Even a fire at U.S. Bank Arena couldn't stop Raw from marching on to episode 1001. Following a minor pyrotechnic incident involving the Raw set, the show took to the air at its normally scheduled time, and what a night it turned out to be for Raw General Manager AJ Lee's first night on the job. Find out what WWE Champion CM Punk had to say about his shocking attack on The Rock last week, how AJ spoiled The Straight Edge Superstar's plans after the main event, and much more in WWE.com's complete results of the action-packed three-hour Raw.
WWE Champion CM Punk opened Raw by addressing the WWE Universe. The Straight Edge Superstar proclaimed that the end to Raw's 1000th episode left a bad taste in his mouth, and then confronted commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler face to face from atop the announce table. Telling Lawler that he was wrong to say Punk turned his back on the WWE Universe, The Straight Edge Superstar boasted that The Rock showed an incredible lack of respect to him last week, so he dropped him with the Go To Sleep to show him exactly what he has to look forward to when they square off at the 2013 Royal Rumble.
Big Show came out to the ring and told Punk that the 1000th episode of Raw was all about him costing Cena the WWE Title, not Punk's attack on The Rock. The World's Largest Athlete vowed that he will be the next WWE Champion, to which Punk shot back that Big Show wasn't able to beat Cena at No Way Out or win a Money in the Bank contract.
John Cena's music suddenly hit and the Cenation leader promptly unloaded on Big Show with a series of rights and lefts, clearing him from the ring as the crowd erupted. In her first official act as the new Raw General Manager, AJ Lee emerged from the back to announce that Cena will face Big Show in tonight's main event, with the winner advancing to face Punk for the WWE Title at SummerSlam!
Alberto Del Rio was the aggressor early on, but Santino mounted a comeback and sent his opponent looking to regroup on the outside. The Mexican Aristocrat didn't fall for Santino's usual tricks, however. After the U.S. Champion attempted a split-legged dodge, Del Rio caught him with a stinging kick to the midsection, and then planted his knees into Santino's arm when he tried to strike with The Cobra. With The Milan Miracle in pain, Del Rio slapped on the Cross Armbreaker and quickly forced him to tap out.
As the No. 1 contender to the World Heavyweight Title, Del Rio declared after the match that he would not compete again until his bout against Sheamus at SummerSlam.
A dance contest between Brodus Clay and Vickie Guerrero was short-lived, but we did get to see The Queen Diva show off some old-school dance moves like "The Hitchhiker" before Damien Sandow played the role of party pooper again. Sandow came out and told the WWE Universe that he considers himself a martyr, not a victim, after getting humiliated by D-Generation X on the 1000th episode of Raw. The Intellectual Savior of the Masses then clipped Brodus' leg and left The Funkasaurus ailing after a surprise ambush.
Daniel Bryan tried to tell off AJ Lee for embarrassing him and standing him up at the altar last week. The new Raw General Manager quickly shut up her former fiancé, alleging that he wasn't sincere about marrying her and might have even tried to have her legally committed on the 1000th episode of Raw. AJ then told Bryan that the submission specialist will face Sheamus tonight on Raw, with the WWE Universe getting to decide what kind of match it will be: a No Holds Barred Match, a Falls Count Anywhere Match or a Street Fight. An overwhelming 73 percent of the WWE Universe chose Street Fight, which elicited a "YES! YES! YES!" chant from the Cincy crowd.
The RAW active match type selected by the WWE Universe — a Street Fight — played right into the World Heavyweight Champion's comfort zone early on. Sheamus made Daniel Bryan shout in pain when he back-dropped him onto the steel entrance way, then slammed him into the WWE logo. Bryan used his arsenal of kicks to get back into the match, sending The Great White flying off the entrance ramp and following up with a vicious flying knee strike.
The thrilling action on the outside continued as Sheamus suplexed Bryan over the barricade and onto the hard arena floor. After getting clotheslined over the top rope, Bryan used the extra time to catch his breath and reach for a Kendo stick, which he whipped Sheamus with over and over again. When Bryan went for one final strike with the splintered Kendo stick, however, Sheamus grabbed it and responded with some strikes of his own until Bryan drilled him out of nowhere with a dropkick right into a steel chair.
Sheamus took a couple more hard blows into the steel ring post and barricade before the action returned to the ring, where the steel ring steps were waiting to be used as a weapon. The Celtic Warrior capitalized by emphatically Brogue Kicking his opponent right onto the steps and pinned him for the 1-2-3. After the exhausting battle, a furious and inconsolable Bryan refused to leave the ring, despite the urging of multiple WWE officials.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston, who was scheduled for a match next, came out and tried to convince Bryan to move on. Kingston's tag team partner R-Truth tried to get Bryan to leave as well, but their efforts only seemed to make Bryan angrier. The submission specialist shocked the WWE Universe by kicking Little Jimmy out of the ring, sending R-Truth rushing to his wounded friend's aid.
General Manager AJ Lee then came out to restore order to Raw, as she told four men in white coats to escort Bryan out of the ring and directed Bryan to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
A.W. resorted to one of the stranger methods of interference in recent memory in order to assure a victory for his client, Titus O'Neil. With WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston seemingly in control of the matchup, the owner of All World Promotions chucked his shoe at Kingston, and The Dreadlocked Dynamo threw it right back at him. O'Neil then took advantage of the momentary distraction and planted Kingston hard into the canvas with Clash of the Titus for the victory.
One week after losing to yet another WWE Legend, Heath Slater found himself going head to head with the original Legend Killer, Randy Orton! The One-Man Band called out any current Superstar in the back to answer his challenge, and Orton responded by pummeling Slater all over the ring. After blasting Slater with a rapid-fire powerslam and a DDT off the second rope, The Viper nailed him with a neck-twisting RKO to make a big statement in his return to Raw.
Emotions were riding high as Dolph Ziggler and The Miz joined forces to take on their newfound rivals, Chris Jericho and Christian, in an action-packed tag team matchup.
As the two teams battled for the early advantage, Christian took to the air and launched a flying crossbody on both The Miz and Jericho on the outside. Captain Charisma continued to take risks, jumping off the top rope to hit Ziggler with a high elbow when the action returned to the ring. Ziggler reversed the momentum of the bout with a swift superkick on Christian, and The Miz proceeded to punish him further with a big boot to the face after getting tagged in.
Christian would find the opening he needed to make the tag when he caught Ziggler in mid-air as he attempted a leg drop bulldog and planted The Showoff with a powerbomb. Jericho unloaded on Ziggler with a springboard dropkick and then nailed a Lionsault on The Miz.
Just as The Awesome One appeared to regain control, Christian caught him by surprise with a thumb to the eye, and Jericho followed with a Codebreaker for the victory. Ziggler got the last laugh, though, when he blasted Jericho with the Money in the Bank briefcase from behind and snickered as he stood over The Mental Mastermind.
Just a few weeks after his huge upset, Tyson Kidd made a valiant effort to recapture the magic against Tensai. But the Japanese warrior was hell-bent on inflicting pain on Kidd as he used his brute force to overpower his smaller opponent. Tensai drilled Kidd with a sit-down powerbomb, then dropped his full weight on top of him with a senton splash for the victory. Not satisfied with just avenging his defeat, Tensai unleashed more punishing blows on Kidd, which forced the ref to reverse his decision and award the match to Kidd via disqualification. Furious with the outcome, Tensai took out his frustration after the match by hitting his worshipper Sakamoto mercilessly.
With WWE Champion CM Punk joining in on commentary (and verbally sparring with Jerry "The King" Lawler), John Cena and Big Show held nothing back in a fierce clash to determine the No. 1 contender for the WWE Title.
Big Show took Cena off his feet early with a big headbutt and a splash in the corner, but the Cenation leader found a way to take some energy out of The World's Largest Athlete with a sleeper hold. A relentless Cena applied the hold a second time, making Big Show temporarily pass out, though it wasn't enough to get a three-count as he was flung straight out of the ring.
After wearing down Cena with a crushing bearhug, The World's Largest Athlete went for the chokeslam, but Cena pulled off a remarkable counter into a DDT. Cena also rolled out of the way right as Big Show delivered a mighty splash off the second rope, giving him an opportunity to rally against the fazed giant. Back and forth, Cena and Big Show tried to gain the decisive edge to no avail. Cena hit the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, but Big Show bounced back up almost immediately. The 7-footer responded with a towering chokeslam, and Cena somehow kicked out at the two-count.
As the action spilled to the outside, Big Show catapulted Cena over the announce table and into Punk, leaving the WWE Champion strewn across the arena floor. After narrowly beating the 10-count back into the ring, Cena then ducked Big Show's WMD and lifted The World's Largest Athlete above his head, setting him up for the Attitude Adjustment. However, Cena never got a chance to finish the maneuver as The Straight Edge Superstar stopped him with an axe handle to the back, followed by a vicious kick to the head of Big Show. Grabbing the microphone after his attack, Punk declared: "And your winner of this contest is … nobody. They're both losers."
Punk walked with his WWE Title straight to the back, but the new Raw General Manager wasn't about to let The Voice of the Voiceless have the final say. AJ Lee told the WWE Universe, "Actually, CM Punk is wrong … they're both winners," and announced that Punk will defend his WWE Title against both Cena and Big Show in a Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam. The revelation did not make Punk a happy camper as he defiantly marched back out and demanded that AJ show him some respect. AJ just smiled and Punk continued to let loose on the new GM as Raw went off the air.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Cody Rhodes defeated Zack Ryder
- Alberto Del Rio (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated Santino Marella (7:35)
- Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan in a street fight (14:05)
- Titus O'Neil (w/ A. W. & Darren Young) defeated Kofi Kingston (w/ R-Truth) (2:52)
- Randy Orton defeated Heath Slater (1:17)
- Chris Jericho & Christian defeated Dolph Ziggler & The Miz (w/ Vickie Guerrero) (13:23)
- Tyson Kidd defeated Tensai (w/ Sakamoto) by DQ (2:11)
- John Cena vs. The Big Show ended in a no contest in a WWE Heavyweight Title #1 Contendership Match (16:17)
Other on-screen talent