WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (May 28, 2012) from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana, and features, according to my cable guide, "all the fallout from Big Show knocking out John Cena."
If you remember, last week's show ended with a big brawl in the ring while Cena went searching for Show in the back. He found him and ended up laid out.
But the big news right now is Brock Lesnar and his status with the company. Is he working Dana White and the UFC to get free publicity for WWE? Is he just playing out a storyline and using his former bosses to further it in an ultimate leap for the Reality Era?
How WWE chooses to acknowledge the situation will say a lot.
Oh, and it's Memorial Day. That could mean a simple tribute (unlikely) or Vince McMahon throwing out the script, having John Cena revert to his Marine character and going over on everyone via superhuman feats of strength (more likely).
All that and more.
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 28
Broadcast is live.
Small tribute for Memorial Day. Well done, WWE.
Video package opens the show. Showing footage from Over the Limit interspersed with Cena's promo from last week. All to set up the angle for tonight. They literally just spent the first five minutes of Raw on that video. The three hour shows are going to be so loaded with video packages.
Big Show's music hits at the arena in New Orleans and no one reacts at all, likely because they had the life sucked out of them by being made to watch the Titantron for the first five minutes.
Justin Roberts introduces him and Show has no heat in the "Big Easy."
Finally, some boos when the music stops.
Show just smiles. "You see this? This is me doing my job."
He says it was easy making the fans smile and he didn't mind doing it but make no mistake, his decision was a calculated one. It was all business and he made a good living at it. He's "a business man who just so happened to be a giant."
They start doing the "WHAT?!" chants and he calls them out for it, sarcastically telling them that's why he loves them so much.
So they switch to chanting for Cena, making him stop short on his next sentence.
"I have an ironclad contract with a big fat bonus, which means I'm set for life. It means I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, to whoever I want, and I don't have to be concerned with putting smiles on you people's faces. I'm 7'0'' and 400-pounds; I'm not an entertainer, I'm a giant. Let's face it people, there's no one in my league."
He starts going off on other sports, saying there's no one from the NFL, NBA, or UFC who is in his league.
First UFC reference of the night!
Show continues by saying no one came to his defense when he was begging for his job. He then shows video of Brodus Clay dancing in the ring with kids, which happened just minutes after his segment.
A lot of fans thought that odd. Glad they played it into the storyline.
"My tears were not even dry in the ring and Brodus Clay was out there dancing. DANCING!"
Show is phenomenal on the mic.
He said it hurt to see his friends, Kofi and Truth, just yucking it up and dancing while the fans clapped and cheered along. It was so easy for them to move on. "You people are so shallow," Show says. "You're so phony. But after all that, there's one man, there's one guy that disappointed me even more than all of you. And that mans name is John Cena."
A big reaction for the name drop.
Show says he thought Cena would fight for him, his friend. He thought Cena would lead a mutiny in the back unless John Laurinaitis hired Show back. Instead, he did the following: They then show video of Cena acting like a complete jackass doing the "loser" promo on Laurinaitis.
Cut back to the ring and Show is near tears. "Cena made jokes. I guess that's all I am. I guess that's all I am to you people as well -- just one big joke. Well Cena hurt me when he decided he didn't care. And last week, I hurt him. I knocked John Cena out twice within 24 hours. Now what I'm going to do to John Cena at No Way Out, it won't be pretty. John Cena's not going to be standing across from the ring from a business man. He'll be standing across the ring from a giant."
Show is doing very well here.
He goes on to talk about Cena's loss to Rock, his beating at the hands of Brock Lesnar (first reference for him tonight!), and his loss to Laurinaitis. The combined embarrassment of which will be nothing compared to what Show will do to him at No Way Out.
"And that, that is what puts a smile on my face."
Show walks off after spending 10 minutes in the ring cutting one of the better promos of his career.
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan goes down tonight. A title shot on the line. So dumb.
Backstage, Santino Marella is lifting the U.S. title like he's using it to work out. He throws his back out, of course.
Santino Marella vs. Alberto Del Rio -- Del Rio destroys Santino to start. Marella moves out of the way and gets a hip toss and headbutt. He busts out the Cobra but Del Rio gets a kick to the gut and then the Cross Armbreaker for the submission win in about 30 seconds.
That's the U.S. champion that just got squashed.
Ricardo Rodriguez gets in Marella's face to announce Del Rio as the winner. Still no heat for him.
Backstage and Alex Riley is telling Eve she's doing a fantastic job. He continues to kiss ass until Big Show walks up. According to Eve, Show gets to pick his opponent tonight. He walks towards Riley and Alex starts pleading his case. Says he admires Show. He's told to relax, because he's not getting picked tonight but Show does want to send a message to the WWE locker room.
And he throws Riley at the wall before walking off all slow and robotic.
Tag titles are being defend tonight it appears.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger -- Kofi and Swagger kick us off. Kingston in early control with leg kicks then a drop kick. He tags in Truth and he does his "what's up" spot and leg drop. That gets a two count.
Swagger ends up reversed onto the outside and Ziggler gets in the ring just to get head kicked by both and then sent to the outside to join his buddy Swagger.
Swagger has control of Kingston and they run video from the commercial break showing when the heels took over. Kofi trying to fight out of a bad position but he ends up in the wrong corner and Swagger shoulder blocks him to death.
They set up a hot tag and Truth comes in to clean house. He gets a roll up on Swagger with the crowd hot as hell for a finish but Swagger kicks out. DDT gets two thanks to Ziggler making the save. Kingston comes in to send him out. Swagger looks for a quick roll up but Truth kicks out. Not long after he hits his finisher and that's good enough to get the pin to retain the tag titles.
They show Vickie Guerrero all upset on the outside and Lawler says she's mad because they know they're going to have to go to the back of the line.
In the ring and Ziggler is yelling at Swagger saying, "I'm better than this." He walks away from Swagger and Vickie as they yell at him.
Backstage and Santino is walking with a WWE employee. Show comes into the picture and the WWE employee says, "Show, he's hurt."
Show grabs Santino by the face and says maybe he'll pick him because he wasn't around to help him out.
Brodus Clay comes in and tells Show he should pick him for his match tonight and he'll give him something else to cry about. Show says okay but don't worry about dancing, cause when Show's done with him, he won't be able to walk.
John Laurinaitis makes his first appearance and he's still in his People Power wheelchair flanked by Eve and David Otunga. What a trio.
"Ace" says he has a few announcements.
1. Big Show vs. Brodus Clay will be going down tonight.
2. Big Show vs. John Cena at No Way Out will take place in a steel cage.
3. John Laurinaitis is now the most popular superstar of all time.
He says he has proof to back up that last claim and he starts talking about the WWE '13 video game cover. They drumroll and reveal a cover for an XBOX 360 game that has Laurinaitis on the cover.
"This game is going to be bigger than Pacman!"
What an awesome line.
CM Punk's music hits and he's out to interrupt the celebration.
"Pacman, huh? That's a very timely reference. It makes sense, though, considering neither Pacman nor yourself have any testicles whatsoever."
Terrible. Punk is terrible.
Punk says the actual cover of WWE '13 features a guy who is a whole hell of a lot better looking. Pyro goes off and the cover with Punk drops down.
"I've never got to tell you this face to face but mine is a whole hell of a lot bigger than yours. Would you look at that? I see Eve over there, I know she's looking at it."
Seriously, Punk is garbage.
He tells "Ace" to take Otunga and the hoeski and leave. After some more trash talk, he tells Laurinaitis to get out of his ring. He doesn't want to give the Board of Directors any more ammunition to fire at him. Laurinaitis says good luck and walks out to Punk's music.
Punk proceeds to destroy the Laurinaitis cardboard cover that was left in the ring. He didn't do an elbow drop on it, so he fails miserably.
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan -- They show replays of Bryan costing Kane his match from Smackdown last week. That's called foreshadowing, folks.
I missed the opening to the match but it looks a lot like the other matches they've had. Plenty of moves we're not used to seeing in a WWE ring, with Punk throwing submission attempts this time. Bryan hits a dropkick off the top, then a dive to kick Punk out of the ring.
He goes for another but misses and Punk takes control.
Suddenly, AJ comes walking out and Punk is staring daggers at her. She's wearing Punk gear head to toe.
Commercial break (at the worst time).
We come back and Michael Cole literally just said Punk "tried to reason with AJ last week and she even burst out crying." Seriously, the psychology in WWE is so fucked.
Meanwhile, Bryan takes control of the match before Punk comes back with body kicks. The comeback is snuffed out and Bryan has yet to even acknowledge AJ's presence.
He goes to the corner and does his YES! chant before hitting a dropkick. That only gets two. He works an arm until Punk battles back with forearm shots. Once again, though, Bryan snuffs out the comeback attempt.
He tries to go off the ropes but Punk gets a knee out for a rest spot. AJ is perfectly creepy/adorable staring at Punk longingly on the outside.
Punk's comeback is in force and he's selling the arm with every move, holding it close to his body. Until he hits the neckbreaker, which gets two.
High knee in the corner but the follow up bulldog is countered. Roll up from Punk gets two.
They battle back and forth leading to a Bryan superplex from the top rope. He looks for the pin but Punk kicks out at two and a half. AJ starts looking really concerned. Bryan goes over and undoes the top turnbuckle on one corner. AJ jumps up and tries to tell the referee but he doesn't listen, of course, and it gives Bryan time to get the turnbuckle undone.
Punk tells AJ to get lost. He then runs over for the high knee and it just so happens to be in the same corner Bryan undid the turnbuckle. Bryan sends Punk crashing into it and that's enough to get the pinfall.
Bryan wins and earns a title shot later on.
Suddenly Kane shows up and he's got a chair. He starts killing Bryan with it before chokeslamming him on top of it. Kane then turns his attention to Punk but AJ slides a chair in to Punk so he can avoid any damage. And, actually, he unleashes a few shots of his own.
AJ looks so very hot smiling at Punk destroying Kane.
Punk looks over at AJ, who stays on the outside. Cole calls her "a flat out whack job."
Christian comes out to make his entrance and while he's doing so, they cut to Cole and Lawler ringside, who say Chris Jericho won't be around tonight because he's suspended but go to WWE.com if you want to find out more. Whatever.
Oh, and Cody Rhodes is out to do commentary for the following match.
Christian vs. The Miz -- Don't worry folks, Miz will be gone soon enough, off to film The Marine 3.
Chrisitan and Miz have a solid match, trading offense with Rhodes talking down Christian on commentary. He also talked up Miz before saying he doesn't need to scout Christian anymore and he's done. He then threw the mic down and walked out.
He stopped at the top of the ramp to watch Christian hit the Killswitch and Frog Splash to get the win.
Backstage and Eve and Otunga are with Laurinaitis. "Ace" is chastising Otunga for tapping to the STF so fast last week. He said he was put in the move twice at Over the Limit and never tapped. Otunga says the move wasn't fully applied then but Laurinaitis shuts him up by saying, "Intestinal fortitude; find it."
He chastises Eve, too. She hold Teddy Long to get her some coffee to start the segment and he comes back just as Laurinaitis is leaving. She takes a drink and spits it out all over Long's white suit. "It's cold," she says, before dumping the entire cup on him.
"It's supposed to be cold. It's iced coffee," Long says to a good reaction from the crowd.
I won't bring up Long being black and playing a slave character. I won't. Promise.
Following that segment, Jim Ross tweeted the following:
"Teddy Long is going to go angry, pissed off Samuel L. Jackson on they ass. Word."
WWE, ladies and sirs.
Miz is still in the ring and he's got a mic. He's pissed about his match with Christian not being for the Intercontinental title. He's not okay with getting the winning pinfall for John Laurinaitis. He wants an ironclad contract like Big Show.
Randy Orton's music hits and he walks out with a purpose. He doesn't say a word, though, he just walks up to Miz and hits him with an RKO.
While he shows off to the crowd, Dolph Ziggler is shown in the back telling Vickie Guerrero that she needs to get him out of this tag team and "that should be me" while pointing at the screen showing Orton doign his thing.
They cut to ringside and Lawler and Cole are talking about Memorial Day. "No matter what you think about John Cena, you can't deny his patriotism. Let's take you to a video package, prerecorded, of some comments Cena made about Memorial Day."
The video package airs before Lawler says "Happy Memorial Day, everyone."
David Otunga vs. Sheamus -- Otunga opens with punches but it isn't long before Sheamus takes over and starts pummeling him. Surprisingly, Sheamus lets Otunga come back and get some offense in. I think he just used a diving shoulder block. Now he's got Sheamus in the corner and he's hitting some of the worst punches/forearms in the history of ever. "Clubbing blows," as Cole called them.
You can imagine Sheamus' reaction. He set up and delivered the forearms through the ropes spot not long after and then hit White Noise, one of his finishers, to no reaction.
So he hulks up by pounding his chest and screaming "BROGUE" before hitting the Brogue Kick for the pin.
Looks like Show and Clay are actually the main event.
Another video replay of what happened at Over the Limit and Raw last Monday night.
Big Show vs. Brodus Clay -- The Funkasaurus comes out and does his usual thing. Show comes out with a mic and starts cutting a promo on Clay saying Show may have done embarrassing things throughout his career, but they were all for business. Clay embarrasses himself on a nightly basis with all the dancing crap.
Hell, maybe he can ditch the dancing thing and paint his face up to be the next Doink. The only difference being Doink actually had talent.
He then comes running down and hits Clay with a spear that looked super good on TV. He starts working Clay over while the Funkettes stand in the ring and hold each other. Clay tries to battle back with punches but Show no sells them and keeps the beating going.
Show starts getting a table ready for Clay and the tag champs come running out. Kingston gets tossed onto Truth, though, and that's that.
Show proceeds to break the announce table just by stomping on it. He picks up a piece of it and smashes it on Clay's back. And another. Damn good looking spot and Clay is down and out.
The crowd starts chanting for Cena while Show hauls off and drills Clay a third time.
With the Funkasaurus totally out of commission, Show turns his attention to Truth, who he tosses up into the ropes like a child. Kofi comes up again and Show sends him flying through a barricade.
Cole perfectly times his, "Oh my god." Perfect tone on it, too.
This is going a long time without Cena showing up.
Show picks up Truth and throws him into the steel steps.
They start in with the replays, one of which was the chokeslam on Truth into the ropes. That was an awesome spot.
Show slowly starts walking to the back while Clay, Truth and Kingston are laid out selling for him. He hits the top of the ramp and Laurinaitis comes out to raise his hand.
Cole says things should be different next week when Cena returns live to Raw.
Fade to black.