The last episode of ‘Smackdown’ – which didn’t even feature CM Punk or John Cena – proved that WWE is still very much capable of putting on two entertaining hours of television without excessive difficulty. And with Chris Jericho’s return and the likely continuation of storylines such as Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, there was good reason to be at least reasonably optimistic about this episode of ‘Raw’.
AJ started with a cold opening, giving a psycho monologue. After the proper intro, Vickie Guerrero came out as the GM and immediately sent out Kane, Daniel Bryan, and CM Punk for a Triangle Match. Wow! As always, these three were fast and furious, though they were careful not to let it run long, for obvious reasons. AJ distracted Kane so that Punk could eliminate him and Bryan quickly kicked Punk in the head for the win. Backstage, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio argued over the Number One Contendership.
Next up, Brodus Clay’s undefeated streak came to an end at the hands of the Big Show. The match wasn’t anything stellar, nor was it all that long. Backstage, Kane told AJ, in so many words, that she is too mentally unstable for him. Good stuff. Back in the ring, John Cena cut a painfully unfunny promo until Y2J mercifully interrupted him. Both Superstars declared their interest in the Money in the Bank matches, and Vickie came out and made it clear that Kane, Big Show, Chris Jericho, and John Cena would make up the one match. Interesting, but that’s a discussion for another article.
Surprises continued as Heath Slater faced… Sid! Sid didn’t exactly do any Moonsaults, he just knocked Slater around for a minute and then gave him the Powerbomb for the win. Ziggler and Del Rio had their No. 1 Contender Contract-on-a-Pole match. The Showoff got a decent face reaction and the match was going very well until they pulled the contract down and started scrambling for it. Eventually, Sheamus came out and ended it by declaring that Smackdown would see a Triple Threat match between the three. Odd.
The first Diva’s segment to hold everyone’s attention in a long time came in the form of a bikini battle royal. It made everyone forget for a moment that the show is PG. AJ picked up the win, eliminating Vickie in the end. Prior to this, Punk had told AJ that they needed to have a serious talk. For the main event, Cena faced Jericho. The match dragged and Big Show ended it with a DQ by jumping Cena. Jericho didn’t protest and the show ended with a Chokeslam and Colossal Clutch from Show.
Overall, Raw was decent, not great. It stayed interesting long enough that no stretch became painful to watch. That being said, it ended on a very flat note that will hopefully be canceled out in the long run by the interesting possibilities for which this set the stage.
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