Commentators: Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: The Rock… World Champion: Alberto Del Rio… Intercontinental Champion: Wade Barrett… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No… NXT Champion: Big E Langston… Diva’s Champion: Kaitlyn
Vickie Guerrero is in the back with three Raw Roulette wheels; she spins one for the stipulation for the Antonio Cesaro/Randy Orton upcoming match. It lands on special referee.
A FURIOUS CM Punk marches down to the ring; abusing everyone in his path; he says it is day 435 since he beat the Rock and retained his title. He also feels he’s the People’s Champion. He rants and raves, kicking the bottom rope, and then bitches the fans out for rooting a cheater. He calls Vince McMahon and the Rock cheap swindlers; he declares last night the “Phoenix Screwjob.” This is one intense Punk here as he continues to rant about crashing the People’s Party. Here’s Vince and Punk berates him before he can even get onto the stage. Vince has some video evidence that will incriminate him and Paul Heyman in a conspiracy with the Shield. Vince is going to give Heyman a “performance review” which may result in his termination. 5.5/10 That was quite a fiery promo from Punk there showing more piss and vinegar than 434 days as champion. I like Punk and I do feel that it is unfortunate that he lost the title but I guess the WWE builds WrestleMania on STAR POWER and the Rock is indeed that.
Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro Raw Roulette: special guest referee: The special guest referee is the Miz; Cesaro is not going to approve of this. The match is JIP after commercial with Orton controlling with a vertical suplex for a two. Cesaro blocks a head ram in the corner and pounds away predicating a ref break; Randy reverses a whip into the corner and explodes with a clothesline. Orton hits a backdrop suplex, for two. The battle moves to the floor where Randy back suplexes Cesaro onto the barricade. Back into the ring, Orton hits a European uppercut under the bottom rope. Back in the ring for Randy he stomps him in the ropes and follows up with an under the ropes hangman. Orton was in the ropes an AWFUL long time there; Cesaro and Orton then trade European uppercuts in a “boo/yay” spot. Cesaro wins that battle but gets backdropped over the top to the floor; Randy gives chase and clotheslines him as we head to another break. When we come back, Cesaro has taken over and drags Orton towards the turnbuckles with him; they battle in the corner where Cesaro hits a head-butt and then rams Randy’s face into the ringpost. Back in the ring he gets two. Cesaro applies a cravat. Orton begins to fire up as the fans chant him along but he runs afoul of a Michinoku Driver for two. Cesaro then lands the deadlift gutwrench for two more. He goes to a sleeper hold; Randy elbows his way free and hits clotheslines and the short powerslam. He charges in the corner but meets a knee and Cesaro capitalizes with the second-rope Euro Missile for two. He argues with Miz and gets entangles in the stretch backbreaker; Randy tries the Viper DDT but Cesaro pokes him in the eye drawing the ire of the Miz. Cesaro shoves him away and goes after Orton in the corner. Miz gets physically involved, “that’s not your job, referee.” He pulls Cesaro off of Orton; they argue and this causes Cesaro to take an RKO for three. Post-match, Miz helps Cesaro up and then nails him with a SCF. 4/10 This was just to continue the battle for the US title between Miz and Cesaro; I like it because feuds, especially ones over titles, should be longer. It also gives Orton a win who actually has nothing to do for WrestleMania… yet.
Here is your winner… Randy Orton via RKO pinfall
In the back, Ryback ignores the wheel landing on “Go Make Me Laugh.” He heads out to the ring. After the break; Matt Striker is there with the Primetime Players for the “Make Me Laugh Challenge”; essentially the funniest joke wins. Titus asks Darren what the woman said to Striker when he asked her on a date. “I ain’t got time for that.” They do the Millions of Dollars dance. Ryback has a joke, “what has four eyes, twenty fingers, and is a about to be unconscious? He attacks the Players but he knocks Darren out of the ring and kills O’Neil with a Meat Hook and Shell Shocked. Striker declares Ryback the winner so Ryback nails Striker with Shell Shocked too. 3/10 Ryback is hungry as usual and is in a surly mood today and beats everyone up.
More Bob Backlund highlights are shown celebrating his NCAA accomplishments and winning the title the first time. He cuts a promo and says “WWF” in it. His morality is also mentioned.
Bo Dallas vs. Wade Barrett Raw Roulette: player’s choice: Pre-match, Barrett choses the flash-in-the-pan, NXT rookie, Dallas. The fans obviously do not know who he is; Dallas eliminated Barrett in the Rumble last night. Wade mauls the rookie in the corner but Bo turns it around and hits some armdrags. Dallas looked A LOT smaller in NXT for some reason, he looks bigger here. Dallas with a dropkick. Wade comes back with a savate kick and tosses him into the second buckle; he stomps him in the corner and kicks him in the ropes. So far no mention of his father, Mike Rotunda by the commentators; Barrett winds up and tries the Bull Hammer but Dallas catches him, by surprise, in a powerslam and gets the three? Huge upset. Post-match, Barrett looks SHOCKED! 3/10 This was more about the moment versus the match itself. Dallas never really impressed me in NXT and I think he is still really green, especially to be on the main roster. I figured Bo would win here somehow, I figured some chicanery with a babyface Barrett is feuding with but they went the 1-2-3 Kid route.
Here is your winner… Bo Dallas via powerslam pinfall
Cody Rhodes is in the back with the Superstar Wheel, which lands on John Cena. I guess he’s jobbing… err, facing Cena next.
John Cena vs. Cody Rhodes Raw Roulette: Superstar Wheel: They lock up and Cena tosses him into the ropes and hits a hiplock and dropkick. Rhodes tries to fight back but eats a fisherman’s suplex. He heads to the floor and grabs a mic to complain that “this [match] is a waste of Cody Rhodes” and tries to hightail it out of there. John retrieves him in the aisle and tosses him back in. Cena hits some shoulderblocks and the Proto-bomb; the Five-Knuckle Shuffle follow to the AA complete the squash. 2/10 That was a total destruction of Rhodes as the WWE is “rebuilding” him to face the Rock at ‘Mania.
Here is your winner… John Cena via AA pinfall
After his match John Cena discusses winning the Royal Rumble; he says putting Ryback out was the first step on the Road to WrestleMania. John then discusses the second part, picking the opponent. He says, World title aside, he will pick the WWE title. This will either be CM Punk or the Rock (I guess a rematch is scheduled to happen at Elimination Chamber). Punk has been impossible for Cena to solve and the Rock beat him last year. Everything was perfect with his build to facing the Rock and he lost; he says losing to the Rock destroyed his 2012. Fans chant “Rocky.” He has a tough choice, the World title? Where he has better odds of winning OR the WWE title, where he has “zero percent chance of winning.” He challenges (stare at the WrestleMania sign)… the WWE Champion. Duh. Cena tells Punk and Rock they are a marked man in Cena’s eyes but the Shield comes out. The commentators plead him to leave but the Shield takes him out. They beat him up in the corner and Sheamus comes out to help but he gets mugged as well. Ryback comes out next to help; he manages to toss Rollins and Ambrose to the floor but Reigns gets him from behind. They drag Ryback to the floor and throw him into the steel steps. Sheamus recovers and tries to fight on the floor but gets launched into the post. Cena tries to get at them again but the Shield swarms him again and beat him down. John takes the Shield Bomb. Wow, the Shield just decimated the WWE’s three top babyfaces. 6/10 The promo and decision was a foregone conclusion but the Shield’s actions were intense and they completely wiped out Cena, Sheamus and Ryback. Granted it was three-on-one against all of them but the impact is still there.
In the back, Tensai watches the wheels and it lands on… “Lingerie Pillow Fight.” Tensai is mad because he’s a monster; Brodus Clay is there and Vickie Guerrero says, with Vince McMahon in the building, she’s not putting them in lingerie. She has Clay spin the Vickie Challenge Wheel which selects “Dance Off.” Well that doesn’t favor Brodus?
“Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (w/The Funkadactyls) vs. Tensai Raw Roulette: Dance Off: Now if this segment cannot get Tensai over nothing will. Jerry Lawler emcees it. Tensai is in no mood and tells King to just get this over with. Tensai removes his white robe to reveal LINGERIE! I guess he left before they spun the secondary wheel. Oh, wait Brodus forgot to tell him… “My bad.” Tensai covering up his chest was pretty funny. Clay goes first and does the Clay dance with the Funkadactyls. Tensai goes next and is totally distraught. Lawler tells him “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Tensai says, “Promise?” Tensai does all of the most ridiculous dances this side of Elaine Benes. Ron Simmons happens to be watching on a monitor to provide some colorful remarks. Tensai covers up and leaves. JBL’s “I know that guy” of Ron Simmons is pretty funny. 4/10 It’s a dance contest but they did not give the fans a chance to cheer Tensai for letting loose and trying. They always support the heel there.
Alberto Del Rio spins the wheel and it lands on “Bodyslam Challenge.” His opponent is Big Show… shocking. ADR says in Vegas anything can happen.
Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Big Show Raw Roulette: Bodyslam Challenge: Show is not going to be in pleasant mood here. He swats Ricardo away and attacks Del Rio before the challenge can start. ADR tries to fight back but gets clocked with a WMD. He grabs some duct tape from his tights and kicks poor Ricardo down again He drags ADR over to the ropes and tapes his arm to the ropes; Show abuses Ricardo some more and chops him in the corner. He decimates Ricardo while ADR just comes to and realizes he’s taped to the rope. Show continues to toss Rodriguez about the ringside area. He forces Show to watch him bodyslam Ricardo. He then saunters over to Del Rio and stomps and kicks at him. He tapes him some more and goes back to Ricardo and chops him again. He hits Ricardo with the KO punch and then kicks the defenseless ADR. Show then punches Del Rio’s lights out as well and leaves. 2/10 Boring but served its purpose; Show is mad and destroys everyone.
Here is your winner… No Match
Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka Raw Roulette: Vegas Showgirl’s Lumberjill Match: This was supposed to happen last night but the WWE realized people had to PAY to watch last night. They lock up and Jerry Lawler accidentally says “WWF” but it’s bleeped out. Tamina kicks away and backs Kaitlyn back into the buckles. She hits the Superfly Head-butt and applies a chinlock forever. Snuka kicks her to the floor where Aksana attacks her; Kaitlyn fends her off and steals her headdress and clobbers Tamina with it. She begins a comeback with a shoulderblock and the commentators are not shy about openly ripping this match. Eventually after three minutes of tedium the lumberjills bulrush the ring and there is a DQ somewhere. Actually, Tamina and Kaitlyn stand around and watch the mess. 0.5/10 Even the commentators though this sucked.
Here is your winner… Double DQ
Finally, the Rock has comeback to Vegas! I still cannot believe he’s the champ. Rock has one word to describe the spirit of tonight… “finally.” He says that title is engrained his blood. He won it SEVEN times prior to this but tonight is the proudest moment of his career. He’s thanked the friends and family bur tonight he thanks the People. Rock mentions CM Punk’s derogatory words about the People but those days are no longer. He makes fun of Paul Heyman’s Twinkie tits. Tonight is a new era… the People’s Era. Tonight’s a party and everyone gets pie. Punk, now changed into shorts, and tells everyone to shut up. Punk feels that the Rock is embarrassing him; he says that he did not win the title; it was spoon-fed to him, like everything else in his career. Punk says he is why that title is prestigious. He thinks Rock should surrender the title back to him and APOLOGIZE to Mr. Punk, sir. Rock tells him to come and take the title and calls him a “punk-ass bitch.” Punk heads towards the ring and decides to stay on the stage like a “punk ass bitch” because he does things on his terms. Punk wants to grant Rock HIS rematch in three weeks; I presume that is at Elimination Chamber. Rocky accepts the challenge. 5/10 I think John Cena spilled the beans too soon with this promo later in the night. We got our rematch for the WWE title but Cena/Rock II is already penciled in for ‘Mania so what’s the point of buying the Chamber PPV?
Sheamus vs. Damien Sandow Raw Roulette: Tables Match: Sandow is not pleased about this. Sheamus works the arm and Sandow runs away. Back in the ring, he tries a boot but Sheamus catches it. He pounds a little more but Sandow tries a hiptoss; it’s blocked but Damien cleverly avoids the short-clothesline and slips back to the floor. He thinks about leaving but Shamus comes out after him and tosses him into the steps. Sheamus goes for the table and tries to slam him through it; Sandow slips free and runs through the ring to the other side on the floor. Sheamus comes out after him again and finally hits a dropkick to take over. They fight over a table but Sheamus just throws at him. Back in the ring, Sheamus puts Damien and a table in but Sandow seizes the opportunity to hit a single-arm DDT onto the table. He drops knees onto the injured shoulder (from the Shield attack earlier). Sandow gets a different table under the ring and steamrolls Sheamus with it. He continues the armwork and Pillmanizes it with the table legs and a knee drop. He props the other table in the corner and tries to toss Sheamus into it; it is blocked and Sheamus tosses Sandow over the top but not through the table on the floor. He tries to use the Brogue to knock Sandow off but misses and Sheamus’ legs get entangled in the ropes. They both wind up on the apron near the table; Sandow reenters and charges at Sheamus but is upended with a slingshot Battering Ram. PROBLEM: Sheamus used the bad shoulder to hit the move and damaged himself more than Sandow; he recovers rather quickly and grabs Sandow’s beard and beats the shit out of him in the corner. He tries to toss Sandow into the table in the corner but is countered into a Russian leg sweep and Cubito Aequet. Sandow innovatively uses the side of the table to ram Sheamus into and sets up a third table. He places Sheamus onto it and heads to the top; he takes forever and Sheamus knocks him off into O’Clubbering on the apron. He tries to suplex him back into the ring through the table but Sandow hangs him off the top rope. Sandow slips back in but gets caught in White Noise through the table in the corner to give the Celtic Warrior the win. 6.5/10 Probably one of the better psychologically booked tables matches in a while including Sandow’s arm and shoulder work. The White Noise looked pretty dangerous through a table and devastating too. This could be the best match of the night.
Here is your winner… Sheamus via White Noise through the table
The Great Khali, Natalya Neidhart, Hornswoggle, Zack Ryder and Jerry Lawler are in the ring for “WWE Karaoke.” They have to sing a WWE Entrance theme. Khali goes first and has to sing Shawn Michaels’ Sexy Boy. All Khali can say is “Sexy Boy.” OH THANK GOD 3MB interrupts. Slater asks “are you kidding me?” McIntyre asks, if this is music; Mahal calls this an embarrassment. Ryder gets in his face about it. Slater says they are the real rock stars and tells Drew to prove it. He air guitars at Khali and takes a Head Chop. Everyone else gets into a brawl and Mahal takes a Rough Ryder and Slater a Head Chop into a Tadpole Splash. 2/10 I love the 3MB but even they couldn’t save this. Boy the WWE has sure fumbled the ball with this show.
Chris Jericho comes out in his Light Bright jacket and JBL calls him “Lionheart.” He calls it “Raw is Jericho” and admits he fooled everyone as the surprise entrant in the Rumble. He will never EVER forget it again. Dolph Ziggler and crew interrupt. There is some history here. Dolph cost Jericho his WWE career (at that time). Ziggler rubs it in his face about eliminating him and wonders why he is there since he’s got no career. AJ Lee is all “yeah I booked that.” Jericho gets a zinger and tells him, “Ziggie, can you do me a favor, put a leash on leash on your crazy little doggie before she pee-pees all over the ring?” Big E Langston gets into his face about it. Jericho makes fun of the “E” and asks if it stands for his bra size. Oh, that was hilarious. He continues about the GIANT PECS. Ziggler continues to say that Chris does not work there anymore; Vickie Guerrero appears on the Tron, admits she signed Jericho, and spins the wheel to make a “Strange Bedfellows” match, which means Jericho and Ziggler will team to face Team Hell No…
Team Hell No vs. Chris Jericho & Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E Langston) Raw Roulette: Strange Bedfellows: Kane and Bryan fight all of the way to the ring over Rumble eliminations. Kane and Dolph open and Dolph shows off for Jericho by avoiding an Irish whip and we head to break. We’re back with Ziggler controlling Bryan and NOT tagging in Jericho. Dolph drops a Showoff Elbow and teases Jericho by not tagging. Eventually Dolph wanders too close to Y2J and he tags himself in. Jericho hits a shoulderblock and dropkicks Kane off the apron; he misses a Lionsault but lands on his feet and tries for the Walls of Jericho. Bryan powers free and hits a leg lariat. Kane gets a tag but Jericho tosses Bryan into Kane triggering an argument. Meanwhile, Ziggler blind tags himself in so Jericho slaps Kane on the back of the head, pissing him off more, and leaves Dolph to face his wrath. Kane chokeslams him and pins him. 3.5/10 The match was nothing much but continues the six month running feud between Jericho and Ziggler. Team Hell No seems to have regained their quarrelsome ways again too. Perhaps the final split will happen soon?
Here are your winners… Team Hell No via chokeslam pinfall
The new inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame is… Trish Stratus. Lots of footage of her winning the Women’s title and looking hot are shown.
Vince McMahon is in the ring for Paul Heyman’s performance review. Paul offers a handshake but Vince asks him if he has either the Shield or Brad Maddox under contract. Heyman says “no.” Vince asks him if he has ever lied. Paul quotes Vince’s father and says he lies every day of his life because he’s a [wrestling] promoter. He continues to say he had lied to God and even on the souls of his parents… BUT he is not lying here. Vince asks for a close-up on Paul and asks the fans if he is honorable and honest. Vince SHOWS THE FOOTAGE… it is of him and Maddox talking in the basement. Heyman tells the camera man to shut off; he doesn’t and he catches Heyman admitting that they paid Maddox to help Punk keep the title and paid the Shield as well. The Shield shows up and Heyman leaves Maddox there to get his ass kicked by the Shield. Okay NOW Heyman is in deep shit. Fans chant “you got busted.” Heyman says that was not him and feels that it was a Paul impersonator on the screen and feels he’s being set up for his success with ECW and CM Punk. Heyman says that was NOT Paul Heyman. Vince asks… is he lying? Was that Paul Heyman? Does this make sense? Vince is about to fire Heyman but Brock Lesnar shows up to save his manager. He puts Paul in the corner and gets RIGHT IN VINCE’S FACE. Vince tells him not to do something that he will regret in the future. Paul keeps trying to intervene and get Lesnar out of the ring… but he does not listen and gives Vince the F-5. Paul tells him to stop so he and Lesnar leave Vince in the ring out cold. 2.5/10 All of that to bring Brock back in time for WrestleMania. It was the perfect cap for a pretty crummy effort this week.
OVERALL 3/10 This show was a whole lot of nothing much; the matches were crappy and the obvious ‘Mania rematch was set (well sort of since we have a little detour at Elimination Chamber). Bo Dallas’ win over Barrett was a pretty decent moment. The reveal that Punk and Heyman were behind the Shield and Maddox the entire time was supposed to be huge but it felt more like a “we knew that already.” Brock’s appearance popped the crowd but attacking Vince is SO 1999. Not as good way to kick off the Road to WrestleMania.