WWE has a long track record of revising its own history.
Former enemies all of a sudden are best friends, a certain former world champion has been erased completely from history, and the list continues.
But Monday night on Raw, general manager John Laurinaitis took it upon himself to not only rewrite WWE history, but also that of All Japan Pro Wrestling, where Laurinaitis competed as Johnny Ace from 1990 to 2000.
Laurinaitis claimed to be the greatest star in the history of Japan, comparing his impact on the industry to the careers of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock rolled into one. In all honesty, I think Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa is even a bigger star in Japan than Laurinaitis was during his heyday.John Laurinaitis rewrites wrestling history to build feud with John Cena on WWE's Monday Night Raw
Believing his own hype, Laurinaitis said it's those skills that will enable him to beat John Cena at Over the Limit later this month.
Cena, appearing via satellite, said a number of doctors have strongly recommended he not wrestle for a couple of months because of his arm injury. But Cena doesn't care what the doctors want; they obviously don't know him, as he's a man who doesn't know the meaning of the word quit.
When the Board of Directors called, Cena told them not to punish Laurinaitis, but rather to let him take care of that business at the pay-per-view.
The fact they're playing up Laurinaitis' actual wrestling past -- and even over-inflating it -- is tremendous, as that element is what separates the authority figure's role in this match from people like Michael Cole, Jim Ross and even Vince McMahon.
No one should be expecting a five-star classic from Cena vs. Laurinaitis at Over the Limit, but it should finally remove Cena from the pay-per-view main event scene and give him something to do other than compete for the WWE Championship.
That is what people have been yearning for the past few years, and WWE has even found a way to make people cheer Cena in process.
I'd consider that a win.
** Paul Heyman made his return to the WWE, as Brock Lesnar's legal representation. I hadn't been online much today to know if this had been spoiled in advance, but it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. It didn't take long for fans to get a reminder why Heyman was paired with Lesnar to begin with. Heyman is a master of the microphone, and hopefully he is back with Lesnar full-time, because the monster truly needs a mouthpiece. But, according to Heyman, Lesnar has quit WWE and is never coming back. The Lesnar storyline sure is not going the way most people were speculating. That makes it more fun to see where it's going.
** CM Punk fell victim in a handicap match against the undefeated Lord Tensai and his Over the Limit challenger Daniel Bryan. Punk looked good in defeat, with Tensai using the green mist on the claw to win. Bryan attacked Punk after the match. This was an effective way to keep Tensai's streak alive, as he can now claim victories over Punk and Cena, and to build heat between Bryan and Punk before their pay-per-view match.
** Chris Jericho pinned World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus in a tag-team match that also featured Alberto Del Rio and Randy Orton. The match was good, and the finishing sequence was well executed, as Sheamus accidentally Brogue Kicked Orton, allowing Jericho to hit a Code Breaker for the win. After the match, Orton RKO'ed Sheamus. I had already typed, "It wouldn't be surprising to see the scheduled Sheamus vs. Del Rio title match at Over the Limit become a fatal fourway" when all four men erupted in a brawl in Laurinaitis' office. Yep, then it happened. Good prediction or common sense booking? You decide.
** Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston added another chapter to "the feud that will never end" in a match that saw Ziggler pin the tag team champion. One could only assume this will lead to a title match between Ziggler and Jack Swagger and Kingston and R-Truth. That's fine and all, but shouldn't Primo and Epico be getting their rematch? Yes, they said Abraham Washington was biding his time, waiting for the right minute, but it seems odd he'd let another team get in and score a title shot before his boys.
** The Intercontinental Championship match between Cody Rhodes and the Big Show was about as big of a waste of time as one could find. Rhodes lost the match voluntarily by countout so that he could retain the title. If this was Show's original chase, it would make sense, but being that the two have already traded the title, they should be building to a final blow-off, and this wasn't the best way to go about that.
** The Miz scored points as Brodus Clay's most entertaining opponent simply because of his King Hippo reference. This also turned out to be one of Clay's longest and most competitive matches yet, but ultimately, the result was the same.
** There wasn't much to the divas tag match where Divas Champion Layla and Kelly Kelly defeated Natalya and Maxine. It was announced, though, that Beth Phoenix will face Layla at Over the Limit for the title, so that should be a good match, if given proper time.
Big Show d. Cody Rhodes by countout
Dolph Ziggler d. Kofi Kingston
Layla and Kelly Kelly d. Maxine and Natalya
Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio d. Randy Orton and Sheamus
Brodus Clay d. The Miz
Lord Tensai and Daniel Bryan d. CM Punk
Tonight was one of those odd episodes of WWE programming where nothing stood out as exceptional or painstakingly embarrassing. The divas match was an obvious lowpoint, whereas Heyman's return was a highlight. In between, there was some decent action and good storyline advancement. Overall, I can't complain about Raw, and I think WWE is on track for a good, short build to Over the Limit.
Ring Posts' Adam Testa has teamed up with My 1-2-3 Cents (www.my123cents.com) and All American Pro Wrestling (www.aapwrestling.com) to bring you "From the Rafters Radio," (www.facebook.com/RaftersRadio) a weekly pro wrestling talk radio show airing on Monster Radio 1150 AM in Southern Illinois and streaming worldwide on wggh.net (www.wggh.net).