ThunderStruck: Raw Analysis 06/04/12

Michael Cole interviews John Cena. Cole attacks Cena’s character and says he’s become uninteresting and overrated. Cena gets angry but Cole reminds him that he can’t strike an announcer. John Laurinaitis comes out. He tells Cena that Big Show isn’t here tonight but that he gets to pick his opponent. JL says he has retired from action, but that Cena can pick anybody else. Cena picks Michael Cole.

^You can hate Michael Cole all you want, but he plays a great character and works his ass off to do what he does best. This back and forth exchange of words was more entertaining to me than any Cena/Rock segment from earlier this year. Yeah, I’ll catch heat for saying that, but it’s the truth if you look back at it. You could see the pick coming a mile away of course, and apparently WWE has decided this week that it’s Monday Night Raw starring an embarrassed Michael Cole. I’ll take it!

Backstage Cole tries to talk JL into cancelling the match. JL tells Cole there’s a rumor that everyone’s job will be evaluated soon, and the people want to see this match happen.

^I wonder if JL’s reference to the job evaluations is a legit play off the fact that cuts will be coming to the roster soon. There could be a lot of changes coming over the next few months for sure. I like seeing JL treat Cole the way he did; it adds more fuel to my past argument that eventually EVERYONE is going to have a complaint against Laurinaitis and it will backfire on his character.

Sheamus defeats Dolph Ziggler with the brogue kick. Del Rio attacks Sheamus at the top of the stage after the match.

^This match was better than their match on Friday. I find it funny how WWE seems to randomly wake up and realize that Ziggler is a main event contender, and how they pull him into the scene when they run thin on top talent(Orton, Jericho ect). Ziggler IS main event material and should be in line for a big title run in my opinion. I’m tired of watching the guy work his tail off just to be beat by the top face competitors. He consistently has the best matches out of everybody on the roster. Sheamus defending against Ziggler at No Way Out would have been far more entertaining than this Del Rio/Sheamus match that’s been scheduled.

David Otunga talks with JL backstage and tells him that Mr. McMahon will be on Raw next week to evaluate JL’s performance as GM.

^I can see it now. We all get our hopes up for McMahon to blast into JL and point out all the terrible things that he has done. Instead, I think McMahon will praise JL and give him a vote of full confidence on the job he’s doing. On the flipside, there has to be another reason McMahon is coming back to tv. I’m wondering if it’s overall panic on his part about the ratings and thinking that an announcement about him showing up will draw in more viewers. We’ll have to wait and see.

Sin Cara defeats Hunico in a short match.

^First, I don’t want Sin Cara’s matches to continue happening under the colored lights. Second, we’ve seen Sin Cara and Hunico a bunch of times in the past, and it’s hard to not want more from the duo when they go one on one. Sin Cara appears to be making less mistakes and playing it safer throughout his matches, and I’m hoping he will move up the roster quickly and change up his matches as he gets more over with the fans.

Ryback defeats Stan Stansky and Arthus Rosenberg in a handicap match.

^The latest rumors talk about Vince McMahon believing Ryback can be WWE’s version of Bill Goldberg. I hope if this is true that he will start having longer matches and find a relevant feud sooner rather than later. I’m anxious to see what else he can do in the ring.

Kane defeats CM Punk with a chokeslam in a non title match after several distractions on the part of Daniel Bryan. Kane looks at AJ after the match and she smiles at him. He walks off.

^Kane pinned the WWE Champion. Is it a sign of things to come at No Way Out? Punk ran the pace of this match more than he did in their Smackdown match, and it made for a much more entertaining contest. Punk’s talent level is insane; I don’t know why it took him so long to get to where he’s at right now when he’s been in the company for six years. It makes me wonder how long it will be before Seth Rollins makes it to the roster and gets the push he deserves.

Josh Mathews interviews AJ, He asks her what the smile was about towards Kane. She goes into psycho mode and grabs Mathews by the tie. She says he might be just perfect for her because she likes aggressive men.

^I love what WWE has done with AJ’s character. I’m curious where the rest of the divas on the roster ended up the last couple weeks. I know we saw Kaitlyn and Tamina on NXT, and I know we saw Beth and Alicia on Superstars, but what about making the division relevant on tv and giving them fair length matches? How about a show just for the divas when they get the network up and running?

R-Truth and Kofi Kingston defeat Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks in a non title match. Kingston hits trouble in paradise on Hawkins and gets the three count.

^More great tag team wrestling from WWE! Reks and Hawkins have been awesome in the ring together, and Kofi and Truth have really taken me by surprise with their chemistry that has allowed them to now dominate the tag team division. I love the revamp of teams now that WWE has decided to heat things up and make some real competition. I just hope they don’t play hot potato with the titles or anything ridiculous like that.

JL comes out after Cena and tells him he will face Michael Cole in a no-DQ match if he can defeat Tensai first. Cena defeats Tensai with the AA. Cena then beats on Michael Cole and forces Cole to apologize to Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross for his actions in the past. He pours JR’s bbq sauce on him. Tensai comes back in and delivers a chokebomb to Cena. Cole goes for the cover but Cena kicks out. He hits the AA on Cole for the win.

^You get week after week of Cena looking weak, and then he gets these moments where he stands tall as the typical Super-Cena. The segment was funny, but it started to drag towards the end. Overall, the entire show was booked fairly well and had five legit matches along with the Ryback squash and the Cena/Cole encounter. How could we not be happy with what was delivered tonight? I’ll be back at the end of the week with Smackdown and the rundown. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me! – check us out!