CM Punk continues his unending quest for respect and not even Mr. McMahon would get in his way! All the details inside this week’s Sleeper Hold!
Main Plot Overview:
Monday Night RAW this week was one of the most adrenaline fueled, emotion driven episodes we had seen in quite some time, but that’s what happens when the Chairman of the Board is back in town. Yes, Mr. McMahon was present in Sacramento, CA, for his annual state of the WWE address. However, CM Punk would not let him finish since he felt that Vince McMahon, for the longest time, had been the most disrespectful one of all to Punk.
With a slap that no one would soon forget, Punk walked out of the ring laughing as Mr. McMahon writhed on the ground. But no one pushes Mr. McMahon around and gets away with it and with more venom and anger than we had seen probably in his entire feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin now more than a decade ago, McMahon said if Punk didn’t face him that night, he’d simply fire him. With an insane gleam in his eye, Punk gladly accepted.
And surprisingly, it was an interesting match. Heck, Vince put on a better match with Punk than John Cena has in half of the matches he’s had with Punk. At first, the WWE champ dominated the much older McMahon, but Vince doesn’t back down from a fight and when Punk thought his point had been made and turned his back, he made a vital error. The match then took on a somewhat old-school ECW vibe as Kendo sticks and announce tables soon became the theme of the match as the men battled and beat each other down. Finally though, Punk, with a pair of Kendo Sticks, wailed on Mr. McMahon’s back and it looked like he would be down for a while.
Then came Ryback.
Punk ran out of the ring though ‘like a scalded dog’ as JR so eloquently put it in his Oklahoma drawl, but there the injured, one armed John Cena came down to the ring and blindsided Punk, threw him into the ring, and Ryback got his last meal of the night. When he went to hit his finisher though, Punk wriggled out of his grasp and this time ran through the crowd. McMahon then drabbed the mic, his eye bloodied from the confrontation, and laid out an ultimatum for Punk. At Hell in a Cell he had two choices. Face John Cena for the WWE Championship. Or face Ryback for the WWE Championship.
Honestly, it’s clear that Cena is nowhere near 100% and that these Ryback interventions have been to try to build him up to Championship status in a short time. This ‘ultimatum’ is just another move by WWE to see how Cena heals after another week of rest and rehab. At this point though, I think Ryback versus Punk would make for a very interesting PPV match because Ryback is clearly a beast and the crowd loves him flaunting his power. Ryback would never come out victorious though because the ‘Punk is scared of Cena’ storylines are ripe for the picking once John is healthy again enough to continue his feud with CM Punk should Punk ‘choose’ Ryback.
Match of the Night:
There were some solid matches during this RAW. From Antonio Cesaro again dominating to Ryback being fed Epico and Primo and doing his maneuver on both men (yes, he put almost 500 lbs on his shoulders and walked around the ring carrying them). Of course, my favorite part of Epico and Primo is Rosa Mendes who seems to wear less and less now whenever she comes to the ring.
But no, these would not be our Match of the Night. In fact, hell no! As in Team Hell No versus Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio in a tag match was the winner. Kane and Daniel Bryan continued their winning ways after their odd mix of teamwork resulted in Kane choke slamming Dolph Ziggler (and Ziggler selling it very well as always) and getting the 1, 2, 3.
The best part of this match though was how it had a very old school tag team match feel with the heels dominating and isolating Daniel Bryan for a large chunk of the match before Kane got the hot tag and went crazy. And then we still saw glimpses of Team Hell No’s disfunction as the two would then tag each other in and out for the end of the match until finally Kane’s choke slam would prove to be the deciding factor. It was one of the better wrestled matches I’ve seen in a while and that’s a credit to all four combatants and it ended with a clean victory fitting of the faces that Kane and Daniel Bryan are becoming.
Promo of the Night:
I wanted to give this to possibly to Daniel Bryan and Kane arguing more backstage with special guest Larry King for when Daniel Bryan said that Kane looked like someone slapped him in the face with a Fruit Roll-Up, but one great line does not a promo make, no matter how funny it was.
No, and not really that surprisingly, it has to go to when CM Punk interrupted Vince during the State of the WWE address. It felt like they had wanted it to be more a Vince/Stone Cold promo of old, but Punk and McMahon went much darker and deeper than that and it felt more like the pipe bomb that Punk dropped a year ago as he started talking about how Vince held him back and didn’t know what to do with him. And then the slap was a great exclamation point as Punk then chastised those who cheered him because they were doing it only to be ironic. WWE has to be careful though because if they push Punk too hard with this heel arc, although he plays a great one, he’s getting dangerously close to ‘crazy Austin’ territory and all the work he’s done over the year could begin to unravel.
Shocker of the Night:
There really wasn’t much that was shocking on this episode of RAW beyond CM Punk, but in order to keep this from being dominated by Punk, I’m going to choose the Divas Championship match between Kaitlyn and Eve because it was actually well wrestled even if it was only a 5-minute match. Kaitlyn, still nursing her ‘injured’ ankle would finally cash in her Championship match as number one contender and dominated Eve for much of the match hitting some great maneuvers and even showing off some strength herself until said injured ankle gave way on an atomic drop.
Eve, ever the opportunist, would lock Kaitlyn into a painful looking submission maneuver that focused on the ankle (it looked like a cross between a figure four and an ankle lock) and Kaitlyn would have to tap out. But this was a rare women’s match that I enjoyed watching for the actual wrestling and not just the hot ladies in skimpy clothing. Definitely a shock to me.
Cheap Pop of the Night:
For some reason Larry King was on the show, promoting his new Hulu series I believe, and so a promo between him, Kofi Kingston and the Miz (looks like they’re finally going to give Kofi another singles push with a focus on the IC belt) erupted when the Miz demanded everyone sing him happy birthday.
Besides this though, there were two cheap pops in this segment. Larry King started it off by exclaiming his love for Sacramento and the Kofi did the same thing when he took the stage and the microphone. A good segment all around for Miz and Kofi as Kofi did some high-flying acrobatics off the stage and onto the Miz, but the pair of pops (which even the Miz pointed out) to get a rise out of the crowd for the pointlessness of Larry King was easily the Cheap Pop of the Night.