WWE Monday Night Raw took place last night (Sept. 3, 2012) from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, and featured the biggest revelation in the CM Punk heel turn just yet.
He's a Paul Heyman guy, just like Brock Lesnar is a Paul Heyman guy.
But while Lesnar split, Punk is staying, presumably along with Heyman himself. It's entirely possible WWE is just trolling us here and that would be such a sweet shot at the smark population. Why?
Because we can't help but mark out like little kids over stuff like this.
Apologies for this taking so long to get up to the front, Cagesiders. Life happens and all that.
Enough with the small talk, though. If you want full results from Raw last night, click here for the running live blog. Time to get to reactions, posted after the jump.
- If we're talking about backstage power and how much of it CM Punk has, we have to enter Heyman into evidence as exhibit B, right? Heyman didn't exactly endear himself to the WWE locker room, at least not the higher up the ladder you went, during his run with the company and even his return has been marked by Stephanie McMahon calling him out on live television and slapping him in the face while Triple H looked on and laughed about it. Old wounds heal slow, I guess, but not too slow to do business again. Punk and Heyman as a team on screen just screams awesomeness, E&C style.
- The Punk vs. Jerry Lawler backstage brawl to start the show was done well, despite "The King" running head first into Punk's boot like a complete dope. The same can be said for Punk walking out and refusing to work because it was Labor Day, made even better by the fact that he was disappointing his hometown crowd and pandering to them early in the show. By the time it was done, he had actually drawn plenty of boos from a crowd who cheered him voraciously at first. Really, it was just nice to see Punk doing work that didn't induce an involuntary muscle spasm on the old channel changing hand.
- Has Sheamus ever been any less entertaining? Putting him opposite Punk in a situation like this served no purpose other than to show how far away he is from being a made man like Punk. He was just bad. Wholesome, maybe, but bad.
- Nice to see Dolph Ziggler get a win on Randy Orton in a crazy good match. "The Viper" would later tell a Twitter follower, "it's impossible to have a bad match with Dolph." No disagreements here. This would be made even better if they just kept trading wins in epic battles before one of them finally comes out on top after a legendary struggle. That's probably asking for too much but they've been doing amazing work so far.
- Turns out it is asking for too much, as it seems Orton is leaving now to do the movie. That could be why Dolph won last night.
- The Miz on commentary was ... well, let's just say he's not good at anything he does on WWE TV.
- There are no words to adequately describe how unbelievably amazing anger management classes with Kane and Daniel Bryan have been. This stuff is extremely campy but these two have pulled it off at every turn. When WWE does comedy, typically it makes anyone over the age of 10 cringe. This had me laughing all the way through. That extended to the Hug-It-Out match, which was quite possibly the greatest moment on Raw this year. Again, masterful performances from both guys and an unconventional way to lead to another match between the two at some point down the road. We're so used to getting typical bullshit booking like putting John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and Punk vs. Sheamus that it's nice to have them go outside the box with stuff like this.
- Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, and Tensai can all work, so their having a slow and relatively unexciting match until the finish was disappointing. Rhodes being obsessed with masks again is good for continuity, I guess, but it feels like he's regressing.
- Jack Swagger finally getting beat so much that he decided to up and leave has been a long time coming. At some point you can't just keep beating guys and not expect any fallout from it. This was good if only because it was downright logical.
- WWE crowns a Diva's number one contender in Kaitlyn via a battle royal, which sucked, then have her go out and get beat by Eve in a singles match, which sucked, while The Miz and Diva's Champion Layla bicker like school girls on commentary, which sucked. What a steaming pile of crap this entire segment was.
- Ryback is actually getting over and that's kind of scary. He even has a shirt. Who's buying it?
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Santino Marella was fun. That's all it really needed to be. And, in fact, that was a general theme with this show. Just having fun.
- It kind of seems like A.J. Lee's days as General Manager are running out, doesn't it? Vickie Guerrero is pushing her around while they're tying in the Board of Directors, who are unhappy with Lee's performance. All this program is doing is underlying how little anyone really cares about on-screen authority figures anymore. A.J. also couldn't keep Punk or Swagger from leaving the show, so it looks like things are coming to a head soon. That's probably the right call, considering how she's no longer getting much reaction now that she's not attached to Bryan or Punk.
- Was it just me or was Cena vs. Del Rio actually a pretty good brawl? The match was plenty exciting with a few decent spots before Punk ever showed up with Heyman, which was just an awesome capper to what was a pretty damn good show.
This was fun. Still way too long, but a pretty fun show all things considered. I'd give it a solid B+ and that would be an A if Miz wasn't so annoying on commentary for so much of the night.
But that's just me. Now it's your turn to give us your thoughts on the show. How did you feel about it?