WWE Champion CM Punk turns his back on Bret Hart.
Great opening promo featuring the returning Bret Hart and WWE Champion CM Punk. This an encounter that I've been anticipating for weeks, and it certainly lived up to my expectations. Punk had some strong mic work here while Hart also played his role well. The "Best in the World" line was great, and the electric Montreal crowd was fun here, especially with their various chants.
Decent tag team match with WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeating United States Champion Antonio Cesaro and Intercontinental Champion The Miz. It felt random other than the fact it slightly hyped the title theme of Night of Champions on Sunday, but the action was still good. I would've liked to see the heels go over here, but their loss wasn't all that damaging.
Horrendous segment featuring David Otunga and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus in a legal setting. They were obviously trying to repeat the same success the anger management skits had, but they failed tremendously. Neither Otunga nor Sheamus are funny, so I'm not exactly sure what demographic they were attempting to appeal to. I appreciate the fact that they were trying to build upon the banning of the Brogue Kick story-line, but this did nothing for this viewer.
Throwaway six-Diva tag team match with Eve, Kaitlyn and Divas Champion Layla defeating Alicia Fox, Beth Phoenix and Natalya. The action was what you'd expect from the Divas, but nothing too bad. It was done to hype Sunday's Divas title match, but with Eve picking up the pin-fall for her team, don't be surprised to see her added into the match.
Solid match with Randy Orton and Jerry Lawler defeating Dolph Ziggler and WWE Champion CM Punk. The singles match between Punk and Orton that preceded the tag bout was also very good, but it would've been nicer to see Punk pick up the victory, especially since he's heading into a major title match on Sunday. The subsequent tag match was logical, but the cut to commercial break seemed strange. As much as I dislike seeing Ziggler consistently taking pins while Mr. Money in the Bank, they made it work by having Paul Heyman come down and collaborate with Punk.
Typical match between Ryback and Heath Slater. I'm glad to see them actually building a feud between Zack Ryder and Slater, and incorporating Ryback as well was a nice touch. Needless to say, Ryback scored the victory in the same fashion he always has, so there was nothing new here.
Kane lays waste to his tag team partner Daniel Bryan.
Fun tag team match with Kane and Daniel Bryan defeating Prime Time Players to become the new number one contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championships. Both teams were entertaining during the course of the bout and had good chemistry. I've been saying in recent weeks that I'd love to see Kane and Bryan as a tag team, and I'm thrilled to see it finally happen. Although I enjoy the Prime Time Players, they aren't as exciting of opponents as Kane and Bryan, so I'm hoping they end up winning the straps on Sunday.
Nice match between Alberto Del Rio and Tyson Kidd. It was a good, decisive win for Del Rio going into World Heavyweight Championship match on Sunday, while it was also nice to see Canada's own Tyson Kidd appear as well. It was a step up from a squash, but it was effective in continuing Del Rio's recent momentum.
Meaningless match with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus defeating David Otunga. Didn't we just see this same exact match on SmackDown mere days ago? Not only that, but it only lasted a minute, which I guess is a good thing. However, Sheamus using the Brogue Kick despite it being temporarily banned seemed stupid. He isn't being made to look vulnerable at all with this story-line, so I feel it's a complete waste of time.
Good match between Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio. These two have nice chemistry and work well together, so it was not all that shocking that this was better than their SmackDown match from a few weeks ago. I'm glad Rhodes picked up the victory here even if it was with Miz's help, as he desperately needed some momentum after losing so much lately. Miz attacking Rhodes was interesting, and all signs point to some sort of multi-man match for the Intercontinental Championship on Sunday.
Strong promo featuring Bret Hart, John Cena and WWE Champion CM Punk. This is the exact promo I've been anticipating since the start of this feud since the rivalry in recent weeks hasn't been furthered all that well. That being said, this segment has me more excited than ever for the WWE Championship match on Sunday as Cena's mic work undoubtedly sold me. Sure, he might've completely "buried" Punk and his reign as WWE Champion, but it was effective in the sense that at least Cena cares about winning it. Punk wasn't able to get in much, which is fine since his brilliant mic work was highlighted earlier in the night. Hart popping Punk in the mouth was also a nice moment and good way to close the show. Fingers crossed Punk retains on Sunday, otherwise Cena getting the upper hand here would've been pointless.
Now, I can't overly grade this week's show mostly due to Jerry Lawler's unfortunate heart attack that occurred during the course of the night. Although the latter half of the show was well done, it was deemed irrelevant, mostly because everyone's mind was on the King and condition. Heck, I even found myself zoning out at some points during the show. On a side note, I commend Michael Cole for handling the situation on commentary extremely well and WWE for continuing the show, as that's something he probably would've wanted. That aside, this edition of Raw was good in my opinion in featuring some nice action and solid hype for Sunday's Night of Champions event, which had some of the focus taken off of it due to Lawler's situation, but that's completely understandable. My thoughts and prayers are with Lawler as I wish him a speedy recovery.
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