Raw comes to you live from Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s also the late Owen Hart’s birthday, who would’ve turned 47.
Video package from last week’s Raw and John Cena’s beatdown.
John Laurinaitis opens the show. Ace says he won’t allow anybody to challenge his leadership skills. He’s mad about Cena calling him an idiot and a corporate jackass last week, which is why he snapped. Ace syas WWE’s Board of Directors didn’t punish him for his actions because they believe he’s tough but fair. He asked that Cena not appear on the show so that he can rehab his elbow, so that at Over the Limit, Cena has no excuses for losing. Ace throws to a video package highlighting his career in Japan. He calls himself Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold and The Rock all rolled into one. He said he received a contract offer from WWE years ago, and he said no. At OTL, Ace/Cena will be bigger than Brock/Cena and Rock/Cena. Ace says anyone making fun of his voice will suffer the consequences.
CM Punk interrupts, and says Ace still has no clue what the people wanted to hear or see. He says he won’t give him the key to the castle, but will start backwards and work his way up– the WWE Universe doesn’t want to see Ace. Punk says this is about Laurinaitis putting all of his chips on Lesnar and then Cena beat him at Extreme Rules. He calls Ace a hyena coming to pick the bones after Lesnar cleaned house. Punk says the reason Ace had to go to Japan was because there wasn’t anybody that wanted to pay to see his rotten ass. Ace was a joke then, and he’s a joke now. Punk says he’ll watch OTL to see Cena destroy Ace. Ace asks if Punk is done, so Punk asks the fans and they say no, so he continued: “You’re stupid, you’re ugly and you have no friends. You’re also a gigantic toolbox.” Ace says he can drop Punk right now, but he won’t. Tonight, Punk will face a fellow Japan import in Lord Tensai. Punk says he accepted that and looked forward to it almost as much as he expects Cena to make Ace tap out. The segment lasted 15 minutes.
Ace was terrible by himself, so thankfully Punk came out to add some life to it. Segment was alright, but easily could’ve been cut down.
Backstage, Show is heading to the ring before the commercial. When they come back, he’s still there. Why? I know he’s slow, but holy shit. Ace walks into him from behind as he’s texting and yells at Show to get out of the way. Ace leaves, and Show mocks his voice. Eve walks up and watches Show mocking him, then Show walks in the opposite direction of the ring. Fuck logic.
Intercontinental Championship: Big Show d. (C) Cody Rhodes via countout (D-)
Show dominated early before Rhodes made a comeback. Rhodes hit a Disaster Kick before Show tossed him across the ring. He goes for the KO punch, but Rhodes bails, grabs his title and leaves. Show throws him back in, but Rhodes grabs the title again and leaves for the countout at 3 minutes. Post-match, Show grabs the mic and urges Rhodes back into the match. Eve comes out and tells Show to apologize for making fun of Ace. He says sorry, but it’s not good enough because she said to apologize. Eve says the market for 7-foot, 441-pound freaks isn’t big. Show swallows his pride and apologizes.
Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero & Jack Swagger d. Kofi Kingston w/R-Truth (C-)
In a perfect world, this match would get lots of time. Backstage, AW is watching with Rosa, Primo & Epico. Mason Ryan is in the background. Ziggler dominated early before Kofi made a comeback. Kingston hit an SOS for a nearfall. Swagger and Vickie are on the apron for the distraction, so Ziggler comes from behind and hits a Zig Zag for the pinfall at 3 minutes.
Michael Cole talking to John Cena “live via satellite.” Cena thanks the fans for their continued support. He says he’s medically cleared to compete, as he has no broken bones, but does need his elbow drained twice daily. Doctors don’t want him to compete and recommended he take a few months off, but he says he’s not listening to them and will compete even if his arm gets amputated. Cena said the Board of Directors contacted him instad of Ace, and he told them not to suspend or fire Ace until after OTL. Cole suggests that Cena could be scared of Laurinaitis. Cena says he’s scared that Ace is so bad that he’s going to hurt himself before he can get his hands on him. “In 13 days at Over The Limit I will kick John Laruinaitis’ ass!”
Layla & Kelly Kelly d. Natalya & Maxine (F)
Kelly attacked Natalya on the floor to stop her from cheating. Layla hit the Lay Out neckbreaker on Maxine for the pinfall at 1 minute. The match went about one minute. Kelly and Natalya didn’t even enter. What a waste.
Sheamus & Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho & Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez (B)
Orton got worked on, but made the hot tag to Sheamus while Del Rio tagged in Jericho. Sheamus cleaned house and worked out of a Walls of Jericho, then hit an Irish Curse backbreaker. ADR broke up the pinfall, so Orton gave him an RKO. Sheamus goes to hit Jericho with a Brogue Kick, but Jericho dodges and Sheamus lays out Orton. Sheamus turns around and takes a Codebreaker for the pinfall at 13 minutes. Post-match, Jericho grabs the World Heavyweight Championship and says he should be champion. Sheamus tries to help Orton up, who refuses. Orton gets up and hits a quick RKO on Sheamus. Overall, a very good match. Why can’t they do this more often?
Backstage, Ace with Eve, who says she’s going to talk to Show. Jericho, ADR and Orton all walk in wanting a title shot against Sheamus. They all start brawling. Sheamus comes in, and the faces clear the heels. Sheamus and Orton get in each other’s faces. Ace makes it a Fatal 4-Way at OTL: Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho & Randy Orton.
Brodus Clay vs. The Miz (D)
Before the match, Clay says Sunday is Mother’s Day, so make sure we call our mommas. Miz came out complaining that he has a match with…this. “If I wanted to see King Hippo dance I’d play Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.” Ha! He wants Brodus to call his momma so he can tell her that “I’m the Miz and I’m awesome.” Clay looked brutal selling some of the moves, especially Miz’ ones off the top rope. Clay got worked on and made a comeback, hitting a powerslam and a giant headbutt. I love that headbutt. Miz hit a boot to the face in the corner, but Clay countered with an overhead suplex and splash for the pinfall at 5 minutes.
In the ring, Lesnar’s music hits. He got an invite for Raw but declined. Instead, out comes Paul Heyman! “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman and I am here tonight as the representative for Brock Lesnar.” He said Lesnar has been underappreciated by WWE since day one. Things are different now than they were 10 years ago. He said Lesnar feels betrayed by the WWE Universe. Lesnar is the only man in history to win the NCAA Heavyweight Championship, the Undisputed WWE Championship and the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Heyman says Lesnar is honest–he told us he’d be an ass kicking machine and that’s what he’s been. He reads a letter written by Lesnar saying he didn’t regret his actions towards HHH. He said HHH lasted nearly an hour with Undertaker, but he couldn’t last a minute with Lesnar. “I, Brock Lesnar, am never coming back because I, Brock Lesnar, quit.” Big crowd pop.
Backstage, Big Show talking to some actors from somewhere. They make fun of Ace and mock his voice. Again, Eve walks in and sees it all. Show looks regretful.
Lord Tensai & Daniel Bryan d. CM Punk (C+)
Punk got worked on but made a comeback. Punk climbed to the top to give Tensai an elbow drop, but Mr. Sakamoto distracted the ref, as Bryan knocked off Punk. Tensai hit a double choke bomb and green mist Claw for the pinfall at 6 minutes. Post-match, Bryan applied the YES! Lock twice, screaming “you’re not better than me Punk!”
Three Stars of the Show
* The Miz (for his Mike Tyson comment)
** Paul Heyman
*** CM Punk
Final Grade: C-
Meh. Heyman coming back was great, and the Lesnar quitting story is obviously just an angle. I wasn’t sold on the finish of the main event, but the post-match attack made sense the way it was booked.