RAW Is Blogged - AJ: Poison Ivy or Mary Jane?

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What a week for the WWE! Between the crap rating last week and the Orton thing, there's been a lot going on. Honestly, I'm not at all shocked with the low rating. While I was sitting here writing my RAW Results, my neighbors on the right were blaring music, having a huge BBQ with friends and sending off fireworks (newly legal in Maine). My neighbors across the street had family over and were having a BBQ and glaring across the street at the druggies next door (yes, they have been arrested for drugs, I'm not just pointing fingers for no reason). The sisters down the street were going to a family function and someone else down the other way was going to another Memorial Day get together. I'm not saying any of my neighbors are WWE fans, or that they're not, what I'm saying is that Memorial Day is the kick off to summer for a lot of people in the USA (at least up here where it's dang cold too much of the year), so they're not necessarily going to be sitting in front of the TV watching Big Show beat up Funkasaurus. I'm going to chalk up that 2.7 to it being a long weekend and people enjoying it with friends and family rather than watching RAW which is on every week. We have DVR for a reason.

And then there's Orton. I had really thought that he'd grown up since getting married and them having their daughter. I guess the only growing up he's done is he's stopped harassing the Divas because he has a little girl of his own and realized something with her birth. I'm quite disappointed in Orton. Honestly, for me, the pot is no biggie, it's the steroids that really pisses me off. Hasn't he learned what they can do from so many deaths? Is his ego that big that he truly believes it will never happen to him? Even prednisone, a steroid prescribed for many things such as asthma, COPD, thyroiditis, MS, Crohn's Disease, a part of a group of meds used to avoid transplant rejection, and many other health concerns and diseases. While I personally believe Prednisone is over prescribed, but that's just me, because I know 'roid rage personally. Anyone (Hogan) who claims 'roid rage isn't real; I'm here to say it is very real. It's such an uncontrollable fury that comes from nowhere and is directed at anyone and everyone nearby. My mother breathing too loudly while watching TV would set me off. And honestly, that's the least of the issues prednisone has wreaked upon my body. The long term effects are beyond belief.

What I'm getting at is that there's very well known the issues that go along with steroids. Does the good really outweigh the bad? I guess Orton thinks so, but it very well could be the end of his WWE career because of it. Would Orton in TNA be a good thing or a bad thing? He's a big ego, but so is Hogan, and Bisch for that matter. Then there's Anderson and Orton's issues with him. Then again, Orton and RVD have a similar friend in Maryjane! What do you think about Orton and his issues?

I was asked to move the length of the match to the winner's circle on my RAW Results. What do you think and why? I'm writing all of this for you, so I want to know what you want.

Show Starts

Video > D+

I know they had to recap Big Show's carnage, but he wasn't there on the show and we've seen all this. I thought it was too long and not interesting enough to grab the fans from the start. It wasn't a bad video, just too long and misplaced.

In Ring Segment > B-

Cena was all silly and the fans were right there for him. It helped that the fans loath Cole, but Cena's fan base has been growing back to what it once was since he faced Brock. It further grew in Cena's feud with Laurinaitis. I won't say this was Cena's best segment, but it's better than the majority of his promos from last year. He really drew the fans in and had them hating Cole and Laurinaitis that much more. I think it went off that much better because of what good friends Cena and Cole are. It's like Trip and HBK, they're that much better because of how well the know each other. While it was a bit corny, I understand why VKM wanted Cena and Cole working off each other. Who doesn't want to see Cole get his bum handed to him?

Backstage Segment > C+

As much as I want Laurinaitis to go away and Cole annoys me, this segment made me smile. When Laurinaitis told Cole to stop calling him Johnny I actually laughed aloud. As horrid as Laurinaitis is, sometimes his dry delivery works. Though 99.96% of the time he fails miserably.

Dolph vs Sheamus (9:10) > A-

I have to say that Dolph really seems to be pushing himself; showing what he has to prove he should be a top heel. While I can't say he's done anything extreme, or overtly heel-ish recently, but his ring work has been superb. No matter who he's facing, he leaves it all out there to prove that he should be up there with the best. That they're putting him in matches like this one, against the Champs and other top guys shows that they're giving him that chance to prove himself and I think he's doing a solid job of it. The two of them had a solid match that was completely enjoyable, though not a Punk vs Bryan match. While I didn't think they'd have Dolph going over Sheamus here, they did a solid job of making Dolph look like he could win if things went just slightly differently. Honestly, I'd rather see Sheamus facing Dolph than ADR, but that's just me being disgusted with ADR at this point.

After the match ADR looked solid in his attack of Sheamus, but he did the same thing he always does, cross arm breaker. I will give Ricardo props for being in on the attack and I will give ADR props for changing up the move to make it a bit fresher. Hanging Sheamus over the side of the stage was a cool idea and looked good. See, I'm not completely against ADR, just mostly.

Winner – Sheamus

Backstage Segment > D

I have to say that Otunga wasn't horrible here, but the start where Laurinaitis was demanding coffee was. Even worse was that horrible pursed lips, staring down his nose at the world look. People have accused Orton of being robotic, but Laurinaitis takes it to a whole new level! He has one look for being mad/outdone/verbally abused/taken down a notch, one look for being happy/fake, and one look for all other times. It's rather disgusting to watch him as it's obvious which facial expression he will give and when. I really have no clue who thinks this man should be an executive, or on TV.

Sin Cara vs Hunico (2:33) > B

Please read before you get cranky about my grade! First off, Sin Cara is an amazing high flier. I always dread writing his matches as my fingers and brain can't follow him at a fast enough pace. He's just that quick and impressive, but can he go for longer than a couple minutes? His matches have been kept short to keep them exciting, but can he carry a feud and the variety of matches needed to make the feud interesting? If he can, I think he'd be better to take over after Rey than ADR. I don't want to carve these feelings in stone, but I think Sin Cara is more interesting and exciting than ADR, but only time will tell.

Winner – Sin Cara

Video > B

I was a bit annoyed that the first of these videos was Cena, but I do understand why. I remember that night that he was drafted to RAW. He was such a goober back that, but obviously so happy to be moved to the A show. Add onto that that the video was well produced it made for a decent video. Doesn't mean I want RAW going to three hours starting on my birthday, but I do like these videos leading up to that big night.

Ryback vs Stan Stansky & Arthur Rosenberg (1:55) >

I know that having the jobbers talk before Ryback comes out can be annoying to some, but I liked these guys. The jobbers are being made to look silly, and like idiots, but I thought Arthur and Stan (Kirby Mach & Storney Hooker) were kind of adorable. I know that few want their wrestlers to be adorable, but that's how they came off to me. Of course they were about to be splatted across the mat by Ryback, but they handled the mic better than most of the jobbers have and actually endeared themselves to me.

Beyond the jobbers, I'm wondering what they're going to do with Ryback. He's proven he's a dominant force in the ring. Actually, I thought that Ryback wasn't as big as Goldberg, but looking at the (billed) numbers, and Ryback is actually an inch taller and about 25lbs heavier. I don't see it, but it's been a while since I saw Goldberg in the ring – and what a horrible match that was! Goldberg's 'streak' in WCW was said to be 173-0, but that's greatly disputed. That really ran him as an unstoppable force until Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and a 'taser' ended it all. I really hope that the WWE isn't trying to push Ryback this way as it's such a different time and the fans would get downright pissed before Ryback got to even a third of that streak. Goldberg was a man the fans wanted to cheer for, the good guy through all the nWo crap – even though his wrestling skills weren't that great. While I don't know what the plans for Ryback are, hopefully they don't get silly about his 'streak'.

Winner – Ryback

Punk vs Kane (13:39) > A-

Kane might be a big guy and quite a bit older than many of the wrestlers on top right now, but that man can still go. Yes, I'm biased as I've been a huge Glen Jacobs fan for much of the time he's been playing Kane. But this match was much more than the sum of its parts. Kane and Punk were both great, but Bryan standing on announce before the match, then the looks he gave through all the ring work, and his attack on Punk was great. AJ running down to rat out Bryan was well timed, and gave Punk a reason to attack Bryan. Then way Punk yelled "YES!" each time he slammed Bryan was a blast.

I don't want to take anything away from the ring work, as it was all solid and entertaining, but it was the very end of the match and the post-match attacks are what stick in my mind. Thinking back, after all the physical work, it was AJ who stole the post-match moment. The looks she gave Kane, but then the hair tuck and smile that threw Kane off kilter was perfectly executed. That girl has some serious acting chops and has blown me away with her 'crazy chick' persona and storyline.

While I'm annoyed that Kane has been inserted into the PPV match just so VKM can 'smack the smarks', I liked how they handled this match. Kane didn't go over Punk cleanly which leaves the questions going to the PPV. While I adore Kane, he wasn't needed in the PPV match; Punk and Bryan have proved that over and over lately.

Winner – Kane

Backstage Segment > A-

Again, AJ was fabby! Josh played well off her as the scared wuss, which he does well. While a lot of people are wanting to see Divas matches, as bad as they are right now, I'm content with AJ being the Diva we're seeing on RAW right now.

Video > C+

Basically a recap of Cena and Cole, which is what they always do half way through the show – recapping the opening segment – but Cole begging the fans who love him, loath him or anything, to go to Twitter and FB to tell Laurinaitis we didn't want to see him abused was quite funny. At least he admitted he wasn't completely loved by the WWE 'Universe'!

Video > B-

I have to say that I thought this video was too long. I loved the production and editing work, and I loved what Big Show is going full bore with his heel turn, but this dragged a bit. I was also a bit bummed that Big Show wasn't on RAW, but they played that off well early in the show with Laurinaitis talking about Big Show's contract, so it made some sense – something that's been few and far between lately.

Kofi & R-Truth vs Hawkins & Reks (4:36) > B

While I was bummed that they started the match during the commercial – not giving Hawkins and Reks entrances and not letting me get a correct time for the match – I was THRILLED to see Hawkins and Reks in a real match on RAW that wasn't a squash! I believe in these two men. I wasn't as thrilled with Hawkins when he was an Edgehead (I will always be an Edgehead and a Peep), but more recently he's impressed me more and more. I will admit that his cred was raised for me by the way Rocky talked up Hawkins for helping him prep for WrestleMania. I liked Reks from word go in ECW. I think he has a very interesting look, though I didn't like his surfing persona at all. I will admit I haven't been watching Superstars at all, nor had I been watching NXT for a while, so I don't know what Reks' persona really is right now, nor do I know how good his ring work is, I'm just running on his look and charisma. To me he has a different enough look that he stuck in my from the brief stint he had in WWECW in 2009.

I thought that all four worked the ring well together. My biggest beef about the ring work and characterization is that Reks and Hawkins didn't come off as heel-ish enough for me. Reks had a few moments, but overall not much. Hopefully with the upheaval and WWE looking for heels to step up, Hawkins and Reks will be seen more on RAW as they did a solid job in the ring with Kofi and R-Truth.

Winners – Kofi & R-Truth

Video > A

I loved the passion in Trip's voice when he spoke about his return after nine months out due to his torn quad. I remember vividly the night he tore his quad, but I don't remember his return as well. Even back in the days of the McMahon-Helmsley Faction, I loved Trip for his character and the strength Paul Levesque puts into that character. For a couple moments in this video I felt like we were hearing Paul over Triple H. He wasn't sure if he would be relevant, that he might hear crickets, but that the reaction at MSG meant so much to him was wonderful. Further, he made us feel that with him as he spoke. I want to go look up his return to MSG, just so I can feel that moment with him. This video resonated in a way Cena's didn't, as Cena's couldn't. This makes me want to see Trip back on TV weekly because of the passion he gives every moment in front of the camera. We need more like Paul Levesque to keep the WWE going.

Cena vs Tensai (9:02) > D+

This was sub par, but that's how Tensai has been since his return. Okay, I just went and watched some of Giant Bernard's work in Japan. I've been threatening to do it since his return was teased and I just hadn't done it. I watched a bunch of videos and the thing that jumped out at me more than anything else was attitude. When Matt Bloom played Giant Bernard in Japan he had this beautiful bad attitude. He was mouthy and didn't take any crap. Similar to some of his T&A work, but much more so. He moved with attitude, he exuded badass in every little nuance of his being. In the videos I watched I cam across the F5 Brock hit on A-Train entitled 'Brock almost kills A-Train', and it was just horrible to watch. Brock dropped A-Train on the back of his neck in a way that was sickening. I'm shocked Giant Bernard didn't beat Brock senseless when they faced off in Japan.

But back to Bloom. The videos I saw showed me that Bloom is a great talent that isn't showing through on WWE TV. Tensai is boring and sloppy where Giant Bernard was mean, interesting and hard hitting. I'm not saying every move he hit was right on the mark, but he was a heck of a lot better than he has been since returning to the WWE. I think it's time they re-vamp Tensai's character and let him show that side of him that got him over so well in Japan. I hate to say this is typical of the WWE, but it truly is how they do things. Rory and Robbie were great until the WWE watered them down. Heck, Punk was watered down for quite a while until he politic-ed his way into a top spot. Hopefully the WWE pulls their head out before Bloom is out of a job for not clicking. Yes, Tensai did a horrible job choking Cena in the ropes, then his sit down bomb on Cena during the Cole match was horrid, but he has it in him and he can do this if given the chance to shine as a character that works for him. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Winner – Cena

No DQ Match – Cena vs Cole (9:17) > C+

Hear me out! The reason this match got such a decent grade is because it was entertaining. Not that I wanted to see Cole stripped down, but because he needed to take a little abuse – as the WWE likes to wreak upon the announcers – and who better than one of Cole's closest friends? They travel in Cena's bus together, why not wallow in BBQ sauce together, and what better BBQ sauce than JR's? For me it was that big dribble running down Cena's back when he had Cole up for the AA for the first time, that was actually kind of sexy. I never thought I'd say that about BBQ sauce or Cena, but there it is!

The first move on Cole, after Cena caught him, the noogie, looked just like brothers playing around, and it really worked. Through the whole thing Cena looked like he was having a blast. Okay, not during Tensai's botched bomb, but it is what it is. I actually enjoyed the back and forth between them. Cole really abused Cena during his match with Tensai, then Cena got back at Cole. It wasn't a great match, but it was amusing.

Winner – Cena

Post Show

While there was some high points in this RAW, they were few and far between. For me the worst was anytime Laurinaitis was on the screen and that the last twenty plus minutes that was all Cena. Hopefully it won't be even more of this when RAW goes to three hours. Okay, one last thing. I want three challenge words. I want words I have to struggle to make work, but I'm not going to include antidisestablishmentarianism!


  • scott seefong

    just watched that brock almost killed video. bad, but still doesn't beat when sid vicious broke his leg

    • kbunyon

      I watched the Sid video once and refused to ever watch it again! That was horrific!


  • Michael

    I been thinking about Ryback's streak and was wondering if they are going to count each match. Or count each "Jobber" as one even though two were beat at a time. Just something to ponder.

    Great write up as always KB.

    • kbunyon

      Thanks Michael!

      Anything is better than TNA right now. Crimson claimed that because he's been defeated for 468 days, so his streak is better than Goldberg's! While I'm not a huge Goldberg fans, I want to see him show up and slap Crimson down!

      I hope they do right by Ryback. He's really proving himself in a way I didn't think he had. I'm impressed.


  • The Breaker

    When Cena and Cole got slathered in JR's BBQ sauce, I thought to myself that somewhere out there someone thinks this is pretty hot. lol

    • kbunyon

      The absurd thing is that this was the first moment I ever found anything sexy in Cena! No clue why that BBQ sauce brought that out, especially since I'm not supposed to have BBQ sauce with my health issues. I bend the rules for JR's BBQ sauce because it's just so good!

      I doubt I'm the only woman who found that specific dribble sexy.


  • H.M.

    Cole's plea to the fans was priceless. Actually, I'll go off and say that Cole overall was a darn riot on last night's episode. That and the beatdown was hilarious though it dragged a bit too long and seemed similar to Cena's abuse of Laurinaitis. Cena's mic work wasn't even annoying, which is a rare treat in WWE these days.

    I just realized that we both share one thing in common as wrestling fans Kendra: We're huge Kane fans lol. I've always been a Kane fan since childhood when he first made his debut(granted I saw him on TV for the very first time when he made his debut on TV after Badd Blood 97 which I've since watched online as we never ordered PPV's). One of my most favourite persona's in the wrestling industry.

    Show's promo was so similar to that of Lesnar's. I do like that Show's going all out in this heel turn as the nasty relentless monster he can be.

    AJ is a superb actor. I think she'll develop a huge fanbase among male fans in due time…calling it right now.

    Also am I the only one who marks out for the Daniel Bryan Q/A sessions? For the first time since the 'what' chants I feel like a kid and want to follow the crowd, raise my arms and give an emphatic 'YES!' to all of his questions. So happy this guy's become a top tier superstar in the WWE. He's taken the ball as heel and run with it.

    One of my biggest highlights of the night was Sin Cara. Perhaps it was because he was working with the very talented and well rounded Hunico but man a lot of those spots were crazy good. I just hope that the lighting goes away. It's a huge pet peeve of mine and as I've said before, it must be really hard on the eyes for the workers to perform in that including the refs. Regardless, I really hope to see him shine in this run; perhaps make a tag team with a returning Rey Mysterio – a pipe dream of mine and I think that'd do wonders for tag team wrestling and Sin Cara's career.

    Biggest lowlight was Tensai. His work is just not showing. His matches in Japan and in WWE back in the day are stuff worth watching. His moves were sharp, crisp and had impact. You were spot on about the nuances in his character. It looks like WWE's slowly drifting from the Japanese-ish elements of Tensai's character. Looked more like A-Train last night. He also seems to have trimmed down a bit in fat which is a good thing. I know this guy has the ability to be a legitimate in-ring performer and I hope he can actually bring out the good stuff before the plug is pulled on him entirely. It's a shame for a guy that looks that menacing and with such a good wrestling resume to have to fall into obscurity in the annals of WWE history for his second run much like Chris Masters, D'Lo Brown, Cryme Time etc…

  • James

    I remember the night HHH torn his quad, like it was yesterday. I loved the 2 man power trip with him and Stone Cold, two of the biggest stars trying to out heel each other. I totally loved the hate that they both got, those where the days. Then the return, WOW!!!! that segment of RAW was off the chain for me. I loved the build for the return, the videos made me just want to be there live that night. The crowd was hot, even through the TV, it was a massive reaction for a legend of the business. That return made me start to respect the business a hell of a lot more, shows what some of the guys these days don't get, and for the dedication that HHH put into the rehab.

  • James

    The WWE need to start to realise that the current product isn't very entertaining for the long term fans of the WWE. The fans that have watched wrestling for the last 20+ yrs enjoy storylines that draw us into the " is that real or storyline". CM Punks promo last year was something that got a lot of us hoping that we were going to get a new direction and move to a more balanced show, parts for the junior fans and parts for the adult fans, but once again we are let down and now we are back in the BORING ERA!

  • Jbreed

    Just another lame episode of Raw. There was some good in-ring action but big picture wise, man is Raw heading the the wrong direction. And when Michael Cole and John Cena close out the show you know there's something wrong.

    • H.M.

      I agree with that. I hate how everything Cena does nowadays simply overshadows pretty much any other angle out there. It's been that way CONSISTENTLY since December when Kane made his (epic) return to feud with Cena. Show/Cena does NOT need to headline the show. Your World titles must do that job in order to make your title holders become the TOP guys. Yes, Cena's the face of the company and he draws and he can still be put in top tier level feuds but not at the expense of your world champions who hold what are perceived to be the most coveted prizes in the industry.

    • Yes it was, and I’ve been saying that all along.Those who clomar for the Attitude Era to come back (a large part of the IWC) don’t look at the negatives of that Era. It wasn’t just the wrestlers getting seriously injured, careers ended, and lives lost, that was a consequence of the Attitude Era. It wasn’t just the tarnished image of the WWF post-Hulkamania that had censorship groups hounding Vince and the WWF. There was also the big-money sponsors who pulled out of the WWF because they didn’t want their products associated with the WWF, and even more big-money sponsors who wouldn’t touch the WWF with a ten foot pole. That cost the WWF a lot of money.The WWF was always a family-oriented show. Always. Going back to Vince’s father and Bruno Sammartino, the WWWF was a family-oriented show, with wrestling between heroes and villains. It continued through Bob Backlund’s reign, and on into Hulkamania with Vince Jr in charge. A family-oriented show. The gimmicks got more cartoony and the target demographic (for merchandise) got younger but it was still a family-oriented show. Even the Shawn Michaels Era of the early 90 s was no different. And each era from Sammartino to Michaels was very successful.Then the Attitude Era hit. Thanks to ECW and WCW changing the face of pro wrestling (and WCW stomping the WWF in the ratings) Vince was forced to change with the times just to survive. The ratings went up as the shock TV fans (mostly college kids) jumped on the attitude bandwagon. WCW and the WWF got a lot of press, the ratings shot up and the sponsors bailed. I’m not going to rehash the Attitude Era but I’ll just condense it to: it served it’s purpose; it allowed the WWF to survive WCW’s onslaught and eventual self-destruction, and continue on.The WWF no longer needed the censor-pushing shock TV because they no longer had any competition doing it first. The shock TV bandwagon fans (who were never wrestling fans to begin with) got bored and left. The TV ratings returned to their normal levels. And Vince had a company no family-oriented big-money sponsor wanted to be associated with.Vince can spin-doctor his decision to turn the WWE PG any way he wants. The simple fact is he really had no choice. SOMEBODY has to pay for those 2-hour prime-time national TV slots he has. If there are no sponsors, Vince would have to pay those astronomical fees himself. Since RETURNING the WWE to it’s original TV rating and re-targeting the show to families and merchandise to kids, sponsors are lining up to buy ad-time during RAW and Smackdown. The ratings are consistently good every week and sponsors aren’t coming in and out as if through a revolving door.The IWC complains about the PG era constantly, but the vast majority of the WWE audience (the ones who are in those audiences every week, and buying PPVs and merchandise) doesn’t. The WWE IS family entertainment, and parents don’t have any problems bringing their kids to the shows now and buying merchandise for them.

  • DB27

    I think moving the length of the match to the winner’s circle would be a good idea

  • bettysteve

    l am just happy that cole didn't come out dressed as a goose for the match or that he ran around the ring like a child as he has been made to do on previous occasions, (l mean, when you see 8 yr old kids in the crowd slapping their foreheads and groaning, you know somthings wrong.)
    randy is on the roids??!!! doesn't show on the bod *snicker*

    • I hope austin rurntes at no. 30 in the royal rumble. Have punk take him out and let rocky win so that he could challenge brock for the belt. I have to admit though, it’s kinda sad for wwe to have their top guy Cena wrestle in the third most important match of the night. Well perhaps on the bright side, considering we have austin, rock and brock coming back this year, maybe wwe will pull the trigger on heel cena.

  • MonstaHeel 450

    The way this 'direction' is going for Raw, i'm wondering how're they gonna fill those 3 hours knowin they gotta be careful w/ what they do after their 1K episode…….

    A.J. scares me…. and I love her so much for it. Hell hath no fury, LIKE AN A.J. SCORNED!!!