Over the Limit on Sunday night delivered in a big, big way. Everybody that paid for the show seems to have gotten their money's worth. Sadly, Raw was not up to par.
I liked a lot of what we saw on Monday night, but the entire night seemed to go nowhere. As positive as I am in life, I can't grade the Red Brand any higher than a C+. Everybody worked hard, but this was a long two hours...
What were the highlights? Let's find out!
I like Santino Marella and Ricardo. Both are fun acts that should be shown on the live show.
However, I like logic more.
Their comedy routine did nothing but "poke fun" at recent stories about Lilian Garcia's ring announcing. That is all I got from this. WWE wanted to have some fun and took up five minutes on Raw.
It was not bad, but it was not needed.
These two have been wrestling each other on Raw for nearly five years now.
There has rarely been an actual story involved. Beth Phoenix and Kelly Kelly go to the ring, have their match and head to the back.
This was no different. Beth defeated Kelly in a short match and looks to be getting another title match down the road.
Layla, the current Divas Champion, watched from backstage.
This was a small part of Raw, but it was expected.
Lord Tensai now goes by "Tensai." The Lord name has been dropped, as his usual attire walking to the ring. He just walked to the ring and wasn't playing much of a character.
Honestly, who didn't see this coming?
Some fans just can't move on from the Attitude Era. Tensai was never given a fair chance to get the new character over to a new audience.
From the beginning, it was doomed to fail.
Did fans berate Umaga with "Jamal" chants each week?
In 2006, fans accepted he was somebody new and gave it an opportunity. Eventually, the man worked his character perfectly and became a big player.
Not in 2012.
Christian vs. Jinder Mahal was another segment not needed.
I appreciate the hype given to Christian returning to Raw as Intercontinental Champion. However, it did not seem like many cared.
He was last seen as a little weasel heel character. Now, he is back as a lovable face champion. Sorry, that will take awhile to work on the WWE Universe.
As expected, the crowd was quiet during the match. Nobody knew who to cheer for, as there was zero story for a sudden change in Christian's career.
He was a face last year, then turned heel and is now back to a face months later.
That can't happen.
Christian did win after a few minutes. It was a nice surprise to see him use the Frog Splash for the victory. I do hope he slowly begins connecting with the live audience again.
Wow, what happened?
I have traveled to many wrestling cities across the country, but I have never been to Virginia. I admit that right now, for any wrestling fans who live there.
Last night was a dreadful live audience.
I try to be positive in life, but that one can't be spun in a good direction. The crowd did look like a decent amount of folks, but there was rarely noise.
They sure got in their "What" chants. That does not help my opinion.
Neither does throwing in the usual "Albert" chants during the main event!
If anybody was at the show live, feel free to let me know how it was. From what I saw and heard last night, it was not very wild in Virginia.
In July, WWE Raw is moving to three hours. I think most can figure out how that experiment is going to end up.
It will also be the 1,000th episode. I am happy to see WWE already hyping up the night. It is two months away, but the company should be ready for July 23.
Whether you are a big fan, that will be a can't-miss event.
This was a solid way to open Raw.
John Cena talked about his stunning loss to John Laurinaitis. Eve, Big Johnny, Big Show and David Otunga all came out to speak for the heels.
Yes, Ms. Torres looked great.
The Big Show did well in his speaking role once again. Last week already seems like a long, lost memory. He is no longer a crying big man.
Show is a dominant monster again.
Also, who didn't love Johnny Ace and his vehicle?
We were then treated to John Cena vs. David Otunga.
As expected, it was quickly over. That was not the entire story here.
After the match, a group of heels came out to attack John Cena. Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil all got some time to shine.
It was not meant to last long though.
Sheamus came out for the save, and the heels were sent packing. Johnny Ace made a two-on-three handicap match for Sheamus and Cena later on with Lumberjack rules.
I will discuss that in a little bit...
This was a fine match between Randy Orton and Alberto Del Rio. It was given a little bit of time, but we were not given an actual winner.
That has been a common theme for the World Title main eventers lately. Either way, the attack from Chris Jericho after the match was the real story.
He took out Orton with three Codebreakers, and it looks like we have a feud!
They have teased it for awhile, but we will finally see these two wrestle soon. I am excited to see what they can do, but the end result will (and should) be Orton winning.
Perhaps Jericho can take time off after his next loss...
There are a few notes to make here.
First, this was given the top of the second hour. That time slot usually draw well, so I do have confidence in a good rating being seen here. Daniel Bryan was teased to appear before a commercial break, and I do think viewers were interested.
Secondly, it looked like Bryan will be getting another shot at CM Punk's WWE title. That is fine by me, as they are both capable of putting on an excellent match.
Thirdly, the "Yes!" chants may be dying down even more than before. When you get away from a "too smart" crowd, that tends to happen. His entrance was filled with silence, and the chants were "No!" most of the time.
That is great, as he is the heel. Nobody should be cheering him. His job is to get people to hate him, not like him.
CM Punk informed us of this next match.
I am not sure how he got that ability all of a sudden, but it does not matter. Bryan and Kane are heels, so it was going to be a rough match to get through.
In the end, we saw Punk getting involved, and Kane left Bryan laying. It was a nice play on Smackdown a few days ago, but nothing was really built to a future title match.
Perhaps a submission match is next?
AJ continues her streak of great performances.
Honestly, the video speaks for itself.
The only negative of this segment was Punk saying, "I sorta dig crazy chicks."
The last thing I want to see is them as a couple. Please keep then apart. I really do not wish to see them form a pairing. I really don't.
Sheamus and John Cena ended up taking on Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger and Tensai. That was my predicted three, but I was okay with the decision.
Seeing the gorgeous Vickie Guerrero is always acceptable.
Of course, most of the lumberjacks around the ring were heels. That was also not a surprise. However, what was a surprise was how this match ended.
An absolute brawl broke out everywhere!
The heels all interfered. A ton of faces ran down to the ring. Everybody was slugging it out, while Cena went to look for Big Show.
WWE did it again.
Do not blame me. The company just has this fascination with tempting fate twice in one night. I am against the policy.
John Cena competed in the opening match against Otunga. Yes, it was short. No, I do not care. Two hours later, he was wrestling again.
It was a tag (handicap) match, but it was still an official match on Raw. If anybody deserves less action inside the ring, it is Cena. The one man you do not want to overwork is.
It really is sad that WWE can only rely on one man right now. He is still proving why is the top star in the industry, even in 2012. Cena is the only man in WWE that can appear in multiple segments every night and be trusted.
My respect level for Cena has gone up once again. Even in a time when he should be taking time off, he is working "overtime" for the company.
This ending was money.
Big Show vs. John Cena was signed for No Way Out next month. Thus, the logical goal is to build up Show as a legitimate heel threat over the next few weeks.
Two nights in a row, he has left Cena laying. His knock out punch looks very brutal right now, and it is hard to argue against that.
The final seconds of Big Show walking away from a fallen Cena to follow John Laurinaitis spoke volumes. This feud has a long ways to go, but so far, so good.
Follow Justin Watry on Twitter!