Tonight marked the last Monday Night Raw that will be numbered in the triple digits. This was episode number 999, one week before the industrious episode 1000.
Coming off the heels of last nights WWE Money In The Bank 2012 ppv, and with next week being the very so highly awaited 1000th episode, this “sandwich” show should be pretty fulfilling.
7/16/2012 Edition of Monday Night Raw; Episode #999. Live from Las Vegas.
The show started out announcing that tonight’s main event will be CM Punk vs The Big Show in a non-title match. Shortly after that, CM Punk comes out to ringside to address the crowd in a typical curtain jerker Raw promo. Since they are in Vegas, Punk reminded the crowd, that this was the city where he dropped the “pipe bomb” heard around the world, a year ago when he shook up the wrestling industry. Punk stated that he was a proud champion, just to be interrupted by The Big Show. Big Show made reference to the MITB briefcase handle breaking last night, when John Cena won the case, he indicated that he would use it on Punk tonight if he had the case, but Punk countered indicting his inability to close. Big Show made it clear that Punk is no one who stands out, as he is just another cog in the machine, and that it is highly likely that Cena could cash in his briefcase tonight.
Per Jerry Lawler, the very first Raw is on YouTube/WWE.
The Rock will be in attendance during the 1000th Raw.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth are on their way to ringside to defend their titles, teasing it before the break. Earlier on Rant Sports, we reported that Titus O’Neal tweeted that he was calling out the tag team champions. This could be the match we’ve been waiting for.
WWE Unified World Tag Team Championship
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (Champions) vs The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neal and Darren Young)
Match started off with an impressive, and yet aggressive, back and forth exchange between Darren Young and Kofi Kingston. We saw some pretty innovative double team move sets coming from both Kofi and R-Truth. Felt pretty throwback like, seeing the cohesive double team moves being done. We see an adequate level of aggression from Titus O’Neal, not too much from Young. The experience favors Kofi as he was able to get out of the predicament and tag in R-Truth. After a clever double team, Truth was able to pin Titus O’Neal. Abraham Washington was beside himself. O’Neal and Young have alot more maturing to do in the ring before they can hold on to those championship belts.
Winner: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth
Eve and a mystery partner vs Daniel Bryan and AJ tonight. It appears that CM Punk is fully detached from the AJ/Daniel Bryan Saga. Thank goodness.
They showed the first “Tout” by John Cena. Tout is a new social media experience that WWE is pushing. Lets see if this catches on.
Zack Ryder vs Alberto Del Rio
ADR is coming off a major loss from last night, as he was unsuccessful in the match against Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio immediately goes after Ryder and shows a great level of aggression on attacking all areas of Ryder. The entire match, Ryder has very little offense and is too much for Del Rio.
Winner: Albert Del Rio
Bonus: After the match, Rey Mysterio made his comeback after 11 months on the shelf and attacked Alberto Del Rio, and delivered the 6-1-9 to him.
Heath Slater went over his favorite moments of Raw when each week a new legend came out to the ring to take him out. Vader, Sid, Doink the Clown, Wendi Richter, Bob Backlund and DDP. There is another legend coming back tonight to face him as well. So were told.
Heath Slater vs Rikishi
This was another Slater vs “Raw Legend” (even though I’m trying to figure out how Wendi Richter is a “Raw Legend”). Rikishi looks to be in excellent shape as opposed to his last run. A Rikishi match wouldn’t be complete without the “Stink Face“, which we got. Along with the Banzai Drop. Rikishi gets the victory.
Bonus: I would’ve marked out like crazy if Scotty Too Hotty and Grand Master Sexzay came out too. But I did appreciate the Usos coming out and dancing with their dad. That was cool.
Daniel Bryan and AJ vs Eve and The Miz (mix tag team match)
Eve surprised the crowd by announcing her mystery partner would be the returning The Miz. The Miz has been away for a while filming “The Marine 3” and he made his return last night to WWE at the Money in the Bank PPV. Cole informed us that with the exception of Serena Williams, AJ is the most influential female athlete in the world, according to the web. I guess. Great accomplishment, but lets be honest, can we name any other professional female athlete outside of Serena and Venus? While the ref was distracted with The Miz, Eve went for a small package, but Bryan reversed it, so this way Bryan and AJ could gain the victory.
Winner: Daniel Bryan and AJ
Bonus: Daniel Bryan tells AJ that he loves her. It looks like we haven’t left Melrose Place just yet. Daniel Bryan follows up his announcement, but getting on one knee and proposing to AJ. AJ says “yes”. And no, shades of 1991 Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth did NOT go through my head when watching this. Both of them lead the crowd to a “Yes” chant. Very appropriate.
There was a commercial for The Undertaker 20-0 DVD. If you remember before Wrestlemania, I called this was coming out. Its called “Undertaker: The Streak”. Available next Tuesday.
Monday Night Raw Most Memorable moment : When The Rock Hijacked Stone Cold Steve Austins best.
Jack Swagger vs Ryback
Finally Ryback is facing someone of his caliber. And Swagger went strong on Ryback. But Ryback completely overpowered Swagger the rest of the time. But the match never officially started.
Winner: No Contest.
We got the next “WWE Tout” from John Cena about his “huge announcement” he’s making tonight. I have a feeling that this “Tout” thing is going to be tattooed on us at the end of the show, since its being thrown at us so much.
Vickie Guerrero Introduces the winner of the World Heavyweight Championship Money In The Bank case, Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler cuts a promo about cashing in the briefcase and becoming the next World Champion and being the best World Champion of all time. Better than Bret Hart, Stone Cold and The Rock. Chris Jericho interrupted the promo and came out to confront Ziggler and Vickie. Ziggler poked fun at Jericho questioning his intestinal fortitude. Asking him when was the last time that Chris won an important match, and that he may be losing his touch. From out of no where, Jericho hits Ziggler with the codebreaker.
More Tout! Tout! Tout! Tout! Tout! Tout!
Next week will be the “Wedding” of Daniel Bryan and AJ. We all know how WWE Weddings end up.
Brodus Clay vs JTG
This is my first time seeing JTG in a long time and he has tights?!?! No Jeans and a pair of Timbs? Wow, impressed. Only because he’s taking his craft seriously. Brodus give JTG some power moves and JTG had a little bit of offense as well, with some pretty impressive counter leg moves. Not bad. But Clay turns the match back in his favor by delivering a head butt to the chest and finishing it off with an off the ropes splash.
Winner: Brodus Clay
Raw Moment: When Vince McMahon was embarrassed by having his bald head revealed to the audience.
CM Punk vs The Big Show
Many strong and aggressive moves we saw from the Big Show. Punk’s offense was pretty limited, compared to what is in his normal arsenal. Punks game plan had to change soon, or else Big Show would prove him wrong, that he CAN close. When Big Show attempted a corner splash, Punk capitalized by moving out the way and gaining the advantage against Show. But once again, Show back body drops Punk to get the advantage. Big show misses the knockout punch, but Punk moved out the way, and connected with some drop kicks and high knees to The Big Show. When Big Show missed a corner splash, Punk took a chance and delivered a Macho man style flying elbow to The Big Show, but wasn’t enough to put him away. The Big Show catches Punk in a chokeslam, but Punk puts his left leg on the ropes, breaking the count. Punk endured some body shots in the corner, but due to the ref counting Show, since he needed to let up off the ropes, Show knocks off the ref and is DQ’d
Winner: CM Punk (DQ)
Bonus: John Cena comes out while Show is pounding Punk, and clears Show out the ring. Cena grabs the mike and attempts to makes the announcement, but Show cuts him off. Show predicts that Cena’s announcement is that he is cashing in tonight. Show pressures Cena into cashing it in now. Cena, announces that he will cash in the money in the bank briefcase and will challenge CM Punk for the WWE Championship.
Overall: Much better Raw this week, then what we were given last week. Last week’s Raw was an utter joke, still trying to figure out what the point was. Anyway, this Raw was effective, becuase this was one of those shows that I really am a fan of, the type of show that sets up the pins. We saw a new beginning between Ziggler and Jericho, AJ and Bryan, Ryback on Raw and the return of Mysterio. Plus, they did a stand up job for setting up next week’s Raw 1000th episode. This certainly will be a supershow. Thank you for giving us a solid show tonight, WWE.
GRADE: B+ (89.5%)