ThunderStruck: Raw Analysis 06/18/12

Mick Foley opens Raw. He says former people in charge of Raw will get a shot at running both Raw and Smackdown. Foley announces Kane and Daniel Bryan to take on CM Punk and Sheamus. He introduces John Laurinaitis to give his farewell address. JL says he booked the main event for tonight before he was fired. He says he booked Cena against himself, Big Show, and David Otunga in a handicap match. He tells Foley to have a nice day and walks out.

^I love Mick Foley! Good opening to the show to bring out the hometown hero to get the crowd hot. I like the idea of different people running the shows each week. I hope it wasn’t just a tease about William Regal running the shows at some point in the future. The main event appears questionable. Why book Cena against guys that can’t wrestle? I hope I’m wrong about this pessimistic feeling in my gut.

Sheamus and CM Punk defeat Kane and Daniel Bryan. AJ comes out in the middle of the match in a Kane mask and dances around the ring; Kane follows her and leaves. Punk nails the GTS on Bryan before Sheamus nails the brogue kick and gets the three count.

^I swear that was the most brutal brogue kick landing I’ve ever seen as Bryan went down hard to the mat. I love the Kane/AJ storyline and how Kane is always involved with the divas in some way. Solid tag team matchup, but this probably should’ve been taken into consideration for being saved for the main event. I don’t like the booking order so far.

Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger are shown arguing backstage. Vickie interrupts and says it’s time for her to choose one of them and drop the other. She says Foley booked them in a match against each other and she will go with the winner.

^I’ve been wanting to see these two wrestle for awhile and now I’m excited for this match.

Otunga and JL are shown talking. Big Show joins them and asks what’s funny. JL says Show will knock Cena out tonight and JL will pin him, and that’s funny. He says it’s also funny that these people don’t deserve him as GM. Show says he doesn’t find anything at all funny.

^I guess Big Show is pissed about losing to Cena. This should be an interesting main event if nothing else.

Dolph Ziggler defeats Jack Swagger. Ziggler pins Swagger after a zig zag to win Vickie Guerrero’s services. He embraces Vickie after the match.

^This match was FAR too short and really failed to meet my expectations. I don’t like being disappointed this much when it comes to these two guys, because they both have a good amount of talent. Does this mean Swagger will have a face turn now, or will Dolph turn face and dump Vickie?

Paul Heyman comes to the ring. He says Brock Lesnar will not face Triple H at Summerslam. Triple H comes to the ring. Triple H calls Heyman a liar and says Lesnar will face him at Summerslam or Lesnar will go down as the guy that is scared of Triple H. The two exchange words back and forth until Heyman provokes Triple H too much. Triple H punches Heyman and asks him if he saw that coming. He says he’ll see Brock at Summerslam.

^This was an effective segment between two great talkers. I like the situation created to setup the match, but I don’t like the idea of a two month build that we’ll now have to endure for their overhyped and overrated Summerslam main event. I liked Michael Cole playing the face role when he said Paul Heyman had that coming for his comments towards Hunter’s wife.

Alberto Del Rio defeats Santino Marella with the cross armbreaker in a short, non-title match. Ricardo Rodriguez attacks Santino after the match.

^It seems Del Rio recovered rather quickly from that concussion. I’m guessing WWE had little faith in a Del Rio/Sheamus World Title match coming off strong, and I agree with their decision to change it up. Ricardo and Santino continuing their rivalry will hopefully mean we get to see the true wrestling skills of Ricardo Rodriguez.

Layla introduces Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper in celebration of WWE’s upcoming 1000th episode of Raw. Cyndi and Wendi speak a bit and then Heath Slater interrupts. Wendy’s just interrupted Wendi, ha! Slater calls the segment a trainwreck. Slater wants to sing his first single, but Roddy Piper interrupts him. Piper presents Lauper with a new gold record to replace the one that was broke years ago. Slater starts to sing again and Piper pokes him in the eyes. Lauper then hits him over the head with the record and it shatters.

^I get the point of the nostalgia, but this segment was lame for my age group. Heath Slater was absolutely right about nobody(almost nobody, anyway) remembering their segments from twenty years ago. I’m glad this segment was done quickly.

The Prime Time Players get themselves counted out after less than four minutes per the advice of AW and intentionally lose the match to Primo and Epico.

^Two good tag teams had the chance to wow us here, but instead they chose to go with the storyline of AW being the advisor to the Prime Time Players. I understand the point, but this could’ve been a really good tag match.

Teddy Long comes out for commentary during the main event. Big Show thanks JL for his ironclad contract and his big fat bonus. Show tells Otunga and JL that they’re on their own tonight because he sees no reason to compete. He leaves.

^I like this move. It’s ironic and funny all at once. It’s the start to the end of people power.

Cena wrestles Otunga for a bit. Otunga tags in JL. JL takes charge and then goes to tag Otunga. Otunga refuses the tag and leaves JL. Cena takes care of JL and forces him to tap out to the STF after three AA finishers.

^I said all along that Otunga would eventually turn on JL for using him so badly. Being right made for a funny finish. This match should’ve opened the show and the tag match that opened the show should’ve been the main event.

The formula to make this show good is simple: Switch the first and last matches like I said. Give Ziggler/Swagger more time, and do the same for Del Rio/Santino(both men CAN wrestle). Add five minutes to the tag match between the Players and the Puerto Ricans and you actually have a solid Monday Night Raw. The show was just below average with the way it was done. The promos weren’t bad(they were actually pretty entertaining minus Lauper/Piper/Slater), but I wanted to see more wrestling after how well I felt No Way Out delivered. Where the hell was Christian and Cody? Fail, fail, and fail some more on so many different levels. I’m disappointed, but I should’ve expected it after a pay per view. Make sure to check out the rundown at the end of the week. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck! – add me!

check out Ace’s View as well here: