John Laurinaitis opens the show and talks about his match with John Cena at Over the Limit. He says the board of directors will not reprimand him because they understand that he needs to be tough sometimes in his position. JL puts himself over for being the Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin of Japan when he was wrestling there. CM Punk interrupts him. Punk makes fun of Laurinaitis and says he went to Japan because he was a joke. JL books Punk in a match with Lord Tensai tonight.
^JL acting like a 1998 version of Vince McMahon has been interesting to watch, but what intrigues me more about his match with Cena is the fact that JL actually knows how to wrestle. I know the match will be an all around joke, but knowing that Cena’s opponent has a legitimate wrestling background and can perform in matches makes me eager to see what sort of contest they put on. I love Punk making fun of him, but again Punk and Cena remind me of Rock and Austin in that role of both of them having a problem with the boss all the time. History can repeat itself and be okay when it’s done properly; I have no issue with this scripting for Johnny Ace.
Big Show is standing backstage when JL walks up and bumps into him. JL asks Big Show if he’s stupid. Show mocks him when he leaves but turns around and sees Eve watching his every move.
^Here comes the evil boss-lady Eve! JL clearly needs a second set of eyes with Otunga off dealing with personal problems.
Big Show defeats Cody Rhodes by countout when Cody Rhodes leaves the match, and Rhodes retains his IC Title. After the match, Eve comes out and makes Big Show apologize for making fun of JL. He says he’s sorry but she gets angry and implies threatening his job. He apologizes again and Eve smiles.
^Not much of a rematch for Show, but I’m thinking this is a good way to lead into a Big Show storyline where he gets pushed around by Eve every week.
Dolph Ziggler defeats Kofi Kingston via the Zig Zag after Jack Swagger pushes Kofi off the ropes. Primo, Epico, Rosa, and AW are shown watching from backstage.
^This wasn’t even close to their best encounter, but I’m glad they had this match. Being two of the better performers on the roster, Kingston and Ziggler both deserve far more than what they’ve received as of late. I’m surprised Mason Ryan didn’t get involved in his potential new role as Ziggler’s bodyguard(he was seen backstage with AW and company).
John Cena is introduced via satellite. He talks about his injury and says the doctors want him to take a few months off. He says he will be back at Over the Limit to kick JL’s ass.
^No Cena in the arena tonight? I’m okay with it because it means more on air time for the rest of the roster. He will destroy JL at Over the Limit if the match doesn’t have too much interference.
Layla and Kelly Kelly defeat Maxine and Natalya when Layla hits her finisher on Maxine for the three count.
^Did this even last a minute? Just another slap in the face to the divas division and shows how WWE feels about booking them on Monday Night Raw. They shouldn’t have even had the segment; just save the solid female wrestling for Smackdown if this is how you decide to book it.
Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho defeat Sheamus and Randy Orton in a tag team match when Jericho hits a code breaker on Sheamus for the three count. Jericho celebrates with the title after the match and Orton lays out Sheamus with an RKO.
^Four of the company’s top stars in a tag team match? I’ll take it without complaint. It was a good match overall. The aftermath is what interests me more at the moment.
Backstage segment with Eve and JL talking about Big Show. Chris Jericho comes in and demands a World Title shot. Orton, Sheamus, and Del Rio come into the room and they all start brawling. They separate and JL books a fatal four way for the World Title at Over the Limit.
^Thank you WWE for making that match interesting! I was honestly wondering what sort of match Sheamus could have with ADR as a pay per view main event, and the possibilities didn’t look too promising. Sheamus is a talented wrestler, but carrying someone as bland as ADR(despite his solid in ring ability) could have been for quite the “Hulk Hogan 1980s/early 90s generic” sort of main event. This match should be quite exciting.
Brodus Clay defeats the Miz in a short match. Brodus reminds us all before the match about Mother’s Day and Miz cuts a promo when he comes out about being disgusted with having to face Brodus.
^Where do I begin with this? Well, Brodus has now had his longest singles match in WWE. Unfortunately, the Miz is still under questionable booking at best. He’ll go off and film the Marine and hopefully come back with a well scripted storyline to work through to Summerslam. As for Brodus, you’ve all heard what I have to say about him.
Brock Lesnar was invited to Raw, but he decided to send his legal representation, Paul Heyman. He voices Lesnar’s complaints about his treatment in WWE and things being the same as when he left eight years ago. Heyman quits on behalf of Brock Lesnar.
^Paul Heyman being back in the WWE is much needed. I doubt if he’ll stick around longer than a few months, but it’s so good to hear the voice of a genius speak his mind on the mic. Knowing that Brock hasn’t really quit, WWE has now worked a brilliant strategy of having Heyman speak on his behalf and save some of those limited work dates for when Brock is really needed. This was a really intelligent move on the part of WWE to bring Heyman in.
CM Punk comes out for his match with Tensai. JL announces that it will be a handicap match. CM Punk faces Lord Tensai and Daniel Bryan. The match ends when Bryan knocks Punk down from the top rope and Tensai botches a chokebomb attempt. Tensai uses the mist, claw, and slam to get the three count on Punk. Bryan attacks Punk after the match and applies the yes-lock.
^Uh, no. No. No. No. Yes? No. Tensai botches a move AND picks up the pin with the number one contender just watching from the outside? Horrible. I get it; Tensai is the dominant force, but would it not have been much more like Daniel Bryan to sneak in and steal the pinfall? That aside, Punk got beat. If the champ continues to get beat down every week, you know he’ll retain the title at Over the Limit. Now it’s just a matter of keeping an eye on his booking to figure out which way creative is going with this,
While it wasn’t the most exciting or shocking Monday Night Raw we’ve ever watched, the show was all around solid in terms of promos and wrestling. It definitely didn’t lack in either department. Good booking from WWE. I’ll have the usual columns up by the weekend. Make sure to check out my Raw is Owen reflection and my FCW recap for this week’s show. FCW is a great show to watch if you get the chance to check it out on youtube. It goes up usually by Monday evening as it airs on Sunday on regular tv. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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