WWE Raw: A.J. Delivers the Kiss of Death, DDP Returns, Paul Heyman and More

Kyle SchadlerChief Writer IJuly 3, 2012

WWE Raw opened with John Cena talking about Money in the Bank. He compared the match to Big Show interfering last week and said that he would win.

That brought Daniel Bryan, who said Cena wasn’t relevant to him unless he actually won the match since Bryan was going to beat CM Punk. Punk then came out and mocked the “yes” chants, but he was interrupted by Chris Jericho.

Jericho mocked Bryan’s catchphrase by busting out some of his old ones, and Kane and Big Show eventually came out to start a brawl between all six. It ended with Big Show standing tall.

There was so much going on here, but I thought it was an entertaining opening segment. Everyone that spoke was solid on the mic, with Jericho and Bryan being the highlight.

The brawl was really short, which was weird. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brawl end that fast that wasn’t broken by referees and security.


The Prime Time Players, Cody Rhodes and David Otunga vs. Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Christian and Santino Marella

The ending saw the Prime Time Players and Rhodes walk out on Otunga, who got distracted by Brodus Clay and a Cobra from Santino. The match itself was decent, but the ending did nothing for me.

This is the second match I can remember the Prime Time Players walking out of, and I think it hurts them. If they can’t even finish a match, how are they supposed to look like credible No. 1 contenders?

It was good to see R-Truth back, though, so the feud can at least officially get started.

Rhodes walking out made sense as he was mad over Otunga losing the qualifying match for them on SmackDown. I really hope that he makes it into the Money in the Bank match.

Since I expect the Brodus/Otunga feud to last another week at most, I fear that the recent Cobra’s he’s been receiving will lead to a feud with Santino over the United States Championship.

As much as I don’t want Santino to have the title, I don’t want Otunga to have it even more! Santino is at least entertaining.

Backstage, Alberto Del Rio approached Teddy Long. Del Rio wanted his one-on-one match against Sheamus, so Teddy informed him that the board of directors made it so. He then booked him in a match later against a mystery opponent.

I’m actually glad that Del Rio is the No. 1 contender. He’s been impressive over the past couple of weeks, which is good because he usually puts me to sleep. I’m not sure if I want him to be champion, but he’ll at least be able to have a good match with Sheamus.


Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara

The match actually never happened. Del Rio kneed Sin Cara during his entrance and proceeded to beat him down afterwards. I guess that’s one way to keep Sin Cara undefeated without having the No. 1 contender lose. Seeing them wrestle for a little bit would have been nice, though.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan approached A.J. with a rose. He apologized to her, but A.J. saw right through it. She bit the flower off the stem, spit it out and walked away.

She sent him quite the message with that! I like how Bryan is trying to suck up to her, as he knows that he could be screwed with her as the referee.

Thankfully, A.J. has evolved from crazy in love to just plain crazy. A.J. continues to be the highlight of this feud.

Paul Heyman was then live via satellite. He stated that Brock Lesnar would be live on the 1000th episode to answer Triple H’s challenge, and then proceeded to give a very calm promo about how Triple H wanted Lesnar to end his career so he could work behind the scenes.

There is no one that can deliver a promo like Paul Heyman. I loved how he delivered this one so calm. He was talking about a topic that doesn’t normally come with calmness, but he did it perfectly.

WWE really should hire him to teach classes on mic work. Heyman has that “it” factor on the mic; he’s had it ever since the days of ECW. He could teach the guys in FCW, and even some on the main roster, a thing or two about how to cut an effective promo.


Sheamus and A.J. vs. Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero

The faces picked up the victory after A.J. hit the Shining Wizard on Guerrero. This was a good match, thanks mostly to Sheamus and Ziggler. A.J. and Guerrero weren’t really involved until the end which is a shame. I would have liked to see them go at each other.

Sheamus and Ziggler performed very well here to deliver something entertaining for the fans. Both continue to be impressive, and despite Ziggler’s current losing streak, I think big things are in store for him.

I believe that the fall and winter seasons will be the Showoff’s time to really shine. In other words, Ziggler will be the World heavyweight champion by the end of the year. At least I hope that he will be.

Backstage, A.J. approached Punk, who was on the phone. She didn’t seem too happy about that, but soon became very upset after Punk told her he missed her match because he was talking with his sister. A.J. just stared at him as she walked backwards out of frame.

This just got more interesting. A.J. sees Punk as her soul mate, so missing her match over a phone call must not sit too well with her.

Even though something like family always comes first, Punk may have gotten on her bad side because of a simple phone conversation.


Heath Slater vs. Doink the Clown

After a decent match, Slater picked up the victory with a neckbreaker. That’s right; Heath Slater won a match on WWE’s flagship show! Then again, it wasn’t against a former main event star like Vader or Sycho Sid, so I guess it’s not too impressive.

It was cool seeing Doink back in the WWE, though I always preferred heel Doink over the face version. I wonder who was under the makeup this time.

I’d imagine it was the Brooklyn Brawler, as he has sometimes done it in the past when Doink returned.

Post-match, Slater’s celebration was interrupted by Diamond Dallas Page. He shook Slater’s hand, but that resulted in a Diamond Cutter. I knew Slater wouldn’t get away that easy.

It was certainly good to see Page make a return. It would have been cool to see him in the match, but a good old-fashioned Diamond Cutter works just as well for me.


Kane vs. the Big Show: No Disqualification

The Big Show picked up the victory with a chokeslam onto a steel chair after a boring match. No DQ matches are usually good as people get beat with chairs, are put through tables and occasionally see some good wrestling.

I figured that these two would beat each other with a chair or something but barely anything happened. They threw a few punches, grabbed each other throats and Big Show slammed Kane onto the chair. These two have certainly had better matches.

Backstage, Teddy Long found Eve Torres. He gave her a big “Hello My Name is…” sticker and walked away. This was a nice little segment. I got a chuckle out of it.

Eve then approached A.J. and told her to leave the mind games to grownups. A.J. asked who she would brown nose up next now that John Laurinaitis was gone. Eve may like attention, but A.J. was going to show her how to get it.

A.J. really put Eve into her place here. She’s a little more devious then I thought she was and I love it. I smell a feud coming on, though. Once this love triangle is over, A.J. and Eve may be butting heads.


Tyson Kidd vs. Tensai

After Albert beat on Tyson for a few seconds, Tyson executed the rollup of doom for the victory. I literally blinked and the match was over!

It was good to see Tyson get the win, though. He’s way too talented to be getting squashed by someone who used to be called the Hip Hop Hippo.

Post-match, Tensai squashed Sakamoto instead. I remember being live in attendance with Tensai first did this. They dropped the angle then and I wouldn’t doubt if they dropped it again.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho insult each other’s jackets before battling it out by repeating their catchphrases. This was a little corny, but it was hilarious.

Bryan and Jericho are pure gold with one another. They would make quite the tag team, though I highly doubt that would ever happen.

Elsewhere, CM Punk told John Cena to follow his lead in the match. Cena agreed and walked away. It was that easy? I figured they’d at least discuss it a little first.

Remaining backstage, Josh Mathews asked Tyson Kidd how he was feeling. Before he could really answer, Tensai charged in and destroyed him.

I guess I spoke too soon. Tensai may not have squashed him in the ring, but he did backstage. I fear, though, that Tyson will be taken out of the Money in the Bank match now.

I really hope that he doesn’t, as this is a match he could really shine in. He deserves this opportunity, so hopefully WWE doesn’t take it away from him so they can put someone like Otunga or Brodus Clay into the match.


Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk and John Cena

The match ended in a no-contest after A.J. put both Punk and Bryan through a table. Yeah, you read that correctly.

The match itself was quite good. All four superstars put on a good showing for the fans here, with Punk and Bryan giving everyone a little taste of their match at Money in the Bank.

This match was designed for their storyline, though. Jericho and Cena fought to the back while Punk and Bryan stayed in the ring. A.J.’s music would hit, but she would be ignored as she skipped round the ring.

That didn’t sit too well with her, so she set up a table and was about to jump through it when Punk and Bryan finally took notice to stop her. The end result was A.J. kissing Punk before pushing him off the top rope onto Bryan and through the table.

This storyline just took a whole new turn. She was already out to get Bryan, but it now seems like she’s out to get Punk due to his snub earlier in the night.

This storyline really gets more and more interesting as the weeks go by. Her role as special guest referee at Money in the Bank just got a lot bigger than it already was.

This storyline alone is why I’ll be watching the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, especially now that A.J. gave Punk the “Kiss of Death.”


Overall, I’m torn on this episode of Money Night Raw. On one hand, a lot of the show was a bust, but on the other hand, it built up the Money in the Bank PPV beautifully.

It doesn’t have the build that it had last year, but this year’s show will certainly be a must-see.

As for Raw itself, the highlights for me were the mixed tag match, the return of Diamond Dallas Page, the main event and A.J. In fact, A.J. has been one of the highlights in WWE as a whole over the past month or so.

I really hope things heat up after Money in the Bank, though, because something big needs to happen to turn Raw around.


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