WWE Drops the Ball Hard: Why the First Raw of 2012 Flopped

Tom HarveyContributor IIJanuary 3, 2012

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 5: (L-R) WWE Superstar Chris Jericho taunts actor Mickey Rourke as they prepare to duel during WrestleMania 25 at Reliant Stadium on April 5, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bill Olive/Getty Images)
Bill Olive/Getty Images

So it's 4:15 a.m. here in Merry Ol' England, and instead of going to bed like I was going to I've decided instead to vent some rage. Hard.

Now ignoring that this episode of RAW had been seemingly uneventful up until Jericho's return, I still wouldn't have rated this episode even if the rest of the show had been amazing. I mean don't get me wrong, the Ziggler-Punk match was good, but the finish was pretty easy to predict. It was obvious Laurinaitis would interfere in some way, and while I expected Ziggler to win the title, the ending to the match still wasn't anything special.

Ziggler wins by count-out and then celebrates with the title. Then a match is announced for the Rumble, making this the second year in a row that Ziggler has gotten a World Title match at that event. Now even with Johnny Ace as guest ref, Punk's walking out Champ and we all know it. And every other match on the card was either lackluster, had a terrible finish or was completely pointless.

Now I, like many if not all of you, have really enjoyed the "It Begins" promos over the last couple months. They've been a breath of fresh air and a real change in the right direction from what the WWE usually do.

Now we all pretty much sussed out that it would be Jericho right away, with the way the child spoke using vernacular synonymous with Y2J. And if Jericho didn't re-sign then we always had a 'Taker return to look forward to, a consolation prize if you will. I for one was expecting more than one return on tonight's RAW, with a possible swerve of someone else returning (Stephanie and Shane McMahon, for example) for the promos and Jericho returning later on anyway because WWE obviously doesn't want to disappoint...

Well I've got some news for you. After 10minutes of Jericho grinning inanely, shouting "Yeah baby!" and slapping hands, I was ready to stop watching. I stayed however for two reasons.


1) Brodus Clay should be making his debut tonight, and I don't want to miss whatever creative decided to do with someone who could be the next big monster heel in the WWE.

Kane no-showed, Clay didn't take his place, Henry was eliminated for almost using a chair proving the WWE will just make up rules whenever they want. Swagger was on his own and obviously wasn't going to win. And I still didn't turn off my computer with the stream on.

And the inevitable happens, Kane comes out from nowhere (it was obvious he wasn't coming down the ramp as soon as Cena left the ring), attacks Ryder and Cena and then goes back to his lair. The only redeeming quality in my mind for the main event was the pyro.

So instead of a debut that would've have been tremendously easy given that Kane was booked not to take part in the match, Brodus has yet again apparently disappeared from the WWE's radar. I wonder how many times the dirt sheets will say RAW's script was rewritten before Brodus was gone from it. Laurinaitis has tweeted that he'll debut next week with a little slap with the line "Why would I lie?" Let's hope something happens soon, losing patience with this.


2) Jericho was still out, and he had a mic nicely placed on the floor in the ring for him to pick up. So obviously, it wasn't going to end like this.

And my god, was I wrong. Jericho left, only for the main event to start. A main event that I didn't even care about seeing. So after all these weeks of promos, all the amazing work that went into these, that's the ending?! I got chills at parts during these promos! The little girl saying "I can't help you. Do you understand?", while making the return even more obvious, still gave me goosebumps! It was probably my favourite moment in any promo for a return/debut for the past few years because it stuck with me.

And when the WWE put out something that sticks with people, something they obsess over, something they talk about non-stop on dirt sheets and forums and even here. When they do that and the end result is having a man who by all intents and purposes is one of the best in the world at what he does come out and cheer like a fan for what seemed like a lifetime. That's just wrong.

I could have possibly forgiven it if after the 10 or so minutes he'd gotten on the mic and cut an amazing heel promo like we all know he can, or even said...I don't know...anything! I was rooting for him to pick up the mic and say in his calmest monotone voice "I hate you all," even that would've made the return not totally disappointing. This was possibly the worst mistake the WWE has made in a long, long time. And if by next Monday, this isn't all sorted out, then my interest in their product will go down dramatically. 

The fact the promos built up the end of the world, a force coming down to bring reckoning upon the WWE, and then Jericho comes out with a smile and a wave like he's missed us. Every single other return angle I've read from fans have been so much better, and have actually made sense.

The most simple and yet the one that makes the most sense is to have Jericho come out during the WWE title match (which in this hypothetical would be the main-event) and beat the hell out of both Ziggler and Punk. Yeah, have the lights go off, make people think it's 'Taker, but have him kick ass and show he is going to reclaim what is his.


So what did you all think of Monday's RAW? Were you as disappointed as I was, did you enjoy it? Or, if possible, did you hate it even more? Comment below with your opinions.