Raw Report for Jan. 28 - Raw Roulette, Brock Lesnar Returns
Sean Balfour / January 29, 2013 - 2:20am
First of all let me go on record saying that I thought last night’s show was excellent! I understand that they stayed the course and the finishes weren’t a big surprise to any of us, but given the outcomes they had to go on I thought they did a great job with the booking. I absolutely loved the Rumble match and turned to my friend when Ziggler said “I don’t care who is number two” and told him, It’s gotta be Jericho! They brought out the best workers early on and had a perfect balance of comedy. I loved Santino’s, Kofi’s, and Bryan’s spots and aside from preferring it coming down to Ziggler and Cena, It was overall just wonderfully booked. Del Rio has always bored me but his new transformation has intrigued me and after his match last night I am now on board. I thought it was a very hot opener and a very good match. I watched the show last night for the first time in years at the movie theater and having Bret pop up on screen set the tone for a lively and energetic crowd (maybe being with a live crowd made everything seem a little more significant). I thought the false finish with Punk was about as convincing as they could have done, because in my mind everyone knew that Rock was getting the belt. So I thought they executed a good match and for me it was Rocks best in ring performance since his resurgence (all of 3 matches). All in all, I thought it was one of the better Rumbles in history.
But we are here to talk about Raw! The show is in Vegas so of course that means Raw Roulette (one of my favorite gimmicks, but I wonder if the Vegas crowd is tired of it?) I am always impressed on how they rig the wheel, it fools me every time. This time there are 3 wheels as Vickie Guerrero reveals a Superstar wheel, a Stipulation wheel and the Vickie Vegas challenge wheel. She sets up Cesaro vs. Orton and spins the wheel to reveal a special guest ref as the stip.
CM Punk furiously storms to the ring and grabs a mic. Punk shouts his grievances about not losing, and still being the champion, and even the people’s champion! Heyman stands by looking dejected. Punk calls Rock a cheater and accuses Vince and the people of being cheaters as well. He calls the finish illegal and says that last night will go down as the Phoenix screw job! He parallels his situation to Bret Hart. He tells the Vegas crowd that if they are looking to party, he’s here to crash it.
Vince comes out and Punk interrupts the whole power walk, he shouts at Vince that he’s a liar, a swindler and a flesh peddling promoter. Vince says that he has some video evidence that proves that Heyman and Punk orchestrated a planned attack. He tells Heyman that he will get a live performance review that could result in his termination.
JBL is at the desk for Raw Roulette! I am very happy. I thought this three man team did a great job last night. I thought Cole did some of his best work not only selling the main event but coming in with quotes during the rumble match.
MATCH # 1 RANDY ORTON vs. ANTONIO CESARO
Special Guest ref is...The Miz! Cesaro is livid, the crowd is indifferent.
Orton takes control early and hits a suplex, clothesline and a back suplex. Miz seems to be calling it down the middle. Orton and Cesaro fight to the outside with Orton back dropping Cesaro onto the barricade. The two trade uppercuts, and Orton drops Cesaro over the top rope. Cesaro comes back after the second commercial break (yawn) with a headlock. Cesaro hits the gut wrench. Orton fights back and hits the scoop slam. Cesaro counters with an uppercut off the top rope. He argues a near fall with Miz and Orton hits a backbreaker. Cesaro gets a thumb to the eye and Miz pulls him off Orton in the corner. Miz and Cesaro have words, which allow Orton to sneak from behind and hit the RKO.
Winner – Randy Orton
After the match Miz picks up Cesaro only to hit the SKF on him.
In the back, a wheel is spinning and it lands on Make me Laugh. The camera pans to reveal a very serious looking Ryback. Vickie tells Ryback to go ahead and make her laugh.
Ryback is in the ring with Primetime Players. Matt striker says that the contestants will tell jokes and whoever makes them laugh wins. Titus tells a joke about Matt Striker (one which I don’t get) the two heels talk down to the crowd. Ryback tells the set-up of a joke which is really just leading to him beating down PTP. Titus gets the meat hook and Shellshock. Darren retreats without helping Titus. Matt Striker says that the beat down made him laugh, so Ryback hits him with Shellshock much to JBL’s delight.
Wade Barrett is in the ring awaiting his fate. Vickie spins “Players Choice”. Barrett chooses his opponent, none other than Bo Dallas. He says that he’s going to end his career tonight.
MATCH # 2 BO DALLAS vs. WADE BARRETT
Cole mentions that Barrett tweeted out something about teaching young kids respect. It’s lucky for him he landed on “player’s choice”!
Barrett boots Bo to the head. He continues to kick Bo while he’s down. Cole talks up Bo and his desire, JBL mentions that Barrett is the future of this company. Right on Cue Bo counters a bull hammer and hits a T-Bone suplex for the upset.
Winner – Bo Dallas
Cody Rhodes spins the wheel and lands on John Cena. Not a very creative use of the wheel thus far.
MATCH # 3 CODY RHODES vs. JOHN CENA
They allude to a possible match of John Cena vs. Fred Flintstone (not really…but maybe. You could always dress up Matt Bloom!)
A refreshed Cena gets the better of Cody early on. He hits a suplex and Cody retreats. Cody calls the match a waste of his time and attempts to leave. Cena drags him back and hits the shuffle and AA for the easy win.
Winner – John Cena
JBL just reminded me that Cena actually has a choice (within storyline) as to who he wants to face at Mania. Cena grabs a mic and tells the crowd that he won the rumble and he`s the only one that can say it. He says that throwing Ryback over the top rope was just the first step. He says that the next step is choosing which champion he wants to face. He says that it`s the most difficult step. He says that the WWE champion at Mania will either be CM Punk or The Rock. He gives credit to Punk as someone he could not beat in two years. He says that he openly spoke about the Rock and says that he wanted to fight Rock when he came back and he jousted with The Rock and had moments (physically and verbally) when he bested the Rock. He says that a whole year of his existence was destroyed and he lost everything when he lost the ``Once in a lifetime`` match. He says that if he chooses the WWE title he will almost certainly lose. He says that he won’t wait and sets out the challenge to the WWE champion. I could see a triple threat with Punk and Rock.
The Shield makes their way to ringside. They attack Cena and start the beat down. Sheamus runs down to fight the Shield. He gets triple teamed as well. Ryback comes out next. He ditches Ambrose and Rollins but eventually gets laid out into the steps. Sheamus gets tossed into the steal post. Cena fights back but to no avail. Cena gets triple power bombed. The Shield leave with all three baby faces laid out and no save from the Rock despite the crowd calling for it.
In the back a spinning wheel reveals a lingerie pillow fight! The camera pans out to reveal Tensai and Brodus! Now this, my friends is great use of the wheel! Tensai storms out, but Vickie says that with Vince here she can’t have such a debacle. She tells Brodus to spin the other wheel. He lands on “dance off”. He tells Vickie he’ll inform Tensai of the change (which I’m sure he won’t…amazing!) The announcers laugh at Tensai. I’m starting to think that this poor guy is being bullied to death at his job. I’m not a fan but maybe baby face comedy is his niche. Perhaps he can tag with Santino one day.
Brodus dances out to the ring, he now incorporates a little Gangnam style in his intro. Tensai comes out and reveals his Lingerie, only to be informed that the match was changed. Brodus does his dance, same as usual. Tensai gets a confidence boost from Lawler and Brodus about what happens in Vegas. Tensai lets loose with some good moves and Ron Simmons in the back yells Damn! To be honest…this was pretty great. Best work Tensai has ever done.
In the back, Del Rio spins “Body Slam Challenge” against Big Show. He says that anything can happen in Vegas.
MATCH # 3 BIG SHOW vs. ALBERTO DEL RIO – Body Slam Challenge
Show swats Ricardo away and after a brief fight Show hits a KO Punch (before the match even starts). Show duct tapes Del Rio’s arm to the second rope. Ricardo tries to step in but Show slaps him and beats him down in front of a helpless Del Rio. Show tosses Ricardo into the barricade. He Slams Ricardo as Del Rio pleas to leave him alone and go after him instead Show complies and stomps him down before taping him up some more. Show teases a KO punch but just fakes him out and kicks him repeatedly. He eventually hits the punch…Very effective.
MATCH # 4 KAITLYN vs. TAMINA
This is a Las Vegas Showgirls lumber-Jill match…that’s a mouthful. Some of the heel Jill’s attack Kaitlyn (don’t know who) and she overcomes it and gets back into the ring (as Cole buries the match) All the girls run in the ring and scramble and strip each other as Kaitlyn and Tamina just watch. Cole thanks whoever cued the music to end the segment (amazingly awful).
Winner – No contest, whatsoever.
The Rock is out next. He gets a great ovation. He sums it all up in one word, “Finally”. He says that after winning 7 titles in his earlier career this 8th win is the proudest moment. He thanks all of the fans and assures them that the days of Punk coming out looking like a homeless freak saying that the people don’t count, are over. He makes more Twinkie tit jokes. Rock announces the beginning of the people’s era.
CM Punk comes out to the ramp and says that if Rock had any respect for his linage he would walk up the ramp and apologize for stealing his title and hand it back. He says that Rock has been spoon fed his whole life. Rock counter offers, saying that if Punk had an ounce of manhood he would walk down the ramp and come and take the belt. Rock calls him a “Punk ass Bitch”. Punk repeats it, saying that it’s just so cool to swear. He says that he’s going to wait to grant the Rock his rematch at Elimination Chamber. He says that it’s Rock’s rematch not his, because he’s still the champ! Rock accepts the challenge and fires of a catch phrase to end the segment.
MATCH # 5 SHEAMUS vs DAMIEN SANDOW – Tables Match
Apparently we don’t actually get to see the wheel spin anymore, oh well. Scratch that it was actually done on WWE active. So get the app or you’ll have to wait for the replay 1 minute later live on Raw!
Sheamus is still selling his arm injury from the Shield attack. Sandow slips out of the ring but Sheamus catches him and slams him into the steps. He goes for the table right away and sets it up on the outside. Sandow squirms away and runs to the other side of the ring, but catches Sheamus with a dropkick. Sandow grabs another table but Sheamus steals it and hits Sandow with it. He puts the second table in the ring and Sandow aggressively attacks Sheamus’ shoulder. Sandow proves that he’s not as smart as you would think by going under the ring for a third table (the other one was no good?) he wedges Sheamus’ arm under the table leg and stomps on it before setting the table in the corner. Sheamus counters and tosses Sandow to the apron, attempting a brogue kick into the table. Sandow ducks it and goes for a running attack but Sheamus counters his way into the ring with a battering ram. Sandow hits the elbow of distain. And sets up the third table (one in corner, one on outside and one in the middle of the ring) He sets Sheamus on the table in the ring and goes to the top but Sheamus catches him and pulls him down to hit 10 clubs to the chest. He tries to suplex Sandow through but counters into the White noise which he teases through the first table but instead does a running white noise through the corner table.
Winner – Sheamus
After the break, Lawler is in the ring with Zack Ryder, Khali, Natalia and Hornswoggle. They are going to sing a WWE Superstar’s theme song. Khali goes first to sing Shawn Michaels song. This is terrible, terrible. JBL says that Shawn is rolling in his grave and he’s not even dead. 3MB come out to save the segment (maybe). Drew does some air guitar and Khali chops him. Ryder hits a roughrider and Hornswoggle does the tadpole splash. Cole says “uh, okay then...” as he’s left hanging on commentary for a Raw that might have the most worst segments per year in one show (although for some reason I liked the Tensai thing).
Jericho is out next! Now I am happy. Jericho says that it’s great to be back in WWE and 6 months absence felt like 6 years. He says that he fooled everyone when he returned to the Rumble and he’ll never eeeeever forget the good feeling he gets when he’s here.
Dolph Ziggler and crew come out. Dolph points out that he eliminated him, and he ended Jericho’s career. AJ points out that she made the match and got Jericho fired. Jericho asks “Ziggy” to put a leash on his crazy little doggy. Big E threatens Jericho. Jericho makes fun of his name and says the E must stand for his bra size. Vickie pops up on screen and says that she signed Jericho to a contract. She spins the wheel and determines that Jericho and Ziggler will have to team up to face team Hell No!
MATCH # 6 HELL NO vs. CHRIS JERICHO & DOLPH ZIGGLER
Ziggler starts with Kane and dodges him, telling Jericho to take note. Ziggler ties up with Bryan and teases tagging in Jericho but pulls away. Jericho tags in without Dolph’s consent and takes out Bryan and Kane but the tag champs rebound. Jericho launches Bryan into Kane, causing an argument. The champs start a shoving match so Jericho tags in Ziggler and hits Kane from behind before bailing and leaving Ziggler to deal with a pissed off Kane. Kane hits the choke slam.
Winner – Hell No
OMG Trish Stratus is going to the HOF! This is amazing. Great for her! Soon the LAW can say that a WWE Hall of Famer worked for them! Get her in while she’s still smoking!
Vince is out next. He says that he’s here to have some fun. He calls out Paul Heyman and mentions that CM Punk was escorted out of the arena already. Heyman confidently walks down to the ring and offers a handshake. Vince makes fun of the old “wrestler looking around to see if he should shake the hand”. He eventually does and then cleans up with some Purell. Vince asks Heyman if he has or has ever had Brad Maddox or The Shield under contract. Heyman thanks Vince for the opportunity to answer the question and the answer is no. Vince asks if Heyman has ever lied in his life. Heyman quotes Vince Sr. and says that he has lied every day of his stinking life because he is a promoter and that’s what promoters do. Heyman says that he lied to god and the souls of his parents and he did it to survive. He says that although he’s lied every day of his life he’s not lying now (another home run from Heyman). Heyman says that he’s trying to become and honorable man, and he sucks up to Vince. He says that he wants to be in the WWE and he’ll do whatever it takes. Vince gets the camera in close on Heyman and questions his honesty. Vince shows some footage of Heyman with his arm around Maddox just before talking about positioning Maddox as the Ref in Punks match, and him not doing as good as when they hire the Shield to do a job. The Shield is seen surrounding Maddox and Heyman feeding him to the wolves. Back live, Heyman is stunned. It’s all revealed! The crowd chants “you got busted!” Heyman gets serenaded by the “Na Na Na Na” song. Heyman says that it wasn’t him in the tape. He appeals to Vince saying that he’s falsely accused. He says that he’s being set up by an impersonator. He looks Vince dead in the eye and lies one more time. Vince wishes him well in his future endeavours and is about to fire him when all of a sudden…Brock Lesnar returns!
Brock comes to the ring and sets Heyman aside before starring down Vince. Vince tells Brock not to do something he’ll regret later on. Brock teases laying off but he hoists Vince up and delivers an F5 much to Heymans horror.
I was able to write this super-fast and in real time, so I’ll save my final comments for Review a Raw (which I usually download but will listen to live tonight) Over all I thought it was a good first show on the road to WM and I’m excited as always at this time of year for the ride.
And now straight from Vegas, some Odds!
Odds that Tensai legit wasn’t told about the match change 9-1
Over under on when the Shield actually start regular in ring competition 3 weeks
Odds that Heyman puts together a huge Heenan like stable 4-1
Odds that a talent could beat up Stephanie McMahon, Reveal to Wrestling Observer all the outcomes for mania, and go to business for himself on live TV and still be booked better than Tensai 1-1
Over under on how many guys are in the World Title Match at Mania 3.5 (I’m thinking fatal 4 way)
Who inducts Trish? Stephanie 3-1 Lita 3-1 Albert (of T&A fame) 9-1 HHH 11-1 Linda McMahon 20-1
Odds that Bo Dallas is on the WM card 4-1