I think that if I was Dana White, I'd be a very unhappy businessman. I guess this just proves what a serious, and sometimes devious, businessman VKM can really be. Honestly, I think it was a brilliant idea to send Brock to the UFC fights, and I'm even more impressed that it was Punk who came up with it over VKM, Steph or Trip. Punk is obviously a very astute man with a mouth that must get him in trouble more often than not, and must have had him in deep when he was younger, but he's so centered, so zen most of the time that I don't see him as the type who would push for this in Brock's career. Crap, this is coming out wrong. I don't want to say that Punk is selfish, or not a team player, but he was pretty upset when he wanted to escort Chael Sonnen when he faced Mark Munoz on January 28th. While I can understand VKM not wanting Punk to be openly fraternizing with the competition – both business and network competition – but that had to tick Punk off and he doesn't seem to forget anything, even the littlest thing like that. I think that's why I'm so impressed that Punk put his personal feelings aside for the betterment of the company and someone else's career/storyline.
But still, I can see why Dana White might not feel quite 100% with how things went down this weekend. I see VKM's side, he doesn't want his Next Big Thing and his Legitimization of The WWE, but Dana has to feel like he's been bent over a barrel and taken a good, solid one from VKM. I like Dana and what he's built by being president of UFC, he doesn't deserve to be screwed over by being stuck in this Brock mess.
Video > A
The WWE always does a lot for the US Armed Forces, especially on holidays such as Memorial Day, so I was expecting RAW to start this way.
Video > D+
But then the WWE went on to show us this drivel that felt like it went on forever! Yes, they felt they needed to show us what had been going on with Cena, Laurinaitis and Big Show, but this video was long, dry and boring. It's not like it has been very long since any of this happened and that made the length of this that much worse. I was ready a little bit of this, then music and pyro, but this video was just too much and too boring to start the show with.
In Ring Segment > B-
I know so many people are thrilled that the giant is back to being big and scary, being booked as the unstoppable force rather than the smiling, corny, silly giant, but I'm not one of those. To me the big scary giant is too cliché, why not be a bit silly and of kilter? Honestly, Big Show has great comedic timing, better than so many who try. Yes, the diaper and facing Akebono might have been a bit much, but does anyone remember way back when he was trying to 'find himself' and would come out every week as a different character? The day he came out as Piper, kilt and all, was just great! But I always love a man in a kilt and he sold it wonderfully. On the other hand, Big Show has been face for quite a while and it was time for a change. The fact that Big Show can still go the way he does, even after all this time, at his size, is huge. He kind of had to turn face when he did when his silly move came out (he was so cute in the pink tutu), but maybe it's time for him to be heel again. It's not like the man behind Big Show has changed any. Just because he's so great at being so horrible to people, so mean on mic, doesn't mean the great guy behind it all isn't still that great guy. I guess it's the right thing for him at this point in his career, and he is really good at it, even if he did drag this segment out way too long. I will say that Laurinaitis and Big Show have done a great job of bringing fans back around to loving Cena the way they haven't in quite a while.
Santino vs ADR (0:50) > C+
Of course ADR had to go over here. There's no way the WWE could let the man who is #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship take even a minute to destroy the likes of Santino. On the other hand, it would be nice if ADR gave us something at all interesting in this match. I understand why VKM wants him pushed, but ADR is so boring! This is possibly Santino's worst match in months because of how boring and predictable ADR has become. I really expected so much from ADR early on, now I'm just glad his match lasted under a minute and feel bad for Santino having to face him. At this point I think the WWE should start thinking about anyone else to start stepping into Rey's role. What about Ricardo?
Winner – ADR, but not the fans
Backstage Segment > B-
I will say it was nice to see Riley on RAW again. Hopefully his ring work has improved as I think he has a great look and charisma, also, he can talk. He did a great job with Eve, playing slick, but also playing afraid of Big Show and eating that wall. I'd love to see Riley back if he can now make it look good in the ring.
Tag Team Championship Match (7:05) > B
All four of these guys looked great in the ring together, but they always do. I will say Kofi and R-Truth hit a couple of interesting moves toward the end of the match, right before the pinfall. The best being R-Truth throwing Kofi over his body onto Dolph. Though I have to say it's nothing that we haven't seen before. To me the best moment in this segment came after the match. Dolph screaming at Swagger about it all being his fault and that he's tired of this. Does this mean that Dolph's slapping down for overstepping his bounds is over and he's going to get pushed on his own, as he should be? I hope so, as I think Dolph could be huge if given the chance. Every time he gets close, it seems as though the WWE pulls him back. I think Dolph should have the chance to either prove himself or fall flat on his face. Either way the WWE comes out of this smelling like roses.
I also have to say something about my comments on Vickie's outfit during my RAW Results. I normally try to keep my comments to myself during the play-by-play, but that outfit was such an affront to my eyes that I had to say something. Let me back up and say that I would love a jumped cut exactly like that one, and will be making some sketches to make sure I get it perfectly, as my daughter Ellie also wants a jumper exactly like that. Not only was it a beautifully cut jumper, but it looked wonderful on Vickie's body. She's worked so hard to lose her weight and get in shape, though a lot of her tighter outfits just accentuate her body issues, but this jumper was great on her. I have even more body issues as I've had eight major abdominal surgeries that have cut through muscle over and over, so I will never be able to firm up my gut, no matter what I do. I'm stating this so no one thinks I'm being a catty female, as we're wont to be. I think that jumper would be great on my body, as well as Ellie's, and she's have three upper abdominal surgeries herself. The cut is beautiful, the issue I had with Vickie's outfit was the fabric! The pattern of the fabric was so huge that to have it made into such a small outfit made the whole thing look out of proportion. It might have been done to make the wearer look smaller, but instead only made her look as though she'd made her outfit out of some rather ugly drapes. I also have to thank everyone for sticking with me through my clothing tirades. My first love is design and I had always hoped to be making ring gear and wild designs for wrestlers to wear to the ring. Sometimes an article of clothing seen on wrestling TV makes me absolutely need to sing, or want to grind it under my heel and writing about it gets it out. Heck, none of the guys in the Live Blog have followed up with me on their interests in jackets like Jericho's and coats like Cody's, so I continue to rant. Thanks for being so cool about it.
Winners – Kofi & R-Truth
Backstage Segment > A-
I was quite impressed with Clay here. We all know Big Show can talk and play both heel and face wonderfully, but we've seen little of Clay on mic since becoming the Funkasaurus. He might have spoken on NXT, but as I have fully admitted previously, I haven't seen much since it went of SyFy, and didn't watch regularly after the first season. I thought he was solid here, really strong and not at all the silly dancer he's been portrayed as. It was not at all what I expected and added a lovely layer to his character. He's not just a dancing fool who can hold his own in the ring, but he can be serious and doesn't take Big Show lightly.
Even though this came later, it was barely commented on, so I'm shoving it in here. Funkasaurus has been in 22 matches and won all 22. I didn't feel as though King was pushing a streak at us when he said this, but just that he was passing on a fact. I wonder where they're going to go from here with that.
In Ring Segment – Revolution > B
I find it interesting that VKM doesn't notice that fans don't give Laurinaitis true heat when he comes out, they seem to be groaning in annoyance as well as expressing their hate for Laurinaitis. I wish TPTB in the WWE would understand that and get Laurinaitis off TV. We don't want to see him! He's as bad as Adamle!
Anyway, I think the WWE's 'Revolution' viral videos failed. They might think they got what they were after – people talking about what, or who, it could be – but the letdown at the end was enough for me to really dislike all they did. Yes, I know the WWE makes a lot of money through their video games, but all I care about is Punk getting the props he deserves by being on the cover. I will fully admit that I'm not a video game player. I love my WWF WrestleFest that takes up the corner of my living room (still serious about anyone wanting to come over and play if you're in Maine, close to Augusta), but I'm not one to sit and play video games for long lengths of time. I just don't have the hand-eye coordination, and I prefer table top RPGs.
I just think the WWE didn't do a great job with this one. On the other hand, I did not expect the pyro and Punk's cover to unfurl. The cover looks great and Punk did a great job of making Laurinaitis back off. Seeing Laurinaitis giving Punk that glaring down his nose look at Punk, one of his two favorite looks, but then backing down, was just great! Punk is such a pro and proved it here on mic.
Punk vs Bryan (15:26) > A!
I don't know what we've done to deserve this, but this was the second long match between two solid wrestlers in the past week. First on Impact with Roode vs AJ, then more of this wonderful feud between Punk and Bryan. This match was a couple minutes longer and was a better match than on Impact, but not by a lot. Both matches earned their grades, the same grade, on their own merits. Honestly, I'm thrilled they're giving us these matches on WWE TV and hope that it's building to something huge between these two. An Iron Man Match at SummerSlam? Something even bigger at WrestleMania? I'm sure it could happen, but I don't know as these two in the ring together could get old!
I know a lot of people don't like that the WWE is just giving away these matches between Punk and Bryan on regularly scheduled shows, but I do like it. Of course I love watching their matches, and plan on going back to watch this match again before RAW next week (something I'm not as sure about doing with Roode and AJ's match, but I'm not sure what that says about their match), but I know it's building to something bigger at the PPVs. I also like that they've been so close in each of these matches, and I don't have a problem with the way Bryan won as it's leading to so much more between them.
I was a bit worried when AJ came to the ring, but she played her role beautifully and added an interesting difference to this match, compared to others between them. I've been waiting for AJ to show up ringside and expected it to happen long before this, but I'm glad they waited. This felt like the right time. I also liked how she got involved during the match and after the match was over. Punk could look at AJ distracting the ref and wonder if she's still with Bryan, but the way she helped Punk after the match showed quite a different thing. Some might not like the involvement of a Diva in a feud like this, but AJ is so great playing this character that I think it works. It's also helped that she hasn't been in the middle of everything Punk and Bryan has done all along. This could be a whole new level of fun in the grand scheme of things.
I didn't really write anything about the actual match because anyone who's seen Punk and Bryan face off knows how great they are and what they do together. There's so little I can say that hasn't already been said about them. I don't even mind the way Bryan won as there's so much more to come.
Winner – Bryan
Christian vs Miz (4:21) > B
Miz and Christian looked solid in this match. I was worried that Christian might be starting a feud with Miz, but Cody on announce pushed that aside. I think having Cody feud with Christian can only help his career. The way Cody kept saying that Christian is on the fence between classic and contemporary, basically saying Christian is old, was a bit annoying. Of course it was Cody playing heel and grasping onto something, but I thought the way he said it, and that he said it over and over, was a bit much.
I also thought it looked like things might be looking up for Miz. That he was in this match and looked solid could only help this horrid slump he's in. He looked good, worked hard and did well in the ring with Christian. Christian also looked really solid in the ring. I'm thrilled that he's back from injury and hope he turns heel again after his feud with Cody is over, as he's so much better as a bad guy. The other thing I'm loving about Christian is that he brought back the 5 star frog splash. I love the move and he does it so beautifully. I just wish the unprettier wasn't so ungainly looking. I can't wait to see where Christian goes from here. Heck, I can't wait for Miz to get pushed back up where he belongs.
Winner – Christian
Backstage Segment > D
Laurinaitis is just so horrid! Retirement in ten or twenty years? That's just too much, especially knowing how people feel about him backstage. I'm further confused by WWE bringing Long in for less than thirty seconds of TV time. I guess the same could be said for Riley, but that didn't hit me as as futile because he took a bump and furthered Big Show's heel turn. Either way, this segment was just awful and is the type of thing the WWE does that really grates on me. So much for anti-bullying!
In Ring Segment / Backstage Segment / In Ring Segment > B
Well, so much for Miz getting turned around and possibly pushed again! I will say Orton was enjoyable to watch. I love how Orton can say so much without saying a word. Actually, in many ways, Orton's better when he doesn't speak!
On the other hand things might be looking up for Dolph. He looked well groomed and professional backstage while talking to Vickie, and really expressed his issues. This might be good. Whether Dolph does a great job and becomes a main eventer heel or not, the WWE will win as they will either have a great top talent reminiscent of Flair, or Dolph will fumble greatly and the WWE will prove that they were right in the first place. I can't wait to see which way this goes, but I really hope Dolph and so many fans are right, that he is a top tier Superstar who even Flair will appreciate for being so much like him in so many ways.
Video > A
Even if you don't like Cena's WWE character, you have to appreciate the character of the man John Cena. He goes above an beyond the call of his job and works to better the world around him and makes things better for as many others who need to be lifted up. Some might think he sounded fake in this video, but knowing what we know about Cena, I believe it was all him.
Otunga vs Sheamus (2:48) > C+
Otunga just cannot hold his own in the ring. If they want to continue to push him, they really need to find him a partner and someone to really work with him in the ring to improve his skills. Also, Otunga coming out wearing that cape makes him look like he belongs on Nanny 911. I know they're no longer making that show, but the cape looks so much like those a couple of the nannies wore. It's just horrible! Okay, it's even more horrible that Otunga's ring work. I can't say this was his worst match, but that brogue kick landed nowhere near where it was supposed to. Rather than anywhere near Otunga's face, it hit about at his solar plexus. I know it could have been Sheamus' fault, but with all the issues Otunga has, it's hard not to point the finger at him. Oh, yeah, what will Laurinaitis do to Otunga for losing this match?
Winner – Sheamus
Big Show vs Funkasaurus (5:49) > A-
I know that the bell didn't actually ring for this match, but I timed it because it was work and bumps were taken. I have to agree with what 'sdunne87' commented to the 'injury' posting Richard put up today - "I would like have seen less of a beating on the same 3 faces and had a few more run from out back only to be left out cold around the ring with Show looking down the ramp at the carnage he caused to end the show." I couldn't agree more. Big Show did such a beautiful job of destroying Clay, Kofi and R-Truth, but I think there should have been more to really show how far Big Show has changed. I'm not saying the locker room should have cleared of faces and they all should have been left in a heap. I know that Big Show specifically mentioned Kofi and R-Truth in the opening segment, but there's a number of others who could have come out and been knocked down that would have made the carnage left by him that much more.
I don't think sending the likes of Orton, Punk, Sheamus or even Christian to the ring would have been good. But I do think that having Riley limp out and easily get knocked down. Then what about Hawkins, Gabriel, Barreta, Yoshi and Ryder? None of them huge names, none of them regulars on RAW, but they could have taken a few bumps and really left a pile of mess around the ring and make Big Show look that much more dominant. Heck, the way he put his foot through announce showed just a tiny bit of how dominant Big Show can be. I know, anyone who's followed Big Show's career from back when he was the Giant in WCW, knows how dominant Big Show can be, but this could be trailing off the end of his career (though we said that a couple years ago), and he should really take this as big as he can. I know I'm one who loves Big Show for his comedic timing and when he's all smiles, but I also know what a dominant force he can be and I can't wait to see where he's going with this.
At the start of the Christian and Miz match I saw and commented on seeing a poster right up front that said 'We want Regal' and was a bit shocked. I'm a huge Regal fan, and understand why he's not regularly on RAW and Smackdown, but I miss him! I'd love to see Regal get one last run on one of the big shows. Not saying main event push, but a solid mid-card push. He's so great and it sucks that we don't get to see him the way many of us would love to see him. Yes, he screwed up and he's a risk for the WWE to push, but I love all he does. He's great on mic and can go in the ring better than so many half his age. I just think he needs one more chance, one more run.