The show begins with highlights from the past few weeks but the true highlight is the fact that nearly a week later I can finally write up this review.
Mr McMahon comes out and properly hypes up the crowd. He calls out Paul Heyman and says even though he’s recovering from surgery he could beat Heyman, well pretty much limbless and blind. Paul Heyman comes out and cuts one of his great anti Vince promos as only he can and as only he gets away with. Right when Paul gets to his point, he sucker tackles Vince! Oh that was such a shit move and wonderful. Paul starts beating Vince with his own crutch and its actually a good showing by Heyman. Vince never stays down long though and he grabs the crutch away from Paul then begins his comeback.
This comeback though brings out Paul Heyman’s protector, Brock Lesnar. Vince cant get out of the ring fast enough and comes face to face with Lesnar once again. If only… oh there he is. Vince also has a protector and Triple H returns! Hunter walks down to the ring very obviously ready for a fight.
Michael Cole says, “Is it him? Is it him?” No Cole, its the fucking Great Pumpkin.
And what a fight it is! This is one violent brawl. When the hell was the last time we saw blood in WWE? Well there is a gusher when Triple H cuts open Brock’s head. Lesnar fights back and drops Triple H on the announce table. Hunter fights back in the ring and Brock leaves a trail of blood as he leaves the ring.
Well that is damn sure going to get some WrestleMania buys.
Dolph Ziggler (with AJ and Big E) vs. Ryback.
Well this is a damn shame for Dolph. He’s probably going to lose this but deserves better.
Michael Cole says Ryback picks up a hundred pound sledgehammer and hits tractor trailer tires with it every day. That must be a bitch to find in some towns.
Dolph cant get anything going. Ryback is dominant in this match. The fans start chanting Goldberg which, at the beginning of the Ryback character Ill give you, but he’s grown since then.
Ryback picks Dolph up for a suplex and just forgets to put him down. I made a sandwich in the time he was up there. An elaborate one at that. Can Dolph get anything going in this match? Well, no. But Big E Langston can. Dolph gets tossed back in the ring and the referee follows that movement which gives Big E just the opportunity to plow through Ryback on the outside. Its now Dolph’s match.
Dolph is hitting quick and running off just to come back with another impact. Hit em hard and fast style. Ryback uses his strength to fight back. But the bigger man is weakened and as much as Ryback wants to be fed, Dolph is the one who’s wrestling hungry. AJ tries to distract the referee so Big E can take out Ryback but Langston gets knocked down instead. Ryback overwhelms Dolph after this and hits Shell Shock for the pin.
CM Punk comes out and cuts a pretty good promo, but in the end there was no reason for it. Just a promo to hype up tonight. CM Punk says he is God and that ends up being the trending topic of the evening.
Welcome to the WWE Hall of Fame — Donald Trump!
Mark Henry vs. The Great Khali
Oh I’m so glad this isn’t a WrestleMania match. Khali comes out on his own. Khali gets in the big chop and it could be all over for Mark but he rolls out of the ring to compose himself. Mark comes back in and controls everything from there out. He picks up Khali and walks around the ring with the 500 plus pounds of the Punjabi Playboy. One World’s Strongest Slam later and Henry is dominant.
Preview of The Call and The Marine 3, both coming soon from WWE Films.
Fan Dan Goooooooooo…………
Miz TV with guest Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) and Jack Swagger (with Zeb Coulter). This could be interesting. Zeb says that illegals take our jobs. You know, picking crops and crawling under houses. All the jobs that we desire. I cant tell you how many times I wanted to be out working in a field for dollars a day but some damn illegal got there first. Zeb brings up some interesting facts about Mexico. It takes 10 years to become a citizen. A foreigner cannot own property in Mexico. Very interesting, and a hell of a way to spin a story.
Alberto Del Rio finally talks. Holy crap. He already wrestles better as a face than he did as a heel. Now, just listen to him. Promos like this and Del Rio is going to become the biggest face in the company. The patriotic American dream tale, as told by a Latino. All he has to do is walk in an arena and 20% will be chanting his name. Minimum.
Jack Swagger says two sentences. So, is Zeb was facing Swagger at ‘Mania he would make a fortune. Jack needs to have a shady sneak attack on Del Rio soon to get some of the heat himself.
During the commercial break, Jack Swagger attacks the Miz. Poor Miz just cannot catch a break.
Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro (US Champion).
Wow they are really behind Antonio. His feud with Miz seems to be over already. He is doing very well against Orton. So well that the announcers are pointing out moves Randy doesn’t usually do, which means he has to pull out new things to defeat this challenger. Is there anything Randy has?
Oh right. He has that RKO out of no where move. In fact, it should be called that from now on. The RKO Out of No Where. Cesaro comes off the turnbuckles for what I assume was going to be a flying uppercut be he gets caught with the RKO instead. Surprising and good finish.
Kane and Daniel Bryan watch from the back. They agree to put aside their differences but both men think they can easily defeat the Prime Time Players. Even blindfolded, or with one arm tied behind the back. Vickie and Brad Maddox show up, Team Bricki, and agree to those stipulations. Oh that could be very interesting.
For some reason they play the classic A Few Good Men parody starring John Cena and JBL. Hysterical to hear mentions of the Bashams and Orlando Jordan. Maybe we can get an Amy Webber mention too?
“Sheamus’s Oscar Snubs”. Oh what in the hell? I’m honestly worried its going to be Sheamus talking movies, but I should have realized the true point. To make fun of Wade Barrett in the new WWE Films movie. Sheamus makes fun of Wade’s acting. Wade comes out to cut a counter promo. This would actually be a good Intercontinental title match at WrestleMania.
R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes. Damien Sandow is on commentary.
Truth rather easily defeats Cody in a match that no one pays attention to, because they’re too busy getting Damien’s feud with Truth over. Truth wins and Damien fights with him for a little bit before bailing out of the ring.
Another We the People video.
Team Hell No (Tag Team Champions) vs. Prime Time Players. Daniel is blindfolded and Kane has one arm tied behind his back.
Daniel starts off the match and is a mess. He tries to attach the referee, he’s completely lost, and its very nice and comical. Daniel rolls out of the ring and Kane tries to help him but just gets punched for his troubles. Bryan is back in the ring and Kane gets tagged in. Kane struggles a bit but starts to use his feet too and fights off both men. Kane gets a choke slam for the pin.
The Shield comes out to cut a pretty good promo that they’re awesome and can defeat anyone brought against them. Hopefully we get a big 3 on 3 for WrestleMania.
Sheamus comes out to challenge the Shield. Dean and Roman head up the ramp but Seth is last and that’s just enough for Randy Orton to sneak out from the crowd and hit an RKO on Rollins. Nice set up.
Jack Swagger (with Zeb Coulter) vs. The Miz.
Jack really controls this match, as a man who is challenging in the main event of WrestleMania should be. Swagger is looking like a beast lately. He looks like a giant next to Miz at times during this match. Jack may not be able to cut a great promo but there is no doubt with this angle and with Zeb as his manager that Swagger is a great wrestler. He can let his skills shine and someone else can worry about talking.
Miz starts to fight back but damage has been done and he’s not at 100%. Jack is going to eventually come back and only needs that moment. Miz trapping his leg in the ring ropes is a good moment. Miz gets trapped and the leg is already injured. Swagger does more damage and the match is already over before he even locks on that Patriot Act ankle lock.
(King didn’t you just have a heart attack? Is this much fried food really a good idea?)
This portion of Raw brought to you by Sonic. I’ve never eaten at one, because there isn’t any around me. But it doesn’t look that different or that special from anything else. Is it?
Josh Matthews interviews John Cena who cuts a typical I’m going to win promo.
CM Punk vs. John Cena for the spot at WrestleMania,
Alright, the internet has already told me that this is an incredible match so I’m just going to watch it and enjoy it and be right back with thoughts.
It was the piledriver that did it. The match was very very good. After some warming up it became an Undertaker WrestleMania match. Every move was big and could lead to a three count. No room for anything other than a finisher. We’ve seen many near falls and actual falls from these two men before. But it was that piledriver that pushed it over. The fact that CM Punk was so desperate and so driven to try absolutely anything to win. That one move escalated Punk, Cena, and the WWE title.
This whole night is the fire before WrestleMania. Everyone looks to be in better shape, they’re wrestling better, the promos are better. Every wrestler is getting into WrestleMania shape and we are blessed with an amazing show like this one.