Money in the Bank came and went last night. If you got the chance to see the event, or follow along on our live coverage, you know that Randy Orton is now carrying a shot to challenge for the WWE Championship, and Damien Sandow has a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. Will these men call their shots - or use the element of surprise?
What about the unfolding story between CM Punk and Paul Heyman? Curtis Axel got involved in the MITB match, and Punk disposed of him, but Paul Heyman got involved as well, costing Punk the match. How will Punk address this?
Also, John Cena battled Mark Henry for the WWE Championship. Cena managed to keep the World's Strongest Man from taking his title away. Dolph Ziggler, however, was not able to overcome Alberto Del Rio, but it wasn't because of his performance. Where will Dolph's story with AJ head from here?
Show Open - Live from the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, NY
We get the Raw intro, and Michael Cole welcomes us to Monday Night Raw on what he calls the heels of the biggest Money in the Bank ever.
After a drum roll, Brad Maddox comes out to a chorus of boos. He talks about being appointed to GM. He says the fans get to witness the first Raw of the Brad Maddox live from Brooklyn. He puts this over as the beginning of the Brad Maddox Era.
He gives us a Money in the Bank rematch with Alberto Del Rio facing Dolph Ziggler. He says he's determined to be the greatest GM of all time. He goes to explain why, but here comes John Cena. Cole puts him over as "the polarizing WWE Champion."
The fans boo Cena out of the building as he says "so this is the Maddox Era." He says this is the only time Maddox will be in the ring with someone hated more than him. Cena puts the boos over as "energy" in the crowd.
Maddox says he's always admired Cena. "Ever since I was a teenager watching you on TV." He talks about Cena's strength and how he treats those who are less privileged than he is. Maddox tells Cena that for the first time ever he will let him pick his own opponent for SummerSlam. A "Yes!" chant gets started, with the fans wanting him to pick Bryan. Cena teases picking someone like Doc Hendrix, Dutch Mantel, or Michael Cole. He says that Cole wrestles like a girl.
Randy Orton's music hits and he makes his way to the ring, briefcase in hand and walking with a purpose. Orton tells Maddox that there's a chance that Cena won't be the champion at SummerSlam. He says he doesn't want to make the same mistake Cena did last year.
Orton says that he believes in making the most of opportunities he's been given and not squandering them. He also believes in being straight up, and tells Cena that when he cashes in, Cena will not see it coming.
Fandango's music hits and he comes out with Summer Rae. Brooklyn does the Fandango. Orton tells Fandango about interrupting him. Fandango tells Orton he won't be the one cashing in against Cena, but instead he will be cashing in against him. The announcers laugh, and Fandango says there's only one star the fans want to see face Cena. He coaches Cena on how to say his name.
Orton has had enough and jacks Fandango in the mouth. Fandango battles back and clears Orton out of the ring, but Orton gets back in and tosses Fandango to ringside. Maddox tells the two if they want to fight, they will be the first match.
I guess this is how they get to Cena vs. Bryan if the rumors are true. Maddox hasn't come off heelish, but Orton certainly did. Fandango being laughed at by the announcers really killed his interruption.
Match #1 - Fandango (w/Summer Rae) vs. Randy Orton
The match is joined in progress. The announcers talk about Randy saying that Cena will never see the MITB cash-in coming.
Orton hits a clothesline at ringside. He hits a backdrop on the barricade for good measure. The two fight their way back into the ring, and the fans start chanting for JBL. Yes, going to be one of those nights. Fandango gets back in control of the match going into commercial.
After commercial, Fandango gets a near fall. The two trade punches and Orton gets the better of the exchange. He hits a t-bone suplex. He hits a superplex then follows with a powerslam.
Fandango fights back again. He goes up top for presumably the leg drop, but Orton crotches him. Orton hits him with a headbutt, then pulls him down and hits the elevated DDT out of the corner.
In the end, Orton plays to the crowd then hits the RKO. The live crowd actually chants along with the count.
I was glad that the announcers got serious with Fandango to put him over as a force. They need to tone that stuff down.
The announcers recap the World Heavyweight Championship match and how AJ cost Dolph the match.
Dolph Ziggler is walking by himself. AJ catches up to him, and asks if he's going to talk to her at some point. Dolph turns to her and says it's time to move on. AJ hugs him and says she's glad to hear it. Dolph does not return the hug though. He looks at her sternly and says "no, you don't understand. It's time for me to move on, we're done." He takes her arms off of him and walks away. AJ stares, sadly.
That break needed to happen for Dolph to begin to establish himself as a face. It worked out well for her to cost him the title last night to get to this part of the story.
As we come back, Mark Henry is entering the ring. The announcers talk about his loss to Cena last night.
Henry says that Cena is one of the greatest WWE Champions of all time. He puts Cena over for taking to his limit and says he gave it all he had last night. He says he took Cena to his limit too, and he came this close to winning the title.
The fans get on him with "You tapped out" chants. "I did tap out, and he'll tap every single one of ya'll out too." Then we get some sexual Chocolate chants. Please. Henry says he knows Cena can choose his own opponent for SummerSlam, and he hopes Cena chooses him. Henry says he took Cena to the limit and he'll do it again.
The Shield's music hits. They enter through the crowd as they always do and circle the ring. Henry pulls his jacket off and scrums with the three. They had him outnumbered at first but Henry gets in a hope spot. Eventually, Ambrose locks on a sleeper and Roman Reigns spears Henry. The three gang up on Henry then hit him with the triple powerbomb and leave him laying. They pose in the ring with their titles.
I wasn't sure where this was going. Are they turning Henry again? I guess it could work though. Great silencing of the "you tapped out" chants too.
Brad Maddox is talking to his mom on the phone. Chris Jericho walks in and tells Maddox he must be feeling a lot of pressure because this is a lot of pressure for a teenager. He makes fun of Maddox's shirt also.
Maddox says the best way for Jericho to become WWE Champion is to impress Cena. He suggests that Jericho face Rob Van Dam, a former champion. The crowd gets excited for that. Jericho plays up RVD vs. Y2J on Raw. He congratulates Maddox and tells him that if he keeps making decisions like that, he'll have a hell of a future.
Match #2 - Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
The fans are clearly behind Ziggler in this one. The announcers talk about how AJ got involved in the match last night. JBL mentions the president of Mexico calling Del Rio to congratulate him afterward. Right before the break, Del Rio backdrops Ziggler out of the ring to the floor, and Ziggler takes a crazy face bump.
Del Rio continues to control the match until Ziggler hits a tornado DDT off the ropes. Del Rio takes control back, but Dolph takes him out with a drop kick off the ropes. Ziggler covers but Del Rio gets a foot on the ropes to break the count.
Dolph tries the Fameasser, but Del Rio avoids then hits a kick in the corner. Del Rio gets two out of that. Del Rio hangs Ziggler in the tree of woe and kicks away on him. Del Rio charges, but Ziggler sits up and Del Rio eats the ring post.
Ziggler hits the Fameasser from the second rope and covers, but the bell rings. AJ is at the timekeeper area, with a scorned look on her face. The distraction allows Del Rio to hit a superkick on Ziggler to get the win.
Afterward, AJ gets in the ring and slaps Ziggler a couple times after flipping out. Ziggler keeps his cool and tries to push her away. He turns around into a clothesline from Big E Langston. Big E follows with the Big Ending. AJ kisses Ziggler and throws his face to the mat again and they leave.
Some wild bumps in this one. This gets Dolph away from Del Rio and gives him a chance to establish himself as a face persona. Logical story, but not an ideal feud since Langston needs the wins.
Cole gives us a show reset and they run the highlights of the opening segment.
R-Truth skips to the ring rapping. It appears he's getting set for action when we get an interruption. The Wyatts appear on the Tron and do the "we're here" thing. They come out, with the lantern. Bray sits in his rocking chair as the other two hit the ring. The lights come up and they destroy Truth. Bray gets in the ring to cut a promo.
"They've been lying to you man..." Wyatt starts. He says there's no such things as heroes and people are addicted by the illusion of what a hero is and what they do. He says people need someone to kiss them on the cheek and tell them everything is alright. "Everything is not alright!"
"What if I was to tell you that the man who made you is a liar. What if I was to tell you that your own flesh and blood turn his back on you? I will never turn my back on you." He says maybe he has been the answer all along.
Truth recovers, and gets on the ring apron with a chair. Wyatt tells Harper and Rowan to exit and calls Truth in the ring. He stands with his arms out and asks what Truth is waiting for. Truth ends up being distracted by Rowan and Harper, giving Wyatt the chance to attack. The three beat down Truth.
Wyatt kisses Truth on the forehead and hits his finisher move. Wyatt smiles and says 'you are not the truth we seek. Kane, follow the buzzards."
Bray cut a good promo, and Rowan and Harper play the role well as followers. The Kane mention leaves me wondering if he will surface as a follower.
Cole puts over a poll on the WWE App that will allow users to pick the opponent for Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro, named "The Real Americans."
We get a video package highlighting the opening of the WWE Performance Center.
Match #3 - Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter) vs. The Uso Brothers
Prior to the match, Zeb cuts a promo. He makes fun of the Brooklyn area being called a melting pot, but he doesn't hear any English. He calls it a porta-potty. He also issues a call to John Cena to pick one of the Real Americans to face him at SummerSlam.
In the end, one of the Usos hits a superkick on Swagger. Cesaro picks up (I think) Jimmy in the gutwrench. Jimmy counters into a roll-up and gets the win. The Usos escape the ring while the "Real Americans" protest what happened.
The match was a bit of a throw-away but it keeps their momentum going after the loss last night.
The announcers hype up RVD vs. Chris Jericho for later.
Match #4 - Damien Sandow vs. Christian
As Sandow makes his entrance, they show still photos from the World Heavyweight Championship MITB match. Christian comes out and they talk about his chipped tooth from last night's MITB All-Stars match.
The finish in this one comes when Sandow tries to hit the Elbow of Disdain. Christian is able to counter after his showboating and get a roll-up.
After the match, Sandow gets a mic and proclaims himself the MITB holder. Cody Rhodes hits the ring and attacks Sandow. They scrum until officials break it up. Sandow escapes through the crowd.
Surprise loss for Sandow. I would have figured him to be getting wins here. I forsee a confrontation between he and Rhodes on the horizon.
We get a 1-800-Fella commercial where Sheamus helps a guy with his hiccups. Sheamus may have kicked him too hard, because he didn't move afterward.
They show us footage from earlier in the day when Vickie Guerrero was petitioning to get her job back as the Managing Supervisor in the concourse of the arena.
Match #5 - Brie Bella (w/Nikki Bella) vs. Naomi (w/Cameron)
Brie works an odd chin lock. JBL calls Naomi a tremendous athlete, which was odd too. She hits a huracanrana and a couple drop kicks. The fans get an Ole chant going to humor themselves. Naomi hits what she calls the Rear View, then finishes off the match with a cross body block off the ropes.
They show a highlight from the WWE App of a member of the WWE.com side trying to get an answer out of Paul Heyman. Heyman yells at him and tells him to get out of his personal life.
Odd that this is the first time that this has come up tonight. Thought this would be a bigger story.
CM Punk heads to the ring, limping. The announcers talk about the brutality of the match and highlight the various spots that were hard on Punk. The fans chant for Punk.
Punk calmly says that he knows Heyman and Lesnar are in the building. He says he's not waiting any longer, so "come on out boys." Heyman emerges with a microphone and stops at the stage. He pauses to soak in the boos before talking.
"You know what I'm looking at right now? I'm looking at an empty ring because in my world, you don't exist." Heyman asks if he's lying when in 2005 WWE had no vision for CM Punk. He says that Punk was a figment of Heyman's imagination. He befriended and trained Punk and martyred his career for him. Heyman says they were the champion for the longest run of the modern era and nearly broke the Undertaker's streak. They were the best in the world.
Heyman says without him there is no "we" and Punk is not the best in the world. He says he's been called a Judas for betraying Punk. He says that the truth is harder to swallow than a spin. He says Punk failed "us" when he couldn't beat Undertaker. He says when Punk went home and then returned he though he was better than Heyman.
"So I lied to you, I manipulated you. I played you. Because you can never claim that CM Punk dumped Paul Heyman. No, history is going to write that Paul Heyman dumped CM Punk." Heyman says he made it as personal as he could.
Heyman says Punk has no family and is estranged from his own mother and father. Heyman says all Punk has is the fans' admiration, respect and affirmation. "All you want, all you crave, all you need in your life is the WWE Championship." Heyman says that Punk took his best friend away and he took away Punk's chance at the WWE Championship, as well as taking it from the fans.
Heyman says that Punk will find out that as bad as his reputation is in business, it's worse personally. Heyman says Punk made him swear on his children, but it was his children that made him see this so clearly. He recalls his kids asking why Punk doesn't listen to him or asking if Brock would beat Punk. Heyman says the harshest truth is that he betrayed Punk because "CM Punk, you can't beat Brock Lesnar."
Punk asks Heyman if he's done. "You want to talk about truth? I saw firsthand last night that the truth does hurt. And maybe I should have seen it coming, but dammit Paul I trusted you, and now all I have to show for it are these 13 staples in my head."
Punk says Heyman knows when he's lying and when he's telling the truth. He knows that when he wants something he is the most relentless man on the planet and he won't stop until he gets it. "And truth is, Paul, I'm going to get you." Punk swore on Heyman's children that he will get to him. Punk says he will get everyone who conspired with Heyman. "Your friends, your clients, your family." Punk vows to rip apart and hurt anyone who gets between them.
Punk asks if Heyman wants the truth. "The truth is, you don't have a future because I'm going to burn everything around you until you're the last man standing, and I'm going to keep you long enough to look you in the eye and hurt you worst of all, so tell me you sonn of a bitch, am I lying?"
Heyman admits Punk isn't lying. He says that since he doesn't have a future, he will spell out Punk's immediate future. He gets down and does the scrawling on the stage, then yells "It's clobbering time!" Brock Lesnar's music hits.
Lesnar has an intense look as Heyman waits for him in the aisle. Lesnar slowly walks out and joins Heyman in the aisle. Heyman sneaks around to the opposite side of the ring and sneaks up behind Punk and attacks him. Lesnar drags Punk out and the brawl is on.
Lesnar tries the F5, but Punk gets out. They exchange blows until Lesnar whips him to the barricade. Punk gets up swinging though. The brawl continues over to the announce position. Lesnar tosses Punk over the table, but Punk gets back up and tries a dive onto Lesnar. Lesnar catches him and runs him into the ring post.
JBL says that Brock has no heart while Lawler pleads for Heyman to tell Brock to stop. Lesnar hits Punk with the F5 on the announce table. Lesnar climbs up on the table to look down on Punk. Heyman screams at Punk to stay out of his life then he and Lesnar exit.
Punk tries to get to his feet and shoves away trainers. He sits back down and holds his neck as we go to commercial.
That was a pretty hot angle. Everyone did their part to perfection here with great intensity and delivery. Lesnar looks like a bad ass, Punk comes off as the babyface that won't quit. Well done.
Out of commercial, the announcers recap the scrum that took place between Brock and Punk. Cole says that Punk doesn't want to poke Lesnar. Lawler says that Punk did get back to his feet after that drubbing.
Cole moves to a sell for Total Divas and feeds it to a video package hyping up the show.
Great Khali comes across John Cena backstage. They exchange words in Indian, and they go their own ways.
Stephanie McMahon is on the phone, but breaks it off to talk to Brad Maddox. She asks about his first night and asks him "what do you think?" Maddox starts to answer, but Stephanie stops him and says she's not talking to him. Triple H joins the conversation. They agree he's doing fine so far, but asked if he talked to Vince. Maddox says he wanted to.
Triple H and Stephanie both ask about allowing Cena to pick his own opponent for "the second biggest show of the year." They put it over as if they'd be happy with the idea, but Vince won't be. H says that Maddox was picked because he was the only person there at the time. Steph and Trips think it would work out great. H wishes Maddox "best of luck in his future endeavors" and they leave.
More of the same. Each member of the family is pulling him in different directions and making the authority figure uncomfortable.
Match #6 - Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho
Rob Van Dam comes out before the break, and gets a big reaction. Chris Jericho is out next after the break to a decent reaction too. Cole says this is RVD's first match on Raw in six years.
RVD hits a nice standing moonsault early. Jericho comes back and hits a nasty kick to the back of RVD's head. The fans were more behind RVD and chanting ECW, but they did chant for Y2J and he plays accordingly.
After a commercial, Jericho tries to get the Walls locked in. He can't roll RVD over and decides to go to a slingshot instead. Later they jockey for position and try suplexes. They both end up on their feet. RVD hits a big kick to the chops, and Jericho comes back with a powerbomb. The fans chant "this is awesome."
Jericho misses a dropkick, so RVD tries to come back with Rolling Thunder. Jericho rolls out to the floor. RVD goes to the apron and hits a moonsault on Jericho on the floor going into the next commercial.
After break, RVD throws some clotheslines and Jericho hits shoulder blocks in return. Jericho hits a double axe handle off the ropes then hits a running bulldog. RVD rolls away from the follow up Lionsault. RVD hits Rolling Thunder for two.
RVD misses a kick off the second rope, and Jericho hits him with a DDT for two. JEricho tries the Walls a second time. RVD counters out and hits a kick. You can see a little blood from the cut from last night. Jericho tries a bulldog, but RVD shoves him to the corner. RVD misses the split legged moonsault, and Jericho comes back with the Lionsault for a good near fall.
RVD hits another kick then goes up top. Jericho crotches him there and tries a superplex. RVD counters with headbutts and knocks Jericho down. He follows with a sommersault move for a good near fall.
Jericho locks on the Walls successfully this time. RVD is able to break it in the ropes though. RVD hits a kick to the face and goes up top to hit the Five Star Frog Splash and get the win.
This was a highly entertaining match. Started a little slow, but it picked up in the end with lots of good near falls.
The announcers hype up the John Cena selection of his Summerslam opponent segment yet to come.
John Cena Picks His Opponent
All the roster stands at the stage, and John Cena's music hits. He gets the normal boos and cheers thing again. He walks out slowly, and eyes up the men standing on the stage then heads to the ring. When the music stops he gets booed pretty heavily.
He says it's time to announce who he has selected to face him at SummerSlam. Cena says he can't do that though, because he hasn't made up his mind. The fans don't like that and boo him.
Cena says he has heard the various superstars step up with reasons why they should face him at SummerSlam. Cena says he left out the most important voice - that of the Universe. He admits they don't always see eye to eye and "sometimes you're a bit tough on me." Cena respects their honesty and he wants to see a match they want to see.
"For a decision this historic, I need your help." There are a lot of yes chants going by this point and Cena says the fans are getting the hang of it. He points to the stage and says he will throw out some names and the fans could give their reaction to how they feel about that person.
Cena starts with Heath Slater, who got booed. "No dice on Heath Slater. How about any of 3MB?' More boos. Cena quips "hey, don't hinder Jinder." He points out Randy Orton, noting his MITB status. Orton gets more boos but some cheers. Cena brings up Great Khali and he gets booed. Cena points out Alberto Del Rio, and he gets booed as well.
Cena turns his attention to Chris Jericho, who gets a good ovation that fades. He next calls out Rob Van Dam, who gets the similar treatment. "He can fly, but can he dance?" Cena points out Fandango, and he gets booed. Cena makes a joke about Sheamus' 1-800 Fella thing and says he doesn't have his own hotline. Sheamus gets booed.
More boos when Cena points out Ryback, who is breathing heavy. Cena asks if there's anyone he's forgetting, and the yes chants fire up. Cena asks again, and says that "we're good." Cena says there were a bunch of great selections, but he has come to a decision. A loud "Daniel Bryan" chant gets going that Cena pauses for.
"Hey guys, I respect the beard, trust me. This is a guy who deserves this decision. This is a guy who deserves this match and I think it's a guy who is going to make SummerSlam an awfully special occasion." Cena reveals that his opponent will indeed be Daniel Bryan.
Bryan emerges through the surprised faces, pumping his fists in the air. He runs to the ring to lead a "yes" chant standing on the ropes. He looks at Cena, then does the yes chant while facing him. Bryan continues to play to the crowd as Cena looks on. The show closes with Bryan leading "yes" chants from the ropes.
The end result here was very good and I think that's the right choice. The problem I have with this segment is just about everyone, save two guys, got booed. That's not a smart move by WWE there.
Notable by absence were The Wyatts, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, The Shield, and Mark Henry. Those make sense. Why Alberto Del Rio was out there was beyond me, unless they were teasing a title unification - but that I would expect for Wrestlemania if they were going to go there.
This sets up a good pair of matches in the top of the card for SummerSlam - Lesnar vs. Punk and Cena vs. Bryan. That's something to look forward to in my book as those should both be good matches. I admit more excitement over Punk/Lesnar because the build will likely be much better. I do have my concerns over how Cena will treat Daniel Bryan in the build-up.
A solid follow-up to Money in the Bank. A lot happened tonight though and it got draining. Punk and Heyman were gold, we got solid follow-up to the Wyatts, and we saw a great Raw return for RVD in the match with Chris Jericho.
I'll have more to say tomorrow night in Raw Afterthoughts. Thanks for following along tonight.