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WWE Raw Report
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 5/7: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw - broken bones follow-up, Over the Limit hype

May 7, 2012 - 10:08:16 PM
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WWE Raw Supershow Results
May 7, 2012 - Episode #988
Live in Greensboro, N.C.
Aired on USA Network
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Staff12CaldwellJames_120_19.jpg


This week's live WWE Raw started with a video package on John Cena pandering to the audience last week on Raw and noting he is not going away despite an "injury." The video showed John Laurinaitis sneak-attacking Cena after Lord Tensai provided a distraction before Laurinaitis booked himself against Cena at Over the Limit. Laurinaitis's facials were made to look even more comical with the dramatic lighting and slow-motion replays.

Live inside the Greensboro Coliseum, Justin Roberts introduced Laurinaitis to his presidential-esque music. Laurinaitis smiled and slowly made his way to the ring as announcers Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler debated why he did what he did last week. Laurinaitis introduced himself before noting he will not allow anyone to judge his leadership or authority; not even John Cena. He said Cena publicly embarrassed him last week, calling him an idiot. He also called him a corporate jackass. And, last week, he lost his temper and entered into a fit of destruction that no one can withstand.

Laurinaitis said Brock Lesnar injured Cena's arm and he injured Cena's pride. He vowed to pick up where Lesnar left off. He vowed to humble Cena and demonstrate his skill at Over the Limit. Laurinaitis said he's not going to apologize to Cena. And, for those of you who thought he would be reprimanded by the Board of Directors, he was not. He said because they get that he is tough, but fair. Laurinaitis said he asked for Cena not to be here tonight so he undergoes therapy to ensure he's 100 percent at Over the Limit to remove any excuses. He then booked Cena in a Live Via Satellite interview with Cole tonight. Laurinaitis also put the entire roster "on check" that anyone who makes fun of his voice will suffer severe consequences. He said his voice is the result of being injured in Tokyo, Japan by Dr. Death Steve Williams. He claimed to be the biggest Superstar in Japanese history. Roll photos of Laurinaitis in Japan.

Laurinaitis claimed to have been the Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold and The Rock all rolled into one in Japan. He said when WWE offered him a lucrative deal back then, he turned it down. Laurinaitis claimed his match against Cena will be bigger than Cena-Rock and Cena-Lesnar at Over the Limit. Laurinaitis signed off by saying God have mercy on Cena at the PPV.

After Laurinaitis depressed the crowd for eight minutes, C.M. Punk's music played to bring out the WWE champion. After smiling for the crowd and posing in the ring, Punk stumbled through his opening remarks before noting to Laurinaitis that he doesn't understand what the people want to see. He noted the fans simply don't want to see him. Punk said the fans don't want to hear Laurinaitis's revisionist history on his career in Japan. He's going to set the record straight - Laurinaitis put his chips on Brock Lesnar, but Cena beat him, so Laurinaitis turned red from embarrassment. Punk then noted Laurinaitis had to go to Japan because no one in the U.S. would pay money to see him. He said Laurinaitis left, came back, and he's still a joke.

Laurinaitis told him to be careful. Punk noted he's going to watch the PPV on Sunday - after he beats Daniel Bryan - and watch Cena beat him. Laurinaitis asked if he's finished. Punk went on to call Laurinaitis names, calling him stupid and ugly. Laurinaitis said he's too busy training to deal with Punk tonight, so he has someone else in mind - Lord Tensai. The announcement was met with complete indifference. Punk said he had a feeling Laurinaitis would do that, so he will enjoy taking out Laurinaitis's henchman before Cena takes out Laurinaitis at the PPV. Punk's music played to end the segment, leading to commentary from the announcers.

Segment Reax: What does it say about the state of wrestling in 2012 when the centerpiece stars of the two major national wrestling promotions are John Laurinaitis in WWE and Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair in TNA? Just an absolute waste of 15 minutes here getting to a Punk vs. Tensai main event.

[Q2] Backstage: Big Show was shown walking down the hallway. He has a match next.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, more Laurinaitis in the backstage area. Laurinaitis, who was looking down texting on his phone, bumped into Big Show, then screamed at Big Show for getting in his way. Show took it in-stride, then Laurinaitis walked off. Show started mocking Laurinaitis's voice, then stopped when Laurinaitis Cabinet member Eve snuck up behind him. Show walked off after getting caught by the backstage police.

In-ring: IC champion Cody Rhodes came out to the ring to defend the Intercontinental Title against Big Show in a return match from Extreme Rules.

1 -- IC champion CODY RHODES vs. BIG SHOW -- Intercontinental Title match

Show dismantled Rhodes early on, then Rhodes avoided a WMD and bailed from the ring. He demanded his title belt and tried to leave, but Show yanked him back into the ring. Rhodes then left through the other side of the ring and got himself counted out.

WINNER: Show via count-out at 1:52; Rhodes retained the IC Title. Just getting Show's re-match clause out of the way.

Post-match: A frustrated Show got on the mic and told Rhodes to come back out here. Rhodes disappeared to the back, though, and Eve's music played. Cole spoke from Vince McMahon's psyche that everyone wants to defy authority around here in WWE and people just need to respect authority in WWE. Eve entered the ring to light "Hoeski" chants before demanding Show apologize. Show claimed he was just horsing around. Eve cut him off and demanded an apology to everyone. Show gave a half-apology, but it wasn't good enough. Eve then noted to Show that outside of WWE, there really isn't a spot for a 7'0" 441-lb. freak. Show wiped his head to control his emotions before Eve demanded another apology. Show said very slowly, "I...apologize...for making fun of John Laurinaitis's voice." Show left the ring muttering to himself and Eve remained in the ring smiling at her work.

Still to come: C.M. Punk vs. Lord Tensai. Also, Sheamus & Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho & Alberto Del Rio in a tag match.

[Commercial Break]

[Q3] In-ring: Back from break, new WWE tag champs Kofi Kingston and R-Truth came to the ring for singles action. Meanwhile, the announcers played up the idea of the invisible Little Jimmy ringside with the tag champs. Suddenly, Vickie Guerrero interrupted a Subway plug. Vickie offered a strange introduction for Dolph Ziggler, who was accompanied by Jack Swagger. Cole then plugged the stars of USA Network's "Common Law" on the front row.

2 -- WWE tag champion KOFI KINGSTON (w/R-Truth) vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/Vickie Guerrero and Jack Swagger)

Once the bell sounded, they cut to a shot of AW talking to former tag champs Primo & Epico and Rosa watching the match backstage. Suddenly, Mason Ryan walked into the backstage shot and AW stopped his conversation to survey Ryan's potential services. For the finish of the match, chaos distracted the ref, allowing Swagger to yank down Kofi from the outside. Ziggler then nailed the Zig-Zag for the pin and the win.

WINNER: Ziggler at 2:40. Basic heel-cheats-to-win three-minute singles match. One of those matches that captures WWE needing an off-season after WrestleMania to come up with new ideas, as this benefited no one. It's how Ziggler was winning matches 2-3 years ago during his ascension and didn't help the tag champs fresh off a Tag Title victory.

Via Satellite: John Cena, in a cast, was shown creating conversation with a stagehand ahead of his interview with Michael Cole.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Michael Cole was in the ring to introduce John Cena "live via satellite." Cena thanked everyone for their well-wishes. He then said he has no permanent damage to his arm, but he has to get his elbow drained twice a day. Cena said a group of doctors have recommended he not compete for the next few months, which is okay, because in his professional opinion, there is nothing keeping him outside of the ring. It sounds like Ultimate Warrior's YouTube update today. Cole asked Cena what he thinks about no reprimand for Laurinaitis. He said the Board contacted him and he told him not to fire that man until after Over the Limit because he wants to get his hands on him.

Cole then talked up Laurinaitis's career and said perhaps Cena is scared of him. Cena said he is actually so scared that Laurinaitis may hurt himself before he gets his hands on him. Cena said he will take full advantage of his opportunity in 13 days. He vowed to kick Laurinaitis's ass in 13 days. Cena's music played and Cena locked eyes with the camera to conclude the segment.

Backstage: Divas champion Layla and Kelly Kelly were shown walking backstage. Tag action next.

[Q4]

[Commercial Break]

3 -- Divas champion LAYLA & KELLY KELLY vs. MAXINE & NATALYA

Back from break, the heel Divas were already in the ring and Beth Phoenix was on commentary. Before the match started, they cut to a WWE.com interview with Layla at Extreme Rules talking about her return and Divas Title victory. The match built to a hot tag to Layla for the pin and the win. On commentary, Phoenix complained about Layla doing nothing to deserve a title shot. After the match, Layla posed with the title belt while staring down at Beth ringside.

WINNERS: Layla & Kelly at 1:55. No sign of Kharma yet; it looks like Layla-Phoenix for the title is next.

Still to come: Del Rio & Jericho vs. Orton & Sheamus tag match.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Michael Cole plugged Santino's "Foreign Exchange" YouTube show. They cut to a shot from Santino's most-recent episode getting freaked out backstage before Michael McGillicutty entered the shot. Hey, look, McGillicutty back on Raw.

In-ring: Ricardo Rodriguez introduced Alberto Del Rio, who emerged off-stage in his car of the week. After Ricardo provided Del Rio's ring intro, Cole plugged Sheamus vs. Del Rio for the World Title at the PPV. Suddenly, the lights went out and Chris Jericho made his ring entrance to join Del Rio. Just before the top of the hour, Randy Orton made his ring entrance for the babyface duo. Big reaction for Orton, who Cole called the "marquee player" from Smackdown. What does that make Sheamus?

[Q5 -- second hour] At the top of the hour, World champ Sheamus made his way out sporting a taped-up left shoulder. Cole called him a man who likes to fight. Ringside, Del Rio muttered to himself as Sheamus entered the ring. Lawler covered for Sheamus, calling him The Man because he holds the title.

4 -- CHRIS JERICHO & ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. World Hvt. champion SHEAMUS & RANDY ORTON

Del Rio teed off on Orton with kicks early on, then Orton regained control and tagged in Sheamus. Cole reset the show by rattling off un-newsworthy items during the first hour that he labeled newsworthy. Jericho then tagged in and Sheamus blasted away with ten forearm strikes to the chest that lit up Jericho's chest. Sheamus ran an intrusive Del Rio off the apron, but Jericho rammed Sheamus's injured left shoulder into the corner post. Del Rio followed with another attack ringside as they cut to break with the heels in control.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Sheamus broke free of an attack by Jericho before elbowing out of the corner. Sheamus then reached over to Orton and made a hot tag. Del Rio also tagged in. Orton ran over Del Rio before delivering his second-rope DDT. Orton wanted the RKO, but Jericho ran in. Ricardo then distracted the ref, allowing Del Rio to pop Orton with a kick to the head for a two count. Del Rio tried to follow up with an arm snap, but Orton no-sold and kicked Del Rio, then Jericho. Orton couldn't make a tag, though, so Jericho went back on the attack and mixed in some trash-talking.

Del Rio entered the match and wanted his cross arm-breaker, but Orton escaped and kicked Del Rio before making a tag to Sheamus. Jericho also re-entered the match, so it was Sheamus vs. Jericho. Sheamus landed a high-knee lift before Jericho cut him off. Counters. Sheamus with the Irish Curse, but Del Rio broke up the pin. Orton then sprung on Del Rio with the RKO. Suddenly, Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick on Jericho, but Jericho ducked and Orton ate the kick. Sheamus sold disdain before Jericho capitalized with the Codebreaker to Sheamus for the pin and the win.

[Q6] Post-match: Jericho grabbed the World Title and screamed at the announcers that he just pinned the World champ. On-stage, Del Rio and Jericho stood tall. Jericho, standing next to the #1 contender, said he should be World champ. Back in the ring, Sheamus sold concern over Orton, then tried to help Orton to his feet. Orton brushed him off, then suddenly dropped Sheamus with the RKO center-ring. Orton's music played and he posed in the ring.

WINNERS: Jericho & Del Rio at 13:03. A lot happening here. Is Jericho now in the title picture or just being a heel claiming he should be in the title picture after a tag victory pinning the champ? Also, it looks like WWE may have an issue for a Sheamus-Orton match on Smackdown to keep Orton in the title picture post-Kane feud...assuming Orton-Kane is over.

Still to come: Update on Triple H's health and Brock Lesnar's future in WWE. Plus, Punk vs. Lord Tensai, who Lawler called "undefeated and mysterious." Lawler called it a punishment match.

[Commercial Break]

GM's Office: Laurinaitis called Big Show's apology insincere, then told Eve to go tell Show what's up. Suddenly, Jericho walked in and demanded a World Title shot. Del Rio said he deserves the next title shot. Orton then walked into the shot and demanded a title shot. Suddenly, all heck broke loose, then Sheamus entered the shot. Sheamus and Orton cleared the heels, then the two faces argued. Orton called him clumsy in the ring, then refs restrained Orton. Sheamus was the last man standing and Laurinaitis told him that the other three have good cases. He then changed the World Title match to a fatal four-way featuring all four men.

In-ring: Brodus Clay introduced himself and his dancers for the next match on Raw. After Clay and Co. danced, they cut to an inset promo from Clay reminding everyone to call their momma on Mother's Day this Sunday. Suddenly, The Miz's music played. Miz slowly walked out on-stage and rhetorically asked why he's facing "this." Miz made a Mike Tyson Punch-Out reference before telling Clay he should call his momma after experiencing Miz in the ring tonight.

5 -- BRODUS CLAY vs. THE MIZ

Cole claimed this is the first-time these two have met in the ring, which ignores their house show matches a few months ago. Clay quickly cleared Miz to the outside, then the Funkettes laughed at Miz. This drew Clay to the outside for a game of cat and mouse. Back in the ring, Miz took control of the action as the Funkettes tried to shout encouragements from ringside.

[Q7] Clay teased a comeback, but Miz cut him off. Clay then caught Miz off the top rope and dropped him to the mat. Clay followed with the big splash and Miz's legs remained suspended in the air to sell the finish for the one, two, three. Cue up the dancing. Cole then fed to a video package on WWE's B.A. STAR campaign.

WINNER: Clay at 4:13. Clay's first long-form match on TV didn't capture the audience here, as there isn't a sense of WWE building up something of note to where his undefeated streak would be in jeopardy. WWE has reinforced to the audience that Clay shows up, dances, has a one-minute squash, and dances again. That's it. The audience isn't ready to sit through a four-minute back-and-forth TV match.

[Commercial Break]

Back live, Cole fed to a video package on the start of last week's Raw when Brock Lesnar talked about "bringing the pain" to John Cena at Extreme Rules before Triple H interrupted, setting up a Lesnar-Hunter confrontation that ended with Lesnar trying to break Hunter's arm.

Back on commentary, Cole called this a "complicated injury" for Hunter. Cole said he will begin rehab this week. Lawler said Hunter has still been able to run WWE as COO. They showed White House-style photos of Hunter conducting business during the past week. Cole plugged that Hunter will be live on Raw next week. He also said WWE has extended an invite to Lesnar tonight. Suddenly, Lesnar's music played. the crowd didn't buy it and the announcers kept talking about Lesnar sending legal representatives to Raw tonight, ignoring Lesnar's music playing.

After a long pause, Paul Heyman suddenly emerged on-stage and stomped out to the ring, returning to WWE TV for the first time since the beginning of the ECW brand several years ago. Cole did not name him and simply groaned. A few vocal males in the crowd popped, but the general audience didn't recognize him. In the ring, Heyman said he is Lesnar's legal representative. He said Lesnar has been booed and underappreciated by the WWE audience since Day One. Heyman said today's WWE is so much differently than it was ten years ago when he represented Lesnar. He said that Lesnar made a few verbal demands agreed upon by John Laurinaitis, and he's here to enforce that agreement.

[Q8] Heyman claimed Lesnar is an honest man. He said Lesnar said he would be an ass-kicking machine and he has backed that up. Heyman said Lesnar asked him to personally come here and read to the audience his statement. Heyman read a statement from Lesnar that he came back to WWE to bring legitimacy back to WWE, but he was rewarded with the same corporate b.s. that caused him to leave eight years ago. Lesnar's letter focused on Triple H, noting he broke Hunter's arm after Hunter broke their agreement. Heyman read that Lesnar is never coming back, which drew cheers. "I, Brock Lesnar, quit," Heyman read to cheers before tossing down the mic. Heyman stomped out of the ring, then Cole and Lawler discussed Lesnar quitting when they thought Lesnar would have been fired anyways, throwing water on the segment. Cole then fed to a video replay of Punk calling Laurinaitis names in the opening segment.

Backstage: Punk was shown walking down the hallway. Lawler said it's now a two-on-one handicap match with Tensai tonight.

[Commercial Break]

Back on Raw, Big Show was trying to explain the title change rule to the stars from the USA Network show. They told Show not to apologize to Eve or anyone else. They said this whole thing stinks. They claimed to be detectives who know how to work. They claimed Laurinaitis is holding pictures of someone to keep his job. They started making fun of Laurinaitis's voice, which drew chuckles from Show. Of course, Eve snuck up from behind. Eve glared at Show, who looked down at his feet. Cole noted he never learns.

In-ring: WWE champion C.M. Punk came out first for the main event of the show. Laurinaitis interrupted and booked Punk in a handicap match against Lord Tensai and...Daniel Bryan. Laurinaitis wished Punk good luck before they abruptly cut to break before the top of the hour.

[Commercial Break. PWTorch columnist Bruce Mitchell noted the audience didn't care for Lord Tensai as he came out to the ring during the break.]

[Q9 -- over-run]

6 -- WWE champion C.M. PUNK vs. LORD TENSAI & DANIEL BRYAN -- handicap match

Back from break, the bell sounded to begin the handicap main event with no ring intros. Tensai delivered some quick offense before D-Bryan tagged in, making his first appearance two hours into the show two weeks before challenging for the WWE Title. Tensai then tagged in and dismantled Punk some more. Tensai continued to wear down Punk before tagging in Bryan, who missed with a top-rope diving headbutt.

Punk made a comeback on Bryan before calling for the end. Bryan escaped the GTS, though, and made a tag to Tensai, who clotheslined Punk. Tensai then took a corner kick and Punk climbed up top. Once again, outside interference caused a distraction, which allowed the heels to double-team Punk. Tensai then awkwardly two-hand slammed Punk before stalking him for The Claw. Tensai spewed the green mist, then did wild noises and movements before hand-pressing Punk to the mat for the pin and the win.

Post-match: Bryan celebrated with repeated "Yes!" chants on the floor despite not being involved in the finish. Tensai celebrated on the way out before Bryan landed "Yes!" kicks and stomps to Punk. Bryan slapped on the Yes! Lock and screamed at Punk before ref Charles Robinson got him to release the hold. Bryan re-applied, then Charles got him to release again. This felt like the end of a Q6 segment. Bryan continued to shout, "Yes!" as Cole gave a sign-off worthy of a segment in the middle of the show, stressing that wrestlers need to learn not to mess with Laurinaitis. Flat ending to an even flatter show that came across like a farce throughout.

WINNERS: Tensai & Bryan at 6:56. It is what it is - the audience doesn't care about the Tensai character, but WWE is intent on featuring him. Meanwhile, Punk-Bryan received the minimum exposure two weeks before a PPV.

***

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