Live from Dallas, Texas this is the Raw Deal for episode #1003. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport if you're not doing so already. Also click "like" on this post as it helps the site. Thank you.
The show began with the "Tonight is the night" song by Outasight. Our announcers for the show are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
CM Punk and Big Show made their entrances. Raw begins with this non-title match. It's a welcome change from the usual promo.
CM Punk vs. Big Show (Non-Title)
The announcers were pushing the idea that Big Show was the favorite for the WWE Title match at Summerslam. Punk was getting cheered early as Show dominated the action with power moves. He slowed down a Punk attack with a headbutt followed by a hard body slam. Punk did everything he could to take Show down. Eventually Show missed a corner attack, Punk moved and then he hit a running knee to the jaw of Big Show. Punk went for his bulldog out of the corner. Show shoved him off. Show hit a Spear to knock down Punk. Suddenly, the music of Daniel Bryan started to play. Bryan was wearing his "no no no" shirt while the crowd chanted "yes" to anger him. Meanwhile in the ring, Show dropped Punk with a side slam. Punk came back with a kick to the back of the leg and then a springboard clothesline. He covered for two. Suddenly, Bryan jumped into the ring. He gave Punk the newly named No Lock. The ref threw the match out. It went about six minutes.
Winner: CM Punk via Disqualification
John Cena ran out to save Punk. They sent Bryan and Show out of the ring. Raw GM AJ Lee came out to make the obvious tag team match for later: CM Punk & John Cena vs. Big Show & Daniel Bryan. On the WWEUniverse Twitter account they even made the Teddy Long tag match joke. I guess we can't make it anymore. Jumped the shark.
Analysis: * The match never got into that next gear to make it very good. It was basically Show beating on Punk for a few minutes before giving us the non-finish. See the banner at the top of this column? They love booking the non-finishes on Raw don't they?
Later on it's Brock Lesnar and Triple H having a contract signing. Why do they need a contract signing if he's already on the poster and it's been agreed to? Oh right because they love contract signings.
The "Did You Know" was about Summerslam Axxess and they made up a number to say how many fans got autographs over the years. The number doesn't matter.
Backstage, JTG was complaining to Kaitlyn about Raw being three hours and he can't get a match on Raw. GM AJ Lee walked by. She said she'll find him an opponent right now. JTG left. AJ asked Kaitlyn if she thought she was unstable. Kaitlyn said "I can think of many words to describe you and unstable isn't one of them." She left as AJ made crazy faces at the camera. I'm not sure if that was a comedy segment.
Ryback vs. JTG
The opponent of JTG is not a surprise. Loud "Goldberg" chants early. JTG got a couple of punches in. Ryback dropped him with a belly to belly suplex and then a boot to the face. Ryback hit a stiff powerbomb. The crowd was chanting "feed me more" as Ryback was doing his poses in the corner. Ryback hit a stiff clothesline followed by his Shell Shocked finisher. Match went about two minutes.
Post match, Ryback led the crowd in more "feed me more" chants.
Analysis: I love how Ryback conveniently had his gear on as if he was ready for this match that was supposedly just made. Either JTG's Twitter rant comments were a work or they were a shoot and this was WWE's way of burying him before possibly releasing him.
There's a Piper's Pit segment coming up on Raw tonight. Roddy Piper is in the building, so we get to pick who will be on Piper's Pit. The choices are: #Y2JPit, #MizPit or #DolphPit. I like all three, but I'd expect Jericho to win as the only babyface. It's the WWE way of rigging a poll. I will vote for Dolph just for the hell of it.
The Summerslam pre-show match is Santino defending the United States Title versus Antonio Cesaro. Cesaro already beat him twice in non-title matches.
Backstage, Roddy Piper was talking to Shawn Michaels. Piper said Michaels looked a bit nervous because he had to fight Brock Lesnar while Michaels said he wasn't fighting him. Michaels had a phone call. Piper left. We couldn't hear the other end, but the idea is that Triple H was on the other end, he's not there yet and he's flying commercial for a change. What an awful friend Triple H is. Michaels had a nervous expression on his face to sell the idea that he's afraid of what might happen with Lesnar later.
Heath Slater vs. R-Truth
Cole announced Primetime Players vs. R-Truth & Kofi Kingston for the tag titles at Summerslam. Cole pointed out no Kofi Kingston there because he was on the Asian tour that the Smackdown brand had. Some people that were on that tour will be on Raw like Big Show was, but I would expect most of them to not be there. Slater got some offense in. It wasn't that much. Truth hit a nice DDT after about one minute for the win.
Analysis: Too short to rate it. Just a squash win for Truth.
Post match, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil ran down to the ring. They double teamed R-Truth. O'Neil hit his Sky High finishing move. There was no mention of their manager AW.
Analysis: Regarding AW, my opinion on the situation was I think WWE jumped the gun in firing him. I don't think his Kobe Bryant rape joke from two weeks ago was worth a firing. Apparently he also tweeted something about Linda McMahon's political campaign too, which is a big no-no. Those two things caused his firing. Maybe he was on thin ice before that? I don't know. I'm glad that the Primetime Players are still getting their title shot and I hope they get the titles because they have good chemistry together. AW wasn't a major player. He was an accessory. While I don't think he deserved to be fired, I can see WWE's side of it. With that said, will I miss him while he's gone? No. I think going on Twitter to bitch about everything is pretty lame on his part. I understand being mad, but keep it private instead of looking like an attention whore, which may be what AW really means.
There was a video package about Mark Henry spending the Olympics in London. They showed some of his Tout videos. He's been out with a shoulder injury. They didn't say when he would be back.
The announcers said NBC did a great job covering the Olympics. No. They're the only country that didn't show final events live. Glad I got the Canadian coverage.
Cole and Lawler read tweets from Social Media Ambassador of the night, Pauly D from Jersey Shore. They loved his thoughts. Of course they did. I hate these announcers so much when they have to plug things.
There was a video package showing all of the happenings between Sheamus & Alberto Del Rio last week, which led to Booker T calling off their match at Summerslam.
Following the attack where Del Rio had fake cops go after Sheamus, Smackdown GM Booker T spoke to WWE.com saying the World Title match at Summerslam was off.
Del Rio responded with a Tout. He said he had a contract. This Friday he would confront Booker T about it. Then they plugged Tout again.
Sin Cara made his entrance. We'll find out his opponent after the break.
Analysis: That was a lot of filler right there. So many video packages and Tout videos.
The opponent of Sin Cara is Tensai. I love how Tensai always shoves Sakamoto on his entrance. It's adorable.
Sin Cara vs. Tensai w/Sakamoto
Can we get rid of the special Sin Cara lights for his matches? It hurts the matches more than helps them. Tensai attacked early. He went for a corner splash, but Sin Cara moved. Cara went to the top and hit a Swanton Bomb. He gave Tensai a headscissors that knocked Sakamoto off the apron. Sin Cara hit a DDT out of springboard for the win after about 90 seconds.
Winner: Sin Cara
Post match, Sin Cara left. Tensai gave Sakamoto a double choke bomb and then his running senton. Then he yelled.
Analysis: Another really short match. I liked Sin Cara's offense a lot with the Swanton and then the DDT off the ropes. He needs to do those moves more often. Not sure what the direction is with Tensai or if he's just jobbing for that offensive "open your eyes" Tout he did with Sakamoto. The post match attack on Sakamoto is getting old too.
Backstage, a worried Shawn Michaels talked to some stooge backstage. He continued to look nervous.
Piper's Pit is up next at the top of hour two. It's either Jericho, Miz or Ziggler.
The "Did You Know" was about WWE beating a bunch of networks in ratings. That did not include NBC of course.
In the ring, Jerry Lawler and Roddy Piper went over the RawActive deal where fans can vote on who is a guest in Piper's Pit.
Piper's Pit results Jericho 55%, Ziggler 24% and Miz 21%. Cole mentioned Jericho vs. Ziggler is official for Summerslam. It was announced officially on Smackdown.
Piper's Pit with Roddy Piper and special guest Chris Jericho
Piper said the last time he saw Jericho was when Mickey Rourke punched out Jericho. Jericho said last time he saw Piper was when he beat him at WrestleMania. We're supposed to believe they never saw eachother since then even when they're on the same show? Okay then. Logic fail. Jericho was honored to be on Piper's Pit for the first time. Piper went into this speech about how the fans used to hate him just like Jericho, but now they liked Jericho. He said the fans love Jericho now.
Vickie Guerrero interrupted. She brought out Dolph Ziggler. It's another screwjob of the RawActive fan vote. Ziggler got in Jericho's face. He said after he beats Jericho on Sunday he wants Jericho to hang up his obnoxious jacket with Piper's skit. Jericho couldn't hear because he was focused on Ziggler's bowl of spaghetti on his head. Vickie interrupted so Jericho said "shut the hell up!" to a huge pop. He then said "Jerichoholics" to a big pop. He said he'll prove he's the better man on Sunday and did his "never…ever" line to a big pop again.
The music of The Miz started up. Have I mentioned all of these guys are in their ring gear? It's like they know a match is coming. Funny how that works. Miz got in Jericho's face. He wanted him to leave. Jericho went after Ziggler and he threw Miz out of the ring. He gave Ziggler a clothesline to knock him out of the ring. Jericho's music started to play.
Analysis: I like all of these guys, but I don't think that was a great segment. It was okay in terms of pushing the idea that Jericho is now a babyface. Of course it won't last long since after Summerslam he's gone for a few months to go on tour with his band Fozzy. I'm not sure when he'll be back. We know he's leaving though. He'll put over Ziggler in a major way and the fans will be behind him, so it will be a strong match. This segment didn't add much. It was just a repeat of what we've already seen. Not much of an "interview" on Piper's Pit, though.
We have a new Forum at TJRWrestling.com, which you can access on the site or by clicking right here. Lots of wrestling discussion, plus sports, life in general and I set up a writer's forum for people to post columns and share ideas. I'll be posting in there regularly too, so if you have something on your mind that's another way to reach me. I share my email, Twitter, Facebook (two pages), radio show and now forums as ways to reach me. I don't think I'll ever add Tout. I'm full.
Back from break, AJ booked a triple threat match during the commercial. It's a good thing they had their ring gear on huh? Apparently AJ had no matches booked before the show.
Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz
The heels worked together early to isolate Jericho. Ziggler dropped an elbow. He covered. Miz broke up the pin. They argued, which led Jericho to come back. Jericho knocked both of them to the floor. Then Jericho hit a nice dive over the top rope onto both guys. He threw the top panel of the announce table onto both guys. Miz grabbed Jericho's leg. Ziggler was back in the ring, so he knocked Jericho out to the floor. They went to break after three minutes of action for the vintage floor to commercial spot.
Back to the action, the announcers put over the idea of Jericho guaranteeing his win over Ziggler on Sunday. Meanwhile, Miz is defending the IC Title versus Rey Mysterio on Sunday. Miz worked over Jericho in the ring. Ziggler was on the floor for some reason. Jericho made his comeback which included a springboard dropkick on Ziggler followed by a bulldog on Miz. Jericho hit a Lionsault on Miz. As a face he can hit a Lionsault. Not as a heel. That's the unwritten rule. Ziggler broke up the pin. They did a three way spot out of the corner with a powerbomb/suplex combo. That's always a good three way spot. Ziggler hit the Fameasser on Jericho for a count of two. He's always surprised he never wins matches with that move that never wins matches. Miz hit Ziggler with a Skull Crushing Finale out of nowhere. That got two because Jericho broke it up. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho, but Miz countered. Ziggler knocked down Miz with a forearm. Ziggler turned towards Jericho, who dropped Ziggler with a Codebreaker. Jericho didn't hook the far leg, so Vickie put Ziggler's foot on the rope. Miz got a rollup on Jericho for two. Jericho countered the Skull Crushing Finale into the Walls of Jericho. Miz tapped, but the ref was looking at Vickie Guerrero on the apron. Ziggler used that opportunity to hit the Zig Zag on Jericho for the win after 12 minutes.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Analysis: ***1/4 Fun match. The last five minutes were very entertaining. They did an excellent job of building up the nearfalls. I didn't think Ziggler would get the win because I expect him to win on Sunday, which usually means a loss on TV. Cole did a good job (rare for me to say that) of putting over the idea that Ziggler beat Jericho in a big match and questioned if Jericho can win on Sunday. It's a good story heading into that match. Miz was just kind of there, but he was fine in his role. The match was more about the Jericho/Ziggler story obviously.
Backstage, CM Punk was stretching. Eve showed up in her ring gear. She questioned him about the new CM Punk. He said there's no new CM Punk. He's the same guy and undefeated WWE Champion for nine months. She said she doesn't think anybody believes that. She brought up Cena's name, so Punk said he'd go talk to him.
I should add too that I like that the Tag Titles (Truth/Kofi vs. PTPers), IC Title (Miz vs. Mysterio) and US Title (Santino vs. Cesaro in the pre-show) are all being defended at Summerslam. It's about damn time!
The announcers plugged the tweets of Pauly D. I don't care. I don't know who he is. I don't follow him. Move on.
We got a replay of the opening match of the show that set up the tag match later tonight.
Backstage, Shawn Michaels was nervously walking backstage again. He got some water as John Cena asked him if he was okay. Michaels said he was fine. Then he left.
CM Punk walked up to Cena. Punk said he doesn't complain and take shortcuts. Punk said he's not going to stab anybody in the back. He said he's not that guy. He'll do everything he can to keep the WWE Title at the end of Summerslam. He said that at the end of the night he's going to make sure "that it's all about me." He left.
Analysis: Good promo from Punk. Cena barely said anything, which made it a more effective segment because it allowed Punk's words to stand on their own more. Is Punk telling the truth when he said he wasn't going to stab anybody in the back? We'll see. Remember that heels lie. So if you think he's a heel that should tell you what may end up happening tonight or at Summerslam. It's all up to your own personal interpretation.
There was a Wade Barrett video like last week. It was a bit different from last week, but the same idea with video of him fighting to show that he's coming back soon. He said the Barrett Barrage was just beginning.
Layla & Kaitlyn vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve
Eve's music played for her team. Poor Beth. They pushed the story of Eve vs. Kaitlyn on Smackdown to see who will be Booker's assistant on Smackdown. Phoenix drove Layla into the corner as Eve tagged in and Cole said that Eve now has 500,000 followers on Twitter. I only follow her for the photos, for the record. Layla hit a crossbody off the middle rope for two. Layla started randomly dancing at one point and then hit a butt smash to Eve's face. It was better looking than it sounds. Layla hit a clothesline for two. Layla tagged in Kaitlyn, who hit a backbreaker and then covered for two. Eve yanked Kaitlyn off the middle rope. The heels took control as Beth tagged in to work on Kaitlyn. She knocked Layla off the apron while the heels double teamed Kaitlyn in the corner - that was a fun sentence to type. You're welcome. Kaitlyn ducked a Phoenix charge, then rolled her up and got the pinfall win after about four minutes of action.
Winners: Layla & Kaitlyn
Analysis: * They got more time than we're used to seeing on Raw, which is a nice change. Kaitlyn pinning Beth would suggest that Eve wins the match on Smackdown to become Booker's assistant, which is what I would do because Eve's good in that role. Plus they need a heel in a position of power.
There was a long video package about the Triple H/Brock Lesnar story going back to when it started over three months ago when Lesnar "broke HHH's arm." They aired all the key points. We've seen it so many times. The match was already agreed to weeks ago yet they have to sign a contract tonight? To quote Ace Venture: "Alrighty then."
When the video ended, they aired a shot of the parking lot saying that Triple H has yet to arrive. They said he was en route. Maybe he is busy fixing his ponytail?
Up next is Cena/Punk vs. Show/Bryan. That would mean the "contract signing" between Lesnar and Triple H is the main event. I think for the PPV the Cena/Punk/Show match will be on last.
Analysis: Not a great first two hours. I think the triple threat match was clearly the best part. A lot of the other parts were boring or simply filler to get us through the three hours. Hopefully the last hour can increase the quality of the show.
The "Did You Know" told us this fact: "WWE Home Video has 75 out of the top 100 selling sports DVDs in America." It's not like people buy DVDs as much as they used to. It's a nice fact if true, but it's not as big as it would have been ten years ago or even five years ago.
Big Show made his entrance. Daniel Bryan followed to a huge reaction while he yelled "no" on his way to the ring. CM Punk made his entrance while they plugged the WWE.com exclusive about top ten fantasy matches. They mentioned Punk vs. Savage. I actually like WWE's choices in that piece. Seek it out if you haven't seen it. John Cena entered last because he's more important than CM Punk. Main eventing every PPV of 2012 (except the Royal Rumble) should already tell you that.
CM Punk & John Cena vs. Big Show & Daniel Bryan
If this match gets a significant amount of time it could be very good. Bryan started the match for his team. Big Show wanted in, so Bryan yelled "no" at him repeatedly. That led to the crowd chanting "yes" to piss off Bryan. Bryan's facing Kane on Sunday as the announcers correctly mentioned. Show tagged in and he overpowered Cena as the crowd did the usual "let's go Cena/Cena sucks" chants. I wonder how many times I've written about that chant over the years. They went to break after Big Show hit a headbutt on Cena. He was not on the floor, so it was not the vintage floor to commercial spot.
Back to action, Show was still working over Cena. Show charged Cena in the corner with a back splash. Cole said Show was the favorite on Sunday. He's the favorite even though he hasn't won a big match in three months? Cole sucks. Bryan tagged in while Show had a bearhug on Cena. Bryan's corner charge missed, so Punk tagged Cena to bring himself into the match. He hit a springboard clothesline. That led to a cover, but Show broke it up. Punk went for a tag. Cena wasn't there because he was on the floor. The announcers wondered where Cena was. That will play into Punk's heel behavior tendencies of course. Show gave Punk a bearhug. Punk fought out of it with forearms to the head, but then Show gave Punk a big back body drop to put him down. That was a nice sequence of moves there as we reach ten minutes.
Show wanted to knock out CM Punk. Instead, Daniel Bryan tagged himself back in. Show was frustrated by it, so Show walked off the apron and he sat on a comfortable chair at ringside. Punk hit a kick to the side of the head of Bryan that put them both down. Cena wanted to tag in. Punk looked at him angrily. Punk hit two shoulder blocks and then he did Cena's spinning side slam. Punk signaled for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena tagged in before he could do it. Cena hit a running knee in the corner followed by a bulldog out of the corner. Cena yelled: "It's clobbering time." They're stealing eachother's moves. Punk was mad, so he grabbed the WWE Title and left. Bryan rolled up Cena. Cena kicked out. Cena came back with the Attitude Adjustment on Bryan for the win after 14 minutes.
Winners: John Cena & CM Punk
Post match, Show went into the ring to attack Cena. Punk slid in with the WWE Title and he hit Show in the head with it, which sent Show to the floor. Punk stood face to face with Cena. Punk extended his hand. Cena didn't shake it. Punk left angrily.
Analysis: **1/2 There was too much Big Show in the ring for it to be considered a great match, but I like how it was constructed. The finishing sequence was a lot of fun with Punk doing Cena's moves and then Cena doing Punk's moves as well. It worked because of the competitive nature of both guys. Show was attacked post match, but it was a cheap shot and he was made to look strong while he was in there. As for Daniel Bryan, he's losing far too many matches on a regular basis. That's WWE booking for you, though. The heels are just there to get beat. That's one of the bad things about WWE booking because the faces are too strong while the heels constantly look like the inferior talents.
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed CM Punk. Punk said Cena only cared about himself. Punk was mad that Cena didn't shake his hand. He felt disrespected. He said that at Summerslam he's going to teach John Cena and everybody about respect.
Analysis: I'm not sure what my official prediction is for Sunday's WWE Title match at Summerslam. I'll save it for the preview on Friday after Smackdown. I was leaning towards Cena win by pinning Big Show, but I'm thinking Punk may continue to reign as champion.
We return from the break with pictures of WWE superstars in Tokyo, Shanghai and Tapei. I read that there were big crowds and the shows were very well received, which is great.
Prior to the next match, another mention of the Santino vs. Antonio Cesaro US Title match before Summerslam on WWE.com, Youtube and Facebook.
Damien Sandow vs. Christian
Sandow hit an elbow drop early. Christian blocked a charge with boots to the face and then knocked down Sandow with a forearm. Sandow avoided the Killswitch. They went to the floor where Sandow rammed the back of Christian's head into the steel stops. Sandow rolled Christian into the ring. All of a sudden, Brodus Clay's music started up as he made his way out. Christian got a rollup for two. Sandow was able to kick out of that and then he hits his neckbreaker for the win. The match went two minutes.
Winner: Damien Sandow
Analysis: Poor Christian. He was pushed as a World Championship heel last year. Now he's a midcard babyface loser on a weekly basis. No mention of a Sandow/Clay match at Summerslam, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens.
Backstage, Shawn Michaels nervously walked around. He's been walking around nervously for over two hours I guess. He bumped into Brock Lesnar. Lesnar folded his arms in front of him. Michaels just walked away. Lesnar smiled confidently.
Cole tried to tell us that the HHH/Lesnar contract signing is supposed to be next. They're pushing the idea that HHH still isn't there.
Brock Lesnar's music started up. Lesnar emerged from the back along with his manager Paul Heyman. The ring is set up with the leather chairs and table that we always see when they have these contract signing segments. "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman." Boo. He said he was there as the advocate for Brock Lesnar. Heyman talked about how Lesnar believes Triple H's story about being late because nobody wants this match on Sunday more than Triple H. He said that Hunter "needs" this match. He called it the single most personal fight of Triple H's life. What about the Randy Orton feud after Orton beat up his family? Heyman talked about how it was big because of Hunter's standing in the company. Heyman said that Hunter would suffer at the hands of Lesnar. Heyman brought up Shawn Michaels saying last week that Triple H was going to beat Lesnar. They invited Michaels to come out. He said he's not coming out and that he didn't think he'd come because there's no shame in being afraid of Lesnar. Heyman said people from Texas have a yellow streak up and down their spine, which insinuates that they're cowards. That led to the music of Shawn Michaels starting up.
Michaels entered the ring wearing his brand new "Mr. Hall of Fame" t-shirt. He stared at Lesnar and Heyman. Triple H's music started up before anything could happen. He was wearing a dress shirt as well as a sport coat, which he took off before walking down the ramp to a big ovation. Loud "Triple H" chant. Hunter signed the contract. Lesnar signed the contract. Then he threw the clipboard in Hunter's face. Lesnar quickly jumped out to the floor. Lesnar and Heyman walked up the ramp. Hunter gave him the serious stare of death as they went to break.
Analysis: That's it? It's 10:45pmET as they went to break. There are no other announced matches left, so it will be interesting to see how they end Raw this week. Everybody was expecting the Lesnar attack on Michaels. Is it coming?
Coming up on Smackdown is Alberto Del Rio's confrontation with Booker T on Friday. They aired some fan Tout videos on the subject. If I wasn't watching live I would hit fast forward.
Backstage, Triple H and Michaels were talking. Michaels told him he would be in the corner, but Hunter alone had to beat him. Michaels said "you know where my heart is on this" and then he walked away.
The announcers recapped the Cena/Punk post match incident when Punk attacked Show with the WWE Title.
Matt Striker talked to Big Show backstage. There was a car honking in the background. It was Michaels in his car. Paul Heyman was in his car right in front of Michaels. Michaels told him to move. Lesnar grabbed Michaels as he was yelling at Heyman. The screen went black with the idea that Lesnar knocked out the camera guy. Michaels was heard yelling in the background while Lesnar was supposedly attacking him. They went to break at 10:54pmET.
Analysis: There's the promised attack we were waiting for. It was predictable, but that doesn't make it bad.
Back from break, the windshield was broken. A lot of WWE superstars were out there. The story is that Lesnar took Michaels. They kidnapped the Heartbreak Kid. The announcers talked about it at ringside.
Lesnar appeared in the arena again. He had Michaels on his shoulders. He carried him into the ring. It's nice of him to bring him to a place where everybody could see them. He's such a nice kidnapper. Lesnar hit Michaels with the F5. The crowd was chanting for "Triple H." Lesnar put Michaels in the Kimura armbar. Hunter came running out. Heyman told him to stop or Lesnar will break his arm. If he breaks his arm it will heal in a few weeks like Hunter? Hunter stayed outside the ring while Heyman told him to keep his distance. Lesnar snapped the arm anyway. Heyman was yelling "oh my God you broke his arm!" Michaels was selling it as if it was broken. Hunter was saying he was sorry. Michaels told him to get away from him.
The show ended with a staredown between Hunter and Lesnar while Michaels was being tended to by doctors in the ring. The show went off the air at 10:02pmET.
Analysis: There goes the idea of Michaels being in Hunter's corner at Summerslam. I thought it was a good ending to Raw. Not great, but better than having it end with a mystery car attack with a kidnapping. Lesnar hitting Michaels with the F5 was awesome. The ending part where he broke the arm of Michaels even though Heyman said he wouldn't was a nice twist. It puts over the idea that Lesnar is an evil bastard that won't even listen to his manager. They had to do that in order to make up for when they had him lose to Cena at Extreme Rules. Lesnar is going into this one as a legit tough guy again, so that's good in terms of making fans interested in the matchup.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Dolph Ziggler
2. Chris Jericho
3. Shawn Michaels
4.5 out of 10
Last week: 7
2012 Average: 5.82
2012 High: 9 (January 30)
2012 Low: 3 (July 9)
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 7, 6.5, 7.5, 3
As you can see from the last five weeks statistic, this was a major drop-off in terms of show quality.
I think it's a situation where everything at Summerslam is already in place. There wasn't much more that needed to be done except what they did in the Lesnar/Triple H story where they built up Lesnar as a physical presence once again.
Aside from the Lesnar/Triple H angle, there was a lot of filler. Plenty of short matches, too many video packages once again and I'm very sick of Tout already.
The only advancement in the CM Punk/John Cena/Big Show story was that Punk felt more disrespected this week. He made some comments towards Sunday that make me wonder how the match is going to go, so in that sense they added a bit to it.
The best part of Raw was the triple threat match with Ziggler, Jericho & Miz. The problem is that followed a rough Piper's Pit segment that was not executed very well. The match was fun, though, so the surprisingly poor talk show can be forgotten in the long run.
There weren't bad ideas on Raw. If you missed it I'd recommend watching the triple threat as well as the show ending angle. It was just one of those "I wish it was still two hours" episodes. Too much filler this time.
Lastly, I don't care who Pauly D is and nothing he said makes me want to follow him on Twitter. It makes me hope there are no more Social Ambassadors for Raw. I understand WWE thinks it will help them reach out to more fans, but it also alienates your current fans who just want to watch a wrestling show instead of a Twitter advertisement for some "celebrity" out there. Hearing Cole put this guy over was very annoying.
That's a wrap for this week. Let's bring it home with some quick plugs.
Check out TJRSports.com for articles covering all sports. I'll likely have a fantasy NFL column up on Thursday of this week.
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I'll be back on Friday or Saturday with the Summerslam preview and then on Sunday night with live Summerslam coverage on TJRWrestling.com, so be sure to check it out!
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org
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