Are you ready? There are only 34 days until WrestleMania, so stop questioning your heart (to the person in the comments that asks every week – that’s how I started all of my ECW recaps and I kept it on when I was promoted as a call back) and join me because it’s time for Monday Night RAW!!!
Video Package: John Cena’s promo about The Rock from last week on RAW (2/20)
CM Punk’s music hits and he walks down to the ring for his match against Daniel Bryan.
Instead of Bryan, Chris Jericho walks out onto the entrance ramp. He gets in the ring and says that he knows Punk has a big match, but what he has to say is more important. Punk is very talented, but he is not better than Jericho. The difference is that Jericho never had to put “Best in the World” on a T-shirt to prove it. Jericho goes on a rant and says that he is part of a dying breed of performers – performers who worked for every single thing that they got. Jericho may not have been well liked in the back, but he didn’t care because he knew that he was the best. Jericho says that Punk has similar maverick like qualities. But, that’s because Punk is a Chris Jericho wanna be just like everyone else.
Punk cuts him off. Punk says that he knows how good Jericho is, all of the fans know how good Jericho is. Punk says that he has no problem with Jericho, it’s the fact that he says people steal from him. Bret Hart was saying he was the “best” when Jericho was just a child. Jericho tells Punk that he can laugh it off, but this isn’t some kind of gimmick. Jericho really is the best in the world.
Punk asks if Jericho is trying to prove it to the fans, to him, or to himself that he is the best. Punk says he overcame the same obstacles, but now he has surpassed Jericho. Punk says that while Jericho is off writing books, being on game shows, and radio shows, Punk has been working in the WWE. Jericho says that when he was Dancing with Stars and killing it on the Tonight Show, the one thing that Jericho was thinking about was Punk ripping him off. Jericho says that all of the fancy lights and jackets are just distractions because the one reason that he came back to the WWE was to take down Punk. Jericho is back to prove that he is the best. Punk says that everyone points to the WrestleMania sign, but he is just going to point to his Title. Punk is going to hold his Title up after their match and shout “Best in the World”. Because of that, it will be the end of Jericho’s World.
Daniel Bryan w/ AJ Lee, John Laurinaitis & David Otunga v. CM Punk w/ Teddy Long & Santino
Bryan attacks Punk from behind before the match starts. Punk regains his composure and throws Bryan out of the ring. The match will officially be underway after the break.
Back from the break, Bryan dodges a Punk attack in the corner with a flip. Bryan backs him into the corner and connects with a shoulder thrust. Bryan hits an uppercut, and then drops a knee on Punk. Bryan cinches on a wristlock. Bryan releases and drops a knee against the neck of Punk. Bryan kicks Punk in the back. Punk gets to his feet and starts to hit a couple kicks out of his own. Bryan is covered, but kicks out. Punk dodges a spin kick, and then throws Bryan to the outside. Punk charges for a suicide dive, but stops when he sees that AJ is in the way. Bryan pulls Punk out of the ring, and throws him shoulder first into the steel steps. Bryan grins as he rolls back into the ring.
We see that during the break, Bryan hit a Superplex on CM Punk. Bryan charges with a dropkick in the corner, but Punk rolls out of the way. Punk gets to his feet and kicks and punches Bryan. Punk hits a spinning heel kick, followed by a neckbreaker. Punk charges and connects with a high knee in the corner. Bryan counters the bulldog but Punk dodges a kick. Punk lays out Bryan and heads to the top rope. Punk leaps and hits a beautiful elbow drop. Punk wants the Go To Sleep, but Otunga jumps up on the apron for a distraction. This allows Bryan to sneak in for an attack, but Punk rolls out of the way. Otunga is back up on the apron once again. Santino runs up on the apron and hits the cobra on Otunga! Laurinaitis then pulls Santino off the apron. Bryan hightails it out of the ring with AJ by his side. Sheamus runs down and throws Bryan back into the ring. Punk hits the GTS and pins him.
Laurinaitis jumps in the ring and says that the pin doesn’t count, and calls for the bell to end the match himself. Long and Laurinaitis are now both in the ring. Long pushes John down to the mat! Otunga leaps in, as does Santino.
Punk slides out of the ring and walks up the ramp. He lifts his arms into the air to celebrate, but Jericho runs up and attacks him from behind! Jericho slams him onto the steel, and then applies the Walls of Jericho! Referees run out to try and separate the two men. Jericho finally relents and then picks up Punk’s Title. Jericho drapes the Title over Punk and tells him to enjoy it while he can.
//In the back, Josh Mathews informs us that the trainers believe CM Punk might be okay.
Video Package: Undertaker v. HHH from WrestleMania 27
Kelly Kelly v. Nikki Bella w/ Brie
Kelly charges into Bella and slams her head into the mat. Bella goes for the cover, but Kelly kicks out. Kelly hits a drop toe hold out of the corner. Bella bounces out right into spinning headscissors from Kelly. Brie jumps up on the apron to check on her sister. Kelly kicks her out of the ring, but Nikki sneaks up from behind for a roll up. Kelly continues to roll it through and locks on a bridge. This match is over.
Winner via Bridging Pin: Kelly Kelly
John Cena’s music hits, and he runs down to the ring. The crowd is once again very mixed.
John Cena v. The Miz
The Miz walks out with a mic in hand onto the entrance ramp. Miz says that he worked too hard to be treated like this. In the past year, no one has worked harder than The Miz. He is asked to fly all over the world to do PR for the company, and yet The Miz’s name has yet to be called upon for WrestleMania. Miz yells at the crowd to shut up. Miz says they can boo all they want, but it’s a crime. Miz says he is going to prove to everyone that he is WrestleMania worthy. Miz says he is going to do it by beating the man that he beat in the main event of last year’s ‘mania. Because he’s The Miz, and he’s awesome!
The bell rings and they lock up. Cena goes to the side headlock, and Miz reverses. Cena leapfrogs and then hits an armdrag. Cena kicks him in the gut and hits a fisherman’s suplex. Cena hits a spinning shoulder block, and then prances around the ring. Cena lifts him into the air for the AA. Miz fights out and hits a knee to the back of the neck followed by a neckbreaker. Miz stomps on his gut and then hits a running knee. Cover, but Cena kicks out.
Miz pushes Cena against the ropes and applies pressure with his thigh. Miz is whipped into the ropes and gets hit with a back body drop. Cena throws him into the corner and then connects with a splash. Cena hits a big clothesline and then goes for a suplex. Miz scurries free and hits a vicious DDT. Cover, but Cena kicks out. Cena slowly gets to his feet in the corner. Miz charges and connects with a splash. Miz heads to the top rope. Miz leaps, but Cena moves out of the way. Cena hits a shoulder block, followed by a side slam. Cena preps for the 5 Knuckle Shuffle. It connects! Cena lifts Miz into the air and hits the AA! Instead of the cover, Cena locks on the STFU. Miz taps!
Winner via STF: John Cena
The Rock is shown warming up on the Titantron.
Tag Team Championship
R-Truth & Kofi Kingston v. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero v. Primo & Epico w/ Rosa Mendes
Swagger decides not to participate at first, but Ziggler runs in to the ring. Truth is tagged in and saves a pin from Ziggler. Truth gets back to his feet and hits a spinning kick which sends Primo out of the ring. All hell breaks loose as everyone starts getting tossed out of the ring with their partners running in for assistance. We head to commercial with an ultimately empty ring.
Back from the break, Swagger is working on Truth. Primo tries for a cover, but Swagger breaks it up. Swagger and Primo push each other, but then Primo turns his attention to Truth. Ziggler gets the tag and hits a high drop kick. Primo sneaks in for another cover, but Ziggler breaks it up. Truth punches both of his opponents, but Primo tries for a neckbreaker. Truth counters, and hits neckbreakers on Ziggler and Primo at the same time. All three partners get the tag. Kingston charges into the ring and hits a couple of dropkicks. Swagger misses a splash and gets hit with a crossbody from Kingston. Epico makes the save on the cover, but Kofi slams him to the mat, right on top of Swagger! Kofi hits the Boom Drop on both men. Ziggler runs into the ring to interrupt Trouble in Paradise. Ziggler is knocked out of the ring, but Swagger tries for a cover, but everyone charges into the ring to try and hit their finishers. Ultimately, Primo ends the cluster- with a backstabber for the win.
Winners: Primo & Epico
Kane’s music hits and he walks down to the ring. Kane hits a double chokeslam on Ziggler and Primo. Truth runs into the ring and tries to attack Kane. He connects with a couple of punches, but then gets hit with chokeslam. Kane stands over his fallen victims, and calls for the ring post pyro.
//John Laurinaitis and David Otunga are in their office talking about the Oscars. Teddy Long walks in and says that Laurinaitis won’t be the GM of RAW next week. John tells Long that he is fired as GM of Smackdown! Teddy calls John a horse’s ass!
Video Recap: Eve Torres/John Cena on RAW last week
Eve Torres is introduced and walks her way down to the ring. She grabs a microphone. The crowd chants, “hoeski”. She says the people can judge her if they want. But, she is a woman living in a man’s world. She tells them what they want to hear, and they love it. Eve says that she may use men, but there isn’t a man in the world that wouldn’t want to be used by a woman like her. Eve says that she doesn’t ask for this, men just crumble at her feet like little puppies begging for affection. She says that she shouldn’t be blamed for her natural strengths. Men should be blamed for their weaknesses. Eve drops the mic and blows the crowd a kiss.
The Big Show & Sheamus v. Cody Rhodes & Mark Henry
Cody Rhodes shows a clip of Mayweather beating Big Show at WrestleMania
Show and Rhodes start the match. As soon as the bell rings, Henry gets the tag. Show stomps on Henry and knocks him down to the mat. Show bounces off the ropes and hits a spear. Show runs out of the ring after Cody. Rhodes walks up the ramp to avoid his opponent. Sheamus tags himself into the ring and hits a Brogue Kick on Mark Henry. This match is over!
Winners The Big Show & Sheamus
The Rock’s music hits, and The Great One makes his way down to the ring. He takes a few moments to soak up the reaction. Rock points to his arms and says that he has goose bumps. He says that this feels so damn good. Rock says that this may come as a shock to a lot of people, but he is not here every single week. But he was here every single week for years and years. The Rock was born and created in the WWE. The Rock knows that if not for the WWE and all of his fans, The Rock would not exist. When he said he was back and never going away, he meant it. No he hasn’t been at every single event, but that’s never what that meant. Just because one man in the back wants to take it literally, that doesn’t change his intent. Rock says that he is standing in the ring right now for no other reason than that he loves the WWE. Rock says he will always be a part of the WWE, and the WWE will always be a part of him.
For years, The Rock used to think that Cena was a phony. Rock mocks Cena for being a Doctor of Thuganomics. Rock says that Cena claimed he couldn’t get his phone number, but Rock says that he’s had it for years. Rock says that he doesn’t care because he doesn’t want to talk to Cena. He would rather just smack him in the face with Kung Pao chicken. Rock says that Cena isn’t a phony or a bad guy, but he is a Kung Pao bitch! Last week, Cena said something that stuck with The Rock. He said that Cena was going to wrestle for all of the men in the back who wanted to be a professional wrestler. Rock says that he grew up in this business. You should only fight for yourself. Rock says that no one fought for him, he fought for himself. The Rock name drops historic names that fought their way up to the top of the business. The Rock says that if Cena wrestles for the men in the back, then The Rock wrestles for the fans!
The Rock says that while the fans are tired of Cena, they aren’t tired of being entertained. Rock claims that he lives to entertain. Whenever The Rock and the people get together they trail blaze. Rock mocks Cena for getting called a Fruity Pebble, and then having his monkey ass end up on a box of Fruity Pebbles. Cena is going to get kicked right in the lady parts. The Rock starts a “lady parts” chant. Rock says that the most innovative thing Cena has done this year was change from jean shorts to camouflage shorts. It was a change must be working, because no one can find Cena’s balls! The Rock says that Cena’s missing balls is now trending worldwide.
John Cena’s music hits and he makes his way into the ring. He says that he can’t miss out on the fun. Cena says that he is the guy who runs Rock down when he is here, he’ll admit that. But he’s also the guy that runs him down when he is here. Cena says that he was once a guy that loved The Rock, until he met Dwayne Johnson. Cena calls him an ego-tistical son of a bitch. Cena calls out The Rock on writing his promos on his wrist. Cena says that he doesn’t like Dwayne Johnson. At WrestleMania he’s going to stare into The Rock’s scared eyes. Cena doesn’t need Hustle, Loyalty and Respect to trend, because he lives them.
Cena exits the ring and tells The Rock to carry on, keep trending. Cena drops the mic and heads back up the ramp.
Rock says that it’s just like Cena to come out and run his mouth and then leave before Rock can smack the lips off of him. Dwayne Johnson and The Rock are the same man. He is the same person no matter where he is. Rock starts to run into his catchphrases, and finishes with “If you sm-e-l-l-l-l-l, what The Rock is cooking.
I was incredibly impressed with the segment that opened the show. Jericho was in top form against Punk, and it was a verbal showdown that many of us have been anticipating since Punk’s first “pipebomb”. Jericho was real and genuinely came across as showing up on RAW solely to take down Punk. If Cena/Rock doesn’t live up to the hype, this match could steal the show.
I love that we are getting a Bryan/Punk feud. It’s been done to near perfection seeing as how it is really all about Laurinaitis & Long. If anyone didn’t catch on, the big reveal will be that they run each other’s shows next week.
The Video Package for HHH/Undertaker was incredible. It did a great job of making a terrible match look fantastic.
This week I came to the startling realization that in John Cena’s old freestyles he has the same delivery as Andrew Dice Clay.
Kelly Kelly looked great applying that bridging pin. That’s the only thing in the match worth commenting on.
The tag team match was just an absolute cluster of a mess. I’ve no problem with Kane coming out and attacking the men after the match. They were already worn out from their match so obviously they can’t fight off the Big Red Machine. Those tactics have always been a part of his character.
It was a very impressive promo by Eve Torres. It was very believable and I don’t think there is another diva in the company at the moment that could have cut that promo as well as Eve did tonight.
The embarrassing Big Show WrestleMania Moments shtick is pretty funny.
I feel bad for Mark Henry the past couple of weeks. I suppose he is being used as fodder for those who will be wrestling on the WrestleMania card. He has the ability to bounce into full relevancy with one promo at this stage in his career, so fans of his need not worry.
John Cena stole the show in the closing segment. It was all about The Rock, and then Cena spun it around. The crowd even began to cheer Cena when he dropped the mic after telling Rock to “keep trending”. Cena will come out of ‘mania cheered, The Rock can make it happen. As for The Rock’s promo, what can I even say? It was masterful. He can work the crowd like no one else, and it seems so effortless. They’ll chant whatever he tells them to, and he never has to force it.
This RAW was flat out an A show tonight. Other than the tag team match, it was near perfection. I don’t remember a WrestleMania in recent memory for which I have been as interested in the storylines as I am for this year.
The Teacher’s Lounge (Saturday)
“The Teacher’s Lounge” is a weekly podcast archived every Saturday on the Wrestleview Radio Network featuring hosts David Stephens and “Mr. V” Anthony Valvo. The show reviews all of the news from the week, tosses out Gold Stars and Detentions, PPV previews and special guests. Past Interviews include: Colt Cabana, Hernandez, Sara Del Rey, CZW Owner DJ Hyde, Shane Douglas & more!