Raw begins tonight with a general recap of what Big Show has been up to.
In the ring is good old Michael Cole, whom promptly brings out John Cena to respond to The Big Shows actions.
Cole reminds Cena that Show has been domination him, as well as the rest of the roaster in recent weeks. Cole blames it all on Cena, basically echoing what Show said last week.
Cena cracks a few more jokes, and says that he is proud. He calls John Laurinaitis a power hungry bully. Cena points out that he was about to beat Johnny, and bring on change. Cena says that he was sure the new GM would have hired back Show.
Cole chimes in saying that that wasn’t a guarantee, but signing with Johnny was. Cole says that Show has taught Cena a lesson, that he is no longer a business man, and he’s now an unstoppable monster.
Cena says that Show took the easy way out, and Show turned his back on the WWE universe, and not the other way around.
Cole theorizes that Cena is jealous about of Show, and although he has supported Cena for years, but now he’s come to think of Cena as overrated, and he will be cheering for Big Show to destroy Cena at No Way Out.
John Laurinaitis scoots to the ramp. He mentions that Cena gets to pick his opponent tonight, but Big Show is not here and Johnny himself is now retired from one on one competition. Cena jokes around and eventually it gets to the obvious, he picks Cole. Cole pleads with Johnny, but he just turns his back and scoots away (Damn!)
After the break, Cole catches up with John Laurinaitis in the back. He tells him that he’s been Johnny’s biggest supporter, and pleads with him some more. Laurinaitis points out that everyone is going through job evaluations (again?) and he’s all about people power, and the people want to see Cena beat the hell out of Cole. He adds, “Don’t call me Johnny” as he scoots away (this guy just gets better and better).
This week’s Smackdown rewind shows Sheamus brogue kicking David Otunga.
Cole Storms out to the announcer desk, and bickers some more about having to face Cena.
In the meantime, Vicky Guerrero is out on the ramp, talking up Dolph Ziggler.
MATCH # 1 SHEAMUS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ziggler squirms around like a champ and attempts a famouser but Sheamus catches him and turns it into a rolling fireman’s carry. They fight on the outside, and Sheamus tosses Ziggler into the steps but he jumps over them safely. Vicky causes a distraction and Ziggler knocks Sheamus off the apron and gains the upper hand. Ziggler continues to work on Sheamus, shoving him into the ring post and pinpointing the arm and shoulder. Sheamus comes back with a high knee and a power slam. Ziggler connects with a DDT for two. Ziggler hits a famouser off the top rope, but only for two. Sheamus with a quick burst hits the white noise and a brogue kick for the win.
Winner – Sheamus
After the match, Del Rio does the old “second week into a PPV build” attack on the ramp. He hit Sheamus from behind and delivers the cross arm breaker with Sheamus hanging off the ramp (adding leverage).
In the back, Johnny is hounding some guy for coffee (where’s Teddy Long?). Otunga comes in with his I-Pad and points out that wwe.com is reporting that Vince McMahon is returning next week to give Laurinaitis a job performance evaluation (haven’t we seen this?)
MATCH # 2 SIN CARA vs. HUNICO
I don’t know what it is, but Hunico’s whole gimmick just rubs me the wrong way.
Sin Cara looks pretty good, hitting a hurricanrana off the apron to the outside. He does a very cool move, reversing a hip toss into the ropes and springing into offence. He does the old Tijiri rope rebound and after knocking Camacho off the apron he hits Hunico with a flying head scissors face plant for the win.
Next up is Ryback…this feels like Smackdown.
A quick promo regarding the Raw 1000th show, catches up with John Cena talking about his favorite RAW moment. He picks the day that he was drafted to Raw, and was still cool…and liked.
MATCH # 3 RYBACK vs. STAN STANSKY & ARTHUR ROSENBERG
I can hear the chants now as Arthur bangs his head on his locker and walks from the back…Roseeenberg, Roseeenberg!
The heel jobbers attempt a promo, rhyming together a poem about two being better than one.
Ryback launches one guy really high, and then he tosses one into the other with ease. He tosses them around some more (lots of height) and hits them both in the corner and follows with a double running clothesline. He then delivers his dueling marching slam finisher.
MATCH #4 CM PUNK vs. KANE
The gimmick for this match is that “there must be a winner”. Shouldn’t that be the goal for every match?
Cole checks out to make a phone call. He gets hung up on.
Daniel Bryan comes out to scout the match. He stands on the announce table and conducts a Q&A. He calls AJ delusional, predicts Kane will destroy Punk, and says that he will become the new champion at No Way Out, all in the form of Yes or No questions.
In the ring, Punk gets the upper hand and dives onto Kane on the outside, he brings it back in the ring, hitting a cross body off the top rope. Kane takes over with some hard shots and leg drops. He kicks the midsection and delivers some elbows to the heart. Kane then applies a body scissors but Punk fights out with elbows to the leg. Kane catches a running knee attempt and tosses Punk to the outside. Kane climbs to the top, but Punk runs up with a high knee and a bulldog. He hits the flying clothesline off the top rope and attempts a GTS. Kane proves to be too big, he gets out of it and attempts a choke slam but Punk reverses into a DDT. Punk fights off Kane in the corner and hits the big elbow off the top rope for two. They continue to fight on the outside, right near Bryan. Kane gets back in the ring, and Bryan sneaks out of his chair, hitting punk with some kicks to the midsection. AJ comes out to ringside, and hits the apron, causing Bryan to get out of his chair. Punk dives to the outside, onto Bryan and plows him into the rail. As Punk gets back into the ring, Kane is waiting with a choke slam, which is enough to pin the champ.
After the match, Kane finds himself alone with AJ in the ring. Bryan briefly tries to jump in, but Kane kicks him. AJ smiles at Kane, almost in admiration, and Kane decides to retreat (he might be a big red monster but he sure doesn’t need all that crazy chick drama).
In the back, Josh Mathews confronts AJ, asking her about her smile. AJ says that she likes it when guys look at her, and she springs in and out of craziness, saying that Josh might be her type. In honor of ECW’s new DVD…SHE’S HARDCORE!
Cole faces the people of the WWE Universe, pleading with us to use social media and help him get out of his match with Cena.
Next is a Big Show sit down interview (ala Brock Lesnar). The pre- taped video shows some of Shows past comedy segments, and he even drops an F-bomb in it. He stresses that he’s not an entertainer, he’s a giant…okay this is total Lesnar.
MATCH # 5 R TRUTH & KOFI KINGSTON vs. CURT HAWKINS & TYLER REKS
Reks and Hawkins are wearing matching tights, which is good…but they are pink and black. Does someone want to tell them that those colours are taken?
Team “Two and a half men” are all taped up selling their injuries at the hands of Big Show. But they still manage to fly around with Kofi getting the hot tag, hitting the boom drop on Curt, and a flying cross body off the top. Truth takes care of Reks on the outside, and Kofi hits the T.I.P. on Hawkins for the win.
Winners- R Truth & Kofi Kingston
Another Raw 1000th promo featuring HHH talking about his most memorable night. He recalls returning to Raw after his Quad injury and talks about the energy in the crowd that night being bigger than he had ever experienced.
MATCH # 6 JOHN CENA vs. TENSAI
In the final minute, John Laurinaitis comes to the ramp, and says that he gets Cole in a no DQ match if he can beat Tensai.
Cole regains his confidence, saying that Tensai has never been beat. Tensai starts beating down Cena as Cole cheers on heavily. Sakamoto prevents Cena from gaining momentum, and T-Train dominates with shoulder blocks and head butts. Tensai slams Cenas head into the announce table. Cole gets right into it, slapping Cena. King contains Cole, but Tensai continues to work over Cena, throwing him into the steps. Cole continues to chirp. Tensai misses his big splash, and Cena hits the shoulder block and five knuckle shuffle. He hits an AA in the middle of the ring, delivering Tensai his first loss. Cole is speechless.
Winner- John Cena
MATCH # 7 JOHN CENA vs. MICHAEL COLE
Cole attempts to run through the crowd, but Cena catches him, and dumps him over the railing and tosses him into the ring. Cole grabs a mic and tells Cena that they go way back. He says “not this way” and offers a handshake. Cole then loses his cool and starts to buck up to Cena, saying that he’s going to embarrass Cena, he talks about beating Lawler and being undefeated at Mania. Cena isn’t having any of it. He rips Cole’s clothes off, and stomps him right in the lumps of Cole. He then starts slapping Cole and puts Cole in a headlock. Cena then grabs a mic and demands apologies for Lawler and Jim Ross. Cole obliges and calls Ross his mentor. Cena then gets Cole to endorse JR’s BBQ sauce. Lawler happens to have some sauce, so Cena dumps it all over Cole. Cena blasts Cole with a fire extinguisher, and attempts an AA. At this point Tensai comes in and power bombs Cena. Cole goes for the cover but Cena kicks out. An enraged Cole picks up the extinguisher and takes a run at Cena, but he counters into the AA for an easy pin.
Winner- John Cena
Operation “keep Cena a baby face” is complete.
Raw goes off the air with John Cena celebrating, and completely unconcerned about his apparently meaningless opponent at No Way Out.
Okay, I wasn’t a big fan of the show tonight. I would have said that the Big Show interview was cool, but it was exactly the same as Lesnar's, even down to the emphasis of not being an entertainer. As a one show story, I thought the build of Cole as a heel with the eventual payoff was good, and I would venture to say that a casual fan, who doesn’t watch every week, would have been satisfied. But let’s face it; this led us nowhere in regards to the next PPV. I always wonder when you see shows built around one meaningless guy so heavily, if there was some sort of inside joke going on (is it Coles birthday?). The AJ dynamic is interesting, and I actually thought that Kane and Punk worked well together. I really loved Ziggler tonight and thought that he brought life to Sheamus same old boring move set. I could care less about ADR vs. Sheamus, but I am glad to see more and more Ziggler. Other than that, it did not seem like a good show in regards to building anything up, as the main focus was on Cena and the fans having a good time…but who knows, maybe you need those kinds of payoffs now and then – but maybe we should have to pay to see it?
Odds that when Ryback goes to a restaurant the servers spit in his food after his incessant chants of “Feed me more!” 1-1
Odds that any sense will ever be made of the power balance between HHH, John Laurinaitis, and Vince McMahon 11-1
Odds that Big Show BBQ’d Michael Cole mistakenly after the show, thinking that he was a brisket 3-1
Odds that I Dream of AJ tonight 1-1
Odds that David Otunga interrupts that dream with his stupid sexy poses 1-1
Over under on next week’s McMahon segment length 20.5 mins