4/30 Powell's WWE Raw Starring Brock Lesnar Live Coverage: Brock Lesnar and John Cena followup, Triple H returns for the first time since WrestleMania 28, Cena storyline injury update
By Jason Powell
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WWE Raw Starring Brock Lesnar on the USA Network
Live from Dayton, Ohio
[Q1] The show opened with Michael Cole using a million adjectives to describe how physical the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena match was. Footage played of John Cena's speech regarding his injury...
The opening video aired and the caption noted that it was "WWE Raw Starring Brock Lesnar." John Roberts used the same show description while welcoming viewers. Roberts introduced John Laurinaitis, who headed to the ring smiling and waving at the fans. Lawler said he didn't things went the way he hoped last night. Cole disagreed.
Laurinaitis introduced Brock Lesnar, who came to the ring and said fans got to see him bring the pain firsthand, just as he said he was going to do. Laurinaitis was in the process of agreeing with Lesnar when Triple H's music played. Triple H walked onto the stage wearing a suit and headed to the ring. Lesnar wasn't happy, Laurinaitis was still all smiles.
Triple H offered his hand to Lesnar. Brock didn't take it right away, so Hunter reached in closer and Brock shook his hand. Laurinaitis assumed that Hunter was there to congratulate the new face of WWE. Hunter said he was there to do what Laurinaitis was supposed to do but didn't have the guts to go through with.
Hunter said Brock's days of holding up WWE are through. "The private jet that you flew in on here today will not be taking you back home unless you want to pay for it," Hunter said. Triple H said the same is true for the limo. He said Brock won't be getting a raise and won't be treated special. Triple H said the name of the show is and always will be Monday Night Raw.
Powell's POV: Wait, what?!?
Triple H said no one is bigger than WWE. He assured Lesnar that he will get everything that's in the contract that Brock signed, not what he bullied Laurinaitis into giving him. Laurinaitis said Triple H can trust him to do what's right with all contracts. He said he doesn't think it's right that they go back on their word. Triple H tore up paperwork (Brock's new contract) and said he would not approve it because Laurinaitis didn't have his approval.
Hunter said Brock is not a country bumpkin. He said Brock is a true businessman and always has been. He said Brock knows that Laurinaitis didn't have the authority to grant what he did. "Brock, don't get me wrong," Triple H said. "I want you here in WWE." Hunter said the WWE Universe also wants Brock in WWE regardless of whether they like him.
Triple H said the fans want to see Brock in a rematch with Cena. He said they want to see him face C.M. Punk, Randy Orton, and Sheamus. Hunter said that if that is going to happen, he will do so under the terms of the contract he signed. Hunter said that if Brock chooses not to re-sign, it's fine. He said that if he wants to take his ball and pack it away along with his loss to John Cena and go home, he's fine with that.
Hunter said he doesn't want that and he doesn't think Brock wants that either. Laurinaitis said they didn't need to put a talent of Lesnar's stature in that position. Triple H told him he has it and it's between him and Lesnar. Hunter asked Brock to look at him. He said the original terms were more than fair, and he asked what it's going to be. Laurinaitis tried to interrupt. Hunter told him to shut up.
[Q2] Triple H said he wants Lesnar in WWE and asked if they have a deal. Laurinaitis interrupted again. Brock used the distraction to attack Triple H. Hunter fired back with some shots, but Brock locked him in the Kimura lock while the announcers screamed that Lesnar had attacked the COO of the company. Sheamus, Big Show, R-Truth, and Kofi Kingston ran out for the save.
Lesnar tore the ring steps apart. Security came out and stood around Lesnar. "He broke my arm," Triple H told the trainers that came out to check on him. The announcers kept selling the fact that Brock attacked the COO of the company. Brock eventually headed toward the back while the wrestlers helped Triple H get to his feet... [C]
Powell's POV: Everyone played their parts well. Triple H was especially strong and Laurinaitis continues to be a riot. The only negative is that Hunter feels like more of a wrestler than an officer of the company. I assume Vince McMahon would have been in this role a few years ago and it would have been more effective. That said, they are probably setting up a match between the two at some point. By the way, this shouldn't be used to justify John Cena winning at the pay-per-view. After all, Brock could have won the match and this same scenario could have taken place minus Hunter taking the small dig about the loss to Cena being on Lesnar's record.
After the break, the announcers narrated highlights of he Brock and Hunter brawl. Michael Cole said he believes Lesnar fired himself via his actions... Backstage, trainers tended to Triple H while Sheamus watched on... Cole said this was another example of Lesnar not getting what he wants and snapping. Lawler said he thought heard Hunter's arm snap...
Eve walked onto the stage and announced that the No. 1 contender will be determine by a Beat The Clock Challenge. She said there will be five matches and the wrestler with the fastest win will go on to face C.M. Punk at the Over The Limit pay-per-view...
1. The Miz vs. Santino Marella in a Beat The Clock Challenge. Lawler said he'd just received word that Lesnar had been escorted from the building. The announcers questioned Miz's approach when he locked in a throwaway hold at one point given the concept of the challenge. After back and forth action, Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale and scored the pin...
The Miz defeated Santino Marella in a Beat The Clock Challenge match in 4:18.
Powell's POV: Miz got the pay-per-view win back without getting the title. The match was only 22 seconds shorter than their free preview match at Extreme Rules. The Raw match was actually better and the hot live crowd was really into it.
[Q3] [C] Still shots aired of Layla beating Nikki Bella to win the WWE Divas Championship...
2. Layla vs. Brie Bella vs. Nikki Bella in a Triple Threat for the WWE Divas Championship. Layla was all smiles, while the live crowd was all crickets during her entrance. The Bellas were talking when Layla dropkicked them into one another. One of the Bellas tumbled out of the ring, Layla rolled up the other one and pinned her.
Layla defeated Brie Bella and Nikki Bella to retain the WWE Divas Championship in 0:11.
Powell's POV: Congrats to Layla for winning the Beat The Clock Challenge.
Chris Jericho made his entrance wearing his awesome WrestleMania 28 jacket. The announcers questioned who his opponent would be as they headed to the break... [C]
Powell's POV: For whatever it's worth, the arena website lists Punk vs. Jericho, and Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus as the top two matches at Over The Limit. Of course, the card is subject to change, folks.
[Q4] 3. Chris Jericho vs. Big Show in a Beat The Clock Challenge. The announcers explained the fluky manner in which Show last the title at the pay-per-view. Show missed a second rope splash when Jericho moved. Jericho followed up with the Lionsault, but Show kicked out of his pin attempt. Show came back with a spear for a near fall.
The Miz was shown watching on a backstage monitor. Jericho caught show in a choke hold and pulled him over the top rope. Show recovered quickly, only to charge at Show and miss. Show tumbled through the barricade. Jericho climbed back inside the ring. The clock counted down to zero while the referee counted to nine. After some confusion, the referee indicated that Jericho won with a second remaining on the clock. They said they would sort it out after the break... [C]
Chris Jericho and Big Show failed to Beat The Clock.
Powell's POV: Either the referee f'd up or they'll announce that Miz survived after the break. The ref had just counted to nine when the clock struck zero and he quickly went to ten and tried to say Jericho won after the clock expired. By the way, the announcers should be spending more time putting over the John Cena injury. I don't hang on their every word so maybe I've missed something, but you'd think that would be a major talking point all night leading up to his appearance, not just something they touch on early in the show.
After the break, the announcers narrated shots of John Cena's Make-A-Wish charity work...
The announcers stated that Chris Jericho did not beat the clock in the last match, so The Miz's times of 4:18 still stands...
Powell's POV: I wonder if Jericho was supposed to win. The way the ref tried to speed count once the clock expired has me wondering. I assumed they would have come back to Jericho blowing a gasket after the announcement was made if it was by design. Maybe there's more to come.
4. Brodus Clay (w/dancers) vs. JTG. Lawler said JTG told him he had a surprise for Clay and seemed very confident. Clay won with the big splash...
Brodus Clay beat JTG in 1:35.
Powell's POV: Give Lawler credit for trying to make the match interesting with that JTG conversation story. The live crowd was quiet until Clay hit the splash. No Hornswoggle! However, Clay and the dancers did bring three kids inside the ring. Clay slammed and splashed the children. It was horrible! Oh, wait, he just danced with them.
[Q5] The announcers spoke about the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena match from Extreme Rules. Lawler said he's been with the company since 1993 and has never seen anything like it. Cole said the match lived up to the hype. Footage aired from the match...
Back at the announcers' desk, Lawler said Cena was victorious, but it came at a costly price. Cole recapped the opening segment and then footage aired of the opening segment with Triple H, Lesnar, and Laurinaitis...
Powell's POV: Lesnar vs. Cena lived up to the hype? They could have thumb wrestled an it would have lived up to WWE's underwhelming hype. Anyway, they are playing this up huge and rightfully so. When is the last time you saw an extended video package open the second hour of Raw?
The announcers hyped that John Laurinaitis would be face-to-face with John Cena in the ring later in the show...
Backstage, Eve told Teddy Long that his presence was upsetting Laurinaitis. She asked him to leave the room and Teddy obliged. Eve told Laurinaitis that she understands that he lost Lesnar, and that he might get blamed for his attack on Triple H. She said he needs to decide what type of a leader he is. She said he needs to decide who Cena's next opponent will be. He said he knows who it will be and Cena isn't going to like it...
Powell's POV: Next opponent? I thought Cena's arm was falling off or something.
Randy Orton made his entrance. Cole said Orton would be facing Jack Swagger in a BTCC match after the break... [C] The announcers spoke over shots of the Kane vs. Orton match from the pay-per-view...
5. Randy Orton vs. Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero) in a Beat The Clock Challenge.
[Q6] With 40 seconds remaining, Orton DDT'd Swagger off the middle rope. Orton struck the Viper's Pose and went for the RKO, but Swagger avoided it and applied the ankle lock with 15 seconds left. Orton rolled out of it, Swagger stumbled into the corner, and Orton RKO'd him and got the win with two seconds left on the clock...
Randy Orton defeated Jack Swagger in 4:16 in a Beat The Clock Challenge match.
Powell's POV: Good work by everyone involved to orchestrate the finish as the time counted down. By the way, the WWE website has announced that the Bella Twins were fired, which is apparently code for their contracts expired.
Highlights aired of Santino Marella and Zack Ryder beating Primo and Epico last week...
5. Primo and Epico (w/Rosa) vs. R-Truth and Kofi Kingston for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Cole pimped the news about the Bella Twins being "fired." The faces were in control of the match when they went to a break roughly a minute into the match. [C] The champs were working over R-Truth after the break.
[Q7] Late in the match, Kofi regained control of the offense. Rosa stood on the ring apron and distracted Kingston. Epico tried to hit the Backstabber, but Kofi shoved him into Truth, who clotheslined him over the top rope. Kofi hit the Trouble in Paradise kick and scored the clean pin...
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeated Epico and Primo to win the WWE Tag Titles in 7:05.
The announcers hyped The Great Khali vs. Kane in a BTCC match for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Epico and Primo didn't get much of a chance as tag champs. Worst of all, a title loss means no jiggling from Rosa. Honestly, it's hard to care about a tag title change given how little focus the straps get these days. By the way, I think it would be great if Laurinaitis gave Brock a Beat The Clock Challenge match at the end of the show and he became No. 1 contender.
A graphic touted that Raw and Smackdown can be seen in more homes in China than in the United States... Backstage, Primo, Epico, and Rosa were bickering. A.W. showed up and said they wouldn't have lost the titles had he been given the opportunity to represent them...
Powell's POV: Just make her jiggle again, Abe, just make her jiggle.
6. Kane vs. The Great Khali in a Beat The Clock Challenge match. Cole said the size of the two men makes it hard for them to be taken down and pinned quickly. So, of course, Kane took Khali down in less than two minutes and went for a pin attempt. Lawler questioned whether Khali understand the concept of the match since he hadn't looked at the clock.
One guy tried to start a Daniel Bryan chant. The crowd was too mesmerized by the mat classic to care. Khali fired back with some offense late in the match. They both went for a chokeslam and the clock expired. Kane chokeslammed Khali anyway. Randy Orton was shown smiling and pumping his fist backstage. The announcers said he has to survive one more match.
Kane and The Great Khali were unable to beat the clock.
[Q8] The announcers questioned who John Cena would face at Over The Limit. They said the opponent selected by John Laurinaitis when he and Cena met in the ring later. Cole said we know it won't be Brock Lesnar, so, um, it will probably be Brock Lesnar...
A shot aired of Daniel Bryan. Cole said Bryan would compete in the BTCC match and said we'd find out the identity of his opponent after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: Since the time restrictions of the Beat The Clock Challenge prevented Kane and The Great Khali from settling their differences, there can be only one solution - One Hour Iron Man Match!!! Hell, let's go two hours just to make sure we find out who is better. Bryan winning the BTCC and challenging Punk at Over The Limit would destroy the internet forever...
An ad for Smackdown hyped Sheamus and Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan and Kane in a tag match...
Daniel Bryan made his entrance. Jerry Lawler was introduced as Bryan's opponent. Cole said that explains why his broadcast partner left during the commercial break...
7. Daniel Bryan vs. Jerry Lawler in a Beat The Clock Challenge. Bryan was thrilled by this development and started chanting "Yes!" Orton was shown watching on the backstage monitor. The crowd didn't play along this week. Bryan was in charge early. Lawler got a little offense in, but Bryan made him tap to the Yes! Lock.
Bryan did the Yes! bit again after the match and didn't find many chanters. C.M. Punk's music played and he walked onto the stage and held up the title. Bryan went back to the Yes! chant...
Powell's POV: The internet just had its first orgasm.
Cole said the Laurinatiis and Cena segment was coming up after the break... [C]
[Overrun] Highlights aired of the Brock Lensar attack on Triple H from earlier in the show. At ringside, Cole said Hunter's arm is bruised and broken. He said he assumed Lesnar fired himself in the process...
John Cena made his entrance. He wore a sling on his bad arm. Cena looked into the camera and said, "I made it, I'm here." Cena walked to the ring to the usual mix of cheers and boos. Cole said Cena strained ligaments but did not suffer any structural damage.
Cena noted that the X-rays show no breaks and the MRI showed no tears. He said every muscle from his shoulder down his arm is strained. He said they send you home when you're injured. He said that when you're hurt, you get to come out and do what you do best. "So I am here," Cena said.
John Laurinatiis's music played. "It's always this guy," Cena said. Laurinaitis said he was happy Cena showed up. Cena introduced Laurinaitis in an over the top manner. The crowd booed. Cena joked that Laurinaitis bought No Holds Barred and lined up Zeus to be his next opponent.
Laurinaitis said he brought in Brock Lesnar to motivate Cena. "What you did was hire a mercenary to try to take me out," Cena said. Laurinaitis said Lesnar pushed him to become the best John Cena possible, and Cena should thank him. Cena thanked him for being a corporate jackass who sounds like he smokes thousands of cigarettes and brushes and has his head so far up his ass that he brushes his teeth with toilet paper.
Cena mocked Laurinaitis's voice a few times during the promo and did so again by mentioning "People Power." Laurinaitis said that he knows Cena isn't ready to compete now, but he knows he loves to compete. Before Laurinaitis could say the name, Lord Tensai's music played and he headed out with Sakamoto.
Tensai and Sakamoto struck fighting poses on opposite sides of Cena. Laurinaitis struck Cena over the back of the head with a microphone. "Your opponent at the Over The Limit pay-per-view is me," Laurinaitis announced. Tensai took shots at Cena. Laurinaitis told him to back off. Laurinaitis kicked Cena repeatedly instead.
Tensai grabbed Cena and dragged him to the corner. Tensai and Sakamoto held Cena down while Laurinaitis stomped on Cena's bad arm. Laurinaitis grabbed a chair. "What has happened to him?" Cole asked. "Has the whole world gone crazy? John, what are you doing?"
Laurinaitis slammed the chair down on Cena's arm while Cole cried out, "No!" With Cena lying in the ring, Laurinaitis entered the and did the "You Can't See Me" routine while hovered over him. Cena held his arm in pain as Laurinaitis, Tensai, and Sakamoto left the ring together to close the show...
Powell's POV: Well, I didn't see that coming and I don't think I'm alone. Part of the reason it wasn't easy to see coming is that WWE went from Laurinaitis feuding with Punk to having him abruptly shift to Cena just weeks ago. It never reached the point where it felt like they were building to a match between them. Oddly enough, I think that match will actually draw better than Cena vs. Tensai would at this point.
Overall, this show was all over the place. It started strong and never really got back to that level. The story of Cena's strange promo at the pay-per-view only to have him stick around to face Laurinaitis in a match was just odd. I guess tonight was their way of writing off Lesnar for a bit so they don't go through too many of his dates. Even so, this was not a strong followup to the hot Extreme Rules pay-per-view. I'll have more to say about the show in Dot Net Members' audio later tonight and on Tuesday in the WWE Raw Hitlist. Thanks for watching along with me.
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