WWE Champion CM Punk airs his grievances to AJ Lee.
Good opening segment featuring Raw General Manager AJ Lee, WWE Champion CM Punk, and John Cena. It hyped up the night's matches nicely and gave the viewers something to look forward to. Punk's exchange with AJ was also well done and I'm glad they hadn't forgotten about the angle between the two from last month that saw AJ propose to Punk. Nice way to kick off the show and set the tone for the rest of the night.
Great match between WWE Champion CM Punk and Rey Mysterio. It's simply impossible for these two to have a bad match together, and that fact was evident here. Sure, it could've gone a bit longer, but what we got was good enough for me. It's also awesome to see Punk still win his matches clean, despite the fact he's slowly reverting back into a heel.
Fun match that saw Alberto Del Rio defeat Christian. This match also could've gone a bit longer, but it was long enough not to be deemed a glorified squash. The two have great chemistry and made provided entertaining action for the time they were given. Christian doesn't lose much from this contest, but it would've been nice to see him lose due to Miz interference instead. I didn't care all that much for the numerous Tout videos from Sheamus that showed him stealing Del Rio's car for apparently no reason, but at least it hyped the feud between the two going into SummerSlam.
Decent match between Randy Orton and Big Show. Orton sold Show's hard-hitting offense well and made him look like a threat inside the ring. I understand the double count-out finish to protect both men, but why proceed to have Orton deliver an RKO to Show shortly thereafter? Show will be apart of a huge WWE title match at SummerSlam, while Orton is currently left with nothing, so why protect him so heavily?
Brief squash match with Ryback defeating both Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. Sure, we saw the same exact thing at Money in the Bank, but at least it gave the Raw audience a taste of how Ryback can decimate two contracted talents at the same time. It would've been a good time to build Ryback's recent feud with Jinder Mahal on SmackDown, but it apparently wasn't meant to be.
Forgettable tag team match with Primo and Epico defeating the Prime Time Players. The action was fine for what it was, but it was too short to mean anything. I liked how they incorporated WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kignston and R-Truth into the match, but they didn't do much. Why have Darren Young and Titus O'Neil lose again after they just won singles matches last week? The booking in the tag division as of late has been simply strange, but I'm hoping it leads to a three-way title match at SummerSlam.
Chris Jericho antagonizes Dolph Ziggler from ringside.
Smart booking by having Damien Sandow attack Brodus Clay before their scheduled matchup. As fun as Brodus Clay's entrance is, it's grown tiresome, so it was nice to see a change in pace by having Sandow interrupt it. I love the idea of having these two feud since Clay is the perfect definition of an "ignoramus", thus finally giving both guys direction. Sandow looked extremely intense here, which is the image he should be portraying to the Raw audience.
Throwaway Divas match with Kelly Kelly defeating Eve. Although Kelly hasn't appeared on Raw in nearly three months, her return didn't feel all that special. I'm glad they finally have a Divas match on the show even if it was a few minutes, but it wasn't all that terrible either. I do question the move in putting Kelly Kelly over Eve, though. I guess they wanted to keep Kelly Kelly going strong upon her return instead of pushing Eve towards the Divas Championship.
Solid segment featuring Shawn Michaels, Paul Heyman, and Brock Lesnar. I was intrigued to see what Michaels has to say since we just recently saw him at Raw 1000 and tonight's appearance felt a bit random, but having Lesnar and Heyman interrupt made perfect sense. As usual, Heyman was great on the mic and Lesnar, who isn't the best mic talker in the world, kept his part short and sweet. Michaels wasn't as emotionally invested as he seemed to be during his promos with Triple H and Undertaker earlier this year, but announcing that he'll be at SummerSlam was a pretty shocking announcement. Having Lesnar back down to HHH yet again concerns me, but threatening HBK was extremely interesting. I look forward to see what that leads to next week on Raw.
Fine match with a surprising finish with Alex Riley defeating Dolph Ziggler. Obviously, the match focused on the Ziggler-Jericho feud, but also highlighted Ziggler's offense throughout. Jericho has made an entertaining face in recent weeks, and his commentary here was equally awesome. I love the move of having Riley pick up the upset victory here, who hasn't won a match on Raw in nearly a year. The crowd surely reacted, so I hope this means something of a push for Riley going forward. Ziggler hardly loses anything from the loss, so no worries there.
Decent match between Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Kane. It was promoted only moments prior it got started, so the crowd wasn't really given an incentive to care about this contest. The action was good for the most part, but felt mostly like filler. I would've liked to see Miz go over since he is the Intercontinental Champion, or at least lose via interference from Christian or something along those lines.
Strong match with John Cena defeating Daniel Bryan in the main event. Given the fact this was the first time ever these two had competed in a singles match on Raw, they provided amazing action and tremendous chemistry together. The numerous reversals were very well done and kept me in suspense the entire time. The finish featured an excellent series of maneuvers and has me anticipating a future rivalry between Bryan and Cena down the line. Punk's promo that followed showed more signs of a heel turn that was already well executed. Big Show knocking out Punk seemed to destroy Punk's momentum, but I guess it doesn't make him the afterthought in this feud after being overlooked in recent weeks.
Overall, a great edition that featured a night of strong in-ring action and a handful of hype for the SummerSlam pay-per-view. Unlike last week's show, the three hours absolutely flew by and didn't feel like it dragged at all, which is probably because there weren't any campy segments that killed time by rather entertaining matches and promos. If this is what WWE has in store for the three-hour concept going forward, then I'm certainly excited for it.
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