4/9/12 Raw: Three up, Three down
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Hint: Three up are matches/things/general happenings that were good or went well. Three down are the opposite.
Wow, just wow. Excuse me for likely being in the minority in that I thought last week’s opener — The Rock’s post-WrestleMania promo — was a little lame and forced. But this…this was pretty much perfect:
First, the segment didn’t see anyone involved go on and on blabbing in a boring manner. John Laurinaitis said his piece to introduce Lesnar to the ring, and that served its purpose. It provided a little more logic behind Lesnar’s seemingly random attack on Cena that I complained about in last week’s Three up, Three down. And once Brock actually got to the ring, WWE was smart enough to not let him talk for long — at all — before Cena swiftly interrupted him. The shit-eating grin that Cena directed at Lesnar was gold, for some reason. Cena didn’t use any words, either. He simply smacked the taste out of Brock’s mouth, and that was good enough to get the party started.
The fact that the two men couldn’t be contained is perfect symbolism for the nature of this feud. The intrigue is somewhat built around the idea that the WWE Universe is not big enough for both men. Hence, practically the entire locker room needing to enter the ring to separate the two and end the brawl. A really nice touch as opposed to just having four or five officials separate Cena and Brock. Because let’s be honest, that wouldn’t be remotely believeable.
Finally, and though I’m pretty sure this was an accident, Cena’s busted lip was icing on the cake. It added a little more realness and intensity this brawl, in addition to making Cena look like Hannibal Lecter. It looked like for a second, Brock forgot he was in the WWE and not UFC anymore, and his first punch thrown at Cena caught him square in the mouth. Ouch. If I’m Cena, I’m hoping Lesnar figures that out by the time they wrestle at Extreme Rules.
Punk and Jericho — again
You put these two professionals in a program together, and it’s going to be difficult for me to not be entertained. They did it again on Monday.
Judging from various tweets during Raw’s broadcast, I apparently might be enjoying Jericho’s repeated alcoholic baptisms of CM Punk. OK, that makes me sound a little sick, because the segments have definitely been a little disturbing. But I think that’s why they’ve worked. As far as I can remember, no one in the WWE has challenged or played a foil to CM Punk’s straight-edge persona until now (Jeff Hardy was cast as an addict in opposition to Punk during their feud in 2009, but Punk was not a good guy at that point).
This feud begins to tug on your emotions a little bit, though. I’m somewhat surprised WWE is going this route with this feud in the PG era, just because it is a little disturbing. It’s something everyone can relate to. Nearly every one has had a loved one or a friend who was an addict or an abuser. It’s a painful situation to see someone that you hold dearly struggle through. So the fact that CM Punk’s straight-edge persona was constructed because he had an alcoholic, abusive father, it’s admirable. You want to root for him.
Then Jericho shows up and literally washes that image away, dousing Punk’s body in beer after beer. The two Codebreakers were a nice finishing touch.
Santino Marella & Funkasaurus teaming up
I’m in love with the Funkasaurus gimmick for Brodus Clay. It’s absurd but still entertaining without being offensively ridiculous. Clay’s act — which is also a lot easier on the eyes with Naomi and Cameron at his side — is exponentially more entertaining when he’s placed against legitimate opponents, as he was Monday night against Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler. Funkasaurus and Santino have to be the two funniest acts going in the WWE right now, so it only makes sense to team them up. They also sync up well in terms of their in-ring styles. Santino is the clumsy, generally unskilled but often lucky scrappy competitor. Clay is the plodding powerhouse.
I’m on the bandwagon for Santino Marella and Funkasaurus to become the new tag-team champions. At least they’d be a team that people actually care about, something that hasn’t been able to said about many WWE squads lately.
The Three Stoges
This is pretty self-explanatory. I hope the WWE received a lot of money from whatever film studio put this inevitably horrible piece of trash movie together. If the movie turns out to be bad, that’ll be exceeding expectations, because the previews make it look absolutely awful.
At least we saw Curly on the business end of a choke slam from Kane. By the way, it seems Kane returned to storyline limbo faster than ever this time. After fairly prominent programs with John Cena and Randy Orton, the Big Red Machine is stuck with nothing to do again.
This was only the second time we saw
Albert Lord Tensai, but that’s all I need to decide I’m not hopping on the Tensai bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong. I think Tensai can be perfectly capable in the ring if given an opportunity to partake in a legitimate, non-squash match. But the gimmick is lame, and feels too mid-1990′s — perhaps a cross between Yokozuna and The Sultan, anybody?
It seems we’re stuck with Tensai for at least the foreseeable future, forever. Obvious logic would seem to indicate that Tensai is being built up as a legitimate challenger to someone like Punk or John Cena. But I also think it’s an invariably safe bet to say that Tensai wouldn’t topple either foe. So what’s the point — to fill space?
I would suspect we see a Tensai/Punk program by the time Summerslam rolls around. And after Tensai loses to Punk — I mean, I could MAYBE see Tensai defeating him and holding the belt for a month before dropping it back — what is there for him to do? Not much, in my mind.
Almost no Miz
I’m a Mizfit. I enjoy The Miz’s work. I enjoy his matches. I enjoy his promos.
But my, how the mighty have fallen. Despite coming out on top as WWE Champion in the MAIN EVENT of WrestleMania 27 — just a little more than a year ago — the Miz is now pretty much M.I.A. on TV. His only face time during Monday’s show came for about 5 seconds in which he was requesting to speak to John Laurinaitis. But hell, Johnny didn’t even have enough time for the Miz, either, telling him he was too busy to talk at that moment. For a guy like the Miz, I wonder if more time on SmackDown would be a good prescription for his lack of use. Yes, he’d get less exposure than he currently can command in the primetime Monday slot — but then again, what’s the difference if he’s not being used at all?
Posted on April 9, 2012, in Raw review, Three Up & Three Down and tagged Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Extreme Rules, Funkasaurus, John Cena, John Laurinaitis, Lord Tensai, Raw, Santino Marella, The Miz, WWE. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.