5/28 Powell's WWE Raw Live Coverage: Brock Lesnar's UFC appearance followup? Chris Jericho suspension talk? The build to No Way Out continues
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw on the USA Network
Live from New Orleans, La.
[Q1] The show opened with a Memorial Day tribute video... A video recapped the John Cena, Big Show, and John Laurinaitis drama from last week...
Big Show's music played and he headed to the ring while Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler checked in on commentary. Show asked if the fans noticed his smile. He said that was him doing his job. He said it was easy to fool the fans by smiling. "It was a calculated business decision," Show said. "I made a living at it. I was a businessman who also happened to be a giant."
Show said that's all over now. The fans gave him the "What?" treatment. He said it was so nice and that's why he loves them all so much. He said he doesn't have to do any of that now because he has an ironclad contract. He stopped for a John Cena chant. He said he also got a fat bonus and he's now set for life. He said that means he can do whatever he wants when he wants to whoever he wants.
Show said he's not an entertainer, he's a giant. "Let's face it, people, there's no one in my league," Show said. He said he's better than athletes from the NFL and NBA, "UFC phony so-called MMA fighter," or anyone in WWE who is in his league.
Powell's POV: Notice he didn't mention beer league softball players? That's right, Big Show knows better.
Show set up a video of the Brodus Clay dance routine that occurred moments after he was fired. "My tears aren't even dry and Brodus Clay is out there dancing!" Show said. He said Kofi Kingston and R-Truth were people he thought were his friends, but they were yucking it up. He said the fans were having a great time and it was easy for them to just move on.
"There's one man that disappointed me more than you and that's John Cena," Big Show said. He said he assumed Cena would threaten a WWE locker room mutiny unless John Laurinaitis fired him on the spot. Show set up video footage of Cena mocking Laurinaitis with his wannabe Jim Carrey "loser" antics.
Show said Cena made jokes. "I guess that's all I am," Show said. "I guess that's all I am to all you people as well is just one big joke." Show said Cena hurt him when he decided he didn't care. He said he returned the favor by hurting him last week by knocking him out twice within 24 hours.
[Q2] Big Show said that Cena will be standing across the ring from an unstoppable giant at No Way Out. A faint "boring" chant could be heard in the background. Show said that everything Cena suffered during his matches against The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and John Laurinaitis will be experienced in one match at No Way Out. "And that, that puts a smile on my face," Show concluded...
A shot aired of Santino Marella stretching out backstage. Lawler said Santino was coming up next... [C]
Powell's POV: That was the promo that Big Show should have cut last week. I don't know why it didn't happen, but obviously they realize that they needed to give Show more juice this time around. Show did a nice job with the promo. The only major issue I had with the promo is that everything he said was true, particularly when it comes to Cena's antics. I hope Cena has a good explanation because it made the top babyface look like an ass even to those who were oblivious to it the night Show was fired. It will be interesting to see whether Brock Lesnar plays into the UFC comment or if that line was inspired by potential issues stemming from his appearance at UFC 146 on Saturday.
1. Santino Marella vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) in a non-title match. Santino went for The Cobra early, but Del Rio cut him off and forced him to tap to the Cross Arm Breaker. Afterward, Ricardo got down on his knees and repeatedly named Del Rio the winner while making the announcement right in Santino's face...
Alberto Del Rio defeated Santino Marella in a non-title match in 0:50.
Backstage, Alex Riley told Eve she was doing a fantastic job. Big Show walked into the picture. Eve informed Big Show that John Laurinaitis said he could pick his opponent. Riley was worried that Show was going to pick him. Show told him to relax and said he wasn't choosing him. Show said he had a message that he wanted to send to the locker room and then slammed Riley into the wall... [C]
Powell's POV: WWE dedicated episodes of Raw to building up John Laurinaitis for his match with John Cena. Now they're doing the same with Big Show. Call me crazy, but maybe if they actually picked heels for Cena to feud with that fans accepted in that role they wouldn't have to shove them down our throats. In Show's case, they should have been building him up for months instead of pointing out all of his WrestleMania follies.
[Q3] 2. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero) for the WWE Tag Titles. The tag champs cleared the challengers from the ring. Swagger appeared to injure his arm while holding onto the rope to break his fall. He was grabbing at his elbow, which already had a protective wrap over it. [C]
After the break, Swagger was working over Kingston's arm, so apparently he's fine. They showed footage of the heels taking control of the match during the break. Late in the match, R-Truth hit his finisher on Swagger and pinned him clean. Afterward, Dolph threw a fit. "I'm better than this," Ziggler yelled before walking off on his own...
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeated Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger to retain the WWE Tag Titles in 7:05.
Powell's POV: Yes, you are, Dolph. Finally! Here's hoping this is the launching pad for Ziggler's singles push.
Backstage, a trainer was helping Santino, who was selling an arm injury following his match with Del Rio. The trainer told Show that Santino was hurt. Show said he might pick Santino as his opponent. Show grabbed Santino by the face and pointed out that Santino just rolled on like everything was fine after he was fired. "Is it funny now?"
Brodus Clay showed up and said he heard Show was talking behind his back and told him to say it to his face. Brodus challenged Show to say it to his face. "I'll give you something else to cry about," Brodus said. Show said that Brodus should forget about dancing because he won't be walking after tonight. Clay's dancers showed up after Show left... [C]
Powell's POV: First Ziggler walks and now Brodus Clay's character is more than just a dance routine. That was an encouraging few minutes. I could have done without the dancers showing up at the end, but I like the serious Clay more than the repetitive dancing Funkasaurus.
[Q4] A graphic touted something about a U.S. Congressional Record and WWE's anti-bullying campaign. I was too busy giving nuggies to my twerp neighbor kid to read it all...
John Laurinaitis headed to the ring on his scooter with Eve and David Otunga at his sides. They helped him enter the ring using his crutch as Cole put over Big Johnny for showing up despite his possible injuries from the John Cena match. Laurinaitis announced that Big Show will face Brodus Clay later in the show.
Laurinaitis also announced Big Show vs. John Cena at No Way Out will be a cage match. Big Johnny also announced that he has become the most popular WWE Superstar in history since defeating Cena. He said if the fans wanted proof, they should look at the cover of the new WWE 13 video game. He unveiled a cover that featured himself on the cover. "It's going to be bigger than Pac-Man!" Laurinaitis said.
C.M. Punk's music played and he headed to the the ring while Cole questioned why Punk would ruin this moment. "Pac-Man, huh?" Punk asked. He noted that it was a timely reference and then pointed out that neither Pac-Man nor Laurinaitis have testicles.
Powell's POV: Clearly, they are bullying men without testicles. Wait...
Punk said that the person on the cover of the actual video game is a lot bette rlooking than Big Johnny. Pyro shot off and a giant mural fell from the ceiling that showed C.M. Punk on the cover of WWE 13. Punk pointed out that "mine is a whole lot bigger than yours," Punk said. "A wrestling video game with an actual wrestler on the cover, what a concept," added Punk.
Punk assumed Laurinaitis would stack the deck against him in some gimmick match. He said he has to beat Daniel Bryan. "Get out of my ring," Punk said. He added that the Board of Directors has eyes on Laurinaitis and he knows Big Johnny doesn't want to give him more ammunition.
Laurinaitis wished Punk good luck and left the ring. Punk lined up the Big Johnny video game cover and kicked it as if it was a Brazilian flag and he was Chris Jericho... [C]
Powell's POV: Actually, Punk failed to kick through the flag on the first try so they cut away. The Revolution is here. In case you missed it over the holiday weekend, the online Revolution videos were to hype the video game rather than something storyline related.
An ad for Smackdown touted the return of Sin Cara and questioned whether the new No. 1 contender Alberto Del Rio can overcome Sheamus
[Q5] After the break, Punk was still in the ring and his music was still playing. Cole told viewers to go to IGN.com on Tuesday for a sneak peak at the game. Daniel Bryan made his ring entrance...
Powell's POV: Who wants a three month Dot Net Membership? I will pick one winner at random. Cut and paste the following on your Twitter page right now: Read @Prowrestlingnet's live coverage of WWE Raw at prowrestling.net #wwe #raw
3. C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan in a non-title match. Bryan tossed Punk to ringside. Punk came back with a cross body off the second rope onto Bryan on the floor moments later. A.J. walked to ringside wearing a Punk t-shirt and cheered him on. Punk threw Bryan back inside the ring and then looked back at A.J. [C]
[Q6] Late in the match, Daniel Bryan removed a turnbuckle pad. A.J. stood on the ring apron and tried to tell the referee, but the ref was too busy telling her to get down to notice. A short time later, Punk looked at A.J. and said, "You can't be out here, come on." He ran toward Bryan, who picked him up, dropped him on the exposed turnbuckle, and pinned him.
Daniel Bryan pinned C.M. Punk in a non-title match in 14:30.
After the match, Bryan was doing the "Yes!" routine when Kane hit the ring and struck him with a chair. Kane hoisted up Bryan and chokeslammed him. A.J. slid a chair to Punk, who struck Kane with it repeatedly until he fled the ring...
Powell's POV: The addition of Kane in a likely Triple Threat match involving Punk and Bryan and the pay-per-view doesn't do much for me. Perhaps the idea is that Bryan can win the title without Punk losing. Or maybe they want to keep Punk vs. Bryan alive and don't want Bryan to lose again. Either way, I'll be surprised and disappointed if anyone other than Kane loses that match.
Cole hyped the "undefeated" Brodus Clay and said he's won 22 straight matches. He said Clay would face Big Show later tonight... [C]
Powell's POV: All of those matches Clay lost on Smackdown have been forgotten like the Undertaker vs. Triple H match at WrestleMania 17. Technically, they might be trying to say Funkasaurus is undefeated. That doesn't make it better, but that may be their defense.
4. Christian vs. The Miz in a non-title match. Cody Rhodes was on commentary for the match. Cody said The Miz is as dangerous as ever. He eventually said he'd seen enough and didn't need to scout Christian anymore. Christian became distracted by Rhodes and was rolled up for a near fall by Miz.
Miz went for his Skull Crushing Finale, which Christian countered into a failed Killswitch attempt. Moments later, Christian hit the Killswitch, followed up with a Frogsplash, and scored the clean pin with Cody watching from the stage. Christian held out the belt to mock Cody, who then headed backstage...
Christian defeated The Miz.
[Q7] Inside Big Johnny's office, Laurinaitis told Eve and Otunga he needed to talk to them privately. Eve sent Teddy Long, who was wearing an apron, to got get her a cup of coffee. Laurinaitis spoke about how disappointed he was in Eve and Otunga over Smackdown events.
Otunga said Johnny could put him in a match tonight. Big Johnny said he may want to retire in 15-20 years and needs people he can count on. He asked if he could count on them. They said they could. Teddy returned with the coffee. Eve spat it all over him because it was cold. He said it was ice coffee...
An ad hyped the 1,000th episode of WWE Raw and the expansion to three hours...
Powell's POV: Whatever happened to WWE Network commercials?
After the break, The Miz was still in the ring. He said he wants the match stricken from the record books. He complained that it wasn't even for the title. He said he won the WrestleMania match for Team Johnny. He questioned whether his ironclad contract, video game cover, and championship matches were.
Randy Orton's music interrupted The Miz's rant. Cole called Orton the franchise player of Smackdown. The Miz started to jaw at Orton, who dropped him with an RKO without saying a word. Orton played to the crowd...
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler told Vickie Guerrero that if she wants to make him happy, she should get him out of the tag team and put him out there by himself. He pointed to Orton on the monitor and said, "That needs to be me right there." Vickie said she would see what she can do...
The announcers hyped Big Show vs. Brodus Clay for later in the show... A shot aired of Sheamus walking backstage. Cole said Sheamus would face David Otunga. The announcers set up a John Cena video. The video featured Cena alking about Memorial Day and how some of his favorite moments in working for WWE has been performing for the troops...
Back live, the fans applauded and a "USA" chant broke out...
Powell's POV: The live crowd was much more receptive of this Cena narrated video than they were of the recent Make-A-Wish video. It was a nice video and a great message. No matter how sincere Cena's words were, one still has to wonder if Cena would be delivering this message if it wasn't for the threat of his divorce getting nasty.
[Q8] A Smackdown commercial hyped C.M. Punk vs. Kane for the WWE Championship. The match was hyped as the first time in eight years that the WWE Championship will be defended on Smackdown...
5. Sheamus vs. David Otunga in a non-title match. Sheamus hit White Noise late in the match. He followed up with the Brogue Kick and scored the clean pin...
Sheamus pinned David Otunga in 2:45.
Powell's POV: White Noise was good enough to win the Fatal Four Way match at Over The Limit, but not good enough to beat Otunga on Raw. By the way, why would Big Johnny book Otunga in a non-title match rather than giving him a shot at the World Hvt. Championship? They could easily cover it by implying that the Board of Directors might not be happy about it, and the admittedly overanalyzing fan in me wishes they would.
An ad aired for the the ECW Unreleased DVD Volume 1 that will be released next Tuesday...
Powell's POV: I'm really looking forward to that DVD. No, TNA, that doesn't mean I want to see another Hardcore Justice pay-per-view.
The announcers hyped John Cena vs. Big Show in a cage for No Way Out... A video recapped the Big Show, Big Johnny, and John Cena drama (again)...
Brodus Clay made his usual entrance for the main event as Cole played up his 22-0 undefeated streak. Lawler mentioned that Clay is undefeated "since coming to Raw." Big Show's music played and he walked onto the stage with a mic in hand.
[Overrun] Big Show said he's a fan of Clay. He said he thought he was a sellout when he put on a diaper and competed against Akebono at WrestleMania. He said that's nothing compared to the embarrassing things Brodus does nightly. Show said that maybe once the people get tired of watching Clay dance he can get some makeup and become the next Doink.
Big Show said the difference between Clay and Doink is that Doink had talent. Clay was in the aisle by this point. Show dropped the mic and charged at him with a spear or a shoulder block. Show knocked Clay down and the crowd gasped. The dancers remained in the ring and showed concern for Clay.
Show continued to rough up Clay on the floor by ramming his back into the ring post and by kicking him. The fans booed Show, who slowly walked toward the announcers' desk and started to take it apart. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth ran out. Kingston and tried to springboard off the ring steps onto Show, who caught him and flung him into R-Truth.
Show took a piece of the announcers' table and slammed it over the back of Clay. Show worked over Clay and then picked up R-Truth and roughed him up by what appeared to be a chokeslam against the ropes from outside the ring. Show worked over Kingston and threw him into the timekeeper's area. He surveyed the booing crowd.
The announcers replayed the footage and Cole said, "He's not an entertainer, he's a human wrecking machine." Big Johnny limped onto the stage using his crutch and then raised Show's hand in the air. Cole hyped that John Cena will return live to WWE Raw next week as Show and Laurinaitis shook hands on the stage to end the show...
Powell's POV: An effective segment in terms of going all out to get Big Show over as a heel. They sacrificed the WWE Tag Champions and Brodus Clay in order to do it. While it sucks they didn't set Show up sooner and had to resort to sacrificing three men to get him over, it was effective.
Furthermore, it's not like Kingston and Truth have much in the way of momentum right now anyway, and I am hopeful that this will eventually lead to better things for Brodus. I'll have more to say about the show in Dot Net Members' audio. Thanks for watching along with me tonight, and congratulations to Mike Bowers for winning our three-month membership contest tonight. Check out my TNA Impact Wrestling live coverage review on Thursday night for your next chance to win.
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