Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday Night Raw Recap: Plot Hole-Mania Runnin' Wild

Location: Richmond, Virginia
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler

In ring segment

Cena comes out and he is not happy. I much prefer serious John Cena to Ace Ventura Cena. The Doctor of Thuganomics grabbed a microphone and Raw opened up with an in-ring promo running down the Big Show. John Laurinaitis came out to the ramp in a Rascal, accompanied by Eve Torres (Serious question, do you think John Cena making out with Eve on Raw a few months back had any impact at all with his divorce?).

John Cena vs The Big Show is announced for the next PPV, No Way Out. John Laurinaitis also announced that the Big Show was hired back last Saturday. And correct me if I’m wrong, but Saturday comes before Sunday....the night of Over the Limit. The same PPV with the main event stipulation stating that anyone who interfered in the match up would be fired. So technically the Big Show was a WWE employee at the time right? All I ask for is a little continuation. Less than 24 hours after the PPV and they’re already butchering storylines. Sweet.

No salute? No sprinting? Yes folks, it's serious @JohnCena#RAWTonight

John Cena vs David Otunga
I love so many things about David Otunga, the wrestling character. I love that his coffee mug strategically matches what he is wearing, and that he is a legal liasion to the General Manager of Raw. 

But I do not enjoy David Otunga, the wrestler. He is still very green (Editor's note: Not just green. Like the green my banzai tree used to be before I killed it with my ignorance)....which is probably why his match against John Cena only lasted a few minutes. Cena seemed in a rush to get the match over with so he could go backstage and continue reading Fifty Shades of Grey

After the Cena victory, Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil ran down the ramp and attacked John Cena (I’m not going to lie, I am not really familiar with any of these men. I rarely watch Smackdown, and I do not watch NXT. I have a life.). Then Sheamus hits the ring and almost single-handedly takes out four men. Of course he does. Honestly though, what possible motivation does Sheamus have to run down the ring from the back and “save” John Cena from being attacked? 

Big Johnny announces that later on they will be teaming up in a 2 on 3 Lumberjack match. Why would they be worried? The two of them just cleared the ring when they were outnumbered two on four. A  two on three match should be a breeze by comparison. Lots of logic holes tonight, folks.

In-ring Introduction
Ricardo Rodriguez was all set to introduce Alberto Del Rio until for some reason Santino came out to interrupt. Did I miss something? Has Santino been feuding with Del Rio? Anyway, Santino knocks Ricardo Rodriquez out with his sock puppet and then proceeds to introduce Alberto Del Rio. Honestly, it was pretty...pretty...pretty good. Not quite as good as Will Ferrell's introduction of the Chicago Bulls, but still entertaining.

Alberto Del Rio vs Randy Orton
Seemingly specifically for my satisfaction, Michael Cole clarified the Big Show’s contract status after realizing that John Laurinaitis dun goofed. Idiot. They came to an agreement in principle on Saturday but the Big Show didn’t sign the contract until after the event. Nice recovery. 

This was our first match of the night that lasted longer than 3 minutes. “Legend Killer”, “Apex Predator”, and now according to Michael Cole, sometimes the “The Franchise Player” on Smackdown (sorry Cole, I only know one Franchise, and he used to team with your boss as part of the Dynamic Dudes).  A pretty decent match up was ended after Chris Jericho showed up and gave Randy Orton the Codebreaker. And then another.....and then another.

Daniel Bryan In-ring
Great promo by Daniel Bryan. He says he should be champion because CM Punk tapped out last night. He fails to mention that it was after the match. Bryan does his best Fox News anchor impersonation and shows footage from Over the Limit of CM Punk tapping, with the emphasis of the highlight on CM Punk’s hand. Great heel stuff here. Then Punk comes out to set the record straight and introduces DB to his opponent for the night. Apparently being WWE champion now gives you match making abilities. The plot holes here could sink the Batmobile. 

WWE Creative@WWE_Creative
Did we give @CMPunk the ability to book matches? Probably did that on Saturday when we re-signed Big Show #RAWTonight

Kane vs Daniel Bryan CM Punk on commentary
What do you know, another match that ended in a disqualification. The WWE missed a huge opportunity here to put Daniel Bryan over as a serious contender for the WWE title. 

Let’s ignore for the minute that he’s a Smackdown wrestler challenging for the Raw title. I’m willing to overlook any discrepancies that allow a prominent Punk/Bryan feud. If you give Daniel Bryan a clean victory over Kane on Raw, it immediately makes Bryan legitimate. It won’t hurt Kane any. Who is he even feuding with? Zack Ryder? Randy Orton? At this point in his career, Kane should be used to help elevate talent to the main event. At Over the Limit, Daniel Bryan took the WWE champion to his limit in a 25 minute match, even making him tap out after the match. Having him beat Kane would have been huge momentum in their feud. 

Instead, it was another short match as eventually CM Punk left his post on commentary to get revenge on Daniel Bryan for what happened last Friday Night on Smackdown. Punk puts a chair in Bryan’s hands, Kane notices, gets pissed, goes crazy. Kane, bucking the three finisher trend, chokeslams Daniel Bryan twice to the delight of CM Punk. 

Very strange segment as CM Punk runs into AJ Lee backstage. AJ starts crying and CM Punk comforts her by hugging her and petting her like Lenny from Of Mice and Men. Segment ends with CM Punk letting AJ know that he digs crazy chicks. Just odd all around. 

CM Punk@CMPunk
@JoeyStyles: OMG! @CMPunk just discovered that @WWEAJLee is crazy even by WWE Diva standards!” Wow. That's saying' something.

Christian vs Jinder Mahal
New Intercontinental champion Christian was in action against Jinder Mahal. Christian works better as a heel in my opinion, but you can’t fight the wrestler valiantly returning from injury initial pop. He was victorious in the match and I have to ask, when is the last time Jinder Mahal won a televised match? I’m pretty sure the Miz has had a more recent victory.

This is seriously a wrestling move. Nothing more.
Kelly Kelly vs Beth Phoenix
Let’s just say that no one is ever going to ask Kelly Kelly if she’s a survivor of the Hart Family Dungeon. Cole mentioned that Kelly Kelly was named on Maxim’s top 100 list of the world’s most beautiful women. She is number 38 this year, one ahead of Kate Upton, which is blasphemous. How that woman is not in the top 5 is beyond me. Last year Kelly Kelly was number 82, so according to Maxim, Kelly Kelly is 50% hotter this year than she was last year. Not quite sure how rankings can fluctuate so much on a year to year basis. In other news, Layla is number 95 on the list. Congrats to the Divas Champion for being recognized. I know we just used like 200 words describing the Maxim rankings, but anything was better than reviewing a pretty terrible divas match.

WWE Creative@WWE_Creative
Probably not a good idea to let @TheBethPhoenix go out there one segment after @CMPunk said he's dated crazy chicks #RAWTonight

Sheamus/John Cena vs Jack Swagger/Dolph Ziggler/Lord Tensai lumberjack match
Every heel wrestler on the roster surrounded the ring. Pretty good main event as the heels worked well together and had the upperhand the entire match. The odds of winning this match should have been lower than catching two home run balls in the same game. 

Finally the match broke down when all the lumberjacks stormed the ring and beat down Sheamus and John Cena. As if on cue, the locker room then emptied and all the face wrestlers came out to battle all the heels (but if you stop and think about it, what is their motivation for doing so?) 

CM Punk was one of the wrestlers who came out to help (Last I checked, he wasn’t pals with Sheamus or Cena). Eventually John Cena escapes the ruckus and goes backstage looking for the Big Show. We get the horror movie camera close up on Cena...don’t turn around, don’t turn around....bam! The Big Show knocked Cena out cold with his finisher. Otherwise known as an overhand punch, and the laziest choice for a finisher I have ever seen. 

"Hey Big Show, you’re over 7 ft, 400 lbs, you can have your way with any other wrestler in the ring. What do you want your finisher to be?" 

"Uh, I think I’ll punch people, but harder than a regular punch."

Grade: C+ The first hour of Raw was truly abysmal. The second hour picked it up with better quality matches. 

Final Thoughts: The final hour of Raw was much stronger than the start of the show. More matches, less interviews. The parody twitter account @WWE_Creative was on fire tonight. Often I get more entertainment out of their tweets than I do the actual show. However, I am going to close my review with some insight from The Masked Man. He does bring up an excellent point.

David Shoemaker@AKATheMaskedMan
Raw's been on 2 hours every Monday night for nearly 20 years. If I had that time back I could speak French or play piano or have friends.

Power Ranking

5. Kelly Kelly/Layla - Both named to Maxim’s top 100 list.
4. Christian - Back from serious injury. New Intercontinental champion
3. Chris Jericho - Still around. Nailed 3 codebreakers on Randy Orton. Three!
2. Daniel Bryan - Smackdown wrestler challenging for the Raw title. Defies logic but damn impressive.
1. Darren Young/Titus O’Neil/Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins/Drew McIntyre - enjoy that TV time boys.

 Feel free to leave a comment below.

Follow me on Twitter @TheRawLibrarian

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