1. Day 1 - RAW: Pros & Cons
My Two Centsss - SmackDown Tweeting Diary
By Super Chrisss
May 11, 2012 - 10:18:59 PM
2. Day 2 - TNA Wednesday: Dissecting The Television Championship
3. Day 3 - What If...Brock Lesnar Never Made The WWE Championship Exclusive To SmackDown?
4. Day 4 - SmackDown Tweeting Diary
(TeamFarrell, you're the man)
Another RAW, and another in-ring promo from John Laurinaitis to kick off the show. Now, I'm still a Big Johnny fan, but I'm starting to see what many people were worried about heading into the Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny match at Wrestlemania, that if Johnny won, he would explode all over television, and that's exactly what's happened since April 1st. However, since Johnny is the kayfabe reason for Brock Lesnar's return to the company, and has a match with John Cena at Over The Limit next Sunday, I think his amount of television time is acceptable.
Anyways, a fairly entertaining promo by Johnny, in which he tried to convince the fans he was superior to Cena, but things really picked up when CM Punk came out to reignite his feud with the General Manager. This led to Punk dropping some "pipe bombs", only for it to blow up in his face, as Johnny would book Punk vs. Lord Tensai as punishment.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Punk and Laurinaitis have great chemistry whenever they interact, so I'm glad they were able to pick up where they left off back in January. Hopefully this wasn't a one-night-only thing, as Punk vs. Laurinaitis has the potential of being a modern day Austin vs. McMahon feud. Maybe that's taking things a bit too far, but I really enjoy their quarrels.
CON: Cody Can't Catch A Break
When both Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and his opponent The Big Show got full entrances for their match (even though the champion should ALWAYS come out last), I foolishly thought we'd be getting a lengthy match between the two, and a decent one at that. But, of course not. Rhodes hits The Disaster Kick not even a minute into the match, and when Show gears up for The WMD, Rhodes snatches his belt and takes a count-out loss. Afterwards, Eve (who looks incredibly fine doing her best Miss Tesssmacher impersonation) wastes everybody time by forcing Big Show to apologize for making fun of Big Johnny, which he relucantly agrees to.
I don't understand why WWE won't let Cody Rhodes beat Big Show clean at least once. Show has beaten him at Wrestlemania, pinned him in tag matches, and only dropped the IC title at Extreme Rules because of a technicality. Rhodes has pinned the likes of Randy Orton, Booker T, and even made Shawn Michaels tap out. Why is it so hard to put him over The Big Show? Just end this feud already.
PRO: The World Is Watching
It was nice to see Dolph Ziggler back on Monday Night RAW. Too bad the writers can't find room for Zack Ryder or United States Champion Santino Marella, but I digress. Ziggler squared off with one-half of the new tag team champions, Kofi Kingston (who will probably be a 20-time tag team champion by the time he retires), and despite it being the 79624th time these two have wrestled since their main roster debuts, it was a short but decent match. Ziggler always makes sure to make the most of the time he gets, and Kofi is no slacker, either. After a distraction from Vickie, Jack Swagger interferes, which allows Ziggler to hit the Zig-Zag on Kofi and pick up a long over-due win.
Oh, and backstage, A.W. was shown watching the match with his new clients Epico, Primo, and Rosa, when Mason Ryan randomly showed up. I guess we'll have to wait and see if Ryan joins Vickie's stable, A.W.'s stable, or goes back to Superstars. I'm intrigued.
PRO: Cena Is Live, Via Satellite
I was a bit surprised to see John Cena cut a promo via satellite. Not because it made him look like a hypocrite for spending months chastising The Rock for "bringing it via satellite", but because Cena did not reveal the interview was a swerve and show up to the arena like 95% of these interviews usually do. Anyways, I thought Michael Cole did a decent job drilling Cena, especially since Cena showed a lot of passion with his replies. I thought the segment did a great job of hyping Cena vs. Laurinaitis at Over The Limit, and also gave the show a unique twist, with Cena not actually being there.
I'm likely the only person who watched RAW and didn't mind the divas tag team match. Why? Because a) the match ended thanks to a legit finisher, Layla's Lay-Out, and not a SUPER ROLL-UP OF DOOM!!!; b) We got to see Natalya in a match, even though she never got tagged in, and c) We saw the RAW debut of Maxine, who I think is the hottest diva on the WWE roster. Like Cole mentioned on commentary, Maxine is pretty much exclusive to NXT, but she's awesome. Not the best female worker on the planet, but she plays an excellent bitch, and is the only diva on the current roster I would rate a perfect 10/10. Seriously people, Google/YouTube Maxine - you won't be disappointed.
PRO: A Bad Night For The Irishman
When it was first announced that Sheamus and Randy Orton would team up to face Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio, I didn't know what to think. Although all four men are great in-ring competitors, it felt like the two Over The Limit opponents being forced into a tag match with two top stars who had nothing else to do.
Fortunately, I was wrong, as we were treated to one of the best tag team matches we've seen on television in quite some time. Of course, it helps that the match got plenty of time, and all four guys are talented between the ropes, but they really played up on each other's strengths and weaknesses. The heels targeting Sheamus' bad arm was classic douchebagery, while Jericho and Orton continued to show their underrated in-ring chemistry (I hope they can one day have a legitimate feud - their late-2007 program was incredibly rushed). After several close two-counts, Jericho would avoid a Brogue Kick, which connected with Orton, and Jericho would hit The Codebreaker on Sheamus, getting a fairly shocking win for his team. Afterwards, Jericho and Del Rio would bicker in Big Johnny's office backstage before getting attacked by Sheamus and Orton, which led to Johnny booking a Fatal-Four-Way for the world title at Over The Limit.
A great tag team match, a surprise ending, and a welcome card change made this part of the show all kinds of win. No complaints here.
PRO: Good Match, Wrong Winner
Like I said in response to fellow columnist mizfan's RAW review, I really liked Brodus Clay vs. The Miz, as Miz got in more offense than all of Brodus' previous opponents combined, while Brodus proved he can hang for a longer match. However, I totally disagree with the outcome. Personally, I'm all but done with The Funkasaurus gimmick. WWE have no idea how to push Brodus. He goes from squashing jobbers, to disappearing from television, to feuding with Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler (which was a great idea), to getting Hornswoggle to join his entourage, to squashing JTG to wrestling a good match against The Miz. It's back-and-forth, back-and-forth. As a result, Brodus is nowhere as over as he should be, and could have been if WWE knew what they were doing from the get-go.
Anyways, I thought Miz brought his A-game last night, and I was sad to see him lose. The Miz needed the win a lot more than Brodus did, if you ask me. The Miz is the perfect candidate to snap Brodus' winning streak, but instead, he's the third former world champion to job to The Funkasaurus. Both men are being booked incorrectly, and it frightens me to think WWE might be building to a "huge" (not by my standards, obviously) match between Brodus Clay and. Lord Tensai (shudders).
CON: In Case You Missed It...
Since WWE assumes their fans have memories like goldfish, they decided to replay the Brock Lesnar/Triple H scuffle from last week. You know, the same one they replayed four-five times during last week's episode of RAW? The same one they aired on NXT, Superstars, and SmackDown? Well, if you still missed it, they decided to show it AGAIN. F*** outta here with that shit.
PRO: Heyman's Still Got It
Since RAW in Canada is on a fifteen-minute time delay, I tend to avoid using the internet while watching the show to not read any spoilers. Last night, I'm glad I did just that, because I was STUNNED to see Paul Heyman come out to the ring and announce himself as Brock Lesnar's legal representative. Instantly, Heyman showed the world why he's one of the best talkers in professional wrestling history by cutting a long, but awesome promo, which got him lots of heat, even if half the crowd didn't know who he was (damn you, kids, damn you!). Heyman's promo showed that even at someone his age, he can still a cut a better promo than 75% of the locker-room. Hopefully this will get the guys to work on their mic skills, because Heyman just took a lot of them to school.
I for one am thrilled to see Heyman back with WWE. It's rumoured he's only sticking around until SummerSlam, and exclusively as an on-air figure, so let's enjoy the ride while it lasts, folks.
CON: Handicaps Are No Fun
Once again, mizfan said it best - handicap matches suck. The only time they're interesting is when it's an elimination tag team match, and it's down to 2 vs. 1 or 3 vs. 2. Almost never is a 2 vs. 1 match from start to finish any good, unless one of the competitors is Hornswoggle or some other non-wrestler. Anyways, the addition of Daniel Bryan was no surprise, as he and Punk need to interact before their WWE Championship match at Over The Limit next Sunday. I just don't understand why Punk had to go out on his own. I know he was being punished for his comments to Big Johnny earlier, but why not use Ryder or Santino as his partner? The heel team could still win, and the WWE Champion wouldn't have to take the pinfall.
Although I was happy to see Punk FINALLY in the main-event of RAW, Bryan came across as an after-thought. Tensai was the one who dominated most of the match, and he even got the pin on Punk (even though it should have been Bryan). Bryan got his heat back post-match by applying the Yes! Lock on Punk, but Tensai needs to be removed from the main-event scene ASAP. The feud should be between Punk and Bryan, not Punk and Tensai. Go away.
YouTube It: Punk and Johnny's interaction...Maxine...Sheamus & Orton vs. Del Rio & Jericho...Brodus vs. Miz...Heyman's return
Avoid It: Show vs. Rhodes...Any and all of Show's interactions with Eve...The Lesnar/HHH video package...Punk vs. Tensai & Bryan
Grade: B I thought tonight's show was a big step-up from last week's episode. Instead of getting eight matches, we got six, with two of them being decent, and one being really good. Like I said, sometimes less is more. Heyman's surprise return and the renewal of the Punk/Johnny feud definitely helped the show. Let's just get Lord Tensai away from the main-event and we'll be in a much better place. That, and more Zack Ryder, damn it.
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Until next time, peace!