WWE Monday night RAW- Feb 11, 2013
-It’s been ages since I recapped an entire Raw. Let’s check in on the three hour era, shall we?
-From Nashville, TN. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
-We kick things off with Paul Heyman in the ring. He is in a somber mood and claims this will be the last time we see him. Heyman puts over his ECW history, and takes credit for Brock Lesnar and CM Punk’s success. He must leave because he’s bring nothing but distractions and trouble to Punk. This brings out CM Punk to try and talk Heyman out of it. Punk says he should stick around so he can see him end the bad dream that is The Rock’s WWE title reign. It seems like Heyman has a change of heart and they hug it out to annoy the crowd. This was fairly long and pointless, but they’ve got 3 hours to fill, I guess.
The Great Khali (with Hornswoggle and Natalya) vs. Mark Henry
Khali bats Henry into the corner in typically difficult to watch fashion. Khali actually side-steps Henry in slow motion. Henry turns it around and delivers a clothesline. The World’s Strongest Slam ends this at 1:35. Mercifully short match here.
Winner: Mark Henry
-Henry is as annoyed by Hornswoggle as I am and gives him the World’s Strongest Slam too. Good.
-Booker T and Teddy Long discuss the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. They’re joined by Chris Jericho, who reminds them that he’s a six time former World Champion and has been in more EC matches than anyone else. Long is convinced, but Booker thinks Jericho needs to impress him first. Booker rudely dismisses Long’s suggestion and says if Jericho can beat Daniel Bryan, he’ll get a spot. Jericho vows to beat “Daniel Beard” and mocks Booker’s catchphrase.
-Vickie Guerrero is on the phone and gets interrupted by Paul Heyman. Vickie is clearly reading cue cards as she scoffs at Heyman’s request to add a stipulation to the WWE title match at Elimination Chamber. She gets a call from Mr. McMahon and puts him on speaker. Paul asks that if The Rock is disqualified or counted out, CM Punk wins the WWE title. Vince gives Heyman his request and hangs up.
Daniel Bryan vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho tries to gain a quick win and delivers some arm drags. Daniel rebounds and dumps Jericho to the floor. Jericho misses his drop-kick off the turnbuckles and hits the floor. Suicide dive by Bryan sends us to commercial. After the break, Jericho is in the driver’s seat. Bryan scores with a running drop-kick. Jericho’s flying axe handle misses and Bryan nails a lariat. The Walls and the Lionsault are blocked. Diving head butt by Bryan connects. Jericho applies the Walls but Bryan counters into the No Lock. Nasty head kick by Bryan gets a close near fall. The Codebreaker finishes Bryan at 7:17 (shown). I think the finish was botched, but the camera shot protected them. This was very good for the time allowed, they threw a lot of nice counters into this one.
Winner: Chris Jericho
3MB (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre) vs. Sheamus, Ryback, and John Cena
Gee, I wonder which team is winning here. Slater plays some air guitar, which somehow fails to impress Ryback. Slater eats a press slam. McIntyre mocks Sheamus and gets pummeled into the corner. Drew lands some punches before getting caught by Sheamus for his chest blows in the ropes. Cena tags just in time to square off with Mahal. Jinder plays some air guitar and foolishly slaps Cena’s face. Cena delivers the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Slater and McIntyre run in to prevent the AA. The match breaks down and Ryback, Cena, and Sheamus all hit their finishers at once. Cena pins Mahal at 2:50. I daresay this was a great squash.
Winners: John Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback
-Ryback says he’s waited a long time to feast on The Shield. Sheamus doesn’t want to wait for Elimination Chamber to get some justice. Cena agrees and promises that the three of them will encounter The Shield later tonight. They could just do it now, but this is a 3 hour show.
-Earlier tonight, Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu were having a chuckle of Big Show’s embarrassment on Smackdown. Show breaks up their good time and shoves Riley into the wall.
-Matt Striker tries to interview Big Show in the ring but just gets a K-O punch. Show can’t seem to find the words to express just how pissed he is over what Alberto Del Rio did to his bus that he drops the mic and storms out.
-Bruno Sammartino is joining Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, and Trish Stratus in this year’s Hall of Fame Ceremony. I suppose if Bret Hart can make peace with WWE, so can Bruno.
Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) vs. Zack Ryder
Swagger is aggressive but Ryder nails a missile drop-kick. We see Long and Booker watching backstage. Swagger slips on catching Ryder on a top rope dive on the floor but pulls it together for a slam. Swagger chops blocks the knee. The Rough Ryder is countered with a sick Buckle Bomb. The Gut-wrench power bomb and Patriot Act ends this at 2:30. Sloppy showing for Swagger tonight.
Winner: Jack Swagger
-Swagger introduces his friend, Zeb Colter, a great American. Zeb asks the fans what’s wrong with America. In Zeb’s day, men were real patriots, but now he looks around and doesn’t recognize what country he’s in. “Where did all these people come from, how do we get rid of them?” Oh great, it’s been a while since we got a nice, old-fashioned, family xenophobia angle. I see this angle lasting 2 weeks before a sponsor gets pissed. At least the xenophobia is meant to get heel heat this time.
-Dolph Ziggler, AJ, and Big E Langston approach Long and Booker. Ziggler is pissed that Chris Jericho is in the Elimination Chamber match and has changed his mind about wanting to be in the match. Ziggler just wants to stop Jericho. Booker puts Ziggler in a match with Kane, and the winner gets an EC spot.
The Miz vs. Cody Rhodes
Antonio Cesaro is sitting on commentary. Miz rolls through a sunset flip and kicks the head. Cody hangs Miz on the ropes for a low kick. Running knee to the head by Rhodes gets a 2 count. Miz mounts some offense and drops Cody head-first on the apron. Miz is distracted by Cesaro and has to fend him off with a big boot. Miz bats Rhodes around ringside, but Cesaro ambushes him for the DQ at 3:03. This feels like 1999 booking.
Winner via DQ: The Miz
-Cesaro airplane spins Miz into the barricade repeatedly! This is the highlight of the show thus far.
Primo and Epico (with Rosa Mendes) vs. Brodus Clay (with Naomi and Cameron) and Tensai
Tensai starts off against Primo. Quick tag to Brodus, Primo almost capitalizes on a miscommunication but eats a double head butt. Epico tags himself in but Clay plows through him. Back senton by Tensai finishes Epico at 1:09. This was just an excuse to get Clay and Tensai to dance.
Winners: Brodus Clay and Tensai
-Rosa Mendes tries to ruin the celebration, but Naomi and Cameron beat her up. The fans are relieved that the fat, ugly guy dance party can continue.
-The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) enter through the crowd. Ambrose says they are here to “shield” the WWE from atrocities, like John Cena. That sounds like message forum hyperbole to me. Rollins says The Shield doesn’t take threats seriously, as they send their messages through action. Reigns challenges Cena and company to come out and get them. No one answers the challenge right away, so The Shield think they’ve won. The promo goes on for an eternity until the lights go out. Naturally, Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback appear and a brawl breaks out. The Shield end up retreating and the good guys stand tall.
-Damien Sandow cuts a promo on his way to the ring. He takes the opportunity to insult country music, since they’re in Nashville.
Damien Sandow vs. World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez)
Sandow delivers some knee strikes and the Elbow of Disdain. Del Rio delivers some clotheslines and a tirt-a-whirl backbreaker. Super kick by Del Rio gets 2. The Cross Armbreaker ends it at 1:18. Huh, I was expecting this to be the random 15 minute match to fill extra time.
Winner: Alberto Del Rio
-Del Rio makes fun of Big Show, calling his appearance earlier “the best promo of his life.” Del Rio then ruins it by explaining the joke. Del Rio agrees that the time for talking is over and vows to make it to Wrestlemania as champion.
-Wade Barrett is storming through the back when he’s jumped by Bo Dallas. Referees rush in to separate them, but Dallas has gained a measure of revenge.
-Fandango is coming to WWE. Joy, oh joy.
Kofi Kingston vs. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett
Barrett is a tad bruised from the backstage attack but still manages to fend off an aggressive Kingston. Kofi delivers a splash off the turnbuckles for 2. Flying cross body by Kingston gets another 2 count. Side slam by Barrett shifts the momentum. They block each other’s finishers, but Barrett traps Kingston in the apron for the knockout blow. Barrett wins at 3:03. Okay-ish short match here.
Winner: Wade Barrett
Kane vs. Dolph Ziggler (with AJ Lee and Big E Langston)
I think it’s a great cowardly move that a few weeks ago Ziggler had no interest in being in the Elimination Chamber match, but now that Jericho is in, he wants in too. Kane gains the early advantage but Ziggler throws a drop-kick to take control. Kane comes back and signals the choke slam, which sends Dolph fleeing to ringside to take us to commercial. After the break, Kane is in the driver’s seat, knocking Ziggler off the turnbuckles with an uppercut. Langston distracts, allowing Ziggler to drive Kane into the barricade. Ziggler targets the head during a heat segment. Kane makes his comeback but Dolph applies a sleeper. The Fame-Asser gets a 2 count. Kane blocks the Zig Zag and nails a side slam. AJ distracts, causing Kane to miss the flying clothesline. The choke slam connects anyway and Kane picks up the win at 7:10 (shown). Nothing to say here.
-WWE Champion The Rock comes to the ring. Rock talks about how special Nashville is, as he went to high school here. He kicked puberty’s ass, but had little luck with the girls because they… thought he was an undercover cop. Huh? One day Rock met someone very special (not “Jeff Jarrett” in response to a wiseass in the crowd) and it was a crack-head. Rock was 15 and hustling a crack-head in a bar, this is getting strange. Rock took the crack-head’s car and found another crack-head in the backseat. Rock emptied the car and it crossed his mind that the car might be stolen. He did the only responsible thing he could do: ditch the car at Burger King and walk back to the lounge. Rock’s two points are don’t buy cars from crack-heads and don’t be like The Rock at 15. Good advice, I guess. Rock promises to still be WWE Champion after Elimination Chamber. This brings out CM Punk and Paul Heyman. Rock throws some (hopefully) intentionally lame Twilight jokes at them. Rock wants to fight right now and Punk obliges. They trade punches but Rock lands a spine buster. Rock goes for the Peoples Elbow, but Heyman trips him! Punk nails the Go To Sleep! Punk steals the title and takes off.
Final Thoughts: Ah man… I don’t know what to say. I was doing well with this until the third hour set in. I honestly could not wait for this to be over. I don’t know how anyone can sit through all of Raw, start to finish, every single week. I think I’ll stick to recording it on DVR and getting through the whole show in 90 minutes. Thumbs down due to the staggering amount of filler and intentional stalling for time throughout.
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