Raw Five-Point Preview - July 16, 2012: Will Cena or Ziggler cash in?
Well, it’s official: John Cena and Dolph Ziggler are money, having captured the WWE Championship ( PHOTOS) and World Heavyweight Championship ( PHOTOS) contracts, respectively, at Money in the Bank 2012 and earning themselves a free pass at the supreme prizes any time in the next year. Ziggler's already tried to cash in once on Sheamus, but was taken out with a Brogue Kick before the match could begin, and with Cena suddenly in the driver’s seat and current WWE Champion CM Punk reeling from a vicious No-DQ Match against Daniel Bryan, could the time be ripe for a title change? Only time will tell …
He's baaaack ...
The Miz made his grand return at Money in the Bank last night, evoking his status as a former champion to enter himself in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a WWE Championship Contract. The Awesome One was unsuccessful in claiming his second briefcase, but he didn’t seem diminished despite a two-month absence spent filming WWE Studios’ “The Marine: Homefront.” With Miz back on Raw, though, he’ll surely be looking for a way to re-insert himself into the main event picture. How will he begin his campaign to reach the top again?
Is Bryan still tryin'?
Daniel Bryan is certainly one for underhanded tactics, but his insistence that AJ was his “future wife” seemed a little too intense to be disingenuous. AJ seemed slightly forlorn that Bryan didn’t win the WWE Title from CM Punk, and given her ominous hold over The Second City Saint, will Bryan attempt to seal their long-brewing reconciliation?
Ziggler: Second time's the charm?
Dolph Ziggler tried to imitate Kane’s strategy from 2010 and cash in his World Heavyweight Championship contract in the same night that he won it, attempting to capitalize on a beaten-down Sheamus following The Great White’s title defense against Alberto Del Rio ( PHOTOS: SHEAMUS VS. DEL RIO). The Showoff wasn’t quite as lucky in his endeavor, though, as The Big Red Monster was a couple of years back, thanks to Del Rio’s interference and a Brogue Kick that felled Ziggler before his title match could start. But the spotlight-hungry Showoff isn’t one to stay waiting in the wings very long; with his ticket to the top firmly in grasp, will he attempt to cash in on Raw?
The Champ is here?
John Cena prevailed yet again, outlasting Chris Jericho, Big Show, Kane and The Miz to capture his first Money in the Bank contract. The briefcase (and the contents within) guarantees the Cenation leader an opportunity for CM Punk’s WWE Title, and the question is now not a matter of if, but when, Cena will choose to redeem the precious paper and attempt to reclaim the supreme prize for the first time in nearly a year. Tradition would suggest that Cena cash in the contract when the champion is most vulnerable, and following last night’s hellish No-DQ Match against Daniel Bryan, Punk is as vulnerable as he’s ever likely to be tonight. Speaking of which …
Is CM Punk surrounded?
There’s no beating around the bush here: It is a bad time to be CM Punk. True, The Second City Saint heroically defended his championship against Bryan at Money in the Bank, and even managed to overcome the hurdle of the unstable AJ as his special guest referee ( PHOTOS). But AJ didn’t seem too thrilled that Punk prevailed over her former flame; The Voice of the Voiceless seemed definitely worse for wear at the end of the contest, and with John Cena now in possession of the WWE Title contract, Punk and Cena’s year-old rivalry suddenly has the potential to re-ignite. Cena didn’t look too banged-up coming out of his Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Punk, by contrast, might not be himself for the next couple of weeks. Couple that with the fact AJ doesn’t seem done with Punk, and things are looking dicey indeed for CM Punk’s status as WWE Champion.