WWE Raw Review: 5 Things We Learned from Tonight's Episode (April 16)April 17, 2012
WWE Raw Review: 5 Things We Learned from Tonight's Episode (April 16)
Well, another episode of Monday Night Raw is in the books.
The WWE headed to London, England for tonight's show, and it was definitely a newsworthy one.
CM Punk held onto his WWE Championship by defeating Mark Henry, a huge contract signing between Brock Lesnar and John Cena was announced for next week's Raw, and Santino Marella retained the United States title.
As with every Raw, tonight's episode taught us WWE fans a lot.
Let's take a look at five things we learned from the April 16th edition of Monday Night Raw.
5. Zack Ryder Is a Jobber Again
All that buildup for Zack Ryder that happened in 2011?
Yeah, that's down the toilet now. Ryder is back to being a jobber again.
As noted in last week's Raw review, I thought that Ryder's quick job to Alberto Del Rio was an indication that something was going on with him. Now, I'm sure of it.
Ryder suffered yet another quick beatdown on this week's Raw, this time against Kane, and it's pretty clear now that the WWE doesn't view him as much more than an enhancement talent at the moment.
I mean, let's just put this into perspective: Ryder just got the crap beaten out of him by the same guy who he should have had an extended feud with (and won that feud) because, you know, Kane put him in a freakin' wheelchair.
Instead, Ryder was attacked by Kane before the match even started.
So, I guess we can take logic and flush it right down the toilet with Ryder's buildup. He's just another guy now.
4. I Like the Direction of John Cena's Character
The biggest debate in pro wrestling: Will John Cena turn heel?
I've debated it a thousand times and am definitely in favor of it, because Cena needs to alter his character. But, as seen over the last couple of weeks, Cena's character can change for the better without him having to turn heel.
It may be short-lived, but since WrestleMania 28, Cena has shown some solid character development that I really like.
He lost to The Rock at WrestleMania, was destroyed with an F5 by Brock Lesnar the next two weeks and then got beat by Lord Tensai at the conclusion of tonight's show.
Since then, Cena's shown some vulnerability. He's shown that he is actually human for a change (though his promo was still boring).
We saw flashes of this during Cena's feud with Kane, but it went absolutely nowhere. I'm a little more optimistic that it will go somewhere during his feud with Lesnar, though.
If Cena can change his character for the better and change it for good like he currently seems to be doing, then the WWE will be better off because of it.
3. The Creative Team Members Have Lost Their Minds
Zack Ryder getting destroyed by Kane?
Dolph Ziggler picking up another loss at the hands of Brodus Clay?
Sanitno Marella vs. David Otunga for the United States Championship?
Big Show and The Great Khali squashing the WWE Tag Team Champions?
It's official—everyone on the creative team has lost their minds.
With a few exceptions, creative continues to make a boatload of questionable decisions, such as jobbing out Epico and Primo to one guy who's almost 40 and another guy who can't wrestle, or continuing to book Ryder like a jobber.
The WWE is jeopardizing its future with this ridiculous booking that is making its younger stars look weak, putting titles on comedy characters and giving high-profile in-ring roles to guys who really struggle in the ring.
I know this isn't really the case, but sometimes, I swear I could book a better show than these guys.
2. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight at Extreme Rules
CM Punk is still your WWE Champion.
Punk retained his title in a No DQ/Countouts WWE championship match against Mark Henry after hitting a big elbow drop with a steel chair on Henry. Following his successful title defense, it was revealed that Punk would defend his WWE title once again at Extreme Rules, this time against Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight.
You had to figure that with all of Jericho's brutal attacks on Punk, they would meet in some sort of No DQ match at Extreme Rules, and a Chicago Street Fight is just a fancy way of saying that.
This feud has gotten extremely personal over the last several weeks, and the only way to settle it is through a good old-fashioned brawl.
That's exactly what I'd expect to see from Jericho and Punk in Chicago, which just so happens to be Punk's hometown and, if Money in the Bank 2011 was any indication, should give us a raucous crowd in two weeks.
1. The PG-Rating Means Nothing
To all those who say that "WWE needs to get rid of the PG-rating," I say this: It means nothing anyway.
While the WWE's programming is still technically PG, we saw in Brock Lesnar's promo tonight that that PG-rating is a farce. The WWE's superstars will say what they want when they want to say it.
Lesnar was cursing up a storm on tonight's Raw, and he is just the latest superstar to do so.
There's been widespread usage of curse words in the WWE over much of the last year, and words like "ass" and "b**ch" have become the norm.
Does it mean that the PG era is going bye bye? No, of course not.
But what it means is that the WWE will bend the rules when it chooses to do so, which will result in some more "attitude" on both Raw and SmackDown.
We don't need a TV-14 rating. Raw is already basically a TV-14 show.
Note: As part of the new WWE blog, I'll be asking all of the B/R wrestling readers for questions for a new mailbag that I will post on Fridays. It will be a slideshow featuring 10-to-20 questions and answers on a wide range of topics. You can submit questions either through Formspring or Twitter, and the best ones will be answered in the B/R mailbag.