"Seriously, you guys, I'm sad."
WWE Monday Night Raw took place last night (Aug. 27, 2012) from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and featured Triple H coming back to let us know whether or not he's leaving the game for good.
Except he didn't really do that. He didn't really do that at all.
CM Punk, on the other hand, followed through with what he promised, which was to beat up Jerry Lawler until he got what he wanted. Heel heat is really all that matters and he accomplished that ... kind of.
You wouldn't have known it from that dead crowd up north.
Oh, and Daniel Bryan and Kane took anger management classes, stealing the whole damn show in the process.
Enough with the small talk, though. If you want full results from Raw last night, click here for the running live blog. To listen to the Cageside Live Podcast, featuring the debut of Cr8, click here. Time to get to reactions, posted after the jump.
- I'd like to start with a shout out to my colleague over at MMAmania.com, Brian Hemminger, who left the following comment in response to last night's show:
So let me get this straight.
CM Punk beats the shit out of a commentator who's in the WWE Hall of Fame, a former wrestler, and he's the worst guy in the WWE, forcing John Cena to come in and "save him."
While just over a month ago, Cena beats up and humiliates a commentator who has no in-ring experience, strips him and pours barbecue sauce all over him, and he's the good guy?
Which was worse?
- Hemmi is right, of course, and therein lies the inherent issue with WWE and its booking process. One week, there's a strong emphasis on attention to detail and the next storylines are dropped or picked up with little to no explanation. There is a difference here, namely that Cole is a heel announcer while Lawler is face, but can we all agree it sucks when announcers are this heavily involved in so many angles on the show?
- Punk is doing what he can to get heat on himself as a heel but isn't it at least a little sad that he has to do so by going after an announcer? That's not a reflective of Punk's shortcomings but of the creative team and its inability to craft a worthwhile story for its top stars. It makes it difficult not to long for the Attitude Era when it seemed even the curtain jerkers were given actual storylines and narratives to work with. Perhaps that's rooted in nostalgia but there doesn't seem to be any depth here.
- It's important to factor expectations into the equation when determining the success of a skit but Kane and Daniel Bryan in anger management class was a home run. Obviously it helps when the thought going in was the writing would be overly campy and the performances weak but the writing actually played to the strengths of those involved and it was incredibly well done.
- Kane can be one of the most entertaining guys on the roster when he's used right and last night was a perfect example. How great was it to have him come out for ringside commentary only to sit there without speaking while Michael Cole continuously tried to get him involved in the broadcast? Josh Matthews running away was a nice touch that would have been better if there wasn't already a feeling that too many announcers are getting TV time in more meaningful ways than just calling the action.
- Also, can we get more Matthews with Cole? I thought they were a good team. Go ahead and let me know if I'm full of shit on that one.
- Ryback dropping Jack Swagger on his head was scary and indicative of both guy's place on the totem pole. The inability to execute a simple back body drop is something I would expect to see on an early episode of Tough Enough. It's just too bad Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bill Demott weren't around to go ape shit and ridicule the two for being green as goose shit.
- It occurs to me that it's not exactly a sound strategy to just slap the shit out of anyone who questions your status as General Manager. Yet that's precisely what A.J. Lee did last night to Vickie Guerrero, who simply did the heel thing and raised a few salient points regarding how A.J. runs Monday Night Raw. Anything to get her skipping to the ring, right?
- John Cena vs. Miz felt too much like it was thrown together just to make sure Cena had a semi-meaningful match to work around the turn of the first hour. It wasn't bad, necessarily, but it wasn't exactly good. Filler is necessary in a three hour show but you don't expect that from the major stars, nor those holding titles that are supposed to mean something.
- The Cobra is ridiculous and so it should be treated as such. That's why I had no problem with Santino Marella acting like The Cobra had a mind of its own last night. Actually, I was quite entertained by it, laughing most of the way. I'm also still on the Heath Slater bandwagon. Good stuff from two bit comedy players with nothing else to do. This is what filler should look like.
- Feeling really underwhelmed by Brodus Clay anymore and Sin Cara never appealed to me, mostly because he's not really supposed to. However, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes teaming together was fun and something I wouldn't mind seeing much more of in the future. A stable would work, too, like "The Enlightened Ones." Or something more creative but along those lines.
- Who the hell is that plant fan from the infamous Brock Lesnar .gif and how is it he's got such a good in road to WWE? He was the same guy doing the Yes!/No! routine with Bryan last night and he's been at far too many shows sitting in the front row looking stupid.
- Only one backstage skit in over three hours of TV? Has to be a new record, right?
- I saved this for last because I want to address you directly, Triple H. You come to the ring and you waste 15 minutes of everyone's time by standing around and then begin your terrible promo by saying "let's cut right to the chase." No, asshole, cutting right to the chase would have meant you getting on with your promo instead of standing there like a fucking idiot because you hoped the fine folks in Milwaukee would cheer you when they have absolutely zero reason to. You milked it for all it was worth and when you realized it wasn't much, you tried to save face with that bullshit meandering promo that didn't really say anything at all. You went over the same points multiple times, you had too many unnecessary dramatic pauses and those tears were as fake as it gets. You're a terrible actor and not one pro wrestling fan is better off having watched that terrible segment of yours that ran way too long and took television time away from potential superstars of tomorrow, like Dean Ambrose, who still hasn't debuted because there's no time because you're too fucking busy eating minutes so you can do like your buddy Shawn Michaels and lose your smile. We all know damn well you're not really retiring because that would mean going out without getting your win back and there's no way that's happening, is there? You have to get that win back because you have to do better than everyone else even though you know, deep down inside that little brain of yours behind those 48 weird wrinkles on your forehead, you're not as good as you wish you were and when fans remember the greats of the industry, your name won't pop up in the top fucking 20. Do like we know you won't and retire. Go the hell away and don't come back.
Anyway, this was a shit show. I can't, in good faith, go above a D, even though the anger management stuff was golden.
But that's just me. Now it's time for you Cagesiders to drop some knowledge in the comments section below and give us your thoughts on last night's episode of Raw. Are you going to be nicer than me?