– April 9, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
The audience is welcomed by a field of “YES” signs as Raw kicks off tonight. Michael Cole praises John Laurinaitis as he comes down to the ring with David Otunga. He claims to have the “new face of WWE” (of course he is talking about Brock Lesnar). Johnny also claims that this “new face” (I guess we’re ignoring his previous business with WWE) is a legitimate athlete. Sure he might be a UFC fighter, but that doesn’t mean he is going to bring “legitimacy” to WWE. This is professional wrestling after all.
Lesnar comes out and begins a promo agreeing with Laurinaitis regarding legitimacy. If this segment wasn’t predictable already, John Cena cuts Lesnar off midsentence. After a few kind words, Cena slaps the guy like a little girl. All hell breaks loose as Lesnar jumps Cena and proceeds to throw punches at him, the first busting Cena’s lip open, filling his mouth with blood. It took all the referees and nearly the whole roster to pull the two apart.
We finally see the first match of the night between Brodus Clay and Santino Marella as tag team partners against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. It’s good to see that Brodus isn’t wrestling a jobber. It was a typical tag match. Brodus gives Ziggler a running splash and pins him for the win. We quickly move on to a backstage segment where we see John Cena and Teddy Long enter. Cena tells Laurinaitis that he isn’t afraid of Lesnar and sees Johnny’s plans to put Cena “out of business.” He then asks to compete tonight and allows Laurinaitis the pleasure of personally choosing his opponent.
After a few scenes with Santino looking for the guests, The Three Stooges, we have a match with R-Truth and Cody Rhodes. They do some basic moves for a few seconds until they are interrupted by Big Show with another Cody Rhodes Embarrassing Moment. This week, Big Show presents a video of himself presenting the Embarrassing Moment video of Rhodes losing his title to Big Show at Wrestlemania, last week to Rhodes. It was an Inception-esque moment. Of course R-Truth ambushes Rhodes while Big Show is wrapping up his presentation and gets the win.
We are then shown a little slapstick comedy from The Three Stooges and Santino. Nothing special goes down but it’s always nice to have a little comedy. This is followed by a match between Lord Tensai and Yoshi Tatsu. Just like last Monday, they have a literal squash match with Lord Tensai winning by TKO. Is this how his character is going to progress?
Next is the title match. CM Punk enters and goes straight to the ring and begins to tell us that Straightedge is a lifestyle choice, not because it’s cool. His promo is interrupted by a stream of Chris Jericho from backstage. Jericho pokes fun at CM Punk about last Monday’s segment. Punk says that he will take out his frustration by beating down Jericho. Finally Mark Henry enters. CM Punk lashes out at Henry, taking the fight out of the ring and smashing Henry with a monitor from the announcers’ table. Punk might have lost from a disqualification but he saved his title tonight. As Punk is about to finish Henry off, Jericho comes out with two cases of beer. The segment ends much like last week with Punk drenched in booze.
After this shocking segment, Zack Ryder enters for his match with Alberto Del Rio, who returned last week. It was a decent back-and-forth match, allowing Del Rio the win. It doesn’t seem like there is much of a feud here. Ryder is kind of floating around wrestling whoever hasn’t appeared yet.
Finally, The Three Stooges come up with an idea for their segment. Of course they crammed the premier date of their new movie into our heads. Curly, played by Will Sasso, did an outstanding impression of Hulk Hogan. It apparently didn’t win Kane’s approval; he came to the ring and gave Curly the chokeslam. This lead to the match John Cena proposed to Laurinaitis. Johnny chose for Cena to take on his lackey, David Otunga. It started as a usual match with Cena taking note of the immense amount of oil Otunga uses. Otunga gets good offense early, but Cena overcomes his oppression and presents Otunga with the Five Moves of Doom. Right as Cena gives Otunga the STF forcing David Otunga to tap out, Brock Lesnar comes out and gives Cena a low blow from behind. He follows up with an F5 to close out Raw just like last week.
This week was great as far as feuds were concerned, but it seemed a little repetitive. The Brock Lesnar and John Cena feud has a bright future as does CM Punk and Chris Jericho. I’m sure the WWE Universe is looking forward to next week’s episode airing from London, England.