-So I guess Cena is Lashley, Laurinaitis is Vince, Tensai is Umaga, and Sakamoto is Shane. Unless Sakamoto is Armando. Then who would be Shane? Yeah, Sakamoto’s Shane. We’ll ignore Armando, since WWE did too.
-WWE Monday Night RAW is live from Greensboro, named such as a commentary on Mason Ryan’s fluid wrestling skills.
You know Laurinaitis is an asshole when even Michael Cole won’t fully embrace him. Laurinaitis says he will not allow anyone to challenge his authority or leadership skills, not even John Cena. Ohh, based on Cena’s history, this won’t end well for Ace. Laurinaitis objects to being called a “corporate jackass.” Yeah, I can see how that would send Funkhouser over the edge. Or “over the limit” as it were. Apparently, the board of directors is on Ace’s side. Good, this will save us from having taped segments involving hearings. And Cena isn’t here tonight. Everyone tune in; if we can get a 3.8 rating, that may break Vince’s spirit! Laurinaitis tells us that Steve Williams may have damaged his vocal chords, but that didn’t stop him from dominating Japan. He is NOT a loser. “I was the Hulk Hogan of Japan!” Great, which Japanese soldier did your son turn into a drooling vegetable? He closes with a resounding promise to destroy Cena, and that brings us CM Punk. Punk accuses Laurinaitis of not knowing what the people want. Sure, they want lingerie models outwrestling Beth Phoenix, right? Punk says the fans don’t want to see Laurinaitis. Punk also accuses Laurinaitis of being embarrassed by Lesnar not being able to beat Cena, so he’s overcompensating. Then he says Laurinaitis only went to Japan because nobody in America wanted to see him wrestle. NWA fans, for one. Punk then rattles off a series of random insults just to pander to the jocular crowd. For his insolence, Punk faces Lord Tensai non-title. That could be fun, actually. Punk’s all “bring it.” Cole goes back to suckholing Laurinaitis, so I guess the sorta-face turn was aborted.
Segment Rating: 6/10. Nothing special, nor particularly bad, but it did the trick.
Match 1: Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show (WWE Intercontinental)
Rhodes’ post-grunge disco music is beyond fab. He must never change it. I wonder if the previous segment will play into this match in any way? NAH. Show gets chop-happy to start (but he doesn’t ‘shush’, so he must mean business). Disaster Kick drops Show, but Show responds by catching another kick and flipping Rhodes ass over teakettle. Cody tries to bail, but Shows heads him off at the pass. Second time, Cody leaves successfully. Bah. Show challenges Rhodes to come back, but he gets Eve instead. Better in the aesthetic department, worse in the electricity department. She wants an apology for Show’s mockery earlier, and she wants it NOW. Eve threatens his job, and Show does so under duress.
WINNER: Big Show via countout (Rhodes retains Intercontinental Title)
Rating: 2/10. Barely a match, and the post-match angle was deflating.
Match 2: Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler
Future tag title match: Ghana Get Got vs. Jack Dolph. The challengers will beat opponents off with four hands. Stars of some random USA show are at ringside, but who cares, really? AW and The Colons are backstage watching. TAG DIVISION! BRING BACK SHAD AND IT’S A PARTY! Dolph gets a modified crossface after a nice dropkick. Mason Ryan also shows up backstage to seek AW’s guidance. Kofi gets some controlled frenzy going, takes Swagger off the apron, and avoids the Zig Zag, getting the SOS for 2. A Vickie distraction leads to Swagger tripping Kofi, leaving him prone for the Zig Zag to end it.
WINNER: Dolph Ziggler via Zig Zag
Rating: 4/10. Short but spirited. Feel like I’ve seen it a million times, though.
-Cena, via satellite, NEXT. Hey, Cena thinks he’s Rock!
Live via Satellite: John Cena
Michael Cole’s growing a rather McMahonish pompadour. Cena updates his condition, saying the doctors have recommended he not wrestle, but apparently, those doctors don’t know who they’re dealing with. Cena also asks that Lesnar not be fired, so he can get revenge. On a man he beat? I’m confused. Cole asks Cena if he’s afraid of Laurinaitis, and Cena just mocks him. That’s great, make fun of the man you’re facing in the big match. Lemme get my wallet. Cena says asses will be kicked.
Segment Rating: 2/10. Boy, I can’t wait to see a PPV with such a one-sided main event. $45? Lemme just cut the check now.
Match 3: Kelly Kelly/Layla vs. Maxine/Natalya
Beth Phoenix is on commentary, because she’s the one you want not in action. Fact: Kelly has the worst ass of the four ladies wrestling. It’s true. Beth asks what Layla did to earn a shot, and Lawler’s entire comeback: “she came back from a year off.” Lawler is a human scrotum. Layla neckbreaker finishes in a hurry, to build to Layla/Beth at Over the Limit.
WINNER: Layla/Kelly Kelly via neckbreaker
RATING: 1/10. Ummm….I like looking at three of them?
Match 4: Alberto Del Rio/Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus/Randy Orton
So Jericho hates Del Rio’s uncle, and Sheamus and Orton feuded all through 2010. Yeah, this’ll work. Sadly, this may be one of the only times tonight a segment gets a rating of 7 or better. Orton and Del Rio start off, and ADR gets the upper hand on the arm before tagging Jericho. Orton dominates the exchange and gets some boot scuffs and tags Sheamus, who uses IRISH FURY to drive knees into Jericho. Jericho gets hung up and smashed with the Dublin Clubs. A miscue however sees Del Rio knocked off the apron, but Jericho rams his injured shoulder into the post. Del Rio hits a running strike on the floor as we take a powder. We come back with Jericho having Sheamus in a modified neck/arm twist as the crowd sort-of rallies. Sheamus uses the good arm to elbow his way out. Hot tag to Orton (impressive pop), and he goes after Del Rio with a powerslam and hanging DDT. Into the unhappy place goes Orton, and he catches Jericho with a powerslam, but Del Rio runs in with an enzuigiri for 2. Tag back to Jericho, who kicks Orton down in the corner. Cole uses the phrase “Great tag team wrestling”, which is like saying “MP3 player” in 1981. Jericho snares Orton in a chinlock, thus using Orton’s best move against him, but Orton powers his way out. Roll-up gets 2 for Orton, and Jericho responds with a dropkick. Tag is made to Del Rio, who works the arm, complete with bicep codebreaker. Cross-armbreaker is countered with Orton’s O-Zone backbreaker. Sheamus comes back in with Irish hammers, and tries a High Cross on Jericho, but that’s countered into the Walls, which is kicked off. Irish Curse gets 2, Del Rio breaks it up. RKO on ADR, but Jericho avoids the Brogue Kick, and Orton gets nailed. Codebreaker on Sheamus for the shocking ending. Jericho says he should be World Heavyweight Champion, which could prove interesting later. Orton drops Sheamus with an RKO, just because he’s pissed. PLEASE turn him heel again.
WINNERS: Chris Jericho/Alberto Del Rio via Codebreaker
Rating: 7/10. There we go! A WRESTLING match, and not pointless filler. A whole lotta stories to build on here. Let’s hope they pick an interesting one.
Cheap Plug: Speaking of Jericho, I take a look at his return this year, and explain why his run hasn’t been a failure as some have claimed. http://bluebarcage.blogspot.com/2012/05/jericho-llaboration-chris-jerichos.html
-Laurinaitis has Eve demand a more sincere apology from Big Show, and Orton, Jericho and Del Rio argue over who deserves the shot at Sheamus more. Sheamus runs in and it’s a four way brawl. Nobody mess up Ace’s white suit on the wall, please? Sheamus and Orton tease further friction. Laurinaitis makes the match at OTL a fatal four way. PEOPLE POWER.
Match 5: Brodus Clay vs. The Miz
An insert from Clay informs us all to ‘call our mommas’ on Mother’s Day. Okay then. Miz references Mike Tyson’s Punch Out in his pre-match spiel, invoking King Hippo, as we’ve been doing for over a year. Miz gets knocked to the outside, and a cat and mouse game develops. Miz gets some quick kicks for 2. Corner clothesline connects, followed by a double axe handle for 2. Miz putting Clay in a chinlock just shows how scary-large Clay’s skull is. It’s like an igloo cooler with ears. Miz proceeds to dominate with a DDT, followed by methodical strikes, but Clay fights back, only to have his knee dropkicked. Clay counters a chinlock with a side suplex, and begins to mount his power-hoss comeback. Miz gets caught with an exploder suplex, and Clay lands the big splash to win.
WINNER: Brodus Clay via splash
Rating: 5/10. Plodded at points, but it was a nice showing for Clay if they plan to move him up the card. Bet Miz is rewarded for helping him with a decent match.
-Be a Star teaches kids to not bully others. That won’t stop me from mocking the way Sheamus pronounces ‘verbal’ (vehr-bill!)
Cheap plug: What if WWE did a “Be a Star” ad in 1989? Here’s how it would look! (NSFW language) http://bluebarcage.blogspot.com/2012/05/wwf-be-star-1989.html
-Lesnar/HHH highlights shown. It must not have been too bad of an injury if HHH was palling around with Criss Angel and Floyd Mayweather without a cast on Saturday. Apparently it’s a broken arm with tendon/ligament damage? Love the still photos they use of him in the mechanical brace, but no photos of his weekend, which is mentioned in passing. I love this company. And then…..
-PAUL HEYMAN SHOWS UP! HUGE ECW chant kicks up! He’s here to represent Brock Lesnar, and he chastises the audience for maligning his client. Heyman also takes WWE to task for being so “image conscious” now. From there, he demands justice for Lesnar’s pre-Extreme Rules contract demands, playing the slimy lawyer schtick to the hilt. Paul E reads a statement from Lesnar, which basically declares he’s never coming back, thanks to the same BS he dealt with before.
Segment Rating: 10/10. Just because nobody can cut a money promo like Paul Heyman.
-Show tools around with the guys from the USA show, Common Roughness on Psych Notice or whatever. Eve is not amused. Or she’s happy. I can’t tell with her; she never learned to emote.
Between them and Laurinaitis, that’s quite the gaggle of Japan-experienced talent. Nobody really gets ring intros, since we’re pressed on time. Tensai mauls Punk to start, and tags Bryan, who adds sharp kicks to the assault for 2. Double cross body collision occurs, and Bryan tags Tensai back in, and he gets the delayed underhook suplex. Punk tossed outside, but once the brawl spills there, Punk strikes back in vain. The champ is rammed into the ring post, and brought back inside for a nervehold. Tensai then goes to the back splash, and he tags Bryan, who gets plenty of yeses. He misses a diving splash immediately. Bryan eats a slingslot, and Punk rattles off a series of strikes, culminating with a neckbreaker. Corner knee and bulldog connect, and Punk’s feeling the GTS. Crowd boos Punk; maybe they disagree with his CRAZY notion of legalizing gay marriage? Punk manages to take Tensai down and heads up top, but Bryan crotches him, and Tensai lands a modified Baldo Bomb. Mist claw connects, complete with STO drop for the clean pin. Bryan celebrates in the loveable exaggerated fashion, and he applied the YES Lock afterward for effect.
WINNERS: Lord Tensai/Daniel Bryan via Mist Claw STO
Rating: 6/10. Weird match. Crowd was dead, some even booing Punk, and it seems as if WWE is willing to build Tensai more long term than Bryan short term. This despite the crowd not liking Tensai one bit, and D-Bry being well-regarded.
OVERALL: Really weird show that had almost zero flow whatsoever. Bad matches, random matches, etc. If this was the third rewrite of tonight’s show, as some sites reported, how bad could the first two have been?
Thank God for Heyman’s promo, at least.
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.