July 2, 2012
Raw: AJ trumps four top superstars deep in the heart of Texas
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
Everything is bigger in Texas, and we've got a big main event tonight in Laredo pitting CM Punk and John Cena against Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan. Plus there's sure to be more developments with the Money in the Bank pay-per-view as Raw goes live on USA.
Teddy Long is the interim General Manager for this week, and he's already put together a pretty sweet main event. That will be a few hours from now, but we'll hear from Cena now. Specifically, he vows to be ready for anything when he competes in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for the first time. Cena also promises to win the contract and cash it in successfully. For an opposing view, Bryan comes to the ring with about a dozen “Yes!” chants. Wouldn't you know it, he, too, believes something, which is that he'll be the champion after dethroning Punk at the pay-per-view. The WWE Champion makes his way out and turns Bryan's catchphrase around on him. That makes Daniel angry. He asks for someone to have an original thought instead of stealing his stuff. Jericho quickly adds in his two cents, complaining that people have been stealing his stuff for years. Chris takes on a quick tour through some of his oldies but goodies before boasting about how he invented the Money in the Bank concept. What's that? You want Kane involved in this segment too? Sigh, fine. We'll even throw Big Show in at no extra charge. As the giant threatens to turn the ring into an extremely crowded place, hostilities beak out. Show quickly ends up as the only man standing, staring at the bodies of the other wrestlers before silently stomping his way back up the ramp.
Funny, I don't remember the position of Social Media Ambassador getting posted on Monster.com. I wonder if this Charlie Sheen fellow who got the job was properly vetted.
Match 1 – Cody Rhodes, David Otunga and the Prime Time Players vs. Santino Marella, Christian, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston
This one doesn't take long to become a four-on-four stalemate on the outside. Sounds like the perfect time for a commercial break, and it is. Titus O'Neil and Kingston are both down when we return, but Santino tags in to get some momentum going for the faces. AW decides to pull his boys out of the match, and Rhodes also decides to take a powder. Otunga considers running as well, but Brodus Clay appears to make sure he stays in the ring. A Cobra strike from Santino ends the official match, but Otunga still has to suffer through Christian and Clay's finishers. Then it's dancing time. Sure, why not? Kids too!
Alberto Del Rio does his usual kiss up thing, trying to get Long to name him the number one contender to Sheamus' World Heavyweight Title. The Board of Directors has granted his wish, and he'll face Sheamus in two weeks for the strap. Long has a surprise for him tonight, though.
Now this is a fun Monday night memory: Shane McMahon putting Vince through his training paces to get ready for his match with Stone Cold Steve Austin. Chasing chickens... that's a good training drill. They're hard to catch.
Match 2 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara
I'm having one of the SLAM! Wrestling interns check into whether these guys ever faced off in Mexico. They may not officially compete in the U.S., either, because Del Rio assaults Sin Cara before the bell even rings and clamps the cross armbreaker on him out on the floor. The masked man gets medical assistance as ADR grins.
In the back, Bryan has a rose in hand as he tells AJ that... he's sorry? But maybe AJ is crazy like a fox instead of simply crazy. She sees through Bryan's ploy, saying the only reason he's doing it is because she is the special guest referee for his upcoming title shot. Ouch. #denied
We flash back to two weeks ago, when Triple H proposed a match with Brock Lesnar for SummerSlam. And Paul Heyman, on behalf of Lesnar, he kind of said no. Trips laid him out, and we've been waiting ever since for a response. Heyman appears live via satellite to announce that Brock will give his answer live in three weeks.
Match 3 – Vickie Guerrero and Dolph Ziggler vs. AJ and Sheamus
So, yeah, hopefully the men are going to work the majority of this bout. Ziggler holds his own until running into a vicious forearm shot in the corner. Sheamus hits the White Noise, but Ziggler tags out before the Brogue Kick can find him. It's a mixed tag, so AJ has to enter. She hits a shining wizard (!) on Vickie to win it, then celebrates with her own version of Bryan's “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant.
AJ finds Punk in the back, on the phone with his sister. That means he missed her match. Remember folks, crazy chicks don't like to be ignored. Wonder how she's going to take this... #notwell
The fans think Heath Slater and his streak of repeated embarrassments is funny. He says he's not a clown. But this guy is: Doink the Clown.
Match 4 – Heath Slater vs. Doink the Clown
Stop the presses: Slater wins one! He puts Doink away pretty quickly, but he's joined in the ring after the bell by Diamond Dallas Page. DDP shakes his hand, then hits him with the Diamond Cutter.
Holy crap. For some reason, they've decided to release “No Holds Barred” for the first time ever on DVD. Somehow it looks cheesier than I remembered. How is that even possible?
A video package shows Cena and Alicia Fox visiting soldiers at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Good stuff.
Match 5 – Kane vs. Big Show – No Disqualification Match
The two big men surprise everyone by going for a series of high risk, lucha libre-inspired spots. Just kidding. It's a pretty straightforward brawl, with a chair getting thrown into the mix as well. After some time out on the floor, Show hits Kane with a chair-aided spear. A choke slam onto the chair follows, and even Kane isn't kicking out from that.
Long tells Eve to save the drama and makes her wear a name tag so that people remember who she is. Eve happens upon a crying AJ and tells her to leave the mind games to grown-ups. But it's not that simple, because AJ calls her out for brown nosing the people in charge. AJ tells Eve that she'll show everyone how to get some attention.
Another truly great Monday night memory with DX invading WCW. Or at least invading the area outside an arena holding a WCW show. Those were indeed the good old days.
Match 6 – Tyson Kidd vs. Tensai
Kidd wins! No, really, like in a matter of seconds with a roll-up. Tensai again takes his frustration out on his assistant, Sakomoto. I'd ask what the point of all this was, but that would also be pointless.
Bryan criticizes Jericho for his ring walk jacket, but Y2J doesn't like his gear either. Hilarity ensues as it turns into “Yes!” versus “Again!” In the other locker room, Punk asks Cena to follow his lead. Somehow I don't think that's going to happen.
Josh Mathews interviews Kidd, but just as he's getting to the part where he tells us how great he feels, Tensai stops by to make him feel a little less great. In fact, painfully so.
Main Event – Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk and John Cena
You could do a lot worse than this for a Raw main event. Punk and Cena work well together in the opening minutes, taking it to Bryan. Jericho tags in but soon finds himself out on the floor, conveniently allowing us to duck out for one last commercial break. Cena apparently got distracted by the ads, because he's in trouble when the show resumes. Punk gets tagged in to execute a bunch of moves on Bryan. Jericho has to save his partner from the Anaconda Vice right before Cena battles him to the back. Punk and Bryan go back and forth with near falls. They work their way up top for Punk to hit a superplex, but it still only gets a two count. AJ chooses that moment to skip down to ringside. She hops up on the apron with an unhappy look on her face. No attention for her. AJ drags a table out and sets it up on the floor. Both wrestlers try to stop her from jumping. She kisses Punk, then pushes him to that both he and Bryan fall back through the table. AJ treats herself to more “Yes!” chants as Raw comes to its conclusion. See you in seven!