The beautiful Eve Torres comes back into our lives. (Yes this was from SmackDown. Are you really going to complain?)
Punk! Cena! Show! Triple Threat! Everyone Loses! WWE Championship!
CM Punk has been disrespected. He holds the sixth longest title reign in the past 20 years. If he can hold onto the WWE Championship for another 20 days he will pass John Bradshaw Layfield's 2004-05 and John Cena's 2005-2006 run. This is something that has been completely overshadowed. Instead of being the focus of the show, Punk has been upstaged by the fan favorite, authority figures, and Superstars of years gone by.
Bobby Roode feels your pain, Punk.
Now we have "The Voice of the Voiceless" facing off against John Cena and The Big Show for the WWE Championship at SummerSlam. It's an interesting angle, with Show's inclusion allowing Punk to retain his fan favorite status. He shirts are still selling with the children, and he is the face of WWE '13. It's not in WWE's best interest to burn any bridges at this time.
There are heel turns, and then there are heel turns.
That being said, they eventually have to pull the trigger on Punk/Cena III. After SummerSlam, there are only four more PPV's before The Rock's title shot at the Royal Rumble. With Night of Champions coming out of Boston, it would be a nice bookend to last year's Money in the Bank from Chicago. Cena being the literal poster boy also lends credence to the idea he'll be featured in the championship match. They cannot keep Punk and Cena away from each other forever. They have to have a one on one match, and someone has to go over.
But that night is not tonight.
The rest of the show after the jump.
AJ! Bryan! Kane! Insanity! Anger Management!
The new General Manager of Raw AJ had a pretty strong showing in her first week on the job. She got her revenge on Daniel Bryan by making him undergo a "psychiatric evaluation," along with making the Triple Threat match at SummerSlam. While she may deliver her promos in a meandering fashion, I would much rather watch AJ throw in unnecessary pauses than Triple H. At the very least, she's an entertaining character and is better than some of the Raw GM's of the past.
As for Daniel Bryan, even when he's not gunning for a title he's getting the most airtime out of anyone on the roster. A lot of that has to do with his relationship with AJ, but he can make any segment a winner. I'm not sure how many other guys could make being interviewed by a doctor so entertaining. And switching his catchphrase to "NO! NO! NO!"? Brilliant heel move. What are the smarks to do when Bryan comes out? We love him, so we want to chant "YES!" But all the marks in the audience will be screaming the same thing to piss him off. So do we do the opposite? The question being asked was what would the WWE do with a heel that was getting cheered instead of booed. I'm not sure how many thought they would simply switch the meanings.
I'm actually interested in Kane's role in the storyline. While the "Big Red Machine" may not be boyfriend material, he easily can make himself AJ's muscle. He needs something to do between trying to kill Zack Ryder, right? Seeing AJ and Kane form an alliance is just great television. Hell, lets bring in Alex Riley and Derrick Bateman and we got us a pretty good stable.
Prime Time Players! AW! Kofi! Truth! Lil Jimmy! Tag Team Championship!
We got ourselves a good old fashion tag team feud, folks! Titus O'Neil and Darren Young have gotten wins over Kofi Kingston and R-Truth on last week's Raw and SmackDown, all respectively. They were cheap wins, for sure, with Abraham Washington doing his best to distract the Tag Team Champions, but that's what a good heel team should do. Kofi and Truth getting screwed out of a few victories gets them fan sympathy and furthers the story along.
There may be hope for the tag team division yet.
One question that should be asked is why The Prime Time Players were made to look like such tools against Primo and Epico the past month? Did someone in WWE Creative have this planned out, but was told to wait until after Raw 1000 before actually putting it in motion. So they just threw a bunch of crap against the wall in hopes that the new fans wouldn't see it, and the old ones have a five second memory and would forget that any of it ever happened.
That's exactly what happened, isn't it?
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- I think one of the biggest flaws of Chris Jericho's return is his failure to sustain a story week after week. He's had a tendency to repeat himself in consecutive weeks which is exactly what has happened with Dolph Ziggler. I'm still excited about the feud. But it's hard to get more excited when nothing new happens.
- Booker T became the new General Manager of SmackDown. Cody Rhodes showed up to rub in the fact that he was the man who ended Booker's career. The newly crowned GM puts Cody in a match with Sin Cara for next week as a way to teach him some respect. This is a beef that began months ago, and has been picked back up after laying dormant. Consistent storytelling is consistent.
- Two weeks ago Triple H and Brock Lesnar brawled in the ring. Last week we got three recap videos. Maybe tonight Paul Heyman will record a Tout.
Hopefully this has helped get you prepared for the nights activities. Leave a comment about what you are looking forward to, make sure to follow the action @CagesideSeats, please join Geno, myself, and the whole Monday Night gang during the live blog here, and join us after the show for the Cageside Live podcast here.