The show begins with some last second hype around the Shield appearing in the ring for a promo and the Rock live on the show as well…also 2 and a half hours of other stuff.
Paul Heyman is in the ring to open the show cold. He fights off the boos and explains that he has to get through something. He says that tonight is the last night that we will ever see Paul Heyman (I hope he’s lying!) Heyman says that he refuses to be the victim. He talks about the sacrifices he’s made in the past and creating the most innovative wrestling product in history in ECW. He talks about turning a rookie into the next big thing, referring to Brock Lesnar. He continues by putting over CM Punk as someone who could carry WWE into the future long term. Heyman predicts that something bad is going to happen and if he were to stay CM Punk could be a victim of the crossfire. He formally tenders his resignation, and goes on to call the fans cold hearted for not sympathising with him. He takes some last shots at the WWE Universe and goes on to say that he loves CM Punk. He stretches it out one last time with another goodbye.
After a long pause, CM Punk comes out in “disbelief”. Heyman tells him that he’s in Punks way and the heat is on him for the Maddox and Shield scandals, which he denies. Punk tells Heyman that the people admire him and there are a lot of “Paul Heyman guys” out there. Heyman warns Punk that McMahon will stop at nothing to punish him if he stays. Punk calls the whole thing a bad dream and says that it will all go away this Sunday when he beats the Rock to “retain” his title. He talks Heyman out of resigning and back into his corner. Heyman tears up before embracing Punk for a hug as he continuously whispers “Best in the world” into Punk’s ear. King points out that this was all a parody of the Pope resigning (not a fair comparison because Heyman is for sure far more virtuous).
MATCH # 1 GREAT KHALI vs. MARK HENRY
I can’t stand the visual of Natalya, Khali, and Hornswoggle dancing around like a bunch of morons.
Khali hits a sunset flip and Asai moonsault. He nips up but Henry hits a flying clothesline followed by a lionsault…and I wake up from my daydream, Henry hits the World’s Strongest Slam and pins Khali.
Winner – Mark Henry
Henry hits Hornswoggle with the WSS after the match, making one of my dreams come true. The fans chant one more time, so that’s how over ‘Horny’ is these days.
In the back, Booker and Long are chatting. Jericho stops by and places his bid for entry into the chamber match. Long is on board right away but Booker wants him to earn the spot. Teddy whispers something into Booker’s ear to which he replies “that idea sucks”. He tells Jericho that he’ll have to beat Daniel Bryan tonight to get in. Jericho accepts the challenge and calls him Daniel Bearden before mocking Booker and cementing the return of the brash and cocky baby faced Y2J that we all know and love.
In another part of town, Vickie is greeted by Paul Heyman. Heyman asks her to add a stipulation to the title match. He butters her up only to be brushed off by a phone call from Mr. McMahon. Heyman talks to Vince on speaker; he apologizes and wishes him a speedy recovery only to be cut off with a classic “Shut up!” Heyman pitches that the Rock should lose the title if he’s counted out or disqualified. Vince grants him the stipulation and then hangs up on him (perhaps some audio doctoring between him and Vickie?)
MATCH # 2 DANIEL BRYAN vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Jericho starts at a quick pace with some quick pin attempts and an arm drag. Bryan hits a knee to the midsection and goes to work on Jericho’s arm. He sends Jericho over the top rope and dodges a flying dropkick attempt before hitting a tope. Jericho comes back with some tackles but Bryan comes off the rope with a clothesline. Bryan puts his knees up on a lionsault attempt, but Jericho recovers to catch him at the top rope. Bryan fights him off and delivers a head butt off the top. The crowd is hot with “yes” chants. Jericho locks in the walls of Jericho, but Bryan reverses it into a “No” lock. Jericho escapes but Bryan hits a kick to the head for a near fall. Bryan goes crazy with kicks to the chest but Jericho fends them off and hits a code breaker out of the blue for the pin.
Winner – Chris Jericho
Jericho is in the chamber. I personally think that his feud with Ziggler has legs for Mania. I could see him winning the chamber and Ziggler cashing in the briefcase on Sunday. At the end of the day the World title match isn’t the draw for mania and although this is a match we’ve seen on TV, on a big stage I think these two could steal the show. Jericho is also the guy that would job and give Ziggler some huge credibility as champion. Then again I’m just a huge Jericho mark.
MATCH # 3 SHEAMUS, RYBACK & JOHN CENA vs. 3MB
This should be fun. So far I love this match card tonight. Cole calls 3MB a good test for the baby face trio…yeah, sure.
Ryback watches Slater do some air guitar before pressing him and dropping him. McIntyre douches out in front of Sheamus before getting pummelled against the ropes. Cena takes a slap from Jinder and then hits the 5 knuckle shuffle. The match breaks down and all three faces hit their power moves at the same time (Shellshock, White Noise, and AA). Cena pins Mahal.
Winners – Team “Feed Me More Fruity Pebbles Fella”
Sheamus and Ryback cut generic promos on the Shield. Cena commends the Shield for coming to the ring tonight and leaving themselves vulnerable in the middle of the ring. Cena says that they will bring the sword tonight.
They recap Del Rio trashing Big Show’s bus and dumping red paint on him on Smackdown. Earlier today Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu were making fun of Big Show before getting attacked and knocked out by the angry giant. You may have gotten your jaw cracked, but you made it to TV!
A funny commercial for WWE Shop shows various guys being rejected by a girl’s father at the door. The last guy is greeted with a “Yes, Yes, Yes” and is revealed to be wearing a Daniel Bryan T-Shirt. The tag line is get the shirt, get the girls…which is funny because if you own too many wrestling shirts there’s a good chance you aren’t interested in dating.
Big Show comes out to the ring for an interview with Matt Striker. He just KO’s Striker without warning and grabs the mic. Show pause and angrily contemplates what to say. He elects to say nothing and just storms out of the ring.
MATCH # 4 ZACK RYDER vs. JACK SWAGGER
Swagger is followed by a man identified as Zeb Colter (Dutch Mantell). I find this to be very random.
Swagger fends off some early offence and hits a vicious power bomb into the corner turnbuckle. He follows up with a gut wrench and applies the “Patriot Act” for the win.
Winner – Jack Swagger
Swagger introduces Colter who grabs the mic and says that he knows what’s wrong with America. He talks about being in the Vietnam War with Swaggers dad. He goes full on racist as he talks about seeing faces that don’t look like his, and he can’t understand what they are saying. He says he wants to get rid of them. He talks about being real patriots and real American’s. He talks about people jumping the border before reciting what I assume is their new catch phrase “We the people”. Despite what I said earlier about Ziggler and Jericho it sure looks like they are heading towards Del Rio vs. Swagger in some sort of reverse WM 7 thing where the American is the bad guy…Perhaps Antonio Cesaro can join them.
In the back, Booker and Teddy decide to put Swagger into the chamber match. Ziggler confronts Booker, and talks about stealing the show. He takes exception to Jericho being in the match and says that he wants to get into the match to prevent Jericho from getting a title shot at Mania. Booker tells him he has to face Kane to earn his spot (one week he’s the big red monster, the next he’s the big red machine).
After recapping the assault of Miz by Lesnar, Cole informs us that McMahon has had successful hip surgery. Miz comes out for a match, seemingly feeling better.
MATCH # 5 MIZ vs. CODY RHODES
Cesaro is on commentary.
Miz hits a kick to the head but Cody comes back with a kick to the midsection and hits a running knee. Cesaro talks about conquering the flag and rubbing it in every Americans face (hence the reason why he carries old glory around) Miz hits a flapjack and takes the fight with Cody to the outside. Cesaro gets close but Miz catches him with a kick. Cody distracts him and Cesaro completes the attack, causing the DQ.
Winner – The Miz
After the match Cesaro controls Miz and swings him from his feet repeatedly into the barricade. This move looks amazing!
Cesaro leaves (probably has to get a head start to the next town, since he walks to every show right?)
MATCH # 6 BRODUS & TENSAI vs. PRIMO & EPICO
Brodus does his pre match dance; Tensai holds back (at least till the end of the match). Primo tries to pick up Tensai but to no avail. He then tries to head butt the two beasts together but that doesn’t work. Brodus hits a tackle and Tensai hits the butt splash for an easy win.
Winners- Tensai & Brodus
Tensai joins in the dancing, making all of my dreams come true. Rosa tries to ruin the party but the funkadacktles take care of her and the party continues into the commercial.
The Shield comes down to the ring. What are those words spoken at the beginning of their entrance music? Does anyone know? Real or Joke answers are accepted.
Ambrose in full sleaze mode talks about the atrocities in the WWE (without being too specific). Rollins says that threats to the Shield are not impressive, and they make their statements with actions. Reigns calls their imminent opponents out. Ambrose calls the three baby faces empty, much like their threats. They point out that they couldn’t get the job done with the whole roster on their side. Rollins calls Cena a failure and that’s why they don’t like him. Ambrose says that Cena has no consequences in his world, and John Cena is the problem. Reigns says that Cena has been the problem for the last decade, and Rollins points out that Cena laid the groundwork for the Ryback’s and Sheamus’ to come up and believe in the system. Ambrose knocks it out of the park at the end with an intense hatred for Cena. The Shield awaits their opponents. The lights go out and come back on to reveal Sheamus, Ryback and Cena getting the upper hand, brawling with the Shield. They try to escape but the fight spills out through the arena. The Shield eventually escapes but the baby faces celebrate their achievement with the fans in the crowd.
MATCH # 7 DAMIEN SANDOW vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO
Sandow cuts a promo on Nashville. He slams the whole country music genre and berates the fans for not choosing Beethoven or Mozart. He barks “Silence” at them, which makes the commentators laugh.
Ricardo brings out Del Rio, who gets a decent reaction (at the very least not negative). Sandow gets his elbow of distain in before Del Rio hits a series of slams and a super kick. He leads a “si” chant and applies the cross arm breaker for the tap out.
Winner – Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio grabs a mic and calls Big Show’s promo the best of his life (he didn’t say anything). He says that he agrees that the time for talking is over this Sunday. He tells Big Show that he can go anywhere he want’s after because he’s going to Wrestlemania.
Barrett is heading to the ring for a match but he’s attacked from behind by Bo Dallas who sends him into some equipment and gets some punches in before being pulled away.
Another Fandango promo plays…I’m a little uncomfortable with how close the camera is on him as it pans up from his feet to face.
MATCH # 8 WADE BARRETT vs. KOFI KINGSTON
Barrett lunges several knees to the face. He applies a chin lock. Kofi hits a cross body onto Barrett’s back, followed by a regular one off the top. Barrett catches Kofi with the winds of change and sets up for the Bull hammer. Kofi ducks it but Barrett ducks the T.I.P. Barrett slips to the outside and wedges Kofi under the apron and hits the elbow (with Kofi still stuck under the apron). He dumps him back into the ring and gets the pin.
Winner – Wade Barrett
MATCH # 9 KANE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ziggler leaps over Kane but gets caught with a power slam. Kane knocks Ziggler off the top turnbuckle and stands up to Big E on the outside before Ziggler tosses him into the barricade to shift the momentum. He hits some elbows as the fans count along to 9. Kane fights out of a headlock but Ziggler hits a DDT. Ziggler hits a famouser for a near fall. AJ hits the apron but Ziggler inadvertently knocks her off and into Big E’s arms. Kane uses the distraction and hits the choke slam for the win.
Winner – Kane
Kane’s in the Chamber…I Must say it’s a pretty decent group and should make for a good match. I could see almost any of them winning depending on the direction they want to go (although Kane and Bryan will likely branch off into their own program)
The Rock is out next. He says that it’s a very special night. He does his routine, getting the cheap pop. He says that Nashville is a very special city to him. He tells a true story about moving to Nashville when he was 15 years old. He talks about attending high school in Nashville, and at 15 he kicked puberty’s candy ass. He says that he didn’t get any action from the girls because they thought he was an undercover cop. He talks about hanging out in bars and one day someone magical walked in. Not Jeff Jarrett, but a crack head. He says that a 15 year old Rock bought the crack head’s car. He says that he heard something moving in the back of the car…another crack head. He tossed the guy out of the car and started to think that perhaps the car was stolen. He says that he ditched the car in a Burger King parking lot and walked back to Tootsie’s Lounge. He says that the moral is to never buy a car from a crack head. He segues into the fact that his first match at 25 was in Nashville.
CM Punk comes on out to the ramp. Rock cracks some jokes but Heyman and Punk don’t look impressed. Rock says that despite them trying to stack the deck, just bring it. He says that he’ll beat his punk ass all over Nashville. Punk advances to the ring but pauses on the outside. He teases leaving but storms in and brawls with the Rock. They trade punches and Rock hits a spine buster. He goes for the peoples elbow but Heyman trips him and Punk hits the GTS! Punk grabs the title and leaves up the ramp with it. He grabs a mic and tells Rock that story time is over. He says that if Rock wants to bring it, he’s going to take it because it belongs to him.
Raw closes with Punk standing tall on the ramp with Rock’s WWE title and Heyman calling him the best in the world!
I really enjoyed tonight’s show and thought that the matches were all a good length and more or less compelling. I am interested in the World Title picture, and am looking forward to the Chamber match this Sunday. It’s hard to pick a sure winner. Rock will certainly go over, but I’m sure it will be a hot match, and Del Rio and Big Show usually manage to over achieve everyone’s expectations. Over all I would say that tonight was a strong go home show.
Here are some odds, with my picks for Sunday in Bold.
ROCK (-500) over CM PUNK (+ 800) to keep the title
THE SHIELD (even) over (Ryback, Cena & Sheamus) although this could go either way
ALBERTO DEL RIO (-150) over BIG SHOW (+200)
CHRIS JERICHO 2-1 over JACK SWAGGER 2-1 MARK HENRY 2-1 ORTON 4-1 KANE 20-1 and DANIEL BRYAN 20-1
Odds that Ziggler cashes in this Sunday 1-1 (My pick is that he will do it on Del Rio after a post-match KO Punch from Show)
Odds that we one day see an all dancer battle royal one day much like the gimmick battle royal at WM 17 1000-1 (but it would be awesome, Fandango, Tensai, Brodus, Too Cool, Rikishi, The Cat, Godfather…the list goes on)
Who’s the Marty Jannetty of Rhodes Scholars? Cody 1-2 Sandow 2-1
Odds that McMahon’s voice was “altered” on that phone call 1-1