Powell's WWE Raw Hitlist: Michael Cole beaten, stripped, and slathered with JR's BBQ Sauce, C.M. Punk vs. Kane, John Cena is happier than ever, Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara shines on live television

Posted in: Powell Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Jun 5, 2012 - 01:35 PM

Dot Net Members are listening to my 51-minute rant regarding Monday's WWE Raw show and the bizarre scene with Michael Cole stripped, beaten, and covered in JR's BBQ Sauce. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership now via

By Jason Powell

WWE Raw Hits

C.M. Punk vs. Kane: This was the most entertaining match of the night. As down as many of us are on having Kane in the No Way Out match with Punk and Daniel Bryan, this added a lot to the feud. The best booking on the show was the tease that A.J. could also end up with Kane. I have no desire to see that happen, but I like the mystery of which wrestler she will side with going into the pay-per-view. Punk worked his ass off and Kane held up his end of the bargain. Sure, I think most people would still rather watch Punk vs. Bryan in a singles match, but the match quality here left me much more optimistic about the Triple Threat than I was before Raw.

Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler: The match gets a Hit due to quality and thanks to the strong post-match attack by Alberto Del Rio. Sadly, I have no idea why Ziggler needed to be cast as the loser once again. I'm not saying he should have pinned the World Hvt. Champion. Rather, I'm saying there are plenty of other wrestlers who could have taken his spot. Of course, there's a chance they are telling a story with Ziggler and his loss will seem logical at some point. Is he on the verge of leaving Vickie Guerrero for AW's services? Is there a chance he could be managed by Ric Flair once he returns to WWE? I don't know what they have planned for Ziggler, but I hope it involves wins and a real push.

Sin Cara vs. Hunico: A live television match with Sin Cara and there were no major miscues. Okay, who is under the mask this time? In all seriousness, here's hoping this becomes the norm for Sin Cara. The crowd was receptive to his offense and he felt like a bigger spectacle in this match than he did throughout his pre-injury run with the company.

John Cena vs. Tensai: Another match that was better than I anticipated. I got a kick out of the way Tensai barreled over his man servant and I could definitely see a Sakamoto face turn occurring at some point. There's no disputing the fact that the Tensai character hasn't clicked the way WWE officials were hoping it would. Working with Cena in front of a crowd that wanted to see him get his hands on Michael Cole helped the cause, and Cena and Tensai came through with a match that kept the crowd engaged.

Ryback vs. Arthur Rosenberg and Stan Stansky: The Ryback squash matches are nothing new for those of us who actually watch Smackdown and even pay-per-view events, but I'm sure this was effective with fans who only watch Raw. The fans were gasping over his power moves and the Goldberg chants died down. This was a baby step in the right direction, though I question what happens once he starts working with established talent and can't just plow through them like the jobbers he faces.

WWE Raw Misses

John Cena vs. Michael Cole: I get it. WWE had lousy ratings last week so they assumed Cena beating up the heel announcer might keep viewers watching. They might even be right. However, I would not call watching Cena strip Cole to his underwear, slathering him with JR's BBQ Sauce, and beating him up a reward for the viewers. Seriously, what the hell was that? Vince McMahon's sense of humor seems to get stranger by the week. Granted, we've seen variations of this going back to the territory days, but this felt so much more bizarre in 2012. Can't someone let Vince know that what he finds comical is either groan inducing for most viewers over the age of seven and, in this case, considered softcore fetish porn in some states and countries? Raw had it's moments, but so much of it was overshadowed by this over the top nonsense that I was left with a bad taste in my mouth at the end of the night.

Happy Go Lucky John Cena: The guy was knocked out twice in 24 hours by Big Show. According to the storyline, he had to miss last week's television shows while Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Brodus Clay (gee, nice followup), and Santino Marella were all destroyed by Big Show. So how does John Cena respond in his return promo? By acting like everything is fun and games and nothing that happened mattered. All of the work they did to establish Show as a meaningful heel last week was wasted. WWE and Cena have to know that it could only help his character if he actually sold the storylines that he's in and did more to consistently build up the heels he's working with.

Big Show video: Big Show cut his own Brock Lesnar style sit-down interview. Cute. He did a good job and all, but I really don't need to see all the embarrassing footage from the past. If WWE wants viewers to take Big Show seriously, they should make some serious changes to his gimmick. Give him a fresh coat of paint by abandoning the tired entrance music and changing his name. Does it really make sense that the guy keeps saying he's not an entertainer is still named Big Show?

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins: It was nice to see the latter duo on Raw, as they have a lot of talent that's being wasted on NXT and Superstars. My problem with the match has nothing to do with Reks and Hawkins. Rather, it has to do with the way Kingston's ribs were taped up due to the beating he took from Big Show. Jerry Lawler did more to sell the fact that Kingston was injured via his commentary than Kingston bothered to do during the match. He just ran through his usual series of moves and never bothered to actually show the slightest bit of discomfort.

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