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04-17-2012, 04:20 PM #1
Column: Raw Critique and Thoughts 4/16/12WWE Raw originated tonight from London, England. As always, check out Elio Cannells's recap for the rundown.
With two weeks left until the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, the WWE sought to begin the hype cycle in earnest. While on the usual post-WrestleMania European Tour, WWE Champion CM Punk would take on Mark Henry in a No Disqualification, No Count Out match. In addition the WWE would look to continue to build the hotly anticipated match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar.
Punk vs. Henry. It’s nice to see a match open up the show once in a while as it gives a nice change of pace. Punk got a nice pop during his entrance while Henry got a jobber’s entrance. The two started off much as they had the past few weeks. Henry had a nice looking Alabama Slam on Punk. Punk returned the elegance with his Suicide Dive to the outside. Punk’s running the barrier looked great as well.
Both men put some nice drama into this match before the break. Coming back, the chair was a nice gear switch to the match. Each men did a nice job selling the offense of the other. Well, it’s nice to see Henry sell in any capacity. Nice finishing sequence to the match that gave Henry some credibility in defeat. Match of the Night. **
Jericho and Punk Promo. Jericho was in alright form in announcing the match for Extreme Rules. Punk’s smirk after the fact was a nice touch. Punk’s retort was appropriate. The “CM Drunk” angle is long in the tooth, but the exchange helped get Punk back on some equal footing with Jericho on the stick.
Lesnar Interview. The interview helped to remind folks of who Lesnar was. I’m not sure how much I dig them talking about the UFC, given he got the hell kicked out of him by Overeem. Overall, the segment was worth the time.
Cena Promo. Cena was in nice form during the opening moments. Good deflection to keep Laurinaitis involved in the angle. Cena did a nice job giving the angle some sense of meaning. Usual stuff from him otherwise when he got to talking about the match in two weeks. Laurinaitis was his usual self in announcing the main event for the evening. Another segment that served it’s purpose and didn’t waste much time in doing it.
Bryan vs. Kingston. The crowd interaction with Bryan’s offense was nice to watch. Kofi and Daniel had a few nice exchanges before the first rest hold by Bryan. Great reversal into the Crossbody to the outside by Kofi. Bryan looked good while controlling Kofi after the break.
Nice comeback for Kofi (with appropriate “Boom! Boom!” reaction from the crowd). Good finish to the match as well. *½
Jay Strongbow Tribute. The Business lost a legend when Strongbow passed on. It’s nice to see the WWE acknowledge that.
Ryder vs. Kane. Kane had his usual domination of “lesser talent,” which Ryder sold reasonably well. Quick promo by Kane to underscore the events last week. Enhancement segment for Kane, but it did the job.
Cena vs. Tensai. The Wrestler Formerly Known As Albert looked good in the opening moments of the match. Tensai did a nice job no-selling Cena’s offense. The match felt a bit more plodding than it should have for a Cena match up. Interesting to see Cena take another job for a returning wrestler. *
Marella vs. Otunga. Santino’s antics prior to the match were worth a chuckle. Otunga looked alright in the opening moments. Otunga or Santino botched the hip toss. The angle when Marella hit the Cobra was all wrong and showed him hitting the collar off to the right. ½*
Tensai Promo. To be honest, it sounded like a bunch of gibberish and came across as such on TV.
Ziggler vs. Clay. Not really sure as to the point of all that.
Show and Khali vs. Epico and Primo. I didn’t have much hope for this one when Khali came out. Pretty much a comedy segment. The Chokeslam and Punjabi Plunge looked nice on TV, though it would have been better had Show not counted with his fingers. ¼*
Henry getting a jobber entrance is somehow very telling.
“Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!” What hath Bryan wrought?
Truth. Tobacco. England. Yeah, it’s a running gag.
“They brought me in to legitimize this company.” Irony, thy name is Lesnar.
Fauxrage or Roidrage?
Given the Laurinaitis wants to replace Cena, wouldn’t that make him a babyface to the fans?
“Yes!” *kick* “Yes!” *kick*
“This guy never has to go on vacation. He’s on a permanent Ego trip.”
Filler. Filler. Filler.
Tensai must be Japanese for “No Sell.”
“STF! STF locked in!” That’s a Crossface, you moron!
Just to recap, Cena has jobbed to Rock and Albert. Only Lesnar and Jericho remain.
Final Grade: B-
Despite all the negatives, this really wasn't a bad show. Two good matches and a solid effort from Cena on the stick helped matters. I would like to see Jericho actually in the ring once in a while, but that's wishful thinking at this point.
A lot of filler segments in this show, but some were worth the time and kept it from being a total bust in that regard.
04-17-2012, 08:34 PM #2
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