For my Raw reviews I will not be doing play by play. It will just be a quick review on all the segments with a few match highlights being thrown in there.
Coming off a very strong Elimination Chamber PPV could the momentum continue over to Monday night? I had pretty high hopes that it could.
John Cena opened the show to basically tell us about the two main championship matches at Wrestlemania 29. Before he could say anything else CM Punk interrupted him. Punk admitted that The Rock beat him fair and square at the Elimination Chamber PPV, but that he still wants another shot for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania. John Cena, being the caring man that he is, granted a match to Punk for next week in that if Punk wins he gets John Cena’s title match at Mania. This was a good opening promo from both guys. Remember back in the fall Cena wanted a WWE Championship match against Punk, but Punk would never grant him that wish? I guess Cena doesn’t remember. However, next week live from Dallas, TX (a show I will be attending live) we are going to get John Cena vs CM Punk. They always have great matches with one another and I expect nothing less here.
Sheamus and Ryback got into an argument backstage because Shemaus thought Ryback was going overboard with the loss the night before. Chris Jericho broke up the scuffle and told both men that he would go to Vickie Guerrero and ask for a match against The Shield. No surprise the match was made official. It seemed at this point that they might have been planting the seeds for Sheamus vs Ryback at Mania, but we found out later they seem to have other plans for Sheamus.
Mark Henry d. Sin Cara
This match only lasted a couple minutes and I don’t recall Sin Cara getting one offensive move in. Mark Henry is still being built up as a dominate monster just like he was before he got injured last year.
Match Rating: Squash
After the match Mark Henry continued to attack Sin Cara. This led to The Great Khali making the save for the luchador. Before Khali could get his hands on Henry, the World’s Strongest Man left the ring. Highlight of this segment was Henry imitating Khali’s dancing. If you have not seen this, find it! Golden moment. I hope this doesn’t lead to Henry vs Khali at Wrestlemania. Mark deserves better than that.
The Miz d. Antonio Cesaro (No DQ Match)
It is worth noting that this match was not for the United States Championship. That should have been a key indicator that The Miz was going to win this match. They only got around 4 minutes, but in that short amount of time they put on another good performance. On a 3 hour show that is full of filler content it would not have hurt to give these two at least 5 more minutes. They used steel chairs and a Singapore cane. Cesaro worked over Miz’s shoulder much like he did at their match at Elimination Chamber. In the end, Miz was able to make Cesaro tap quickly with the Figure 4. With Miz’s victory I would anticipate one more match between these men.
Match Rating: **
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter was shown in a pre recorded video talking about illegal immigrants wanting handouts in the Untied States. Colter is a pretty good promo. This of course was to build up the del Rio/Swagger feud.
Kane and Daniel Bryan were backstage arguing about their relationship and the events that took place in the Elimination Chamber. Bryan told Kane he was going to be competing in a single’s match later in the evening against Jack Swagger and that he did not want Kane coming to help. Randy Orton interrupted them and told Kane that he had gone soft. Funny promo from Team Hell No.
Vickie Guerrero told Paul Heyman that she had a huge announcement for him that could affect his career.
Alberto del Rio d. Dolph Ziggler
Good 10 minute match here. The highlight of this match was del Rio hitting a reverse superplex from the top rope. Alberto ended the match by making Dolph tap out to the cross arm breaker. As soon as the match was over Big E. attacked del Rio in the ring. Seeing del Rio laid out in the ring made Dolph want to cash in his MITB contract, but before the ref started the match Ricardo Rodriguez stole the briefcase. He took off backstage while Big E. was hot on his trail. I think we better get used to seeing del Rio vs Ziggler, because I have a feeling we will be seeing that as a program during the summer months.
Match Rating: **3/4
Wade Barrett was out next to promote his upcoming movie “Dead Man Down” which stars Colin Farrell. If you blinked during the trailer then you missed Wade Barrett. To see him in the clip you pretty much have to pause the show for the 2 seconds he is on. Sheamus broke in on the tron putting down Barrett. Is this going to lead to a championship match between the two at Mania? It looks like it could. It seems like they have dropped the Bo Dallas/Wade Barrett storyline. That is fine with me if they have.
Brodus Clay, Tesnai & Naomi d. Epico, Primo & Rosa
Very basic match that just put over the new team of Brodus Clay and Tesnai. I could see myself getting behind this team, but only time will tell.
Match Rating: Squash
A video was shown of the Wrestlemania XXX press conference in New Orleans. That is about a 6 hour road trip for me, so I might plan a trip next year.
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter had their “State of the Union” address. It was pretty much along the same lines as their past promos. The main focus was once again on illegal immigrants. This story is actually getting some press on various news sites. Now that Swagger has a manager I think the best thing would be for Zeb to do all the talking. We didn’t see any Swagger/del Rio interaction on this show, but we all know a confrontation will be happening very soon.
Jack Swagger d. Daniel Bryan
It was an average TV match that could have been good if it were given a longer amount of time. The ending of the match saw Bryan submit to the Patriot Act by Swagger. It is a good name for the move, but I don’t really care for Swagger having the ankle lock as a finishing move. No sign of Kane in this match, so he help up his end of the bargain by not coming out. Would Bryan do the same later on?
Match Rating: **
Vickie and Paul were in the ring and Vickie’s announcement was that she hired an assistant….. Brad Maddox! I was expecting a little bit bigger of an announcement. This didn’t seem to faze Paul, but Vince McMahon quickly changed Paul’s mood. Vince (crutches in hand) came on the tron and told Paul that next week they would be fighting in the ring. It is interesting to note that during the WM30 press conference earlier in the evening we saw Vince walk across the stage without crutches. He must have had a bad slip since then. Paul Heyman looked worried about next week. Brock Lesnar is scheduled for Raw next Monday night, and I would also look for Triple H to make his return.
The Shield d. Chris Jericho, Ryback & Sheamus
This was an awesome match. I would love to see Jericho vs any one of the three memeber of The Shield any day. The Shield was on the offense most of the match just like they were the night before. Chris Jericho took the fall for his team. I can not praise Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns enough. They are the best thing going in WWE today, and I would even say quite possibly they are the best thing going across any wrestling promotion. I am looking at you Aces & Eights. I hope this team gets a huge spot on Wrestlemania, because they deserve it.
Match Rating: ***3/4
Kofi Kingston vs Damien Sandow (No Contest)
This match never got officially started. It was pretty much Sandow attacking Kingston until R-Truth made the save for his buddy. I don’t know if this is leading to Kofi and Truth reforming their tag team again or if this was just just a way to bring R-Truth back from injury. Damien Sandow needs a good storyline. He is one of the best talkers in the WWE today, and he is pretty damn good in the ring. Let him have a US or Intercontinental championship run this year.
No Match Rating
Randy Orton d. Kane
It was a pretty boring match with the main focus being on Daniel Bryan distracting Kane allowing Orton to get the victory. Randy Orton and Kane have never had the best chemistry with each other in the ring. Once again it looks like they are building to Kane vs Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania, so one would expect them to lost the titles pretty soon. As for Randy Orton, I have no idea what direction they are headed for him. At one point is was rumored that he would be turning heel, but so far nothing has come of that. Your guess is as good as mine as to where he will be heading into the biggest show of the year.
Match Rating: *1/2
The Rock ended the show with a championship celebration. The celebration included the marching band from a college in Louisiana and the unveiling of a new WWE Championship belt. BELT. The new belt is defiantly an improvement over the spinner belt, but it is going to take me a while to really embrace it. John Cena interrupted the ceremony only to get hit in the back by CM Punk and the old belt. The show ended with a stare down between The Rock and CM Punk. As of right now, The Rock is not scheduled for Raw next week. Just my luck.
Final Raw Rating: 6/10
This was a much better show than last week. However, it seemed as if it was just a build up show for next week. It is rare nowadays that we get matches and/or segments announced a week in advance for Raw. We know next week we have a Vince vs Paul “fight” as well as Cena vs Punk. I would also expect to see the return of both Triple H and The Undertaker to build to their respective programs for Mania. I will be at Raw next week, and I think I will be taking a “Brand-O” sign with me. So keep and eye out for that.
Remember you can always reach me @ Brandonmf89@yahoo.com
See you all next week!