CM Punk reveals the new WWE '13 cover.
Logical promo from Big Show to kick off the show. The content and delivery was much better than last week and made sense as well. This was a successful way in establishing Show as a dominant heel, rather than turning heel just for the sake of getting his job back.
Brief match with Alberto Del Rio quickly defeating United States Champion Santino Marella. If Marella is losing in under a minute as United States Champ, it just goes to show that the strap isn't doing anything for him or the title itself for that matter. Del Rio, however, regains momentum with the squash victory.
Fine tag team title match with WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth successfully retaining against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. We've seen the two teams battle so many times over the last few months that the action wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I never felt the titles were in jeopardy since Ziggler and Swagger have lost so much recently. Thankfully, the highlight here was Ziggler walking out on Swagger and Vickie Guerrero, foreshadowing a long overdue singles run and breaking out on his own.
Great match between WWE Champion CM Punk and Daniel Bryan that successfully furthered their feud with smart booking. The promo featuring John Laurinaitis prior to the bout didn't do much for me since they're still building Punk's feud with Laurinaitis despite it ending months ago, but it was a nice plug for the WWE '13 release coming later this year. As for the Punk-Bryan match, it wasn't an epic encounter as some of their previous contests, but I see that as a good thing since them holding back means they can save it for the pay-per-view. It's about time AJ finally got involved in the story by standing at ringside, and she played her role to perfection. I'm glad they're portraying Kane as a tweener and not a full-fledged face, but he still shouldn't be apart of this feud regardless.
Intercontinental Champion Christian soundly defeats The Miz.
Good match between Intercontinental Champion Christian and The Miz. I've been waiting for this match for a long time, and it certainly delivered given the natural chemistry between the two. I enjoyed the innovative counters and unique finish, even if the match itself was rather brief. Nonetheless, I'm sincerely hoping we see more from Christian and Miz in the very near future, especially if it meant getting Miz back in the title picture. Speaking of Miz, his promo following the bout featured solid points, but the live crowd didn't seem to care all that much. Orton's RKO on the former WWE Champion felt random, but it was a nice way of including him on the show now that Chris Jericho's suspended for the time being. Based upon Dolph Ziggler's reaction backstage, I hope to see the bleached-blonde Superstar engage in a temporary feud with Orton going into No Way Out.
Throwaway match between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and David Otunga. This served no purpose other than Sheamus a meaningless victory he didn't need to begin with. It's predictable Otunga will come up short when he faces someone that isn't regularly featured on WWE Superstars, so this contest felt more like filler than anything else.
Effective brawl to close the show with Big Show decimating the likes of Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston, and R-Truth. As much as I don't like Big Show's recent heel turn (or Show in general), they did an excellent job of making the crowd hating him by beating the snot out of three fan favorites such as Clay, Kingston, and Truth. On the subject of Clay, I'm ecstatic he's finally being used in something more meaningful than squash matches that could see his character evolve into something more serious. It was odd they waited until tonight to mention Clay's numbered undefeated streak, but I'm looking forward to the day Clay and Show eventually have an actual match.
Overall, a decently good show that went by quickly and was certainly a step up from last week's broadcast. Of course, the entire program seemed dedicated to building Big Show as a top heel, which they were successful in doing so. The action was fine for what it was worth, and the booking this week was also well done. The numerous tributes to the troops in light of Memorial Day were very classy. However, this wasn't the most memorable Raw by any means and is easily forgettable, but it was a nice treat nevertheless.
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