'Monday Night Raw' recap: CM Punk is the best in the world
This week on "Monday Night Raw": John Laryngitis found his voice, CM Punk showed he was the best in the world, and the possibility of a John Cena heel turn remained.
The good: WWE executive vice president in charge of talent relations and Raw interim General Manager John Laurinaitis finally showed he has a brain by booking good friends John Cena and Zack Ryder in a match, with Cena getting a heavyweight title shot if he won, and Ryder getting a U.S. title shot if he won. Sure, Cena was able to outsmart Laurinaitis in the end, but they finally showed that the Laurinaitis character isn't just a stooge and actually can be clever. It's always better to have a smart heel to overcome, because if all you ever do is outsmart a dunderhead then what have you really accomplished? Also, the push of Ryder is working out well. The crowd is solidly behind the guy, it's time to pull the trigger, give him the U.S. title and see just how far he can go. WWE always talks about listening to the fans, and how "wrestlers aren't held down by a glass ceiling, they just need to find a way to make themselves popular." Well, Ryder has done that, so it's time to put up or shut up with him. Also, Cena continued to talk about not caring about the fans booing him, making you believe that perhaps he is beginning to care after all.
The bad: The show opened with Cena, Alberto Del Rio, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler demanding a shot at CM Punk and the heavyweight title. While the segment itself was entertaining, I grow tired of what seems to be lazy writing. All this eventually led to a Triple Threat match at the next pay-per-view among Punk, Miz and Del Rio, but there is no compelling reason for me to want to see that match. If all you have to do to get a title match is come out and ask for one, why didn't Kofi Kingston come out and ask for one? Or any other wrestler watching backstage? And the end of the show, when Punk proved he was the best in the world by putting Del Rio through a table and giving the GTS to Miz, makes the PPV match even less appealing.
The mystifying: It's time for an end on distraction finishes. Randy Orton loses to The Miz because Wade Barrett distracts him, causing Orton to get counted out. Distraction finishes, which WWE seems to use at least once a month, make the person getting distracted look stupid, and the person winning the match look weak. You spend two weeks building up Miz as a credible threat by having him injure R-Truth and John Morrison, only to have him on the verge of losing to Orton, and winning only because Orton was dumb enough to chase Barrett around the ring. That makes Miz a weak challenger and undercuts all the progress of the previous two weeks.
All in all, a solid episode of "Raw," as the good far outweighed the bad this week.
-- Houston Mitchell
Photo: Alberto Del Rio, left, Dolph Ziggler, manager Vickie Guerrero and John Cena all want a shot at the title. Credit: WWE