John Cena put his WWE Title shot, won at the Royal Rumble, up against C.M. Punk. Punk’s associate, Paul Heyman, was set to fight Vince McMahon. All this and much more on this week’s Raw.
Welcome to my old home town of Dallas, TX. My mom, sisters and tons of other family members still live in the area. I am SO freaking homesick to see Waxahachie (yes, it really does exist).
The show opened with a look back at the attack, by Brock Lesnar, on Vince McMahon . It happened back in January. Vince is still healing from hip replacement surgery but he wants to kick Heyman’s butt. Cena actually made the offer to put his WWE title shot on the line. If Cena loses, he is supposed to shut up and go away.
Vince McMahon was introduced to the Dallasites. He came out on his crutches. Vince still had the swagger, even if he was on the sticks. Vince supposedly had hip replacement surgery only 21 days ago. So, Vince was born under a red sun and shot to earth from a doomed planet? Vince had the microphone and said he liked to do things in a big way. He wanted something big, each and every week, up to Wrestlemania. Vince was so confident in his battle against Paul Heyman. Vince introduced Paul E.. Heyman was dressed to battle but his mouth started running before his feet did. Heyman said this would be the stereotypical “one legged man in an *ss kicking contest”. Heyman crowed that he was “all man”. Heyman got a shot in on Tony Romo. Heyman refused to take it easy on Vince. Heyman rambled on how Vince took down the government and every major promotion, in his way. Heyman noticed that Vince was in his suit. Heyman wanted to be 100% sure that Vince wanted this. Heyman went right after the hip.
Paul Heyman vs Vince McMahon
Heyman smacked Vince, in the hip, with the crutch. Vince caught the crutch and jammed it into Heyman. Vince cracked it across Heyman’s back. Enter Brock Lesnar! Big Surprise! Lesnar hopped on the apron and slowly entered the ring.
Your Winner: Not an official Match
Triple H’s music exploded and so did the fans! Welcome back, Hunter! HHH was in street clothes and he stared evilly at the man who injured him and his father-in-law. Brock looked shocked at the site of The Game. HHH now has a fully shaved head. Lesnar and Triple H went to town, on each other, on the floor. Lesnar took HHH down and tried to use his MMA crap. HHH sent Lesnar into the ring post, head first., twice. Lesnar was busted open. HHH with a La Bandera to flip Lesnar over into the ringside bullpen. Lesnar kicked and clubbed at HHH. HHH was able to blast Lesnar with a crutch. Lesnar with a Spicoli Driver to send HHH into the announce table. Lesnar tossed HHH back into the ring. There was a blood splotch on the ring post. Lesnar went under the ring and found a steel chair. He got in the ring with it but HHH with a Double-A Spinebuster. HHH got the chair and he cracked it across Lesnar’s back. Lesnar took off to avoid getting anymore of HHH’s wrath. HHH wanted Lesanr to come back. Lesnar had a wicked grin on his face.
We will have Jack Swagger and Alberto Del Rio on MizTV, later. Ryback was on deck to battle Dolph Ziggler.
Raw looked back at the opening segment. Michael Cole asked the fans to Tout it Out about what just happened.
Dolph Ziggler (with Big E Langston and A.J. Lee) vs Ryback
Dolph ducked under and showed off. Go Behind by Dolph. Standing Switch into an amateur throw. Ryback threw Dolph around, a couple more times. Dropkick by Dolph. Dolph punched and kicked away and then slapped on a Front Face Lock. Ryback lifted Dolph and pitched him off. Ryback with a Rick Steiner Leapfrog Slam. Dolph tried to exit but Ryback caught him. Knife Edge Chop by Ryback. Dolph with several kicks. Ryback caught the Crossbody as the crowd chanted “Boring”. Ryback ran Dolph into the corner and then dropped him. Dolph bailed out to the floor. Raw took a break.
Ryback with a Stall Suplex. I love those extended Suplexes. Dolph fell out of the ring. Ryback went out to get his victim/opponent. Dolph tried to nail Ryback but Ryback threw Dolph back, by the foot. Langston Steam Rolled Ryback, as the ref was distracted. Dolph then came out and got Ryback. He only got a one count. Another evil-looking Dropkick to the back of Ryback’s head. Front Face Lock by Ryback. The crowd rallied with “Feed Me More” to energize Ryback. Ryback hit the ring post and Dolph with the Lawn Dart DDT. 1-2-no. Dolph missed the Famouser but did cinch in The Sleeper. Ryback pumped himself up and hit a Jawbreaker from Hell. Dolph flew at Ryback but got nailed by Ryback. Lift Drop and Spinebuster by Ryback. A.J. got on the apron. Ryback laid out Langston, who was on the apron, too. Another Spinebuster led to Shell Shocked!
Your Winner: Ryback
Grade; B+ (87%)
Cole sent it to a trailer for “The Call”. David Otunga and Halle Berry are both in the film. Looks like a Criminal Minds-like drama.
“Cult of Personality” heralded the entrance of C.M. Punk. Punk had something to say but more commercials took priority. Maybe it’s just because I’m waiting for the wife and daughter to bring home dinner but all these commercials are pushing the hunger to levels that make my desk look eatable.
The Sweet and Spicy Slam showcased Punk and Cena’s confrontation from last week. Punk was ready to chat with the masses. They were hostile as can be to the former WWE champ. Punk said history would be made, in Dallas, tonight. Punk felt this was both an ending and a beginning. Punk knew that the battle, later on, was way beyond just a match. Punk didn’t think tonight was about Cena, Rock or even Wrestlemania or the people. Punk didn’t think this was about the WWE Championship. Punk knew that tonight was all about C.M. Punk. Jeez, don’t break your arm patting yourself on your back. Punk said he was ready to take his place in the main event of Wrestlemania. Punk bragged about how long he held the WWE title and how he has beaten both Cena and Rock. Punk kept ranting about being “The Best in the World”. Punk thought of himself as an “Icon”. Punk now considers himself Immortal. They should have done this at Cowboys Stadium so they could roll back the ceiling for Punk’s expanding ego. Punk called himself “God”.
Cole and Jerry Lawler talked about the four members of the Class of 2013 Hall of Fame. The next inductee…Donald Trump! Sigh. I was hoping for Cyndi Lauper and we get him? Trump has been involved in several Wrestlemanias. He hosted IV and V. He also participated in Mania 23, in the Battle of the Billionaires, vs Vince McMahon. Their proxies battled and Bobby Lashley beat Umaga. Thanks to that, Vince ended up bald-headed. With Trump being based in the New York/New Jersey area, I guess it makes sense to put him in. I still would have preferred to see Lauper.
Mark Henry vs Great Khali
Collar and Elbow and Mark threw Khali off. Big Boot by Khali. Khali clubbed and chopped away. Mark with a shot. Open Hand Slap by Khali. Headbutts by Khali. Khali Khop to send Mark to the floor. Mark ran Khali into the ring post. They got back in the ring and Mark nailed a Corner Splash. Mark lifted Khali and walked around. Damn. World Strongest Slam!
Your Winner: Mark Henry
Grade: C (75%)
Cole and Lawler sent it to a look at Marine 3, starring The Miz. It is a seriously violent action film. Chuck Norris, he ain’t, but it still looks good.
The Miz came out, dressed to the nines. He will host MizTV, after the break.
Fandango was back. Yawn. I’m bored with this guy and he doesn’t even debut until Friday.
Guests: Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez, Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter.
The tension was high in the ring. Miz got right down to it. Ricardo got a nice pop but it paled next to Alberto’s. Miz wanted Zeb and Jack to talk directly to Alberto. Zeb got a shot in on Glenn Beck, whoever the Heck that is. Zeb introduced himself and Jack to Alberto. Zeb talked about the 11 Million undocumented workers aka illegals. This turned into a political ramble. Shut up and get back to wrestling, will ya? Miz cut off Zeb and said he wanted to hear what Alberto had to say. Miz asked Alberto how difficult it was to become a Mexican citizen. Alberto said to let Zeb run off at the mouth. Zeb said Mexico was corrupt. Zeb wanted to know what Alberto was afraid of. Slap that fuzzy faced doofus, please. Zeb said this was not personal. Zeb said Jack and Zeb were fighting against what Alberto stands for. Zeb said Alberto motivated people to sneak across the border. I’m glad Dianna hasn’t shown up with our Subway sandwiches because I would be un-eating it. Alberto finally got tired of Zeb’s racist crap. He ordered Zeb to shut up. Alberto went off on Jack and Zeb, in Spanish. Alberto said America belongs to everyone. Alberto said we were all descended from immigrants. He talked about the American Dream (no, not Dusty). Alberto said he has never met anyone like Zeb, before. Alberto asked Jack to do something to make him and Ricardo leave. Alberto ripped off his jacket as Swagger called for the microphone. Jack said “We will see you at Wrestlemania”. He then went into his stupid “We the People” thing. Jack and Zeb bailed out of the ring. Alberto’s music went off to show who was the “Winner” of this debate. Miz smirked at the outcome. The match is going to be really good, I think.
Speaking of Wrestlemania, I am proud to say that I will get the honor of covering the “Granddaddy of them all”, yet again this year.
Next Monday, Raw is going “Old School”, once again.
During the break, Zeb got into it with Miz. Zeb said Miz was biased. That led to a blind side attack by Jack Swagger.
Antonio Cesaro vs Randy Orton
Jerry Lawler said he would be on Smackdown, on Friday. Collar and Elbow into a Cesaro Side Headlock. Shoulder Tackle by Cesaro. Another Side Headlock by Cesaro. Universal into a Back Elbow by Orton.Trapped Leg Suplex by Orton. European Uppercut by Orton. Cesaro with a European to the back of Orton’s head. Gut Wrenct Suplex to Orton, for a two. Cesaro drove his knee into Orton’s upper back. Cesaro ran his boot laces across Orton’s face and then hit a series of European Uppercuts. Orton exploded out of a Whip and hit a pair of Clotheslines and the Snap Powerslam.
Cesaro snapped Orton on the ropes. Twisted Sister Backbreaker by Orton. Cesaro with the knee. Cesaro flew off the ropes…right into an RKO!
Your Winner: Randy Orton
Grade: B+ (88%)
Kane and Daniel Bryan watched the match, in the back. Bryan said they should be on the same page. Bryan said he could beat the Prime Time Players, blindfolded. Kane said he could beat PTP, with one arm tied behind his back. Vickie and Brad came in and Brad said he and Vickie are now Team Brickie. Brad kept cutting off Vickie. Team Brickie said Bryan would be blindfolded and Kane would have one arm tied behind his back. Somewhere, my friend, Kevin Sullivan just smiled.
Michael Cole sent it back to a Wrestlemania 21
”A Few Good Men” promo. JBL and John Cena were involved and it was great.
Sheamus’ Oscar Snub (Seriously?)
So, Sheamus comes out in a sharp suit and tie. Sheamus got various shots in on the decisions and Seth McFarlane. (Please, find someone else to host, next year, and let Seth go back to Family Dad) Sheamus said he was an avid movie lover. Sheamus led into ridiculing Wade Barrett and his acting in “Dead Man Down”. They ran a trailer for the movie. I do like the new remake of “Shine on, You Crazy Diamond”. I’m a mega Pink Floyd fan and the new version of the classic song is hip. Sheamus said the movie is incredible. Sheamus ran another trailer. This one had Wade Barrett, out of focus, in the background. Sheamus mocked Wade’s facial expressions.
Wade came out and suggested Sheamus was green with envy. Wade took shots at the fans and then stated that Sheamus was jealous of Wade. Wade was set to walk down the Red Carpet on Tuesday night. Sheamus made fun of Wade’s face, especially his nose. Wade went to take a shot at Sheamus but bailed when Sheamus threatened the Brogue Kick. Wade said he had a premier to go to.
Cody Rhodes vs R-Truth
Damien Sandow was at the announce table. Raw looked back at Sandow’s pre-match attack on Kofi Kingston. R-Truth rushed down and defended his friend and former tag partner.
Side Headlock by Truth. Shoulder Tackle into his Crunk thing. Truth ducked the Disaster Kick. Cody went after Truth’s leg. Kick to Truth’s inner thigh. Cody stomped away on Truth. Front Drop Suplex by Cody. Truth and Cody traded fists. Cody choked Truth with the boot. The two traded shots. Snap Mare into a Seated Full Nelson by Cody.
Truth with a Forearm. Cody with a kick. Spear by Truth for the three. Sandow hit the ring and Truth hit Sandow. Bail out by Mr. Sandow.
Your Winner: R-Truth
Grade: C+ (79%)
Cole sent it to another We the People YouTube post. This time the racist garbage was about people losing their jobs to people from other countries. Enough already. I realize that Zeb and Jack are just regurgitating the vile words of some monkey paid to write controversy. This kind of crap could easily get someone hurt (be it Swagger or Zeb or Del Rio). Please Stop This B.S..
Daniel Bryan (blindfolded) and Kane (One Arm Tied behind his Back) vs Titus O’Neil and Darren Young
Kevin Sullivan vs Jimmy Garvin. Jake “The Snake” Robers vs Rick “The Model” Martel. Never has this worked. Daniel looked like Gimp from Pulp Fiction. Darren distracted Daniel with the whistle. Titus ran over Daniel. Scoop Slam by Titus. Tag to Darren Nice Northern Lights Bridging Suplex by Darren. Tag to Titus. Stomp by Titus. Titus threw Daniel into the corner and then nailed a Scoop Slam. Kane tried to help Daniel and got smacked. Daniel tripped, getting into the ring. Darren rushed and hit the ring post. Kane screamed for a tag and got one. Kane blasted Darren. Titus pre-sold a hit. Corner Clothesline by Kane. Back Elbow by Kane. Goozle. Big Boot to Titus. Darren got free but eventually fell victim to the Chokeslam.
Your Winners; Team Hell No
Grade: D (65%)
Cole and Lawler looked back at the opening segment with Heyman, McMahon and Lesnar.
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose made their way through the crowd and got in the ring. Dean so reminds me of my buddy, Von Hess. Dean said it was going to keep getting worse until there is justice and honor in the WWE. Dean said they make a lot of people uncomfortable. Dean urged the WWE to form any army to face them. Roman agreed and said they would stand, fight and win against any opposition. Roman said Justice will hunt you down and grind your bones to dust. Seth then took over and crowed about their recent wins. Seth really bragged about taking out Chris Jericho. Seth wanted to know if anyone else wanted…
Sheamus’ music hit and the Celtic Warrior returned to the arena. Sheamus urged The Shield to come face him. It was a ploy. As Dean and Roman hit the floor, Randy Orton slid in and hit an RKO on Seth! Orton then made his way into the crowd and Sheamus went to the back.
Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) vs The Miz
Special Challenge Match
Miz demanded this match, after the sneak attack by Swagger. Miz opened up on Jack and then flipped Jack out to the floor. Dropkick by Miz to send Jack back to the floor. Miz flew into Jack’s arms and got planted with a Belly to Belly Suplex. Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez watched the match, in the back. Jack attacked Miz’s lower back. Cole talked about Glenn Beck (Who?). Miz kicked and punched away. Jack reversed an Irish Whip and hit repeated Kneelifts. Double Underhook Full Nelson. Miz made it to the ropes. Whip by Jack. Miz with a kick to the knee but Swagger with a vicious Clothesline. Scoop Slam by Jack. Swagger Bomb, by Jack, for two. Jack worked over Miz’s weakened shoulder. Miz punched free and hit the Reality Check. Powerslam by Jack. 1-2-no.
Jack with brutal punches, in the corner. Back Elbow by Miz. Miz ducked and dodged and popped Jack. Jack with a kick but Miz with a Clothesline, punch and Big Boot. Full Body Clothesline by Miz. Ax Bomber, by Miz, for two. Sunset Flip by Miz. Jack shoved Miz into the ropes. Miz’s leg was twisted in the ropes. Chop Block by Jack. Jack wanted to know if Miz would give up (he wouldn’t). Patriot Lock!
Your Winner: Jack Swagger
Grade: B (85%)
Cole and Lawler did a shameless plug for Sonic food, which had been brought out to them. They had Sweet Tater Tots and Spicy Chicken Nuggets. Yummy.
Raw then flashed back to Rock unveiling the new WWE Championship belt. C.M. Punk ended up blasting Cena with the old belt and told Rock that he wanted Rock’s new belt.
Triple H did his first Tout. He went off on Brock Lesnar. HHH was sure that he was back to see if Brock would do something about what happened, earlier. A bunch of fans Touted their own thoughts.
John Cena was interviewed, by Josh Mathews, in the back. Cena was fired up to levels that he hasn’t been to in a long time. Cena was ready to prove C.M. Punk wrong. No Excuses. No Second Place. Step Up or Step Aside. Yeppers. Cena said his and his fans’ time is now.
A sneak peak of Robot Combat League ran. I set my DVR for it. It is so much different than the Mick Foley (US) or Craig Charles (UK) version of Robot Wars. This will either be incredible or horrible. I am giving it a fair shot. I like robots. I watched Real Steel the other night and it was fantastic.
Lawler and Cole ran a Tout of Undertaker’s return, at a House Show, in Waco. Will he fight at Wrestlemania? His hip and back are pretty dinged up, so it’s a 50/50 shot, right now.
C.M. Punk vs John Cena
Number One Contender Match for the WWE Title, Special Challenge Match
Paul Heyman stayed in the back. Cena definitely got the pop in this one. Lawler thought Cena looked nervous. Punk with a kick that didn’t connect. Collar and Elbow that led to a Side Hedlock Takeover by Punk. Cena powered out and Snap Mared Punk. Punk and Cena with Standing Switches until Cena and Punk got into the ropes. Another Collar and Elbow into a Cena Takeover. Punk countered almost instantly. Side Headlock by Punk. Universal into a Hip Toss by Cena. Punk went to the floor. Raw went to another break.
Back to the action and Cena with a Back Body Drop and Fisherman’s Suplex. Cena went for a Corner Rush but Punk side stepped him. 2 count. Punk drove his elbow into Cena’s neck, over nad over. Funk Neckbreaker by Punk. Head Scissors by Punk ala Kevin Von Erich. Cena rolled over and stood up. Electric Chair Drop! Cena with the Flying Bulldog for two. Front Face Lock by Cena. Takeover by Cena into a Side Headlock. Punk rolled onto his knees and powered up. Universal into a Leg Lariat by Punk. 2 count, again. Rear Chin Lock by Punk.
Cena Elbowed and kicked free. Whip by Cena but Punk with a kick. Cena started to go Vintage but Punk ducked the second Flying Shoulder. Punk and Cena ended up on the floor. Punk threw Cena back in the ring and Raw took another break.
Abdominal Stretch by Punk, as the show returned. Cena was in agony after getting free. Punk nailed a DDT, during the break. Cena tried to go Vintage but Punk countered the Protobomb into the Anaconda Vise. Cena got free but Punk with the Swinging Neckbreaker. Punk signed for the GTS but Cena tried for the STF. Styles Springboard Clothesline by Punk. 1-2-kick out. Punk flew off the ropes but Cena with the STF! Punk slid backwards and reversed the move into another Anaconda Vise. Cena countered into the Crippler Crossface! Punk rolled backwards to almost pin Cena. Man,this match is incredible!
Cena and Punk traded hard fists and kicks. Headbutt by Punk. Cena with a flurry of punches. Spin Kick by Punk. Protobomb by Cena. Punk kicked Cena in the head. Cena countered the GTS but almost got pinned, in the process. Elevator Knee by Punk. Cena blocked the Bulldog into the Protobomb. Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk escaped the AA and Cena got out of the GTS. Powerbomb by Cena! Could be…might be…not yet.
My cell just went off and my grandson, Eric, calling from his new house, said “Jay, are you watching this?”
Cena went to the penthouse but took way too long. Punk punched Cena and chopped away. Punk climbed to the middle turnbuckle. Cena powered out of the Superplex and hit several Headbutts. Cena with the Guillotine Leg Drop from the top rope. How was that not a three?
Punk with a wicked Crescent Kick to the back of Cena’s head. Elevator Knee. Attitude Adjustment by Cena, out of nowhere, but only for a two. The two ended up on the floor. Punk sent Cena into the ring post. The ref was counting. Cena barely slid in between 9 and 10. Go To Sleep. 1-2-Are you kidding me? Punk couldn’t believe it. Punk went for another GTS. Cena countered into another STF. Punk barely made it to the ropes to force the break. The crowd was on the edge of their seats. Punk with a Piledriver! Punk knew it was over, but Cena kicked out, again. Punk kept trying to pin Cena but couldn’t get the three. “Let’s Go Cena/Cena Sucks!” rang out. Punk went up for the Savage Elbow but missed. Cena with a Hurancanrana into another Attitude Adjustment!
Your Winner: John Cena
Grade: A+ (98%)
My highest kudos to both Mr. Cena and Mr Brooks (Punk). Gentlemen, that is what wrestling is all about. You both just took me back to around 1984 or 85.