–I missed reviewing Raw last week due to being catatonic with mononucleosis, and I didn’t miss much. In fact, I got out of bed at some point in the second hour to get some Gatorade, and I flipped on the show, just to see what I was missing. Turned it on just in time to see Cyndi Lauper, Wendy Richter, and Heath Slater have their tussle. You know, to promote the 1000th episode of Raw. You know, the show that Richter and Lauper had NOTHING TO DO WITH. I took four gulps of my fruit punch flavored sports drink and staggered back to bed.
-Being so sick of WWE, and wrestling in general, as of late, I’ve chosen to keep my distance from the industry, save for these weekly reviews which are, technically, a job. I’ll still put forth my best effort, and I can always regain my enthusiasm later (it was Rick Pitino who said “I reserve the right to change my mind). That said, I’ve chosen to write more about “pure sport” in the interim, so if you’d like to see my interests and how they diversify, check out my piece on CCB Monday, about Plaxico Burress’ open struggle to find a job in the NFL, and the ways in which he’s been ignored. http://camelclutchblog.com/burress-is-plaxico-worth-3million/ It sure beats writing “I’m sick of Cena” on some demented loop.
-Live from Fort Wayne, IN.
-Vickie’s the interim GM for Raw and Smackdown this week, which means I picked the wrong week to lower my nasal spray dosage. She makes a triple threat match to start.
Match 1: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane (non title, elimination rules)
I can’t tell; is this worse than No Way Out, since they’re OPENING the show? Kane manages to chop both men down, but is met by dualing YES kicks from the Honorable Twosome. Roll-up on Punk by Bryan gets 2. Manhattan drop connects on Bryan, and Punk curbstomps him like a rogue for 2. Punk attempts a dive on Kane, but the monster fires back with a throat thrust. Bryan dives as well, but is caught and planted into the retaining barrier as we go to break. Kane’s still in control upon return, but Bryan crotches him up top. This leads to Kane and Punk trying a Doomsday Device(!), but Bryan victory rolls Punk for 2. Back to double teaming Kane, and then back to attacking each other for Punk and Bryan. Punk gets a leg lariat and sends Bryan into Kane. Kane is low bridged over, and Bryan backdropped onto him. Suicide dive follows, but back in Bryan tries the YES Lock. Punk escapes, slingshots Bryan into Kane, and gets the roundhouse for 2. Kane breaks up the GTS with a big boot, and covers Punk for 2. Sideslam also gets 2. Kane follows with a top rope clothesline, and this brings AJ out with her glitter pop music. Lovely contrast. Kane is unfocused and can’t complete the chokeslam, so Punk GTS’s him for elimination one. Then Bryan quickly kicks Punk in the skull and gets the win.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via kick to the head
Rating: 6/10. Serviceable match, and if it leads to Punk and Bryan more often, I’m definitely down.
-Alberto Del Rio brings roses for Vickie (though Ricardo forgot the vase), and Dolph butts in, seeing through the ruse. Vickie’s putting a title shot up for grabs in a Russo Pole Match between Ziggler and Alberto. Dolph destroys the roses, because he can. Hey, this show hasn’t sucked yet!
Match 2: Big Show vs. Brodus Clay
Naomi will at least continue my streak of happiness. I was kinda hoping Show would be standing ringside after Clay’s entrance, like the previous jobbers. Clay manages to drop Show with a barging headbutt, but Show kicks his knee out and works it over. Clay gets his knee smashed into the post, and I’m sensing a stoppage finish. Show stumbles going to the middle rope, and gets a Vader splash. Clay avoids the WMD and strikes back, but he foolishly tries a slam, and the knee gives out. That’s enough for a finish.
WINNER: Big Show via bodyslam reversal.
Rating: 4/10. Decent big man match with a solid angle to it. Kinda wish they wouldn’t pay these things off on free TV, though.
-Cena has a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT tonight. He’s going back to his home planet with Poochie?
-Bob Barker puts over his humorous 2009 hosting appearance on Raw. The stuff with Jericho was gold, though sadly he didn’t fight him a la Happy Gilmore.
-Show slugs Brodus Clay during the break. Clay being written out?
-Highlights of Triple H the Alpha Bad Ass punching Paul Heyman, because he’s so bad ass. And Lesnar will answer the challenge next week. Odds of it being pre-taped: 6-1.
-AJ and Kane have a heart to heart, and Kane admits he doesn’t do relationships. With living girls, anyway. Kane leaves her hanging, and she cackles with glee. Okay then.
Match 3: Santino Marella vs. Jack Swagger (WWE United States Championship)
Swagger lulls Santino into a right hand to start, but Santino chases with a mock Cobra, only to be grounded again. High angle slam gets 2 for the challenger. Santino lands his comical offense, and out comes the Cobra. Swagger lunges, but eats a DDT. Cobra strikes, and that’s that.
WINNER: Santino Marella via Cobra (Still WWE United States Champion)
Rating: 2/10. We’re tapering off here. The wheels are about 2 miles back.
Talk Segment: John Cena
I literally fear what’s forthcoming. Cena promotes his Twitter announcement, which segues into an energetic Star Wars comparison from Cena concerning the events of the last month. I admit, Vince as Yoda would be awesome (KISS MY ASS, YOU WILL). But happy fun time is interrupted by Rio de Janiero’s favorite wrestler, Chris Jericho. Jericho wants Cena to hurry and make his announcement, so he can have his ring back. Cena spills it: he’s entering MITB to stop Big Show. Ooooooh, I’m riveted. Jericho is less impressed, and enters himself in the match after a lengthy tongue-lashing. This brings out Vickie, who makes the match all former WWE Champions: Kane, Big Show, Chris Jericho, and John Cena. Just four guys, really? And it’s Cena vs. Jericho tonight.
Segment Rating: 6/10. At least we got Jericho’s sarcastic barbs.
-Heath Slater helpfully segues into our past Raw star embarrassment segment.
Match 4: Heath Slater vs. Psycho Sid
Sid looks like Tom Berenger meets Sling Blade. Manhandling ensues, and powerbomb finishes.
WINNER: Psycho Sid via Power Bomb
Rating: 2/10. Loses 1 point for no scissors.
Match 5: Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler (Contract on a Pole Match)
Zigs tries a fast climb, but Alberto kicks him in the gut to prevent, and ends the run with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Alberto climbs, but is quickly stopped and planted with a Russian legsweep. Big “LETS GO ZIGGLER” chant, which Vince probably can’t hear. Fans probably aren’t awed by Dolph at the airport, thinks he. Ziggler tries turning a slingshot into a chance to climb, but Alberto prevents him quickly. The two struggle atop the ring post, and Alberto lands a Samoan drop off the top rope (Which was Kanyon’s “original” flatliner). Another struggle atop the post, and the contract comes off. Both men fight over possession in a neat moment, and knock each other out. Ricardo goes to get it, but Dolph kicks him and the contract flies outside the ring. Further cat and mouse games ensue, and both men tumble out the other side of the ring recklessly. Sheamus comes out, and announces that Vickie has made it a triple threat match. So what was the point of the match?
WINNER: No winner
Rating: 6/10. Damn it, that was a lot of fun until the abrupt ending. Outside the box with a clever run of spots, and they just kill it off. Bleh.
-On the upside, Punk and Bryan is now official for Money in the Bank. Alright, I’m feeling better.
-Raw Moment: Mick Foley picks Rock’s This Is Your Life.
-Match 6: Divas Summertime Battle Royal
Well, this is uplifting. Then Vickie enters herself. We toss out the no-names and come down to Layla, Beth, Natalya, AJ, and Vickie. A miscue takes Natalya out, then we lose Beth, and AJ knocks Layla off the apron to bring it down to her and Vickie. Vickie almost tosses AJ, who comes back, mauls her, and quickly kicks her out to win. I approve. AJ steals the YES YES YES taunt, thus stirring the pot more.
Rating: 3/10. I like chicks, so it’s not a dud.
Collar and elbow tie up, which Cena gets the best off, opens the mainer. Jericho escapes an early attempt at the AA, and we hit commercial at 10:55. We return with Jericho chinlocking Cena, but Superman powers out and mounts the comeback, only to eat a springboard dropkick for 2. Cena takes a slow pummeling, and a basement dropkick sends him almost out of the ring. Cena blocks a suplex and comes back with his own. Jericho’s back in control soon enough in a way that I missed while checking a quick Phillies highlight, and he’s got another chinlock applied. Lionsault misses, and Cena goes into the shoulderblock parade. Spinout bomb connects, but Jericho blocks the Shuffle with a Walls attempt, which Cena twists out of. Cena gets a second Spinout, and drops the 5KS, prompting Big Show out. Cena tries the AA, but Jericho twists him into the Walls. Show enters and legdrops Cena in the hold, leading to a DQ. Jericho shows anger, but defers to the giant and just leaves. Chokeslam is delivered, and the Colossal Clutch is applied as we go off the air.
WINNER: John Cena via DQ
Rating: 4/10. Slow and pedestrian, but Jericho hasn’t worked in a month, so I guess it’s understandable. Crowd didn’t seem to enjoy it much either.
OVERALL: One year ago, CM Punk delivered one of the great shock endings in Raw history with his “pipe bomb” turn. Tonight, Raw just felt like it was on autopilot outside of AJ’s shining moments, and the flashes of brilliance between Ziggler and Del Rio. You can say that for a lot of recent Raws: some decent moments, and a whole lot of filler as they trudge toward another PPV that’ll do no buys.
At least I had last week off.
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for Wrestlechat.net and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.
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