WWE Monday Night Raw - May 28, 2012
So as of now, the build to Cena/Big Show has a stronger story and more build than either of the title matches at No Way Out. Tonight, we'll rectify that, right?
Wrong. We open with the same recap video shown on Smackdown. They show the vid, I'll show the highlight.
To further show how important this rivalry is, we go to Big Show heading to the ring. Show says that every time he did something to make people smile it was a calculated business decision. Long and short, everything he does and did will do was for himself. With his iron clad contract, there's no need to be the fake-happy lovable Big Show. Show's beef with the WWE is that nobody came to his defense. Minutes after his firing at the hands of Big Johnny, Brodus Clay was out dancing in the middle of the ring, and Kofi and R-Truth were hamming it up. Funny, I pointed out the same thing, big guy. People are shallow and phony and Big Show is more disappointed in Cena than anyone else. The champion of the locker room did a 10 minute Jim Carrey skit with Ace instead of fighting for his 'friend's job. At No Way Out, Cena will face Big Show's wrath. Not bad...just a bit long. Glad to see he pointed out Clay's being jovial minutes after a locker room vet was shitcanned on national television.
WWE Rewind to Santino vs Ricardo Rodriguez; this means Santino is up next.
Match 1 - Alberto del Rio vs Santino Marella (US Champion), non-title
Winner: Alberto del Rio via submission
ADR's golden rain pyro is back. Usually I'm not a stickler for pyro, but it fits his character so well that it was sorely missed. Alberto squashes Santino in a minute with the Cross Armbreaker. Ricardo yells that del Rio won in Santino's face. This would normally be a way to elevate a championship contender, but with the way the 'lower' titles are treated nowadays, this really doesn't prove much of anything.
Alex Riley is in the back buttering up Eve when Show walks in and is told by Eve that he can pick his opponent tonight. Riley just about poops himself and Show says he's not his choice, but to send a message to the locker room. He then throws him into a wall. If he's unconscious, how is he going to deliver the message? Did not think this one through, Big Show.
Match 2 - Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c) vs Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
Winners: Kofi and Truth via pinfall
Extremely typical tag match. That's about all I can say for the action. What happened after the match was far more important. Ziggler says that he's better than this and storms off, leaving Vickie and Swagger in the ring. It's about time; Ziggler needs to strike out on his own so he can shine. Swagger is solid in the ring; his main problem is that he's been second fiddle to Ziggler for the tenure of this partnership. Set both men free!
Santino is being walked through the back by a WWE doctor, who proceeds to drop him off with Big Show for some ungodly reason. The doc tells Show that Santino is hurt. Show grabs Santino by the face and says maybe he should be his opponent tonight. Brodus Clay shows up, upset that Big Show was talking trash earlier in the night. Show says they'll fight tonight. Some character for Clay is nice; at least he shows conviction.
Big Johnny, Eve and David Otunga come to the ring to unveil the WWE '13 video game cover. Ace says after the match with Cena he's the most popular superstar of all time and reveals a cover with himself on it. Yeah, ok. CM Punk comes out and puts his gum on the seat of Ace's rascal scooter. Punk proceeds to uncover a larger display of the real cover, featuring himself. "A wrestler on the cover of a wrestling video game"; the idea amuses Punk.
He makes a "mine is bigger than yours" joke at Ace's expense and sends the corporate crew on their way. Ace wishes Punk good luck in his match; Punk reminds Ace that "luck is for losers".
Match 3 - CM Punk (WWE Champion) vs Daniel Bryan, non-title
Winner: Daniel Bryan via pinfall
Bryan needs to earn his repeat WWE title shot. A lot of classic stuff from both guys: Bryan bends Punk's elbow to the mat and stomps it, Punk uses a bow and arrow stretch. They also do a classic 'indy' arm wringer escape and a bridge up out of a pin into an attempted backslide. The action ends up outside and AJ comes to ringside, dressed up in CM Punk merch. Punk stomps away at Bryan and AJ looks absolutely gleeful.
|The start of a crazy fangirl angle?|
Punk lands a northern lights suplex and Bryan continues a focus on the arm. Bryan exposes the turnbuckle and AJ hops on the apron to tell the ref. Punk doesn't know the turnbuckle is exposed and Bryan baits him to the corner. Bryan throws him head first and grabs a quick pin.
Kane immediately hits the ring to wail on Bryan with a chair to continue this mini-feud and when AJ gets wind that Kane will turn to Punk, she slides him a chair to defend himself with. Punk gives an unsure look to AJ. AJ has, without a doubt, the most believable expressions of any diva in WWE. I sincerely hope for a real program for her once this one is done. Bryan/Punk got about 20 minutes on TV and the match had a 'tainted' win; this shows a confidence (well deserved) in both men and it's a breath of fresh air.
Match 4 - Christian (IC champion) vs The Miz, non-title
Winner: Christian via pinfall
Cody Rhodes is on commentary for this one and does a pretty good job. Miz lands offense early, but Christian comes back. Rhodes throws down the headset and distracts Christian, allowing Miz a near fall. Christian fights back and lands the Killswitch and Frog Splash. This is all leading to Christian vs Rhodes as a program, which is great.
Cut to the back and we see Ace giving Otunga and Eve the business. Ace is disappointed in Otunga for tapping to the STF so quickly when Ace lasted it twice in one match (A fair complaint, to be honest). Otunga wants Sheamus to prove himself. Big Johnny tells Eve he's disappointed she didn't get an apology out of Sheamus. She says she tried. Eve gets mad and makes Teddy Long get her coffee. It's cold, which makes her mad. It was an iced coffee. This is all awful.
Back to the ring, Miz is still out there and nabbed himself a mic. He won for Team Johnny at Wrestlemania and hasn't gotten anything for it. Orton comes out, walks right to the ring and RKOs Miz. So Miz didn't see that coming? What a goof. Ziggler is in the back and Vickie says she'll see what she can do to get Ziggler on his own.
A video package for Memorial Day, voiced by John Cena rolls. This is normally where I'd complain about Cena being shoved down our throats, but instead I say it was a well done video with a splendid sentiment. Those same folks they're thanking in a video are the reason I can sit here on the lunch break of a good job and write about a wrestling TV show to pass the time. Thank you all.
Kane will face CM Punk for the WWE title on Smackdown. The brand extension is officially dead with this match.
Match 5 - David Otunga vs Sheamus (World Heavyweight Champion), non-title
Winner: Sheamus via pinfall
Sheamus beats up Otunga, hits White Noise then the Brough Kick. Just an excuse for Big Red to get on Raw and see action. I don't like the idea of taking White Noise as a lead in to the Brough Kick; it devalues it as a legit finisher. Bad call.
ECW Unreleased Vol 1 releases soon; the clips shown showcase the usual ECW suspects, as well as Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho.
Raw Rewind to Over the Limit and "the darkest 24 hours in WWE". Then the video from the top of the show plays. As I promised:
|Unlike WWE, I just show the best part.|
The match never starts. Big Show enters with a mic and says he's a fan of Clay. Show thought he was a sellout, but look at Clay; he does it every night. Maybe when the fans are tired of the Funkasaurus, Clay can be Doink. Big Show heads to the ring and spears Clay outside in a huge collision. Show continues to beat down Brodus, until Kofi and Truth run out to make the save. Show catches Kofi and throws him into Truth. Big Show stomps the announce table and whacks Clay with a panel of it a few times. Kofi recovers and rushes Big Show, but he gets thrown through a barricade. Truth gets tossed into the steel stairs. Clay takes the WMD to the jaw and Ace comes out to congratulate Big Show. Where the hell is John Cena in all this?
So again, Big Show/Cena takes the front seat on this show and for the PPV - it was declared the main event, once again out ranking both titles. Big Show has destroyed two champions and an undefeated monster all at once. Leaving out the question of why this had to be a brawl to protect Clay's undefeated streak, we're still left in a bad place: If Cena wins at No Way Out, he beat a monster who beat three men by himself and we have Super Cena again. If he loses, what's the point, other than to build to the eventual return of Super Cena? The key ingredient here is that Cena needs to change - Heel turn, attitude, intensity. Anything. But the same old Cena just isn't going to do it after the last few weeks. Here's hoping that change comes; I have nothing against John Cena. I have something against the John Cena that does Jim Carrey skits.