7/23 Powell's WWE Raw 1000 Live Coverage: C.M. Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, The Rock, Brock Lesnar, DX, and many more return, Daniel Bryan and A.J. wedding, new general manager

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7/23 Powell's WWE Raw 1000 Live Coverage: C.M. Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, The Rock, Brock Lesnar, DX, and many more return, Daniel Bryan and A.J. wedding, new general manager
Jul 23, 2012 - 07:00 PM

By Jason Powell

Dot Net Members will be listening to an exclusive audio review of WWE Raw 1000 later tonight with Jason Powell and Chris Shore. They are already listening to the 96-minute interview that I recorded with Violent J of Insane Clown Posse earlier today, as well as the 60-minute Q&A audio show that I also recorded today. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php. You are also encouraged to download our free iPhone, Android, and Kindle Fire apps.

WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from St. Louis, Mo.

[Q1] The show opened with a video that focussed on past Raw events. It included wrestlers past and present, and a number of celebrities. Ric Flair was featured prominently in the video, as were Edge, Eddie Guerrero, Steve Austin, Batista, Bret Hart, etc. It concluded with Vince McMahon stating that this is Monday Night Raw...

Powell's POV: A great video to open the show. It really set the tone. We're giving away three one-month memberships tonight during Raw live coverage. Copy (happy, Smaltz?) and paste the following onto your Twitter page tonight during the live Raw to enter: Read @Prowrestlingnet's live coverage of WWE Raw at prowrestling.net #wwe #raw1000

Michael Cole welcomed viewers to Raw and noted that they were playing to a sold out crowd of over 18,000 fans. He was joined on commentary by Jerry Lawler...

Powell's POV: No Booker T? No Nickelback? Hey, this show is off to a great start!

Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced Vince McMahon, who walked onto the stage while Cole spoke about the "ovation of respect" McMahon received from the live crowd. Cole said Lawler was with Raw since day number one. Lawler spoke about it being a special night.

"Wow, 1,000 episodes," Vince said. "I would just like to say thank you." The fans returned the favor by chanting, "Thank you, Vince." He also delivered the "Welcome to Monday Night Raw" introduction and then introduced DX. Triple H and Shawn Michaels headed to the ring wearing DX gear.

Once in the ring, Shawn acted like he was struggling to catch his breath. Shawn said he didn't want Hunter to get him wrong, but he said he felt like he was missing something. Hunter agreed. He pointed out that HBK was wearing a t-shirt (special for Raw 1000), wristbands, and glow sticks.

"Do you think there should be more of us?" Triple H asked. The crowd roared. HBK and Hunter pointed to the stage. The theme music played again. X-Pac, Billy Gunny, and Road Dogg drove the military jeep into the building and headed to the ring to the ring. Road Dogg did the old New Age Outlaws entrance and bleeped himself rather than say "Badass."

Hunter did the "Are You Ready?" routine. He said that for the thousands in attendance, the millions watching around the world, and for himself since he was the only one left with a full head of hair. Hunter said he would see each and every one of the fans when they hit 2000 shows, and then did the "Let's Get Ready To Suck It" line.

[Q2] Gunn and Michaels had a fun argument over whose part was next. Hunter pulled Gunn aside and said Shawn will lose his smile if he doesn't get his way. He said he does weird things like pose for Playgirl when that happens. Shawn cracked that he needed the money, which made the DX members laugh. Hunter told Gunn and Michaels they could do the line together.

Before Gunn and Michaels could say the line, Damien Sandow's music interrupted them. Sandow came to the ring and said DX is what Raw, WWE, and society have become. He entered the ring as he continued his rant. Shawn said that's true about him and he's going to ask for forgiveness again.

Sandow said he knows DX could dispose of him like common trash, but he will not be a victim. He said he will be a martyr for anyone who appreciates a sophisticated mind. Hunter called for the DX members to huddle. Sandow said it was "very rude" to exclude him. Funny.

DX broke the huddle with a "DX on three." Hunter was about to tell Sandow what they decided when HBK delivered Sweet Chin Music on Sandow. Hunter followed up with the Pedigree. Gunn delivered the "If you're not down with that..." line to close out the segment...

Cole and Lawler hyped The Rock and Brock Lesnar appearing, and the wedding of Daniel Bryan and A.J., and the WWE Championship match between John Cena and C.M. Punk... [C]

Powell's POV: A memorable segment to open the show with the first full fledged (minus Chyna) reunion in ages. It was also good to see Sandow get some rub by being involved in the segment. His character is growing on me and he is definitely a reason to watch Smackdown. I wonder if the DX members will be taken out one at a time throughout the show by Lesnar?

Lilian Garcia introduced Jim Ross, who joined the Cole and Lawler on commentary. Cole was complimentary of Ross and Lawler as a duo and did not heel it up... Ring entrances for the opening match took place...

Powell's POV: They showed footage of the Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler segment from last week and pointed out that they would now have to team together in the six-man tag.

[Q3] [C] 1. Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Sheamus, vs. Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero) and Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) in a six-man tag match in 4:15 of TV time. The match was joined in progress with the heels getting the better of Sin Cara. Cole hyped Tout and Twitter and noted that Hornswoggle had tweeted. Lawler said he was still angry with him (anonymous GM).

Sin Cara made a hot tag to Sheamus. Mysterio got the better of the interfering Del Rio. Sin Cara cleared Ziggler from the ring. Jericho threw Sin Cara to ringside. Sheamus and Jericho squared off and avoided big moves. Jericho went to the ropes for a move only to have Ziggler punch him. Jericho stood up and Sheamus took him out with the Brogue Kick and scored the pin...

Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, and Sin Cara defeated Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler, and Alberto Del Rio in 4:20.

Cole thanked Ross for being with them. Ross said it was his pleasure. Cole hyped The Rock's appearance for later in the show...

Powell's POV: Mysterio teaming with Sin Cara should have felt like a bigger deal than it did. The focus was on the Jericho and Ziggler story, and obviously Sheamus since he got the pin. Is that really the last we'll hear from Ross tonight? Meanwhile, it's nice to hear Cole calling it straight and not heeling it up. Here's hoping this becomes the norm and isn't just a Raw 1000 bit. By the way, no mention of Charlie Sheen yet, so it appears he won't be serving as the social media ambassador as previously advertised.

A graphic noted the gas price and stamp price when Raw launched... Cole set up Tout videos from fans discussing the wedding. One guy did the Yes! routine, another thought he was The Rock, and the last guy made a

Charlie Sheen joined Cole and Lawler via Skype. Sheen said the show has been "epic and unbelievable." He said he would have fit in nicely with DX. Cole said Sheen would be joining them throughout the show...

Powell's POV: I am surprised they set that up via Skype rather than having Sheen deliver Tout messages throughout the show. That said, they delivered him after all, so at least they have that going for them.

[Q4] Footage aired of Daniel Bryan asking A.J. to marry him... Backstage, Layla asked A.J. if she wanted to go through with the wedding. A.J. asked why everyone keeps asking her that. She opened the locker room door and Jim Duggan was yelling his catchphrase. R-Truth and Roddy Piper played jumprope for Little Jimmy Layla started dancing "like Little Jimmy" for no reason. They went back to the doorway where Mae Young was with a man in a hand suit. He introduced himself as Mae Young's son...

Powell's POV: I was groaning throughout most of that, but how can you not laugh at Mae Young's son if you are familiar with that mess of a storyline payoff?

Lawler thanked the performer of the Raw 1000 theme song. As the announcers were talking at ringside, a woman dressed in a Sonic outfit delivered them drinks...

Powell's POV: Okay, so I'm not a fan of the Raw 1000 song, but I will cry next week if they bring back that tired Nickelback theme song. By the way, Maury Povich should stop by Raw once he's done at the Impact Zone to give Mae Young a paternity test. I don't think Mae's son looked anything like Henry. It reminds me of Louis CK's children on "Louie" suddenly having an African American mother this season.

Brodus Clay, Cameron, and Naomi did their dance routine entrance while Jack Swagger stood at ringside. Clay introduced his "brother from a different mother, Dude Love. Mick Foley came out wearing the Dude Love gear...

2. Brodus Clay (w/Cameron, Naomi, Dude Love) vs. Jack Swagger. Cole spoke about how Swagger was trying to end his losing ways. 15 seconds later, Swagger's losing ways continued with the usual Clay finish. Love danced with Brodus and applied the Mandible Claw on Swagger...

Brodus Clay pinned Jack Swagger in 0:15.

Backstage, Triple H told Trish Stratus that he didn't know if yoga was for him. They went through some basic yoga excersises when the rest of DX walked in. After Road Dogg mocked Hunter and escorted him from the ring, X-Pac put his arm around a nervous Trish and asked her what's up...

Backstage, Daniel Bryan was dressed in a white tux. He spoke with four men who were dressed in white scrubs... [C] A commercial from Smackdown focussed on Dolph Ziggler as the Money in the Bank contract winner and noted that Sheamus always has to watch his back...

Powell's POV: Is Bryan going to have A.J. committed? I was encouraged to hear them mention Swagger's losing ways. That's usually a sign that a wrestler will eventually break out of a storyline slump. There may be hope for Swagger's WWE push yet.

[Q5] Cole hyped the Punk vs. Cena match for later in the show... Jerry Lawler stood in the ring along with a wedding set. Lawler introduced Reverend Slick. He danced his way to the ring as the great "Jive Soul Bro" theme played. Lawler returned to commentary and said, "Love is grand, but divorce is 100 grand."

Slick said he'd been promised "a whole lot of yardbirds" and said it was time to get the show on the road. Daniel Bryan made his entrance. Bryan led some Yes! chants. A.J. made her entrance wearing a wedding dress and while carrying a bouquet of flowers. Cole recalled the Triple H and Stephanie McMahon wedding, as well as the Kane and Lita wedding.

Slick mentioned A.J. by her full name of A.J. Lee. Slick got "What?" chants and played into them by repeating himself in an over the top preacher manner. He was on a roll when A.J. tugged on his sleeve and got him to tone down. Funny. Slick delivered the line about whether anyone had any objections. There were a lot of boos. "Wow, I've never heard that before," Slick said.

Bryan pulled out a ring and said that while they've had their ups and downs, he loves her and always will. He said once he puts the ring on her finger and they become man and wife, a new chapter is going to begin for both of them. Bryan said he will finally have everything he's ever wanted. Bryan put the ring on her finger. Slick asked if Bryan took A.J. to be his wife. "Yes!" Bryan said.

Slick started to ask A.J. She cut him off and said, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" Slick said that says it all. He was about to say by the power vested in him, but A.J. stopped him. "I wasn't saying yes to Daniel," A.J. said. "I was saying yes to someone else. She smiled at Bryan and said: "Another man. Another man who made a proposal to me earlier tonight."

Vince McMahon's music played and the crowd roared. "What?!?" Cole asked on commentary. Vince said it wasn't that kind of a proposal. He said it was a business proposal. Vince said that in the interest of making Raw the best show it can be, it was time to introduce the new general manager of Raw.

Vince looked to the back and then said, "A.J." She smiled as Bryan stood in the ring in disbelief. A.J. handed Bryan the flowers and then skipped around the ring. Bryan trashed the wedding set... [C]

Powell's POV: Okay, so now I have no idea what the guys dressed in white scrubs were there for unless they come into play later tonight. There was talk last week of having Big Johnny return as the general manager. This isn't the best move they could have made, but I'll take this over Big Johnny. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if A.J. has a short run and then we get the return of Big Johnny. From a storyline standpoint, I'm not even sure how this makes sense. The Board of Directors took weeks before coming to the conclusion that the whack job was the best person for the job?

[Q6] A SummerSlam commercial aired... Daniel Bryan was still throwing a fit in the ring. C.M. Punk made his entrance. He said he wasn't there to gloat, but Bryan did just get stood up at the alter. He pointed out how poorly Bryan treated A.J. Bryan threw a fit and screamed about how Punk is not Best in the World. Rather, he said he is the Greatest of All Time.

The Rock's music played and he came out to a huge pop. Rock headed to the ring where Punk and Bryan were waiting. Once Rock's music stopped, the Rocky chants began. The clean-shaven Rock said Bryan doesn't get to say who the greatest of all time is. He said the fans get to say who that is. Another "Rocky" chant broke out.

The Rock delivered his "Finally, the Rock has come back to St. Louis" line. The Rock was going to say more, but Bryan interrupted him. Bryan started to talk, but Rock told him that you don't cut Rock off like that. An intense Bryan looked at Rock, but they both looked to the crowd when a "Boots To Asses" chant started. Punk was shown looking unimpressed while leaning against the ropes.

Rock said he won his first WWE Championship in St. Louis. Rock said he wasn't there to talk to Frodo (Bryan), he was there to talk about the WWE Championship. Rock said he just received word that he will challenge the WWE Champion at The Royal Rumble. Punk said that is good news for Rock and him. Punk said he'll fill in the blanks because Rock is looking at the man who will be WWE Champion at Royal Rumble.

Punk said he's going to beat Cena on Raw, and he said Punk vs. Rock at the Rumble sounds good to him. Punk said he's going to beat Rock at Royal Rumble. There were plenty of boos from the live crowd. Rock said it's only fitting that since he won his first WWE Championship in St. Louis, he will look Punk in the eyes and tell him that he will be the next WWE Champion.

Bryan stood between them and said: "No, no, no, this was supposed to be about me. This was supposed to be the best night of my life." Bryan said some way, somehow, Rock will be fighting him. Bryan said he will not only be the champion, but he will be the face of WWE.

Rock said Bryan resembles what it would look like if a homeless lumberjack banged an oompa loompa. Rock told Punk to kick some ass like he knows he will. Rock said he got Bryan a wedding gift and wanted to give it to him anyway. Rock picked up Bryan and slammed him with the Rock Bottom...

The announcers hyped Punk vs. Cena for later in the show...

Powell's POV: Huge news regarding the Royal Rumble. I assume this means Rock wins the WWE Championship at the Rumble and then defends against John Cena at WrestleMania 29. I like the Rumble announcement because it adds more meaning to the Rumble and takes away the predictable finish of Rock winning. Of course, it could set up the predictable finish of Cena winning and then challenging Rock. I would avoid that by having the Raw Elimination Chamber match decide who challenges for the WWE Championship. I'd rather have a predictable outcome in a Chamber match than a predictable Rumble match. Plus, that would explain why Rock doesn't defend the title in the Elimination Chamber.

[Q7] [C] Justin Roberts introduced Bret Hart as the guest ring announcer for the next match. Once in the ring, Hart said one of the best moments of his career was when he beat "one of the greatest Superstars" Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Title. Hart introduced the IC Title match participants...

3. Christian vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Title. Hart comically showed no enthusiasm while introducing The Miz. Meanwhile, Cole was in cheerleader mode for Miz. Cole slipped back into nice guy mode by congratulating Lawler on how special the evening must be for him. Christian dove off the top rope onto Miz at ringside early on. The announcers played up the possibility that Christian may have injured his knee. [C]

After the break, Christian was selling the knee injury. Miz hit a DDT on a kneeling Christian for a really good near fall. A short time later, Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale and scored the clean pin. Cole noted that Miz is a Triple Crown Champion because he's won the WWE Championship, WWE Tag Titles, and Intercontinental Title...

The Miz defeated Christian to win the Intercontinental Title in 7:40.

Powell's POV: The Christian fans only have themselves to blame for not voting for a Divas Championship or a U.S. Title match. You are all horrible people!!! Okay, so they probably would have booked this title change anyway, and I still thank you for not subjecting us to a forgettable Divas match or an unfunny Santino match. They gave Christian a storyline excuse for losing via the knee injury, so he was protected and has an obvious need for a rematch.

[Q8] Cole and Lawler spoke with Charlie Sheen via Twitter. He said Raw was epic. He said he's a big fan of The Rock and he can't wait to see him at the Royal Rumble. He worked in a cheap plug for his "Anger Management" television show by saying Bryan has anger management issues and pointing to the show logo on his hat...

The announcers hyped the WWE Championship match and Cole's commentary was cut off by the commercial break... [C]

Powell's POV: Correction on what Cole said about The Miz. He called him a Triple Crown Champion because he won the WWE Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, and the U.S. Title. He didn't mention the tag titles. As Dot Net reader Brandon Wilson notes, perhaps they should refer to him as a Grand Slam Champion. Maybe this is their latest way of saying the tag titles are worthless.

Legendary television show personality Regis Philbin delivered a Raw 1000 video greeting...

Triple H made his entrance and watched as the big screen showed highlights of Brock Lesnar breaking his arm. Hunter, who was still dressed in the DX gear, told the crowd he's had his fun so now it was time to pick up the intensity. He said he knows Brock Lesnar is in the building. He said he wants to fight Lesnar at SummerSlam. He said he wants an answer now.

Brock Lesnar's music played. Paul Heyman walked out instead. Cole quickly pointed out that Lesnar is actually in the building. Hunter said he came to talk to the horse's head, not the horse's ass. Heyman said he can see Hunter's negotiating skills have improved since they last met.

Heyman said Lesnar gave him power of attorney to answer for him. Heyman said Lensar's answer regarding SummerSlam is no. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sorry." Hunter said that if Lesnar doesn't want to come out like a man, he could just go back and find him. Heyman pointed out that Hunter already has two lawsuits against the company because of his actions. "Is that truly what's best for business?" mocked Heyman.

Triple H questioned whether Lesnar is actually such a coward that he won't come out and answer him to his face. Hunter questioned whether he was just a little bully. Heyman asked if Hunter was really going to result to bullying. He said that's what he teaches his children not to do and asked if that's what Hunter actually teaches his kids. Hunter slapped the mic aside and said he told him not to talk about his children or his family.

Heyman apologized and then said he actually feels bad for Hunter's children. Hunter backed Heyman into a corner, but they both stopped when Stephanie McMahon's music played. Steph walked out wearing a black dress and had an angry look on her face. Once in the ring, Stephanie stared down Heyman and went face to face with him.

"Let me tell you one thing, Heyman, you do not speak about my children ever again," Steph said. "Do you understand that?" Steph said the lawsuits are not about Lesnar, they are about Heyman's failures as a businessman, in ECW, at WCW, and in WWE. She said that when it comes to her father, Heyman is just looking in the rearview mirror. Steph said her father at least had the guts to step in the ring with her husband, unlike Lesnar.

[Q9] Stephanie said Heyman's children will grow up being ashamed of him because they know their father is nothing more than a professional parasite. Stephanie slapped Heyman across the face. Heyman went to the ring apron briefly.

Heyman entered the ring again and asked: "You want it? This how bad you want it? You want to see your husband get hurt? You want to see your husband's career end? You want to see your husband fight Brock Lesnar? You got it! It's on! You and Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. It's on!"

Stephanie flashed a sinister smile. Heyman applauded and said: "Bravo, you did it again, didn't you?" He said Steph always gets what she wants. He said it's what her father taught her and what she teaches her children. Steph struck Heyman and jumped on top of him.

Brock Lesnar's music played again and he walked onto the stage. Triple H and Stephanie looked concerned as Hunter put Steph behind him. Hunter got Steph out of the ring and then turned as Lesnar drilled him with shoulder blocks in the corner. Hunter came back with some punches. They traded shots in the middle of the ring and Hunter clotheslined Lesnar over the top rope where Heyman acted shocked.

Lesnar stood up and glared at Triple H intensely. Hunter took his shirt off in the ring and called out, "Come on!" Lesnar removed his own shirt and threw it toward the ring. Brock dropped and F-Bomb that was censored. Lesnar and Heyman headed up the stage. Lesnar stopped and smiled as he looked back at Triple H... [C]

Powell's POV: A very good segment. Brock didn't look like the dope who ignored Heyman's advice by taking the match because Hunter got under his skin. Rather, it was Heyman who got flustered and took the match. It still doesn't explain away Lesnar's contractual demands and the lawsuit, but the segment needed to stand out on a loaded show and thus far it will.

A graphic noted that "A Few Good Men" was the No. 1 movie at the box office when Raw debuted... It was Tout time. Kofi Kingston and fans checked in with their thoughts on the show...

The announcers revealed the results of a WWE 13 fantasy match poll. The winning match was John Cena vs. Steve Austin. They aired a clip of what the match looks like on WWE 13...

Cole said Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon was the rivalry that helped put Raw on the map. A video package focussed on the feud and featured comments from John Cena, Stephanie McMahon, The Miz, and others... [C]

Powell's POV: I assume that was meant to whet the crowd's appetite for Stone Cold making a surprise appearance.

[Q10] Santino Marella and Hornswoggle made their entrance with a batch of new talking stuffed WWE dolls. Cole and Lawler actually played with the "Brawling Buddies" at ringside, and Cole embarrassingly impersonated the Cena doll...

Howard Finkel served as the guest ring announcer. He introduced Heath Slater, who took the mic and said everything that has happened is in the past and the only thing viewers would remember is his "epic" victory tonight. He challenged any Raw legend to a no DQ, no countout match, with falls counting anywhere.

Lita's music played. Lita made her entrance to a nice crowd reaction. Cole referred to her as the greatest high flying Diva of all time. Slater laughed at Lita for thinking she can beat him. "You know what, sweetheart, I accept your challenge, so bell man, ring the bell."

4. Lita vs. Heath Slater. The "bell man" complied. Lita took the mic and said that she hired herself a little protection for their match. The APA music hit. JBL and Ron Simmons headed to the ring. Slater left the ring and walked to the entrance. Road Warrior Animal's music played. Animal, Roddy Piper, Rikishi, Doink, DDP, Vader, Sid, Bob Backlund, and Sgt. Slaughter came out and chased him back into the ring.

Lita hit Slater with a Twist of Fate. JBL (a/k/a Bradshaw) followed up with the Clothesline From Hell. Lita followed up with a moonsault for the win. Afterward, all the legends stood over Slater. Simmons took the mic and let out a big, "Damn!" to end the segment...

Lita defeated Heath Slater in 1:55.

Powell's POV: I don't know if anyone guessed that Lita would be the person to pin Slater. It was cool to see her again and the fans were into her and the legends. I am curious to see where they go with Slater now this run with the legends is presumably over. He's done a good job with this and I'd like to see him get a little something.

A video package recapped Vince McMahon naming A.J. the new general manager...

Backstage, the returning Sean Mooney interviewed Daniel Bryan, who complained about Charlie Sheen. He said Sheen needs life management. He said that if Sheen were standing where Mooney is, he would slap the Yes! Lock on him faster than he could say winning... [C]

[Q11] Lawler boasted that WWE broke 100 million social media followers. Michael Cole interviewed the 100 millionth follower Alex Guerrero, Jr. He did the "May I have your attention, please" and then said the guy lived his dream in being interviewed by him...

Lawler mentioned Cole's catchphrase and set up a video that recapped the wrestler catchphrases from over the years...

Powell's POV: TNA has Chavo Guerrero Jr. and WWE counters with Alex Guerrero Jr.!!! The video featured Fozzy of The Muppets setting things up, and Randy Savage was shown at one point along with numerous performers past and present.

Backstage, Zack Ryder told John Cena that Gene Okerlund was the one behind GTV. Okerlund said he wasn't even working for WWE at the time. Cena's face turned serious. The camera pulled back and The Rock was shown looking at Cena. Ryder and Okerlund left.

Rock said he was there to do what he did for Punk by wishing Cena good luck. Cena brought up Rock wrestling at Royal Rumble and said he was cashing in his Money in the Bank contract with the goal of winning the WWE Championship and facing Rock at the Rumble. Rock said he couldn't even tell him how much he's looking forward to that...

Powell's POV: Quick and to the point. Both men kept a straight face. I don't know how Cena could justify his smirking throughout the build to WrestleMania 28, but he definitely needs to be intense and serious heading into the rematch now that he lost the first match.

Kane made his entrance. He was on the verge of doing the pyro bit when he was interrupted by Jinder Mahal's entrance theme. Jinder led Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Drew McIntyre, Hunico, and Camacho (the heroes of WWE Superstars) to the ring. Mahal said they haven't been given a chance, so tonight they are doing it themselves.

Undertaker's music played and the crowd popped huge. Undertaker performed his full entrance wearing the same gear he wore to the ring at WrestleMania 28. Lawler noted that Taker competed on the first Raw. Once in the ring, Undertaker and Kane looked at one another. Taker removed his head covering and revealed a mohawk.

The heels returned to the ring and were tossed to ringside by Taker and Kane. The Brothers of Destruction teamed up for a double chokeslam on Hunico and Hawkins. Kane and Taker scooped them up and dropped them with a double Tombstone. Taker and Kane got face-to-face, then looked down at their opponents.

A "this is awesome" chant broke out. Taker and Kane cleared Hawkins and Hunico from the ring and then looked to the fans, who gave them a good ovation. Taker's music hit and they posed in the ring together...

[Q12] Highlights aired of a Be A Star rally... [C]

Powell's POV: A cool moment and good use of Taker. There was nothing about the segment that suggests it was more than a one-off for Taker returning for the milestone show. I suppose we can't rule out Taker and Kane teaming at SummerSlam or anything else, but that was pretty basic, yet crowd pleasing work from the duo.

A Smackdown ad hyped that the new No. 1 contender for the World Hvt. Championship will be determined on this week's television show...

The announcers spoke with Charlie Sheen and repeated what Daniel Bryan said about him. Sheen said he's not hiding and he'd be happy to meet him in the ring or at his house the next time WWE is in Los Angeles. The announcers questioned whether Sheen was challenging Bryan to a match. The announcers noted that the next time they are in Los Angeles is August 19 for SummerSlam...

Ring entrances for the main event took place. Cena looked into the camera and said we're all part of history. He held up the MITB briefcase and said it was time to make some of his own. C.M. Punk made his entrance for the main event... [C]

5. C.M. Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship. Cole noted that Cena had cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. He also said this was the 153rd time that the WWE Championship has been defended. Cole said that Punk can tie Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart with the 16th longest reign in WWE Championship history if he is champion tomorrow.

[Overrun] Punk went for a backslide for an early pin attempt. Cena came back a short time later with a hip toss. Later, Punk had some fun by mocking the "You Can't See Me" routine while going for a bulldog. Cena hit a move and then did the "You Can't See Me" to Punk, only to get a boot in the face.

Punk signaled for the GTS. He went for the move, but Cena pushed him off and Punk crashed into the referee, who tumbled to the floor at ringside. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Punk and went for the cover. Cole counted the pin on commentary, but the referee was still out.

Big Show headed to the ring at 8:15 and speared Cena. Show set up for the knockout punch on Cena while Punk sat in the corner. Cena got to his feet and Show tagged him with the knockout punch. Punk watched as Show left the ring. Punk looked around. He walked past Cena and went to ringside to grab the referee.

Cole noted that Punk look conflicted as he helped the referee get back in the ring. Punk finally went for the cover. The ref counted, but Cena kicked out at the last moment. Lawler said he didn't agree with the chance that Punk took. Cole defended it by saying that's what you have to do as champion. Punk picked up Cena for the GTS, but Cena countered it into the STF. Show entered the ring and attacked Cena for the DQ.

C.M. Punk fought John Cena to an apparent no-contest in 11:15.

Show roughed up Cena after the bell while Punk sat and then stood in the corner without helping. The Rock ran to the ring and went after Big Show. Punk left the ring as Rock worked over Show with punches and then dropped him with a spinebuster. Rock went for The People's Elbow, but Punk returned and dropped Rock with a clothesline.

The crowd booed as Punk stood in the ring and looked at his hands. Punk looked down at Rock and waited for him to get up. Punk scooped up Rock and dropped him with the GTS. Punk received some cheers, but was mostly booed. Punk stood in the ring with a serious look on his face, but he did not heel it up.

Punk retrieved his WWE Championship belt and walked past Cena in one corner and Rock in the middle of the ring. Punk stopped to look down at Rock briefly, and then headed slowly toward the back to boos from the crowd. Lawler said he thinks Punk just turned on the WWE Universe. Cole thanked viewers for joining them for Raw 1000 and said goodnight from St. Louis...

Powell's POV: A big heel turn on a big show. I'm surprised they went there if for no other reason than Cena and Punk are the top two babyfaces in the company and WWE is so babyface driven. I still see them going with a Punk vs. Show vs. Cena match at SummerSlam, but I suppose they could go with a standard Punk vs. Cena match now that Punk is heel.

They've definitely been foreshadowing that something was up with Punk given the way he told Cena he would lead their tag team, and then had Eve and Show tell him he was being overshadowed. Most importantly, they gave viewers a big hook for Raw 1001 and beyond. This had to be more than just a celebration show, they needed to deliver something big. However, they failed when it came to getting over the new time slot by not hyping something for the opening segment next week.

The overall show was feel good until the end. Most of the legends segments were fun, and they did a good job of making Brock Lesnar feel important again even if he was bounced from the ring by Triple H. There's still time for Lesnar to get his heat back, and perhaps they didn't want to overshadow the Punk turn by doing something even more memorable with Lesnar. I am very surprised that we didn't see Steve Austin tonight.

Dot Net Members will be listening to Chris Shore and I discuss this historic edition of WWE Raw later tonight. Congrats to our three contest winners. Check out @prowrestlingnet for details. Thanks for watching along with me tonight, and thanks to those who entered the contest and helped spread the word about the website in the process.




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