Mike Tedesco’s RAW Thoughts
February 12, 2013
By: Mike Tedesco of Wrestleview.com
Paul Heyman delivered another great, albeit very pointless, promo to start the show. Heyman, who I think is delivering some of the greatest content of his career, was great here, but what did it really accomplish? Heyman resigned only to quickly change his mind in a matter of minutes. This was the big “hook” to get people to watch at the 8-o’clock hour, but I was simply a ruse to get them tuned in. That is the reason why I don’t normally make a real effort to catch the show at the start time. They could have at least stretched it out and maybe had CM Punk come out later to try to talk him out of it. It was still delivered well, but it was completely pointless.
I love Mark Henry. That man can do no wrong in my eyes. All he did last night was just finish the job he started on Smackdown. I know we’ve seen in the very recent past Khali being handled by guys much smaller than Henry, like Antonio Cesaro, but it’s still an impressive sight to see a 500-pound man be lifted up like an infant like Henry did. The World’s Strongest Slam to Hornswoggle was just the icing on the cake to end it. God bless Mark Henry.
The segment with Paul Heyman talking to Vince McMahon backstage was interesting. Heyman said he would do anything to get McMahon to take away The Rock’s “championship advantage” at Elimination Chamber, and he agreed to put it in writing. That should lead to a segment down the line where McMahon completely humiliates Heyman on live TV.
That leads us to the Daniel Bryan versus Chris Jericho match that was by and far the best match of the night in my opinion. These guys have such awesome chemistry, and last night was no different. The back and forth offense was tremendous, and the Codebreaker out of nowhere really capped it off. It’s really cool to think how far Daniel Bryan has come since having his first match against Jericho in 2010 on NXT. It was fun to reflect a little on that while watching that match, for me at least. Jericho is now in the Elimination Chamber so he brings a little more star power to the match.
John Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback had a little tune-up match against 3MB as they head into Elimination Chamber. It wasn’t much of a match, thought it was neat to see them hit their three finishers in stereo. The promo after the match was over was very lame, though John Cena did seem extra fired up.
I loved the Big Show’s segment tonight. From knocking out Alex Riley (where’s he been?) and Yoshi Tatsu (actually, where’s HE been?) backstage to coming out to the ring and just being angry without saying a word, he was spot-on. Big Show’s acting has improved by leaps and bounds over the past year, and his promo work has been great as well. Tonight, he just let his actions do the talking, and I thought it was very well done.
Jack Swagger easily handled Zack Ryder in a squash match, but who cares about that? Zeb Coulter was with him. Dutch Mantel lives! Coulter was tremendous in the delivery of his promo. It looks like they’re going the route that JBL went in his feud with Eddie Guerrero in 2004 in that they’re going to push the envelope on race and the immigration issue, since immigration reform is all the rage in the United States government these days. As long as it isn’t done in a trashy way, no one should really have a problem with that. This is exactly what Swagger needed. He needs Zeb Coulter. Swagger isn’t the greatest promo in the world so now he can just go out there, wrestle, and let Coulter do all the heavy lifting promo-wise. Swagger has all the tools at his disposal now. It’s make or break time for him. No excuses.
The Miz beat Cody Rhodes by disqualification when Antonio Cesaro attacked him at ringside. Cesaro then took Miz out with one of the most creative uses of the airplane spin I’ve ever seen. Cesaro gave it to him into the barricade a bunch of times. It looked impressive, but I just had to laugh. I never thought someone could take one of the dumbest and most pointless moves in wrestling and make it vicious. Anyway, I still expect Miz to take the United States Championship from him, barring any punishment that would come for supposedly dropping CM Punk on his head this past Saturday.
Isn’t it bad that the Funkadactyls were the best tag team in the ring when they were dancing with Brodus Clay and Tensai? If anything, this isn’t supposed to be a pretty pairing anyway. Maybe they can get a chuckle or two from easy fans before being relegated to Saturday Morning Slam.
There’s no other way to say it other than to just say that The Shield’s promo in the ring was terrible. Seth Rollins needs some major help on the microphone, and Roman Reigns should just be quiet and be powerful. I don’t expect much from those two, though. Dean Ambrose, who I’m usually very high on promo-wise, completely underwhelmed tonight. In fact, to put it bluntly, he sucked. Ambrose sounded like he ingested a ton of caffeine as he delivered his lines at a rapid and unrealistic pace. I couldn’t help but also notice he was completely ripping off Heath Ledger’s Joker. It’s not the first time the comparison has been made, but it was so apparent last night. Find your own character and be unique to yourself. The brawl that broke out with Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback against The Shield was just ok as well. I’m not huge on this match going into Sunday. The Shield was a very compelling angle for a few months, but now it feels like they’re in a rush to blow it off. I’m just not feeling it.
There wasn’t much to the Alberto Del Rio squash against Damien Sandow. Del Rio gets his tune-up for Sunday, and that’s about it. The best part of the segment came from Jerry Lawler when he was referencing Sandow’s promo before the match by saying, “If you listen to country music in reverse, you get your car back and your girl back!”
Last night was another example that the “Kofi Kingston experiment” is officially over. Bo Dallas attacked Wade Barrett before the match, and he was still able to handily defeat Kingston. I just don’t get the Bo Dallas angle. I guess it could be a “feel good” thing for the fans, but I just don’t see it. They’re giving him a push similar to Maven, and we all know how that turned out. Still, they’re running with it though.
Kane beat Dolph Ziggler in a decent little match for them. They’ve matched up well in the past, and tonight was no different. I’m surprised they didn’t go with Ziggler going into the Chamber, but if he cashes in on Del Rio this Sunday, who is really going to care about the loss tonight? I still think a Jericho/Ziggler match is one of the best possibilities going into WrestleMania. Oh, and did anyone catch the possible wardrobe malfunction during the match? I thought I saw AJ’s shirt come up when she fell into Big E.’s arms after being knocked off the apron. Maybe it was just me.
The Rock closed out the show with a “story time” segment. The Rock went out there and proved that if you’re super over, you can do whatever the hell you want out there. The story he told was ridiculous, but he somehow tied it into the WWE Championship. Probably the most interesting thing from the story was he referenced Jeff Jarrett. The story probably played better to the live crowd than it did for the people watching on TV. The brawl with CM Punk to close the show was pretty good. Punk walking off with the title is definitely intriguing. I’ll admit that I am looking forward to the rematch on Sunday.
Bump of the Night: Jack Swagger giving Zack Ryder the belly-to-belly suplex on the floor!
Match of the Night: Chris Jericho vs. Daniel Bryan **
Final Rating: ***
Check out my Smackdown recap on Friday! Thanks for reading!
Mike Tedesco is the official recapper of WWE Smackdown for Wrestleview.com.