WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (April 9, 2012) from the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., and features the first advertised appearance of the one and only Brock Lesnar.
Indeed, the latest TV spot reads with the following: "Brock Lesnar is back. But why has he targeted John Cena?" Tonight could mark Lesnar's first promo to explain, or he could just arrive, F-5, and leave again, which would actually be preferable.
Keep that badass mysteriousness to his cause and all that.
Cena, of course, will be smiling and declaring how much he loved Lesnar coming back because it got WWE fans fired up and if there's anything John Cena loves, it's fired up WWE fans. Never mind that he was the one getting helicoptered around the ring.
And here's hoping we get Daniel Bryan on the show with an extended angle opposite AJ, who he kayfabe broke up with on Smackdown. We need more of MAH BOY D-BRY!
Raw starts at 9 p.m. ET time on USA, so be sure to make your way back here to chat with all your favorite Cagesiders during the show. It's always a fun time. Raw live blog after the jump.
WWE RAW RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG APRIL 9
Broadcast is live.
Oh god. They open with silly garbage with the Three Stooges to announce they are guest hosting. Bad comedy from Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole.
At least it meant no legit Nickelback opening.
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry rematch tonight.
New music hits and it's decidedly presidential. John Laurinaitis makes his way out with David Otunga. I hope this isn't his new theme but "Big Johnny" and "People Power" came on the titantron when he came out, so I guess it might be.
Laurinaitis says he's about to introduce the new face of the WWE. He's not a guy who is here to entertain anyone, he's just a legitimate badass champion athlete.
We assume he's talking about Lesnar and they run video of Raw last week to show us that Laurinaitis is, indeed, speaking of Brock.
Man, that was a sweet return, wasn't it?
They come back and Laurinaitis says to welcome the new face of WWE and the man who will face John Cena at Extreme Rules and will bring legitimacy back to the WWE.
There's the match announcement.
Brock comes out smiling to a solid pop.He does his jump up on the ring apron from standing on the outside. Still one hell of an athlete.
"Ace" shakes his hand and gives him the mic. Lesnar will speak.
"First and foremost, I'd like to thank you, Mr. Laurinaitis. I'd like to thank you for having the wisdom to bring legitimacy back to the WWE."
Cena's music hits to a raucous reaction. Puke green shirt is still holding strong.
And he's STILL smiling. I hate this man with the fire of one thousand suns.
Lesnar consults with Laurinaitis while Cena plays up getting into the ring. Brock is still wearing the same gear from last week but he looks decidedly less defined in the arms and what not. Believe me, pro wrestling fans will care about this.
Ton of heat from the crowd.
Cena busts out and says, "I never got to thank you for last week" and straight up shoot slaps Lesnar in his face.
Lesnar pulls a double leg takedown and suddenly the entire locker room is out to break them up. The crowd is nuts for this. Lesnar breaks through all the guys holding him back.
They show Cena and he's bleeding from the mouth. They're not even trying to hide it. In fact, they're showcasing it.
Once they relax a bit, Cena rushes Lesnar again and they brawl some more. This is such a great angle to run because of Brock's past in UFC. Cena bleeding really sells it, too.
Lesnar rushes through everyone again and they're once again going at each other. Finally, they get Lesnar out of the ring and Cena is smirking through the blood.
Naturally, they replay the brawl. Man, that was great.
Backstage, Laurinaitis is screaming at Teddy Long and telling him this is his fault. He was supposed to keep an eye on John Cena and didn't, so he needs to go find him and figure out what the hell happened.
Eve shows up and tells "Ace" she needs some time with him. They set up a date for later.
UH OH. SOMEBODY CALL MY MOMMA.
Clay comes out wearing a hat and his red suit. Santino Marella joins him and the funkettes. Looks like this is a tag match.
Brodus Clay and Santino Marella vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger -- This was an easy match to set up. Kind of nice, actually, to make booking this simple.
Ziggler and Marella start. A couple of near falls from Ziggler leads to an arm drag from Santino. Dolph gets out and tags to Swagger, which leads Marella to tag in Clay. The Funkasaurus and Swagger have a brief screaming standoff but Clay gets the better of it.
Cole is exceedingly annoying on commentary. He's getting himself over with knowledge of dinosaurs. You know, because Clay is a dinosaur type character.
Swagger takes control and starts to distract the referee so Ziggler can get it in on Clay as the show goes to break.
Fade in to Ziggler working over Santino. He tags in Swagger so he can do the same. Lawler and Cole continue talking dinosaurs and as many have pointed out, they don't even have correct information. Cole is just laughing ringside and trying to cover it up.
Ziggler screams at Clay after tagging back in and tells him he's not getting back in the match. Santino uses the opening to try to roll up Ziggler for the win but fails. So Dolph stands back up and delivers an awesome flying clothesline.
Not long after they get to the hot tag and Ziggler selling for Clay's moves is just as amazing as you would think. He hits the big splash and that gets the pin.
That was the biggest pinfall win of Clay's Funky career.
Backstage again and The Miz is talking to Laurinaitis. Something about big plans after WrestleMania.
Miz takes off and Teddy shows back up. "Ace" is screaming at him. Wants to know where Cena is and he shows up. Cena asks what he wanted. Legitimacy, that's right. Cena saying Laurinaitis thinks Cena doesn't want to get his face all messed up but he loves it.
Cena -- and by extension, WWE -- really plays up the legit theme by making sure to point out the blood and how busted up his face looks. He says he wants to compete tonight. So "Ace" sets him up against David Otunga.
Another backstage segment and Santino is asking everyone if they've seen the Three Stooges. Whatever.
Replay airs of Mark Henry tossing CM Punk last week. They'll be having a rematch tonight with the belt on the line.
Santino is still searching for the Stooges. He runs into Kane, who is just casually hanging out in the back with red lighting. Santino asks him about the Stooges, does a bit of comedy, and turns and runs away.
Out comes R-Truth. He's in against Cody Rhodes.
R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes -- They start the match and it's not long before Big Show comes out and stops the match to show another embarrassing video. This time it's last week's video of Show showing him a video of WestleMania 28.
The same result happens. Truth hits the finisher off the distraction and gets the pin.
Boy, I'm glad they're elevating Rhodes here. Oh, wait, they're not.
Santino backstage again and he runs into a box marked fragile with a backwards e. He opens it up and out come the Stooges and they go into their schtick, which isn't even kind of funny.
This is painfully unfunny. Enough so that I would change the channel if I wasn't covering this for work. The crowd isn't laughing at all.
Lord Tensai vs. Yoshi Tatsu -- Cole sets up the match by telling us Tatsu wanted this match and campaigned for it on Twitter throughout the week. His big beef is that Tensai isn't actually Japanese like he is and he wants to kick his ass for acting like it.
Tatsu has a look on his face like he means business but he still looks too much like that goofy kid from Hook that really wanted to be like Peter Pan.
The crowd in D.C. starts chanting "AL-BERT!" That's good. Tensai proceeds to hit his big spots and while Tatsu sells, the crowd goes into the Albert chants again. Cole tries to snuff it out to the live crowd by reminding us that his name is Tensai.
He continues squashing Tatsu and the referee steps in and stops the match, just like last week. And, again like last week, they do the mist spit to the claw spot.
Tensai walks out and I can't see him ever drawing money.
Another ad spot for Punk vs. Henry with a reminder of Chris Jericho smashing Punk over the head with a bottle of Jack last week.
Yet another replay from last week of Jericho pouring liquor in Punk's face. They show Jericho attacking but not the spot where he fell on his ass.
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry -- Punk comes out with a look of determined anger on his face. He grabs a microphone and crouches down in the middle of the ring. He says he wants to start off by saying that straight edge isn't a concept that everybody gets. He understands it and he sees that point of view but it's a personal choice. He didn't make that choice to fit in or be cool or to be trendy. It's a choice he made because it's a way of life.
The reasons for which he's tried to keep private. First of all, because it's no one else's business. Secondly, who cares if he's straight edge or not. He continues with his spiel that if he was ever going to make it to the top, it would be because he's the best wrestler in the world.
Then along comes Jericho and because he can't prove that he's the best in the world, he attacks Punk's family.
But he took it too far. He poured whiskey all over Punk's body and smashed a bottle over the back of Punk's head. Then Punk stumbles over his lines and says he had one thought during that entire ordeal and that it's that he smelled exactly like his father. The smell that would punch him in the face every time he got home from work. The smell that would ...
Wait. Jericho interrupts with another promo from the titantron. He says Punk doesn't look right. He looks hungover, actually. He keeps going after him and asks if he's still tipsy. Punk says it's not any of those things.
Jericho interrupts and says he's in denial. He needs to learn the steps of recovery in alcohol abuse. The first, of course, is acceptance.
He goes on to say that all he did was show Punk what it's like to be CM Drunk.
Someone in the crowd shouts, "Enough talking, let's go."
Punk says Jericho can't break him. And he's going to use this dark place to beat down Jericho. He's going to go after him and kick his ass because that's what this is all about now.
Guy in the crowd from earlier, "Go after him then."
Someone buy that guy a brew.
Mark Henry finally comes out for the match and Punk mean mugs him like he's getting ready to steal off on him.
CM Punk vs. Mark Henry -- Punk bullrushes Henry and Cole puts over his need to use the "dark place" to defeat Henry. He then gets taken out with a clothesline. They go to the outside and Punk gets disqualified for hitting Henry with television montiors from the announce tables.
He goes to continue the assault but Jericho's music hits. He comes out with a couple cases of beer. The distraction helps Henry hit multiple World's Strongest Slams, all while Jericho watches and makes mocking pain faces.
Once again, Punk is laid out in the ring and Jericho goes to pour beer on him. This time, Punk battles back first with a gut shot. A Codebreaker hits and puts Punk down long enough for Jericho to pour more alcohol on him.
Jericho pouring out a ton of beer on Punk while screaming at him.
Referees come down and this segment just went way too long. Jericho grabs the belt from ringside and poses with it as the segment finally ends.
Zack Ryder vs. Alberto Del Rio -- This is Joe Silva level matchmaking, folks. They show Smackdown last week with Del Rio earning a title shot via the old Eddie Guerrero cheat finish. This led to Sheamus Brogue Kicking the referee.
Del Rio starts by kicking the crap out of Ryder, who I suppose its the guy to get Del Rio over leading to his title match. ADR appears to be working a bit stronger than he used to, which was something Vince McMahon reportedly wanted to happen during his last run.
They set up Ryder to hit the Broski Boot in the corner, which he does. He looks for the Rough Ryder to follow it but misses and Del Rio locks in the Cross Armbreaker, which Ryder is tapping to before it's even fully locked on.
Just like that.
By the way, I haven't heard a single "YES!" chant.
Backstage again and the Stooges are running around with more ridiculously bad schtick. Oh god, they're going to come out to the arena next.
The Three Stooges are getting booed before even coming out. Two of them come down and the other one -- the fat one, Curly -- comes out wearing Hulk Hogan's gear and to the Real American theme.
Michael Cole says and I shit you not -- "He lost some weight."
The guy actually does a pretty good Hogan impression but the crowd just doesn't give a shit about these three idiots. They've booed the shit out of everything they've done.
Suddenly, Kane's music hits and they can't muster up the energy to care about that either.
Down he comes as the Three Stooges cower in the ring.
Two of the Stooges bail, leaving Curly to get choke slammed but only after doing the Hulk up schtick. Whatever. End this abomination. God, this Raw started so strong. Complete trash.
Backstage for an interview and Josh Matthews is asking Mark Henry if he has an explanation for what happened earlier, which was Henry smashing Punk with a couple World's Strongest Slams.
His explanation is that for two weeks in a row, he's beat Punk by disqualification. But next week, they'll have a match with no disqualifications or countouts. And that means Henry's winning the title next week.
I'd endorse that booking decision, though it would never get made at this point in time.
Uh-oh. Lawler tells us Matthews is going to interview Brock Lesnar. They show a replay of earlier in the night and the shot that busted up Cena. A receipt for that bitchslap, no doubt.
Here's Lesnar backstage and he gets polite applause.
Matthews asks him if he's proud of being back in WWE. Brock says yes. He's proud of everything he's ever done. Left the company and went and became UFC champion. Not only that, he says the UFC's success was on his blood, sweat and tears.
He goes on to say Cena's at the top but that's bullshit because he couldn't even hold Brock's jock strap. Now he's back and he's an asskicking war machine. He stumbled over a few lines towards the end, but that was a solid promo to establish his credentials and the reason he wanted to come back to smash Cena.
Time for a video of Undertaker and Triple H's match at WrestleMania 28, documentary style. Everyone putting it over as one of the best matches of all time, which it was. At least in my mind, it was.
I don't really like videos like that taking up valuable time on Raw but whatever, it was good.
David Otunga vs. John Cena -- Otunga's body is fake, by the way. He's made up of that shit they make mannequins from. No matter what happens with this Cena cat, he's going to get huge reactions. That's probably why he's the top dog, huh?
The dueling Cena chants break out before the match gets going. Have fun with it, crowd. Fug it.
Laurinaitis is ringside texting. Cena tells him to get off the damn phone while Lawler wonders who the hell he's texting all the time. Cole says he just got a text from him.
He's sitting right next to you, donk. Try harder.
The match starts and it's the basic power match set up. Big shots from both guys and Cena looks like he's working pretty stiff. Now Otunga does too.
Otunga getting some good offense in here and I dig it because Otunga is awesome. Cena's selling for him big and Otunga is posing in the middle of the ring. Cole warns of what can happen when a jobber gets cocky like that but Otunga just keeps working Cena over.
Fruity Pebbles chant breaks out and Cena's lip is busted open again.
I guess this means the no blood policy has been changed.
Otunga poses and this time Cena takes advantage. Five Moves of Doom time and Cena is taunting Laurinaitis. So I guess the rumored storyline for Lord Tensai was given to Lesnar instead.
Attitude Adjustment hits and Cena locks in the STF. Otunga taps and Laurinaitis looks on pissed off.
Lesnar shows up out of nowhere, though, and kicks Cena right in his junk. Hard, too. He laughs at Cena while he sells and when he gets up, gives him the F-5.
Goddamn this better not lead to a Cena win at Extreme Rules.
Brock's music plays as "Ace" looks on pleased.
I think the crowd is calling for one more F-5 but Lesnar wags his finger no at them. They boo and he walks out.
Fade to black.