Stephanie starts out Raw. Shocking, I know. Says Daniel Bryan won’t be here tonight. What they did last week was extreme, but they to do it to prove insubordination would not be accepted. Their decisions won’t always be popular, but they had to do it. The WWE Universe needs someone to guide them, and someone as smart and intelligent as her needs to be the one who leads. She wasn’t given this power, she was born into it. She says Bryan learned who she and Triple H really are. Says that Triple H will be the new World Heavyweight Champion after beating Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania.
This brings out Orton. He says that if Triple H beats Daniel Bryan (Stephanie corrects him to “when”) he’ll have no other choice but to beat up both Batista and Triple H at Wrestlemania and asks her not to let her husband in the triple threat match. This brings out Batista. Batista says he’s tired of the squabbling. He’s going to be the next World Heavyweight champion. He doesn’t care who is in the match, he’s going to be the champion- DEAL WITH IT. After fixing his mic, he says he respects Hunter but is tired of Orton drooling over and sucking up to Stephanie. Says that Stephanie has been drooled over by a lot of guys. Stephanie slaps Batista and leaves. Orton laughs, then gets speared by Batista as he holds up both the titles. So I guess Batista is the tweener here. Maybe? I don’t really know.
Michael Cole thanked us for making Raw the #1 cable television program last week. Hey, did you know they’re shopping for a new network to go to this fall?
Alberto del Rio vs. Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Christian: A fatal four-way match with the winner getting a shot at the Intercontinental title. At least I think that’s what they said. Big E is seen sitting at ringside. Lots of action here early on. People are brawling all over the place. Sheamus clotheslines Christian over the barricade to lead us into commercial. Back from commercial Sheamus gives del Rio the rolling senton. Christian files off with a crossbody on Ziggler. Sheamus comes back with some offense and lays out Christian and del Rio. Sheamus goes on top, but Ziggler grabs him and flies off with a top rope facebuster.
Ziggler does the fast punches in the corner when gives Christian a neckbreaker. Christian with a sitout powerbomb, but del Rio hits a superkick, allowing Sheamus to grab him and put him in the cloverleaf. del Rio counters with an armbar, but Sheamus lifts him up for a one armed powerbomb…but Ziggler hits him with a zig zag! Christian is up, however, and hits Ziggler with the killswitch for the pinfall and the right to face Big E tommorow for the IC title on Main Event. Good match with lots of action.
Bray Wyatt promo. Asks John if he sees who Bray Wyatt really is. He can see him. Asks him what he can do to harm somebody. Harper says he can hear him whispering, and they will come and find him. These promos are kind of wandering into Warrior territory if you ask me. Wyatt’s delivery is great, but there’s too much verbiage and metaphorical stuff to make it really effective.
Promo for the Scooby Doo movie. I’ll tell you this much, Miz is buried in this movie too so it seems he’s pretty much buried in all WWE media.
The Mystery Machine arrives! Sin Cara arrives with Scooby Doo as they arrive for a match.
Sin Cara vs. Damien Sandow: Sin Cara beats him in like a minute then celebrates with Scooby after. I know they’re so stressed for time in this three hour plus program, but geez are these minute squashes so detrimental to people’s careers.
Recap of Smackdown involving the Shield getting beaten up by Kane and the New Age Outlaws.
Los Matadores vs. Rybaxel: Match goes about thirty seconds only for the Shield arrive. Axel gets distracted and promptly gets rolled up for the three count. LOL, geek. The Shield circle Rybaxel around, then lay them both out with Ryback getting the triple powerbomb.
Triple H arrives for his sit down interview with Michael Cole. JBL says he’s the greatest CEO in the history of WWE. Hmm. They show what Triple H did last week on Raw. Cole asks how can he justify what he did last week. Daniel Bryan and the crowd made it very clear what they wanted last week. Asks Cole if he’s ever felt defenseless by doing what he didn’t want to do. Talks about the Occupy Raw angle from a few weeks ago. Daniel Bryan put people at harm that night, but all Cole did was say what a memorable moment it was. Why was his act incorrigible while Bryan’s was fine?
Cole says that what he did was an act of thug like aggression. They made him the competitor instead of the CEO, and now they go exactly what they deserved. What happened to this world since he stopped competing? He sees soft, apathetic little people with no power. They cry about it when they don’t get what they want. Send out a tweet about it if he’s mad. The world has changed and he can’t take it anymore. Says that tonight is the start of the reality era because reality is at Wrestlemania, it doesn’t matter if he has to get through the person with the untapped potential or living through their past glory because he has the power to make things happen, and he will leave Wrestlemania as the World Heavyweight champion.
Cody Rhodes vs. Fandango: Commentators immediately started talking about how Summer Rae was a stooge on Total Divas. Hey, you know what, if Cameron was being totally bitchy about my friend’s success by digging up old photos and spreading them around the locker room, I’d do the same thing. OH right, the match. Goldust and Summer Rae then interact with each other on the outside leading to a dance contest of some sort. This distracts Fandango, which allows Cody to hit the disaster kick and score the victory.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new movie is shown, called Sabotage. DEA agents, kidnapped children, drug cartels, yawn.
Hulk Hogan comes out to a huge ovation. Says you know something brothers, he doesn’t want to get nostalgic, but Wrestlemania is in two weeks and he remembers the time he tagged up with Mr. T at the first Wrestlemania, dude. He brings out some guy and Arnold Swarchenegger. That guy, named Joe, says it’s great to be here. Arnold says it was great to induct Bruno Sammartino last year. Says its also great to be here with the Hulkster and puts him over. Joe says it’s great to be here guest hosting Raw and puts over Brooklyn. Arnold asks Hogan about the Andre the Giant battle royal and wonders if there’s room for two more. Hogan starts to respond when THE MIZ comes out.
Miz asks if the people really want Joe and Arnold to be in the battle royal. They enthusiastically say yes. Miz says they’re just tough guy actors while he really is a tough guy but just does acting on the side. LOLOLOLOLOL. He says he will win the battle royal. Hogan says he needs a reality check, they’re in Hogan country jack. Miz says none of the three belong here. Joe says if he wants them to leave, do something about it. Tough Guy Miz tries to punch Joe, but instead gets kicked in the but by him, slapped by Arnold and gets thrown out of the ring by Hogan.
Titus O’Neil vs. Big Show: They show a graphic featuring all the people who will be in the battle royal, including people who haven’t been on Raw for weeks like Rey Mysterio. Geez has he fallen off the radar since his return. Titus does some offense, Big Show fights back and hits the punch for the pinfall. Nothing of note. Cole points out Big Show seems to be the favorite in the battle royal.
Stephanie and Triple H are backstage when the Shield arrive. They want to know what the deal is with Kane and the Outlaws since they’re connected with the Authority. Triple H and Stephanie says it’s an issue between them, Kane and the Outlaws. Stephanie suggests facing off against the Real Americans later tonight. They seem fine with that as they leave, with Triple H giving them a staredown.
John Cena is shown washing his face when he sees a goat mask protruding from the door. He turns around, but nothing is there. I immediately thought of the Hogan/Warrior backstage stuff from years ago for some reason watching this. Apparently the Wyatts are getting to Cena psychologically.
John Cena vs. Luke Harper: Harper in control early. Crowd clearly cheering for Harper, which isn’t nice. I think they actually chanted “Luke can wrestle”. Cena tries to mount a comeback after commercial and tries to go for an FU but actually hits a superkick for a nearfall. Roaring elbow attempt but Cena cuts him off. Five knuckle shuffle but Harper kicks him and plants him with a Michinoku driver. Harper goes for a powerbomb but Cena hurricanranas him but Harper gets up and throws him out, only to follow with a suicide dive to the outside.
Harper gets him back in the ring, but Cena traps him into an STF only for Harper to power out and hit a DDT. Harper with a superplex attempt but Cena powers out and hits a legdrop off the top rope. He hits the shuffle and goes an AA but Harper slams him face first on the mat with a reverse uranage…I think. Harper motions for something, but Cena charges and takes him down with a clothesline. Cena goes for the AA again, but the lights go out and Cena ends up being tied to the ropes wearing a goat mask. Wyatt poses as the concerned crowd chant “this is awesome”. So I guess this winds up being a no contest or something. Good match while it lasted.
Naomi vs. AJ. Tamina is there with AJ still even though they kind of broke up last week? Am I supposed to forget that already? They instead pushed that AJ made some comments about Vickie on Smackdown. Went about 10 seconds before AJ bailed for a count out. Excellent finish.
Vickie comes out and runs down AJ. They bring up all these old storylines no one remembers including firing her as Raw GM and stealing her boyfriend Dolph Ziggler. Vickie straight up calls her a bitch, which wasn’t very nice. Says that she will defend her title in a Diva Invitational, whatever that is. She brings out every woman on the roster including Rosa Mendes, who the announcers were even shocked was still employed. She will defend her title against all of these divas including Tamina, so there you go. Tamina smiled as Vickie laughs, with AJ grabbing her belt, very nervous about what is to come.
Razor Ramon is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Not Scott Hall, mang- The Bad Guy, chico.
Randy Orton vs. Batista next week. So hyped for that one.
The Shield vs. The Real Americans in a “we were all supposed to be split up two weeks ago but now who the hell knows” super match: Wild brawl on the outside to start. Shield end up isolating Swagger and start working over him. Cesaro gets back in and cleans house and Ambrose as he tags back in Swagger, then Swagger tags back in Cesaro as he goes for the giant swing. He does 20 reps before Reigns breaks it up. Cesaro tags in Swagger and they throw Ambrose into the barricade as we go into commercial.
Back from it, Cesaro locks in a sleeper but Ambrose powers out into a rollup. Ambrose mounts a comeback then tags in Rollins who does an awesome comeback, including a suicide dive to Cesaro followed by a senton on the opposite side of the ring. Swagger powers through and tries an ankle lock, but Rollins counters and hits a curb stomp for the pinfall. Another good match.
After the match, The Shield destroy the Real Americans, putting Cesaro through a table. Did it really need to be Cesaro? Kane and the Outlaws then arrive in suits. Kane says that they will be facing each other at Wrestlemania, and they will be annihilated- believe that.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman arrive to the ring. Spends about five minutes going through what he’s been saying for weeks now, that Brock Lesnar will end the streak at Wrestlemania. As if he agrees that Heyman was saying a whole lot of nothing, Lesnar suddenly grabs the microphone and says he’s here, Undertaker’s here, let’s do this. The druids then arrive with a casket. Lesnar cautiously opens the casket, but nothing is there. Lesnar asks if this is some kind of joke as he chases the druids away. Lesnar says he’s leaving. Heyman says thats the kind of game Undertaker wants to play, he and Lesnar have to be here in a slum like Brooklyn while the Undertaker only sends an empty casket. Suddenly, however, the casket opens, and Undertaker arrives! He enters the ring as he and Lesnar go at it, with Undertaker eventually throwing Lesnar out of the ring and to the floor as he poses, with Lesnar looking on all angry to close the show.
This was a good show. More matches for Wrestlemania were set, there were some solid bouts, and there was actually a lot of talking this week as opposed to previous weeks, which worked for me as it set up Wrestlemania. The ending segment seemed very generic, though- I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the empty casket thing before and it didn’t feel that interesting hearing Paul Heyman come out and cut the same promo he’s been cutting for weeks. But in the end, it’s all about the match, and we’ll see what happens with that at Wrestlemania.