Powell's WWE Raw Hitlist: John Laurinaitis fires Big Show, John Cena channels Jim Carrey, Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho, C.M. Punk and Santino Marella vs. Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes, final hype for Over The Limit leaves plenty to be desired
By Jason Powell
Dot Net Members are listening to my 42-minute audio rant, er, review of Monday's WWE Raw show. Join us on the ad-free version of the website by signing up for membership via Prowrestling.net/amember/signup.php.
WWE Raw Hits
Triple H and Paul Heyman: The highlight of the show was something that presumably didn't need to occur this week since it won't play out on the pay-per-view. If I'm wrong about that or it was necessary because of something planned for next week then so be it. I enjoyed the war of words between the two. I definitely could have done without Hunter shrugging off the broken arm. If he doesn't care about the injury, then why should fans care or feel sympathy for him. That line left me scratching my head, but it was a good segment overall.
Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho: WWE finally got around giving us a segment that delivered strong hype for the pay-per-view via the main event. The match was entertaining and I like the finish gave Jericho a cheap win and also put Orton and Sheamus at odds again.
C.M. Punk and Santino Marella vs. Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes: A minor hit. Punk showed great energy throughout the match, and I got a kick out of Santino's antics. The problem I had with the match is that it was too lighthearted considering that the WWE Champion and his next challenger were involved. WWE has done a horrible job of giving that feud storyline support and this seemed like a situation where they should have been more focussed on putting heat on Bryan to help sell the pay-per-view than clowning around. The Santino comedy spots definitely have their place, but I don't feel like this was it.
WWE Raw Misses
Overall show: This was the worst go-home show in recent memory and the worst Raw of 2012. The first 90 minutes of the show actually had me less enthused about the pay-per-view than I was going into the show. The Orton vs. Jericho match and the angle that followed increased by interest level, but the final segment with John Cena channelling Jim Carrey left me rolling my eyes. WWE did an effective job of putting heat on John Laurinaitis last night. This show wasn't for me, but only time will tell whether they put enough heat on Big Johnny that casual fans will pay to see him get beat up.
John Cena and John Laurinaitis: Cena was so over the top with his bad Jim Carrey impersonation that I wanted John Laurinaitis to punch him. Wasn't it odd that Cena was so happy go lucky after Laurinaitis fired a blubbering Big Show? I suppose that could be by design if they want to give the sobbing Show some justification for helping Laurinaitis on Sunday (remember he's no longer under contract). The "Puck Yourself" line may have worked for some folks, but I grew up in Minnesota and played hockey, so I'm pretty sure I heard some variation of it by the time I was in second grade.
Big Show and John Laurinaitis: Big Show gets a "Hit" for his performance. He's like a seven-foot Tommy Dreamer in that he can now cry on command. However, the segment overstayed its welcome. Show also lost something later in the night when John Cena essentially dared Laurinaitis to fire him too. If Cena isn't threatened by Laurinaitis's power, then why is Big Show? I understand that Cena is the top guy in the company, but it still made Show look weak. I assume this angle had to be done to set up something for the pay-per-view. I just hope it's not as predictable as the scenario I mentioned above (and in the Cena vs. Laurinaitis stipulations story I ran after the show last night).
Brodus Clay, R-Truth, and Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz, Jack Swagger, and Dolph Ziggler: Obviously, they went with the big Brodus entrance to lighten the mood following the Big Show firing. If they really felt the need to do that, they should have gone with a short Brodus squash. As it played out, the finish involved two guys who aren't even advertised for the pay-per-view. This would have been a good spot to put some heat on Ziggler and Swagger.
Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox: The match was successful in driving home the message that Beth has been medically cleared and her ankle injury isn't something to be thinking about heading into the pay-per-view. Sadly, it was just another one-minute Divas match, and the crowd's reaction to the post-match angle was just another reminder of how lethargic the fans are when it comes to Layla (and most of the Divas these days).
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