It may be a couple of days late but that doesn’t mean that I’ll skip out on watching another three hours of Raw. It really is turning into a chore. If you take out the recaps and montages the show is probably about 2 hours anyway. Thank goodness for DVR. I’ll try to keep things a little shorter since this is already old news, but it’s new to me dammit!
Anyway Lawler is still pissed at being kicked in the head last week (because no one ever pushes him around) and recaps what happened last week after we just watched a whole big montage showing how and why he got kicked in the head. Now he’s asking for CM Punk to apologize for kicking him. Sure enough, Punk (NOW WITH A BUZZ CUT!) comes out and guess what, he recaps the last couple of weeks as well. So now we’re being told what happened for the third time in a row. Punk has a fun thing where the less hair he has the meaner he is. He doesn’t apologize and instead steps all over Lawler’s career. Punk tries to sucker Lawler into a fight. Very funny that the main plot point of Punk’s heel turn is abusing Jerry Lawler. Do we care that much about him? He’s been talking trash to everyone else but it’s only when Lawler gets involved that he really gets heat. That was the whole open too. There wasn’t even any other interference. No Cena, no Show, no JR. How are we supposed to care if Lawler gets beat if no one in the back does? Why am I wasting so much time on such a simple storyline?
Jack Swagger made his first Raw appearance in a while to job for Ryback, but not before Ryback had three ugly botches by my count (not that Swagger looked much better). At least his pinkeye is healing.
Natalya is apparently still going with the farting gimmick, but lost to Layla anyway. Vickie Guerrero represented the WWE Universe by standing in the corner looking bored during the match. Afterwards she made her case for the Board of Directors to get rid of AJ as GM. AJ then slapped Vickie and got turned on while getting into a cat fight. Again, I’d love to see the resume she submitted when applying for the job.
Daniel Bryan and Kane are in a group therapy session for their “Anger Management” issues. This will carry the rest of the show. During the session, Kane (after removing his second mask) summed up his entire career in a way that only Wikipedia could match. From burying his brother alive (twice) to Katie Vick, this completely stole the show.
Lawler accepts Punk’s challenge and agrees to fight him. Got a feeling this won’t end clean. This also means Michael Cole is now joined by Josh Matthews. Is there anything good about this storyline? AJ again lets the twitter-verse decide the stipulation for the match, with the choices being tables, steel cage and no disqualification (which goes without saying given what the other two choices are).
John Cena has a match against the Miz. Two years ago this was the main event at WrestleMania. Now it is a midcard on a Raw show which is currently headlining CM Punk versus Jerry Lawler. Your WWE folks! Cena has always been fairly bad at calling his spots without being heard or seen doing it, and here he clearly calls a spot on camera while getting covered. I’ll rarely mention stuff like that, but this was really obvious. Regardless, Cena wins a good overall match.
Heath Slater fought Santino. Santino prevailed through the “boring” chants from the crowd. The cobra has a crush on Aksana. Santino doesn’t. Just the cobra. Moving on.
Brodus Clay and Sin Cara team up to face Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes, the only man Sandow can have an intelligent conversation with. Cody is still talking about taking Sin Cara’s mask off. We all remember when Rhodes hid behind a mask right? Just checking. Anyway that doesn’t impact the match for a change, but Rhodes gets smacked up anyway by Clay, and Sin Cara looks creepy trying to dance with children.
Daniel Bryan, fresh off of his therapy, had a match against R-Truth. For the first time in ages, he didn’t shout anything at the top of his lungs while coming down the ramp, instead getting into zen mode. He even gave Lil’ Jimmy a fist bump. R-Truth then gets a YES! chant started outside the ring, driving Bryan crazy to cause a count out. Bryan then loses his mind further and I have no idea where they are going with this.
All night they have been showing different montages for Triple H. From DX to coming back from injury, to winning championships. All with the premise that he would announce his retirement. Well it took him two hours but he finally made it out to the ring. Let me now mention the up to date sign in the crowd that says “WWE Champion should main event PPV’s.” Crowd gives Triple H a little too much love as he goes into a little career recap that is mixed in with his personal oscar audition. Says he didn’t want to be the guy that hung around for the nostalgia pop (too late) and hung on too long. Basically since he isn’t sure he can beat Brock Lesnar he thinks he might be done. He thanks the fans in what was somewhat of a fourth wall moment, saying each wrestler worries about whether the fans will care when they come out. He thanks the fans for letting him play the game (see what he did there?) and hopes they never forget him. He’s either a damn good actor or he cries actual tears as he exits the ring. I’d buy the whole thing if he didn’t sell Brock Lesnar in the middle of it all. It should be noted that he never actually said he was retiring.
Dolph Ziggler comes out to Jericho’s music (one of my favorite bits) to talk trash about forcing Jericho out and to team up with Del Rio against Randy Orton and Sheamus. Del Rio is again the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship and Randy Orton better get his drug using ass in this match or it’s going to get pretty ugly. Del Rio was late to get back in the ring and tag in Ziggler meaning Orton had to lay their like an idiot waiting to tag in Sheamus. I’m really down on him right now. Ricardo tossed Ziggler the briefcase but Orton got in the way and Sheamus hit Dolph with a Brogue Kick to win.
Kane out to do commentary for Zach Ryder’s match against David Otunga (two guys that are kind of getting a push again). Kane doesn’t say a word while Cole gets more time to speak uninterrupted. Fantastic. After Ryder wins a short but decent match, Kane grabs Ryder’s throat (because he still hates him?) but instead chokeslams Otunga instead. Again, can someone tell me what the WWE is trying to do with Kane and Bryan?
Backstage Jerry Lawler tells John Cena not to interfere in his match with CM Punk. All about respect or something. The twitter polls deems that it will be a steel cage match, and before they have the match, AJ announces that Punk will face John Cena at Night of Champions (DUUUUUUUH). Punk said he would give Lawler the first shot and holds up his end of the bargain, and Punk sells it like he got hit with a kendo stick. Things then get back to normal with Punk beating down the King. Unfortunately it is boring as all hell to watch and the crowd is just dead. What they can’t hear is Punk singing “I’m the King of Memphis Tennessee.” It’s like what would have happened if Andy Kaufman knew how to fight. Kinda cool. The action picks up but it can only pick up so much with the talent involved. Things then get better when Punk blades on a throw into the cage and is bleeding from the forehead. On cable TV! It’s like the good old days. After a running knee Punk applies the anaconda vice and gets the submission win (making the steel cage stipulation pointless). Afterwards Punk pulls out a tool box from under the ring (while a man in the crowd yells “I knew it!”) and locks the cage door from the inside (making the stipulation relevent!). He again tells Lawler to say he is the best in the world, but Lawler refuses, so Punk beats him up more. Cena runs out to help but the door is locked and no one raises the cage. Why Cena doesn’t realize he can just climb over the cage is beyond me. The cage finally raises, Punk leaves and Cena tends to an injured Lawler. I still think Punk will win, but the case for Cena winning instead, to lose to the Rock at Royal Rumble and have a Rock versus Punk match at WrestleMania is looking a lot better. Cena doesn’t lose in Boston and Punk is way over the top. The stage is set.