Last night was WWE's biggest party of the summer, SummerSlam. In the main event, Triple H was just not able to withstand Brock Lesnar's submission hold, the Kimura, and ended up tapping out. What will be his future now? Will Trips go back to being an executive or will he try to get revenge?
CM Punk was successful in retaining his WWE Championship against Big Show and John Cena. He survived a restart by AJ to account for a double-submission move by both Cena and Punk on Big Show. Where does Punk go from here? Who does he face next as we go on to Night of Champions?
Join us for live coverage when Raw kicks off at the top of the hour.
The new WWE programming intro welcomes us to Fresno, and we go right in the arena. Brock Lesnar's music hits and here comes Lesnar and Paul Heyman to a mixed reaction, surprisingly a bit more cheers than boos. They're all smiles as Cole tells us that we're 24 hours removed from the "Perfect Storm" that was a fierce battle with Triple H.
King says that Lesnar and Heyman are smiles because of the speculation that last night's match might have been it for Triple H. Cole feeds it to a series of still shots that he and King narrate through from last night's match. Cole says that Triple H's arm is again broken, as is the spirit of WWE.
Heyman starts to speak, and he gets heat. He understands how the fans feel because last night when Brock faced Trips, it was a most uncomfortable match to watch. Not only because of Trips' ability to withstand punishment. He pauses and recalls his commentary days, saying he remembers watching Trips' quad injury and he finished that match. He puts Trips over for that night as a warrior and says a torn quad couldn't stop him...but Brock Lesnar could. Last night at SummerSlam, Lesnar defeated Trips and forced him to tap out.
Heyman goes on to explain, saying that tapping out meant that Trips quit on his friends, family, the WWE, and on all the fans. Lesnar stripped Trips' dignity and manhood because Lesnar forced the tap-out and left him a beaten shell of a former man. Heyman doesn't feel sorry for Trips and nor should the fans. This was a fight Trips picked and it's not just a fight with Lesnar, but recalls the discussion with Scott Armstrong prior to the match.
Heyman says that he wants to call the referee to the ring because his client wants to address Scott Armstrong. Heyman asks for him again and he eventually emerges, although hesitantly. Armstrong is very hesitant and eventually does get in the ring.
Heyman reaffirms what happened last night - that Trips said this should be a fight to the finish and rules should be bent - even if it meant hurting his client. Heyman says that Lesnar had two words for Triple H, "tap out", but he has two words for Armstrong. Lesnar gets close with Armstrong and says "good job" and lets him go without incident.
Heyman says that Trips put the fate of WWE in jepoardy and when he tapped out, Brock became the new King of Kings. Lesnar is now the new lord, master and conquerer of WWE and everyone is subject to him now.
Cole and King discuss the future of Triple H after this loss last night. They sell a segment with Shawn Michaels coming up later tonight via satellite. King repeats Heyman's words - "the new lord, master and conquerer of WWE." as Heyman and Lesnar leave and the show goes to break.
Heyman was solid here. Worked really well on the mic. The Armstrong thing took a bit too long though. The "King of Kings" stuff points to a rematch, I'm afraid.
They talk the controversial ending to the WWE Championship match, then talk about a Tout that CM Punk sent out. He says he's going to throw AJ a curve ball, and he's going to pick his own opponent tonight.
Match #1 - R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (tag champs) and Sin Cara vs. Cody Rhodes and the Prime Time Players.
As Kofi and Truth come to the ring (toting Brawling Buddies), they show an interview with Kofi Kingston last night. Truth gave Little Jimmy a Gatorade bath. Sin Cara joins them next. Rhodes comes out next, then the PTP.
After some back and forth offense, Sin Cara goes for a high spot. Rhodes says he's had enough and takes a powder up the ramp. Kofi and Truth hit simultaneous baseball slides on the PTP as the show goes to commercial.
Out of break, Truth works Darren Young and hits a big kick on him to get a two count. Cole talks about a tweet from one of the Kardashians...blah blah. Rhodes tags in and takes Truth down for a two count, then hits a front suplex. The heels take control of the match and work quick tags as Truth sells.
Truth gets the hot tag to Sin Cara, as Rhodes gets the tag too. Cara hits a back elbow then a springboard cross body for a two count that the PTP breaks up. Truth and Kofi take the PTP out. Rhodes gets obsessed with the mask of Sin Cara. Sin Cara uses the opportunity to roll Rhodes up for the win. The faces celebrate in the ring as Cole ponders if the three in the ring have the PTP and Rhodes' number.
They sell a a tag match coming up later that will feature Kane and Daniel Bryan tagging with partners who they had issues with. Kane will team with Zack Ryder, and Bryan with The Miz.
Stryker is interviewing AJ Lee but in walks David Otunga. He says he's back and he offers his "Harvard Educated" legal services to AJ. He says he will file a lawsuit at the sheer mention that she's crazy, and protect her from all legal harm. AJ rolls her eyes at him and says that he can offer his services in the ring tonight against a mystery opponent. Otunga isn't happy but exits.
Stryker moves on to the original question about Punk's earlier Tout. AJ says she likes it and he can pick anyone he likes...pending her approval. She skips away.
Match #2 - Ryback vs. Two Local Jobbers
Cole says Ryback reads two books a month and tries to stay ahead. There's a sign in the crowd that says "feed me hot dog."
Ryback throws one of them out and works the other one over with power moves - hitting a series of power bombs. He suplexes the one guy back in, then goes to stack the two jobbers up.
Jinder Mahal attacks from behind and the match is thrown out. Mahal puts the boots to him then locks on the Camel Clutch. Ryback powers up and drops Mahal on his back. Mahal rolls out to the safety of the ramp. Ryback hits the two jobbers with his finisher and chants "feed me more."
Jericho is texting and Dolph walks in to congratulate him. He says Jericho finally won the big one last night but can he do it twice? Dolph proposes a rematch. Jericho says Ziggler doesn't know who he's dealing with and says he's a six-time champion. He knows how to win the big one.
AJ skips in. She says it's her job to make things interesting and knows the two men want a rematch. She sets stipulations - if Jericho loses, his contract is terminated. If Ziggler loses, Jericho gets his MITB briefcase.
There's the out to get Jericho on his Fozzy tour.
Alberto Del Rio is walking backstage, looking disgusted. He slaps away a bottle of water from Ricardo and keeps walking. He's next to address his controversial loss from last night.
In Ring Segment:
Del Rio comes to the ring with his normal intro from Ricardo. He complains about being robbed last night and he should be the World Heavyweight Champion. He sends it to a still shot of his foot being on the ropes last night. He demands another title match with Sheamus.
AJ's music plays and here she comes. She says that she has no authority over the World Title scene and it's Booker T's issue on Smackdown. She can, however, book him in a match since he's ready to compete. She says he needs to "say hello to his little friend" and Randy Orton's music hits. Orton makes his way to the ring to a nice reaction.
Match #3 - Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Randy Orton
Orton makes his entrance as they send it to commercial. Out of break, Sheamus comes to the ring and joins the commentary position.
Orton shoulder blocks Del Rio out of the ring as Sheamus says Irish luck reigned through last night in his retention of the title. Orton stomps methodically on each limb of Del Rio for a two count. Del Rio takes over the offense for a bit.
Del Rio goes up top for offense but Orton swipes his feet out from under him. Orton clubs him and hits a superplex as Cole resets things at the top of the second hour. The two men exchange blows as Cole says that we might have seen the end of Triple H last night.
Orton starts to run through some of his trademark offense and teases the elevated DDT but eats an enzuigiri from Del Rio for a near fall. Orton counters a charge from Del Rio and turns it into a backbreaker. Del Rio tries the cross arm breaker but Orton counters to a swinging neckbreaker.
The two men exchange some offense again, and Orton hits the elevated DDT out of the corner. Orton is hearing voices but Ricardo distracts Orton. Sheamus sticks his nose in things to keep Ricardo from getting involved.
From behind, Del Rio hits the backstabber on Orton and gets a near fall since Orton has his foot on the ropes. Sheamus alerts the official to it. Del Rio is furious and argues with Sheamus, but turns around into the RKO from Orton. Orton picks up the win and Sheamus laughs about it.
This was a decent match. I see a triple threat in Sheamus' future, perhaps, but there's word on the street that Orton is going to be in a movie so he won't be around long. In the middle of this a Tout came through saying Lesnar was leaving WWE. Interesting.
We get a video recap of Antonio Cesaro winning the WWE US Championship. They show a Tout of Antonio and Aksana celebrating in the ring.
Cole sends it to a video package of the various events of SummerSlam week in Los Angeles.
Match #4 - Brodus Clay (w/Cameron and Naomi, the Funkadactyls) vs. Damien Sandow
Clay does his normal dancing entrance as Cole recaps the attack Sandow pulled off on him a couple weeks ago. They go to commercial with Clay waiting for Sandow.
Sandow gets his entrance after the break. Sandow works the bad leg to try and gain an advantage.
Clay starts to take charge of the match with his normal "big man" offense with splashes. He misses a charge in the corner and Sandow uses the opportunity to roll up Clay and grabs the tights to get the win.
Sandow gloats after the match, but Clay delivers a fallaway slam and his splash to chase Sandow from the ring. Clay, his dancers and some kids dance in the ring.
These two are just directionless. Clay has no steam, Sandow is just...there.
Cole and King talk about tweets regarding Triple H and his future. They show Shawn Michaels getting mic'd up, and his segment is next.
After a recap of what happened to him, Shawn Michaels joins us via satellite. He says he feels that he knows what's going through Triple H's mind. One can tell yourself that the end is near and can prepare for it. There's nothing that prepares you for the day when it hits you in the face though. All the thought given, it sort of happens privately and silently. But when it happens it happens in front of millions on pay per view and thousands in attendance. That's humbling and one can't prepare for that.
He puts Triple H over as a warrior and a man of honor and integrity. He says Lesnar and Heyman know nothing about that. Trips went out and gave everything he had; last night was no exception. He left all of himself out there last night and every night. That's who Triple H is.
Shawn says he came around to support his friend. He looks back and says it was stupid and he was a distraction and burden. Had he been there last night it might have been different or maybe not. He knows this - last week he told Trips that he knew where Shawn's heart was. He didn't tell Trips the truth and that's what he needed to hear. He needed to hear Shawn say he didn't think he could beat Lesnar.
He says it's hard to look a friend in the eye and say that time has run its course and it's over. He addresses Hunter and says he has nothing to be ashamed of. He puts H over as one of the greatest ever and he'll always respect and be proud of him. We all love him. On behalf of himself and the fans, Shawn says thank you for a job well done. It closes with a still shot of Trips trying to get to his feet as the show goes to break.
You have to really be able to suspend disbelief to get to the point that H is done wrestling. He isn't. This is leading somewhere with another match of some sort.
Match #5 - David Otunga vs. Big Show
Otunga comes to the ring first, and Cole talks about how this match got set up. Show is all business coming to the ring.
He mauls Otunga, chopping him and slapping him across the chest. Show slams him then delivers hands to the midsection. Otunga tries to fight back but it's all Big Show.
Show hits a combination neckbreaker/elbow drop then hits the WMD Punch to take Otunga out.
They go to a clip from last night where Show rants about being double teamed all night. He says it's not fair and says he gets screwed all the time. He asks when he'll get his one-on-one title shot.
The announcers sell the next match, which is Kane and Zack Ryder vs. The Miz and Daniel Bryan. This is AJ's method of "anger management" and it's next.
Match #6 - Kane and Zack Ryder vs. Daniel Bryan and The Miz
Kane makes his entrance and they show Kane's attack on Josh Mathews after the match. Ryder is next out. Cole recaps the attacks Kane worked on Ryder in the past as Ryder comes to the ring. Bryan comes out with a steady "yes!" chant from the fans that he reacts to. Miz comes out last as Cole reminds us that Miz beat Rey Mysterio last night to retain his Intercontinental Championship.
Kane and Bryan are supposed to start but Bryan tags in Miz. Kane works over Miz then tags in Ryder. Miz eats knees from Ryder on a charge then a nice missile drop kick. Miz turns the tide and puts the boots to Ryder.
Bryan gets the tag and keeps up the offense on Ryder as the fans chant "yes" at him. Bryan opens up a series of kicks on Ryder to get a two count then taunts Kane. Cole gives us a show reset as we cross the 10 p.m. hour with the emphasis on Triple H's career being over.
Bryan taunts Kane then charges Ryder in the corner, but Ryder moves and Bryan collects Miz. Ryder is able to get the tag to Kane. Bryan is scared and runs for his life out of the arena. Miz has already left the building also.
Ryder eats a chokeslam from Kane, then the time keeper gets thrown over the barrier. Kane is on a rampage and he goes back in the ring and hits a Tombstone on Ryder. Kane has destroyed the announce position as Kane runs backstage in pursuit of Bryan.
They talk about the triple threat match, and say that Punk won by controversial means. Cena is interviewed after the match and says that Punk is lucky and he's not going to blame anyone for what happened. The interviewer poses if Punk is the best in the world but Cena isn't willing to admit that.
Matt Striker is with CM Punk, and Punk says he still is the WWE Champion. The question remains who is his next opponent. He thanks AJ for the respect to choose his own opponent. He wants to pick someone that can take a beating like a man, and one man they say he can't beat. That man is John Cena - on one condition.
Punk says he will call Cena out to the ring tonight and see if Cena is man enough to accept the challenge. Punk says he will demand respect from John Cena tonight. He smiles as they pan away.
The announcers sell a Diva's Battle Royale to determine the next #1 Contender to the WWE Divas Championship, next.
Match #7 - Diva's Battle Royale to determine the new #1 Contender to Layla's Diva's Championship
Rosa and Aksana brawl around in the ring and the rest of the women watch. They roll out of the ring, which eliminates them. Tamina hits a jumping headbutt on Alicia Fox. Tamina and Natalya hit a double suplex on Kaitlyn.
Natalya and Tamina team up on Alicia. They hit a long vertical double suplex on her, but she counters and kicks the two of them out to the apron.
Tamina goes on an elimination frenzy and sends out a few women, then Kaitlyn eliminates her. Eve and Kaitlyn scrum and Kaitlyn gets the better of it to become the #1 Contender.
The announcers give us another recap of what happened between Triple H and Brock Lesnar last night. They narrate still photos of the various parts of the match, then reset the beginning of the show with Heyman and Lesnar gloating.
They recap a Tout from Lesnar, who says he's leaving and not coming back because he's done all that he has and there's nothing left for him to do.
They hype up Ziggler vs. Jericho that is coming up later, and the stipulations associated with that match.
Barrett Return Hype:
They show another Barrett hype vignette, highlighting the "fight or perish" theme. His barrage can't be stopped.
The announcers tell us that AJ is sending Daniel Bryan to anger management classes.
Vickie is ranting at Dolph, saying AJ is a witch and Dolph has to win this match for her. Dolph says he may never get another chance if he doesn't win and this match is the biggest match of his career. Vickie screams "we have to win" and Dolph tells her "we will win." The announcers hype up this match, coming up next.
Match #8 - Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) vs. Chris Jericho; Contract vs. Contract Match
Vickie does her 'excuse me' bit and introduces Dolph Ziggler. As Ziggler makes his entrance we get a minor sell for Night of Champions. Jericho makes his entrance to a nice reaction.
Jericho goes for a few quick roll-up pins early on. Dolph gets some offense in as Vickie screeches at the official to hurry up the count. Ziggler eats a boot on a charge then a big missile dropkick that nets a two count.
Jericho elevates Ziggler out of the ring, but he lands on his feet. Ziggler jumps up on the apron and eats a springboard dropkick from Jericho as the show goes to commercial.
Jericho delivers shots on the turnbuckle to Dolph. They come crashing down and Jericho gets a two count out of it. Ziggler tries to get the Fameasser but Jericho counters to the Walls. Ziggler counters out of that.
Jericho hits a bulldog, and tries for the Lionsault but Ziggler gets his knees up. That allows Ziggler to hit the Zig-Zag to pick up the win.
King puts it over as a hard earned win and there was no controversy involved as they run a recap of the end of the match. Ziggler taunts and celebrates on the ring ropes, yelling "who's time is it now." Ziggler goes to all four ring posts and celebrates.
Jericho yanks the case away from Vickie and hits Dolph with it a couple times, then hits the Codebreaker. He pauses to drink in the crowd reaction and salutes the fans. Cole heels it, saying "good riddance" as Jericho shakes some hands heading out of the arena. He pauses at the stage to look back at the fans.
Predictable finish since we all knew Jericho is heading out on tour. Is it the end of him altogether? Hard to say - there have been rumors of him being done with wrestling this time. That said, he gets some shine in a decent match going out and getting the better of a gloating Ziggler...and Ziggler gets to keep his title shot. I'm fine with this ending.
They show a trailer for the new WWE Studios film "The Day."
Punk is shown walking backstage, and he will call out John Cena next. Will Cena accept the condition, asks Cole.
In Ring Segment:
CM Punk's music hits and here comes the champ. He gets the mic and starts to say something in the ring but pauses and heads out to ringside. He goes to the announce position and faces Jerry Lawler. He says he was going to discuss his next match and opponent, but he wanted to address something with Lawler.
He says that he wants Lawler to admit that his comment "Punk turned his back" is a lie. Lawler says that he meant no malice by that remark, but it's how he felt at that time. Punk pauses then turns it into looking for an apology from Lawler. Before Jerry can say anything, Cena's music hits.
Punk stands in the corner, casually. He addresses Cena and says he's shocked he said he would call Cena out, but that Cena couldn't wait. Punk talks about how he's taken a back seat to Cena, Triple H, and The Rock since winning the WWE Championship.
He says that he goes into airports and they call him champ but ask why he's not in the main event. He says that he is giving respect back to the company that had started giving him respect, but enough is enough.
Punk says the reason Cena is the number one contender because he has to beat him again. He says he had beaten Cena before and it still didn't matter because everywhere he looks he sees the green shirts and hats of Cenation. Punk says that he will give Cena the title shot if Cena admits that Punk is the best in the world.
Cena starts to cut a promo and says that one word describes his relationship with the fans was not "champion" but respect. He makes the comparison between his fans and the fans of teams that don't always win championships, and says that it's like that with his fans.
He says this might cost him a title shot, but Cena will not call Punk best in the world. He says he can't admit to that because he believes he is the best. It isn't a disrespectful thing, but it's how it has to be because he believes in the people and they believe in him. He says he will not ruin the integrity that he has spent 10 years building.
He reiterates that he won't put Punk over as best in the world and tells Punk he can pick anyone he chooses. He tells Punk he has an opportunity to prove himself though. Night of Champions will be held in Boston, Mass., in Cena's house. Cena says if Punk can walk in to that night the WWE Champion and somehow walk out that night still the WWE Champion, he would instantly get the respect he wants. Cena dares Punk to challenge him and says if he doesn't Punk has no respect for the title, or for himself. Cena exits.
Punk turns back to the announce position. He tells Jerry Lawler he wants to finish where he started and demands his apology again. He tells King to get in the ring with him. Punk demands the apology and Jerry says it was a misunderstanding, but if Punk wants an apology, he apologizes. Punk puts over Lawler as a "minister of propaganda" and says he needs to tell the world that Punk is the best in the world. Lawler, after some thought, won't do it and asks to go back to his desk.
Punk hits Lawler with a roundhouse kick, knocking him down. Punk picks up the title belt and squats over Lawler as the show ends.
WOW. Just, WOW. Cena's promo was all ego and I just cannot get over how arrogant and heelish that was from the #1 babyface. I hated Cena's part of this promo, no lie. Only thing good about it, he delivered it with intensity rather than a smirk on his face.
I guess the argument over Punk being tweener or bad guy is over now too since he kicked Lawler in the back of the head. That'll settle some issues. He's clearly heel now.
This was a long show tonight. Very unfocused night tonight after SummerSlam. It usually is the night after a pay-per-view event so I guess it was to be expected. The main event match (Jericho vs. Ziggler) carried a good story but the rest was just floating out there aimlessly. Let's see if they pull it back together next week.
I will have more to say on this show with the Raw Afterthoughts piece tomorrow night. Join us next Monday for another live edition of the Raw Report here on Ring-Rap.com.