What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at WWE Raw 7/23/12. After weeks of build-up and anticipation, it's time for Raw's 1000th episode. With a ton of hype going into this episode, was it able to deliver or did it disappoint? Let's find out and start the review.
We open up with a montage of Raw's previous 999 episodes. You got some happy, sad, and momentous occasions. Vince McMahon thanks everyone for standing by WWE during their time and introduces DX. Yeah, the smarks are probably insulting Vince and WWE at this point, but I don't care for any of that. Triple H and Shawn Michaels lead the charge, but realize they are missing members. Out comes Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, and X-Pac to join the group. The only DX member missing was Chyna, but I'm sure this episode would've ended up on Cinemax if she arrived. Damien Sandow interrupts, but I need to get this out of the first. DX One Night Only T-shirt, ONLY 24.95!!! Hey, you knew they were thinking that….CA-CHING!!! Sandow isn't amused with DX's child antics, so it's that time for five 40+ year olds to take out Ask That Guy. Too bad the robe doesn't give you special powers. The opening was exactly what I expected. It was a way to get the crowd pumped up for the evening since we are gonna be diving into the nostalgic bag often tonight.
Match #1: Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, and Sin Cara vs Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho, and Dolph Ziggler
JR was on commentary for this match. I would've preferred if they had JR called the rest of the evening, but we got to have the traditional team of short-term memory loss, King, and Michael "hearing-loss" Cole. This was a really short match and it ended when Dolph took a cheap shot at Jericho. With Jericho down, this allows Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick for the victory. Since they have a lot of cameos for tonight, I expect short matches. Why do I get the feeling the IWC is gonna complain TWICE as much after tonight?
Winner via pinfall: Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, and Sin Cara
You want to know how to blaze by a ton of appearances? Put them all in a bats*** crazy scene, but not before we have Charlie Sheen make an appearance via Skype. Is Raw officially winning? The backstage scene was AJ preparing for her marriage, but everyone is completely off the lid. Appearances by Layla, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, R-Truth, Jim Duggan, Mae Young, Mae Young's son…..which is a hand. Ohhhhhhhh noooooooo!!! Well, that was worth a cheap laugh. I gotta give them some credit for referencing that.
Match #2: Brodus Clay vs Jack Swagger
You look to your left. You look to your right. What do you see? Hell if I know, but the match ended during the time you were looking. After the match, Dude Love arrives to dance the night away with our dancing dinosaur.
Winner via Swagger Squash: Brodus Clay
Trish Stratus gives Yoga training to Trips, while the rest of the DX mocks him. I'm surprised they didn't utilize a fart sound effect. And for some reason, X-Pac sounds like he smoked an entire cigarette factory, or one John Laurinaitis cigar. It's time to do the Daniel Bryan/AJ wedding. The audience is chanting 'No'. Are they chanting that towards the wedding segment, or the entire show? Hephhephhephhephhephheph…….DAAAAAAAA!!! Anyway, she declines the marriage since another man made a proposal. Vince shows up and…..Hey, an interesting development in this whole thing. Well, that quickly goes away when Vince says AJ is the new GM of Raw. Not as promising as Vince rocking the cradle, but this is still a bit of a surprise. I'm not really sure what to make of this. It makes things a little more interesting, considering that her character is still unstable. Unfortunately, that means AJ will get even more screen time, thus leading to more people disliking her. She's personally one of my favorite divas at the moment, but she gets way too much attention.
A commercial break later, Bryan is still pissed off that he didn't marry AJ. Either that or he regretted going with the white suit. CM Punk arrives to gloat. Random dialogue….THE ROCK SHOWS UP!!! Rock announces that he will be going for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Well, I certainly didn't expect that. I think it will be fun to see who the champion is at this point. Just when you think Punk is gonna get edgy again, he says the cliche stuff towards Rocky's announcement. Once again, another missed opportunity for Punk's character. Then again, Punk isn't done tonight, so maybe he's got something in store, right? Right? RIGHT? Anyway, time to end this scene by giving Frodo a Rock Bottom. Daniel's not having a good night, to say the least.
Match #3: Christian vs Miz; IC Championship
We are halfway thru this show and its been what I expected. A ton of appearances from people, a couple of interesting announcements, and very little in the action department. But we still have another 90 minutes to go, so I still think we can turn this boat around and deliver in the action department. Well, it isn't gonna be now since this match didn't last long. Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale and we have a new IC Champ. The match leaves much to be desired. Well, that's what happens when you want to have a ton of cameos. Then again, I bet those legends aren't complaining since they continue to add to their bank account. As far as Miz being IC Champion is concerned, it isn't that bad of an idea. The Miz has been lost ever since losing the WWE Championship, so this gives him something to do. Christian wasn't doing a whole lot with the IC title, so I can see why you make the change. I still wish to see a new US Champion, but WWE wants to sell over a million Cobras before de-crowning Santino.
Winner via pinfall and NEW IC Champion: Miz
Triple H comes out and wants to fight Brock Lesnar. Let's f***, Lesnar. Yeah, I've had that one reserved for a while. Paul Heyman comes out instead and still declines the match. Pauly pokes fun of Trips' kids. That's when Stephanie McMahon arrives and she's pissed off that he mocked her children. She says all these lawsuits are Paul's way of shaking away his failed run as a businessman. I will definitely agree that Pauly was a terrible businessman. The man is a creative genius when writing wrestling, but don't let him handle the business side of it all. She even said her father is better than Pauly. Oh…..Let the comment war being!!! After she slaps Paul (Makes you wonder if the children are watching mommy and daddy right now), Paul gets angry and makes the match. He can't believe she gave the princess what she wanted, but she tackles him. She clearly hasn't done this in a while. It didn't look like a convincing takedown, but it isn't important. Brock arrives and it's time to f***….er, I mean fight. Yeah, I meant to say fight……fight. Yeah, so Brock vs Trips will happen at SummerSlam. I'm really excited to see this match. I think it will be a lot of fun. As voted by the WWE Universe, their dream match is John Cena vs 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin. My personal favorite would be Punk vs Randy Savage, but this is still a nice choice. I guess this counts as Stone Cold's appearance for the night. Best gig ever!!!
Match #4: Heath Slater vs Lita, No DQ match
Slater challenges any legend to a No DQ match. Lita accepts Slater's open challenge, but she hired protection. The APA comes out, along with all the legends that killed Slater over the past few weeks. Lita hits the Twist of Fate….
After she hits the moonsault, she wins the match. The legends are up for joy during this bit. At least Slater didn't say "That's the bottom line" or "Who's next?". At least now, he can have a career….possibly…..maybe…..oh well.
Winner via pinfall: Lita
Daniel is pissed off at everybody, but calls out Charlie Sheen. Foreshadowing? For some reason, I want to see this confrontation, but I wish Charlie can be more of himself. During his appearances tonight, he seemed pretty sheltered. Part of me feels that it was a missed opportunity, but I guess we should save something up for the next confrontation. Fozzie Bear talks catchphrases….
Well, that's something we can get behind, am I right? "Mean" Gene Okerlund, Zack Ryder, and Cena are backstage. Blah, blah, blah, Rock comes in and wishes Cena luck. Wow, you got more buildup for Rock/Cena than Rock/Punk. Reckon, those plans are way too early to figure out, but I can't help but think Punk is sitting from a distance and screaming, "HEY!!! I'm the WWE Championship. I'm….I'm still important. Can somebody please look at me? LOOK AT ME!!!".
It appeared we were going to have Kane face off against the entire roaster of WWE Superstars until Undertaker makes a surprising return. Yeah, I know it was Kane vs Jinder Mahal, but this sounds better. Drew McIntyre, Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Hunico and Camacho were ready to attack until the Deadman arrived. What's hilarious is they are all ready to attack Kane, but as soon as you hear Taker's music, they just stand still for the next 5 hours. You could've attacked during that time. Hell, you probably could've taken Kane out before Taker was 1/10 of the way towards the ring. Oh, the brilliance of WRESTLING LOGIC. Taker and Kane worked together to take out the WWE Superstars. The Brothers of Destruction returned. I know people will bring up previous storylines involving Kane and Taker, but do you really care? Oh, and Charlie almost encourages Bryan to head to LA for some "Winning".
Match #5: CM Punk vs John Cena; WWE Championship
Oh King, how you like so show off that lose of memory. He referred to Cena as Superman, but also claimed that Cena was the only one to cash in the MITB fairly….
I understand what King was trying to do while on commentary, but they have these guys come up with some things that make them look pretty silly. While it was longer than the other matches, it was still kept pretty short. The finish comes when Cena hits the AA, but ends up bumping into the referee. Cena has the match, but with no ref to make the count, the match continues. As Cena tries to get the ref back up, Big Show arrives to take out Cena. In the meantime, Punk is sitting in the corner as he watches Show manhandle Cena. Hey, I can't blame him. He's got the best seat to witness Mr. Breakfast Cereal getting his ass whooped. After the KO punch, Punk is conflicted on pinning Cena or doing the right thing. He gets the ref back up and slowly makes the cover, but Cena kicks out at two. Punk lifts up Cena to hit the GTS, but Cena counters into the STF. Oh, come on? Really? No wonder the internet calls him Super Cena. Well, Show comes back into the match and attacks Cena, thus calling for the bell. For the first time, the MITB was unsuccessful. I guess we can call Cena, Mr. Loser in the Bank, if you know what I'm saying. Hahahahahaha……ohhhhhhh, that wasn't funny. Rock gets in the ring to take out Show. He's about to hit the People's Elbow on Show, but Punk takes down Rocky with a clothesline. What? Punk just…..Attacked a good guy? To ensure you it wasn't a mistake, Punk hits the GTS on the Rock. The show ends with Punk leaving with the WWE Championship, while getting a mixed response from the audience. My….My God. Punk appears to have turned to the dark side again. I…..I don't even know what to say right now. WAIT A MINUTE!!! I finally found the words to describe this…..
Yes, yes, yes, yes is right. It is about time. I mentioned for weeks that WWE needed to make an everlasting impression or something big to get people talking about the product. Not only to get people talking, but to get people interested in the 1001st episode. I mean, they didn't get a 1000 episodes by doing nothing. While some claim they saw Punk doing what he did tonight, I think it was still kept in the dark pretty well. WWE did leave a clue a few weeks back when Punk got a little upset over Eve's comment that Punk is being overshadowed by the big names. I can't wait to see Punk's explanation is. I can imagine him saying something along the lines of him being sick of being passed over for guys like Cena, Trips, Rock, Brock, Show, Laurinaitis…….Yeah, he got passed over by a robot for crying out loud. I would be pissed off too if that happened to me. What's strange is people are assuming that Punk is going to play the heel, but I want to see more of his character when he cut that promo last year. You know, that anti-hero/tweener character. In my book, THAT'S what made Punk stand out, and I would like to see more of THAT Punk……not this current Punk. Punk has played a decent face, but it's time for the REAL pipebombs to drop. We all know Punk can play the villain, but I want to see the anti-hero Punk. That's what I hope to see next week. I think most of us can say after tonight that WWE did a good enough job to get you to watch next week. If Punk turned heel, I would say he turned because he never got his ice cream bars. Seriously, where the hell are those things?
No Contest; CM Punk is WWE Champion/bad-ass
Now, I had a feeling that a good chunk of the show was going to be a throwback to what made the WWE get to this point. I think that was evident with all the appearances by various legends in the wrestling business. Oh course, people will be upset about certain people NOT showing up (ie: Ric Flair and Stone Cold), but I was happy with the people that did show up. Of course, you always want to have others that can get the crowd on their feet, but some people are busy with other obligations. Up until Punk's actions, I would say the show was what I expected for the occasion and it was okay, but that all changed when Punk did something. After tonight, we aren't talking so much about Rocky or Cena. We are finally talking about Punk. You know. That guy who's been WWE Champion since Survivor Series. It's about time Punk gets some major coverage on this show. I thought the show was pretty good, but Punk made it a great show. I can see some people not liking tonight's show for various reasons, but that generally seems to happen in the wrestling world. I think WWE pulled a big enough move and got people interested for the next episode. After all, you want to hear what Punk has to say, don't you? Cuz, I know I do. That's gonna do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. If you enjoyed any of my insane ramblings, I advise checking out some of my other work. As always, tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show. See you next time.