Welcome to this week's edition of Raw Afterthoughts.  We bring this to you the night after the show after we've had a chance to digest the program and give you some more analysis and opinion of what we saw last night from WWE.  Feel free to comment and discuss this piece with us!

There's No Doubting...

We opened with a pretty strong mic segment last night.  Punk was excellent and by the end of the night he left no doubt that he's turned.  He didn't stray from his character very far and stuck to points that were fact from his perspective.  He also played that into his insults on Jerry Lawler in the opening segment that really made King the sympathetic character.

I also liked how they didn't just jump right into the match.  King really did a good job of playing it as if he were truly conflicted about taking the match.  When Lawler eventually did respond to Punk's challenge, he did a great job of his own in building to the moment.

As for the match itself, it was what one would expect, really, from these guys.  There wasn't much crowd response and my guess is only that they were burned out after three hours.  The match result honestly was never in doubt, but they did give the viewers a decent television main event without giving away something you'd see on a pay per view.

Adding to it, they did a nice job of selling Punk as a sadistic heel with his post-match attack on Lawler.  John Cena looked like a total goof with the way he screamed at the timekeeper to raise the cage (a guy who Cena has to know has no control of that issue).  I guess if you suspend your disbelief enough, that part of it all was passable.

Triple H is....thinking about it?

Trips cut a very strong promo here.  I really don't think the fans, "smart fans" or not, really believe he's done.  But the promo work was solid enough to get you to question if the decision is coming.  The fans bought in and played along, giving him a nice reaction live, and that says a lot about the guy Hunter is in the industry.

I think they could have done a little better job of explaining his long-term abscence that seems to be coming.  They also could have done more in terms of advancing a possible story between he and Lesnar.  All signs are pointing to Wrestlemania 29 for Trips and Brock  - so leaving this to "tread water" seems wasteful.  But there could be more coming, so I will give that a pass.

Some Quick Hits:

  • Daniel Bryan continues to impress me.  He is eating up everything WWE is throwing his way and his character entertains me.  The "anger management" sessions were not totally unbearable to watch as a result.
  • Layla is NOT connecting with fans as a babyface Divas champion.  Not sure why, but it's just not working.  Nor is much else in the Divas division.
  • Vickie's promo was a bit unintelligible when she started screeching.  I get it that it's her gimmick, but it's something that needs addressed, in my opinion.
  • John Cena and Miz had a decent match, but we've seen so much of that before.  Not only that, I will never understand why a mid-card champion can't get a win.
  • Ryback and Jack Swagger could be a good feud.  Swagger's frustration and exclamation that "that's it!" after the match could be a sign of things to turn for the All-American American.
  • Finally, could AJ have been any less dramatic with her announcement of Punk vs. Cena at Night of Champions?  It felt like an afterthought more than the big announcement it was intended to be.

That's all for this week, folks.  Feel free to weigh in with your opinions and join us for more Raw coverage right here at Ring-Rap.com.