Tonight, Triple H responds to Brock Lesnar's challenge. We also see the continuation of the Undertaker/CM Punk feud. Will Undertaker actually say something tonight? Read along to find out!
Apparently, the Prime Time Players Should Be Main Eventing Wrestlemania
RAW started with John Cena in a new obnoxiously bright yellow shirt. Cena said the crowd seems like there are some Rock fans and Cena fans in the crowd. Cena said once again, that "Our Time is Now." Cena said he is more focused than ever. Randomly, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil came out. O'Neil was in an afro and cover alls. O'Neil said his name is Rufus Pancake Patterson, and they call him that because he flattens fools. Cena said he thinks O'Neil needs some medication. O'Neil said the only medication needed is the Prime Time Players. O'Neil said no one wants to see Cena at Wrestlemania, they want to see the Prime Time Players. O'Neil said he would have no problem tearing Cena limb from limb, but his gout is flaring up. Darren Young, however, would have no problem doing that. Young said after the match, Cena would be crying on the ramp just like at last year's Wrestlemania. Cena got serious and said he will show Young that he is ready for Wrestlemania.
A match started and Cena went for an early STF, but O'Neil pulled him out of the ring. Back from break, Cena was already in CENA MODE. After a Five Knuckle Shuffle and AA, Cena won.
Segment Analysis: Titus O'Neil has a great personality. That guy could probably do pretty good on his own and get over well. I've always liked the Prime Time Players. It is just a shame the Tag Team Division is dead. Surprised the match was that short. What was the point of the commercial? Survey Says: 2.5/5
They replayed Mark Henry's beatdown of Ryback on Smackdown. After the commercial, Ryback made quick work of David Otunga. Ryback said at Wrestlemania, himself, Sheamus and Randy Orton will feed on the Shield. And him and Mark Henry will cross paths again. Mark Henry came out. Vickie Guerrero and Teddy Long stopped him. Vickie said she is taking Ryback out of the six man tag, and putting him in a match against Mark Henry. I don't like how that was booked. Should have had Ryback want to challenge Henry instead.
Fandango came out to an overly elaborate entrance to fight Great Khali. Fandango asked Natalya to pronounce his name, but she told Khali to get him. Fandango bailed. This will never end.
Damien Sandow came out for a match with R-Truth. Sandow said the R must stand for repugnant. Truth gave his own poem which ended in Truth saying Sandow was going to get got. The match started and Sandow applied a headlock. Truth countered into a nearfall but Sandow came back with a clothesline. Sandow hit some knees to the head then a side Russian leg sweep. The Elbow of Disdain got a two count. Truth started fighting back and hit some clotheslines then a Lie Detector. Sandow rolled out of the ring and left. He was counted out.
Backstage, the Bellas were flirting with Cody Rhodes. Kaitlyn came in and said that she can't hang out with Cody later, and that he could have the Bellas.
Analysis: This has been a pretty bad first hour of RAW. They lazily put together the Mark Henry/Ryback match. They should have made it so Ryback wanted to fight Mark Henry. The Fandango gimmick, while I think has potential, is getting repetitive. Something needs to change and it seems like the crowd is beginning to hate him. He's getting heat. The Sandow/Truth match served pretty much no purpose. Bad first hour.
CM Punk: Harlem Globetrotter?
Undertaker came out and said that CM Punk made this personal. He said Punk has one chance to make it right. He wants the urn. Punk did a fake Paul Bearer voice and pretended to have the urn talk. Punk tossed around and played with the urn. He said he is the one man who can shoulder the burden of ending the Streak. Punk dropped the urn and said no disrespect intended.
Segment Analysis: If the WWE wants people to boo CM Punk at Wrestlemania, they are doing a good job of it. Punk is playing the role of a prick heel very well here. Surprised the segment was as short as it was, but it got the point across. Punk isn't afraid of Taker and believes he can end the Streak. Taker is hell bent on destroying Punk at Mania. Survey Says: 3.5/5
Team Hell No defeated Primo and Epico. At the end of the match, A.J. came around the ring and started to skip around. Kane was almost rolled up. Kane picked up the win.
Chris Jericho was talking about his Triple Threat Intercontinental Title match later. Fandango interrupted. Jericho pronounced his name in various forms, including Fan Dodge Durango. It was pretty funny. He told Fandango not to leave because he needed his movie tickets.
USA Chants?? Uh Oh...
Alberto del Rio vs Cody Rhodes. Del Rio hit a hurricarrana then applied an armbar. Del Rio telegraphed a duck and Cody caught him with an uppercut. Cody threw Del Rio in the corner. Del Rio countered with a kick to the head. Cody blocked a suplex and hit one of his own for two. Del Rio got out of a headlock and hit a back drop. Del Rio charged at Cody but Cody moved and Del Rio went right into the ringpost. Cody started working over Del Rio's shoulder, but Del Rio fought back. He hit a kick to the back, then drop kicked Cody's legs out from under him and Cody went face first on the ring apron.
Back from break Cody had control. Del Rio took down Cody and went for a moonsault, but Del Rio landed on his feet and Cody hit a clothesline. Cody started working over Del Rio's bad knee. Del Rio blocked a suplex on the top and hit an awkward looking front suplex off the second rope. Del Rio came back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a superkick for two. Cody blocked a crossarmbreaker attempt and hit a moonsault off the top for two. Del Rio got Cody caught in the ropes and he hit his kidney punches in the ropes and a backstabber for two. Del Rio applied the cross armbreaker for the win.
After the match Jack Swagger attacked Del Rio. Swagger tossed Ricardo to the outside. Del Rio and Swagger started brawling. Del Rio threw Swagger into the barricade, then turned his attention to Zeb. Swagger jumped him from behind, then threw him into the steps and over the announce table. Going back up the ramp, Swagger clotheslined Ricardo then applied the Patriot Lock, "breaking" his ankle.
Segment Analysis: The match wasn't bad, but the crowd just didn't get into it. That is a bad sign for the future of Alberto del Rio as a face. Especially because the crowd chanted "USA" not once, but twice during the match. You don't want that if you are the WWE. The end segment got some heat on Swagger heading into Mania. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Booker T was announced as the next inductee into the Hall of Fame.
Yes, It Is Time For A Big Show Fave Turn!
Randy Orton and Sheamus vs 3MB. Sheamus and Orton dominated Drew McIntyre early on. Sheamus hit his rope punches then a battering ram. Jinder Mahal distracted Sheamus and allowed McIntyre to hit a clothesline. McIntyre and Slater worked over Sheamus until he escaped the grasp of Slater and caught McIntyre with an axe handle. Orton came in and went into ORTON MODE. Sheamus hit Brogue Kicks on McIntyre and Mahal, then Orton hit an RKO on Slater for the win. The Shiwld came out after the match and surrounded the ring, but Big Show came out to even the odds. The Shield retreated.
Segment Analysis: Again, simple but lazy booking headed into Wrestlemania. They should have started this a few weeks ago and just not have Ryback involved at all. I'm sure most fans would rather see Ryback there than Show. It almost seems like Show is a "back-up" option. Survey Says: 2.5/5
Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston in Match #63857235 of their feud. This building to a huge blowoff match at Wrestlemania 50 right? Dolph won after interference from Big E and a distraction from A.J. Team Hell No came out and challenged Big E and Dolph to a tag team match. A.J. said only if the Titles were on the line, and at Wrestlemania. Team Hell No accepted.
Oh, Now They Want To Give Us A Wrestling Match
Triple Threat Match for the IC Title. Jericho clotheslined Barrett over the top. Miz ducked a Jericho clothesline and hit a dropkick through the ropes, then Jericho hit a dive over the top. Back in the ring Miz scored a couple of near falls on Barrett. Miz hit his corner clothesline and hit Jericho with a boot. This allowed Barrett to regain control. Jericho came back in and they hit the powerbomb/suplex spot off the turnbuckle. Barrett had control back from break, but Jericho caught him with a boot. There was a fas pace offense exchange. Miz locked in the Figure Four on Barrett. Jericho broke it up with the Lionsault.
Jericho countered a Blackhole Slam attempt and locked in the Walls of Jericho. Miz broke it up and went for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Jericho countered into a roll up for two. Jericho hit the Codebreaker. Barrett threw Jericho out of the ring. Jericho pulled Barrett off the pin attempt and threw Barrett into the barricade. Jericho got a two count. Miz hit a DDT. He missed his corner clothesline. Jericho dropkicked Barrett off the apron but walked right into a Miz kick in the head for two. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Jericho, but Barrett came in from behind and scored a roll up pinfall win.
Match Analysis: Pretty good wrestling match for the short time that it had. Lots of good near falls, and they were all believable because you could have seen all three men winning. Barrett retains the IC Title and will probably defend against Miz, while Jericho more than likely moves on to Fandango. Solid action and probably the best part of the show so far. Survey Says: 3.5/5
Where Can I Sign Up For A "Winner Gets Stephanie" Match?
Triple H came out, followed by Paul Heyman with security. HHH said he thought Lesnar would be man enough to see him face-to-face. Heyman said HHH has two options: Disappoint the WWE Universe or face Brock Lesnar no matter what the circumstances at Wrestlemania. Heyman said he doesn't think HHH has made up his mind, and he fears HHH will take out his furstration on him. That is why he has security. Heyman said Lesnar already signed, and that HHH should go ahead and sign it. HHH said he is forgetting the part where he signs the contract and kicks Brock Lesnar's ass at Wrestlemania. Heyman replayed the brawl between both men a few weeks ago. Heyman listed a bunch of false stipulations, then said that maybe the winner should get Stephanie McMahon, but then he said that would be more appropriate for the loser to get. HHH jumped Heyman and then took out his security team. HHH bullied Heyman for a bit then signed the contract. Lesnar came out with a chair but HHH pulled a Sledgehammer out from under the table. Heyman and Lesnar bailed. Heyman said the match at Wrestlemania will be No Holds Barred, and HHH's career will be on the line.
Segment Analysis: Just not a very strong delivery there in the final segment. It was pretty obvious how it would all breakdown from the moment HHH buried the security team. No Holds Barred is pretty much the exact same match they had at SummerSlam, and that match wasn't very good for a main event spectacle. Having HHH's career on the line at least leaves some thought that he might lose, but I don't think that happens. Just a meh ending to a bad show. Survey Says: 2/5
This was not a very good episode of RAW and just a terrible build up to Wrestlemania. The CM Punk/Undertaker segment made its point but was a bit too short for my liking. The final segment wasn't great and we are essentially getting the same match we got from Lesnar/HHH at SummerSlam. Nothing new on the Rock/Cena front. The mid-card matches were put together lazily. Outside of the IC Title match and Titus O'Neil, there was nothing good on this show. It gets a 2 from me. The WWE needs to get their act together in these last two weeks. I already had low hopes for Wrestlemania. This show didn't help them.
Until Next Time,
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