Amazing. Photo via WWE.com.
WWE Monday Night Raw took place last night (May 21, 2012) from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia, and featured all the fallout from the Over the Limit pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in North Carolina.
As expected, we got long promos from John Cena, John Laurinaitis and Big Show to explain what went down in the main event of the PPV. A match between Cena and Show was even booked for the next PPV, No Way Out in New Jersey.
But we were also treated to the good news that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan will continue their feud thanks to the latter demanding a rematch after the way their match ended on Sunday night. It's a bit thin but I'm not complaining.
Enough with the small talk, though. If you want full results from Raw last night, click here for the running live blog. You can also listen to Sergio and I on the Cageside Live podcast gabbing about the show (among other things) right here. Time to get to reactions, posted after the jump.
- A pissed off John Cena is a John Cena I can get behind but an angry John Cena just comes off as goofy as the John Cena who cracks really bad jokes and acts really stiffly. It's difficult to remember but he doesn't appeal to me because he's not supposed to. The sooner I accept that, the better off I'll be. He shows enough flashes of potential that I get sucked into the idea of a more palatable John Cena but it's time to just let it go for good. The problem is that means simply turning off from the main event picture with the one pro wrestling promotion I bother to pay attention to. And that's an issue many more than myself have been having for years now.
- Thankfully, there's an undercard full of talented hopefuls that I can get behind. The very fact that CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan is probably going to happen at No Way Out is enough to make a man giddy with anticipation. It's like the thought of Punk and Jericho matches except add a star to each one. The best part is they now have a legitimate story to work with that they're actually bothering to service. Giving these two the 10 p.m. ET hour for their segment said a lot about where WWE feels they are right now. And it's good news for fans of great wrestling matches.
- I still have to call out CM Punk for being such a raving dick to AJ at every turn possible. It's becoming obvious where the story is headed but it's disheartening to see WWE follow such cut and dry narratives, especially when they involve making their top babyfaces act like asshole heels. I don't enjoy watching the second biggest good guy in the promotion act like a douche bag towards a woman just because she's acted irrationally as of late. The funny thing here is Punk is probably just as emotionally flawed, if not more so. Maybe that's why it's supposed to work but the way it comes across is just mean-spirited and in poor taste. It makes it worse if you're in semi-informed on Punk's background as a womanizer who has a low opinion of the opposite sex.
- Sergio and myself talked about this on the Cageside Live podcast last night but every champion within WWE right now is a babyface. This is absolutely not a good thing and the general disinterest in pretty much every single title confirms that. I'm not saying the answer is to turn one of the champions or put the belts on heels but pro wrestling generally works better when a good guy is chasing a title against a bad guy.
- John Laurinaitis' People Power scooter is one of the better props in recent memory. His single crutch was also a nice touch. If he continues acting injured for the next six months, it would make for better TV because it would remove the possibility of his getting physical with wrestlers again.
- There's simply no way I can adequately describe how desirable Eve is now that she's been put in power next to Laurinaitis and changed her look to a sexy library/office type prototype.
- The entire "wait and see" approach sucks but is sometimes necessary. That said, what was the point of squashing David Otunga last night? And why did Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil attack Cena after he squashed Otunga? Are they all working for Laurinaitis and it was a botched run in? He didn't seem to allude to as much when he chastised them, simply saying they didn't have permission to do that so get the hell out of Dodge. And there was never any real payoff to any of this, at least not yet. There's no other choice but to wait and see where this goes but I would have liked to understand why that happened before the show ended last night.
- Speaking of the show end, what are the chances that big brawl to close it turns into anything? The idea of the babyfaces in the locker room running in just because there were a ton of heels going at it in the ring bothers me but I like a good brawl as much as the next guy. But if it's not going anywhere, I'd rather they not waste time on it.
- Seriously, Big Show vs. Cena is going to suck. Hard.
- Christian can work a hell of a match and because of that, his holding the Intercontinental championship should be a good thing. I'd like to see a tweak to his character, though, to freshen it up, the sooner the better. They gave him a large introduction last night and he barely got a reaction. It's time to try something new with him.
- Dolph Ziggler is to bumping to his back what Shawn Michaels is to running the ropes -- it's a basic thing to do in a pro wrestling ring but they're both so damn good at it, I could just watch them do it over and over on a loop.
- Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, The Miz, Brodus Clay; these are just a few of the names who weren't given a segment during Raw last night. Did you miss them? Thought so.
- I thought Sergio's idea of Chris Jericho slowly descending into madness was perfect, not just because Jericho is the exact guy to execute a story like that well but because it makes sense with what's happened since he made his big return to WWE back on Jan. 2. It looks like he's headed for a feud with Randy Orton and if Orton goes over on him at No Way Out, Jericho can continue his descent while screaming from the rooftops that he's still the best in the world. Except now he's just trying to convince himself of that. This would also be a good launching point to get him off TV once he goes on tour with Fozzy here in another few months.
- Titus O'Neil has everything it takes to be a big star in this company and I sincerely hope he gets put in the right situation to shine on the bigger stage. More of him, please.
- Santino Marella is funny.
- Finally, John Cena deserves a dressing down for his reckless leap onto the pile of wrestlers on the outside during the lumberjack match in the main event. He very nearly injured Chris Jericho and he could have seriously hurt somebody by simply diving onto a pile of people with no warning when they didn't know he was coming at them. That's a rookie mistake and a careless move in a business where these guy's bodies are their livelihood. Dick move, Cena.
This wasn't a show that gave much hope for the future in terms of building towards the next PPV, but it had its moments. I suppose the best indicator for me is that if I didn't have to cover it for my job, I may very well skip out on Raw these days. That's a sad thought.
Last night's show gets a D- from me. What about you, Cagesiders? Time for you to let your thoughts be known in the comments section below. Sound off!