August 13, 2012
Raw: Lesnar does indeed see Michaels first in Dallas
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling

WWE is headed to Los Angeles for its second biggest show of the year. That's on Sunday, though. For now, there's one more episode to get through, and it's taking place in the American Airlines Center in the Big D, Dallas, Texas. Raw is live for the next three hours on USA.

Match 1 – CM Punk vs. Big Show

It's a partial preview of the SummerSlam main event, where Punk will defend his WWE Championship against Show and John Cena. The giant applies his strength early, rhetorically asking the fans who is going to stop him. Show spears Punk, leaving both men down. For some reason, Daniel Bryan decides to head down to the announce table. Ah, that's right, he wants to be in the title match on Sunday too. While he airs his grievances to Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler, Punk is busy rallying with a flying clothesline. Bryan heads in and decks the champ, forcing referee Charles Robinson to call for the bell. Bryan applies the No Lock to Punk, Cena hits the ring, and chaos reigns. With Punk staring Cena down, General Manager AJ Lee skips her way to the ring. Despite Punk's protests, AJ says Bryan and Show will team together later to take on Cena and the WWE Champion.

JTG complains that even with Raw at three hours, he can't get a match. Hey man, I forgot you were even still employed, so be thankful for that! Unfortunately, he uses the word crazy to describe his plight, and AJ overhears him. She gives him what he wants, telling him to head to the ring. But I have a feeling he's not going to like what he faces when he gets there.

Match 2 – JTG vs. Ryback

I've made an executive decision that I dislike Ryback's gimmick so much that I'm not going to describe any of his matches, just type out the results. Ryback uses his marching Samoan drop to get the win.

Rowdy Roddy Piper is trying to ask Shawn Michaels something, but the Heartbreak Kid is a little distracted. Shawn takes a phone call, and it sounds like it's from Triple H. Is he worried about the threat that Brock Lesnar made to him last week. Sounds like he might be.

Match 3 – Heath Slater vs. R-Truth

Slater claims that everything is going to turn around for him tonight, but he must not mean that the way I understand it, as he is quickly pinned. The Prime Time Players hit the ring after the bell, and with Kofi Kingston in Asia, there's no one to save Truth from a beatdown. No, Little Jimmy doesn't make the save.

Mark Henry shows us his Tout from the Olympics in London. Wait, that didn't sound good. Cole thanks NBC for its compelling coverage. He must be a big fan of tape delay. Speaking of pre-recorded footage, next up is a video package detailing the issues in the Sheamus-Alberto Del Rio feud (#goodsegue) Also, in a WWE.com exclusive(!), Booker T cancels Del Rio's match at SummerSlam. Del Rio responds through Tout, of course, saying he has a contract, and this Friday, he and Booker are going to have... wait for it... a conversation!

Match 4 – Sin Cara vs. Tensai

Hey, remember when Tensai was beating everyone? Looks like that torch has officially been passed to Ryback, as Sin Cara keeps him off balance almost from the opening bell and manages to pin him after just a few minutes. Sakamoto feels Tensai's frustration once again.

Michaels has one of the backstage employees look out for Lesnar. I think he needs a tracker like the scene from Aliens. Brock is 25 meters out... 15 meters... no, he's in the ceiling!

The WWE Universe has spoken, albeit electronically, and Chris Jericho is the guest on Piper's Pit. Both of them recall someone punching the other guy out last time they saw each other. Jericho thanks the fans for getting him on the segment. Piper talks about the thing they have in common, which is fans cheering them because they became the underdogs. Vickie Guerrero interrupts, noisily introducing her man Dolph Ziggler. The Show Off wants to know how long Piper has been doing this same tired routine. He then turns his attention to Jericho, saying Chris is headed for the same fate as Piper. With Roddy hilariously saying, “Save it for Sunday,” the two grapplers trade more barbs until The Miz decides to come down the ramp to get involved. And wouldn't you know, the ensuing fracas turns into our next match.

Match 5 – Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz

No joke, my coverage of this show was just interrupted by a bat flying into my living room. So I missed the first few minutes of this one as my wife and I were busy trying to figure out how to get it to leave. I'm man enough to say I shrieked like a little girl when it surprised me, and my wife did the work to get rid of it. But I was “working” on this, right? Anyway, every man has a chance to get a pinfall, and a Codebreaker on Ziggler looks like the best one. But Vickie breaks up the pin, and Miz tries to take advantage by covering Jericho, though he only gets two. The Walls of Jericho get Miz to tap, but the ref is distracted by Guerrero again. Ziggler clears out the cobwebs and hits Jericho with the Zig Zag to get the pin and the upper hand heading into SummerSlam.

Eve Torres congratulates Punk as he stretches, apparently for his new outlook. Punk claims he is the same guy he's always been, and when Eve suggests Cena doesn't believe that, the champ heads off to give John a piece of his mind.

Cena sneaks up on Michaels, who is more than a little bit jumpy and tells John he's distracted. Turning around, Cena finds Punk and wants to know if he's going to get stabbed in the back again. Punk insists he's not “that guy” and that he's being honest when he says he doesn't like the Triple Threat Match. He also says come hell or high water he's going to make sure it's all about him and keeping the title. You've got to hand it to him – at least we know where he stands.

Match 6 – Layla and Kaitlyn vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres

This is probably poor since I write about the WWE regularly, but I totally forgot who Kaitlyn was. Maybe I should watch SmackDown every once in a while. All four women get to take part in this one, and giving credit where it's due, they all give a solid effort. Kaitlyn gets a bit of an upset victory when she rolls up Phoenix to get the three count.

Because it hasn't been getting much coverage on previous episodes of the show, we get a video recap of the Triple H-Brock Lesnar saga. Oh, and it includes the reason Michaels is nervous. We're supposed to see the contract signing later tonight.

Match 7 – Big Show and Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk and John Cena

Cena starts out against Bryan, but Punk quickly tags himself in. Cena returns a short time later, and while Punk tries to tag himself back in, Show gets in on the action. Alas, we must step out for some commercials. A few minutes later, Show is still pretty much in charge, and Punk is getting worn down. The WWE Champion finally rights the ship, but he doesn't look too interested in making the hot tag. Punk tries to give Bryan the Five Knuckle Shuffle only to watch Cena tag himself in and run through some of Punk's signature moves. As Punk teases walking out on the match, Bryan tries to sneak in and get a roll-up pin, but Cena escapes and strikes with an Attitude Adjustment. After the bell, Show tries to sneak in and beat on Cena while he's celebrating on the top turnbuckle. Punk takes out the big man with a shot from his title belt, and after a tense staredown, offers his hand to Cena. When Cena doesn't shake, Punk storms off angrily.

Josh Mathews tries to get an explanation from Punk backstage, and he obliges by criticizing Cena's attempt to go into business for himself and the continued disrespect shown by the handshake refusal. Punk vows to teach everyone to respect him on Sunday.

Match 8 – Damien Sandow vs. Christian

Christian starts out strong, hitting a number of moves until Sandow introduces his head to the steel steps on the outside. Brodus Clay dance-limps his way down the ramp, allowing Christian to get a two count. Sandow kicks out and uses the Illumination to finish off Christian.

Look out behind you Shawn: He turns around suddenly and finds Lesnar standing there menacingly. No blows are exchanged, just a smirk from Brock.

Lesnar and his BFF Paul Heyman hit the ring. Heyman says he and his client actually believe Triple H's story about getting delayed on his flight to Dallas, because he needs this fight with Lesnar too badly. Paul goes on to say that The Game's dignity and standing within his own family are on the line on Sunday. If anyone is looking for a good wrestling match where the better man wins, Heyman suggests that isn't what they will see at the PPV. Instead, they will see an uncomfortable beating administered by Lesnar. The talk turns to Michaels, offering him a chance to tell Brock to his face that he believes Triple H is going to win. Heyman says everyone from Texas has a yellow streak, and that finally gets HBK to take the bait and emerge from the back. Triple H follows a minute later, staring holes in Lesnar. Both men sign the contract, and to the disappointment of the fans, no punches are thrown.

Time for some Touts! Random members of the WWE Universe weigh in on whether Booker should have stripped Del Rio of his match. It's thrilling. Or something. In the back, Michaels and Triple H chat about the Lesnar match. It doesn't sound like Shawn thinks his buddy is going to win. A minute later, it appears Michaels and Heyman have gotten into a fender bender, and Lesnar hauls HBK out of his car. A beating follows, but unless you have Daredevil's radar sense, you're not going to know exactly what went down, as we get no picture, only sound.

After a commercial break, Triple H shows up looking for answers, but all he gets is AJ telling him that Lesnar dragged Michaels away. As it turns out, Brock has decided to bring HBK to the ring (#convenient). Shawn hams it up, selling the damage from the previous assault as only he can. Lesnar strikes with an F-5 before locking on a kimura. Triple H rushes out, but Heyman says if he hits the ring, Brock will break Shawn's arm. It looks like Lesnar does it anyway, and he escapes before The Game can get his hands on him. HBK writhes and HHH seethes as Raw closes out its pre-SummerSlam run. See you in seven!


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