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The Sleeper Hold – Episode 6

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Posted on July 24, 2012 AT 04:01pm

It was RAW’s 1000th episode, and unfortunately the WWE still can’t find a way to work some solid wrestling into the show even at three hours long now. Although I understand that it was a bit of a celebration, and hopefully things will pick up a bit next week, I can’t forgive the blatant extra advertising and time wasted pandering to the WWE Universe. As a whole, those of us who grew up in the ‘Attitude Era’ had a few extra laughs and it was nice to see legends like Bret Hart again. All in all though, this was a monumental waste of time and I fear for the future of Monday Night RAW’s ability to entertain us.

Main Plot Overview: The big shake-up in the main plot of the show was The Rock re-inserting himself into the WWE Championship picture, proclaiming he has been promised a title match at The Royal Rumble in January. Of course, with that still being six months away, the title can change hands several times potentially, with the first time being that night with John Cena cashing in his MITB contract.

Not surprisingly though, the match was interfered with by The Big Show and Cena became the first man to ever win his MITB contract title match, but not the title as a title cannot change hands via outside interference. The most infuriating thing about this match though was the sad attempt by WWE to possibly turn CM Punk heel, as he did what everyone else in the world would do and tried to capitalize on the opportunity afforded him by The Big Show. It’s not good for a face to win like a heel though, so this move likely means Punk is turning his back again on the people, especially after he clotheslined The Rock during his People’s Elbow on The Big Show.

Match of the Night: In three hours of programming, the WWE put on two good matches. The first was a 6-man tag match between Sheamus/Sin Cara/Rey Mysterio and Jericho/Dolph Ziggler/Alberto Del Rio. The match of the night though was the other good match in Christian vs The Miz for the IC belt.

Marking the 66th time the title was defended on MNR (average one defense every 15 weeks on the show), Christian came out with a flurry against the Miz, quickly taking to the air and hitting moves like missile dropkicks and crossbodies. But Miz would counter often and Christian would be unable to hit The Kill Switch. Instead, the Miz would finally get his chance and would take advantage, hitting the Skull-Crushing Finale and capturing the IC belt.

This was significant not only due to a major belt changing hands, but because this completes the career Triple Crown for the Miz who was a former WWE and US Champion. It also shows WWE’s commitment to insert the Miz right back into some decent storylines after some time away by giving him this storied mid-tier belt.

Promo of the Night: After the failed wedding of Daniel Bryan and AJ (more on that shortly), Daniel Bryan threw a tantrum of epic proportions. And CM Punk came down to the ring to gloat. Daniel Bryan didn’t take too kindly to this and proceeded to proclaim himself the greatest of all-time.

The Rock then had issue with this and came down to the ring to not only tell the people about The Royal Rumble, but to put Daniel Bryan in his place. After putting together a rhyme about how Daniel Bryan looks like something out of Lord of the Rings and is nothing but a glorified Oompa Loompa, the Rock gave Daniel Bryan a present. A Rock Bottom. Seeing the Rock rattle off an old-school promo like that was very enjoyable and so it is no surprise to see The Rock take home something he would have often back in his heyday, and that is The Promo of the Night. 

Shocker of the Night: Shortly before Daniel Bryan’s tantrum, he was the happiest guy in the world, as he was about to marry AJ (a lucky guy indeed). But like most weddings staged in a WWE ring, all was not well. And so the shocker came when we found out when AJ was saying ‘yes’ to someone else. Specifically, Mr. McMahon. But as Mr. McMahon explained to Daniel Bryan, it was a business proposition she was agreeing to. AJ was to be the new GM of MNR, to which I broke out with a ‘yes’ chant of my own! Our lovely geek goddess then proceeded to skip around the ring in her usual care-free demeanor as Daniel Bryan, with special guest reverend Slick, were left standing in shock in the middle of the ring. This is one of the few reasons I can’t wait for RAW episode 1001 now. 

Cheap Pop of the Night: The night started off with a bang as promised, as DX came out to the ring to kick things off. I was a bit disappointed though because it was only HHH and HBK and I remember when DX was actually a much larger stable than these two WWE mainstays. But I should learn not to doubt DX as they always have something up their degenerate sleeves and after some humorous banter between HBK and HHH, almost all the rest of the crew came out. X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn, in a military jeep, came rolling out to ringside and the gang was back together and for the first time in a while, I legitimately cheered at the TV while watching MNR. And it only got better as they hit all their catch phrases and even embarrassed Damien Sandow, who is definitely turning heads as a heel and passed his initiation as one after he was promptly disposed of by DX.

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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