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The Raw Rant, 24th April 2012
Teddy Long welcomes you to a 3 hour Raw special. First up, the Cena/Lesnar contract signing, well it would be, but Mr. John Laurinaitis comes out to inform us all that Lesnar isn’t here yet. Edge shows up to give Cena some support by going over their rivalry. He tells him he needs to sort his shit out and win at Extreme Rules. Cena trying his hardest to look like he’s shitting bricks while enjoying Edge’s display of acting skills for anyone else that’s looking to hire ex-wrestlers.
Y2J defeats Kofi Kingston after reversing a top rope leap from Kofi, hitting the Code Breaker and locking in the Walls of Jericho. Nice match between these guys, I always love to see a REAL Walls of Jericho, not just a Boston crab. Jericho grabs the microphone post-bell and overuses the word ‘extreme’ to set up his match against CM Punk on Sunday, says he’s left CM Punk a gift, then leaves.
Brock Lesnar highlight, Brock destroys Jeff Hardy. (Hmmm, he’s not on their roster anymore, interesting.)
CM Punk hangs out backstage while Josh Matthews asks him about the gift from Chris Jericho. Punk reveals a basket of booze and re-gifts it to Josh, after taking a bottle he plans to return to Y2J on Sunday. Matthews wanders off smiling and holding enough drink to kill him, twice.
Lord Tensai (w/Sakamoto) defeats R. Truth (w/Little Jimmy) with the green mist-deathclaw-slam of destruction. This was a slightly less squashy squash match than previously seen with Prince Alb-….. Uh, Lord Tensai. Still funny to hear the “Albert” chants, still gunna miss the “shave your back” chants though.
Kane out next to warm folks up for his match on Sunday vs. Randy Orton. Randall appears on the Titantron to tell Kane he’s returning the favour from Smackdown and that he’s had a meeting with Kane’s father. The shot pulls back to show Paul “OOOHHHHH YES! MY UNDERTAKER!” Bearer is with Orton, gagged and tried to a chair. He pushes Paul Bearer into a walk in freezer, locks it up and leaves. Back to Kane in the ring who’s laughing at the concept of him caring about his old man and he’s happy leaving him to perish. He begins to leave but Orton runs down the ramp and they brawl until Randy gets hold of a “lead” pipe, beats Kane down and knocks him over the into the crowd. Kane flees and RKO does what he actually gets paid for, posing in his underwear. Good job Randy, you forgot to lose the shirt when you did the top rope shot. Cody’s on next, he’ll show you how to sell it to the ladies.
The Big Show & The Great Khali defeated Cody Rhodes & Alberto del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) thanks to Alberto leaving Cody fighting alone and The Big Show hitting the Chokeslam for the win. Khali looking very shaky throughout.
Chris Jericho visits Johnny L. and suggests stripping the title from CM Punk for being drunk at work, Eve steps in to give some legal advise and they agree to get Punk to perform a sobriety test later in the ring with some cops they have on standby somewhere. The final stipulation is that Teddy Long will be the one in the ring with CM Punk and the police.
Brock arrives and is welcomed with a few questions from Josh Matthews. Brock is not in the mood so he grabs him by the throat and throws him through a fence panel acting as part of the set. After the break, Josh is stretchered away by a medical team.
Nikki Bella defeats Beth Phoenix for the Diva’s Title, via roll-up. Beth landed on her ankle when going to the outside. When she got back in the ring, she was having troubles with it in the corner, allowing Nikki to sneak up and get the win and the belt.
Teddy Long is backstage with CM Punk and tells him about the sobriety test that’s up next. Punk doesn’t take too kindly to this and trashes the area. Teddy waits for him in the ring but Jericho comes out and insists on a front row seat. Punk staggers out and fails to say the alphabet backwards and then fails to walk the line. The cops give the opinion that he’s wasted and Teddy takes the belt from Punk. As he’s about to hand the title to Jericho (as commanded by Mr. Laurinaitis), CM Punk asks for one more chance to prove that he’s sober. Teddy allows this and Punk recites the alphabet backwards (the crowd giving a YES! for each correct answer) and then struts up and down the line before cracking Y2J over the head with the microphone and kicking ten buckets of shit out of him. Jericho manages to flee when the assault ends up on the ramp.
Brock highlight vs. Hulk Hogan with bear hug/pass out finish. (Two out of three now.)
Sheamus and Mark Henry about to get it on in a non-title match, but there’s no referee. What’s this? Mr. Excitement has a message passed through to the ring announcer. YES! Wagner hits and Daniel Bryan is the special referee for the match. Crowd going fucking insane!
Mark Henry defeats Sheamus from a knockdown and very fast 3-count. Sheamus tries to knock Daniel Bryan around after the match but ends up trapped in the YES! Lock until DB lets him go and leaves, leading an arena full of YES! YES! YES! chants. Much better use of Daniel Bryan since Wrestlemania than expected, I honestly thought he was getting sent straight back down the ranks after an awful 18 second defeat. YES! YES! American-Fucking-Dragon! YES!
Zack Ryder & Santino defeated Primo & Epico (w/Rosa) in a non-title match finishing with the Cobra. Cole and Lawler spent the whole match discussing their opinion on Ryder and not calling the match at all. Well, okay, apologies, Jerry chipped in whenever Rosa was on screen, to be fair.
Kane finds Paul Bearer and wheels him out of the freezer, only to say he’s saving him from himself and tosses him back in.
Brodus Clay & Hornswoggle defeated Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (w/Vicky) via disqualification. Vicky runs in and slaps Brodus. They spent ten times longer dancing and plugging Taco Bell than actually fighting, awesome. Nice waste of Ziggler there. Could have been anyone in here for this really, Ziggler could have spent the night making someone else look really good.
Brock highlight vs. Kurt Angle at Wrestlemania XIX. (Hahaha, it’s been the Brock vs. TNA talent series)
Johnny L. welcomes Brock into the ring for your ‘Three men and a table’ main event. Cena doesn’t show up when his music hits, so Brock takes the time to have a meeting with Johnny and discuss some changes he wants making right now (including use of the McMahon private jet for transporting to events), or he won’t sign the contract for the match on Sunday. Mr. Excitement buckles and gives him what he wants. Cena finally shows up and tip-toes towards the contract with his chain wrapped around his fist. After Cena finally signs it, Brock flips the table and they circle around it. Brock backs away, out of the ring and the show ends with them staring each down.
Not a bad Raw this week. I enjoyed the look back at past matches of Brock vs. people currently working for TNA, shame there was about 20 minutes also taken up from several playings of his “shoot” promo from last week. This mixed with the real-time air time involving Brock and ten recaps of him putting Josh Matthews through the fence really underlined the RAW IS BROCK era/theme they seem to be steering the ship towards. Let’s see how long that lasts. I have a lot of time for Brock and feel he should be given his chance to shine once again in the WWE, assuming his health/head/heart are all in it too. We’ll see.
Punk/Jericho is looking good too. Their chemistry together improves by the day, not to say it was bad before, I just though it had hit a peak. Their match at Wrestlemania topped the night for me, not the Hell in a Cell.
Great builds for the other events at Extreme Rules, except for Orton and Kane. Orton has been getting the better of the monster physically, on too frequent a basis for my liking. He’s a monster, you hit an RKO on him on the ringside mat, you don’t stand there and pose for 5 minutes over his body, you fucking run. If the guy’s a monster then he’ll sit up from that, you have to fall back a little hit him with something else and then get out of there. The challenge for you for your match is for you to pick your moment/method and efficiently put him away after you’ve worn him out, his challenge is to get his hands on you long enough to make you pay. Maybe I just watched too much Austin/Taker?
That’s it from me this week. Thanks very much for reading and feel free to comment on here and/or follow me on Twitter (if you’re into that sort of thing) @BluntDamage
Until next time.