Hello and thanks for showing up to reflect on the latest episode of Monday Night Raw.

And your host for this event, hailing from a dark corner in the North East of England, hiding out in a BBC video storage vault, a man more blunt than a sledgehammer to the bollocks, it’s Danny Damage.

The Raw Rant, August 6th 2012

Awesome, we’re shown highlights of the Cena/Big Show match from last week. I’m still not enjoying the new Raw theme song, I remember when most WWE music had balls.

AJ the GM skips down to the ring. Makes Orton vs. Big Show and Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena for later. Before she can say anything else, CM Punk heads out and apologises for losing his cool last week. He tries to get around her but fails to get the triple threat match cancelled and John Cena comes out for a chat. Apparently, Cena earned all his respect and CM Punk needs to learn this. The Big Show joins them but AJ tells everyone to shut up, for Show and Cena to get ready for their matches and for CM Punk to stay in the ring, as he has a match next. AJ’s giving the WWE universe the vote now, offering CM Punk vs Rey Mysterio, Kane or The Miz……….Mysterio won the vote.

Raw Active Match

CM Punk defeats Rey Mysterio cleanly with the GTS. I point out that it was clean as I’m happy they’re not following the usual heel turn transformation where someone is incapable of winning because they’re better than their opponent. I suspected dirty, underhanded wins while he’s feuding with Cena. Nice one.

Alberto del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez arrive and park wherever they want.

Wade Barrett promo. I’m looking forward to his return, he’s taken way to long to heal up.

ADR chats up AJ and tells her about him not competing, she agrees and he mentions being concerned that she would do something crazy. She takes offence to this and puts him in a match, next.

Alberto del Rio makes Christian tap out to the Cross Armbreaker. After the match, Sheamus pops up on the Titantron and agrees that he should up his class, starting with a new motor. Ricardo left the keys in the ignition of Alberto’s car when he went back to get his bags and Sheamus decides to go for a cruise, much to Alberto’s displeasure.

The Big Show and Randy Orton are both counted out. Big Show hit a spear outside as the count reached ten. He tosses Randy back in and sets up the WMD but Orton ducks it and hits him with an RKO. Looked like he was setting up the punt afterward.

Ryback continues his winning streak vs Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins. Meat hook and Shell Shocked for the win. Nothing else of interest to report.

Primo & Epico get a win over The Prime Time Players with a Backstabber, thanks to R-Truth and Kofi Kingston blocking TPTP’s flee attempt and causing the distraction. When Primo and Epico’s music hits, Kofi tries to replace Rosa’s dancing with some moves of his own, but it doesn’t do anything for me, sorry dude.

Josh Matthews interviews Damien Sandow backstage. Sandow states that he’s obligated to rid the WWE of all foolishness and he’s going to dispose of Brodus Clay for our benefit, you’re welcome.

Brodus Clay vs. Damien Sandow doesn’t even get started. Sandow jumps Clay on the ramp and wrecks his leg. He informs Clay that he brought it upon himself and leaves. Hopefully this is Clay out for a little bit to drop his daft gimmick and return mad and mean and something similar to how he was portrayed before The Funkasaurus was born.

AJ and Daniel Bryan converse backstage, Bryan tries to get in on the triple threat match at Summerslam but AJ says he’s still got severe anger management issues and already has an opponent for the PPV, Kane. They do their yes/no bit again and DB almost pops a vein.

Kelly Kelly pins Eve Torres. Awful match. A few of my friends will be happy they’ve had an eyeful of some blonde with a single, plastic facial expression though, enough said.

Shawn Michaels has some shit to say in the ring. Before he has chance to get into the HHH vs. Lesnar match, Paul E. Heyman and Brock Lesnar come and keep him company in the ring. Thankfully, Heyman holds the microphone for the majority of the time and Lesnar grabs it to do a brief “BROCK SMASH” line and passes it back. Heyman’s face palm when Brock decides to speak tickled me somewhat. Brock gets in HBK’s face and Triple H comes out to square up to Brock, Lesnar backs off and says he’ll see HHH at Summerslam and HBK, sooner.

Sheamus touts his adventures in Alberto’s car while enjoying the local scenery.

Alex Riley upsets Dolph Ziggler thanks to a distraction from Chris Jericho. Y2J was stood on the commentary table, filming Ziggler with his phone, Ziggler took his eyes off Riley and got rolled up. Jericho back to being very entertaining since the switch back to being a baby face, still not cut that hair yet either. Grow, grow, grow!

Kane buries The Miz with a Chokeslam. Not a bad quickie match for the two guys who weren’t voted to face CM Punk earlier in the night. A much better use of time than allowing Brodus Clay to make it all the way to the ring. Good call.

Matt Striker asks Daniel Bryan on his thoughts, Bryan reiterates that he wants the WWE universe to stop with their “Yes!” chants, they’re not allowed to use it.

Sheamus returns Alberto’s messed up car to the car park, covered in food, grass and all kinds of shit. He leaves the keys with someone and bails.

Daniel Bryan comes down to the ring for his match, deafened by the fans in the arena with “Yes!” chants. He gives his “No!” chant the best he can but there’s just too many of them.

Backstage, Alberto discovers the state that Sheamus has left his car in, he blames Ricardo, tells him to clean it and storms off. Back in the ring, Daniel Bryan is still shouting at everyone.

John Cena saves the day and beats Daniel Bryan, the evil villain for all the kiddies in the land, hooray. Ahem. After the match, CM Punk runs out and gets in Cena’s face. Cena shoves Punk out of the way when he sees the Big Show approaching, he grabs him for the FU and is pushed over again by CM Punk. Punk grabs a headset and tells us that this is how Raw should always end, with the champion stood tall with their belt. He goes back in the ring to deliver another head kick to The Big Show, it sucks to be Punk though as The Big Show catches his leg and drops him with a WMD, Cena gets one too once he gets to his feet. Raw goes off the air with The Big Show posing with the title.


CM Punk and The Big Show aren’t being out shined by John Cena in the run up to their triple threat match. Everything’s looking rather even at the moment as they’re all having a turn to get one over on each other. Because of this, I really enjoyed the ending sequence of Raw.

My initial fears of three hours of Raw being three hours of promos have been muted for the time being. I’m feeling there’s a nice balance of talking and action on offer. Well, the ratio is a hell of a lot better than I imagined, so hats off.

Summerslam is building pretty well. Both main title matches already announced, HHH vs. Brock Lesnar too, Daniel Bryan vs. Kane is well received from me because it’s not vs. Charlie fooking Sheen. I still wouldn’t be surprised if he showed up for a run in or something.

Speaking of, Daniel Bryan’s development interests me greatly. Like I said last week, I’d be very happy for him to continue the angle where he’s losing his mind and for it to go even deeper. I’m not saying to go all Snitsky and have him develop a foot fetish or something to that effect, but I’d still like to push to have him in a straight jacket, strapped to a set of wheels and released into the ring as some crazy fuck-nugget who’s only ambition is to rip off your arms and make you tap out while not knowing whether to scream “YES!” or “NO!” for the duration. I also noticed that his ring attire has gradually been changing into what he wore at Money in the Bank, which kind of came out of nowhere.

Jericho was the one given a chance to shine at the commentator’s table this week, he badgered Michael Cole into temporary silence, said he found the Ziggler T-shirt in the bin, that he just liked the summer colours and him costing Ziggler the match fuelled their feud in an amusing way.

AJ Lee was back to her old tricks, annoying me that is. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not at her worst, but I think she wasn’t as irritating last week because her character had a change of pace. It’s getting old rather quickly though, Lord Regal would still have been the superior choice for GM.

Digest and discuss! You can follow me on Twitter for additional nuggets of wisdom. Thanks for reading, take care and I’ll see you next week.

Danny Damage

@BluntDamage (twitter)

  • “Brodus Clay vs. Damien Sandow doesn’t even get started. Sandow jumps
    Clay on the ramp and wrecks his leg. He informs Clay that he brought it
    upon himself and leaves. Hopefully this is Clay out for a little bit
    to drop his daft gimmick and return mad and mean and something similar
    to how he was portrayed before The Funkasaurus was born.”

    So you want boring generic hoss #5000 aka Brodus back when he was with Del Rio?

    •  Nah, just something less tacky and cheesy than he’s got going on now.  I’m sure it wouldn’t be too difficult for him to pull off a solid tough guy persona while still holding on to a little bit of his entertaining attitude.

  • On Bryan’s development, he kinda reminds me of Bob Backlund when he lost his shit in ’94. I like it.

    • I think this is something to do with why I’ve also warmed to this change in character too.  I remember Backlund just losing it and slapping the Chickenwing on anyone he could, fun times.

  • Uncle Cletus

    It sounds like you’re pining for the return of The Zodiac/Failed Brutus Beefcake Gimmick #43 with D-Bryan and his Yes/No malarkey

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Brodus’ gimmick, the problem is more that he seems capable of doing 4 moves, and half of them are crap.

    Summerslam… looking forward to Y2J vs. Dolph, Bryan vs. Kane could go either way.
    Orton, Del Rio & Sheamus continue to bore the crap out of me

    Primo & Epico looked good, can’t help thinking they need a name for the team though

    And finally… I guess Tyson Kidd’s push is officially over, as he would have been a far more logical choice to upset Zigs than A-Ry

    • johntcole

      I think Kidd might still get pushed in the tag division with Gabriel.  The PTPs need a feud after they win the tag titles although I’m almost positive WWE will eventually team up Rey and Cara for that sole reason.

    • I think if the match had been vs. Tyson Kidd AND Jericho was ringside, an upset would have been more predictable.

      Bryan started to remind me of The Berserker at one point.  Instead of The Berserker’s huffing and puffing replacing normal breathing, Bryan just mutters Yes! to himself like a mild Tourette’s sufferer.

      I’ve always enjoyed Primo and Epico.  They’ve got both high flying moves to dazzle and impress and sneaky, heel attacks in their arsenal, depending on the role they’re playing.  Rosa is great with the crowd no matter her role too, she gets them cheering easily and does a great job giving them shit in Spanish.

  • guest

    Next week we have Super Cena beat the hell out of CM Punk and Big Show……………I hope im wrong

  • Uncle Cletus

    Actually, one thing that really annoyed me this week was Gobshite repeatedly saying it would be an upset if Rey beat Punk… uh, why?

    • Bacon

      Because Punk’s been the champion for about ten months? Because by this point anyone beating him should be an upset?

      • UMO Executive

         Yeah eventhough they apparently want to keep Punk as champion until Royal Rumble but who knows things can change between now and then just like Cena & Rock were originally supposed to wrestle for the belt at Wrestlemania but Punk playing “Hog the spotlight” changed that.

  • Blah People

    Raw has improved from the late two hour offerings. You often read people saying WWE needs to cut PPVs, I just wonder if this is their response, there is a lot more time on the main show to brew the storylines (as utterly shite as Sheamus is, that storyline was given a good whack of time that usually would be spread over a couple of Raws or a Raw and a Smackdown) without taking away any PPVs.

    tOut (stylized like a mediocre video game) is soul sapping, Jericho’s was a nice touch but only because it felt like he was half taking the piss. Sheamus’ just underlined that he was breaking the law, but in a really petulant way, it was as if he, instead of being all Robin Hood and stealing from the poor, he just decided to defecate on their lawn.

    There’s plenty to be optimistic about, Kane’s really had a renaissance with the mask, I loved him being Orton at Wrestlemania, and he’s been improving on the late ‘dance with Hornswoggle’ maskless Kane era. Hoping Del Rio beats Sheamus keeps that title relevant for me even with a dour champion. Christian and Rey seem to get a match each week and they are fun to watch.

    As a fellow UK viewer, there is a good number of crap things about Raw in general, but because it’s 3 hours, you feel less guilty about maybe fastforwarding every PPV Promo, Superstar Video Package (cept Barratt’s – woo!), Michael Cole’s shitty recaps and all the social media crap. 

    Oh and you can be damn sure that Charlie Sheen’s getting involved at Summeslam, whether his skin and hair look better than Mickey Rourke’s at Wrestlemania is still to be determined.

    • johntcole

      If Kane doesn’t murder Sheen at Summerslam I’ll be pissed.

      • UMO Executive

         He didn’t murder Drew Carey at Royal Rumble.

    • I think Sheamus’ joy ride this week was meant to be from the same page as Austin and The Rock’s renegade antics.  Although it’s been done 9999 times before, he did amuse me more than he has done in a long time.

      The number of breaks does suck major balls.  However, it gives me plenty of opportunity to make notes and type out my wall of text on the fly, so I don’t have to go into berserker typing mode once the show is over and leaving me adequate hours of sleep before work the next day.  Working full time and living in the UK (so not watching it anything close to live) means I do try and get the rant done ASAP.  The breaks giving me time to work is appreciated a little by me, but only in moderation.

      I’m just happy it’s not Bryan vs. Sheen at Sumerslam.

  • What happened to ”Raw in roughly 5 minutes”?

  • Aj (Lee. Remember that last name we made you forget?) sucks so far as GM. Vince should of picked Slick. But her constant dressing like Stephanie McMahon entertains me to no end. 

    • She will never pull off the same level of sexy and scary as Stephanie McMahon did.  AJ is better in the ring though.

    • UMO Executive

       She seems to be far more better fit than Tiffany was as ECW’s GM.

  • Brownie_the_3rd

    you’re right about Regal being the superior choice, after all I’m pretty sure AJ can’t stick a screwdriver in her nose like Regal can

  • Tmacman

    I actually found the Cena & Danielson match quite entertaining, I mean you can nag about the story implications of the match all you want, but don’t brush off a decent match just because hating Cena is fashionable. Oh and Cena didn’t say he earned his respect, he said he has to fight for it every night, hence playing on the fact that there’s always a “let’s go Cena” followed by a “Cena sucks” chant.

    I’m no Cena fan, but come on blunt, you’re better than this.

    • On the Rant a month or so ago,. I stated that I can’t hate Cena, no matter how hard I want to, but his contribution to matches bore the fuck out of me.  You would have been as entertained with that match regardless of DB’s opponent I reckon.  So please don’t lump me in the same category as people who made their decision on the flip of a coin or because it’s the same opinion as their best mate, or the majority of fans.

      Cena’s entire moveset could be performed by a child and his matches could have been choreographed by that kid’s younger sibling.  To me, it’s the wrestling equivilant of some pop tart that has all their singles, albums, tours and films promoted to the moon and back, but they don’t really put any effort into the artistic/performance side of things. “Artists” such as Katy Perry and Rihanna will work their arses off when there’s a camera in front of them and they have to talk about their self and promote something, they’re just shit at the thing they’re actually selling, in their example, music, they just love being on screen, in the headlines and getting most of their kit off.

      This is why most record labels have investments in Auto Tune (& similar software) and backing singers.  Anyone who’s seen footage of aforementioned singing bints will know what I’m on about.

      Also, The “respect” Cena claims he earned, is that of googly-eyed women and children (which is evident from the high pitched “Let’s go Cena” part of the chant) that cheer for whoever they’re told to cheer for, which is hardly fair judgement, imo. 

      I’ve said before that he definitely has a place in the WWE, I liked him a lot when he first started and I thought he’d take the Attitude Era to another level, sadly, it’s one that’s not as entertaining.

      • Tmacman

        Yeah you’re probably right about the Danielson thing, I do prefer him much more over Cena anyway, but I don’t think you got my point about the respect thing, in the segment Cena never claimed to have “earned it”, he claimed he had to “Fight for it”, playing on the fact that he is very polarizing as the chant suggests. 

        • Tmacman

          You know you can’t go back and edit these damn comment boxes, it should read as:

          …He claimed he has to “fight for it every night”…

          ffs, it’s such a minor point, that I don’t even know why I’m bothering…but fuck it.

          • No worries, best to get your point across even if you gotta double post and look a bit like a tit! 😛

            I think you can only edit comments if you’re signed into disqus via FB/Twitter etc. and not just as a guest.

            And sorry, you’re right.  I didn’t respond to the Cena/respect bit properly.  What you said, is what he said, I worded it a bit wrong.  My viewpoint still stands though.

            If we’re talking respect as a human being, then hell yeah he’s earned it.  He comes across as a pretty level headed, modest guy.  He has a lot of time for other people, mainly sick kids and would go to great lengths to spend time with people less fortunate than him.

            If we’re talking about respect in the ring, he hasn’t earned as much as
            he thinks.  Fighting for respect implies that he hasn’t been given the chance to shine very often,  He’s been offered a hell of a lot on a silver plate,
            with extra flowing off the sides that could have been given to
            someone with more wrestling talent, imo.

  • Clay should drop this whole God-awful Flash Funk 2.0 gig at some point soon. Perhaps, join up with Sandow in some sort of Right To Censor-esque stable?

    • UMO Executive

       It would only work if they had something to actually rail against which RTC had.

  • Hitmonchan

    The WWE might as well drop “wrestling” in general and become a music recording label or some shit like that. Vince is definitely killing it. Thanks a lot internet.

    • UMO Executive

      If anything is hurting the business I believe it’s more so a two headed problem between those who want the business to work in ways which doesn’t necessarily = $$$ and those who believe that there is something wrong with something being scripted.

      i.e. the fans and the non-fans.

    • UMO Executive

       I mean granted WWE has dropped the balls a lot of times over the last 15 20 years but I don’t think the issues with the business as a whole fall squarely on WWE doing things like shifting to PG or trying to copy the success they had with Andre & Hogan with Orton & Cena.

      Wrestling has always had periods where it’s popular and then cools off until they find a way to make it more popular again simply going back to what worked before or keeping certain individuals out of the title or main event picture isn’t necessarily the answer which a lot of smarks think is the right course of action.