WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 06/18/12 from Long Island, NY.
The Big News: John Laurinaitis got an unfriendly sendoff.
The show started with Mick Foley. Foley said that while the board of directors is trying to find the next permanent GMs for Raw and Smackdown, the board will be reaching out to former GMs on an interim basis. Couldn’t we just go a few weeks with wrestlers being the focus rather than authority figures? Foley said that he will host Raw and Smackdown this week and announced Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk and Sheamus. He added that John Laurinaitis would have an opportunity to give a farewell address.
John Laurinaitis came out in a neck brace, arm sling and crutch. He said that he would give his farewell address. He claimed that before he was fired, he made a main event for Raw of John Cena vs. Big Show, David Otunga and John Laurinaitis in a handicap match.
CM Punk and Sheamus beat Daniel Bryan and Kane. The heels had control over Punk early, but Punk tagged Sheamus. Sheamus hit a shoulder block, knee, powerslam and back breaker on Kane. Kane regained control by throwing Sheamus over the top rope. Bryan and Kane worked over Sheamus until Bryan missed a dropkick into the corner and Punk got the tag.
Punk and Bryan had a great fast sequence that culminated in Punk hitting a powerslam. He followed with a high knee and bulldog but when he went to the top Bryan caught him with a superplex. Then A.J. came out skipping around the ring in a Kane mask. Kane decided just to give up on the match and stand on the ramp because of this. Punk hit the GTS and Sheamus hit the Brogue kick on Bryan for the pin. This was a good match with another idiotic finish.
Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger argued backstage. Vickie Guerrero said she spoke to Foley and they would settle their issue in the ring. Guerrero smiled when they left like she is up to something. David Otunga and John Laurinaitis were laughing elsewhere backstage. Big Show came in and was not amused. Laurinaitis said Show would knock out Cena and Laurinaitis would make the cover. Laurinaitis added the people don’t deserve him and he would leave a lasting impression. Show retorted that he didn’t find anything funny.
Dolph Ziggler beat Jack Swagger. The crowd chanted “let’s go Ziggler.” Swagger worked over Ziggler and applied the ankle lock. Ziggler reversed the ankle lock and sent Swagger into the post. Ziggler then hit the zig zag for the win. Guerrero kissed Ziggler after the match.
Paul Heyman came out to a nice reaction and ECW chants. Heyman said Brock Lesnar won’t drop his lawsuit and won’t fight HHH at SummerSlam. He started to leave when HHH came out. HHH labeled Heyman an habitual liar and said Lesnar will fight him at SummerSlam. He offered to make Lesnar the focus of the promotion for the event. Heyman said Lesnar has no ego but HHH mocked this. HHH suggested Lesnar is scared. Heyman told HHH to stop playing a fighter and go back to his ivory tower. Heyman mocked HHH and said he knows how to push HHH’s buttons.
Heyman encouraged HHH to hit him, saying that Heyman and Lesnar would own WWE. Heyman added he would have nothing for HHH but does have something for Stephanie. HHH grabbed Heyman but then let him go. Heyman said he sees everything HHH is going to do a mile away. HHH hit Heyman and asked if Heyman saw that coming. Heyman was really good here but it still has the basic limitation that arguing about contracts and lawsuits is a boring and ineffective way of building a big match.
Alberto Del Rio beat Santino Marella. Del Rio controlled the brief match. Santino made his comeback but Del Rio avoided the cobra and hit a dropkick and applied the armbar for the tap. Ricardo Rodriguez attacked Santino’s arm after Del Rio left.
Layla introduced Wendy Richter and Cyndi Lauper. The crowd wasn’t into this and chanted “we want Ryder.” They were interrupted by Heath Slater. Slater labeled this a trainwreck. Lauper asked who he was. Slater started singing terribly. Roddy Piper came out. He was nice to the women and told Slater to leave. Slater pointed out Piper didn’t like Lauper back in the day. Piper referenced hitting Lou Albano with a gold record. He said he was sorry and presented Lauper a gold record on behalf of Albano. He said Lauper is gold to WWE for everything she has done and hugged her. Slater belittled them and started singing again. Piper poked him in the eye and Lauper hit him with the record. Slater was busted open.
This was designed to be bad, but I enjoyed the segment. It was nice to see Lauper in a WWE ring again and Piper seemed to have genuine affection for her. The big negative (besides the crowd not being that into it) was Vince McMahon clearly instructing Michael Cole to spend the entire time burying the segment, which severely undermined what they were doing. It sure would be nice if Vince treated the people who built his company with respect rather than ridiculing them as old and out of date whenever they appear. Particularly given he’s older and much more out of touch than most of the people he buries as old and out of touch.
Primo and Epico Colon beat Titus O’Neil and Darren Young via count out. Primo hit the backstabber on Young but O’Neil pulled Young out of the ring. The Colons hit a double baseball slide but A.W. pulled his troops back and they were counted out. This was a terrible finish. It would be so much more effective if one of these teams scored an impressive clean win over a third team to build up their feud.
They announced Chris Jericho will be on Raw next week. John Laurinaitis before the main event said in being fired he isn’t the loser but rather the losers are the fans who no longer have people power. Big Show then said he isn’t beholden to anyone including Laurinaitis. Show said he has proven he can beat Cena and now he is on to bigger and better things. He told Otunga and Laurinaitis they were on their own.
John Cena beat David Otunga and John Laurinaitis. As Cena was beating up Otunga early, Otunga went for the tag but Laurinaitis wouldn’t do it. Otunga eventually gained control and worked over Cena. The crowd chanted “we want Ryder,” quite the statement about their interest in WWE’s main event program. With Otunga in control, Laurinaitis tagged in. He took off the neck brace and arm sling and started stomping Cena. Laurinaitis pinned Cena but Cena kicked out with ease. Laurinaitis then went to tag Otunga back in, but Otunga this time refused and left. Cena hit the five knuckle shuffle and three FUs for the win.
When I say Raw is good by current Raw standards, everyone seems to think it’s some sort of backhanded compliment, like a good Raw these days is still a bad wrestling show in general. And to those people I say, well, I liked this show by current Raw standards.