John Cena put away Brock Lesnar at Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view, but now he must fight the hired gun’s boss himself next month.
In the closing scene of Raw, General Manager John Laurinaitis threw Cena a curveball. Laurinaitis told Cena his opponent for Over the Limit would be announced at the end of the show.
But while Lord Tensai and his henchman surrounded Cena, Laurinaitis clubbed Cena from behind and announced that he would face the WWE’s top superstar at the pay-per-view himself.
Tensai’s emergence left a feeling of being let down, but the swerve makes the situation more engaging. A stipulation of some sort will surely be added in the coming weeks, but it will be especially interesting to see how this plays out.
In 2012, a non-title match has headlined every pay-per-view, so it will be worth watching to see what happens with Over the Limit.
As for Cena’s Extreme Rules opponent, business also appears to be heating up with Lesnar, as he attacked COO Triple H and broke his arm.
A Lesnar-Triple H match doesn’t sound all that great to me, but I could see it happening somewhere down the road, possibly SummerSlam or Survivor Series.
But tonight’s Raw was a good start to getting Lesnar’s heat back after losing his first match in eight years. WWE is creating a story I can find myself wanting to follow, at least for a while to see where it leads.
Only one night in, the build for Over the Limits already appears to be off to a promising start.
- In a shocking move, R-Truth and Kofi Kingston won the Tag Team Championships from Primo and Epico. Truth and Kingston make a good team, even if their pairing is based on nothing more than skin color, but they've had no real build as a team. WWE has done more to build up the teams of Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler and Great Khali and Big Show than this duo. That said, the match was good and fun to watch. And after it was over, Abraham Washington confronted the Colons, so let's hope this story actually goes somewhere worthwhile.
- The Miz earned his win back from United States Champion Santino Marella in the first of five "Beat the Clock" matches to determine a new No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship. Winning a match and being announced as the new lead star of "The Marine 3" might be a combination worthy of calling today the best day of Miz's career in a long time.
The second "Beat the Clock" match between Chris Jericho and Big Show had a very awkward ending, as not even the commentators knew what to think. This showed the problems with trying to end one of these matches with a countout. The match itself was decent, but the botched ending kind of ruined it.
Randy Orton defeated Jack Swagger in the third contest in the series. They worked a solid match, but the "Beat the Clock" stipulation really limits things, as you know matches are going to end in a certain period of time. It takes a bit of the wonder out of it.
The "battle of the giants" between Kane and the Great Khali proved to have the exact opposite effect of the previous match. This time, knowing these two would be going more than four minutes made it painful. In reality, the match wasn't that bad, but it was far from great, as well.
The fifth match settled it all, as Daniel Bryan shattered Orton's time in defeating Jerry Lawler. Bryan and CM Punk have had some great matches in recent months, and seeing them do it on pay-per-view will be great. Hopefully Bryan can build up some credibility in the next three weeks, as he's coming off a string of losses to Sheamus. But making Punk vs. Bryan a main event title match is a good way to strengthen a supplementary show like Over the Limit.
- Layla's first defense of the Divas Championship made Daniel Bryan and Sheamus' WrestleMania bout look like a 60-minute Iron Man match. She defeated both Bella Twins in a triple-threat match in a matter of about 8 seconds. The Bellas have been "fired" by WWE (in reality their contracts have expired). It's sad to see them go. They were never the greatest in-ring talents, but especially Nikki has been improving. Their departure will be a hit to the divas division.
- Brodus Clay is back to squashing jobbers. Three cheers for retractive booking!
The Miz d. Santino Marella
Layla d. Nikki Bella and Brie Bella to retain the Divas Championship
Chris Jericho d. Big Show by countout
Brodus Clay d. JTG
Randy Orton d. Jack Swagger
R-Truth and Kofi Kingston d. Primo and Epico to win the Tag Team Championships
Kane vs. Great Khali went to a no contest
Daniel Bryan d. Jerry Lawler
I came into tonight's Raw with a wrestling hangover. In the 48 hours between 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. today, I watched 12 hours of wrestling (2 live Chikara Pro shows, a live Ring of Honor show and a DVR'ed "Extreme Rules). Coming off that, I wasn't exactly thrilled to sit through two more hours of WWE programming, but Raw proved to be entertaining. Most of the matches were good, Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk became official and the Cena-Lesnar-Laurinaitis angle continued. There was a lot going on in this show, but it all came together well. Now I think I'm done watching wrestling until Smackdown this week.
Ring Posts’ Adam Testa has teamed up with My 1-2-3 Cents and All American Pro Wrestling to bring you "From the Rafters Radio," a weekly pro wrestling talk radio show airing on Monster Radio 1150 AM in Southern Illinois and streaming worldwide on wggh.net.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times