The coast is clear. No Way Out 2012 and Monday Night RAW are officially in the vault. However, the real question is: Did we see any progression leading towards the next pay-per-view, Money in the Bank?
If anything, it is being overlooked for SummerSlam, which shouldn't be the case. Money in the Bank has been one of the best minor PPVs in the past few years. With the soon-to-be advent of the three-hour RAW, the WWE can't afford to downgrade any PPV.
With the aftermath of No Way Out and Monday Night RAW, here are five questions that urgently need answers.
Why No Brodus Clay Appearance?
For the first time in his career, Brodus Clay has some direction, as he led an army to prevent Big Show from defeating John Cena at the PPV. As Big Show was approaching the cage door, Clay had a steel chair, as well as brought out Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, Alex Riley and Kofi Kingston to assist him.
Why didn't we see any of this on RAW? It should have been the start of a Clay vs. Big Show feud. Mick Foley could have easily released the RAW restriction that Clay has.
Who Is in the Money in the Bank Match?
With recent reports of this year's Money in the Bank matches consisting of first-time participants, it would be wise to start building these participants more than any other MITB match (we're talking 14-16 fresh faces, here). If there is going to be a new No. 1 contender for both titles, every participant needs as much exposure as possible to earn credibility as a top guy.
Why Is Beth Phoenix Continuing to Lose Against Layla?
As much as it hurts me to say this, Layla's Divas title reign is slowly fading the entire division. There is no way that she should have defeated Phoenix cleanly for the second pay-per-view in a row. That would be like Andre the Giant losing consecutively before competing against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III.
Where does this leave Kharma? Is there even a point of returning if the WWE keeps sabotaging her best opponent? To take a line from Gorilla Monsoon, "the irresistible force vs. the immovable object" means nothing if Phoenix keeps losing to someone much smaller than her.
How Long Must We Witness "Interim GMs?"
John Laurinaitis being GM of RAW was a very good decision. In the past year, he has made one of the biggest transformations to a bona fide heel than anyone else. Although Laurinaitis getting "fired" does indeed indicate a fresh start, as well as a possible continuation of the brand split, having multiple "interim GMs" until one is decided just to promote the 1,000th episode is a bad decision.
Mick Foley—although a great asset to the business—looked so out of place on RAW. As we saw on RAW, even in his hometown, his pop wasn't as big as it used to be. Bringing other "old school" wrestlers to be GMs would almost be as bad as the guest host concept.
RAW and SmackDown needs separate permanent general managers—fast.
What's Next for the World Champions?
As mentioned before, this past RAW episode did nothing major to create or resume any storylines. Most importantly, the direction of the WWE title or World Heavyweight Championship. All we saw is A.J. skip around the ring in a Kane outfit and Alberto Del Rio defeat Santino Marella.
Shouldn't have ADR received a better spot than that (no offense to Santino)? ADR's return wasn't expected, so a run-in against Sheamus would have made sense.
As far as CM Punk goes, something big needs to be in store for him because his reign is getting a bit stale being clouded by Lifetime Channel-esque TV drama storylines.
Feel free to voice your opinion of No Way Out and RAW below, as well as live on the Pancakes and Powerslams wrestling talk show this Tuesday night (June 19, 2012) at 11 p.m. ET on Blog Talk Radio.
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