Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: AJ gives a standout performance, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are forced to pay attention, Alberto del Rio attacks Sin Cara, and the build for the Raw MITB ladder match continues

Posted in: Kester Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Jul 3, 2012 - 04:35 PM

By Ryan Kester

AJ, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan

AJ, AJ, AJ. Last night's show featured more focus on a woman wrestler than I have seen on WWE television, and I enjoyed almost every segment AJ was involved in. She has taken the crazy chick character and ran with it, and she had plenty of opportunities to show off her range on last night's Raw. We all knew Daniel Bryan and CM Punk would have a fun feud going in, but AJ's emergence as a character has been one of the greatest treats of tis feud.

Daniel Bryan and CM Punk both had their points to shine alongside AJ, and were both made to look good in the main event, but this show was all about building AJ. On any other character this would have been overexposure and caused some damage, but AJ managed to bring so many unique scenes that she kept feeling fresh and I continued to be entertained throughout the evening.

Alberto Del Rio

WWE did it best to build Del Rio up for his match at MITB with his vicious assault on Sin Cara, but there is still something missing from del Rio's act. When he first came onto the scene, Del Rio got a lot of attention for being a rare dominant heel with good mic work. Since then his character hasn't grown one bit and he's stale to the point of irrelevance.

It doesn't help matters that Del Rio is being paired with another man who hasn't seen character growth in far too long. Sheamus has a great move set and a unique look about him, but his character is predictable and stale. I said recently that Sheamus feels like a transitional champion despite the great matches he has had, and a lot of that has to do with him rocking the same character he had before winning the Royal Rumble and being dragged out of the midcard. When he loses the title, if he hasn't grown anymore before that point, then he will slip back into that same midcard spot like nothing happened.

Big Show, John Cena, Chris Jericho, and Kane

The build for the Raw MITB match continued this week with Big Show continuing to look dominant, this time in a match against Kane, and Chris Jericho and John Cena selling their rivalry with verbal jabs and a brawl to the back during the main event.

All-in-all, the build was effective yet I still feel like WWE is hamstringing the Raw MITB match by limiting it to four participants, two of which are superheavyweights. Make no mistake, there is star power present in that match, but I don't think that they will be able to live up to the expectations established by previous MITB ladder matches.

Overall Show

Last night's show had almost all of its focus on the WWE Championship, be it via the actual WWE Championship storyline or the build for the Raw MITB ladder match. Those parts were handled well, but the rest of the show felt packed with filler. This was a pretty standard Raw for midway through a PPV build; solid yet not exactly newsworthy.

If you have any questions or comments or just wish to chat with a fellow wrestling fan about whatever, then feel free to email me at or follow me on Twitter at @TheRyanKester.

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