With Money in the Bank fast approaching, several wrestlers were revealed to be in contention for the fabled contract that guarantees a title shot at any time within 365 days of the PPV.
Main Plot Overview: Vickie Guerrero kicked the night off by excusing herself and saying she was Interim GM for this week’s Raw and Smackdown. The biggest news that Vickie revealed though was the WWE Championship Money in the Bank match would only be full of former champions themselves. So when John Cena revealed he would be partaking in his first Money in the Bank, along with Kane, Jericho, and Big Show, the stakes were immediately raised. Meanwhile CM Punk, the current title holder, will defend the WWE Championship that night anyway against Daniel Bryan after he won a triple threat match with Punk and Kane to kick things off.
Honestly, the biggest positive that comes from this is seeing John Cena back in the title hunt after being absent from that picture for almost a full year after losing the belt at Money in the Bank and then losing the re-unification match to CM Punk at Summerslam last year. Cena is at his best when the belt is involved and after this recent feud with Big Johnny and the Big Show seems to have won over a good portion of the crowd back to Cena’s side, now is the perfect time to re-insert him back into the picture. If we see ‘Super Cena’ too early though, the positive energy John has been getting lately may be flushed back down the toilet. Best outcome for the WWE Championship MITB? Jericho winning hands down.
Match of the Night: In terms of actual wrestling, this was one of the worst MNRs in a while as most matches were gimmick matches, but the US Championship match between Santino and Jack Swagger actually had a couple of nice spots to barely beat out the women’s match (I was very tempted to make this the Divas Summertime Beach Battle Brawl match it was so bad a night), and the Alberto Del Rio/Dolph Ziggler #1 Contender’s match (the Del Rio Samoan Drop from the second turnbuckle was the spot of the night for sure) and only that there was a cop out outcome where there would just be a triple threat match Friday for Sheamus’ World Heavyweight Championship kept that from getting match of the night.
Swagger and Santino are both very strong in the ring although their styles are completely different. Santino’ speed versus Swagger’s strength were clearly played up throughout. Santino hit his classic arm drag after doing a split to duck a clothesline and Swagger showed off his power by countering several moves into solid suplexes and power slams. So technically this was a very solid match. But in the end the Cobra would be Swagger’s undoing as Santino continues a remarkable run as the US Champion.
Promo of the Night: It was very unusual that RAW didn’t really have a promo to kick the night off and instead got very quickly into the Punk/Kane/Bryan triple threat match. Instead, the biggest promo of the night was John Cena’s ‘historic’ announcment where he said he would take part in MITB for the WWE Championship.
The promo started with John doing a horrible Star Wars parallel to recent events in the WWE, but we were all saved by Chris Jericho (after a very long Fozzy promo) who called Cena out on his arrogance and how he doesn’t know what he’s getting into at MITB. The best line of the promo though was Jericho making fun of Cena’s Star Wars promo that seemed dedicated to 9-year olds and then Cena pointing out that is the majority of their audience. Cena was also quick to point out that although Jericho has been in more MITB than anyone on the current roster, he’s also never won it. It was a great promo that really helps set the stage for the weeks to come and possible a Cena/Jericho/Big Show rivalry or maybe the return of Jeri-Show!
Shocker of the Night: RAW opened up with AJ (I love her) practicing how she was going to break up with her recent love interests in front of a mirror, but the shock came when she was backstage with Kane and the Big Red Machine beat her to it. Calling AJ’s sanity into question in a bit of delicious irony, Kane appreciated her affection but was too much of a monster to become involved with Daniel Bryan’s former flame. This entertaining moment was definitely a shock as it seemed Kane broke character to let her down gently, although it reality it was all part of AJ’s plan…I think.
Cheap Pop of the Night: Sycho Sid was a dominate force in the WWE and WCW when he was in his prime before a career ending leg injury forced the 6’ 9” mountain of a man into limited action and then retirement. So to see him come out for a match against Heath Slater as we continue the build up RAW’s 1000th episode was a great moment indeed. Sid looked very stiff in the ring, no surprise considering most of his one leg is an iron bar, but Slater took the bumps well and seeing Sid toss the ‘One-Man Band’ down with authority when he hit his finishing release powerbomb was definitely worthy of the cheap pop of the night.