RYBACK DEF. JACK SWAGGER – Swagger looks strong for about 30 seconds, but winds up just more meat on the plate. The turning point is Swagger landing ugly, face first.
LAYLA (DIVAS CHAMPION) DEF. NATTIE NIEDHART – Before the match gets going, Vicki comes out to demand this match wrap up quickly so she can make an announcement. She actually spends the whole match on the ring apron, looking bored and rolling her eyes, great way to sell a match. One high spot is Nattie and Layla doing the old Hardy spot where the face (Layla) tries a baseball slide kick, and the heel (Nattie) traps her in the ring apron. Layla ends this with a simple kick to the head. Vick dismisses Layla in a condescending manner and Layla just goes.
Vicki demands that the board of directors take action against the “mentally unstable” child and put Raw in the hands of an adult, like her. AJ Lee responds by skipping out to the ring, and cracking Vicki in the face. (And the Reason Layla couldn’t do that?) Vicki high-tails it out of there while AJ Lee smiles.
JOHN CENA DEF. THE MIZ (I-C CHAMPION) – Josh Mathews joins us at ringside. The match is slow, dull, and by the numbers. Miz focuses on striking John in the head/face with strikes and kicks, Cena makes his superman comebacks. The match ends when Cena hits four out of five moves of doom and gets the three.
SANTINO DEF. HEATH SLATER – Heath Slater gets the upper hand with a cheap shot after an “air guitar” duel, and then goes all out with punching, stomping, knees, and choking. Slater goes up on the ropes, Santino rolls away. Slater goes to the other corner, Santino rolls out again. Slater gets caught in a cradle for a two-count, and Santino takes over. Santino sets the Cobra, but the sax music hits and Aksana is out to distract the cobra. Not Santino, just the cobra. The cobra breaks his trance long enough to strike Slater and Santino gets a three-count, while the cobra stares at Aksana. Yes I did just write that.
BRODUS CLAY/SIN CARA DEF. DAMIAN SANDOW/CODY RHODES – Sin Cara comes out to NO reaction. Cody takes control by pulling Sin Cara down hard off the ropes. The heels take turns stomping on Sin Cara until he hits the head scissors and makes the tag to Brodus, who squashes Cody until Sandow makes the save. Sandow goes after Cara but goes over and out. Cara hits a flying body-press while Cody goes sternum first into Clay’s cranium. Clay hits the splash and gets a three-count. Match ends in a dance party with the kids at ringside.
R-TRUTH DEF. DANIEL BRYAN BY COUNT-OUT – The crowd starts in with the “goat-face” chants and Bryan responds with deep breathing. Highlight of the match is Bryan giving “little jimmy” a fist bump. Match ends when Truth tricks Bryan into a round of “dueling crazy” outside the ring. Truth gets the crowd going with the “yes” chant and Bryan gets counted out while going “no” up in some fans’ face.
SHEAMUS/RANDY ORTON DEF. DOLPH ZIGGLER/ALBERTO DEL RIO – Faces start out strong, but it’s soon Del Rio and Ziggler pounding on Orton. Orton finally tags Sheamus who goes all out on Ziggler. While the ref is distracted, Roberto Rodriguez – Del Rio’s personal announcer – tosses Ziggler his MiTB briefcase. Orton catches him with the chin-lock backbreaker and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick for the win.
ZACK RYDER DEF. DAVID OTUNGA – The highlight here is Kane coming out to ringside and Josh Mathews running for his life. Cole gives Kane plenty of room as Kane takes a seat at the table. Otunga actually dominates this match with clubbing forearms and neck-locks, but it ends when Ryder ducks a clothesline and hits the Rough-Ryder for the three-count. Kane rushes the ring and grabs Ryder by the neck, then lets him go. He decides to choke-slam Otunga instead.
C.M. PUNK DEF. JERRY LAWLER (CAGE MATCH: AS CHOSEN BY WWE UNIVERSE VIA TWITTER POLL) – The brilliance of this match is Punk revisiting Lawler’s feud with Andy Kaufman and playing BOTH roles. As Punk enters the cage, Cole reads his Twitter feed, which has Punk quoting Kaufman’s legendary “New King of Memphis,” promo almost verbatim. Then, in a nod to the king, Punk allows Lawler the first shot. Lawler plays nervous, but eventually lets it go on Punk’s kisser. Punk sells it BIG, even cowering in the corner. However Punk takes control with kicks to Lawler’s shins, backing him into the corner, then he scores a neck-breaker. From then on, the match is mostly Punk bullying Lawler; stomping on him and literally kicking him while he’s down. Punk goes up on the ropes, but Lawler knocks his feet out from under him, and Punk takes a crotch-shot to the turn-buckle. Punk stops Lawler from escaping but Lawler sends Punk face-first into the cage. Lawler takes over with the big right hands and hits his fist-drop for a two count. Punk is bleeding, but stops Lawler from escaping the cage. Punk finishes this with a ROCK-BOTTOM into the Anaconda vice. Lawler taps out.
After the match, Punk grabs a lock and chain from under the ring and locks himself in w/Lawler and a mike, demanding Lawler call him the best in the world. Lawler refuses, and Punk pummels him with elbow shots. Cena tries to make the save, but can’t get in the cage. He yells for someone to get the cage up. When they finally do, Cena dives for Punk, who heads for higher ground, while Cena checks on Jerry.
RAW ends with Punk walking out with his belt, and Cena hunched over a battered Lawler.
The build-up for the main event started with Lawler calling out Punk and demanding an apology for last week. Punk responds by throwing Lawler’s whole career under a bus. From beating up no-names in Memphis, to a slap fight with a comedian, (Kaufman) to losing at Wrestlemania. Punk challenges Lawler to a fight later tonight. Lawler will think about it. A few segments later, Lawler agrees, saying he’s not the best in the world… and neither is Punk.
We had a series of skits with Bryan in Anger Management classes, building up to his match with R-Truth, that managed to be funnier than you would expect. In the first one, Bryan calmly states his objections to being in these classes, when a small boy in a goat mask walks in. Bryan goes off on the kid, reducing him to tears. The “doctor” running the class explains this was his son, in costume for a school play. The doc tells his son that Bryan is “a very sick man.” Some guy named “Harold” tries to console Bryan.
“Don’t touch me, Harold.” – Daniel Bryan
In the second, Bryan responds to Harold whining about his boss with a brief recap of his program with AJ and Kane – who just happens to be the late patient. (Saw THAT coming)
The last segment has Kane going over (almost) his entire back-story, briefly mentioning Katie Vick even. The shrink sends everyone home assigning them to work on an “anger collage.” Bryan chases him out, berating him the whole time. Harold thanks Kane for sharing, Kane responds by throttling him and snarling “You’re welcome.” Kane made this segment work better than it should have.
We took a look back at Triple H’s career, leading up to his big promo where he would let us know if he was going to retire or not. He managed to kill over ten minutes without confirming anything, but he was gracious to the fans…
“Thank you, for letting me, play the game.” – Triple H.
Is there a reason every other person is working a crazy gimmick? We got R-Truth with “little Jimmy,” Daniel Bryan with anger management issues, Kane…duh, and AJ going nuts anytime someone suggest she’s… going nuts. I’m sorry but this comes off as lazy. You can’t come up with anything else? Is Josh going to go nuts because he doesn’t want wrestlers to attack him? Is Cole going to explain the last year or so of douchey behavior was temporary insanity?
It seems “crazy” is the default whenever WWE can’t figure out what to do with someone. AJ was supposed to be a “manic pixie dream girl next door.” Apparently that didn’t fly, so she’s crazy. R-Truth was angry about WWE putting no faith in him and tried to imply that they didn’t want a black champion. That hit too close to home, so he went “crazy.” Daniel Bryan wants respect for what he can do in the ring? He must be crazy. Kane…
Well that worked out, still…
You know, mental illness is a serious, real problem. Some of the fans out there might have someone in their family who suffers from this. You could potentially alienate a huge percentage of the fan base, or maybe just make a whole lot of casual fans uncomfortable with your product.
Tags: Air Guitar, Aj, Cobra, Comebacks, Condescending Manner, Guitar Duel, John Cena, Kick To The Head, Mathews, Miz, Music Hits, Ring Apron, Ringside, Ropes, Sax Music, Stares, Swagger, Turning Point, Ugly Face, Vick