8/12 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Paul Heyman vs. C.M. Punk, final hype for Punk vs. Brock Lesnar, John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan, and the SummerSlam pay-per-view
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Aired live from Sacramento, California at Sleep Train Arena
[Q1] Raw opened in the midst of Daniel Bryan's ring entrance. Michael Cole, JBL, and Jerry Lawler checked in on commentary. The live crowd was enthusiastic for the Yes! routine. Footage aired of Bryan shaving Wade Barrett's beard and their Smackdown match, which set up the rematch for Raw...
1. Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett. Justin Roberts introduced the wrestlers and then announced that Brad Maddox would be the special referee. Bryan targeted Barrett's knee early and performed a dropkick through the ropes. He followed up with a running knee of the apron, but Barrett moved out of the way and then tagged Bryan with a boot to the face at ringside.
A "Daniel Bryan" chant started as Barrett remained on the offensive. Bryan fired back and clotheslined Barrett to ringside as the setup to his suicide dive. Bryan went to the top rope and performed a missile dropkick. Bryan delivered a series of kicks to Barrett's chest, but missed the usual kick to the head. Barrett rolled up Bryan for the pin thanks to a fast count from Maddox.
Wade Barrett pinned Daniel Bryan in 5:25.
After the match, Bryan backed Maddox into the corner. Maddox pointed at his referee shirt. Bryan lunged toward him anyway, but Maddox slid underneath the bottom rope and left the ring. Bryan led the crowd in a loud "No!" chant. Cole said it was pretty apparent that somebody has a vendetta against Bryan...
Cole hyped MizTV featuring John Cena and Daniel Bryan for later in the show, and Lawler hyped the C.M. Punk vs. Paul Heyman match. Cole hyped Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow in a battle of the Money in the Bank contract winners... [C]
Powell's POV: I'm happy that wasn't the last we'll see of Bryan tonight because that's not exactly a momentum building moment even though it was made clear that he lost because of the fast count. I hope creative has something spectacular in mind for Sunday that will somehow justify the McMahon family involvement in Cena vs. Bryan match. I believe this is already the second MITB winners vs. MITB winner we've had since the MITB pay-per-view.
Cody Rhodes was on commentary as Damien Sandow made his entrance and handcuffed his new MITB briefcase to the turnbuckle...
[Q2] 2. Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow. Cody said Sandow's briefcase looks like chocolate. Lawler raved about the look of the briefcase. Cody and JBL bickered over whether Cody should be upset with Sandow because of the way he won the briefcase. Orton dumped Sandow to ringside to set up the break. [C]
Powell's POV: Cody blew it when he was asked whether he would have done the same thing to Sandow that Sandow did to him at MITB. He said that in hindsight he probably would have and then said he didn't know whether Sandow would have stolen the briefcase from him. What the hell are they even feuding for if Cody admitted he would have done the same thing to Sandow?!? I've always found the logic for Cody turning on Sandow flawed, but I thought one of the wrestlers would be able to salvage it if they got the chance to discuss it. Instead, Rhodes somehow made it worse.
After the break, Sandow grabbed control of the offense while Cody sang the praises of Orton. He did a nice job of saying that people were crazy if they didn't think Orton would pick the right time to cash in his MITB contract. Lawler asked Rhodes if he would blame Orton for taking advantage of such an opportunity. When Cody said he would not, Lawler pointed out it was the same thing Cody is upset with Sandow for. Cody said it's about who the better man is and then backtracked and said you don't do that to your best friend even though Cody said earlier that he would have done the same thing.
[Q3] In the ring, Orton made his comeback, but Sandow held onto the ropes when Orton went for the power slam. Sandow executed a neckbreaker for a good two count. Orton came back with the power slam. Orton set up for the RKO, but Sandow pushed him off. Moments later, Sandow was distracted by Rhodes toying with his briefcase, and Orton hit the RKO for the win...
Randy Orton pinned Damien Sandow in 14:50.
Powell's POV: A good match with Sandow being set up to shine in defeat. He looked really good by dodging some of Orton's signature moves and even his finisher. I am still stunned that Cody didn't come up with a better explanation for his character's motives. I'm also surprised the announcers pushed him as much as they did considering he seemed to be putting his foot in his mouth.
A shot aired of Rob Van Dam doing the splits with his legs on two chairs. The announcers said RVD would be in a 20-man battle royal with the winner getting a shot at the U.S. Championship on Sunday...
Backstage, Dean Ambrose asked what other line of work can you be in where you are lazy and unproductive and you still get brought back to do a job you're not good at anymore. Seth Rollins said it's time for the old guard to go. "It is time for a new generation to rise up and we are the emerging leaders of that generation," Rollins said. "We're younger, we're hungrier, we're just better."
Roman Reigns said no one can compete with them. He said he's not going to beg, but if there are two men who want to step up and take the tag titles away they should step up and make their move. Ambrose said no one in the battle royal can beat him because he's unbeatable. Ambrose said that if Andre the Giant's ghost isn't in the battle royal then he's not losing at SummerSlam... [C]
Powell's POV: Good mic work from all three men. I'm not sure who will challenge Ambrose. RVD seems too predictable, but I can't rule it out either. Meanwhile, there were rumors of Mark Henry and Big Show facing The Shield in a handicap match. I hated that idea because it make The Shield look bad, but I would be just fine with Rollins and Reigns defending their tag titles against Henry and Show.
The announcers hyped the C.M. Punk vs. Brock Lesnar match for SummerSlam, then set up a video package with the comments Lesnar made about Punk on Friday's Smackdown...
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed C.M. Punk and asked why he accepted Heyman's challenge to a match this close to SummerSlam. Punk recalled Lesnar telling Heyman to say something stupid. Punk said it would appear that Heyman did just that, but he knows it's all a big chess game for Heyman. "When you come at the king, you best not miss," Punk said. He added that he has a feeling he will be seeing Lesnar tonight. Punk said when it's all on the line, the best is the best...
The Great Khali, Natalya, and Hornswoggle made their entrances for a mixed tag match... [C]
Powell's POV: It's cool that Punk isn't suddenly stupid like many babyfaces seem to get in situations where they are the only people who don't realize they are being set up.
[Q4] A spot aired for WrestleMania travel packages... As Big E Langston and A.J. Lee made their entrance, a pop box promo from Langston aired. He said Dolph needed him in his corner, but he never needed Ziggler. "Showoff? Nah, show over," he concluded...
3. Big E Langston and AJ Lee vs. The Great Khali and Natalya (w/Hornswoggle). Lee slapped Khali across the face knowing that he couldn't touch her. Natalya grabbed Lee and roughed her up. Lee came back with a cool kick to Natalya's head. A shot aired of Dolph and Kaitlyn watching the match on a backstage monitor. Cole said Jim Ross is working on a new app. JBL said the app will watch football, drink too much, and eat BBQ sauce.
Natalya applied the Sharpshooter on Lee. AJ tapped out and Natalya released the hold. There was some confusion as apparently the referee was distracted. Natalya went over and held the referee's hand for a second, presumably expecting him to raise . She reapplied the hold and Lee tapped again to end the match. Langston struck Khali from behind and then threw Hornswoggle down, but Khali recovered and chopped Langston...
The Great Khali and Natalya beat Big E Langston and AJ Lee in 3:45.
A shot aired of Vince McMahon walking backstage... [C]
Powell's POV: It's encouraging to see Katilyn is smiling again, as it leads me to believe that creative has finally given up on trying to garner sympathy for her from a fan base that had none. It's not encouraging to see a team that doesn't even have a SummerSlam match going over here. The finish was obviously blown and Langston actually looked the worst for not trying to break it up the second time around. By the way, remember when Vince walking backstage was usually a prelude to something good? I miss those days.
Vince came to the ring and set up a replay of the Daniel Bryan vs. Wade Barrett finish. Back live, he called out Brad Maddox, who was still wearing his referee gear. Vince asked Maddox why he appointed himself the special referee of the match. Maddox said Bryan's matches tend to get out of hand and he thought the WWE Universe would appreciate a referee with the guts to make the right decision. Vince said Maddox would surely admit it was a fast count.
[Q5] Maddox said he was excited because it was the first time he has worn a referee shirt in awhile. He said it was not intentional and he did the best he could. Vince said everyone makes a mistake. Maddox said he would like a second chance. He asked Vince to name him the referee for the John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan match at SummerSlam.
Vince asked the fans if they want to see Maddox be the referee. The crowd was against the idea. Vince asked Maddox if he would call it down the middle and get over any preconceived notions about Bryan being a dwarf. Vince made Bryan say he would be impartial. He asked him to cross his heart and give scout's honor. Vince named Maddox the referee.
Triple H's music played and he headed to the ring wearing a suit. Vince told Hunter that he didn't want him out there to air more dirty laundry. Vince told the crowd not to inflate Triple H's ego more than he already has. Triple H said he couldn't hear Vince because 15,000 people were chanting his name.
Hunter said that because so much is on the line on Sunday, he agrees that Vince needs someone to call the match down the middle who has the guts to not be intimidated by anyone or anything. "I just don't think you're referring to Brad Maddox," Hunter said. "It seems an awful lot like you're referring to me." Hunter kicked Maddox in the gut and gave him the Pedigree. Hunter's music played as Vince angrily left the ring...
Cole hyped MizTV with Cena and Bryan for later in the show, and Lawler hyped the Punk vs. Lawler match... [C]
Powell's POV: It appears Hunter is in as the special referee for the match. This was a pretty good segment. I still don't think the match needs a special referee or all of this McMahon family involvement, but perhaps I will feel otherwise once it all plays out on Sunday. This wasn't exactly consistent with what Hunter has said in the past about Vince ultimately doing what he wants, but I can live with it. After all, Vince may still get his way on Sunday.
A video package focussed on the Kane vs. Bray Wyatt feud...
4. Kane vs. Titus O'Neil (w/Darren Young). Kane put Titus away with a chokeslam in a glorified squash match.
Kane pinned Titus O'Neil in 1:45.
[Q6] After the match, the Wyatt Family made their entrance. Bray Wyatt took his seat in the rocking chair. He blew out the electrical lantern, then Erick Rowan and Luke Harper went after Kane in the ring. However, Kane wasn't in the ring. Kane was on the ramp behind Wyatt. Kane pumped his arms and the ring post pyro went off. Wyatt laughed while kneeling in front of the ring... [C]
Powell's POV: Oh, Kane, you sneaky SOB.
An ad for Total Divas showed Natalya in her lingerie, and one of the Funkadactyls checking out breast implants... Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed The Bella Twins. Josh aired footage from last week of Natalya slapping Brie across the face. The Bella Twins said they are in control of the Divas division.
Natalya showed up and challenged Brie to a singles match. She said Brie could bring Nikki and "the wannabe Jessica Rabbit" Eva Marie. Natalya said she would be bringing friends of her own. Cameron and Naomi showed up. Brie slapped Natalya, and the Funkadactyls held her back...
Powell's POV: No Maria Menounos. At least not yet. They teased the idea of her working a tag match with Natalya on Twitter, but it looks like that won't be happening at this point.
Footage aired of Alberto Del Rio attacking Ricardo Rodriguez last week...
5. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Kofi Kingston in a non-title match. A fan held up a sign that read "Ricardo Carried Del Rio." Funny. At 4:15, Kingston went for the Trouble in Paradise kick, but Del Rio ducked it and performed a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
[Q7] Kingston came back with SOS for a two count. Kingston missed another Trouble in Paradise. He rolled up Del Rio for a good near fall. Kingston followed up with a kick in the corner and then springboarded onto Del Rio, who put his knees up upon impact. Del Rio applied the Cross Arm Breaker for the win...
Alberto Del Rio defeated Kofi Kingston via submission in a non-title match in 6:10.
A shot aired of Mark Henry backstage as Cole spoke of his chances in the 20-man battle royal for a U.S. Title shot... [C]
Powell's POV: A solid television match with the live crowd responding to some of Kingston's near falls. I would say they had no reason to think Kingston was going to win the match, but it's not like Del Rio has been winning his non-title matches lately.
The announcers spoke about the Alberto Del Rio vs. Christian match and set up a video on Christian's career...
Powell's POV: A very good piece of production work.
Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Christian, who said the video reminded him of all the hard work he's put in, especially with the injuries over the last couple years. He said it's simple, he beats Del Rio and becomes champion for the third time. He said it will prove what he's been saying is true, he just needs one more match. Del Rio showed up laughing at Christian and mocked him in Spanish...
Zeb Colter cut a promo as he led Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger to the ring. He said the Golden State looks like a rusted piece of scrap iron laying around in a junkyard. He complained that California has allowed 2.5 million illegal aliens to sneak across the border. He said his idea of a California dream is that an earthquake causes California to float out to the Pacific Ocean. He said there will be 2.5 million reasons why America will be a better place to live. He closed with the We The People line... [C]
Powell's POV: We're over halfway through the go-home show and nothing has raised my level of enthusiasm or anticipation for SummerSlam. Perhaps the addition of Triple H as referee of the WWE Championship will win over some fans. It doesn't excite me simply because it tells me we're going to get a screwy finish on Sunday.
[Q8] Cole hyped the SummerSlam press conference for Tuesday. We'll have live coverage as it airs at 1:00 p.m. CT...
6. The Uso Brothers vs. Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro (w/Zeb Colter). Cole said this was the rubber match since the teams have traded wins. As Cole and Lawler were talking about Colter, JBL quipped that he looked like an uncle he used to have. Funny.
At 4:20, both Jimmy and Jey Uso dove over the top rope onto both opponents on the floor. Back inside the ring, one of the Usos was setting up for a top rope when Cesaro tried to push him off, only to have the other Uso superkick him. One of the Usos rolled up Swagger and got the pin for his team...
The Uso Brothers defeated Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro in 4:50.
Powell's POV: Worst fan sign of the night? "Hernandez" with an arrow pointing down. Unless your first name is Aaron and you've somehow escaped from jail, no one cares, dude. Okay, maybe someone cared 90 minutes ago, but the thrill of your sign died for even your mom and dad about five matches ago. Oh, and the match was fine.
Another teaser for MizTV was shown... [C]
[Q9] The Miz introduced Daniel Bryan and John Cena for MizTV. Once they made separate entrances, Miz asked what they thought about Triple H being the special referee. Bryan said he thinks it's great that someone stood up to Vince and now they can have the match that the fans deserve. Cena, who was booed, said he can't think of a better person to keep order in the main event.
Miz said it seemed like their friendly rivalry turned personal last week and questioned what his issues are with Bryan. Cena said it's not like that. He said it's about the WWE Championship. Cena said Bryan wants to be champion, and he is champion. Cena said he handpicked Bryan because he deserves the opportunity and will put up a hell of a fight.
Miz said "hell of a fight" is John Cena code for "you're going to lose." Miz said it's obvious that Cena doesn't respect Bryan and wants to ride his wave of popularity. Bryan said it's obvious that if Miz doesn't shut his mouth, he would punch him in the face. The live crowd gave that the Yes! treatment.
Bryan addressed Cena by saying that it bothers him that Cena says he will put up a hell of a fight as if that's the best he can do. Cena tried to speak, but Bryan sternly told him not to interrupt him. Bryan recalled Cena making "explosive remarks" last week that got the fans on their feet. "Whether they were cheering you or booing you, that's a totally different subject," Bryan said.
Bryan said Cena grabbed the spotlight when the red light was on last week. He said that's why he doesn't watch television. He said Cena and people like him are more style than substance who are in it for the fame and the glory, not in it for the wrestling. More Yes! chants. Bryan pointed to his "The Beard is Here" shirt and said that it's a parody of Cena's shirt because he thinks Cena is a parody of wrestling.
Bryan said he's not in it for the fame or the glory. He said he wants to prove that there's nobody better than Daniel Bryan. Cena took his shirt off and then stopped and looked down at it for a second.
"You almost got me," Cena said. "A parody, that's strong. That's real strong. Daniel, I'm not a parody, the reason I'm out here, regardless of what you think, is the same reason you are out here. All of this. All of this. And I thought you would be smart enough to understand that."
Cena pointed to the fans chanting yes and no and said they believe in him. Cena said that when you hear that, it empowers you and gives you emotion. He said it makes you want to get in the ring and put your body on the line to say I believe in you as much as you believe in me.
Cena looked down at his shirt and said that saying it's just like a t-shirt is like saying the American flag is just cloth. He said he fights for the fans who are loyal to him because they are loyal to him. Cena said Bryan had gall to call him a parody. Cena mentioned "We've Cena Nuff" and "Five Moves of Doom" and said Bryan's not the first guy to say he's everything that's wrong.
Cena said he's shown up everyday for the last 12 years and busted his ass. Cena said he doesn't do it for people like Bryan who don't respect him. He said he does it for the kid in the front row and his dad. He brought up a Make-A-Wish kid named Dakota that he met earlier in the day whose father thanked him for the hope and inspiration.
Cena said Bryan should be proud of what he's done in WWE, but he should also know that he is proud of what he's done in WWE and what he's become. Cena said he's spent the last 12 years wrestling around the world. "Sometimes they cheer, sometimes they boo, but I have stood in for a dozen years in front of some of the most hostile environments." Cena encouraged Bryan to think of him as a parody and a joke.
"Please think that about me, because that's what every one of your peers has though about me and I have beaten them all," he said. Cena mentioned beating Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Batista, Randy Orton, C.M. Punk, and The Rock. Bryan said Cena was talking about those wrestlers like they are so much better than him. "They are!" one guy yelled.
[Q10] Cena said he hopes Bryan is on his way, but right now he doesn't belong in that class. Cena told Bryan that if he's good enough to hold the gold on Sunday, then and only then will he earn his respect. Bryan said Cena spelled it out. "You don't respect me," Bryan said. "Not only that, you are not treating this like you treated your matches with Shawn Michaels or The Rock because you respected those men."
Bryan said Cena has held the WWE Championship eleven times. He said there's no way Cena can understand how badly he wants to hold the title just once. Bryan said that for Cena, it's just another SummerSlam. "But for me it's the biggest match of my life," he said.
Bryan said he learned a custom in Japan to fire someone up and to light that spark from one wrestler to another so that they would bring everything they have to a fight. He said the custom is to slap a wrestler in the face as hard as you can. "You know, I wish so bad that I could do that you right now, but I can't, because you're not a wrestler and you don't deserve it," he said.
Cena pushed a chair of the set over and called for Bryan to slap him. Cena then slapped Bryan across the face. "Come on," Cena called. However, Bryan told him that he doesn't deserve it. Triple H's music played and he walked to the ring and smiled as he stood between the two. Hunter spoke to Cena, then approached Bryan. Randy Orton's music played and he walked onto the stage with the Money in the Bank briefcase in hand. Orton held up the briefcase as the trio in the ring watched...
Powell's POV: Now that's how you sell this match! Forget the McMahon family nonsense, the corporate makeovers, the dwarf talk, all of it. Bryan, the wrestler who wants the championship more than anything in life, facing the 11-time champion. That's the first thing I've seen tonight that has me more excited about SummerSlam than I was before Raw started.
Fandango and Summer Rae came out for a dance contest with R-Truth. Fandango ended up taking a cheap shot at Truth, who then cleared him from the ring. Fandango laid on his back on the floor and said, "It's Fandango." JBL questioned whether there was a match and then who won the dance contest. Cole said there was no match and that obviously Truth won...
Billy Madison's Principal's POV: Everyone watching Raw is now dumber for having watched that. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
A shot aired of Ryback walking backstage. Cole hyped the battle royal and said the winner of it would challenge Dean Ambrose for the U.S. Title in the SummerSlam kickoff match... [C]
[Q11] Backstage, Paul Heyman was taping up his hands while Curtis Axel asked if he was nervous. "I think I'm having second thoughts about this," Heyman said...
Ring entrances for the battle royal were held. The participants who were given entrances prior to the break were Rob Van Dam, Brodus Clay, Tensai, Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, and Ryback... [C]
Powell's POV: If Big Show comes out next, then we'll know why Ambrose referenced Andre the Giant earlier.
7. A 20-man battle royal for a U.S. Title shot. The other participants were Mark Henry, who received a televised entrance, Wade Barrett, Titus O'Neil, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, R-Truth, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Great Khali, Fandango, Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston. Ryback eliminated Gabriel about 30 seconds in, then face-palmed Darren Young over the top rope. Tensai and one of the Uso brothers were out next.
A punch punch here, and a kick kick there. Here a punch. There a kick. Everywhere a punch and kick. R-Truth eliminated Fandango. Fandango then eliminated Truth when he headed back inside the ring. RVD tossed Fandango back to the floor. [C]
[Q12] The match came down to Henry, Ryback, Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro, and Wade Barrett. The Real Americans went after Kingston. Kingston had a good showing before being eliminated. RVD and Henry took a beating from two heels each in different corners. The Real Americans tried to pick up Henry, but he overpowered them and eliminated them both at the same time.
Henry clotheslined Barrett and tossed him over the top to eliminate him. Ryback and Henry squared off while RVD was on the ring apron. Henry managed to set Ryback on the ring apron. RVD kicked Ryback, then Henry knocked him to the floor. The match came down to Henry and RVD and the crowd really came to life.
RVD caught Henry with a kick and went to the top rope. Henry bumped into the ropes and RVD fell to the ring apron. Henry charged toward RVD, who held down the ropes, causing Henry to tumble to the floor.
Rob Van Dam won a 20-man battle royal in 14:00 to earn a U.S. Title shot at SummerSlam.
After the match, Henry entered the ring while RVD was celebrating. Henry and RVD bumped fists. Henry started to leave the ring when The Shield's music played. Henry stuck around while RVD stood in the ring and used his fingers to assess that three men is more than two men. Really. A loud RVD chant broke out.
Big Show's music played. A trimmer looking Big Show headed to the ring and joined RVD and Henry inside the ring. The Shield ended up bolting rather than enter the ring to face the trio... The announcers hyped Punk vs. Heyman for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Show looked really good. Even though RVD being shown right away when the battle royal was hyped made me feel like it was too predictable to give him the win, I like the idea a lot. RVD is definitely over and they should be able to get plenty of people to watch the free preview "kickoff" show now that he's challenging Dean Ambrose for the U.S. Title. Plus, the live crowd in Los Angeles should go bonkers for RVD, so the atmosphere for on the free preview should be great and give the company a chance to sell some last minute pay-per-views.
[Overrun] Paul Heyman was introduced for the match with C.M. Punk. Heyman was introduced as being from Scarsdale, New York. He came out wearing dress clothes with his hands taped. He took the mic and said CM Punk's name a few times. He said Punk's worshipers were calling for their hero. Heyman said he doesn't blame Punk for everything that's happened, he blames every single member of the WWE Universe.
Heyman said Punk used to live for his respect, love, acceptance, adulation, and affirmation. He said Punk now lives for the acceptance of the fans. He said he takes it very personally that the fans took Punk away from him. "So tonight, I take your worship of your hero away from you," Heyman said. He said all he's heard all week is that he was setting a trap for Punk.
Heyman mocked the fans by questioning if they figured it all out on their own. "Do you really think that your imaginations compare to mine?" he asked. He said it's a conspiracy that he didn't come up with all by himself. Heyman introduced his coconspirator and best friend, Brock Lesnar. Lesnar made his entrance and joined Heyman inside the ring.
Heyman set up a video package that showed Lesnar getting the better of Punk during their past brawls. Both men smiled once the video was finished. "Okay, so now that you know it's a trap, maybe it's time we clue you in on what this trap is," Heyman said. He credited Lesnar for coming up with the idea and said it's so sinister, insidious, and purely evil. Heyman said he would fight Punk if Punk would fight him and Lesnar in a handicap match.
Heyman said all Punk has to do is play the hero. "But all heroes are stupid, aren't they?" he asked. He said they have no other option in life, whereas Punk has a choice in that he simply has to disappoint each and every one of the fans so that he can live to fight another day at SummerSlam. Heyman demanded Punk's answer. "Are you going to be the smart coward or are you going to play the stupid hero?"
A C.M. Punk chant broke out and then his music played. As Lesnar and Heyman looked at the stage, Punk emerged from the other side of the ring and blasted Lesnar with a camera to the head. Lesnar rolled outside the ring as the fans chanted Punk's name again. Punk performed a suicide dive onto Lesnar.
Punk grabbed a chair and slammed it over the back of Lesnar twice. Heyman called for Brock to get up. Punk went after Lesnar and chased him up the stage. Curtis Axel ran out to intervene, but Punk jabbed him int he gut with the chair and then slammed him into the lighted section of the stage. Punk picked up Axel and gave him the GTS while a dazed Lesnar watched from ringside. The crowd chanted Punk's name and he held out his arms. "I am the best in the world," Punk yelled.
Powell's POV: A good angle to close the show with Punk standing tall and Lesnar looking loopy heading into Sunday's show. It's wise for the underdog to stand tall here because it gives his fans hope that he can slay the beast at the pay-per-view. You had to know Punk was going to outsmart Heyman and Lesnar given the way Heyman was gloating, but I really wasn't sure how they would get there. Well done.
Overall, Raw left me more excited about the big two SummerSlam matches and the free preview match. It did nothing to raise my expectations for the rest of the show, but it's not like they really tried to place much emphasis on those other matches. I will have more to say later tonight in my All Access audio review. Thanks for watching along with me. Check back on Tuesday for the WWE Raw Hit List and Pruett's Pause on Raw, and join us on Sunday night for live coverage of WWE SummerSlam.
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