Hello and thanks for showing up to reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.
Your host for this event, hailing from a dark corner in the North East of England, someone more blunt than a sledgehammer to the bollocks, a guy with the grumpiness of a man three times his age and the only person able to get more hot and bothered than the bastard child of Ric Flair and James E. Cornette, Danny Damage.
Raw Rant, 7th May 2012
Welcome one and all, it’s time for Monday Night Raw! Your opener, as expected, is a video package from last week: Cena gets a kicking from Laurinaitis and co.
Speaking of the GM, he makes his way to the ring. Mr. Laurinaitis admits he lost his temper last week, unleashing a wave of destruction that nobody could withstand. It’s his ‘tough but fair’ policy that caused the board of directors to not get in touch with him to deal with the matter further. Johnny says that Cena will not be here tonight but he will be appearing later via satellite and that this is a great demonstration of what happens when you make fun of him or challenge his leadership skills. We’re also forced to look at Laurinaitis in trunks, showing us a few stills from his work in Japan and a sneak-peak at the sight we’ll be seeing in a couple of weeks. CM Punk joins Johnny in the ring and insults him until the crowd get bored of cheering along, saying he’s stupid, ugly, friendless and a gigantic toolbox. Johnny thanks Punk for his contribution by putting him in a match with Lord Tensai later. CM Punk looks forward to the challenge and to Cena making Laurinaitis tap out at Over the Limit.
A pissed off John Laurinaitis bumps into The Big Show backstage and tells Show he should move out of the way when he’s walking by. Big Show waits for him to leave and amuses himself with an impression of his boss. The smile is wiped off his face however, when he turns around to see Eve glaring at him.
Intercontinental Title Match
The Big Show defeats Cody Rhodes via count out. Big Show tossed Cody around for a few minutes until Rhodes took his belt and ran away. After the match, Eve confronts Big Show and forces two apologies out of him for the earlier mocking of Mr. Laurinaitis.
Dolph Ziggler (w/Vicky & Jack Swagger) defeated Kofi Kingston (w/R-Truth & Little Jimmy) thanks to a Zigzag on a distracted Kofi. Nice to see Ziggler actually win a match for a change, he’s normally too busy putting other guys over, which kind of gets in the way of scoring a win from time to time.
Michael Cole stands in the ring and welcomes John Cena on the Titantron. Cena says his condition isn’t great and his doctors have advised he avoids the ring for a few months. This isn’t going to happen though, he’s going against their orders and he can’t wait to get his hands on Laurinaitis at Over the Limit. Cole asks Cena if he’s scared because of the skills he’s seen in videos of Johnny in Japan. Cena says he’s more scared of Laurinaitis hurting himself before he can get his hands on him and that the board of directors actually contacted him after the attack last week, He he told them to make sure they don’t fire him before Over the Limit so he can kick his ass.
Layla & Kelly Kelly defeat Natalya & Maxine, finishing with Layla’s neck-breaker. Beth Phoenix talks smack on commentary about Layla and their match at Over the Limit as they stare each other down after the match. Kelly Kelly impresses me for the first time of the year by staying out of the ring.
Chris Jericho & Alberto del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) defeat Sheamus & Randy Orton. Y2J ducks the Brogue Kick which hits Orton instead, Jericho hits the Codebreaker on a distracted Sheamus for the pin. Sheamus tries to help Randy on his feet and is hit with an RKO. Hmm, Tit-head of the night goes to Michael Cole (as usual) during this match. Orton uses a drop kick and Cole claims you don’t see him using one of those very often………
John Laurinaitis is in his office and he sends Eve away to get another apology from The Big Show. Chris Jericho appears and demands he’s rewarded a title match after just pinning the champ, Alberto says that he’s next in line already which leads Orton to show up to say he also deserves a title shot, just because. Orton gets knocked around until Sheamus runs in and they clear the heels out of the room. Orton and Sheamus argue a little but Johnny shuts everyone up by making the title match at Over the Limit a Fatal Four-way.
Brodus Clay (w/Naomi & Cameron) defeats The Miz after hitting the Funkaplex/splash combo. Sadly, The Miz whines for a while before the match, making me very bored for twice as long. Some VERY generous (over) selling from Clay, making a good effort of looking effected by the attacks of an angry child with a fake tan addiction.
HHH update, well a recap from last week first. Cole and Lawler discuss HHH’s arm needing surgery but still working as usual, showing pictures of HHH in meetings wearing an arm brace.
Brock Lesnar’s music hits as Cole lets us know that Lesnar isn’t here tonight, but his legal representative is. After a small build-up using Brock’s music, Paul E. Heyman storms down to the ring! Here it is, what I hoped for, Heyman here to talk for Brock Lesnar. Paul E. tells everyone how accomplished Brock is, how badly done to he’s been in his short time back and that he has an official statement to read from the man himself. Brock says he’s not impressed how he’s been messed around again just like eight years ago and that’s he done, he quits. Heyman leaves the ring and that, as they say, is that.
Big Show is talking backstage to ‘two people plugging a TV series I’ll never watch’ while taking the piss out of Laurinaitis. His smile is once again removed by the sight of Eve when he turns around. Lord Tensai vs. Big Show next week?
John Laurinaitis interrupts CM Punk’s entrance to inform him he’ll now be competing in a handicap match against Lord Tensai and the number one contender for his title, Daniel Bryan.
Lord Tensai (w/Sakamoto) & Daniel Bryan defeat CM Punk with the green-mist-claw-slam. Bryan picks the bones after the match locking on the YES! Lock a couple of times, shouting that Punk isn’t better than him.
Once again I’m fairly impressed with Raw. It wasn’t nearly as good as Daniel Bryan smashing the Beat the Clock Challenge last week, but it did have some good bits. These were Paul E. Heyman AND his work on the stick, Ziggler actually winning a match, a taster of Punk/Bryan at Over the Limit and ZERO Teddy Long! They’re doing a half-decent job at continuing Laurinaitis’ push as the uber-evil GM, trying to follow a similar path to the Austin/McMahon feuds of the 90s/00s.
Don’t go thinking I’m all smiles and sunshine though, far from it. That backstage fight between Sheamus, Y2J, Alberto and Orton was abysmal, Funkasaurus/Miz took up several minutes of my life that I’d like back and John Cena is back to his robotic self again. I actually liked that he’d got a bit of personality and colour back while shooting promos with the Rock around Wrestlemania, but now he looks like he’s back in cardboard cut-out form. C’mon kids, get your John Cena costume on and let’s fight the bad guys!
Digest and discuss! Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week.