The WWE swerved the world last night when they allowed John Cena to pin Brock Lesnar in the main event of Extreme Rules. It was Lesnar’s highly anticipated in ring debut, and the push he received in the preceding weeks only seemed the confirm a Cena loss. Logically, it made sense: Lesnar is returning to the WWE on a limited basis, and surely he wouldn’t lose his first match back. But alas, the creative force behind professional wrestling historically has been anything but logical. Crazy, unpredictable, shocking if you’re an optimist. Disoriented, wasteful, stupid if you’re a pessimist.
After dominating most of the match, Lesnar was hit the Cena’s finisher on steel steps in the middle of the ring. Here’s the thought process that went through my head during those (very long) three seconds:
1: No way.
2: No fucking way.
3: God dammit.
I am not a Cena hater or a Lesnar fan. I am a professional wrestling fan. I very rarely root for any one particular wrestler to win. I am, first and foremost, a fan of a quality product and great storytelling. When the referee raised Cena’s “injured” arm, the ship had sailed for an opportunity to tell a great story and give meaning and depth to the face of the WWE.
It’s been heavily rumored that John Cena will be off the programming for a while. The injuries Cena suffered at the hands of Lesnar are the storyline reasoning. In reality, Cena will be shooting a movie and spending time with his family.
The fact that Cena will be gone isn’t a problem. In fact, the Cena character could use some time away from the fans. Cena is the second most polarizing athlete in the world right now (I’m not saying who’s number one, but his name rhymes with Jim Jebow) and is going through the motions after his Wrestlemania loss to The Rock.
The Cena/Lesnar storyline should be stretched out to Summerslam. Cena should have lost to Lesnar last night, and left the company due to injuries/contemplation. He should be unsure of himself, and for the first time ever, the fans should be treated to an emotionally vulnerable John Cena. We’re used to Superman; show us Clark Kent.
But the entire storyline shouldn’t have been about Cena. Lesnar, after taking out Cena, should run rampant on Raw. John Lauranaitis sold his soul to bring Lesnar in. He gave Lesnar too much power, and now that power is abused. Leading up to Summerslam, Lesnar SHOULD be made out to be a monster force. The team of Lauranaitis and Lesnar should be powerful and abusive, like a authoritarian regime. Eventually, though, Lesnar becomes too powerful, and Lauranaitis and the rest of the WWE universe have but one savior: John Cena. Cena’s return would vindicate his past and provide an opportunity to practice what Cena preaches.
Instead, the WWE has lost all credibility with Brock Lesnar’s loss. The man who has generated a huge buzz has lost all that buzz in less than a month. I don’t know where the WWE goes from here, but it certainly won’t be nearly as good as what could have been.
Cena and Lesnar put on a pretty good show. But after dominating the whole match, Lesnar lost to Cena. Without a doubt, this was the wrong outcome. The WWE absolutely botched Lesnar’s return.
The only thing I can say is this: when they bought WCW, they were shooting themselves in the foot.
Extreme Rules is less than 24 hours away, and I’ll be honest: I’m not excited. I hate anything that has “extreme” or “hardcore” in it, and that includes porn. I’m not saying I like softcore porn, either. What I like is normal, regular, well made porn. But the porn industry has it in their minds that by slapping the word “hardcore” on it and adding a weird choking scene, their porn is edgier and more consumable. I’m pretty sure the WWE see’s their product the same way.
Extreme Rules is stupid. In every way, shape, and form. This PPV SHOULDN’T BE HAPPENING. In case nobody remembers, WRESTLEMANIA WAS 4 WEEKS AGO! I’m typing in caps BECAUSE IT EXEMPLIFIES MY FRUSTRATION.
I get it: the WWE is a bunch of money-grubbing whores. That’s why this PPV is taking place, and that’s why Brock Lesnar and John Cena are headlining the show now instead of waiting til Summer Slam, which would allow for the best possible match and feud. Of course, the WWE doesn’t have any major competition in the wrestling industry, and thus, plays everything safe. By safe I mean “cramming everything down our throats and trying to force us into spending money instead of surreptitiously getting us to want to spend our money on their product.” There’s a difference, too. With a billion PPV’s every year and two supposed rosters, the WWE is trying to force us into keeping up with their product. If they slimmed the PPV schedule down and focused on long-term feuds, fans would be more interested and attached to the characters, which makes them want to spend money. But that’s a discussion for an entirely different post.
Pre-show: Santino Marella (c) vs. The Miz (US Championship)
Who will win: Santino’s going to take this one. It’s a pre-show match and the company is sending a message to The Miz: you can very easily go from main eventing Wrestlemania to a pre-show job in a year.
Who should win: Santino should retain, if only because he’s filled his character out perfectly and he’s a worthy champion. The guy’s entertaining to watch, very charismatic, sells merchandise, engages children, and anchors the mid-card well. He can interact with all the guest hosts, hold his own in a real feud, or just be filler. The guy’s versatile. Nobody else in the company really deserves the US title, anyways. Until someone really jumps out and takes it from him, Santino should keep the title.
Nikki Bella (c) vs. Beth Phoenix (Diva’s Championship)
Who will win: I’m guessing this will be a DQ, with Kharma coming back and squashing (literally) the Bella’s. The Bella’s will end up leaving (their contract is up) and lead to a Beth Phoenix/Kharma feud.
Who should win: Interestingly enough, the WWE will probably play this one perfectly. But as I said earlier this week, nobody will watch because nobody cares about women’s wrestling!
Big Show (c) vs. Cody Rhodes (IC championship) (stipulation yet to be determined
Who will win: Big Show’s been getting the one up on Cody ever since Wrestlemania. They’ve also been testing out the team of Big Show/Great Khali, which will probably lead to a stupid team like “The Great Big Show.” I think Big Show got his rub at Wrestlemania, where he wasn’t very successful, and has enjoyed a good month. Unless they really want to him over, Cody Rhodes should take the win.
Who should win: Cody shouldn’t have dropped the title to begin with. I’m not sure if Cody has the ability to ever main event, even during dull stretches, but the guy’s definitely good enough to anchor a mid-card. That’s the thing that the WWE doesn’t really seem to understand: the mid-card is how you create lifelong fans who will keep coming back to your product. But the entire mid-card scene is a colossal clusterfuck. Instead, they should use it as a way to push guys like Santino and develop guys like Cody Rhodes. Rhodes shouldn’t lose to guys like The Big Show, a guy who can’t work and nobody really cares about anymore. He should hold on to the IC title for a while and gain some credibility.
Randy Orton vs. Kane (Falls Count Anywhere match)
Who will win: I don’t see Orton losing this match. I also don’t see this feud going on any longer. Orton will get the win, especially after losing to Kane at Wrestlemania.
Who should win: Orton should win. He also probably shouldn’t be in this match. I think Orton’s entirely overrated and misused: this “Viper” thing is fucking stupid. No homo, but Orton is entirely too pretty to be acting like some psychopath. He should be exactly what he was in Evolution and Legacy: a spoiled punk heel who has to get his way. That’s the best Orton there is.
CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho (WWE Championship) (Chicago Street Fight)
Who will win: This one’s a toss-up. It could very well go either way. Punk’s the champion and in his home town, and Jericho’s been embarrassing him for the past month. But in order for the feud to continue, Jericho needs to win. I think Punk gets the win and ends the feud here, though.
Who should win: Punk. Punk shouldn’t be resorting to such a horribly shitty, tasteless, tacky feud. Both of these guys have NOT delivered for this feud, but the fans love it. You know why they love it? Because smarks are too loyal to Punk and Jericho, to the point that neither can do no wrong. I don’t think either of these guys are bad. In fact, their Wrestlemania match SHOULD have been on par with Savage/Steamboat. This feud could have been perfect if they played their cards right. In fact, it could have lasted til Summer Slam or even further. But the WWE is lazy, and these guys let it happen. Punk should get the win, rejoice with his family, and move on to a feud with a heel Orton.
Sheamus (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (2-out-of-3 Falls match) (World Heavyweight Championship)
Who will win: I can’t see Sheamus losing the title this quickly, no matter how hard the fans root for Bryan. Sheamus will undoubtedly go on to face Alberto Del Rio, and blah blah blah.
Who should win: Daniel Bryan should have never lost the title, but I see why he did, and especially so quickly at Wrestlemania. Feeding off the energy of the crowd, Bryan lost his title in 8 seconds or something, and his popularity has never been higher. ADR should interfere in the match and Bryan should get the win. In return, there should be a three-way feud between these guys, even though that never fucking happens anymore for whatever reason.
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena (Extreme Rules match)
Who will win: There’s no way Lesnar loses this match.
Who should win: Lesnar should win. And after he wins, Cena should take some time away from TV. Lesnar should, per his list of demands, take over Raw to the point where he, Lauranaitis, and Otunga run the show in an Orwellian dictatorship, and then it goes so far that Lauranaitis can’t even control Lesnar, and Lesnar just ruins the product. It’s hell to be on Raw, except nobody can beat Lesnar. Then, for Summer Slam, Cena returns and faces Lesnar to restore the normal balance of things. Actually, they should stretch this out to next year’s Wrestlemania. But alas, Cena overcomes all his insecurities that stem from his feud with The Rock, and finds his confidence and mojo. That’s how it should be done.
Brock Lesnar pulled in a negotiation coup that would make even Scott Boras blush during the last Raw. Before signing his contract to face John Cena at Extreme Rules, Lesnar demanded certain terms be met. These terms included access to Vince McMahon’s private jet, the ability to show up whenever he wants, no fines for his actions, and, perhaps the best/funniest, the company’s flagship show be renamed “WWE Raw: starring Brock Lesnar.”
But that’s not all Lesnar demanded. He was in such a position of power during this negotiation, Lesnar had this personally written letter, with more demands, faxed to Stamford:
Last night we talked about what I wanted in my contract. You agreed to let me use Vinnie’s plane, an unlimited number of days off, and to change the show’s name to ‘WWE Raw: starring Brock Lesnar.’ That last one’s pretty funny. Dana never wanted to name anything after me. LOL.
But on to serious business: I want Capri Sun’s. That’s right, I want Wild Cherry Capri Sun’s, and a shitload of them. I want a cooler, with ice, full of them for every appearance I make in my locker room. I also want half of them frozen before hand. That way, throughout the show, they’ll melt a little and be like slushees. Also, it’s really hard to stab the straw through the pouch. I’m not the same naive little farm boy I used to be, so I want Shelton Benjamin to do that task for me.
I also want to headline ‘Bash at the Beach’, but only if my opponent is the little ‘Berries and Cream’ guy from the old Starburst commercial. A couple things about this: I know ‘Bash at the Beach’ isn’t a real PPV anymore, so you’d better make the necessary changes. And it HAS to be the ‘Berries and Cream’ guy-Hornswaggle doesn’t count.
This next part is non-negotiable: I want the WWE to put Gangrel and Chris Masters in a ‘tickle match’. I’m willing to allow this match to take place on Smackdown.
Johnny, whatever happened to Mideon? Do you know if he’s still alive? When I was a kid, I never really liked him or noticed him, but I have this ‘flashbulb memory’ of Mideon wrestling Al Snow in like, 1999. Nevermind, I just wiki’d him and there’s A LOT of information about him. Apparently he’s a chef in Florida. Go figure.
As I said earlier, these are my demands. Text me if you have any questions.
It would appear to me that Brock Lesnar spent a lot of time studying at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
Date: April 23rd, 2012
Location: Detroit, Michigan
In Masters and Johnson’s four stage model of the sexual response cycle, the resolution stage comes after orgasm. For those unaware of what the resolution stage is, it’s when a man’s pee-pee goes soft and a woman wants to talk about love.
If we’re applying Masters and Johnson’s model to the WWE, then Wrestlemania was our orgasm, and we’re currently entrenched in the resolution stage. The WWE tried their best to prolong the Wrestlemania orgasm, though, not allowing nature to take its course. Instead of allowing the Wrestlemania wave to die down, the WWE brought in Brock Lesnar to ride that wave and get summer started prematurely (sexual innuendo.) If we’re trying to get downright dirty with our terms, let’s change Brock Lesnar’s nickname from “The Next Big Thing” to “The Cumshot.” Hey, it explains Lesnar perfectly: he’s been brought in for a cheap pop (pun intended), and it’s been sloppily executed. And since I’ve already committed to being unabashedly inappropriate, let’s just say the WWE needs a towel after the horrible mess he made in the ring during Raw.
I feel bad for the fans of Detroit, who had to endure three hours of Raw without any of the company’s biggest draws actually wrestling. Seriously. John Cena, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk all made appearances but didn’t actually wrestle. Of course, the WWE gave the good people of Detroit their money’s worth, with stellar performances from Mark Henry, The Great Khali, Big Show and Funkasaurus. (/Sarcasm)
Here’s the Raw breakdown:
John Cena/Brock Lesnar Extreme Rules contract signing
This was scheduled to open the show, but was pushed to the end of the show because Brock Lesnar hadn’t yet arrived. The WWE was lucky a new Hall of Famer was in the house to save the segment, though. Edge’s music hit and the “Rated-R Superstar” came out and gave John Cena a “win one for the gipper!” speech.
I feel bad for Edge. His contracts set to expire May 1st and his in-ring career is over. On top of that, he got saddled up with Jamie Kennedy to do some horrible straight to VHS movie, and it seems like he picked up some bad habits from JK. Edge delivered a
loud passionate promo demanding Cena find it within him beat Lesnar to save the company. It was very stupid profound.
Chris Jericho beats Kofi Kingston
For the second week in a row, Kofi taps out. Kofi is doomed to a life of mid-card fodder. His best case scenario is if he gets turned into a version of the heel R-Truth/Shelton Benjamin, and his worst case scenario is dead.
Jericho gave ANOTHER promo saying Punk’s on his way to being an alcoholic. And for whatever reason, the Internet Wrestling Community STILL loves this god-awful feud. Please. Someone. Anyone. Make this stop.
Lord Tensai squashes R-Truth
Lord Tensai used his really cool claw-slam and Tajiri’s mist to beat down R-Truth. Tensai beat Cena last week, so it was fairly obvious he was going to bury R-Truth this week.
Poor R-Truth. He’s been saddled with Jamie Foxx’s character from ‘The Soloist’ and given an invisible sidekick. A year ago he was in the main event scene. Both gimmicks sucked, mind you. Serious heel R-Truth was the only tolerable character he ever played. His biggest problem is he looks like he belongs in a Nelly music video circa 2001.
Kane comes out and goes “blah-blah-blah” and Randy Orton appears on screen, pushing Paul Bearer into a freezer backstage. Kane laughs and says Paul Bearer isn’t his father; Satan’s his father. I don’t know if Charlie Manson watches Raw or not, but I’ll bet he’s a mark for Kane.
Alex Riley/Chris Jericho/CM Punk segment
Alex Riley makes a HUGE impact on Raw by showing CM Punk drinking from a red cup with a bottle of Jack Daniels on the table. Jericho runs and tells Lauranaitis, who’s informed a WWE champion can be stripped if he’s intoxicated within 24 hours of a match. That’s cool and all; but CM Punk didn’t have a match. Of course it’s painfully obvious what’s going to happen next, and we get more confirmation that this feud is the worst thing the WWE has going for it.
The Big Show and Great Khali winned Cody Rhodes and Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio left Cody Rhodes towards the end of the match, and Show slammed Rhodes for the win. Let’s just hope this leads to a Rhodes/Del Rio feud after Extreme Rules, because Rhodes is wasting all of his talents on this. I’m not really sure why Show needs the intercontinental title: he’s over 35, out of shape, immobile, and a trainwreck. It’s as if putting him next to Khali makes him a good wrestler, but…no. Rhodes had a good run with the IC title, and should still have it.
Nikki Bella shocks Beth Phoenix
Perhaps the most logical booking of the WWE in recent memory: Beth Phoenix drops the title because of injury to Nikki Bella. Kharma comes back and squashes the Bella’s, which has roots dating back to last year, when Kharma left to have a baby. After Kharma squashes them, she goes and feuds with Beth Phoenix for the title. Kharma gets retribution and a title, Phoenix feuds with someone on her level without actually losing anything, and nobody watches or cares because nobody likes women’s wrestling.
CM Punk sobriety test
This had my money for stupidest segment of 2012. It proved to be quite the worthy contender, too: Punk comes out drunk and two police officers administer a sobriety test in the middle of the ring, with Jericho and Long serving as on-lookers. Punk has a few golden moments, which, juxtaposed against this stupid segment, just proves that he’s being wasted (no pun intended) in this feud. Alas, Punk stops kidding around, proves he isn’t sober, and beats the shit out of Jericho.
Mark Henry beats Sheamus with Daniel Bryan as guest ref
Because Sheamus can’t touch a ref, Daniel Bryan provoked Sheamus all match. Bryan gave Henry the quick three in an unremarkable outing. Bryan has the most charisma and fan support of anyone on the roster right now. He NEEDS to win at Extreme Rules.
Zack Ryder and Santino Marella defeat Primo and Epico
This was a non-title match, but I wish it wasn’t. Ryder and Santino made a goofy, entertaining team. Primo and Epico are being scouted by Abraham Washington, and are in a downward spiral. I can see something happening very, very soon between all these people that will piss everyone off. And I’ll love it.
Funkasaurus and Hornswaggle beat Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler
Going back to the previous match: you have an assortment of goofy characters: Santino, Funkasaurs, Hornswaggle and Ryder. Then you have a team of guys who feel disrespected: Primo and Epico. Why not throw Mark Henry in with Primo and Epico and let Abraham Washington manage them, and then feud with a goofy stable led by Santino? That’s 6-8 guys you can get on TV consistently that brings some entertainment to the lower mid-card. And there’s a shitload of merchandise to be sold.
Some will denounce the angle because it lacks legitimacy. They’ll dismiss it as immature and stupid. So what? Not every feud can deal with such hard-hitting themes like alcohol abuse. The WWE is already including these fun characters every week. Let’s just merge them together and make it a bit more organized.
Contract signing between John Cena and Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar butchered the damn promo. While waiting for John Cena to come out, he declared he’s no longer a naive little farm boy, and in order for him to sign this contract, he’s holding out for a bigger ransom. Not an implausible thing to do. Brock’s showing he’s going to hold the WWE hostage because Lauranaitis is so intent on getting rid of Punk and Cena and legitimizing the sport. This gives Brock more heat. Good.
But holy shit. This guy needn’t ever speak again. I’m fairly certain he purposely threw the damn promo to get Paul Heyman back in the WWE.
Lauranaitis reluctantly agrees to the demands, which include things like full use of Mr. McMahon’s private jet (which Lauranaitis doesn’t have access to and Lesnar acknowledged) and changing the show’s name from “WWE Raw” to “WWE Raw featuring Brock Lesnar.”
Cena comes out with his chain, which is symbolism, and they sign the contract. The show ends.
Rating: It was the last show before Extreme Rules, which is usually a pretty quiet Raw. Compounded with the fact that it was THREE FUCKING HOURS and you get a boring ass Raw. 2/5