For complete coverage of everything that happened last night, check out the WWE Raw Rundown.
Things got off to a hot start last night, with the Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton stuff. Although cancelling the match and postponing it until later in the night felt like a cheap way to squeeze every last drop out of this feud, it made a lot of sense to have this rivalry headline the show. Especially if, and I’m just guess here, this was their final match.
Bryan winning here made sense, as he needed a way to re-legitimize himself as a singles wrestler. I’m just curious what’s in store next for Orton. Their mutual-respect handshake at the end makes it seem like they’re putting the brakes on a Orton heel-turn. Then again, this could just be setting the WWE Universe up for a swerve.
Speaking of set-ups, I think it’s pretty obvious here that Punk is being “set-up” by Paul Heyman. Their interactions last night carried a lot of weight and emotion, which was good. But it’s also the exact type of thing that will be replayed over and over once Heyman finally turns on Punk. Overall, this seems to be a great way to extend the feud between now and Summerslam without using up all of Brock Lesnar’s appearance dates.
The Shield has officially dropped to lower mid-card duty (don’t say we didn’t warn you). Hopefully their feud with The Usos will be quick and painless. This is the major consequence of no long term build with The Usos – that is, nobody gives a crap about their storyline.
Money in the Bank participants were announced last night, albeit rather informally. I can’t help but imagine this would have carried so much more weight had they let the wrestlers come out to the ring and jabber back-and-forth about who was going to win. I’m also confused about whether or not this is the only Money in the Bank match this year. If so, this is a stacked match, and should be very entertaining. If not, I think the company would have been wise to limit the participants here by spotlighting a few key performers (imagine how great a four-way Punk vs. Bryan vs. Orton vs. RVD MITB match would be), and then save the “all hands on deck” match for the World Heavyweight Championship MITB.
The McMahons were featured again, just not quite as heavily. It seems like creative wanted to put them back on TV, but now has no idea where to go with this storyline. At least Vickie seems to be shining in her role as “pawn” in the game of WWE Corporate chess.
Overall show was definitely lacking. About halfway through, the momentum completely died. Mark Henry’s segment fell flat (they should’ve just stuck with Cena’s promo, and kept Henry off TV another week), CM Punk had a lackluster match with Darren Young, and the spark from last week seemed to have evaporated. We’re officially back in the summer hangover – let’s just hope things pick back up again BEFORE MITB.