WWE Raw Rolodex: Brock Lesnar Bloodies John Cena and the WWE
WWE is wasting no time with Brock Lesnar, as he bloodied John Cena and the entire WWE roster on Monday Night Raw.
Also from Raw: Lord Tensai gets another chance to make a first impression. WWE potentially weaves two storylines at one time. And a two Stooges tag team develops?
These are just some of the stories to index coming out of the 4/09/2012 edition of WWE RAW.
John Cena: Now in Shades of Red
Here is what I scribbled in my notebook after the opening of WWE Raw between Brock Lesnar and John Cena: Damn near a perfect segment.
WWE startled me, putting Lesnar and Cena up first. I assumed the worst—a war of words.
I was wrong.
The confrontation between Lesnar and Cena had me wanting to jump out of my seat and shout, Tyson and Austin! Tyson and Austin! Tyson and Austin!
You know, Mike Tyson.
And speaking of outsiders, I like how Lesnar is being portrayed as one. John Laurinaitis went so far as to say Lesnar would legitimize the WWE.
I know there will be complaints about that statement, but based on who said it and who it is about, I think it fits.
It fits Lesnar, who doesn't greatly admire professional wrestling. Neither does he greatly understand it in my opinion.
It fits Cena and the WWE, who just took a hit at WrestleMania 28 in the loss to the Rock.
It meets Cena where he is, which is at a low point. And it speaks volumes to the fact that the Laurinaitis character cares nothing about WWE, but only about putting himself over.
I liked the blood also. It felt—what's the word?—legitimate.
I like that Lesnar opened up Cena. He needs it, literally and figuratively. Between the opening segment and his promo in the back (minus his match), Cena may have had the performance of the night.
Maybe I confused blood for paint, but he sort of reminded me of Sting when Sting goes a little crazy. Maybe it's just the look of a hero when a hero snaps, but I thought his energy was up 1,000 percent from the week before.
And Brock Lesnar did what he does best.
He just needs a mouthpiece. Not for fighting but for speaking.
Paging Paul Heyman.
Write This Down: Acting Japanese Is Not a Claim at Being Japanese
Oh, Lord Tensai, what can I say?
I wrote an article about you saying you deserved a chance to succeed. I still believe that to be true. I'm just not sure the restless, Albert-chanting fans will give you that.
I think Lord Tensai or his Worshipper may have to declare themselves. In college, it's called a thesis statement. In WWE, it's a promo. Either way, there seems to be some confusion in the arenas when Lord Tensai is present. Fans don't seem to know what to make of him.
I think Yoshi Tatsu was a stand-in for the people who haven't yet figured out that adapting your style to Japanese is not the same as claiming you are Japanese.
WWE even had their broadcaster explain it outright.
I still believe Lord Tensai could succeed, but there is a lot of restlessness during his matches at the moment.
Maybe he needs to be challenged; maybe he needs to set an agenda. Either way, the one thing fans don't seem to be giving him is a lot of time.
Maybe WWE will.
The One Thing You Never Want to Do Is Explain Yourself
I don't think CM Punk started strong in his promo on Raw. I've learned from years of watching politics that any time you are on the defensive—explaining yourself—it is not good.
CM Punk seemed uncomfortable, and the fans seemed slightly disinterested.
Chris Jericho, however, has taken a shine in his great and powerful Oz appearances on the giant screen. Jericho is a master. Some fans were even breaking for him before he quickly reminded them of what he thought of them.
I thought CM Punk finished stronger than he started, when he began to talk of fighting and pointing forward rather than trying to explain the history of his straight-edge experience.
I also like the continuing series of matches with Mark Henry. Not only does it add value to each additional match, but WWE may be weaving two storylines at once, almost indirectly. One being CM Punk and Jericho and the other being the emergence of the manager AW. If WWE can be that duplicate and subtle and tie in two stories, I will certainly give them praise for it.
The Two Stooges of WWE?
In case you didn't know, the three stooges invaded Raw.
I thought they actually did OK (as far as that goes). I liked the effort, if nothing else.
But I was more impressed with the amount of talent in the ring when Brodus Clay and Santino Marella took on Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler.
It reminded me how deep the WWE roster is.
Those men serve different purposes, but they all serve purposes.
There was a time when men sought titles such as the tag team titles in order to stay on TV. Today, it might be just the opposite: The tag titles may need to find men who can get [the belts] onto TV.
Marella and Clay may be those men.
They are on TV regardless. They, especially Santino, are over.
Why not put them in the tag team division and let them shake it up? After all, if the Funkasaurus can do one thing, he can shake it up.
Turning the Corner
The 4/09/2012 edition of WWE Raw was very solid. I like the direction WWE is taking right now.
Who was your performer of the night? Mine was John Cena for his first two segments, and Chris Jericho as well.
What did you like or dislike?
One thing is certain: We are now post-WrestleMania and past WrestleMania and are moving full steam to WWE Extreme Rules.