Previously on Monday Night Raw
Or, as is always the case with a fallout show, last night at SummerSlam...
HOLY #%@&ING $#!+
Ahem. Sorry. BUT DANIEL BRYAN PINNED JOHN CENA CLEAN AS A SHEET TO BECOME WWE CHAMPION!
Jeez, so much for journalistic integrity. Alright, I got this. HELLS BELLS !THAT PUNK - LESNAR MATCH WAS INSANE!
Okay. Okay. Okayokayokay.
Randy Orton is WWE Champion, after his former Evolution stable-leader and current Chief Operating Officer of the company, HHH, pedigreed the Beard in the euphoric after-glow of his epic title win. The Viper handed in his red Money in the Bank briefcase containing a contract for a title match, hooked the leg and we have a new champion.
Nothing short of channeling mid-90s Mike Tyson was enough to earn CM Punk a victory over Brock Lesnar, at least while Paul Heyman was around. With his former best friend locked in an Anaconda Vice, the Best in the World fell victim to a chair shot from the Beast Incarnate and an F5 onto the same steel was all she wrote. It was another phenomenal pay-per-view (PPV) match for Punk, but also another loss.
The World Heavyweight Champion (WHC) took a beating from someone this weekend, but he didn't lose his belt. Continuing his trend of targeting his opponent's weak spots, Alberto Del Rio worked the shoulder and even survived a Spear from Christian, before the self-proclaimed hero of the Latino community locked on a cross armbreaker for a submission victory.
Winning the no-longer blue Money in the Bank briefcase continues to be more curse than blessing, as Damien Sandow lost to former tag partner Cody Rhodes. Maybe the no-longer moustachioed one should be glad the re-worked satchel wasn't on the line? Also on the undercard, Bray Wyatt's debut was a little disappointing, but did result in victory, as he and his Family left Kane unconscious following another ring steps assault.
Hopefully everyone involved in the Dolph Ziggler/Kaitlyn/Big E Lanston/AJ Lee program can move on, now. Ziggy and the Hybrid Diva has their hands raised following their mixed tag match last night. And in Total Divas action, Natalya submitted Brie Bella, making it a two for two day for the blonde, who partnered with Maria Menounos in the afternoon to defeat Brie and Eva Maria at Axxess.
On the pre-show/Kick-Off, Rob Van Dam defeated Dean Ambrose, but doesn't get to keep his United States championship, as it was via disqualification when the rest of The Shield (aka the Tag Team champs) attacked. Big Show and Mark Henry ran off the Hounds of Justice, but the rumored extra match didn't take shape.
The main lingering thread from last week is...whither Vincent Kennedy McMahon in all of the WWE championship shenanigans from Staples Center? He was plotting with his hand-picked General Manager, Brad Maddox to ensure that Daniel Bryan didn't become the champ. Where was either man last night, and though they may be happy with Cena and Bryan losing in the same night, will they be happy with how it happened?
From The Pond in Anaheim!
Say it ain't so Hunter? We're all ears as we wait to hear from the COO and the new champ. Evolution 2K13? Corporate Viper? No matter, the Goatface Killah didn't wait 14 years to get screw(job)ed...Orton and whoever he's aligned with are gonna be in the sights of our boi, D-Bry.
Brock's scheduled to be off until next Spring, so whatever will Paul Heyman and CM Punk do with themselves until then? There's always Curtis Axel, or there has to be a reason the Advocate keeps warning the Second City Saint to "Stay Down", right?
The Family may have stumbled a bit in their first PPV appearance, but what Bray Wyatt and company do next will be more important. One way or another, Kane looks to be an obstacle no more, so who will be the next target of the cult sensations? And will the other trio from NXT continue to fade into pre-show semi-obscurity or is a longer feud with three Legends just the ticket back to the main event?
The WHC is usually a Friday night affair, but WWE.com is playing up Christian's coming up short again heavily in their discussion of tonight's show. Could a turn or a goodbye be forthcoming? And how is the champ's face healing?
All this and a ton of other hopefully great stuff as we begin to explore the Universe following one of the hottest big events in years!
Expect to pop for:
Too. Much. Awesome. (and we ain't talking about The Miz):
- CM Punk: His streak of incredible matches with legends is...I kind of don't have words. But someday it will be looked back on as legendary. He's also lost at the last three "Big Four" PPVs, and I truly believe that whether or not he takes some (more) time off now to rest his wounded body, that's part of a storyline that is leading to a big 2014 for the Straight-Edged Savior. A comeback that takes him through Royal Rumble and leads to either getting his win back from Lesnar or (dare-to-dream) a post-modern Hogan vs. Warrior clash with D-Bry for the title at WrestleMania 30 would make a hell of a story for a guy who's cementing his reputation as one of the best to ever lace 'em up. And for someone who talks about early retirement a lot, it might even be a career capstone.
- Brock Lesnar. Forget all that stuff I was saying on Friday. His comeback was made last night, and the only really bummer is that we can't get more PPV dates out of him. At least he's around for two or three per annum for the next couple of years.
- John Cena. The Champ may not be here for the next couple of months, but give the big lug credit, he brought it last night. With HHH in stripes and his "check with the ringside doctor" routine early in the match, I was really worried that he might be hedging his bets as he seems to always do when heads up against Punk. But he sacrificed his body (and especially that elbow) and made the Beard look like even more of a Superstar than he did coming in to the night. I'd like an explanation why Captain Good Guy didn't appear to save the man whose hand he shook seconds earlier, but that's no big deal, and can be explained away the same way his absence will be - medically. Heal up, man. The business is better when you're energized and in it.
- Daniel Bryan. I'm really out of words. It wasn't that long ago that I was just a commenter on sites not as awesome as CSS and lamenting how misused Bryan Danielson was going to be by the big, bad WWE. He may not be wearing a title, but he pinned the poster boy and might just be the hottest act since a guy to whom we gave many "Hell Yeah"s.
- Randy Orton. The crowd wasn't exactly trashing the ring, but I think they were stunned into disappointment for their more-beloved-than-ever hero. The Viper gets the heel refresh he's been begging for, an insanely hot feud against the man who he's had some of the best matches in his career against and an opportunity to let his former Evolution cohort talk for him, covering his biggest weakness.
- HHH. I'm always happier when I can boo you, ya politicking bastich.
The heat is on:
There are some guys with question marks. The tag and Intercontinental championships couldn't get on the show. Ryback is in limbo and Fandango is dance-bombing his way onto PPV. But this company is firing on damn near all cylinders right now. And I, for one, am going to enjoy being able to say that for as long as I can.
If you can't get excited for tonight's show, I don't know why you watch pro wrestling.
What are you looking forward to, or guessing will happen, tonight? Comment away below, and remember to join the always hoppin' live blog tonight for Monday Night Raw!