Tuesday 10 April 2012

That RAW Recap 09.04.12

If you missed this week's RAW you didn't miss a lot. Following last week's packed edition it was very much a return to business as usual this week. The same selection of men we see every week clashed in a series of short, forgettable matches.
That's not to say nothing noteworthy happened, just that the matches on offer were uniformly pedestrian. Any show with a main event of John Cena v David Otunga cannot be considered particularly good, no matter what your criteria. About the most exciting thing to occur match-wise was Brodus Clay leaving the comfort of singles squash matches for a considerably lengthier tag battle alongside Santino Marella. They beat the team of Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger in the best contest of the show.
Where the show did well was in progressing the promotion's top feuds. John Laurinaitis kicked things off by showing a video Brock Lesnar's return last week. After announcing that Cena and Lesnar will face one another at Extreme Rules the General Manager introduced 'The Pain', who sauntered out to loud cheers. The former UFC champion had just enough time to announce that he had returned to WWE to restore some legitimacy to the company before John Cena interrupted him.

Lesnar and Cena will battle at Extreme Rules (without David Otunga in the ring)

In the ring 'The CeNation Leader' slapped Lesnar and a tussle between the two broke out. Referees and agents did their best to keep the two men apart but couldn't handle it do the locker room was called into action to assist.
As pull-apart brawls in wrestling go this was pretty good. Lesnar's history and reputation as a "real" athlete definitely helped there. Cena's bloodied lip helped too.
Sadly the good work done in the opening segment didn't spill over to WWE's other major feud. The sight of 'Y2J' pouring alcohol over the tee-total Punk was tedious last week. It was even more tedious when shown for a second time this week, as was the sight of Jericho smashing a (stunt prop) whiskey bottle over the champ's head.
The Punk and Jericho feud should have stayed firmly about who was the better wrestler of the two. They are both fine technical wrestlers and it would have made sense for the men to develop their rivalry exclusively around that point. WWE should have at least waited until they had a couple of pay-per-view outings under their collective belt before introducing personal aspects to retain interest in the feud. Programmes that revolve around alcoholism and drug abuse are not the escapist (and family) entertainment WWE presents itself as. It's also incredibly poor taste and a cheap way of getting heel heat. 'The Highlight of the Night' isn't as good as he thinks he is if he's taking this route to be booed.
Taken for what it was the Punk and Jericho segment did what was required of it. Their feud was moved along and they're now a step closer to their inevitable clash at Extreme Rules.
With next week's RAW being filmed at the O2 Arena in London I wouldn't get your hopes up for anything more than an average episode. WWE rarely push the boat out for their sojourns to Britain these days. Surprisingly Chris Jericho is confirmed for the show. Unsurprisingly Brock Lesnar is not. I highly doubt he'll appear. It seems unlikely that WWE would fly Lesnar to the UK just for a RAW appearance: such a move would risk annoying arguably their biggest star for next to no reward.
On the plus side I have tickets to next Monday's RAW so expect some sort of coverage on here and my Twitter account. I'm not sure how I'll go about it yet but there will be something. I'm expecting some Extreme Rules matches to be announced. I'll be indifferent to that. What I really want is the chance to boo John Cena. If I get that I'll be happy.

Match results:

Brodus Clay and Santino Marella defeated Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
R-Truth defeated Cody Rhodes (following a distraction by Big Show)
Lord Tensai defeated Yoshi Tatsu
Mark Henry defeated CM Punk via disqualification
Alberto Del Rio defeated Zack Ryder
John Cena defeated David Otunga

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