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The Sleeper Hold – Episode 8

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Posted on August 7, 2012 AT 03:35pm

The 25th anniversary of Summerslam is right around the corner and with the card only half-booked, it would be interesting to see how storylines continued to develop before heading into one of the most anticipated PPVs of the year.

Note: Due to EGM’s presence at Gamescom next week, there will be no Sleeper Hold until the week following Summerslam.

Main Plot Overview: CM Punk is tired of being disrespected and confronts AJ at the top of RAW to demand that the main event at Summerslam no longer be a triple-threat match as he can lose the belt without even being pinned or submitting. AJ does not care though, looking fantastic in an all-white power suit (have I mentioned before on this how much I love her?) and continues to supposedly disrespect Punk by making the main event of RAW John Cena vs Daniel Bryan in a warm up match for the two before Summerslam (the Big Show and Randy Orton were also in action). Punk demanded a match though and so AJ said it wasn’t up to her, but the WWE Universe as they got to vote to see if Punk would face Kane, Rey Mysterio, or The Miz (the two not picked faced off later that night, in this case being Kane and Miz).

Later in the evening, after the brilliant main event match (more on that in a bit) Punk would continue his gradual heel turn as after Big Show again stormed the ring and John Cena went for an AA, Punk pushed the two of them again. Punk then talked about how he felt he was being walked all over and that part of the reason is his fault, as Cena pointed out in an earlier promo, and so it was no more Mr. Nice Guy from CM Punk. The show then ended with Punk looking to do more damage to the two men in the ring, but Big Show popped up and knocked out both Cena and Punk with a pair of WMD punches, which basically is just to instill doubt in people’s minds that Punk may not walk out of LA the champ.

Match of the Night: I was pleasantly surprised that the best match of the night was actually the main event. Nothing else was particularly special, although the CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio and Christian vs Alberto Del Rio matches had some very good moments.

Yes, amazingly, the John Cena vs Daniel Bryan match was the match most worth watching last night as Bryan carried Cena with a match that saw several finishers countered into submission maneuvers, submission maneuvers countered into finishers, high flying moves off the ring apron, and Daniel Bryan’s continued descent into madness as he tore up ‘YES!’ signs in the crowd and even got into shouting matches with some of the more vocal members of the WWE Universe.

No surprise that Cena was put over in this match with Summerslam less than two weeks away and him in the WWE title match, but Daniel Bryan continued to impress with his in-ring skills, including a flying headbutt clear across the entirety of the ring, Sure, Cena hit his few patented maneuvers, but see Daniel Bryan work with him though the match was a thing of beauty and it actually made so you couldn’t look away as you didn’t know what was going to happen next.

Promo of the Night: Although it was the shortest promo of the night, when CM Punk knocked over Cena and Big Show and grabbed the microphone after Cena’s main event match, the venom he spewed for the next minute solid was spectacular. With shades of the anger he exhibited when he dropped his infamous pipe bomb last year, Punk’s monologue called out everyone around him, including Jerry Lawler, and talked about how important the WWE Championship really is and that the WWE Universe did not truly understand what went with carrying that belt around.

The promo was also critical as it took another step towards Punk’s heel turn, even though much of the crowd still agrees with Punk and so he is in the murky ‘anti-heel’ phase now where he may be mad all the time and he might take some cheap shots (although he legitimately beat Mysterio earlier in the evening), he makes good points and is still one of the best wrestlers in the WWE, making a strong portion of the fan base able to forgive some of the things he says and does. And for that single minute there, backed up by the pure rage that Punk holds at bay, many of us hoped Punk wouldn’t stop talking and RAW would end on another of his rants.

Shocker of the Night: This was a difficult one in that there wasn’t really much to be shocked by over the course of the night. But if we had to choose something, it would probably be a couple of things in the CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio match. The big shocker here was that Rey Mysterio hit his patented 619, but since the WWE didn’t want the champ to look weak against a random opponent, and so Punk could keep yelling ‘Best in the World!’, Mysterio supposedly got greedy and Punk countered Mysterio’s high-flying maneuver follow-up to the 619 and was able to capitalize for the win.

Also just as shocking was that Mysterio looked like he was dressed up as The Riddler from Batman Forever as he was wearing all white with a big green question mark in the middle of his chest. And I thought I was a big comic book fan.

Cheap Pop of the Night: Alberto Del Rio made the mistake earlier in the evening of calling AJ ‘crazy’ and in doing so prompted her fury, putting Del Rio in a match against Christian, that also could have been a Match of the Night contender had it not ended cheaply with a distraction by Ricardo Rodriguez. After the match was over though, with Del Rio victorious, he was shocked to see Sheamus on the Titantron, with Del Rio’s keys to his custom Ferrari. Sheamus then proceeded to talk about how he was going to see how San Antonio (the location of last night’s RAW) treated him and in doing so got thunderous applause from the crowd.

It was humorous to see Sheamus TOUTing his escapades the entire evening throughout San Antonio, continuing the cheap pops, but the best part of the night was when he brought back a filthy Ferrari that Ricardo then had to clean up. But for this blatant imagery and constant mentioning of San Antonio, Sheamus gets our Cheap Pop of the Night.

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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