#homecoming: It’s been 15 years since the infamous Montreal Screwjob and Bret Hart has returned to the scene of the crime. He of course gets a loud ovation from the crowd. While reflecting on that momentus night, Bret gets interrupted by The Champ CM Punk, who interestingly gets showered with boos. Looks like last week’s attack on Cena worked the way they wanted. Punk goads Bret by saying he could’ve beaten him back in ’97 without Vince’s help, how big of an ego Hart has to write a book about himself and that ‘The Best There Is…’ is really just an empty catchphrase these days. Bret chides him for walking out last week and then coming back to brutalize Cena, but Punk doesn’t take the bait saying instead that Cena isn’t here now to save Bret. After the usual ‘respect’ schtick, Punk walks to the back to more jeers from the crowd. Having Cena do a run-in to defend Bret would’ve been the easy thing to book, so it’s good Creative can show some restraint every once in awhile.

#champions: WWE’s way of making it up the Universe for not following through with the Champ Punk vs Champ Sheamus match from last week is to do a different kind of Champions match. This week it’s Tag Champs Kofi & Truth vs IC Champ Miz and US Champ Cesaro. Of note, Cole said there will be a NOC pre-show battle royal to determine who faces Cesaro for the US Title. Kind of a cop out, so they have more time to decide who will actually be the challenger. The match was nothing special at all and ended in cliche fashion with Cesaro arguing with the ref only to turn around and eat TIP from Kofi. At least they crammed all those guys into one match, which saves time for extended video packages later.

#legaltroubles: We get some ‘earlier today’ footage of Sheamus, Otunga and Ricardo at WWE HQ where Travel Mug tried to act all serious about Sheamus Brogue Kicking practically everything in sight. The Pale One only cracks jokes which sends Otunga off into a rant about how remorseless he is to everyone. The absurdity ends in Sheamus Brogue Kicking a camera. When will Creative ever learn that these legal trouble angles never really work?

#strangeness: Obviously it’s strange enough to see a randomly thrown together Divas match that lasts for like 2 minutes. However this one pits pits Layla-Kaitlyn-Eve vs Beth-Natalya-Alicia. One can only assume they  put Layla with her two major rivals in order to create some drama and it deleivers. Sort of. Just as Layla gets hot tagged in, Eve tags Layla and takes the pin instead. That sure makes me want to buy NOC to see the Divas match.

#peoplepower:Punk’s opponent tonight is determined by a RAWActive poll and an overwhelming majority select Randy Orton. Since the other two options were Brodus Clay and Jerry Lawler, this was probably a good choice. That’s made even more apparent by the match itself. It’s solid back-and-forth action with big move teases. A Ziggler run-in to cause a DQ ruins it, but they did have to keep him involved somehow. Even Lawler gets involved in the post-match brawl.

#ajpower: So RAW cut to commercial right in the middle of the brawl and comes back for us to see that AJ has booked a tag match during the break. Wonderful. Heyman comes down at one point and starts a conversation with Punk. The camera pretty focuses on them at that point and pretty much ignores the rest of the match, only cutting to it when Orton is pinning Ziggler. Intriguing way to start the Punk-Heyman partnership. In the back Striker asked them about that, only for Punk to reply ‘I’m a Paul Heyman guy’. Golden.

#slated: So Heath Slater is rambling on the mic in ring about how Ryder got lucky. Instead of coming out, Zack shows up on the Tron and says his actual opponent tonight is close enough. Instead of Ry-der it’s Ry-back. Har har har. Typical Ryback squash ensues.

#changeup: Earlier AJ had called the PTPers into her office where they asked about their #1 Contender spot, only to be informed that they would need to beat another tag team to secure it. That Team? Daniel Bryan and Kane. Perhaps the funniest moment is when Bryan almost fell off the turnbuckle when Kane’s pyro went off. The focus of the match was pretty on Bryan and Kane having to trust each other, sometimes to no avail. Late in the match, Bryan tagged himself in, only to have Kane Chokeslam him onto D-Young for the pin. What was more concerning is a ‘Jerry’ chant picked up at one point, making it seem like something happened to him, but Cole didn’t acknowledge it. Later he indicated that Lawler had collapsed was was receiving medical attention.

#warmups: Hyping the Sheamus-Del Rio match at NOC, each guy gets a singles match. Del Rio dispatches home-country hero Tyson Kidd with the CAB in a matter of minutes and Sheamus takes about half that time to make Travel Mug submit to the Texas Cloverleaf, or Celtic Cloverleaf in this case. Sheamus can’t help himself and delivers a big Brogue Kick to Otunga post match, which draws the ire of both GMs. Booker lays down the law in that if Sheamus uses it ever again, he’ll be stripped of the WHC. This appears to be a ripoff of the Edge-Ziggler angle when the Spear was banned.

#mainevented: With the Bret interview of Cena going on last, this Rey-Cody matchup will be that main event ‘match’. Cole informed viewers before the match that Lawler is recovering at a local hospital and out of respect for him there will be no more commentary tonight. The match itself was quite short and even Miz got involved at one point, distracting Rey long enough for Cody to hit Cross Rhodes for the win. Post match, Miz wanted a SCF on Rey but instead got a Cross Rhodes from Cody who held up the IC belt afterwards. So does that mean he’s involved in that match at NOC?

#priorities: The fact that Cena in an interview gets the main event slot and not Punk in a ‘wrestling’ match doesn’t surprise me anymore. Part of me hopes there is some sort of payoff when the placement of these two events is switched, but I won’t be holding my breath. So Bret and Cena are in-ring to talk about the WWE Title feud. Hart makes a comparison that Cena is him back in the day and Punk is the 97 Michaels, which is quite some praise. Usual Cena promo blah blah Punk blah blah respect. At least when Hart refers to Punk as a phony, it brings the man himself out. Punk calls Cena the biggest phony in WWE history, a reference to their Summerslam 2011 contract signing. Punk throws out references to how he layed out Rock and how he’s better then that ‘hillbilly’ Hart made pass out to the Sharpshooter at Mania 13. Cena’s respone? It’s to say that Punk is a scumbag and that his entire Title reign has been irrelevant. O rly? Couldn’t that because Vince cares more about you as a cash cow then Punk as a legitimate wrestler? It gets even more heated but thankfully doesn’t erupt into a brawl, saving that for Sunday. Cole appears on camera to inform us that Lawler’s condition has stabilized and to encourage King to ‘beat this thing’ as RAW signed off.