Photo via WWE.com.
WWE Monday Night Raw comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (May 7, 2012) from the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in Greensboro, North Carolina, and features all the fallout from Brock Lesnar's attack on Triple H last week.
Or so my cable guide says. In fact, it says verbatim "Fallout from Brock Lesnar's attack on WWE Executive Triple H."
It's doubtful they'll spend much time on that situation, seeing as it would appear Lesnar is headed for a short break and Trips is selling a broken arm, so he probably won't even be on TV.
Instead, the focus will likely be centered on John Cena (big surprise there, huh?) and his reaction to being attacked by John Laurinaitis and Lord Tensai last week. We'll also surely get his thoughts on the Over the Limit pay-per-view (PPV) match against "Ace," probably in full on goofy smiley promo mode.
Oh and they have to build to the CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan match at the same show. That alone is worth tuning into.
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 7
Broadcast is live.
Naturally, we start with a replay of last week and John Laurinaitis attacking John Cena before booking the match between the two at the Over the Limit PPV in a few weeks.
As usual, strong work from the production team.
No Nickelback this week, thanks to whoever is responsible for that.
John Laurinaitis kicks off the show. He comes out to very little reaction from the live crowd. Wake up, North Carolina.
"Ace" kicks off his promo by saying he won't allow anyone to challenge his authority or question his leadership skills, not even John Cena. He publicly insulted and embarrassed Laurinaitis, and well, he can't be having that. He also called the Raw and Smackdown General Manager a corporate jackass.
So Laurinaitis lost his temper and "went into a fit that no one can withstand. Brock Lesnar injured John Cena's arm; I injured John Cena's pride. And at Over the Limit, I will continue where Brock Lesnar stopped."
Not a bad promo by Laurinaitis, though he tripped up a bit when the crowd started chanting at him.
He promises to show us all how skillful and dangerous he can be. Oh and for all those who thought the WWE Board of Directors would punish him, sorry, it didn't happen. And that's because they recognize Laurinaitis is tough but fair.
By the way, he asked that Cena not be there at Raw tonight. That way he can rehab his arm and have it 100-percent by the time they have their match at Over the Limit. But he will be live via satellite doing an interview with Michael Cole.
Wait ... Cena via satellite? Where's The Rock when we need him.
Laurinaitis says Cena is suffering the consequences of making fun of his voice. And everyone who makes fun of his voice will face the same consequences. He goes on to explain that his voice wasn't always that way; he was injured in Japan by Dr. Death Steve Williams.
They acknowledge Laurinaitis' past in Japan with "Ace" himself saying he was "the Hulk Hogan of Japan. I was the Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock all rolled into one."
He puts over his match against Cena as a one night only return for him and it will be bigger than Rock vs. Cena AND Brock vs. Cena. "May god bless the fans, people power and may god have mercy on John Cena."
That was a VERY good promo.
Oh, wait, here comes CM Punk.
He's got his right arm wrapped, for whatever that's worth.
Punk says Laurinaitis never ceases to amaze him. Says Laurinaitis still doesn't have a clue what the people actually want. But don't worry, Punk is on his side tonight. But he's not going to make it easy by handing him the keys to the castle. He'll start backwards and work up.
What they don't want to see, according to Punk, is Laurinaitis. The fans cheer wildly for this.
Punk says they don't give a shit about "Ace" and his career in Japan, especially the revisionist history with Laurinaitis acting he was a lot better than he ever really was. Which is kind of true.
Punk goes on to say Laurinaitis is all upset because Lesnar failed to defeat Cena after "Ace" brought him in so now he's acting like a hyena, trying to pick what's left off the bone that Lesnar left for him.
Oh and the reason Laurinaitis went to Japan is because no one stateside wanted to pay to watch his rotten ass wrestle.
Laurinaitis tells him to be careful.
Punk says okay. But he'll be watching the Over the Limit show and he can't wait to see Cena beat him.
Laurinaitis asks if Punk is finished and Punk asks the crowd who says, "No."
So he starts cutting "Ace" down and calls him names like a "gigantic toolbox." He wraps it up and Laurinaitis says Punk is booked against a guy who went to Japan and honed his skills before coming back as a destructive force.
Punk says he knew that was coming because that's how Laurinaitis has always been. It's cool, he'll deal with it and all the while he'll look forward to Cena twisting Laurinaitis into a pretzel and making him tap.
Laurinaitis is texting someone walking through the back and runs into Big Show on accident. He yells at him to get the hell out of the way before walking off and Show quickly makes fun of his voice. When he turns around, Eve is standing there. She shakes her head at him, he shakes his head at her, and that's that.
Time for an Intercontinental championship match.
Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show -- Michael Cole acknowledges the "goofy" way Show lost the Intercontinental title at Extreme Rules and they show still shots of it. The match starts and Show takes the early edge via tossing Rhodes like a rag doll.
Out of nowhere, Rhodes hits the Beautiful Disaster kick, which Show basically no sells before catching a kick and sending Rhodes flying across the ring once again.
Rhodes gets out of the ring and picks up his title and just straight up runs to the back. Show is pissed that he wins by count out and he won't be getting the title. He grabs a mic and tells Cody not to take the cowards way out and come on back down to the ring.
Rhodes says no and Show says it will only be worse if he has to come to the back.
Eve's music hits and she comes waltzing out looking like the hottest librarian ever. She's foxy, y'all.
Eve simply looks at Show and says, "Apologize." He responds, "Apologize for what?"
"For making fun of John Laurinaitis' voice."
"Come on, Eve, I was just playing around."
"Apologize! To me, to all these people, to John Laurinaitis."
"Okay, fine. I'm sorry."
"Show, I didn't ask you to say 'I'm sorry.' I asked you to apologize. Now I should remind you that outside this business, there really isn't a big need for a 7'0'' tall, 40-year-old freak. Now apologize for making fun of John Laurinaitis' voice."
Show looks all upset here.
"I apologize for making fun of John Laurinaitis' voice. Happy?"
Eve stares him down as he walks out of the ring and up the ramp.
Sheamus and Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio is announced randomly. Sigh. Teddy Long booking the show?
The tag team champions are out. Cole says it's only one half, so that must mean Kofi Kingston is in singles action. Yep.
Vickie Guerrero comes out and says something that makes zero sense before introducing one of the best wrestlers on the roster, Dolph Ziggler. Unfortunately, Jack Swagger is still around.
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler -- The match starts and while Kingston looks to get the early edge, they cut to the backstage area and Epico, Primo and Rosa watching the match on a monitor with Abraham Washington (A.W.), who signed the two to his management team just this past week. He's now controlling their career.
Mason Ryan is also there watching with much longer hair than we seen him last. A.W. sizes him up and they cut back to the match, which has been pretty good so far, though this live blog doesn't reflect that. Kofi hits the Boom Drop and calls for the Trouble in Paradise. Swagger gets up on the apron and gets knocked off by Kofi. Ziggler tries to take advantage but ends up getting hit with the SOS, which is an awesome wrestling move.
It only gets a two count, however.
Truth gets up on the apron along with Vickie and this leads to the ref getting distracted long enough for Swagger to knock Kingston off the top rope. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag and gets the pinfall victory.
They show Cena talking to a producer in prep for his satellite interview. Which is really just Cena backstage. That's next.
Cole asks for everyone's attention and introduces John Cena. He says thanks for all the support.
Cole asks for an update on the arm and Cena says there's no permanent damage, so he can wrestle right now. But he does go on to say that he has to get his elbow drained like twice a day. And there's a group of doctors who recommended, in their professional opinion, he sit out for a couple months.
But he's John Cena, damn it.
Cole brings up the Board of Directors not doing anything about Laurinaitis' actions and Cena says that's because he called them himself and told them not to fire him until after Over the Limit.
Sigh. Goddamn it, WWE.
Cole goes on to say he watched tapes of Laurinaitis to research the match before he calls it (love that) and he saw that Laurinaitis is actually pretty good and Cena might be underestimating him and he actually might be a little scared. Cena says Cole did good with his investigative journalism because Cena IS scared.
He's scared Laurinaitis is so bad he'll hurt himself before Cena will get his hands on him.
He finishes the interview by saying he'll beat "Ace's" ass at Over the Limit and that'll be that. We can only hope.
Layla and Kelly Kelly walk through the back. They must be next.
Natalya and Maxine vs. Kelly Kelly and Layla -- Beth Phoenix is ringside to do commentary for this match, as if it won't be about 38 seconds long. The heels don't even get entrances. Layla doesn't quite look right wearing the knee brace but she makes it work.
Cole tells us WWE.com reports Beth Phoenix vs. Layla at Over the Limit. Joy.
Maxine is recognized by Cole as being a regular on NXT. She does a slick roll through but Layla reverses. That doesn't get the pin. No, that comes about 10 seconds later after a neckbreaker.
So it was about 48 seconds. Why have a tag match? Phoenix said maybe 18 words on commentary. Just a waste of time.
The 10 p.m. ET hour will have the big time tag match. Ratings!
Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho vs. Sheamus and Randy Orton -- Everyone gets an entrance, which takes 10 minutes. Jericho's was the best. He was staring at the crowd out of the corners of his eyes like he's all suspicious of them. I loved it.
Orton and Sheamus both got solid reactions. Sheamus is taped up near his upper arm and shoulder.
The heels control the action early with Del Rio working Orton over before tagging in Jericho. Orton reverses and loudly calls out a spot, which was a reversal into a clothesline. He tags in Sheamus, who goes to town on Jericho. We get a reversal and Sheamus forgets to sell the arm/shoulder.
Whatever, he does the forearms through the ropes spot with Orton egging the crowd on to count out each shot. Shortly after, though, the heels regain control. Good time to pay some bills.
Jericho working a shoulder lock and screaming for Sheamus to tap. The crowd brings Sheamus back and with his good arm, he dominates the shit out of Jericho in the corner. Both guys end up knocked down and boom, hot tags.
Orton in to dominate Del Rio with clotheslines. Power slam follows and it's time for the draping DDT.
He drops down to call for the RKO. Jericho runs in but he gets hit with a power slam. Rodriguez distracts the referee and Del Rio hits a kick to Orton's head. Ensuing pinfall gets two.
In comes Jericho after Del Rio took Orton to the heel corner. They work psychology and double team but Orton battles back fairly easy. Drop kick separates the two and leads to another hot tag spot. Except they don't get it and the crowd is chanting for the RKO, not the Brogue Kick.
Jericho mocks Sheamus, then picks Orton up and again we see (and hear) him calling spots out.
"Best in the world," he shouts. Jericho works a sleeper now but Orton battles out. A surprise roll up gets a two count but Jericho hits an enzuigiri to stay in control. In comes Del Rio and he works on Orton's arm. He picks Orton up and shouts, "DESTINY" before trying to lock in the Cross Armbreaker.
Orton, of course, counters and they get hot tags. Sheamus comes in with forearms that look terrible. He tries the Celtic Cross and Jericho falls because Sheamus is still supposed to be selling a shoulder injury. Irish Curse backbreaker only gets two because Del Rio makes the save. Orton comes in and hits the RKO on Del Rio.
Sheamus sets Jericho up for the Brogue Kick but he moves and Orton ends up eating it instead. Sheamus turns around and Jericho hits the Codebreaker. That gets the pin.
Jericho runs out and grabs the world heavyweight title and claims he's the champion because he pinned the champion. Hard to argue with that logic.
Jericho's music goes off and Sheamus picks Orton up. Orton waves him off and then hits an RKO out of nowhere.
I'm not sure I've seen Sheamus look that vulnerable on TV in like eight months.
For the first time on the entire show, they tell us we'll get updates on both Brock Lesnar and Triple H. It looks like the main event will be Punk vs. Lord Tensai, though. I wonder how that will end.
Backstage, Laurinaitis tells Eve he felt his apology was insincere. Eve says she'll go talk to him.
Jericho shows up and says he deserves a title shot against Sheamus now because he pinned him. Del Rio and Orton both also show up and say they deserve shots as well. Suddenly a brawl breaks out. Sheamus shows up and he and Orton get into it.
Laurinaitis says at Over the Limit, they're going to do a Fatal Four-Way now with all four guys involved. That's much better than Sheamus vs. Del Rio. The exchange between Sheamus and Orton was good and the fact that they're both basically the same character adds a level of intrigue.
Time for the Funkasaurus.
They do a picture-in-picture with Clay calling his fans "funkateers" and saying this Sunday is Mother's Day, so everyone remember to call their mommas.
The Miz's music hits and he comes out with a mic. "Really? Really? Really?"
He starts complaining about having to be in a match with Clay and not for the WWE championship. "If I wanted to see King Hippo dance, I'd play Mike Tyson's Punch Out."
That, sir, is a win.
They get in the ring and Miz gets knocked to the outside. The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi) laugh at him and he acts like he's going to move in on them. Clay comes out to make the save but Miz runs into the ring. This sets up Miz to take control once Clay slides back in. He even attempts a pin after some brawling but he only gets two.
Miz hits the clothesline through the ropes in the corner and then comes off the top ropes. Clay selling big for everything Miz is doing. Jerry Lawler talks about this being the toughest test to date for the Funkasaurus. This is what we've been needing to see from Clay. Some actual depth, not to his character, necessarily, but to his ability in the ring.
He makes a short comeback but Miz hits a terrible looking DDT that gets two.
The crowd, it should be noted, is absolutely dead for this match.
Miz continues working Clay over while the Funkadactyls cheer for him to make a comeback. He does just that, or tries, before Miz dropkicks his legs. High knee off the ropes. This is crazy.
Cameron and Naomi start a clap that sweeps through the crowd, the first time they've acted like they give two shits about what's going on in the ring. Clay hits a side slam. The battering ram headbutt hits too but Clay runs into a big boot in the corner. Miz tries to come off the top rope but Clay throws him with the sheeplex.
The dino splash hits shortly after and that's good enough to get the pin.
Not a bad match but the dead crowd made it harder to watch than it should have been.
Anti bullying campaign video. Be a stah, y'all.
Up next is the Lesnar-Triple H updates.
Video replay of the segment last week with Lesnar and Triple H. Despite his shortcomings on the mic and what not, Lesnar is like gravity. He just pulls you in towards him. It's hard not to be drawn to him. It's too bad he's not a fixture on TV.
Cole says not only did Triple H suffer a broken arm but he has severe tendon and ligament damage. He will require surgery. They show him working with the odd looking brace on his arm and acknowledge that he walked out with Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas this past Saturday night.
Trips will be live on Raw next week.
Cole says they invited Lesnar to be on Raw here tonight but he declined. Instead, he's sent his legal representative to give us an update on his situation. His music hits and oh shit, here comes Paul Heyman.
He's got a mic. Oh god yes.
He says he's here tonight as the representative for Brock Lesnar. He puts him over as the single most destructive and dominant athlete in WWE history. But he's been underappreciated by the audience since day one. They boo and he says, "just like that." But that especially holds true for WWE corporate management.
Today's WWE is different than 10 years ago when Heyman first repped Brock. But it was the same man who signed Brock to a legitimate contract, John Laurinaitis. Admittedly, Lesnar made a few reasonable verbal demands, which were agreed to on live television, which makes the WWE Universe a party to that agreement.
Heyman says Lesnar feels betrayed. By the WWE Universe and he shouldn't have to feel that way. Because he is the only man in history to hold the NCAA Division I wrestling championship, the undisputed WWE heavyweight championship and the UFC heavyweight championship of the world. And yet, above all else, Lesnar is an honest man.
Lesnar said he was going to be an ass kicking machine and that's what he was. He said he would hurt people and he hurt people. But instead of Heyman running down Lesnar's accolades, he's got one better for us. Lesnar asked that Heyman personally show up to read a statement.
"I came back to bring legitimacy to WWE. That's exactly what I did. And how was I rewarded? With the same corporate BS and politics that led me to leave eight years ago. I don't regret what I did to John Cena. I embarrassed him. Another guy I embarrassed was Triple H. He's always been jealous of me. He lasted one hour in a cell with Undertaker but he couldn't last one minute with me. I had an agreement with the company and he broke it so I broke his arm. I don't care about him, you people or the corporate suits at WWE because I, Brock Lesnar, am never coming back. Because I, Brock Lesnar, quit."
Heyman drops the mic emphatically and walks out.
That was awesome.
Video replay of earlier in the night of Punk running down Laurinaitis. He's up next against Tensai.
Big Show hanging in the back with two dudes who have a show on USA. They make fun of Laurinaitis' voice and Show laughs only to turn around and have Eve right behind him.
But of course.
Punk comes out and Laurinaitis comes right after him. He says it will be a handicap match tonight. Not just Punk vs. Tensai but also .... DANIEL BRYAN!
CM Punk vs. Lord Tensai and Daniel Bryan -- Inexplicably enough, commercials run long enough that the friggin main event is already well underway by the time the break ends. Tensai beats down Punk before tagging Bryan in, who starts hitting some "YES" kicks.
Punk makes a short comeback, both guys bump and Bryan tags Tensai back in. He dominates, as usual. He does enough to tag Bryan back in and once the Vegan goes to work, Punk makes a comeback. Swinging neckbreake hits and Punk's in control now. Running knee in the corner into the bulldog. He calls for the GTS. Bryan, of course, gets out of the first attempt. Tensai makes a legal tag that Punk doesn't see and he waits for the right moment to jump in and attack Punk.
Tensai looks vulnerable for the first time via a CM Punk boot to the jaw. He goes up to the top ropes for a Randy Savage elbow but Tensai's partner distracts the referee. Bryan then knocks Punk off the ropes and Tensai puts him down with the baldo bomb.
Green mist time. The claw is enough to get the pin. Bryan celebrates on the outside with his usual YES chants. Tensai looks at Punk like he just committed a terrible sexual act and he's mildly ashamed of what he's done. Until he gets out of the ring, looks at his green hand and smiles.
Okay, this got a little weird.
Tensai goes up the ramp and disappears while Bryan climbs in the ring and puts Punk in the YES Lock. Bryan yells at the back of Punk's head that he's not better. He finally lets go and continues to celebrate. This actually gets him some good heat. He locks it in again and Charles Robinson is straight up wrestling him to get him off.
The show goes off the air with Bryan shouting "YES" and the crowd responding to him by screaming "NO!"
Fade to black.