Raw Review: 12/26/2011: Rise Against Kane

The final Raw of 2011 and hot off the heels of what I thought was a solid Raw last week but the ratings said otherwise according to online reports. The rumor that burnt up the internet last week was WWE officials were thinking of having Punk drop the title soon because rating are low.

Well let me start off by saying “fuck that” If there’s problems with rating it’s not Punks fault, he’s done everything in his power to entertain, put on great matches and he is over with the fans. Secondly the last time ratings were in the shitter this bad was in 1997 and the champion was Shawn Micheals and some people consider him the best of all time.  So before you go placing blame on talent, WWE officials need to turn the mirror and look at themselves first.

So tonight Raw in Chicago starts with CM Punk’s theme to a huge pop that turns to boos when John Laurinitis comes out wearing a XXXL CM Punk
shirt over his suit and does his sarcastic version of Punk intro even including the “It’s Clobberin time” from the top of the ramp.  He certainly is Mr. Excitement.   He claims to be unpredictable and actually gets a few laughs out of me and I’m really starting to appreciate the dynamic of the Punk/Launinitis feud.  Contrast to the Austin/McMahon feud, Johnny Ace thinks the things he’s doing are for the greater good, rather than just running around and acting like an asshole.  I’m not saying its as good Austin/McMahon but it’s towing the line and different enough that it feels new.   He might be as dry as a mouth full of sand but I find that funny and he is growing on me as a villian who thinks he’s not the villian, he’s like dry witted Doctor Doom.  So Punk comes out to a huge pop and then we begin to set up Raw for tonight. Laurenitis says CM Punk has to run a gauntlet of 3 matches tonight. So Punk retorts with the proposal that if he wins all three matches he gets a match with John Laurenitis.  An interesting idea, the fans agree and Johnny Ace reluctantly agrees. Should be interesting to see who Punk has to face.

Cody Rhodes vs Booker T:  Cody wearing a fresh pair of titty whites and squares off against a fresh Booker T in a rematch of their bout at TLC.  Booker looks good in the ring and these guys show some decent chemistry in what was a long opening match.  I realize wrestlers today lack the rediculous cartoonish facial features as a guy like Booker T.  It may be over the top but it makes a lot of Cody’s offense seems that much more important.  These guys put on a pretty decent and long match to open Raw, and just as Booker seemed to run out of gas he hits the sissor kick and gets the pin fall. I don’t know what a win does for Booker T while making the current IC champ look weak, but it was wrestling, and the rest of the show will make you harken for it.

After a backstage segment where Zack Ryder tells John Cena he can be his wing man anytime.  This was a really awkward segment, I’m not posting the video, just take my word on it.

Jerry Lawler announcers Punk’s 3 opponents. Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and Mark Henry, and if any of those guys wins their respective match they get a shot at the title next week.

Zack Ryder and Eve vs Tyson Kidd and Natalya:  I still feel Kidd is a good gimmick away from a push because he’s really solid in the ring and here he is back on Raw, but essentially just to job to Ryder, which he does effectively in a fairly quick mixed tag match.

Following up on the red hot feud between Big Show and Harvey Otunga, JohnBoy places them in a handicap match where Big Show will have one hand tied behind his back because Big Show said I bet I can beat him with one hand tied behind my back. (Clown Horn)

Cena comes out and is showered with boos by the Chicago crowd as Cena and the audience engage in a game of “Bet I can still make you pop” So Cena keeps complimenting the crowd and the city to make them cheer, and it works. He boasts a showdown with Kane but Miz makes his way out.  Miz wants to rekindle his (shitty) wrestlemania match with Cena because he’s the most must see, yada yada, so they fight for what seemed like 30 until…..what’s up!?  It’s R-Truth returning from his oregano suspention, so he pummels The Miz to a pretty luke warm reaction from the crowd because is he a good guy, a bad guy, is he still insane?  We need more answers before we care.

*Note: The Cena Sucks shirt is sold out and on back order, what I said last week was dead wrong.

Big Show/Otunga Hand Tied Match of Doom: Well the match was as exciting as you pictured it on your head, with less biting and spitting.  The match never finished because of interference by Mark Henry and then Daniel Bryan came out for no real reason besides wanting to hold up his title before someone literally takes it away from him.

Alberto Del Rio in a golden leopard print wheel chair pushed my Richardo in a neck brace lamenting about his injured groin was special.  He’ll be out for 6-8 weeks, I pray Richardo will manage Brodus Clay in the meantime.

Gauntlet Match: CM Punk vs Jack Swagger. Predictably Punk dispatches his first opponent pretty easily which reflected much of the rest of the night.  Besides Cody and Booker who seemed to go on a smidgin too long, the rest of the matches flew by and seemed like a waste.

CM Punk vs Dolph Ziggler.  Before Swagger leaves the ring he clips Punk so he has to sell a leg injury for the duration of the match. Him and Ziggler had a decent back and forth bout with Laurenitis coming out to distract Punk so Ziggler could pick up the win.  This sets up a good main event for next week’s Raw with Punk and Ziggler for the title along with the big revelation of Chris Jericho…I mean who’s ever behind the 1/2/2012 promos. Chris Jericho.

So Kane makes his way to the ring as Cena stands on the ramp and Kane explains his actions over the past two weeks.  Now I was on the side of Kane should just be an unstoppable monster, don’t talk just destory, but I thought this promo worked.  It shows that Glenn Jacobs the man behind the Kane mask is a really smart dude and actually a good actor.  I know they are wrestlers not actors but part of this gig is to act and some of these guys are just fucking terrible.  Kane is not terrible on the mic, he’s good so I changed my mind on not having him talk. Now that being said, was this a good promo, it wasn’t terrible be it just a rehash of the story line from Star Wars Epiosde 3: Revenge of the Sith.  Kane is the emperor, Cena is Anakin, and the dark side is being a heel.  I get it, it makes sense, it gives Cena a program before The Rock, handled well it could pay off, but my guess it’s just filler for before mania.  Those are the positives, the negatives come when Cena tries to emote and the other is Kane starting a Cena sucks chant but his cadences were off and the crowd couldn’t follow, it was really funny in retrospective.

Sad Face? How's this???

Final thought on this segment….This is how you end a Raw in Chicago?  Oh wait there was a Punk/Miz Dark Match, nevermind.

Sorry guys, Lazy Raw, Lazy Review; Couple good matches, couple bad matches; No build up or even mention of The Royal Rumble but it did help build the Cena/Kane angle and I like the idea of a Ziggler/Punk feud, either guy as champion is fine by me.  Next week should (should!) be a very good Raw because it’s the first of the year and people will be watching to see who’s behind the 1/2/2012 promos.
(Jericho)

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~ by ATOM on December 27, 2011.

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