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 2/6/12
The show begins with the entrance of Triple H. He says that last week he came to the ring to fire John Laurinaitis. He makes a poor joke about how he’s not a man. Then he calls him a bunch of names and says that they are his good qualities. What is this, middle school humor? Triple H says that Laurinaitis went to the board of directors and that they will now make the decision. Finally he moves on to The Undertaker. He says that at Wrestlemania last year Undertaker was carried out of the ring for the first time in his career. He says that The Undertaker is the only guy left in the business that still puts him at awe when he comes down the aisle. Triple H says he is truly humbled to stand next to him. However, last week for the first time ever there was no awe. He wasn’t humbled to stand in front of him. Triple H felt bad for The Undertaker. He wants to remember The Undertaker in a different light.
He shows a video package of Undertaker’s career. Thank god there were no clips of “The American Bad Ass.” Next Triple H shows a highlight package of Undertaker not being able to stand at last year’s Wrestlemania. He doesn’t want to remember him that way. Why are they trying to make it look as if The Undertaker lost last year? Because we all know he didn’t. This seems like a weak way to begin this storyline. The sad part is that it looks like it was determined this way as of last year. Triple H says that he respectfully says no to a Wrestlemania match. He says that he saw The Undertaker’s limits last year and that he will not be the guy to push him past them. He says “this is over.”
As Triple H tries to leave the lights go out. They stay off for awhile. Finally an eerie package airs with The Undertaker watching his match from last year. You never see him speak, but you hear his voice. He says “this is not over. My victory over you means nothing. I will not have that be my memory that lasts through ages.” He repeats “this is not over” throughout the package. Here’s my problem. This little package was obviously pre-made because it had a lot of special effects. The fact that The Undertaker kept responding to Triple H’s promo by saying “this is not over” really kills all kayfabe that Triple H’s speech were his original impulse thoughts. By making an entire package out of a line that Triple H said to end his promo, it makes the speech look incredibly predetermined. You never want to make it known that these speeches were pre written. I liked Triple H’s speech, and the package was eerie and cool like something out of “The Ring”, but kayfabe was killed….and that’s not cool in my eyes.
World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan w/ AJ vs. The Big Show- My favorite wrestler in the world, Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring screaming “yes yes yes yes yes” and “World Heavyweight Champion” over and over and over…sarcastically. Can you say, best heel in the company? Because he is. He is such a smart ass. And I LOVE IT. What he did on Smackdown last Friday was the funniest thing ever. He said “watch this” from the back, then ran to the ring, jumped around and yelled “yes yes yes”, then left. Hilarious. On to this match. Bryan cowers into the corner to start. Big Show catches him and hits a hard chop in the corner. Bryan fights back with kicks. Big Show comes back with a headbutt, gorilla press slam, and body splash in the corner. Big Show goes for a second splash, but Bryan drop kicks his knees. Great counter. Commercial. Ugh. Please stop using commercials during Bryan’s matches. They are too prestigious to cut off. We should all feel honored to actually get to watch Daniel Bryan put on a wrestling clinic inside a wrestling ring.
Back from commercial Big Show is in a half crab. Big Show powers out and uses some clotheslines, followed by a spear. It was a pretty weak spear for such a big man. Please don’t add that to your arsenal. Hated it. Big Show goes for the chokeslam, but Bryan counters into a dragon sleeper. Big Show never drops to his knees and tosses Bryan out. Big Show tries to use a big boot, but Bryan catches his leg and drops to his knees with it. Hard kicks to the chest by Bryan. Bryan goes to the top rope but Big Show knocks him off. He hits a weak kick that he pretty much misses that sends Bryan to the outside. Big Show follows him out as Bryan plays opossum with his knee. When Big Show turns around Bryan clips The Big Show’s knees from behind. Then they do a spot where Big Show almost runs over AJ again. Bryan is outraged as he takes AJ up the ramp. The referee counts to ten as Big Show wins by count out. Bryan picks up the mic and says that Big Show just proved that he took AJ out on purpose last time. He says protecting “the woman that loves him” is his main goal. How funny is that? He’s such a heel that he has yet to say that he loves her back. Instead of saying “the woman I love” he says “the woman that loves me.” What a great heel. What a great talent. What a great human being! Best in the world.
A clip is shown from last week with Nascar driver Carl Edwards driving into the arena. Really? Who cares. This Nascar dude drives in and greets John Cena. He asks Cena to start the race for the Daytona 500. They talk a little about Cena’s match with The Rock. That was a waste of time. Don’t care about Nascar. They could have had a match instead of this. And I’ve never even heard of Carl Edwards.
David Otunga is in the ring. He’s wearing his bow tie and drinking from his coffee mug. He takes a big drink! When will they start selling Otunga coffee mugs and bow ties? I’ll buy one. Otunga wants the crowd to pray with him for John Laurinaitis. He gets down in the Tim Tebow pose! What???? What was that all about? Is it supposed to be funny? The comedy is awful tonight. I feel like I’m watching all the stupid Super Bowl commercials over again! Ring announcer Justin Roberts says that by order of Triple H, Otunga now has to compete in a match.
David Otunga vs. Sheamus- Otunga is dressed in yuppie clothes and not wrestling gear. Sheamus grabs him and immediately goes for the Celtic Cross. Otunga rolls out. Sheamus catches him back in the ring and uses the hard chest pounds through the ropes. Hard clothesline onto the apron. Sheamus picks Otunga up, but Otunga hangs onto the ring ropes. He hits a quick DDT. Otunga stomps away at Sheamus in the corner. This is the most impressive he’s looked thus far in the WWE. Otunga rips his shirt off but when he turns back around he’s hit with the Brogue Kick. Sheamus wins the match. David Otunga is trending worldwide on Twitter. I think Otunga should wrestle in dress clothes every week. That would be unique. And I like unique. Can I complain now about the lack of emphasis they have put on Sheamus following his Royal Rumble win? The guy hasn’t even really had a promo to talk about his win. He should be one of the focal points of the show. I really don’t get it. I know he’s had a huge winning streak on Smackdown, but to put him over on the most watched show, Raw, they need to push him on Mondays. The Raw audience has barely seen him lately. And that’s not a good thing regarding the guy who will be in one of the main events at Wrestlemania. This leaves me angry. But then I saw the trailer for the movie “The Dictator” in commercial break. The anger is gone. That movie looks hilarious. I’m all in on that one.
Chris Jericho makes his entrance. The lights go out. The light up blue jacket comes on. Jericho makes his way down the aisle. He is no longer excited and marking out for himself. Sigh. Remember those good ol days? I miss that so much already. I knew it would end too soon. Jericho picks up the mic and says “The end of the world as you know it has arrived.” Time for his first long promo since his return. Jericho says that his reappearance on Raw has made every other wrestler obsolete. He says every other performer is a Chris Jericho wannabe who is stealing his ideas and things that he made popular. He says everyone in the crowd is a wannabe and points to people one by one. He says that he manipulated everyone by never saying a word. He says The Miz is a rip off of him. Before Kofi Kingston did flashy moves Jericho did. Before R-Truth said “whats up” Jericho said “shut the hell up.” Before Dolph Ziggler walked to the ring with Vickie Guerrero, Jericho walked to the ring with Stephanie McMahon. He says CM Punk is the biggest wannabe there is. Jericho says hes’ the best in the world at everything he does and that he doesn’t have to print it on the back of a shirt to prove it. That’s a shot at CM Punk’s shirt of course. Jericho says he is back to reclaim what is his.
CM Punk’s music hits. This has the chance to be great. I’ve been dieing to see a fresh CM Punk promo lately. His ones with Laurinaitis have become repetitive and stale. And that isn’t a shot at him and that isn’t his fault. Both Punk and Jericho stare each other down for awhile. Punk steals a page out of Jericho’s book and doesn’t speak. He drops the mic and instead holds the WWE Championship in the air. Then he turns around and leaves. Jericho is angry and continues to call him a wannabe. They just held off the confrontation. There is plenty more to build now. Anticipation is gold. This angle has everyone wanting to hear more. And they have plenty of time to build this before Wrestlemania. “Punk and Jericho” is trending worldwide on Twitter.
Wade Barrett and Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes vs. Randy Orton and The Great Khali- Wade Barrett has new music, and it’s pretty bad. He needs a slower European song. Drew McIntyre’s song is great for him. Barrett needs something like that. This new music is garbage and is even faster and heavier than his old music. Really doesn’t fit his gimmick at all. So whats the point of this match? Who really wants to see Cody Rhodes feud with Great Khali? That stupid little mini feud started this past week on Smackdown. Orton and Rhodes start the match. Orton slams him and begins to stomp. Orton smacks Khali across the chest for the tag. Khali chops away at Rhodes. Then he chops Orton hard for the tag. This must be under the logic that these two guys are opponents in the Elimination Chamber match at the next PPV. Rhodes takes control and works Orton in the corner. There’s a lot of punching as the match gets pretty repetitive. Barrett comes in but is hit with a snap powerslam. Orton uses the hanging DDT through the ropes on Rhodes. He backs up for the RKO but Khali chops him on the back for the tag. Khali gets back into the ring and chops Rhodes across the head. Khali gets the three count for the win. Orton gets in his face. Khali grabs him around the neck, throws him into the ropes, misses the chop, and is hit with an RKO. So they are trying to push Khali to make him look like a credible competitor for the World Heavyweight Championship. I’m assuming that was also a heel turn for Khali as well. But why? Who really cares? Is Smackdown that weak that The Great Khali is the best replacement they could come up with for Mark Henry. Everyone has been sick of Khali for years. Nobody cares about 7 foot giants anymore. Especially not after that CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan match last week. WWE needs to realize that wrestling doesn’t revolve around the big men anymore. I would have rather seen Booker T, William Regal, or Drew McIntyre in the Chamber match. Booker T already has history with Rhodes. Regal has been begging for a match with Daniel Bryan on Twitter. McIntrye’s losing streak could have turned into a hot streak that led him to the chamber. He was amazing in last year’s chamber match. His aggression and passion were awesome. I remember thinking, “McIntyre has just arrived as a big player.” And then they began to bury him. It made no sense. Still doesn’t. But instead of any of those cool scenarios we get The Great Khali and his 3 moves. Yay! And how about them jobbing the Intercontinental Champion to Kahli? Pathetic.
John Cena Highlight Video. The same old video that hypes Cena for his Wrestlemania match with The Rock airs. It has that terrible Wrestlemania theme song behind it. Before the video Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler show some of the tweets in the recent Twitter battle between Cena and Rock. They show all the stupid PG ones. Of course they wont show the one where The Rock said #hustleloyaltyvagisil. That was my favorite! I can’t wait for The Rock’s movie obligations to free up so he can start coming to Raw to hype this match in person. He is apparently booked for multiple shows over the next 2 months. After the commercial break they read more tweets that the two just recently wrote. Cena takes another shot at The Rock for “leaving.”
Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Alicia Fox, and Tamina vs. Diva’s Champion Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and The Bella Twins- Has anyone seen those horrid segments on Smackdown lately where Natalya keeps farting? That’s all I’m going to say about it. You know what my reaction is going to be. I don’t need to say it. They show an interview with Beth Phoenix where she says shes getting bored as Diva’s Champion. I guess they will continue to push the bored angle until Kharma comes after her. So this cluster match begins with Eve and Beth. Eve does some jujitsu stuff. Beth catches her leg and slams her down. Then another hard body slam by Beth. Beth chops Brie Bella the same way that Orton and Khali just did in the last match. The road agents should do a better job at making sure these matches don’t overlap each other. Brie kicks Eve. Tamina comes in and clotheslines Brie. She uses the Superfly Splash off the top for the win. In case you didn’t know she’s the daughter of Superfly Jimmy Snuka. They cut to a crowd shot that is supposed to show people cheering for Tamina. Instead, all the fans are just sitting there doing nothing. One guy even picks up a cup and takes a drink. I laughed out loud. That’s the highlight of the night for me! I remember last week I commented that the divas match was probably to put Tamina over for some unknown reason. That’s typically what all her Smackdown matches do. I was a week early for Raw. Funny how Smackdown is becoming a training show to test story lines before they come to Raw. I can’t recall them ever doing that in the past. Interesting.
Triple H is in the back on the phone. John Laurinaitis walks up to him. He sucks up to him and tries to shake his hand. He reiterates that he met with the board. He tells Triple H that Shawn Michaels will be on Raw next week. He also says that John Cena will face Kane at Elimination Chamber in an ambulance match. Triple H says that they should hook Laurinaitis’ career up to one of those things that makes the beep and flat lines. Booooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Not funny. Stop it with the horrible jokes tonight. The only guy that should be making jokes was the guy that dropped the mic and didn’t say a word.
The Undertaker “this is not over” video re-airs. It’s still kinda cool. I like the video.
Josh Matthews interviews John Laurinaitis- Laurinaitis says all good men make mistakes. He calls Triple H a coward because he refused to wrestle The Undertaker. He says someone like that shouldn’t be running Raw. I don’t care!
Six Pack Challenge: R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz vs. WWE Champion CM Punk- The purpose of this match is to determine who will enter the Elimination Chamber match last. Little Jimmy and R-Truth are trending on Twitter before the match even starts. The match begins with everyone attacking Jericho. It looks like everyone will be in the ring at the same time. Traditionally that’s not the way a six pack challenge match works. it’s usually two men in the ring…but whatever. So just like a battle royal we get a ton of punching. Jericho is laying on the outside of the ring. The other 5 guys fight. Punk hits hard kicks on The Miz. More brawling. The Miz rolls up R-Truth for a two count. More brawling. R-Truth does a 180 splash to the outside on The Miz. Shawn Michaels is officially trending on Twitter. Weird timing for that. Kofi Kingston does a dive to the outside. Ziggler is the only man in the ring. He runs off the ropes to dive, but instead stops to strut and show boat. Commercial. I’m actually happy to see the commercial. This is awful. Hey it’s “The Dictator” again! I’m good now.
Back from break R-Truth is being helped to the back. The Miz wasn’t really there to catch him on his dive and he straight bumped on the floor. He could have injured his neck. Or its a work. If it’s a work then congrats on making it hard to tell. If he’s injured then that’s unfortunate. Punk uses the Anaconda Vice on Ziggler but Kingston breaks it up. Everyone bumps to the floor which only leaves Punk and Jericho in the ring. They stare each other down and tease the crowd. Instead of the confrontation happening we get Ziggler and Miz jumping them both from behind. Nice spot! I hope this continues for weeks. I hope they never even get the chance to touch either other in the Elimination Chamber as well. That would be great build up. The last thing I want to see is these two guys go at it before Wrestlemania.
We get a super bump off the top rope with CM Punk superplexing Ziggler with Jericho and Miz assisting on the throw. Jericho and Miz go at it, which is interesting to see. Miz goes for the Skull Crushing Finale but is hit by Trouble In Paradise by Kingston. Jericho hits a missile drop kick off the top on Kofi. Kofi recovers and uses a spring board cross body. He rolls Jericho up for a two count. Jericho elbows him in the face and misses the Lionsault. He didn’t even use that move on his entire last WWE run. Good to see it again. Jericho uses the Walls of Jericho until he’s kneed in the face by Punk. Ziggler misses the Zig Zag on Punk. Punk counters with Go To Sleep. He covers Ziggler, but Jericho pulls him to the outside and throws him into the announcers table. Jericho gets back in the ring and covers Ziggler for the win. Chris Jericho will enter the Elimination Chamber match last at the PPV.
Kane is in the back with Eve Torres. She is screaming for awhile before she even pops up on camera. I was wondering what was going on. I thought the natural camera sound was close to a bunch of teenage girls. Eve is crying while Kane is talking about Cena. Kane says that he is afraid of himself. The camera pushes into his eyes as Raw goes off the air.
No no no no no no no no no no!!!! What was that? Worst ending segment in Raw history? What was the point? I was almost about to celebrate that fact that we didn’t have to see Kane this week. Wow what a bad Raw. Usually after a great Raw comes a terrible one. And this was a terrible one. Here’s the main problem. The guys that should be featured the most throughout the show were held off until the very end. Having a six pack challenge forces all the talent into one spot on the show. That means that the rest of the show has to be filled by less entertaining segments. This is why we had so many highlight videos tonight. Some of them even re-aired. Plus a boring divas match. Plus a boring tag match. Plus long talk segments. This really could have been a night where they put the emphasis on Sheamus. Instead they decided to use him in a squash match. People also wanted followup with The Undertaker. They didn’t want to see a highlight video. They want to see him. It’s okay to wait and build the angle, but you can’t bore the audience by trying to create anticipation. I feel that the Wrestlemania angles are already off to a bad start. The idea behind Triple H not wanting to face Undertaker is weak. Triple H lost last year. So he should want redemption. I don’t buy this angle. Hopefully Michaels makes some sense of it next week. The “wannabe” thing from Jericho is kinda weak too. They should have spun this into a social media storyline. His references to the other guys in the elimination chamber match were weak too. Everything in wrestling is reused and redone. And everyone knows that. Jericho knows that in real life. That’s why it’s weak to make a storyline out of it. It really doesn’t fit his persona at all. After being a pop sucking heel over the last two months he is now apparently unaware of how the wrestling industry works. I’m not feeling it. Even the Daniel Bryan match was disappointing because of how short the match was. It wins match of the night by default because of the great psychology. They really need to move Bryan on to better matches with smaller guys. The big man thing was cool to get him over, but now I’m tired of it. Overall I’m incredibly disappointed. The focus of this show was not on the wrestling. I want wrestling. Maybe I’m down on the wrestling because I just watched Ring of Honor in Baltimore this past weekend. That is true professional “wrestling.” The WWE needs to continue to push the ROH talent they have and let the wrestling carry the show. The wrestling carried the show last week with Punk and Bryan. Both are ROH alumni. Please put the emphasis back on the wrestling. I’m begging you. Try harder next week WWE. Much harder. I miss Zack Ryder. Leave comments please.
Follow Mark Brown on Twitter @FantasyGodmb.