The Main Events
CM Punk vs. Curtis Axel ends in No Contest. The match was really good for a few reasons. You can see what Axel is able to do in the ring, especially witht he help of a true veteran like Punk. Axel has great instincts in the ring, knowing where his opponent is at all times. Axel's striking focuses on his opponents upper body. He is smart in where and how he targets his opponents. Punk, on the other hand, is more about his kicks and grounding his opponent. As the match went on smoothly, Paul Heyman got involved. Out comes Brock Lesnar to help his manager. CM Punk is able to get some offense in against Lesnar. This was critical because he needs to show the fans that he has a shot against "The Beast." At the end, Lesnar finally hit an F5 onto Punk and struck him with chair shots. All in all, this segment sold me on the potential that Punk CAN win. We all know the size difference, but I am happy Punk is not being booked as the complete underdog.
–Daniel Bryan continues to elevate himself each and every week on Raw. This week, he gave us a 20 minute segment that was excellent about HIS BEARD. There may not be another guy in the WWE locker room that can start the show in this fashion and continue to be cheered more and more as it went on. Furthermore, his promo work was fantastic. He talks about being a wrestler and how he is better than John Cena. The realism of this promo was basically calling himself a wrestler and Cena an entertainer.Bryan keeps the beard and keeps his look, which is something that benefits him and benefits the WWE as a whole.
-John Cena cuts a very solid promo later in the night, putting his match with Daniel Bryan over. He talks about working to the top and winning the WWE Championship 11 times. He shows a little of his heel and cocky persona, one that we have not seen since his feud with The Rock a few years ago heading into Wrestlemania 28. John Cena needs to put more promos like this and less pandering to the crowd that already has their opinion of him.
WWE makes sure we do not forget about Randy Orton, who comes out and reminds us how much power he holds in the briefcase. We also get reminded that we should still look out for The Shield, as they end Raw on top. I found this very strange because they end Raw 2 weeks before the SECOND biggest PPV of the year and do not even have a match.
Raw Grade: C+
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