WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (May 14, 2012) from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and will be the go-home show to the Over the Limit pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night in North Carolina.
The big advertisement for the show is the return of Triple H, who will obviously address the situation with Brock Lesnar and his representation, Paul Heyman.
Maybe this time he'll bother to actually sell his arm injury, huh? Just kidding, Trips, don't go off on a tirade on your company's website.
Also making his return after a (fake) one week absence is John Cena, who continues to rise above hate, injuries, and now divorce. The biggest news of the past week in pro wrestling was Cena filing for divorce from his wife, Liz, and we can't help but wonder how this will be addressed on Raw tonight, if at all.
My guess? We won't hear anything of it.
All that plus, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan need to figure out why the hell they're having a match in less than one week. Because, you know, WWE hasn't written anything for them.
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 MAY 14
We open with Triple H walking through the back wearing that weird ass arm brace. John Laurinaitis shows up and tries to explain why things went down the way they did. He says he didn't jump in because he knew Trips would want to stand up for himself like a man. But it was painful watching him get his ass kicked.
"The Game" remains quiet before saying he'll speak in front of the world. Oh and good luck with John Cena on Sunday.
Unfortunately, we get Nickelback tonight.
He is the game and you don't want to play him. Triple H comes rolling down to the ring and just as he gets there, they run video of two weeks ago when Lesnar broke "The Cerebral Assassin's" arm with a kimura.
Cut to the ring and Triple H actually has a smirk on his face.
"So everybody wants to know my thoughts on Brock Lesnar. I been telling everybody the same thing. It's not the physical that bothers me so much -- trust me, I've had more done to me -- but I'm offended by Brock Lesnar. I'm offended that he said he had to bring legitimacy back to WWE."
Triple H goes on to say the day before Lesnar came back, he went toe-to-toe with Undertaker in front of 78,000 and while doing so, he was thinking, "Gee, I wish someone would come along and make this legitimate."
A few laughs.
He goes on to say Lesnar has offended everyone in pro wrestling by bringing up legitimacy as though WWE needs it. He lists off a who's who of the history of the game, including guys like Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. They're all offended because Lesnar has said this. I wonder if Hogan would agree. I bet not.
Triple H goes on to say he was embarrassed but that's only because he bought into Brock's hype. That's the same hype he bought into all the way back in 2002. He says he looked at Brock and immediately saw that he would be the next big thing. And he was right.
Isn't Triple H always right?
"The Game" busts out the revisionist history and says Lesnar quit as soon as the going got tough. He acknowledges that Lesnar went to the UFC, even saying those three letters. Oh shit, he's shooting now. He says as soon as Lesnar got his ass kicked just a little bit, he quit. Which isn't totally true but it's the perception.
Then Lesnar came back, Triple H says, and he tried to run John Cena over but ended up getting beat. Triple H now putting Cena over as the guy who never quits and reaches deep inside and fights and blah blah.
We're 10 minutes in and Triple H is STILL yapping. He gets to the punchline and says Lesnar quit WWE for the second time as soon as the going got tough.
His music finally hits and it's not Brock but instead Paul Heyman with some anonymous cat holding a file folder.
Heyman gets behind the guy and says he gets it. It's the big spin, it's damage control, it's what every promoter has said over the years when they lose their biggest star. Because that's what happened to Triple H and now he thinks he's a business man? Well, as a business man, he screwed up because Heyman says they've got an open and shut case.
He explains Lesnar and Laurinaitis reaching an agreement and signing a contract that Triple H ripped up, which was breach of contract. Heyman then says he doesn't understand why Triple H brought a fighter into entertainment and then got upset when he fought.
"You don't get Brock Lesnar but you do get this."
Guy hands Triple H papers.
"Consider yourself served."
Heyman says Lesnar is upset professionally but personally he expected more out of Triple H. He expected a fight but instead got an executive. Heyman says he's glad Brock broke his left arm because with the right one, he's going to write out a check.
Triple H knocks the mic out of Heyman's hand and grabs him by the face all serious like. Heyman plays it perfect by looking scared and asking what he's doing.
Trips turns around and tells Heyman to go tell Lesnar he's going to get everything he deserves, just after throwing the papers back at Heyman. He tries to walk out with music rolling but Heyman halts him.
Heyman says Triple H screwed up again and he's going to sue him for putting his hands on him because, you see, that's assault and battery.
Isn't this a pro wrestling show?
Whatever, Heyman's a hell of a performer.
They go ringside with Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole and apparently someone jumped the rails because Lawler says, "Oh, get him" before they get back to the business at hand. That was weird.
Another video package. We see Laurinaitis getting pissed at Big Show for running into him and Show then making fun of his voice, which Eve caught him doing.
Later tonight, Show has to go up against Kane and if he doesn't apologize later tonight, he'll be fired.
We're 17 minutes in and not getting a commercial break just yet, apparently. CM Punk's music hits to a nice reaction and Justin Roberts tells us a tag team match is upcoming.
Oh joy, nothing we love more than the WWE champion in tag matches.
Naturally, we get replays of Punk getting squashed by Lord Tensai last week before Daniel Bryan put him in the YES Lock. They have a match this weekend, by the way. Cole tells us Punk is teaming with Santino Marella against Cody Rhodes and Bryan.
CM Punk and Santino Marella vs. Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan -- Solid babyface reaction for Bryan. The crowd LOVES the YES gimmick. Punk starts the match opposite Rhodes. He takes him out of the ring fairly quick before also disposing of Bryan, who ran in. This leads to a suicide dive from Punk with Santino also trying to hit one but racking himself on the ropes.
Punk climbs in and gently tries to explain he's supposed to go through the ropes.
We come back to Marella getting the better of Rhodes before Cody makes a comeback and takes control. This leads to Bryan tagging in and with every knee and kick, the crowd gets behind him with a loud "YES" chant.
I love it.
The heels work some solid tag action while Punk screams for Santino to fight back. Comeback attempt number one fails. Cole mentions that Marella and Rhodes have been bragging about their title meaning more than the other. If this is the beginning of a unification set up, I'm in.
They do a spot with Marella diving over to Punk to get the hot tag but missing and falling flat on his face. I love the comedy spots in his matches. He does them so well.
He eventually does get the tag, though, and Punk cleans house. He destroys Rhodes while begging Bryan to climb in and do something but once he does it leads to Punk hitting Rhodes with the GTS and getting the pin while staring at Bryan slowly backing up the ramp.
Randy Orton will be taking on Chris Jericho later tonight. So I guess Jericho is a Smackdown guy now.
They also tease an announcement from Laurinaitis that will "change the course of WWE forever."
Divas match up next.
Alicia Fox vs. Beth Phoenix -- Beth walks out like she's completely okay and not selling an ankle injury at all. Cole explains this by saying she lost her belt because of the injury but she wants to prove she's back to 100-percent in this match tonight.
Great attention to detail by WWE.
Layla walks out to the top of the ramp to watch the match, which is basically just Phoenix mauling Fox. Press slam, Glam Slam, pinfall.
Phoenix picks Fox up and tosses her out, which leads to Layla running down and hitting Phoenix with a faceplant.
What's sad here, is this was probably a better closing angle to a pay-per-view match than Punk and Bryan got.
Oh dear god, they're putting Cena over huge yet again. They run video and talk about his article in USA Today about all his various work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Even I can't fault him for that.
Another replay of the Laurinaitis situation with Big Show. They're really trying to play up this angle with Show potentially getting fired. Is he taking a break from TV or something?
Dear god, we're getting yet another video package for the Big Show-Eve-Laurinaitis angle. Holy hell, they really worked hard on this promo for this angle.
Laurinaitis comes out for Show vs. Kane, which is next. That's secondary to the fact that DAVID OTUNGA IS BACK!
Kane vs. Big Show -- Show out first with a big grin on his face. Lawler and Cole play up whether or not he'll apologize. I'm blown away by the attention they're paying to this angle. They start the match with Show tossing Kane to the mat before picking him up and grappling with him in the clinch. They get up against the turnbuckle and Show unloads punches until slamming Kane again.
Early advantage to the good guy.
Kane makes a comeback but uses a rest spot -- a sleeper -- that kills the crowd dead. They hardly react to Show slamming Kane and nearly falling on his ass. They get into it when Show climbs the second rope and comes off to the mat after Kane moved out of the way.
They work to the outside with Show throwing Kane into the barricade. A big spear hits and Show sells it better than Kane. WWE cameras keep cutting to Laurinaitis and Otunga and Otunga is awesome with his facial expressions.
Both big men climb back in the ring and Laurinaitis suddenly hops on the mic and says he wants his apology right now. Show is shocked at his timing and Kane takes advantage with a choke slam that gets the pin.
Kane quickly bails to allow Laurinaitis to get in the ring to tell Show to "get up and talk to me like a man." Show, being a professional, sells the choke slam. "Ace" gets in his face and once again demands an apology and if it's not to his liking, Show is getting fired.
Show grabs a mic and continues selling the choke slam. Sure do appreciate that.
He hops on the mic and says he's been thinking long and hard about what he's going to say tonight. When he broke into WCW, he was 23-years-old. He's done it all since then, since it all, and even had his WrestleMania moment. There's a part of him that can walk away with his head held high and with no regrets. But the truth is he loves what he does. He loves getting up and performing for the fans. Now he gets emotional and talks about seeing the kids faces when he comes down the aisle and the friendships he's made with some of the boys in the back.
"Don't erase 18 years of my life for something petty. You want to fine me, fine me. You want to bar me from ever having a championship match again, I guess that's alright to. If me imitating your voice offended you, I'm sorry. But if there is an ounce of decency, you will continue to allow me to do what I love."
Laurinaitis says that was very passionate but he didn't hear Show say that he's sorry.
Show says he did say that.
Laurinaitis says he doesn't think the cheap seats nor those in the back quite heard him.
Show, crying now, says he's sorry again. Damn, Show is great here.
Laurinaitis gets more heat by telling Show to beg him. Even more, he tells Show to get on his knees and beg him, all while Otunga stands with his travel coffee mug and smiles.
Show really plays up his anguish and Laurinaitis continues his cold, uncaring act. The crowd is firmly behind Show, as he contemplates his decision. He teases dropping to one knee multiple times but keeps getting back up.
Finally, he says fine, he'll beg and he's sorry but please, Johnny, don't make him get on his knees on beg.
"Look at you. You disgust me. I'll do what's right for business, not for you, not for them, but I'll do what's right for business and I'll reconsider it," Laurinaitis says before walking away.
That was actually a pretty powerful segment. Great performances from all involved.
Laurinaitis stops at the top of the ramp and says he reconsidered it and by the power vested in him as the blah blah ...
"Johnny WAIT," shouts Show. He then drops to both knees while sobbing now and apologizes. Laurinaitis says, "You apologize for what?"
"I apologize for making fun of your voice and I'll never do it again. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? ARE YOU HAPPY?"
"No, I'm not. As General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown, I wish you the best in your future endeavors. And Show ... you're fired."
Then he walks out.
Hollee shit, that was crazy TV. Cameras go to Show in the ring, still on his knees, sobbing.
In an attempt to bring the crowd back up, Brodus Clay's segment is next.
What's this? Oh, it's a six-man tag match.
Brodus Clay, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, and Jack Swagger -- Swagger and Truth start us out. Cole talks about how weird the babyface team is and I have to agree. Clay comes in and cleans house and the babyfaces quickly take control and send out all the heels.
We see Abraham Washington hanging with Primo, Epico, Rosa Mendes and Mason Ryan in the sky box. After the reports of Ryan working as Ziggler's bodyguard at weekend house shows got out, that makes this doubly interesting.
Back in the ring and Miz is working Truth with an armlock. He moves over to hit Clay and this allows Truth to get a tag to Kofi, who comes in and hits his high flying moves. They horribly botch a spot against the ropes and after Kingston hits the SOS, we see the heels rush the ring and get cleared out by the babyfaces.
Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise just after Clay makes the tag and the Funkasaurus comes in to hit the dino drop to get the pin.
Once again, they bring in a bunch of kids to dance with Clay, the Funkettes, Kofi and Truth.
After the break, Orton and Jericho will do their thing. Cole calls it the main event but that's not true because Cena and Laurinaitis will close the show with a promo for Over the Limit. Whatever.
We see Punk walking in the back with Alex Riley. Suddenly AJ shows up and she just wants to say good luck on Sunday. He says he appreciates it but he doesn't want to get involved in the drama between her and Bryan. Punk says he doesn't trust Bryan and AJ has been unstable in the time he's known her. So he walks off and she looks incredibly hurt.
Jerry Lawler pipes in and says, "she's got issues."
What the fuck was that about? How is AJ looking bad here?
Sheamus comes out to do commentary for this next match. I'm sure Alberto Del Rio will have a run in later so he doesn't feel all left out.
Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton -- Cole says Sheamus only has a 25-percent chance of winning this Sunday because it's a Fatal Four-Way match. We're then told that Del Rio isn't even here but he'll be on Smackdown. Boy, he became an afterthought on his feud with Sheamus in a hurry, didn't he?
Orton and Jericho open the match with Randy taking control early. Nice dropkick before Orton sends Jericho over the top rope.
Jericho took control of the match during the break, which we know because WWE shows us replays of the action while they were away. Instead of focusing on the match, though, it's all about Sheamus on commentary ringside. And he's going back and forth with Cole.
That hasn't been done before or anything.
Meanwhile in the ring, Jericho hits the Lionsault but Orton had his ribs up. Time for Orton's five moves of doom. Clothesline, clothesline, powerslam, backbreaker, draping DDT. Actually, Jericho counters the DDT and sends Orton out over the top rope.
He quickly gets in Sheamus' face and the champion throws his headset down. Jericho acts like he's going to send Orton into the ring but instead throws him into Sheamus.
Jericho laughs and puts Orton in the ring, which sets him up nicely for the draping DDT that started this whole mess. Orton starts calling for the RKO but Sheamus is revived by now and he drags Jericho out of the ring and lays him out. Orton is pissed because this means Jericho wins via disqualification.
Orton runs out and gets into a shouting match with Sheamus. "That was my W!" HA. That was great.
They both get in the ring, hot heads they are, and act like they're going to have a match. A gang of referees come running down and keep them apart, though. The crowd is dead for this.
Out comes Laurinaitis. He says he wants to say what Big Show couldn't say genuinely -- I am sorry. I'm sorry if John Cena is your favorite superstar because that makes you a loser.
He goes on to say Cena lost to Rock and looked like a loser after the Brock fight. And he's better than both of them combined. So he'll prove it this Sunday night. But it's cool that there are a bunch of losers out there because if there weren't, there couldn't be winners like him.
Cena comes out and he's LITERALLY SHAKING HIS ARM OUT AND TELLING THE CAMERA HE'S TOTALLY FINE.
Cena grabs a mic and gets close to Laurinaitis before sniffing. "Desperation is such a stinky cologne, Mr. Laurinaitis ... if that is your real name."
Oh great, Cena thinks he's funny again.
He quickly starts making fun of "Ace's" voice. He tells Laurinaitis he was a scumbag before he fired Show but after he did that he became the undisputed king of douche bags.
Cena goes on to run down Laurinaitis' accomplishments or lackthereof and does his best Ace Ventura expression. It's terrible and unfunny and I hate this man with the fire of 1,000 suns.
Cena takes a few jokey polls of the audience and they respond as expected. This is the worst segment I've seen on Raw in a long time. Since like ... last week.
Laurinaitis interrupts Cena and says he was going to refer to the Pittsburgh Penguins "later on in my promo but you stole my stuff." Cena says he couldn't hear him and goes back into his Ace Ventura routine, cutting off Laurinaitis by calling him a loser every time he tries to speak.
Cena lets him say what he wanted to and Laurinaitis says he was going to call the Penguins losers.
Now it's Cena's turn and oh look, a few of the Penguins are here tonight. Cena says on behalf of the Penguins and everyone else (pulls out a hockey puck) -- "Go puck yourself."
Worst shit ever.
Laurinaitis tries to get some of his heat back and while he's talking, Eve comes rolling out looking foxy as hell. Shes' got something in her hands and she interrupts Laurinaitis to whisper something in his ear. Sweet nothings? Probably not.
She gives him the paper she was carrying and walks out. Cena grabs it out of his hand and rips it in the process. He says it's actually from the WWE Board of Directors.
They have important news regarding the match at Over the Limit. They think it's important that the WWE Universe know what they're getting. The match will be one-on-one, there will be no special guest referee, no one is allowed at ringside, the only way to win is by pinfall or submission, and any superstar who interferes in the match will be immediately terminated.
Cena goes on to say that should Laurinaitis lose the match, he will be officially terminated. Cena gives him the paper back and his music hits.
But oh no, Cena says Cole was teasing a big announcement from Laurinaitis and he wants to hear it before they go off the air. Laurinaitis walks up to Cena and smacks him hard across the face before turning and walking out.
Cena finally puts a serious face on to watch Laurinaitis walk away and they close with the big goof staring at him while Jerry Lawler says, "Oh my gosh. Maybe we'll see the last of Laurinaitis on Sunday."
Fade to black.