What a 48 hours we’ve had! Money in the Bank was this past Sunday and this was the first PPV I’ve had to watch on my own for quite some time. As you are obviously aware, the UK and the USA have a rather large time difference so watching WWE programming live is not an easy task. The PPV started at 1am and obviously finished at 4am. Hence the reason why I usually watch the PPV’s the Monday evening with a few friends. Unfortunately on this occasion my friends were all busy and I was left to watch on my own.
I was concerned. I thought it was going to be a poor show without my friends to banter with throughout the show. I was wrong. I thought Money in the Bank was a fantastic PPV! No match on the card was really poor and everyone put in a massive effort to entertain. Then the realisation set in that the WWE Championship wasn’t going to be the main event yet again. Who in the world could take the place of this Championship counter!? Of course Mr. John Cena. I will get in this as we go through things in more detail. There is a lot to this week’s article but bare with me on this one.
The first match of the evening was the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank Ladder Match, although the graphic said SmackDown MITB match as did the main event by calling it the RAW MITB match rather than the WWE Championship MITB match. All was going well until Sin Cara decided to turn the clock back to 12 months ago when he debuted. The man nearly killed Dolph Ziggler in that match. Sin Cara is a liability! Then it hit me! Cara before coming to the WWE always wrestled with slots in his mask for his eyes so he could see. As we all know, the Sin Cara mask has tinted areas for the eyes. This is the reason why I’d imagine his matches to be under dark lighting, to allow him to see better in the ring. Every time the man is in a PPV match where the lights are on bright the man is frighteningly dangerous in the ring! Cut some holes in his mask or release him before we have to watch someone leave in a wheel chair! Please!
The botches kept coming with Tensai struggling to powerbomb Santino and Ziggler deciding that when he got thrown over the announce table that it would be a good idea to land on his head.
Tyson Kidd had a great showing as did Damien Sandow. This match was everything I hoped for. High risk moves with many false finishes. Ultimately Ziggler won what we were predominantly hoping for. Let’s hope that this leads to something decent for Dolph. After this week’s RAW things are looking up for him, but again, more on that later.
The Miz made his return, sported a new haircut and inserted himself in to the RAW MITB match. I looked at him for a second and then it hit me who he looked like! Michael Beihn! Seriously, go on Google image search and type in “michael biehn aliens” The first image is Miz on his new movie set, I promise you!
Then we got a bonus tag team match with the Prime Time Players against Primo & Epico. A quick note, 3 commentators, 2 special guest announcers and AW on a mic at ringside is chaos. Please WWE, avoid this in future. What has happened to AW? When he did his talk show with Tony Atlas back in the day he was remotely entertaining and had charisma. At the moment he looks lost. I’m hoping that things will improve in future as I have high hopes for the Prime Time Players but at the minute I’m not really being drawn in.
Then we got the WWE Championship match. My jaw hit the floor when I realised that the ONLY thing WWE has built up for this PPV wasn’t even being considered as the main event. That aside the match was excellent. Both Punk and Bryan proved again why they are currently the best thing on offer in the company. They managed to keep their match different from previous encounters and they both pulled out all the stops. Taking AJ out of the equation was a nice touch so that the focus could go back to the match rather than just the story. I liked how AJ called it down the middle and they still teased a continuation of the story. We obviously saw a slightly different direction on RAW but overall the match made sense and was deserving of every minute it received.
Then we got the ‘Main Event’ with the RAW MITB match. Miz was a welcome addition to add depth to the match and with some good spots it was exactly what we were expecting when compared to the SmackDown version. With that being said, WHY have Cena win? I know I’ve mentioned it was pointless in him winning previously and to be honest I wouldn’t have been bothered if it was done halfway through the PPV but to have it close the show again? The WWE Championship is suffering because of this but again we will look at this further with RAW.
RAW opened with Big Show and Punk both making valid points. Punk ISN’T the man no matter how much he claims to be champion. He’s still taking a backseat to Cena and Big Show isn’t credible because we’ve seen him do what he did at MITB throughout much of his career, fail to win the match he’s favourite for.
A small note I found funny was the fact that when Cole and Lawler were talking about the first ever edition of RAW, Cole had to check his notes to see if the first ever episode was in 1993! It’s been on our TV sets so much over the past few weeks that even a casual fan would surely remember that by now!
RAW wasn’t a very good night for the camera crew and production. The camera cut early to the stage in anticipation of Mysterio’s return and during Rikishi’s entrance the cameraman looked to nearly fall over on the ramp. Only small things I know but with a similar instance on NXT this past week it seems that standards may have slipped and mistakes are being made. Again nothing big but noticeable because of WWE’s usually high standards.
As much as it was cool to see the Uso’s dancing with their Father on RAW I couldn’t help but wish we would have seen Too Cool back for one more moment. Then again with the extension to Rikishi’s backside, it does make me wonder if he ate them!
Then we got Bryan’s apparent face turn with his proposal to AJ which on this occasion seemed sincere. I’m not sure where they are going with this but I was hoping we had avoided the marriage story. Whatever they decide to do I’m hoping it’s a temporary measure whilst something better for both parties is found.
Jack Swagger took on Ryback in a match which never got started but did show a lot of potential for both men. I was happy that Swagger managed to keep some momentum against him and made himself look better than he has done in weeks, even with a beat down.
Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho had a moment on RAW which I have to describe as stunning. With a simple face expression Jericho seemingly turned face and made a rivalry that I am desperate to see. Ziggler proved he is ready with some incredible mic work. Now if he could only drop Vickie I think it could be his time.
Did anyone else think that JTG looked like a Booker T wannabe?
Then we got the closing moment where John Cena yet again proved he isn’t human and announced that he is basically better than everyone else because he is cashing in the briefcase next week rather than do the human thing and actually act like someone would. WWE are really frustrating me with this and anyone who witnessed my many debates on Twitter last night with numerous people know how wound up I am with WWE’s recent direction. Why on Earth would your main event to a PPV be a match for a title shot when the ACTUAL Championship match is on before it? Before everyone gets mad and compares the Royal Rumble, I believe that is different. To be honest I would rather the Rumble be on before the Title match as it was years ago but with a main event slot at WrestleMania on the line I think it is slightly different. John Cena could face Hornswoggle on PPV and it would go on last at the moment. WWE are so small minded and scared to change. His merchandise sales aren’t going to plummet when he’s not in the main event of the PPV! The man isn’t Champion and it is ok for him to have a mid-card match! WWE’s short sighted views on Cena are ridiculous. I knew Cena would win, it didn’t bother me. But the fact that WWE felt the need to have to put it on last and “Send fans home happy” is just stupid. Why wouldn’t people have been happy going home after watching the best match of the night in Punk and Bryan?
Now we reach RAW 1000. Cena is cashing in and why do I feel that WWE won’t be able to resist that “sending everyone home happy” feeling again for the ending of next week’s RAW? Note; If Cena wins next week then Punk’s title reign may as well as not have happened. He hasn’t been in the main event and he’s just been keeping the title warm for Cena. With the inclusion of The Rock why can I not help the feeling that Rock V Cena II is coming? I hope not and I may just be bitter but if you are trying to launch a new generation, keep the title on Punk, unveil you’re new Championship belt and move on. This would make sense and surely you would still be “sending people home happy!”
Other than that, I have high hopes for RAW 1000. It promises to be a good blend of old and new and after the past few weeks RAW’s we deserve something big.
Overall this past 48 hours have been good but next week’s RAW will set the tone as to whether this Summer is going to be a memorable one.
Don’t forget to check out the second episode of Virtualy Reality on the VOW Network. Check it out here: http://www.vowlive.com/2012/07/15-july-2012/