Our apologies for the delay in getting the reactions up for last night's episode of Monday Night RAW (catch the video playlist here and the running live blog here), which took place on April 29, 2013 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
They would have been up sooner, but the General had to regulate some fool who said that Hogan's leg drop was a better finisher than HBK's superkick. You know how Geno is by now. He can take a joke, but don't fuck around when it comes to Shawn Michaels.
Anyway, let's get on with the show, he'll be back after he posts bail.
- Ricardo Rodriguez started things off with a three way against. Zeb Colter and Big E. Langston to determine the stipulation for a match no one will care about at Extreme Rules. And since no one cares about the pay-per-view bout, you can imagine how few fucks were given about this dopey dance to jerk last night's curtain. Still, it's fun to watch Zebby hobble around the ring.
- Viewers got a video promo about a kid with a bum ticker and let me tell you, I got a little watery eyed watching this tyke go through a bunch of surgeries while dreaming of one day becoming a WWE superstar. Well, John Cena and Make-a-Wish Foundation granted that wish, then turned a feel good moment into something extremely uncomfortable by demanding we cheer for him because he's sick. Seriously, they dragged him and two other ailing pipsqueaks out to the ramp and Cena yelled at the crowd until they reached a certain decibel. I'm not sure what they were cheering for. Hooray ... you didn't die! Good job lad! It felt weird. I don't have a problem pimping the charity and Cena is a great humanitarian, but this segment was packaged haphazardly in my book.
- I had little choice but to dwell on it because Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes had the longest match in the history of professional wrestling. Holy shit that match was long. It's a shame too, because they were able to tell a great story and hit some great spots. What's not so great is the fact that it meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. I blame (vintage) Orton. Can we give him something to do already besides sing along to the voices in his head?
- Oh hey, back-to-back segments involving Divas. Naomi takes on Brie Bella and both of them looked good in the process, so I guess they served their purpose. Then we get some more of the gals arguing backstage and it turns out Kaitlyn has a secret admirer (besides me). Knowing WWE the way I do, there is no way this stays classy.
- In one of the better segments, The Shield came out to ramble on about JUSTICE and poke fun of all the guys they tabled, with the production crew conveniently queuing up all the necessary photos beforehand. Those guys in the truck are fast! Just as it starts to get a little long in the tooth, Copper Top and the rest of 3MB come out to deliver some justice of their own. Too bad Team Hell No has to ruin it with their run-in, which makes The Shield run out. Commence heel squashing. Whatever.
- The three amigos of the United States Championship, perhaps the most worthless title in all of pro wrestling, were all in action over the next hour. I'm talking of course, about Kofi Kingston (current), Zack Ryder (former) and Antonio Cesaro (former). They had the luxury of facing off against one current and two former world champions in Dolph Ziggler (current), Jack Swagger (former) and Alberto Del Rio (former), respectively. These bouts were all basically carbon copies of each other, booked to make the bigger names look strong against somewhat credible talent. There was some decent wrestling here, so I can't really complain about a group of guys who do work. I mean it is a wrestling show. My one gripe is that Cesaro's losing streak continues.
- I didn't mind the skit with Mark Henry and his tug-of-war challenge, though I do wonder how the hell he keeps his grill intact after eating the Brogue kick in the worst way possible (again). Seriously, turn your head and cough, dude, before you get your front teeth pushed down your throat. It also advanced the feud between "The World's Strongest Man" and Sheamus, as Henry looked crazy strong but was easily outsmarted, so there's that.
- Can I ask, whose brilliant idea was it to have The Great Khali come out and dance against Fandango? How do you ask a guy who can't even fucking walk to start dancing? To compound the problem, they hold a brief Q&A with him prior to his "dancing," which looked (and sounded) like an audition for one of those "Messin' with Sasquatch" commercials. Seriously, at this point, they aren't doing anything but trying to humiliate this guy, so fuck you, Creative. Give him something to do or fire his ass (with severance) and immediately apologize for wasting everyone's time.
- The main event took full advantage of John Cena's "injury" when he teamed with the Hell No heathens to battle The Shield, since Ryback skipped town to hit the buffet or whatever. I actually thought this match was booked well. Real or not, they used Cena's Achilles injury to exploit the psychology in this bout and having Roman Reigns pin Cena -- instead of the tried-and-true "Kane and other formidable opponent are outside the ring or otherwise indisposed so Daniel Bryan will do the job" finish -- gives The Shield a stronger look in victory. Yes, I understand that it wasn't going over clean, but you aren't going over Cena clean on a night where he wheels three sick kids onto the broadcast. When all was said and done, it was a good match with a strong finish. Oh, look, Ryback is on the ramp! He didn't leave after all! He fooled you! Extreme Rulllllllez sucka.
This episode of RAW was meh. It had some decent wrestling and a good main event, but it was too disjointed and bogged down with garbage like Khali dancing and Divas prancing. And I'm knocking it down a grade for that gratuitous Dominos pizza shill. People in the front row are eating pizza, I think I'll order one! GTFO.
Hulk Holland's grade: C-
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off with all your thoughts on the show in the comments section below.
Let's have it.