Monday, June 25, 2012

WWE Raw Report

Date: 06/25/12 from Ft. Wayne, IN.

The Big News: John Cena made a historic announcement on Raw.

Show Analysis:

Backstage, AJ told Daniel Bryan she knows he has feelings for her but they need to drift apart, told Kane she loses inhibitions around him but he’s a monster rather than a man and told Punk she thinks of him as her soul mate but doesn’t think he thinks what she thinks he’s thinking so it’s best they all go separate ways. The camera panned around to reveal she was talking into a mirror.

Vickie Guerrero came out and said she expects to be made the permanent GM on the 1000th episode of Raw. She announced the opening match.

Daniel Bryan beat Kane and CM Punk in an elimination match. They wrestled for a while until of course A.J. had to come out to create a finish. She distracted Kane, Punk avoided a choke slam, and Punk gave Kane the GTS for a pin. Bryan then kicked Punk in the head for the pin. I hate this feud. The title is even more meaningless than it has been recently. None of the wrestlers have any agency and are just pawns for a completely unbelievable non-wrestling character out of Melrose Place once Melrose Place went to total shit. The result of their match is determined every week by whatever A.J. wants to do.

Backstage, Alberto Del Rio presented Vickie Guerrero with flowers. He wanted to be the number one contender for the world title. Dolph Ziggler came in and said he should be the number one contender. Exactly how many matches does Ziggler have to lose to fall out of contention for the world title? Guerrero announced Ziggler vs. Del Rio in a contract on a pole match for a title shot on Smackdown. Ziggler threw the vase that held Del Rio’s flowers against the wall.

Big Show beat Brodus Clay. Clay hit his head butt early and knocked down Show. But Show took over by attacking Clay’s leg. Clay avoided the KO punch but when he went for a body slam, Show fell on him to score the pin. As Show was being helped to the back during a commercial break, Show hit him with the KO punch. They announced that next week Brock Lesnar will answer HHH’s challenge for SummerSlam.

A.J. wanted to chat with Kane backstage. Kane basically said he’s crazy but even he finds A.J. mentally unstable and was breaking things off. This seemed like a write off of Kane from the angle don’t for comedy. A.J. acted upset but then broke into laughter, which came across as poorly executed soap.

Santino Marella beat Jack Swagger. Swagger worked over Santino briefly. Santino hit a hip toss and head butt but Swagger grabbed him when he went for the cobra. Santino reversed with a DDT and hit the cobra for the pin.

John Cena came out to a pretty strong negative reaction, although of course he had plenty of cheers too. He did this lame, irritating Star Wars comedy routine. He said he had a historic announcement but Chris Jericho interrupted. Jericho received loud Y2J chants despite having been a pretty unredeemable heel for months. A lot of people just don’t want him as a heel. Jericho told Cena to just make his announcement and go away.

Cena said his historic announcement is that he’s entering the Money in the Bank ladder match. Cena said he would win the whole fudging thing. Jericho asked if Cena is nine years old. Cena responded that most of their viewers are that age. It’s telling they’re going on that completely false premise. Jericho said he would enter too and win. Vickie said they couldn’t just enter themselves into the match, but then said they were in along with Kane and Big Show. Vickie also announced Jericho vs. Cena for later in the show.

Sid beat Heath Slater. Slater said he rules the world, which was the cue for Sid’s music to hit. Sid hit a spine buster. Slater briefly worked Sid over. Sid then hit the power bomb for the win. Sid wasn’t moving around very well but it was fun to see him. These segments are enjoyable. They announced Charlie Sheen will plug WWE and his new TV show on social media during Raw’s 1000th episode.

Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio’s contract on a pole match didn’t have a finish. I know, right? They were fighting for the contract and Ziggler pulled it off. But they ruled that if you don’t have control of the contract after pulling it off, that doesn’t count as a win. So they fought over the contract on the floor. And then Sheamus just came out and said they shouldn’t bother to finish the match but instead they’d just have a triple threat title match on Smackdown. This was so dumb.

They announced Bryan vs. Punk for the title at MITB. A.J. apologized to Punk for what happened earlier on Raw. She said she would dedicate her match to him. Punk said after that they would have a serious discussion. A.J. didn’t take the hint and said she was open to taking things to the next level.

A.J. won a women’s battle royal. Vickie Guerrero came out and entered herself last. She stripped down to a bathing suit and looked good for a 44-year-old woman while the other women acted like they were disgusted and Jerry Lawler told jokes at her expense. All the women then basically dove out of the ring as quickly as humanly possible.

A.J., Layla and Vickie were left. A.J. threw Layla onto the apron. Layla didn’t go out but Beth tried to pull her off the apron and that allowed A.J. to knock Layla off. Vickie then threw A.J. through the ropes from behind but A.J. didn’t go out. Vickie celebrated but A.J. got back in and attacked her. Vickie fled out of the ring and A.J. won. A.J. did the yes chant as a tease she’ll make Bryan the winner at MITB rather than making Punk the winner.

John Cena beat Chris Jericho via DQ. There were dueling chants. Jericho worked over Cena. Cena hit a Cena slam but Jericho countered the five knuckle. Cena avoided the walls but Cena avoided the FU. Cena hit the Cena slam again and the five knuckle this time. Then Big Show came out for the finish. Jericho used the distraction to apply the walls. Despite Cena being caught in the hold, Show came into the ring and hit a leg drop on Cena for the DQ. It was a fittingly awful finish on a night of awful finishes. An angry Jericho left and Show choked Cena for a while to close the show.

Final Thoughts:

Thumbs down.

Monday, June 18, 2012

WWE Raw Report

Date: 06/18/12 from Long Island, NY.

The Big News: John Laurinaitis got an unfriendly sendoff.

Show Analysis:

The show started with Mick Foley. Foley said that while the board of directors is trying to find the next permanent GMs for Raw and Smackdown, the board will be reaching out to former GMs on an interim basis. Couldn’t we just go a few weeks with wrestlers being the focus rather than authority figures? Foley said that he will host Raw and Smackdown this week and announced Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk and Sheamus. He added that John Laurinaitis would have an opportunity to give a farewell address.

John Laurinaitis came out in a neck brace, arm sling and crutch. He said that he would give his farewell address. He claimed that before he was fired, he made a main event for Raw of John Cena vs. Big Show, David Otunga and John Laurinaitis in a handicap match.

CM Punk and Sheamus beat Daniel Bryan and Kane. The heels had control over Punk early, but Punk tagged Sheamus. Sheamus hit a shoulder block, knee, powerslam and back breaker on Kane. Kane regained control by throwing Sheamus over the top rope. Bryan and Kane worked over Sheamus until Bryan missed a dropkick into the corner and Punk got the tag.

Punk and Bryan had a great fast sequence that culminated in Punk hitting a powerslam. He followed with a high knee and bulldog but when he went to the top Bryan caught him with a superplex. Then A.J. came out skipping around the ring in a Kane mask. Kane decided just to give up on the match and stand on the ramp because of this. Punk hit the GTS and Sheamus hit the Brogue kick on Bryan for the pin. This was a good match with another idiotic finish.

Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger argued backstage. Vickie Guerrero said she spoke to Foley and they would settle their issue in the ring. Guerrero smiled when they left like she is up to something. David Otunga and John Laurinaitis were laughing elsewhere backstage. Big Show came in and was not amused. Laurinaitis said Show would knock out Cena and Laurinaitis would make the cover. Laurinaitis added the people don’t deserve him and he would leave a lasting impression. Show retorted that he didn’t find anything funny.

Dolph Ziggler beat Jack Swagger. The crowd chanted “let’s go Ziggler.” Swagger worked over Ziggler and applied the ankle lock. Ziggler reversed the ankle lock and sent Swagger into the post. Ziggler then hit the zig zag for the win. Guerrero kissed Ziggler after the match.

Paul Heyman came out to a nice reaction and ECW chants. Heyman said Brock Lesnar won’t drop his lawsuit and won’t fight HHH at SummerSlam. He started to leave when HHH came out. HHH labeled Heyman an habitual liar and said Lesnar will fight him at SummerSlam. He offered to make Lesnar the focus of the promotion for the event. Heyman said Lesnar has no ego but HHH mocked this. HHH suggested Lesnar is scared. Heyman told HHH to stop playing a fighter and go back to his ivory tower. Heyman mocked HHH and said he knows how to push HHH’s buttons.

Heyman encouraged HHH to hit him, saying that Heyman and Lesnar would own WWE. Heyman added he would have nothing for HHH but does have something for Stephanie. HHH grabbed Heyman but then let him go. Heyman said he sees everything HHH is going to do a mile away. HHH hit Heyman and asked if Heyman saw that coming. Heyman was really good here but it still has the basic limitation that arguing about contracts and lawsuits is a boring and ineffective way of building a big match.

Alberto Del Rio beat Santino Marella. Del Rio controlled the brief match. Santino made his comeback but Del Rio avoided the cobra and hit a dropkick and applied the armbar for the tap. Ricardo Rodriguez attacked Santino’s arm after Del Rio left.

Layla introduced Wendy Richter and Cyndi Lauper. The crowd wasn’t into this and chanted “we want Ryder.” They were interrupted by Heath Slater. Slater labeled this a trainwreck. Lauper asked who he was. Slater started singing terribly. Roddy Piper came out. He was nice to the women and told Slater to leave. Slater pointed out Piper didn’t like Lauper back in the day. Piper referenced hitting Lou Albano with a gold record. He said he was sorry and presented Lauper a gold record on behalf of Albano. He said Lauper is gold to WWE for everything she has done and hugged her. Slater belittled them and started singing again. Piper poked him in the eye and Lauper hit him with the record. Slater was busted open.

This was designed to be bad, but I enjoyed the segment. It was nice to see Lauper in a WWE ring again and Piper seemed to have genuine affection for her. The big negative (besides the crowd not being that into it) was Vince McMahon clearly instructing Michael Cole to spend the entire time burying the segment, which severely undermined what they were doing. It sure would be nice if Vince treated the people who built his company with respect rather than ridiculing them as old and out of date whenever they appear. Particularly given he’s older and much more out of touch than most of the people he buries as old and out of touch.

Primo and Epico Colon beat Titus O’Neil and Darren Young via count out. Primo hit the backstabber on Young but O’Neil pulled Young out of the ring. The Colons hit a double baseball slide but A.W. pulled his troops back and they were counted out. This was a terrible finish. It would be so much more effective if one of these teams scored an impressive clean win over a third team to build up their feud.

They announced Chris Jericho will be on Raw next week. John Laurinaitis before the main event said in being fired he isn’t the loser but rather the losers are the fans who no longer have people power. Big Show then said he isn’t beholden to anyone including Laurinaitis. Show said he has proven he can beat Cena and now he is on to bigger and better things. He told Otunga and Laurinaitis they were on their own.

John Cena beat David Otunga and John Laurinaitis. As Cena was beating up Otunga early, Otunga went for the tag but Laurinaitis wouldn’t do it. Otunga eventually gained control and worked over Cena. The crowd chanted “we want Ryder,” quite the statement about their interest in WWE’s main event program. With Otunga in control, Laurinaitis tagged in. He took off the neck brace and arm sling and started stomping Cena. Laurinaitis pinned Cena but Cena kicked out with ease. Laurinaitis then went to tag Otunga back in, but Otunga this time refused and left. Cena hit the five knuckle shuffle and three FUs for the win.

Final Thoughts:

When I say Raw is good by current Raw standards, everyone seems to think it’s some sort of backhanded compliment, like a good Raw these days is still a bad wrestling show in general. And to those people I say, well, I liked this show by current Raw standards.

Monday, June 11, 2012

WWE Raw Report

Date: 06/11/12 from Hartford, CT.

The Big News: TNA has been really good lately.

Show Analysis:

John Laurinaitis came out to start the show, but as he introduced himself he was interrupted by Vince McMahon. Laurinaitis offered a handshake but Vince wouldn’t shake, saying he didn’t know where that hand had been. Vince asked Laurinaitis for one reason not to fire him. Laurinaitis responded people power and sucked up to Vince. Vince brought up the Brock Lesnar contract and Laurinaitis signing the wrong one legged wrestler. That got no reaction from the crowd but I thought it was an amusing line.

Vince buried Big Show and his new contract, saying Show hasn’t performed well since 1999 and is a terrible investment. That was quite the line about your PPV headlining monster heel. Laurinaitis responded that Vince is just biased because Vince’s head was once shoved up Show’s ass. Laurinaitis said the wrestlers look at him like a friend. Sheamus came out and called Laurinaitis the worst WWE GM ever and asked Vince to fire him. Laurinaitis was angry and said he would find an opponent for Sheamus. Vince told Laurinaitis to impress him or Laurinaitis will be fired. For good measure, Vince pushed Laurinaitis’ cart off the stage.

Sheamus beat Tensai. Tensai worked over Sheamus, including a knee to the head and Vader bomb for two. Sheamus made his comeback with punches against the ropes but was caught with a tree slam as he was coming off the top rope. Tensai followed with head butts but Sheamus hit the brogue kick out of the blue for the pin. Tensai looked as good as he has since coming back here.

Backstage, Vince told Laurinaitis that was strike one. Vince wanted to know Sheamus’ opponent for the title Sunday since Alberto Del Rio is out. Vickie Guerrero came in and suggested that Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler as former world champions should be considered. Teddy Long noted Great Khali and Christian are also former champions and those four should be in a fatal four way for the title shot. What a scary statement about what they’ve done to titles that four guys so low on the card all have held the title. Vince liked this idea so Laurinaitis took credit and offered a fist bump to Vince. Vince said Laurinaitis has small hands and left.

Back in the ring, Tensai was yelling at his second Sakamoto. Tensai attacked Sakamoto and threw him into the post and barricade. Then backstage R. Truth did goofy comedy about his invisible friend and said Cena will beat Show Sunday. Show knocked Truth out.

Beth Phoenix and Ricardo Rodriguez beat Layla and Santino Marella. Ricardo tagged himself in and wanted to go after Layla but then ran away when Santino came in. Beth came back in and fought with Layla. Ricardo tried to interfere but was sent out by Layla. Santino went for the cobra on Ricardo on the outside but Ricardo ran away into the ring post. Beth then pinned Layla in the ring with the glam slam. Afterwards, Santino pulled off Ricardo’s dress shirt to reveal a Justin Bieber t-shirt and Ricardo freaked out. WWE comedy.

David Otunga told Vince McMahon that John Laurinaitis is doing a good job but that Otunga would be a good replacement. Vince said he dislikes lawyers. Kofi Kingston came in and wanted a match with Big Show. Laurinaitis made it a cage match.

Daniel Bryan came out and said he’s nothing like CM Punk and Kane. He said they have a weakness for A.J. Bryan said he made Punk tap so Punk got with his ex-girlfriend to try to make him jealous. Meanwhile, Kane thinks he is getting to second base when a girl looks him in the eye and doesn’t vomit. Bryan said A.J. is still in love with him. The crowd chanted yes. He said that once you go Bryan, there’s no point in tryin’. Bryan said he isn’t interested in A.J. but just taking the title Sunday.

Punk came out. He said A.J.’s actually pretty cool but sort of crazy and he digs crazy chicks. He’s going to look like the biggest fool on the face of the Earth if she turns on him. Punk said Sunday he will either beat the delusional out of his mind freak or he’ll beat Kane. Bryan said Punk has changed, and that now he is a pandering sellout. Punk retorted, “So says the ‘superstar’ in the yes t-shirt.

Punk brought up his promo a year ago. He said people tell him that was one of the best moments in Raw history but he doesn’t like them because they weren’t behind him when he started in WWE. Great call there, Punk. The people who liked the references to ROH and Colt Cabana weren’t the ones who were with you from the start. It’s the people who like your WWE Universe references that were. Punk claimed he hasn’t changed at all since that promo and that he hasn’t kissed ass or compromised himself. Then he called Bryan goat face. It’s amusing to see Punk simultaneously distance himself from the things that got him hot while also claiming he hasn’t changed.

Kane came out. He brought up some of his goofy angles for comedy. He said his pipe bombs are actually pipe bombs and he will take the title at the PPV. A.J. was last out. She said when she looked into Kane’s eyes, she saw he has heart. She said she hasn’t gotten over Bryan. Finally, she said Punk is pretty much the coolest guy she’s ever known. A.J. said Sunday the best man will win. Laurinaitis booked a Bryan and Kane vs. Punk and A.J. match.

Dolph Ziggler beat Christian, Great Khali and Jack Swagger to earn a title shot on Sunday. Christian gave Khali the frog splash and they all covered Khali for the first elimination. Swagger put the ankle lock on Christian but Christian escaped and posted Swagger. Christian gave Swagger the kill switch but Ziggler covered Swagger for the second elimination. Ziggler went after Christian’s bad ankle. Christian hit a spear but Ziggler kicked out. Christian went for the kill switch but Ziggler avoided it and hit a famouser for two. Christian used an inverted DDT for pin. Christian went to the top but he was distracted by Vickie and came off the top onto his injured ankle. Ziggler hit the zig zag for the win. Sheamus came out and held up his title in Ziggler’s face.

This match and particularly the ending were very good. The crowd even got behind Ziggler some. This sequence of events with Ziggler is WWE in 2012 in a nutshell. They know this guy’s the most talented guy they have not at the top of the card, yet they job him out week after week because they don’t have the patience to build guys for bigger things. Then they lose a few of the handful of guys they actually protect and they have to throw Ziggler into a title match because there’s nobody on the card who’s actually good and protected. This guy was 2-12 in his last 14 Raw matches headed into this week and he’s a PPV title challenger. If you know this guy’s the best talent you have not in a current top angle, why on Earth do you job him out week after week?

A kind of crazed Natalya backstage talked about how special it was to have the whole Hart family together at WrestleMania when Vince wrestled Bret Hart. She wanted Vince to bring them back. He basically blew her off. This seemed booked just to indulge Vince’s belief that the Harts are crazy. Brodus Clay’s dancers wanted Clay back on Raw. Vince said no and they were disappointed. Vince then said somebody call my mama, the lights miraculously came on backstage and he danced with them. Zack Ryder was shocked and Vince said woo woo woo you know it. More WWE comedy.

Ryback beat Willard Fillmore and Rutherford P.S. Hayes. Even more WWE comedy. The Goldberg chants were louder than usual. Ryback won with the double Samoan drop.

Vince and Hornswoggle backstage laughed at the stupid segment from Friday mocking Jim Ross. Vince then contorted his face to mock Ross’ Bell’s palsy and did an Oklahoma impression. Remember when WWE would talk about how utterly classless WCW was for doing that? It’s just great for babyfaces to do comedy mocking people for crippling disabilities in general.

John Cena came in. Vince brought up Rock beating Cena at Mania. Cena sarcastically said, “Oh, now we’re using WrestleMania wins and losses to measure success,” as if he wasn’t talking a few months ago about how he couldn’t go on if he didn’t beat Rock because it was so important. Cena brought up Vince losing to Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Shane McMahon and others at Mania. Cena said Vince needs to handle his business with Laurinaitis. Otunga came in and Vince said nobody likes a sycophant who would kiss another man’s ass. He then turned around to William Regal sitting on the couch and said no offense.

Big Show beat Kofi Kingston in a cage match. Show destroyed him for a while. Kingston hit trouble in paradise but Show kicked out with ease. Kingston tried to run out through the door but Show caught him and gave him the KO punch. Show then very slowly walked out of the cage. This was effective in making Show look like a monster.

Sin Cara beat Curt Hawkins with a corkscrew plancha, handspring elbow and la mistica for the pin.

Backstage, Vince wished Daniel Bryan luck. Bryan said he thought Vince wouldn’t like someone like him. Vince said you can’t judge a book by its cover as nobody would see Bryan as a WWE superstar walking down the street. Bryan said he has proven Vince wrong. He then claimed that he’s like Vince in that they’re both self-made success stories. That’s a funny way of describing a wrestling promoter who was the son of one of the most successful wrestling promoters of all time. But whatever. WWE TV is mostly about the writing team indulging Vince these days anyway. Vince responded that he never finished anything in 18 seconds.

Vader beat Heath Slater. They announced Laurinaitis brought back a former Raw main eventer in honor of Raw’s 1,000th episode. This was fun and the crowd was really enjoying seeing Vader. We got “let’s go Vader and “you still got it” chants. Vader was more over than most of the current roster. Vader hit clotheslines and punches. Slater went for a body slam but Vader landed on him for two. Vader then hit the Vader bomb for the pin.

Backstage, CM Punk told A.J. not to worry because they would just have a handicap match. He said that unlike Kane and Bryan, they can trust each other. That was quite the line for a top face to deliver towards a completely untrustworthy crazy person. A.J. kissed Punk on the cheek.

CM Punk and A.J. beat Kane and Daniel Bryan. The heels worked over Punk. Punk at one point went for the tag but realized it was just A.J. there. Punk was knocked back and collided with A.J., so A.J. had to come in. A.J. smiled at Kane, skipped around him, then leaped into his arms and made out with him. Kane tagged Bryan back in and left. A.J. tagged back in Punk and Punk pretty much immediately hit a top rope elbow on Bryan for the pin.

Vince McMahon came out for the final segment with a lot of security. Vince said he has a soft spot for Connecticut as it is where he lived and where Stephanie was born. He said it was poetic that with a birth there would be a professional death and brought out Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis said he didn’t appreciate what Vince did to his scooter, but that Vince didn’t need security because Laurinaitis wouldn’t think of attacking Vince. Vince said the security wasn’t for Vince but to escort Laurinaitis away.

Laurinaitis pleaded with Vince, saying Raw and Smackdown have become destination TV. Destination for what? Laurinaitis said he is needed for three hour Raws. Vince teased he was going to fire Laurinaitis when Big Show came out. Show said Laurinaitis isn’t at fault for Show’s contract. Show said he did everything Vince asked over the years and couldn’t be a giant because giants are scary. That would make sense if he weren’t a giant monster for half of that time period. Show said now he is just going to be that giant. Thus, Vince needs to not worry about Laurinaitis but about the well-being of his golden goose Cena.

John Cena came out smirking. It’s a PPV Sunday, which means it’s time for Cena to tell some jokes. He joked about chicken nuggets. He said Show blames everyone for his problems except the guy who is responsible, Laurinaitis. Cena said Show has his contract, management behind him and the match he wants. Thus, if Show doesn’t win he will be a disappointment and sell out. Vince said that he will be at ringside Sunday and if Show loses, Vince will fire Laurinaitis.

Show grabbed Cena by the throat. Security tried to break them up but was thrown off and a brawl broke out. In the midst of this, Show accidentally knocked out Vince with a punch that looked to have missed by a wide margin. Everyone in the ring acted shocked and they gave the dreaded X signal for Vince. They’ve done one of these angles with Vince every time he has come back over the last five years and then he comes back in six months as if nothing happened. Why do they expect people to care?

Final Thoughts:

This was a thoroughly grating show, filled with incessant dumb comedy and goofiness segment after segment. Vader was probably the highlight. No Way Out looks unappealing.

Monday, June 04, 2012

WWE Raw Report

Date: 06/04/12 from Greenville, SC.

The Big News: John Cena hasn’t been listening very carefully to WWE’s PSAs.

Show Analysis:

The show started with Michael Cole in the ring introducing John Cena. Cole blamed the injuries caused by Big Show on Cena. Cena was incredulous about this. Cole said Cena being a comedian was more important than supporting his friend Big Show. Cena told a My Little Pony joke in response. Cena said maybe he didn’t defend Show on Raw but he was going to get rid of John Laurinaitis on the PPV and then Show would be re-hired. Cole noted that Cena didn’t know he would beat Laurinaitis for sure and labeled Cena arrogant. He added that Show did what he needed to feed his family and took the sure thing signing with Laurinaitis.

Cena responded by making fun of Show’s weight. Cena then said Show took the easy way out. Cole suggested Cena is jealous of Show for being tougher than Cena. Cole labeled Cena overrated and said he hopes Show will put all the viewers out of their misery having to watch Cena every week. John Laurinaitis then came out and said Cena would get to pick his opponent for the show, other than Laurinaitis or Show. Cena, having been thoroughly tooled by Cole verbally, decided he’d beat up the announcer. What a bully.

Michael Cole pleaded with John Laurinaitis backstage not to wrestle John Cena. Laurinaitis said everyone’s job is being evaluated and he has to give people what they want. Cole said people don’t want to see Cena beat him up. Laurinaitis said they do and left.

Sheamus beat Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler worked over Sheamus for most of the match. Sheamus came back with white noise and the Brogue kick for the pin. This was a good match but it’s so frustrating that after jobbing Ziggler out for months in a tag team, they finally did the breakup and had a natural point to try to give Ziggler a fresh start. Instead, he just lost again to emphasize fans shouldn’t expect anything out of him. Alberto Del Rio attacked Sheamus after the match.

David Otunga told John Laurinaitis backstage that Vince McMahon is coming to Raw next week to give Laurinaitis a job performance evaluation. Didn’t McMahon have those powers stripped by HHH last year?

Sin Cara beat Hunico with a kick to the face, springboard huracanrana, handspring elbow and La Mistica into the pin. This was very crisp and well worked. Cole claimed Cara is the most popular star in the history of Mexico twice, which is quite the fib.

Ryback beat Stan Stansy and Arthur Rosenberg. Those have to be the most ridiculous names ever. The jobbers told a poem together before the match. Ryback won with a double Samoan drop.

Kane beat CM Punk. Punk hit a tope, a double ax handle off the top rope to the floor and a top rope crossbody. Kane took over by throwing Punk over the top rope and hitting a side slam. Kane went to the top but Punk knocked him off. Punk hit a running knee, bulldog and springboard clothesline. Punk went for GTS but Kane escaped and hit a kick to the head for two. Kane went for the choke slam but Punk countered with a neck breaker for two. Punk hit an elbow off the top for two.

At this point, Kane and Punk got into a brawl on the floor. As Punk was getting back into the ring, Bryan kicked him twice. Kane brought Punk into the ring and went for a choke slam. Punk countered with a kick to the head. A.J. then ran out to argue with the referee about Bryan’s interference. Bryan came over to argue with A.J. Punk hit a tope and attacked Bryan but as he went back into the ring he was caught with a choke slam for the pin. This was a good match with a shitty, overbooked finish.

After the match, Kane knocked down Bryan. He approached A.J. and A.J. smiled at him seductively. Kane backed off and left. A.J. acted confused. Backstage, A.J. said she likes when men look at her while playing with Josh Mathews’ tie. She asked if he likes aggressive women.

Kofi Kingston and R. Truth beat Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. The heels worked over Truth. Truth got the tag to Kingston. Kingston hit clotheslines, the boom drop, a springboard crossbody and trouble in paradise for the pin on Hawkins. This was another good match and I’d love to see a lot more matches like this where one midcard wrestler or team proves to be better than a lower card wrestler or team. It makes the winners feel more important and you’re not sacrificing anything important.

John Cena beat Tensai. Laurinaitis announced that Cole vs. Cena would be no DQ if Cena beat Tensai. Cole was in his very worst over-the-top obnoxious mode in this match. It was just unbearable. Tensai dominated the match until missing a senton. Cena then hit shoulderblocks, the Cena slam, the five knuckle and the FU for the pin.

John Cena then beat Michael Cole. Cole ran away but Cena caught him and brought him back. Cole pleaded with Cena but then started threatening and poking Cena. Cena slapped Cole and took off Cole’s pants. He slapped Cole hard and had Cole apologize to Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. He had Cole put over Ross’ BBQ sauce and then poured BBQ sauce all over Cole in his underwear. He then sprayed Cole with a fire extinguisher. He set up for the FU but Tensai ran out and hit the choke slam. Cole covered but Cena kicked out and luckily for Cena Tensai decided to simply leave. Cole went after Cena with the fire extinguisher but was caught in the FU for the pin.

Final Thoughts:

By 2012 WWE standards, this show was pretty good.