June 18, 2012
Raw: People Power goes out with a whimper in Long Island
By NICK TYLWALK - SLAM! Wrestling
Well, the John Laurinaitis People Power era was real, and for him it was fun. For many, though, it wasn't real fun, and it looks like it's going to truly be over tonight as Raw goes live on USA from Long Island.
Mick Foley gets a warm welcome from the fans as he takes the ring in a suit and tie. He says he was on the way to the show anyway to promote the upcoming 1000th episode, but he's getting to host both WWE shows this week as the promotion goes with past authority figures until they decide on a permanent replacement for Laurinaitis. Foley announces a tag team contest pitting Daniel Bryan and Kane against CM Punk and Sheamus but also has some bad news: Johnny Ace gets to come out and give a farewell address. The fans won't let Laurinaitis talk without razzing him, so he asks for Foley's help. Mick makes it sound like Johnny disses Long Island instead. Since Laurinaitis can't talk without getting interrupted, he says he'll give his address later. But before he was fired last night, he made tonight's main event, which will pit him, Big Show and David Otunga against John Cena in a handicap match. Johnny Ace tells Foley to have a nice day and limps his way back up the ramp. Sheamus and Punk get a chance to pay their respects, such as they are, when they pass him on their way out.
Match 1 – Sheamus and CM Punk vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan
The faces own the opening minutes, but Kane and Bryan slowly start taking control. After a commercial break, Sheamus tags in and gets some of the momentum back with a near fall on Kane and a series of clubbing blows to Bryan's chest. Kane escapes a White Noise attempt and sends Sheamus to the floor, where Bryan nails him with a low dropkick. Sheamus takes an extended beating at the hands of both bad guys until Bryan misses a move in the corner. The lunging hot tag brings in Punk, who hits Bryan with a power slam for two. Punk wants to fly, but Bryan gets up to the top to execute a superplex. A.J. picks that moment to skip down to the ring, sporting her own version of Kane's mask and ring attire. The Big Red Machine takes off after her, leaving Bryan an easy target for a Go To Sleep and Brogue Kick combo meal. Tasty. The champs win.
Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler are still bickering, and Vickie Guerrero has had enough. She needs to choose between them, and she's going to do it by having them duke it out in the ring. Elsewhere, Laurinaitis and Otunga are having a laugh at Foley's expense. Show doesn't see the humor, so Johnny Ace tries to explain that the end of tonight's show will be funny. The big man doesn't see anything funny... at... all.
Match 2 – Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger
Swagger focuses his attack on Ziggler's (storyline) injured left knee. Dolph ends up in the ankle lock for what seems like an eternity, but he ends up freeing himself and quickly putting Swagger away with the Zig Zag. Vickie congratulates the Show Off with a pretty long kiss. #boobyprize
Footage is shown from No Way Out of Triple H challenging Brock Lesnar to a match at SummerSlam. Can we please get “Let's fight” to become a meme of some sort? That limo means Brock may be giving his answer tonight.
Jerry Lawler tells us one of his most memorable Monday night moments. It involves Vince in the hospital, Mr. Socko trying to cheer him up, and the doctor showing up to check on him. And by doctor, we mean Dr. Stone Cold Steve Austin. #bedpanshot
It's not Lesnar himself but his “advocate” Paul Heyman who comes out to discuss the challenge from Triple H. He responds with a word that he thinks The Game is not used to hearing: no. Heyman says none of the lawsuits will be dropped, and Lesnar will not face Triple H at SummerSlam. Ah, but that's not the end of it, as The Game's music hits. Trips calls Heyman a habitual liar and says he only wants to hear from Lesnar himself. He'll even make Brock the center of attention and the focus of the SummerSlam marketing effort. After all, Lesnar is all about ego, right? Hunter suggests that if Brock refuses the match, he'll go down as the man who was scared to fight Triple H. Heyman laughs it off, taunting The Game for playing the wrestler when he's no longer the ass kicker. Paul dares Hunter to hit him, promising that if he does, more lawsuits will be coming. Heyman says he's got nothing for Trips but does have something for Stephanie. That gets him grabbed by the collar, though cooler heads prevail. Or do they? Just as Heyman gets done claiming he can see everything Triple H is going to do coming from a mile away, he ends up laid out flat on his back from a right hand. The Game tells Heyman that he'll see Lesnar at SummerSlam.
Match 3 – Alberto Del Rio vs. Santino Marella
Apparently ADR has been cleared to compete following his (real life) concussion. He starts fast against Marella, even cutting off a Cobra attempt with a big dropkick. Santino ends up tapping out quickly to the cross armbreaker. Ricardo Rodriguez gets in a revenge shot after the bell.
Layla introduces Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper. It's been a long time – 27 years, to be exact. Richter says it feels like yesterday right before they are interrupted by Heath Slater. He calls what's happening in the ring a train wreck, but Lauper doesn't know who he is. He tells the three “broads” to back up so he can do his first single. The One Man Band is as horrible as you'd expect. Fortunately, he's cut off by some bagpipe music. Yep, it's Rowdy Roddy Piper. He tells Heath to hit the road, because when girls want to have fun, they call the Hot Rod. Piper gives her a gold record to replace the one he used to hit Captain Lou Albano lo those many years ago. Slater still wants to sing. Lauper smashes him over the head with “She Bop.” Michael Cole calls the whole segment “possibly one of the worst in the whole history of Raw.”
Match 4 – Primo and Epico vs. The Prime Time Players
It's always welcome when the WWE remembers it has a tag team division. I'm just not sure the Prime Time Players are the ones to be bringing it back to prominence. Just when things look bad for them, AW pulls them out of the match, saying they don't need it because they are already the number one contenders. A frustrated Primo and Epico win by count out.
For perhaps the final time, Laurinaitis addresses the fans, calling them all losers for no longer having People Power in their lives. Johnny says the next time we see him will be when he gets inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Before he leaves, he's going to give everyone what they deserve, which is a good view of the biggest beatdown of Cena's career.
Main Event – John Laurinaitis, David Otunga and The Big Show vs. John Cena
Johnny Ace gets some bad news before the bell even rings, as Show announces that his ironclad contract means he's not beholden to anyone, even the man who gave it to him. The giant departs, making this a two-on-one affair. Eventually, Otunga walks off on him as well. Teddy Long loves it as he watches from the announce table. Laurinaitis gets the Attitude Adjustment not once, not twice, but thrice. The STF quickly has Ace tapping out, and the era of People Power looks like it is really, definitely over. Thanks for playing Johnny. See you in seven!