July 9, 2012
Raw: The love triangle continues but the anonymous GM is revealed in Denver
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
You must remember this: A kiss is still a kiss, unless the kiss in question comes from AJ. The unstable Diva holds the fates of WWE Champion CM Punk and arch-rival Daniel Bryan in her hands. But who gets her heart? We may find out tonight – but probably not – as Raw hits the Pepsi Center in Denver.
The kissing bandit herself, AJ, comes to the ring to start the show. He says the thought of refereeing this Sunday's title match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan is overwhelming and vary emotional. She asks everyone to help her welcome Punk, and the champ makes his way out. He wants to know what this is all about, and AJ responds that not only does she not need professional help, she is in full control of her faculties at all times. Uh-huh. Sure. AJ claims no one has ever cared about here or showed compassion or concern like Punk did. More mushy stuff follows. AJ says she knows what she has to do, so she gets down on one knee and... proposes. Yes, you read that right. Bryan comes sprinting from the back shouting a decidedly opposite version of his usual catchphrase. He tells AJ she's making a huge mistake, and that everyone knows Punk doesn't love her. The two arch-enemies get into a spat about how Punk really feels about AJ, with Bryan goading him into accepting her offer of marriage. Bryan uses the champ's silence as proof that he's correct. He asks AJ to marry him instead, but Punk cuts him off saying he should have a ring if he has planned to propose. Just when things can't get any weirder, it appears this week's interim GM is the old anonymous GM. Through Michael Cole, the computer books Punk and AJ to go up against Eve and Bryan. Danny boy protests, but the anonymous GM suggests that maybe a victory over CM will help AJ see him in a different light. AJ believes everyone needs some time to think, and that everything happens for a reason. She has a feeling that she's going to walk out of the arena with her future husband.
Match 1 – Sheamus vs. Jack Swagger
Swagger gets nailed with White Noise in about 30 seconds. The Brogue Kick officially turns this into a squash. Alberto Del Rio offers some mock applause from just outside the door of his Ferrari backstage. He makes his threat, and Sheamus answers by giving poor Swagger another Brogue Kick.
Santino Marella tells Zack Ryder that he's making it his mission to deduce the identity of the anonymous GM, who supposedly is somewhere in the building. He dons a Sherlock Holmes outfit to get the sleuthing started.
Match 2 – Christian and Tyson Kidd vs. Dolph Ziggler and Tensai
Eh, why not? Vickie Guerrero is with the announcers, confident that she will be named the permanent GM. For the sake of our eardrums, I hope not. Ziggler distracts the ref so Tensai can finish off Christian with his running senton splash. Kidd gets a post-match beating from Tensai too.
Cole and Jerry Lawler argue about who would make a great permanent GM, which leads to Cole “accidentally” spilling his drink on the King. The anonymous GM beeps in, but Cole refuses to read the message. Lawler is happy to fill in, and even happier when he sees what's on the screen: the anonymous GM says Cole and Lawler will wrestle tonight. When Cole protests, the computer decides to let the WWE Universe decide by voting on WWE.com. Mmm... that's tasty synergy!
Match 3 – Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre
Another squash, as Clay disposes of McIntyre quickly. Got to have more time for kids to get in the ring and dance, right?
Santino accuses Chris Jericho of being the anonymous GM, but he turns it around on the wanna-be detective. Big Show doesn't want to talk about the JeriShow era... at all. He tells Jericho to stay out of his way, and in return, he won't knock Chris out. Sounds fair.
Stephanie McMahon has some interesting Monday night memories alright. Her pregnancy and marriage were both angles at one point. Meanwhile, John Cena makes his way out to get some mic time before his match. He waxes philosophical about the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, vowing that he'll stop the Big Show and win the briefcase.
Match 4 – John Cena and Kane vs. Chris Jericho and The Big Show
Pleasantly, there is no early commercial break in this one, and all four men get some time in the ring in the opening minutes. The heels slowly start to take command, and now we finally step out for some ads. We return to find Cena bravely battling against Show, but the giant ends up picking him up for a big bear hug. Kane eventually manages to tag in, though the Big Red Machine fares no better at first. Show gets in a cheap shot from the floor, and WWE makes up for lost time with another set of commercials. Would be better to be there live tonight, for sure. Cena receives the hot tag and drops the Five Knuckle Shuffle on Jericho. An Attitude Adjustment has things looking up for the faces, but Show drags Cena off of his pin and out to the floor. The bell rings to end the match, but the carnage is just beginning. Show gets a ladder and gives Kane and Jericho a close-up look at it. He sandwiches Jericho in the ladder until Cena arrives with a second ladder and knocks the big man further than Robinson Cano hit anything in the Home Run Derby. #toosoon?
For some reason, Eve decides to give Punk some advice on how to handle AJ. She hits a bit below the belt by suggesting that even though he's the champ, he's been overshadowed by the likes of The Rock, Cena, Triple H and Brock Lesnar. Oooh, burn! Elsewhere, Santino wants to know if the Great Khali is the anonymous GM. Uh, no.
Match 5 – Sin Cara vs. Heat Slater – Money in the Bank Qualifying Match
Uh, yes, this is another short one. Sin Cara wins, meaning he'll probably get to do some crazy spots on Sunday. But the real question is whether the Money in the Bank Match will get Sin Cara's cool mood lighting. Slater grabs the mic to say he'll prove he's a future champion by beating any former champion that wants to come out. His challenge is answered by Bob Backlund. This isn't an official match, which is unfortunate for Slater, because there's no ref to get Backlund to release the crossface chicken wing.
Cole stands up to say that the results of the online poll will now be shown. He's glum when he sees that 75 percent of the voters want the match.
Match 6 – Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Michael Cole
Josh Mathews and Booker T come out to call the match, and Booker ensures Cole doesn't head for the hills. King wins quickly with an airplane spin, but the anonymous GM decides to give the win to Cole because of the “interference” by Booker. That decision beings detective Santino out to announce his big revelation: the GM must be under the ring. Methinks the computer doth protest too much! Santino is about to get dragged under the ring, but he's saved by Lawler. Yep, it was Hornswoggle under there. The wee man kicks Lawler and Cole, bites Santino on the behind and manages to escape unharmed. Booker: “Tell me I did not just see that!”
Main Event – Eve and Daniel Bryan vs. AJ and CM Punk
Both the men and the ladies get into the action before long. Eve uses kicks and a spear to beat up on AJ before tossing her down. The crazy chick rallies with a low dropkick and some moves in the corner to earn a near fall. Bryan refuses the tag from Eve, drawing boos from the crowd. AJ rolls up Eve to get the pinfall, but Bryan chooses to ruin the moment by saying he proved that she means more to him than any match. Let's go get married – cue Jagged Edge! Punk questions Bryan's motives, then says he doesn't care if what he's about to say costs him the match on Sunday and his belt. Punk says he's not going to marry her, but at least he cares enough about her to tell her the truth. She slaps him in the face while Bryan laughs. He can't get cocky, because she slaps him too. AJ ends the night as the crowd favorite once again as Raw fades out. See you in 14!
Nick Tylwalk had warm, fuzzy feelings thinking about the WWF programming of his youth during all the squash matches tonight. Discuss whether the good old days really were all that good by connecting with Nick on Twitter, on Google+ or by email.