Hey guys. Jbdbcf here, with a recap of tonight’s episode of Raw. Tonight was a 3-hour special focused on the King of the Ring tournament, back after two-and-a-half years since the last. I actually tuned into Raw at the normal time, so I missed the first hour, but Ive asked around and gotten a general idea of what I missed.
The show started off with a promo with Alex Riley, promising a grand celebration for the New WWE Champion, the Miz. Of course, since the party is being held on a PG rated show, you couldn’t pay me to attend that trainwreck. In all seriousness, though, it’s basically the prelude to the victory address that is to come later.
The first match of the night was the first of the King of the Ring tournament, pitting Alberto Del Rio against Daniel Bryan. Del Rio won via submission. This was a surprise to me. I believed Daniel Bryan would make it to the second at the very least.
Following the match, Michael McGillicutty got beaten up by a “mysterious assailant.” By mysterious assailant, I mean Jonn Cena standing out of frame so as not to show his face. Seriously, is it really a mystery when it can be solved if the camera rotated slightly to the left? The intentional transparency felt like an insult to my intelligence.
The next match was the second match of the tournament, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes against John Morrison. Not much to say here, folks. The match was that bland. A brief run of offense from Rhodes preceded by John Morrison turning it over and putting him away with a running kick to the temple.
Next up was Drew McIntyre vs. Ezekiel Jackson. The two were pretty even on offense, which is relieving to me, having expected another squash match for Zeke. Guess Drew’s established mean streak is coming back a little. Unfortunately, the match ended in a double count-out. Which Zeke did not take well at all and gave a 2nd round bye to the winner of the next match. Michael Cole drew a facepalm from me during the commentary of this match for reminding us, once again, that there are no wrestlers in the WWE, only “Superstars.”
Afterward, the “party” mentioned earlier launched with the Miz– you guessed it!– gloating about how he, unlike the many people in the WWE Universe that he can’t have ever met most of, he actually accomplished his dreams. He’s the Miz and he’s awesome– enough to capitalize on the Nexus beating the crap out of Randy Orton, which Jerry “The King” Lawler saw fit to point out at this point as Miz was counting the names of WWE Legends who have never been the WWE Champ. The King counted himself among this list, leading to a challenge for the WWE Title tonight (At this point I stopped caring about the Tournament). Naturally, the Miz refused, prompting the GM to pipe in saying the match would happen. As a TLC Match. Oh great, we’re putting retired wrestlers through dangerous match types like that now? Cole, naturally, thought he had no chance in hell of winning and CM Punk kindly reminded us that the King had a long career as a wrestler. CM Punk is doing well as a commentator, but I hope this arrangement never becomes long-term.
Folowing this was the final quarter-final match: Sheamus against Kofi Kingston. Kofi put on an average performance, following the pattern he’s been since not long after he moved to Smackdown. He hardly gets popped for anymore. He put up some offense for a while, including an early Trouble in Paradise, but Sheamus would unsurprisingly come out as the victor, and now Finalist in the King of the Ring Tournament.
Next Yoshi Tatsu teamed up with Mark Henry against Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel. The match was pretty lackluster, only serving to continue the Nexus’ angle against Cena, who entered the arena through the crowd, clutching a ringside ticket. Can you say over-used plot device? Cena being there distracted the Nexus and cost them the victory they’d been methodically building moments before. After the match, Cena AA’ed Slater through the announce table and escaped from the Nexus through the crowd.
After that, John Morrison faced Alberto Del Rio for the only Semi-Final match. The match would ultimately go to Morrison just as Bodach predicted. Rey Mysterio’s distraction means their feud STILL isn’t done.
Wade Barrett then came out and called out Cena, promising that he won’t get Cena his job back, to which Cena would respond on the tron that his only motivation was finally making good on his promise to destroy Nexus (When will it end?). When Cena was threatened with a call to security, he pointed out that security is still unfriendly to Nexus for beating the crap out of them. Fantastic. I guess the smallest details are the ones that most frequently escape the WWE’s curse of retcon. So, Nexus members attempted to ambush Cena and were foiled by several members of the Raw locker-room, ending with Cena AA’ing Justin Gabriel onto the hood of a car. Oh? Where were these enemies of Nexus the past few months? Two examples of a cosmic subversion of the creative-team’s atrocious memory in the same promo. Nice.
Divas match followed. Santino walked in and serenaded Tamina with his awful chords and cords, which turned out to be the highlight of this terrible match as her two partners Maryse and Alicia Fox would lose to Natalya, Melina, and Gail Kim when Natalya locked in the Sharpshooter on Alicia. Lame as usual, ’nuff said.
There were a bunch of tiny promos that followed. Highlights of Lawler’s Career. An arguement between Maryse and Ted Dibiase about Dibiase’s losses to Daniel-Freaking-Bryan making her look bad, Husky Harris and David Otunga looking for Cena, and Josh Matthews interviewing Morrison and Sheamus.
Speaking of Morrison and Sheamus, the final of the King of the Ring Tournament followed. It was a decent match put on by the two, ending after Sheamus drove a quick knee into the back of Morrison as he went for Starship Pain and finished him off with a kick and a High Cross. Sheamus is crowned king by Guest Star, Rima Fakih, who also announced the fight. When she was introducing Sheamus did he introduce him as being from Scotland, Ireland? I can’t have heard that right.
And finally, we had our main event. The Miz against The King. I was initially disappointed in this booking for reasons I may be up to discussing later, but for now, I’ll go as far to say that this match was the best of the night. Despite his age, I feel that Lawler put up decent offense, even getting his hands on the belt several times. His best chance, however, came when Miz was knocked out of the ring to the table. Cole interfered, allowing Miz to get back into the ring. The two had a nice back-and-forth on the ladder before Lawler was knocked down and Miz grabbed the belt. A surprisingly great match for the 61-year veteran, who as Punk says, “…has forgotten more about than the Miz has ever known.” A great point. I’d say even though the king didn’t win the match, you could not ask for a better birthday present than finally being granted a WWE title shot decades past the point where his winning it should have been credible.
All-in-all, it was a decent show, but the King of the Ring tournament that was supposed to be the focus of the week was overshadowed by John Cena refusing to stay gone and Jerry Lawler’s shot at the championship.