Off the Top Rope: WWE Raw Recap 6/11/12

FINALLY! The Boss… Has come back… to Monday Night RAW! That’s right, kids, Vincent K. McMahon was back in the squared circle this Monday night to give GM John Laurinaitis his job performance evaluation. What kind of antics transpired? Let’s take a look at this 3 hour extravaganza!

The man himself wasted no time at all in making his presence felt, interrupting what I’m sure would of been another rousing speech by big John Laurinaitis. After words are exchanged, World Heavyweight Champ Sheamus decides to come down to the ring to put in his two cents. Considering that the $500k fine that was handed down by Laurinaitis was still fresh in his mind, it’s no shock that the Great White Sheamus is in favor of ending the era of “People Power” (say “People Power” like Big John, it never stops being funny). Laurinaitis, in a fit of rage, hands down a match to punish the Champ. He then makes his way back stage to find an opponent who will take the spot of recently injured Alberto Del Rio (NO!!) in the Fatal Four Way at No Way Out. But before the segment can end, Vince declares that if he is not impressed by the card that Johnny puts together, then HEEEEEE’S FIIIIIIIIRRRRED!

So who is revealed to be Sheamus’ punishment? None other than Albert… I mean Lord Tensai… oh wait… it’s just Tensai now (Does any else smell a bad gimmick?) To absolutely nobodies surprise, Sheamus takes care Albertsai, which results in the big guy beating up on his Asian sidekick, although we aren’t really sure why, nor does anybody seem to care.

Under the pressure of a possible termination, Mr. Laurinaitis turns to whipping boy Teddy Long who suggests that a fatal four way match would help determine who should fill Del Rio’s spot at No Way Out. Oh, and somewhere in the middle of that mess Big Show knocks at R-Truth, which prompts his partner Kofi Kingston to demand a match against the giant. I’m really enjoying the buildup to this Big Show vs. Kingston/Truth match… Wait, the feud is with Cena. So why are Truth and Kingston involved? Ugh never mind.

Somewhere in the confusion there is an inter-gender tag match between Santino/Layla vs. Beth Phoenix/Ricardo Rodriguez. Are you confused? So am I. Though we did get the reveal that Ricardo is a closeted Justin Beiber fan. Unnecessary, but funny nonetheless.

My statement about Rodriguez being the best sidekick in the business today is further confirmed.

We then get another fantastic promo with Daniel “YES!” Bryan and CM Punk. Between Bryan’s statement of “Once you go Bryan, there’s no point in tryin’!” and CM Punk declaring that Bryan has a “Goat Face”, it was truly a promo that will be remembered for awhile. Of course Kane comes out, soon followed by WWE’s resident crazy pants AJ. The four bantered at one another until Mr. Laurinaitis decided that a tag match will happen between Bryan/Kane vs. Punk/AJ. Yes, AJ. Truly bringing your A-Game tonight, Johnny. But more on this insane matchup later.

So it is decided that the four possible candidates for the Del Rio spot is The Great Khali (Honestly), Intercontinental Champion Christian (You can basically rule him out), Jack Swagger, and Dolph Ziggler. So basically, it’s only a matter of time before we see Ziggler inevitably pin Swagger, leading to what will surely be a much needed breakup between himself and Vickie Guerrero. Once Swagger and Khali were out of the picture, the match really picked up. It was a display of true talent between both Ziggler and Christian, but eventually the Ziggler picked up the unsurprising victory. I cannot praise Dolph Ziggler enough, and I really hope that this marks a big push for the showoff.

Then there was the part where Big Show killed Kofi Kingston.

Sin Cara and Ryback both held their weekly squash matches. They are barely worth noting except both matches included rather hilarious commentary. Sin Cara’s jobber was Curt Hawkins, who made an off hand remark about how stupid the lighting system is set up for the masked man’s appearances (See! I’m not the only one who thinks it’s pointless and retarded). Then in Ryback’s match the overwhelming chant of “Goldberg! Goldberg” seemed to throw off not only Cole and Lawler, but the bald menace himself. Seriously, they need to do something with both Sin Cara and Ryback fast if they ever want us to see them as anything but a joke.

One of the major highlights of the night came in the guise of a Heath Slater match. Slater had been given the task of taking on a Blast from the Past opponent that Mr. Laurinaitis brought in to spice up the show. Upset that WWE is focusing on the past when they should be looking at the future standing right in the middle of the ring, the self proclaimed One Man Rock Band declares that it’s “Slater time!” Well, it was time for someone alright…

That’s right, it’s VADER TIME!

Vader was pretty damn impressive in the ring, igniting a well deserved “You Still Got It” chant from the crowd. Vader will always be one of the few big men that I actually looked forward to seeing every week. I’m not a big fan of the fat guy stomping around being the enforcer and/or clown shoe (See: Big Show. His whole career). However, Vader was always a great combination of speed and power, and Monday night’s display was no exception. I tip my hat to sir, you definitely “Still got it”.

The tag match between Bryan/Kane vs. Punk/AJ was interesting to say the least. The only real highlight (if you can call it that) came when AJ was accidentally tagged into the match and was forced to square off against the Big Red Machine. The two awkwardly stared at each other for a moment before AJ delivered her patented “Crazy Chick” gaze, which got no response from Kane. Then, out of nowhere, AJ jumped on Kane, and proceeded to make out with him for what seemed like an eternity. This caused so much confusion that Kane walked out on his tag partner, resulting in Punk finishing off the Yes Man. Who knows what’s to come at No Way Out. My instincts tell me that Punk will retain, but this storyline has really brought a bizarre twist for the participants.

Seriously, it was weird.

So now the moment of truth. Is Mr. McMahon going to FIIIIIRRRE Johnny? Well, we still don’t know. Before he could send the General Manger packing, Vince was interrupted by Big Show, throwing blame to both the WWE CEO and John Cena for his destructive behavior. Cena interrupts Show, and it’s decided that if Show loses to Cena at No Way Out, then Mr. Laurinaitis will be fired. Then Cena and Show go at it, and in the middle of all the commotion Show delivers a right hook to Mr. McMahon. Of course we all saw this coming, considering that more often than not Vince’s appearances seem to end with him being severely injured and unable to appear of the show for months at a time.

However, Vince McMahon proved once again on Monday that he is just as good a showman as ever. Between wrecking the GM’s scooter, his impromptu dance with the Funkettes (which left Zack Ryder speechless), and his JR impression, Mr. McMahon was the real star of the show. It is always a joy when he comes back, and I can’t wait to see him strut down that ramp again.

Next Monday will be the fallout to everything that occurred at No Way Out. And Off the Top Rope will be here to keep you informed. So stay tuned!

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~ by Brandon Gnuschke on June 12, 2012.

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