WWE Monday Night Raw Results 7/16/12 from Las Vegas, Nevada.  Episode #999

Raw begins with CM Punk coming to the ring.  He uses the Mick Foley cheap pop and says he loves Las Vegas.  He talks about his pipe bomb that he laid the last time he was in Vegas.  That epic one that was probably the best promo in WWE history.  Too bad that didn’t become the norm.  I’d love to see Punk shoot on the current status of the WWE periodically.  But they won’t let him do that.  We were lucky that they let him do it that one time.  It was a gutsy move by them, but it launched CM Punk into being the most popular wrestler in the world.  Now that he’s at that level they certainly don’t want or need for him to do it again.  Anyways, CM Punk talks about the 1,000th episode next week.

Big Show’s music hits and he comes to the ring.  He says he was inches from winning the Money in the Bank briefcase last night.  He says he would cash the briefcase in right now if he had it.  Punk says that almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.  That joke is way too old.  Punk says Big Show did what he always does.  He dominates everyone in the match and then loses.  He says he has the respect of everyone, and he’s half the Big Show’s size.  Punk says that Big Show has his fat contract and the respect of nobody.

Big Show says that if Punk would leave the WWE the people would jump to the next big thing a week later and forget about him.  Really?  Because he left once before and the people made the WWE bring him back.  They chanted “we want Punk” every single show that he was out.  So yeahhhhhhh….. Big Show says that he will knock Punk out and that John Cena will probably cash in on him tonight.  Then Big Show drops the mic as if he just dropped a pipe bomb.  Except for the fact that everything he said was incredibly gimmicky and historically didn’t make any sense.  I’m sure Punk will carry that match later.  I’m also pretty sure that Cena will cash in his briefcase on the 1,000th show.  I guess we shall see.

Raw Poll. So you could go to WWE.com to vote on which championship will be defended on the 1,000th show next week.  The Intercontinental, United States, or Diva’s Championship.  Interesting fan interaction.  I like the idea, but I don’t trust the people to make the right decision.  Christian would put on the best match.  But I kinda hope that the United States Championship wins so that Santino can drop the title.  I want him to lose it so bad.  The Diva’s division is worthless.  Hopefully they’ve buried it enough that even the wrestling marks don’t want to see it and don’t vote for it.  The bottom line is that none of these titles have a whole lot of value anymore.  The heavyweight titles do.  And the tag titles soon will with the way they are building the division.  As soon as Kofi and Truth drop the titles the division will take off.  Speaking of…

WWE Tag Team Championship Match:Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c) vs. “Prime Time Players” Darren Young and Titus O’Neil w/ AW-  Titus pushes Kofi into the corner to start the match.  He throws his elbows into him and uses an uppercut.  Tag to Young.  Young sends Kofi into the corner and argues with the referee.  Kofi takes advantage with a flying drop kick.  Double hip toss from Kofi and Truth after a tag.  Truth does a dancing leg drop.  AW has that annoying microphone on again where he talks through the match.  I hate that.  Kofi hits a flying cross body and then sends Young to the outside.  Truth comes into the ring as the two hit a double baseball slide drop kick to the outside on both Young and O’Neil.  Truth gets on all fours as Kofi runs off of his back and dives to the outside.  That’s the commercial spot.  I like this match so far.

Back from break we see Kofi in a waist lock by Young.  That’s what I hate about commercial spots.  How did the heels take back over on offense?  We don’t know.  It kills the psychology of the match.  Part of the story is missing.  Kofi fights out but is cut off from the hot tag.  Kofi sunset flips Young, but he makes the tag.  O’Neil comes in and takes control with his own waist lock.  Young is tagged back in and chokes Kofi on the outside.  But the referee is looking right at him.  That didn’t make sense.  So Kofi gets to the hot tag after Young takes too long on a tag.  R-Truth comes in on fire with clotheslines.  He sends Young to the outside.  Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on O’Neil from the apron.  Truth hits the “Lil Jimmy” for the win.  I wasn’t aware that the move was called the “Lil Jimmy” until Cole said it.

So it looks like the Prime Time Player push has been derailed a little.  I like how they pushed them to the moon and them backed them off when the titles were involved.  It’s a good way to elevate them.  Now that they are established they can put over other teams like The Uso’s and Epico and Primo.  That elevates those teams as well.  This creates a decent tag team division.  Then they can continue to showcase teams like Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins and Tyson Kidd/Justin Gabriel.  Plus they have The Ascension coming soon from their minor leagues.  If you haven’t seen them yet, look them up.  All in all the tag team division is being rebuilt nicely.

Daniel Bryan is in the back with AJ.  She said she called the match down the middle.  Bryan apologizes for how he’s treated her since Wrestlemania.  He said he’s being honest and that there are no hidden agendas.  He said he was caught up in beating Punk and made AJ the scape goat.  Eve interrupts and complains about Bryan leaving her last week.  She said she gets to pick her own partner tonight to face Bryan and AJ.  Eve calls AJ a bitch and walks away.  Bryan said he will finish what he needs to say after his match tonight.  He kisses AJ on the cheek and she smiles.  So this can go one of two ways.  They could turn Bryan face.  Or they can really put him over as a heel by having him screw over AJ tonight.  The second is more likely.  But I wouldn’t mind seeing him turn face again.  He’s hilarious as a heel, but I like him as a face more.

John Cena Tout. I’m still learning about this Tout thing.  It looks like a short video upload application.  This is the next Social Media application that the WWE is pushing.  Cena encourages people to Tout in his video.  I love the implementation of Social Media into wrestling.  Love it.

Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio- Good segway from Social Media to Zack Ryder.  Great to see Ryder on Raw.  Del Rio attacks Ryder with a kick to the shin.  He stomps him into the mat.  Del Rio runs at Ryder in the turnbuckle, but Ryder gets his knees up.  Del Rio comes back with a single arm DDT.  He hits a nasty running kick to the side of Ryder.  Del Rio works Ryder’s arm over the ropes.  Ryder rolls to the floor and is attacked by Del Rio on the outside.  He stomps him and throws him into the barricade.  Ryder gets the upperhand with an upper knee lift.  He gets back in the ring but is again attacked by Del Rio.  Del Rio applies the Cross Arm Breaker and gets the submission.  Del Rio wins.  He applies a second Cross Arm Breaker but it’s interrupted by….

Rey Mysterio’s music hits.  Big pop from the crowd.  Mysterio runs down the ramp and into the ring.  Del Rio gets the upper hand with stomps.  Mysterio fights up and punches back at Del Rio.  Mysterio hits a head scissors that sends Del Rio into the ropes.  619 by Mysterio.  Del Rio retreats.  Mysterio celebrates his return.  I’m not a very big Mysterio fan personally.  I think he’s repetitive, stale, and injury prone.  But I guess it’s cool to see him again.  He and Del Rio put on great matches.  I don’t mind their feuds.  Better than seeing Del Rio and Sheamus.  There was no chemistry there at all.

Raw greatest moments- It’s Heath Slater.  His favorite Raw moments are his own.  He talks about his matches with Vader, Psycho Sid, Doink, DDP, and Bob Backlund.  This video was pretty funny.  Slater talks as if he won the altercations with these legends.  He also acts as if guys like DDP and Backlund came to the ring just to meet and praise him.  Good stuff.  Slater has awesome charisma.  I want more of the One Man Band.

Heath Slater is in the ring.  He asks who the legend will be this week.  He knows one will come out.  He’s not stupid he says.  Rikishi’s music hits.  Ugh.  One of my least favorite wrestlers of all time.  I guess that was inevitable with his sons being the Uso’s.

Heath Slater vs. Rikishi- Loud Rikishi chants from the crowd.  Slater ducks a tie up and taunts Rikishi.  Super kick to the face of Slater.  He cowers to the corner.  Stink face.  Samoan Spike in memory of Umaga.  Because Rikishi never did the Samoan Spike in his arsenal.  Rikishi Bomb.  1-2-3.  Rikishi and his fat ass win.  Cue the light outage.  The arena goes black.  When the lights come back up the Uso’s are in the ring with him.  They all have top hats on.  They all dance.  The Uso’s can really move.  I seriously would have complained about the dance break if not for the Uso’s appearance.  Those guys are underused.

Eve Torres and The Miz vs. AJ and Daniel Bryan- Great to see Miz back.  He sorta has a new gimmick.  He now plays the movie star role.  His hair is slicked back and he acts more mature.  Daniel Bryan gets a face pop when he comes out.  He’s playing the part of a face in this match, at least temporarily.  Huge YES chants with Bryan.  Even bigger than usual because of the face role.  That’s exactly why I want him to be a face.  The crowd interaction on the YES chants was phenomenal.  Coolest entrance in wrestling with full crowd participation.  That’s why a face turn makes sense.

Bryan and Miz start the match.  Rich history between these two.  Head lock by Bryan.  Miz pushes him into the corner.  Miz misses a punch and is kicked multiple times in the corner.  YES chants on each one from Bryan and the crowd.  Bryan whips Miz off the ropes but is met with a high knee.  Miz chants NO NO NO.  Haha.  Running knee to the face by Miz.  AJ tags herself in.  Eve comes in and pushes AJ into the corner.  She chokes her with her boot and face plants her.  Two count by Eve.  She again chokes AJ on the ring ropes.  Eve climbs to the top rope and uses an elevated choke hold.  AJ fights back and kicks Eve in the face.  Spinning heel kick by AJ.  Shining Wizard off the ropes.  AJ goes for the pin but Miz has the referee distracted.  AJ dropkicks Miz off the apron.  Miz goes after her which again distracts the referee.  Small package by AJ.  Bryan comes into the ring and reverses the small package.  AJ gets the 3 count for the win.  AJ and Daniel Bryan win the match.  Fun little match.  I really really really wish it would have been longer though.  I was really liking it.

Daniel Bryan gets on the mic.  Loud YES chants from the crowd.  Bryan says there was something that AJ used to say to him that he was too stupid to say back.  He tells her that he loves her.  The crowd oddly boos.  Bryan says he doesn’t want anything except for this…he gets on one knee.  He has a ring.  Bryan asks AJ to marry him.  He puts the ring on her finger.  The crowd is still booing.  AJ cries.  She says YES!  They make out.  Why is the crowd booing?  Because they like AJ that much and think Bryan will still screw her over?  Bryan and AJ shout YES together.  Half YES and half NO from the crowd.  Bryan appears to have just turned face.  And I’m happy about it.  But there is still a big chance that he screws her over in the end and returns to his heel status.  Very interesting and intriguing.  The fact that I am unsure of where it will lead to is a very good thing.  Because I’m never unsure.  I can usually easily predict where each angle will lead to.  It could seriously go either way.  Either he becomes the top face in the company, or there is a major screw job which makes him the biggest heel in the company.  Not that he wasn’t the biggest heel in the company already.  Either way this storyline will make Daniel Bryan the new top guy in the industry.

Raw flashback.  The Rock has Stone Cold’s smoking skull title.  He makes Austin come after it.  They fight out of the arena and onto a bridge.  Austin is tossed over the bridge and into the water.  Awesome!

Daniel Bryan and AJ will get married next week.  He tweeted it and it was discussed by Cole and Lawler.  That seems a little fast.  Now I’m really thinking that this will be a screwjob and that Bryan will return as a heel.  There’s still a chance that a heel like The Miz crashes the ceremony and Bryan stays face.  There was a weird smile by The Miz after AJ drop kicked him.  Maybe he will go after her.  Maybe she will turn heel on Bryan and go with Miz.  That would really put Bryan over as a face.  That would really make Miz and AJ super heels.

Jack Swagger vs. Ryback-  Swagger jumps Ryback.  He pounds on him.  Gutwrench powerbomb.  Swagger bomb.  Swagger goes for the ankle lock, but is kicked off.  Ryback sends Swagger off the ropes, but Swagger shoulder blocks him.  Ryback fights up and hits a running clothesline.  Spine buster by Ryback.  Triple power bomb by Ryback.  Awesome!  Swagger rolls out of the ring.  Ryback chants “feed me more.”  The match never officially began because of Swagger jumping Ryback.  Really?  Why?  Del Rio jumped Ryder earlier.  Why was that one started and not this one?  Doesn’t make any sense.  Any why would they all of a sudden push Swagger as if he’s a legitimate threat to Ryback just to have the purpose of the segment be to put Ryback over?

I’m sure they wanted to create a scenario where Swagger looked like a legitimate opponent, and they did that in the early going.  They should have had Swagger leave after he got the upper hand.  Then an actual Ryback feud could have began.  Or they could have had the payoff next week when Ryback finally got to squash Swagger.  Instead they just blew the payoff by having Ryback dominate at the end.  Now I don’t care about the followup.  Because Ryback already destroyed him.  No reason for me to watch the official match where Ryback squashes him.  Poorly done.  And using the “non start” on the same night that Del Rio did the same thing was just awful.  You can’t sell me the whole “this match was thrown out” thing if you already had an official match that started the same way on the same night.  Are you kidding me?  Ryback already got his revenge.  So why do I want to see him get more revenge next week?

Another John Cena Tout.  Cena says he has a huge announcement regarding his Money in the Bank briefcase.  Looks like my prediction of him cashing in on the 1,000th episode is looking pretty good…

Vickie Guerrero comes to the stage.  Typically shouting “excuse me.”  She introduces the winner of the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank match, Dolph Ziggler.  Ziggler comes out in a suit.  Ziggler says that every single Money in the Bank contract has been cashed in successfully.  He says its only a matter of time before he cashes in on Sheamus.  Ziggler says he will be better than Bret Hart, Stone Cold, and The Rock.  Vickie Guerrero repeats everything he says.  I guess that’s their new shtick.  She echos him.  Good heel heat when she does it.  So I guess Ziggler is staying heel.  There are so many guys lately that have been borderline tweeners.  They could go either way in being a face or heel.

Chris Jericho’s music hits.  He comes out to a face pop.  So now it appears that Jericho is finally turning face.  Yet another guy that was a borderline tweener.  Ziggler tells Jericho that he isn’t going to steal his spotlight.  He tells Jericho that all he does is lose.  He hasn’t saved anyone and it wasn’t the end of the world as we knew it.  Ziggler says nobody has been given more opportunities than Jericho.  He says he’s coasted along for so long that he has everyone fooled.  He asks Jericho when the last time he won an important match was.  He also asks if Jericho is losing his touch.  Jericho stays silent the entire time.  Finally he hits a Code Breaker on Ziggler.  The crowd chants Y2J.  Jericho exits without saying a word.  I actually really liked this segment.  I like how they brought out the truth about Jericho jobbing and used it as a reason for a face turn.  I like how Jericho was silent in his face turn, kinda like how he was when he returned and trolled everyone.  Ziggler was excellent on the mic.  Great promo.  I’m really liking all of these new feuds that are being born.  The WWE is being shaken up with new feuds, new blood, and new face turns.

Hype for next week’s 1000th episode. And wow wow wow is it stacked.  They promote the wedding of AJ and Daniel Bryan.  Also DX will be starting off the show.  And Jerry Lawler said “they will all reunite.”  Does that mean Billy Gunn, Road Dogg, and X-Pac?  I’m sure it does.  That will be phenomenal.  They also promote that Brock Lesnar will be there live to answer Triple H.  And of course, The Rock will be live.  That’s a whole lot for one night.  They haven’t even mentioned that guys like Bret Hart and Stone Cold will probably appear.  Bret Hart is confirmed.  There hasn’t been any talk of Austin, but there is no way that he won’t appear.  As great as the show will be it will be ruined if Austin doesn’t appear.

Poll results. Christian will defend the Intercontinental Championship next week on the 1000th episode.  The people got it right for the best quality in wrestling.  Congrats smart marks.

The Funkasaurus Brodus Clay w/ The Funkadactuls vs. JTG- Really?  JTG?  He actually gets an entrance too.  Apparently he got a makeover on NXT.  He isn’t so ghetto anymore.  And he wears a weird metal jacket.  Brodus Clay tosses him on his back to start the match.  Then JTG is met with a headbutt  Punch to the gut off the ropes by Clay.  Running knee lift.  Suplex.  Elbow drop.  Clay is destroying him.  Irish whip into the corner, but JTG gets his knees up.  JTG runs off the ropes and takes out Clay’s knees.  Running headbutt by JTG.  Hard kick to the head.  JTG mocks Clay’s Taradactul dance.  Front face lock keeps Clay grounded.  Clay misses with a clothesline and then JTG misses with a dropkick.  Powerslam by Clay.  Running headbutt.  Running Splash.  3 count.  Clay wins.  Pointless squash match with a little heat for JTG.  Stupid kids get in the ring and dance with Clay.

WWE Champion CM Punk vs. The Big Show- Time for Punk to carry the match.  The two try to spar each other for awhile with nobody making contact.  Finally Big Show gets the first blow with a headbutt.  Hard chop in the corner.  Punk punches back but is knocked down with a shoulder block.  I immediately like how Punk isn’t wasting time with how slowly Big Show works.  Instead of waiting around for him to do his slow moves, Punk stays active by swinging and punching.  Because realistically that is what one would do in a fight.  Especially against a larger man.  So Big Show stands on top of Punk against the ropes.  Big Show clubs Punk’s chest on the outside apron.  He clobbers away at Punk outside of the ring. Big Show attempts to throw Punk head first into the turnbuckle, but Punk climbs down his back, and sends Big Show face first into the steel.

Back in the ring Punk uses multiple kicks to the shin.  Big Show comes back with a headbutt that sends Punk to the mat.  Hard blow to the gut.  Big Show chokes Punk in the corner with his boot.  Irish whip results in a Punk boot to the face.  Punk jumps off the top rope but is caught in a body slam.  Punch to the ribs by Big Show.  Another shot to the ribs.  Punk fights back with a chop, punches, and a sleeper hold.  Big Show counters it with a side slam.  He attempts a Vader Bomb, but Punk rolls out of the way.  Hard kick to the chest by Punk.  Punk runs off the ropes multiple times, but can’t knock Big Show down.  After multiple attempts Punk is back body dropped by Big Show.  Show goes for the WMD, but Punk ducks, and hits a Yakuza Kick to the head.  Running enzuguri by Punk almost takes Big Show off his feet.  Big Show falls into the corner and is met with a high knee.  Punk uses two more high knees to the face, but Big Show still won’t leave his feet.  Big Show counters the bulldog and sends Punk into the opposite corner.  Big Show goes charging, but Punk moves, and Big Show crashes into the turnbuckle.  He finally falls down off of his feet.

Punk goes to the top rope and hits the flying elbow drop.  Two count by Punk.  Punk springboards off the outside apron, but is caught in a Big Show chokeslam.  Punk gets his foot on the rope after a two count.  Big Show angrily sends Punk into the corner and delivers more body blows.  The referee tries to stop him, but is pushed to the mat by Big Show.  Punk wins by disqualification.  Body Slam by Big Show.  He sets up for the WMD when John Cena’s music hits.  Cena runs to the ring with the briefcase.  Big Show exits the ring.

John Cena gets on the microphone.  He’s ready to make the announcement.  Big Show interrupts.  He says everyone already knows that Cena is about to cash in the briefcase right now.  He asks Cena how long it’s been since he’s been champion.  He points out that Cena designed that spinner title.  Big Show says Punk is weak right now and Cena would be a fool to not cash in.  Cena yells no.  He tells Punk that he has a week to get ready for the biggest match of his life.  Cena announces that he will cash in on the Raw 1000th episode.  Shocker.  Who woulda saw that coming?  Cena hits Big Show in the head with the briefcase.  Punk poses with the title while Cena poses with the briefcase.  Raw goes off the air.

Decent Raw.  Interesting how things are changing.  I’m okay with Punk vs. Cena again because the matches they put on were great.  Just for the record I officially predict that Cena will be the first person to ever cash in and lose.  I do not see him winning the title.  I’m not sure if that’s pure optimism or not.  I surely don’t want to see Cena win.  I also don’t think he will.  Perhaps The Rock will be involved.  Perhaps Rock vs. Cena #2 will happen at Summerslam.  Either way, I see Punk winning.  And I really can’t wait for that show.  I’m sure it will be as epic as we all think it will be.

It’s kinda weird realizing that tonight’s Raw was the last 2 hour Raw ever.  Hopefully we don’t have to sit through 3 hours of bad writing for the rest of our lives!  But the writing tonight wasn’t all that bad, aside from the Ryback thing.  I’m still not happy with Ryder being squashed.  I’m also not happy that Antonio Cesaro and Damian Sandow haven’t been featured on Raw yet.  But I am excited about the new feuds.  Jericho vs. Ziggler will be great.  Similar styles.  Their matches will be high quality.  As will Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz, if that’s what they decide to do.  If Bryan goes back to being a heel I expect him to feud with Christian.  He’s appearing on the Peep Show on Smackdown.  That could be the beginning of the something.  I’d be more excited to finally see a full length Bryan vs. Miz feud.

Mysterio and Del Rio will be good too.  I like how Del Rio is currently in a mini program with Sin Cara as well.  I think Sin Cara is awful and proved so for the second consecutive year at the MITB PPV.  But building towards a Del Rio vs. Mysterio vs. Sin Cara Summerslam match could be great.  That may be the perfect match to start a stacked show that could feature a Brock Lesnar match and Cena vs. Rock #2.  Things are looking up right now.  I’m slightly optimistic.  Although I’ve learned never to get my hopes up.  Make sure you read the 1,000th episode Recap next week.  I’m sure it will be a good one.  Leave comments below.  I apologize at the lack of comment response over the last few weeks.  I will now be able to respond to every single one of them.  Also follow me on Twitter @FantasyGodBSR.  I tweet throughout Raw whenever I get to watch it live.