John Cena really hates it when Michael Cole has legitimate criticisms. Photo via WWE.com.
WWE Monday Night Raw took place last night (June 4, 2012) from the Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, South Carolina, and featured John Cena returning to the show -- on television, at least -- to confront Big Show.
Except Show wasn't there (which wasn't true, seeing as he worked the dark match in a role reversal with Cena from last week) and that left Cena to work with John Laurinaitis and Michael Cole.
And it was an utter and complete abomination.
That doesn't mean the entire show was bad. Actually, the Kane vs. CM Punk match was fantastic and the angle that ran right after was beautifully booked and executed.
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.
- John Cena isn't just a terribly stale and boring shell of what he once was, he's also a hypocrite and a glorified bully. When confronted by Michael Cole with legitimate criticisms of his actions, Cena passed the buck off to everyone else, expressly stated he didn't feel bad in the slightest, and proceeded to make fat jokes. Cole absolutely owned Cena last night, more than The Rock ever did. But he did so by simply presenting the facts, which painted Cena in a terrible light. His response to this was to book himself into a match against Cole for later in the night where he promised to embarrass him.
- The actual match was exactly that -- an utter and complete abomination. I'm not even entirely sure what the point of it all was. Cena literally ripped a grown man's pants off, tore his shirt open, poured barbeque sauce all over it, sprayed him down with a fire extinguisher, and slapped him all around the ring. He even did some of this after he had already won the match. To what point and purpose? There was none. There was and remains to be no good explanation for this. The only thing I can come up with is that WWE is full of men who were high school jocks who lived through a lot of teen angst and never ever got the girl. They've carried this with them all throughout their lives and dealt with it not by getting the proper help but by working for a warped company like WWE where they can live out their fantasies of bullying tiny announcers with big mouths because they get off on it. It's also probably why every women who comes through the roster is portrayed as a slut, clueless or psychotic, because none of these idiots must have ever had a decent human relationship with any member of the opposite sex and, in fact, probably had a little bit of teenage "angry at my father" syndrome.
- Oh no, I've gone cross eyed.
- But seriously, John Cena is the absolute worst portrayal of a top babyface. Giving a bully his comeuppance is one thing; humiliating someone half your size because he popped off at the mouth with legitimate criticisms is another.
- It's too bad Cena took up roughly 40 minutes of Raw last night because nearly everything not involving him was solid. It started with Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler having a damn good television match that showcased, once again, that Ziggler is firmly entrenched in his role as a wrestler who is good enough to get matches against main eventers but not good enough to actually beat said main eventers. And that's fine. The only reason you should care about him making it to the main event is because it means he gets more air time and his matches generally run longer. If you genuinely want Ziggler to win a title because you think he deserves it, you're being a mark and should reassess the manner in which you digest the show. Marking out is fine but let's not take it to the extreme, huh?
- Speaking of Ziggler, he needs a few tweaks before he'll ever see any more elevation. A memorable catchphrase would be a good start but he absolutely has to find a new finisher. The Zig Zag is so terrible the announcers hardly even recognize when it happens. In fact, he hit it on Sheamus from the top rope last night and it still only got a two count. If you're hitting an exaggerated version of your finisher and still not getting clean pinfalls, it's time to find a new one to get over because no one will buy a finisher everyone is kicking out of.
- Sheamus looking strong is all well and good but why does that mean Alberto Del Rio has to look so weak? If you ambush someone, taking them completely by surprise, you should always succeed in your attack. Anything less than that makes you look incompetent. Yet that's what we saw last night, as Del Rio jumped out from behind the curtain to attack Sheamus while he was celebrating and he was still nearly overwhelmed by the world heavyweight champion. It was only when Ricardo Rodriguez assisted him that he finally worked to his high spot. Admittedly enough, the high spot was about as good a visual as WWE has shown on TV this year. Del Rio locked in the Cross Armbreaker with Sheamus hanging off the stage in a manner that made it look as though he was only staying in the position he was because Del Rio was torquing his arm. Great stuff.
- It's pretty funny to get to a point where you have to promote a match with a tagline, "There must be a winner," for obvious reasons, I would hope.
- I think all those folks who have underestimated Kane and his ability to work a good match with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan can officially start eating their crow. I'm looking at you, Asterisk. The Big Red Monster wasn't exactly a welcome addition to Punk and Bryan's feud but he's held up his end of the deal in spades. Not only that, he's served to play an integral part in advancing storylines at a logical pace. Did AJ really convince him to leave her alone just with a smile? Did Bryan see this and get jealous? Or did he see it and start thinking of ways to use it to his gain? What will Punk think once he gets wind of all this madness? And just what the hell was AJ doing with Josh Matthews? These are all questions that I'm actually interested in learning the answer to. That's rare on Raw these days, which is sad when you think about it.
- Can we drop the lighting for Sin Cara matches already? It's like my TV suddenly goes from normal brightness to so low I can't see anything clearly. It's not enjoyable. At all.
- Stan Stanksy needs to form a tag team with Benny Camer. Together, I'm positive they can beat Ryback. It's a tall task but I think they're up to it. All they need is opportunity.
- Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins hopefully earned points backstage and with the powers that be for their performances against Kofi Kingston and R-Truth last night. They hit their spots, were in a good rhythm and their timing was down pat. You can't ask for much more from lower tiered guys who maximized the minutes they were given on the big show.
- Kingston and Truth, meanwhile, deserve to be reprimanded for their complete lack of professionalism. I don't mean that in a super serious way and I realize kayfabe is all but completely dead in 2012 but if you're going to bother to get taped up to sell your injuries from the week before, how about actually bothering to sell those injuries with your mannerisms and movements in the ring. Wearing tape around your arm doesn't mean shit when you're swinging it all about. If your ribs are supposedly so banged up, what are you doing soaring through the air doing high risk, high impact maneuvers? I will never stop harping on Triple H for no selling death in 2002 but at least he didn't show up on Raw wearing a neck brace and then violently jerk his head all around.
- I'm legitimately excited about Vince McMahon's return next week. He may be an old bat who probably shouldn't be running a pro wrestling promotion anymore but he's one hell of a TV character.
If you cut John Cena out of this show, it was a solid B. With him, the grade drops to a D. He was that insufferable last night.
But that's just my opinion, Cagesiders. I would love to hear yours in the comments section below. What grade do you give Raw last night?