WWE RAW REPORT- May 14th – Stipulations added for the PPV
Raw comes to us live from the home of some passionate wrestling fans, and the home of the hockey team that cost me my playoff pool this year; Pittsburgh, PA. This is also the final show before one of the top 12 PPV’s of the year for the company, and as far as I can think of, the only “B” show without its own theme (their limit is 11 themed shows; 12 would be over the…never mind).
The show starts out cold with HHH walking through the back sporting his Bob Orton 3000 arm cast. He is stopped by John Laurinaitis. Johnny commends HHH for standing up to Brock like a man, but then he somewhat sarcastically needles trips saying that it was painful to watch him get beat up and humiliated. HHH says that he will respond in a few seconds in the ring. He wishes Johnny “good luck” against Cena on Sunday.
HHH heads out to the ring as promised. They recap the incident in which Brock broke Trips’ arm. Hunter starts off by saying that the physical pain isn’t the worst thing that’s bothering him. He says that foremost, he’s offended by Brocks notion that he wanted to bring legitimacy back to the WWE. He talks about his memorable match with Taker just one night before Brocks return, in front of a record crowd, and sarcastically says that the whole time he was thinking “gee I wish someone would make all this legitimate.” He says that Brocks notion is a slap in the face to guys like Taker, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Bruno Sammartino, among others. Hunter goes on to talk about stating out as a fan, as a kid. He says that he has always been and always will be a part of the WWE universe. He says that he’s embarrassed because he bought into Lesnar’s hype and when he saw Lesnar for the first time he knew he would be the next big thing. But when someone stood up to him and challenged him, Lesnar quit. Trips says that Lesnar used the same formula to make it to the top of the UFC, but again when someone challenged him and took him to the limit, Lesnar quit again. Hunter puts over Cena, saying that he did what Lesnar could never do, he dug down deep and found a little bit extra to win. Hunter says that afterwards, Lesnar made some childish attempts to restore his hype, but eventually he did what he always does…quit.
Here comes the pain! Lesnar’s music hits but instead we get the one and only Paul Heyman, and some other guy. Heyman calls HHH’s comments ‘spin’ and ‘damage control’. He says that HHH is trying to fill the void after losing his biggest star. Heyman says that HHH illegally ignored the contract negotiations that were put in place by Laurinaitis. He goes on to say that he shouldn’t be surprised that after bringing a fighter to an entertainment company, the fighter wanted to fight. Heyman presents HHH with a subpoena. Heyman says that Brock is disappointed with HHH, saying that he expected a fight, and not a corporate suit. He says he’s glad brock broke HHH’s left arm, because it’s his right arm that he will need to write a multi-million dollar check to Lesnar with.
HHH grabs Heyman with his one good hand (Heymans expressions are awesome). HHH tosses the papers back to Heyman and tells him to tell Brock Lesnar that he’ll get everything he deserves.
Heyman says that HHH putting his hands on him is assault and battery, and that warrants another lawsuit. He says that he’ll see HHH in court (I hope it’s not Dwarf court under the ring).
Next they recap Big Show making fun of John Laurinaitis, and mention that Show must apologize tonight or be fired. Also tonight we will see John Cena face to face with John Laurinaitis.
Next we see a recap of CM Punk getting pinned by Lord Tensai and Daniel Bryan taking advantage after the match.
MATCH #1 CM PUNK & SANTINO vs. CODY RHODES & DANIEL BRYAN
Punk starts out with Rhodes. Punk wants to start out with Bryan but his request goes denied. Punk sends Cody to the outside and an attacking Bryan gets tossed out right on top of Cody. Santino wants to organize a dueling dive to the outside. Punk goes first, hitting both heels perfectly. Santino attempts next but he just runs into the second rope, chest first…and hurts himself (this was hilarious, and well done…a fun play off of every spot ever done leading into a commercial break).
Back from the break and Cody has control over Santino. He brings in Bryan, who gets a huge ovation and some “yes” chants. They work over Santino for a while, keeping him in their corner. Santino does a heroic somersault out of the corner and a salute dive for the tag, but he comes up short (very funny). He does get there shortly after and Punk gets the hot tag. He cleans house, and Bryan retreats, leaving Cody alone. Cody tries to bail, but Santino flashes the cobra and that scares him right into the hands of Punk who hits the GTS for the pin.
Winners – Santino & CM Punk
MATCH #2 ALICIA FOX vs. BETH PHOENIX
Alicia rolls through some attacks early on, but Beth catches her with a clothesline.
Layla comes out to the ramp to scout her opponent this Sunday.
Beth hits an impressive military press followed by the glam slam for an easy win.
Winner – Beth Phoenix
After the match, Layla runs to the ring and face-plants Beth…that does it, I’m ordering the PPV!
Now they show a video package of John Cena working with the ‘Make –A- Wish’ foundation. If I had a heart, it would be touched.
Another pre-show has been announced on YouTube. It will be Zack Ryder making his return home…to the internet. He will face Kane. This will be the biggest pre-show match since Duke the Dumpster Droese vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
John Laurinaitis comes out with Otunga to get up close for this next match.
MATCH # 3 BIG SHOW vs. KANE
Big show just delivered the worst hip toss I have ever seen…but that could have been Kane’s fault. After that burst a minute in, they need a rest spot. Show gets out of the headlock and hits a body slam. He goes for the Vader-bomb (which is kind of his Ric Flair top rope spot) and misses. He fights off Kane and sends him to the outside. Show tosses Kane into the rail, and hits a spear. Show brings Kane into the ring, about to finish him off. At this point John Laurinaitis interrupts Show, saying that he wants his apology right now. This distraction allows Kane to hit the choke slam (a very bad one) for the win
After the match, Johnny gets in Shows face, and demands a good apology right now, or he will fire Show.
Show says that he’s been thinking long and hard about what he was going to say. He says that he has seen it all and done it all in 18 years. He says that there’s a part of him that can walk away with his head held high. But he says that he loves what he does. He starts to get teary eyed as he talks about the friendships he’s made. He asks Johnny to not erase 18 years of his life for something petty. He says that he can deal with a fine, and if making fun of his voice offended him then he’s sorry. He appeals to Johnny’s compassion. Johnny makes him say sorry a few more times. After Show obliges, Johnny asks him to get on his knees and beg. Big show is either torn or constipated, making a very anguished facial. He can’t bring himself to get on his knees. He begs Johnny to not make him get on his knees. Johnny says that Show disgusts him, and he’ll do what’s right for business. Johnny leaves the ring, saying that he’ll reconsider. He gets to the top of the ramp and is about to fire Show. Big Show breaks down and gets on his knees crying, and apologizing. Johnny isn’t satisfied, saying that he wishes him well in his future endeavors, and that he’s fired.
Big Show has shown more emotion and personality in this one segment than anything in 5 years…well done.
Jerry Lawler says on Camera that after almost 20 years, Big Show deserves better than that (so Lawler is next?). Cole stayed somber through this, which I find really helps get something over as serious, because Cole is usually an obnoxious jackass.
MATCH # 4 BRODUS CLAY & R TRUTH & KOFI vs. MIZ & DOLPH ZIGGLER & SWAGGER
The Funkettes are now introduced as the “Funk-a-dactyls”. Great, another flag for spell check to deal with (ironically as I wrote this, “funk-a-dactyls” was not flagged as a spelling error. What the funk?)
Vicky is so annoying these days. I actually feel a little ill when I hear her voice.
AW is watching on in a skybox with Primo, Epico, Rosa and Mason Ryan.
Lawler calls Brodus a “caged dinosaur”. If you didn’t know, they never liked it when they were put in cages…
In the ring, it’s very basic stuff early on, until Ziggler runs into Brodus on the apron, who hits a head-butt. Kofi hit’s a T.I.P on Miz, and then he brings in Brodus, who hits the big splash for the win
Winners – Brodus & Truth & Kofi
After the match, the winning team bring in several kids and the funk-a-dactyls for some dancing.
Next we see a recap of the events that unfolded resulting in the Fatal 4 way match being booked for Sunday.
In the back, CM Punk is chatting with A-RI. They are making fun of the “yes” lock, and Punk reminds Riley about the $50 he owes him (for getting him on TV?). A.J comes along and wishes Punk good luck. Punk says that he’s known Bryan for a long time, and doesn’t trust him. And he’s only known A.J for a short time, but she seems to be unstable. A.J. seems very disturbed by this rejection.
Sheamus comes out to do some color commentary during this next match.
MATCH # 5 RANDY ORTON vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Sheamus says that even though his odds go down in a fatal 4 way, he’s got more lads to beat up. Orton and Jericho fight to the outside. Jericho throws Orton into Sheamus. Back in the ring, Orton hits Jericho with the draping DDT. Sheamus retaliates and attacks Jericho, hitting him with a brogue kick and costing Orton the match.
Winner – Chris Jericho
Orton is livid, he gets in Sheamus’ face and they decide to get in the ring and settle it. All the refs come out to pull them apart, and that’s that.
Back from the break, and after Lawler re-iterates how he felt about Big Show being fired, John Laurinaitis comes out. He says that he’s sorry. He says if John Cena is your favorite superstar, you’re a loser. He says that he’s better than Rock and Brock combined. He goes on to say that there’s nothing wrong with losers (like us), and that the world needs them.
John Cena has heard enough. He comes out and smells Johnny Laurinaitis. He is all jokes with Johnny, making fun of his voice, and his stooge mentality. He says that Johnny was a douchebag before he fired Big Show, and now he’s the king of douchebaggery. He lists Johnny’s fails, including failing to get the title off of Punk, bringing in Brock only to lose, and then quit. He calls Johnny a loser in several annoying voices. Laurinaitis is legitimately cracking up here, as well as Cole (so the main event of the PPV is a comedy match). Cena says that Johnny has stepped on everyone during his rise to the top of the corporate ladder. He polls the audience on Johnny’s popularity. Cena leads some cheers and continues with the jokes. The audience IS responding to this however, even giving Cena a “yes” chant. Cena starts talking about Pittsburgh. He gets a big pop for referring to the “Steel Curtain”. He talks about the Penguins. Johnny says that he was going to refer to the Pens later in his promo, and Cena stole his stuff (now that was funny). Laurinaitis says that the Penguins are losers. Cena retorts, telling Laurinaitis to “go puck yourself” (I don’t know why this is getting over so well!). Laurinaitis says that he’s “Big Johnny”, and he’s bigger and better looking. Eve comes out with a note for Johnny. As Johnny is telling Cena that he can make any match or change anything he wants, Cena grabs the note from Johnny’s hands. Cena goes on to read the note, from the Board of directors. The gist is that it will be a one on one match, with no special ref, or no outside interference. He says that any superstar who interferes will be terminated. The match can only end by pin fall or submission. The last point on the note is that if Laurinaitis loses, he’ll be terminated. Cena’s music hits, but he stops it. He asks Johnny what his big announcement was going to be. Lauriniatis is in no mood. He slaps Cena and walks up the ramp.
Raw goes off the air with Cena standing in the ring, looking angry yet confident about his match this Sunday.
This show was certainly not terrible, and it featured some decent build for the top 3 matches this Sunday. As a wrestling fan, I would expect a good card with Punk vs. Bryan and the fatal 4 way having potential. Cena vs. Laurinaitis is intriguing, and I would almost expect some sort of Big Show involvement (he’s not a superstar after all). It could go either way, with Show helping Johnny in order to get his job back, or helping Cena to ensure Johnny gets fired. I don’t know what situation would require Cena needing help, but I do expect some serious overbooking in that match. I really enjoyed the Heyman and HHH segment, but I doubt this will have implications for the PPV, so I question the timing. As I said, I really liked Big Show tonight, and if every superstar could pull that out once in a while, they would have no trouble keeping their characters fresh and layered. Hopefully this all goes somewhere, and hopefully Sunday is one of those shows that surprises everyone, by not just taking things to the limit…but “Beyond the Limit!” (Swerve!)
And now for some Odds!
Over under on when the NAACP takes issue with Sheamus’ nickname 120 days
Odds of Big Show running in during the main event Sunday 3-1
Odds that Mason Ryan & Ryback face Goldberg and Batista at WM 355-1
Odds that Lord Tensai wasn’t at Raw because he was deported 15000-1
Will Trips outlast Bob Orton in the cast? Yes 11-1 No 1-11
Odds that AW enjoys A&W while watching AWA wrestling 3-1
Finally, who do you have for the PPV? I’ve got Laurinaitis, Punk, Orton, Layla, Swaggler. I am banking on some sort of angle involving Big Show. What are your thoughts? Find me on Facebook or drop me an email!