Edge returns to Raw to confront John Cena.
Strong promo to kick off the show featuring the returning Edge giving a pep talk to a speechless John Cena. This was a smart way to attract fans into thinking the contract signing between Cena and Lesnar would kick off the show, but would be saved for later in the evening instead. Edge's surprise return was a great touch that didn't need to be advertised to feel special, as his mic work towards Cena was solid here through his facial expressions and the meaning of his words.
Good match between Chris Jericho and Kofi Kingston, but predictable since these two have had more than a dozen matches together and provided nothing different than the previous exchanges. A win over Kingston doesn't mean much anymore, but at least Jericho connected with that awesome looking springboard Codebreaker and followed up with the Liontamer for the win.
Typical squash match with Lord Tensai detroying R-Truth. While Truth was able to get in some offense, he obviously didn't stand a chance. Truth hasn't been relevant in ages, so Tensai needs an opponent (much like Cena last week) that the fans care about and will give him legitimate heat. If nothing else, I am pleased Tensai actually pinned Truth rather than winning via referee stoppage.
Interesting segment featuring Kane and Randy Orton. I still find Kane's mic skills to be great, although some may not think so. What he said was much of the same from last week, but I was shocked to see Paul Bearer back. Wasn't he accidentally killed by Kane in late 2010? There's no logical in WWE, adding to the fact that as sick as Orton is, he shouldn't be killing a man while still a face. Nonetheless, having Kane rescue Bearer later only to put him back in the freezer actually had me hating the Big Red Monster for being so unsympathetic.
Decent tag team match with Intercontinental Champion Big Show and Great Khali defeating Cody Rhodes and Alberto Del Rio. The match shouldn't have lasted for as long as it did, especially since Show and Khali were in control for a majority of the contest. Having Rhodes being pinned by Show doesn't get me excited for their upcoming title rematch at Extreme Rules, but it gives me hope we might be seeing Rhodes regain the strap.
Brock Lesnar came off as a major heel for roughing up Josh Matthews backstage. This was probably the most heelish thing Lesnar has done since returning that would actually want the casual viewer to hate him, so this was excellent use of Matthews here.
WWE Champion CM Punk takes Chris Jericho's sobriety test.
Originally, I was extremely angered when I witnessed Nikki Bella win the Divas Championship from Beth Phoenix. The Glamazon was only days away from breaking the record for the longest reign ever as Divas Champion, only to lose to Nikki Bella. Although Phoenix isn't legitimately hurt, she sold the injury impressively and got an out for losing the title. Since the Bellas are rumored to be leaving the company by next week, it'd be smart to have Kharma return and beat Nikki for the title, thus tying up lose ends from last year.
Entertaining segment with CM Punk taking Chris Jericho's sobriety test. Punk was hilarious throughout, but it felt ridiculous since we all knew Punk wouldn't actually be drinking given the fact he's straightedge. Nonetheless, it gives Punk an edge going into their match at Extreme Rules. Honestly, I just can't wait for this feud to be over with.
Effective segment with Mark Henry defeating World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus with Daniel Bryan as special guest referee. The action was brief and it saves the rest of the bout for the rematch on SmackDown this week. Henry picks up the shocking victory, Sheamus got some revenge following the contest, and Bryan looked strong by getting the better of Sheamus without shenanigans. Very well done.
Fun match with United States Champion Santino Marella and Zack Ryder defeating WWE Tag Team Champions Primo and Epico in a non-title bout. Marella and Ryder make a good comedy team, but Marella shouldn't be U.S. Champ if they end up going for the belts. Primo and Epico are very talented and need some wins fast or suffer major loss to the credibility they've managed to garner since becoming champions.
Throwaway tag team match with Brodus Clay and Hornswoggle defeating Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger via disqualification. It felt like a repeat of last week with Vickie getting involved, so that didn't help matters. Clay doesn't need Hornswoggle, and shouldn't associate himself with Hornswoggle if wants to keep some of his supporters. As much as I love Brodus getting a storyline, stars with main event potential such as Ziggler and Swagger being overshadowed as a result.
Boring contract signing featuring Brock Lesnar, John Laruinaitis, and John Cena. Lesnar was fine on the mic here, but he'd feel so much more threatening if he had a mouthpiece (such as Paul Heyman) speaking for him. A majority of this segment was Lesnar talking, which didn't really make for anything exciting. Once Cena emerged, I thought they'd at least explain why he had a chain with him, but Lesnar soon fled. After a few weeks of great build-up, this wasn't the best way to have the feud reach a climax with it being rushed and all.
Overall, a middle-of-the-road show that did a good job of hyping the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, but the build-up for the show wasn't correctly executed. There were only a few enjoyable moments of this program, but the show as a whole wasn't terrible by any means. The action was lackluster, with the entire Raw not needing to be three-hours as it felt dragged on towards the end.
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