It’s been quite some time since we have seen two consecutive A+ quality shows produced by World Wrestling Entertainment. Payback was a complete success as we saw the revolution of Vince McMahon’s big summer.
To begin the card, top to bottom, let’s briefly look at what happened and how it transitioned to Raw the night after:
1. Curtis Axel defeated Wade Barrett and the Miz to become Intercontinental Champion in just his first month on the roster. This match was great and it was done in a dirty fashion, only making Axel easier to hate, but better every day.
2. AJ Lee took the Divas title from Kaitlyn in the third-longest match of the night. Yes, in 14 minutes and 52 seconds, the world witnessed a spectacle of a women’s match. This feud is far from over and on Raw the next night; it proved things are heating up.
3. Dean Ambrose continued his heel tactics by retaining his belt by count-out over Kane. Perfectly done by WWE Creative to further the brilliance of the Shield collectively.
3.5. WWE announced they are bringing back Rob Van Dam at Money in the Bank in Philadelphia. Every IWC member screamed and wet their pajamas as CM Punk would say.
4. The double turn of the century (first recorded since Austin and Hart at WM 13) as the fans booed the new champion Del Rio, and cheered for the underdog/concussed Ziggler. Not many had this result up their sleeve, but it made great TV and a match to only make Ziggler even more popular.
5. CM Punk returned in his hometown to beat Chris Jericho. 21 minutes of pure magic. Punk moved on the next night in a surprising twist. We’ll get to that later.
6. The Shield defeated Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton in a great match. This could be the end for Bryan’s tag career at the moment, only to resurrect his singles’ career for the push of a lifetime.
7. In predictable fashion, John Cena slayed the beast Ryback by throwing him through the roof of an ambulance. (Seriously, was it too obvious where he was supposed to AA Ryback?)
With Payback getting a 4.5/5 stars in the Jon Fisher ratings system, 24 hours later proved to be just as phenomenal.
Punk came out to begin the show by challenging Del Rio (new heel) to a match that ended up as the main event. AJ and Stephanie McMahon had a war of words before a brawl with the former champion Kaitlyn, which ensued angst for next week and oh yeah, a wadrobe malfunction of Kaitlyn’s top.
See? Everyone was a winner there.
Mark Henry returned after a brief hiatus; only to make the WWE Universe and John Cena look like complete fools or in Henry’s terms, “ya’ll are just a bunch of puppets.”
Christian returned and completed the return cycle for WWE Superstars. Curtis Axel defeated Sin Cara under the blue and yellow lights; his first win with the belt his father made perfect.
CM Punk and Paul Heyman split up only to reconnect the dots at the end of the show. After ADR and Ricardo Rodriguez ran from ringside and took the count-out loss — BRRROOOOCKKKK Lesnar’s music hits.
He gives Punk the F5 and does his usual primal scream to go to black.
So, despite all of the madness a week ago, what is expected of tonight’s edition of Monday Night Raw?
We will get answers from the Straight Edge Savior and Paul Heyman’s side of the coin as to why Lesnar attacked Punk. As reported months ago, Lesnar and Punk were rumored at SummerSlam this year.
Vince McMahon and Triple H will be at it again in the back, but expect something more “violent” to happen tonight or into next week. The two are at a power struggle on TV and off it. Reality is now setting in.
Stephanie McMahon will insert herself in the Diva’s division even more. AJ and she exchanged words on twitter, only elongating the process to establish AJ and Kaitlyn as the top two divas.
Ziggler should be in the building to speak and as the first time ever, give a “face” promo.
More rumors are swirling that the Wyatt’s may debut tonight. If so, who is their first target?
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton are advertised for a match tonight. In last week’s edition, Bryan proclaimed that he wanted to win the WWE championship. He should defeat the third-generation superstar only to get even more over with the crowd (if that’s possible).
Last but not least, John Cena will respond to Henry’s actions from last week. His newest sponsor is Capri Sun. So, expect a Capri Sun-related pun in a promo tonight.
No seriously, he will be juiced up for tonight’s big event.
That’s it for now folks. Let me know what you think will happen on tonight’s Raw. We will get answers and the storylines will solidify to begin the big summer angles.
RIP Chris Benoit
RIP Fabulous Jackie Fargo