WWE Monday Night Raw took place last night (July 9, 2012) from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, and featured the closing angles for the Money in the Bank (MITB) pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sun., July 15 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Raw/WWE championship MITB Ladder match participants had a stock tag team match that ended in disqualification, the Smackdown/World heavyweight championship MITB Ladder match added yet another member and CM Punk and Daniel Bryan both got slapped around by AJ.
Oh, and the Anonymous Raw General Manager was finally revealed. And wouldn't you know it, WWE found the stupidest possible explanation and went right for it.
The show, as usual, was the typical Raw episode -- some good, some bad.
Enough with the small talk, though. If you want full results from Raw last night, click here for the running live blog. You can also listen to Sergio and I on the Cageside Live podcast gabbing about the show (among other things) right here. Time to get to reactions, posted after the jump.
- I'm still not bored with AJ nor am I tired of her taking up time on television. I'm also not sick of her being so heavily involved with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk. In fact, I was highly entertained when they crafted that wacky and wonky opening segment featuring AJ proposing to Punk and then Bryan proposing to AJ. The entire thing was ridiculous but in a really fun way. Overbooking can ruin some segments but it really helped this one. Everyone was on point with the little things, like facial expressions and proper reactions. Unintentional comedy was an added bonus. Really, there was only one thing to dislike about this entire ordeal.
- AJ's pauses. Her words are supposed to be powerful and we're supposed to be hanging off them, as though her lips will deliver the very salvation we all seek. That's fine. But she could use a lesson in timing. Featuring her heavily is one thing but letting her go too long and having to cut short nearly every segment for the rest of the show, including a match that involved awesome wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler, Christian, and Tyson Kidd, is something that needs to be addressed.
- Interestingly enough, the performer who did best last night wasn't AJ, Punk or Bryan. It was Eve, who was thrust into the picture and played her part to perfection. Her promo backstage on Punk where she outright told him to his face that he's been an afterthought as champion, lost in the shadow of The Rock, Triple H, John Cena, and Brock Lesnar. That's all true, too, and her bringing it to our attention empowered her, even if she lost the match later. The circumstances surrounding it left an opening for her to enter the picture again later and if they wish to continue this angle past MITB, I hope she's involved even more.
- I wish I could say more for Ziggler, Christian and Kidd but they were screwed out of time and there wasn't much they could do about it. I am intrigued by the idea of Vickie Guerrero sacking up with Tensai but I wonder if it goes anywhere.
- Santino Marella playing Sherlock Holmes in backstage segments had so much potential it was terribly disappointing when nothing really funny came of it. Marella mispronouncing "son of a gun" is only going to get a chuckle so many times before it's old hat.
- Even worse than Santino as Sherlock was the big reveal of the Anonymous Raw General Manager. After such a long time of building that angle, of utilizing a stupid ass laptop to get heat on Michael Cole and avoid making a real decision on an on-screen character, they pay it all off by having Hornswoggle climb under the ring and claim he was the one doing it all along. Then they tease having Lawler and Marella beat him up so he can kick Lawler, bite Marella on the ass and then kick Cole for good measure before skipping away, presumably happy with the thought that he wasn't booed out of building. I'm actually disappointed in Denver for stayed mostly silent during all this instead of letting WWE know how they felt at having their intelligence insulted so viciously.
- No, but for seriously, fuck that entire thing.
- What is it with Vince McMahon and announcers having matches? Does Cole have pictures of Stephanie McMahon in compromising positions or something? The dude is far too involved in the show. Announcers are supposed to enhance the experience, not be a major part of it. And they're especially not supposed to drag it through the mud and make the viewer want to change the channel.
- Hey, Sin Cara is in the Smackdown/World heavyweight championship MITB Ladder match. I suppose that's good because he's got the right style and is willing to do some crazy shit to get the match over but eight guys flying all over the place seems like it's going to be entirely too insane. Maybe that's not a bad thing. Let's just hope no one gets hurt.
- Bob Backlund looked pretty good for his age. The Crossface Chickenwing should make a comeback with another wrestler.
- Sheamus is another one of WWE's babyface bullies but it's acceptable when the target of his Brogue Kicks is Jack Swagger, who continues to be a punching bag for anyone higher up on the totem pole than he is, which is everyone.
- I don't have anything to say about the John Cena, Chris Jericho, Kane, Big Show tag match deal. None of it was surprising, it wasn't that entertaining and it made me realize how unbelievably bad their match could be Sunday night. What a waste of a MITB Ladder match.
For a go home show this wasn't terrible, as it played up the major angles headed in. But because AJ took so long to spit out her words early, everything felt a bit rushed late.
All told, it was a typical show.
How did you Cagesiders feel about it?