WWE Monday Night Raw
Memphis, TN
January 2, 2011
Commentators: Jerry Lawler & Michael Cole
Reported by: David Stephens of Wrestleview.com

To view my recap of the 1/2 Raw, click here.

David’s Thoughts

Apparently my thoughts never got posted this week, so I figured better late than never. Actually, it was more a matter of not knowing what to say. I have four sheets of paper with handwritten thoughts sections crumpled up around my room at the moment. With the reveal of the mystery man it was one of those RAWs that I just knew would be remembered for quite some time, and yet I wasn’t sure how to say what I was feeling. Or at least, I thought that’s what the problem was. Turns out – I just don’t know what I’m feeling. So rather than give another go at scribbling out an attempt at some inspirationally written dissertation on Jericho’s return, I’ve given up. So it’ll be the same crap just a couple days later. It’s puzzling this business of wrestling. It really is puzzling at times. However, there is one thing that I’m sure of –

I’m so damn tired of John Cena. Hold your breath haters; I’m not declaring myself a member of your political party. I just need to get away from his character. I get it, he’s all about respect. The fans pay for tickets, so they can do what they want. I even appreciate the fact that Cena is acknowledging that fact. Even if that fact points out that even the smarkiest of smarks is still a giant mark. See the Anti Cena T-Shirts for the prime example of that fact. Yet it is sooooo annoying to see Cena come out each and every week and give the same damn speech.

No disrespect to Emperor Palpa-Kane, but I don’t even have a clue as to why he is getting entangled with John Cena. Kane isn’t going to come out on top in this feud; WrestleMania requires Cena head into the show as a God. How else are we to believe it when his hand is raised over the most electrifying guy to ever leave pro-wrestling for movies that wasn’t a member of the road crew? (That’s a pretty horrible attempt at an electrician joke, but screw it). So if Kane is to come back as a monster, how does this play out to his benefit? There is no bigger way for Kane to get a push than to go over the company’s number one guy in Cena, but does that really seem like the end result? There are too many questions and hesitations on this angle for me.

Getting back to being tired of the Cena character, I just don’t get why he has to take the wind out of the entire audience’s sails. Instead of just annoying the smarks, he’s now alienating the supporters. They are left scratching their heads as to why he is preaching a message of love thy enemy. Professional Wrestling may be a pseudo-religion, but Cena is not the Christ child. This is an industry based around beating guys up. Only so much lovey dovey hippie peace talk about acceptance and floating gracefully away from hate is going to fly with the Nascar dads buying the tickets and merchandise for their youngsters. It’s annoying, plain and simple.

Who the hell was the anonymous RAW GM?? I will not let this plot hole go. I won’t, I can’t. I know that HHH said that he was fired because he wasn’t needed anymore, but I’m still begging for closure on the mystery identity.

Daniel Bryan is one of the weakest looking Champions I can remember. The last guy to hold the World Championship that really puzzled me was Jack Swagger. I love Daniel Bryan, I’ve met him, he’s a great talent and nice guy, but he does not give me the feeling in my gut of being a World Champion. I want him to be, I really do. I’m rooting that this Title run will turn around, or that his next one will be with the backing of a different angle, because the guy does deserve greatness. Unfortunately, at the moment he is still lacking in a certain level of charisma. I may be an asshole for saying it, but his personality doesn’t light up an entire arena.

Wade Barrett is skimming water at the moment after the loss of Randy Orton from the active roster. Their feud was not over, but had to be cut short due to injury. Hopefully they keep using him each week in a worthwhile capacity so that he doesn’t fade to obscurity until a decent rival can be found for him to feud against.

R-Truth is back, and he is rocking my socks off. For all of the skill he may lack in having a decent wrestling match not dependent upon his opponent, he makes up for in sheer craziness and mic work. I wish he would become a manager, because I absolutely love this guy. Actually, if he is going to wrestle, then I vote that “Little Jimmy” becomes HIS manager. If he is going to be getting advice from Jimmy, it only makes sense that he accompanies him to the ring. All I’m going to say is that if a referee falls for a distraction from Little Jimmy I’m probably going to wet my pants.

I have no qualms with Miz exiting the ring before his match with Sheamus. It ended up progressing his feud with Truth, and Sheamus walked away looking strong.

Eve Torres is quite attractive. There, I said something about a Diva, now stop emailing me.

I really appreciate the John Laurinaitis involvement in the CM Punk/Ziggler Championship Match. Ziggler got an amazing rub by going over the Champion, and Punk isn’t hurt because it was due to gross interference. I’ve been saying for a month now that I like Laurinaitis’ character, and every week it continues to be true. Even people I’ve watched RAW with who aren’t big time wrestling fans immediately dislike him when he comes on the screen. He’s just that good at his job. If Laurinaitis and Vickie become a couple on the show, the fans may riot.

There was nothing too special out of the main event until the bizarre ending. It had an old school feel to it at first, but with the modern twist of a very dangerous looking pillar of fire. I was actually shocked that the heat would be a safe temperature for those in the ring. Anyone who has been within a couple hundred feet of the fire pyro at a show knows how hot it can get. While the pillar in the ring was smaller, it still must have had a bite. Good thing Zack Ryder loves his tan!

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room… Chris Jericho.

What the hell was that?

No really, what the hell was that. The guy has been gone, he’s been dancing, and he’s been denying his return. And that was it? I always try and spin things to make them seem fine and dandy, but I had a problem with this one. Now the quick explanation that I’ve read this week for Jericho not speaking was that he must be coming back as a heel, so he didn’t give the fans what they want. Or that it leaves us in anticipation. You know what I think? I think Jericho was so over excited and out of breath that every time he went to talk he couldn’t. He ran through his time block with the crowd taunts and high fives and had no choice but to return to the back. Sure I doubt that is true in this age of carefully dictated shows, but nothing felt right. He looked like he was either on speed or coked out of his mind. His eyes were dancing, his body was shaking and he looked about ready to collapse from exhaustion. Let’s be clear that I’m not suggesting he was on drugs of any sort; I’m simply comparing his behavior to those effects. It baffled me. I’m baffled by the segment. I’m disappointed he didn’t talk, sure. But it’s also the fact that I just don’t understand what the writers hoped to get out of this segment. I’m looking forward to hearing Jericho speak next week for sure, but not because of anything he did this week. I’m not extra intrigued because of the delay in his return promo, I’m straight up annoyed. I’m tired of the bullcrap, Jericho needs to hurry up and remind me of why I’ve loved his character for so many years. Fine WWE, if you want to drag it out and make the fans wait so that it has a bigger impact, so be it. But please hurry; between Cena and Jericho, I’m really starting to get annoyed.

I do read every single e-mail you guys send, even the Facebook comments below, and really appreciate hearing your thoughts. Send me some e-mails, and have a safe week everyone!

David Stephens
Follow me on Twitter!@TheDaveStephens

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