Earlier today I took a look at some of the lesser highlights of RAW. Now it's time for the big blokes to come into play!

King Bryan I of England

Jerry Lawler says a lot of stupid things on commentary. For instance, if a Latin person utters a first-day-of-class Spanish term like “si” or “muy bien”, Lawler will find himself confounded, as though Rosa Mendes is trying to read him Don Quixote. A stupid thing Lawler said on this week's RAW was that he couldn’t understand why AJ was watching the Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston match on the Official Match-Watching Screen backstage.

Foolish. AJ is a known wrestler and wrestling fan, and there is a Daniel Bryan match on TV. What else would she possibly be doing?

The crowd’s constant Yes-ing throughout the show were pretty made it pretty clear who the bulk of the fans, or at least the loudest ones, had come to see. Bryan’s short backstage segment with Kingston and AJ, in which he renamed what is now the "Yes Lock" and chanted “Yes!” in Kingston’s face until Kofi realized that he wasn’t going to stop doing it and just sort of walked off and left Bryan to shout it at no one in particular, was the hilarious, manic emoting that justifies his continued reactions. Well, that and his excellent in-ring work, I suppose.

After suddenly, catchily plugging his finisher, the finish of his match against Kingston was forgone conclusion but getting there was the best trip of the night. The audience was chanting with and clinging to Bryan’s every offensive move to the point where WWE should consider signing them en masse. Kingston tapped to the climactic, triumphant Yes Lock as we knew he would and Bryan became the glorious War God of London for about five minutes before ascending from the arena on a cloud with Jesus and Holo-Tupac. Good moment.

Bryan avoided the obligatory post-match attack by big dumb Sheamus, finally figuring out that the thing to do when you see him running at you full-speed is f***ing duck.

Part One of My RAW Review

Chief Jay Strongbow

Legendary wrestler Chief Jay Strongbow died at 83 after enjoying a lengthy retirement and it’s depressing and alarming how many wrestling alumni don’t get to do that.

And Then, About Forty Minutes Pass

I thought I had been paying attention, had to look online to remind myself of the stuff that happened in the show’s second hour before the main event.

Here is what had slipped my mind: not that much. Brodus “The Funkasaurus” Clay vs. Dolph Ziggler was something I had looked forward to: I love Clay’s act, and the Funkettes, and Vickie Guerrero for that matter. Honestly, I'd say Ziggler could get a great match out of my grandma. So it kind of sucks that even when it could’ve been good TV we still didn’t see Clay wrestling for more than a minute. Unless Big Show and the Great Khali are being built up for a title match, and I really hope they’re not, feeding current champs Epico and Primo to them in a couple of seconds was pretty much a waste of time for all involved. R-Truth solved the mystery of the thing he was doing, I guess.

A Somewhat Less-Super Cena

The man who returned to WWE as Lord Tensai is enormous, athletic, angry, and will spit acid in your face, which is more than enough to distract me from his past as a walking, talking dick-joke. Booking him in the main event against John Cena so quickly after the character’s debut and subsequent squash matches shows a confidence in his abilities that indicates no time will be wasted with him.

Tensai was a solid pick for John Laurinaitis’ main event reveal, an unknown outsider still familiar enough that it was reasonable for Cena to view him as a threat. He dominated most of the match with quick and crisp strong-guy offense. Maybe having a tag-along worshiper helps with his mystique, but he seems younger and fresher now than I remember Albert being ten years ago. Though Cena saved a little face with an overcomplicated finish, Tensai continued the Rock and Brock Lesnar’s work at making Cena look more vulnerable than he has in years. If you’re among the many exhausted of the groove Raw seems to follow when Super Cena dominates constantly, this should be a positive development.

Next up I'll catch you on Friday with a preview and recap of Friday’s Smackdown in London. Good night, good luck, and YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!!!


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