Location: Greenville, South Carolina
Announcers: Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler
WWE Creative @WWE_Creative
Tonight's show will open with @JohnCena, close with Cena, & whenever he's not on camera everyone will be asking "Where's Cena?" #RAWTonight
Michael Cole in-ring interview w/John Cena
According to WWE logic, ratings were down last week because John Cena was absent. The solution? More John Cena of course. Miraculously, the segment wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated: it was mostly Michael Cole as the voice of the IWC in calling John Cena “overrated.” The remark was obviously scripted, but it was still interesting Vince McMahon would allow an announcer to insult his golden boy. The result is John Cena vs Michael Cole later on Raw. It’s times like this when I question why I’m 27 years old and I still watch wrestling.
My first thought when Cena said he's uninteresting and being shoved down our throats was that Cena was going to wrestle himself.
Sheamus vs Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero
Ziggler looked pretty strong in this match up, finally being allowed to get in a good amount of offense against the World Heavyweight champion. In the end Sheamus got the clean win with his White Noise/Brogue Kick combination, and of course, Ziggler made the kick look absolutely devastating.
I personally like Sheamus better as challenger than champion. But his title run is still in its inception so I will give it more time. After the match Alberto Del Rio attacked Sheamus from behind. I got a good laugh at Ricardo Rodriguez getting involved and grabbing both of Sheamus’ legs. That’s a true manager.
Sin Cara vs Hunico w/Camacho
Pretty much a spotfest to put a returning Sin Cara over. The match just didn’t seem crisp to me - it looked like Sin Cara was hesitating before performing any of his patented moves. Hunico probably wasn’t the best opponent to sell Cara's offense. Also I’m pretty sure zero percent of the South Carolina crowd understood when Hunico was taunting them in Spanish.
Ryback vs Arthur Rosenberg/Stan Stansky
Arthur Rosenberg sported some sweet Seneca Crane facial hair. To be perfectly honest, this was a damn impressive squash. Much like Brodus Clay, I do not know what more can be done with Ryback other than two minute squashes. I see a possible US title run in his future at some point. However, due to the way he is being booked, I have no idea if he can wrestle an actual match. Put him against someone who is not a member of the J.O.B. Squad. When The Miz comes back from filming The Marine 3, throw him in there against Ryback. Miz carried an extinct dinosaur to his first decent match, I’m sure he can do the same against Ryback.
WWE Creative @WWE_Creative
The one thing we can stay about Stanski and Rosenberg is that we're pretty sure they could pass a Wellness Test. #RAWTonight
CM Punk vs Kane w/Daniel Bryan ringside
How many weeks in a row has CM Punk been in the 10:00 PM match? We’ve seen that in the eyes of management, the WWE Championship isn’t worthy of PPV main event status. That honor belonged to John Cena vs John Lauraitis on the most recent PPV at Over the Limit and John Cena vs Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules before that. It continued tonight, CM Punk vs Kane gets midcard treatment while John Cena vs another non wrestler, Michael Cole, gets the main event. The fact that the WWE champion can’t even main event Raw is truly an embarrassment.
|This smile could launch a thousand ships)|
I need to apologize to my readers for too hastily dismissing Kane in the Daniel Bryan/CM Punk feud. To the four of you, I am sorry. After a week to think about it and catching Kane vs Punk on Smackdown, I’ve decided that Kane’s inclusion can be a good thing if booked properly (and it has been so far). Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are obviously technical aficionados but both have also shown a propensity to come off the top rope as well. Kane completely changes the dynamic of the match up. He is one of the more mobile big men out there, even at the tender age of 45. As much as I want to see an ironman match between Punk/Bryan, the WWE may be saving this for Summerslam (one of their top four PPVs).
R-truth/ vs Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins
|The magic tape must have healed him|
What is the point of putting a giant Ace bandage across R-truth’s arm if he isn’t going to sell his injury AT ALL. He blatantly landed on his “bad” arm violently, multiple times, yet no sold the impact. Same for Kofi Kingston. How can anyone with “bruised ribs” execute a top rope cross body block?
David Shoemaker @AKATheMaskedMan
That was a 5-star match if you're rating on a scale of how much they forget that all that tape means they're supposed to be acting injured.
“Gutsy win tonight for Kingston and Truth.” -Michael Cole.
How so? They didn’t sell one injury. Consistency be damned. Speaking of consistency, now would be a good time to bring up the fact that Vince McMahon will be showing up on Raw next week to give John Laurinaitis a performance review. Isn’t this like his 4th performance review? More importantly, how is Mr. McMahon, the man who was “relieved of his duties by HHH” going to give someone a performance review in the position he was fired from? It makes ZERO sense. Same issue a few weeks back when John Laurinaitis announced that he hired the Big Show back on the Saturday before the Over the Limit PPV. This was the PPV that had the stipulation that if any WWE employee interfered, they would be fired. According to this news, the Big Show was a WWE employee on Sunday and should have been fired after interfering in the match. If I’m going to support this company by sitting through John Cena vs John Laurinaitis in the main event of a PPV and John Cena vs Michael Cole in the main event of Raw, please do not treat me like I’m stupid.
So Triple H removes Vince from power. Laurnaitis removes Triple H from power. And Vince is going to review Laurinaitis' job performance?
John Cena vs Prince Tensai
“Cena’s going down. Down! Down! Down!” -Michael Cole.
Anyone else immediately have a Cable Guy flashback? John Cena pinned Tensai cleanly in the middle of the ring after a ten minute match. Ergo, we the viewer were “rewarded” with a Cena/Michael Cole match absolutely no one was clamoring for.
It’s not his fault he’s booked in the main event against general managers and announcers. It’s not his fault he is shoved down the fans throats. He can’t help that creative throws him out week after week to cut promos interchanging between goofy “Ace Ventura” John Cena and “Grrr you did this and I must have my revenge" John Cena. The fact is, he is overexposed. In my opinion, he needs to take some time off. It’ll allow some new people to shine, like the Big Show last week. It will put the focus back on the WWE title, where it belongs, and it’ll give him some physical and much needed mental time off. When he comes back, throw him back in a feud with CM Punk over the title. Cena not only seemed invigorated by the feud last summer, but the crowd went apeshit during all of their matches as well as in ring segments. Now, you hear crickets when Lord Tensai comes down to the ring to face John Cena.
Sadly, I just don't see my suggestion happening for two reasons:
- The panic button has been pushed after some recent poor ratings. This is obvious by the appearance of Vince McMahon on television next week.
- In a little over a month Raw will be going to three hours. There’s no way their most marketable star will be given any time off.
John Cena vs Michael Cole
I don’t want to even dignify this “match” by reviewing it. I’m just going to let the Twitterverse speak for me.
Shelly Dawn @RatedRPeep
Disappointed Cole doesn't constantly wear the singlet concealed like Superman.
Will Pruett @itswilltime
I’m ashamed to say that I’m watching a show where a grown man was stripped to his undies by another, then doused in BBQ sauce. #Raw #wwe
This shouldn't even end a House Show!!!! #wwe #Raw
WWE Creative @WWE_Creative
Stripping a weaker man to his boxers and beating him up isn't bullying if people pay to see it. #RAWTonight
John Rocker @TheRawLibrarian
If the @WWE put over their talent as well as they just put over @JRsBBQ sauce on #Raw, they wouldn't have to worry about poor ratings.
Yep, I just put over my own Twitter account in my own Raw column.
Final thoughts: Honestly, pretty bad Raw tonight. The WWE over-compensated for not having John Cena on Raw last week by over exposing him on this weeks episode. Really, the only things to come out of this was that a) the Kane/CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/AJ Lee quadrangle is the best thing going in the WWE right now, highlighted by the fact that Kane vs CM Punk was given time and it delivered and b) Ziggler showed he has the potential to be a dynamic singles competitor for years to come. Everything else was dreck.
Top 55. Ryback - I thoroughly enjoyed his squash. He looked GREAT this week. Give him a match that’s not against local jobbers or NXT wrestlers longer than 3 minutes and I’ll be able to formulate a better opinion of him.
4. JR’s BBQ sauce - available at http://www.wweshop.com/category/prJRsBarbecue
3. Dolph Ziggler - It was a lackluster Raw and nothing really stood out in the positive other than Punk/Kane. Although Ziggler was put over by Good ol JR on Twitter.
“@JRsBBQ If I said I could see @HEELZiggler in a WM29 main event would you think I'm crazy? #matteroftime skeptics”
2. CM Punk vs Kane - This is the best use of Kane I have seen in a long time.
1. Michael Cole - Twenty minutes after Raw was over and Cole, not John Cena was trending worldwide on Twitter.
In case you missed it, this past week Paul Heyman went on a Twitter rant for the ages that I encourage everyone to read. It’s directed at the pro wrestling business but really his words are applicable for all walks of life. If you don’t get pumped up after reading, you need to make sure you still have a pulse.
Enjoy/hated the column? Leave a comment below.
Follow me on Twitter @TheRawLibrarian