Thanks to everyone for their feedback/encouragement above.
A few disclaimers before the show:
- I haven't written one of these in many years so I'm kinda rusty, feel free to throw criticisms my way though, it'll help me get back into the swing of things.
- I'm only going to be doing match highlights as opposed to a full play-by-play of the matches.
- If the show seems a bit short for a 2-hour show, I've done that intentionally to move though the weeks quicker and not get bogged down in the TV shows too much.
- And here's perhaps the weirdest one, please pretend that the 1000th episode of Raw isn't the week after this. I kinda dived into writing this on a whim and didn't think much about Raw 1000 and don't really have any grand plan for it so I'm just going to bypass it.
Anyways, that's enough rambling from me. Hope you enjoy the show! Feel free to leave any thoughts or comments, a full review isn't necessary but is of course appreciated.
Show: WWE Monday Night Raw
Date: July 16, 2012
Location: New York City, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Theme Song: “Burn It To The Ground” - Nickelback
The opening signature and Raw intro video play as we then enter the arena and CUE THE PYRO!
Cole: Welcome one and all, to a huge night in the history of sports entertainment! Tonight the WWE will change shape in a massive way and become better than ever before!
King: Oh absolutely, Cole! Coming off an incredible Money in the Bank pay-per-view event last night, my personal hero John Cena has become Mr. Money in the Bank! He’s holding that prestigious bright red briefcase! He could cash it in TONIGHT!
Cole: That’s very possible, King!
John Cena’s music hits and the familiar sound of high pitched shrieks from women and children, followed by heel heat from everyone else greets us…
John Cena (to cameraman on ramp): Papa’s got himself a new briefcase, soon he’s gonna have a new belt! IT’S RAW TONIGHT BABY, YEAH!!!
Cena’s charges to the ring, holds up his beloved briefcase and grabs himself a microphone.
Cena: New York, New York! Oh yeah, it’s one hell of a town!
Crowd gives off a mixed reaction.
Cena: New York City is a city that’s all about breaking new ground, changing the game, making history! Tonight history will be made across the entire WWE. We’re gonna get a new General Manager for starters. And I can tell you straight off the bat that’s it not gonna be me! No, I’m not in the running!
Slight pop from the crowd.
Cena: I can only hope and pray it’s someone who’s not as boneheaded as John Laurinaitis. Title belts are gone, new titles are coming in. New concepts, new PPV’s, new wrestlers! I love all this excitement and energy, I can feel it all around me. I love it, guys! And perhaps most exciting of all for me is this beautiful briefcase that I won last night!
King: It is beautiful, Michael!
Cena: Now… people have been asking me all day when am I going to cash in this briefcase? When will I change the game? And y’know what… I’ve got an answer for you. I will be cashing in this briefcase…
The audience explodes in a confused frenzy.
Cena: I need two things – a referee and CM Punk. Let’s do this, right here, right now!
CM Punk’s music hits in the arena and a confused Punk enters to a large pop, with a referee just behind him. Punk’s wearing street clothes and is dragging his WWE championship belt down with him as he challenges referee Charles Robinson on this cash-in.
Punk enters the ring, holds up his title belt and shouts to Cena “Let’s do this!”
MONEY IN THE BANK CASH-IN MATCH
CM PUNK © vs. JOHN CENA
This match was fought at a fast and furious pace, with the crowd electric for the whole thing. Punk competed furiously but was clearly taken off guard by the sudden cash-in and looked unprepared and out of the moment at points. Cena controlled most of the early going until charging at Punk in the corner and ending up slamming his shoulder into the ring post as Punk dived out of the way. Punk quickly took the advantage and worked over Cena’s shoulder with a variety of holds and shoulderbreaker type maneuvers.
Punk hit his running knee to Cena in the corner and signaled for the GTS. Cena stumbled towards Punk out of the corner in a dazed state and got picked up by Punk as the crowd exploded. Cena slipped out of the move though and Punk turned around only to get hoisted into Attitude Adjustment position! Loud ecstatic screams came from the crowd but they were disappointed as this time Punk slipped out and grabbed the back of Cena’s head, bringing him down with a reverse DDT! Punk then transitioned rapidly into the Anaconda Vice! Cena struggled for a few moments before using his immense strength to turn Punk to his right, and into a crucifix position! Punk’s shoulders are down! ONE-TWO-THREE!!! New champion!!!
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: John Cena
Cole: OH MY!!! Punk got caught by Cena! John Cena is WWE Champion!
King: He did it, Michael! This is incredible, Cena’s the man again!
The crowd absolutely explodes with the result as Cena is handled the championship belt and the celebration is on! Pyro goes off from the turnbuckles and confetti falls from the arena ceiling. The camera closes in on a completely shocked CM Punk, still sitting on the canvas.
--- Commercial Break ---
We return to Raw with a quick replay of Cena’s MITB cash-in and subsequent title victory.
We re-enter the arena where Cena is still celebrating his massive win.
Cole: Welcome back to Raw everyone, and the celebration is still on here in NYC!
King: What a way to begin the new era, Cole! Cena’s on top! HEY! WAIT A MINUTE!
Suddenly CM Punk attacks Cena from behind with a lead pipe as Cena was celebrating on the turnbuckles.
Boo’s rain down upon Punk as he continues to beat a fallen Cena with the pipe. Punk screams “I’m the man, not you!” as the savage attack goes on. Several referees eventually run to the ring to protect Cena from taking any more damage at the hands of the deranged CM Punk.
King: This is absolutely disgraceful! We need help out here for John!
Cole: Let’s just go to a quick commercial break. Don’t go anywhere folks, more Raw coming right up and hopefully this madness will be settled by then!
--- Commercial Break ---
We return with a replay of Punk’s revenge attack, followed by footage of Cena being helped backstage by referees during the break.
Backstage we go as Josh Matthews approaches an incensed CM Punk.
Matthews: Punk, Punk…. Punk! Please could I get a word, Punk?
Punk stops for a moment.
Matthews: Punk, what was the meaning of that?
Punk walks closer to Matthews and stares him right in the eyes. There’s an uncomfortable moment as Matthews nervously squirms.
Punk simply smiles, turns around and walks away.
SANTINO MARELLA © vs. DARREN YOUNG
We return inside the arena as Santino’s music hits and the crowd gives a warm reaction to the United States Champion. Darren Young follows after by himself to a bit of sympathy heat. No Titus O’Neil or A.W. to be seen here. Marella and Young wrestled a very basic match to minimal crowd noise as they caught their breath from the previous segments excitement. Marella took control after a few minutes of Young’s straightforward offense and hit his hip-toss and signaled for the Cobra. Young slowly stumbled to a vertical base and HOLD ON! IT’S CM PUNK!!!
Punk enters the ring and ambushes Santino from behind. Punk quickly clotheslines Young down as well. The referee goes to call for the bell and Punk clotheslines him too! This is anarchy! Punk rolls out of the ring and grabs another lead pipe from underneath the ring apron.
He rolls back into the ring and the beating is on! The bell rings as the crowd boo’s ferociously. Punk attacks all three with the pipe until several referees and road agents charge out again to try and regain control of the show. Punk holds the pipe in the air and screams “BEST. IN. THE. WORLD.” several times over as we fade into the commercials.
Marella vs. Young ended in a no-contest
--- Commercial Break ---
Replay of Punk’s beatdown.
KOFI KINGSTON & R-TRUTH © vs. CURT HAWKINS & TYLER REKS
Kofi and Truth get a big pop, Hawkins & Reks get a little bit of heat. 15 security guards with “K Security” written on the back of their shirts come down and stand around the ring, one of them gets a microphone. He has a “Chief of Security” emblem on his shirt chest.
Security Guard: Ladies and gentlemen, I have been asked to inform you that we are here to restore order to Monday Night Raw, as per the instructions given to us by the new General Manager. If anyone attempts to interfere in the following contest we will deal with you. Thank you for your time.
The bout begins and it’s a quick paced affair in the beginning with Kofi and Truth firmly in control. The tide turns when Hawkins rakes the eyes of Truth and the quick tags between the two heels keeps Truth isolated as they pick him apart. Hawkins and Reks attempt a double suplex on Truth but he counters and returns fire with a DDT to both of them! Truth makes the hot tag to Kofi who comes in like a house on fire. Kofi firmly has the advantage after running through the two heels and looks to hit the Trouble in Paradise on Hawkins. Suddenly Reks come in with a chair and slams it into the back of Kingston! The referee quickly calls for the bell, this match is done!
Winners by DQ: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth
Reks runs over and slams the chair onto Truth’s back as well for good measure. The 15 security guards quickly storm the ring and point for Hawkins and Reks to leave. They both throw their hands up as if they haven’t done anything and leave to a lot of heat from the NYC audience. The security guards don’t touch anyone and return to their position outside the ring.
A graphic appears announcing the unveiling of the new General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown will be up next.
--- Commercial Break ---
We return to the camera fixed on Cole and Lawler at the broadcast booth.
King: It’s been a chaotic night so far Cole, we need this new GM to restore order!
Cole: Absolutely King, and the reveal of the new boss is coming up in seconds! Who is he or she going to be?
King: Oh boy am I excited!
The lights shut off in the arena and the crowd pops.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you the NEW General Manager of the WWE, the man who will run both Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown, handpicked by the Board of Directors to reward him for his loyalty to the company….
A huge explosion goes off on the stage!
The crowd goes absolutely wild as “Man on Fire” plays and Kane emerges from the backstage area, wearing his mask along with a black suit, white shirt and a blood red tie.
Cole: Oh….. My!
King: Kane?! KANE?! As the GM?!
Kane enters the ring and is handed a microphone by Roberts.
Kane: Well New York….. do you like my new suit? (Kane laughs hysterically)
So last night I didn’t win the Money in the Bank Ladder match… and I didn’t sleep last night. I couldn’t. I just felt so…. frustrated. It was consuming me, eating away at me…
When I put this mask back on last December, I promised myself I would turn this damn company upside down. But I didn’t. I got beaten by John Cena, beaten by Randy Orton. I didn’t win the WWE Championship. I didn’t win the Money in the Bank.
I didn’t really do anything.
So this morning I decided to change all that. I decided to make sure I will NEVER be considered a joke again. I travelled down to Titan Towers over in Hartford, Connecticut and let’s just say I… persuaded… the Board of Directors that I was the man for the GM job.
Lovely people, the Board of Directors… (Kane chuckles to himself)
You know, I’ve been here for fifteen years. Fifteen long years. I’ve seen a lot of people come and a lot of them go. So many people have had so much power here over the years, and they’ve all squandered it.
Well not me, oh no… I’m here to stay. The Kane era is going to be very long… and it will be very, very glorious.
Kane starts to laugh some more until CM Punk’s music hits and the Straight Edge Superstar makes his way out to a very mixed reaction.
K Security forms a wall at the end of the ramp but Kane shouts for them to let Punk through. They immediately part and Punk walks through them, enters the squared circle and acquires a mic.
Punk: So, you’re the boss, huh? That’s one hell of a curveball, I’ll admit.
(Kane nods and smiles.)
Punk: You wanna know what else is a hell of a curveball? What John Cena did to me tonight!
The crowd boo’s loudly.
Punk: I’ll keep this short and sweet for ya. I want my title rematch and I want it soon.
Kane: You know what, Punk? I saw what you did earlier on. The way you beat down Cena. The way you came out here and just destroyed Santino and Darren Young. I loved it. I loved every second of it. You truly have embraced the hate, Punk. (Kane laughs loudly once again)
Punk: Give me what I want, Kane. I want my title back!
Kane: You want a title match? Well who am I to say no to such a determined young man? Punk you will face John Cena for the WWE Championship in your rematch. And it will be, TONIGHT!
Punk looks slightly unsure about the decision, but then smiles and backs out of the ring.
Kane: Ahhhh, what a Raw it will be…
Kane lifts his arms and throws them down as his corner post pyro explodes out. Raw transitions into some more commercials.
--- Commercial Break ---
We return from the commercial break and see a replay of Kane revealing himself as the new General Manager of Raw and Smackdown, and then him awarding CM Punk his WWE Title rematch later on the show.
A quick graphic comes up advertising Cena vs. Punk for the title later tonight as Cole & King gush over the wild events.
We leave the graphic and a school bell sounds as Matt Striker makes his way out, in wrestling attire. He has a mic in hand.
Striker: Hello, hello my students! Yes it is I, Your Teacher, Matt Striker! And finally I have returned to the Raw roster!
The crowd react with some boo’s towards Striker
Striker: I have returned to educate all of you. I have returned to enhance all of your miserable lives. I have returned to win championships and give you all a champion and a role model that you can all believe in! Oh yes!
Striker gets more heat as he continues
Striker: My ascension to the very top begins now! I’d like to thank our wonderful new General Manager, Kane, for the opportunity, and I’d like to thank you New York for the warm reaction. Thank you all so very, very much!
Striker enters the ring as Yoshi Tatsu is already waiting for him and gets a quick introduction from Justin Roberts.
MATT STRIKER vs. YOSHI TATSU
Nothing more than a quick squash match as Striker hits a few clotheslines, bodyslams and suplexes and then finishes the bout with the Golden Rule to take the victory in just over a minute.
Winner: Matt Striker
King: Do we really have to deal with this jackass every week? I can’t stand Striker!
Cole: I hear you on that one, King. This guy is a tota…
Cole stops talking as Striker approaches them at the broadcast booth. Striker says nothing and just stares at King before he spits right in King’s face!
An enraged King rips his headset off as Striker runs away and King gives chase, only to run into the wall of K Security! Striker taunts King from behind the crew of guards as they don’t let King pass and he has no choice but to return to the announce booth, still furious.
Cole attempts to calm King down but King brushes him off as we take another break.
--- Commercial Break ---
Replay of Striker spitting on Lawler before the break.
King: Hey Striker, you no good smark, you damn wannabe, you wanna spit at me and then run away like a god damn coward? I guarantee you, you’re gonna get yours. Just wait and see, just wait and see…
Cole: You ok, King?
King: Oh, I will be! Let’s just move onto our next bout…
Naomi: Ladies and gentlemennnnn, please welcome the only living, breathing… romping, stomping Funk-a-saurus, in captivity! Missstteeeerrr Broooddduuussss Claaayyyyyyy!
Brodus Clay, Naomi and Cameron dance their way to the ring to some light applause from the crowd.
Clay finishes his dance in the ring and the corner pyro goes off as Alberto Del Rio’s music hits and he and Ricardo Rodriguez enter without his luxury car and walk down the ramp.
Del Rio stops at the security guards around the ring and starts to talk to the Chief of Security. Ricardo passes an envelope from inside his suit jacket to Alberto, who then hands it over to the Chief of Security. The security boss checks it before smiling and shaking hands with Del Rio. Brodus looks on with confusion as the Chief orders the guards to walk away.
The guards start to walk up to the top of the ramp as suddenly Clay gets attacked from behind! It’s Hunico and Camacho!
Del Rio and Ricardo quickly slide into the ring and it’s a 4-on-1 assault as Naomi and Cameron scream in horror at ringside! Del Rio puts his cross armbreaker on Brodus who shouts out in pain! The camera cuts to referees at the top of the ramp attempting to get to the ring to stop this beatdown but K Security aren’t letting them pass! This is anarchy! Del Rio still has the cross armbreaker slapped on to the left arm as Ricardo, Hunico and Camacho all stomp away at the body of Brodus.
Del Rio finally releases the hold as Clay immediately clutches at his left arm. Del Rio orders Ricardo to fetch him a microphone and he does.
Del Rio: Tonight I was booked to face this peasant, this scumbag, this dancing fool Brodus Clay…. Do you all realize who I am? I am Alberto… Delllll Riiiioooo! I’m the best wrestler in this damn business! And until I get the matches I deserve, my little group here… my Cartel (Del Rio chuckles) are going to keep on causing mayhem! I hope you’re paying attention Kane…
Del Rio drops the microphone and laughs to himself as he stands tall with his new group.
--- Commercial Break ---
We return from the commercial break and see Kane’s backstage locker room door. Two security guards are standing on either side of it. The door opens and CM Punk walks out and out of camera shot.
We’re then treated to another replay of the events before the commercials.
Justin Roberts: Ladies and gentlemen, the following bout is set for one fall and per orders of our General Manager Kane, it is now a No Disqualification Match and it is for the WWE Championship!
Cole: Oh my! No disqualifications!
NO DISQUALIFICATIONS MATCH
JOHN CENA © vs. CM PUNK
Punk entered first to a majority of heat, some small cheers remaining from the NYC crowd. Cena’s music hit and a huge mixed reaction roared out as he slowly walked out, selling his beating from earlier. As Cena was making his way down the ramp, Punk decides not to wait and jumps out of the ring and charges at Cena, knocking him down with a clothesline. Punk beat Cena down on the ramp and around the ringside area, including throwing him into the steel steps. The Straight Edge star threw Cena into the ring and slide in as well as the referee then rang the bell for the match to officially get underway. Punk quickly went for a cover but Cena kicked out at two. The match from there was all Punk’s for the first 3 -5 minutes, wearing down Cena with basic holds and moves, before taking it to another level by going for a couple steel chairs outside the ring. Punk brought the chairs back in and put one underneath Cena’s head, Punker raised the other chair and Cena suddenly jumped to his feet before he could bring it down and the fight is on!
Cena makes a big comeback and shoulderblocks Punk down multiple times, before grabbing one of the chairs! Punk gets to his feet and gets waffled by a chair shot to the back! But Cena isn’t done! Punk is down flat on the ground and Cena slams the chair into his back again and again and again! Cena holds the chair up above his head and shouts out “Best in the World!” as the lights go out in the arena! What’s going on?!
The lights stay out in the arena for at least ten seconds and then the corner turnbuckles suddenly explode with flames coming out of them. The lights return and Cena is completely laid out in the middle of the ring! Two men are standing over him, completely covered in black and wearing hoods covering their faces.
The camera cuts to the ramp and we can see Christian, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth attempting to get to the ring but the security guards are stopping them! Things have truly broken down…
Punk has Cena lifted on his shoulders in the ring, he shouts out “NEXT WORLD CHAMP!” and slams his knee into Cena’s face with the Go 2 Sleep! Punk looks over to the two hooded attackers, who take off their hoods to reveal themselves as Michael McGillicutty and Johnny Curtis! Punk smiles at them and they smile right back, as Punk then covers Cena. The referee has no choice but to make the count and three seconds later CM Punk has reclaimed the gold following some absolute chaos!
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: CM Punk
McGillicutty and Curtis lift CM Punk up on their shoulders as he’s handed the WWE championship belt. Punk holds it aloft as they stand over the fallen Cena and Raw abruptly goes off the air.
--- End of Show ---
John Cena def. CM Punk in a Money In The Bank Cash-in match to win the WWE Title
Santino Marella vs. Darren Young ended in a no-contest
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth def. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks by disqualification
Matt Striker def. Yoshi Tatsu
Alberto Del Rio vs. Brodus Clay never started
CM Punk def. John Cena in a No Disqualifications match to win the WWE Title
Confirmed for this Friday’s Smackdown
The beginning of Kane’s “Embrace The Hate Tournament” to determine the #1 Contender to the World Heavyweight Championship!
8 Men, 1 Winner – Starting This Friday! Check back with WWE.com for the latest news on participants and how exactly the tournament will work.