WWE Monday Night Raw last night (Jan. 9, 2012) emanated from Corpus Christi, Texas, and featured Chris Jericho trolling us even more, Kane stalking people and CM Punk taking a back seat to all of the above.
If you want full results from Raw last night, click here for the running live blog. Time to get to reactions from the show:
- This show was campy to the point of ridiculous. It was completely over the top and it was awesome. I honestly think it's entirely possible the writing team, along with Vince McMahon, just said, "F*ck it, college football is going to kick our ass anyway, let's just have fun." The result was a terribly goofy but incredibly fun show. That said, shows like this should only happen every now and again. It's a nice change of pace and a chance to take everything less seriously. Plus, it gives you Cagesiders a lot of great material for the live blog, which was hilarious once again.
- Chris Jericho trolled us again and he found a way to do it even better than last time. Instead of coming out and riling the crowd up and playing the annoying returning babyface like he did last time, he came out and played the babyface who was overwhelmed at the reception he received and couldn't contain his emotions. Walking out, cheering, then crying, then walking back and thumping his chest like he was so super grateful for the crowd's love was great. The fact that the crowd in Corpus Christi went along with it with few dissenting voices was even better.
- My initial thought with the idea of a program between Kane and John Cena was that WWE would use it to continue to tease Cena turning heel, which is what they've done in some ways. But what the storyline was really about was just another new and interesting way for the untouchable Cena to "rise above hate" once again. I don't blame WWE for playing it this way. In fact, it's probably the smartest thing to do. But it certainly continues to provide fans like myself little reason to ever care about him as a character. He's a good guy, sure. But on TV, I couldn't care less about anything he does. He's not actually being marketed to me, though, so I suppose it's a good thing that I'm not entertained by him.
- Kane jumped the shark tonight. The idea that the writers think it's still prudent to book an angle that sees the big monster stalking a young couple is just silly, especially when the big monster wins in the end, which is what happened last night. Ultimately, he'll fall, of course, but last night ended with Kane having chokeslammed Zack Ryder onto some wooden slats and choked out Cena. Poor Eve was still in the car. Can you imagine a young kid watching this with his father and marking out while watching Ryder and Cena go down? And then remembering Eve in the car? "Oh my god, Dad, Eve is still in the car! She's still in there! Who is going to save her?!? You don't think Kane is going to hurt her, do you Dad?" How do you answer that question if you're that dad? "Well, son, let's just hope Eve isn't a donk like Ryder and actually knows how to change a tire properly. And let's hope it doesn't take her an hour and a half like it took him."
- CM Punk should never, ever, ever, ever be in a match against Jack Swagger. Ever again. That entire debacle could have been avoided if the Creative Team was more, you know, creative. I counted at least three botches, the most notable of which being when Swagger nearly snapped Punk's leg on a roll up of all things. As if that wasn't bad enough, the ref for this match, which should be awarded negative stars (if that's possible and if it's not, it should be just for the purposes of this piece of crap), botched the finish by forgetting when and how it was actually supposed to happen. Punk was yelling at the referee like Randy Orton yelling at The Miz for selling an RKO too soon. Screwing up every now and again is fine but don't mess up when you're given a shot to work with the WWE champion or when you're reffing the WWE champion's match.
- Give me a reason to care about Sheamus or Wade Barrett. Just one. That's all I'm looking for. The best way to tell if a guy comes up short is when you're asked to describe him to someone. "Well, Sheamus is a really white Irish guy who sometimes cracks bad jokes on the microphone but usually gets pissed and just bludgeons people with his forearm." Over? No chance. How about Barrett? "He's a British tough guy who keeps talking about some sort of Barrage, whatever the hell that is." THAT'S IT. Over? Again, no chance in hell. I can't cheer Sheamus for the same reason I can't boo Barrett. Apathy.
- Santino Marella, on the other hand, can do no wrong.
Thoughts on the rest of the show after the jump.
- Brodus Clay debuted and I'll have more on that later but suffice to say it was another awesome troll job by WWE and John Laurinaitis playing it up on Twitter beforehand was a really nice touch. Really, this was a better troll job than Jericho. Just phenomenal in so many ways.
- John Laurinaitis solidified himself as the greatest thing on Raw today when he delivered this one line to The Miz, who was complaining to him about needing protection from R-Truth at the time. "I'm not Little Jimmy. I'm Big Johnny." The sh*t-eating grin on his face when he said this made it the moment of the night.
- Daniel Bryan squashing Kofi Kingston accomplished two things: 1) It gave Bryan an actual victory to build on for a guy who we're struggling to take seriously as world heavyweight champion and 2) It further punished Kingston, who is guilty of nothing except his association with Evan Bourne. Stupid, yes, but that's WWE for you. Nonetheless, it gave us a Bryan win on a pretty sweet spot where he reversed a crossbody into the LeBell Lock. A match was set up against Big Show for the title on Smackdown, which should do numbers as bad as last week. Oh, but this time it's no disqualification and no countout. Tune in to see how Bryan keeps his title without actually winning!
- Can someone tell me how it's possible that The Miz went from being booked as this killer heel who takes people out to this whiny little crybaby who begs any jobber he can find to help protect him from R-Truth in the span of like two weeks? How did this happen? Did Vince read a pro wrestling website and realize how stupid it was to book Miz tough in the first place? This character suits Miz much better but he still looks terrible.
- Ricardo Rodriguez singing saved the entire segment with Miz and Truth.
- Honestly, if you can't get behind Dolph Ziggler doing a headstand while he's got Cena in a headlock, pro wrestling isn't for you. I shouldn't say that, necessarily, but I simply cannot comprehend how one could see that and not crack a smile. The showoff character sounded lame at first but as with all things Ziggler, he's making it work for him.
Overall, this show gets an A grade for me, simply because if you let yourself just have fun with what was presented, it was a good time. Think of it like an Adam Sandler movie. It's so bad, it's good.
That's it from me, though. Now it's time for you Cagesiders to tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.