I guess I can consider this good prep in anticipation for 3 hour RAWs come July. But we get Vince McMahon on this week's show. My guess? Vince is about to fire John Laurinaitis, then a shadowy figure descends from the ceiling and swoops Vince away, and we get a "Who Kidnapped Vince" angle for the summer.
Did You Really Think This Would Get Settled in the Opening?
John Laurinaitis came out on his scooter. Before Laurinaitis could say anything Vince McMahon came out to a big pop. Laurinaitis offered his hand, but Vince said that he didn't know where that hand has been. Vince asked Laurinaitis why he should not fire him right now. Laurinaitis said its because "People Power" has become one of the biggest phenomena in WWE history, and people love him for it. Laurinaitis said both him and Vince are visionaries and great businessmen. Vince blamed Laurinaitis for the Brock Lesnar situation. Vince then ripped him for signing the Big Show to an Iron Clad contract and said Show hasn't done anything relevant since 1999. Laurianitis said Vince is bias because D-X shoved his head up Show's butt a few years back. Laurinaitis said everyone looks up to him as their friend.
Sheamus then decided to come out. Sheamus came out and said Johnny is a friend, a friend who holds a grudge over you for bumping into him on the ramp, and a friend who happens to be the worst GM in WWE history. Sheamus asked Vince to kick Laurinaitis out on his arse. Laurinaitis said he was going to go in the back and find someone to make Sheamus pay for what he said. Vince told Laurinaitis he better be impressive tonight, because if he isn't he's fired. Vince then rode Laurinaitis scooter up the ramp and threw it off.
Segment Analysis: Vince is good when he isn't on TV every week. He didn't do anything new or different here but his presence on TV is something fresh at least. It was obvious nothing was going to get accomplished in the first segment. They do want you to watch the rest of the show. Expect some good matches tonight. Survey Says: 3/5
Tensai In A Watchable Match?
Back from break, Sheamus waited for his opponent. It was A-Tra, I mean Tensai. Tensai got the upper hand early but Sheamus fought back with a take down and a kick to the head in the corner. Tensai reversed an Irish whip with an elbow. Sheamus hit a clothesline on Tensai that sent them both to the outside heading into commercial.
Back from break the two were exchanging punches in the corner. Tensai had some pretty good bruises on him. Tensai hit a splash in the corner then a Vader Bomb for two. Sheamus fought out of an armbar with some headbutts then a high knee. Tensai tried dumping Sheamus over the top, but Sheamus caught himself and hit his rope punches. Sheamus went to the top, but Tensai caught him and hit a chokeslam powerbomb for two. Tensai hit a chop knocking Sheamus away, but Sheamus responded with a Brogue Kick from out of nowhere for the win.
Segment Match: Weird finish with Sheamus just winning from out of nowhere. It was a good short match though. Also stiff, both men had some welts on their back from it. It was probably Tensai's best match yet. But the mystique on him is pretty much gone. He's just blending in with the crowd now, which I'm sure wasn't the WWE's intention. But not a bad short match. Survey Says: 3/5
Backstage, Vince told Laurinaitis that was strike one. He asked what his plan was for Sheamus at No Way Out. Vickie came in and suggested Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swgger. Laurinaitis asked Teddy for an idea. He suggested a Fatal 4 Way with those two, Christian and Great Khali. Laurinaitis said that was exactly what he was thinking. Laurinaitis went for a fist bump with Vince, but Vince said he has small hands.
Back from break, Tensai beat the crap out of Sakamoto to almost no heat. Then they showed a RAW Moment when Seth Green hosted.
R-Truth was being interviewed and talked about how John Cena will beat Big Show at No Way Out, then Show came in and knocked him out. There's how they will write R-Truth off.
Where's Ricardo's Announcer?
Mixed Tag Match; Santino/Layla vs Ricardo Rodriquez/Beth Phoenix. Beth had to drag Ricardo to the ring. After the Divas battled, Ricardo tagged in but ran off in fear after he realized he had to fight Santino. The Divas went back at it. Layla tossed Ricardo to the outside. Santino went for the Cobra but Ricardo ran off and right into the ring post. Beth kicked Layla' bad knee in the ring, then hit the GlamSlam for the win. Ricardo rubbed it in, which caused Santino to rip off his tux shirt and reveal Ricardo wearing a Justin Bieber shirt.
Segment Analysis: Nothing great, but Ricardo is great in his role and deserves some praise for the work and crap he does. Survey Says: 2/5
David Otunga told Vince that if John Laurinaitis were to get fired, he can't think of someone better than a man with a Harvard Law Degree. Kofi Kingston came in demanding Big Show in a match. Laurinaitis obliged, and made it a steel cage match.
The WWE Champion Getting TV Time?
Daniel Bryan came out. He said he is nothing like C.M. Punk or Kane. They both have a weakness in the form of A.J. Bryan said Punk is jealous because he made Punk tap out, so now he's trying to get with his ex-girlfriend to make him jealous. And Kane thinks it's getting to second base when a woman looks him in the eyes and she doesn't vomit. Bryan said A.J. is still into him. "One you go Bryan, there's no point in tryin." Hahaha. Will Daniel Bryan leave No Way Out WWE Champion? YES!
C.M. Punk came out. He said for someone who claims he isn't into A.J. he talks about her a lot. Punk said outside the ring she is way out of her league, and in the ring Bryan isn't close to Punk's league. Punk said at No Way Out, he is going to beat the deranged freak, or he is going to beat Kane. Bryan said Punk has changed. He panders to everyone now. Bryan said Punk is the biggest sellout in the company. Punk brought up his promo from a year ago, and he said he's the same guy he was then. He achieved everything on his own terms. Punk said ever since Bryan got to the top, he has become a goat faced moron. Punk said he will give Bryan wake up call at No Way Out when he puts him to sleep.
Now Kane wanted to chime in. Kane brought up setting fire to Jim Ross and electrocuting Jim Ross testicles. He said his pipe bombs are actual pipe bombs. A.J. came out. She said regardless what Kane says, he actually has a heart. She said she knows she hasn't gotten over her first love, Daniel Bryan. She said Punk is the coolest guy she has known her whole life. Laurinaitis popped up on the big screen and made a tag match: Daniel Bryan and Kane vs C.M. Punk and A.J.
Segment Analysis: I thought that was a pretty good promo for the most part. Punk and Bryan's exchange was pretty good. It was nice to see them actually talk about the WWE Title and building their program around that. Kane's part was kept minimal which was good. I still have no idea what is going on with A.J. All I know is that she is great at what she does, and I love seeing her on my TV every week. The things I, and probably most men, would want to do to her. Survey Says: 3/5
It's Finally Billy Gunn's Time! Oh Wait...
Fatal 4 Way time. Khali hit some slaps on everyone early on. Swagger hit a chop block on Khali, then Ziggler hit a dropkick. Christian hit a frog splash and all three men pinned Khali, eliminating him. The heels worked over Christian back from break. They hit a tag team face plant for two. Ziggler charged at Christian, but he ducked while Swagger held him and tossed Ziggler to the outside. Christian fought back with an elbow off the apron. Swagger went for a Swagger Bomb but Christian countered into a roll up for two. Swagger applied the ankle lock which Christian rolled out of. Christian hit the Killswitch and Ziggler made the pin, eliminating Swagger.
Ziggler hit a drop kick on Christian for two then applied a modified one leg Boston crab. Christian countered out but went right into a Dolph sleeper hold. Christian charged and went for a spear but his leg went out. Christian ducked Dolph and hit a spear for two. Dolph countered Christian and hit the fameasser for two. Christian hit a reverse DDT for two. Christian went to the top but Ziggler ducked, and Christian hurt his leg, and Ziggler hit the ZigZag for the win.
Segment Analysis: That was another good match. The last part with Christian and Ziggler was really good. Good match psychology between the two. Dolph was the logical choice to get the win. It will be nice to see Dolph/Sheamus on PPV. But poor Sheamus can't catch a break. First Daniel Bryan, now Dolph. Hopefully Dolph puts on a good showing at the PPV. But I expect Swagger to cost him the match. Survey Says: 3.5/5
The Funkettes asked Vince to reverse the decision to keep Brodus Clay on Smackdown. Then he danced with them. Then Zack Ryder looked shocked, and Vince did the Woo Woo Woo You Know It.
Ryback defeated two more jobbers. Goldberg chants were pretty loud.
Hornswoggle and Vince did Jim Ross impressions backstage. John Cena came in and said Laurinaitis needs to get fired tonight. David Otunga came back in. Vince said no one likes a kiss ass, then turned around and said no offense. William Regal was sitting behind him. Ah memories...
Kids, Think Before You Challenge Someone
Steel Cage Match. Kofi tried to jump Big Show early but Show fought him off. Show hit a bodyslam and shoved Kofi's face into the cage. Show then stood on Kofi's chest in the corner and tossed him into the cage. Show started to kick Kofi. Show tossed Kofi into the corner but Kofi caught him with a kick. Show caught Kofi off the top then tossed Kofi into the cage. Kofi jumped over Show then hit the Trouble in Paradise for two. Show caught Kofi and kicked him again, then after a Kofi escape attempt hit the KO Punch on Kofi. Show walked out the cage door for the win.
Segment Analysis: Just more of a way to get Big Show over before Sunday. You knew Kofi wasn't going to do much here. He fought for his partner and paid the price for it. I guess this might possibly write the tag champs off for a while. But I can't see how Kofi stays off TV for anytime with the roster the way it is. Not much of a match, more of just a way to get Show being a dominant force over some more. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Sin Cara beat Curt Hawkins. See, this is the WWE's problem now. Too many people just having random matches with no storyline or direction.
Vince and Daniel Bryan exchanged words backstage. Bryan said they have both defied the odds in their career and they have a lot in common. Vince said unlike Bryan, he's never finished anything in 18 seconds.
RAW moment: The first RAW ever.
Heath Slater was in the ring. He asked why we were celebrating past stars. Its his time. Slater time! Cue VADER's music. Vader won with the Vader Bomb.
For One In My Life, I Wish I Was Kane
Tag Team Main Event time. A.J. was reluctant to come down the ramp. The heels took worked over Bryan. Bryan applied a sleeper. Punk fought out and went into some of his normal offense. High knee and scoop slam for two. Punk missed the Macho Man Elbow off the top rope. Bryan tagged in Kane. Punk went to make a tag but then realized it was A.J. After Punk fought out of a chokeslam and tombstone attempt, Punk accidentally backed into A.J. and made a tag. A.J. smiled and pranced around the ring, then jumped in Kane's arms and made out with him. Kane tagged in Bryan and left. A.J. tagged Punk and Bryan ate a Punk elbow. Punk hit an Elbow Drop from the top for the win.
Segment Analysis: We need J.R. around to say 'What In The Good Lord's Name is going on here?" This A.J. stuff is just getting weird. I'm assuming it will finally play into the finish of the Triple Threat at No Way Out this Sunday. Not much of a match, more of a storyline. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Vince Is Dead: Take 3
Vince McMahon came out. He said Stephanie was born in Hartford, and it's only appropriate that one life began there and one career ended there. Vince had "security' with him. Laurinaitis said he didn't appreciate what he did with his scooter. Vince said the security was for Laurinaitis, not him. Laurinaitis said he would be needed when RAW goes to 3 hours. Laurinaitis said do it in the name of people power. Vince said those two words are synonymous with him, just like two words are with him.
Big Show interrupted. He said he can do whatever he wants with his Iron Clad contract. Show said he knows he could fire him, but then Vince would be paying him for nothing. Show said that he did everything that Vince asked him to do over the years. No one wanted to see a big angry giant. Show said not to be worried about Laurinaitis, but John Cena, his golden goose. Show said at No Way Out, Cena will get his feathers plucked. Cue John Cena. He said he will get to the bottom of all of this. He said Big Show blames everyone but the guy actually guilty of everything, John Laurinaitis. Cena said Show has always been a giant, why is now so different? Because everything now revolved around Show. Cena said that if Big Show doesn' pummel Cena at No Way Out, then he will just be the World's Biggest Disappointment. And he will have to show up every week, listening to people call him a sell out. Vince said he has a solution. He's going to be at ringside this Sunday. Before he could say what would happen if Show loses, Show and Cena started brawling. It lead to Show accidentally hitting the KO Punch on Vince McMahon and the show ended.
Segment Analysis: I wasn't into this last segment. While everyone kind of made sense, I just couldn't get into it. John Cena was alright towards the end, but the way he delivered his stuff wasn't great. He made sense with everything he said about Show's contract. I don't know where Vince getting knocked out is going. But that punch missed pretty badly. It connected with more of Vince's hair than anything. The whole show built around one thing lead to no conclusion in the end. Survey Says: 2/5
This show had its strong points and its weak points which makes it a pretty average RAW. Everything that Vince was in got a chuckle out of me. Post Attitude Era I always thought Vince was only good in small doses and nothing more. Too much Vince wares on you. The Sheamus/Tensai match and Fatal 4 Way were good. Dolph Ziggler/Sheamus should be a fun match. I don't get what they are doing with Tensai. The WWE Title stuff was alright. The Punk/Bryan exchange was good. Everything involving A.J. was both weird and funny. A.J. is so damn cute that she is playing her role perfectly right now. I'm assuming she has something up her sleeve and planned for Sunday. Everything else was just filler and forgettable. I'm sure some viewers are probably disappointed that no conclusion was reached with John Laurinaitis. I get it, but you have to come to expect it with the WWE. I'm giving the show a 5.
One thing this show did do for me is make me realize that three hour RAWs will sometimes be a strain to cover, and watch for the viewers. I find myself losing some interest towards the end of the show and my attention wandering elsewhere at some points. I'm sure some viewers felt the same way. It is something the WWE is going to have to watch out for.
Assuming all goes well, I will have a No Way Out Preview up Thursday. If not then, it won't be up. Busy weekend ahead for me. I will be covering No Way Out live Sunday night.
And remember kids, crazy chicks as cute as A.J. are hard to find. Lock them up as soon as you can. Do you really want to let them go then be forced to have Kane's sloppy seconds?
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka