Raw opens with John Cena. He starts to talk about WrestleMania but CM Punk interrupts. Punk wants Cena’s title shot. Cena agrees to put it on the line in a match. Punk decides that it will be next week.
^This makes me wonder if we will end up with a triple threat match at WM, or if WWE is just trying to buy some time until they get an “official” decision from the Undertaker about working the show against Punk. Good promo work from both men; it’s nice to see John Cena back in the WWE Title picture.
Backstage segment with Chris Jericho suggesting to Ryback and Sheamus that they take on the Shield tonight. He goes to suggest the idea to Vickie Guerrero.
^Six man tag involving the chance of seeing the Shield wrestle again? I’ll take it!
Mark Henry squashes Sin Cara with the WSS. The Great Khali comes down to confront Henry after the match and Henry leaves the ring before they can brawl.
^If Mark Henry faces Khali at WrestleMania, it will hurt the show. Khali is not capable of having a good match with anyone at this point, and I’m really hoping this is just a swerve to set something up for Henry later on.
^The match was short, but once again they told a really good story. I like that they continued the feud this way and I’m optimistic they can drag it out until WrestleMania to have an unforgettable US Title match.
A video from youtube is shown of Zeb Colter talking about America.
^I was never a fan of managers, and Uncle Zebekiah is just another boring one to me. If you want to make Jack Swagger more interesting, give him a REAL repackage and CHANGE something about him. It’s a good thing the guy can wrestle, or I wouldn’t even be slightly optimistic about seeing him in the World Title scene.
Kane and Daniel Bryan are shown backstage. Bryan has a match with Swagger tonight and doesn’t want Kane involved. Kane has a match with Orton tonight(who shows up in the scene) and also doesn’t want Dbry involved.
^Let the Kane and Dbry split begin! I like that we get two potentially good matches out it, though.
Paul Heyman joins Vickie backstage. Vickie tells Paul she has some news for him when they get in the ring later.
^Heyman’s words of saying he would do anything if CM Punk lost are about to bite him in the rear. Can’t wait!
Alberto Del Rio defeats Dolph Ziggler using the cross-armbreaker. Big E attacks Del Rio after the match so Ziggler can cash in, but Ricardo thwarts their efforts.
^The match had some good action, but it was cut far too short. I want to see these guys get fifteen to twenty solid minutes together in the ring to deliver a main event level contest. I don’t like Ziggler losing when he’s supposed to have a world title run soon, but losing to the strong World Champion to make Del Rio legit works for me.
Wade Barrett cuts a promo about his appearance in WWE Films movie, Dead Man Down. Sheamus interrupts on the tron and the promo ends after he insults him.
^Setting up a Sheamus/Barrett feud? I didn’t expect to see Sheamus going after the IC Title right now, but I guess if WWE wants to give us a good rivalry, this might be the way to do it. Would’ve been nice to see Barrett in an actual match, though. Where has Bo Dallas gone?
^It’s nice to see Primo and Epico back on television, and hopefully this means the WWE tag team division will get some recognition again. I guess Brodus and Tensai teaming together guarantees us some tag team matches on Raw again, and that is not a bad thing.
Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter deliver their state of the union address. Swagger defeats Daniel Bryan using the ankle lock(patriot act).
^Swagger and Bryan may have wrestled the match of the night here. Both guys are talented and they can really put on a clinic. Hopefully Dbry can get back in the World Title hunt after his potential match with Kane at WrestleMania.
Vickie and Heyman are in the ring. She reveals her new assistant, Brad Maddox. Vince McMahon shows up on the tron via satellite and tells Heyman he will face him in the ring next week.
^I don’t care for Brad Maddox in the ring as a wrestler, but maybe his character as assistant to Vickie could be entertaining. Obviously WWE has no intention of getting rid of him, so it’s time to embrace his apparent limited potential.
The Shield defeats Chris Jericho, Sheamus and Ryback. Dean Ambrose pins Chris Jericho for the win.
^Good action here. I hope now we can see some one on one matches with Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns as their rivalries develop with top roster talent. Jericho is going away for a couple weeks, but I suspect his WrestleMania rivalry will be set up immediately upon his return. Booking the Shield to continue winning matches is the best way to make these guys look strong. Featuring their wrestling abilities in one on one matches will make people realize just how good Rollins and Ambrose are.
Damien Sandow goes one on one with Kofi Kingston. The match is interrupted(even though it never started because of Sandow jumping Kofi before the bell) when R-Truth makes his return and attacks Sandow.
^I like seeing the aggressive Sandow character again. Pairing him with Cody Rhodes held him back, and made Cody look bad. Both men are destined to be at the top of the roster in the future with the talent they possess.
Josh Mathews is ringside with the co-stars of GI Joe: Retaliation(they were at the EC as well).
Another Fandango vignette is shown. Terrible.
Randy Orton defeats Kane with the RKO after a Daniel Bryan distraction on Kane.
^Kane and Orton have always had decent chemistry, and this match wasn’t too bad. I’d be curious to know what WWE has planned for Orton when it comes to Wrestlemania. I think it might be beneficial for WWE to have Kane and Dbry drop the titles before they are fully torn apart.
The Rock comes out and reveals the new WWE Championship belt. John Cena comes out and stares at him. CM Punk attacks Cena from behind with the old belt. Punk stares at Rock to close the show.
^I like the new belt. It’s more simple than the spinner belt and doesn’t look so much like a piece of jewelry. People will complain that it isn’t like the traditional belts from the past, but we aren’t in the same era anymore. Modernization is just part of the process, even when it comes to championships. I liked the Rock’s promo, and I liked Punk attacking Cena. The mystery of whether or not Punk will be involved in the WWE Championship match continues to keep fans on edge, and that’s smart booking. Good closing segment for the show.
This wasn’t the best Raw ever , but it definitely wasn’t the worst.. Every match besides Kane/Orton and Dbry/Swagger was too short. The Shield match was decent and the ADR/Ziggler match had great potential, but they just didn’t last long enough. I felt the promo work was very entertaining throughout the entire night, and to me that equals an average show when you add in the wrestling.
I’ll be back with my Smackdown analysis this weekend. Don’t forget to add me on facebook if you want to join in on my trivia challenges(they’re usually twice a month). Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!
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