WWE RAW REPORT- Cena Evens the Odds Against The Shield
Raw starts with a man who’s on an 8 day title-less streak, CM Punk. He forces Justin Roberts to introduce him as the people’s champion (nice touch.) He says that after having a week to digest he doesn’t feel like he overreacted at all, and we wouldn’t understand because we have never accomplished anything as important as winning the WWE title. He goes on to emphasise that he was screwed out of the title. He says that the Rock doesn’t deserve it, and he doesn’t pay the price to call himself champion. Punk deflects the issue regarding Maddox and The Shield. He asks the audience members if any of them saw him in the incriminating video with Paul Heyman. Cole confirms for Punk that he wasn’t in the video. Punk vogues for Heyman, saying that if he says that he wasn’t in the video he believes him. Punk says that Vince has the money and resources to hire Paul Giamati or use CGI to doctor a video. Punk says that Vince got what he deserved when Brock Lesnar broke his hip. He says that people get what they deserve in life, and that’s why none of us have accomplished anything. He challenges anyone to try and test him by jumping over the guardrail (security must love that line) and he’ll kick their ass and toss them back where they belong. Punk reminds us all that he’s the real champion and even goes so far as to say that he’s at 442 days.
Booker T interrupts Punk, who tries to brush Booker off. Booker stumbles through Vickie’s title and informs Punk (who was very generous about letting Bookers gaff slide) that he gets to decide Punk’s fate. Booker says that he’s going to leave Punks fate in the hands of the WWE Universe. They get to choose between past Wrestlemania opponents; Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, or Chris Jericho.
Next is an entire vignette designated to how to download the WWE App; compelling!
MATCH # 1 RYBACK vs. ANTONIO CESARO
Two guys booked strong so far, this is interesting. Ryback hits a fireman’s carry takedown. He follows up with a hip toss as Cole drills me ad nauseam with food metaphors. Cesaro fights back with some stomping and uppercuts but Ryback hits a Thesz press. Ryback hits a series of takedowns and Cesaro attempts to leave the arena. Ryback catches him and brings him back only to get ambushed and tossed into the post and steps. Apparently these two have had matches before, yet I don’t remember a single one. Ryback barley beats a 10 count to get back into the ring. He comes back with a back drop and hits a meat hook. Cesaro tries to fight back with a big boot but he’s caught and hit with another clothesline and the Shellshock.
Winner – Ryback
After recapping the Shield’s attack on Cena last week, an in depth retrospective shows highlights of all their attacks since Survivor Series. Cena is seen in the back with Vickie. She says that she hears that Cena is planning on calling out the Shield, and that he must have a death wish. Cena basically says that the Shield needs to be stopped tonight.
MATCH # 2 SANTINO vs. JACK SWAGGER
Booker is on commentary for this one. I have no idea why. Swagger isn’t having any of Santino’s comedy as he and the announcers try to get over the fact that he’s got a new focused intensity. Swagger dominates with some hip tosses and suplexes and finishes with an ankle lock which he now calls the “patriot act”. Let the Kurt Angle transformation begin!
Winner – Jack Swagger.
If I must listen to the same theme song 9 times a week I’m glad it’s “I’m coming home” for Wrestlemania…good song.
MATCH # 3 ALBERTO DEL RIO vs. CODY RHODES
Did I mention that I am a born again Del Rio fan? Who knew that could happen? His baby face run has been good, and I’m glad he’s managed to keep a bit of an edge to his character. No Ricardo today due to the beat down at the hands of Big Show.
Del Rio hits his toe drag off the top rope and follows up with some kicks. Cody tries to mount some offence and manages to hit a disaster kick. Del Rio kicks out and quickly applies the arm breaker for the tap out.
Winner – Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio says that he used to look down on everyone but now he knows he’s wrong. He says that he appreciates his support in his battles with Big Show. He seems to be making a claim at being the people’s champion (everyone is these days) He says that Big Show is a bully and he will pay for what he did to Ricardo.
Big Show appears on screen and tells Del Rio that he’s not in the arena. Del Rio calls him a coward. Show says that he’s afraid he would tear Del Rio apart if he were there. Show says that he needs to maintain his composure and he want’s Del Rio in a rematch at Elimination Chamber. Show warns Del Rio to not even think about trying to find him at the hotel he’s at. He tells Del Rio to sign the contract and courier it over to him via Booker T.
Jerry Lawler steps up and announces the poll results to reveal that Chris Jericho will face CM Punk (with 57% of the overall vote).
Bryan and Kane are arguing about who caused the loss to Rey and Sin Cara on Smackdown. Bryan says that he can take care of himself and he tells Kane to stay in the back during his match.
MATCH # 4 DANIEL BRYAN vs. REY MYSTERIO
The two engage in some chain wrestling with Mysterio scoring a flip. Bryan hits a very bazaar move where he set up a tombstone but dropped Rey on his feet. It really didn’t make much sense to me. Bryan hits a vertical suplex and starts to work on the arm. Rey rolls through a toss to the outside, but Bryan hits a baseball slide. Rey counters a tope and hits a senton. He follows up with a hurricanrana. Bryan catches the 619 and attempts the “No lock”. Rey hits his second 619 attempts but misses the splash. Bryan applies the “No lock” and Rey taps out!
Winner – Daniel Bryan
Mark Henry comes back out of nowhere! He tosses Bryan head first into the barricade and sets his sights on Rey. He hits a running power slam. Sin Cara tries to come to the rescue but Henry catches him coming off the top and hits a World’s Strongest Slam. He hits one on Mysterio, and hits a Vader bomb. Henry looks very impressive as he no doubt will be inserted into the chamber match.
In the back, Daniel Bryan is furious at Kane for not coming out to help him with Mark Henry. Kane says that his word’s hurt him earlier, and there’s nothing more powerful than their friendship…before the big payoff of “Hell No!” I didn’t mean that.
After yet another recap of the Vince and Lesnar angle, the announcers remind us that Vince has had hip surgery, and Lesnar will be on Miz TV later.
Big Show is seen via satellite talking to Booker T on his cell phone. There’s a knock at the door. It’s Show’s room service. Show tells the server to get a better job, and stiff him on the tip. Cole calls attention to the ridiculousness of the segment by pointing out that Show’s meal seemed quite small.
MATCH # 5 SHEAMUS vs. KANE
Sloppy start to the match, with numerous awkward shots traded. Sheamus hits an Irish curse. He only manages 4 blows against the ropes before Kane counters into a hangman. He catches a brogue kick and after hitting a DDT he sets up for a choke slam. Daniel Bryan storms down to confront Kane and gets choked out for his efforts. Sheamus hits a brogue kick for the win as a disingenuous Bryan says “sorry”.
Winner – Sheamus
Next is Miz TV. Miz is interrupted by Heyman before the introduction. Heyman accuses Miz of slander and he offers his best wishes to Vince McMahon and tells Miz to wipe the smirk off his face. Miz gets into it with him, saying that no one believes Heyman is sincere. Heyman says that he did not know that Lesnar was going to show up, and he points out that he tried to stop Lesnar to back down. Miz brings up the tape and also points out that Heyman was just about fired. Miz calls Heyman a committed liar. Heyman tries to change the subject to the Punk controversy and starts to get in Miz’s face. Vickie interrupts the show and says that Heyman is telling the truth about not having anything to do with Lesnar returning. She says that she signed Lesnar in an attempt to impress Vince McMahon. She starts “Crying” in remorse over what happened. Heyman consoles Vickie and says that he believes her. He calls for a moment of silence, and Vickie leads a prayer. Miz chimes in with the “really” and accuses the two of lying through their teeth. He says that Heyman is bitter about his “little company” being crushed. Miz calls the two bottom feeders. Vickie points out that she’s his boss, but Miz points out that it’s a matter of time before the two get canned by Vince.
Cue Brock Lesnar. Miz stands tall as Lesnar slowly approaches him. Miz takes the first shot, but Lesnar tackles him and tosses him to the floor before pelting him with chairs from the set and tossing the couches aside. Lesnar hits an F5 as Heyman pleas “no more, please…he’s sorry!”
MATCH # 6 RANDY ORTON vs. WADE BARRETT
An insert promo with Bo Dallas pops up during the inrto. He seems somewhat slow and overly smiley…I get that he’s purely an underdog story, but there really isn’t much else to this character just yet.
Orton tackles Barrett and hits an uppercut. He follows with a clothesline and a backdrop onto the barricade. Barrett botches a clothesline over the top but covers nicely with a suplex. He applies a headlock, but Orton breaks out and hits his draping DDT. Barrett hits a side slam and trades counters with Orton before falling into a sudden RKO.
Winner – Randy Orton
Can you believe it, Fandango is coming! I thought they gave up on that.
MATCH # 7 CHRIS JERICHO vs. CM PUNK
Both men trade chops to start out…finally a match that the crowd is hot for! They chant both names. Punk hits some kicks and a kitchen sink. Punk calls for a tornado DDT but gets reversed and launched to the outside. Jericho hits a tope to the outside and attempts a springboard dropkick but is countered by Punk. Punk hits a back suplex and begins to work on Jericho’s neck. Punk attempts a springboard clothesline but Jericho ducks. He hits a series of shoulder blocks and a bulldog. Punk counters the lionsault but Jericho turns it into a Walls of Jericho attempt. Jericho hits 9 shots up on the top corner and finishes with a hurricanrana from the top. Punk attempts a GTS and Jericho counters. The two trade roll up attempts and Punk hits a neck breaker. Punk hits a high knee and ascends to the top rope. He misses the big elbow and Jericho connects with a pretty looking lionsault for a two count. Punk hits a kick to the head from nowhere. He applies an anaconda vice. Jericho squirms to the ropes to break the hold. Punk shouts at the fans who chant “this is awesome” by calling them marks. Punk attempts another GTS but Jericho counters into the Walls of Jericho. Punk makes it to the ropes. He launches Jericho into the post and finally hits the GTS to win clean.
Winner – CM Punk
Damn you Jericho for always wanting to job for people!
A video package reveals Bruno Sammartino as the latest inductee into the HOF. Who?
In the back, Matt Striker interrupts an angry Punk who says that he’s mad at Rock not because he goes out and shoots movies, but because he stole his championchip title. He says that he’ll prove yet again at the Elimination Chamber that he’s the best in the world.
John Cena chats with Josh Mathews. He basically says that he’s planning on calling out the Shield because he’s refocused on making a strong comeback and he’s ready to end the jokes an fight…finally!
Big Show is at the hotel (not even finished his small meal). There’s yet another knock on the door. A “delivery” guy brings the contract and tries to warn Show about something. Show signs the contract and tries to kick the guy to the curb. Alberto Del Rio is revealed behind the door to attack Show. Big Show gets the upper hand and tosses Del Rio around the hotel floor. He rips a leg off a side table, but Del Rio sprays him with a fire extinguisher and hits him with a lamp. Del Rio winks at an unconscious Show as he leaves the hotel.
In the Ring, Brad Maddox talks about being an innocent man who was manipulated by Paul Heyman. He reveals that he gave the footage to Vince McMahon, and he’s the hero of this story. He says that he’s going to be the one to call out the Shield, and not John Cena. He calls all three men by name and dares them to come down. The three men descend as Dean Ambrose informs Brad that they don’t need an invitation because they show up when and where they want. Rollins says that Maddox doesn’t understand what justice is. They call Maddox a fame hungry weasel. Reigns says that last time was business, but tonight they will enjoy it. Maddox gets decimated and power bombed (I was expecting a swerve, but no)
Cena’s music hits as he comes through the crowd. Ryback and Sheamus also make their way down Shield style. The trio tries to retreat but the entire locker room led by Orton prevent it. The 3 baby faces surround the ring and the brawl ensues. The Shield manage to retreat through the crowd before taking too much of a beating. Raw comes to a close with the Rumble’s final 3 standing tall.
What can you really do without the WWE title or champion even on the show? All in all I thought the Punk and Jericho match was excellent (best tv match this year), and the developments with Heyman have maintained interest. Let’s hope that the alliances are in place well enough in advance leading to Mania. It’s interesting that Punk and Lesnar and the Shield have all been kept apart, and I think that it will be compelling to find out exactly how they are all connected, and how far they take it. Henry was impressive in his return and yet another wrench is thrown into the World title picture. I don’t know if anyone at this point could possibly predict which two (or more) will be in the World title match at Mania.
That’s all for now, and finally here are some odds!
Odds that Maddox ref’s a Wrestlemania match 3-1
Odds that “Dashing Cody Rhodes” would approve of “Moustache Cody Rhodes” 99-1
Odds that Fandango is coming in as manger to Tensai & Brodus 5-1
Odds that Booker regarded tonight’s show as his 2nd biggest slip up 1-1
Over under on when Punk gets his title back – Summerslam