Mr. Money in the Bank John Cena confronts WWE Champion CM Punk.
Solid opening segment featuring WWE Champion CM Punk and Big Show. It was great to see Punk reminisce on his epic "pipebomb" from last June, which also occurred in Las Vegas. As much as I don't like Show, he played his part very well here, and got the point across that Punk has been overshadowed as of late. It was certainly effective in setting up their main event match for later in the evening while also teasing Cena could quite possibly cash in his newly won Money in the Bank briefcase.
Good match with Kofi Kingston and R-Truth successfully defending their WWE Tag Team Championships against the Prime Time Players. Both teams had nice chemistry and I enjoyed the fun finish. However, this match should have been hyped in advance, or at least could have been included on the Money in the Bank card. Since Titus O'Neil and Darren Young have been losing so many matches lately, it makes me question why they were ever the number one contenders in the first place.
Effective match with Alberto Del Rio defeating Zack Ryder. Sure, I'd much rather see Ryder be used more meaningful, but at least he appeared on the show. It gave Del Rio a nice win and momentum to rebound his loss from Money in the Bank. Rey Mysterio's shocking return was brilliantly done and made complete sense since it was Del Rio who sidelined Mysterio last summer (in story-line, of course). I'm glad WWE hadn't forgotten about that angle, and I'm somewhat excited for the pending feud between the two if WWE opts to go that route, despite the fact we've seen it many times before.
Fun segment featuring Rikishi's return and his squash victory over Heath Slater. I honestly can't recall the last time Rikishi has appeared on WWE television (other than the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame), so it was a great nostalgic moment. The dance number with his sons the Usos following the contest was a golden family moment that I've been dying to see for ages. I'm looking forward to see what the blow-off is to Slater's Legend angle next week on the 1000th edition of Raw.
Strange segment with AJ and Daniel Bryan defeating Eve and The Miz. Throughout the entire night, Bryan seemed to be acting completely sincere towards AJ, which came out of nowhere since he has no motive and actually made him look like a face. Pairing Eve up with Miz was a smart move and I'd love to see more from those two together in the future. It feels like they're rushing into the Bryan-AJ wedding just to add yet another hook for next week's monumental show, but I'm certainly intrigued to see where it goes from here.
Chris Jericho lays out Dolph Ziggler with a Codebreaker.
Fine brawl between Ryback and Jack Swagger. I liked the fact they changed it up from the typical format, by having Ryback just come out and quickly decimate his opponent. Swagger scored a ton of offense, and having Ryback take out Swagger at the end gave him more credibility by dominating a former World Heavyweight Champion. Hopefully, this leads to a feud between the two, as it could give two men who are both in desperate need of programs something to do. Also, it's great to see the crowd getting behind Ryback's "Feed Me More!" chants.
Excellent segment featuring Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho. When was the last time Ziggler was able to cut a lengthy promo on Raw? Following his stunning victory at Money in the Bank, it was well deserved. Jericho has been teasing a babyface turn since returning last month, so I have no problem with, as he can play both a face and heel to perfection. Having Ziggler take shots at Jericho by mentioning the fact that Y2J hasn't won any important matches since coming back made for a real intense confrontation. The turn was ultimately sealed with Jericho's Codebreaker on Ziggler, which could be signaling an awesomely amazing feud between the two heading into SummerSlam.
Typical match with Brodus Clay defeating JTG within minutes. I think the real surprise here was the fact that JTG received a full entrance on Raw, which I found pretty funny. Nonetheless, the victory hardly does anything for Clay and his stale act is going tiresome. I enjoyed his serious side he showed a few weeks back, so I've got my fingers crossed he'll be put in another program sooner rather than later.
Strong match between WWE Champion CM Punk and Big Show. Following their lackluster feud back in 2010, I was a bit nervous heading into this match, but it ended up telling a fantastic story. Punk has always worked well with giants given his smaller size, and this contest was no exception. The disqualification finish made sense, and it could be used to keep this match fresh for a later date. Cena teasing the cash-in, only to announce he'll be doing it next week was also greatly done. The beautiful sight that closed the show with both icons holding up their respective golden trophies was a perfect way to hype next week's 1000th Raw and build towards that huge championship match.
Overall, a solid show that throughly entertained me throughout while also delivering fresh story-lines and numerous plugs for next week's show. It featured some awesome action, intriguing story-lines, and fun segments. I haven't been this impressed with the product since the night after WrestleMania 28, so I'm hoping they keep up the great work going into next week's historic 1000th Raw and beyond.
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