Backstage news & notes from Raw in Brooklyn…
– We’re told there were several re-writes for this week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, which was the reason for some segments lacking flow. As previously noted, the main objective of the show was to setup the following for SummerSlam – Big E Langston vs. Dolph Ziggler, Brock Lesnar vs. CM Punk and John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan. The company feels they accomplished this goal by beginning the framework for all three (despite actually starting on Punk/Lesnar a couple weeks ago).
– The Raw Active poll with The Usos was done to gauge if the fans “buy” the team as a viable threat. WWE got the answer they were looking for in the vote.
– Both Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho were given high marks for their match on WWE Raw. We’re told Vince McMahon has always liked RVD and was “eating that Van Dam flavored ice cream” afterwards. The match was also done to give Jericho a chance to work RVD before he left and a subtle shot at TNA Wrestling, who thought RVD has “lost it.”
– No challenger has been determined for Alberto Del Rio and the World Heavyweight Championship for SummerSlam as of this writing. There’s a chance they go with RVD as his name was brought up after Raw.
– The original plan was to blowoff Mark Henry/John Cena on Raw, however, the company knew the “cat was out of the bag” regarding Daniel Bryan, so they decided to go with it. This still doesn’t mean they won’t blow off Henry/Cena next week but it was on the original script.
– We’re told Daniel Bryan’s t-shirt was the most sold merchandise item last week and that was further evidence to WWE officials the time for a top push was now. The backstage segment with Triple H suggesting Cena was going to pick Bryan and that Vince McMahon was going to “lose it” was a rib at Vince. We’re told by sources close to McMahon that he realizes he was wrong about Bryan.
– Believe it or not, CM Punk is going out of his way to develop a relationship with Brock Lesnar. Punk wants to get the best out of Brock for their program and wants both the build and actual in-ring work to be great. While Brock typically walks in and asks what they want him to do and does it, Punk has been going to him and discussing the program. This was evident with the segment on this week’s Raw and many felt it had a “big fight feel,” which is exactly what they want.