And we're starting big with the official contract signing between John Cena and Brock Lesnar, but when Lesnar's music hits, we get John Laurinaitis instead... did Brock quit again? Oh, it's just a bait & switch, no biggie. Lesnar's not here yet, despite the fact they've been advertising the contract signing for the start of the show all day. LAME!
But I suppose the return of EDGE makes up for it! Edge is here to have a discussion with John Cena and we're in some weird world where a month after Cena scolded The Rock for not being The Rock anymore, Edge is scolding John Cena for not being The John Cena anymore. Edge demands that Cena not lose on Sunday because this is all they've ever wanted to do since they were kids, they were the ones making cardboard belts in the backyard, but Lesnar's here to make money. It's a fair point, they were the guys who carried the load and now Lesnar is just waltzing back with a sweet contract, so Edge isn't asking Cena to win, he's telling him to.
A bit random since I'm not sure if Edge has been gone long enough to be a torchbearer, it's odd to see him in the Roddy Piper role, but he did a damn fine job convincing me otherwise. Still not gonna get people to boo Lesnar against Cena though.
Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston is our opening contest. Uhh... okay! Been too long since Jericho's competed on Raw and Kofi needs more matches like this to remind us that he is actually really good. Solid back and forth action going into the first commercial with Kofi hitting a beautiful diving somersault plancha to the outside. What does this guy gotta do to get a fair shake? He's already patiently waited through the mandatory "we're gonna give you a big push then pull the rug out from under you" phase!
Back from break, the back and forth action continues with both guys having an answer for whatever the other throws. These two are certainly no strangers to each other, Kofi beat Jericho for his first taste of gold a few years back and I've always enjoyed their work together.
Jericho blocks Trouble in Paradise and reverses into the Walls, but Kofi reverses and goes for a high crossbody, which is reversed into a Codebreaker. Instead of going for a pin though, Jericho locks in the
Lots of filler with backstage shenanigans and re-airing the Lesnar "I make John Cena piss himself" vignette. Always happens on these three hour shows, but I suspect it doesn't help with how thin the roster is.
R-Truth has the unfortunate task of going one-on-one with Lord Tensai, who is fresh off a HUGE win over John Cena. Not a lot of guys get definitive(ish) wins over Cena on Raw and I can't even remember the last time it happened. This doesn't bode well for Truth and he'll be lucky if Lil Jimmy doesn't get a Baldo Bomb too. Easy win for Tensai, which feels like a step back after beating Cena last week. I'm sure we're in a holding pattern until Punk is done with Jericho, but this was pure filler, which the show has been since Jericho and Kofi finished.
Fiery splodes can only mean one thing, it's Kane! Kane likes to hurt people and watch them suffer, Randy Orton is a scared little boy crying out for daddy, yadda yadda yadda. C'mon now, Kane doesn't really have any business throwing stones at people with daddy issues.
And sure enough, Randy Orton does something kinda cool, appearing on the TitanTron with a tied up Paul Bearer! He honestly looks like he's been tied up since Edge made Kane throw him off that scaffold, but Orton locks him in a fridge (or a very foggy closet) to keep him fresh. Kane doesn't care though, cuz he's evil y'all! Orton brings the pain to Kane instead and hits him with a lead pipe. Orton's definitely slummin' it here, but this feud is oddly fun in an "at least it's not for the World Title" way.
Backstage, Just Joe 2.0 (aka Alex Riley) has caught CM Punk drinking a red solo cup. That's right, I just made a Toby Keith reference... I wish I could go back in time 30 seconds and punch myself in the face.
Big Show & Great Khali vs. Cody Rhodes & Alberto Del Rio is up next and on a normal night, we'd only be 22 minutes into the show. Despite the best efforts of all involved (and Great Khali), this match just isn't doing it for me, even though Cody's figure-four on Big Show was pretty cool. Big dudes win regardless.
Backstage, Eve, who is now some sort of assistant authority figure (what is this, TNA?) invokes the Wellness Policy to lend credibility to Jericho's demand that Punk be stripped of the WWE Title for drinking. Ugh. So now Punk has to take a field sobriety test in the ring. Double ugh.
Brock Lesnar murdering Josh Mathews was kinda funny though.
Beth Phoenix vs. Nikki Bella with the Divas Title on the line and Eve comes out to make it a Lumberjill Match. Is this really necessary when Beth Phoenix will keep you in the ring and rip you to shreds? Beth takes a nasty spill out of the ring though, twisting her ankle and the ensuing pandemonium allows Nikki (or Brie?) to score a roll-up win and end Beth's lengthy run with the belt. Hopefully this is all to set up Kharma's return since she promised to murderlize the Bellas upon her return.
CM Punk's sobriety test is funny in a juvenile sort of way since Punk plays a hilarious fake drunk, especially for a guy who supposedly has never been drunk. Turns out, Punk was just fuckin' with ya and he does it all (almost) perfect the next time, although he still kinda botched the backwards alphabet... just proving that is a completely unfair sobriety test for anyone drunk or sober. Punk beats up Jericho a bit and that's pretty much it. This feud is so silly.
Mark Henry vs. Sheamus is our next match and we have a special YES referee, Daniel Bryan. Bryan wearing a full ref's uniform and not just a ref shirt with jeans is a marvelous touch. I don't think referees are allowed to have beards though. Sheamus is easily distracted by Bryan, which allows Henry to cover the World Champ and Bryan executes the fastest count in history. Sheamus also gets a YES! Lock for his troubles.
Santino & Zack Ryder vs. Primo & Epico and the good guys get a fairly easy win over the unluckiest tag champions ever. I'm pretty sure when you lose 47 matches in a row, you should have to defend the titles.
Alright, I'm calling it a night on the live blog. I suspect the Doritos Los Tacos match will be as nauseating as a Doritos Los Taco and Lesnar and Cena will mean mug the shit out of each other. Full review coming tomorrow!