Yes? Yes? Yes? The Raw Review
by, 05-21-2012 at 11:17 PM (2624 Views)
Over The Limit recap
“Daniel Bryan! CM Punk!”, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” and “This is awesome!” chants filled the arena last night as Daniel Bryan and CM Punk put on the single greatest wrestling match since Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle locked horns over a decade ago. As expected as it was, so too was the ending we got to last night’s Over the Limit pay-per-view. Anybody who didn’t expect a Big Show heel turn is either a young child or oblivious to the fact that WWE tends to force feed us predictable endings as often as John Cena’s SuperCena routine. Regardless of the injustice that was Cena/Ace main-eventing a PPV with Punk/Bryan on the card, last night was a solid PPV with a successful return, an instant classic, and a decent Fatal-4-Way match. In the aftermath of what was a kick start to some potentially great rivalries, Raw has a great building block to regrouping after two weeks of poor shows.
Monday Night Raw 22/5/2012
Over the Limit, despite its poor predictable ending, looked like the start of what could be WWE’s big storyline for 2012. From just OTL alone it looks like a poor effort at a major storyline since it prominently features Big Show (yes, I still dislike him, although not so much as a heel). Raw put the heel turn of Big Show into perspective in a closing segment which I can only describe as a take on the brawls we saw during the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline. Considering the up-and-down nature of Raw this week, and the fact that it had a mountain to climb in terms of relevance, I feel like it was a slight improvement. Maybe it’s because I love a good brawl to progress a storyline, or that I liked seeing Jericho finally look to address his 0-5 losing streak on PPV since his return. Either way, enough happened tonight to make me feel like it was worth staying up until 4am to watch.
No more smiles from the Big Show
It didn’t take a genius to figure out that a) Cena would open the show tonight, and b) Big Show would confront him. The fact that Cena was displaying his usual angry act was no surprise either, and in all honesty I was relieved to hear the sound of People Power interrupt yet another stale Cena promo (seriously, is there no way Cena can make himself interesting again and still appeal to the children?). As expected, Ace was boring too. This whole segment didn’t really pick up until Big Show turned up in a suit and delivered a convincingly menacing promo toward Cena and begin to establish his heel run.
All we really learned from this segment was that Johnny Ace has gathered quite a few superstars to act as stooges in his endeavours, and it actually looks like the makings of a decent faction. The already established names of Eve and Otunga have been joined by Hawkins & Rex (we learned that last night), and NXT graduates Titus O’Neill & Darren Young. I wasn’t a fan of Sheamus being dragged from SmackDown’s main storyline to aid Cena though. It seemed almost needless to bring SmackDown’s World Heavyweight Champion away from his flagship show (even in an age that doesn’t conform to brand separation).
Did Punk tap? Yes!
After the clinic that we got in the form of a WWE Championship match last night, I was certain WWE would continue to build on this storyline. I can’t wait for the next time these two step into the ring with one another, and I’m sure the development which is due to come from the ‘controversial’ (it was clearly Punk’s) victory at OTL is only going to make it better.
An added bonus was that we got to experience some of Punk’s comedy in the process. I’ve said in recent weeks that Punk needs to step it up a notch if he wants to go back to the promo-gold of last summer, and we got a taste of that tonight. I’ve missed this side of Punk, and hopefully Bryan can bring it out of him again.
Bring on Punk/Bryan two!
A knockout ending to Raw
For some obscure reason, the powers that be decided that a Three-on-Two Handicap Lumberjack match was a good idea. Whilst it helped Cole to proclaim tonight’s Raw as a history-making affair, a standard Lumberjack match between Cena and Tensai would have delivered the same result whilst retaining the progress made in the Truth/Kingston versus Swagger/Ziggler rivalry and the four-way World title feud on SmackDown.
When you really look at it, this whole show was building to the locker rooms spilling out into a brawl. This could have been done a without jeopardising the storylines which OTL displayed so well, and Show’s knockout punch to Cena would have been just as surprising.
In other news…
Santino rolls his Rs; Santino seems to have lost his a way a touch in the last couple of weeks. With no contenders for the US title he is back to being the comedy relief, and his moment introducing Alberto Del Rio was actually quite funny.
Jericho’s 0-5 PPV record finally kicked in; in what looks like a way to bring his current run full circle, Jericho attacked Randy Orton during his match with ADR and connected with three Codebreakers (why can nobody sell that move well?) and poured fuel into an intriguing rivalry.
Christian def. Jinder Mahal; after his triumphant return on Sunday, Christian is being given either an easy start to regular performances again or the beginning of a Jericho-like run of ushering in younger talent. Either way, it was nothing to write home about tonight.
Beth Phoenix def. Kelly Kelly; it looks like Beth versus Layla is already booked for No Way Out on June 17th, and given the match on Sunday it might actually be good. Didn’t think I’d ever say that about a divas match.
Like I said, this week’s episode of Raw was an up-and-down affair. It took a slow start from Cena to set the tone, and things sped up as the night went on. In the end we were given a roster-sized brawl, a mentally unstable Jericho, and a knockout punch which cements the type of effective heel Big Show will be.
Whilst Raw still needs to do some work to reach the heights of three weeks ago, it was an improvement in that it was relevant for the most part. On top of that it gave us a couple of comedy moments in the form of CM Punk and Santino. I look forward to next week. Until next time, thank you for reading.
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