ThunderStruck: Raw Analysis 04/30/12

The show opens with John Laurinaitis calling out Brock Lesnar after putting him over as the new face of WWE. Triple H interrupts before they can say anything. He tells Brock he will only stay in WWE under his original contract terms and not the non-approved terms that JL agreed to last week. Brock gets pissed and attacks Triple H. He locks on a submission and holds it until some of the locker room comes to the ring for the save. Brock is escorted out by security.

^I’m surprised Lesnar was acting so cocky and JL so happy after Lesnar lost the actual match on Sunday. I guess the point was to hurt Cena and the mission was accomplished. Apparently the latest rumor is that Lesnar will be facing Triple H at Summerslam and that Lesnar’s planned rivalry with Randy Orton has been scrapped. I guess it’s hard to know for sure what rumors to take seriously anymore when things can change on a dime when it comes to WWE’s plans. This whole segment was actually fairly entertaining compared to most other JL opening segments.

Eve announces a ten man beat the clock challenge for tonight with the winner facing CM Punk at Over the Limit for the WWE Title.

^We usually see the beat the clock challenge once or twice a year, and it always makes for a better show with more guaranteed matches. I like the concept of it even more when the participants are all believable number one contenders for the WWE Title.

The Miz defeats Santino Marella in the first beat the clock challenge match in four minutes and eighteen seconds.

^Considering these two just wrestled a twenty minute match on Sunday, I’m surprised they were booked to face each other again the following night. At least it was a well worked four minutes. Miz is going to be off to film the Marine 3 for a few weeks in June, so it makes me wonder what the purpose of him being buried this time around was.

Nikki and Brie Bella lose a triple threat Divas Title match to defending champion, Layla.

^Say goodbye to the Bellas. The match lasted less than thirty seconds. I understand the purpose of giving the Divas a segment on Raw, but does it really have to be treated with so much disrespect that it’s given less than a minute of air time?

Chris Jericho defeats Big Show by countout but does not beat the clock.

^This was a fun brawl from these two. The ref appeared to have botched the countout as Jericho was supposed to beat the clock by a few seconds. I’m curious what Jericho will be doing for a rivalry now and whether or not Big Show will continue his feud with Cody.

Brodus Clay squashes JTG.

^A squash on someone who is about to be out of a job? I’m shocked. I know there is a certain fan base that enjoys watching Brodus dance, but I’m not a part of it.

Backstage segment with Eve and JL. Eve tells JL he needs to step up as a leader now more than ever with the Lesnar attack on Triple H. She asks him who Cena’s next opponent is going to be, and he says he knows and that Cena won’t like who it is.

^I’m speculating around the Batista return rumors, but then I’m remembering how much WWE is using twitter to spread false rumors as of late. There’s a few different potential opponents for Cena, but there are few that actually fit the main event scene.

Randy Orton takes the lead in the beat the clock challenge by defeating Jack Swagger in four minutes and eighteen seconds.

^Orton and Punk? I know Orton doesn’t have a feud now that his rivalry with Kane is over, but would his character try to take a heel turn when he’s the second most over anti-face in the company? Swagger was boring here; Dolph should’ve wrestled instead.

R-Truth and Kofi Kingston defeat Primo and Epico to become the new WWE Tag Team Champions.

^I was told Primo and Epico complaining about air time on twitter was a work, but then I watched them lose to Show and Kane, Ryder and Santino, and now they’ve dropped the titles to Kofi and Truth. With Kofi and Truth probably feuding with Young and O’Neil next, I have to wonder how much of a work it was versus a legit punishment for Primo and Epico pulling their stunt.

Backstage segment with Primo, Epico, and Rosa Mendes accepting Abraham Washington’s help now that they’ve lost the tag titles.

^AW comes across as annoying, and I doubt they’ll turn him into a legitimate heel manager. The stable angle with a bunch of guys having the same manager has been done too many times in the past to peak my interest now.

Kane and the Great Khali wrestle to a draw in the beat the clock challenge. Kane chokeslams Khali after the match.

^My first comment to Mike Lightning was that if neither of these two beat the clock, then we would be stuck watching them wrestle for four plus minutes. It was very basic and very boring. Kane worked his tail off and you could see him trying to make things work. It didn’t. Khali is horrible to watch in the ring.

Daniel Bryan defeats Jerry Lawler and beats the clock to become the number one contender to CM Punk’s WWE Title. CM Punk came to the stage after the match and stared down Bryan.

^I don’t think anyone believed that Jerry Lawler would be facing CM Punk for the WWE Title. I was hoping he would hold Bryan off for the four minutes, but he didn’t. Daniel Bryan and CM Punk are going to have their first ppv match at Over the Limit. That match should help boost sales of the show(from real wrestling fans, anyway).

John Cena comes to the ring with his arm in a sling. John Laurinaitis comes out to introduce Cena’s opponent for Over the Limit, and Lord Tensai’s music interrupts. Tensai and Sakamoto get on each side of Cena and he gets defensive. John Laurinaitis hits Cena over the head with the microphone and declares himself as Cena’s opponent for Over the Limit. They smash Cena’s arm with a steel chair and the show goes off the air.

^Well, you had to expect a curveball somewhere. This definitely has that McMahon/Austin feel to it that we used to get back in the attitude era. JL is really good at being the hated character. I’m expecting lots of outside interference during the match at Over the Limit unless the match is changed between now and then.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with this Raw. We had eight matches and a bunch of promos and it all came together quite nicely. I’ll be back next this week with an FCW and NXT review. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!