'Monday Night Raw' recap: Kane is luring John Cena to dark side
This week's "Monday Night Raw" saw a string of good shows come to an end with a mediocre episode.
The good: The seeds for John Cena to become a full-fledged bad guy continue to be planted, with Kane letting Cena know that the only way Cena can truly be free is to acknowledge how much the anti-Cena chants from the crowd bother him.
The bad: CM Punk was outsmarted by John Laurinaitis. The producers have spent the last six months building up how clever Punk is, how he is smarter than the average wrestler. Then they have him fall for the oldest trick in the book: ringside distraction. Punk should never be outsmarted by a guy like Laurinaitis, who has basically been portrayed as a buffoon up to now. Also, Booker T beat Cody Rhodes. Let me repeat that, Booker T beat Cody Rhodes. The program between the two should be designed to elevate Rhodes, but the producers have him lose to a guy who has hardly wrestled a match in the last couple of years.
The mystifying: Dolph Ziggler, who lost the United States title to Zack Ryder last week, is now the No. 1 contender for Punk's WWE championship. This is one reason why fans don't get into individual matches as much as they used to. The fans have been trained to believe wins and losses don't matter. It would be like an NFL team losing in the first round of the playoffs, then advancing to the Super Bowl anyway.
The mystery man video: We saw the final installment of the mysterious videos that are touting the return of someone to "Raw" next week. Many names have been floated as to who it could be. Batista? Shane McMahon? Undertaker? Chris Jericho? These videos have been some of the best things WWE has done the last few weeks, and I'm really looking forward to seeing who the mystery man is next week.
-- Houston Mitchell
Photo: John Cena stands below the video screen as Kane addresses him from the ring. Credit: WWE