Sheamus delivers a nasty Brogue Kick to Daniel Bryan.
Fun promo to kick off the show featuring the returning Mick Foley and John Laurinaitis. It's always awesome to see Foley, especially in his hometown of Long Island where he received a great pop. His exchange with Laurinaitis was humorous, and although they failed to mention it, Laurinaitis was the one who clocked Foley on an episode of Raw back in January. I'm excited to see who else they bring back as Interim General Manager, as that could prove to be a intriguing concept for the next month or so.
Solid tag team match with WWE Champion CM Punk and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus defeating Daniel Bryan and Kane. The action between all four guys was great as usual given their natural chemistry together. AJ's interference was also very well done and it's nice to hear the crowd react to her so loudly when she came out. Her ongoing relationship with Kane has been entertaining, but Bryan feels like the afterthought here. Nevertheless, the GTS into the Brogue Kick was a cool spot.
Good match between Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. This "breakup" between the two bleached-blonde Superstars felt anticlimatic since it was made in a backstage segment on Raw instead of on a pay-per-view. Since this was the first ever singles meeting between the two, they proved that they can provide a nice story-telling match with Ziggler's selling of his "injury" sustained during the bout being spot on. While it is a step in the right direction to give Ziggler a credible victory, it appears he'll still be aligned with Vickie Guerrero. It's a shame, as it's time to split these two and allow Ziggler to shine on his own. The outcome was a bit shocking since Ziggler was receiving massive cheers throughout, yet is still with the heat magnet known as Vicke. As for Swagger, where does he go from here? He wasn't even shown after his loss and was quickly forgotten about. As the old saying goes, Ziggler took one step forward, only to take two steps back.
Great promo exchange between Triple H and Paul Heyman. They made the entire rivalry feel legitimate, exactly as it should going into their huge SummerSlam encounter. The Game was much better here than he was last night, and Heyman was picture perfect on the mic as always. It felt like they could have drawn out Heyman teasing Hunter for a few more weeks, but maybe rushing to the finish with HHH punching Heyman could lead to something. Whatever the case may be, this was an effective segment for sure that has me looking forward to the build to SummerSlam.
Alberto Del Rio looks to snap the arm of Santino Marella.
Brief match with Alberto Del Rio squashing United States Champion Santino Marella. They had this same exact match a few weeks ago, so it felt like I was watching that contest on replay. Sure, Del Rio got injured a mere two weeks ago, but his return to action should have been treated as a bigger deal with some more hype. At the very least, he could have cut a promo claiming how he was screwed out of competing for the World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank, but no such luck. I surely hope this "feud" between Santino and Ricardo Rodriguez is continuing, as they quickly need to move on from that and have Santino drop his U.S. title to someone more deserving.
Decent segment featuring the return of Cyndi Lauper, Wendi Richter, Roddy Piper, and Heath Slater. It was a cool moment for those long-time fans who recognize Lauper and Richter, and WWE did an effective job of those who didn't remember by building towards it earlier in the night. It was a nice plug for the 1000th edition of Raw next month, but didn't serve much of a purpose beyond that. What's Heath Slater's problem with WWE alumni?
Meaningless tag team match with Primo and Epico defeating Prime Time Players by count-out. I like the idea of exposing Prime Time Players to the Raw audience since they're the new number one contenders to the WWE Tag Team titles, but the fans really didn't seem to care. Even after last night, I'm still not sure if Primo and Epico are now babyface or not, as that wasn't clearly established here. Since Young and O'Neil are the new number one contenders, a win for them here would have helped their momentum. Furthermore, current champs Kofi Kingston and R-Truth weren't even featured on the show, so how does that build their involvement in this? I appreciate the effort of giving the tag team division more focus, but this segment was poorly booked.
Throwaway handicap match main event with John Cena defeating John Lauinaitis and David Otunga. It seemed strange that Big Show walked out on Laurinaitis and didn't want to get revenge on Cena for what happened at No Way Out, but I guess it was somewhat logical. Same goes for Otunga's abandonment, as he has a reason to walk out on Laurinaitis. Cena getting the best of Laurinaitis again didn't do much for me since we just saw it occur the night previous, so the entire thing seem repetitive. Cena ending the show by celebrating Big Johnny's firing was fine and all, but how is that supposed to get me to tune in next week?
Overall, a decent and typical aftermath show from No Way Out, but much like the pay-per-view, this show didn't do all that much progression in story-lines. With every single champion in the WWE at the moment being a babyface, there aren't many compelling stories left to be told. Almost every angle has been paid off by this point, with the ongoing story between Kane and AJ keeping my interest. Besides that, I'm not truly excited for anything WWE has going at the moment except for the 1000th edition of Raw, which isn't for another month. WWE has to pick up the slack and start creating something that gives viewers something to look forward to a consistent basis instead of always attempting to send the crowd home happy.
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