WWE Monday Night Raw opened with John Laurinaitis announcing Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena for Extreme Rules. That brought out both Lesnar and Cena, and after Cena slapped Lesnar across the face, a huge brawl ensued.
It got so intense that Lesnar bloodied the face of the WWE.
I liked the way the show opened. When Cena came out, I was hoping that they wouldn’t be talking because, let’s face it, Lesnar sucks on the mic. He would be destroyed by Cena.
The slap to the face was awesome, and it’s a good way to show the fans that he’s not afraid of the former Next Big Thing.
It looks like Lesnar forgot that he wasn’t in the UFC anymore with that punch to Cena’s face. Then again, he apparently really doesn’t like Cena. It could very well have been a sucker punch.
And taking the “entire” locker room to separate the fight was going a bit overboard, I thought.
Backstage, Laurinaitis blamed Teddy Long for the brawl. Teddy left to get Cena as Eve walked in. Big Johnny told her to go away and that they’d talk later.
It’s good to see Brock Lesnar’s return is overshadowing other storylines.
Brodus Clay and Santino Marella vs. American Perfection
The heels dominated the majority of the match until the Funkasaurus was tagged in, turning the final moments into a squash.
Swagger was actually able to get him down before the commercial break, which gave me hope that this would be his first real match. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen as Santino was in the ring after the break.
It’s a bit disappointing that Ziggler and Swagger aren’t used as a legit team. I think they’d make way better tag champions than Primo and Epico.
Instead, we’ll probably end up seeing the Funkasaurus and Santino as champs sooner rather than later.
Backstage, the Miz wanted to talk about WrestleMania, but Big Johnny said they’d talk next week. That brought in Teddy Long and John Cena. Cena was as legitimate as they got, and he wanted a match. Laurinaitis then chose David Otunga as his opponent.
John Laurinaitis isn’t being a very good general manager. One thing goes wrong and he ignores his other superstars? I expect better from a man with epic entrance music!
Staying backstage, Santino Marella was looking for the Three Stooges. With the United States champion being WWE’s top comedy character, I figured he’d be involved with them in some way.
Back from commercial, and he’s still looking for them. He instead found Kane, which prompted Santino to just run away. I got the feeling that Kane will now be getting involved in the Stooges segment when it eventually happens.
R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes
I was hoping that this would be a good match, but instead the fans received a short match with an R-Truth victory.
I understand Big Show wanting revenge for the embarrassing moment’s videos, but at least Rhodes did it before Big Show’s matches or during an in-ring segment.
This happened before, during Rhodes’ match with Kofi Kingston. Both that match and this one could have been good showings, but that unfortunately didn’t happen.
I think this is all leading to Rhodes regaining the Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules. At least, I hope that’s where it’s leading.
Backstage, Santino continues his search for the Stooges. He finally found them in a giant crate. The fans were then treated to some classic Three Stooges hijinks with Santino taking part as well.
I love the Three Stooges. They are the kings of slapstick comedy and always bring a smile to my face.
Unfortunately, the real Three Stooges have long passed away. These guys weren’t bad, but they weren’t the Stooges.
Lord Tensai vs. Yoshi Tatsu
A-Train won another slow squash match here. His return has been very unimpressive so far. I’m not buying into this character, either, especially since he looks exactly the same as he did before he left WWE the first time.
If you’re going to give a returning superstar a different name and gimmick, at least make him look different so we can’t tell right away who it is.
If there has been any good to come out of his return, it’s the hilarious “Albert” chants from the crowd.
WWE, your fans aren’t stupid. We know who he used to be. A change of character isn’t going to change that.
CM Punk then came out for a promo before his match with Mark Henry. Talking about his lifestyle, family and Chris Jericho destroying his privacy, Punk delivered a great promo here.
It was filled with emotion as the WWE champion spoke from the heart. When real emotion is able to be brought into an in-ring promo, I consider those to be the best.
Anyone can read off a script, but to add emotion to the lines you’re saying really says something.
Jericho then appeared on the titantron to make fun of Punk about being hung over and tipsy from his first bender. People didn’t see him as a champion; they saw him as a loser.
The deadpan way Jericho delivers his promos is great. It’s especially great when he's delivering one like this.
Hearing Jericho insult Punk without ever changing the tone of his voice really adds to what’s he saying. He means those words, and he truly doesn’t care who he hurts with them.
Punk would soon declare that they weren’t fighting to be the best anymore, they were fighting so that he could kick Jericho’s ass.
This was an overall great segment. Both of them delivered powerful performances here, and it really keeps this feud going strong.
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry: WWE Championship
Henry picked up the victory by disqualification in a very short match. As Jericho’s music hit, Henry took advantage of the distraction and delivered two World Strongest Slams.
As Punk laid there down and out, Jericho poured what looked like an entire 12-pack of beer on him.
Well, the match obviously sucked. The post-match actions, on the other hand, didn’t.
Since dropping his first pipe bomb, Punk has always had the advantage. He’s always been one step ahead of the competition, but this time he’s very much one step behind.
Jericho has Punk’s number, psychologically at least.
I’m really loving this feud, and their eventual match at Extreme Rules may surpass their match at WrestleMania.
Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio
Despite hitting the Broski Boot, this was an overall squash match that saw the Long Island Iced Z quickly tap out to Del Rio’s cross armbreaker.
I’m glad to see Del Rio back as it adds some much-needed depth to the main event scene. He’s still boring on the mic, but his in-ring ability is top-notch.
As for Ryder, it’s very disappointing to see him in this position. He was on top of the world late last year, but he has fallen so hard since then.
I personally blame Eve. As soon as he was paired up with her, things started to go downhill.
I’d like to think that his bad luck as of late will be leading to something big, though.
Backstage, the Three Stooges were trying to come up with something for the audience. Curly then ran off with an idea. The legacy of the Three Stooges really should be left alone!
Moe and Larry appeared in the ring looking for Curly. He then appeared as Hulk Hogan and actually did a pretty good impression of the Hulkster. They promoted the movie and that brought out Kane, who chokeslammed Curly.
So after losing to both John Cena and Randy Orton, Kane has already been demoted to comedy segments? Putting the mask back on is turning out to be a bad move.
Backstage, Mark Henry declared that he’d be getting another title shot next week in a no-disqualification match.
In other words, Jericho will be interfering in one way, shape or form. As long as Henry doesn’t win the title I’m fine with the way the match goes.
Staying backstage, Brock Lesnar is proud of everything he’s done. He mentioned his reign as UFC champion and that Cena couldn’t hold his jockstrap.
I guess Lesnar didn’t want to mention his failure at joining the NFL.
Lesnar sounds like a 12-year old on the mic. He wasn’t a very good talker eight years ago, and he’s still not one now. I really hope he and Cena don’t have a war of words as the face of the WWE will butcher him.
A video package of Hell in a Cell is then shown. It featured footage and pictures from the match as well as superstars talking about the match.
I thought this was a good video. Hell in a Cell really did steal the show at WrestleMania. Both the Undertaker and Triple H put themselves through hell, and it produced the match of the night.
Hopefully, we won’t have to wait another year to see the Deadman back, though.
John Cena vs. David Otunga
After Cena hit his five moves of doom, he locked in the STF for the victory. This was a decent match but wasn’t anything special.
Cena was Cena, so there’s not much to comment on there.
Otunga certainly seems to be improving in the ring. My only problem is that he spends way too much time posing. Otunga probably could be quite the wrestler if his character wasn’t too busy posing like Chris Masters.
Post-match, Lesnar slid into the ring and kicked Cena right between the goal posts. One F-5 later, and Cena was left down and out for the second Raw in a row.
I have a bad feeling that Lesnar will be taking Cena out each and every week leading to Extreme Rules, only to see him lose at the pay-per-view.
I hope Cena at least gets the upper hand next week, or this feud will get very boring very fast. I also hope to see Lesnar wrestle before the PPV, but unless it’s a quick squash match, I highly doubt it’ll be happening.
Overall I thought this episode of Monday Night Raw was quite bland. With the exception of the opening brawl and the CM Punk/Chris Jericho segments, the show wasn’t anything too exciting.
I thought that with Lesnar’s return things were going to keep going strong, but I was wrong. His return storyline is going fine for now, but everything else seems to be suffering.
The show featured six matches, all of which were short and not that good at all. The main focus this week seemed to be backstage segments as there were a lot of them.
I was disappointed this week. I hope tomorrow’s live SmackDown will be better!