As the epic 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw get ever closer, last week’s show was nearly a complete disappointment. Perhaps more disappointing is the state of the WWE as it comes off the annual Money in the Bank pay-per-view one year after C.M. Punk had the world watching as he won the WWE Championship on the final night of his contract. The unknown and excitement of last Summer appears to have been replaced with the same old situations as more energy appears to be going into next week’s history making Monday than last night’s pay-per-view.
THE JASON: Man, that opening last week was brutal. The show closing angle was not much better. AJ was taking long pauses like she was begging for a “WHAT?” chant to break out. Her proposal was preposterous. The “No” chants from the crowd were hilarious.
PTB: “AJ will leave the arena with her future husband…” It’s all just too much. This feud between C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan didn’t need all this, at least not yet.
THE JASON: I would vote for NOT AT ALL. What happened to two guys who just hate one another and want to be the best? Even though I hated this whole angle, Bryan and Punk both played their parts well. Do you think that after last night’s PPV that the show-long AJ angles are now over?
PTB: Unfortunately, it’s not over yet. There was no resolution of any of this at Money in the Bank last night and that means we’re likely in for another night of AJ being all over Raw. Admittedly, I like that AJ has distinguished herself, but it seems like the creative team just tried to crowbar her into every segment once she started getting a reaction. Where was this when Bryan was getting his groundswell of support a few months ago?
THE JASON: Punk was so convincing in his body language of being uncomfortable, I had to wonder if he was legitimately embarrassed to be part of this angle. Bryan’s alleged consideration of a proposal and his line of “Come home AJ!” were great though. He plays such a glorious conniving douche.
PTB: This does seem like the type of thing Punk was speaking out against last Summer. I still hope AJ brings in someone new as part of this, but it’s hard to see what the point of having her as the guest referee was. Last night epitomized the way things have gone off the rails since last year’s Money in the Bank in Chicago.
THE JASON: Last year, Punk had the build-up at a fever-pitch and it was one of the most anticipated pay-per-views of the year, with an unforgettable main event. This year, everything was the antithesis of that.
PTB: Something really needed to happen with this last night, but if they saved it for Raw I get it.
THE JASON: Speaking of matches with a great build-up, during Punk and Bryan’s match last Monday they completely ripped a sequence that ended the Anderson Silva/Chael Sonnen UFC title fight from a few nights earlier. Punk missed a spinning backfist, landed on the mat and Bryan proceeded to knee him. They are both MMA fans, so I’m sure that was an homage.
While the matches have been great, my wife was even irritated by the angle. She wanted AJ to shut up and didn’t think that there was any contest between Punk and Bryan. Her comments: “Ugh. Bryan is so unnattractive. What is with that beard?” She’s not a fan of the well groomed Wizard Beard.
Speaking of Wizards, I forgot to note last week that they’ve taken Tensai’s awesome evil wizardly robe with his lordship. At least he still has the mighty Ming-stache! They need to take the underoos too and give him a different get-up. I think he would be better off in shorts than the tighty red undies he is rocking. Besides that I was happy to see them building more steam with Tensai going into Money in the Bank and a potential affiliation with Vickie Guerrero. Tensai and Tyson Kidd both were good in their match. The powerbomb onto the ring apron look unbelievably sick. After last week’s Raw, I was pulling for Tensai or Kidd to win the ladder match.
PTB: Tensai winning last night would have continued his roller coaster ride of being a top heel one week to being buried the next. As it stands, I’m glad neither he nor Damien Sandow got the win as I’d like to see them grow a bit. Dolph Ziggler has been given similar treatment to Tensai lately and his winning the World Championship Ladder Match is almost a guarantee that he’ll be the first to lose when he cashes in his contract, but I still think that honor will fall to John Cena.
THE JASON: Well, thanks to The Miz’s surpise inclusion in the Raw Money in the Bank Match I think I need to say REALLY? REALLY? I don’t see Cena losing. I think he gets the belt back at SummerSlam. They may as well put the belt back on him since Punk’s reign has continually been bumped from the main event slot. Eve got the line of the night last week pointing out how Punk’s championship reign has been overshadowed by Rock, Cena, HHH, Lesnar, Big Show and now AJ. That convinced me that Cena would win on Sunday and we’re building to Punk vs. Cena at SummerSlam.
PTB: Is this the nucleation of a hit list for CM Punk at Raw 1000? Eve was great in that spot and I really think it was one of the best parts of a weak show. Punk ‘s claims to be the best wrestler in the world fits right into what she said and I’d love to see him rediscover his mission to prove it will all those big names showing up next week. Hopefully, we’ll get a hint of that tonight rather than more AJ.
THE JASON: Last week, Big Show said he didn’t like teaming with Chris Jericho? Huh? You mean like when you guys had a great run and revitalized the tag division for a good 6 months?
PTB: While I loved the Jeri-Show era, Jericho did make Show look like a fool on many occasions and I seem to recall their title reign falling apart as Show then teamed with The Miz.
THE JASON: And then for a week or two Miz teamed with Jericho.
PTB: I knew they couldn’t leave that Raw ladder match at four participants with two of them being gigantic. Last week’s tag match was a preview of what they can do with ladders, but I feared they’d used their best spots. Miz’s inclusion was something we brought up weeks ago and I really expected Orton to show up as well last night.
THE JASON: Orton is still suspended. My pick to show up was Rey Mysterio and I’m surprised that that they didn’t bring him back since this is the perfect type of match for him.
Do we have to talk about the Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole nonsense? At least we found out who the Anonymous Raw General Manager finally was. Now if we could only find out who drove the Hummer. And who was behind GTV. And who was the power behind Nexus.
PTB: This was awful all around. Santino Marella searching for clues as to the identity of the Anonymous GM was amusing but that was a clear sign disappointment was on the horizon.
THE JASON: Despite the fact that the whole segment was incredibly goofy and hilariously self-referential, I was happy that they actually closed the loop on that. Was that so hard?
PTB: I was glad to see the GM revealed, but there’s no way thus was the plan from the outset and I don’t get why they don’t use this kind of stuff to elevate guys who need a gimmick.
THE JASON: Who else could they have put there. They were playing it for comedy, so I don’t think you could put someone serious in the role.
PTB: It was played for laughs last week, but there was a point where the Anonymous Raw GM was clearly not meant to be a joke.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K91N6UBiIg]
PTB: RAW 1000 is shaping up to be a fun show, but what is the Charlie Sheen deal?
THE JASON: It sounds like Charlie Sheen has sworn off twitter, so I think it is a deal that will be getting dropped much The Hummer and GTV. Swagger and his 1980’s American Psycho haircut got destroyed in about 40 seconds by Sheamus. I still find Sheamus’s chest beating and chanting BROGUE before he kicks someone to be indescribably dumb, but the crowd is catching on.
PTB: It’s an odd thing to chant, but the crowd seemed to love seeing Sheamus annihilate Swagger. He’s really gotten buried in the last month.
THE JASON: After we got Sin Cara beating Slater for the last spot in MitB, Slater got on the mic to complain and we were treated to last week’s legend… MR. BOB BACKLUND! I wanted someone on commentary to say “Mr. Backlund, PROCURE THE CHICKEN WING!!!!” And Slater got chickenwinged in a few moments. Backlund looked good for a dude that has to be 60.
Our friend Homer loves Backlund, but he hated the show so much that even he forgot that his “childhood idol” made an appearance.
PTB: That was the perfect amount of Backlund. Tonight I predict the “One Man Southern Rock Band” meets the One Man Gang.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfZzQk3exUU]
PTB: I thought the inclusion of three tag teams in matches last night could be the sign of something good coming for the division. The Prime Time Players suffered a loss to Epico and Primo and the titles stayed put on R-Truth and Kofi Kingston, but we essentially had four “new”ish teams on a pay-per-view if you include Curt Hawkins and Tyler Recks taking on Ryback.
THE JASON: I wouldn’t exactly call Ryback’s match a tag match. Unless he is a one-man tag team. He can add that to his gimmick. RYBACK: THE ONE MAN TAG TEAM. That’s so ridiculous it could work. It’s like the converse version of The Lone Rangers from Airheads. “How can you guys be Lone when there are three of you?” Well, how can you be a tag team if there is only one of you? Would you ask Ryback that question?
Complete WWE Money in the Bank 2012 results are listed below. Photos courtesy of WWE.com.
- Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeated Hunico and Camacho
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Damien Sandow, Tyson Kidd, Christian, Santino Marella, Tensai, Cody Rhodes and Sin Cara in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract
- Sheamus defeated Alberto Del Rio to retain World Heavyweight Championship
- Primo and Epico defeated the Prime Time Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young)
- CM Punk defeated Daniel Bryan in a No Disqualification Match with AJ as special guest referee to retain the WWE Championship=Ryback defeated Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks in a Handicap match
- Layla, Kaitlyn, and Tamina Snuka defeated Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and Eve Torres
- John Cena defeated Kane, Chris Jericho, Big Show and The Miz in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship Contract
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