- Last week on WWE Main Event, The Shield made short work of the thrown together team of Kofi Kingston and Tons of Funk, Jack Swagger squashed Yoshi Tatsu (yes, he's still employed by WWE), and Big E. Langston REALLY squashed Zack Ryder. Maybe he'll go on Twitter and keep bitching about how poorly used he is, or, you know, ask for a release and work somewhere that will "appreciate his talents." If you missed Monday Night Raw, we have a new United States Champion in the form of Kofi Kingston, who after 3-months of jobbing, went over Antonio Cesaro, who has been and continues to be jobbing to anything with two legs (please hire Zack Gowen for one-night so I can make it a one-legged joke).
- Taped from the Unniversity of Tennessee, on April 16th, 2013, with Michael Cole and JBL calling the action, unless otherwise noted.
We come back from commercial break with Khali slapping people some more. Barrett watches backstage as everyone gangs up on Khali, but he hangs on to the delight of canned cheers (hopefully canned cheers). The attack on Khali continues, and he's finally thrown out at 5:52. Thank you! Riley dropkicks the other Uso out at 6:34. McIntyre tosses Riley to the apron, and Primo knocks him off at 7:11. Final Four: Santino, Gabriel, Primo, and McIntyre. Santino gets knocked out and Gabriel gets double teamed. Santino offers the goofy comeback and whips out the Cobra. He knocks Primo through the ropes, then gets tossed by McIntyre at 8:27. Dammit McIntyre, stop trying to not be a joke! Gabriel survives elimination and head scissors McIntyre out at 9:08. Primo tries a sneak attack, but Gabriel tosses him for the victory at 9:18 (eliminations post-commercial break have altered times). It's a Battle Royal, you know what you're getting into. Gabriel cuts a post-match promo, and gets to face Barrett later in the broadcast.
- If you forgot, Dolph Ziggler FINALLY cashed in his Money In The Bank Briefcase and defeated Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship. Del Rio wants the belt back, but Jack Swagger still wants the belt, too, so we're building up to a Three-Way Match at Extreme Rules. Because the world DEMANDS more Jack Swagger in the Main Event.
- Last Monday on Raw, CM Punk cuts a promo about WrestleMania and his match with the Undertaker, then quietly walks away... don't expect Punk back on television any time soon. He deserves the time off to heal his nagging injuries and show everyone why he deserves to be on top of the promotion, and not some loose-working baby-kissing burnout that hasn't changed his gimmick in a decade.
- Last Monday, Brock Lesnar wiped the floor with all three members of 3MB, and wants Triple H in a Cage Match at Extreme Rules. It's Part Three to a match we didn't even want a Part Two to. Triple H: Never willing to admit people don't give that much of a shit about him anymore. I guess that WrestleMania buyrate is only on the shoulders of Cena/Rock, right?
- Matt Striker Interviews Wade Barrett, and the match is coming up, NEXT!
We come back with Gabriel escaping a chinlock, only to take a hard kick to the gut to put him back down. Barrett with a pumphandle slam for two. He slams Gabriel across the top turnbuckle and clubs him across the back. Snap suplex into a cover for another two count. Gabriel fights free of another chinlock, only to take a series of knees to the midsection. Barrett with a running boot, knocking Gabriel to the floor. Back inside, the short-arm clothesline gets two. Barrett slaps on a Surfboard, but that doesn't last long. Gabriel with a drop toe hold into the corner. He follows in with a splash, followed by a jumping heel kick. A spinning heel kick misses, and Barrett launches him into the air in response. He goes for the Wasteland, but Gabriel fights free and springs off the top rope with a body press for two. He goes to the top rope, but there's nobody home, and Barrett plants him with a twisting sidewalk slam for two. Gabriel counters a pumphandle slam with a reverse DDT, then comes off the ropes with a Lionsault for two. He goes for the 450 splash again, but this time Barrett rolls to the apron. He rakes Gabriel's eyes, lays him out with the Bull Hammer, and it's over just like that at 10:36 (minus one commercial break). Pretty good match, probably their best I've seen so far. It's a shame they won't do anything to make Gabriel a regular contender, nor will they give Barrett wins over established names without it being a huge fluke.
- Raw Rebound: John Cena vs. Ryback! You know you wanted it! Too bad Ryback hasn't won on Pay-Per-View since last Spring, and that was against Epico. Long-term booking: Not WWE's strongest attribute.
Final Thoughts: I'm not the biggest fan of the "Battle Royal winner gets a title shot later in the show" booking, especially when the field is the JTTS Crew, but the Championship Match it produced was well worth watching, even if I've seen them work together enough times to know their typical spots. All the recaps in-between catches us up on Raw, and to be honest, without CM Punk around, I have no interest in Raw, unless it's for channel surfing mode. I'm getting off topic, so I'll sum it up with a thumbs up for this week.