May 1, 2012
Raw: Triple H reads the riot act to Lesnar, but Laurinaitis gets the last laugh in Dayton
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
Will tonight's show still be called Raw starring Brock Lesnar after he lost to John Cena last night at Extreme Rules? Will Cena even be in the house after taking a tremendous beating? We get the answer to that first question right away, and it's a yes. The second answer no doubt awaits as Raw goes live on USA from Dayton, Ohio.
Despite Lesnar's loss, John Laurinaitis has a big smile on his face as he steps between the ropes. The GM claims that he revolutionized the WWE in just one night by bringing in Lesnar, who beat Cena so badly that he may never be the same again. Brock is also remarkably chipper given recent events, because he feels like the world got to see him bring the pain. He's quickly interrupted by Triple H, making his first appearance since his amazing match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania. The Game says he's there to do what Johnny Ace didn't have the guts to do, namely, strip Lesnar of the special perks Laurinaitis agreed to give him last week. Johnny raises a fuss, but it doesn't do any good, and Brock stews while watching Trips tear up the extra contract from last Monday. Triple H goes on to say that even though some of the fans may not like him, they want him in the WWE to see him take on other top superstars. He also says that he'll understand if Lesnar wants to take his ball and go home, but he doesn't think Brock will do that. Laurinaitis is told to shut up when he continues to try to put in his two cents. Trips turns to address him, giving Lesnar an opening to jump the COO from behind. A fistfight ends with Lesnar applying a kimura on The Game, which he holds onto until Big Show, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth and Sheamus come flying down to run him off. Triple H is heard asking medical personnel if his arm is broken.
Eve comes to the stage to announce something about a series of matches to determine a number one contender for CM Punk's WWE Championship. I couldn't make out the exact details over people booing her. Ah, it's a Beat the Clock Challenge. Very good.
Match 1 The Miz vs. Santino Marella Beat the Clock Challenge Match
Jerry Lawler tells us that Lesnar has been escorted out of the building. Getting revenge for his defeat in the pay-per-view pre-show, Miz takes out Santino in 4:18 with a boot to the head and a Skull Crushing Finale. Will it hold up? #ithinknot
Match 2 Layla (champion) vs. Nikki Bella (challenger) vs. Brie Bella (challenger) Divas Championship Triple Threat Match
For some reason, Layla returned and was made the champion immediately on Sunday. She doesnt have to work too hard to defend her belt here, as the bickering Bellas allow the champ to pin one of them (and does it really matter which one?) and bring this to a mercifully quick conclusion.
Match 3 Chris Jericho vs. Big Show Beat the Clock Challenge Match
Hilariously, Big Show uses a small package at one point to try to win the match quickly. There's nothing small about that guy! The Miz watches nervously on a backstage monitor as both wrestlers earn numerous near falls. Jericho gets caught going for the Codebreaker, but he holds on and manages to dump Show out to the floor. The big man misses a kick that takes him over the retaining wall as the referee makes his ten count. Jericho makes it back in the ring just before the time on the Beat the Clock Challenge expires. Or at least we're told he did. We'll just hand wave that one, I guess. In any case, Show takes the loss.
Ah, some semblance of logic prevails. Michael Cole informs us that Jericho did not beat the clock, and The Miz is still the leader in the clubhouse, so to speak. #golfanalogyduringwrestling
Match 4 Brodus Clay vs. JTG
Always good to see JTG is still employed. I miss Cryme Tyme. JTG actually gets in a little bit of offense, but Brodus eventually does what Brodus does. Another victory for the Funkasaurus.
Eve kicks Teddy Long out of the GM's office so Laurinaitis can ogle her. Eyes up here Johnny! Actually, Eve gives her boss a pep talk, imploring him to show some leadership skills. He smirks while revealing that he's decided who John Cena's next opponent is going to be, saying that John isn't going to like it.
Match 5 Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger Beat the Clock Challenge Match
Swagger is in control early, but you know The Viper is going to have a shot at beating the time. He rallies with just over a minute to go, preventing Swagger from rolling out to the floor. Orton nails his rope-aided DDT as the fans go crazy. He goes for the RKO, but Swagger reverses it into the ankle lock. Randy hurls Swagger into the turnbuckle, connects with the RKO and gets the pin with two seconds to spare. Now that's how you do the dramatic finish in one of these matches.
Match 6 Primo and Epico (champions) vs. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston (challengers) WWE Tag Team Championship Match
This just in: The Bella Twins have been fired. Shocking, I know. Almost as shocking as a tag team title match during Raw, now that I think of it. They battle through a commercial break, at which point Kingston takes advantage of a poorly timed interference attempt by Rosa Mendes to strike with Trouble in Paradise and get the win. Truth and Kingston are the new tag team champions. Now give Kofi more of a push, darn it!
The former tag champs bicker as they walk backstage. Maybe they will accept Abraham Washington's representation offer now.
Match 7 The Great Khali vs. Kane Beat the Clock Challenge Match
Remember, 4:16 is now the time to beat. This is a slow-moving affair as you might expect. The giants battle to the floor, then back inside the ring where they both threaten to choke slam each other. Time expires, though, and Kane takes out some frustration after the bell. Orton looks pleased since his spot is still safe for now.
Hey USA, please stop pushing Battleship on us. I can't think of anything but The Avengers for now!
Match 8 Daniel Bryan vs. Jerry The King Lawler Beat the Clock Challenge Match
I love when they use The King in situations like this. Lawler teases an early pin following a fist drop, but Bryan is able to kick out. Bryan pivots The King into position for the Yes! Lock, and a quick tap out follows. CM Punk comes out to applaud Bryan, perhaps part sarcastically, and the two men play to the crowd a bit.
The announce team says that Triple H's arm is indeed broken. Hey, the guy is mostly retired anyway, so why come up with injuries to put him on the shelf?
Speaking of injuries, Cena has his left arm in a sling as he makes his way down the aisle. He says he expected to be in an emergency room after his match with Lesnar, but his x-rays showed no breaks and his MRI showed no tears. Laurinaitis claims that he brought in Brock to motivate John to be the best wrestler he could be, but Cena is appropriately dubious, as are the fans. The GM reminds Cena that it would be best to stay on his good side since he can make John's life very easy or very difficult. He's about to introduce Cena's opponent, but Lord Tensai comes out before he can even get the words out. Tensai and his helper circle Cena, and Laurinaitis clocks him from behind. Johnny Ace says he will take on Cena in three weeks. The three heels take turns laying into Cena as the fans boo. Laurinaitis gets in a chair shot on Cena's injured arm before mocking him with his own You can't see me hand gesture in the ring. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk is considering mounting a write-in campaign to become GM of Raw and SmackDown after Laurinaitis is left physically unable to perform his job duties in a few weeks. Show him your support on Twitter, on Google+ or by email.