Tonight's RAW has a lot of hype around it. We get C.M. Punk vs John Cena, Vince McMahon vs Paul Heyman, and the fallout from the Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter/Glenn Beck happenings. Expect the course for Wrestlemania to be set after tonight.
WE'RE GONNA FIGHT!!!
Vince McMahon walked to the ring on crutches. Vince said he likes to do things big, so why not start RAW with a fight. Paul Heyman came down the ramp. He said he's waited his entire life for this fight. Vince has always thought of Heyman as a wuss, but Heyman said he is all man. He said Vince has as much a chance of beating him as Tony Romo does the Super Bowl. Heyman asked Vince if he was sure he wanted to do this. But before Vince could answer, Heyman hit him with a Spear and then a crutch to the leg. Vince blocked another crutch shot and hit Heyman with it. Brock Lesnar suddenly came out. Before Brock could attack Vince, HHH came out. Hunter and Lesnar brawled on the outside. HHH threw Brock into the post and Brock got busted open hardway. HHH clotheslined Brock over the barricade. Lesnar came back and threw HHH on the announce table. HHH came back with a chair shot in the ring as Lesnar retreated,
Segment Analysis: Surprised they went with the HHH/Lesnar brawl this early in the show. Lesnar was busted open bad in the back of the head. You could hear Vince tell the cameramen not to show the cut. Intense brawl setting up HHH/Lesnar 2. But I'm not too excited to see HHH get his win back. Survey Says: 3/5
Ryback and RyBlack in the Same Segment???
Ryback vs Dolph Ziggler. Ryback face planted Ziggler a couple of times before Ziggler hit a dropkick. Ryback caught Ziggler mid air and he hit a bodyslam. Ryback rammed Ziggler into the post and rolled to the floor. Back from break Ryback hit a suplex on Ziggler. Ziggler rolled to the outside. After Ryback threw him back in the ring, Big E took out Ryback on the outside. Ziggler hit a dropkick then applied a headlock. Ryback threw him away, but Ziggler moved out of the way of a Ryback charge and Ryback went right into the ringpost. Ziggler hit a DDT for two. Ryback fought out of a sleeper hold with a jaw breaker. Ryback started his comeback. A.J. tried to distract the ref but Ryback took out Big E. A powerbomb and Shell Shocked later, Ryback is your winner.
Match Analysis: Decent enough match from Ryback. You of course have to credit Dolph for making Ryback look good. But at this point, why would people even take Dolph seriously as World Champ? That was a bad opponent for Ryback to get a win back against. Ziggler needs some momentum heading into Wrestlemania. Survey Says: 2.5/5
It's ALL About ME!
C.M. Punk was in the ring. He said tonight the world witnesses history. It is a night we will tell our grandchildren about. Tonight is not about a match or John Cena. It isn't about Wrestlemania or the people. Tonight is about the future, it's about C.M. Punk. Tonight is about C.M. Punk taking his rightful place in the main event at Wrestlemania. He's defeated John Cena more than he can remember and pinned The Rock twice in four weeks. Punk called himself an icon who walks among superstars. He's a legend, an icon, the Best in the World. Punk called himself God and left the ring.
Segment Analysis: Strong promo by Punk setting up his match later. He dropped enough hints about a potential match with Undertaker as well, using words like legend and icon. Survey Says: 3.5/5
Donald Trump was announced as the next member of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Mark Henry made quick work of The Great Khali with a World's Strongest Slam.
THEY TOOK OUR JOBS!!!
MizTV with Alberto del Rio, Ricardo, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. Zeb said he was looking forward to talking to Glenn Beck, but since he chickened out he will have to talk to Del Rio. Zeb said there are 11 million undocumented workers in this country. But they are illegals. Zeb said those people sneak across borders and take our jobs, steal medical resources and what not. Miz interrupted Zeb, but Del Rio said to let him talk. Zeb said it takes 10 years to become a citizen in Mexico, and a foreigner cannot own land in Mexico. Zeb says when he talks, people listen. Zeb said Del Rio represents success to his people, the American Dream. And he encourages millions of illegal people to sneak across the border to live his dream. And all those failures forget to leave. Zeb said all of those illegals are criminals.
Del Rio interrupted and told him to shut up. Del Rio said America is the greatest country on Earth because it belongs to everyone. Del Rio said if you work hard in America, anything is possible. ADR said two weeks ago he never heard of Zeb. And he doesn't like bullies. Del Rio said they should do something to make them leave right now. Swagger said they will see him at Wrestlemania and left with Zeb.
Segment Analysis: It is going to be interesting to see if the WWE will get some of their audience behind this angle. It is something new to them and goes a little bit deeper than normal wrestling storylines. I still like it and Zeb is doing a great job of getting heat and delivers his promos effectively! Survey Says: 4/5
Antonio Cesaro vs Randy Orton. Cesaro hit a reverse back drop for two. Cesaro hit a knee to the back then a few upper cuts. Cesaro threw Orton into the corner but he bounced back with a clothesline and went into ORTON MODE!!! Orton hit a backbreaker but then ran right into a boot from Cesaro. Cesaro went to the top but Orton caught him with an RKO for the win. Match was too short for my liking, plus I don't like seeing Cesaro lose again. That's two weeks in a row now.
Daniel Bryan and Kane both said they could beat the Prime Time Players by themselves. Vickie and Brad Maddox came in. They said Kane will have one arm tied behind his back, and Daniel Bryan will be blind folded.
Be A Star...
Sheamus was in the ring discussing Wade Barrett and the Oscars. He paused on a shot of Wade Barrett. Sheamus said Barrett just stood there the whole movie doing nothing. Wade Barrett came out and said Sheamus is jealous of him. Barrett said tomorrow he will be at the world premiere of Dead Man Down, while Sheamus will be returning his rented tux and drinking at a local Irish bar. Sheamus told Barrett to make sure they get his good side, even though it doesn't look like he has one. Barrett went after Sheamus, but Sheamus ducked. Barrett moved out of the way of a Brogue Kick and left.
Segment Analysis: Well, it looks like we are on our way to Sheamus/Barrett at Wrestlemania. This match would feel bigger if the WWE didn't over do the match on TV a few months ago. And that was a horrible promo from Sheamus. Survey Says: 2/5
R-Truth defeated Cody Rhodes. Damien Sandow tried attacking Truth after the match but was disposed of by R-Truth.
A Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter promo on jobs aired.
Team Hell No vs The Prime Time Players. Bryan was blindfolded and almost applied the No Lock to the referee. Bryan had problems finding the PTPs. He fell to the outside then tripped on the ropes coming back in. On his way back in Kane tagged himself in and eventually chokeslammed Darren Young for the win.
OK, Maybe I Was Wrong Earlier...
The Shield came out. Dean Ambrose said things are going to continue to get worse before they get better. Ambrose said that you can create an army, and that still won't stop them from doing the job they are here to do. Reigns said they are going to win every single time, and if you don't believe, justice will hunt you down and grind your bones to dust. Rollins said the defeated the super hero squad and solved the John Cena problem at Elimination Chamber. Rollins asked if there was anyone else who wanted to step up and fight. Sheamus came out and said he would fight. Ambrose and Reigns left the ring, and Randy Orton came in and hit an RKO on Rollins.
Segment Analysis: So maybe I was wrong earlier? The Shield needs a big match at Wrestlemania. Maybe they will get Sheamus, Orton and Ryback. It still works but it isn't as big as the match from Elimination Chamber. Shield should go over regardless. Survey Says: 3/5
More New Jack Swagger Theme Please
Miz vs Jack Swagger. Miz tossed Swagger to the outside then hit a dropkick to knock him back out. Swagger caught Miz diving off the apron and hit a belly to belly. Miz tried fighting back but Swagger threw him into the corner and hit a bunch of knees to the gut. Swagger hit a bodyslam and a Swagger Bomb for two. Miz fought out of an armbar with some punches then hit his backbreaker/neckbreaker combo. Miz hit a couple of clotheslines then his corner clothesline. Miz hit an axe handle off the top for two. Miz went for a DDT, but Swagger pushed Miz into the ropes and Miz's leg got caught in the ropes. After a chop block to the ankle, Swagger applied the Patriot Lock and Miz tapped.
Match Analysis: Decent match between these two. Swagger looks strong here, which was necessary. But the Miz picked up a win last week over Antonio Cesaro, and then loses clean here? Shows that the WWE really puts no thought into their mid card booking at all. But the match did its job of getting Jack Swagger over strong. Survey Says: 3/5
John Cena gave a promo basically telling us to get Ready for the Year of John Cena. Sigh...
Main Event time. Punk started with a headlock. Cena countered out and applied a couple of headlocks of his own. The two did a quick exchange with Cena connecting on a hip toss. Punk rolled to the outside going into commercial. Cena had control back from break and hit a fisherman's suplex. Punk moved out of the way of a Cena charge. Punk hit a neckbreaker than applied a headlock. Cena fought out of the headlock with an electric chair back drop then hit a bulldog for two. Punk fought out of a headlock and hit a heel kick for two. Cena hit a shoulder tackle but Punk ducked the second one and Cena went flying to the outside. Punk hit a dive to the outside into another commercial.
Cena escaped a gut wrench back from break and tried going into CENA MODE, but Punk countered the side suplex into a GTS, which Cena countered into a pin attempt for two. Cena went for the STF, but Punk got to the ropes and hit a springboard shoulder tackle for two. Punk went for another one but Cena caught Punk and applied the STF. Punk reversed it into the Anaconda Vice. Cena countered into the STF, which Punk reversed into a pin attempt that got a two. Both men exchanged punches and kicks. Punk missed a kick and hit a side slam, but blocked the Five Knuckle Shuffle with a kick. He went for a GTS but Cena escaped. Punk hit a high knee in the corner. Cena blocked the bulldog and hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle and high knee. Punk countered the STF, Cena countered the GTS into a powerbomb for two.
Cena went to the top rope but Punk punched him off. Cena eventually head butted Punk off the top and hit his leg drop off the top for two. Punk caught Cena with a kick to the head but Cena surprised Punk with an AA that only got him a two count. Punk rolled to the outside and tossed Cena into the ringpost. Cena got back in the ring right before the ten count. Punk connected on a GTS but only got a two count. Punk went for a second GTS, but Cena countered into a STF. Punk was able to get to the ropes. Punk surprised Cena with a kick to the knee then a piledriver. Cena kicked out at two. Punk went for a top rope elbow, but Cena moved. Cena hit a horrible hurricarrana then an AA for the win.
Match Analysis: Great Match. I could watch Punk and Cena wrestle anytime. It is a shame Vince thinks this feud is played out. Outstanding near falls and non-stop action once they returned from the second commercial break. We now get the rematch the WWE thinks we want to see in Rock/Cena. Strong ending to what was a surprisingly good show. Survey Says: 4.5/5
I really liked this episode of RAW. Despite my despise for the top two matches at Wrestlemania, they did a good job of building them with tonight's show. HHH and Brock Lesnar had a good brawl to start the show. Dolph Ziggler pulled a watchable match out of Ryback. Swagger and Miz was decent. The promo work from Zeb Colter continues to be strong. And of course the main event was great. My one gripe is with the booking of C.M. Punk. After losing to the Rock twice and John Cena, to people really expect him to have a chance against The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. Going off the assumption he is Punk's opponent. I also don't like the continued jobbing of Dolph. And as I said in the Miz/Swagger write up, Miz winning last week and losing this week. The WWE needs to care more about the booking of its midcard. But a strong show overall that I'm giving a 7.
Until Next Time,
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