The Champ Gets Clubbed : A Raw Recap


I won’t lie, I’m vaguely disappointed that my first Raw recap that will go to our newly launched Facebook presence will be for what was an incredibly lackluster show.  From the outset of this show, it was kind of expected, as they don’t tend to go overboard when they’re heavily competing or on holiday Mondays, both of which were obstacles for the Memorial Day episode with the NBA Western Conference Finals Game 7 featuring a resurgent Golden State team coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat out OKC.

I’ll just hit the high points and you can look forward to a much better recap post next week, as there just wasn’t enough here that mattered.

Memorial Day Package: Meh

Shane and Stephanie talk about the brand split: Meh, no real answers, and the only person that is even rumored to have a roster spot lined up is Cena moving to the blue brand.  Given the actions later in the show I would envision that the Phenomenal One will follow.  Besides, the Smackdown logo matches AJ Styles’ ring gear.

New Day in a non-title match against Vaudevillians: No winner here, as Gallows and Anderson turned up to “put the tag team division on notice.”

The Usos against FaBreeze (because Breezango is stupid): Super short match, Golden Truth on commentary, nothing special here.  Usos win quickly.

Roman is “The Guy”: Promos aren’t easy, but they really don’t go well when you just say the same shit over and over.  I’m not even as anti-Roman as everyone would probably expect, but they’ve got to give the guy better material or just let him be himself.  You know when I like him best, when he puts on that shit eating grin and flirts with the backstage correspondents.  That’s the Roman I like.

This segment was bad, and even the live crowd launched into a “boring” chant.  Seth Rollins played wet haired Willy Wonka for 10 minutes, never spoke, and just kind of went back and forth as if he couldn’t decide if he wanted to get in the ring.  This whole segment of the show did absolutely nothing and if they’re really trying to get Rollins right back into his role as the “chicken-shit heel” character, it would help if he weren’t significantly more over than the opponent.

Zack Ryder is on TV some more: I am a big Ryder fan.  I wish that Mojo would get the call so that he can just be Hype Bro Ryder instead of whatever that weird outfit he wears to the ring is, but he got more TV time and he got a match (non-title) against US Champion Rusev.  Unfortunately, like most of the actual wrestling matches on this show, it was only about 2 minutes of screen time before Rusev slapped on the Accolade and won, then you got more of whatever they are trying to build with Titus and Rusev, which may get strung out longer than the build to the Golden Truth.

Enzo and Cass like Cheese: You had to wonder what kind of spin Enzo would put on his promo for the Green Bay crowd, and he didn’t disappoint.  Big Cass basically just started naming cheeses, followed by “How you doin’?” from Enzo.  I don’t know why this worked so well for me, but it did.  Then they beat those cuplahataz in the Dudleyz in quick order.  These guys are great, but how many times are we going to have to see them in the ring with Bubba Ray and D-Von?

Yay, they remembered they had other women on the roster: I know, following the header for this part you’d imagine I was going to lead with something other than Natalya and Dana Brooke with Charlotte on commentary, but that’s what it is.  They had about a 45 second match before Charlotte dove in to get the DQ.  They put a pretty good beating on Natalya before BECKY LYNCH CAME TO THE RESCUE!

Dolph Ziggler is a legitimate wrestler guys: The Show-Off challenged Corbin to a legitimate wrestling match last week, and he was ready for a technical display.  He came to the ring following a short package about his legitimate wrestling credentials in his Kent State wrestling hoodie, then put on his head gear and a mouth piece.  It was all for show, because Ziggler walked up and kicked Corbin’s dick into his throat, got a microphone and announced his own disqualification and walked off.  I enjoyed this, as quick as it was.

Well, we’ve got 6 guys, what should we do with them?: As expected, since there are six men announced for the MITB ladder match, to build anticipation they’ll undoubtedly be put in various tag formats in varying team arrangements over the next few weeks.  Raw gave us the Heels against the Faces, and Cesaro, Ambrose and Sami got the win via pinfall.  I was just glad to see this match end in something other than a DQ or Owens leaving the rest of the team out to dry.



I love John Cena.  I do.  There was a snapchat sent to pretty much everybody I know last night of my just in a state of elation that The Champ has returned.  When they brand split, you can pretty much rest assured the show I’m actually going to watch will be the one that he is on.

In any event, Cena is back, in his modified new merch thanks to PBR being total dicks, and he was ready….just not for the sneak attack.

Cena kindly reminded us that the new era was upon us in WWE, but that he hasn’t been here to welcome them, and if they want to take what’s his, they’re going to have to go through him to get it.  This is where it got interesting, as I mentioned earlier, because the Phenomenal AJ Styles came out and did his usual schtick where he talks up how great the other guy is and how long he’s waited to work with the great John Cena.  Then Gallows and Anderson’s music starts and AJ preps for a fight, so of course Cena is there ready to help him, only to have AJ turn on Cena and the three delivered quite a beat down.  I don’t think Cena got one punch in.  I think it was a great way to bring him back as opposed to the expected where he’d just steamroll some opponent, it set up what can be a really great return feud to both 1) put him in the ring with a talented new roster member and 2) give AJ Styles something meaningful to do since you had to have him drop two to Roman and then get beat by KO for the MITB opportunity.  It’ll also be great to watch Cena hit AAs on Luke Gallows big ass.

Welcome back champ.

All in all it was a lackluster show, but again, expected.  Next week should present more build towards some MITB matches beyond the Rollins-Reigns and the ladder match itself, which will hopefully include Becky getting a title shot.  I’m also anticipating that the early return of Rollins as opposed to his slated June 8th date may have opened the door for the Viper to return and claim that 7th MITB spot, which would be awesome.  Orton and Reigns could be a pretty good title match.