RAW ReVIEW: April 30, 2012 Edition

WWE’s RAW was live this week, 24 hours removed from putting on their spectacular event that was the Extreme Rules PPV. What kind of shape would John Cena be in after the vicious assault from Brock Lesnar? After Jericho failed, once again, in his quest for the WWE Championship, who is now set to face CM Punk for the title at WWE’s next PPV Over The Limit?

Note: All columns analyzing the television products put on by WWE and TNA are done from an entertainment standpoint. While “insider” terms such as “face” and “heel” may be used, commentary stated is focused on the storytelling and characters – just like any other TV show we’d critique.

Brock Lesnar/Triple H

Raw and SmackDown GM John Laurinaitis opened up Raw, announcing that Brock Lesnar did at Extreme Rules what he had set out to do, to bring legitimacy to the WWE once again and to prove that John Cena was a mere mortal. Laurinaitis states that the world experienced first-hand what Brock Lesnar was capable of and that is why he is the face of the WWE. Laurinaitis is cut off at the end of his sentence by the playing of WWE COO Triple H’s music playing.

Triple H informs Lesnar that his intimidation tactics of goading John Laurinaitis into all of his “demands” last week were for not. He says that everything that Laurinaitis agrees to, has to be approved by him and the only contract negotiations that he approved was the original ones that brought Brock back to the WWE and that Brock even said that they were more than fair. So, there will be no more private jet, no more limo service to the arena and no more “RAW Starring Brock Lesnar” since no one is bigger than the WWE and the show has always been WWE Monday Night RAW.

John Laurinaitis keeps trying to interrupt Triple H, but the COO of the company puts him in his place and tells him to shut the hell up. After a couple of interruptions, Triple H turned his attention on the RAW GM and Brock Lesnar took the opportunity to attack Triple H from behind. After beating the WWE COO down, Lesnar locked the Kimura hold on Triple H’s arm. Triple He screamed out in pain before WWE Superstars poured out of the curtain and ran Lesnar off. We go to commercial break with the Superstars helping Triple H out of the ring, telling them that he thinks his arm is broken.

This was a very strong beginning to Monday Night RAW. It easily set up a feud between Brock Lesnar and Triple H or possibly having Triple H extract his revenge by hand picking someone to take out Lesnar for him. Triple H’s time as a performer are definitely numbered and his time behind the scenes are taking priority. I do like the fact that he is going to possibly be wrestling more than once a year and I still going to be concentrating on his day to day duties. If there is one person that eats, breathes and sleeps the business, it’s Triple H.

WWE Championship Picture

At the top of the show, John Laurinaitis’ Executive Assistant Eve Torres announced that we would be having a “Beat The Clock Challenge” tonight to determine who will be facing WWE Champion CM Punk at the next WWE PPV, Over The Limit. For those that may not know, a Beat The Clock Challenge is a series of matches between WWE’s top superstars; the wrestler that wins his match is the quickest time of the all the matches is declared the new number one contender.

There was a series of 5 matches, including the likes of Miz, Kane, Randy Orton, Big Show, Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan. Miz set the tone of the night by winning his match at the 4:18 mark, but was bested by Randy Orton and then in the final match of the evening when Daniel Bryan made WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler tap out to the “Yes-Lock” with only two seconds remaining on the clock. CM Punk came out to the top of the ramp, raising his title high as Daniel Bryan celebrated in the ring with his trademark “YES!” chants.

This is the match that everyone on the internet has been waiting for and it is going to happen. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are going to face off on PPV for the WWE Championship. These are two men that just years ago were slaying each other in front of crowds of 300 and now are doing it in front of millions and are combating for the top prize in all of Sports Entertainment. Who will win in the scenario? Well, the fans of course. Each and every one of us.

John Cena/John Laurinaitis

To close the show, RAW GM John Laurinaitis teased that he was going to announce John Cena’s opponent at Over The Limit. John Cena came to the ring, his arm in a sling, to let the crowd know that his arm was not broken, nor were there any muscle tears. There was, however, severe strain to all of the muscles in his arm. John Laurinaitis informed Cena that when he introduced Brock Lesnar as the new face of the WWE, he was merely trying to motivate Cena. Laurinaitis says that he is willing to put the past behind them and focus on the future, because now he is going to be announcing Cena’s opponent.

Lord Tensai’s music fills the arena as the man formerly known as Albert makes his way to the ring with his associate. They surround Cena as he gets ready for a fight. It is then that John Laurinaitis hits Cena from behind with the mic and announces that Cena’s opponent at Over The Limit will be HIM. Laurinaitis and Tensai attack Cena’s injured arm and rip the sling off. The show ends with Tensai wrapping Cena’s arm around the ring post and laying it on the steel steps, leading to Laurinaitis hitting Cena’s arm with a steel chair.

This match-up isn’t getting very many rave reviews by the internet, as I could tell from my twitter timeline. If there is anything that can get the fans back on John Cena’s side, it would be to have him feud with Johnny Ace himself. Don’t expect this match to be “Match of the Year” quality by any means, but if they are looking for an easy way to put Cena over, then this is totally it. This was the perfect ending to a action-packed RAW episode and is the perfect lead-in to the beginning of setting up the Over The Limit card. The ball is in your court, SmackDown; let’s see how you follow this up.


  • Miz defeated Santino Marella via the Skull Crushing Finale.
  • Diva’s Champion Layla defeated The Bella Twins in a triple threat match via a roll up, thus sending them completely out of the company.
  • Chris Jericho and Big Show wrestled to a no contest as the time in the Beat The Clock Challenge expired.
  • Brodus Clay defeated JTG via a splash.
  • Randy Orton defeated Jack Swagger via the RKO, taking over the time to beat in the Beat The Clock Challenge.
  • Kofi Kingston & R Truth defeated Primo and Epico to become the new WWE Tag Team Champions after Kingston hit Epico with the Trouble In Paradise.
  • Kane and Great Khali wrested to a draw after the Beat The Clock Challenge clock expired. Kane choke slammed Khali after the match was over.
  • Daniel Bryan defeated Jerry “The King” Lawler via the “YES Lock” and solidified his Over The Limit WWE Championship title match after winning the Beat The Clock Challenge.