Category Archives: RAW← Older posts
Oh shit. Am I doing this again? It’s I, ThinkSoJoE, filling in for RYTMAN while he takes care of some family issues, and on behalf of all of us at BoredWrestlingFan, I wish him and his family well. But after the last two weeks of RAW, I’m not exactly thrilled with actually having to watch the show. Especially since I saw the first 30 minutes and it’s already made me decide to not order WWE Payback. Screw it, let’s go.
I watch 30 minutes of RAW, leave for work, avoid spoilers like (and from) the plague, and then watch the entire show when I get here. That’s how ThinkSoJoE’s RAW reviews work. Also, I play by my own rules. Screw you, SmackDown review!
All quotes are courtesy of Twitter @WWEUniverse
After a brief recap of last week’s program, we go right to the ring with Jerry Lawler welcoming us to a dance-off. Jerry introduces FAHN…
No, I’m not doing it.
We get a look at Fandango’s win over Jericho at Wrestlemania, as Jerry introduces Fandango. Summer Rae is out first, shaking her money-maker, and she leads out Fandango.
Next is Jericho out with Edyta Sliwinska, a former “Dancing with the Stars” cast member and a multi-time champion ballroom dancer.
Jerry explains both teams get 90 seconds to do a routine, and the winners will be decided by an audience vote. Jerry reminds the crowd that this is NOT a popularity contest, and they should vote based on who the best dancer is.
Jerry tries to bring up Fandango losing a dance-off to Khali last week. Fandango calls Khali insulting names and refuses to acknowledge the loss.
“As long as there’s a Chris Jericho, there will be a better man. And his name is FAN-DAN-GOOOO!” #Fandangoing #DanceOff #RAW
Jericho gets the mike and welcomes us to “RAW IS JERICHO!” Jericho reminds us he was the first ever musical chairs champion, and the first ever “Price is Raw” champion. Tonight, he will debut a new song about kicking Fan-DUNG-HOLE’s ass all over this ring.
Jerry gets this started and cues the music. Fandango and summer just stand there doing nothing; (might be the theme of the evening.) Fandango demand silence from the crowd – (Damien Sandow: Hey! That’s MY gimmick.) (Rytman: Damn-it Sandow, get out of my recap! You have a match tonight!) – So he can focus on his masterpiece. Fandango starts over but Miss Summer takes a spill and hurts her ankle. Fandango gets nasty and calls her useless. Edyta and Jericho check to see if the poor girl needs help and here’s where we go to set-ups 101.
Wrestler A and Wrestler B are having a special contest to promote their match.
Wrestler A’s girlfriend falls and might be hurt.
Wrestler B tries to help her.
What does Wrestler “A” do?
a.) Realize he’s being a jerk and decide to help.
b.) Re-evaluate his life decisions.
c.) Run up behind Wrestler B and kick him in the face.
If you picked “c,” you’ve been paying attention for the last twenty years.
Jericho has not.
Fandango kicks Jeri-B in the face and brutalizes him for a few minutes. As Fandango prepares to leave, he looks at the lovely Miss Summer. Miss Summer gives us a nasty little smile and joins Fandango for a quick twirl, revealing she was in on the scheme.
Rytman Remark: Summer’s slip was less than convincing; however I did get fished in by Fandango berating her. I expected this would be WWE writing Miss Summer out of the angle, so she could re-debut as her own character, while getting Fandango some extra heat.
Side Note: I have to keep calling her “Miss Summer” because my dod-gamn word program doesn’t understand “Summer” can be a girl’s name.
After the break, we get a recap of Ryback attacking WWE Champ John Cena last week, after Cena and Bryan fought off the Shield.
RYBACK DEF. ZACK RYDER – Straight up jobbing-out of Ryder by Ryback who rides the rails and rips up ribs on rye-bread. He hits the Shell-shock for 1-2-3.
After the match, we get a recap of when Brock Lesnar broke the arm of Hunter Hearst Helmsly (Triple H) on RAW.
PRIME TIME PLAYERS (TITIS O’NEAL/DARREN YOUNG) DEF. TONS OF FUNK (BRODUS CLAY/“SWEET T” W/THE FUNKADACTYLS – Whole match is barely five moves. Sweet T takes Young over the top rope w/a clothesline. O’Neal gets in a cheap shot. Sweet T side-steps O’Neal into the ring post (and it looked ugly,) and tags in Brodus. Brodus is dominating O’Neal until Young gets in a shot to the throat…with the fro-pick.
Rytman Remark: This is either brilliant or racist. I can’t decide.
After the match, we get a recap of when Brock Lesnar broke the arm of Hunter Hearst Helmsly (Triple H) on RAW.
We take a look at last Friday’s Smackdown where Jack Swagger kicked World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler in the head, giving him a concussion and taking him out of Extreme Rules this Sunday.
Teddy Long is wearing a Tupperware suit and has come out to make an announcement regarding the Ziggler situation. Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter come out to demand Ziggler be stripped of the title, and have it awarded to Jack Swagger. A.J. is out w/Big E. Langston to demand Swagger be suspended.
“First you kick my boyfriend in his beautiful face, then you try to take his title? Classic Swags.” – @WWEAJLee #RAW
Rytman Remark: “Classic Swags,” must become a thing. Do it.
Everyone yells at each other until Teddy steps in. Apparently RAW Managing Supervisor Vicki Guerrero has given Smackdown Senior Advisor Teddy Long the authority to change the three-way ladder match at “Extreme Rules” to an “I Quit” match between Swagger and Alberto Del Rio.
Ziggler will NOT be stripped of the title.
Also, the WWE Universe will have the opportunity to decide if Big E. will face either Swagger OR Del Rio later tonight, one-on-one, using the WWE App.
Mark Henry calls out Sheamus after the break.
We take a look back at the Shield getting a win over Kofi Kingston and the Uso-brothers in a six-man tag. On the basis of this, Kofi will defend the U.S. title at Extreme Rules against Dean Ambrose.
WWE U.S. CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON DEF. DAMIEN SANDOW – Sandow comes out refusing to do a song this week because Kofi’s theme is just as ridiculous as Kofi being U.S. Champion. Sandow predicts that Kofi will soon lose the title. During the match, the announce team mention that Kofi collects comic-books and is a huge fan of Spider-Man and Venom. Kofi wins this w/”Trouble in Paradise.”
Rytman Remark: I’m assuming no-one’s told Kofi about “One More Day” yet.
Mark Henry is in the ring w/Josh Mathews and a leather strap, being interviewed about his match w/Sheamus at Extreme Rules. We take a look back at John Bradshaw Layfield fighting Eddie Guerrero in a strap-match at “The Great American Bash” for reference. (I KNOW IT WAS A BULL-ROPE MATCH, NAG THEM ABOUT IT.) We look back at Henry whipping Sheamus and pulling trucks in the weeks building up to this. Henry scares Josh into putting one end of the strap on his wrist, and then takes him down. Henry drags Josh around the ring to demonstrate how a strap match works, basically dragging your opponent around the ring while tagging each corner. Henry lets Josh go, (he’s too small, gotta throw him back,) while the announce team laughs at him.
Be A Star, kids.
Sheamus comes out. Henry challenges him to get in the ring. Sheamus remembers something, a strap hidden under the ring. Sheamus gets in the ring and the two enemies commence whipping each other until Henry high-tails out of there.
We get a re-cap of that one time where Lesnar F-5’d Vince McMahon.
Apparently, there’s going to be a “12 Rounds, part 2.”
We get a re-cap of the ambush by Fandango on Jericho earlier tonight.
RANDY ORTON DEF. ANTONIO CESARO – The announce team spends most of this match hard selling the WWE App. Match goes back/forth until Cesaro tries a roll-up. Orton kicks out, and wins this w/the RKO. I’ve given this match twice as much attention as the announce team did.
MIZ DEF. HEATH SLATER (W/DREW MCINTYRE/JINDER MAHAL) – Slater is almost straight-up jobbed out here. Near the end, Miz tosses Slater off the top rope into his “band-mates.” Slater sells a bad leg. Miz goes after it and wins w/the figure four submission.
Rytman Remark: THE MIZ IS BACK.
We then get a spot for the Susan G. Komen foundation, featuring Layla and Alicia Fox in a walk-a-thon for breast cancer, (as in raising money for treatment, not as in supporting cancer.)
We get a recap of Hunter rescuing Vince from, and the beating-up of, Brock Lesnar.
Later tonight, Brock will face Hunter in a face-off.
ELIMINATION MATCH: WWE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION JOHN CENA/TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS TEAM HELL NO (KANE/BRYAN) DEF. THE SHIELD…by dq. – Just as this gets underway, we’re told Team Hell No will defend the Tag team titles against the Shield in a Tornado Tag match at Extreme Rules.
Team “Hell No Cena” starts off strong as we go to a break…
When we come back, The Shield has control and Bryan is the “face in peril.” Bryan gets an opening with a high-running knee and tags in Kane.
Kane brutalizes the Shield, striking left and right. The match spills out side and Kane is still in charge. Kane rips the top off the commentary table and tosses it into the face of a Shield member. (Cock Talk, Sunday @ 4 p.m. after BWF radio @ 2 p.m. – 1 p.m. in some areas. If you’ve had a p.m. in your area, you know how rough it can be.)
Kane is eliminated by DQ.
After the break, Cena is the “face in peril,” trying to get to Bryan. Cena finally gets a hot-tag and Bryan explodes all over the Shield. (Cock Talk, @ 4 p.m. Sundays, after BWF Radio @ 2 p.m.) Unfortunately, Bryan misses a tag by Rollins to Ambrose. Bryan goes after Rollins, hits Ambrose w/the forearm, and takes a jump-kick from Rollins. Ambrose hits the short-bulldog.
Bryan is eliminated by pin.
Cena is “last man standing” for his team. He eliminates Rollins w/the AA. Reigns gets himself eliminated by DQ when he shoves the ref, and Cena is about to AA Ambrose when the whole Shield jumps him three-on-one. Cena gets the DQ win for his team.
Guess who attacks Cena after the match w/a chair to the bad ankle?
Ryback, why would anyone else?
As we go to break, we get a re-cap of Hunter beating Lesnar at Mania.
We come back to Matt Striker interviewing Ryback backstage. Ryback tried to play by the rules, but all it got him was screwed (Cock Talk, @ 4 p.m. Sundays, after BWF Radio @ 2 p.m.) out of the title. This Sunday, he plays by his own rules.
We get a recap of last week, when Swagger went off on everyone w/a ladder.
Big E. is out w/A.J. as we’re shown Swagger taking Ziggler out of Extreme Rules w/a kick to the head, causing a concussion.
The WWE Universe uses the App to pick Jack Swagger as Big E’s opponent.
Rytman Remark: Enjoy the mid-card Alberto.
JACK SWAGGER DEF. BIG E. LANGSTON BY COUNT OUT – I’m just now realizing Swagger has almost two feet on Big E.
Match is basically a power contest w/the two big men trading strikes and throwing each other around. Swagger wins by side-stepping a charging Big E. into the guard-rail and getting in the ring before the ten-count.
After the match, Alberto Del Rio runs out to get some of Swagger (Cock Talk, @ 4 p.m. Sundays, after BWF Radio @ 2 p.m.) but gets caught in the ankle-lock. Ricardo Rodriguez whacks Swagger w/the bucket, distracting him. Big E. comes in and everyone goes after everyone, but ADR is the one standing when it’s all over.
A.J. DEF. NATALYA (W/KAHLI/HORNSWOGGLE) –
THIS PHKING MATCH!
Look, the match was okay. AJ basically ran from Natalya until she started teasing Kaitlin, who joined the Bellas as guest commentators, and then Natalya sent her hard to the floor. Natalya goes for a back-breaker, but AJ hooks a “tarantula” variation called “The Black Widow,” and gets the submission. (Nice touch, tapping out on AJ’s butt by the way; very nice touch… or Bad Touch, depending on your perspective.) But my GOD! The commentary just collapsed into a mess of blabbering and dumb jokes about the Munster family or whatever. I’d get something more coherent out of a chicken being violated by a blender!
Side Note: You hear about a hostage situation at WWE HQ this month, you’ll know why.
I have to wrap this up…
Jericho came out to swear revenge on Fandango.
Triple H came out, stood in the cage, and called out Brock.
Triple H basically called him a “bitch,” and demanded he act like a man. Lesnar made his way to the cage despite Paul Heymans best efforts to stop him. They fight for a minute, then Trips throws Brock out of the cage. Brock grabs Heyman and they limp off.
RYTMAN’S REVIEW: It sucked. The end.
Now on a personal note, I’m afraid this is most likely my last RAW post, at least for the time being.
I have too many demands on my time right now w/family issues, and RAW just isn’t a priority anymore.
Side Note: WWE could say the same.
I’m very sorry to do this to Joe and whoever gets stuck w/RAW in my absence. I will continue to support Bored Wrestling Fan.com in any way possible.
I thank all of you, this was a blast.
All quotes are courtesy of Twitter @WWEUniverse
We open with a “special report” of Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar “invading” WWE headquarters. We are shown stills, and told there is more to come later.
We recap Ryback leaving Cena to the mercy of The Shield (who has none.)
Monday Night RAHHHHHHHH opens with John Cena running to the ring, because you want to do that w/a bad heel. The announce team of Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, and Jerry Lawler sell the injury more than he does.
Cena helps himself to Daniel Bryan’s “YES/NO” gimmick, and explains that competing in the main event last week wasn’t good for his hurt foot, and he hasn’t been 100% since 2005, but that will not stop him from defending the title at Extreme Rules.
Managing Supervisor of RAW, Vicki Guerrero makes her entrance w/her standard “EXCUSE ME!” shtick, which has REALLY run out of steam to confront Cena. She calls out Ryback wanting to give them both the chance to be heard regarding their match at Extreme Rules.
Vicki asks John to tell us what kind of stipulation he wants for the title match. Cena offers Ryback the options of “running away like a scared little girl match,” where you win by running away first, or a “bitching contest.” Cena tells Vicki she can make it a “Vicki’s Granny Panties on A Pole Match,” but quickly changes his mind.
”No man, woman or child should have to see that…” – @JohnCena, #RAW
Ryback responds by saying he’s smart enough to walk away from a fight at the wrong time. He chooses to make it a Last Man Standing match (and I think calls Cena “Shawn” by accident.)
Rytman Remark: Considering the last two “Last Man standing” matches they’ve done, I’m starting to think these guys just want an excuse to tie each other up in duct-tape. (Cock Talk, Sunday @ 4p.m. on Mixlr, after BWF Radio @ 2p.m., 1 p.m. in my area. Believe me that can be really uncomfortable.)
We’re reminded of the Heyman/Lesnar “invasion” that we’ll be seeing later tonight, as Ran-dal KEETH Or-ton makes his way out to the ring.
Back from break, we’re shown a clip from Smackdown of Or-Ton defeating Sandow, Big Show distracting Orton, allowing Sandow to hit him w/the “term-in-ous,” after their match.
Sandow makes his entrance w/his own take on Orton’s theme…
“And now a song…”
“Randy has voices inside his head, just watching him puts me to bed, puts me to sleep…”
“Randy walks down here on this ramp, his expression stays the same…”
“Does his pose up in the corner, can’t think of anything more lame…”
“All his tattoos are disgusting…”
“All that oil on him is heinous…”
“I guess you get to sit back and watch me beat this ignoramus…” – Damien Sandow
“You’re Welcome.” – Damien Sandow
RANDY ORTON DEF. DAMIEN SANDOW – A riled up Orton goes right after Sandow. Sandow escapes to the outside, but Orton goes right after him. Sandow rolls in/out of the ring w/Orton still on top of him. Sandow counters a D.D.T. by backing Orton into the guard rail. Orton takes control right back w/an inverted neck-breaker and dominates as we go to break.
We come back with Sandow in control w/a chin-lock (what irony.) Sandow beats Orton down and hits the “elbow of disdain.” Orton fights out and takes over again w/scoop-slams, a drop-kick, D.D.T. off the second rope, and the RKO.
After the match, Big Show comes out of nowhere and clocks Orton w/the big right hand as Orton makes his way up the ramp.
Rytman Remark: Sandow is a brilliant heel. Too bad he’s in WWE.
Later tonight, World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler meets Alberto Del Rio one-on-one.
Next up is Fandango, who we see rehearsing w/his dance partner, NOT SUMMER RAE!
Back from break THE WALLS DOWN!
JERICHO IS HERE! Jericho comes out in all his sparkly jacket glory as we take a look back at him brutalizing FAHN-Johnny Curtis back in London, and stealing a dance from Summer Rae.
RAW IS JERICHO!!! And we know that Fan-Dumbo is coming out next, Jericho has decided to put together a judge’s panel to critique Fan-Dodge Durango, Fan-Dimple, Fan-Dingle berry, Fan-Day Glow, Fan-doodle, Fan-GOIN TO A GO-GO! DON’TCHA WANNA GO!? Jericho introduces our judges, Tons of Funk w/the Funkadactyls,
Johnny Curtis (I AM NOT PLAYING ALONG ANYMORE!) makes his entrance, led out by a lovely lady who is NOT SUMMER RAE!
Nor is she bringing up three very lovely girls.
The judges give Johnny a two, a one, and a two, for his entrance. Johnny gets angry, Johnny gets mad, and Johnny brings up Jericho’s “failure” on Dancing with The Stars, saying it doesn’t make him an expert.
R-Truth is out and apparently he will face off w/Curtis tonight.
R-TRUTH DEF. JOHNNY-OK FINE-FAHN-DAHN-GO! – The two men put together less than a minutes worth of spots until Fahn-fuck it, the dancer guy rolls to the outside. R-Truth gives us a few steps, and the judges give him a ten, a ten, and a 42 because Brodus can’t find his ten. An angry dancer grabs his date and takes a count-out loss.
Rytman Remark: “Phuck you.”
We come back from break to see Triple H doing a spot for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation for mother’s day.
We take a look at Ryback getting the win over Daniel Bryan on Smackdown last Friday, followed by Bryan taking a beating from the Shield. Bryan gets interviewed by Josh Matthews, and challenges Ryback to a rematch. Ryback comes out to refuse and call Bryan half the man that he is. Kane is up in Ryback’s face, making a challenge of his own. Ryback says Kane isn’t the monster he used to be, gives him the hash tag (#Ryback Rules,) and walks off.
Back at ringside, Ricardo Rodriguez is out to introduce ALBERTOOOOOOOOO DELLLLLLL RRRRRRRIO! He’s facing Dolph Ziggler and friends next.
Rytman Remark: Dolph Ziggler and friends will be the next animated cartoon produced by WWE. Dolph, Big E. and AJ will all be teens going to school in outer-space and solving mysteries while singing fake pop-songs…
(Rytman just starts crying.)
ALBERTO DEL RIO (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) DEF. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/AJ and Big E.) BY DQ – We’re shown a replay of Del Rio getting a submission win over Ziggler in a three-way tag match on the last Smackdown as the Dolph-tourage (Copyright; Robert Rytman) makes their way to the ring. The match itself is a back-and-forth of spots until Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter make their way out to join on commentary. Zeb mentions slapping Big E. in the face and how he could beat the French. Big E. grabs ADR by the face and tosses him into Swagger. Swagger takes Big E. into the post and grabs a ladder from under the ring. Ricardo tries to stop him, but gets tossed and brutalized w/the ladder. Swagger goes off on Del Rio and Ziggler w/the ladder, and walks off w/Zeb, leaving their opponents scattered all over the ring.
We get a recap of Ryback choosing the stipulation for his match w/Cena and go to break.
Rytman Remark: Why did Del Rio choose a type of match where not only do his opponents have the same experience and success rate as him, but one where he has to climb on a bad leg?
We’re back, and talking about WWE’s new partnership w/Yahoo, which will bring us a RAW online pre-show because meatloaf.
It makes as much sense as anything else.
Backstage: Kaitlin and the Funkadactyls are discussing her “secret admirer.” Naomi jokes about him being a stalker, and locking her up in a basement because violence towards women is always funny (Cock Talk, 4 p.m. Sunday on Mixlr, after BWF Radio @ 2 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. in my area. Believe me, it hurts.) Natalya offers to have the Great Khali go “undercover” in the men’s locker room (Cock Talk – Sunday 4 p.m. after BWF Radio @ 2 p.m. Eastern on Mixlr,) to find out who it is (Hornswoggle.) Everybody leaves, and the Bellas step out from behind a curtain where they were eavesdropping because apparently this is now a Hanna-Barbera cartoon.
Rytman Remark: Anyone besides me wanna duct-tape the Bellas to a BBQ spit? I’m just asking.
The Shield is out. They make their way to the ring as we take a look back at Dean Ambrose getting a win over Kane on Smackdown last Friday. They’re in tag team action after the break.
THE SHIELD DEF. WWE U.S. CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON AND THE USOS – Usos start off strong but Roman Reigns soon turns the tide. Kofi gets a hot tag and hits most of his spots. Match breaks down into a brawl, and Kofi gets shoved off the top rope. Ambrose ends this w/a Short-step Bulldog on Kofi for the three-count.
This Wednesday on Main Event, Antonio Cesaro will face Randy Orton. As Cesaro comes to the ring, we’re shown a recap – picking up a pattern here people? – of the AMAZING Cesaro/Kingston U.S. title match where Kofi defended successfully, and walked away… less successfully, being ambushed and partially Scalped by Cesaro.
ANTONIO CESARO DEF. ZACK RYDER BUT YOU SHOULD’VE KNOWN THAT THE MOMENT I TYPED “ZA…” – Ryder gets in a few offensive spots, but Cesaro dominates this w/his combo of strength, mat wrestling, and brute force. This ends with a neutralizer and a three-count for Cesaro.
Cesaro grabs the mike, makes a “World’s most interesting man,” reference and runs down a list of WWE programming…
”I put the “W” in @WWE. There’s nobody on NXT, Saturday Morning Slam, Superstars, Main Event, Smackdown, and Monday Night #Raw that can hold a candle to what I can do in this ring.” – @AntonioCesaro
Okay, so this is our main course for the evening, the “invasion” of WWE HQ by Heyman and Lesnar. We’re shown some security footage stills of the two entering the building, and then we go to break.
Back from break, we’re live w/Paul Heyman via satellite. He gives us an exclusive video of him and Lesnar entering WWE HQ, threatening WWE employees, and trashing Triple H’s office, because one of the greatest minds in wrestling thought it would be a good idea to make a video of his client committing a felony.
“The destruction in this office is exactly what awaits @TripleH when he steps inside the #SteelCage at #ExtremeRules!” @HeymanHustle #RAW
“@BrockLesnar is going to take @TripleH to the EXTREME. And then, he’ll go further … and further … and further….” – @HeymanHustle
TIME TO PLAY THE GAAAAAAAAAAME!!!
Triple H is out to say Heyman looks like a baby chick, and remind us all he was the founding father of Degeneration X and the one who knocked Lesnar out at Wrestlemania. He then talks about the trashing of his office…
“I’m standing in my other office … and this office has one hell of a view! … This office is more like my home!” – @TripleH, #RAW
And this is my favorite moment of the night. Triple H finishes his promo, then there’s a moment of awkward silence – which is another theme of the night – And that’s when the crowd realizes he’s waiting for them! HE HAS TO CUE THE CROWD TO CHEER!
Rytman Remark: HE HAS TO CUE THE CROWD TO CHEER!
We go to break.
We come back to AJ and the Bellas walking out for their six diva tag match against Kaitlin/the Funkadactyls. This is followed by a promo for the new E! Show, “Total Divas,” which I’m guessing will focus on the Bellas.
WWE DIVA’S CHAMPION KAITLIN/THE FUNKADACTYLS (NAOMI/CAMERON) VS. AJ LEE/THE BELLA SISTERS – AJ dominates Cameron, Cameron is a screamer, (Cock Talk – Sunday 4 p.m. after BWF Radio @ 2 p.m. Eastern on Mixlr,) AJ hits her w/two neck-breakers without letting her go, (nifty.) Cameron takes over, tags in Kaitlyn, AJ goes for a tag, the Bellas bail on her, AJ takes a spear by Kaitlyn for the three-count.
“She just pinned all three personalities!” – @JCLayfield #RAW
Rytman: When did this Kaitlin get three personalities?
Mark Henry is next after the break.
“Be a Star,” promo with P. Diddy, the guy I personally think killed Biggie/Tupac.
Mark Henry is out here to cut a promo on Sheamus acting real tough. That’s where the problem is. Henry doesn’t have to act tough. He Is Tough. Henry shows us him jumping Sheamus during interviews on Smackdown and RAW.
Sheamus interrupts Henry with his entrance. He shows us the parts of the video he left out. Sheamus shows us him punking out Henry in a tug of war on RAW, and an arm wrestling match on Smackdown.
Henry tells Sheamus he shouldn’t be joking around. Sheamus calls Henry a bear w/a sore head. They get ready to fight right there and then, and Barrett comes out.
Barrett vs. Sheamus after the break
SHEAMUS DEF. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMP WADE BARRETT – During the break, Henry joined the commentary team and apparently Cole made Henry mad. Henry calls Cole “ate up with Stupid,” and tells Bradshaw to carry this like always. Everyone takes turns telling Cole to shut-up. During the match, Sheamus FAKES OUT tossing Barrett into Henry. Henry flinches and spills out of the chair. Henry gets mad and runs into a Brogue kick by Sheamus. Henry is down, and for a moment I think he’s hurt legit when trainers rush over to him. This is just a ruse however, so Henry can pull a belt off the attendant and go after Sheamus. Sheamus hits “White Noise” and the Brogue Kick on Barrett for the three-count. Sheamus is beaten down with the belt and take a “World’s Strongest Slam” on the arena floor. Henry walks off. Attendants try to help Sheamus.
Rytman: A lot about tonight’s show could be considered “ate up w/stupid.” And I’m sorry, but I’m starting to hate JBL more than Cole.
Back from break, we get the major announcement we’ve all been waiting for… next week, it’s official!
IN A DANCE OFF!
We get another re-cap of the Heyman/Lesnar “Invasion” and we move on to our Main Event…
RYTMAN: AN ACTUAL WRESTLING MATCH! TWO WEEKS IN A ROW! THE MAIN EVENT IS A WRESTLING MATCH!
RYBACK DEF. WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPION KANE – Ryback will be on Jericho’s Highlight Reel this Friday on Smackdown. This match is a hard fought brawl, with the momentum going back and forth. Ryback sends Kane into the guard rail and takes over as we go to break…
Ryback is still in control as we come back, until he runs into a boot from Kane. Kane dominates Ryback until he runs into a spine-buster. Kane counters a Shell-Shock attempt w/a suplex, but makes the mistake of taking this fight to the top rope. Ryback crotches Kane and hits the Shell-Shock for a three-count.
SIERRA, HOTEL, INDIA, ECHO, LIMA, DELTA, BELIVE IN THE SHIELD…
Everyone’s favorite militia makes their appearance. Ryback bails as Daniel Bryan runs to the aid of Kane, followed by WWE Champion John Cena. Cena and Bryan manage to fight off the hounds of justice pretty well by themselves. Ryback has a chair and takes a few weak swings at the Shield, but really unloads on Cena with it as Cena tries to AA Roman Reigns. RAW ends w/Ryback; standing over a fallen John Cena.
Rytman’s Review: …
That’s it, that’s all I have.
Last week, you could at least give them credit for having a few solid, if predictable matches. This week had NOTHING! The slight amount of actual in-ring action was more like filler than any of the dumb skits. I’ll give them credit for making Swagger, Cesaro, and even Ryback looking strong here, but that’s it.
In conclusion, I wonder if WWE even wants to do RAW anymore.
RICARDO RODRIGUEZ DEF. BIG E. LANGSTON & ZEB COULTER – This is a Triple Threat match, with each man representing a superstar in the Triple Threat for the World Heavyweight Championship at Extreme Rules. The winner decides the stipulation in that match.
The match is basically Big E. brutalizing Ricardo while Zeb hangs back on the apron. Whenever the tide turns, Zeb tries to get involved but only brings his opponents attention on himself, setting them up to ambush each other.
While Zeb cries about his trick knee going out to avoid a confrontation w/Big E. Ricardo tries hitting Big E. w/his bucket, to no avail.
Alberto Del Rio jumps in and takes Big E. down w/an inziguri. Ziggler takes out ADR w/the dropkick. Swagger tosses Ziggler. Big E. takes Swagger and himself out w/a clothesline. Zeb tries to pin Ricardo, but AJ tosses herself under the ref’s arm to block the count. When Zeb complains, Ricardo rolls Zeb up for the three-count.
RANDY ORTON DEF. CODY RHODES – Slow-paced back and forth battle, but w/hard hitting spots strung together. Neither man keeps control of the match longer than a minute, before their opponent takes over. Pace picks up after the break, and ends with Cody jumping off the ropes into an RKO.
After the match, Matt Striker interviews Orton about his loss at Wrestlemania, and if he’s “haunted” by being knocked out. Orton claims he’s never felt so “extreme” and RKO’s Cody again.
FUNKADATCYL NAOMI (W/CAMERON) DEF. BRIE BELLA (W/NIKKI) (REVERSED DECISION) – Before the match, we see the Bellas backstage, complaining about being shut out of the Diva Royal last week, and trashing them while plugging their new reality show on the “E” Network.
After a break, we come back to the Bellas in the ring and a promo spot for “Total Divas” on E!
The match barley goes more than a minute, with Naomi dominating until the Bellas pull the “twin magic” bit and they get the three-count w/a small package. Cameron complains to the ref who reverses the decision and awards it to Naomi. The Bellas respond to this by rushing back into the ring and beating the Funky cheerleaders down.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION DOLPH ZGGLER (W/AJ & BIG E) DEF. U.S. CHAMPION KOFI KINGSTON – Before the match, we’re told Kofi is a new father and will be defending his title against Antonio Cesaro this Wednesday on Main Event.
Big week for Kofi.
Match slowly built to a fast-paced spot-fest that got the crowd going. Kofi hits “Trouble in Paradise” but Ziggler is saved by AJ getting his foot across the ropes. (At least that’s what they went for/how they sold it.) Match ends when Kofi catapults Ziggler into the corner, goes to the second rope, and tries a flying body-press, but misses and hits the mat. Ziggler hits the “Zig-Zag” and gets the three-count.
JACK SWAGGER (W/ZEB COULTER) DEF. ZACK RYDER – Ryder tries to get the crowd going by showing a video of Zeb getting pinned by Ricardo. This gets Swagger enraged, and Zack pays the price, as Swagger unloads on him. Ryder puts up more of a fight than we’d expect, however this ends w/Ryder tapping out to the ankle lock.
After the match, Swagger holds Ziggler so Zeb can get in a shot.
ALBERTO DEL RIO (W/RICARDO RODRIGUEZ) DEF. ANTONIO CESARO – Both men use the same strategy of targeting the left arm in the beginning. Cesaro fights dirty w/hair pulling and biting, while ADR uses quickness to keep Cesaro on defense. After the break, Cesaro is in control, using his power to hold down Del Rio, and his forearm shots to get a few two-counts, while the crowd starts the “Ole!” chant. (Oddly, Ricardo tries to get one going for Del Rio.) Del Rio’s agility decides this as Cesaro misses a charge into the corner post. He tries to roll up Del Rio, but Alberto locks in the cross-arm-bar. Cesaro tries for the ropes, but can’t make it, and taps out.
After the match, Del Rio announces the stipulation for his triple threat title match at Extreme Rules. He chooses to make it a ladder match.
THE SHIELD DEF. WWE CHAMPION JOHN CENA/WWE TAG CHAMPIONS TEAM HELL NO (KANE/DANIEL BRYAN) – Match starts out as a brawl, and the faces clear the ring quickly. Kane starts off brutalizing Ambrose, who quickly tags in Reigns, who doesn’t do much better but does get Kane back into their corner. Rollins comes in, and Kane takes over. At one point, Kane teases choke-slamming the ref when he tries to get Kane to back off Rollins. Cena tags himself in and he and Bryan get Kane to calm down. Cena is in for only a few seconds before his tendon injury acts up, and he quickly tags in Bryan. Bryan and Kane carry the load in this match, and are in control until the break. We come back with Bryan in trouble as each Shield member takes turns punishing him. Bryan gets Kane back in, and Kane unleashes his fury on the Shield. Match spills to the floor and Kane takes a D.D.T. on the concrete. Kane just barley beats the ten count back in, and makes the tag to Cena. Cena come in strong, but the tendon gives out on him when he tries to AA Rollins. Reigns spears Cena, and gets a three count.
WORLD WISH DAY: We’re told about WWE champ John Cena hurting himself on the European tour, and how he made being on RAW this night a priority. This was “World Wish Day,” and Cena had a special presentation to make.
After the break, we see Cena meeting a very sick boy named Nick on the Today Show. He meets Nick and invites him and his family to Monday Night RAW.
Cena comes out with Nick and two other kids who wanted to go to RAW. This was a promotion for the Make-a-Wish foundation and Cena reminded us all to go to wish.org/wwe to learn how we can help make wishes come true. To make it even more special, Cena decides to make the kids honorary superstars.
The first boy, Jacob, declares himself “The Eliminator.” The second, Nick, calls himself “Nick the Stitch.” And the last boy was “Lightning Logan.” Cena goads the crowd into giving the kids a big cheer, and thanks us for making this special moment even better.
WWE has granted over 5000 Make-a-Wish foundation wishes since 1982.
SHIELD/HELL NO + RYBACK/CENA: – The Shield come out to cut a promo about their success in keeping Ryback from winning the WWE title, and run down a list of everyone they’ve put down, including The Rock, the Big Show, Sheamus, and Cena.
The Shield brings up their beat-down of the Undertaker on Smackdown last Friday, mentioning how Justice doesn’t care if you’re undefeated at Wrestlemania.
“When your number gets called, justice strikes without mercy!” – @TheShieldWWE
Suddenly, 3MB, (Slater, McIntyre, Mahal,) make their entrance.
“3MB? Why?” – Jerry Lawler
Slater tells the Shield to shut up. They want payback for the Shield interrupting their beat-down of Triple H two weeks ago.
”Now, we crash YOUR party. And ROCK YOUR FACE!” – @JinderMahal
The band hits the ring, and it goes badly for them. Shield is in control, until the pyro hits. WWE tag champs team Hell No runs in and chases them off.
Backstage: Cena gets his heel taped up. Ryback comes in to comment on it. Cena notes he’s “hurt” not “injured,” and can still go.
”I’m more effective on one leg than you are on two.” – @JohnCena
Ryback says he can’t take that chance.
Later in the show, Ryback goes to RAW Managing Supervisor Vicki Gurrero (and her assistant Brad Maddox) to complain about working with a hurt partner. Vicki says she’ll pull Cena and make team Hell No Ryback’s partners. Ryback doesn’t trust either of those guys and simply says “No.”
The next time we see Ryback, it’s as he’s bailing while Matt Striker tries to interview him.
Later in the night, Maddox tells Hell No they have to fight without Ryback, fine with them. Vicki tells Maddox he has one more thing to do.
Maddox talks to Cena about the match tonight. Cena makes it clear he will be wrestling tonight.
“No, I’m hurt. YOU will be hurt bad if you don’t go tell your boss I’m fine tonight.” – @JohnCena
After the match, (see above,) Ryback is on the stage, smug and satisfied seeing Cena hurt in the ring.
AJ/KAITLIN: The “Dolph-tourage” (Copyright: Robert Rytman) is backstage, congratulating themselves on a great win over Kofi (see above.) Kaitlin and Natalya cross paths with them. They trade some harsh words until Kaitlin receives a package. It’s a hat to match her bracelet from a “secret admirer.” (It’s Hornswoggle, I know it.)
HENRY/SHEAMUS: “Worlds Strongest Man” Mark Henry is out, challenging anyone in the back to a tug of war. Brodus and “Sweet T” both took his challenge and lost. Sheamus came out to take the challenge, and faked out Henry, letting the rope go so that he fell on his ass, then gave him the brogue kick.
DANCE CHALLENGE: FANDANGO VS.KAHLI – Both men are asked about Jericho’s stint on “Dancing with the Stars.” Both men claim to be better. The crowd gives it to Khali, Fandango beats him up.
In conclusion; this was a night of perfectly good wrestling marred by a lot of stupid filler.
Let’s start with…
1.) R-TRUTH DEF. ANTONIO CESARO – This was kind of a weird match. Cesaro dominates using his strength and wear-down holds on Truth, until Cesaro misses a clothesline. Truth takes over with fast-strikes, (mostly kicks,) and gets the win with the face-drop.
Rytman Remark: What is with the R-Truth winning streak? Are they building him up to challenge Ziggler? And why R-Truth as opposed to…anybody else?
Side Note: The less said about Cesaro yodeling the better.
2.) DAMIEN SANDOW (w/Cody Rhodes) DEF. BRODUS CLAY (w/”Sweet T” and the Funkadactyls) – Team Rhodes Scholars (Sandow/Cody Rhodes,) come out without the Bellas for the second time this month. Clay tosses Sandow around with ease, until Sandow takes control with a combo of short-range strikes and mat-wrestling. Match ends with Cody distracting Brodus and Sandow getting a roll-up with a handful of tights for the three-count.
Rytman Remark: Without a Bellas/Funkadactyls cat-fight, this feud really has no point.
3.) ZIGGLER (w/AJ and Big E.) DEF. CHRIS JERICHO – First really good, solid match of the night. The first high point is Dolph faking out Jericho and sliding out to score a kiss from AJ, and Jericho responding w/a drop-kick to the back of the head. Ziggler dominates until he gets cocky, and Jericho uses his agility and high-flying moves to make a come-back. Jericho locks in the “Walls of Jericho,” and just when it looks like Ziggler will tap…
Yup, Fandango’s music hits, and a distracted Jericho takes a Zig-Zag from Ziggler, who gets the pin.
Rytman Remark: Sorry to see a loss for Jericho, but Ziggy needed the win here.
4.) “SWEET T” (w/Brodus Clay & the Funkadactyls) DEF. CODY RHODES (w/Damian Sandow)– Pretty much the same match we saw earlier (see Brodus/Sandow,) with the exception of “Sweet T” holding Cody up in the air for a long time (ala Davy Boy Smith’s standing vertical suplex.) Brodus and the Funkadactyls try to get the crowd going with mixed results. Sandow interferes but Brodus takes him down with a head-butt charge, and “T” catches Cody’s attempted “Beautiful Disaster” kick. “T” gets a three-count, and we get a dance party.
What do you wanna hear? It was what it was.
5.) BIG E. DEF. ZACK RYDER – Ryder got in some offense, but this ended with the “Big Ending” by Langston for a three-count.
Rytman Remark: Let’s face it people, this is the best possible use for Ryder. At least he’s getting TV time.
6.) THE SHIELD DEF. THE UNDERTAKER/WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS TEAM HELL NO (KANE/DANIEL BRYAN) – The big match of the night. Crowd was into this one before it even got started. Taker makes his entrance alone, and is soon surrounded by the Shield. (See “Angles” below.) Team Hell No run-in just in time and the match gets going.
Taker’s team took control early w/quick and frequent tags and getting an “old school” spot on Ambrose (second attempt.) They double-teamed Ambrose, then Reigns. The Shield took over on Kane when Reigns held him for a clothesline/running kick combo from Ambrose/Rollins. Shield takes turns beating down Kane, but Kane gets Daniel Bryan in, and Bryan has huge crowd support. He gets the “YES” chants going with every shot he lands until he misses a charging dropkick to Rollins in the corner.
Shield works over Bryan until Taker gets the hot tag. Taker is in charge until Reigns gets a spear in. Kane comes back in and takes over, bringing Bryan back in. Taker/Kane get into a brawl w/Rollins & Reigns while D-Bry misses the flying head-butt. Ambrose wraps him up and gets a three-count.
Rytman Remark: Sorry to see Taker get a loss, but putting over the Shield was the right thing to do.
7.) FANDANGO DEF. WILLIAM REGAL – Here’s a fun little surprise bonus. Regal matches Fandango’s hip action w/a little step or two of his own. The match ends quickly when Fandango catches Regal in the “Dip-DT,” (Copyright, Robert Rytman,) and gets the three-count.
Rytman Remark: Good to see Regal here in action. Just now (sadly) realizing how awesome a Regal/Jericho tag team would’ve been.
8.) DIVA ROYAL – AJ, Layla, Naomi, Aksana, and Tamina. Diva’s Champ Kaitlyn joins the announce team to scout this match. The Bellas (according to the announce team) where disqualified from competing in this because of their illegal double team on Kaitlyn last week. (Author’s note: Dafuq?) AJ teases a kissing spot on Tamina, who responds with a kick to the face. AJ spends the whole match out on her back (Author’s note: SHUT UP PERVS!) while the other ladies eliminate each other.
Layla is the last girl standing. She tries to get AJ up and through the ropes while AJ sandbags her. AJ ‘comes to” and kicks Layla out of the ring to win.
Rytman Remark: Okay, I get what they’re doing. They don’t trust AJ to wrestle a whole match, so they book her to win, by making one smart move at the right time. Not a horrible idea, but they will run out of ways for her to pull it off quick.
Side Note: The Bellas were “disqualified” from being in the battle royal for their illegal double team last week? I could go into a dissertation about all the ways that doesn’t work and all the plot-holes it opens, but I wanna get this over with, you wanna get back to your lives, let’s just call it stupid and leave it at that.
Side-Side Note: I’d be wasting the effort it would take to point out Layla could’ve just rolled AJ over the bottom rope to the floor, right?
Okay, moving on to…
1.) BROCK/TRIPLE H: THE SAGA CONTINUES…WEITHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT – RAW opens with a fade-in on a close-up of Paul Heyman. Heyman introduces himself as a representative for Brock Lesnar, and recaps his decimation of 3MB last week, as well as his subsequent challenge to Triple H to a cage match at “Extreme Rules.” He announces that Triple H is not at RAW, and reads an e-mail from him, saying his injuries have kept him from flying and he will answer Heyman next week. Heyman knows how let-down we all are. He feels the same…
“I have been let down by this gutless coward who didn’t have the manhood to appear tonight… “- Paul Heyman
At that moment, the music hits and Triple H is out! He explains the e-mail simply, he lied.
He asks Paul for a favor…
“I want you to go back home to Brock Lesnar and tell him I ACCEPT!” – Triple H
Triple H ends this w/a pedigree on Heyman to the cheers of the crowd.
Rytman Remark: This has got to be a record, SHORTEST TRIPLE H PROMO EVER!
2.) ZIGGLER/DEL-RIO/SWAGGER: HEY THIS MIGHT GET INTERES-NEVERMIND – We backstage as Ziggler is making kissy-kissy w/the World Heavyweight Championship. AJ shows up and jokes about being jealous. Ziggler remarks how good she’d look with a title of her own, when we notice Big E. looking on…
”E! This is Dolph-and-AJ time. Please no creeping!” – Dolph Ziggler.
Big E. walks off as RAW managing supervisor Vicki Guerro and her assistant Brad Maddox enter, informing Ziggler if he loses to Jericho tonight, Jericho gets a spot in the title match w/Swagger & Alberto Del Rio, making it a four-way at extreme rules. Ziggler wins, (see Match Results, above,) and everyone gets disappointed.
Rytman Remark: Nice tease job WWE, however I argue that Jericho would’ve brought some BADLY needed heat to a lukewarm angle.
3.) JERICHO/FANDANGO: SPECIAL GUEST DIVA, SUMMER RAE – Fandango comes out for his match with Regal, with NXT developmental diva Summer Rae as his new dance partner. After his win (see Match Results, above,) he gets jumped from behind by Jericho, who rubs salt in the wound by offering Summer a dance. She accepts and Jericho gives her a whirl. Summer looks flustered (in the good way) as Fandango rolls around in pain.
4.) SHIELD/TAKER/TEAM HELL NO: AN UNDERTAKING OF TAKING ON, THE TAKING-OUT OF UNDERTAKER – The Shield make their first on-camera appearance of the night, by helicopter, transferring to a black Range Rover to the arena.
Backstage, Bryan is upset that the Taker hasn’t shown up to go over strategy. He asks Kane why he doesn’t just call his brother…
“Give him a call? He doesn’t exactly carry a cell phone!” – Kane
Bryan insists that Kane look at his diagrams, and asks if Kane is upset about them not hugging in a while. Kane asks Bryan for a favor when Taker shows up.
“Do NOT try to give him a hug!” – Kane
Suddenly, Kane and Bryan go down hard as the camera shakes. The tag champs are on the floor as three sets of black boots stroll off.
Later in the night, it looked like the Taker would have to face Shield all by himself, but Hell No made the match in time.
Rytman Remark: Waste of effort seeing how Shield won anyway.
5.) CENA/RYBACK: I HAVE NOTHING – We take a look back at the recent bad-blood between Cena/Ryback, and how it’s lead to a match at Extreme Rules. Mick Foley is interviewed about Ryback’s recent actions. Foley mentions how it’s not in human nature to look in the mirror and see your own shortcomings. Ryback responds in his interview later that night…
“I look in the mirror and don’t see shortcomings. I look in the mirror, and see the next WWE Champion!” – Ryback
It’s revealed that Foley will confront Ryback later on the show. A little later, we see Foley talking w/Cena backstage…
“In a career full of mistakes, this might be my biggest!” – Mick Foley
I’m just gonna sum this up, Foley calls out Ryback and gives him the speech about character, about how he can have all the tools, but needs heart and guts to get it done, and how letting Cena get beat-down by other people makes it a cheap-win. Ryback snaps back with how Foley is old and his message is archaic. It looks like Ryback will kill Foley, but Cena runs out to make the save, much to the disappointment of a crowd that wanted to see Foley die apparently.
The Shield makes an appearance and Cena teases leaving Ryback at their mercy. But when Shield attacks, Cena makes the save with a chair and runs the Shield off. Cena gives the AA to a confused Ryback, and RAW ends w/Cena standing tall.
Rytman Remark: Why can’t Mark Henry be the #1 contender and just spare us all this?
Side Note: Why didn’t Ryback and the Shield join forces? It was the perfect moment and would’ve been easy to explain. Ryback wants Cena, Shield wants to get rid of Cena, done and done.
Rytman’s Review: I liked this RAW up until the ending. It kept things moving and set up the stories nicely, but this FRIGGIN’ ending made no damn sense. My only guess is the save at the end was an attempted “make good” to Ryback in order to protect Cena’s image.
So just a basic recap today, rough morning.
Let’s start with…
ORTON/SHEAMUS DEF. BIG SHOW (HANDICAP MATCH) – A pointless rematch from Friday. Brogue Kick + RKO = Three count.
Rytman Remark: You know, neither Orton or Sheamus are THAT much smaller than the big show. The two of them beating him, is like either of them losing to two normal sized guys.
KOFI KINGSTON DEF. ANTONIO CESARO (NEW U.S. CHAMPION) – Match wastes no time in going into a spot-fest. Kingston rolls out of a sun-set flip, rolls Cesaro backwards into a standing position and hits “Trouble In Paradise” for the three-count and the title.
Rytman Remark: Remember when WWE first ventured out into video games? And how they followed the normal 2-D, side-scrolling fighter format? (I’m thinking Street Fighter, Mortal Combat.) This match was like that, entertaining, but no real story.
WWE TAG CHAMPIONS TEAM HELL NO (KANE/DANIEL BRYAN) DEF. THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS – The PTP’s are almost completely jobbed out here. Choke-slam/flying head-butt combo wins this for the champs.
Rytman Remark: The commentator spent this match making jokes about goats in reference to Bryan’s beard, because there was nothing else really to talk about.
R-TRUTH DEF. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION WADE BARRETT (NON-TITLE) R-Truth wins it by grabbing Barrett by the head and dropping him face-first to the mat. (The Little Jimmy?) After the match, Truth looks just as surprised as the rest of us.
Rytman Remark: There MIGHT be a point to this loss. WWE has a Battle Royal set up for Main Event this Wednesday, to name a #1 contender to Barrett’s belt. If R-Truth wins, it’ll cement the seed planted here.
RHODES SCHOLLARS (Sandow/Cody) DEF. SANTINO MORELLA/GREAT KAHLI (w/Natalya & Hornswoggle)- Santino gets the Cobra on Sandow and chases off Cody. Horny-dawg (yes, I am going to call him that if I want to,) tries to “cobra” Cody. Cody gets rough with him. Khalil comes to the rescue, and Santino gets pinned because he’s not watching Sandow. School-boy, for the three.
Rytman Remark: ( face-palm..)
JACK SWAGGER (w/Zeb Coulter) DEF. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER (w/AJ Lee & Big E.) - A hard fought match with Ziggler picking up some fan support, but Swagger getting the three-count out of nowhere by dropping Ziggler throat-first into the top rope.
NIKKI BELLA (W/BRE) DEF. WWE DIVA’S CHAMPION KAITLYN - Nikki’s game-plan is to keep taking Kaitlyn’s legs out from under her. Kaitlyn hits the stomach-breaker, but Bree switches w/sis to steal a three count.
Rytman Remark: In order…
- So, we’re just dropping that whole thing w/Laya wanting a title shot? After like more than a month of slow build? And Tamina? Just nothing? Cena & Bryan’s girlfriends to the front of the line?
- Twin Magic? With two girls that look NOTHING ALIKE ANYMORE?
- In fairness, this match did not suck anywhere near as much as it should’ve.
Okay, now we look at…
1.) BROCK/TRIPLE H: LET’S JUST GET IT OVER WITH – 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal,) came out first, calling out the Shield, demanding an apology for the beating on Smackdown. Instead, they got another beating, from BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROCK LESNARRRRRRRR! It ends w/Slater takes two F-5′s to the barricade.
Crowd: One more time! One more time! One more time!
Paul Heyman gets control of Lesnar, gets him in the ring, and gets the mike. He gives Triple H credit for knocking out Lesnar, calling him a “Warrior, worthy of admiration.” Heyman says the score is “one and one,” and it’s “time to get extreme.” He challenges Trips to meet Lesnar in a steel cage match at Extreme Rules and has “two words,” for Trips…
“Challenge, Issued.” – Paul Heyman
2.) ZIGGLER/DEL RIO: WHY WASTE TIME BUILDING THE CHAMP? – Dolph Ziggler comes out with the “Dolph-tourage,” (Copyright: Robert Rytman,) to brag about his title win. Alberto Del Rio comes out with a still hurt Roberto Rodriguez and his left leg taped up. He gets in the ring and demands his rematch now! Before the match begins, Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter come out, claiming Swagger deserves the credit for Dolph’s win and deserves the shot more than Del Rio. Swagger gets on the apron and ADR gets in a shot to Swagger’s face. Big E. gets between Del Rio and Ziggler, but Swagger grabs ADR’s leg and works it over in the corner, wrapping it around the ring post and pounding away on it.
Later in the show, we’re in Vicki Guerro’s office. She and her assistant, Brad Maddox are discussing things, when Teddy Long comes in. Apparently he’s taken it on himself to book Ziggler vs. Swagger and he’s given Swagger some “extra incentive,” to compete. Vicki likes the idea. Maddox tells Teddy to go tell someone. Teddy says it’s not his job. Vicki tells Brad to do it.
After Swagger’s win, (see above,) Del Rio attacks Swagger and goes after the arm. Officials break it up and Del Rio stands tall.
Rytman Remark: Okay, I’m thinking this angle is the one getting rushed. Having Del Rio demand a rematch while he’s still hurt makes him look more like a fool then a fighter. Why not do a Ziggler/Swagger program and save Del Rio for next month?
3.) FAHHHN-DAHHHN-GOING-GOING-GONE! – FANDANGO comes out to be interviewed by Lawler. When Fandango asks Lawler about moving his hips, Lawler decides to move his hips back to the announcers table. Fandango tries to get the crowd “Fandangoing,” with mixed results. A few minutes of this and Fandango tells the crowd to go “Fandango” themselves.
Rytman Remark: PLEASE TELL ME THIS IS THE END OF “FANDANGOING!”
4.) SHEAMUS/HENRY: IRISH CREAMED! (NOT THAT WAY YOU SICKOS!) - Matt Striker is backstage interviewing Sheamus when Henry bull-rushes him down for the second time since last Friday.
Later in the show, we get an announcement for Smack-Down this Friday. Team White-snake (Sheamus/Orton) vs. Big Show and Mark Henry.
Rytman Remark: And we couldn’t do this match tonight because?…
5.) C.M. PUNK: PUNK OUT? – C.M. Punk came out with Heyman. Punk talks about how he could never enjoy what he has at the time, because he’s always looking “around the corner” for the next hurdle, how after holding the title for more than 400 days, he went right after the Undertaker’s streak. In the middle of the promo, the crowd starts a dueling chant for him and the Taker. Punk goes flat. His eyes, his posture, it becomes that of a man crushed. Punk hugs Paul, gives him the mike, and limps off, bypassing the stage and going right for the exit.
Rytman Remark: I am aware that Punk is taking the time off to heal up. However, I’m giving him credit for his performance. He came off like he really did “lose his smile,” and if you wanted to start retirement rumors (or an angle,) you could easily use this promo. I’m predicting a HUGE comeback for Punk – maybe even a face turn – when WWE realizes how much they miss him.
6.) BOOKER T/TEDDY LONG: CLASH OF THE TITANS (KINDA) - Backstage, Booker T is NOT happy with Teddy Long going over his head. He makes the match at Extreme Rules a three-way for the title and tells Teddy to “handle his business.”
Rytman Remark: I’m glad Teddy’s getting to assert himself, as opposed to being a constantly put-upon errand boy, but do we need ANOTHER POWER STRUGGLE ANGLE!? GOOD GRIEF!
Side Note: I heard Michael Cole on one of the shows, talking about Booker T letting the HOF honor go to his head, and how that may be contributing to his problems with Teddy. Guys, Booker is NOT the one coming off as a heel in this.
7.) CENA/RYBACK: CONTINUITY! (BOOM) PART 2- All night we’re teased with Ryback speaking out tonight about his actions. Striker has Cena backstage, where he comes out to almost NO reaction. Cena says he’ll be in the ring with a yellow shirt and his WWE title and he will confront Ryback tonight.
Ryback has his say in a pre-taped promo. Ryback starts by comparing his spot with Cena’s after Mania. Cena was on top, Ryback was on the bottom. Only one place each for them to go. Ryback goes over his past few months in WWE. He credits Cena as a friend and mentor, even mentioning last October when Cena nominated him for a shot at the WWE title. Ryback then goes over his feud with the Shield and Mark Henry, pointing out how Cena never came to help him out when he was jumped by the Shield, but he almost always had Cena’s back when he was jumped.
“I am not an afterthought. I am not a sidekick. … If you were Superman, say hello to Kryptonite!” – Ryback
He says being Cena’s “friend” meant staying in his shadow, and he’s not staying there anymore.
Our “main event” for the evening is Cena calling out Ryback.
“This week, I say you make a move, and see if you have what it takes to EARN a championship!” – John Cena
Ryback backs down and walks away.
SIERRA,HOTEL/INDIA/ECHO/LIMA/DELTA, BELIVE IN THE SHIELD!
The Shield come down to the ring and surround Cena. They hold back, waiting to see what Ryback will do.
Ryback walks off, and RAW ends with a Shield beat-down on Cena.
Side Note: We caught a second of the Shield in the “Gorilla” position by accident, which kinda gave it away.
So, you know someone lost a job.
Rytman Remark: Best Ryback Promo Ever. The guy knocked it out of the park, in regards to setting himself up as bitter/jealous. I commend whoever it was, that figured out how to string Ryback’s past booking together into a cohesive narrative. If you entertain the notion that this was the game plan all along, it explains why WWE booked him as a choke-artist. It gives him motive to turn bitter and blame Cena.
Here’s the problem…
If you want to call out Cena for not doing a run-in, you’re going to have to call out the ENTIRE WWE for not running in and helping out their “friends.” In the past year, building to Mania, the only person I’ve seen run-in to save someone from a beating was R-Truth helping out Kofi Kingston when he came back. I’m aware that Orton/Sheamus/and Big Show did run-ins w/each other during their feud w/the Shield, but that was under the premise of a common enemy, not “friendship.”
Rytman’s Review: Okay, not an earth-shattering RAW by any means, but an effective place-holder-episode. “Auto-pilot” isn’t always a bad idea, if it keeps things moving. This RAW did it’s job, setting up the next PPV. And speaking for myself, I appreciate keeping the drama brief.
Let’s do something a little different. Instead of going segment by segment, I’m going to summarize each storyline in regards to how it was played out on the show, and offer my comments where I feel the need.
1.) CENA VS. MARK HENRY: THE RISE OF RYBACK – So we kicked off RAW with a word from our new WWE champion, John Cena. Jersey is NOT part of the CE-Nation, and their response makes it clear. Cena plays off the crowd’s hostility by joking about all the great things that come with being champ, like the applause. Cena offers to dance for the crowd, using this as context for teasing a “heel-turn,” and offers a title shot to whoever wants one tonight. Mark Henry comes out to take him up on it. Booker T comes out and says Henry has to beat Cena in a match to get a title shot.
Let’s fast forward to our main event, Cena vs. Henry. Less than a minute in, it spills out of the ring to the outside. Both men tease a table spot (which is a whole friggin thing in itself we’ll get to.) Henry sends Cena into the post. Cena whips Henry into the stairs AND GETS THE WIN BY COUNT OUT. OUR “MAIN EVENT” BARELY WENT FIVE MINUTES AND MORE THAN THREE SPOTS!!!
Henry responds to this by laying out Cena (much to the crowds’ delight,) and hoisting the belt up. Ryback comes out and runs off Henry. Ryback glares at Cena and the crowd gets excited. Ryback helps Cena up and the crowd gets less excited. Ryback gets a “FEED ME MORE,” chant going and CENA TAKES A CLOTHESLINE! Ryback gives the champ the Shell-shock and holds the belt up to a cheering crowd as RAW ends.
Rytman Remarks: So, Henry, the only established heel at Wrestlemania who won a singles match, has to beat Cena in a non-title match, to get a title shot?
Booker T, General Manager of Smackdown, can dictate who gets WWE title shots on RAW?
The match itself can’t have more than five spots and go more than five minutes?
BUT NOW YOU’RE GOING TO GIVE THE PUSH TO THE GUY YOU BOOKED TO CHOKE IN EVERY BIG MATCH YOU PUT HIM IN? GIVING HENRY A SHOT WOULD BRING ABOUT THE END OF ALL LIFE IN THE WWE UNIVERSE OR SOMETHING!?
I seriously don’t know why I’m still watching this crap.
2.) ORTON/SHEAMUS BOTH WANT BIG SHOW – Orton, backstage in Vicki’s office w/her and Brad Maddox, demands a match w/Big Show, wanting payback for what happened at Mania. “Briki” (Brad and Vicki) agrees, reminding Sheamus he’d owe them a big favor for this.
Later in the show, Randy Orton goes to Booker T, asking HIM for a shot at big show, saying it was his mistake to trust big show, and wants to make good on it. When Booker tells him Vicki already made the match w/Sheamus, he brown-noses Booker into over-ruling Vicki, on the grounds he’s a GM, and she’s a Managing Supervisor. Booker decides to make it happen.
Later, we get a pre-recorded interview from Natalya with Big Show. Show blames his team-mates for what happened, saying they turned on him by not giving him the hot tag. Show says from now on, he’s all about the Big Show.
Later in the show, both Orton and Sheamus came out to the ring and asked the crowd who’d they like to see kick Big Show’s ass. Cole tells us to use the WWE ACTIVE APP and vote on Twitter for who we want. One commercial break later, Booker and Vicki come out together on the same page, making a Sheamus vs. Orton match w/the winner getting Big Show, making the Twitter thing totally irrelevant.
The match itself is hard fought, and both men hit their major spots, but it ends with the Big Show taking matters into his own hands. He tosses Sheamus away like nothing and BRUTALIZES Randy Orton for about twenty minutes. Orton is pounded on, and tossed around like a sack of rag-dolls. Show tosses Orton hard over the announce table into the seats, and then tosses the seats all over the place. Show leaves Orton broken on the ground, and walks off to a hero’s reception from the crowd. (This crowd was another whole thing we’ll get to.)
Rytman Remarks: Orton and Randy are fighting over who gets to beat up the guy they didn’t trust in the first place, but teamed up with anyway and then lost the match because they didn’t tag him, and he got mad and punched them out. Gotcha!
The interesting thing is, during the interview with Natalya, Show played hurt by his team not trusting him, like he really wanted to be part of something, and pulled it off pretty damn well. I actually felt bad for him.
3.) ALBERTO DEL RIO VS JACK SWAGGER & ZEB COULTER: YOUR WINNER, DOLPH ZIGGLER! – World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez,) faced Swagger in a handicap match w/Zeb Coulter as Swagger’s partner. Before the match, Zeb took the mike and actually pleaded with the crowd for their support. He even got a small “USA” chant going. The match was primarily Del Rio and Swagger with Zeb hanging back on the outside. Del Rio managed to win it, but Swagger had worked the ankle/leg the whole match and Del Rio had ringside attendants looking at him.
Cue Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph chose that moment to Cash in his MiTB briefcase on Del Rio. Del Rio managed to muster up enough offense to get Ziggler in the Cross-Arm-Breaker. Ziggler escaped by working the injured ankle and won with a Zig-Zag for the three. Later in the show, Ziggler is interviewed, saying it’s “about damn time” this happened.
Rytman Remarks: during the whole match, the crowd chanted “we want Ziggler,” until he finally came out. I’m thinking Del Rio and Swagger are both gonna sit out a few shows.
4.) UNDERTAKER PROMO: IN THE SIGHTS OF THE SHIELD – Undertaker comes out to do a promo. He talks about dedicating his win to Paul Bearer…
SIERRA, HOTEL, INDIA, ECHO, LIMA, DELTA, BELIVE IN THE SHIELD
The Shield makes their way towards the Dead-man. They’ve got Taker surrounded when the pyro goes off and Team Hell No (Kane and Bryan) run out to offer back up. The Shield calls it a night and head off.
Rytman Remarks: A feud w/the Undertaker to set up a program with the tag team champions? I like it, which is why it won’t happen.
5.) FAHHHHN-DAHHHN-GO-OW! – So Fandango got a rematch with Kofi Kingston, from last month when he was supposed to debut on RAW. The match goes less than ten minutes before Chris Jericho runs out and beats down Fandango, who gets the win by DQ. After the match, Fandango still has enough in him to take a mike and do the bit with his name.
Rytman Remark: I’ll give the guy credit for sticking with it, but I’m thinking the last dance is coming up soon.
6.) “A BAD NIGHT FOR PAUL HEYMAN GUYS.” – Paul Heyman gets interviewed about how bad Wrestlemania went for him. Heyman points out that Triple H finished the night with a broken (which we saw earlier in an exclusive,) arm and Shawn Michaels got his face smashed in. He says Lesnar is here and ready to fight, but not for free. He tells us C.M. Punk will speak for himself… next week, swerving the disappointed crowd.
Now let’s look at the results from the few “filler” matches…
BIG E. LANGSTON DEF DANIEL BRYAN – High point was Big E. tossing Bryan over the top rope onto Kane.
Rytman Remark: Would’ve made sense to book this match BEFORE MANIA!
WADE BARRETT DEF. THE MIZ – BARRETT NEW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION
Rytman Remark: Decent match but I’m not expecting Barrett’s stock to skyrocket. There was a noticeable “botch” when Miz went for the knee-drop/neck-breaker combo and Barrett dropped too soon. (Michael Cole, at ringside, tried to sell it as a “sit-out” attempt by Barrett.)
R-TRUTH, RYDER, AND SANTINO MORELLA DEF 3MB
RR; Went maybe seven minutes and was more of an actual match then the main event.
TONS OF FUNK/THE FUNKADAYCTALS DEF THE BELLA SISTERS/TEAM RHODES SCHOLARS
RR; High point was Brie/Nikki giving “Sweet T” a double butt-bump to the head.
A few other points of interest…
One guy in the crowd managed to get his “WE WANT PAGE” sign on camera almost all night. Apparently, we can’t get her jobbing out to AJ and the Bella Sisters fast enough.
There seemed to be a contract out on the announcers table tonight. It wound up collateral damage in almost every brawl tonight. (Big Show’s rampage, Jericho’s payback, maybe during Del Rio Swagger,) In the Main Event, Cena and Henry both teased putting each other through it but never came across.
And now, we get to the real stars of this show…
This fucking crowd
Credit where it’s due, these folks decided they were going to have some kind of fun at this show and they did, to the detriment of the WWE. Some of their highlights included “singing along” to Fandango’s music and cheering for RVD, Randy Savage, and anyone/thing other than Sheamus or Orton during their match.
Overall, this was a weird RAW. It had some high points, but it wasn’t the best follow-up to a lackluster Mania.
Smackdown, the ball’s in your court.
Tonight! I will once again attempt to cover tonight’s WWE RAW broadcast in real time for you, the BWF faithful.
This is the last RAW before Wrestle-Mania this weekend, and WWE’s last chance to sell us on the Big Show. (Not the one in the six-man, although technically…) No, I mean the ENTIRE EVENT! Will they convince us to shell out $60-70 bucks in our respective areas this year?
Personally, I doubt it.
From WWE.com; ”The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, WWE Champion The Rock, John Cena, Triple H and CM Punk will all be at tonight’s Raw in Washington. What will unfold with Wrestle-Mania just days away?”
We’re getting a rundown of what to expect at Mania and what to look forward to tonight. Shawn Michaels will be here tonight for Triple H. John Cena responds to the Rock’s shot last week. Punk, Taker, Lesnar and… more stuff.
Cena’s out first and this is NOT a Cena crowd, here in DC. Jerry Lawler doesn’t even bother selling it as a “mixed” reaction. Lawler has Michael Cole and JBL with him at ringside.
“I stand in the middle of a house divided.” – John Cena
Rytman Remark: No you don’t John. They hate you.
John refers to everyone here tonight as “Cena-crats” and “Rock-publicans.” He gives Rock credit for conquering everything in his path and even goes so far as to call him the greatest WWE champion of all time. He talks about the pain of his loss last year and how the Rock will lose his custom-made WWE title in his first defense (of that specific belt.) He will happily keep the new belt just so the Rock will have to live with knowing every time someone brings up WWE, he’ll have to live with knowing someone else is defending that belt every night.
Cole asks us who we think will win Rock/Cena 2 and invites us all to “Tout” about it on line. He talks Jerry into posting a “Tout” about who he thinks will win Rock/Cena 2. Lawler goes with history and chooses Rock.
3MB is in the ring as Randy Orton, Sheamus, and the Big Show make their entrances. We get a look at last week’s Smackdown where they were able to fight off an attack by the Shield.
RANDY ORTON/SHEAMUS/BIG SHOW VS. 3MB (HEATH SLATER/JINDER MAHAL/DREW MCINTYRE)
Match starts with the faces bouncing around Slater. McIntyre tags in and takes over with a missile drop-kick. Sheamus gets triple-teamed for a few moments but the match ends just the way you expected. RKO, Brogue-Kick, and Big K.O. on Mahal for the three-count.
After the match, the Shield comes out, cutting a promo from the crowd. The Shield congratulates our three heroes on their huge win, and convincing themselves they’re a team. But the Shield knows the truth; they are phonies and at Mania, everyone will believe in the Shield.
We come back to the announcement of Zeb Coulter getting in the ring tonight against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. We go to Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger cutting a promo in front of our Nation’s Capital. Our country is broken because we all are weak. If we don’t like Swagger as World Heavyweight Champion, then we don’t deserve to be Americans.
Current WHC Alberto Del Rio responds in an interview segment. One of the great things about America is freedom of speech, and if Del Rio doesn’t like what Zeb says, he can do something about it. He will tonight, in the ring.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPION DANIEL BRYAN (W/KANE) VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (W/AJ & BIG E.)
This is a fast-paced back/forth with Ziggler on the defensive. AJ skips around Kane, setting him up for a charge from Big E. Bryan takes the E down with a flying kick to the head and Ziggler gets the three-count on Bryan w/a handfull of tights. Big E. nails Bryan and Kane tries to make the save. Big E. powers out of the choke-slam and lays out Kane with his drop across the shoulder.
Back from break, we get a look back at last August when Brock Lesnar took out Shawn Michaels.
Mr. Wrestle-Mania, HOFamer, and the Heart-Break Kid, SHAWN MICHAELS is here. He hits the ring as we get a look back at the Lesnar/Triple H feud of last year, with Lesnar breaking Trip’s arm in April, and winning their match at Summer-Slam.
“You didn’t think we’d have Wrestle-Mania without MR. Wrestle-Mania did you?” – Shawn Michaels
Shawn is out here to talk about Mania. He runs down the card, bringing our attention to one particular match, because he and his arm are part of the history in that match. Triple H comes out to reassure Shawn he knows what he’s doing, and he understands that Shawn was in the same spot Trips was in when Shawn retired. Shawn says their perdicaments couldn’t be more different. When Shawn lost his career-match, his opponent was just as heartbroken as him, because they had respect for each other. Brock Lesnar respects nothing. Triple H asks Shawn if he’s trying to talk him out of it. Shawn tells him he’d better kick Lesnar’s ass. Shawn will be in Triple H’s corner to make sure he does. They get ready to give the crowd the “suck it,” chant, when Lesnar comes out w/Heyman. Heyman lays it on the line. Triple H had better get used to dissapointment. At Mania, he will disapoint the fans, his best friend, his father-in-law, the board of directors and his wife…
“…But she’s probably used to that.” – Paul Heyman
Shawn and Hunter make the mistake of fighting from emotion, and that’s why Shawn had to retire, and that’s why Triple H will lose at Mania.
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION WADE BARRETT VS. ZACK RYDER
Miz joins the announce team at ringside. Ryder starts off strong, but Barrett takes control and beats him down. On the outside, Barrett jaw-jacks w/Miz, giving Ryder an opening. Ryder hits the “brosky-boot” for two, but Barrett takes over and ends this with the Bell-Hammer Elbow.
Rytman Remark: Announce team spent the whole match trying to hard sell Miz as a threat to Barrett. Came off pretty desperate. Maybe Barrett might retain.
Backstage: RAW Managing Supervisor Vicki Gurerro and her assistant Brad Maddox are talking when Santino Morella walks in, telling them Vince McMahon is here tonight and he’s P-O’d about them. “Bricki” get freaked, until Santino reveals it was just an “April Fools” joke. Vicki orders Santino into the ring, as Maddox says we’ll see who the fool is.
SANTINO MORELLA VS. MARK HENRY AND DO I EVEN HAVE TO BOTHER TYPING ANYTHING?
We get a look at last week’s Smackdown when Henry attacked Ryback during their weight-lifting challenge. Cole tells us this did not violate their “no-contact” clause because Henry never touched Ryback, he just tried to shove a set of weights into his throat.
Rytman Remark: Are you fucking kidding me?
Mark grabs Santino. Santino threatens to bring out the Cobr-World’s Strongest Slam, three-count.
“FEED ME MORE!”
Ryback is out and in the ring. Henry reminds him of the no-contact clause, and walks off with a smile. Ryback responds by picking up Santino AND RAMMING HIM INTO HENRY. He checks if Santino is okay, THEN HOISTS HIM UP AND GORILLA PRESS-SLAMS HIM ON TO HENRY. BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT THE “GOOD GUY” DOES!
We go to break with Jack Swagger giving Zeb a pep-talk before his match with Del Rio
We come back to Matt Striker asking C.M. Punk if he’s disrespecting Paul Bearer’s memory…
“A better question is DO I GIVE A DAMN?” – C.M. Punk
Rytman Remark: I’ve been asking myself the same question.
Punk actually shocks me for a second with a remark about Paul Bearer’s streak of waking up every morning, which has been broken. He warns Taker that if he loses his temper, Punk will win by DQ. If he takes his eyes off the prise, he just might get choked out. If he loses focus, he just might be down one second too long. Punk makes it clear all he wants is to win, and he will spit in faces and walk on graves to do it, so that whenever anyone thinks of Wrestle-Mania, the grandest stage of all, they will think of C.M. Punk.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION ALBERTO DEL RIO VS. ZEB COULTER
Before the break, we saw Swagger breaking the ankle of Ricardo Rodriguez, making this personal. Ricardo intros ADR and Del Rio sends him to the back to be safe. Just as the match is starting, Ricardo comes back out, refusing to leave. Zeb hangs back, close to the ropes as Swagger stalks Ricardo. Ricardo raises a crutch, but Zeb swipes it. Swagger goes after the bad ankle, Del Rio kicks him down and saves Ricardo. Zeb wails on Del Rio with the Crutch when Del Rio rolls back in. Ref calls for the DQ as Swagger and Zeb beat down ADR with Ricardo’s crutches. Ricardo tries to get involved but Swagger swats him down.
Back from break, IF YOU SMELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL……
The Rock is out to make his big speech to the DC crowd. Rock’s new movie, G.I. JOE: RETALLIATION is no.1 in the wold this week. We’re reminded to “Tout” our opinions on who will win at Mania.
Rock’s connection with the people is the only reason he’s standing in the middle of the ring right now. This Sunday isn’t about redemption, it’s about the will of the people, specifically the will of the people to see John Cena get curb-stomped. The will of the people can change the world, and maybe if the people will it, the Rock would have to live in this town, in the big white house up the road, and maybe…
“We go from President Barack to President Rock!” – The Rock
Rytman Remark: If that happens, I’m surrendering to China.
The Rock makes it very clear that the only way Cena will get the Rock’s title, is if the Rock rolls it up into a ball, lights it on fire, and shoves it up Cena’s candy ass.
Back from break, we get another look at Fandango attacking Jericho last week.
BREAK THE WALLS DOWN!
U.S. CHAMPION ANTONIO CESARO VS. CHRIS JERICHO
Seriously, you can tell they’re just going throught the motions until Fandango comes out. It’s a basic back and forth with Jericho taking over with a hurra-con-rana off the top rope. Cue Fandango and partner comming out. The match comes to a dead stop as we go to break.
Apparently, during the break, Fandango actually gave Jericho a “two” with a score-card. Cesaro takes conrtol and spends a lot of time working the neck. Cesaro dominates Jericho with brute force, but Jericho’s agility turns the tide. Fandango walks to the ring, giving Jericho a “three.” Cesaro counters Jericho into the gut wrench, but Jericho comes back with high flying offense and takes out Fandango with a flying kick. Jericho wins this with the “Walls Of Jericho” but Fandango attacks from behind. He finishes Jericho off with the flying leg drop and gives us all the proper pronounciation of his name.
“FAHN-DAHN-GOH!” – Fandango
Jericho is left laying as Fandango and partner dance off.
Up next is OUR MAIN EVENT…
From THE UNDERTAKER!
We come back to Touts.
Rytman Remark: That’s pretty much all I have to say about it.
The Funkadactyls are out w/Brodus and “Sweet T” for a Divas tag team match. They do the entrance and go to break.
Rytman Remark: You couldn’t just finish the commercials then start the match?
THE FUNKADACTYLS (w/BRODUS/TENSAI) VS. THE BELLA
TWINS SISTERS (w/TEAM RHODES SCHOLLARS)
And yes, we will get an eight-person mixed tag at Mania, Brodus, Sweet T, and the Funkadactyls vs. Team Rhodes Schollars and the Bellas.
Naomi is the star of this match, carrying the workrate and spending most of it getting double-teamed. The match is not as bad as it should be, but the Bellas are showing the ring rust. The match consists of botched-spots and really should’ve been booked quicker. Cameron tags in and comes off as the most capable of the girls. The Bellas take it with a reversed roll-up as we go to break.
The Undertaker is out. Punk’s WWE title reign lasted over 400 days, but the pain he’s facing will last for eternity. Taker realizes the streak may come to an end, but Punk won’t live to talk about it. Suddenly, a group of torch-bearing, chanting druids enter. Taker looks on in confusion.
PAUL HEYMAN STANDS ON TOP OF THE STAGE DRESSED AS PAUL BEARER!
An enraged Undertaker goes after Heyman, then stops, realizing he’s been lead into a trap. Taker unloads on the druids, but gets taken down from behind by the one he was looking for, C.M. Punk. Punk beats down the Taker. Taker reaches for the urn, but Punk has it, and uses it to beat the deadman down.
Punk stands over the Taker, holding the urn. He opens the urn… and pours the ashes inside all over the Taker. He lets them spill through his fingers and throws them in Takers face. RAW ends with C.M. Punk mocking the Undertakers classic pose, as the Taker lies beaten on the ramp.
Rytman Remarks: Wow, I mean wow. I was going to say this RAW was another auto-pilot show coasting into Mania until the end.
Now look, I know those weren’t Paul Bearer’s actual ashes. I know it was part of the act. It’s just… I think it was too much. It just took me somewhere really uncomfortable.
To be fair, they HAD to do something to get this show some momentum, but still, it just seems desperate.
I really do hope it pays off.
Okay, again this week, just a general run down of the show with some of my humble opinions.
First up, match results
CHRIS JERICHO DEF. DOLPH ZIGGLER W/AJ LEE & BIG E. - This match-up was booked as a card-change, as Fandango made his way to the ring for what was supposed to be his fifth or sixth “debut” but got beat-down/ran-off by an angry Jericho. Ziggler made his way out with his entourage as the announcers (Michael Cole/Jerry Lawler) told us this match was scheduled for later tonight. Jericho gets the win by submission with the walls of Jericho, but gets beat down by Big E. Langston. Fandango comes back out with his dance partner (the first girl to get a call-back) and picks the bones of Big E’s kill, landing a flying leg drop on Jericho’s neck.
MARK HENRY DEF. THE USOS - The Usos actually got in enough offense with their double-teaming to get a splash off the top rope for a two-count on Henry, but the match ends with Henry scoring a World’s Strongest Slam and getting the three-count. After the match, Henry brutalizes both brothers, making it clear he did not appreciate getting splashed.
U.S. CHAMPION ANTONIO CESARO DEF. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION ALBERTO DEL RIO (COUNT OUT) – Ricardo Rodriguez hobbles out on his crutches to introduce Del Rio. The intro falls flat, although I think it was on purpose to help sell what bad shape he’s in. The match is just a formality as both men go through the motions for about five minutes before Zeb Coulter comes out. Ricardo tries to move away, but from out of nowhere Jack Swagger grabs him, and drags him by the bad ankle over to the guard rail. Del Rio abandons his match to fight off Swagger and Cesaro gets the win by count-out. Del Rio takes his anger out on Cesaro with the cross-arm breaker.
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS TEAM HELL NO (KANE/DANEL BRYAN) DEF. THE PRIME TIME PLAYERS (TITUS O’NEAL/DARREN YOUNG)- “Pancake” Patterson is given one mention and then quietly swept under the rug. Match is just a warm-up for the champions. Ziggler and crew show up on the stage to distract the champs and give the PTP’s an opening, but the match ends with Kane choke-slamming Young for the three count.
THE MIZ DEF. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL WADE BARRETT – Before the match, Triple H came out to do cut a promo about his Wrestlemania match with Brock Lesnar. When Barrett comes out, he blocks Triple H’s way, and demands he step aside. Trips responds with a kick to the crotch. Miz comes out while Barrett is still recuperating. During the match, Barrett’s crotch briefly becomes the focal point of the match. Barrett crotches himself on the top rope with a missed kick and Miz gets the win with the figure-four submission.
THE SHIELD DEF. KHALI, RYDER, GABRIEL – To my knowledge, this is only the third actual match the Shield have officially wrestled in. The Shield wins this with a flying knee-drop to Justin Gabriel, trapped in a “Bow and arrow” hold. After the match, Khali takes a “Shield-Bomb.” Orton comes to the ring with Sheamus, and the Big Show comes up from behind, trapping the Shield. We get a brief fight before the Shield retreat.
TEAM RHODES SCHOLARS DEF BRODUS/TENSAI – Do you honestly care? This match is barley more than a pretense for a cat-fight between the Funkadactyls and the Bella Twins. Team Rhodes Scholars get the win by three-count during the confusion.
RYBACK DEF. 3MB – This was Ryback’s effort to show-up Henry that almost back-fired. The Three Man Band actually take control of the match using their numbers advantage, but it ends with Ryback getting two men up for the “Shell-Shock” and a three-count.
AJ LEE DEF. WWE DIVAS CHAMPION KAITLYN - This match was set up during a backstage segment, where Bryan and Kane were arguing over which of them was still hung up on AJ. Kaitlyn interjected, trying to get them both to let it go, while running off a list of nasty things to say about AJ, who just happened to be eavesdropping on them. Now here’s the interesting thing. AJ sends Kaitlyn head-first into a drinking fountain, or so it seemed. Kaitlyn sold it as making contact but their was NO sound effect to indicate Kaitlyn hit the fountain. Kaitlyn comes out to the ring holding her head, and when the bell rings, Kaitlyn goes to town on AJ, dominating the match and getting in all of the offence. AJ rolls out of the ring, and Kaitlyn goes after her. Kaitlyn tries a spear, but AJ side-steps her into the guard-rail, head first. AJ gets a count-out victory, and maybe a title shot at Mania. Kaitlyn gets a possible head-trauma gimmick.
So let’s look at the rest of the show.
C.M. Punk opens the show with a game of toss with the urn, and a promo that starts off by dumping on the Undertaker and his legacy. He even goes so far as to imply the streak is only important to him as something to break. He tries to mock the Takers classic pose, but the lights go out and when they come back, Taker is wailing on Punk. Punk and Heyman run off with the urn. Seemed a bit odd to me as the first half of Punk’s promo seemed to be Punk trying to convince us that this match wasn’t as important as we might feel it was.
Sheamus gets jumped by the Shield, during an interview about whether or not he and Orton can get along with Big Show, during their Mania six-man. Orton comes after them with a chair, but he gets overwhelmed by numbers. Big Show makes the save and runs off the Shield.
Now here, I gotta go into weird territory. If you’re a long time wrestling fan, you’l probably have some idea of what I’m saying here. Booking Show to come to the rescue seems a little heavy-handed to me. It’s like WWE is trying too hard to sell us on Show’s face-turn, which is par for the course with pro wrestling in general. Even if you’re among the youngest fans, you still can’t help but notice how it’s always Show that turns the tide when Orton/Sheamus gets jumped by the Shield. So I have to ask myself, is this just the same sloppy TV writing wrestling has always suffered from? Or is WWE trying to swerve me? I’m thinking maybe they want me to watch for a double-cross by Big Show so that they can swerve me with one by Orton…or Sheamus. I know Orton’s more likely, what with him reportedly wanting a heel-turn, but you know how wrestling-sorry “sports entertainment” likes illogical swerves.
Triple H cuts a promo on Brock Lesnar, about how if you don’t expect him to end your career, you’ve already lost. He makes it clear that he is coming to kick Lesnar’s ass.
Very generic promo, giving no sense that Trips was seriously concerned that his career was over. That might’ve been the plan, so that we’re actually surprised if he loses. (Which, if he does, we will be, just not for THAT reason.) And why did he have to bitch-out Wade Barrett on his way out? (See above.)
The show ended with an elaborate Q&A with John Cena and WWE champion The Rock, featuring WWE Hall Of Fame members Booker T, Brett Hart, Dusty Rhodes and Mick Foley. The panel lobs softball questions and both men give big, impassioned speeches about how/why they will win at Mania. Cena compares himself to Donavon McNabb, the Rock tells the story of how he had to get his first mattress out of a dumpster behind a motel. Cena blames his loss to Rock last year, on his letting Rock into his head. Cena tried to finish off Rock in Rock’s home-town, with his own version of “the peoples elbow.” Allowing Rock to catch him in a rock-bottom and getting the three. Rock borrows a quote from Ric Flair, “To be the man-woo-you must beat the man,” and between the two of them, Cena will never be “the man.”
I’m sorry to say this but I was underwhelmed. No new ground covered here, except for maybe when Cena “revealed” why he lost last year. I’m not a fan of “sports entertainment” trying to go into “deep, psychological,” story-lines, and I’m not moved by Cena’s need for redemption.
Overall, a pretty “meh” RAW. It did what it was supposed to do, advance the angles going into Wrestlemania, but it still felt like an auto-pilot show. That’s not always bad, but not the speed you want going into the biggest PPV of the year.
Just a basic recap this week peep-holes; as the week’s off to a rough start, (family stuff.)
Let’s start with Match results;
JOHN CENA DEF DARRIEN YOUNG (w/”Pancake” Patterson. I will get to that in a minute.)
RYBACK DEF DAVID OTUNGA (Like any other outcome was possible.)
FANDANGO vs GREAT KHALI: NO CONTEST (Not that it would’ve been one anyway.)
R-TRUTH DEF DAMIAN SANDOW BY COUNT OUT
WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS TEAM HELL NO DEF PRIMO/EPICO w/Rosa Mendes
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION ALBERTO DEL RIO w/Roberto Rodriguez DEF CODY RHODES
RANDY ORTON/SHEAMUS DEF 3MB (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre)
DOLPH ZIGGLER w/AJ and Big E. DEF KOFI KINGSTON
WWE INTERCONTINENTAL WADE BARRETT DEF CHRIS JERICHO AND THE MIZ (3 way for the title)
Okay, so let’s talk about the show…
“Pancake” fucking Patterson
“PANCAKE” FUCKING PATTERSON
PANCAKE FUCKING PATTERSON!
(Sigh) I’m praying this is something Titus actually wanted to do, because if this was any white guy’s idea, and Titus HAS to do it, then we need to shut down WWE, I’m sorry. HOW IN 2013 ARE WE SUPPOSED TO JUSTIFY A BAD FRED SANFORD GIMMICK? The sad thing is, this bit is stupid enough to actually go over, God help us all.
RAW Managing Supervisor Vicki Guerrero and SMACKDOWN Senior Advisor Teddy Long pulled Ryback out of the six-man with Orton/Sheamus against the Shield and booked against Mark Henry. Later in the night, The Shield jumped Orton/Sheamus, and Big Show made the run-in to cement the “face” turn. (Hey, it’s more effort than they put into Miz’s face turn.) So, Big Show is in the six-man, and Ryback gets Henry. My question is why not just book Big Show in the six-man in the first place? For the record, Ryback would’ve been the better choice, as he still has “unfinished business” with the Shield, but since when does WWE care about continuity? I’m thinking this could still turn into an eight-man, Henry and the Shield vs Ryback, Show, Sheamus and Orton.
I gotta admit, Fandango scored some points with me tonight. I dig him with a different Ballroom Dancing girl leading him in every week, I was into the streamers, and the outline of his silhouette from the ceiling. I dig him hitting on every Diva that comes to the ring with his opponents. Kind of stupid, seeing how much I hated “Pancake” Patterson, but with Fandango, there is a small difference. Fandango is still a “mystery.” I actually don’t know if he sucks in the ring yet. There’s still a chance this could pay off. With “Pancake,” I know it’s just a desperate attempt at getting a mid-card guy some heat.
R-Truth getting a count-out over Sandow felt like filler to me. I could live with their “feud” ending here. Neither man has enough momentum to justify a spot on Mania.
Cody had a bit with the Bella Twins and Kaitlyn that I’m hoping brings this “flirtation” angle to an end. It’s going nowhere, and the only logical outcome is a face turn for Cody that he does not need right now.
Side Note: WHY DOES FACIAL HAIR COUNT AS A GIMMICK?
And now the highlight of the night, in the best heel promo in history, C.M. PUNK MOCKS THE UNDERTAKER WITH THE URN OF PAUL BEARER.
I have nothing to add, genius.
So apparently, Ziggler is getting a shot at the tag titles w/Big E. as his partner. WWE set this up with AJ skipping out to the ring during Hell No’s match against Mo/Co, Kane and Bryan responded by coming out to challenge Ziggler and Big E. after Dolph’s win over Kofi. AJ demanded they put the tag titles on the line. I feel obligated to point out that Ziggy/Big E. haven’t wrestled as a tag-team in the entire time they’ve been on RAW, and Big E. has yet to wrestle an official match on any show besides NXT, however; one thing I’ve learned in all my years of watching RAW, the meaning of the word futility.
Side Note: Daniel DID get a win over Ziggler on Saturday Morning Slam, so you could argue they’re working a “program,” but you’d be stretching it. (You’d also be someone who cares more than any one else.)
ADR vs Swagger just got personal as Swagger took out Ricardo’s ankle with the “Patriot Act” after Del Rio’s win over Cody. We got a “USA” chant during the match, which might not have been for ADR. I hate to say it, but I did see this coming. I’m guessing a LOT of WWE fans are “Tea-baggers,” and are slowly inching on to Swagger’s bandwagon. Also, Del Rio isn’t working as a baby-face. I’m sorry, but his “champion of the immigrants” routine doesn’t ring true enough. Del Rio really lost a step becoming a face. He’s watered down his personality too much and his “come back from nowhere” approach in the ring is sloppy and awkward. Honestly, I think Del Rio might have to drop the belt and disappear for a while if they want to salvage him.
The last actual match of the night was Wade Barrett getting a badly-needed win over Miz and Jericho. Most people, including me, felt this was a bit anti-climatic as it would’ve made a good addition to the Mania card. I’m thinking if they wanted to, they can revisit that whole “Intercontinental Open,” idea they scrapped so Barrett could feud with Bo Dallas. (Remember that? Neither do they.)
The night ended with the big contract signing between Triple H and Paul Heyman, representing Brock Lesnar. It ended with Trips clearing the ring and brutalizing Heyman before signing the contract. Lesnar came out and pulled Heyman out. Heyman revealed his big surprise stipulations – “No Holds Bared,” and Triple H’s career on the line.
This is where I allow myself to get optimistic (possibly masochistic,) and hope this is secretly Triple H’s retirement match, then I remember his match against the Undertaker a few Wrestlemania cards ago was supposed to be a retirement match.
And we are out…
RYTMAN’S REMARKS: Not bad, not bad at all. This show was a good build-up to Wrestlemania. Still, if you watched it you can see how little fore-thought went into developing an under-card for the show. Stuff is being thrown together and juggled around in a very last-minute manner. We’d better hope the three “big” matches can carry the show, because it doesn’t look like they’ll have a ton of support.