TV Review: WWE Monday Night RAW – Happy Birthday Hulkster!



The last RAW before SummerSlam is highlighted by a birthday party celebration for Hulk Hogan, some surprise upset wins, and of course Rabbi Paul Heyman owning the microphone yet again.

The show starts with Heyman cutting a serious-tone promo, regarding how John Cena is going up against a simple beast. A beast who does nothing but fight and maul, and maim, and destroy. Simple, sure. Heyman continues to build Brock up as someone who is just a wrecking machine. No wrestling, no technique, just unbridled mayhem.

No John Cena.

For the 12th time, Kane has removed his mask! Hopefully, we all can remember more than five minutes into our own past to realized this mask goes on and off about as often as Michael Cole mentions the WWE Network. 41 times last week to be exact. About 20 or so this week. In any case, once again as Authority Director of Operations, Mr. Kane puts Roman Reigns in a 2-on-1 against Rybaxel. Guess how that went for the resident mid-carders. Reigns turned off the lights with two Superman Punches followed by Spears for Everyone. This was supposed to build Reigns for his match against Randy Orton? Lame.

Seth Rollins vs. Rob van Dam in a “Would Have Jobbed Last Week Too If They Let Me” match. Indeed RVD wound up jobbing to the fast-pushed Rollins, who dispatched the former ECW Champion after a short match where everyone, including RVD appeared to snooze through. The bright side though, is Dean Ambrose continued with the crazy, jumping out of a giant gift-wrapped box to lay some hurt on Rollins. Now that was funny.

For a moment I thought I have seen this before, and probably have 10 years ago, but the saga between Stephanie McMahon vs. The Bellas roll on. This time Steph brings out the physical therapist working on Daniel Bryan who reveals she has been having an affair with Bryan. Well, Brie does not like that one bit, decks Ms. Megan Miller, and then, in an astounding moment, slaps the Yes-Lock on Stephanie, just as Fit Finlay and Jamie Noble rush in. I gotta say, WWE Creative are hitting all the right buttons with this feud. Steph demands a match with Brie tonight.

I have more interest in Steph vs. Brie than I do Brock vs. Cena. Sad, isn’t it?

Remember this short-lived feud? This time, Jack Swagger defeats Cesaro in a short-but-sweet wrestlefest. Obviously this was meant to push Swagger for his match with Rusev. I can’t help but wonder if it will be Swagger who defeats Rusev at SummerSlam. It is only a flag match, so even if Swagger loses, they still need a match for someone to decisively win. We could get plenty of interference from Zeb Colter and Lana, or from another unknown source.

Poor Cesaro.

Here is a shocker, Eva Marie wins a match, pinning AJ Lee. It was only due to Paige distracting the Divas Champion, not such a clean win. Gotta say, Eva Marie. WWE Creative just had to go and pick someone who won’t benefit at all from a win, and it just had to be someone not a single WWE fan cares about.

Now John Cena comes out to retaliate against Paul He… Uh, I mean Brock Lesnar. Isn’t it strange, Paul Heyman has done all the talking for this feud? Hell, we haven’t heard from Cena in two weeks. I feel like this is really Cena vs. Heyman considering Brock hasn’t uttered a damn word. Yet, this is something I should not complain about. Moving on, Cena turns to “serious Cena mode” and pulls the cliché of the century, “I will conquer the conqueror.”

Brie Bella gets hauled off to jail this time. I get what they are doing, but that segment was a novelty when it happened to Stephanie. Doing it again to Brie just did not have the same affect.

The “Slater Gator” wins again! Fresh off a shocking tag team victory with partner Titus O’Neal over The Dusts on WWE Main Event, this time Heath Slater gets a count-out win over Dolph Ziggler thanks to an assist by the Miz. I think more people were cheering for Slater this time around. Hell, I was. Maybe Slater will find himself in contention for a championship soon?

BWHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHA. Oh, that was a good one. I kill me.

In a solid main event match, Randy Orton defeated United States Champion Sheamus. I was pulling for the Celtic Crusader, but having Orton “defy” the odds set in front of him by Director Kane was necessary to push his match with Roman Reigns come Sunday, showing both Reigns and Orton  are headed for a major collision. I still think Orton needs some time off to retrain or just chill out for a while. He still feels stale to me and devoid of personality, despite his “Apex Predator” gimmick.

The final segment of the show, has it has been for at least two months, is a non-wrestling bit. But this one was cool, as we had a huge b-day party for the Hulkster himself, hosted by “Mean” Gene Oakerlund. We got Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jimmy Hart, Ric Flair, and even “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (I just LOVE seeing this guy, he rocks a killer mustache!) are out, and then Hogan reveals his nWo colors and out comes Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Predictably, the party is crashed by Brock Lesnar who tries punking out everyone.

Tragically, Brock takes the microphone for his one line of the night “Party’s over grandpa!”

This magically summons John Cena to the ring, and rather have some sort of staredown, Brock just leaves. Yeah, no intensity, no drama, just… leaves. At least the party segment itself was cool, and I am sure once RAW went off the air they did something nice for Hulk Hogan in the ring.

I hate to admit this, but once again the undercard for a major pay-per-view event will outclass the main event.

Before we go, let’s talk about Damien Sandow. I discovered tonight on, a posted clip originally exclusive to the WWEApp, featuring “Sandow’s 60” where for sixty second, Damien Sandow rants. This week, he bashes the internet trolls or as he calls “message board morons” about how he didn’t wrestle in enough bingo halls to become an internet darling. Instead, he is a WWE superstar who does what he has to do to entertain.

Not sure what the gimmick here is, but might explain his weekly antics on RAW and SmackDown dressing up as different characters, acting like a complete buffoon. Perhaps his own way of “paying his dues” perhaps, but one can never be too sure. Personally, I am a huge fan of Damien Sandow, and I have no shame in putting him right up there next to my other top favorite in WWE, one Wade “Bad News” Barrett.



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