Monday Night Raw kicked off with a match that saw CM Punk take on Luke Harper, a member of the always creepy Wyatt Family. I especially enjoy when Raw kicks off with a match and this one was fantastic.
The Wyatt Family are unique individuals. They are all creepy, don’t really say much, and nobody really knows much (if anything) about them. What we can deduce from Luke’s match with Punk is that Luke is a powerhouse. He seemed like a literal brick wall that CM Punk just couldn’t seem to break through in the early moments of the match. This match signified that Punk is starting to move on from his feud with Heyman and into something else. Don’t get me wrong, I thought that their story line was beautiful and some of the best moments of this year for the WWE, I just was feeling ready to see something else.
At the end of the match, which Punk won, brought about the usual attack from the Wyatt Family but this one had an interesting twist. Daniel Bryan barreled down that ramp with a steel chair and swung the shit out of it. A lot of people seem upset that Daniel Bryan is seemingly no longer on the path to the title but his time is coming. I like the idea of seeing Punk and Daniel Bryan in the same ring, even if they have to be on a team. I especially love the emphasis that is being put on tag team wrestling in the WWE currently. Tag team wrestling is something that I have always enjoyed because it gives you a chance to see some of your favourite superstars in a whole different way. You can find out very quickly who is a team player and who takes their ball and just walks on home with it.
We also got to see the return of Tyson Kidd in a mixed tag team match. He teamed with his wife, Natalya, to take on Fandango and Summer Rae. It was the first match that Kidd had in almost a full year, he was home recovering from a nasty injury and came back swinging. Natalya was fabulous, as always, and really made her mark in this match. She is probably one of the most talented female wrestlers that the WWE has had in the last few decades. She has unrivaled technical ability and mopped the floor with Summer Rae. Tyson also had a very worthy opponent in Fandango. When Tyson caught Fandango from the leg drop and turned it into the sharpshooter, I damn near shed a tear. I’ve missed Tyson in the ring. He reminds me so much of Chris Benoit and Dynamite Kid, with a little bit of Owen Hart thrown in. The victory that he gained with his wife was well deserved.
A second tag match that we got treated to saw John Cena/Cody Rhodes/Goldust take on Damien Sandow and the Real Americans.
The WWE universe witnessed a truly touch moment when John Cena took a few moments before the match started to talk about the Rise Above Cancer campaign. I think it is so inspirational to everyone to see their favorite superstars devote so much to such a worthy cause. I’ve said this many times before but it makes me very proud to be a fan of such a wonderful organization that supports such worthwhile causes.
The match was probably my favourite of the night, it had a lot of energy and a lot of very interesting moments. Del Rio and Zeb were ringside on commentary and that added a little spice to the normal banter. I don’t really think it added much to their respective story lines but it was funny to listen to. Another unique moment was when Cena took on Cesaro, a man who equals Cena in terms of power. Seeing those two square off makes me want to see them in a future angle, they are two very powerful individuals and I’d like to see them fight for a title down the road. I may not have always liked Cesaro but no one can deny his power and strength in the ring. When he delivered that uppercut to Cena, I cringed because it was like I felt it. That must have felt like an eighteen wheeler hitting John right in the face. There was so much energy just flying around that ring, story lines were developing and the fans got treated to some fantastic wrestling. I just wish that the Rhodes brothers didn’t have those titles, I still don’t think that they deserve to have them. I especially think that seeing as The Usos earned a shot at those titles but didn’t even have the chance to fight for them. Maybe I’m bitter but I really like Jimmy and Jey and think that they are worthy of carrying those belts.
The biggest thing that happened that night concerned Big Show, Stephanie, and Triple H. In an interview that aired fairly early in the show, Triple H banned the Big Show from the WWE for life. Much to the surprise of Stephanie, Hunter, and Vickie, Show was walking around the back with a huge grin on his face. Turns out that the Board of Directors wants the lawsuit settled with no lawyers involved so that their risk is minimal, with a company worth as much as the WWE it is completely understandable. After trading barbs with each other, however brief, Hunter reluctantly agreed to meet Show in the ring and try to settle this.
I just love the Big Show when he is all smiling and joking around, that’s the giant that I know and love. All he wanted was his job back and he makes that very clear to his former bosses, he just wants to entertain the fans that spend their money to come to the show. Reluctantly, and with sound advice from his wife, Triple H gives the gentle giant his job back but that wasn’t the end of it. Show demanded a title shot against Randy Orton at Survivor Series and gets it. Amazing what a little leverage can get a person when they’ve been wronged, especially when there are tens of thousands of fans watching and the Board of DIrectors breathing down the other person’s neck. I’ve never seen Show be so hilarious and lovable in one segment before. He actually had me in stitches.
Show got his job back and was instantly placed in a handicap match against all three members of The Shield and Randy Orton. The Usual back and forth happened but it ended up with Big Show cleaning house, he just bowled through all four of those guys until Kane came out and distracted him. I was most puzzled by the fact that Kane was wearing a suit, I’ve NEVER seen him like that in all the years that I’ve been watching him on WWE television.
If anything seemed bizarre with Raw, it was that. He walked down that ramp, threw steel chairs in the ring, and oversaw Show being put through the announce table. Say what you want about it, it was an efficient and tightly run operation during that last segment. Kane reminded me of a really big and really scary version of Johnny Ace, only Kane actually gets things done.
If you need a corporate monster to oversee your takeover or orchestrate a beat down, call Kane at 1-800-666-HELL.