Another week, another three-hour edition of RAW because WWE apparently can't get enough of USA Network's advertising dollars.
Sure, I enjoy the RAW product, but we don't need a second week in a row with an extra hour for WWE to fill.
Last week didn't include much RAW vs. Smackdown crossover, and because this isn't being sold as an "All-Star" edition of WWE programing, I don't much expect we'll get a lot of crossover from the June 20th edition either.
Where are we on the pay-per-view roadmap? Last night was the Capitol Punishment event, and tonight will not only deal with the fallout from that, but we're also going to be getting the first official steps towards Money in the Bank.
Will we find out who the contestants will be for RAW's championship-guaranteeing ladder match coming up in a month?
Could WWE possibly get a pay-per-view without world championship matches for RAW or Smackdown? There are plenty of other ways to build up excitement for a pay-per-view.
The show is starting out with CM Punk, one of the top talents on the roster on the mic, and he's got something to say.
As a sidenote: with Punk wearing shorts to the ring, does that make any Ring of Honor fans nostalgic?
How true is that comment Punk made about people living in Baltimore? If you haven't been there, it's a nice place to go if you want to see an aquarium or industrial buildings lining the highways.
CM Punk wants to be officially named the Number One Contender for the WWE Championship of the Wooooooorld.... and he's going to sit in the ring until he gets his answer? It would be nice to see CM Punk get the title shot in his hometown of Chicago at the next pay per view... but as a guy they're trying to push as a heel, wouldn't they want him to NOT get an overwhelmingly positive response from the Chicago crowd? It might just ruin their main event.
The anonymous General Manager feels disrespected, so he takes back his decision to make him the top contender to the gold... so now CM Punk is going to be facing Alberto Del Rio for the shot... and Rey Mysterio gets thrown in there for good measure so it's not heel vs semi-face heel... the reason being that Punk was disrespectful. His name IS "Punk", what did they expect?
As Punk leaves the ring, I just noticed that Booker T was on the announce team for the evening, which means we are likely to be seeing representatives from Smackdown in action tonight.
Diva's Championship Match - Brie Bella (c) vs Kelly Kelly
So the fans vote for Kelly Kelly, and we're quite possibly on the verge of seeing her first ever title reign begin. Didn't it seem like a definite possibility a few weeks ago when kHARMa was still around?
If Beth Phoenix had dominated that vote, would WWE have felt like their efforts in the past few months of pushing Kelly Kelly into high profile angles (with Drew McIntyre and Edge and Vickie Guerrero and kHARMa) were a waste? I would've.
Outcome - With a bit of technical prowess, Kelly Kelly gets the win by pinfall and becomes the new DIVA's champion
With The Rock not around anymore (despite that promise), does this make Kelly Kelly the new People's Champion?
After a couple of under-dog wins over Jack Swagger, suddenly Evan Bourne is now a guy WWE is spotlighting again? Weren't they jobbing him to everyone possible just a couple months ago?
For the first time tonight (and probably one of the ONLY times), I've got NO CLUE who WWE expects to win this vote. I could see their reasons for wanting Sin Cara, Mason Ryan OR Jack Swagger to win the vote to face Evan Bourne.
How great would it be if there was a tie in the voting and we got Mason Ryan vs Sin Cara vs Evan Bourne? Neither of those respective singles matches would interest me as much as the triple threat, but given that's the format of the main event, it won't be happening here.
Match - Evan Bourne vs Mason Ryan
So even Evan Bourne is surprised that Sin Cara didn't win the vote, and we get a view of the 1st Mariner Arena rafters as the ring guy shoves the trampoline back under the apron.
After not having him wrestle much over the past month, Mason Ryan has plenty to benefit from by being voted into this match. Hopefully Zack Ryder will get the same sort of bump later in the show.
Note to Mason Ryan: don't put Evan Bourne onto the top rope for any reason. That's where he hits his finisher from, and there's a history of bad things happening to huge dudes when they try to use the top rope.
Outcome - Mason Ryan gets the win over Evan Bourne with a modified side slam
So for this Mark Henry vs Kane match, how many people voted "FF" in hopes of skipping the match?
Given what happened at Capitol Punishment last night, with tonight's match, and Kane being Big Show's tag partner, are we going to get Mark Henry as Alberto Del Rio's new sidekick / tag team partner? Teams don't NEED to be on the same show.
Match - Kane vs Mark Henry
How frequently does Mark Henry actually end up being the "somebody" from his theme song who gets his ass kicked?
So the fans went the way of arm wrestling in their voting. What are the odds that this doesn't end in someone getting slammed or thrown over the top rope anyway?
If Mark Henry loses this arm wrestling contest, does he have to change his gimmick? Just like the old Tootsie Roll Pop Owl commercial, the world may never know, as Mark Henry decides to just start a brawl, knocking Kane down, slamming him, then hitting him with the arm wrestling table (sending him out of the ring, making my predictions correct!)
Someone should tell Mark Henry that it's poor form to destroy the announce table during hour 1 of a three-hour RAW.
How unlikely did it seem a year ago that R-Truth would kick off the second hour of RAW with an in-ring promo?
R-Truth getting water thrown in his face last night by a "Little Jimmy" = irony
Oh look, Christian makes his entrance to say his piece, and it's a former-World-Champion-in-TNA Alumni reunion!
Christian and R-Truth sympathize with each others situations, and he shows that he's got better things to do than to watch RAW on Mondays because apparently Christian doesn't know who "Little Jimmy" is.
Time for The Miz to cry about how his match last night with Alex Riley didn't go his way. Now it turns into the "how dare you" game, followed by the "really?" / "Riley" / "Randy" / "Jimmy" time... and the only man who can put an end to all that... and the only man who can wear that burgundy and magenta striped suit, Teddy Long, shows up to make the main event of the night... a six-man tag match. The stipulation will be chosen by the voters, but their opponents... Cena / Orton / Riley.
Up next, the first of the rematches from last night's pay per view... the United States Championship will be on the line with one of the following stipulations:
- 2 of 3 falls
- Vickie Guerrero banned from ringside
- submissions match
If the overwhelming vote-winning option isn't Vickie being banned from ringside, I'll be dumbfounded.
For the second time tonight, the WWE Universe makes a decision that WWE likely wasn't expecting... and this Best 2 Of 3 match just caused the writers to have to cut down the time allotted to some of the stuff later in the show.
United States Championship Best 2 of 3 Match - Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Kofi Kingston
What are the odds this ends after 2 falls? Because that won't happen, the first two falls don't really matter.
Is anyone else really surprised at how well Dolph Ziggler sold the shot in the corner where his head hit the ring post? He looks legitimately worn out by Kofi.
If Kofi had won one of the two falls by count out, would he win the title back? It doesn't cause the belt to change hands in a one-fall match.
The match ends by disqualification, so the belt stays with Dolph, who legitimately looks like he's battling the flu out there. If he's perfectly healthy, it was one of the better total-match sell jobs I've seen in a while.
Up next, the triple threat number one contender's match
The votes roll in...
Falls Count Anywhere Triple Threat Match - Punk vs Mysterio vs Alberto Del Rio
Rey Mysterio gets a good advantage early on in the match, and what does he do? He goes for a quick pinfall attempt on each of his opponents... and why? Did he actually expect to get the win like that? Wouldn't his efforts have been better served to go for quick dropkicks or head-scissors takedowns or something like that?
How bad did it look when Mysterio leaped off the apron and rode Punk's shoulders to shove him shoulders-first into the security guardrail? I wouldn't be surprised if Punk was legit hurt from that.
If Punk's head and shoulders were clearly up against the guardrail, how could the ref count a pinfall attempt? Neither shoulder was actually on the ground.
Anyone else think Rey has stepped up his game since Sin Cara showed up? I remember last year or thereabouts, Mysterio was a shell of his former self. And while I don't expect him to be as fast or agile as he was 15 years ago, he has shown more the past month or two than he did in all of 2008 and 2009.
If Alberto Del Rio turns out the lights for Punk with that enzuigiri kick in the corner, does that make it easier for him to hit the Go2Sleep?
He won't need it in this match...
Outcome - CM Punk stills a win from Rey Mysterio, pinning Alberto Del Rio after Mysterio hits a splash from the top rope and Punk throws him out of the ring under the bottom rope
How much better will Punk's career look once he beats John Cena for the WWE World Championship? Not all of his title wins thus far are the type which build credibility.
CM Punk attempting to recycle the same angle he ran with when he left RoH & was to bring the title belt w/ him? Definitely some awesome nostalgia for a few of us, and I'm interested to see what WWE will do with this.
Anyone else afraid this is ACTUALLY the end of CM Punk in WWE?
Match - Daniel Bryan vs Cody Rhodes
The people have spoken, and this gets to be a No Count Out Match... which is good because that means they don't have to wrestle with their heads in paper bags... or the loser doesn't HAVE to have a bag put over their head. Either way, that's not a match I was going to be looking forward to seeing.
The fact that a Daniel Bryan match is immediately following a great after-match promo by CM Punk makes me wish I could see how they interacted backstage as they passed in the hall, as Bryan was in Ring Of Honor when Punk tried to leave with their championship to come to WWE.
Outcome - Before you know it, Daniel Bryan reverses a small package and turns it into a pinfall of his own
After the match, Cody Rhodes tries to get back on the attack, but Daniel Bryan turns the table and hooks in the LaBell Lock... only for Ted DiBiase to show up and have his best showing on RAW in years as he takes out Daniel Bryan, who eventually gets the Cross-Rhodes treatment from Cody and then gets a bag put over his head.
Vickie Guerrero in the ring, does a little dance, and then after spanking Matt Stryker, she kisses him.
This "match" can't be over with fast enough.
It's a dance-off, and I honestly don't feel like covering this part of RAW... and I don't think anyone else cares.
So I realize they announced this earlier in the show, but I'll comment on it now...
Next week, RAW Roulette because WWE heads to Las Vegas? With Stone Cold last week, the fans this week, and then random luck next week? The decision makers on RAW have declining wrestling logic... which makes me think the booking team from TNA will be the guest hosts the week after Las Vegas.
Main Event time, the fans have spoken... and it's an elimination match!
Match - Cena & Orton & Riley vs The Miz & R-Truth & Christian
Would Las Vegas even give odds on John Cena being eliminated?
So Booker T thinks it would be harmful for Christian to pin Randy Orton in this match because he'd talk about it for a month to try to use it as justification for another World Title shot. Anyone else think Booker is failing to realize that if Orton pins Christian tonight, it hurts Christian's career because he has less justification for another title shot?
How is it when the heels have an illegal double-team going on, the referee just counts, but when John Cena tries to get involved, the ref pushes him out of the ring?
Is anyone surprised Alex Riley was the first person eliminated in this match? I couldn't see any of the other five guys playing that role, unless they had decided to totally give up on R-Truth's push.
In fact, with the way they like to push Randy Orton as the Superman of Smackdown, why not have R-Truth pin John Cena?
The Miz and R-Truth getting eliminated shouldn't have been a huge surprise. Randy Orton getting speared by Christian was a nice moment to help out Christian's cause over on Smackdown... and the ending shouldn't surprise anyone.
Outcome - John Cena pins Christian to be the sole survivor, with the assist to Orton with the RKO
Keep checking back throughout the night, as this article will be updated as the show rolls along just like we do each week at GuysNation (for both RAW and Smackdown...and the occasional Impact). Before the night is over, the GuysNation version of this article will have the infamous polls!
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