April 9, 2012
Raw: Lesnar bloodies Cena in DC
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling

Oh boy. Just when you thought the guest star era of Raw was safely behind us, The Three Stooges are going to join the fun tonight in Washington, DC. Perhaps we'll just have to content ourselves with more of the developing drama between John Cena and Brock Lesnar as Raw goes live on USA from the Verizon Center.

Entering to a bombastic new theme song, General Manager John Laurinaitis arrives with David Otunga in tow. He wants to introduce the new face of the WWE, a champion of champions and someone who will carry the banner for the promotion for years to come. Based on the footage he shows from last week, he must be talking about Brock Lesnar. Apparently we won't have to wait long to see Lesnar take on John Cena since Johnny Ace says they will compete at Extreme Rules. Brock thanks Laurinaitis for having the wisdom to bring legitimacy back to the WWE. That's all he gets to say, though, before Cena makes his way out. Cena pokes the bear with a slap to the face, gets tackled by Lesnar, and all kinds of officials, wrestlers, and probably some beer guys have to jump in to pull the two guys apart. Cena is bloodied but smirking, and Lesnar is finally dragged out to the floor.

In the back, Laurinaitis blames Teddy Long for not controlling Cena. He wants an explanation for Cena's actions. Eve Torres stops in and tells the GM to call her. Hmm...

Match 1 – Santino Marella and Brodus Clay vs. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler

Santino works all of the early portion of the match for his team, taking a beating right through the commercial break. Maybe that's for the best for the heels, because as soon as the Funkasaurus is tagged in, it only takes him a minute or so to pin Ziggler. Dancing ensues. #trombone

The Miz asks Laurinaitis for something, leaving just as Long and Cena show up. Cena tells the boss that if he wants legitimacy, he didn't need to go get Lesnar to provide it – as his busted up face proves, I suppose. John goes on to tell Johnny that he's just getting warmed up, and that he wants s match tonight against anyone Laurinaitis feels like picking as an opponent. The GM tells Long to summon Otunga. Elsewhere, Santino hunts for the Stooges, but he finds Kane instead. The Big Red Machine looks unamused. I know how he feels.

Match 2 – R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes

You probably know where this one is headed. Big Show comes out and shows the video from last week that caused Rhodes to get distracted and lose his match. And what do you know – Rhodes is distracted again, and Truth quickly pins him.

Marella finds a box labeled “Fragile” and thinks it must be a care package sent to him from Italy. He helps pry the box open, and the Three Stooges (modern version) pop out. Mirth and merriment follow. Or something.

Match 3 – Lord Tensai vs. Yoshi Tatsu

Apparently Tatsu is offended by the Lord Tensai gimmick. I am too, but not for the same reason. Following the same script from last Monday, Tensai punishes Tatsu until he can no longer continue, then puts the claw on him. So... yeah.

An angry looking CM Punk heads to the ring. He admits that the straight edge concept isn't one that everyone gets, but he also wants everyone to know that the reasons why he lives that lifestyle are ones that he has always kept to himself. Punk is still fuming because Chris Jericho couldn't disprove that the champ is the best wrestler in the world, so he decided to take all of Punk's personal issues and drag them all out into the light. After Jericho's attack last week that left Punk covered in whiskey, the champ says his only thought was that he smelled exactly like his father did. He tries to elaborate, but Jericho interrupts from the big screen, wondering if Punk is still hung over. Chris says he forced his foe to become “CM Drunk” for the very first time, but the WWE Champion stand firm in his belief that Jericho can't break him. Punk defiantly claims he'll use the dark place Jericho has sent him to as fuel to enact some revenge. He's got a more pressing problem, though, in the form of the World's Strongest Man.

Match 4 – CM Punk (champion) vs. Mark Henry (challenger) – WWE Championship Match

This one doesn't last long, because Punk nails Henry with one of the monitors from the announce table as soon as the action goes out to the floor. That gets him disqualified, and it also ticks off Henry something fierce. Jericho comes out to the ramp, distracting Punk long enough for Henry to throw him back in the ring. After two World's Strongest Slams, Jericho enters with some beers in both hands. He's about to pour one on Punk when he gets tackled by the champ. Punk still has some fight left in him, but it's quickly snuffed out by a Codebreaker. Jericho dumps about a whole six-pack of beer on Punk, then gets in one last shot as the referees implore him to leave. Chris poses triumphantly with the belt outside the ring as he head to a commercial break.

Match 5 – Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio

Ryder looks like he means business, cracking ADR in the face with a running kick in the corner. He looks for the Rough Ryder, but Del Rio is able to throw him off and escape. Alberto locks on the cross armbreaker. Does Zack tap quickly? You know it, bro.

The Three Stooges are on their way to the ring. Hooray?

Only two of the Stooges make it to the ring, with Curly saying he had to go change. Hulk Hogan's “Real American” music hits, and Curly comes down the ramp in the old Hulkamania red and yellow. He cuts a pretty decent Hulkster promo but only gets boos from the crowd. Like me, Kane has had enough, coming down to menace Curly while the other Stooges head for the hills. One choke slam later, this foolishness is probably over. Thank goodness.

Josh Mathews asks Henry to watch a replay of the end of his match with Punk. His explanation is that he's beaten Punk twice without getting the belt, but Laurinaitis has assured him that next week, it'll be no DQ, no count out. You're looking at the next WWE Champion, according to Henry, that is.

More work for Mathews as he interviews Lesnar. Brock says he took the WWE to heights it had never seen before (highly questionable!), and he's proud that Laurinaitis brought him back to be on top again, because Cena could never hold his jock strap. He also says that the suits and the fans are even prouder that he's back. Man, this is going to be a confusing feud from a crowd reaction standpoint.

A host of WWE superstars provide commentary for a look back at the Undertaker-Triple H Hell in a Cell Match from WrestleMania XXVIII. Good stuff.

Main Event – David Otunga vs. John Cena

Otunga enjoys some early success, but he'd rather pose than press his advantage. Bad move. Cena builds momentum until he executes a Five Knuckle Shuffle, directing it toward Laurinaitis sitting ringside. An Attitude Adjustment and the STF follow, forcing Otunga to tap out. Any thoughts of more post-match taunting are quickly buried by Lesnar, who runs in and kicks Cena in the junk from behind. An F-5 leaves Cena in pain on the canvas while Lesnar struts his way back up the ramp. That's all for this week – see you in seven!

Nick Tylwalk wonders if the upcoming Cena-Lesnar match will give Brock warm fuzzy feelings of his match with Goldberg since both men are likely to hear their share of boos. Touch base with Nick on this or other subjects on Twitter, on Google+ or by email.


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