WWE returned to the USA Network for Monday Night Raw last night (Sept. 24, 2012) from Albany, New York, and featured John Cena as Superman.
No, seriously, he's Superman.
He's also a pipe wielding one armed man who got the better of CM Punk using his version of a "pipe bomb." His version just so turns out to be an actual lead pipe that he used to batter Punk's guts with a single shot, sending the WWE champion scattering before delivering a final line to close the show.
"Real men wear pink."
I actually agree with the sentiment but "real men" are not qualified by the color of their clothes. That's silly, but it fits with who Cena is as a character and it also helped WWE bring across the expanded message that he is the face of the company for one very good reason.
He delivers the message they need him to deliver.
Whether that be a crusade against breast cancer (which is a really awesome thing) or announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden or just being the rock the promotion can always lean on, Cena is WWE.
In fact, it could hardly function properly without him.
That's why he was back, sling and all, still doing his thing despite a surgery just days prior. He is Superman and we have to know this at all times. If you didn't see it yesterday, when he was threatened by a far more capable and dangerous man but came away not only unscathed but reigning supreme, you must not have been looking.
Let's do this reactions thing:
- Visually, WWE is so very good at what they do. Paul Heyman kneeling down to propose marriage to AJ Lee while CM Punk stood behind him with a devious look on his face was struck the perfect tone. By the way, "AJ's Thighs" needs to become a thing. Like a Twitter account or a meme or something. Heyman is a creeper and he was creepy while he was appealing to her psychotic nature but she stood her ground, or something like that. It was hard to tell because she was wearing those short shorts again and AJ's Thighs, you guys.
- Seriously, AJ's Thighs. Make this happen.
- If you thought the referee thing was WWE poking fun at the National Football League (NFL) for the current debacle with the replacement referees, you were right. We'll have more on that later, though. I will say that if there was one team in the league to get screwed, the Green Bay Packers were perfect for it.
- Was it just me or was Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston one of the best Raw matches of the year?
- It's impossible to complement Kane and Daniel Bryan properly. I cannot heap the necessary amount of praise to make clear the absolute joy they bring me every Monday night. They're legitimately funny without feeling forced and you NEVER get that with WWE comedy. Usually, you don't sit at home laughing out loud (yeah, I bothered to spell that shit out, what) unless it's unintentional or painful laughter, like when Mae Young shows up and humps some unsuspecting guy's leg. Bryan and Kane are funny and they work as a tag team and I don't care about CM Punk wanting respect, I want more of the tag team champions.
- Team Hell No was the right call, props to those who voted for it. The Rhodes Scholars are still better.
- Has there ever been a bigger dork tag team than Santino Marella and Zack Ryder? Your answer should be "no, there hasn't and that's why they were destroyed by the Prime Time Players, Geno." That is the correct answer. With the addition of Hell No and The Rhodes Scholars, not to mention the various tag teams floating around already, the tag division is finally back. Well done, Triple H. Well done.
- Mick Foley makes me uncomfortable. Like actually physically uncomfortable because I'm always worried WWE just won't care about his failing health and have him take some sick bump in the hopes it will help get someone over more than they are now. Was anyone else thinking Punk was going to destroy him somehow? A kick to the gut was a nice harmless medium.
- Word around the water cooler is The Ryback is a back up plan assuming Cena doesn't get healthy in the allotted time frame for Hell in a Cell. That's insane. We're now talking about a guy who spent month after month after month beating up the legendary Benny Camer and the unforgettable Stan Stansky before showing up on Raw last night, destroying Intercontinental Champion The Miz and then silently challenging WWE Champion CM Punk. How do they go from one to the other so quickly? And if that's really the back up plan, that's almost as bad as the NFL's replacement referees.
- Okay, that's not true, nothing is as bad as the NFL's replacement referees.
- Still don't care about Wade Barrett and I'm starting to think I'm not supposed to.
- Still love David Otunga but I'm starting to think I'm not supposed to.
- Jerry Lawler did a video interview and we'll have more on that later. He looked good but sounded terrible, which should come as no surprise. It feels like he should be gone for a long time, just to play it safe. Maybe have him come back at the Royal Rumble as a surprise entrant who eliminates himself and says "just kidding" before going to the commentary desk to call the rest of the show.
- The Diva's division. LOL (not worth spelling out this time and this is the painful Mae Young laugh).
- I'm still not happy that Big Show's falcon punch hasn't become a thing backstage.
Cena is Superman, bad. Tag team revival, good. This was an up and down show with high spots and low spots but it was hard to compete with the Packers vs. Seahawks game for my attention.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on the show.