The go-home show of Raw saw the WWE expertly conclude the buildup to some of SummerSlam's biggest matches, but there were some head-scratching moments.
The first half of the show was packed with questionable booking decisions and sloppy execution, but things certainly picked up.
The SummerSlam card filled out with many new matches made and additions made to previously announced ones.
As you’d expect, John Cena, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Brock Lesnar were the stars of the show, but they weren’t the only winners of the night.
The following are the biggest OMG and WTF moments from the August 12 edition of Monday Night Raw.
All photos courtesy of WWE.com.
SmackDown’s Mr. Money in the Bank Damien Sandow faced and was defeated by Randy Orton, the holder of Raw’s briefcase.
Cody Rhodes was on commentary during the match to further his feud with Sandow. Pretty standard stuff, right?
In a true tribute to how terrible Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler can be at their jobs, they kept asking Rhodes about his motives.
After constant questioning, Rhodes admitted he would’ve done the same thing Sandow did at Money in the Bank.
He backtracked more than once, then he distracted Sandow and cost him the match. This feud still has a babyface, right?
What to WTF first?
Big E Langston and AJ Lee took on The Great Khali and Natalya in preparation for their match at SummerSlam with Dolph Ziggler and Kaitlyn.
Two strange things happened in this match: The referee botched the finish and Big E and AJ lost.
Natalya made AJ tap out to the Sharpshooter but didn’t realize the ref didn’t see it, so she stood around awkwardly wondering what type of drugs he was on.
They redid the finish and The Great Khali hit Langston with his chop of death after the match.
As bizarre as the botch was, it’s not as puzzling as the decision to have the team who actually has a match at SummerSlam job to the team that doesn’t.
The McMahons' involvement with the WWE title program was fine before, but now they’ve gone too far.
It’s unclear whether the intention of the addition of Triple H is to make the match seem like a bigger deal or to further the McMahon feud storyline.
Either way, Cena vs. Bryan should be about the 13-time world champ vs. the hottest star in the company, not about the McMahons.
Most frustratingly, we now know with almost 100 percent certainty that the match won’t have a clean finish.
And again, the WWE insults the intelligence of its fans. Triple H is chosen as referee because he can control the situation?
Yeah, because that worked so well last time.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Kofi Kingston in a decent match before a package on Christian’s WWE career was shown.
The juxtaposition of the match and the video basically embodies the meaning of their match at SummerSlam.
Del Rio is great in the ring but his character is so boring that it’s hard to really care; he’s just there, with the big gold belt inexplicably around his waist.
Compare that to Christian, who’s done so much but received considerably less in way of opportunity.
Captain Charisma needs the title to solidify his legacy and to end Del Rio’s reign as vanilla world champ.
This segment started off feeling awkward and forced, as all Miz TV’s do.
It’s questionable why The Miz was involved at all since things only got interesting once he stopped talking.
Regardless, Bryan and Cena absolutely delivered.
The American Dragon was the winner of the segment, calling Cena a parody of a wrestler, saying that he wasn’t enough of a wrestler to receive the Inoki slap.
The Champ’s squeaky-clean persona cheapened the segment at times, but Cena did extremely well considering the confines of his character.
An amazing segment to cap off the buildup to what could be an iconic match
Rob Van Dam really should have been involved in a SummerSlam program a long time ago, but better late than never.
Mr. Monday Night won a Battle Royal to become the No. 1 contender to Dean Ambrose’s United States Championship.
Again, their match really should be on the main card and not just the pre-show, but better this than nothing.
The Shield approached the ring after Van Dam’s victory, but not before Mark Henry returned to the ring.
Henry and RVD were joined by the returning Big Show, so expect Henry and Show vs. The Shield sometime soon.
Surprise! Paul Heyman vs. CM Punk turned out to be a trap, a trap which was actually a strangely convoluted setup to another ringside brawl.
The Best would outsmart The Beast as Punk ambushed Lesnar, attacking him with a video camera and then a steel chair.
What will Punk do when he can’t use weapons? I guess we’ll find out Sunday.
The matchup of Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk is so intriguing that it’s hard to not be interested, and this was another entertaining segment.
Cena vs. Bryan may have had a better buildup, but don’t be surprised if Lesnar and Punk steal the show.