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Punk is Silenced
August 7, 2012

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

I don’t know what you all have been doing for the last couple weeks, but when I’m not writing damn good strategy guides for IGN Entertainment, I’ve been watching the hell out of the Olympics. I always dig the Olympics, but I tend to favor the non-mainstream sports. My DISH package didn’t include MSNBC, which is where the non-swimming and non-gymnastics sports were, so I wound up dropping $20 on an instant upgrade so I could start watching it. (I also get the NFL and NHL networks now, and I think I just might keep this package.)

And man, I’ll tell you: it’s been fun. Fencing, archery, soccer… hell, even water polo and handball have been fascinating. And I don’t even care so much about who I’m watching: I just get a trip out of the sport itself, not necessarily the countries involved. Other than the Korean female fencer who seems to orgasm every time she scores a point, I mean.

My only problem is that I’ve been so busy, between my day job and other projects, that I haven’t had time to watch much Olympics. I was recording everything in my DVR, but despite the 100 hours on it, I nearly broke it a couple times. I even decided to delete my precious Burn Notice episodes just to make room, but I’ve come to the point where I have to start skipping over entire sports just so I can keep up. I actually wanted to see some diving, but don’t have the time… I’ll have to check those out on NBC.com or something. Internet video streaming is absolutely the best thing that happened for the Olympics.

[Ed. Note: I'm with you on a lot of that. Except the part about soccer. Seriously, there's already too much soccer on TV, and it's not because the American people asked for it. It's because ESPN paid big money for it, so they DEMAND THAT YOU CARE. Which we don't. Unless you are an hispanic American. But for the other stuff? Definitely in the "I care once every four years" category. If NBC.com doesn't have what you need, I strongly suggest the Olympics Live Extra app, available for all 3 major technodouche platforms. Watch events before NBC packages them up for prime time, usually with WAY better announcers, and also select from a full archive of previous events you might have missed.]

Well, that and the women’s doubles badminton finals being between China and Japan. I’m enjoying that one for all the wrong and right reasons.

But despite having an all-day Olympic marathon, I’ve got no problem taking out three hours of my night for RAW. Let’s roll…

Pre-Segment 1: Did they change RAW’s theme this week, or did they do it for RAW 1000 and I only just noticed?

Segment 1: AJ Lee hits the ring, rocking a white power suit this time, as she announces the run-down tonight: Big Show vs. Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena, and…

Uh, and here’s CM Punk out to steal the spotlight. The way AJ looks at him, he clearly still turns her on, but only on her terms. Punk meanwhile gets to the ring, gets a mic, and starts by saying that he doesn’t live his life with regrets, but he also tries to rectify mistakes. He wishes he could take back the fact that he screamed at AJ after she made the triple threat match, so he apologizes for and tries to explain it. Though, he comes off insincerely: that someone in her position shouldn’t be disrespected (I’m sure Johnny Ace would agree), just like he shouldn’t be disrespected.

AJ is cool with that, and calmly accepts the apology. Punk replies that he hopes they can still be friends, and as a friend, she screwed up last week by making it a triple threat match, so she should totally cancel the triple threat match.

AJ thinks about it as the crowd fires up a “No! No!” chant. She finally says that she is new, and she will make mistakes… but the triple threat match isn’t one of them, so it’s still on.

Punk gets it: this is just her revenge for him denying her marriage proposal. He gets his biggest swath of boos as he says that she totally can’t disrespect him since everyone in the audience likes him! (I guess fans only like wrestlers who don’t care about being liked? No wonder Orton is over!)

Here comes Cena to weigh in before AJ responds. Cena says that Punk, of all people, has become “one of those guys” who has come out and bitches about getting respect. Cena points out that in WWE, you come out here, and you earn that respect, that’s it.

The fans fire up their favorite dueling Cena chants, and Cena plays off that by pointing out that he’s been here ten years with eleven WWE Title runs, and he still has to fight for the fans’ respect every day! And by the way, it’s Punk’s interference that led to the triple threat match in the first place. Then he hits on AJ, just because.

Punk replies that he hasn’t changed at all. Hell, the only reason Punk attacked him was because Cena totally beat the crap out of Punk while Punk was giving his brilliant commentary! So Punk will not be disrespected by Cena, Show, or even AJ. Besides, Punk totally saved Cena’s health, because last week, Cena had Show up in the FU position, but his knees and back were totally going to give out.

Cena lets that pass and replies that if Punk’s style is all about telling the facts, then the fact is that the champion historically doesn’t do well in triple threat matches; so regardless of all this bravado and blathering about respect, Punk totally won’t have the title in two weeks. Punk reminds Cena that he (Punk) totally beat him last year at SummerSlam, and history will repeat itself.

Cena starts to lose his mind for a moment, but then Big Show hits the ring. But AJ is a wrestling nerd, and she knows what’s going to happen, so she tells them to shut the hell up because she’s not having one of those introduction segments that breaks down into a brawl. Besides, Cena and Show totally have matches tonight and need to rest up.

Punk finds that stupid, since he’s the WWE Champion, so he should be in the main event, not the #1 contenders. AJ replies that if he hadn’t interrupted her in the first place, she could have finished saying that Punkers does have a match. The fans can vote on Twitter on who they want him to face among Kane, Rey Mysterio, or The Miz. And that match is next (after ads). Which, uh, technically isn’t the main event, is it? Poor Punk.

Cut Scene: While we’re killing time for idiots to vote, they announce that Triple H and Brock Lesnar are both in the building tonight.

Segment 2 [Singles Match]: CM Punk defeats Rey Mysterio by pin. Even with the boos in the opening, Punk was more over here than Rey. Solid match, technically well-executed, but it was lacking something that I can’t really describe… maybe because the result was a foregone conclusion? Rey managed a 619 at the end of the match, but when he tried his follow-up vaulting springboard Senton, Punk smoothly reversed it to a GTS and made the pin.

Segment 3: They make a big deal of showing Alberto Del Rio parking his black Ferrari in the back in a “reserved parking spot,” then getting out with Ricardo Rodriguez and leaving for some reason. That car is so totally going to get damaged or destroyed, isn’t it?

Segment 4: Is… is Wade Barrett running a fight club? Well, he’s breaking rule #1 of it if he is as we get a vignette of him in jeans and a new beard. He implies by voice-over that he’s “gone back to basics” and that the Barrett Barrage is just beginning. Good to know he’s on his way back, as Rick mentioned in the Forums. I can still see the scene in my mind when he got injured… scary stuff.

Segment 5: ADR and RR come into AJ’s office. ADR says that he was worried that she would be booking him too after Booker T put him in a match on Friday. She replies that he’s totally off the card, don’t worry. ADR laughs lightly with RR as he says he knew RAW was in good hands, since AJ totally wouldn’t do anything "crazy."

AJ loses her smile. “What did you call me?” AJ doesn’t wait for ADR’s actually sincere apology, and says that he’s in a match after all! And it’s next! Even though ADR is still in his suit! Oh no! ADR screams at RR to go fetch his gear, and then he starts heavily breathing as he looks stage left.

Segment 6: Recap of Triple H and Brock Lesnar’s issues.

Segment 7 [Singles Match]: Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeats Christian by submission. Solid match, these two click well, but it wasn’t all that thrilling. Maybe I’m just not into wrestling tonight? [Ed. Note: Maybe so. I thought this was really good, and that it's just another notch in Christian's belt. Since coming back, he's been having better-than-they-should-be matches with just about everybody. And his new "Breaking Bad" style t-shirt is cool, too.] Either way, Christian won a back-and-forth bit of grappling, then went to the top rope for a top rope something-or-other. RR then ran distraction to the ref, letting ADR quickly pull his boot off and swinging it into Christian’s face. When Christian hit the canvas, the ref turned back around, and ADR quickly slapped on the Cross Arm Breaker. No word whether Christian tapped due to the pain or the smell.

Post-Segment 7: Sheamus appears on the Titantron and says that ADR was totally right about Sheamus being “below” him. So Sheamus is going to make some life choices to become ADR’s equal… starting with his ride. Camera pans back, and he’s at the Ferrari. Uh oh.

Sheamus tells “Ricky Ricardo” that, the next time he hauls ass to pull ADR’s gear out of the trunk, be sure to take the keys too. Heh.

So Sheamus hops in, assures ADR that he’s totally going to keep the car safe as he drives around San Antonio, and hits the gas. ADR, meanwhile, pops a vein on both sides of his head.

Segment 8 [Singles Match]: Big Show and Randy Orton wrestle to a double countout. Decent match, watchable for sure. Orton still does one of the prettiest dropkicks of everyone in the roster, and the crowd’s energy helped.

It was basically a punchy-kicky brawl, not bad but nothing special. The fight eventually spilled outside, and Orton tried an RKO, but Show pushed him away and hit a Spear. Both guys were down, and took the ten.

After the match, Show wanted to keep beating the crap out of Orton, so he tossed him in the ring. There, Show went for the WMD, but Orton ducked it and hit the RKO.

So, in the past two episodes, this means that Orton has won a match against the #1 contender to the World Heavyweight Title, and got the moral victory over a #1 contender to the WWE Title. Clearly, Orton’s star is on the rise irrelevant of two strikes.

Segment 9 [1-on-2 Handicap Match, Tag Rules] Ryback squashes Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks by pin. Whatever.

Segment 10 [Tag Match]: Epico & Primo defeat The Prime Time Players (w/ AW) by pin. I was going to get upset that they didn’t televise E&P’s entrance, but My Rosa Mendes was nowhere to be seen. Hope she’s okay. [Ed. Note: she could be better. Cops found her in a bathroom at the San Antonio airport, where she finally broke down as a result of her dickhead boyfriend, who beats her. WWE gave her the night off, and she spent it getting 30 different cuts and bruises photographed by the police.]

The match was pretty solid but nothing you haven’t seen before. That’s no diss, though: these two teams click well, both within their own team and against each other. Solid stuff start to finish, just nothing overly noteworthy or new.

At the end of the match, E&P had the momentum, so PTP said “to hell with this” and left. That’s when Kofi Kingston and R-Truth appeared at the top of the stage, causing PTP to stop and scream at them from the foot of the ramp. This gave E&P time to corral them and toss them back in the ring, hit finishers, and make the pin.

Segment 11: After a replay of Damien Sandow’s argument against D-Generation X at RAW 1000, and his subsequent beatdown of Brodus Clay last week, we see the Beacon of Enlightenment himself strolling through the halls. Josh Mathews catches up to him to interview him, Sandow explains that he’s here to rid WWE of “foolishness,” because he’s our martyr, and dancing is ridiculous. So tonight, he’s going to dispose of Brodus once and for all for our betterment. We’re welcome.

Segment 12: Sandow isn’t dicking around here. Brodus’s entrance is first and starts to dance on the stage, but Sandow up and starts kicking his ass immediately from gorilla. Sandow targets that weakened knee while Naomi and Cameron squeal. Clay tries to fight him off and gets in some strikes, but Sandow’s aggression is too much.

Sandow’s big spot, once Clay lies on the concrete next to the ramp, is to put Clay’s left ankle on the ramp, then stomp down right on the knee. Twice. [Ed. Note: the first one looked so "good" it made me cringe.]

That’s when the refs hit the action to separate them, but Sandow has stomped the shit out of his knee and locked in a knee lock. The refs finally pull him off, but all he can do is stand on the ramp and smile. He shouts “I told you!” at Brodus, and the fans boo… but we at OO cheer, because Sandow can do no wrong, and that was one hell of a segment.

Segment 13: AJ is meeting with DB. She says he may technically be sane, but he does have “anger management” issues. DB says that maybe that’s because he was jilted, but either way, he’s calm now. Besides, once he totally beats Cena tonight, she’ll have to turn the triple threat match at SummerSlam into a Fatal Four-Way.

AJ says that can’t happen, because DB already has a match at SummerSlam against Kane! And then we get a cute moment that you have to watch to appreciate, since it won’t translate well into text. DB stands up, collects himself, and says “No.” AJ stands up, collects herself with a smile, and says “Yes!” in the exact same volume. So DB screams “No” a little louder. AJ says “Yes” matching his volume with a cute little “I’m pretending to think about it for two seconds” face expression. They go back and forth, Looney Toons style, even to the point where they start mouthing the words instead of actually verbalizing them.

Segment 14 [Singles Match]: Kelly Kelly defeats Eve by pin. Huh, didn’t realize K2 was set to come back… at all. There were rumors floating around that she was done with the company because she wanted to go model and stuff, since she’s basically spent her entire life from 18 to 25 in professional wrestling and needed a break.

So, the story here is Eve being a chickenshit. After Eve hit the ring second, she decided she didn’t want the match after all and wanted to leave. K2 put a quick end to that and started… uh… well, her version of “offense” Jerry Lawler said that K2 “hasn’t lost a step in the ring,” and that’s technically true, the same way the Lithuanian basketball team “hadn’t lost a step” as it got lambasted by Kobe Bryant and company. K2 was all punchy-kicky-slappy, nothing new or interesting.

K2 even tried a Stink Face, but Eve rolled out of the ring before that happened. She decided she’d had enough of that shit and wanted to leave again, but K2 tossed her back in the ring anyway. From there, Eve took offense and even applied a sleeper, so she made a go of it. But K2 eventually fought back with an admittedly picture-perfect huracanrana-to-pin combination, ending the match by basically sitting on Eve’s face.

So: decent match, nothing special, certainly nothing special for K2, but at least it was a competitive length (like three minutes, which is still better than the divas usually get). Does this mean the divas will start getting standard-length matches now that RAW is three hours long, or was this a one-off? Either way, the standard-length matches should be going to the likes of Eve, Layla, Natalya, and Beth, not K2… in my opinion.

Actually, you know last week I mentioned that Orton was super-crazy over with the fans, so I could understand WWE’s attempt to let Project Orton continue? I had the same opinion with K2, as she was crazy over with the fans too… but they seemed kinda dead when she made this “surprise return.” They cared, but not very much. I wonder if that’ll wind up meaning anything.

I’ve also long noticed that my coverage of divas matches are always significantly longer than my coverage of men’s matches, regardless of match length. I’m not sure what that says about me, but given that I don’t pepper my match recaps with terrible pick up lines and other forms of virtual sexual harassment, I don’t think it’s just about boobs. Maybe I should give SHIMMER a shot.

Segment 15: Earlier I mentioned that we’re in San Antonio, and we can’t be there without a visit from the Heartbreak Kid! Shawn Michaels hits the ring to a solid cheer… but I can’t help but realize they lead out from the previous segment by repeating that Brock is in the building, then commercials, then Shawn hits the ring. Is this a “Shawn convinces Triple H what to do about his opponent” reboot from Trips/Taker earlier this year?

Shawn makes a full entrance, and the first thing he does when he gets the mic is play it up by heavily breathing. “I keep telling WWE not to have me run down there once every two years because I’m out of shape!” Cute.

But then he gets serious and starts by thanking the fans for letting him be a part of history as he was part of RAW 1000, not to mention the reunion of DX. And sure, he’s comfortable with not being in WWE full-time, but he damn sure won’t miss it when the show comes through his home town of Cheap Pop, USA.

He thinks that old adage about “the more things change, the more things stay the same” applies to WWE too, as the locker room may be full of new faces, but they’re all talking about “the confrontation at SummerSlam.” Not CM Punk, of course, but Trips/Lesnar. And they all asked him what his opinion about things are, and—

And, uh, here’s Brock and Paul Heyman now, actually. After they get in the ring, Heyman says he’s not surprised everyone is asking for HBK’s opinion, because after all, “you sir are the greatest in-ring performer in the history of WWE.” I don’t know if that’s just in-character or Heyman’s actual opinion, but that’s high praise indeed.

Paul says that he and Brock would even ask Shawn’s opinion too… just not with this match, because Lesnar isn’t going to SummerSlam for entertainment; he’s there to fight, and he doesn’t care about being “the next Showstopper” or anything. Brock is only concerned about proving he’s “the baddest dude on the planet.”

Shawn says that he’s not here to dispute Lesnar’s qualifications. But here’s the thing: any other time, he’d choose Lesnar, but Lesnar has pushed Triple H to a point that no one should be pushed. They attacked Stephanie and their kids, and made it personal, so Triple H is going to win. And Shawn is so convinced that Trips is going to win that Shawn will be in his corner at SummerSlam!

Heyman smiles sleazily as he says that that line from Shawn will be the moment played and replayed for all of time… because SummerSlam will be the end of Trips’s career, and they’ll replay Shawn’s words as the harbinger of that moment. See, Shawn left on his own terms, but Trips will be forced out.

Brock then takes the mic, and he says that the only reason Shawn thinks Trips can beat him is because he (Shawn) has never been in the ring with him… until now. Paul tries to beg him from doing or saying anything more, but Brock takes a threatening step toward him anyway.

And then Triple H hits the ring. Paul looks like he craps his pants, and he quickly retreats to the apron. Trips has no mic and just readies to fight. Brock acts like he’s going to, but then smiles and lowers his guard. He just screams at Trips “I’ll see you at SummerSlam…” Then looks at Shawn and cryptically says “I’ll see you before then.” Uh… huh. [Ed. Note: and you can cue my desire to see HBK un-retire.... NOW. I like it when guys retire and stay retired. I love that HBK "gave his word" to Taker, and would like to keep it. And I've never really wanted HBK to unretire before. But holy shit: Lesnar/Michaels is one of the very few -- if not only -- "Dream Matches That Would Actually Be Awesome." All the rest have either been done before, or include guys who are too broken down (i.e. Sting). And it could all start by Lesnar punking out HBK at the grocery store, or in front of his wife/kids, or whatever, just to keep him out of SummerSlam.]

Brock and Lesnar then leave, though Lesnar keeps his eyes on Trips the whole way up the ramp and lightly taunts him.

Segment 16: Sheamus made a Tout about his grand theft auto. Lawler tries like hell to play the face here and just keeps saying that Sheamus “borrowed” the car, but I think if I tried that logic on my boss’s Lexus, she wouldn’t be happy about it.

Segment 17 [Singles Match]: Alex Riley defeats Dolph Ziggler by pin. No, that upset is not a typo.

So Chris Jericho is out on commentary, then proceeds to somehow do both Michael Cole’s and Jerry Lawler’s jobs better than both of them, while still managing to put himself over and solidify his face turn through some revisionist history of the last eight months. Dolph’s whole thing was that he beat the shit out of Alex, but then always turned to talk shit to CJ instead of, you know, trying to win. A-Ri kept kicking out, but couldn’t even get much of a rally going.

CJ’s commentary was brilliant, though there were a few bizarre choices. For example, I really don’t think CJ of all people has the right to mock Dolph’s haircut.

Toward the end of the match, Ziggler dodged a Riley charge, sending Riley shoulder-first into the ring post. He followed up with a solid neckbreaker, then… just… stared… at… CJ. Jericho even waved, and Dolph replied by flexing and screaming while doing a cocky foot-on-the-chest pin.

CJ had enough of that bullshit, but then said something absolutely nonsensical: “You know what? I’m going to film this and I’m going to Tout this.” Tout what? That Dolph is kicking ass but just preening like a schoolgirl?

Oh wait: as CJ gets on the table and starts recording with his convenient iPhone that was also conveniently laying on the commentators’ table, Riley quickly rolls Dolph up for the pin. Jericho then records the audience reaction, turns the camera toward his own face just to brag, and cuts his video. By a STAGGERING COINCIDENCE~! the video was under 15 seconds, perfect length for Tout!

Ladies and gentlemen: we have just experiences our first match finish that was specifically timed just for WWE’s Tout service. I’m pretty sure this was in Revolution somewhere.

Cut Scene: Cole reads that they just got a tweet just now right now during the match just now right now from AJ… and when they toss it on the screen, the timestamp reads “32 minutes ago.” Good job, Cole.

Anyway, she says that since neither Miz nor Kane were voted by the fans to face CM Punk, they’re totally going to fight each other instead. I guess that’s next, since we’re running out of time.

Segment 18: Another Tout from Sheamus about the car.

Segment 19 [Singles Match]: Kane defeats The Miz by pin. Meh. Decent match, nothing special, ended with a chokeslam. Solid execution from both guys.

Segment 20: The car is back at the arena, and Sheamus is safe. The car, however, is not: the engine is knocking and smoking, there’s food in the passenger seat, mud and grass on the tires, and Sheamus implies that he shit in the driver’s seat. Poor ADR.

During Daniel Bryan’s entrance, they cut back to the car, where ADR and RR start screaming at each other and to no one in Spanish; people always sound angrier when they’re speaking Spanish. Anyway, ADR finally busts into English long enough to blame RR on everything, then he storms off while RR starts to clean the car.

Pre-Segment 21: John Cena’s pre-entrance words are I think “It’s a good time on RAW! [The crowd] is having a good time, I see!”

Also, Jerry Lawler tells us that Tom Arnold is tweeting during RAW, and we should totally read them. Why the fuck are we supposed to care?

Segment 21 [Singles Match]: John Cena defeats Daniel Bryan by pin. Drab match for the first 85%, given that it was not only a standard Cena match, but Cena pulled a page out of the Orton playbook to apply entirely too many chinlocks. Hell, the first rest hold came within 90 seconds. Not a good sign.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once Cena hit the first couple of his Five Moves of Doom and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle, shit got real. From there, it was just an insanely fast-paced back-and-forth with at least a half-dozen convincing near-falls.

It started immediately after the 5KS, which Cena hit clean. He then put DB on his shoulders for the FU, but DB countered it into a scissored hanging guillotine. And Cena sold the shit out of it, even dropping to a knee, only finally countering out when he dead-lifted DB and shoved him spine-first into the turnbuckles twice.

Once the hold broke, Cena continued to sell, collapsing on the canvas as he tried to get his breath back. DB took a moment to rearrange his spine, then charged. Cena saw him and caught him with a drop toe hold, but DB managed to boot him off before he applied the STF. DB tried a quick roll-up, and when that failed, he tried a stiff roundhouse to Cena’s temple, but even that couldn’t put him away.

DB hulked up, then went for a top rope diving headbutt. He hit it just as cleanly as Chris Benoit used to, then went for a pin, but failed again. (And as an aside, I’m a little surprised that’s not a banned move, all things considered.)

Both guys paused to catch their breaths (and build up tension). DB to his feet, he went for Yes Kicks, but whiffed on the big one. Cena caught his ankle, transitioned to the STF, and actually held it this time. But DB wiggled out, smoothly reversed it into the Yes Lock, but then Cena re-reversed and had DB up in the slingshot position. But rather than slingshotting him, he just lifted DB up to his shoulders, hit a clean FU, and made the pin. Ridiculously exciting conclusion. [Ed. Note: I enjoyed the hell out of it. The last few months, the only guy who might have more of a "King Midas Touch" with regards to his matches being better-than-expected is Bryan. He's just ON. ANd guys working with him are really helping. Kudos to Cena for selling when he had to just as convincing as he superman'd the rest. Fun on a bun.]

Post-Segment 21: As Cena celebrates, Punk hits the ring. He doesn’t say anything, but he gets in Cena’s face and preens with the title. Cena laughs that off and gestures (Broadly) that Punk won’t have it for long.

Then Big Show hits the ring without music or pyro. Cena sees him, shoves Punk out of the way, then starts attacking Show. Cena gets the better of it, then readies an FU. Punk however does a live replay of last week and shoves Show, making him and Cena collapse under the big man’s weight. Punk stands tall among the boos, and even mouths “What?” to them.

Lawler flips out on Punk, and Punk sees him blathering even though he can’t hear him. Punk exits the ring, gets a headset on at the commentators’ table, then addresses Lawler directly… and it’s one hell of a pipe bomb:

Maybe John Cena’s right, maybe he has a point, maybe it’s my fault that I find myself in this triple threat for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. Maybe it’s my fault people have been disrespecting me, it’s because I let disrespect me, people like you saying I turned my back on the WWE Universe.

Well let me tell you something. I’ve been shaking everybody’s hand, and I’ve been smiling real good, and kissing babies, and trying to make everybody happy. And I let people walk all over me, and I let people disrespect me. But take a look, right now: Big Show and John Cena, getting acquainted with the mat.

From here on out, I do what I do best. RAW ends the same way the last two did: with CM Punk, the WWE Champion, standing tall, clutching his title, that belongs to him, that proves that he and he alone is the best wrestler in the world. And anybody else who stands in my way is going to be lying on the mat, just like Big Show, and just like John Cena.

Holy shit, that was intense. Punk then gets back in the ring as Show starts to recover, but Punk has him lined up. As Show rises to his knees, Punk aims a stiff roundhouse at Show’s temple.

But Show is quick, and he grabs Punk’s leg and pins it to his hip. As Punk panics, he has no time to consider options as Show delivers a WMD to Punk’s face while still trapping his leg. Punk collapses immediately.

Cena meanwhile starts to stir. He’s got nothing left though, and Show already has him lined up. One WMD later, both Punk and Cena are flat on their backs, unconscious in the middle of the ring.

Show gets the title belt (which still looks comically small in his hands), then holds it over his head with an inhuman guttural noise as he commands the attention of everyone. Message received.

Final Thoughts: It was a pretty decent night, until the final image… the last ten minutes of RAW started entering “must watch” territory. Cena and Punk haven’t lost a step with their out-of-ring chemistry, and Show’s attitude since his heel turn has made him a true main eventer instead of whatever the hell he was as a face. This is a truly intriguing main event picture, and I’m glad Punk is again in the spotlight for it. I wish he was there on his own merits, but let’s be honest here: if Cena wasn’t involved, I have a feeling WWE would be continuing to keep the WWE Championship as the #2 interesting thing on RAW. The mere fact that Punk/DB went in the middle of the card at Money in the Bank wasn’t a good sign.

But then again, maybe WWE learned from its mistake? Maybe they’re actually going to let Punk be, you know, the face of the company like he should be? I have a hard time booing him when he’s been right, even if he is kind of a dick about it. Punk absolutely shatters proper face/heel alignments, and the entire brand benefits for it.

The undercard was all right, but nothing special. The divas and Ryback wasted our time; the former because of the specific choices, the latter because… well, because Ryback. Jericho/Ziggler advanced well, if we ignore the ham-handed Tout nonsense. I mean, I don’t have a problem with the match finish itself, because “distraction = quick loss to an underdog” is standard wrestling fare. What I have a problem with is that WWE is so committed to Touts that they’re not just actively wasting my time with the fans’ Touts, but also because Touts are now part of the show. Hell, Sheamus’s entire role here was Tout-centralized, you know?

Meanwhile, Clay/Sandow is looking like a legit feud, which both guys needed, and I’ve already said my piece on Project Orton. Overall a good night, but only on heavy fast-forward.

So it’s taken me nearly six hours to write this recap due to distractions and other problems, severely cutting into my Olympics time… hell, it’s 1:30am, and most people should be going to bed, including me. But I can make some poor life decisions, and that means staying up for the Olympics tonight. Have a good weekend guys, and I’ll see you at the end of the week for SmackDown.

Episode Grade: B+


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