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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 7/30: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw #1,000 - Punk explains heel turn, #1 contender match main event, Orton returns, Summerslam hype

Jul 30, 2012 - 10:06:20 PM

WWE Raw Supershow Results
July 30, 2012 - Episode #1,000
Live in Cincinnati, Ohio
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

An hour after a fire broke out in the arena, this week's three-hour Raw started with WWE's new signature open, followed by a live shot inside the U.S. Bank Arena. WWE showed a few empty seats as Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler opened the show. Lawler said anything can happen on Raw, as just before the doors were about to open, the Titantron caught on fire during pyro rehearsals. WWE went to footage of the Titantron catching on-fire before the show. Lawler said the show must go on.

The announcers transitioned away from the fire story to events on last week's historic Raw. This led to a video package documenting the big events, returns, and matches that led to C.M. Punk's apparent heel turn to close the show. The video contained Lawler's words that it appears Punk has turned on the WWE Universe.

Back live in the arena, Cult of Personality played to a big reaction to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk dressed to wrestle. Punk sauntered out on-stage, raised his arms toward the crowd, put his hands together, and slowly walked to the ring. Punk entered the ring not selling emotion and Cole noted Punk has been silent ever since last week's Raw.

In the ring, Punk looked toward the crowd and said WrestleMania Moments are what people talk about. Punk said last week, he had himself a Raw Moment. He said it was bigger than most people's Mania moments. But, before he gets into what he did to The Rock, he wants to shed some light on something. Punk said Raw 1,000 went off the air with a bad taste in his mouth. He said it wasn't his actions, but Lawler saying Punk has turned his back on the WWE Universe. Punk then leaned on the top rope and stared at Lawler, who stared back at him.

Punk slipped out of the ring and dropped his title belt on the announce desk before sitting Indian-style in front of Lawler on the announce table. Punk said he doesn't get it because he's used to overly-dramatic hyperbole on commentary, but he doesn't see how Lawler could jump to such a conclusion. Punk said if anything, it was Lawler who turned his back on him. Punk said last time he checked, Rock was not the WWE Universe, but one single, solitary man. Punk called Rock a delusional movie star who showed him an incredible lack of respect. First, Rock interrupted him, which is something no one should ever do. Punk said when Rock went into his tired shtick with Daniel Bryan, Rock acted like he was invisible. He said when Rock "lowered himself" to talk to him, he noted he was gifted a title match at the Royal Rumble. Punk said Rock acted like he was just going to take his title from him. He said the lack of respect Rock showed him is what he showed him in return. Punk said Rock is fortunate he didn't hurt him right then and there.

Then, at the end of the night, "Dwayne" tried to make the show all about him. Punk said he tried to make Raw 1,000 all about him. And, that's exactly when he showed him the kind of man he is dealing with. Punk said he is WWE's champion, which drew cheers and boos. Punk asked Jerry if he understands him. As for Rock's response, they haven't heard from him. Punk said when Rock was battling John Cena, no one could shut him up. Now, Rock has become silent. He said he knows what that means. Punk told Lawler he can spin things however he wants to spin things, but the show ended with the focus, attention, and spotlight on the WWE champion, who is the best wrestler in the world.

Suddenly, Big Show's music played to bring out Show. Cole noted Punk should probably be thanking Show for making sure he remained WWE champion when Show caused a DQ during Punk-Cena for the WWE Title last week. As Punk entered the ring to face Show, Lawler said he's not sure what to say right now. Punk re-addressed Show and said he must be out here to steal the spotlight, too. Show said Punk is technically right that the spotlight was on Punk at the end of Raw 1,000, but it was all about him. Show said the fans can boo, but the fact is he cost Cena the WWE Title, he made Cena the first man in history to cash in a MITB contract and lose (technically, he won, but didn't win the title), and Punk is supposedly the best in the world, but he knocked out John Cena and Punk still couldn't beat him. Matter of fact, Punk wound up in the STF and would have tapped out if not for him. Matter of fact, the only reason why Punk is still WWE champ is because of him. Punk tried to shake off Show's comments.

Show continued that he will be the next WWE champion, which drew a smirk from Punk. Punk sarcastically asked Show if that's right. Punk noted Show couldn't beat Cena at No Way Out and he couldn't win MITB, so the only person winning around here is him.

[Q2] Show smiled and paced the ring, then Cena's music played. Cena stormed the ring and went right after Big Show, who cost him the title last week. Show then bailed from the ring after taking a few blows. Punk simply leaned against the ropes in the background as Cena called out to Show to come get some. Lawler noted Punk won't be happy about the spotlight being stolen from him again. Suddenly, Justin Roberts announced new Raw GM, A.J. Lee. A.J. came out on-stage dressed in a suit. A.J. said she's going to name tonight's main event - Cena vs. Big Show. A.J. said the winner will go on to face C.M. Punk for the WWE Title at Summerslam. Punk acted put out by the events in the opening segment as Show backed up the entrance ramp talking trash toward Cena. Punk continued to complain about being overshadowed while Cena ignored him and locked eyes with Show. Cena then picked up his cap and turned to look toward Punk.

Still to come: Flashback video on how Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar was set up for Summerslam on last week's Raw.

[Commercial Break]

Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera discussing C.M. Punk's explanation in the previous segment. Lawler said he doesn't agree, then Cole asked their viewers to send in a Tout video reacting to Punk.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan was shown standing outside the Raw GM office. Bryan couldn't bring himself to knock on A.J.'s door, then walked off.

In-ring: Santino's music played to bring out the U.S. champion for the opening match. Cole plugged a Shazam item before Justin Roberts introduced Ricardo Rodriguez, who then introduced Alberto Del Rio. Del Rio made his out on-stage without his car entrance, then slowly made his way to the ring sneering at the crowd. Cole noted Del Rio's car was not allowed ringside following the pre-show fire incident, then announced Del Rio will get a World Title shot against Sheamus at Summerslam after winning the #1 contender match on Smackdown last Friday.

1 -- U.S. champion SANTINO vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO -- non-title match

Del Rio picked apart Santino, testing the limits of the referee's five count. Santino suddenly found some offense and knocked Del Rio to the outside. Del Rio acted stunned as they cut to commercial. Yes, this match is getting two segments instead of being a basic squash.

[Commercial Break]

[Q3] Back live, Del Rio was in control of the match as Cole requested Tout responses to Punk's explanation in the opening segment. Del Rio continued to work over Santino before applying an arm submission. Santino escaped, then fought back, only to take a knee to the temple. Del Rio continued a slow assault on Santino, who suddenly yanked out the Cobra, only to take a smash into the ringpost. Del Rio then slapped on the cross arm-breaker and Santino was forced to tap out.

WINNER: Del Rio via submission at 7:35. When people were thinking about matches they would like to see given extended TV time now that Raw is three hours, this isn't what people had in mind. Apparently one-minute squash matches will be extended another 5-10 minutes to fill the time going forward.

Post-match: Del Rio stood over Santino with mic in-hand. Del Rio said he just destroyed the U.S. champion like nothing. He said Santino is beneath him, Sheamus is beneath him, and all of the people are beneath him. Del Rio said if it's not a World Title match, he will not compete. So, he will not compete again until Summerslam. Cole said he "sorta agrees" with him. He noted it's one of Del Rio's biggest career nights, so he should rest before Summerslam.

Backstage: D-Bryan re-approached the Raw GM door, teased knocking on the door, slapped the wall, and decided not to knock on the door. Bryan stared at the door before the announcers plugged Cena vs. Show in a #1 Contender's match tonight.

[Commercial Break]

In-ring: Back live, Brodus Clay was in the ring dancing with Naomi & Cameron. Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero interrupted, excused herself onto the show, insulted the dancing trio, and vowed to show off her dance moves. Vickie offered some intentionally terrible Elaine from Seinfeld dance moves as Lawler cracked jokes on commentary.

Suddenly, Damien Sandow's music interrupted. Sandow walked out on-stage and noted he is the savior of the masses and their martyr. Sandow said a horrible crime was committed against humanity, then rolled footage of Shawn Michaels giving him a superkick into a Pedigree from Triple H. Back live, Clay had a good laugh watching the footage. Sandow then jumped Clay and took out his injured knee. Sandow followed with knee strikes and fists to the head before whipping him with his robe. Sandow snapped Clay's necklace over his knee, then looked into the crowd and smirked. Cole said DX did something to Sandow, as he has snapped.

Announcers: Cole and Lawler plugged a tag match still to come tonight. Cole said it will involve Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler, who had words for Jericho two weeks ago on Raw. Of course, Jericho answered that with a Codebreaker. Cole then went to Smackdown on Friday when Ziggler teased cashing in his MITB contract, only to have Jericho throw Ziggler into Sheamus for a Brogue Kick, followed by Jericho landing another Codebreaker to Zigs. Cole then made the official announcement of Christian & Jericho vs. Ziggler & new IC champ The Miz coming up tonight.

[Q4] [Commercial Break]

Backstage: Daniel Bryan finally built up the courage to enter A.J.'s office. A.J. smiled and stood up before extending her hand for a shake. Bryan went off on A.J., who told Bryan to shut up. A.J. said she's Bryan's boss and she noticed last week that there were a bunch of guys walking around backstage in white suits who appeared to be from a mental hospital. A.J. said she thinks Bryan just wanted to marry her so he could have her committed. Bryan said those guys were his groomsmen and he was wearing white, too. A.J. brushed aside Bryan's claim and booked Bryan against Sheamus tonight. Bryan asked if it's for the World Title, which A.J. responded to by saying, "No! No! No!" Bryan walked off, frustrated.

Raw flashback: WWE rolled footage from last week when the McMahon Family bullied "professional parasite" Paul Heyman into a Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar match at Summerslam in the segment where no one was likable. WWE emphasized Lesnar's initial flurry against Hunter before showing Hunter clothesline Lesnar over the top rope to the floor. ... Back on the air, Cole said Hunter vs. Lesnar is a first-time-ever match-up. Cole added that the match has become very personal with Hunter's family now involved.

Cole then transitioned to a plug for Sheamus vs. Bryan tonight. He said A.J. is allowing the audience to decide the type of match. The Twitter options are No Holds Barred, Falls Count Anywhere, or Street Fight. ... Backstage: Josh Mathews caught up with Sheamus, who said he doesn't care what kind of match he's in against Bryan. He said he's just happy A.J. left it up the fans. Sheamus started to walk off, but then came back to ask Mathews what's wrong with him tonight. Sheamus told him to buck up, then walked off toward the ring. That was...odd.

[Commercial Break]

Earlier Tonight: Cole re-introduced footage from before Raw when the Titantron caught on-fire and the building was evacuated. Cole said the WWE fans have adjusted and been "electric" tonight.

In-ring: Daniel Bryan came out just before the top of the hour. Lawler then narrated clips of Bryan being left at the altar by A.J., who accepted the Raw GM position following a proposal by Vince McMahon.

[Q5 -- second hour] At the top of the hour, Bryan sold anger having to re-live that moment. Bryan told the crowd to stop chanting "Yes!" Bryan said only he can chant it. He shouted at the crowd to stop chanting when they of course continued chanting. "I said stop!" he shouted. Bryan ranted and raved before Sheamus's music played to bring out the World champ. As Sheamus came out, WWE replayed footage from four weeks ago on Smackdown when Del Rio KO'ed Sheamus and slammed him inside the hood of his car. The point was that Sheamus is still feeling the effects from that beating. Back in the ring, Sheamus tried to ignore that replay before Jerry Lawler stood up at ringside to announce the type of match voted on by the audience. The winner is...Street Fight with 73 percent. No Holds Barred got 14 match and FCA got 13 percent.

2 -- World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS vs. DANIEL BRYAN -- non-title match -- Street Fight

Bryan started the match with kick blasts to Sheamus, who absorbed the blows before delivering a backbreaker for a two count. Bryan came back with a corner kick targeting Sheamus's arm. Meanwhile, Lawler congratulated A.J. on a job well-done so far tonight. The match moved to the floor, where Sheamus rammed Bryan into the guardrail before back-dropping him onto the entrance ramp. The match moved to the stage, where Sheamus bounced Bryan's head off the platform WWE logo. Sheamus took too much time playing to the crowd, allowing Bryan to cut off Sheamus before delivering multiple Yes! kicks. Bryan then built some momentum and dropkicked Sheamus off the stage to the floor below. Sheamus sold an ankle injury, then Bryan came flying off the stage with a running kick. Bryan was in control heading to break.

[Commercial Break. A local promo for next week's Smackdown TV taping in Houston included a local promo from John Cena, a plug for Cena vs. Show & Laurinaitis, and a note on Triple H appearing live.]

Back live on Raw, Bryan was working on Sheamus's left arm while shouting, "Yes!" toward the crowd. Sheamus eventually broke free of Bryan's submission hold before accepting a knee to the gut. Bryan then dropkicked Sheamus through the ropes as Cole noted Eve is not happy with A.J. as the new Raw GM.

The match moved to the floor, where Sheamus overhead-slammed Bryan into the guardrail after intercepting Bryan in mid-air. Sheamus then spread out Bryan across the guardrail and landed his trademark Ten Punches to the chest. Sheamus followed with a suplex over the guardrail to the floor. Sheamus then went under the ring and retrieved a chair and Kendo Stick. Bryan quickly pushed both out of the ring, so Sheamus clotheslined Bryan over the top rope to the floor. Sheamus was slow to follow up, which allowed Bryan to blast Sheamus across the face with a Kendo Stick. Bryan followed with multiple stick shots inside the ring as the crowd chanted, "No!" with each blow.

Bryan left the ring to retrieve the chair, then wedged it in the corner. Sheamus used the interval to retrieve the stick and blast Bryan with it, but then Bryan ducked a stick shot and dropkicked Sheamus and the stick into the chair in the corner. Big oohs from the crowd. Bryan made a cover, but Sheamus kicked out in-time. On the floor again, Sheamus recovered and blasted Bryan with multiple weapon shots. Bryan and Sheamus teased moves, then Bryan shoved Sheamus into the ringpost.

[Q6] As Sheamus recovered ringside, Bryan slid ring steps into the ring, then whipped Sheamus into the ringside guardrail. Back in the ring, Bryan tried to grab the Kendo Stick, but Sheamus intercepted, leading to a tug of war. Sheamus then yanked Bryan into him, walked up the ring steps, and wanted White Noise, but Bryan shoved him away. But, Sheamus rebounded off the ropes and nailed a Brogue Kick onto the ring steps. Sheamus yanked Bryan off the steps to the mat and covered him for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Sheamus at 14:06. When people were thinking about matches they would like to see given extended TV time now that Raw is three hours, this is what people had in mind. Another excellent TV match on Bryan's resume and Sheamus continues to grow as a top babyface being able to back up his championship status with tough-guy wins. (***)

Announcers: Cole and Lawler talked on-camera about C.M. Punk's promo earlier tonight. Cole then fed to a clip of Punk sitting on the announce desk talking to Lawler in his face about what he plans to do to The Rock at the Royal Rumble. After the clip played, Lawler plugged Cena vs. Show still to come tonight in the main event.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Daniel Bryan was still in the ring. Bryan, who was being tended to by referees, said he is not leaving the ring until he gets a doctor. Bryan shouted, "No!" at the referees trying to get him to leave the ring, acting like a crazy person. Cole said while this is being straightened out, they will re-visit C.M. Punk's opening promo. Cole narrated clips of Cena interrupting the Punk-Show portion of the opening segment, leading to Punk feeling like everyone stole his spotlight.

After the clip played, Bryan was shown still in the ring. A ringside doctor entered the ring to check on Bryan, then Kofi Kingston's music played to bring out Kingston and R-Truth, who was dressed in a suit since Kofi is scheduled for singles action. Kofi took a mic and said he knows Bryan is having a bad night and a bad few weeks, but he should do them all a favor and just leave the ring. Truth told Bryan there is no place for him right now. Truth noted they have business to handle. Bryan did a maniacal laugh and asked where Lil' Jimmy is. Bryan approached "Jimmy" and introduced himself as Daniel Bryan. He said he hears he is his biggest fan. Bryan then punted the imaginary Jimmy out of the ring, prompting Truth to jump out of the ring and check on frantically Jimmy.

Bryan growled that there's nothing wrong with him, especially compared to Truth, who is consoling an invisible child. Bryan shouted that Truth is out of his mind, and he doesn't belong here. As four men in white jumpsuits approached the ring, Bryan told Truth that they're here to get him. Suddenly, A.J.'s music played. A.J. stood on-stage and said the person who needs help is "that little guy in the ring." A.J. said Bryan seems a little mentally unstable tonight. Bryan stood up as the four men in white coats entered the ring. A.J. said Bryan needs to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, then requested he be escorted out of the ring. The crowd shouted, "Yes!" as Bryan left the ring under his own power. Bryan walked past Truth and Kofi and approached A.J. on the stage. Bryan stared down A.J., who puckered up for a kiss, then Bryan walked past her as the orderlies helped him to the back. A.J.'s music played and she waved good-bye over her shoulder. They faded to break.

Segment Reax: Another outstanding non-wrestling performance by Daniel Bryan to back up what he can do in the ring. He has to be the top all-around WWE performer in the company right now.

[Q7] [Commercial Break]

This Friday on Smackdown: Vince McMahon will appear on the show to name the new Smackdown GM.

In-ring: R-Truth was checking on Little Jimmy ringside as Lawler and Cole played along. Truth "sat down" Jimmy in a ringside chair, then Cole introduced a Tout highlight reel of fans reacting to C.M. Punk's comments at the top of the show. Three against Punk and one for Punk. And, for another social media item, WWE asked fans to say who is more unstable - A.J. or Daniel Bryan.

Suddenly, AW's voice was heard. AW, now with an official logo on his Titantron entrance graphic, walked out on-stage to introduce the Prime Time Players. They were all dressed in red, apparently since they're in Cincinnati.

3 -- WWE tag champion KOFI KINGSTON (w/WWE tag champion R-Truth vs. TITUS O'NEIL (w/Darren Young and AW)

As Titus took control early on, AW offered a very dated joke about Titus being like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado. A more relevant attempted joke would have been Kobe losing his shirt at a party in London. Titus continued to dominate Kofi before Kofi came back with a flying clothesline into the Boom Drop. Young decided now was the time to get involved, which drew Truth onto the ring apron to clothesline him. AW then shouted at Kofi before throwing his shoe at his back. Kofi turned around, grabbed the shoe, and chucked AW's shoe toward him on the entrance ramp. But, Kofi turned around and ate the Clash of Titus for the pin and the win. Cue up AW's post-match celebration.

WINNER: O'Neil at 2:52.

Backstage: C.M. Punk and John Cena were shown having a stare down in the locker room. Punk said perhaps he should have done more to help Cena last week, but he has nothing but respect for Cena. Punk said concerning Cena's match against Big Show tonight, he doesn't care who wins. Cena tried to talk, but Punk told him he understands why Cena would be mad at him for not helping as much as he could have. Mid-sentence, Punk shifted to saying Cena shouldn't be mad at him because he did to Rock what Cena couldn't do in a whole year. After that passive-aggressive jab, Punk patted Cena on the shoulder, then walked off. Cena glared toward Punk as he walked off.

[Commercial Break]

[Q8] Announcers: Cole and Lawler were shown on-camera. Cole said they would like to apologize for remarks made moments ago by AW. Apparently that was about AW's Kobe Bryant comment? Cole quickly transitioned to a look at Punk and Cena's exchange moments ago.

In-ring: Heath Slater was in the ring. Cole then fed to a video replay from last week when Lita beat Slater with help from a variety of WWE Legends. Cole emphasized the Clothesline from Hell that JBL delivered, leading to Lita's moonsault for the win. Back live, Slater tried to brush aside the video replay. Slater said that now that the Legends have gone back to the retirement home, he can get his career back on-track. He said he's out here to challenge any Current WWE Superstar to come out here and lose to the One-Man Band. Slater smiled and looked toward the locker room. Cue up I Hear Voices to a huge reaction. A clean-shaven Randy Orton came out on-stage looking a few years older facially after his two-month suspension. Orton surveyed the crowd as Lawler told the audience to call someone because Orton is back. In the ring, Orton smiled toward the crowd before doing his trademark pose.


Slater was the aggressor early on, driving Orton into the corner. But, Orton came back with punches, clotheslines, and a trademark snap powerslam. Orton then set up Slater for a trademark DDT from the second rope and connected. The crowd was nuts for Orton, who got into position for the RKO. Orton got ready to strike and connected with the RKO center-ring. Orton with the pin for the win. Afterward, Orton let out two months of pent-up energy with a post-match celebration in front of a hot crowd. WWE replayed the high points from Orton's return before cutting back live to show Orton standing tall in the corner.

WINNER: Orton at 1:18. That's a return.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan was shown talking to someone off-camera about his current issues. The camera panned back to reveal Bryan talking to a doctor. Bryan answered, "Yes!" to basic questions about himself. Bryan got tired of the questions, so he shouted, "Yes!" over and over as the doctor tried to write things on his notepad. A vein was about to pop out of Bryan's head as he leaned forward over the table.

Up next: Christian & Jericho vs. Ziggler & Miz featured tag match at the top of the hour.

[Commercial Break]

Video package: Brock Lesnar returned to WWE under his own set of rules, but The Game changed with Triple H got involved. Now, they clash at Summerslam.

In-ring: Back live, the lights went out to signal Chris Jericho's arrival. Jericho posed on-stage, then marched to the ring just before the top of the hour.

[Q9 -- third hour] After another replay of the recent Jericho-Ziggler developments, Christian's music played to bring out the former IC champion. Cole noted it's been a rough few weeks for Christian, which led to a replay of Miz capturing the IC Title from Christian last Monday on Raw. Miz was out first for the heel duo, then Cole offered a quick plug for the Hell in a Cell PPV in Atlanta in October, with tickets going on-sale this Saturday. Dolph Ziggler was out last, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero.

5 -- CHRIS JERICHO & CHRISTIAN vs. IC champion THE MIZ & DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Just before the bell sounded, the announcers stressed Raw permanently moving to three hours. Ziggler and Christian started things off, Ziggler showed off, and Christian popped Ziggler in the face to begin things. Ziggler had enough of Christian, so Miz tagged in. Miz took offense from Christian, then decided to tag in Ziggler. Christian then tagged in Jericho, which led to Ziggler tagging out to Miz. Lots of gamesmanship early on. Jericho then took control of the match by clotheslining Ziggler over the top rope, dumping Miz to the outside, and setting up Christian for a flying splash from the top rope. The heels recovered on the floor as Raw went to break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Cleveland was on top of Canada on points. Meanwhile, Vickie was shown holding Ziggler's MITB briefcase, prepared to use it as a weapon. Jericho eventually tagged in Christian, who decked Ziggler with right hands, then landed a slap to the face. Christian followed with an elbow smash from the second rope, then a sunset flip for a close two count. Christian continued to show aggressiveness, smashing Miz off the ring apron, but then ran into a dropkick from Ziggler for a close two count. The heels then worked over Christian for a few minutes, but they were unable to put Christian away.

[Q10] Jericho eventually took a hot tag at 12:00 and cleaned house. Jericho bulldogged Miz, then went for the Lionsault and connected. The action broke down with all four men in the ring, then Christian snapped Ziggler with a spear. But, Miz posted Christian. Jericho then caught Miz with the Walls of Jericho, but Miz countered out and then big-booted Jericho. Impressive. Miz wanted the Skullcrushing Finale, and WWE inexplicably went to a split-screen replay, which gave away that Jericho would escape Miz's finisher. After Jericho escaped, Christian smashed Miz from behind, which led to Jericho landing a Codebreaker on Miz for the pin.

WINNERS: Jericho & Christian at 13:23. Solid, very physical tag match. The post-match continued to build toward Jericho-Ziggler at Summerslam...

Post-match, Ziggler smashed Jericho from behind with his MITB briefcase. Ziggler stood over Jericho, then left the ring to stand tall with Vickie. They cut to a shot of Jericho, who had a small cut on his forehead, as he recovered in the ring.

Earlier Tonight: Cole and Lawler recapped the pre-Raw fire affecting the Titantron.

Backstage: Daniel Bryan took a vision/psychological test. The third picture was a goat-face, which drew Bryan's ire. Bryan said the only thing "goat" about him is he is the Greatest Of All-Time. Bryan then asked the doctor if Charlie Sheen put him up to this. Bryan said if Sheen is watching, then he's the one who is winning. Cole chuckled in the background as they faded to commercial with Bryan talking to himself.

[Commercial Break]

Exterior shot: Cincinnati. Lawler said they are next-door to the red-hot Reds, who were shown playing next-door at Great American Ballpark.

Announcers: Cole excitedly talked on-camera about whether Bryan or A.J. is more unstable. Cole rolled a video package on fans touting about who's more unstable. One suggestion was Bryan vs. A.J. in a straight-jacket match. Lawler said he doesn't agree with people saying A.J. is more unstable than Bryan.

In-ring: Tensai was in the ring back from break. In a role reversal, Tyson Kidd received a standard Superstar ring entrance and nervously entered the ring to face Tensai. WWE cut to a clip from last month when Kidd snuck in a win over Tensai, which set off Tensai and led to numerous follow-up attacks by Tensai.


Tensai waited for Kidd to wear himself out, then began dominating Kidd. Meanwhile, the vocal males picked up an "Albert, Albert" chant. Kidd was shown bleeding from the forehead as the camera zoomed in on Kidd as he was locked in a submission. Kidd broke free, then nearly scored a pin on a roll-up. Kidd followed with a top-rope Blockbuster, but Tensai kicked out in time. Kidd tried to follow with strikes, but Tensai blasted him with a two-hand bomb. Tensai followed with a giant splash for the pin and the win.

Post-match, Tensai picked up Kidd and dismantled him with clotheslines and power offense as the ref called for the bell. Tensai then finished off Kidd with a shoulderbreaker. The referee had enough and decided to reverse his decision and award Kidd the win. More refs then came out to try to get Tensai out of the ring as Sakamoto stood off in the corner. Tensai then brought Sakamoto toward him, slapped him, and chucked Sakamoto out of the ring. Raw cut to another Bryan segment.

WINNER: Kidd via reverse decision at 2:14. There's just no sense of advancement for the Tensai character.

[Q11] The doc was shown talking to Daniel Bryan again. He concluded that Bryan is very bitter, short-tempered, and has a major issue with Charlie Sheen. But, he has also concluded that Bryan is 100 percent sane. The doctor left, then the lights turned red and Kane entered the room to inform Bryan that he is his anger management therapist. Kane threw Bryan into a wall, then walked off, leaving Bryan to lick his wounds on the ground.

[Commercial Break]

Summerslam hype: WWE focused on the Brock-Hunter headline match, then Cole fed to another lengthy video recap of their segment last Monday on Raw.

Back in the arena, Cult of Personality played to bring out WWE champion C.M. Punk again. Punk marched to the ring as Cole recapped Punk's digs at The Rock in the opening segment. Punk then joined Cole and Lawler at the announce table for commentary for the Cena-Show main event. Punk stood next to Cole, locked eyes with Lawler, and smirked as Raw cut to commercial.

[Commercial Break]

Smackdown plug: Vince McMahon returns to Smackdown for the first time in over two years when he names a new Smackdown GM.

Ringside: Punk was shown talking to Cole back from break. Punk then told Lawler he thought he would join commentary to ensure neither Cole nor Lawler is slanted for either Cena or Show calling the match. Show came out first for the main event and Punk said he doesn't care who wins the match tonight. Show decided to make his presence known in front of Punk, who told Show to focus on John Cena.

[Q12] Show prepared to fight Punk, then Cena's music played to bring out WWE's top star. Cena told the cameraman on-stage that they set this place on-fire tonight. Cole then asked Punk about almost tapping out to Cena last week on Raw, which Punk downplayed before downplaying Cena's ovation for the main event. Cole engaged Punk in another discussion about Rock, which led to Punk reinforcing his view that Rock stole his spotlight last week.

7 -- JOHN CENA vs. BIG SHOW -- #1 contender match to WWE Title

As the crowd picked up a dueling chant of "Let's Go Cena / Cena Sucks," Show knocked down Cena and began dismantling him very early on. Cena sold near-unconsciousness less than a minute in as Show taunted him. Cole then rattled off the names of past WWE champions who Punk could surpass if he remains champion another month. Show continued to slowly dismantle Cena as Punk cut a promo on Lawler's commentary and the crowd continued their dueling chant. Show then missed with a big open-hand slap and Cena hopped on Show's back to apply a modified sleeperhold. Show fought the hold, then rammed Cena into the corner to escape. But, Cena reversed a powerslam into another sleeperhold. Punk and Lawler continued to trade barbs as Cena put Show on the mat with the sleeper. Show then fell on the mat and Cena covered Show, but Show press-slammed Cena clear out of the ring to escape the pin attempt. They cut to break with Punk intently watching the TV monitor.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Show was in control of the action as Cole reset the match. Cena tried to fight back against Show, but ran into a brick-wall. Show then stepped across Cena's chest before taunting the ringside fans. Show then squashed Cena in the corner and taunted Punk ringside, asking him how he's going to stop him. Punk said he thinks it's great that Show is more concerned with him at ringside than his opponent right now. Lawler then asked Punk about whether he's changed since becoming champ. Punk said he thinks the WWE champion should be spotlighted and respected. Lawler retorted that the title should be respected, but not necessarily the champion.

At 10:00, Show locked Cena in a bearhug center-ring. Cena tried fighting the hold as Show tried to tighten his grip. Cena fought out, then tried a bodyslam, but Show fell on top of Cena for a two count. Show then called for the Chokeslam as Cena slowly made his way to his feet. Show grabbed Cena around the throat, but Cena countered with a mid-air DDT. Both men sold on the mat before Cena reached his feet, charged Show, and ran into a sidewalk slam from Show.

[Q13 -- over-run] At the top of the hour, Show slowly pulled himself to his feet, then climbed to the second rope. Show wanted a Vader Bomb, but Cena rolled out of the way just in time. Cena then landed a shoulder tackle that took Show off his feet. Cena followed with a sit-out slam, then called for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He delivered it, Show popped to his feet, and grabbed Cena around the throat for a giant chokeslam. Show immediately covered Cena, but Cena kicked out just before three. Cena then rolled out of the ring as WWE replayed Show's atomic wedgie chokeslam that only resulted in a nearfall.

The match moved to ringside, where Show rolled Cena back into the ring. Show then punched Cena in the gut and Cena rolled to the outside again. Show and Cena had an exchange that resulted in Show shoving Cena clear over the announce table into Punk's lap, knocking out both men. Show rolled back into the ring as the ref began applying a ten count, then Cena leaped back into the ring just before ten. Show grimaced as Punk sold a shoulder injury resting on the floor next to the announce table.

At 16:00, Show called for the KO Punch as Cena slowly recovered across the ring. Cena ducked the KO Punch, though, then lifted up Show for an AA. However, Punk entered the ring and blasted Cena, causing the match to be thrown out without a decision.

WINNER: No Contest at 16:17.

Post-match: Punk then popped Show in the head with a kick. Lawler said he knows the bell has rung, but he doesn't know what the decision is. Punk continued to sell his shoulder as Show and Cena remained KO'ed in the ring.

Punk then slipped out of the ring, yanked the mic from Justin Roberts, grabbed his title belt, and returned to the ring. Punk said the winner of this contest is...nobody. Punk said they are both losers. Punk dropped the mic and left the ring as both Cena and Show sold in the ring. Punk shook off his shoulder, then marched up the stage. Punk was about to leave with focus on him, but A.J. emerged on-stage. Punk kept walking and disappeared, then A.J. announced that Punk will defend his WWE Title at Summerslam against Big Show...pause...and John Cena in a triple threat match. A.J. smiled, then Punk re-emerged on-stage and told A.J. that she's crazy. Punk told her she's a bad GM. He shouted that A.J. can't do this to him. Punk told A.J. to show him some respect as A.J. just smiled and batted her eyes. They signed off six minutes past the top of the hour with Punk furious with A.J.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Solid developments throughout the show, but three hours every week is just too much. Raw is going to struggle when they get into the fall season up against football and new TV seasons if 45 minutes is spent on social media and video replay upon video replay. A healthy amount of replays helps reinforce top stories, but going overboard will turn away viewers to where viewers will just begin picking and choosing what they watch over a three-hour period.


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