Tag Archives: brock lesnar

Lesnar Quits, Plus Fatal 4-Ways and More on Raw

It’s Monday night again, which means that someone you haven’t seen in a while needs to make a special appearance on Raw. This time it wasn’t a wrestler, it was ECW founder and super hype machine Paul Heyman who came back, representing his boy Brock Lesnar. Since Lesnar went off the handle last week and brock his boss’s (Triple H) arm, all the circles speculated that Lesnar would be “fired” for his actions. I assumed that instead Brock would not only remain hired, but would also get his demands met since Triple H was out of commission and John Laurinaitis, who agreed to the demands in the first place, was still around. However Heyman threw us all for a loop when he announced that Lesnar had quit the WWE, due to the way he had been treated by WWE brass and whatever the hell else he was saying. All that matters is Brock quit, and no one can cut a promo quite like Paul Heyman.

Of course Lesnar hasn’t really quit. He’s signed to a lucrative contract that expires after WrestleMania 29. He just “quit” until his next appearance, which are limited based on his deal. Odds are that he will come back at the same time Triple H comes back from his broken arm, so the two can meet. This would most likely be at SummerSlam, and I’ll take a wild guess that after that the only other times you see him in a match are at Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania. This is simply based on the idea that he has a limited number of appearances, and WWE would likely use those for their biggest events and leading up to ‘Mania.

The other piece of news that came out of Raw was the announcement of a Fatal 4-Way match for the World Heavyweight Championship putting current champ Sheamus against Alberto Del Rio (which we knew), Randy Orton (alright) and Chris Jericho (wait, what?). Apparently after losing to Punk twice and failing to secure another rematch last week, Jericho seems to have completely forgotten about Punk and has now moved on to wanting this belt instead. I know I wanted that feud put on hiatus for a while but wasn’t there a better way to do it? Couldn’t he have blamed not winning the beat the clock challenge on someone and then get into a feud with him? Here we just had Jericho thrown into a tag match with Del Rio against Sheamus and Orton, where Sheamus accidentally Brogue-Kicked Orton, paving the way for Jericho to pin Sheamus, leading Jericho to now believe he should be champion. This now makes four straight PPV title shots for Jericho, who has barely won a match since returning. At some point he has to beat someone just to justify him being here. Of course now Orton wants revenge on Sheamus too since “accidents don’t happen in the ring” (just ask The Rockers).

Reunited and it feels so good

CM Punk got his beef with Laurinaitis going again, ridiculing the GM to the point that Johnny Ace put Punk in a handicap match against Daniel Bryan and Lord “I swear I’m not Prince Albert” Tensai. By Punk’s standards it was a pretty ordinary segment, and the more I think about it, face Punk has been pretty lame the last couple months (outside the ring of course, inside he can still do no wrong). Although I suppose it’s hard to have a good shoot when you’re the WWE Champion that main events PPV’s and is getting everything he wants. Most of the good rants are from disgruntled employees usually on the way out anyway (much like Punk thought he was before MITB).

Naturally Punk lost and Bryan grabbed some more momentum heading into Over the Limit, but the real story to me is the Laurinaitis angle. His feud with Punk had been put aside for Cena, but now that Laurinaitis is set to face Cena in two weeks, the Punk feud is heating up again? He’s also making an enemy out of Sheamus, while Eve (his assistant) is starting things up with Big Show (who beat Cody Rhodes via count out so no IC title and no more rematch clause). Isn’t that a lot of heat from a lot of different directions? I mostly think it’s a sign that there aren’t enough good heels (and the ones they do have get cheered like Jericho and Bryan), and they need someone to keep all these faces on the right side of the crowd. That’s all fine, but it means that we now need to have Laurintis and/or Eve on screen for most of the show since they are involved in everyone’s storylines.

Makes sense for getting Cena cheers and even for Sheamus since Del Rio isn’t exactly bueno on the mic. But do we really need Johnny to promote Punk vs Bryan? Both of them are so good on the mic and get such a good pop from the crowd. They should be able to psych people up on their own. I thought the same of Punk vs Jericho too but that had the whole drinking angle. No accounting for taste I guess. The one thing this does for me however is create the possibility of Laurinaitis or Eve getting involved in any and all matches. Don’t be surprised if we have a mostly heel-driven Over the Limit.

As for the rest of Raw, Beth Phoenix will challenge Layla for the Diva’s Championship at Over the Limit, The Miz came really close to beating Brodus Clay, Dolph Ziggler took out Kofi Kingston (with some aid from Swagger of course), Mason Ryan seems to be coming back, and finally this happened somehow at the Mayweather/Cotto fight:

Nothing else I can say to follow that.

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It’s Cena vs Johnny Ace and Bryan Gets a Title Shot at Raw

For once, it seems that the WWE is listening to its fanbase. Much to the delight of pretty much everyone, Daniel Bryan will square off against CM Punk for the WWE Heavyweight Championship at Over the Limit on May 20th.

To earn the right to be the number one contender there was a beat the clock challenge, in which whoever won their match in the shortest time got to face Punk. Not a bad gimmick as long as everyone knows how much time is left. Of course the ref for Jericho/Big Show took too long to count out Show, but declared that Jericho had beaten the previous time anyway. All that was corrected over the break, and I’m sure the ref got reamed out backstage. Either way the whole thing worked well enough, as Bryan came out to face…Jerry Lawler. Yup, somehow the King got a shot to be the number one contender. I get that for the Royal Rumble it’s fun to throw some random people for entertainment, but couldn’t they have put someone on the actual roster against Bryan instead? He couldn’t have beaten Alex Riley quickly? Just makes me wonder what it takes to get a title shot in the WWE. You know, if wrestling was real.

YES! This is happening

Regardless of how it happened, the match said I could happen yesterday, will happen and I couldn’t be happier. We were teased twice with Punk/Bryan matches and both were outstanding aside from the non-finish. For the first time in who knows how long, the best two actual wrestlers on the roster will actually compete against each for the title. If done right, this could be Savage/Steamboat good. The previous two times they met, Bryan was just starting to turn heel and the two of them had a whole Ring of Honor respect thing going. Now that Bryan is full on heel I’m curious how it will play out. Punk applauded Bryan at the end of the match so maybe it will be all about wrestling. Can’t hype that for three weeks though so I doubt it. The  Masked Man brought up the point that if this PPV doesn’t sell, you can bet these two will be blamed. If that’s the case, we better shell out the dough or we won’t see anything like this again for a while.

You have this many fans left

Instead we’ll get more of the other match that is announced for Over the Limit. It turns out John Cena’s whole “I’ll be gone for while” speech meant he just wouldn’t come out until the end of tonight’s Raw. No tears, no breaks, just a strained arm. Whatever. So now Cena needs an opponent and that man will be…John Laurinaitis? Yup, Johnny Ace is in full Vince McMahon mode, and will strap on the boots against John Cena. It seems that with no more legends to face for a little while it has been decided that they will keep Cena from being booed by having him face the current superheel, in what I’m guessing will be the worst match since Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon. To make it seem like Johnny has a chance, he brought Lord Tensai out and led an all out S&M session on Cena’s injured arm. Even Michael Cole thought it was too much, and when Michael Cole turns against a heel, you know you’re doing something crazy.

Following that same trend, let’s not forget about Brock Lesnar. Triple H came out (suited up) for the first time since WrestleMania to essentially say everything Laurinaitis agreed to give him the week before was not going to happen. Repetitive messages aside, Lesnar proceeded to attack Triple H and break his arm with a kimura, which I guess is now the new ankle lock in terms of damage. So now Triple H has a reason to not be around until the PPV of his choosing, and when he comes back (Summerslam?) you can bet he’ll have a big feud and match with Lesnar waiting for him. If that’s the case then I’m down.

You give the best hugs!

Lesnar is assumed to be fired for attacking the COO, which of course would be the case if this were an actual company with a worthwhile employee handbook. But this is the WWE and Laurinaitis is an over the top heel so Lesnar will be back next week, or whenever he feels like it, to face somebody. I’m going to throw out Randy Orton just because he’s on the cover of the posters and he’s due for something bigger than Kane or Wade Barrett.

Also Kofi and Truth won the tag titles. So I guess they need to pick up matching outfits. And the Bella Twins were fired by Eve in an online exclusive video. From Diva’s champ to goat and fired off-air in just over 24 hours. So long ladies.

Cena Says Bloody Goodbye to End Extreme Rules

I’ll be the first to admit that I was not that pumped for Extreme Rules. I saw all the rematches and yearned for something new. I saw all the hardcore matches as further distraction from real wrestling. I thought Cena/Lesnar was interesting but would be more of the same we’ve seen from both. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Instead of simply following in WrestleMania 28’s footsteps, Extreme Rules took last month’s PPV and turned it up to eleven, delivering with drama, extreme action and in-ring action alike.

In black and white for some reason

First let’s get to the main event and what everyone will be talking about tomorrow. To put it bluntly, Brock Lesnar beat the crap out of John Cena for roughly 20 minutes. After getting busted open by Lesnar a few weeks ago on Raw, Brock pulled the same routine about a minute into the match, elbowing Cena in the back of the head and making him a bloody mess for the entire match, which had to be stopped twice to superglue Cena’s head together (not exaggerating). The rest of the match was Lesnar dominating as much as I’ve ever seen anyone dominate before. If you thought Tensai and Clay could throw people around, then you haven’t seen Lesnar. It was also a nice touch that Brock wore his MMA gear (allowed through his contract, very rare), and it can’t be talked about enough how much of a monster he is. Anyway he pummeled Cena to the point where the crowd started pulling for Cena (not easy to do) who finally hit Lesnar with a fist full of chains and an AA on the steel steps to secure the win. Hip hip hooray, Cena’s off the snide.

But the real story is what happened after the match. Cena’s right arm was noticeably dangling from his shoulder by the end, which he even acknowledged when he addressed the crowd. He then started talking about how he’ll probably get fired (on camera) for what he’s going to say, but mentioned how all of the good guys and bad guys sacrificed their bodies at Extreme Rules, and thanked Chicago for being such a great wrestling city (he actually said wrestling!). He also said (off and on mic) that he’ll probably be leaving for a while, citing both his injury and that Laurinaitis would kick him out (for what I still don’t know). Then as Cena walked up the ramp he was again heard off camera telling a fan about his arm, saying something like “it just feels like it’s hanging there.”

How much of this is legit or not I can’t say. He definitely looked hurt but he’s in the business of selling injuries so who knows what you can take from that. It is pretty rare for a post match mic session to be put on air (which again can go either way) and he sounded fairly genuine. It’s also possible that he is just in line for some scheduled time off and what better way to send him off than with a “severe” injury in a big win. Works for Triple H and the Undertaker. If it’s planned out (which I tend to think it is) then I think they wanted Cena to make his leave with as much positive reaction as possible, so that whenever he does come back in isn’t to as many boos. I also think they are enjoying having Punk as champion so much that they want to keep him their, and don’t know how to transition Cena back into the title picture yet (which eventually he has to). Either way Cena is still the biggest draw, so for their sake I hope he comes back as soon as possible (unless it’s a work, which in that case screw him).

Still the best in the world

On to the rest of the card. Jericho and Punk had me really worried that having a Chicago Street Fight would take away all of the wrestling they were known for. I wasn’t put at ease when they both came out in jeans instead of traditional wrestling gear. What we got however might have been the best combination of both. It started slow and expectedly weapon filled, but by the middle of the match there was a great combination of technical wrestling mixed in with weapons. The Anaconda Vice countered with a kendo stick. Code breakers with chairs were hit. My favorite spot had Punk crawling to the ropes while in the Walls of Jericho, only it didn’t mean anything because of the street fight rules. That lead to Punk reaching down toward the arena floor to grab and use a fire extinguisher on Jericho to break the hold. The key to the whole thing was the stipulation that the pin or submission had to be in the ring. That kept things from going backstage which is the least entertaining thing possible, and kept these guys where they do their best work. After more taunting from Jericho (tacked on but he finally has full heel status for it), Y2J went to finish Punk with  a GTS, which Punk reversed and delivered a GTS of his own to retain the title.

So now Jericho has lost to Punk in two PPV’s, once by submission and once by pinfall, both clean. Where can Jericho go from here? The rumor is that Jericho will be gone before Summerslam, which is four months away, to go on tour with Fozzy. That means he could leave now or three months from now, and if Cena’s gone I’m not sure what else he can do besides keep feuding with Punk, who’s he’s now lost to twice already. Punk meanwhile has been champion for six months and is running out of opponents. Does Lord Tensai get a push? Jericho/Punk part 3? It’s possible Lesnar get’s the next shot would make for some good old fashioned MMA style fighting. I could also see Daniel Bryan switching to Raw and gunning for Punk now that he’s lost to Sheamus.

Speaking of which, what a great match Bryan and Sheamus had. It had everything you want in a great match. The crowd had been waiting four weeks for this one and they were ready for it. Electric stuff. It’s always special when a heel becomes so popular that the face gets booed, and that’s what happened here. Then the storyline they told worked really well. After a hard fought back and forth battle that would have been a great TV main event any other day, Bryan then attacked Sheamus’ shoulder in the corner so brutally that he purposefully got disqualified for the first of 3 falls, only to immediately administer the Yes Lock to get take the second and tie it up. Sheamus, who was very impressive, managed to secure the win with a couple of brogue kicks, but the star of the show was still Bryan. For the first time since I started watching him, he had everything clicking in a big spot. He was a smaller heel being treated as a face, making a giant beast of a face look like the underdog by the end of the match. Loved it.

The real star of the show

Now that the WWE seems committed to Sheamus as a champion all signs point to him meeting Alberto Del Rio at Over the Limit in May. Bryan on the other hand has no direct path. One thing that surprised me about the match was that AJ was nowhere to be seen. Probably for the better, but I’m sure she’ll pop up later this week.

Other notes from Extreme Rules:

Cody Rhodes beat the Big Show in a table match on a technicality, as Rhodes pushed Show slightly off the edge of the ring, having his foot (and just his foot) break through the table, and costing him the Intercontinental title. Show dominated the whole match, including throwing Rhodes through two tables post match, so this feud seems to have another chapter or two left.

Randy Orton opened the show by defeating Kane in a match that would have bored me completely had it been after any of the other matches mentioned above. They had some decent spots, but too much throwing people into objects outside the ring, which we all know by now that I hate. Let’s give it up to a random Zach Ryder appearance though.

Brodus Clay’s feud with Vicki Guerrero took another turn when he had an actual back and forth match against Dolph Ziggler. Clay won of course but Ziggler put up a good fight and we got to see Clay fight back a little. It’s taking a while, but we’re starting to see what this guy is actually made of. Decent job.

On the YouTube pre show, Santino retained his US Championship against the Miz who seems to be dropping further and further down the depth chart.

Ryback was correctly labeled as Goldberg by the crowd, defeating two hilariously awesome local wrestlers.

As for the ladies, Layla came back to beat the Bella’s for the Diva’s title. Kharma’s name now gets tossed around like a an urban legend, and Beth Phoenix will be out for a while with her leg “injury.”

Oh yeah, Michael Cole called out Booker T for saying he knew Sheamus was tired by looking at all his sweat, and said that if Booker’s fighting was anything like his announcing, he’d do fine in a fight against him.

Overall I’d say it was a pretty successful pay-per-view. Very few dead spots and the time killing was kept to a minimum. We also saw plenty of blood (the best way to get Cena on the crowd’s side) and plenty of regular wrestling too. Did I miss anything you noticed? If so, leave a comment below.

-Update: I just realized the pics are in black and white so you can’t see the blood! Oh WWE, you are sooooooooo slick.

Edge Rallies Cena in Delayed Raw Recap

Since I’m a day late in recapping Monday Night Raw, why don’t we throw in some Extreme Rules talk as well (which I most likely would have done anyway, but I want you to think the recap was late for a reason).

So the contract signing that was supposed to happen in the beginning of the show didn’t happen because Brock Lesnar wasn’t in the building yet (more on that later), giving Edge (doing his best Jayson Werth impression) an opportunity to show off his acting chops and tell John Cena that he needs to go back to being the real John Cena and ordering Cena to beat Lesnar. Is Cena that different now than he was when he was winning his 10th title? Weren’t people telling him to wake up last year too (Piper? Kane?)? If there is so little to be done with Cena’s character that the only way to add drama is to have him be vanilla or depressed while aging “legends” call him out for no real reason, isn’t it time to make a change? A big part of Edge’s speech was about Cena not loving wrestling anymore. Is that what we’re supposed to believe? Is that why he lost to The Rock and Lord Tensai? At least we got Edge mentioning his expiring contract for some reason. Apparently WWE isn’t giving him Foley/Michaels money as an occasional cameo guy. Maybe it’s because he isn’t as liked as those two.

RIP Josh Matthews

So Lesnar does finally show up Later, and good ol’ Josh Matthews gets the bitch of the year award. After Lesnar was one Minnesota Vikings joke from choking Josh out, Matthews utters his last words, “I was just trying to do my job,” which leads to Lesnar pushing him into a fence/table thing, rendering him unconscious or something. Basically Brock Lesnar killed Josh Matthews with a giant baking pan.

By the end of the show Lesnar actually makes it to the ring for the contract signing, only Cena doesn’t come out. Sneak attack right? Cena’s pumped right? All contract signings end with a fight, right? Guess again. Lesnar takes the opportunity to issue contract demands to John Laurinaitis (private jet, star billing blah blah blah) until Cena finally comes out, WITH A CHAIN AROUND HIS NECK! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! Apparently chains immediately get your edge back for you, and apparently you don’t event have to use it for it to happen. All he did was rap the chain around his hand, sign the contract and leave. Boy I sure am pumped for Extreme Rules.

Cena has to win right? I thought he had to beat the Rock, but if he doesn’t beat Lesnar then what is he even doing here? Maybe since it’s an Extreme Rules match (which only means the refs don’t have to look away), Cena can get hurt and go away to film a movie or something. The way things have been going, maybe he’ll lose to Lesnar clean, then come out the next night and get beat up by Batista next. I don’t like him, but he’s still the face of the organization.

If do right, no can defend

Okay that’s way too much on what will be an okay match. Jericho took his “CM Drunk” angle to the next level by making him take a sobriety test in the ring (which is apparently legal) which he must pass or he forfeits the WWE Championship (okay I’m with ya) which would then go to Chris Jericho (uhhhh what?). Of course Punk passes because he’s straight edge but it seems that Jericho continuously presenting Punk with booze leads to probable cause for the police to do a sobriety test on a man who isn’t driving or acting rude to anyone. Whatever. Basically nothing happened and they finally wrestle on Sunday.

Lost in the shuffle of all that was a great Jericho/Kingston match (because that’s all Jericho ever faces) that ended with Jericho countering a springboard move with a codebreaker into the Walls of Jericho. It’s all about Punk/Jericho 2 though. I wouldn’t be surprised with Jericho pulling off the win to set the stage for a third a final match between the two at Over the Limit. For Jericho to come back and not beat anyone but Kofi Kingston for four months just doesn’t add up to me. On the other hand everything leading up to Sunday would tell you Punk will win and someone else has to challenge the title eventually. Like always I just want to match to be in the ring as much as possible where they can put on what will most likely be the highlight of the night.

No, my chin is cuter!

The only thing that can top it is Bryan vs Sheamus. The Bryan character is so over the top that it’s incredible. Sheamus, meanwhile, is as babyface as it gets. Boring as hell. They are also so different in the ring that it could be really good. They only teased it at WrestleMania so it better be. It goes against conventional wrestling thinking (if there could be such a thing) to think that Bryan would win after having al this heel momentum leading in, but after WrestleMania wouldn’t this be the way to make it up to him? “Throw us a bone at Mania at we’ll pay you back with a big moment at the next PPV.” He was lacking a legit defining moment as champ. Could this be his time to shine? How will AJ fit into this? I’m still waiting for his ring talent to fully impress me, but his character needs to have the title. The WWE Universe demands it!

The rest of Raw was just hype time for Sunday but I do need to note something about my favorite Prince turned Lord. During Tensai’s match against R-Truth they use one of my favorite in-match tactics from the 80’s, the cut in monologue. Check it out.

First off, I didn’t realize that Prince Albert forgot how to speak english. Second off how much of a throwback can he be? Green Mist? A “Mr. Fuji” like manager? He’s already a wrestler from my youth. I’m was already buying into Lord Tensai. Now he’s throwing in promos from the Mr. Perfect school of Wrestling? Count me in.

I’m still not sure if I’ll actually be watching Extreme Rules live, but whatever I checkout I’ll be sure to comment on Sunday night. Or not. Until next time wannabes!

Extreme Rules Looks Like ‘WrestleMania 28: Part 2’

After two weeks of speculating the Extreme Rules lineup, this past week proved that I have absolutely no idea what I am talking about.

That's not how a chair works

During Monday Night Raw in jolly old England, Punk and Henry seemed to put an end to their mini-feud with a no-DQ match that I still think they could have drawn into a title match at the PPV. Punk finally won of course, but the three matches told a good story and I enjoyed the concept of Punk constantly trying to chop down Henry with kicks, only to be thwarted every time he went for a big blow. It was entertaining, and the crowd was into it every time it looked like Punk would finally bring him down, which he finally did with a chair shot off the top rope. Again, that would have been a good finish at Extreme Rules.

So now that that killed a few weeks, Jericho was ready to announce that he will get a rematch against CM Punk in a Chicago Street Fight. Of course they are still playing they whole “CM Drunk” angle, because otherwise there would be no reason for this match to happen. We already saw it once and while it was great, I don’t need to see it again. I’m fairly concerned that the street fight aspect will take away from the technical wrestling, which was the whole reason we wanted to see these two fight in the first place. All I can say is that my fingers are crossed.

Courtesy WWE.com
What? This isn't butter!?

As far as matches go, the rest of Raw involved Brodus Clay continuing to get over on Dolph Ziggler, Kane setting Zach Ryder’s career further back by turning him into a jobber while trash talking Randy Orton, and Lord (Prince) Tensai (Albert) keeping his dominant string going with an extreme rules win over John Cena (with a little outside help of course).

Clay and Tensai are really getting built up as unstoppable monsters, and I can’t remember a time where there were two of this type of superstar at the same time. It’s actually pretty interesting. Both are big brutes who don’t sell and have no real personality. However one of them is an all flash babyface, while the other is a slow walking uber heel. Is it me or should these two definitely face off soon. You can only go so long with two undefeated streaks, and given their move sets it would probably be fun to watch. Me wanting it though probably means it will never happen. Oh well.

Cena continued his string of getting beat up by everyone possible, but not before he and Lesnar got to talk about why they are fighting each other and whatever other nonsense they want to say. The gist of it is, Lesnar wants to hurt people, and Cena wants to fight. Thankfully we only have to put up with another week or so of this instead of the year of it we had with The Rock.

Last week on a live Smackdown, it was announced that Daniel Bryan would get a rematch against Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship. To make sure he doesn’t get another early exit, it has been declared a 2-out-of-3 falls match. I had previously been thinking that Alberto Del Rio would get thrust into the title picture, especially after Del Rio’s pleas for a title shot. Instead we will get another WrestleMania rematch, giving Bryan some much deserved ring time in what I’m sure will be a lengthy match. It’s absolutely amazing what has happened to him in the last couple months. He’s gone from relative obscurity, to budding champion, to this year’s version of CM Punk. “Yes!” chants fill arenas during every single match, not just his, and the mere sight of him makes the crowd go crazy. On Raw he had a solid match against Kofi Kingston, winning by submission as AJ looked on, still in support of her now ex. I’m sure they have something interesting planned for her, as she could either win or lose the title for Bryan.

YES!

Normally the WWE overexposes something like this to death, and they’ve tried. Only this time it’s playing right into Bryan’s character, who’s starting to turn into an absolute nut job. He’s totally committing to what had taken so long to build up, now even changing the Lebelle lock to the Yes lock. There isn’t a guy I want to like more than Bryan. He’s getting a crazy push that has more to do with the fans than anything else. He’s a real wrestler, not a sports entertainer. He also seems to really appreciate what has happened to him since WrestleMania. He just keeps failing to impress me in big spots. Extreme Rules good give us the match we hoped we’d get just a couple of weeks ago, and his performance could finally get me on the bandwagon.

So right now it would appear that Extreme Rules will feature Bryan vs. Sheamus, Punk vs. Jericho, Cena vs. Lesnar, and most likely Orton vs. Kane.

Isn’t that a lot like the card for WrestleMania? Substitute Lesnar with the Rock and it’s a Triple H vs. Undertaker match away from being exactly like WrestleMania. This just isn’t good. We just saw all these matches. Does that mean most of the results will be different? If not they we’re just wasting our time trying to duplicate last month’s PPV. Lesnar might as well be using the same script as The Rock (if he could talk he would), coming back for little reason other that to beat up Cena. It all points to the same issue everyone complains about. The WWE has no interest in promoting anyone not already in the spotlight. Only this time forget about new talent, there are barely any new story lines. I’m afraid I might be skipping this PPV to save up for one I haven’t seen already.

Blood Makes a Cameo in an Otherwise Uneventful Raw

If you watched Monday Night Raw last night you pretty much saw the same show you did last week with one exception. Blood! If you haven’t seen it already, you can pretty much skip watching the entire show except for the first ten minutes. Brock Lesnar came out as the “new face of the WWE” according to Johnny Ace, and before he could get to saying anything (which is for the best) John Cena came out and smacked him in the face, starting an all out brawl. For some reason the entire WWE roster felt they needed to break this up, so Cena and Brock are put into opposing corners by 20 men each and next thing you know, Cena’s mouth is all kinds of busted! Intentionally or not (and I have to guess it was since how the hell do you get busted open in a fake brawl), it was pretty cool to see blood get back into ring twice in two weeks (if you count WrestleMania).

Previously scene last week

With all that said, Extreme Rules will feature another Cena vs “Insert Legend Here” match, now against Lesnar. That’s all fine, I’m just curious why he can’t start a feud with anyone on the current roster. I don’t even really count Kane since he’s just around to deliver a key chokeslam occasionally. I’m not complaining about him being booked with other brutes so the more talented wrestlers can face each other instead, I’m just getting a little bored of seeing John Cena jumped by old men in jump suits that’s all.

Like a said before, with few other exceptions this was a rehash of last weeks Raw. Punk lost to Mark Henry by DQ instead of count out this time so he still retains the title despite getting whooped, and Jericho again poured alcohol (this time beer) on an injured Punk. Henry now gets a third match for the title next week, with no count outs or disqualifications.  I had thought this would end up on the PPV card but if they are doing it next week, for the third week in a row, I don’t know if they will do it again. Perhaps as a rematch if Punk loses but I don’t know. They are also pushing the Jericho feud so it can go either way. At this point I’m still thinking Henry/Punk with a Punk/Jericho rematch at the next PPV.

Ditto

To wrap up the rest of the last week, we could also be heading toward a Big Show/Rhodes rematch. Sheamus vs Del Rio is all but official. Daniel Bryan dumped AJ putting him in the weird position of complete heel that everyone loves. Dolph Ziggler (my guy) could sell a dead tree, and it turns out Brodus Clay too. The fans refuse to forget that Lord Tensai is really Prince Albert no matter how little body hair he has, and the WWE Universe hates the new Three Stooges movie as much as I do. We’ll see how full of crap I am next week when everything I said is proved wrong with a Punk/Sheamus title for title match.

Lesnar’s Return Caps Epic Raw

Coming off of WrestleMania 28, nothing too ridiculous is generally expecting on the next day’s Monday Night Raw.

Boy was I wrong.

The rumor mill proved to be just one day off, as Brock Lesnar finally made his return to the WWE, and his target is John Cena. Lesnar wasted little time delivering an F-5 to last night’s loser, and I can only guess that this feud will go on for a few months. If they can promote Rock/Cena for a year, I don’t see why they can’t sell this until Summerslam. It’s been reported all over he place that Lesnar has a one year deal with the WWE, and I think a Cena feud makes all the sense in the world for the bulk of that contract. Cena has spent a lot of time going against guys that are just better wrestlers than him, so that even when he wins he is still getting somewhat outperformed. Lesnar however is every bit the physical freak Cena is. The two of them could spend 20 minutes heaving each other across the ring and it would make a hell of a show. I also find it really interesting that they are keeping Cena as far away from a title as possible. The WWE seems to have found a sweet spot for booking, where they satisfy the hardcore fans by having Punk as the champion and making him defend against more polished wrestlers like Jericho and Ziggler, while still having Cena main event the shows by putting him against whatever legend or big name they choose. It’s almost brilliant.

There was so much more to this Raw Supershow though. First off the crowd was absolutely electric. Perhaps even more than they were on Sunday for ‘Mania. The best part was that they were all chanting for Daniel Bryan. The Punk/Henry match reached a fever pitch, chanting “YES!” for every Punk strike. Bryan’s name was chanted literally the whole night, and they went berserk when he briefly appeared backstage. He didn’t even say a word and had the place buzzing. Pretty good for a heel who lost his title in 18 seconds. Somehow Bryan got a huge push by getting knocked out at WrestleMania. The chants started before ‘Mania even went live, got stronger after he lost, and Monday night it was out of control. It’s as if the fans feel it’s their responsibility to keep in the spotlight, and if Zack Ryder and Santino taught us anything, it’s that that tactic works.

The show opened with the Rock thanking the fans and blah blah blah. Then he not only promised that he was not done in the ring, but that he would become WWE Champion! Next WrestleMania perhaps? It would make for an interesting Royal Rumble if he were to win it to get his title shot. I’m more curious at who will be champion if/when he gets a title shot. CM Punk would be interesting but it doesn’t exactly wow me. Cena rematch? Jericho? Triple H? Undertaker? All seem kind of unlikely. I can be talked into a Randy Orton match but what do I know?

A-Train traded body hair for tattoos. Not sure which is less gross

Did anyone else notice that Brodus Clay hit someone significant? Yes it was one move against Ziggler who could sell ice to an eskimo but still. If he ends up in a tag match with Santino against Swagger and Ziggler, it could actually give the Funkasaurus some direction and get him in some real matches. I’d really just love to see him take one bump. I feel like you can’t judge a guy until he takes a real hit. We even got the debut of Lord Tensai (formerly A-Train) and my immediate reaction is that he’s the anti-Clay. All show and size, but not too much to go on after seeing him pummel a jobber. Suddenly the WWE has gained a lot of size.

In the short term picture it looks like Mark Henry will get a push after man handling CM Punk. Henry winning via count out has all signs pointing to Henry/Punk for the belt at Extreme Rules. The one thing I can’t figure out is where Jericho fits in all this. They are still beating us over the head (literally and figuratively) with the drinking angle but where do the go now that Jericho has tapped out.

He's finally back!

We also finally got the return of a much needed Alberto Del Rio. He’ll head to Smackdown where he’ll get the first crack at taking the World Heavyweight Championship of Sheamus’ hands. He’ll replace the injured Wade Barrett and Christian(?) as lead heel on Friday nights, and should do fine in that role. I really want to know where Bryan fits in all this though. After the reaction he’s gotten the last two days I doubt they’ll leave him out of the picture. If Del Rio is next in line though Bryan might have to wait his turn.

Seven-hundred words later I still have no idea what is up WWE creative’s sleeve. I do know however that they have me completely interested after the best Monday Night Raw in months.

WrestleMania 28: The End of an Era?

WrestleMania 28 is over and it paid off in almost every aspect but one. However that one was bigger than Andre the Giant and the Big Show combined.

In the opening match of wrestling’s biggest event, Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds to win the World Heavyweight Championship.  Think about that for a minutes before continuing.

Blink and you missed it

First off, could this title be held in any lower regard by the WWE? It has opened 2 of the last 3 PPV’s and now the title has changed hands in 18 seconds? It might be better to be the US Champ right now. Then there is the rumor that this match was not supposed to lead off until the last-minute. If so then what was the opener, and was this the original plan for the match? If you want to look at it optimistically for Bryan, losing the way he did keeps him in the title picture and gives an angle to fully become a heel. Possibly even getting his rematch at Extreme Rules in April. However, while I’ve never been a big fan of his, Bryan is supposed to be one of the best in-ring performers in the business and he never got to show it on the biggest stage possible. Yes it was shocking and memorable, but couldn’t Big Show have done that to Cody Rhodes instead?

Speaking of that match, it’s good for the Big Show that he finally got his WrestleMania moment, but what is he going to do with the Intercontinental Title? I always imagined that and the US Title to be for younger wrestlers on the way up. Big Show is about as established as you could possibly be. The match was fine, and I’m fine with the result. I just don’t think this is a championship Big Show needs to hold. One guy that jumps out at me for it is Brodus Clay. If they are really serious about him in the WWE, beating Big Show clean and giving him the Intercontinental Title is a quick way to do that. Unfortunately after seeing him do nothing more than dance with his mamma tonight, I’m afraid the WWE doesn’t feel the same way. If they are going to push him, give him a win that matters. Otherwise, send him back to Ohio Valley Wrestling to give him a new gimmick.

Kane vs Orton was a better match than I thought it would be. I’m really just glad so much of it was in the ring. Perhaps Kane is finally shaking the rust off during those dopey Cena matches because he stepped it up a notched. It was also a win he sorely needed since he can’t lose every real match and still pick up heat. I have no idea what’s in store for Orton as he could probably use some time off after all the injuries he rushed back from. I can also see him get back into a title picture to start the new round of PPV’s.

The Divas match and the 12 man tag both went pretty much as expected. Team Johnny had to win and having the Miz make the cover gives him a good push coming out of ‘Mania. Also, things are just so much more fun when there is a heel GM. Johnny Ace is already causing hell for CM Punk and now that he is in full control we can expect a lot more of that on both brands. Hell, Daniel Bryan might even get his rematch this Friday. A lot of people are complaining about Maria Menounos pinning Beth Phoenix again, but losing in a gimmicky way like that is better for her than losing clean to Kelly Kelly right? I don’t even know why I’m bothering with them anyway. They can’t even come of the ropes right. Both matches had their moments and were about as enjoyable as they could be.

Oldie and a goodie

Now on to the main events. The Hell in a Cell match was solid for me, but it did show me just how little the Undertaker and Triple H have left. They both went all out for the full match and had plenty of big spots with big bumps that they both took well. The pace of the match just seemed off to me. I recently watched all of the previous Undertaker ‘Mania matches with Michaels and Triple H, and the one thing I’m noticing is how each one is more and more about drama and less about the match. Asking the opponent to stay down, wanting to go out the right way, it has all gotten laid out thicker and thicker each time, with tonight being the worst culprit. I know I’m nitpicking but I expected a little more out of two of the best performers in WWE history. I did really like how they used Shawn Michaels as the guest referee, but he overplayed it so badly that it was distracting. He looked like he was getting attacked by bees every time someone kicked out of a finisher. The rest of the time he was wincing on every chair shot or acting like a psycho in the corner. Almost took me out of the match. On the other hand I can’t discount the fact that this match completely delivered in taking us back to the “attitude” era matches. The chair shots they took were vicious. Look at the Undertaker’s back at the end and you can see how hard they were. Also, planned or not, we saw some legit blood in a match that we all knew needed. The way it all ended with the three-way man hug was a touching, I admit, even if it was a little too much. Overall it was a nice way to end this four-year old story.

CM Punk and Chris Jericho put on exactly the kind of show I was hoping they would. It was one of the best technical matches I have seen in a long time. The only thing they had to do was get the whole talking about your family/Punk can lose on a DQ angle out of the way and from that point it was great. It just makes me wonder why they did it in the first place if it was all out of the equation five minutes in, but I guess whatever they need to draw attention they will do. Anyway, what a well executed match! Reversals and springboards and submission moves. Reversals of finishers and long chain grapples. Jericho proved he can definitely still run with the big dogs and for Punk to win via submission the way he did was just perfect. It also means that one man has held the WWE Championship for four months (to be five by the next PPV), which is something I’ve been hoping for for a while now. Whenever Punk does lose that belt, it will be a really big deal.

Now what?

Finally the main main event. After all this hype the match that was a year in the making was…good. The Rock showed a little more rust that I thought he would show, and he was definitely helped by the direction of the match. Two spots that contained lengthy submission holds to go along with the usual amount of time a wrestler just lies on the ground, and that the Rock still seemed winded at times says something about his conditioning. He made all the moves he had to though and Cena held up his end as well. There were a numbers of moments where either man could have won which is one of the main things you look for in a good match. I’m extremely surprised that the Rock won. Cena hasn’t really had a big win in a while and now he just lost to a guy who has barely wrestled for years. It’ll look even worse if Cena talks about how lucky he was to even be part of that main event, as I’m predicting.

One thing the match put in my head is the hope for a Cena heel turn. It’s been long overdue and Cena looked to take to it during the match, specifically at the finish when he attempted to finish the Rock with a failed People’s Elbow. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m hoping that losing how he did could push him over that line. The other thing I took from it were the similarities to the Hogan/Rock match at WrestleMania 18. Right from the beginning where they both panned the crowd, to the test of strength, to pretty much everything but the finish reminded me of that match, and that’s a good thing.

One glaring thing that did come out of tonight was that the old guard needs to pass the torch now. Two of the three main events were won by guys that wrestle once a year, and one of your best talents lost one of the main titles in 18 seconds. The WWE is relying way too heavily on the same people, and it just can’t go on forever.

Starting Monday we get brand new storylines and rivalries. We’ll also probably get the first match to be confirmed for WrestleMania 29 in New Jersey. (It was cold and pouring rain all night in New York by the way. Hoping for greener pastures a year from now). There were no guest run-ins at WrestleMania (sorry Batista, Lesnar fans) but there is always hope for the next show!

What did you think of ‘Mania? Think it was crap? Think Bryan got screwed? Sound off in the comments below!