WWE RAW 4/23/2012
Are you ready? Then stop questioning your heart and join me because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!
Justin Roberts introduces the former GM of Smackdown, Teddy Long. A table is set up in the ring as Long brings out first John Cena, then Brock Lesnar for a contract signing. Instead of Lesnar, John Laurinaitis appears on the entrance ramp. Laurinaitis yells at Teddy because Lesnar isn’t even here yet. He tells Teddy to tell Cena that the contract signing will take place later tonight. Cena shouldn’t be so eager to sign the contract because this could very well be his last night on RAW depending on how the match goes. Laurinaitis commands Teddy to tell Cena to get out of the ring. Long obliges and then exits himself. Laurinaitis introduces himself and welcomes the crowd to RAW.
Edge’s music hits and he makes his way down to the ring. Edge is sporting his short hair that we saw during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He says that he isn’t supposed to be here tonight, and in a couple of days he isn’t even under contract anymore. Edge says that he is here to talk to Cena. But, he didn’t come to talk to this John Cena; he doesn’t even know who the hell this John Cena is. Edge came to talk to the John Cena that was his greatest ever rival in this industry. He came to talk to the John Cena that defeated him in a TLC match. Edge says that Cena can’t afford to lose this match; he needs to find the Cena that he used to be. Edge says that he and Cena are polar opposites but they have one thing in common, the love for the business.
Edge says that Lesnar doesn’t give a damn about the business or the fans unless they are lining his pocket. Brock left for eight years while Cena and Edge carried the load. It’s a slap in the face to guys like Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. Edge yells for Cena to wake up. The crowd starts to chant for Cena. Edge isn’t asking Cena to beat Brock Lesnar, he is telling him to!
The lights go out in the arena. Jericho’s coat begins to blink and he makes his way down to the ring.
Chris Jericho v. Kofi Kingston
Jericho backs Kofi into the corner and begins his attack. Kofi whips him across the ring and connects with a monkey flip. Kofi follows with a couple of hip tosses and a dropkick. Kofi clotheslines Jericho out of the ring. Kofi looks for a dive, but Jericho moves out of the way so Kofi uses his shoulders to catch the ropes and stay in the ring. Jericho makes his way back in to the ring and directly into an arm bar. Jericho escapes and whips him hard into the corner. Jericho follows with a splash and then begins to taunt the crowd. Jericho applies a side headlock. Kofi gets back to his feet and hits a flying elbow. Cover, but Jericho kicks out.
Jericho kicks Kofi in the gut and sets him up in the corner. Jericho hits a chop and a kick and then sends him flying across the ring. Jericho follows after but crashes headfirst into the top turnbuckle. Chris falls to the outside of the ring. Kofi immediately flies out after with a somersault plancha.
Back from the break, Jericho goes for a Lionsault. Kofi moves out of the way and tries a roll up. Cover, but Jericho kicks out. Kofi looks for the Boom Drop, but Jericho gets to his feet and connects with a clothesline. Jericho chops the chest of Kofi, but walks directly into a boot. Kofi takes to the top rope for a high crossbody. Chris rolls through and goes for a cover. Kofi kicks out and hits the SOS. Jericho kicks out of the cover.
Kofi jumps for a crossbody to the back of Jericho. He sets up for the Boom Drop again, and this time it connects. Kofi attempts the Trouble in Paradise, but Jericho catches his legs and looks for the Walls. Kofi flips free. Kofi goes for a springboard crossbody, but Jericho catches him directly in a Code Breaker! Jericho applies the Walls of Jericho and this match is over!
Winner via Walls of Jericho: Chris Jericho
After the match, Jericho grabs the mic and says that this is proof he will become the next WWE Champion at Extreme Rules. Jericho says that Punk knows all about being extreme because he has an extremely alcoholic father and is an extreme disappointment as a Champion and human being. In front of Punk’s family, friends and fans, he is going to receive an extreme beating from Jericho. But, Jericho has made an extremely nice gesture by buying Punk a gift that he will give him later tonight. Jericho says that he will prove that he and he alone, is the best in the world at everything he does.
Video Package: Brock Lesnar
# Josh Mathews is in the back and asks CM Punk what gift Chris Jericho gave him. Punk holds up a basket full of liquor. Punk says that if Punk wants to give gifts, then Punk has one for him at Extreme Rules. Punk says this while clutching a bottle of whiskey as if to signify that he will break It over the skull of Jericho. Punk hands the basket off to Josh and says that he can have it since Punk doesn’t drink anyway.
Lord Tensai v. R-Truth
Tensai clubs him across the back and backs him into the corner. Truth dodges a clothesline and connects with a heel kick. Truth bounces off the ropes but is flattened with a punch. Tensai bulldozes Truth and begins to head butt him repeatedly. Truth falls to the ground but Tensai lifts him right back up for a double underhook suplex. Tensai sets him up for a splash and signals for the end. The move connects and Tensai lifts Truth up high for the Baldo Bomb. Tensai doesn’t immediately go for the cover, but instead spits mist all over his taped hand and applies The Claw. Tensai smashes him down to the mat and goes for the cover with the Claw still applied.
Winner via The Claw: Lord Tensai
Kane’s pyro hits and he makes his way down to the ring. He says that this Sunday is his favorite night of the year because it is the night that the WWE becomes Extreme. Kane says that Orton can’t beat him with rules, much less without them. Kane says that he knows what Randy is going through, he is struggling with his humanity and is trying to come to terms with the fact that Kane has discovered his one true weakness. When Kane knocked out Orton’s father, it was Orton who really suffered. Kane says that as he watch Orton laid out next to his father a wave of disappointment overcame him because Orton is not a man. Orton is not the Viper. Orton is simply a scared little boy calling out for his father in the middle of the night and begging for the nightmare to end. Orton is praying for the monster to go away. Kane is the monster and the nightmare that Orton will never wake up from.
Orton appears on the Titantron and says that once you mess with his family there is no turning back. Orton says that after what he did to his father he needed to return the favor. The camera pans back and shows Paul Bearer tied to a chair. Orton slides open a door that appears to be a commercial freezer and pushes Bearer inside!
Kane starts to laugh. Kane’s heart holds no place for his father and besides, the Devil himself is who Kane considers his real father. Kane says that he has no intentions of saving Bearer. Kane erupts his pyro from the turnbuckle.
Orton runs down the ramp as Kane is exiting and begins to attack the Big Red Machine. Orton reaches under the ring and grabs a steel pipe. Orton attacks Kane’s midsection and back with the pipe. Orton hits him across the face which knocks Kane into the crowd. Kane exits through the arena.
Video: Edge confronts John Cena earlier tonight
Cody Rhodes & Alberto Del Rio v. The Big Show & The Great Khali
Cody goes for a knee but Khali blocks him as they start the match. Khali grabs the leg and drops a clubbing blow across it. Cody exits the ring and confers with Del Rio. Cody gets back in the ring and looks to square off but tags in his partner. Del Rio dodges a grapple but gets caught and backed into the corner for a huge chop. Del Rio rolls out of the ring.
Big Show gets the tag and comes in after Del Rio. Cody pulls down on the rope which sends Show to the outside. With the ref’s back turned, Rhodes jumps down and attacks the knee of Show. The referee begins a ten count, which Show barely makes. Rhodes gets the tag and leaps off the second turnbuckle to fly at the knee. Rio gets the tag and continues the attack on the leg and knee. Cover, but Show throws him off and into the corner. Rhodes comes in off the tag and stomps on Show’s knee. Rio goes for an arm bar, but Show uses his strength to power out. Rhodes gets the tag but walks directly into a choke slam attempt. Rhodes wriggles free and goes for a figure four! Show struggles and escapes with a big right hand. Rhodes flies to his feet and drops an elbow. Cover, but Show kicks out. Rio runs into the ring for a cheap shot. Rio exits the ring and decides that he is finished with this match. Rhodes is left stranded by himself. Rhodes gets clocked by Khali and then destroyed by a chokeslam from Show! This match is over.
Winners via Chokeslam: The Big Show & The Great Khali
# Jericho is in an office with John Laurinaitis, Eve Torres and Teddy Long. Jericho says that Punk is drinking so he should be stripped of his Title. Eve says that there is actually standing for that in the WWE policy. Jericho demands that a sobriety test is done on Punk and if he fails he will be stripped. Laurinaitis agrees. Long asks how Laurinaitis can publicly humiliate Punk. John says that he isn’t going to do it, Long is!
# Lesnar is shown arriving at the arena. Mathews runs up and asks where he was earlier during the contract signing. Lesnar doesn’t respond. Mathews asks if he loses at Extreme Rules will he stop being the new face of the WWE? Lesnar grabs Mathews by the throat, but dusts him off and starts to walk away. Mathews says under his breath that he is just trying to do his job. Lesnar grabs him and chucks him into the steel set!
# Josh Mathews is shown being loaded onto a stretcher.
Nikki Bella w/ Brie v. Beth Phoenix
Before the match can start, Eve Torres comes out on the entrance ramp with a mic. As newly appointed executive administrator to John Laurinaitis it is now her job to ensure a great show. Since the Bella Twins tend to cheat and there are a bunch of Divas sitting around doing nothing, John has accepted her suggestion to make this a Lumberjill match.
Beth pushes Nikki back at the start. Beth throws her across the ring but gets hit with a dropkick and monkey flip. Beth charges at Nikki in the corner and lifts her high overhead. Beth drops her flat to the mat. Beth stomps on the back of Nikki and kicks her in the gut. Beth chokes her on the second rope and then goes for a cover. Nikki kicks out.
Beth applies a rear headlock in the middle of the ring. Beth hits a backbreaker and goes for a cover. Nikki kicks out. Beth pulls back on Nikki’s arm while applying a knee to her back. Nikki escapes with a couple of elbows but gets caught by a Glam Slam attempt. Nikki rolls through and tries for a cover. Beth kicks out and Nikki falls out of the ring. Beth goes to follow after but lands awkwardly on her ankle. Beth hobbles over to Nikki, but Brie comes over. The lumberjills all start to attack. Brie and Beth are both rolled back into the ring. Nikki goes for a roll up… and this match is over!
Winner & NEW Divas Champion: Nikki Bella
After the match, trainers attend to the ankle of Beth which she says is twisted.
# Teddy Long is in the locker room with CM Punk. Punk says that the sobriety test is ridiculous because he is straight edge. Punk starts to throw things around the room, but appears to be visibly drunk.
Teddy Long is in the ring with two police officers. Chris Jericho comes down to the ring and says that he wants to be out here to make sure that everything is done correctly, and also to receive the Title when Punk is stripped. Long acknowledges Jericho’s points and calls out CM Punk.
Punk’s music hits and the Straight Edge savior hobbles down to the ring with the belt around his waist. Punk is acting as if he is drunk. Punk accidentally drops his Title while standing in the ring. Punk has a mic and says that this whole thing is ridiculous and Jericho isn’t even cool. Punk says that even the entire WWF Universe, yes (F), says that it is ridiculous. The officer asks Punk to recite the alphabet backwards. Punk stalls for a minute. Punk asks if anyone in the history of the alphabet has ever recited it backwards. Punk attempts, but fails miserably. Punk says that no one can recite it drunk OR sober. Punk stops and says that this is stupid.
Jericho is starting to look giddy but Long says there are more tests. The officer asks Punk to walk straight across a line which is in the center of the ring. Punk says he didn’t see it because the line is never there. Punk says he has seen Cops before so he knows he can do this. Punk does a move from Karate Kid and then begins to walk the line. Punk fails multiple attempts. He says he is going to do it one more time, but it fails just as much as the others. Jericho calls for an end to all of this. Jericho says he is clearly drunk and needs to be stripped of his Title. Jericho tells Long to do his job, now. Long asks the officer, and the officer says that Punk is clearly intoxicated. Jericho thanks Detroit’s finest for making the right decision.
Long tells Punk that he is sorry, but he needs to hand over the WWE Title. Jericho calls for CM Drunk to hand it over. Punk looks at his Title as Jericho eggs him on. Punk hands the Title over to Long. Jericho tells him to give it to him. Long starts to, but Punk asks for one more chance. Jericho asks the crowd if they want Punk to get another chance which they support, but he disagrees.
Punk says he just needs one more chance. Punk asks what the first thing he needed to do was, and remembers it was the alphabet backwards. Punk then correctly begins to recite the alphabet. He bumbles T and S, but then finishes while walking the line forward and backward. Punk even throws in a Flair strut. When Punk reaches A, he clocks Jericho with the mic. Punk mounts Jericho and begins to pound with fists. Jericho tries to escape the ring but Punk follows right after. Punk continues to chase him up the ramp and unloads with kicks and punches. Jericho finally escapes and retreats off the side of the stage. Long hands Punk his Title as Punk’s music begins to play.
Sheamus v. Mark Henry
Before the match starts, Daniel Bryan is announced as the special guest referee.
Henry gets Sheamus down to the mat, but Sheamus quickly gets back up and connects with a couple of punches. Henry is hit across the turnbuckle and then clobbered with a couple of punches. Bryan backs him off and tries to get Sheamus to hit him. (If Sheamus hits a referee he will be fired).
Sheamus has his back to Henry, who runs him over with a splash. Henry goes for the pin, and Bryan counts it at superspeed! This match is over.
Winner via Superspeed: Mark Henry
After the match, Bryan takes off his referee shirt and throws it at Sheamus. Sheamus runs out of the ring and attacks Bryan as he is no longer a ref. Bryan slides back into the ring and Sheamus follows after, delivering a Brogue Kick to Henry. Bryan grabs his arm and applies the Yes Lock!
# Backstage, Matt Striker walks up to interview Sheamus about what just happened in the ring. Sheamus says that Bryan is a little snake; Sheamus is going to eliminate him.
Epico & Primo w/ Rosa Mendes v. Zack Ryder & Santino Marella
Ryder and Epico start off the match. Ryder connects with a hip toss but misses a second and gets rolled up. Ryder kicks out and lands an arm drag. Epico escapes but gets face planted. Ryder sets up for the Broskie Boot and connects! Primo runs over to pull Epico out of the ring. Ryder follows after and gets thrown into the steel post. Ryder is rolled back into the ring and covered, Ryder kicks out. Epico backs Ryder into the corner and brings in his partner. Primo gets behind Ryder with a chinlock. Ryder escapes for a roll up, but Primo kicks out.
Primo gets on the back of Ryder and returns to the chinlock. Primo launches off a second rope springboard, but Ryder moves out of the way. Santino gets the tag and charges into the ring. He splits and hits a hiptoss. Santino connects with the head butt and reaches for the Cobra! Santino pumps it up, but Epico charges into the ring. Primo uses the distraction for a dropkick, but Santino bounces right up to his feet and hits the Cobra! This match is over.
Winners: Zack Ryder & Santino
# Backstage, Kane finally rescues Paul Bearer from the freezer. Kane says that he is here to finally save Paul, from Kane himself! Kane pushes him back into the freezer and shuts the door.
# Primo and Epico are arguing about why they lost their match. AW walks into the shot and asks why they are being treated like jokes. He gives them his business card, in case they need a bit of guidance.
Brodus Clay & Hornswoggle v. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler
Clay and ‘swoggle hold a dance party as they make their way into the ring.
Vickie Guerrero introduces and brings out her tag team.
Dolph and Brodus start the match. Ziggler asks for ‘swoggle at the start and drops to his knees. Clay agrees. ‘Swoggle charges at Dolph and kicks him in the face. ‘Swoggle is dropped with a boot of Dolph’s. Ziggler stomps on Horny and poses to the crowd. Ziggler lifts him, but gets caught in a headscissors. Brodus gets the tag and charges into the ring at Swagger, who is also running in. Clay splashes him in the corner. Ziggler runs up, but gets caught with a head butt. Clay hits the Sheeplex on Swagger. Vickie runs into the ring to interrupt the splash attempt. The referee calls for the bell as she slaps Clay.
Winners via DQ: Brodus Clay & Hornswoggle
Hornswoggle and Clay’s dancers run into the ring to surround her. Vickie calls for timeout and grabs Clay’s hat. Vickie puts it back on his head and begins to dance. Hornswoggle runs behind and bites her in the butt! Clay and crew begin to dance.
Laurinaitis comes down to the ring to preside over the contract singing between Cena and Lesnar tonight. He puts over Extreme Rules this Sunday. John first introduces Lesnar, and then calls for John Cena. Cena’s music hits, but he doesn’t appear on the entrance ramp. Laurinaitis and Lesnar look confused. Lesnar picks up a mic and calls for John to come out. Lesnar then addresses Laurinaitis and complains that he came all the way for a contract signing with a guy who is too scared to show up.
Lesnar says that the reason he was late in getting here tonight was that there is some business he needs to discuss with the GM. Since Cena doesn’t have the balls to show up, he asks Laurinaitis to take a seat. Brock says that there are changes he wants and needs. There is supposed to be a match on Sunday, but he isn’t happy with how things are turning out. So, Lesnar has some requests that Laurinaitis needs to sign on for. Lesnar wants the changes right now, before Sunday. Lesnar won’t sign the Extreme Rules contract until his demands are met.
Lesnar isn’t a naïve farm boy anymore; he has now become this company. The WWE needs Brock Lesnar. Brock demands that all decisions are run through him from now on. The second demand is that Lesnar gets to use McMahon’s jet to and from RAW each week. Lesnar says that he doesn’t like people. He thinks that the $500,000 fine on Sheamus was too much, and he won’t be getting fined himself for anything. Lesnar wants to show up whenever he wants, and demands more money. Brock then goes as far as to say that he wants RAW renamed to: “Monday Night RAW: Starring Brock Lesnar”. Lesnar says that if Laurinaitis makes him happy, then he’ll return the favor by signing the contract for Extreme Rules.
Laurinaitis agrees and shakes his hand. Lesnar holds up a mic and makes John tell the entire audience that he agrees to the terms. Lesnar then grabs a pen and signs the contract for Extreme Rules. Lesnar gets up to leave, but Cena’s music finally hits.
Cena comes down the entrance ramp and looks super serious. Cena has a chain wrapped around his fist as he walks up to the contract on the table. Lesnar motions for him to sign. Cena flicks through the pages and then puts down the pen. Lesnar grabs a mic and begins to speak. He tells Cena to sign the contract. Lesnar says he can feel a vibration coming from Cena as he stands there, and he likes the way it feels. He senses that this is real. Lesnar can feel that Cena is scared. Lesnar is the reason Cena lost last week, and the reason he feels the way he does right now. Cena finally signs the contract and throws it at Lesnar. With his fist still wrapped in chain, Cena looks ready to fight. Lesnar knocks over the table that is between them and throws the mic at Cena. Lesnar walks around the table and beings to exit the ring. As he slides through the second and third rope, Cena stares on from the ring.
It was a surprise to see Edge show up at the start of RAW tonight. They are playing up that his contract is ending for some reason, though I fail to see how the general audience would benefit from that line. John Cena has become a shell of his former self, which Edge was adept at pointing out. It was a good concept and promo which Cena sold by really looking like he didn’t care and had resigned to his fate of being demolished by Lesnar. I will say that from the videos and packages Cena definitely looks like an underdog.
Chris Jericho gave CM Punk what was perhaps the greatest Easter Basket of all time. I think Josh Mathews will be a very popular person after the show tonight.
The match with Jericho and Kofi was pretty straightforward, not much to comment on. Jericho always does a nice job of making his opponent look strong.
Tensai looked pretty good again tonight. The claw being used as a hold and a pin came across as more effective than just a choke maneuver.
Kane not caring about Paul Bearer was fitting with his character. After the nonsense with Edge on Smackdown where Bearer was constantly tortured, I’m glad Kane’s new stance is that he doesn’t really care anymore. On a side note, I hope someone gets Bearer out of that freezer.
Khali and Show are a pretty dominant force as a tag team. You have to wonder how anyone could realistically defeat them. If they run with the Titles it would at least bring much needed attention to the Tag division.
Josh Mathews’ delivery of “I’m just trying to do my job” was one of my favorite little moments in a while. It added a touch of character to a backstage interviewer that seems to be getting ignored more and more as of late.
The WWE seems to enjoy giving the Title to people who the newssites claim are about to leave the company/have expiring contracts. This tradition continued tonight with The Bellas. Beth Phoenix can’t really complain given that she lost it as a result of an injury storyline and she did hold the Title for well over 200 days.
CM Drunk is a pretty great character we got to see tonight. I was impressed with his spot on impersonation. Sure he messed up two letters, but seriously drunk OR sober it’s a hard task. It was a funny segment though a bit lengthy given that clearly Punk wasn’t going to end up actually being drunk.
Bryan being made the special guest referee when Sheamus can’t attack referees was clever. I also enjoyed the super-fast count by Bryan. Why wouldn’t he do that? Unless of course he let Henry try and beat Sheamus up before their match on Sunday, but this ending makes more sense for Bryan’s character.
Things aren’t looking too good for the Tag Team Champions who continue to lose non-Title match ups against different opponents. If a change isn’t coming soon, then I’m confused.
The contract signing tonight was different, but not in a good way. Lesnar was over exposed on the mic and he did not come off strong. Somehow he manages to repeat everything that he says about 5 times in one sentence. Actually, now that I think of it, that’s rather impressive. They didn’t brawl at the end which as CM Punk once pointed out is a nice departure from the usual, but the segment just seemed to fall flat. Speaking of Punk, did Lesnar get his inspiration for demands from Punk? I was feeling a bit of déjà vu.
With Cena acting the way that he is, I have little desire to see him fight because I don’t believe he can overcome the huge obstacle in front of him. Given the current storyline, it just doesn’t seem plausible.
Before I go I’d like to give a shout out to Steven H. in the comment section each week. He never fails to make me smile.