Yes Yes Yes? The Raw Review
by, 05-01-2012 at 07:02 AM (3652 Views)
**CONTAINS EXTREME RULES SPOILERS**
Extreme Rules aftermath (written pre-Raw)
Extreme Rules was, in my always ‘humble’ and often sarcastic opinion, a major success – with one flaw. Jericho versus Punk was a great match, Sheamus and Bryan put on a great match, and Lesnar destroyed Cena. The one flaw which I have alluded to is that Cena managed to win in what was easily the biggest beat down of his WWE career. I thought The Rock defeating Cena was the end of the SuperCena era (for a while at least) in WWE, but I was apparently wrong. I apologise for any spoilers to those who have not managed to catch Extreme Rules yet, but Lesnar made Cena bleed in a matter of sixty seconds last night and proceeded in showing how he got the moniker of ‘The Next Big Thing’ and gained the intro of ‘Here Comes The Pain’. The man is a beast, and last night he showed what he brings to WWE in terms of legitimacy. He brings the attitude and dominance back to WWE, but Cena defeating him leaves tonight’s Raw on a fine line of good and bad – if WWE plays this right, Lesnar’s return can be justified by Cena’s injuries and the hopeful removal of him for a month or so (I’m hoping until August). The problem is that WWE has played the SuperCena card many times before, and if they focus too much on the victory rather than the viciousness of Lesnar it makes the ‘War Machine’ irrelevant and a pointless return altogether. Monday Night Raw, the ball is in your court…
Monday Night Raw – 30/4/2012
Last night, the WWE Universe witnessed change; great feuds ended, the GM got physical, and we have a new number one contender for CM Punk’s WWE Championship. More importantly though, Brock Lesnar assaulted the COO of WWE, Triple H. With all of this change came eight matches on a two-hour Raw (which was surprising enough), and the return of the Beat The Clock Challenge. Let’s get into this, shall we?
Lesnar brings the pain to COO Triple H
I expected Cena to open Raw in all honesty, announcing his departure over the coming months. I assumed Triple H would be saved for the closing segment, but I’m glad they got the advertised segment out of the way early. The question remains, what will happen to Lesnar now that he seems to have snapped beyond anybody’s expectations? Will Triple H ‘fire’ him? Or will we be expecting a match between Lesnar and The Game once Triple H is healed up? I personally think Lesnar will run riot on Raw for the next couple of months in an effort to undermine Triple H’s running of WWE operations – I know it sounds a lot like the vote of no confidence from last
year, but Lesnar as a one-man wrecking crew has been great TV so far. Why not have him run through everybody who stands in his way? Overall, I enjoyed this segment, even if you could see the attack coming from a mile off.
I’m also loving the Camora (is it spelt that way?) hold that Lesnar has added to his already impressive arsenal.
Beat The Clock Challenge to decide CM Punk’s next challenger
Eve came out and announced this, and I immediately had two thoughts – Eve saying something of relevance is a rarity, and I’ve missed the Beat The Clock Challenge. Needless to say, I was looking forward to this. I wasn’t left disappointed either. The Miz set the standard with a time of 4:18 over Santino (anybody who read my bonus blog from last week will know the unwavering support I have for The Miz), and the two put on a good match in the process.
For a moment, I thought maybe we would end up with a Triple Threat at Over The Limit when Jericho versus Kane ended on a 9-count at the mark (I thought it was a 10-count myself), and then those pesky adverts kicked in. Upon learning that Miz was still the sole time-setter I was left disappointed and happy at the same time – where I want The Miz to be seen as relevant again I don’t think he should be thrown straight into the main event, and I also want to see Jericho versus Punk go for a couple of months more. Needless to say, WWE has dropped the rivalry which has pushed the limit on the PG tag for the last three months. I just hope Jericho gets a decent rivalry on the back of this – I would personally love to see Jericho used to bring a mid-card talent into prosperity (Dolph anyone?).
Randy Orton versus Jack Swagger was annoying for two reasons – Orton won in the same fashion as he always does (beyond bored of Orton’s face gimmick now), and the match itself was let down by the boring ring presence of Swagger. Don’t get me wrong, Swagger has talent. The problem is that he is boring. He needs Guerrero to stay relevant and even she has lost the heat she once had in my view – I’m more fed up of Dolph staying by her side when he is beyond her management now. As for Swagger and Vickie, they would be better suited to roles on SmackDown. This match saw Orton set a new time of 4:16.
The Great Khali versus Kane was clearly only set to further the Kane/Randy Orton rivalry, as Khali is in no way deserving of a shot at the WWE Championship, and Kane holding the title would serve no purpose as he has nobody to feud with. The match ended in a no contest (I would analyse this match more but I quite literally fell asleep for the brief period that the match was on), and Orton remained the man to beat. I just hope WWE sees that we don’t care about Orton/Kane and the weak premise of their feud and puts an end to it.
The best match of the night was also the best match of the Beat the Clock Challenge, as Daniel Bryan faced the unlikely opponent of Jerry “The King” Lawler. I think everybody knew Bryan was going to win the match after the month of support he has behind him, but we got the great technical match he never seems to fail at putting on also. I’m not too sure of the time he set, but it was with near enough two minutes to spare that he made Lawler tap out to the Yes Lock. Post-match Punk emerged from the back and it became official that the match that was interrupted various times in February is now the match that will (hopefully) headline Over The Limit. I’m excited for this match. Both superstars have immense crowd support, and both deliver in the ring. I’m expecting a technical master class and a battle of egos in this one, and it should be given the largest time on the card (I’m thinking 30 minutes of in-ring action). Plus there’s also the wild card of Jericho costing Punk the title as revenge for the past two months. This should be a great PPV for that match alone.
Cena ambushed by Johnny Ace, Tensai, and Sakamoto
Cena announced himself that he would be on Raw last night, but I don’t think anybody thought Johnny Ace had the testicular fortitude to physically assault the face of the company. After the tirade of BS he gave Cena it was expected that he would talk until Tensai attacked him. I didn’t expect a CM Punk-inspired microphone doink (that’s the most apt way to describe the cartoon sound effect that shot would have produced I think) from Johnny Ace. What’s more surprising is that he looked good in his assault – it’s a rarity that a GM would be able to be convincing in an assault, but Ace looked good and could potentially still be a technically sound wrestler. For that reason I am actually looking forward to Cena versus Laurinaitis at Over The Limit.
In other news…
The Bellas bowed out with a loss in less than ten seconds to the returning Layla; not much to say about this, other than that I’m glad the segment fillers are gone. For years they have served no purpose, and it’s a good thing that they’re now gone. Bring on the heat…
JTG versus Brodus Clay; I actually like JTG as a heel (on NXT he does a good job of it), but his loss to Brodus made sense. I wasn’t too happy with the involvement of children in his post-match dance though. Please don’t cheese this gimmick up anymore WWE!
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth win the Tag Team Championship from Primo & Epico; I’m not sure why WWE feels like Kofi and Truth are no better than the Tag titles, since both have shown glimpses of main event quality in the past. I suppose there is just no place for them at the moment. I don’t think they needed to take the titles from a genuine tag team in Primo & Epico though. My only thoughts are that maybe this is where A.W. comes into play for Primo & Epico.
My view on this week’s raw is pretty simple. I enjoyed the majority of it. Other than the Divas Championship and the Tag Team Championship, it was a solid Raw. We got eight matches, two useful and entertaining segments, and the divas got all the time that was needed. Raw was booked to near perfection last night, and for that reason I say Yes! Yes! Yes! I look forward to next week and hopefully a promo-off between Punk and Bryan.
For more of my views and sarcasms follow me on Twitter (@ComingToCinemas).