But Raw was a mixed bag. I was bored throughout much of it, but there were bits and pieces of good stuff.
1. Punk has been the champ for a full year.
It really is amazing that they’ve kept the belt on him for so long. There was a show long anticipation for the ceremony of him holding the WWE championship for 365 days and his promo at the end was very good. He and Heyman compared Punk to stars like HBK, Bret Hart, Steve Austin, and Rock, who never held the belt in one run for as long as Punk has. It made you realize how different this is compared to old eras.
Some of it has to do with hot shot booking, but really, there were so many more stars back then, they were all deserving of holding the title and it made sense. Today, very few WWE guys seem to be championship “worthy”.
Ryback came out and was jumped by the same three men who jumped him at the PPV. And again, they put him through a table with a power bomb. Punk put his foot on Ryback and held his title in the air. All that was needed was a, “Come on baby!” No, we didn’t get it.
This will probably lead to a Tables match at TLC with Ryback and I imagine, the three henchmen will have something to do with that finish as well.
WWE’s event of the summer is upon us, with the 25th anniversary of SummerSlam giving us plenty of star names and big matches. With both World Titles on the line, the Tag Team Championships, the Intercontinental and EVEN the United States Title, this is the true night of champions, and the WWE perhaps going in the right direction.
Oh, and “the most dominant force to step into the WWE ring” Brock Lesnar is looking to follow up on his last “fight” with John Cena, taking on a man with a huge personal vendetta against Lesnar, Triple H.
Let’s go over the show, match by match, in my predicted order.
0. Free YouTube Match – United States Championship Match – Champion Santino Marella vs. Antonio Cesaro (w/ Aksana).
Of note, Santino Marella has been US Champion for 166 days, a longer reign than such names as Eddie Guerrero, Diamond Dallas Page, Tully Blanchard, Dusty Rhodes, and even Paul Jones.
Antonio Cesaro, formerly Claudio Castagnoli of “indy wrestling” fame, has the look and theatrics that the WWE loves, surprising none of Claudio’s fans.
It’s amusing to see the US title up for grabs between these two men, as Antonio Cesaro has teased turning the US title into the retired European championship, which would be very fitting (and quite great) for his character.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Santino Marella. Why? This is a YouTube match. There’s not going to be too many people watching. If/when Cesaro wins the title, it should be a big deal and on Pay Per View. Of course…
WHO WILL WIN: Antonio Cesaro. Because Santino has held the title since March 5th, a great trivia question would be “Who is the current United States Champion?” With so little hype the title has received with Santino as champion, giving it to Cesaro will up the title’s recognition.