RAW Recap: 2/4/13

michael dworkis feels a bit raw…

 

The official announcement will be made on WWE Monday Night Raw, but we all know the news by now. Bruno Sammartino will be inducted into the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame. Amazing. Incredible. Awesome. As a longtime fan of wrestling, this has been a long time coming. There is a history, and a reason why this did not happen sooner, but more on that in a feature tomorrow.

The other big story, is that Vince McMahon underwent hip-surgery today. If this is true and real, that Vince really did break his hip doing the F5 stunt with Brock, I would think he might want to reconsider his future in getting physical. What was Vince thinking? Taking an F5 from Brock Lesnar? The guy does not know his own strength anymore? I wonder what Brock must feel, knowing he nearly killed Vince McMahon. He might have pooped himself. I think the entire creative team might have gone into hiding if this was their concoction. Chances are, it was Vince and Vince himself who decided “Hey, I want to get beat up by Brock Lesnar because I still own this company and I am invincible!” Oh Vince, age does catch up with you eventually.

 

We start off with CM Punk dragging Justin Roberts into the ring to announce that CM Punk is the “People’s Champ.” Funny. Punk goes on about the respect he has for the WWE Championship, and how the people disrespect the WWE by disrespecting the legacy of the title. Wow, if he was not a heel people would be in agreement. Shame that the truth is masked by heel-antics like ripping up signs and bashing the hometown crowd. He walks around the arena, stopping by various WWE employ… I mean, “fans” to address his plight. In any event, Punk gives yet another top-notch promo, only to get interrupted by Booker T who does not surprise anyone when he flubs his line repeatedly, prompting Punk to ask if he is drunk. Tonight, the WWE Universe votes for his opponent. The choices are Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, and Chris Jericho.

Randy Orton, backstage, urges fans to download the WWE App and vote for him.

Ryback defeats Antonio Cesaro in a “title-free” match.
They have had a number of matches on WWE Main Event, most of which went to a stalemate. Instead, this week we got a solid back-and-forth match, with Cesaro really taking the offensive, even dominating the match for a few minutes. After a near count-out victory for the United States Champion, he lets his guard down, allowing Ryback to counter a big boot into a powerbomb. Meathook followed by the Shell Shock, and Ryback wins again.

 

Seriously, what is this title-free bull? It is called a non-title match. NON-TITLE. Do not try to change things, it is called non-title and that is the way it will stay.

Jack Swagger defeated Santino by Submission
Yeah, short match, but gets the point across this is a new, no-nonsense Jack Swagger. He viciously defeats Santino, and then demands from Booker T to be put into the one and only Elimination Chamber match.

 

Yes, as of now, at the upcoming Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View there is ONE chamber match, and it is to determine the number one contendership for the World Championship at WrestleMania. Yeah.

Backstage, Chris Jericho makes his pitch for fans to vote for him, and of course, download the app! WWE is really pushing their App right now. Geezuz.

Cole informs us that the App program got overloaded and shut down. So fans can now vote on WWE.com

Alberto del Rio defeats Cody Rhodes
Another short match. We learn that Team Rhodes Scholars is done. Rhodes and Sandow have respectfully agreed to part ways to pursue individual single’s competition. Del Rio dispatches Rhodes quickly with the cross-arm breaker. Post match Alberto goes into an uber-babyface promo, but is interrupted by Big Show, via satellite from an unknown hotel location. He taunts Del Rio, saying he plans on getting a rematch at Elimination Chamber and taking back his World Title.

 

Jerry Lawler, flubbing his lines too, announces the results of the WWE fan vote, Chris Jericho wins by a landslide! Yay!

Backstage Team Hell No bicker again, as a result of their loss to Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara on SmackDown. Bryan demands that Kane remain backstage during his upcoming match, no matter what.

Daniel Bryan beats Rey Mysterio Jr. by Submission
Rey got fat. He wears some gut-covering spandex to cover that flab up. Lord. Sort-of a fast paced match. Bryan hit some nice counters and ultimately made Rey tap out. As Bryan began to celebrate, the music of Mark Henry hits!! The World’s Strongest Man mauls Bryan, and then destroys both Rey and Sin Cara. Hooray! I was wondering when he was coming back!

 

Backstage: Bryan asks why Kane did not help him. They bicker some more until Kane tells Bryan that his harsh tone and words have hurt him. Bryan is confused, and asks, “really?” Kane of course, yells HELL NO and walks away smiling.

Another recap of Brock mauling Vince.

Big Show gets room service at his hotel. The busboy wants a tip, and Big Show gives him one, “go get a better job.”

Sheamus defeated Kane
Sigh, Bryan interfered, allowing Sheamus to blast Kane with the Brough Kick. Seriously? Can we get a decent match tonight?

 

We learn that Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, and Daniel Bryan will be in the Elimination Chamber match. It is after 10pm, and we got some matches, but pretty mediocre overall. Ryback/Cesaro was great, and Bryan/Mysterio was decent, but should have been better. I feel like that is a common theme, because Del Rio and Cody Rhodes could have had a great match, but with all the promos and Apps and Brock Lesnar recaps, they just were not allotted enough time.

Miz TV Segment
Miz begins to talk about Brock, but is interrupted by his guest, Paul Heyman. He first offers his best wishes to Vince McMahon, and then says he has nothing to do with what happened to Vince. He then rants about how Punk got screwed and how there is no connection between him and The Shield or Brad Maddox. Miz and Heyman start yelling, but Vickie Guerrero interrupts, saying it was she who was behind the return of Lesnar. She laments what Brock did to Vince. Heyman and Vickie decide to share a moment of prayer for Vince McMahon. Miz calls bull, and Miz calls them out as bottom-feeders. Miz continues to verbally destroy the duo, until Brock Lesnar makes his appearance. Miz strikes first, but inevitably he eats the mat courtesy of the F-5. Lesnar tosses furniture everywhere. Heyman jumps in front of the downed Miz before Lesnar does more damage, begging the former UFC Champion not to cause any more destruction. Overall the segment was not great, but ended on an exciting note. When was the last time you saw a couch fly?

 

Randy Orton pinned Wade Barrett
Stop calling him a predator. Maybe he will throw a boreslam, or a snoozeplex. Orton did his usual shtick, while Barrett tried valiantly to carry the match. Right now, the gimmick is that Barrett had his confidence shaken by his recent defeat thanks to NXT Rookie, Bo Dallas. Orton pins the mentally distracted Barrett after a lame RKO. I give thanks to my daughter who woke up crying and needed my attention, thus saving me from witnessing another sleeper-fest from Randy Boreton.

 

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
This was easily match of the night. This match was PPV material and again proves who truly is the best in the world. Jericho took an early lead but his equal, Punk capitalized and took over control. Jericho scored a lionsault but only a two count. The two superstars traded submission attempts, Jericho with his Walls and Punk did successfully lock in the Anaconda Vice, however Jericho did make it to the ropes. Another Walls attempe, successful, but then Punk too would reach the ropes to force the hold off. Punk counters Jericho and sends him into the corner, shoulder-first. Punk attempts a second thrown, but Jericho leaps onto the corner, but Punk trips up Y2J, who crashes face first into the ring post. Punk nails the Lionheart with the Go To Sleep, and it is all over.
Winner by Match of the Night: CM Punk

 

Backstage, Matt Stryker asks Punk “where his head is at” and Punk replies with a shortened version of his earlier promo. He (Punk) is here competing every week on Raw, while The Rock has a physical belt being used as a prop on his next movie. Punk wrestles, while Rock vacations in Hollywood. The Rock might hold a “Championship Belt” but the WWE Universe knows who the real Champion truly is.

I love it. Punk is the best at what he does. It does tick me off, Rock wins the title, and no more WWE Championship on television.

The Official Announcement. Bruno Sammartino will be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame. It is about damn time. The true champion of champions, the man who sold out Madison Square Garden for years. The Man.

 

At some Hotel… Big Show signs his rematch contract and then predictably, gets ambushed by Del Rio. Show beats the hell out of him, until the World Champ finds a fire extinguisher, sprays it, and clocks Show in the head. Meh.

And Now… For the second week in a row, the Main Event is… John Cena cutting a promo!!
Wait… in the ring, we get… Brad Maddox? Oh hell. He cuts a promo like an indy wrestler rookie. I think he tried to do an impersonation of Bane. He sucks. Unless that is his gimmick, in which case he excels. He admits to selling out Heyman and The Shield, and then calls out the trio of justice. Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins oblige, come to the ring, and destroy the moron. Just then, Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback pull the same gimmick, coming down from the crowd. Shield tries to escape up the ramp, but the locker room empties out, forcing the Trio of Justice to return to the ring, where Cena, Ryback, and Sheamus beat them up. Shield escapes. Worst main event, ever.

The show was more disappointing than I thought, the matches felt mostly like filler, way too many promos that went nowhere, and a lot of nonsense. I understand it is time to hype up WrestleMania, but when you have a PPV in two weeks, you might want to give that some attention so your audience actually knows to buy it. There were two matches that were longer than five minutes, and thankfully they were good. Orton is beyond stale, and Cena vs. Another Heel Stable routine is getting old. No Rock, not even via satellite.

The show should have ended with the announcement about Bruno Sammartino entering the Hall of Fame. That promo was better than the entire show, and would have been considered the best main event ever.