WWE Raw, the cable ratings juggernaut, comes to us live from Greenville, South Carolina. Tonight's episode features the return of John Cena, who was knocked out by his friend Big Show several weeks back. Here are the results from the June 4th episode of WWE Raw, along with the hits and misses from the show.
Miss - John Cena Promo
WWE commentator Michael Cole starts the night off by interviewing John Cena mid-ring. The antagonistic Cole, like Big Show, blames Cena for Big Show's heel turn on John Cena at Over the Limit. Typical back and forth banter, with Cena defending himself, and Cole defending Show. John Laurinaitis interrupts and assigns Cena to choose his opponent for the night. Cena chooses Michael Cole as his opponent. A ho-hum segment meant to hype the Big Show versus John Cena match at the next pay per view, as well as set up Cena and Cole. The segment went 15 minutes, which is on par for these types of things. Not a complete miss, but further from a hit.
Hit - Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus
Vickie Guerrero, the new age Sensational Sherri, introduces her client Dolph Ziggler. Sheamus comes out to a mild ovation compared to guys like John Cena and CM Punk. Sheamus starts off strong, delivering a rolling slam in the first couple minutes. The rough and tough brawler from Dublin, Ireland continues his onslaught on the outside, until Vickie distracts Sheamus. This gives Ziggler the opportunity to blindside the Irishman. We return from a commercial to see Ziggler fighting out of a modified chin lock. Sheamus hits a calculating running knee and follows it up with a power slam. Sheamus only manages to get a two count before Ziggler turns the tables once again, this time with a jumping DDT. Ziggler then hits a legroom from the top rope, but the champ is able to kick out. Out of nowhere, Sheamus hits "White Noise" maneuver and sets up for the Braugh Kick. Sheamus defeats Dolph Ziggler. This was a good match, with both men hitting some of their signature moves. Ziggler continues to be an impressive bump machine, and Sheamus continues to improve. A definite hit. Alberto Del Rio attacks the champ after the bout.
Hit - Sin Cara vs. Hunico
Sin Cara returns to WWE Raw after several months. Hunico hits a few forearms before Sin Cara starts performing some high flying lucha moves. The lights are turned down, and the ring has a blue and yellow tint to it. Sin Cara gets the easy win. I enjoyed this match. The difference between this and a TNA X-Division match is obvious. Sin Cara was flashy, but not overly complicated. Brief match that was nothing more than a glorified job match. It was an enjoyable hit nonetheless.
Hit - Ryback vs. Two Guys
Two local indy guys cut a short promo before Ryback is introduced. The guys are obviously being fed to a shark. The Goldberg clone hits some awesome power moves, including an impressive press slam that resembled a javelin throw. Quick match for Ryback, but completely entertaining.
Hit - CM Punk vs. Kane
After two matches that resulted in no-contests, this bout was stipulated as "there must be a winner." Daniel Bryan comes out to cut a short promo and then sits ringside to view the bout. Kane overpowers CM Punk in the beginning, but Punk retaliates by hitting a clothesline over the top rope, a suicide dive, and then continues his Macho Man tributes with a double ax handle from the top. Kane finally gains control of the match. Punk fights back with forearms and kicks, only to get tossed over the top rope by Kane. We come back from commercial, and Kane is still in control. Punk makes a strong defensive play, delivering a knee and running bulldog. Kane goes for a choke slam and Punk under hooks his arm and turns it into a swinging neck breaker. Punk and Kane take the fight to the outside, and Daniel Bryan takes a few cheaps shots behind the refs back. After some confusion with AJ and Bryan, Kane grabs a choke slam and gets the pin on CM Punk. This wasn't the best match between the two, but I am a bit bias. I'm not a big fan of Kane. I find him slow and certainly on the tail of his awesome run. Overall though, this match was a hit.
Hit - Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Tyler Recks and Curt Hawkins
Despite having his ribs taped up, Kingston remains a popping around like a popcorn kernel. The tag team champions hit a double team move, before R-Truth delivers his ridiculous leg drop. Not a very competitive match, but served its purpose to get the tag team champions over. Kingston is one of the most athletically gifted wrestlers to come along in quite sometime. he amazes me every week.
Miss - John Cena vs. Michael Cole
This main event match was set up earlier in the show during a John Cena and John Laurinaitis segment. After Cena was introduced, Laurinaitis came out and stated Cena had to beat Tensei before he wrestled Michael Cole. Tensei starts off with some clubbing blows, but Cena quickly fights back and clotheslines the giant over the top rope. I'm not a fan of Tensei, but he has show a lot more aggression and energy here than the last few months. The two men brawl on the outside, with Cena getting thrown into the ringside table and then the stairs. John Cena hits the "Attitude Adjustment" for the win. Cena then calls in Michael Cole for their bout. Cole tries to run, and ends up begging off in the ring. I do like Michael Cole as a character, but he shouldn't be the main event of a WWE Raw. Cena rips off the clothes of Cole and stomps him in the mid section. Playing off Big Show, he then tells the crowd to "sshhhhh" as he chops Cole's chest. Cena then forced Michael Cole to apologize to Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. A definite rated PG ending. I thought the match was average at best, but the silly ending just ruined everything.
Overall, WWE Raw wasn't an awful show. It was filled with a lot more hits than the last few weeks. I'm still not sure if I watch WWE Raw for entertainment purposes, or if it's merely out of habit. Regardless, this week I wasn't as disappointed as I usually am. That doesn't mean the show is on an upswing, it just means I didn't fall asleep.
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