The King’s emotional speech was a departure for the show, but it was great television. Lawler is a legend and a selfless soul who has bled for the WWE in a variety of different roles. He deserved his few moments.
CM Punk’s interruption only gets him heat with marks. The real fans wanted to see something more creative. Paul Heyman’s minor cardiac infarction was anything but entertaining.
Leave it to the WWE to have Mick Foley to cut an excellent promo on CM Punk and not be able to do anything about it.
Unwelcome back Vikki Guerrero and this silly AJ Lee/John Cena angle.
Voicemails? Vague ones? Is that the best WWE Creative can do?
That appears to be the case right now.
With a host of decent matches on paper and Lawler’s return, this episode could have been excellent. Instead it felt like a handful of wasted opportunities. Between the joke that was the Brad Maddox and Ryback match and handful of job-outs, this week’s RAW was a waste of time.
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler: A high-energy opener. Ziggler was solid and Orton sold for him early on. Orton did make his trademark comeback, hitting his signature slingshot suplex, second rope DDT and powerslam. Alberto Del Rio caused a distraction, but Orton was a step ahead and won via rollup. After the match, Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez attacked Orton. Kofi Kingston saved Orton and soon enough, Teddy Long restarted the match as a tag encounter.
Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston vs. Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler w/Ricardo Rodriguez: Kingston was in the ring for virtually the entire match. Ziggler and Del Rio laid on a variety of submission holds and hit their fair share of dropkicks and strikes, Once Orton got in, Kingston quickly tagged himself back in and hit the SOS on Del Rio, but didn’t get the pin. Rodriguez distracted Kingston long enough for Del Rio to hit a mediocre enziguri for the win.
World Heavyweight Champion The Big Show vs. William Regal: The tough Englishman tried to fight, but Show was too much for him. The chops on Regal’s chest left a plethora of popped blood vessels. Show won with a terrible Chokeslam.
Layla vs. Kaitlyn: A quick match that ended after Kaitlyn’s Reverse DDT. She now has a title shot against Divas Champion, Eve Torrez.
Eight-Man Tag: Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel vs. Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Primo and Epic w/ Rosa Mendez: Too many guys in the ring, too little going on. This was a generic eight-man tag (aside from some vicious kicks from Tyson Kidd) until the TNA-like finish when it turned into a finisher and aerial-o-rama. Young was pinned after Mysterio and Gabriel teamed up on a 619, 450 combination.
Tensai vs. R-Truth: US Champion Antonio Cesaro’s commentary was more entertaining than this match. Tensai jobbed out to Truth, losing via corkscrew dropkick.
Brad Maddox vs. Ryback: A complete waste. Maddox was decimated. Three powerbombs, a slew of clotheslines and the Shellshock was all it took.
Sheamus vs. David Otunga: White Noise and the Brogue Kick. Game over. Another job-out. At this point, the show was beginning to feel like an episode of WCW Monday Nitro circa 1999.
Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes vs. WWE Tag Team Champion Kane and The Miz w/ WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan: Miz was strong in the early going against Sandow, but more importantly, Kane and Miz were a solid team. They utilized quick tags and kept the pace quick. Rhodes was able to capitalize on a Bryan distraction and hit the Disaster Kick on Miz. That changed the tide, but once Kane was tagged in, everything changed. Even after Bryan tried to sabotage the match, Kane won after a Chokeslam on Rhodes.
Mick Foley Guest Enforcer: WWE Champion CM Punk w/ Paul Heyman vs. John Cena: The crowd was torn here and so was the action. Counters galore, with little real action. Instead it was mostly banter. Punk latched on the Anaconda Vice but Cena was able to get the STF on, twice. Heyman was neutralized by Foley, which allowed these two to scrap with no distractions. Soon enough, Punk was looking to run out of the arena and Ryback made his way to the ring. Within seconds, Cena hit Punk with the Attitude Adjustment for the win