Hello again and welcome to Marking Out and boy has this has been another interesting week inside Raw as we get closer to this Sunday's Extreme Rules PPV. In hindsight, if people dislike this upcoming PPV, I think this Raw could be pointed to as the cause of it failing.
In the second feud of Raw, WWE Champion CM Punk was forced to do a field sobriety test in the center of the ring in front of Chris Jericho, Teddy Long and a couple cops. Why the feud involving the WWE Champion is the second-biggest feud on a program is evidence enough that there are problems within the hierarchy of the promotion.
In last week's edition of Marking Out, I wrote about the problems a wrestler tries to get over and that a promotion tries to force its viewers to enjoy their product in a way the audience doesn't want to. Here you have a feud between two fantastic technical wrestlers who can work a crowd on the mic in Chris Jericho and CM Punk, being relegated to having a feud based around CM Punk's choice of a straight-edge lifestyle.
From watching his performance on Monday, it seems like Vince sat Punk down in front of a TV and had him watch 12 hours of The World's Dumbest and told him to copy what he saw the drunk people on that show do.
From royally messing up saying the alphabet backwards to awkwardly stumbling when trying to walk a straight line, Punk looked out of his element. While he was able to add humor to the bit by doing the crane and saying some funny stuff, he ended up looking like a goof rather than the top champion of the WWE. While it ended up being a ruse to attack Jericho, it was telegraphed because it wasn't believable that Punk was drunk.
If you wanted to see a decent kayfabe act last Raw, look no further to when Beth Phoenix acted as if she had legitimately injured her ankle in her title defense against Nikki Bella. She in fact did such a good job that many people backstage thought it was a legit injury rather than kayfabe.
She even went as far as to keep selling the injury as she was leaving the arena and going to the airport in Detroit. Imagine if Punk was able to have done that with his drunk performance, it could have been one of the best performances in recent history.
Then we come to the big feud at the moment between John Cena and Brock Lesnar. When this was starting I was incredibly excited to see an extreme rules match between Cena and Lesnar, yet after this last Raw, I don't know anymore.
When it came time for the contract signing, Cena didn't come to the ring the first time his music played. So while waiting to sign the contract, Lesnar laid out some new bonuses that he wanted before he would agree to the match on Sunday.
These demands included being able to use Vince McMahon's private jet whenever he came to perform, performing whenever he wanted, getting more money and changing Raw's name to Monday Night Raw starring Brock Lesnar.
John Laurinaitis couldn't do anything but accept, thus making Lesnar a super heel. Yet this unfortunately falls back into what I wrote about last week where the WWE was forcing us to like the status quo rather than something new.
By demeaning Laurinaitis in a show of power like he did, Lesnar has become a monster that is too big to be tamed. Laurinaitis knows that Lesnar's demands were too much and will ruin the WWE so he must now be stopped, and there is only one person who can—you guessed it—John Cena.
Once again, Cena is being made out to be the savior of the company: he is Neo in the Matrix, Connor MacCleod in Highlander, he is Superman.
It's the same thing that we have been seeing for years, and from what's being shown, it doesn't seem like it's going to be ending any time soon—though I hope I'm wrong.
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