Monday Night Raw recap: Time to forget the past, Lawler collapses

September 10, 2012|By Adam Testa

After 15 years, it appears the infamous Montreal Screwjob may finally be put to rest.

The events of that fateful November night will certainly live on in the minds of wrestling fans, who continue to debate and scrutinize just how much of what transpired had been planned in advance.

But now, two months shy of the 15th anniversary, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have publicly buried the hatchet with a hug in the ring (which went better than last week's between Kane and Daniel Bryan), Hart got his revenge on Vince McMahon by defeating him at WrestleMania and Hart received a hero's welcome from the fans in Montreal.

Hart opened the show to the cheers of the fans, and the Hall of Famer had to stand silent for the first few minutes while those in attendance showed their support and admiration with applause and a "Thank You, Bret" chant.

The moment came across as a special one for Hart and the fans alike, and this truly seems to be the last piece of closure to moving past the Screwjob -- and that's honestly something long overdue.

As mentioned before, the events of SummerSlam 1997 are forever ingrained in pro wrestling history, but it's time to let the past be the past and move beyond replaying the scenario and dredging up the sorrows of the past.

Hart's special moment on Raw, though, was ruined by WWE Champion CM Punk, who came out with his own words for Hart, as well as Jerry "The King" Lawler and John Cena.

The saddest part of the whole experience, which seems surreal on many levels, is that it's only a tease of what could have been had Punk's career come at a different time.

The self-proclaimed "Best in the World" vs. the "Best These Is, The Best There Was and the Best There Ever Will Be" would have been a big-money match, but alas it's one that will have to transpire on a video game.

Hart returned to the ring for the end of the show, which had to be a difficult task given the circumstances. He moderated a promo exchange between Punk and Cena, which came across extremely well in establishing their character roles.

When Punk declared himself better than Shawn Michaels, the crowd turned on Punk, and it only continued when the champ declared himself better than "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock, as well.

The match between Punk and Cena got a final bit of hype, and both men came across as stronger characters than they've been in recent weeks. The winner in that will be the fans who watch Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view.

Punk has certainly earned his reputation, but at the end of the day, this night in Montreal was about one man -- the best there was, the best there is and the best there will ever be.

Quick Hits

• Lawler collapsed at ringside during the tag team match pitting the Prime Time Players against Kane and Bryan. By the time this is published, there will likely be more news available about the situation, but Lawler is in our collective thoughts and prayers. Here's hoping everything is alright for the King.

• Punk and Randy Orton had a really good television match that seemingly ended with a disqualification when Dolph Ziggler interfered. Lawler hit the ring to even the score, and the match was restarted as a tag team match. The action continued to be really good, but the storytelling was taken to an entirely different level when Punk left the ring to talk to Paul Heyman at ringside, allowing Orton to pick up the win over Ziggler. Orton receives much criticism from wrestling fans -- and I've done my fair share myself -- but he really doesn't deserve as much negativity as he receives. Lawler, as well, continues to perform exceptionally well for his age.

• The reigning Tag Team Champions logically should prevail over a team of two guys who have never tagged together before, but it was a shame to see United States Champion Antonio Cesaro take a pinfall. Cesaro and Intercontinental Champion The Miz had a good television match with Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. They didn't seem to hit high-gear, but what they did looked good, and I would enjoy seeing Cesaro work more with either guy, especially Kingston, in the future. Word on the street is that he really doesn't like people with that last name, anyway.

• Cody Rhodes needed the win he picked up over Rey Mysterio. Rhodes has been on the losing end of things too much lately, and this win gave him some good momentum. The match was really good, as these two continue to have great chemistry, but it was really odd to not have commentary, as Michael Cole left the booth out of respect to Lawler. The Miz was involved in the finish, and after the match, Rhodes laid him out while raising the Intercontinental Championship. That was certainly an interesting development, and it seems we may see a multi-man match at Night of Champions.

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