This week, it's all about wrasslin! I just announced Podcast Week, a brand new podcast will be posted everyday this week, and tonight, it's Raw Roulette! Sure, they may be going over the top with all these gimmick shows lately, but Raw Roulette is usually pretty fun. I was at the last one back in September of last year, which was one of the best Raws I've ever attended, plus we got that awesome John Morrison vs. Sheamus Falls Count Anywhere match.
Plus, the beauty of Raw Roulette is, it usually means the night will rely heavily on actual wrestling, which I'm never going to complain about. So maybe tonight will be the refreshing show that I've needed since WrestleMania, but even if it's not, I'm sure the night will be fun. Refresh your page for ongoing coverage of the show and follow me on Twitter for the absurdity.
Oh yeah, I totally forgot, Shawn Michaels is on tonight!
And we're kicking things off with Mr. WrestleMania himself! The Heartbreak Kid! The Icon! The Headliner! The Showstopper! The Main Event! Mr. Hall of Fame! The Greatest of All-Time! Mr. Bass Pro Shop Wardrobe! Shawn Michaels! I don't know what it is, but every time I hear Shawn Michaels' theme music, I get the urge to dance, maybe even dry hump the couch a little...
I sense I've gone too far.
The music is catchy, leave me alone. HBK tells us he tried really hard to stay away, but he just couldn't quit cold turkey. Well, and he has a show on the Outdoor Network to plug. Oh WWE, you thought you caught heat from GLAAD a few months ago? Just wait till PETA hears about this!
CM Punk interrupts and shoots HBK with an imaginary bow and arrow, which may even be better than making snow angels in the ring last week. Punk taunts HBK for losing his last match, which he won't do at Money in the Bank, when he leaves with John Cena's WWE Championship. Punk blames the fans in part for his departure since they would rather cheer Shawn Michaels, who's gone, than beg CM Punk to stay. Shawn says he's better than Punk, which sparks a "ONE MORE MATCH!" chant and the #1 contender takes that as a challenge.
Okay, I know we've all been talking about Punk vs. Stone Cold, but how about Punk vs. HBK too?
HBK: "We both don't smoke, we don't drink, we don't do drugs..."
HBK responds with Sweet Chin Music to David Otunga (who is still out cold as I'm typing this), and The G?M chimes in to put CM Punk in the first Raw Roulette match of the evening. It's a "? Match!" Yeah, I love a good ? Match.
Actually, it's a mystery opponent match, who isn't that much of a mystery, because Booker T tell us right away that it's Kane. Great. Oh well, at least Mr. Imperfect got Sweet Chin Music too.
CM Punk vs. Kane is our opening contest and I guess I shouldn't have spoken highly of Punk's ability to have a good match with anyone on this week's Fair to Flair Show. Punk, you're leaving in three weeks, you don't have anything to prove against the Big Red Snooze Button. Luckily, Punk agrees and simply walks away, taking a count-out loss. Hey, he's got a title match coming up, why should he risk it?
And if you bought Capitol Punishment eight days ago, WWE is giving away the main event for free tonight with John Cena vs. R-Truth. Oh and a rematch between Big Show and Del Rio. These will be the latest in WWE's "NEENER NEENER NEENER!" series.
Sin Cara vs. Evan Bourne in a match we were supposed to get last week, but due to WWE's screw-up on the fan voting, it didn't happen. Luckily, we're getting it this week and it's a "No Count-out" match. I've been waiting all week to see this one and it looks like these guys are going to have themselves a good ol' fashioned wrestling match. Well, not too ol' fashioned, considering Cara's springboard corkscrew arm drag off the top rope... Lou Thesz didn't do that a whole lot.
Hell of a match between these two, it'll be a YouTube highlight of the week for sure and I'm particularly impressed that WWE let them go out there and just do their thing. Sin Cara picked up the win and keeps his undefeated streak going. SIIIIIIIINBERG!
Raw Money in the Bank participants have been announced and the match is pretty stacked: Rey Mysterio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Evan Bourne vs. R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger vs. Alex Riley vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz. Spoiler: Miz wins!!!
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler with Vickie banned from ringside is up next, just in case you've missed the last month of WWE programming. Yikes, things have taken an ugly turn though as Kofi crashes hard into the turnbuckle and WWE quickly goes to commercial. That looked rough, hope Kofi's okay.
Looks like everything's okay as we return from commercial and Kofi and Dolph have a very Kofi and Dolph match, which isn't an insult, but I'm getting flashbacks of Booker T vs. Christian in 2003. Two guys who should really be doing something bigger and better, but just can't escape each other. Kofi picks up the win, which means this is going to keep going (sigh), but again, the match was enjoyable.
Backstage, Alberto Del Rio asks Maryse to spin the wheel for him and she lands on Cage Match... with the Big Show. Looks like Maryse will only be allowed to take a ride in Del Rio's Ford Focus.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show: RAGE IN THE CAGE is our 10pm main event. I wasn't a fan of Show getting run over by a car and all that silliness, but their match at Capitol Punishment was one of the highlights of that show, so hopefully they can repeat tonight. Del Rio continues to focus on the injured knee and wisely shies away from trying to use the cage, but it looks like he'll have another weapon in his arsenal tonight, Mark Henry. The World's Strongest Man has made his way to ringside and I doubt he's here to inspect the structural integrity of the steel cage.
Mark RIPS THE DAMN DOOR OFF its hinges, allowing Del Rio to escape, then he slams the door into Big Shows face, who goes falling THROUGH the cage wall. Yes, WWE has done stuff like this before, Mark Henry has ripped the door off the cage before, but who cares?! It looks awesome! Henry continuing to argue with the crowd is hilarious as well. "YOU THINK I'M PLAYIN?! YOU OVER THERE, I'M OVER HERE!" Yeah, I'm coming around on bad guy Mark Henry.
Kelly Kelly vs. Nikki Bella (the one that wasn't champion) in a non-title match and Michael Cole announces that Brie will get her rematch at the Money in the Bank PPV. Booker T spins the Raw Roulette wheel and it's a submissions-only. Damn, I was hoping for the return of the Inferno Match! Brie locks in an armbar, Kelly escapes and locks in the DIVATAMER and Brie taps out. Yep, that's about it. The Bellas try to double-team after the match but Eve makes the save. I miss Kharma.
Booker T is backstage with... DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE! DDP shows off the Best of Nitro DVD, Drew McIntyre make some cliché remark about the old-timers and gets Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels. C'mon, that was begging for a Diamond Cutter! Man, I really miss DDP and would love to see him come back to WWE as an announcer. Could you imagine Booker on Smackdown and DDP on Raw?
The Miz & Jack Swagger vs. Alex Riley & Rey Mysterio is our next Raw Roulette match and it's a Tornado Match, which is something you don't see in WWE too often. I like it though, all four guys in the ring at once, it's fun. It's especially fun when the match starts with a series of huge clotheslines from various guys.
Exciting match thus far and I'm oddly intrigued by the possibility of Alex Riley and Jack Swagger. I think they'd make good opponents, but at the same time, I kinda want to see Swagger become a good guy and form a tag team with A-Ri. Although I dunno, watching him with Miz, I think they're onto something here as well.
Holy crap, Miz & Swagger are going for the Doomsday Device! Boo, Mysterio escapes though. First making me think we'll see a Diamond Cutter, now taking away the Doomsday Device? You're killing me, WWE.
Okay, I zoned out there for a minute because this match was way too fun and distracting. Crowd is going absolutely batshit, high drama, and the good guys pick up the win (it's a tag match, of course they do) when Rey hits Swagger with the 619, Riley hits Edgecution, then Rey hits the big splash. Can't go wrong with matches like this, even if the good guys always win, the crowd eats it up.
Backstage, R-Truth spins the wheel for his match against Cena and gets a Tables Match. That's John Cena Kryptonite.
Main Event time! R-Truth vs. John Cena in a Tables Match. Match is starting at 10:58, so shenanigans are sure to follow. Naturally, CM Punk makes his way to the ring and flips a table over as Cena is about to AA Truth through it. Was CM Punk trying to get John Cena to impale R-Truth?! While Cena tries to deal with Punk, Truth hits the POOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUNCE and Cena's bad luck in tables matches continues!
CM Punk takes a seat at the top of the stage and starts SHOOTING~! as the cool kids would call it.
And HOLY SHIT is Punk selling this thing. As we talked about on this week's Fair to Flair Show, this story works on every level, because casual fans are of course going to go along with it, the hardcores are eating it up because they're 100% convinced Punk just went off the grid and those of us in the middle have no idea if Punk will actually leave WWE or if this is one of the most brilliant stories WWE has told in recent memory.
"Maybe I'll defend the WWE Title in New Japan Pro Wrestling, maybe I'll go back to Ring of Honor! Hi Colt Cabana!" Yeah, this doesn't happen on WWE TV.
"I'm a Paul Heyman guy. You know who else was a Paul Heyman guy? Brock Lesnar."
"I'd like to say this company will be better when Vince McMahon dies, but it'll just get taken over by his idiot daughter and his idiot son-in-law..." *mic cuts off, show immediately cuts away.*
Brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. A few weeks ago, I hoped that WWE would at least take a chance on a big summer storyline like they did last year with the arrival of Nexus. Well, here it is folks. Regardless of what CM Punk's future is, I'm not even going to try to guess if Punk is actually leaving, taking time off, or sticking around, this is WWE's big summer story. And unlike last year, where they rolled the dice on seven completely untested talents, they're letting the guy who very well could be the best in the business run with the ball. They're breaking the "fourth wall" Punk referred to and they're giving him a live microphone. Ladies and gentleman, this isn't just CM Punk at his finest, this might be the best "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!" story since Brian Pillman became the Loose Cannon.
This was the Raw I've been waiting since WrestleMania for.