As an undergraduate, I convinced three friends to start watching wrestling. We’d go to Buffalo Wild Wings and watch the pay-per-views. We’d discuss the matches—kicking ideas back and forth. After graduating, I moved away, and it was back to square one. Except, of course, I have my own wrestling column, and many of the readers here have already become regulars.
So, I thought, why not share my initial reactions from WWE Monday Night RAW, down to the time they came to me in the night, and allow you all to add to them. Pick a number—agree, disagree, add to or take away. These are my initial, raw reactions to WWE Monday Night RAW.
10. WWE RAW starts in less than an hour (8:07 p.m.). Tonight is the return of the King of Kings and COO Triple H. According to WWE.com, he will be addressing the demands of Brock Lesnar.
Dear. God. Please. Stop. That. Man.
Remember when Randy Orton was super-hot after slapping Vince McMahon? He was on fire with an aggressive predator gimmick. What happened? Triple H came back and became an aggressive predator. He snatched the man’s gimmick and put out the fire.
Remember when CM Punk was hot last summer? He did it as a rebel against WWE. All of a sudden, Triple H came back and they ran an angle that put the whole WWE locker room against Triple H. He snatched CM Punk’s gimmick and put out the fire.
Nothing good came from either of those returns.
And here comes the King.
I only hope this doesn’t end with the COO in gloves and shorts, beating Lesnar in an Octagon Match. I don’t want Triple H absorbing any more gimmicks or stopping any fires. I want him to behave like the COO he is supposed to be.
(If he really wanted to make me happy—for once—he’d imitate McMahon and say, “It’s time to shake things up again!”)
If not, I am still looking forward to hearing from John Cena and Lesnar tonight.
9. WWE RAW Starring Brock Lesnar logo (9:02 p.m.). You know, I didn’t think it could be done. I didn’t think they could change the name of RAW, but there it is. And you know, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Demand bigger next time, Brock.
John Laurinaitis to start the night.
Do you ever zone out when Laurinaitis is talking? Me too (9:04 p.m.).
Brock Lesnar at the start of the show! (9:05 p.m.). Last time we saw this, Cena got a bloody mouth. I gotta give Lesnar credit. He has brought an old style of heel heat back. He is really a monster. I’m just not sure if it is because of the job he is doing or because it is just very difficult to like him.
No! Oh, no…No! Oh, no! Brock Lesnar is…talking (9:06 p.m.).
Here comes the King of Kings (9:07 p.m.).
While you are on the way to the ring, Triple H, I will beg you one last time not to do anything over the top. Don’t oversell yourself. Don’t be obnoxious. Don’t put out fires. Okay, you are on the apron. I will listen now.
Good ovation for the Game (9:08 p.m.).
Triple H said, “Your days of holding up the WWE are through” (9:09 p.m.). A tad ironic, no?
And Triple H just re-changed the name of the show back to Monday Night RAW (9:10 p.m.). I told Lesnar to demand higher.
Triple H may leave bleeding tonight (9:11 p.m.).
(Okay, on a completely serious note, sometimes it seems Triple H has power over the GM’s and sometimes it seems he doesn’t. I honestly don’t know how that works. Why would he have Laurinaitis over RAW and SmackDown if he is in charge? Just a bit lost on this).
I think Triple H just managed to get a small Brock chant, inadvertently (9:12 p.m.).
This promo is a bit tedious. They are running in circles (9:13 p.m.).
Seven minutes and Brock hasn’t spoken (9:14 p.m.).
Why did Triple H have to turn his back for Lesnar to attack him? (9:15 p.m.).
The locker room clearing to run off Lesnar is a nice touch (9:16 p.m.). It adds a level of seriousness. I said it last night: Lesnar is a one-man nWo.
8. Eve announces a beat-the-clock challenge to determine a No. 1contender for WWE Over the Limit (9:24 p.m.).
The first bout is the Miz versus Santino Marella (9:25 p.m.).
I’m just going to keep quiet about how disappointed I am in WWE’s booking of the Miz. I’m not going to say it’s been going on too long. So, you didn’t read that, because I didn’t say it. But really—it’s been going on too long now.
I like the little clock in the corner (9:26 p.m.). It reminds me of the Royal Rumble.
Lesnar has been escorted out of the building (9:26 p.m.). Wouldn’t it be better to say he’s left the building? I mean, who are the bad asses that made him leave? Maybe they should be made wrestlers.
There was a time when I thought Miz was going to pitch a fit and quit WWE like Bret Hart once did on RAW. If you’ve never seen that, find it. I was never a huge Hart fan, but he did his best mic work during that era. I still remember him saying, "I can see I’m not going to get the opportunities that I want, so I quit.'' Miz could say that word-for-word and it would apply.
Cobra attempt at 3:54 (9:30 p.m.). No luck.
Skull-Crushing Finale. Miz wins at 4:18 (9:31 p.m.). I guess he won’t be quitting WWE tonight.
I forgot how much I liked his theme music. Good win, Miz. I doubt your time wins the day, but good job nonetheless.
7. The Bella Twins in a triple threat (9:36 p.m.). I think I’m going to like this.
Jerry Lawler said they “out -heated” each other last night (9:37 p.m.).
Um, match over (9:37 p.m.).
A little underwhelming, ladies.
Lawler and I are disappointed.
(For this, the ladies will have to share number 7 with the next match.)
Chris Jericho will now be in a beat-the-clock match (9:39 p.m.). We will find out early if a rematch is a possibility.
(I’m going to predict Jericho beats the time of the Miz, and I don’t even know his opponent yet.)
His opponent? Big Show! (9:43 p.m.).
Big Show was on winning streak until last night. Could this be two losses in a row? If so, will it be legit or will they find a way to make it two technicalities in a row?
Every time Big Show does a chop, I miss Ric Flair (9:45 p.m.).
I just missed Ric Flair again (9:46 p.m.)
Big Show misses a Vader Bomb (9:46 p.m.).
Ha! Walls of Jericho attempt. Come on, buddy (9:47 p.m.).
Small package by Big Show. Make whatever you want out of that sentence, feel free (9:47 p.m.).
One minute left to beat the clock (9:48 p.m.).
Jericho pulls Big Show over the top.
Could it be? Could it be a technicality?
Jericho rolls in and…wins…on a tech…
Yes. Referee’s decision. Jericho beat the clock and wins by count out (9:49 p.m.).
Oh, Big Show. Sometimes you are an invincible monster. Sometimes you are a giant who can only lose on technicalities. Sometimes you are a jobber. You’ve been the first two lately. Will you slide all the way down again or will you find your giant feet?
Honestly, I’m not terribly concerned one way or the other about it tonight, big man. Sorry.
But do keep chopping. It reminds me of Flair.
6. Make-A-Wish (9:53 p.m.). I don’t see how anyone could hate Cena. Get bored with his character at times, maybe. But hate him? Can’t understand it.
They have reversed the decision (9:54). Miz is still the time to beat. Therefore, I was wrong about Jericho (thankfully, I don’t like return-return matches), but I was right about the technicality.
I had some text messages to send, so I will not be commenting on Brodus Clay-JTG.
5. Randy Orton will try to beat the clock against Jack Swagger (10:07 p.m.).
If Jack Swagger wasn’t such a jobber, this would be a bit more enthralling to watch. Still, as the commercials continue and I wait for the match to begin, I must say I’m sort of excited. It would be like WWE to let Miz have the record until the last match only to snatch it away. Maybe then his character will pitch the great Bret Hart fit of 2012.
Back from commercial and Randy “Red Man” Orton is still waiting for the arrival of Jack Swagger (10:10 p.m.).
Michael Cole just groaned when Vicki spoke and had to say “I misspoke” (10:10 p.m.). Have you noticed Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler have been more agreeable lately? They are sort of moving Cole’s character quietly, I believe.
I’m looking forward to seeing Randy Orton in more prominent matches again soon. I know some people won’t like that, but he is so very good in the ring. As good in the ring as he isn’t on the mic. And that is very good.
Swagger with a Vader Bomb (10:12 p.m.) I didn’t realize how in-fashion that move happened to be.
(Or was the Vader Bomb the Power Bomb? If so, what was his splash called? Man, I’m getting old.)
Went for the Vader Bomb[?] again. Orton stood and kicked him in the gut (10:14 p.m.).
One minute on the clock (10:15 p.m.).
Clock is running out, but it will not stop Randy Orton from flopping on the mat like a crazy man. You gotta love pro wrestling.
And…he still beat the clock (10:16 p.m.)
Go ahead, Miz. Quit the WWE. Watch the Bret Hart promo, Miz. You can do itttt.
4. John Cena has a mystery opponent. John Laurinaitis will announce it later tonight (10:17 p.m.). Lord Tensai? Truly, I have no idea.
3. The tag team titles are actually on the line tonight (10:22 p.m.).
Whoever did wardrobe tonight did right by Rosa Mendes. Though my heart still belongs to A.J. Lee.
Random breaking news: Bella Twins are fired. How 'bout that? (10:24 p.m.).
Jerry Lawler on little Jimmy: “I’m just glad Rosa Mendes is not invisible” (10:25 p.m.).
I like how, after the tag champs tagged out, one jumped in over the top rope as the other jumped out over the top (10:29 p.m.). Nice sequence.
Uh-oh, Rosa just cost the tag team titles (10:31 p.m.). Do you think AW will use that to boot her?
Either way, I am really, really excited for the future AW stable. I like when WWE takes its time building something. Suspense is not a bad thing.
Neither is patience.
2. Wow. Daniel Bryan gets a chance to beat the clock! (10:46 p.m.). I’m just going to type that sentence again and give it more exclamation points.
Wow. Daniel Bryan gets a chance to beat the clock!!! (Normally, I do not endorse that, but this is not a normal moment).
I mean, I seriously doubt Daniel Bryan will be facing CM Punk at Over the Limit. If somehow he does, I will be buying a ticket ASAP. If not, I stay home.
Daniel Bryan is facing Jerry Lawler (10:50 p.m.).
Not to be picky, but who would book this? On-screen, I mean. John Laurinaitis? Come on.
I love the running-corner dropkick (10:51 p.m.).
Breaking News: Jerry Lawler can still punch. Do alert the presses.
I am so, so, so looking forward to a sustained Daniel Bryan-Randy Orton program. I think they have the potential to have the best matches in WWE right now. If they both were equally hyped and their intensity at 110 percent, I’d take a match between them over anything else right now.
JERRY LAWLER TAPS (10:53 p.m.).
Daniel Bryan to face CM Punk!?
Holy god. I’ve got to buy a ticket tomorrow.
CM Punk comes out to clap (10:54 p.m.).
In all seriousness, if I buy a ticket and they somehow switch the match to Daniel Bryan and Sheamus, can I get my money back? I know a card is subject to change, but that would just be cruel.
If I get to see CM Punk-Daniel Bryan live, you all will be reading articles about that experience for a long time to come. Go ahead and prepare for that storm just in case.
1. John Laurinaitis will now reveal John Cena’s next opponent (11 p.m.).
A somewhat positive response for John Cena who is rockin’ a sling (11:01 p.m.).
Michael Cole says “How can you not respect John Cena” even as some dude in the crowd lets out a super-boo (11:02 p.m.).
Same split crowd (11:03 p.m.).
Half the crowd booing “no breaks and tears” in John Cena’s arm. Classy.
Here comes the ever-busy John Laurinaitis (11:04 p.m.).
John Cena made a Zeus joke. All his young fans are saying Who? (11:05 p.m.).
His opponent is Lord Tensai (11:06 p.m.). I was just joking when I typed it, but here we are.
John Laurinaitis just sucker-punched John Cena.
And…a twist. John Cena’s opponent is John Laurinaitis.
I like this. I like it a lot.
I don’t know what you dear readers will think, but I like this. A lot of heat…a whole lot of heat…(11:10 p.m.).
This almost feels like Mr. McMahon. I am liking the high-level of chaos at this moment. It sort of feels like something just broke open. The silly John Laurinaitis just revealed himself to be…dangerous…as he tries to break John Cena’s arm.
Very compelling finish.
This RAW featured some high moments. Is Brock Lesnar gone for now? Will Triple H bring him back for a match down the line? Is Daniel Bryan really facing CM Punk?
Did you like the finish to RAW?
I know I did.
What say you, dear reader?