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!

KB

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