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Foley, Piper and Heyman Return in Uneventful Raw

More reliable than Dolph Ziggler selling a finisher, here is your Raw Recap! We have a lot of questions to answer coming off John Laurinaitis’ firing, so let’s see if we get any answers.

It’s probably not a good thing that John Laurinaitis’ final words and Cyndi Lauper’s return to the WWE are the main things being teased at the start of the show.

Raw does start off feeding to the Long Island crowd with a suited up Mick Foley, and guess what? It looks like until a permanent general manager is found, WWE will be doing a week to week interim GMs for Raw and Smackdown, and they’ll be starting with local boy Foley. Mick first announces that Kane and Bryan will go against Sheamus and Punk (because Sheamus has absolutely nothing to do right now with no rivals). Next he introduces the first of our promoted appearances, as John Laurinaitis comes to the ring for his farewell address. The crowd gives him the business so instead of saying anything now, Johnny just says that before he got fired he scheduled a match for tonight putting John Cena vs the Big Show, David Otunga, and Johnny Ace himself. The Sheamus/Punk vs Kane/Bryan match leads things off, which means that once again we start things off with a wrestling match, and end things with a lousy soap opera. Maybe I’ll just watch the first two hours when we start getting three hour Raw’s every week.

Your weekly AJ photo

Like most other good wrestling crowds, Long Island loves Daniel Bryan. The match barely started before the YES chants started. Meanwhile Cole makes mention that CM Punk’s title reign is the fourth longest of the last 15 years at 211 days, which says all you need to know about the last 15 years of wrestling. It’s a good match with plenty of good spots, but it also has three guys we just saw fight each other every night for a month. Fortunately Sheamus has been in and not Punk for most of the match (which I would normally never say), so we at least get something a little newer. A Bryan miss leads into Sheamus tagging in a fresh Punk which leads to him and Bryan having the best three minute stretch of pure wrestling you could ask for. At the end of it though AJ’s music hits (her interference now his prefaced with music) and Cray-J comes out in Kane gear, skips around the ring and heads back up the ramp drawing Kane out to follow her. Once again Bryan is left alone and once again Punk capitalizes with a Go to Sleep (this time followed with a Brogue Kick) and for the third week in a row, AJ distracts Kane leading to a CM Punk win. Bryan has got to get a feud going with Kane right? He’s been smacked around in each of the last two Raw’s because Kane can’t keep it in his pants. That means a Kane face turn would have to be in order too. If that’s what happens then that whole “embrace the hate” thing wouldn’t have exactly had legs.

Swagger and Ziggler arguing about who Vicki’s alpha dog is. Looks like she’s going to choose one of them tonight, with the two of them meeting in the ring for Vicki’s “ahem” services. I’d imagine Swagger wins just because he needs more help on the mic (the lisp doesn’t help). Losing to Swagger however would take Ziggler down another level which wouldn’t be good at all. Sure enough Ziggler tweaks his knee giving Swagger an opening to beat Dolph without take away too much of his cred in the process. Crowd very pro Ziggler by the way. After two failed tries, Ziggler reverses out of an extended ankle lock and hits a Zig Zag to earn the win and a lip lock with Vicki (gross). Ziggler continues his push while Swagger could be on the way to being buried without a manager or Ziggler’s coat tails to ride on.

Better than the tag match

We had been promised that Brock Lesnar would give his answer to Triple H’s challenge for a match at Summerslam, and my boy Paul Heyman is in the house to deliver the response. He is just so damn good on the mic. It’s a shame he’s not a wrestler himself. It’s still weird just seeing him in a WWE ring, but I guess he’s getting his with the ECW dvd so whatever. He gives a quick and emphatic NO to the crowd, which of course prompts Triple H to come out to retort. He says he doesn’t care what Paul Heyman says, and that he only wants to hear Lesnar himself, and he can give him the spotlight he craves. He reveals the poster for Summerslam with Lesnar on the cover as part of his plan to bring him out. To sum it up, Heyman doesn’t bite and trash talks Triple H, who resists doing anything until he mentions Stephanie (Punk would know about that). Triple H backs off Heyman when he realizes yet another lawsuit will be on his hands, but then cold cocks him anyway and storms off. So yes, Triple H/Lesnar is definitely happening at Summerslam, and I’ll bet those lawsuits get decided by the result.

Alberto Del Rio is back! Again! He couldn’t compete last night at No Way Out, but yet here he is on Raw just 23 hours later. Interesting. Perhaps he’ll finally get his shot at Sheamus at Money in the Bank, but tonight he’ll be facing Santino to defend Ricardo Rodriguez’s honor or something. Del Rio makes short work of the US Champion and Rodriguez gets a final parting shot for good measure.

Layla out (not to wrestler of course) to introduce Cyndi Lauper and Wendy Richter (I bet only 30% if anyone in the arena knows who Richter is). Layla adjusting her skirt right in front of the camera might be the highlight of this whole segment. Before Lauper can get into whatever she was going to say Heath Slater comes out to bash Lauper and sing his made up single “One Man Band.” One a life that poor guy has. Anyway to bring the whole Rock n’ Wrestling thing together, Roddy Piper comes out to shut up Slater and get a kiss from Layla (what a life this guy has). Piper presented Lauper with a gold record of “She -Bop” (the song about women pleasuring themselves) to make up for hitting Captain Lou Albano (RIP) all those years ago. Slater wakes up to interrupt again, only to be eye poked by Piper and have the gold record smashed over his head by Lauper. What could have been a pretty dumb segment ended up having a nice moment between Piper and Lauper and a cool throwback to Albano and the gold record.

AW (from All World Promotions) out to introduce Darren Young and Titus O’Neill against Epico and Primo. Once again the crowd is just dead for them. Darren Young specifically just isn’t smooth in the ring. He just needs an extra step or two to get where he needs to be for each move. Epico and Primo and turning face as they get the upper hand, but AW keeps The Prime Time Players from taking further damage, as to be healthy for their upcoming title shot, taking the count out. I’m surprised I even had this much to say about this match.

In more important news, Chris Jericho will apparently be back next week! Has it been a month already? He didn’t exactly seem happy with the WWE after getting suspended (I can’t blame him, he broke a foreign rule he didn’t know existed) and I’ll be curious how he performs, and how WWE uses him, in his return. He was primed to get a title shot against Sheamus before leaving, so he and Del Rio might compete for the same spot.

Johnny Ace in the ring for his final address. He’s still talking trash like he runs the place. Earlier he was ordering around Big Show and Otunga like nothing happened too. A heel to the bitter end (and until he comes back). He announces his teammates for his match again Cena, with Otunga staying loyal too while Big Show having had enough of the whole act. It never made sense that Big Show was so loyal to Johnny after signing his contract, since he couldn’t get fired anyway. Looks like someone finally told Show that because he just said that after last night he proved that he can beat Cena one on one, and that he’s moving on to bigger things (title shot?). He exits and Cena now comes in to face David Otunga and an injured John Laurinaitis. What a main event huh? The crowd screams for Zack Ryder and I can’t believe they he didn’t make an appearance in his home town of Long Island.

So long Johnny

Anyway Otunga gets the upper hand for a minute and tags in Laurinaitis (who wasn’t really hurt) to get the pin, but when Johnny goes back to tag Otunga, David turns his back on him (face turn?) and Cena send Laurinaitis off with three Attitude Adjustments and an STU to end the show. Basically nothing happened for the entire two hour Raw. Once again, good luck moving up to three hours. I am curious who Cena will feud with now that Johnny is gone and Big Show doesn’t care about him any more. Perhaps we just found someone for Jericho? I hope not but maybe we’ll find out next week.

Johnny Ace Fired, Triple H Speaks at No Way Out

Smackdown sure did add a little spice to No Way Out didn’t it? We already knew if Big Show lost that Vince McMahon would fire John Laurinaitis. But now Johnny Ace plans to fire John Cena if he loses because Cena punched Laurinaitis (and looked like he hurt his hand in the process). I thought Show would win from the beginning and I’ll stick to my guns. John Cena is due for some time off anyway. Let’s see how right I am and watch some No Way Out, in real-time!

Ziggler/Sheamus got an abbreviated version of Ziggler’s short feud with CM Punk, with the Show Off getting a cheap win over Sheamus on Smackdown to provide the smallest glimmer of a chance that he can actually pull of the upset. It should be kept in mind that Ziggler was the WWE’s fourth choice to face Sheamus, after Jericho and Orton got suspended and Del Rio got injured, so a little repetitiveness can be excused here. Of course this all but guarantees the Sheamus will retain the title, but at least Ziggler got some more much deserved time in the spotlight.

Insert “White” move name here

These two opened up the show with about as strong of a match as you could have asked for. If you thought for even a second that Ziggler would win then you havent been watching very long. Ziggler stepped up his game for the PPV and really had the crowd popping for him by the end. Sheamus was solid as well, but it wasn’t far enough removed from the matches they had just a couple weeks ago. Good match, but not much better than the one I saw twice before. It took a long time for Ziggler to get back to this level after he lost to Punk, and I just hope he doesn’t get pushed back quite as far this time. Sheamus is Sheamus. We’ll see who’s healthy or not suspended for Money in the Bank next month. Anybody know what’s up with Wade Barrett?

Tuxedo match time. I still don’t get why Santino needs to carry the US Championship if all he is going to do is get into feuds with ring announcers and managers. Give the belt to someone who needs it. As for the match, as much as I enjoy a Finkel throwback, this doesn’t need to be part of a PPV in 2012. The crowd seems to agree. They milked it for wait too long, and watching two guys take each others clothes off just isn’t doing it for me.

The second real match of the night was Cody Rhodes vs Christian for the Intercontinental title. Christian really plays the crowd too much. He tries so hard to get a pop and it just isn’t coming. If you have to ask the crowd to clap with you all the time it isn’t going to happen. He acts (and looks) like an aging rock star trying to get the crowd to remember him. I’m not a big fan of either guy here, but they sure can work a match. There was enough here to keep me entertained, but not enough that I’ll remember any of it in the morning. Two missed disaster kicks lead into a spear and Christian retains. I still find it interesting that Christian uses Edges spear (including taunt) to finish matches. I wonder when someone will try a stunner in a match. So now both men are somewhat left with no clear path in front of them. No one immediately comes to mind to challenge Christian next. If they want to keep Ziggler moving forward giving him a shot at the Intercontinental title (and more importantly, a win) would work well. I’m just about done with Rhodes though. If they can’t find room for Miz, I don’t see how he fits in either.

With some time to kill before Triple H comes out, WWE decided to prove that they actually do have a tag team division by having a Fatal Four way tag match to determine the number one contender. The participants are Epico and primo, Kidd and Gabriel, Prime Time Players, and the Usos. Right now I’m worried that the intros will be longer than the match. Usos easily have the best repertoire of moves to work with, but regardless the crowd is absolutely dead. The stupid tuxedo match got more pop than this. No heels, no faces, just eight people nobody cares about. Tag team matches are supposed to be super uptempo exhibitions. This is moving at the same pace as a Divas match, only with more people outside the ring. At least some of the Divas are pretty. The Prime Time Players get the pin over Epic or Primo (I never looked into who was who) with the help of A&W root beer management or something. Titus and Young are the new big heel tag team I guess. Boring match with not nearly enough spots considering how many people were involved. They sure did milk their victory though.

WORDS!!!!!

Triple H makes his not so long awaited return to talk about who else but Brock Lesnar. He’s pissed about being sued, he doesn’t like Lesnar, so guess what he wants to do? He wants to fight him, and he wants to do it at Summerslam. So that pretty much means it’ll be Triple H vs Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. Can we even talk about Money in the Bank for five minutes before looking ahead to August? MITB was the PPV that started the whole Punk revolution. You’d think it would be treated as more than a stop on the way to Summerslam. I think the saddest thing out of all of this is that this announcement could be the biggest thing to come out of this PPV. The matches aren’t exactly breaking any ground.

On to the Divas match. So they had the tag match to cool the crowd off Christian Rhodes, which was followed by Triple H talking for 10 minutes. Now were getting a Divas match? Not much of a middle card here. We haven’t even gotten to Ryback yet. So the big moment of the match was Layla stealing Beth’s headband and dancing around the ring, because the Divas matches were being taken way too seriously. Layla actually controlled most of the match and pulled off the win. Another loss for Beth Phoenix who’s taking a step back lately. Layla on the other hand is really getting a push. It sets up nicely for Mable Kharma if she ever comes back.

Sin Cara vs Hunico in another match we’ve seen twice already. Hunico is actually showing some of his move set here. Good to see Sin Cara get smacked around a little. Sin Cara won anyway though, on some moves that don’t look nearly as impactful. It’s weird that he’s getting this kind of push again. It’s also weird that he needs his own lighting for his matches. So far we’ve only seen one match that we haven’t seen already in the last month, and that was only because we don’t care about anyone that was in the tag match.

Turning the creepy factor to 11

Finally time for the triple threat match. AJ had been visiting Punk, Kane and Bryan throughout the night, so it has to turn into something here. Of course Kane was a bit more creepy and forceful with her, which opens things up to have him be more involved in the finish one way or the other. They were trying their best to make up for the last hour or so of the show. Each man is hitting a big move one after the other. The pacing of triple threat matches always seem off for me . The action is good here, but anytime someone takes a bump they are out of it for five minutes. The highlight midway through was a Daniel Bryan double dropkick, closely followed by Kane and Punk combining to performing the Road Warriors finisher, the Doomsday Device. Bryan, who had been gaining momentum and had full control of the crowd at one point, got caught in a GTS but Kane pulled him out so that Punk couldn’t pin him. With Bryan knocked out it turned into Kane vs Punk one on one, and after all the hoopla about AJ, she finally comes to the apron only to be immediately knocked off by Kane going into the rope. Kane was briefly distracted with concern for the psycho, just long enough for Punk to deliver a GTS on him as well, securing the win and retaining the title. Still concerned with Cray-J, Kane carried her off as she gave the ol’ crazy eye to Punk. Looks like Kane just got got! Bryan again found a way to lose without really losing, and Kane now has a legit reason to beef with Punk. I’m not shocked Punk won, but it seemed as good a time as any for him to lose it to Bryan. I’ll never complain about someone keeping the belt for two long though.

Ryback match to kill the crowd. 2 local twigs, rinse and repeat. There is nothing to say anymore. He does have new tights with all of his catch phrases.

Big Show vs John Cena in the steel cage close it out of course. Cena has both of his hands taped. I’m guessing he really did hurt his hand on Lautinaitis’ face, and taped both to make it seem like it’s not to cover an injury. Sure enough, Cena opens up trying to slug it out, making use of the taped knuckles. No effect though as Show just tosses him around. Early on this is very similar to the Cena/Lesnar match. Show is completely dominating but he’s out to injure and not to win. Essentially we’ll be one Super-Cena move from having Johnny Ace fired. Big Show teased a choke slam off the top rope which could have been the move of the year if he actually did it. Instead he ends up going for a flying elbow off the actual top rope (Undertaker style) but missed. Plenty of height though. Shades of a young Paul White. Cena keeps going for pin. I can’t stand how these matches can end via pin fall now. What’s the point of having it in a cage then? Soon enough McMahon and Laurinaitis both started to get involved, and Vince inadvertently slammed the cage door in Cena’s face. A WMD to the ref, a choke slam to Cena, and suddenly Show is the only man standing in the cage. Show makes the move to get out, but Brodus Clay leads all the faces that he beat up this month to come out to keep Show from escaping (talk about No Way Out!). Kofi Kingston finally delivers the blow to take him down and we’re back to even again. Cena gets Show to walk into an Attitude Adjustment to knocks him out but still no ref. Now it’s a race to get out of the ring with Big Show headed for the door while Cena goes over the top (sure are a lot of ways out!). With some help from the faces, Cena gets over the top first to take the win. Overall a better than I anticipated to be honest. The show ends with Vince belting out a big fat “YOU’RE FIRED” followed immediately by Cena hitting an AA though the Spanish announce table to wrap things up. Pretty much what everyone wants to happen to Michael Cole.

Overall it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. Nothing really happened outside of the main event. No titles changed hands (all held by faces btw) and not many storylines went anywhere knew. All we really did was bridge the gap between now and MITB. Triple H announcing the match at Summerslam we already knew about should not stand out so much on a PPV.

We are left with a couple of questions moving forward. Who will be the new GM? Is Big Show leaving for a while? Will Vince McMahon be staying at all? Hopefully some of this will reveal itself Monday night.

Oh yeah, Brodus Clay did Brodus Clay stuff to David Otunga on YouTube.

Vince McMahon Knocked Out on 3-Hour Raw Supershow

Like it or not, the start of three hour Raw’s is here. The hope is that an extra hour of Raw means more matches. To pump up the excitement we’ve been promised the return of Vince McMahon to give a live job performance review to John Laurinaitis. Better get your strut on now because here we go!

Johnny Ace leads off, but Vince interrupts and wastes little time saying he has plans on firing John. Among the Laurinaitis bashing, McMahon reveals that Johnny hired the wrong one-legged wrestler (“true story”), and that Big Show hasn’t been effective in the ring since 1999 (burn!) These two haven’t been able to get a single line out without flubbing. Maybe the extra hour will just be spent stuttering.

Sheamus comes out to get a cheap pop off McMahon’s heels and suggest Johnny get fired, so now Laurinaitis says he’ll find someone in the back that will make him pay for his remarks. Vince says that this match, and all the other matches tonight, better be impressive or Johnny is fired. (guess, Big Show takes out Vince)

So who does Johnny choose to face Sheamus? Resident surprise heel Lord Tensai of course. I love that pushing his mentor or whatever aside is becoming part of his entrance. Unfortunately that’s all I like about him right now. Tensai just looks slow tonight. Not on at all to me. We can also now effectively declare his push dead. Sheamus kicked out of his finisher (second time in two weeks that’s happened), and hit a brogue kick for the win. The crowd just can’t commit to Prince Albert as Lord Tensai. WWE has slowly let the Japanese warrior gimmick go. His headpiece is gone, he speaks perfect english (at least in ring), and now after the match he beat up his worshiper (just cuz). He even looked sloppy doing that.

More active than Del Rio

McMahon calls the match strike one because Johnny’s guy didn’t win. I thought the idea was to have impressive matches. Either way Johnny loses. Later on the show we’ll see Christian, Khali, Ziggler and Swagger in a fatal four way match to determine Sheamus’ opponent at No Way Out. This is all because Alberto “can’t stay in the ring” Del Rio suffered a concussion (said to be from last week’s match with Khali, I believe it to be from a house show), and can’t compete at No Way Out. It’s pretty sad when your ring announcer gets more time in the ring than you do. He’s a guy the WWE needs so badly to  be performing right now, and it’s just another blow to a potentially successful career. The clock is ticking on him if you ask me.

Jerry Lawler just put Raw going to 1000th episodes to shows like Seinfeld and Gunsmoke. Do they really think people put Raw on this stage? It’s a totally different type of program. 26 episodes per season for a regular sitcom. Raw and Smackdown have a new episode every week. It’s like saying the Pittsburgh Pirates are better than the Pittsburgh Steelers because they have more wins in their history. It’s technically true but since one plays 162 games and the other plays 16, it’s not really fair to compare.

Big Show still beefing with Kofi/Truth I guess. Truth just got got mid interview with a WMD from Show backstage. Kofi now wants a piece of show, and Laurinaitis responds by putting them in a steel cage match. Blerg. Also, Santino and Layla just lost to Ricardo (yeah, I know) and Beth Phoenix. The highlight of the match was Santino pulling off Ricardo’s dress shirt (he comes to the ring in his tuxedo) to reveal a Justin Bieber shirt. At least the Divas were involved in a match this week.

Daniel Bryan out to cut a promo. Says he’s the only one that won’t be distracted by AJ. Says Punk is just going after AJ to make him jealous and Kane is an idiot or whatever typical heel stuff we always here. I will give him points for the line, “Once you go Bryan, there’s no point in tryin.” That’s has t-shirt written all over it. Punk interrupts to say he’s going win, which of course means Kane will come out soon as well. To me he’s like the little brother nobody wanted to play with them, but he has to get involved or you’ll get in trouble. He just has no place in this feud and it’s even more obvious in the promos.

Cray-J to the rescue! Still in her CM Punk gear, she says Kane has a heart after looking in his eyes, that she’ll never get over her first love Daniel Bryan, and that CM Punk is just the coolest guy on the planet (no really, that was exactly what she said). She then said she is sure the “best man” will win, which basically means she’s gonna be all up on whoever wins on Sunday. Johnny Ace gets on the big screen as a fifth member of this overstuffed beef fest, and puts Bryan and Kane together in a tag match against Punk and AJ. Not sure if going to three hours every week was a good idea right now.

Fatal Four Way elimination time. So we know Khali isn’t winning. Christian already has a match booked. Jack Swagger has had no push whatsoever. This is all set up for a Dolph Ziggler title shot and I couldn’t be happier. Of course Khali is taken out in a matter of minutes. He just can’t move. Andre the Giant wasn’t mobile, but there wasn’t anyone to match his size so it was impressive just seeing someone that big. Now there is Kane, Undertaker, Big Show, all gigantic guys that can move. Khali just isn’t entertaining. Can’t take bumps, has no variety of moves. All he does is get booked in high stakes elimination style matches and get taken out first. He needs to go.

I’ve beaten you twice, fella!

Ziggler and Swagger working as a team on Khali first and then Christian. Curious to see if Christian eliminates Swagger, or if Christian gets knocked out to really drive a stake through the Ziggler/Swagger partnership. Dolph has been talking about taking the next step in a solo career for weeks now, and Swagger is the last thing holding him back. Well I got my wish but not how I thought it would happen as Ziggler snuck in to pin Swagger. Nice twist. Christian and Ziggler put together a nice finish to end a strong match. Big moves on both sides and much to my satisfaction Ziggler won with a zig-zag off a missed frog splash. Ziggler yells “It’s about damn time!” and I agree. The only problem is that Sheamus had already beaten Ziggler twice last week alone. They’re going to have a hard time convincing anyway that there is even a chance Ziggler pulls off an upset.

Backstage the Funkadactyles (is that what they’re called) convinced Vince to reverse the ban Laurinaitis had on Brodus Clay. I didn’t even realize he was banned in the first place. A dance session and a Zack Ryder appearance later and we’re only half way through this three hour Raw. I wonder if the fans in the arena are as exhausted as I am.

Oh god it’s Ryback. The only thing good about his matches are that they showcase local products they we’d never see otherwise. By now you know what to expect. Ridiculous quotes from this match include; “I hit hard,” and “finish him,” and “feed me three!” Really? Sometimes I think he knows he’s a joke. At some point he has to take on someone that weighs more than 120 pounds right? Even Brodus Clay got into a real feud eventually.

By the way David Otunga will be opening No Way Out on YouTube by getting smacked around by Brodus Clay.

Kofi versus Show in a steel cage is pretty damn boring. Show just tossed Kofi around and yelled at the crowd. Essentially it was a promo with glimpses of a match in the middle. Body slam followed by “Smile for me.” Throw against the cage followed by “Are you entertained?” WMD followed by “No one can stop me.” Kofi put on maybe three offensive moves before Big Show finally just walked out of the ring with no suspense. I don’t think this one will be on the next Steel Cage DVD, but it was at least better than any promo Randy Orton ever cut. Also Sin Cara came out and did more Sin Cara-ey stuff against Kurt Hawkins. Are armdrags really supposed to do that much damage? It’s fun to watch but so is watching cat videos on YouTube.

Hey remember Heath Slater? Well he’s on Raw for the first time in a while and OH MY GOSH IT’S VADER TIME! I wasn’t even sure Vader was still alive but here he is to get put over by Heath Slater. Poor Heath. He isn’t even the best red headed superstar. He’s a hell of a lot flabbier, but he sure can still get the crowd going. Perhaps with the extra time on the shows and the upcoming 1000th episode we’ll see a lot more WWE alumni for a while. After all the current talent keeps getting hurt or suspended, they might not have a choice.

Kane, chick magnet

Main event time. Before coming out AJ delivers a kiss of death on Punk’s cheek. I really can’t figure out who is going to win at No Way Out. Punk has carried the belt really well and there is no reason to believe they’ll drop him down a step. However Bryan needs a win pretty bad to keep his superheel status going. The one thing I’m pretty sure about though is that Kane has no chance whatsoever of winning. Anyway on to the match. Blah blah blah AJ gets accidentally tagged in against Kane and wouldn’t you know it, she skips around Kane and then makes out with him for a good 15 seconds, and Kane just leaves to hide his “excitement” or something. So now it’s Bryan alone against Punk who beats a distracted Daniel on an elbow from the top rope (it has to finish people occasionally) and AJ goes back to being all about Punk (no making out though). I’m not fairly convinced that Bryan, the only person not getting the Cray-J eyes, will win on Sunday. Kane and Punk are completely confused and it wouldn’t shock me if Bryan wins the belt and AJ back in one ridiculous swoop.

Plot device main event time! Vince in the ring with a team of security guards. Laurinaitis really needs to learn how to use crutches. He’s just walking normally. I can’t get over it. Johnny takes one last stab at begging for his job but it’s obviously not going to change Vince’s mind, but just as he was about to deliver the final blow, big surprise, Big Show interrupts the proceedings to reiterate that he has an iron clad contract and that it was all of McMahon’s decisions on how to treat Big Show that drove him to what he is now. Show then turns it into another promo against Cena, to which Cena of course has to come out and reply in his stupid Cena way. Vince jumps in and says that if Big Show loses, Johnny really is fired (convenient) which starts a little melee between the four parties involved, and ends with Show landing a WMD on Vince McMahon. So now Johnny’s freaking out, Cena looks like someone ran over his dog, and Show looks like he ate a big mac too fast. I’m going to say there is a 5% chance Cena actually wins this match, and I think it’s 50/50 right now that Vince McMahon is the one that makes him lose.

Right now my excitement level for No Way Out is set to curious. I can’t say for sure it’ll be a good PPV, but I do think it will set the stage for the next few months, where Over the Limit ended up having more short term effects.

Cole Gets Cena Over and AJ Digs Kane on Raw

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?

Feud Building 101

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).

I love you too

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.

Big Show/Cena, Punk/Bryan 2 Announced on Raw

Well it’s the day after another PPV which means it’s time for all of the storylines and matches to take shape. Since I was home to actually watch Raw as it happened, I figured I would take the opportunity to write this week’s recap along with the actual show. Let’s see how it goes.

Cena opened up to recap the PPV as usual. No hat throwing, or saluting the crowd. All business. Obviously he’s pissed about losing last night. Even more obviously, he wants to know why Big Show double-crossed him, but has to do it in a John Cena way. He also made a point to explain why he embarrassed Johnny instead of just beating him, and that he’d do it again if he could because that’s what he deserved. Sour grapes bro.

To keep these feuds moving Cena now has a bigger problem with Show than Johnny. He’s acting like he’s really angry with the whole thing, and it’s extra weird to hear Cena bitch and moan like it’s real. Cue John Laurinaitis, who comes out in a rascal and crutch because he’s all injured and junk. He states that now that he isn’t in any matches, if anyone touches him that person will be terminated.

“Insert movie quote here”

As expected, Johnny’s first act was to announce that the Big Show was rehired, and that he will face Cena at No Way Out confirmed. Heel turn, engaged. Show comes out to explain himself and basically says he did it because he didn’t get any sympathy from anyone. Ummm okay. All the fake WWE twitters were talking about it and Cena said he’d be hired back by whoever the next GM was (including the mystery GM). Not exactly the best reason for a heel turn but whatever. Now he’s mad at Cena for judging him or something and asking why he sold out. Off night for WWE creative.

This was followed by David Otunga coming out for a match against Cena. He dedicated the match to Laurinaitis and then got smacked around in about two minutes. Cena won with an STF and held on to send a message to Johnny. This got Curt Hawkins, Tyler Rex, Darren Young and Titus O’neill out to attack Cena. Looks like they are making up the brute squad for Johnny Ace (I guess Big Show is playing Andre the Giant’s part). Sheamus comes out to help Cena. He bumped Johnny on the way in, but I guess that isn’t enough to get fired.

To stick it to them for whatever it is they did wrong, Johnny is putting Cena and Sheamus in a 2 on 3 handicap lumberjack match. I’m not even sure what that means.

Santino strikes Ricardo Rodriguez so he can introduce Alberto Del Rio instead. Five minutes of slapstick later Del Rio comes out for his match against Randy Orton. But first, another commercial. So they came back from break to introduce Alberto Del Rio. Then they announced that the 1000th episode July 23rd, and it would be the beginning of regular 3 hour Raws. Yikes! How long will it take Del Rio to come out then?

Announcers tell us the winner of Orton/Del Rio would have to be the two front-runners for another title shot, and since they are fed all the info, we know it to be true.

I doubt I’m te first to say it, but Orton kinda has his own five moves of doom thing going with the 2 clotheslines into body slam, followed by the 2nd rope DDT and finally the RKO.

Well I guess I was wrong about Jericho being gone. He came out to give Orton 3 codebreakers and go on a rant about being the best in the world (considering he’s 0 for 5 in PPV’s that doesn’t hold much water but whatever). Looks like these two will get together at No Way Out. I’m just curious if that means we’ll see more of Jericho on SmackDown. I did not see that coming. By the way, what is it with Jericho’s outside the ring attire? Whenever he interferes in a match he’s wearing leather pants and no shirt. If he planned far enough ahead to take his shirt off, why not just come out in regular gear? If we expect it to be impromptu, then how about Jericho just leaves his shirt on to he doesn’t look like an exotic dancer? Am I asking too much of pro wrestling for the men to not look like strippers? I am? Well then let’s move on.

Daniel Bryan shows up to call out CM Punk about the finish to their match last night. Doesn’t exactly care that he was pinned 1-2-3. Only that Punk tapped after. Classic heel argument. I don’t know what is up with this Raw crowd, but they were booing Jericho and now they are booing Bryan.

YES?

Punk comes out, shows how Bryan hit Kane on SmackDown last week to set up Punk for a Kane beat down. Then he introduces Kane as Bryan’s opponent. Heel vs heel? Can’t wait!   After about 10 seconds and the tease of Punk commentary, Punk sets up Bryan to look like he was going to hit Kane with a chair again, and Kane goes medieval on Bryan. Not exactly a match, but pretty good stuff. Punk threw an anaconda vice on Bryan and got him to tap out. Message sent. We’re definitely having a submission match at No Way Out. This is gonna be awesome.

Backstage Punk ran into more crazy AJ nonsense after the break. It’s kind of like watching an improve class. She shows as many emotions as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. Punk said he “sorta digs crazy chicks.” The Punk/Bryan rematch could be getting all the story they lacked the first time around and then some.

New Intercontinental Champion Christian came out next to face Jinder Mahal. Would we finally get our first real match of the night? Turns out we will! Average match. The only stand out is Christian following up the kill switch with a frog splash off the top rope for the win. The kill switch could be out as a finisher.

Beth Phoenix beat the tar out of Kelly Kelly. There is so much spray tan smeared on the mat right now.

Time for that previously announced 2 on 3 lumberjack tag match. Turns out Cena and Sheamus will take on Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and Lord Tensalbert. Of course all the lumberjacks are heels too. The most interesting thing to me is that there is no sign of the Miz. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria!

Tensai seems to have a big gash in the middle of his face. Orton had something similar during his match. Too weird a spot to have been blading (which is barely done anyway). Something weird going on. Of course the whole thing ends with the entire lumberjack crew going in the ring (no bell? somehow this is legal). All the faces (including Punk which is pretty interesting) came out to help out Cena and Sheamus. It’s not exactly the invasion angle, but we do have the makings of half the roster going against the other half on a regular basis. Cena went off to find Big Show who sucker punched Cena with the WMD to end the show. A lot of story lines were thrown out there at once tonight. We’ll see how much of it sticks. Overall not a bad show considering that it only had two matches have a real beginning and end. That’s one per hour if you aren’t a math major.

Over the Limit: Everything I Love and Hate about Wrestling

I originally was not planning on watching WWE: Over the Limit last night. I was driving home from Toronto and figured that I could catch the highlights online somewhere. This, after I pleaded that everyone bought the PPV so Punk and Bryan didn’t get blamed for poor numbers. Anyway so a couple of hours into the 9 hour drive home the wife, who hates wrastlin; gets a craving for buffalo wings. Since we didn’t want to go too far out of our way she looked up some places on her phone and found a Buffalo Wild Wings just off the highway in Rochester. So we go in and to my surprise what do we see? CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship! Needless to say I was thrilled. Even more needless to say, the wife was not.

So with no further adieu, let’s talk about the last hour of over the limit.

Punk/Bryan was the match the WWE seemed to never want to admit the fans wanted. I can’t remember a WWE title match with two peaking superstars be undersold so much on a card. Bryan won the title shot by beating Jerry Lawler, Punk came out to applaud him, and that was pretty much it. They interacted with each other the last couple weeks but there was no war of words. No storyline whatsoever aside from Punk getting injured by Kane on Friday’s SmackDown partially due to Bryan. Essentially they announced Punk/Bryan a month ago and said “See ya on May 20th.”

Thankfully both men proved their worth and completely delivered, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. With the exception of the random shoot I can’t stand most of the segments and promo’s that aired today. I watch wrestling to see wrestling. Not beefed up guys that can’t act. When I want that I watch The Expendables. This was all about two best  performers going one-on-one for the title and they put on a chain grappling clinic. There were ooh’s and ahh’s throughout the match with plenty of fast moving momentum swinging moments. The main thing that I look for when giving an opinion of a match is whether I can predict the finish. I had a feeling Punk would win, but there were a number of times I thought Bryan would surprise me. They had me guessing the whole way, and the best part was that it was kept in the ring, with no interference. Just old school wrestling at it’s best.

So good

The finish was also great and holds up with the theme that had been built between the two over the last number of months. Two extraordinary performers with similar backgrounds, can’t really get an edge on each other. After numerous submission attempts, Bryan finally applied the Yes! Lock on Punk, and Punk countered by rolling over Bryan while still in the hold, getting the pin just before tapping out. A clean finish that leaves just enough doubt to give Bryan reason to get a rematch and keep his momentum. Submission rematch at No Way Out perhaps?

As good as Punk/Bryan was, Cena/Laurinaitis was just a train wreck. This had been hyped to no end for the last couple weeks, and through all the talking it was revealed that if Johnny lost he would be fired. So right away you knew he wasn’t losing. Then after the whole Big Show firing segment last week, everybody seemed to know how it was going to happen too. After all the delaying and video packages and talking, the match itself was a joke. Cena toyed with Johnny Ace the whole time, performing maybe 3 actual wrestling maneuvers. It actually reminded me a lot of the old Bobby Heenan weasel costume matches. Those were never the headline of a PPV though.

If you didn’t see this coming you’re stupid

Cena was in all his glory. Going on the microphone, playing to the crowd. He did everything but actually hurt Laurinaitis. Dumping garbage on his head? Scaring him with a fire extinguisher? What a joke. After what seemed like forever, here comes Big Show, who of course sold out to save his job, hit Cena with the WMD, and gave Johnny Ace the win. Show walks off, end credits, just awful. This is the kind of thing that got me to stop watching wrestling all those years ago. Story and flash over wrestling and substance. Occasionally the WWE showed a willingness (sometimes against common sense) to change their plans when the rest of the world knew what they were doing. Not the case here though. Nothing shocking, nothing entertaining, just a waste of time. I’ll assume Cena gets into a feud with Big Show leading to a match at No Way Out. I also assume I won’t care about it.

I haven’t watched the rest of it yet, but it sounds to me like the rest of the show was mostly straightforward. Layla retained her Diva’s Championship, as did Kofi and Truth with the tag titles (and we know how much I love titles being retained). Brodus Clay and Ryback did what they also do against Miz and Camacho. Kane did more Kane stuff to Zack Ryder on Ryder’s home turf (YouTube). Does this mean he needs to relinquish his made up internet championship belt? No, it doesn’t.

Sheamus held on to the Heavyweight Championship against Orton, Jericho and Del Rio. I hear that it was an exciting match and it also seems that this could be the last we see of Jericho for a spell as he goes on tour with Fozzy. The other two could both continue to compete for the Sheamus as they have nowhere else to go at the moment. Either could take on Sheamus at No Way Out, but we could also get a triple threat match as well.

So this was a surprise

The other news worthy moment from the show had Christian winning a 20-man battle royal to claim an intercontinental title shot, then pulling it off with a win over Cody Rhodes. The most interesting part of the whole thing was that he did it as a face. He was a good heel on a program that needs them, but it looks like he’ll get a run as a face while likely getting a rematch with Rhodes next month.

That’s it for now. I’ll have more on Raw tonight.

Unless the wife says no of course.

Big Show Fired, Triple H Sued in Front Office Raw

Tonight’s Raw spent roughly half of the show featuring people wearing suits. These well dressed executives however are also prone to putting their hands on your face.

Just look at those cheeks!

Triple H started the show by spending about 10 minutes recapping the last month of WWE action. WrestleMania happened. Cena beat Lesnar. Lesnar quit. Oh what an exciting month it has been! Finally Lesnar’s music hit and Paul Heyman came out. I can’t say enough how much I love that man. Heyman served Triple H with a lawsuit and started trash talking the COO, who responded the way any executive would. He grabbed Heyman’s face and squished his cheeks together, threatened to hit him but instead let go and left the ring. Point, Triple H right?

WRONG! Now Heyman is saying he plans to sue Triple H for assault and battery. Looks like we could be seeing more of Heyman after all. It makes sense to have Heyman be an extension of Brock Lesnar. That way Lesnar can stay fresh in everyones minds without actually making an appearance. I’m really just happy for the potential (although not realistic) chance at getting more of this:

The other suited figure of course is John Laurinaitis. Johnny took offense to the Big Show making fun of his voice last week (you know, because he’s the first), and he made it his personal mission to make sure Show paid for it. Even already made him apologize once for his job, which he did. Now it was Johnny’s turn. First he made Show turn on the waterworks and eventually get on his knees and beg for his job while apologizing to the GM. That of course was not enough for the power trippy Johnny Ace and Big Show got fired anyway. This was the key segment of the show and there is a very good possible reason why.

The big finish, like all finishes now when Cena is involved, turned into a big talking session between Cena and his opponent, John Laurinaitis. Johnny talked up how he can make all the changes he wanted and put the match in his favor, until everyone’s favorite hoeski, Eve, delivered a message from the board of directors. It reads that the match will be a one-on-one match, with no added stipulations, no special guest referees, and if Laurinaitis loses he will be terminated. There is one last addition to the message. If any WWE superstar interferes in the match, he or she will be fired. Isn’t it interesting that this news comes out right after the Big Show was fired? Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Who called the whaambulance?

So here’s the rumor. The now fired Big Show will come back at Over the Limit and help Laurinaitis (legal since he isn’t a WWE employee) defeat Cena, to which Johnny will return the favor by giving Big Show his job back as Laurinaitis’ personal body guard. This makes Big Show a reluctant heel and gives Cena an excuse to lose to Johnny Ace. With that in mind I also have a weird feeling that Daniel Bryan will take the WWE Championship from CM Punk. WWE loves throwing people off who better to unseat Punk (even if it’s only for a short time) than the white hot Bryan. Could this be where the AJ storyline finally comes back into play? I guess we’ll find out Sunday.

Nothing else really happened for the rest of the show. Beth Phoenix is back and will probably win the Diva’s Championship back from Layla. Ziggler and Swagger get a tag team title shot against R-Truth and Kofi Kingston, and Kane will get the YouTube treatment as he’ll open up Over the Limit against his good buddy Zach Ryder. Let’s see if it lasts more than 30 seconds.

I honestly think we could have an all heel PPV this time around. I think we’re due and it would be a nice change of pace considering how faces seem to keep winning lately. Eventually it has to turn just to keep it interesting (I do think Sheamus retains his title though). Unfortunately I won’t be able to watch this one live as I’ll be on my way home from Toronto and I don’t think the rental car will even get basic TV so we can forget about PPV. Let me know what you think of it and I’ll be back with a Raw wrap-up Monday night.

 

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.