RAW Is Blogged – Yes! Yes! Yes! No!

I cannot get over how quickly things have changed in the WWE. We have been caterwauling for the past couple years about how corny Cena has become and how much this PG Era has taken from us as long time and hard hitting wrestling fans. Personally, the last straw for me was the white towels covering even the slightest hint of blood. Personally I thought it was a bit much when they used to replay segments in black and white because they thought the bloodshed was too much, that there was too much red on our television screens, but I’d gladly go back to those days. Heck, it was only last summer that Punk’s pipe bombs were so stimulating, so exciting because we’d become so bored with what the WWE had to offer.

As much as I love Rocky, and I surely do, he didn’t bring more than a touch of the AE back to us fans. Yes, Rocky is sexy, well spoken and talked about more pie, strudel, and lady parts than we’d heard about in a very long time, but that was all talk. While I wasn’t for or against Brock’s return, especially after his final match in the WWE – that monstrosity with Goldberg that only ended well because of SCSA – but he’s brought a spark back to the WWE that we’ve been missing for so long. Rocky dropped more cuss words than we’d heard in eight years of Cena promos, but Brock did so much more with one punch. I was more excited tuning in to watch and write a taped RAW than I have been a live RAW in a very long time. It’s that excitement that brought me to the Live Smackdown last week that completely screwed the pooch, but I was still thrilled to come back to RAW this week. I’m even not kvetching too much about next week’s three hour RAW, but wait until next Monday, I will be. Even with that coming up, I’m thrilled with the direction RAW has been taking. It’s not just Brock who is proving that he’s bringing the pain, Jericho is bringing the booze and the heartache. Now, if we could get Lord Tensai on the right page, then RAW would be taking another big step in the right direction!

Show Starts

WWE Championship Match > A

I was wondering how Punk was going to pull this one out, but I knew he would so far from home. That Extreme Rules is in Punk’s hometown also told me that Punk wouldn’t be dropping the strap in England. Of course the fans were into this match from moment one – thank you London – and that added so much to this match. That they were yelling “YES!” for Punk showed me just what fun the entire show would be. While Henry’s chair shot to Punk’s back didn’t look like it had a lot behind it, Punk’s Savage elbow (as I like to call it, though the WWE never will) with the chair was beautiful! This was a great way to start RAW and really set the tone for the show.

Winner – Punk

In Ring Segment > A-

I have to admit that when I read on WNW that there would be something about Punk in a pub, I was looking forward to something really big, but him going in and out was nothing. I will stop into a pub (though I’m sure quite different on this side of the pond) for a bite to eat more often than a drink, so I don’t see the big deal. I thought we were going to see Punk wallowing in a pint or five. That was a bit of a letdown, even though Jericho was great on mic.

Backstage Segment > B

R-Truth is such a goober, but he’s been playing his character well and seems to be having a blast with his imaginary friend. At least they kept this segment short.

Santino vs Otunga > C-

I understand why VKM wants to push Otunga, but he can’t keep up in the ring! He has a great look and an awe inspiring physique, but his ring work is elementary and sloppy at best. The worst that I’ve seen at indy shows is still better than Otunga in the ring. Santino’s ring work is actually quite good when booked to show off his skills, but when he’s not he’s still glowingly better than Otunga. So far the only thing I’ve seen Otunga do well is how he uses the ropes to drop his elbows. I’m downright thrilled that Santino didn’t drop the strap to the likes of Otunga!

Backstage Segment > C+

While I’m not put off by this character as it seems many fans are, I’m just not impressed with how the character is coming across. This was better than I expected after his first two matches, but still not up to par for the WWE.

Video > A

I was very impressed with the ‘interview’ Brock did. He really has grown a lot while gone from the WWE, but I loved his comment about Cena carrying his bags if Brock had stayed with the company. It’s a fun game of ‘what if’ to play, but I think Brock might be more right than Cena would like to think. I also have to say what a great job the production crew did with this segment. I beat up on the TNA/IW production crew so much, the WWE production crew should get the props they deserve when they do such a great job.

WWE Rewind – B

I loved Kane’s line after knocking Cowboy and then Orton out on Smackdown. I was about on the floor laughing the first time through. I actually made Stacy watch it later and he agreed with me that no one could deliver that line like Kane. Has anyone read Journey Into Darkness: The Unauthorized History of Kane? I can’t say it’s the best book the WWE has put out, but it’s an interesting read an a heck of a lot better than that other novel they put out!

Kane vs Ryder > C

Poor Ryder keeps getting the short end of the stick. The way he was bounced around was a little too comical for my taste. There had already been one comic match, we didn’t need another. And Kane on mic didn’t add to his feud with Orton the way his one line did on Smackdown.

Backstage Segment > A

Kofi was good, but AJ was great and Bryan was untouchable! I just went back to see how many times Bryan yelled “YES!” Both Stacy and I counted and came up with twenty-five. That’s pretty impressive work, not that I expect anything less from Bryan. I’m so glad the WWE is letting him run with this the way he is. Bryan has more than proved himself as a top player and I wait each week to see what he’s going to do next.

In Ring Segment > B+

Cena has stepped back up with his promos again. I’m glad he only had one week of wallowing in self pity, because if it had lasted I’d have wanted to kill him myself. He showed some spunk last night and hopefully will continue to show spunk going in to face Brock, but at this point, Brock’s going to flatten him!

Backstage Segment > D+

I saw no reasoning behind this segment other than to give Hornswoggle his show bonus. It looked silly, but not in a good way.

Kofi vs Bryan > A-

Put Bryan in the ring with anyone and you’re guaranteed a great match. Yes, WrestleMania was a fluke, but it sure has done great things for Bryan’s career and standing with the fans. Bryan in with Kofi made Kofi look that much better and I’m a huge Kofi fan. Hopefully TPTB in the WWE are seeing how much Kofi has grown and will continue to push him further. I’m loving the thought of him going into a program with Bryan, but hopefully it’s not them fighting over AJ. I’ll admit that’s part of the AE that they can leave behind.

Winner – Bryan

Funkasaurus vs Dolph > C

While I love seeing anyone get the better of Dolph, Swagger and Vickie, this was a mess. They really needed to tighten this segment up a bit, then the story of it all would have come through better. As it was it was all I remember is Dolph’s gravitational pull and Vickie landing on her bum a couple times. A few little tweaks and this could have been so much better. I also don’t like Dolph and crew being reduced to comedy and this was the third comedic match of the night! Why?

Winner – Funkasaurus via DQ?

Backstage Segment > C-

Eve didn’t get here moment alone with Laurinaitis. I think Laurinaitis and Otunga missed the point, but maybe she enjoyed having Otunga watch.

Chief Jay Strongbow

While it’s horrible to lose anyone, seeing a wrestler in this day and age make it to a nice old age makes me smile. My mother is sad over his passing as he made a big impression on her when she was young. She’s not much of a wrestling fan now, but she loved watching him way back when. WWE did a lovely job with this video. He will be missed.

Backstage Segment > D-

Each of these segments got worse and worse. Glad this was the last one. I was really hoping for something fun when R-Truth first showed up, but this whole thing bombed in a big way.

Khali & Big Show vs Primo & Epico w/ Rosa > C-

Why? Just, why? I love Big Show, and I’m really enjoying the Colons, but Khali? That man needs to go away! I feel so bad for the Colon boys being stuck in this mess.

Winners – Khali & Big Show

Cena vs Tensai w/ Sakamoto > B

*sigh This was the last think I wanted to see. Normally when they show the graphic of a wrestler facing a mystery opponent, the form of the unnamed wrestler is the one in the graphic, so we were thinking Jericho, or maybe Miz, or even ADR. But then Tensai came out and we all groaned. I have been expecting so much from Bloom’s return to the WWE. I’ve heard, not just when he decided to return, but for quite a while, just how great Bloom became when he was in Japan. I was a fan of Albert, not his ring work, but I enjoyed when he ran with Test and Trish. He was so different from the rest of his team and it worked. Honestly, when he left I didn’t think much of him being gone until I started hearing about his work in Japan. I was excited about Bloom’s return, even after hearing about his character, but when he goes into a match and Cena’s the one who has to make his ring work look better, then there’s a problem.

I’m going to say it, Cena carried that match and made Tensai look better than he had in his two previous matches since returning. I know I’m down on Cena’s ring work more often than not, and I’m hard on him, but it’s because I know he has the potential to really show us great things in the ring. He’s the face of the company and could take it to another level – the level Bryan and Punk are taking it. Saying all that, Cena proved himself for me in this match, Tensai, not so much. He lost his role as Laurinaitis’ muscle to Brock, now what’s the plan for Tensai. I hope he figures it out soon or I see him having some serious issues in the WWE.

Winner – Tensai

Post Show

It felt as though much of this RAW was fluff and not yummy fluff at that. Silly matches that did nothing but make the wrestlers look bad. Punk, Henry, Bryan, Kofi, Jericho, Brock and Cena held this show together and were impressing when doing so. I expected so much more from RAW in London and I think creative flopped on everything but the biggest names. Hopefully TPTB take a step back and remember that a handful of guys cannot carry the company, especially through a three hour RAW.

A couple weeks ago when I mentioned that I am willing to take word challenges, but I haven’t seen any – though I might have missed one somewhere. I’m serious about this. Send me a word and I will find a way to shoehorn it into one of my blogs, no matter how obscure the word. I’ll even take phrases, things you really wouldn’t expect to find in a wrestling Blog. It might take me a bit to find the right spot to use the word, but I will find a way to use it. I think it’s a great way to keep myself on my toes and my writing creative. I’d never offer my writing guild the same challenge, but they’re an evil group. You’re kind, but please, be creative and make me work for it!

KB

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  • MonstaHeel 450

    The YES! YES! YES! chants got annoying after a half hour before D- Bry even came out for his match against Kofi…. NO! NO! NO! STOP THE PAIN…….. (Not Brock Lesnar's in case ur wonderin….)

    • Patrick_Peralta

      YES YES YES is not annoying to me.

    • JamieSNZ

      YES! YES! YES! YES! Chants are awesome!

  • David

    antidisestablishmentarianasiam

  • Jonathan

    Scrumdiddleyumpsious

  • Josh

    pumpernickel

  • H.M.

    I dunno, i sort of popped for Tensai as the mystery opponent. I guess it's because I find him to be one of the most intimidating looking big men WWE has had since Umaga IMO. He really has that fear factor.

    I'm just a bit bummed that Bloom's pace in this match was slower then what I remember of Albert or A-Train.

  • Terra Ryzing

    Punk/Henry should've been the main event, period. If they ended the show with the segment with Jericho, it would've been a brilliant way to end RAW. If they wanna do the angle where they're trying to no longer have Cena being the face of the WWE then they need to make it believable and stop putting him in the main event, especially with guys like Tensai who I have to say I am not impressed with so far.

    Cena/Tensai was a sorry excuse for a main event and I really wish David Otunga would go away.

    As for my phrase/word:
    "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."

  • paulw3000

    Bouncebackability

  • Wes

    Maybe it's just me but I'm very frustrated with the John Cena character. Sure he's feuding with different guys like The Rock and Brock Lesnar but at the end of the day he's still the WWE's version of Buzz Lightyear. Never give up! Never surrender! To infinite and beyond!! Please WWE show some brass and make him a heel already. Quit crossing your fingers and hoping that somehow, someway, or someday John Cena will be as popular as he once was again. It's over!! The WWE bends over backwards to feed Cena new opponents, new storylines, and so on but they don't change anything about the guy! It drives me crazy everytime I try to enjoy his segments. I just one time wanna see him pull an old lady out of the crowd and give her the attitude adjustment for no reason. The only way I'll ever enjoy watching Cena again is if he stops being so stale and becomes a degenerate who isn't the absolute perfect role model for the WWE Universe! There..I said it…lol.

    • Adam

      And if WWE want him to carry merchandise sales have him turn on the adults. He could say they turned on him and be a tweener or he could be a popular heel like Sting's MEM run

    • nefty131

      Agree w/degenerate statement. He can keep his happy comical side, and still be a badass, like DX was. They kept their personality (HHH and shawn) being funny, yet we’re never tiring, or stale. Cena needs to find that dynamic with a revamped character image.

    • felicia

      u think u funny right, maybe u are frustrated with yourselves, CHANGE THE CHANNEL if u have problems with him, simple as that.

      • Wes

        So your telling me that if the vast majority of the WWE Universe doesn't like Cena then we just should just stop watching Raw every week? I mean some episodes of Raw are totally centered around the man whom I find extremely stale and boring. So I should just find something else to watch? Yeah that would be absolutely wonderful ratings wise! Brilliant! I can't believe I never thought of it myself lol.

        I have been a wrestling fan since the early-mid 90s. There was a point where I could sit through an entire 2 hours of Raw and never be bored. I want that experience back. I feel like the WWE is willing to sacrifice the quality of the product every week just for a quick buck in merchandise sales. Not only that but what happened to taking risks in the business? Vince McMahon put everything on the line in the past to be a success. Had the first Wresltemania failed who knows where he would be today. What happened to that guy? What happened to the guy who was willing to put everything on the line? Now he's afraid that turning one major star heel the entire business will crumble around him? That's nuts.

        Cena would benefit from a heel turn. I dare say the entire WWE would benefit from a heel turn. Cena could face some fresh younger faces as a heel like Kofi Kingston who I love to watch. I'd love to see a heel Cena against a face CM Punk as well. Maybe even turn some heels face and have them face Cena.

        Dolph Ziggler comes to mind immediately. Turn him face just on pure talent and wrestling ability and have Cena attempt to hold him back because he's afraid that Dolph is trying to steal his spotlight. Cena could tell Dolph that as long as Cena is around that absolutely nobody is going to rise up the card and steal his main events or his championship matches. Could be awesome! Maybe even have Dolph feud with Jack Swagger and Ms. Guerrero as the start of his face run. They could turn on him somehow and poof he could be a face overnight. Would just take a little work and planning.

        If the WWE would just make some changes and be less predictable I think the ratings would slowly increase. Just stop doing more of the same lol.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406026864 Blanca

      If you think the divas division has any edge over the knokcout division RIGHT NOW you are delusional. WWE has to step it up in a BIG way, relying on Kharma killed all their momentum.

  • wdr31

    Just remember Lesnar is a product of steroids, he embarrassed the MMA world with his actions, and he'll do the same in the WWE. Regrettable hire. They don't need him.

  • Ivan

    I can't believe that although CM Punk is the WWE champion, Cena is still technically getting the main event (at the end of the show of Raw) every week.

  • Sam The Man.

    I like lord tensai work. It is a stiff pure japanese style. Remind me of Onita and Masato Tanaka with à bit of the gladiator Mike Awsome. À little bit of violence dont hurt in Wrestling ;)

  • Howard Stern

    "When the glasses come off, all the teeth send for muscles."

  • A.J.

    CM punk is becoming the next John cena.He is always winning his damn matches and the best in the world crap gets under my skin.Jericho started it and now punk is using it .Punk is just overrated and it is just a matter of time till everyone else realizes it.

    • felicia

      blah blah blah

  • Jbreed

    A John Cena heel turn is much needed. But I don't think it would exactly change things a whole lot in the WWE because there's so much crap going on and the whole product would need a new direction. The midcard division is dead. Ok they're trying to push new guys like Lord Tensai but what about guys like R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger.? These are are more than capable of carrying the midcard division and making it relevant and even interesting again but all they do is job week in and week out. Instead we have to put up with a couple of goofballs like Santino Marella and Brodus Clay dancing around. Then I still don't understand what the purpose of teaming up The Big Show and The Great Khali to completely bury the tag team champs.

  • proud

    Far and away best segment of the night was Chief Jay Strongbow and absolutely rightly so!

    Sad I thought UK shows were notorious for being the best but this had no flow to it… As much as I enjoyed it I felt the main event was never something I was hanging out for and when it arrived I simply didn’t care!

    As for Punk, during Del Rio’s second reign IWC piled shit on him for not winning matches clean and facing strong opponents and main eventing RAW… Fair point but Punk hasn’t been that much better over the duration of his reign and it’s got to the point where I wanted Henry squashing Punk and being uber monster heel but this time with a manager!

    What’s going on with our Divas champion?

    As for words/sayings “fair dinkum” “fair crack of the whip” or “fair shake of the sauce bottle” would be immaculate in your blog but it was great enough this week.

  • Bob

    I love ur work Ken but found more errors in this blog than I have in all your others….Not bitching but just pointing out as I can see u take pride in your work.
    Also I've missed your clothing comments so here is one of my own I noticed and little rant about it….
    When Santino came out wearing all the football tops Arsenals top was the only one that wasnt this seasons top Anyone know why? Maybe because of the owners?? Also I find it funny an "italian" wearing a Engerland top after Capello so dont think it got the pop they wanted…Also I found out from the King that Chelsea isnt a London club.

  • Callum

    Cena has the ability to carry the show all WWE needs is a good storyline like the CM Punk storyline with Nash and HHH last summer then something would change massively in the WWE. Not on Cena anymore the need a new guy who was like Stone Cold who screwed VKM and of they can do that but with Laurinitis then it would be exciting!

  • Wes

    Hell maybe even partner John Cena up with Brock Lesnar down the road. They could play a two man power trip type deal like Austin did with Triple H back in 2001. Two unstoppable superstars together. How is anyone going to stand toe to toe with these two in the ring? I think it could work. Perfect opportunity for A Cena heel turn. Have Brock beat him and Cena could play an if you can't beat them join them type of deal. Maybe have both men win the WWE Title and the World Championship on the same night. Would be a great way to put over younger stars. Have them blow through some veteran teams and then surprisingly two up and coming superstars come together to challenge these two and have them go over and win the titles. Thoughts everybody assuming Lesnar is around enough to make a storyline like this work?