Off the Top Rope: WWE RAW Results 7/30/12

With the 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw in the rear-view mirror, it is time for the WWE Universe to see what is coming around the bend. After the shocks and surprises that happened last week, what could the WWE possibly have in store for us now? Let’s find out!

AN UNAPPRECIATED CM PUNK ADDRESSES THE UNIVERSE THAT HE “BETRAYED”

WWE Champion CM Punk kicked things off Monday night, being bombarded by more jeers than he has received in over a year. The “Best in the World” seemed unfazed by the crowd, however, as his attention was solely on Jerry “The King” Lawler. Punk declares that he was disgusted by Lawler’s insinuation that he had turned his back on the WWE Universe. As he proceeded to sit Indian-style on the announcer table, Punk insisted that his attack on The Rock last week was due to a lack of respect on the part of “The People’s Champ”. The Rock treated Punk like a second class citizen, which is something that is considered to be disrespectful in Punk’s eyes considering that he is the WWE Champion. He went on to say that he is tired of not getting the proper respect that should come with being the champion.

Realistically, I think that WWE creative is trying to make Punk a heel once again, and it hasn’t quite worked in their favor. True, Punk did get more negative crowd feedback than he normally has received in recent memory, but true wrestling fans can’t help but continue to support the champion and his actions last week. CM Punk is the best wrestler in the world, and that alone deserves respect from everybody in the WWE Universe. But I digress…

Like clockwork, the interruption train came roaring down the tracks. First we get Big Show proclaiming that the only reason the Punk is still the WWE champion is because of his interruption during Punk’s title match against John Cena. Show then declares that come Summerslam, he will become the new champion. Then Cena comes running down the ramp to attack Show as Punk nonchalantly looks on. The scuffle is broken up by yet another interruption, this time from new RAW General Manager AJ Lee. As her first act as GM, AJ announces that the main event will be Big Show vs. John Cena to determine just who will be the one to face Punk for the belt at Summerslam.

A promo of last weeks confrontation involving Triple H and Brock Lesnar is shown. I’d be fine with this if it weren’t for the fact that this promo was played at least three times throughout the night. I haven’t been completely on board for the new three-hour RAW show, and this just further makes me object to the change. If the WWE is going to have a three-hour long show, then showcase more of the talent you have, and don’t flood the broadcast with promos. I can see that getting old really fast.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan stands outside of AJ’s office, reluctant to enter. More on that later.

SANTINO MARELLA VS. ALBERTO DEL RIO

Despite his best efforts, the United States champion simply couldn’t stop the dominant Del Rio. After slamming Marella’s shoulder into the ring post, Del Rio locked in his arm breaker and got the win. After the one-sided match, Del Rio states that matches such as these are beneath him, and he will no longer be competing in matches until he faces Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Champion at Summerslam. I know that I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but can somebody please take the U.S title from Santino Marella? It’s getting embarrassing at this point. WINNER: ALBERTO DEL RIO

DAMIEN SANDOW ISN’T A FAN OF DANCE COMPETITIONS

As Brodus Clay did his usual dance routine with his Funk-a-Dactyls, Vickie Guerrero inexplicably came to the ring to challenge the trio to a dance-off. Guerrero did a routine that was very reminiscent of Elaine Benes, that surprisingly wasn’t well received by the crowd. The ridiculousness was finally stopped by the “Intellectual Savior of the Unwashed Masses” Damien Sandow. Sandow’s reason for playing the role of party pooper was to voice his displeasure with his encounter with the reunited Degeneration X last week. He proclaimed to be a martyr before brutally attacking Clay. It was a great way to push Sandow’s uber heel persona, and I can’t wait to see who they finally put him into an official feud with.

Finally, Daniel Bryan gets his meeting with now ex-fiance AJ. He attempts to accuse her of being insane for leaving him at the alter last week at RAW 1000. AJ promptly tells him to shut up, and interrogates Bryan as to just who those men in the white coats were and why they were backstage last week. Bryan claims that they were his groomsmen, but AJ concludes that Bryan was intending to have her committed after she became his wife. As punishment, AJ puts Bryan in a match against his old rival Sheamus. Bryan asks if it is a title match, and AJ responds with a resounding “NO! NO! NO!”

DANIEL BRYAN VS. SHEAMUS

It was up to the WWE Universe to determine via twitter exactly what type of match Bryan and Sheamus would be placed into. The overwhelming decision was to have their match be a street fight. The two wasted no time in taking the match outside of the ring. Bryan kicked Sheamus off of the ramp, leaving the Celtic Warrior limping for the duration of the match. Once back in the ring, Bryan tried to humble Sheamus with a kendo stick. Sheamus eventually gets the kendo stick in his possession, but Bryan responds by dropkicking the champ into a steel chair that was set up in the ring post earlier in the match. This still wasn’t enough to get the 1-2-3 however. The match ended when Bryan attempted to utilized a piece of the steel steps that had been brought into the ring. Sheamus countered by using the kendo stick once more. He set Bryan up for White Noise on the steps, which Bryan escaped from, but immediately fell victim to a Brogue kick. This was one of the best matches of the night, and I’m becoming a big fan of seeing these two have matches together. WINNER: SHEAMUS

DANIEL BRYAN REFUSES TO LEAVE THE RING AFTER HIS MATCH, RESULTING IN THE FUNNIEST THING EVER

After the commercial break, we see that Bryan is refusing to leave the ring. He demands to be seen by a doctor first. As this is happening, Kofi Kingston is set to have a match, so he is coming down the ramp joined by co-tag champion R-Truth and their mascot, the invisible Little Jimmy. Kofi tells Bryan that he is a joke, and that he needs to do everyone a favor and leave the ring. Upset by this, Bryan gets down on one knee to introduce himself to Little Jimmy. He then proceeds to (I’m not kidding here) drop kick the imaginary Little Jimmy out of the ring. Need proof? Here you go!

So as you can see, GM AJ pulls the old switcheroo on her former fiance and has him committed for psychological evaluation. Now on to the scheduled match.

KOFI KINGSTON VS. TITUS O’NEIL

This match wasn’t terrible, but it was certainly overshadowed by remarks made during the match by Prime Time Players manager AW. His gimmick is that he is mic’d up during the match, so he can openly taunt his clients’ opponents throughout. As O’Neil was getting the upper hand on Kingston, AW made a reference to the rape case involving Kobe Bryant in Colorado. Now I know a lot of people are up in arms over these remarks, and Lawler made a statement after the match, but my thing is… that reference was really old. And it barely tied into anything that O’Neil was doing. He said that both Kobe and O’Neil were “unstoppable”. Yeah pretty thin, AW. And for that I wouldn’t be surprised if the manager gets his in-match mic privileges taken away from him, which is unfortunate because I really liked that idea. Anyway, AW did kind of vindicate himself by throwing his shoe at Kingston, a move that caused enough of a distraction for O’Neil to steal the win. WINNER: TITUS O’NEIL

IT’S HEATH SLATER TIME!

After RAW 1000, I figured that the WWE would have ended this gimmick. But here we are, Heath Slater standing in the ring, challenging any CURRENT WWE superstars to a match. Well, that means no more legends… Wait… Legends… Legend Killers? You don’t mean…

The Viper has returned.

After being suspended for illegal substance abuse, Randy Orton has served his 90 day suspension and he is back. And he did what he does best: the same series of moves that he does in every match. I thought that this time away would give him a chance to try out some new things, but I was wrong. His move set hasn’t surprised me in probably a year, and it’s very tired and old. It’s to the point that you can basically skip through this match because you can call every move before he does it. I’m glad that you’re back, Randy, but try to work on something original. Oh, right, and Heath Slater was RKO’d and that was that. WINNER: RANDY ORTON

Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan is receiving his psychological evaluation from a doctor backstage. The doctor asks Bryan a series of yes or no questions, which sets Bryan off on a “YES! YES! YES!” frenzy.

CHRIS JERICHO/CHRISTIAN VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER/THE MIZ

You know, guys, now that you have a three-hour long show, you don’t have to mash up story lines with unimportant tag team matches. With all this time you can actually let these guys have normal matches; that way feuds can be better developed and… is this thing on? Is anybody at the WWE hearing this? Judging by the fact that they showed that Triple H/Lesnar promo again, I’ll just assume that they aren’t listening. Well considering that this match contained four of the most talented guys in the company, it’s easy to conclude that this match was pretty decent. After momentum was shifted back and forth repeatedly, the match took it’s major turn when a weakened Christian finally made the tag to his partner. Jericho cleared Ziggler from the ring, took Miz out with a bulldog, and hit him with a Lionsault. The pin was broken up by Ziggler, who was then speared by Christian. Miz looked to steal the win by setting Jericho up for a Skull Crushing Finale, which Y2J countered with a Codebreaker. Very solid match, but I still think it could of been separated into two matches considering how long the show is now. WINNERS: JERICHO/CHRISTIAN

 Once again, we see Bryan and his psychologist running tests. This time it’s a Rorschach test, and Daniel can’t help but notice that one of the images bares a striking resemblance to a goat. Assuming that somebody put that in there on purpose, Bryan proclaims that the only thing that is goat about him is that he is the “Greatest of all Time” (G.O.A.T… Get it?). He then accuses the doctor to be in cahoots with actor Charlie Sheen.

TENSAI VS. TYSON KIDD

Remember how this feud is supposed to be a thing? Yeah, I completely forgot about it too. I like the push that they’ve been giving to Kidd, the unfortunate thing is that guys like him don’t have a goal set up for them in the WWE. Back in the day, we have Cruiserweight Champions, Hardcore Champions, European Champions. These are all belts that guys like Kidd should be competing for. And again, with a three-hour show, you can successfully bring those belts back and give these guys something more to do. Tensai inevitably destroyed Kidd and loses after the referee stops the match. WINNER: TYSON KIDD (via Disqualification)

After the match, we get the doctor’s final diagnosis of Daniel Bryan. He concludes that despite his anger issues, and his obsession with actor Charlie Sheen, Bryan is 100% sane. Bryan is free to go, but not before he is introduced to his “anger management therapist” Kane. The Big Red Machine tosses Bryan around the room and ends the segment… for now.

JOHN CENA VS. BIG SHOW

Before the match, Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole are joined by none other than the WWE Champion on commentary. In fact, Punk’s arguments with Lawler during the match overshadowed the actual match. What brought the match to a snail’s pace was the multiple times that Cena put Show into a sleeper hold to try and get the big man to pass out. It’s things like this that make me despise big men in professional wrestling. If they are big and slow, then the match is going to be big and slow. The two take the match ringside where Big Show throws Cena into CM Punk, knocking them both to the crowd. Once Cena makes it back into the ring he attempts to deliver an Attitude Adjustment on Show, which Punk breaks up. Punk kicks Show in the head, and stands over the two competitors sprawled out in the ring. He grabs a mic and announces that the winner is nobody, and proceeds to head backstage. As he exits, AJ Lee enters, and tells the WWE Universe that Punk is wrong, and that Show and Cena aren’t losers, but rather winners. She goes on to announce that CM Punk will have to put his belt on the line against both Show and Cena in a triple threat match. Upon hearing this announcement, Punk rushes over to AJ and demands to show him some respect since he is the champion. She laughs and taunts him. Show ends with Punk yelling about how this match isn’t fair to him.

This episode wasn’t very promising for this new three hour format. I’ve been hoping that with all of this extra time, more talent could be showcased, new talent could be introduced, and old belts would be re-introduced. But instead, we got the same promos repeated multiple times. I understand that the RAW set caught fire just moments before fans began to enter the arena, but do you have to talk about it after almost every match? You guys gave yourselves an extra hour of programming, do something with it! Hopefully next week business will pick up. Good or bad, I will be here recapping it all. Until then, this is Brandon for Off the Top Rope, tapping out for now!

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~ by Brandon Gnuschke on July 31, 2012.

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