He's a suit and tie now ... but not really.
WWE Monday Night Raw took place last night (June 18, 2012) from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, and featured all the fallout from the No Way Out pay-per-view (PPV) that took place this past Sunday night.
John Laurinaitis was fired at that show and because this is WWE, they made sure to give him a proper send off, complete with John Cena Attitude Adjustments and STFs and Five Knuckle Shuffles and you can't see him and all that.
CM Punk and Sheamus retained their titles at the PPV so, naturally, that led to a tag match with the two teaming together. I guess they have a mutual love of gold in common. And they both dig crazy chicks. Or maybe that's just Punk.
The show was the typical Raw episode -- some good, some bad.
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.
- Looking back on this show, there was a shockingly small amount of actual content. I never thought I would say this but the move to three hours could be a good thing if only because it means more available television time for more talent. Or at least better matches for those who are actually on the show.
- I like the idea of bringing back former General Managers/Commissioners to build up anticipation for who exactly will take over the role now that John Laurinaitis is out. If Mick Foley was the first of many, I think it's a solid booking decision. Hell, they could get a ton of heat for an entire Raw show by bringing back the Anonymous GM gimmick with the computer. Plus, they could actually bother to tie up that loose end. And with JBL getting promotion for his hiking deal, he makes sense. That's who was pitched for that role before, why not now? We know he'll make a few appearances over the next few months. I'd love to see that.
- The manner in which Laurinaitis was sent off made sense, crazy as that sounds. Scott Christ of Tape Machines summed it up well -- "No power, no people." Laurinaitis booked a 3-on-1 handicap match against John Cena in one last ditch effort to screw him over before he was ousted but Big Show and David Otunga rightfully realized they no longer had to put up with any of "Ace's" bullshit, so they bailed on him. They had nothing to gain, so they left. No power, no people.
- It was brought up by Sergio and echoed by many of you Cagesiders that John Cena was unnecessarily hard on Laurinaitis on his way out, hitting him with multiple finishers at the behest of the crowd. I'm of the mind that it didn't matter anyway, so I'm not going to get all up in a fuss about it. And really, Cena gonna Cena. He's a heel playing a babyface who preys on too many kids who are too dumb to know better to actually boo him for his antics.
- I suppose the same could be said for CM Punk as we go along but we didn't get too much of him last night. In fact, the only annoying part of the night with the WWE champion came when he teamed up with Sheamus to act like high school jocks calling AJ crazy again. I'm not even sure what purpose that serves, other than Vince McMahon getting his rocks off at the expense of his employees.
- Speaking of which, that segment with Cyndi Lauper had no business being as good as it ultimately ended up being. Having watched it again, it may have ran a tad long but I liked it. Everyone seemed to be having a good time who was involved and while the crowd wasn't hot for it, at least the performers acted like they cared about what they were doing. Again, though, McMahon felt the need to have Michael Cole act as his mouthpiece to make fun of everyone during the segment, from Lauper to Rowdy Roddy Piper, who both played their parts well. It really sucks, too, because without those two absolutely putting in work in the 80s, Vince's business may not have ever become as big as it eventually did. For some reason, he just doesn't care about that kind of thing and treats these people like crap. It's ridiculously dumb.
- Heath Slater went like one full year without winning a match on any WWE produced show. That actually happened. But it took just three words from Lauper last night to bury him harder than any loss ever could. When he interrupted the segment, she asked him, quite simply, "Who are you?" When a 2012 Cyndi Lauper is asking you that, you're done.
- It's about damn time Dolph Ziggler broke away from Jack Swagger. He worked the match like a babyface but he won't be turning anytime soon thanks to his continued association with Vickie Guerrero. That part is a mistake, in my eyes. Anyone who watches WWE Download, a weekly show Dolph hosts on YouTube every Monday, knows that Ziggler can talk and he doesn't need a manager to help him get heat. He's already one of the best workers on the entire roster. It would have made more sense for Vickie to stick with Swagger, who definitely needs someone to prop him up.
- AJ in a Kane mask was entirely too hot. I like it that they aren't doing too much with her each week so as to give everything away because it keeps me invested in her story and wherever the hell it's going. To that end, do any of us have a clue what's happening? And isn't it great?
- Paul Heyman is really, really good at what he does. The guy could sell heat to hell but that doesn't mean this storyline with Brock Lesnar and Triple H fighting over contracts and legal issues is worth anything at all. In fact, it's one of the worst possible ways for WWE to build towards a big match at SummerSlam, what they hope will be one of the biggest matches of the year. The problem, of course, is Vince McMahon is playing out his fantasies on live television because he has the power and money to do so and you just know he wants to pay Lesnar back for leaving the business the way he did back in 2004. In fact, I would argue McMahon paid him the reported $5 million just to have him come back so Vince could drag his name through the mud and job him out to all his big stars, like Cena, Triple H and maybe Undertaker come WrestleMania 29.
- Remember when Zack Ryder was the U.S. champion and he put the belt over like it actually meant something and the mid-card wasn't a complete wasteland of talent designed to get the main event level players over? Can we go back to that? I don't care to see Santino Marella getting squashed by Alberto Del Rio, even if it makes total and complete sense because really, that's what Santino should be doing. Just take the belt off him. It's pointless. Has he even defended it once since winning it?
- MILLIONS. OF. DOLLARS.
This was a Raw show. That's about all we can say at this point. The big angles are going to start here soon leading up to SummerSlam and they really need to catch on with something because I think I can speak for all of us when I say we're tired of seeing Cena in the main event wrestling non-wrestlers.
The show gets a C- for being an average to bad show.
That's my grade, Cagesiders. Now I want to hear all your thoughts, complaints and musings in the comments section below. Don't hold back ... you know I never do.