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 6/18/12 from Long Island, New York
Raw beings with Mick Foley. Nice surprise. Nice start. Foley comes to the ring in a suit. He says he’s here to promote the 1,000th Raw episode. He says the board told him that they would be reaching out to former General Managers while they look for a permanent one. He is the guest host of Raw and Smackdown this week. Thank god its not Kevin Nash like he teased on Twitter today. I really have no desire to see Kevin Nash. Foley immediately makes Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus and CM Punk for later tonight. Foley welcomes John Laurinaitis for his farewell address. Laurinaitis comes out in an arm sling, neck brace, and with a crutch. Nice neck brace! The crowd is really hot tonight already. They chant “you got fired.” I’m sure this crowd will be hot for Zack Ryder tonight since it’s his home town. Assuming that they actually use him in his hometown. Foley makes a bad joke and accuses Laurinaitis of saying Long Island sucks. Very loud boo from the smart mark crowd, as they blatantly react to the cheap pop in a sarcastic way. Laurinaitis says his goodbye present is a handicap match. John Cena vs. Big Show, David Otunga, and John Laurinaitis.
Sheamus’ music hits. He comes to the ring. Laurinaitis tries to make his way up the ramp. CM Punk’s music hits. He comes down to the ring and passes Laurinaitis. He gives him an umpire “you’re outta there.” Cyndi Lauper is trending on Twitter. She is tonight’s guest host. Mick Foley is also trending. Hopefully we get a solid first match. My hopes are up.
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Kane and Daniel Bryan- Huge YES chants from the crowd. Bryan and Sheamus start. Sheamus immediately gets Bryan into an arm lock. Bryan fights up and sends Sheamus over the top rope to the outside apron. Sheamus comes back in with a slam. Punk is tagged in and flips over the top rope down onto Byran. Punk tries to kick Bryan, but Byran catches his leg and kicks him in the hamstring. Kane is tagged in. Clothesline in the corner by Kane. He works the arm of Punk. The pace has slowed tremendously. Punk fights up and uses forearms to the side of Kane’s head. He bounces off the ropes and kicks Kane in the head. He bounces off a second time but is back elbowed to the face. Apparently that’s good enough for a pinfall attempt. Didn’t realize a back elbow had that much impact. Punk gets up and punches Bryan off the apron to the floor. Kane throws Punk off the ropes, but Punk ducks, and hits a suicide dive through the ropes onto Bryan. Nice fake out spot. Back in the ring, Kane hits an uppercut to take control again. That takes us to commercial. #Raw is now trending on Twitter.
Back from break Kane is on Punk’s shoulders in a Go To Sleep attempt. Kane rolls down and attempts a choke slam. Damn that all happened quickly. Punk hits a Yakuzza Kick to the head. Hot tag to Sheamus. Sheamus comes in with shoulder blocks, clotheslines, and the Irish Curse back breaker. Bryan comes running in, but is met with a foremarm to the face. Sheamus catches him over the ropes and uses the chest pounds. Kane comes running, Bryan moves, and Kane knocks Bryan to the outside. Kane throws Sheamus over the top rope. Bryan comes running with a sick front dropkick to the face on the outside floor. Spot of the night. Sheamus crawls back in, but Kane holds his legs as Bryan hits another running front dropkick to the face. Hard kicks in the corner by Bryan with YES chants on each shot. Running drop kick in the corner by Bryan. That gets a two count. Side headlock by Bryan is fought out of with punches. Sheamus bounces off the ropes, but is met with a high knee to the gut. Hard kick to the chest from Bryan that sends Sheamus to his back. Another two count followed by a tag to Kane.
Kane comes in with stomps. He Irish whips Sheamus into the corner and hits a side slam. Two count. Kane heads to the top rope. Flying clothesline through the air gets a two count. Now thats a move that you should be attempting a pinfall on. Bryan is tagged back in as he stomps Sheamus. YES chants from the crowd on each stomp of course. Hard kicks to the chest. He goes for a second running drop kick in the corner, but Sheamus moves and Bryan goes crashing. Hot tag to Punk. Single leg drop kick, clothesline, and tilt a whirl neckbraker countered by Bryan. Punk goes for the GTS but Bryan counters, and is met with a snap power slam. Irish whip into the corner, high knee to the face, bulldog by Punk. Punk climbs to the top rope but is stopped by Bryan. Bryan superplexs Punk off the top.
AJ’s music hits. She comes skipping down the ramp with a Kane mask on. She literally skips around the ring one time and then goes back up the ramp. Hilarious. Kane follows her up the ramp. Back in the ring Punk hits the GTS on Bryan, followed by a Brogue Kick by Sheamus. 1-2-3. That’s the finish. AJ has distracted Kane for the second consecutive night. Solid opening match. Stupid Kane had to cost Bryan the match though! AJ continues to add different elements to this feud. I would say it’s over the top, but that’s why it’s good. She’s crazy. So they can have her do whatever they want. And it will always work. This is some old school writing. Definitely reminds me of the Attitude Era or ECW. Kane is trending on Twitter.
Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger are in the back arguing. Swagger says he was World Champion longer than Ziggler. Ziggler says Swagger is now riding his coat tails. Vickie Guerrero comes in yelling “excuse me.” She says she talked to Foley and they will settle it in the ring. The crowd chants “we want Ziggler.” The two of them are fighting for the rights of Vickie Guerrero tonight. She hasn’t been a relevant manager in over a year now. Psychologically I’m not sure why either guy would want to be associated with her at this point. She’s done nothing for either of them lately. Ziggler doesn’t need the manager. He’s probably about to turn face soon anyways.
John Laurinaitis and David Otunga are in the back. They are laughing about Mick Foley. Big Show comes walking in. Laurinaitis tells him that he will knock Cena out and that Laurinaitis will cover Cena for the win. Laurinaitis says he will leave a lasting impression tonight. Big Show says he doesn’t find anything funny.
Jack Swagger w/ Vickie Guerrero vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero- No entrance for Jack Swagger. That officially makes him a jobber. Let’s go Ziggler chants start the match. Swagger wrestles Ziggler to the mat with a belly to back suplex and then does push ups. They tie up again and Ziggler takes out the legs of Swagger. Ziggler does the Ric Flair strut. The two push each other. Ziggler reverses a single leg dive into a side head lock. Swagger sends him over his head and Ziggler comes down on his knee. Excellent job selling the knee. I bet a lot of people are legitimately thinking he just hurt his knee. How do I know he didn’t? Because Swagger immediately attacks the knee of Ziggler. You wouldn’t see that with a legitimate injury. Swagger continues to work the knee with knee slams and drops. He wraps Ziggler’s knee around his legs and twists. Swagger yells “I’m better than you.” Ziggler comes back with a small package for a two count. He misses a Fame Asser and is caught in an Ankle Lock. Ziggler almost makes it to the ropes, but Swagger pulls him back towards the center. Ziggler tries to kick out of it, but Swagger keeps hold. He finally kicks Swagger shoulder first into the corner. Ziggler gets up and hits the Zig Zag for the win. Vickie comes in and kisses Ziggler. They leave together. Ziggler isn’t officially a face yet, but he sure played the part of one tonight because of the crowd. I love heel vs heel matches. Excellent match. Great psychology. It could have been a little longer though. Dolph Ziggler is trending on Twitter. As is “Vickie.”
Memorable Raw Moment Video-To hype the 1,000th episode of course. Jerry Lawler talks about the Mr. McMahon hospital scene. Mankind brings Mr. Socko and balloon puppets. In comes the Stone Cold Steve Austin doctor. He hits Vince in the head with a bed pan. Great stuff. Oh how I miss the Attitude Era.
Brock Lesnar’s music hits. Will it be him? They teased a limo shot before the break to make people wonder if Lesnar was there. Out comes Paul Heyman. Heyman says Triple H probably isn’t used to the word no. He says Lesnar will not drop his lawsuit, Heyman will not drop his, and Lesnar will not face Triple H at Summerslam. Heyman thanks Triple H for his time and begins to leave. Triple H’s music hits. He comes out and immediately takes a shot at ECW. Really Triple H? Really? He says this isn’t a bingo hall and he isn’t a cronie from the 90’s who drinks Heyman’s Kool Aid. Nobody popped for that. First of all Triple H, your an idiot. Second of all, your trying to sell a new ECW DVD. So what you just did was make the wrong personal and business decision. Simply terrible from the new Head of Talent Relations. So Triple H shows a Summerslam poster with Lesnar’s face on it and says he will make Lesnar the star of the show. Triple H says Lesnar will go down as the guy who is scared of Triple H.
Heyman begs him to stop. He begs him to stop pretending to be the ass kicker he used to be. He tells him to go back home and be the king of kings because in Brock Lesnar’s and Paul Heyman’s world he isn’t the king of anything. Heyman tells him that he’s becoming more and more like Vince everyday. He says he knows how to push his buttons. He tries to get Triple H to hit him. He says they will own the joint if he does. Heyman says in their WWE they won’t have a place for Triple H….but they will have something for Stephanie. Ha!!!! Triple H grabs Heyman by his tie and chokes him. He finally lets go. Heyman says he out thinks Triple H and knows what he will do before he does it. Triple H nails Heyman with a punch and knocks him out. Triple H asks “did you see that coming?” He smiles and makes a joke out of it. That completely killed the seriousness of everything that Heyman just did. Triple H blows. He tells Heyman “you tell Brock Lesnar I’ll see him at Summerslam.” End of segment. One thing to say about all of that….damn Paul Heyman is good. Great on the mic. He really carried that promo and was full of charisma. It seemed that some of that was shoot-like and probably really angered Triple H. I’m sure Triple H’s shot at ECW was a shoot as well, so he got what was coming to him. Triple H, Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar, Stephanie, and #Raw are all trending on Twitter. Joey Styles writes on Twitter “Sadly the “Bingo Hall/ECW Arena was as nice as the Nassau Coliseum. I am one of @HeymanHustle’s cronies from the 90s but Kool Aid free :)” Amen Joey. It’s pretty much the consensus that everyone wants Heyman to be the new Raw GM. I’m fine with that. Although I’d like to see the guest hosts come back each week.
Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. United States Champion Santino Marella- Del Rio starts the match visciously with kicks. He stomps Santino in the corner. Running dropkick to the face by Del Rio. He applies an arm bar while streching the mouth of Santino with his hands. Santino uses a headbutt. Hiptoss followed by a missed saluting fist drop. Del Rio charges Santino in the corner, but Santino gets his boots up. Santino goes to put the Cobra glove on, but Del Rio drop kicks him in the arm. Cross Arm Breaker by Del Rio. Santino taps out quickly. Quick match. Ricardo runs back in the ring and hits Santino with a single arm DDT. I don’t really like quick matches, but this one made sense. Del Rio had to come back strong after a concussion. He has to be aggressive to be legitimate again. His short title reigns really hurt his career. He was on a huge roll after his Royal Rumble win last year. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is Santino being US Champion. That title isn’t credible at all right now. It’s holder is a comedy act jobber. He needs to drop it. Put it on Ryder or Miz. Both of them need it. They can make it legit. I am a fan of Ricardo Rodriguez though. He’s funny. Unlike Santino. Speaking of…”Santino” is trending on Twitter.
Layla introduces Cyndi Lauper and Hall of Famer Wendi Richter. I like all this throwback stuff. Vader is better though. Richter thanks Lauper for being her manager at Wrestlemania. Heath Slater’s music hits. Slater says this is a train wreck. Lauper asks Slater who he is. Cyndi Lauper is trending on Twitter. Slater says his rock band is one guy while Lauper’s has about 6. What?? I tweeted that this will turn into Slater vs Zack Ryder. The crowd agrees. They chant “we want Ryder.” Heath Slater starts singing. Rowdy Roddy Piper’s music hits!! Looks like me and the crowd were wrong. But that’s a good thing. Piper is the greatest of all time on the mic. Piper kisses all three women and tells Slater to leave. Piper says when girls just wanna have fun they call Hot Rod. He gets a framed album and really puts Lauper over. He shouts out to Lou Albano and gives Lauper the record. Slater whines about what just happened. He says it was twenty years ago. He wants them to leave the ring and continues to sing. Piper slaps Slater and Lauper busts the record over his head. Slater’s head is busted open. First time I’ve seen blood in a long time. I like how Slater seems to be the guy who will interact with all these different legends. I like how they keep it consistent no matter who the guy is. Good for Slater. Heath Slater, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and #Raw are all trending on Twitter.
Now let’s talk about Michael Cole. The entire way through that segment he laughed at how bad everything was like this was an episode of NXT. I wasn’t completely entertained by that segment, but it was nostalgic. At least they keep using rare Hall of Famers like I asked that they do. None of us want to see Dusty Rhodes and Sgt Slaughter for the millionth time. Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter are incredibly rare. That was their first time on Raw in about twenty years. When you add the nostalgia of Piper and his masterful promos, there is no reason to treat this segment like a joke. I know Michael Cole was just doing his job and was probably told to do this, but why would someone in the back want him to do this? Why crap all over a rare moment that was nostalgic to the first Wrestlemania? Are they trying to tell me that this 1,000th episode is a joke? Are all the legends that will return for that a joke? Then why would they treat this that way? I know that Cole will probably get knocked out by some legends, but don’t start building another Cole storyline this early. Don’t disrespect these rare occasions.
Epico and Primo w/ Rosa Mendes vs. Prime Time Players Titus O’Neil and Darren Young w/ AW- Titus starts with Epico. Titus fights him off with clotheslines and a big boot. Tag to Young. Titus front suplexs Young onto Primo for a two count. Young goes for a second pinfall attempt after a two count. I love how he does that. Double pinfall attempts are rare nowadays. Great heel move. Epico rolls through a suplex attempt and tags Primo. Spinning back elbow and clotheslines by Primo. Primo runs up the turnbuckle and hits a nice corkscrew body press. Everyone hits the ring and bumps to the outside until its only Young and Primo left in the ring. Back Stabber by Primo. Titus pulls Young to the outside. Double baseball slide by Epico and Primo. They set up for a double dive, but Titus, Young, and AW head up the ramp. AW says they are already the #1 contenders and don’t need the match. Epico and Primo win by count out.
Decent little quick match to prolong this new feud. I think the Prime Time Players are decent. They have great charisma and mediocre in ring ability. I assumed this would be the second heel vs heel match of the night, but then I realized that Epico and Primo were apparently turned faced during the AW screw job at the PPV. Unfortunately this is an effortless way to turn them face and the crowd didn’t understand that they were now to cheer for Epico and Primo. A face promo could have put this idea over more. But instead they decided to put no effort into it. So the crowd was dead because they had nobody to cheer for. This really isn’t going to help them rebuild the tag team division like they are trying to do.
Chris Jericho returns next week. Thank god. I miss him. I hope he comes back and trolls everyone again. Start all over again. Chris Jericho is trending on Twitter.
John Laurinaitis is in the ring. He recaps the finish of the PPV. Shouldn’t he have done this to start the show? Laurinaitis says the biggest losers of that finish are the fans. They no longer have People Power. He calls everyone a loser one by one. Everyone at home and in the arena are losers. I am even a loser. Laurinaitis says the next time he will be seen is when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame. Haha. Nice line. He promises the biggest beat down of John Cena ever. He introduces David Otunga as a wrestling extraordinaire. A wrestling extraordinaire? Really? Then out comes The Big Show. Commercial break. Back from commercial we see Teddy Long on commentary. Michael Cole is sucking up to him. Teddy Long rips off his “Hello I’m Teddy” sign. Big Show grabs the mic. He says it took six men to beat him at the PPV. He thanks Laurinaitis for his iron clad contract and fat bonus. Big Show says he’s already proven that he can beat John Cena on his own. He sees no reason why he needs to compete tonight. Big Show walks out. Then there is a long minute pause. Definitely a problem with production. John Cena makes his way out. A whole lot of time was just wasted. Big Show is trending on Twitter.
David Otunga and John Laurinaitis vs. John Cena- “Lets go Cena, Cena sucks” chants roar out. Otunga poses. Tie up to start followed by a quick Cena slam and elbow drop. Cena sends Otunga face first into the turnbuckle. Bulldog out of the corner. Otunga goes for a tag, but Laurinaitis backs away. Suplex by Cena. Laurinaitis moves away from the tag again. Back chop from Cena. He powers Otunga up from the mat and hits a side slam. Irish whip in the corner followed by a missed splash. Cena rolls to the outside where Otunga meets him. Otunga sends Cena shoulder first into the steel steps. He tosses Cena back in the ring and stomps him. Irish whip followed by a botched clothesline by Otunga. The wrestling extraordinaire just botched a clothesline. “We want Ryder woo woo woo” chants by the hometown crowd. Otunga beats down on him for awhile and finally tags Laurinaitis. Johnny rips all the casts off and smiles at the crowd. He covers Cena but it’s a two count. Johnny is very surprised. He tries to tag Otunga, but Otunga walks out on him. Big pop from the crowd when Otunga leaves. Cena attacks Laurinaitis. 5 Knuckle Shuffle, Attitude Adjustment, and a second Attitude Adjustment by Cena. A third Attitude Adjustment. STF. Laurinaitis taps out. Cole says “the end of People Power.” Cena celebrates as Laurinaitis crawls off. End of the show. There’s only one thing I can do to describe this show…………
And now it’s time for another WWE Writers discussion. Okay, so Raw is live tonight in Long Island. So what is the first thing that pops into your head? This is a really easy answer. It’s common sense. Ready? Go! Zack Ryder on Raw! What??? No? Why would that come to mind? Nobody wants to see Ryder? Why would you say that? Well sir….it’s his hometown. Hometown? Who cares? Would people in Iraq want to see Saddam Hussein come back from the dead and make an appearance? No. So why would people in Long Island have to see Zack Ryder? Your answer pissed me off so much that we won’t even use him tonight. Somebody get this guy out of here. Get him off my writing staff. He’s not smart enough to be here. Coming up in here with his Zack Ryder ideas. Get him out of here. So now that the trash is gone and I’m left with the real visionaries…what is the one thing that needs to be seen tonight? John Cena and John Laurinaitis in the main event. BINGO! This is why you guys are the smartest writers in the world. Cena vs. Laurinaitis. And it has to main event. Forget Bryan. Forget Punk. Forget AJ. Forget the championships. Forget it all. Cena vs. Laurinaitis is money. The world didn’t get to see enough of them in the main event last night. The world is still buzzing about them. So let’s put Cena against 3 guys and then have it just be Cena vs Laurinaitis by the end. Genius. That’s the plan. Go get that guy we kicked out and see what he thinks. Okay idiot, what do you think about this? Cena vs. Laurinaitis, Big Show, and Otunga? Well….I would add Zack Ryder and Mick Foley and at least make it a gimmick nostalgic 6 man tag. The crowd would be super hot for Ryder and Foley in New York. Whatttt??????? Get this guy back out of here. He knows nothing. Fire him on his way out the door. All if favor to fire that guy and do a 3 on 1 handicap with no Ryder appearance say I. IIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And that is my opinion of Raw. A huge miss by the idiot writers. It’s time for them to go jump out of windows again. Good effort on the wrestling tonight. But all the matches were too short. Not a great Raw overall. No Ryder, no Miz, no Ryback, no Antonio Cesaro, no good. Try again next week. You stole fizzy lifting drinks. You fail.
Follow Mark Brown on Twitter @FantasyGodmb.