"I'm going to get you!"
Twenty-four hours after being betrayed by his best friend and closest confidant Paul Heyman, CM Punk wasted little time in calling him and Brock Lesnar out. What followed once Heyman appeared on the entrance ramp was one of the truly great segments in recent Raw history.
Heyman got personal, retelling the story of his and Punk's relationship before pointing out the lack of family and friends Punk has. He finished his lengthy rant by stating that he betrayed Punk because he knew he could not be Brock Lesnar anyway.
Punk responded, vowing to take down anything and anyone Heyman loved or cared about in order to get his hands on him. Punk promised to "burn down" everything around his former friend until he was the only thing left standing. Then, he would leave Heyman alive just long enough to toy with him before finally getting his hands on him.
Paul looked concerned by Punk's threats but then, after mocking the former WWE champion's "it's clobbering time" entrance, introduced Brock Lensar. Punk and Lesnar would engage in a tremendous brawl that saw the smaller man continuously bringing the fight to the much larger beast of a man before finally succumbing to an F5 onto the announcers' table.
Heyman and Lesnar left to a chorus of boos while Punk fought to his feet, refusing medical care and leaving on his own volition.
The segment was a great old-school wrestling production, the kind that fans in their 20's and older grew up with. The issue was immediately recognizable, there was real emotion in the voices of the performers and the brawl seemed 100-percent legitimate. It is the easiest way to get even the most casual fans invested in a feud and it worked as well as any other non-wrestling match segments in Raw this year.
Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho
One night after making his return to World Wrestling Entertainment at Money in the Bank, Rob Van Dam silenced any and all critics who may have doubted his ability to deliver at his age when he and Chris Jericho delivered a pay-per-view-quality match on free television.
Van Dam and Jericho picked up right where they left off 10 years ago, never missing a beat and improving upon their very good 2002 King of the Ring semifinal round match, which saw RVD deliver a Five Star Frog Splash to Jericho for the win.
Things ended similarly for Jericho Monday night when Van Dam exploded off the top rope with his trademark finish maneuver and picked up the pinfall victory.
There was no backstory to the match, nor was there any real reason for the two to be fighting other than to impress Brad Maddox and John Cena. But the fans did not care, enjoying every second of Jericho and Van Dam's classic wrestling match.
As the should have.
John Cena. Daniel Bryan. SummerSlam. YES!
At the beginning of Monday's Raw, General Manager Brad Maddox announced that John Cena would be allowed the opportunity to hand-pick his SummerSlam opponent later in the evening. With WWE Superstars crowding the stage, they awaited the WWE champion's decision.
Cena played to the audience, allowing them to voice their opinions on a number of Superstars before announcing his selection. The audience erupted into chants of "YES!" and "Daniel Bryan" as Cena dragged out the segment for the sake of drama. Seconds later, he announced that he would defend the WWE title at SummerSlam, and the crowd inside the new Barclays Center erupted.
Bryan made his way to the ring and celebrated the decision as Raw went off the airways.
The beauty of the entire show-closing segment was its simplicity. John Cena went to the ring to pick his next challenger. He allowed fan interaction, letting the WWE Universe feel like it was a part of the decision, and it was a stronger segment due to their involvement. Picking Bryan, who has been the hottest performer in the sport all summer and was the overwhelming fan choice, was merely the cherry on top of a magnificent sundae.
The image of fans repeatedly raising their fingers in the air and chanting "YES!" as Bryan celebrated to end the evening's broadcast was one of those truly great moments that only pro wrestling can deliver.