WWE Monday Night RAW- Feb 25, 2013
-From Dallas, TX. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler.
-Mr. McMahon comes to the ring on crutches, having recently had hip replacement surgery. Vince still wants to fight Paul Heyman and calls him out. Heyman cuts a promo on his way to the ring and is pleased for this opportunity to hurt Vince. Heyman cheap shots McMahon’s injured hip and connects with a crutch shot. Vince blocks a second shot and turns it around on Paul E. We’re joined at this time by none other than Brock Lesnar. Vince is about to get murdered when Triple H makes his dramatic return. Lesnar is ready for a fight but runs into a Thesz press on the floor. They brawl and Lesnar gets busted open when Triple H drives him into the ring post. Lesnar drops HHH onto the announce table and grabs a chair. HHH counters with a spine buster in the ring. A wild chair shot sends Lesnar retreating from the ring. Lesnar smirks as he backs up the aisle. Fantastic brawl here, I hope Triple H can resist being too cool for school for the remainder of this feud.
Dolph Ziggler (with AJ Lee and Big E Langston) vs. Ryback
I don’t like Dolph’s chances here. Ryback reverses a waist lock and scores with some takedowns. Ziggler lands a drop-kick and goes after the head. Ziggler runs into a shoulder block and Ryback nails a power slam. Dolph throws some ineffective offense and gets driven into the turnbuckles. Cue the commercial. After the break, Ryback is still kicking Ziggler’s ass. Delayed vertical suplex by Ryback sends Dolph rolling from the ring. Big E Langston knocks Ryback off his feet at ringside while the referee was checking on Dolph. Ryback kicks out of Ziggler’s covers at the 1 count. Ziggler rebounds with a hard DDT for a 2 count this time. Ziggler applies the sleeper but Ryback counters with a chin breaker. Ryback has had enough of this and builds momentum with a series of power moves. AJ distracts the referee, but Ryback fights off Langston’s interference. The Shell Shock finishes Ziggler at 7:36 (shown). This was an extended squash that made Ziggler look like a loser, but made Ryback look better than he is. I suppose that was the point.
-CM Punk comes to the ring to talk. Punk takes the long winded approach to proclaiming that tonight’s Raw is all about him. Punk puts himself over as God and takes off. Usual good mic work from Punk, but this felt like it was designed to kill time on a 3 hour broadcast.
-Donald Trump will be inducted in the Hall of Fame. Ugh.
The Great Khali vs. Mark Henry
Please, please, oh PLEASE don’t let this feud head to Wrestlemania. Khali looks like he can barely stand, let alone wrestle. Khali pummels Henry into the corner. Chop block to the head sends Henry to the floor. Henry turns things around with something resembling a shove. Back to the ring, the World’s Strongest Slam ends this at 1:22. Good, now never book this match again.
Winner: Mark Henry
-It’s time for Miz TV! Miz’s special guests are Alberto Del Rio, Ricardo Rodriguez, Jack Swagger, and Zeb Colter. I’m curious to see what happens with Swagger in the aftermath of his DUI/marijuana arrest last week. Colter says he wanted to talk face to face to Glenn Beck, but he chickened out. Colter is more than happy to talk directly to Del Rio. Zeb puts himself and Swagger over as real Americans and talks about the illegal immigration problem. Zeb is upset that the 11 million undocumented workers could get amnesty. Del Rio has a hard time getting a word in edge-wise. Colter says it takes 10 years to become a citizen of Mexico and that foreigners are not allowed to own property. Zeb wants to know what’s wrong with “Del Rio’s people.” That is sooooo very racist. Colter accuses Del Rio of being a symbol that encourages millions to sneak into the country. Del Rio loses it when Zeb calls people like him “criminals.” Del Rio says that America belongs to everyone, he is no different than anyone else. Del Rio challenges Colter and Swagger to make him leave. Swagger seems content to wait until Wrestlemania. Looks like Swagger’s Wrestlemania push continues despite his legal troubles. This was a fascinating segment, though I’m worried that Colter might be getting face heat in some of these red state arenas.
-During the commercial, Jack Swagger beat up Miz and screamed “We, the people” over and over.
United States Champion Antonio Cesaro vs. Randy Orton
I swear, this is something like the sixth time these two have wrestled since January. Cesaro scores first with a shoulder block. Orton responds with an overhead suplex. They exchange uppercuts until Cesaro targets the back of the head. Gut-wrench suplex by Cesaro gets 2. More uppercuts from Cesaro but Orton bounces back with a clothesline. Cesaro hangs Orton on the ropes but takes a backbreaker. Orton counters with an RKO in mid-air for the win at 3:00. They made good use of their 3 minutes. Orton desperately needs something to do.
Winner: Randy Orton
-Daniel Bryan tries to patch things up with Kane. Bryan thinks he can beat the Primetime Players by himself, even while blindfolded. Kane thinks he could do the same, but with one arm tied behind his back. Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox show up and hold them to their words and force them to wrestle blind-folded and tied up. Bryan is dumbfounded by this ruling.
-They replay the Wrestlemania 21 “A Few Good Men” parody featuring John Cena and JBL. Why the hell not.
-Sheamus comes to the ring in a suit. Sheamus loves movies but missed the Oscars while driving to Dallas. He saw a recording of the event and pretends to be upset that the Academy snubbed Wade Barrett for his role in WWE Film’s Dead Man Down. This provides another excuse to air the preview during Raw. Sheamus shows a clip from the movie where Barrett is just hanging out in the background. Barrett comes out and claims that Sheamus is envious of him. Sheamus advises Barrett to make sure the paparazzi gets his good side at the premiere, which is impossible due to Barrett’s broken nose. They tease a fight but Barrett dodges the Brogue Kick and retreats. I have no interest in this feud, this is a waste of Sheamus for Wrestlemania.
R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes
Damien Sandow is sitting in on commentary. Truth outmaneuvers Rhodes and shows off with some dancing. The Disaster Kick misses but Cody connects with some shots. Truth reverses with a DDT for the win at 2:23. Well, that was certainly short.
-Damien Sandow attempts an ambush but Truth easily fights him off.
-We’re treated to a Youtube clip featuring Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger. They blame illegal immigrants for causing Swagger’s father to lose his factory job.
Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) vs. The Primetime Players (Titus O’Neil and Darren Young)
Due to pre-match goofiness, Daniel Bryan is blindfolded and Kane has one arm tied behind his back. Bryan orders Kane to the apron and mistakes the referee for his opponent. Titus and Young blow whistles to toy with Bryan. O’Neil finally ambushes Bryan from behind and nails a power slam. The Primetime Players make quick tags to punish Bryan. O’Neil misses an elbow drop when Bryan rolls out. Kane tries to help Bryan up but gets punched in the face in the confusion. Kane manages to tag himself in and plows through Young. A one-armed choke slam finishes Young at 3:32. This was certainly different and was amusing enough. I feel bad for the Primetime Players though.
Winners: Team Hell No
-The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns) come to the ring to talk. Ambrose says they are only going to keep getting worse. They can defeat any super team that might gather against them. Reigns says they are going to keep winning and they will grind down the bones of any non-believer. Okay, then. Rollins lists off their big victories over the past couple of months. Rollins asks if there’s anyone else willing to face them when Sheamus interrupts. Sheamus picks a fight with the entire team, allowing Randy Orton to sneak in and put Rollins down with an RKO. The Shield suffer a rare setback.
Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) vs. The Miz
Miz is all fired up in the early going and quickly dumps Swagger to the floor. Miz leaps off the apron but Swagger counters with a belly to belly suplex. Swagger aggressively pummels Miz in the ring. The Swagger Bomb connects but Miz kicks out. Miz desperately nails a neck breaker. Power slam by Swagger gets a 2 count. Miz delivers a flurry of offense, complete with a double axe handle off the top. Miz gets hung up by the leg on the ropes and Swagger takes advantage. The Patriot Lock finishes Miz at 7:09. It’s starting to look like Del Rio vs. Swagger will still happen. This succeeded in making Swagger look credible.
Winner: Jack Swagger
-Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler are having a Sonic feast at the announce table.
-Josh Mathews interviews John Cena backstage. Cena is all fired up over his chance to prove CM Punk wrong once and for all. He says it’s time for Punk to step up or step aside. I like no-nonsense Cena.
-They show a Tout video of The Undertaker returning over the weekend at a live event. I guess this means we’ll have a Wrestlemania this year.
CM Punk vs. John Cena
Cena’s Wrestlemania title match is on the line here. They lock up and exchange holds and counters. Punk runs into a hip toss and retreats. Commercial time! Back from break, Cena delivers a suplex but Punk turns it around. Punk works over Cena’s neck. Cena counters a head scissors with a back drop. Running bulldog gets a 2 count for Cena. Headlock takedown by Cena but he soon runs into a heel kick. Punk works a chinlock. Cena delivers a running shoulder tackle but misses a second attempt and takes a nasty spill to the floor. Suicide dive by Punk! They take another commercial break. Punk is working an abdominal stretch after the break. Cena looks for his five moves of doom, but Punk counters with the Anaconda Vice. Swinging neck breaker by Punk gets 2! Punk blocks the STF and nails a springboard clothesline. Punk misses a second springboard move and gets caught in the STF! Punk reverses into the Anaconda Vice! Cena reverses into a crossface, but Punk rolls him into a cover. They stumble to their feet and trade shots. Cena connects with a slam but Punk blocks the Five Knuckle Shuffle. The GTS is countered but Punk counters back with a cover. Cena lands another slam and delivers the FKS. The AA and GTS are blocked. Sit-out power bomb by Cena gets a very close near fall. Cena is too slow setting up the flying leg drop and Punk sets up a superplex. Cena head butts Punk off the top and nails the leg drop. Punk kicks out! Cena absorbs some kicks some nails the AA for only 2! Punk drives Cena into the ring post and we might have a count-out. Cena breaks the count but is still down. GTS but Cena kicks out! Cena counters a second GTS and applies the STF. Punk desperately gets a rope break. Punk nails a piledriver out of nowhere! It only gets 2! A frustrated Punk makes rapid fire covers but Cena keeps kicking out. Punk misses the flying elbow and Cena nails a hurricanrana! The AA finishes Punk at 19:51! Absolutely incredible match here, these guys threw everything they have at each other and more, ****½.
Winner: John Cena
-Cena basks in his victory. We’re informed that The Rock has tweeted his congratulations to Cena.
Final Thoughts: This was a rare 3 hour Raw that felt like a good, old-fashioned 2 hour episode. The opening segment with Lesnar and Triple H was excellent, the Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter adventures continues to catch my attention, The Shield’s ongoing war against the main eventers is awesome, and that Punk/Cena match was the best Raw match I can remember in ages. Huge thumbs up to Raw this week!
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