This recap and analysis of WWE’s Monday Night Raw are the personal opinions of the writer. The author of this article is a former promoter, writer, and referee in the wrestling industry. You won’t find analysis as accurate as this anywhere else on the internet.

WWE Monday Night Raw Results 6/25/12

Raw begins with AJ in the back. She’s really become the top focus of the show…and rightfully so.  People love her.  AJ’s face is shown as she appears to be talking to other people.  She tells Daniel that he has feelings for her still, but they are drifting apart.  She tells Kane that she wants to get wild, but he’s a monster.  She tells Punk that they are soul mates, but he doesn’t feel the same.  She says they should all go their separate ways.  Then the camera pans around to show that she is talking to a mirror.  Of course we all saw that coming, but it’s still funny.  Then the Raw introduction video airs.  Ha!  The fact they they aired this before the show even started is pretty cool.  AJ continues to be the best character in the company.  I think we all can agree with that.

Vickie Guerrero comes out to the stage.  Continuing the storyline of former GM’s running the show, Vickie is tonight’s General Manager.  She says she will become the permanent Raw GM in 4 weeks at the 1,000th anniversary show.  Does that mean that they will bring back all of the old GM’s that night and decide on a new one?  I like that concept.  I’m sure it will end up being nobody from the past.  Hopefully this means we get a Mike Adamle appearance eventually!!  Jamaican me crazy!!  Vickie announces a 3 way elimination match.

Elimination Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. WWE Champion CM Punk- I love how Daniel Bryan was the first wrestler to start the show this week.  Major YES chants tonight from the crowd.  This is a phenomenal starting match by the way.  Let’s hope this isn’t one of those typical Raws where it starts hot and gets progressively worse throughout the night.  We are already starting with the match that should be the main event, so I expect that to happen.  I’m beyond fed up with the fact that the WWE Championship is never the main event of the show.  No matter where Punk is on the card it will truly be the main event, but the idea of not letting your champion go on last sickens me.  It would be perfectly fine if it only happened once in awhile, but the fact that it happens every single week is ridiculous.  The fact that the championship doesn’t main event the PPV’s is the worst idea of them all.  This has got to change.  At this point I feel like they are purposefully making this feud open the show just to prove that it can steal the show in that spot.  The problem with that is that we already know it can.  Nobody is doubting that. They also use a new concept where your supposed to tweet a certain hash tag where you can vote on who AJ should date.  I’m all for new social media concepts.  If none of the hash tags trend there is no way to tabulate votes though.

All three men start in the ring.  Punk and Bryan attack Kane but are pushed off.  Uppercut to Punk, and a body slam to Bryan.  Irish whip and a back elbow to Punk.  Bryan takes control with kicks to Kane.  Punk joins in and both guys stomp Kane out of the ring.  Bryan catches him off guard with a roll up for a two count.  Punk whips Bryan off the ropes and hits a shoulder block.  Atomic drop by Punk followed by a bow and arrow.  Punk curb stomps Bryan.  That’s a move you don’t see much in WWE.  Punk goes for a suicide dive on Kane, but he’s met with an uppercut.  Bryan baseball slides Kane.  He goes for a running drop kick off the apron, but Kane catches him and sends him back first into the barricade.  Commercial spot.

Back from break Kane is punching Punk in the corner.  He whips Punk into Bryan, who is in the other corner, and then hits them both with a running clothesline.  Kane climbs to the top turnbuckle, but he’s met by Bryan.  Bryan climbs the turnbuckle, but is hammered by Punk.  Punk pulls Bryan off on his shoulders.  Kane jumps for the Legion of Doom Devastation Device, but Bryan rolls down Punk’s chest into a pinning attempt.  Kane crashes and burns.  Awesome spot.  Kane goes for a double chokeslam, but it’s reversed into a double suplex.  Punk and Bryan punch back and forth at one another.  Punk whips Bryan and hits an atomic drop, single leg drop kick, and goes for a swinging neck breaker attempt.  Bryan counters but he’s still pushed into a Kane uppercut.  Kane runs at Punk, but he’s sent over the top rope.  Bryan runs at Punk, but he’s back body dropped over the top rope down onto Kane.  Punk dives through the ropes with a suicide dive that crashes into both guys.

Punk tosses Bryan into the ring and springboards, but is almost caught in the YES lock.  Punk fights out of it and catapults Bryan into Kane, who is up on the ring apron.  Yakuza Kick by Punk.  Bryan gets his foot on the rope after the two count.  Punk goes for the GTS, but is big booted in the face by Kane.  Two count after a cover.  Side slam by Kane for another two count.  Kane flies off the top rope with a clothesline.  AJ’s music hits.  She comes out an skips around the ring.  Kane attempts a chokeslam, but Punk counters it into the GTS.  Three count.  Kane is eliminated.  AJ has costed Kane another match.  Bryan comes out of nowhere with a hard kick to the head.  He gets the three count.  Daniel Bryan wins!  YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!  Daniel Bryan has pinned the WWE Champion.  Excellent match.  Amazing match.  Phenomenal match.

Vickie Guerrero is in the back with Albeto Del Rio.  Del Rio makes Ricardo Rodriguez bring her flowers.  Del Rio says he should be the #1 contender.  Dolph Ziggler walks up and says he should be.  They argue.  Vickie says there will be a #1 contendership match with a contract on a pole.  The winner will face Sheamus on Smackdown.  Ricardo comes back with a vase full of flowers.  Ziggler grabs the vase and throws it into the wall.  Yup, Ziggler is officially a face.  It’s no coincidence that he’s faced a heel for two consecutive weeks.  It looks like the baby face crowd pops have made them decide to turn him.  The good thing is that he hasn’t changed his gimmick along with the turn.  It’s going to be the same old Ziggler with a better crowd response.  Perfect.  I hate when guys turn face and change who they are to cater to the fans.  It’s rare to see guys turn this way.  It’s an Attitude Era-esque idea.  Stone Cold Steve Austin turned that same way.  Love it.  Ziggler is here to stay in the main event.

The Funkasaurus Brodus Clay w/ The Funkadactuls vs. The Big Show- As we all know, Brodus is the only living breathing funkasaurus in captivity.  Still fascinating.  So I assume the Raw ban on Brodus has been dropped and deemed a Laurinaitis only thing.  So I kinda have a problem with Brodus being in a jolly mood on the way to the ring after what Big Show has done to him in the past.  He destroyed him, got him taken off Raw, and then knocked him out again on Smackdown.  I would think that Brodus would be more focused.  The dancing really killed the idea that Brodus was in a bitter feud with this guy.  He didn’t look too bitter and angry to me.  He could have at least turned his head and gotten serious when The Big Show’s music hit.  If they are going to continue to have him party to the ring during feuds, they have to have the trigger switch his emotions once the other guy makes his entrance.  If they keep it consistent like that every time, it will be okay for him to dance to the ring during feuds.  Doing it any other way kills the seriousness of any Brodus Clay feud.  Brodus did get serious as Big Show came down the ramp, but it was way too late in my opinion.

Big Show begins the match clubbing at Clay’s torso.  Clay fights back, but is cut off.  Clay is whipped off the ropes and comes back with a headbutt that sends Big Show off his feet.  While on the mat, Big Show kicks Clay in his knee.  He has been selling a knee injury lately.  Big Show works the knee of Clay with assorted knee holds.  He goes to the outside floor and sends Clay’s knee into the steel turnbuckle (Bret Hart style.)  Big Show goes to the top rope and uses a Vader Bomb.  Big Show goes for the WMD, but Clay fights back with punches.  Clay picks Big Show up, but his knee gives out, causing Big Show to crash down on top of him.  Big show stays on top of him for a three count.  Too short of a match.  Clay is quickly being buried.  What they are telling me is that Clay can destroy little jobbers in a matter of minutes, but he can barely amount any offense against bigger opponents.  What is the point in having a career if you can’t hang with the big boys?  The Big Show, and Brodus Clay are both trending on Twitter.

Raw greatest moment video- It’s Bob Barker doing the Price is Right on Raw.  Chris Jericho accidentally wins the showcase showdown by arguing with Barker.  They show the clip of him punching Chavo Guerrero in the gut.  Bob Barker says he will give Chavo a rematch on the 2,000th episode.  He obviously doesn’t follow closely enough to know that Chavo was released a long time ago.

Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler recap some things.  During the break they show a clip of Big Show delivering the WMD to Brodus Clay as he is being carried out.  I’m actually glad they waited to do that during the break instead of dragging out the segment.  Next there is a recap of Triple H punching Paul Heyman last week.  They replay the wwwwhhhhoooolllleeee clip.  Huge waste of time.  Next week Brock Lesnar will have an answer for Triple H’s challenge.  It won’t be Lesnar I’m sure.  It’ll be Heyman.

AJ is in the back with Kane.  He says she makes him feel things he never thought was possible.  She says that’s great.  Kane says it’s not.  He says he isn’t boyfriend material and doesn’t do relationships.  He says he’s a monster and even he finds AJ mentally unstable.  He says they should stay away from each other.  He tells her goodbye.  She cries.  Then it turns into laughter.  Because she’s a crazy chick!  Funny stuff.  That was fun while it lasted.  Time for Kane to move on to other things.

United States Championship Match: Santino Marella (c) vs. Jack Swagger- This championship has been reduced so low that it’s title matches are random and unadvertised.  Apparently the #1 contender is a jobber who hasn’t won a match in months and isn’t even deserving of a television entrance.  Vickie Guerrero as the GM doesn’t even justify Swagger as a legitimate contender for a championship.  Swagger stops Santino on the tie up then punches him in the jaw.  He punches away at Santino in the corner.  Then he does it again.  So far nothing but punches in this one.  Santino sends Swagger into the corner and…you guessed it…punches him.  He teases the Cobra, which makes Swagger cower.  He gets up and hits Santino with a belly to back suplex.  Leg drop and arm stretch.  Santino fights up and hits a belly to back suplex.  Swagger gets up and punches Santino for the 9000th time.  Santino kips up and hiptosses Swagger.  Saluting fist drop.  Santino puts on the Cobra glove.  Swagger shoulder thrusts Santino, but he counters with a DDT.  Santino hits the Cobra.  1-2-3.  He retains his worthless title.  I beg them to let Miz quickly take that thing from him when he returns from his movie shoot.  Please let him legitimize it.

John Cena is in the back. It’s a tease shot that takes us to commercial break.  I never ever reference these because it’s usually just someone walking through a hallway.  Tonight however, we get the cheesy scene of John Cena walking up to a box that says “free to a good home.”  The box is full of People Power shirts.  Zack Ryder appears and throws the shirt away.  Ugh.  That better not be Ryder’s only appearance on the show.

John Cena comes to the ring.  He apparently teased on Twitter that he has a “major announcement.”  I hate “major announcements.”  They are never “major.”  Cena says his announcement is historic.  Oh no.  He does a promo that references Star Wars.  I barely know what he he’s talking about.  He does say Yoda McMahon, Jabba the Funkasaurus, Han So-bro, Chewbacca the woo woo wooki, R2 A-Ry, and Show Vader.  Yoda McMahon says “no chance in hell have you” and “fired you are.”  This all brings Cena to his historic announcement.  Here it comes….  The lights go out.  And here comes Chris Jericho.  No more light up jacket.  But he does have some awesome lighting on the titan tron and some new pyro.  They show a clip of his band Fozzy playing a concert.

Jericho tells Cena to stop wasting time.  He wants him to make his announcement, shut the hell up, and get out of his ring.  Cena says for the first time ever he’s putting himself in the Money In The Bank ladder match to stop Big Show.  I knew that announcement wouldn’t be “major.”  Cena says he’s going to win the whole fudging thing.  Jericho makes fun of fudging and asks Cena if he’s 9.  Cena says most of the WWE audience is around that age.  Really Cena?  Do people actually think that’s true?  Because it’s not.  The majority of the audience are not children.  The sooner they figure that out the sooner all this crap can change.  So Jericho also puts himself in the ladder match after telling Cena how important it is.

Vickie Guerrero comes out.  She says there will be a Money In The Bank ladder match for each championship.  Jericho interrupts her and she yells at him.  Jericho says “what are you going to do?  Suspend me?”  I was waiting on him to reference that.  Vickie says only former WWE champions will participate in the WWE Championship Money In The Bank.  Kane, Big Show, Chris Jericho, and John Cena will participate.  That’s it?  I seriously hope it’s more than four guys.  Vickie makes Cena vs. Jericho tonight.  Somehow Jericho will turn out to be a face eventually.  He and Cena are the two faces in the Money In The Bank match.  Jericho will win Money In The Bank fyi.

Heath Slater comes to the ring.  He interrupts Lilian Garcia, who is trying to announce tonight’s special guest.  Michael Cole is marking out for Slater.  Slater is his new Miz.  Cole actually did wonders for Miz, so this could be good for Slater.  Slater says he rules the world.  Psycho Sid’s music hits.  AWESOME!!!  This is one of the guys I actually mentioned a few weeks ago when I named old school guys that I wanted to see.  They have to be reading my articles each week.  I asked for these guys to be rare, and they have been.  I asked for them to continuously do these each week, and they have.  I asked for Slater to be consistently involved, and he has.  And I named Psycho Sid specifically, and here he is.  How awesome is it to see Sid??  Extremely rare.  Can I beg them to bring out the Ultimate Warrior soon?  Please?  I know he has bad blood with them, but please work it out.

Psycho Sid vs. Heath Slater- Huge Psycho Sid chant.  Slater pushes Sid into the corner.  Sid chops Slater out.  He pushes Slater up onto the top turnbuckle and then slaps him off.  Spine buster by Sid that was slightly botched…but that’s okay.  Slater takes over on offense with a few kicks to Sid’s legs.  He runs at Sid but is caught with a clothesline.  Leg drop by Sid.  Powerbomb for the finish.  Psycho Sid wins.  Awesome.  Simply awesome.  Loved it.  More please.

#1 Contender Contract On a Pole Match: Alberto Del Rio w/ Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Dolph Ziggler– Ziggler immediately runs for the contract, but is stopped.  Del Rio stomps away at him in the corner.  He goes for the contract, but is stopped.  Back elbow by Ziggler, but Del Rio comes back with a tilt-a-whirl back breaker.  Ziggler catches his leg when he tries to climb the pole.  Del Rio goes for an enzuguri, but Ziggler moves.  Another titl-a-whirl back breaker is reversed into a Ziggler drop kick.  The crowd is very loud for Ziggler.  Ziggler misses a Zig Zag, is catupalted into the corner, lands on his feet on the top rope, and runs for the contract.  Del Rio pulls him down and attempts to climb himself.  Ziggler runs up his back and reaches for the contract over his shoulders.  Samoan drop off the top rope by Del Rio.  Awesome spot.  Ziggler runs up the pole quickly and rips it down.  It falls to the floor.  Both men fight over it.    Nobody can pick it up.  Since nobody has posession the match continues.  Ricardo Rodriguez grabs it, but Ziggler kicks it out of his hands.  It flies to the outside floor.  Both men prevent each other from leaving the ring and eventually bump to the floor the opposite side of the ring.

Sheamus’ music hits.  He comes out to say that he’s defending his title in a triple threat match.  He’s going to kick both of their arses.  Jerry Lawler hits it right on the head when he says he doesn’t understand why Sheamus is so happy about this.  He has to defend his title against two guys instead of one, and therefore his odds of retaining have lowered.  So why would he be happy?

AJ poll results-  CM Punk wins!  This segways into them announcing CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at Money In The Bank.  YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!  I’ll be buying now.  That match MUST main event the show.  No excuses.

CM Punk is in the back.  AJ walks up behind him, puts her hands over his eyes, and says “guess who.”  Punk says “King Kong Bundy.”  Ha!  AJ talks about winning the Summertime battle royal, which is next.  Punk wants to sit down and have a serious conversation after that.

Raw greatest moment video-  It’s Mick Foley talking about “Rock this is your life.”  Probably the funniest segment in WWE history.  I believe its still the highest rated segment ever.

Diva’s Summertime Battle Royal: Beth Phoenix vs. Aksana vs. Maxine vs. AJ vs. Rosa Mendes vs. Alicia Fox vs. Diva’s Champion Layla vs. Kaitlyn vs. Tamina vs. Natalya vs. Vickie Guerrero- As you probably guessed, they are all wearing bikinis.  Vickie comes out before the match with a microphone and puts herself in the match.  Dance music hits as she strips into her leopard bikini.  All the divas attack her as the match starts.  Alicia Fox eliminates Maxine with no effort.  Of course all they have to do is go through the ropes instead of over the top rope.  Which completely makes this a joke.  Apparently Aksana flew out on the other side of the ring without the cameras even being on her.  I don’t know who eliminated her, and I really don’t care.  So no Zack Ryder tonight, but we get this???  Tamina super kicks Alicia and eliminates her.  Rosa goes flying out on the other side.  Natalya throws out Tamina.  Beth accidently throws out Natalya.  Layla sends Beth out of the ring.  AJ eliminates Layla after Beth pops up on the apron.  It’s down to Vickie and AJ.  Vickie tries to dump AJ to the outside, but AJ hangs onto the apron.  Vickie celebrates as if she won.  AJ smiles at her.  Vickie chest bumps her.  AJ attacks with a Thesz Press.  Vickie tries to crawl out of the ring as AJ kicks her out for the win.  Ugh.  Complete waste of time.  The only positive that comes out of this is AJ eliminating Layla.  Maybe that qualifies her for a title shot now.  AJ does the YES chants after her win.  YES YES YES!!! Love it!  That may have been the highlight of the night!

Chris Jericho vs. John Cena- Light up jacket for Jericho!  It’s back!  Tie up to start.  Cena powers Jericho into the corner and works him to the mat with a headlock take down.  Let’s go Cena, Cena sucks chants from the crowd.  Cena goes for a quick Attitude Adjustment, but Jericho escapes and runs to the outside.  Commercial break.  Already?  Back from break Cena is in a side head lock.  Cena powers out and punches Jericho in the corner.  Irish whip to the corner.  Jericho gets the boots up on a charging Cena.  Quick missile drop kick off the top rope by Jericho.  Jericho chokes Cena on the middle rope with his knee.  Suplex by Jericho.  Grounded drop kick.  Cena reverses a suplex.  Irish whip by Cena is countered with a kick to the face.  Chin lock by Jericho.  Cena fights out with a headlock.  High elbow by Jericho counters an Irish whip.  Missed Linosault.  Cena comes back with a reverse suplex and sets up for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle.  Jericho counters into a Walls of Jericho attempt.  Cena spins his legs and sends Jericho flying.  Another side suplex followed by the 5 Knuckle Shuffle.

Big Show’s music hits.  He makes his way down the ramp.  Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but Jericho counters into the Walls of Jericho.  Big Show hits the ring and leg drops Cena while the Walls of Jericho are applied.  Cena wins by disqualification.  Jericho is angry, but he walks out of the ring.  Chokeslam on Cena.  Big Show hooks in the Colossal Clutch.   Cena passes out as Raw goes off the air.  Which brings me to……

And now it’s time for another WWE Writers discussion- Okay guys let’s figure out how to end the show tonight.  And don’t feed me that Daniel Bryan/CM Punk garbage that got that guy fired last week.  We’ve already established that the WWE Championship, nor CM Punk, nor Daniel Bryan, nor AJ is fascinating enough to main event a show.  So don’t even bring it up or you fired.  Any ideas?  Ooo Ooo I got one!  This is Chris Jericho’s return night, so let’s have him main event.  Hmmm.  I kinda like it.  Although Jericho isn’t talented enough to carry the main event by himself.  So let’s do what we do to every worker that needs carrying…put them in the ring with Cena.  Yeah!  Cena always keeps the main events fresh!  If there’s one thing out there that wrestling fans will never never ever ever get tired of, it’s John Cena in the main event.  So Jericho vs. Cena.  It’s been decided.  That’s a great ending.  Nice job guys.  Meeting adjourned.  Wait, wait, wait!  I know what can make it even better!  Whats that?  How about The Big Show comes out and destroys everyone again?  Oh….my…..god….GENIUS!!!!  We haven’t done that in over a week!  It doesn’t even have to make sense either!  Let’s just have him come out and clean house.  I know we had him cut a promo last week that stated that he was done with Cena and moving on to other things, but this is what the people want.  We can’t deny them of that.  Well since the Money In The Bank match features Cena, Jericho, Big Show, and Kane, shouldn’t we involve Kane to really push this match?  No way.  Why would we want to do that?  All we need is Big Show.  Who cares what the storyline is.  Who cares what the pay per view match is.  Big Show needs to destroy people.  All the time.  It’s the best possible ending.  Even if the main event involved guys he wasn’t feuding with, we would still need to see him end the show with domination.  It’s all that matters in life.  All in favor say I.  IIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah.  The ending was awful.  The opening match was phenomenal.  Psycho Sid was phenomenal.  AJ was phenomenal.  Vickie Guerrero as GM worked very well.  Ziggler vs. Del Rio was good for what it was.  The rest of the show was forgettable.  Once again no Ryder, no Ryback, no Antonio Cesaro, no Lord Tensai, no Sandow.  These are all workers who will immediately improve the quality of the show.  Start using them.  That’s a demand.  By the way, it’s good to not see Laurinaitis.  I didn’t miss him at all.

Follow Mark Brown on Twitter @FantasyGodmb.