This recap and analysis of WWE’s Monday Night Raw are the personal opinions of the writer. The author of this article is a former promoter, writer, and referee in the wrestling industry. You won’t find analysis as accurate as this anywhere else on the internet.
WWE Monday Night Raw Results 5/7/12 from Greensboro, NC
The show begins with John Laurinaitis. He is the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown. He said so himself. He also said that Cena embarrassed him last week. He is going to show everyone how dangerous he can be. Laurinaitis says that the WWE Board of Directors are not going to reprimand him for his decisions because he is tough but fair. He says he ordered Cena to not come to Raw tonight because he needs to rehab his elbow. That way he has no excuses when he loses to Laurinaitis. He will appear via satellite and apologize for making fun of Laurinaitis’ voice. He says his throat was injured in Japan against Dr. Death Steve Williams. He shows pictures of himself wrestling in Japan. He calls himself the Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, and Rock of Japan all rolled into one. That’s funny. Laurinaitis says that he vs Cena will be bigger than Rock/Cena and Brock/Cena. Great promo there. Kept me entertained the whole time. Brock Cena is trending on Twitter. So is Jay Bruce. Time to check the fantasy team….
CM Punk’s music hits. He approaches Laurinaitis in the ring. Punk says that he knows what the WWE Universe doesn’t want. He says they don’t want to see Laurinaitis. He says that Laurinaitis put all of his chips in on Lesnar and then Cena beat him. So Laurinaitis attacked Cena. Thank you Punk for making sense of that. Punk says that Laurinaitis had to go to Japan because there wasn’t a single territorial promoter who would pay Laurinaitis to wrestle in America. Love it! Punk calls Laurinaitis stupid, ugly, and says he has no friends. Umm? He’s a gigantic toolbox. Laurinaitis says that Punk will face Lord Tensai. Niccceeeee. Similar styles. Should be a great match. Punk says that Laurinaitis has always hid behind big men his whole career and had them do his dirty work. He says Cena will twist Laurinaitis into a pretzel at Over the Limit. Pipe bomb dropped. Two nice promos to start the show. Unfortunately they are going to follow that up with The Big Show. Ugh. Typical thing that the writers would do. Big Johnny, #pipebomb, and Lord Tensai are trending on Twitter.
Laurinaitis walks into Big Show in the back. He was texting. He yells at Big Show to get out of the way. Big Show makes fun of his voice. Eve Torres appears beside him and glares at him.
Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs. The Big Show- Show immediately attacks Rhodes and sends him to the corner. Punches to the gut and a big chop. He tosses Rhodes across the ring to the other corner. Another chop. Body slam. Rhodes catches him with boots to the face following a charge in the corner. Beautiful Disaster kick. Big Show pops back up and goes for the WMD, but Rhodes rolls out of the ring and grabs his title. Big Show tosses him back in, but Rhodes rolls out the other side and heads up the ramp. 10 count. Big Show wins by count out. So Rhodes is still champion. Big Show gets on the mic and asks Cody to come back. Eve Torres’ music hits and she comes to the ring. She wants Big Show to apologize for making fun of Laurinaitis’ voice. He says I’m sorry. She says outside of this business there is no need for a 7 foot tall, 40 year old, freak. She wants him to apologize better. Big Show apologizes and leaves. What the hell was that all about? A short pointless match followed by a pointless appearance to push Eve down our throats. So far not so good. #CODYRHODES and The Big Show are trending on Twitter.
WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston w/ R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger- These two have good chemistry. The problem is that they wrestled 3839th49t84 times on Smackdown over the past few years. I know that’s not an actual number, I was just estimating. Tieup to start. Arm work, followed by punches, and reversals. Epico, Primo, Rosa, and AW (Abraham Washington) are shown in the back. Yawn. Kofi misses a splash in the corner and Ziggler rolls him up for a two count. Nice dropkick by Ziggler. Two count. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are talking about AW the whole time. The focus of this match should be on Ziggler. But the match is barely being shown and isn’t being talked about.
To further prove my point they cut to the back once again. This time the AW stable is standing with Mason Ryan. Yeah, that big terrible Australian guy, or whatever he is. Back in the ring there is a splash in the corner by Kofi. No idea what the psychology of this match is because I’m not really seeing any action. Kofi hits multiple flying chops followed by a Boom Drop. Kofi sets up for Trouble In Paradise but Swagger jumps up. Kofi clotheslines him off and then hits Ziggler with the SOS for a two count. Kofi goes to the top rope, but R-Truth pops up. Swagger pushes Kofi off the top rope. Zigzag by Ziggler for the win. Why did R-Truth pop up? He distracted his own guy. That didn’t make any sense. Would have made more sense for Swagger to pop up first with the referee turned away. Then when Truth popped up the referee could have seen him for the distraction. The way they did it didn’t make sense at all.
That match was a waste of time. They should have just showed the crap going on in the back and had Cole and Lawler talk about it on camera. The match itself was like B-roll and was only accompaniment for the AW storyline. Not the way that much should have been used. Yeah, Ziggler won, but it did nothing for him. They are setting up a triple threat tag team match for the tag titles. Probably at the PPV. And I’m sure that match will be good. But the build is terrible. That’s pretty typical of every month though. Terrible build with good PPV wrestling. Ziggler and Swagger are just placeholders in that match and have no chance of winning. It’s just something for them to do to make it look like the tag team division is being rebuilt. When in reality, it’s weaker than its ever been. Mason Ryan is trending on Twitter. He’s awful people. Don’t get excited. A poor man’s Batista. And Batista is just a poor man’s Goldberg. And Godlberg wasn’t even good. 4th string garbage.
Michael Cole interviews John Cena. Cena thanks the fans for their support. Cole asks him what the doctors are saying. Cena says that there is no structural damage, but he’s getting his elbow drained twice a day. He says that doctors are telling him not to compete for the next few months. Cena says that nothing will stop him from facing Laurinatis. Cole asks him how he feels about no reprehension for Laurinaitis. Cena says he asked the board not to discipline him. Cole asks him if he’s scared of Laurinaitis. Cena says he’s scared that Laurinaitis is so bad that he will hurt himself before Cena gets the chance to touch him. He goes on to hype the match and say that he will kick his ass. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. And they aren’t for Ziggler. They aren’t for Ryder either. They are for that boring ass promo. That lifeless promo that did nothing to progress the Cena vs Laurinaitis match. That was probably the most horrendous part of the night. I seriously want a WWE writer to call me up and explain to me what good that did for the show. I’m serious. Call me. Email me. Do something. If you do, and you can convince me that the segment had a reason to exist, I’ll stop calling for your head. And I’ll send you $5.
Natalya and Maxine vs. Divas Champion Layla and Kelly Kelly- There’s a promo from 8 days ago from Layla. It was after she won the title. She is happy. I am bored. Beth Phoenix is on commentary. She will face Layla for the title at Over the Limit. Kelly Kelly and Layla are trending on Twitter. People probably don’t know who Maxine is. Natalya is somehow a heel again. She was just a face on Smackdown a few weeks ago. And she did nothing to turn. She’s just randomly a heel. That’s some TNA writing laziness there. Miss TNA for two weeks and you won’t know anymore who are the faces and heels. Layla starts the match with clotheslines to Maxine. Natalya jumps up on the apron for the distraction. Kelly Kelly runs over to her and pulls her down. Maxine takes over on offense. Then they show a replay. When they come back from replay Layla uses a neck breaker and wins. That fast. That terrible. The Diva’s division makes the tag team division look as strong as it was in the early 90′s. They need to let Kharma come back and squash them all. Then they should fire them all. They can keep Beth, AJ, and Alicia Fox. Everyone else can go.
Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus- Great! A random tag match that doesn’t even tie in current feuds. Orton and Del Rio tie up to start. Shoulder block by Orton. 1 count. Ugh. Why would you cover after a 1 count? Cmon Orton. I always take up for you when people say you suck, but your not helping your cause. Covers are supposed to be used to put emphasis on power moves. You cover someone when you feel that your move had enough impact to beat them. Do you really think that a shoulder block to a larger guy is good enough to beat him? That makes your entire arsenal look weak. It’s pathetic match psychology. I wish Del Rio would have kicked out before the 1 count and then took his head off.
Orton charges Del Rio in the corner, Del Rio flips up over his back, Orton turns around, and hits a nasty European uppercut. Del Rio comes back with an arm bar. He tags Jericho. Jericho stomps Orton. Orton comes back quickly with a reversed Irish Whip and clothesline. Orton rakes Jericho’s face with his knee pads. Tag to Sheamus. Sheamus clubs away at Jericho. He sends his knees into Jericho on the mat. Irish whip and back elbow. Jericho rakes the eyes in the corner and chops Sheamus. Irish whip into the other corner. Jericho tries to flip down his back, but his legs are caught. He’s tossed to the outside apron. Clubbing chest pounds through the ropes by Sheamus. Del Rio pops up on the apron and is clotheslined off. Jericho takes advantage of the distraction and sends Sheamus to the outside floor. Del Rio comes running with a punt to the face. Commercial. Alberto Del Rio, and Randy Orton are trending on Twitter.
Back from commercial Jericho has Sheamus in a chin lock. Sheamus fights up. Shocker. He works Jericho into the corner and uses multiple back elbows to the face. The clothesline results in a double down to a hot tag. Orton comes in on fire. Multiple clotheslines and a powerslam by Orton. Hanging DDT through the ropes. And he doesn’t go for a pinfall after that one. So via arsenal psychology Orton is trying to tell me that a shoulder block is stronger than his DDT through the ropes. Jericho comes running but is hit with a powerslam. Ricardo jumps up on the apron for the distraction. Del Rio uses a running enzuguri kick. Tag to Jericho. He punches a little before Orton comes back with a dropkick. Jericho cuts off the second hot tag. He spits on Sheamus. Thank god Jericho is smart. Side suplex by Jericho. Another chin lock. There were a few reversed pinfall attempts followed by another enzuguri by Jericho. Tag to Del Rio. Single arm DDT to set up for his finisher. He goes for the Cross Arm Breaker, but Orton counters with his inverted back breaker. That results in another hot tag.
Sheamus comes in with clubs to the face, a shoulder thrust in the corner, and a high knee to the face. Jericho rolls down his back out of the Celtic Cross. Sheamus rolls out of the Walls of Jericho. Irish Curse Back Breaker by Sheamus. Del Rio comes running with a dropkick to the head. RKO to Del Rio. Sheamus turns around and accidentally Brogue Kicks Orton. Jericho hits the Code Breaker on Sheamus for the win. So it appears as if this random tag team match was done to set up a 4 way between these 4 guys. Now Orton has a problem with Sheamus for kicking him, and Jericho deserves a title shot for beating the champion. So the best they could come up with is throwing these 4 guys in a random match? That’s the best way they could book it? How lazy is that? As you can see from my intro, I knew right away that this match had no current ties to storylines. Which means that something new had to come out of it. Just throwing something like that together is a pretty terrible way of telling people that something new will come from it. It’s the laziest way possible to book a new feud. It’s like saying “well we couldn’t think of a way to get these 4 guys involved with each other, so were just gonna throw them all in one match and make them angry with each other at the end.” Excellent booking guys!!!!! After the match, Sheamus helps Orton up, but is hit with an RKO. That ends the segment. Mediocre match with terrible psychology and bad writing. Nothing from this match is trending. What does that tell you WWE writers? Seriously….call me. I have an idea. Let’s do a write off. Have someone give us a list of names and an idea and let’s both write a wrestling story. Then we can let the world vote on what they want to see. I bet I win. I bet you my $5 back.
Laurinaitis is in the back with Eve. Orton, Del Rio, and Jericho all run in. They are yelling over who should fight Sheamus. They all fight. Sheamus comes running in. They send the heels fleeing. Sheamus and Orton argue. Laurinaitis tries to separate them. Laurinaitis makes the Fatal 4 Way match that I already spoke of. And because I wrote that before this segment, I’m not erasing it. RKO and Fatal 4 are trending on Twitter. So is Carlos Zambrano. Time to check the fantasy team…
The Funkasaurus Brodus Clay w/ The Funkadactuls vs. The Miz- Clay did an interview earlier in the day. He tells everyone to call their mamma’s for Mother’s Day. He introduces his dancers as The Funkadactuls. Get it? It’s another dinosaur name. Clever. Miz comes out and talks. He says if he wants to see King Hippo dance he would play Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Line of the night! The crowd chants along with Miz when he says he’s awesome. Then they chant “let’s go Miz.” Miz clubs at Clay to start the match. He runs at him and is hit with a shoulder block. Miz rolls to the outside and is laughed at by the Funkadactuls. Clay follows him out. Miz gets back in the ring and stomps Clay when he tries to get back in. Running boot to the face by Miz. Clay pulls himself up in the turnbuckle and Miz hits the running clothesline through the ropes. Axehandle off the top rope by Miz followed by a chin lock. DDT from the knees by Miz for a two count. He jumps on Clay’s back multiple times. At least this isn’t a squash match. Clay punches back, Irish whips Miz, but is dropkicked in his knees. Running high knee to the face by Miz. This is by far the most offense that Clay has ever taken. Clay reverses a chin lock into a side slam. Miz runs at Clay, but is hit with a headbutt. Clay charges Miz in the corner, but Miz gets the boots up. He goes for a second axehandle off the top rope, but he’s caught, and hit with a T-Bone suplex. Running splash by Brodus Clay for the win. The crowd boos. They were all for The Miz tonight. Clay dances in the ring with the Funkadactuls. King Hippo and Brodus Clay are trending on Twitter. Makes Miz look decent to take Clay to his limit, but he still jobbed. Not a great followup to last week’s win.
Videos air. Too many of them. An anti-bullying campaign video. Stephanie McMahon is in it. So she trends on Twitter. Mark Henry speaks in it about bullying. I bet soap bullies him. That’s probably why he’s scared to use it. Then there is a recap video of Triple H getting injured. Did you know his arm is broken? Really? Because he appeared with Floyd Mayweather during his fight the other night and his arm was fine. How does someone with so much backstage power break kayfabe that badly while the whole world is watching? That’s awful. So Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler show pictures of Triple H at board meetings. He is wearing an arm contraption. Just drop it please. Triple H ruined the angle.
Brock Lesnar’s music hits. Paul Heyman comes out. He speaks on behalf of Brock Lesnar. He says he’s been disrespected by the people and management. Heyman says that today’s WWE is nothing like it was 10 years ago. He says that Lesnar’s terms were agreed to on live television and that everyone watching was a witness. He says Brock feels betrayed. He puts him over by saying he’s the only man in history who has been NCAA Champion, WWE Champion, and UFC Champion. Heyman reads a statement from Lesnar. He says he dealt with the same crap that made him leave 8 years ago. He doesn’t feel bad for Cena. Triple H has always been jealous of him. He lasted almost an hour in a cell with The Undertaker but he can’t last a minute with Lesnar. Lesnar says he’s never coming back and that he quits. Interesting. Good to see Heyman. It was spoiled because CM Punk decided to post pictures of him on Twitter. No shock value at all. So what could have been the only good part of the show was just ruined by Punk. For any marks reading this article, Lesnar is not leaving. He will be back to have a match with Triple H. Why does Triple H need to be in the spotlight? To feed his ego. Instead of letting Lesnar work with the younger and more talented guys, we get to see Triple H hog the spotlight once again. Yay!
Big Show is in the back with two D list celebrities. I don’t know who they are or what their show is. It’s something on the USA Network. The two guys say they are detectives. They make fun of Laurinaitis’ voice. Big Show laughs. Eve Torres is standing beside him frowning. Didn’t this already happen once tonight? How about we get to see Daniel Bryan or Zack Ryder instead of the same things over and over and over and over and over and over.
CM Punk comes to the ring. John Laurinaitis comes out. He says Punk’s match is now a handicap match. Punk will face Lord Tensai and Daniel Bryan. Finally. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.
Handicap Match: WWE Champion CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan and Lord Tensai- When we come back from commercial Bryan and Tensai are already in the ring. More on that in a moment. I’m steaming. Punk starts the match with Tensai. Shoulder block by Tensai. Body slam followed by an elbow drop to the back. Daniel Bryan is tagged in. Hard kicks to the chest. YES yelled on each of them. He goes for a pinfall attempt. Because his moves have emphasis. Watch and learn Randy Orton. Punk rolls through with a schoolboy for a two count. A couple reversals result in a double cross body block. Bryan tags Tensai. Tensai uses a double underhook slam. Punk is thrown to the outside and then thrown into the ring post. Back in the ring Tensai uses a neck nerve hold. Punk fights out, but Tensai slams his head into the mat. Running senton by Tensai.
Tag to Daniel Bryan. He goes to the top rope and yells YES. Diving headbutt is missed. Punk uses a catupault into the corner. Heel kick, followed by a neck breaker by Punk. Running high knee in the corner followed by a bulldog. He signals Go To Sleep. Bryan rolls out and Tensai is tagged. Tensai clotheslines Punk from the apron. Punk goes for the GTS, but Tensai gets out. He charges Punk in the corner, but Punk moves. Yakuza kick to the face. Punk goes to the top rope, but Bryan knocks him off. Tensai uses his powerbomb but botches it. It looked awful. He drops Punk. He green mists his hand and uses the Claw. He sweeps Punk’s legs and gets the pinfall. Daniel Bryan screams YES. Bryan jumps Punk in the ring. YES Lock. Bryan yells “your not better than me Punk.” The terrible crowd boos him and doesn’t chant YES with him. Raw goes off the air with Bryan yelling YES and the crowd yelling NO.
What the hell just happened? Was that seriously what the decided to put on the air tonight? Really? That? That was pathetic. Worst Raw of all time? Pretty close. First of all, why did they decide to make Lord Tensai look stronger than Daniel Bryan? Bryan is the #1 contender. Tensai is not. So they make Bryan take all of of the offense and hit Tensai with the heel hot tag? Then Tensai goes over in the end? What does that do for the title picture? You just buried your champion and your #1 contender…who by the way happen to be the best two wrestlers in the world. And their match is on short build and needs all the emphasis it can get, because the PPV’s are only 3 weeks apart. And you decide to bury them to put over a guy that will be used at the PPV as an extra in a gimmick match that involves a non wrestler General Manager? And how about Daniel Bryan and Lord Tensai already being in the ring when they came back from commercial break? No entrance. Really? The most popular entrance in the industry isn’t even used. You thought it was best to give Daniel Bryan the “already in the ring jobber entrance?” Great decision. Do everything you can to eliminate the YES chants when its the #1 selling shirt on your shopping site. Smart business decision. And no Zack Ryder two weeks in a row? WTF is wrong with the writing staff. I hope one of you are reading this, because you are pathetic. Pathetic. Go jump out of a window or something.
Follow Mark Brown on Twitter @FantasyGodmb.