Precap to the Sept. 17, 2012 episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, or the one after Night of Champions

Punk! Cena! Heyman! Double Pin! Dusty Finish! WWE Championship!

Now we are only four months away from the Royal Rumble.

That's the entire point of the CM Punk vs. John Cena feud, right? To stretch this thing out until The Rock returns to WWE on Jan. 27, 2013, and make sure neither guy "looks bad." Because from where I'm sitting that seemed to be the sole purpose of last night's (Sept. 16) mess of a main event; not to tell a story or advance an angle, but to simply protect the top two guys in the company.

That's not to say that every match should have a satisfying conclusion. Hell, I'm not even saying every pay-per-view (PPV) should end decisively. But at some point WWE has to realize that matches don't exist in a vacuum. Punk has never had a clean win over Cena. Never. Not at Money in the Bank (MiTB) 2011. Not at SummerSlam the same year. Not at Raw 1000. Not at SummerSlam this year. CM Punk, the WWE Champion, the man who was told that his 300+ day reign would be meaningless if he did not manage to beat John Cena last night, did not beat John Cena last night.

So tonight Punk will cut a promo talking about how he demands respect. Cena will counter with "you didn't actually beat me." Raw's General Manager AJ Lee will skip out to the ring and make a rematch for Hell in a Cell.

Predictable booking is predictable.

Again, this is not bad in and of itself. Often, simple storytelling is the best tool for pro wrestling to utilize. At some point, though, the trigger has to be pulled. The storyline has to move forward. What WWE is doing right now is stalling to keep fans paying for the same match over and over again.

If Cena is going to be the WWE Champion, then just give him the belt. I would respect that more than WWE pushing back the inevitable.

The rest of the show after the jump.http://www.sbnation.com/javascripts/vendor/tiny_mce_3_0_7/plugins/pagebreak/img/trans.gif

Bryan! Kane! I'm Going To Disneyland! Your NEW! Tag Team Champions!

Daniel Bryan and Kane are the new Tag Team Champions.

Let's just wait a couple of seconds and let that sink in. That is too crazy a thought for it to be glanced over. Daniel Bryan and Kane have gone from contending for the WWE Championship, fighting each other while AJ stood by and watched gleefully, to somehow working together long enough to secure the tag team titles. Yes, there were ups and downs during the match, and maybe the deranged duo weren't always respectful to one another.

At the end of the day, though, Bryan and Kane walked away with the belts around their waists. That is pretty cool.

These two have been wonderfully entertaining together. Isn't that the name of the game? There should always be room for campiness in professional wrestling. With CM Punk and John Cena set to fight for the WWE Championship for the next four plus months, and Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, and Dolph Ziggler all going after the World Heavyweight Championship, the main event appears to be completely booked. There is nothing wrong with giving a couple of guys a good story to hold them over.

On top of all that, this is what the Tag Team division needed, two guys who really want to be champions. They may not have a catchy name or matching gear, but I'm sure more people care about the titles now than they ever did while Kofi Kingston and R-Truth were holding them.

Everything Else! Bullet Points!

  • The Miz retained his Intercontinental Championship by delivering a Skull-Crushing Finale to Cody Rhodes. I certainly wouldn't mind if these two were to feud with each other. If that is indeed the plan, it will be interesting to see how WWE plans on going about it.
  • Eve Torres defeated Layla to become the new Divas Champion after Kaitlyn was "mysteriously" attacked backstage and had to pull out of the match. This has been a SmackDown storyline so I will save a full analysis until later in the week. As it stands, though, it has been brilliantly played so far. I hope WWE can keep it up.
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