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The Sleeper Hold – Episode 5

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Posted on July 17, 2012 AT 10:43am

With Money in the Bank now behind us and Dolph Ziggler and John Cena the holders of the most coveted contracts there are in the WWE, things began to actually settle down a little as we move forward to next week’s monumental 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW. Several plot lines were tied up as several new ones started. And others took interesting twists in the hopes of making next week’s RAW the most historic episode ever. But before next week gets under way, we needed to get through this week first!

Main Plot Overview: After CM Punk’s successful title defense at Money in the Bank, he came out to tell the folks in Vegas that it was a year ago at that venue when he dropped his infamous pipe bomb and has reigned as WWE Champ for over eight months now. Interrupted by the Big Show though, Punk was reminded that John Cena can cash in his Money in the Bank at any time and if Show were to knock Punk out that evening in their main event match, that would be an awesome time to do it.

Flash forward to the end of the night and many thought that is just what John would do after Big Show DQ’d himself by hitting the referee and continued to swing away on Punk. Mind you, if this match had carried to a natural conclusion instead of a build up to next week, it was a strong contender for Match of the Night. Anyway, those of us who knew better that John would not cash in the briefcase because he is so honorable and righteous and…

Sorry, I couldn’t finish that last sentence without throwing up in my mouth a little. I’m good. I’m good. Back on track. But yeah, Cena instead gave Punk a week’s notice that at the 1000th episode of RAW the main event would be him and Punk for the WWE Championship, setting himself up as possibly the first man to lose his title match after winning his Money in the Bank contract match.

Match of the Night: This was very tough as few of the matches that went on were actually worth our time. The mixed tag match between AJ/D-Bryan vs Eve/The Miz was solid, but it was predictable for the most part and had only a couple of nice spots. The match that really impressed me, but wasn’t technically a match since the bell never officially rang, was Ryback vs. Jack Swagger.

First, thank you WWE for finally starting to push Ryback against real competition as I’m tired of watching him powerbomb some 130lb weaklings in a ‘handicap’ match. At Money in the Bank he had a handicap match against real wrestlers in Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins and then tonight he had some really good spots with Swagger.

Swagger started things off quickly by hitting Ryback as soon as he got into the ring. After tossing him around for a while and even hitting the Swagger-bomb for the first time in nearly forever, he tried to perform the ankle-lock. Twice. But Ryback countered each time and continued to show off his impressive power as he performed a TRIPLE powerbomb on Swagger before starting his chant ‘FEED ME MORE’ once again. Most impressive.

Promo of the Night: Another night of solid promos from several folks, but again Dolph Ziggler stole the show when he decided to ‘show-off’ his microphone skills talking about he’ll be the greatest undisputed world heavyweight champion of all-time. Better than The Rock, Stone Cold, and Bret Hart. Then Chris Jericho showed up.

But for the first time I can ever remember, Jericho didn’t say a word as Ziggler belittled him, saying no one even remembers the last time he won a big match as he’s been on the losing streak of a lifetime. And basically, he’s lost it. After several long minutes of being verbally broken down by Ziggler, it was like Jericho’s eyes started to glaze over…and then he hit a Codebreaker and walked out of the ring. I don’t know if it’ll actually lead to anything, but it was a great job by both men as Ziggler continued to cement himself as a great mic man and Jericho’s presence only helped intensify the entire promo.

Shocker of the Night: For once, AJ and the drama that follows her is no longer the shocker of the night although her and Daniel Bryan getting married next week was a close second. No, the shocker of the night was the long awaited return of the master of the 619, Rey Mysterio.

After Zack Ryder served as a jobber to let Alberto Del Rio take his frustration out on after blowing another title match against Sheamus at Money in the Bank, Rey Mysterio came back after almost a year ‘hiatus’ caused by Del Rio supposedly injuring Mysterio’s arm. To a huge ovation, Mysterio and Del Rio went back and forth for a short while before Del Rio set him up for and hit the 619 to start a new rivalry between the wrestlers. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here as both are very strong in the ring as well as to see how crisp the now 37-year old Mysterio is after such a long break.

Cheap Pop of the Night: What will likely be the last time this happens, Heath Slater took on another WWE Legend. Of course, the legitimacy of him as a legend as much as his bloodline being legendary is questionable, but the return of Rikishi was a nice moment for sure.

As has been the motif the past several weeks, Rikishi dominated and hit all his signature moves including the Stink Face as Slater did a nice job of putting an older wrestler over. The nicest thing about this moment though was when the lights went down and The Usos, who happen to be Rikishi’s twin sons, popped out and danced with their poppa. Definitely that moment alone made this worthy of the cheap pop of the week.

Ray Carsillo, Reviews Editor
Ray Carsillo has extensive roots in geek culture, as he’s written about videogames, comics, and movies for such outlets as Newsday.com, ESPNNewYork.com, Classic Game Room on YouTube, Collider.com, and Comicvine.com before finally settling into his role as EGM’s reviews editor. His main goal in life? To become king of all geek media, of course! Follow Ray’s exploits on Twitter: @RayCarsillo. Meet the rest of the crew.

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