New York, NY - It was a big night for Monday Night Raw as WWE came through the TV screen from Dallas, Texas. A ton of announcements and lessons were learned on this night, with the main impact of the night made by WWE Champion The Miz.
There were also a ton more pieces to the WrestleMania puzzle handed out tonight, as well as the members of the WWE Creative setting the stage for next Monday night. With all of that in mind, let us get underway this edition of the Raw Recap.
Raw would begin with ‘The Phenom’ known as Undertaker coming out to speak on his bout with Triple H at Mania. Taker would cut a very good promo saying how many (including me) feel that this is the year that the streak is snapped. Hunter does have the resume to snap the streak, but so did the last combatant to try to snap the streak.
To prove his point Undertaker would show footage of him dominating Hunter’s best friend Shawn Michaels, who was the last superstar to challenge the Deadman. The Icon would go on to announce that the bout between he and Hunter at Mania will be a no holds barred stipulation, and that there would be no regrets and no excuses at the Granddaddy of them all. One of two things will happen at this year’s pay-per-view: first is that Taker and his legendary streak will die or second is that Hunter will learn what it is like to Rest in Peace.
WWE creative making the bout a no disqualification now opens the door to many possible endings. There was the one that I predicted with HBK coming out and super kick Taker to help his best friend snap the streak. Or we could always have the swerve where Michaels would kick his best friend to keep the streak alive. With this being the year that HBK goes into the Hall of Fame you know that Michaels will get involved somehow in this bout.
The Flagship brand would continue the show with a backstage segment, as we find the ‘New’ Nexus beating up on ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. The Black and Yellow’s leader C.M. Punk would come in and vow to put Orton in a place much worse than the injured reserve list.
After a brutal beat down Orton would be dragged by the members of the Nexus to the ring so that the bout between the face and ‘A-List’ David Otunga would start. Somehow the Viper was able to strike with an RKO to Otunga to ban the second member of the Black and Yellow at the big bout between Orton and Punk at Mania.
Orton also was able to punt Otunga with authority before young lion Mason Ryan came in to try to beat down the ‘Legend Killer.’ Orton was able to pull out another RKO on the David Batista look-a-like, before eventually driving the leader of the Nexus back to the locker room.
It should be interesting to see how things develop between Orton and Punk in the days leading up to Mania, and how they will build up tension between these two stars. Will Orton be able to ban the black and yellow from ring side, and will he be able to defeat the ‘Straight edge savior” stay tuned.
The night would continue with ‘Captain Charisma’ Christian coming out to the ring. It would seem as if he would finally get his hands on WWE’s hottest heel Alberto Del Rio, instead in normal heel fashion the ‘Mexican Aristocrat would have other plans.
Del Rio would say to Christian that if he really wanted a bout between the two to happen, a victory over NXT rookie Brodus Clay would have to happen first. Thankfully the veteran was able to defeat the huge superstar known as Clay to set the stage for a Del Rio/Christian bout down the line.
The hottest heel in the WWE would not let things stand with a face celebration though, as Del Rio would apply the cross arm breaker move, while taunting his future foe. Hopefully a good showing against Del Rio will be just the push that Christian needed to take his career to the next level. If not than Christian might as well go back to TNA where he was at least a heavyweight champion, as well as someone that helped to carry that company.
Two video recaps would give the fans a break in the action, as we got to see yet again the response from The Rock to John Cena’s rap. If WWE creative keeps stuffing this idea of Rock/Cena down fans throats no one will care when the two will finally confront each other.
Members of the WWE Universe also got to see a video promo of new WWE superstar Sin Cara, whose arrival to the company still to be announced. It should be interesting to see how the newest member to the roster will fare in the company. Sadly there hasn’t been much of a push for the high flying guys, and that is something that may hinder the Mexican luchador.
The newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame was announce on this night as Sunny joins a class of; Shawn Michaels, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, and ‘Bullet’ Bob Armstrong. The segment was a perfect way to get the fans in the mood for a bit of Divas action as the Champ took on the Bella Twins.
Champion Eve would eventually pick up a victory over the Bellas, but sadly it was a quick bout and one that was interrupted by heel announcer Michael Cole. The ‘May I have your attention please’ broadcaster would finally reveal who his special guest referee would be at Mania.
This person would be none other than John Bradshaw Layfield, who would come out and cut an awesome heel promo saying how proud he was of Cole. JBL would continue to say that Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler is nothing but a bully, and that he is proud of Cole for standing up for himself. Supposedly JBL will be unbiased at the bout at Mania, but before anything else can happen we would have a stunning return.
Cue in the sound of breaking glass as the crowd would blow the roof off with the arrival of Stone Cold Steve Austin. ‘The Rattlesnake’ would come out and stun JBL before celebrating with some beer; he would look at the contract for the Cole/Lawler bout at Mania and would have one question.
“If you want me to sign this contract and be the special guest referee at WrestleMania, then give me a Hell Yeah,” after a very enthusiastic ‘Hell yeah” from the crowd Steve would sign the contract. In what was the most classic ‘spoilt brat’ moments in WWE Michael Cole would start crying and asking why on the air for the entire world to hear.
Stone Cold wouldn’t care why as he would proceed to ruin Cole’s moment by pouring beer all over the heel announcer. Austin will now even the odds a little for Lawler at the Mania bout between the announcers-and that’s the bottom line 'cause Stone Cold said so.
For one I am glad to see Stone Cold back in the WWE brand, it is feeling like old times again with all of these great superstars coming back. So far the members of the WWE Creative throwing out all sorts of things to get people interested in this year’s Mania.
The WWE really needs to do this and more to bring fans back to the fold, due to the fact that the last couple of years really disappointing the many-many fans of the WWE. Speaking of disappointing we would continue to find the video recap of what The Rock had to say in response to John Cena’s rap .
Raw would continue with a good backstage segment between Cole and mentor Jack Swagger to set up a possible short feud between the All-American-American and Stone Cold. For once Swagger cut a short intense promo (Like I requested) and said to Cole that the heel announcer should just concentrate on his rival in Lawler. Swagger will deal with Austin by breaking his ankle like a twig somewhere down the line.
If the young lion can eventually do that it would be a huge boost in his career, for sure these short promos combined with Cole giving him heel heat will allow for Swagger to get back on top very soon.
Daniel Bryan def. Sheamus: The Submission specialist was able to pick up the count out victory for against the ‘King’ who has been on a mighty losing streak as of late. After the bout the Celtic born Sheamus issued a challenge for the U.S. Championship for next week, and if Sheamus should lose he will quit.
Expect for the ‘King’ to return to his winning ways next week as Sheamus is too bright of a star to walk away from the company right now. This will also set up a feud between him and Bryan to start to bud. Hopefully a well build feud will be the thing both these superstars need to help them with their future in the company.
C.M. Punk def. R-Truth: Punk was able to pick up a submission victory using his anaconda vice move over the rapping superstar. This would help do several things for Punk, first it would show was a dangerous heel Punk is right now while also picking up heel heat before Mania. Not only that but it also gave heat to young lion Mason Ryan who had to display his amazing strength before we move on to the next segment.
That segment would be another video one as HBK would give even more thoughts on his friendship with Hunter, and give us even more reason to think that Triple H will beat the streak at Mania. The main thing that Hunter will be able to do is take the emotion out of the equation at the biggest pay-per-view of the year.
Hunter truly has no remorse and enjoys dishing out pain to his opponents; HBK believes that it will be those two things that will allow Hunter to break the streak at Mania. As was stated before, with this being the HOF year for HBK, anything can happen with the bout between Taker and Hunter.
Raw would get back to the action as the returning Vickie Guerrero would introduce Dolph Ziggler, who is now a part of the Raw roster. The young lion would pick up a victory over WWE’s resident Spider-Man John Morrison.
Hopefully this will be the start of a feud between these two as this match didn’t really live up to the expectations that many members of the WWE Universe had. This is only the beginning of big things for Ziggler, who was competition for the heavyweight strap over on SmackDown.
Just when Guerrero and Ziggler were celebrating their victory a huge announcement was made by the anonymous Raw General Manager. Even though Ziggler is now a part of the Flagship brand didn’t mean his ‘business partner/former ex-girlfriend’ Guerrero was.
Guerrero would have her shot at the Raw roster next week though in one of the biggest matches of her career, as the heel has to face one of the greatest women’s wrestlers of all time in Trish Stratus. Expect for the ‘Excuse Me’ Mistress to have something up her sleeve to pick up the victory, as Guerrero has too much heel heat to not be on Raw.
The Flagship brand would cut to commercial which would promote another WWE movie that couldn’t make it in theatres known as ‘The Chaperone.” You would think WWE would learn that fans want to see the superstars wrestle, not in movies.
Finally after much promotion John Cena would come out and respond to The Rock. Cena would be greeted by a crowd filled with mixed emotions, but would have many interesting points in his ‘Hip Hop’ response to ‘The Great One.’
One good point is that if The Rock really wants to show the people that he loves and cares about him, he needs to start doing more house shows. Yes it may interfere with the schedule but the people are not going to buy what Dwayne Johnson is selling via satellite forever.
Fans do know that it is a matter of time before The Great One does start to show up more and confront the young lion Cena face-to-face. Just when you though this storyline was going to be all about the Rock and John Cena cue in The Miz.
The ‘Awesome One’ would attack Cena behind with the WWE Championship and make the biggest impact of the night after a self imposed ban. The Miz would say how everyone is disrespecting the WWE Champion and wanted John Cena to take note of something.
While Cena/Rock continues this verbal war, it is a perfect opening for The Miz to take advantage over his rival. Just to show what a heel he is The Miz would break out into a rap of his own saying several superstars are nothing in comparison to him.
The Miz would also make his presence felt in the verbal war with the Rock/Cena, calling out The Great One. Continuing a very well cut promo saying that he will take everything the Rock has roll it up and stick it straight up his you-know-what.
Before finishing up his catchphrase The Awesome one took the war with the Rock to a different level, pulling out his best impression of ‘The People’s Elbow’-which maybe called the ‘Awesome-Elbow’ after this night. Raw would end with the WWE Champion making the biggest statement of the night hovering over Cena’s body while celebrating with the strap.
Stay tuned because you know that the WWE will have a ton more surprises along with more puzzle pieces to the picture known as WrestleMania, as we continue to count-it-down to the biggest pay-per-view of the year.