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Daniel Bryan def. CM Punk and Kane
What I Liked:
I thought this was a great idea to start off Monday Night Raw. The best storyline, in my mind, needed to kick off the show. The action inside the ring was great, with all guys getting a good amount of offense. Kane showcased why he is possibly the most athletic big man in the history of the company. Kane has a great ability to sell moves that should not necessarily hurt him. Punk eliminates Kane first, which lets Bryan get the victory on Punk and basically become the number one contender all by himself. Bryan is still at the top of his game and the crowd still loves him. I said this months ago, and it came true. Punk won the WWE Championship and boosted his popularity one year ago at Money in the Bank. Last year, Daniel Bryan won the contract to ultimately become champion at Money in the Bank. They needed to have both of these men come full circle one year later. A feud that has intrigued me from the very beginning, they are so similar but so different. I loved the fact that Raw started off with a great match and one that has so much meaning for future storylines. AJ also did a great job just to be seen and the beginning of Raw showed her instability. Great work all around from every aspect of the feud.
Big Show def. Brodus Clay
What I Liked:
I was intrigued as to what was going to happen here, as I knew Big Show would not lose. Many expected a No Contest once again, but I did not. Brodus took a beating, but did connect with a few moves. Who is more important right now? Big Show has been lucky for the creative writers to back him for his entire career. They are trying to revive the last years of his career as a heel, so his victory over Clay somewhat solidifies it. Brodus suffers his first loss, but is it really that damaging to him? He has not beaten guys who are champions or legit competitors yet, so he really does not get harmed. Clay can use this match as a turning point in the personality, one to alter how he comes out. He can dance still, but there needs to be more seriousness during the match. Big Show and Clay did a good job considering how slow each guy was.
What I Disliked:
It may have been a smart idea for Clay to lose with the WMD and not Show just landing on him. If Clay loses this way, it makes it more important to Big Show. Brodus and Show do not have a huge storyline to work with, because not much can be built for over a month with two extremely similar big men. I wish there was something more from Clay here, even David Otunga coming back out to keep it going. I would not be surprised if Clay is not seen for a while, come back with a different attitude, and thrive from that.