John Cena made his decision about who he wants at Wrestlemania. Vince McMahon made a decision about Paul Heyman’s future (or did he?). Plus, a legendary lady became the third Hall of Famer…
Raw was live from Lost Wages errr…Las Vegas. Wanted to send a special shout-out to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Arnie Katz. Arnie and I were side-by-side (along with our wives) the night Mick Foley and Sabu darn near got lynched by some angry card players at Mahoney’s Silver Nugget. (Read Foley’s first book for that fun story).
Raw decided to bring back Raw Roulette. Sigh. The opening video package took a look at The Road To Wrestlemania, which started at Sunday night’s Royal Rumble. John Cena eliminated Ryback to win the Rumble. C.M. Punk originally won the WWE title match but Vince restarted the battle. Vince was about to strip Punk of the title but Rock said “You don’t take it from him, I am”. Rock took down Punk to claim the WWE title, after a decade without a strap.
Vickie explained Raw Roulette. She showed off the three wheels: Wheel of Superstars, Wheel of Stipulation and Vickie’s Wheel aka Vickie’s Vegas Challenges. Vickie was wearing the oddest darn dress. I would have been a strapless thing, except for a strip up the center which led to a collar. Who dreamed up that mess?
Vickie said Antonio Cesaro would face Randy Orton in a…Spin the Wheel…Special Guest Referee match.
C.M. Punk’s music hit and Punk raced down to the ring. Heyman trotted behind him, trying to keep Punk calmed down. There was a sign that said “Phoenix Screwjob”. Punk pushed everyone around and grabbed a microphone. He ordered his music stopped. Punk said he did not lose at Rumble. He yelled that he beat Rock and became the new “People’s Champion”. Punk called Rock a “cheater”. He couldn’t believe the fans liked someone like that swindler and thief (Rock). Punk took a shot at Vince, as well. Punk felt Vince screwed him worse than Vince screwed Bret Hart in Montreal. Waaahhhhh! Get him a pacifier and a blankie. Punk knew Rock was going to want to party. Punk said he was there to crash the party…
Enter Vince McMahon! Punk screamed at Vince and called him all kinds of nasty names. Vince said he had video proof of a scheme that involved The Shield, orchestrated by Paul Heyman. Paul tried to talk but Vince cut him off. Vince said he would have a discussion with Paul, later in the night, that might lead to Paul’s termination. Vince called it a Performance Evaluation.
JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler were the announce team. JBL said Cole was the one screaming that it was The Shield that attacked Rock, at Rumble. Rock will be out, later.
Randy Orton vs Antonio Cesaro
Non-Title Match under Special Guest Ref Rules
The Ref: The MIz
Cesaro was so ticked to see Mr. Awesome come from the back. Raw took a quick break.
Orton had Cesaro pinned as the show returned from a break. Suplex by Orton when the pin failed. Cesaro blocked a run into the corner. Cesaro then slammed Orton into the corner and started punching and kicking. Miz pulled Cesaro back. Orton then exploded on the US title holder. Whip into a Snap Mare by Orton. Back Drop Suplex by Orton for a two. The two ended up fighting on the floor. Orton Back Dropped Cesaro onto the barricade.
Orton threw Cesaro onto the apron and hit European Uppercuts. Orton stomped on the chest of Cesaro. Slingshot, up into the bottom rope, by Orton. Cesaro and Orton traded European Uppercuts. This went on forever, it seemed. Orton stopped on a Whip and then flipped Cesaro over the ropes and to the floor. Orton with a Running Clothesline, on the floor. Raw took another break.
Back Drop Suplex, by Cesaro, on Orton. Cesaro climbed the turnbuckles but Orton started to fight. Cesaro with a Jawbraker on the ring post top. Ouch! Cesaro brought Orton back in the ring and got a two. Cravat by Cesaro.Orton battled back but a Scoop Driver stopped The Viper, cold. Gut Wrench Suplex by Cesaro. 1-2-no. Cesaro screamed that Orton was nothing. Rear Chin Lock by Cesaro. Orton punched his way loose and avoided the Scoop Driver. Clotheslines and the Snap Powerslam by Orton. Knee Strike by Cesaro into a Morningstar. 2 count. Cesaro and Miz argued over the count. Twisted Sister Backbreaker by Orton. Cesaro rolled to the apron. Cesaro went to the eyes and then started punching away. Miz pulled Cesaro back. The two really got into a scream fest. Cesaro turned around and got laid out with the R-K-O!
Your Winner: Randy Orton
Grade: B (84%)
That ending looked so sloppy. Orton wasn’t ready so Miz had to cover and extend the ending for Orton. Still a decent match, tho. After the Match, Miz with the Skull Crushing Finale on Antonio Cesaro.
It was back to the wheel. Vickie’s wheel brought up the Make Me Laugh option. Ryback was going to be one of the competitors for that one. Ryback then lumbered down to the ring. Ryback came in 2nd, Sunday, losing to John Cena.
Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi were in the crowd.
Ryback vs The Prime Time Players
Make Me Laugh Challenge
Matt Striker was the MC for this waste of time. Titus and Darren told a seriously wax knot (old Running the Numbers term). Ryback then said he had a joke “What has four eyes, 20 fingers and was about to be unconcious?” Ryback then attacked Darren Young nad Titus O’Neil. Darren bailed out. Ryback with the Spinebuster on Titus. Meat Hook Clothesline into Shell Shocked on Titus. JBL called Darren Young “Harpo Marx”. Matt said that made him laugh.
Your Winner: Ryback
After the announcement, Ryback attacked Striker! Shell Shocked!
Raw did a profile of Bob Backlund. Interesting, Backlund shouldn’t have won the title, the first tine, because his opponent clearly had his foot on the ropes. Never noticed that before. The video package talked about all the great stars that he had faced. So many people have e-mailed me or touched base through Facebook about how much they love that Backlund was finally getting his due. Another inductee would be announced, in the final hour of the show.
Vickie was spinning the wheel, yet again. It came up a Player’s Choice match. Wade Barrett would get to choose his opponent. He wanted to battle the kid that eliminated him at Royal Rumble.
Wade Barrett vs Bo Dallas
Player’s Choice Match
Barrett claimed he was going to end Bo’s career. Raw showed Bo’s elimination of Wade. Wade shoved Bo and then threw him into the corner. Bo ducked a Clothesline and punched away. Deep Arm Drags by Bo. Bo with a sharp Dropkick. Wade with a Back Kick and then he threw Bo into the corner. Wade stomped on Bo’s chest. Headbutt by Wade and a Running Big Boot. Wade kicked the ribs and chest. Cole called Bo “Real Deal” Bo Dallas. Wade loaded up the elbow. JBL compared Wade to Stan Hansen. Bo caught Wade with a Scoop Powerslam for the stunning win!
Your Winner: “Real Deal” Bo Dallas
Grade: B (84%)
Just a little background on Mr. Dallas. He is a third generation star. He is the brother of Husky Harris. He is the son of Mike Rotunda and grandson of Blackjack Mulligan. His uncles are Barry and Kendall Windham. This kid has some of the strongest wrestling bloodlines in the business. Good luck, kid. I think you will be a huge star, sometime soon.
And the wheel was spun. Cody Rhodes found out that he was going to have to face…John Cena. That match was up, next.
Cody Rhodes vs John Cena
The announcers talked about the opening segment with C.M. Punk, Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon. They then talked about John Cena replacing Fred Flintstone on Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles. The ran a tale of the tape. I so see John Cena vs John Goodman (in Flintstone gear). Cena then arrived to a very mixed reaction from the crowd. Cena rushed the ring and saluted the fans.
The two circled each other and then locked up. Side Headlock by Rhodes. Universal by Cena into a Dropkick. Cole talked about Cody eliminating his own brother, Goldust, at the Rumble. Cena eliminated Cody, at the Rumble. Whip by Cena into the Fisherman’s Suplex. Cody said this was a waste of Cody Rhodes. I’m Leaving was Cody’s decision. Cena disagreed. Cena went out and got Cody. He went Vintage on Rhodes and nailed the Five Knuckle Shuffle and Attitude Adjustment.
Your WInner: John Cena
Grade; B- (82%)
Cena was ready to make his decision about who he wanted to face at Wrestlemania. He weighed the pros and cons of each possibility and then chose to battle either C.M. Punk or The Rock for the WWE title at Wrestlemania. After his announcment, The Shield came down and attacked Cena. Sheamus came out and helped, for a moment. The trio then went after the Celtic Warrior and laid him out. Ryback came out and suffered the same fate. The Shield iced the cake by hitting the Sword of Justice Triple Powerbomb on Cena.
The wheel spinned again and it came up a Lingerie Pillow Fight. The contestants were Tensai and Brodus Clay. Ewwwwwwwwww! Tensai stormed out as Vickie said she would not let that happen. She had Brodus spin her wheel. It came up a Dance Off. Brodus said he would tell Tensai about the change. Wink Wink.
Michael Cole sent it to a package about last week-end’s Royal Rumble Fan Fest.
Brodus Clay vs Tensai
Clay and the Funkadactyls came out first. They danced through the commercial break. After the break, Jerry Lawler was in the ring. Tensai was wearing a huge white bathrobe. Tensai was ticked off. He took off his robe to reveal…lingerie! Oh dear God in Heaven. Oops, guess Clay forgot to tell Tensai about the change. Lawler broke up as Tensai kept trying to keep his panties from riding up. Clay and the Funkadactyls did their typical dance routine. It was ok. Tenai really got into the whole dance thing, eventually. As my grandfather would have said “Damn, he moves pretty good for a big fella”. Lawler told Tensai “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. “Promise?” questioned Tensai. The crowd exploded. Gangham Style? NO! Ron Simmons watched all the silliness, in the ring and put it perspective with his trademark word…Damn!
It was time for Alberto Del Rio to spin the wheel. He got the Body Slam Challenge. Vickie said Alberto would have to try and Slam Big Show. Alberto reminded Vickie “In Vegas, anything can happen.”
Alberto Del Rio vs Big Show
Body Slam Challenge
Big Show beat on Del Rio and then Duct Taped ADR to the middle rope. Show then just annihilated Ricardo Rodriguez. He put a cherry on this one with a Knockout Punch to Del Rio.
Your Winner: N/A
Kaitlyn vs Tamina Snuka
Las Vegas Showgirl Lumberjill Match
The other Divas were in the foofoo and feathers, around ringside. The two women locked up and danced around. They went to the corner. Tamina with a kick and hard punch. Alabama Slam by Tamina after running Kaitlyn into the corner, upside down and backwards. Tamina stood on Kaitlyn’s neck. Tamina with kicks. Jumping Headbutt by Tamina. Tamina with the Rear Chin Lock. Kaitlyn started to fight back but Tamina threw Kaitlyn down and kicked her out of the ring. The Lumberjills got into it with Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn used one of the headdresses to attack Tamina. Spear by Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn forced the headdress onto Tamina. The Jills hit the ring and the fight was on. Clothes went flying as Tamina and Kaitlyn watched the chaos.
Your Winner: No Contest
Grade: D (62%)
The announcers even talked about how crappy that segment was.
Rock came out to a deafening pop. He bounced on the stage and then walked to the ring. Rock said it could all be summed up by one word…Finally. “FInally, the Rock has come back to Las Vegas” and “Finally, the Rock is WWE Champion”. A “Rocky!” chant swelled across the Thomas and Mack. Rock said he won 7 WWE titles between 1998 and 2003. After 10 long years, this moment was the proudest moment of Rock’s career. Rock had already thanked his friends and family, so now he wanted to thank the fans. There was another rising “Rocky!” chant. Rock knew Punk always felt the fans were nothing. Rock didn’t believe that and those crap days were over. Rock took shots at Punk and Heyman. Rock got a “Twinkie T*ts” chant started. Rock was ready to start the “People’s Era”.
Rock was cut off by the return of C.M. Punk. Punk ordered his music cut. He yelled at the fans to shut their mouths. Punk said Rock was embarrassing both him and Rock. Punk said the belt was handed to Rock. Punk didn’t care if the fans were booing him. He knew that they would be calling him a genius, years from now. Punk suggested Rock should apologize and give him back his title. Delusional? Ya think? Rock questioned Punk if he had the nuts to come take the WWE title belt. Rock held out the belt. Rock said there were two choices: Come to the ring and face him like a man or stay on the stage like a Punk *ss B*tch. That started the obvious chant. Punk backed away from the ring and said Rock thinks it’s cool to swear. Punk said he wouldn’t do things on Rock’s terms. Punk said he might give Rock a rematch at Elimination Chamber. “Show up…if you dare!” was Punk’s semi-threat. Rock accepted it. He told Punk the only thing Punk would be taking was the *ss Beating of a LIfetime.
Sheamus vs Damien Sandow
Arm Bar by Sheamus. The two went to the floor and right back into the ring. Back Heel Trip on Sandow. Sheamus with hard clubbing blows. Sandow bailed out of the ring to avoid a Clothesline. Sheamus came out and blasted Sandow. Sheamus pitched Sandow onto the steps. Sheamus pulled out a table and set it up. Sheamus then tried to slam Sandow throughthe table. Sandow got free and slid in and back out of the ring. Dropkick, on the floor, by Sandow. Sandow got his own table but Sheamus threw it into Sandow. Sheamus then slid the table into the ring. Sheamus pitched Sandow in the ring. Flying Arm Bar by Sandow. Sandow stomped away on the bad shoulder of Sheamus. Monday was Sheamus’ birthday.
Sandow slid a second table into the ring and set it up and slammed it into Sheamus’ face. Sandow put Sheamus’ arm in the leg of the table and stomped away. Sandow tried to run Sheamus into the table but Sheamus put up the boot. Sheamus pitched Sandow onto the apron. Sheamus missed the Brogue Kick. Springboard Shoulder Tackle by Sheamus. Sheamus grabbed Sandow by the beard. Short Arm Clothesline by Sheamus. Side Russian Leg Sweep by Sandow off a reversed Irish Whip. Elbow of Distain by Sandow. Sandow moved a table into place. Sandow threw Sheamus into the side of the table. Sandow put Sheamus on the table and pounded away. Sandow went up to the Penthouse. Sheamus got up and hit hte Crossfaces in the ropes. Sheamus wanted to Suplex Sandow up and over but Sandow blocked it. Sandow rushed and Sheamus with a Running White Noise to drive Sandow through the table in the corner.
Your Winner: Sheamus
Grade: B (84%)
Zack Ryder vs Great Khali
Oh, Dear. Khali had to sing “Sexy Boy” (Shawn Michaels’ theme). They ran the words on the Tron but Khali sang his own thing. He was almost impossible to understand. I heard “Sexy Boy” a few times. Thankfully, (I know I am not about to type this) 3MB showed up to stop the torture. Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jindar Mahal got in the ring and said they were music. Ryder likes pop music but Khali was into Head Banging. Drew danced and then got laid out with a Khali Khop. Drew’s feet went into Heath. Zack with the Rough Ryder on Mahal. Khali with the Khop on Heath. Hornswoggle with the Tadpole Splash!
Your Winner: N/A
They SO need to go back to two hours.
Chris Jericho came out to talk with the fans. I don’t know which I liked better: the silver and blue glitter jacket or the wild purple boots. Jericho has a new huge tattoo on his left bicep. The crowd chanted “Y2J!” “Welcome to Raw is Jericho”. Jericho was happy to be back in the WWE. Jericho loved it that he surprised everyone by being the surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble.
Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and A.J. Lee came out to confront Jericho. Cole reminded the fans that Dolph cost Jericho his career, last summer. Dolph didn’t understand why Jericho was back. Jericho also has a new tattoo running up his left wrist and forearm. Lee told Jericho that she got Y2J fired from WWE. Jericho called Lee a “crazy little puppy”. Big E thretened to ruin jericho’s return. Jericho mocked Big E’s name thinking the E stood for Langston’s bra size. Dolph told Jericho to leave.
Vickie Guerrero came on the Tron. She said she signed Jericho to a new contract. Vickie decided to spin the wheel. It came up “Strange Bedfellows”. Vickie said Jericho and Ziggler would have to work together against…Team Hell No!
Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler vs Kane and Daniel Bryan
Strange Bedfellows (Non-title) Match
Dolph pounded on Kane. Kane reversed a Whip and “Showed Off” to Jericho. Raw took a break as Jeircho and Ziggler argued.
Dolph with a Side Headlock on Bryan. Dolph would not tag out. Jumping Elbow Drop by Dolph for two. Dolph mocked Jericho. Jericho with a blind tag. Shoulder Tackle by Jericho. Springboard Dropkick to Kane. Jericho missed the Lionsault. Bryan countered the Walls of Jericho. Flying Knee and tag to Kane. Kane and Bryan had a major breakdown, in mid ring. Bryan shoved Kane. Kane shoved back. Dolph with his own blind tag. Jeircho poppped Kane in the back, making the Big Red Monster think Dolph did it. Chokeslam!
Your Winners: Kane and Daniel Bryan
Grade: C (75%)
Time to announce the third Hall of Fame Inductee. It was Trish Stratus. She was one of the very few women that has both exceptional beauty and incredible in-ring talent. The induction is so well-deserved. My brother, Rick, lit up my phone with a huge text message just as soon as he heard. Congratulations to the wonderful Trish Stratus. You bridged beauty and brutality to create the ultimate female wrestler.
Vince was in the ring. He said everyone loves to have and Las Vegas is the best place to have fun. He did mispronounced Nevada. Vince said C.M. Punk was escorted out of the arena, 10 minutes earlier. Vince told Paul to get down to the ring, quickly. Paul looked ready for anything sent his way. The crowd booed the Hell of him but still chanted “E C Dub”. Paul wanted a handshake. Vince refused it, at first. He then shook Pauls’ outstretched hand. After he did it, Vince put alcohol gel on his hands. Paul was asked if he had The Shield and/or Brad Maddox under contract. Paul dodged the question. Paul denied having anything to do with Brad Maddox or The Shield. Vince asked Paul if he had ever lied. Paul brought up Vince’s dad. Paul said he has lied every day of his stinking life, because he was a promoter. Paul said he did what he had to do to survive. Paul said he never has regretted any of his lies. Paul swore than he was not lying, now, about the relationships. Vince asked Paul if he was an honorable man. Paul said he was trying to become one. Paul said he could learn from Vince, maybe. Paul said he wanted to be in the WWE and if he had to be an honorable man, he would.
Vince wanted a close up of Paul’s face. Vince asked the crowd if Paul was honorable and honest. The fans screamed no. Vince showed footage of Paul chatting with Brad Maddox. Paul told the cameraman to shut down the camera. He didn’t but Paul thought he did. Paul said there was bad news for Brad. Paul said Brad had failed him and C.M. Punk. Paul talked about paying Brad and The Shield to protect Punk. Paul then had The SHield destroy Brad Maddox.
Back to tonight’s show. Paul knew he was so busted. “You Got Busted!” rang out. Then “Nay Nay Hey Hey” was sung around the arena. Paul actually tried to claim that he man on the video wasn’t him. Heyman said it wasn’t even a good impression of him. Paul said he has a distinct thick New York Jewish Accent that was easy to imitate. Paul said it was jealousy that led to the false video. Paul repeated it wasnt him. Vince asked everyone if Paul deserved to be fired. Paul begged fo rhis job. Just before Vince got the words out…
Enter Brock Lesnar. Crap. I so do not like this over-hyped jerk.Brock got up in Vince’s face. Vince didn’t back up a step. Vince warned Brockie not to do someting he would regret. Brokck thought about it and laid out Vince with an F5. Jeez.
So, a lot of people have asked where I see this going. One of three directions: Brock vs Vince (Triple H gets involved), Brock vs Triple H or Brock vs Undertaker.