Monday Night Raw – April 23, 2012: Starring Brock Lesnar
Date: April 23, 2012
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
It’s a three hour show in Detroit tonight. In theory this was going to be the Draft but with the Super Show having guys from both shows on it, there’s no real need to have one. Del Rio was officially traded to Smackdown so they could probably have things like that instead of wasting a full show on a Draft. That’s probably a good idea as you can use time on other stuff. Today is also Cena’s birthday if that means anything. Let’s get to it.
Let’s burn it to the ground.
We open with the Lesnar vs. Cena contract signing, moderated by Teddy Long. Teddy screws up something about the number of titles Cena has won, because CLEARLY which title he’s won makes a difference right? Brock gets his entrance but it’s Ace instead. Brock isn’t here yet so the signing will be later. Also tonight might be Cena’s last night on Raw, so get out of his ring.
Ace goes to leave…..and here’s Edge. He says he’s off his contract in a few days after this but he’s here to talk to Cena. However this isn’t the real Cena standing in front of him. Edge came to talk to the John Cena who is his greatest rival ever in the WWE. The real Cena is the one that beat him at TLC in Toronto and threw him in the Long Island Sound. Maybe it was Rock beating him that changed Cena, because big losses can change people, like Andre losing to Hogan and the Screwjob and such.
Cena has to find what’s inside of him because this is all that both Edge and Cena have ever done. This isn’t what Lesnar is all about. He doesn’t care about these people unless they can line his pockets. Brock was gone for eight years while Cena and Edge were carrying the load. A loss to Lesnar is a slap in the face of guys like Undertaker, Michaels and Edge, so Cena needs to wake up. He isn’t asking Cena to beat Lesnar. He’s telling him to. This was pretty freaking awesome.
Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi quickly knocks him to the floor and has to do the hair bounce off the top rope thing because Jericho moved out of the way. Back in Jericho easily takes over and chops Kofi down before hooking a headlock. A charge into the corner misses and Jericho is knocked to the floor. Kofi hits a HUGE flip dive over the top which looked awesome. Chris is down as we take a break.
Back with Jericho holding a chinlock (duh) due to the springboard dropkick during the break. The bulldog puts Kofi down but the Lionsault misses. Standing rana gets two for Kofi but Chris hits a clothesline to take him down. Kofi pops back up for the top rope cross body and the SOS for two each. Trouble in Paradise is countered into a Walls attempt but Kofi escapes. He tries a springboard something but jumps into the Codebreaker. Liontamer ends this at 12:00.
Rating: B-. This was getting really good by the end. Kofi is great in this spot and I’d have few problems if he stayed here for awhile. He can be given a quick push if need be but he’s fitting in very well as a high flying jobber to the stars. There’s nothing wrong with being in this place on the card for a long stretch as a lot of people have had fine careers here.
Jericho says he’s going to win the title on Sunday and has a present for Punk when his title reign ends.
We get a clip of Lesnar debuting (in the ring) against Jeff Hardy and winning by KO at Backlash 2002.
Ace is on the phone when Eve comes in. He tells her to call him Johnny and offers her an opening in his administration. The job would be Executive Administrator which she accepts. He wants a hug but gets a handshake instead.
We get some of the sitdown interview from last week with Lesnar.
Punk is in the back and his gift is a big basket of liquor. Punk keeps one bottle which he says he’ll give to Jericho at the PPV and gives the rest of the basket to Josh. This could be interesting.
Lord Tensai vs. R-Truth
This is kind of a drop in opponent quality for Tensai. Tensai’s inset promo is mostly in Japanese. Tensai no sells a lot of Truth’s offense and runs him over. He fires off the headbutts in the corner and Truth is in trouble. Backsplash hits and the Baldo Bomb sets up the Mist Claw for the win at 2:00.
Here’s Kane to talk about the match on Sunday with Orton. Orton can’t beat Kane with rules as was proven at Wrestlemania so why would he think that he can beat Kane without them? Orton is struggling with humanity and hates that Kane has discovered his one true weakness. Kane has found Orton’s shoulders? He calls Randy a scared boy looking for his father. Orton pops up on the screen and says he wants to get into this too. Behind him is Paul Bearer tied up in a chair. Orton throws him inside what looks like a freezer. Kane says he doesn’t care because his father is the devil himself.
Kane goes to leave but Orton comes up the aisle for a slugout. Kane gets rammed into the steps and then the post with a good looking shot. Orton finds a pipe from somewhere and beats Kane up with it, sending Kane up through the crowd.
Jericho is in the back and runs into Alex Riley, who says he thinks Punk is drinking from the bottle of alcohol he was given. They go to his locker room and see him on the phone having a drink from a red cup with the bottle next to it, but you can’t tell what’s in the cup. Jericho looks happily stunned.
Alberto Del Rio/Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show/Great Khali
Cody vs. Show II is announced for the PPV and the stipulation is to be determined. They don’t know it by now? That can’t be a good sign. Khali is limping from the attack on Friday. He and Cody start and Cody’s kick is easily countered. Khali goes after the knee of Cody but when he loads up the chop Cody bails to the floor. Back inside Rhodes immediately tags out and Alberto fires a kick to the knee. That gets him nowhere other than into the corner for some chops.
We take a break and come back with the hot tag to Big show so he can beat on Del Rio. Cody pulls the rope down and sends Show to the floor for some work on the knee. The heels work over the knee with Cody hooking the Figure Four. It’s not as bad as the one from Friday but it’s still pretty bad. Show comes back and Del Rio walks out, allowing the chokeslam to pin Cody at 10:20.
Rating: D+. Oh good freaking grief this company makes my head HURT. There’s a title match on Sunday (one of five total on the show I believe) and they decide to have the champion, who has dominated the challenger for a month now, dominate him again. I mean, heaven forbid that Khali gets pinned or that Big Show takes a fluke fall to make us think that Cody has a chance right?
Santino defends the US Title against Miz on the pre-show on Sunday, because THE UNITED STATES TITLE ISN’T IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO PUT ON A FREAKING PAY PER VIEW!
Jericho is with Ace, Eve and Teddy, saying that Punk needs to be stripped of the title. Eve says that there’s a WWE rule saying that you can’t drink alcohol within 12 hours of a WWE show. There’s going to be a field sobriety test later. Jericho leaves and Teddy gets yelled at for not following the rules. He gets to administer the test later and possibly strip Punk of the title.
Lesnar is here and shoves Josh against a wall. Brock walks away and Josh says he’s just trying to do his job, which earns him a trip through the interview set.
Back from a break and Josh is being put on a stretcher.
Divas Title: Nikki Bella vs. Beth Phoenix
Before the match here’s Eve to say that this is now a lumberjack match. Maxine is one of the divas here so I’m sure she’ll be complaining about not being off NXT yet this week again. Nikki dropkicks Beth down and monkey flips her down. That results in her getting slammed into the corner and gorilla press dropped. Off to a chinlock followed by a backbreaker. Beth throws her to the floor and injures her knee. Brie goes after Beth and the lumberjacks jump on Beth in a dog pile. I think there was a switch in the pile but I’m not sure. Beth’s ankle or leg is messed up, allowing Nikki to roll her up and win the title at 4:11.
Rating: D. The girls looked good, the match was the usual Diva stuff, the whole deal with the Bellas leaving soon is now up in the air, I still don’t care about the Divas. Next. Oh and the leg injury appears to be real.
Punk freaks out and breaks stuff because he has to have a sobriety test.
Here’s Teddy with two cops for the sobriety test. Jericho comes out to observe this. Punk comes out and is acting shaky because he’s drunk you see. He drops the belt as he’s standing in the ring. It’s not Hawk in 98 bad but I don’t see a clear ending to this. Punk talks about how ridiculous this is, and the whole WWF (yes WWF) Universe says this is ridiculous. First up is he has to recite the alphabet backwards. He can’t do it and says it’s stupid because no one can do that sober or drunk.
Next up is walking a red line that’s in the ring. “I’ve seen Cops before. This is easy.” He does a Karate Kid impression but can’t do this either. The second officer says that Punk is obviously intoxicated and the cops are sent away. Teddy asks for the title and Punk doesn’t want to do it of course. He hands Teddy the title but before it goes to Jericho Punk wants one more chance. He tries to do the alphabet backwards again and does it very slowly (messing up the S and the T) but does it at the same time as walking a straight line, before moonwalking and strutting through the end. Punk gets it right and destroys Jericho.
Clip of Lesnar destroying Hogan on Smackdown. I really don’t get why this is supposed to be a big deal.
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry
Daniel Bryan gets to be guest referee. They trade power to start but Bryan stops him from throwing a punch. Remember that Sheamus is on the referee probation. Henry runs Sheamus over and covers with Bryan counting the pin in less than a second, ending it at 1:36.
Post match Sheamus goes after Bryan but has to kick Henry’s head off first. He takes Sheamus’ knee out and kicks him in the head before putting on the YES Lock.
Brodus/Horny vs. Ziggler/Swagger later on has its own sponsor: Taco Bell.
Back from a break Sheamu
s thinks Bryan is a coward and a snake in the grass. He’s going to get the same treatment that the snakes in Ireland got, but Sheamus is no saint. I like Sheamus A LOT more (which is saying a lot as he might be my favorite wrestler right now) when he has some adversity instead of just plowing over everyone.
Primo/Epico vs. Zach Ryder/Santino Marella
Ryder and Epico start things off with Zach taking over with an armbar. He sends Epico into the corner and hits the boot but Rosa distracts him from hitting the Rough Ryder. Out to the floor and Ryder gets sent into the post which gets one in the ring. The champs hammer away on him but Primo misses a springboard flip dive, allowing the hot tag to Santino. He loads up the Cobra as Ryder takes out Epico. Primo dropkicks Santino down but Santino backflips to his feet and the Cobra gets the pin at 3:18. It was stupid but I found it funny so that’s all that matters.
Rating: C-. I have no idea what to think of this. On one hand I’m glad Ryder isn’t getting destroyed by another main event guy, but at the same time the tag titles are about as valuable as the CWF Bahamanian Title right now. Then again, the titles have been dead for a long time now so I think it’s excusable.
Kane sneaks into the freezer and gets Paul out. Paul thanks him for saving him, but Kane shoves him back in again. Ok then.
Epico and Primo are arguing when Abraham Washington comes in and wants to know why they’re being treated like jokes who can’t get on Wrestlemania or can’t get an entrance. He gives them his card and they seem interested.
Brodus Clay/Hornswoggle vs. Dolph Ziggler/Jack Swagger
This is presented by Taco Bell. Whatever pays the bills. Horny starts with Swagger before it’s off to Dolph. He stands on Horny’s head but Horny comes back with a headscissors. Off to Brodus vs. Swagger and the fat dancing dinosaur from another planet runs over the All American Hitler Youth. Vickie comes in for the DQ at 1:55.
Horny, the dancers and Brodus surround her but she goes to get Brodus’ hat and puts it on Clay’s head. Horny bites her and that’s it.
Lesnar headlined Mania 19. His concussion isn’t mentioned or shown.
Here’s the rest of the interview with Brock last week.
Ace comes out to run the contract signing. Brock comes out to a decent pop. And there’s no Cena. Lesnar calls him out but there’s still no Cena. Brock gets in Ace’s face a bit but says that he needs to talk about why Brock was late earlier today. He asks Ace to sit down and talk about some changes that Lesnar wants and needs. Since he’s been back, he’s not happy with how things are going.
Brock has some demands/requests that Ace is going to have to sign off on them. He has a copy of those changes that have to go through before Sunday, preferably right now or he’s not signing to face Cena. Brock says he’s not a naive farm boy like he was eight years ago. Instead he knows this company needs him. If he’s going to be the face of the company, he wants all of Ace’s ideas run by him first. He wants Vince’s private jet to and from the venues for Raw.
Beating people up makes him happy, so when he got he got here and had to deal with what he hates, that being stupid people, he beat someone up. He’ll show up on Raw when and how he wants. Ace can’t fine Brock like he did Sheamus and Brock wants more money also. Until those demands are met, there’s no match on Sunday. Oh and the show needs to be called Monday Night Raw Starring Brock Lesnar. Ace shakes his hand and says he agrees to those terms. Brock signs and here comes Cena.
Cena has the chain and the lock around his neck. I think this is Serious Cena. He has the chain in his hand now and looks at the contract but doesn’t sign it yet. Cena looks at it again but still won’t sign. Lesnar taunts him and Cena takes the contract out of the folder. Brock says he likes the feeling he’s getting from Cena because it feels like it’s real.
He says Cena is scared and that he’s the reason Cena lost last week. He keeps saying Cena is scared which makes Cena sign. Cena has the right hand with the chain cocked back and Brock has his hand cocked as well. There goes the table but Brock smiles and shakes his finger no. Cena never said a word. Brock leaves to a ton of booing for the first time since he’s been back. And we’re done with a 15 minute overrun.
Overall Rating: B. I liked this show as it felt like a go home show. Instead of your usual stuff, we got a lot of solid build to the major matches. Why was it solid? BECAUSE IT WASN’T ALL THE SAME! They mixed stuff up, like with the two world title matches. It’s so refreshing to see something different like that instead of the same stuff time after time.
Chris Jericho b. Kofi Kingston – Walls of Jericho
Lord Tensai b. R-Truth – Claw Hold
Big Show/Great Khali b. Cody Rhodes/Alberto Del Rio – Chokeslam to Rhodes
Nikki Bella b. Beth Phoenix – Rollup
Mark Henry b. Sheamus – Clothesline
Zach Ryder/Santino Marella b. Epico/Primo – Cobra to Primo
Brodus Clay/Hornswoggle b. Jack Swagger/Dolph Ziggler via DQ when Vickie Guerrero interfered
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