** Fans clamored for the confrontation between WWE Champion CM Punk and his challenger Daniel Bryan. The two had a short microphone exchange before Punk introduced Kane - now possibly a babyface - as Bryan's opponent. Their match never really got off the ground before Punk interjected himself and tricked Kane into seeing Bryan with a chair, leading to Kane getting himself disqualified and laying Bryan out. Punk then locked in the Anaconda Vice on Bryan. The silver lining on this situation is that Punk and Bryan seem destined for at least one more championship match.
** The stage seems set for AJ to become more involved in the storyline, too, as many had predicted would happen at Over the Limit. She and Punk had an awkward exchange backstage that led in Punk trying to console her and admitting he has a thing for crazy chicks. In that case, I know a few girls he should meet. AJ continues to be one of the best performers in the divas division, if not the entire company, when it comes to showcasing emotion and playing her character.
**Christian continued to gain momentum after winning the Intercontinental Championship last night, as he defeated Jinder Mahal. They put on a decent match, but it lacked emotion, as the winner was never really in doubt. It was nice, though, to see Christian back on Raw, and he even debuted what appears to be his new finishing combination, the Killswitch followed with a frog splash. Hopefully Christian does more with the title than recent champions have.
** At Over the Limit, Layla and Beth Phoenix showed what can happen when divas who can wrestle are given time. On Raw, Phoenix and Kelly Kelly showed what can happen when one diva who can wrestle is told to squash one who can't. Their match was a standard and pedestrian divas match, but Phoenix's victory at least seems to indicate she'll be getting another shot at Layla's championship.
** The bit with United States Champion Santino Marella and Ricardo Rodriguez before the Orton vs. Del Rio match was entertaining. Hopefully, though, there was a point to it and it wasn't just a random skit. It would be great to see Rodriguez, who is a good in-ring talent, begin to transition to active competition.
John Cena d. David Otunga
Randy Orton d. Alberto Del Rio by disqualification
Daniel Bryan d. Kane by disqualification
Christian d. Jinder Mahal
Beth Phoenix d. Kelly Kelly
John Cena and Sheamus vs. Tensai, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger went to a no contest
The second hour of the show picked up momentum, preventing this week’s Raw from being a complete waste. That said, it didn’t quite save the show’s overall value. Instead, we were left with an episode featuring some awful continuity errors, good in-ring action for the most part and questionable finishes. Yes, the show after a pay-per-view is generally a time of transition, but of the six matches on tonight’s show, three were essentially squashes and the other three all had dirty endings. WWE is in a position to put together a solid summer of programming, but they need to get the house in order first. Hopefully things improve from here, otherwise it’s going to be a rough transition to weekly three-hour Raws.
Ring Posts’ Adam Testa has teamed up with My 1-2-3 Cents and All American Pro Wrestling to bring you From the Rafters Radio, a weekly pro wrestling talk radio show airing on Monster Radio 1150 AM in Southern Illinois and streaming worldwide on wggh.net.