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'Monday Night Raw' recap: CM Punk steals the show at 'Raw' 1,000

July 24, 2012|By Houston Mitchell
  • CM Punk delivers a clothesline to The Rock.
CM Punk delivers a clothesline to The Rock. (WWE )

WWE celebrated its 1,000th episode of "Monday Night Raw" this week with an action-packed three-hour-show that featured not only the return of some of the biggest superstars of the past, but also featured a masterful heel turn by CM Punk to close the show.

I have been a big critic of the way Punk has been handled the last few weeks. The whole Punk-AJ-Daniel Bryan triangle made him look weak and stupid. He was becoming an afterthought, a fact pointed out by numerous other characters on the show, such as Eve Torres. Little did I know that all of that was leading up to the final 10 minutes of this week's show.

The show closed with Punk defending his title against John Cena. During the match, The Big Show came down and attacked Cena. While the crowd was begging for Punk to save Cena, he just sat in the corner and watched. He seemed conflicted. If he saves Cena, Show might turn on him and cost him the title. If he doesn't, he can easily pin Cena to retain the title.

Punk did a great job of selling these emotions to the crowd, before finally deciding to pin Cena. But what's this? Cena kicks out of the pin attempt! But The Big Show comes right back out and attacks Cena again, who is saved by none other than The Rock!

But, to seal his turn to the dark side in the eyes of WWE fans, Punk delivers a devastating clothesline to Rock, leaving Rock and Cena down on the mat in the center of the ring while Punk walks off the boos of the crowd as the show comes to an end.

If WWE had this set up all along, then I have to tip my cap to the writing staff for one of the best executed slow turns in years. And even if they didn't have it planned, even if they realized they had written themselves into a corner with Punk the last few weeks, the way they got out of that corner was brilliant.

Other than that, all that happened on the show was The Miz becoming Intercontinental champion, the returns of DX (with X-Pac, Billy Gunn and the Road Dogg), Trish Stratus, Lita, Bret Hart, Vader, DDP, Doink, Rikishi, Bob Backlund, Sycho Sid and Jim Ross, plus Undertaker and Kane teaming up one more time.

No wonder the crowd was chanting "This is Awesome" during the show. It was one of the best episodes in history, well worthy of the milestone 1,000th episode.

Now what do they have planned for 1,001?

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