There was a major shifting around of the Wrestlemania card. Several new matches added and a couple changed. Plus, the latest member of the WWE Hall of Fame was announced. All this, plus HHH gave his answer to Brock Lesnar’s challenge.
The show opened with a flashback to Brock Lesnar destroying the New Age Outlaws. Paul Heyman then decided to announce the special stipulations, after HHH signs the contract. From there, the classless C.M. Punk behavior was shown. Punk stole the urn of the Undertaker. Death Wish? I think so…
Welcome to the home of the Zombie craze, Pittsburg, PA. The show was just up the road from the infamous Monroeville Mall and that classic farm house. Bonus points for those who figure out those Romeroan references.
John Cena came out in his new bright yellow shirt. That is the ugliest one that he’s worn, to date. I am so not a fan of canary yellow. Cena knew there were a lot of Rock fans in the house. Cena knew the fans were going to have to pick a side in the Cena vs Rock war. Cena noticed some little kids holding up a sign saying “Our Time is Now!” Cena was riding a tidal wave of momentum, going into Wrestlemania. Cena told everyone that he was ready for his fight with Rock.
The Prime Time Players came out. Titus was wearing an afro wig and black janitor coveralls. Titus said he was Rufus “Pancake” Patterson. He said he was called that because he flattens suckers. What the heck ever. This got seriously stupid. Rufus/Titus said the fans didn’t want to see Cena at Mania. Rufus wanted Darren to go on the cover of Cocoa Pebbles. Rufus challenged Cena to face Darren. Darren got all mouthy, which was a bad move. Cena demanded that Darren get in the ring.
John Cena vs Darren Young
Special Challenge Match
Cena tore into Darren with hot fists and a whip. Running Bulldog. Rufus pulled Darren out of the ring as Raw went to break.
Darren was down and hurting as Raw returned. Cena went Vintage on Darren. Cena did the You Can’t See Me to Rufys. Five Knuckle Shuffle. He pointed at the Wrestlemania sign and hit the Attitude Adjustment.
Your Winner: John Cena
Grade: C (74%)
Why did they bother to go to commercial break?
Cena told the announce team to let everyone know he was ready for The Rock. Michael Cole then switched to talking about The Undertaker. Taker is set to be at the show, tonight. Cole also talked about the brewing war between Mark Henry and Ryback. Mark Henry hit multiple World’s Strongest Slams on Big Hungry, on last week’s Smackdown. Ryback seethed as he walked towards his next victim, David Otunga.
Ryback vs David Otunga
Lock up and Ryback rushed Otunga to the corner. Ryback with chops and clubbing blows. Otunga with a pair of Big Boots. Ryback with a Steam Roller into the Twister Powerslam. Spinebuster. Meat Hook Clotheslien. Shell Shocked.
Your Winner: Ryback
Grade: C (75%)
Starting to feel like Superstars around 1987. Ryback grabbed the microphone. He was ready to tear the Shield apart. Ryback said he would cross paths with Mark Henry on the road to Wrestlemania. Ryback said it would be Feeding Time. (New Catch Phrase Alert!). Mark Henry walked from the back. Teddy Long and Vickie Guerrero stopped Mark from going to the ring. Vickie pulled Ryback out of the six man match at Wrestlemania. She placed him in a one-on-one battle against Mark Henry. Why do I suddenly have a flashback to Great Khali vs Kane from a few Manias back? Ryback with another Shell Shocked to Otunga.
Sigh. Fandango is going to try and debut, again, later. I’m not holding my breath.
Fandango vs Great Khali
Fanny Cha Cha’d his way through a bunch of streamers and strutted to the ring with his dance partner. She’s kinda cute but way too skinny for my taste. He actually got in the ring. Oh my, we might see him wrestle? A stupid light statue of him striking his pose lit up. I hate his entrance music. It sounds like something from a cheesy porno movie from the late 70s. Great Khali then came out with Natalya. Raw looked back at Khali trying to pronounce Fanny’s name, on Smackdown. Fanny took a powder when Khali butchered his name. Fanny flirted with Nattie and told her to pronounce his name. “Fahn-Dang-Go Get Him, Khali…Now!” Fanny bailed out of the ring and left. Seriously?
Your Winner: No Match
Grade: F- (25%)
The crowd started a “You Can’t Wrestle” chant. I have to agree.
Brock Lesnar is in this month’s Muscle and Fitness.
R-Truth vs Damien Sandow
Truth has new, wild ring gear. Damien is still wearing pink and purple. The poor man’s “Genius” Lanny Poffo quoted Henry David Thoreau. Truth had his own little poem:
Your beard is weird
And you talk a lot
I got four sweet words for you
You Gonna Get Got!
Kick and Punch by Damien. Running Kneelifts, off the roeps, by Sandow. Snap Mare into a Flying Kneedrop by Sandow. Sandow now claims to be an honorary Kentucky Colonel. Sunset Flip by Truth. Clothesline by Sandow. Sandow with brutal punches. Snap Suplex for a two, by Damien. Rear Chin Lock by Sandow. Sandow reversed a Whip into Kneelift Strikes. Elbow of Distain after the Side Russian Leg Sweep. Back Elbow by Truth into a series of Clotheslines. Truth with a little shimmy and a punch. Tilt-a-Whirl Head Scissors into the Flying Leg Lariat. Lie Detector sent Damien to the floor. Sandow took the count out loss. Loser.
Your Winner (by Count Out): R-Truth
Grade: B- (80%)
The Bellas flirted with Cody and his mustache. Kaitlyn came up and told Cody that she couldn’t hang out with Cody. Kaitlyn suggested the Bellas had mustaches that Cody could have. Aw, young love derailed.
Raw showed the end of the C.M. Punk vs Kane match. Punk clocked Kane with the Urn and took off with it. Fast forward to this week and The Deadman arrived in the Steel City. Undertaker had a wicked purple and black logo that disappeared in a puff of smoke. So cool.
Undertaker warned Punk that he was going to hurt the upstart and hurt him bad. Taker gave Punk one chance to save his soul. Taker demanded the return of the Urn. Punk came on doing a Paul Bearer imitation (I do it better). Punk juggled the Urn, dropping it once. Punk said Paul told him the death of Paul Bearer was both a personal and professional loss. Punk reminded Taker that a count out or disqualification would still count as a loss. Punk slipped and let a profane word slip. Thankfully, the censors had their finger on the mute button. It was a typical Punk “I’m going to destroy you” speech. A bit boring, to be honest. That segment seemed to be cut short. Weird.
The Next inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame will be announced, later on. He or she will join: Bob Backlund, Bruno Sammartino, Trish Stratus, Mick Foley and Donald Trump.
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs Epico and Primo
Kane exploded with kick s and punches. Daniel tried to calm Kane down. Primo attacked Daniel. Side Headlock into a Push Off. Primo with a Shoulder Tackle. Kitchen Sink by Daniel. Daniel with vicious kicks. Super Sunset Flip but Daniel rolled through and connected with a solid kick. Epico with the tag. Arm Bar by Daniel. Hammerlock by Daniel. Back Body Drop by Daniel. Epico with a Flying Knee to Daniels’ back. Primo with the sneak attack, on the floor. Epico stomped away and tagged to Primo. Primo with his own stomps. Another tag and the cousins Colon kept the heat on Daniel. Side Russian Leg Sweep into an Epico Springboard Senton. Epico with the Bow and Arrow. Daniel flipped out but ate a Clothesline. Yet another tag and Daniel took the brunt of a double team. 1-2-no.
Rear Chin Lock to further weaken Daniel. Daneel tried for a tag. A Roll Under led to Kane’s tagging in. Kane exploded on Primo with a huge Back Body Drop. Corner Clotheslien into a Whip. Primo got the boot up. Kane went up top to connect with the Kane Klothesline.
A.J. bounced out as Kane went to Goozle his opponent. Kane almost got Rolled up. Kane with a Chokeslam to Epico!
Your Winners: Kane and Daniel Bryan
Grade; B (84%)
A.J> bounced up the ramp. In the back, Josh interviewed Chris Jericho. Jericho reminded everyone that he has held the Intercontinental title on nine occasions. As he rambled on, Fandango strolled up. Jericho didn’t know the goof’s name. Jericho had fun twisting the name around. Fanny said he would teach Jericho to pronounce his name, properly.
Raw ran a piece of Alicia Fox’s and Natalya’s recent trip to Africa. It was all part of the Nothing but Nets program. It was a touching video presentation. NothingbutNets.net is the website, if you would like to help the African refugees.
Cody Rhodes vs Alberto Del Rio
Raw looked at how Jack Swagger cost him a match, on Main Event, against Big Show. Cody with a kick and punches. Step Up Hurancanrana by Alberto. Cole talked about all the great people from Pittsburg. La Magistral Cradle by ADR. Goldustin Uppercut by Cody. Cody clubbed ADR and then Whipped the World Champ to the corner. ADR reversed a Whip but took a Back Elbow. Lift Drop by ADR into a kick to the side of the head. 2 count. Cody blocked a Suplex and hit one of his own. 2 count, again. Cody choked ADR on the ropes. Snap Mare into a Figure Four Headscissors. Front Face Lock by Cody. Back Body Drop by ADR. Alberto rushed the corner and struck the ring post. Cody shoo’d Ricardo Rodriguez away from the ring.
Cody with Headbutts but took a Thrust Kick to the ribs. Yazuka Kick to Cody’s back. Baseball Slide to send Cody flying off the apron. Cody cracked his head on the landing. Raw went to break.
Cody punched and kicked away at Alberto. During the break, Cody hit the Disaster Kick off the barricade. Slam by ADR. ADR missed the Moonsault and ate a Clothesline. Cody stomped on the ribs. Front Drop Suplex, for two, by Cody. Cody with the Leg DDT. Cody twisted on the left knee and ankle. ADR with a kick to Cody’s head. ADR blocked a second rope Superplex. ADR lifted and dropped Cody. Cody landed badly on his face. The two got into a punch fest. ADR with Clotheslines. Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker by Alberto. Super Kick to the face of Cody. Could be…might be…no!
Alberto called for the Cross Arm Breaker. Cody fought free and hit a Back Elbow. Moonsault, by Cody, for two. Alberto flipped Cody onto the apron. Repeated kidney shots into the Back Stabber. 2 count. Alberto caught Cody in the Cross Armbraker.
Your Winner (by submission): Alberto Del Rio
Grade: B (85%)
Jack Swagger with the Pearl Harbor on Del Rio. Ricardo got involved and was thrown from the ring. Del Rio started fighting back and they tumbled through the ropes and to the floor. Crescent Kick by Alberto. Del Rio ran Swagger into the barricade. Zeb Colter ran off at the mouth and Alberto went after the fuzzy faced manager. Jack jumped Alberto, from behind, just as Del Rio was about to take out Zeb. Jack ran Alberto into the ring steps. Jack then pitched Del Rio over the announce table. Jack then started to leave. Zeb called him back and he clamped on the Patriot Lock to break Ricardo Rodriguez’s ankle. Ricardo shrieked in agony and clutched at his ankle. Jack taunted the cringing confidant.
It was time to add another name to the Hall of Fame list. Booker T! I had the honor to see some of Booker’s earliest matches in the GWF, in Dallas. Booker and Stevie Ray were the Ebony Experience, back then. A highlight of his career ran. I’m really glad to see Booker get this honor. It is much deserved. He is both talented, in the ring, and a superstar on the stick. Plus, who else could pull off the Spin-a-Rooni?
Randy Orton and Sheamus vs Heath Slater, Jindar Mahal and Drew McIntyre (3MB)
3-on-2 Handicap Match
Sheamus and Drew opened up this contest. Drew with hard punches. Sheamus answered with shot s of his own. Rolling Senton by Sheamus and tag to Orton. Flying Knee Drop by Orton. Dropkick by Randy and tag to Sheamus. European Uppercut by Randy into the Inside Out Crossfaces. Whip reversed by Drew. Sheamus with a hard Clothesline. Drew came back with one of his own. Heath with the tag. Jindar with a cheap shot. Heath choked Sheamus with the boot and tagged in Drew. Sheamus punched away but took a boot to the face. 2 count. Hetah with a tag. Jumping Leg Lariat by Heath but only a two. Tag to Drew. Sheamus with a Double Sledge on the flying Drew.
Tag to Randy. Clothesilines on Heath, who had tagged in. Snap Powerslam. Rope Assisted DDT! Sheamus with Brogue Kicks to Jindar and Drew. Orton with the RKO to Heath.
Your Winners: Randy Orton and Shemaus
Grade: B- (81%)
The Shield came through the crowd to attack Sheamus and Orton. Seth, Dan and Roman jumped the barricade and got ready to fight. Suddenly, the Big Show jogged down to the ring and joined Orton and Sheamus. Cool. The Shield showed their frustration as the sides were evened up. The Shield took off with their collective tails between their legs. Show stepped up and pointed at the Wrestlemania sign and then left the ring. Orton and Sheamus were shocked at Show’s actions.
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler sent it to a look at the new G.I. Joe movie. Looks like a good one. Going to spend my afternoon watching a different movie. I picked up The Hobbit and it looks pretty good.
Kofi Kingston vs Dolph Ziggler (w/A.J. and Big E)
Collar and Elbow into an Arm Wringer by Dolph. Kofi reversed it. Deep Arm Drags by Kofi. Dolph with a kick and punch. Side Headlock Takeover by Dolph. Dolph with a Shoulder Tackle off the Push Off. Universal into a Flying Back Elbow by Kofi. Kofi missed the Corner Lock. 2 count by Dolph. Huge Dropkick by Dolph. Rear Chin Lock by Dolph. Headstand Headlock by Dolph. Kofi powered out and avoided a Dolph Corner Splash. Kofi went a flurry of moves into the Side Russian Legsweep. Springboard Twisting Crossbody for two, by Kofi. Boom Drop! Dolph blocked Trouble in Paradise but fell to the Pendulum Kick. Kofi flew off the apron, into Big E Langston. Dolph struggled to put Kofi back in the ring. Zig Zag. 1-2-3.
Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Grade: B (84%)
Kane and Daniel Bryan came out to face Dolph and company. Daniel said Dolph has put Kane and Daniel on the same place. Kane said he was not in a good place, right now. Kane wanted to see what Big E could do inside the ring. Kane challenged Dolph and Big E. A.J. accepted the match, if and only if the tag belts were on the line…at Wrestlemania! Sweet. Daniel and Kane eagerly accepted with a series of “Yes!” chants.
Cole and Lawler sent it to a Rock vs Cena video package. This match looks to be excellent. It just might be the match of the show. Wrestlemania is shaping up to be a strong event. As it stands right now:
The Rock vs John Cena
WWE Title Match
Alberto Del Rio vs Jack Swagger
World Title Match
The Undertaker vs C.M. Punk
Daniel Bryan and Kane vs Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston
World Tag Team Match
Ryback vs Mark Henry
Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus vs Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns (The Shield)
Triple H vs Brock Lesnar (possibly)
Wade Barrett vs The Miz vs Chris Jericho
Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Title
Raw looked at the double beat down by Jericho and Miz on Barrett, last week. The three men circled and Wade went on the attack. Jericho with a Whip and Back Elbow to Wade. 2 count. Forearm by Jericho. La Bandera sent Wade to the floor. School Boy by Miz for two. Miz with a Baseball Slide Dropkick to tak out Wade, still on the floor. Jericho with a Plancha to take out both opponents. Jericho threw Wade back into the ring. Kick by Y2J. Headbutts and blows by Wade. Dropkick by Jericho. Miz tripped and pulled Jericho out of the ring. Slide Under and Roll Ups by Miz for several two count. Full Body Clothesline by Miz. Kick to Jericho. Wade attacked Miz on the top rope. Running Knee to Miz’s mid section. Miz was stretched out across the top rope. Tower of Doom involving all three. Break time.
Wade covered Jericho for two. Elbow Drop by Wade to Jericho. Wade with a knee to the ribs of Jericho. Rear Chin Lock by Wade to Jericho. Jericho Elbowed free but Wade with a Knee. Jericho with Shoulder Tackles. Wade threw Jericho over the ropes but Y2J landed on the apron. Crossbody and then a Bulldog by Jericho. Miz pulled Jericho off the ropes as Chris went for the Lionsault. Reality Check converted into the Winds of Change by Wade. 2 count for the champ. Wade wanted Wasteland but Miz fought free. Dropkick into the Figure Four! Jericho with the Lionsault to Miz, while the Figure Four was still in place.
Jericho kicked at Wade and went for the Wall of Jericho. Miz was on the floor. Miz went after Jericho. They flipped Wade to the floor. Jericho with a Roll Up into the Code Breaker. Wade tossed Jericho out and went for the pin. Jericho pulled Wade to the floor and took him out. Jericho slid in and went for the pin. 1-2-not quite yet. Miz with the Kneeling DDT for two. Miz seemed to be spitting up blood, at this point. Miz missed the Full Body Clothesline. Jericho kicked Wade off the apron. Wade with the Big Boot for two, on Jericho. Knife Edge Chops by Jericho. Jericho missed the Enziguri. Small Packe to get Jericho a two. Back Elbow by Jericho. Skull Crushing Finale. Wade rolled up Miz, as he went to pin Jericho. 1-2-3.
Your Winner: Wade Barrett
Grade: A- (90%)
Cole talked about The Call and then sent it to the world premiere party. Cole then sent it to a series of Touts about the possible stipulation to the Brock vs HHH match. I think it should be a “Broken Dreams” match. The only way to win is to break something on your opponent. I know it would be hard to determine when a break had happened but it would be one of the most brutal battles, ever. A First Blood match might be good, as well.
John Cena is on the cover of Men’s Fitness, right now. The table and chairs were set for the Contract Signing. Triple H came out first. Heyman then came out with three security guys. Brock was nowhere to be seen. HHH wondered where Brock was and why he didn’t want to look him in the eyes. Paul said Brock was fearless. Paul said he was afraid of HHH because of the predicament that they put HHH in. Paul and Brock put HHH in a “No Win” situation. Paul thought HH was frustrated and Paul brought the security to protect Heyman from HHH. Paul spelled it out how the signing would work. HHH didn’t give a crap about the stipulations. Paul hesitated to give the contract. Paul wanted to enjoy the moment. Paul played the footage, again, of the first fight between Broke err Brock and HHH. The black and white footage masked the crimson flow of blood. Paul thought about a blindfold match but declined it. Paul talked about handcuffs and shackles and then said no that would give HHH excuses. Brock let Paul pick the stipulations:
Triple H vs Brock Lesnar. Winner gets Stephanie McMahon. No wait…let the loser have Stephanie. That set off HHH. He exploded on the security guys and then took his fury out on Heyman! HHH grabbed Heyman by the ponytail. He put him on the table and pounded on Paul’s chest. Paul screamed for Brock. Heyman was busted open, just above the eye. HHH slammed Heyman into the table, over and over. Triple H signed the contract on Paul’s chest. He then stabbed the pen into Paul’s chest and threw him off the table. He ordered Brock to go call his “monster”. HHH pitched Heyman to the outside.
Brock’s music went off and he came out with a steel chair. HHH reached under the table and found…his sledge hammer. Heyman begged Brock to back off. Brock grinned as he backed up the ramp. Lawler dismissed the “Winner Gets Stephanie” stipulation. I guess that was just a joke. Heyman decided to tell HHH what was worth taking that beating. Heyman said it would be:
No Count Out, No Disqualification, No Stoppage…No Holds Barred! Plus, Heyman added the stipulation that Triple H’s career was on the line! Heyman quipped “Game Over!”
I want to finish up by saying good-bye to one of the most wonderful people that I have ever had the pleasure to call a friend. Karen was my “Mentor” at my day job. Over the past couple of years, she went from being a “boss” to being a dear friend. She passed away on Saturday afternoon. I talked to her the day before she went on a medical leave to fight the illness that eventually claimed her. God Bless you, my friend. We will meet again, some sunny day.