TONIGHT: Michael Cole has an exclusive interview with John Cena. Also, C.M. Punk vs. Kane…again…to preview the Triple Threat match at No Way Out. With the announcement that Vince McMahon will return to a three-hour Raw next week, will it be “officially” announced this week on Raw? And who will be next in Big Show’s path of destruction?
-A dramatic video package on the newly heel Big Show aired, including his beef with John Cena.
-In the arena, Justin Roberts introduced the voice of WWE, Michael Cole. Cole stepped into the ring and asked for the fans’ attention. Cole introduced Cena. Once Cena got in the ring, Cole ran down those who have been taken out by Show in the last week, and he blamed Cena for not supporting is friend Big Show. He said it was more important for Cena to be a comedian than to support his friend. “You must be awfully proud of yourself, John,” said Cole.
Cena said he did try to save Show’s job, by fighting Johnny Aceat the PPV and trying to beat him to cost Ace his job. But Cole said it’s not a guarantee that the new GM would hire Show back. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Cole is making a lot of sense. He said it’s not all about Cena and that Big Show did what he had to do. Cena claimed Show’s decision was solely about money and said Show had a choice to make when things got tough, but in reality, it was Show who turned his back on him and all the fans. Cole accused Cena of being jealous of Show, saying Show didn’t lose at Wrestlemania and wasn’t a punching bag for Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. Cole said he’s always been an advocate of Cena’s, but lately, Cena doesn’t seem interested, and in fact, is overrated. He said he hopes Show puts Cena out of his misery at No Way Out. Oh, and Cena is prohibited from striking an announcer. Johnny Ace’s music hit and he rolled out in his People Power wagon.
Ace gave Cena the opportunity to pick his opponent for tonight. But Big Show is not in the arena. And Ace has retired from singles competition, taking out the two guys Cena wanted to fight. The lightbulb went off for Cena, saying this is the first good thing Ace has done. He said he’s watched this person for years and has scouted this person. This person is boring and overrated and according to JR, is being shoved down our throats. So his opponent is Michael Cole. Cole just frowned, then yelled, “what?” Cena’s music played but Cole said Cena can’t do it. He wanted Ace to tell Cena he couldn’t do it, but Ace just wheeled off and mouthed, “I’m sorry, Michael.”
-Tonight, there must be a winner when CM Punk faces Kane.
-Sheamus was walking backstage. It’s ANOTHER re-match, as he faces Dolph Ziggler next.
-Cole begged for Ace to reconsider backstage. He talked about being Ace’s biggest advocate. Ace said there’s a rumor that everybody’s job is going to be evaluated soon, so it’s all about People Power. Cole said the people don’t want to see him fight Cena. Ace disagreed and told Cole to go back to announcing. And don’t call him “Johnny.”
-The Pizza Hut Slam of the Week was Sheamus knocking over Johnny Ace on his way to the ring, then giving a Brogue Kick to David Otunga on Friday when he was supposed to be apologizing.
-Vickie Guerrero came out doing her “excuse me” routine. In a nice touch, Cole walked quickly right by her on his way back to the announce desk. Guerrero introduced Ziggler.
(1) Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus Early kickout at two by Ziggler. Sheamus brought Ziggler outside the ring early on and avoided being sent head-first into the ring post. Ziggler jumped over the steps when Sheamus tried to whip him into them. A distraction by Vickie led to Sheamus getting kicked by Ziggler (who was back in the ring) off the apron. He tried to recover as they went to break at 1:58.
Back at 5:30 of the match with Sheamus running into a Ziggler knee-lift. Sheamus headbutted out of a rest-hold, then went on the offensive. Powerslam led to a near-fall at 6:44. Jerry Lawler: “Vickie looks like her voice sounds.” Cole (underplayed): “I don’t know how to take that.” Nice exchange there. Sheamus right-handed Ziggler when Dolph went to the top rope. He looked to suplex his opponent, but Ziggler fought him off. Middle-rope fame-asser for two at 8:06. Both men struggled to get to their feet. Sheamus shrugged off a sleeper and connected on White Noise from out of nowhere. Sheamus readied for the Brogue Kick and it hit.
Winner: Sheamus, at 9:09. Another solid match between these two. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them main eventing PPVs against each other in the coming years, and for years to come.
As Sheamus celebrated on the ramp, Alberto Del Rio attacked him from behind. When Sheamus started to recover and get in some right hands of his own, Ricardo Rodriguez came out to make it two-on-one. Del Rio stomped on the head of Sheamus as he was set up against the WWE logo. Del Rio then locked Sheamus in his cross arm-breaker, with Sheamus’ arm against the side of the stage. They went to break with Del Rio and Rodriguez standing over the fallen Sheamus. Good, basic segment to get head on Del Rio.
-Johnny Ace was demanding his coffee from Not Teddy Long backstage. Not Teddy walked away, and David Otunga walked up. He showed Ace a WWE.com story about Vince McMahon returning next week to give Ace a job performance evaluation. Cole and Lawler reacted to the news at ringside while looking at WWE.com.
-Hey, Michael Cole vs. John Cena happens tonight!
(2) Sin Cara vs. Hunico Cara was in his new red and white looked that he had on Smackdown. Also like Smackdown, no trampoline to jump into the ring. Hunico rode down to the ring with Camacho on their bike. High-flying moves took Hunico outside the ring, then he hit a hurricanrana on his foe. The announcers did this weird thing where they kind of alluded to the Cara vs. Cara storyline involving these men, without out-and-out saying it. Hunico slid through a roll up and kicked Cara in the head. Double underhook into a back-breaker from Hunico for two. Rear chinlock applied by Hunico, which allowed Cara to fix his mask. Another back-breaker turned into an arm-drag by Cara. Springboard headscissors, then a kick. Camacho was knocked off the apron then Cara hit his headscissors into a single-arm DDT for the win.
Winner: Cara, at 2:31. Cole referred to Cara as “Mexico’s most popular superstar of all-time.” With Evan Bourne and Rey Mysterio out, Cara adds some much-needed athleticism to the shows.
-Ryback is next on Raw.
-Raw 1,000 moment: John Cena gave his favorite moment, from June 6, 2005, Cena as a guest of a much younger-looking Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel. Cena was just drafted to Raw.
(3) Stan Stansky & Arthur Rosenberg vs. Ryback Now THOSE are jobber names. Tremendous. The two men did a simultaneous rhyme on the mic, proclaiming they’d beat Ryback because two is better than one. One guy was immediately back-dropped, the other was thrown into the first one. Ryback took one up for a suplex and put him down hard. Light “Goldberg” chant. After more annihilation (including a clothesline that took out both men), Ryback put them both up on his shoulders and finished them off.
Winner: Ryback, at 1:54. It’s easy to look good against jobbers, but I really enjoy Ryback’s squashes.
-CM Punk vs. Kane, next.
-“Unstoppable” by Charm City Devils was thanked by Lawler, as they’re providing the official theme to No Way Out.
-During Punk’s entrance, Cole said he needed to make a phone call. He was still on headset when he was begging Ace to take him out of the match. Ace hung up on him. Before Kane came out, Daniel Bryan entered the arena. Bryan stood atop the announce table and had a mic. Bryan wanted to do some Q&A. He asked if AJ has gone delusional since he dumped her. Yes. He asked if Punk would get destroyed by Kane. Yes. And he asked if he’d become champ at No Way Out. Yes, yes, yes. I think the fans were designed to yell “no” at each of them, but I didn’t hear a lot of people disagreeing with him on the first.
(4) CM Punk vs. Kane – There Must Be A Winner Kane laid in some right hands on Punk, but ran into a big boot in the corner. Leg lariat didn’t knock Kane off his feet, but a clothesline over the top sent him to the floor. And he finally went down thanks to a Punk suicide dive. Punk then scaled the top rope and landed on Kane outside. Back in the ring, Punk hit a cross-body off the top for two. Kane slowed the match down when he went on offense. Standing leg-drop for a two-count at 3:09. Lawler announced the job evaluation of Ace will begin at the top of the show next week. Punk was grabbed with both hands by Kane, who tossed him over the top rope. Punk took a hard bump as Bryan looked impressed watching at ringside. Break at 4:36.
They returned at 7:49 of the match, with Cole asking Bryan for help in his match with John Cena later on. Kane was still in control and garnered a near-fall at 8:11. Sidewalk slam by Kane for two. Cole worried about his parents watching him against Cena (they watch religiously, dontcha know). Running knee to the jaw by Punk as Kane was climbing the top rope. Punk off the top rope for two. Kane with a big boot for two. Chokeslam turned into a neck-breaker for a near-fall. Crowd getting pretty hot for this. The men fought on the top rope and Kane was the one who got knocked down. Elbowdrop off the top rope barely caught Kane, as he seemed to turn away at the last second, so it didn’t fully hit. Kick-out at two. Kane rolled to ringside, where Punk hit a baseball slide. They fought near Bryan and Kane threw Punk into the ringside barricade next to Bryan. Punk went back to the ring, but Bryan attacked with the ref’s back turned. Kane brought Punk in the hard way, but Punk kicked Kane in the head. At 13:05, AJ ran down to the ring and got on the apron. She had a Punk shirt on. Bryan admonished her and told her to leave, but Punk took out Bryan with a suicide dive. Punk rolled into the ring, right into a chokeslam.
Winner: Kane, at 13:40. I don’t hate that result. Kane has had a pretty decent string of TV matches, helped by the quality of opponents, certainly.
AJ went into the ring, but was backed into the corner when Kane saw her. Before he could get too close, Bryan attacked Kane from behind. He was easily dispatched. Kane turned back to AJ, who got to her feet. She half-smiled, then fully smiled. Kane just turned away and out of the ring. Well, if AJ is truly crazy, she’d go for Kane and Kane would go for her. She could then become the fire girl, like Katniss Everdeen.
-Tonight, John Cena vs. Michael Cole.
-AJ was walking backstage when Josh Mathews walked up. He asked her to explain “the look” she gave Kane. She feigned ignorance, then played with Josh’s tie and said she likes when men look at her. She said Josh seemed uncomfortable and asked if he was okay. She pulled him in closer and asked if he didn’t like aggressive women. AJ patted him on the head and told him he may just be her type.
-We saw footage of Cena choosing to fight Cole from earlier tonight.
-Cole made a heartfelt plea for the WWE Universe to make a plea to Johnny Ace via Facebook and Twitter to get him out of the match.
-It’s Big Show vs. John Cena in a Steel Cage Match at No Way Out.
-They showed a Big Show video package, similar to the one they did with Brock Lesnar when he came back. It was a sit-down interview with Show spliced in with footage of what he was talking about (including some vintage Show hilarity).
-R-Truth and Kofi Kingston came to the ring for tag action. Hey, there’s new ref Marc Harris (nee Tony Smith)! The tag champs are in action next.
(5) Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks Match was joined in progress out of break. Jumping back elbow for two by Kingston on Hawkins. Truth did a little dance, then a little legdrop for two. Truth had his shoulder taped and connected with the Lie Detector on Reks. Hawkins interfered and Reks pulled Truth off the middle rope. Snap mare by Hawkins out of the corner on Truth. Heel kick by Truth and both men were on their backs. Kingston, with ribs taped, tagged in and hit his signature offense against Hawkins. Boom Drop by Kofi, who then set up for the finish. Reks was knocked off the apron and missed Trouble in Paradise. Springboard cross-body, but the pin was broken up by Reks. Truth took care of him, allowing Kingston to finish off Hawkins with Trouble in Paradise.
Winners: Kingston and Truth, 4:00 shown. Good to see Reks and Hawkins getting some time, especially after their attack on Cena two weeks ago.
-John Cena was walking backstage. His match with Cole (also shown at ringside) is next.
-Another Raw 1,000 moment, this from Triple H. Predictably, his favorite moment was his return after a quad injury at Madison Square Garden, January 7, 2002.
-John Cena came out. Cole was still at ringside. Before Cole was announced, Ace wheeled out. He said he’s been thinking about it, and it’s clear that everyone wants to see Cena vs. Cole. Cole hung his head. Big Johnny said, in the spirit of People Power, he always over-delivers. So now, it’s a no-DQ match…provided Cena is victorious against Tensai.
(6) John Cena vs. Tensai Sakamoto was shoved out of the way when Tensai passed him on the top of the ramp. Cole was confident Tensai would prevail. Tensai cornered Cena and pounded on him. Headbutt to Cena. “Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chant. Cole was cheerleading for Tensai. The two competitors in the ring traded punches, ending with Cena clotheslining Tensai over the top and to the floor. Sakamoto kicked Cena a few times after Tensai had been rolled into the ring. They took a break 1:47 into the match.
Tensai clobbered Cena with a splash in the corner. He missed a second one though and Cena took him down with a face-buster. Tensai reversed course and leg-dropped Cena’s arm/shoulder. Cena ended up in front of the announce table where Cole did some trash-talking. Tensai bounced Cena’s head off the announce table. Cole then slapped Cena and Lawler shoved Cole, calling him an “idiot.” Tensai again sent Cena to ringside and whipped him into the steel steps. Cena snuck into the ring just to beat the ten-count. Butterfly suplex for two at 8:11. Diving back-splash, but Cena moved. Cena went into his finishing sequence, knocking Sakamoto off the apron in the process. He got the big man up for the AA and hit.
Winner: Cena, at 9:02. And so may end the great Tensai experiment.
Cena celebrated but realized he had another match next.
(7) John Cena vs. Michael Cole Cole tried to run through the crowd, but Cena grabbed him and gave him a noogie. They made it back to the ring and Cole got a mic. He said they don’t have to do it this way. Cole said they’ve been great friends and he has supported Cena his entire career. Cole wanted to shake hands. “We can shake like what friends do.” Cena laughed and Cole got offended, taking off his jacket and asking if Cena thinks this is funny. Cole said Cena thinks he was embarrassed losing to Johnny Ace….he told Cena to ask Lawler how it feels to be embarrassed by him. He shoved his finger into Cena’s chest and told Cena he’d remember him. Cena said Cole would be remembered as the guy who got his ass kicked. He opened the shirt and slapped Cole in the chest. Then he de-pantsed him and kicked him in the groin. Hard Big Show-like slap in the corner followed as Lawler couldn’t stop laughing. Rear chinlock by Cena.
On the mic, he said that Wrestlemania match was a joke and King whipped him. He told Cole to apologize to Lawler, so Cole did. He said there’s one more person who deserves an apology, the man he drove off the commentary table, good ol’ JR. Cole said JR is his mentor and idol, the man he looks up to. He said “I’m sorry” a number of times. Cena said there’s one more thing…JR’s barbecue sauce. He said Cole loves it too, and Cole said “it’s slobberknocker good.” Lawler volunteered some of JR’s sauce for Cena. The sauce was poured over Cole’s naked upper torso, then the fire extinguisher was brought out. Cole was extinguished. Cole was taken up for the AA, but Tensai came out of nowhere and gave Cena the Baldo Bomb. Cole then crawled over to Cena and made the cover. But Cena thankfully kicked out at two. Cole whined, then grabbed the fire extinguisher. He went to hit Cena with it, but Cena picked him up and gave him the AA for the win.
Winner: Cena, at 9:02.
Cena let off the fire extinguisher again. Cole was almost on his feet outside the ring already. He should still be selling that, shouldn’t he? They replayed a few moments of the match. One last push for next week’s three hour Raw, and we’re out as Cena sprays Cole some more.
(edited by geemoney on 4.6.12 2308) @gregmparks - live Tweeting of Raw and Impact, wrestling thoughts and other slices of life.
AJ is Poison Ivy. Daniel Bryan dumps her, embarrasses her for weeks, then when Kane starts walking to her it looked like he tried to save her. Punk digs her crazy. She's coming onto (and freaking out) Mr. Weaker-than-a-fence Matthews, and is turned on by Kane. Plus she makes crazy faces when insulted that range from morose to "HOLY SHIT I THINK THE MEDS ARE WEARING OFF". Amazing.
Other than that I've forgotten more than I remember. I sincerely wish that WWE would use that third hour to promote some new faces from NXT purgatory or FCW. Put if wishes were gold the WWE couldn't tell Fool's from the real thing.
It's going to take something truly special from WWE to convince me to watch RAW again without the aid of a fast forward button. I actually feel violated! This will be especially true when it goes to three hours.
There were a few parts of the show which were decent, such as Kofi/Truth vs Reks/Hawkins, and Kane vs Punk.
Thank goodness there is intrigue in who AJ ends up with and whether the WWE Title ends up with Kane, Punk or Bryan, otherwise No Way Out would be a skippable show from top to bottom.
So, a year and three months later, we get the comeuppance of Cole at Mania? Alright. Lord A-Train was a disaster to start and now a disaster to end. Ryback getting on TV is interesting. Punk/Kane/Bryan/AJ has a weird vibe about it while some like it, I am not all that sold. If anything it will make for what should be a compelling match. I like Ziggler/Sheamus working together. My wife noticed the black spot on Sheamus' back/arm when he rolled over the side of the Raw entrance way. ADR continues to just be there. Some tag match action is good if they are getting MCMG for the 3 hour Raw.
Hopefully, we get some action on the Lesnar storyline. Perhaps with Vince showing up, Lesnar can out right destroy him.
The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Originally posted by lotjxSome tag match action is good if they are getting MCMG for the 3 hour Raw.
Let's just get the disappointment out of the way now. Unless something happens with Chris Sabin to make him change his mind and he walks out on his contract, it's not going to happen.
As much as I want it to.
The WWE hasn't pushed tag teams in over a decade what makes you think they'd push tag teams now? Oh I haven't watched Raw in forever so I gotta ask when did Vince regain power storyline wise? Also another job eval of Lauranitis? Fail
I may have just been in a good mood last night but after you got past the craptastic opening interview, I really enjoyed a pretty hour-plus showcasing of the diversity of WWE wrestling styles:
1. Sheamus vs. Ziggler 2. Sin Cara vs. Hunico 3. Ryback squash 4. Punk vs. Kane
Sin Cara DID make a "hey remember when I took your mask? That was awesome" mime but our ever-clueful commentary team didn't really pick up on it - but one Lawler comment that DID catch my ear was "gosh, I really enjoy watching this style of match!" which made me wonder if somebody was planting the seeds for that rumoured SuperAstros renewal that seems to keep coming up.
Were a lot of personnel out of the country? We saw all three FCW refs last night. I guess you expect to see Zapata during the Sin Cara match, but this was the second week in a row for Ryan Tran and the first appearance of FCW's own black ref Marc Harris - which again begs the question: has anybody seen WWE black ref Justin King since he screwed up the time cue on his Beat the Clock match?
It says something that the entire final two segments I was wondering how they would work towards Michael Cole pinning Cena. What that "something" is, I'm not sure, but perhaps Vince now believes the SWERVE is to have Cole LOSE. (And he is correct.)
Do they really think VINCE is the surefire ratings booster that will left a dead on arrival third hour next week? YES! YES! YES!
Originally posted by lotjxSo, a year and three months later, we get the comeuppance of Cole at Mania?
I remember watching this match and thinking "I feel like this match should've happened years ago. Is this Cole's last night with the company or something?"
Then I wondered if this was WWE finally finding a way to get the entire crowd to cheer for John Cena at the same time. Dont think they have anyone else as universally hated as Michael Cole on the roster, so I dont know if they can do it again.
Originally posted by TripleGOh I haven't watched Raw in forever so I gotta ask when did Vince regain power storyline wise?
He didnt, but I'm sure they'll explain it away in an awful fashion next week. Ugh. The only think I hate more than gaping plot holes are "Ownership/control of the company" angles. Am I the only one in the world who doesnt care at all about who runs/owns/controls the company??
A fan of Cole's promo at the start, his line about Cena not seeming interested rang true for me, It does feel like he's basically been going through the motions since Wrestlemania, so it's nice to see some on screen acknowledgement of that fact.
When they actually go with Cena's 50/50 reaction he's fairly interesting to watch, but when they (futilely) try and fight against it, they manage to suck all the passion out of the situation.
Really, thanks to everybody who read that and enjoyed it. I've been writing semi-professionally for several years now, but that's definitely the piece that makes me happiest these days. After the interview, there was an eerie silence from the WWE.