A long day at work may have delayed it, but if John Cena can come back after being punched in the face once, I’ll be damned if I let a couple extra hours in the office keep me from delivering the Raw recap. So with no further delay let’s do it!
Cena wasted no time returning to Raw, but to ensure that he got as big of a pop as possible, Michael Cole was brought in to introduce him for and interview instead of going with the opening monologue like normal. We get more of Cena not doing the right thing by sticking up for his friend the Big Show. Were they ever really friends? Didn’t they have a big rivalry before? Only guy I thought was actually Cena’s friend was Zack Ryder and we saw how that ended. Apparently in the background of that whole mess Cena and Show were buddies too.
Cena said he won’t judge Show for taking the easy way out after he just judged him for taking the easy way out. There are brand new levels of hypocrisy here. Cole then started dropping major truth bombs. Says Cena isn’t the center of the universe (he isn’t), says he’s overrated (he is), and says that he hopes Big Show puts an end to us having to sit through all of Cena’s matches at No Way Out (if only we didn’t have to sit through another one). Cole did it in an annoying Cole way, but I’m actually on board with all of that.
Laurinaitis comes out and informs us that John Cena can pick his opponent. This is followed immediately by announcing that Big Show is off tonight (fine by me) and Johnny Ace has retired from competition (even better). Cena says he’s going to face someone who is uninteresting, overrated and is being shoved down our throats every week (sounds like he’s gonna face himself). In classic Cena fashion he will be going against who else, but Michael Cole. Has Cena been in a real wrestling match since WrestleMania? How many was he in before WrestleMania? It’s just a joke. Backstage Cole pleads for Laurinaitis to keep this from happening since he has supported Johnny since day 1 (again, true) and that’s not what the people want to see (also true, but not in the same way). Johnny says it is what they wants to see and not to call him Johnny. The list of enemies gets bigger and bigger for Johnny Ace. Doesn’t he need to side with someone?
First match of the night is Ziggler vs Sheamus. Is it weird that the first thing I think of here is how awesome Ziggler will sell the Brogue Kick? Dolph needs to step up if he’s going to big a top heel and he’s getting time to shine a bit early on. Unbeknownst to me Finley’s old finisher that Sheamus took is now called White Noise. Does he have any moves that are not named after being white or a celtic warrior? Borderline racist no? Del Rio met Sheamus coming up the ramp to deliver some damage on his arm. That’s how you build an old school rivalry. No long winded monologues. Just a couple of random assaults to leave the hero injured. Del Rio gets mucho fuego.
Stop the presses! Vince McMahon is coming back to Raw next week, and he’s going to give John Laurinaitis a job evaluation. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the big boss and I’m curious in what capacity he’ll be back. I’m going to guess he’ll come back hell (since Johnny Ace isn’t going anywhere) and that he’ll play some part in the Cena/Big Show match. I’m basing this on absolutely nothing of course.
Hey remember Sin Cara? Well too bad because he’s back anyway. Good to see that he got rid of the trampoline in his entrance. There are enough things to make fun of him about (like this). Anyway five minutes later he finished beating up on Hunico, and now we have to watch Ryback next? If there is anyone that is in dire need of a makeover it’s this shmohawk. Well not only is he not getting a makeover, but he’s going against the same dopes he smacked around at Extreme Rules. More of the same here. Ryback showing he’s strong and getting booed anyway. I’m sorry, but you can’t get put over by beating people who look like me. There is just nothing to like about him right now. Not the move set, not the marching, and definitely not the idiotic yelling. “Feed me more?” Good grief.
So after two wastes of time we now get CM Punk versus Kane where there “must be a winner” after what happened on Smackdown. Bryan is on hand of course since the three will be involved in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship at No Way Out. I can’t explain enough how disappointed I am that the Bryan/Punk feud has gone in this direction. At Over the Limit we got a classic old school wrestling match with the promise of getting a rematch in a couple of weeks. After the ending to that match it seemed like we were poised to have an I Quit match that surely would have at least equal the quality of the last one and could have supplied some real drama. However due to what I imagine to be less than stellar ratings, the rematch is getting all these other ideas thrown into it. Cray-J was an unnecessary but natural progression, but throwing Kane in too just seems like overhaul. It has to be really difficult to book Kane right now. He’s past his prime at not in the same league as Punk or Bryan or Sheamus, but he’s still a bigger household name than most of the roster so he has to be put out there. So here he is getting thrown into a rivalry for the championship that he has no business being involved in just to get a few more butts in the seats for a PPV that hasn’t sold out yet. Ironically I was on the fence about buying a ticket until discovering this update to the card.
By the way, during the break in the Punk/Kane match, there was a commercial for TNA Impact. I’m pretty shocked that was allowed by WWE.
Anyway back to the match. CM Punk has to stop acting so surprised when his elbow drop doesn’t result in a 3 count. That goes for everyone with their signature moves I guess, but it seems a little more ridiculous with Punk. A few kicks and punches and some Bryan interference later, AJ comes out to help her boy Punk again, and again it leads to Punk losing (foreshadowing?). Hold on now because another wrench has been thrown into the mix. Kane set his sights on AJ until Bryan jumped in (no idea why) and got kicked around by Kane too. So now AJ starts giving Kane the crazy sex eyes and Kane is even freaked out by her. So now she can be in anyones corner. I really can’t keep up with this. I never wish injury on anyone, but things would be so much better if Kane broke his leg or something so we can go back to a regular love triangle instead of this love parallelogram or whatever we have going on here.
Truth/Kofi beat Rex/Hawkins in the third squash match of the night. This show is reminiscent of the old Saturday morning wrestling shows I used to watch as a kid. A bunch of squash matches with only one or two competitive matches to speak of. Don’t worry, Cena vs Cole is next (ugh).
Well not so fast. To earn the right to face Cole in a no DQ match, Cena first has to beat none other than Lord (surprise heel opponent) Tensai. The theme of this show seems to be overrated, overhyped and shoved down our throat personalities. Well guess what, Cena delivered a clean win over Lord Tensai. Slowly but surely these unbeatable brutes are starting to take some damage. First Clay, now Tensai. Somehow Ryback is still undefeated, but I guess he needs to face an actual wrestler first before he can lose.
So um, Cena vs Cole. Cena stripped Cole down to his undies for some reason and gave Cole a few slaps. This all led to Cole getting embarrassed combined with a promo for JR’s BBQ Sauce. Cole apologized to Lawler, then to JR, then got doused with BBQ sauce. Tensai came out and made it look like Cole was going to pull the same trick Laurinaitis did, but Cena kicked out (why Tensai wouldn’t hang around to finish the job I have no idea) finished off Cole and ended Raw in as crap of a way as possible. Basically nothing happened unless you count AJ turning into the craziest horndog diva ever.