Raw comes to you live from Greenville, South Carolina.
Video package from last week’s main event with Big Show. Yay, more talking. With Raw’s low ratings last week (2.7), expect a heavy dose of Cena going forward.
Cole talks about Show smashing everyone on Raw and SmackDown, and says Cena made jokes at John Laurinaitis’ expense instead of helping Show get his job back. Cena asks if Cole has a collection of My Little Ponies, and calls Laurinaitis a power hungry bully. Cena says he didn’t help Cena, but he was going to get Laurinaitis out. ”What type of idiot wouldn’t hire back the World’s Largest Athlete?” Cole backs Show’s decision to join Laurinaitis at Over the Limit. Cena says Show says that the fans turned on him, when it’s actually the other way around. Cole counters by saying Cena’s jealous of Show. ”I don’t think you’re interested anymore. In fact I think you’re overrated.” Cole adds that Cena isn’t allowed to physically attack an announcer.
John Laurinaitis’ music hits, and he comes to the stage in his People Power scooter. I hope this doesn’t turn into a Vickie Guerrero wheelchair thing. Ace says Show got to pick his opponent last week, so this week, Cena gets to pick his–but he can’t pick Show, because he has a selective schedule, and he can’t pick Laurinaitis because he’s retired from one-on-one competition. Cena builds up his choice, and he picks Michael Cole, who’s now upset. Overall, the segment lasted 14 minutes, but really didn’t accomplish anything other than book the main event match. Cut it down and get to the point.
CM Punk vs. Kane in a “must be a winner match” rematch from SmackDown.
Did You Know?: WrestleMania 28 is the #1 selling sports DVD in the US, instantly passing this year’s Super Bowl DVD. Obviously. But the Super Bowl got way more viewers and sponsors, so it’s a flawed fact. I don’t even know anyone who owns a Super Bowl DVD either.
Backstage, Cole asks Laurinaitis to cancel the match. Ace says there’s a rumor that everybody’s job would be evaluated, and he needs to give the people what they want.
Sheamus d. Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero (C)
After the commercial, Ziggler was in control, but Sheamus made a comeback with a powerslam. Ziggler hit a DDT on Sheamus for two. Ziggler hit a nice Fameasser off the middle rope for a nearfall. Ziggler went for the Zig Zag, but Sheamus countered with White Noise, then a Brogue Kick (nice sell) for the pinfall at 9 minutes. Not a bad match given the time. Post-match, Alberto Del Rio jumped Sheamus at the stage. Ricardo Rodriguez grabbed Sheamus by the legs, as Del Rio applies the Cross Armbreaker.
Backstage, Laurinaitis asks a guy where his coffee is. David Otunga comes in and says WWE.com reported that next week Vince McMahon would return next week to give Laurinaitis a job performance evaluation. More backlash from the low ratings. Wasn’t Vince fired last year by Triple H? It’s hard to follow the logic of this. It’s easier to just not think about it.
Sin Cara d. Hunico w/Camacho (D+)
Cara has new threads–red and white, rather than blue and orange. They also got rid of his trampoline, but they kept the stupid spotlights for his matches. Hunico missed a corner splash, so Sin Cara hit a kick to the face, followed by a flying headscissors. Cara hit a cartwheel into a back elbow and knocked Camacho off the apron. Cara hit La Mistica for the pinfall at 3 minutes. A usual offensive display for Cara. No botches this time around either.
Ryback d. Stan Stansky & Arthur Rosenberg (D-)
Both of these other guys are jobbers. He hit a double clothesline against the turnbuckle, then picked them both up and hit his double muscle buster move for the pinfall at 2 minutes.
Daniel Bryan comes out before the next match for some Q&A. “Has AJ gone completely delusional since I dumped her? Yes. Will Kane destroy CM Punk tonight? Yes. At No Way Out in the triple threat will I become the new WWE Champion? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!” Awesome.
Kane d. CM Punk (C+)
I won’t go into play by play for this. On the outside, Kane threw Punk into the barricade near where Bryan was at the announce desk. Bryan hit a pair of kicks to the ribs with the ref not looking. Kane went for a Chokeslam, but Punk countered with a roundhouse kick. AJ ran in and told the ref that Bryan attacked Punk on the outside. Punk got up and hit a suicide dive on Bryan on the outside. As he rolled back in, Kane grabbed him by the throat and hit a Chokeslam for the pinfall at 14 minutes. A very slow start, but good action following the commercial. Post-match, Bryan attacked Kane from behind, but it didn’t work. Kane stalks AJ in the corner. She smiles at him, and Kane left. AJ went to check on Punk.
Backstage, Josh Mathews asked AJ about her smile towards Kane. She says Kane portrays fear, so she smiled. She likes when men look at her. She then asks Mathews to look at her. AJ “Do you not like aggressive women? Because I do.” She tapped Josh on the head and said he might just be her type. This bitch is crazy…Super Crazy.
Big Show promo via video package. He says he was suppressed for 18 years. “I’m not an entertainer. I’m a giant.”
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth d. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks (D+)
Truth got worked on, then made the hot tag to Kofi, who catches fire. He hits a Boom Drop on Hawkins, then knocked Reks off the apron. A crossbody on Hawkins, but Reks breaks up the pinfall. Truth takes Reks out of the ring. Hawkins missed a corner splash, so Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise for the pinfall at 4 minutes.
As Cena gets into the ring, Laurinaitis’ music hits. He says everyone wants to see Cena vs. Cole. He said he always over delivers, so the match will be a No DQ match, contingent on Cena beating his first opponent–Tensai.
John Cena d. Tensai w/Sakamoto (C)
After the commercial, Tensai was in control. He rammed Cena into the announce table, as Cole slaps Cena in the face. Tensai whipped Cena into the steel steps, followed by a butterfly suplex for two. Tensai missed a splash, so Cena countered with a pair of shoulder blocks, then his 5-Knuckle Shuffle moveset. Cena then hit the Attitude Adjustment for the pinfall at 9 minutes.
John Cena d. Michael Cole (D-)
Cole tried to bail through the crowd, but Cena eventually caught him. Cole grabbed the mic and tried to talk his way out of the match. He says he embarrassed Jerry Lawler at WrestleMania. Cena says we’ll remember Cole as the guy that got his ass kicked tonight. Cena pulls off Cole’s pants, and with his shirt and tie already off, Cole is left in his underwear. Cena slaps him a few times, then puts him in a headlock. Cena made Cole apologize to Lawler for WrestleMania last year, which he did. Cena wanted an apology for Jim Ross too. Cole called JR his idol, mentor and the guy he looked up to. Cena plugged JR’s BBQ sauce, and Cole added that “it’s slobberknocker good.” Lawler pulls out a bottle of JR’s BBQ sauce. Cena grabs three bottles, and squeezes it all over Cole. Cena went under the ring and grabbed the fire extinguisher and unleashes on Cole. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Tensai runs in and hits a double choke bomb and left. Cole went for the cover but only got two. Cole grabbed the fire extinguisher, but Cena ducked and hit the AA for the pinfall at 9 minutes. Cena sprays the extinguisher a bit more on Cole. Lawler plugs Vince McMahon being at next week’s 3-hour Raw. Overall, a total waste of time.
Three Stars of the Show
* CM Punk
*** Dolph Ziggler
Final Grade: D-
Another weak show. With poor ratings now, we’ll get a ton of John Cena over the next few weeks both to open the show, and close it–fewer tag matches, and fewer (if any) Divas matches. The highlight of the show was the Punk/Bryan/Kane/AJ stuff. Ziggler’s move to singles matches is good, but unless he gets a push or stops jobbing, he’s in a vicious circle. Right now, a lot of the matches on Raw are rematches of SmackDown, so there’s a lot of recycled content. WWE sorely needs Randy Orton, Chris Jericho or Rey Mysterio back, all three of which are currently suspended. WWE’s thin roster is as evident as ever.