So I guess we don’t have to worry about who Randy Orton will face at No Way Out anymore.
Just days after his supposed opponent, Chris Jericho, was suspended for desecrating the Brazilian flag, now Randy Orton has been suspended by the WWE for 60 days due to violating the company’s Talent Wellness Program (probably steroids).
This is a big blow to both Orton and the WWE. Orton has seen his stock fall considerably over the last few years, going from superstar 1-A facing John Cena in seemingly every main event, to being forced into a feud with Kane as part of a mid-card at WrestleMania 29. It seemed as though Orton was getting yet another chance to get back to the top of the mountain. He was part of a four-man title match at Over the Limit last month, and was getting set up for a feud with Chris Jericho who is as good at putting other people over as anyone could ask for. But Jericho’s suspension forced WWE to go in another direction, which likely would have been Dolph Ziggler. As much as I love Ziggler, he doesn’t have nearly the star power that Jericho does (more on that later) and is a harder sell for a big event. Now Orton’s second violation means he will be out of the picture for two months, which pretty much buries the coverboy for WWE’12. It’s been a rough year for the Viper.
The WWE is perhaps put in a tougher spot than Orton. As of now the only matches scheduled for No Way Out on June 17th are Cena vs. Big Show, Sheamus vs Del Rio, Christian vs Rhodes and Punk vs Bryan (with maybe Kane thrown in somehow). Orton vs Jericho was supposed to be a big part of the show, and now both men are suspended. Obviously they need someone to replace them. Like I said before, it was looking like Ziggler was going to replace Jericho to face Orton, and was being set up for a push after Raw this week. He’s the most talented heel among the mid-carders and is more than due to get a bump. Orton would have been a good starting point to get him on people’s minds again, but now that he’s gone who else is left? Zach Ryder? He was on YouTube opening the last PPV. Miz is a guy that could step up, but he is in the same place as Jack Swagger right now. A heel that no one cares about. If they really wanted to commit to Ziggler having him hand Brodus Clay his first loss would be a nice start. A Ziggler face turn could also be in the works, if for no other reason that to get him someone new to go against.
The one thing this hopefully does guarantee is that all (or at least most) of the titles will be defended at No Way Out. The main two are always in the mix, but when was the last time Santino defended his US Championship? How about Truth and Kofi defend the tag titles? With the WWE currently being as shallow as it’s ever been, it would be good to add some importance to the non heavyweight belts. The more people they have competing for something the better.
Obviously Smackdown won’t have anything to add since it already happened. But I’m sure we’ll see something new start brewing Monday night on Raw with only two weeks until No Way Out. Have any thoughts on what could happen? Sound off in the comment section below.
Fresh off a day of hot dogs and beer and thanking the truth, let’s run through this week’s Raw like all the food will run through me later. Like last week, the Raw recap will be written as I watch it.
After a ridiculously lengthy recap of the last two weeks (longer than mine anyway), Big Show opened Raw to further explain the last two weeks of Raw, which he had already done on both last week’s Raw and Smackdown. Why do suits have to be associated to being bad? I think Triple H is the only guy I can remember being a face while suited up. Show again talked about how he has an iron clad contract which means he can do whatever he wants. Apparently all the smiling was an act. He then mentioned how it means he doesn’t have to do any more of those gimmick matches with boxers and sumo wrestlers anymore (light at the end of the tunnel). Turns out he’s further pissed that right after his big crying episode Brodus Clay came out and danced and everyone had a good time, including his buddies R-Truth and Kofi Kingston. But that is nothing compared to John Cena not demanding Show get rehired on the spot. I swear this feud is so forced is could be arrested for assault. By the way, since No Way Out is on Father’s Day, how come no one has predicted that they will make his opponent his daddy? I feel like a major opportunity is being missed here.
The first match of the night had Santino face Alberto Del Rio. Santino had been getting into squash matches with Ricardo Rodriguez all last week (just wastes of time) so it’s about time Del Rio comes in to stand up for his boy. I’m not sure if this is racist or anything, but shouldn’t Santino not be able to hold the US Championship? How about the Intercontinental belt? Anyway in the time that it took to type this Del Rio blocked the cobra and hit the cross arm-braker for the quick win. Now it’s Ricardo’s turn to get over on Santino by saying Del Rio’s name over and over. At least they didn’t waste time.
Backstage, Alex Riley apparently hasn’t learned a damn thing from Zack Ryder and has the hots for Eve. Show appears and Eve gives him the news that he got pick his opponent for tonight. Odds are Truth (likely), Kofi (ditto), or Brodus Clay (don’t count on it). Show then said he was going to send a message to the rest of the locker room and threw Riley into a wall. Looks like Show is just going to be coming out whenever he wants and beating people up. As long as it doesn’t involve a lot of talking I’m cool.
Tag titles on the line with Truth and Kofi versus Ziggler and Swagger. They are now going double on Kofi’s entrance. Whatevs. Even money says Big Show comes out and the belts change hands. There really can’t be a more overly happen pair than Kofi and Truth. It hurts me watching them smile so much. Not sure where they hide them at night in New Orleans, but it’s a very young sounding crowd tonight. They really got up for this one. An up tempo match ends with Truth pinning Swagger while Ziggler was out of the ring (no Big Show interference). Dolph Ziggler just made the realization that I’ve known for a long time. He’s better than this! Ziggler just up and left Swagger and Vicki Guerrero. Maybe he’ll finally get some time at the top like he deserves.
Backstage Big Show was about to lay the hurt on Santino but I’ll be damned Brodus Clay came to the rescue and talked Big Show into facing him tonight. I’m still not expecting it, but this could work into a solid match.
Johnny Ace in the house and it doesn’t look like he’s ever used a crutch in his life (much like Zack Ryder). You need a pick one leg to stand on buddy. Johnny announces that Big Show/Cena will be a steel cage match at No Way Out (which technically means there are two ways out). Laurinaitis then unveiled the cover a WWE’13 (coming out on October 30th as many of you may know) featuring himself on the cover. I must point out that there is a “We Want Regal” sign in the crowd. Punk now out to interfere (they are still feuding as well, remember?) Guess what? Johnny is not on the cover. Punk is. I know I’m breaking big news here. So we just had a pretty long commercial for a game we won’t see for another five months. I know it’s been said a million times but it really is impressive how Punk’s career has taken off in less than a year. To be on the cover a video game is a little more elite than getting magazine covers or posters. He really is big time now.
Punk versus Bryan next because why make us wait until No Way Out? This is the biggest change in wrestling since I was a kid. Wrestling TV shows used to only have one real match per hour. The rest were all squash matches to make the stars look good with promos in the middle. Now you get main events playing out two weeks early? Hogan and Bundy would barely be in the same building before meeting at a main event. Takes the steam out of these match ups a bit if you ask me. Remember Sin Cara? Well he’ll be back on Smackdown this week. Not sure what version of him it’ll be or whatever, but he’ll be back. Moving on. The replay of Bryan beating the snot out of Kane with a chair last week reminds me that Kane seems to be headed toward turning face. If true then that whole embrace the hate thing ended quick didn’t it?
With all the complaining I just did about spoiling us with too many high profile matches, it’s still such a treat watching the best two wrestlers in the company compete against each other on a regular basis. They are going at about 75% and it’s still better than what most people put out there. It could have something to do with the entrances taking about 20 minutes, but the crowd is a little dead for this one. It could also be that New Orleans doesn’t know jack about wrestling. Punk just hit a springboard cross body to the outside of the ring and it barely got a reaction. Anyway while I was bitching AJ came out in a CM Punk shirt. I’ll use the inevitable commercial break to say that there is no way Cray-J isn’t going to factor in the match at Over the Limit. She can’t make one of them submit though so hopefully it won’t be too drastic. Bryan is doing serious work on Punk’s left arm. I’m sure the state of his arm will turn into the focal point of the match going in.
These guys are really putting in a lengthy match. Bryan went to remove the turnbuckle, which went unnoticed because AJ was arguing with the referee to point it out. Punk then yelled at AJ which gave Bryan the opportunity to used the exposed turnbuckle and get the win (follow all that? I’m not sure I did). Anyway here comes Kane to attack Bryan with a chair again. After taking him out it just barely sorta kinda looked like Kane might take out Punk too, so AJ threw Punk a chair and he slapped Kane a few times with the steel and cleared the ring. To wrap it up: Punk’s arm hurts, Kane has reason to go after both guys now, and AJ is a psycho who could go in any direction and not surprise me. Perfect situation for WWE creative.
Three quarters of the way through the show and we finally got a mention of Chris Jericho’s Brazil incident. That’s actually all that they said about it on the show. He was not there due to an “incident in Brazil.” Of course they said you can get all the details at WWE.com. Don’t due that though, I’ll tell you about it right now. The skinny is that on Thursday night in Brazil, Jericho, as his heel character, snatched a Brazilian flag from CM Punk and threw it away. Nothing too crazy on the surface, but it turns out he was breaking the law by desecrating the flag, and once the local police informed him he had the choice to either apologize immediately or go to jail. Of course he apologized, but after the night was over Jericho was suspended for 30 days, with the WWE claiming that it was not a scripted act. Jericho further apologized via twitter, and that’s about it. The immediate impact is that now Jericho won’t be facing Randy Orton at No Way Out. Since Kane always ends up getting thrown into a match with people at PPV’s when someone is needed, perhaps it will be him and Orton for a third straight time. Here is video of the whole incident:
Cody Rhodes on the mic for Christian versus Miz (remember the Miz? I don’t). Christian just did Edge’s taunt and attempted a spear. I guess we now know how long you have to wait before you can take a retired hall of fame wrestlers moves. I wonder who has the balls to start using the stunner again? Christian is really committing to the frog splash off the kill-switch as we wins an average match. Rhodes did nothing but complain. Backstage some Johnny Ace bitching turned into Otunga volunteering himself for a match against Sheamus because he thinks he’ll actually win. Also Teddy Long is wearing a maid outfit and Eve doesn’t know ice coffee is supposed to be cold.
After the break Miz grabbed a mic and went into his whole routine about how he should be getting championship matches. After all this time he’s finally bringing up the fact that he won the Team Johnny/Team Teddy match, which I figured would propel him in some way. Anyway Randy Orton just came out and RKO’d Miz to shut him up. I think this is the second time this has happened (first with Triple H). What a good soldier he is. More pushing from Ziggler backstage to leave the tag team and get big solo matches. He says he wants to be on the stage alone like Orton is. Sounds like we have our Over the Limit opponent for Randy Orton. If true it could be pretty good.
Whaaaaa? Punk is putting up the WWE Championship on the line against Kane on Smackdown? What the hell do you need to do get a title shot? Clay hasn’t lost but he is always in midcards. If wrestling was real he’d have gotten some kind of title shot by now. Of course it won’t amount to Kane winning the title, but just the idea of it puts a little more reality out the window. Sheamus makes quick work of Otunga of course. I get the feeling Big Show might be making and example of him in the near future.
Clay/Show will finish things up if Brodus ever finishes his intro. Big Show comes out and calls Brodus a sell out for embarrassing himself every week. Calls him Doink without the talent (BURN). Big Show spear takes out Clay (okay that was pretty cool). A few punches and kicks later Kofi/Truth comes out to help but Show takes them out too. Show then puts a twist on using the announce table by hitting Clay with the table instead of the other way around. Got no match but it was cool to see Brodus get beat up for a while. Show clearly getting built as an alpha dog leading up to No Way Out. Still not really interested though.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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: