Monday Night Raw
Date: August 20, 2012
Location: Save Mart Center, Fresno, California
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
It’s the night after Summerslam and nothing of note has changed. Punk is still champion, Lesnar beat up HHH as we expected him to, and there isn’t much else to talk about. Things will start to die down now as they always do in the fall but hopefully things aren’t all that bad. Let’s get to it.
Here are Heyman and Lesnar to open the show. Heyman brags for Lesnar about making HHH tap last night. Apparently that means that HHH quit on all of the fans because he couldn’t survive Lesnar. It’s HHH’s fault though because he told the referee to not stop the match no matter what happened and that’s what happened. Heyman asks the referee to come down here to be addressed by Brock.
Lesnar gets in the referee’s face and pulls Armstrong to himself, before saying good job. Heyman says Lesnar is the new king of kings. He’s the master of the Brocktogon and the conqueror of the WWE Universe.
Sin Cara/Kofi Kingston/R-Truth vs. Prime Time Players/Cody Rhodes
Kofi and Young start us off with Darren being in trouble early. The champs’ team clears the ring and we take a break. Back with Truth coming in to punch Young a bit more. Ax kick hits and Khloe Kardashian is the social media ambassador tonight. Good grief. Off to Cody who comes in with a release gordbuster on Truth to take over. Titus comes in with the neck crank on Truth as things slow down.
O’Neal barks which is called the Q Bark now apparently. He suplexes Young onto Truth for two which is a takeoff on the Hart Foundation’s slam version back in the day. Off to a bodyscissors from Young followed by a chinlock from Titus. Kofi seems to have disappeared. Cara snaps off some ranas to clear the ring and Kofi dives on the Players. I guess he didn’t disappear. Back in the ring Cody goes for the mask but gets rolled up by Cara for the pin at 10:10.
Rating: C-. This was a bit slow but I have no problem with combining a few feuds. That being said, why are the Players facing Kingston and Truth still? They lost twice already, clean both times I believe. Anyway, Cara continues to look good as they keep him in short bursts. A feud for the mask is fine but wasn’t that what his first feud was for? Anyway this was decent.
AJ is in the back when Otunga returns. He offers his services and she gets mad for some reason, giving him a match against a mystery opponent. Otunga leaves and AJ responds to a Tout from Punk earlier, where he said he wanted to name his own number one contender. That’s cool with AJ, but she has final say over it.
Ryback vs. Mike Spitter/Andy Takarez
One step forward, two steps back for Ryback. Ryback hits three powerbombs on let’s say Andy. He shouts for Jinder and loads up the double Shell Shocked when Mahal comes in for the DQ at 1:29.
Ryback puts on the Clutch but gets destroyed anyway. The jobbers get beaten up too.
Dolph comes up to Jericho in the back and Jericho lists off his names. AJ comes in and makes a rematch between the two, with the obvious stipulation of Case vs. job.
Here’s Del Rio to say exactly what you would expect him to say. We get stills of him having the foot on the ropes, he wants a rematch, we’re all going to be bored. Cue AJ who says that’s not her territory but Del Rio can have a match here instead.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio
Before the bell and after a break, here’s Sheamus to join the fun. Orton dropkicks Alberto down for two almost immediately and hooks a chinlock. A slingshot suplex puts Del Rio down and there’s the Circle Stomp and kneedrop for two. Del Rio comes back with a knee and a chinlock for the sake of calling some spots. He mocks Orton’s mat smacking and goes up for some reason, only to get superplexed down for two. They slug it out from their knees with the Viper taking over.
After the clotheslines from Orton he loads up the Elevated DDT, only for Del Rio to escape and hit an enziguri. A charge from Del Rio is caught and Orton hooks his backbreaker. After a pair of kicks to the arm it’s apparently time for the armbreaker (he should just call it Destiny) but Orton counters into a neckbreaker for two. The Elevated DDT out of the corner gets no cover as Orton loads up the RKO. Ricardo comes in but Sheamus and a glare from Orton stops him. Del Rio hits a Backstabber for two as Sheamus points out the feet being on the rope to the referee. The distraction lets Orton hit the RKO for the pin at 8:30.
Rating: C. This wasn’t bad and hopefully it sets up a triple threat instead of another one on one match. Orton is in the kind of position where he can be thrown into a match like that and lose without it hurting him at all. He can add a lot to the match though, especially some fresh blood to a boring feud between Sheamus and Del Rio. Decent enough match here.
Punk says there was no controversy to his win last night. He still wants respect.
We get a Tout from Antonio Cesaro and Aksana in the ring after winning the title last night.
Here’s the video on the stuff WWE did in LA this past week.
Damien Sandow vs. Brodus Clay
The intellectual says he’s going to send the Funkasaurus back into extinction. That’s quite the mind. Sandow sends him into the corner but the power game takes over for Brodus. He backdrops Damien and dances a bit. Sandow gets slammed down again and an elbow keeps him down. Daniem tries to go after the knee of Brodus which has been bad for weeks now. That gets him nowhere other than put in the corner where Brodus does Big Show’s gyrating hip attack. A running headbutt to the chest puts Sandow down again but a splash misses in the corner and Sandow rolls him up with tights for the pin at 2:40.
We go to Shawn Michaels in San Antonio. He says he was watching last night and talks about how it may have been the end for HHH. Shawn says you can prepare yourself for the end of your career but when it hits, you can’t be ready for it. HHH left it all in the ring last night and couldn’t get it done, so maybe his career is over. Shawn says that he was another distraction to HHH and if he had been in HHH’s corner, maybe he would have won. HHH is one of the best ever and Shawn we all love him.
David Otunga vs. Big Show
Total dominance by Show who is wrestling more like a face here. He fires off some knees to the head of Otunga and hits the Eye of the Hurricane (I think Show called it the Final Cut back in the day but I’m not sure) before finishing with the WMD at 2:07.
Earlier today Show ranted about the match last night.
Kane/Zach Ryder vs. The Miz/Daniel Bryan
The idea is that the partners have had issues in the past. That’s an understatement. They do acknowledge the issues Kane and Ryder have had which is a big help. Ryder gets in the ring very slowly and doesn’t look happy at all. Bryan starts with Kane but Bryan tags out less than two seconds in. We get a DANIEL BRYAN chant as it’s off to Ryder. There were two tags within the first fifteen seconds.
A middle rope dropkick sends Miz into the corner but Miz kicks Ryder in the face to escape. Bryan comes in and the place ERUPTS. He stomps on Ryder while taunting him about making a tag. Back to Miz who pulls on Ryder’s face and hits a neckbreaker for two. Back to Bryan who fires off some kicks in the corner. Bryan accidentally runs into Miz, allowing Kane to get the tag.
Miz won’t tag in now so it’s Bryan vs. Kane. Daniel’s solution? Slap the monster. Bryan runs into the crowd and Miz leaves too. Kane chokeslams Ryder for old times’ sake and beats up the steps and table. The timekeeper gets thrown around and Ryder gets a tombstone. Does Vince have some kind of fetish for seeing Kane beat him up? We’ll say the match ended at 6:00.
Rating: D+. Not much here but unfortunately it doesn’t set up Miz vs. Ryder for the IC Title which would have been a good short feud for both guys. Kane and Bryan both having anger management issues could be interesting, although I hope it doesn’t wind up being about Charlie Sheen as the dynamic there would be weird.
Cena won’t say Punk is best in the world.
Punk says that he picks John Cena for his #1 contender if Cena will accept a condition. It’s not particularly stated but the condition seems to be that Cena has to respect him.
Divas Battle Royal
This is for the #1 contendership. I think there are seven in this and I’m not going to bother listing them. Aksana and Rosa go out at the same time and we have Eve, Tamina, Alicia, Natalya and Kaitlyn in there still. I didn’t see Beth or Kelly in at all. Kaitlyn is sent to the apron but Tamina drags her back in for no apparent reason.
Eve is down in the corner and talking to a referee about something. Tamina and Natalya double team various people but they don’t eliminate anyone. Alicia dropkicks them to the apron but both get back in. Natalya gets sent to the floor by missing a charge, Tamina superkicks Alicia out and Kaitlyn throws out Tamina. Eve gets up but can’t get Kaitlyn out so Kaitlyn clotheslines her out to win at 4:10.
Rating: D. It was longer than it needed to be, it was boring, and the two most famous Divas weren’t in it. I guess this sets up the match at Night of Champions which is as good a way as anything else to get us to that. Nothing to see here though as the Divas are just worthless other than looking good.
After a recap of the opening segment, we see a Tout from Lesnar saying he’s done with WWE because he’s accomplished everything he wanted to here. Winning one match was his whole list?
Wade Barrett is still coming back.
Daniel Bryan has to go to anger management classes, which gives us a way to talk about the WWE App for Android.
Vickie yells at Dolph about AJ. Dolph says this is about him tonight and not Vickie. Vickie freaks out again and Dolph says he’ll win. He leaves her in the locker room.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho
Contract vs. MITB Case here. Jericho gets a quick rollup to start and Dolph bails to the floor. Back in and Jericho grabs another rollup for the same result. A missile dropkick puts Ziggler down and Jericho backdrops him out to the floor. The springboard dropkick puts Dolph out there again and we take a break. Back with Ziggler holding a chinlock and doing the handstand. Jericho finally escapes and takes Ziggler down with a shoulder.
A top rope double ax gets two as does what was supposed to be a rana but Jericho’s legs wound up under Ziggler’s legs. That could work as another move in its own right. Ziggler grabs a jumping DDT to put Jericho down and the match slows a bit. Fameasser misses and but Jericho can’t hook the Walls. Small package gets two for Ziggler but the Zig Zag is countered. The Lionsault hits knees and the Zig Zag gets rid of Jericho at 10:30.
Rating: C+. Another good match here from these two, although I’m not sure if last night’s result was the right call now. Wouldn’t it be better to have Jericho lose “the big one” last night and put up his job for a final chance to win? On the other hand, the win last night made Ziggler look like he was in a lot more jeopardy tonight so it’s hard to say. Actually the right call would have been to have these stips last night, but that’s too much foresight so we got this instead, which was still fine. The ending was never in doubt though as we knew Jericho was leaving.
Ziggler celebrates a lot post match but Jericho takes the case from Vickie. He hits Ziggler with it a few times and hits a Codebreaker for good measure. That’s a pretty heelish exit after he lost completely clean.
Here’s Punk to close the show. He goes to Lawler and wants an apology for Lawler saying that Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe. Before he can get that, here’s Cena. Punk is annoyed that Cena came out early because he’s stealing the spotlight again. He’s tired of taking a backseat to Cena and Rock and everyone else. Punk has done it out of respect but he’s never gotten any respect back.
He’s tired of walking through airports and having people saying “what’s up champ, why weren’t you in the main event?” Punk says that he respects Cena and allows him to go on last, drawing a CM Punk chant. Punk talks about beating Cena twice last year for the title and for beating him last night for the title again. Last year he had to hold the company up to get some respect. Cena is the #1 contender now because Punk has to beat him again to get respect.
Punk talks about looking into the crowd and seeing all of the green (Cena’s current colors in case it’s 2017 or something). He wants Cena to say he respects Punk because the people will follow whatever Cena says. The title shot is his if he’ll say Punk is the best in the world. That line gave me flashbacks to Jesus in the wilderness with Satan. Cena talks about how he believes in the people and how he has to believe in himself. Based on that, he can’t say it because he doesn’t believe it. He says he believed in everything he said leading up to the match with Rock and if he gets a rematch he’ll say it again.
Punk has held the title for nine months and all anyone remembers is him blowing a kiss to Vince (which was before this title reign but you get the point). Cena will not say Punk is the best in the world but he’s giving Punk another option: he’s offering Punk vindication. If Punk can beat Cena in Cena’s hometown, that will prove he’s the best in the world. If Punk won’t do it, Cena has no respect for him. With that, Cena leaves Punk in the middle of the ring alone.
Punk immediately turns to Lawler and says he wants an apology right now. He demands an apology because he never turned his back on the WWE Universe as Lawler said he did. Lawler gets in the ring and says it’s a misunderstanding but apologizes. He goes to leave but Punk stops him. If Cena won’t say Punk is the best in the world, the people will believe Lawler, as he’s the minister of propaganda for the WWE. Lawler thinks but he can’t say it. He goes to leave again and Punk kicks him in the head. Punk stares down as the show ends.
Overall Rating: B-. There was something very important tonight that has been missing from Raw lately: there was a clear direction. Tonight we had I believe three potential matches set up for Night of Champions. Everything on the show seemed to have a point and that kept things from dragging. This was a decent show and I liked it more than most of the recent episodes, which is a good sign as we’re in a new period of the year. Cena and Punk are channeling Savage vs. Hogan in 88/89 when the Mega Powers Exploded and that sounds awesome.
Kofi Kingston/R-Truth/Sin Cara b. Prime Time Players/Cody Rhodes – Rollup to Rhodes
Ryback b. Mike Spitter/Andy Takarez via DQ when Jinder Mahal interfered
Randy Orton b. Alberto Del Rio – RKO
Damien Sandow b. Brodus Clay – Rollup with a handful of tights
Big Show b. David Otunga – WMD
Kaitlyn won a battle royal last eliminating Eve
Dolph Ziggler b. Chris Jericho – Zig Zag
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