Thursday 19 April 2012

Raw Review - 19th April, 2012

New header, new graphics, new everything. Well OK, not everything, just those two things that I mentioned there. And technically, the new header falls under graphics anyway so really its only one new thing. Yeah... not the best way to start off this review, lets hope you were too distracted by the dazzling new graphics to pay attention to this useless first paragraph.

Now onto the review, which by the way has a new layout that will probably be less congested and easier to read. Yep, now I remember, the new layout. That's why I wanted to start off the review about talking about new stuff, I have a new layout to my reviews! And yet I waffled on about the graphics, and continue to do so right now. I'm just going to stop. That might be best.

CM Punk vs. Mark Henry
I meant to say this last week (or even the week before), but I really like the way they started off the show with a match. Most Raw's start off with 10-15 minute promos, and although they tend to be fine, it's always good to start off the show with a match to get the crowd excited.

And that's what Punk and Henry did this week, they excited the already excited London crowd. This was a really solid match, with a lot of hard-hitting spots, good ring psychology and back and forth action. Week after week Punk and Henry show how good they work together, and this week was arguably the best match they've ever had, let alone in these series of matches.

CM Punk & Chris Jericho
I don't really know what to make of this segment. The footage of Punk leaving a pub in London was a good idea, although I still don't know where they're going with this. Punk denied the claims that he was drinking, and there's no proof that he did, so really, is that the little chapter over already? I know the feud is still going on, and both men cut decent promos, but I just felt a bit stranded at the idea of bringing up something new like this only to play it down straight away.

Brock Lesnar Interview
I really liked this video package. The whole idea of Lesnar wanting to bring “legitimacy” back into the WWE played in really well with the video, as we were shown clips of Lesnar's dominance in WWE and even in UFC. I didn't like the way he brought up the word “fake” however, as really it's just a word that should never be spoken in the wrestling industry. Saying legitimacy is one thing, as you can easily look at it from a different angle, but saying the word fake? There's just no way around that word really. I'm willing to push that bit under the carpet and hope they (or more-so Lesnar) doesn't bring it back up again.

Kane vs. Zack Ryder
This really has been an awful year for Ryder hasn't it. To see him go through all that stuff with Kane and Eve, and to then just leave him bare to the public with no momentum whatsoever, is just a real shame. I was hoping we'd see Ryder try and garner some retribution against the Big Red Machine, but alas, he was practically buried once again. Let's hope he finds his feet again as it'd be a disaster to see him slide down the ladder after such a great 2011.

John Cena Promo
Although Ryder has had an awful year, Cena has had quite the opposite. Yes, he was beaten at WrestleMania by The Rock and got a fat lip at the hands of Brock Lesnar, but nonetheless, Cena has found a good balance of looking to Rise Above Hate and also show a deeper side to him.

This week he cut another fantastic promo where jokes and slapstick aside, he simply just let everything run loose. One thing to give Cena credit for is his brutal honesty throughout this whole year. From being ultra cocky by saying that he'll beat The Rock to saying he's going to fight Lesnar, even if he might get his ass kicked in the process. As I said, he's found a good balance.

Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston
First off, the backstage segment between these two was great. Kofi made have looked a bit silly for just standing there while Bryan 'YES!''d around him, but at least he gave off the look that they'll just settle things in the ring.

As for the match itself, I thought it was a solid bout. Kingston got a fair bit of offence in which I was surprised about, considering the last time they faced each other Bryan beat him in under two minutes so it was a nice surprise to see this last relativity long.

And as the the new 'Yes Lock'? Isn't it a bit of and overkill with the catchphrase? Meh, maybe not.

Lord Tensai vs. John Cena
A decent bout here to cap off the show. This run of Tensai's reminds me a bit of Sheamus' first run on Raw where Cena put him over after just a couple of weeks. Granted, this weeks match wasn't for the WWE Title, but even still, they seem to be high on Tensai.

It was a surprising win in the end, and Cena sold the blindness from the green mist really well, so really, no complaints from me.

Stray Observations:
  • I know it's good to see WWE travel to different places for TV shows, but are all those Union Jacks really necessary. They were literally plastered over everything that could possibly be plastered over. I'm sure even the English are getting tired of it, as well as the overly stereotypical stage that they put up for every televised England show.
  • Wow, Jerry Lawler really knows his stuff about soccer doesn't he?
  • Was delighted to hear the 'Yes!' chants in full flow on Monday night. I was hoping the crowd would chant it considering international crowds are generally much better, so it was good to hear them say just a couple of minutes after the show went on the air.
  • Somewhere down the line I think the idea of every Japanese person using green mist to defeat his opponent was picked up by the WWE and confirmed as some sort of stereotypical fact.
  • Two 7 footers in Big Show and Khali beating up two little guys in Primo and Epico, what tough men, eh? Seriously though, this was a really unnecessary squash match. The tag team champions should look stronger than that.

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