin, and retains. Swagger had a small minority in the crowd. I wouldn’t have noticed except they somehow started dual “Let’s go Swagger!” “Swagger sucks!” chants with some of the rest of the crowd. It wasn’t enough for Jack to win though, as he was on offense for the first 90% of the match and got reverse-squashed by The Cobra. Of course, he didn’t get his entrance televised either, so I guess we should have seen that result coming.

Segment 10: John Cena’s music was practically drowned out by the immense cheers he was getting as he hit the ring. Damn, they love him in Indiana. Oh wait, after the music fades and he picks up a mic, then the boos come. Huh.

Cena calms them down, then recaps the last few months of WWE as a parody of a Star Wars introduction. Cute, but not relative for us who actually, you know, have been paying attention. Then again, referring to Zack Ryder as “Bro-baka the Woo Woo Wookie” was near-genius, and his Yoda impression was so spot-on that he got unanimous cheers.

So, that event was so historic that it’s led him to this historic announcement—

Lights go out. No, it’s not Undertaker, it’s Chris Jericho. He’s traded in his Light Brite jacket for one that wouldn’t look out of place on Elvis back in the 70s, all-black with thick gold trim. But then WWE decides to interrupt Jericho’s entrance to cut to footage of Fozzy performing a song we can’t really hear to a crowd who is cheering unintelligibly.

Back in the ring, Y2J has joined Cena and is getting solid cheers and chants of his own, surprisingly. Jericho encourages Cena to stop wasting time, make his bloody announcement, and then get the hell out of his ring since it’s his night!

Cena gets to the point: since Jericho has been gone, Show has gotten momentum and has declared he’s going to be in the Money in the Bank match to stop him from getting the title contract. So Cena will now put himself into the match. Cena knows that everyone who has ever held that contract cashed it in and won; Cena has taken the loss from contract cash-ins more than once, and wants to be on the other side of it for once. That’s… impressively logical.

Cena assures Jericho that he’s not just joining MitB to stop Show though: “I’m here to win the whole fudging thing.”

Jericho: “Fudging?”

Cena: “It’s a PG show, it’s the best I can do.”

Jericho: “What are you, nine?”

Cena: “Most of our viewers are around that age.” I don’t know whether that’s extremely funny or extremely sad.

Jericho sounds like he’s slurring his words as he insults Cena’s arrogance. Jericho wants to know why Cena thinks he can just come in and win them when he’s never been in one before, unlike Jericho, who has been in three of them! Cena: “And you haven’t won any of them, so what’s your point?”

That stops Jericho cold. He takes a second, then says that everything is just a joke with Cena, that everything is all fun and games. But the MitB is not fun and games, and needs to be taken seriously; if Cena really wants to have fun, he should rent a Bouncy Castle, or just cut another Star Wars promo, because that was “totally fun,” followed by a shocked eye roll. Beautiful.

Jericho’s point is that he’s a veteran of MitB matches, and they’re career-enders. But he’s got experience, knows what it takes to survive them, so Cena shouldn’t be worrying about stopping Show, he should worry about stopping him, because he’s going to be in it too.

That’s when Vickie arrives and gets booed out of the building. She reminds us all that there will be two MitB matches at the next PPV, and ain’t no one going to be entering themselves into it. Jericho starts to say something, but Vickie screams at him not to interrupt her. Jericho coyly says: “What are you going to do, suspend me?” Cute.

Vickie takes a second, then gets back on point. She’s chatted with the Board of Directors, and the only people who get to be involved in MitB matches this year are people who have previous held the title. So for RAW, that means the MitB participants will be Kane, Big Show, Jericho, and Cena.

Only four? Maybe more will be added. Cena says that the idea of making a former champions-only MitB match is a great idea. Cena thinks that maybe he was wrong about Vickie: she’s clearly a good general manager! All she needs to do is continue taking orders from the Board of Directors and never make a decision of her own!

Vickie doesn’t like that at all. She may not have control over who’s in the PPV, but she does have control of RAW. So since “it’s nearly been two years, for the first time ever,” it’s Cena vs. Jericho tonight. A confusing sentence, but that’s a damn fine main event, I think.

Cut Scene: They talk about the fact that we’ve had some returning superstars for one-shot appearances for this run-up to RAW’s 1000th episode, and after commercials, we’ll see another one who “hasn’t been in WWE for over 15 years.” Interesting…

Pre-Segment 11: But before that, Heath Slater hits the ring as Lilian Garcia starts to introduce the “former two-time” something. Slater hits the ring, puts himself over to solid boos, and nearly bores me to sleep.

That’s when… Sycho Sid? Really? Holy shit.

Segment 11 [Singles Match]: Sycho Sid squashes Heath Slater by pin. Sid still has the look, but given that I didn’t pay much attention to him when he was relevant, I don’t know if he’s “still got it.” He certainly executed a powerbomb well enough.

Cut Scene: They want me to go to WWE.com to see some sort of “bombshell announcement” since a WWE celebrity will be Tweeting live during the 1000th RAW. I’m not entirely sure how much they would have to pay me to actually do that, but “nothing” isn’t enough. [Ed. Note: it's Charlie Sheen.]

Segment 12 [Singles “Contract on a Pole” Match, winner is #1 contender to the World Heavyweight Title on SmackDown this Friday]: Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) and Dolph Ziggler wrestle to a no contest. This might be ADR’s finest match I’ve seen him in a while. Ziggler had his own strong following with a “Let’s go Ziggler!” chant that wasn’t paired with any “Ziggler sucks!” chants, which is an interesting sign.

They teased the hell out of the contract, and both guys showed off their athleticism. The best spot was ADR going for it, then Dolph climbing ADR’s back to get it instead. After some grappling, ADR managed to hold Dolph in the Samoan Drop position while standing on the middle rope… and then actually delivered the move, which must have hurt like crazy. Yeesh.

Eventually, Dolph ripped the contract off the pole but didn’t have a firm grip on it. Apparently, we’re retroactively adjusting On A Pole matches to include the stipulation that the winner “must control the clipboard.” And Dolph never did. This led to a retarded sequence where both guys sort of batted at it on the ground, which is adorable when a kitten is batting a ball, but just plain retarded when it’s two grown men batting a piece of wood.

Eventually they both went down with the contract on the other side of the ring. Ricardo slid in and grabbed it—this is a no-DQ match, after all—and tried handing it to ADR, but Dolph kicked it and him out of the ring on the east side. After more grappling, ADR took Dolph’s back, but Dolph turned on the reverse afterburners, and both guys tumbled out of the ring on the west side.

Well by now, they were so tuckered out that Sheamus came out onto the stage and said that Vickie Guerrero just declared that we’re just having a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Title after all. So… uh… yay?

That was dumb. It was a really entertaining match with the stupidest ending possible. If you’re just going to wind up with a triple threat, how about a spot where they’re both holding the contract and they rip it in two? There actually was a moment where they were both holding the thing, so the ref could have called it there, or let them rip it in half, and then call an end to it, instead of Sheamus arbitrarily popping out to inform them that they’re wasting everybody’s time. Fun match, lame ending.

Segment 13: AJ bothers CM Punk in the back, but she’s wearing a white terrycloth robe. See, there’s a “Diva Summer Time Battle Royal” coming up, which means PG bikinis, so I guess she’s not wanting to show off the goods yet. (But, thanks to my sharp eyes, I detect arm warmers under her sleeves; correct me if I’m wrong, but arm warmers and swimsuits are sort of mutually exclusive fashion statements. Then again, she is crazy.) AJ declares that she will dedicate her battle royal to Punk, despite how things started tonight.

Punk thanks her dismissively, then says that they need to have a serious conversation about their “relationship” after the match. AJ says that’s fine, she’s totally ready to take things to the next level, but she has to go win her match first. Before Punk is able to clarify, she merrily skips off, and we go to commercials.

Segment 14: Mick Foley gives his RAW moment, specifically his amazingly awesome This Is Your Life for The Rock.

Pre-Segment 15: RRRRRROOOSSSAAA!!! Man, I wish that was a string bikini. Also: who’s the gorgeous girl in the yellow bikini? She’s just as short as AJ, and I don’t recall seeing her ever.

Oh, then Vickie Guerrero hits the ring and takes off a black robe to show a cougar skin one-piece. I guess she’s playing along too.

Segment 15 [11-Diva Battle Royal]: AJ defeats Vickie Guerrero by elimination, outlasting Layla et al. Just about every diva was involved, and just about every elimination happened in 20 seconds. And whoever my newfound crush is in the yellow bikini, she was tossed second and I still don’t know her name.

My Rosa didn’t fare much better, and it wasn’t long before Layla, AJ, and Vickie were the final three. AJ chucked Layla through the south ropes, but she landed on the apron. But because AJ is a wrestling nerd with no ass (and I’m one of the rare guys who actually likes negative ass usually, hence why I preferred Brie Bella over Nikki), she didn’t turn her back on Layla. AJ continued the pressure, but couldn’t quite knock her off the rope. But then Beth Phoenix, who had been eliminated earlier, came around and started messing with Layla. Layla kicked Beth in the face to keep her at bay, but doing so caused her to turn her back to the ring. AJ did a quick and painless forearm to Layla’s back, sending her off.

Vickie tried to steal one by grabbing AJ and flinging her through the same ropes. However, Vickie is not a wrestling nerd, and did turn her back on AJ, who merely landed on the apron. AJ went back in the ring and was all smiles. Vickie chest-bumped and shoved AJ once she realized our little psycho was still in the match, and AJ responded by doing a Lou Thesz Press. Vickie then started to crawl away from that for some reason, so AJ literally kicked her in the ass to send her through the ropes and to the floor.

And then AJ, to celebrate her win, stole Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!” taunt. This was not lost on the commentators or the crowd. The plot, much like AJ’s brain fluid, continues to thicken.

Pre-Segment 16: The Light Brite jacket returns!

Segment 16 [Singles Match]: John Cena defeats Chris Jericho by disqualification. Decent match, nothing special, but with a ridiculously hot crowd that saw 60/40 Cena-to-Jericho fans. Standard Cena match, for better or worse, though Jericho looked damn good during it.

At the end, Cena got on a roll as always, but then Big Show’s music fired up. Cena readied Jericho for the FU, but Show’s presence caused him not to attack immediately, allowing Jericho to wiggle out and smoothly turn it into the Walls. By then, Show got in the ring, rebounded off the ropes, and did a leg drop to the back of Cena’s head whilst Cena was still in the Walls. Ouch.

Post-Segment 16: Jericho is at first annoyed and offended at Show’s interference, especially since it cost him the match. But as Show asked Jericho what he was going to do about it, Jericho decided that bailing was the better option, so he gestured (Broadly) “All yours!” and left the ring.

So Show rather effortlessly gave Cena a high-angle chokeslam, then his absurdly painful-looking camel clutch (which apparently is called the Colossal Clutch). Cena didn’t tap, but did pass out as Cena’s face turned pale.

Final Thoughts: Solid ending by story to the night, if not by match. The opener match made up for it, but I’m not sure they made up for the laggy middle. Make no mistake by the segment count: this was a two-hour show, and the non-match segments were like a minute long at most. They got seriously annoying, though honestly, I watched and recapped the show in real-time instead of heavy fast-forward as normal, so maybe that was the problem.

All the stories had some serious advancement, which is something I’m not used to from the Modern Era. This, at least, for one week, was sustainable episodic TV. Lord knows how it’ll be next week.

Now, even though SmackDown this week is at its normal Friday timeslot (and will feature that triple threat title match), next SmackDown will be themed “The Great American Bash,” and will be live on Tuesday at 8pm. Apparently the Bash has been relegated from PPV to “as important a theme as a Cyndi Lauper comeback.” Hopefully they’ll at least have the red, white, and blue ropes.

Okay, I’m done for the night. I’ll see you this weekend for SmackDown.

Episode Grade: B-

 
E-MAIL PYROFALKON


  
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