For those of you that don’t know me, I am long-time A1 poster/annoyance jerseyboy.
And for those of you that do know me…
I have a journalism degree but my professional writing career has consisted of some freelance work and that year where I wrote Big East game previews for CFN and sportingnews.com. (And baby, you haven’t lived until you had to find 100 words to write about the Syracuse offense in 2008.) After that, I swore off writing anything more than 140 characters in length until the likes of Tom Holzerman and Brandon Stroud inspired me to write pithy, stream-of-consciousness reviews of bad wrestling shows.
No, seriously. That’s what happened.
Anyway, here’s what we’re supposed to get on tonight’s edition of RAW, thanks to our unnecessarily wordy friends at WWE.com:
The moment of truth has arrived, and Brock Lesnar’s camp will officially respond to Triple H’s SummerSlam challenge on a Raw SuperShow that’s already bursting with tense situations ready to explode at the slightest provocation. While The King of Kings and the wrecking machine hammer out the fine print (or just hammer each other with their fists), WWE Champion CM Punk and Daniel Bryan will be testing the waters with AJ to determine where her favor might lie as the special guest ref for their WWE Title Match at Money in the Bank.
Who the heck talks like that, except people who write ridiculous WWE show previews?
9:00 p.m. – Minutiae moment: Remember when CM Punk famously complained that he wasn’t in the signature at the opening of RAW? Well, the good news for the Punkster is that while he’s in the signature, so are Kofi Kingston, Kane and Kelly Kelly. Not exactly elite company. Wait until 7-Eleven does their Summerslam promotion and Punk’s passed over for a collector’s cup by at least two guys that aren’t full-time wrestlers anymore.
9:01 p.m. – Recap of last week’s Chris Jericho/John Cena match, with a lame DQ finish and beatdown #912314 of Cena by the Big Show. All these beatdowns of Cena mean nothing until somebody does it to him on PPV, folks. Otherwise it’s basically the Hulk Hogan booking from the late-80’s.
9:03 p.m. – John Cena hits the ring. Wanna bet he’s all happy and stuff and not the least bit concerned a 500-pound dude kicked his ass last week?
9:04 p.m. – Ok, dude. It’s one thing to be infuriatingly nonchalant about getting your ass kicked. It’s another to basically troll people who think you should be pissed off. Hate to tell you, sunshine, but it’s called realism. In the real world, people who get beaten up get mad at the person who beat them up.
So Cena’s tells us that last week was a wake up call that anything can happen in the Money In The Bank ladder match, clearly illustrating that he doesn’t watch anything other than the main events on PPV’s.
9:07 p.m. – Before Cena can kick into a Star Wars parody or make some lame poopie jokes, Daniel Bryan comes out. And yeah, I’m in the minority, but I think the “Yes” thing has run its course. It was a cool little deal for a while, but it’s basically the “What?” of 2012 – an annoying thing that the fans do now to entertain themselves.
9:08 p.m. – Bryan then drops the “you might get the briefcase but fail on the cash in” hint, which I’m about 80 percent sure is where this will eventually go. Actually, the idea of Cena winning the shot and then being conflicted on whether to take advantage of a vulnerable champion or cashing it in honorably would be a good storyline, but somehow I can’t see them going that direction.
9:09 p.m. – Punk comes out and manages to be even more annoying than Cena, saying he disagrees with Daniel Bryan without actually explaining why he disagrees with him. Although Bryan’s protestations that Punk is stealing his one-word catchphrase was kinda funny.
9:11 p.m. – Jericho comes out. Punk gets in the obligatory Bon Jovi reference, and then Y2J morphs back a decade with the “shut the hell up” and “RAW is Jericho” catchphrases and I’m really confused as to what year this is. Did like the “few more arrows in the quiver” line, though.
9:13 p.m. – And now Kane’s out. This segment feels like it’s gone 20 minutes already.
9:14 p.m. – Before Kane can get himself into trouble on the mic, Big Show comes out and cues the brawl which ends up with Show beating the crap out of everyone. I’m guessing this will lead to a six-man tag-team match of some kind tonight, because Teddy Long’s in charge after all.
Amazing segment – four very good talkers, plus Kane, who managed to spend 11 minutes saying absolutely nothing useful.
9:20 p.m. – Eight man tag-team match with Cody Rhodes, David Otunga and the Prime Time Players against Santino, Christian, Kofi Kingston and R-Truth . Telling that Cody Rhodes doesn’t get his ring entrance. I haven’t seen much of Darren Young lately, but Titus O’Neil was pretty horrible on NXT. Apparently Rhodes and Otunga teamed last Friday on Smackdown or something.
And way to make your triumphant return to RAW, R-Truth, as just another guy in an eight-man tag. Last year you were a main-eventer. Actually, so was the Miz, and right now he’s hopelessly miscast in a straight-to-DVD movie. Advantage = Truth.
Just Saying: Titus O’Neil has the goofiest pose I’ve seen in years. Equivalent to the dude in the back of this picture:
9:22 p.m. – I know Kofi likes to do jumping moves, but the move where he just jumps about a foot in the air and hits a dude with a clothesline looks so contrived. Stop doing it, please.
9:25 p.m. – The Smackdown tour’s coming to Sioux Falls (that’s where I live – stop laughing) and the top two matches are Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio. That might be enough to get me to buy a ticket and take my kids. At least John Cena isn’t on the card, so my son isn’t in danger of crying if he loses.
9:26 p.m. – Hey, the heels have the advantage after the break. Shocking! Crowd is apparently shocked into silence as well.
9:27 p.m. – I know that it’s good to have managers in wrestling, as they can help acts that can’t talk. But did we really need the return of Abraham Washington? God damn, the guy adds nothing to O’Neill and Young.
9:29 p.m. – Big moment in the match comes when everyone leaves David Otunga hanging and he gets pinned after Brodius Clay comes out. It would be better if they’d explain why Otunga’s tag-team partners keep bailing on him, rather than making us guess that they hate him because he aligned himself with the fired John Laurinitis. It would also be better if Otunga wasn’t beaten in a 1-on-5 situation and then hit with finishers after the match for no apparent reason.
And that, kids, is your WWE Bad Booking Of The Night, presented to you by another Vince Russo shoot interview that nobody could possibly care about.
9:32 p.m. – 32 minutes into the show and we finally see Teddy Long backstage, where he tells Alberto Del Rio he’s the number-one contender for the World title and will face Sheamus at the MITB PPV. He then tells Del Rio that he has a surprise opponent for him in a way that made me understand why Aksana found him creepy and wanted nothing to do with him once he wasn’t Smackdown GM anymore.
9:35 p.m. – Who thought 21 Jump Street: The Movie was a good idea?
9:36 p.m. – Memo to WWE creative – when an uber geek like me can’t even remember that Vince McMahon training segment, it probably wasn’t an all-time great moment.
9:38 p.m. – Ricardo Rodriguez’s smirk when he’s about to announce Alberto Del Rio is the best thing on the show so far.
9:40 p.m. – Hey, it’s Sin Cara. This might actually be a fun match.
9:41 p.m. – Or not. Del Rio basically attacks Sin Cara before the bell, throws him out and applies the cross arm-breaker on the floor. Can’t complain because Alberto’s getting the title shot at the PPV, but did Mystico really have to be cannon fodder?
9:42 p.m. – Daniel Bryan redeems himself from the opening segment by sucking up to A.J. while being the most disingenuous prick in the history of disingenuous pricks.
AJ: “That’s so sweet.”
DB: “Yeah, it is.”
No way can I give a WWE writer credit for that one. The only failure of this segment was A.J., after blowing off Bryan, sticking the rose in her mouth like she was going to eat it – only to spit it out. If you’re gonna do crazy, girl, do crazy.
9:45 p.m. – I ‘m not a “count the minutes of wrestling” guy in the slightest, but we’re 45 minutes into the show and we’ve had something like six minutes of in-ring action.
9:48 p.m. – Apparently there’s a 20-man battle royal on Smackdown tomorrow night, with the winner getting to be GM for the following week’s show. If the person who wins doesn’t book themselves in a World title match, they’re a complete stooge.
Fearless Prediction: that Zack Ryder wins and then gets his long overdue U.S. title rematch.
9:49 p.m. – Recap of the HHH/Lesnar/Heyman THIS BUSINESS storyline, which probably sounded a lot better on a paper than in execution.
9:50 p.m. – Look at that – it’s Paul Heyman via “satellite”. So the WWE baited everyone into thinking that Brock was going to show up tonight, only to have Heyman do a pre-tape. Nothing sleazy about that, no sir.
It’s not the idea of having Heyman do the pre-tape to say that Lesnar will give HHH his decision on the Summerslam match at the 1,000th RAW. That’s a good idea, to be honest, because it builds anticipation for Brock’s return. It’s just that if you’re going to strongly imply Brock Lesnar’s showing up on RAW, then you’d better have a damn good reason why Lesnar’s not on the show.
And that’s the whole problem with the segment, because by pulling this stunt it dulled the weight of whatever it was that Heyman was saying, which was probably well delivered and dramatic. The reason I don’t remember exactly what he said is that I stopped paying attention to when I realized Lesnar wasn’t showing up.
9:52 p.m. – Kane vs. Big Show in a no-disqualification match later, as tweeted by Teddy Long. Don’t you think Long could’ve just announced that decision in front of the live crowd, since he’s in the building and all? #SocialMediaFail
9:56 p.m. – Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero vs. Sheamus & A.J. Lee is up next, I guess because Ziggler faced Sheamus (and lost) to him on Smackdown and Guerrero got eliminated by A.J. in the diva’s battle royal or something. It doesn’t really matter, because the World Champion and arguably the best in-ring guy in the company right now are going to be the backdrop for comedy.
Just Saying: Does this match really have be at the top of the hour?
10:05 p.m. – Not much to the match, really. Ziggler and Sheamus did some stuff before Dolph tagged Vickie in. A.J. then hit something vaguely resembling a shining wizard for the win, and then chanted “YES” in the most annoying way possible to the back..
And then A.J. went backstage where CM Punk was on the phone, and because A.J.’s like crazy and stuff she interrupted him. And then Punk had to admit that she wasn’t watching A.J.’s match, and then it was like that episode of that bad romantic comedy where the guy forgot his girlfriend’s three-month anniversary and she got all passive-aggressive with him so he went out to the bar with his buddies and nearly slept with some hot bar chick only to realize he loved his girlfriend more than he loved casual sex with hot bar chicks only to realize his true love was on a plane to Prague for her study abroad year.
Or maybe it wasn’t anything like that.
10:11 p.m. – Hey, it’s time for Heath Slater, who’s playing Miz’s old role of “dude who gets embarassed by WWE legends” – except Miz usually got to pin said legends. I guess in the grand scheme of things it’s employment, and it’s better than being the guy in the opening match of Superstars or anchoring the Full Sail University show. I will say this – although Slater doesn’t have half of Miz’s charisma or speaking ability, he does his absolute best to be an annoying jobber.
10:13 p.m. – This week’s former WWE superstar is Doink. I guess on the WWE Legend Scaletm he’s higher on the totem pole than Diamond Dallas Page, whose post-WCW run consisted of getting destroyed by the Undertaker and doing a horrible motivational speaker gimmick.
Fearless Prediction: Michael Cole never even saw the Jerry Lawler/Doink feud. Then again, I don’t remember it either.
10:14 p.m. – Holy crap, Heath Slater won a match!
10:15 p.m. – And now here comes DDP, who is announced by Michael Cole as a three-time WCW champion. No mention of that time that he stalked the Undertaker’s wife, though.
Diamond cutter on Slater. Ok, I admit it – I still mark out for that move when he does it in a way I can never mark out for it when Orton does it.
10:21 p.m. – John Cena and Alicia Fox support wounded vets. That’s cool.
10:24 p.m. – Kane vs. Big Show in a no-disqualification match, again, for reasons I’m not sure I understand. It’s like old-school TNA booking where there would be a ladder match or a cage match out of nowhere.
Lawler saying “I don’t see the logic in booking this match” is the classic shoot comment that wasn’t intended to be a shoot comment.
10:27 p.m. – Show just did a thrust kick on Kane. Seriously. I had to rewind and view it twice to make sure I saw what I thought I saw. I’m sure Show’s done that move before, I just don’t remember him doing it recently.
10:28 p.m. – Show pins Kane after a spear and a chokeslam on a steel chair. These two guys beat the crap out of each other for four minutes, and amazingly this might have been the best match on the show so far.
10:29 p.m. – Eve Torres shows up so Teddy can put the stupid, oversized name tag on her. Stupid, but at least they remembered that they gave Long that gimmick. It’s basically a segue into another A.J. segment where says more crazy stuff about getting attention, but at this point I’ve overdosed on her and I pretty much tuned it out.
10:34 p.m. – The next memorable RAW moment is the DX invasion of WCW, which was truly a memorable moment, but I call shenanigans because there’s no freakin’ way that Alberto Del Rio saw this when it happened. He was a 21-year-old guy allegedly training to be an Olympic wrestler, and I will be shocked if he was watching any American professional wrestling back in 1998. And do you think his kayfabe character would lower himself to be entertained by DX?
10:36 p.m. – You wanted to be on RAW, Tyson Kidd, this is what you get – a match with Tensai.
10:37 p.m. – My bad. I should’ve reversed that. You wanted to be on RAW, Tensai? This is what you get – a match with Tyson Kidd. Hey, if they’re going to give Kidd the Evan Bourne quasi-push for MITB, it’s better than having him do 15-minutes matches on a show nobody watches.
10:38 p.m. – Tensai beats up his handler, which he already did once and nobody cared.
My hunch is that Japan will be calling Tensai for real sooner than later.
10:39 p.m. – Daniel Bryan and Chris Jericho have a backstage segment which was actually really funny while being completely pointless at the same time.
10:40 p.m. – CM Punk and John Cena have a segment that I didn’t really understand, other than Punk acted like a smug jerkoff heel.
Of course, for the first RAW I’ve ever recapped – my DVR then cut out for 20+ minutes for the main event of the show, so I can’t comment on the match other than it sounded like it went to a non-finish. I did get to see the very end where A.J. threatened to jump off a table in an attempt to get Punk’s attention only to throw he and Bryan through a table.
So you can add that to things I never thought I’d see in my lifetime – a RAW where freakin’ A.J. Lee is standing tall at the end of the show.
I can’t comment on the main event wrestling-wise because I didn’t see it, but this was not a particularly good RAW. There were some entertaining moments, but it felt more like a place-holder show where not much happened. There was way too much A.J. even before that final segment and it’s really taken the edge off the Punk/Bryan MITB rematch.
So that’s my first attempt at a recap, kids. Comment if you want, hit me up on Twitter or email me at dajerseyboy at hotmail dot com.
P.S. Hat tip to Brandon for the “Mack And Cheese” reference.