Paul Heyman returns to WWE on Brock Lesnar's behalf.
Decent promo from Raw General Manager John Laurinaitis and WWE Champion CM Punk to kick off the show. I'm not sure having Laurinaitis be the first thing viewers see when they turn into Raw is the smartest idea, but luckily, Punk was quick to interrupt and take shots at this long-time rival. An effective way in setting up the evening's main event as well.
Quick Intercontinental Championship rematch between Cody Rhodes and Big Show. We've already seen this twice before, so it was nothing new and was too brief to really mean anything. If nothing else, I'm glad they used logic and gave Show his rightful rematch clause, but I hope this is the end of the line for this feud. I'm not sure what the point was of the promo between Show and Eve, since the World's Largest Athlete didn't have any past issues with Eve or Lauinaitis before tonight. If it was intended to get heat on Eve, it worked.
Fun match with Dolph Ziggler defeating WWE Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston. This bout felt a bit random since the rivalry has yet to be established, but it was a good win for Ziggler nonetheless. Abraham Washington's All World stable backstage took away from this match only slightly, but at least it's giving the direction some much-needed direction.
Effective promo from John Cena discussing last week's incident and intentions for Over the Limit. What he stated was pretty much what you'd expect from him, but he never fails to deliver it in such an intense fashion. He was also successful in building his feud with Laurinaitis and giving us fans an incentive to be invented in it.
Fine Divas tag team match with Divas Champion Layla and Kelly Kelly defeating Natalya and Maxine. Since Layla has returned, it seems the quality of the matches she's participated in have improved. She may not be the division's best worker, but it beats seeing Kelly Kelly with the strap. Maxine looked very impressive in her first televised appearance and here's hoping this is only beginning of her tenure on the main shows.
Lord Tensai takes out WWE Champion CM Punk.
Solid tag team match with Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio defeating World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Randy Orton. It received great time and everyone involved showed awesome chemistry that made for some enjoyable action. It was odd at first to see Jericho pin Sheamus when Del Rio was the challenger for the World title, but it gave him a victory he should have earned a long time ago. Orton's post-match attack on the Celtic Warrior seemed random as well, but it all made sense when it was later announced that the four would be competing for the World Heavyweight Championship in a four way at Over the Limit.
Boring match between The Miz and Brodus Clay. Miz made logical points during his promo that preceded the bout, but it was no different than another other promo from him. It was nice to see him get a majority of the offense before taking the loss, but the fact that he's losing to Clay is simply pathetic. It's a meaningful win for Clay, but it could be pointless if his push ends up going nowhere.
Shocking return from Paul Heyman and a strong promo that followed. At least he received somewhat of a reaction from the audience, so that's a nice touch. He touched upon all the key points during his promo and executed it extremely well. Lesnar "quitting" the WWE is a smart twist that they can use to their advantage by killing time towards the Lesnar/HHH feud as well as not exceeding Lesnar's contracted dates. Additionally, they can finally use Heyman as the mouthpiece Lesnar so desperately needs.
Good match with Daniel Bryan and Lord Tensai defeating WWE Champion CM Punk in a handicap match. I'm glad Laurinaitis changed the bout at the last minute since Punk vs. Tensai could be a marketable match down the line. That being said, this was the best action I've seen from Tensai since he debuted given the natural Japanese style chemistry he has with Punk. Tensai getting the pin-fall was fine as it helps his character garner more heat. Bryan felt like an afterthought here, but thankfully, he regained that momentum by attacking the Straightedge Superstar following the bout with a Yes Lock.
Overall, a pretty good show that featured decent action and promos as a whole. It was successful in hyping the Over the Limit pay-per-view that occurs in less than two weeks, which is a smart move since that show has a history of being garbage. I surely hope they can keep up the good work and continue to deliver noteworthy moments each show to keep the viewers tuning in.
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