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By Revin Samuel on 7/26/2012 9:03 AM

RAW - 23/07/2012 E:
Once again sorry this is late. I had some business to take care of again before getting to Raw.  
What needs to be accomplished on this week’s Raw?
It’s a big night. I’ve been reading alot of wrestlers’ twitters and the feeling I get from reading is that it feels like Wrestlemania day backstage and it is for WWE. It’s a big celebration and I am into the whole celebrate the milestone. I hear alot of criticism that WWE is blowing their load and then some on this show and I have no issue with that as long as they create future hooks. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume the company is smart enough to create a hook or two for next week and beyond
•While it is Raw’s 1000th episode this is also technically the kick off week for Summerslam promotion. I hope WWE begins to wet our appetite for Summerslam beginning tonight
•Three Hours, over 30 faces from the past returning and I hope WWE gives time to people who have mattered like Bret Hart, JBL, Trish Stratus, Edge, Mick Foley and Roddy Piper. These are the big time players that might or are at Raw and deserve time on the show, but I’m scared they will be forced into short segments due to long segments that will be given to The Rock, Brock Lesnar, DX, The Wedding and Punk-Cena
Show Breakdown

  1. I like the new intro package for Raw, I assume that will be the package going forward and the slogan “Then, Now, Forever” is a nice one.

  1. The video package was interesting and showed how much importance WWE puts on celebrities as they showed way too many celebrity filled clips and stuff with the Muppets. Also they showed weird stuff like “Choppy, Choppy, Pee, Pee” and Goldust tourettes. There was also no focus on any of the older stuff such as Kid beating Razor, Vader attacking Monsoon, Bret or Diesel in the early years, etc. Also interesting to note no Hogan, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy or Warrior. Very weird of them to show the Eddie Guerrero tribute moment from Triple H. I’m bitching about this package alot, but alot of it was awesome and the song itself was great. I’ve already got the buzz of this is special show going.

  1. The arena looks sold off and the new set is impressive, although not that much of a change that anyone would notice.

  1. Vince is out and he’s looking like he leaned up a little. The crowd gives him a “Thank You Vince”. Vince seems very proud, Michael Cole is throwing it on a little bit too think, but hey it’s a big night for Vince so will let it slide!

  1. DX is out to huge reaction. Shawn and Hunter look way too old to be in the outfits they are wearing, but the crowd loves them.

  1. Crowd is hot for the rest of DX. No Chyna, but I was hoping we might see a Mike Tyson cameo. Road Dogg and X-Pac also looking old. Billy Gunn looks good though and Road Dogg still has awesome mic skills.

  1. Very amusing exchange between Billy and Shawn about who does the “We got two words for ya”.

  1. DX looks like they are having alot of fun in the ring. I’m not sure if X-Pac is crying or if he’s laughing, but he and Billy Gunn are clearly excited to be there.

  1. Michael Cole says Jim Ross is joining commentary for the night and color me shocked as I figured WWE would bring him out for one match.

  1. Rey and Sin Cara teaming together. Is this a first?

  1. Sheamus, the World Champion in the opening match. Way to make Smackdown and the World Championship feel relevant.

  1. Ziggler and Jericho teaming together after Jericho just hit him with a code breaker last week. Typical WWE.

  1. JR on commentary is just awesome. He adds a true sports feel to the commentary and really makes Lawler and Cole much more credible as well.

  1. At least Ziggler turned on Jericho, which somewhat makes up for them tagging together to begin with. Of course Jericho takes the pinfall and Sheamus, the modern day Triple H picks up the victory to no surprise.

  1. The Touts are terrible; I have to fast forward through it just so I am not ashamed to be watching this show.

  1. Charlie Sheen is also uncomfortably transparent.

  1. Weird backstage segment. I thought the Mae Young thing was kind of clever, but that’s a waste of Roddy Piper if that’s all they have for him. At least we got to see Layla dance for a second

  1. Is WWE now doing in show advertising? This first hour has been rather interesting to say the least.

  1. Brodus Clay out and Naomi and Cameron in booty shorts works for me. Brodus brings out Dude Love and this is at least an original use of Mick Foley.

  1. Jack Swagger continues to get squashed and the future endeavored list seems to be calling for the former World Champion.

  1. Well I’ve already said, I hope that’s not all they have in store for Roddy Piper and now I’ll add Trish Stratus to the list as she appears in a random backstage segment, which also is a homage to a past angle between her and Triple H (See the link -

  1. X-Pac gets creepy with Trish and his voice is totally shot.

  1. The Doctor of Style is the Reverend for the wedding and Michael Cole calls him a Trailblazer...right.

  1. The Twitter poll notes that 74% of the audience does not want AJ to marry Daniel Bryan.

  1. The crow doesn’t seem to know Slick that well, but he’s just awesome and AJ appears to not be able to contain her laughter.

  1. Weird payoff to the wedding and I don’t like it. The GM device is so overplayed and putting her in this role means it’s going to continue to be prominent and I’m not sure that’s good news for us or AJ long term.

  1. Also I am tired of AJ doing the “Yes, Yes” thing.

  1. A Punk-Bryan confrontation interrupted by The Rock and who would have thought they’d ever see this.

  1. Rock looking lean and mean and that’s good to see.

  1. Bryan has absolutely held his own in this segment with The Rock. The fact that he’s in the wedding outfit is kind of making him look like a joke. I wish he’d take the shirt off so he looked more like a bad ass.

  1. Bryan took a hell of a Rock Bottom.

  1. Blockbuster announcement by The Rock that he’s getting the title shot at the Royal Rumble. That tells me that Punk is probably retaining tonight.

  1. WWE actually doing an interesting twitter poll in whom would you rather see Rock face between Punk, Cena and Show and I’ll be interested to see who wins that between Punk and Cena. I’d assume Punk would so I’d be somewhat surprised if WWE told us that.

  1. Bret Hart as a ring announcer? Join the Trish Stratus, Roddy Piper bracket Hit Man.

  1. Nice moment for Bret to acknowledge Mr. Perfect

  1. Solid match with Christian and Miz, as per usual Christian never fails to deliver!

  1. I like the way Miz sold winning the IC Title!

  1. Very nice package from Regis. Interesting that he didn’t mention Hulk as one of his past guests.

  1. Wow Stephanie looking amazing, but I just can’t stand when she talks. It’s never been her best feature especially in a babyface roll. Steph needs some new theme music, we know that she’s all grown up; she’s closing in on 40! She did get some nice burns in on Paul Heyman and I’m wondering why Paul said Brock wouldn’t accept the challenge, but then accepts it for him once Stephanie goads him into it. Does Brock agree with that?

  1. Brock looks like an absolute menace...and naturally Triple H gets the best of him. This should have been a pull apart for sure. I’ll be the first one to admit I am wrong if Brock beats Triple H at Summerslam without suffering repressions afterwards. The way I see it either Hunter is winning and getting destroyed afterwards by Brock, Hunter is winning and it ends there, while Brock leaves for another five months or Brock wins and Hunter gets his heat back after the match. The patterns of Triple H do not suggest this is a smart program for Brock Lesnar, but Brock is getting paid so I assume that’s all he cares about.

  1. I see in the video game fantasy match between Cena and Austin that Cena went over. Are you surprised?

  1. Love the video package for Austin-McMahon except for of course the Stephanie voiceovers. Steve Austin is getting alot of acknowledgement on this show and rightly so. It’s too bad he couldn’t make it.

  1. Santino and Hornswoggle are out, this is my least favorite moment of the show, I can tell you that right now. Two characters I absolutely despise.

  1. It’s good to know that Bret Hart is on par with Howard Finkle as Howard comes out to do what he’s best at and introduce the one man band.

  1. The One Man Band has some charisma and I love how he always calls the crowd “people”.

  1. Smart of WWE to have Lita’s music hit, because if they had let that marinate I’m sure an Austin chant would have broken out.

  1. Lita like Steph and Trish looks fantastic!

  1. I can’t lie, I was somewhat hoping we’d get the JBL character and an awesome JBL promo, but I know he loves working with Ron Simmons and the APA is fun so this works for me.

  1. Lita with a Twist of Faith and I wonder if Matt Hardy will have something to say on twitter.

  1. Deadly close line from hell and a great sell job by Heath

  1. I wish WWE would acknowledge each of the legends instead of just having them all come out to one guy’s theme.

  1. Bob Backlund is comically awesome.

  1. Wow a Sean Mooney cameo, that’s awesome!

  1. Bryan is getting alot of television time tonight!

  1. WWE need not interview random fans, nobody cares.

  1. Cute video package on the catch phrases of Raw.

  1. At least Zack Ryder was able to get a cameo spot on Raw.

  1. Rock and Cena backstage confrontation foreshadowing Wrestlemania, I assume.

  1. Why is Rock looking forward to a rematch with Cena? I know it’s just building anticipation, but Rock has no reason to want that rematch.

  1. Kane and Undertaker together again, that’s a Raw moment for sure. The crowd in the arena seems to be enjoying this more than me, but its fine for what it is.

  1. BTW why do the heels wait for Undertaker to come out before they attack Kane?

  1. Be A Star campaign with heels Eve Torres and The Miz...we put smiles on people’s faces.

  1. Charlie Sheen hinting at something with Daniel Bryan at Summerslam and let’s just hope that doesn’t come to fruition.

  1. I was caught off guard with The Rock returning and I’m not sure how much I care for him making the save for John Cena. That doesn’t help John as a babyface, but brings down Rock’s babyface status, but we know what’s important to The Bubble.

  1. Great to see Rock and Big Show working together again, that sequence they do was something I popped for.

  1. Punk stopping Rock from delivering the People’s Elbow with a wicked flying close line was a nice heel move.

  1. The show goes off the air with Rock and Cena laid out, while Punk is spotlighted. I think we can see where this is going!

  1. Before I knew that Steve Austin was out injured, I was expecting him to come down at the end and get into it with CM Punk to set something up for Wrestlemania. At that point he hadn’t been used and I figured they were just going to show us their full poker hand. Plus they had played him as the franchise player of Raw so I figured they thought the fitting ending to Raw would be him, Cena and rock drinking beer.

What this show accomplished?
The Good
•Punk and Bryan. If you really think about it Raw’s 1000th episode was about three men, The Rock, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan and while I’m sure most people figured it would be about The Rock, but Punk and Bryan were both heavily spotlighted. The segment with all three was great as well, although I still wish Bryan took off the shirt so he didn’t look as goofy
•Undertaker and Kane team up. Nice spot and like Steve Austin, barring injury Undertaker was a guy who had to be on the show. I disagree with the sentiment that he looked terrible, I thought he still looked the part, even the body was a bit older.
•CM Punk heel turn. The turn was good, Punk’s a great heel and Raw 1000 ended with CM Punk standing tall. I don’t think the turn was necessarily smart, which I will address in The Bad
•DX reunion. A great opening to the show
•Stephanie, Trish and Lita. All looked absolutely fantastic. Poor Kelly Kelly, flew all the way to St. Louis and wasn’t utilized
•Nice nods to the past and inside deals.  WWE had some great nods to their past including Mae Young’s hand son all grown up, Trish and Hunter’s backstage segment, The Brother’s of Destruction, Stephanie-Paul Heyman exchange, which you know popped every single former creative member. Shawn and Billy Gunn arguing about who’s going to say “we got two words for ya”, Rock and Big Show mixing it up, Sean Mooney,  The WCW Invasion Jeep, and of course the Reverend Slick
•The Twitter poll shows us that the fans want to see Punk-Rock over Cena-Rock, and I like that and that they actually showed us those results
•Miz wins the IC title. I like the way Miz sold this and the match was quality stuff as well.
The Bad
•AJ as GM. I’m not sure I am down with this idea, but we will see how it plays out. For now all I will say is its pretty damn illogical
•Punk goes heel. I’m not sure how this is supposed to work. If the plan is for Punk to feud with Cena, I am not sure how Punk is going to turn on the adult males who cheer him. If he turns on them it will be transparent and even if those fans don’t want to cheer him anymore, they certainly aren’t going to cheer John Cena so it once again just creates apathy. It will be interesting to see who his list of challengers are going forward
•Jim Ross, Bret Hart, Trish Stratus and Roddy Piper and the returning Legends wasted. Here’s my question, why couldn’t Bret ref The Miz-Christian match? Why couldn’t Jim Ross call the entire show? How much more effective would have Jim Ross sold Punk’s turn and Cena being the first guy to lose MITB? Also why couldn’t Bryan and AJ have a wedding party? Would it have been so difficult to turn that backstage segment with AJ and Layla into a segment where AJ says she wants Layla and Trish as her bridesmaids because Layla is the current divas champion and Trish is the diva of the decade or something like that and it would play into her crazy nature that these two girls who aren’t her friends and don’t have the attire act as her bridesmaids. How about AJ tells Roddy Piper that her father doesn’t approve of Daniel Bryan and she remembers how much he said he liked her during their Piper’s Pit segment on Smackdown and asks him to walk her down the ramp. I know I am fantasy booking, but that would have utilized people like Trish, Piper and Bret alot better than they were utilized
•Tout, I don’t approve. Moving on...
•Triple H one ups Brock Lesnar. I wonder if Brock Lesnar is being paid so much money just so Vince and his Bubble can get his revenge. It makes sense with their MO
•Charlie Sheen. I’m not sure about this, I didn’t like week one, but will see where it goes.

Overall Thoughts
•I liked this show alot even though I do have some complaints about it as noted above. The Rock’s sporadic schedule has forced WWE to book long term and they have essentially told us main events for Summerslam, Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, and that was huge to do on this show where ratings were through the roof!
What next week’s Raw needs to accomplish?
•A very critical Raw. How will they do the first hour? Is it just going to be an infomercial for their social media activities and in show advertising? I hope they spread this stuff out and find a good way to pace the show
•CM Punk. I hope this turn includes Punk tossing the spinner belt. Punk needs a killer promo next week, but not a killer promo that is going to make people want to sympathize with his points and it’s tricky, because if he rips on John Cena, I don’t see that as a heel move for alot of the audience
•AJ. They’ve made her the Raw GM and I know I might be wishing for too much here, but they need to be careful how much they expose her
•Jericho-Ziggler. This didn’t get too much time this week, but Ziggler turned on Jericho so hopefully they take it to the next level next week and Jericho is solidified as a babyface
•Randy Orton returns. It will be interesting to see where they place Orton and my first pick is to marry him to Daniel Bryan for Summerslam
•Triple H-Brock Lesnar. What’s the follow up? I think it would be a good idea to do a video package with different superstars and legends talking about how they don’t think Triple H can handle Brock, but perhaps that’s a go home show video. It doesn’t appear Triple H is willing to portray himself as the underdog so will see where they take it from here.