Another Legend got his much-deserved posthumous placement in the WWE Hall of Fame. Also, Batista completed his heel turn by facing WWE’s most popular performer, Daniel Bryan. With Raw being in Chicago, can you guess what the most repeated chant was?
Welcome to Chi-Town, one of the greatest cities in the wrestling world. Home to the Road Warriors and C.M. Punk (yes, the chants were going strong as the show opened).
Punk’s music went off and the fans went wild. It wasn’t Punk that came out but Paul Heyman. Nice way to tick off thousands of rabid fans in one fell swoop. The announcers finally acknowledged that C.M. Punk does exist (Lord knows they’ve ignored him since he took his ball and went home). Paul actually got the crowd to be louder for Punk. Heyman took up Punk’s Cross-legged Yoga position on the canvas. Paul said he was there to tell the story of “a Paul Heyman Guy”. Paul explained how this person was never truly wanted in the WWE. The Powers-That-Be always felt Punk was too small to main event Wrestlemania. “They” also felt that Punk was too far form corporate to fit in. Paul said “They” don’t want him in the WWE, right now. The “C.M. Punk” chant was deafening. Paul gave Punk credit for having the “B*lls” to say what others couldn’t or wouldn’t. Paul said he was there to drop a Pipe Bomb about Punk, who was not there tonight. The Punk chants revved back up. Paul was upset that Punk wasn’t going to be there to perform. Paul admitted that Punk was “The Best in the World”. Paul mentioned that there was someone to blame for Punk’s non-existence in WWE. Paul said it was time to point the finger of blame at…the fans! Paul didn’t care if they booed him because the Truth hurts. Paul said The Truth stings. Paul talked about where he took Punk, during their professional relationship. Paul whined that the fans took Punk away from him. Paul said the fans took Punk from him but they also took him from the fans, as well.
Paul also blamed The Undertaker for the downward spiral. He said when Punk failed to end the Streak, it all went to Hell. Paul said he was out for revenge. Paul said only one man could end The Streak and that is Brock Lesnar. Paul then brought Brock out from the back. The announcers said that if anyone could beat Taker it would be Brock. There are two things that you just never bet against:
1. The Dallas Cowboys, at home, on Thanksgiving.
2. Undertaker at Wrestlemania
Raw showed how Undertaker jammed a pen into Brock’s hand, last week, and then Chokeslammed The Beast. Brock snatched the microphone and said he doesn’t make claims he can’t back up. He accused Undertaker of being afraid of him. (right, we so believe that). Brock said he would conquer The Streak at Wrestlemania XXX.
As Brock and Paul started to leave, Mark Henry came out to confront them. Mark went right after Brock. Lesnar charged and got dropped with a right. Mark clubbed away but Brock reversed a Whip and sent Mark into the ring steps. Brock then took apart the steps and drove a piece into Mark’s face. Brock ripped the announce desk apart. He then hit an F5 to send Mark through the table.
The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) vs The Usos (Jimmy and Jey)
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Dogg didn’t want to run down his catchphrases because he didn’t feel the Chi-Town crowd was worthy. The Usos got the crowd popping. Raw showed how The Usos took out the Outlaws, in almost record time, last week. Jey started against the Road Dogg. Dogg with a kick and slam into the corner. Jey with a No Sell and a Whip. Dogg reversed it and flipped Jey into the corner. Doog kicked Jey out to the floor. Billy came around and stomped away. He had made the tag just prior to Jey going to the floor. Billy brought him back in the ring and punched away. Tag back to Dogg. Corner Open Hand Slap to Jey’s chest. Jey reversed thing and hit several strikes. Doff with a Clothesline off a Whip that Jey escaped. Dogg threw Jey up and over the top rope. Raw took a break.
After the break, Jey with a Roll UP. He didn’t see Billy tag in. Billy with a hard kick. Tag back to Dogg. Dogg kicked Jey in the chest. Jey with a wicked Dropkick. The crowd came alive as Jey had a chance to tag out. He was so wiped and took forever to reach his brother. Jimmy and Billy got the tags and Jimmy went wild. Jimy took Dogg off the apron and hit a Flying Elbow to Billy. Jimmy with a Back Kick and Thrust. Billy sent Jimmy to the ropes and Jimmy sent Dogg off the apron. Samoan Drop to Billy. Bubba Bomb to Dogg, as he rushed the ring. Rikishi Run to Dogg. Jimmy with a Corkscrew Crossbody for a two count on Billy. Jimmy headed up top but stopped when he saw Dogg. Thrust Kick to knock Dogg off the ring. Billy with a School Boy but only got a two. Tilt-a-Whirl Powerlam by Billy. 2 count. Billy went for the Famouser but missed. Jey made a tag, on the fly. Jey with a leg Lariat as Jimmy took out Dogg. Superfly Splash! 1—2—3!
Your Winners (and NEW Tag Team Champions): The Usos
Raw Ranking: 3.5 out of a possible 5
These are the 2nd Samoan Brothers to win the tag belts. The originals were the uncles of Jimmy and Jey…The Wild Samoans!
Aaron Paul, star of Need for Speed, was this week’s Guest Host. Sorry to say, I had no clue who the heck this guy was. They ran a clip of the movie. Looks decent but it’s not my cup of tea.
Backstage, several of the Divas were cooing about Paul. Aksana talked about liking fast cars. Whatever.
Cesaro vs Big E
Intercontinental Title Match
Collar and Elbow into a Side headlock by Cessaro. Cesaro caught Big E and turned him into a Backbreaker. Awesome. European Uppercuts by Cesaro. Corner Rush Shoulder and Belly to Belly by Big E. Cesaro sent Big E out of the ring. E popped Swagger as Cesaro went for the Cesaro Swing. Jack rushed in the ring and hit the Swagger Bomb. The ref called for the b ell.
Your Winner (by disqualification): Big E
Raw Ranking: 1.0
Big E planted Cesaro with the Big Ending. There is definitely trouble in paradise.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan
Six-Man Tag Team Match
This was the first Hour Turner segment. A review of the Shield vs Wyatt Family feud aired. The fans were thrilled at this match. Dean flew out of the ring. Samoan Drop by Roman to Bray. Seth went after Luke Harper. Wild Inverted Superplex but Seth landed on his feet. Tope Con Hilo to both Erick and Luke. Seth with an Enziguri, from the floor, to Luke. Dean caught Bray. Dean sent Dean into the ropes and that caused Seth to fall. Seth was sent to the barricade by Luke. Raw went to break.
Luke had Seth in a Side headlock as the show returned. Seth punched free but Luke laid him out. Dean talked trash to Luke. Seth with another Enziguri. Luke reminds me of a young Mick Foley or Bruiser Brody. Dean rushed around and wasn’t there to make the tag. Erick did tag in. Corner Drop DDT by Seth. Luke with a Big Boot to Roman. Seth tagged to Dean and hit a modified Thesz Press on Erick. Rowan got laid out with the Flying Clothesline. Dean with a kick to Erick’s knee. Dragon Screw Leg Whip into the Figure Four! That was one of the best Figure Fours that I’ve ever seen. Luke jumped on dean’s chest. Roman took Luke to the outside and threw him into the barrier. Bray with a tag and a vicious One-Armed Uranage. Bray pounded on Dean and then tagged in Luke. Dean spat in Luke’s face. He got dropped for his arrogance. Luke stood on Dean’s face and tagged in Erick. A knee strike dropped Dean. 2 count. Neck Wrench by the crimson-bearded behemoth, Rowan. Knuckle Drivers into the temples. Dean pulled on Erick’s beard. Sidewalk Slam by Erick. 2 count. Tag to Luke. European Uppercut that rocked Dean. Dean finally came back with a wicked Clothesline. He was seriously spent. Luke held the ankle to prevent a tag. Tag to Bray. Bray knocked Roman off the apron. DDT by Dean. Dean crawled towards Seth. Seth hopped down and walked away. What the heck?
Roman was completely confused. Seth said he couldn’t be the glue to keep the Shield together, anymore. Bray with a Flying Crossbody. Roman rushed in and made the save. Roman with a Samoan Drop on Erick. Superman Punch to Luke and Bray. Dean jumped on Erick. La Bandera Clothesline, by Roman, to Erick. Rising Sun Dropkick by Roam. Roam drove Erick over the reconstructed announce table. Luke with a Suicide Dive to send Roman flying over the table. Luke destroyed Dean, on the floor. Bray picked up Dean as the crowd went wild with “This is Awesome!” chants broke out. Dean with the Upside Down Corner thing as Seth watched on. Sister Abigail!
Your W inners: The Wyatt Family
Raw Ranking: 3.75
In the back, Renee Young interviewed Batista. The crowd booed the Hell out of The Animal. She asked him about the Yes Movement. He said it was the dumbest thing he had seen. He felt Daniel Bryan was not a real wrestler. Batista said the fans were going to have to learn to deal with him.
Breaking News: The Usos will face the New Age Outlaws in a title rematch on a live episode of Main Event on the WWE Network.
Summer Rae and Fandango vs Emma and Santino Marella
Mixed Tag Team Match
Last week, Emma beat Summer with her Emma Lock (modified Indian Death Lock). There was some fun High Five/Tags between Santino and Emma. There was an in and out thing that bored the fans to tears. Finally, Fandango attacked Santino and laid him out with a pair of European Uppercuts. Santino began to fight back with hard punches. Fandango with a Leg Lariat off a Whip. Fandango missed a move off the ropes. Bolo Punch, by Santino, as the fans chanted “We Want Cobra!”
Tag to the girls. Emma with a pair of Clotheslines. She danced around and got Whipped to the corner. Emma with her version of the Tarantula. I know there is an Emma-based name for it but I can’t remember. Santino ran off Fandango with the Cobra as Emma applied the Emma Lock. She is just far too cute for her own good. Emmarella danced around, just acting silly.
Your Winners: Emma and Santino Marella
Raw Ranking: .5
A flashback to Smackdown showed Christian taking out Sheamus with the KillSwitch via a run in. The two would battle, next.
Stephanie McMahon did a promo for the new WWE Network. I was really expecting this thing to be an over-hyped mess. While it does have a few issues, I still think it is one of the best things to come down the pike since…well, Pay-per-View. I have it on my desktop as well as my Tablet. As soon as I get my new laptop, it will be there, as well. I’m already planning to watch the Hall of Fame ceremony with my partners from Rivalry Championship Wrestling at the hotel near Wrestlecon.
Christian vs Sheamus
The crowd started calling for Punk, again. Christian talked trash to Sheamus and then slapped him in the face, several times. Sheamus grinned and chased after Christian. He threw Christian against the barrier and hit the European Uppercut. Sheamus threw Christian into the barrier, a second time, and pitched him back in the ring. Sheamus stomped and choked Christian, with the boot. Scoop Slam by Sheamus, followed by a Flying Knee Drop. Christian reversed a Whip but Sheamus with a passing shot. Christian stood on Sheamus’ chest.
Christian with a hard punch but Sheamus came back with shots of his own. Short Arm Clothesline by Sheamus. Christian with another slap that led to an Irish Curse Backbreaker by Sheamus. 2 count. Whip reversed by Christian. Christian flipped Sheamus out for the ring . Baseball Slide Dropkick by Christian. Christian flew over the top rope and crashed and burned. Sheamus threw Christian into the ring steps and then went for a Snake Eyes on the steps. Christian escaped and the two circled the announce table. Raw took a quick break.
Sheamus yanked Christian off the ropes and then went up. Christian tried to Rocket Launch Sheamus into the ring but ended up sending his out to the floor. Christian tossed Sheamus over the barrier into the Bull Pen area. Chrisitan sent Sheamus back in and almost got the pin. Christian with stomps to the repaired shoulder of Sheamus. Christian Clotheslined Sheamus, who was on the apron. Christian stepped on Sheamus’ face. Sheamus began to battle back but Christian caught him with a Back Drop Suplex. Christian went to the top and missed a Frog Splash.
Christian with a back kick. Sheamus blocked a Tornado DDT and hit the Emerald Isle Plunge. Corner Shoulder but missed the Mr. Wrestling II Knee. Sheamus put Christian on the apron but Christian fought out of the Crossfaces. Christian flew off the ropes but got caught. Sheamus dropped Christian over the ropes and hit the Crossfaces. High Knee by Sheamus for a two. Christian begged for a time out. Slop Drop by Christian. Frog Splash by Christian. 1-2-no.
White Noise by Sheamus. 2 plus count. Christian slid under Sheamus and connected with the pendulum Kick. Brogue Kick…from the apron!
Your Winner: Sheamus
Raw Ranking: 2.5
There is going to be a Scooby Doo Wrestlemania Mystery DVD release. I don’t know why but I want that. I know it going to be mega-cheesy but what the Heck?
Renee tried to interview Sheamus but Christian jumped him and beat him senseless.
The Bella Twins vs Aksana and Alicia Fox
Aksana stated against Brie. Go Behind nad Standing Switch. Brie with a Back Elbow and Snap Mare. Tag to Nikki. Flipping Bulldog by Nikki. Tag to Brie. Running Knee Strike by Brie. Aksana pulled Brie off the ropes, after a distraction. Alicia took the tag and drove Brie’s face into the canvas. Tag back to Aksana. Tag back to Alicia. Brie fought both opponents but Alicia threw her down. Alicia worked over the arm and then whipped Brie to the corner. Aksana with weak stomps and a pull from the corner. Tag to Fox. 2 count.
Gox got Brie by the hair and put her in the Crosstie Clutch. Brie powered out and sent Fox flying. Brie dove for her corner but couldn’t reach the corner. Brie slid under nad tagged. Nikki with a series of Dropkick and the Knee Strike to the jaw. Back Body Drop by Nikki but Aksana made the save. Missile Dropkick by Brie. Fox missed a Big Boot and Nikki with the Shock Treatment Backbreaker.
Your Winners: The Bella Twins
Raw Ranking: 1.25
Whatever happened to Eva Marie and JoJo? Maybe it will be explained on the second season of Total Divas, which starts later this month.
There was a preview for the new show, Sirens. The stars were in the crowd.
Daniel Bryan came out to a huge pop from the Chi-Town crowd. Daniel smiled at the adoration that he got from the rowdy crowd. Daniel said the chants were what he liked to hear. Daniel knew the Chicago fans had a voice. Daniel said he wanted to Hijack Raw. Daniel said he would not leave the ring until one of two things happened:
1. Batista comes down to fight
2. HHH comes down to accept his challenge.
Daniel said the main reason that HHH refused to accept the challenge was…Enter HHH! Stephanie was at HHH’s side. The Authority strolled down to confront Daniel. The crowd started another deafening Punk chant. Enough already, jeez.
Stephanie admired Daniel tenacity. The crowd booed Stephanie out of her ugly boots. She told Daniel he should be embarrassed. Daniel totally ignored her and said, to HHH, that he was tired of being screwed over. Daniel talked about all the different ways that he had been screwed over. Daniel said he had the fans behind him. Daniel reissued the challenge for a match at Wrestlemania XXX. HHH said it wasn’t going to happen. HHH wanted Daniel to accept his failures. HHH said everyone from Daniel’s era likes to make excuses and blame others. HHH said the reality was that if a person fails in the WWE, it’s because they weren’t good enough. HHH should get a gold star for being able to completely ignore the wall-rocking “C.M. Punk” chants. HHH said Daniel was still only a B+ player and it would take more than a B+ guy to get him to lace up his boots. The fans started huge “*ssh*le” and “Yes” Chants. Damoe; accused HHH of ignoring what the fans really want. Daniel just wanted to beat the crap out of HHH to give the fans what they want. Stephanie tried to continue her berating of the fans but it was almost impossible to hear her. Stephanie tried to get Daniel on their side. Stephanie said all the fame had gone to his head. Stephanie said her family gave Daniel everything he has. Stephanie told Daniel “We Made You!”. The fans started a huge “No!” chant. Daniel said he was willing to fight Stephanie at Mania, since she was obviously tougher than HHH.
HHH took exception to that comment. HHH said it was not going to happen. HHH said Daniel was using elementary school tricks to try and lure him in and he wouldn’t fall for it. HHH said Daniel Bryan just didn’t measure up for a Wrestlemania XXX Main Event Match. HHH then ordered Daniel to leave the ring. Daniel corrected The Authority by saying the ring actually belonged to the fans. HHH said the fans and Daniel Bryan belong to the Authority. He then ordered Bryan to “Get the Hell out of my Ring”. Daniel suggested that HHH try and make him. Stephanie then called for Kane.
The Big Red Monster lumbered down to the ring. Suicide Dive by Daniel to take down Kane. Stephanie screeched for security. The refs rushed down and she again demanded that security come out. It took close to a dozen guys to pull Daniel off Kane. She told Daniel to stay out. That started a “Daniel Bryan” chant.
The Pre-Show Panel was introduced. Booker T, Alex Riley and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan joined Josh Mathews at the desk. Alex praised Paul Heyman for his opening segment comments. The talked about Wrestlemania and other topics, quickly.
Alberto Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler
Dolph rode in with Aaron Paul in a gorgeous Shelby Mustang (that’s what Michael Cole called it). Del Rio wasn’t happy that Dolph and Aarion were getting all the attention. Aaron joined the announce team.
Del Rio went after Dolph with kicks and punches, just as the bell rang. Whip by Del Rio into a Lift Drop. Del Rio mocked Dolph’s Show Off Hair Swipe. Del Rio punched nad kicked away. Dolph with a wicked Dropkick. Corner Mount Punches by Dolph. Funk Neckbreaker by Dolph. Dolph missed the Famouser but Del Rio hit he Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker. 2 count. High Implant DDT by Dolph for a two. Del Rio had just missed the Superkick. Flying Arm Bar and Superkick by Del Rio. 2 count. Aaron Paul got on the announce table to taunt Del Rio. Del Rio wanted the Cross Armbreaker but Dolph rolled through and caught Del Rio with the Zig Zag!
Your Winner: Dolph Ziggler
Raw Ranking: 2.5
Aaron Paul got in the ring with Dolph to celebrate.
Next up, it was time for the next inductee into this year’s Hall of Fame.
Welcome to the Hall of Fame…Paul Bearer! I really wish that Paul was still with us to enjoy this deserved position in the Hall of Fame. He was actually an inspiration for me when I started announcing wrestling. He showed that you could be an unusually looking person and still be a mega-success. I’ll have a special profile on him, very soon, including a photo of my impression of “Uncle Paul” from a few years back.
Big E vs Jack Swagger
Intercontinental Non-Title Match
Jack and Big E circled each other. Cesaro rushed in and hit the Neutralizer on Big E.
Your Winner (by Disqualification): Big E
Raw Ranking: N/A
Swagger and Cesaro got into a huge shoving match and argument. Cesaro went for the Cesaro Swing but Zeb ordered Cesaro to stop and be a Real American. Zeb called Jack Cesaro’s Brother. Zeb then ordered Cesaro to help Jack up. It was like a father scolding two little children. Zeb demanded that they “Hug it Out!”. Reluctantly, the two agreed to hug. It was a phony hug, at best.
John Cena came out to address the WWE Universe. They booed the Hell out of him in Chicago. John had trouble doing his normal trot to the ring. His left knee was heavily wrapped. Another huge C.M. Punk rose. John joked about his warm welcome. Cena acknowledged being injured by the Wyatt Family. Cena would not be able to compete, tonight. That started a “Yes!” chant. Cena laughed off the super negative chant. The crowd went back to the C.M. Punk chant. He was actually wanting to hear the passion of the city of Chicago. Cena said Chicago was a special place for him. He talked about Wrestlemanias, Money in the Bank (against Punk), battles with Brock Lesnar, etc… Cena knew that he and Chicago didn’t always see eye-to-eye but he did respect Chicago and its fans. He appreciated that they were honest, loud and proud. Cena knew that the WWE Universe wanted change (another Yes chant) and he respected it. Cena said all change would have to go through him. Cena said he was ready to take the fight to Bray Wyatt. Cena reminded the fans that he started his career in the All State Arena…
The Wyatts came on the Titan Tron. Bray did a typical creepy, cryptic rant about John and the energy around him. He compared John Cena to a Thoroughbred Horse that had begun to slow down and lose. Bray got real weird suggesting it was time to put Cena down like a washed up racehorse. Bray said Cena was afraid because he was about to be alone and lose it all. “Follow the Buzzard!” Cut.
Batista walked backstage. He ran into Randy Orton, who wished him luck against Daniel Bryan. Batista had an odd look on his face but didn’t say a word. He walked on.
Alexsandro Rusev was introduced to the fans by his valet, The big moose of a guy stomped out and got up on what looked like a platform. His name was displayed in Bulgarian. Reminds me of Ludvig Borga, from years gone by.
Raw then looked at Hulk Hogan’s recent press tour. Hulk will be on Raw, next week. I hope he’s there to announce that Randy Savage is going into the Hall of Fame. Savage did have tons of fantastic matches in Memphis, early on, and that’s where Raw will be, next week.
Randy Orton strolled out to watch the main event. We were way into overtime.
Batista vs Daniel Bryan
Batista didn’t feel that Daniel Bryan was real. He was about to find out just how real Daniel can be. Batista looked miffed as the crowd chanted for Daniel.
The bell sounded and Batista stared at Bryan. Collar and Elbow and Batista pushed him across the ring. “Boo-Tista” rang out. Side Headlock by Batista. Shoulder Tackle by Batista. Side Headlock by Batista. Push Off into a Universal. Dropkick to Batista’s knee. Leg Screw and kicks by Daniel. Daniel stood on Batista’s face. Daniel with a Dropkick to Batista’s knee. Daniel applied a Half Crab. Batista kicked out with his free leg. European Uppercuts by Daniel. Batista reversed a Whip but took a boot. Double Sledge by Batista. “You Can’t Wrestle” was aimed at Batista as he dropped Daniel over the ropes. Batista threw Daniel to the outside. Raw took a break. Really?
Batista had Daniel in a Side Headlock but Daniel battled free. Daniel ran the ropes and took Batista down with the Flying Clothesline. Hesitation Dropkicks by Daniel. Batista bailed out of the ring. Suicide Dive by Bryan. Missile Dropkick and Martial Arts Kicks by Bryan. Orton jumped to his feet. Daniel went to the corner and climbed. As he did, The Authority came out, en force. Batista knocked Daniel off the ropes and threw him into the ring steps..
Batista mocked the Yes chant. Daniel caught Batista with a sharp kick to the face. Randy slipped in the ring and smacked Daniel. He then went after Batistaa for the RKO. Batista pushed out and Daniel laid out Randy with the Dragon’s Fang Knee. He then hit a Hesitation Dropkick to Batista and knocked Kane off the apron. Kane crashed into HHH.
Your Winner (by Disqualification): Daniel Bryan
Raw Ranking: 3.0
Spear by Batista! HHH got in the ring and started to talk trash to Daniel. Bryan kicked HHH in the face. Batista Bomb to Bryan! HHH then tore off his jacket and tie and planted Daniel with the Pedigree! Stephanie mocked Daniel with a “Yes!” chant.
Fade to black.
As I finish, I know this will post on Tuesday evening. As such, I want to send out a special Birthday greeting to one of my best friends, inside and outside of wrestling. Darren Antola, the owner of Rivalry Championship Wrestling, has helped take my wrestling dream to height I never thought I could reach. It was Darren that made it possible for me to go to Poland. Happiest of Birthdays, my friend…mt brother.