CM Punk applies the Anaconda Vise to Daniel Bryan.
The segment that kicked off the show featuring John Cena, John Laurinaitis, and Big Show felt extremely forced. I usually enjoy Cena when he's at his most intense, but his promo didn't show that despite Cena venting his frustrations. Show, whether he's heel or face, is a tired act and I honestly couldn't tell if he was a sympathetic character last night or a full-blown heel.
Meaningless match between John Cena and David Otunga. Why did this even happen? It was a quick squash by Cena that didn't accomplish anything. We've seen these former WWE Tag Team Champions clash numerous times over the years, and it's always the same thing. The only interesting aspect about this segment was when Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks and company started beating down Cena, which would be the first time those lower mid-card guys have been exposed on Raw in a long while. Of course, Sheamus quickly ran down to steal their thunder, but that was a cool moment for sure.
Good match from Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton. They have nice chemistry and hope to see them engage in the near future. Thankfully, they saved the clean finish by having Chris Jericho interfere and give Orton the disqualification victory. Jericho's "disturbing" promo following the bout in addition with the three Codebreakers is the most aggressive we've seen him in years, so I'm highly anticipating this apparent feud with Orton that I've been waiting to see since late 2010.
Strange segment featuring WWE Champion CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Kane. Bryan's promo was logical and was exactly what I wanted to see following the controversial finish to their title match at Over the Limit. However, Punk didn't respond the way I anticipated and instead brought out Kane, a heel who decimated Punk only mere days ago. I surely hope this isn't a face turn from Kane, who works much better as a monster heel anyways. The match was over in minutes, and having Punk attack Bryan following the match gave him his vengeance, but felt like something a heel would do. Bryan needs momentum if he looks to be challenging for the title again at No Way Out.
Chris Jericho physically and verbally attacks Randy Orton.
Fun match with new Intercontinental Champion Christian defeating Jinder Mahal. They provided good back-and-forth action that ended in an innovative fashion with Christian's Frog Splash finisher he once used in his TNA days. Obviously, a win over Mahal doesn't mean much, but it was still an impressive victory for Captain Charisma in establishing him as a credible champion. The reintroduction of Christian was also a nice touch.
Brief Divas match with Beth Phoenix squashing Kelly Kelly. It was a dominant victory for Phoenix that helps her regain momentum after losing to Divas Champion Layla the night previous. We've seen this bout so many times that it feels repetitive at this point, but it was effective nonetheless.
Decent handicap main event match with John Cena and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus battling Tensai, Dolph Ziggler, and Jack Swagger. With the lumberjacks at ring-side, the action going on inside the ring was overshadowed and felt pointless. The lumberjack interference to conclude the bout was predictable and served no purpose. Closing the show with Show knocking out Cena wasn't a smart cliffhanger and didn't do anything to get this viewer looking forward to next week's edition.
Overall, a below average show that wasn't an efficient follow-up from the entertaining Over the Limit pay-per-view. The action on this edition was weak, and none of the promos were strong enough to save this show from being a disaster. I fear that we're bound to receive more garbage such as the Santino/Ricardo Rodriguez when Raw goes three hours, but I surely hope not. Obviously, the focal point of this show was the John Cena-Big Show saga, but that does not at all intrigue me going into this summer or even next week for that matter.
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