May 21, 2012
Raw: Big Show sells out and the locker room empties
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling

Against all odds, John Laurinaitis is still the GM of Raw and Smackdown. He got a big assist last night from the Big Show, who probably will be forced to explain himself tonight. Raw is underway, live on USA from Richmond, Virginia.

Michael Cole can't believe it, but people are mostly cheering as John Cena grabs a microphone with a disgusted look on his face. He's experienced many defeats in his career, and always comes out the next night, congratulates his opponent and moves on. But what the hell happened last night? Laurinaitis beat him. Cena calls Big Johnny a selfish, power hungry bully. During the match at Over the Limit, he was getting what was coming to him and everyone was having fun. Then Big Show, the man who was publicly humiliated and fired by Laurinaitis, knocked Cena out cold. Cena scoffs at the idea that he could have won the match earlier, suggesting that Show would have just come out earlier if Laurinaitis was in danger of losing. Most importantly, they are now stuck with Johnny as the GM. Cena says we'll probably see Laurinaitis come out and brag about his great idea for the next pay-per-view, but it's Eve who comes out first. She introduces her boss, who is playing up his battle damage with an electric mobility chair and some crutches. Laurinaitis runs down a laundry list of injuries he may have, but he says when he's in the ring, he's a fierce competitor. He also declares that no one can lay a finger on him or face immediate termination. Johnny Ace brings out Big Show, who he rehired to take on Cena in four weeks at No Way Out. The giant comes out sporting a suit and stating that no one is entitled to an explanation for his actions. He admits that getting fired from the business he loves so much brought him to tears, but says he got no sympathy from anyone, and “selling out” was simply something he had to do. How dare Cena or anyone else judge him for it! Shoe says he'll be judging Cena on June 17 by knocking him out. For some reason, David Otunga comes out to threaten Cena. He tells Otunga to go in the back and watch reruns of Law & Order, because he's not in the mood. Otunga is undaunted, dedicating the match to his boss. Okay then. #badtiming

Match 1 – John Cena vs. David Otunga

Otunga plays some head games in the early going, making Cena chase him around for a bit before finally deciding to get down to business. Once they lock up, it takes only a minute for Cena to hit Otunga with an Attitude Adjustment and mane him tap out to the STF. Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Darren Young and Titus O'Neill run down to assault Cena, but Sheamus evens the odds quickly and sends everyone flying from the ring. Laurinaitis yells at the scrubs for coming out when they did, but he does have the idea for a match. Specifically, it will be Cena and Sheamus teaming in a 2-on-3 handicap lumberjack match. Got all that?

Ricardo Rodriguez is in the ring, but he's interrupted by Santino Marella. The master of the Cobra makes fun of Ricardo's accent and his eyebrows. The two men get into an r-rolling contest. No, really. Santino takes out Ricardo with the Cobra, then takes his own stab at introducing Alberto Del Rio. Cole and Jerry Lawler pimp the 1000th episode of Raw on July 23, a milestone that will also mark the beginning of weekly three-hour shows. Too much of a good thing? Hey, it worked for Nitro. Oh, wait...

Match 2 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton

Cole and Lawler address an apparent continuity error from the opening segment, where Laurinaitis said he resigned Big Show on Saturday – which would mean his interference in the Cena match would be a violation of the stipulation that anyone interfering would be fired. Forehead, meet palm. Now Cole is saying there was only a verbal agreement on Saturday and the big man actually inked a contract today. Whatever. There's an actual match going on here too, at least after a commercial break. Orton has himself in perfect position to put Del Rio away, but Chris Jericho ends those thoughts with a Codebreaker. The match is over, but Jericho wants some time to rant, saying he is the best in the world at everything he does. A second Codebreaker leaves Orton at the mercy of Jericho's tirade. Make that three Codebreakers, by the way.

Daniel Bryan comes to the ring to talk about how he was robbed at the end of his sensational title match with CM Punk at Over the Limit. He shows footage of the finish, where Punk clearly tapped out. One problem: Bryan's shoulders were down, and the three count was already made. Bryan demands a rematch due to gross incompetence on the part of the referee. The champ comes out to point out the error in Bryan's version of events. He also rolls footage from last week's episode of Smackdown, where Bryan lured Punk into a chair-aided assault at the hands of Kane. On that note, Punk is proud to introduce Bryan's opponent for tonight. Yep, it's Kane.

Match 3 – Daniel Bryan vs. Kane

Punk joins the announcers to help with commentary, and he fakes using a chair to do the same thing to Bryan that was done to him last week. Bryan steals the chair from Punk just as Kane recovers on the outside. An angry Big Red Monster grabs the chair and uses it on Bryan, getting him disqualified. Of course Kane doesn't really care about that, and Kane drags Bryan into the ring for a pair of choke slams. Punk laughs and says he'll go check on Bryan. The champ locks Bryan in the Anaconda Vice, getting a furious tap out from his foe. Punk also mocks Bryan's “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant, which Cole bitterly calls poor sportsmanship.

A.J. approaches Punk backstage to tell him how much she enjoyed watching him beat up Bryan. She doesn't like the champ's response and starts crying. Punk awkwardly manages to console her, at least for a moment.

Match 4 – Christian vs. Jinder Mahal

Nice to see Christian back in action after months on the shelf with injury. Not as nice to see Mahal on Raw, but those are the breaks. Christian finishes off a fairly brief encounter with a frog splash.

Match 5 – Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix

Kelly holds her own for a while, eventually getting Phoenix into trouble in the corner. She goes for her somersaulting elbow only to get clubbed in the back of the head. One Glam Slam later and it's all over, as current Divas champion Layla watches grimly from backstage.

Another promo airs for Raw going to three hours in July. I'm going to need to ask for a raise when that happens. #fatchance

Main Event – Sheamus and John Cena vs. Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Tensai

Guess it's just Tensai now, eh? Laurinaitis watches from the stage as Sheamus and Ziggler get this one started. The other men are tagged in shortly thereafter, with Cena getting a short beating before Sheamus returns to put Swagger in trouble. Tensai knocks Sheamus out to the floor, where the Great White gives worse than he gets from the lumberjacks. The heels seize the advantage when the fight goes back between the ropes, wearing down Sheamus into the commercial break. He's still in danger when the action resumes, scrambling out of multiple pinning predicaments. Big Show makes an appearance on stage to take this one in too. Cena finally receives the hot tag, destroying Ziggler until he has to leap out to the floor to try to save Sheamus from the lumberjacks. Everyone spills into the ring, and the faces finally run down from the back to even the odds. Darn near everybody on the roster is fighting, but Cena goes backstage looking for Big Show. Laurinaitis reminds Cena that he will be fired if he lays a finger on the boss, a confrontation that distracts Cena long enough that he turns right into a big right hand from the Big Show. Things fade to black for Cena and the broadcast. See you in seven!

Nick Tylwalk knows there's no point in worrying about logic in pro wrestling but still finds it amusing when snafus like the one tonight happen. Discuss wrestling logic and continuity with him on Twitter, on Google+ or by email.


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